LAS VEGASâ??Media mogul Steve Forbes and former Quantum Fund co-founder and fellow author Jim Rogers headlined the first full day of the FreedomFest conference here and criticized Washington lawmakers who are sputtering in their efforts to reform health care and tax policies, as well as reduce government debt.
The consequences of such ineffectiveness could be painful for investors but Forbes offered specific health care legislative advice that would remove government-imposed mandates to force everyone to buy coverage or otherwise pay a tax. Rogers cautioned that countries such the United States and others that are sinking more deeply into debt are setting up the global economy to endure a worse-than-usual downturn in the next two or three years.
A way forward for the U.S. government would be to adopt tax reform, sound money policies and health care legislation aimed at â??fixingâ?ť the badly flawed Affordable Care Act, commonly known as ObamaCare, Forbes said.
Forbes, a long-time flat-tax advocate, said Democrats have caught Republicans unprepared to respond to a media â??narrativeâ?ť about how many millions of people would lose coverage if so-called ObamaCare is repealed and replaced, rather than focus on whether America really has a health-care crisis when other industries that have rising demand for services would view such a situation as positive.
Rising demand usually provides opportunities for â??entrepreneurs and innovators,â?ť Forbes said.
The current system rewards hospital officials for how well they negotiate with government and big insurance companies, not how well and cost-effectively they provide services, Forbes said. Advocates of a single-payer health care system would take a model that has failed those who have relied on the U.S. Veterans Administration and force it upon all Americans, Forbes cautioned.
For example, Forbes asked attendees at the main session attended by more than 1,000 people whether the â??crummiestâ?ť hotel would put a customer into a room with a sick person and only separate them with a sheet between their beds to serve as a partition.
Paul Dykewicz is the editor ofÂ www.stockinvestor.comÂ and the editorial director of Eagle Financial Publications in Washington, D.C. He writes and edits for the website, as well as edits investment newsletters, time-sensitive trading alerts and other reports. He also is an accomplished, award-winning journalist who has written for Dow Jones,Â USA TodayÂ and other publications, as well as served as business editor of a daily newspaper in Baltimore. In addition, Paul is the author of the inspirational book,Â “Holy Smokes! Golden Guidance from Notre Dame’s Championship Chaplain.”Â He received his MBA in finance from Johns Hopkins University.