The more President Obama talks about health care, the more he reveals his true character and goals. This was evident earlier this week during his tirade at Arcadia University in Pennsylvania, where he used a captive audience of students to complain about how many of them are without health coverage.
Ironically, The president and Congress could greatly diminish the uninsured student problem with some fairly simple policy changes. Yet the suggestion to allow individuals connected by business or other commonalities (like a college) to band together to create their own health care purchasing group has been received by the White House with a resounding “I’m sorry, what?”
The president is correct that America needs health care reform that lowers cost and increases access and portability. His plan does the opposite. It is the underpinning for the government takeover of our medical system—which is not the same as making it cheaper and easier for the uninsured to enter the market or for the currently insured to remain in it.
In the past, Obama blamed the Tea Party movement, concerned citizens at town hall meetings and Republicans for not being able to pass his plan. Now he’s circled back to the same old tired rhetoric about insurance companies being the great unwashed bogeyman of health care.
Many American cannot purchase health insurance because government mandates have made it too expensive. They can’t deduct the cost of premiums from their taxes the way businesses do. They are stuck in a one-state “market.” These issues have everything to do with intrusive government and nothing to do with insurance companies, even though the latter has certainly contributed to some of issues facing health care today.
Also, more people are becoming uninsured because they have lost their jobs. With unemployment inconveniently refusing to fall, the White House continues to embrace policies that take money out of the economy. Every new dollar taxed is one less that businesses can use to hire new employees or provide health care to current workers.
Many college students are uninsured, as the president pointed out at Arcadia. The administration and congressional Democrats could expand health savings accounts—the perfect coverage vehicle for young people—or allow association health plans that would open the doors for universities to create their own insurance pools.
Instead the president decided to throw a barely-contained temper tantrum at insurance companies that caused the stock market to tumble in health care sectors. He is focused solely on creating an infrastructure upon which he and his fellow single-payer travelers can then add the legislative bits that lurch us directly toward a national health care scheme.
If the American people wanted a government takeover of medical care, they would have it already Perhaps it is time for the White House to close its mouth and start opening its ears.
Kerri Houston Toloczko is senior vice president of policy for the Institute for Liberty and director of its Center for Health Security and Access.