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Monday, August 10, 2009

Unintended Consequences

I'm concerned about the legislation that is currently being constructed in Washington D.C. I will confess that I'm not sure that all the concerns and claims about the legislation from those on the right are accurate. I've looked at some of them, and they don't seem to be as serious as claimed.

But we would do well to be concerned, no matter which side of the political spectrum we are on. Here are some reasons:
1. The speed with which the government is trying to get this through.
2. The size of the legislation.
3. The lack of time to accurately read and digest it. This is true for the general public, and for Congress as well.

What folly to try and redesign 1/6 of the economy so quickly!
How irresponsible for Congress to rush and not even read it!

4. Will those enrolled in private insurance be forced into the public insurance option as employers seek to cut costs?
5. Loss of privacy. Whatever happened to the pro-abortion rallying cry of "get the government off of my body"?
6. Rationing. If the government option wants to save costs, it is inevitable that rationing will occur. Who will suffer? Will it be those whose lives are really prolonged when there is no good reason, or will the elderly, and those approaching old age be denied care that might prolong their lives, perhaps for years?
7. Loss of research and improvement in new medical techniques. If payments are set, will there be adequate payment to doctors and researchers so that the field attracts the brightest and the best?
8. Can the government really handle something so private well? Think of how well it runs the Post Office, Indian Affairs, Veteran Affairs, and Medicare. Remember that Social Security is headed for the rocks as well. Don't forget the Tuskegee experiments. Or the IRS.

I entitled this blog "unintended consequences." The writers of the new health care may indeed have the best intentions. It's the consequences of their actions that we need to fear. The consequences that they don't foresee because they didn't want to, or they went too quickly. The consequences of a government bureaucracy. Remember, private companies can't put you in jail or take your money or invade your homes with guns. The government can, and has, and does.

The government should be the referee, not the player.