Monday, February 11, 2008

A Vote for Ron Paul

I can definitely be a one-issue voter. I can remember somebody saying when Gilmore was running for Governor of Virginia: "tsk, tsk, it's awful that people voters can be one-issue-voters and elect Gilmore because he's promising to end the 'car tax' " I immediately responded, "yeah, well that's me, I hate that tax!"

Now I'm absolutely all wound up again and brother I had to vote for Ron Paul and yessir yabetcha it's a one issue thing again!

What burning issue has me riled up? The tax man cometh, and I was reminded yet again that the tax code does not allow people to deduct medical expenses unless they are enormous: the first 7.5% of your income. I think this is outrageously wrong, personally. It certainly flies in the face of the modern notion as to what a person should have to pay out of his own pocket for health care [i.e. as close to absolutely nothing as possible]. But think about it - it does fit perfectly with the government's notions about personal health care expenses, which is that those personal expenses can cost next to nothing as long as part of the payments go to support the Bureaucracies they have created.

Last year our family had some dental expenses, and we didn't want to wait to cover these unexpected expenses by setting up a Flex plan. There really are a lot of problems with these Flex programs, the major problem being it is too hard to predict what your uncovered medical expenses are going to be. Yet you have to able to do this perfectly in advance or any excess money you set aside actually can be taken from you. Dental expenses are a good example of what Flex plans are not good for as they often arise on an emergency basis and often are not in the nature of something that can reasonably be postponed. So yet again I'm thinking, maybe we'll be able to take it off our taxes, but oh no, the amount would have to be far greater than it is and we just have to eat these expenses. Thanks a lot US tax code!

So how does this lead me to vote for Ron Paul in the Virginia primary? Let me explain.

I decided I needed to finally bone up on how each candidate stood on the issue of health care. Then by golly I could vote for the guy who represented my views the best! Each candidate's website has a section for "issues, " so, it was pretty easy to do. It was interesting to read between the lines.

For example, looks to me like the issue of Universal Health Care has become urgent for some reasons I didn't know about. Turns out one of the things breaking the bank for Medicaid is that people who wind up on it are usually uninsured, then when they have health problems they really sock it to the government. To be put in this position is like allowing a person to drive around without car insurance, wait until they get into an accident, then go get whatever insurance they need and use it to cover them for the accident they just had. Of course private insurance isn't done that way. In fact one of the notorious techniques they have to control costs, canceling that insurance after paying off, is unavailable to the government. Seems that policy wonks have really decided this situation has to go, believing that it's going to be possible to collect some kind of payments out of most of these same people while they are healthy. Supporting Universal Health Care, then, is win-win for these candidates, as the policy wonks are going to be in support of what they say while they get to look like what they care about is all the poor people.

It was also asserted by Obama that three quarters of health care costs today are generated by people with chronic problems like diabetes and heart disease. I didn't know that either; and man that has to be clobbering Medicaid now.

So anyway I went through all the candidate's positions on health care and most of them weren't really saying what I want to hear. For one thing, one of the things that is really wrong with our system IMO seems to be only mentioned by Huckabee. He points out that the employer based insurance that predominates is a flawed thing that came about "as a way around World War II wage-and-price controls." I'd like all the candidates to home in on this, and I'm ready to rant about it, but am going to save that for another post.

When I got to Ron Paul things frankly weren't much better but I have to give him credit for saying one thing I wanted to hear: he says he's for "making all medical expenses tax deductible." Hooray! Mr. one-issue, Yours Truly, zoomed to the polling station and gave Paul the honors.

I suppose I have to let you know that I often just do a "protest vote" and really this was one of those times. If Paul had any chance at all, I'd have to reconsider really voting for him. But as it was, it felt really good!

PS: while researching positions I came across a set of really, really idiotic stuff from so-called experts. Some moron is actually quoted as saying a good idea is to eliminate health insurance altogether [#7]. Now I'm as ready to listen to varied opinions as anybody, but that has to be the stupidest thing ever said when it comes to ideas about fixing health care. The other dolts are not much better. God save us from experts!