Wednesday, July 15, 2009

How Bad Will Health Care "Reform" Be?

At the moment it looks like some sort of health care legislation will probably be enacted. Republicans probably won't be able to muster enough votes to block it outright.  Their best bet at this point would seem to be finding ways to minimize the damage. But there will be damage.

Higher taxes, more red tape, and of course less freedom will be inevitable results. Democrats and their allies on healthcare issues don't have the slightest concern about personal freedom. Are you young and healthy, and simply don't want to pay for health insurance?  Too bad. Democrats are going to force you to buy it whether you want it or not. After all, they know what's best for you, and you are going to do it or else. Your small business can't afford to provide health benefits? Again, too bad. Do it or close down. The government knows what's best for you.

Since there is already major government involvement in healthcare, I'm not opposed to tweaking the system, strengthening the safety net in certain areas, and enacting certain other reforms that might eliminate some problems. But any kind of sweeping overhaul of the type under discussion will almost certainly make things worse, cause many unintended consequences, and cost far more than estimated. The idea of healthcare reform is driven primarily by ideological positions, not a cautious & careful plan of incremental changes. Chances are good that we'll end up damaging the best things about our current system, while simultaneously creating all sorts of new problems.

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