Posts Tagged 'medicare'

Don’t Blink

This Saturday morning, July 23rd, the Senate was originally scheduled to vote on Cut, Cap and Balance, the Republican plan to cut $111 billion out of this year’s deficit, trim $4 trillion over ten years, and present a balanced budget amendment to the states.  Instead, Harry Reid moved the vote up to Friday morning, calling it a waste of time and the worst piece of legislation to ever come to the Senate floor.  It failed to pass on strict partisan lines.

Senator Schumer called the bill “Cut, Cap and Kill” because he insisted that the bill would kill Medicare.  Debbie Wasserman-Schultz declared in the House of Representatives that the bill would kill seniors and that it was the Paul Ryan plan on steroids.   The only problem is that in three different places Cut, Cap and Balance specifically exempted Medicare and Social Security from cuts and caps.  Had Republicans known, some of them might have been a little bit more up in arms about the bill.  It was actually a very good compromise.  It cut and cap wasteful spending on liberal social programs and government bureaucracy, not hot buttons like military, Social Security and Medicare.

Perhaps that is a more reasonable explanation of why Harry Reid went back on his promise to allow debate on Cut, Cap and Balance and instead moved the vote up.  Perhaps someone in the Senate actually read the bill and told Reid what was in it.  And then, as if scripted, suddenly news outlets started declaring a deal between Boehner and Obama that was so close Reid needed to get this bill off the floor and stop “wasting time” on it.  The only problem is there was no such deal.  Somebody was lying to provide the sense of urgency needed to cut off debate on Cut, Cap and Balance before it got out that Democrats were lying about it killing Medicare.

This has become the name of the game in budget talks.  Neither side is willing to give in because both sides know that 2012 elections hang in the balance.  The difference is that Republicans have actually gone so far as to write a good compromise bill.  Democrats can’t vote yes on it, not because it “kills Medicare” or kills seniors.  They can’t vote on it because passing Cut, Cap and Balance would destroy Democrat re-election hopes for 2012.  It would be a huge Republican victory because Republicans came up with it.

On the other hand, Democrats can’t write a plan of their own.  They haven’t submitted a budget in over 800 days, and they can’t submit one now or that will also destroy their chances of getting re-elected in 2012.  Democrats can’t write a bill that says “We want to raise taxes so that we don’t have to cut spending as much” and still win in 2012 because the vast majority of the country doesn’t want Democrats to raise taxes so that they can spend more.  They are spending enough already, and we are taxed enough already.  On the other hand, Democrats can’t write a plan saying “Ok, no higher taxes, just cuts” or they will lose their class warfare base.  The liberal base of the Democrat party does not want a bill that doesn’t raise taxes on the “rich”.  It’s not about raising revenue, it’s about punishing upper classes more.

Republicans submitted a plan and it was a good plan.  Obama has signaled that he is willing to let the country default on its debt rather than compromise with Republicans.  Democrats have proven that they are the party of no on a budget deal.  If Republicans end up caving in order to save our credit rating, I hope Americans get the right message.  It doesn’t mean Republicans are wimps and we need to get rid of them.  It means they can only do so much with just a majority in the House.  We need to give them the Senate and the Presidency in 2012 if we expect anything to get accomplished.


Obama’s Healthcare Plan vs. My Healthcare Solutions

A few months ago I wrote fifteen Conservative Constitutionalist healthcare solutions that would fix our healthcare system.  Since then, Obama has passed his healthcare reform tax bill.  Let’s see how his solutions measure up.

1. End medicare and medicaid. These open ended guaranteed government payments allow businesses to operate and make millions while justifying poor service because the Government thinks it is paying discounted prices. Any medical assistance programs must be implemented on a state level where it is not unconstitutional.

Instead, Obama cut Medicare payments to doctors and Medicare prescription plans for seniors.  At the same time he expanded Medicaid requirements for states, except for states of Senators whose vote he bought.  And he expanded Medicare to everyone who makes under 133% of the poverty level, starting in 2014.  He also increased Medicare taxes for individuals who make more than $125,000 (if married) and on investment income.

2. Employers should be able to let employees choose their individual plan based on their needs. For example, I am not going to get pregnant, and I don’t anticipate most of the health problems that come with age at this point in my life. Yet I am paying for all of that in my insurance plan.

