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Lamrot Hakol (Despite Everything)

Musings and kvetchings and Torah thoughts from an unconventional Orthodox Jew.

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"I blog, therefore I am". Clearly not true, or I wouldn't exist except every now and then.

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Health Care

We're led by blind people. Demopublicans. Republicrats. They make a lot of noise about wanting different things, but the bottom line is, they're all on board with the idea of using people as resources. They're all on board with the corporate agendas of the insurance industry and every other industry out there.

You'll hear the Democrats claim that the Republicans just wanted to deregulate the insurance industry, and that's probably true. But the Democrats don't want to change that monster; they want to control it, and essentially make it part of the government.

Here's the thing. Medical insurance should only exist for catastrophes. Period. The only reason medical insurance is used for checkups and broken bones and cuts and the like is because the government made it that way. Not the insurance companies, mind you, though they were happy enough to splash around in the sea of windfall profits this provided them.

Watch how one government attempt to meddle "for the good of the people" has led to another, and another, and another.

During World War II, wage and price controls prevented employers from using wages to compete for scarce labor. Under the 1942 Stabilization Act, Congress limited the wage increases that could be offered by firms, but permitted the adoption of employee insurance plans. In this way, health benefit packages offered one means of securing workers. In the 1940s, two major rulings also reinforced the foundation of the employer-provided health insurance system. First, in 1945 the War Labor Board ruled that employers could not modify or cancel group insurance plans during the contract period. Then, in 1949, the National Labor Relations Board ruled in a dispute between the Inland Steel Co. and the United Steelworkers Union that the term "wages" included pension and insurance benefits. Therefore, when negotiating for wages, the union was allowed to negotiate benefit packages on behalf of workers as well. This ruling, affirmed later by the U.S. Supreme Court, further reinforced the employment-based system.

Step one: The government freezes wage increases.

Step two: They let employers add health insurance as a benefit.

This way, employers have no choice but to offer health benefits as a way of competing for employees. But now, the government has basically said to the insurance industry, "Come on in! The water is fine! We just opened up a whole world for you!"

Once this became the default, the government stepped in again. In 1973, they created the HMO industry by mandating that any employer of 25 or more employees had to offer federal certified HMO options (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Health_maintenance_organization). So now, it isn't just the insurance industry that's essentially being sponsored by federal legislation, it's the HMO industry.

Quick question: What are the two industries that have been blamed the most for the "health care crisis"? That's right: insurance and HMOs. Funny, that.

So the government essentially created these industries, and built them up, and now they want to fix things. The problem is, it doesn't occur to them that the way to fix a problem isn't to do the same thing again. That only adds to the problem. Oh, it seems like a solution in the short term, but then, so did the insurance and HMO screw-ups.

Now we have Obama saying that the new health care "reform" bill is only a start. That the goal is still complete government control of health care. But is that the right direction? Not at all.

The solution is to get rid of health insurance as a benefit. If people want to buy catastrophic health insurance, that's great. They should. But regular health care? Normal health care? That's something people should pay for like any other maintenance issue. Not to compare people with cars, but when you get into a major accident, that's something for insurance to handle. When it's time for an oil change, you go and pay for an oil change.

The problem is that insurance for minor health care is so ingrained in the American consciousness that it's hard to get people to imagine that it could be otherwise. But it can. And it should. And it really needs to be.

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Blogger Ben-Yehudah said...

Obama is just a black Bush,...not to mention 1/2 Esau and 1/2 Yishmael, IOW the goal of the Erev Rav, to join them together.

Who helped to elect him? Whick group had a high percentage voting for him, besides Afr. Amer.?

4:02 PM  

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