Archive for the ‘Economics’ Category

The Bagzzz Healthcare Plan

February 5, 2010

With ideas and rejections of ideas from both sides, along with a few Ideas that are not being discussed, below is a quick summary of a comprehensive health care plan.

1) Get the third party payers out as much as possible. I dont care if you are talking about a single payer or multiple insurance companies. If you dont pay for your health care, you have no incentive to keep costs down. Our family has a choice of a standard policy for $500 a month or a $5000 deductible catastrophic policy for under $100 a month. We chose the latter. We put $350 into a HSA and within 2 years have no risk of even losing the $5000. When I go to the doctor and he wants to give me a test (or an aspirin) I ask how much does it cost? He is then forced to justify the cost for everything.  The doctor loves it because he gets paid with my HSA debit card that day and he doesn’t have to fill out insurance paperwork.

2)Stop limiting the number of students into medical school. Set up standards and stick to them. If an extra million students can pass the standards and the medical schools have the room to squeeze them in, let them in. The Government has no business putting a quota on medical students or interns.

3) Tort Reform. I would not go as far as loser pay every time, because sometimes there are reasonable arguments on both sides that should be hammered out in court, but there should be a frivolity standard that requires loser pay – plus damages. That would limit frivolous lawsuits.

4)State Reciprocity. This should be done voluntarily between the states and the Federal Govt should stay away. That way states with higher standards can keep them and all insurance companies wont flee to the state with the laws that benefit the insurer at the expense of the insured. States should set up reciprocity the way they do with conceal carry laws or driving records.

The above recommendations will lower costs, now lets tackle the issue of the uninsured and uninsurable. To begin with I have real problems with requiring people to buy health insurance, but I have even bigger problems with Government confiscating money from me and then spending it on a policy I would never buy. If we agree as a society that we are a rich society and not having health insurance is a burden on society, I am willing to compromise.

5)Make insurance mandatory, but at the most minimal level. Catastrophic insurance can be bought for as little as $50 a month. Of course there will be a huge deduction, but that deduction will not ruin your life forever.  That is the most society should force on a human being. That protects society from large losses due to uncovered people and allows the maximum amount of personal freedom to individuals. The penalty for not having insurance is $2000 and put all fines into the current Medicaid system with one exception: A very high deduction of say $10,000. Make the “Government Option” the least desirable. For people who can’t afford $50 a month there is Medicaid. Dont change that. Anyone who does not qualify for Medicaid can afford $50 a month.That is less than 6 hours work at minimum wage.  Health Insurance is not a right, it is a personal responsibility. The beauty of this plan is that if you choose not to own up to your responsibilities and expect Government to take care of you, you will get exactly what you ask for and deserve. The people who are truly in need and require the safety net are taken care of – as they always have been.

6)Older people can’t get $50 a month catastrophic coverage. I understand that. But they can get pretty close to that until they are covered by medicare. I am not proposing any changes in medicare, so they will not be affected.

7)Don’t let insurance companies drop someone who gets sick. This handles the issue of uninsurability. Since everyone is insured and can’t get dropped, uninsurable people become non existant.

8)Any plan with any preferences to any state or any congressional district, any group like unions, or any other politically motivated deal not in the interest of Society as a whole  is subject to immediate veto.


February 4, 2010

Let’s start at the beginning. Caveman days. No wealth. A guy had to work 14 hour days to gather food and build shelter and he had nothing to show for it. When he couldn’t work 14 hours a day, he died.

Then came tools. These were the first wealth builders. They allowed man to do the same thing in less time. He was still poor, but he was wealthier. He didn’t have to work 14 hours so his wealth took the form of leisure time.

Jump to the dark ages when Monarchs had castles and leisure time while the people toiled in poverty.

Jump to the industrial revolution.  People harnessed energy and transformed it into wealth. People who knitted by hand got fired, but wealth was created.  This progressed to the 1970’s where everyone had a TV and leisure time to use it. Everyone in this nation shares in the wealth whether they produce or not.

Then we had the 80’s and wealth began to stagnate. The GDP was on a plateau. The savior? The 90s started to realize the potential of Computers. A computer could do the job of 5 people. Architects and engineers replaced 6 draftsmen with one draftsman and a CAD station. Accountants replaced 3 bookkeepers with a computer and turbotax. Clinton claimed credit for the increased efficiencies and Gore claimed credit for inventing the internet.

Now we are at a crossroads and we are being told that the new energy economy will save us the way computers or other technical advances did. I have one question though. What are the increased efficiencies? Is it easier to build a windmill or burn a lump of coal? The answer is simple. It is easier and more efficient to burn the coal. That is proved by the cost. It is cheaper to burn coal therefore it is more efficient.

It might be cleaner to build the windmill. The CO2 produced constructing the windmill is astounding and reflected in the cost. Even so, new energy is currently less efficient. In the future it will be more difficult to extract coal and oil and it will become more efficient to use new energy, but even then it will be less efficient than what we have now. therefore do not expect a boost to the economy.

So don’t look to the new energy economy to get us out of the recession. In fact it is just the opposite. The new energy economy is doublespeak for “Forced inefficiencies by the government” These inefficiencies can only hurt the economy.

If there were economic benefits from the “New Energy Economy,” the current government would be wise to do nothing but sit back and take the credit for it.