Thursday, May 30, 2013

Free Market Healthcare

The future of healthcare is in jeopardy if the government gets a foothold. In order to save healthcare three simple things have to happen to put it in motion; government intrusion must be reversed, doctors need to do what Dr. Ciampi is doing, and insurance companies need to offer a high risk insurance option.

The average family medical insurance plan is now up to $13,000 per year. That’s a monthly cost of $1083.00 per family. And let’s not forget that most of these plans have a co-pay and deductible that must be met before insurance companies pay the bill. If we look at Dr. Ciampi’s price list for services, it becomes apparent that for most families, it would be more cost effective to move from a full medical insurance plan to one that covers only catastrophic care like heart attacks, emergency room visits, broken bones, cancer, etc…

Here is a few of the services and their costs that the Doctor lists. Go here for a complete list.

 Office Visit (brief) $50.00
(one straight forward issue. i.e. cold, sinus infection, bladder infection, etc.)

Office Visit (regular) $75.00
(one issue of moderate complexity or 2-3 simple issues. i.e. diabetes follow up, back pain, abdominal pain)

Office Visit (extended) $100.00
(multiple issues and/or a single very complicated issue requiring more time, counseling, and/or coordination of care with other doctors or hospital)

Complete Physical Exam $150.00
(comprehensive history and physical exam and review of labwork for preventive health maintenance)

Well Child Exam $150.00
(age appropriate history and physical. immunizations usually covered by state at no extra cost)

House Call $200.00
(for patients who are homebound or too sick to come to office. extra charge could apply if longer travel required)

Nurse Visit $20.00
(for follow up of established problems such as blood pressure rechecks, etc. Results reviewed by doctor to modify treatment plan)

House calls! If you figure you get a check-up once a year, maybe some blood work, and a cold or two, most of us would be better off putting the money we spend on insurance toward a catastrophic insurance plan and a rainy day fund.

Most of the prices are reasonable and have actually been reduced because according to Dr. Ciampi, the overhead costs of managing insurance claims goes away and his time and resources go toward patient care. Imagine that! Patient care in the driver’s seat again!

This is a start and only addresses the basic healthcare market but it is the real future of healthcare if we want to continue to be the greatest healthcare system on earth. Free markets work wherever they are tried and not interfered with by government rules and regulations…

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

What Can We Agree On?

The political world has created a barrier to real debate on very important issues to every American. It seems contrived by politicians to keep citizens divided all the while they drive the government in the direction they prefer. It seems at times that every political question divides us no matter what the question is so the question is: Is there any issue most Americans can agree on?

Freedom in general terms: Can Americans agree that freedom is important? I think so. I believe if you ask Americans if they believe that freedom is important an overwhelming majority would agree.

Free Markets: The question of free markets is often asked with qualifiers that blur the overall concept of free markets. If you ask Americans: Do you believe that the economy benefits when citizens are able to own and run businesses with little interference from government? A majority of people will agree. If you ask: Should businesses be able to run their business any way they choose without any government oversight? Most people would disagree. America was built on free markets and is wealthy because of free market capitalism. It has been a concerted effort of demonization of capitalism which has led to an acceptance of government regulation.  

Government Regulation: Can Americans agree there is too much government regulation? I believe most would agree. Can Americans agree there is a role for government regulation? I believe most would agree. The problem is we have political parties that are pandering to every special interest and every special interest is looking to regulate something that creates an advantage for them. This must stop. Most Americans would agree.

Immigration: Can Americans agree that immigration has been good for America? I think most would agree. Is allowing people that have broken our laws to get here a policy Americans want continued? I believe most Americans want immigration fixed. Most Americans want a secured border. Most Americans want immigrants that are here to assimilate and not to take advantage of our generosity through welfare programs. Most Americans don’t want to see children of illegal immigrants kicked out of the country but they are conflicted on the remedy. So why not just secure the border to start?

Gay Marriage: Most Americans believe that gay couples should have all the legal rights of married heterosexuals. Most Americans see this as a fairness issue. Civil Unions are supported by an overwhelming majority of Americans. The definition of “marriage” has always been a union between a man and woman. A majority of Americans believe in marriage as a sacred tradition. Why not allow civil unions the same benefits and leave the definition of marriage alone? The other option is to remove any government benefits related to marriage.

Debt and Deficit: Americans agree the federal government and all levels of government spend too much and therefore take too much in taxes. Americans agree we should spend less and balance the budget by reduced spending. Americans manage their budgets and believe government should do the same.

Taxes: Most Americans hate taxes and fear the IRS. Most Americans support a simplified tax system. Most people believe everyone should pay into the system. When asked the question should the “rich” pay more too many people agree. But with a flat tax the billionaire paying 15% of a billion pays a lot more than a person that pays 15% of $10,000. If asked the question whether or not taxes should be flat a majority of Americans would agree.

There is a lot we as Americans can agree on but it is not in the interest of politicians to ask the right questions. The American people need to reject politicians that don’t agree with us…


Wednesday, May 22, 2013

This is How to Fix the IRS

What is the Internal Revenue Service’s function? They are the federal agency empowered to collect taxes from the American people. They are empowered to the extent that you are guilty of any charge they make until proven innocent. The constitution grants us the right to innocence and puts the burden of proof on the government when it comes to every other facet of law. How is it that a government agency can be allowed to undermine our constitutional rights?

