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Freedom Government Liberty Media Obamacare Religious Trump

Freedoms Are Expanding Under President Trump

Rod Thomson

There is an ongoing narrative in the media and by Democrats that President Trump is a threat to everything American, that he is fascistic and that our most basic freedoms are under assault. Therefor, all must #resist!

But the opposite is true when set in juxtaposition to the Obama Administration.

The actual facts on the ground do not support what appears to be only a caricature created to scare the Democrat base and the American people in pursuit of the ongoing agenda to undermine the duly elected president.

When looking at Trump’s actions, compared to Obama’s actions, several things become clear. Not every individual action is pro-liberty, but in the aggregate, there is a substantial net lurch toward freedoms that moves the needle in the opposite direction from the Obama administration’s eight years of restraining American freedoms on several fronts.

The basics make the point.

 

Press freedoms

Ironically, Trump’s expansion of freedoms holds true even for the media that despises Trump and disingenuously considers him fascistic or trending toward Nazism.

Under Obama, we had actual federal government surveillance of Associated Press reporters and an FBI investigations of Fox News reporter James Rosen. Those are the ones we know of. Further, Obama and the Eric Holder Department of Justice aggressively pursued government whistleblowers — the journalists’ sources.

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According to the decidedly non-conservative Freedom of the Press Foundation, Obama and Attorney General Eric Holder used the Espionage Act of 1917 to put a record number of reporters and sources in jail. The foundation said “Obama strongly supported Holder’s war against journalists’ sources, despite once promising to protect whistleblowers when in office…”

Yes, Obama persecuted more leakers and journalists than any president ever. Isn’t it interesting how the media had no heart for really covering these stories?

But under Trump so far, there is no known Obama-era surveillance of reporters, no investigations of reporters. In fact, Trump is perhaps the most accessible and open president in history.

Empirically, there can be no doubt that, so far, journalists are freer under President Trump than they were under President Obama.

 

Religious freedoms

The Obama Administration used federal funds to pay for abortions, meaning individual taxpayers were required to participate in an activity that many find abhorrent and in violation of religious beliefs.

Further, Obamacare (again) allowed Obama to require businesses to pay for abortion and birth control devices for their employees through the insurance they offered, violating the religious convictions of many business owners.

This policy was a major hit to First Amendment freedoms and landed companies such as Hobby Lobby in court, creating a religious freedom firestorm — for those who care about religious freedom.

But last October, the Trump administration changed the Obama policy to allow employers to claim a religious or moral objection to Obamacare’s birth control coverage mandate, sweeping away the onerous, freedom-stealing policy. Naturally, the American Civil Liberties Union filed a lawsuit to block the Trump action, because the ACLU is very selective of which civil liberties they defend — and the obvious bedrock Jeffersonian principle of a right to condoms and abortion are clearly more important than religious freedom.

You can argue for or against the policy as right or wrong, but you cannot argue that the Obama policy was pro-religious freedom when it denied religious freedom to some for the convenience of others.

This alone is a major gain for religious freedom. But Trump has also appointed federal judges, up to and including Supreme Court Justice Neil Gorsuch, who are originalist and will almost assuredly protect religious liberty when it collides with modern conveniences.

 

Individual freedoms

President Obama’s signature action was Obamacare. And there can be no argument from any side that Affordable Care Act was a pro-freedom bill or expanded individual liberties.

The basic premise of Obamacare was to specifically limit individuals’ choices and freedoms by requiring all Americans to buy a product (health insurance) and penalizing them if they did not to create a large enough marketplace to cover the uninsured. This was the infamous individual mandate. You can argue for the cause of ACA, but you cannot argue it was pro-freedom. By definition and mandate, it was not.

Trump and Congressional Republicans essentially eliminated the individual mandate in the tax reform package that has been so successful on the economic front. That was a net step back from the government control of the previous administration and toward individual freedom.

The same can be said of the rest of the tax reform package. Any cut in personal income taxes is at least a tiny step toward more freedom as Americans are allowed to spend more of their money how they choose, not how some distant bureaucrat chooses.

And deregulation allows more freedom from businesses to homeowners, not only helping the economy and general quality of life, but expanding liberties for Americans by removing at least a small part of the yoke of government.

 

A couple of exceptions to watch

There are a couple of small exceptions to this general rule.

