We Chose Poorly

I recently heard Hillary Clinton on the news singing the praises of Obamacare.  She said the Affordable Care Act has now fixed the “gender gap” in health insurance.  According to President Obama’s ACA website, women paid 1 billion more per year on healthcare than men before the healthcare law was passed.  So I started thinking about this statistic.  First of all, women require more healthcare than men.  When I go in for a physical, the doctor tells me to bend over and after a couple of very uncomfortable seconds, I am finished.  Women often have to go to a specialist known as an OBGYN in addition to a standard family doctor.  This is due to women’s more complex reproductive system and the fact that they are the ones who must go through child birth.  So it seems to me there is more cost associated with a woman’s healthcare needs explaining the 1 billion dollar statistic.  But if you take the population of child bearing women in the US and divide that by 1,000,000,000 dollars, you come up with about $9 per woman. Wow! Amazing how $9 per year can become an unbearable financial burden when put through a political spin. But the liberal elite can only promote themselves by creating irrational divides among the voting public. So to solve this massive $9 gender inequality gap, we must”shift” that cost to men.  OK.  I may disagree with it, but I at least follow the concept.   But the question is did the cost get shifted or did the healthcare industry just raise the cost on men out of “fairness?”  The ACA also “shifted” insurance costs from senior citizens toward younger adults.  They did this to assist older Americans who complained their healthcare costs were too high.  But the funny thing is young adults often have lower incomes than older Americans.  So these added costs often have a bigger impact on their budgets.  Especially those trying to start a family.  Not to mention young adults typically have very low healthcare needs due to their youth.  So is it fair to make those who make less money pay more for a service than their needs demand?  Or is this the new fairness?  Then out of “fairness,” should not the government start regulating auto insurance since men pay higher premiums than women?  Is that fair?    Or how about people with a poor driving history who pay more than those that drive well?  The single drivers who pay more than married drivers?  New drivers who pay more than mature drivers?  By golly, the government should just take over the whole system because it seems to me that nothing is fair!  Oh, thats right, my dad always told me that life wasn’t fair.  Well I will be dog gone, he was right.    Maybe the system created is as fair as it can be considering that we are not all the same.  We all have equal rights, but we do not all have the same costs nor do we make the same decisions.  I tell you one thing, I don’t trust the government to fix these problems.    Have you ever heard of the Interstate Commerce Commission?  Also known as the ICC?  It was passed in 1887 to regulate the railroads.  You see, back in the late 1800’s it was cheaper to send stuff by rail from Chicago to New York than it was to send it from New York to a small borough outside of New York City.  You can claim abuse by the small railroad lines, but it really wasn’t.  You see, competition kept prices down on the main routes since multiple railroads serviced it and there was a greater volume of business to pay for the cost.  On the short lines, like in the boroughs of New York, there was often a single operator and they dealt with a lot less volume of freight.  Hence, they had to charge a lot more per mile shipped.  But the people demanded “fairness!”  So our leaders gave it to them.  They passed the ICC and guessed what happened?  Did the short lines drop their prices?  Heck no!  The major railroads just increased the price of theirs.  Shipping from Chicago to New York just went up!  Did I mention the railroads helped draft  the bill?  That is what happens when government interferes in free market capitalism.  The consumer pays more.  The ICC went on for almost 100 years.   After transporting by truck became popular, the ICC regulated that industry as well.  It was so messed up, there were companies that held ICC licenses for Interstate Transport that did not own a single truck.  Yes, these companies generated revenue by brokering their license to real trucking companies.  Essentially they profited for doing nothing and the consumer paid their bill.  In the 1980’s, President Reagan came in and abolished the ICC and freed up the markets.  As a result, more companies came into the market and prices went down.  The trucking and railroad industries were not happy.  Their gross profits went down substantially.  But Capitalism is not about the seller.  Capitalism is about the purchaser.  Capitalism and free markets use competition to give the purchaser better quality and better service at lower prices.  It also spurs innovation since the nature of competition always pushes for improvement.  So how does regulating the medical industry, mandating insurance and shifting costs do anything to lower the price of our healthcare?  The answer is it does not.  It simply adds a layer of bureaucracy, decreases the quality of service, reduces choices, slows innovation, and costs the public a lot more money.  President Reagan tried to warn us about this in his “Time for Choosing” speech in 1964.  Evidently the Democrats in Congress must have missed that speech.  They can check it out on youtube at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qXBswFfh6AY

 

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