Saturday, March 25, 2017

How to provide universal health care using 1 easy trick

The first sentence of Congress’ Obamacare repeal should read: “There shall be a free market in health insurance.” Unfortunately, no one can imagine what a free market in health care looks like because we haven’t had one for nearly a century.
On NBC’s “Meet the Press” this weekend, for example, Chuck Todd told Sen. Tom Cotton that his proposal to create affordable health care that would be widely available, “sounds good,” but “do you understand why some people think that’s an impossible promise to keep?”

Todd continued: “To make it affordable, making it wider, I mean, that just seems like — you know, it seems like you’re selling something that can’t be done realistically.”

Dream Sequence: Chuck Todd on Russia’s “Meet the Press” after the fall of the Soviet Union: “Do you understand why some people think that’s an impossible promise to keep? To make bread affordable, making it wider, I mean, that just seems like — you know, it seems like you’re selling something that can’t be done realistically.”

It turns out that, outside of a communist dictatorship, all sorts of products are affordable AND widely available! We don’t need Congress to “provide” us with health care any more than we need them to “provide” us with bread. What we need is for health insurance to be available on the free market.

With lots of companies competing for your business, basic health insurance would cost about $50 a month. We know the cost because Christian groups got a waiver from Obamacare, and that’s how much their insurance costs right now. (Under the law, it can’t be called “insurance,” but that’s what it is.)

Even young, healthy people would buy insurance at that price, expanding the “risk-sharing pools” and probably bringing the cost down to $20 or $30 a month.

In a free market, there would be an endless variety of consumer-driven plans, from catastrophic care for the risk-oblivious to extravagant plans for the risk-averse.

You know — just like every other product in America.

You should visit America sometime, Chuck! The orange juice aisle in a Texas grocery store knocked the socks off Russian president Boris Yeltsin. (Imagine how cheap a double screwdriver must be in America!)

Just as there are rows of different types of orange juice in the grocery store –- and loads of grocery stores — there will be loads of health insurance plans and insurance companies offering them.

Americans would finally be able to buy whatever insurance plans they liked, as easily as they currently buy flat-screen TVs, cellphones and — what’s that product with the cute gecko in its commercials? I remember now! CAR INSURANCE!

Evidently, insurance is not impervious to the iron law of economics that every product sold on the free market gets better and cheaper over time.

The only complicated part of fixing health care is figuring out how to take care of the other 10 percent of Americans — the poor, the irresponsible and the unlucky. And the only reason that is complicated is because of fraud.

Needless to say, the modern nanny state already guarantees that no one will die on the street in America. The taxpayer spends more than a trillion dollars every year on Medicare, Medicaid and Social Security disability insurance so that everyone’s health is taken care of, from cradle to grave.

Unfortunately, probably at least half of that sum is fraud.

Policing fraud is difficult because: (1) the bureaucrats dispensing government benefits believe there is no fraud and, if there is, it’s a good thing because it redistributes income; and (2) we keep bringing in immigrants for whom fraud is a way of life. (See “Adios, America! The Left’s Plan to Turn Our Country Into a Third World Hellhole.”)

Consequently, after the first sentence establishing a free market in health insurance, the entire rest of the bill should be nothing but fraud prevention measures to ensure that only the truly deserving — and the truly American — are accessing taxpayer-supported health care programs. I’d recommend sending as much as possible back to the states, and also paying bounties to anyone who exposes a fraud against Medicare, Medicaid or Social Security. Anyone caught committing health care fraud should get 10 years. Not in prison, in a Medicaid doctor’s waiting room. But I’m sure you guys in Congress have come up with lots of great ideas for policing fraud in the SEVEN YEARS you’ve had to think about it. (Hello? Is he breathing? Dammit, I’m not getting a pulse!!)

Then, Congress can start removing all the bad stuff from the U.S. Code, such as:
— the requirement that hospitals provide “free” care to anyone who shows up (how about separate health clinics for poor people with the sniffles?);
— the exemption of insurance companies from the antitrust laws (where all our problems began); and
— the tax breaks only for employer-provided health insurance (viciously and arbitrarily punishing the self-employed).
The goal of “universal health care” is very simple to achieve, just as the goal of “universal wearing of clothing” seems to have been taken care of.

