It Just Doesn’t Add Up

Yesterday, the Senate started discussions on Health Care (Reform?).  Let’s just step back from the moral and political arguments for a couple of minutes, and think about this.

I just do not understand how 2,000+ pages of Federal legislation is going to make health care insurance more affordable to the common person, especially if the Federal Government is going to administer the program.  As we all know from past experience, anything that the Federal Government does is usually over budget by millions if not billions, and moves forward at slower than a snail’s pace. 

While I understand that there is a moral obligation to provide help to those less fortunate, no where in the Constitution is the provision that this is the responsibility of the Federal Government.  That responsibility can be assigned to the States with the approval of the State’s citizens.

But I still have a problem with the politicians spending Billions of taxpayer dollars to cover an additional estimated 10% of the population with healthcare insurance while cutting Medicaid / Medicare by $500 million and promising to reduce waste in the system!  Personally, if you don’t root out the waste and corruption up front, those same behaviors will only increase under any additional or replacement program.  And how to pay for that extra 10% is still up in the air, but will fall to the taxpayers – there isn’t a free lunch or healthcare – someone will pay for it one way or another.

Another complaint that I have is that while our politicians apparent goal is to put everyone into this system, they will be exempt from the program (I’m leaving Unions out of this for the moment).  Instead, they will have their own taxpayer funded plan which exceeds what they are proposing, although the details on exactly what coverage is to be provided to the general population is conspicuously absent from the legislation, but leaves the details up to the Secretary of Health & Human Services.

And therein lies part of the problem that I see with a government controlled health care system, reformed or not.  When we look at the European and Canadian models for healthcare, we hear horror stories of people being denied care due to the cost of life-saving procedures or their names not coming up in a lottery.  Of course, we are being reassured that our system will not resort to such drastic measures for cost savings, but that is now.  What of the future?  If the details are up to one person or entity, without competition, then what checks and balances will there be to keep such events from happening?  None, and here’s why.

We Americans make a big deal out of being able to elect whomever we want to offices.  However, once a system like a healthcare system is in place, it will be extremely hard to change, unlike the politicians we elect to office.  That is the way bureaucracies work – quick to expand, slow to change.  And if what we expect to happen, i.e., most citizens on a public plan, then we will be backed into a corner with nowhere to go. 

I have written enough posts over the past year or so concerning my opposition to the current legislation concerning health care reform.  But perhaps the best argument against government controlling more of the health insurance industry than they already do is summed up by this statement made at a townhall:

"I look at this health care plan and I see nothing that is about health or about care. What I see is a bureaucratic nightmare, Senator. Medicaid is broke, Medicare is broke, Social Security is broke and you want us to believe that a government that can’t even run a cash for clunkers program is going to run one-seventh of our U.S. economy? No sir, no!”

Last, but not least, are the politics of this legislation, which are, at best, distasteful.  We have seen legislation and votes passed in the wee hours of the night, during weekends, and holidays after little or no debate.  There is something  unethical and unseemly about the backroom deal-making that our politicians engage in.  After all, if the legislation is truly for the people and not for the politicians, such actions would not be necessary, and everything would be out in the open for everyone to see.  And even then, this legislation probably will not do what it is intended to do with the cost that it is estimated.

No, my friends, this is not the role that our government is to take on, either from a moral or legal standpoint.  However, I fully expect that our politicians, in their elitist haughtiness, will pass some form of legislation shackling us to this idealistic dream that has crippled other countries.  And this is despite the protests of the people against such legislation.

Our recourse is to let our respective Senators know repeatedly that to pass this legislation will not be to the benefit of the country, and will not garner our support in the next election.

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About Tom Roland

EE for 25 Years, Two Patents - now a certified PMP. Married twice, burned once. One son with Asperger's Syndrome. Two cats. Conservative leaning to the Right. NRA Life Member.
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6 Responses to It Just Doesn’t Add Up

  1. Ken Taylor says:

    This whole debacle has nothing to do with reform or fixing anything. It is completely about control. Controlling one fifth of the economy, controlling everyones health care and controlling how it is accessed. And controlling the trillions of dollars that are involved with the health care industry.

  2. Joe says:

    This legislation, if passed, will confirm all that the right has been saying about the left: they are not in favor of a government of the people, by the people, and for the people, they are in favor of a people of the government, by the government and for the government.

  3. This bill is bad law and should not be passed. My opinion.

    The Supreme Court (which judges the constitutionality of laws passed by the Congress) will not find this, or any other public health care bill unconstitutional. Anymore than the Supreme Court has found Social Security, Welfare, Food Stamps, Medicare, and other social programs unconstitutional, or against the 10th amendment.

    Social programs are a government process to help a large number of people. Given the permission (vote) of the people, or their elected representatives, it is not a comparable process to a Socialist government.

    Bureaucracy (by its nature) has waste and fraud. That is to be expected and considered when starting any government program. That is not a reason to cancel programs (like national defense or Social Security) that serve millions well.

    If President Obama thinks he can finance a new program on the savings of waste and fraud from a current program, his “hopes” are too high. If he could do this for one government program, then he should do it for all government programs, and send a big check to pay off our national debt.

    We should focus on those who are not insured. That includes illegal aliens, who drive up costs by getting emergency room care as regular health care. It’s understandable that citizens do not want to pay for non-citizens, but we are anyways, at a much higher rate than if we just pay for their insurance.

    We should at least consider catastrophic coverage, and then maybe free clinics staffed by those new medical school graduates, that could work off their college debts.

    It’s a mess. I don’t have all the answers, but this bill is no answer and will just make things worse.

    I am for regulations. Ending pre existing condition refusals, portability, and treatment refusal to already insured customers.

    The only reason to have a totally different finance system for health insurance, is to take the cost off the backs of the employers and give them the competitive edge other countries businesses have, who do not have to pay for their employees health care insurance. That can be figured out, without using a government system.

    We could work to raise the wages, benefits, and living standards of the workers of the World, instead of lowering ours. Of course, we could raise our wages high enough so everyone could afford the full cost of health insurance.

    Certainly we can do better than this bill, even in our very partisan political atmosphere.

  4. Tom says:

    Ken and Joe – This proposed legislation will do absolutely nothing but raise costs for the taxpayer and put the country further in debt.

    Tom – Thank you for visiting Tom’s Place! Although I will say it is a little weird responding to myself…

    Responding to the illegal alien question is beyond the scope of this post. However, denying people emergency health care is not the answer, but having people pay for using the emergency room as their primary care should be part of the solution.

    Working “raise the wages, benefits, and living standards of the workers of the World” is Utopian in thought. As long as there are despots, dictators, and repressive regimes in the world, this will not happen. Raising wages for everyone to be able to afford health insurance means that people need to get off the dole and work (which is also a pipe dream – there will be people who refuse to work and will play the system for all its worth). And I refuse to fund the rest of the world to make it happen.

  5. cary says:

    I saw it said best (i forget where or when):

    Health care is available to those who NEED it – better and more health care is AVAILABLE for those who can pay for it. If you are worried about your level of health care, buy more coverage. If you can’t afford better coverage, get a better paying job. It’s YOUR responsibility, not the government’s, to take of you.

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