Posted tagged ‘fraud’

Health Care Reform Is Not About Health, Care, or Reform

August 22, 2009

lego_ambulanceI have come to the conclusion that health care reform is not about health, care, or reform. And this is why.

We already have a government run health care plan in this country – it is called Medicaid. If Medicaid doesn’t cover enough of the people who can’t afford private health insurance or those who can’t get private health insurance at any price, why aren’t we talking about Medicaid reform?

If the reason is because Medicaid is a broken system that is almost out of funds and is rife with fraud at all levels, then why should we believe that a new public health plan would fare any better?

Any real reform of the health care system in America would need to focus on four key issues:

  • Medicaid reform
    Fix what is broken and expand it to cover more of those who need it.
  • Tort reform
    I find the idea of health courts which would be similar to workers’ compensation courts very intriguing.
  • Tax reform
    Employers are allowed to deduct 100% of the health insurance premiums they pay for their employees. Individuals who purchase their own private health insurance should also be allowed to deduct 100% of their premiums on their income tax returns.
  • Regulation reform
    Allow insurance companies to do business across state lines. At the very least, allow them to offer high-deductible, HSA-qualifying plans nationwide.

By giving little, if any, attention to these key points, the federal government is telling us that health care reform is not really the purpose of the various bills currently floating around Congress. The true purpose is to increase tax revenues because government spending is at historic highs while income (in the form of tax revenues) is at historic lows.

This is why the plans, the House bill in particular, have far more sticks than carrots. Revenue will increase through several measures including:

  • New penalty taxes on individuals who do not have health insurance.
  • New penalty taxes on small businesses that do not offer health insurance to employees.
  • Implied increase in corporate taxes on insurance companies will benefit from the plan by picking up millions of new customers who don’t want to get stuck paying the above penalty taxes.
  • New income taxes on the wealthiest citizens.

Will all that money be spent on health care? Does the Social Security Trust Fund contain any actual money? No. Do seriously wounded veterans get their disabilty checks in a timely manner? No.

Again, why should we believe that an enormous new federal social program and its attendant bureaucracy function any better?

Don’t be fooled by all the rhetoric on either side of the ongoing, heated debate. It’s never been about anything but the money.

Banksters Part III: TARP Fraud

April 26, 2009

godfather21Neil Barofsky, special inspector general for the TARP bailout program has already launched twenty investigations into possible securities fraud, tax violations, insider trading and other crimes related to the bailout funds.

In the 250-page report Barofsky submitted to Congress last week, he also expressed serious concerns about Treasury’s latest bailout propgram, the PPIP. As Reuter’s blogger Felix Salmon observed, “not only is Barofsky worried about PPIP participants gaming the system, he’s also worried that the whole thing could easily become a front for money launderers”.

Banksters Part II: An Offer BofA Could Not Refuse

April 26, 2009

gf-brandoNew York Attorney General Andrew Cuomo has sent an angry letter to regulators … regarding the behavior of Hank Paulson and Ben Bernanke over the allegation that they forced Bank of America (BAC) to complete its acquisition of Merrill Lynch.

Bank of America CEO Ken Lewis may become subject to an SEC investigation and will certainly have to answer to angry shareholders. But what of Bernanke and Paulson?

Former Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson “admitted to Andrew Cuomo that he threatened to oust Ken Lewis and the Bank of America board if Bank of America invoked a Material Adverse Change (MAC) clause to block the deal, Cuomo says.  Paulson also added, however, that he made this threat at the request of Ben Bernanke”, a statement he later recanted

Mike (Mish) Shedlock wrote in his blog, “It’s crystal clear from the letter that a strong case can be made that Paulson and Bernanke coerced Lewis to carry out a merger agreement that was not in Bank of America’s shareholders best interest. Lewis arguably did so only to save his own job and the board.”

I’m with Mish – let the criminal indictments begin: Paulson, Bernanke, Lewis.