Health Care Rights and Responsibilities

What happens when health care is thought to be a fundamental right? That's the question at the heart of David Kelley's January 1994 Reason story, "The Rights Angle."

What happens when health care is thought to be a fundamental right? That's the question at the heart of David Kelley's January 1994 reason story, "The Rights Angle." Kelley's piece examined the large-scale health-care overhaul proposed under President Bill Clinton. Kelley came away worried.

The "plan in its present form involves a massive increase in government control over physicians, insurers, employers, and-last but certainly not least-the patients who are supposed to be the beneficiaries of the plan," he wrote. "Most people will be forced to obtain their health insurance through purchasing cooperatives: government-backed monopolies that collect payments from consumers and set the terms on which medical providers can offer their services." Meanwhile, health providers will "be prohibited from dealing with patients directly," forced instead to work through highly regulated cooperatives-essentially government-run middlemen.

Kelley argued that this upending of the health system was fundamentally the result of a single assumption-"that if people have medical needs which are not being met, it is society's responsibility to meet them."

The Clinton health plan didn't pass. But almost two decades later, under a different Democratic president, another large-scale health policy overhaul did.

For the most part, the debate over ObamaCare didn't explicitly deal with "the rights angle." ObamaCare's mandate was often described as a "responsibility." But the notion of health care as a right didn't exactly go away either.

Like the Clinton plan, ObamaCare attempts to achieve universal coverage by requiring individuals to obtain insurance. There are no government-backed cooperatives in ObamaCare, but there are government-run insurance marketplaces that regulate participating insurers. And thanks to the law's various Medicare payment reforms, which are supposed to create incentives for doctors and other providers to change their behavior, the new health law also ends up giving the government more influence over the practice of medicine.

In other words, the rights angle-and the belief that all unmet medical needs must be served, no matter what-lives on as the subtext of the health policy debate. In March, Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius argued that catastrophic health plans didn't count as real insurance, because they only cover the biggest medical expenses. And in August, Medicare chief Marilyn Tevenner told Congress that insurance isn't "true insurance" if it's not sufficiently comprehensive.

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  • ||

    Needs more alt-text. This pic BEGS for it.

  • SweatingGin||

    Way too early for a pic like that.

  • Snark Plissken||

    Actually that pic does a really good job of flattering Hillary's moonface.

  • Restoras||

    What you call a face...I don't see it.

  • Invisible Finger||

    "Arranged marriage"

    or maybe "arraigned marriage"

  • Fist of Etiquette||

    I have a right to your medical services.

  • Ted S.||

    Much like the debate over banning smoking in restaurants, it's people who are looking for the "right" to tell other people what to do with their property.

  • Restoras||

    And Epi's money to pay for it.

  • Protagoronus||

    I have a right to your cotton farming services

  • Tony||

    You have a right to others' thug-shooting services, why is that different?

  • Sevo||

    Tony|10.29.13 @ 10:57AM|#
    "You have a right to others' thug-shooting services, why is that different?"

    If you'd try a question in English, you might get an answer.
    What is it you do for a living?

  • Tony||

    Unless you are an anarchist then you support the conscription of people who perform certain public services. Thus, unless you're an anarchist, denouncing universal healthcare on the grounds that it conscripts doctors is not sufficient. Even though that's not really how it works. Doctors practice medicine--government would merely subsidize access to their practice.

  • Protagoronus||

    Right, and cops are not conscripts either. We do not have rights to their services. They choose to serve given incentives the government puts into place.

    The problems with government putting the incentives into place are:
    1) It must steal wealth by force
    2) It creates market incentives that are not connected to individual values, thus making the market less efficient at maximizing value to the people in it.

    The simplest definition of government is "a violence monopoly." That is why it monopolizes law enforcement. Seeing some problems in a huge medical market that are mostly caused by misguided government interventions and saying the government should take over said market ignores a great deal.

    Anyway, the FoE point is about positive vs. negative rights you are disingenuous for ignoring that.

  • Tony||

    I don't believe there is a meaningful distinction between positive and negative rights, and even if there is, a police force is most definitely constituent of a positive right.

    Healthcare, like education, like food and potable water, is a basic necessity of human beings in the modern world. There is no need to wait around for a laissez-faire market to tell us what the demand is: the demand is universal. We're the wealthiest country on earth. We can afford it. Perhaps we can't afford it while the wealthiest sectors of society pay little to no taxes, but that would be its own problem to fix.

  • Protagoronus||

    Positive rights require action from others, negative rights do not. It is a pretty simple distinction. You might have a better grasp of it if you paid attention to people you decide to argue with here.

    Demand for these things is far from universal. People have different health needs and make different choices in life. People like different types of food and make choices to live in areas with different abundance of water. Not everyone should be taught the same way and local communities have an interest in ensuring the education of area children.

    Tony, just because you think driving a Yugo and wearing prozodezhda are basic necessities of human beings does not mean everyone wants them equally or that people will stand by while you use violence to ensure that everyone gets them.

  • Rufus J. Firefly||

    Health care is NOT a basic human right.

    Left-wingers are retarded.

  • Tony||

    So you agree that police protection of your property is a positive right?

    Since you can't really enforce anything you claim is a right--because that requires positive action and taxation--then that leaves you with anarchy and daydreams (between rape gangs).

    Yes I claim that there are certain goods and services that are basic needs and that are not arbitrary. Just like you and your property rights. Only mine are more obviously basic.

  • BLEEDINELL||

    The police have no duty to protect you or your personal property. Supreme Court has ruled on this several times.

  • Brian||

    Tony:

    Healthcare, like education, like food and potable water, is a basic necessity of human beings in the modern world. There is no need to wait around for a laissez-faire market to tell us what the demand is: the demand is universal.

    Way to take all of the complexity out of it.

    OK, so the demand for brussell sprouts is universal.
    The demand for Coca-Cola is universal.
    The demand for water is universal. Drinking vs. bathing vs. farming, has nothing to do with it.

    Hell, some people want to die. The demand to live isn't even universal. How, then, can you claim this over all healthcare products, including birth control, hip replacements, eye surgery, heart surgery, psychological drugs?

    Your worldview is quite simplistic: healthcare == universal so treat like utility company. What could go wrong? Other than the obvious: what does a healthcare brownout look like?

  • Tony||

    You'll note that privatization schemes for utilities have not exactly been poster children for the free market.

    Don't get all relativist on me. Education is the most direct comparison. Universal education is rightly considered a necessary and extremely useful thing for a society of humans, but obviously it wouldn't be delivered universally if it were an unsubsidized market. Healthcare is arguably even more basic a need than education. You are entitled to say you think our moral priorities should favor less taxes and fewer services, but you're not entitled to make untrue claims about the relative cost for individuals of the two systems.

