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Poor Venezuela? WE ARE Venezuela (without the riots)

What happened to Venezuela?

I watched a Fox News report about the corruption of Sean Penn’s favorite government and how violently they are putting down riots by people who can’t buy toilet paper.  A senator joined the broadcast and talked about what we need to do for Venezuela.

At face-value, she has a point, of course.  Why should we do business with a rogue regime and support such low-lifes and Sean Penn’s buddy, Nicolas Maduro?  I would take great pleasure in seeing these people dragged into the street and shot.  It is what they richly deserve.

But…

When you get right down to it, who are we to scold other governments for running their countries into the ground?  We Are Venezuela!  The only difference between what our government (both parties) are doing to us and what was done to the real Venezuelans is they didn’t have so far to fall and Maduro and the fat-headed Hugo Chavez tried to do it all at once.  Also, Americans are far more docile and naive than most other people.  Thank you, educators!

But the basic results are the same as the results we see here every time the government pretends to be helping us. Whatever they pretend to be helping with becomes more expensive and more scarce.  And quality plummets.

Look at Obamacare.  We used to bitch when we saw places where healthcare would “skyrocket” by 11% (usually after a stupid mandate was tacked onto insurance policies by the government).  Now we have states paying 120% more this year than last.  The entire country is paying well into the double digits more every year. 

Of course, I speak only of the productive class.  The taking class is saving a bundle while we foot their bills as well.

According to U.S. News, not a wide-eyed, conservative publication,

The report, published online Friday in the journal Health Affairs, also showed another distinction for 2015: The federal government now pays for the largest share of health care. [emphasis mine].

That means after you pay all you medical expanses, made inhumanly higher by Obamacare, you then pay more, as a productive tax-paying citizen than those who pay no taxes.

Our path is unsustainable.

And it isn’t ONLY medical insurance scams we have to worry about.  How much of the economy does Obamacare, Medicare, Medicaid, Social Security (Ponzi scheme), college loans (a con of epic proportion), the FHA continued buying of shit mortgages, and Food stamps represent?  Add on the 47 job training programs we have from DC, not a one of which reports a single result.  And NONE OF THESE, in their present form are sustainable.  If we don’t back away form them quickly and create a growing economy again we will one day SOON be rioting in the streets because we can’t find basic goods.

The pace at which both parties are now bringing us to ruin increases just a little every year.  

Smirk all you like, then demonstrate historically how “Venezuela” is not the result of Socialism?  Here’s a fact, it is ALWAYS the result!  Just because it is happening slower here, and we have more wealth to destroy, doesn’t mean we are safe from it.  

I say frequently that the laws of economics are as hard and fast as the laws of gravity.  If we keep whistling past the graveyard while tsk-tsking places like Venezuela, we will one day find ourselves without a paddle, on the headwaters of the mighty Feces River.

Matt Jordan is the author of Street Politics: It Ain’t Your Daddy’s GOP Anymore! Grab your copy here.  

Kindle version here!

Or just read for free on Kindle Unlimited!

 

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It's The Free Market or 100% Government Medical Care

If you track medial costs, not insurance costs, but the actual price of medical care, you will find that every time the government created a new mandate for INSURANCE coverage, the actual cost of MEDICAL CARE went up, not just the insurance premiums. Every time the government increased spending on Medicare and Medicaid, the actual price of the MEDICAL CARE went up again.

The reason is the same in every industry any government ever got involved in. When there is other people’s money to be had, ALL recipients will always find more reasons they need more of that money. Why? Because the government gives them the incentive to do so! They simply have to check a series of boxes, created by people who know little about the industry in question, and jigger a few numbers to justify an increase in what they are awarded. There are also the added costs of the bureaucratic nightmare that accompanies getting that money. Don’t I get money for doing that as well? Of course I do.

Hospitals and medial firms are no different than any other. They pay people full time to find more and more ways to wring every dollar possible out of the government piggy bank.

Remember the sick child from the previous essay? We’ll say she is still sick.   The family is on it’s heels because the parents didn’t plan for the future. I mean why should they have? Mommy government says they shouldn’t have to. No matter how stupid they were in the past, somebody ought to step up and pay their bills. Right?

Again, that is what Medicaid is for. We’ll say this family has shot their financial wad and they still have a sick kid. Medicaid should step in. In a world without Obamacare and the constant money machine of mandated insurance coverage it would be easy to administer a program just for folks like this AND for folks who may have never been above the poverty line.

This child will not die because she didn’t have healthcare. Now on Medicaid, getting care will come with a lot of hassle as all government programs do. (They are all created by bureaucrats and are loaded with needless nonsense). But hey, if everyone else is paying your bills for you, you can’t bitch too much.

So mom might have to quit work to take care of the kid and get her to the doctor. Once the family has taken every step to they can, including the sale of golf clubs and moving to a smaller place without a pool, there is no reason why we can’t step in and help out. By this time, the government would be avoiding greater dependence.

