Friday, June 29, 2012

The ObamaCare Ruling and the Danger of Taxing Inaction

The ObamaCare Ruling and the Danger of Taxing Inaction

The ruling is stunning, but it is what it is and the long term ramifications are likely to have little overall effect because the current federal government model is to tax and grow.  The current government headed by the Joker and Reid will not be happy until they take every dime a person earns and funnels it back as they see fit.  All the better if you don't have a job because you are solely dependent on the government and will do whatever it says to keep receiving your ounce of gruel.  It does not matter whether it was upheld as a tax or a commerce clause because it is bad government unless you like being a ward of the state.

Healthcare is a tough issue because everyone needs it and since we are civilized we hate the idea of anyone going without treatment, so we must decide what the limits of our conscience are and how we will all pay for this collective conscience.  If we believe that we should care for the poor and needy, then we must decide to what level should we take from everyone to support the few.  If you say none, then are you willing to live with killing grandma or that sick baby because those are the outcomes of lack of care.  So, should we allow the poor to have a lower standard of care than those how work and can afford more?  This is the dilemma that has played out in the courts and in Congress for decades now.

Are we civilized or not? Are we willing to have tiers of care or not? Who pays?  It doesn't matter what clause is used because any clause will do.  Socialized medicine is a nice idea in theory, but very expensive and truly costly in reality.  Countries with socialized medicine don't rise up to the highest standard of care they sink to the lowest affordable level of care.  America enjoys some of the highest levels of cancer survival in the world, almost double those of socialized medicine the world around, but it would we be able to afford such levels for every citizen?  The answer is likely no because our system is incredibly expensive and that expense pays for the success, but unless we what 80% tax on everyone that level is unaffordable.

So, what is the alternative tiered care? You get the minimum unless you can afford to fly to some other country and pay or find a black market doctor or hospital willing to fix you at a cost?  If we make medical care and arm of the government are we going to be able to employ the best and brightest on government wage scales?  What will be the final cost of this magical system?  Look at Tricare for military, somethings are good, but there are limited funds and rapidly rising needs.  How long before it collapses under the weight of skyrocketing costs and increased membership?  Now multiple that by 100 times and you now have Obamacare.

There are alternatives, but unless we have the stones to do the heavy lifting now, they will be tried too late to be affective.  Market solutions are only partly the answer because it makes little market sense to insure the truly sick and most needy because they will always require more than they will ever pay in premiums.  Plus, we will all likely need more than we could ever pay if we live long enough (think Social Security).  What about Health IRAs?  Who has the money to fund another thing on current wages?  We supposed to fund , our bloated government, our own retirement, and now our own future medical costs, plus pay for everyone else retirement and health costs (SS again and FICA).  We would live in poverty in hopes of collecting on empty promises?  There is the "do nothing course of action", where we continue to have 30 million uninsured people getting free care because we are a civilized nation which we all end up paying for anyway.

As a side note, I wonder what the cost of care truly is because I receive bills all the time that are ten or more times what Tricare will pay and the provider accepts the pittance that the government pays.  Where does the other 90% go?  I had an eye exam that I paid cash for and it was a very reasonable amount based on the care and time, but if I would have used insurance the cost would have been triple? This seems crazy, but with all the paperwork and the hassles, plus the pitiful payments it is no wonder.  Again, I just have to ask what happens to they part that doesn't get paid?

Is there anything that can be done to fix this health care problem?  I think multi-million and billion dollar awards would be a good start, by de-incentivizing the lawyers you could probably reduce the cost of health care.  Do I really need fifteen test to tell me I have a headache?  Heaven forbid that in hindsight that headache was the first warning sign of something more serious and some evil doctor missed it. My family sues for $200 million in lost wages and pain & suffering.

Medicine is not perfect and not everyone is going to life to be 100, but it has becomes a risk vs. reward game.  The doctor isn't going to pay the award out of his pocket, his insurance company is going to pay.  The insurance companies, those evil bastards, have lots of money.  Completely disregarding the fact that it is really our money,  your neighbors money, plus a good chunk of the doctor's money as well, but who cares.  It is like hitting the death lottery, so make those pricks pay and pay dearly for grandpa's missed brain tumor at 90.

So how does this merry-go-round end?  It doesn't, as long as there is money to made by all.  If you allow the lawyers to make millions suing insurance companies and insurance companies can make millions off the customers and doctors, there is no end in sight.  The insurance companies, if forced to cover everyone, will force everyone to pay higher and higher premiums and as the lawyers are allowed to drive up the cost of doing business.  The level of care will suffer the system becomes bloated and slow like Britain .

We need to break the cost cycle at the source and stop making the lawyers rich off or pain and suffering.  We need to stop allowing juries to stick it to the man (insurance companies).  We need to shine the light on the money flow path to show those multi-million dollar settlements are coming from our pockets not the man.  People need to realize that though every life is precious it isn't worth millions and millions of dollars. Guess where the lawyers are getting their power? That would be Congress, which is composed of a majority of lawyers.  What to solve the health care problem dumping the lawyers in Congress is a great starting point.

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