It is my expectation, and the expectation of most, that the Supreme Court will rule the individual mandate within Obamacare as unconstitutional, rendering the balance of the law unworkable. While the demise of this bill will not break my heart, we are still left with serious health care problems to solve in this country.
Let’s explore a grand compromise that could possibly solve two of the biggest problems facing the country at this time; energy independence and health care. I think the idea that follows could gain much support from both the Right and the Left, and details could be resolved that would allow both sides to declare a win. More importantly though is the win for America.
One of the biggest problems with health care is how to pay for coverage for people with pre-existing conditions that preclude them from obtaining insurance. The cost of their health care is borne by the entire system as they use emergency rooms for treatment; the resulting costs are distributed across the entire system, resulting in higher medical costs and increased premiums for all. This is one problem that cannot be solved by market driven reforms.
An insurance pool must be created to allow these people to purchase insurance at competitive rates; but who is to pay the cost of financing this pool? We cannot expect insurance companies to cover the cost since they will have to pass it on to other policy holders. Asking taxpayers to cover the cost is a step down the socialized medicine route that will always be opposed by Conservatives.
So, who gets to pay the cost of solving this problem? Back to that question in a minute.
For a host of reasons, energy independence is vital to the country’s future. Alternative energy sources will not be economically viable for decades, and the country needs a dependable source of oil that satisfies the demands of all of North America. If you follow this blog, then you understand my fears of a world war that will eliminate all oil imports into the US from abroad. North America must be able to stand alone on this issue and cannot be held economically hostage by Middle East countries that will be hostile to us.
As we have discovered with natural gas, there is an abundant supply of oil reserves within our borders; enough to supply our country for many decades into the future. This supply must be used for America and its allies so that we can survive the economic jolt of severing ties to some of our existing suppliers. The economics of energy will be one of the greatest weapons in the future war.
As we open Federal lands to oil exploration and development, there will be an opportunity for enormous revenues and taxes. There my friends is the revenue source for the insurance pool we discussed. Someone else will have to crunch the numbers, but my guess is that revenues available from new domestic oil production will not only pay for this pool, there will be funds left over to stabilize Medicare and eliminate its negative effect on the national debt.
The Left will decry the development of domestic oil production, but will rally behind having a huge fund available to put towards health care programs. The Right will cheer the increase in oil production while grumbling about new and expanded Federal programs. From a political standpoint, everyone will have something to cheer, and reasons for jeer.
Who cares about Left/Right politics so let’s take a look at the outcome. A huge funding problem in health care will be solved that will allow market driven competition and reforms to solve the balance of the issues. A long term funding source that will not negatively impact our economy will be available for use without increasing the deficit. American jobs will be created as domestic oil production is ramped up within our borders. More importantly though, America will be in control of its own energy destiny and never again will be beholden to economic threats from hostile nations.
It is a big plan, a compromise worthy of America, and could be enacted quickly with the proper leadership from both sides. Do they have the courage to put election year politics aside for the benefit of the country? Probably not, but the opportunity is available for them to prove me wrong.
by Jack Woodward 3/31/12