Instead, companies will be penalized up to $2,500 per employee who they don’t cover under one of Obama’s qualified plans that covers what Obama thinks should be covered.  If your company doesn’t cover you, you will face fines up to $2,260 for not buying your own health insurance that Obama thinks you should have.

3. Insurance should be portable and easily picked up and dropped. When you buy car insurance, you are covered at that moment. When you buy health insurance, you have to wait a year for some coverage to become applicable. This will create competition.

When Obamacare finally comes online in 2014, your insurance plan still won’t be portable because your company will still be required to cover you.  However, it will supposedly be easier to purchase insurance since you can’t be denied for pre-existing conditions.  It does mean though that insurance will be more expensive.

4. People should be able to buy policies from other states. However, insurance companies should also have the option to not sell to certain states that have strict laws regulating insurance companies.

Buying across state lines is still not allowed.  And many insurance companies will be squeezed out of current state markets through higher taxes on insurance companies and increased regulations.

5. People shouldn’t have to go to doctors with 8 years of college debt to get simple physicals or other simple procedures and diagnosis. They can if they want to, but they shouldn’t have to. I can go to Wal Mart for a $70 eye exam, or I can spend a couple hundred dollars to see a private eye doctor practice.

Actually, Obama’s bill makes you need to go to the doctor for more.  Under the Obama bill, you cannot deduct over the counter medical expenses or pay for them with your HSA or 125 plan without a doctor prescription.

6. Some prescriptions should be de-regulated. Think about it, you can get Plan B over the counter, but for a much lower dose birth control taken daily you have to get annual checkups and pay prescription costs.

Again, not only will there be greater impetus to get doctor prescriptions for drugs, but this bill actually subsidizes name brand prescriptions which will squeeze cheaper generics out of the market.

7. HSA plans are a good idea, but the fees make them not worth it. HSA plans must be made simple like a self-directed IRA to be used for any medical costs no matter what your insurance is. If someone wants full coverage and an HSA, go for it. If they want no insurance and an HSA, go for it.

This bill severely limits what you can contribute to health savings accounts of all kinds, limits what you can spend the funds on, and doubles penalty taxes if you spend the funds on the wrong things, like over the counter drugs. And again, it makes it illegal to not patronize the insurance companies even if you can afford your own healthcare without insurance.  This bill makes insurance companies the permanent middleman which will keep prices for basic medical care high.

8. Doctor/patient confidentiality must apply only to citizens and legal residents. Illegal aliens must be treated and then sent back to their home country where they can obey our immigration laws just like everyone else, however they must pay any medical expenses outstanding as part of the citizenship process.

This bill does nothing to curb use of our healthcare system by illegal aliens.  In fact, this is a better system for them because they don’t have to pay penalty taxes for not paying for insurance.

9. Uninsured individuals must pay for procedures. They can negotiate payment plans and prices with the doctors, but if they use medical services they must pay what the doctor determines they owe. Medical liens should be available to doctors so that they can choose whether or not to treat a delinquent patient before doing an operation.

Now, uninsured individuals can wait until they get sick or injured and then buy insurance that day.  It will increase the price of insurance, which will cause more people to choose to not buy insurance and pay the penalty taxes instead.  The result is a spiral upward of healthcare prices. The mandates don’t bring down health insurance prices, they only fund Obama and the government for more spending.

10. There must be truth in advertising. Doctors must be able to let you know exactly what you will owe for a procedure before you have it and you must be able to easily acquire from your insurance company what they will and will not cover. Except in emergencies, reimbursements must be issued before the procedure takes place. This will ensure limited legal action and no recalculations of what you owe after the fact.

The insurance exchanges are supposed to produce this.  But with insurance companies as the permanent middleman between us and our doctors and the government as the permanent middleman between us and our insurance companies, don’t count on it.

11. We need serious and real tort reform. I would recommend a standardization of what a doctor or insurance company must pay for each situation. I would also recommend a clear understanding between doctor and patient of what creates a legal liability for a doctor. For example, if they amputate the wrong foot, it should be clear what your legal options are. If they are doing a procedure and due to no fault of their own something goes wrong, they should be protected from lawsuits. If a doctor explains an operation to you, listing the risks, and you choose to have the operation, you must be the one responsible for that decision.

