Thursday, January 21, 2010

Left and Right agree: soak the "rich"

Tyler reports on health care contingency plans from the right and left sides of the blogosphere and they have one thing in common; the rich should pay.

M. McArdle:   "eliminate the tax-deductibility of health insurance benefits for people making more than $150K a year in household income, $100K for singles."

E. Klein:  "Revenue comes from a surtax on the wealthy."


How about increasing the supply of medical providers? How about allowing insurance companies to compete for clients across state lines? How about eliminating the tax-deductibility of health insurance benefits for ALL people? How about experimenting more with the Mayo clinic type model which is not (in my understanding anyway) a fee for service model? How about encouraging people to exercise more, eat better and stay healthy? How about tort reform?

Of course the best thing would be to somehow reduce the hysteria about access to health care. Most health care doesn't actually work, and our society wastes billions of dollars annually on the health care game. How about a subsidized national pool for catastrophic coverage insurance and the rest is up to you?

It is a very disturbing trend to see individual groups getting singled out for benefits or tax hits. Unions getting exempted from the "cadillac tax", big banks singled out to repay the TARP money that went to GM and Chrysler, the rich to pay for increased health care coverage, Nebraska getting exempted from having to pay for expansion of Medicaid in the state.  I don't think we can expect good results from continuing this method of getting agreements or financing expenditure in the long run.