Monday, August 13, 2007

Reason #842 why I don't want Federal HealthCare

Through several bloglinks I found this AP story on the Fox News site. It is a long piece full of history of the Mustang Ranch and ownership changes and laws about prostitution but I'll give you the three bits you need to know.

Conforte dealt mostly in cash and kept few records. By 1990, the IRS was fed up with his tax shenanigans and seized the ranch, putting the federal government in the unique position of running a brothel. It failed and the ranch was padlocked for the first time.
The IRS got its final say in 1997 when it filed a $16 million tax lien, followed in July 1999 with indictments of Conforte and principals in his shell company on charges including racketeering and money laundering. Millions of dollars allegedly were wired to Conforte in Brazil.
Four years later, the brothel's new owner — the federal Bureau of Land Management — put the once infamous painted lady in the desert ignominiously up for grabs on eBay. Lance Gilman snapped it up for $145,100 — adding the $100 in the final seconds of bidding.
So, if I am reading this correctly, this Conforte guy who was so inept he couldn't keep his books straight made so much money running the place that the IRS figured he owed them $16M in back taxes. The government not only couldn't manage to keep it in the black but sold it on EBAY for $145,100. If you can't manage to keep a highly successful business with few costs, a steady supply of experienced workers and a long standing and healthy supply of customers from crashing and burning in a couple years you are unbelievably inept.

You are entirely too inept to be in charge of my health care, which currently consumes almost 15% of the entire GDP. If we put the feds in the mix it'll quickly be double that. Healthcare is not ever going to be free. You have 2 choices before you. You can pay a lot for it in the private sector, select the mix of flexibility and choice to cost, and vote with your dollars when you are unhappy. The alternative is not better care for free. The alternative is that you let the government run it, get terrible services, little innovation, long lines, no choice and let the IRS take another 30-40% of your paycheck.

Yet another case where it is fair to say that our health care system sucks. However, it sucks less than the system in place anywhere else.