Friday, June 15, 2012

Delaware State Health Care Takeover

More taxes and a total state take over of every aspect of our health care system. What am I missing that makes this a GOOD idea?  Edited for additional sarcasm.  From the synopsis:
This Delaware Health Security Act will provide all current and future Delaware citizens, our state's budget and future economy and job development a non-government run program and cost effective single payer health care system.
Government establishing a non-government program.  How's that work?  Is there such a thing as a "cost effective single payer health care system?  I've never seen one.
This system eliminates unnecessary multi-payer brokers and will save approximately 40 percent of total funds now wasted by a 30 percent loss to administrative/overhead costs (costly paperwork, profits, advertising, lobbying, etc.) and a minimum of 10 percent to unchecked health care fraud. These savings are research-documented by single payer health care systems used by our military services, Veterans Administration's health care system and our Medicare system. A typical research study by a Harvard University team showed a 33 percent administrative/overhead waste of our health care funds by insurance company brokers compared to 1.5 percent administrative/overhead cost of our single payer Medicare system. These Delaware annual savings and a stabilized funding structure with accountable budgets will enable our state to provide the following health care benefits to all citizens, our state's budget and future economic/job development:
Right, because there's no waste or fraud in government programs.  Monopolies have no incentive to drive these overhead costs down.  Competing independent businesses do.
(1) Comprehensive health care coverage (physicians and specialists, hospital needs, long-term care, pharmaceutical drugs, dental care, mental health, drug rehabilitation, special equipment and aids, etc.) from conception until death without any extra health insurance or out-of-pocket expense;
Liberals providing health care beginning at conception.  There's a can of worms for someone else to open.  Fifteen bureaucrats will get to decide what "comprehensive" means in that and every other context.
(2) Eliminate the huge double-digit annual increases in health care costs; only the smaller rate of inflation will apply;
Just flip them into double digit annual increases in the tax/surtax levied on individuals and employers.  Much better.
(3) Will return all health care decision-making to physicians, dentists and other professional health care professional staff;
As long as their decisions are approved by the 15 member board.
(4) Eliminates the pauper requirement that one must give up all savings and property before receiving Medicare/Medicaid funds for long-term care;
Why would we be giving government benefits to people who can afford to pay for it themselves in the first place?
(5) Will eliminate all health care debts, major cause of personal bankruptcies and the ability to buy or keep one's home;
Just foist all of those debts on the state and national governments.  It's cool, we can handle it.
(6) Will eliminate the destructive, debilitating effects of chronic stress on our uninsured, under insured and their families;
Add to the destructive, debilitating effects of  chronic stress on our unemployed and underemployed who are thrown out of work when their employers decide that a 4-9% tax to pay for this boondoggle is enough of a motivation to close shop and leave the state.
(7) Will serve as a magnet to both attract and retain private businesses competing in the global economy. This was the key reason we lost the Chrysler and General Motors automobile manufacturing plants;
As well as a magnet to repel any private business unable to cover the 4-9% tax to pay for it.
(8) In addition to providing comprehensive health care coverage for all citizens, this Act will save millions each year for our state's budget;
We'll see how those numbers balance out.  Color me skeptical.  The fiscal note is conveniently incomplete.
(9) Personal health care savings by our state's citizens will add hundreds of millions to our state's annual economy; and
Until you factor in the cost of the tax and the cost of getting care from out of state when the board of bureaucrats doesn't approve your treatment.
(10) Will significantly elevate our state's ranking of from 40th or lower among all states on health care challenges such as well babies, women's health care status, cancer, etc.
So you say.
This Act will provide funds for three years for training and economic assistance for displaced paperwork employees who choose to fill additional needed health care service jobs created by approximately a five percent increase in health care utilization caused by this reformed health care system.
We know we're going to put people out of work, but it's ok because we're going to give them some more of your money to train them to be government bureaucrats instead.
This Act will be administered by a 15-member Delaware Health Security Board comprised as follows: State Secretary of Health And Social Services, appointed by the Governor; Two members from both the State House of Representatives and State Senate Committees concerned with health care issues; Five members from state health professional organizations and five members from eligible consumer organizations in our state.
Plaques for hacks.
There will be a County Advisory Council in each of our state's three counties. The appointments and membership will be from the same sources as the State Health Security Board with the requirement that all Council members must be residents of the county they serve. These County Advisory Councils will work with and through the State's Board and four Divisions in more effectively implementing the planning, operation and evaluation of the Delaware Health Security Act.
More plaques for hacks.
Funding for the Delaware Health Security Act will be as follows:

(1) All state and federal funds available for health and health care costs in Delaware;
Put all of our eggs in this basket.
(2) Employer and employee graduated payroll tax from 4 percent for employers with less than ten employees to 9 percent for employers with 50 or more employees;
Tax people more.
(3) A Health Security tax of 2.5 percent on net taxable income (after deductions) for all heads of households and persons subject to Delaware's income tax; and
Tax people even more.
(4) An additional Health Security income surtax on net taxable income of 2.5 percent for persons filing a Delaware income tax return in excess of $250,000. Married couples filing a joint Delaware income tax return shall pay an additional income surtax of 2.5 percent on net taxable income in excess of $500,000.
Tax rich people even more.
A very important overall result from enacting and implementing this program and cost effective single payer system is that initial and continuous funding will be available to halt the deterioration of our current health care situation. Ample funds will be available for additional health care facilities, staffing, program improvement and both pre-service and continuing education investments in both professional and non-professional health care staff.
Instead that funding will be coerced out of the population to force the deterioration of our current health care situation.  Ample funds will be taken from you and made available for the corporatist political purposes deemed necessary by 15 hacks appointed by the governor.  Yippee.

Steve Newton at The Delaware Libertarian call this bill out for the political posturing that it is, so I've just been successfully baited by John Kowalko into fighting against health care, but so be it.  There's also a fight on at Delaware Liberal, and you're all invited.  Bring popcorn.

UPDATE:  My opponent hasn't said a word about this all day.  It makes me wonder if he's even aware it's happening.  The DEGOP's response to this kind of thing, in general, is sorely lacking.  Three out of four of the bill's sponsors don't even have opponents.  Anyone living in the 24th, 25th, or 27th representative districts who would like to step up can be placed on the Libertarian Party ballot for free.

UPDATE UPDATE:  DEFINITELY check out the comment thread on Delaware Liberal.  A poster purporting to be Representative John Kowalko himself just called me inbred and dyslexic rather than address my questions about his bill.


  1. sarcasm ? Sounds like SOS
    Government as usual

    1. This bill is definitely the SOS. It's even worse than the SOS, actually. It's a rehash of a five year old bill that is only being introduced as a political ploy by two safe Democrats the DEGOP hasn't even seen fit to challenge.

      The sarcasm is my own addition. It's how I stay (somewhat) sane.

  2. I'm out of popcorn. And the horror flick is just starting.