Obamacare

New Yorker's John Cassidy on the Real Reason for the Health Care Bill

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Oo, what a giveaway!, as pointed out in this Wall Street Journal editorial:

Mr. Cassidy is more honest than the politicians whose dishonesty he supports. "The U.S. government is making a costly and open-ended commitment," he writes. "Let's not pretend that it isn't a big deal, or that it will be self-financing, or that it will work out exactly as planned. It won't. What is really unfolding, I suspect, is the scenario that many conservatives feared. The Obama Administration . . . is creating a new entitlement program, which, once established, will be virtually impossible to rescind."

Why are they doing it? Because, according to Mr. Cassidy, ObamaCare serves the twin goals of "making the United States a more equitable country" and furthering the Democrats' "political calculus." In other words, the purpose is to further redistribute income by putting health care further under government control, and in the process making the middle class more dependent on government. As the party of government, Democrats will benefit over the long run….

As Mr. Cassidy concludes, "Putting on my amateur historian's cap, I might even claim that some subterfuge is historically necessary to get great reforms enacted."

Cassidy's full piece for The New Yorker which the Journal is quoting, which has many more details on the fantasy of "cost-savings" in the health care bill as it stands.

Hat tip on the link: Dan Gifford.

NEXT: Mandatory Health Insurance Advocates Accuse Republicans of Caving to Insurance Industry

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  1. Well, given the Republicans’ record in recent years, I’m inclined to say the Democrats may be a little disappointed.

    1. It’s official. The Joint Tax Committee informs us that under the terms of the Pelosi health-care bill, “Americans who do not maintain acceptable health insurance coverage and who choose not to pay the bill’s new individual mandate tax (generally 2.5% of income), are subject to numerous civil and criminal penalties, including criminal fines of up to $250,000 and imprisonment of up to five years.”

      http://republicans.waysandmean…..tID=153583

  2. My younger sister, an RN, believes that one of the goals of the Democrats is to make it easier to unionize the nurses. Once unionized, the Democrats will then be able to tithe the nurses pay via union dues.

  3. Why do we support health care reform? Partly because it is the equitable and moral thing to do, but mostly because IT WORKS. Every other advanced nation has proven that government-run systems are better overall.

    We pay 50% more and suffer far more risk than anyone else for health care which is good but not great. That is nothing short of ridiculous.

    1. Fuck off slaver.

      1. But the chains will be light and comfortably padded!

    2. Every other advanced nation has proven that government-run systems are better overall.

      But on the other hand, our government-run systems also pay 50% more for health care indistinguishable from our private sector.

      And yet Chad believes that somehow Medicare is not a good model for what government-run care would look like in this country.

      1. Try Hawaii’s attempt to provide universal health care for its children.

        1. Don’t Oregon and Massachusetts have their own state run “Universal Healthcare”, and aren’t they both bankrupt and undeserving the people who use it?

    3. Healthcare works in other nations, but does it work as well as it could? It’s like a 1956 Dodge with half a million miles on it and a rusted out underbody. Yeah it works, but to suggest we should replace our family sedan with it is ludicrous!

      Those plans worked well when there was a large young population paying for the healthcare of a few elderly. But the population in Europe is aging, and the freebies are getting expensive. So they’re cutting back on coverage. Sometimes drastically. You also have all the efficiency of the USPS coupled with the bedside manner of the DMV.

      If you goal is to help the poor, then give out health vouchers. It’s a tiny fraction of the cost, without the market destroying side effects. Oh wait, that’s the real goal, isn’t it?

      1. I get tired of hearing all the blather about how healthcare in other nations are so superior.

        Those nations don’t exist in a global vacum. The western nations have all been benefiting from military protection welfare from the United States ever since the end of WW2.

        If they had not been getting it they would never have been able to afford ANY of their social welfare programs AND would, not, in fact, even be in existence at all as independent nation states today.

