Far be it for a Forester with mud on his boots to disagree with Mr. [Rob] Colones, the President of a huge health care system, such as McLeod Health, about a topic within the health care system, but here goes!
In his recent Op Ed encouraging S.C. to accept the $11.2 billion in federal funds to broaden health coverage for the uninsured in our state, his obvious slanted view has to be recognized and addressed.
I think that all of the views that I have read which are in favor of accepting the federal funds and control have come from folks who have a vested (financial) interest in selling health care. They stand to gain financially from this federal government expansion of power over our individual health care. The opposing views come from our local elected officials who are knowledgeable about the long-term effect that this will have on our well-being, as well as informed citizens.
Mr. Colones’ article states that 44,000 jobs will be created by accepting the federal funds. Are we to believe that the federal government adding 44,000 jobs to administer yet another federal program in our state alone is a good thing? What has the federal government ever run that has been efficient? What projected costs have ever been accurate? The “Affordable Healthcare Act” is already 100% over budget and is only in its beginning stages. How confident are we to believe that if our state is to end up paying only 10% of this cost that the federal government will be able to pay the other 90% or that we will be able to pay our 10% , and most importantly, 10% of what figure?
Mr. Colones says that these jobs will boost the state’s economy and generate sufficient tax to offset the difference that it will cost the state (you and me). He simply will not admit that these 44,000 jobs are funded by tax dollars paid by you and me, not by the private sector economy. It’s not “free money” that falls from the sky. We would be adding to our already overburdened federal and state tax bill.
In his slanted article Mr. Colones touts his 44,000 job figure as accurate but casts doubt on Rep. Alan Clemons’ 23,000 jobs figure as a result of the construction of I-73, a project that he compares to the expansion of health care due to the fact that the construction of I-73 would be paid for with 70% - 80% federal funds. Mr. Colones, all 50 states agree that the bill for the interstate highway system will be shared by all. That is fact. We have agreed to share the cost for insurance for the poor through Medicaid, a federal program that we have seen skyrocket in cost. That is fact. We have never agreed that we will share the bill for health insurance for people who will not work.
We have never seen a federally funded give-away program end, but we have always seen the cost of that program grow exponentially.
I think that we should compare this to the government’s education scholarship programs and what has happened to the cost of a college education. We agreed on the S.C. Lottery to help fund college education and look what happened to the cost of college tuition. It has grown at a much faster rate than inflation. The colleges and universities have obviously taken advantage of the funds that were supposed to help us with the cost of educating our children and in truth education costs us more today than it did before.
Will the same thing happen with the cost of health care? If you and I agree to pay for the health insurance of those who will not work, will the cost of health services increase to offset it all? The answer is yet another question. “ Are there people who make money from health care?”
Our problem lies in the cost of health insurance and in government interference with health coverage. When I purchase health insurance and see the agent makes an automatic 25% profit, when I see that I cannot go outside of my state to purchase insurance that is cheaper, when I see the federal government mandating what my insurance company will cover and what coverage I can purchase, when I see that my personal health coverage went up 20% since Affordable Health Care (Obama Care) was signed into law in 2010, and I hear the call for more government control, my head spins.
Opinions that appear on this page in Letters to the Editor or in columns do not necessarily reflect the opinions of this newspaper.
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