Wednesday, March 21, 2007

Signs of the Apocalypse, Just To My North

Massachusetts Sets Benefits in Universal Health Care Plan.

Those with incomes ranging from 100% to 300% of the federal poverty line will receive a state subsidized insurance rate, but still must pay anywhere between $18.00 and $170.00 per month. Those with incomes greater than 300% of the federal poverty line must obtain their own insurance.

It's funny that those who press for universal health care constantly refer to health care as a right- we're not forced to exercise our other rights, yet not only are the citizens of Massachusetts being forced to obtain health insurance, many of them are being forced to pay out of pocket. If you think this is a step toward a more free country, do not pass Go and proceed directly to Cuba.


Blogger A Fan For All Seasons said...

Health care is not a right, it's a privilege. Yes, it's sad that some people can't afford health care, and yes, there are flaws in our current system. However, forcing people to pay for other people's health care is not right.

Here's the problem...Activists for universal health care are generally the type of people who can easily afford universal health care and who can pay out of pocket for drugs and more expensive procedures. There are plenty of people in America who are right above the poverty line that would suffer greatly with universal health care. These are the type of people who depend on their employer's health care and who can't pay too much out of pocket. The article addresses this issue and interviews a few of these people, but no one will care about their voices because what really matters to activists is that everybody can get treatment. The funny thing is, the American life expectancy rate is on par with countries that do have universal health care.

I agree the current system should go through some changes, but universal health care is not the answer.

1:40 AM  
Blogger QU 3L said...

That's a heartening response. I was going to right yet another health care posting in response to this, but figured I'd just put my thoughts here.

The always unmentioned problem with any form of "universal care" is that you must either treat every single person the same, regardless of ability to pay, or you must set a floor, or minimum level of care, that everyone should receive. Neither system fits with a health care and medical industry whose technological progress tends to exceed the ability of average Americans to pay. If you treat everyone the same, you cut out some of that technological innovation. And if you set a floor, you have the impossible problem of setting a floor that takes into account overall costs and individual needs.

I do talk a big game on health care, so I figured I should outline my ideas on health care. Here they are, in no particular order:

1st, adopt President Bush's plan and count health insurance coverage by employers as income. This will eliminate some of the disparities between employer provided coverage and privately obtained coverage.

2nd- Eliminate state and federal requirements that employers provide health insurance coverage.

3rd- The state and federal government should eliminate health benefits for their employees. The government should encourage a consumer driven market in all shapes, matters and forms.

4th- Scale back insurance mandates at the state and federal levels. Let consumers dictate the types of policies they want through the free market.

Finally, any government coverage of individual health care expenses should be covered through either tax breaks or cash payments. Any government support program should give people the opportunity to make choices for themselves and not force them into programs that are not best suited to all their needs.

(By the way, I beleive that libertarian economist Milton Friedman advocated that government set an income floor for it's poorest citizens, rather than providing a myriad of welfare benefits. I'm not sure if Dr. Freidman stood by this idea, but I like it as an alternative to the modern welfare state and an alternative that at least leaves the poor in greater control of their own lives.)

3:11 PM  

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