The Supreme Court is now going to take on the issue of Obamacare. It’s anybody’s guess as to how it will come out. But there is a mindset problem creeping into our thinking. Congress passed Social Security and Medicare. And now we are about to receive health care. Notice that whenever someone threatens to reduce any of these benefits, they change from entitlements to fundamentally God given guaranteed rights.
Social Security is pretty straight forward; you receive 7 times what you contributed into the plan. There is a definite cap on what will be paid out. When it was first passed, 50% of the population survived to collect it. Since then, 20 percent more of the population live to collect it and live 5 years longer than they did when the program first started. The fact that Congress has looted the Social Security piggy bank to the tune of two trillion dollars shows what government can do with creative financing.
Then there is Medicare and Medicaid. In Abraham Lincoln’s time, total lifetime Medicare costs wouldn’t have exceeded $100 per person; medicine was in its infancy. In today’s world, the ability of the government to pay all health care costs (considering the technological advances in medicine) could bankrupt any country. Today, even without Obamacare, there is no bottom line cost per patient with Medicare.
To put it in perspective, imagine that your pet dog got very sick. At the animal hospital, the costs are all laid out in front of you before any treatment. Say the bill comes to $3,000 with no guarantees of survival, what do you do? You have to make a decision. Can I afford to pay it? This is where you hear the words “death panels” when it comes to state run health insurance. It’s an admission by government that there is a limit on their resources.
The total benefits each taxpayer is entitled to over their lifetime needs to be defined and it isn't. The concept of “government insurance” in a Democracy is nothing more than a free ride. The reason being, governments don’t have to make a profit, insurance companies need to, in order to survive (if you're not making a profit, you're giving away the store). Government health care is kind of like telling a hooker what rates she can charge and advise her, no one can be denied service. The neat thing about that, the price is right---grab a number and wait. And just like Obamacare, you'll have a long wait before she gets to your number.
The Supreme Court will be looking at three questions. Can the government force everyone to purchase a product that they don’t really feel they need? Should the government be able to force arbitrary rules on an insurance company that would limit their profitability or drive it out of business (forced to cover preexisting conditions). And third, does the Congress have the constitutional authority to nationalize the health industry?
Obama and the Congress passed this 2074 page bill without reading it. The Supreme Court will read it looking for errors and omissions. Will they give this unread "Work of Art," a good review? We won't have to wait long to find out.
Copyright 2012 by Jim Brubaker