Either way, no one is going to die because they are refused treatment. Only the VA does that. And that is a function of government corruption and incompetence.

So let’s wrap this up.

A smart Mitch McConnell (figure the odds) should announce that in two-years time, Obamacare will cease to exist.

All restrictions on competition and state-line restrictions will be eliminated from the federal registry.

If people want to offer insurance plans to employees and employees wish to take the deal, fine. But now that we know the dangers in doing that, there should be NO INCENTIVES offered by the government to sustain such an arrangement. People would be better off buying into the huge cooperatives that will immerge in the new market.

Anyone with two brain cells to rub together knows that in less than a year a multitude of competent companies will announce their new medical plans. And they will cost far less than what Americans pay right now.

A smart McConnell will say that if you are now being covered by a pre-existing condition under Obamacare or Medicaid, you will be kept on that coverage. But the coverage will be means-tested and if you are over the poverty line a graduated scale will be created under which you will share in the burden of your healthcare. Substantially!

If you don’t buy your own insurance on or before the end date of Obamacare and THEN get sick and THEN try to get on Medicaid an additional penalty will be assessed to the deal in the previous paragraph.

Since the advocates of Obamacare think that paying $6000/yr premiums and $6000/yr deductibles is perfectly okay, then that may be a good starting point for the two previous paragraphs.

Woohoo! If the government does anything like this, you will be gob smacked at the numbers of people who will flea Medicaid AND SAVE MONEY! LOTS OF IT!

The cost of doing business will fall into the basement! Everybody will make out…hospitals, insurance companies, and patients…everybody!

If you need proof, look at the cost of auto insurance or homeowners’ insurance. Those are still REAL bets. [for the monumentally slow, that is what insurance is. It cannot work any other way.] These industries have been very stable for decades. Costs often lag behind inflation. That is because there is honest competition and less interference by the government. You cannot turn on the TV and NOT hear XYZ company offering a better deal than the others. They also have an endless variety of specialty coverage options, like “whole car replacement” (a gutsy bet at any price) you if you are willing to pay a tiny bit more in premiums.

This should be the model for medical insurance.

This is a great example of how ridiculously inexpensive basic medical care actually is before you add all the corruption and bureaucracy to the equation.  Click here!

Another author’s case for free market health insurance. Click here! 

Matt Jordan is the author of Street Politics:  It Ain’t Your Daddy’s GOP Anymore! Grab your copy here.  

Kindle version here!

Or just read for free on Kindle Unlimited!

 

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Mitch McConnell: At least half his brain is working.

McConnell actually said it!  That’s a start.

Mitch McConnell made half of a brilliant statement today. It was the smartest thing he’s said in years. Sadly, he wrecked it all with the other half of his statement. But we’ll just stay with the smart half for now.

He said that it is time to vote to just repeal Obamacare. That’s brilliant. The free market always did a better job at creating a medical insurance product, selling that product and administering it, than the government EVER did.

Before you get your little panties in a wad and saying , “Well, what about pre-existing conditions and high deductibles…blah-blah…” I will remind you that the problem with government interfering with health insurance goes back way beyond Obamacare.   We have been on the road to total government healthcare for decades.

Photo Credit: KAZVorpal Flickr via Compfight cc

The government, often with the help of corrupt union leaders, has been bullying or enticing insurance companies to rip off their customers since the 1960’s. Back then, the unions had only just succeeded in using class envy to get medical benefits added to their contracts. It seemed like a good idea at the time to a lot of people. Back then you worked for IBM or GM from the day you graduated college until the day you retired. So, if you took medical benefits in lieu of money because taxes were insane, that was a convenient benefit for working at IBM. If you got medical benefits working the line at a GM plant “because all those rich executives got it so you should too,” well that was pretty easy too.

Sadly, within a decade, spending a lifetime at the same job went the way of the buggy whip. Also, the government had found a popular toilet through which to flush their shitty ideas.

For example, someone wants nosebleeds covered by their “catastrophic” medial protection (health insurance policy), Senator Douche goes on a tear and declares that all policies should cover nosebleeds, and stitches and birth control, etc. “Yay,” says an ignorant population. “reelect Senator Douche! He loves us.” Of course, the insurance companies have to do two things. Raise rates and create or increase deductibles to pay for all of the Douche requirements.

AND since raising rates threatens their competitiveness, they need Sen. Douche to add n amendment that only one or two insurance companies should be allowed to sell insurance in certain states or regions. Can’t have all the competition offering the same service for a lower price now, can you?

The story goes on, but you get the picture. Obamacare was just an acceleration of what was going on for years. The insurance companies would love to be rid of all the regulation and Senator Douche altogether. But until they are, we have what we have.

For years congress has been passing legislation to repeal Obamacare. They would go home and tell their constituents they did their duty.

But then near the election and after, as I pointed out then, they started to say repeal and replace. AND, as I pointed out, there was no conceivable “replace” they would create that wasn’t just as ridiculous as Obamacare.

