Robert F. Graboyes

Robert F. Graboyes

Robert F. Graboyes is the senior health care adviser at the National Federation of Independent Business (NFIB) in Washington, D.C.

Beware: destination unknown

For 2010 to 2013, the Senate and House bills offer only one certainty: tax upon tax upon tax. The bills delay meaningful health-care reform for four years, but immediately bury consumers and employers under a swarm of new taxes. Both bills are so massive, incoherent, and internally inconsistent that their overall effects are beyond anyone's capacity to predict. Both bills sail the health-care system and the U.S. economy past anyone's horizon of experience.

The likely devastating consequences are endless. Continued, perhaps accelerating, cost increases. Doctors abandoning Medicare. State finances buckling under anticipated Medicaid expansion. Slowing of pharmaceutical and other biomedical research. Withdrawal of many health insurers from the market. Destabilization of employer-employee relationships as firms strategically brace themselves for even bigger changes arriving in 2014.

For small businesses and their employees, the probable effects include diminished profits and wages. Some firms will shut their doors. Others will shed workers. Still others will be unable to create jobs that they otherwise would have generated. Others will find difficulty attracting financing. Uncertainty discourages capital formation and job creation, and no bill has ever foisted as much risk and uncertainty on the U.S. economy as suddenly and overwhelmingly as this one.

Though few are willing to acknowledge it, the unintended consequences of this bill will begin blowing holes in the American economy between now and 2013. Will these events force Congress to go through the agony of repeatedly reopening and repairing this legislation?

And if the results are one-tenth as bad as I suspect, one other thing will occur between now and 2013. Principled health-care reform advocates who settled for a terrible bill will find their credibility destroyed for years and years into the future.

By Robert F. Graboyes  |  January 14, 2010; 5:37 PM ET  | Category:  Health Care Reform Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   Del.icio.us   StumbleUpon   Technorati  
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In 1994 when our health reform bill died in Congress, both Taiwan and Switzerland passed the national referendum on health care reform.

Taiwan: passed the National Insurance Law in July, 1994 and began offering Universal coverage on March 1, 1995.

Switzerland: A national referendum passed LAMal in 1994, which went into effect on January 1, 1996.

Both countries collect premiums to fund the care.

Taiwan collects $150 per month for a family. This island country adopts a modified Canadian health care system funded with premiums, instead of taxes. It spends 6% of their GDP on health care that covers everyone.

Switzerland collects $750 per month for a family. They spend 11% of their GDP on health care, which is the second highest in the world after USA, 16%, but everyone is covered.

Both countries feel the moral responsibility to cover everyone. They continuously improve their health care system just like all other developed countries do except for us.

Posted by: dummy4peace | January 18, 2010 7:49 PM
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