Congress Can't Repeal Economics

More evidence against ObamaCare rolls in.

It's raining! I don't like it! Why hasn't Congress passed the Good Weather Act and the Everybody Happy Act?

Sound dumb?

Why is it any dumber than a law called the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, which promised to cover more for less money?

When Obamacare was debated, we free-market advocates insisted that no matter what the president promised, the laws of economics cannot be repealed. Our opponents in effect answered, "Yes, we can."

Well, Obamacare has barely started taking effect, and the evidence is already rolling in. I hate to say we told them so, but ... we told them so. The laws of economics have struck back.

Health insurers Wellpoint, Cigna, Aetna, Humana, and CoventryOne will stop writing policies for all children. Why? Because Obamacare requires that they insure already sick children for the same price as well children.

That sounds compassionate, but—in case Obamacare fanatics haven't noticed—sick children need more medical care. Insurance is about risk, and already sick children are 100 percent certain to be sick when their coverage begins. So if the government mandates that insurance companies cover sick children at the lower well-children price, insurers will quit the market rather than sandbag their shareholders. This is not callousness—it's fiduciary responsibility. Insurance companies are not charities. So, thanks to the compassionate Congress and president, parents of sick children will be saved from expensive insurance—by being unable to obtain any insurance! That's how government compassion works.

In 2014, the same rule will kick in for adults. You now know what to expect.

This is just the beginning of reality's backlash. President Obama promised that under his scheme no one will have to change medical plans, but some 840,000 Americans are already left without coverage because their insurer, the Principal Financial Group, decided to leave the market.

"(T)he company's decision reflected its assessment of its ability to compete in the environment created by the new law," The New York Times reports. "Principal's decision closely tracks moves by other insurers that have indicated in recent weeks that they plan to drop out of certain segments of the market ... ."

Last week's bombshell was that McDonald's may drop coverage for its 30,000 workers unless the Obama administration waives some rules. The central planners of the Obama administration decided in their infinite wisdom that all insurers should spend at least 80 percent to 85 percent of their revenues on patient care, a mandate aimed at minimizing administrative costs. It's natural to assume that higher patient-care ratios are better for consumers, but there's no proof of that. Health economist James C. Robinson explained years ago that "medical loss ratios" are just an accounting tool and were "never intended to measure quality or efficiency. ... More direct measures of quality are available."

The Wall Street Journal reports: "Insurers say dozens of other employers could find themselves in the same situation as McDonald's. Aetna Inc. ... provides (similar) plans to Home Depot Inc., Disney Worldwide Services, CVS Caremark Corp., Staples Inc. and Blockbuster Inc., among others, according to an Aetna client list."

McDonald's may get a waiver, but I like the Cato Institute's Michael Cannon's take on that: "Sorry, but I don't find it comforting that Obamacare gives HHS the power to waive these regulations on a case-by-case basis. Power corrupts. We've already seen HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius use other powers granted her by Obamacare to threaten insurers who contradict the party line."

In a letter to the trade group America's Health Insurance Plans, Sebelius wrote there would be "zero tolerance" for companies that attribute "unjustified rate increases" to Obamacare. "Simply stated," she wrote, "we will not stand idly by as insurers blame their premium hikes and increased profits on the requirement that they provide consumers with basic protections."

In other words: "We have repealed the basic laws of economics. Insurance companies must now give people more but not charge them for it. If you do charge more, you must not tell your customers why. Shut up, obey, and don't complain. We are your rulers."

John Stossel is host of Stossel on the Fox Business Network. He's the author of Give Me a Break and of Myth, Lies, and Downright Stupidity. To find out more about John Stossel, visit his site at johnstossel.com.

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  • Colonel_Angus||

    What good is the law if the people behind it need to grant waivers because of obvious failures?

  • Max Chony||

    The Glass–Steagall Act would have prevent the collapse of the housing market in spite of the waivers if it hadn't been repealed!

  • shrike||

    Fannie and Freddie are innocent. Only a Christ-fag Rush fan would argue otherwise.

  • Christ-fag Rush fan ||

    Freddie likes it in Fannie!

  • Barney Frank||

    Not into three-ways like that. Thanks anyway.

  • Amakudari||

    Then why were they insolvent?

    Struggling with this one. Help me out here.

    Sincerely,
    An apparent Christfag

  • Rush Fan||

    Rush is a band. If you're referring to the hypocritical windbag, please be more specific.

  • Ehop||

    A very good band at that.

  • ||

    This whole waiver shit is what bothers me more than anything. It smacks of exceptionalism and special pleading. If the law is a good one then everyone should have to follow it. If it's a bad law then it should be repealed.

  • ||

    Wouldn't an equality before the law case be a slam dunk?

  • ||

    One would think so but when you get a bunch of judges involved there's no telling what could happen. One would think that growing pot in your backyard for your own use is not interstate commerce, and that there is no funeral exception to the first amendment.

  • mad libertarian guy||

    What good is the new law if the people behind it need to grant waivers because of obvious failures?

    FIFY

  • Colonel_Angus||

    I should have said, "what good is the new law to them and their cause..."

  • Michelle Obama||

    Stossel you're starting to piss me off!

  • Homeland Security||

    Would you like us to flag Stossel as a terrorist threat, Mrs. Obama? We can do that, no problem.

  • Michelle Obama||

    Make it so!

  • Homeland Security||

    Next time Stossel gets on a plane, he's getting a full cavity search. And then some.

  • Michelle Obama||

    I have heard he likes that.

  • Barney Frank||

    Can I do the honors?

  • Barack Obama||

    Honey, have you noticed how fat your ass has been getting lately?

  • MSM||

    That's why we focus on her arms.

  • ||

    I'd prefer you don't focus on her arms. It's too much jiggly arm fat to focus on.

  • Stossel||

    Janet if your hands are on my shoulders whats that in my...

  • shrike||

    You stupid rednecks just don't understand Obama the way I do. He's a good man, and I would die for him.

  • Barack||

    Prove it!

