The Grand (?) Compromise - Socialism Lite

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Editorial and Opinion  |  House: Booksie Classic
This is a look at the current health care debate and its effects upon our economic system

Submitted: July 28, 2017

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Submitted: July 28, 2017

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The Grand (?) Compromise-Socialism Lite

Has the pendulum of socialism in the United State finally reached the apex of its arc and started to reverse its course? After eight years of Progressive (the Democratic Party’s approved description of socialism) government we elected an established capitalist to be our President.  At least half of the voters wanted the more socialist candidate. Getting “free” stuff is addictive! The problem is that it is only free to the half of the voters who are getting it without paying for it, the half the people in this country that don’t pay any income taxes.

It is politically impossible to completely take back an “entitlement” (I wonder what the political definition of that word is) once it has been given to the public. Social security has been termed “the third rail of politics”. Touch it and you will die (politically). This is being proven to be true again in the current debate about repealing and replacing Obamacare.  This jump into socialized medicine is an obvious financial and health care disaster, and the Republican party, which spent seven years promising to repeal and replace it, is finding that almost impossible to do. Half of their constituents have become addicted to it, and every addict hates the person that is trying to break them of their habit, so the politician are reluctant to make them face reality. Because of this they tried to pass “Obamacare Lite”, but couldn’t even get enough Republican votes for that.  Meanwhile, the Democratic party is doubling down on its effort to socialize medicine , calling for a “one payer” (read socialized medicine) health care system.  How would that work? Let’s take a look at some of the Scandinavian countries that have it and how they pay for it.

Denmark , Norway and Sweden have and average 22.7%  of GDP combined personal income and payroll tax. Ours is currently 15%. Marginal income tax rates for those countries are 60.4%, 39% (Norway has tremendous oil reserves) and 56.9%. In the U.S.it is currently 46.3%. That is only part of the story because the Scandinavian countries rates are mostly flat and apply to almost every one, while ours are progressive and only the wealth pay the top rates. The average progressivity of the Scandinavian countries tax rate is 1.4. Ours is 8.5.What this means is that if we followed Denmark’s method of taxation approximately all income over $50,000 would be taxed at 60%! But that is not all of the taxes they collect to finance their socialism.

VAT (value added taxes), which are like a national sale tax, are a significant amount of the total taxes paid by the citizens of these countries for their “social paradise”. The VAT is a tax on consumption and therefore affects those that spend a majority of their income on consumption (the poor) more than anyone else. It would be not be popular, but probably necessary, to add it to our tax base in order to support a one payer health care system in this country. So, how much would it cost?

The plan for socialized medicine that Bernie Sanders proposed during his campaign was estimated to raise government spending by $32 TRIllion over ten years.  This plan would also give the government a monopoly allowing it to dictate the price for services and drugs. When England tried this they got terrible health care and had a “brain drain” of medical providers flocking to the United States. Where would our doctors go? Many of them would no doubt retire in disgust.  

A Washington Post editorial stated the situation bluntly.” A single-payer health-care system would face all of these political barriers to cost-saving reform and more. To realize the single-payer dream of coverage for all and big savings, medical industry players, including doctors, would likely have to get paid less and patients would have to accept different standards of access and comfort.” I wonder here the notion of “big savings” came from.

If “repeal and replace” is not possible and a “one payer” system would bankrupt the country, what is the solution?  The columnist Charles Krauthammer, a trained medical provider, has some answers.  “Tort reform (making it more difficult to sue medical providers) and permitting the buying of insurance across state lines… would significantly lower costs.” “Even more significant would be stripping out the heavy-handed Obamacare mandate that dictates what specific medical benefits must be included in every insurance policy in the country, regardless of the purchaser’s desires or needs.”  “Best to mandate nothing.  Let the customer decide. A 60-year-old couple doesn’t need maternity coverage. Why should they be forced to pay for it? And I don’t know about you, but I don’t need lactation services.” “A broad national consensus is developing that health care is indeed a right. This is historically new. And it carries immense implications for the future. It suggests that we may be heading inexorably to a government-run, single-payer system.”

It seems that there is no way of satisfying the desire for more and more “free” government services. If we are entitled to free medical services what about free dental care?  How about free burial services.  Shouldn’t the government provided free vacations? We all work so hard that we are “entitled” to a month or so in a vacation paradise.  Of course we are also “entitled” to free food, we have to eat, don’t we? It is our God given right, it must be somewhere in the constitution! And clothes, we can’t go around naked, (not because of modesty, that doesn’t seem to exists anymore) we would freeze. And…...you can add your own wishes that you would give to the government genie after you rubbed the magic “entitlement” lantern.

There are few things in political life that it is possible to be certain of, but one of them is that “Making America Great Again” and Socialized government are like positive and negative forces, they naturally repel each other. However, politics, like nature, abhors a vacuum.  My prediction is that the Republicans and Democrats will now come together to produce a hybrid health care system that neither party likes, increases government spending, and does nothing to improve health care in this country.


© Copyright 2017 Tuxieone. All rights reserved.

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