Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Howard Dean, Still Crazy

Reason's Nick Gillespie takes note of Howard Dean's stream of consciousness on MSNBC's Morning Joe.

Talking on the generally excellent and substantive Morning Joe today, DNC head Howard Dean, an M.D., former governor of Vermont, and legendary presidential screamer says, "We cannot continue to spend 16 percent of our GNP on health care. Period."

He added that he "thinks the decisions should be made at the individual level."

And that he's against "corporate care."

Confused? I am, and it's not just the corporate prescription pharmaceuticals. Just wait until the hard-core health-care reform proposals start hitting the ground in late January.

As Nick says, this is precisely what's very scary about the idea of health care reform. It's not that we don't need it- God knows we do- It's just scary that political leaders continue to push conflicting objectives while providing no mechanisms for meeting those objectives. Making health care decisions at an individual level is something every libertarian could agree with, but the idea of eliminating business from health care all together can't mean anything but government provided care. And unless there mandated cost controls and restrictions, an idea at odds with the notion of individual choice, I'm unclear how a government run program could hope to stay within any budgetary restrictions.

I know I've made the point here countless times before, but the real solution, the only solution to our health care problems are to permit more market forces to work, not to eliminate the idea of health care markets all together. The left is perfectly correct to note that insurance companies aren't entitled to their profits- Much of what they earn is a result of the twisted system of health care policy and tax law we have in this country. But there's a tremendous difference between arguing that we should rid ourselves of the costly, complex leviathan of regulations we've created and arguing that the profit model is ineffectual when it comes to health care.


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