Health Care Winners and Losers

Now that Congress has passed the bill they called the healthcare bill, let me offer some of my opinions and predictions. First let’s start with the bill itself. That bill has little to do with healthcare. The bill is primarily a tax and welfare bill. Lots of new taxes and thievery from other entitlements to give to people who “cannot afford” health insurance. There are only a handful of healthcare related pieces of the bill, but lots of health INSURANCE related pieces. On the healthcare front the main statement the bill makes is that we spend too much on health care and the federal government is going to put a stop to that!  How? Ultimately by killing people without giving them healthcare. That is what all other countries do. People die in line waiting for care they need to make them healthy, or are denied healthcare completely because it just too costly. Will Americans put up with that?  Good question. Will we even know it? Probably not. After all, ask a doctor in 1970 to use his MRI machine to find if you have a brain tumour and he will look at you like you are insane. Why? Because the MRI machine was invented in 1974. How many new medical inventions will this bill inspire? My guess. None. Health care worldwide died on 2/21/10.

The Winners:

  1. Health insurance companies. WTF? Evil insurance companies were the reason the bill passed. Why would they be the big winners? Let’s take the electric power industry as an example.  Are they still around? Do they have good profits? Do they suffer from being regulated? Yes. Yes. and No. The power industry was determined to be necessary for everyone by the federal government in the 1930’s. They became a regulated monopoly. Anything that is deemed necessary, or in the current vernacular “too big to fail”, will eventually be controlled by the government. But, those people in the government that control these utilities are basically too stupid to control them. We see time and again that government regulators are years, if not decades, behind the things they regulate. The utilities, on the other hand, will lead these regulators by the nose, keeping their profits stable and sucking dollars from their captive audience forever. Take your electric bill. Does it go down? I don’t think so.
  2. Federal Bureaucracy. Nancy Pelosi claimed in her giggle laden speech before the vote that this bill would create 4 million jobs. I will assume that 90% of those are her plans for how the federal bureaucracy will grow. It might take a few years but I wouldn’t doubt that Obama will try starting tomorrow to hire as many of those 4 million as he can.

The Losers:

  1. Low-paid workers. Expect unemployment to increase to 12% reported and 17% actual. Eventually if things keep going this way we will match European unemployment rates because we will have the same economic system as Europe. Why low-paid workers? Because those workers will cost more to employers so they will be …  fired.
  2. Real taxpayers. By real taxpayers I’m talking about people who pay the majority of the taxes, or as the Democrats call them, the wealthy.
  3. The U.S. Economy. The taxes imposed by this system will not be an incentive to economic growth. This will contribute to unemployment and general economic malaise.
  4. Anyone who currently has insurance but gets sick. This is a close call. There are some benefits to these people in that insurance companies will have to treat some of their ailments. But on the down side we all will suffer from the coming stagnation of medical technology.

The future of health insurance is predictable. Eventually everyone in the country will have the same health plan, there is no real insurance involved, and profits will be fixed, no doubt at a level higher than current profits. Health insurance premiums will rise and care will decline. Wealthy people will pay out of pocket and a new type of health insurance will start. This will be the health insurance you want to have to keep you from dying waiting for your healthcare.

One Response to “Health Care Winners and Losers”

  1. Bruce Sherman Says:

    Well said! Obama always said if you like your insurance you can keep your insurance but this is not true. Other losers … Medicare advantage participants. With the significant cuts in funding for Medicare advantage plans, I expect benefits to be cut significantly and some plans may be discontinued. Other losers … employees with “cadillac” plans. I expect most employers to cut benefits to try to keep below the threshold. The theshold amount is not indexed for inflation so eventually most plans will end up paying these extra taxes. By the way, the increased “Medicare” taxes for “high” income earners and investment income is also not indexed for inflation so eventually this will be collected from the middle class.

    Recent data shows that 47% of taxpayers pay zero federal tax or negative tax (they get cash back and owe no taxes). So half the population is supporting all the services for the other half. This is very dangerous as half the population has no “skin in the game” and just wants more services and bigger government, while the other half is forced to pay for all this unproductive activity.

    These trends really make me mad and could seriously undermine the capitalist system that has made America great.

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