Wednesday, August 08, 2007

All Australians deserve free stuff ?

The childish headline of Catherine Deveny's pathetic article reads "All Australians deserve free health care".

I don't need to read any further to realise that only a childish mind that still dreams government can make sure everybody should be equal and we'd all live in utopia, or some workers paradise, could get a job at The Age.

There is no such thing as free health care, unless suddenly, thousands of nurses, doctors, ambulance drivers, paramedics and administrators decide to do volunteer work, as well as billions of dollars of infrastructure, beds, medical equipment, ambulances and medicine being donated for free.

Somebody somewhere has to pay. Whether the user is paying directly for services (in the case of private health) or whether a vast monolithic bureaucracy is paying for the services using tens of billions of dollars confiscated from tax paying individuals.

As I've said before, public provision of goods and services is always less efficient than private provision. The difference becomes even more pronounced and visible as the goods or services become increasingly complex. The market for medical services as it so happens, is more than a bit complex - it is infinitely dynamic, complex and extensive.

Obviously, it spans large geographical areas. Ambulances must be able to reach patients within a certain response time. For urban areas, this is tricky enough, but for rural areas, mountains and ski resorts, you need planes or helicopters to respond to emergencies. You need to obviously have large hospitals, hundreds of staff, computers, administrators, security guards, consultants, specialists, surgeons, technicians, cleaners, medical equipment etc etc. So what is the best way to coordinate, allocate and organise these resources efficiently?

Catherine Deveny just says - let government wave its wand, destroy the private health sector and make it "free" for everyone (except for everyone who pays taxes !)

HOW can anyone not agree with free universal high-quality health care? How can anyone think that our current public/private marriage of political convenience is beneficial to all Australians both now and in the future? How can anyone think that our nation is getting value for money? It's not.
I agree.. destroy the public health sector. As for value for money, it is a bit arrogant to claim that nobody thinks they get value for money, especially for those people who would have died under the public system waiting for critical surgery, and instead opted to pay whatever it takes to save their life.
Private health insurance is a rip-off. Public health needs the $3 billion government subsidy that is propping up the private health insurance industry. And a truck-load more. People don't need a 30 per cent rebate on their private health insurance premiums. They need not to feel terrified into having to pay the premiums in the first place.
You hear that ? Public health is now a living breathing entity that needs to suck your money, vampire style. Its not what individuals need, and are willing to pay for. Its now "a system". It needs everything it can get. Note that its also about what people "need to feel" about paying health premiums... if you just steal it through taxes, on every transaction and on every pay-check earnt, they won't notice it, and it won't hurt their feelings.
My solution? Make it mandatory that politicians and their families are forced to use only the public health system.
Heh, yeah right. Tell her she's dreaming. Since when are our political elites ever going to put their money where their mouth is? They talk about our wonderful public hospitals but they realise the system is a mess.
Government subsidy of private health is theft from the public health system. It's a disgrace. Where is the choice if you are on benefits or a low income and you can't afford private health insurance? "Chicken or beef, sir?" That's a choice.
This really boils my blood ! The government subsidy is actually a form of returning stolen funds (taxes). The 30% rebate matches the 30% income tax bracket. Its like making private health coverage tax deductible. But public health - everybody is *COMPELLED* to pay their taxes, and if you don't, you end up in jail. Only a few people benefit from public health - those who are satisfied with a lower standard of health care or those who can't afford better.
Having private health insurance is not a choice. The poor, the old and the vulnerable wait in pain. The rest get served first. Why is pain and loss of quality of life not as important if the person is old, poor or on benefits? It's discrimination. It's an economically adjusted pain scale. "They're doing it tough so a bit more pain won't hurt 'em."
Gee if its not a choice, then how did I choose exactly which private health package to take out ? Here we see the socialist mindset use the victims and downtrodden in society to advance their agenda and to justify an increase in the size and power of government. Pity the poor and the elderly - give us your taxes, stop spending your own money on your needs ! How is it that these vulnerable people wait in pain ? After all, we have a health system in this country that eats tens of billions of dollars.

Sometimes the cognitive dissonance is astounding. Do these journos ever stop to question some of their assumptions, and to pause from parroting this stupid narrative ?

And listen to how she demonises the millions of Australians who were organised enough to hand over their own money and choose a particular private health cover:
People will tell you that they have private health insurance because they were sucked in by the fear of waiting lists, getting into "the breeding zone", the 2000 run-for-cover campaign or simply "because my accountant told me to". None of them will tell you that they think it's value for money. Most of them are opposed to it. Necessary evil. They will tell you that they don't notice the payments and any rebate feels like a bonus.
Catherine Deveny is not just out of touch - she needs to be committed to an asylum. She kind of admits this with her final sentence though :)

There is a proverb: "A society grows great when old men plant trees whose shade they know they shall never sit in." With free high-quality universal health care there will be shade for our children. With the increase of private health there will be no shade because there will be no trees.

I love a good rant. I feel better now.