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May 11th, 2010

There’s a cure for our health care problems: LESS GOVERNMENT

Written by Rod Blum

These days I often hear the catchphrase “the government should do something about it”. Half of our citizens beg to have their problems taken care of by the government. And sadly, today’s politicians are incapable of telling voters no. Rather they prefer to make big promises they cannot possibly deliver on. If we do not stop expecting the government to take care of us, we will quickly become an also-ran bankrupt nation whose citizens have unwittingly given up their liberties and freedom to professional politicians in Washington.

Do you look to the government to do for you that which you can do for yourself? In a free society, no one is entitled to anything from another citizen. But healthcare is an area where citizens now feel entitled to the point of irrationality. Does any American have the right to free healthcare? One has no more right to free healthcare than one has the right to steal their neighbor’s cough medicine. As Ron Paul said, “Once you say you have a right to something, and the government is going to give it to you, you have to ask the next question – how is the government going to get it? They will have to violate someone else’s rights to get it. Government is established in a free society to protect rights, not to divvy up the loot.”

The problem with our current system is that government has infected every facet of medicine, dictating everything from how many doctors are allowed to be licensed to what procedures insurance companies must provide on their plans. Today’s system is much like veterinary medicine. You take your sick dog to see the vet and after the examination, you and the vet discuss the course of action. Everyone has a say in the treatment but the . . . dog. Today’s patients are like dogs: no say-so in their treatment, the price or how it’s paid since the government and insurance companies control the entire system. We need to put the patient in charge of their healthcare – a “patient-centered” system.

Healthcare consumers need more choices. Take my small software company for example. We can receive bids from seven different suppliers for paper clips. But when we bid our healthcare plan, we have only two to choose from. Allow insurance companies sell across state lines and stop state legislatures from dictating what must be covered in each policy.

We need to separate insurance from the workplace. The insurance policy should be the consumers, not the employer’s. And the tax break for insurance premiums paid ought to go to the consumer instead of the corporation. Medicare could become a voucher system, whereby each retiree can purchase private insurance with a government issued voucher. Reform lawsuit abuse and healthcare costs would be dramatically lowered since defensive medicine results in approximately $250 billion a year in unnecessary tests. Eliminate most of that and we’d cut everyone’s healthcare costs ten percent immediately.

Liberals say their programs will reduce costs – nonsense. What their programs will do is shift costs to other citizens. If your neighbor is paying for your healthcare, I guess your costs did decrease. Only a liberal would call that “bending the cost curve down”.

There’s a cure for our health care problems. That cure is not to demand more government but less government. I challenge anyone to identify a problem with health care in America that is not caused or aggravated by government. Whenever government gets involved in medicine or education, it increases the prices while decreasing the quality. Freedom made this country great – not government control.

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The Iowa Republican

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