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Cuba's health system is probably its strongest point... not that I'd want it. It does ranks suprisingly well in categories like infant mortality, often better than the US.* It's not surprising that people who like socialism would point to Cuba as their beacon of hope.

*Although there is some dispute about how the category is calculated given US medicine's greater efforts to save premature babies.

Edited by Korthor

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These types of country-wide stats are deceptive. If one is a middle-class person in the US, one can get excellent health care; probably unparalleled in the world. Further, statistics from closed, totalitarian regimes have no validity. It's probably a good guess that Cuban health care is better than other third-world rat-holes and no better.

Edited by softwareNerd

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Cuba's health system is probably its strongest point... not that I'd want it. It does ranks suprisingly well in categories like infant mortality, often better than the US.* It's not surprising that people who like socialism would point to Cuba as their beacon of hope.

*Although there is some dispute about how the category is calculated given US medicine's greater efforts to save premature babies.

Cuba has two systems - one for tourists and Communist Party members (that is probably the one Moore was shown), and another for ordinary Cubans. The second is run at a disastrous level of care (if you can even call it care) where people are denied the most basic medicines and treatment (and especially if you are a known human rights advocate).

Read more here.

Edited by ~Sophia~

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Why am I not surprised to find Korthor defending another left-wing position?

Why is left wing to say that Cuba's health care system is better than the other parts of its economy? It's true, largely because the rest of Cuba really sucks. Why is it left wing to acknowledge reality?

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In California, we are doomed. The worst parts of this plan include new taxes to pay for this plan. So folks like me in the upper middle, who for years have been buying health insurance through my employers, will now have to pay more so other people — including people who make more money than I do — can get health insurance.

In the context of a business that is needing to cut costs to prop up the profit margin amid declining revenue, this is another hit that we need about as much as a hole in the head. It will kill some businesses, and certainly reduce pay or halt raises for many.

This is a news release I received in my e-mail earlier today from the California Assembly.

_____

PR 07 280

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

December 17, 2007

California Assembly Passes Most Significant State

Expansion of Health Care Coverage in Nation’s History

Most Californians, Including All Children, Covered Under the Plan

SACRAMENTO – Historic health care legislation extending coverage to millions of California’s uninsured, including all children, was approved by the state Assembly today by a 45-31 vote.

“We’ve crafted an amazing and historic bill that expands health coverage for those without it and improves health insurance for those already covered,” Speaker Núñez said. “This brings us one step closer to making health care a right afforded to everybody in this state, and not just a privilege afforded to those with deep pockets.”

Assembly Bill 1X1 is the culmination of nearly a year of negotiations between legislative leaders, Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger, and the state’s leading labor, business, health care, and consumer groups. Dozens of organizations have embraced the bill, including the Service Employees International Union, American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees, AARP, California Hospital Association, Safeway, March of Dimes, Children Now, Mental Health Association of California, American Nurses Association of California, California Association of Nurse Practitioners, Kaiser Permanente, CIGNA, Blue Shield, and Small Business California.

“No child in this state should be left without adequate health care coverage, and under this proposal, all 800,000 children will be covered,” Speaker Núñez added.

AB 1X1 was amended today on the Assembly floor, incorporating ideas from a number of stakeholders. It relies on a system of shared responsibility between employers, health care providers, consumers, and government agencies. It requires an individual mandate for most Californians, but provides subsidies, rebates, and exemptions for Californians earning up to 450% of the federal poverty line, or for those whose out-of-pocket health expenses would exceed 6.5% of family income. The bill includes significant cost-containment and transparency language, including a requirement that insurance companies spend no more than 15 cents of every dollar on administrative costs. Those with pre-existing conditions are guaranteed coverage under the plan, and all children will be covered.

It is financed through system wide health care cost savings, and through a combination of fees and taxes to be approved by the voters in a November 2008 ballot initiative that will include a tobacco tax, employer fee assessed along a sliding scale based on annual payroll, and a hospital fee.

It now heads to the California State Senate for consideration.

