Friday, July 31, 2009

How Government Health Care Would Work (see Cash for Clunkers)

UPDATE 7/31/2009: $2 Billion More for Failed "Cars for Cash" The federal government wants to help you buy a new car. They just don't know how to do that efficiently. How typical. A program called "Cash for Clunkers," which started on July 1, has already burned its $1 Billion in funding, and members of Congress are making a confused rush to "fix" the program. The program is officially called CARS (Car Allowance Rebate System) (see the website here). The CARS website makes no mention of the program's funding crisis. A PDF document there says, "The estimated funds remaining shown on the gauge to the right are estimated funds only. This page will be updated daily for informational purposes only. This is not official fund balancedealers should refer to when entering in their transactions." Problem is, there is no guage shown and they are not updating it daily as stated. At 10:40 am (CDT) on July 31, the PDF stated that the document was "Last updated 7/28/2009 at 9am EST." The idea behind Cash for Clunkers was to give hefty rebates to people for trading in their old cars. "Under the plan as enacted," reports CNN, "vehicles purchased after July 1 will be eligible for refund vouchers worth $3,500 to $4,500 on traded-in gas guzzlers. The trade-in vehicle has to get combined city and highway fuel economy ratings of 18 miles per gallon or less." Poorly funded, poorly administrated, poorly planned to begin with, Cash for Clunkers serves as a precursor of how government run health care would work. Moe Lane wrote a good summary of the situation on July 30, which noted the following (emphasis added): "...the program started on July 1, they only published the actual rules Friday, and they’re still working out how to get the dealers their money. If you’re shrugging over that, consider this: what’s essentially happening here is that car dealerships are giving $4,500 interest-free, unguaranteed loans to the federal government… and the determination of whether or not those loans get paid off is more or less going to be at the discretion of mid-level bureaucrats at the NHTSA. Even if they do repay every loan, it’s apparently going to take time for the system to smooth out; it’s an open question whether it’ll straighten out before the official end of the program in November. And the car dealerships - the only producers of goods in this particular equation, and the ones that the government is ostensibly trying to help - get all the headaches." How would you like health care to be run like that? You wouldn't, of course, but remember that the same fools who cobbled together Cash for Cars are the same fools who slammed together the 1,018 page health care legislation that just failed to pass in Congress. How many members of Congress have actually read the entire 1,018 page document, let alone actually understand it? The Cars for Cash legislation was far fewer pages and far less complicated, yet it collapsed in spectacular failure within a month of beginning. In typical government fashion, more money is being sought to extend the horrible program. According to CNN, "One of the program's main champions in Congress, Sen. Debbie Stabenow, D-Mich., told CNN that the Michigan, Ohio and Indiana congressional delegations are working on a $2 billion extension of Clunkers program." It is the stupidity and mad inefficiency of programs like Cash for Clunkers that has so many Americans leary of any government run health care. People are right to question how well an extremely complicated system such as health care - which directly affects life and death medical decisions - when a simple used car program is so badly screwed up by the very people who want to control your medical care. RELATED: Government's 'Cash for Clunkers' Program Runs Out of Gas Early ... - Wall Street Journal Congress rushing to further fund cash for clunkers - Baltimore Sun Cash For Clunkers Funds Gone in One Week? - US Launches 'Cash For Clunkers' Initiative - Voice of America Poll: More Americans wary of Barack Obama's health care plan ... Leave a Comment... See Our Online Store Chicago News Bench RSS Feed We're on Twitter...