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Attention, ABC News: Get John Stossel on your Obamacare infomercial

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By Michelle Malkin  •  June 18, 2009 10:46 AM

ABC News says it welcomes “thoughtful” and “diverse” voices on its White House health care special.

Why not include ABC 20/20 anchor John Stossel? I have confirmed that he has not been asked to be a part of the programming.

Why not?

When it comes to thoughtful and diverse perspectives on freedom, government, and the marketplace, no one matches Stossel.

Here is his report on the state of health care from 2007. An excerpt:

There are many problems with health insurance, but that doesn’t mean we should put the government in control. If it’s decided that health care should be paid for with tax dollars, then it’s up to the government to decide how that money should be spent. There’s only so much money to go around, so the inevitable result is rationing.

It’s just the law of supply and demand. Lowering prices increases demand. Lowering the price to nothing pushes demand through the roof. Author P.J. O’Rourke said it best: “If you think health care is expensive now, wait until you see what it costs when it’s free.”

When health care is free, governments deal with all that increased demand by limiting what’s available.

The reality of “free” health care is that people wait. In the United Kingdom, one in eight patients waits more than a year for hospital treatment and the British government recently set its goal to keep wait times to less than 18 weeks  that’s more than four months! In Canada, almost a million citizens are waiting for necessary surgery and more than a million Canadians can’t find a regular doctor. In the small town of Norwood, Ontario, a weekly drawing is held in which a townsperson wins the right to access the town’s one family doctor.

Governments ratchet down health-care costs in different ways. Doctors went on strike last year in Germany because their government’s system pays them less than they thought they deserved and forces them to work thousands of hours of unpaid overtime. In the United Kingdom, one hospital was inspired to save money money by not changing sheets daily. British papers report that instead of washing the linens, nurses were told to just turn the bedsheets over.

Government is less the answer to our health-care crisis than the problem. It was our government that helped to create the absurd system in which two out of three Americans get health insurance through their employer. In a country where four in 10 Americans change their job every year, this system makes little sense; it leaves people like Readling without coverage when they need it most.

The government also makes insurance expensive by mandating the medical services that policies must cover. Required services vary state by state and include massage therapy, pastoral counseling, acupuncture, hair prosthesis and dentures. Such mandates are a reason why an individual policy in New Jersey costs around $4,000 a year while a policy in Iowa costs only a third of that. Yet insurance regulations make it illegal for someone in New Jersey to buy a policy from out of state…

…The more people control the money they spend on their own health care, the more people shop around and the more providers compete to attract patients by lowering prices while improving quality. It’s putting individuals in control that could turn our health-care sector into the vibrant, competitive marketplace that we see in nearly every other area of our economy.

After all, it’s our body and our health. Shouldn’t we be in control of how our health-care dollars are spent?

Harvard’s Herzlinger said, “Who should decide whether you live or die? Do you want the government to decide? Do you want a health insurer to decide? Who’s gonna make that decision? Is it gonna be a government? Is it gonna be an insurer? Or is it gonna be you and me?”

Putting individuals in control of our health  rather than our employers or the government  is a better way to cure what ails America’s health system.

Send your feedback/suggestions to ABC News here.

More contact info:

ABC SWITCHBOARD (ASK FOR NEWSROOM) 212.456-7777
NEWSROOM fax 212.456.2795
ABC News president David Westin’s fax: 212-456-4292

Westin is on twitter at @David_Westin.

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