NCPA - National Center for Policy Analysis


August 1, 2006

Sen. John Kerry (D-Mass.) introduced his universal medical insurance plan Monday.  It includes expanding federal Medicaid to cover children and the opportunity for Americans to buy into the same insurance program that covers federal workers, including members of Congress.

How will he get the money to pay for his plan?  It's only the rich who will be funding it.  Kerry proposes repealing the elements of the economy- and federal revenue-boosting Bush tax cuts for those earning more than $200,000 a year to pay for the pool that would subsidize those who cannot afford insurance.

There are many problems with Kerry's plan, says Investor's Business Daily (IBD):

  • The plan absolves people of their duty through a universal third-party payer -- the government.
  • With little or no money coming out of their pockets, people will overuse the system, sending costs even higher through increased demand.
  • The strain placed on medical professionals will make waiting times unbearable.
  • With no mechanism for self-rationing in place -- such as personal responsibility or cost -- the government will ration care.

Yes, many Americans are without health insurance.  Some put the number as high as 46 million while the Census Bureau's Survey of Income and Program Participation says it's more like 19 million.  Either way, advocates for the uninsured ignore the reasons people lack health care coverage.  Quite often it's by choice, says IBD:

  • Young and healthy Americans don't see the need to be insured.
  • Others choose to buy modern conveniences, say microwave ovens and high-end televisions, instead.
  • Many are here in the country illegally.
  • And who knows how many forgo health care insurance for drink and drugs?

Source: Editorial, "Asking for a Crisis," Investor's Business Daily, August 1, 2006.


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