We got nothing.    Obama would not sell out his lawyer supporters.

12. Doctor education needs to be reformed. The cost of doctor education is unreasonable. But education is a whole other topic that I have dealt with in other places.

Now, when doctors finally get out of school, they will be paying taxes on their services as well.    And when they go to school, there will no longer be competition in regards to their student loans because the Government has taken over the entire school loan sector of our economy.  Apparently that makes us healthier.

13. Patients medical records should be made electronic with every patient being able to access and transfer them from doctor to doctor. GOVERNMENT MUST NOT BE ABLE TO ACCESS THESE RECORDS. You think voter ID cards are a violation of civil rights…

Not only will the government have access to our personal records, but so will the IRS and Social Security administration.  The chief of Health and Human Services will use our medical records to standardize and de-humanize treatments.

14. It’s up to the states, but I would recommend that states do not cover abortions, smoking or drug related illness, sexually transmitted diseases or cosmetic surgery.

Smoking and age are now the only two factors insurance companies can use in determining what you pay.  Apparently you can still drink, eat twinkies for breakfast lunch and dinner, engage in promiscuous sex, do drugs, and whatever else as long as you don’t smoke.  And when you get AIDS, liver disease and diabetes from your unhealthy lifestyle, the insurance companies have to cover you that day and charge you the same as what they charge your health-nut neighbor (unless he smokes in which case they can charge him more).  Philip Morris must not have sent enough lobbyist muscle to Washington.

The government will ensure that everything else is covered.  And if you want an abortion, the government will write you a blank check.  Just don’t tell them what it’s for.  It’s like telling anti-gun advocates that you are going to give $1 million to every gunstore in the country so that they can increase their inventory of safety equipment.  You’re not anti-safety, are you?

15. Businesses and individuals should be allowed and encouraged to pool insurance plans or create healthcare associations to negotiate for lower rates and create pooled risk. Already there are many Christian community organizations who do this and provide medical coverage for less than $100 a month.

The government will allow for government regulated non-profit insurance co-ops, but with taxes on doctors, healthcare equipment, drugs, and increased regulations on health savings accounts and insurance companies, it’s doubtful whether even a non-profit co-op would be affordable.

So, when do they pass healthcare REFORM?

The bill is passed.  Finally, after hundreds of years, we have healthcare.  No more poverty, no more sickness, no more evil insurance company profits.  But before you cancel your policy and call your representative for your free health insurance card, you might want to do a little research and see just what is, and isn’t, in this bill.

First of all, you won’t see the majority of the provisions in this bill until 2014.  The tough parts of the bill hit in odd years, and the best provisions start in even years.  Guess what else happens in even years…elections.

In 2010, we see expansions of coverage.  Children with pre-existing conditions cannot be denied coverage, even if parents had ample time to establish coverage before the condition was discovered.  The definition of a dependent (for insurance purposes only) will change to anyone up to 26 years of age and insurance companies must cover them under their parents’ plan.  Seniors who have spent more than $2,830 on prescriptions will get an extra $250.  There will be tax credits for businesses with up to 25 employees, but that may be subject to average salary levels which could be as low as $25,000 a year.

Hospitals, healthcare providers, home health agencies and others will face significant reductions in Medicare payments.   Many will probably stop taking new Medicare patients, especially when healthy young 26 year olds can go to the doctor’s office for the sniffles and daddy’s insurance has to pay for it.  When I was 26 I was making less than 25k a year and buying health insurance for my family.

What about taxes?  Well, in 2010 we see a 10% sales tax on indoor tanning.  Good thing I live in a beach town.  What about free healthcare?  Not yet.  In fact, we will all be paying more to make up for lower Medicare payments to doctors.  But senior voters will get their $250 vote bribe.

In 2011 we see a voluntary long-term care benefit created to cover nursing home costs or home health, but benefits won’t start until you’ve been paying in for five years.  Medicare patients who have spent that $2,830 get a 50% discount on name brand drugs, not generics.  Doctors in underserved areas, who are still taking Medicare patients, get a 10% bonus to continue taking Medicare patients.  Payments to Medicare Advantage are frozen, but funding for community health centers is boosted.  Whether or not those centers will be able to perform abortions with that funding is still up in the air.  And finally, the bill imposes a $2.3 billion tax on drugmakers which will go up every year.  It shouldn’t take an economics degree to know who will pay that $2.3 billion tax.

