Restore Liberty in Health Care in Colorado
by Richard Watts
The following comments are based on Richard Watts's October 13 presentation to the 208 Healthcare Commission at a meeting in Craig, Colorado.
The role of individuals should be to choose and finance their own, and their own children's, health care. Each individual should be free to choose which health services or insurance benefits, if any, he or she purchases, and from whom. There should be no mandates, subsidies, or other interference by government. Those who truly cannot afford health care should rely on voluntary charity, not on government.
The role of employers should be to freely choose for themselves whether or not to offer any health benefits, and if so what kind of benefits, as each employer sees fit. Government should have no say in this. Tax distortions that compel employers to provide insurance at the expense of affordable, portable, individual insurance should be repealed.
Regarding the role of health care providers and support services: providers should be free to choose which procedures to offer. Insurers should be free to choose which benefits they will offer. Both providers and insurers should be free to choose whom they will offer their services to, and for what prices, without government being involved.
The role of government in regard to health care should be to cease and desist. The proper role of government is not to force anyone to do anything. Government's proper role is to protect every person's right to liberty. But subsidies, tax distortions, insurance mandates, employer mandates and individual mandates violate this right and wreck the market. Government's policy in regard to health care, and health care financing, should be "hands off!" Any other policy violates the rights of providers, patients, insurers and taxpayers to choose freely how they conduct their own business and their own lives.
It is true that there are some severe problems in health care. But it is government interference that has caused these problems, in health care and health insurance. Those who truly wish to make high quality health care more affordable should work for a free market in health care, and to get government out of health care financing.
What is missing from the conversation is the recognition that government does not have the moral right to force anyone to purchase health insurance. Nor does it have the moral right to force anyone to finance the health care of others. Not only does government not have the right -- it has no ability to provide services. It just takes from health care professionals and taxpayers, and gives to people whom it believes are needy. So what government is proposing to do here is theft -- the theft of money from taxpayers (and others) and the theft of time, effort and skill from the health care professionals.
What would make a difference to me is for the 208 Commission, and the Colorado Legislature, to protect my rights by working to restore liberty in health care in Colorado. The comprehensive health care reform that Colorado needs is reform to Laissez Faire -- in other words, a free market.
Anyone who would like to hear a different [free-market] view of the issues should go to www.WeStandFIRM .org.