Mike Renzulli

More About: Healthcare

Healthcare is Not a Right

In his quest to nearly nationalize the U.S. healthcare system, President Obama is already losing ground.
Not only are the financing options drying up but he has backed off from his deadline of passing a healthcare nationalization bill by the end of August until the end of the year.
This is because the coalitions built around his goal of affordable, quality care for everyone have unraveled and the battle ended before it even started.
I think its time for total truth about why the costs of healthcare go higher each year.
While it is tempting to blame the free market, insurance companies or H.M.O.'s for the rising costs of healthcare, in reality it is government, not private enterprise, that is to blame for skyrocketing health costs and its depreciating quality.
It is governments at all levels who regulate private insurance companies to the point where they are almost not private at all. Bureaucrats from various government agencies and boards direct whom insurance companies can and cannot cover and, in some cases, what the terms of their policies will be.
As a result of rules passed down on them, insurance companies created H.M.O.'s and P.P.O.'s in order to control costs of complying with health and insurance regulations not only for patients but also for themselves so they can stay in business.
This on top of licensing laws lumped on many health-related trades such as doctors, nurses and dentists. Licensing laws add to the cost of labor that hospitals pay to hire people who work in them and health providers then pass the costs on to you which adds to the cost of hospital and doctor visits and treatments.
Also, the unfair tax laws allow employers, but not employees, to deduct 100 percent of health insurance expenses.
Aside from the obvious and best choice of seperating healthcare and state, what can be done? I have a few proposals of my own:
Enact or expand Health Savings Accounts to all. H.S.A.'s act like individual retirement accounts except withdrawls can be made at any time without penalty.
Using H.S.A.'s people can shop for the best insurance policies or pay for their health expenses on their own while earning money since the money they put in to a Health Savings Account is invested in the stock market.
Make health insurance 100 percent tax-deductible. By shifting or extending the tax deduction businesses get for purchasing health plans to individuals it would have the same effect as M.S.A.'s. Under this proposal people would be able to fully deduct their health insurance premiums when filing their taxes.
At the same time, consumers would be free to use their own money to buy the best insurance coverage. Healthcare and insurance would, in turn, become more affordable since the tax deductions would result in more competition since insurance companies would work to attract customers.
Deregulate the medical field and insurance markets. President Ronald Reagan once remarked that the free market is the most over taxed, over regulated,underappreciated segment of American society.
He was right.
Prior to government meddling in the healthcare and insurance markets in the last few decades there were no skyrocketing costs in either insurance or health.
Yet, since government has decided to stick its unwanted nose in both markets, costs skyrocket and people are priced out of not only recieving care but also the ability to work in both fields.
Deregulating both areas of the economy will result in making insurance and health care more affordable, lower costs and result in excellent quality care and coverage.
If Medicare and Medicaid were private businesses, they would have been closed long ago. Both progams are bureaucratic nightmares for patients and doctors and, as a result, are nearly broke. Yet they still exist because taxpayers, like you and me, are forced to pay for them regardless of their inefficiencies.

Both programs should be ended.
Terminating them would not be difficult. People below a certain age, say 35, could be allowed to initially opt out by no longer having to pay the payroll taxes to support both programs. Present recipients of Medicare and Medicaid could be given a transition mechanism, such as vouchers issued on a temporary basis, so they can purchase insurance or care.
Both programs and the taxes used to fund them could be phased out over time, say 5 years, with deadlines set as to when recipients will no longer recieve benefits.
Government's job is to protect an individual's right to pursue their happiness free of coercion and fraud. It is not government's role to guarantee the consequences or shield people from the responsibilities of freedom.
It's time for Americans to wake up, grow up and fire government regulators and politicians from running health care and insurance.
Our lives depend on it.

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