In exchange for that $2.3 billion in extra taxes that drug-makers will pass on to consumers, competition from generics is crushed.  Also, with this bill it is illegal for the Government to negotiate for lower prices on Medicare drugs.  That’s probably why the Wall Street Journal calls this bill a huge victory for big drug companies. Good job Democrats.  By the way, in 2011 still no free health insurance.

In 2012 we will have the public option.  Yes, you read that right.  A new government program will be set up to create non-profit insurance co-ops to compete with commercial insurers.  While it is not a government run insurance program, it will be interesting to see how it is implemented and subsidized.  Also, hospitals with high readmission rates will be penalized and possibly cut off through lower Medicare reimbursements.

So, no free health insurance in 2012.  But it is Obama’s re-election year, so we will see a de facto public option.  Will the public option cut costs?  It’s doubtful when everything else in this bill sofar increases actual healthcare costs.  Public option co-ops may not have to pay for profits, but they will have to pay the embedded taxes and make up for Medicare cuts.  But that doesn’t matter.  What matters is the PR generated by the public option being generated in Obama’s election year.

In 2013 we have some good news.  Insurance company paperwork will be standardized, which should hopefully eliminate confusion and cut costs.  The bad news is that it is being standardized by the Government.  More bad news in 2013 includes limits on Flexible Spending Accounts (cafeteria plans) deferrals and higher taxes.  The wage threshold for deducting medical expenses will go up from 7.5% to 10% for all Americans, and we will pay a 2.3% sales tax on medical devices and equipment.  All these additional taxes will take effect in 2013 but the only mandates sofar are that insurers provide coverage to children with pre-existing conditions and 26 year olds under their parents’ plan.  There is some relief for Medicare patients (not enrolled in Medicare Advantage), however experts feel Medicare doctors and providers are hit hardest by the bill.

For individuals making $200,000 (joint filers making $250,000) Medicare taxes are going up .9%.  Also these individuals will also owe an additional 3.8% in taxes on investment income, including stock sales, dividends, interest, rental income, etc.  I suppose Obama is counting on the economy being all better before we get hit with these taxes on economic growth.  Of course, by the time these taxes hit, we might have a Republican President.

2013, still no free healthcare.  Not even cheaper healthcare.  Instead, by 2013 prices will have skyrocketed from embedded taxes.  Insurers will still be able to drop anyone older than 26, and drug companies will be making out like bandits with little competition.

2014 is when the major provisions of the bill finally hit.  So free healthcare, right?  In 2014, insurers will no longer be able to deny coverage to anyone based on pre-existing conditions.  But they also won’t be able to vary rates based on anything beyond age, location, and tobacco usage.  This means that healthy Americans will pay the same rates as the obese and drunk, so long as they don’t patronize the evil tobacco industry.  Insurance rates can go as high as $27,000 per family without the insurance company paying additional taxes.

States will be forced to create and maintain insurance exchanges (whether they can afford it or not), but these insurance exchanges won’t provide free coverage.  They will just squeeze any smaller insurance companies out of the market so that the bigger companies can charge more.  Every American will be forced to purchase insurance, which will increase demand and prices.  In fact, businesses will have to pony up $2,000 for every employee they don’t cover, and individuals will have to pay up to $2,250 in penalties to the IRS if they don’t buy insurance.  The government is hiring 17,000 new IRS agents to enforce this unconstitutional mandate.

So when does the government start giving us free insurance?  It doesn’t.  When you get laid off from your job because your boss can’t afford another $2,000 per employee, how do you afford $27,000 premiums and embedded taxes on your drugs, equipment and doctor’s visits?  The government gives you tax credits.

To qualify for this government handout, you have to be making less than 400% of the poverty level.  The subsidy would be on a sliding scale, up to 9.5% of your income.  So how would this work?

If you are single, making $42,400 or less you can get a tax credit.  But 9.5% of your income on a sliding scale means you probably wouldn’t even see $4,000 in subsidies.  If you make more than 400% of the poverty line, you are out of luck.    My wife and I are just above the threshold for couples and would not be eligible for any tax credits.