First, congress should pass a law that puts the burden of proof on the IRS and not the other way around. If the IRS believes we owe more tax than we paid, let them prove it. Why should it be our burden to manage their responsibilities? Especially when the tax code is a million lines of regulations. We have to go to work and make a living. We don’t have time to do their job as well. What are we paying them for? Let them cite the law and where we are wrong, and if we disagree let them provide additional proof we have done something wrong. Let them obtain a warrant and then conduct an audit. If they are wrong then we should be reimbursed for any fees, lost wages, and time we have spent defending their claim.

The IRS is the equivalent of the loan shark in organized crime. In reality they are empowered to destroy people’s lives and livelihoods. They can show up with goons and make American’s lives miserable. They can garnish wages, freeze bank accounts, and take the receivables in your business. This is too much power for any agency in our government. And it is about to get worse as the IRS takes on the new role as enforcer of healthcare. If healthy, young, or not convinced of the need for health insurance, the IRS goons are going to be the arm twisting agency to force you to purchase a product against your will.

So there is a much easier way to deal with this out of control agency filled with America hating bureaucrats.  Implement a flat tax at the federal level like every state in the union. If you make 0 - $50,000 a year you pay 10% of your W2 income. If you make $50,000 a year to $10,000,000,000,000 you pay 10% of your W2 or Corporate income. That’s right 10% for everyone. That is fair and that is justice.

The federal government is bloated and out of control. Ten percent of the country’s income is more than enough to provide for the constitutional requirements.

The recent scandals are the result of a federal government too big and being run by people that are too casual with the concept of law and order. Let’s send the 115,000 employees of the IRS packing. Instead of harassing the business people of the United States, let them try to get a job at one of those establishments…

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Is Social Media Undermining the Right to Privacy?

Too many people post too much stuff about their comings and goings, where they are eating, what they are buying or feeling at every hour of the day. I am not going to comment on the way people choose to share their lives because I engage in social media sites as well, but my concern is the message it sends to kids.

The right to privacy is a constitutional, God, given right that we should cherish. We should be able to live our lives without interference from anyone including and especially government agencies and bureaucrats. The right to privacy is as important as the right to free speech which is greatly improved with the advent of social media. Social media has given a voice to so many more Americans, and it has broken the “log jam” of newspaper editors that used to control the flow of information. But what about protecting our privacy?

In Utah, as we speak, a new DOD data center that is being built in the name of security is going to be capable of watching and spying on every American citizen without their knowledge. In the name of keeping people safe, the federal government is preparing to make our lives less safe and endangering our right to privacy. We will be less safe from the prospect of an over reaching and controlling government. I want to allow the government to track terrorists but at what cost? What information will we allow them to gather on us? And from where we will allow them to gather information on law abiding citizens?

So here is my fear. As kids spew their lives on every social network without an ounce of consideration, how likely will they be willing to protect the rights of privacy and our other constitutional rights? Their willingness to share their information may cloud their judgment on constitutional limits. It will be easier for the younger generation to shrug off as unimportant the ability and reality of government agencies tracking our every move. They are so accustomed to being tracked by friends, why not the government? And not only government, corporations and advocacy groups as well.

Between the lack of civics and history in the public school curriculum, the acceptance of information dumping on social networks, and the ability of federal government to track our every move, what will become of privacy? What will become of our nation? What will become of our Constitution? What will become of our liberty?

Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Determination Should be Unleashed & Protected

The economy and the markets have shown exceptional resilience in the headwinds of an out of control spending tornado that is Washington DC and the federal government. Imagine if we had an administration in Washington that wanted the economy to thrive? We would be in the greatest economic recovery in history right now.

Why is it that we continue to limp along instead of steam rolling down the economic highway? Burdensome regulations and an expanding amount of money being drained from productive uses. The current administration has a strong belief in the “goodness” of government and sees its primary role as wealth distribution. The evidence is in the numbers. Welfare programs have exploded, taxes have been raised on the most productive in our society, and the new healthcare law is not about health but rather an effort to make healthcare a right so that everyone gets the same fair but poor care from providers. This government believes our problems are a result of free markets instead of understanding free markets are the solution.

Small and big business alike are managing to squeeze out more productivity from their current operations even with all of this effort to undermine them. So I come back to the point that if we reduced our government footprint and let business and individuals decide where to spend their own money, our economy would be on fire!!

This country is blessed with so many people that are determined to succeed. Most of us have been brought up to work hard and take care of ourselves and our families. If we have a little extra we show our compassion through donations. But we have a generation that has been exposed to the idea that fairness is more important than self-determination and free markets. They have been told that community is more important than individual freedom. They have been told government = community. That equation is dangerous and false. Communities thrive when individuals are free to decide their own fate. Government is not a community it is a necessary evil. Everything government does has unintended and often bad consequences to our individual liberty and economic viability.

We still have a generation that is determined to protect individual rights but I am afraid that the next generations are being wooed to place that determination in government mandates. We must teach individual determination and reject government as a community if we hope to survive as the greatest Nation on earth… We owe that to our posterity…