San Juan Mountains

San Juan Mountains
San Juan Mountains: Grenadier Range

Friday, September 9, 2016

ColoradoCare Would Be Worse Than ObamaCare

The Denver Post ran an op/ed piece a month or so ago in favor of the proposed amendment to the Colorado constitution that would mandate universal health insurance for all Colorado citizens.  Here is a bit of what the article said:
"There’s a proposal on the November ballot (Amendment 69) that asks Coloradans to approve a $25 billion tax increase....All the independent analyses agree that Amendment 69 would actually save money for nearly every Colorado family and firm. That’s because the amendment creates a new, state-based health plan, ColoradoCare, which would replace the absurdly expensive health care premiums we now pay to out-of-state insurance giants....The big insurers have been gouging us for years, reducing coverage while raising costs. Amendment 69 would give them an in-state competitor.  But lower cost is not the only reason why ColoradoCare is better than relying on the tender mercies of the insurance industry."
"The health insurance giants dictate which doctors you can go to. If your doctor didn’t make the cut — and the networks get narrower every year — tough luck. In contrast, ColoradoCare covers every provider in the state, which means you, not the insurance company, can choose the doctor, the chiropractor, the physical therapist, etc....Every insurance plan dictates which procedures or prescriptions it will pay for. Currently, these rules are made by business executives in Minnetonka, Minn. (United HealthCare), Indianapolis (Anthem Blue Cross), and Bloomfield, Conn. (Cigna). Coloradans have zero control over these distant decision-makers. In contrast, ColoradoCare will be controlled by you; Coloradans will elect their neighbors to serve on the governing board right here in our state.  Finally, ColoradoCare will do something our country should have done long ago. It will provide health care to everybody. Today, more than 350,000 Coloradans have no insurance at all. When those people get sick, they go to the emergency room — the most expensive possible place to provide health care. And since they’re uninsured, all the rest of us get stuck paying their bills. Wouldn’t it be better if everybody paid for health insurance, and everybody was covered? That’s what Amendment 69 will do. It won’t be free. It will cost $25 billion.  But — have I mentioned this? — that’s less than we’re paying now for coverage that’s not nearly as good."
Total spending by the career politicians who rule over those of us who live in Colorado was $33 billion in the last fiscal year.  If the minority of the citizens of this state who make the decision to vote approve Amendment 69 this November total state spending will increase by 75%, with all of the increase going to a new bureau created for the purpose of socializing all of the medical care disbursed in the state.  Unlike Obamacare, which still allows for some limited choice when it comes to which policy I may purchase and which doctors I may use, ColoradoCare would eliminate all competition and establish a "single payer" system.  All medical insurance will be proudly administered by my "neighbors" who will "serve on the governing board right here in" Colorado.  Why does that thought not bring me any comfort?
To pay for the socialized medical program Amendment 69 proposes that taxes be raised dramatically.  As a Colorado citizen I currently pay a state tax rate of 4.65%.  That percentage is applied, with some minor adjustments, to my federal taxable income.  That means I usually end up paying ~2% of my gross personal income in state taxes.  If Amendment 69 is passed things will change dramatically.  To pay for the new program a flat 10% tax will be imposed on all ordinary income.  Officially the employee will pay 3.33% and the employer will pay 6.37% (the same fiction created by the thieves at the Social Security Administration) but the net impact is a 10% reduction in what I could, or should, have earned at my job.  Since I own my own business I will pay a straight 10% tax on all business income.  State spending may only be going up by 75% but the tax burden borne by the citizens of this state will go up by a whopping 315% as my state tax rate will rise from 4.65% to 14.65% to pay for the new program.
That is only part of the story on taxes.  In addition to the 10% tax on all ordinary income, other income items such as capital gains, dividends, and "some portion of other retirement income" will also be taxed.  As it stands now most retirees in this state pay no state taxes at all.   A big reason for that is the retirement income exemption which allows them to eliminate most or all of their retirement income from their net taxable income figure.  Given that retirees will likely be using more of the socialized medical services than those who are still working, does it not make sense to force them to pay their fair share and charge a premium over the 10% rate the rest of us are getting hit with?  I would propose that retirees be required to pay a flat 20% on all of their income, regardless of its source.  Of course, that will not happen.  There are too many votes to be bought by career politicians and their lackey bureaucrats to anger the retirees.
Like all socialistic programs the burden for paying for the medical insurance is dramatically over weighted upon those who earn enough money to be in the top 49% of the income population.  It does not matter if you are a single person who is never sick making $300,000 per year or a family of 10 which constantly visits the doctor and the hospital earning $30,000 per year.  Unlike the free market, which can make discriminatory decisions based upon medical history and other factors, the socialized program makes no such discriminatory decisions and everyone pays the same percentage regardless of how much they use the program.  This creates the common problem in which everyone is incentivized to use the program as much as possible since there are no financial reasons to be thrifty when it comes to medical care.  The family of 10 pays $3000 for their "coverage" and uses hundreds of thousands of dollars in services while the healthy single pays $30,000 for his coverage and never uses it.  Please explain to me how that is fair.
The proponents of ColoradoCare make a huge deal about how out of state insurance companies have been "gouging us for years."  Just what does that mean?  Accusations of that sort usually mean that those who are at higher risk pay more for insurance, just as they should.  Those sorts of accusations are also usually leveled at profit seeking insurance companies when they make the proper financial decision to exclude certain coverages when it is absolutely certain the customer would be immediately using those services.  Only people religiously committed to the envy-filled principles of socialism can make the accusation that an insurance company is morally required to lose money by covering people who, in the free market, would never be covered.  Amendment 69 would enshrine their immoral religious beliefs as a part of the Colorado constitution.
Proponents of Amendment 69 also believe in a nationwide single payer system, with the single payer being a government bureau of course.  Since Obamacare fell short of that goal the socialists at Amendment 69 headquarters came up with the brilliant idea of ColoradoCare.  The primary argument in support of their position is that people who do not have health insurance go to emergency rooms for routine medical care, thus driving up costs and creating inefficiencies that ColoradoCare can allegedly remedy, thus "saving" the taxpayers money.  Given the fact that no government program has ever done anything more efficiently than the free, or semi-free, market, it is hard to believe ColoradoCare will be able to deliver on its promises.  The best way to deal with the problem of medical care freeloaders is to refuse to serve them.  You read that right.  If a person cannot pay or does not have insurance he should not receive medical care.  If that means people will be dying in the streets then so be it.  It is morally superior for people to die in the streets because they are unwilling or unable to pay for medical care than it is for the state government to steal money from one person and use it to give "free" care to a deadbeat patient.  There is no sin committed when people die from disease and illness.  There is a great sin committed every time the government commits an act of theft.
Ultimately the moral arguments are ignored by almost everyone, especially when the are biblically based arguments,  and it all boils down to utility.  The advocates of ColoradoCare seriously believe, despite all historic evidence to the contrary, that a socialist program of health care, administered by state bureaucrats, can more expeditiously, efficiently and cheaply provide health care services to Colorado citizens than the current "system" we live under.  It does not matter that the VA is a profound failure.  It does not matter that Medicare is bankrupt and wastes billions of dollars every year.  It does not matter that Obamacare is collapsing before our very eyes.  All that matters is their religious belief in the omnipotent and beneficent nature of their god, the state, to provide their medical care.  So if you are a fellow believer in the god of government, please vote in favor of Amendment 69.  On the other hand, if you have a brain and are not completely committed to institutionalizing the sin of envy, you might want to oppose it. 

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