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REFORMS WOULD IGNORE THE GOOD OF THE MANY FOR THE SAKE OF A FEW

SHARE REFORMS WOULD IGNORE THE GOOD OF THE MANY FOR THE SAKE OF A FEW

Thirty years ago the public school system in the United States served the vast majority of the people very well. But there was a small minority who was alleged by various experts to be falling through the cracks. So the U.S. government got involved.

Today, after tremendous federal intrusion and huge sums of money (currently about $30 billion a year), the school system serves hardly anyone well.Clinton and the Democrats, along with some "moderate" Republicans, now want to repeat this mistake, only now it is our health care that they want to ruin.

The American health-care system serves almost everyone well. Even the uninsured receive free treatment from emergency rooms. Still, a small percentage of people fall through the cracks. Every year a few young people, who bet on their good health to save insurance premiums, get a nasty surprise, and people with prior health conditions who change jobs find their condition excluded for a period of time from their new policy.

Government in the United States is so sub-standard that its solution to a "health-care crisis" that affects only a few is to wreck the system for the many.

Clinton's reasoning is faulty. He believes that private medicine is unfair because it does not provide the same quality of care to those who are poor, uninsured and negligent of their own health as it does to those who are insured and responsible. Clinton's solution is a plan that guarantees that the rich and the responsible don't get any better care than the poor and the irresponsible.

Any HMO under Clinton's plan that invested in expensive technology or offered the best surgeons would find itself over-subscribed by those with serious illnesses and go broke. To be profitable, HMOs would have no choice but to avoid attracting subscribers with serious illnesses.

These tendencies are already being observed in the practices of HMOs that are part of our private health system. The American Medical Association has declared war on plans that, for budget reasons, withhold quality care. Under Clinton's plan, so much money would be eaten by the bureaucracy that these problems would be more pronounced.

On top of the reduction in the quality and availability of health care that Clinton's plan would bring comes a Joint Economic Committee study just released by Rep. Jim Saxton, R-N.Y. The committee surveyed 41 studies of the economic effects of proposed employer health mandates and found that forcing employers to bear the cost of health care will reduce both employment and wages.

The estimated job losses vary from three-quarters of a million to 3.7 million jobs. Estimated wage reductions range from $660 to $2,300 annually.

Clinton's health plan and its various clones will deliver less and lower quality health care at the cost of a lot of jobs, lower pay for those who remain employed, and an increase in dying.