Wednesday, December 08, 2010

(Military) HealthcareGates

A fundamental premise of ObamaCare© is that government is a more efficient manager of health care costs. As we've already shown, this is simply not the case. Medicare, though, is only one existing federal health care scheme; another, lesser-known one is the military's health care "system," known as "Tricare."

To give readers a sense of how out of control government-sponsored health care is, one need only consider the words of a retired Marine who chose to stay in that system despite the very nice benefits package available from his current employer:

"(H)e and his family remain on the military’s bountiful lifetime health insurance, Tricare, with fees of only $460 a year. He calls the benefit “phenomenal” ... It is so cheap compared to what Booz Allen [his current employer] has ... acknowledging that premiums called for by private employers can run many times greater."

No kidding! Could that be because that cost is borne not by himself or his employer, but by thee and me (i.e. the taxpayer)? And the situation continues to worsen, since so many of those who are eligible opt for the less expensive (for them) Tricare.

But is it really less expensive?

Well, it depends on one's perspective: it sure seems like a good deal for enrollees, but for those of us who actually foot the bill, not so much. It's gotten so bad, in fact, that Defense Secretary Robert Gates "is seriously considering whether to ask for Tricare fee increases in next year’s budget."

"Seriously considering?" Are you kidding me?! At a time of unprecedented national debt, with unemployment consistently hovering around 10% (or, more accurately, 17%, as measured by the more accurate U-6), why is this even a question?

Here's why:

"The battle over Tricare pits the efforts of the Pentagon to contain the exploding cost of health care for nearly 10 million eligible beneficiaries against the pain and emotions of those who say they have already “paid up front” with service in uniform."

While I certainly respect and appreciate that service, not all (or even many) of those "10 million eligible beneficiaries" were front-line troops; in fact, many (most?) are the families of those who served. Yes, they made a sacrifice, but almost all of the service-members were volunteers. But even that's beside the point: the key phrase here is "exploding cost of health care." Now where have we heard that phrase before?

Oh, yeah.

So the Fed's are having no more success containing the cost of health care under Tricare as Medicare, yet we're supposed to believe that adding tens or hundreds of millions more folks to those programs will somehow magically solve the cost problem?


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