        1. In addition, those health care systems are continuations of the health care systems set up by the Allied military forces in 1945.

        2. “If they had not been getting it they would never have been able to afford ANY of their social welfare programs”

          The irony. It burns.

        3. An important question to ask is, where does medical innovation originate? All those “cheap” Canadian pharmaceuticals are only developed for the profits to be made in the U.S. market. ROW rides free. But when the only for-profit system in the world goes socialist…

          1. You do realize that we are not #1 in terms of private medical R&D spending as a fraction of GDP. I’ll let you do your homework and figure out which nation(s) beat us. They all have nationalized systems, of course.

            1. That’s spending, Chad, not innovation.

    4. Cassidy has fessed up. Why can’t you?

    5. Partly because it is the equitable and moral thing to do

      No, it is not. It is not equitable and moral to force everyone to buy into an insurance regime that they might not agree with. It is not equitable and moral to force everyone to give away to government functionaries the power to decide the prices for drugs and procedures and the wages for doctors and nurses. It is not equitable and moral to incur skads of new government expenses when we’re already in hock to our eyeballs. It is not equitable and moral to turn the Commerce Clause into a dead letter.

      It is inequitble and immoral.

      1. THANK YOU.

        I get so fucking sick of these douchebags who pretend like this is a “moral” cause. There’s absolutely NOTHING moral about this health-care reform. It’s sick and twisted.

        I’m increasingly convinced that not even the intentions of the people pushing it on us are based on what they believe to be moral. It’s a pure power grab that’s going to hurt people in the long run and they know it.

        1. You are welcome.

          1. I concur with Jonas; THANK YOU.

            I appreciate your direct cogent analysis.

    6. Every other advanced nation…

      Blah blah blah. I’m tired of that clich?.
      If every other advanced nation jumps off a bridge, should we?
      If every other advanced nation inserts Q-Tips into their ear canals, should we?

      1. it basically amounts to… “all the cool countries are doing it”

        1. I never charged a single Jew for the healthcare that I provided. Not one.

          You Americans are just plain selfish and evil.

      2. Just about every other advanced nation makes it a criminal offense to question the Holocaust, to say that homosexual acts are immoral, or to suggest that immigration should be restricted. Fortunately, I don’t see a big groundswell of opinion saying that’s a reason for our doing the same.

    7. And why are you feeding me, exactly?

    8. “Every other advanced nation has proven that government-run systems are better overall.”

      Stop pulling bullshit out of your ass.

      1. Chad’s pulling bullshit out because it’s all he has to offer.

    9. How did health care reform work in Hawaii?

    10. The issue is is that these countries dont need to spend really any money on national defense, because they have America to defend them at the drop of a hat.

    11. Hey at least, by not repeating the demostrable lie that uninsured people are subsidized significantly by the rest of us, Chad is implicitly admitting that the uninsured are to be used as milch cows to fund the sick.

    12. A cheap haircut in the UK cost 5 Pounds, or about $8.36. A cheap haircut in the US cost about $12. Is it because the UK has implemented haircut reform?

    13. Partly because it is the equitable and moral thing to do

      Sure, if one has the morality of a beggar or a thief.

  4. Chad is like the kid in my 11th grade English class who used to get furious when I told him that communism doesn’t work. Shut the fuck up, chad.

    1. Maybe Dick Hoste will come and defend him.

    2. Oh, Communism works – it just depends one what it is one really wishes to accomplish.

  5. As Mr. Cassidy concludes, “Putting on my amateur historian’s cap, I might even claim that some subterfuge is historically necessary to get great reforms enacted.”

    So true!

