View Full Version : Ron Paul's Medicare comments

01-20-2012, 02:19 PM
I didn't watch the recent debate, but apparently Ron Paul was saying the medical care industry was a lot better before Medicare. There are articles lumping the statements into an outright ignorance of facts because he didn't acknowledge the problems that gave rise to Medicare. The MSM of course has problems telling the difference between a fact and an opinion.

Actually, everybody I talked to who was alive before Medicare was enacted claims medical care was much better before then. Increases in life expectancy haven't come from increased medical coverage. They've come in lifestyle changes like less smoking and knowledge of behaviors that increase heart disease.

It's interesting that I was talking to a friend a friend of my father who is about 75 years old. He's sort of a "man without a country," an international traveler who has no real permanent address. He didn't have health insurance until about 3 months ago when he got a friend of his in Portugal to put him on his payroll in order to get minimal coverage. Tells you a lot about whether or not senior health care coverage is necessary and how systems can be scammed.

My mother is about the same age, 75, and hasn't been to a doctor in decades. She's super religious and believes God will heal her or else take her to Heaven and doesn't worry about it. My father who had great medical insurance died at age 63. Medical coverage does not seem to increase life expectancy among the people I personally know.

There's also this issue of a very large proportion of medical dollars being spent in the last few months of people's lives. That's definitely a Medicare legacy. We need to either expand the system to give it to everybody like they do in Europe and Canada or else get rid of Medicare & most medical industry regulation so market forces will take over. What we have now is insanity and is a huge competitive disadvantage to the United States. Obamacare is only going to make things worse because it doesn't deal with the issue of competition.

01-20-2012, 02:44 PM
Subsidizing demand makes prices go up. It's econ 101. A gargantuan government program that massively subsidizes the demand for health care and then is unable to keep up with the dramatically escalating costs it helped create is a time bomb that WILL blow up. Medicare is the equivalent of a ten pound abdominal tumor that everyone can see but nobody wants to address. Ron Paul is the only candidate with the stones to talk about it.

01-20-2012, 03:46 PM
Subsidizing demand makes prices go up. It's econ 101.

Beyond pushing the demand curve up, it's a really interesting issue when you think about what demand is actually being subsidized. My wife's a nurse and she said there are people who will demand that 90 year old Granny be kept on life support for weeks even though they know that she's on her way out. Would they do that if you asked them to cough up $100k in advance to pay for it?

It's not just about the nuances of medical treatment, either. If asked to pay $100k to keep a child alive, most people would write a check without blinking. The demand that Medicare satisfies is completely artificial. Sorry, it may sound harsh to say it, but that's life.

Another friend of mine lives in Saudi Arabia. He's originally from Texas and I asked him if he's worried about not qualifying for Medicare because he hasn't worked enough in the US. His response was that he had Saudi health insurance, but it didn't matter because he can get quality health care in KSA or other places for about 1/4 what it costs in the US. We're getting ripped off by both the government and the medical industry in the US.