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Morning Bell: Do You Trust Congress to Compete Fairly?
Posted By Conn Carroll On October 17, 2008 @ 9:03 am In Ongoing Priorities | Comments Disabled
The federal government’s decision to become both a market player and regulator in U.S. residential real estate was a major cause of the financial crisis. Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, using their government-given advantages (including lower capital requirements, guaranteed access to federal credit, and a federal guarantee of their debt ), established a massive mortgage duopoly. Barack Obama now wants to do for health care what the left has done for the housing market: concentrate as much decision-making power in Washington so that all health care decisions are politicized and magnified.
Obama likes to sell his health care plan  as similar to the Federal Employees Health Benefits Program (FEHBP) that is available to all members of Congress. But there are fundamental differences between Obama’s plan and FEHBP, as Heritage scholars Bob Moffit and Nina Owcharenko detail in an analysis of Obama’s health care proposal :
In addition to having the power to set prices and control benefit packages, the government plan would also enjoy a huge advantage in the marketplace since employers and taxpayers would subsidize the new government plan and cover any related risks — a unique advantage unavailable to the private health plans in the exchange. Remember, Congress will have ultimate control over Obama’s new government-run health plan and the new health exchange.
It is impossible to imagine how political incentives, not just economic and medical incentives, could not end up paving the way for a government monopoly over health care . At a minimum, the private plans could be reduced to operating simply as administrative agents of the federal plan. In either case, without any realistic market options, would-be consumers, patients, individuals and families seeking value for their health care dollars would be the biggest losers.
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URL to article: http://blog.heritage.org/2008/10/17/morning-bell-do-you-trust-congress-to-compete-fairly/
URLs in this post:
 including lower capital requirements, guaranteed access to federal credit, and a federal guarantee of their debt: http://www.heritage.org/Research/Economy/bg2127.cfm
 likes to sell his health care plan: http://www.barackobama.com/issues/healthcare/
 detail in an analysis of Obama’s health care proposal: http://www.heritage.org/Research/HealthCare/bg2197.cfm
 It is impossible to imagine how political incentives, not just economic and medical incentives, could not end up paving the way for a government monopoly over health care: http://www.heritage.org/Research/HealthCare/wm1836.cfm
 U.S. and Iraq have reached agreement: http://www.ft.com/cms/s/0/896f4c9e-9bd8-11dd-ae76-000077b07658.html?nclick_check=1
 Unions in Ohio: http://toledoblade.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20081016/NEWS09/810160418/0/NEWS
 banks that were forced to accept taxpayer dollars will hoard those dollars: http://www.nytimes.com/2008/10/17/business/17bank.html?ref=todayspaper
 no longer be able to afford to slash greenhouse gas emissions: http://www.nytimes.com/2008/10/17/world/europe/17union.html?ref=todayspaper
 the largest cost-of-living adjustment since 1982: http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2008/10/16/AR2008101600381.html
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