By The Sexy G.
I voted for Obama and had high hopes, but in my opinion, he’s gotten off the track with how to fund this health bill. I very much would like to see health care reform, but he is looking to finance the program in all the wrong places. That might be why there has been such a turnaround in opinion, and why our middle and working classes seem to have turned against the program.
Firstly, what happened to transparency that was part of Obama’s campaign promise? Somewhere along the way, a deal was made with drug companies behind closed doors. This is not what the American public expected or was promised.
Secondly, and most importantly is how to finance the program. Reducing Medicare/Medicaid benefits is not the way to go. Neither is taxing people who have adequate or what politicos are calling “Cadillac Plans” a good approach. As a matter of fact, I find it outrageous. To my mind, there is no such thing as a luxurious medical plan.
It seems ludicrous to call expensive policies luxurious when costs are high. These people paying through the nose aren’t given spa vacations in those plans. It is simply full coverage which is just practical but expensive.
Families and individuals paying exorbitant prices for health coverage is common place. It is possible that after paying the steep premiums, people have little cash flow left. Why should responsible adults who wish have good medical coverage for themselves and their families be penalized? It is a protection against re-mortgaging homes or dipping into pension plans to pay huge medical bills. It is sound fiscal behavior so why should they have to assume the burden?
So, now we need to figure out where to get the money to finance this government program. I believe that is a piece of cake, but it is the ideal that probably will never be realized. There appear to be too many special interests that politicians serve that will keep it from ever happening.
An online commentary by Albert R. Hunt published by Bloomberg Business Week, February 22, 2010, entitled Obama Health Plan’s Success Rides on Cost Curbs: Albert R. Hunt, had this to say: “The best case for infringing on congressional prerogatives may be the way this bill has been written. The hospitals, drug companies, doctors, insurance industry and device makers all carved out their special provisions. Everyone is for curbing health-care costs; just don’t make cuts that affect powerful interests, which is almost every sector of the heath-care industry. History is clear: Congress will bow to those interests rather than make the tough decisions required to bend the cost curve.”
Indulge me my fantasies of a near perfect world as I offer my solutions. Why not put an excess profits tax on the financial “wizards” who put us in a recessionary hole and are taking billions in bonuses? They received huge amounts of tax dollars that came from the average American citizen’s back and are now rewarding themselves and partying on our dollar. What about applying excess profits taxes on extremely high incomes of oil tycoons and upper management of drug and insurance industry executives? Do these insurance companies need boxes at sports stadiums? Why not cut out items like $3000.00 hammers that the military buys without a second thought.
The list is endless. We can demand that each government agency’s budget be cut by 10%. Maybe that will force directors to cut out a tiny portion of the waste. There’s more we can do, but let’s go with what has been mentioned. After doing all of the above, we’ll have enough money not only for a national health insurance program, but maybe enough left over to fix the major portions of the broken infrastructure in this country.
President Obama, had you done that you would have had every American backing you up and cheering you on instead of feeling let down and disappointed. I think most Americans want to see everyone in this country covered medically, but you are taxing the wrong people. You are taxing the ones most vulnerable. Go after the fat cats.
And speaking of fat cats why not tax the magnificent medical policies held by Congress. As Whoopi Goldberg said it succinctly, and I’ll paraphrase, let’s ask Congress to give us the same medical policies that they enjoy. They are the true luxury policies so why not tax them.
Yes, I believe the government is in poor shape, and no one seems to want to fix it – certainly not the lawmakers. Here’s another suggestion. Instead of starting another inefficient government agency why not use the program that is functioning and in place? We have Medicare/Medicaid humming along and they do it for a lower cost than insurance companies. Just allow younger individuals into Medicare (for example: start with 55 to 65 year olds) who are income eligible and in two years lower the ages once again until everyone is covered. The foundation is already in place. Of course, more staff will be needed, but you don’t have to start from scratch.
Lasty, I hate when people call Social Security and Medicare an entitlement as though it is welfare. It is insurance paid in year after grueling year that took blood, sweat and tears by people in the workforce. Let the little people along for a change! Don’t deprive them of yet another service to finance a program that can easily be funded by those taking away huge bonuses. You people in Congress know where to get the money! Try doing the right thing.
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