Friday, August 21, 2009

Goal Setting

One of the most important steps towards success in any endeavor is to identify the goal. What is it that you want to achieve?

This is harder than it sounds and appears to be nearly impossible with regards to the current health-care debate. Both sides of the debate use this difficulty to distort the other side and to sell their side harder. "Pulling the plug on grandma" is a theme that is misused by both sides with apparent glee and faux displeasure and anger.

Apparently, you either want everyone to die or you want the government to have complete control over your daily life. There is no in-between in the debate. Therefore, there is no give-and-take.

But, wait a minute. How can this be in a civil society? Easy, that's how they want it. If we were actually told the end-goal and the proposed methods of getting there then we could actually have an intellectual debate about it. Instead, we're told the methods of getting there, wherever there is.

The president has said that we need health-care reform and the way to get health-care reform is for the government to enter the market and provide competition while establishing new rules on how everyone should be handled in the market.

But what's the goal in that? Health care reform? That's not a goal, that's a means.

How about a goal of decreasing the number of un-insured? Perhaps even setting a goal of having everyone insured while lowering the overall costs of buying insurance would be reasonable.

There are lots of ways of doing that. One study done in 2008 showed how to decrease the number of individuals who make less than $45,000/year who are un-insured by over 70%. It didn't involve creating a new government program. Instead it focused on getting the government out of the way.

The president talks about increasing competition by getting the government into the program. The way one creates competition is getting the government out of the way. Almost all of the "issues" with the marketplace of health insurance are created from government regulations, including the lack of interstate competition because of the McCarran-Ferguson Act.

I get very nervous when someone tries to sell me a solution or a means as a goal. I get extremely nervous when that someone is the government. The same government that brought us Medicare (bankrupt), Medicaid (bankrupt), Social Security (nearly insolvent), the US Postal Service (in debt and running a deficit), Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac (colossal failures) doesn't have a lot of credibility with me when it comes to fixing another problem by jumping in feet first.

Why are people angry? Because they don't know what they're being sold.

Whatever it is, I ain't buying it and they shouldn't be selling it.

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