Ah, A Bit Of Honesty From The WSJ (Healthcare Costs)

Now we get a bit of honesty here….

Critics are missing the larger point. Why should the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) decree that any of us must pay for “insurance” that covers contraceptives?

I put “insurance” in quotes for a reason. Insurance is supposed to mean a contract, by which a company pays for large, unanticipated expenses in return for a premium: expenses like your house burning down, your car getting stolen or a big medical bill.

Right. Insurance is a negative-sum game.  That is, on balance everyone who buys it must lose when everyone adds up their expenses, since nothing is free and the company that aggregates and doles this out must get paid somehow.

Therefore it is not insurance when you are buying “insurance” on something that everyone, or close to everyone, will actually use. 

Insurance is the purchase of a contract that pays off when you have an unlikely event that would otherwise be catastrophically expensive.  By spreading this risk of unlikely but catastrophic outcome while everyone must mathematically lose when all the costs and benefits are added up, the cost becomes palatable to people in general.  This is why homeowners insurance is reasonable in cost — it’s unlikely that you’ll have a fire, but if you do the loss would bankrupt you absent the insurance. You thus voluntarily buy the insurance to protect against the risk, unless of course you have a shack, in which case you don’t care (and don’t buy.)

But when it comes to “Social Insurance” (Medicare, Medicaid and Social Security) these are not insurance programs, in the main.  Nor is the “HMO/PPO” nonsense with coverage of routine expenses.  And it is those routine expenses that have gone through the roof in cost, along with prescription drugs and devices at the same time “catastrophic” events have skyrocketed.

Nobody denies that things like heart stents and “miracle” drugs are expensive to develop.  But the benefit — and cost — of those things can be borne by actual insurance, with individual people choosing to have or not have that coverage. 

Routine medical care, on the other hand, along with chronic conditions are another matter.  Those are things that are utterly predictable.  We all get old.  We all go to the doctor more often as we get old.  It is as routine as, well, getting old.

Likewise with birth control.  If you’re of fertile age as a woman or a man involved with such a woman then you have this concern in one form or another.  You either both want an unlimited-size family or you do not.  If you do not, and most people do not, then this is an utterly predictable expense.

As for those who say that this sort of thing is “expensive”, no it’s not.  Not any more than your iPhone is.  If you can afford the cellphone you can afford the birth control.  Is sex more important to you than your toy piece of technology?

It’s not about “access” and it’s not about “insurance.” It’s because Americans, when paying even modest co-payments, choose to spend their money on other things. They prefer a new iPod to a “wellness visit” to the doctor. As the HHS unwittingly admits: “Often because of cost, Americans used preventive services at about half the recommended rate.”

Yep.  And Americans prefer this because they do not have to bear the cost of this decision.

That is, Americans are free to spend the money on an iPod rather than a “wellness visit” to the doctor because if they make this choice and then get severely ill they can force everyone else to cover the otherwise-avoidable expense they would not have taken on if they eschewed the iPod and went to the doc!

This is where the problem lies and until we admit it and deal with it there is no resolution to our budget mess that is possible.  The simple fact of the matter is that we do not have the ability to pay for that which we’ve promised to people.  This has resulted in what look like “excellent profits” in various businesses (like Apple) that are factually false as these “sales” are in fact shifted to federal borrowing — a death spiral that will detonate in our face.

This game must end.  In reality this “debate” about birth control in Obamacare is not about birth control at all.  It is about the Church and the professional left and right creating entitlement programs that serve as nothing more than a cost-shift they cannot fund, then claiming that we “cannot stifle” an alleged but false economic recovery!  This an outright fraud by both the Church and everyone else involved in it, both government and private sector.  So long as the Church was able to make someone else — anyone else, including their congregation — eat the cost of their frauds they were perfectly happy with it.  In fact they reveled in it as the Church’s historical role in helping the poor through voluntary donations was able to be sloughed off to the taxpayer!  The bleating now, just like that of the doctors, drug companies and hospitals, is all a function of the truth being shoved in their face — their cost-shifting game has backfired and they are now forced to deal with not only the financial but moral costs of the policies they actively promoted.

There is no recovery folks and there can’t be until truth is faced.  The Federal Government is creating the illusion of economic demand that does not exist and has been for more than a decade.  The truth of this is becoming more and more evident as each day goes on and our standard of living is continually eroded as each pillar of debt dependency is exposed for what it is — a pyramid scheme and thus an outright scam.

You’re free to buy into this if you want and to believe in the “faux outrage” of the Catholic Bishops, but that’s what it is — faux outrage. These same people were more than happy to shove you into the hole so the government could take by taxation that which they believed you “should” give as nothing more than a throwback to former Church policy when the Church had the force of law behind it.  By making such arguments and endorsements from the pulpit, something that the Pope just did recently with his claim that “redistribution” is “appropriate”, the Church has in fact endorsed Ponzi spending that is no more correct than was the Church’s insistence that Earth was the center of the universe.

There are many “churches” that are involved in this scheme and scam and most of them do not have crosses over their altars.  That there is an intersection between the political left, right and various faith-based groups is no surprise — none of them are willing to abide our Constitution or the math.

The fact of the matter is that fully 61% of Federal Spending (FY 2012) is for blatantly unconstitutional things.  Universal retirement and indigent health care (Medicare and Medicaid), Title I (public education), universal retirement income (Social Security) and universal money and goods assistance to indigent people (welfare in all forms, AFDC, Section 8, etc) are all without foundation in the Constitution of the United States at a federal level.  The growth of these programs was utterly predictable — with federal medical spending growing from $53 billion in 1980 to over $800 billion last year, a compound growth rate of just over 9%, it is clear that mathematically Medicare and Medicaid alone will eclipse the entire Federal Budget within the next 20 years.  This will bankrupt our nation with certainty unless we stop being stupid. 

The bad news is that when we stop the economic contraction that will inevitably ripple through the economy is going to be massive and the magnitude of that contraction grows with every day we continue to pretend instead of “eating our peas.”  This economic adjustment, which I estimate was 10% of GDP in 2000, grew to 20% by 2007 and today is approaching double that amount!  If we don’t accept the truth soon collapse will become inevitable.

While you can ignore the Constitution, seemingly without consequence in this country, you cannot ignore math.  Compound functions just are, and the consequence of refusing to deal with them is utterly predictable and in fact certain.

We must stop this now and if there was any sort of honest outrage from these institutions, including the Church, their outrage would be directed at the fact that the majority of what our Federal Government does today is in fact blatantly unconstitutional and thus without justification under The Constitution of the United States.

The very same Constitution that, when it’s convenience for them, they bitch about being violated.

The difference between rape and sex is consent. As such I’ll be interested in the Church’s complaints about contraception when — and only when — they stop telling me that being horse-raped on a daily basis by my government is in fact consensual sexual intercourse.

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