Grey Lady Notices Dem Health Plans Could Harm Americans

Back when Operation Iraqi Freedom was a big deal to the media such as the New York Times, especially the body counts and reports of a boot trooper doing something he shouldn’t have done, one used to be able to find stories of good news in the Saturday edition. I had a theory that none of the normal unhinged Progressive editors were available Friday evening, having headed out early for a round of Bush bashing martinis, so the journalists were free to be honest journalists. Looks like that is still happening, except, this time, we get an honest assessment of the Democrat health system plans and how they could hose The People: How an Insurance Mandate Could Leave Many Worse Off

AMERICANS seem to like the idea of broadening health insurance coverage, but they may not want to be forced to buy it. With health care costs high and rising, such government mandates would make many people worse off.

The proposals now before Congress would require just about everyone to buy health insurance or to get it through their employers – which would generally result in lower wages. In other words, millions of people would be compelled to spend lots of money on something they previously did not want, at least not at prevailing prices.

Estimates of this burden vary, but for a family of four it could range up to $14,000 a year over the next decade, according to the Congressional Budget Office. Right now, many Americans take the gamble of going without insurance, just as many of us take our chances with how much we drive or how little we exercise.

The writer, Tyler Cowen, is in for some serious abuse in his email from those oh so tolerant progressives, and, perhaps, even a call from the White House to NY Times owner Pinch Sulzberger.

The paradox is this: Reform advocates start with anecdotes about the underprivileged who are uninsured, then turn around and propose something that would hurt at least some members of that group.

Sorry, Tyler, but, the Democrats do not care. This whole farce is simply a means to an end, namely, Single Payer, putting Big Government in massive control of the American economy, American companies, and the American People.

To ease the burdens of the insurance mandate, the reform proposals call for varying levels of subsidy. In some versions, such as the current Senate bill, subsidies are handed out to families with incomes as high as $88,000 a year. How long will it be before just about everyone wants further assistance, and this new form of entitlement spending spins out of control? It’s possible to lower insurance subsidies, but then the insurance mandate would impose a bigger burden on the people we are trying to help.

Again, the Dems do not care. It is about power and control. If they were serious about health care reform, they would look at methods that actually work. They would listen to others. They aren’t.

The fiscal reality is that not all income groups can receive equal subsidies; as a family earns more, its subsidy would probably decrease, eventually falling to zero. But then we are taking money away from the poor as they climb into higher income categories. This is a disincentive to earn more, and the strength of the disincentive increases with our initial generosity. For many people, the health insurance aid would phase out when food stamps, housing vouchers and the earned income tax credit also end and the personal income tax kicks in.

Hmm, sounds like so many of the Democrats plans, such as SCHIP and Welfare. And the Democrats rhetoric, which demonizes people who work hard and put their talents to use to GASP! make money.

After discussing “mission creep,” in which the mission of the government health system would grow and grow and encompass more and more, Tyler ends with

We’re often told that America should copy the health care institutions of Western Europe. Yet we’re failing to copy the single most important lesson from those systems – namely, to put cost control first. Instead, we’re putting our foot on the gas pedal and ratcheting up the fiscal pressures on the system, in the hope that someday, somehow, it will all work out.

Of course, I do not know Tyler, and I can only guess as to what he means by “cost control.” For myself, I would argue that what we need is cost incentive. Cross-country health insurance choice and pooling, reducing the number of government mandates in insurance plans (I do not need all those womens issues coverage in my plan, but, I am required to have it by The Government,) health insurance that de-incentivizes health professionals from doing unnecessary tests, reducing overhead (which would, interestingly, increase the time that doctors could spend with patients,) and Tort reform, among others.

Crossed at Pirate’s Cove

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