Healthcare plans: Ignorance and treachery

The lead to our recent posts never has been more appropriate than with regard to the current discussion of health care:

It takes only two things to keep people in chains: The ignorance of the oppressed and the treachery of their leaders.”

Wisconsin Representative, Paul Ryan, the GOP’s version of an insurance genius, the man who came up with the latest “repeal and replace” plan, described his “Patients’ Choice Act” this way:

My plan, The Patients’ Choice Act, ensures universal, affordable health care for all Americans. Under The Patients’ Choice Act, patients and doctors would control their health care decisions – not insurance companies and federal government bureaucrats.

Of course, it does no such thing, because if you go to the “Short Summary” you will read the following:

“(My plan) creates State Health Insurance Exchanges to give Americans a one‐stop marketplace to compare different health insurance policies and select the one that meets their unique needs.”

According to the genius, insurance companies no longer will control health care decisions because you will be able to compare insurance policies. HUH??

(And by the way, why would you have to compare policies unless you will have to pay for less-than-complete coverage?)

And:

“(My plan) gives Americans the same standard health benefits as Members of Congress, so all Americans have a wide range of choices”

See, it’s like this: Federal government bureaucrats will not control your health care decisions, because you will receive the same standard health benefits that federal government bureaucrats created and control for Congress. Huh??

And:

Creates a non‐profit, independent board to risk adjust among participating insurance companies to penalize companies that “cherry pick” health patients and reward insurers that encourage prevention/wellness and cover patients with pre‐existing conditions.

In other words, Federal bureaucrats will tell insurance companies whom they must cover, what coverages to offer, and what to charge.  Huh??

But it gets worse, much worse. The GOP insurance genius even is clueless about how insurance actually works:

Insurance 101 For Paul Ryan: The Healthy Are Supposed To Help Pay For The Sick
Obamacare is in a “death spiral” because the insured are sharing the risk, explains congressman.
By Mary Papenfuss

Paul Ryan is aghast that healthy individuals are paying into an insurance pot that’s used when people are sick. But … that’s exactly the way insurance works.

Twitter positively erupted Thursday to school Mr. Health Insurance on the concept.

Everyone pays into the pot and draws on it when they’re sick. Younger people, who tend to be healthier than older people, pay for health insurance like everyone else.

They’ll rely on it when they need it, probably more when they’re older and there are younger, healthier people filing in behind them.

It’s the same with car insurance. Some people pay for decades and never get into an accident and never collect on their coverage.

Yes, Mr. Ryan, that’s how insurance works — fire insurance, liability insurance, all kinds of insurance. Each year, we pay into it hoping we won’t use it this year.

O.K., so the Republican insurance genius says he wants to replace Obamacare with a plan that doesn’t allow insurance companies and federal government bureaucrats to control health care decisions — except that is exactly what his plan does.

And the insurance genius objects to young people paying for insurance they may not need, except that is how insurance works.

But it continues to get worse:

“Economic analysts across the political divide agree that the tax code is stacked in favor of the wealthy . . . (My plan) provides an advanceable and refundable tax credit of $2,300 per individual or $5,700 per family. “

Sounds swell, except the GOP insurance genius didn’t know about two problems:

  1. That $2,300 per person and $5,700 per family isn’t enough to cover even current, let alone future health care insurance of the quality Members of Congress receive, and
  2. It’s not even money; it’s a tax credit, and the poorest among us don’t benefit from a a tax credit. They need actual money. The whole point of Obamacare was to cover those who can’t afford health care.

And, it continues to get worse and worse, because the entire Ryan plan is based on reducing costs for the federal government (which being Monetarily Sovereign, has the unlimited ability to pay) and instead piling costs onto doctors, insurance companies, and the public.

“The Patients’ Choice Act would give every American the opportunity to choose the health care plan that best meets their individual needs.”

Except, few of us know in advance, what our individual needs will be. Accidents and sickness come unexpectedly. Do you know whether you will have a heart attack this year? A stroke? Cancer? A serious car accident? A rare illness you never heard of?

The whole concept of “individual needs,” when applied to health care insurance, is ridiculous and misleading.

“It will utilize state‐driven exchanges to facilitate real competition between private plans and give Americans—for the first time—a choice of health care plans.  This solution will actually fix the incentives in the health care system so that health providers and insurers provide higher quality plans at lower cost.”

