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The Healthcare Argument

I got a the following comment from a reader regarding the scary Clinton healthcare proposal:

The Clinton campaign didn’t have a healthcare plan before it failed and they don’t have one now. Well to be honest, if everyone is a government employee, then the Clinton healthcare plan will work for everyone. Unfortunately some are self employed, independent contractors or work for private employers or small business. Under the Clinton healthcare plan these people would be penalized if they don’t pay for their healthcare. This means that most of your family members and friends will have their paychecks garnished. We all know that it doesn’t stop there if it is a goverment enforcement. There will be fines and then misdemeanors which is a criminal offense defined as less serious than a felony. Why did Ms. Clinton decide on this approach? It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to figure this out. Big business, big Corporation call it what you will, they want their money back and in order for Ms. Clinton to get their support in her race to presidency she is giving victory to one side (the healthcare providers) by promising to them that she will have the poeople wages garnished if they continue to give healthcare. Thus allowing her to shout the words “UNIVERSAL HEALTHCARE” This is a shady tactic and makes fools out of every american that falls for this trick. The Obama healthcare plan is for the people. Poor people, middle class and rich people can rest assured that there is no tricks or penalties in the Obama healthcare plan. VOTE OBAMA!!

To be honest, this reader’s enthusiasm was relatively sane and I appreciate that. But now that we’ve gotten Obama Love out of our system (you Clinton people can stop vomiting now), I’m going to give it a shot:

I think what you wrote about the healthcare issue is wrong for several reasons.

1.) Universal coverage is necessary because right now, every person who currently has insurance is subsidizing the care of those who do not. In NJ this amounts to a $700,000,000.00 hidden tax to compensate the hospitals around the state for care they provide to the uninsured. So, if you have insurance, you’re already paying more than you should.

2.) When everyone is covered, the cost of insurance should actually drop. That is because we will be sharing the risk and sick people will not wait until they are in need of hospitalization before they seek help. If you factor in prescription drugs to control blood pressure and cholesterol as well as contraceptives, you reduce the instances of heart attack, stroke and unplanned pregnancies.

3.) Universal coverage gives small businesses and self employed people the cost benefits of collective bargaining. They will qualify for group rates. On the other side, more people in a bigger group can put pressure on insurance companies to negotiate. The ability to buy good insurance at group rates will result in an increase in entrpreneurship since the security of health care will no longer be dependent on landing a job with benefits and staying there forever whether you like your employer or not. I would expect wages to rise similarly since businesses will have to offer good employees more in order to intice them to stay.

4.) Here at my current employer, those with the best salaries subsidize the health insurance of those employees who make less. Our rates might be higher but it’s not burdensome. But it does depend on everyone being in the plan together.  Even the working class needs to pay something into the collective pot.  The goal is affordability not free.  And just because someone is healthy and young and willing to assume their own risks doesn’t mean they will have the funds to cover a catastrophic illness or accident.  Pay now or pay a LOT more later.  Why should the rest of us who are planning and paying our fair share pick up the extra cost associated with an opt-outs higher cost of care?

5.) Clinton says that if you’re not enrolled when you get sick, you will be enrolled on the spot and the cost will not exceed a certain portion of your income. If you don’t pay your portion, I suspect it would be similar to not paying your social security tax. In fact, the social security system is the closest analog to what Clinton is proposing. Social security is a very successful program but it depends on everyone buying in. We’ve already run the numbers on the cost of partial privatization and it didn’t fly because the people who opt out shove the cost of covering the retired onto those who are still in the system . Revenue is lowered and benefits need to be cut. So, it’s all opt in or you might as well do nothing- like Obama is suggesting.

BTW, it was wrong of him to use the Harry and Louise type ads to diss the Clinton-Edwards health care proposals. That’s just what the insurance companies did to us back in the 90’s. And now, 16 years later, they are still raking in the big bucks and passing the costs onto us. For that alone, there is more than enough reason to avoid Obama like the plague.
Thanks for playing.

8 Responses

  1. Here, I am scared that Obama is backed by the evil, big interests to stop Hillary Clinton. There is little known of him, why did he raise so much money of the bat? Like the post you wrote after this: what do they know that we don’t?

    It seems that not only Peggy Noonan and Bill Kristol (and Markos and Josh Marshall) have some really negative intelligence on Hillary that they are not telling us, but many (like Josh, Markos, Ted Kennedy, Kerry) know something really good about Obama that they are also NOT telling us.

  2. One thing I find very interesting about the Obamabots (not all Obama supporters are “bots” only teh evangelists), given their demographic group… you know… college studetns and college degrees and all… you know.. the folks who are supposed to be trained to use their critical thinking faculties and reasoned discourse… the folks who are supposed to have learn how to make an intellectual point effectively. Am I missing something?

