This is the next installment in our series of contributions by a mysterious denizen of Mobile, Alabama, named “Felix Veritas.” I promise that I am not Felix and Felix is not I. In fact, there will surely be times when I disagree with Felix; I could take issue with a sentence or two in this installment.
Felix is very thoughtful and a terrific auto-didact, with a great sense for “the big questions” of culture and politics. I am delighted to have his contributions to this site. Please be on the lookout for more, in the coming months. — Quin
Since Hillary and Bill Clinton tried to con HillaryCare into law during the Clinton Administration’s first two years, one word remains conspicuously absent from the healthcare debate: “quality”.
President Obama and Democrats (much like the Clintons in the 90s) preach about “affordable coverage,” or “universal care.” But what if the care you receive is bad? Is the coverage worth anything if all you get is substandard medicine?
Of course not. And that’s why the Affordable Care Act proponents never use the word “quality.” Forget for the moment that the ACA isn’t actually ‘affordable’ for most low-income folks… like most things government-centric, the ACA isn’t efficient or effective. And Obama and his henchmen/women/persons knew it from Day One. Furthermore, quality care never was the ACA’s top priority, so emphasizing it wasn’t a consideration. But therein lies the opportunity for conservatives.
Healthcare – QUALITY, affordable healthcare – is a wide-open 3-point shot for President Trump and the GOP in this March Legislative Madness. But it requires ideas and guts that DC officials (especially GOP) haven’t heretofore shown.
An idea worth debating is targeted Surplus Charitable Donations (SCDs), which are donations yielding the donor a tax deduction worth more than the donation. For example, if ExxonMobil would donate $50 million to a charity hospital designated as a targeted Surplus Charitable Recipient (at least 40 percent Medicare/Medicaid patients), Exxon would receive a 107 percent tax deduction, or $53.5 million instead of $50 million. The charity hospital could use the funds for capital expenditures, or for operational costs associated with uninsured or indigent patients.
This plan incentivizes hospitals to take Medicare, Medicaid, uninsured and indigent patients. It also makes it…well…profitable for corporations to give those hospitals money. Per an article in ZeroHedge, ExxonMobil’s 2014 income tax bill was about $18 billion. Imagine if — instead of paying all that to Uncle Sam — they donated $10 billion in Surplus Charitable Donations and got the 7 percent additional deduction. ExxonMobil saves $700 million.
Think their board and shareholders are interested in that?
How many charity hospitals could we fund with $10 billion? How much money would it raise if corporations made a 7 percent annual return on charitable donations?
I haven’t seen recent studies on the percentage of each tax dollar government bureaucracy swipes from the ultimate program recipients. However, it’s safe to say the number is more than 7 percent. Clearly this plan increases efficiency as well.
So we create a more efficient funding model in addition to motivating parties to both serve and fund low-income citizens’ healthcare.
Obviously, the quality-of-care devils are in the details, but desperate times require unconventional solutions. Make no mistake, the American Healthcare System faces desperate times as Obamacare staggers toward collapse.
The GOP’s Obamacare repeal/replace stumble is a lost opportunity, but not irrevocable. The Left’s failure to serve middle and lower-class Americans is now undeniable. Most liberals, especially at the national level, barely hide their contempt for their own voters.
As Berkley’s protester-pocked streets burn and college campuses debate the validity of First Amendment Free Speech rights, Congressional leaders should remind the public that quality, affordable healthcare is the goal. Otherwise, we’re all just paying more to stay sick. And that’s not good for anyone.