The Way to Government Ownership
Since I mentioned, earlier this morning, the government’s “overtaking of healthcare,” it’s relevant to point out an explanation offered in a recent National Review, in the magazine’s short-take “The Week” section (subscription required):
American college-loan policy offers an illustration of how the government can absorb an activity incrementally, claiming to cherish the benefits the private sector provides until the bait has worked and it’s time for the switch. Government support for student loans began in the form of subsidies for private loans, much as the Democrats’ health-care bill would succor the insurance industry by subsidizing its product while forcing people to buy it. In the 1990s, Democrats added a “public option” — making government the direct provider of some student loans — with the Clinton administration claiming that “students and schools are served by healthy competition” between the private sector and the government. This is the same rhetoric Obama used when he tried to sell us a public option for health care. And now we see how quickly Democrats dispense with the rhetoric of competition when a government takeover seems viable: The new student-loan bill would make the public option the only option, thus completing the absorption of the activity. In a similar way, the current health-care legislation isn’t the endgame.
Government ownership of student loans gives politicians strong influence over your career. Healthcare will do the same to your body.