Health Care Bill Violates Individual Liberty

The US Congress has now passed a sweeping health care “reform” bill that, even when “fixed” in the Senate, will represent much more a violation of individual liberty than an improvement in American health care.

When we founded Cascade Policy Institute in 1991 our mission was, and still is, to promote public policy alternatives that foster individual liberty, personal responsibility and economic opportunity. This bill threatens to set us back in all three areas:

Individual liberty will be violated as the federal government takes away even more of our options regarding what insurance, if any, we choose to purchase and how we purchase it.

Personal responsibility will be decimated as the federal government tells us “don’t worry about taking care of yourself; we’ll do that collectively from now on.”

Economic opportunity will be stifled as the tax burden on individual workers, employers and investors go up, not down. Without meaningful cost controls, health care costs will spiral, leading to higher federal deficits and to even more government involvement in the economy.

When the bill’s supporters tell us that every other industrialized country has national health insurance, our response should be, “America is not every country; America is supposed to be the land of the free.”

If we aspire to remain the land of the free, we need to redouble our efforts to educate our fellow citizens about the costs of government intrusion into every aspect of our lives, and about the tremendous benefits of freedom. Here at Cascade Policy Institute, we are committed to do just that. Please join us, and together we can begin moving Oregon and America in the right direction again.

Steve Buckstein is founder and senior policy analyst at Cascade Policy Institute, Oregon’s free market public policy research center.