Said another way, doctors, hospitals, and insurance companies will have to cut costs while providing better service.

What does that tell you about the future availability of doctors, hospitals, and insurance companies?

Right. There will be fewer. So, services will be scarcer.  And what happens when services are scarcer? Right. Quality decreases and prices increase — exactly the opposite of what the GOP insurance genius expects.

Obamacare, with all its warts (and it has many), was an attempt to provide health care to the millions of us who cannot afford to pay for health care. The Republicans — the party of the rich — hate it, not only because it is “Obama,” but because it narrows the Gap between the rich and the rest.

The rich don’t want that.

So the party of the rich proposes a plan that:

  1. Saves money for the only entity in America that has no need to save money — our Monetarily Sovereign federal government
  2. Burdens financially the private sector, i.e. the burdens economy
  3. Eliminates coverage for the millions of our poorest.
  4. Widens the Gap between the rich and the rest

The GOP plan truly is based on “the ignorance of the oppressed and the treachery of our leaders.

What should the plan be? See Steps #1 and  #2 of the Ten Steps to Prospertity (below): ELIMINATE FICA, and FEDERALLY FUND MEDICARE — PARTS A, B & D, PLUS LONG TERM CARE — FOR EVERYONE

The federal government can afford, and should pay for, what you and our fellow citizens cannot. That is the purpose of a Monetarily Sovereign government.

Rodger Malcolm Mitchell
Monetary Sovereignty

………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………..

The single most important problems in economics involve the excessive income/wealth/power Gaps between the have-mores and the have-less.

Wide Gaps negatively affect poverty, health and longevity, education, housing, law and crime, war, leadership, ownership, bigotry, supply and demand, taxation, GDP, international relations, scientific advancement, the environment, human motivation and well-being, and virtually every other issue in economics.

Implementation of The Ten Steps To Prosperity can narrow the Gaps:

Ten Steps To Prosperity:
1. ELIMINATE FICA (Ten Reasons to Eliminate FICA )
Although the article lists 10 reasons to eliminate FICA, there are two fundamental reasons:
*FICA is the most regressive tax in American history, widening the Gap by punishing the low and middle-income groups, while leaving the rich untouched, and
*The federal government, being Monetarily Sovereign, neither needs nor uses FICA to support Social Security and Medicare.
2. FEDERALLY FUNDED MEDICARE — PARTS A, B & D, PLUS LONG TERM CARE — FOR EVERYONE (H.R. 676, Medicare for All )
This article addresses the questions:
*Does the economy benefit when the rich can afford better health care than can the rest of Americans?
*Aside from improved health care, what are the other economic effects of “Medicare for everyone?”
*How much would it cost taxpayers?
*Who opposes it?”
3. PROVIDE A MONTHLY ECONOMIC BONUS TO EVERY MAN, WOMAN AND CHILD IN AMERICA (similar to Social Security for All) (The JG (Jobs Guarantee) vs the GI (Guaranteed Income) vs the EB (Guaranteed Income)) Or institute a reverse income tax.
This article is the fifth in a series about direct financial assistance to Americans:

Why Modern Monetary Theory’s Employer of Last Resort is a bad idea. Sunday, Jan 1 2012
MMT’s Job Guarantee (JG) — “Another crazy, rightwing, Austrian nutjob?” Thursday, Jan 12 2012
Why Modern Monetary Theory’s Jobs Guarantee is like the EU’s euro: A beloved solution to the wrong problem. Tuesday, May 29 2012
“You can’t fire me. I’m on JG” Saturday, Jun 2 2012

