Rep. Roy Blunt (R-MO), GOP candidate for U.S. Senate (via Fired Up! Missouri):
BLUNT, July 9: You could certainly argue that government should have never have gotten in the health care business, and that might have been the best argument of all, to figure out how people could have had more access to a competitive marketplace.
Government did get into the health care business in a big way in 1965 with Medicare.
BLUNT, Last weekend: We've had Medicare since 1965, and Medicare has never done anything to make people more healthy. If there's any opportunity for more healthy activity, it's going to be, again, a private, competitive...
Medicare has never done anything to make people more healthy?
Uh, if that's true, why is Medicare the most popular health insurance program in America? And how does Blunt explain the wide range of preventative health services offered by Medicare, ranging from flu shots to helping people quit smoking and everything in between?
And if Roy Blunt wants to keep Medicare costs down, isn't one of the very best ways of doing that making sure that people are healthier when they are 65 than they are today? And wouldn't health reform make that possible?
Guys like Roy Blunt think health care is just another widget. But it's not. You have your health -- good or bad -- for your entire life, but your health insurance company only cares about the next premium.
With rare exceptions, private health insurance companies have incentive whatsoever to keep you healthy ten years from now, because (a) you probably won't be a customer of their's ten years from now and (b) even if you are, they can just raise premiums.
For the most part, they just don't have an incentive to help keep you healthy now to save costs later. Their goal is short-term profit: not helping you live a long and healthy life.
Everybody who has looked at this situation knows that health reform is the only way to lower costs and increase health, and the fact that Roy Blunt wants to go backwards on health reform by eliminating Medicare and replace it with a private for-profit health insurance scheme is stunning.
Talk about bone-headed politics. Maybe Blunt should use some of that health care he gets for free from Congress...to fix his thick skull.