Competing Ideas

It’s no surprise that the Obama administration has been trying to pass this healthcare takeover the same way they got elected: by convincing people that it is conservative.

“Competition” is what they yell, knowing that Americans understand free market economics, and that competition drives down prices.  Competition is the last thing they want.  They want the government to run the whole show.  It may be because they think they can do a better job of caring for us than we can or it may be because they simply love controlling other people’s lives.  In either case, they cannot afford to have the public know their true intentions or they’d never get it passed.

This was on display for anyone who is discerning, on CNN two weeks ago.  Wolf Blitzer interviewed Obama’s campaign manager, David Axelrod about the healthcare plan.

AXELROD: “…what is very important is that we have the kind of competition and choice that will help consumers.”

BLITZER: “”Why not break down these state barriers and let all these insurance companies compete nationally without having to simply focus in on a state by state basis?”

Blitzer has nailed it.  This kind of competition would do wonders to lower costs and Axelrod knows this.  He also knows he can’t admit to it, so he commences a nervous tap dance that should make anyone uncomfortable.

AXELROD:  “Because we are trying to do this in a way that advances the interests of consumers without creating such disruption that it makes it difficult to —

BLITZER:  Why would that be disruptive if Blue Cross and Blue Shield or United Health Care or all these big insurance companies, they don’t have to worry about just working in a state, they could just have the opportunity to compete in all 50 states.
 
AXELROD:  But insurance is regulated at this time —

BLITZER:  But you could change that —

AXELROD:  State by state.

BLITZER:  The president could propose a law changing that.

AXELROD:  That is not endemic to the kind of reforms that we are proposing or that —

BLITZER:  Why not, why not?

AXELROD:  We’re proposing a package that we believe will bring that stability and security to people, will help people get insurance, and will lower the cost impact and pass the Congress.  And that has to be the test.  We’re not into symbolic expedition here.”

Did you catch the switch from “competition and choice” to “stability and security”?  Axelrod then has the guts to say that such a floodgate-opener of competition like Blitzer suggested was “symbolic expedition”?

These people are not stupid, but they are hoping you are.

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