Nationalized Healthcare? (Part 4): Wise regulation as a part of the solution
To give an example of proper government regulation of private corporations: consider the Food and Drug Administration. When the industrial revolution fully impacted agriculture and food became mass-produced and marketed not just regionally, but nationally, some corporations began taking advantage of the situation and they began putting all kinds of non-food "fillers" in the ingredients of the food-stuffs they were marketing. (When earning my history degree, I remember reading an old newspaper article printed during the time when government regulation of food production was being debated; those supporting such regulation wrote a poem that started with the line, "Things aren't always what they seem, they give us paste instead of cream.") Few today would argue that there should be no FDA and that the government should keep its hands off the food industry: people are too worried about eating tubercular beef or paste in their cream to make such arguments.
Government regulation, wisely done, may be an important part of resolving the healthcare concerns that confront our nation. Government regulation may take the form of antitrust investigations and litigation against insurance companies in some markets. Government regulation would certainly address the problem of "rescissions," or retroactive denials of healthcare coverage by which people pay for insurance they never receive.
The kind of government regulation that I am attempting to argue for could be done through the office of the Attorney General and the Department of Justice; it would not necessarily involve the creation of a new regulatory agency. I believe that such regulation could address many of the concerns people have without anything like the massive increase in debt that would be incurred in the current plan before Congress, and I think that such regulation takes seriously the proper role of government as the administrator of justice.
Labels: Christian worldview