Sunday, June 28, 2009

A Rational Discussion of Health Care

Schiff has a few good observations and ideas here.

They will not comport with the Statist dream, of course.

...The meteoric rise in health care costs, which has become an unending nightmare for U.S. businesses and consumers, is not an accident. This painful condition has arisen from excess government involvement in the system, tax provisions that encourage the over-utilization of health insurance, and government support of an out-of-control malpractice industry.

Who could argue with that?

Given our current tax code, the simplest way to bring down medical costs would be to fully tax health care benefits as wages and simultaneously increase the personal deduction by an amount significant enough to neutralize the effect of the tax increase. This would do two things. First, the uninsured would get a huge pay increase, enabling them to buy reasonably priced catastrophic policies. Second, those currently insured could opt out of expensive employer-provided plans, trading premiums for extra wages, then buy a more economical plan. The savings would go right into their pockets.

And what might those "economical plans" look like? should only cover unpredictable, catastrophic costs.

Schiff compares to typical automobile insurance, which does not include routine maintenance, and homeowner's insurance, which does not include routine maintenance, either...

...President Obama claimed that government insurance would not drive private providers out of business. This is absurd. As the government provider will not have to produce a profit or accurately account for its contingent liabilities, it will provide insurance on an actuarially unsound basis.

It is impossible for a thinking person to accept Obama's claim; Schiff merely adds to the chorus.

I suspect that Obama knows his ObamaHealth is in trouble; the shape and (likely) origin of the "survey" I participated in yesterday tell me that the rhetoric is about to change significantly.

That's characteristic for this Administration. If you don't like our idea, we'll simply implement the idea and change the terms and/or language.

See, for example, here.


J. Strupp said...

In other words: Do absolutely nothing to change the status quo in the health care industry. Just write everyone a check and things will work out.

Just when you think the GOP slogan of "cutting taxes solves everything" can't apply to this situation......

Dad29 said...

Your characterization is grossly wrong.

Cutting usage (one main effect of the proposals) will automatically force efficiencies on the industry, just as manufacturing has responded to price/volume incentives here. One can choose to remain fat and go out of business, or...

Cutting out the "options" on health policies (abortions, birth control, chiropractice, Viagra, (there are hundreds more) will reduce the "cost" and also cut fat.

"No changes?" I doubt it.

However, I'm perfectly willing to concede that there will be unethical or immoral practices from "the system." We saw that in the bank business, too, remember?

Badger said...

Who could argue with that?

Anyone with the slightest bit of knowledge of the health care industry that wasn't an ideological fool.

Dad29 said...

Well, enlighten us, O Badger, full of wisdom, knowledge, and ..whatever.