None of this matters to Obama and congressional Democrats, who are ideologically hellbent on socializing medicine. Their current health care plan would mandate coverage for everyone and would include federal aid to help families earning up to $88,000 a year pay for insurance.
$88,000? Tell me this isn't about redistributing income more than helping the poor who genuinely can't afford insurance.
The sad reality is that the social planners, as usual, are prescribing exactly the wrong solutions. The main problem with soaring health care costs is not too much free market, but too little; it's not too little government control, but too much. As the brilliant Thomas Sowell tells us in his book "Applied Economics," "Only 13 percent of Americans' medical care costs are paid for directly out of pocket," which gives us an indication of how little market forces are at work in the system.
But Sowell's more sobering observation is that government-provided care is inevitably an exercise in price control. Price controls don't eliminate costs; they just make some of them less visible in the short run. "Artificially lower prices, created by government order rather than supply and demand, encourage more use of goods or services, while discouraging the production of those same goods and services. Increased consumption and reduced production mean a shortage."
This will lead -- bank on it -- to quality deterioration "because the incentives to maintaining quality are lessened by price control." When demand for health care (or anything else) exceeds supply, suppliers/providers have no incentive to accommodate customers. Government planners who engineer such "remedies" as price controls per doctor visit can brag about reducing the cost per visit, but they will cause a shortening of the time per visit, which will prolong the patient's time under care and actually increase the total cost of care.
The scarcity will lead to waiting lists, increases in illnesses and death from the inadequacy and untimeliness of care. It will lead to rationing and decisions made by Big Brother's heartless bureaucrats as to who gets health care at all.
These are axiomatic economic principles that guarantee the failure of socialized medicine -- principles that have been validated by every nation foolish enough to try it and by the government-run programs in our increasingly socialized United States of America.
But none of this will deter the government-run health care crusaders, whose motivation is not compassion for the uninsured or the quality or costs of health care, but government control of another one-seventh of this nation's economy.
Are we going to continue to let them destroy our nation without a fight?
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