Wednesday, July 29, 2009

History of Government Health Care

Interesting link from Dr. Richard Fisher: http://www.cms.hhs.gov/History/Downloads/PresidentCMSMilestones.pdf The most interesting is the comment about the Eisenhower administration.

I have long felt that one of the logical first steps to universal coverage would be a government stop loss program. (Reinsurance). Could be funded by a payroll tax, and we should all pay in.

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Health Care

Here is a modest suggestion. Make the VA hospitals the model for care. Make them better than the Mayo Clinic. Have Veterans prefer to go there than to MD Anderson, Johns Hopkins, Thomas Jefferson, Dana Farber or Sloan Kettering.

First, our veterans deserve the best. And second, once we've done that, you can talk to me about government-lead health care reform.

Saturday, July 11, 2009

Health Care Plan

I've been to Canada a number of times. Canadians are friendly and polite. Toronto is one of the world's great cities. A solid capitalist economy - I've owned the Canadian Ishares for a long time.

But, I'll stay with my health care plan, thank you very much.

There are a number of things we can do to cover more Americans with a health plan, without having the folks who run the IRS take over customer service for health.

First, millions of the "uninsured" actually work for companies that offer coverage but they don't take it. Presumably they believe they can't afford it. Well, let's make it mandatory: if you work for a company that offers coverage, you have to take it. We will need some rules. For example, most companies aim for a 70/30 or 80/20 split. That is, the company pays 70% to 80% of the cost, and the employee pays the difference (generally up to some kind of a stop loss level). So, all companies would have to get their plans up to that level. And, we'd have to stop letting states and cities require all kinds of insurance goodies - e.g. the plan must cover Viagra, or breast implants, or whatever. Just good dependable basic medical coverage.

Second, we can create a national stop loss program with a payroll tax. So, just like Social Security, every worker and every employer have to pay one percent of pay into an insurance program. Whatever level of stop loss coverage that could buy from the major reinsurance companies. As an example, if that two percent pool can purchase a policy for each American covering claims over $500,000, then that is what is purchased. So, for the really costly medical procedures such as transplants, premature babies, debilitating car wrecks and so on, would be covered by insurance once the claim mounts to that level. That, in turn, allows the insurer of the basic coverage to know their maximum exposure.

Let's try some of these basic steps before we blow up everything we have today.

Monday, July 06, 2009

I WANT MY GM STOCK part deux

I must confess: I was originally against a bankruptcy filing for GM. Having seen how lawyers and other advisers suck the assets out of a company in bankruptcy, (fees in the United Airlines bankruptcy exceeded $600 million) I thought that the cost to the company would probably destroy it.

I was wrong.

We shouldn't have tried to save it. A courtroom process, even with lawyers getting in excess of a billion in fees, would have been far cheaper for the American public.

But I still want Congress to distribute my shares to me.

Friday, July 03, 2009

I Want My GM Stock

It isn't clear how many shares of General Motors will be issued. I've nosed around, but can't find anything definite. However, the general indication is that the U.S. government (that is, us) will own 60% post bankruptcy.

I want my piece immediately. And I want you to get yours to. According to the IRS website, about 156 million tax returns were filed for 2008. So, let's do this: 156 million multiplied by five equals 780 million shares. So, distribute five shares to everyone whot filed a return. After all, we taxpayers are going to be paying for this mess for years to come.

Sure, there will be some very predictable whining that the government can't get repaid like that, or the cost to GM of keeping records and sending annual reports to all those independent shareholders is too great a cost. Well, I don't give a damn about that. The bad management and greedy unions that got GM into this mess could have foreseen the problem and they didn't. Tough noogies. I want my stock.

And, as soon as there is a public market, all us five share holders can sell if we wish, and the stock can be accumulated into larger positions if there are any interested investors.

The Conservative talk shows are all complaining about the socialist direction the government is taking. Well, this puts us back in the direction of capitalism and markets.

Email your Representatives and Senators. Addresses etc. can be found at www.house.gov and www.senate.gov. Start a movement.

I'm calling it the Morph plan for General Motors. Get your stock. Don't let the lying weasels in Washington cheat you out of it.

We want our stock.