Saturday, January 13, 2007

Dan Walters: Health plan hinges on 'tax' label

Says Dan Walters:

Asked directly about the issue, Schwarzenegger this week gave a roundabout response in which he decried the "hidden tax" being paid through shifting costs for caring for the uninsured, noted that doctors and hospitals would be getting more from the program than they were paying and added: "So therefore, when we talk about the 4 percent that the employers should pay on the wages, or hospitals should pay the 4 percent or the 2 percent that the doctors pay, it's not really a tax, because in the end they're all going to benefit."

There's a certain amount of logic to Schwarzenegger's position from a policy standpoint. Medical care providers would receive a multibillion-dollar net gain under the governor's scheme, even after paying the levies, and employers who don't provide health care are, in effect, being subsidized by taxpayers and employers who do cover workers. Extension of coverage to the uninsured would require someone to pay the tab. Schwarzenegger calls it "shared responsibility" that involves money from government, employers, health care providers, insurers and consumers.

Lately, there have been a series of nauseating radio ads about how "the uninsured kids can't get health care" and how it isn't fair to those of us who pay medical insurance because they wind up using very costly emergency rooms, implying that it would be cheaper to have state government mandated health insurance.

Nice try, but the fact is that as long as there is an illegal alien invasion, there will continue to be people overwhelming the emergency rooms! Unless you plan to sign up every illegal alien who crosses into the health care plan. And frankly at that point:

1. To enforce that, we would have such a degree of border control that illegal aliens COULDN'T get in....

2. Many illegals (and their employers) would probably prefer to get paid (or pay) in cash under the table and not pay the health care tax!

Columnist Debra Saunders outlines further why this is a disaster.

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