It seems to me, the two thousand page bill before congress, (that is to be passed without the usual vetting process of a sixty vote majority in the Senate), has to lower healthcare costs… After all, it not only creates more paperwork for doctors to do. It puts restraints on doctors ability to treat patients,. It lowers Medicare and Medicaid payments to doctors. It forces insurance companies to take on unparalleled adverse selection. While forcing insurance companies to submit to onerous regulation. At the same time forcing anyone who has opted not to get insurance to pay to get insurance else be fined… No perverse incentives there.
This healthcare debate has been hanging over the heads of the American people and business like a sword of Damocles. Held by one blond strand. No knows on who’s head it will fall on when it becomes law. We do know this administration has invested too much political capital to let it fail. So fall it must.
Insurance companies seem to be in the crosshairs but if you think about it for a minute we are the ones actually in the cross hairs.
When medicare and Medicaid is cut, but the rolls are enlarged, the extra costs will be born by those that have private insurance. Doctors will have to shift their extra costs of making out paperwork to prevent Medicare/Medicaid fraud. Their costs will necessarily go up. They must recoup them or go out of business. Insurance companies are the ones carrying that water today and it looks like they will be tomorrow too.
When insurance companies pick up the slack for government programs it is like a hidden tax on that industry. Taxes are costs and costs are passed to consumers. The same law that forces us all to be consumers will also force insurance companies to accept very sick people (adverse selection). Further driving up costs.
Moving them from government’s books to the private sector’s books. But the economy is like a pair of pants. No matter what pocket you take money from it must have been put there.
The people who do most of the putting in are the workers of society. Martialed into productive effort by capitalism. We are the workers. So all of us must necessarily pick up the costs government wants to obligate the insurance industry (us) to. Especially those of us who have opted, as self interested maximizes, not to buy insurance and to use the money, (in what they see) as more productive efforts. They will be forced to redirect their revenue stream into what they see as a less productive course or be subjected to fines. Their free will is overridden by the power of the State to compel action.
We, my friends, are they. Some us reading this have opted not to buy insurance. Partially because of the cost. Maybe because we are gamblers and are betting we will have good health. If this passes, we will not only be forced to buy insurance, but, insurance rates will necessarily go up. Our real disposable income will be greatly reduced. The stream of money flowing to the healthcare industry will turn into a torrent. This law will open all of our wallets to the vacuum of unrestrained spending.
But the administration, counter to popular opinion, has been cagey in debating healthcare instead of the economy. Because every thing they propose to restart the economy will choke it. (Especially this health care bill).The administration’s Keynesian economic policies are undermining the economic growth that would be necessary to provide the updraft to float this lead balloon. So any diversion from jobs and the economy helps this administration… politically. Us on the other hand…
When Obama, Biden, Pelosi, or Clinton go to Canada to have surgery I will have much more faith in government run healthcare. But as long as Stephen Harper keeps coming to the US for surgery…