ELIZANDRO: Healthcare: Where government shouldn’t interfere

John Elizandro

Everyone hates going to the Department of Motor Vehicles. My personal DMV nightmare occurred last summer, when I needed to register my car in a different state. Although there is no reason such a process should be complicated, anyone who’s ever stepped foot in a DMV office in any state knows the bureaucracy involved in the process is far from simple.

Like everyone else, I took a number and waited for the obligatory 45 minutes or so before even talking to a human being. At last, my number was called, and I was directed to a glass window behind which sat a disinterested young woman who curtly told me that she had no idea how to register a car from a different state and that I would have to wait in line again at a different window.

Eventually, I made my way to the front of another line to speak with a different woman. This employee obligingly entered my information into her computer, then promptly informed me that her break was due to begin and that I would have to wait in yet another line for yet another bureaucrat who would then be able to handle my problem. So wait I did. And, after another 25 minutes, I began for the third time to explain my situation with the DMV official. No sooner had I finished my explanation did this employee inform me that it was now her break time and that I would have to (yes, you guessed it) wait in a fourth line to speak with a final agent. Eventually, after four separate DMV employees and more than two hours of my time, the bureaucracy was conquered, and I received the documents I needed.

If you thought that story was tedious to read, imagine living it! I felt a lot of different emotions while I was kicked around from window to window so government bureaucrats paid with our tax dollars could take their 15-minute breaks. One emotion I distinctly remember not feeling, however, was “I can’t wait until you guys run our health care!”

If the DMV, a state-level organization, is so incomprehensibly unorganized, we can only imagine the bureaucracy involved as the federal government becomes more and more involved in how Americans get their medical care.

The healthcare debate occurring in Washington centers around one essential question: Is increased government intervention into the economy the solution to the problems with our health care system? The plan being pushed by President Obama contains numerous provisions, but they all have in common an expanding role for the federal government in the lives and decisions of its citizens. Obama has in the past made clear that he is an advocate for a totally government-run health care system, and his plan is a down payment on a future socialized medical industry.

Our generation is no stranger to the perils of dealing with the government. We watched FEMA and the local government of New Orleans fail tragically at all levels after Hurricane Katrina. We’ve wasted hours of our time trudging through the silliness of airport security. We’ve filled out FASFAs and 1040s and waited months to receive a passport. Even if most of us haven’t yet endured a tax audit, we’ve all heard the groans of our parents when we mention the IRS.

The questions our generation must ask itself as the health care debate reaches its climax are simple: Do we really want to spend our lives worrying about the government providing our health care? Do we really want walking into the doctor’s office for a physical to become an experience like walking into the DMV? Do we really want to hand over huge chunks of our paychecks to taxes which fund a massive health care bureaucracy?

No one claims our health care system is without flaws. If we reflect on the experiences that we’ve already had with the government, however, it’s clear that more government intervention into health care is not the answer.


John Elizandro is a sophomore business major from Radnor, Pa. He can be reached at [email protected].