Universal Catastrophic Coverage

Political Post (run while you can)—I’m not posting this to stir the pot or start a heated argument (yeah, good luck with that, B), and I’m not going to tolerate any comments ranting about “OBAMA!” or whatever boogeyman you perceive that hijacks what this post is actually about…but I’ve been meaning to comment on the whole health care thing for a while now. And in light of the apparent crash and burn of the Republicans health care plan this week, and the fact I seem to have more than five minutes of time on my hands to spare at this moment, here goes:
Everybody needs health care. Rich or poor, young or old, we are all susceptible and at risk of needing lots of health care at various points of our lives. You can eat right, you can exercise daily…but you can randomly develop a long term illness through absolutely no fault of your own. Or, you can always drive carefully, look both ways at an intersection before moving on a green light, don’t text while driving, and never drink and drive…but you can randomly be the victim of another such driver who is careless or some other freak scenario that is simply being in the wrong place at the wrong time. Either way, the medical bills that come from the kind of care needed to help you recover can bankrupt nearly anyone who is not in the so-called One Percent. We all need health care, and based on what I’ve just said, everybody should be willing to help pay for a system that enables everyone to have access to it. It’s “just” figuring out the best way to do that that’s the trick.
I know there are problems with ObamaCare, and I know people who are paying tens of thousands of dollars a year to cover their families. If you make too much to qualify for subsidies, you’re basically f****d. But I hardly think the legislation the Republicans were offering was going to make a single thing any better, and I say good riddance to their bill collapsing (well, for now, anyway). But what can be done to make things better?
I don’t think there’s a perfect system that works flawlessly, and I think what may work in another country may not be feasible here in America, for various reasons. But I do think a step in the right direction would be to start with giving everyone universal catastrophic coverage: If your medical bills in a given year exceed a set portion of your annual income, the government covers it, whether it be through some kind of expanded Medicare or Medicaid or whatever. Whether that portion is ten percent of your income, or 15 or 20 is a matter of taste. That would help relieve most people’s fears of debilitating medical expenses ruining them financially. Taxes would have to be adjusted accordingly to finance such a system, but I’ve read articles stating it would actually save money versus Obamacare. In addition, people would still be able to buy supplemental private insurance to cover routine medical expenses, and those plans would ostensibly be cheaper, since insurers would no longer have to allow for covering major illnesses or injuries since that would be spotted by the government.
I also think everybody should be able to write off their premiums (as of now, only self-employed people can do that), as well as all of their medical expenses (as of now, you can only do that if you itemize your tax deductions, and even then only the amount above ten percent of your income).
I don’t know that this would fix everything, or even be affordable without raising taxes beyond what people would tolerate. But I tend to think that simplest is best, and that universal catastrophic coverage is a good conversation for us to start having.
BONUS: Before people on the Right who think I’m a liberal just because I don’t like Trump start blasting my idea as some kind of “socialist” hand out simply because I, an alleged liberal, am advocating it…Universal Catastrophic Coverage has been championed by various conservative think tanks for years. This is a conservative proposal, and I can link to several conservative articles (even f-ing BREITBART; no shit, one came up during my Google search on the topic) that go into greater detail on it. As a moderate, I don’t look at an idea and say, “Oh, the Republicans came up with this, it must be BAAAAAAAAAD!! BOOOO!!! HISSSSSS!!!”, and I don’t look at a Democratic proposal and assume it must wonderful and good. I just look at an idea and ask, “Will it fucking work?”. (And for the record, I didn’t think what the Republicans were offering in their health care alternative would work at all, so I was against it.) The Republicans would do well consider Universal Catastrophic Coverage when they revisit health care.

Election 2016

Just a few more weeks until this clusterfuck of an election is over. Hopefully. I mean, hopefully it’s clear cut and indisputable, and HOPEFULLY the loser—AHEM, cough, cough—concedes and doesn’t incite violence acts—AHEM, cough cough. I was talking to some friends at a party last week, and something got said that was very profound: If it was ANYBODY else but Trump, the Republicans would probably have this election in the bag.

Despite some who claim I’m a liberal—on the apparently damning evidence that I don’t like the Tea Party faction of the Republican Party, nor do I like Trump—I am actually pretty moderate in my politics. You don’t get to define me, jackass. I’ve said this before, but 20 years ago my politics would have been solidly center-right; remember there was a time when Colin Powell was considered a legitimate contender for the Republican nomination in 1996. That’s my round about way of saying if the Republicans had nominated someone like John Kasich, or even Marco Rubio (Ted Cruz remains a stretch for me)…I’d seriously be leaning into the Republican column.

I’m sure some of my reasonable friends on the right will now try to sway me with Trump’s policies being similar to Kasich’s or Rubio’s, etc, yada yada…save it. Bottom line is, I can’t trust him not to fuck this country to holy hell, nor rely on the “grown ups” in the Republican Party to rein him in. I don’t even think he really WANTS the job; it’s just one gigantic ego trip he’s been on and I doubt even he thought he’d get this far. Now he’s too far in it to quit, but since he doesn’t really want the job, he just keeps playing to his base without even trying to bring swing votes in. At least with Hillary, I feel she can actually do the job competently, flaws and all. Not the most resounding endorsement, but there you have it.

Undecided Voters

Because what Facebook needs is yet another political post:

I do wonder how many people are still genuinely undecided between Clinton and Trump, to the point where the debates (both the actual presidential ones and people arguing on social media) might influence them one way or the other. It seems to me that everyone who is voting for Trump has already committed to him, and the undecided voters are really just conflicted about whether to hold their noses and vote for Clinton, or vote third party or even write in, say, Bernie Sanders. I just think it’s hard to believe that people at this point are still weighing Clinton vs Trump per se; it’s really got to be Clinton vs third party/write-in for the undecided voters. That’s just my intuition on the matter; I haven’t really researched who the undecided voters are.

The Republican Presidential Race 2016

Political Post: This is just an observation, and not a pro or against anybody I mention. (This is my now standard political disclaimer attempting to head off predictable comments hijacking this thread, heh. Wish me luck with that.)

Everybody has been obsessed with Trump and people are convinced he’s going to win the nomination. I’ve tended to disagree. I’ve maintained for a while that as soon as enough “mainstream” candidates drop off, their votes are going to coalesce around the remaining mainstream guy and eventually overtake Trump. Christie is out, Bush dropped out last night, and Kasich needs to drop out now, too. You add up the latter two’s votes from last night to Rubio’s, and that number beats Trump.

It’s obviously a three man race between Trump, Cruz, and Rubio; enough voters have spoken that the others need to stop wasting their time and energy (as well as ours).

RE: The Democrats. I still think Hillary is going to pull it out against Sanders, but it’s a lot more competitive so far than I expected.