    1. Mach, you took the words right outta my mouth!

      1. Hey, I invented the “big lie.”

        1. Don’t forget me, mein Fuhrer!

          1. What am I, chopped pancetta?

  6. Wow – considering Bismarck a positive. Just wow.

  7. I hear he made some shit-kickin’ bratwurst, robc.

  8. Get yer amateur historian caps here:

    http://www.virtualvillage.com/…..-star.html

  9. A healthy, single, self-employed person in his twenties would have the choice of buying an individual insurance plan for, say, five to six thousand dollars a year (considerably less than that if he were eligible for a subsidy) or paying the fine.

    Im a healthy, single, self-employed person in my 40s and I pay less than $200 per month. That is $2400 per year.

    1. But you’re being give the opportunity to pay so much more. You don’t want to waste an opportunity, do you?

      Sorry, I’m currently experiencing a sarcasm overload.

    2. When I was shopping for it for myself a few months ago I was looking at about 3000K$ a year.

      1. 3 million simoleons?

    3. Won’t be when they add all the minimum requirements to your plan.

      Which they have to, because how else to extract cash from the healthy, to subsidize the unhealthy?
      If you let healthy people buy minimal risk-based insurance, you defeat the purpose, which is to extract excess cash from people to fund other people’s health care.

      1. Yep. Works on the same principle as a state lottery – only in this case buying a ticket is compulsory.

  10. The American left will regret Cassidy’s decision to editorialize while drunk.

    1. Really? Do that many people who are not already outraged care?
      Did anyone not already know what he wrote?

  11. The thing that most pisses me off about these types who sigh, put on their “mature face”, and talk about “necessary subterfuge” is that they seem to scream the loudest about “lies!” when it’s the “great reforms” of the opposing party that are being enacted.

  12. With an healthcare reform argument like that, I can’t tell; is Cassidy fer or agin it?

  13. Warty, communism does work… on paper. As soon as you introduce human beings into the system, it falls apart. It does not account for the facts that most people will try to get more while contibuting less; that some people are corrupt; that corruption increases as power increases; and that where there is money, there is also theft and fraud.

    These are the same reasons national healthcare won’t work. Libertarians are often accused of being too idealistic, but assuming the higher-ups are all pure of heart and incorruptable sounds pretty naive to me.

    1. But Obama is in charge now. Everything is different!

    2. Kevin, that’s a great argument for the free market. In a free market system bad habits and corruption are punished by the market.

      Under a Communist regime, the cheaters and the corrupt are the ones in charge…

      1. “In a free market system bad habits and corruption are punished by the market.”

        On paper. But since the market doesn’t punish theft, murder, embezzlement and the like, a government will be necessary. And a government, once established, will attract people who crave power, and have big ideas for other people’s lives. Even with a vigilant and motivated citizenry, there will be a tendency to push into the economy in ways which undermines the free market — because market behavior is so much more indirect than dicates and regulations, it is easier to believe that markets are “broken” when they don’t produce idealistic results.

        Once the free market is undermined, the resulting distortions will invite additional intervention to fix the side effects of the original intervention. The more role the government plays in picking winners and losers, the more incentive there is for rent-seeking and corruption. Both the public and private sectors become corrupt: the former replaces impartiality and protection of the general welfare with handouts to powerful minority interests, often at the expense of the public; the latter directs resources away from invention and efficiency, to more effective cheating.

        1. and that understanding is why Ben Franklin described the US as “A republic… if we can keep it.”

    3. Agree. As with the H1N1 fiasco, one constantly gets into a savior on a white horse, oops! we don’t have the stuff we said you had to have that we were going to supply, but its not our fault. One could use terrorism, or about a zillion other examples, of the gubermint making itself out to be our saviors.

    4. Warty, communism does work… on paper.

      No it doesn’t.

      1. Uh…that depends on what one is trying to accomplish, doesn’t it.

  14. Kevin,

    No it doesnt. Mises wrote down why it doesnt work “on paper” on paper in 1922.

  15. Well, given the Republicans’ record in recent years, I’m inclined to say the Democrats may be a little disappointed.

    Republicans could, like in ’94, draw the not-long-for-this-country majority of voters who oppose these sort of things, by, y’know, actually opposing them, and they could even undo some bad shit on the strength of that “mandate,” if they want.

