Thursday, July 30, 2009
How about competition among medical insurers?
Too much centralized federal planning has screwed up health care in America. So what’s the solution? According to Obama, even more federal planning.
Looking at two or three thousand years of history, just when exactly has centralized planning accomplished anything that helped life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness? Answer: Never.
Central planning didn’t work in Rome. Under a decentralized Roman republic, Rome thrived. When the Ceasar overthrew the republic - in the name of the “people” - Rome ended up being led by deranged dictators like Nero and Caligula. They ruled with absolute authority and the great empire dissolved.
If you prefer more recent history, let’s look at communist Russia, which killed millions and mired its people in poverty until they finally had enough. Now at least their dictators acknowledge the free market. Same with China.
If you look at history, central planning fails. Individual economic choice thrives.
Have you seen the flow chart on the new Obama health care system? It’s a mishmash of dozens of agencies, departments and federal boards.
The idea of a bunch of bureaucrats sitting in D.C. and making health care decisions for a grandmother in Jackson is laughable if it were not so tragic.
The economy is in a fragile state. This is not the time to start experimenting with one-fifth of the American economy, especially when your game plan has a poor record over the course of human history.
No doubt, health care needs reform, but in the opposite direction of government control. We need to give people back the right to make their own health care decisions in private consultation with the doctor of their own choosing.
There’s nothing wrong with helping people pay their medical bills. With health care tax credits, the government can give people back their money so they can afford decent health care. How complicated is that?
But no....The government wants to take the money you could spend on decent health care and then spend it the way they want to. They will be telling you what procedures you get and what doctor you can go to.
Elderly folks with bad hips? You can start standing in line for a hip replacement. Under socialized medicine in Canada it only takes about two years if ever.
Like CT scans? How about the minimally invasive Da Vinci surgical device? How many of those do you think will be available once socialized medicine completes its takeover? Stand in line if there is even a line to stand in.
The hypocrisy is staggering. Obama tells the American people that we are already paying for health care for the poor because they get treatment in emergency rooms.
Then he says that millions of Americans have no health care? Huh? If they are getting treated in emergency rooms for free then they do indeed have health care.
A third or so of the uninsured are eligible for Medicaid, if they could figure out how to fill out the forms. Another third are people between jobs. Another third or so are young people who have irresponsibly decided they would rather pocket the co-pay than sign up for their employer’s private medical option.
Treatment in an emergency room is not the ideal situation, but it is indeed an option for those who refuse to buy insurance. It is a federal offense to deny service to the uninsured at any hospital.
If our nation wants to expand free health care, we can expand Medicaid eligibility. Expensive, but simple. It can be done gradually without wreaking havoc over 20 percent of our economy. But no, we have to completely throw out 80 years of development for a plan that is completely untested during a time of great financial uncertainty.
Right now, one-third of Americans have one of the best health care plans in the developed world. They get the same coverage as private insurance plans with a minimal deductible and copay.
For lower-income people on Medicaid, our current system is both free, quick and advanced. A new plan would end up hurting these lower income Americans.
For the more affluent of us, let us buy our own coverage through unrestricted offerings in the marketplace. Right now, state laws prohibit competition among medical insurers.
If the government wants to help, strike down these anti-competitive laws and allow true nationwide competition. That wouldn’t cost taxpayers a dime.
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