• Obama’s Backdoor “Public Option” Play Pushes Price Control Scheme For Medicare

    Tucked inside President Obama’s FY 2016 Budget is another effort to incrementally force the American people into a government-run health care program. No one should be surprised.

    Medicare Part D was created during the Bush Administration as an effort to introduce free market principles into Medicare. The program was designed to allow drug companies to compete to offer plans to Medicare beneficiaries. The program has been hugely popular with seniors and the continued target of the “single-payer” crowd who see the success of the program as a threat to the government-run model.

    That’s why the president is proposing that the government set-prices for the program, claiming that it will save money. One doesn’t have to live in Venezuela to understand that price controls do not work.

    The first result of government price setting is always shortages. No one can force a private company to sell a good or offer a service. If a company cannot profit, it will pull the product from the marketplace rather than sell itself into bankruptcy. That’s economics 101. But the true believers in a socialized health care system continue to argue that the basic rules of supply and demand do not apply to health care.

    Not only would shortages occur, but by eliminating competition, prices for prescription drugs would actually go up. The beauty of the Part D program is it competitive nature. That’s the reason the program has actually cost less than the Congressional Budget Office said it would.

    The proof is in the pudding. Medicare Part D allows seniors to have access to critical prescription drugs for an affordable monthly premium. The president is seeking to remove the private sector from Medicare Part D.

    The recent scandals at Veterans hospitals across the nation show the futility and the dangers of government-run medicine. Its not coincidence that the VA sets pricing for drugs and only 65% of drugs available to patients in Medicare Part D is available to those who served our nation.

    The President’s Budget is probably dead on arrival but this onerous provision needs a stake in its heart.

    Roberto Escoban

    Roberto Escoban is the pen name of a conservative activist who spent 20 years working in Washington including a decade on Capitol Hill.

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