When Will Republicans Understand Free Market Healthcare?
Healthcare is one of the most complex policy issues. The lack of free market healthcare, engendered by endless government interventions (and secondary interventions to fix the original interventions), has made policy solutions even more cumbersome. But the overarching principle of any reform must begin with the understanding that federal intervention in the healthcare industry has inexorably driven up the cost of healthcare and health insurance. As such, no healthcare policy panacea can begin with growing government and further distorting the already grossly-altered healthcare market.
Instead of proposing more free market solutions, Republicans are offering pale-pastel versions of Democrat government intervention as solutions. Here are two examples.
Last week, Congressman Larry Bucshon (R-IN) introduced the Orwellian-named “Truth in Healthcare Marketing Act of 2013” (HR 1427) – a bill that forces optometrists to disclose all their licensing and qualifications in all advertising. It grants wide latitude to the Federal Trade Commission to regulate and penalize offenders. The bill is heavily backed by special interest hustlers like the AMA and American Academy of Ophthalmology (AAO). The ophthalmologist lobby doesn’t want competition from cheaper healthcare providers (optometrists), and they want to use the boot of the federal government to ensnare them in red tape.
It is this sort of anti-free market special interest legislating that has crowded out choice and competition from the marketplace. The reality is that there are already strict laws in most states to punish those optometrists who step outside of their scope of service beyond their qualifications. There is no reason, beyond special interest politicking, for the federal government to get involved. The bill was introduced on April 9, a day before the AAOs national meetings in DC commenced.