Thursday, September 24, 2009

To Subsidize Everyone is to Subsidize No One.

If you subsidize everyone you subsidize no one. 

Therefore it is very difficult, if not impossible to subsidize the middle 
class. You would have to tax the rich at a very high rate which might 
impact investment. Since investment is like indiscriminate charity it 
might actually produce a lower standard of living for the middle class.
So if you are middle class and you think that you are not paying for 
your children's education you are wrong. You are paying every penny.
If you are middle class and you think that you will make out if medical 
care is socialized you, again, are most likely mistaken.

Love of Money in the Bible

1 Timothy 6:9-10 (King James Version)

9 But they that will be rich fall into temptation and a snare, and into many foolish and hurtful lusts, which drown men in destruction and perdition.

10 For the love of money is the root of all evil: which while some coveted after, they have erred from the faith, and pierced themselves through with many sorrows.

First a better translation of "root of all evil" would be "root of all kinds of evil".

Further in the bible the words love and hate are often used to mean in a relative way. Thus the passage:

"If any man come to me, and hate not his father, and mother...he cannot be my disciple." (Luke 14:26)

What it means is that one should not put even father, and mother above God. If your father or mother wants you do immoral things you should not do them but put God first. (note:Luke the writer wrote elsewhere to love your parents and he was not stupid.)

So the passage that talks about the love of money is a warning against putting money above God and or morality. E.g. doing immoral things to get money.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Some Revealing Healthcare stats

Lots of Healthcare Stats Here : I see 2 things in these stats:

1. The political power of providers in the USA. Groups like the AMA (the AMA is in effect the doctors union). They often assert this power through over regulation and excessive licensing which insure that they will be used to do things that less licensed people could do. They also use licensing to keep supply low and in turn prices high.
2. Monopsony enabling the squeezing of providers is a big factor in how other countries achieve lower healthcare spending. Monopsony is a monopoly of buyers. So for example in Japan the government pays for almost all health so they can tell the providers (doctors and hospitals) what they will pay. The only alternative to accepting the low compensation that the providers have is to leave the business of healthcare. This gives the single payer great power to reduce prices but creates the shortages and waiting that we hear about.

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

A Healthcare Compromise

This is a compromise between advocates of government provided health insurance and those against:
The state would provide insurance to all Americans but the annual deductible would be equal to the family’s trailing year adjusted income minus the poverty line income (say $25,000 for a family of 4) + $300. So a family of 4 with a trailing year adjusted income of $30,000 would have a deductible of $5,300. A family of 4 with a trailing year adjusted income of $80,000 would have a deductible of $55,300. Middle class and rich people could fill the gap with private supplemental insurance but this should be full taxed. This would encourage the middle class and rich, who are generally capable people, to demand prices from medical providers and might force down costs. They could opt to pay for most health-care out of pocket while the poor often less capable would be protected.
It is not a perfect plan but it might help. Some deregulation of health-care would also help the poor gain access. The gauntlet that Doctors have to run these days to get to practice seems like an anachronism in today’s world. Let smart people get to practice medicine after on the job training. Let the medical businesses decide who is qualified to practice medicine. 12 years of training to tell if my child has an ear infection is overkill and reduces access to health-care for the poor.
Another benefit of my plan is that it would encourage capable Americans (the rich and middle class) to be a counter weight politically against the providers.

Here is an article that makes a strong case for a system similar to the one that I propose.  His plan suggests a  insurance for catastrophic events that cost more than, $50,000 combined with a large health savings account.