"I wish they would only take me as I am" - Vincent Van Gogh               "How Can I believe in God when just last week I got my tounge caught in the roller of an electric typewriter?" - Woody Allen              "Our truest life is when we are in dreams awake" - Henry David Thoreau              "I took a speed reading course and read 'War and Peace' in twenty minutes. It involves Russia" - Woody Allen            "When promulgating esoteric cogitations, eschew platitudinous ponderosities" - Mark Rowan, my father            "Up, sluggard, and waste not life, for in the grave there will be sleep enough" - Benjamin Franklin             "What really interests me is whether God had any choice in the creation of the world." - Albert Einstein            "Welfare's purpose should be to eliminate, as far as possible, the need for its own existence" - Ronald Reagan            "It's odd that you can get so anesthetized by your own pain or your own problem that you don't quite fully share the hell of someone close to you." - Lady Bird Johnson              "I still want to be the candidate for guys with confederate flags in their pickup truck" - Howard Dean

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Graduate of the University of Oregon, Married for 4-1/2 years to my High School sweetheart. I am currently residing in Cleveland while I attend med school.

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    Thursday, April 06, 2006

    Massachusetts Passes Universal Health Care Legislation

    Though the bill hasn't officially been signed into law, Gov. Mitt Romney is expected to sign his approval for a bill that would provide or require health care for nearly every citizen within his state. The bill passed through the legislature with near unanimous support. Romney has said that under the plan, "Everybody pays something. No more entire free rides...Everybody pays what they can afford." This is a very Marxist statement from the Republican Governor.

    Unlike SB840 here in California, the Massachusetts plan is not a single-payer (i.e. government paid) plan, though it does require that people and businesses pay into a government fund. It creates massive subsidies to cover those who are unable to afford health-insurance (on the order of $125 just to cover the poorest of the poor), while mandating those who are able to afford it buy it. It also requires that businesses with 11 or more employees help pay for care.

    While this plan is nowhere nears dangerous as the single payer plan of SB840, it is still another solution that aims to treat the symptoms, not the disease, and I predict it will also have profound economic impacts to the state.

    Most restaraunts survive on margin. It's been called the easiest way to lose money. Profits from individual sales are small, and thus, restaraunts must rely on volume. When this bill becomes law, virtually every restaraunt (I can't imagine there are many with fewer than 11 employees) will now have the added cost of supplying health care. This is not a trivial expense, and I imagine it will place a heavy burden on many restaurants. If you were employed by a struggling small-business before, you won't have a job.

    I also disapprove of the mandate that those who are able to afford insurance must pay for it. This limitation of choice, I feel, is unamerican. While it may be difficult for people to recognize that some people choose not to buy insurance, it is a very real and common choice. Supporters claim that it is the equivalent to buying auto insurance, however, this is an inappropriate comparison. Most states have an auto-insurance minimum, that is basically liability. Your purchase of this minimum is not to protect you, but to protect the interests of others in the event that you are irresponsible. Purchasing additional insurance - the kind that protects your investment - is optional. Thus, insurance to protect your own investment remains your choice.

    While I don't think that this plan is truly in the best interest of everyone, or really addresses the underlying issues, I will say that if California is dead-set on providing socialized medicine, I hope that they drop SB840 in favor of a lower-cost, less-destructive plan such as this.

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