End of the Healthcare Road

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Economics and rational thinking eventually run into political reality. If we weren’t there before the President’s speech on Wednesday, we are now.

Obama’s attempt to revive his quest for government control of the healthcare system was nothing more than a massive sleight of hand. I posted some initial observations on this blog shortly after the speech. By now the inaccuracies and mischaracterizations have been well chronicled, so I won’t go over them again.

I have suggested a number of reforms, from market-oriented options like health savings accounts to a reorientation of the role played by government. The left, however, appears unwilling to accept anything that does not significantly expand Washington’s role. Obama demonized pharmaceutical companies and insurance companies throughout his speech. Once again, capitalism is the evil and government must reign it in.

Does our President really think healthcare can be expanded to non-contributors by squeezing waste and evil profit out of the system? I try my best to keep politics out of my analysis, but he’s either ignorant of basic economics or he’s deliberately trying to deceive us–or perhaps some combination of the two. I’ve tried to give him the benefit of the doubt and simply count him more as a Marxist than as a deceiver. A redistribution of wealth is clearly at the core of his proposal, but I think there’s more to the story. I’m becoming more convinced every day that Joe Wilson is right. I was saying the same thing to my TV throughout the speech.

Keep in mind that just about everything Washington does costs and intrudes more than originally touted. Consider Social Security. The Social Security Act of 1935 set the original tax rate at 2% with a wage threshold of $3000. The maximum anyone paid was $60 a year. Today, 12.4% is paid on a maximum income of $106,800, for a total of over $13,000. What seemed acceptable to some as a limited government role in retirement blossomed into an albatross headed toward insolvency.

This is where economics and the spirit of compromise run into political reality. If Washington has a tendency toward leviathan–and it does–then how do you negotiate a critical issue like health care reform with a majority party that leans left and whose leader cannot be trusted? In an earlier blog I warned of phony compromises that move the country another big step toward socialized medicine instead of the two big steps Obama seeks. The President reiterated the battle lines on Wednesday, however. More government control is the only option on the table.

This doesn’t mean that we should stop discussing real reform based in market principles. Real reform–and perhaps some compromise–might make sense at some point, but not now, not with this regime. A Congress whose majority would consider a 1000+ page reorientation of the best healthcare system in the world without reading it is not capable of negotiation in good faith. We are left with no rational alternatives. We must seek to defeat this agenda in its entirety and hold its perpetrators accountable in 2010 and 2012.

8 Comments

8 Comments

  1. Randy  •  Sep 11, 2009 @7:56 AM

    I agree. Now is the time to become the party of NO. Joe Wilson was right and the American people are catching on.

  2. Jim  •  Sep 11, 2009 @1:02 PM

    Excellent article. We need you on The Wilkow Majority and other media outlets to dicuss these issues. One rarely hears opinions such as your coming from academia. God Bless.

  3. Nutmeg Conservative  •  Sep 15, 2009 @10:11 AM

    I truly enjoy your appearances on the Wilkow Majority. Your discussions are simple to understand and very insightful to me. There is almost nothing in health care that cannot be fixed by allowing the free market to operate through proper relaxation and reduction of regulations and bureaucracy–not more. This is simply the latest (and scariest) Trojan Horse to infiltrate our lives in the ultimate way and steal more of our treasure and fruits of our labor.

    Please also visit my little blog at http://nutmeg-state-conservative.blogspot.com/

    Cheers!
    NSC

  4. John Parnell  •  Sep 15, 2009 @12:56 PM

    Thanks–NSC is a great site!
    http://nutmeg-state-conservative.blogspot.com

  5. Tim  •  Sep 16, 2009 @3:07 PM

    My only concern is that amnesty may be passed prior to 2010 which would perhaps thwart our chances of kicking these extremists out of office. Between ACORN and illegal immigrants, the left may already be one step ahead of us in regard to coming elections. Let’s hope not though – keep up the good work and please appear on Wilkow as often as possible. Your views are sincerely appreciated !!!

  6. John Parnell  •  Sep 16, 2009 @4:03 PM

    You’re asking a question that should really be part of the Joe Wilson discussion. Even if the current plan specifically states that illegals will not be covered, an amnesty plan is around the corner anyway. If Obama contends that it was never his intention to include illegals in the discussion, then perhaps he should outline his plans for immigration reform. It’s clear that the left wants to push as much through as possible before the 2010 elections. After the healthcare fight is over, we will have to move to cap-and-trade and immigration.

  7. Steve Smith  •  Sep 16, 2009 @6:50 PM

    One question that not 1 liberal can answer or explain is what are the solutions or what are they going to do about the doctor situation when you add “X” number of people to the system.

  8. John Parnell  •  Sep 16, 2009 @8:03 PM

    The answer is rationing…see my reply on the HEALTHCARE COMPROMISE post.