Thursday, June 4, 2009

The left's universal health care plan, explained at Think Progress, The Case For A Public Health Care Plan, tries to make the case for government run "competitive" Medicare replacement. The smartest people in the room say that they want a "new public health insurance plan that can compete with private insurers equally and transparently within an insurance exchange" and is "on a level playing field with private health insurance plans". In several major sections, they describe the benefits, as they see them; Lowers cost, improves quality, designing fair public-private competition.

Is this a smart idea and will it accomplish those goals?

Uh, no. It is not a smart plan unless your goal is to wipe out private insurance companies and make virtually everyone dependent on the government's largess.

First off, it is impossible for private insurers to compete with government. Proffering the idea that it can be done "competitively" is pure nonsense designed to influence the slow witted, the uninformed and the gullible. Recall that the federal government is allegedly a "non-profit" organization with the ability to print money (hope dollars) and force us to pay for their mistakes.

Take the lesson from the Great State of Hawaii. In the editorial, Study: Hawaii's Lessons in the Perils of Universal Health Insurance, By Carrie Lukas, 4/3/2009, the consequences of government mandated universal health care are spelled out.

Highlights from the study:

• Before expanding government programs to create “universal” health insurance, policymakers should consider states' experiences with similar efforts.

• Hawaii created a universal health insurance program in hopes of reaching the uninsured population, but found that more than eight in ten of those who enrolled previously had insurance. Lawmakers decided to terminate this program just seven months after its launch.

• Government programs to create free or subsidized insurance will encourage many who currently have private insurance to join the government program. This is inefficient and will ultimately erode the private insurance system in the United States.

It was sold as "competitive" with private insurance policy rates, 8 of 10 who signed up for the government program already had health care insurance. This means that for those had to stay with their private insurance company, the costs were going to skyrocket. Fewer paying customers means higher premiums in order to provide the same level of coverage. They new that, so they dropped it in favor of the "free" health coverage.

Then, the legislature did not expect the mass migration to the state system
and it ran way over budget.

Congresses, state and federal, have a long grand tradition of unintended consequences. Normally, average citizens shouldn't worry too much about it, but in recent months their unintended consequences have cost us at least 6 million jobs, over $500,000.00 in debt to each household (TARP, Stimulus, budgets, etc.), and a breakdown of traditional families.

Finally, Hawaii had to rescind the law after 7 months to save their budget and to save those privately insured voters who were going to take a beating from their government. Just like President Obama is planning on doing to you.

Medicare and Medicaid spiraled up in a similar fashion and continues to spiral out of control even now. The US Congress created Medicare in 1965 (H.R. 6675) and have changed it many times. But nothing they've changed has helped to lower health care costs.

The power of government is a free market killer when abused by those who do not understand the US Constitution, the American way, or capitalism.

Republican Plan: A one page idealistic document at this point, looks a lot like an Obama campaign speech, only less substance.

My plan: There is a simple fix to health care in America: Tax cuts, tort reform and get government out of the way.

A direct one or one dollar tax cuts to those who buy their own health care insurance. It will incentivise individuals to buy their own insurance. This will be hard to enact because it would remove the need for our earnings from the US Congress. They don't like that sort of talk either.

Tort reform. Too many judgments are based on emotion rather medical fact. This vastly increases the cost of liability insurance for doctors, nurses, hospitals and emergency medical services. While I believe in holding medical personnel and pharmaceutical companies responsible for their services and products, the laws that allow any law suit to turn a "victim" into a prize winner needs to change.

Liability judgments have the additional consequence of making free clinics extinct. Remember them? Free clinics used to be everywhere and doctors along with other medical personnel could provide pro bono services to the poor. No more. It costs too much and the government is taking care of the poor, right? Not.

Government has been unfairly competing against private insurance companies with Medicare and Medicaid, as mentioned above. With the government's lack of oversight billions of dollars are wasted each year on fraud and abuse of the system. The answer is to get rid of that system.

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