The Corner

The Cure for Health-care Reform

Drat, Ed Morrissey has once again beaten me to the punch!

I had a physical on Tuesday and I only half-jokingly told my doctor that this whole health-care reform charade could be put to rest in a second if someone wrote a law that said the following: “Health care being a fundamental right on a par with legal representation, whatever regulation is imposed on doctors must also be imposed on lawyers.” The bar associations would blow a gasket and the pols they control would throw up their hands and say, “Forget the whole thing!”

While I was only smart enough to joke with my doctor, Ed has developed the argument brilliantly at Hot Air:

I have discovered an unfair disparity in access to a vital resource based on the economic condition of the consumer.  This disparity is not just egregious, but it threatens the very core of our American way of life.  People routinely get denied adequate and competent service on the basis of their ability to pay, even though they have a right to it, while the rich eat up all the resources with their ability to access the best and brightest in the field.  And in the instance of fairness, the federal government needs to find a solution and impose it on the industry as a whole.

I refer, of course, to legal representation. … After all, unlike health care, Americans actually do have a Constitutional right to legal representation in court. 

Ed’s solution? Why it’d be right out of the Obama playbook . . . if every lefty lawyer in America were not already underwriting the Democratic party:

I propose that the government impose a single-payer system on the legal profession.  Instead of charging private fees, all attorneys would have to send their bills to LegalCare, a new agency in the federal government.  Because the government can bargain collectively, they can impose rational fees for legal services instead of the exorbitant billing fees attorneys now charge. Three hundred dollars an hour?  Thing of the past.  Everyone knows that the government can control costs through price-setting;  now we can see this process applied to the legal system, where the government has a large interest in seeing cost savings.

How will we pay for LegalCare?  I take a page from the House surtax method here, which will disproportionately hit doctors in a wide variety of disciplines.  In this case, I propose a 5.4% surtax on lawyers, judges, lobbyists, and political officeholders at the state and federal level.  They’re the ones who have enriched themselves through this inequity in the legal system.  After all, why should we all have to pay for the single-payer legal system when we can penalize lawyers instead?

Read the whole thing, here. As Ed says, it’s satire, but if only . . .

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