Friday, August 21, 2009

Nice Try

According to Yahoo! News, the White House is preparing to drop public option from HR 3200. Instead, what is to be pursued in its place is a thing called "cooperatives". The article is extremely vague as to what they are.
Michael D. Tanner, however, warns us that co-ops are simply public option by another name. (HT: Paul Hsieh.)

Should we be surprised? No, this is simply an old trick of politicians. If something is found to be unfavorable with the voting public, simply change the terminology, pretend like it is a whole new thing and you may perhaps fool them. We must remember our Shakespeare: "A rose by any other name smells just as sweet." (Though I would not be using roses in the metaphor...)

This plan must be defeated wholesale, not instead accepted in some lesser degree. In one of my earliest essays I pointed out as to why government officials are doomed to failure whenever they try to intervene in the economy to "improve" things. Given this knowledge and the fact that more regulations are habitually proposed to fix these failures, we must recognize that this leads to a vicious circle: when the government regulates the economy it causes failure, leading to more regulation, more failure, more regulation, more failure, ad infinitum. If this legislation piece is passed in any degree we will be merely taking another step in this endless circle.

The absurdity of all this is that some of the complaints the politicians are putting force about insurance companies are about problems the government has created to begin with. From the Yahoo! article:

"Nothing has changed,” said Linda Douglass, communications director for the White House Office of Health Reform. “The president has always said that what is essential is that health insurance reform must lower costs, ensure that there are affordable options for all Americans and it must increase choice and competition in the health insurance market. He believes the public option is the best way to achieve those goals."”

If that is what is desired to be accomplished, to make insurance companies more affordable, competitive, and to offer more choices, then why do they not suggest the repealing of the laws that have prevented insurance companies from achieving these goals? Laws have driven up the operating costs of business, so insurance companies raise their prices out of necessity, not greed. Laws have forced insurance companies to cover certain conditions and treatments regardless of whether or not the particular consumers wish to be covered for them, so insurance companies are lacking in competition and choices because they are prohibited from competing and prevented from offering more choices.

Instead of suggesting the repealing of the problem laws, even more laws and more regulations are being proposed.

If this circle is not broken then the government will inevitably take over the entirety of the medical care industry, not just insurance.

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