Critical Condition

Another Reason to Make Health Insurance the Property of the People

In any competition, there’s nothing worse than having your own allies make unforced errors (or “own goals”, in soccer-speak). So, President Obama’s faction must be getting pretty frustrated with some recent New York Times articles.

Today, readers learned how ineffective Medicare is at covering patients needing kidney dialysis or transplant (over which it has exercised a monopoly since 1972.) Medicare stops paying for drugs that prevent the body’s immune system from rejecting the transplant after three years. The article suggests that employer-based group-health insurance pays for the drug as long as the patient needs them. Unfortunately, for very sick patients who can’t hold down a job, loss of employment results in an automatic sentence to Medicare’s limited benefits.

Readers also learned that non-profit organizations are rebelling at the tax reforms proposed as a part of the federal government take-over of Americans’ access to medical services, expecially the tax credit to small businesses to subsidise their employees’ coverage. Because non-profits don’t pay income tax, they would not get the credit.

Non-profits, large and small, range from ACORN to the Heritage Foundation! As long as the health “reform” fiddles with the income-tax code, they will be seriously disadvantaged. It’s a big head-ache for the president’s agenda.

But the solution is simple: give the tax break to the employees, to buy health insurance of their choice, which they won’t automatically lose if they lose their jobs.

— John R. Graham is director of Health Care Studies at the Pacific Research Institute