Sunday, February 21, 2010

Obama proposes price-fixing

Since the direct approach at a government takeover of the U.S. healthcare system appears to have failed (though I haven't popped a champagne cork yet), Barack Obama is proposing new regulations to prohibit private businesses from setting the price for their product.  According to this New York Times story, the president "will propose on Monday giving the federal government new power to block excessive rate increases by health insurance companies."

Obama is banking, of course, on the fact that the private businesses targeted - insurance companies - have been portrayed as big, bad, and evil throughout the media - the latest national boogieman - following the oil industry, the banking industry, the securities industry, the auto industry, heck - industry of any sort seems to be the enemy in Obama's eyes. 

The reality is that this is [or at least was] a market economy, with competition in the marketplace keeping costs in check.  But now, the government wants to take on that job.  If companies can no longer decide what to charge for their products, is this really a free country anymore?

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