To piggyback on yesterday's post, I would like to apply my prior comments to the current presidential race. Many people feel that health care is THE main domestic issue in this campaign, and the candidates have come up with their plans to solve the problem. For the record, none of them are proposing my plan (although they do have bits and pieces of the Washburn plan).
First, the Democrat candidates' positions can be summed up in two words: government takeover. They point to systems in Canada and UK as models for what they want to do. They want government funded care, to one extent or another. Obama wants it primarily for children and the poor. Hillary and Edwards want the "third option", which is basically a government funded plan that citizens can opt into. Most skeptics think that more people than anticipated will opt into their plans, which would amount to full-blown socialized medicine. The cost for the plans are astronomical and grossly understated by the candidates. Obama thinks he can simply roll back Bush's tax cuts to pay for it, while Hillary and Edwards claim they can pull it off by increasing the capitol gains tax. They're all wrong. I've referred to Australia in the past. I have a family member from there and she has complained about their health care system, mainly because it is inefficient and slow. AND, they pay 50% income tax. That's what we would face under a government takeover of our health care.
Make no mistake, our current system is not flawless and needs some revision, but anyone who thinks the government is the answer is sadly misguided and will learn an unfortunate lesson if this becomes reality. Why does the Left trust the government so much in matters of such importance? The Constitution requires the gov't to provide funding for one thing: a standing army. There is no mention of ANY social program in that document. Yet, the Left doesn't trust the gov't in matters of defense nearly as much as they trust it in domestic issues. I don't get it.
I've worked in a private setting, and I've worked in a socialized setting, and I can tell you...there is no comparison. The socialized setting is WAY TOO COSTLY. If we become a nation of socialized medicine, if we open that Pandora's Box, we will lose quality of care along with access to care. Mark my words. Hillary or Edwards or Obama or any Dem who supports this stuff will wreck our health care system. Hopefully, we won't have to live it to learn that lesson.
Now, the GOP. Thompson has been vague. I'm not sure what his plan is. McCain dances on the issue as well, but he seems to be Bush-like in supporting some government growth while also creating a favorable environment to improve access to private care (namely, small business pooling). Romney boasts about his triumphs in Mass. in getting universal coverage for citizens, and feels he can do the same nationally through market reforms (also much of what I proposed). But Guiliani has the most intriguing and simple idea: a tax credit of up to $15000 for EVERYONE for the sole purpose of purchasing health insurance.
Now, I've had my disagreements with Guiliani, but the simplicity of his idea is what makes it great. I support the notion that the government should help people get insurance, but I am absolutely opposed to the notion of the government PROVIDING them that insurance. That promotes dependence on the government which, as we've seen in Katrina, is a recipe for disaster. Plus, it violates our principles of a free society. How can someone be free when they depend on the government for their lifestyle?
And it's becoming more apparent that the middle and lower middle class are the ones who are most affected by the lack of health insurance. The poor are already covered, the upper classes pay for their own. So, how does the government help these people without becoming a provider for them? Guiliani's idea is sound.
Of course, the naysayers will immediately talk about cost. How can the government afford such a massive tax credit? These same people don't discuss this issue when Hillary-care is debated, but that's another post. The answer is also simple: You find a way. The federal budget is already bloated beyond comprehension, and don't even get me started on earmarks and pork. So don't let your politicians for one second tell you that the gov't can't afford Guiliani's plan. They can afford it. The truth is, politicians hate cutting spending about as much as they hate telling people they're raising taxes. But, they have no choice. If Guiliani has his way, this would come very close to solving our problems, provided the gov't doesn't raise taxes elsewhere to do it.
It's not perfect, but it's the best option being offered by any of the candidates. Again, I have my differences with him, but Guiliani has a good idea here. Give the people a tax credit so they can buy their own coverage. It's a tax cut, a decrease in gov't spending, and an improvement in health coverage all rolled into one.
I haven't made my decision on my vote yet, but I have decided the Rudy by far has the best plan for health care.