Wednesday, August 05, 2009

How "Healthcare Reform" Would Play Out

If the "Healthcare Reform" bill put forward by the Democrats were to ever become law, here's how it would play out. (A hint: you won't like the ending.)

1) A bill including a government health insurance option and an appointed, unaccountable board of "experts" who will determine what care must be offered and to whom is passed.

2) The 48 million "uninsured" pile into the government plan, along with a significant percentage of those currently insured (as a result of their places of employment eliminating the hassle of providing insurance and electing to pay the tax "penalty").

3) Quickly, the government plan is out of money to pay for the massive increase in healthcare utilization that results.

4) With not enough resources, the government is faced with three choices: a) repeal the law; b) massive tax hikes across the board on individuals; c) reduce the cost of the healthcare being paid for by the government. Here's where the Socialist magic happens. Option 'a' is a total non-starter, as it would be an admission of failure (something not allowed by the personalities involved), as well as mightily opposed by the leftist elements of the Democrats base. Option 'b' is politically VERY difficult, since this whole plan was sold as a way to control healthcare costs and "reduce the deficit" (try not to snicker). Option 'c', on the other hand, is politically easy because its not too difficult to demonize the healthcare industry for "overcharging". It also has the added benefit of not requiring an admission that they were horribly wrong.

5) Having selected the option of reducing costs, the government unilaterally informs healthcare providers that they will now only be paid 60 cents on the dollar for the same services they have been performing for participants in the government option. Because there are so many people covered by the government plan, healthcare providers have no choice but to accept it. In a desperate attempt to make up for the losses, healthcare providers crank up their rates charged to individuals utilizing private plans, causing more and more people to dump their private plan for the "cheaper" government plan.

6) When reducing costs by underpaying healthcare providers doesn't stop the massive losses the program is running, the unaccountable board of appointed "experts" steps in with new rules to maximize the "return on investment" for the government's money. These rules include denial of coverage for many procedures and medications for people who the bureaucrats determine aren't a good investment, including the elderly, those with chronic or terminal diseases, etc. If you're over 65, no hip replacement for you, because you'll probably die soon, anyway (harsh, but this is the way Socialized medicine works).

7) With the healthcare industry financially decimated, hospitals and doctor's offices closing around the country, and the rate of participation in the government "option" accelerating, the only remaining option is rationing of care. Need an MRI? get in line. We'll try to get to you within the next year. Need a joint replacement? If we calculate that you're worth it, we can arrange for that within the next several years. Development of new medications, therapies, and medical devices comes to a stand still, as no private company is willing to risk the billions it takes to develop new medical products when there's no money to pay for them. The state of the art in medicine ceases to advance.

At that point, we will have reached the point that Great Britain and Canada are at now, except there won't be a United States to run to to get that MRI, new medication, or surgical procedure. We will have thrown it all away in the name "Hope and Change".

Friday, March 20, 2009

Why Can't They All Be Boy Scouts?

A Scout is: Trustworthy, Loyal, Helpful, Friendly, Courteous, Kind, Obedient, Cheerful, Thrifty, Brave, Clean, and Reverent.

That's the Boy Scout law. All Boy Scouts and Scout leaders recite it over and over during the course of their activities in the program. Its really the distillation of the purpose of Scouting for me: to build the kind of men and boys that contribute in so many positive ways to our society. I've seen it work during my own Cub Scout participation lo' those many years ago, and again for my son after his five years in Cub Scouts, and now going into his second year of Boy Scouts.

I've watched boys (and others) who obey the Scout law return money they find to its rightful owner, step forward to admit blame for a mistake, pray openly and unashamedly with the group to open and close meetings, and pledge their allegiance and duty to their country and to their God. These are the people our country needs in government (on both sides of the aisle).

If you have the opportunity, remind your elected leaders of the Boy Scout Law. Some of them participated in Scouting as youth, and certainly already know the Law. Others may not have heard it before. Regardless, what a better world it would be if our elected leaders (and all of us) ascribed to those twelve tenets of the Scout Law.

I'm so very proud of my son and of all the Scouts I know for their work to do just that. If we can remind Washington D.C. of the value of those characteristics, we would all be better off.

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Collected Perls of Wisdom

Following are some collected pearls of wisdom regarding government and politics:

  • Spending like a drunken sailor is NOT an economic recovery plan.

  • Free markets solve problems. Government creates problems.

  • "Universal" healthcare = government bureaucrats telling YOU what healthcare you can receive.

  • The "rich" create jobs and wealth for all. The government does not.

  • Socialism = slavery.

