There is a video making its way around the Internet in which Hollywood actors, including Will Ferrell, mock and ridicule those in opposition to President Obama’s health care reforms. They take particular aim at private health insurance companies as they advocate a public, tax-dollar-subsidized, health insurance plan. My wife came across this video and asked for my take on it, so I thought I’d share my opinion with all of you.
Check Your Sources
First of all, be aware of where the news is coming from. This video is being distributed by MoveOn.org, an organization formed during Bill Clinton’s presidency. Their organization’s main premise was that the country needed to “move on” and forget about the president having sex in the oval office with a 21 year old intern, that the president’s private behavior in cheating on his wife was not the concern of the American people. MoveOn.org is also well know for calling General Petraeus General Betray Us in a 2007 full-page ad in the New York Times. MoveOn.org is an extreme left-wing organization, and the mere fact that they are distributing this video ought to raise red flags.
Premise of Video Completely Wrong
The premise of the video is that private health insurance companies are evil and do not look out for the needs of their customers and only are out to try to make themselves wealthy. While there are no doubt individuals in insurance companies, and all walks of business life, that are selfish and greedy, the indictment that all insurances are this way is patently false. Insurance companies provide a service that most Americans find valuable. And to criminalize private health insurance the way these Hollywood figures do and they way Canada has done, has proven to lead to fewer options, and poorer health care service. See this story about a Canadian woman who was waiting for two years to have surgery before she finally drove across the border to Montana and got the surgery done in two days.
Most Americans Disagree with Hollywood Elites
The fact of the matter is that 80% Americans are happy with their current health insurance. In fact, polls show that, in terms of healthcare coverage and in quality of healthcare received, Americans rate their private health insurance as superior to government run Medicare and Medicaid. In polls throughout the summer, Americans has voiced their opposition to Obama’s reforms and disapproval of the President’s plan now stands at 56%(see Support for Health Care Plan Hits New Low). As more people have come to understand his plan, more have stood up to oppose it. Obama’s healthcare plan raises taxes and will reduce quality of care just like socialized medicine has done everywhere it has been tried.
Competition in Health Care
A point of emphasis in this ridiculous video is regarding competition, which everyone seems to agree is healthy and we need more of. Yet Obama and the Hollywood elites are trying to stamp out competition with increased government intervention and fewer free market forces. It is clear, from Obama’s proposal, and from his past statements on his desire for a “single payer system”, that he many left-leaning Democrats and Socialist want to put private insurers out of business. (see the video embedded below or Obama’s Hearth Care Deception from the Glenn Beck program.) The public option proposed is designed to eventually eliminate the private insurance business and it will do just that as no private business that has to meet a bottom line in order to survive can compete with a government entity that can run up as much debt as it wants.
Options for Health Care Competition
If Obama, the Democrat/Socialist, and the Hollywood elites want more competition in the health care industry, there are several proposals are out there that they may want to consider. Why not let people buy health insurance across state lines (which is currently prohibited in the US)? Why not let people get a tax credit on the cost of health insurance? These are free market, incentive based solutions that will address the problem without growing the size and power of government.
Who died and made you king?
One other thing the video takes aim at is the profits of health insurance companies. But my question is, who the heck are these people to say how much companies and individuals can and cannot make? If you ask me, $40 million for acting in a movie is a bit excessive. But I believe in freedom and if Hollywood movie companies want to pay Will Ferrell that much, that’s their right. I have no right to tell these actors how much they can or cannot make, and they have no right to dictate the profit levels of anyone else.
Freedom and Rule of Law
We believe in the rule of law. If Health insurance companies are committing crimes, then prosecute them and send them to jail. Otherwise, if they are obeying the law, providing a service in exchange for health coverage, then they ought to be free to run their business as they see fit. If they are really so awful as these Hollywood actors make them out to be, then in a free market economy those companies will lose customers.
It Feels Good but Makes No Sense
It is a feel good position to support “free” healthcare for all. But unfortunately, “free” healthcare will cost you your freedom, which is a price neither I, nor the majority of Americans, are willing to pay. It may sound good in theory, but the only way to provide universal health care is to take, by force, from one group in order to give it to another. America has the greatest health care in the world, and socializing it in the way Obama and these Hollywood actors want, is only sure to make health care worse for everyone.