Economic growth should include the “bottom” 99.9%, not just the .1%, the only question being, how best to accomplish that. Modern Monetary Theory (MMT) favors giving everyone a job. Monetary Sovereignty (MS) favors giving everyone money. The five articles describe the pros and cons of each approach.
4. FREE EDUCATION (INCLUDING POST-GRAD) FOR EVERYONE Five reasons why we should eliminate school loans
Monetarily non-sovereign State and local governments, despite their limited finances, support grades K-12. That level of education may have been sufficient for a largely agrarian economy, but not for our currently more technical economy that demands greater numbers of highly educated workers.
Because state and local funding is so limited, grades K-12 receive short shrift, especially those schools whose populations come from the lowest economic groups. And college is too costly for most families.
An educated populace benefits a nation, and benefitting the nation is the purpose of the federal government, which has the unlimited ability to pay for K-16 and beyond.
5. SALARY FOR ATTENDING SCHOOL
Even were schooling to be completely free, many young people cannot attend, because they and their families cannot afford to support non-workers. In a foundering boat, everyone needs to bail, and no one can take time off for study.
If a young person’s “job” is to learn and be productive, he/she should be paid to do that job, especially since that job is one of America’s most important.
6. ELIMINATE FEDERAL TAXES ON BUSINESS
Businesses are dollar-transferring machines. They transfer dollars from customers to employees, suppliers, shareholders and the federal government (the later having no use for those dollars). Any tax on businesses reduces the amount going to employees, suppliers and shareholders, which diminishes the economy. Ultimately, all business taxes reduce your personal income.
7. INCREASE THE STANDARD INCOME TAX DEDUCTION, ANNUALLY. (Refer to this.) Federal taxes punish taxpayers and harm the economy. The federal government has no need for those punishing and harmful tax dollars. There are several ways to reduce taxes, and we should evaluate and choose the most progressive approaches.
Cutting FICA and business taxes would be a good early step, as both dramatically affect the 99%. Annual increases in the standard income tax deduction, and a reverse income tax also would provide benefits from the bottom up. Both would narrow the Gap.
8. TAX THE VERY RICH (THE “.1%) MORE, WITH HIGHER PROGRESSIVE TAX RATES ON ALL FORMS OF INCOME. (TROPHIC CASCADE)
There was a time when I argued against increasing anyone’s federal taxes. After all, the federal government has no need for tax dollars, and all taxes reduce Gross Domestic Product, thereby negatively affecting the entire economy, including the 99.9%.
But I have come to realize that narrowing the Gap requires trimming the top. It simply would not be possible to provide the 99.9% with enough benefits to narrow the Gap in any meaningful way. Bill Gates reportedly owns $70 billion. To get to that level, he must have been earning $10 billion a year. Pick any acceptable Gap (1000 to 1?), and the lowest paid American would have to receive $10 million a year. Unreasonable.
9. FEDERAL OWNERSHIP OF ALL BANKS (Click The end of private banking and How should America decide “who-gets-money”?)
Banks have created all the dollars that exist. Even dollars created at the direction of the federal government, actually come into being when banks increase the numbers in checking accounts. This gives the banks enormous financial power, and as we all know, power corrupts — especially when multiplied by a profit motive.
Although the federal government also is powerful and corrupted, it does not suffer from a profit motive, the world’s most corrupting influence.
10. INCREASE FEDERAL SPENDING ON THE MYRIAD INITIATIVES THAT BENEFIT AMERICA’S 99.9% (Federal agencies)Browse the agencies. See how many agencies benefit the lower- and middle-income/wealth/ power groups, by adding dollars to the economy and/or by actions more beneficial to the 99.9% than to the .1%.
Save this reference as your primer to current economics. Sadly, much of the material is not being taught in American schools, which is all the more reason for you to use it.

The Ten Steps will grow the economy, and narrow the income/wealth/power Gap between the rich and you.

MONETARY SOVEREIGNTY

11 thoughts on “Healthcare plans: Ignorance and treachery

  1. Speaking of “Ignorance and Treachery,” here’s another example:

    GOP Obamacare Repeal Bill Depletes Medicare Trust Fund Faster

    The long-awaited GOP health care bill finally unveiled this week strikes an immediate blow to Medicare funding, accelerating a solvency crisis that health policy experts say could open the door to even more devastating cuts down the road.

    By repealing a payroll tax on high earners that provided a critical additional revenue stream for the Medicare trust fund, the GOP’s proposed American Health Care Act would speed up the fund’s exhaustion by as many as three to four years, according to estimates from health care policy experts.

    Folks, there is no “Medicare trust fund.” It’s an accounting fiction.

    And there is no “solvency crisis.” The federal government never can run short of its own sovereign currency.

    The media are in on the scam, pretending the Monetarily Sovereign federal government’s finances are the same a the state and local monetarily NON-sovereign finances.

