Thursday, July 09, 2009

Congress and Health Care Benefits

Whenever Congress raises the tax on tobacco, it justifies the raise--in part--because more expensive tobacco will mean fewer people using tobacco.

Now the debate is over Congress taxing health care benefits. What is it that Congress wants, fewer people having health care benefits?

Some people might actually say yes, that there is a faction that wishes for fewer people to have adequate and affordable health care coverage--the reason being that this same faction can thus justify sweeping in with its national health care plan to help solve a "crisis" that it created and gradually enhanced.

I'm sick and tired of Congress thinking that my pockets are a perfectly natural place for its hands. I want its hands out of my pockets, and I think that we would be wise to get a little archaic on them for their thievery--a constitutional amendment that limits their taxation and spending abilities. How do you stop a malicious and incorrigible pickpocket? Cut off his hands.


  1. Now you're on to something, Aristos! An amendment! Time to call Mike Clark and get him talking about it. Before long, the whole Metro Detroit area will be abuzz (except Detroit, I think they still see Obama as their messiah).

  2. Okay, hold your horses Captain Monopolized Labor...I mean Captain Union. I have to rein in your jabs a little bit with the use of context. While I don't support tax increases (in general or as the actual motive in this case) they do function to serve a purpose in this case. As I commented a few weeks back, only EMPLOYER PROVIDED health benefits were/are tax free. Because of this subsidy on employer provided health care it became the figurative gold standard for insurance coverage. The problem is that many people would be better served by self selected policies tailored to their situation, whereas others would prefer to spend the money elsewhere. Thus, this was a contributing factor to both the broken state of health care coverage and the rising costs.

    I will not contend that raising taxes is the best method to achieve an even playing field, but it does achieve that objective. By making all health care tax free the government would be subsidizing such expenditures as compared to the goods/services purchased with after tax income. This would achieve the extra coverage (beyond market providing) that Obama seems to desire, but without the additional revenue gained by levying a new tax.

    Another notable "market failure" is the lack of options when it comes to purchasing health insurance. This is largely due to federal and state legislation dictating what must be covered. We have also largely become accustomed to health insurance covering basic maintenance with a low deductible. Somehow we find this high cost insurance desirable in health care, but no where else. No one insures their cars against oil changes, do they? (1) Removing the subsidy on employer health care coverage, (2) allowing more freedom in the type of plans offered, and (3) re-conceiving our notions of what it should cover would vastly improve the breadth and extent of coverage in this country, all the while combating the costs. Sounds win-win to me.

  3. If federal and state legislation are the cause of limited options when it comes to purchasing health insurance, then it is not a market failure.

  4. I know it's not a market failure. The only notable way to indicate sarcasm in text is the use of inappropriate quotes. I was jabbing at the very idea that these are market failures in the first place. Note my key points: "(1) Removing the subsidy ... (2) allowing more freedom ..."


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