  • RenaD||

    I would argue that food is a more basic "right" than healthcare. Try living a week without health insurance. Now try living a week without groceries. If society expects me to budget for my groceries (and the clothes on my back and the roof over my head), why am I not expected to budget for my healthcare?

  • Brian||

    Tony:

    on't get all relativist on me. Education is the most direct comparison. Universal education is rightly considered a necessary and extremely useful thing for a society of humans, but obviously it wouldn't be delivered universally if it were an unsubsidized market. ..ou are entitled to say you think our moral priorities should favor less taxes and fewer services, but you're not entitled to make untrue claims about the relative cost for individuals of the two systems.

    I'm sorry, but your statement was:
    There is no need to wait around for a laissez-faire market to tell us what the demand is: the demand is universal.

    OK, going with education: so the demand for preschool is universal. The demand for high school is universal. The demand for Harvard is universal. The demand for medical school is universal. The demand for auto mechanic school is universal. The demand for law school is universal. It's all education. These are all incorrect statements.

    If all of those schools were provided universally, free of cost, would you have any idea what the actual demand was? That is, if people had scarce resources, which they would prefer? Which they considered more valuable? Would slapping a label of "universal" tell anyone anything about the efficient allocation of scarce resources?

    Your world view is completely over-simplified, and your ideas about healthcare are derived from stories, not facts.

  • Rich||

    "if people have medical needs which are not being met, it is society's responsibility to meet them."

    1) FTS. It's society's responsibility to meet *any* needs people have.

    2) And if *society* has needs which are not being met, it is *God's* responsibility to meet them.

  • Ted S.||

    I have a feeling you're missing a word from Statement #1.

  • Rich||

    I need help on that.

  • Ted S.||

    It's not society's responsibility to meet people's needs, since it's not my responsibility to meet my neighbor's needs.

  • Rich||

    Note to self: Use less-subtle sarcasm.

  • Steve G||

    Was hoping "responsibility" in the title foreshadowed a discussion about an individual's responsibility to take better care of themselves as a necessary requirement to help offset the potentially open-ended "health care as a right" angle.
    Although I wish it wasn't, if this country is headed in this direction, I'd at least like to hear some sort of talk about a minimum expectation of personal responsibility or incentive to remain healthy. As it stands now, I just don't see it.

  • wareagle||

    if only people had free will.

  • Steve G||

    Well, that would be the ultimate goal: do what you want, eat what you want... it's your checkbook. The incentive is built-in.
    but alas...

  • sarcasmic||

    No. The ultimate goal is to do what you are told, eat what you are told... your body is not your own. It is the property of society since society is paying for its care.

  • wareagle||

    sarcasm aside, too many people act surprised when they find out that taking govt money comes with strings. That bit of reality is why some states have balked at Medicaid expansion.

    Not only does federal money come with a list of rules, it will eventually stop. The program, however, will have to go on and states will be on the hook for it.

  • ||

    There's nothing so permanent as a temporary government program.

  • gimmeasammich||

    Your body is just on loan from the government waiting until you fuck up, then it's off to the gulags.

  • Tony||

    So you applaud Michelle Obama's efforts?

    Or are you expecting people to spontaneously decide en masse to change their lifestyles without any environmental change?

  • Sevo||

    Tony|10.29.13 @ 11:00AM|#
    "So you applaud Michelle Obama's efforts?"
    Nothing wrong with her yapping. Applause is too generous; she's an imbecile regarding how kids should and do eat.

    "Or are you expecting people to spontaneously decide en masse to change their lifestyles without any environmental change?"
    WIH is that supposed to mean? What is it you do for a living?

  • Tony||

    None of your business.

    I'm trying to point out that people respond to incentives, not other people silently hoping, and getting society-wide changes in behavior requires alterations to their environment.

    Seems as if libertarians want the worst of all possible worlds: healthcare is only available to the people who can afford to be healthy.

  • coma44||

    "I'm trying to point out that people respond to incentives, not other people silently hoping, and getting society-wide changes in behavior requires alterations to their environment"

    And I for one will be the guy who rips that carrot off the string ang shoves it up your ass.

    You and Government are not going to "perfect" me or change me in any way.

    When will you progressive fucks learn my life is my responsibility.

    Your life and it's outcomes are YOUR responsibility

  • Tony||

    Until you need something, of course.

  • coma44||

    "Until you need something, of course."

    Nice try dick head.

    It is still up to me, my family and friends at that point.

    True some people have non of those to fall back on, and I would be you fit into that category. But 99.9% of the people in that category got there through life choices all on their own just like you.

  • Brian||

    True some people have non of those to fall back on, and I would be you fit into that category. But 99.9% of the people in that category got there through life choices all on their own just like you.

    This is a great point. Who really needs SS?

    There's an old lady in our neighborhood. She loves all of the neighborhood children. She bakes them cookies. She talks to them. She invites us into her home. If she needed anything, she would have an entire community ready to help her out.

    At the other end of the corner is a cranky old man that yells at our children whenever they look like they might touch his property.

    He needs SS. He wouldn't last 2 weeks without it.

    People do respond to incentives. What kind of incentive is created, where the state uses violence to guarantee every human being all the necessities of life regardless of how well or how horrible they treat anyone and everyone around them?

  • Sevo||

    Tony|10.29.13 @ 11:21AM|#
    "None of your business."

    Strange. You used to claim to be educated and an 'editor' before it became obvious that your IQ didn't pass two digits.
    Now it's none of my business? OK, then don't bother 'bragging', asshole.

  • gimmeasammich||

    "Tony|10.29.13 @ 11:21AM|#

    I'm trying to point out that people respond to incentives, not other people silently hoping, and getting society-wide changes in behavior requires alterations to their environment."

    So people won't respond to the incentive of, "I had better get off of my ass and find a job or I'm going to starve?"

  • Tony||

    If you want to live in a needlessly brutal hellscape instead of a modern civilization, sure.

  • coma44||

    "modern civilization"

    That is Progressive code for The Government knows what is best for you, and you had better like it.

    Sorry Shit stain I'll take freedom and choice over anything you or your "friends" can ever offer me.

  • RenaD||

    Wait. What? What is needlessly brutal about getting off your ass and getting a job?

  • BLEEDINELL||

    You need to read the book "We" by Yevgeny Zamyatin.

  • BLEEDINELL||

    previous message was for forlorn Tony.

  • coma44||

    "So people won't respond to the incentive of, "I had better get off of my ass and find a job or I'm going to starve?"

    Progressives like Tony equate "having" to work as the world using "force" on them....Even if not doing so would cause them to starve.

    While they point and say "look those Libertarians are evil, they support Business and Limited Government.....who will feed the poor."

    All the while they go out of their Progressive way to rob the middle class to "even out" the suffering. They say their "Target" is the rich but they must have bad aim cause the only ones who ever pay is the middle class.

