In today’s Albuquerque Business Journal I discuss ObamaCare and the need for the threat of coercive government force to enforce the law. As Winthrop Quigley wrote last week, the law falls apart without the individual mandate.
I note that this is accurate and show the proverbial “gun in the room” that is federal control over Americans’ health care:
Winthrop Quigley is absolutely correct that the individual mandate, i.e. using the coercive power of the state to force people to purchase health insurance, is integral to President Obama’s health care law. Reliance on government force is at the very heart of the law and is at the very core of what is wrong with the law in the first place.
Unfortunately, due to past government interventions in the health care sector, there is no “free market” in American health care. Governments pick up 50% of the tab and, due to various incentives; patients pay less than $1 out of every $8 out of pocket as it relates to health care. The result is the mish-mash of a system we have had for the past several decades.
Voluntary interaction is at the core of the free market. Not only is it more efficient; it is also morally superior. But rather than peeling back the thicket of government rules and regulations to restore the free market (equalizing the tax treatment of health care purchased by employers and individuals would be a good place to start), Obama and Congress chose to simply force all Americans to purchase a government-approved health care plan. This may conceal the fundamental flaws of the new health care law for some time, but time and reality have ways of exposing government rules and regulations.