Love the headline: Obama Bats Back Criticism of Health Care Effort – Roll Call.  It conjures up images of Ted Williams effortlessly batting over .400 in the 1941 season.

This is the first paragraph of the Roll Call article:

President Barack Obama sought to turn every argument against a health care overhaul on its head Wednesday night, describing his initiative as one that would reduce the deficit, make it more likely people can keep their insurance, promote more choice of insurers, help insurers provide better coverage, and even get the government out of decisions about care.

This should be so easy for the Republicans to dismantle it almost isn’t fair.  Of course, Obama and the Left have done a very nice job of framing the debate so as to make the perceived lack of proposals from the Republicans expose Republican congressmen as being “political” or against things that matter to the average American.

Let’s see…

Reduce the deficit. How could this be possible?  Even for the government to “get in” to the health-care business (as if they weren’t already, i.e. Medicare and Medicaid) it would cost an enormous amount just to set up all of the protocols and plans.  After you’ve set all that up you’ll have to implement the protocols which will rely heavily on manpower that will cost a lot of money.  Monitoring compliance and/or fraud will be a huge expense, too.  There is no way that a government plan could possibly reduce the deficit.

Keep your own insurance. Again, logic dictates that this will not likely be the case for the average American.  Once the government is providing a health insurance plan many companies will end up dumping their own insurance plans and tell their employees to buy the government plan because it will be cheaper for them and allow them to stay in business.  The only people who get to keep their plans are those that can afford it and the members of the U.S. Congress.

Promote choice of insurers. If choice is really that important, then the Democrats should be writing a bill that promotes portability without saddling the treasury with another entitlement program.  If it doesn’t work, only then should we talk about adding a government plan.

Help insurers provide better coverage. How is this possible?  Are they going to mandate better coverage?  If so, then they will definitely chase private insurance companies right out of business.

Get the government out of decisions about care. This is the most laughable part of the whole paragraph.  The government has already meddled so much in the private medical affairs of individuals that it is not funny.  The very fact that government regulates and licenses hospitals and clinics makes them paramount in decisions about care.  I’m not suggesting a deregulation of the health care industry (although I’m not convinced it wouldn’t make things worse), but insurance companies and providers already shell out huge amount of money just to be in compliance with government regulations.  I imagine what Obama will safely say is that he himself will not personally phone in an order for your physician to follow.  Phew.

Of course, what hovers above any discussion of the government being involved in health-care is the fact that the government makes the rules.  How long will private insurance companies last against a competitor who also gets to make up the rules of the game?

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