Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Jindal Likes Big Government Too

Today's Wall Street Journal shows that conservative Republicans are just as far off into fantasyland as the Democrats. Jindal provides his plan for "health care reform," which is basically big government brought to you by the Republicans. What it has in common with the Democratic plan is the continued view that government knows better. Jindals plan is Hillary-Obama-lite.

The only worthwhile thing that Jindal suggests is to curb the completely absurd lawsuit frenzy that plagues American health care. No other country in the world permits the kinds of lawsuits that have become routine in the US, fattening the pockets of people like John Edwards, while raising the costs of health care for everybody else. On this point, Jindal is right. But, this one is obvious. Only the plaintiff bar (and Obama) are opposed to reforming this nonsense.

Less obvious are all the mishmash of "reforms." The right answer is to eliminate the exclusion of health care benefits from employee income for tax purposes. Make employees pay directly for their own health care insurance (and subsidize those who cannot afford it). If you do this, employees will choose high-deductible catastrophic health insurance plans just as they do with auto insurance and home insurance. The current system is equivalent to having auto insurance that covers gas, oil, tune up, and so forth. Comprehensive health insurance plans belong in the junk pile.

Finally, phase out medicare. Medicare doesn't work. It was a stupid idea in the beginning and is a budget buster that may eventually bankrupt the country. Get rid of prescription drug coverage for seniors -- another stupid idea. (These programs basically are "reverse Robin Hood" packages that subsidize relatively well off folks at the expense of average middle class Americans). There is no reason for the government to be funding individual's health care. Isn't food and shelter more important? Why don't we have foodicare and homicare to cover food and shelter for everybody? All of this is ridiculous of course and so is medicare and the prescription drug coverage.

Republicans are just as absurd as Democrats on the topic of health care.