Saturday, September 5, 2009

DE-CONSTRUCTING NANCY PELOSI & HER DEMONS: Why America Doesn't Need a "Public Option" to Lower Prices

The frustrating part of watching the health care debate is this: If lowering the cost of health care were politicians' real motivation, the answer is right in front of them: Since Government has caused the high-cost of health care, get the government out of health care.

Understanding Pelosi's Ploys

Like any good Trotskyite, Nancy Pelosi and her co-conspirators on the Left can only affect "change" by demonizing those who are opposed to their version of reform. Pelosi's op-ed (along with fellow politician Steny Hoyer) calling Americans "un-American" because they are vocally opposed nationalized health care and arrogant politicians is but one example.

Demonization is a tactic that has been used by propagandists the world over, from Josef Goebbels to Saul Alinksy. The Pelosi style of propaganda that has been used repeatedly over the last several years can be summed up with Alinsky's Power Tactics, especially No. 13, which states: "Pick the target, freeze it, personalize it, and polarize it."

This tactic worked extremely well for Pelosi & Co. in 2005 and, ultimately, helped she and her fellow Democrats take over Congress in 2006.

Now, in the so-called "health care reform" debates, in addition to ordinary Americans, Pelosi has taken to demonizing insurance companies.

On July 30th, Pelosi used the terms 'villains' and 'immoral' to describe insurance companies.
"It's almost immoral what they are doing," Pelosi said to reporters, referring to insurance companies. "Of course they've been immoral all along in how they have treated the people that they insure," she said, adding, "They are the villains. They have been part of the problem in a major way. They are doing everything in their power to stop a public option from happening."
What is causing Pelosi's ire? Is it the high costs of health care? Or, rather, is it that insurance companies don't agree with being nationalized Hugo Chavez style?

The Truth Behind the Left's Lies.

While the pundits, the politicians, as well as the vast majority of Americans agree that health care costs are too high, who is really to blame? The insurance companies? Or is it the ones casting the stones (the politicians)?

To listen to Nancy Pelosi and the Left as they demonize insurance companies, Americans are led to believe that private insurance companies are monopolies. In fact, in a 2008 report, the Urban Institute stated:

Insurance markets have become dominated by a small number of large insurers.
For example, Robinson found that in all but 14 states, three or fewer insurers accounted for 65 percent of the commercial market in 2003.
Of course, claiming that private insurance companies are monopolistic is a problem that, if examined more closely, would solve much of the debate about whether or not America really needs nationalized health care with a "public option" as Pelosi & Co. proposes.

Coercive Monopolies Cannot Exist Without the Coercive Power of Government

According to Wikipedia, a coercive monopoly "is a business concern that prohibits competitors from entering the field, with the natural result being that the firm is able to make pricing and production decisions independent of competitive forces."

Yet, in a free market, a coercive monopoly cannot exist.

As Nathaniel Branden, PhD. wrote in 1962:
One of the worst fallacies in the field of economics—propagated by Karl Marx and accepted by almost everyone today, including many businessmen—is that the development of monopolies is an inescapable and intrinsic result of the operation of a free, unregulated economy. In fact, the exact opposite is true. It is a free market that makes monopolies impossible.
....

In the whole history of capitalism, no one has been able to establish a coercive monopoly by means of competition on a free market. There is only one way to forbid entry into a given field of production: by law. Every single coercive monopoly that exists or ever has existed—in the United States, in Europe or anywhere else in the world—was created and made possible only by an act of government: by special franchises, licenses, subsidies, by legislative actions which granted special privileges (not obtainable on a free market) to a man or a group of men, and forbade all others to enter that particular field.

A coercive monopoly is not the result of laissez-faire; it can result only from the abrogation of laissez-faire and from the introduction of the opposite principle—the principle of statism.
So, if insurance companies are acting as coercive monopolies, they are doing so with the blessing (or curse) of too much government intervention, not because of a lack of government intervention.

Therefore, in order to lower costs, there must be more competition, not less.

Indeed, if insurance companies are coercive monopolies as the Left suggests, then why doesn't the Justice Department prosecute them under the Sherman Anti-Trust Act, which was allegedly enacted to prohibit monopolies?

The reason is simple. The reason insurance companies have "monopolies" is because they are state mandated. In other words, the government has created those monopolies that the government in Washington is now demonizing.

The Answer is Less Government, Not More Government.

On August 11th, the Wall Street Journal published an op-ed by Whole Foods CEO John Mackey for which he was loudly demonized by the Left, to include a Left-led boycott of Whole Foods [see Alinsky's Rule #13 above].

In his op-ed, Mackey offered a number of sound recommendations to help reduce health care costs which the Left has not responded to [except for their demonization of Mackey and the boycott]. Concerning the monopolistic nature of the insurance companies, Mackey wrote:

  • Equalize the tax laws so that employer-provided health insurance and individually owned health insurance have the same tax benefits. Now employer health insurance benefits are fully tax deductible, but individual health insurance is not. This is unfair.

  • Repeal all state laws which prevent insurance companies from competing across state lines. We should all have the legal right to purchase health insurance from any insurance company in any state and we should be able use that insurance wherever we live. Health insurance should be portable.

  • Repeal government mandates regarding what insurance companies must cover. These mandates have increased the cost of health insurance by billions of dollars. What is insured and what is not insured should be determined by individual customer preferences and not through special-interest lobbying.
While each of the above are Mackey's recommendations, they also state very well how the government has over-regulated the free market.

  • Individual health insurance is not tax deductible (government caused)
  • Insurance companies cannot compete across state lines in many states (government caused)
  • Insurance companies are mandated on what is covered, thereby reducing choice (government caused)
Of course, since Pelosi & Co. can't wield the government's hammer of anti-trust laws to end insurance companies monopolies (since they are government caused), she must demonize them in order to use the sickle of the government to cut them down through a "public option."

Were government leaders to be serious about true health care reform, they would admit the government is the problem, not the solution with health care costs.

This leads to the question: Is Nancy Pelosi really after lower cost health care, or just a total take over by the government?

Note: The above does not address the other needed reform in health care, which is tort reform. Of course, as Howard Dean acknowledged just a couple of weeks ago, the people who wrote the health care bill do not want to take on the trial lawyers.

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