    To a progressive life is all about equal outcomes not equal rights, justice or freedom of choice. That way no any ever has to suffer for bad choices or ever needs to take any responsibility for any action or inaction ever. Everyone wins RIght?

    Well Tony we have basically live like your little fantasy or at least a good part of it for the last 70 years and now It's Broke. You and you kind are now asking for more of the same to fix the problem your kind created in the first place!

    Wake up you twat Tony your wet dream of "A Social Democracy" is actually just a nightmare.

  • Steve G||

    "afford to be healthy"? The difference between poor health and good health can be as simple as a choice between one food and another food. People like you seem to think good health only comes from expensive doctor visits and procedures and not from making sound choices.

  • coma44||

    "People like you seem to think good health only comes from expensive doctor visits and procedures and not from making sound choices."

    That would take something like icky Responsibility for one's actions. Progressives won't have none of that.

  • Brian||

    I think you told us you majored in English, which sounds like majoring in unemployment. I think the primary jobs are teaching and... whatever you can get.

    Wouldn't surprise me that you're a big fan of government creating jobs.

  • Steve G||

    I don't applaud her efforts since they are misguided and ill-informed, but like Sevo says, there's nothing wrong w/ her yapping. Read above, I'm in agreement. The "environmental change" I'm suggesting is people being on the hook for their own health care bills (barring catastrophic), which will result in more of a personal give-a-shit factor and a focus on prevention vs treatment/cures.

  • Tony||

    I don't know about you but I usually don't go to the doctor unless I really need to, then I do whatever the doctor says. Even if most markets are mostly formed by rational and informed decision making, this is not one of them.

  • Steve G||

    okay, it seems like we are in some sort of violent agreement here. I too, rarely go to the doctor and although it currently isn't, our health care system could be something more market-based which would not only force customers to be better informed, but also lower costs. Look no further than cosmetic and/or elective procedures as examples.

  • Brian||

    Tony:

    I don't know about you but I usually don't go to the doctor unless I really need to, then I do whatever the doctor says. Even if most markets are mostly formed by rational and informed decision making, this is not one of them.

    This is self-contradictory and non-sensical. It is rational to go to the doctor only when you need to.

    I assume you also choose a doctor. Do you do so irrationally? Is it irrational to do what the doctor says?

    I've heard this over and over again, and it's completely wrong. Progressives want to pretend that all of healthcare is something like an ambulance ride to the hospital, incapacitated, with a harpoon stuck in your belly. In reality, emergencies like that are a small portion of healthcare spending. Yet, these anecdotal stories are all the argument supplied to claim that healthcare is a market which must be irrational, and decisions are impossible. Let's ignore all the people shopping surgeries and procedures and doctors and drugs, etc. Money is a special pleading exception, apparently.

    If you have a good argument to make, then make it. But quit peddling progressive narratives that sound good until you examine them with more than a single thought.

  • Tony||

    I've consistently made the best kind of argument: the one with lots and lots of evidence supporting it. We have many forms of healthcare systems in the world to compare. Ours is the only one among wealthy countries that is not yet universal, yet it is roughly twice as expensive--and more expensive on the government side as well--than those other programs. That's all we really need to know, until you start injecting unhelpful ideologies into things, which by definition eschew evidence.

  • Brian||

    In other words, when the falsehood of your argument is pointed out, just restate. That is, by definition, eschewing evidence.

  • Fatty Bolger||

    Actually that's one of the biggest problems with nationalized healthcare. Suddenly government has a stake in just about everything you do. As Mark Steyn says, "It redefines the relationship between the citizen and the state in fundamental ways that make limited government all but impossible."

  • Brian||

    Don't try to scare me with your big brother stories.

    Spending decades sitting around, watching TV, eating hamburgers, french fries, and shakes, smoking cigarettes, and drinking booze, and then getting multiple surgeries and liposuction is a right, God damnit!

    And, when I have all that, who needs their taxes, anyway?

  • R C Dean||

    Spending decades sitting around, watching TV, eating hamburgers, french fries, and shakes, smoking cigarettes, and drinking booze, and then getting multiple surgeries and liposuction is a right, God damnit!

    It is. What isn't a right is to present the bill to someone else.

  • Brian||

    It is. What isn't a right is to present the bill to someone else.

    Hey: if you're not talking about the right to avoid responsibility, I can't imagine what you're talking about.

  • Tonio||

    ^This. Thanks for stating this way more better than I could have.

  • Rufus J. Firefly||

    As a Canadian, I can confirm it does.

    Just imagine an invisible bureaucrat sitting next to you when you visit a doctor in Canada - the government has that much say.

    And not necessarily for the good either. See, in Canada, we're cost-centric. Not patient-centric. So whenever a "dicey" situation about life comes about, the government will always side with "compassionate" death suggestions to patients.

    "Look, it's nice to be alive and all and cute that you want to fight for your life but the truth is you're a burden on the rest of us. You don't want to be a burden, right? Right. So just take what we say, and shut up."

  • Tony||

    Surely they wouldn't forbid families from paying for end-of-life care out of their own pockets?

    EOL care is a huge portion of healthcare costs, but it is not a less morbid or frightening scenario in the absence of government subsidy.

    It's not a legitimate argument to say we can't have universal healthcare because people wouldn't be able to milk it infinitely.

  • coma44||

    "Surely they wouldn't forbid families from paying for end-of-life care out of their own pockets?"

    The Government hates it when you choose anything but what they provide. After all "your idea of government knows what is best for the slaves right tony.

  • ||

    Surely they wouldn't forbid families from paying for end-of-life care out of their own pockets?


    Private payment for the medical services Medicare covers for is not permitted. So yes, they do forbid families from paying for end-of-life care out of their own pockets.

  • Rich||

    I'd at least like to hear some sort of talk about a minimum expectation of personal responsibility

    Behold.

  • sarcasmic||

    I still think it's only a matter of time before doctor's orders have force of law. Though I'm not sure what would happen next.

  • Rich||

    That's ridiculous, sarcasmic.

    Your doctor, like your congresscritter, works *for you*.

    *** turns away and bites lip ***

  • Restoras||

    National Healthcare will hasten the coming Collapse. When that happens all bets are off.

  • Rich||

    the coming Collapse

    "Just when we finally got the Website working!"

  • Steve G||

    It'd be one thing if they were right, but all too often doctors orders are wrong.

    "Biggest myth in medical history"

  • ||

    I think what gets me really angry is that when you tell people why health care costs so much (third parties, government interference through regulations and mandates) they have this stupid look on their faces and then respond that health care is a human right. I always ask would you rather have a health system that you can pay out of pocket for when it comes to check ups and other minor things while reserving insurance for
    catastrophic events. On top of that, also having hospitals and doctors compete for your dollars while trying to offer the best service. Or would you rather have a health system that while apparently free, the rules are set up by some faceless bureaucrat, and doctors have to offer you the service allowed by the government, and no one is really allowed to compete. You would be surprised that most will answer that they would rather have the second choice.

