Secret Poor Tax

April 29, 2009

Universal health care sounds like a positive, socially beneficial policy.  Our politicians reinforce this by claiming it can fix many problems in our health system and that because we don’t have ‘universal health care’ our system is weaker or incomplete.  The fact that many other social-democracies offer health care to all their citizens is frequently used in health care conversations.  In fact, some nations that we would consider inferior in governmental structure are considered superior to us in their health care coverage.  Our system of health care tries to remain capitalistic while providing services which produces the profit-concerned, financially motivated health insurance system in existence now.

So why not go socialist?  Why not offer health care service to everyone and just tax more?  Can’t the government do the same job as the insurance companies?  These are important question that our politicians will face.  Currently, however, the question is not over social medicine or state-run-insurance-for-all.  The current issue that our politicians face is whether or not to require health insurance.  It was a defining question in the last Presidential campaigns.  In many State legislatures it has been hotly contested.  In fact, the Commonwealth of Massachusetts requires health insurance for all its citizens already.  Requiring everyone to pay for health insurance is called “universal health care” by our politicians.

What ‘universal health care’ means is that people must pay a private third party insurance company.  In other words, the government requires its citizens to pay into the health insurance company’s profits.  The same insurance companies that are at the root of many problems in our health service providing system are getting bank roll from a legislative measure designed to make citizens think their quality of health care has somehow improved.  It really only means that they are now required to buy health insurance.  Of course, if someone does not want a private insurance company they can buy into the government run insurance.

Lets look deeper at this mandatory insurance.  Prior to this measure, people who work good paying jobs and people who are in unionized professions received health insurance as part of their benefits package.  Therefore, for those employed with solid incomes, mostly, nothing will change from the new requirement.  Again, prior to this measure, people in low-income or non-unionized professions or unemployed and not costing the government extra by using welfare or unemployment were uninsured.  The reason many that fall into this category of uninsured persons were uninsured isn’t because their jobs didn’t offer a package, which they did not, the reason these people were uninsured is because they could not afford insurance.

Those who were or are to poor to afford health insurance are required to purchase it!  The legislature is forcing people with limited means to spend money in non-optional health insurance.  Since ‘universal health care’ clearly means that those without health insurance must purchase it and since the poor are mostly the ones uninsured, why not just call it what it really is – a secret poor tax.

‘Universal Health Care’ will undoubtedly appeal to voters more, it sound so benevolent that even I have a hard time writing negatively about it.  The truth of what this law does and would do, however, is far from benevolent, far from beneficial, far from positive, far from productive, far from helpful, and far from healthy.  This law charges poor people money.  This law encourages increasing private company profits.  This law is named to mislead, make false implications, and pacify the public.  The next time ‘universal health care’ is mentioned, think of it as a secret poor tax.  When the vote is called federally, or locally for those outside of Massachusetts, remember not the larger implications or the well-meaning intentions of our lawmakers but the true nature of this secret poor tax.  If our lawmakers would never dream of taxing the poor openly, why are we supportive when it is done secretly?

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One Response to “Secret Poor Tax”

  1. Notelrac said

    American governance is already predicated on one”Big Lies”: that if you pay Social Security taxes now, then when you get old and no longer pay taxes that you will be provide for. Demographics show this is impossible; that instead the government is running a giant Ponzi scheme.

    “Universal Health Care” is another Big Lie. It is not possible to provide unlimited medical care for everyone. But the alternative is rationing — to triage, and say that this person receives expensive care, and this person receives cheap palliative hospice care. Our culture is unwilling to face this reality, and even if it did, most people would be unwilling to allow the government to make this decision.

    So, by ignoring the subject entirely, health care decisions are made by, as you pointed out, economic ability. Are you independently wealthy, or have a job providing health insurance? Congratulations, you receive care.

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