Monday, January 25, 2010

The Government's Role in Health Care Reform

After grandpa stopped chuckling at the response he got he continued explaining about his idea of health care reform by saying,

“Now, my good friend, don’t be mistaken that my solution of self-insurance is my idea. It has been proposed and has been an option for us since 1993. Yes, it was that dastardly of a president, GWB that signed a bill that made it an option that we, the people, can use. And it is his successor that is trying to take this option away from us.

So, in spite of what is popularly known of him, we can see that GWB was an advocate that solutions to the health care problem was best found in the private sector not in the public sector. He attempted to solve the Social Security problem by creating a private sector solution also but unfortunately for the younger generation that idea never got off the ground.

The only thing I could add to that bill can be found in schedule A for those of you that use the 1040 form to file your income taxes. For those of you that don’t use the 1040 form, schedule A is the form to itemize personal expenses. The first thing on it is the medical expenses and if you read it there you will see a 7.5% threshold that you must reach before being able to deduct any medical expenses.

Myself, I would eliminate this threshold and make it a rebatable credit item. I might even make it a stipulation that it show that it came from a heath care savings plan in order to claim it. I say rebatable so as to make it a greater incentive for the poor and to help the poor in regards to their medical bills for that year.

It would seem that in a nation where liberty and individualism are so important to the people that we would automatically jump at private sector solutions to problems given the benefits of it. But it appears that we have been brainwashed enough by the politicians or ideology to believe that government has the ability to solve every problem of society. What scares me the most is that it appears that the people do not mind that government solutions will always involve the use of or the threat of the use of force in its solutions.

We have become a nation where the people are more afraid of the possibility of personal failure than we are of the probability of governmental failure. It’s as if we would prefer to see a nation fail than see the individual fail even though logically if a nation fails so does the individual. Maybe a better question would be, are our representatives in government so enamored with the power that they possess that they have forgotten that the real power can only be found in the liberty of the individual?

Another problem that we, as a nation, have is that we have become a nation of spenders instead of being a nation of savers. We have become a nation where people want everything now instead of when they actually can afford it. The credit card has replaced the dollar in our lives and because of it people have no money left over at the end of the month to save. And unfortunately, the government encourages the idea of spending over saving. It results in higher tax revenue when people spend rather than save money.

It is the expenditure of money that results in poverty. It is the expenditure of money that results in the gap between the rich and the poor grow larger. It is the saving of money that lifts people out of poverty. It is the saving of money that lessens the gap between the rich and the poor. And as long as we are a nation of spenders no amount of redistribution will solve the problem of poverty. It can only result in the poverty of a nation.

When the government encourages the people to be more self-reliant we, as a nation will benefit. When people seek to be self-reliant rather than dependent upon government then government will become smaller. It is only the self-reliant that possesses life at its fullest. It is only the self-reliant that understands the meaning and value of liberty. It is only the self-reliant that has the power to pursue his happiness as promised.

So, my friend, the bottom line is, given the benefits of self-insurance, which means saving money, over government options or third party options, which means spending money either through taxes or premiums, which is the better option? Which option would be the better for the well being of the individual as well as the well being of this great nation of ours?”

The man just smiled and nodded without saying a word. He then turned and began to slowly walk away. After a few steps he stopped, turned his head back to grandpa and whispered, “Thank you. You've given me something to think about”

I just looked up at grandpa and smiled.



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