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I wanted to make a post about the comment a user made of my universal health care post. He brings up a few good issues and he is worth posting about:

Here was his comment:

If you want cheaper, better health care, open up the state lines and let people buy it from out of state. This will create competition, and competition lowers costs. The free market always works because people are rational and if they are allowed to act with self-interest they will make the right decision. All government intervention is bad, our public schools are worse in ratings compared to 3rd world countries, i can only imagine what would happen if the government took control of health care. Also, if businesses are taxed to pay for the lower incomes health care, the poor will end up paying for it because corporations don’t pay taxes, they will make up for it by raising prices and adding fees. medicare and medicaid are going bankrupt, government ran health agencies. And don’t forget that the passing of the health care in house was as monumental as the passing of social security, also bankrupt.

I commented back a few days later with this response:

I agree with some of your comment, but not all of it. I do believe in the free market system, but unfortunately it doesn’t ever become “free.” Government intervention is the usual culprit, but not all government intervention is bad. I do agree our education system sucks and its a hard truth to take in, but who is to blame? You cannot generalize too quickly on this serious of a situation. I am not saying its the DOE’s fault, but do you think there are some social/technological implications overlooked that may have skewed our rank? With the emergence of social media, there could be something to poke at: Students aged 8-18 spend on average 7.5 hrs on a computer, TV, smart phone, or other electronic device. This was a NYT article which could be found here: http://www.nytimes.com/2010/01/20/education/20wired.html?. This article explains that our youth is more connected than ever before.

But, I do not want to argue that our education system sucks or that its not our fault that or whatever about the education system. Your comment was in relation to universal health care.

First, you cannot let health care competition cross borders. If you did, you would have to consider the following: Each state has its own health laws, because many are not mandated at the federal level. Now if the Government would make all health care laws and regulations the same for every state so all the laws are universal, maybe you could open up competition to all states. I’m not an expert in health care, but are there geographic or risk factors that are more or less associated with different states?

I see a fallacy though: “if businesses are taxed to pay for the lower incomes health care, the poor will end up paying for it because corporations don’t pay taxes, they will make up for it by raising prices and adding fees.”

First, corporations are actually double taxed. They are first taxed on their annual earnings and then taxed again on their dividend payments to shareholders. So I do not see how they wouldn’t pay for it. If they do business in America, they have to abide by the tax laws, and they will pay. Businesses are subject to the taxes they are forced to pay. However, just like in the free market, if the environment of doing business is cheaper else where, they will go there. If taxes go up, corporations will most certainly will try to compensate for it, but most of the time taxes fluctuate for corporations.

Second, Medicare/Medicaid were never designed to be a long-term program. Each program has to be re-evaluated and modified with current market conditions, population, etc.. If you were to build a a snowman and hopes it sticks around for the summer, you would be standing next to a pile of water. The point I am making is that medicare/medicaid are going bankrupt because it never adapted for future environmental fluctuations. That’s why there are revisions to help keep the longevity going but from the looks of it, there won’t be.

I believe there is good balance between government assisted health care and privately owned health care, what comes down to it, is money.

It is not humane for senior citizens to be left without proper health care because they simply cannot afford it. That is why medicare/medicaid was created. Business is about making money, specifically profit. It does not make sense for a business to cover a member who is not able to pay for their healthcare. Unless mandated by the government (medicare/medicaid). If the government says: “you have to cover the lower income classes, even though they won’t be able to pay for the medical bills and you will have to pick up the tab,” they will. But that isn’t fair. So instead of having health insurance companies picking up the tab, tax-payers (we) do. Ta-da, medicare/medicaid.

One thing we can agree on though, America has probably the best health care available in the world but quality health care is expensive.

Where do you draw the line though? Not everyone can pay for quality, so do we just say, “Sorry, you are a lower income citizen, tough shit.” I believe that is wrong, we need a government sponsored program to help those who pose a legitimate need, but regulate it enough that citizens can’t live off of the system. If you are not working for your country, get the hell out.

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