Sunday, July 29, 2007

Why I'm Not Buying Free Health Care, Part 1.5

Thanks to North Dallas Thirty for finding this WSJ opinion piece. An Exerpt:

Democrats who run the Wisconsin Senate have dropped the Washington pretense of incremental health-care reform and moved directly to passing a plan to insure every resident under the age of 65 in the state. And, wow, is "free" health care expensive. The plan would cost an estimated $15.2 billion, or $3 billion more than the state currently collects in all income, sales and corporate income taxes. It represents an average of $510 a month in higher taxes for every Wisconsin worker.

With $510 per month can't you get damn good private health insurance?

My hope: Wisconsin passes the plan; Washngton remains a stalemate after November 2008 (Republican Pres + Democratic Congress, or vice versa); the Wisonson plan fails miserably; Washington take notice; and the big pipedream: Instead of taking over the health care industry we see some antitrust actions in the insurance industry, and if the government MUST subsidize health care, it does so at the consumer level through vouchers or Health Savings Accounts (which incidentally are BANNED under the Wisconsin Plan).

Further discussion forthcoming--but not for a week.

2 comments:

Matt-CNS said...

Any interesting idea, however there are actually negative economic impacts by maintaining a private health care system. The biggest is the burden it places on the ability of business, small and large, to grow. They either have to pay large fees to insurance companies to keep their employes healthy, or don't pay anything and watch their turnover rate soar. Either way it is able to stop companies from growing (GM and Ford have huge legacy costs relating to healthcare).

If you were to look at Canada as an example, they have been able to attract business, and maintain a balanced budget, while having socialized healthcare. It is by no means a perfect system, but the economic benefits out weigh other factors. Plus healthcare costs per person in Canada are significantly less than in the US. As the US has a population at least 10X that of Canada the economies of scale would be even greater.

Brian said...

Uh, as a Wisconsin resident, I'd prefer that WE not be the guinea pigs on this boondoggle.