Our healthcare system is broken. Super broken. IMHO, the only thing more broken is our politics, and we’ll talk about that tomorrow.
Healthcare is broken for a number of reasons, but if we’ve got to pick one, it’s got to be Medicare. Yesterday, an Op Ed in the StarTribune reported that an orthopedic surgeon in the U.S. charges twice as much for that procedure as doctors in other Western countries. That doctor charges what he does based on what Medicare will reimburse him for that procedure. The calculation is usually this: take what Medicare will reimburse, upcharge 65%, and send that bill to the insurance company or, in the worse case scenario, to the uninsured patient.
In each of these posts, I am basically trying to claim that we’ve lost commonsense on some of the biggest issues facing the country. This is one.
I understand the Supreme Court’s decision that a corporation is a citizen, and is afforded the same rights that a private citizen has. That is ridiculous, and I’ll tackle it on Thursday.
But for now, let’s talk about our problem with not enough revenue in our government. While I agree that some entitlement programs need to be cut (see tomorrow), we also need more money in the coffers. That money can and should come from corporations, many of which have the ability to pay.
The problem, it seems, is that they also have the money to pay for lawyers and accountants to find ways for them to not pay taxes. Running a cost-benefit analysis, their money is currently better spent on the latter.
I doubt that a flat tax, or even a simplified graduated tax rate, will ever come to be for individuals. But — and I say this as a small business owner — it seems totally reasonable to flatten and simplify the tax rates for corporations. Because, if corporations are indeed citizens, then they have a keen interest in the recovery of the American economy, not just in their own bottom lines.
I am very, very privileged in that I went to one of the best public school systems in the world — that’s right, I’d say the world, not just in the U.S. And my children now attend this same school system, which is showered with awards and accolades regularly.
But many kids in America do not get this great educational start. Instead, they are at schools that have well-meaning but overworked and undervalued teachers.