The government can provide for those who can’t provide for themselves, but the rest of us need to be allowed to buy health insurance on the free market — an innovation that has made America the richest, most consumer-friendly country in the world.

It’s taken 50 years, but, thanks to Hillary’s losing the election, we finally have liberals on the record opposing the Soviet Union. Can’t all of Washington come together and end our soviet health care system?

– Ann Coulter

They need to know they don't have your vote

We have to stop the House leaders plans. The current Ryan Plan — "Obamacare Lite" — is not about patients. It isn’t about better health care. It isn’t about lowering costs. Ryan's plan is simply about getting more money to the insurance companies and running more of your life from Washington.

Look, I’m a “glass is half full” kind of guy. You have to be. I try to stay positive. I try to keep thinking maybe, maybe someday CONGRESS will remember the vision of our Founding Fathers … and that those we elect will represent us, not the special interests.

We just had an election about change, about draining the swamp. President Trump promised to be different, and I believe he sincerely wants to be. But he is being taken for a ride through the swamp right now on “Obamacare Lite.”

For four STRAIGHT elections, REPUBLICANS ran on repealing Obamacare, and now “Republican orthodoxy” — I’m told — is keeping insurance subsidies, mandates, taxes, and insurance company bailouts.

That’s not acceptable to me. And it isn’t keeping our promise.

IF it is not acceptable to you either, I need your help today.

Stop Obamacare Lite
It is urgent we take action. The House WILL VOTE on Obamacare Lite within one short week.

We have to stop the House leaders plans. 

The current Ryan Plan — “Obamacare Lite” — is not about patients. It isn’t about better health care. It isn’t about lowering costs.

Ryan's plan is simply about getting more money to the insurance companies and running more of your life from Washington.

I did not come to Washington to support taking away more of your tax dollars and freedom.

When did Republicans start believing insurance companies deserve tax-payer funded bailouts?

When did Republicans start believing the federal government should force you to pay penalties to private insurance companies if you can’t afford insurance?

When did Republicans start believing we should levy a special tax penalty on those who choose to buy good health insurance?

I am a career physician. I spent years training and learning to be a doctor. I did it for patients. I don’t give a flip about guaranteeing the profits of insurance companies.  And neither do you.

So let's stop them today, together. 
Stop Obamacare Lite
In Washington, somehow, the whole debate seems to be about getting people insurance instead of getting people health care.

I’m sick of the insurance companies putting me on hold and telling me to talk to their representative in a foreign country. Screw that.

I’m sick of the government telling me I have to buy their crappy product, and I’m sick of watching us go into more and more debt to do it.

We need a new way, and Obamacare Lite isn’t it. 

So let's defeat their plan and start the fight over, with better solutions.

Will you add your name to the list of those fighting against Obamacare Lite today? We have only days to show my colleagues how many Americans are standing with them as they fight.
Stop Obamacare Lite
The insurance CEOs hate the idea that we could win this battle - which should be enough to tell you it might just empower you, the patient.

So if you hated Obamacare and don’t care much for Ryan’s Obamacare Lite, maybe you ought to consider telling them all to take a hike.

Join with me today by helping RANDPAC lead the fight.

                                                              In Liberty, 
                                                                       Rand Paul, M.D.

Healthcare: Tax deductions, not tax credits
The replace part of the President’s health care bill is under criticism for including tax credits. The argument is that tax credits (or direct payments from the U.S. treasury) establish a new entitlement when they go to folks who either pay no taxes at all or who pay an amount in taxes less than the amount paid in the credit.

The credits are aimed at enabling those without the financial wherewithal to pay for private insurance to help manage the cost of insurance. There is an alternative to tax credits that I discuss at some length in my book Restore the Republic. That alternative would create an incentive for family members, businesses, health care providers and hospitals to pay for the care of the indigent without taxpayers footing the bill through tax credits.

In Restore the Republic, I recommend that legislation be passed to codify a tax deduction equal to a $1.50 for every $1.00 paid by an individual or corporation to pay for the health care of a person in need or an employee. By codifying a deduction of this kind, people could substantially reduce their tax liability by doing what they likely would do were they not taxed so heavily (take care of their own).

