National Health Care and the Self Mutilation Tax

January 4, 2008

One of the most curious phenomena, found primarily in Republicans, is the practice of severe self-mutilation. The practice started, of course in the Catholic Church, but recently was reinforced when Jesus appeared to Mitt Romney in the Mormon Tabernacle. He told Mitt that he was only joking when he suggested that people “render unto Caesar” what is his (taxes), because from now on, businesses would pay the taxes for them. They would gladly foot the bill for National Health Care. Never mind that the largest single cost for automakers is health care (15% off the top). All those jobs Mr. Romney promised those Detroit saps? Forget it. This on top of the failure of the auto industry to fight for higher energy standards which helped cost them their position among foreign automakers. Republican masochists (mostly sadists who already have health care themselves) complain about higher taxes but agree to tax the hell our of American businessmen!!! Worst of all, it is probably the most regressive of all taxes inflicted on us. The only way people can come close to “paying their own way” in health care is for the creation of a reasonable National Health Care system!!

Now, talking about “National Health Care” is a hot, complex issue among Democrats. Actually, we already have “Socialized Medicine” in this country. It involves senior citizens and disabled people to the tune of 45 million members, more members than most civilized countries, about 15 million more than that population of Canada. What bothers me the most, as usual, is “the obvious.” Socialized Medicine is, thus far, a disaster in this country. The government is, itself, unable to run Medicare without approximately 150-200 billion dollars in overpayments to laboratories and drug companies and, until recently, to durable goods providers. A few bucks in both Democratic and Republican pimps’ campaign pockets and no competitive bidding: Voila! Extrapolate to National Socialized Medicine and they can steal over a trillion dollars. As my grandmother would say: “Such a deal!”

Had Hillary done her homework (not something she likes to do, apparently) she would have figured out a few things, like how insurance companies and healthcare really work. If she had divided the country into, say, 8 zones, each managed by a major insurance carrier, offering a “take it or leave it” generous management fee, say 15-17% with a small percentage bonus for “good behavior,” the government would save hundreds of billions of dollars at the snap of a finger- avoiding bribed overspending by implementing the “accursed competitive bidding.” This is the hallmark of the insurance industry. This would also accomplish something long overdue: a mild oversight of insurance companies by the federal government- taken in small palatable doses.

Allen Finkelstein, D.O.