    People respond to incentives and choices. When you take these two things away, you get nothing but mediocracy. The good doctors will either find other ways to perform their services or get out completely because there's no incentive for them to do their best job possible while on top of that, having some bureaucrat breathing down your neck. People have it seared into their minds that damn it, the government is suppose to provide me with health care and those asshole wealthy people will pay for it. It's warped.

  • ||

    And the question that we have to start rigorously posing to the progressives is how the government can coordinate health services for millions of people without at all screwing them over?

    These same people who rip on creationists for believing in a centralized creative force don't see the irony that they too believe in a centralized force coordinating the health care services (among other things) of millions but yet mock the idea of spontanious order.

  • Tonio||

    I rip on both the creationists and the fantasists who believe the welfare state is sustainable. SoCon butt-hurt always appreciated, though.

  • Tony||

    All you have to do is understand that there are more countries on this planet than this one, and many of them have more successful heatlhcare systems than ours.

  • Sevo||

    Tony|10.29.13 @ 10:56AM|#
    "All you have to do is understand that there are more countries on this planet than this one,"
    Yes, irrelevant.

    "and many of them have more successful heatlhcare systems than ours."
    Cite missing; been debunked more often than you've been called on BS.

  • Tony||

    Here is a comparison of several countries' systems.

  • Brian||

    Because clearly there are no other metrics to consider than cost, infant mortality, and life span. What other metrics could there be?

    Clearly, infant mortality and life span capture healthcare and healthcare alone. Populations, diets, activities, genetics, height/weight, etc, have nothing to do with it.

    Clearly, money is the only cost to consider. How long you wait for healthcare, how rationed healthcare is, etc., doesn't really matter. You could ration everyone's healthcare costs to 0, and as long as there isn't a significant impact on infant mortality and lifespan, you can claim success.

    Heck, if that's your metrics, you should just ration all health care towards successful births and life span increases. Does a baby have genetic or development problems? Mandatory abortion. That'll get those infant mortality rates down! Need a prosthetic arm? Show us you can't live without one. After all, it probably won't increase your life span. We'd rather spend it on mandatory radiation for this old bat so she can squeeze out another 5 years. That bumps the life span numbers up.

    Funny thing is, when democrats aren't pointing out that Obamacare has no death panels, they're saying that, if we had those, it would be awesome. I'd rather have market choices dictate what healthcare looks like, than the central planners who have brought us Obamacare.

  • Tony||

    So are you claiming that the US actually has better meaningful healthcare metrics? What might those be? At the very least you can't deny that all those other countries--every wealthy country on earth except the US--have not descended into an expensive socialist hellscape. You're grasping here. But I realize you must--there's actual evidence here and it just doesn't support your dogma.

  • Brian||

    Tony:

    So are you claiming that the US actually has better meaningful healthcare metrics? What might those be?

    My doctor was just telling me that he attributes the high lifespan in other countries relative to the US, completely to diet. So, I'm sorry, but healthcare only contributes partially to life span.

    The US is frequently ranked #1 in response time and service. If you want something looked it, it gets looked at, when you want it looked at.

    A lot of the other "ratings" scale heavily on how you pay for it to begin with. For example, the famous WHO study from 2000 based 62.5% of its healthcare ratings on how "fair" and "equally" payments were "distributed." In other words, it ranked healthcare systems by how socialized they were. Sorry, but socializing a healthcare system doesn't, by itself, make anyone healthier. It just changes how you pay for it.

    There are lots of metrics in which the US is the best.

    You're just projecting again: you cherry pick metrics to favor your ideology of government answers to every problem. You then claim that anyone who disagrees is driven to error by ideology. Try making a good argument for once. A weak argument falls on its own, and straw manning libertarians for the millionth time doesn't make it any stronger.

  • Tony||

    The US does have the best healthcare, and the best education, that money can buy. That last bit is kind of important. You already premise your thoughts on the fact that someone can get treatment without paying for it. You're right that universality and quality are separate, but universality and cost are, apparently, quite related. Which makes sense--the nature of healthcare (unpredictable large costs are often part of the equation) makes the insurance model necessary. The way to bring down costs in an insurance model is to increase the number of participants. The reason more-or-less similar healthcare is available in other countries at half the cost is because they have this figured out.

  • Brian||

    Tony:

    You're right that universality and quality are separate, but universality and cost are, apparently, quite related. ...The way to bring down costs in an insurance model is to increase the number of participants. The reason more-or-less similar healthcare is available in other countries at half the cost is because they have this figured out.

    No, it's not. The reason healthcare is cheaper in some western democracies is because they engage in rationing. I'm sorry, but rationed care != universal healthcare. Otherwise, issuing everyone a single band-aid is universal healthcare.

    You also fail to mention that, while we're number 1 in health expenses per capita, we're also number 3 in government spending per capita. You can thank medicare, etc. primarily for that. So, if government spending per person in large pools is the answer, then we're implementing your answer. It doesn't appear to be working as advertised. Even Ezra Klein commented that medicaid is supposed to be so much cheaper than it is, and he really doesn't understand why. Don't bother checking your premises, ideologues. Perhaps, we don't ration, while other countries do?

    You progressives can begin selling rationed care whenever you feel like getting honest.

  • coma44||

    All you have to do is understand that there are more countries on this planet than this one, and many of them have more successful heatlhcare systems than ours.

    Since you love those countries soooooo much more than here feel free to pack you shit and move there....

    That is one action we maybe able to see the value in "paying" to help you be happy Tony.

  • Tony||

    So you like paying twice what citizens of other countries pay for healthcare for no increase in quality? Or are you just a stubborn antigovernment ideologue who will countenance no solution to any problem that isn't less government?

  • Mcgoo95||

    THe problem is that your dear leader has done nothing to reign in costs. In fact, it appears they are set to skyrocket even higher. The high cost of health care should have been where the effort was placed. Your previous link neglected to mention that in addition to having the highest health care costs per capita, we also have the nearly the lowest number of physicians per capita in the industrialized and non-industrialized world. I'm sure it would shock you to suggest that even the cost of health care may follow the known-for-thousands-of-years principles of supply and demand. All that the democrats have done is successfully priced the low and middleclass out of healthcare. Nice work.

  • coma44||

    "So you like paying twice what citizens of other countries pay for healthcare for no increase in quality? Or are you just a stubborn antigovernment ideologue who will countenance no solution to any problem that isn't less government?"

    No jack wad stop shifting the goal posts.

    What I am saying is it would be cheaper to move you and all the progressives out of this country for good than it will be to pay for your "utopia" that you all believe is possible through Government action.

  • Libertarius||

    Asswipe, there is no healthcare system on earth anything close to that of America; the collectivized sheep of Europe and South America, etc. are entirely dependent on the methods, technology, and medicines which are developed by America's allegedly evul capitalist system.

