- The Washington Times - Wednesday, August 5, 2009

ANALYSIS/OPINION:

Brian M. Riedl is literally right on the money (“Democrats’ health care plan is true ‘voodoo economics,’ ” Nation, Tuesday). It’s not just the numbers that don’t add up; it’s the entire plan.

President Obama’s push for a plan is losing support as factual examinations of what the proposed plans do and what they will cost come out. So, to shore up support, the Democratic game plan is to use a strategy of diversion. The Democrats are trying to take the focus off the fact that much of what they are telling us is just false and shift the public’s focus to new villains, such as the “greedy” pharmaceutical companies and health insurance companies.

If these companies truly have been taking advantage of us and are greedy villains, they should be making scads of profit, which would send their stock prices soaring. However, pharmaceutical and health care stocks are selling at less than half what they were selling at in January 2008, and most are still near their lows.

Yes, our health care system needs to be improved in a large number of areas, but to suggest that we can allow the government to take over health care and reduce costs is, frankly, stupid.

When has the government ever reduced the cost of anything? New regulatory agencies to watch over the new government health care plan would add a layer of cost not in existence now. The lack of competition that would result from the government plan would stymie creativity and innovation and would, at best, lead our health care system into malaise.

What about the millions of people currently employed in the health care industry in thousands of small companies as well as the large and small health-insurance companies who would lose their jobs? Of course, Mr. Obama has a funny way of “creating” new jobs.

On the flip side, costs are out of control. Many people are desperate for medical treatment and have little hope. How do we effectively deal with this real problem? For starters, don’t tear down the entire current system and expect things to get better. We must look for real ways to reduce costs. There is no one magic change that will make enough of a difference that it will solve the problems. We must institute changes that, when taken together, will result in significant reductions in cost.

Trashing the current system is the absolute wrong way to go. Without addressing how to reduce the actual costs of medical treatment, we are just kidding ourselves.

CHRISTOPHER S. MOODY

Gaithersburg

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