Where's the freedom?
In your editorial "Making a mess of it" (July 26) regarding health care reform, you make the incredibly specious reference to free enterprise and government competition in the health insurance industry.
Since when does the government compete with the private sector? The federal government's function is to promote free commerce, not impede it. What kind of competition are we talking about where one player makes the rules for the other? The government has no entrepreneurial risk when it has the power of taxation.
The federal and state governments have already made the rules for the private sector players. This has led directly and indirectly to rising costs. These costs in turn increase the uninsured rolls. Now the public option proposes to set reimbursement at Medicare levels, while the private players must abide by reserve formulas based on loss ratios. No such regulations exist for the government plan.
From whom will patients seek remedy when the federal board refuses to pay? Who regulates the "public option"?
Jerry Kopychuk, Hackettstown
Posted by Zemack on 08/04/09 at 5:28PM
Jerry Kopychuk is exactly right, and I'd like to expand on this notion of "public - private" competition.
The government is a unique institution, distinguished by its legal monopoly on the use of physical force. America's great achievement was to limit that compulsive power to the protection of our inalienable individual rights. That is government's proper role. Stepping outside of those constraints invalidates government, as America's Founders understood.
The proposed "public option" is intended to destroy private health insurance, and clear the way for single-payer medical tyranny. Everyone knows it. The politicians will do whatever it takes to support their "competitor". They will use government's tax and monetary powers to keep premiums "affordable"; regulatory powers to hamper private insurers; force below-market prices on providers; harass private executives with explicit or implied "back-room" threats using the arbitrary and capricious powers of the regulatory apparatus, the IRS, or antitrust division of the Justice Department. The employment of government's unique powers of legalized physical force to destroy private businesses, industries, and livelihoods is legalized criminality.
Obama's plan is a continuation of the trend of the past 50-75 years...socialized medicine through the fascist back door. There is nothing "market-oriented" about it. There is, in fact, nothing market-oriented about our current semi-socialized, government controlled system.
Nevertheless, to allege that there can be "competition" between a government plan and private business is to equate an armed thug with his victims. The aim is to snuff out the last shreds of freedom and individual rights in American medicine. The public "option" is organized crime on a scale that relegates Al Capone to the status of a petty thief.