In today's Beacon opinion page Robert Moffit of the conservative Heritage Foundation does his best to advocate for NOT placing more children on SCHIP(State Children's Health Insurance Program). He tries to make it sound like the modest proposal to include more children on the SCHIP rolls is just some first step in a conspiracy to nationalize health care.
While The Reverend is supportive of single payer, government run health care for all, it is the following proposal by Moffit of the Heritage group that 'frosts my cookies'.....
A better policy would refocus the program on low-income kids and make private coverage more accessible to others through premium assistance. Policymakers also should look to reforming tax treatment of health insurance that discourages portability and ownership of coverage; offering tax credits to make insurance more affordable; and allowing interstate commerce to nourish real competition
Setting aside for now the "portability" comment and the totally absurd "nourish real competition" comment, let's look at what Heritage's solution consists of. Call me crazy, but it sure looks like it consists of subsidizing big health insurance companies("premium assistance") and giving wealthy folks yet another tax shelter("tax credits").
Wealthy folks can afford health care and therefore, don't need another tax shelter. If average Americans had enough money to save, they would have enough money to pay for health care.
Health insurance companies are part of the problem, not the solution. Health insurance companies do not have to accept high risk patients. They can pick and choose who they will insure or they can and do quote astronomical prices for riskier customers to discourage them away from insurance.
Far from encouraging more tax dollars being placed into the hands of for-profit, non-essential middlemen, like health insurers, what is needed is a slow elimination of for-profit, non-essential middlemen in the health care industry. It has been estimated that up to 30% of today's health related costs are simply wasted on CEO's salaries and costly advertising, not to mention those stockholders who constantly need fed. Much of this waste comes from health insurance companies, who, when you get right down to it, have NOTHING to do with health care.
The logic behind Moffit's article goes like this......'tax dollars should be given directly to big insurance companies and already wealthy citizens instead of to the people who actually need the help'.
The Heritage Foundation pumps out business friendly screeds on a regular basis. Any answers to any financial crisis, like the one America is facing in health care, according to Heritage, are found in big business expansion or government subsidies for big business.
The very recipe that has helped to bring about the crisis in the first place.
It's been 15 years since Hillary first attempted to bring the nation's attention to the looming health care problem. Since that time the problem has gotten worse.
Americans need to wrestle with whether we still believe relieving suffering should be a profit making venture, like the war making industry is, or whether it's time to drive the money changers completely out of the temple.
The Heritage Foundation is on the side of the money changers.
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