The Best Way to Keep People From Not Having Something is to Force Them to Get It

"CRISIS: Nearly Five Million Adults Have Lost Insurance Since Sept. '08."

Solution: Let's force everyone, by law, to get health insurance.

We know, this is an oversimplification. There are other "parts" to this plan that "make it" work. But what, specifically, are those? And more importantly, what does "work" mean?

We have not seen any solutions brought forward that address the enormous amount of health care money that is going into actual health insurance profit and overhead itself and thus not into health care -- insurance not for catastrophic loss relevant to that particular individual or family, but for simple everyday health coverage that the recipients of hundreds of millions of health care policies could in fact be paying for themselves, if they weren't paying far more, for insurance for them.

Thus we are skeptical of a plan that A) mandates, and tells people what they must do, and B) mandates more health insurance, while not addressing the differential between economically sensible, catastrophic insurance and routine insurance which simply puts in multiple layers of middlemen and cost, while removing control.

Maybe another part of the solution in this country is to stop treating "doctors" like the Gods that, for the most part, they are not. Because we view them as such, some go into medicine for the wrong reasons, which also tends to lead to bad medicine. Many doctors are also overpaid, while some of the better doctors are in fact underpaid. (Much like teachers). But that's another topic. And probably a much more provocative one, at that. Also, doctor pay, and the ridiculous cost of medical school solely for the purpose of learning how to memorize a bunch of rote information, rather than how to think and learn like a doctor as well, is only a small part of the excessive health care cost problem. But seriously, 100k plus to spend a bunch of years simply memorizing facts?

Maybe we need better doctors, for doctor stuff; and more nurses -- male and female, for more routine stuff. Just an idea. Oh, yeah, right, since it's been a few sentences since we mentioned it: And a whole lot less health insurance, with health money not otherwise going to catastrophic insurance going to health care, and policy holders playing a more active role in their own health treatment decisions and expenditures. While we are at it, why not also put a moratorium on all these laws a law happy Congress keeps passing this decade (and even reverse a few) that have created reams of paperwork and administrative overhead, that most in the health business itself (and especially doctors offices) continually lament.

It's a law happy Congress, for sure, yet we could not even pass a cash for clunkers bill that actually subsidized the purchase of vehicles that help solve the overuse of oil (and corollary emissions) problem, and we're finally struggling to pass even a minimum climate change bill -- and one, as being considered, fraught with all sorts of loopholes and inconsistent subsidies.

Here's a side idea, while we are digressing: Apparently very large tax increases are being considered, at least upon the upper tier of income earners. Okay, fair enough, to some, anyway, while providing great fodder for Obama administration opponents. (Opponents who are now, also, suddenly, deficit hawks again, even while the mess we are in is a result of not being even remotely sensible about the deficit for the past eight years, when unlike right now, we had no real reason not to be.)

How about simply taxing the heck out of dirty forms of energy? Too regressive? There are ways of adjusting for that. It's going to "ruin the economy"? Here's news for you -- the economy is already ruined. And we are only continually, and ineffectively, trying to prop it up by artificially subsidzing dirty energy (since none of its real, and excessive costs, are integrated into the pricing structure) while exacerbating the very problems we need to solve.

Let the market and ingenuity and market induced behavior alteration solve the problem, and transition us over to a more sustainable economic growth pattern, while at the same time not trashing the world we live in based upon the myopic view that is somehow a "cost" not to engage in sensible, non self destructive long term policies. Such taxes will increasingly reflect a tax of choice and not compulsion as market parameters and modes of production continally shift toward increasingly cleaner and more ingenius forms of production, while raising considerable revenue at the same time.

Just an idea. But we are paralyzed by this misconception of cost, and the need to artificially prop up what is a stagnating economy that was based in part on this unsustainable model, from doing anything sensible, and absolutely paralyzed over the easiest solution of all: Tax that which is doing the harm -- overreliance upon dirty, unsustainable, atmospheric altering, and national security compromising energy -- and let the market do far more effectively than what a gaggle of well intentioned, and in the long run far more costly, laws, will likely never come close to accomplishing.

Oh, wait, we almost forgot, our nation's foremost energy expert (and potential if not likely 2012 nominee for President the way things are going) has a different "opinion" -- one based upon as much energy knowledge, as might "fit in a can of 3-in-1 oil and still leave room to fix a whole lot of squeaks." While the shot at Republicans in general is gratuitous and uncalled for (why Democrats have to constantly engage in that is beyond us here), the "can of oil" estimation of Palin's energy knowledge is not that far off. But of course the Wasington Post -- an increasingly excellent reflection for our grandest and greatest ignorances -- has to play into the ridiculous popularity groupthink run amuck version.

For those who thought King George was the emperor who wore no clothes, wait to you get a taste of Empress Sarah Palin, who makes Bush's rhetorical and emotional (clothed as logic) manipulation skills look like child's play.