Sunday, January 31, 2010

Good editorial from Ulman/Beilenson

Ken Ulman and Peter Beilenson almost- but not quite- begin to make sense in their op-ed piece in the Baltimore Sun today. They essentially concede that the federal guvmint is dysfunctional:

Whatever reform of America's broken health care system can be accomplished in Washington over the next few weeks is likely to be meager. We can't allow the failure of comprehensive health care reform at the national level to be the endgame. We can't wait another 15 or 20 years for another grand national campaign to fix the remaining problems. That is not fair to the tens of millions who suffer without any or adequate insurance; nor can our challenged economy sustain the current growth rate of health care expenses.

What they propose is that states attempt to solve health care problems on their own, trying different approaches and seeing what works. Where Ulman and Beilenson screw the pooch is that they want the federal guvmint to subsidize state efforts, which just seems really stupid to me. They also want the feds to essentially regulate the end goals of the state plans (they insist that states must strive to bend the cost curve and have the intent of achieving universal coverage), which is also dumb.

I believe that knowledge needed to reform healthcare is concentrated far outside of Washington, and having a central planner in a country this large is a recipe for disaster. Would GM have gotten in such bad shape if the taxpayers in Michigan were responsible for a bailout? Probably not. Would Fannie and Freddie have caused such havoc in mortgage markets if individual states had to foot the bill for mortgage bailouts? Unlikely.

Allowing states and counties to be in control of what their policies are just makes a lot more sense than the one size fits all "solutions" coming from Washington. In fact, don't just limit this Federalist approach to health care, let the states do everything for themselves (save for perhaps national defense).

While I advocate for a free society, I do not assert that it is right for everyone. Many people like subsidized housing, government regulations, government intervention in health care and so forth. Let those folks live in their Socialist utopia- and let them pay for it themselves. Meanwhile, I'll choose to live in a freer society.

Anyway, with the exception of a few warts the editorial was a refreshing change from the normal B.S. coming from political "leaders". Every blind squirrel can sometimes find a nut.


Anonymous said...

If you want to get incensed about something, consider new textbooks for high schoolers top $70 and likely go much higher while the Kindle sells books for much less and as is the predictable course for any bloated bureacracy, the schools aren't doing anything, DOING anything to lighten the student load along with the taxpayer load. Kindle retails for $259.

PZGURU said...

Right on the mark! The Federal Government should only be responsible for National Defense, certain tax programs, and that's it. Everything else, from education, to agriculture, to roads, to whatever, should be up to the States. In fact, isn't that exactly how the Constitution lays out federal versus state powers?
This country really needs to get back to the basics, like following the Constitution.

Eludius said...

Do you think Kittleman can make a good run and kick Ulman out of office? Politicians that complain that our society isn't socialist-leaning enough need to be removed from office by the voters as soon as possible!

Anonymous said...

Too little too late to save Ulman's ill-conceived health plan. What is the per person cost now? Is it still $20,000 each? What a great deal for HoCo taxpayers!