    Why do we spend so much on healthcare? Because the USA is now the largest, most profligate welfare state in the history of the world; your mindlessly idiotic answer is "gimme more'a dat soshulizm".

  • sarcasmic||

    People have it seared into their minds that damn it, the government is suppose to provide me with health care and those asshole wealthy people will pay for it. It's warped.

    Yep. And it's not an old idea. It's as old as civilization itself.

    "Government is the great fiction through which everybody endeavors to live at the expense of everybody else."
    --Bastiat
  • Tony||

    Whereas your life's mission is to make sure the wealthy get to enjoy additional luxuries at everyone else's expense.

  • sarcasmic||

    Because not taking is giving and not giving is taking. Yes, I know.

  • Tony||

    Because the current distribution of wealth happened via a pure free market?

  • sarcasmic||

    You've got the straw man on the ropes! Give him a left! That's it! Work the body!

  • Tony||

    If the current distribution of wealth didn't happen via a free market, then what's wrong with retrieving some of that ill-gotten wealth?

  • sarcasmic||

    How do you tell the difference between wealth that was obtained honestly and wealth that is "ill-gotten."

    I assume you would look at the politics of the person. If Tony likes their politics then they may keep their wealth, otherwise it's off to the ovens!

  • Loki||

    It's simple really, if you have more than average wealth than your wealth is ill-gotten. It's kind of like the "rich must pay their fair share" bullshit with taxes. If they're still "rich" after paying their taxes, then they ahven't paid their fair share.

  • sarcasmic||

    Ah yes. The rich don't pay their fair share because if they did then they wouldn't be rich. Circular logic is circular.

  • Tony||

    You can't absent laws that define such. That's why taxation is no big deal. Nobody got wealthy without society's help, and nobody is poor without some measure of victimization by society. Everything works better if we stop moralizing and trying to parse people's individual worthiness like busybody church ladies and just decide, democratically, what we want to have as universal services, and then pay for them in a way that doesn't burden anyone.

  • sarcasmic||

    "The first lesson of economics is scarcity: There is never enough of anything to satisfy all those who want it. The first lesson of politics is to disregard the first lesson of economics."
    -Thomas Sowell

    Tony proves it true:
    "Everything works better if we stop moralizing and trying to parse people's individual worthiness like busybody church ladies and just decide, democratically, what we want to have as universal services, and then pay for them in a way that doesn't burden anyone."

  • Rufus J. Firefly||

    Grrrrrrr. That 'no one got rich without society's help' mythology bull shit AGAIN?

    Because my father drove on a fucking road to work for 40 years to build his small and well-earned fortune is not 'society' helping hand' Tony. He did it all BY HIMSELF. He paid his taxes. He covered the mortgages. He paid the materials he needed. He paid employees. Him ALONE.

    Dead-weight, parasitical, left-wing nut-job, assholes like you who over rate themselves hiding behind cowardly gibberish like 'you didn't build that' is what drives me insane. I have ZERO respect for people who think like you.

    Get off you ass. Stop complaining and looking at what the other guy is doing and WORK like past generations did.

    My father did it on a 3rd grade level and split his war torn country at 17 to make something of his life. I'll be damned pieces of shits like you belittle this with 'ill-gotten' gains lies.

    Guess what? Now I'm running a business and with little help from ANYONE except my family. The fucking government, Tony, are good to tax me and throw obstacles in my way. If I can't make rent, they ain't helping me. So why would I give a shit about the "roads" in that instance? Will you Western Union me my next pay roll, Tony?

    Fuck you. You don't help anyone.

    The quicker you grasp this, the quicker you can free yourself of that loser, enslaved mentality you possess.

  • Tony||

    So go try and do that in some hellhole with no infrastructure, education system, or other aspects of modern civilization you claim play absolutely no role in your success.

    I have no respect for moochers like you.

  • Rufus J. Firefly||

    I sign the pay checks smart alec. I work my fucking ass off as does my sister to make our enterprise work you clown and YOU'RE gonna call me a moocher?

    We're the PRODUCERS AND THE EMPLOYERS in a civil economic system, what are YOU?

    All that you talk about is nonsensical idiocy. I ALREADY PAID FOR THAT STUFF. The fucking road didn't make me and did you read? My father did it without the bull shit public education system. You know what? I'm done with you.

    How in the world that makes things even in your world is beyond the pale. Progressives are truly the most presumptuous, condescending, ignorant douches this side of the river. The know everything but somehow manage to not understand anything.

    Yes. Roads equals economic and financial success. Fucking too stupid to exist. NO wonder they wallow in useless nothingness. Go beg for money. Parasite.

    /fin rant.

    GRRRRRRRRR.

  • coma44||

    By using the same people and system that made that "ill gotten wealth".....The Government

    That will work out great!

    God your dumb.

  • sarcasmic||

    By using the same people and system that made that "ill gotten wealth".....The Government

    You don't understand! Government is us and we are government, except that government has been taken over by the rich and the corporations!
    We need to give more power to us, to the government, so we can take power back from the rich and the corporations!
    If that fails it will only be because we didn't give enough power to us, to government, because government doesn't have enough power to control the rich and the corporations that control it!
    So we need to give more power to us, to government, because..

  • coma44||

    I like the Sarcasm! We were once the Government, now we are just the subjects of the Government.

    But yea that is the Progressive "logic" (for the lack of a better word) is More Government power to fix everything, so lets use the same tactic except change what "Government" means back to us the citizens and "take the power back". But before that can happen we need to make the Government loose the power to hand out special powers and money. Then and only then will the

  • LynchPin1477||

    No, we don't live in a free market, which is why libertarians are against cronyism. But just because someone is rich doesn't mean they gamed the system.

  • Tony||

    When someone is very rich it usually means they did.

  • sarcasmic||

    When someone is very rich, unless they're a politician, it usually means they have made society richer.

    You see, when wealth is created through voluntary exchange, half of it is dispersed over society to those who purchase a product, while the other half is concentrated with those who create the product.

    The richer the creator of the product is, the richer they have made society.

    Bill Gates and Steve Jobs are perfect examples of this. Their fabulous wealth came as a result of them making society richer, not the other way around.

  • Harvard||

    {Nobody got wealthy without society's help, and nobody is poor without some measure of victimization by society}

    And that, is all you ever needed to know about little Anthony.

  • Tony||

    You really need to stop whoring out rich liberals in the service of your bullshit. Fine, wonderful that there are a few people who actually created real, useful products and got rich off of them. So do you agree that the financial services sector is more of a parasite than a producer of value? Why do you treat all rich people the same but insist on inspecting poor people's homes for signs of productivity or laziness?

  • sarcasmic||

    So do you agree that the financial services sector is more of a parasite than a producer of value?

