Today, in the school where I work, one of the 2012 one-hundred most influential people in health-care ; a respected, reputable , and intelligent author, spoke to our high school student body about Health Care. So, here are my gleanings: this man, who is also a professor at MIT, was instrumental in working with Mitt Romney when this state-mandated health insurance was enacted in Massachusetts, but also worked with Obama on his Obama-care plan. A self-proclaimed die-hard democrat, the speaker was an engaging guy who brought a (arguably) boring topic into the realm of interesting for a bunch of kids who probably rarely (if ever) have thought about Health Care. While I can give him kudos for presentation digestibility, and I am impressed with his mathematical savvy, I am once again reminded why I am a Republican, not to mention why I dropped my political studies major . . . thinking about this is enough to give me a political induced headache of such monumental proportions that all the Health Care in the World – mandated or not- could not cover it.
(1) When this health care model worked in Massachusetts, it was funded 50% by the Federal Government. If the Federal government were to fund this much on the national level, I don’t see how it would not increase the national debt. Even if they increase taxes on medical institutions that would benefit from the Bill, and even if they increasingly tax the rich (aka: people who make over $250k), there will be a large cost to any such mandate. I don’t see how we won’t go into greater debt with the “Obama-care” model.
(2) Under Obama, the national debt has increased more quickly than under any other president since World War Two, including the ever-unpopular George W. Bush. So, when the speaker mentioned that Obama put this plan in place with the belief that it will not raise the national deficit. Now, I don’t know if we can put the entire fault on Obama’s liberal economic policies and leftist, bigger-federal-government endorsements . . . we do have to think about how abysmal the economy has been, but it still seems a little scary how quickly our debt has grown with liberal policymakers running things.
(3) We have a free-market economy. . . this inherently means that some people lose out in most economic situations, doesn’t it? Not to be cold or unfeeling, I’m all for people being taken care of by their neighbors and communities when in need, but doesn’t this sort of take the free-market piece and toss it out the window? It seems a little drastic to circumvent such a foundational property of our economic system.
(4) When I heard the speaker say: “The states have too big a role.” my traditional political hackles rose rapidly. Expanding the Federal Government does not always work out so well in the long run, because then people start to expect the federal government to take care of costs more and more. . . but nobody wants to increase federal taxes . . . and then we’re in this pickle where the federal government is enacting policies on a large scale without the long-term funding to support said policies. In cases like those, deficits skyrocket and the country winds up in pretty shabby shape economically AND politically.
(5) A mandate from the government to engage in health-insurance is a fairly socialist concept, if I’m not mistaken. Even changing the idea of a “mandate” through marketing campaigns doesn’t take away the way this changes the face of our democratic republic.
(6) The speaker brought up the fact that Romney “wants to give states less money to cover poor people under Medicaid. Medicaid is a state-run program, but the Federal Government covers 60% of the cost.” Projections apparently indicate that this type of cut from the federal government would raise the number of uninsured by about 12 million people (this is projection which the speaker will be presenting in Washington, apparently). So, this sort of reinforces the fact that the states would be relying on federal funding for any health care policy enactment, which brings us right back to where that money is going to come from. Last I heard, we were running low on Money-Trees.
(7) My final thought: I take umbrage to the following quote from the presentation. “The insurers are not the bad guys here, the medical care professionals are.” This seems a bit of a broad stroke. Is there really just one group of people that we can designate the “bad guys”? This isn’t a comic book, this is real life . . .