Republicans and Democrats argue over the best brand of tissues while our defective healthcare system is in the infirmary with a government-induced infection.
According to a July 30 Rasmussen Reports poll, 59% of likely US voters favor the repeal of Obama's Healthcare Law that was rammed through Congress just four months ago. Despite the rhetoric, healthcare reform was not a bipartisan effort. Alternatives were presented to the president and categorically ignored in favor of pushing through the Democratic agenda.

During Obama's first year in office, Democrats successfully framed the healthcare debate as “reform versus the status quo.” As Sheldon Richman noted in his March 2010 article featured in The Freeman, A far better framing of the issue would have been: “real reform versus the status quo on steroids.” The Democrat plan is essentially a “doubling down on the system’s existing perversities” and “ extension of the current force-based bureaucratic system.”

Almost 6 out of 10 US voters realize, the 2500+ page healthcare bill Obama signed into law is a terrible plan. Besides the fact that the law requires people to buy a private service and impose fines on those who do not (a gross encroachment on human rights by the Federal Government), the plan is also likely to increase the nation's already massive debt over the course of the next decade. According to CBO estimates “...if the Medicare cuts were used to help shore up the effectively bankrupt Medicare trust fund...then the Democrats health care bill would run $260 billion in deficits over the next decade.”
  • Let's take a quick second to remember how accurate government healthcare cost estimates have been in the past: Medicare costs were approximately $3 billion at the start of the program in 1966. The House Ways and Means Committee conservatively estimated that Medicare costs would increase to $12 billion by 1990. The actual cost of Medicare in 1990 was $107 billion – 792% more than the government estimate. Today, Medicare alone costs the nation over $408 billion/year!
Obamacare does not address the root cause of the healthcare problem and will likely only make our nation's precarious economic situation all the more dismal. That being said, the Republican party has neither addressed the healthcare issues at the root nor provided any real alternative either. In principle, the Republican alternative is a merely a water-downed version of the bad medicine prescribed by the Democrats. Throughout the last half century the Republicans have served as no more than a speed bump slowing the progress of socialized medicine.

And, while it is true Republicans did present alternative proposals to Obamacare, the focus of the GOP for the last year was first and foremost to fight against the Democrats' baleful plan.

In 1994, Republicans successfully fended off Clinton's healthcare proposal. After taking back control of Congress, for a decade and a half Republicans did nothing to fix the tangled regulatory mess caused by government bedevilment in healthcare. Instead of unwinding the crippling interventionist programs and regulations, Republicans complacently let the costly errors of an inherently flawed government-orchestrated system compound. Republicans had their chance and stood idle.

In the game of politics it might make sense for the minority party to steer clear of from rallying around an alternative that has no chance of passing, but it is not enough for the Republicans to simply oppose bad policy when they've had years to address the root of the problem.

Ok. So we've witnessed a furious debate around healthcare reform in America. In typical fashion, the media and politicians (both Republicans and Democrats) directed our attention to arguing over detached, surface-level issue instead of the real problems. Here's the deal: Republicans and Democrats have both shown they support socialized, government solutions to healthcare – only varying by degree. Democrats are just a more consistent and explicit in their message, but there is really not a material difference when it comes to basic principles.
Democrats were able to win the political game this time around. But “ best this was a triumph of wishful thinking over sound thought.”

The system of delivering and paying for medical care in the United States is broken. The Republicans did nothing to fix it. Obamacare is a complete and utter failure - economically and morally.

To borrow a quote from economist Thomas Sowell, “The strongest argument for socialism is that it sounds good. The strongest argument against socialism is that it doesn't work.”

What is the solution? Stay tuned for a real alternative in Part 2.

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9/8/2010 06:41:20 am

It's good that this article exposes the Republicans for not trying to fix/de-regulate things when they had a chance. One thing that needs to be brought out is areas that aren't even related to health care that the health care bill infringes on our freedom, such as from what I've heard, having to report purchases of gold.

3/19/2012 08:17:22 pm

One thing that needs to be brought out is areas that aren't even related to health care that the health care bill infringes on our freedom, such as from what I've heard, having to report purchases of gold.

8/28/2012 08:37:59 pm

The Impact of Healthcare Reform Legislation on Tax-Exempt Hospitals interest charge domestic international sales corporations Although the full extent of the impact of healthcare reform remains to be seen, hospital systems can do no harm by responding boldly


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