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October 09, 2009

Comments

Randy

"It requires the government to support health care by a "loss of tax revenue," NOT through an increase in revenue. Uh, sounds more like DreamCare than FlemCare. Also, your original two requirements seem to contradict this principle.(1) "Group health insurance" premiums would be considered income and subject to income tax. (2) Individual health insurance premiums would be exempt from income tax (up to a certain amount). So on one hand, I am taxed for something I am currently not taxed on, and on the other you somehow get a tax break if you don't participate in a group plan? Fails my redistribution test. I pay too much tax now. Sorry, don't want to pay more to incent others to use it.

John

I have also given much deep thought - also about five minutes - concerning FlemCare, and see a couple of flaws. First, you're actually proposing less revenue flow to the feds. Aint't gonna happen. You're also proposing removal of restrictions on which insurance companies can compete in various state markets. These limits on competition have been secured with millions of dollars of contributions to various re-election campaigns. This idea will never get serious consideration by those who desire to remain in office.

I think the only answer to this issue is term limits. And, of course, this will never happen because it asks that men and women with power decide to give it up!

Yes, I'm being cynical. But I sincerely believe that, as the Mogombo Guru would say, "We're all doomed." I believe we're witnessing the beginning of the end, and that it's only a matter of time before all of mankind will be clamoring for a saviour. He'll bring order, but the cost will be high.

Dave

I think we are all in a dream if we think our health care situation is ever going to get fixed. FlemCare is more personable....LOL. I just want to know, if I have FlemCare or our wonderful GovernmentCare if they come up with a dead end agreement, can I get car and home owners insurance in one package???? Kind of a one stop shop. Just write one check for all...LOL

Austin

Overall, this article echoes questions I have yet to get answered: what is the state of health insurance now? and what are the reasons it is however it is? My instinct is that insurance is a mess because the free-market has been distorted by whatever regulations are already on the books--that a modicum of de-regulation is the superior answer, rather than extending the federal octopus' reach by magnitudes.

But, there's something else to consider as to the author's suggestion, laudable as I think it may be on the merits.

Let's assume that legislating a system of national healthcare is not a constitutionally permissible use of congressional power under the interstate commerce clause. If the interstate commerce clause is not an appropriate conduit for federal influence, why should congress be able to make an "end run" on the commerce clause's check on federal power through the tax and spend clause? Creating tax incentives is another way of behavior modification.

If direct manipulation is off limits, an indirect method of achieving the same end should be too: if national healthcare is unconstitutional under the interstate commerce clause, it is impermissible under the tax and spend clause.

James Fleming

No shortage of comments on this one - especially off-site! FlemCare seems to have tapped into the Town Hall angst of the masses. First, I wrote this with ZERO delusions that it or any approach which connects choices with consequences will be adopted. I also agree that the very notion of government provided health care is, at best, on dubious Constitutional ground. I also recognize that providing a tax break for health care premiums does involve "incentivizing" but I see legitimate uses for this method - for example, there is merit in allowing charitable contributions to be tax-deductable.

I remain drawn to two simple principles that FlemCare illustrates: Our national good will become forfeit when we sever the connection between choices and consequences. Government benefits are far more efficiently administered through the reduction of taxes than their increase.

Bubba Matthews

I'm sorry to lower the quality of the conversation but the name FlemCare makes me think I've got a bad cough and something yucky stuck in my throat

Ralph

It's a shame that the governments idea of healthcare is coming to fruition. To those who think they will be getting improved healthcare just look to the north (Canada) where they are sending people across the border because their system can't support all the people needing care. Once this gets passed the taxes will begin immediately, but the actual care will not for 4 years (read the fine print). It doesn't seem like a very solid deal for anyone that I can see. One can only hope sanity prevails.

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