    But they don’t. They’ve taken on a nudge-wink role as pressure valve for occasional ineffectual release of fury at the Democrats’ policies, which proceed undisturbed. Good gig, for some of them.

    (“The war,” the drug war, corporate welfare, and all that other supposedly Republican shit libertarians aren’t into, are Democrats’ policies, too. Check the votes.)

    1. Republicans could, like in ’94, draw the not-long-for-this-country majority of voters who oppose these sort of things, by, y’know, actually opposing them, and they could even undo some bad shit on the strength of that “mandate,” if they want.

      But they don’t. They’ve taken on a nudge-wink role as pressure valve for occasional ineffectual release of fury at the Democrats’ policies, which proceed undisturbed. Good gig, for some of them.

      Check the votes.

      And some libertarian voters could, like in ’94, actually “check the votes” and note that, as bad as the Republican are, they are voting against this plan. Same libertarians could also check the voting strength in Congress and note that, unlike ’93, when Republicans unanimously vote against this plan, it still proceeds undisturbed because Democrats have a filibuster-proof majority.

      But they don’t. They’ve taken on a nudge-wink role as a pressure valve for occasional ineffectual release of fury at the Democrats’ policies, which proceed undisturbed thanks to the size of the majorities in Congress, achieved in larger part because libertarians thought that, as bad as the Republicans were, the Democrats couldn’t be worse but are being proved wrong. Good gig, for some of them who would rather be pure and complain, even if it means that the Democrats’ policies proceed undisturbed.

      Republicans are “actually opposing” these sort of things. Given their voting strength, they just don’t matter now. “Undo[ing] some bad shit” is notoriously difficult, for the same reasons that creating bad shit is difficult in our system. Our political system makes change difficult. You have to stop things before they start.

      As bad as the Republicans are, the Democrats are worse. (Except for maybe not raiding pot farms quite as much.) Yet this is in large part because of what voters demand, sadly.

      1. Actually Republicans don’t matter when they are RINO’s either. I mean you have your Olimpia Snow, and the like.

        They like the Dems would vote against it if they are in a contested seat, and if the bill will pass anyways.

        If you had McCain there instead of Obama, you would have the same thing passing, just at a slower rate, and you have no one to vote against to reject socialist policies.

      2. John Thacker – So, just because a few days ago Republicans voted against a Democrat health care plan, you’re willing to forget that during the six years Republicans had control of Congress and the Presidency they increased the size of government and increased government spending???

        What about the Republican health care plan that was introduced as an alternative to the Democrat plan? Why didn’t Republicans simply ask to see where in the Constitution it authorizes the government to involve itself in the health care industry instead of presenting an un-Constitutional plan of their own??

        Ann Coulter once wrote that for liberals, history starts new every day. It seems the same goes for conservatives…

        1. Where do they get it, Constitutionally?
          Both Sen. Casey and Sen. Specter told our Tea Party rep that the power comes from Art.1, Sec.8: “The Congress shall have Power…provide for the common Defense and general Welfare of the United States.” To them, everything they do is for the general welfare. To them, the all the other words of the Constitution are meaningless and superflous. And the Supreme Court apparently agrees.

          1. That’s a complete bullshit argument, and Specter at least knows better.

          2. Nice. Embrace Article 1 Section 8 as your enabler (that pesky little clause 17 notwithstanding) but then basically ignore Article 4 Section 4.

            These people took a solemn oath to support and defend our constitution, an oath administered by a Justice before witnesses, and then go straight to work ignoring it all. Is there a possible bearing false witness charge in there? Sure would be nice.

  16. Kevin, I’m a libertarian because I hate everyone. I’m sure that goes for most of us here. We keep idealists wrapped up in saran wrap in our basements.

