Medicaid: The sleeper issue of the 2012 election?
Recently on PJTV’s Front Page, I discussed the current status and also the future of Medicaid under Obamacare. You can watch the video here.
In one part of the segment I commented on the alternative typically presented today when it comes to Medicaid: either you’re for expanding Medicaid coverage to millions of people under Obamacare, or you’re for keeping all those people in today’s dysfunctional health care system.
Here’s my (expanded) take: the alternative between greater government involvement in health care (which is what Medicaid’s massive expansion under Obamacare will bring about) and the status quo (which is admittedly quite dysfunctional) is a false one.
What’s important to know is that the status quo in health care today consists of a market that is already deeply controlled in every aspect by government intervention.
Just take health insurance: the government was already deeply involved in the business of health insurance prior to Obamacare, dictating many aspects of how insurers operate—from deciding who is licensed to sell insurance and where it can be sold, to regulating how insurers organize their finances, to dictating how they price their policies, to specifying who their customers will be, to mandating what benefits they must offer, to restricting how they can advertise—and the list goes on.
It’s in that context we must consider all the problems with health insurance today—problems like continually rising premiums, the difficulty of finding insurance, etc.
The typical alternative presented today guarantees, in practice, just one outcome: heavy government control of health care, resulting in more market distortions.
The real alternative we should be debating is: government controls in health care vs. freedom in health care.