Kyle and her husband moved to Brookfield in 1986. She became active in local politics and started blogging in 2004. Her focus is primarily on local issues but often includes state and national topics, too. Kyle looks at things from the taxpayers' perspective in a creative, yet down to earth way, addressing them from a practical point of view.
Last week, President Obama sent a letter touting his government health care plan to 2 Senate Democrats stating, "This [his public health care option] will give (people) a better range of choices, make the health care market more competitive, and keep insurance companies honest."
Has government interference given Wisconsin residents more choices and made insurance carriers more competitive? In my opinion, no. Wisconsin mandates that certain benefits be included in all insurance policies sold in the state. Things like treatment for alcoholism and autism are mandated for all policies, I believe. But why should a tea-totaling person be required to purchase treatment for alcoholism? Why should a childless adult or parent of grown children be required to purchase insurance to cover Autism? Why can't we purchase health insurance policies from other states without these mandates?
I am not saying that those services shouldn't be offered as a choice. Just that if you want them, they should be an extra.
We don't purchase car insurance that way. If a driver has had an accident or violation, their rates usually go up. We have the choice to purchase collision insurance or not. Why can't we get more choices available for health insurance too?
Just thinking about other private businesses that compete with the government, is it the competition with the government that drives prices down or competition with each other?
Did DHL offer cheaper shipping prices than the post office because they were competing with the USPS or because they were competing with UPS and FedEx?
What about schools. As a rule, which is more expensive, public schools or private schools? Which one provides a better product? Does competition with public schools drive the cost down or "keep them honest" for the private? Does competition restrain the price for the public schools? Do you ever hear of a school board discussing that they need to keep costs down to remain competitive with say a school like, Heritage Christian School. (Their tuition is under $4,000 a year last time I checked.)
No, I believe private schools--parochial in particular--provide a cheaper, better alternative to government schools. Just ask the 1,000's of students cut from the School Choice program in our state, who enjoyed a superior education at a lower cost to taxpayers.
What happens when the national health care plan obtains subsidies and underwriting by the government that aren't available to the private sector? How is that type of competition fair and honest? Once the private sector insurers are out of business, do you really think the product offered will be superior to the private sector product? (If you are in doubt, just think of a private retirement annuity/investment plan vs. Social Security, where you pay a lot in but get little out.)
The President would like government-run health care to hit the Congress by August. What is the rush? Thankfully, Republican House Leader John Boehner is adamantly opposed.
President Obama was correct that competition keeps the cost down--it does in the private sector. However, that principle doesn't really work when the government provides the only choice.
Must reads: Heritage Foundation: Obama Rhetoric vs Health Care Reality
Wall Street Journal: How to Stop Socialized Health Care, Five arguments Republicans must make
Investor's Business Daily: Doctors Fight Back
New York Times: A.M.A Opposes Government-Sponsored Health Plan