    That sector is so distorted by government regulation that you can't tell where the benefits of moving resources from unproductive uses to productive uses ends, and the parasites begin.

    Why do you treat all rich people the same but insist on inspecting poor people's homes for signs of productivity or laziness?

    I didn't say all. You did. And I never said anything about inspecting homes. Where did you get that?

    I want the poor to have the opportunity to create wealth and become rich, as opposed to being kept down by the heavy boot of government regulators who present an impossible array of hoops and red tape for the poor to navigate before they can raise themselves out of poverty.

  • Brian||

    Tony said:

    When someone is very rich it usually means they did.

    But earlier, Tony said:

    Why does it never cross your mind that the rich can also game the system in their favor, are in fact quite a bit better at it, and don't need to rely on direct handouts to do it (preferring tax policy)?

    So, are you implying that the way the rich game the system is avoiding taxes? Because, if that's the worse the rich do, then they've made a pretty honest living.

  • Sevo||

    Because "up" = "down".
    We got it; your dyslexia is not helping your 'argument'.

  • Invisible Finger||

    and then respond that health care is a human right.

    Rights are not the same thing as entitlements.

    I'm not even sure "health care" is a right beyond self-medication. Voluntary transactions are a human right, but these idiots generally want to coerce others to service them. Do people really think coerced service results in anything better than poor-quality service?

  • Rufus J. Firefly||

    Hey, that's Canada!

  • Will Nonya||

    People have been taught that all they have to do is claim something as a right and the government will make it so.

    People also have a tendency to misunderstand when they're told they have a right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. Too many people believe they have a right to be happy, not just to pursue it. That's where the mindset behind the equality of outcomes originate.

  • Tony||

    Doesn't the ability to pursue happiness entail not being dead or sick?

  • Sevo||

    Tony|10.29.13 @ 10:55AM|#
    "Doesn't the ability to pursue happiness entail not being dead or sick?"

    You been, asshole. We'll just outlaw dying!
    What a piece of shit.

  • coma44||

    "Doesn't the ability to pursue happiness entail not being dead or sick?"

    You have the "right" to pursue said happiness and wellness on your own, but using the government to "do it for you" and there by forcing me to loose Liberty in the form of taxes fees and the act of forcing me to buy higher cost insurance than I need restricts MY happiness and wellness, just to make YOUR happiness and wellness possible for you with out any effort on your part.

    SO looks like we have found out your a little child lost in the forest. Progressive's like need to find a new home land and take your ideas and their costs with you.

  • Sevo||

    BTW, this is a perfect display of proggy ignorance and greed.
    Note that the asshole wants eternal life as a "right", and that he's greedy enough to grab all of your money at gunpoint to somehow avoid reality!
    Avarice and abysmal stupidity; the proggy way!

  • LynchPin1477||

    The only thing necessary to pursue happiness is freedom. Achieving happiness? That depends a lot what makes you happy. For most people, money and the things it can buy (healthcare, education, housing, etc.) helps. But even those aren't iron-clad prerequisites for happiness.

  • Libertarius||

    David Kelley, founder of the "open Objectivism" faction. I'm not yet sold on open Objectivism, but I am reading Evidence of the Senses right now; Kelley is an excellent epistemologist.

  • Tony||

    You act as if this is a new rights claim. Healthcare is a right in all other advanced democratic societies. It's no different in principle from education being a universal right, a principle longer established only because education has been around longer than modern healthcare. In this country healthcare has been a right for certain population groups for decades, with none of the horrors libertarians always claim are on parade (the actual cost problems in our system have more to do with its capitalist aspects).

  • ||

    Dude, no one is denying them access to healthcare. Seriously, I wished that progressives would stop with falsehood. It's against the law for any medical facility to deny anyone care.

    We got that out of the way but as long as you have been commenting here, still you miss our overall point. We as libertarians want people to have access to good affordable medical care where they and not some government bureaucrat, should make the decisions. We want doctors and hospitals have to compete for our patronage. To call our current system capitalist is either done out of stupidity or ignorance.

  • sarcasmic||

    To call our current system capitalist is either done out of stupidity or ignorance.

    Or dishonesty.

  • Tony||

    The problem in our system is not government bureaucrats getting between doctors and patients, but health insurance and pharmaceutical companies getting between them. I realize there's always an escape hatch so libertarians never have to blame the profit-system for anything, but the one thing you can't hand-wave away is the comparative realities of health systems around the world. Universal healthcare is a given in every other modern country, and it also happens to be much cheaper per capita in those places. The only thing holding you back from supporting a form of a healthcare system that actually works is antigovernment dogmatism.

    It's so unnecessary. Not everything is going to accord with the blunt, simplistic worldview that government always screws things up. In this instance, government is necessary to ensure universality (something you apparently support--though I don't know what your favored payment scheme is for those who can't afford the care they get), and just as with any other national, universal service, a streamlined system benefits from fewer redundancies and the not insignificant cost of private industry profits.

  • Sevo||

    Tony|10.29.13 @ 11:15AM|#
    "The problem in our system is not government bureaucrats getting between doctors and patients, but health insurance and pharmaceutical companies getting between them"

    The second is a result of the first, idjit.

  • sarcasmic||

    The second is a result of the first, idjit.

    Yep.

  • Tony||

    Of course it is. Everything is government's fault. Nothing is capitalism's fault. These things must be so. The universe requires it.

  • sarcasmic||

    No, dipshit. Health insurance is tied to employment because of tax policy written by government bureaucrats. People are deprived of potentially life saving medicine thanks to the FDA which is staffed by government bureaucrats. I could go on.

    Let's see you list off how capitalism forced those evil corporations between patients and doctors.

    C'mon boy! You can do it!

  • Sevo||

    Tony|10.29.13 @ 11:25AM|#
    "Of course it is. Everything is government's fault. Nothing is capitalism's fault. These things must be so. The universe requires it."

    OK, Tony, here's your assignment before you once again prove your ignorance.
    Read some post war history and tell us how employer-paid medical insurance came about.
    Hint: It wasn't because companies wanted the added accounting friction.
    Now, go and report back.

  • Tonio||

    That falsehood is all that progressives have.

    But EMTALA doesn't require all medical facilites to provide emergency care. Only hospitals which accept medicare payments. See the Wikipedia article on EMTALA for full details.

  • Sevo||

    Tony|10.29.13 @ 10:53AM|#
    "Healthcare is a right in all other advanced democratic societies"

    Damn dog still has four legs!

  • ||

    I forgot, is it troll free Tuesday?

  • James Anderson Merritt||

    How can anything be a fundamental right that requires others to serve or surrender property? In a way, this assertion seems like a Kafka-esque realization of an original American ambition: "Every man a King." Hundreds of millions of Kings are in America now, all demanding tribute to pay for the costs of their health care.