Trump’s proposal, at the urging of his daughter Ivanka Trump, for family and medical leave reduces individual freedoms by forcing companies to provide this — meaning the companies have less freedom as do the company employees who must pick up the slack while people are on lengthy leaves via government mandate.

Also, to a very tiny degree, Trump’s $1.5 trillion government infrastructure spending bill is the wrong direction because it ultimately requires taxes to pay for. More government spending equals less individual freedom. It’s just a basic equation.

But these two exceptions pale when compared to the broader expansions of liberties for all Americans.

Trump will get little to no credit for this expansion of liberties because the media’s shared ideology with Obama and Democrats means they either don’t value these freedoms or don’t even recognize their loss.

But there are still enough Americans that prize liberty to appreciate this new atmosphere.


Rod Thomson is an author, TV talking head and former journalist, and is Founder of The Revolutionary Act.

Today’s news moves at a faster pace than ever, and a lot of sources are not trustworthy. Whatfinger.com  is my go-to source for keeping up with all the latest events in real time from good sources.


 

Categories
Obamacare Politics Taxes Trump Truth

President Trump: One Trillion. Leftists: Zero.

by Rep. Julio Gonzalez, M.D., J.D.

Today, under the unrelenting pressure from the President of the United States, the Republican Congress accomplished what many, including me, thought would be unachievable: It passed a massive and historic tax reform package.  

Under this legislation, the corporate tax rate is slashed to 21%, the abhorrent individual mandate in Obamacare is repealed, the tax code simplified, the state and local tax deduction repealed, about two thousand dollars is placed back in Americans’ pockets — money that would have otherwise been hoarded by the federal government. It’s a tax return to millions of taxpaying Americans.

Although we could spend days going over the virtues of the tax reform legislation and the favorable effects it will have upon the American economy, it is important to take a few moments to acknowledge the significance of this development to President Trump, his presidency, and his leadership.

Clearly, this historic and nearly impossible accomplishment serves primarily as a gigantic thumb to the eye of the leftist media and its pseudo-journalists who relentlessly claim that President Trump is unfit to inhabit the office of the presidency. Needless to say, the vast majority of the Electoral College disagrees with that contention, but now, President Trump’s accomplishments serve to undermine the vitriol, unprofessionalism, and disingenuousness with which those allegations have been made.

This so called incompetent and psychologically “unfit” President deserving only ridicule and impeachment, in his first year of office, has managed to place a conservative in the Supreme Court, consistently increase the GDP to over 3% by rescinding destructive Obama era regulations and reaffirm solidarity between the United States and Israel.  Oh, and yes, he has managed, through the power of his personal resolve and uncompromising nature, to force feed a tax reform package down the throat of a reluctant and confrontational Congress possessing a mere two-vote Republican majority in the Senate.  

Compare and contrast these accomplishments with those of the champion of the Left, President Obama, who managed, through his own personal resolve to have Congress pass the single-most destructive piece of healthcare legislation in American history, recurrently demonstrated a disregard for the restrictions placed upon him by the Constitution of the United States, and left a void in the international arena quickly filled by terrorists and mayhem. Oh, and yes, he managed to ignore the illegal and murderous activities of Hezbollah while he funded international terrorism organizations and Iranian nuclear research to the tune of $1.7 billion in cash!

One thing is for sure, incompetent, President Trump is not. Nor is he unfit for service as President of the United States.  As a matter of fact the person more deserving of those descriptions is the very champion of the American Left, one President Barack Obama.

And what of the investigations on the fabricated charges of potential illegalities engaged in by President Trump during his presidential run? Well, we see how those are imploding under the weight of their own capriciousness and baselessness.  

Yes, today is an incredible day for a presidency that has been more mistreated by the mainstream press than any other in the history of the United States, not to mention the cruel and evil attacks lodged at it by the leftists within the broad entertainment industry.

However, there is one criticism of the tax plan passed today carrying a semblance of credibility: the potential of this taxation scheme adding to the national debt. And this criticism will only ring true if the Republicans are unable to undertake the next and associated step in restoring America’s fiscal health; cut federal spending.

Stay tuned.

Dr. Julio Gonzalez is an orthopaedic surgeon and lawyer living in Venice, Florida. He is the author of The Federalist Pages and serves in the Florida House of Representatives. He can be reached through www.thefederalistpages.com to arrange a lecture or book signing.

