Anatomy of a Trojan Horse: How Big Government Plans to Take Over Private Health Care and What We Can Learn From Arizona To Stop It

Last week I attended a luncheon with some other small business people to hear the Arizona State Treasurer address Arizona’s private and public economic status.  The Treasurer pulled no punches. The state legislature is deadlocked over the budget and barring either immediate spending cuts or an immediate tax increase the state is 30-60 days away from being out of money.

He then recounted to us how Arizona came to find itself in this predicament.

At bottom, the cause is a fatal flaw within the state’s Medicaid program.  How that fatal flaw came about is the key lesson that we must not forget during the national health care debate.

The flaw was a Trojan Horse that once entered into Arizona law ensured an economic crisis years down the road, and that day has now arrived.

Some nefarious lies were told to the Arizona electorate that misled them in 2000 into voting for something other than what they thought they were.

Does this sound like any tactics you’ve seen employed by Big Government recently?

In Arizona, the state Medicaid program is known as The Arizona Health Care Cost Containment System (AHCCCS, pronounced “Access”).  As a Medicaid program, it is a joint-expense program between the State of Arizona and the Federal Government, by way of its Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS).
In 1998 Arizona, along with 46 other states, agreed to settle a lawsuit it had filed against the tobacco industry.  The tobacco manufacturers agreed to pay each state a part of the total $206 billion settlement.  The payments were to be made to the states over 25 years, a portion paid each year.

Arizona’s share was at the time estimated to be $3.2 billion, with adjustments for inflation and with a provision to lower payments if the number of cigarettes sold in the US dropped over that time.  Each state was permitted to spend its settlement money in whatever way it saw fit.

Enter Proposition 204.  The proposition was proposed to “Set into law the method of disbursing and spending the approximately $3.2 billion the state anticipated to collect as part of the Tobacco Master Settlement Agreement. Targets for the funds include education aimed at the prevention of tobacco use among minors as well as health care.” (emphasis SBABG)

So what you had was this chunk of money coming in, and a proposal to use it to prevent tabacco use among minors and help out with public health care.  Well, who doesn’t want to help kids not to smoke, right?  And if there’s “free money” coming in, heck, we can use it to help provide health care, too, right?

This is what was sold to the public.  A claim that it the proposition was to just use tobacco settlement monies to fund children’s and health programs.

But the actual language of the proposition was far different from what was sold to the public.

The proposition actually changed who was eligible for AHCCCS by broadening the eligibility threshold  from 34% of the poverty level to 100% of the poverty level. And it stipulated that if the tobacco money was not sufficient to cover this increase in spending that the spending increase would have to be covered by general funds and no limitations on enrollment could be made.  Straight from the horses mouth.



That part in bold, just 17 words, tacked onto the end of a paragraph, snuck into a proposition 2 pages, 24 paragraphs, 65 sentences, 836 words long, just 2% of the language in the proposition, was the Trojan Horse.

The taxpayers had no idea that language meant they were on the hook for this program for any amount not covered by the tobacco settlement. They had no idea they had just massively expanded taxpayer exposure to an “all-in” program with no caps on enrollment up to 100% of the poverty line.  And because AHCCCS is a first-dollar program, it meant that all tax revenue went first to meet all AHCCCS needs, and then whatever was leftover would go to the budgets of other programs, like, say, education, police, fire, etc.

And to add insult to injury, the provision allowed persons with incomes above the poverty line to spend down their income on medical bills to qualify for coverage.  Perverse incentives, anyone?

Fast forward to 2009.  What have been the consequences?

If you have a modicum of common sense, what happened was about what you’d expect.  More people went on AHCCCS and more money per person on AHCCCS was spent.  By 2003 Arizona had more people on AHCCCS than they had in public education!

From 2001 to 2003 alone AHCCCS payments increased from $200 million to $1.2 billion – a 500% increase. You’ll remember that the entire tobacco settlement, over 25 years, was only $2 billion more than that!  Gulp.  In three years they gobbled up nearly 40% of the settlement funds.

