Originally posted by Fighting Illini:
Aside from the democrats' opposition to the war in Iraq, their other platform in '08 is going to be the emergence of universal healthcare. Obama, Edwards, and Kucinich all all jumped on the Hillary train when it comes to a solution to healthcare.
Personally, I think there are two many hands stirring the pot. If we could somehow make the healthcare market truly competitive where people could shop around and purchase what type of drugs and coverage, prices would come down. However, special interest groups don't want to see this happen. This is the main problem with the current situation. The president wants it both ways.
I can tell you for certain that the Clinton Plan, as presented in 1992, is superior to anything the Republicans came up with since (nothing till this year's State of the Union) But I think it is too far reaching to get passed.
That Said, let me critique the Bush plan for Mandating Health Insurance PURCHASES, and providing a Tax Deduction EQUAL to the personal deduction to individual taxpayers, and a dollar for dollar expensing for companies.
First, Insurance costs are already not taxed in company profits. The cost reduces the profit.
Secondly, 2000 dollars a year will NOT BUY AN INSURANCE POLICY. But, the Bush plan has a safety net for the working poor. If their company does not pay premiums for health insurance, the low paid worker gets his premium paid by the general fund. This provides a two prong incentive for low wages. First, the company that does not provide insurance, while not getting a tax benefit, is only taxed a portion of their profit. The insurance premium comes out 100% of the company's profit. Second, at the cut off level, an employee also looses money by providing his own insurance, so there is an incentive for the low and unskilled worker to take lower hourly pay so that he will qualify for Government paid insurance. Low paid workers, regardless of their skill levels, tend to slow economic activity, because they don't have "purchasing power."
PERSONALLY, I THINK THE BUSH PROPOSAL IS ANOTHER SHORT SIGHTED, QUICK BUCK SCHEME.