    ——————————————————————————————————————————————————-

    Suggestion needed: http://www.nationofchange.org/2017/03/10/mentally-ill-president/

    Like

  2. Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget

    Just a reminder. The “debt” in 1940 was $40 Billion. The “debt” today is about $16 TRILLION. Every year, for the past 77 years, the BIG LIARS have told us the federal debt is “unsustainable.”

    At what point will their readers figure out that these people do not know what they are talking about.

    They must have learned economics at Trump University.

    Like

  3. RMM, “Sounds swell, except the GOP insurance genius didn’t know about two problems:

    1. That $2,300 per person and $5,700 per family isn’t enough to cover even current, let alone future health care insurance of the quality Members of Congress receive, and
    2. It’s not even money; it’s a tax credit, and the poorest among us don’t benefit from a a tax credit. They need actual money. The whole point of Obamacare was to cover those who can’t afford health care.

    Roger, Why not insist that be a “EITC- REFUNDABLE TAX CUT”
    guaranteeing over 50% of all the people will receive THE FULL BENEFIT!
    ***But what do the people know ? Surely not “The Art Of The Deal”

    REFUNDABLE CREDITS

    Some tax credits, however, are fully or partially refundable: if their value exceeds a person’s tax liability, the excess is paid to the filer. The earned income tax credit (EITC) is fully refundable…
    MOST POPULAR CREDITS
    The EITC is the most commonly claimed credit, showing up on about 19 percent of 2014 tax returns.
    http://www.taxpolicycenter.org/briefing-book/whats-difference-between-tax-deductions-and-tax-credits

    Translated: More than 40% of taxpayers who will be paying ZERO in taxes
    WILL receive a check for either $2300 or $5700.

    God Bless America.

    Like

      1. Your words…” the poorest among us ….. need actual money. The whole point of Obamacare was to cover those who can’t afford health care.”
        You would deprive them of both; money & healthcare !!
        Maybe you should have gone to TRUMP UNIVERSITY!

        Like

        1. Yep, providing FEDERALLY FUNDED MEDICARE — PARTS A, B & D, PLUS LONG TERM CARE — FOR EVERYONE (Step #2 of the Ten Steps to Prosperity) sure does “deprive them of money and healthcare.”

          But don’t fret; mental care is included.

          Like

  4. Not too smart, RMM.
    Why would you have 80% of the taxpayers turn down $2300 cash per year while waiting for your dream of …” providing FEDERALLY FUNDED MEDICARE — PARTS A, B & D, PLUS LONG TERM CARE — FOR EVERYONE.”
    Your words, ” (c) Funding-
    (1) IN GENERAL- There are appropriated to the Medicare for All Trust Fund amounts sufficient to carry out this Act from the following sources:
    [NOTE: the following part of H.R. 676 describes only one idea for the funding. After sufficient support is established in the U.S. House of Representatives, many funding options will likely be debated. It will be important for some citizens to monitor the progress and give input at that time. In the meantime, any ideas or wishes you have for funding should be sent by letter in the U.S. Mail to your U.S. Representative and U.S. Senators.]
    (A) Existing sources of Federal government revenues for health care.
    (B) Increasing personal income taxes on the top 5 percent income earners.
    (to do: need to communicate what level of income this means)
    (C) Instituting a modest and progressive excise tax on payroll and self-employment income.
    [Current Medicare tax: 1.45% paid by employers and employees.]
    (D) Instituting a modest tax on unearned income.
    (E) Instituting a small tax on stock and bond transactions.

    ******** A dream that will force them to pay on average an additional $4,000 to $5000 more in FEDERAL INCOME TAXES…and to boot receive nothing back but a poorly managed “Federally managed health care program- unless of course, you know of any ‘federally managed program’ that is not “poorly managed”. Maybe, perhaps, it would be self-fulfilling: you die waiting in line just to see a doctor. Maybe that’s too harsh, perhaps if taxpayer participation were to be $8,000 to $10,000; deceit care could be provided.
    As for me, I would like a check for $2300 in 2017. Maybe ask for a 6% increase each year. If I live to be 93 as a joint filer ($5700) would be $11,400-Only possible, if …

    “It’s time to rewrite the rules―to curb the runaway flow of wealth to the top one percent, to restore security and opportunity for the middle class, and to foster stronger growth rooted in broadly shared prosperity.”( Economic Nobel Laureate Joseph Stiglitz)

    Why would you not want to….
    Increase……. Wages, Jobs, the Standard of Living.
    Decrease…… National Debt, Poverty, Inequality Gaps.
    Yes, IT IS TIME TO MAKE AMERICA GREAT AGAIN.

