On a day when a government "expert" has concluded the ridiculous recent bailout/stimulus monstrosity will cost an additional 23.7 trillion dollars in the long run, I am struck with how absolutely asinine President Obama's plan to reform health care is.
Health care costs in the United States are drastically askew and a significant drag on our economy. I get that. Most people get that. The problem is- how can it be fixed in an effective, equitable way without lowering the quality of care we have in this country?
One way it shouldn't be fixed, it seems to me (and I could be wrong), is the way President Obama proposes. Essentially he wants to move toward federalizing (a big fat red flag should be flying when you see this term) health insurance with people making a household income of more than 280K paying higher taxes to fund the massive expenditure such a program would cost.
I have been trying to read through the pages of text, it's confusing to say the least. One thing is clear- if this bill or one similar is passed, it will add an incalculable new level of bureaucracy that has to cost millions and probably billions in the near term. Who knows how much in the long term? Further, how can more bureaucracy help with health care quality? Does anyone think it will? Seriously? It's unfathomable as to how this will lower health care costs to say nothing of the sense of class warfare it will promote when the "rich" are taxed 5.5% more than they already are to pay for all of it. Of course, just today Douglas Elmendorf from the congressional budget office essentially said even with a huge tax hike, the proposed bill can't be paid for. Another unfunded mandate? No way.
On the point about "class warfare", which I think is promoted by any re-distribution of wealth tax structure: how will most doctors react to having their taxes raised to pay for the patients they are treating? Think about it. Many doctors make $280K annually, lots make more- and deservedly so in my opinion. They are in the demographic that will be forced to foot the bill for this monstrosity of a "health" plan. It has to be weird for them to think of the multiple ways their income will be reduced under this system. In addition to government regulations on fees they can charge, they'll be taxed at a higher rate, and will very likely have to work more hours with more patients coming to see them for non-essential treatments because it will supposedly be so cheap.
You have to think such a system will de-motivate some pretty bright people from being doctors. This can't be good for our country's health care situation.
In general the health care crisis in the United States isn't about the quality of care that is available. Where else would you want to live when facing a medical crisis? The problem is cost. Right? There has to be a better way than Obama is promoting.
Is there a fool left who thinks the federal government can improve the quality and efficiency of anything? Thankfully the most recent polls show support for this wrong-headed plan slipping. It is true as the President so often says- we cannot afford to nothing. But it is more true that we cannot afford to do what he suggests.