The World According to Nick
My take on Software, Technology, Politics, and anything else I feel like talking about.
Wednesday, June 15, 2005

No No No No No 

Absolutely not! Don't you dare!:

A bipartisan pair of state lawmakers are recommending a radical change to the way health insurance is bought and sold in Wisconsin by proposing the creation of a statewide insurance purchasing pool.
The proposal would essentially impose an 8% to 12% payroll tax on all employers to provide basic health insurance to everyone in Wisconsin younger than 65. The cost would be supplemented by a portion of the federal government's share of the Medicaid program.

If the Wisconsin government is going to turn socialist... then I might as well move to California where at least the weather is better. I wrote this about insurance premiums a while ago, and it still is applicable to this. The inspiration for that earlier post was this article about a similar plan in Vermont. It is an excellent article, and better explains the evilness of this plan than I could. Hell... not even Canada wants Canadian health care any more!

The solution to rising health care costs is not more government control. When government subsidizes... costs go up. That's because very simply, taxpayer dollars are seen as free... and so they are spent with reckless abandon. The reason for this is that government subsidy is not viewed as making up part of a payment. It's seen as gravy on top of what people are already able to spend. Prices therefore naturally rise up to suck up the gravy, still requiring people to pay what they did before. I see this happening here very quickly. It's not even that great of a plan. Take this provision for instance:

Enroll participants into the lowest-level plan, which would have a $1,200 deductible, half of which could be covered by the health savings account funds. People could, however, opt to pay more and select a higher-end plan. Employers would also be able to provide richer benefits if they choose.

And this one really takes the cake:

Be administered by a newly created Health Insurance Purchasing Corporation, a private corporation governed by a nine-member board of directors, made up of representatives from business and labor groups along with two gubernatorial appointees.

Because Lord knows how great those boards end up working in this state. Just what we need... the kinds of controversy that occurred with the state's minimum wage brought into our health care decision making. Of course, then there was this gem which the Journal decided to save to the very latest paragraph:

Dahlia Remler, a professor at City University of New York who has studied the insurance market, said the plan could have some unintended side effects. Businesses could have a strong incentive to move to states without the tax, she said.

Gee... Yah think?! I know one fact for sure. The minute this bill passes, there will be a moving fan in front of my door. Maybe I shouldn't say that. I'm sure now my sisters will be calling my state representatives trying to get them to sign onto this bill.


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Name: Nick
Home: Wauwatosa, WI, United States

I'm a Software Consultant in the Milwaukee area. Among various geeky pursuits, I'm also an amateur triathlete, and enjoy rock climbing. I also like to think I'm a political pundit.

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