Each taxpaying family member should be able to reduce his or her taxes significantly by covering the cost of health care (or health insurance) given another family member. Each taxpaying employer should be able to reduce its taxes significantly by covering the cost of health care (or health insurance) given an employee. Each physician, health care provider, or hospital should be able to reduce his or its taxes significantly by covering the cost of health care for the indigent.

This approach encourages philanthropy and family ties while at the same time granting significant tax relief. It decreases funding of public sector health care programs while increasing private care and philanthropy.

Private philanthropy of this kind is far more efficient, accurate, and effective than government programs which are ordinarily rife with waste, fraud and abuse.

Therefore, as the Republican majority mulls over the President’s Obamacare replacement, it would do well to replace the tax credit approach with the tax deduction approach I have explained above. By permitting the family member, business, health care provider and hospital to be given a meaningful tax deduction for taking care of their own, the President will likely build a greater base of support for his replacement plan than currently exist in the House and Senate.

Conservatives and libertarians rightly contend that tax deductions are likewise manipulative and distort private markets, but we live in a world of second bests. Obamacare exists and so does the massive welfare state. To wean the nation from both requires measures that afford a politically achievable transition. The proposal I offer, of tax deductions for taxpayers to foot the medical and medical insurance bills of family members, employees, and the indigent is a realistic means to transform the health care market, making it far less public, far more responsive to the market, and far more capable of helping those in need than the current system.

Jonathan W. Emord is an attorney who practices constitutional and administrative law before the federal courts and agencies. Ron Paul calls Jonathan “a hero of the health freedom revolution” and says “all freedom-loving Americans are in [his] debt . . . for his courtroom [victories] on behalf of health freedom.” He has defeated the FDA in federal court a remarkable eight times, seven on First Amendment grounds, and is the author of the Amazon bestsellers The Rise of TyrannyGlobal Censorship of Health Information, and Restore the Republic. He is the American Justice columnist for U.S.A. Today Magazine and joins Robert Scott Bell weekly for “Jonathan Emord’s Sacred Fire of Liberty,” an hour long radio program on government threats to individual liberty. For more info visit, join the Emord FDA/FTC Law Group on Linkedin, and follow Jonathan on twitter (@jonathanwemord).

Click here to visit home page.



  1. The Goat Rustler3/14/17, 8:22 PM

    Deduct the cost of covering someone else's healthcare? Sounds like the old shell game to me. A confusing mess designed to "hide the pea" of health care costs. "Market-driven solutions" are a fraud. The "market" makes money by charging the most it can for goods or services, while providing the least amount of those goods or services. This is known as the profit margin. Applying that model to health care means costs will go up as high as possible, and services will go as low as possible. People paying the most for the least may be good for corporate profits, but it's LOUSY for health care. Universal single payer is the ONLY health care system that removes the incentive to put profits before patients.

    1. Please call that s o b Ryan and explain your truth.

  2. WOW, You guys are so off base with this, Market not Government drives competition in the Health Care prices. Government run Health Care puts the cost for any unknown's on the Tax Payer, which I'm assuming no one on here yet must be. Also the incentive to not work when you get free health care, have you even heard this comment... It's better for me not to work, I get more from the government than I would if I was working... DUH!

    1. Roger, explain what they mean when "they" say that for "older" people the insurance companies will be able to price the policy(s) FIVE times higher than that for a "younger" person. What do you think that means? And what do you think the cost per month will be?

    2. Thought so Roger.

  3. Any congress person that casts a no vote for the RyanCare plan will be putting their job on the line. It seems that sometimes congress is only interested in their personal well being rather than the public they represent. I want the insurance that they have.

    1. The Goat Rustler3/23/17, 2:03 PM

      They have government health insurance, so if you want what they have, you want universal single payer.

    2. Or go on welfare.......

  4. Last nights news on health care:

  5. chuck gregory3/24/17, 10:00 AM

    The idea behind insurance is that a whole population chips in so that everyone is covered. The only reason for having higher premiums for a subset of the population is to make more money off them.

