Friday, March 21, 2014

PART FIVE - So Called Market Based Healthcare Fix Rhetoric Sounds Good, til You See What They are Promoting

Commentary by Kirby Harris


You may have heard the ads running on your local radio station by “A Healthy Virginia Works” (AHVW), a project of a coalition of various business organizations and hospitals, touting a so-called market based solution.

They claim they want to reform Healthcare in Virginia in five areas: Increasing Access to Health Care, Reducing Costs for Patients, Controlling Costs for Businesses, Keeping Our Hospitals Strong and Reclaiming Our Federal Tax Dollars.Sounds great and very conservative or libertarian right? Well yes on the surface it does, but if you read on further beyond the talking points its not.

So, I will look at their five claims point by point using the information from their website in a series of five articles.

Read all Five Articles:   Part One   Part Two   Part Three   Part Four   Part Five

** Make sure you read the not very limited government, articles the AHVW promoted on their Facebook and/or Twitter Below **

Part Five

AHVW Point Five:

Reclaiming Our Federal Tax Dollars – Virginia taxpayers are sending $1.8 billion a year to the federal government in ACA-related taxes. By closing the "coverage gap" through the Medicaid 'Private Option,' Virginia can reclaim those tax dollars and put them to work for our people. If we do not close the "coverage gap," Virginia loses every dime of those hard-earned tax dollars.

My Counter Point:

Once again this sounds great until you realize its only continuing the vicious cycle of sending our hard earned money to Washington, where they chew up 75 cents of every dollar, then blackmail our state to do its bidding if we want that money back, and can only use it the way they tell us too.

Its circular logic. Instead of saying we Virginian’s are forced to pay 1.8 billion dollars to the Federal government under Obamacare, as well as billions more for ‘other purposes’, so instead of refusing to send the money to Washington let’s instead keep it in Virginia by either letting the citizen keep their money or at the very least let Virginia Government spend it, instead we are saying keep sending it to Washington, let them keep their 75 cents, and let’s beg them to give us a quarter back to spend they way they say to.

This thing they keep referring to as the “Medicaid private option” is only a “private option” as far as it gives to our tax dollars sent to Washington to “private” business only after DC sends us back a small fraction of what we sent them.

I advocate, if we are going to send anything to Washington, then lets send them the 25 cents of every dollar now collected, MAYBE give our state 25 cents of it, and not take the other 50 cents from the hard working tax payer at all. Then the Feds would have to scale back, the state would stop having budget short falls and the tax citizen would have more money to spend in the economy.

This of course this isn’t a Free Market solution at all. It is a crooked path that diverts the funding from just the patient directly to doctor, and allowing each extra party to get a cut of the monies along the way. Why add a fourth and fifth party (the Federal Government and State Government) to the mix, when you only need two or three parties? Let’s allow it to be directly between the patient and doctor, or if the patient chooses from them through the insurance company to the doctor.

You might say isn’t this exactly the same thing that we are doing now when an individual is giving it to a business/healthcare company?

No, the big difference is that when we keep our own money we can choose to give it to an insurance company or not, and its us paying for our own Healthcare not another's. To follow their solution keeps us on the diverted crooked path where many players dip their fingers in the pie as they take it from you and give it to your neighbors.

Is this even a smart or sensible solution?

No! Instead lets pass real reform by allowing people to buy cafeteria plans, buy plans across state lines, buying Healthcare Savings Plans or making laws to stop price gouging and collusion in the industry or many other truly market based solutions.

Full disclosure, form what I have researched and understand I fall into the “coverage gap”, but this isn’t about me. Its about principle, fairness and doing the right thing.

Articles that “A Healthy Virginia Works” have posted on their Facebook and/or Twitter:
  • I title this article: “A Big Government Democrat and Big Government Republican Team Up”  -  Read Article
  • I call this article: “So-called Republican Elected Officials Caving in on their Conservative Principles to for Perceived Political Gain”  -  Read Article
  • I call this article: “Virginia General Assembly Republicans Caving Again - This Time Not on Taxes (read here), but on Medicaid Expansion in Guise of Pro-Market Healthcare Solution”  -  Read Article
  • I call this article: “Virginia Republicans FAIL in their Duty to Scale Back Big Government in their Districts”  -  Read Article 

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