In the meantime, in addition to higher prices on drugs and medical supplies, embedded taxes on doctors and providers, and limitations on competition, in 2014 every insurance company left is hit with $8 billion a year in taxes to pass on to us.  This tax will weed out any remaining competition, and will help drive prices up even higher so that even an $8,000 credit for a family of four won’t cover half your plan.  With additional taxes not hitting insurance plans until they reach $27,000, that may be the point.  We can’t have the single payer socialist system Obama always wanted until this plan fails.

No free healthcare, no competition, no help for the middle class, no punishing evil CEOs, and surprise surprise, no healthcare reform.

A Loser for Doctors

There’s something Humana wants you to know about the Baucus Healthcare plan.  The administration is making sure they can’t tell you.

The Baucus plan is a loser for doctors, clinics, medical suppliers and patients.  The problem with the Baucus plan is that it does not deal in reality.  In the minds of the crafters of our new health scheme, if you raise taxes on healthcare providers that is not a tax increase on healthcare consumers.  For Democrats, if you cut payments to doctors and healthcare providers that does not result in a cut in service.

This is exactly what the Baucus plan does.  You may have been asking yourself how Obama plans to cut hundreds of billions of dollars out of the Medicare system without cutting benefits.   If you are like me, you were probably thinking that if it’s so easy to cut waste out of the Medicare system we should have done it already.  Here is the magical plan to cut Medicare waste, ready?

Cut Medicare payments to doctors and healthcare providers.  Obama’s reasoning is that if you cut the amount the government pays to doctors and healthcare providers, they will put in the work to cut waste.  After all, would you treat someone who didn’t deserve it if you weren’t getting paid as much to?  Would you treat someone who did?  The Congressional Budget Office says probably not.  In fact, the Finance Committee is projecting $500 billion in cuts to Medicare providers over the next 10 years.  Humana believes this will result in service cuts and tried to tell their clients so, but the White House has shut them down and has ordered investigations into their claims.

The Baucus plan raises taxes on doctors and clinics, cuts Medicare payments to doctors and clinics, and forces more people on to government approved insurance plans. The insurance companies will be negotiating for the lowest prices possible to pay for their own tax increases from the Baucus bill.  But while insurance companies get 40 million new clients who will be forced under penalty of the law to buy health insurance and given the money to buy it, doctors will see little benefits from the market interference.  Emergency Rooms will be happy to see more patients carrying insurance, but they will still be required to treat illegal aliens.  Also, ERs will still have to treat those who are too poor to get insurance.  Many of these people have not taken advantage of plans that their states offer for the poor so they are not likely to seek Federal help either.  In addition, they do not file taxes, so they won’t have to worry about the Baucus penalty tax for not buying insurance.

In the end, the money makers in the Baucus plan are the insurance companies and the government. The next step in the process is seeing how much it takes in pork barrel bribes to get 60 votes.

You Might Be A Racist If…

Before you read this, I feel I need to make a disclaimer.  I disagree with the President on many issues.  I am not a racist.  Or at least, if I am subconsciously none of my black friends have told me so.  I believe that I grew up in a generation that judges people on the content of their character, not the color of their skin.  I never lived through the 60’s.  I was born in 1980.  I’ll never forget the day I learned that the N-word was a racial slur.  It was explained to us by our school teacher because the kids were calling me one.   My ancestors experienced the racism of 1930’s Europe.  To me, judgments beyond pure aesthetics based on the tone of someone’s skin is somewhere between stupidity and insanity.  In addition, philosophically speaking, I believe that prejudices and presuppositions will be walls to understanding except where they are already steps built from learning.   If you have read this disclaimer, you may now read this post having built your prejudice of my position on what you have learned about me in this short paragraph.

When Barack Obama was running for President, people were encouraged to be part of history.  Some framed the entire election in that context.  Others played the card from the other direction, inciting guilt through questions of if we were ready to elect a black President.  Suddenly, for some it was no longer about his policies.

Now, from the same people who brought you outrage over Republican protesters with signs accusing Democrats of national socialism (Nazism), Democrats are comparing Republicans to Klansmen if they oppose the President.  The accusation came from Democrat Representative Hank Johnson who said that if we don’t censure Joe Wilson then next thing you know we will have anti-socialist healthcare protesters donning white sheets and terrorizing blacks.

