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Issue No.: 559 | January 2014
 

Editorial in Freedom First December 2013

R. Subramanian
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I have to take issue with this paragraph: "Incidentally a thought that has been nagging some of us after the first few Obama honeymoon years is that the American people are getting some first hand experience
of "Nehruvian socialism” no less – more state control even if means inflicting pain on the American Aam Admi and spending money that is not there, on grandiose schemes – their Obamacare like our Food Security Act for instance.”

I am sorry to read this coming from FF folks who I thought usually read a bit before dashing off missives.

1. The American Aam Aadmi has had Medicare since the 1960s - single-payer, "socialist” healthcare for those over 65. And she/he "loves” it, whether Republican, Democrat, or unaffiliated. It’s paid for through a tax on everyone’s salaries - even mine. 

2. A couple of other "socialist” initiatives - Social Security, Medicaid (health insurance for those below the poverty line), food stamps (SNAP).

3. Social Security is doing fine. Every few years, the Trustees issue a report stating it’s going broke in a few years. Hasn’t happened in decades. We tinker around the edges a little, and it chugs along.

4. Medicaid actually costs less than Medicare - the government chooses to use their bargaining power with doctors and other providers, unlike some parts of Medicare. The sooner people can see a doctor, the sooner diseases are caught, which eventually lowers healthcare spending.

5. Food stamps are about the equivalent of $1.44/person/meal, which barely buys a cup of coffee. If you want to complain about that as wasteful spending in a rich country like the US, you’ve gotten your priorities seriously misplaced.

6. Health insurance is currently provided to a vast majority of Americans through their employers, and this form of compensation is not taxed. This is a major (government!) give-away to Americans, and they seem just fine with it.

7. Not taxed prior to the Affordable Care Act (Obamacare). A "Cadillac Tax” pays for part of ACA - a tax on the health insurance portion of people’s incomes, if the insurance costs over $27,000/year for a family of four. At least the Affordable Care Act is paid for, explicitly through taxes and cuts in provider payments, and is designed to encourage ways to cut healthcare spending. The US currently spends twice as much on healthcare as any other OECD nation, I believe, on a purchasing-power-parity basis - and isn’t any healthier.

8. Obamacare makes people buy insurance through private companies. If the regulations are too onerous for these companies to operate, they are free to leave the market. That hasn’t happened; if I did not gethealth insurance through my employer, I have over50 private insurance plans to choose from, here in Pittsburgh, PA.

R. SUBRAMANIAN, PA, USA.
randomsubu@gmail.com
 
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Obituary

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Elections to Parliament: Participation of Veterans

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Editorial in Freedom First December 2013

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