Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Government 'Competition'

One of the main pieces of the health-care bill (now called health-insurance reform, by the way) is the so-called 'public option'. The idea behind it is basically that no one will be left behind. The troublesome part is the contention that it is there to 'compete' with private insurance.

In the words of Ralph Wiggum: 'that is un-possible!'

The entity that sets the regulations and is the enforcer of said regulations cannot, I repeat, cannot be considered a fair competitor against those for whom the regulations exist. Likewise, the government does not rely on capital to sustain themselves nor do they need to turn a profit in any sense.

President Obama tried to compare the Public Option and its potential competition to the competition between FedEx, UPS, and the United States Postal Service; a way of saying that private insurance would be fine against a Public Option. It is a false comparison in several ways - FedEx, UPS, DHL, and the like are forbidden from carrying first class mail. It is a monopoly of the Postal Service, as set up by the United States Government. Likewise, the Postal Service runs at an operational defecit every single year - true competition would have blown the Postal Service out of the water. If FedEx ran a defecit like the Postal Service, its creditors and the US Government would be calling for it to shut down.

It is a matter of honesty. Just say you want to eliminate private insurance as so many videos of various politicians (The President, Barney Frank, etc.) have said to sympathetic gatherings. I think, though, that honesty would completely kill any chances of passing the bill.

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