Monday, March 22, 2010

World-class healthcare is now guaranteed for every American

I'm not in the mood to write anything original about last night's 32 million customer gift to the insurance industry.  So here's Don Boudreaux of Cafe Hayek:

Watching tonight on television the charlatans who infest Pennsylvania Avenue gaudily pronounce their saintly motives and their deity-like powers to “guarantee world-class health care for every American” (as one creep put it to a NewsChannel 8 reporter here in DC) makes me want to vomit.

These people look like serious adults; the timber of their voices make them sound like serious adults; and their titles are ones that are assumed to be reserved for serious adults. But, in fact, these people – from Obama to Pelosi to Hoyer to Reid – are nothing of the sort.

If they really believe even a quarter of the things they say, they’re imbeciles. If they aren’t imbeciles, they’re scoundrels. No third alternative is conceivable.

Either way, they’re an utterly detestable bunch.
Watching Pelosi join arms with Civil Rights pioneers to take a victory lap around her D.C. slaughterhouse was truly nauseating. 


DystopiaResident said...

It's not tyrannous because it's the result of democracy. Wage labor is tyrannous because it's NOT the result of democracy. At all. Get your priorities straight.

A.D.Sicks said...

Actually, you can opt out of 'Wage Labor' I have gone into business for myself a few times and not had to trouble myself with 'wage labor.' However, It is very hard to opt out of government mandates...why should I be punished because others can only think to work for someone else to make a living?

Bryan Gregory said...

I think that guaranteed issue (acceptance regardless of pre-existing conditions) is essential. Given that, the individual mandate is essential to keeping insurance affordable. I even grudgingly agree that some form of community rating is needed to keep higher-risk subscribers from being priced out of the market. If this were all there were in the current bill, I'd be a big supporter of it.

But the bill also does the following:

1. It transfers a huge amount of wealth from the poorest Americans--the young--to the richest Americans--the old. (Median net worth for Americans 65-75 is $190K, and $59K for those 35-45.) The bill's current community rating language restricts the difference between what the young and old pay in premiums to an amount that promotes inter-generational theft on a grand scale.

2. It is the mother of all unfunded mandates to the states, via the increased Medicaid burdens.

3. It assumes that insurance is the problem, rather than health care. I fear that the ultimate result of that will be to make the non-exchange insurance markets increasingly unaffordable, forcing more employers to dump their employees into the exchange markets.

4. By pushing more people into the exchange markets and more people into Medicaid, the bill sets the table for government-mandated price controls. This always ends with shortages.

5. We have added yet another huge and substantially underfunded entitlement (cf. 10 years of taxation for 6 years of benefits, fantasy Medicare cuts, the doc fix, etc.), which further increases the size and power of government and further degrades the fiscal stability of the United States. (Maybe this is good news; the sooner the inevitable crisis occurs, the more likely it is that the US will make the reforms necessary to ensure long-term stability, with as little international uproar as possible.)

6. It increases the insulation of the individual from exposure to the real cost of his or her health care, rather than increasing that exposure to the point where real market forces can go to work.

7. The bill is so complex that it will hard to figure out what the unintended consequences are, much less how to fix them.

For these reasons, I can't support the bill.

Nick Rowe said...

I watched the movie 300 last night rather than witness the undemocratic spectacle of slaves being whipped into battle.

I imagined Obama as Xerxes and every other Demon Rat as the Persian horde. Watching Nancy Pelosi's face getting sliced up by kopis and Harry Reid being impaled with a dory was exhilarating.

I know this battle did not go well, but, I know how this will end.

TLP said...

Democracy makes no sense if it's the dictatorship of the majority.

Decisions by consensus are only legitimate in particular cases, where people decide voluntarily what they CAN vote on. For example, me and some friends want to grab a pizza and have a choice of 2 venues. We vote on the venue. That's true democracy.

Three people on an island: two vote to sodomize and eat the third. That's not democracy. That's the USA.

DystopiaResident said...

TLP, taxing the super rich is not sodomy or cannibalism. It's a tiny difference that will barely even affect their lives. The right wing is nothing but a bunch of absolutists and alarmists who use trolling to stay relevant. So think about that next time you find yourself writing or saying something inflammatory on purpose.

"Work for a wage or starve" is no different than "gimme the money or I shoot". It's forced labor and it's slavery. And then you get mad when people strike back. You try to shame people into slavery. How dare you challenge my God-given right to enslave you!