Friday, February 8, 2008

Uni-coerce-al Healthcare


Hillary wants Universal Healthcare because in her world, the government wakes you up in the morning, brushes your teeth, feeds you, transports you to work, manages the weather, and makes us very very happy, compliant people.

And if you don't like it, tough. She's smarter than the rest of us and knows what is best for us. After all, what do you think this is? A free country?

The Wages of HillaryCare

Mrs. Clinton's proposal requires everyone to buy health insurance, along with more insurance regulation, a government insurance option for everyone and tax hikes. Mr. Obama likes all that but his mandate would only apply to children. He argues that the reason many people aren't insured is because it's too expensive, not because they don't want it. Mrs. Clinton counters that coverage can't be "universal" without a mandate.

Yet if Mrs. Clinton's plan is better because it has a mandate, how does it work in the real world, where some people still won't be able to afford insurance, or would decline to acquire it? At a recent debate, the Illinois Senator drove the point home, asking Mrs. Clinton, "You can mandate it but there will still be people who can't afford it. And if they can't afford it, what are you going to fine them? Are you going to garnish their wages?" And in an interview with ABC's George Stephanopoulos on Sunday, Mrs. Clinton conceded that "we will have an enforcement mechanism" that might include "you know, going after people's wages."

Well, well. In other words, HillaryCare II isn't all about "choice," but would require financial penalties for people to pay attention, including garnishing wages. To put it more accurately, the individual mandate is really a government mandate that requires brute force plus huge subsidies to get anywhere near its goal of universal coverage.

Mitt Romney's mandate program in Massachusetts is already expected to reach $1.35 billion in annual costs by 2011, up from $158 million today. And that's with only half of the previously uninsured currently enrolled; no less than 20% didn't qualify for subsidies and were granted exemptions because the costs were too much of a hardship.

The issues with our healthcare system can and should be solved by going in exactly the opposite direction that Hillary and Obama are proposing.

We don't need less choices and freedom. The system needs to be allowed to offer more choices and competition among carriers and providers.

Get employers out of the way, let people buy their own insurance, form associations and affinity groups, and market forces will eliminate those carriers and providers that don't give the market what it wants: affordable, comprehensive and preventative healthcare.

And guess what fellow Americans...if you are obese, smoke, or drink too much...sorry, those are your choices and just like the guy who smashes his car into a pole every few months or gets the hook to often from our brave men in their black and whites, you are going to pay more. A lot more.

Now that's fair.

The automotive insurance industry is a perfect example. Liability coverage is required by law to own, as should be health insurance, but consumers are still free to purchase and pay for it in the manner and from the carrier of their choosing.

Consequently, insurance rates have fallen, choice has increased, and even the commercials are getting better.

If our already bankrupt federal government takes over our healthcare system, it will become bloated with special interest considerations, contracts will be awarded as political paybacks, there will be layers and layers of bureaucracy and redundant employees and our healthcare system in the United States will not be in a crisis; it will be in a meltdown.

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