Jim Bull: Heath care ‘Thimblerig’
In the Old West and into the 20th Century, Thimblerig was popular. A pea was placed under one of three shells and moved around. If the gambler – usually a tinhorn – found the pea, he won (women didn’t really play very much). Eventually he lost everything. The heath care debate is a modern version-on both sides. The current Great Debate was simply two sides posing and posturing regarding an issue that has no grand solution and both sides of Congress and the president knew it but they were asking the public to “find the pea.” What you see now in the Bill recently passed and signed into law is nothing like you will see in 2014. Here’s why.
• There can be no “universal coverage.” For example, who is going to market insurance to the “gang bangers” in the inner cities and the “moon shiners” in the mountains of Tennessee? Or to the immigrants coming over the Rio Grande during the night?
• How is the government going to collect its fines? In small claims court? And what will be the cost of hiring dozens of newly minted Harvard and Colombia trained lawyers to collect these fines?
• Does everyone realize that crooks who get caught and sent to jail or prison get free medical and dental treatment now and no one calls that Socialized medicine.
Conclusion: “Mandated insurance” – just like Colorado’s “mandated car insurance” – is an oxymoron and unenforceable. Just ask the numerous uninsured motorists driving around.
Then there’s the requirement that forces insurance companies to “insure” pre-existing conditions.” The last time I looked, the government requiring anyone pay something without compensation, is a legal “taking” and a violation of the 5th Amendment of the Constitution. What’s worse, the insurance companies and their legions of lawyers know this and they haven’t bothered to mention it in the Great Debate. But the doctors like the idea. Why wouldn’t they?
So what will happen? It’s pretty easy to predict. There will be amendments eventually after the shine of the Great Debate has worn off. Among these will be that the states will be allowed to create their own insurance pools to cover calamitous uninsured disease expenses and injuries and there will be a back-up U.S. pool to either reinsure these pools or provide direct coverage if the states don’t follow through.
The insurers are not going out of business and the Feds are not going to be able to pull the plug on Granny – which makes a mockery of all the money spent on the last Great Debate. And, if you choose to be stupid and uninsured, that’s your privilege and you will simply be allowed to add to the stupid gene pool.
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