    1. Some worthless cunt writes:

      “Kevin, I’m a libertarian because I hate everyone. I’m sure that goes for most of us here.”

      Shut the fuck up, bitch.

      1. You’re trying too hard, cuntface.

        1. Warty, some would say libertarians are idealists. You know, because we adhere to those fantastical ideals of personal responsibility, voluntary charity, and individual freedom.

          1. Be quiet freeforall232, ‘cuntface’ and ‘worthless cunt’ are having a discussion.

              1. Silence!..I keeel you….

  17. robc: By “on paper”, I meant scribbled in crayon on the back of a paper placemat.

    Warty: Just saying what we’re accused of. Personally, I don’t hate everyone, I just don’t trust them.

  18. “communism does work… on paper”

    Which is why Obama will not release his college essays.

  19. People who claim that insurance is the “moral and equitable thing to do” almost invariably think they will get better insurance than they currently have…subsidized by those evil, evil people who make more money than them. It’s only right!

    1. The sad truth.
      Also, Chad who has admitted that he does make lots of money, and keeps most of it. He would like to contribute more, but feels he can’t unless he and others like him are forced to by government.

      Those of us who oppose the use of force are selfish regardless of how much we willingly contribute.

      1. I mean those of us who oppose the use of force to enact inefficient, corrupt and illiberal government mandates are selfish, regardless of how much we contribute.
        Because in theory these mandates could help someone in need, thought most evidence indicates that the mandates cause more harm than good to all.

        1. When I was donating my money directly to people, they get 100% of my donation. Look up the loss ratio for your money that is confiscated (taxed) and ends up helping someone else. In some bureaucracies/agencies, the loss is as much as 80 cents on the dollar.

          So you can either give someone 100$ directly, or, be taxed 100$ and hope 20$ of it makes it to someone.

          How moral.

          1. I think it’s pretty moral – hey, I need my government job. I can’t make this kind of money at Jack in the Crack.

            1. Besides…Jack in the Crack says I actually have to do something when I show up.

              1. Loosen your belt — I can’t breathe in here!

  20. I thought it was all for the “Greater Good?”

    1. Actually, it’s To Serve Man.

  21. The Obama Administration . . . is creating a new entitlement program, which, once established, will be virtually impossible to rescind.

    This is not exactly news to me. Is it news to anyone else?

    1. Noboby with an IQ above room temperature.

    2. But think of all the lovely new government jobs it will create – all of them subsidized by those who don’t have government jobs. I like my job – I get paid the same salary every month no matter how much or how little I do. You don’t think I do anymore than I have to, do you? I mean, I used to when I first started, but my co-workers gave me a hard time because I was making them look bad. So I just slacked off a bit and quit rocking the boat. Things are so much easier for me now – they may even hire me an assistant to do all some of the work for me. It’s a nice day in the neighborhood.

  22. Re: Anonymous,

    But since the market doesn’t punish theft, murder, embezzlement and the like, a government will be necessary.

    Even if the premise were true, it does not follow that you would need a government – i.e. a non sequitur. If for the sake of argument the premise that the market does not punish fraud, and considering that the market is nothing more than the myriads of mutually beneficial exchanges between individuals, then it follows that the individuals would not regard punishing fraud as important, so how could a body made of the SAME INDIVIDUALS, all of a sudden, want to punish fraud, just because the individuals decide to call that body “government”? Makes no sense.

    So either your premise is fundamentally wrong (which it is, since it is obvious you did not give it too much though, i.e. you d are not thinking at all), or if you premise is correct, it would be irrelevant to have a government.

    1. Your point is accurate, if you leave out out the question of power. The bottom line is that without people coming together to pool their strength to oppose these things, most will get away with it, and degrade the effectiveness and fairness of the system. Considering that in it’s most basic form, a government is simply people getting together to accomplish a task, in this case, stop fraud and theft, there is nothing inherently bad about having a government. It is clearly a risk, however.

