Thursday, June 25, 2009

Public Health Care: A Letter To My Representative

A letter to my representative, sent June 25th, 2009.

Dear Representative Buchanan,

I have been watching the current health care debate and I have to say that the Kennedy plan is the wrong plan for our country and its future as the land of the free in a world where freedom is the exception.

While the president assured everyone that the public plan will be competitive and lower costs, we only have to look to the great state of Hawaii to know the outcome. Their program lasted 7 months before they decided to repeal it due to a massive shift in private sector insured to the state plan. They nearly bankrupted the private sector insurers and ran into the red in the state budget almost immediately.

I realize that the federal government can simply print more money when it runs out, but that solution is extraordinarily inflationary and will come back to haunt us when the real costs start settling in. Besides, the president and congress have already spent us into a hole that will take decades climb out of. We simply do not have the funding for a massive health care takeover by the federal government.

The president's claim of competitiveness is false. When employers see that the government will provide insurance, they will drop their employee coverage, just as happened in Hawaii. Private sector insurance companies cannot print their own money to make up for lost customers, so they will have to price themselves out of business. Additionally, how can he claim to be competitive when the Kennedy bill calls for taxing health care benefits, but excuses union members from paying it? In addition it is violation of equal protection under the 14th Amendment and will coerce middle and lower income families to join a union to be able to have insurance.

I have a better idea. Though I'm sure some or all of this has been passed around before, I need to know that it is known to my representative.

First, change the income tax law to allow at a direct 10% or more deduction for all medical expenditures. Currently only the amount over 7% of one's gross income can be deducted on a 1040, and only when itemizing. Make it part of the 1040EZ form. It has been this way for many decades and tells a sad story about American politics. I believe this helps force people into government sponsored programs, such as Medicare.

Two: An additional dollar for dollar deduction for insurance premiums paid out of one's income. This will encourage many to purchase their own coverage instead of relying on Rep. Barney Frank for our insurance needs.

Three: Allow insurance companies to compete for customers across states. Interstate competition will lower costs by expanding the customer base. There are around 1300 health care insurance companies around this country. Let's get them all competing with each other.

Four: Phase out Medicaid and Medicare. The president has already said he will cut Medicare and Medicaid by $509 billion and no one squawked about it. This opens the door to move away from the government solution to a regulated private solution. It is a well-known fact that government insurance programs leads to much fraud and waste (around $60 Billion last year). Additionally, the people who watch their own hard earned money very closely are not so careful with free money from (what seems like) someone else. However, we all know, or should know, that that money to cover the doctor and hospital visits come out of our own pockets when the government is picking up the tab.

Five: Tort reform. The Democrat pundits are claiming it is a non-issue as the lawsuit judgments are relatively small when compared to the total cost of health care. But what is not said is that the malpractice insurance industry has not lowered their premiums. Doctors and hospitals still pay outrageous rates for malpractice insurance and this is passed along to the patients.

Modern society has Americans on-the-go all of the time to earn a living, raise children, maintain homes and personal budgets. I can see how there may not be much concern over having too many labs at the doctor's office when the bill is something they do not have to think about.

The answer to health care reform is for Americans to get involved in our own health care, reduce insurance costs through fair competition and tort reform. Please remember that there can be no competition between the government, with virtually unlimited assets, and private sector insurance companies, who depend on a large customer base.

I understand that changing health care from government issue to personal responsibility is a big job that may ultimately be impossible. Nevertheless, it is important to prevent this country from failing due to a lack of responsibility on the part of its citizens and a need for ever more and more power by some members of the federal government.

Thank you for your support.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Keep it clean. Comments are not censored, but will be removed upon discovery of foul or unlawful language (such as threatening politicians with bodily harm).