The Democrats just took back the House of Representatives. Attempts to either bring back Obamacare or go straight to single-payer will follow. We just concluded a cycle with a Republican House of Representatives. Voters thought the Republicans would act as a pushback to government expansion into health care. What we learned instead is that powerful lobbies all aligned in opposition to keep their piece of the pie. In the forefront impeding health care reform is a federal government with its never sated hunger for money, power, and control. The few Republicans who professed resistance and represented any hope of fighting this array of characters were soon rendered impotent.
The best argument these Republicans could have made was never brought out into the open.
Making prices public provides the opportunity for competition. Competition is capitalism’s secret weapon. Efficiency and innovation are rewarded, and fraud, waste, and corruption are exposed when a consumer is offered a choice. Of course, choice involves risk, risk by definition incurs “winners” and “losers,” and losing when it involves your health can be risky. The unfortunate “losers” make great copy for the mainstream media. But not introducing economic reforms into health care isn’t even a real choice anymore, as the current system is untenable.
It’s a great idea all right, but the underlying assumption is in error: that the Republican Uniparty wing actually wanted to do away with Obamacare. None but a small handful of them ever did—too few to matter, too few to get it done. Being in the minority allowed the GOPe to posture, pose, and take meaningless votes against it that ensured they could go on using it as a campaign issue without its continued existence ever being endangered.
As I’ve said so many times: government is now fully and firmly entwined with health care; the notion of health care as a “right” is equally entrenched. A majority of the American people like it that way; with a new generation coming of age that has never known things to be any other way, the two will assuredly never be disentangled.
You should read the rest of it anyway; for an AmThink piece it’s kind of lengthy, but it’s also damned good.