Sunday, October 4, 2015

Wisdom in nursery rhymes

Remember this one?
There was an old woman who swallowed a cow,
I don't know how she swallowed a cow!
She swallowed the cow to catch the goat,
She swallowed the goat to catch the dog,
She swallowed the dog to catch the cat,
She swallowed the cat to catch the bird,
She swallowed the bird to catch the spider,
That wriggled and jiggled and tickled inside her,
She swallowed the spider to catch the fly,
I don't know why she swallowed the fly,
Perhaps she'll die.
Each "remedy" for the previous mistake just makes matters worse and requires a more extreme follow-on.

Why, you wonder, do I bring this up? Because everything that seems to come out of Washington, DC, seems to follow this pattern. Every "remedy" they put forth seems only to add to the problem. What's worse, is that the initial "problem" they set forth to fix was caused by them to begin with.
Take the past kerfuffle about the Hobby Lobby ruling. That's just a distraction... a side issue, arguing over the side effects of a treatment and not the root cause of the illness. I've heard it argued "Why should an employer get involved in anyone's healthcare?" Simple: Because we have demanded that they be involved in it by paying for it. With the ACA employer mandate, Washington has used the force of law to decree that employers are to be involved in our healthcare.

The essence is this: Why is health insurance even tied to an employer? I get my auto, home, and life insurance on my own... why not health insurance?

So now we get to the real issue...What caused the change that tied health care to our employers?

As you may guess, the problem originated as a response to policies put forth by Washington, DC. It was a way of circumventing the World War II wage and price controls. Barred from offering higher salaries to attract workers, employers offered health insurance instead. Aided by an IRS ruling that said workers who received health benefits did not have to pay income taxes on them, and by the fact that employers could write off the cost of the health benefits as a business related expense, this accidental arrangement became the primary way most Americans access health care.

So, that's the point where we swallowed a fly. And every remedy by DC since then has only added to the problem. I just worry about the last of the old lady's treatments...

"There was an old woman who swallowed a horse, She's dead—of course!" I can only hope we haven't gotten to the horse, yet.

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