Really?  Does he really think that calling the President a liar makes you a racist?  I wonder how he would explain this:

I checked, Pete Stark wasn’t censured.  There was a motion to censure him for his comment about Bush wanting to send kids to Iraq to get their heads blown off for President Bush’s amusement, but the censure motion was killed by Democrats.

It gets even better.  Former President Jimmy Carter has raised the bar declaring that the reason we oppose Obama on universal socialist healthcare is because we are racists.  I wonder if Carter has responded yet to the black chairman of the RNC, Michael Steele, who said Carter is “flat out wrong” on this.  Of course, Carter knows a thing or two about racism.  Carter may have thought Joe Wilson was Jewish and that would explain his hostile reaction.

It’s no wonder that so many leftists have gone off the deep end and are willing to play the race card.  It fits with the stereotype they have for conservatives.  Maureen Dowd even heard in her own mind Joe Wilson say “You lie, boy” , and fair or not, she wrote an entire editorial about it.  Of course, he didn’t say that.  In fact, Obama was lying, and pointing it out doesn’t make Joe Wilson a racist.  But in the mind of a leftist, if you disagree with a black President (as long as he’s a Democrat), it’s because he is black.

By the way, it is very important that person being oppressed by racists be a Democrat.  If you disagree with a black Republican, that’s fine.  In fact, if you are a black Republican, you might be an anti-black racist.  It seems as though Democrats are confusing political views with skin color and that can be very dangerous. Van Jones, the former green jobs czar who was forced out of his position by right-wing racists, went so far as to accuse “white polluters” of purposefully polluting “colored communities”.

Eventually, we can hope that the left will lose credibility on this desperate racism play.  People are realizing that we don’t want a healthcare plan that penalizes  you if you don’t buy it, funds abortion with tax dollars, increases the deficit by $250 billion even with cuts to medicare and $350 billion in new across the board taxes, rations healthcare based on government computer data, makes your health records the property of the government, and strangles non-government sanctioned competition.  Not wanting a government takeover of healthcare has absolutely nothing to do with the President’s level of melanin.

What will be scary is if the Democrat race card works.  A successful establishment of race motivation for everyone who disagrees with the party in power, along with vague hate-crimes legislation could be a recipe for disaster.  Or it could be exactly what the party in power is hoping for.

Update: Lee takes it the extra step as predicted

Begala Gives Conservatives a Lesson in Love

On September 13, Paul Begala decided that conservatives need a lesson in love. Apparently, out of a million TEA party protesters in Washington DC on Saturday, Begala found an offensive protest sign.  The sign said “Bury Obamacare with Kennedy”.  Obviously that is far more offensive than the call from the Left to “Pass Obamacare because Kennedy died”.  Begala writes an admonishment to the “hate-mongers” in his Huffington Post blog.

Begala has a point you know.  The only reason we could possibly not want free healthcare for all is because we hate Obama.  Chances are, it’s because we are all racists.  That is what causes Begala’s loving, yet somewhat harsh reaction to the sign he saw:

“The sign made me nauseous, made me embarrassed, made me wonder if at long last there is no decency on the far right…Oh, I get it. Sen. Kennedy is dead, and these slugs want health care reform to be dead too. That is so clever.”

That’s right, the embarrassing “slugs” want health care reform to be dead too.  He makes a good point.  Don’t the embarrassing “slugs” realize how hateful it is to want freedom in our medical choices, to not want to stack another trillion dollars onto the deficit, to not want to be forced into paying for abortion?  But no, the “right-wing hate mongers” have to use Kennedy’s death to “make a cheap point” about health care.  That is completely different from naming the bill after Kennedy and calling on people to vote for it in his honor.

Begala says that you can’t even imagine what the response would be if progressives had such a repulsive sign in one of their protests.  Progressives aren’t as hateful as the “teabaggers” (a reference to an incredibly offensive sexual act, used here in love by Begala).

Progressive protest signs are never offensive, argues Begala

Progressive protest signs are never offensive, argues Begala

He has a point.  How would we respond if we ever were to see a Liberal with an offensive protest sign?

“The inmates have taken over the asylum.”  It would be offensive, I guess, if it weren’t so true.  Begala guesses that the reason we are so hateful now is that Reagan is dead and has been replaced with “Joe the shouter…and Sarah Palin the screecher”.  What cute and friendly nicknames.

