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Political Proponents of Government Intervention Deciding Health Care Reform Could Learn From Black Friday

By J. Edward Nelson


Shoppers take advantage of bargains on Black Friday

Shoppers take advantage of bargains on Black Friday

Now that Black Friday has come and gone, I wonder whether this novel concept has prompted politicians on Capitol Hill, on the precipice of deciding costly health care reform legislation, to take notice of free market principles in action, and re-think the proposed interventionism imbued within this legislative overhaul of the health insurance industry.

Black Friday in the United States is the Friday after Thanksgiving which marks the beginning of the Christmas shopping season, and for retailers large and small, signifies crossing the threshold of profitability for the year.

For the average American, it signifies a day of SALES – with discounted products as far as the eyes can see – and braving formidable opportunistic crowds at unusual hours of the day, like midnight or 5AM.

For those who do not care to deal with crowds, such as myself, you can take advantage of the same deals in cyberspace.

Black Friday is a shining example of what happens when businesses within an industry are left alone by government, and simply allowed to compete with one another for consumers. You get a literal smorgasbord of economic activity, the “end” to which government intervention into the marketplace purports to be a “means,” fueled by an abundance of discounted products.

Most importantly, consumers get the products that they want, at prices which THEY WANT TO PAY. The market itself drives prices down without the enactment of federal legislation, at the expense of taxpayers.

Repealing legislative impediments to interstate competition within the health insurance industry, such as McKarran-Ferguson, would unleash the combustible force of competition which occurs when buyers and sellers meet, like a chemical reaction, within the marketplace.

Imagine a “Black Friday” for health insurance carriers, where consumers piece together policies to suit their specific needs, by purchasing discounted individual health insurance products, choosing from thousands of carriers nationwide (Below is a video in which Judge Andrew Napalitano describes the constitutional basis for this hypothetical scenario).

The price of health insurance premiums in the United States would decrease substantially like electronics at a “Crazy Eddie” sale. Without the federal government having to spend hundreds of billions in taxpayer dollars to achieve the very same end.

Tracy Mullin, the National Retail Federation’s chief executive, is quoted in a Financial Times of London article as saying, “Budget-focused shoppers seemed to be pleasantly surprised with post-Thanksgiving deals.”

Just the free market in action. Hopefully, Capitol Hill was paying attention.


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