###

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And it gets worse....note the pressure groups involved. This was in my e-mail today.

FOR PLANNING PURPOSES ONLY

NOT FOR PUBLICATION OR BROADCAST

MEDIA ADVISORY

Speaker Núñez, Governor Schwarzenegger, and Others to Hold Joint Press Conference in Support of the Comprehensive Democratic Health Care Bill

WHAT: Speaker Fabian Núñez (D-Los Angeles) will join Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger and representatives from labor, business, health care, and consumer groups to express their support for the Democratic comprehensive health care bill, Assembly Bill 1X1.

The Democratic comprehensive health care bill, AB 1X1, authored by Speaker Fabian Núñez (D-Los Angeles), was approved by the state Assembly Monday by a 46-31 vote. This historic health care legislation extending coverage to millions of California’s uninsured, including all children, now heads to the California State Senate for consideration.

AB 1X1 is the culmination of nearly a year of negotiations between legislative leaders, the Governor, and labor, business, health care, and consumer groups.

Dozens of organizations have embraced the bill, including the Service Employees International Union, American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees, AARP, California Hospital Association, Safeway, March of Dimes, Children Now, Mental Health Association of California, American Nurses Association of California, California Association of Nurse Practitioners, Kaiser Permanente, CIGNA, Blue Shield, and Small Business California.

WHO: Speaker Fabian Núñez

Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger

WHERE: California Hospital Medical Center

1401 South Grand Ave

Los Angeles, California, 90015

WHEN: Tuesday, December 18

10:00 a.m.

###

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It just gets better. This is a commentary sent in my e-mail at the paper. For context, Jon Coupal is the premier taxpayer advocacy attorney in California. His organization was founded by Howard Jarvis, the tax reformer who wrote a law passed by California voters in 1978 that rolled back property taxes to 1974 levels and then limited increases in assessed valuations to 2 percent per year. Since then the group has fought against loopholes to Proposition 13 and has been a taxpayers' watchdog.

------------------------------------------------------------------

CALIFORNIA COMMENTARY from the Howard Jarvis Taxpayers Association

------------------------------------------------------------------

Week of December 24, 2007

------------------------------------------------------------------

Governor's Plan Is Still a Tax Increase

By Jon Coupal

Taxpayers are feeling like Chevy Chase when years ago he would read

the news on Saturday Night Live. Each week Chase would tell viewers

that Generalissimo Francisco Franco, the then recently deceased

Spanish Dictator, was still dead.

When we first reviewed Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger's universal

healthcare proposal last January, we at the Howard Jarvis Taxpayers

Association declared it was a tax increase. Now, almost twelve

months later, we can report that the healthcare plan, after some

tweaking by the State Assembly, is still a tax increase, and a

dangerous one at that.

The one concession being made to taxpayers is that now, instead of

calling the costs to implement the program "fees," Speaker Fabian

Nunez and the governor, the joint backers of the current healthcare

incarnation, are acknowledging that tax increases are involved.

During his successful reelection campaign, Schwarzenegger repeatedly

promised he would not raise taxes. On several occasions, he

expressly stated that, "I campaigned that I will not raise taxes and

I say this again: I will not raise taxes." The sad fact is that any

trust that taxpayers had in our governor is now wholly evaporated.

Whatever one thinks of socialized medicine, the collapse of

California's financial house should have put the whole issue on the

back burner. But Schwarzenegger has persisted, calling a special

session of the Legislature in an effort to muscle through his

healthcare plan. Ironically he is now calling for another special

session to deal with the state's looming $14 billion deficit that

will require ether massive tax increases -- according to Nunez -- or

massive spending cuts -- according to the governor -- to bring the

budget into balance.

The current budget crisis is the result of reckless overspending.

State spending is up 44 percent since Schwarzenegger took office.

And now he is promoting additional taxes to cover the cost of his

ambitious health care plan. This makes no sense at all. And much of

the plan would inflict significant harm on California taxpayers.

