Thursday, November 19, 2009

Magic Bullets Part III – The Health Care Gecko

Here’s a question for you; why is there no healthcare Gecko? Wouldn’t it be great if 15 minutes could save you 15% or more in health insurance? For that matter, where is the Progressive girl with the red lipstick selling health insurance? Is it possible that this is the real problem with healthcare? In other words, is it possible that the real problem with healthcare is that there is no such thing as a true individual market? The fact is, only 5% of the insured buy their own health insurance. 95% get insurance from the government or their employer. For car insurance, the numbers are reversed and there is no similar crisis in car insurance. The difference is the Gecko. Give us a healthcare Gecko, and the crisis dissolves like magic.

Now I know what you’re saying, “Healthcare is way more expensive than transportation so there is just no comparison.” Consider this; Americans spend on average four times more on transportation than they do on healthcare. (Source: US Government, BLS)  Is your car more important than your life? Given this, why is there no demand for a public option in car insurance? Simple. There is a functioning free market (although regulated to the gills) in car insurance. Ever hear of Warren Buffet? He is a car insurance capitalist among other things; a slick profiteer making obscene amounts of money off the backs of innocent Americans who just need a little car insurance mandated by their government. Now I don’t buy into the tone of that last sentence, but that’s what the rhetoric about health insurance companies amounts to. It’s nonsense and it’s leading us down a Marxist class-warfare path.

Here’s the magic-bullet way out led by the Gecko, and the best part is, it is cost-neutral to employees, employers, and the government: Eliminate the deductibility of health insurance for employers and offset the difference with a reduction in payroll taxes. That’s it. Employers would instantly transfer their health insurance plans to employee ownership and increase wages to offset the costs. Tax implications for all parties would be neutralized by lowering payroll taxes across the board. End of story. It’s simple to explain and would set in motion all the other market forces like portability, availability, and cost which will solve this government-made crisis. Shouldn’t we try this before re-making one sixth of the economy in the image of the IRS and your local DMV? The only difference is there will be a healthcare Gecko within hours of this magic bullet. In Gecko we trust. Maybe Warren Buffet could explain this to the President?

(Remember, we’d still have a nifty public option called Medicaid for those unable or unwilling to “Go Gecko”.)

No comments:

Post a Comment