Healthcare Reform?

Is action always better than inaction? Is movement for movement sake valuable? The answer to both questions is emphatically NO! During the contentious healthcare reform debate Democrat after Democrat claimed that “inaction is not an option” and that “anything is better than nothing.” While these clichés and bits of rhetoric might work well with their political base it seems impossible to deny that their action is nothing more than a political notch on the post of Barack Obama. Legislatures claim that the bill will bring millions of uninsured under coverage, drive down healthcare costs, and reform a broken system; however, common sense disagrees.

 Instead of addressing legitimate issues that need reform in the healthcare sector this bill allows the federal government to usurp liberty and prosperity from millions of Americans, while continuing to spend America off an economic cliff. This bill is supposedly going to be funded in three basic ways. First, new taxes will be imposed on those making $200,000 or more. Secondly, new taxes will be imposed on health insurance companies, and finally, taxes will be levied against the -creators of life-saving healthcare equipment. These revenue streams for the government again border on the insane. During an economic recession and with individuals, businesses of every size, and state and local government struggle to make ends meet Nancy Pelosi, Harry Reid, and Barack Obama have decided to again take more money from the job creating class. Although increasing taxes on wealthy Americans is easy, it takes more discretionary income out of the system which could be reinvested in economic expansion. The increased taxes on healthcare companies is short-sighted because like every business, increased taxes are an increased cost of doing business and usually result in the consumer seeing the cost passed along to them. Another problem is that this healthcare bill has put new requirements on the insurance companies such as: forcing them to treat people with pre-existing conditions, forcing them to allow dependents to stay on the parents insurance until the age of 26, and finally requiring them to provide preventative treatments at no cost. These new requirements are unfunded mandates on private companies who rationally will have to either increase fees, decrease benefits or both to fund the cost influx.  The increased tax on creators of health equipment again is idiotic at best, taking more taxes from those who are innovating and attempting to keep American’s healthcare technology and equipment at the forefront. They should not be harassed with higher taxes which inhibit expansion, growth and continued innovation.

 Even with these new taxes, those in power know that this bill will lead to sky-rocketing costs for both the federal government and in the cost of healthcare. In fact, the federal government will be collecting taxes to fund the law; however, the real crux of the new law doesn’t take effect for almost four full years. This political slide of hand still does not meet the financial burden as the CBO estimates that the law will increase our nation’s deficit by $940 billion dollars over 10 years.  Much of the governmental costs will be in the form of subsidies to those who cannot afford healthcare. It is an economic imperative that people are going to be more apt to use a service they do not have to help pay for, which will again drive the cost of healthcare up. The ineffective, inefficient, and burdensome federal government’s track record is anything but reassuring as they, in the name of good intentions, continue to weaken our economy stability and prospects for growth. It only seems logical that a government that takes a step back, spends less, and allows citizens to keep more of what they make will be more successful. The more individuals are able to keep the more they can efficiently reinvest in their communities, local businesses, entrepreneurial endeavors, all without the costly administrative costs of the government. Many entrepreneurs and business owners will tell you that a changing business environment requires adaptation, but that they can adjust to the changing needs of consumers; however,  what really worries them is the often times irrational governmental burdens which  are forced upon them and hinders their ability to be flexible, lean, and continue to expand or innovative in their field. When a government starts to hinder the success of those people they are entrusted to serve it is time for a recall of all the legislatures who failed to make any positive contribution beyond pleasing the President. It is unfortunate that the President decided that his personal accomplishments should be given precedent over the millions of Americans who are now burdened by the governments’ sporadic movement for movements’ sake.

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6 thoughts on “Healthcare Reform?”

  1. People many times wonder why President Eisenhower is considered one of the top 10 Presidents of all times as people do not know exactly what he did as President. This is why he is considered one of the best Presidents as at this time nothing was the best action.

    This is exactly my thoughts with Health Care. I am not saying that some things could be changed but this Health Care bill should not of happened. President Obama should leave the Health Care alone instead of how Steven put it, “Is movement, for movement sake valuable?” NO

  2. To the wise author of this blog:

    First, great blog name! I love it. Revolutions of words are always the best kind and you use your words very well.

    While I do agree with many of the points you make, your essay brings some questions and comments to my mind. For example, you mention that new taxes will be levied against insurance companies and companies that make medical equipment. You assert that this naturally will drive up costs and/or make it more difficult to do business. I agree that this analysis is common sense. However, to place the entire blame of any increase in costs on the government is stretching; there are at least two parties involved here. I would ask what are the profit margins for these kinds of companies? Do their executives really need multi-million dollar payouts? Yes, as a private company they have a right to pay their employees and executives what they want, but I will not hold these companies blameless for increases in costs to the consumer if they do not cut back on their own costs and greed.

    You might argue that these companies must pay executives absurd amounts of money to attract the best, but I would point to the financial industry as a counter example for this argument. Many executives in that industry did nothing but drive their companies into the ground or presided over record losses, yet still collected huge payouts and bonuses. As somebody who has worked for some of these huge banks, I can guarantee you that none of the common employees collect any kinds of bonuses without meeting very high performance goals. Clearly the pay of an executive and the performance of a company are not necessarily related.
    Again, I am not saying the government deserves no responsibility for some of these issues, but I am saying that blame should be assigned to all responsible parties. This is not cookie cutter black and white where the government is being evil while corporate America is merely a victim.