Begala points out that the “whack-jobs” at the DC demonstrations didn’t have signs saying to repeal Medicare or Social Security.  Apparently we all recognize how successful those are and wouldn’t want to touch them.  Also, none of them had signs protesting the billions wasted keeping our country safe from terrorists.  Apparently these “teabaggers” don’t care about overspending during the Bush administration.   Nevermind that the opening video at the protest highlighted Bush’s stimulus plan of 2008 as an example of government waste.

According to Begala, the TEA party is more about hate, not high-minded debate.  Thank goodness we have people like Paul Begala to let us know who the hypocrites are in this debate.

Why I Favor a Liberal Health Co-op

I’m sure many of you read the title to this post and got the wrong idea.  Calm down. It’s okay. I favor a PRIVATE liberal health co-op.

For a while now I have been asked why I don’t want people to have healthcare.  I have been accused of being immoral, greedy, evil, stupid, and naive.  People I have debated with have conjured up ideas of me standing there, medicine in hand, refusing to act as a child succumbs to cancer.  It all appears to be a natural part of this universal healthcare debate.  People have asked me why it is I don’t want free healthcare.  I think free healthcare is a great idea.  Find me enough excellent doctors who will work for free, including paying all their own expenses,  and let’s do it.

The question has never been whether we want free healthcare or not.  The question is whether we want to pay for our healthcare, or pay the government to buy our healthcare for us.  The question has never been one of morality.  It has been whether we have a responsibility to give charitably to our neighbors, or to give to the government so that the government can give charitably to our neighbors.  The question has never been whether Jesus would want people to have free healthcare.  The question is whether Jesus would pay for His neighbor’s healthcare, or require that the government take His money and buy His neighbor’s healthcare for Him.

I have recently highlighted successful Christian health co-ops that provide healthcare at no profit the way Obama’s unconstitutional public option would.  Here is my question:  why won’t the liberals who want non-profit healthcare that covers the poor do the same thing?  If Jesus would pay for everyone’s health insurance, why don’t liberals get together and start a non-profit health co-op?

This is a somewhat foreign concept, so let me offer some ideas.  They could make payments on a sliding scale.  Hollywood liberals like Michael Moore, liberal Democrats like John Kerry, and the majority of the national media could pay incredibly high premiums that would cover the poor without raising taxes, without violating the constitution, without short changing doctors, and without paying huge profits to the insurance companies.  If this were truly a matter of moral imperative, they would have one already.  They could even name it after Ted Kennedy.

In addition, like a Christian co-op, a liberal co-op could freely choose what to cover and what not to cover without the fear of government mandates.  They could require that you get preventative care in order to keep receiving benefits from the co-op.  They could cover abortions and illegal aliens without me having to pay for it.  They could deny coverage to anyone who chooses to have more than 2.5 children.  They could even deny coverage to anyone whose car gets worse than 20 mpg.  All this without a single penny in deficit spending or any government involvement at all.

If liberals truly care about the poor, I’m sure they will jump at the opportunity to provide a private co-op that covers poor people at no cost.   If nothing else, millionaires and billionaires like Barack Obama, Nancy Pelosi, John Kerry, Sean Penn, Susan Sarandon, George Clooney, George Soros, Michael Moore and others could boast how much better and moral they are than the rest of us for providing free healthcare to the poor.  After all, don’t they want people to have free healthcare?  No one should die because they get sick.  No one should go broke because they don’t make enough money.  Isn’t that how it goes?

I support a private liberal health co-op because that would go a long way to fix our healthcare system.  It would ensure that no one is dropped for pre-existing conditions or because they lose their job.  It would ensure that no one goes bankrupt because they can’t afford their healthcare.  It would provide rich liberals a chance to be moral and do what Jesus would do.  It would let them cut out the insurance company middle man and save millions of dollars.  It would allow them to collectively pool resources and bargain with healthcare providers for lower rates.  It would provide competition to other health insurance companies.  They could even have ACORN volunteers manage the trust fund.  All this and it wouldn’t require one drop of government intervention or add one penny to the federal budget.  Then Obama could reform Medicare and use the savings to pay down our China debt instead.

Unfortunately, liberals find it much easier to put your money where their mouth is.

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