02 September 2009


G.O.P.-care III: Transfer of Wealth

What's the G.O.P. want for you regarding health care?

Since the G.O.P. is against proposed reforms and they refuse to provide any constructive suggestions for reform of their own, it's a safe conclusion that they're for the current system. That's likely because it puts money in their pockets and the pockets of those for whom they're pretty much the legislative arm. That would be those with lots and lots of money. Never forget: The G.O.P., regardless of the degree to which it uses well-meaning religious people as a base, exists in its current form to serve the interests of those with lots and lots of money. With them, it's always about the money.

They want to transfer wealth from those of you paying insurance premiums to those not paying premiums. And to those with lots and lots of money to start with. That's what the current health insurance system in the U.S.A. does: it transfers wealth from the insured to the uninsured and to those who own and run health-insurance operations. Excepting some small number of municipally- and county-owned hospitals where local taxpayers foot the bill, every time someone without health insurance goes to the emergency room for treatment, you and I who pay health insurance premiums—and/or our employers, depending on arrangments—pay for their care. That's a transfer of wealth from those who are insured to the uninsured, who are largely poor. And don't think the health insurers don't arrange things so that they still profit off of such events. Of course they do. You think they're giving health care away when they can take home beaucoup dollars from it? That's a transfer of wealth from those who are insured to the ownership and management of health-insurance organizations.

And with the cost of health care increasing constantly under the current system, more people lose their health insurance each month, meaning you and I, if we're lucky enough not to be them, spend more for our own insurance and have more of that go to support more of them.

Now I have nothing against poor people: I wish them the best in dealing with what life has dealt them. I begrudge nothing against the rich who have somehow accumulated a lot of wealth. Rich, poor, middle-class: we're all one American family. But I don't have to support a system that takes my hard-earned dollars and hands it off to either in a nearly unregulated manner where I don't know how much goes in either direction. The kinds of reforms being proposed by the President and the Democrats in Congress, by mandating care for the uninsured and subsidizing that care with taxpayer dollars will actually make that transfer transparent. And by using taxpayer dollars, the transfer will come not just from you and me, the working middle class, but from the rich also. And the proposed reforms will reduce the cost of health care through features—including the public option—that pressure insurers, hospitals, and doctors to adopt best practices that reduce costs.

It's not that the uninsured will become insured by magic: it's that the means by which that happens will be fairer, cheaper, and more transparent. In the longer run, those who become insured will have healthier lives, again reducing costs.

The G.O.P. is against this, because it will keep some fraction of your and my money in our own pockets instead of handing it to their patrons in the health-insurance business. Remember: With the G.O.P., it's always about the money.

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