Skip to comments.Wanna Fix Health Care? Stop Hiding the Cost! Removing the price tag doesn't make it free.
Posted on 10/13/2004 6:07:40 AM PDT by OESY
...[O]ur indictment here is of the conditioned cowardice of the health-care policy community at large. How can you expect better of Mr. Kerry when the arbiters of good policy... judge candidate health plans by a single criterion: Which would commit the most resources to health care?
There not being unlimited funds to spend on health care, Mr. Kerry's plan would only speed the day when politicians, no longer able to write blank checks with the private sector's money, would face directly the choice of whether to curb consumption or raise taxes to pay for it. That's the job description of Europe's national health systems, which are not exercises in beautiful egalitarianism but exercises in rationing for those not rich enough to jet off to a private clinic and get the treatment they seek.
Yet the same health-care wonks who mumble around the real problem of hidden costs are happy to be quoted finding fault with Health Savings Accounts, the heart of the Bush approach, which has the intolerable advantage of actually being aimed at the problem.
Better than HSAs, in our view, would have been flatly eliminating the tax deductibility of employer-paid health insurance and letting the system adjust. But HSAs are a much-better-than-nothing strategy, a way of rebalancing the tax incentives to encourage consumers to buy some or all of their health care directly from providers, demanding value for money.
The media haven't been much help to voters on any of this, so let's make it simple: The middle class pays for the middle class's health care, whether by taxes, insurance premiums, reduced wages or over-the-counter prices. And the sooner the middle class is empowered to judge the value of health care versus its cost, the sooner we'll get a system that produces results....
(Excerpt) Read more at online.wsj.com ...
The biggest single component of rising health costs is the one the dems are positively on the wrong side of, i.e. out-of-control lawyering.
I saw the column in the print edition. One thing Jenkins brings up is a new mandated benefit in (I think) Connecticut for $350 for wigs for chemotherapy patients. I've thought for a long time that eliminating mandated benefits altogether would be a good start.
That and the fact that Congress insists on adding all sorts of benefits that have to be part of all employee health care plans, whether the employee(s) want them or not. Instead of keeping employee health care benefits to the basics necessary to treat illness and injury, they add all sort of elective type benefits and make them mandatory - the money to pay has to come from somewhere...
It is a screwed up system when you can't even pay for health care services at point of service in a lab or Emergency Department.
I heard Kerry say that part of his healthcare program would be to make the congressional healthcare package available to all Americans. Has anyone heard what that would cost? My wife & I just reduced our coverage, because the Blue Cross group plan that we had converted just rose to $947.00 per month excluding dental & optical. Just making the congressional insurance available does not make it affordable.
I just realized this. Supposing Kerry is elected and free health care is available to those 300% above the poverty level, here is my situation:
I am a recent graduate, 23 years old, working for a community bank that was built from one building into an organization of over 500 employees. They cover my health care completely with Blue Cross. The only thing I would ever have to pay would be premiums to cover my wife and kids. I'm not married and don't have kids so that doesn't apply. I make just over 30,000 a year. Measely in most places, but not bad for a first job in Mississippi. A pretty good job in fact. However, I would more than likely fit into the 300% above poverty.
Now, do you think my employer would pay my healthcare if the government would foot the bill? Heck no, I would be subject to what a government doctor told me. I would have no choice of doctor either. A good health care plan is part of my payment package! I earn a fairly decent salary, for where I live, and get great benefits. Kerry's plan would effectively reduce my wages! I would instantly become poorer because of his healthcare plan. Of course, I hope to be earning more later in life, but by then I will be out of the 300% and having to pay my own health care; REDUCING MY WAGES!
20% is already taken out of my paycheck. I am 23 year old who took out loans, went to college, got a masters, got a job. I did not bust my hump to have some one take what I have earned.
Sorry this was so long, but I guess I hit a boiling point. As you can tell from my last short paragraph, I am not a fan of government intervention. I actually managed to get an Economics degree from a public university and come out a free market/classical theory believer.
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