      1. Re: Aelhues,

        I will answer each point you make:

        The bottom line is that without people coming together to pool their strength to oppose these things, most will get away with it, and degrade the effectiveness and fairness of the system.

        You readily make the assumption that fraud, or theft, or murder, require the pooling of resources to be fought. This begs the question – what’s the pooling of resources? To what degree? Why would Theft, Murder, or Fraud, require the pooling of resources in order to defend against it?

        that in it’s most basic form, a government is simply people getting together to accomplish a task, in this case, stop fraud and theft, there is nothing inherently bad about having a government.

        Here we have a problem of concepts – what’s government? The mere group of people to accomplish a task? A club or a church or a corporation or even a group of high school students would do the same, yet nobody calls it “government”.

        Government is a body of people that have by either tacit or explicit consent from the rest of the population, to enjoy the monopoly of force or the initiation of force. Whether this initiation of force is focused on deterring fraud or murder or theft is immaterial – you do not need to initiate force in order to deter a person from stealing. You do not need to initiate force to stop a person from defrauding you. You certainly do not need to initiate force to stop a person from mudering you. So why would you need to create a body of persons with a monopoly on aggression to protect YOU from aggression?

        1. Government is a body of people that have by either tacit or explicit consent from the rest of the population, to enjoy the monopoly of force or the initiation of force.

          A moral government would only have a monopoly on the retaliatory use of force – it would not be given the power to initiate the use of force.

  23. “degrade the effectiveness and fairness of the system”

    Life isn’t fair.

    1. Obviously, but we should still attempt to promote a fair system. And by fair, I mean fair, not equal.

  24. But can’t you admit it is a pretty good prima facie case? There must be some explanation for the vast majority of countries’ having it. If it’s not because it’s such a good thing, then some other explanation is called for. From Google to eBay to diners, popularity is commonly taken as an indicator of worthiness, and other things being equal is decisive. And you can’t use “because it’s a bad idea and people are stupid” as the reason, because (1) that proves too much (everything bad is good & vice versa), and (2) there’s an infinite number of bad things people could conceivably do, but only a certain number of things they actually do in large numbers, and this is one of them.

    1. At one time or another, I’ve used this exact argument to defend “Project Runway”, the band Creed, “The Blair Witch Project”, and “The Da Vinci Code”. But I’ve been convinced that each of these things is a bad idea and that people are stupid.

    2. Re: Robert,

      There must be some explanation for the vast majority of countries’ having it.

      Many countries also have government-controlled water systems, which would give an indication of the “popularity” of such schemes, right? Ad Populum arguments are not valid, Robert.

      The problem with your thinking is that you are conflating “governments” with the people that support them. Government-controlled health care may be popular with Governments, but that does not mean they are ipso facto inherently popular.

      To give you an example: Most countries have public school systems. Few people, I am willing to bet, would put their hands on the fire for the reputation of such school systems compared to private institutions, yet here they are. Is the reason behind this fact the popularity of such systems among men, or is it more likely that the popularity only exists within the bureaucracies?

      1. So explain why gov’t-run health care is so nearly universally popular with gov’ts, yet gov’t-run shoe stores and auto mechanic shops are not. Anyone who says they want to follow the example of countries X, Y, and Z on health care can’t have their argument undercut by saying that the gov’t does everything in those countries, because it doesn’t. So there must be something different about health care.

        Ad populum arguments may not be valid — although more often than not, they are, or the marketplace wouldn’t support improvements in goods & services — but they certainly beat anti populum arguments. Otherwise, you’d want to jump off a cliff because you observed that nobody else was doing it!

        The only good undercutting of the kind we need I’ve seen of this point here is the one raised by someone that many of those gov’t-run health care systems were installed by historic accident, as a result of war & occupation. That doesn’t cover most cases, but some.

    3. “From Google to eBay to diners, popularity is commonly taken as an indicator of worthiness”

      Obama used to be popular. Now, not so much.

