We Need Government Health Care So We Can Eat Twinkies?

HostessTwinkieCalorieCount.About.ComWCaptionAn unintentionally amusing article from the leftie online magazine Salon asks, “Could public health care have saved Hostess?

It’s a serious article, but I’m laughing at the idea that we need a government-run health care system to insure our access to a fatty sugar treat.

Mayor Bloomberg, for once, I ask you to call your office.

The left claims a single-payer, government-run system like Britain’s or Canada’s would make American companies more competitive, because they wouldn’t “have to” pay for their workers’ health premiums, so their costs of production would be less.

Never mind that companies in the past never “had to” pay for their employees’ health insurance premiums, as this only is becoming mandatory now under ObamaCare. American employers have only been doing so because the tax code allows employees to accept health insurance as compensation without paying income or payroll taxes on the value of the benefit. The health insurance benefit is part of an employee’s pay. Take away the health insurance benefit, and any savvy employee is going to ask for the value of their premium in cash. So the employer presumably pays the same compensation either way.

Furthermore, the left rarely if ever mentions that divorcing health insurance from employment by giving individuals the tax benefits directly, as conservatives have recommended for decades, would have the same presumably positive impact on competitiveness as government-run health care (if it did), except…

…it would help more, as employees would shop around for health services and insurance, which would have a price-lowering effect…

…and taxes wouldn’t have to go up (including, presumably, taxes on business) to finance the scheme.

Plus, government-run health care is bad for patients, who, presumably, matter.

So before we ruin what’s left of our private health care system just to get access to cake, let’s pause and realize government-run health care wouldn’t save the Twinkie.

And it would be less likely than a private system to save you, if you eat too many of them.

The National Center for Public Policy Research is a communications and research foundation supportive of a strong national defense and dedicated to providing free market solutions to today’s public policy problems. We believe that the principles of a free market, individual liberty and personal responsibility provide the greatest hope for meeting the challenges facing America in the 21st century.