Categories
Korea Media Obamacare Trump Truth

America Requires Better Media. Here’s How.

Rod Thomson

Americans are being materially damaged by a media that is stuck in a form of lazy pack journalism that runs on the thin fuel of a few superficial formulas.

There is very little issue and policy reporting from the pack out of Washington — and this goes for the liberal outlets as well as the conservative ones. Fox News topically on the evening news is not substantially different from CNN or the networks or the daily newspapers around the country.

This isn’t about bias. That’s a different issue. This is about journalists who, almost literally, run as a pack on story coverage — from press conferences to press release. If one of them breaks a story that fits in the formula, they all paddle as one pack over to that story.

So what we have almost every night is one of a couple of narratives.

1) Who is winning today, Republicans or Democrats? The day’s news events are played as how they will affect the parties right now going into the mid-term elections a year from now.

2)How does this affect President Trump? From North Korea and China to unemployment numbers or terrorism to who wins off-year elections, it is about Trump. In the two years leading up to the election, it was: How will this affect Obama’s legacy? Like Americans give two figs about a president’s personal legacy.

This is just a huge disservice to American consumers of news. The horse race between parties and the effects on the president should be the byproducts of reporting on the substance and relevance of the day’s news on Americans and the rest of the world. And believe it or not, that relevance is not first and foremost how it affects a president or the political parties.

But that is how it is done. Record the three networks and three cable news outlets on a night and you will see almost identical stories, often in similar order. And the stories will be framed on the above horse race formula, not on substance within the stories.

How else could journalism be done? I was a mainstream media reporter and editor for 25 years. There’s a better way. But it means breaking from the pack, taking some chances, and working harder on the actual reporting aspect.

 

A better model for American media

This might be called fair, professional, explanatory journalism. I know it sounds impossible in light of the current state of politicized, divisive journalism. But it doesn’t have to be.

Let’s take North Korea. When Trump talks about the horrible state of the North Korean people — worst living conditions in the world, and that’s saying something — it’s reported as dangerous rhetoric. Every missile fired, every statement from the dictator is pitched as a test for Trump. Sending carrier fleets is reported as a dangerous, saber-rattling move for Trump.

But how else could these issues be reported?

Trump’s tweets could be taken as the perfect opportunity to report on the actual living conditions of the North Korean people. The concentration camps, strategic starvations, torture chambers, militant atheism, public executions, forced labor and random incarceration that keeps the population terrified and in bare survival mode. Human Rights Watch calls North Korea the most or one of the most repressive regimes in the world.

What a plethora of opportunities for reporting on conditions that are about one step above Jews in Nazi Germany. Yet this context is almost never reported, except maybe one-time in-depth newspaper or magazine stories that get little readership — but might win some awards. Instead, it’s tit-for-tat reporting in each news cycle with no context.

Every missile fired is reported as a challenge to Trump. But it’s really an immediate threat to Japan and South Korea. How accurate are those missiles? What is their payload? What can the North Koreans develop in the next timeframe? What sort of destruction do they pose for South Korea, for Japan, and eventually for the United States? Well almost no American basic news consumer can answer those questions because the media focuses like a pack on the challenge to Trump. You can google search for them, but they are one-off stories and really never by the TV outlets.

Sending carrier groups into the region is reported as a Trump escalation and dangerous saber-rattling. But how did we get to this point? We explained this earlier. But there is so much more that media members could do to explain how multiple presidents from both parties have used appeasement as the primary tool — not learning well from history — that has delivered this disastrous situation on Trump’s — and everyone else’s — front porch. Stories with that context would explain much more effectively why, perhaps, a different strategy from kicking the can down the road is needed.

Or we can take the incessant horse-race reporting between Republicans and Democrats.

It’s almost depressing how each new piece of major legislation is immediately billed as dangerous or beneficial for Republicans or Democrats or Trump. A distant consideration — if one given at all — is how the legislation will affect all Americans, and then only in who it hurts and how it may affect their votes.

The Obamacare repeal attempts were heavily reported first on the Republicans’ success or failure to enact, second, its effects on the Obama legacy and third, the losers and winners. But rarely is there any real context on the impact of Obamacare on healthcare insurance and on Americans’ access to healthcare and why doing nothing is actually the most irresponsible route.

