September 3, 2013 by Anders Ingemarson
I’m all for defunding ObamaCare. In fact, here at SEPARATE! we’re working to defund most of government with a few exceptions. I’ve been waiting for senators Lee, Cruz, and Paul, certain U.S. House members, and other alleged limited government champions to offer a positive vision of healthcare reform to go along with their defunding proposal. Apparently I’m not alone. Columnist Mark Steyn in a recent column on ObamaCare ended with “If any Republicans are trying to devise a health system that doesn’t involve employers, the IRS and paperwork without end, they’re keeping awfully quiet about it.”
Maybe Mr. Steyn and I are expecting too much. It seems that arriving inside the beltway—a magnetic pole of politics—causes even the most fired up freedom fighter to lose his compass bearings.
But the harsh reality is that without a positive vision for health care reform, the defunders will most likely come across as heartless naysayers. It’s too bad because this isn’t rocket science. Many think tanks and healthcare related organizations have developed a vision paired with concrete proposals. Docs4PatientCare’s Physicians Prescription for Health Care Reform is but one example.
Having a hard time retaining more than three factoids for any given issue, I always lean towards keeping it simple. Here’s my attempt at playing (vision spin) doctor:
“We have a vision of healthcare in America where decisions are made where it matters, directly between patients and their doctors, and where healthcare is as affordable as our daily bread.
“Help us realize this vision by restoring the Three Healthcare Freedoms:
1. Freedom from Excessive Health Care Costs and Poor Quality of Care
Let’s remove the burden of regulation—on health insurance, on drug development, on medical procedures—allowing health insurance providers, drug companies, doctors and hospitals to compete for our, the patients’, loyalty on equal terms, driving down costs and increasing quality for all.
2. Freedom from Healthcare Taxation
Let’s remove the chains of employer provided health insurance by making healthcare costs tax deductible for individuals as well as for employers.
3. Freedom to Help
Let’s allow doctors, hospitals, drug companies and health insurance providers to set their own prices—high, low, or no price—and no American will be wanting for good health care when it’s truly called for.”
Fundamentally, this is about respecting the individual rights of all involved parties—patients, doctors, hospitals, health insurance providers, drug companies, and other healthcare and medical providers. And the three freedoms go a long way towards total separation of state and healthcare.
You don’t think healthcare can be as affordable as our daily bread? Check out this interview for a glimpse of the future.
Freedom from excessive health care costs and poor quality of care is simply the result of the virtues of laissez-faire Capitalism in action. Look at the continuously reduced costs and increased quality of LASIK procedures and hearing aids for an idea of what is possible even in a semi-regulated market (“semi-regulated” because doctors need to be licensed and FDA approval is required for LASIK equipment and hearing aids. But insurance normally doesn’t cover the procedures so providers compete solely on price and quality).
You think freedom from healthcare taxation will skew consumption towards healthcare? Maybe initially, but as we’ll also work to lower and eventually eliminate the income tax, the healthcare tax breaks will decrease in value as people get to keep more and more of their hard earned dollars in the first place.
Freedom to help implies a choice, not a selfless altruistic obligation; there is no need-based free lunch to be had or claim checks to be cashed. If left free, the healthcare field is by nature predisposed towards benevolence and goodwill towards men. When push comes to shove, healthcare is literally a question of life and death. This is a great equalizer that tends to fuel the spirit that we’re all in this thing called life together.
There you have it. Feel free to pass it on to your elected representatives and other inside-the-beltway honchos. Who knows, maybe Mark Steyn and I are in for a pleasant surprise.