An Aspect In Need Of Exposure

Amid all the open hearings with public comment that I missed, (I must have been preoccupied with spending my money on booze, women and movies), Congress is poised to reconcile the House and Senate versions of the Trump Tower Tax Cut. There are a plethora of outrageous and injurious aspects that may well make it to the final version, among them is eliminating the mandate to carry health insurance. I predict that without a massive public outcry it will make it into the final version of the legislation. Let’s explore.

The American health care industry is huge and one of the best sources of new jobs. The other day an interesting stat came my way saying that if the American health care industry were an economy it would be the fifth largest in the world; basically on a par with the entire German economy.

Most of the jobs in the health care industry require some sort of advanced education. Many require terminal degrees (i.e. doctorates). That in turn helps create and maintain jobs in the education industry. Most of the jobs alluded to earlier in this paragraph are ones you can support a family on or even better paying. Good jobs yield higher pays which yield higher taxes paid and more consumer spending. Remember the simple principle: my spending is your income and vice versa.

On a purely economic basis why would you want to upset this applecart?

It is projected that initially some 13 million Americans will lose their health insurance if this provision is included in the final version of the Trump Tower Tax Cut. That is 13 million customers lost to American insurers. How can that be good? Not that the extreme right wing that currently controls the Republican Party cares, but some of that 13 million will prematurely and unnecessarily die. They certainly won’t get medical attention that includes early detection. They may very well end up in the hospital when it is very near the end and successful treatment is almost impossible. We will still treat them at the most expensive time for treatment and it will probably be in vain. Since they will often be destitute the bills will go largely unpaid which means they will either hasten hospitals (especially rural hospitals to go out of business – we have already seen this in North Carolina and Georgia whose legislatures refused Medicaid expansion) and/or those paying customers (rather out of pocket or via insurance) will pick up the tab. Under Obamacare the medical cost curve has bent downward; that wasn’t a coincidence.

Admittedly, I am of the liberal mindset that wants to see something along the lines of Bernie Sanders’ proposals of Medicare for all. America needs a cradle to grave, single payer, health care for all system like virtually every other major advanced country has. I’m a bit more practical or cynical (you pick what you feel is the more appropriate word) than Senator Sanders and don’t see that happening for years if not decades. For the moment, with some much needed adjustments, the hybrid plan that Obamacare is, is the best we can get.

Killing the mandate is going to kill Americans (which the GOP base doesn’t care about). It is also going to adversely affect the health care provider and insurer industries. Less people will have health insurance and rates may well skyrocket for those who still do until health insurance becomes too expensive for them to purchase, (that includes many employers). All this to help pay for a tax breaks for the Trump, DeVos and Koch families. I can’t see how that is a good deal for America! It certainly doesn’t motivate me to say Merry Christmas or any politically correct derivation thereof.

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One thought on “An Aspect In Need Of Exposure”

  1. The clear and obvious fiscal irresponsibility of this bill defies what Republicans have been screaming for years. I can only assume that this proves that their motive is greed…and nothing more. How long are the American people going to continue to be fooled by their sham?

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