ObamaCare “Exchanges” Are Not Markets

In his October 21 speech about ObamaCare, Barack Obama used the term “market” or “marketplace” nineteen times to refer to the government-run health-insurance “exchange.” For example, he said:

About three weeks ago, as the federal government shut down, the Affordable Care Act’s health insurance marketplaces opened for business across the country. Well, we’ve now gotten the government back open for the American people, and today I want to talk about how we’re going to get the marketplaces running at full steam, as well.

But the government-run exchange is the opposite of a genuine marketplace. In a true market, government protects people’s rights to control their own wealth and to contract voluntarily with others—and, in general, to pursue their values according to their own judgment.

Under ObamaCare, government dictates the terms by which insurance may be bought and sold, threatens to fine people for not buying government-approved insurance, and forces some people to subsidize the “insurance” of others. In short, ObamaCare violates people’s rights to control their own wealth and to contract voluntarily.

A genuine marketplace exists only where, when, and to the extent that government bans force. Under ObamaCare, government initiates force in myriad ways. And it is profoundly dishonest of Obama and the left to pretend there is no difference between voluntary exchange and government force—that is, between a marketplace and coerced “exchanges.”

Americans concerned with protecting their rights and their health must demand that their representatives repeal ObamaCare and work toward the establishment of a genuine marketplace in this vital area of production and exchange.

Like this post? Join our mailing list to receive our weekly digest. And for in-depth commentary from an Objectivist perspective, subscribe to our quarterly journal, The Objective Standard.


Creative Commons Image: Adam Glanzman


Return to Top

Comments submitted to TOS are moderated and checked periodically. Commenters must use their real names, and comments may not exceed 400 words. For a comment to be approved, it must be civil, substantive, and on topic. Ad hominem attacks, arguments from intimidation, misrepresentations, unsubstantiated accusations, baseless assertions, and comments that ignore relevant points made in the article are not permitted. Comments that violate these rules will not be approved. Thank you for helping us to keep the discussion intellectually profitable.

No comments yet.

Leave a Reply