Monday, June 09, 2003

Rights & Reason: There They Go Again

I'm beginning to feel like we're in "Groundhog Day." The FTC announced its latest violation of the Constitution this morning:
A nonprofit corporation representing approximately 1,000 participating physicians in the Dallas/Fort Worth, Texas metropolitan area has agreed to settle Federal Trade Commission charges that collective bargaining on behalf of its members has led to decreased competition and increased prices for the provision of medical services to the area's consumers. Under the terms of the proposed consent order reached with the Commission and announced today, Southwest Physician Associates (SPA) will be barred from jointly negotiating fees and other competitively significant terms on behalf of its physicians, unless certain conditions are met.

"The FTC remains committed to stopping fee-fixing and other forms of anticompetitive conduct among health care industry participants," said Joe Simons, Director of the FTC's Bureau of Competition. "We believe that SPA's actions were in violation of the law and caused consumers to pay illegally inflated prices for medical services."
There comes a point when you have recognize that the FTC is not simply a group of people who hold different opinions from your own, but committed enemies of freedom. Indeed, I'm beginning to think we're dealing with sociopaths—people who enjoy exercising power over others for the sheer enjoyment of it. No rational person can support the FTC's actions in these cases, certainly no person who claims to live under the principles of the Declaration of Independence and a government under the Constitution of the United States.

Perhaps it's time the nation's physicians take a lesson from Martha Stewart. When the government falsely charges you with committing a crime, the answer is not to surrender and cower in fear, but to hold your head high and publicly proclaim your innocence. Heck, after she's acquitted, maybe Martha would consider joining CAC as an advisor on how to stand up to prosecutorial tyranny. We'd love to have her.

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