Ross Mackenzie

Our fabulous president said the other day, "I will not rest until the dream of health-care reform is achieved in the United States of America." What do you think about that?

As we all know, he's a dreamer, and on this one he's dreaming bigtime - or smoking something. His is a protracted exercise in wishful thinking.

You don't believe in reform? You don't believe our health-care system needs reforming?

Reform means change, presumably for the better. But not all change is prudent or good. Going to hell is a form of change too, yet hell is not somewhere many want to be.

Does the quality of care the nation's health system provides need improving? Not much. Americans receive the highest quality health care in the world - bar none. What does need major improving is the nearly dysfunctional system that finances this outstanding care.

So you agree with Obama's plan to reform that financing system - right?

Wrong. In essence, he wants it to be federally funded. That's why he and his congressional footmen are talking about such nifty things as raising income taxes, taxing employee health-care benefits, and taxing soda pop - all partly to finance his dream of a taxpayer-financed system. But whatever tax plan they concoct won't be enough. With government, it never is.

Never?

Never. Look at Medicare, which began running out of money last year (its funds now are estimated to deplete in 2017). Look at Social Security, which will incur a negative cash flow in 2016; the latest estimate has Social Security going toes-up in 2037. Look at the public schools, which annually require more and more in state and local tax funds to turn out products with foundational educations too often inferior or mediocre.

Then of course there's always the Postal Service. Which do you prefer: FedEx and UPS, voicemail, e-mail - or the U.S. Mule?

I'm not sure where all this is leading....

It's leading to the point that the president seeks three things essentially incompatible with one another: 1) universal health care, 2) improved health care, and 3) lowered-cost health care - or with the cost of health care increasing at a reduced rate. Briefly: He wants improved health care for everyone at minimal cost.

Only two ways exist to accomplish all that - through compulsion or through private enterprise. Obama nods to the latter but says he will resort to the former if the latter doesn't work.

Can the private sector get the job done?

Yes indeed.


Ross Mackenzie

Ross Mackenzie lives with his wife and Labrador retriever in the woods west of Richmond, Virginia. They have two grown sons, both Naval officers.

Be the first to read Ross Mackenzie's column. Sign up today and receive Townhall.com delivered each morning to your inbox.