In one of my posts last summer, I wrote about how a conference of the Free Market Medial Association I attended had impressed me in terms of two very hard-hitting and challenging principles that were expressed in one of the presentations.
To review, those principles are:
1) Washington can’t fix health care.
2) We have to fix health care.
Once again, as I read one post I found on Twitter by Daniel Horowitz who writes for the Conservative Review, those two principles hit me between the eyes again.
The column by Horowitz is entitled, “The GOP’s Disgraceful Retreat on Obamacare.” I was intrigued by the cartoon illustration of Senator Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and Speaker of the House Paul Ryan sitting in a grass shack with the words “Tax Cut Bill” tacked onto it while a tornado sweeps toward them. Then it shows McConnell saying, “This will give us cover for the 2018 election.”
This is a pretty scary statement about the state of politics in the United States today. Is there anything our legislators actually do that is not geared toward them staying in power? Do they really do anything with hard-working, taxpaying citizens in mind? I am beginning to think, more and more, that although both parties talk a good game about how they are supposedly working to serve the people, that it could not be farther from the truth.
Just to give a couple of examples, Horowitz’s column states that the Republicans never seriously planned on repealing Obamacare anyway, and their discussions at their retreat last week demonstrate that. He says, “Republicans overtly agreed to scuttle any attempt to try again to repeal the odious law.”
Nope, they’re not going there, and it just gets worse. Now the Republicans are not even attempting to hide their plans to actually “bail out” the insurance company cartel, which is making record earnings.
My question is – why does the United States government need to bail out these companies if they are making these great earnings? What do they need to be bailed out from? In fact, the health insurance corporations are reaping the benefits of the tax reform bill that businesses all around the country are enjoying and preparing to pay their employees better salaries and benefits. I am sure that their employees are loving that, and well they should.
This is just proof that these companies have no need of a bailout from our federal government. Again I ask – a bailout from what?
Another very pivotal 2016 article in Forbes by Dave Chase, a highly educated health policy expert, made a very startling statement about the way health insurance operates these days, especially the employer-sponsored kind. Here is a direct quote:
“Too many HR leaders mistakenly believe that insurance companies are concerned about lowering health care costs. Technically, I suppose that this is true. They have a financial interest in NOT seeing health care costs go down. It’s Economics 101 to see they have every interest to ensure costs rise. They are operating perfectly rationally given their circumstance.”
Before we consider allowing Congress to grant “bailouts” to insurance companies, we need to look hard at this Fox News editorial Steve Hilton presented several months ago. It is very disturbing when one considers the degree to which our elected representatives (of both parties) are working hand-in-glove with insurers to keep the status quo in the health care sector going, thus keeping prices for medical and surgical care (and, in turn, premiums) high, and going higher.
Propping up Obamacare with insurance bailouts will only keep this unholy alliance and health care mess operating in perpetuity. We, as citizens, must rise up and demand, loudly and clearly, that Congress stop this nonsense. We need to expose and publicly humiliate every member of Congress in both houses with corrupt ties to health insurers. And even more importantly, whenever we have a choice between corporate health care and more free market health care, we should choose the free market way if we really want to make health care affordable.