Tagged: insurance

Forced To Buy Health Insurance

Under Sen. Ron Wyden’s the proposed Senate Bill, people who refuse to buy health insurance will be fined over $1000/year.

Called “shared responsibility payments,” the fines would be set at least half the cost of basic medical coverage, according to the legislation.

I’m sorry, I didn’t vote Democratic so they can fine me for not choosing health insurance. As I have said before, I shouldn’t be forced to foot the bill for folks who choose to eat fast food three times a day. The cost for these programs will only go up. And they continue to take more money out of my paycheck to pay for these programs. Yet my pay isn’t going up that fast, which means I’m making less.

According to research done by the Kaiser Family Foundation, National Public Radio, and the Harvard School of Health, health insurance costs individuals an average of $4,800 annually. The cost for families to get insurance is even higher, at around $12,000 annually. These kinds of costs would push many people over the edge financially. How does Sen. Wyden propose that we pay for more people who will be unable to afford food, housing and education if they have to pay for health insurance? Effective health-care reform would be better accomplished by other means. Sen. Wyden’s own proposals to switch America from employer-based to individual health-insurance markets, for example, would do a great amount of good by encouraging competition and innovation without making life harder for the people having the most difficult time getting insurance.

Why not have individual health insurance markets? I can choose my car insurance, life insurance, cell phone provider, internet provider, cable tv provider, etc? Competition would create lower prices.

In Europe, where health care is free and state run, many experts say we may be going down a slippery slope.

Europeans have some of the world’s best hospitals and have made great strides in fighting problems like obesity and heart disease. But the system is far from perfect.

“What we can be proud of in Europe is the ground rules, that everyone has the right to health care,” said Jose Martin-Moreno, a health expert at the University of Valencia in Spain. “But the implementation has been difficult and one size does not fit all.”

Critics say the policies are often driven more by politics than science. Last week, Prime Minister Gordon Brown promised that patients unable to see cancer experts within two weeks would get cash to pay for private care. Brown had previously argued against paying for private providers and some say the reversal may be a gimmick to boost his sagging popularity.

A World Health Organization survey in 2000 found that France had the world’s best health system. But that has come at a high price; health budgets have been in the red since 1988.

“I would warn Americans that once the government gets its nose into health care, it’s hard to stop the dangerous effects later,” said Valentin Petkantchin, of the Institut Economique Molinari in France. He said many private providers have been pushed out, forcing a dependence on an overstretched public system.

“The minute you make health insurance mandatory, people start overusing it,” said Dr. Alphonse Crespo, an orthopedic surgeon and research director at Switzerland’s Institut Constant de Rebecque. “If I have a cold, I might go see a doctor because I am already paying a health insurance premium.”

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More On Healthcare

The legislation bandied about by the Dems will require, -force-, people to buy in health insurance.

Senior House Democrats drafting health care legislation are considering slapping an unspecified financial penalty on anyone who refuses to purchase affordable health insurance, a key committee chairman said Monday.

Plus, they want to add more taxes in order to pay for the healthcare they want to provide to the uninsured:

In addition, officials said Democrats are considering a new tax on certain health insurance benefits as one of numerous options to help pay for expanding coverage to the uninsured.

I’m all for providing care to people who need it, and can’t afford it, but there has to be a better way than by forcing the rest of us into buying it, and taxing us on top of that.

Forcing Employers To Provide Healthcare

Sen. Edward M. Kennedy’s health committee drafted a bill that would require employers to offer health care to employees or pay a penalty and would require everyone to purchase insurance. In addition, private companies would have to compete with a new, government-sponsored, health care plan.

First of all, the government shouldn’t be forcing people to buy health insurance. Secondly, they shouldn’t be forcing employers to provide health care. Let’s see, the postal service is about $2 billion in the red, they can’t figure out how to fix social security, and Medicaid coverage has been bad for many years.  And how are they going to pay for this additional social program? TAXES. Why should I be forced to pay for health insurance for those who continue to eat at McDonald’s three times a day? I’m being taxed to death as it is.

Instead, we should be allowed to pick a choose our own health insurance. Just like I can pick a choose my cell phone service provider, cable TV and internet provider, life insurance, home insurance, car insurance, credit cards, and bank services,  I want to be able to pick my own health insurance provider. Competition would increase and prices would decrease, I’d keep more of my money from my paycheck.

Universal Health Care

Christian Science Monitor has an opinion page on the Universal Health Care proposals being bandied about by both Dem candidates, saying it may not even be Constitutionally legal. Personally, I think the whole idea is crazy. Do we really want another large bureaucracy? Has our government managed anything properly lately? Social Security and Medicare are both nearing bankruptcy. Our war veterans can’t even get proper care at the Army’s “Top” medical facility, Walter Reed. How about the EPA telling us the air was safe to breathe in downtown NYC, right after 9/11? Or 9/11 First Responders who are dying because they can’t get the proper care, after breathing in the toxic dust? We’re providing nice subsidies to farmers who will use their farm land to produce corn for biofuels, driving up the cost of everyday household staples like wheat and milk. And we’re giving HUGE tax breaks to oil companies that make billions of dollars every quarter. How about getting rid of the tax breaks, and sending that money over to people who can’t afford health care? I won’t even go into the management of our economy or the Iraq/Afghanistan war. And I don’t want the government involved in what type of care I can get. What we do need is more insurance choices, tort reform, a limit to frivolous lawsuits, lower insurance costs for doctors. I bet there are more people that have either cell phones or cable/satellite TV than have insurance.

And to just get an idea of how our government works for big business rather than you and me, check out these stats for 2007 (courtesy of opensecrets.org):

  • The Health sector ranked #1 in total lobbying spending with $425,832,461
  • Of the $425+ million, $219,685,061 came from Pharmaceuticals/Health Products such as Amgen, Pfizer, and GlaxoSmithKline.
  • $48,218,712 came from Health Services/HMOs such as United HealthCare, Aetna, Wellpoint, and HealthSouth.
  • In addition, for 2008 Election Year cycle, the Health Services/HMOs contributed over $5 million to Federal Candidates and Parties, with the top spender being United Health Group.