Come on. You knew this was coming sometime. If you’ve ever read my column, you could probably infer that I would be displeased with the health care reform bill that just became law. Rather than get all upset about it, I’ve decided to approach this matter somewhat rationally and give you a few reasons why it’s a bad idea.
1) Health care is NOT a public good. To put it another way, say your neighbor gets murdered. You have an incentive to hire a police force to catch his murderer because you might be next. Therefore, it is reasonable that government provide services like a police force because there are spill-over benefits associated with them. However, if your neighbor breaks his arm, you wouldn’t care what he does because this doesn’t affect you. You may want to help him pay for his medical bills, and you could, but you shouldn’t be forced to pay for his medical bills, which is what I believe the health care “reform” does.
2) People may not necessarily want health care. Politicians have not even considered the possibility that people who don’t have insurance simply may not want it. This seems even more plausible when considering that Medicare and Medicaid cover the elderly and the poor. Who else is there that should be covered with taxpayers’ dollars? Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi even talked about how this bill continued the Founding Fathers’ idea of life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness (actually, she misquoted it the first time, perhaps showing her unfamiliarity with the document). Forcing people to buy a good they may not want kind of violates that whole liberty thing.
3) More insurance is the problem, not the answer. Having someone else pay for your health care bills creates nasty incentives. Forcing insurance companies to cover people with preexisting conditions will only raise premiums sky-high. Obama said the other side has come up with no solutions. That is a complete and utter lie. Many have suggested getting rid of tax incentives or buying insurance through an employer. That way, people can go out and buy the health insurance plan for them. They will be more sensitive to cost and quality, so more competition will arise and prices will dramatically fall.
In an interview with Bret Baier, Obama said that those who voted for the bill supported health care reform and those who voted no opposed it.
Nobody is against health care reform. It is simply the way that one goes about it that makes the difference. Obama sounded like former-President George W. Bush with the whole “you’re either with us or against us” and the outrage that followed that comment.
I’ve been told Obama was supposed to usher in the era of change. Instead, this health care bill is the perfect example of how much of the same old politician Obama truly is.
Michael Lauck is a sophomore economics from Houston.