*The head of the National Socialist Workers Party finds out he can’t keep his health plan.
*A creepy version of Uncle Sam wants to know about your sex life.
*Young people discover that they’re screwed by Obamacare.
*One of the biggest statists of the 20th century is angry that the Obamacare exchanges don’t work.
We have another addition to this amusing collection. This cartoon video employs lots of snark to expose the illogical underpinnings of Obamacare.
My one complaint with this video, though, is that it merely scratches the surface.
Here’s some of what I wrote on this topic back in 2009, starting with an explanation of how government intervention in the tax code has distorted the insurance market and turned it into an inefficient form of pre-paid healthcare.
Insurance is supposed to be for unforseen major expenses, such as a heart attack. But our gold-plated health plans now mean we use insurance for routine medical costs. This means, of course, we have the paperwork issues discussed above, but that’s just a small part of the problem. Even more problematic, our pre-paid health care system is somewhat akin to going to an all-you-can-eat restaurant. We have an incentive to over-consume since we’ve already paid. Except this analogy is insufficient. When we go to all-you-can-eat restaurants, at least we know we’re paying a certain amount of money for an unlimited amount of food. Many Americans, by contrast, have no idea how much of their compensation is being diverted to purchase health plans.
I then ask readers to contemplate what car insurance would look like if government also intervened in that market. Or to think about the consequences if insurance for houses also was subject to government-caused distortion.
Imagine if auto insurance worked this way? Or homeowner’s insurance? Would it make sense to file insurance forms to get an oil change? Or to buy a new couch? That sounds crazy. The system would be needlessly bureaucratic, and costs would rise because we would act like we were spending other people’s money. But that’s what would probably happen if government intervened in the same way it does in the health-care sector.
The best way of fixing the mess in health insurance, for what it’s worth, is a flat tax. This is because the “healthcare exclusion” is repealed and compensation in the form of fringe benefits is taxed at the same (low) rate as other forms of income.
This presumably will end the incentive for gold-plated Cadillac health plans since workers – once the playing field is level – will prefer a greater amount cash compensation. So health plans gradually will be scaled back so they offer genuine insurance.
This video from the Center for Freedom and Prosperity offers a good explanation.
You also should watch this Reason TV video that shows a real-world example of how prices fall and the system is more efficient when consumers are in charge of healthcare.
It’s also worth noting that there are a few tiny parts of our healthcare system where markets are allowed to operate and consumers are in charge of spending their own money, and in these areas – such as cosmetic surgery, laser eye surgery, and abortion (regardless of whether you approve or disapprove) – we find stable prices and rising quality.
Free markets work…when they’re allowed to function.