Wednesday, September 09, 2009

GUEST POST: "A Response to Modern Esquire"

By William G. Pierce

I must respond to a blog I read on Buckeye State which attacked the posting made by State Representative Danny Bubp on WMD wherein it stated the legislator “either is stupid (or just thinks his constituents are)”. I respond on WMD because it will obviously be read by both sides of the political spectrum.

Modernesquire states “Fir(s)t, none of those folks are talking about a government-run health care system. The health care reform proposal will not change the fact that most people will still continue to get their medical services provided by private, for-profit medical providers being paid by private, for-profit medical insurers.” To which I can dispute because the government is most certainly talking about government-run health care system wherein federal bureaucrats will establish medical reimbursement rates and procedures in similar fashion to Medicare which is indisputably a government-run health care program.

The second position is correct in principle but false in practice. The Administration has insisted that we may keep our current health insurance policy and that health care must be available to all The Administration has suggested if an employer does not provide the coverage, then a 8.5% tax will be levied on the employer based on the employees’ compensation. I ask Modernsquire to imagine himself as a business owner with ten employees with a median income of $40,000 a year. If his company currently provides private health care insurance, the business expense is in the range of $800 to $1000 per month per employee leading to a total annual business expense is $96,000 to $120,000.

Now if Modernesquire is an astute business man, and we will work with the assumption that he is, the annual expense for health care insurance will decrease to $34,000 if he drops the company’s privately based insurance and begins to pay the 8.5% tax penalty on the $400,000 payroll for not providing coverage for his employees ($283.33 per month per employee). The annual savings of $62,000 to $$86,000 can be diverted by Modernsquire to a myriad of other worthwhile and needed business purposes – including growth. Bottom line – the employee does not get to keep the medical services “provided by private, for-profit medical providers being paid by private, for-profit medical insurers.”

What is even more insidious with the Administration’s plan is that the 8.5% payroll penalty will in fact create a two tier health care system because employers will elect to continue “high salary” employees on the private insurance. If business savy Modernsquire has an employee who makes more than $140,000 a year, it will be less expensive to cover her/him under the existing plan than taking the tax penalty. Suddenly, a Nation built on the premise that all are created equal will not be equal when it comes to health care. A two tier system will certainly be created.

I must agree with Modernesquire in that the deficiencies with Medicare are greatly enhanced by the uncontrolled Congressional theft and spending of trust funds which have been replaced with worthless IOUs. It has been ongoing for decades and continues even today as the CBO reports the funds will run out earlier than previous projections. The American people should hold all of our federal legislators, of both political parties, responsible and accountable.

Finally, I take exception to Modernesquire’s final assault on Representative Bubp’s employee provided benefit of private health care insurance. He states, “As a member of the General Assembly, Bubp gets to choose from multiple health insurance providers to provide him, and his family, with private health insurance (paid for by our state tax dollars, mind you.) In other words, Bubp is advocating against the very kind of choice he as a state legislator is allowed to make for him and his family because that's what the Obama health care bill ACTUALLY DOES DO.”

I have seen no suggestion in any Congressional Bill or in the Administration’s presentations that the uninsured will receive money from the government with the sole purpose of affording them the opportunity to purchase private health care insurance. At numerous townhall meetings, Congressional representatives in the House and the Senate have been asked if they will voluntarily surrender their existing health care coverage in favor of the Obama health care plans – to date, I have not heard anyone speak in the affirmative. As a matter of fact, a bill has been submitted in the House which would require that change among our representatives in Washington, but it will fail due to a lack of co-sponsors and “air” time.

I suggest that State Representative Bubp is not stupid nor does he consider his constituents to be either. Furthermore, I ask Modernesquire to look beyond the words the Administration uses to seek the unintended consequences that will certainly befall employers across the country and in turn affect the health care insurance coverage we are told we may keep – but cannot.