Ronald Reagan said, “The nine most terrifying words in the English language are ‘I’m from the government, and I’m here to help.’” Dude was right. Just look at the success of No Child Left Behind (education fail), Social Security (bankrupt), and the DMV (do I need to say more?) to see in plain sight that government "help" does little to advance society.
As if the government didn’t have its sticky fingers in the health care industry enough with Medicare and Medicaid, President Barack Obama signed the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act into law in 2010, which mandates that everyone buy health insurance whether they want it or not. Here’s a not so well kept secret: The greater a government program sounds, the more afraid you should be of it. Beware the Unicorn in Every Backyard Act -- you’ll pay for it, but it’s doubtful you’ll ever get that unicorn.
So anyway, let’s talk about this Obamacare thing. It’s set up in a way that makes it incredibly difficult for your employer to offer you private insurance. More likely than not, your employer will drop your plan and opt to pay the (much smaller) fee. Meanwhile, you have to have insurance, because John Roberts says so, or pay a fee tax yourself.
Welcome to government-run health care, where money is scarce and service is scarcer. Here’s how this type of care works: The government says health care providers may only charge a fraction of what their services are worth to people on government plans. Because practitioners have their own bills to pay, they then have to charge their private customers more to make up the lost cost. Due to higher costs, more people have to drop private insurance and go on the government plan, and the whole thing spirals downward.
Of course, because this is the government we’re talking about, it is not self-funding. So how are we going to pay for all of these new patients on the dole? By robbing Medicare of $716 billion over the next 10 years. Yet somehow, when the CBO scored the bill, they were forced use some tricky math to count that money twice. Now all of a sudden something that seemed affordable is no longer. Think of it this way: If you move five dollars from your left hand to your right, you still only have five dollars. But if someone saw each of your hands with the money, they might logically conclude that you have ten.
Obamacare robs Medicare of nearly a trillion dollars, and the Obama campaign has the gall to come out and attack Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan for "gutting" Medicare by offering an optional voucher-based system to future seniors. Not to be implemented until 2023, this plan will not affect any current seniors, or any seniors entering the traditional system in the next decade.
What these vouchers do is offer an option to future seniors to have more control over their health care. By giving people the option to spend their Medicare money as they see fit, rather than how the government dictates, we’ll once again put the focus of health care back where it belongs -- in the exam room between the doctor and the patient.
This post is part of a weekly conversation with our Moms Matter 2012 political bloggers. To see the original question and what the other writers have to say, see Should Medicare Be Replaced by Subsidies?
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