Sunday, May 7, 2017


That’s a legitimate question and one that surely requires an answer.

When I was born, many moons ago, I believe the average life expectancy of an American citizen was in the upper 60’s. Today the average life span is about 78 for men and approximately 80 for women. That’s quite a jump, don’t you think?

Well, let’s take the year 1960 (57 years ago). Doctors at that time still made house calls for approx. $15.00 per house visit ($10 a visit at the doctor’s office). Many of the cures that my mother used for some of the illnesses was homeopathic (without really knowing what that word meant) and natural treatments that were handed down from generation to generation. For an example, if you caught a cold and were congested in the chest or nose, the treatment was hot tea and honey, chicken soup, and Vick’s Vap-o-Rub on the chest, throat, and back, and if the congestion was really bad, a steam atomizer with some tincture of camphor added, usually did the trick. I also remember that the only painkillers that were widely used were, ether and Novocain and an aspirin, depending on the medical problem. These were just a few of the treatments that were available to us at that time. The increase in medical costs rose dramatically after the passage of laws and government involvement in our health care by passage of “War on Poverty”, passed by the Congress and signed by Pres. Lyndon Johnson in 1965.

Now, look at what’s available to treat us today, just 57 years down the road from 1960. Because of some entrepreneurial people and companies, looking to make a profit from their efforts, we have a wide array of medical products and treatments that just boggle the mind. These “new-fangled” products and treatments don’t come cheaply, but they have mostly been the reason why our life expectancy has gone up so dramatically over these past 57 years, as well as the costs.

Let’s see what is available today that wasn’t available in 1960, and why that has caused our medical costs to soar.

  • knee and hip replacements
  • arthroscopic surgery
  • MRI’s
  • CT Scans
  • Angioplasty
  • Bypass heart artery surgery
  • Laser treatments for eyes, skin, and kidney and bladder problems
  • organ transplants
  • prosthetic limbs
  • stents for arteries
  • many miracle drugs, researched and produced by the “evil” pharmaceutical Co.’s
  • Plus many more too numerous to mention.

All these innovations and life-saving treatments have come about through our free-enterprise profit making system. If we take the financial incentive out of our medical care system by price-fixing, over regulation, and government intrusion, many of our expected future medical breakthroughs will not come about because it would not be worth the time and effort of some person or company, if they are not fairly compensated for the time, effort, and treasure they would have to expend in developing new products, treatments, and drugs. That’s why people from all over the world come here for treatment, especially heads-of-state, even if it is expensive, because it is the best in the world.

And now, we want to scrap our state-of-the-art medical treatment and care system in order to help about 5% of the population that cannot afford this array of life-saving treatments and in some cases, cures, through the advent of Obamacare? Why throw the baby out with the bath water, when you could solve this problem by having “safety nets” for poor people or for catastrophic illnesses, instituting tort and malpractice reform, letting people buy their health insurance across state lines, institute vigorous fraud and corruption units, especially in the areas of Medicare and Medicaid? Let the private system work (with some government enforcement and oversight) and you’ll see our system adjust to the competition by lowering medical costs for everyone. It’s when the government intrudes in the system that things go haywire and costs start to rise, because all the government can do is “screw up a free lunch”, which they seem to do quite well..

I hope I’ve given you some food for thought as to why health care is so expensive, and hopefully, I’ve given you some valid ways of how to go about solving the problem. Remember, as Pres. Ronald Reagan once said, “Government is not the solution, government is the problem”.

Conservative commentary by Chuck Lehmann

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Donald Wirth said...

The Democrats are myopic in defending Obamacare knowing that it is a failed system, whereby the people in Obamacare have coverage but it is useless due to outrageous premiums, humongous deductibles, and few doctors to treat patients.They have the nerve to blast the Republican plan which attempts to get rid of this unworkable monstrosity called Obamacare.

George Giftos said...

It hits the nail on the head, so even a moron (democrat) can understand.