Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Geese, Government, and Ganders

I don’t know the exact figures, but for sake of argument, let’s say that Medicare and Medicaid reimburse medical service providers at something like 60 cents on the dollar.

This is ostensibly because they are purchasing services in the “common good,” and because they represent the single largest pool of service users, and therefore can “negotiate” favorable reimbursement rates. If you consider fiat negotiation.

And because those providers are serving government.

“Fair” enough, you might think.

If this ends up causing “cost shifting” elsewhere, so what – it’s for the common good, even if such shifting is another tax levy through the back door.

OK, let’s adopt that sense of fairness.

I demand that effective immediately, taxpayers be allowed to pay all federal, state, and local taxes due at a 60 cents on the dollar basis. Why? Because our taxes purchase services in the “common good,” and because we are the single largest pool of service users, and therefore should merit favorable reimbursement rates.

And besides, government exists to serve us, not the other way around. At least that's what I read somewhere once.

How could anything be fairer?

I’ll tell you how. In spite of the very low reimbursement rate, Maine State Government still owes service provides more than $400 million in back payments, and shows no signs of interest or ability to pay off such debt.

So to be even fairer, we should collectively tell the state that while we will be “reimbursing” them for services rendered with our taxes at 60 cents on the dollar, we will be withholding the first $400 million of those payments.

Let’s see how they hold up under this scenario! Let’s see where the “cost shifting” shows up. My guess is it will be at the currency printing presses, with a good dose of “toxic” financial instruments thrown in.

They decided to be the geese; it’s time we become the ganders. As our first assignment, why don’t we all fly in to the State House lawn, fertilize it real good, and squawk like hell.

This could be fun. Squawk, squawk!

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