What Would Ayn Rand Think, Paul Ryan?

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Competition. The ubiquitous cry of rabid free-marketers, Ayn Randites and conservatives as the answer to all that ills us. Just undo regulation and UNLEASH THE POWAH of the free market and competition! I can hear the bellowing now. Despite the repeated failures of total deregulation (current recession, runaway credit card industry, stock market crashes, etc.), conservatives still beat the increase competition at any price drum.

According to Paul Young Gun Ryan, competition is really important. For example, in Forbes magazine in December, Ryan wrote we all stand to gain from the fruits that genuine, vigorous, free market competition provides. We should open up these markets and allow true competition to help drive down health care costs Ryan wrote in an October op-ed in the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. When free markets seem to be failing to meet [the affordability] test, said Paul Ryan in a 2009 speech at the National Press Club, it should correct its own interventions and liberate choice and competition.

Which is why Paul Young Gun Ryans vote last week on the repeal of anti-trust exemptions for health insurance companies is puzzling. I thought competition was a good thing, Rep. Ryan? One would think that stopping any company from monopolizing a market ” that is, taking action to ensure competition ” would be a top priority for Paul Ryan. Not this time.

When the vote in the House to take away the rights of health insurance companies to have monopolies in states, and therefore the ability to raise rates arbitrarily (like Wellpoint raising the rates in Wisconsin by 17.2% next year), Paul Ryan turned his back on competition and the people of Wisconsin to protect his $533,571 campaign cash cow.

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