Thursday, March 11, 2010

Why both parties are broken

The most disturbing part of the ObamaCare debate is not about where Republicans and Democrats disagree, but where they agree.

Take this issue of those with pre-existing illnesses. Many Republicans actually support government action to prevent insurance companies from refusing to insure them. Ignoring the benefits of cost-lowering free market competition and the role of charity, many Republicans believe it acceptable to force an insurance company -- in business to insure against unknown risks -- to "insure" someone currently experiencing a known risk.

Sen. Tom Coburn, R-Okla., supports legislation to "eliminate pre-existing conditions" as a reason for a carrier to deny coverage. Sen. John Barrasso, R-Wyo., says government needs "to take care of things like pre-existing conditions so that that doesn't stop (people) from getting insurance." Sen. Chuck Grassley, R-Iowa, supports prohibiting "insurers from denying coverage to people with pre-existing medical conditions or charging higher premiums to people who are sick."

But this should not surprise anyone who observes the allegedly "fiscally conservative," "pro-free market," "limited government" party in action. From the acceptance of the New Deal to government bailouts of private industry,

Republicans -- sooner or later -- go along.

Here are just a few recent examples. Republican President George W. Bush, for a time, worked with a Republican House and Senate. Bush promised and delivered a prescription benefits bill for seniors. It expanded Medicare, the popular under-funded entitlement program passed -- with Republican support, by the way -- in 1965. We like seniors. Seniors vote. So if they struggle with their drugs bills, why, by all means make someone else help pay them. . .

No Child Left Behind ties federal dollars to local schools' performance. Where is the outrage about taxpayers in one state paying for education in another? What gives educrats in Washington, D.C., the skills, wisdom and competence to run schools in all 50 states? . . .

Republicans ran for the exits when Bush attempted a partial privatization of Social Security. And they should encourage a full-throated deregulation/privatization of the health care industry. . .

In 1900, government at all levels -- federal, state and local -- took about 7 percent of America's income. Today it's almost 40 percent. And that doesn't include an estimated 10 percent cost in federal unfunded mandates imposed on states and private business. President Barack Obama and Democrats want to add more than 30 million people -- those without health insurance -- to the takers, with little or no concern about the effect on the givers.

Government . . . grows at the expense of the productive. This eventually weakens the country by sapping the incentive of risk takers. This makes it harder -- not easier -- to help those we claim to care about.

A collectivist, whether an active or passive one, is still a collectivist. Having an "R" after the name provides no defense.

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