  • shrike||

    I, uh, would do that, but wouldn't I be of more use to Your Plan if I were alive?

    Besides, didn't You promise not to kill me?

  • Barack||

    Things have changed.

  • Obama||

    Besides, I'm getting YOU to kill you. Therefore I haven't done it.

    Add this to my campaign promise win percentage.

  • Niggered Lee||

    You is so right!

  • Spoonman.||

    Come on, we're usually above that.

  • Mr. FIFY||

    He's playing on niggardly, which has nothing to do with race. Unfortunately, the left doesn't believe in dictionaries.

  • Iconoclast||

    It's all about feelings, nothing more than feeeeeeelings!

  • ||

    I have altered the terms of our deal.

    Pray I do not alter them further....

  • Tim||

    SOVIET INDUSTRY IS BUILDINK MORE TRACTORS!

  • Nancy Pelosi||

    "Congress Can't Repeal Economics"
    Oooohhh, yes we can!

  • MNG||

    I've long said it was stupid or dishonest to say the reform would both expand coverage and control costs. However, the "laws of economics" at work here would suggest to a "real" leftist that these kind of half-measure, market/public reforms are not going to work and single payer is the only way to go...

  • PhRMA||

    +1

  • Mr. FIFY||

    If single payer is such a good idea for ONE industry... why not for everything?

  • Barack Obama||

    Mr. FIFY, how about stopping by for a beer?

  • ||

    The spoofs are out in force for this article.

  • AAA||

    Who you calling....ohh I thought you said spooks.

  • Mr. FIFY||

    Only if you pay for it, Barry.

  • taxpayer||

    i'll be footing that bill. don't mention it

  • MNG||

    The idea is that health care is more of a "necessary" than cars or such.

  • ||

    What about food? Or shelter? Or clothing? If we all wore uniforms they'd be easy to replace, and we wouldn't spend so much time picking out something to wear, leaving us plenty of time to do His work.

  • MNG||

    Sage
    We do have government aid for food and shelter.

  • ||

    Do we have single payer for those? Do we pay a fine/tax if we decide not to buy any of those things?

  • MNG||

    Well, they are different things so they might have different approaches.

    The idea is this: markets will never cover everyone. With non-necessary items like tvs, that's cool. With necessary items, like food or health care, that's not.

  • ||

    The idea is this: markets will never cover everyone.

    But centralized rationing will. Got it.

  • Tia Julia||

    and yet 99% of households have tvs.

  • TANSTAAFLusa||

    +1

  • ||

    With necessary items, like food or health care, that's not.

    So once single payer is enacted for health care, you'll move on to food next. What's after that? A good statist will be thinking at least three or four moves ahead.

  • Ron L||

    MNG|10.7.10 @ 12:52PM|#
    "Well, they are different things so they might have different approaches."

    Of course. One is an economic good, while the other is, well, and economic good.
    How are they different?

  • ||

    Way to go guys. Now you're giving the Democrats an opportunity to use the Commerce Clause to control what kind of TV everyone has to buy.

  • ||

    When's the last time you read about a famine or mass starvation in the U.S.?

  • Pip||

    Water. I just got my water bill. It said that I used no water last month. Zero. Zip. Nada. Apparently the atomatic meter reading system failed. And yet...I was still charges $53.87.

    Account Activity
    Previous Balance 127.73
    Payment - 9/07/10 127.73CR
    Balance Forward $0.00
    Current Charges
    Water 5/8" Meter 0 units @ $3.05 each or $2.00 minimum 2.00
    Sewer 0 units @ $2.93 each or $2.00 minimum 2.00
    Stormwater Fee 1.00 ESU @ $11.09 per ESU 11.09
    Minnesota Water Testing Fee .53
    Solid Waste Base Fee 1.00 @$24.00 per dwelling unit 24.00
    Large Cart Disposal Fee 1.00 @ $4.00 per cart 4.00
    Adopted Litter Container 1.00 @$12.00 per weekly pickup 12.00
    Recycling Credit 1.00 @ $7.00- per dwelling unit 7.00CR
    9.75% Solid Waste Management Tax(see back) 2.73
    Hennepin County Fee 2.52
    Total Current Charges $53.87
    Total Amount Now Due $53.87

  • Pip||

    Even if you deduct the solid waste costs and the adopt a litter garbage can that I pay for at my bus stop, It still would be nore than $18.00 for not buying any water at all.

  • Brian R||

    WTF? Do we get to look at your phone bill next?

  • Drax the Destroyer||

    Don't worry sage, that will all be taken care of with the Back to Nature act which will force the country to live in trees (shelter), die young from the elements (food), while naked (clothing). The upside will be that employment will be at 100%, since everyone will either be a hunter, gatherer, or some combination of the formers plus prostitute. Moreover, our commutes will not exist since we won't have garages to park cars, the time to build cars, nor the machines to extract oil (or lithium or what not). And finally, we will have forever destroyed the capital/demand for another Michael Bay movie.

  • Fiscal Meth||

    Yeah, but at least we'd have equality(nothing)

  • Iconoclast||

    Do I get to club my mate over the head and drag her back to my cave?

  • ||

    Looks at left hand: Live a miserable existence and die young.
    Looks at right hand: Live through another Michael Bay movie.

    Looks back at left hand..

  • DesigNate||

    Please get this through your liberal head: YOU DO NOT HAVE THE RIGHT TO SOMEONE ELSE'S BRAIN, TALENT, OR EXPERIENCE!

    That is all.

  • ||

    But they don't have any so they "need" to have yours. They're like Zombies in that sense.

  • Austan Goolsbee||

    ..."laws of economics".... That's a good one! Ahhhaaa.

  • DLM||

    ..."laws of economics".... That's a good one! Ahhhaaa.

    That is a bit much. It's not like Economics has the same kind of predictability as Physicas or Chemistry. Economics is really only the effects of the complex network of incentives and disincentives on human behavior as applicable to financial activity. It's more a social science.

