Monday, March 15, 2010

Government Run Health Care is Better Because...

1) The Government telling you "No" is better than an insurance company saying a claim is denied. I'm still waiting to understand how.

2) Insurance forms are nothing compared to Government forms; you get more frustration for your money.

3) Waiting rooms will be like the DMV only moreso.

4) If it's not good enough for's good enough for all of you.

5) It will be more fair and more just because people will get sick and not get the needed treatment regardless of income.

6) Unlimited benefits equal unlimited costs but of course, only selfish inhumane people bring up that little problem.

7) Medicare and Medicaid are bankrupt; social security is going bankrupt so the solution is, we need a new program on top of the old.

8) The fact that it affects 1/6th of the economy is of no importance, now if it had affected 1/5th, well, then maybe we might have something to talk about.

9) We can't export government bureacracy; so at current course and speed, government will be the only jobs available.

10)  Not a joke, just some serious food for thought. 

I understand the issue of injustice and the need to correct it; the mark of a society is how it treats its very least. 

So morally, the issue of healthcare resonates.  I would want someone who has a Down Syndrome child to be able to get their kid the care I received for my son when his heart needed surgery.  Emotionally, I'm on board in that I would want what any mother would want, the ability to get the care needed for my family when I needed it.  Not having money to get the care necessary would be heart rending and since not all needed care is emergency room based, insurance is one of those facts of modern life.  I get that part; but the subsequent pork laden mess is not legitimate in form, in value or purpose.

Congress shouldn't have done the stupid act of confusing policy (all should have access to healthcare) with procedure (the following surgical procedures shall be covered but not this one).  We need a more compelling narrative than simply we must do something so we'll do this.  We need a better "this" to do. 

Keep in mind, I disagree with the current monstrosity, with its cost, its pork, it's deceptiveness about all that it will cover, it's intrusiveness into our lives via the IRS, it's problems with paying it forward with respect to taxes but defraying actual benefits; with the 2000+ pages that few have bothered to read, and with the funding of abortion and other things.  But I sat there thinking, what would be a better "this?"

So, being a patriot; I went to the OPM to see what is available for federal workers. There are lots of plans, family and self, high and low, and even better ones if you belong to the Postal union. So I clicked on a few and did the math.   If we insure all 302 million Americans with a non profit policy --which is the ultimate goal of this President and his party, a one payer non profit system; it would cost the government (using the OPM's High Self  APWU nation wide plan)  rate of  $205.80 every two weeks or 5,308.00 a year per person).  The plan would cost $1,615,784,560,000.00 per year or 1.6 trillion for the whole country using a middle of the road OPM plan.  

In the interest of full disclosure; if we wanted a supreme version of insurance using the government program, we could pay 276.37 per person and shell out 7,185.62 for each individual; no family benefits; and the program would run about $2,170,057,240,000 without doing the heavy payouts to lobbyists, recalcitrant Senators and Representatives, pundits and the insurance industry. 

Now I'm not for doing this because I don't know how we could tolerate paying out 2.17 trillion per year and you know that number would go up.  However, I did think we might use this fact as proof that the existing proposal is wildly out of proportion cost wise.  The current bill in whatever form you look only covers 33 million of those who actually would need government intervention but it cost the same as if you insured the entire nation using the high end plan.  That's government efficiency for you in only it's theoretical form. I'm sure the actual execution of said policy will be much costlier and more cumbersome.

This bill isn't a morally pure quest for helping the poor who are needy right now as the advocates stumping for this mess constantly remind us. It is a political grab bag of pork for those in power; tax now, tax later.

Using my modest little idea: if we only paid for the 32-45 million who are uninsurred using the lowest end single person policy good enough for government workers erring on the high end of numbers but using the low end for plans, we could eliminate the problem of healthcare for the unemployed and uninsurred while maintaining the current system for the mere triffling fee of $128,962,080,000.00.  128.9 billion. 

128.9 billion.  What a quaint little number. 

No fancy payouts to Nebraska, Lousiana or the insurance companies in the form of subsidies.  If you collect unemployment or are under the poverty line or not currently employed and can document need, you get this card for the duration of the time you meet these qualifications.  Congress can make the fines for fraud or failure to report a change in status severe and clear and payable back into the program to defray costs; or they can just audit everyone who was going to receive graft from the existing bill pending and probably would be able to recoup any outlaying costs. 

But where would all the drama be?

If the Republicans or the Tea Partiers or the Democrats who are uncomfortable with the straight bribes, kickbacks, arm twistings, threats and demands that accompanied this monstrosity wanted to really score one, they should submit such a proposal; a bi-partisan alternative.  It would probably be only one to two pages long and cover every one of the 45 million as if individuals; it would simply lift the lowest end self option from Congress and provide it as a safetynet for those who are uninsurred who have filed with the government as unemployed or underemployed to receive benefits.

Then, they could say, "Sure, we're the party of No.  No Nonsense; No Excess; No Pork; No Payouts and No Excuses. All the things you say you agree with, none of the stuff you don't."

My 2 cents that don't cost 2.1 Trillion.


Karen said...

Not-so-fun fact - $971 billion, of U.S. tax money, spent on the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan since 2001

This equals almost $7,300 PER TAXPAYER in the past nine years.

Just imagine all the amazing, productive, life affirming, and moral ways that this money could have otherwise been spent ... like on healthcare for all.

SherryTex said...

War is always costly and wasteful, it cannot be otherwise. But I would point out, the cost was over the course of 9 years, as versus what will be projected annually.

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