We have seen an historical pattern playing out in the passage and implementation of the Affordable Care Act (aka ObamaCare). Democrats enact a Big Government program, with Republicans first voicing opposition, then acquiescing, and, finally, embracing it. Libertarians, on the other hand, refuse to play along.
Republicans spent far too many years voicing opposition to the increasing federal government involvement in health care (even adding to it with the unfunded Medicare Part D law) without actively pushing for true free market reforms. Consequently, their opposition to the passage of ObamaCare was ineffective.
There have been valid concerns about the coverage and delivery of health care for years in the current system, one that the United States stumbled into in the 1940s. These concerns would be better solved by the free market instead of via a top-down mandate from Washington, D.C. And there are plenty of free market solutions from which to choose, such as:
• Health care insurance should be individual, portable, while giving individual plans the same federal income tax treatment as group plans, including allowing employers to contribute to individual plans.
• Health insurance should be available across state lines.
• In addition to the benefit of portability in dealing with pre-existing conditions, health status insurance should be allowed.
• Lower the threshold for deducting medical expenses on federal income tax returns.
• Expand health savings accounts (HSAs) and flexible spending accounts (FSAs).
Obviously, there must be private charity to help those in need, and even if one thinks that some government involvement is required, there is no power in the U.S. constitution for the federal government to do so. Any governmental involvement would have to be at the state and local levels, certainly not through the federal Leviathan taking over how health care insurance is provided for 310 million citizens with differing situations and needs.
If the idea of a single-payer federally-run health care program sounds attractive to you, consider the following. Would you want a single, federally run package delivery service? Would you want a single, federally run airline? Or a single TV service? Or a single telephone service? Or a single school system? If not, why would you want something as vital as your health care to be subject to the whims of the federal government and a bunch of politicians in Washington?
The Libertarian Party stands ready to assist our fellow Americans in reclaiming their liberty across the board, including the area of health care. The Republicans and Democrats won’t. Libertarians will.
—Ken Hamilton, member, LPAR Executive Committee