Raul Grijalva is nothing if not consistent. He is sticking to his guns that health care reform must have a government "public option" in order to work. In fact he has promised to vote against any reform that doesn't include this expensive option, which the Congressional Budget Office estimates will cost over a trillion dollars. (See Youtube). Unfortunately for Arizonans and the rest of the country, Raul knows nothing about health care or economics. Health care experts across the board have repeatedly argued against such a plan. (see Heritage.org,
http://www.heritage.org/Press/Commentary/ed072809e.cfm for one example).
Why is the "public option" so bad? One word: profits. Health care, like anything else in America, operates on profit. Without profit, there would be no quality televisions, cars, . . . or health care. Liberals hate profits. Like Lenin (founder of the Soviet Union, not the singer, although they both . . . never mind), they believe that all waste is useless and can be eliminated by getting rid of profit. The problem with the present system is that the government mandates costs for certain health care: the poor, retirees, and of course, government workers like Raul at a loss to taxpayers of millions each year. This means that Doctors and hospitals must offer health care insurance to these groups at bottom basement prices for no profit and must still pay outside costs like malpractice insurance which have skyrocketed in recent years. How do medical providers make a profit? Well, since they can't make a profit on government financed health care, they try and make it up with the rest of us through increased charges to private payers and insurance companies (for analysis, see Heritage). The more health care controlled by the government, the more private payers are asked to pay. Contrary to what Grijalva and others may say, it is not the doctors' fault that they are trying to stay in business. It is the government, trying to fix prices, that is the problem.
In 1973, then president Nixon tried the same approach to consumer prices to prevent inflation. Nixon fixed prices on gas and heating oil and other necessary commodities. The plan backfired as prices on other consumer items skyrocketed and companies hoarded commodities waiting for government prices to change. This is why government intervention to "fix" problems in the economy never works. This is why Grijalva and the Progressives, if they get their way on health care, will destroy what is left of the American economy.
I like to call it the Walmart Effect. Here is the way it will work. Obamacare will be implemented in phases, starting with state and local employees and the uninsured and "trickling down" to small businesses in its last few years. Taxes will need to be raised on the corporate owners and small businesses (even though they are not included in the plan until later). These taxes, while destructive to the economy, will not even begin to pay for the program (according to the CBO) and it will need to be supplemented by billions in government spending (Grijalva knows this and is counting on it, government deficits are not a big deal, he says). Like Walmart, the public Payer option will suck up the majority of the providers because it will buy care in bulk and because it is subsidized by the government. Because they can no longer afford to stay in business, many doctors, hospitals and insurance companies will close their doors or limit their services in order to maximize their profit under the government payer system. Competition in health care will decrease if not end completely, the budget deficit will soar, and not only will you not have the same doctor, you will have higher taxes, less security (military and border patrol spending will need to be cut to pay for all this, if you don't believe it ask European nations who started programs in the 1950s when it was cheaper) and you will need to follow government guidelines for doctors visits and hospitalizations that make Orwell's 1984 sound like a hippie commune.
The answer? less government and more competition. Get rid of all government payer options, including medicare and medicaid. Instead, allow states to give all persons wealfare a credit card that can be used for health care with any doctor they choose with a maximum payout per year. Allow small businesses to band together to purchase blocks of insurance. Promote health insurance exchanges at the state level. Reinstate individual medical accounts. Encourage doctors and hospitals to offer discounts for paying cash for services. limit liability claims. A plan, similar to mine, was outlined by the Heritage Foundation and instituted successfully in Massachusetts, is available on their website .
Not only would this cost about 7 billion less, but it will stimulate the economy, and, OMG, limit big government. the only problem with implementing such a plan is that Raul Grijalva's Progressive Caucus will have nothing to do with a plan that does not put the government in charge of your health care.
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