LP Monday Message: Stop Subsidizing Health Care!

December 28, 2009

Dear Friend of Liberty,

You have probably heard lots of politicians in recent months complaining about “the skyrocketing cost of health care.” They wring their hands about how “the United States spends more on health care…” etc. etc.

Their solution? More government, of course.

But why does the cost of health care keep going up so fast? Most other products and services don’t have this problem. Food prices don’t skyrocket every year. Electronics don’t either. What is so special about health care?

I think the problem boils down to this: the government subsidizes health care very heavily. When you subsidize the purchase of something, the price goes up–that’s Economics 101. Then, since politicians use the higher price as an excuse to give even higher subsidies, you get into a vicious cycle, and prices keep rising endlessly.

Michael Munger, 2008 Libertarian candidate for North Carolina Governor, commented on this in a recent op-ed.

If the government would just get out of the health care subsidy business, I think we would see health care–drugs, doctor visits, tests, surgeries, everything–become much more affordable.

Of course, there are other problems too: too much regulation, malpractice lawsuit abuse, and so on. Libertarian Mary Ruwart has written about some of these problems in a recent article.

You won’t hear Republicans or Democrats call for ending government subsidies of health care. That would mean getting rid of Medicare and Medicaid, programs which politicians of both parties support strongly. I think they love this situation: increasing government now guarantees they’ll have an excuse to increase government even more in the future!

Republicans are railing against the Democrats’ current plans, but that’s only because the Democrats are in charge. When the Republicans had the majority, they couldn’t wait to pass their giant Medicare expansion, costing over $1 trillion (entirely debt-financed, by the way). LP Chairman William Redpath pointed this out in his response to President Obama’s health care speech.

Many congressmen are home for the recess. If you have time and are looking for ways to promote liberty and the Libertarian Party, please call your congressman again and tell them you oppose this plan, as we suggested before. Every call helps, even if just a little bit.

If you want to magnify the power of your voice 10,000 times, and have newspapers and television stations quoting you, then run for U.S. Congress.

For example, Libertarian Joseph Kennedy is participating in debates and getting plenty of press coverage as he runs for U.S. Senator in a Massachusetts special election.

Only the Libertarian Party wants the government to get out of the health care business. Only the Libertarian Party recognizes that government intrusion into health care is what causes most of the problems. I hope you’ll support us today.

Wes Benedict
Executive Director
Libertarian National Committee

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