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Obamacare: As unnecessary as it is unworkable.
Listen to the broadcast of You Tell Me on KTBB AM 600, Friday, November 15, 2013.
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There are those that believe that a handful of the very brightest and most learned can gather unto themselves the administrative mastery so as to provide comfort, security and sufficiency to the whole of society.
It has never worked.
Yet, despite colossal real-world failures like that of the Soviet Union in 1991, liberals continue to believe that ordinary people are simply not capable of making their own economic decisions. Liberals imagine that a large population must have the oversight and control of a small, highly-educated circle of elites. From such imaginings emerge bad ideas like Obamacare.
Those of us who knew from the start that Obamacare was not going to work understand the utter futility of a puppet master – e.g. the Secretary of Health & Human Services – trying to manage the coordinated pulling of 300 million strings – e.g. the health care needs of the entire American population. No economy can function that way – least of all the American economy.
The success of the American economy draws upon the power inherent in millions of individuals freely making millions of discreet, minute-by-minute economic decisions for themselves – and bearing the responsibility for the results. From this model emerged the wealthiest and most peaceful nation in all of history.
It is the idea of bearing responsibility for the results that most offends liberals. Proponents of massive state programs such as welfare and universal health care are never willing to hear the argument that an over-willingness to mitigate the consequences of bad behavior – such as dropping out of school, unwed pregnancy or drug addiction – leads inevitably to more of the poverty-inducing bad behavior.
With respect to health care, if you have to pay your own doctor bills three things happen. The first is you act as best you can to avoid having to go to the doctor in the first place. The second is that you are sensitive to what the doctor charges. The third is that because of that sensitivity, the doctor pays close attention to what he charges lest you find a doctor willing to treat you for less.
It is the over-reliance on third-party payment schemes, of which Obamacare is the latest manifestation, that has distorted the market for health care to the point of unsustainability.
Health care is no different than any other essential service. There is need for health care which creates demand. The demand creates the incentive for supply. The two forces seek equilibrium using price as the signaling mechanism.
For those medical services that would impose a financial burden beyond the means of average people, there is insurance – just as there is for those who own cars and homes. Premiums are a function of risk. Drive safely and you pay a lower auto insurance premium. Take care of yourself and you pay a lower health insurance premium.
And while it is uniquely true with respect to health care that there will always be those who through no fault of their own have disproportionate need, it is equally true that a good and decent society in the world’s largest economy can adequately address that need without resorting to government annexation of an entire industry.
Since World War II the government has taken a progressively larger role in the financing of health care in the United States. Since World War II, the health care industry financial model has become progressively more strained. These two facts constitute much more than mere coincidence.
The vast majority of Americans are much smarter than what liberals are willing to credit. Left to make their own health care decisions and left to bear the consequences thereof, Americans would do an astoundingly good job of sorting it all out.
A long way of saying that Obamacare was never necessary in the first place.