Thursday, September 29, 2011
Random ruminations from your resident curmudgeon...
One of the central tenets of Obamacare was that health care costs would go down if we implemented this version of socialized medicine. How is that working out, you ask? Not good. Health care costs have doubled over the last decade, averaging annual increases of just over 7%. And it is not just the cost of health care that is rising, but the cost of insurance is increasing dramatically. According to the Kaiser Family Foundation in a survey released Tuesday, insurance premiums for family coverage have jumped 9% so far in 2011, to $15,703. This comes on the heels of a 3% increase in 2010. Why the big increase? Insurance companies know that they are going to have to increase their coverage and the new enrollees will typically be those that are dealing with more health problems. However, under Obamacare, the insurance companies will not be able to price coverage in a way that covers the the projected level of claims, nor will reimbursements from the federal government be sufficient to cover this projected shortfall. So like any other economic entity in the free market, insurers have done what is reasonable: they have covered their costs by other means. Unfortunately for those that are working and have insurance, this means that they are shifting costs to us. That is why you have seen the significant jump in premiums this year, which takes more out of each employee's paycheck as companies share this pain with their workers. In the history of the world, socialized medicine can be guaranteed to generate the following outcomes: higher costs; greater inefficiencies; and compromised quality of health care. These price increases are a harbinger of things to come unless this travesty of a law is repealed.
Deep down, I am really shallow.
Inflection points occur when there is a catalyst for change. Something creates the need to change course or do something differently. Our nation is nearing an inflection point. This is evidenced by the recent data released by the Gallup organization from their latest poll. According to the Gallup organization, 81% of Americans are dissatisfied with the way the country is being governed. 65% of Democrats and 92% of Republicans view the current direction of the country negatively. An amazing 82% of Americans have a negative perception of Congress and 69% of our citizens say they have "no confidence" in our Congressional leaders. Gallup reports that 57% of Americans have no confidence in the federal government to effectively address domestic problems. Perhaps most strikingly of all, 49% of Americans believe that the federal government has become an immediate threat to the rights and freedoms of ordinary citizens. Friends, this is quietly becoming the basis for one of the biggest political revolutions in our nation's history. Our federal government has become remarkably out of touch with the majority of the American people. The fact that we are facing an inflection point of this nature can be frightening. It certainly will be tumultuous and can be painful. This is, however, an opportunity for citizens to take back their government and force it to become more responsive to the needs of our nation as a whole. More importantly, it is our opportunity to get our leaders from both sides of the aisle to put the needs of the nation ahead of their individual re-election chances. It is up to us a citizens to be engaged in the process and force the change of direction that this inflection point presents.
Every have one of those days where every thing goes right? Can someone tell me what that is like?
Each of us should pay particular attention to the Simpson Bowles Deficit Commission. This is the group that has been appointed to make recommendations about reducing our deficit spending and total national debt. Here is what you should know about the recommendations they have made. The Commission has proposed a "balanced approach" which is a combination of tax increases and budget cuts. The Commission has said that spending would be 21% of our GDP. The problem is that under President Obama's leadership, spending has averaged 24% of GDP and shows no signs of slowing down. Additionally, the Commission has recommended raising taxes in 2015 and have made the assumption that the Bush tax cuts will have expired and will not be renewed by then. In essence, there will be a tax increase when the Bush tax cuts expire and then another tax increase in 2015. A tax increase on top of a tax increase. Just what a struggling economy needs! Furthermore, the Commission projects that revenues (read: taxes) will be 21% of GDP. Know this: taxes have never been 21% of GDP in the history of our country. EVER! Not even with the massive outlays of funding World War II. In fact, tax revenues at their highest have been 18.2% of GDP. Friends, our federal government has a spending problem that is continually growing and shows no signs of abating. The "solutions" proposed are a grab of more of your money to continue to perpetuate unnecessary and wasteful government spending. In the paragraph above, I spoke of an inflection point. This is what that inflection point is all about: forcing the federal government back into manageable levels and getting them out of areas that are creating an unnecessary drag on the economy. It will be painful and contentious, but this inflection point will determine the direction of our country.
Outside of a dog, a book is man's best friend. Inside of a dog, it's too dark to read.
And that, my friends, is my view.