Sunday, August 26, 2007

Universal Health Plan

Paul Wilson, executive director of Park Center Inc said as “the wealthiest country in the world, the United States should have no problem implementing a universal system.” This statement is a myth, a lie and down right dishonest. In fact if we were the wealthiest country in the world, then each of us would have no problem obtaining healthcare using “our” wealth. The simple down right sad truth is we are not the wealthiest country and quite possibly one of the most indebted countries in the world.

For decades I have heard politicians reference our wealth and yet our savings rate continues to drop. How do you create wealth if you do not save? Social Security was passed in 1935 and now has unfunded liabilities exceeding $17 trillion. If we are so wealthy, then family unit could easily contribute the $154,000 now to fully fund Social Security. Then there is the Medicare program that began in 1965 and is projected to be unable to pay schedule costs in eleven years or less. Lastly we have a $9 trillion national debt.

Wilson says his single payer system would not increase costs to Indiana businesses or families and would save $1 billion a year (~$140 per person). He proposes a public trust fund, progressive income tax and payroll tax to fund the system. I thought he said it would not increase costs to families or business?

If you want affordable healthcare remove government regulations and payments. Medicare shifts costs to those under 65. A funded healthcare system requires starting early, not late in life. You accrual the funds yearly and at the end of 42 years it now can fund the program for those who turn 60. A program that grandfathers older people creates huge unfunded liabilities since they will not contribute as long and their contributions have less time to grow.

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NBC-33 Debate poll results from 2002