Saturday, July 11, 2015

Apples and Oranges

Given that SCOTUScare is an insurance rather than a health initiative, we could have done a better job by recognizing that basic fact rather than trying to compel better health via mandated insurance.

This proposal has long been my basic position on the government's role in health insurance:

You will call me immodest, but I'd suggest that the best model is exactly the one I suggested when health-care reform was being debated: Get rid of all of our government's existing health insurance programs and make the government the insurer of last resort for all medical expenses above 15-20 percent of adjusted gross income. Allow very generous tax-free savings in health savings accounts that can be passed on to heirs, but spent only on medical expenses. Make the deductible percentage lower, or provide some sort of subsidized gap insurance, for people with very low incomes.

My view has long been that the government should provide catastrophic insurance, which is the main worry of people. The above has more specific notions than I had, but that is the stuff of politics and negotiations to hammer out.

But instead we have the court-sanctioned monstrosity that empowers the IRS as the enforcer and gives the government an excuse to compel us to be healthier because "they" are paying for all this.

Don't say you aren't warned. The "Know-Betters" are thriving these days.

And the new system allows the government to administratively grant exemptions based on lobbying efforts of the connected and wealthy interests that don't like parts of the behemoth that affect them.