In 2009 alone the amount spent on AHCCCS is projected to be $1.5 billion.  The tobacco funds are long gone.

Before going on to more carnage, let’s just point out again that AHCCCS is an acronym standing for “Arizona Health Care Cost Containment System.”  You have to love the ironies embedded in Big Government misnomers.

Cost containment.  To be fair, Arizona is a growing state and its population increases regularly, therefore the number of the poor in the state has increased, as well.

However, by 2006 real (adjusted for inflation) per capita spending increased 46% by 2006! (see the graph below, created by the Goldwater Institute).

By 2006 AHCCCS accounted for 22% of ALL state expenditures.  Today, in 2009, 20% of Arizonans are dependent on a health care program that was originally intended for only the poorest of the poor.

And there’s another kick in the teeth. The $3.2 billion is turning out to be less than that amount, because smoking has decreased.

Finally, the end game has arrived.  Barring a miracle, AZ will likely pull a California and begin handing out IOUs at some point this year.  Of course, AZ could always sell the state capitol building and kick the can further down the road.

And all of this because of the unintended consequences brought about by little Trojan Horse snuck into a proposition.

Now, why is this important to the current health care debate?

That there are unintended consequences of giving out free health care that will make costs rise for everyone?  Check.  But that’s no Trojan Horse.  That’s right in the bill and has been well documented by the Congressional Budget Office.

That health care will be rationed and choice reduced?  Check.  But that’s no Trojan Horse, either.  That’s also right in the bill and is being well documented.

Is it that the program doesn’t bode well for the nation or the rest of the states since, “As Arizona Goes, So Goes the Nation?” Well, of course that’s true, but that’s no Trojan Horse.

The Trojan Horse is something called “The Public Plan.”  The Public Plan is a proposal being put forth in the Health Care Plan (HR 3200) which establishes a government-run insurance provider.

The government is telling us that the purpose of this provider is to keep the private insurers honest, to lower costs, and to make health insurance more competitive.

But that’s a lie.  Not only doesn’t it do those things, saying that the purpose of the plan is to achieve those objectives is an effort to obscure it’s real purpose.

Its real purpose it to lay the groundwork for the creation of what’s called a “single payer” program.  That is code for a government-run, socialist, health care system, where the government makes all payments for all health care procedures and therefore, sets pricing, determines care, and determines coverage for all citizens.

Don’t believe it?  Just have a listen to the President and his advisers.  When they thought we weren’t watching, they stated very clearly that their intention with The Public Plan was to reduce choice and competition.

Of course, they are out in full force, trying to spread disinformation, and telling you that they’ve said no such things as you just observed.

And they will tell you that they want an open debate, but they don’t. And they will tell you they’re being transparent, but they’re not.

And they will tell you that their plan will save money, but it won’t. And it will be more expensive than even the Congressional Budget Office’s worst predictions.

You can add that spending to the already projected Budget Deficits:

And let’s not forget the deficits that Social Security and Medicare are already on target to hit over the coming century (A Cumulative Deficit of $83 Trillion by 2080).  Tack the expenses of this plan on top of these.

Public opposition is building against the Health Care Plan and the Public Option particularly. Only 32% of Americans support Single Payer while 57% Oppose it.

Now, watch out. The Senate knows that the public is against single payer, and they know that the public is becoming increasingly informed that the road to single payer is through the public plan, so they’re preparing to introduce a public plan by another name.  They’re calling the plan a  co-op plan. The co-op is Health Care’s version of a Freddie Mac or Fannie Mae.  One Senator warned that it will:

“[Dictate] the terms of every health plan in America just like the government did in the mortgage industry, a Fannie Med, if you will.”

You know this is the case when Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid concurs and says:

“We’re going to have some type of public option, call it ‘co-op’, call it what you want.”

So don’t be deceived.  It’s the same old Trojan Horse the Public Plan is  They’ll lie about it now.  And in a few short years we’ll have a real mess on our hands.

Learn from Arizona.  Don’t be deceived by what’s being sold you.  Read the fine print in the bills, listen to the past statements of the people who are lying to you now.  Be forewarned.