If we simply repeal Obamacare right now real insurance companies would need about two hours to create the outline of a plan to create REAL insurance. In a month they would be able to unveil a plan that would cover what insurance is supposed to cover for pennies on the dollar.

But they can’t be hamstrung with mandates. And they would need open border competition.

THEN you would see the price of REAL insurance drop like a rock.

But you would have to do your part! Take care of yourself and your family!

 Sadly, too many people would want to cling to multiple thousand-dollar premiums and multiple thousand-dollar co-pays and deductibles, because you are told, they cover everything. But the policies insurance companies could write without the government on running their businesses would leave more than you would need to cover common allergies, common childhood illness, minor injuries and certainly birth control along with all the other little things that are not bets, but sure things. [See insurance as a bet here] or in my book, below.

People have to be smarter about what is good for them. They also need to be more responsible. If you are poor (I mean REAL poor, not $98,000–per-year-family-of-four “poor”) and you got sick, you were covered. Medicaid, looong before Obama came along, paid for your treatment.

But again, Medicaid is not insurance. It is a government give-away originally intended for truly poor people. When the DC swamp creatures point out how many people were shoehorned onto Medicaid and say, “look how many more people are insured,” they are touting a lie. By running up the qualification for Medicaid to 400% of the poverty line, you simply voted away more money from the makers and gave it to the takers. At the same time you create yet another incentive for people to become takers.

This is how you fix insurance and make it truly fair and ethical:

  • Repeal Obamacare
  • Don’t tell insurance companies what coverage they can or cannot sell. They will be in the business of making money. They will provide coverage that goes from just catastrophic for a very low price (1/4 or what we you pay now) to complete coverage of everything, which will cost you a pretty penny; almost as much as a shitty Obamacare mandated policy. And of course, there will be gradients of coverage in between.
  • Remove all impediments to competition. There are two reasons insurance rates ran up prior to Obamacare. Compliance to regulations, most of which were a complete waste of time and have NOTHING to do with healthcare or paying for it. The second biggest reason was that large established companies, in exchange for bribe money paid through K Street, were protected from competition. So they could charge as mush as they needed or wanted to. By letting all companies with the means to meet their coverage obligations to compete everywhere, you bring down costs precipitously. By eliminating the stifling, useless regulations you bring it down even further.
  • Tort reform. No jackpot justice. Legal recourse for malpractice was never intended to ruin good doctors. But there is an incentive to get into court for a hangnail. So doctors practice defensive medicine and have to pay HUGE premiums to protect themselves from real mistakes, litigious vultures, and the scum bag lawyers that represent them.
  • Smart insurance companies, not the government should require hospitals to PUBLISH their prices for treatment. (Don’t say it can’t be done. The hospital knows exactly what it will charge for every single procedure. It’s just a case of hitting the print button.)
  • Smart insurance companies, not the government, should require that hospitals offer the patient the option of paying cash for a procedure to keep their premiums low. That is almost always a huge discount and makes the policyholder a great bet for the insurance company.
  • Make it clear citizens should protect themselves. Get insurance while you are healthy. If you wait until you are sick and then demand someone pay for you, there should real and natural consequences.
    • We’ll take the family of four.
      • Firstly, any man who would create a family and, even under this stupid Obamacare burden, not protect that family from medical catastrophe, is not a man. But be that as it may…
    • Our family of four is living at 400% of the poverty level. At $98,000 per year, they can afford a really nice house and two cars.
    • We’ll say the parents don’t choose to insure themselves or their kids. A parent, or child gets chronically ill. That’s a tragedy. BUT…
    • Now they are scrambling to get insurance to pay for the illness. Maybe the local news picks up the story. We see mommy crying, holding the sickling. The reporter gravely says what a terrible thing it is that they cannot get insurance for their little one.
    • Why, there ought to be a law! Right?

Wrong! This is the lie of Obamacare and all the defenses of it. Before we should be required to spend a dime of other people’s money on this situation, this family, because they were not responsible earlier, should have to divest itself of material goods in favor of taking care of there own. It would have been REAL insurance that would have prevented this reality. But I don’t pay taxes so that a comfortable, middle class family can keep their house and cars AND get their medical expanses paid all at the same time; this AFTER they avoided their own responsibilities. No one should pay taxes for that!

Having done what they could, should they approach actual poverty, well then by all means, Medicaid would be there for them. Medicaid does not exist so people can live a consequence-free life and when the chips are down, then cash in on our tax money.

With this as the model, people would a) see the sense in buying a policy while they are young and healthy, or b) pay for their decisions and be picked up later.

But…sniff, sniff…what if the child dies in the meantime? Sniff, sniff.

We’ll address this obvious canard in our next piece.

Matt Jordan is the author of Street Politics:  It Ain’t Your Daddy’s GOP Anymore! Grab your copy here.  

Kindle version here!

Or just read for free on Kindle Unlimited!