  • Albert||

    Ya, I like Physicas.

  • Elsa||

    "It's more a social science."
    Bit of an oxymoron there.

  • Contrarian P||

    No, certain things in economics are highly predictable, such as, if there is a good or service that is in very short supply and in high demand, it will command a high price. That type of basic economic rule is extremely easy to prove and measure. Similarly, if a person or nation spends more than they produce, over time they will become a financial ruin. Where economics gets into trouble is when its practitioners begin to attempt to predict the exact course of future events given an extremely complicated model, particularly when basic tenets of supply, demand, cash flow, and sustainability are ignored in the name of political expediency.

  • ||

    But it's more of a subjective science. Cause and effect are evident, but they are harder to quantify than the laws of physics and chemistry that use definitive standards.

  • Obama||

    Incentives? What the hell are those?

  • Sam Grove||

    OK, come up with a better term for realities such as:

    Man must consume to survive.

  • Colonel_Angus||

    They are incapable of understanding that the laws of economics suggest that market interventions are the CAUSE of cost increases?

    Medical licensing, medical school student caps, certificates of need, drug and procedure approval requirements, insurance policy coverage mandates...

  • MNG||

    If this is true, then why do so many nations with much higher levels of intervention have lower per capita health care costs?

  • Colonel_Angus||

    Because the people in those nations have very controlled access to those sorry systems of health care.

  • Mike in ATL||

    And those sorry systems of health-care somehow explains this? https://www.cia.gov/library/publications/the-world-factbook/rankorder/2102rank.html

    At least we just barely beat out Albania and Kuwait. We're number 49! We're number 49!

  • DesigNate||

    Yeah, cause a list compiled by Europeans, proving how right their system is and how wrong our system is, should be taken seriously.

    Not one of those countries has more than half of our population. Nevermind that this bill, nor much of anything the republicans were shouting has or will do anything to lower health care cost. The only thing it "tried" to do was lower insurance costs, and they didn't even get that right.

  • ||

    Don't they also piggyback off of our innovation?

  • Gilbert Martin||

    Not to mention that none of them would be in existence today as independent nation states if they had not been getting military protection welfare from the United States ever since the end of WW2.

  • Jordan||

    Lifestyle factors >> healthcare factors. Americans lead much less healthy lifestyles, suffer from higher incidences of violent crime, much more frequent auto accidents, higher incidences of teen pregnancy, etc.

  • Dakotian||

    I agree. I example is Japanese men have less Prostate problems due to a diet heavy in fish. Don't worry though, this is slowly changing due to McDonalds and the Big Mac.

  • Dakotian||

    of course that should have said "A example"

  • Tango Mike||

    Third tries the charm.

  • Tango Mike||

    HAHA! Try's.

  • ||

    Dakotian|10.7.10 @ 2:32PM|#
    of course that should have said "A example"

    Of course that probably should've said "An example"

  • ||

    no, we don't. americans suffer much higher HOMICIDE RATES. we suffer LESS violent crime than many nations, to include the UK. less property crime too. homicide is a relatively rare form of violent crime. robberies, agg assaults,etc. are much more common in the UK than here.

  • ||

    Shit...I'm moving back to Switzerland...

  • Joe||

    That report automatically ranks countries with socialized systems higher- it doesn't actually compare the systems at all.

  • Ron L||

    Joe|10.7.10 @ 4:03PM|#
    "That report automatically ranks countries with socialized systems higher- it doesn't actually compare the systems at all."

    In case you think Joe is lying, read the rankings criteria.
    One is simply code for 'does the country have socialized medicine?'. If so, it gets a higher rating, proving that circular reasoning ain't confined to Washington DC. And nothing whatsoever about the quality of healthcare.

  • flyingsquirrel||

    We're number 49 but living to be 78. Christ on a crutch. Who gives a shit if the Europeans live (a couple years! look at France) longer?

  • Colonel_Angus||

    I really don't give fuck all about these rankings. The numbers don't mean jack shit, when you think about differences in things like lifestyle and homicide... and how the information is conducted in the first place. U.S. is well within the average.

  • ||

    Yeah, and we're 6 above Cuba, which has (or so I've been told) one of the best health care systems in the whole wide world!

    If anything, this chart makes a good argument that health care is NOT that much of a necessity. I seriously doubt that Macau'ers see doctors more often on average per capita that US'ers.

  • mgd||

    If you factor out homicide and automobile fatalities, US life expectancy goes to the top of the list.

    You are blaming our health care system--which produces the innovations upon which the rest of the world relies--for drunk driving and gang violence.

  • Francis||

    Umm, because leeches are cheaper than robots with lasers.

  • ||

    Because denying people treatments that are cost-inefficient, or making them wait months (or until they die) for treatment, is a good way to keep down costs.

  • pmains||

    If you factor out non-medical causes of death (i.e. car accidents and gun violence rather than cancer and kidney failure) then Americans have a longer life expectancy than the Europeans. So, their system aren't better -- just cheaper.

    It's also worth bearing in mind that we don't have anything resembling a free market in healthcare. About 50% of health expenditures are government expenditures. When you have government subsidies + private expenditures rather than one or the other, it shouldn't be surprising that there is additional upward pressure on prices.

    Furthermore, private health insurance is highly regulated -- i.e. managed by the government. Most states (if not all) have a department of insurance (or something equivalent) that is devoted primarily to regulating health insurance. The only way to justify their continued existence is to continually create more red-tape for the private sector. Just trying to figure out what those regulations are and attempting to comply is enormously expensive. Presumably, as we standardize everyone's health plan (mammograms for all!), we can reduce the complexity and hence some costs.

    So, might single-payer be cheaper? Maybe. If the government says it will only pay $x/citizen, then sure. On the other hand, we may see something similar to education spending in the US (which is also higher in the US than most other countries), where the amount continues to increase while quality remains stagnant for decades.

    So to answer your question, I wouldn't say that other countries with single-payer health care have a higher level of government interference. That interference is just structured in a simpler way.

