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Author Topic: Oh, SNAP!! Is the Libertarian Party In Danger of Becoming Relevant?  (Read 1276 times)

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"Freedom and Healthcare: Is the Libertarian Party In Danger of Becoming Relevant?

You don't have to be a economist to understand why American healthcare has been such a disaster for so long -- and why Obamacare has spectacularly failed to do the one thing that would have solved most of its problems.

Because of a near-evil system in which employers are subsidized to pay health insurance premiums that the consumers of healthcare never pay, the health consumer has no incentive to shop for value. Price competition -- which is the most important mechanism by which the free market makes goods and services affordable -- is therefore eliminated. Care becomes hugely expensive as hospitals charge made-up prices that they know will be paid for by insurance companies. Not only does this system support the practicing of hugely wasteful defensive medicine, but also hospitals take every opportunity to recover from the insurance companies the cost of non-emergency care that government forces them to give for free to others who neither pay for what they use nor have their own insurance.

For the better part of a year, a pro-free-market, pro-liberty, grand-bargain solution to American healthcare has been kicking around my head, but I never wrote it down because it does not reject all government involvement in healthcare, and I rather expected that many of my libertarian readership would be disgusted by what many of them would deem a compromise of principle.

But for a reason that shall become clear, it's now time to share it. It goes something like this.

If you took the American Constitution to the UK and asked the British, "Which major government programs are consistent with the American notion that the purpose of government is to protect life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness", I'd be prepared to bet that the most common answer would be "The National Health Service", which is Britain's system of socialized healthcare.

To most American conservatives, libertarians and Constitutionalists, this would be anathema. But it wouldn't surprise Liberals.

The Brit, unschooled in the finer points of the Constitution and the Federalist papers, would no doubt point out that the NHS directly saves lives and directly promotes liberty and pursuit of happiness by completely eliminating the possibility of -- and therefore any reason to worry about -- medical bankruptcy. And so, he would say, the NHS is an example of government protection of life, liberty and pursuit of happiness.

One of the most effective principles for marketing libertarianism is used effectively by Penn Jillette. His standard for the use of government force is as follows. "If I as an individual cannot use force to achieve some ends, then government should not be able to do so either." This is a great way into the politics of liberty because even those who regard themselves as Liberals and Conservatives see it as a god non-ideological starting point to decent and productive discussion about big issues."

Read the rest of the article at - http://www.huffingtonpost.com/robin-koerner/freedom-and-healthcare-is_b_3153081.html

Follow Robin Koerner's work here - https://www.facebook.com/bluerepublican
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