    DO YOUR JOB!
    Take what is proposed; work to make it a better deal.

    Like

    1. “A dream that will force them to pay on average an additional $4,000 to $5000 more in FEDERAL INCOME TAXES. . . “

      After all these years of reading this blog, and being given a platform for your “ideas,” you still don’t understand Monetary Sovereignty. How is that possible?

      Like

      1. Oh, but I do understand “Monetary Sovereignty”. Yes A MS can never go broke. Yes, a MS can print an unlimited amount of money.
        What I do not understand is, how can you believe that a MS can print
        $20 trillion and give it to the people who hold our receipts (Treasuries)
        and be able to turn over $20 trillion in “goods and services”.

        Like

        1. To “lend” to the government you make deposits in T-security accounts at the Federal Reserve Bank. You instruct your bank to debit your checking account and credit your T-security account.

          Those Treasuries the people hold are deposits in T-securities accounts at the Federal Reserve Bank, which are similar to savings accounts at a commercial bank.

          To pay the people back, the federal government does NOT print dollars.

          It merely transfers the dollars that ALREADY EXIST in those T-security accounts back to the checking accounts of the T-security holders.

          No new dollars or goods and services are involved.

          Like

          1. Great writing skill,RMM. “To ‘lend’ money to the gov. you (the people) make a deposit by instructing YOUR bank to debit (take out of your account) and put your ‘real money’ a/k/a real receipts of goods and services already given up by you and placed in your account-
            and those ‘receipts’ better be there or you will be in deep dodo.
            Now lets take China and Japan, holders of $5 trillion…What if they wanted
            to cash in and purchase Gold (a/k/a what they were entitled to before 1971, a/k/a “trust and confidence in the US Dollar”.
            Your words,”For instance, when we import from China, we give them dollars we create at the touch of a computer key, and they give us products and services that cost them the blood, sweat, and tears of their workforce along with their precious raw materials.”
            What do you think will happen when they try to buy the gold when the Swiss Banks say,”Sorry, no deal, we need the …..’ ‘real money’ a/k/a real receipts of goods and services already given up by you and placed in your account-‘ not this newly printed counterfeit; replacing the …’ products and services that cost them (China) the the blood, sweat, and tears of their workforce along with their precious raw materials .”
            Should that happen, we will discover what real “Systemic Failure” and “Monetary Collapse ” would be as the other nations try to cash in their Treasuries as well as any US Dollars.
            BUT THERE IS HOPE !
            We can fix it.
            So how is this, to most people not understood, that money is wealth while at the same time
            money can not increase wealth, but merely store or exchange what has already been
            given up.
            What is the “basic flaw” ?
            Why is that flaw not understood ?
            Soddy answered these questions, ““So elaborately has the real nature of this ridiculous proceeding been surrounded with confusion by some of the cleverest and most skillful advocates the world has ever known, that it still is something of a mystery to ordinary people, who hold their heads and confess they are ” unable to understand finance “. It is not intended that they should.”
            THE K.I.S. SOLUTION TO DECREASE INEQUALITY GAPS, POVERTY, and NATIONAL DEBT:
            INCREASE WAGES, JOBS, and the STANDARD OF LIVING:
            -ONE SENTENCE
            -A REPUBLIC DEMOCRATIC CAPITALISTIC ECONOMY WITH A HONEST CENTRAL BANK.
            AN HONEST CENTRAL BANK (GUARDIAN) THAT BORROWERS MONEY FROM ITS LAWFUL OWNERS, LENDS IT AND CHARGES INTEREST (TAX) TO SECURE THE QUALITY AND QUANTITY OF THE CURRENCY , AS WELL AS AN INCOME STREAM TO TURN OVER TO CONGRESS TO USE FOR THE BETTERMENT OF ALL.
            Thank you Roger for your help.
            Your words of wisdom.
            QUOTE:”…(W)hen we import from China, we give them dollars we create at the touch of a computer key, and they give us products and services that cost them the blood, sweat, and tears of their workforce along with their precious raw materials.”
            How long will God continue to bless America ?

            Like

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