  • Barry Loberfeld||

    Interesting post, pmains.

  • Don Black||

    Excellent comments. If socialism means government interference, then we already have socialized medicine.

    The single payer system could be a step towards a free market in medicine.

  • Sam Grove||

    Because they can't afford to spend more.

  • Ronald McDonald||

    Sounds like bull to me.

  • Old Mexican||

    Re: MNG,

    However, the "laws of economics" at work here would suggest to a "real" leftist that these kind of half-measure, market/public reforms are not going to work and single payer is the only way to go...

    And to a person of sound mind?

  • Real Leftist||

    But...but...but, we're you're intellectual superiors. Art History and Religion and womens studies degrees and stuff.

  • Patriot Mike||

    Sorry, I have to take my wife to her appointment for a prostrate exam, then it's off to my mammogram. Thanks, State of Ohio!

  • CrackertyAssCracker||

    True. But the fact that gravity still works also convinces a real leftist that single payer is the only way to go.

  • Barack Obama||

    There are those who say we cannot change the laws of economics. Well, I say our challenges are too large to ignore. We must change them.

    Therefore, I am proposing the 2011 Economics Reform Act which reforms the outmoded Law of Supply and Demand and opens schools to educate working economists in our new economics.

    I urge Congress to pass this urgently needed reform to restore true prosperity to the United States.

    To the wreckers and saboteurs spreading fishy lies about our economics reforms, I say this: You need to go back to school.

  • Michelle Obama||

    Now see, that's why I'm proud of MY country for the first time.

  • George V||

    Paul Krugman will run the program.

  • Tony||

    How pathetic. We're nowhere near being like the Soviet Union... unfortunately.

  • Chad||

    Not if we keep voting for the right people.

  • Max||

    ARFARFARFARFARFARFARFARFARF!!!!!!!!

  • Stalin's Free Clinic||

    We will have a Five-Year Free-Health Plan. Party members and members' dogs only.

  • Jason||

    How long did you have to stand in line to make that comment? Did remember to say "Thank you"?

  • Liberal Douchebags||

    We'd stand in line forever if that's what it takes!

  • Real Merkin||

    Fuck queue!

  • Harry Merkin||

    Get in line.

  • DLM||

    How pathetic. We're nowhere near being like the Soviet Union... unfortunately.

    Um. The Soviet Union is defunct and no longer exists. Personally, I've very happy we are nowhere near being like that.

  • Old Mexican||

    That wasn't Tony... At least, I don't think so . . .

  • nekoxgirl||

    It's hard to tell. Some Leftists still defend Mao...

  • Tony||

    Many leftists don't believe in having a good column and an evil column and placing historical figures, policies, or anything else in them, with no gray area between. I am not one of them. Republicans are evil.

  • Mr. FIFY||

    You just contradicted yourself, Tony.

  • Tony||

    Nuh uh.

  • Mr. FIFY||

    Okay, you said "many leftists don't...", and I didn't catch that.

    But you SHOULD be more like them. You only see 100% evil on one half of the spectrum, and none on the other half, when clearly such is not the case.

  • Tony||

    Not at all. I generally prefer gray areas. I just think that if anything is evil, the GOP is.

    Take the single issue of climate change. If the world's scientific community by some small chance happens to be right (which I believe to be the case), and the GOP continues to block related legislation, it is playing a direct role in the destruction of future generations of humans. If that's not evil, what is?

  • Mr. FIFY||

    Gambling that human intervention MIGHT cause global warming is not science, Tony.

    We'll eventually figure out ways to keep the level of commerce and mobility without fossil fuels... but the sky ain't gonna fall in the meantime.

  • ||

    Yeah, the 'world's scientific community' is nowhere near reaching any type of consensus on 'climate change'.

  • Patriot Mike||

    But Tony doesn't mind screwing future generations with incredible debt and inflation.

  • Mr. FIFY||

    It's for The Children.

  • nekoxgirl||

    Yeah, I always wondered what it would be like to be poor and forced to do hard labor/murdered for complaining about it.

  • Jason||

    Tony expects to be a Party Member when the revolution comes.

  • Jason||

    And not end up like Nikolai Yezhov (the man in uniform standing to Stalin's left in this picture).

  • ||

    Marijuana decriminalization would be my definition of an "Everybody Happy Act."

  • ||

    Notice how inane the commentary always is in Stossel stories? It's because his articles are so insipid.
    Lame headline.
    Dumb intro (which actually includes the word dumb).
    Lazy fact-finding.
    Basically, John Stossel makes everything he touches bland, and brings out the least in his readers.

    Doesn't even matter if he's right, he still sucks.

  • Pip||

    I just love hipsters like you!

  • ||

    I'm not a hipster, I just appreciate good writing--which is mostly what I get from Reason--and hate bad writing.

    Read 4-5 articles in a row from the senior editors and contributors at Reason, then read a couple of Stossel's.

    His writing sucks yet he is getting paid to write. I'm the market force that's trying to resist.

  • The Market sans jcalton||

    Well we just love the little bastard's work!

  • Drax the Destroyer||

    Then stop reading his flipping articles then. Jesus.

    Plenty of people do shit jobs and make a killing doing them. If you think you can do it better take up the banner and spear the beast. What? You don't have time? Well then shut the fuck up and stop giving a shit about one TV news personality.

  • Ron L||

    Yeah, those damn texts! And that phone book!
    How gauche.

  • Fiscal Meth||

    "His writing sucks yet he is getting paid to write. I'm the market force that's trying to resist."

    But you aren't resisting anything. You're actually contributing to the "hits" attributed to Stossel.

  • ||

    In one paragraph he says that insurance companies [before the act] already weren't covering sick kids. But now thanks to the government [after the act], insurance companies (assumably) won't cover sick kids. So sick kids won't get medical care thanks to the government.

    It's fine, John, I hate the government, too. But that's called post hoc ergo propter hoc. Just get an editor or ghost-writer or something. Maybe go to Journalism school if you're going to be a journalist.

