Public Schools and the Public Option
Imagine a private school where students sat in a math class for weeks misbehaving and learning nothing. Imagine that school gets on TV news because the administrators suspended the young lady who blew the whistle by taking a cell phone video and giving it to her mom who confronted them. Do you think that school would have enough students to start the next school year?
A freshman at Clayton Valley High School in Concord, California says that’s just what she had to endure in algebra as her classmates went wild.
“People smoking marijuana in the classroom. They smoke cigarettes.” Arielle said. “There was one kid who peed in a bottle and threw it across the room.”
Clayton Valley High School is a public high school, and I have no doubt that it will open with just as many students next year as it did this year. When parents pay for an education, they absolutely will not tolerate a school run like Clayton Valley HS. When the state provides an education for free, a vast majority of parents will generally take what they can get and call it good enough. They might picket and protest for improvement, but they won’t take their kids out of the school.
What does this have to do with health care? The public option being created as part of “ObamaCare” is rather similar to public schools, in that it is designed to undercut private health insurance on the basis of price:
The Lewin Group crunched the numbers through their health care model and found that premiums for the public option plan would be 30 to 40 percent lower than private plans.
A price difference of that magnitude would lead employers to throw their employees into the ObamaCare option:
Overall, the Lewin Group estimates that if Medicare reimbursement rates are imposed, the number of Americans with private health insurance would decline by almost 120 million, leaving only 50 million Americans in the private insurance market.
That would leave approximately 15% of the population in non-government health care, just slightly more than the percentage of students that go to private school. At that point, ObamaCare will have similar monopoly power to the public schools. I expect abuses and incompetence similar to that captured by Arielle Moore at Clayton Valley High when the public option achieves its monopoly power. The scary difference is that instead of not learning algebra, the people who have to suffer that abuse and incompetence will be missing out on life-saving medical treatments.
A human life is too important to waste on government health care.
Update: John Calfee compares ObamaCare to Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac in the WSJ. Yet another sterling example of how we don’t want our health care managed.