Thursday, July 23, 2009

What $10,000 will buy you these days

Another line from Obama that stuck out from last night's speech on Health care:

This is about the middle-class college graduate from Maryland whose health insurance expired when he changed jobs and woke up from the emergency surgery that he required with $10,000 worth of debt.

I wonder what that middle-class college graduate paid for college? If he were a Minnesota resident attending our public University of Minnesota, he would have paid actually $11,476 for tuition and fees for two semesters of education as an undergraduate. This doesn't include the costs of books or room and board.

For $11,476 you can sit in a classroom for seven months, write some papers and take some tests--or you can have your life saved. Hmmm. And I'm assuming Joe College Graduate went to a public University. Don't you wish the media would ask for more information on Joe College Graduate that Obama referred too?

A mere 14 years ago when I was at the University I paid $3,500 for one year of undergraduate Education. With inflation, that amount should be $5,086 today. Yet it's $11,476.

Here in Minnesota DFL legislators don't even think there should be caps on tuition. I continually ask this question:

Why do Democrats believe that the cost of health care should be "contained" and capped, but not the cost of public Education? You have a building cost, a teacher cost, what else?

Students, can you spell U-N-I-O-N?


Goose said...

Yes indeed, let's ask some more questions about JCG and did JCG ask these questions when switching jobs?

1) Did he ask the question when he left his existing job if he could pay for COBRA benefits to keep his insurance in tact as he was switching jobs? Or did he have the option and ignore it? COBRA is a federal program that helps with continuing coverage during job transitions (voluntary or involuntary).

2) Did he change jobs to an employer that did not offer health coverage?

3) Did he decide that he would just get new insurance with his new job? If so and he started his job, he would have health coverage.

4) Did he decide he was pretty healthy and didn't need health coverage at his new employer?

Lot's of unanswered questions on this one. That being said, there are always examples like these that get senationalized and become the reason for change...

Jim said...

The government (i.e., taxpayers) pays for somewhere close to half of all medical care in this country. Is it any wonder that the prices are out of control? They caused this problem and now they expect to come rescue us with another poorly designed plan?

Similarly, the government subsidizes loans for college, has all kinds of grants and scholarships, and devalues High School education to the point where it's pretty much worthless, so is there any wonder demand (and therefore tuition) is skyrocketing?

Not that there isn't plenty of waste and other stuff in both education and health care, but government intervention is a huge factor. Of course, they're constantly devaluing the dollar with their deficit spending, which also adds to inflated costs of everything.

I agree that redundant tests are a waste of money, and some of the other examples he talked about probably make sense. But then to take those "savings" and blow way more than that on more spending is silly. If people or private insurance paid for the tests, they (or the insurance company) would probably say, "yeah, I just had that and here are the results, don't waste money doing it again." When the government pays, sure, whatever, test away. The answer isn't to have more government bureaucrats and regulators telling you what tests are needed, it's to get the government out of the system and let free market forces cut costs on their own.

I also liked how Obama took sides in the arrest and release of the black professor without hearing much about it. I have no idea how aggressive he was toward the officer, or how "stupid" the officer was toward him. I wasn't there. Neither was Obama. Unless he has some secret video that we don't know about it, he isn't really qualified to comment on it. Then he went on about racial profiling and how blacks and latinos are "disproportinately" stopped by police as if that's some evidence of racial bias. How about looking at the crime stats and seeing which two groups commit a disproportionate amount of crime? Hmm, police arresting/stopping group X more than group Y because group X actually commits more crime (on average, per capita) than group Y. How bigoted! Law enforcement is racist and must be stopped! They are either going to waste resources stopping more of group Y, or let criminals escape by stopping less of group X, or both, since they'll have their funding cut when the budget is tight and no one can touch welfare spending and instead goes straight to police/fire spending reductions.

Sheila said...

I love how the Chicago Sun-Times fed that last question- which had absolutely NOTHING to do with health care- so that Obama could be seen as a "victim" himself.

The POTUS-- a victim.