Sunday, June 8, 2014

Government Intervention, not the Health Insurance Industry, "Ruined the System"

A supportive reader of Tom Moran's column "Why ObamaCare will survive said of the pre-ObamaCare status quo, "the health insurance industry and HMOs in particular had already ruined the system!" The correspondent went on to say that if ObamaCare is repealed, ObamaCare opponents will have it on their consciences when people who have currently signed up under ObamaCare lose their ObamaCare coverage.

I replied:

Statists always evade the fact that the pre-ObamaCare insurance "system," and HMOs in particular, were government-created. The third-party-payer system disconnected the healthcare consumer from the providers, leaving the consumer at the behest of employers via the government controlled health "insurers."

ObamaCare was sold on a lie; that the crumbling status quo needed more government power to fix. The status quo WAS crumbling—a state of affairs caused by government. The proper fix was (and is) to eliminate the government policies that tied insurance to employment, and make health insurance consumer-owned and portable. That, coupled with the removal of the government mandates and barriers to competition among insurers that help drive up costs, would have gone a long way to making insurance more affordable and more responsive to consumer needs.

But the goal was never to fix the problems. The goal was (and is) to push America another step toward putting all of us at the mercy of government officials running a socialized healthcare system. When your doctor is forced to put government budgets above the best interests of his patients, we'll see whose conscience really deserves to carry the guilt.

Of course, if repeal of ObamaCare is accompanied by a transition to a genuine free market, affordable, quality health insurance will be widely available.

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