Sunday, April 20, 2008


"There's no such thing as a free lunch". One of many old sayings that have proven to be very accurate. This concept can be applied to many things in life, but none quite as important as life itself, and to a lesser extent, health care. As I watch the Presidential candidates try to out-liberal each other regarding the "health care crises", I can do little else than shake my head in disgust.
First of all, there is no "health care crises". Yeah, I said it. Is health care expensive? Yes. Does that constitute a crises? No. Cars are expensive. College is expensive. Coffee, cable and blue jeans are expensive, but we don't refer to them as a crises. A health care crises is when there are no doctors to be found. Or when hospitals shut down. Ironically, this will be the result of the liberal plan of universal health care.

Allow me to explain. Health care is a service, an important service, but a service none the less. It could also be considered to be a product. For this reason, I can use the following analogy. Think of our health care system as the fast food business. Because we have the power to make the decision to eat at McDonald's or Wendy's, Burger King has to make sure they make a better burger and offer better service than the other two. Arby's has to make sure they offer something even better by virtue of the Beef & Cheddar. Then Subway steps in and offers an even better deal than any of the others. This is called "competition". The end result of which is constantly improving quality, constantly expanding options and competitive prices for the consumer.
Now, what if the government stepped in and offered free cheeseburgers for everyone? At first, everyone would rejoice. Then we would notice a few changes. First, we would notice McDonald's stores closing down, followed by Wendy's and Arby's. After all, no one is buying their product anymore. Then we would notice a persistent drop in the quality of our government issued burgers. After all, why does the government need to worry about quality control when they are the only game in town? Menu options? Think again. Extra Mayo? Not a chance. Fries? Don't even think about it.
You see, now the people we rely on to make our cheeseburgers are government employees. You know, like the friendly folks down at the DMV, or the IRS. As long as they don't stick out in the crowd, their job is safe. Now that the government has taken the profit out of the food business, why bother with 10 years of cheeseburger college just to punch a clock for Uncle Sam? Where's the incentive? Who wants to be a burger chef now? Certainly not the cream of the culinary crop. In fact, few people jump at the chance to do the job at all, now that the money is taken out of the equation. This leads to burger shortages due to a lack of production. Yet the demand increases due to the fact that burgers are free now, so everyone wants one whether they need it or not. To get your "free" burger, you are put on a waiting list.
Six weeks later, you have the free cheeseburger you were promised. It is issued to you at a government facility and resembles exactly what you would think a government issued cheeseburger would look like. If they forget the cheese, just fill out the appropriate forms and someone will review your case in six to eight weeks.

Oh, you don't like cheeseburgers? You wanted a Big Mac, or a hoagie? Too bad.

Remember folks, it's one thing to sacrifice the quality and expediency of a cheeseburger for it's cost, but what about your child's heart surgery? Do you want free health care, or good health care for your child? You can't have both.