Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Statism: The Essence of Government-Run Health Care Reform

Arthur Brooks' editorial in the Wall Street Journal, "Why Government Health Care Keeps Falling in the Polls" provides a brief analysis of some key reasons more and more people are rejecting current healthcare "reform" proposals.

A few essential points:

1. All of the proposals limit the freedom of choice.

Limiting choice is the main purpose of mandates.

2. They all discourage (and in some cases prevent) self-responsibility.

The moral hazard of wealth-transfer is inescapable.

3. Decreasing reimbursement to providers (doctors, hospitals, pharmaceutical and medical device companies) robs our professionals of the incentive maintain thier businesses, let alone the means for improvements and growth.

Strangle the innovators, and you strangle innovation.

His concluding paragraph captures the most important issue: the debate is not just political, but moral. Which will be the guiding principle of our country: freedom or statism?

The health-care debate is part of a moral struggle currently being played out over the free enterprise system. It will be replayed in every major policy debate in the coming months, from financial regulatory reform to a cap-and-trade system for limiting carbon emissions. The choices will ultimately always come down to competing visions of America's future. Will we strengthen freedom, individual opportunity and enterprise? Or will we expand the role of the state and its power?


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