Saturday, November 01, 2008

Health Insurance, Taxes, U.S. "Domination"etc.

As we approach an important election which hopefully will allow for some positive change, I think of some of the major issues we face.   I'd like to briefly discuss some of the important issues I see - saying things that I've often said in other postings here.

Health Insurance:  

I think that healthcare should be a right - and ideally should have No tie to one's employment status or lack thereof.   If employers had no issue of paying for health insurance there would be more incentive to hire additional workers with much less a marginal cost for each worker hired.   There would be less incentive to contract out work or hire part-time workers not covered by health insurance plans.

As I discussed in a much earlier blog entry here - I think that health insurance should be either under IRS or an agency similar to it - where we "owe" a yearly deductible and have co-payments to pay to the Government or its Carrier - similar to how we pay our income taxes.   We would have an incentive to Not overuse the system because of what it would cost us.   We would all have yearly maximum payment limits to cover potential catastrophic costs.   Medical providers would bill the Carrier and have no worries about our "coverage" or similar.  Lower income people would have lower deductibles and co-payments.

Clearly - if we have a seemingly "more realistic" health care system it needs to:

1.) Help pay catastrophic costs - so that individuals and families aren't bankrupted by medical costs,
2.) Figure out ways to cut down on our Excessive use of Expensive testing and similar when it's unnecessary - distinguishing between the needs of the Seriously Ill - from the rest of us,
3.) Figure out ways to cut the costs of those who are terminally ill or chronically ill (who disproportionaly spend a huge percentage of our medical costs) - while not cheating them out of what is best for them.


We could radically change our tax system in logical ways.   To do this we would need to eliminate nearly all deductions, perhaps even all except for dependents.   We would no longer "subsidize" the housing industry (perhaps lowering house sales costs), nor charities, as well as many other benefits of our socialized system (generally for the wealthy).

Assume that one's household income with a family with two adults and two dependent children is $100,000.   Such a household might have a deduction of $10,000 per adult and $5000 per child.  This would reduce their taxable income to: $100,000 - (2 x $10,000 + 2 x $5000 = $30,000) = $70,000.    Assuming that the first $50,000 in taxable income had a rate of 10% and beyond that was 30% - the taxes owed would be: 10% of $50,000 = $5,000 + 30% of $20,000 = $6000 = $11,000 in total or 11% of their gross income.

A similar household with a gross income of $50,000 - would owe $3000 = 6%
A similar household with a gross income of $200,000 - would owe $49,000 = 24.5%
A similar household with a gross income of $500,000 - would owe $139,000 = 27.8%
A single individual with a gross income of $30,000 - would owe $2000 = 6.67%
A single individual with a gross income of $100,000 - would owe $22,000 = 22%

One could argue about - specific tax rates and bend points for the tax rate changes, however such a system would be simple and progressive.    It would raise taxes in areas like capital gains and similar.

U.S. Domination:

I hope to live to see a day where the U.S. - actually helps other countries and doesn't feel a right to invade and decide What is best for others - generally reflecting naive, limited perspectives.   The European countries had colonies to exploit until the 1960's.   We've become the tyrant - sometimes doing good, but more frequently causing harm.

The so-called "terror" - that we face relates directly to how we are viewed by many - particularly Muslims in other parts of the world.

Let's - help make peace - in Palestine/Israel - with compromise and listening to the Palestinian cause - not being simply: "Pro-Israel".    Let's - let the Iraqi's work out their problems - withdrawing our troops and control in the coming months.   Let's leave Afghanistan's military affairs to its people - working with the Taliban if we can, but recognizing that we are destined to lose here as the Russians and others have done over many centuries.

Let's start making peace within the U.S. - helping our citizens with education, healthcare, and end to rape/domestic violence/child abuse and realistically look at a future where us getting older folks - the Babyboomers - are going to start needing much help as we age - and we can No Longer live beyond our means as a society.

Let's recognize the beauty of life - and respect others and ourselves!


1 comment:

Anonymous said...

What a great post! For the life of me, I cannot understand why Americans think the "you're on your own" attitude is a winner.

And I owe you an email, don't I?