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Dash of Pepper

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Here comes Nurse Hillary - again!
By SHEILAH PEPPER
The Gazette Staff
Last week, Presidential Candidate Hillary Rodham Clinton presented her new, revised health care plan.
Hillary's last foray into this arena was an unmitigated disaster for the Democrats. It was an old-fashioned Canada/European style socialized health plan created behind closed doors with the help of about 500 folks hand-picked by Nurse Hillary.
It brought Newt Gingrich and a Republican sweep of Congress. And, as my favorite columnist, Mark Steyn said, it took longer to read than it takes most cancers to kill you.
The new, revised version is somewhat shorter and this time, she has sugar-coated the government's hand.
The crux of it is an "individual mandate" which REQUIRES that all Americans buy health insurance, but guarantees that the government will make insurance available to everyone at "affordable prices."
To accomplish this, the plan will create a government-regulated national pool through which individuals can purchase insurance. Those who are already insured would get to choose whether to keep their current health coverage or purchase the new national plan.
Clinton would force big businesses that don't offer health insurance to pay a tax.
In order to sell to the national pool, the government would demand that insurers cover all applicants ("guaranteed issue") and that premium levels would have to be indiscriminate, regardless of people's health when they apply ("community rating.")
Additionally, premiums wouldn't be allowed to exceed a predetermined fraction of total household income.
Nurse Hillary estimates that her plan would cost $110 billion per year. To pay for it, she is looking to find significant savings from improved technology, especially electronic medical records. She would also use some of the revenue from the REPEAL OF PRESIDENT BUSH'S TAX CUTS. She doesn't miss a beat, either, in the promotion of class warfare. She is advocating a cap on the tax deductability of health insurance for wealthy American with expensive health coverage. (They're doing their duty by their family, so let's hit ‘em again!)
Actually, you needn't be wealthy to participate in the popular Health Savings Accounts - the HAS - which work very well for the average healthy family. But this plan isn't about reality. It's about pushing the market out of the picture.
Nurse Hillary is basically telling every American that they must purchase a health insurance product the government likes. This is a serious problem if the government makes you purchase something you don't want.
Also, we may need to read the fine print. According to my guy, Mark Steyn, if you don't buy health insurance, it will be illegal to hold a job. Hello? If a healthy young man decides he doesn't need health insurance, both he and his employer will be breaking the law.
What's next? Will Hillary propose garnishing the young man's wages, thereby guaranteeing that he'll have some health insurance, but he can't pay his truck payment?
Steyn also touches on the always rising numbers of the UNINSURED. The number we hear most often is 45 million. Turns out, of the 45 million, over 9 million are foreign nationals. It also turns out that the remaining 27 million are a "rotating" population - made up of people who had insurance but changed job, people for are between jobs, and healthy younger people who opt to invest in a home or college for the kids. The last category is Americans 18 to 24 who account for 18 million of the "uninsured." Few 22 year old guys buy health insurance it seems, but they also don't have a wife, kids, life insurance or homeowner's insurance. This is America and currently, this guy is free to pay rent, buy beer and chase the chicks.
According to a report issued last year by the Census Bureau, 37 percent of those without health insurance (17 million people) live in households with an income over $50,000. Another 19 percent (8.7 million people) live in households earning over $75,000. They feel if they get hurt or sick, they can write a check.
Steyn states that the "explosion" of the uninsured has been driven largely by wealthy households opting out of health insurance. In the decade after 1995, he says, the proportion of the uninsured earning less than $25,000 has fallen by 20 percent and the proportion earning more than $75,000 has increased by 155 percent. The poor are being pulled into the "coverage" and the rich are fleeing from it. Also, the cost of insurance bears increasingly little relationship to the cost of treatment.
But Nurse Hillary knows what is good for you. Hey, if you can't be trusted to have any tax dollars returned to you (Horrors! You might buy a car or a vacation!), how can you be trusted to buy health insurance, you moron.
Republican Candidate Mitt Romney put a plan in effect in Massachusetts that provides incentives to consumers and the marketplace, along with some help for those who can't get or afford any coverage. Hillary's people tried to say that their plan is similar to Romney's. He came out immediately and said it had no similarity to his, particularly in the government thrust of the Hillary plan.
I'm sure we'll get all the details in upcoming debates. But take care - those sharp footsteps you hear coming down the corridor may mean Nurse Hillary is back.
Copyright©2007SheilahPepper
Last Updated on Friday, 12 June 2009 15:43  

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