Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Real Health Reform

I've been ranting on the topic for so long now, I figured I might as well but some simple ideas down in permanent form. So what would I do to reform health care? These are just a few simple ideas.

1- Eliminate the tax benefits of employer-provided health insurance. Why not put everyone on the same footing in regards to health insurance, regardless of whether they receive their insurance as a job perk or whether they have to purchase it themselves.

2- On the state and federal level, drastically scale back mandates as to what insurance policies must cover. Let consumers working within a more vibrant market dictate costs and coverage.

3- Scrap Medicaid and replace it with a program similar to food stamps. Give the people who need it money to purchase their own health insurance and make their own health care decisions.

To those of you on the left, I hope you can see I'm not some radical anti-government type who would rather see poor people die on the street then have the government step in to help. I'm all for helping those that need it, but I don't see the need to trash our economy in the process. Rather than taking a system that's already far removed from free market forces and distorting those market signals even further, why not remove the barriers that are preventing a real market in health care from flourishing in the first place?


Anonymous rose said...

The core argument you're making on this issue, which applies to so many others, is that the government needs to stop with the hidden re-distributions of wealth that destroy choice, competition, efficiency and innovation and concentrate power in the government.

If you want to help poor people, give them cash and vouchers and trust them to make their own choices.

Abolish the minimum wage and increase the earned income tax credit.

Abolish medicade and regulations requiring that X is covered and give poor people medical care vouchers and let them choose.

Why don't they do this? I would imagine its because cash transfers/vouchers would expose how much redistribution we're already doing in the US and that the average american would freak out. It's easier to hide redistribution in stuff like medicade even if its costs tons more in the end.

The practice of adopting inferior policies because they hide costs is being applied to global warming. There's a consensus among economists that a carbon tax is the most efficient way to curb emissions, yet Obama is pursuing cap and trade, obviously because it will be easier to hide costs from consumers.

Do you agree its all about hiding costs? Or do you think liberals have some deep-seated distrust of the market and need for power? Or something else?

12:26 PM  
Blogger lonely libertarian said...

I really think it's a little bit of all the above. It's all about politicians wanting more power, which is related to this idea that "we in government can do better than the market." Opposition to choice for poor people shows that the real issue is government control, not helping the poor.

Reason had a blog post today commenting on another proposed soda tax and they refer back to Governor Patterson's proposal for such a tax in New York State. His proposal was to tax soda at 15% in order to pay for expansions of state health care coverage. As the Reason writer (and I can't remember who off the top off my head) put it, this was a tax that would have been paid disproportionally by the poor, in order to benefit a government program designed to help the middle class.

And ultimately, I think the middle class is what health care reform and much of the push of the progressive left today is actually all about. The only way to really give goodies to the middle class is to hide them and disguise them, because a cash voucher to a middle class family would seem pretty damn crass.

2:14 PM  

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