Another recipe For Health Care Disaster-Colorado

This is an excerpt from a Politico piece on Colorado’s planned vote on a partial single-payer health plan.

If it sounds familiar, it should because people will be asked to vote for more for less which of course is always appealing, but what else would you expect from a state where you can hop on your motorcycle without a helmut after getting high on marijuana and go buy a gun without a permit?  Come to think of it, these folks may well need more “free” “affordable” health care. 😷

Most of the money to finance the model would come from a new payroll tax estimated to bring in $25 billion per year. Employers would pay two-thirds of the cost and workers would pay one-third. The state is also counting on $11.6 billion in annual federal funding it would otherwise receive through Medicaid and Obamacare.

Reid argues the new system would lead to lower administrative costs, more generous coverage without exorbitant deductibles and copays, and insure the people Obamacare has failed to cover — including undocumented immigrants.

A board of trustees would govern operations, be responsible for setting provider reimbursement rates and could negotiate lower prices with pharmaceutical companies. Yet similar to Vermont’s defunct plan, certain populations, including Medicare beneficiaries, are excluded from ColoradoCare. It wouldn’t abolish private insurance companies, who could still sell competing coverage.

So, will all health care providers be required to accept this coverage and the set fees?

Let me take another drag before I vote

Let me take another drag before I vote

Holy crap! Haven’t you heard this nonsense before like the promises of Obamacare, HMOs in the 1980s and more recently co-op health plans?

Are people really so stupid as to believe you can provide more benefits, lower out-of-pocket costs, less administration via a bureaucracy (I wonder if they are going to tell voters the State pension fund is only 60% funded when it should be at least 80%) and cover a high risk group that may not even be paying the payroll tax because they are undocumented, and at less cost?

Are voters in Colorado savvy enough to ask how all this can be accomplished while ignoring the laws of economics, mathematics and human nature? Will they ask what that payroll tax will be and what will happen when health care inflation outpaces wage increases?


1 reply »

  1. Well, so much depends on the details. You (you Dick) can make anything “work” if you take over the industry – so long as physicians and other medical professionals don’t decide to leave. However, for comparison, when they suggest they can mandate lower Rx prices, if I am a manufacturer of Rx, I don’t need to sell Rx to Colorado patients at a loss unless I can shift the cost to others, living outside Colorado. I know the politicians in CO don’t give a sh_t about other Americans, but, we’ll see. That is CO will be taking the same position as they do in France, Canada and elsewhere – where the cost of Rx development and manufacturing is shifted to Americans.

    Similarly, CO is counting on the federal government to bail them out to the tune of $11B in the 1st year (more, much more later). We saw this before, in Massachusetts where the federal government spent an added $2.5B/year on Medicaid so that MA could “solve” its medical access problem. In MA, they increased coverage by about 3% of the non-elderly population and spent billions more each year (not less) – so, they were happy to source much of those monies from federal taxpayers.

    The representations seem to be that they will have a system where there are no copays, no deductibles, no maximums, no limits, so that demand will quickly become “unlimited” (think of Medicare where the individual has met their deductible, has a full bore part B supplement, and needs elective surgery). If so, the question becomes one of supply and how the bureaucrats and politicians will attempt to limit supply. Keep in mind that no matter what they do inside the state to regulate physicians, hospitals and other medical services providers, I would not sell any products locally – where the state can limit my price. And, I’m certain they can’t limit the balance billing activity that will explode for products purchased from out of state or services delivered from remote locations. I can see hospitals springing up in Kansas, New Mexico, Nebraska, Wyoming, and Utah – just across the border.

    Finally, the 10% funding (6.67% employer, 3.33% employee) is likely to be inadequate – because employers are not likely to be static, over time. Expect to see corporate relocations. Expect to see radical changes in employment patterns. Let’s see, 10% of someone earning $30,000 a year is $3,000 (to finance coverage for a worker, spouse, two children – quite a buy). And, for someone earning $300,000, it would be $30,000 – except, of course, why wouldn’t you relocate that executive to another location. Check with Maryland, see how well they did with their “millionaire” tax – where in the first year of the new tax, the number of millionaires (in terms of income tax filings) declined from more than 3,000 to 2,000 – see: Check with Illinois, when they raised their income tax by 50+%, and their corporate rate by 46%. Check with Connecticut who just decided to play this game.

    And, of course, look for every unemployed individual, every individual on welfare, anyone who needs costly medical services to relocate to (or maybe even visit) Colorado. If they won’t turn away undocumented aliens, you think they will turn away undocumented Kansans?


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