While there’s no clear view yet of the specifics on the health front, a few ideas are pretty much off the table, the LAT writes. Those include a government-run single-payer health care system on the left and, on the right, a system rebuilt largely through tax incentives to individuals for purchasing insurance on their own.
But don’t get your hopes up, reformers. It’s easy to agree on principles of change and then see the good cheer disappear when it’s time to make something happen. “Once you get into the details, the consensus is going to vanish pretty quickly, I suspect,” Stuart Butler, VP for domestic policy at the conservative Heritage Foundation, told the LAT.
I wholeheartedly agree with all of this. Any change that decreases the revenue of the pharmaceutical industry, the hospitals, specialist physicians, and other interested players in this $2.3 trillion dollar industry will be met with the fiercest resistance that can be lobbied in the beltway. However, any change that increases the revenue of insurance companies (such as the industry’s much salivated over possibility of mandated health insurance!!!!!) will be fully supported by that industry. Unfortunately, the big players would rather see short term wild profitability at the expense of the literal sustainability of our country’s economy. Remember, the average family makes $60,000 today and health insurance costs $15,300. Insurance has gone up nearly 100% in the past 8 years. In 10 years, the average family will make $80,000 and health insurance will cost $33,000 (assuming health insurance rises at the same rate). This is 41% of your pre-tax income! It’s simply not possible for this to happen.
Just remember, no business anywhere in the world will do anything voluntarily to decrease their revenues, especially in the land we call the free.
Obama Presidency Could Bring Cheaper Medicines, Universal Coverage