Wednesday, November 07, 2007

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.

8 comments:

SNAKE HUNTERS said...

Doctor John,

Putting a 'cap' on frivolous medical law suits makes sense; it lowers your PCP's Insurance Premium, & limits the Ambulance-Chasing Lawyer's appetite for the big score. The jury is often a generous group, when giving away another person's money!
>>
On Sleep Aids: One physician prescribed Tamazepam, 30 mg for me.
I cut it to 15 mg; it worked fine!
I also changed to another doctor.

I now have Ambien, 5 mg; I tried popping it in half, and that is quite satisfactory! At 82, I've found it pays at times, better to think and do
for yourself! reb
__________________________________
www.lazyonebenn.blogspot.com

The Loop Garoo Kid said...

reb,

Ambulance chasing lawyers? Frivolous medical malpractice suits? Read my comment below. I think you wil find, if you do a little research, that you have bought hook, line, and sinker into the myth that high cost of health insurance is related to the activities of trial lawyers.


Dr. I am not certain I understand Guiliani's proposal. I know the $15K tax deduction applies to families who do not obtain health insurance through employers. Does the plan mandate that a family's taxes would be reduced by $15K so as to allow the purchase of health insurance? i.e. If your federal taxes were $15K you pay no tax?

I think this raises issues the first of which that springs to mind is: suppose a family's tax burden is < $15K and of an amount that would not allow the purchase of health insurace? How are these people helped. i.e. the tax burden is $2K. The cosat insuring the family is $6K.

I assume that the deduction could only be taken if the money was actually spent on insurance.

I do not oppose the plan, if I undersatnd it correctly, but I am uncertain to what extent it will solve the problem.

Regards.

SNAKE HUNTERS said...

There you go again, Loop!

You Take Offense to the proposition
that some, certainly not all, trial
lawyers are unethical & immoral.

Our own family physician/surgeon, Dr Allen Silver, in Yucca Valley, California was forced into early retirement by excessive Medical Liability Premiums!

To clarify, I would submit that attorneys do not all fall into the negative classification, but like most professions, do indeed have their percentage of "rascals" that demean and defame the majority.

Doctors, lawyers, retail merchants,
journalists, educators, law enforcement, and even Indian Chiefs can all count among their numbers, the noble and the infamous.

Personally, I hold in high esteem, the legal sciences, for that is where this nation finds its Great and Noble Statesmen, and sadly the occasional infamous traitor. John
Perazzo, FrontPageMag.com lists not a few.

I Tend Not to buy into "hooks, lines, or sinkers", from pitchmen,
con-men, or politically astute propagandists that generate hatred among the most gullible, and the serious threats are well-funded, deserving honest scrutiny, lest we all lose our Liberty. If it rattles, and speaks with a forked-tongue, I'm aware.
>>
Is there a reason for your extreme sensitivity? reb

Robert M. said...

Ron Paul was a doctor. From what I've heard he used to treat patients out of his own pocket rather than see them go on government healthcare. I think his laissez-faire approach would work best, personally.

The Loop Garoo Kid said...

reb,

As I stated in a prior comment, I have worked for insurance companies in private practice and I have been a direct employee of a major insurer. For the past 25 years, at least, the insurance industry has mounted a concerted successful campaign to poison the public's mind against plaintiffs and their attorneys in an effort to deny people who have been injured fair compensation.

At every bend of the road, you hear: "It's all the fault of the greedy trial attorneys. They and their greedy uninjured clients are responsible for your high insurance premiums and for your high helah care costs."

Who do you think is behind this? The insurance industry, of course. If you do not trust George Souros b/c he has a bag full of money to spend on his agenda, why trust these guys? The insurance industry is only coverned w/ one thing and that is earning megabucks at all of our expense.

I uncertain by what you mean by "immoral." Certainly, in our profession if you act unethically you ipso facto act immorally so I leave it at unethical.

The percentage of attys who commit fraud is infintesimal. I suspect it is lower than the # of doctors who committ Medicare or Medicaid fraud, which number I also think is very low. I can always earm more money--unless I put my license at risk by doing something which is unethical or illegal. All the years of school and practice and the certain knowledge that people will always need our services is why almost all lawyers and doctors don't lie, cheat, and steal.

I have found that jurors have a lot of individual and collective coimmon sense but every time the current president of the United States gave a State of the Union address, he took several shots at trial attorneys. You don't think that has an effect?

The pendulum seems to be swinging back our way a bit but for the last ten years or more, taking a plaintiff's case to court was like going to the plate and starting w/ an 0-2 count.

Remember, good cases don't get tried.

I cannot speak to your family physician in CA but I suspect there is more to the story. Med mal premiums for family physicians have never been high, relatively, unless the physicians also deliver babies.

robert m. Wikipedia confirms that when he practiced medicine in Brazoria Co, TX, Ron Paul did not accept Medicare or Medicaid but did accept individual discounted payment plans for needy patients. This is of course laudable but do this too much--just like accepting too many pro bono cases--and you wind up bankrupt. By the way, it is difficult to make ends meet if your practice has too much Medicare or Medicaid which pay cents on the dollar.

Regards.

SNAKE HUNTERS said...

Soros having "a bag-full of money"
(or a freight-car full) is not the
problem; when he succeeds in 'buying' one of the two major political parties, funding dozens
of 'Hate-W-Groups' nation-wide, it's past the time for thoughtful people to say Enough! The Power that one-man, George Soros, wields is mind-snapping! When So-called 'Secular-Progressive' thinking suddenly dominates our politics & media it's as bad as One-Church Rule! Our political polls signal a warning! Our schools, and Print and Tv media reflect it, at least to this old man, that Soros suddenly wields more power here on earth,
generates more mindless hatred, buys more influence than ever before. We should all be concerned.

The Right-Wing on our Eagle is in
traction; The Powerful, Vast Left-
Wing is spiraling this nation into
a free-fall disaster. Never in my life-time, have I ever witnessed anything remotely like it.
>>
Ever hear of PSFG? Probably not. It's "Peace & Security Funders Group", Watch Out (!) and they have over 27 billion dollars to play with! Wanna know more about them?

Fifty private/public "peace-foundations" receive aid from this group. What's their Agenda?

Need just a bit more? O.K., Go to
FrontPageMag (heading), tap Columnists, Left Scroll to John Perazzo. Tap, "Funding The War..."
>>
You ain't heard nothing, not yet!
Trust the Snake Hunter. reb
_________________________________
www.lazyonebenn.blogspot.com

John Washburn said...

Loop,

Actually, the premiums in Texas (where I am licensed) are beginning to come down. No, it was not immediate, but the environment is becoming much more doctor friendly. Texas went from one of the most doctor-unfriendly states to one of the best states to practice thanks, in large part, to tort reform (according to the AMA).

In addition, Mississippi (where I went to med school) has experienced amazing changes since implementing tort reform. At one time, patients had difficulty finding anyone to deliver a baby (because as you pointed out the FPs were getting out of the practice). Mississippi was in full crisis mode, and that is changing dramatically. Yes, it may be overblown, and I won't argue with you one bit about how insurance companies squeeze docs, but the plaintiffs attorneys do have some blame here. It's about time something was done about it.

As for Rudy, I agree that there are some questions about details in his plan. He said UP TO 15K tax credit, obviously it would vary from person to person. I like the concept though. It's a tax break that keeps health care in the private sector while indirectly decreasing government spending. So far, no one else has come up with something like that, that would work while also maintaining our excellent quality of care.

The Loop Garoo Kid said...

reb,

For every left wing threat you perceive there is also a right wing nutter w/ a bag of money trying to influence policy.

Regards.