I See Your Schwarz Is as Big as Mine*

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Granted, it's only one proposal but…

People who refuse to obtain health insurance could be tracked down by the state or a private contractor, enrolled in a plan and fined until they pay their premiums under one proposal Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger's administration is considering as part of his vision for covering all Californians.

You'll co-pay, and you'll like it, pal.

(*Slightly-butchered original headline alluding to Space Balls amended after posting.)

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  1. Now, let’s see how well he handles it.

  2. I have to admit that in principle, I’d rather be tracked down and forced to pay for my own health care than tracked down and forced to pay for someone else’s.

  3. What he didn’t mention is that the hunting will be done by assassin robots from the future.

  4. So we will be forced to pay for health insurance that many either don’t need or can’t afford, kinda like a being born tax, and then we will be taxed on our carbon dioxide emission, kinda like a braething tax.

    It makes you long for the good old freedom loving days of the Soviet Union.

  5. …don’t get me wrong. I prefer not be tracked down and forced to do anything.

  6. I have to admit that in principle, I’d rather be tracked down and forced to pay for my own health care than tracked down and forced to pay for someone else’s.

    Too bad he’s not proposing that. He’s proposing to track you down and force you to pay for your health INSURANCE, which goes to pay for MY health care.

  7. Ken:
    You are already.
    In 2005, New York healthcare providers, hospitals and ancillary services provided 2.8 billions dollars (at full charges) in free health care. Those compassionate and concerned providers were then paid 3.5 billion dollars from Federal, State and other sources for providing that “free” care. Not to mention that most of the care could have been paid for by the patients themselves at reasonable rates but when health care providers are being paid 125% of there full charges there really is no motivation to provide appropriate or cost effective services to the uninsured.
    “Universal Healthcare,” like government education, is simply a means of putting more money into thee hands of health care providers, unions and bureaucrats.

    Of the 15% who do not have healthcare only 2% are chronically uninsured or uninsurable. That is the problem we should be focusing on, not beating more money out of healthy people.

  8. That headline…. Doesn’t schwarz mean black in German? If so, what point are you trying to make here?

  9. Anyone remember the plot of Lex Luther in the first superman movie to nuke the fault line and have California fall into the ocean….why was he the villain again?

  10. I think it’s a tie between Ken at 4:10 and Timothy at 4:11.

  11. Miss Tess-MOCKER!

    Good question. I know I was a-rootin’ for him. But then, we’d have all those smug and all-knowing Nevadans to deal with.

  12. ‘If you don’t buy health insurance, we will kill you.’

    Now where have I heard that before…?

    Meathead

    If you can’t figure it out for yourself, we aren’t going to tell you.

  13. What they are trying to do is capture the free loaders. 1/3 of people without health insurance make more than 50k a year. 1/6 of them make more than 75k a year.

    Take a single 25 yo bar tender making 55k a year. No insurance – why not? he’d rather spend the money on rims, or snowboarding, or burning man. Fine – but if you show up at the emergency room and your credit card is declined – you’re on your own.

  14. joshua:
    I thought Lex was a little ambitious.

    On the other hand, I’m still pissed that Jack Bauer stopped that nuke from hitting San Fran. But then I’ve already been there and as a white, heterosexual, non-liberal, gun owning, plastic bag using, cigarette smoking man, I don’t think I am allowed back.

  15. “Anyone remember the plot of Lex Luther in the first superman movie to nuke the fault line and have California fall into the ocean….why was he the villain again?”

    Ah the old California falling into the ocean concept. Such a wonderful understanding of seismology those screenwriters had.

    Of course, I’m sure most people realize the absurdity of that concept but as a Californian who travels around the country quite a bit, I hear that one a few times from people who really think it could happen. They also think earthquakes cause gigantic chasms to open up in the ground and swallow people whole thanks to Hollywood.

  16. So, Lone Star, now you see that evil will always triumph because good is dumb.

  17. What they are trying to do is capture the free loaders. 1/3 of people without health insurance make more than 50k a year. 1/6 of them make more than 75k a year.

    The… WHAT? A person that does not have health “insurance” (really, Ponzi-like payment system for health services) is a freeloader? What if the person is healthy?

    If I do not have life insurance, am I a freeloader? If I do not have boat insurance, am I a free loader? If I am **ALIVE**, I must be a freeloader. Fascism is certainly not dead, by the looks of it.

    Fine – but if you show up at the emergency room and your credit card is declined – you’re on your own.

    That does not mean the person is a freeloader. Either you did not read what you wrote, or you are misrepresenting human action and decision making. A person that decides not to pay for insurance is simply not buying that service, period.

    I still do not see why the government should “track down” people without health insurance and make them pay for a service – that sounds like a rackett.

