Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Senator Clinton's Health Care Plan

As I'm sure anyone following the candidates knows, Senator Clinton recently released her full-blown health care proposal. In this case, I'm not going to go through the package point by point, but I do want to focus on what seems to be a basic premise...competition.

Senator Clinton has proposed 3 types of coverage:

  1. Private / Group Policies as we have now.

  2. Government Insurance as Congress has now.

  3. Medicare-style Insurance similar to what the elderly or impoverished have now.

In brief, she is saying if we like our existing coverage, keep it. If we don't like our coverage or don't have coverage, use a government variant. I don't really know how I feel about her specific prescription for competition, but I do think the basic idea is an interesting one.

What would happen if we put private, group, and government health insurance all into the market to compete with each other? Let's then adjust the tax code to keep those in the private and group pools from paying for anything in the government pool. Which plan wins? Wouldn't that be the ultimate test of a free market in health care, government competing on a level playing field with private industry?

As to Senator Clinton's specific plan, I'm not sure how I feel about it. Many of the provisions are very good for my family, but I don't know that they're good for the nation as a whole. My real concern with her plan honestly has nothing to do with the plan itself. It's her recent comments about $5,000 trust per child born in America or $1,000 per person for a 401k plan. These are the kinds of proposals that just confound me when it comes to Democrats. Why collect taxes from citizens, reduce the money by bureaucracy, and then turn around and give that money back in whatever way politicians see fit? Isn't this a role that personal responsibility and charity can play in a free market? Those of us who can, save. Those who can't, we try to help.

Every time she speaks, I feel like Senator Clinton is plotting some new way to confiscate and redistribute my income or savings. So, my real problem with her health care policy is her attitude toward taxing and spending, not the policy itself. I guess in that way my attitude toward her is much like my attitude toward Romney and Giuliani on other issues...I just don't trust her.

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