Need for Real Healthcare Reform Is Lost

Monday, 12 Mar 2012 07:02 PM

By Chris Freind

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Lost in the Rush Limbaugh firestorm is the discussion about why real heathcare reform has yet to be achieved. Obamacare is an unmitigated disaster, as government bureaucrats should never be deciding who gets what medications and treatments, and, ultimately, who lives and dies.

That said, the current system needs a massive overhaul. Do we have to do a much better job of reducing the number of uninsured Americans? Absolutely. Are there concrete ways to stop skyrocketing healthcare costs? You bet. But nationalized healthcare is not the answer.

Rush Limbaugh and Sandra Fluke.
(Getty Images)
Not surprisingly, many common sense solutions can be found in the Republican Party platform. Just as predictable, they remain a pipe dream.

So the biggest loser to come out of the Limbaugh health care controversy is . . . The Republican Party.

Another fantastic issue in which the Republicans could have differentiated themselves from Obama and the Democrats — and another opportunity squandered. What else is new?

Not one Republican leader — and not one GOP presidential contender — transformed this into what it is: the lack of common sense healthcare reform. And God forbid any of them tell the truth by pointing the finger at themselves as to why we find ourselves having this debate at all.

As it now stands in America, if you don’t like your employer’s health insurer, you can either pay for a different insurer out of pocket (totally impractical since there are so few options and far too expensive), or change jobs (more impractical). Notice that there is no option to buy insurance across state lines, since that is illegal.

So while we can buy auto insurance from any state in the country, we are banned from doing so for health insurance.

Why such a stranglehold on the free market? Because it’s not in the interests of the big insurance players to have such consumer choice, as they would be forced to actually become competitive.

Thankfully for them, they have deep pockets which they use to fund the coffers of politicians. Result? Consumers are held hostage to skyrocketing rates and decreasing coverage, while the insurers laugh all the way to the bank.

Consequently, true healthcare portability remains as elusive as ever, to the detriment of Americans — and their job-creating innovation and entrepreneurship that is stifled because they are held hostage to the current system.

Then there are the flexible spending accounts that still have a “use it or lose it” policy. Instead of encouraging savings, such plans only serve to have consumers making a mad dash to the pharmacy so they can buy 27 bottles of aspirin before their money — yes, their money — disappears.

And the GOP, inexplicably, failed to throw the Left’s hypocrisy back in its face.

These are the people who advocate unrestricted abortion, screaming that government has no place in the uterus, while asking the same government to fund their contraceptives (which, I believe, affects that very same uterus). The inconsistency of those folks was a gimme, a political homerun for the Republicans. But their silence has been deafening.

Perhaps those on the Right would do well to 1) realize that the Limbaughs of the world are entertainers, not Movement leaders, and treat them as such, 2) refuse to defend the indefensible when such entertainers cross the line, 3) stop blaming Obama for the things he very clearly told the nation he was going to do — make government-run nationalized healthcare a priority, and 4) hold the Republican Party accountable for its deliberate failures to fix America’s problems (offshore drilling, border walls, healthcare reform, smaller government), as promised in its party platform.

Maybe then this nation could have a constructive dialogue on the pressing issues of the day.

And what a Rush that would be.

An accredited member of the media, Chris Freind is an independent columnist, television commentator, and investigative reporter who operates his own news bureau, Friendly Fire Zone. Read more reports from Chris Freind — Click Here Now.

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