  18. “thanks to Hollywood.”

    Pepe

    I think you’ve just explained why people think that way.

    I remember an essay in US News & World Report that huffed about 60%+ of TV murderers being white businessmen while the percentage of actual murders committed by businessmen was 2%.

  19. If I do not have life insurance, am I a freeloader?

    Yes, if you have debts or kids.

    If I do not have boat insurance, am I a free loader?

    Yes, if you use public waterways and cause property damage or injury and can’t afford to pay for such.

  20. He’s proposing to track you down and force you to pay for your health INSURANCE, which goes to pay for MY health care.

    Well, it’ll probably be a wash, since with all the money the state govt will save by not having to provide free health care, they’ll be able to lower your taxes.

    Right?

  21. Also, I hate when my Schwartz gets twisted!

  22. “Yes, if you use public waterways and cause property damage or injury and can’t afford to pay for such.”

    Actually, I’d argue that you’re a free loader if you put your property in harm’s way and don’t insure it against damage–that you’re a freeloader if you expect everyone else on God’s green earth to insure your property for you.

  23. Francisco:

    Would you agree that if you walk into a hospital near death, and have no money, and no insurance, the hospital should be under no obligation to treat you?

    I don’t think they should track people down. When you are admitted to the hospital, the hospital computers should query the IRS computers and if you made more than 45k, and you don’t have insurance, and you can’t pay on the spot – then they have security escort you to the edge of the property and leave you there.

    I’d be 100% in favor of that.

  24. hypothetical:

    I am a resident of Kalifornia. The insurance nazis are after me. My vehicle is environmentally muscular.

    Do I out run them, or pay the premium with the money Im saving on fuel?

  25. Right on, Jmo! Makes perfect sense, in all sorts of ways.

  26. Not having an insurance policy does not mean you are not insured. You then become self insured. If my car breaks down, I have to pay to fix it, that is, I’m self insured. If my kid kid needs a new pair of shoes, I’m self insured. If I damage your property I am responsible to pay for the repair/replacement. Oh, oh, here comes the rebuttal. Yeah, but some people won’t, blah, blah, blah. Now that is a different problem, that problem is the one that needs to be resolved. Right now the government is quick to pick up the tab, e.g. Katrina. Why am I responsible for hurricane damage when I live 1500 miles away? I don’t expect you to pay for my car insurance, my medical insurance, my life insurance and I damned sure don’t want to pay for someone else’s neglect or wanton disregard of personal responsibility.

  27. I remember an essay in US News & World Report that huffed about 60%+ of TV murderers being white businessmen

    Ah, they watched Law & Order, too, I see.

  28. If I do not have life insurance, am I a freeloader?

    Yes, if you have debts or kids.

    If I do not have boat insurance, am I a free loader?

    Yes, if you use public waterways and cause property damage or injury and can’t afford to pay for such.

    What the FUCK?!

  29. Bitches are freeloaders if they don’t pay more for the same coverage as men. I shouldn’thave to
    pay for pap smears pregnancy pussy checkups and whatever little mental problem women need happy pills for.

  30. Im thinkin the happy pills are to help them deal with dick smoken shit bags like you.

  31. I shouldn’thave to pay for pap smears pregnancy pussy checkups and whatever little mental problem women need happy pills for.

    Im thinkin the happy pills are to help them deal with dick smoken shit bags like you.

    However badly the original comment was worded “pap smears” and the like would probably be a lot cheaper if they were paid for out of pocket and not rolled into “medical insurance” “premiums”.

  32. And by ‘”pap smears” and the like’ I mean routine checkups including (but not limited to) EKGs, stress tests, PSA and other prostate checks and routine annual checkups.

    If insurance were limited to unlikely events like cancer*, broken bones and heart attacks* it would be a lot cheaper.

    *Before a certain age that is. At some point in one’s life these become very likely events and no longer “insurable”. But then that’s the very thing noone wants to face, isn’t it?

  33. Where can one buy insurance that will make whole whoever is damaged when someone posts something assailable on the intertubes?

  34. Take a single 25 yo bar tender making 55k a year.

    Is it really possible to make that much money serving drinks?

  35. I’ve had several friends who work 3 nights a week making $60k (much of it under the table) bartending.

  36. “hypothetical:

    I am a resident of Kalifornia. The insurance nazis are after me. My vehicle is environmentally muscular.

    Do I out run them, or pay the premium with the money Im saving on fuel?”

    My uncle has a county place that no on knows about….

  37. bob,

    red barchetta…nice

  38. “Socialized Universal Health Care” is pretty much inevitable at this point.

