Conservative Solutions to Liberal Problems (Part I), by David Teesdale

July 30, 2009

Conservative solutions for health care will save money and save lives.  Liberal panaceas will increase costs and redistribute both wealth and lives.

Conservative solutions for health care will save money and save lives. Liberal panaceas will increase costs and redistribute both wealth and lives.

A common refrain in these early days of the inept Obama Administration from liberals and Democrat mouthpieces in the media is that the Republican Party is the “party of no”. Were it not for the fact that Democrats have time and again rebuffed Republican attempts to amend legislation, this might be a more stinging barb. President Obama as early as January, was telling Republicans who proposed alternative plans to his catastrophic stimulus bill that he’d trump their alternative plans, since “I won”.

A party of no? Perhaps a party of no cajones would be more apt. A party of no spines, even. A party of no personality, or of no public relations or no spin doctors would suffice. Young Republicans and conservatives are offering solutions to America’s problems.  Our solutions will solve problems created almost exclusively by liberals, both intentionally and unintentionally. Let us first begin with the issue that Democrats are largely using to try to pin Republicans with the label of obstructionists:


HEALTH CARE: CBO estimates peg Democrats’ plan for nationalized health care at $1 trillion. Apparently the last $1 trillion dollar bill passed by Democrats worked out so well, they thought they’d try again. There are some very good conservative plans to lower the cost of health care in America and that make it accessible without overhauling the best health care system on earth, keeping in mind the idea that insurance is just that–when you give a Mary Kay Cadillac-package to everyone, it ceases to be insurance at all, but rather fascist-medicine.  Socialism is government owned and operated industry.  Fascism is when the government controls industry but the industry is still privately owned.  America doesn’t need an overhaul, just a touch-up.  So, without further a due, conservative alternatives to fascist medicine:

  • Eliminate insurance mandates.  Currently, insurance companies are mandated by the government to provide insurance for superfluous procedures, costing insurance purchasers $1.3 billion a year.  In other words, 12% of purchasers’ annual premiums.  This is probably since lobbyists for industries as various as birth control, laser eye surgery, Viagra, invitro fertilization and cosmetic procedures have successfully gotten liberal legislators to mandate these things be required pieces of insurance packages, rather than allowing families to choose based on need and cost.  This would be like requiring auto-insurers to cover oil changes, tire rotations, and fuzzy dice.
  • State legislatures should loosen regulation on insurance companies to allow individuals to purchase insurance packages across state lines and Congress needs to encourage trade with out-of-state insurers.  This would lower premiums in a variety of ways, notably by eliminating or diluting the community-rating laws in many states which force an 18 year old with no pre-conditions to subsidize, say, a 55 year old with many pre-conditions by making both pay the same, higher premium.  Cato Institute provides a look into this plan.
  • Equally weighted income tax deductions for medical providers who provide pro-bono medical services as a charity to the disadvantaged.  This would provide an incentive to doctors to provide free care, which doctors largely do any way.  Despite the charge that there are 47 million uninsured Americans, that number is probably closer to 8 million when you discount illegal aliens, people who make more than $70,000 a year who choose not to be insured, and those who are temporarily without insurance as a result of job transition.  Still, in America, no one doesn’t get emergency care because of their inability to pay.  They may lose their PS3, iphone, flat screen or car, and while I sympathize with their plight–facing the choice between food and iphone creates a difficult decision–this is still better than waiting four years for a hip replacement, as in Britain or Canada.
  • Establish Health Savings Accounts for every American.  Accounts in which each U.S. citizen could select, pre-tax, to deduct their personal wealth from their pay-check and deposit into a savings account.  Many Americans could put 40-50% more savings toward health care services.  By doing this, we can unleash the power of the individual consumer to tackle the rising costs of medical services by only using the services they really need and the providers that provide the best quality for the lowest cost.  It would also reduce unnecessary testing for diseases patients and doctors know aren’t the issue.
  • Tort reform.  American hospitals waste $700 billion a year on unnecessary tests and procedures.  This is largely because doctors are terrified of being sued by trip and fall lawyers.  If Americans needed a more ominous omen that we live in an overly litigious society, we have so many lawyers that 75% of recently graduated law students will have difficulty finding work this year.    Trial lawyers being one of the largest demographics for Democrats outside of the GLBT coalitions, trial lawyer lobbyists bankrolled Democrats to the tune of $179 million in soft-money in 2008, and Democrats receive 90% of the American Association of Justice’s campaign contributions.  Democrats reciprocate every time they are re-elected by instituting thousands of arcane rules and regulations to produce more work for trial lawyers nationwide.  Capping malpractice lawsuit awards and creating some system where losers of frivolous lawsuits would be forced to pay would greatly diminish this phenomenon.  Even if we accept the premise that there are 47.5 million uninsured Americans, if we eliminate this wasteful use of health care dollars, savings would amount to roughly $15,000 per ‘uninsured’ American.

