Friday, November 30, 2007

Hang on to Your Wallets!

It's almost a cliche to say, "If the Democrat wins, hang onto your wallet." But Presidential contender John Edwards demonstrates why it's a pretty accurate sentiment. Here are the nuts and bolts of his plan for univeral healthcare coverage:

  • When you file your income taxes, you will be required to submit a letter from an insurance provider confirming coverage for yourself and your dependents.

  • If you do not submit proof of coverage, the Internal Revenue Service will notify a new regional or state-based health-care agency.

  • The regional agency will then evaluate whether you are eligible for Medicare, Medicaid, S-CHIP.

  • If you are not eligible for existing public programs, the regional-health care agency will enroll you into the lowest cost health-care plan available.

  • You will have access to health benefits, but will also be responsible for making monthly payments with the help of a tax credit. The exact size of your obligation will vary according to your income.

  • If you do not meet your monthly financial obligation, the federal government will garnish your wages for purposes of collecting "back premiums with interest and collection costs."

    Yeah, that sounds like a plan that will attract a lot of voters. It also gives more power to the IRS, which is a surefire winner, creates 50 new beaurocracies, and creates a burden on employers to help the government garnish your wages. I wonder if Edwards works at it a little more if he can't make his plan even more heavy-handed.

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