This is going on in spades on the current tax reform proposal by Republicans. “Republicans need a win!’ and “Trump needs a win!” has been the mantra across media coverage and talking heads. Americans largely just don’t give a rip which party gets a win. They’re more interested in Americans getting a win.

Trade with China has been a huge issue, in the election and during the past year. But are China trade deals bad? How are they bad and for whom? If they are bad, who gave them to us and why? What can be done to improve them? But a lot of what we get is Trump criticizes Chinese trade deals and how will that play for him in certain states.

During the Republican Primary, there were numerous accomplished governors and senators running, many of whom had developed policies based on conservative principles that had worked in their states. But the media all but ignored them, and totally ignored their plans, in favor of covering Trump incessantly. Leading up to the first primary, Trump had been donated $2 billion worth of free branding in the form of media coverage — twice as much as the entire rest of the Republican field, combined.

How might have Americans been served if the media had reported regularly on the others that had created substantive proposals on every major issue facing us. Instead, they went for the shiny object with ratings. A lazy, superficial formula.

Americans deserve a better media. The idea that is America requires a better media.

Rod Thomson is an author, TV talking head and former journalist, and is Founder of The Revolutionary Act.

Categories
Obamacare Politics Trump Video

VIDEO: Rod on ABC talking Obamacare repeal, Norks and Trump

The ABC 7 panel on another failure of Obamacare repeal, Trump and Russia and the North Koreans.

 

Categories
healthcare Obamacare Politics Truth

Both Parties Want Federal Government Control of Healthcare

By KrisAnne Hall

As the political drama over federally mandated and funded healthcare drags on and on, citizens are left scratching their collective heads, wondering why there seems to be little political energy or consensus even among Republicans to do what they said they would.

They promised to repeal this massive piece of legislation that reportedly gobbled up one sixth of the nation’s economy, pushed many premiums to record levels and removed personal choice from patients as never before — none of which the federal government has any enumerated authority to do since this is an issue reserved to the individual states to solve.

Why can’t they seem to move in a Constitutional direction? Because federal control of healthcare has been a hobby and goal of the federal government and both political parties for a long, long time.

The following historical timeline offers devastating evidence of the bipartisan support over the decades for federal mandates and more in healthcare.

 

History of both parties supporting mandated healthcare

• 1974 Comprehensive Health Insurance Plan proposed by Republican Richard Nixon that every employer would be mandated to offer all full-time employees a Comprehensive Health Insurance Plan.

• 1975 Democrat Paul Rogers declared: “Today the Subcommittee on Health and the Environment begins its consideration of national health insurance — a concept which was articulated more than 25 years ago by President Truman…”

• 1986 The Emergency Medical Treatment and Active Labor Act, or EMTALA/ COBRA, passed under Republican Ronald Reagan, mandating hospitals provide emergency care for all, including illegals.

• 1989 Stuart Butler of the Republican think tank The Heritage Foundation, proposed a plan he called “Assuring Affordable Health Care for All Americans.” Butler’s plan included a provision to “mandate all households to obtain adequate insurance” using the justification of seatbelt laws and car insurance.

• 1992 The Jackson Hole Group led by Paul Ellwood, Alain Enthoven, and Lynn Etheredge created a policy proposal (Managed Competition) which included an employer mandate and subsidies.

• 1991 Mark Pauly and Patricia Danzon of the Wharton School of Business and the Leonard Davis Institute of Health Economics, at the University of Pennsylvania; Paul Felstein, University of California-Irvine, Graduate School of Management; and attorney John Hoff created a proposal for Republican George H.W. Bush called “A Plan for Reasonable National Health Insurance” that included an individual mandate.

• 1993 Democrat Bill Clinton combined the Jackson Hole Group’s managed competition with Canada’s single payer system in his Universal Healthcare proposal, sometimes referred to as Hillarycare.

• 1993 Health Equity and Access Reform Today Act (HEART) was introduced in the Senate by Republican John Chafee and co-sponsored by 19 Senate Republicans, including Christopher Bond, Bob Dole, Pete Domenici, Chuck Grassley, Orrin Hatch, Richard Lugar, Alan Simpson, and Arlen Specter. The HEART Act proposed subsidies and an individual mandate.