      1. And never was he “worthy”.

      2. Negro slavery was once “popular” in some places, I’ver heard.

    4. Other things popular with Canadians besides socialized medicine: the Tragically Hip, curling, Labatt beer.

      Other things popular with the British besides socialized medicine: Oasis, boiling meat, Simon Cowell.

      Other things popular with the French besides socialized medicine: Jerry Lewis, rudeness, chain-smoking.

      I’m not convinced, buddy.

    5. Other advanced countries don’t have 4 decades of antigovernment propaganda influencing a substantial chunk of their population.

      Once all the teabaggers die off we’ll be able to settle into a comfortable mixed economy with a strong social safety net like everyone else.

      1. If only anywhere there was antigovernment propaganda to match the progovernment propaganda that permeates all.

      2. You’ve always had a “mixed” ecconomy in this country, you historically illiterate nitwit. And anti-government views have been influencing the population for several hundred years. Ever hear of the American Revolution? Or was that just a footnote in your veddy veddy British edjumacation?

        1. That was for Tony. (damn threaded comments)

    6. 1) crack used to be so popular people killed to get it.

      2) as written above, we are funding the protection of all the example countries.

      1. (1) Crack was popular for a much shorter time than gov’t health service has been.

        (2) There are many countries that could be given as examples where that would not apply. Almost all of Latin America, for instance. If they would be better off without, why did they install it and why haven’t they given it up? The answer can’t be statism pure & simple, because they haven’t done similarly for, say, restaurants or dry cleaning.

        1. What economies of Latin America do we want to emulate Robert?
          For that matter what tradition of individual liberty in Latin America do we think that we should emulate by giving up some of our freedoms?

    7. Robert,

      The question you need to ask is, “Who is the decision maker?”

      The popularity of eBay is a good prima facie case for ebay being a useful service for people who want to shop online. The large number of countries with government health care makes a good prima facie case that government health care is useful to the ruling elites who have chosen to institute it.

  25. From Google to eBay to diners, popularity is commonly taken as an indicator of worthiness

    This is how I know that McDonalds is better than Whole Foods.

    1. And Miley Cyrus is the greatest singing talent in the world.

      1. Popularity is probably a better indicator of “convenience” than quality.

  26. You know, at this point I’d just as soon this country collapse. I don’t care if my 401K goes to zero. I don’t care anymore. The main intentions of government anywhere is that no one under any circumstances be able to escape it. That is their great dread, that anyone of us not be beholden and dependent on it. I really hope that that Trends Research guy is dead nuts on with his dire prognosis. What’s wrong with sticking Q-tips in your ear canal???

    1. Your first mistake: reading stuff by the Trends Research guy.

      In all seriousness, I sort of agree. I don’t think there’s any way of avoiding catastrophic consequences arising from our monetary policies of the past 8 years. ObamaCare is just a way of sending this runaway train over the cliff a little bit faster.

      1. There’s nothing wrong with sticking Q-tips in your ear canal unless you stick them in so deep that you rupture your tympanic membrane.

          1. Clean out your ears. Just be careful.

            1. I have been using Q tips for years now. Have I been playing Russian roulette with my ears? Simple hygiene is dangerous?

        1. Uh, if you aren’t careful you can end up with an ear canal impacted with wax. That can lead to infection and other problems.

          1. Ear drops and cotton balls typically clean out wax in a safer way than Q-tips.

    2. Feed the humans into the Oba-maw.

  27. Nor is there any reason why the state should not assist the individuals in providing for those common hazards of life against which, because of their uncertainty, few individuals can make adequate provision. Where, as in the case of sickness and accident, neither the desire to avoid such calamities nor the efforts to overcome their consequences are as a rule weakened by the provision of assistance ? where, in short, we deal with genuinely insurable risks ? the case for the state’s helping to organize a comprehensive system of social insurance is very strong. . . . Wherever communal action can mitigate disasters against which the individual can neither attempt to guard himself nor make the provision for the consequences, such communal action should undoubtedly be taken, . . .

