"Perhaps the sentiments contained in the following pages are not yet sufficiently fashionable to procure them general favor; a long habit of not thinking a thing wrong gives it a superficial appearance of being right, and raises at first a formidable outcry in defence of custom...A long and violent abuse of power is generally the means of calling the right of it in question..."
~Thomas Paine, Common Sense

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Obama's Trojan Horse

Although never very credible, Obama's claim that his plan is not a "trojan horse" for single payer - or universal - healthcare is even harder to believe after seeing this clip from a speech he gave in 2003:

For those who are not familiar with Obama's healthcare plan, it is purportedly an attempt to set up a public health insurance option only for the uninsured that somehow won't interfere with private healthcare. Despite numerous reminders that this is not a single-payer plan and just as many assurances that it isn't a step toward one, Obama has openly stated on multiple occasions that the reason for not setting up universal healthcare immediately is not because he does not want it but because America is not in a situation that would allow it at this time. (video)

The frustrating thing in all of this is of course the same thing that is frustrating in almost all of the political debates of today - the real issue is not even being discussed. We seem to be presented with only two options: either we accept Obama's healthcare plan or we continue to suffer from high healthcare costs. The former, we are told would some how take care of all our problems and provide healthcare to every person in America. The latter would countinue to exclude many Americans who are unable to pay for any form of healthcare whatsoever. What is not taken into account however, indeed what is not even asked, is why prices are so high in the first place. The reason is that the answer holds the key to the solution which is less government intervention, and that option is almost never considered by government.

There are certainly various factors which contribute to the high price of healthcare but likely the most significant among these has its roots in government intervention. Legislation in 1973 created an industry of "managed healthcare" which has unavoidably caused the cost of healthcare to rise. The Health Maintenance Organization (HMO) Act of 1973 provided funding to promote the creation and expansion of HMO's that have acted as a middleman between the people and medical institutions. Paying this middleman for services and maintanence has necessarily caused prices to increase and now ironically - but not surprisingly - the government is assuring us that it has the solution to the very problem it created and the solution is simply giving us more, a lot more, of the problem - government control. What is also not surprising is that one of the only voices of reason in this debate is Ron Paul:

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