• 1993 Republican Phil Gramm proposed Medical Savings Accounts to allow individual choice and to fight against the idea of mandates.

• 1993-2011 Republican Newt Gingrich supported individual mandates. “I’ve said consistently that we ought to have some requirement that you either have health insurance, or you post a bond, or in some way you indicate you’re going to be held accountable” Gingrich said in a May 2011 appearance on “Meet the Press.”

• 1994 Republicans Don Nickles’ and Cliff Stearns’ proposed the Consumer Choice Health Security Act mandating a federally defined minimum level of health insurance coverage, with 24 Republican co-sponsors, including Newt Gingrich.

• 2006 Republican Gov. Mitt Romney with Heritage Foundation Director of the Center for Health Policy Studies Robert Moffit and Heritage Senior Fellow Ed Haislmaier developed Romneycare, which included individual and employer mandates.

• 2008 Democratic Presidential candidate Barack Obama denounces mandates.

• June 2009 “I believe that there is a bipartisan consensus to have individual mandates,” said Republican Chuck Grassley

• 2009 Romney healthcare advisers and experts, Jonathan Gruber, Jon Kingsdale, John McDonough frequent the White House to help develop Obamacare.

• 2010 The Affordable Care Act passes. Exempt from the new health insurance law: president and family, Congress and families, justice department and families, Supreme Court justices and families, federal judges and families and 1,200 corporations and unions.

• March 2010 Jonathan Gruber tell the Boston Globe “Obamacare would never have passed had Romney not made the decision in 2005 to go for it. He is in many ways the intellectual father of national health reform.”

 

Tough Obamacare questions for all Washington

Why does it seem that we are stuck with the federal government in our health choices for the foreseeable future? Why do we get so many excuses? Remember the multiple votes to repeal Obamacare when the GOP knew there was no shot at it succeeding? Where’s the fire now that there is a shot at it succeeding?

It almost makes you think those votes were just a show. It almost makes you think that the game is politics and this is how it’s played: Oppose it when you can’t stop it, don’t stop it when you can. Talk tough during re-election, but play it safe and keep your job (a.k.a. pension, luxury, benefits, celebrity status, power…)

Now that repealing Obamacare is a real, viable possibility, where are all those Republicans who were singing the songs of gloom and doom in 2010? Where are all the Republicans in Congress who said, “Never Obamacare!” Why does it look so much like they are fighting each other, yet they always end up at the same end goal? Why does it seem that we are stuck with some form of Obamacare no matter what?

Well, look at their history. Judging from their words and actions, the answer is because both parties, to one degree or another, have always wanted Obamacare.

Click here to see who voted against Obamacare in 2010 and compare with their position on repeal today. 

And here, Forbes Magazine lays out the tortuous history Republicans have with healthcare mandates.

KrisAnne Hall is a former biochemist, Russian linguist for the US Army, and former prosecutor for the State of Florida. KrisAnne also practiced First Amendment Law for a prominent Florida non-profit Law firm. KrisAnne now travels the country teaching the foundational principles of Liberty and our Constitutional Republic. KrisAnne is the author of 6 books on the Constitution and Bill of Rights, she also has an internationally popular radio and television show and her books and classes have been featured on C-SPAN TV. KrisAnne can be found at www.KrisAnneHall.com

Categories
Obamacare Politics Truth Welfare

HEALTHCARE REFORM: Freedom Is Its Own Indispensable Goal

Rod Thomson

The healthcare debate in D.C. is following predictable form: Miles off track with the media hyperfocused on the politics, rather than the substance. The coverage focuses heavily on the daily ins and outs of the political struggle, the D.C. winners and losers.

Will Republicans be able to placate the Freedom Caucus and still keep moderates? Will they put together something that can get through the House and have any life in the Senate? Is Ryan back-peddling? Is Trump? Will McConnell detonate the nuclear option? Is it Trumpcare or Ryancare?

The thing is, most Americans outside of political junkies don’t really care about that.

They do care about whether they will be able to afford health insurance. They do care about whether our country will drowned itself in unsustainable debt. They do care about their children’s future. But those are rarely the story. Because the truth is that in Washington, D.C., Americans are basically pawns to be played in the furtherance of personal agendas.

On the rare occasions when the substance of the proposal is actually explored, it is mostly along the lines of how many people are covered, will be covered, won’t be covered, how much it will cost, how the changes will play out politically for each party, etc. Those are fine in their place, and should be regularly reported on. They are not.

