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Should Citizens Derail the Health Care Express?

The opinions expressed by columnists are their own and do not necessarily represent the views of

Most adult Americans learn from the experience of living. Almost all of them conclude that our ancestor Ben Franklin got it right, centuries ago, when he said “… in this world nothing is certain but death and taxes.”

Now, unless a significant majority of Americans figure it out - and promptly execute a massive ‘shout-out’ - founder Franklin’s prescient statement will need amending. That’s because government intervention in yet another arena of American life - our private health care system - is on a political track that will affect everyone living in the United States.

The Obama “Health Care Express” has already left Washington’s “Union Station.” With powerful special-interest groups already on board, the feds’ “Health Care Express” is rattling along the rails hurtling toward everyone. Using the political fiat of “47 million uninsured” - 1/3 of whom, perhaps more, are illegal aliens - the administration’s political “conductors” will insert government bureaucrats into every personal doctor-patient relationship.

Thus, government controlled health care, which few Americans conceived possible following the failure of “Hilary Care” back in the early 90’s; and, even fewer thought probable given the flawed financing facts uncovered by opponents of “Hilary Care;” is now on a track that appears increasingly certain.

Ben Franklin would frown. He knows this is not what he and the other founders warranted.

If America’s citizens fail to derail Obama’s “Health Care Express” train the real wreck will not be just the system but the impact and effects forced on each citizen as part of the government nationalization of yet another American industry. Freedom and choice regarding health decisions and financial options for themselves and other family members will certainly be impinged and ultimately reduced.

Despite the spin and presentation twists we hear from politicians and domestic special interests, consider the facts from other countries.

Canadians describe the massive costs of nationalized health care, the poor quality of service, and lengthy delays to gain access to providers.

In Britain, it’s more of the same; plus, we are told of “turndowns” for certain individuals deemed too old to receive the “universal” care they need.

Of course, Canadians have the advantage of proximity. They can come here as private patients to access health care that, in their own country, is not available – soon enough, or at all. Ironically, their private access to a U.S. government controlled health care system would likely change at some point. So, it is in the personal interest of individual Canadians to urge their American friends to stop the nationalization of American health care, as well as remind them of the backbreaking level of taxes on citizens needed to pay for a nationalized system.

Obviously, various elements of our health care system understandably concern individual Americans. Those elements also motivate other disparate interests. Paramount, however, is the market cost of services; or, alternatively, the cost for contract coverage. Lower the cost of the former and the price of the latter follows. Simply put, rationing by government is not the answer. Americans understood that when “Hilary Care” was attempted; and, they remain wary of it today, despite the new name, “Health Care Express.”

Here’s the general bottom line: Americans are fortunate to have available a private health care system that is, in reality, second to none. There are plenty of doctors, surgeons and other specialists available in the U.S. to deliver needed care to all citizens. While some community activists want more facilities, existing hospitals, and especially other health delivery facilities, are calibrating both care delivery models, facility expansion and outreach to meet local needs.

All Americans would be better served if the government would remove all constraints to doing business on hospitals, etc. Allow them to compete with each other, in every area and neighborhood in which they choose. Competition not only can drive prices down, it will drive prices down. The same market reality applies with doctors, surgeons, etc.

The one ‘jaw-boning’ action that real leaders should take is to publicly call on all members and entities in the health care industry to post prices online and conspicuously in patient waiting areas. The coding used by practitioners to bill insurance companies can also be used on "cost-of-care" estimates for prospective patients. That would assist individuals in non-emergency situations to comparison shop and promote medical second-opinions.

Yes, competition will drive down the cost of health care; and, everyone who prefers to have health insurance will be able to find a provider – if government is told to stop and stay out.

Government’s exit would remove coercion and thus enable the appropriate use of promoting personal behavior modification to further reduce costs by placing that responsibility on each individual subscriber; and providing each subscriber the opportunity to achieve earned health discounts as a matter of choice and personal commitment.

Vast majorities of Americans do not agree with government intervening in either the banking or auto industries. If someone stands up to the government interventionists and special-interests, articulates the downside implications of government nationalizing our private health care system, America’s citizens will derail the administration’s “Health Care Express.”

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