While many within our group believe that reform of the Republican Party is the best hope for the future of liberty and a Jeffersonian Constitutional government, we are a non-partison organization, and it is no wonder that there is such abandonment and frustration with Republicans by true conservatives when we have key Tennessee Republican leaders capitulate to such Unconstitutional, economically detrimental ideas.
According to the Washington Post: http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2009/09/03/AR2009090303839.html?hpid=topnews
Many of the proposals Corker mentioned to his constituents are ideas that Democrats also support and have included in their own reform plans. As he sees it, insurers would no longer be allowed to deny coverage for preexisting conditions, Corker told the crowd, and would offer an array of plans via a new insurance exchange, unrestricted by the current boundaries of state insurance laws. To help the uninsured gain coverage, the government would provide vouchers or tax credits, and would tax the most generous employer-offered plans to pay the cost.
While allowing that coverage is unrestricted by state boundries is a good idea to encourage competition, his other two ideas are deplorable and draw concern regarding his understanding of the Constitution, supply and demand, and free market enterprise in general. To consider these ideas:
- Insurers would no longer be allowed to deny coverage: While this may seem civilized, it will only cause huge increases in premiums. Consider that an auto insurance company will not cover you once you have “wrecked” your car. That would be crazy. The purpose of insurance is to protect against risks we hope never occur. If a similar concept were applied to the auto insurance industry, what would the result be? The savy would not undertake to pay for insurance until they wrecked their car and the honest would be punished in the cost of their premiums. Insurance is there to limit the risk of financial ruin for unlikely events. We have come to look at health insurance, however, as an investment for which we expect a return. It is not and should not be. Health care reform means encouraging patients to negotiate and pay for regular care such as doctors visits, medications, and other limited cost items. Then insurance should be for those events we hope never occur such as Cancer, a car wreck, or other major medical event. Putting the ability to negotiate back in the hands of the patient will drive down costs of both premiums and care.
- Tax the most generous employer-offered plans to pay the cost: Has anybody thought about this? This will merely punish the employees of good employers for trying to provide a good plan. If my staff (or I) were to be punished with taxes for my “high cost” benefit implementation, what do you think I would do with that benefit? That’s right, I’d eliminate it or reduce it. What would the result be? It would destroy plan employer/employee funding of various plan types and drive the benefit toward the minimum required. It would also interject a goverment funding (taxing) aparatus that would remove, not necessarily plan selection, but cost as a differentiator of plan selection. Eventually this will drive out all plan variance because patients and insurers will be punished for receiving/providing plans that are better than others resulting in the levelization occuring at the government required minimum. Economically, this will create a single payer, government run plan though it will not be called this. It will force everyone toward paying the same thing and insurers to cover only what the government mandates/approves, and costs will include the new government bureuracy in implementation.
We hope that you will call Corkers office and relay these concerns in a civilized, informed way. We also hope that you will spread this message since all Tennesseans should be informed. Also be aware, though not confirmed, Lamar Alexander is rumorred to be endorsing this plan as well, but again that is unconfirmed.
Corker Contact Information: http://corker.senate.gov/public/index.cfm?FuseAction=ContactInformation.OfficeLocations
Alexander Contact Information: http://alexander.senate.gov/public/index.cfm?FuseAction=Contact.Offices
Thank you for your involvement with this matter,
The Tennesseans for Liberty Team