Just Me

Just Me
Look,I'm just sayin'

Friday, June 23, 2017

legislating charity

 With the big debate about the health care reform bill raging on I can't help but ask this question ? Are we trying to legislate charity ? What I mean is this. The debate is about an insurance plan that will provide benefits to all that enroll in it, or are forced to enroll in it, or penalized because they didn't enroll in it. At least that is the way the existing plan is written and is now under review. My position in all of this is that government has no place in the insurance business in the first place. So, if a government controlled health care plan is to provide benefits to anyone that doesn't contribute to it, it becomes a charity. Obamacare sought to rectify that by fining anyone that didn't participate. You can see how that worked out. I'll just take my chances and pay the fine. Everyone knows a hospital can't refuse service to you. They have to treat an immediate need. In the past that is what was usually treated, an immediate need. In the more modern world we focus on prevention, and that is what drives the cost of healthcare. Really it is no different than maintaining your house. You can fix the chipped paint when you see it or wait to repaint the entire house. Which one is going to cost more ? Repainting the entire house right ? But if we spend a few dollars to fix that first chip it is not so bad. How many of us do that ? Not many, we take our chances, even when the end result is known. The paint will continue to chip and peel.
 So now we focus on prevention. We need an insurance plan. That is what prevention is anyway, an insurance against the future. It is also something currently only the well to do can afford, unless it is mandated by the government. We have to have insurance on our cars don't we ? Every place I am aware of requires that. In the past I lived in Virginia and you could just pay the state a five hundred dollar fee and drive uninsured. If you were in an accident the injured party could make a claim to the state. They rarely received compensation. The point being, it is the same with health insurance. If I can just pay a fee for not having it and that fee is smaller than the cost of having it, that is what I will do. Not a difficult thing to figure out really. Banks require your homes to be insured before they will issue a mortgage. Why is that ? Because they want their money if the house burns down. The sad reality is the doctors and health care providers want to insure they will get paid even if you die ! So, we need an insurance plan.
 Is health insurance a right ? No, it is not. No where in the constitution or bill of rights does it say you are entitled to health insurance. If the government chooses to subsidize an insurance plan that is voted on by the people. That is what is going on right now. Can we legislate charity ? Any plan that provides benefits to anyone without their contributing to that plan would have to be viewed as a charity. Hey that happened with the social security program. Benefits are now being paid out to people that have never contributed a dime ! That wasn't the way it was designed to work. That is one reason you keep hearing the plan is in trouble. Obamacare provided for those that had little to no insurance. A noble thought and a charitable one. The problem being when the insurance companies were forced to pay for that their premiums increased ! Who could have seen that coming ? I have to pay out more so I'll charge more. I'm no economics professor but it all seemed pretty obvious to me.
 The problem we face right now is how to control the cost. Insurance does nothing to control the cost. Someone has to pay in the end, whether it is you or the insurance company. In my limited experience the insurance companies always make money. Ever hear of an insurance company going bankrupt ? I sure haven't. I don't have an answer to controlling the cost no matter how hard I think. What I am left trying to figure out is how can we finance charity ? Any universal health care plan is going to end up being a charity, at least partially. How long can we sustain that ? Look at social security as an example. You hear that it might go broke in the near future. You don't hear that welfare programs are going broke though. Wonder why that is ? Until we figure out how to control the cost of healthcare we can not control the cost of insurance. It really is that simple. You really do only get what you pay for ! Now maybe if we took a good long hard look at other programs funded by the government maybe we could find the money. What is more important, universal health care or government grants in the humanities ? How many studies and other programs are funded by the government ? You know the government should spend our money the same way we do. On the priorities first ! Here's a thought, quit giving away millions of dollars to third world countries and use that money for our own healthcare programs ? Charity begins at home.