by Theresa Camoriano
Anyone who has been paying attention for very long knows that many, if not most, politicians lie. In some cases, as with our current president, the old joke applies that the way to tell when he is lying is to see whether his lips are moving. Since we know that politicians often lie, we know that, in order to carry out our responsibility as citizens, we have an obligation to look further into policies than just to listen to what the politicians say.
For example, in the debate about Obamacare, we were told by President Obama that, if we wanted to keep our current health insurance, we would be free to do so. That was a lie. If there is any change in your insurance policy, such as a change in rates, which necessarily must occur if only due to inflation, then the old policy cannot be “grandfathered in”, and the new law will apply. That means it is nearly impossible for people to keep their previous policy when it is time to renew.
I am in the process of trying to renew the health insurance for my law practice right now, and the terms of my current policy are nowhere to be found in the renewal options.
It has been clear, for anyone who did a little bit of independent inquiry into Obamacare, that its purpose was to move us gradually into a situation in which the government would have complete control over our healthcare. Of course, Obamacare is only the latest huge push in that direction, with various other government programs such as Medicare already having pushed us a good distance in that same direction.
Why do the politicians want total control over our health care? There are several reasons, including money, power, and socialist ideology.
We all are unhappy with problems that exist in the current health insurance situation in the U.S., but we need to recognize that these problems were brought about by government interference in the free market in the first place. Unlike homeowner’s insurance, auto insurance, life insurance, and other types of insurance that are purchased by individuals for themselves, health insurance became tied to our employment due to government interference. Once the government got its claws into our health insurance and created problems, it interfered more and more, creating HMO’s, requiring all policies to cover certain conditions, and so forth, until we have the current mess.
Free market competition is the best tool we have to encourage innovation, efficiency and customer service and accountability in any field, but government interference has effectively eliminated that tool in the health care arena. So, instead of insurance companies and health care providers competing to provide the best service and value to consumers, they spend their resources trying to figure out how to comply with government mandates and still survive, or trying to lobby for laws and rules that will give them an advantage over their competitors.
Contrary to what the lying politicians tell us, free market competition does not result in callous disregard of the consumer. Exactly the opposite is true. In a competitive environment, if businesses want to survive and thrive, they have to compete to do a better job of catering to the consumer, and those that do not do a good job go under. It is precisely when government interferes and restricts competition that the needs of the consumer take a back seat.
The solution is not the “all or nothing”, straw man world described by President Obama, in which everyone plays by their own rules and the consumer be damned. Government does have a role to play to ensure that the free market operates properly.
The government’s job in the health care arena is to make sure everyone plays by the rules that generally apply to any business, such as by enforcing contracts and providing an efficient tort system by which those who are injured due to medical malpractice are compensated for their injuries. Government also may want to provide inspections and ratings of insurance companies and health care providers. Also, since government policies have created problems in the market, such as making people dependent on the bankrupt Medicare system and making it difficult for people with preexisting conditions to obtain insurance, the government needs to work out solutions to those problems that do not create bigger problems in the process.
In the case of Medicare, we need to move in the direction of vouchers for younger people (and for older people who choose to opt for them), in order to put the program on a sound financial footing. In the case of preexisting conditions, the government may need to create a subsidized insurance pool or provide subsidized vouchers for people with preexisting conditions in order to help get them back into the regular health insurance market.
Instead of requiring insurance policies to cover abortions, birth control, mental health care, acupuncture, and routine preventive health services, which can make policies very expensive, and which many consumers would rather not pay for, the government should allow consumers to choose the kind of insurance they want. Some will want gold-plated policies that cover everything under the sun and are very expensive, while others will want more affordable major medical policies. Let the consumers decide what they want to buy, and let the costs of the decisions be made clear, and the situation will work itself out just as it does in other competitive arenas.
The lying politicians treat us as if we are stupid. If we believe them and do not do our own investigations in order to carry out our responsibilities as citizens, then they are right.
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