Friday, August 14, 2009

"Choice" Under Obama's Health Care

There is a huge amount of angry rhetoric surrounding Barack Obama's health care policy agenda. On the left we hear about the untold numbers of people dying on the streets without health insurance and on the right we hear about "death panels" that will determine who gets to live and who has to die. The President has asked that the America people take the rhetoric down a little bit and have a thoughtful discussion. He tells us that "choice" won't be affected. You will "always have private options," Obama has told us. This is, of course, a little different from what he said on the campaign trail, in which he discussed a single payer system like Canada's which prohibits private practice, but is more in line with the political realities he faces today.
It is this issue of choice that I want to focus on. Advocates of government health care are telling us that under a new system you will be free to keep your private option, but you are going to have to pay for the health care of everyone on the government system. Candidate Obama said that only those who make $250,000 or more a year will be subject to new taxes to pay for his expansive government. In the last few weeks that number has been adjusted to those making around $100,000. The reality is that spending is so out of control and unemployment is so high, having a job at all will be considered affluent under this Administration.

The funding model of government health care will be similar to that of public schools. Everyone pays for the school, even if they don't use the school. Millions of Americans can simply go to their schools of choice and not be subject to the under performing public schools that we have become famous for on the international scene, but approximately 90 percent of all children come from families that choose not to go private, according to the Department of Education. This happens because parents are "crowded out" of the private options due to how expensive they are and the lack of dollars available to spend on them because they have to pay for public schools no matter where their children attend. In England, approximately 90 percent are on socialized medicine and only 10 percent have private insurance.

Ironically, most of the same politicians who argue that our public schools are not performing at the level they should are also arguing for national health care. Since government has done so well in public education, let us allow it to have a shot at our nation's health. That is a scary thought.

So will you feel forced to be under socialized medicine? Do you feel forced to have your children in private schools, but would prefer a private option? If the answer is "yes" to that question there is a high liklihood you will be under government health care program. However, if you are part of that minority that have children in private schools, you know how great that additional burden can be. It will likely be very similar under socialized medicine, far more of a burden than private health insurance is currently.

According to Freedom Works only around 15 milllion (out of 300 million) of the population are uninsured withough choice (not including illegals who should clearly be treated differently from the rest of the country, in my opinion). The US is toying with the idea of destroying a system that gives us huge choices and the most advanced health care in the world in order to accomodate approximately 5 percent of the population. The way we will help them is by destroying their health care too, because they are still being treated in our system, even without contributing. There certainly has to be a "better way."

Kevin Price is Host of the Price of Business, the longest running show on AM 650 (M-F at 11 am) in Houston, Texas and on AOL Radio. His articles often appear in Chicago Sun Times, Reuters, USA Today, and other national media. Steve Moore of the Wall Street Journal calls Price the “best business talk show host in the country.” Find out why and visit his blog at www.BizPlusBlog.com and his show site at www.PriceofBusiness.com. You can also find Price on Strategy Room at FoxNews.com.

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