  • You DON'T need government help to be successful.

  • Shifting money from one person to another (ie. "redistributing wealth") does not create prosperity or help the economy.

  • Sending a government check to people is not a "tax cut", particularly when the people receiving the check aren't paying income taxes in the first place.

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

The Obama Governance Plan

Through keen observation, and especially by just listening to Obama speak, here is my understanding of the Obama Governance Plan:

Phase 1: "Chicken Little"
Begin by convincing Americans that they are in imminent economic danger, by throwing out words like "catastrophe", "insecurity", and especially "recession". In spite of the fact that 90% of Americans aren't really feeling any economic insecurity, if the President and prominent Congress people repeat those phrases often enough, the mood in the country will turn sour and the people will be primed for government "help".

Phase 2: "Everything But the Kitchen Sink"
Once a significant portion of the American people have been whipped into a frenzy of concern over the "recession", present a massive "stimulus" bill as the solution that needs to be passed RIGHT NOW. Don't try to understand it, don't debate it, don't even bother reading it. PASS IT RIGHT NOW. Don't worry about the fact that the bill actually contains little or no actual stimulus; its only important that it contains every Liberal wish list item that couldn't possibly pass on its own, or even together in a more rational environment.

Phase 3: "Smash and Grab"
Having created a skyrocketing deficit, printing money like there's no tomorrow, and generally decimating the stock market in only slightly more than 30 days, explain to the American people that the deficits are so high that the government is forced to take more of their money by raising taxes. Don't bother pointing out that the reason the deficits are so high and the stock market is so low is the shockingly high spending from Phase 2, just decry the massive 10% of GDP deficit, the highest since World War II as a percentage of GDP, and explain that "we'll all have to make sacrifices..." ( order to afford the items on the Liberal wish list. Make sure NOT to say this last part out loud.) This should be sufficient for multiple tax increases on the "rich", with ever expanding definitions of "rich", and in spite of the fact that those people being penalized are the ones CREATING THE JOBS in America.

Phase 4: "Coup de Grace"
Finally, having decimated the economy by cranking up inflation to levels not seen since the Carter Administration, and destroying the American job base by damaging the ability of the private sector to create jobs and be productive, use the real recession that has been created to ram through additional "government help", like socialized medicine, vastly expanded welfare (otherwise known as paying people not to work), and the nationalization of entire industries.

Viola! In less than a year, you've utterly decimated the most vibrant, highest productivity economy in the world, and created the largest dependent class in the history of our nation.

I don't know if we will ever recover from four years of this man...

Monday, February 23, 2009

Obama's Planned Tax Hikes

On February 4th of this year, the Congressional Budget Office submitted an analysis of the Democrats "stimulus" plan, and its expected effects on the economy. As you can read for yourself in the original document, they predicted the Obama Administration's stimulus plan would only deepen the recession: the long run it will lower aggregate output (GDP) by 0.1 percent to 0.3 percent.

The report overall is a very interesting read. How anyone could defend this "stimulus" boondoggle at all is completely baffling to me.

And now it seems, Obama is planning a big tax hike to pay for it. Here's the relevant clip from another Washington Post article:

Obama also seeks to increase tax collections, mainly by making good on his promise to eliminate some of the temporary tax cuts enacted in 2001 and 2003. While the budget would keep the breaks that benefit middle-income families, it would eliminate them for wealthy taxpayers, defined as families earning more than $250,000 a year. Those tax breaks would be permitted to expire on schedule in 2011. That means the top tax rate would rise from 35 percent to 39.6 percent, the tax on capital gains would jump to 20 percent from 15 percent for wealthy filers and the tax on estates worth more than $3.5 million would be maintained at the current rate of 45 percent.

In the teeth of a recession. With unemployment rising. Have these people even opened an economics text book?

Obama and the Democrats Have Mortgaged Our Children's Future

From a Washington Post article dated Saturday, February 21, 2009:

First as a senator and then as president, Obama has presided over the fastest, largest outlay of federal money since World War II. Over the past 12 months, the government has pumped more than $2 trillion into initiatives to ease the nation's financial and economic crisis, driving the federal deficit to historic proportions.

Coupled with slowing tax collections because of the recession, the spending spree is pushing the budget deficit toward $1.4 trillion this year, or nearly 10 percent of the nation's overall economy. Absent dramatic action or an economic miracle, trillion-dollar deficits are projected to persist throughout the coming decade, by some estimates, and the bills are forecast to run headlong into the skyrocketing costs of caring for the retiring baby boom generation.

Need anything more be said about this "stimulus" boondoggle?