and Drug Companies Fear Competition
The Free Market
By: David Phillips
March 9, 2009
White house announced a 10-year, $634 billion reserve fund aimed at expanding healthcare coverage to Americans who cannot
afford the extortion rates that insurance companies are demanding. The $634 billion is just a down payment that will only
cover half of those that need healthcare. Obama plans on waiting until the economy turns before expanding the coverage to
include everyone who wants it.
President Obama plans on paying for this partly with
tax hikes on the wealthy as well as allowing the Bush tax cuts for the wealthy to expire and needless to say that this announcement
has angered Republicans, Drug manufacturers and Health insurance companies.
This past week Obama launched a healthcare summit which
included the Republicans, Health insurance companies, Drug Companies and various healthcare advocacy groups and in my opinion
for the most part they will just make it more difficult.
President Obama’s proposal is to offer government
sponsored healthcare as an alternative to the private health insurances companies which will target the 49 million Americans
who have no health coverage at all. This plan could reduce premiums by 20 percent or more according to government officials.
And this is what the Republicans, Drug companies and Health insurances companies are upset with, lower income to their bottom
lines through completion. Cry me a river.
Nothing has been set in stone as to the direction in
which government sponsored health care will go, but the two models that Obama is looking at are Medicare and our current government
employee healthcare plans.
Obama is trying to appease both liberals who demand
Universal Healthcare and the Drug and Insurances companies who don’t want to lower their premiums because of competition.
Insurance and Drug companies have said that the competition could drive them out of business.
Demand a Free Market
Republicans shout out that the free market will keep
insurance and drug costs down, yet in the last ten years small business has seen their premiums increase by 133% and our own
government says that by 2012 more than 150 million Americans will no longer be able to afford healthcare. Yet Republicans
are a broken record with the pounding on their chest to let the “Free Market” do its job at keeping prices low.
The free market doesn’t work; it’s a joke,
a myth, total malarkey. Whenever a small business starts to make inroads in their market the big corporations buy them out
to stifle any competition. This is true in any industry you can think of.
But yet the GOP for the last twenty five years keeps
telling everyone that a free market creates competition which creates lower prices for American consumers. What a crock.
The GOP knows that if they keep ragging on the slogan
“Free Market” that a large segment of the voting public will always buy into their lie, and they are right. Americans
can see that everything around them always goes up in price and never down, but many still hold faith for a mythical free
Just look at how the drug companies and insurance companies
are already complaining that if the government provides an alternative to what they offer they would lose money because of
competition, and the GOP is standing by their side to echo their cries. For crying out loud, that is what the “Free
Market” was envisioned to do, create competition and lower prices not make everything more expensive and unattainable
for those that don’t have the sources to buy the higher priced “Free Market” products.
The GOP says that it’s not fair for the private
sector to have to compete with the public sector. I’ll tell what’s not fair, and that’s to create an illusion
that lower prices on healthcare or anything else for that matter will come about if we just let the “Free Market”
compete within its own industries to lower prices on their own. It hasn’t worked, prices for healthcare outpace inflation,
they have for many years now, why in the world do politicians in this case the GOP figure that if we continue to do the same
as we have done in the past that we will have a different outcome in the future.
An Example of
what a Free Market once looked like
When I was a much younger man gas stations use to have
Gas Wars, a gas war was where an independent dealer would stick a sign out in front of his station with a lower price than
his competition across the street, which led the competition to put out his own sign with an even lower price. Now the independent
dealers are no longer independent and for the most part gas stations are owned by various larger companies and the only wars
they now have is to see who can sell their products at the highest price. That was what a free market looked like, independent
dealers in all types of industry, but as their industries grew the free market got smaller and smaller with bigger and bigger
companies taking over the little guy.
Well, the free market for the most part is dead, and
our newly elected President was voted into office partly on change, and part of that change was health coverage for ALL Americans,
and if the GOP, Drug manufacturers and Health insurance companies wants to stand in the way as obstructionists, then the only
other option is to push them aside or roll right over them.
David Phillips is a Vietnam Era Veteran, a Democratic Party Activist, and David is also the Publisher
and Editor of the online political magazine YodasWorld.org
E-Mail Questions or Comments: firstname.lastname@example.org