Friday, September 04, 2009


Max has left a new comment on your post, "Violence only begets violence it's never the answer!"

Yes, I am--like nearly all the informed health professionals I know--dead set against the federal government "reforming" healthcare. That's too much power for an entity that produces nothing and is at the heart of the current problems. My estimate is that as much as 41 cents of today's private healthcare comes from cost-shifting from the short/no pays under MediCare, Medicaid, and Indigent Care.

1) If we want competition, we can have it by allowing competition across state lines. Taxpayer subsidized anything is unfair "competition" (if can be called that).

2) Remove hundreds of state and federal mandates that continue to drive up costs by requiring needless coverage (such as maternity, etc. for those who do not need it).

3) Tort reform needs to go much further than merely putting caps on non-economic suffering. The spectre of malpractice claims looms no matter how low or high the caps are. Currently, the cost threshold for legal representation in tort claims runs at $250,000---and that is just to get to trial!

4) Expand Medical MSAs (we called them Medical IRAs in the Golden Rule study). This model consists of two simple components:

i) A very low cost, high deductible (say, $2,500-$5,000) major medical policy and

ii) An interest-bearing, tax-exempt, medical savings account from which the deductible is paid (Amazingly, the draw down rate from that account goes to nil when people get healthy!)

5) Use the Medical MSA model of health insurance to become an option for Medicaid and for MediCare and watch the costs of those program go into meltdown. For those who cannot afford insurance, a voucher system on the deductible can be devised with established financial thresholds. As one can see, we should reject out of hand having such a costly, inefficient, freedom-robbing, power-based entity as the federal government running healthcare.

It can be done much cheaper at the private market without curtailing a laundry list of lost freedoms and onerous taxation. The only reason ObamaCare has earned silence from many of the players at the table (AMA, Pharma, AARP, etc.) is because each have been promised "business as usual" and more. Bribing does not come cheaply. ObamaCare will cost more than the current system and cost us much, much--and progressively--more.

The nature of this freedom-destroying beast should not be let out of its cage. Instead, get the beast out of the way and give us the hard-working, ingenious enterprise of freedom and entreprenuership to resolve what's wrong in healthcare today. Other countries are bound to follow suit.
Dear Max:

Thank you for writing. We haven't been following the national health care debate in the United States very closely so are unable to make an informed comment other than to say, we haven't seen the current level of public dissent in your country since the Vietnan war of the late 1950's.

Here we've had, for lack of a better term, "socialized medicine" going back over 50 years. While no doubt it has shortcomings, every Canadian is entitled to basic medical care, thus, no one goes uninsured.

Roles and responsibilities for Canada's health care system are shared between the federal and provincial-territorial governments. Under the Canada Health Act, our federal health insurance legislation, criteria and conditions are specified that must be satisfied by the provincial and territorial health care insurance plans for them to qualify for their full share of the federal cash contribution, available under the Canada Health Transfer Act. Provincial and territorial governments are responsible for the management, organization and delivery of health services for their residents. (


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