Friday, November 22, 2013

Set Healthcare Free

There has been considerable news pertaining to healthcare in the US and understandably so given: 
  1. The amount the industry contributes to GDP and 
  2. Needless to say, the recent and ongoing myriad of challenges associated with the ACA (aka Obamacare). 

It should not be a surprise to many of my readers that I claim that we are to blame for this mess - because we elected the politicians that run the dysfunctional Federal government we now have.

Our political system aside, the real problem is not the broken Federal website nor the lack of responsibility or accountability taken by our President; these are just minor annoyances when looked at in the proper perspective.  The problem is the lack of competition in the healthcare industry.  I like the concept of exchanges (as fiscal conservatives did years ago) because exchanges when designed properly help foster competition; however, as I understand it, the ACA seeks to drive us towards a single payer system through government regulations that dictate how the current exchanges should work (via such means as the “bellybutton tax”).  These regulations instead diminish competition. 

Competition leads to innovation and lower prices.  We need not look far, just look at the IT industry and the consumer products we use.  However, this innovation and lower prices comes at a cost.  One such cost is that companies that failed to innovate go out of business and people lose their jobs, but many new companies and jobs are created in the process. Surely there are other drawbacks; nothing is perfect, but I believe in the free market system and I advocate so should you.

We should unchain our healthcare system from constraining and market limiting regulations to set it free to drive innovation; however, for this to occur, we need to contact our politicians in Washington to let them know what we want. I call them regularly, do you?

Friday, April 26, 2013

Have You Called Your Representative Today?

Have you ever become frustrated with our government and elected officials?  If you are like me then you have at some point in time in your life.  If you have become frustrated then how did you respond?  Did you let it pass? Did you complain to others? Did you call the elected official(s) that acted in a way that frustrated you? If you responded by complaining to others and not calling the responsible official(s) then did you not just waste your own time and more importantly, that of others?  

I asked these questions because I reached out today to Senator Reid and Speaker Boehner after reading a Forbes news report that they purportedly looked to exempt members of Congress and their staff from provisions of the Affordable Healthcare Act. Both offices acknowledge the news report, but there seems be a little bit of difference in opinion as to what truly took place that led to the news report. Per Senator Reid’s office, the Senator “supports all the benefits” of the act whereas per the Speaker’s office, the Speaker seeks to repeal the act.  Both elected officials stated these same assertions yesterday immediately after the release of the news report per each respective staff representative. 

It is now obvious that after making my calls that others had acted much quicker, which I attribute to the issue. However, there are many other issues being debated upon that are not as high profile. We cannot assume that others will act on our behalf - & without our input. If ‘others’ had acted appropriately then I suggest that we would not be in the mess we are in today.

We most take responsibility for our government by participating more frequently than the first Tuesday of November either other year. Calling to complain is a possible first step.  Another step could be calling to state how the elected representative should vote based on sound reasoning on an upcoming piece of legislation. There are many things we can do, but in general we need to encourage each other to participate in our government beyond just the voting booth.