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Archive for March, 2010

Spiney hasn’t written in a few months. Mainly because I got tired of blogging about politics. The more I watch the news and read blogs like my friend Wes at The Humble Libertarian the more I feel hopeless and that all politics is dirty. But this week  the non-stop Health Care Reform coverage has really got my goat.

We are in the worst economic conditions since the great depression. No one disagrees with this. Because of the Trillions spent on the Stimulus bill, money spent to buy into GM, Chrysler, The Tarp money spent to shore up Wall Street, etc our country’s deficit is at the highest it has ever been.  This administration has spent more in their first year, than was spent by all administrations up until now, including WWII. Our country is on the verge of bankruptcy and Moody’s Financial has said that our credit rating will be lowered for the first time ever!

For years we have been warned that Social Security and Medicare will be bankrupt in a few years. So now we will add on top of the an estimated $980 billion dollar program. A program that adds 153 new governmental  agencies.  Governmental agencies add no productivity to the economy, they just make work and drain money from the taxpayers, that’s you. This new Healthcare plan also cuts $580 Billion dollars from Medicare. This will effect our senior citizens who are already strapped paying for medical cost. So how does this help them?

We are being told that this new Health Care Plan will reduce our deficit by $120 billion dollars after 10 years, and even more after 20 years. These numbers are estimates by the CBO the Congressional Budget Office. But they are estimates. How can they really predict what is going to happen in 10 and 20 years. No one in the government saw our recent financial collapse coming, even those agencies whose job it was to keep an eye on all of our financial institutions. With that collapse we lost Trillions of dollars, and with the loss in tax income from people without jobs and homes without owners several of our largest states and cities are in financial ruin. California hands out IOU’s to it’s suppliers and constituents.  And it has now come out that 11 states will  not be able to send out State Income Tax Returns. It’s your money but they don’t have it to give back to you. Most say it will take until August until you get your tax return.

The U.S. Government is telling you that they know better how to run Health Care than the business sector. They also said they could run the Postal Service which is in Bankruptcy. They are going to cut out Saturday delivery very soon. They also said they could run Amtrak the federal passenger rail service. Amtrak loses money hand over fist every year. Every year it needs a financial bailout from the government to keep it running.  And compared to the rest of the Western World we have the slowest trains in the world. Plus despite all of your money the Government gives to Amtrak have you ever bought a ticket for one of their trains, very expensive. No wonder people still drive their cars instead of riding the rails.

In this bill they propose to cut payment to Doctors for Medicare patients by 20%.  Doctors are already less than thrilled to treat Medicare patients.  Many now say they will drop out of the program with these cuts. This program will put 30 million more people on the Medicare system with less doctors to treat them. Have you waited in your Doctors waiting room lately, or called for an appointment and told they will see you next week. Or worse yet, have you ever had to sit in the ER. An average wait when I go is at least 2 and as much as 4 hours to be seen, and as much as 9 hours to get out. Think about how much more this will go up when 30 million more people have access.

Now don’t get me wrong, I’m the first to agree that the current system doesn’t work. If you happen to have good health insurance it’s the best.  But I’ve been on the other side. I’ve gone broke paying for health care.  Both my Wife and myself have health issues. I have Chronic pain from 4 back surgeries and many doctors visits a year. My wife suffers from chronic and almost constant migraines. Because of her migraines we visit the ER and doctors often. My Wife and I also owned our own business for 15 years. One of our largest monthly expenses was health insurance. In the end in 2005 we were paying over $1200 a month for health insurance. That was just for 2 adults. There needs to be affordable coverage for the neediest among us, and health insurance cost need to be made more affordable and their constant increases kept in check.  This can be done through competition. Right now I am limited to buying health insurance to a few companies within my state of PA. And the big player who sets their prices wherever they want in this state is Capital Blue Cross. It is the same way in almost every state, if not every state. If insurance companies from all over the country could compete in every state the competition would drive the price down, just like it does in every other field.

The Government could have an option for the neediest, and those of us who can afford insurance can buy their insurance through private firms at competitive prices.  The other thing that needs to be done to keep health care cost down is everyone who can afford health care must carry at least catastrophic coverage. That way hospitals won’t have to pickup the cost for those who can not pay. And when they do it gets passed on to all of the rest of us. There are many who say they can’t afford health insurance and want the government to provide it for them. But on the other hand they really choose to buy other things instead of paying for health insurance. They have cool tricked out cars, the latest electronics, and go on expensive vacations. All the time the roll the dice saying that they are healthy and not worried. But then they could have an accident, that’s why they are called accidents, or worse an unexpected disease or major health care. Even simple appendicitis will set you back several thousand.  And how many couples find their selves in an unintended pregnancy.  Again you are talking a few thousand dollars, and that’s if everything goes well.

When we are in an extended depression, with high unemployment that is predicted to last, this is not a good time to add an almost trillion dollar program to the government. One that will admittedly create new tax burdens for business. Businesses that are already hurting and just hanging on.

If this Health Care Bill is so wonderful and such a no brainer why has the deadline been moved almost a year. Why must there be so many special backroom deals cut to exempt a few states from the Medicare cuts in order to get the votes from that senator or congress person. Also why now are they not even willing to take an up and down vote, on the record to pass or fail this bill. Instead they are now looking to use the Deemed function, which I admit I don’t totally understand, but they will basically pass or fail it with one vote Yes or No with no individual record. They don’t want this record because they are all up for election in November.

Why to a feel a need to blog this and why am I concerned. It’s this, we are going to create another huge government bureaucracy. These never work out good. They always end up costing much more than they were ever estimated at. In the beginning all are supposed to be big money savers. I challenge you to find one government program that actually saves us money. And you are talking 1/6 of our economy. We don’t make anything in America anymore we just service things. and Healthcare is one of the biggest. Again I agree we need reform, but this isn’t it. It’s 3000 pages of new laws that those who are pushing it don’t even know what’s in it.  Nancy Pelosi speaker of the house stated this week that we will have to pass the bill to see what’s in it. Now isn’t that something, pushing a bill that you don’t even know what is in it. That’s what scares Spiney. What do you think?

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