As currently written, the proposal passed by the State Assembly

would:

- Require that every Californian must have health insurance coverage

by July 2010. This "individual mandate" could be waived if the

family made less then 250% (under $51,000 for a family of four) of

the federal poverty level annually.

- Would establish "guarantee issue" coverage, which would mean that

insurers must cover those with pre-existing conditions.

- Defines a California resident as an "individual who is physically

present in the state for at least 6 months."

- Hospitals will pay a four percent fee on patient revenues, which

of course will be passed onto consumers in the form of higher bills.

- Place a 2-6.5% sliding scale payroll tax on business demanding on

payroll amount. This could lead to massive job loss, especially if

employers find themselves on the bubble between one scale level and

another.

- A large portion of the funding would depend on a tobacco tax

increase of $2 per pack.

It should be noted that when a similar plan was tried in Kentucky,

45 health insurance carriers left the state. Not surprising when a

person could go without insurance until they took ill but insurance

companies would still be compelled to provide coverage. Of course

the ultimate costs would be born through higher premiums for all.

In the early 1990s Governor Wilson worried that our state had become

a welfare magnet. After state and federal welfare reforms, the lure

of the Golden State for those interested in being subsidized by

taxpayers declined. But that trend is now reversing yet again.

Although middle and high income taxpayers are leaving the state

according to a just-released study by the Department of Finance, it

is being offset by births and more than 200,000 immigrants from

other countries. (The political left loves to complain about the

shrinking middle class and the widening gap between the rich and

poor. But all they need to do is look in the mirror to see the cause

of the problem.)

Add "free" healthcare to the mix and California's status as the

nation's number one welfare magnet will be restored. Feeing ill in

Idaho? Why California is the place to go. Planning to enter the

United State illegally? Let's see which state is making the best

offer.

California residents are already among the most highly taxed in the

country. This is one of the reason that so many are leaving for

greener pastures. Additional taxes will just accelerate the exodus

of people with jobs and money who, on their way out, will be passing

the inflow of those who need or want public services.

The only good news about the Schwarzenegger-Nunez plan is that it

faces huge hurdles before it becomes a scary reality.

First, Senate President pro Tem Don Pereta, who, although a fan of

expanding government mandated health care coverage, is questioning

the wisdom of taking on these new costs during a fiscal crisis and

he has the power to block Senate passage.

Second, having confessed that they are raising taxes, the governor

and speaker, thanks to Proposition 13, must place the tax increases

on the ballot for approval. After reviewing the facts, voters are

not likely to retain the same enthusiasm suggested by a recent Field

Poll.

The final obstacle is federal law. In 1974, Congress enacted the

Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA), which gives the

federal government exclusive authority to regulate employee benefit

plans, including self-insured plans. The only way that California

could implement this healthcare proposal would be to be granted a

waver by Congress, and it is unlikely that those in Washington, D.C.

really hate us that much.

*

Jon Coupal is President of the Howard Jarvis Taxpayers Association

-- California's largest taxpayer organization -- which is dedicated

to the protection of Proposition 13 and promoting taxpayers' rights.

2007-52

--------------------------------------------------------------------

Permission to reproduce this commentary in any format -- print or

electronic -- is hereby granted.

IF YOU WOULD PREFER TO RECEIVE THESE WEEKLY COMMENTARIES BY FAX,

please send an e-mail to [email protected] and give us your your fax

number (or fax it to 951-278-3860). Please be sure to include the name

of your publication.

IF YOU WOULD LIKE TO BE REMOVED FROM THIS E-MAIL DISTRIBUTION LIST,

please send an e-mail message to [email protected] and be sure to

include the e-mail address at which you received this message along

with the name of your publication.

--------------------------------------------------------------------

For more information, contact: Kris Vosburgh, Executive Director

Howard Jarvis Taxpayers Association 621 S. Westmoreland Ave., Suite

202 Los Angeles, CA 90005 213-384-9656

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Hi, I am Arnold Schwarzenegger. I would like a moment of your time because I wanted you to know something. I wanted you to know about Dr. Milton Friedman's TV series, Free to Choose. I truly believe that the series has changed my life. When you have such a powerful experience as that, I think you shouldn't keep it to yourself, I wanted to share it with you.

