Thursday, September 20, 2007

Opening Shots: Healthcare

Fame, makes a man take things over
Fame, lets him loose, hard to swallow
Fame, puts you there where things are hollow

From the album, Fame
David Bowie
- words and music by David Bowie, John Lennon and Carlos Alomar

"One of the best ways to win any game is to write the rules."

Michael S. Malone

Reading the initial reports and reactions to the latest iteration of One-Size-Fits-Most-HillaryCare, the two quotations seem prescient.

The slow accretion of HillaryCare through the SCHiP program would expand Federal coverage to poor families of four earning up to $80,000 a year. The other forms of accretion prophesied in the various editorials and learned writings of wise people include a plan to open the Veterans Administration to cover all verterans, not just thosew ith duty related injuries and illness, A further rumor, at this time, is that MediCare benefits will be granted to people at age 55. The primary beneficiaries of this political raid on the Treasury will be the automakers. They would remove billions of dollars in obligations for retiring and retired UAW employees from their balance sheet. This would allow them to pay their employees even more in wages.

All of the rumors. All of the schemes and plans do not get around the fundamental flaw in HillaryCare II. It will be mandatory that all citizens have healthcare. The plan would require employers to provide it, allow individuals to retain their present plans, provide tax credits to small businesses and give it away to the poor. Which "poor" is not really clear.

When asked HOW she will ensure that EVERYONE has health insurance she says "That'll be up to Congress". He further comments that she can envisage a time when a person must show proof pf health insurance to get a job gives an indication of where the pressures will come.

Governments do not like small business, small farmers, small entrepreneurs. They never act to defend, protect or encourage them until they are almost gone. A big enterprise is much easier to control. Pay attention to the large numbers and the small ones will take care of themselves is the attitude. Hillary's comments during the last go-round that "She can't be responsible for every undercapitalized business in America". The main engines of economic growth and prosperity are the small businesses. Central planning failed in every nation that has tried it. It fails because it does not respond to the individual needs, fails at innovation, fails to squeeze efficiencies out of the process, fails to negotiate vigorously for supplies and fails to charge a compensatory rate.

HillaryCare II does not explain why anyone would stay with private insurance when Federal subsidies are available It doesn't explain what will happen to insurance companies that enact their cost controls to noisy voters who will shriek to their Congressman.

Governments Coerce. Business Can Only Convince. That is the main differences in the free market and the command and control of HillaryCare. Hillarycare will ultimately turn into a coercive, bloated, bureaucratic nightmare. Efficiency in Canada, The UK and Europe is called "rationing". Innovation means stealing the patent and intellectual property rights from inventors. at best. At worst, it means waiting for discards and buying old technology that is always years behind the US. The needs of all consumers/voters are treated equal. Lately, the UK and Canada have begun to limit, restrict and punish those who lead lifestyles that may led to greater medical costs, even though they also lead to an earlier death.

The problem with healthcare in America is the lack of competition. We have no consistent tidal forces driving costs down and efficiencies up. Wherever the market operates freely, disruption follows but, the ultimate winner is the consumer.

"Planning is as natural to the process of success as its absence is to the process of failure."

Robin Sieger

The above is a bit of sophistry to justify planning of any type. The presumption being that all plans are equal and that no plan = to failure. HillaryCare is a plan. It is not a great plan. It solves what SHE perceives to be THE problem. She is curing a symptom. She avoids the root cause. Like most politician she never sees real people. She sees people as needy and herself as provider of solutions. She is not unique in this view. She has 534 fellow citizens on Capitol Hill who got where they are by promising "something-for-nothing" to fools who never realized that "Whenever somebody is getting something for nothing, somebody else is getting nothing for something". Nobody would be elected by telling the truth. People want to believe in the promise of something more than they want something more tangible but less exciting.

President Bush made the right proposal when he sought to level the playing field. Everyone gets $15,000 tax deduction to pay for healthcare. Healthcare provided by employers is taxed as income. This puts the private person, corporate employee, small business person and newly unemployed all on the same footing. The really poor would get a subsidy just as they do now through the Earned Income Tax Credit.

It's a long 13.5 months until we have an election. We have not heard the last of this topic. We will soon be bombarded with fantastic demi-lies and semi-truths. It's up to us to read, listen and decide.... I am already bored. I do not want to wade through all of the verbiage in thick legagese that they will throw at us. I dislike shopping for a new health plan, why would I relish the idea of a few pounds of Political-Legal verbal-ese?.... The fear that they are counting on the weight, obtuse verbiage and deadly dullness to let them slip through some grand scheme...I do not trust those who would be our masters.

No comments: