In the September issue of the "New Guard", Congressman Paul Ryan mapped out his plan to reclaim the American Idea. As a Tea Party leader it was necessary to respond with an alternative Tea Party Road Map. The most challenging task is to confront our ballooning and unsustainable entitlements and other usurped government spending from State and local governments, commerce, charity and the individual.
Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid grew to an unsustainable level through the legislature’s lack of prudent fiscal responsiveness to increased life spans and political pressures that expanded care under Medicare and Medicaid without regard to the costs. I submit these programs should never have been anything more than minimal fully portable safety net protections executed through private products. The conflict arose when the government decided to run these programs.
Social Security is not held to the same reserve requirements as the private sector hence we have no money set aside to pay these obligations. Government continues to expand government to "fix" the conflict of interest that exists from government engaging in the market and who then regulates, taxes and oversees its competition (the private unsubsidized market) and itself and its agents (subsidized Corporations and non-for-profits.) Government spending is now driving unemployment and preventing a recovery.
The fundamental problem is that we are all forced to participate in these programs, we have few choices, lower return on our investment and a massive loss of opportunity through inflationary measures to shirk the debt these unsustainable programs demand. Transitioning from a program for all to a minimal fully portable safety net benefit may take decades but all participants need to be part of the solution from existing retirees to the teenage employee. For Social Security, increasing the eligibility age to 70, capping the income paid out and moving to private accounts will be the ultimate solution for America. Products that guarantee a rate of return that covers inflation will be the minimal option available in the market.
This should be done immediately rather than phased in for it merely increases the cost for those that follow. If we limit government, jobs will emerge to help us fill the unanticipated gaps in our individual financial planning. We'll find ourselves better off in ten years as individuals and as a Nation.
Medicare is expecting large premium increases and is unsustainable. The eligibility age needs to be increased to 70. Our politicians have increased mandated coverage without an adequate capacity to bill current beneficiaries for the added cost. Deductibles and co-pay haven't increased with inflation. A flat payment to purchase coverage in the open market is the prefer way of managing benefits. There should be incentives for the insured to be with companies that fight fraud such as dividend payments for anti-fraud benchmarks. We need to modify the program in order to increase rates for all new coverages and give retirees the option of higher deductibles, higher premiums or to opt out of the new proposed coverages and services. I suggest retirees would get better prescription costs if we abolished the Prescription drug plan for all but the poorest among us.
The few things the Federal government can do to assist in the development of competitive medical care and health insurance markets is to return the financial responsibility for Medicaid to the States. We can no longer afford this crushing debt and the devaluation of our savings to maintain that which is driving more Americans into poverty. States will be forced to rewrite their Medicaid coverages with a reduction in mandated coverage, as fully portable benefits without price fixing or cost shifting for greater transparency and medical care accessibility. They’ll need to open their markets to innovation in insurance coverages to give real options to those with pre-existing conditions and for all socio-economic classes.
I support means tested individuals having the capacity to receive a tax-credit to purchase health insurance as a cheaper way to deliver Medicaid. As a business owner I write off the cost of health insurance or the equivalent in salary for my employees. There are many folks that would prefer to be treated as a 1099 (self-employed) rather than as an employee so they can remain with the health insurance company of their choice AND write off the cost of their health insurance premium. What our politicians can do, is eliminate the barriers to true portability without forcing companies to take on business that will harm them financially. With Federal action to allow across border purchases, State Insurance commissioners will have a more challenging role to play..
I reject the notion that we should pay for anyone who can afford to pay for their own rights and responsibilities such as healthcare for those with pre-existing conditions through proposed high risk pools and exchanges. This is an expansion of benefit and government meddling should be soundly rejected. If people fall into poverty then Medicaid is there for them irrespective of pre-existing conditions. The private markets have always held the keys to the best solutions but State and Federal regulation has extinguished them.