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Thursday, May 23, 2013

Obamacare: Free and Worth Every Penny

Writing for PJ Media, Paul Hsieh details how support for Obamacare is waning as the country, to quote Nance Pelosi, "finds out what's in it." In fact, he notes, the federal government is planning on spending billions of your tax dollars in a PR effort to "promote Obamacare to the public." The Hill reports that even a variety of pro-Obama unions are breaking ranks publicly warning "that unless there are changes, the results could be catastrophic." A recent poll found that a majority of Americans want to go back to the pre-Obamacare system.

But did Americans need to get to the brink of full implementation before realizing that this law would have disastrous outcomes?  Or, more generally, at one point did anyone think that there is such thing as a free lunch?

In fact, nothing is free, particularly health care.  Those who demand "free" health care want one of two things (or both): either they want the doctor to work for free or they want some other person to work longer hours to pay the doctor on their behalf.  If doctors are forced to work for free or below their market value, most, at least the good ones, will stop working and there will be doctor shortages leading to higher prices, poorer quality, and waiting lines.  If third parties are forced to pay, besides the immorality of forcing an innocent person to pay for another's service, the blank check on care artificially increases demand leading to higher prices for those who do actually pay which, in turn, leads to rationing and poorer quality as the government attempts to control costs.      

I am sorry, but despite liberal intellectuals' candy dreams and rainbow wishes, there is no way around this logic.  Most of the bureaucracy, red tape, and draconian regulations embedded in this law are attempts to circumvent reality by getting doctors to take less and getting third parties to pay more which will only exacerbate the negative effects of these very policies.  Even thousands of pages of regulations can not change the nature of reality.

If a restoration of a fully voluntary, free market in medicine is politically unattainable in the short run, I agree with those who believe we should do no further harm and at least go back to the severely flawed pre-Obamacare system.  To that end, I agree with Hsieh who concludes:
ObamaCare won’t go down without a tough political fight. But Americans have the ultimate weapon on their side — their ability to say “no.” Don’t buy into the coming PR campaign. Don’t encourage people to sign up for the government-run insurance “exchanges.” Circulate articles and blog posts critiquing the health law. Support state governors who refuse to cooperate with federal mandates. But most importantly, don’t be a willing accomplice to a health law you don’t support.

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