Monday, February 25, 2013

Off Election Year Politics

2013 is not an election year. To build credibility for his show, Sean Hannity allowed Dr. Benjamin Carson on his show to talk about free market health care reform.

I've followed the health care debate since the 1980s.

This pattern repeats every single election cycle.

The GOP will permit free market rhetoric during off years. The GOP then clamps down on discussion of free market reform and push those wishing to advance the cause of freedom into the wilderness.

Notably, during the off election season of 2009, the GOP allowed the Tea Party movement to form. The Tea Party gave the GOP enough momentum to capture the House in 2010. The GOP establishment turned full force against the freedom movement, and in the 2012 election, the GOP produced the disastrous Mitt Romney campaign.

Think of the contempt the GOP has for you the voter. The GOP thinks so little of the American people that the party had the audacity to run the father of RomneyCare to defeat the father of ObamaCare. (The two plans are the same).

I've mentioned in the past that the internal pendulum swing within the GOP is a primary factor in the diminishing liberties in the United States.

The GOP has a long history in which they promote free market rhetoric when they are in the minority. When they get in power, the GOP enacts big government expansion.

Free market rhetoric is fine, but I want to see people moving beyond rhetoric to action.

I was thrilled to see Dr. Carson on the Hannity show, but the good doctor said nothing new.

Dr. Carson repeated arguments for free market health care reform that were made in the 1980s and 1990s.

There was a substantial free market health care reform movement after the HillaryCare debate in 1993.

All of the great ideas people put forward were put down. The GOP (which receives buckets of donations from the insurance industry) suppressed the ideas that arose in that debate.

These ideas have been around for decades. The problem is that the ideas have never been developed beyond rhetoric.

Because the ideas have never been fully developed, the ideas systematically fall short.

The best example of how free market ideas get destroyed can be seen during the Bush Administration.

The Bush Administration included tax deductions for Health Savings Accounts in his push for Medicare and Prescription Drug expansion. Large insurance firms created products that tacked a HSA onto High Deductible Insurance Policies.

If you run the numbers on the Bush plan you will find that the program is extremely regressive.

The rich get a nice little benefit from the tax deduction.

Seeking to cut costs, companies give the high deductible insurance to low wage workers. The low wage workers don't have the money to put into savings. They don't get a substantial tax deduction.

The Bush Era HSA creates a system in which low wage workers stop receiving basic and preventative care.

People with chronic conditions fare even worse. Imagine that your diabetes requires $2,000 treatment a year for twenty-years and your insurance has a deductible of $3,000. Well, you have to pay the full cost of your diabetes. Your insurance company will see your diabetes as a risk and raise your premium.

To add insult to injury, the HSA+HDHC combination fails to restore the pricing mechanism. The cost drivers in medicine happen with expensive care (not with the inexpensive care). High deductible insurance does not reduce costs, because its the expensive care exceeding the deductibles that drives the cost of medicine.

When we let the political establishment implement Health Savings Accounts without any input from the public, the political class will create the worst possible implementation of the plan.

To create an implementation of the Health Savings Account that advances the cause liberty and restores balance requires something that Conservatives are simply unwilling to do.

It requires people meeting together and talking about free market alternatives to insurance.

I am at the ready to discuss this issue. I live in Utah. I will be happy to drive to Arizona, Colorado, Nevada or possibly even Southern California.

Anyway, I am delighted that Sean Hannity allowed a discussion of free market health care on his show.

The ideas presented on the show are undeveloped. If anyone is interested in developing the ideas fully, I am ready to hit the road.

If the GOP remains true to form, Republicans will allow free market rhetoric during the off season but will push the ideas aside during the next election year.

The freedom movement needs to take advantage of the pendulum swing and create a fully developed implementation of health savings accounts that will fly in the next general election.

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