Wednesday, June 24, 2009

The Government Option in Health Care - Update 2

In today's Wall Street Journal, the aptly named Robert Reich, makes more of the left wing argument for the so called "public option" in health insurance coverage. After tilting at a number of straw men, he gets to the crux of the argument:

Critics charge that the public plan will be subsidized by the government. Here they have their facts wrong. Under every plan that's being discussed on Capitol Hill, subsidies go to individuals and families who need them in order to afford health care, not to a public plan. Individuals and families use the subsidies to shop for the best care they can find. They're free to choose the public plan, but that's only one option. They could take their subsidy and buy a private plan just as easily. Legislation should also make crystal clear that the public plan, for its part, may not dip into general revenues to cover its costs. It must pay for itself.
He has rolled out what other propagandists used to call the Big Lie, a lie so audacious that no one would believe you would make it up. I repeat "the public plan... may not dip into general revenues." And how many examples do we have of quasi-government entities doing just that, in the history of our country? How about in the last year? The public option will be priced so attractively that it will lose money, then the Congress will step in and bail it out. What else will reasonably happen when the federal government, which knows nothing about running businesses, starts losing money in health insurance? What fools do the lefties take us for?

The other money quote that I just can't resist: "Without the government as competition, the private sector has little incentive to improve." So chip makers, computer manufacturers, television manufacturers, etc. all improved their products due to competition from the federal government? These arguments for public option health care are too easy to demolish, unfortunately, the left has a majority in the Congress so Common Sense may not necessarily prevail.

Editorial note. I typically do not use the term "liberal" to describe the left wing today. That is because I consider myself a liberal in the original sense of the term. Fortunately, our nation was founded on the liberal principals of equality before the law, free markets and limited government. Because we wish to conserve those liberal traditions, we are tagged with the label conservative, although that does not really capture my philosophy.

1 comment:

  1. The incentive quote is really disturbing. It's the kind of naïve, ignorant statement you'd expect from Ward Churchill. How did this guy ever become considered an expert in economics. His statements are just alien.