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  • A Modest Proposal

    Posted by Jonathan on April 12th, 2019 (All posts by )

    New ‘Medicare for All’ Bill Would Kick 181 Million Off Private Insurance

    Now might be a good time for new federal legislation requiring all members of Congress to use only Medicaid for their own non-emergency medical care. The plan’s features could include:

    -Doctors assigned randomly from a list of the Medicaid providers in each member’s district.

    -Penalties (fines? misdemeanor/felony? the posting of the member’s name in an online ledger?) for going outside of this system for treatment without prior approval.

    -Prior approval to require a unanimous vote by a panel of citizens selected randomly from a list of the registered voters in each member’s district.

    Of course this legislation would have no chance of passage. Its purpose would be to make Congressional single-payer advocates explain why they should be exempt from it, and then why the rest of us should be be subjected to their hare-brained socialized-medicine schemes.

    Make them live by their own rules, as a great man once said.


    9 Responses to “A Modest Proposal”

    1. Brian Says:

      Notice how no blue state has passed anything like “Medicare for all” or any other similar scheme.

    2. Mike K Says:

      The great weakness of Medicare, especially if it were to be extended, is the absence of co-pays, which would allow the market to do the job of controlling utilization. The old term”Land Office Business” refers to the infinity demand for free stuff. The French system, which I think the best alternative for serious reform for us, uses a basic reimbursement AFTER the patient pays the doctor, and then allows doctors to charge more if they are able to get someone to pay.

      It also changes medical education. A college degree is not required and medical school is free.

      The Democrats would never agree to a market system for controlling utilization. Let alone Socialists.

    3. Gavin Longmuir Says:

      This might be a special case of the more general Constitutional Amendment I would like to see put into effect:

      1. All laws passed by Congress, and any regulations based on those laws, apply with full force to Members of Congress.

      2. The penalty for a Member of Congress who breaks any law or regulation is [much more severe than applies to any non-elected citizen; I favor public flogging, even for jay-walking, but am open to other suggestions].

      3. If any law passed by Congress, or regulation based on such law, is found to conflict in any way with any pre-existing law or regulation, the Members of Congress who voted for that law will be immediately removed from office, be permanently barred from all elected offices, and will be [severely punished – public flogging seems appropriate, but other suggestions are welcome].

    4. Brian Says:

      How about this:
      Weak form: Term limits for Congressmen/Senators, 18 total years.
      Stronger form: Term limits, plus Senators are ineligible for serving as President for 10 years after leaving office.
      Strongest form: Term limits, plus Senators are executed at the end of their term of office.

    5. Gavin Longmuir Says:

      Brian — Apparently back in the days of the Ancient Greek city states, citizens would vote at the end of a leader’s term in office on whether to banish him from the city. While I like your Strongest form, those Ancient Greeks may have something to tell us.

      More practically, New Mexico used to have a provision in the State Constitution that the Governor could not succeed himself; thus there was never an incumbent in a gubernatorial election. Sadly, the Political Class deep-sixed that provision.

      That approach of disqualifying an incumbent from running for election may be better than Term Limits. First, an elected representative has a full time job representing his constituents, and should not be spending his time running for office on the citizen’s dime. Second, it would make it much harder for anyone to be a career politician, since they would need to find another job at the end of their term of office — and that can only be good for democracy.

      It would also be good to see full public financial disclosure from every candidate (including candidate’s family) when he runs for office, annually while he is in office, and for 3 years following the end of his term. Death penalty for evasion or corruption — preferably by public hanging outside the seat of government (to encourage the others).

    6. ColoComment Says:

      Gavin, flogging is good. A day or week in the stocks for a culprit to enjoy public humiliation might also serve well. I suspect that, given the typical overwhelming pride and arrogance of that group, extended humiliation might be more feared by such than temporary infliction of pain. Also, infliction of pain might be deemed unconstitutional under “cruel and unusual,” where mere humiliation might not. Dunno ’bout that: lawyers might have to weigh in, eh?

      I would add one item to that amendment: all laws passed by Congress, and any regulations promulgated pursuant to such laws, shall expire (“sunset”), and shall have no further force or effect, on the “xx”th anniversary of the date of passage, unless renewed inclusive of the same termination provisions by recorded vote(s) taken within 12 months prior to the expiration date, and the vote required for passage of renewal shall be identical to that required for the original legislation.

      I’m sure the lawyers could tidy and tighten that up nicely, but I believe the gist is there?

    7. Gavin Longmuir Says:

      ColoComment — That sunset provision is good. The need for regular renewal of laws against murder, theft, etc would take up a bunch of law-makers time, and reduce their ability to dream up new intrusions on liberty.

      It might also be good to require that any law has to be read in full to the entire Chamber, with any member who skips out on listening to part of the reading being ineligible to vote on that law. Congress would still be listening to that thousand page Obamacare law! No electronic voting either. Every representative would have to sign his name to the official final copy of the law — time consuming? Yes, that is the point.

      There are many steps which could be taken to restore common sense. Perhaps it would be wise to require 60% vote to impose a new law, but only a 40% vote to repeal any law. Give power back to the States by requiring that any law passed by Congress requires concurrence from 2/3 of the States before it goes to the President for approval. Eliminate regulations imposed by unelected agencies — citizens should be bound only by laws passed by democratically-accountable elected representatives. As for judges — legislating from the Bench really should in all seriousness be treated as treason; tyranny by Judges is still tyranny.

      But I know I am dreaming. The only way the Political Class will give up power now is if it is pried from their cold dead fingers.

    8. Assistant Village Idiot Says:

      I would be thrilled if we could get even the weakest of these forms.

      George McGovern was part of starting new businesses after his retirement from the Senate, and repented of some of the legislation he had voted for.

    9. OBloodyHell Says:

      Make them live by their own rules, as a great man once said.

      Come the revolution, this needs to be part of the new Constitution:

      “Congress Shall Eat Its Own Dogfood.”

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