Competitive Socialism

The President says he doesn’t want a government takeover of medicine; he just wants government to be able to “compete” with the private sector. Now think about this for a minute. Imagine two local hardware stores competing with one another for your business. Hardware store #1 is just like any other hardware store. It attempts to make a profit — with no guarantee — by pleasing as many customers as possible. Hardware store #2, on the other hand, is subsidized by the government. It doesn’t need to make a profit because it will always be in business no matter what, since government programs — once inaugurated — are never, ever shut down. On top of that, the more that hardware store #2 fails at pleasing customers, the more subsidies it will be given — since failures in government programs are always blamed on too little money. On top of all this, the services and products at hardware store #2 will be free, on demand, to absolutely everyone. Hardware store #1 will still have to charge customers, continually evaluate prices based on supply and demand, meet payroll for employees and do all the other things that all private businesses must do. Which of these two hardware stores is better positioned to survive? And what kind of “competition” is this, anyway?

You can be sure that the President and his advocates understand that this is not “competition,” and that competition is not the point of providing government-subsidized health care for everyone. If competition were the goal, they would support the establishment of a free market for health insurance and medical care in general. People would be free to purchase their own health care in a competing market with no restrictions whatsoever. Today’s so-called “private market” for medical care consists of nothing but restrictions. Big employers are allowed to write off health insurance expenses, while individual patients may not; people may not cross state lines to buy health insurance to better suit their needs; Medicare (socialized medicine for the elderly) is imposed on people at the age of 65, like it or not. If you don’t like the way medical care operates, don’t blame it on a free market–because we don’t have a free market. Obama and company are simply proposing to wipe out what remnants of the free market remain. They hope to make everyone depend on the government before imposing government controls on everything. They understand human psychology quite well. Once you train people to depend on you, then control over them will follow automatically. It’s a rather sad turn for a nation originally founded on the premise of freedom, personal responsibility, and individual rights. This doesn’t seem to be quite the idea Thomas Jefferson had in mind.