  • Blane||

    NO kids will get care now thanks to the government is the point (on the individual market at least).

  • DesigNate||

    No, he was explaining how those insurance companies aren't going to cover any kids, not just the sick ones.

  • Gilbert Martin||

    "In one paragraph he says that insurance companies [before the act] already weren't covering sick kids. But now thanks to the government [after the act], insurance companies (assumably) won't cover sick kids. So sick kids won't get medical care thanks to the government."

    Well previousy, non-sick kids could get policies to cover them in case they did get sick. Now, thanks to the govt the insurance companies won't be selling any kid policies.

    So any of those kids who would have gotten sick after the polices were purchased and been covered now won't be covered.

    So yeah sick kids won't get medical care thanks to the government.

  • Ron L||

    jcalton|10.7.10 @ 12:54PM|#
    "In one paragraph he says that insurance companies [before the act] already weren't covering sick kids. But now thanks to the government [after the act], insurance companies (assumably) won't cover sick kids. So sick kids won't get medical care thanks to the government."

    And I see your reading comprehension is lacking also.
    Prior to the gov't distortion, insurance companies wrote policies at less than the cost for medical care for kids who were healthy and could possibly get sick. That's called "insurance".
    The distortion requires them to charge insurance rates for medical care for kids who are already sick. That's *not* "insurance".
    So the insurance companies will simply stop writing polices for *any* kids.
    Did I write this in simple enough terms?

  • ||

    Yes, you were completely clear. The US system of healthcare delivery is all about not delivering health care. It's about delivering profits to health care companies. You know how you're upside down in your house now and you can't move? Well, if you get sick or your kid gets sick you're upside down in your body because you're trapped in your job and you can never leave it. And American's think they abolished slavery.

  • Gilbert Martin||

    "And American's think they abolished slavery."

    Explain to me how the government forcing one person to pay for some good or service provided to another ISN'T slavery.

  • TANSTAAFLusa||

    Well, you could have a plan with a low premium and a high deductible that would require you to pay for anything less than 5,000 a year and then kick in for 100% for anything above that. You see, it was "insurance" against going bankrupt for a medical situation - but government mandates and guidelines outlawed those plans and now you are forced to buy a plan that costs more, but covers IV fertilization and hair plugs. Yup, another victory for government over those greedy capitalists

  • ||

    This. I hate when people don't know what the word insurance means.

  • Trespassers W||

    And your solution is to point a gun at me, take the product of my labor and hand it to a doctor so he'll fix your kid.

    In that case, I'd like to note that you might just point the gun at the doctor instead and cut out the middle man.

    And Canadian's [sic] think they abolished slavery.

  • Contrarian P||

    They're already pointing the gun at us, but thanks for proposing to make the raping and pillaging more efficient, at least.

  • Ron L||

    Jim McGee|10.7.10 @ 1:40PM|#
    "Yes, you were completely clear. The US system of healthcare delivery is all about not delivering health care."
    It's truly amazing how brain-dead lefties can make up the most complex lies to support their ignorance.

  • adam||

    "It's about delivering profits to health care companies."

    You mean the non-profit insurance ocmpanies that have 40% of the health insurance market. Or do you mean the non-profit hospitals that have 60% of the hospital market?

  • Contrarian P||

    Adding an apostrophe to "American" does not make it plural. That drives me nuts. You've made it possessive.

    Anyway, your argument appears to make very little sense. If your kid gets sick, in a word where the government has not made it impossible for you to have previously obtained insurance on your child, you take your child to the physician and the doctor provides treatment. That's what insurance is supposed to do.

    The U.S. system of healthcare delivery is increasingly about catering to the mandates of the political class, rather than actually providing quality care. I spend more time filling out paperwork than I do treating my patients, largely to satisfy regulatory requirements and to protect myself from legal action. And yes, dammit, I would like to profit from my job.

    As for your slavery comment, once our government controls our access to health care, our property, and all other aspects of our lives, as well as being able to compel us to purchase the products and services it deems fit, who is the slave? I would like to be free to make my own choice whether or not to participate in the health insurance market, thank you.

  • Colonel_Angus||

    The U.S. system of health INSURANCE, which is the same basic concept you will find anywhere in the world, unless government has fucked with it, is all about delivering payment for extreme emergencies that the individual could not pay for. The problem in the U.S. is, that state mandates have artificially increased the demand for health services that insurance policies pay for. Insurance policies have gone from paying for possible but unlikely emergencies, to every bullshit "health problem" or routine checkup or ordinary drugs that should be paid for out of pocket, which would in fact be cheaper than paying for through insurance.

  • ||

    "know how you're upside down in your house now and you can't move? Well, if you get sick or your kid gets sick you're upside down in your body because you're trapped in your job and you can never leave it. And American's think they abolished slavery."

    1. Don't take out a mortgage and then have kids?
    2. don't place the burden of random coincidence on those that don't owe you anything?
    3. A slave cannot make contractual agreements such as buying a house or an insurance policy. You did. No one forced you at gunpoint to hand over your money in return for a house or insurance and then turn around to give you a service in exchange.

  • Old Mexican||

    Re: jcalton,

    In one paragraph he says that insurance companies [before the act] already weren't covering sick kids. But now thanks to the government [after the act], insurance companies (assumably) won't cover sick kids.

    Read AGAIN - he clearly says insurance companies will not cover ANY kids, sick or not, thanks to the mandate.

    You *know* how to read English, don't you?

  • Jayson Blair||

    Whatchoo talking 'bout, Willis?

  • Drax the Destroyer||

    In order to reach the public schooled Zombies you sometimes have to talk at their level. And besides, he's loads better than the normal dog and pony show we get from Fox and its shitastic foils.

  • ||

    That's true, but "better than other people on Fox" might be the worst compliment ever.

  • Drax the Destroyer||

    Well, you know what the German's say: "A shit on the chest is better than a shit in the mouth".

  • Restoras||

    I thought that's what they said in Cleveland.