Being free to choose for me means being free to make your own decisions; free to live your own life; pursue your own goals; chase your own rainbow; without the government breathing down on your neck or standing on your shoes. For me that meant coming here to America. Because I came from a socialistic country in which the government controls the economy. It is a place where you can hear 18 year old kids already talking about their pension. But me __ I wanted more. I wanted to be the best __ individualism like that is incompatible with socialism. So I felt I had to come to America. I had no money in my pocket, but here I had the freedom to get it. I have been able to parlay my big muscles into big business and a big movie career. Along the way I was able to save and invest and I watched America change and I noticed this __ that the more the government interfered and intervened and inserted itself into the free market, the worse the country did. But when the government stepped back and let the free enterprise system do its work, then the better we did, the more robust our economy grew, the better I did, and the better my business grew, and the more I was able to hire and help others.

http://www.ideachannel.tv/ (Free to Choose, 1990, Introduction by Arnold Schwarzenegger)

Can someone explain me when and why he made a 180 degree turn (well... maybe 90 degree as "Free to Choose" only makes a case for Free Market without showing that it is morally right) in his views? When he went into politics?

Edited by Clawg

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http://www.ideachannel.tv/ (Free to Choose, 1990, Introduction by Arnold Schwarzenegger)

Can someone explain me when and why he made a 180 degree turn (well... maybe 90 degree as "Free to Choose" only makes a case for Free Market without showing that it is morally right) in his views? When he went into politics?

Marrying into the Kennedy family, perhaps?

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...

It should be noted that when a similar plan was tried in Kentucky,

45 health insurance carriers left the state. Not surprising when a

person could go without insurance until they took ill but insurance

companies would still be compelled to provide coverage. Of course

the ultimate costs would be born through higher premiums for all.

...

If this plan passes, then this is exactly what will happen: private health insurance will become unavailable in California.

A similar thing happened in Washington. For a while, it was the law in that state that a private insurance company could not refuse anybody coverage because of, or for, "pre-existing conditions." So if somebody who was already sick applied for a new policy, the company had to issue it.

Finally, the insurance companies shrugged. It was either that or go out of business, for no company can make money if it's forced to insure for events that have already happened.

The result was that for about 18 months - late 1999 until early 2001 - individual private health insurance policies were simply unavailable in Washington. The insurance companies just stopped writing them - they did renew existing policies, but would not issue any new ones. So if you wanted to buy health insurance then (pre-existing condition or not) you simply could not buy it from any private company - you'd have needed to get it via your employer or some other "group", or else buy it directly from the state government.

Eventually, the legislature changed the law so that companies could exclude pre-existing conditions. However, the legislature is still up to no good, and seems to be always passing laws that force insurance companies to pay for certain kinds of coverage that customers may or may not want (such as mental-health coverage, birth-control pills, as well as coverage for "alternative medicine") with the result that premiums have gone up sharply as insurance companies just pass on, to the policyholders, the extra cost of the claims they now have to pay out.

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What do you think Antonio? Will it get passed or not?

It's hard to tell what the voters here would do. I am still not clear on why voters have to approve some of these provisions, because I haven't looked at that part of it. I would think that an election is required because it involved an amendment to the California Constitution. If so, that's scary because those changes are very hard to undo and involve changing the foundation of our laws.

All of the other parts are approved. They passed the state Senate and the Assembly and Gov. Schwarzenegger signed them into law. What's scary also is that they are still crying out that there has been no reform during 2007. My newspaper even ran a story to that effect.

Right before California voters recalled Democrat Party Gov. Gray Davis less than a year into his second term and installed Schwarzenegger, he signed into law a universal health care plan that the Democrats - who control both houses of the Legislature - passed. This was after the recall election but before the secretary of state certified the results a week or two later.

