Opinion

Say no to Obama-care

Pres. Obama is overexposed. He seems to have a press conference every week. And he’s losing on healthcare, as he should. And his poll numbers are falling, because his socialist-inspired vision for healthcare reform is wrong for America.

A “government option” is not the way to increase competition, in any field. When you want to increase competition in an industry, you deregulate, reduce taxes and reduce “barriers to entry," which keep smaller firms — the little guy - from entering the market. You don’t create a socialized public option.

Take the restaurant industry. We don’t want a government option, or government-run restaurant chain to increase competition. We need deregulated zoning laws that would reduce rents, and a lower sales tax, so more restaurants can open up.

When government gets its foot in the door, it crowds out the private sector. It gradually takes over the largest market share.

Exhibit A is the public schools. Private schools exist, but they’re a tiny fraction of the market. When the government gives something out for free, or nearly free, it is hard for the private sector to compete. People will naturally end up on the government program, by default, by attrition, or the first time they switch or change insurance. Americans will wash up into this generic, bureaucratically ruled government option full of rationing and wait lists.

Take student loans. They started as government “backed” loans, merely a “public option.” Now the feds give the loans directly. The private loan business is being crowded out of the student loan market.

This is what happens when you start with a “government option.” In healthcare, a government option will lead to a single payer system, where the feds pay for everyone’s healthcare.

The solution is to reduce third parties paying for healthcare. A “third party” is someone other than the patient or doctor, like an insurance company or government. When the patient is spending someone else’s money, she doesn’t shop for prices, or even consider prices.

As ABC News and 20-20 correspondent, libertarian John Stoessel says, if we had grocery insurance, for example, you know what would happen. We’d buy the most expensive fish and steak, and flowers and wine, not caring about price. After all, someone else is paying for it. I’d fill my shopping cart sky high and not even look at the price tags.

Medical savings accounts, legalizing interstate health insurance sales, removing the government, insurance company or HMO from between the doctor and patient, these are the solutions to skyrocketing healthcare costs, not a public health insurance option.

Pres. Obama, you’re way wrong on this.

Jeff E. Jared is a Kirkland resident and attorney.

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