A tragedy is what happens to somebody else. A catastrophe is what happens to everybody including us.

We have a health care problem that needs some new rules. For an individual family with serious illness bankrupted by medical bills it is a hardship and a tragedy.

But under the guise of “the system is broke” (for 85% of us it is not broke) and “we must do something” the government stands to turn tragedy into catastrophe. To improve the system for some they stand to make it worse for many.

The reason is simple. Government wishes to provide benefits without paying for them. In health care they simply dictate reimbursements and then shift the underpayment to the schmucks like us without the power of the government.

The government could simply subsidize health insurance for those who need it with vouchers, but then they would have to face the same market reality we all do. They would realize that much of the coverage mandated by ..ahem … the government has driven up their costs as well.

Choices will be made, whether by the market or by the government. Change is easy; choice is far more difficult.