Obamacare and Bleeding-Heart Liberals

Bleeding-heart liberals need a vibrant, private, free-enterprise economy to generate the wealth which they can then redistribute to those for whom their hearts bleed.

Our vibrant, private, free-enterprise economy needs bleeding-heart liberals to remind us of our moral obligations to care for those who truly need help.

The ObamaCare legislation passed late Sunday night proposes to resolve most of the issues that the progressives claim are unjust and reflective of a society that does not care about our less fortunate. However, their solutions generally reflect a government takeover without concern as to where the wealth will come from to pay for their massive programs.

Governments do not create wealth. People create wealth. People are most productive when they are not encumbered by government regulations and taxation.

At a time when much of our health care industry is thirsty to add caring people to meet our increased health care needs, this legislation will add 16,000 (which most likely means more than 20,000) IRS employees tasked with imposing penalties, fines, and even jail time on those businesses and individuals who do not comply with new dictates. Further, many tens of thousands of additional government employees will have to be hired to write the detailed regulations called for by this legislation as well as thousands more to regulate every aspect of our health care and health insurance. This is a multi-multi-billion-dollar overhead cost which creates no wealth and therefore must increase the overall cost of health care for all Americans. If instead of adding to the number of government employees dictating our health care we were to reduce that number, just think of the hundreds of billions of dollars we could use to actually improve the quality of every American's health.

Government employees do not create wealth -- they consume it. There is simply not enough wealth to pay for the dreams of bleeding-heart liberals.

All the while, there are free-economy solutions with nominal government involvement to nearly all of the ills bleeding-heart liberals assign to our current systems.

Some examples:

Problem: Millions of Americans cannot afford health insurance or are ineligible for insurance due to preexisting conditions. 

Solution: taken from our electric and gas utilities. Provide vouchers for these people which will cover all or a portion of their insurance premiums and spread the cost of these vouchers to all of us who do pay for our insurance.

Problem: Millions of Americans lose their health insurance when they change or lose their jobs or their employer quits paying for their insurance.

Solution: Make all insurance individual. Eliminate group policies. Employers can then pay all or a portion of each employee's premiums directly to the designated insurance company, or else they can increase the employees' salaries. Federal and state tax laws can be adjusted to provide deductions to individual tax returns to whatever extent these governments deem appropriate.

Problem:  Many insurance companies have lifetime caps on the total the company will pay for an individual's health care. Some people exceed these caps and cannot get the health care they need to fight major illnesses.

Solution:  Place a standardized cap on all insurance policies and provide vouchers to those people who exceed those caps, thereby spreading the cost of those vouchers across the base of all of us who have health insurance.

Problem: The cost of health insurance is rising faster than our people's ability to pay the premiums.

Solution:  Eliminate most of the mandates placed upon health insurance companies which require coverage for procedures which many will never use, allowing them to offer health insurance which covers only the procedures that individuals feel they need. This will allow health insurance companies to offer lower cost policies with limited coverage.

Problem: There are not enough insurance companies to make for true competition.

Solutions: At the federal level, eliminate the antitrust exemptions granted to health insurance companies which apply to nearly all other industries so that price-fixing and other collusion between insurance companies is eliminated. Further, eliminate the commerce exclusion which prevents insurance companies from selling their products across state lines. This would allow all citizens of all states access to all insurance plans available anywhere in America.

Problem: Many Americans do not want government money to be used to pay for abortions. 

Solution: Allow insurance companies to provide a variety of plans, some which cover abortions and some which do not, freeing each citizen to decide if he or she wants to be part of a program where their premiums are paying for abortions.

Problem and moral conflict related to abortions: Many women, and many men as well, strongly believe that no one and no government should have the power to dictate how a woman treats her own body. Yet we have just passed legislation which absolutely places government right in the middle of the doctor-patient relationship for every woman, man, and child in America.  How can we leave the abortion decision in the hands of every woman while passing legislation which takes that same right away from every woman, man, and child for every aspect of health care, including abortions? What now separates us from the government of China, where they viciously enforce a policy of couples having only one child?

It is important to note than none of the solutions proposed here cripple our private free-enterprise system from creating the wealth needed to provide health care for the less fortunate.

With its taxes on insurance policies, on companies which create our pharmaceuticals, on our medical devices, and on other medical supplies, this legislation makes it that much more difficult to create the wealth to pay for health care. We now claim that we are decreasing health care costs by placing new taxes on insurance policies, on hearing aids, glasses, and other items that our citizens purchase to improve the quality of their overall health. 

The United States Senate still has the power to bring sanity to this legislation. It is their responsibility to put a permanent hold on this current legislation and to immediately initiate actions to study each major health care issue. Legislators of all political persuasions must work together to write and approve new laws which resolve these issues based upon the American custom of free enterprise with limited government oversight. After all, that is the nature of the system which has generated massive wealth, which in turn has improved the quality of life for nearly all Americans (and much of the rest of the world) as well.

A vast majority of our citizens do not want the legislation which was just passed. The good part of this effort to nationalize our health care is that it has awakened most of us to the problem. Now is the time to work together to begin to resolve the issues.

The author can be reached at: grant@citizeninterests.com.
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