Other Great Public Options

Have you noticed that talking about the failures of the USSR, China, North Korea, Cuba, Venezuela and other Socialist and Communist states with anti-Constitutionalists is a conversation killer?  There is a disconnect that occurs when you get into international politics.  Most anti-Constitutionalists see the grandeur of tyrants’ palaces but overlook the plight of the workers.  At the same time, they claim to own exclusive rights to the title of the working people’s party.  Just look at China.  In the People’s Republic of China the people’s dictator prints the people’s money in order to grow the power of the people’s government so that the people can be the people’s slaves.

Foreign failures aside, I thought it might be interesting to just look at other public options here in the free United States of America and see how impressed we are with the government’s track record when they delve into the unconstitutional.

Most acknowledge now that Obama put his foot in his mouth when he used the Post Office versus Fedex and UPS as an example of a public option not hurting competition.  Among several points made by the Heritage Foundation, the USPS is facing a $7 billion loss this year even though they are the only entity allowed to deliver first class mail, and there is no “free” postage option.

We have a public option when it comes to school.  Perhaps the greatest testimony to the failure of this public option is that people who can afford it rarely send their children to public schools.  In fact, in studies private school students consistently have higher scores than public school students.  Meanwhile, despite the demand for private schools among the wealthy, the cost of sending a kid to public school is often the same or higher than sending a kid to the best private schools.

Now, I know your 401k hasn’t been looking so hot lately.  But what do you think is more likely to be there in 30 years, your 401k or Social Security?  Right now the public option for retirement is facing complete bankruptcy in 2037.  According to Newsweek, Social Security will face a $45 trillion shortfall over the next 75 years.  That’s more than a trillion dollars a year on average.  That would be a third of last years entire federal budget.  Meanwhile, you are putting probably between 3 and 10% into your 401k every paycheck AND paying a mandatory 12.4% tax to Social Security no matter how much you make each year.  The high school student who pours your coffee in the morning is paying the same 12.4% tax you are.  Imagine if the retirement public option was a choice and you could put that 12.4% into a private account.  Yet at Bush’s state of the union address, Democrats cheered when he said they had failed to fix Social Security.  Apparently the status quo was still in fashion back then.

But healthcare is different, right?  Not so much.  Turns out we already have a public option for health care.  Medicare has been given 8 years to live.  Despite Medicare’s pending financial ruin, Schumer argued over the weekend that the failure of Medicare is the reason we need a public option to be part of Obamacare.  Interesting argument.  By the way, in addition to whatever you pay for your health insurance, you are also paying a mandatory 2.9% in Medicare taxes no matter how much you make.  Even still, in a plan where 140 million Americans pay for the healthcare of about 40 million through mandatory taxes, the system will be completely broke by the time Hillary finishes her third Presidential primary race.

How about Medicaid?  According to the Wall Street Journal, it’s no bargain if you have any interest in quality.  In fact, people who have coronary bypass surgeries under medicaid were found to be 50% more likely to die. This is blamed on poor followup by greedy doctors who don’t like working for free.  In fact, according to the same article only half of doctors will take on new Medicaid patients due to the required discounts in services and Government failures in making timely payments and reimbursements.

Democrats say that the problems with Medicare and Medicaid are proof that we need a public option for healthcare.  On second thought, maybe expensive private schools aren’t all they’re cracked up to be.

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