Thursday, September 10, 2009

Obama on Health Care (If Only)

John Stossel imagines the health-care speech Obama would have given, in a better world:
Therefore, today I apologize for defending the absurd health care bills that have emerged from your committees—proposals that would add trillions of dollars of additional debt to an already unsustainable system.

Instead, I propose that we raise the Medicare eligibility age. I propose that wealthy seniors receive Medicare only until they recover as much money as they paid in. After that, you rich people should pay for your own damn health care.

These measures will delay but not prevent Medicare's bankruptcy. You Democrats and Republicans both better get your heads out of the sand. There will never be enough tax money to pay for everything that everyone wants. If we expect the state to pay for care, a bureaucracy must tell people, at some age, "No, you can't have that." You might call it a death panel.

There's a better way. I remind you of my speech to business leaders in March. I said, "America's free market has been the engine of America's great progress. ... And I believe that our role as lawmakers is not to disparage wealth, but to expand its reach; not to stifle the market, but to strengthen its ability to unleash the creativity and innovation that still makes this nation the envy of the world."

Only the vitality of the private sector—a truly free one, unencumbered by the crippling stranglehold of burdensome government regulation—can lift America out of the unsustainable mess that we liberals created.