Interesting Reading

A few articles I’ve come across in the past week, or so, that I thought I’d share:

  1. 5 Myths We Need to Can About Soda TaxesLike bears to honey or zombies to brains, politicians find something irresistible about soda taxes … From the Washington Post.
  2. On Duct Tape –  Response to an ongoing conversation about Coders at Work and an article from Joel Spolsky. This response from Tim Bray. … Via Tim’s blog.
  3. Ants vs. worms – Not a new video game, though that would be sweet! Since ants are pretty good at finding and combating enemies in the natural world, a team of researchers decided to try reproducing an ant-type model on computer networks. … From H-Online.
  4. Journalists have OpinionsSeriously. If anyone things that all journalists are non-biased, they have to be crazy. As a side note, good article by John Stossel about having an opinion. … Via Reason Online.
  5. When is a Tax not a Tax?When the President wants to claim its not! President Obama campaigned on a promise not to raise taxes on Americans who earn less than $250,000 per year, yet he has endorsed policies that look a lot like taxes on those people. … Via Donald Marron’s blog

If you’re interested in more articles that I’ve shared recently, check out the Recommended Reading tab at the top.

Government Run Health Care

What is this all About?

Many people believe that a government run health care system will provide medical care to millions of people. Unfortunately, that is not what this is all about. The bills that are being discussed are about providing health insurance. Insurance does not equal health care.

Medicare Drug Benefits
Research by the Heritage Foundation

I’m sure that you’ve heard of Medicare. Medicare is a federally run program that provides health insurance to a large number of people that wouldn’t otherwise have insurance. Medicare pays hospitals, doctors, etc., a portion of the costs for medical treatment for covered individuals. In most cases, the payment from the government is in no way related to costs associated with providing those services.

You will also hear people talking about the government run system ensuring that people who need emergency treatment will be able to get it. That’s partially true. Anyone that is need of emergency medical assistance will already receive treatment if they go to an emergency room. There are already laws on the books that require hospitals to provide treatment, regardless of the patient’s ability to pay. So the new government run plan would have the same benefits, because the benefit already exists.

What Else do I Need to Know?

The U.S. spends over $2.4 trillion on health care (nearly 17% of GDP), and the government accounts for almost one-half of all health care spending. Premiums continue to rise for private insurance. Costs for health care continue to spiral out of control. A large percentage of employers only offer one type of insurance, usually with considerable costs for the employer and the employee.

The various plans and bills that are being circulated around the halls in Washington are not good. The choices you will no longer have, will be far worse then your health coverage today. Many employers will stop offering the health insurance you’re used to having if a government option was available.

You’ll still be paying for your insurance, which again, is not related to health care. You simply won’t have the options you had before. Add in the fact you will no longer be the primary decision maker regarding your health care, and it seems obvious that this is a Bad Idea(TM).

Understand that the cost projections coming from Congress and the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) involve a lot of smoke, mirrors, tricks, and gimmicks. You can’t count on the group that wants to take your money to give you an accurate accounting of what it will cost.

What Other Options do we Have?

Lead the Way
Lead the Way

Instead of a new program that is even larger than Medicare, our Representatives should:

  • Create legislation to give families more control over their insurance and care.
  • Make health insurance portable, so you don’t lose your coverage when you change jobs.
  • Reform the tax system to provide the same tax benefits and incentives for all insurance purchasers – Employers and self employed should be able to deduct their costs.
  • Reduce / Reform the legal system to decrease malpractice and liability claims in all medical professions and industry.
  • Allow the customers of health care determine what they will spend for a procedure. Put the control back in the hands of the end consumer. Let the market work to drive competition and prices.

How can I be Heard?

The Tea Party Patriots have put together an impressive list of things you can do to be heard and get the word out. You can use this form to record your answers and the number of calls you made.

House Energy and Commerce Committee

Call the House Energy and Commerce Committee members [List (pdf)].  Let the committee members know how you feel about the bill and the prospect of government run health care. Tell them not to pass the government run health care bill out of committee.

According to Tea Party Patriots sources, all of the Republicans will be voting against the legislation already so you may choose to focus on the Democrats. However, you may wan to remember how a number of Republicans voted on Cap and Trade – let them know you’re out there too.

Blue Dog Democrats

Blue Dog CoalitionThe Democratic Blue Dog Coalition is a group of currently 52 moderate and conservative Democratic Party members of the United States House of Representatives. The Blue Dogs promote, among other things, fiscal conservatism and accountability. The Blue Dog Coalition is often involved in finding a compromise between liberal and conservative positions. Blue Dogs are an important swing vote on spending bills and as a result have gained influence in Congress out of proportion to their numbers.

You can find the Blue Dog Democrats on this list (pdf). Call each of them and let them know how you feel about the tremendous, irresponsible spending that will be required to fund government run health care.

Senate Finance Committee

Call the Senate Finance Committee [List (pdf)] tell them our economy cannot afford another massive government spending bill. We’ve spent enough already and we can not afford the taxes required to “pay” for this new spending bill.

Senators & Representatives

Call your Senators and your Representatives! Tell them as a constituent you are asking them to vote NO on the government take over of Health Care.

Resources

A Thought on Taxes

I think this is an excellent summary of taxes and how taxes are used by the government.

People are tired of wasteful government programs and welfare chiselers, and they’re angry about the constant spiral of taxes and government regulations, arrogant bureaucrats, and public officials who think all of mankind’s problems can be solved by throwing the taxpayers’ dollars at them.

Government can’t tax things like businesses or corporations, it can only tax people. When it says it’s going to ‘make business pay,’ it is really saying it is going to make business help it collect taxes.

We don’t have a trillion-dollar debt because we haven’t taxed enough; we have a trillion-dollar debt because we spend too much.

Our tax policy is engineered by people who view tax as a means of achieving changes in our social structure.

Raising taxes will slow economic growth, reduce production, and destroy future jobs, making it more difficult for those without jobs to find them and more likely that those who now have jobs could lose them.

My friends, history is clear: Lower tax rates mean greater freedom, and whenever we lower the tax rates, our entire nation is better off.

–Ronald Reagan (1911-2004)