In his weekly address this week President Obama announced his plans for bipartisan meetings to work on bipartisan health care legislation. He started with some stories about 25% health insurance increases those nasty insurance companies are about to force on us. He then suggested that the Republicans really need to get on board and act in a bipartisan way. This is more of the President’s famous misdirection. Ignoring for a moment the timing of the President’s desire to force us all to buy health care from those same nasty health insurance companies, what would happen if they raised their rates by 25% and we were all forced by law to buy from them? Does it make sense to reduce competition in the face of rising prices? Ok he’s a Democrat and one who admits he doesn’t know much about economics.
While I don’t enjoy giving credit to the Republicans in Congress they are not the bad guys (this time) and I have to give credit where credit is due. They saved us from the Democrats’ disastrous Health Care Deform legislation.
Now Barack Obama is being to forced to look at some of the intelligent suggestions for improvement that some of us have been screaming about for years. For example, he suggested in his speech that Republicans have suggested that:
- We should be able to buy insurance across state lines
- And that small businesses should be able to pool together the way big companies and labor unions do.
He said those are good ideas. More misdirection. Why wasn’t he saying that 2 months ago? The ideas aren’t new. The National Federation of Independent Business (NFIB) the largest small business lobbying organization, has been saying that for years.
Of course the President has said all along that he is interested in a bipartisan solution. Why has it taken this long and why did he try to ram the Democrats program down the voters’ throats even though polls showed most of us opposed it?
Those aren’t the only good ideas out there either. For example Whole Foods John Mackey published his 8 point plan in the Wall Street Journal for example:
- Remove legal obstacles to high-deductible health insurance plans
- And equalize tax laws so individuals get the same tax advantages as employer provided plans
- And repealing mandates about what plans must cover
I thought about flexible spending accounts for my business and found that if employees don’t use up their contributions by the end of the year they revert to company. What? That’s the employees’ money. Why should that revert to the company? Are you kidding? That’s the kind of laws your government passes. And why are administrative costs for these plans so high? Why can’t the employee just put the money in a bank account and if they use it for something else they have to pay taxes on it. Then they can save $3000 to $5000 per year starting when they are young and have few costs. They would still have high deductible insurance to pay for disasters. And here is the single biggest thing that will solve the health care problem. The consumer will see the costs and make their own decisions about whether they need that service and where they should go to purchase it. That alone will solve the problem.
If the president had a hard time hearing the Republicans and Mackey in the WSJ it’s no wonder he didn’t hear the Libertarians. We’ve been suggesting things like:
- Eliminate the cartel created by the AMA that limits the supply of doctors
- And end the government’s distortion of the system created by government’s dominance in health care spending.
- And restore a free market in health care and let free people make their own decisions with their own money about their own bodies
Sound scarey? Remember there was no health care crisis before government became the biggest player in the health care market. As Libertarian presidential candidate Harry Browne used to say ” Doctors made house calls”. Libertarians like former candidate for the Libertarian presidential nomination Dr. Mary Ruwart can explain How Liberty makes Health Care Universal. The President may be a great speaker. But he isn’t honest with us about his desire to listen to all the best suggestions on health care. He needs to explain why he missed all these suggestions and many others before he can regain credibility.