  • ||

    I've seen a couple of videos which disprove that theory.

  • bmp1701||

    No German says that. At least not in the movies that I watch.

  • John Stossel||

    You better watch your remarks....I'll take you out like I did Schultz!

  • Old Mexican||

    Re: jcalton,

    Doesn't even matter if he's right, he still sucks.

    Is this what passes for intellectual analysis with you? Style trumps substance?

  • The Law||

    What substance is that...you know you can be arrested for substance?

  • ||

    sound like you are saying "I don't like Stossel there for he is wrong" it is the same as saying Stossel got one thing wrong and even though he admitted it on national TV as soon as he realized the error he and his staff made unlike so many reporters.

  • CrackertyAssCracker||

    I kind of agree. He is like the Reader's Digest of libertarian writing. He is still one of the good guys though.

  • ||

    great point. once again, stossel exagerates his position to make it sound reasonable. Insurers are not stopping insuring children, they are stopping, because of pure greed, issuing policies only for children because these are often bought to provide care for the very sick that are not covered by normal family policies. Children who are lucky enough to not be ill are still covered under their parents family policy. So stossel thinks it is in the shareholders best interest to make money while American children suffer without affordable care? I knew he hated America, but why does he hate the children?

  • Niggered Lee||

    43 comments and no one has said squate about the one-eyed nurse? WTF???

  • ||

    She has the eyepatch because I'm an incredibly good shot.

  • Kill Bill||

    Kill Bill

  • The Market sans jcalton||

    So who is she?

  • The Bride||

    Elle Driver, aka California Mountain Snake

    Portrayed by Darryl Hannah.

  • Ice Nine||

    Who should have gotten a BSA Oscar nomination for KB2. She was incredible in the trailer. But no one gave her a thought because once upon a time she played a mermaid.

  • Johnny Wad||

    What can I say? Wooden I! Or I'll keep an eye out for you.

  • Rock Steadie||

    Hey, I banged that nurse in Candy Stripers

  • Ragin Cajun||

    Just stay away from her "fishhead".

  • ||

    I really like John Stossel's work and I usually agree with Reason - but... as a Canadian all I can say is, puh-lease. What Mr. Stossel and the insurance industry is saying should be heard loud and clear - health insurance is for healthy people - sick people should die and decrease the surplus population.

  • TANSTAAFLusa||

    Is that why all them Canadians come here for the MRI's and X-Rays they can't get for 6 months?

  • Iconoclast||

    As well as the Premier of Newfoundland flying to Miami to have his heart surgery.

  • Old Mexican||

    Re: Jim McGee,

    What Mr. Stossel and the insurance industry is saying should be heard loud and clear - health insurance is for healthy people - sick people should die and decrease the surplus population.

    You know what the concept of "INSURANCE" means, don't you? If you do, then what you are arguing makes NO sense, and if you don't, then here's a quick class:

    INSURANCE is to hedge RISK, to cover unforeseen events. If your house already has termintes, no insurance company is going to insure your house against termites. You have to take care of the termites FIRST, out of your pocket.

    Same with people that are already sick - you take care of your ailment FIRST, before you buy insurance to hedge the risk of ailments. That's how insurance is supposed to work

  • Jen||

    Uh, no. Americans *do* have access to health care. You are failing to distinguish between healthcare and health insurance. Maybe I can help:

    In the U.S., the uninsured can walk into an emergency room and obtain charity care. Depending on their income level they can be enrolled in a payment plan, or their care can be entirely free of charge. That falls under healthcare.

    In Canada, you have health insurance. Unfortunately, if you need a hip replacement or just about any serious procedure, it won't do you any good because you'll be waiting 6-12 months to be seen by a doctor.

    Yeah, your system's really great. Really.

  • Jordan||

    Wrong. He's saying that people who don't plan for the future should suffer the consequences, instead of pawning it off on their neighbors. And health insurance != healthcare, anyway.

  • ||

    Yes, health insurance is an agreement to pay for covered services in the event that someone who has paid into the risk pool requires care. It is not payment for services to any and all comers who decided it wasn't worth it to them to pay into the system until they got sick, when the insurance company says "fuck off, you're not our insured. Call your church if you want charity."

  • ||

    RTFA:

    Insurance is about risk, and already sick children are 100 percent certain to be sick when their coverage begins.


    Insurance companies are not charities.


    When the gov't cooks up a law which essentially forces insurers to lose money, as illogical as it sounds, the insurers are going to try to avoid those losses.

    What Mr. Stossel and the insurance industry is saying should be heard loud and clear - health insurance is for healthy people - sick people should die and decrease the surplus population.


    That's not what he's saying at all. If you're already sick, you are guaranteed to rack up higher healthcare costs, and should expect to pay more for insurance. Nothing more.

  • Sam Grove||

    I see you don't understand "insurance".

  • Ron L||

    Jim McGee|10.7.10 @ 1:36PM|#
    "I really like John Stossel's work and I usually agree with Reason - but... as a Canadian all I can say is, puh-lease."

    You've already proven yourself to be a brain-dead ignoramus, so puh-lease go away.

  • CrackertyAssCracker||

    I guess you speak French. Because your English comprehension sucks. So Fuck off Hoser. Eh.

  • ||

    Because in Canada, sick people never die because they can't obtain health care.

    In time.

  • ||

    'surplus population'
    WTF is the equilibrium population then?
    Don't tell me you're buying that whole overpopulated planet bullshit.
    Oh, and most businesses aren't so blatently biased against 'sick people' that they're not willing to take a chance on it. In most cases, you just have to pay a higher premium like I do for smoking. An entire industry isn't going to collectively deny an entire bloc of consumers and screw themselves out of a huge potential for profit.

  • Old Mexican||

    When Obamacare was debated, we free-market advocates insisted that no matter what the president promised, the laws of economics cannot be repealed. Our opponents in effect answered, "Yes, we can."

    No, you can't.

  • Barack Obama||

    Yes, we can!

  • .||

    Only at someone else's expense, Mr. Thief In Chief.

