Providing health care to every American is a costly panacea that may total more than $1 trillion dollars in ten years.
Where will all this money come from?
Proposals to support a new plan have been made from three chief sources- The White House, The Senate Finance Committee and The House.
Let’s review each of these.
· Slash Medicare and Medicaid reimbursements to hospitals, drug companies and home health agencies
· Abolish private plan subsidies for the elderly
· Limit deductions on charitable contributions and mortgage interests to raise $326 billion in taxes
My criticism of the above:
· Hospitals and home health agencies are already operating at Hugh deficits and asking them to see indigent patients without proper reimbursements while trying to make their expenses and payrolls are difficult if not unrealistic
· The elderly are in many cases barely holding on. For those who are in need of many medications, you will get people who are going to have to decide between food and rent or life-sustaining medications
· Charities in these economic times are already suffering a great deal and by limiting tax donations to them, you are also going to see less donations which will hurt those that need help the most.
The Senate Finance Committee:
· Taxing the health benefits provided by employers
· Remove Medicare sliding scale from states that have higher expenses
· Cut Medicare payments to teaching hospitals
· Expect Big Pharma to give greater discounts to state Medicaid programs
· Demand nonprofit hospitals provide care to indigent patients in exchange for maintaining tax exemptions
· Cutting payments to teaching hospitals may cause major cuts to training residents and medical students or worse, having to eliminate training programs entirely. At a time when physicians in certain regions will be at a shortage, especially in the primary care arena, decreasing programs for teaching is shortsighted.
· In the current economy, many families are barely making ends meet and by increasing taxes on benefits may tip the scales into bankruptcy or necessitating that the employee declines the insurance benefit.
· Place a tax on sugar-laden beverages, which contribute to national obesity
· VAT – value-added tax on consumer goods
· Removing tax deductions to Big Pharma for prescription drug advertising
My 2 Cents:
· While the idea of trying to thwart people from drinking beverages that may not be healthy for them, the money raised from this is a drop in the bucket to the amount of money that is needed. Consumers will also fear what food group or grocery item would be next.
· VAT would affect lower income households
How about taking the money from funds we give away annually to subsidize other countries?
Doesn’t charity begin at home?
When we are facing fiscal crisis, shouldn’t we be thinking of bailing out the U.S.A. over bailing out the economies of other countries?
After all, if we go under, we won’t be in a position to help out anyone else.
That time, my friends, may be fast approaching!