by Jake Towne

Much of what our federal government is doing right now is not just illegal and unconstitutional, it’s also just plain stupid. How about using some “Common Sense”?

This short piece will describe “50 Laboratories” model using the current debate over federal nationalization of our health care as a practical example. However, I want to stress that this argument can be applied to most other topics of national concern, such as energy, the economy, retirement and even hot-button topics like same-sex marriage and abortion.

As the self-styled “Champion of the Constitution,” readers of my regular column are very familiar with my application of the Constitution to current events and issues. I confess that an affection for the Tenth Amendment from the Constitution’s Bill of Rights runs very strong in my blood. I even believe it should be repeated several more times in the Constitution so that posterity will never neglect it.

“The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people.”

However, let us assume for the purpose of this article that this argument is null and void. In fact, our federal Legislative, Judicial and Executive have behaved for the past decade as if this is the case, so whatever your personal views are, oath or no oath, this is a fair assumption to make.

Conversely, let us also hypothetically assume the argument that all 50 States do not have Sovereignty over their own States is also null and void, though this is fairly ridiculous. Perhaps when the day arrives where Rhode Island and Connecticut decide to merge into the state of Rhodnecticut, or North Carolina and South Carolina combine into Carolina, we can review this once more.

RxLet’s use a little common sense in regards to Obamacare, which ambitiously endeavors to provide socialized health care to all citizens in all 50 states, forcing them to pay the same relative rates either directly or by taxation. Many citizens are opposed to such a change, and personally I have been finding very many eloquent opinions against this plan. Let’s place utopian and armageddon viewpoints aside for the moment, and look at the two possible outcomes espoused by each side in the debate.  (symbol)

  1. AGAINST – Health care costs will spiral upwards, quality of service will plummet, and the right of the individual to choose their method of care will be infringed.
  2. FOR – Everyone will get health care, costs will be contained and reasonable, and the quality of care for the collective whole will be OK, and the rich can opt out with a penalty payment and still choose.

Well, first we certainly need a public debate to debate the finer points and not a party line vote in the House and Senate – who would likely pass it despite, judging on prior votes, whether we have the means to do so or not. It would be interesting to see if the bill mandates that all Members of Congress must enroll in the plan.

However, rather than embark on a possible national health care disaster, how about we try variants of these plans in a couple of willing States for several years? (Of course all the public accounting would need to be transparent – one could imagine Big Brother “stimulating” the plans to success behind closed doors!) Why do we not use our 50 States as “50 Laboratories”? This would provide us with the following:

  1. A real-life feasibility study.
  2. If there is success, some valuable lessons on optimization would be learned from any mistakes and generate confidence in the plan
  3. Disaster proofing – we do not run the risk of failing the whole country on any given idea all at once

If the plans work, the States will be happy and may even have migration problems from all the Americans eager to arrive and work inside the universal health care system!  We could then consider such a plan in other states or on a national level.

If the plans fail, the States should pullback and end them as soon as eventual failure becomes obvious or as they wish. Does this sound like common sense or not?

Well, it appears that in the case of health care, we’ve already tried this in Massachusetts for the past three (3) years, hence the overall tone of the above.  Per this article from the Reason Foundation, nationalizing Massachusett’s health care failed.  Miserably.

A separate study by the Cato Institute found that although Massachusetts politicians promised that the insurance mandate would reduce medical costs. They also estimated that health insurance premiums could drop by 25-40%. Instead…

* Premiums rose by 7.4% in 2007, 8-12% in 2008, and are expected to rise 9% this year
* This compares to an average nationwide increase of only 5.7% over the same period
* Annual health insurance costs for a family in Massachusetts average about $4,000 more than the national rate
* Health care spending has also increased in Massachusetts by 23% since the coverage mandate was enacted

In my view, socialist proponents (or should I instead write “health care lobbyists”? Cui bono?) should go back to their drawing board and try to convince another State to embark on a multi-year experiment. If this idea works so great, this should be an absolute cakewalk, and State after State will come knocking on their doors to volunteer. This will make passing a Constitutional amendment easier (grin). Since success is just extremely unlikely, not impossible, I wish them luck.

However, I would suggest that these proponents forget their complicated plans to enrich the few from plundering the many for just a moment and instead study free market economics, which we have not had in our country for a long, long, time. For a philosophical primer, please the “Health Care and Indigenous Power” section of Common Sense Revisited, available for free download here.

Jake Towne, “The Champion of the Constitution,” is running for U.S. Congress in Pennsylvania’s 15th District in the 2010 election as a citizen unaffiliated with any political parties.  Jake is a columnist at NolanChart, and also contributes to LibertyMaven, CampaignForLiberty, and A master campaign presentation for internet viewing is available. [Reach the Author Here!]

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