Quick Takes – Bernie Bust: Big Brother Taxes; Failed Trial Runs; Not Even Medicare

     Another “quick takes” on items where there is too little to say to make a complete article, but is still important enough to comment on.

     The focus this time: Back in the U.S.S.R.

     First, a little mood music:

     Carrying on…

     For a socialist who thinks that government should provide everything to the people, he sure wants to punish companies that don’t nod their head in agreement… particularly with his legislation “Stop Bad Employers by Zeroing Out Subsidies, or BEZOS Act“.

“‘The bill would establish a 100% tax on companies equal to the benefits their employees are receiving. Covered public assistance program include Medicaid, Section 8 housing, the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program and the National School Lunch and School Breakfast programs, for companies with more than 500 employees.’


“The reality is that any plausible system of enforcement under legislation of this nature would in practice require big companies to ask a huge, new number of invasive questions of their employees in order to determine who is in their family or household and what federal benefits such people receive. And, by imposing costs on the company proportional to such benefits, it will strongly incentivize companies to find ways to avoid employing, say, single mothers who receive a lot of benefits. Preventing such discrimination, when the government is clobbering businesses over the head with economic reasons to engage in it, will require even further commitments of resources (And you know who doesn’t get federal welfare benefits? Offshore workers, and robots). To say nothing of the fact that audits of companies that employ a lot of people suspiciously not applying for federal welfare benefits would swiftly reveal companies that employ a lot of illegal immigrants (if you’re a liberal, just be thankful that nobody running the executive branch these days would think to do that). Any system of enforcement that tried to bypass the employer as information-gatherer would inevitably look like the e-verify system desired by immigration hawks.”

     It’s not like workability or plausibility are relevant to him…

“At least two states have already tried to design single-payer plans for their residents. Both gave up because of high cost. In 2007, Connecticut shut down its state single-payer project because it would have cost more than the entire state budget. And in 2014, Bernie’s own State of Vermont shut down its project for about the same reason. But when have facts mattered to progressive/leftist Democrats who clothe themselves in robes of social justice? I expect that in the next national presidential campaign, Medicare for All will be a prominent Democratic Party talking point.”

     And what is being offered isn’t even Medicare for all, but an even worse version of Medicaid that you can’t escape from.

  • Medicare is a much more limited program, mostly covering people age 65 and over. That’s about 15 percent of the population, or 44 million people. Sanders’s bill would cover all 330 million (or so) of us.
  • “Medicare for All” promises “free” health care, meaning no out-of-pocket costs for patients. Medicaid provides that benefit now. But Medicare doesn’t. Beneficiaries under Medicare are responsible for about 50 percent of their health-care bills.
  • Medicare allows a thriving private supplemental-insurance industry, which, of course, isn’t offered or required for those on Medicaid. In fact, if like me, you are of Medicare age, your mailboxes will soon be filled with advertisements for private-enterprise “medi-gap” insurance policies. Sanders’s bill would outlaw all private health insurance — including policies offered by employers, privately purchased, and even medi-gap plans.
  • Medicare, is expensive — $672.1 billion in 2016 — but that is nothing compared to “Medicare for All,” which is projected to cost $32 trillion in its first ten years! And note: Medicare is already scheduled to go broke in 2028.
  • It is worth noting that Medicaid is a mess, with many doctors refusing to participate due to low payment schedules. Beneficiaries often face lines and delays in treatment. Such difficulties will surely worsen if we are all forced into a one-size-fits-all government program.

     But when you are a big government socialist, such little things like “reality” aren’t that big of a deal…


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