To be continued…  On to the economy.

David Teesdale, phoned Senator Lamar Alexander this morning to inform him that the Senator’s support for confirming SCOTUS nominee Judge Sotomayor lost him Teezy’s vote next time around.  Act your ideology, Senator.  Call your Congressmen.  But first, comment here and send suggestions to david.evans.teesdale@gmail.com

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The Dirty Little Secret of Socialized Medicine, by David Teesdale

July 24, 2009

It is with great trepidation today that I reveal the dirty little secret about the Democrats’ health-care ‘reform’ bill, languishing in mark-up, that neither Democrats or Republicans want you to know. This is a secret so great, that even greater lengths have been gone to in order to make sure you never know about it. That secret, is of course, that the thousand page leviathan snaking its way through Congress will never pass. It will not become law, at least during Obama’s presidency.

Congressional Democrats don't want you to know that the health-care bill is doomed because they want you to support it.  Congressional Republicans don't want you to know this because then you won't belly-ache to your Congressman.  Belly-ache away.

Congressional Democrats don't want you to know that the health-care bill is doomed because they want you to support it. Congressional Republicans don't want you to know this because then you won't belly-ache to your Congressman. Belly-ache away.

There was some question, prior to his inauguration, as to how moderate an Obama Administration would be. Obama tacked to the center in the later stages of the presidential campaign and many expected that he had learned the hard lessons of Clinton’s ill-advised lurch leftward in the early days of his own presidency and would take a more centrist approach early on. Obama cleared up any of those debates within days of his inauguration, signing radical executive orders regarding abortion and terrorist detainees, and by pushing through the massive American Economic Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009. The AERR (probably better spelled ERROR– Economic Retardation and Redistribution for Obama’s Re-election) has thus far been a colossal disaster.

Obama’s leftward lurches were noted by this author as early as January, and upon passage of the stimulus, I declared definitively that as a result of the stimulus battle:

“The Democrats stand to potentially be hammered in the 2010 mid-terms, if only Republicans in the Senate hold their ground and let the Democrats have their win now. It is costly for both sides, but Obama will have spent his political capital on a project only 37% of Americans support. You and I can kiss goodbye the notion of socialized medicine or other hair brained plans hatched 50 years ago by pseudo-socialists.” (Feb. 7, 2009).

Republicans largely stood their ground against the wasteful spending in the stimulus bill, and though it was not evident at the time, this helped to harden Americans against any more socialist-leaning legislation. It was to me evident then, that no plan for the nationalization of health-care could ever pass muster. However, I, like many others, was reticent to point this out and risk the disinterest and dis-involvement that would likely emanate from those activists who would otherwise be speaking out against this bill by calling their Congressmen and generally stirring the pudding. We’ve seen this phenomenon occur most recently during the cap and trade debate in the House, where a highly unpopular and dangerous bill somehow managed to squeak into a position dangerously close the Federal Register.

Senator Jim DeMint (R-SC):  “If we’re able to stop Obama on this, it will be his waterloo. It will break him,”

Senator Jim DeMint (R-SC): “If we’re able to stop Obama on this, it will be his waterloo. It will break him." Republicans should heed his words.

So why come out now at such a pivotal time in the legislative process and chat up how the bill is doomed? Senator Jim DeMint (R-SC) recently stated that Obama’s health-care initiative is like his Waterloo. If Obama is defeated here, that may very well spell the end of Obama’s endeavors to reshape the American social and political landscape in his own very liberal image. While the analogy is imperfect, as all analogies are, it is important to note that if Obama can be stopped on health-care—and he almost certainly will be stopped—Republicans can salvage what is left of America.

Though the stimulus plan has severely debilitated America by plunging us into nearly irreparable debt and by burdening future generations with a crushing tax, we may someday be thankful that the Obama Administration pressed for the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, or ERROR, when they did. In doing so, the Obama White House lurched far to the left, and this bacchanalian spendthrift left America not just with a hang over, but a terrible after-taste, and has ignited opposition to further leftward power grabs. National health-care, which would destroy innovation, hinder care, raise costs, institutionalize a culture of death, deprive us of our liberties and relegate America to European style mixed-economic socialism, would be far worse.

