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Cost Neutral

Cost Neutral

by Steve on September 9, 2009

No additional cost: that was the basic talking point behind the President’s address tonight. Healthcare reform will not add one dime to the deficit. “The system”, whatever form it morphs into, will expand coverage to include basically all Americans (and exclude illegal aliens) by simply reducing wasteful spending and inefficiencies within the current mix of private and government plans. This magical feat will be accomplished without diminishing current benefits or standards of care. Such lofty ambitions are fine and to be applauded but I believe they just might be a tad unrealistic. He has found the proverbial free lunch.

The President painted the insurance industry with a rather broad brush and some nasty smelling paint tonight. You might come away with the impression that all our healthcare issues are due to the big bad insurance companies. The problem with massive government oversight of the insurance industry is if you bleed every bit of profit out of the equation there will be no insurance industry. If the insurance companies can’t turn a profit by collecting premiums and paying claims they will cease to exist. There will be no incentive for them to stay in business.

He mentioned Alabama specifically since it has long been the monopolistic playground of a single provider; the only provider willing to shoulder the added risk of our shark lawyer infested cesspool. Tort reform has been a sore subject around these parts for years. The sensible portion of the populace not awaiting settlement of some class action suit regarding asbestos or truck accidents has been crying for tort reform. The problem is most of the elected politicians are lawyers themselves and while they might eat their own offspring they refuse to off the golden goose. Frivolous lawsuits and unrestrained punitive damage awards are the reason we don’t have true competition for medical coverage in Alabama.

This victim mentality is a cancer that spreads far beyond the healthcare issue and attacks the American character that the President championed. He used words like self-reliant and resilient which used to apply to a far greater portion of Americans than they do today. Americans used to be responsible for their actions but now they are far more likely to engage a lawyer to find blame where ever they can – to get their free pass to the American dream.

It was without a doubt a great speech. He almost had me convinced that he was for small government until I remembered that he has expanded the federal government beyond all precedent. Regardless, I will support him 100% if he can deliver the plan that he outlined: increases coverage but doesn’t increase the deficit, doesn’t change my current coverage, doesn’t cover illegals, and doesn’t degrade the quality or availability of care. That’s going to take a lot of pixie dust.

In a household containing two constituents that tend to vote for the person and not party, but lean in opposite directions, it was an entertaining evening!


Justin September 10, 2009 at 0:26

Healthcare reform is useless. We have high insurance rates due to many bullshit mal practice law suits. The House and the Senate can’t piss off their trial lawyers can they? Another high cost are pills that are useless. Most just prolong life and treat only symptoms and not the cause. They hide the truth from people and feed them junk food and trash TV. All they care about is money and controlling the population due to their lifelong struggle with LDS. Good diet and positive attitude prevent many diseases.

Here’s a new idea. Remember the billions and billions of dollars we spend on military and “defense” each year? Instead of using it to genocide innocent brown people. We could use the money to fix not only our own problems. But we could feed, cloth, and educate the world. Not one human being excluded. We have lost touch with nature and what it means to be humane.

James Valier September 11, 2009 at 23:32

Not true, Justin. I agree that tort reform is necessary, and I support all efforts in this direction. But every analysis shows that this is a drop in the bucket re the out-of-control health care cost. (BTW, I also agree with you about the cost of “defense”).

Now, as for “Cost Neutral”… Don’t pick on Obama for “expanded the federal government beyond all precedent”… also not true! GW Bush grew the federal government larger than ever in history despite campaigning on the promise to reduce the size of government. And it was Bush’s recklessness that led to the economic collapse that we’ll all be paying for so many years from now.

Again, I agree with tort reform, but that alone will not fix the health care industry problems… a drop in the bucket (albeit an important one). Check out ANY objective analysis- all agree!

And don’t confuse Obama’s plan with those plans slowly plodding around the houses just now- they’re not the same. If Obama’s matched any plan put forth by Democrats or Republicans on Capital Hill, then he would not have been cold-shouldered by both parties at various times during his speech the other night.

I’m so happy that you’re delighted with your current coverage, and sincerely hope you’re not like three of my friends, each of whom have always been highly productive members of society, contracted devastating illnesses, and were either dropped from coverage or denied coverage because of pre-existing conditions upon changing jobs. It’s so easy to say how rosy things are if you have no empathy and cannot imagine that this could one day be yourself.

James Valier September 11, 2009 at 23:37

Oh yeah…

“The problem with massive government oversight of the insurance industry is if you bleed every bit of profit out of the equation there will be no insurance industry. If the insurance companies can’t turn a profit by collecting premiums and paying claims they will cease to exist. There will be no incentive for them to stay in business.”

Fascinating! Absolutely fascinating! I wonder why the per share value of the major health care insurers jumped dramatically immediately after Obama’s speech? Is that what nasty-smelling paint does?! Fascinating!

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