Howard Rich

“Competition is as American as apple pie.”

That’s the premise behind a new ad from, the left-leaning grassroots group that’s pushing President Barack Obama’s socialized medicine plan. If it sounds familiar to supporters of free market reform, it should.

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Competition is as American as apple pie, but there’s just one small problem with this group’s definition of the term.

By adding (or rather re-adding) a so-called “public option” to the latest trillion-dollar health care plan, Obama and his allies in Congress are not promoting competition – they’re squashing it. Simply put, by injecting the government directly into a market that it has the power to regulate, “Obamacare” would place the health care industry in America on an irreversible path toward nationalization – not to mention raise health care costs on the typical American family by as much as $4,000 per year.

Government doesn’t want to “compete” in the marketplace – it wants to artificially manipulate the marketplace to force millions of Americans out of private plans and into government-run plans, which they ludicrously claim will save taxpayers money.

At the heart of this bastardized notion of “competition” is the demonstrably false belief that government-run programs have lower administrative costs than private plans.

“Medicare has lower administrative costs than any private plan on the market,” U.S. Rep. Pete Stark wrote years ago as the government-run health care movement started picking up steam.

This is simply not true. Medicaid plans have significantly high per person costs than private plans, even though Medicaid is exempt from state health insurance premium taxes that private providers must pay.

“In recent years, Medicare administrative costs per beneficiary have substantially exceeded those costs for the private sector,” writes Dr. Robert A. Book for the Heritage Foundation. “This (is) despite the fact that, as critics note, private insurance is subject to many expenses not incurred by Medicare. Contrary to the claims of public plan advocates, moving millions of Americans from private insurance to a Medicare-like program will result in program administrative costs that are higher per person and higher, not lower, for the nation as a whole.”

Additionally, Medicaid is riddled with fraud and abuse – an epidemic problem that the U.S. government has shown little interest in “reforming.”

Howard Rich

Howard Rich is the Chairman of Americans for Limited Government.