That plan included a big tax increase in the form of a penalty charged to employers who did not provide a state-specified level of coverage to employees. The idea was that what the employer didn't cover would be picked up by Medi-Cal (what Medicad is called here). If an employer did not offer health insurance, the employer would be taxed the premium and the employee would be covered by Medi-Cal.

The plan also forced every health-care provider in the state to accept Medi-Cal and take payments from all insurance companies. It likely would have led to the erosion or elimination of private insurance in California.

Well, the California Chamber of Commerce and other business groups fought hard and circulated a citizen petition for a referendum - which the citizenry can do to overturn a law passed by the Legislature. They got enough signatures to put it on the statewide ballot at the next general election (the law is stayed in the meantime) and it was defeated soundly.

I can only hope the voters here would be smart enough to do that. Who the hell wants to rely on Medi-Cal? My daughter is covered by it because she is disabled, but few of the best providers like to take it, and it's very hard, if not impossible, to bill secondary. So we just use my private insurance and pay whatever our share is.

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It appears that the Terminator's health care socialization plan has been defeated for now. Good news!

It's great to see Objectivists fighting hard against the Colorado proposals.

That these two plans aren't simply sailing through is good news, because Presidents Obama, Clinton, McCain and Romney will all probably try pushing some type of plan through at the Federal level.

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The Libertarian Reform Caucus — a group that is trying to change the Libertarian Party platform and campaign strategy to actually win some elections rather than just "be right" — has an intriguing suggestion for providing universal health care.

The caucus proposes a dual system. Everyone would be guaranteed coverage by a state-run single-payer system. And people would be taxed accordingly. However, if you like your individually purchased health insurance or your employer-sponsored plan, you would be free to keep that coverage, and would not be taxed to finance the state-run coverage.

Essentially, they are saying "OK, you want state-run single-payer insurance, fine. Go for it. And you'll see it sucks. So then when you want out, you can get out."

It is an interesting idea that would, if done right, give people the ultimate power of choice. "Need the safety net or want to be part of the collective? Go ahead, but leave me the hell alone!" It could allow a free market in health care and health insurance to exist so that the choice is there for those who want it, but also throw a bone out to the leftists.

One way to fund this would be to maitain the existing structure tax system but give refundable tax credits for the money spent on health insurance premiums as an incentive to have people opt for the free-market system versus the state-run system. This could provide a way to shut up the statists while at the same time giving people who want freedom the freedom to choose (and hopefully prove how much better the private system is than the public one).

Currently the only break we get on health insurance premiums is that they become a pre-tax deduction in our paychecks, reducing our taxable income the same way a deduction on the 1040 form would do. They are also deductible if you itemize deductions, which only becomes worthwhile if your deductions exceed the already high personal exemption, because you can only pick one or the other.

This system could also work with other services that have popularly been under government control or traditionally run by the state, such as education.

Allow any child to attend any publicly run school in any school district anywhere in the state. I have not checked, but I believe Minnesota does this based on what a colleague of mine who grew up there told me. Though she is a flaming liberal, she didn't understand why school choice is rare in California.

Then on state taxes, give a refundable tax credit for private-school tuitiion. The difference between a refundable and a nonfredundable tax credit (for our readers who might not have such a system in their states or countries for income taxation), is that a nonrefundable tax credit could only reduce tax liability to zero. A refundable credit could result in a negative integer, essentially a negative income tax.

By making it refundable, you could get a payment that makes up for the property taxes paid to support the local school system. This would work well in California in particular because all property taxes are collected by the 58 counties and almost all of it goes to the state government. The state also sets tax rates at a uniform 1 percent, allowing only 2 percent annual increases in assessed valuations under Proposition 13, the voter tax revolt passed in 1978.

The state then pays each school district based on a guaranteed-funding formula in the Constitution that is designed to ensure equal funding for all students. However, some school districts are "basic aid," meaning they get only a small payment per pupil from Sacramento, and they actually get the local property taxes. This happens only when the sum total of the share of property taxes that, before Proposition 98's funding guarantees, is greater than the funding that would come from the state.

