This is a continuing series on the Primary Issues of the Presidential Election 2008. | Read Round One: McCain Versus Obama on the issue of Health care. | Round Two: Their take on the Iraq War. | Round Three: Obama Versus McCain on Free Trade. | Part One of Round Four on Natural Resources and Fossil Fuels, here. | In Part Two, we think the Democrats, Republicans And We All Are Misguided. | Part Three: McCain’s Position. Hypocrites Need Not Apply!! | Part Four: Obama Will Save The World, But the US will Go Broke in the Process | Round five: Is the US the Melting Pot or the Stagnation Pot? The candidate’s position on Immigration | Round Six: On the Issue of Abortion | Round Seven: McCain Versus Obama on Social Security: Obama Needs a Fundraiser, McCain Missing in Action | Part one of Round Eight: McCain Versus Obama on National Security, Obama’s Position | Part two of Round Eight: McCain Versus Obama on National Security, McCain’s Position
UPDATED: October 11, 2008
We originally came to the conclusion that Obama’s plan for health care was vastly better than McCain’s. We believed that the money given through a tax credit to pay for health care in McCain’s plan would just provide the opportunity for the insurance companies to raise prices, and that a universally available plan that was affordable to everyone was a great idea. To read our original opinion, complete this article to the end to see where we went wrong.
After we submitted our article, one of our readers pointed out to us that a major part of Obama’s plan is to take everyone into the health care plan, even those with pre-existing conditions, and we started to wonder how that would be paid for and by whom?
Obama’s health plan is modeled after the plan instituted last year in our home state. Massachusetts’ health plan, within just one year, has clearly demonstrated how completely wrong we were. The state has instituted the exact same plan as Obama promises. Let’s see how well it has worked.
Massachusetts told us how our health care would get more “affordable” if we forced everyone to purchase health care, but then they imposed a subtle and huge tax increase on citizens of the state. They required that all insurance companies cover all pre-existing conditions, no matter how serious, no matter how long they have existed and no matter how old the patient is. Take a second to think about that before you read further. No matter how long a person has been ill, no matter how old they are, no matter what state or federal government program had covered them in the past, they get to jump on the plan with the healthy and young. DO they pay more because they cost vastly more to cover? Actually, it is just the reverse. The state makes it even more painful by subsidizing the elderly and sick, forcing even more of the expense on the healthy and young.
The promise in Massachusetts was that insurance premiums would drop. Instead, what has happened is policy prices have skyrocketed 40% in a year as the healthy are forced to pay for the unhealthy and elderly, many that had been supported by state health programs. It is a great deal for the state, the sick and elderly, and a sharp indirect tax increase on the healthy and young.
Many have insurance through their jobs and thought that they were safe. But the fact is that their plans have soared in price as well and the companies in Massachusetts are being left with hard choices to reduce their health care coverage for their employees, charge significantly higher contributions to help pay for the healthcare or cut jobs to pay for the massively increased costs. This burden falls particularly hard on small businesses, the type that Obama says he will help. He says that he will only impose a tax increase on small businesses that earn over $250,000, but almost any small business with more than two employees meets that criteria, so they will raise their taxes and hit them with the sharpest increase in health care costs in our history.
So, what do the Democrats and Obama hope to gain? To get the healthy to pay for Medicare, Medicaid and other medical problems the US used to fund through entitlements. It is a huge tax increase that people just cannot see yet. We are seeing it clearly and painfully in Massachusetts in only one year!! The cost for a decent plan in Massachusetts has skyrocketed to $20000 to $24000 a year! There are cheaper plans, but they have HUGE deductibles amounting to thousands and sometimes tens of thousands of dollars.
This is a subtle way to shift the cost of Medicare, Medicaid and government programs to business, the healthy and the young. It also gets the insurance companies to collect the hidden tax. If you decide that you cannot afford it, or if you legitimately cannot afford it, what do they do? They penalize you on your taxes. Massachusetts REQUIRES that you have the insurance or they charge you tax penalties. Exactly what Obama endorses.
The result? Insurance companies have raised prices 40% in a year because they know you have to buy their coverage. Deductibles have soared and coverage for well-care such as blood tests are no longer covered by many plans until a huge deductible is satisfied. Where is that money going? To pay for the elderly and sick that can jump on the plans at any time. In fact, the sick and elderly can even to Massachusetts from other states and jump on board. It is health welfare paid for by Massachusetts victims, er, citizens.
This is the Massachusetts government mindset. If they cannot directly raise taxes in the obvious way, they run interference and get you to pay the tax another way. If you do not believe us, just check out the huge increases in insurance rates in Massachusetts following institution of their plan. Then realize the disaster it would be if applied nation wide.
Massachusetts lied to its citizens telling us that its plan would reduce health care costs. Instead, our premiums soared 40% in one year! It is cheaper for many to drop their health care insurance, pay the tax penalties and just jump on board if they get ill. This makes the premiums even more expensive. The state collects extra taxes and defers all their expenses to business, the healthy and the young.
Forcing society to pay massively increased taxes through their health care organization is NOT the way to address Medicare and Medicaid problems. It is a way to make the healthy poor. This plan must be defeated even if Obama gets elected. It is a tax increase of astronomical proportions.