Barack Obama is about to accomplish the health care equivalent of parting the Red Sea. According to AP, his new health care plan is going to accomplish what most rational people had heretofore thought impossible: expanding coverage while simultaneously reducing costs:

Obama said putting in place universal health coverage has been debated for decades, but the time has finally come to act. He said his plan could save the average consumer $2,500 a year and bring health care to all.

What a load of BS! Even the “progressive community,� a group not well known for its highly developed math skills, should be able to see through this. But Obama provides a hint for those having difficulty doping it out:

Obama conceded that the overall cost of the program would be high, while not providing a specific number.

And how is he going to cover these “high� costs? Hmm … let’s see … how do Washington apparatchiks normally pay for the “gifts� they give to the American public? Raise taxes? Yep:

“To help pay for this, we will ask all but the smallest businesses who don’t make a meaningful contribution to the health coverage of their workers to do so to support this plan,” said Obama. “And we also will repeal the temporary Bush tax cut for the wealthiest taxpayers.”

Requiring a business to “make a meaningful contributionâ€? is what people outside of the beltway refer to as a “hidden tax.” What do I mean? Well, when the expenses of businesses go up, they pass the additional costs on to their customers. As for repealing the Bush tax cut, it’s pretty obvious that Obama’s definition of “wealthiest taxpayersâ€? includes anyone with a job.

Under Obama’s plan, it is theoretically possible that the average consumer may save some money in health care expenses. Those savings will, however, quickly disappear into the coffers of the tax collector or the bottomless pit of inflation.

Fortunately, it will probably take a miracle for this character to get the Democratic presidential nomination.


I guess I was wrong in my assumption that even “progressives” would be able to see through this charade. Ezra Klein, at TAPPED, couldn’t care less about the conflicting goals of expanding care and reducing costs. His main problem with the plan is that it isn’t heavy-handed enough:

The Obama plan isn’t nearly so vicious to the employer link as I’d prefer.

More proof that the “universal health care” project is less about medical treatment than transferring as much power as possible to our masters in Washington.

Comments 14

  1. Michael wrote:

    I know that conservatives have a visceral reaction to helping people pay for critical expenses, but Obama’s plan has the greatest chance to succeed. Yes, taxes will go up. Taxes have to go up anyway to pay for the massive bill our Glorious Leader and his lapdogs have foisted on our nation. By comparison, Obama’s proposal would improve the quality of life and increase people’s ability to participate as good capitalists for far, far less in tax money.

    It’s been said that a society is judged by how it treats its least fortunate members. By that standard the United States is judged very poorly indeed, and the lack of compassion expressed in blogs such as this demonstrates why.

    Posted 29 May 2007 at 9:38 am
  2. Catron wrote:

    Taxes have to go up anyway …

    So, you admit that he’s lying when he says he’ll expand coverage while reducing cost?

    Posted 29 May 2007 at 9:50 am
  3. Michael wrote:

    No, I think he’s going to propose a method to lower direct consumer costs by spreading the burden out through tax money.

    However, since to my knowledge he hasn’t actually outlined a plan yet, this is purely speculation. I can only suggest what I would do in his position. By using taxes to offset the gross cost of basic health care, you lower the direct cost to each customer. Thus, more people get essential health care but pay less out of pocket per visit.

    Posted 29 May 2007 at 10:16 am
  4. Catron wrote:

    And where do the taxes come from, Michael? They come from the “consumer.” Sorry, there’s no free lunch here.

    Posted 29 May 2007 at 10:36 am
  5. Michael wrote:

    Nor did I suggest there was one. I spoke of lowering the direct cost, not the overall one. No one can lower the direct cost unless the health care industry changes dramatically or someone attempts to institute national price controls. I see neither happening in our lifetimes.

    So, what’s the solution? Make people pay the cost as they go? Save up for the inevitable rainy day when they can’t help but avoid going to the doctor or hospital? Neither alternative has much benefit for people who struggle to pay the bills they already have. If you aren’t fortunate to have a job that offers assistance with health insurance or doesn’t pay you when you get sick and can’t come in, these are not alternatives. These are obstacles to be avoided at all costs. Once they become unavoidable, you’re really in trouble.

    By using taxes to offset the rising costs of health care, some of the burden is shifted from the individual onto the collective. Two hundred million taxpayers giving one dollar in tax toward national health care means two hundred million dollars to help people who otherwise can’t afford a trip to the doctor. It helps the middle class as much as the poor because it means they can both budget their money a little better without sacrificing essential health care.