Therefore, a refundable credit could offset that. Even renters would benefit because property taxes are passed through in rents.

How about roads? Sure, most here are state, county or city run. But there are private toll roads and public/private joint ventures. If you buy one of those prepaid or debit account transponders, or you have a tally of your year's tolls, (you could do this the same way you would for the charity giving deduction) you'd get a tax credit to offset the fixed per-gallon gasoline taxes.

With the tax credits, you get to exercise choice. It is almost like the mantra in the Libertarian Party platform (not sure if they took this one out, but I remember the wording was there for years) of "End taxes. Have user fees instead."

Well, this way everyone's covered, but the statists could leave us alone, give us the power of choice and our tax money back too.

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The Libertarian Reform Caucus — a group that is trying to change the Libertarian Party platform and campaign strategy to actually win some elections rather than just "be right" — has an intriguing suggestion for providing universal health care.

The caucus proposes a dual system. Everyone would be guaranteed coverage by a state-run single-payer system. And people would be taxed accordingly. However, if you like your individually purchased health insurance or your employer-sponsored plan, you would be free to keep that coverage, and would not be taxed to finance the state-run coverage.

And what would be the difference to a free market where the government runs an own insurance company and competes with private insurance companies? The government can use existing governmental facilities and structures to save some costs. But the same could be said for, let's say an insurance company owned and run by McDonalds.

The only difference I see is in the leadership, how decisions are made.

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Essentially, they are saying "OK, you want state-run single-payer insurance, fine. Go for it. And you'll see it sucks. So then when you want out, you can get out."

That is what is imlplicitly being said, but they're not going to sell it that way are they?

No to sell it, they'll have to sell it as a workable solution. They'll have to represent it to people who believe in it as a good program, only knowing that it will implicitly fail. Who will sign up for a program that you know and tell people will suck? Who will vote you into office on such a program.

This is pandering to get into office, and it makes the Libertarian party as bad as the Republicans. This is an improvement?

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This system could also work with other services that have popularly been under government control or traditionally run by the state....

Antonio,

I doubt this would work because programs like these are first and foremost designed to be wealth redistribution mechanisms. The promoters of these schemes know that prosperous individuals have to carry the major financial burden or the system would go bankrupt in short order. I doubt that the Socialists among us would ever agree to allow people who don't want to participate in a single payer system to avoid the burden of their "fair share".

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Not a good idea. As someone above pointed out, why not just have government enter into every industry as a potential competitor? They can establish a burger joint to compete with McDonald's, a salon to compete with the local barber shop, a gas station to compete with Shell, and a post office to compete with...oops, nevermind that one.

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I addition to what gags said, the most serious problem with the proposal is that the government would be the one determining how much tax you wouldn't have to pay if you opt out.

But what guarantees that the taxers would be honest? The government certainly hasn’t practiced honest accounting with the Social Security System.

According to the proposal, “Those that do not sign up for universal health care will have no extra tax taken from them.”

But what’s to prevent the government from covertly shifting the burden from those who choose universal to those who choose private?

Let's say Mutt and Jeff currently pay the same amount in tax per year, $5,000. Mutt decides to go with the private, Jeff with the “universal” health care.

Why couldn’t government limit Jeff’s health-care surtax to only $300 when in fact government-run care for Jeff actually costs $600 or $1,200? The balance would simply be made up from the general revenue that Mutt pays into. Jeff would be delighted to receive good care at a low cost. Mutt would grumble about high taxes in general but presume that he pays his own way with health care.

This would be worse than outright socialized medicine because the public would be deluded into thinking they continued to enjoy a free market option while enduring all the evils of a state monopoly.

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That is what is imlplicitly being said, but they're not going to sell it that way are they?

No to sell it, they'll have to sell it as a workable solution. They'll have to represent it to people who believe in it as a good program, only knowing that it will implicitly fail. Who will sign up for a program that you know and tell people will suck? Who will vote you into office on such a program.

