Curly Howard didn’t design our healthcare system, but his plumbing misadventure helps explain why it’s such a mess — before and after Obamacare. [Credit: wondersinthedark.com]
Curly Howard didn’t design the US healthcare system. Or Obamacare. Or Republican proposals to replace it. But he could have.
Howard, the most creative of the Three Stooges, set out to fix a leaking pipe. His solution: add a length of pipe. Each time he did, the flow of water was temporarily interrupted, only to resume, this time out of the pipe he’d just added. Undeterred, he added another length of pipe. By the end of the episode, a frustrated and soggy Curly is enmeshed in pipes. And still the water flows.
So it is with healthcare. The leak, in this case, is the basic premise of insurance – that risk is inevitable and its cost must show up somewhere. Curly’s pipe is regulation – the unceasing attempts by government to divert and disguise the cost of that risk. The system that resulted from perpetual intervention resembles the one Curly produced – costly, cumbersome, inefficient and confusing. Continue reading