The mainstream media has been very focused recently on every problem with the Affordable Care Act. There are plenty of things not to like about the ACA but many in the media have taken this as an opportunity to push as common conservative platitude — anything the public sector can do, the private sector can do better.
We need look no further than our most recent financial crisis to see an illustration of the kind of widespread disaster the public sector can create.
One of the biggest complaints about the ACA is the failure of the website to function properly. Due to this failure few have been able to actually obtain the insurance they were promised.
On the other hand, mortgage banks set up such a complicated system that they lost promissory notes that gives them ownership of a mortgage. If you believe Republican talking points, losing the document necessary to uphold the terms of an agreement is something only the government would do.
Another concern is the additional burden the ACA it puts on young Americans with higher premium rates. But in the private sector, mortgage rates jumped without any corresponding increase in the loan rate from the Federal Government. Over a 12 month period the profit margin for new mortgages nearly doubled.
This rise in profits for the mortgage banks has resulted in higher costs for new home buyers while negatively affecting the home sales market. At least the extra cost of health care gets you better coverage and saves you money on the back end.
For all the good the free market can do, the bottom line in the private sector is profits and this goal is typically at odds with doing what is best for the public good.
The public sector is far from a perfect entity, but however flawed it may be it pales in to the comparison to those who believe that simply converting public sector programs on to private sector payrolls will suddenly solve problems.