Thursday, August 02, 2007

I’m Pro-Choice…

…but not on the issue that you think.

On Tuesday, Rudy Giuliani proposed a unique health care plan that radically differs from the government managed system that the Democrats have touted. The Giuliani Plan, in essence, gives each family up to a $15,000 tax credit to buy health insurance, and anything left over from that credit would be rolled over for year to year medical expenses.

From an MSNBC Article:

Democratic candidates John Edwards and Barack Obama have proposed more detailed steps to deal with the 47 million Americans lacking health insurance. Edwards' plan has an individual mandate requiring all Americans to have coverage. Employers would have to share the cost of insuring workers or pay into a public program.

Edwards estimates that his plan would cost $90 billion to $120 billion per year and would be financed by repealing President Bush's tax cuts on those making more than $200,000 per year.

Obama's plan calls for the creation of a public program similar to the health plan offered to federal employees, and a National Health Insurance Exchange for consumers to shop among private plans. Employers would have to share the cost of insuring workers.

Obama estimates his plan would cost $50 billion to $65 billion per year, paid for by letting Bush's tax cuts expire on those making more than $250,000 per year.

OK, let’s think about this for a second or two. The Democrat’s plan is funded by taxes and managed by the government. So that’s more money out of your pocket (higher taxes), and when have you last heard of anything managed by the government being a success? And if the Democrats plan becomes reality, do you really think that it will hold costs down, i.e., your tax bill?  Government is famous for spending your money.

Let’s also think of this too – at the present time, if a HMO screws up, denies or delays coverage for a medical procedure, and the person dies, their survivors can sue for damages & compensation. Do you think that you can sue the government for the same thing? I highly doubt that anyone would be successful in that endeavor.

So Giuliani’s plan is pretty attractive for more than a few reasons.  Here are a few more:

First of all, it puts the consumer (you) in the driver’s seat for selecting the health plan that best suits you. A government plan would have only a few choices, the private sector has hundreds.

Second, it gets the employer out of the health-care business. Take a look at the automotive sector for instance. Several thousand dollars from each American-built car go into paying for the health insurance for its employees and retirees. The financial burden is huge, and does not help the Ford, GM, and Chrysler products compete against those brands that do not have this burden. Removing those costs would help businesses become more competitive not only domestically, but internationally as well.

Third, it keeps the government out of your personal health-care decisions. Yes, there will be those that make poor decisions (there always are), but we need our citizens to stand up and take personal responsibility for themselves instead of relying upon government to do it for them. A quote from Giuliani from the same article states:

"Government cannot take care of you. You've got to take care of yourself."

Next, this plan has the potential to keep the size of government down. Less government, less taxes (or at least that’s the theory). All one has to do is look at the bloated Social Security and Medicare/Medicaid agencies, and you know what I mean.

Last, this would not be funded by tax increases, but on money that you have already earned in your job. Wouldn’t it be nice to not have a bigger tax bill, and take home more of what you earn?  (Note:  This last is my interpretation of the plan.  It will be interesting to see how this does pan out.)

Whoever wins the next election seriously needs to look at this plan.  At first blush, this is a unique approach to the health care costs facing this country's employed and employers.  I believe it's better than the government becoming more of a "nanny-state" that the Democrats are promoting with their proposal.  I already know that the argument will be made that there will be those that make poor choices, and that will be true.  However, those people should be the exception, not the rule, and should not be the reason for dragging the rest of us down.

Yes, I'm pro-choice - for my health care options.  How about you?

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