Bill of Rights Press

L. Neil Smith's
Number 436, September 23, 2007

"First Day of Autumn"

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Driving Socialist Health Care
by Alan R. Weiss

Attribute to The Libertarian Enterprise

What exactly is driving socialist health care? Why the sudden panic?

Immediately, corporations who had to provide for continued health insurance for retirees/pensioners would no longer have to. In Detroit, that can amount to $1200 or more per vehicle for car makers, putting them at a grave disadvantage (and even more so as buyers shift from SUV's to smaller cars as fuel prices rise). That's just one example. Small business is already struggling to provide health insurance, and as a small business owner and employer, I can tell you that year after year (sometimes quarter after quarter!) health care costs rise, we have to cut back on benefits, and I know many small business owners who just have to drop coverage entirely. The "crises" is real, but are the solutions?

The latest socialist to get on the bandwagon with an idea isn't Hilary Clinton, it is California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger. Playing Three Card Monte in California, if he can pass comprehensive state sponsored health care, being a California corporation might again be attractive (he thinks). For a LONG time, California has been very unattractive from a taxation and regulation standpoint, losing millions of high paying aerospace and high tech jobs to lower cost of doing business places.

But it is indeed a shell game, because SOMEONE will have to pay for health care. Who? The middle class is already too highly taxed in the People's Republic. That leaves either sales tax increases, or ... ta da! Higher corporate taxes at some future date. I wonder if corporations will notice? Will Lord Arnold be awarded knighthood by business and socialist interests in the People's Republic?

Politically, one answer might be to get behind and support the Fair Tax. It would immediately make all those millions of illegal aliens start paying taxes, which they largely do not under the Income Tax. Of course, libertarians know that no federal income tax and no sales taxes, along with reduced government spending and reduced restrictions on health care providers, would do it better, longer, and faster. But it is very unlikely that the Fair Tax will ever get passed, because if there is one thing Congress and all legislators, everywhere, are addicted to, it is control. Tax laws are, first and foremost, about "managing the economy" and control.

Hilary Clinton's plan for "universal health coverage: is just plain old mushy-headed fascism. As L. Reichard White points out,

Hillary's system "would require Americans to buy insurance," "a mandate requiring every American to purchase health insurance" is necessary, and soon you would have to "show proof to your employer that you're insured as a part of the job interview—like when your kid goes to school and has to show proof of vaccination," (or like when a cop pulls you over while you're "driving.") BUT, says Hillary, "we don't have anything punitive that we have proposed" AND "she rejected the notion of punitive measures to force individuals into the health care system."

NewSpeak or not NewSpeak, that is the question.

It is indeed just an average day when state-sponsored "capitalism", seeking to compete on the world stage, combine with the Boot on Your Neck Party (i.e. the Democrat-Republican Single Party Axis Power Elite) to devise a mechanism to solve corporate America's biggest rising cost. However, Hilary's plan is simply coercion: every individual MUST buy health insurance. Or else. Or else what? They can't work? Do you think government will reduce taxes so that average Americans might be able to afford this new mandate/coercion? Don't bet on it!

So lets paint a better picture: radically reduce the size of the federal government, move immediately to a Flat Tax (National Sales Tax) and eliminate the IRS, freeing up literally billions of dollars for more investment. Reduce the size of government (as Texas Representative and Presidential Candidate Ron Paul has outlined), reducing regulations and taxation in general. Eliminate state-sponsored and state-protected HMO's.

Break the stranglehold of trial lawyers so that doctors may have patients wave their right to lawsuit at the drop of a hat (retaining the right to sue for gross negligence, not simple mistakes). This will increase the supply of doctors (right now, doctors are leaving their profession due to threats of lawsuit. Try finding a good Ob/Gyn who isn't busy!).

As a measure we as individuals can take, insist on accurate food and drug labeling by ONLY buying products that are labeled accurately. This means, of course, not buying products from China, which should serve as notice to corporate America that Americans expect quality and safety, not just cheap prices. Let your Congresscritters know that you're not interested in "health care at any cost", and you're wise to their shell games. Vote logically, not with the greed that comes from wanting something for nothing, because TANSTAAFL. But you knew that already, didn't you?

Mr. Weiss is Economics Editor for NetPlanetNews/The Libertarian Enterprise.


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