The Tea Party is fighting to repeal the government’s unconstitutional mandate that Americans purchase medical insurance. With the public option just a few congressional nutbags away and death panels becoming a reality, we have to fight against the government’s desire to acquire power and control another aspect of our lives. We live in a turbulent age where the facts are abundant to prove the existence of death panels, but the botox-faced government and their complicit media spin the facts to portray Sara Palin and other whistleblowers as crazed wingnuts without a clue.
In a competitive market, Obama’s medical plan wouldn’t last long.
Since I’ve returned to the United States after a decade in Europe, I have a developed respect for American television commercials. Advertisements for home improvement ideas, shoes that improve your fitness while you walk, and rodents dressed like rap stars to showcase a Kia are sandwiched between segments of our favorite shows. While you might get annoyed with these fantastic little movies, I find them fascinating. These advertisements create competition in the marketplace. A company with a catchy line (“you could go with this, or you could go with that”) can gain serious profits and trump their competition. In the end, a price war between competitors ensues, and the consumers benefit from the corporate bloodshed. The dollar menu at McDonald’s, the Subway breakfast menu, and the Wal-Mart $4 prescription are all the direct result of competition and price wars. Again, the consumer wins. Things we want are cheaper, better, and more convenient.
Look at the catchy commercials coming from the auto insurance companies. Rather than be bored with a “buy-your-insurance-from-us-and-we-will-save-you-money” pitch, these companies have clever ways to get you to buy your insurance from them. Geico has enlisted the help of a British-affected gecko, Abraham Lincoln, and Charlie Daniels to sell their insurance. Allstate is employing “Mayhem” to humorously (and horrifically) drop a tree branch on your car. Progressive Insurance has a plucky, pleasantly awkward woman named Flo who tells you everything her company does for you and compares your rate against others. These commercials change every week – reflecting the incredibly competitive world of automobile insurance. It is obviously a cutthroat industry where the stakes are high, but as I’ve said: competition reaps benefits for the consumer.
What if the medical insurance industry was handled the same way?
“Can switching to Geico really save you fifteen percent or more on an appendectomy? Does Lucy have a lot of ‘splaining to do?”
“I’m Mayhem. I just convinced your son he’s Batman. He jumped off the roof and broke his collarbone. Good thing you have Allstate. Allstate covers nearly all expenses at the emergency room and follow-up visits to the doctor. You just pay your deductible and the medications. Allstate has good hands…like Batman. Too bad your son didn’t.”
“You know Progressive has a family medical insurance plan with adjustable deductibles to fit your budget so you can name your price. You can even include your mother-in-law when she moves in next week. Oh, you didn’t know? “ <looks at man’s mortified wife> “Oops. Surprise!”
Next, we have the price comparison websites. Imagine typing “knee replacement” in a search window and watching the fur fly between these companies. Maybe the Prudential would include six weeks of physical therapy in a slightly more expensive package versus Aflac’s “no-frills surgery and two days in the hospital for a low price”? Would State Farm offer package deals on triple-bypass surgery to win customers away from Nationwide’s sweet deal on “two D’s for two G’s” breast enhancement surgery?
Were the free market empowered (yes, empowered…the federal government has the medical insurance industry bound –up tighter than the patients in a big-handed proctologist’s waiting room.) to compete for your business, imagine how much better medical insurance would be?
A competitive market would reap the biggest rewards for everyone. Fly-by-night companies would be blasted for shoddy service and customer testimonies would expose their loopholes. Customers would sharpen their wits to find the right coverage at the right price to fit their needs. Hospitals wouldn’t be boxed-in with government price fixes that drive away top doctors. Insurance companies could incentivize their policy holders to take better care of themselves through premium rebates. Insurance companies would work together to share information on customers who abuse the insurance with petty claims. And the government could finally be forced to destroy this tumor called ObamaCare.
We have the power: it begins with a vote. If we ease restrictions, the market will take care of itself.
Long live the free market.