Thursday, November 13, 2008

Baucus Health Care

NYTimes reported Without waiting for President-elect Barack Obama, Senator Max Baucus, the chairman of the Finance Committee, will unveil a detailed blueprint on Wednesday to guarantee health insurance for all Americans by facilitating sales of private insurance, expanding Medicaid and Medicare, and requiring most employers to provide or pay for health benefits.... “Every American has a right to affordable, high-quality health care,” Mr. Baucus said.
That is fine, but they should pay for it, and not expect their government to provide it, or their employer.
...Mr. Baucus would create a nationwide marketplace, a “health insurance exchange,” where people could compare and buy insurance policies. The options would include private insurance policies and a new public plan similar to Medicare. Insurers could no longer deny coverage to people who had been sick.
Then why should anyone pay for insurance until they get sick and need it?
Congress would also limit insurers’ ability to charge higher premiums because of a person’s age or prior illness.
Then why would insurers write health insurance policies?
People would have a duty to obtain coverage when affordable options
Who determines whether something is "affordable" and why do we give them the power to decide it is our "duty" to buy something they decide is "affordable" for us.
were available to all through employers
Why are employers involved. If people were responsible to buy their own insurance, outside of their employment, then they would not have to worry about quitting their jobs to get a better one because they had a preexisting condition that might not be covered. And if people were expected to have their own insurance they kept all their lives, preexisting conditions would not be a big problem. If someone insisted on going without insurance until he got sick, and developed that preexisting condition would just be considered a fool.
or through the insurance exchange. This obligation “would be enforced, possibly through the tax system,” the plan says.

Ed Morrissey blogged What could possibly go wrong with this scenario? For one thing, Medicare could collapse — and it’s about to do just that. In three years, Medicare will spend more than it gets in Part A (hospital coverage) premiums from Social Security, and this is just the beginning of the long twilight of the Baby Boomers. That will create a deficit in Medicare that will either have to be absorbed from the general fund or alleviated by cost reductions.

Instead of looking to restore some sort of stability to the already-failing Medicare structure, Baucus wants to hang more cost onto it.
This is not good news to me, because after a lifetime of paying into Social Security and Nedicare, I am now 65 and having to depend on them, so I do not appreciate Baucus threatening my Medicare by putting more people in it.
He doesn’t stop at Medicare, either. His program will put the same burden on states through Medicaid.
I am not poor enough to qualify for Medicaid, but I know plenty of people that are, and I hate to see it bankrupted either.
That will create even more instability in benefit plans and force more public funds on that level to get spent on coverage.

The result? Taxes will go up at both the state and federal level across the nation, and it won’t just be the “rich” that feels the pinch. Tax rates will necessarily rise as deficit spending explodes. The dollar will weaken once again, thanks to the enormous debts that this will generate, and the capital needed to restore the economy will get lost in the monumental expansion of government control this will require. Baucus thinks that magically insuring people will eliminate costs, but it just transfers it instead to the least-efficient model: government bureaucracies.
That is why conservatives want smaller government, because government bureaucracies just make things worse.
Instead of reforming entitlements, the Democrats plan an expansion of them.
That is what Dems always do.
The collapse will come quicker than anyone predicted. I guess that qualifies as “change”, and you’d better believe it’s coming.

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