Reject the entire Health Care Bill as it currently stands, and particularly the Public Plan and its brother-in-arms the Co-Op Plan.  It’s the Trojan Horse of Single Payer.

Please visit and use their free service to send your Representatives a message.

We’re always interested in your hearing from you in the comments below.  If you have any “Trojan Horse” stories of your own, please also share them.

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17 Responses to “Anatomy of a Trojan Horse: How Big Government Plans to Take Over Private Health Care and What We Can Learn From Arizona To Stop It”

  1. Richard Foster Says:

    Clearly, the Progressive Democrats are trying to formulate a Trojan Horse for the American people called “health care reform!” SBABG is the high priest of the city of Troy warning the people to “beware of Greeks (i.e. the government) bearing gifts!” The government’s strategy is to leave a gift for the people (i.e. health insurance reform) which will eventually be the demise of the people!!

    The solution to the deception is to “not accept the gift” at all rather than attempt to “find the flaw in the offering!” The underlying reality of the situation was provided by the “founding fathers” when they warned that ‘the government is not your friend,” it is “your potential enemy” that must be watched and guarded against!

    Everyone agrees that health care must be reformed! However, the path that the current administration is taking us will lead to chaos, loss of benefits and a list of “unintended consequences!” Thomas Sowell in his book “Applied Economics” asks the question for all economic policy, “What happens next?” Obama avoids this question because he knows the answer, i.e. government power, regulation and health care rationing!

    The time to stop this deception is now by “raising our voices,” so that we have enough time to adequately correct the root of the problem at the polls in 2010!!!

  2. ex-Democrat Says:

    Unfortunately, 2010 will be too late if this passes before then.

    Join … let’s roll!

