The little-discussed basis of the healthcare-exchange idea is that government sets it up, runs it and writes the rules governing it. Many right-wing politicians are talking about how great the idea is, and how it will save Idaho from Obamacare. But, will it? One of the backdoor mandates, which is the motive behind Otter’s move to seize the federal funding ($40,000,000), is that Idaho has been threatened with an ultimatum. Create a health exchange or else. Or else what? Or else the Obama administration will set one up. That doesn’t sound like much of an option. Idahoans don’t want government to expand its already bloated bureaucracy.
Even if she wanted to, Idaho, coming off of a 25% decline in revenues, can not afford to set up a new bureaucracy. Nor should it want to set one up. The taxpayers are perpetually on the line for bureaucratic largesse, especially after the grant monies dry up. Talk about esto perpetua.
The preferable option is to just say no. Kansas recently joined Oklahoma and gave back federal money for an exchange. Otter on the other hand is running Obama’s way. See the following excerpt from the August 11th, 2011 story:
“The US Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) has dispensed more than $240 million in taxpayer-funded grants to six states and a multi-state consortium to facilitate the creation of “Obamacare” health insurance exchanges. However two states and counting — Oklahoma and, more recently, Kansas — have sent the money back, which essentially marks their refusal to comply with the health care bill’s unconstitutional mandates.” -NaturalNews.com Jonathan Benson
So, what exactly is this exchange? Politicians in Boise say it will decrease costs, and we should do it even without Obamacare money. But, that argument is really dishonest. Without the federal dollars this would never be a preferred solution to inflated costs.
A healthcare exchange is a centralized marketplace. Like a healthcare bizarre you would go there to shop for the best deal. And, the government owns the bizarre. Even if it doesn’t own it. It writes the rules for a quasi-governmental agency (non-profit) to run it. A rose by any other name is still a rose.
The bad thing about the bizarre is that if you don’t come to it, you can’t sell anything. You can’t buy anything either. That doesn’t sound like a free marketplace. It sounds like the Idaho-owned Liquor store. It sounds like the bizarre is really a government monopoly, because you have no other choice. And, companies like Blue Cross are going to want to employ their lobbyists to write the rules. If I want to sell insurance or participate in private healthcare sharing or even want an exemption for my Amish family, I have to go to the government market. It is a lot like requiring all students to register for public schools, even if you go to a private school. Does your health belong to the government any more than your education decisions or your child belong to the government?
Privacy becomes obsolete. At the door the government requires you to register to participate. Your healthcare information and your purchasing choices will now be centralized. Centralization is not the American way. Freedom involves a sometimes chaotic, decentralized system, in which smart consumers find the best deals on their own. Since when can government choose better than the consumer? Since Obama took over, that’s when. And, careless, misguided politicians are not good defenders of your freedom. They are too willing to fall for big-government under the guise of local control. But, Americans are smarter than that. “Government is the problem.” said Reagan. If only so-called Reagan conservatives in Boise knew better.
Even healthcare sharing organizations, which give people a much cheaper alternative to insurance, would be subject to the rules of healthcare exchanges. Under the current department of insurance, healthcare sharing is not considered eligible for regulation by government, according to the Idaho Department of Insurance director. So, why would we want to expand government jurisdiction to control free-market innovation that works to reduce costs?
Although every free-marketeer understands that decentralization and free-market regulation (risk) are the keys to a cheap and productive healthcare system, many Republicans (like Butch Otter) are supporting the implementation of Idaho’s own healthcare exchange. Healthcare exchange has been called “Travelocity” of healthcare, but it is more like a centralized database, where every citizen will have to register. And, last time I checked, Travelocity was not government owned or regulated. The comparison is absurd at face value.
It is another governmental panacea, which will do harm to Idaho’s healthcare, by centralizing control and power. If it is such a good idea, the free market would have thought of it. Free market and free men work well together. Centralization and spending don’t.