Open letter to Rep. Smith:

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In response to Rep. Smith:

Dear Rep. Smith,

Thank you for taking the time to respond to my email. Although I am sure you’ve sent a similar letter to the many people who mailed you on the topic, nevertheless, I appreciate the time you took to put your thoughts together.

I, like you, believe reform is important. Our health care system is good, but it can be much, much better. By denying ourselves a superior health care system, we are condemning millions to suffer needlessly.

The principle, and perhaps, only reason why people are denied health care is because of cost. The higher the cost, we learn from simple economics, the fewer that can afford the good or service. If we can lower the cost of health care, then we can provide health care to more people. Lower it enough, and it becomes something the poorest among us can have an abundance of. Our nation’s poor are fat because of the abundance of food. Wouldn’t it be nice if they were “fat” with an abundance of health care, too?

I don’t think we need to look very far for a system that can deliver a superior product or service at a minimum price. This system has consistently and reliably increased efficiencies such that every year, the entire world depends on the price of the goods and services to go down, and the quality and quantity to go up. Entire nations and international corporations plan their budgets relying on this simple fact. People trust their hard-earned money into this system as the only reliable way to generate consistent wealth.

That system is, of course, capitalism. It’s principles are cold and heartless, and its mechanism at times can seem unfair. But its effects are undeniable. Today, countries that have embraced capitalism enjoy more food than they could ever hope to eat, more jobs than they have ever had in their entire history, and a better standard of living superior to their historic monarchs and emperors.

I believe capitalism will work with health care as well. It will, reliably, reduce the cost of health care and increase its quality for every person, even the illegal immigrants and unemployed.

Unfortunately, we live under a quasi-capitalist and quasi-socialist system. We are suffering under the effects of this socialism, but we are told it is the fault of the capitalist side of the equation—“greedy” doctors and “greedy” corporations who are, in fact, the only people in the system who produce the goods and services we need.

If you ask any doctor, they can identify for you, readily, the areas where government is interfering in the marketplace. Let me list the few that I see.

First is tort law. Right now, a doctor can maintain the highest level of professionalism and still get sued for malpractice over things they have no control over. And the penalties for losing the suit are astronomical, far outside the realm of reason. We need tort law that will protect doctors so that they can rely on their best professional judgment while punishing those who are negligent or who refuse to adhere to the highest levels of professionalism. At the same time, we can limit the rewards to reasonable amounts that justly punish and compensate.

Second is government mandates. From the federal code to the state level, there are numerous inefficiencies introduced by government mandate. Among the most obvious are the various rules and procedures doctors must adhere to to receive compensation from government health care systems. These are onerous and turn the most important medical decisions over to the hands of bureaucrats who simply can not care for the individual in the system. While you have the power to change federal law, you can also protect the people from bad state law by allowing individuals to purchase insurance policies from across state lines.

Third is our tax code. This tax code makes it impossible to buy health insurance except from your employer. If you go outside of this channel, then you have to pay significantly more in taxes and higher costs. By limiting the marketplace, health insurance consumers end up paying more than they should. Rewrite the tax law so that employees are not limited in their health insurance choices to the policies that the employer makes available.

Fourth are government social welfare programs. These hide the true costs of the benefit. It also externalizes costs so that everyone within the system makes bad decisions. If we truly cared for our senior’s health, we would build a system where they can own their health policy, covered by a corporation bound by law to have on hand the assets to cover the promises they made when those promises need to be fulfilled. We would not have built a system which brings in more cash than it spends in the early years, just for congress to increase spending and bankrupt the country. You and I both know how far in debt we are in these federal programs. That’s why the health care bill you voted for contained a massive cut in Medicare spending. Today, our seniors are in danger of losing their health care not because of decisions they’ve made, but decisions congress has made. The assets needed to provide for their health do not exist and cannot exist. In the end, their health care will be denied, because it cannot be provided.

When you apply any measure against the yardstick of individual liberty, I think the answer becomes clear. Does each policy and regulation and law imposed tend to increase individual liberties or diminish them? That is, are you more or less free living under the new law than the old one? We never go wrong in choosing the laws that expand our individual liberties.

Whether or not this bill comes back with the problems fixed is irrelevant. You helped push forward a bill with many problems. If a person helps a cause that is not good, does that make the person a good person? No, if we wanted to be counted as good, we must stand only behind good things and stand against the bad things. There is no need to compromise with our liberty and morality on any topic.

 

Sincerely,

Jonathan Gardner

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