The Obamacare Alternative Obama Doesn’t Want You to Know About

In an address last week, President Obama presented to Americans the false alternative he always does when it comes to health care: choose between his destructive law, Obamacare, and the crumbling status quo before the law’s passage.

Here’s a taste of his comments:

And those who have based their entire political agenda on repealing it have to explain to the country why Jeanne should go back to being uninsured. They should explain why Sean and his family should go back to paying thousands and thousands of dollars more. They’ve got to explain why Marla [who was previously uninsured] doesn’t deserve to feel like she’s got value. They have to explain why we should go back to the days when seniors paid more for their prescriptions or women had to pay more than men for coverage, back to the days when Americans with preexisting conditions were out of luck — they could routinely be denied the economic security of health insurance — because that’s exactly what would happen if we repeal this law. Millions of people who now have health insurance would not have it. Seniors who have gotten discounts on their prescription drugs would have to pay more. Young people who were on their parents’ plan would suddenly not have health insurance.

American health care pre-Obamacare, which was undoubtedly a broken system, was characterized by almost total control by government (see here for an overview and
here for regulations in health insurance, in particular). Obamacare is a further layer of control. So the alternative Obama presents is: a health care market mostly controlled by government vs. one that’s even more tightly controlled. That’s not offering Americans an alternative, it’s offering them different amounts of the same poison.

The real alternative to the hellish pre- and post-Obamacare health care markets is a free market in medicine.

It should be no surprise why Obama doesn’t dare to compare health care under his health law to that under a genuinely free market. His tactic, in fact, has been to
smear the free market by equating it with the market pre-Obamacare. A free market would leave patients free to pursue health care as they judge best, and it would leave health care producers free to provide that care. The result, as freedom in any market illustrates, would be a health care system characterized by ever-improving quality at ever-affordable prices. If Americans saw freedom in medicine as the ideal it really is, the idea of government controlling this vital industry wouldn’t even make it to the table.