Sunday, February 21, 2010

The Borg, I Mean Obama Administration, Proposes Federal Price Controls On Health Insurers

Good lord, our president has no shortage of self-assuredness in his ability to control all aspects of society. Thomas Sowell preciently warned us of this prior to the 2008 election.

The Administration is apparently going to take another crack at health insurance reform (rather than healthcare reform) by imposing federal price controls on the insurance industry. The modicum of respect that I retain for the man declines everyday as his populist exploitations accumulate.

I mean, federally imposed price controls have worked so well in other areas of the economy. Fortunately, this effort is unconstitutional and clearly impedes states' rights and oversteps constitutionally limited federal authority. Unfortunately, we all know that Obama views the constitution as a simple set of best practices recommendations rather than the fundamental underpinning of the relationship between man and his servant government.

If it is not yet screamingly obvious that price controls reduce competition, reduce service quality, and impair productivity, then it never will be. There is not one sector of the economy that the government has ever successfully improved through price controls.

Here is the New York Times article on the topic of The Administration's efforts to set prices.

What's ironic is that every industry the government is heavily involved subsequently earns a terrible reputation: public schools, health care, banking, insurance, defense, etc. These are businesses that have costs that rise in excess of inflation and productivity gains that lag it. However, industries that are relatively more free such as high tech, retail, and consumer goods reflect the opposite: improving productivity, declining costs, and increasingly customer friendly prices and products.

The obvious answer is to free the health care and insurance sector of governmental interference and watch them blossom. Sadly, this will not happen under the rule of a man that believes he can impose better outcomes than individuals would receive through freedom (or, in the case of insurance, local judgement).