Liberals say Republicans have no health care solutions. So their answer is to give us more of what caused most of the problems we have today: government intervention and control.
Perhaps it is true that Republicans haven't been aggressive enough in pursuing free market solutions because they are so intimidated by Democratic demagoguery at every step and so conditioned to believing that liberal lite (such as a new prescription drug entitlement) is the only product that will fly in the Beltway.
But President Barack Obama's radical socialist prescriptions might be the best catalyst for the resurrection of conservative ideas since Ronald Reagan.
Before we have a prayer at achieving sweeping market reforms, however, we must do a better job of making the case that government meddling in the health care industry to date -- e.g., mandates, laws and regulations -- has been the major source of our problems with both overall medical costs and insurance coverage.
Liberals believe evil profiteers cause price hikes, but their own do-gooder laws and regulations are the culprits. Yes, medical costs are higher because we demand (and receive) the best cutting-edge drugs, technology and treatment. But the only way to reduce these costs is to settle for lesser quality, as has every nation that has socialized health care, or to outlaw drug company profits, which would virtually end the willingness of risk-taking investors to finance groundbreaking medical research.
But we can do something about the spiraling medical inflation caused by overreaching, ill-advised tax laws and overreaching mandates.
Sixty percent of Americans have employer-provided health insurance, largely because of tax laws incentivizing employers to provide that benefit. Such laws have insulated us from the true costs of our medical care. These laws mask the fact that we are really paying for that benefit in lesser compensation and also create the illusion that we are getting free health care. As a result, the demand for health care has artificially skyrocketed, with people consuming more than they would as prudent consumers who believed they were paying for it themselves.
Just as significantly, onerous government-mandated coverage requirements have caused an explosion in insurance rates because they have drastically reduced the ability of the market to craft and make available less expensive plans that meet the particular needs of medical consumers.