The White House has released President Obama’s health care plan. Supposedly, it’s supposed to lower costs and increase coverage. I’ve read most of what is posted on the White House website, but I don’t see anything new. It seems like it’s the Senate bill with a few measures from the House bill mixed in. The opening paragraph of Obama’s plan claims that Republican suggestions have been included, but I have yet to see the 2 main pillars of the Republican take on health care — tort reform and buying insurance across state lines. Obama’s plan consists of new government regulations, mandates on buying insurance, new taxes on “evil rich” people and tax credits for everyone else. It can basically be summed in two points, more government intrusion into our lives and redistribution of wealth. How will this be beneficial to our country and our health care system? From what I’ve read, this plan does nothing to actually reduce the cost of health care, and provides government handouts to help some people pay for health care. This would naturally increase the deficit, but will supposedly be paid for by taxes on businesses and the rich. The following is a summary of the section of the plan that is supposed to make health care more affordable.
- Increase Tax Credits for Health Insurance Premiums– This involves giving money to families who make less than $88,000 a year to help pay for health insurance. This will not lower health care costs, because it is just a government handout, financed by taxing businesses and people with higher incomes.
- Close the Medicare Prescription Drug “Donut Hole”– This involves the Federal government paying for more prescription drugs with money it doesn’t have. This will not lower health care or drug costs and may actually cause them to rise. There will be less market pressure or incentive for companies to keep costs low because the government will be paying the bill.
- Invest in Community Health Centers – This involves giving 11 billion dollars over 5 years for the construction and operation of community health centers. Where will the 11 billion come from? How will these health centers stay in business after the 5 years of government money is used up? How will this lower costs?
- Strengthen Oversight of Insurance Premium Increases– This involves setting up a government agency to make sure any increase in premiums is “fair”. This is a huge regulation on health insurance companies and will have now impact on the actual cost of health care. In my opinion, this type of regulation is designed to eventually collapse the insurance industry. For example, if health care costs rise, insurance companies obviously have to raise premiums to cover the increased costs. If they are not allowed to raise premiums, they will eventually have more money going out than coming in… just like our government. However, unlike our government, they cannot print money to pay the bills, so they will go bankrupt. Then, the government will come to the rescue and take over the insurance industry because it is too big to fail.
- Extend Consumer Protections against Health Insurer Practices– This would put more regulations on health insurance companies like forcing them to cover children up to age 26 and cover all pre-existing conditions. This will not lower the actual cost of health care and it will cost insurance companies more money. Insurance companies will probably not be able to raise premiums to cover the increased costs, because the government will have to approve any premium increase. This could cause them to eventually go out of business.
- Improve Individual Responsibility– When I first read the heading of this section, I got excited because advocating individual responsibility is a conservative principle. Unfortunately, this has nothing to do with individual responsibility. This involves forcing people to buy health insurance. If they do not buy insurance, they will be subject to a fine. How does this improve individual responsibility? Progressives are so backwards!
- Strengthen Employer Responsibility– Instead of summarizing what this means, I’ll just post exactly what the White House website says so you can get the full effect of this ridiculous idea, — “Businesses are strained by the current health insurance system. Health costs eat into their ability to hire workers, invest in and expand their businesses, and compete locally and globally. Like individuals, larger employers should share in the responsibility for finding the solution. Under the Senate bill, there is no mandate for employers to provide health insurance. But as a matter of fairness (emphasis added), the Senate bill requires large employers (i.e., those with more than 50 workers) to make payments only if taxpayers are supporting the health insurance for their workers. The assessment on the employer is $3,000 per full-time worker obtaining tax credits in the exchange if that employer’s coverage is unaffordable, or $750 per full-time worker if the employer has a worker obtaining tax credits in the exchange but doesn’t offer coverage in the first place. The House bill requires a payroll tax for insurers that do not offer health insurance that meets minimum standards. The tax is 8% generally and phases in for employers with annual payrolls from $500,000 to $750,000; according to the Congressional Budget Office (CBO), the assessment for a firm with average wages of $40,000 would be $3,200 per worker.” – So let me get this straight… since health care costs are hurting businesses and keeping them from hiring new workers, we should hit them up with a huge tax? How will that help businesses hire new workers? This proposition will cause the unemployment rate to go up and will do nothing to reduce the actual cost of health care.
This is only one section of the plan, but it’s obviously a progressive’s dream. From what I’ve read so far, it does nothing to reduce the actual cost of health care. It hammers the health insurance industry, businesses, and the rich, but gives money to people in certain income brackets to increase “fairness”. Maybe I’m just stupid because I didn’t attend an Ivy league school like Obama, but I don’t understand this whole concept of fairness. How does making a successful businessman in another state (who probably provides jobs for a large group of people) pay for my health care increase fairness? Why does that successful business man owe me anything? Is there something unfair about him being successful? If I become a successful businessman one day, will I owe a debt to people who make less money? Will I be making things less fair by being successful? This is not the system based on liberty to which our Founders pledged their “lives, fortunes, and sacred honor”. We need to fight this dangerous Socialist/Communist/Marxist/Progressive/Fascist ideology. It is unsustainable and will destroy our country and our liberty!
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