A few thoughts on the health care debate currently going on in the USA.
- Public option – yes. Yes, we should make health care available to everyone. It is not a right, but a non-third-world country shouldn’t have people dying for lack of basic preventative medicine.
- Tax the people who use it. Like any benefit, the people who RECEIVE the health care benefit must pay for it. In a pool is fine. But taxing the rich to give to the poor doesn’t work. If there isn’t a deterrent on spending then the price quadruples. Obama is wrong to say “no new taxes for a new benefit.” Baroo? If you want a new benefit – pay for it. But don’t pass it off to your kids.
- Put generations in separate pools. The concern of the young is if they are required to contribute this money is effectively transferred from their generation to the elderly who consume more health care dollars. Group generations in pools that pay in and take out but they pay their own way. No inter-generation transfer of wealth like social security or the current deficits. Pay as you go.
- Rationing. Well, yes. All health insurance it is rationed, we just don’t like to phrase it that way. But we aren’t going to do heart transplants on 110 year olds. Drug addicts don’t get organ transplants, etc… Oregon learned this lesson. The current system is rationing.
- Increase the supply of Doctors. Supply is part of the problem. Reduce the cost of medical school and double or triple the students accepted. Why are we outsourcing medical school jobs to other countries and importing doctors? Because it is protectionism by the current US med schools. Think of the current schools as the NFL; they don’t want more teams showing up diluting the dollars. Hence the NFL is exempt from anti-trust regs. The difference is the medical school monopoly is not government enforced, yet it is enforced nonetheless.
- Keep your current insurance. Yes of course. If you are happy with your current insurance you … oh wait, just WHO the HELL is happy with their current insurance? Name one?! What Doctor is happy doing the paperwork? Name one?! How many years can a business sustain 15% to 20% annual increases? Eventually the customer pays for this. It has to come from somewhere.
- Supplemental insurance – yes. AFLAC has a place. They have an awful lot of extra money for TV commercials, but they should exist and so should supplemental health insurance. But with our current high deductibles, I think my current policy is effectively supplemental health insurance!
- Insurance companies financial health – be fair. Like after 9/11 if a private security company was financially harmed by the formation of the TSA, then those firms should receive fair compensation as this is basically eminent domain.
A note of bias. I run a company and we pay 50% of the employee benefit. The other 50% is taken out of their paychecks. So no matter what system is put in place, as the majority shareholder, I pay less. So perhaps this is me looking for an economic benefit.
On the other hand what about the poor insurance executives?