  3. Allen Humbug Says:

    I support subsidized medical care
    as part of the 30% uninsured my interest is in public assistance.
    I had mono this year was dehydrated because i went to the hospital and they told me not to drink while they checked me in so i passed out and they kept me overnight with an IV.
    Then they billed me $10,000 which they broke up into several bills and turned me over to a collection agency so not one ding on my credit history but several.
    There are government programs to help me pay for this but they denied me.
    Considering i have never made more than $15,000 in a year and usually a lot less
    I am poor and expect more… than people who dont know me and care for me
    I am told the number one cause of Bankruptcy is because of getting behind on medical bills… so by subsidizing medical costs bankruptcys would drop significantly.
    I also support a subsidized living wage of $16 an hour for anyone 20 and over.
    That is $32,000 a year which is a living wage. And punishing people for working more than 50 hours a week which hurts families and affects the minimum wage because employers calculate that in how they pay there employees with time and a half. We need to end Joint tax returns. Marriage is an establishment of religion government has no business granting licenses or using it to manipulate the numbers in how I am taxed. We need to illiminate child support and alimony to encourage marriages and not more teen pregnancies. How cliche is it to have a 13yo girl try to get pregnant to get her state check or have the father pay all her bills while she hadnt married him. Burdens on society, bad morals! Why reward them… it should be harder for them.
    Charity is the responsibility of the people not the government. Of communities not the State or Feds.
    A credit system requiring ID or passport for foreigners where you pay or are billed for the first $4,000 of your medical expenses each year and the government picks up the rest of the tab is finacially plausable or reasonable. Who can’t come up with $4,000 a year? That is where charity or smaller personally paid insurance companies come in.
    Its not a right its a priviledge to have your medical treatment paid for
    so if you defraud the system you would loose out for a minimum of 20 years.
    As far as covering abortion or birth control? No. Birth-control is not medically needed. Abortion is elective surgery and murder or at least it is considered murder by most people including the God of the bible who says if a man strikes my wife when she is pregnant I have a right to his life. (Exodus 21:22) My wifes body belongs to me as mine does to her. (1Corinthians) There is no right to choose. But if you are going to abort a child have a panel of doctors approve it. It (abortion) should not be alternative birth-control and we should not find just cause in cases of rape… A child is a gift from God. Rape or fornication is punishable by death or having to marry and never divorce… one of those, I am sure its unreasable to expect. I don’t want to be killed for my adultery.
    Why should my car insurance pay for medical bills? I am insuring my car not my body… They are seperate and if I had health insurance it’s double billing.
    The government should step in and recieve reparations from somone found liable for anothers medical costs with a cap of $6000 a person or $20,000. “Limited Reasonable Liabiltiy not emotional”
    Medical, Dental and Vision what I am not sure about is covering prescriptions outside of the hospital setting but in for a penny in for a pound.
    We need to illiminate all employer based health insurance. With this market we change jobs to often for that. I dont need my employer knowing my medical information or going under because they have to many employees with medical problems and the premiums go up or so they loose there insurance.
    At the same time I dont care about privacy so public medical records where you can check if someone you are going to engage in sexual relations with has an STD is reasonable to the community safety. We are not going to look up everyone with HIV and attack them. If so it’s a crime and punishable. Keep a record of who looks at whos medical records and fine them or suspend priviledges if they invade someones privacy. Lock them up. I don’t get why we think we have a right to the medical records of congress or the president it’s none of our business why should they have to make a declaration of such?
    The average cost of a hospital stay is outside the average persons means so something has to be done. The system is to big and impersonal. Doctors need to be more involved with patients and not tied up in paper work instead of handing them the pills to get better. Why should a nurse know a patient better than a doctor? We could cut back on nurses if doctors or doctors in traning would change a bed pan or two… if family members were more involved with the daily care of thier sick loved ones we could cut costs. Have you looked at how much it costs to build a hospital, something is wrong it’s too much.
    Lets talk about taxes some more. Why would I tax someone being paid by the government? The money to pay them is coming from the government so why would the government take a portion back. It’s just more paper work throwing money around confusing things. If you recieved funds from the government just report them as that.
    I also think our retirement policies need to be taken out of the hands of the government who keeps borrowing on Social Security. A voluntary program while still holding up social security that gave back $3,000 a year to each tax payer to invest as they see fit and be responsible for thier own retirement or throw it away on a vacation is a good step in my humble opinion people need to look at the market at bonds or opening thier own small businesses. We need to shrink the markets so shipping things outside a 500mile marketing territory would be a rare thing so we have more jobs for local manufacturers and less toxic toys coming from China and swet shop wages. China is buying up our bonds devaluing our curency and funding a 300,000,000 man army… Americans need to buy US bonds so we pay interest to ourselves and grow our own economy! I’m just saying I want responsible change that looks at the whole picture. I blame DBAA’s Don Burnham and other slick sales men who placed people who had no business being there in position to buy and sell notes that had little posibility of being paid back including medical notes. Companies old standbye excuse is thier responsibility to there shareholders. I believe the first responsibility is to pay the employee a living wage. Which does not include million dollar bonuses while you are paying your employees $9 an hour.

    • admin Says:

      Let us summarize your points so that we might more clearly understand them (we had fun doing this).

      1. Medical care should be subsidized by taxpayers to the tune of whatever health care is needed.

      2. Anyone age 20 and over should make no less than no less than $16 per hour, and the difference between their actual wage and the mandatory wage should be paid for by taxpayers.

      3. People should be “punished” (your word) for working more than 50 hours a week; I’m not sure if you meant “prohibited” for working more than that, or if they should be free to, only that they’ll be punished for doing so.

      4. There should be no joint tax returns and government should not recognize marriages and get out of the marriage business altogether

      5. No child support or alimony should be paid to women by the men who either impregnate them without marrying them, or marry them then leave them.

      6. Charity is the responsibility of the people not the government

      7. Everyone should have to pay the first $4,000 of their medical expenses each year and then government picks up the rest

      8. Receiving health care is not a right

      9. If you get health care without needing it you don’t get health care – or at least subsidized health care – for 20 years.

