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Just Say Non to Public Health Care

May 11, 2009

As Fred Barnes (see below) and with him many others have pointed out, Obama’s policies are very vulnerable to Republican criticism if only that criticism is made. This is true at least as much about the Democrats’ health care plans as it is about any other issue. Republicans have to prevent the massive, unsustainable, government-burdened health care system that the Obama administration is aiming for from getting implemented. If conservatives fail to stop the health care overhaul from happening according to the Democrats’ wishes they will have trouble to justify their existence.

Why is the Democrats’ plan on health care reform (if you can call it such) so bad?, you ask. Because their intention is that sooner or later government will be the dominant if not the only player in the health care sector. And this will mean that, whether incrementally or through a big bang, where there used to be market competition and freedom of choice to guarantee efficiency and affordability there will be price regulations and rationing of health care services. But why would the Democrats want to impose a financially unsustainable plan on the nation?, you want to know. Because once government runs the health care sector elections will be about ‘what your country can do for you (or to you!) in terms of health services’. And whoever wants to get elected will just have to promise free cotton candy and unicorns for everyone – a domain that Democrats are experts on. In fact, this is what they are doing right now.

Remember the housing crisis? Yeah, the one we are still stuck in and will likely continue to be stuck in for a few more years. How did it come to pass? Politicians and ACORN nutjobs bullying banks into lending to bad creditors. What did this get us into? The entire nation suffering an economic low and paying up for people who signed contracts they must have known they could never honour. The health care ‘reform’ Democrats envision follows the same logic: because a tiny percentage of Americans are uninsured (at least on paper) and victimised by the left, government has to ‘do’ something. This time it is not enough for the left to strong-arm private companies into contracts that will threaten their financial stability. Rather, every American has to be forced into a social health care contract the rules of which are written – and revised whenever convenient – by the government; a contract that will threaten the nation’s financial stability. If you want to see how well this is working just have a look at any state-run health care system abroad. They’re all in deep, deep trouble. And the ones who are suffering most from the situation are the sick.

But, you say, the Democrats seem to be open to compromise with the GOP: they might settle for a solution that makes government only an additional option next to private insurers. Mon ami, the French Cowboy tells you, don’t be naive. Don’t you see what will happen once government ‘competes’ with private health care providers? With the entire population as a tax base government will have an easy time to out-bid any private company with lower fees. Everyone will be offered the best deal by the public programme. And even if Democrats agree to set up artificial restraints on what the government option will be allowed to entail, those can be easily removed in the future. Medicare, Medicaid, Schip – they all started out as relatively small programmes. They all have grown. It is easy for a politician to gain brownie points by demanding eligibility for subsidies to be extended towards a larger part of the electorate. It is very hard to stand in the way of such ‘kind-hearted’ gestures and not be painted as a villain.

Trust the French Cowboy: you don’t want the government to take over your health care system. Once the health sector is run by the government you will be obliged to pay for inefficient, overpriced and rationed health services. The only way for you to get out of that contract will be to leave the country. Ask the Canadians.

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