Sitting around in the same waiting room

I usually have a great deal of respect for Mickey Kaus.  He’s a lefty, but an honest one.  And his analysis is usally not too far off the mark.  But the other day he wrote something that’s just fantasticly dumb.  He’s talking about why he thinks “universal health care” will decrease social inequality (which he things is a good thing):

But they don’t erase invidious financial difference the way actually sitting around in the same hospital waiting room does.

What’s so stupid about this?

Well, let’s consider the list

  1. Does he really think we’re going to adopt a British style health system where it’s illegal for people to get their own insurance / pay for things out of pocket?  If not, “the rich” are still going to be going to their own doctors, and they’ll be better ones than the rest of us see.
  2. Does he really think it’s a good idea for people make $100, $200, $500, or $1,000+ an hour to be wasting the same amount of time in a doctor’s waiting room as someone who makes $10 an hour?  Does he really think the higher end people won’t pay extra so they can avoid having their time wasted?
  3. Everyone in the broad middle waits in the same waiting rooms right now.  How will “Universal Health Care” change that?
  4. Does he really think the politically connected are going to be sitting in the same waiting rooms as the rest of us?  Why?  This is the real world, not fantasyland.  And in the real world, when the government controls something, those in the government get better than the rest of us.  Just as “The Friends of Angelo.”
  5. The main effect of “Universal Health Care” will be to screw the upper middle class, and maybe the middle class.  If the real rich have to fly out of the country to get good medical care, to get the things that the US Government has decided not to pay for, the get private rooms, and good service, they’ll do that.  The politically connected with get access to treatment here in the US that the rest of us wont have access to.  It’s those of us how aren’t rich enough to pay $100,000 out of pocket for surgery who will be forced to spend a lot of time waiting for access to the few health care providers that the government deigns to fund.  Why does Mickey see that as a good thing?

In short, if you really want more social equality, support school vouchers, to let poor kids escape from crappy schools.

But the only way to do that is to vote Republican.


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