      10. Abortion and Birth Control should not be paid for by Government

      11 Abortion can be permitted as long as a panel of doctors approve it.

      12. If you rape a woman (or man) you are to be killed, unless she (he) marries you.

      13. If you sleep with a person you are not married to you are to be killed, unless you marry that person.

      14. You don’t want to be killed for your adultery.

      15. Auto insurance coverage should not cover medical bills resulting from an automobile accident

      16. People who cause others to have to incur medical costs should pay for causing the injuries, but this liability should be capped at $6000 a person or $20,000.

      17. Employers should not be allowed to provide health care benefits to employees.

      18 Employers shouldn’t know their employees health or medical state or condition.

      19. If you want to have sex with someone you should have a public database that provides their entire health history that anyone can access so that you don’t pick up a disease from them.

      20. Keep a record of who looks at who’s public medical records and fine them if they’re looking at the record without reason (purportedly for a reason other than wanting to ave sex with that person)

      21. Congress and the president shouldn’t have their records made public (even if you want to have sex with them?)

      22. Doctors need to stop doing paperwork and start handing out pills.

      23. Get rid of the damn nurses so that the layabout doctors change a bed pan now and again

      24. Make family members take care of their sick loved ones to cut medical costs

      25. It costs too much to build a hospital.

      26. Government workers shouldn’t have to pay taxes.

      27. Government should not be involved in Social Security or any retirement plans for that matter

      28. Taxpayers should be given $3,000 a year to invest as they see fit or “throw it away on a vacation”

      29. Shrink the markets

      30. Discourage shipping goods beyond a 500 mile radius from their point of origination.

      31. Americans should borrow from themselves so that they can pay interest to themselves.

      Very interesting platform for a political party, we must say.

      We’ll refrain from commentary (at this point), but just wanted to summarize the planks of the platform so that others might comment if they desire.

      We will just say that points 14, 19-21, and 23 are our personal favorites.

  4. Justen Robertson Says:

    Arizona is currently seeking ways to cut AHCCCS costs. One option they’re using is breaking the system up and farming it out to 3rd parties – other insurance companies. I’m not sure how well that will work out or the details, but we’ll see.

    Allen: I hope that rant was a joke – otherwise, you need to check your premises, as many of them are broken. Don’t even get me started on your scheme to subsidize up to 16/hr wage, while *punishing* people who work more than 50 hours. You do realize most white collar professionals, who you’d have to steal money from in order to meet your 16/hr wage, regularly work more than 50 hours? A 60-80 hour work week is normal for people in the upper-middle class. Punish them, their income diminishes, and you have less to steal for people who feel it’s evil to work that hard. Not to mention the math just doesn’t work out – there isn’t enough money on the high end to snatch away and fill out the low end, whatever your imagination may otherwise tell you (even if the high income earners are allowed to work twice as much as the people who demand their income).

    I’m not even going to touch the stuff about birth control. Want to massively increase the number of jobless, homeless poor people, family burdens, uncared for and unwanted children? That’s the best scheme I’ve heard for it yet. You think that punishing fornication with death is not a half bad idea (but you don’t want it to apply to your own indiscretions, so you’re toeing the line) – that’s one way to control the population. Would you see unwed pregnant teens hanged before or after the baby is born, and if after, what happens to the baby?

    You complain that doctors don’t spend enough time with their patients, yet you want them to perform menial tasks like cleaning bed pans (and also to punish them for working more than 50 hours a week). Where do you think the extra time is going to come from? What do you think doctors do all day, exactly? Do you think that, like some mad emperor, you can demand the sun hangs in the sky longer? Or maybe you can legislate more doctors into existence?

    You want to shrink markets so shipping outside a 500 mile radius is a rarity. You clearly don’t understand the impact that would have, or you wouldn’t propose something so ridiculous. I am willing to wager there’s not a single product in your house that did not require, somewhere along the materials acquisition, tool creation, manufacturing, marketing, and delivery process products from all over the country, and probably from all over the world. With restrictions like that, you’ll never see another car, another iPod, or another banana (if you’re from the north) or cranberry (if you’re from the south). Even basic nutrition would not be possible in that scenario for vast numbers of people, and several large cities in the west could not even fill their water needs (Los Angeles, Phoenix, San Diego, Los Vegas). Millions of people would starve, dehydrate, freeze to death, or die of heat stroke within months of tariffs and penalties necessary to enact such a scheme being imposed. The ones remaining would be plunged into the 15th century, where circumstances were last like what you described, and all imagination about wage equality and health care would cease.

