Birth Control to Crowd out Real Health Care? Insurance Company Money Isn't Limitless

The Washington Times (Washington, DC), March 15, 2012 | Go to article overview

Birth Control to Crowd out Real Health Care? Insurance Company Money Isn't Limitless


Byline: Warren L. Dean Jr., SPECIAL TO THE WASHINGTON TIMES

Conservatives from Washington, D.C. to Palm Beach, Fla., have been busy trying to redefine our national debate on health care. They act like they want to turn it into a referendum on whether we need a cure for foot-in-mouth disease. Enough, already. There are important issues at stake here.

Like whether the system is working. AARP's most recent bulletin has this intriguing observation: The number of patients who die each year from hospital errors is equal to four jumbo jets crashing each week. If true (you have to consider the source), that means we have a real problem.

Notwithstanding all the blather you hear from the regulators at the Department of Transportation, we have an extraordinarily safe and reliable air transportation system. Why? It's not just because of the good folks at the Federal Aviation Administration, even though they help occasionally. It is primarily because of the fact that we have a mostly deregulated airline industry, where consumers have real choices. Every airline CEO knows that if his company gets a bad reputation for safety, it is curtains for the company. Think Air Florida, think Pan Am.

So it has become commonplace for the airline industry to carry its passengers hundreds of billions of miles every year without a single fatality or serious injury. That is a really good thing. No one in their right mind would want to run the risks AARP is talking about.

Unlike airlines, our hospital system is in danger of becoming a government-mandated, -regulated, -funded, -subsidized and -sponsored monument to the inefficiency of big-government solutions. The more Washington gets involved, the less efficient the system becomes. In an effort to ensure that no one gets left out, government eventually will make sure that no one gets good care. The irony is that the Supreme Court will soon decide whether we have any choice in this. …

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