    This is getting longer than I expected so I’ll wrap this up. My final question is when so-called fiscal conservatives will start calling for the government to cut spending to its biggest money pit–the military? I certainly support a fiscally responsible government. However, I have little sympathy and even less belief in arguments made by anybody for a fiscally restrained government and a reduction of the deficit that refuses to include military spending on the chopping block. How can one argue that the government is incompetent to run a multi-million (or billion) dollar health program while simultaneously affirming full faith in the government’s ability to effectively run a multi-billion dollar killing machine? Surely consistency requires that we argue the government is competent to run both or that it is competent to run neither.
    Personally, although I don’t particularly like spending on either, I would much prefer government spending on an industry that heals people rather than on an industry that kills people.

    1. Debate Partner,
      First, I would like to thank you for taking the time to put together such a well articulated response. Secondly, I must applaud you for your choice in a nickname. Spot on!
      You bring up some great counterpoints to my initial comments, and they deserve addressing. My main point in even bringing up the issue of insurance companies and the tax increases being brought against them was not necessarily to speak to the morality of CEO/executive compensation, as much as to point out that instead of driving down costs, this law will cause businesses to pass expenses on to consumers. No matter what their profit margins and executive compensation packages, no matter how outlandish it all might get, the fact remains that this law does nothing to curb the expenses that are confronting Americans everyday. In fact, everyone who currently has an insurance policy is going to feel the impact when premiums increase significantly to fund the most expensive cases. By no means am I saying the current system is without error or not in need of reform. I am simply saying that there are more effective and efficient means of doing it which allow the consumer the freedom to make the best decision for their personal situation. More fully, I am not even saying that the federal government doesn’t have a significant role to play in the reform. The federal government could do a lot of good by putting together legislation on tort reform, promoting competition across state borders, working to financially shore up the current programs they are overseeing, and allowing citizens to purchase catastrophic coverage. Another issue is that we must avoid the “slippery slope” fallacy, where we accept the premise that it is optimal for the government to take a business/industry over simply based on a profit margin being subjectively “too high.” We must never underestimate the power of the consumer to influence a product or service. Truth be told, the majority of Americans are happy with their insurance coverage.
      Next, it appears to me that it is illogical to buy into the idea that the government must be fully competent or fully incompetent. I think most would be hardpressed to find a track record of success; however, given the government’s size and scope, it is theoretically possible that they might be running a program effectively. Anecdotely, their success to date leaves much to be desired.

      Your final point about conservative fiscal consistency is a lesson both political parties need to embrace more fully and honestly. Both use conservative fiscal rhetoric to paint themselves as being responsible stewards of taxpayer money when their decisions have been irresponsible to say the least. I must disagree with your point on the military, and voice my concern over your choice of language to describe our armed forces. It is by no means a consensus point of view that the military is run efficiently. Having spent many years in a military family I have seen first hand the waste within the federal goverment’s military spending. I must also disagree with your assesment that our military is a “killing machine” as we have promoted peace, freedom, and democracy around the world for decades. Especially when our nation is confronted by Islamic extremists we must stay vigilent and on guard against the threats that exist. With that said, the military like every other government organization must actively stamp out fraud, waste, and abuse of taxpayer dollars.

  3. As a military veteran, I can attest that the Federal government wasn’t always the “smartest organization”. However, the reference to the “Killing machine” is neither accurate or fair. Our military, no matter who is running it, wasn’t out there killing people for the sake of killing people. We provided military assistance in many areas of the world that needed us, whether they “liked” us or not. In today’s environment, I feel that whatever needs to be done to protect our country, should be done. I believe that we should do whatever is necessary to combat the cowards who drive airplanes into buildings, blow up cars, even themselves. Now as to health care. The federal government should not force insurance company’s to take on pre-existing conditions or provide preventative care to people without making them pay for it. It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to know who is going to have to pay for these services, even if the people using them are not. It seems like we are getting forced to leave the free market as the government is now going to control rates and services. The best market is the one that is run by the consumer, where if they are unhappy with their policy or price they ar paying, they can go out into the market and look for a better product or price. I agree with the blogger that the federal government should back away from the insurance industry. I heard a senator on TV today, didn’t catch his name, but he said Obama would be re-elected because of this healthcare reform situation. Again the blogger hit the nail on the head when he said the personal objectives of the President should not take a front seat to what is best for the American people.

  4. I am well persuaded and well rebuked. I have, I think, only one final thought on the debate and issues taken up in this blog and its comments. It is this:

    As a fundamental level, nearly everything operates on free-market principles. What I mean by this is to echo the sentiment of the Declaration of Independence–that governments operate by the consent of the governed. In other words, if health care reform remains in place then it is because, whether by active or by passive means, the people of the United States consent to it.

    I recognize that the very purpose of this blog (or at least this specific post) is to actively voice the fact that there are those who do no consent. For that reason, I applaud the creator of this blog and all those who participate in it. Forums such as these make up the very core of what the American political process means. I’m proud to be associated with people who are taking part of this great debate and process.

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