How does a Government run Public Option fit into a free market economy? A public option as defined by wikipedia is, “a Qualified Health Benefit Plan competing with similar private insurance plans… enabling citizens and small businesses to purchase health insurance meeting the minimum federal standard.” Capitalism generally supports competition, however not when the federal or state governments are taking part. Rather, Capitalism supports privatized competition. When the government enters the business arena all loses are footed by tax payers rather than shareholders. Also the Government has an unfair advantage over privatized competitions; the government has the power to make the laws that all competitors must abide by.  In addition the government doesn’t have an incentive motive for running their business efficiently. If a competitor is inefficient with their business they lose profits if the federal government is inefficient they have the ability to raise taxes, the superior funding of the U.S. government allows public health care to lower prices, and ultimately put all competition out of business, leading to a government takeover of what was once one sixth of the private sector. Many in support of a Public Option justify it by citing the constitutional right to care for ones health and arguing the government’s main objective is to, “secure our natural rights.” To this arugement Paul Ryan retorts, “the right to care for one’s health does not imply that government must provide health care, any more than our right to eat, in order to live, requires government to own the farms and raise the crops.”

Said best by Ryan, “Government’s constitutional obligations in regard to protecting such rights are normally met by establishing the conditions for free markets—markets which historically provide an abundance of goods and services, at an affordable cost, for the largest number. When free markets seem to be failing to meet this goal—and I would argue that the delivery of health care today is an example of where this is the case—government, rather than seeking to supply the need itself, should look to see if its own interventions are the root of the problem, and should make adjustments to unleash competition and choice.”

Capitalism was to designed to run itself, more or less, if it needs help the government should be there to steer rather than joining the race to win.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Public_health_insurance_option

Ryan, Paul. Imprimis. Hillsdale, MI: Hillsdale College, 2010. Print.

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