By Ron Paul
Last Saturday many concerned Americans watched in horror as the House passed the healthcare reform bill. If this bill makes it through the Senate, it would massively overhaul the way healthcare is delivered in this country. Today, obviously, we don’t have a perfect system, but this legislation takes all the mistakes we are making with healthcare and makes them worse. Most of what is wrong with healthcare stems from decades of government intervention and the resulting unintended consequences.
But the government’s prescription for the ills caused by intervention is always more intervention. We see this not only in healthcare policy, but also in foreign policy, in economic policy, and in monetary policy — basically, in all areas of public policy. It was even claimed that the House bill would increase competition in healthcare, and thereby improve the private sector’s business model for insurance.
It is fascinating that politicians would use the language of the free market in this way to justify more corporatism. This demonstrates a couple of things. One, that politicians truly do not understand the very basic tenets of a free market. By definition, a free market is free from government intervention. But once a little intervention is accepted as legitimate, politicians will blame the problems created by their intervention on the free market and present themselves as saviors that must intervene even more.
It also demonstrates that politicians know that Americans still believe the free market is a good thing. People know and understand that competition among businesses is better for the consumer than a monopoly. However, competition between a private business and a government or government-favored entity is not real competition.
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