  3. dragoneyes: I think we must entertain the very real possibility that the Obamaphiles are not all they’re cracked up to be. Some of them (many of them) may have degrees but might not really be educated, nome sayin’? I know a lot of people like that. Some of them even have PhDs.
    That doesn’t stop them from believing their own hype, of course, but I suspect it is the Clintonistas who have the real brains.

  4. Ya know… the Obamapeople used to annoy me and frustrate me more… but they’re starting to crack me up 🙂 It’s a sign of old age I think… laughing more at the world more than yelling at it.

    I have a strong bias towards really intelligent people, especially those that know how to accomplish things. Hillary and Bill are both brilliant and pragmatic. That’s just not glamorus I tell you… and yet they’re both political superstars. There is also alot of envy and jealousy of their power.

  5. Riverdaughter,

    Agree perfectly with your characterization. Lots of people I know have degrees, make good money, but don’t have a lot of critical thinking ability. They just go with the flow. They are very dangerous followers of MSM. To them, reading Newsweek is the height of intellectural thinking. ( Do I sound snotty enough??)

  6. I think so many of these people are underestimating the actual costs of healthcare and how much money us taxpayers are already doling out to subsidize people who need medical treatment yet can’t or won’t pay for it.

    Last August my wife came down with temporal arteritis and lost her vision in her left eye. She had insurance through her small business employer that costs us about $400/mo. We’ve had this insurance for many years yet it wouldn’t pay for the MRI or the biopsy or many of the doctors that she has seen. I work for the world’s largest company, you guys can figure that one out, who last year had a surcharge for spouses who had available insurance at their workplace. The surcharge prevented me from insuring her on my insurance as well. Then this year they recinded the surcharge and now I get quality insurance for both of us for $65/mo. That is right. I pay for 2 people $65/mo. and it actually pays when my wife goes to the doctor or needs an expensive MRI, etc. Now we have both insurances and already have saved a tremendous amount of money.

    However, despite the availability of a very high quality insurance at a low, low premium some of my co-workers just don’t get it. Some of them are well into their late 40’s or beyond yet refuse to buy insurance. What happens if one of these people burst an appendix or gets some other really serious medical issue? That is right, the taxpayers, the hospital or the doctors will eat the tab. Meaning that costs rise for all of us. If everybody pays a small premium and everybody gets paid for their services then costs should decrease and significantly. However, this will only happen if everybody participates.

  7. The high healthcare costs in the U.S. are the product of the current regulations. U.S. tax law, combined with the idea that employer-sponsored health-care is “a good thing”, have combined to create a situation where health-insurance is not insurance at all. Instead, it covers every little expenditure — like a managed account. From this root, springs the fact that a huge bureacracy is required to monitor these managed spending accounts.

    Here’s a good article on the history of health-care costs.

    The bottom line is that universal health-care will benefit some and hurt others. Similarly, if one increased taxes a little, and used the money to raise unemployment payouts, you would benefit some and hurt others. The essential issue is the immorality of having the government force people to be altruistic. Redistributing my income? No thank you!

  8. Softwarenerd: “The essential issue is the immorality of having the government force people to be altruistic.”

    You must be a libertarian, Republican or a very stupid Democrat. The government is already forcing you to be altruistic. You pay a hidden tax to cover the costs of the uninsured. These uninsureds are either low paid workers whose companies do not provide healthcare or small biz owners who can’t afford to buy healthcare for their workers or self-employed who would rather keep the cash or dumb twenty somethings who think they’re never going to get sick. You might be a contractor who falls into one of these categories. So, when you get sick, as you will during your lifetime or just before you die, you will have to pay for treatment or we, the taxpayers, will have to cough up the bucks in the form of compensation to the hospitals that are stuck with the bill that you owe and can’t pay because you waited until your condition got to be serious enough to require hospitalization. You’re *already* being forced to be nice to people because we as a society generally think it’s a bad thing for sick people to go without treatment. Of course, Republicans have been trying to get Americans to not feel so strongly about this so they will feel less guilty about letting poor people drown and die in New Orleans, for example. But it hasn’t been very successful because even the non-New Orleans native knows that there but for the grace of God go they.
    I’m just curious, why is it that altruism towards the less fortunate is frowned upon but bailing out millionaire investors on bad real estate deals is perfectly OK. THAT kind of altruism Republicans can’t get enough of and they rob the hardworking taxpayers of NJ to pay their business buddies in Iraq with no bid contracts. There seems to be no limit to the altruism heaped on those people with our tax dollars. But pay for a insulin pump for a diabetic child or a mammogram for a self-employed woman or an MRI for a guy with stomach pains, that’s where we draw the line. That’s just stealing from people like you. But stealing from me to pay Merril-Lynch, that’s OK?
    Go haunt a Norquist blog and drown someone else’s government in a bathtub.

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