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Everyone needs a broom. It’s a basic cleaning instrument. Cleanliness is important to one’s overall health and well-being. Therefore, everyone should have a “right” to an effective broom.

All brooms are not equal. Some brooms are too heavy. Other brooms are too light. Still others are too thin to do an adequate job. The good citizens of the United States of America demand broom standards.

Congress begins crafting a bill. Brooms must be made to accommodate Americans of various weights and heights. Also, brooms must be light enough to be operated by the weak and infirm. The lobbying continues. One group demands that the straw be “odor free.” Another group wants the broom manufacturers to certify that the brooms are made of “all natural” materials. Still another wants to set the wages and benefits for the workers in the broom-manufacturing industry.

The cost of brooms begins to rise. Groups representing the nation’s senior citizens begin to lobby for the government to provide brooms to the elderly at a reduced cost. Other groups begin lobbying for free brooms for children and the poor. Social BROOM Security, S-BROOM and MediBROOM are passed.

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But the price of brooms continues to rise. The broom industry argues that cost of labor and raw materials – not to mention all these new mandates – has forced broom manufacturers to raise the price to meet the new standards and keep up with the demand. The manufacturers point out that their profit is a mere 3.3 percent, well below that of the suppliers of other essential products and services. Nevertheless, liberal groups accuse the broom industry of price gouging.

The U.S. Census Bureau reports that 46 million U.S. citizens are now without this essential device. There is a broom crisis!

Conservative groups maintain that more than a third of the people without brooms are pulling down incomes of over $50,000 a year. They own flat screen televisions and iPods. Certainly, these people could afford to buy a broom if that were the priority. A whopping 70 percent of broomless children are eligible for S-BROOM, and 27 percent of the non-elderly broomless are eligible for MediBROOM. Still another large segment of the PWB, People without Brooms, is in the country illegally and shouldn’t be entitled to brooms at all.

Nevertheless, the drumbeat continues. Congress must act to protect these broomless Americans! 
The broom reform bill is passed. Finally everyone is happy. The “right” to a broom is now a reality.

Suddenly, Americans who had no interest in sweeping are now sweeping two or three times a day, and brooms are wearing out at a rapid rate. There are simply not enough brooms to go around. There are long lines to get a broom. Those who have a critical dirt problem are simply out of luck because they have to wait in line with everyone else.

It isn’t long before the cost of this new mandate has skyrocketed and is causing a strain on the country. The government comes up with a plan. It will simply pay the manufacturers less for their brooms as the demand continues. However, these private manufacturers cannot afford to operate at a loss, and one broom company after another is forced to close its doors.

The government begins to manufacture all brooms, but the demand continues to grow. The government falls deeper and deeper into debt to the point that essential services are threatened. Congress does the only sensible thing. It begins to limit the amount of straw each broom can contain and the length of the handle is cut down in size.

It isn’t long before people begin to realize that they are now forced to sweep on their hands and knees with a few scraggly straws that are of little or no use at all.

Here are some things to keep in mind as your representatives debate health care: Government restrictions and mandates lead to higher prices. A government that competes with private companies will not play fair and will eventually run those companies out of business. A single payer leads to reduced services and fewer choices. Rising costs will never be solved by taking the consumer completely out of the picture.

The free-enterprise system is far from perfect, but it has given the people of this country the highest standard of living and the best health care in the world. There are better ways to solve the problem of the 8 to 12 million chronically uninsured than to turn the system upside-down. Consider the story of the scraggly broom.

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