Freedom Fest 2014: The Patient is No Longer in Charge

Freedom Fest 2014: The Patient is No Longer in Charge

It comes as little surprise that healthcare had its time in the spotlight at Freedom Fest 2014.

A libertarian event billed as the “world’s largest gathering of free minds”, Freedom Fest 2014 wrapped up on Saturday. For his part, Steve Forbes was there, hosting “Real Solutions to Healthcare and Poverty.”

The origin of the problems with our healthcare system, he said at Freedom Fest, is that the patient is not in charge any more. (Breitbart)

This comes as little surprise to anyone who knows Steve Forbes. A champion of free economics and individual choice, Forbes has long championed government getting out of the healthcare business altogether and empowering individuals to find their own coverage to meet their needs. In a debate on Fox News over benefits, Forbes was quoted as saying:

“They [the Federal government] want to create dependence on the government but unintentionally they are blowing up the old system. They are not going to go back to the single-payer system we had before. What’s going to evolve — and just don’t get sick over the next three years while this happens — is a system for the first time where patients are in charge. That means true catastrophic health insurance, and that means cheaper insurance with nationwide coverage.”

In short, Forbes predicts, for healthcare to work, it will necessarily move to more individual control which will drive costs back down through open market competition. And Forbes is not shy to point out that the current high costs of healthcare are, indeed, damaging companies and the economy.

Sen. Rand Paul addressed the issue of catastrophic insurance as well. In an interview on the Daily Show last year, he noted that for young, healthy people:

“They don’t need low deductibles, they need very high deductibles. They need insurance for catastrophes, because young people are unlikely to get ill. They need it for the rare occasion, not for the everyday occasion.”

And that’s really the central issue. Obamacare attempts to force this one size fits all mentality for insurance on everyone. But is that really fair for young Americans or their employers?

Think back to those first jobs you had in your early 20s. Can you imagine spending half of that small paycheck on insurance — insurance you most certainly didn’t need or want? That’s the little known caveat of Obamacare. For it to work, people who don’t need low premium insurance are forced to buy it to pay the bills for the ones who do. The danger here is the Federal government’s willingness to ignore our wishes and dictate how we must live and what we must do. As George Orwell was a theme at Freedom Fest 2014 this year, I’ll leave you with a quote from Orwell’s 1984 to ponder:

“We know that no one ever seizes power with the intention of relinquishing it.”

If there’s one thing we will note, coming away from this year’s Freedom Fest 2014 – it is that Big Brother is reaching into our lives again – this time with an eye on our healthcare. Is it too late to stop? Maybe not – so long as libertarians are willing to stand up for our rights. But they can’t stand alone forever. They need our voices as well. Does the Federal government’s interference in your lives and freedom worry you as well? Let us know what you think. Give us a tweet or follow us on Facebook to let us know your thoughts.

Written by Mark Davis


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