Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Health Care Reform Great for Government

At the federal level there were more than 100 new commissions, departments, councils, organizations, or other bureaucracies created by the recently passed health care reform. All of these departments will need to be staffed and housed.

In addition to these bureaucracies it has also been revealed that the IRS will have to hire an additional 16,000 agents to make certain that citizens conform to the new health care regulations.

Now it is Michigan's turn to step forward. Governor Jennifer Granholm today signed an executive order creating two additional state bureaucracies to help administer the reforms on the state's end; the Health Insurance Reform Coordinating Council and the Office of Health Insurance Consumer Assistance.

The new Health Insurance Reform Coordinating Council that Granholm's executive order created will be headed by state community health director Janet Olszewski and include seven members from other state agencies. The council's discussions will involve representatives from outside groups that play a role in health care.

The order also creates an Office of Health Insurance Consumer Assistance within the state agency that oversees insurance companies and state banks. The Office of Financial and Insurance Regulation also will be in charge of setting up an insurance exchange to allow individuals and small businesses to buy health care coverage.
The HIRCC appears to be little more than an assembled council that will get together every so often to discuss operational issues and in the process accomplish very little. It will probably cost very little as the people involved already have their noses in the state trough. However, while these noses are at the council meeting they will not be snuffling about the offices for which they were originally hired and will distracted from their primary duties.

The OFIR does appear to be an office that will need an expansion of resources whether that comes from money borrowed from the Chinese to be paid back by taxpayers, or whether it is financed by Michigan taxpayers directly. This will be an office heavy on administration and will not run efficiently and will not be cheap.

Perhaps all these expenses have been figured into the bottom line of the reform bill that is supposed to save us billions of dollars over the next 20 years, even if those savings can only be reaped by raising taxes on every thing that walks, crawls, or breathes oxygen. Perhaps not. In any event, it is an expansion of government at exactly the worst time possible.

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