The corona crisis offers America a unique opportunity to reform, remold or destroy old ways. That is the pitch from optimistic observers. There is a debate of the American situation is which is closer: late Imperial Rome or late Republican Rome? As the elected officials use this opportunity as a means to more looting, funding pet projects and more extraction for their dedicated donor networks, we may think late empire. Bold vision a la Julius Caesar is needed to make drastic changes that can set up the future empire. Our elite are not even as flamboyant and fun as late imperial Rome, as they resemble the walking dead of the early ’80s Soviet Union. We will likely not see innovative ideas as the gerontocracy stumbles through its late Soviet period. If we did, we could see the American grand bargain that may cut the Gordian knot. It is time for health care reform in exchange for an immigration moratorium.
All the pieces are in place to make this happen. Corona offers a living crisis for people to see the folly of the current system. Open borders and lackadaisical immigration enforcement has created a situation where we welcome over 300,000 Chinese students every fall as colleges open. These Chinese students become H1B holders staffing our professional class. This was the vector for importing the disease initially into America. It is true President Trump’s travel ban on January 31st did slow down the outbreak but if we were allowing even fewer students and professionals into America, that travel ban would have turned the slow flow into a trickle.
We can also see the insanity of our medical insurance world with the price for corona testing reaching into the thousands with insurance as well as the Feds getting insurers to cover the cost of corona tests with the waive of a magical wand. America is primed for something different from today. We can make health coverage change happen, but the left that controls the media and academia would have to relax on the idea of different outcomes no matter the system that is applied. The media uses these politically appropriate left wing underclass examples for bad health care when in reality, the average Joe Sixpack with health insurance hates that he pays thousands in premiums for a high deductible and horrible payments thanks to the Obamacare fix.
Obamacare is why the premiums skyrocketed. Obamacare was always going to be a death dual between progressives sabotaging health insurance to eventually get to a nationalized system and health insurance firms thinking they could get the dream of a nationalized system run by a small cartel of firms with a nice fat margin. Insurers fell into a trap and now the left screams for their destruction and Medicare-For-All. Some of the worst reasons for premium increases are solely due to the Obamacare regulations. Removing pre-existing exclusions was measurable for the insurance firms and if everyone who saw those weepy midterm ads about “muh pre-existing wouldn’t be covered without ACA” also knew how much their premiums have jumped just for that guy, they would want those exclusions back. All pricing comes down to risk, and Obamacare made sure no risk controls could exist for insurance firms, so they just raised prices years after year to cover for the risk.
What would need to happen is a public program for catastrophic risk would need to be put into place along with a market of true competitors to handle all the private supplementation a la Australia, Switzerland, etc. At the same time, we would need to wipe away a ton of the Obamacare legislation that required odd coverage. We would also have to allow competition across state lines. The insurance firms would not like it, but it would be the way they stay in existence. Sorry Cigna, sorry Aetna, sorry Blues, you must be reformed or destroyed. What door will you pick?
There are more rules to change, and first would be forcing medical schools to expand their slots which they have not since the early ’80s. They are smart and protect their graduates’ wages, but they have not kept up with the population. They also are ruining our coverage by graduating more female doctors who work fewer hours per week on average than men. Sorry, this cartel needs to end a few practices. Small sacrifice. We could go after the administrative bloat of hospitals as well and monitor the nurse to administrator ratios. There is so much to go after, but that is just one side of the deal.
The other corona revelation about borders mattering must be enforced. Before the Chinese were bringing over diseases, they were being busted for espionage in our education, tech, science and military sector. It is time for an immigration moratorium. Time limit? Let us start with thirty years. This stops now. We cannot put a program into place like this and have our open borders madness. It must end. Visas must dwindle down to nothing. Illegals must be sent back, and none allowed in afterwards. People who overstay visas must be tracked down and deported.
This is the grand bargain. This will not happen, and would require vision, but who would blink first, the right wing or the left. The left likely since open borders has become their dogma due to their anti-Western civilization foundation. The center would also resist. This would go against the corporate ethos and stop the flow of humans into our nation. Pay attention to AOC who has already backed off M4A and talked up a public option. This is why the outbreak and potential endemic or long term effect of this disease offers such an opportunity. Borders across the world are sealing anyway. The hybrid program of other nations still creates a market for private insurers. The problem is that this is an idea for a moment of great potential outside the narrow bandwidth of how our gerontocracy works who have been born, raised and steeped in an era and environment that is rapidly unraveling around them.
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To try to solve a moral crisis with a technocratic rejiggering.