    That’s really the crux of the matter. “Pure” capitalists want to treat health care as a commodity, not a necessity. They want it to be a matter of people paying their own way, when it’s literally a matter of life and death. People who are sick don’t make good workers, which lowers productivity and efficiency. People who are healthy are far more likely to be productive members of society.

    Posted 29 May 2007 at 10:55 am
  6. Stuart Browning wrote:

    It’s been said that a society is judged by how it treats its least fortunate members. By that standard the United States is judged very poorly indeed, and the lack of compassion expressed in blogs such as this demonstrates why.

    I just love when progressives are compassionate with other people’s money! What moral courage!

    Posted 29 May 2007 at 11:17 am
  7. Michael wrote:

    Yes, thank you for boiling down a moral issue regarding quality of life to money.

    Posted 29 May 2007 at 11:22 am
  8. Stuart Browning wrote:

    Ah yes, liberal moral posturing. Certainly, I could have substituted “other people’s lives” for “money” – there’s no real difference.

    It’s amazing how liberals think: a need for health care by some trumps even the Declaration of Independence.

    Posted 29 May 2007 at 11:28 am
  9. Michael wrote:

    I’m afraid I don’t follow you here, being an unenlightened liberal and all. How does health care for all threaten other people’s lives? I thought the REAL issue here is money, not alleviating human suffering or even helping out people who don’t have the means to help themselves.

    So far as I can remember, which may be faulty since I hate everything the United States stands for in my typical liberal fashion, the Declaration of Independence speaks out against “taxation without representation,” not “taxation. Period.” Last I knew, there’s no lack of representation in government for people who think wealth is the only standard for success in America.

    Posted 29 May 2007 at 11:37 am
  10. Stuart Browning wrote:

    The founding fathers spoke of taxation as a means of financing only legitimate functions of government – specifically the military, courts and police. There is no right to health care. The Declaration of Independence speaks solely of a “pursuit of happiness” – not of a duty of others to guarantee your happiness.

    We are each free to pursue the values that bring happiness – including health care. No one has the right to confiscate the property of others (or the lives of doctors) in order to guarantee heath care to others – no matter how morally superior it makes you feel.

    Posted 29 May 2007 at 12:08 pm
  11. Michael wrote:

    What you write here is true: the founding fathers envisioned a very limited government, and that concept held fast so long as society allowed it to be true. However, those gentlemen also understood that they couldn’t dictate legislation to future generations beyond some very basic guidelines: keep your hands off until you are given no other choice. That’s why they made provisions to amend the highest laws of the land so that the nation could keep pace with changes the framers could not foresee.

    Were we still in the time of Franklin, Jefferson and Adams then everyone would have equal access to health care, and could negotiate the price of that care through whatever means they had available. Today we have to appeal to monolithic corporations who care more about their stock value than the common good; they’re not going to accept chickens in exchange for a doctor’s visit. On the one hand, using the government to intervene on the behalf of citizens may not be what Jefferson envisioned when he wrote the declaration of independence. On the other hand, he likely had no reference to comprehend the sort of life we live in today, and might very well have amended his Declaration to include corporations along side governments.

    The Declaration of Independence makes no mention to health, because when it was penned there was no expectation of quality health care as we have today. Today we MUST be healthy in order to be allowed to pursue our own happiness, let alone the other basic rights of life and liberty. Adhering to a strict interpretation of an 18th century document only works when you’re living in the 18th century or conditions near enough to it.

    Posted 29 May 2007 at 12:54 pm
  12. Stuart Browning wrote:

    As I said:

    It’s amazing how liberals think: a need for health care by some trumps even the Declaration of Independence.

    Posted 29 May 2007 at 12:59 pm
  13. Catron wrote:

    At the time the Declaration was written, Michael, the average life expectancy was well south of 40.

    I imagine that the founders, upon discovering that the average citizen now lives to be nearly 80, would regard the pusuit of happiness to be going pretty well.

    I would bet that your notion of giving huge power to the state in the cause of even better health would strike them as irrational in the extreme.

    Posted 29 May 2007 at 1:13 pm
  14. Michael wrote:

    I think you’re kind of making my point here, Catron. Given that the average life expectancy has increased, the founders would probably regard our health as part of that “pursuit of happiness.”

    The state already has huge power in the cause of health care, largely in the name of regulation and consumer safety. Having spent a few years in a country where medicine is made available to everyone regardless of socio-economic status, I can safely say that the costs of universal medicine are far outweighed by the benefits.

    Posted 29 May 2007 at 5:32 pm

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