March 1, 2010
Healthcare Summit: President Obama flunks test to become Doctor in Chief
By James Wilson

President Obama's healthcare summit showed us how completely unqualified our politicians are to run our healthcare.

The Democrats and Republicans both stink on this issue.

We suggest sending Congress a letter, wishing them "a pox on both their houses."

You can copy or borrow from my letter:

The recent healthcare summit left me unhappy with both the Republicans and the Democrats.

First, how can the President reform health insurance when he doesn't even know what health insurance is?

He claimed that high-deductible plans aren't REAL insurance. This is like claiming that I don't have real car insurance if my policy doesn't cover oil changes.

With this one comment the President completely disqualified himself from having any further involvement in our healthcare.

Are my other elected representatives any better informed? Please be clear about this . . .

* Insurance is supposed to cover major events that people can't afford to pay out of normal income and savings
* This means that REAL health insurance is of the high deductible, major medical variety, whereas . . .
* The plans the President mistakenly thinks of as health insurance are really expensive pre-payment schemes

These pre-payment schemes aren't REAL health insurance. They only exist because of stupid federal tax policies, and corporate welfare regulations at the state level.

What our President, and many in Congress, mistakenly call REAL health insurance is actually the very root of the problem. As Cato scholar Alan Reynolds points out . . .

* A study by Amy Finklestein of MIT suggests that expanded health insurance coverage is responsible for nearly half of the increase in per capita healthcare spending
* Which suggests that the pre-payment schemes the President mistakes for health insurance have driven up healthcare costs, while the high-deductible plans the President rejects would actually reduce costs

In fact, when it comes to scholarly studies, I would strongly urge you guys to pay more attention to some of the studies my taxes have funded. For instance . . . 

A 2008 study for the Department of Health and Human Services shows that allowing consumers to bypass state-imposed corporate welfare mandates would make REAL health insurance affordable for more than 11 million Americans, WITHOUT RAISING MY TAXES OR INCREASING THE NATIONAL DEBT!

And the RAND Health Insurance Experiment showed that consumers with the kind of pre-payment plans President Obama prefers used substantially more healthcare than those who had the kind of high-deductible plans the President dislikes -- with little difference in healthcare outcomes between the two groups!

In other words, the President's approach wastes resources and drives up costs -- they very opposite of what he claims to want!

The evidence is clear  . . .

* You can insure more people at less cost,
* While also maintaining the quality of care,
* But you can ONLY do these things by reducing government involvement, NOT increasing it.

Instead of taking this approach, what we heard from the Democrats was a desire for government price controls. Sadly, the Republicans want to do similar things, like forbidding insurance companies from imposing caps on total payouts.

If the Republicans really believe in the free market, like they claim, they would be working to allow companies to offer a range of policies at a variety of prices, NOT dictating what companies can and cannot offer to consumers.

Both parties act as if they believe the political process is capable of setting prices and allocating resources better than the free market. My response to this is !@#$%!

Look, it's really hard to write respectful messages to you people when you keep providing new evidence that you are ignorant of how the world works and unwilling to consider evidence contrary to your preconceived political talking points. Frankly, I think the respect needs to run the other way. You guys are the ones threatening to use government force to dictate the terms of my existence. I cannot express how angry this makes me.

Please respect my right to control my own healthcare. Do two things, immediately . . .

* Allow consumers and employers to buy health insurance across state lines
* Expand Health Savings Accounts, so that individuals can buy coverage with the same tax advantages as employer-provided insurance

Do these things now. Do not wait. Do not hesitate. And above all, abandon your own coercive schemes to re-engineer my life.


You can send your own letter using's Educate the Powerful System. 

Please forward this message to concerned friends.

And please make a contribution to expand our reach.

Perry Willis
Vice President, Inc.

More resources:

Arnold Kling grades the healthcare summit
Cato live-blogs the summit

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