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Health Care Reform

This health care reform has tentacles.  It will control major aspects of our lives, including our ability to choose.

I know there are still people out there who believe the government is made up of good, selfless people who care only for their fellow man.  But let’s just get over that, shall we?  The government is made up of politicians and bureaucrats, and they are just as interested in themselves as anyone else.  Is it any wonder that people are extremely concerned about the amount of power we are about to let them extend over our lives?  This health care reform will be the death of our freedoms and our rights as human beings.  We will no longer be able to choose what we wish to buy and from whom.  The government will be deciding that from now on when it comes to our health.

H.R. 3590, requires, “…all American citizens and legal residents [to] purchase qualified health insurance coverage” after December 31, 2013.

Notice that it says “qualified” insurance?  That means you don’t get to choose what you want to buy, the government will decide for you.  And actually, it won’t even necessarily be them who decide.  It will most likely be the most convincing lobbyists.  A Christian Science Monitor article written by Dr. Paul Hsieh, co-founder of Freedom and Rights in Medicine (FIRM), discusses the lobbyist problem that came about in Massachusetts after its universal health care plan was implemented.  He found that, “[s]ince 2006, providers have successfully lobbied to include 16 new benefits in the mandatory package (including lay midwives, orthodontics, and drug-abuse treatment), and the state legislature is considering 70 more.” With the economy struggling the way it is, is it really fair to enact health care reform that forces  Americans to insure themselves against things they have no reason to?

This health care reform is also more than likely to impact our unemployment numbers, forcing more people onto the government dole.  How could it not?  The Senate Democrat bill forces employers with 50 or more employees to offer health insurance benefits, or else pay a fine of $750 per person.  It would cost a business with 50 employees $37,500 just to not provide them with benefits.  Imagine how expensive it will be when they do choose to provide them.  This will result in less money for businesses.  That equates to less people being hired, lower wages and/or higher prices for consumers.  Think of how much more of a strain it will now be for employers to take on new employees.  Wouldn’t you think twice before hiring someone new, considering how much it will cost?

It also dampens the entrepreneurial spirit.  If employers want to offer their employees health insurance, it is their right.  But is it the government’s right to force independent business owners to take care of the health of their employees?  When someone decides to start their own business, do we really want to tell them it will require thousands of their own dollars going toward health insurance, on top of the extreme long hours and hard work it takes to be an entrepreneur?  I think it’s time we stopped taking these hard-working, driven people for granted. Pretty soon there won’t be much in it for them to start a business, so why should they?

The government is not our friend.  In my opinion, they should be looked at as an evil octopus, constantly trying to spread its tentacles over everything and everyone in order to achieve more power for itself.  The goal of government is to grow, no matter for what purpose.  Whether it’s to “defeat” global warming or to provide health insurance to Americans, the government is always looking for ways to control our lives, with the guise that they are “saving us” from evil profiteers.  But what we mustn’t forget, before we attempt to strangle these “profit” earners once and for all, is that without them government would no longer be able to support itself.  On second thought….forget I said anything.

Obama Health Care Debate with Hugh Hewitt

I attended a health care debate last night between national radio talk show host Hugh Hewitt and CU Law Professor Paul Campos.  As I listened to the debate, I could not believe the things coming out of the liberal Law Professor’s mouth, but even more so, I was awestruck and disappointed by the things that Hugh never said.

One argument Professor Campos made was that we spend more on health in America than other developed nations, due to high administrative costs, which he claimed were 30% of the overall cost.  I have not researched this myself but I believe it to be true.  The question I wanted Hugh to respond with (and answer) would have been, “Why are we spending so much on administrative costs?”  Part of the reason for this is people treat insurance as something that is meant to cover every routine check-up and doctor visit, instead of simply covering catastrophic events, such as a major illness or accident.  When a doctors office must file myriad amounts of paperwork for insurance companies simply to see a patient who has the sniffles, it is no doubt going to raise the costs due to the time it takes to do such things.  Also, when the insurance industry is getting a cut every time someone sees the doctor, it raises costs as now there are more people who need to get paid.  Ari Armstrong, of FreeColorado.com, points out that the reason insurance should be left to cover catastrophic events is that “…if you force insurers to cover routine, expected costs, the premiums will grow much more expensive. Because holders of this alleged “insurance” bear no direct costs for their health decisions, they are less thoughtful about how they use medical services.” The second point he makes here is that when people aren’t spending their own money (i.e. they are billing it to their insurance company) they have no reason to shop around for the best price, or to consider whether they really need to see the doctor.  This makes it much more expensive than it should be to have high-risk health insurance in the case something goes terribly awry.

Another point iterated by Professor Campos was there wasn’t enough competition in the health industry, which made prices go up and service go down.  It is therefore necessary, he asserted, that government step in to create competition.  To my surprise, Hewitt did not make a meaningful argument against this ludicrous statement. The fact is there isn’t near as much competition in the marketplace for health insurance as there could be.  But to assert that it is a market failure is more or less to utter that you have no idea what a free market is.  A free marketplace allows anyone to enter into the game and compete with their products or service.  Mr. Campos is therefore making the conjecture that there simply aren’t enough people out there who want to make money in health insurance.  Do we really believe this is the case?  The real reason there isn’t as much competition in the marketplace is because of government – not market failure.  Due to the tax code which provides tax breaks for employers who offer health insurance, more people rely on employer-based insurance as opposed to buying their own plans.  This limits their choice and makes it harder for them to determine the actual costs of the plan, in addition to making it non-portable.  When people lose or change their job, they also lose their insurance.  Why doesn’t the government just allow tax breaks to individuals when they buy insurance for themselves?  A phenomenal article called Moral Health Care vs. “Universal Health Care” by Dr. Paul Hsieh and Lin Zinser touches on many of the government regulations that have restricted competition in health insurance, including the inability to buy across state lines. To say that the government must be brought in to introduce competition in the marketplace is more than a joke, it is entirely contrary to the truth.  I only wish Hugh would have made mention of it.