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White House Reality Check 3 — Whither Goest My Insurance?

August 10, 2009

Another in the installment of six videos presented by the White House on the Government option healthcare plan is here:  This presentation leaves something to be desired in terms of substance as it mostly repeats and replays statements made by the President.   The criticism to which this video is directed is the claim that private healthcare insurance will be eliminated by the President’s plan.  Certainly, the President has stated clearly that we can keep our own insurance provided by our employer and keep our own doctor.  But people are more concerned not with the President’s good faith in his promise, but in  his understanding of the potential effects of a Government competitor in the marketplace.  Neither the President nor this presentation has adequately addressed that concern.

Competition is uniquely American.  A Government-run competitor is not uniquely American; it is contra-American.  Government as market competitor is, at bottom, Government as market maker and breaker.  How so?  The Government is in the unique position of having virtually limitless revenues.  The Government can set the rules about how to compete (if you are not the Government).  The Government is run by politicians who may desire the end of healthcare in America as we know it.   If you are an employer and you can shift the cost of private insurance from your bottom line to the public, why wouldn’t you do that?  If you are a private insurance company, what can you do to stop that?  Isn’t the Government option going to offer just as much quality as private insurance?  You see, private enterprise competing against the Government is like three blind-folded boxers with one-hand tied behind their backs trying to take down Smokin’ Joe — it ain’t gonna happen.

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