John Andrist: U.S. Healthcare Is Too Big to Succeed

I would have loved to have given North Dakota a crack at devising its own health care system.

The federal government is hopelessly in debt, while our state has the luxury of multiple savings accounts, called trust funds.

We’re smarter, smaller, and far more innovative than Washington. And we have a can-do mentality.

That’s why I felt so sad when they couldn’t pass the Cassidy-Graham replacement for Obamacare.

What the bill basically proposed, instead of telling us what to do and what to cover, it would have given block grants to the states to figure out their own health care system.

We could have built our own Medicaid model. We could have looked for new ways to help chronic sufferers and those with catastrophic needs.

My dream has been a health care system that would take care of the really low income folks, pay for the big stuff and perhaps subsidize pre-existing needs, all of which would help make private insurance for the rest of us more affordable.

[mks_pullquote align=”right” width=”300″ size=”24″ bg_color=”#ffffff” txt_color=”#000000″]Cassidy-Graham would have passed if we trusted our states to fix the system. Instead four stubborn Republican Senators, who don’t doubt Obamacare is failing, apparently didn’t have any confidence in their own state’s problem solving abilities either.[/mks_pullquote]

We could incentivise providers who are thrifty instead of rewarding those who build in higher costs.

Cassidy-Graham would have passed if we trusted our states to fix the system. Instead four stubborn Republican Senators, who don’t doubt Obamacare is failing, apparently didn’t have any confidence in their own state’s problem solving abilities either.

It could have passed if only one or two Democrats were willing to vote against their iron clad caucus of sheep — including our own Heidi Heitkamp. Whenever a caucus is unanimous you know somebody has abandoned thinking for themselves.

It still may happen in some other shape or form when more of us realize Washington, for all of its good intentions, is not good, probably not capable, at solving most of our problems.

All they are good at is taxing, spending and borrowing. It isn’t that they are not good people with good intentions.

We are simply too large, too diverse for a top-down one-size-fits-all system. Our founders were essentially right. The states are far more adept than central government at problem solving.

One more thing. An analysis done by the Congressional Budget Office — a non-partisan group both sides use — said that Cassidy-Graham block grants would bring $4.26 billion to North Dakota between 2020 and 2026. That is $700 million more than we otherwise will receive through Medicaid in that six year period.

Beyond that the CBO said North Dakotans would save another $370 million in matching state funds we now contribute to Medicaid. That’s a cool billion.

Heidi, how could your base have been more wrong? And how unlibertarian could Rand Paul actually get?

Central government

If central government was the answer, why would Britain want out of the European union? Why would the Kurds insist they need a separate government?

Why would the Soviet Union have broken apart? Why would Catalonia want to be independent from Spain?

If you watched the last part of Ken Burns history of the Vietnam war you know it did not end in a truce, like Korea did.

We lost. We walked away. When we left we broke all the promises and protections we promised South Vietnam. The communists took over. They centralized all control, conscripted the farm land, and nationalized most industry.

That too was a miserable failure and since has undergone many reforms and modifications, the documentary reported — with no help from us!

We see a similar scenario in corporate America. They see advantage in mergers and figure out mergers and ways of getting bigger and bigger.

When things go haywire, we have to bail them out — big banks and car manufacturers. Then we call it a success, because we fixed them with taxpayer dollars.

Some success.

Rob Port is the editor of SayAnythingBlog.com, a columnist for the Forum News Service, and host of the Plain Talk Podcast which you can subscribe to by clicking here.

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