Here’s my step-by-step take on HillaryCare. I’ve been putting it off for two reasons:
1) I’m busy trying to make money damnit.
2) I found the “plan” so confoundedly confusing and poorly written that I just didn’t know where to start. To be honest, I actually was taken aback by the lack of sophistication in the details.
So here you go. Unfortunately, my commentary is almost as poorly organized as the original work…but, well, I’m not running for President:
“Affordable: Unlike the current health system where insurance premiums send people into bankruptcy, the plan provides tax credits for working families to help them cover their costs. The tax credits will ensure that working families never have to pay more than a limited percentage of their income for health care.”
Insurance premiums have never bankrupted anyone. Medical costs have, though. Medical insurance premiums calculated as a percentage of income is ABSOLUTELY the most inefficient economic model I’ve ever heard of.
“Available: No discrimination. The insurance companies can’t deny you coverage if you have a pre-existing condition.”
States have tried this. In these states, the health insurance market is completely gone, now. People wait until they’re sick to get coverage. If you’re going to go 100% guaranteed issue, don’t pretend that you’re going to keep it private.
“Reliable: It’s portable. If you change or lose your job, you keep your health care.”
Believe it or not, this is true with individual health insurance. Isn’t that odd?
“If you have a plan you like, you keep it. If you want to change plans or aren’t currently covered, you can choose from dozens of the same plans available to members of Congress, or you can opt into a public plan option like Medicare. And working families will get tax credits to help pay their premiums.”
This is a myth. So you can keep your current plan. Sure, but you’re going to get free money to sign up for the “good” plan the government offers. It doesn’t say anything about letting you use said tax credits to pay for insurance you want.
“Good for small business: Small businesses are the engine of new job growth in the U.S. economy but face bigger challenges when it comes to providing health care for their employees. Hillary would give tax credits to small businesses that provide health care to their workers to help defray their coverage costs. This will make small businesses more competitive and help create good jobs with health benefits that will stay here in the US.”
Completely contradictory to the portable concept. Lifting the financial burden from the backs of small businesses is great, but keeping administration of medical coverage in employer’s hands would not improve the situation.
“Reins in insurance companies–Insurance companies won’t be able to deny you coverage or drop you because their computer model says you’re not worth it. They will have to offer and renew coverage to anyone who applies and pays their premium. And like other things that you buy, they will have to compete for your business based on quality and price. Families will have the security of knowing that if they become ill or lose their jobs, they won’t lose their coverage.”
This is complete poppycock, especially the “compete” part. Insurance companies allowed the honor of participating will be at the mercy of Government subsidies and not the will of the patient and their money, so where is the incentive for them to “compete?” Simultaneously subsidizing group coverage and individual coverage is just weird. The security is knowing you will be bailed out by the government, when a better idea is to have individual coverage in the first place so you’re not dependent on a job for coverage.
“Insurance and Drug Companies: insurance companies will end discrimination based on pre-existing conditions or expectations of illness and ensure high value for every premium dollar; while drug companies will offer fair prices and accurate information.”
OK…as long as you simply stop calling them insurance companies. At what point did “insurance” not mean pooling and managing risk? Are we going to outlaw car insurance companies from discriminating against bad drivers?
“Individuals: will be required to get and keep insurance in a system where insurance is affordable and accessible.”
This is their only responsibility? Not managing their health or helping manage usage or costs?
“Providers: will work collaboratively with patients and businesses to deliver high-quality, affordable care.”
How? Admittedly this is a problem. This will be solved by providers being assigned by the Fed instead of insurance companies? How is this “plan” going to make this happen?
Employers: will help finance the system; large employers will be expected to provide health insurance or contribute to the cost of coverage: small businesses will receive a tax credit to continue or begin to offer coverage.
This is exactly the direction that creates problems. This whole employer thing is just confusing. Why help employers fund it? Why not let them pay their employees more? When you can just let the individual fund it, and give them direct tax subsidies?
“Government: will ensure that health insurance is always affordable and never a crushing burden on any family and will implement reforms to improve quality and lower cost.”
How would the government improve quality? Lowering administrative costs is only part of the battle. Slowing down increases in costs is the bigger problem.
“Provide Tax Relief to Ensure Affordability: Working families will receive a refundable tax credit to help them afford high-quality health coverage.”
I’m all for it. Define “high quality”. What is a “refundable tax credit?” Is the government going to get a refund?
“Limit Premium Payments to a Percentage of Income: The refundable tax credit will be designed to prevent premiums from exceeding a percentage of family income, while maintaining consumer price consciousness in choosing health plans.”
This is a little vexing. The credit will make people more price conscious about choosing plans? So is this an incentive to earn more or less?
“Create a New Small Business Tax Credit: To make it easier-not harder-for small businesses to create new jobs with health coverage, a new health care tax credit for small businesses will provide an incentive for job-based coverage.”
Incenting job-based coverage, still, is the wrong idea.
“Strengthen Medicaid and CHIP: The Plan will fix the holes in the safety net to ensure that the most vulnerable populations receive affordable, quality care.”
“Most vulnerable” is virtually everyone. Everyone is affected by the high cost health care. What we’re talking about here is the beginning of socialized medicine. Period.
“Launch a Retiree Health Legacy Initiative: A new tax credit for qualifying private and public retiree health plans will offset a significant portion of catastrophic expenditures, so long as savings are dedicated to workers and competitiveness.”
Admittedly, I don’t even know what that means.
“Most Savings Come Through Lowering Spending Due to Quality and Modernization: Over half the savings come from the public savings generated from Senator Clinton’s broader agenda to modernize the heath systems and reduce wasteful health spending.”
Modernizing only reduces costs temporarily (arithmetically). If over half the savings comes from this…then there is virtually no savings. The cost INCREASES (geometric…even exponential) are not due to lack of technology, but increased demand, and a lack of access to cost vs. quality demand by the consumer.
“A Net Tax Cut for American Taxpayers: The plan offers tens of millions of Americans a new tax credit to make premiums affordable-which more than offsets the increased revenues from the Plan’s provisions to limit the employer tax exclusion for health care and discontinue portions of the Bush tax cuts for those making over $250,000. Thus, the plan provides a net tax cut for American taxpayers.”
Classic. Tax the rich and give “health care” to the poor. A net tax cut…unless of course you pay the majority of the taxes.
“Making the Employer Tax Exclusion for Health Care Fairer: The plan protects the current exclusion from taxes of employer-provided health premiums, but limits the exclusion for the high-end portion of very generous plans for those making over $250,000.”
This is insane. Health Insurance, and health care, is not any more expensive for rich people than it is for poor people. It’s health that dictates rates, not income. This makes no sense. So rich people would get less tax incentives from buying health care. This keeps healthy rich people off the insurance rolls, because they’ll find a better place to shelter their money from taxes.
I’d rather her just come out and say, “Hey. Everyone is going to be on Medicare.” She can’t do that, though, because she would lose the social argument as well. Americans really don’t WANT the Government to control their healthcare, they’re just desperate to be able to afford it, so those who are big fans of Government-run healthcare are attempting to wrap a social argument with an economic rationale. It just won’t fly, though, because there IS no economic rationale for the U.S. converting to single-payer or socialized medicine. The only rationale that’s left at the end of the day is:
Everybody else is doing it.
And that’s simply not an economic argument…