Wednesday, January 24, 2007

Health Care State of the Union

Parsing and commenting on the State of the Union, 2007 . . .

When it comes to health care, government has an obligation to care for the elderly, the disabled and poor children. And we will meet those responsibilities.

For all other Americans, private health insurance is the best way to meet their needs.

Poor children.

Nothing about poor adults.

Or illegals.

Private health insurance is the answer for most, but not all.

But many Americans cannot afford a health insurance policy.

Actually, most CAN afford health insurance.

They just need to be reasonable in the way they approach managing their money and risk.

First, I propose a standard tax deduction for health insurance that will be like the standard tax deduction for dependents

Tax deductions are fine . . . for those who pay taxes.

Records show the top 50% of wage earners pay 94% of the income taxes.

For Americans who now purchase health insurance on their own, this proposal would mean a substantial tax savings: $4,500 for a family of four making $60,000 a year.

I will be curious to find out how this was derived.

States that make basic private health insurance available to all their citizens should receive federal funds to help them provide this coverage to the poor and the sick.

And where does federal money come from?

The top 50% of wage earners who are paying 94% of the taxes . . .

Who is a top 50 wage earner?

Drum roll please . . .

Those earning in excess of $32,000 per year (AGI).

We need to help small businesses through association health plans.


Been there, done that, didn't work then either.

We will encourage price transparency.

The Professor will love that one.

And to protect good doctors from junk lawsuits, we need to pass medical liability reform.

Tort reform.

As in the case of "loser pays"?

This too has its' faults.

In all we do, we must remember that the best health care decisions are made not by government and insurance companies, but by patients and their doctors.

Do I hear an "Amen"?
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