Okay, I lied, I really can't stand Mrs. Clinton. It's not her voice, or her shrill demeanor (I'd like to see any woman in a debate not be shrill, they have shorter vocal chords then men do, silly). I don't even mind Hillary's pant suits. To the consternation of my diametrically opposed countrymen who are hoping this piece would be easy to refute, I hate Hillary for the best reason of all — her platform.
Let's start with the big one – universal health care. Now I recognize that our current health care system has some issues, most notably, 47 million Americans who have no health insurance, as well as the high cost of drugs, and medical mistakes. These are surely issues that need to be resolved. However is our health care system really that bad that we should be throwing the baby out with the bathwater?
Liberal pundits are quick to point out that the WHO ranks the US health care system at #37, adding that the average lifespan in the US is not the highest in the world. Mark Twain once said something about statistics, and it's just as true now as it's ever been. The WHO rankings are based on access, per capita costs, and overall health of the citizenry among other things. These metrics make sense in poorer nations, where access or per capita costs might literally be a prohibitive factor in obtaining any care at all, and where average life spans more directly correlate to the quality of care. But it doesn't translate so well when dealing with a prosperous and free nation such as the United States.
It's worth pointing out that the US per capita costs of everything from blue jeans to milk is higher than in most nations in the WHO list. As far as health of the citizenry, let's not forget that US lifestyles are not always so healthy. Our rich nation also leads in terms of diabetes and obesity – diseases brought on by our excessive lifestyles, not by a lacking health care system. Certainly our average lifespan would be longer if we had healthier diets or spent less on vices such as alcohol and tobacco. And the impact of a healthier lifestyle would be lower per capita costs of health care. But healthy lifestyles aren't fun – Americans choose an unhealthy way of life by eating too much or smoking and drinking because we can, and we pay for it. And while the quality of our healthcare system has nothing to do with these factors, the WHO ranks the US healthcare system lower as a result.
There are 47 million Americans without health insurance, and something needs to be done to close that gap. But there are ways to fix that problem without starting from scratch. Guiliani proposed moving to an individual insurance model, similar to car insurance, rather than the employer subsidized system that we have now. Others have suggested less market friendly options such as simply providing government assisted coverage for those who are without health care. Either way, this problem can be solved without placing the responsibility of our entire nations care within the inept hands of our government.
Other gripes such as high costs for drugs and care are rooted in other issues that can be resolved. Putting some sanity into the tort system so that only malpractice cases with merit can be brought against doctors, putting some fairness into the FDA process for approving drugs and giving drug makers a longer period to recoup on their intellectual property investment can all go a long way to reducing costs.