From the people who brought you Government Motors comes the coup de grace of government takeovers: Government-owned health care. President Obama has sent a letter to Congress to let his desires be known. He wants to pass this thing before the country comes to its senses.
One conservative critic of the Obama plan told cnsnews.com that it was essentially a massive Medicare system, “complete with all the problems and multi-trillion-dollar debt of the current Medicare program.” Medicare is currently staring down the barrel of $34 trillion in unfunded liabilities. To transfer the rest of us into this boondoggle is nothing short of insane.
Yet, we’re constantly bombarded with news that our health care system is broken. Really? According to a recent CNN/Opinion Research poll, nearly three out of four Americans are happy with their overall health care coverage. We’re not too crazy about the escalating costs of health care but government takeover of the entire health care system is like using an ax to kill a fly. The solution is rather simple: reconnect the consumer with the product. When you can simply hand over a $15 co-pay and consume as much health care as you need or desire, then naturally, the price will continue to rise dramatically. Someone has to pay for all that health care and it’s the rest of us as we, collectively, see our insurance premiums rise.
Still, the Democrats have done a masterful job of scaring Americans to death over this issue. So much so that Obama’s point man on health care, David Axelrod, is boasting that Congress will pass socialized medicine by the end of the summer.
The Administration’s plan is to form a public health insurance option that would operate alongside the private plans. They claim it will drive down costs by offering competition. They’re probably right in the short term. What will happen is government health care, which is subsidized by the government, will be cheaper. Thus it will not only reduce the cost of private insurance, it’ll drive private insurance out of business. Once that happens it’s just a matter of time before the government-run health care becomes as cold and unresponsive as any other government monopoly.
Do you remember when there was just “the phone company?” Remember standing in line for hours just to get your phone hooked up? Remember how they treated you like you were invisible? Why? Why not? There was no competition so why go out of their way to be nice to you. Before we know it, getting something done about our health will feel like a trip to the DMV.
I’ve cited studies in this column that prove private insurance is much more responsive than Medicare. Why on earth would we want more of what’s not working? But, it doesn’t really matter what we want. This administration is going to force government-run health care down our throats whether we like it or not. They’re playing on the vast minority of people who don’t have health insurance to push their agenda. They claim it’s something like 46 million people without health insurance. Once you subtract the illegal aliens, the people who are between jobs who’ve allowed their insurance to lapse and those who just refuse to pay for their own insurance, it’s more like 8 million people. That’s something like 2 percent of the population. We’re essentially going to wreck a system that is clearly satisfactory to three-fourths of the nation all to fix a problem affecting 2 percent of the population? What kind of sense does that make?
Phil Valentine is an author and nationally syndicated radio talk show host with Westwood One. For more of his commentary and articles, visit philvalentine.com.