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Obamacare Musings

    First off I know that this subject has been beaten to death by writers, politicians, and bloggers. My intent is not to beat an already dead horse.  I just wanted to write about some of my thoughts that came to me this morning on my morning commute about Obamacare.

   My mind was triggered by two commercials that I saw during the super bowl about health insurance. In both of these commercials both persons had serious health conditions.  As the ad went both people were grateful to have had health insurance.  But what the commercial failed to say outright even though it was implicitly implied was that they received that coverage because of Obama care.   Admittedly the commercials were well constructed because  I even found myself agreeing with them about the security of having health insurance. "Of course who doesn't want health care?" I thought. But as my heart was growing seduced by these emotional testimonies my mind came to the rescue and offered me some common sense.

   Of course I agree that as many people as possible should have health care in this country. A country so blessed and wealthy as ours should be able to provide adequate health care to its citizens.  Most of the developed world offers some type of health insurance to its citizens.  But I do have a big "but" in all of this.  My problem isn't with affordable health care; my problem is instead with the way Obama care functions in the first place.

For starters Obama care forces everyone to have coverage through its mandate.  Those who choose to disobey this have to pay a penalty or as the supreme court errantly ruled a tax.

Secondly, It forces private insurance policies to increase their premiums to cover the expensive requirements that are mandated by the law.

Thirdly, it doesn't utilize free market principles that have worked excellently in other areas.

   Philosophically if we are a capitalistic nation then why wouldn't we utilize free market principles to something as intrinsically important as health care?  If we are allowed to utilize free market principles with military purchases then why not in health care?  I understand that if you are a socialist country that this wouldn't even be a discussion, but as a country that is supposedly dedicated to the free market this doesn't make economical nor philosophical sense.

Lastly, Obama care was passed without a single vote from an opposing party.  I realize that in the world of politics everything is messy, but still not a single voice from the opposing party?  That's troubling no matter what side of the aisle you belong to.

Some pragmatic examples of effective free market principles at work:

1) Car insurance rates in New Jersey. In my state of New Jersey the cost of car insurance has dramatically gone down thanks to free market competition.  For years New Jersey had some of the highest car insurance premiums in the country. Thanks to this I am able to now purchase car insurance at a lower price and one that fits my needs and budget.

2) The I Phone. Most people love the I phone. (I don't.) Yet the I phone can be expensive, but through free market competition (and brilliant marketing) the prices have gone down making it affordable to the masses. The wonderful thing about competition is that I can still purchase an excellent phone that is not the I phone that is cheaper and offers me the perks of a smart phone without having to resort to the I phone.  Simply stated I have a choice. I can get whatever phone I want.

3) Many innovations have come from the free market. Have you ever driven a car?  Have you ever taken medicine, or been involved in surgery?  Have you ever used the computer? Have you ever used a smart phone? The answer is of course we have all utilized these technologies thanks to the free market. Many of the greatest innovations of our country have come thanks to the countless sacrifices of courageous entrepreneurs who risked everything to improve the quality of life in this country.

The basic rule of the free market is that competition brings prices down.  It's that simple.

Now imagine if Obama care obeyed these simple, time tested principles. What a difference that would have made. Instead of this diluted mess we might have something that resembled what happened in New Jersey with car insurance. Maybe for the first time in our country's history every citizen would have health care.  Like the smart phone most of our citizens would have coverage.  But unfortunately our government didn't choose this route. Instead we are left with a convoluted mess that is sure to impact our country negatively for years to come.


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