Wednesday, February 6, 2008

Liggett LTE in Boulder Daily Camera

The February 5, 2008 Boulder Daily Camera has published the following LTE by Gina Liggett:
Gina Liggett: Health care is not an entitlement

The 208 Commission has come up with a dressing for Colorado health care with its bandaids and gauze so wadded up into a big mess that it won't begin to staunch the hemorrhage. The criteria the Commission used to evaluate the proposals for reform only considered government-oriented solutions -- eliminating the only proven economic model for efficiency, fairness and innovation: the free market.

What does it take for the Commission and many citizens to see that the central-planning Emperor has no clothes? We are in this health care crisis because of a decades-long meddling by the government, beginning with the 1940s tax preferences given to Blue Cross/Blue Shield. Add in the monstrosities of Medicare and Medicaid and programs like Bush's Prescription Drug Benefit, and you have a health care market that has become so bloated, distorted and inefficient that it's amazing it runs at all.

But it won't for long. The government will not solve our health care problems by continuing to violate individual rights with forced mandates and the expropriated earnings of some to pay for the health care of others.

As a society, we must wean ourselves off this false sense of entitlement that health care is a right. It is a need that should be obtained like any other requirement of life: by paying for it according to your own choice from someone who is willing to provide it.

All government programs must be "grandfathered" out over a period of time, allowing the free market to do what it does best: innovate, provide better choice, and let the consumer and provider decide what they want--not what some bureaucrat's rules allow.

After fifty years, it's time for a new change of clothes.

Gina Liggett, RN, MPH