Let’s examine the following statements made by government officials and newsworthy folks pushing for a national healthcare plan:
- There are 50 million people without health insurance in our country.
- We need another health insurance option to provide competition to the existing companies.
- Health insurance is a right.
There are certainly more but these will suffice.
Number of uninsured
Did anyone else notice the slippery nature of the number of people in America without health insurance? Democrats started with 50 million but eventually worked their way down to 36 million if memory serves me correctly. What happened? Did 14 million people get heath insurance during the course of the debate? No, Democrats had to subtract illegal aliens from the total when an uproar ensued over covering them. They hid it as long as they could but eventually had to subtract that group. So with one fell swoop they eliminated just over 1/4 of the number of uninsured.
Next it was made known that about another 14 million people could afford health insurance but did not make it a spending priority. Oops. Freedom means that we have the right to make bad choices.
That brings the number of people who are citizens but can’t afford health insurance down to 22 million. But wait, there’s more! Another 14 million uninsured are eligible for existing government subsidized health care (Medicaid and SCHIP) but have not signed up.
Now we are left with 8 million people who are citizens that are too poor to afford health insurance and not eligible for existing government programs. If a yearly health insurance plan cost $3000 per year we could cover all these folks for only $24 billion dollars a year and $240 billion over 10 years. This doesn’t even include cost savings for purchasing family plans! Do we really need a $1 trillion health care plan over 10 years to pay for these people? Please keep in mind that the first 4 years of Obamacare are just for collecting taxes and only the last 6 years offer health care benefits. Even then the plan will still not cover every uninsured person.
There are currently hundreds if not thousands of health insurance companies currently offering products in the US. How is one more going to make a significant difference in the level of competition? The only way one company can make a difference is if the “one” doesn’t have to worry about financial losses and has the ability to print money and raise taxes. The government could have said to Blue Cross, “We’ll let you print money to pay for your losses if you insure the uninsured”. This would of course be absurd. Yet if it is absurd for Blue Cross to act in this manner why would it be OK for our government to act this way? The only way the government can provide cheaper insurance will be to operate at a loss.
Unlike a company though, the government can use money not initially set aside for health insurance, raise taxes to pay for the losses, print more money, or all of the above. Predicting future Obamacare costs based on costs of current government programs means that the final tab will be far more than $1 trillion for the first ten years and it will be far less effective and efficient than planned.
The US Constitution is a document that explicitly lays out specific rights for citizens that the government may not infringe upon except to protect the public at large. That is why you cannot yell “Fire!” in a crowded theater or why convicted felons cannot legally bear arms. The Constitution also places limitations on the government so that citizens can be relatively free from government coercion.
Nowhere in the Constitution is the government granted the authority to force any citizen to purchase a product or service. When 8 out of 350 million citizens are in need the “common welfare” standard is not met. Therefore health insurance is a privilege (much like driving) rather than a right (such as freedom of peaceable assembly).
The government does not have a track record of efficient and effective solutions to social problems. Nearly every government attempt to fix a problem makes the problem worse (welfare, mortgage lending, etc.). Why then would the government provide reasons that are not truthful, as shown above, to push for a solution that was not popular? The answer is to increase control over our lives. Can you think of a way in which the government could more effectively control our daily lives than to control our healthcare?
The ability of government to control healthcare gives government the extended ability to control our food (goodbye cheesecake), our exercise (hello treadmill), exposure to risky activities (recreational sports cause too many injuries), etc. This is not what our Founders had in mind when they wrote our Declaration of Independence and Constitution. The Constitution did not give the government the power to protect us from ourselves. It does however give us the right to eat unhealthy food, be couch potatoes, and play softball as long as we want to without interference from the government.
While there are certainly issues with the costs of health insurance they are not caused by a lack of government involvement. They are in fact due largely to government regulations and mandates. Different states mandate different health related items be covered in their states (port wine birthmark removal for instance) and prohibit purchase of policies from out-of-state insurers.
Another way to reduce healthcare costs is to have individuals purchase personal plans for their healthcare just as they do for life, auto, and home insurance. No one complains that there is not enough competition among those other insurance industries. Lastly, health insurance should be just like auto insurance in that expensive items are covered but routine items are not. When consumers are paying for medications and doctor visits out of pocket they will be as cost conscious as they are when they fill the car with gas or buy new tires. It is no coincidence that the two areas in healthcare with dropping prices and improved care are laser eye surgery and plastic surgery. Few of their procedures are covered by insurance and they have to compete for individual patients. What a concept!
CAP AND TRADE (or EMISSION TRADING)
What the heck is an emission trade? No, it is not a belching contest. It is a system where different companies will trade rights to pollute. Companies that create more pollution will have to buy pollution rights from companies that create very little pollution. Basically it is a financial penalty for companies that pollute more. The costs of this penalty will be passed on to the consumer as all business taxes are. Therefore the actual result is that there will be a government brokered redistribution of wealth from consumers to companies favored by the government.
The definition of pollution will be made by the government which gives them the ability to enhance or protect companies who give them campaign contributions or who wield influence. For example, the process of making solar panels is toxic in nature. Does anyone really think the government is going to saddle those companies with emission exchange mandates? The government exempted unions from the more costly aspects of the healthcare plan. Does anyone really think they will take the high road on emission trading? If you believe they will be fair about the implementation of this legislation we’ve got some prime ocean front property in Nebraska for you.
Redistribution of wealth by the government is strictly for granting favors, choosing winners, and trying to create equal outcomes which most definitely makes it a control policy.
If “Climate Change” supporters really had a sound argument it would begin with this phrase, “We have a thorough understanding of the causes of previous warming and cooling trends and our current climate has few or none of the causes for warming in place therefore we strongly suspect that our current warming trend is caused by man-made greenhouse gasses”. They would also end their argument with, “Our predictive models using man-made greenhouse gasses as the main catalyst for climate warming have been remarkably accurate”. The simple fact that scientists cannot and will not make either of those statements puts a serious damper on the scientific argument for “Climate Change”. See our Global Warming page for a thorough logical analysis of “Climate Change”.
Since a logical argument cannot be made for “Climate Change” why is the drum beat for government action so loud? Because people who are afraid of an impending catastrophe are far more likely to allow the government to take more control of their lives than people who do not feel threatened. As Archimedes said, “Give me a lever long enough and a fulcrum on which to place it, and I shall move the world”.
If you’re sitting around your domicile enjoying the weather you are not likely to jump up and demand that the government fix the climate. However, if multiple news and opinion sources are telling you about the grim future we face if we allow the weather to be enjoyable you may just jump up and demand that a bigger government that will save us from ourselves is not just desired but required. Climate Change is a lever to move YOU to allow government action that you would not even consider if there was not a perceived threat.
Scientists get research money, news outlets sell stories, and combined with politicians they hope to build a world in which they are the ones doing the controlling.