Friday, July 10, 2009

Stop the taxes, stop the socialism!

I'm against social medicine, social anything for that matter. My issue is with the idea that Pres Obama has that anyone making $200,000 ($250k for couples) is rich and can therefore assume more taxes to subsidize those who are apparently not rich. My problem is that for every person who truly cannot afford insurance there is at least one person who chooses not to have it so they can have their $100/month iPhone contract. Or $200 designer jeans. Or premium get the picture. Unfortunately being stupid or making poor choices isn't something you can regulate but I have major issues with supplying health care because someone thinks that buying something frivolous is more important than health insurance. These people are actually the most egregious abusers of the current system, they can afford and have been offered insurance but don't want to spend the money.

Back to the $250,000 issue and how it relates to health care, why would anyone in their right mind go into medicine these days? You're going to come out of Med school with a minimum of $500,000 in student loans, if you go into a specialty probably more like $700,000. You can't write off the interest on that loan because you make too much money. Now, Pres Obama and company say that anyone making over $250k is making too much and wants to tax their health care and in according to his campaign statements increase their income tax in general. Why would you submit yourself to $3,000 a month in debt for 20 years if you are being vilified by the government for making money? The median household income in 2006 was $48,200. We expect new Dr's to pay $36,000 in loans while the average household is making just 25% more than that and living on it?

I do feel for those who don't have health care. My wife's stepbrother was in an accident last year and he doesn't have health insurance. He tried to get it but was denied for a heart murmur that he had when he was 5. He will likely have to declare bankruptcy. That is absolutely ridiculous! My brother has had bizarre health problems since he was 19. He's had more tests done than anyone can count. The statements come in the costs are staggering! My grandmother has been battling cancer and just broke her hip, if it weren't for Medicare the house would be for sale right now. I'm not immune to this, I'm not cavalier about this, I just don't' like the approach that the government is taking. I happen to believe what John Jay said in Federalist Paper #4, "Government that governs least governs best". I don't want them meddling in my health care or anything else.

I have what I believe is a simple way to fix this: When a Dr comes out of Med School and has finished their internship, residency,etc they can go work in a government funded clinic for a number of years. Say it's 5 years, pay them a decent wage rate and when their time is done the government assumes their student loans. They are then free to enter the workforce without being saddled by a larger monthly payment for student loans than many Americans make in a month. The people who need health care get it, the drain on the system is lessened. You have more Dr's so you will likely have less mistakes due to being overworked. But this will never work. Why? Nobody in government benefits from it. There is no large, over sized, and unnecessary government agency to administer my program.

From a fiscally conservative view this makes tons of sense. Why treat something that takes weeks in the hospital and costs tens of thousands of dollars rather than give someone antibiotics or a vaccination? Do we want to spend $50 or $50,000, not a hard decision. From a human compassion view (yes, some of us on the right have hearts that are ever so slightly softer than stone) you take care of the people who are unable to afford insurance or health care.

What I am against is socialism at any level. I am against the government creating a new, unnecessary agency to administer yet one more program. I am against taxing people at a higher rate that make more than a certain amount of money. You want to be truly effective at capturing taxes from "the rich", go to a consumption tax. Make it 20% if you want, at least it will be equitable. But what about the poor you say? Give them a card, much like they proposed doing to replace food stamps, if you are truly poor you could be exempt of at least pay a lower rate. Put a picture on it much like a drivers license so it can't be passed around. Doug Cords, on of my marketing professors used to always say "the more you make the more you'll spend". That has been absolutely true for me and I suspect for pretty much everyone else as well. $250,000 a year doesn't make you rich in Fresno, let alone LA or San Francisco. It doesn't make you rich in NYC or Chicago either. If you're going to set a dollar amount it needs to vary by your location and that isn't happening. The system is woefully broken, but that's another rant for another day.