Are you willing to pay $24,762 every year so that everyone gets health care? Then let’s quit talking stupid.
There are 105 million people who work in the private sector - that is where all the money comes from. We spend $2.6 trillion each year on health care, so do the math: that’s $24,762 each if everybody pays their fair share.
If we include public sector workers, the share drops to just under $20,000. I know we pay their salaries, so it doesn’t change anything, but it would be fun to see university professors and Congressmen put their own money where their mouth is for once.
It is nonsense to keep talking about coverage, access, and rights as if health care were free air. Rosa Parks sought access to a seat in the front of the bus; she did not demand that the guy in seat 12A pay for it, and she did not call him a racist for thinking they should each buy their own.
No, Ms. Parks did not talk stupid, like our leaders do. How can we possibly expand coverage to 47 million more people without adding a single doctor, and not have longer waits for appointments? That is talking stupid.
How can we possibly cover all those additional people without increasing taxes or increasing the deficit? That is talking stupid.
How can we say the 10-year “cost” of reform will stay under one trillion dollars by simply delaying enactment of the bill’s provisions for the first four years and counting zeros in the total? That is talking stupid.
How can we say there won’t be a board that decides what treatment you will receive under “public option” when it is already written into the legislation? That is talking stupid.
And when President Obama still insists again this week, “no one is talking about cutting Medicare” after the House Bill already cut it by $218 billion and the Senate is proposing $377 billion, he is really talking stupid.
But we Americans are not stupid; we are pretty smart. We know there is no free lunch. We don’t live on Planet Delusion, and we know stupid talk when we hear it.
That’s why the most recent Rasmussen Poll shows 56% of Americans now oppose the Democrats’ Health Care Reform plan – including a stunning 72% of independent voters. Only 24% of Americans believe it will make health care better, and only 22% of Americans believe Congress even knows what they will be voting on.
But none of that will matter. Congress will vote for something stupid that we don’t want, they haven’t read, and wouldn’t understand if they did. They don’t care about your health or your wealth; this is merely a way to reward campaign donors by churning out another earmark-laden porkfest. Quit calling it reform.
If Congress is not going to address the underlying causes that drive unnecessary cost – too much regulation, paperwork, and red tape - then all that matters is who pays, and that question is ridiculously simple: should we each buy our own health care, or should we each buy each others’?
Proponents of universal health care like this bumper sticker: “you should not go broke just because you get sick”. That would be a great ad pitch for an insurance company, but it is a silly moral premise. Who should go broke, then? Or should doctors and nurses and lab techs and billing clerks all have to work as slaves for no pay, so that nobody does?
Here is an improved, quit-talking-stupid version: “you should not go broke just because I get sick”. Treatment of a serious deadly illness can quickly run into the hundreds of thousands of dollars. If I am diagnosed tomorrow with one of these, and I don’t have insurance to cover it, then one of us is going to go broke – that’s how it works down here on Planet Earth, Tammy.
Why should that be you, and not me? That is what Congress is proposing, only they will probably beat me to the punch and make you broke before I get sick.
In Europe, they have universal health care. They also earn 29% less than we do, and they pay twice the payroll tax we do – 30% with no upper limit. And they pay higher income tax than we do, and they pay a VAT tax that we don’t. So their disposable income is half of ours on average, and their unemployment rate is double. President Obama forgot to tell you about that stuff when he was bragging up how old they are in Denmark.
So how about it - are you willing to take a 50% pay cut so the government can run health care? Is it worth living half-broke your whole life just to squeeze out an extra year or two warehoused in a government home at the end of it? Not me.
So let’s quit talking stupid about health care - and start talking seriously about real health care reform that will turn loose the power of market competition and give us all better health care choices at far lower costs.
Tim Nerenz is the Libertarian Party Candidate for U.S. House of Representatives from Wisconsin's 2nd District. To support Dr. Tim's campaign, please visit the campaign website at www.timnerenz.com