While I’ve been out on vacation Team Obama has been very busy trying to gin up support for their fiasco of a health care bill. A couple of days ago they apparently sent out an e-mail blast so several thousand recipients trying to sell the program and one of those folks in the mail drop was Keith Hennessey. Hennessey decided to address the matter with a reply directed as his fellow taxpayers:
If you’re like most Americans, you like the health insurance you have today but think the system needs improvement. You would like things to work better, but are aware of the threats that arise from politicians who promise you something for nothing.
President Obama is correct that the underlying problem with health care is rising costs. Because of this problem, your paycheck grows more slowly, millions of Americans cannot afford to buy health insurance, and the escalating costs of Medicare and Medicaid will force enormous tax increases onto you and your children. The President wants to slow the growth of health care spending, and so do I.
Congress has gone in the opposite direction. Rather than changing incentives to reduce the cost of health insurance, they are trying to shift those costs onto someone else: you. The facts are not in dispute. The bill being developed in the House of Representatives would mean:
- No reduction in the growth of average private health insurance premiums;
- More than $1 trillion of new government spending over the next decade;
- $239 billion more debt in the short run, with ever-increasing additions to the deficit forever; and
- More than $500 billion of tax increases, including higher income tax rates on successful small businesses.
I agree with Hennessy completely on these points. We do need reform and we do need to address the rising costs of medical care. In fact, very nearly no one I can think of disagrees with this. Where I diverge from Obama’s camp is on how best to achieve this and the other goal of increasing the number of people with access to what we think of as basic health care. In spite of what Obama and his supporters would have you believe this isn’t a matter of socialized, government-controlled medicine or the status quo. There are other ways. Hennessey brings up an example of another form of common insurance: auto insurers. He points out that auto insurance costs are controlled by the market and the insurers are far more responsive to the end consumer because they have to compete for the end consumer’s business.
Read Hennessey’s full response because it’s really not possible to excerpt it appropriately.