The blows dealt by Obama’s stimulus package are severe, but not insurmountable. National health-care would radically transform America. With calls to Congressional offices running fifteen to one against the plans as they stand, Obama is on the ropes. A resounding defeat here would diminish Barack Obama’s future political capital and neuter the march toward a Fabian-styled social order. To utilize another imperfect, boxing analogy; now is not the time to relent. If this is truly destined to be a defeat for the Obama Administration, we should not be content to win by T.K.O. Just as the Duke of Wellington and allied forces saved the continent of Europe from Napoleon’s forces, we should not see Obama’s weakened state and let our guard down. Republicans and conservative Democrats should press Obama all the more fiercely. Let’s make health-care Obama’s Waterloo.

David Teesdale, is particularly fond of analogies.  Mr. Teesdale is to rice pilaf as Steve Irwin is to: __________.  Comment here or e-mail him at david.evans.teesdale@gmail.com for the answer.


Health Care Reform and the Spending Hangover, by StairwaytoKevin

June 24, 2009

Are Americans finally coming off the prolonged binge of spending and government intrusion characterized by the first six months of the Obama administration? Recent polls indicate that as the nation tackles a host of policy issues, with health-care at the forefront, perhaps we have entered a collective hangover with the noticeable symptoms of guilt and utter confusion. Far be it from this timid conservative to triumphantly declare victory. But let’s hope that last night – or the past six months of trillion-dollar spending sprees, rather – was simply a one-night-stand, and that the next time we’re feeling a bit drunk and lonely – or we as a nation confront uncharted economic and political territory – we don’t resort to the same failed tactics of government encroachment and spending.

Curiously, despite the political weakness of the Republican Party as well as the sheer popularity of the President, Americans are heavily skeptical of another supposed “fix” that contradicts fundamental principles of equity, fiscal prudence, and free market economics. A $787 billion stimulus bill, hundreds of billions in TARP funds, and billions more in auto bailouts have taken their toll on the American public. They have been burned by this administration’s penchant for spending now while asking questions later.

A Wall Street Journal poll from last week found 58% of respondents believe government should keep the deficit down even if it slows economic growth. Unfortunately for those advocating a massive health-care restructuring, Americans understand any type of restructuring will likely be permanent. It will also grow as benefits are added and costs skyrocket, as has been the case with nearly all public programs.

Health-care reform emanating from both the Senate finance and health committees do not meet the Congressional Budget Office measurements of being revenue neutral over the course of the next decade or reducing country’s long-term health care burden. Even bi-partisan plans such as the Wyden-Bennett plan, which would eliminate the tax exemption on employer-provided health benefits (it is worth noting that Obama has reversed his campaign rhetoric that denounced McCain’s support of such a plan as the largest middle-class tax hike in history) have met political resistance. Unions are feeling mighty after their electoral triumph in November and subsequent financial triumph in the Detroit bailout/bankruptcy. They are not quite ready to relinquish hefty benefits packages that would be affected by the Wyden-Bennett plan.

While compelling, many other arguments against liberal health-care reform have fallen flat. Nevermind that 17 million uninsured Americans live in households with income greater than $50,000; or that 40 percent of the uninsured are between the ages of 18 and 34 (a demographic where health care is not a necessity); or that nearly 14 million uninsured Americans are already eligible for taxpayer-funded insurance. Similarly hollow are the calls from the nation’s leading health-care experts such as the American Medical Association. They have opposed aspects such as the public option due to glaring shortcomings in Medicaid and Medicare, which they fear would be duplicated. Under those programs, which like the current debate began with promise of a hybrid public-private model – private plans were engulfed by government plans. Reimbursements have also shrunk as bureaucrats look for ways to trim the bloated operating costs of a government monopoly.

However, these arguments have not resonated with the American public. Thus far, opposition to health-care expansion and a public option has proven most effective when targeting Americans uneasy with any further deficit spending and the nation’s rapidly-expanding debt. It is certainly encouraging to see the nation responsibly recuperate from its spending hangover with a more modest approach to health-care reform. In addition to the stimulus package, bailouts of Wall Street and Detroit are costing Americans trillions for years to come. Many are finally ignoring the annoying friend who maintains “the only way to cure a hangover is to drink more,” or in this case the Paul Krugmans who insists “the only way to overcome a deficit or achieve any policy goal is to spend your way out.”

StairwaytoKevin hides behind his anonymity because he fears reprisals from tie-dye-wearing teacher’s Unions, and because he is a coward beyond measure. He can be reached by comment on this article.