A few thoughts on the upcoming Healthcare summit:
1) Things are expensive because they are scarce.
2) There is nothing in the proposals currently on the table to get more doctors pumped into the healthcare system. The AMA's deathgrip on the number of M.D.'s produced each year isn't going to be relaxed. Doctors will remain scarce, and therefore, expensive.
3) There is nothing in the proposals that would allow insurance companies to compete in states other than the ones where they currently have monopolies.
4) There is nothing in the current proposals that would allow consumers to opt for less coverage. Electric wheelchairs, hovercraft, and teleporters have been declared a mandatory part of insurance packages, thanks to lobbying efforts by the manufacturers of electric wheelchairs, hovercraft, and teleporters. Depending on your state, your insurance company now has to charge you enough to cover the possibility of an electric wheelchair, hovercraft, or teleporter in your future.
5) I've never met a nurse who didn't believe that she/he couldn't do 90% of what an M.D. does, at half the price.
6) Tort reform, and therefore, the expense of practicing defensive medicine, aren't on the table.
7) No one will allow me to purchase retroactive homeowner's insurance policy after my house has already burned down. If my uninsured home burned to the ground, no one in his right mind would take one insurance payment from me and then build me a new house. People with pre-existing conditions need help, but they don't need insurance. Insurance is intended to guard against the bad thing that has not yet happened.
8) Danny Williams, the Canadian premier who took a long, long look at his nation's socialized system and decided to come to the U.S. for his heart surgery? He's doing well.
9) It costs somewhere around a billion dollars to lawyer-proof a new medication. Big Pharma saves the lives of millions every year, but there's nothing in this vile healthcare package to protect them from Big John Edwards and his ilk. We need a lower cost option for "unregulated" medication and medical treatment. We have a former Marine medic at our workplace, and I see no reason at all why I shouldn't be able to go to him for stitches, broken bones, etc. After all, I belong to me. I guarantee you that given the choice, most of us would choose the unregulated option if it cost us as little as 20% less. I don't have that much faith in government regulators.
10) Speaking of John Edwards, no one has given us any genuine assurances that all copies of his sex tape have been destroyed. This issue should be treated as a greater threat to the nation than anthrax or the remaining vials of the polio virus.
11) Ever wonder why the insurance companies aren't fighting this thing very hard? Well, they're about to get 30 million new customers, and any new competitors will have to clear a huge regulatory burden before entering the market. They're doing everything but begging Obama not to throw them into that briar patch.