    I wouldn’t have bothered to reply, as you’re probably a troll, except that I do hear this kind of lunacy from serious people regularly. I recommend a simple procedure: when you *think* you have a great idea, just stop. Don’t open your mouth, don’t rush to the keyboard. Rush to your library and make sure you understand at least the vague outlines of the impact your great idea would have.

    • admin Says:

      Thank you for your reply to what has to be the most epic comment at SBABG ever.

      Take a look at our reply to him as well. We thought that (like you) – though it’s likely a goof – it would be illustrative to address isolate these points individually since almost every Big Goverment wish on the wish-list is on there. Nanny State here we come.

      We should take the points in the platform and let them fight it out. for example, point #1 and #2 could fight point #6 in the octagon.

      • Justen Robertson Says:

        Nice breakdown! The schizo-socialist party is in favor of mass murder, but not in the case of fetuses. It’s a good tagline.

      • Darren Kaustinen Says:

        Nice brake down of the socialist party. The one point you forgot was the loss of freedom of speech. Obama’s Zar wants to follow a communist way of control over the air ways. The secret dictatorship army is being formed and America needs to fight back before it to late.

  5. Michael Jorissen Says:

    someone please clarify for me,
    if the private insurance companies are unable to compete with a public option then wouldn’t a single payer system be best suited for insuring the American people? This may not be good for the 1500 or so private insurance companies, but the problem of millions of uninsured and under insured is of a higher priority. I understand the bill HR676 ( for a summary of the bill) would provide resources for retraining the displaced insurance workers as well.
    I would say small business benefits greatly from a single payer system, lifting them of a costly burden. The increase in taxes to fund a single payer would still be less than current premiums paid to private insurance. Why not make a stink about a truly “big” part of government, the over inflated military budget. Surely we can divert some of this funding towards a much needed health care reform. I should mention the 1.3 trillion tax cut from the last administration would come in handy, after all who did it truly benefit? trickle down economics is a joke. I guess I’ve failed to see how a tax cut for the rich would stimulate our economy.

    • Drex Davis Says:

      The private business HAS to turn a profit, or else it’s out of business. That means it has every incentive to maximize services for what the customer wants, and every incentive to utilize resources in a non-wasteful way.

      The government has no such incentives and uses taxpayer money to subsidize operations – it takes its revenue at the point of a gun, and if it’s wasteful and costs go up, they just point the gun again at a new victim (or at the previous victims) and take more (or, what they’ve done in recent years, just borrow money from other countries and kick the can – the debt payback burden – for future generations to deal with).

      This is NOT good for a whole lot of reasons. Just look at the DMV or USPS or any gov’t agency or sponsored organization that has a monopoly you’ve had to work with. They’re not all bad, but it’s plain that there’s very little incentive to improve services or use resources in a non-wasteful way (that’s why we hate to use them!).

      When you’ve got the ability to price below market (indefinitely) with an unfair advantage (you make the rules! you are the commissioner, the umpire, the coach, and the player), you’re putting other companies out of business. Eventually, you have your monopoly . . . and then your resulting drop in services, etc. Also, when you have the monopoly, you decide what services get provided to whom and at what price.

      This kind of battling with expanding Big Government goes on daily. Recently FedEx and UPS had to fight the Postal Service when USPS used its monopoly in letter mail to subsidize their parcel business when they moved into priority and packages against UPS and FedEx. They priced the new parcel businesses at a loss to take market share and used their monopoly monies to compensate. You can read a little bit about the postal service encroaching on the private businesses of UPS and FedEx and competing unfairly here: – there are other, more recent, reports about the parcel battle if you want to search for them). I personally would like to see UPS and FedEx move into letter delivery, but they’re prohibited by law (US wants to keep that monopoly to itself).

