Chuck McConnell: Public health care is the suicide option

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The public health care option now being considered will be just one more nail in the coffin of free-market capitalism and one giant step toward the socialism of America that the political left wants so badly. These dreadful outcomes ultimately may pale, however, to their contribution to economic suicide and ultimate bankruptcy of America.

Health insurance companies are far from perfect, but a government-run health care "company" is a pernicious option.

The political left believes companies should be run without profits and that shareholders have no value. They regularly exaggerate the impact of profits on increasing health care costs. They even argue that there is too much bureaucracy in public corporations. The free-market system that features competitive marketplaces and the profit motive is largely responsible for America's very high standard of living. Corporations are not just managers and boards of directors but largely are made up of employees earning hourly wages or salaries. Corporations hate bureaucracy while the federal government is strangled by it.

The left denigrates private health insurance companies by dragging out stories of members whose claims are denied. To be sure, some of these horror stories are true. But just as true and far greater in magnitude are the billions of dollars of fraud and abuse now rampant in Medicare and Medicaid. Government acquiesce to fraud along with political pressure to pay all claims has hopelessly bankrupt the public health system.

Right now, many states have no money to pay Medicaid claims. California is the poster child with their credit rating now hovering just two grades above junk. The only way the feds can pay Medicare and prescription drug claims is to borrow money from China with one hand and print increasingly lower-valued money with the other. Private insurance companies fight fraud and abuse, while government tolerates the waste. At the end of the day, adding 47 million people to the public health dole will exacerbate the bleeding of money from federal coffers rapidly hastening financial failure.

Equal universal health care is not an entitlement. Public health care was not guaranteed in the U.S. Constitution. Proponents of universal public health care - a concept not even envisioned until the middle of the past century - largely are motivated by populist egalitarianism or their own personal gain and not by a reasoned assessment of what the public can afford.

America needs political leadership with the courage and intelligence to put a stop to waste and fraud in the current public health care system, to stand up to the trial lawyer lobby with mandated dollar caps on malpractice claims, and to make partners in cost containment of public and private users of health care by taxing benefits. Sadly, our current federal administration and Congress are racing headlong in the other direction.

Chuck McConnell

Steamboat Springs

Comments

seeuski 5 years, 2 months ago

And sadly now we are learning that the Democrats have recently traveled to Saudi Arabia with hats in hand to find new money because China sees the reality of our out of control Congress and it's love for spending. We are almost considered as low as junk bond status. I am happy with my $400 a month private health insurance and would not want to turn my care over to the Government and go through the public system that has not worked anywhere including here.

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