My thoughts on the recent healthcare legislation
I have watched more C-SPAN over the last couple of days than in my previous thirty-five years combined. I have been fascinated by this health care debate. I had a traditional personal finance post ready for today, but I am so into the details of what has happened in Washington D.C. over the past months that I just cannot concentrate on anything else.
Obviously, health care and health insurance is a huge concern for all of us. I would love to hear thoughts from some of you who have watched this process. I am not interested in yelling or accusations, just perspective. Here are a few of mine:
- I am a huge fan of Health Savings Accounts. I would love to have seen something along those lines in this legislation.
- I know that many people will say that liability costs only add 1% to health care costs. My anecdotal research indicates a percentage that is much higher . . . either way, couldn’t Congress at least make an attempt to address this need?
- I tend to like freedom, even when that freedom has the potential to hurt me. For instance, it might surprise some of you to know that I favor the legalization of most drugs . . . I don’t want to debate that issue here today, but as a result of this recent bill, I no longer have the freedom to decide whether or not to contribute to health insurance, Social Security, Medicare, government schools, etc. I’m not saying all those things are bad, I just want the freedom to decide for myself.
- This one has been bugging me for the entire debate. There is a huge difference between health insurance and health care. For instance, in a perfect world, I would like my employer to pay me all of the money that I earn. In my case, my employer spends approximately $14,000 a year to purchase health care for my family. We have a good plan with $35 co-pays, etc. If I could get that money as a part of my paycheck, I would pay cash for routine health costs, but purchase insurance for big stuff. The reality is that it would not be difficult for government to help people purchase health insurance (covers everything above $10,ooo or something like that). Government health care is a completely different product.
- Most government programs are riddled with cost over-runs, waste and corruption. I doubt if the Affordable Health Care for America Act will be much different.
- I am curious about young people who are studying to be doctors, surgeons and other medical professionals. How are they taking this news? Do they see this as an opportunity to build a good life for themselves and their families? or are they afraid that they’re earning power will be limited by government bureaucracy?
- This bill includes some major changes to the ways that all student loans are funded. Not sure why it was included in this bill, but I am researching the changes.
- Many of the provisions in this bill will not be enacted until 2014, some will be delayed until 2016. It will be interesting to see how that plays out since our political landscape changes on a regular basis.
- Caterpillar, the nation’s biggest manufacturer of large machinery, claims that the bill will add $100 million in expenses this year. I am not sure if the law will affect other companies this way – or even if it is true, but with unemployment so low, I hope that story is exaggerated.
- Can our country afford this? What is the long term effect of this debt load?
The bottom line is that our trust is not in man. Psalm 20:7 states:
Some trust in chariots and some in horses, but we trust in the name of the LORD our God.
Photo by batega