Government Health Care: Like Your Local Cable Monopoly on Steroids

Think about it. Whether you’re dealing directly with the government or with a “private” insurer that’s been turned into a de facto public utility (and vastly enriched in the process), what’s your recourse going to be when the phone rep says, “I’m sorry, ma’am, but that procedure isn’t covered under the directives of the Medicare Advisory Panel, per Title XII, Section 24, Paragraph (d)”?

Ask to talk to their supervisor? Good luck. He’s probably out the door at 3 p.m., and even if he’s still in the office, he’s a lot more worried about his budget than your cancer and he’s got the law to fall back on. He’s probably a civil service employee, meaning he’s virtually unfireable, and God help you if he’s a member of SEIU or AFGE, because the government certainly won’t back you over him.

Take it to your congressman? Not a bad idea, but what if you donated $20 to his opponent last year? Or what if you didn’t donate $100 to his reelection? Don’t think they won’t know one way or the other -- those FEC records are very detailed and congresscritters have computers, too.

Remember, everybody in the country is trying to get the finite resources in this system to work for them. That gives great power to the few people who can game the system -- and that means politicians. The first instinct of any politician is to help his friends and hurt his enemies. Think his aides are going to be jumping through hoops to help you if you’re not on their approved list?

You say you’ll take it to the press? Good luck with that -- the media is firmly in the “health care reform” camp. Once the complaints start going against the government as opposed to evil corporations, they’re going to lose interest in the subject. To them, you’ll just be an anti-“reform” troublemaker.

Go after them in the blogosphere? Knock yourself out -- but you’re going to run into the cold fact that the people you’re dealing with are protected by civil service rules. They can’t be fired and they don’t care what you say about them.

Don’t believe me? How did your last airport encounter with a TSA screener go? What was it like the last time you had to get your driver’s license renewed?

Ever been audited?

Dealing with a monopoly is almost always a lousy experience, but what’s it going to be like when The Call is about your health … or your spouse’s heath … or your kids’ health … and the other side of the line is the biggest and most bureaucratic monopoly of them all?

Makes AT&T or Comcast look like a pleasure to do business with, doesn’t it?