  • Mephistefales||

    Come on! We all know Obamacare wasn't supposed to fix anything. It was designed to run insurers out of business and create problems socialists can claim can only be rectified by full-on socialized medicine. It's phase one of a long-term serfification plan.

  • ||

    And, the People needed this lesson in suck. Unfortunately, those of us who already new the material still get shat upon waiting for stupid people to catch up. I want to start turning everyone's fucking pony into Alpo.

  • Nancy Pelosi||

    A very astute observation. Indeed we legislated the economics out of "laws of economics" for a reason.

  • Ragin Cajun||

    Sasquatch shills for Obamacare?

  • STEVE SMITH||

    OBAMACARE HELP STEVE SMITH, MAKE MANY HUMANS HEALTHY FOR LONG HIKES

  • Quiet Desperation||

    There is no greater fun right now than finding someone who loves the health care bill and saying, "I'm still on the fence, but open minded. What do *you* like best about it?"

    If they manage to dredge an actual specific sound bite out of their minds, just say, "Oh, I wasn't aware of that one. How does that work?"

  • No Name Guy||

    Next up: The Chosen One will repeal the laws of physics to allow "green" engergy to actually work.

  • Barack Obama||

    The "laws of physics" do not apply to the singularity. I am "The One" and I will assimilate you and your culture into the collective. Resistance is futile.

  • ||

    Stossel is still so 'Libertarianism 101'.

    More nuance please.

  • Sean W. Malone||

    Gotta leave the nuance out if you want a "101" course. It's good to have people like Stossel promoting ideas that a lot of the public has never properly thought about.

  • ||

    exactly

  • Fiscal Meth||

    "...840,000 Americans are already left without coverage because their insurer, the Principal Financial Group, decided to leave the market."

    Easy, just make it illegal to leave markets. This tyranny stuff is a piece of cake.

  • Sean W. Malone||

    As much of a "joke" as that is, I'm sure few around here would be surprised as to exactly how many times I've heard similar comments uttered entirely seriously...

    Usually it's "If companies want to send their jobs overseas, then we should punish them with really high taxes" or some such - often justified by claiming that the businesses benefit unduly from selling in American markets.

    Of course, no one ever suggests lowering the burdens on businesses so that they would want to keep jobs here in the first place.

    It's all about hurting people who don't behave the way totalitarian jackasses think is best.

  • Fiscal Meth||

    Umm I'm affraid I'll have to outlaw that kind of talk too.

  • ||

    You hit the nail on the head, risk. The American culture has become infected with the syndrome with abhors risk yet wants to exist in permissive consequence free atmosphere. We do not want to accept the risks which life brings as a matter of course. We have for some reason become accustomed to expecting the bill will be sent to what we have arbitrarily decided are the "rich". We are outraged because a company outsources jobs. We have no problem outsourcing our personal responsibilities to the government and our neighbors.

  • Contrarian P||

    Great point, Alan. I frequently write prescriptions for people who came to me seeking care, but then they ask "How am I supposed to pay for this?" while answering their cell phone on a bluetooth headset, in between going outside to smoke.

  • ||

    Who is this 'We' person I keep hearing about? I would like to meet him or her.

  • Henry||

    DO NOT POST A COMMENT UNLESS YOU HAVE A SERIOUS REMARK ABOUT THE CONTENT OF THE ARTICLE!!!

  • Xenocles||

    Ha ha, busted!

  • Chad||

    So if the government mandates that insurance companies cover sick children at the lower well-children price...

    If sick people aren't paying the same as healthy people, WHAT THE BLEEPING HELL ARE YOU INSURING AGAINST?

    *facepalm*

    There is nothing such as free market health insurance, as such a phenomenon is inherently unstable. Prices rise, weeding out the most healthy and leaving a pool of even sicker customers, which in turn drives up prices in a feedback loop that only ends when no one is left insured.

  • ||

    WHAT THE BLEEPING HELL ARE YOU INSURING AGAINST?

    THINGS THAT HAVN'T HAPPENED YET?

  • ||

    Chad, you don't seem to understand the concept that insurance is not pre-paid healthcare.

    The higher-risk person will pay more in insurance ... against FUTURE risks. But they will still be RISKS. There is a fair chance that all of the possible complications or expenses that he might incur won't all be realized. He pays insurance to mitigate that risk. The insurance company charges him more becuase the probability of things happening to him is greater. But he's still going to pay LESS by buying insurance than he would if he paid out of pocket and all the complications happened.

    The insurance company simply makes a gamble that they won't happen. However, they still calculate the odds and charge a fee that's proportional to them.

  • Tony||

    Yet another perfectly good argument for single-payer.

  • Mr. FIFY||

    If that's the case, then we should have single-payer everything, no?

  • Tony||

    No, you exhausting strawman machine.

  • Mr. FIFY||

    But if it works for ONE thing... why not EVERYthing?

  • Tony||

    You're suggesting that a successful single-payer military implies communism?

  • Mr. FIFY||

    No, I'm suggesting that we stop finding more excuses to add more collectivism to our "mixed economy".

  • ||

    'successful single-payer military'

    Um, have you ever been to a VA hospital? Ever gotten 'VA' treatment? Ever gotten treated by 'military doctors'?

    I'm assuming you haven't, otherwise you'd rethink that 'successful' bit.

  • kill bill||

    hahahaha YEP!!!

    It only took me about 4 doctors while on active duty to determine my issue{s} and another 10 or so thru the VA after I got discharged to BELIEVE them and treat me appropriately. Approx. 12 years. Good thing it's *just* my back or I'd be dead already!!!

  • ||

    I tried for 3 years to get an MRI on my back and knee. Told 'probably not' due to the wait times and costs. As soon as I got discharged and got my own insurance, took about two whours to find the source of the problems.

  • kill bill||

    I hear ya - 2 yrs from start to finish for me - 2 medevacs from GITMO, bone scan & cat scan {useless} & it took the MRI to *finally* pinpoint the problem. That & a Ortho who could actually read it ;-P

  • ||

    How so? Why is it "fair" for low-risk people to be charged the same as high-risk ones?

