Jimmy Kimmel recently made headlines when he revealed that his newborn son was discovered to have a serious heart defect. He explained, during his opening monologue on Monday, that an expert physician at Children’s Hospital Los Angeles performed an emergency procedure that saved his son’s life. Then, with tears in his eyes, Kimmel began to morph his story into an argument for supporting government run healthcare, and in particular Obamacare.
But while Kimmel attempted to use his experience to promote socialized healthcare, the particulars of his story actually support the opposite, a free market healthcare system. Here’s how:
Incentive and free market systems attract the best of the best. Performing surgery on a human heart is a difficult undertaking, something which takes years of study, training and mentally draining residencies. The American healthcare system remains the leader in healthcare despite Obamacare, not because of it.
In fact, our current healthcare system (not to be confused with our health insurance system) boasts top of the line hospitals with cutting edge equipment, record breaking service times, and staffed with experts in virtually all specialities imaginable. And this wondrous system we currently have was built pre-Obamacare. It was built by the free market, the opposite of Obamacare.
Children’s Hospital Los Angeles is a non-profit institution. As such they are funded by generous donors from the community. In fact, their website details it marvelously:
Children’s Hospital Los Angeles (CHLA) is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit institution that provides pediatric health care and helps our patients more than 528,000 times each year in a setting designed just for their needs. Our history began in 1901 in a small house on the corner of Alpine and Castelar Streets (now Hill St. in Chinatown) and today our medical experts offer more than 350 pediatric specialty programs and services to meet the needs of our patients.
CHLA is a provider of more than $232.6 million in community benefits annually to children and families. As the first and largest pediatric hospital in Southern California, CHLA relies on the generosity of philanthropists in the community to support compassionate patient care, leading-edge education of the caregivers of tomorrow and innovative research efforts that impact children at our hospital and around the world.
First line, second paragraph, “CHLA is a provider of more than $232.6 million in community benefits annually”. What that means is that even if Jimmy Kimmel had no health insurance, and no money, Children’s Hospital would have still done the exact same surgery to save his newborn baby boy’s life. Obamacare has absolutely nothing to do with this!
What is even more ironic is that towards the end of Kimmel’s teary eyed monologue he urged his viewers to donate to Children’s Hospital Los Angeles. And while donating to an institution such as a Children’s Hospital is a very noble thing to do, it is just another free market based source of funding. Once again, the complete opposite of a government run healthcare system.
Kimmel also attempted to credit coverage for pre-existing conditions solely to Obamacare. What Kimmel failed to reveal is that children were allowed onto most health insurance plans pre-Obamacare. As such, emergencies like the one Kimmel recently experienced would have been covered under an insurance plan.
Hypothetically, if such a procedure had not been covered, or if the parents failed to obtain health insurance before giving birth, Children’s Hospital Los Angeles would’ve still helped. As is stated above, annually they provide over $232.6 million. Also, despite the claims of people dying in the streets due to pre-existing conditions during a pre-Obamacare healthcare system, the actual cases are few and far between. By all account we had it pretty damn good!
So while we can all empathize with Jimmy Kimmel’s situation, we need to realize that all the benefits, the miraculous procedures, prompt service and the extreme expertise delivered by such a professional and experienced doctor were all made possible by a free market healthcare system. No better argument can be made for full repeal of Obamacare, and a free market based approach to health insurance.