Thursday, March 22, 2007

Bush Healthcare

I was surprised to hear the President's healthcare proposals during the State of the Union speech. I liked the ideas. I have paid for my own health insurance with after tax dollars for most of my life.

I have often felt frustrated at the inequity between what I pay and what a company pays and provides at no charge to their employees, This free insurance has generated a sense of entitlement among the recipients. They say "Yeah but, What have you done for me lately" Insurance costs have risen as there is no connection between what is received and the costs paid to the medical providers.

We all watch what is happening with our auto industry. we see that large companies and their suppliers may soon be forced out of business or into bankruptcy due to health and pension obligations. Bankruptcy will shred the safety net for millions of retired and soon-to-be retired workers. The anger and resentment will spill over into the political scene with shallow demagogue pols promising huge socialist entitlements...

Bush's proposal to level the playing field goes a long way to resolve many of the issues. The market works. In every product or service we buy we can see the effect of competition and innovation on prices that we consumers pay. The long term benefits would allow insurance companies, pharmaceutical companies, technologies to innovate and find new ways to lower costs while improving efficiency and customer satisfaction. We consumers are not stupid. We just get treated that way by government monopolies and those who would be our caretakers.

Unfortunately, his ideas were declared Dead-On-Arrival by the incoming Democrat majority. Knowing their penchant for warehousing and restricting human ingenuity while rewarding a few and entrenching themselves, I was not surprised.

What was a surprise was the recent report by the Congressional Joint Committee on Taxation. This group has used static scoring to make assumptions that Democrats have used to murder many innovative ideas and proposals on tax legislation. On Monday March 19, the WSJ ran an editorial explaining the change in assumptions.
President Bush proposed to restructure the $250 billion of annual federal tax subsidies for employer-sponsored health insurance by treating it as taxable income and then capping the tax deduction at $15,000 a year per family. The savings would be used to provide new tax incentives for uninsured low-income workers to purchase private insurance.

the JCT, which "scores" tax policy changes, has breathed new life into the Bush plan by estimating that it would actually save the federal government $333 billion over the next 10 years. (Its first estimate was $526 billion.) This means that the Bush proposal would not only reduce the inequitable tax treatment of health care and the number of uninsured, but it would do so while saving the government lots of money.

how could Joint Tax and the Bush Treasury, which had estimated that the Bush plan would be revenue neutral, come up with "cost" estimates a half-trillion dollars apart? The answer comes back to the age-old complaint with Joint Tax: Its bean counters fail to assume any change in behavior from tax changes. So Joint Tax believes that the Bush plan will have zero impact on the rate of health care inflation over time.

Mr. Bush has an attractive, workable, and now -- as certified, by the Democratic Joint Tax Committee -- affordable health care reform. If Democrats lack the courage to debate it, then the GOP Presidential candidates ought to pick it up and run with it in 2008.
This is too good an idea to succeed in Washington. It will need the support of all of us self employed, small business employed, and doing-without people. It will need the mass of employed workers to realize that this will eliminate the COBRA issues that come when they lose a job. The employed workers will need to see that it is in their own long term self interest to take control of their future.

We need to spread the word.... The WSJ has done a great job of discovering, expanding and expounding the news. It's up to us, average working folks to talk to each other. we need to get this before politicians who will act on -OUR BEHALF-

It's gonna be a long 19 months and change until we get to vote. Let's look early and spread the news about the politicians who will work for us.... No more bought-and-paid-for pols-!

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