What Washington and the media never, ever talk about is the principle of American freedoms, which is at the heart of this. Virtually no one wants to talk about it.

So, status quo in the swamp. And for Americans.

 

The old liberties for security trade

But here is the whittled down nub of the issue: How much personal freedom are we willing to give away to get a little healthcare security? Because the reality of the human condition always and forever is that some people will be irresponsible with their life decisions — from relationships to finances to health.

So there will always be a percentage of Americans who do not want to purchase, or simply will not purchase, health insurance. Here’s the thing: They should be free to not and that point of freedom should be argued strenuously.

Because the only way to stop that dynamic is to give government total authority to force every single person to have health insurance. That was what Obamacare attempted to do, require every American to either buy a product — health insurance — or be fined increasing amounts by the government to financially force them to to buy it.

In an enormously tragic precedence, the Supreme Court made a political calculation and approved the forcible purchase requirements under Obamacare by calling it what it was not, what is authors including President Obama argued it was not, so as the court could rule it “constitutional.” Truly, a constitutional travesty.

Among the many things wrong with Obamacare, this was perhaps the most egregious because it went to undermining fundamental freedoms. It wasn’t just bad policy, or inefficient, or expensive — which are all true. It was a denial of basic liberty, the concept upon which our nation was founded and thrived to be what she is today.

Benjamin Franklin said, “Those who would give up essential Liberty, to purchase a little temporary Safety, deserve neither Liberty nor Safety.” Franklin was looking at the real physical and economic threat of a distant tyrant.

And so are we, though not so distant.

 

The real cost

Obamacare undoubtedly reduced the percentage of uninsured Americans, or more accurately, uncovered Americans. This was accomplished by expanding Medicaid — direct welfare — subsidizing plans in the state exchanges — indirect welfare — and forcing every American to participate — coercion. Even then, the total number of Americans not covered in some fashion, only declined a few percentage points.

Trillions of dollars, catastrophic rises in premiums and deductibles, loss of health care insurance options — often down to one in an entire state — all to pick up a few percentage points. About 9 percent of Americans remain without health insurance.

If Republicans did nothing more than simply repeal the Obamacare mandate, at least 10 million people would no longer have coverage, according to the Office of Management and Budget estimate of the repeal measure. The media reports this as Americans who will “lose” their coverage, but this particular 10 million will actually choose not to have coverage.

Whether that is a good idea or not is debatable. What is not debatable is what it represents: Freedom.

Because unless the government forces people by law to have health insurance, some will not. Freedom calls us to allow them to not and accept the consequences. Otherwise, with this precedent in place, the government could also make the case for regulating what we eat (because eating healthy is good for us) and forcing us to exercise (because exercising is good for us.) It could also require us to buy, say, solar panels and electric cars, because it deems those to be a good thing like health care insurance is a good thing.

You see the problem here. There is really no end to it, which is why it was a line that should never have been crossed.

So yes, Obamacare is costing hundreds of billions of dollars and would continue to until its complete failure. But it’s real cost is the loss of American liberty. And precious few seem to care.

 

Alas, Republicans fighting on Democrat ground

Republicans however, will not fight this on the grounds of freedom, the high ground and the right ground. They allow Democrats and the media to define the terms and put Republicans on the defensive on bad ground.

Republicans are doing what they always do, and part of it is the swampy D.C. mentality. Republicans end up abandoning conservative principles and going with Democrat-lite. They are willing to expand government, just less so. They are willing to raise taxes, just not as high. They are willing to trade rights for securities, just not as fast. But inexorably this moves in the same direction: More government control, more “free” giveaways, fewer American freedoms.

The health care coverage debate is a perfect example.

Democrats built it on the Democrat ground of heavy-handed government control and giveaways, and dared Republicans to come after it. To boil it down, in Obamacare, Democrats gave more Americans more free stuff that was not their’s and that we cannot afford — at the cost of lost freedoms — and Republicans now want to take some of that free stuff and restore those freedoms.

Meanies.

This of course is rough politics for Republicans, as so many Americans have lost the sense of liberty, self-reliance and personal responsibility. Too many are willing to trade a lot of liberties for a little security. But part of the reason for that is that no one is making the case for this and other issues on the grounds of freedom.

