March 6, 2008
Promise or threat
By James Wilson
Quote of the Day:

"Facts do not cease to exist because they are ignored."
-- Aldous Huxley

Subject: Promise or threat

Promises, promises. Threats, threats. When it comes to the words politicians utter, who can tell the difference anymore? Are they making promises, or threats?

Clinton and Obama both want more government involvement in health care. They present it as a promise, but when you consider that . . .

  • Government already inflates health care prices through the hundreds of billions it spends on Medicare
  • The government already has $53 trillion in earlier promises for Medicare and Social Security that it can't keep

. . . then the Clinton-Obama promises start to sound a lot more like threats.

Clinton and Obama both claim their health care plans will "only" cost about $100 billion. But can you think of any government program that has ever met its cost projections? We can't. They always cost more. A lot more.

For instance, when President Bush sold the prescription drug benefit, he low-balled the price, claiming it would cost about $400 billion over the first ten years.

The real price will be well over a trillion dollars.

Here's another problem. Clinton and Obama both recognize that government is facing severe limits on what it can spend, so they want to shift the costs of their proposals from the government's budget to your budget. They want to mandate that everyone buy health insurance, and then provide tax funded subsidies to those who can't afford it. Of course . . .

The details of the Obama-Clinton plans are mind-numbingly complex. It may not be you who buys the insurance directly. It may be your employer, assuming that you don't already have insurance through your job. And those businesses that don't provide the insurance will have to pay an extra tax. They call this "play or pay."

The Clinton-Obama proposals are really tax plans. Either you will have to pay the extra tax involved in buying a government dictated insurance policy, or your employer will have to bear that burden. This government-imposed cost will make many jobs unprofitable for employers to fill. The result will be that many Americans will pay the price by losing their jobs, or . . .

If the politicians manage to set the tax for not "playing" high enough, many businesses will simply go-under, because they will be unable to bear either the "play" cost, or the "pay" tax.

Worst of all, the Clinton-Obama plans dictate that we will all have Cadillac insurance policies, rather than major medical plans. If something similar were done with mandatory car insurance your auto insurance would have to cover oil changes, wheel alignments, and other routine maintenance. Imagine what that would do to the cost of your car insurance!

This is how we got into this mess in the first place . . .

  • Government has inflated health care costs through the hundreds of billions it spends on Medicare -- remember, the government has no incentive to spend this money wisely, because it isn't the government's money -- it's your money!
  • Government tax policies have provided incentives for businesses to provide their employees with Cadillac "Oil Change" health insurance policies
  • These "Oil Change" policies have further driven up the cost of both health care, and insurance, on top of the inflationary effects of Medicare

No wonder health care costs so much. No wonder health insurance is so expensive.

  • If you expand the pool of money available for health care
  • And create a system where the customer incurs costs that others will have to pay (either the insurance company or the government), then . . .
  • The inevitable result will be overuse of health care services, skyrocketing prices, and constant attempts by insurance companies to deny benefits

Overuse of health care services? Is that really possible? It's not only possible, it's exactly what is happening. I can point to a specific example of this in my own case . . .

I've spent thousands of dollars in the past year on un-needed tests related to a kidney stone problem. In fact, the only test I really needed cost just $50, but every doctor I saw, at every step of the way, wanted additional tests that really had nothing to do with learning why my kidneys create stones. Finaly . . .

When my doctor wanted yet another MRI to take yet another inventory of my stones, I said, "Will it really impact my health for us to know whether I have four kidney stones left, or only three?" His reply was . . .

"No, I guess not."

Doctors constantly order un-necessary tests because they know someone else is paying for it. And patients constantly follow the doctors orders without question, because, again, someone else is paying for it.

If it wasn't for the fact that I was paying for my own care out of my Health Savings Account, I never would have thought to challenge my doctor's instructions. As it is, I was able to save myself time and money, and reduce my impact on the health care system, without diminishing my health in any way. THIS IS WHAT WE NEED MORE OF!

The way to make this happen is to . . .

  • Take money away from government programs and the insurance companies,
  • And put it back in your pocket, so that . . .
  • You can buy your own insurance directly, not through your employer, and so that . . .
  • You, rather than your insurance company, will pay directly for your health care "oil changes," while . . .
  • Reserving insurance only for costly major medical events, like cancer and heart disease.

Tell Congress you want nothing to do with mandated-subsidized insurance schemes. Tell them you want tax credits for your health care and health insurance costs. Tell them to pass Ron Paul's health care bill. You can do that here.

Remember, use your personal comments to tell Congress that you want NO top-down, one-size-fits-all, government mandated and tax subsidized health insurance schemes like Obama and Clinton are proposing.

Please also consider starting a monthly credit card pledge to make Downsize DC GROW!

Thank you for being a part of the growing Downsize DC Army.

Perry Willis
Communications Director, Inc.
Filed under Downsizer Dispatch, Health
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