I'm from the government, and I'm here to help
Despite all the ruckus concerning town-halls lately, most of which is the ruckus made by liberals upset that conservatives are attending and expressing their opposition to Obamacare, we have been treated to some important, if accidental, moments of honesty and clarity.
For example, while conducting a recent town-hall meeting, Missouri Democrat Senator Claire McCaskill attempted to calm constituents upset over the proposed “reform” by asking “Don’t you trust me?” The resounding “no’s” reverberated throughout the room, along with many boos, which provides us with our moment of honesty.
So why don’t voters trust the government or its representatives to “fix” the problem? Partially because they’ve gotten a better look at the proposed “solution” over the past few months, and the closer they look, the less they like what they see. From federally funded abortions (as “health care”), to reduced choices in the free-market, to likely tax increases and health care rationing, there’s plenty to have a problem with.
According to the latest Rasmussen poll, fifty-four percent of Americans would rather have no health care reform at all, rather than the bill currently being considered by Congress. The poll also shows that, while eighty percent of Republicans oppose the bill, a surprising forty percent of Democrats are opposed as well.
The other reason they’re lacking in the “trust” department is that they know the government’s track record when it comes to “fixing” things, or generally getting anything productive done at all, much less done well.
They know government programs only get bigger, not smaller, (unless you’re talking about defense programs under a Democrat administration). They know the stories about the five-hundred dollar hammers and six-hundred dollar toilet seats, not to mention the obscene overspending and fraud in Medicare and Medicaid. They saw the great job done by local, state and federal agencies during hurricane Katrina, and they weren’t impressed.
Which brings us to our moment of clarity, courtesy of one of Obama’s recent town-hall meetings, in which he gave a great reason why we shouldn’t trust the government to fix much of anything, much less manage one-sixth of the economy.
He offered the example of the Post Office in an analogy of how the public (or government run) option wouldn’t hurt or hinder the free market in delivering health insurance. Yes, the US Post Office – the government agency whose failure to sufficiently master delivery of packages from point A to point B prompted the rise of free market choices like FedEx and UPS.
In other words he was saying, “Don’t worry about a government run program killing off private competition, because it will be awful, just like the Post Office”. (How’s that for a vote of confidence!)
Yes, FedEx and UPS are doing fine in their competition with the government, just as the free market would do a better job of delivering quality, affordable health care, if not for government interference. But that’s because the Post Office doesn’t get to set the rules under which its competitors operate.
Health care is another matter. Currently, the government tells insurance companies what products they can sell and where they can sell them, and what policies customers can buy and where they can buy them, (and forces them to use the government product – Medicare – when they turn sixty-five).
I think it’s fair to say that the competitors to the Post Office wouldn’t do so well under similar rules, which would leave consumers with less reliable and lower quality service.
Rules and regulations under a government run health care scheme would be even worse – and so would the service.
Ronald Reagan used to tell the joke, “I’m from the government, and I’m here to help”, and it always got a laugh. Why? Because the notion of the government being helpful, as opposed to usually screwing things up, getting in the way, or infringing on our liberties is laughable.
But if we allow this so-called “reform” to become law, health care in America will “go postal”. And the joke will be on us.
cross-posted at DrewMcKissick.com