Dissent: Not the right fix for health care

Our View

The Constitution guarantees a number of rights. A manageable co-pay is not among them.

Our health care system is flawed. The way to fix it, though, is not by mandating care for all. The best solution is to address the reasons why our system is at critical mass.

First, we must protect physicians. Doctors live in fear of baseless lawsuits, and many find themselves ordering tests they believe are likely unnecessary, simply to shield themselves from liability. A fiscally-sound health care system will start by protecting physicians so they can limit wasteful steps in the diagnostic and treatment processes.

Second, we must construct a culture of prevention. Heart disease, stroke and diabetes were responsible for nearly 850,000 deaths in a recent year. While not every death was preventable, it can be said with certainty that many were. We should encourage proactive, preventive care, most notably vaccines, and we should adjust premiums for those who take steps to safeguard their wellbeing. Individuals who make healthy choices should not carry a financial burden for others who pick otherwise.

However, there is one demographic that merits guaranteed care: children. The livelihoods of children should not be jeopardized because their parents do not have health insurance. We must protect those who, without dispute, do not have the ability to choose whether to have insurance or not.

Our health system is in critical condition. The health reform law will do little to change that and will only prove to be a backwards step for the American spirit of independence and drive.

Alan Blinder is the managing editor of The Crimson White.