Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Key Arguments in the Healthcare Debate

Excellent piece by Martin Feldstein over at the Wall Street Journal this morning titled "ObamaCare is all about rationing." He lays out in very clear terms (using the Administration's own words) why this plan will lead to a reduction of services:

One reason the Obama administration is prepared to use rationing to limit health care is to rein in the government's exploding health-care budget. Government now pays for nearly half of all health care in the U.S., primarily through the Medicare and Medicaid programs. The White House predicts that the aging of the population and the current trend in health-care spending per beneficiary would cause government outlays for Medicare and Medicaid to rise to 15% of GDP by 2040 from 6% now.

Key point here - a lot of those in favor of this so-called "reform," cite Medicare and Medicaid as "government run programs," and then cite the stats that say that a majority of those that receive Medicare are happy with it...this is government FUNDED healthcare, not government directed. They don't tell you which Doctor you have to see or that you cannot receive treatment. You want government involved in healthcare some more? Consider this:

But budget considerations aside, health-economics experts agree that private health spending is too high because our tax rules lead to the wrong kind of insurance. Under existing law, employer payments for health insurance are deductible by the employer but are not included in the taxable income of the employee.
Hmm, you mean TAX policy influences health care choices? This badly needed reform is not going to happen with the Dems in office - why? The usual two word answer: THE UNIONS:

The unions are particularly vehement in their opposition to any reduction in the tax subsidy for health insurance, since they regard their ability to negotiate comprehensive health insurance for their members as a major part of their raison d'ĂȘtre.

Finally, to the Chicken Littles who scream that we have to do something NOW!!! or we all DIE!!! and go BANKRUPT!!! Take a breather and listen:

Those who worry about too much health care cite the Congressional Budget Office's prediction that health-care spending could rise to 30% of GDP in 2035 from 16% now. But during that 25-year period, GDP will rise to about $24 trillion from $14 trillion, implying that the GDP not spent on health will rise to $17 billion in 2035 from $12 billion now. So even if nothing else comes along to slow the growth of health spending during the next 25 years, there would still be a nearly 50% rise in income to spend on other things.
Both sides are guilty of this faulty logic - the assumption of a static state. Assuming we can defeat health care and not knee cap our economy with the silly "cap and trade" legislation, there is a pretty good chance that this economy will start growing again.

Reform may be needed - heck, as Barney Frank himself said last night: "Medicare isn't bankrupt, it just needs more money." Perhaps the biggest thing we need in ths country is more rugged self-reliance. C'mon America, take the government pacifier out of your collective mouths and start living again! Reforming our overall tax policy so people had to pay their taxes quarterly out of their own pockets without employee hold backs would be a great first step to appreciating how much the government already takes from us and whether we should continue to pass "gimme, gimme, gimme some more" legisltation.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Yes--"Government funded," not "government run"--a HUGE difference when one talks about healthcare and the very personal and vital decisions involved. This "funding, not running" concept greatly minimizes government interference--and senior citizens are keenly aware of the importance of pushing the government away from additional involvement in this arena of their lives.

Anyway, Medicare/Medicaid is already a mess; who believes getting the government more involved and more in control of additional aspects of healthcare is a SOLUTION to anything? It just will give them more power--that IS NOT a solution to ANYTHING (as a study of all currently run government programs will make painfully evident).

CONSTITUTIONALLY, the government DOES NOT belong here anyway. The United States was not set up to have a nanny state take care of us from cradle to grave. Our founding fathers had a very healthy dislike of government power. They had seen how it could be used to crush a free and independent people.

Hence the resounding words such as these that men such as Jefferson and Franklin left for our guidance:

"A government big enough to give you everything you want is big enough to take everything you have."

"Those who would give up essential liberty to purchase a little temporary safety deserve neither liberty or safety."

"The democracy will cease to exist when you take away from those who are willing to work and give to those who would not."

We cannot fall victim to this insidious soft tyranny. Is there anyone who will challenge this entire healthcare takeover scam on constitutional grounds? Or have we become the very people that our founding fathers warned us to avoid?