KERN: Should UNICEF take over U.S. healthcare?

UNICEF says it can give a child both nutrition and emergency healthcare for 50 cents a day. Maybe UNICEF should run Obamacare. Photo:

INDIANAPOLIS, August 4, 2013 — Alyssa Milano has done a spot for UNICEF (United Nations Children’s Fund), and it’s compelling:

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“What would you do if there was a child right in front of you, crying in pain and hunger, near death from sickness; and what if all you had to do was reach into your pocket and pull out 50 cents, to save that child’s life? This is that child and this is that moment.

“These two quarters: it’s never been easier to save the life of a child. Go on line or call this number and join UNICEF with your fifteen dollar monthly gift. It’s only 50 cents a day, and it means you’ll get these children the critical help they need to survive. Emergency care, nutrition, vaccines, anti-malaria bed nets – delivered every single day of the year, to the children who could die without it.

“That’s what your fifty cents a day buys. And at UNICEF, we believe that’s what every child deserves; and we know you do, too. But you have to reach into your pocket and make it happen. Please, go on line or pick up the phone now, because that child in front of you can’t wait another moment.”

Powerful stuff, that.

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If you can give a child food and medical care for half a dollar a day, how much for just the medical care? How do they get it so cheap in Africa? Wouldn’t it be great to offer Americans emergency medical care — not to mention nutrition — for $180 a year? Why, then, will Obamacare cost Americans each a hundred times that?

Perhaps we could get UNICEF to take over our healthcare system. Or perhaps there’s more to these savings than just U.N. management. Perhaps there’s something else afoot.

Is it possible that there is a surplus of medical supplies and an overabundance of doctors in these regions? Or that these regions are so agriculturally bountiful that the savings in transportation costs from field to plate are so low, that food is insanely inexpensive?

Surely, there is a component in the African cost of health care that reflects the population of the legal profession. Do they have late-night lawyers on TV, telling everyone how easy it is to get money, after any kind of accident? Do they have TV? What about lawyers?

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Lawyers, of course, would have no one to sue, and no way to collect; the population of caregivers is small and not wealthy. Worse (for the lawyers), the hospitals and caregivers have no insurance, so no one stands by to feed lawyers in the event of a medical mistake.

So, could the lack of insurance be the reason there is a lack of late-night lawyers?

Oh, holy cow. So, the reason healthcare here is so expensive is that lawsuits cost so much, and the reason lawsuits cost so much is because insurance companies would rather settle than fight.

What lesson might there be for the U.S.? Perhaps no one should have health insurance at all. Just pay for services and allow medical professionals to provide needed services, instead of covering their tails with paperwork and borderline-unnecessary tests. Insurance companies could go away, and costs would plummet. Once the lawyers had sued all old-model hospitals out of business, a new model would arise, concentrating on patient care. Like in Africa.

Truly, if the object of Obamacare were to provide health care, there would be no need for anyone to have health insurance. Chief Justice Roberts saw that when he labeled Obamacare a tax and declared it thus constitutional.

As those in the industry know, health insurance is wildly profitable. That, of course, is why President Obama wants to take it over. It will provide another revenue stream to fund his plans, while having the side benefit (to him) of extending government control over everyone, through tracking, approval, and allocation.

Another alternative would be to have UNICEF take over a sixth of our economy and run it like they run it in Africa. While many here object to any entity’s controlling a sixth of the economy, the way the U.N. would do it, that segment would soon shrink to only a few percent.

If none of this makes sense on the surface, is it because the UNICEF commercial over-promises or is it because the American healthcare insurance system is grossly expensive? And why is that?

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Tim Kern

Tim Kern taught economics for fifteen years, and discovered that understanding life is easy; it’s recognizing reality that takes practice. He holds a music degree, and later earned an MBA in finance from Northwestern University. He has lived across the US, and now makes his home in Anderson, Indiana.

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