      Letter delivery is one thing. But taking away choice on health care and health care delivery is another. Letter delivery isn’t life and death. Health care is, or can be. We do not want the government taking a monopoly on this or taking over delivery.

      If we’re interested in an improved standard of living, we have to maximize competition. It’s the only thing that results in improved products and services while simultaneously allocating resources to their best uses.

  6. b.a. freeman Says:


    Your posting seems to be a lot more reasonable than Allen’s, so it’s worth it to me to attempt a reasonable response; if we don’t listen to those with whom we disagree, we’re a lot less likely to learn anything.

    First of all, the reason that private insurers won’t be able to compete with the U.S. Government is that they cannot match its funding. All the State has to do is lower its prices to whatever level they choose; they’re not in it to make money, so it doesn’t matter to them if they lose money. If private insurers aren’t profitable, they have to send everybody home and close their doors. The people working for the State are not evil, but they *are* people, and without an incentive to watch costs, costs will not be watched as closely as they would be by people who will lose their paycheck if they don’t. This means either that health care costs go up, or availability goes down. If U’re a drug company facing billions of dollars in costs to bring a new drug to market, and the State mandates your prices, which they *would* be doing as the single payer, and they guess wrong on the low side, U will go bankrupt. Since U’re not in control of your income, U do what U have to do to stay in business, which is to control costs by being much more cautious in bringing new drugs to market. The net result is that fewer new drugs come to market. Other medical providers will face similar decisions, with a similar result. Overall, this means that medical care providers will shrink or at least cease to grow, and this in a time of an expanding population of medical consumers (the Baby Boomers). This might not affect your annual visits to the doctor’s office too much, but God help U if U get cancer, need a heart transplant, or need a new kidney. And what about the hordes of uninsured who are now insured? A very noble gesture, but all we will have done is to make sure that everybody gets more-limited care. And because costs will be even less controlled than they are now (remember, there is little incentive besides Good Intentions for State employees to control costs), costs will certainly trend upward.

    As for small business benefiting from the single-payer system, they may no longer need to spend time and money to file all the State-mandated paperwork, but where do U think the money for the single payer will come from? The State’s favorite way to raise money is to tax businesses, because it is not perceived by voters as an increase in costs to them. When costs to a business go up, though, either the customers pay more, or U grow more slowly because U don’t have as much money. Generally, the largest non-tax costs get postponed, and of course, the most expensive cost is labor. This means that the largest source of jobs in the U.S. – small business – hires fewer people.

    Next, let’s look at your proposed method of raising money by taking it from the military. This isn’t really the place for me to rant on this, but I will say that it only takes one to make a war; be cautious with that approach.

    Finally, let’s look at repealing tax cuts. Do U think rich people keep money in their mattresses? Those who are truly rich have their money in investments, which means it has been used to grow businesses. Corporations may have cash in the bank, but for the most part, they spend it in order to run their business, which brings in more money. Being a rich individual or a successful business does not mean that U are awash in cash. To follow this line of thinking all the way through, why should anybody be allowed to have money? Doesn’t the State know better how to use it? After all, people just use it to buy silly things like alcohol, cigarettes, fast food, and fast cars – all unnecessary, and all unarguably the causes of excess deaths.

    Even though my wife says I’m an overgrown 13-year-old, I’m still a grown-up and wish to make my own decisions, even if, by the standards of some people, they are stupid. What is it about State employees that makes their decisions better than mine?

    • Drex Davis Says:

      I hadn’t seen your comment before I responded to Michael. Fantastic comment that makes a few more points than I had made, and very lucidly.

      I’d just point out that the idea that small businesses would be made better off is a canard, because they’re having more of their earnings confiscated in order to receive those “benefits”.

