Archive for Tuesday, April 10, 2007

Socialized health care not the answer

April 10, 2007

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The U.S. private health care system remains the world's No. 1 exporter of medical technology. Medical companies constantly compete to provide the public with improved medical technology. New, expensive technology is the primary reason for high insurance costs. Insurance companies willingly pay for expensive treatments and procedures, thus driving up insurance premiums. However, our competitive capitalistic system consequently lowers the cost of advanced medical procedures over time.

Another factor increasing medical costs is the increasing cost of doctors' liability insurance, a direct outcome of unnecessary malpractice lawsuits. Privatization of health care is not to blame for the lack of affordable health care to the masses; it is, in fact, the government allowing unnecessary regulation and "junk" lawsuits. If the number of lawsuits and government regulations were reduced, insurance premiums might become affordable to the average citizen.

Nonetheless, it is not all business, bureaucracy and the court system increasing spending on health care. More Americans are overweight and out of shape than ever before, and large numbers of senior citizens are living beyond previously calculated life expectancies. Also, newly discovered diseases and conditions requiring expensive treatments and medicine have increased spending as well.

It is sad that many liberals in Washington completely disregard reforms to our current system and radically promote socialized health care. Socialized health care may initially work, but lack of competition and incentive eventually illustrates its inefficiencies. Just ask Canadians why they wait weeks in line for a simple checkup and months in line for an MRI or a CT scan.

Socialized health care is not the answer for America, and neither is dumping more money into social welfare programs. Sending a check in the mail or seizing control of the health care system will not achieve affordable coverage for the working class. The solution will be to cut the bureaucracy and unnecessary regulations in half, and promote less government involvement.

- Dan Bentley is president and Ted Olson is vice president of the Young Republicans at Lawrence High School.

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