But in reality, Republicans aren’t even making the freedom case — or do so rarely. They want to make sure enough Americans get enough free stuff so they can be re-elected.

Taking away an entitlement once in place is just never done, and Democrats knew that in 2010. A big part of Obamacare is the entitlement portion. But that is only a problem if Republicans fight this on the grounds of coverage and giveaways, and not on the grounds of essential liberties.

Republicans hold every nationally elected office of power and there is one window for fixing the Obamacare debacle. If it does not happen now, Obamacare will be a permanent fixture of our health care system until it totally fails, and sucks the healthcare system into its death swirl.

The final step will be nationalized healthcare.

And the result will be an even greater loss of freedoms, and precious little in the way of securities. The worst of trade-offs.

Categories
Government Markets Obamacare Truth

Replace Obamacare with Free Market Principles

By Nate Davis

The key to any open market is “price discovery” — sellers competing on price to attract customers. On price discovery hinges every free market economic principle.

The problem with skyrocketing medical costs is simple. There is no price discovery. When was the last time you asked at your doctor’s office, “What will it cost?” Do you shop around for the best deal? Have you ever negotiated for a better deal? If you have insurance, probably not. Would you go to the tire store with the same attitude? Of course not. With medical services, most of us are participating in a quasi-socialist system, the opposite of a free market.  

Taming medical inflation is as simple as letting consumers out of the cages and giving them something for which to fight — specifically, the best price.

The government needs to employ seven strategies to empower the consumer. The simplicity of these proposals typifies free market solutions. Thousands of pages of legislation are not needed.

  1. Combining health savings accounts (HSA) with higher deductible insurance will reward consumers for shopping around and negotiating. Unspent HSA funds could be saved for retirement or withdraw, tax free, at any time as long as the minimum reserve is met. So, whatever a consumer saves, he pockets.
  2. Publish the price of everything. Consumers have to know what things cost well before a service is provided. We expect this of every other service to which we subscribe, and medicine should not be the exception. How could this be done? One idea is that each provider could be required to keep his price list on one or more collective websites where consumers can sort competitor’s services by medical code, scientific description, common name, price, etc. The key is to create a path to price transparency for consumers.  
  3. Legislators should pursue ways to give consumers information about the deals that others, particularly insurance companies and the government, have negotiated with service providers.
  4. The government should encourage non-traditional “insurance” providers, including non-profit insurance organizations and cooperatives. Consumers should be protected from loss in the case a non-traditional provider fails to pay, just as they are with for-profit insurance companies.
  5. Laws should make way for non-traditional services, including call-in doctors, software based robo-doctors and independent nurse practitioners. With disclosure of caveat emptor, liability for these new types of services should be very limited, almost nil.
  6. Certain medical emergencies are monopoly-like situations for the one receiving the service. The most expensive of these services warrant government price control so that returns are reasonable. Common sense says that a doctor does not need to bill $10,000 or more an hour in an urgent, major surgery, for example. Admittedly, addressing situations in which service providers have monopoly pricing power is the most cumbersome policy proposed here, but market principles necessitate that the government step in in some circumstances, and monopolies are one of those.
  7. Finally, increasing the supply of traditional medical practitioners will, over time, reduce fees. Some have suggested that there are simply not enough spots available at medical schools or in residencies.

True competition will drive providers to eliminate waste, and creative solutions will streamline everything from medical record databases to diagnosis to lab work to billing.

In the past, Republican administrations have focused on trying to develop a more efficient market for buying insurance, which does not help. The insurance companies facilitate the system of rapid inflation by creating a separation between patients and doctors. They subvert price discovery. Insurance companies may appear to negotiate for the buyer’s sake, but services are marked up so that they can be marked down. Large mall-based retailers do the same thing. They offer 30-50% of the “regular price,” but no one would think of actually paying the “regular price.” Insurance companies are not the solution to the pricing problem, so slight tweaks to the insurance market will not reign in medical price inflation.  

The free market based on price discovery has been and will be far more efficient and the most fair system on planet earth, and this will be true in medical services market as well. One should not underestimate the power of the consumer.

Nate Davis studied business and economics at Purdue University. He stepped away from trading futures contracts on the Chicago Mercantile Exchange to write a book called God the Parent which will be out this winter.