  • Sevo||

    James Anderson Merritt|10.29.13 @ 11:17AM|#
    "How can anything be a fundamental right that requires others to serve or surrender property?"
    The same way the dog gets five legs if you call his tail a leg.

  • Tonio||

    Because proggies are hostile to individual rights, particularly negative rights. Now, you want to get a proggie salivating you start talking about positive group rights.

  • coma44||

    " Now, you want to get a proggie salivating you start talking about positive group rights."

    That kind of talk makes tony's pants tight.

  • LynchPin1477||

    Tony (and I presume some other progressives) believe that rights are a creation of law and therefore subject to definition by democratic action. Any time a democracy uses its power to eliminate rights that are popular in progressive circles, the retort is "Well not those democracies. They did it wrong." Basically, democracy is always right except when it isn't.

  • Tony||

    Only utopians believe a system can always get it right. I just think democracy is the fairest system we've managed to come up with.

  • Sevo||

    Tony|10.29.13 @ 3:20PM|#
    "Only utopians believe a system can always get it right. I just think democracy is the fairest system we've managed to come up with."

    Only mendacious liars constantly argue with strawmen.

  • Paul.||

    Anything that has to be provided to you is not a right. Next argument.

  • Sevo||

    Oh, and:

    Tony|10.29.13 @ 11:21AM|#
    "Seems as if libertarians want the worst of all possible worlds: healthcare is only available to the people who can afford to be healthy."

    No, that's the best of all possible worlds, because it's the difference between libertarians and greedy, ignorant proggies like you.
    We not only want medical care available to those who can afford it, we want EVERYBODY to be able to afford it.
    Unlike proggies, libertarians do not require a permanent population in poverty, and we know how to end it if we can keep imbeciles like you out of the way.

  • Tony||

    The unicorns and rainbows argument. Always handy in a pinch.

  • Libertarius||

    You would know, you deluded free lunch imbecile.

  • Mcgoo95||

    ...says the unicorn lounging under his rainbow...

  • LynchPin1477||

    Take a look at all the things around you that make your life safe, comfortable, and enjoyable. Now take a look at the history of where those things came from and tell me who played the larger role? Government planning and command, or private experimentation and freedom? Take a look at the periods of greatest wealth creation in the last 200 years and tell me whether the balance tipped towards more or less government control? There is no need for unicorns or rainbows, as pretty as they are. The evidence is all around you.

    And please remember that not everyone here is an anarchist that wants to completely abolish the state.

  • Tony||

    Government by a mile. In my lifetime capitalism (and neoliberal policies--I don't separate the economic system from the political system, and don't think they can be separated) has mostly just exploited people. Capitalism has made a few people very very rich and has barely sustained everyone else at an almost flat line. Large gains in overall wealth have gone almost entirely to the top, and that is not an accident, and it's not because everyone else was lazy. If you want to come up with a means of making the distribution better reflect people's contribution to productivity and growth that doesn't involve government, be my guest, but in the meantime it seems very much like you're defending every single aspect of the lopsided system to the death.

  • Brian||

    Tony:

    Capitalism has made a few people very very rich and has barely sustained everyone else at an almost flat line.

    Rising Wages Pose Dilemma for China

    Average wages in India could quadruple by 2030: PwC report.

    Sorry, but your grasp of the facts is incorrect. Even the horrible, exploited (as you say) workers in third world countries are seeing their wages skyrocket with market liberalization. And of course, we call it "exploitation" because progressives compare their worker's lives with their own in the USA, instead of the worker's lives without this work: agrarian farming, drug dealing, and sex work are the primary alternatives for these people.

    If you really have a problem with poor people in China and India making lots more money, then you're not arguing in support of poor people.

  • coma44||

    For Progressives like Tony it is not about Helping Poor people as much as it is about not letting any one get richer than them that said Progressive does not like or agree with.

  • Sevo||

    Sleazy proggies need those in poverty to 'help' with your money to prove they are virtuous.
    Having nothing to add to humanity's wealth, it's their only claim to any sort of morality.

  • Sevo||

    Tony|10.29.13 @ 12:27PM|#
    "The unicorns and rainbows argument. Always handy in a pinch."

    YOU are the one claiming eternal life is a right and you're accusing me of fantasy?

  • Rufus J. Firefly||

    Tony talking about unicorns. That's rich. It's like Stalin and Mao making fun of communism.

  • coma44||

    "Unlike proggies, libertarians do not require a permanent population in poverty, and we know how to end it if we can keep imbeciles like you out of the way."

    But his mom said he was the "smartest ever"

  • sarcasmic||

    You can never eliminate poverty. There will always be people content to live off handouts.

  • sarcasmic||

    Tony! I'm still waiting!

    How do you tell the difference between honestly acquired wealth and ill-gotten gains?

    How has capitalism forced insurance and pharmaceutical companies between doctors and patients?

    Back up your claims!

  • Tony||

    The question is how do YOU tell the difference--you're the moral busybody about such things. I think the distribution of wealth in an advanced society is largely the product of public policy, so it's no big thing to redistribute it for the purpose of increasing human well-being.

    You seem to be arguing that the current distribution is the fairest possible one. (Or perhaps there is too much wealth in the hands of the poor, so we should distribute even more upward?) That you are wholly unconcerned with human well-being (favoring bullshit plutocracy-serving "principles" instead) is the most important point for me.

    Insurance companies are for-profit. Pharmaceutical companies are for-profit. They have a big influence on the delivery of healthcare in this country. I get that the current system was largely created by government policy. But you do understand that I am in favor of dismantling the current system and replacing it with something sane.

  • LynchPin1477||

    You seem to be arguing that the current distribution is the fairest possible one.

    Yep, that is why we come here and bitch so much. Because we love the current system so much! Hate = Love

  • sarcasmic||

    The question is how do YOU tell the difference--you're the moral busybody about such things.

    You are the one who wants to forcibly take wealth from those you feel do not deserve it so you can hand it out to those who you feel do, and I'm the moral busybody?

    You seem to be arguing that the current distribution is the fairest possible one.

    No. I have not made that claim.

    That you are wholly unconcerned with human well-being (favoring bullshit plutocracy-serving "principles" instead) is the most important point for me.

    Because I do not approve of government sanctioned theft in the form of wealth redistribution, I am the bad guy. Yeah. Sure. Thief.

    I get that the current system was largely created by government policy.

    But you said it was the fault of capitalism. Oh, I get it! You were lying!

    So you're a liar and a thief. And you wonder why honest people despise you.

  • Tony||

    You are the one who wants to forcibly take wealth from those you feel do not deserve it so you can hand it out to those who you feel do

    And you don't? Like it or not, subsidies for the poor already exist. Since for some bizarre reason we can treat the status quo as the fairest possible distribution, eliminating those programs is thus like imposing a tax on the poor. You want to take what the poor currently have so the rich can get a tax cut. You want to take from the poor and give to the rich.

