Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Twin Disasters: Cap & Trade and Healthcare Reform

Cap & Trade and Healthcare Reform (as currently proposed) are distinct issues, but they share in common the ability to destroy our economy and our future. They will set in motion a series of events which will be disastrous. Paying for these initiatives will require massive increases in taxes at every level of society. This taxation will literally suck trillions of dollars out of the private economy. These are dollars that will then not be available for consumption and investment. Since the demand for products and services will be severely diminished, the people who provide them will not be needed. This will result in business closures and job losses of unprecedented magnitude.

Don't let the politicians get away with the lie that businesses and "rich" people will pay for these efforts. It is the middle and lower classes that will pay the price in the form of lost jobs, diminished expectations and a bleak economic future.

Each issue has its own additional set of horrors beyond their macro-economic effects.

Cap and Trade is a thinly disguised tax on energy and production which will raise energy costs significantly for every individual and business in the country. Under such a plan, the government, not the free market, will determine which industries thrive and which ones suffer. The whole premise on which Cap and Trade is based, global warming and impending environmental doom, has been shown by many scientists to be a hoax at worst and questionable speculative theory at best. It is hardly a legitimate reason to consider an economy killing policy such as Cap and Trade. The fact that some of our major competitors, namely India and China, do not have such taxes will further erode our already difficult competitive position in the global market.

Healthcare Reform, as currently proposed, will replace an admittedly imperfect private insurance industry with a completely awful nationalized, single payer government bureaucracy. Healthcare decisions will be in the hands of government bureaucrats and their motivation will be to reduce costs, not to care for people. The supply of doctors will fall dramatically as our best and our brightest pursue more lucrative careers. This at a time when our aging population demands more doctors. Healthcare will be rationed and many people with serious conditions will experience deteriorating health and even death as they are forced to wait for, or are denied, care. And lastly, the much heralded number of 46 million uninsured that is used to justify the legislation is a lie. If you subtract from this number illegal aliens, those that are eligible for Medicare and Medicaid but aren't signed up and those, especially the young, that can afford to purchase insurance but choose not to, you have a number that is some fraction of 46 million. We are a compassionate country and there is a way that we can pay for healthcare for the truly needy, but it does not necessitate totally revamping the system to put everyone under government control.

Fortunately, for now Cap and Trade appears to be on the back burner a bit. It barely passed in the House after a lot of arm twisting (breaking?), but its chances in the Senate are reportedly slim for now. Healthcare Reform has probably been delayed until after the August recess and there is now hope that some of its more draconian mandates may be removed. Still, both these issues are very much alive and have a great deal of money and political clout behind them. They are not going away.

3 comments:

Terri said...

What do you propose for health care reform?

Sloane Graff said...

Terri:

My suggestions:

1. Tort Reform!
2. Increased competition among private insurance cos.
3. National mandate for electronic medical records
4. Wellness incentives for all insurance programs
3. Cradle to grave health care for the TRULY needy paid for by taxing people who make more than $25K a year. (and this from a far right conservative!)

Terri said...

1) So...not allowing patients to litigate against negligent physicians/insurance companies/pharmaceutical companies?
2) How would you propose an increase in competition? Health insurance no longer tied heavily to employment and focus on HSAs?
3) These already exist with many employer-tied health insurance plans and have a proven ROI. How would you implement this? In the individual market? A mandate?
4) How do you define "truly needy?" Do you increase taxes on individuals who make more than $25K/year, or households, or? Do you propose a progressive tax system for this? Flat tax, which would unduly burden many at the lower-end of the income scale?

( This is from a far-left progressive who isn't sold on the Democratic plan as proposed and who is interested in genuine discourse, not *fear* and *socialism*:) )