Obama campaigning for health care reform.
There can be no doubt that health care reform, or health insurance reform as it is now being called, means green. At stake in this debate are trillions of dollars, a number which will grow exponentially as we move into the future. There will be winners and losers in this policy struggle and unfortunately the American taxpayer will be the biggest loser.
What is really at stake, is not the integrity and health of the American health care system, but the control of that system and the incomprehensible amount of money that flows through it. This is a high stakes poker game and the American people are part of the pot.
Both government and business want to control both your money and your behavior. The American people will never have complete control over their health care, regardless of which side prevails. There is to much money at stake.
Taxes will go up. Medicare and Medicaid will require massive tax increases to keep them solvent without a broad system wide reform effort. The price of that system wide reform is estimated by the Congressional Budget Office to be around $1.6 trillion dollars over the next ten years. As with all government programs, that cost will grow as the program grows. These huge revenue shortfalls cannot be paid for by simply raising the taxes of those earning over $250k per year as President Obama promised. Even Obama's own financial people are beginning to openly talk about the need to raise taxes across a broad spectrum of the populace.
Some health care providers and insurance companies are lining up with the government on it's proposed health care reform. Could it be they realize where the dollars are and want to insure their place in line at the federal trough? Some providers and insurance companies have lined up in opposition; they do not want to lose their share of the current pie. Both sides proclaim the virtues with respect to the public of their position. Both sides want your money.
The current bills being discussed are all around 1000 pages in length. How many "special" line items are in those bills that will not become apparent until well after they are signed into law? How many of your elected leaders will actually read the bill and know what they are voting for and how their vote will really affect the average American? How much of the language of these bills will be left for the courts to definitively decide? What will be the politician's response? ' I didn't know that was in there" or " We never intended for that to happen". How easy is it for government to go back and correct their mistakes? Who ends up paying for those mistakes?
Will the country really go belly up if we do not pass this immediately? Do we maybe need to debate, deliberate and ponder such a potentially massive black hole for more than just a few months before we jump into the abyss?
Why does it seem to me that as the government plan option kicks in, employers in their attempt to control expenses will discontinue private insurance and force their employees to sign on to the government plan which will be cheaper, thus making their employees LOSE their private coverage regardless of whether they want to change or not? Does that situation preserve Obama's promise that government will not take your insurance away from you if you are happy with it?
These are some of the tough questions that we should be demanding our representatives answer. Reform is needed, but we need to control the nature of that reform. There is to much money at stake.
Why do I feel like I have two used car salesmen reaching for my wallet and saying "Trust me"?