Letter: There is only one way to make health care affordable | SteamboatToday.com

Letter: There is only one way to make health care affordable

The “Affordable” Care Act was the Democrat Party’s attempt to fix a health care crisis that that has existed for decades. To solve a problem, you have to identify the cause before you understand how to fix it. You can’t fix a problem that was created by the government with more government.

Prior to the introduction of the massive socialist Medicare and Medicaid programs, the United States had the best health care system in the world. It was based on free market principles, and it was affordable. These two socialist programs allowed doctors to order unnecessary tests, which caused health care costs to skyrocket. These socialist programs divorce the patient from paying the cost of health care directly, which eliminates the incentive to keep health care costs low.

The government licensing of medical practitioners and establishing strict “standards of care” pushed out competition from alternative health care providers. When you limit competition, the result is higher costs and an inferior product. 

Health care insurance came about in response to FDR’s price and wage controls during World War II, producing a shortage of workers for defense contractors. With FDR’s blessing, defense contractors were able to get around government’s wage controls paying higher wages in the form of health care insurance. Once the employee was separated from the responsibility of paying for health care directly, there was no longer an incentive to keep health care costs low.

Government regulation of insurance prohibits interstate competition, which is protectionism for the insurance companies. Economics 101 teaches us that less competition results in higher prices.

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There is also a moral cost to government-controlled health care. To provide health care for everyone, the money must be confiscated from those to whom it rightly belongs to and given to those that it doesn’t. This is not charity.  This is theft.

History proves that all forms of socialism fail, and the health care system in the U.S. is no exception. The tweaking of Obamacare by Statist Democrats and Republicans will not fix the problems. The government isn’t the solution; it is the problem.

The only solution is to completely separate the government from health care, which is the system that was in place for most of our history. Introducing free market principles will produce superior health care at an affordable cost.   

Joe Meglen
Steamboat Springs

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