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Sunday, January 03, 2010

Exchange or refund?

This is the season for exchanges and refunds. Presents are returned to the customer service counters across the land and exchanged for other things of different size, different color, or just something altogether different...like cash.

Apparently our political "servants" in Washington, D.C. had this in mind with the recent healthcare bill. The Senate version creates "exchanges" in every single state, whereby we the people can come and shop for health insurance. I have no bone to pick with the idea of mandatory insurance coverage--it's the only way to make the pool of recipients large enough to matter--but let's take a look at what it does to government in general in the country.

Fifty states will have to create fifty new bureaucracies. Now who can say among you out there that that will be a good thing? I live here in the fiscally challenged state of New York, a state that a month ago almost couldn't pay its bills, despite having property taxes 79% above the national average and being the second most taxed state in the union.

This law will give us another bureaucracy, and more administration waste. Which means more taxes to pay for it. Ah, what a wonderful idea!

I guess they took the idea from private insurance. We have over ten thousand different prescription plans in the U.S. administered by thousands of different companies. Thousands of administrators wasting billions of dollars. It's almost like we are trying our best to come up with a plan to make insurance the most expensive in the world...which it is already.

It could have been so different, so easy, so manageable and efficient. Medicare for all. One insurance, one administrator, one phone number, one formulary, one set of rules. And it would save hundreds of billions of dollars.

Maybe we should all ask for a refund.

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