Diary

What if the public plan is just like the Post Office?

Obama keeps asking the question, sarcastically as if to make light of Republican arguments, that if the public plan is so bad no one will want it anyway. What if he is right, but doesn’t realize it (or maybe he does), that there could be a real difference in quality of choice and thereby care, much like there is between the Post Office and FedEx, UPS, or other public carriers. I know the devil is in the details, but unless heavily regulated and forcibly enacted most will stay with private versus public.

I keep thinking of the possibilities based on what I call “The Law of Unintended Consequences”, while the government (read Democrats) thinks it’s doing all of these wonderful things, they typically only make things worse for those they are trying to help. Here are several what ifs:

  • Well qualified doctors refuse to be in the Public Plan and only take patients with qualified private plans, thereby giving the best care to those who can afford it.
  • The Public Plan begins to ration care for those on their watch, therefore having businesses offer the “premium” private plans to attract employees, giving an edge to more profitable, higher paying employers.
  • While one of Obama’s talking points is that there is no profit in the Public Plan therefore it will be cheaper, I can’t imagine if it is run as any other government enterprise that it can do anything cheaper than private industry. I assume the SEIU and other unions will be involved. To date there is not any major industry that has heavy union involvement that is considered financially healthy (auto’s, education, or heavily unionized states such as CA. NY, or IL) by any pure free market standard.

The unintended consequence is that those who are uninsured and those forced into the Public Plan by their employer may now have to pay/receive for lesser, more rationed, care than can receive today.

Offering less and charging more is not a recipe for success. Just as the Post Office is not in the business to make a profit, it is generally not the prefered method for getting mail/packages delivered when any sort of guarantee of delivery is needed. To make things worse it is always in the red because it can’t compete financially.