There’s Nancy Pelosi, Six Gun of State strapped to her side, the sun burning overhead. And there’s you, armed only with Freedom, thirty paces off. It’s a standoff! If you blink, it’s all over.
You have one advantage: all those non-deductible surgeries she’s had have made it impossible for her to squint against the noonday sun. You can still get the draw on her!
But the clouds are gathering. You’ll have to act fast. You have one more chance to be allowed to take care of yourself. Call or email your representative today, tomorrow at the latest. Put the fear of non-re-electability into ’em.
Obamacare, by rooting through your wallet, would provide many with insurance (and those gifted with your largess would be asked nothing in return for it). But having insurance is not equivalent to having health. Although some might mistakenly believe that they want insurance, what they really want is health. And the best way to deliver that is not via a government-controlled health-care bureaucracy. Here’s why.
Mr Obama has placed himself in front of many teleprompters and has been prompted to cast the most outrageous aspersions against insurance companies. The party line is that they are evil, incorrigible. This is so, the reasoning goes, because insurance firms refuse to provide some people health care, and because they receive a profit for their services.
Yet socialized medicine, we are assured, will, by dousing it with regulatory holy water, exorcise the evil from insurance companies. Begone vile profits!
But somehow, in that wisdom they are always touting, Democrats have forgotten that insurance companies do not provide health care. They provide money when they are on the losing end of a bet. You wager you’ll get sick, they say you won’t. If you do get sick, they pay out. If you don’t, they keep your money. A fair transaction entered into freely by both parties.
What would a rational bookie do if you were to say to him, “I’m already sick. I want to bet you that if I get sick, you’ll pay me a lot of money.”? He’d ask that you re-take your elementary math class, that’s what. Yet Mr Obama would require your bookie, the insurance company, to take your bet. He wants to guarantee that the insurance company pays out on what is a losing bet.
What necessarily follows from this? The insurance company must raise its rates. It must charge more to its other clients to make up for its guaranteed, government-mandated loss. The cost of insurance—to be perfectly clear—will rise.
Not only that, but insurance companies will be required to set up internal offices, well stocked with lawyers and accountants, to communicate to the government that they are following the complex regulations set over them. That costs money, so insurance companies will have to raise their prices yet again.
Government, too, will have to set up its own offices that talk back to the insurance companies and to the people it’s giving free money to. The feeding and care of these government employees cost lots of cash.
The money the government requires will come from you. You will not be allowed to refuse to pay it. The extra money the insurance companies must charge will also come from you. Ordinarily, you would be allowed to refuse to pay that. But the law will be such that you can’t turn the private insurance companies down, either.
What’s the worst part? Absolutely none of these vast amount of monies will go towards improving health care. Since all that money is necessarily funneled to a bureaucracy, less will be available to spend on health care improvements.
We have returned to the inevitable Progressive Law of Unintended Consequences. Government meddling, motivated by the best of intentions, when it tries to improve health care and make it cheaper, will cause it to become limited and more expensive.
Further—and perhaps its true purpose after all—it will create a dependency on itself. It will, by law, mandate reliance on itself. The health bureaucracy will become self-perpetuating. And since every bureaucracy ever known has become larger and less efficient through time…well, you can connect those dots.
My solution? Tax the health care money provided from companies to their employees as income. Make that money income. Let people know exactly how much of their own money they are spending on insurance and care. The major reason health care has become so expensive is that nobody knows what anything costs. This opacity has given birth to a private bureaucracy, and as we’ve seen any such creature drives costs up.
I don’t have space to convince you that this solution is ideal. But I hope I’ve shown you that Congressperson Pelosi’s solution is suboptimal. And we haven’t even discussed how, since the government will be paying the bills, they’ll use that leverage to forbid you certain activities (smoking, eating salt, drinking soda pop, etc.), or to require you to perform certain others.
Just remember what P.J. O’Rourke said: “If you think health care is expensive now, just wait until it’s free.”
Update An anonymous reader tells us of a Rally in Washington D.C. on the 16th. Details here.
Update 2 Here, from The Hill is a list of the Democrats leaning on voting No. All Republicans are expected to vote no.