  28. Nor is there any reason why the state should not assist the individuals in providing for those common hazards of life against which, because of their uncertainty, few individuals can make adequate provision.

    Most people have insurance, so it is not ‘few individuals’.

    I look forward to the public reaction when doctors stop taking patients who only have public insurance. Will the government enslave the doctors and force them to treat people?

    1. Probably – but it won’t be called slavery. It will be referred to as “public service.”

    2. Will the government enslave the doctors and force them to treat people?

      Do you doubt it for a minute?

      Isn’t there a call for that to already happen with doctors who don’t take medicare patients?

      I heard on a liberal radio station that doctors who don’t take medicare patients should have their medical licenses revoked.

      In the same vein there wasn’t there a judgement that no pharmacy could refuse to carry abortion pills? I don’t remember what the outcome, but some of the socialist posters here were excusing that gigantic authoritarian move.

  29. “Will the government enslave the doctors and force them to treat people?”

    Obamacare II – the Sequel

  30. Where do you start with somebody who says, “I regard an expansion of the government safety net as ethically essential”? Sort of like, “My ethics demand that YOU pay HER a subsidy!! There. Now I feel more comfortable in my egalitarianism.”

    Bismarck? Public education an essential feature of modern society? This is such utter tripe.

    Does anybody else find the New Yorker’s practice of using umlauts in words like “pre?xisting” and “co?perate” really asinine?

    1. Yes it is asinine, no matter what the next poster says.

  31. Those are diereses, and no, not asinine, I wish it were done more widely. Cooped up in this coop, studying zoology near the zoo, I reiterate, I wish it were more widely practiced.

    OK, I’m really a renter.

  32. Everyone calm down about “doctor enslavement”! It is virtually impossible with homo sapiens serving as physicians. Here’s why – no matter how intolerable the lifestyle of a physician “could” become for those already practicing, the one fatal flaw is that no one will then sign-up for medical school (with the exception of trustfund baby sado-masochists). If your immediate (& understandable) counter is that then the government will force individuals to enter (like a draft), unlike tha armed forces, it is now at the point of impossibility to actually memorize ALL the information one must know to become a competent primary care doc UNDER DURESS (let alone a specialist). There’s no time to look up all the information necessary (w/ the # of patients needing care now +/- emergencies). Each new year the information an M.D. is expected to memorize increases exponentially (due to research findings), yet the duration of med school stays at 4 years. (Healthcare costs would really skyrocket if we added on another year.)

    So.. before the US ever reaches a point where the government decides to force individuals to become doctors b/c no one wants to enter the field…

    1. Most physicians would have left the country by then for greener pastures.

    2. The non-AMA physicians (i.e., 80% of liscensed docs) would probably have attempted cash-only service (where the patient then haggles with the public/private insurer for reimbursement) OR (if forced as a last resort) held a massive strike that would probably result in a second American Revolution, toppling the problematic gov’t officials screwing the pooch.

    The biggest concern should be the possible “unintended consequences” of whatever bill is passed. If consequences include hyperinflation/bankrupting the entire US, then you better hope that China is in a forgiving mood about losing the rest of its “return from investment”. Chances are probably not & then you’d have to worry about not even having the money to buy petro, food & water to power the armed forces so you could mount any form of military defense. Oh, and don’t expect any form of international aid pouring in from any other country considering that most hate the US either out of past jealousy or past wars.

    Whatever you are supporting in terms of healthcare reform, just be certain you can predict any side-effects b/c the current US deficit makes it almost impossible to avert further financial catastrophe.

  33. Those are diereses, and no, not asinine, I wish it were done more widely. Cooped up in this coop, studying zoology near the zoo, I reiterate, I wish it were more widely practiced.

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