Health care comprises of 1/6th of our economy. The health care bill recently signed into law will increase that amount despite the political rhetoric from those who support it. The source they cite, the CBO has released information detailing the changes in costs for health care and the private sector costs of the individual mandate.
The individual mandate presents an unbelievable and arguably unconstitutional overreach of federal authority. With it, the federal government has told us that under the interstate commerce clause they can regulate intra-state, non-commercial inactivity. The other justification, that it is just a tax, sets the precedent that anything the government describes as a tax is within its authority. This encroachment into our personal lives cannot continue and must be stopped now.
Medicare's obligations and financing structure are unsustainable. In 2003, the Congressional Budget Office estimated that 30 percent of Medicare's future growth would be due to society's aging, while 70 percent would be due to the rising cost of health care. Existing revenue streams for Medicare are insufficient to keep the promises that Congress has made to future beneficiaries. Medicare's trustees estimated that Congress would need to put over $80 trillion in an interest-bearing account to cover those future funding gaps.
Absent from the recent health care debate was any discussion which talked about an individual's ability to make important choices concerning their medical future. The need for medicare and medicaid would diminish if the federal government deregulated the insurance industry, which allowed the insurance companies to compete freely for consumer business. Removing barriers to safe medicines, rather than obeying the dictates of lobbyists, would create an affordable drug market. Helping to establish a medical savings account would put the choice back into the hands of the individual, and place responsibility and choice in the hands of the people. Such proposals would also allow us to preserve our position as pioneers in medical innovation. These concepts create a society in which all will enjoy the savings and benefits, instead of those who have the political power to create legislative subsidies.