By Chuck Ring (GadaboutBlogalot ©2009)
Quote Freely From The Article – Leave The Pseudonym Alone
Charles Krauthammer writing in the Washington Post is not the only voice of reason when it comes to asking the United States Congress to slow down and legislate changes in health care that make sense and will not mire us completely under the muck of a severe depression like the Reid and Pelosi bill is liable to do. But, he may be the most succinct of all critics of Obamacare. Mr. Krauthammer, is nothing, if not discerning and astute when it comes to matters of the economy and just plain common sense. In his article, Kill the bills. Do health reform right, he fills a column or so enumerating the follies of the House bill and the Senate bill.
Mr. Krauthammer begins his article by stating in part:
The fundamental problem with the 2,074-page Senate health-care bill (as with its 2,014-page House counterpart) is that it wildly compounds the complexity by adding hundreds of new provisions, regulations, mandates, committees and other arbitrary bureaucratic inventions.
He continues that there is nothing to bring the components of the bills together and that both depend on political expediency for the string to bind them up. Mentioned in his article are the 118 commissions, boards and other “political” string that must also be bound up to make the pork roast. Mr. Krauthammer slams mandates with financial penalties, which he maintains are, ”picked out of a hat. He complains of insurance companies being told what weights to give risk factors (something at which they are quite expert). And, he speaks to sliding scales, also “picked out of a hat,” that will raise income taxes for the middle class along with other unintended consequences.
Mr. Krauthammer suggest three components for a health care overhaul that aren’t at all mentioned in either the House or Senate bills. Of course there are reasons why they are not mentioned and he does not leave them hanging. After he trashes both bills by naming them irredeemable, he goes forth to explain why, suggesting the sacrifice of a couple of sacred cows and pigs in the process:
First, tort reform. This is money — the low-end estimate is about half a trillion per decade — wasted in two ways. Part is simply hemorrhaged into the legal system to benefit a few jackpot lawsuit winners and an army of extravagantly rich malpractice lawyers such as John Edwards. [he has much more to say on tort reform and the reader would do well to read his words]
Second, even more simple and simplifying, abolish the prohibition against buying health insurance across state lines. Some states have very few health insurers. Rates are high. So why not allow interstate competition? After all, you can buy oranges across state lines. If you couldn’t, oranges would be extremely expensive in Wisconsin, especially in winter.
But neither bill lifts the prohibition on interstate competition for health insurance. Because this would obviate the need — the excuse — for the public option, which the left wing of the Democratic Party sees (correctly) as the royal road to fully socialized medicine.
His third component may be the least popular, but it is sure less dangerous and more practical than the silliness that our senators and representatives tell us about actual cost measures in their bills:
Third, tax employer-provided health insurance. This is an accrued inefficiency of 65 years, an accident of World War II wage controls. It creates a $250 billion annual loss of federal revenue — the largest tax break for individuals in the entire federal budget.
This reform is the most difficult to enact, for two reasons. The unions oppose it. And Barack Obama savaged the idea when John McCain proposed it during last year’s campaign.
Mr. Krauthammer ends his piece with a plea to take the issues one by one which amounts to the same thing as saying, “slow down you’re going to fast.” Something said, over and over. Take the complete article and it makes sense and puts the Senate and House bills where they belong … in the trash bin. Grab the article. And, you don’t have to read th bill … these folks hearthebill.org will read it for you.
- The Party Of Maybe (andrewsullivan.theatlantic.com)