The Problem With Funding Healthcare
The Problem with Funding Healthcare
The United States, for many years now, has talked about creating a universal healthcare system. Arguments for and against such a system usually come down to two questions. What are the specifics of the plan and how are we going to pay for it? Well, the first one is a complicated one that can be hammered out through careful negotiations with doctors, insurance providers, the government, and patients. The problem usually comes down to the second question or funding healthcare. There is talk currently in Congress of establishing a national healthcare system, but the one snag the plan has run into is the cost and where the money comes from. If healthcare reform fails to pass, it will most likely have to do with funding for it.
There is a serious problem with funding healthcare. At this moment, and actually for the last few decades, we simply do not have the money to do so. Currently, we have an $11.5 trillion national debt, an all time high. Spending in Congress has gone through the roof over the past few months and there are too many programs to fund. Estimates from the independent Congressional Budget Office put healthcare reform costs at a minimum of $1 trillion. Even with that conservative estimate, it shocked people all across the country. I would guess it will end up costing considerably more than that in the long run. If Congress and the President decide to go through with this, they will need to find a way to pay for it. They absolutely must.
There will be one of three options that our elected officials will have to make. One is to raise taxes, two is to cut spending, or three is to postpone the plan until funding is secured or go back to the drawing board. It would be political suicide to raise taxes. The Democratic controlled Congress is currently trying to institute an energy tax on the American people; another one would be disastrous for individuals and for the economy. Even so, there is a proposal to tax the private health insurance benefits of all Americans, except if you are in a union. That is the most unfair proposal for exempting unions and to tax people who already have insurance to pay for other people. Cutting spending is something our government is not good at. Budget cuts have already been made to the Defense Department, but I would recommend cutting some social programs. Many are wasteful and people often scam it out of billions of dollars a year. Congress should also consider a ban on pork barrel spending bills. That is a waste of money every year and could also save billions of dollars.
The last option is to postpone or reconfigure the healthcare plan. I would suggest doing this until the various ways to provide funding for healthcare are looked at. I agree it is a tragedy for millions of people who struggle to pay bills, but we cannot ruin this country’s economy and run up an even higher debt that our children will have to pay for. We need to look at the interests of the other 250 million people who have insurance versus the 50 million who don’t. If welfare cuts and a ban on pork barrel spending take effect, healthcare reform just may be possible in the coming future. The majority of Americans agree that reform needs to happen; we just all disagree on the details of it and where how funding healthcare will take place.
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