    Think about Social Security: Everybody gets too old and too sick to work. So, when they set up the program, they determined by careful calculation how to make it a self-sustaining program. SS doesn't charge higher premiums to a 55-year-old who's just changed jobs. Not only did SS do it right the first time, but it's not run for profit.

    Now, consider the health insurance industry. It doesn't compete to provide more service; it competes for profits. (When was the last time you heard Cigna or Aetna brag about increasing payouts so much that they barely broke even?)

    So, rather than do financial planning to cover everybody at the same fee, they soak the oldest and sickest. In fact, Aetna made $10 billion more in profits when it cut the sickest policy holders out. Investors piled into Aetna the next year.

    The GOPCare (not Trumpcare!) is meant to boost profits and shift more money to the wealthiest (the GOP already voted to cut $733 million from Obamacare and provide it to the wealthiest in the form of tax credits). As an AP story pointed out, a person making $23,000 a year gets a $5 a year increase in his credit, while a person making three times that gets a $4,000 increase. What do you suppose a person making ten times that gets?

  6. ...interesting that people in countries that have had "single payer" government provided healthcare historically came to the US in droves when they actually needed care...I personally know someone who moved back to the US from a European country when they became ill to get their healthcare here, and another who became ill while visiting family in an EU country, whose resident father took him to a doctor who worked for cash to get him the immediate care he the end of the day, it's coverage that makes insurance companies rich, it's care that improves and/or saves lives.

  7. Bob Lombard3/26/17, 7:17 PM

    Nobody above has mentioned that in Free Market Health Care the drug companies will be even freer to grossly overcharge than they are now.

  8. chuck gregory3/27/17, 1:01 PM

    Beware substituting anecdote for data!

    BaBa Louis (of the bakery in Chester) was more than willing to report that it was cheaper to fly to France and get a surgical procedure (I think it was a prostatectomy, but you can ask him) and fly back than to have it done in the US. The Canadians who come to the US for medical care are those who want to jump to the head of the line and have the money to do so. In advanced countries-- which, unlike the US, provide health care for all-- the ability to be treated is based on how much people are willing to be taxed so they can get it when they need it.

  9. The Goat Rustler3/27/17, 5:39 PM

    I have family and friends all over Europe and Canada. Every last one of them THINK WE'RE NUTS for not having universal single payer, and that includes the conservative ones!

    1. Well there goater,my father is the ceo of one of the largest insurance companies, how would single payer insurance affect his compensation?

    2. chuck gregory3/28/17, 11:33 AM

      7:56, if your father is a typical CEO, his company benefits with lower taxes by paying him more-- it's the "pay for performance" loophole. So, he could like the CEO of Clark Forklift give a huge boost to the bottom line not by flogging the agencies to sell more policies but to strip off the health insurance assets (the way Clark's CEO stripped off production facilities). If he has stock options, the revenue boost will cause massive appreciation in his stock. Or, if he's like most CEO's, since he was responsible for getting people on the Board of Directors and getting them five-and six-digit stipends for their service, they will have no problem returning the favor by voting him a major pay increase (structured of course to minimize taxes).

      No charge for this advice. If he doesn't follow it, it's because he realizes what a cash cow the health insurance division is. But be gentle with him-- don't ask what he thinks about people who can't afford his policies. You probably treasure the image of him that you've held since childhood. No need to put it at risk.

    3. The Goat Rustler3/28/17, 11:38 AM

      Probably kill it. SO WHAT! Getting rich off of other people's misery should be criminal. I guess dear old dad will have to get a real job.

    4. My father says Ryans plan,even though the general public does not know what is in it, would benifit him. Profits from those over 60 could increase by five fold. The bigger the profit the more the compensation. If it would have passed we would have had a big "surprise", as the boss says.

    5. chuck gregory3/30/17, 5:55 PM

      If your father's the insurance company CEO, he must know something quite a few of the others don't. While the revenues would jump 40% in the 60+ crowd, other features of the GOPcare plan would have had insurance companies fleeing like cockroaches from the light as the market became really unstable due to the disappearance of the reliability of government support for premiums for low-income policyholders.


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