    If I don't smoke and exercise regularly, why should I be forced to pay the same rate as someone who doesn't?

  • Tony||

    It's an argument for getting for-profit insurance out of the business of healthcare. With single-payer you just pay by whatever scheme everyone else does, and the risk is pooled universally. What you get is the care you need. Some will get much more care than they've paid for. But that's okay, at least the others have their health, right?

  • Hooha||

    So, in a nutshell; 'From each according to his ability, to each according to his need.'?

  • ||

    But what about others that are willing to pay more to jump to the front of the line? or pay more for better treatment? or don't like the inevitable DMV-like zombie staff? or the people that like the thought of being able to sue their doctors for negligent fuck-ups?

  • Tony||

    And regarding people who make poor lifestyle decisions, I expect government can help there too, by promoting healthy lifestyles. God knows the American marketplace hasn't done that.

  • Mr. FIFY||

    Eventually, Tony, those "promoted" healthy lifestyles will be mandatory. Are you willing to go that far?

    I suspect you are.

  • Mr. FIFY||

    BTW, what are the odds this or any future president gets the same health care we would get, Tony?

  • Tony||

    It could become mandatory. Or we could continue being the fattest country on earth. I'm willing to entertain the notion that we could achieve a happy medium. You are still stuck in your slippery slope paranoia about everything.

  • ||

    So, because people engage in free association, make their own choices in life by eating things they want to eat, and you don't like the thought of it, we should have mandatory health programs?
    Some people don't give a shit that they're fat and eat 3 Big Mac's a week. They know it's not healthy but what's the point of being healthy when you're miserable and not able to enjoy the things you like? It's not your responsibility, it's not mine. Let them do and eat what they will. If that results in higher premiums for insurance, that's their own fault, isn't it? And if they can't get insured against future heart treatments because of their cholesterol-ridden diet, who's fault is that?

    Isn't it just easier to let an insurance company decide whether its worth the risk to insure them, rather than get a tax-payer funded single-payer system where the money made of otherwise low-risk and healthy individuals are being spent on his bypass, force him to meet with a dietitian, pass legislation banning big macs and passing off new regulation on who can eat what?

  • ||

    So if the government finds that homosexual activity increases health risks you would support the regulation of homosexual activities then ?

  • Mr. FIFY||

    I prefer "on guard" to "paranoia". You put way too much trust in government, Tony.

  • Ron L||

    Idiot fantasyland:
    Tony|10.7.10 @ 10:28PM|#
    "And regarding people who make poor lifestyle decisions, I expect government can help there too, by promoting healthy lifestyles. God knows the American marketplace hasn't done that."
    Sorta like the Soviet Union made all the residents healthy?
    Could be a spoof of tony, but it's hard to tell. Tony is an ignoramus and may actually bleeve that BS.

  • Sean W. Malone||

    Oh no, that was real Tony.

    He actually is that dumb.

  • New Soviet Man||

    So what if our life expectancy has been going down!

  • Liberal Genius||

    And health insurance is just the tip of the market-driven insanity iceberg. So many little things could also be centralized.

    Take potato chips for example. Hardly a day goes by without a news report on our broken for-profit potato chip system. There are too many brands! Consumers can't be expected to make a rational choice.

    Clearly, we need a single-payer potato chip system. Not only will this system cut costs, but it will insure everyone has access to the same potato chips.

  • Ron L||

    Chad|10.7.10 @ 6:36PM|#
    "There is nothing such as free market health insurance, as such a phenomenon is inherently unstable. Prices rise, weeding out the most healthy and leaving a pool of even sicker customers, which in turn drives up prices in a feedback loop that only ends when no one is left insured."

    This is worth reading several times to absorb *all* the truly brain-dead presumptions built into this piece of idiocy.

  • Colonel_Angus||

    What's wrong with health insurance being something that currently healthy people pay for, in case they get severely sick or injured at some later point in time? Most things that health insurance pays for these days (due to state imposed mandates) should be paid for out of pocket.

  • Colonel_Angus||

    In response to Choad.

  • Bill||

    You are right Loony. I mean Tony. That's exactly what happened with Life Insurance and Car Insurance and Homeowner's. Prices went up and no one bought them and now they no longer exist.
    Same thing happened with calculators and toothbrushes. I wish I could still buy those.

  • ||

    There is nothing such as free market health insurance, as such a phenomenon is inherently unstable. Prices rise, weeding out the most healthy and leaving a pool of even sicker customers, which in turn drives up prices in a feedback loop that only ends when no one is left insured.

    This is certainly true when you are not allowed to exclude those with pre-existing conditions.

    It is not true when you are allowed to exclude them.

  • ||

    It's also true when you aren't allowed to charge high-risk people proportionately more, according ot their riskiness.

  • Fiscal Meth||

    Who would cut foreskins?

  • Colonel_Angus||

    Dirty Jews.

    And guys whose turtlenecks don't stretch adequately.

  • ||

    If I get eat up by a shark tomorrow, I'm going to have to insist that one of you a holes bring me back to life by magic. It's a necessity like food.

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  • The Unborn||

    Tony is only pro choice on one issue. And he is wrong on that one. BTW, Obamacare will pay for our continued slaughter. At least those of us who's mothers are pro-choice won't have to pay the bills for your liberal utopia.

  • El Duderino||

    I liked the article, but I think Stossel gives the Obama administration too much benefit of the doubt. Obama knows the economics of his bill and he is counting on it to bridge the gap to allow a total single payer system.

    If you want single payer, you HAVE to get rid of private companies. There are only two ways to get rid of private companies. One is to eliminate them directly, the other is to squeeze them out of the market. One method has a less authoritarian feel than the other so Obama gets what he wants and doesn't have to be a total dick about it, just a little prick.

  • ken||

    For stories on what international Libertarians are doing, page down http://www.Libertarian-International.org

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