Obamacare

Matt Welch on C-SPAN's "Washington Journal" at 7:30 AM EDT Saturday to Talk French & U.S. Health Care

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Because what better things do you have to do at the crack of the weekend? Subject will be this column, which has provoked some interesting reaction from Kevin Carson and Stephan Kinsella, among others. Show will last a half-hour, and we'll be taking phone calls.

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  1. Sorry but that dude is about as dumb as the day is long!

    RT
    http://www.online-privacy.th.tc

  2. We know Matt likes french healthcare and he maintains that he is not a hypocrite because “My wife earns most of her income in France, and we are more than duly taxed in both countries, thank you very much.” I want to know if he receives any double taxation relief? If so, is France or the US funding his government public healthcare ?

    1. He pays taxes in both countries, what more do you want? In fact he is not using half as much of the social services that he is paying for in France becuase he lives in America.
      Just admit that other countries do things better than Americans, especially in health care. Yes we have fancy drugs and fancy procedures, you probably want to have cancer here than in France (just hope the cancer does not put you out of work) but we fail to recognize the cost of the dynamism of the American system. Because it is so dynamic, people at the fringes are left to fend for themselves. American system does not have security. Even if we may have jobs and the “free” healh care benefits, the health care security is premised on the security of your job and in this dynamic American economy, that does not mean much.
      Republicans need to seriously debate how much we are willing to trade for security. The French made their choice, they prefer security to dynamism, it appears to work for them. Over here, we even refuse admit that health care system leave people feeling unsecure, at least the democrats are trying to work on it, although through misguided ideas. Republicans had 8 years, and the best they can come up with is death panels and “don’t touch my medicare” debates. With the ability to filibuster in the senate, they have the power to shape the debate, push through free market reforms. What do they do instead? They grandstand and act like the scorned lover while Rome is burning.

      1. For the record, McCain ran on the idea of disconnecting healthcare benefits from employment. His idea was to drop the tax deductibility of all employer-based health insurance and give everyone (including self-employed, unemployed, etc.) a tax credit to help them afford insurance. Not a perfect plan, by any measure, but certainly better than our current system and Obamacare.

        I wonder how many people wish they could go back and vote for McCain? (not trying to be snarky, I’m really curious).

        1. I’ll start wishing for McCain if Obama goes crazy and invades Iran and some other nearby country.

          If Obama manages to stay away from starting crazy wars the current ones will hopefully finish playing out.

  3. Crazyfish, “Just admit that other countries do things better than Americans, especially in health care.” I ADMIT IT. I guess you have never read any of my posts on healthcare. Please read them in the comment sections of “Why I Prefer French Health Care” or “reasontv-a-true-tale-of-canadian Health Care”. My post here is about the “do as I say not as I do” position that I observe as a precursor to being Libertarian. John Stossel advocated that government should be staying out of mortgages but he himself took advantage of a government guarantee program for his beach front property. Matt welch advocated no public health insurance but he receives care from a government healthcare program. My question was about tax relief. Which begs the question: Does he receive any tax relief and thus is using public healthcare via the generosity of American taxpayers?

    1. When have I advocated “no public heath insurance”?

      On the other hand, I have *probably* advocated against rent control (“stabilization”) while nonetheless enjoying it at various residences. Though one could also point out that I have also experienced the *negative* side effects of rent control; a.k.a. artificially limited and physically deteriorating housing stock.

      As to your question, we file joint tax returns here in America. They are generally beyond most human comprehension. Whether and how much (usually “how much”) we are given “credit” for the taxes my wife has withheld from her pay stubs depends on all kinds of formulae. At any rate, she is then taxed on *top* of that, and unrecoverably so, in France.

      At any rate, if you want to believe that American taxpayers are footing my doctor visits in France, more power to ya.

  4. Matt, the question was do you receive relief for double taxation? yes ___ no___.(It makes little difference how much you are credited. Just as it makes no difference on how much of a bailout Mr. Stossel received from the feds or should I say the taxpayers) So do you believe in public healthcare? yes___ no___. I am just trying to define what it means to be Libertarian.

    1. My answers to those questions have nothing to do with what it means to be a libertarian, let alone a Libertarian. And frankly you seem considerably less interested in figuring out what libertarianism is than you do in being able to shout HYPOCRITE! So I’ll beat you to it: HYPOCRITE!

      As to your direct questions, I (unlike plenty or even most libertarians) think the state probably needs to continue playing a role in either the provision or guarantee of health care to certain classes of people. However, I (like plenty and probably most libertarians) *also* think that we need to break the link between employment and insurance, hack away at the massive regulations on insurance companies (rather than double down on them), look to pare back if not end (rather than double down on) various existing health care entitlements, open up cross-border competition in the provision of insurance, put a stick of dynamite under many of the rigid health-care industry licensing systems, speed up the drug-approval process, let pharmacists sell more stuff over the counter, and in general transform health care into an individually driven, hyper-consumer-oriented industry, instead of a top-down bureaucracy that disappoints many and costs 10% more money every year.

      And while I appreciate you subjecting my taxes to a simple check/uncheck box, allow me to suggest two things: 1) Unless you are married to a furriner, or are some kind of tax professional, I doubt you have any idea as to the head-spinning complexity of filing a joint return covering two countries whose tax laws (especially those governing joint-filing binationals) change constantly. Beyond that, 2) what is this “relief” you speak of? Let’s say my wife makes 100 Euros gross, and takes home 70. In our joint filing (as far as I understand it), she is credited with having paid 30 Euros tax, which means Uncle Sam will chivalrously not tax her *another* 30 dollars on the same pile of income. Is that “relief,” in your language?

      Anyway, none of this matters, I suspect, to either of us. If my 1994 car qualified for Cash For Clunkers (it didn’t, because it gets too good gas mileage), and if I was the type of person who bought new cars, you are damned right that I would have gotten that free money from the government, even though I think Cash For Clunkers is absolutely asinine policy. We are all of us–and you too–surrounded by government policies we disagree with. Did liberals send back the $700 tax rebate check that George W. Bush mailed them in 2001 or whatever? Hell no, they didn’t. Humans use the imperfect machine they live in to maximize or at least enhance their own situation, and only the purest of the pure (and/or the insane) carefully pick through each and every of the thousands of interactions with government to make sure it is 100% consistent with their declared worldviews.

  5. Hypocrite? Don’t be so sensitive! I think these ideas are great. In fact, this is how I received my healthcare: “I … think that we need to break the link between employment and insurance,…”and in general transform health care into an individually driven, hyper-consumer-oriented industry”. I think it is great that you are a libertarian and practices what you preach. Don’t tell me this was just lip service? “Unless you are married to a furriner”: yes, I am. .”I doubt you have any idea as to the head-spinning complexity of filing a joint return covering two countries whose tax laws (especially those governing joint-filing binationals) change constantly.”Your doubt is not warranted because we do family taxes in two countries. In our joint filing (as far as I understand it), she is credited with having paid 30 Euros tax, which means Uncle Sam will chivalrously not tax her *another* 30 dollars on the same pile of income. Is that “relief,” in your language?” Yes, what you are taking is a subsidy (tax reduction) from Americans for your french healthcare. Further it is not based on salary but percentage of tax paid (as I understand it). “We are all of us–and you too–surrounded by government policies we disagree with. Did liberals…”Humans use the imperfect machine …. We are all responsible for our own actions/integrity and I think when you write it you are responsible for saying what you mean and meaning what you say.

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