    We dont have markets in healthcare as it is with insurance beng a PROBLEM not a solution. So much is tied to working for the “right” employer. If you don’t you better make BIG BUCKS to self-insure or pay the high individual premiums. Anyone middle class who doesnt work for the “right” place or qualify for Medicaid is screwed because there are no real prices for medical services. You get the “uninsured discount” of + 500%.

    The only conclusions I can see are 1. No one has insurance at all. Ban health insurance. That’s not going to happen. or 2. EVERYONE has insurance, and you are going to like it.

    And sure it’s not libertarian, but I can only imagine the state mandated insurance is going to cost less ( “cost” being the price on the actual bill which is what “regular” people really care about. I’m not arguing there aren’t other costs being paid somewhere else). And people who cant get health insurance now because they dont work for the right company or the right union can actually get it.

    I’m not saying it’s right, but it makes sense.

  39. “Take a single 25 yo bar tender making 55k a year. No insurance – why not? he’d rather spend the money on rims, or snowboarding, or burning man. Fine – but if you show up at the emergency room and your credit card is declined – you’re on your own.”

    Or maybe he should be charged a realistic fee and not charged extra for not having insurance or punished for making too much to be a REAL freeloader on Medicaid,etc.

    I dont understand what makes “health care” any different than rent, groceries, going to the mechanic,etc. You know, products and services people pay money for on a regular basis.

    I dont get charged $150 for a pound of bananas because I don’t have Food Insurance. I dont understand the difference.

    Maybe I’m just an idiot.

  40. Annual checkups? What real guy has annual checkups? Most of them haven’t been near a doctor in decades.

  41. “I dont understand what makes “health care” any different than rent, groceries, going to the mechanic,etc. You know, products and services people pay money for on a regular basis.”

    Because the government has enacted all sorts of rules and created all sorts of forced subsidy programs that make it so.

    Hospitals are required by law to treat people that show up at emergency rooms whether they can pay or not.

    At the grocery store or the auto shop, if you don’t pay, you don’t get the goods.

    Now if all the existing government intereference were unwound and health care became just another consumer commodity, then we wouldn’t have to worry about being forced to pay for somebody else’s healthcare.

    But the political chances of that happening are just about zero.

  42. “Would you agree that if you walk into a hospital near death, and have no money, and no insurance, the hospital should be under no obligation to treat you?”

    It is under no obligation just as any other business is under no obligation to give me anything – it is called a “voluntary transaction” for a reason.

    What the hospital can do is give me treatment and bill me later, or tell me to seek the help of charities that cater to poor people that cannot afford hospital care. But to BULLY hospitals into giving care no matter what has driven the price of healthcare to ridiculous levels, precisely because of people using ad misericordiam arguments.

  43. “When you are admitted to the hospital, the hospital computers should query the IRS computers and if you made more than 45k, and you don’t have insurance, and you can’t pay on the spot – then they have security escort you to the edge of the property and leave you there.”

    And that is much better than simply asking me if I can pay, and gving me choices of payment… nice.

  44. Radley,

    It’s “SchwarTz”.

  45. Universal healthcare is one of the many slippery slopes to tyrrany. By insisting we all pay for each other, we start to regulate behavior to reduce costs. Everyone becomes a criminal–cops, lawyers, judges, and politics proliferate. After this productivity of free individuals cease (including medical research, production and provision). Finally, we are no healthier (in fact much sicker), and certainly no more free…

  46. Nearly every mandatory medical insurance scheme I’ve seen (and I haven’t looked a The Terminator’s) requires TOO MUCH INSURANCE.

    People expect, and politicians seem to encourage, covering most or all costs of health care by an “insurance policy,” including visits to the doctor for rather trivial things, like aches and pains and colds and flus. In the last two years, I went to the doctor’s office for three separate events: jaw pain (TMJ), chest pain (pleurisy, probably misdiagnosed), and an injured wrist. Since my medical insurance for these events covered emergency room visits but NOT clinic visits, I paid out of pocket, out of savings.

    This is a rational way to pay. But most people want THESE items, too, covered by insurance.

    Insurance is for the personally rare health disasters, NOT personally common events, such as most people’s annual illnesses. As long as insurance means “payment for everything” it will lead to very incentives for both consumers and providers.

    Other than the liberty issue, I would not at all mind being forced to pay for catastrophic medical care. But being forced to pay for insurance that covers everything is being forced to save money for some medical care in the least efficient manner possible. Savings are for banks that offer interest. Not insurance companies.

    The move to set up tax-free Medical IRAs is the only bright spot on the medical industry horizon.

    The move to force insurance on everybody strikes me as crazy. It’s the kind of proposal that people cook up who only bother to look at the problem from a narrow purview.

  47. Oops: that should read “very BAD consequences” . . . I’d proofread these things but the PREVIEW feature no longer works on my Camino browser. Don’t know why.

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