Arnold Kling has the Gift of expressing the components of real issues in concise, debatable language. Health Care Spending need to be controlled, but his Proposal to cut health care spending by making the patients pay more has a crippling effect on expanding Coverage. All Wonkish propositions of such order have the effect of refusing to consider secondary impacts. I prefer a less ideological venue, knowing that no precise solution will ever be adopted in a politicized environment. My Thought was that all Health Providers be limited to a set amount they can charge any given Patient per Calender year. I would pick the 1-3-5 Solution, with Doctors being unable to charge more than $1000 per Patient per year, Clinics no more than $3000 per year per Patient, and Hospitals no more than $5000 per Patient per year. I would insist that Drug Companies register their treated Patients, and be limited to a maximum of $500 per Drug per Patient per year. I would grant all Health Care Providers a $500 Tax Credit per Patient per year, but only if they can prove that medical equipment costs exceeded more than half of each Patient’s allowed compensation to them. The Program will automatically expand Coverage as Health Care Providers actively seek Patients to increase their allowed Income, separates the issue of Coverage from the Payment mechanism, allows for easy Government contribution at all levels, spreads the Health Care Costs through the entire Patient load, and entices the Health Care Providers to work harder.
Stan Collender has a very good commentary about the federal debt. It provides some idea of how others would push the issue, based upon the economic information available. I am of the old persuasion that Government doing nothing remains the best Government initiative. I was inordinately Proud when We achieved the first Surplus in the 1990s, thinking Americans had finally learned to live within their Means. It led to the formulation of my famous axiom: What is Good for Business is not actually good for Business; what is Good for the Consumer is actually Good for Everyone. George W. Bush and his Crew immediately set out to prove this axiom Wrong, and proved beyond Doubt that Business personnel cannot run a Government. The horror of their activity rests in the fact that they make Government unmanageable for Anyone. The federal debt is only a symptom of the malaise where Government rests upon a feather-bedding system of empire-building Pirates. It only gets worse with Age.
Read Tyler Cowen’s Notes on Energy Policy, and One can feel the unreality of Business views. The spewing of Carbon is wrong, of course, but the most environmentally sensitive Energy policy will only add about 11 years to the Heating Process, without any significant improvement in Air Quality. Business is adamant in stating that Pollution controls cannot be so Tight as to limit economic expansion, yet; they can propose $5 per gallon Gasoline for which they pay only an insignificant amount, the Consumer stuck with an Expenditure pattern equal to their Medical Costs. Business should someday realize they will not make their Profits, if Consumers do not receive their Wages and Dividends. They might even be generating their own Need for their Pay Packages. lgl