I do not want to sound like Sour Grapes here, but Greg Mankiw breaks my heart over his oppression as a Taxpayer. He states that Taxes destroy his incentive to make more money. I say that if my desires were fulfilled, and the Tax Cuts of 2001-03 were completely withdrawn, then he would be working much harder. I will go on to ask him How Much he saves from these Tax Cuts before he hits the big $250k? While I feel terrible for his kids, how level is the Playing Field if they get through College without debt, when the rest of the Student Body had to borrow a quarter-million apiece to get the same degree? I should suggest that he also remonstrate with his kids not to purchase their housing based upon the level of mortgage they can get, or their inheritance will disappear without substantive gain. I will finish with the Comment that he may one day appreciate that increased Medicare taxation.
It seems that I must discuss Malpractice in the health care industry today. What amazes me about Malpractice arguments lies in their refusal to separate between Corrective Damages and Putative Damages. I first know for a fact that Insurance companies will not support malpractice reform if premium rates for malpractice are limited by the same legislation. I know that Corrective Damages will still incur, whether paid by malpractice Insurer or Government entity. I myself do not like the tort system, and would have every lawyer’s fees limited in magnitude for such Cases; I would suggest a maximum of $50k through completion of the litigation. I would insist that the Insurer pay all litigation Costs of the Plaintiff if found financially liable in the Case. I would follow with the provision that the lawyers are solely liable for the Plaintiff litigation Costs if they lose; this to forestall spurious claims. The entire medical Cost of any Injury will fall back upon Government programs if the Insurer can escape Claims, so the issue of Corrective Damages should be decided above and beyond Putative Damages. I think I can hear the malpractice Costs shrinking already.
I will finish with this attraction. I personally like the Japanese system of medicine, where Doctors own their own small hospitals, must hire their own staff, and receive Government support based upon their successful provision of health care. It is clear that there is too much Cash in American health care, that medical Patents are an expensive Joke, and medical Insurers make too much Money denying claims–which have to be paid by alternate (read Government) means. Medicare should not be an arena where Everyone can make a 20% Profit on their Prostitution. I would still like to witness Doctors switched to Government Employee status after filing over $80k/year in Wage claims from the Government–Local, State, and Federal lumped together to derive the amount. Modern hospitals are super-sweet hotel rooms with fine Service, where We need the potential for massive bed space. I would pay hospitals a flat rate for occupied beds paid by the Government, and a rate which will increase with the number of beds actually filled. Hospitals will scream if they get only say $500/day per Government-paid Patient, but I equally believe they will find a method to make a Profit at that provision. It will take a Bully to change the health care system, not a bunch of lobbyist-controlled less than Public Servants. lgl