Friday, February 12, 2010

Ralston OpEd: "Health care fight: What's next?"

The February 10, 2010 Orange County Register has published the latest OpEd by Richard Ralston entitled, "Health care fight: What's next?"

Here's the opening:
The pause seems to be ending in the inept debate in Congress on health care. After a year of struggle, some comfort might be taken from the fact that neither of the monstrosities passed by the House or the Senate has become law.

However, truer than ever is the adage that "no man's life, liberty or property are safe while the legislature is in session." The change of one Senate seat is not a solid foundation to protect us from the threat of massive government intrusion in American medicine. And President Barack Obama's State of the Union address indicated that all the worst features of last year's House and Senate bills are likely to come roaring back.

If the best defense is a good offense, real reforms should be put forward now that permit better and more affordable health care and that expand, rather than restrict, personal choice and freedom.
(Read the full text of "Health care fight: What's next?" for more details on genuine free-market reforms.)

Ralston also offers the following excellent guidelines for our politicians:
The best way to evaluate reform proposals is, first, to determine the direction in which they would take us. More government spending or less? More or fewer taxes? More or fewer government agencies? More freedom and choices, or more obedience to rules, regulations and mandates? More decisions by physicians to best meet the unique condition of each patient, or more government enforcement of "protocols" that physicians must apply to all patients? Privacy for the doctor-patient relationship, or the turning over of all personal medical records to the government so it can monitor and supervise doctors' decisions?
President Obama has asked Americans to give him their own ideas on how to reform health care. Ralston has stepped up nicely. Let's hope the President and Congress decide to listen.

(Ralston is the Executive Director of Americans for Free Choice in Medicine.)