    I know you want to argue that because government serves as a middleman, that money actually belongs to the rich, but now you're making a moral assertion about the current distribution, which means I'm right: you think the current distribution is unfair and unnatural, and that it favors the poor too much. Yes, it's as perverse as it sounds.

    You and every other libertarian only cares about the unfairness of the distribution when it comes to poor people getting away with loot. Why does it never cross your mind that the rich can also game the system in their favor, are in fact quite a bit better at it, and don't need to rely on direct handouts to do it (preferring tax policy)?

  • sarcasmic||

    I support economic liberty so the poor can lift themselves out of the gutter, rather than depending on handouts.

    Do you know how difficult it is for someone to start a small business? Governments ranging from town to state to federal are all standing in the way.

    As I've said before, I'd love to turn my homebrewing hobby into a business. But it is impossible. It's just fucking impossible.

    I'm sure there are legions of poor people who have hobbies that they could turn into successful businesses, but we'll never know because the piles and piles of regulations make it impossible.

    You want to see wealth destroyed by transferring wealth from the rich to the poor.

    I want to see wealth created by allowing the poor to create wealth of their own.

    You want society as a whole to be poorer.

    I want society to be richer.

  • Tony||

    Regulations on selling foodstuffs is a completely separate matter from the provision of a safety net. The latter does not impede anyone's ability to be entrepreneurial; it in fact enhances it, since people are free to work on their venture rather than spending all their time trying to find food to eat.

  • sarcasmic||

    Regulations on selling foodstuffs is a completely separate matter from the provision of a safety net.

    Regulations that make it difficult to start a business adversely affect the poor more than anyone else. They make it difficult to impossible for a poor person to get out of poverty by starting a business.

    The latter does not impede anyone's ability to be entrepreneurial; it in fact enhances it

    Yeah, by taking away all incentives since the moment that person actually expends any effort, they lose their benefits.

    Before I met my wife she was trying to raise a kid on her own, and went to the government for help. They told her that she had to quit one of her jobs before they'd put her in line for assisted living. That's right. They only help those who do not help themselves.

    it in fact enhances it, since people are free to work on their venture rather than spending all their time trying to find food to eat.

    Trying to find food to eat? I spent a half a year homeless. Finding food is the least of an American poor person's worries. There are charities everywhere who will willingly give away food without conditions attached. The only ones who attach conditions are the government people, and their conditions are that you to absolutely nothing to better your situation on your own because one you do, they withdraw any assistance.

    They don't want to help you, they want you to depend on them.

  • Tony||

    They told her that she had to quit one of her jobs before they'd put her in line for assisted living. That's right. They only help those who do not help themselves.

    Another interpretation of this, one that doesn't require making unfounded assumptions about the motivation level of individuals, is that the safety net is too stingy--if your wife was not poor enough to qualify but too poor to make it even with an income, then why is that an argument for making things even stingier?

    I spent a half a year homeless.

    Why were you so lazy?

  • sarcasmic||

    Hey Tony, when did you learn html?

  • Sevo||

    Tony|10.29.13 @ 5:56PM|#
    "The latter does not impede anyone's ability to be entrepreneurial"
    Lie.

  • Sevo||

    Tony|10.29.13 @ 3:15PM|#
    "And you don't?"
    No.

    "eliminating those programs is thus like imposing a tax on the poor"
    Fantasy.

    "government serves as a middleman,"
    Lie.

    "You and every other libertarian only cares about the unfairness of the distribution when it comes to poor people getting away with loot."
    Lie.

    "Why does it never cross your mind that the rich can also game the system in their favor, are in fact quite a bit better at it, and don't need to rely on direct handouts to do it (preferring tax policy)?"
    Why don't you read what's posted here on crony-capitalism, you slimy turd?

  • sarcasmic||

    (Or perhaps there is too much wealth in the hands of the poor, so we should distribute even more upward?)

    It amazes me how stupid people can be. The poor don't have wealth. That's what it means to be poor. Yet stupids like you claim that those who produce wealth are stealing from people who have no wealth to steal. Do you realize how stupid that is? I mean, it's like you're so stupid you don't even know you're stupid.

  • Rufus J. Firefly||

    Tony, I'm shaking my head in disbelief as I type this. YOU'RE THE FUCKING BUSY FUCKING BODY. Not us.

  • Tony||

    That's where you're wrong. You guys are positively obsessed with the idea that some poor mother, somewhere, might be getting too much in subsidies to feed herself. I personally don't give the slightest shit how lazy or productive people are--a safety net is good policy regardless of how people use it.

  • Sevo||

    Tony|10.29.13 @ 3:10PM|#
    ..."I personally don't give the slightest shit how lazy or productive people are--a safety net is good policy regardless of how people use it."

    So long as you can steal my money, you don't.

  • sarcasmic||

    I'd much prefer a situation where that poor mother is able to take her favorite hobby, say she bakes awesome cookies or something, and be able to sell those cookies, lifting herself out of poverty and building a business.

    But no. She can't afford the licenses and fees mandated by government bureaucrats. She can't afford to install a separate kitchen that is only used for the cookies. She doesn't want to give up her pets to make the government inspector happy. Nope. She's stuck.

  • Tony||

    What planet do you live on?

  • RenaD||

    Tony, do you know anything about how businesses work? Home food services like the one sacasmic just described are impossible to start up for all those reasons mentioned and more. A friend of mine is a prolific baker and a damn good one. She would love to work part time providing homemade sweets to local area restaurants, because while many are set up to cook, few are set up to bake. But she can't do it. It's illegal for her to operate out of her home. So she would have to lease or buy a building, all kinds of highly expensive "approved" equipment, liability insurance, yada yada yada, and work more than is necessary just to meet the extra rent/utility/taxes and other bullshit expenses that she otherwise would not incur if she were just left the hell alone and allowed to bake from home.

  • Sevo||

    Tony|10.29.13 @ 5:54PM|#
    "What planet do you live on?"
    Earth.
    What color is the nearest star where you live?

  • Sevo||

    Tony|10.29.13 @ 12:54PM|#
    "The question is how do YOU tell the difference--you're the moral busybody about such things."

    That is not an answer. What is it you do for a living?

  • ||

    You can debate the merits of why we are not fans of government taking over healthcare but its just outrageous that because we want the government to have minimum influence concerning healthcare, we want all the poor people to die.

  • RenaD||

    But, Ed, don't you know? Only progressives really caaaaaaaaaare!!!!

  • Rosemary||

    They want to talk about the rights but not about the responsibilities. Can we say that each person is responsible for their healthcare and old-age pension needs? People love to hear about what their rights are but when they are told that they come with responsibilities, they want the government to handle that part. So now we have a society that looks upon the government as its Sugar Daddy. Whether we work to fulfill our responsibilities or not, Daddy still gives us the goodies. Why bother working? It's always Christmas.

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