      In the currently plan, those that don’t currently provide benefits have to pay up to an 8% of payroll “penalty” to be forced to pay for the insurance that will then be paid to employees. Those that provide insurance may or may not be providing the mandated coverage amounts to ALL employees. If they’re not, they have to pony up more dough. It’s the same as a big tax increase. And we know what those do. They lower incentives. They lead to less growth, etc.

      If you want more of a behavior, reward it. Less? Punish (tax) it. Do we want to punish job creation and corporate earnings at a time when we’re massively increasing government spending?

      Also, let’s just look at governments record in health care. There is one, and it’s dismal.

      Medicare. Medicaid. Medicare is insolvent, and Medicaid is bankrupting states. They’re both totally unsustainable.

      Private Insurance is sustainable.

      But that’s the one the Administration wants to get rid of so it can create Fannie Med – Medicare/Medicaid on steroids.

  7. admin Says:

    Steven Burd, CEO of Safeway who has had great success integrating free-market-esque reforms into the grocery chain employee health-plans, also called the Public Option a Trojan Horse:

    “When I ask Mr. Burd what he hopes to accomplish here, he is blunt that one goal is to prevent a “public option” that would only “piggyback on the experience of Medicare.” It’s a “Trojan Horse” that will steer people to government and ultimately squeeze out innovative programs like his.”

  8. Beverly Says:


    You want to raise money by taking it from our military. Of all the Americans who deserve the BEST America has to offer, it is the brave men and women who voluntarily risk their precious lives to keep Americans safe and safe we all have been for the last 8 years! My son served 4 deployments with the 82nd Airborne and he has looked these butchers in the eye and thanks to him and brave men like him, you haven’t had to do that…Yet!

    Your idea is offensive and disrespectful. We have military families on food stamps now. That is unacceptable and just plain wrong. As freeman advised you, be cautious with that approach. And how about appreciation for these BRAVE protectors!
    Beverly Perlson
    The Band of Mothers

  9. Joseph Foster Says:

    To identify the problem, really we have two issues: 47 million uninsured, and the cost of health care is too high. Do we really need to scrap the whole system and start over? Of course not. 80% of the US like the service they receive. A few recommendations to get us started in fixing the real problems:

    First, we need Portable Health Care Plans. I lost my job. I also lost my insurance. I now fall into the “in between jobs and temporarily uninsured”. If we can get rid of the tie between work and health insurance, we get rid of this whole group. There would be less of a problem with “pre-existing conditions” because you would be able to get a policy at an early age and keep it for life (if they do a great job in keeping you and you like your price). (In my case, I purchased a temporary plan to cover until I get a job. I chose not to be in the “temporarily uninsured” category.)

    Insurance premiums could resemble those in the life insurance realm. Those that start with an insurance company in their younger years (when they need less) will pay a set premium even when they are old (and need it more). Those that are “young and indestructible” now have an incentive to start their policy earlier in life.

    Companies would offer health care stipends instead of health care coverage. The individual gets a tax break for actually using the money for health care. The company gets a tax break for providing it.

    Second, provide tax incentives for insurance companies that have a certain mix of clientele. Insurance companies would get tax breaks for covering those that can’t afford it. Just like doctors and lawyers that provide pro bono services, insurance companies would have incentives to do the same.

    Third, make coverage nationwide, not state-by-state. Increase the price/coverage competition. Let me get insurance from any company, in any location. Just like I can find cheaper mortgage rates online, health insurance would benefit from the increased options. Smaller, local businesses would come in to service niche customers.

    Then, of course, there’s tort reform. Limit a doctor’s punitive damages in lawsuits. There’s a fine line, but there is still a balance.

    Will this cure all of the health care problems? Of course not. But it will potentially hit 50% of the currently uninsured and it will reduce overall costs. Start with that. 10 years from now evaluate how it’s doing and make new changes. The solution to our health care problem doesn’t have to be resolved in one day. Keep working on it little by little so the 1993 health care problem, which turned into the 2009 health care problem, doesn’t turn out to be the 2025 health care problem.

    Greatest part? No tax burden on the 283 million people that already have coverage and like what they’re getting.

  10. Arron Rhen Says:

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