The Coalition to "Do Something"

Chris Barge’s story for today’s Rocky Mountain News states:

Calling itself “Partnership for a Healthy Colorado,” the group emphasized that reform is needed because the cost of caring for the uninsured and underinsured is passed on to Colorado’s insured majority.

The group acknowledged that it had not arrived at any agreement on a proposal for reform, or how to pay for it.

But there was agreement that something must be done. …

“The members of this partnership are diverse and we don’t always agree on everything,” said Amy Fletcher, associate director of the Business Health Forum. “But we’re here to say that, when it comes to health care, something must be done in Colorado.”

Something, anything must be done — except to actually figure out what’s wrong with medical policy and fix it. Various members of the “new” coalition, including the Service Employees International Union, the Colorado State Association of Health Underwriters, and the Colorado Medical Society, have already advocated more political control of medicine.

Yet political controls of medicine — tax distortions that entrench expensive, non-portable, employer-paid insurance, massive tax spending, and reams of federal and state mandates — are what have caused prices to skyrocket and quality to suffer.

In addition, the claim that “the cost of caring for the uninsured and underinsured is passed on to Colorado’s insured majority,” when taken as a broad assertion, is simply a lie. When my wife and I were uninsured, we paid for all of our own medical expenses out of pocket. The article’s claim insults those who pay their own way.

To the extent that the the statement is true, it is true only because politicians have mandated treatment, forced insurance companies to guarantee coverage, subsidized costs, and made insurance so expensive that many workers cannot afford it. But will the “new” coalition advocate the repeal of the political controls that have caused the problem? Obviously not. Instead, I predict, it will urge politicians to force people to buy insurance. Because, in the eyes of such reformers, the solution for failed political controls is more political controls.