Political Reform

Health Care Reform

Without Breaking the Budget

          Our main problem with health care is that it costs too much.  It costs so much that many people go without health care because they can't afford it.  In 2007, the U.S. spent $2.26 trillion on health care, or $7,439 per person.  This comes to $620 per month per person, and this is only going up.

          The first problem with the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (Obamacare) isn't that it costs too much, but that it costs ANYTHING AT ALL.  Spending one more penny on health care means our average cost per person has gone up, when it must go down to solve the problem.  Keep in mind that the problem we need to solve is that health care is too expensive.  Unfortunately a lot of the provisions in the bill are aimed at raising or standardizing the quality of health care, neither of which help solve the problem, and both of them make things worse.  The entire cost of the bill will eventually have to be paid for by us taxpayers.  The government has played games with borrowing money so they can put off raising taxes to pay for it, but it will happen eventually.

          More standardization in health care won't make things better, in fact it will make things worse.  Currently health care is already so standardized due to regulation that the entire market behaves like a monopoly, and people have no available low cost alternatives.  This is why those who can't afford health care simply go without.  If there were health care that was designed for low incomes then they would be able to pay for it.

          There is of course the laughable assertion that having the government controlling our health care will somehow make things MORE efficient rather than less.  I've seen studies estimating the amount of money wasted by the US federal government to be as high as 30%.  So how are they going to improve the efficiency of our health care system?  If you read some of the details of the act, you will see that a large part of how they plan to pay for it involves taxing health care providers and health insurance companies in order to “punish” them for charging too much.  How is taxing health care more going to reduce the price?  Obviously if a company has to pay more taxes they will RAISE prices to the customer which is us.  The government taxing some people to give that money to other is not going to do anything about the total cost of health care.  All it will do is hide how much each individual is paying.  Since part of your health care will be paid by you directly and another part will be paid by taxes both from you and from your employer, you will never know exactly what you are paying.  Ignorance alas, is not bliss.  If your company puts a freeze on raises in order to pay for extra taxes and health care expenses, and you get a small decrease in out of pocket premiums do you have more money or less at the end of the day?  The answer is less, a lot less.

           One of the fallacies promoted to justify the Affordable Care Act is the idea that we are getting some kind of free lunch.  The problem is that Their Aint No Such Thing As A Free Lunch, or TANSTAAFL.  

Here is how it works.  The government, your employer and the insurance company all take money out of your paycheck in order to pay for health care.  This averages 7 to 10 thousand dollars a year depending on which estimate you use and how much you make.  The government then gives you either a subsidy or a benefit, paid for BY YOU with money they took from you.  They then pretend that without their help you would not be able to afford health care.  This is an obvious lie since YOU are the only one paying RIGHT NOW.  Does $10,000 a year sound like too much to afford?  That is how much you are paying though, so obviously you CAN afford it.  The government gives free health care ONLY to those who are unemployed and on welfare.  Those people pay no taxes and therefore are not paying for the benefits and subsidies they receive.  The politicians pretend that everyone who receives government assistance is actually being helped by the government.  The truth is that government assistance is a net negative for most people since they have to pay for it in higher taxes.  

          Think of it this way.  I can offer to give you a free lunch, but if I steal your wallet and use your credit card to buy the lunch have I done you any favors?  You will get the bill for the lunch at the end of the month, so you didn't get anything for free.  I'm just fooling you by pretending I gave you something for free.  

Government subsidies for health care do nothing but harm to the people.  The only time the government is actually  helping is when they take money from all of us to help those who don't have a job.  This is medicare and medicaid, and those programs existed long before the affordable care act.  Government subsidies only make health care more expensive, they do not actually help people.  They exist so politicians can PRETEND to help people and get re-elected.