Questioning the sacred cows of health care reform
Posted by sanityinjection on July 22, 2009
Thomas Sowell weighs in on the health care debate with a typically well-reasoned piece questioning some of the basic assumptions behind the Administration’s push for health care reform:
I don’t think I’ve encountered anyone who thinks that our health care system is perfect the way it is. But as Sowell notes, the fact that there are things that need to be improved is not necessarily sufficient to hand the Administration a blank check for generic “change”. Democrats’ proposals for health care reform are an exercise in doublethink because they would have us believe that we can simultaneously expand coverage and cut costs at the same time, which defies logic. In fact, they know better: they are paying lip service to the idea of reducing costs in order to win support for universal public health care which is what they have wanted all along – to give the federal and state governments complete control over every aspect of the medical care of all Americans.
The health care reform I could support would focus instead on reducing the cost of medical care so that Americans can afford to purchase health insurance. That could involve several ingredients including malpractice liability reform, promotion of catastrophic as opposed to comprehensive health insurance, taking the burden of the free care pool off the backs of hospitals, and an end to pharmaceutical and medical tech companies profiteering off of no-strings-attached government R&D funding. If you’re wondering why you haven’t heard about *any* of these ideas being talked about in the current health care reform debate – good! So am I.
Instead, we’re going to get another dose of the line of arguing that gave us the trillion dollar stimulus package: “Our solution is the only solution so it’s either this or nothing at all. And we have to do it immediately so there’s no time for discussion. Either you support doing it our way, right now, or you’re part of the problem.” To the extent that this has become the operating dynamic of politics in the Obama era, it is a most unwelcome change. So much for reducing partisanship and reaching across the aisle.