This is pandering to get into office, and it makes the Libertarian party as bad as the Republicans. This is an improvement?

The party sub-group is selling it as a workable solution. It's my own commentary that folks would see that the private system is better after the differences between the two come out.

From what I have read on the Libertarian Reform Caucus web site, they are not doing this to pander their way into office. They're tired of losing elections and being stuck with labels like "Losertarians," which come mostly because the party is full of anarchists and people who rigidly refuse to work with people of other viewpoints or coexist in the real world.

The caucus is running on the premise that if zero Libertarians get into office, then there would be zero Libertarian influences on public policymaking. Whereas if Libertarians could get elected, they could officer policy alternatives that could actually get some serious attention and then promote libertarian and free market ideas from within. The Republican Liberty Caucus functions this way within that party. They're basically Libertarians sans all the conspiracy theory, wishing to end the hold on the party that the blackhats have.

It is an improvement if it promotes free-market ideas and actually gets some of them into action. Under the Libertarian Party's current practice, its members would rather be right than be elected. It's pointless to be right and complain if you're purposely putting yourself in a position where you're automatically shut out.

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But what’s to prevent the government from covertly shifting the burden from those who choose universal to those who choose private?

Let's say Mutt and Jeff currently pay the same amount in tax per year, $5,000. Mutt decides to go with the private, Jeff with the “universal” health care.

Why couldn’t government limit Jeff’s health-care surtax to only $300 when in fact government-run care for Jeff actually costs $600 or $1,200? The balance would simply be made up from the general revenue that Mutt pays into. Jeff would be delighted to receive good care at a low cost. Mutt would grumble about high taxes in general but presume that he pays his own way with health care.

Using refundable tax credits would compensate part of the general taxes that Mutt pays by offsetting the cost of private insurance.

I submit that this could be done without modifying the tax laws significantly. For instance, I pay about $5,000 a year for mys hare of my family's health insurance premiums. That mone is pre-tax, so that reduces my tax liability by about $1,200. Elininate the deducatin and my taxes would go up by $1,200. But no, if I were refunded a tax credit fo the same $5,000, tha wold offset my premiums.

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And what would be the difference to a free market where the government runs an own insurance company and competes with private insurance companies? The government can use existing governmental facilities and structures to save some costs. But the same could be said for, let's say an insurance company owned and run by McDonalds.

The only difference I see is in the leadership, how decisions are made.

That would be the biggest difference - how decisions are made. Hopefully, that could lead incrementally to a freer market and reverse the incremental incursions toward a state-controlled or state-run system that liberals have made in recent decades.

This is different from having government compete with McDonalds or other services because health care has become a service that a huge part of the public believes should be guaranteed to people. That doesn't mean that they are right, but that view is shared by a majority of those in control of government.

This proposal would at least offer a choice for people who do not want to be a part of that. It is a way for us to coexist with the irrational majority by at least giving us an abiity to break away.

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Using refundable tax credits would compensate part of the general taxes that Mutt pays by offsetting the cost of private insurance.

I submit that this could be done without modifying the tax laws significantly. For instance, I pay about $5,000 a year for mys hare of my family's health insurance premiums. That mone is pre-tax, so that reduces my tax liability by about $1,200. Elininate the deducatin and my taxes would go up by $1,200. But no, if I were refunded a tax credit fo the same $5,000, tha wold offset my premiums.

I hope you didn't miss my point. As long as socialized medicine has unlimited access to government revenues, it doesn't really matter how much you offer in credits and rebates to those choosing private health insurance. The productive class in this country will still have to bear the financial burden of a government-run system that is inherently inefficient.

The proposal posted at reformthelp.org is nothing more than a raid on the taxpayer in the guise of "freedom." If you want real freedom, leave taxation out of the matter entirely and let those who want socialized medicine organize their own foundation distributing "from each according to his ability to each according to his need."

In fact, they could do that today without an act of Congress or any help from the Libertarian Party "reformers."

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