Fenger Pointing

Becky Fenger | November 5, 2008

Becky FengerIt's all about the money

I was delighted to see the UPS delivery man headed to my door with a sexy pair of stilettos I had ordered. That is, until I asked him for whom he voted. Obama was his choice, since he favored universal health care. The man in brown told me that he comes from Canada where it works just fine. Oh? The number of Canadians willing to pay cash for medical procedures in the United States which they supposedly get for free in their home country would seem to belie his contention.

British blokes are pulling their own teeth, since there are too few dentists in their state-run dental service to get an appointment to relieve the pain. A teeth cleaning by a state dentist takes only five minutes because so many are in line behind the patient. Forget about a root canal; it is faster to just yank out the tooth. Yet here is where the U.S. is heading.

Don’t we ever learn? Just seven months after it launched, Hawaii is dropping the only state universal child health care program in the country like a hot potato. Citing budget shortfalls and other available choices, Gov. Linda Lingle’s administration said that families were jettisoning private coverage in order to make their children eligible for the subsidized plan. “People who were already able to afford health care began to stop paying for it so they could get it for free,” said Dr. Kenny Fink, who added that he didn’t believe that was the intent of the program. Duh! What did officials expect, when it is human nature not to pay for something that is available for free?

The Keiki (child) Care program was approved in 2007 to give free health care (OK, there’s a $7 co pay) to every child without it, from birth to age 18. What could possibly go wrong here? Barack Obama’s health care plan has the same inherent flaw, but the gimme culture is winning the battle.

Here’s a suggestion for Treasury or for New York Attorney General Andrew Cuomo: Deduct the $443,000 spent by American International Group, Inc. (AIG) at the St. Regis Monarch Beach Resort and the $86,000 hunting trip in England from any of the $123 billion not yet transferred to AIG for their bailout. It only adds insult to injury to have taxpayers pick up the tab for these two junkets.

Phoenix city officials are putting out a suggestion box for ways to cut spending, since they are so deep in debt. Here’s one: Eliminate the Sister Cities program. Surely we can do without paying for city council members and big wigs to jet to exotic or merely faraway lands to tell them how much we like them and how much they should like us.

Congressman John Shadegg, (R-Ariz.) was so right about his crusade to permit consumers to purchase insurance across state lines. A study from the University of Minnesota found that 12 million additional people would acquire insurance if they were allowed to do this. That’s a whopping one out of four of the currently uninsured. Let’s hope he can get it done now.

Sobering Thought: The state of Arizona would need a 30 percent increase in economic activity to handle the $2.3 billion budget deficit. Ours was the highest per capita deficit in the nation.