Liberals are making a bid to restore the "public option," ObamaCare's most controversial and destructive inspiration. Some 18 Senators as we went to press—led by Colorado's Michael Bennet and growing to include New York's Chuck Schumer on Thursday—have endorsed slipping this government-run insurance entitlement in the reconciliation process that would let Democrats abuse Senate rules to hustle ObamaCare into law with 50 votes. Vehemence among House progressives is also at a fever pitch, though it always is.
What, specifically, is wrong with a "public option?"
The Journal does us the favor of admitting the problem:
Rational Democrats killed the public option because it is hated by the insurers that will be driven out of business by its subsidy advantage, by the doctors and hospitals that will be forced to accept its below-market rates, and by the taxpayers who will get stuck with the bill.
So you mean Medicare and Medicaid currently bill at below-market rates, and by doing so constitute a cost-shifting subsidy that is then forced upon both privately insured people and those with no insurance (but who do have money), who get to at gunpoint pick up the bill for those who are on these government programs?
So given this fact, where, may I ask, are the Republican "free market" calls for ending this practice? For making it unlawful to bill two different people differing amounts for the same procedure, drug, or device, with the difference in cost predicated only on who pays the bill?
I thought Republicans were "free market" people? That they believed in a fair, free, competitive marketplace?
How can you have such a thing when you have a bunch of government thugs that force private parties to pick up the cost of subsidized care not through generalized taxes, which are quite visible and against which the people can vote, but instead by co-opting so-called "private insurers" who then take the heat for policies that are forced down their throats by these very same government goons?
There are only two solutions to this health care mess:
- The plan I put forward previously, or something darn similar to it. Barring differential billing predicated only on who's cutting the checks, forcing all "insurance" companies to accept anyone who wishes to buy into their plan under the same terms as they offer to anyone else, barring as a matter of federal law cost-shifting for those who show up without insurance and real tort reform. Do those four things, plus drop all protections against "reimportation" (in other words, if you buy it, it's yours, and you may sell it to anyone you wish) and a huge change in the health care cost picture would instantaneously occur.
- A true single-payer system. Vastly inferior to the above, because such a system rations by definition, and provides little or no incentive for people to manage their own costs and health. This is, in essence, the destruction of the capitalist free-market health system.
But we haven't had a capitalist, free-market health system in this country since the 1960s and early 70s. The day when you last wrote a check directly to your doctor for care as a routine part of your visit was when it died.
The day when you had a "prescription drug card" and paid $5, $10 or $20 for your drug, no matter whether it cost $25 or $250 if bought in cash, was the day it died.
The day when you got charged through cost-shifting of Granny's care to you, her drug cost to you, and the illegal alien who shot himself in the foot with a nail gun - is the day our capitalist health system died.
We cannot recover our capitalist health system without addressing these points. The four-point plan, along with federal legal strictures against anyone trying to bar someone's "first sale" rights, will restore our capitalist health system.
If we can't do that, and I suspect we cannot because we refuse to hold politicians to account for being bribed wholesale while we all demand something for nothing, then the only rational alternative remaining available to us is to ditch the current financial rape room party run by the "medical establishment" and expose the entire mess as a line item on the federal budget, so at least we know exactly how badly we're all being bent over the table each and every year.
That has the potential to lead to people being voted out of office somewhere down the road.
I don't like where Obama's proposals are going in this regard, but if there is to be a move toward forced "insurance" for everyone then there must be the choice for individuals to buy into a public option where the prices are known and so are the standards.
Without this we will continue to be serially violated by the health insurance and care companies, who have ramped up prices by a double-digit percentage - doubling them on average every five years - while claimed "inflation" has been in the low single-digit percentages.
Those are the only two choices folks, and if I can't get a capitalist system then I want and will support a Canadian one, with all its faults.