From the Catoosa County News comes this very apt description of the difference between the two sides of the political aisle on health care reform (and on problem-solving as a whole):
Among the major proposals in front of lawmakers right now [to reform Georgia’s health care system and help those in need of coverage to be better able to attain it] is a move by Gov. Sonny Perdue to embrace high-deductible health care plans and accompanying health savings accounts. Also getting attention is a pair of proposals from Lt. Gov. Casey Cagle, one that would give a financial boost to free clinics and another that would provide more information to health-care consumers. Rounding out the bunch is a proposal by Insurance Commissioner John Oxendine to force health insurance companies to get his approval before they can raise premiums.
Critics, though, question how valuable some of those free-market ideas might be and tend to focus on efforts to expand what they see as tried-and-true government programs, like the joint state-federal Medicaid health insurance plan for lower-income Georgians.
These “tried-and-true government programs” will not, in reality, seriously alleviate the plight of the uninsured. Amping up taxpayer-funded “solutions” or attempting to make insurance affordable and available by implementing a form of “managed competition,” especially if these programs are funded — like those proposed or implemented in Washington, Wisconsin, San Francisco, Massachusetts, and elsewhere — by new payroll taxes, will exacerbate the problem, skew the health care market, and create new problems by imposing artificial ceilings and floors on coverages and practicioners’ wages, by making the demand for coverage less elastic, and by taking more money from employers that was being used to pay employees, thereby lowering wages for ordinary workers and possibly resulting in the elimination of jobs.
The health care system as a whole needs help — but it doesn’t need more “tried-and-true government programs.”