Alternate ideas

Like I mentioned earlier, I’m not opposed to changing the healthcare system, I’m just opposed to the kind of change that results in government-run options and the step-by-step destruction of the American marketplace.

This article presents some great alternatives to the sweeping, competing bills being presented in the House. In short:

  • Remove the legal obstacles that slow the creation of high-deductible health insurance plans and health savings accounts (HSAs).
  • Equalize the tax laws so that employer-provided health insurance and individually owned health insurance have the same tax benefits.
  • Repeal all state laws which prevent insurance companies from competing across state lines.
  • Repeal government mandates regarding what insurance companies must cover.
  • Enact tort reform to end the ruinous lawsuits that force doctors to pay insurance costs of hundreds of thousands of dollars per year. [FYI: Doctors MUST pursue payment from their patients. If they don’t, the IRS comes after them. Lawyers, coincidentally, not only have the option to take on pro bono work but they can deduct it from their taxes based on what they would have charged! So sure, your malpractice attorney “won’t get paid if you don’t get paid” but he’ll still deduct it from his taxes; and your doctor’s malpractice insurance just doubled. Thanks, Justice.]
  • Make costs transparent so that consumers understand what health-care treatments cost.
  • Enact Medicare reform.
  • Finally, revise tax forms to make it easier for individuals to make a voluntary, tax-deductible donation to help the millions of people who have no insurance and aren’t covered by Medicare, Medicaid or the State Children’s Health Insurance Program.

Just because people don’t agree with ObamaCare doesn’t mean they’re totally happy with the status quo. But lawmakers don’t seem to even step back from a government option in favor of true reform to the system–reform ideas like those presented above. Instead, they want to initiate a plan that will ultimately evolve into a single-payer system (no matter what Obama says, take a look at the math) and put the government in charge of your health.

Let’s look at options that take the existing system and improve it instead of throwing it out the window and putting a different, broken system in place.

I, personally, don’t even think this debate is that critical. (Gasp.) Sure, Congress and the media and the President keep throwing around that infamous number of uninsured Americans that need coverage now! What’s it up to today, 50 million? I’ve been digging around to find a breakdown of those 50 million people and the reasons they’re uninsured. I mean, hello, they’re the reason for this whole mess right? (Well, and a power-hungry administration, but that’s another post.) The most concise information I could find breaks it down as follows:

According to the US Census Bureau, 17 million of those without health insurance live in households having over $50,000 in annual income. That’s 38% of the uninsured in America.(2)

In fact, 9 million – 20% of the uninsured – reside in households pulling down more than $75K a year. (3)

And then there are the young invincibles. Over 18 million of the uninsured are people between the ages of 18 and 34. (4) They spend more than four times as much on alcohol, tobacco, entertainment and dining out as they do for out-of-pocket spending on health care.(5) They represent 40% of the uninsured in America.

14 million people without health insurance are eligible for government health care programs like Medicaid and S-CHIP but choose not to enroll. (7) They represent %31 – nearly one third – of the uninsured in America.

The U.S. has 12 million illegal immigrants who don’t buy health insurance but still get health care.

So, how many are truly uninsured? Around eight million. Just 18% of the 45 million that we hear about so often.

This data is based on 2007 Census info and other sources, but 8 million Americans equals out to about 3% of the population. Is it worth destroying our economic infrastructure to provide coverage to 3% of the population? Or is it worth it to examine alternate improvements to the existing system to provide that access?



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