Obamacare

Reason.tv: ObamaCare and Mission Creep—Why health care reform will end up covering much more than you think.

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From the war in Iraq to the space station, government programs almost always end up costing much more than they were supposed to. They also usually end up doing more than they were supposed to. Would ObamaCare be any different?

Some say ObamaCare would lead to death panels, even euthanasia classes. Now supporters of President Obama's health care overhaul are fighting back against such charges. And the president himself warns: "If you misrepresent what's in this plan, we will call you out."

But you don't have to side with those who warn of euthanasia classes to recognize that government programs often end up doing all kinds of things that weren't in politicians' original plans. Call it mission creep. Politicians pass a program, and then the scope of the program grows and changes.

It's happened with everything from state-level health insurance plans to the Troubled Asset Relief Program. TARP's original mission was spelled out in its name—the government would purchase troubled assets from financial institutions. However, just over a year later TARP's mission has exploded, and billions in TARP funds have gone to bail out General Motors, Chrysler, and struggling homeowners. TARP money may even fund another stimulus.

"The Best Laid Plans of ObamaCare" is written and produced by Ted Balaker, and hosted by Nick Gillespie. Director of Photography: Alex Manning; Associate Producer: Paul Detrick

Approximately 2.30 minutes.

Download this video in iPod, HD, and MP3 versions at Reason.tv.

Watch this video at Reason.tv's YouTube Channel.

Watch the companion video, "Would ObamaCare Cover Sticker-Shock Treatment?."

NEXT: How Many Americans Will Choose to be Uninsured Even if Insurance is Mandatory?

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  1. “If you misrepresent what’s in this plan, we will call you out.”

    Well are you gonna draw or just slap leather?

  2. If anything is going to be mandated to the American people, they should be required to watch reason.tv.

    1. Wouldn’t help. You need the ability to think logically, separating emotions from the process, and and actually reason. I don’t think most people can do that.

      If they could, we wouldn’t be in this mess.

      It’s like being Superman in a perfect world. A perfect world doesn’t need a Superman.

      Our world’s imperfect to the point that I don’t know if Reason could really help.

      1. And it’s kind of hard to frame libertarian arguments in emotional terms, because a lot of it depends, as Bastiat said, on what we can’t see. Construction workers who can’t find jobs are quite visible – and the TV news can show one in terrible times, blame the “free market” for their plight. The person who’s out of work because the stimulus created too much uncertainty is not visible; it’s hard to directly link the stimulus to any one person’s unemployment. It’s only when the government has taken an active role (e.g., by regulating hairdressers) that it’s easy to trace their actions to unemployment.

        And emotional arguments are, unfortunately, many times more effective at convincing most people than logical ones.

  3. I think there’s a typo in the title.

  4. The real outrage here isn’t what ObamaCare is going to cost us in taxes (though that’s bad enough), it’s that the policies the federales are mandating we all buy never show up in the budget. All that’s going to be off-budget.

    1. But that means it remains budget-neutral, or even a money-saver. Ain’t smoke and mirrors fun? Now watch me pull a plug out of your grandma’s wall socket!

  5. “Some say ObamaCare would lead to death panels, even euthanasia classes.”

    Some say fear is the path to the dark side.

    1. True enough…But the ObamaCare supporters use the exact same fear just on the other side.

      So we are just sheep controlled by the fear “shepheard” helps create…

      Wake up America!

  6. Your videos are looking good. Kudos to the video people and on air talent.

    1. Except for the Rod Blagojevich hairpiece, I agree with you.

      What’s with the giant water-rat on your head, son?

      1. why do people always equate bad fashion sense in hairdo with a hairpiece? Some people just don’t have enough testosterone to make them go bald.

  7. If this plan gets signed into law, how many years before some judge declares that taxpayer-funded sex-change operations can’t be denied to illegal aliens? I say five years.

    1. PapayaSF, Libertarians need to get their stories straight. What is the Libertarian talking point? Public health care will run out of funds for basic care or they will spend money on cosmetic surgeries?

      1. Why can’t it be both? You underestimate the abilities of the government to screw things up.

        1. Never under estemate the power of stupid people in large numbers!

          And except for a few examples DC if full of over eduacted idiots.

        2. PapayaSF,yes the government can screw things up royally but the health insurance companies are in on the deal. It is a case of better the devil you know.

          1. Sorry, which one is supposed to be the devil I know?

            1. PapayaSf, Health insurance companies are willing to pay for play with either party. Eventually, they will have all the chips and good luck with your free market ideas. The only chance for reasonable care is for the government to have some control. I think Libertarians have some great ideas for encouraging a free market system but they are not even on the table. Why? I would say that the devil we don’t know is not interested in any plan that would increase competition and decrease costs.

              1. If Democrats were willing to let insurance companies compete across state lines, it would happen whether the companies wanted it or not. So it’s the Democrats that are the main obstacle to real free market reforms, IMHO.

                1. PapayaSF, do you think health insurance companies don’t give money to the republicans too?

                  1. Government will run out of money because in the U.S. it will be impossible to curtail costs and deny things like sex change operations to illegals. Look what happened when science dared to attempt to measure the effectiveness of mammograms?

                    Many Republicans are tools too, that’s why people shouldn’t vote for the ones who are. The government is the reason H.I. is so fucked up in the first place, by restricting competition, mandating useless coverage, tying coverage to employment with tax incentives, and locking in fee for service via Medicare while underpaying doctors who just pass those costs onto everyone else.

                    Why should we trust these retards with more control over the industry? Especially when they are in bed with it! These are the enlightened progressives too, look how all their pretend superior intellect and false morality stand up to Public Choice 101. Our founders knew this shit from the begging, that men weren’t angels and angels don’t govern men; so they set up a system with a separation of powers, federalism, and limited government rather than a massive, unlimited, and centralized federal bureaucracy.

                    1. Tim,I don’t care what the “study” said about mammograms because I know of many woman who have caught their cancer through mammography/sonograms. Come on “sex change operations to illegals”? Those are “headline words” that fade important debate. I just don’t think Libertarian ideas about competition will ever see the light of day and saying that is either the Dems or the Repubs fault is a waste of time.

                    2. I just picked up the running joke from the previous posters. It goes to the point I’m making that no coverage will be denied regardless of how silly it is to anyone with a well organized lobbying effort. Entire elections will hinge upon what particular sets of benefits will be covered. There is no reason to think that when possible the politicians won’t screw the general public to appease the desires, justified or not, of a vocal constituency. Supposedly we live in a society with equality before government, unless you have a disease constituency with a solid sob story like breast cancer; then your health care won’t be tethered by the same solid science as the health care of everyone else who can’t organize around such anecdotes.

                      The mammogram study though just talked about the risk of false positives and suggested that maybe women wait 10 more years before they got regular mammograms unless they have some kind of medical history predisposing them to breast cancer. It’s not even shouldn’t be screened, just not regularly before consulting with a doctor. The entire issue was misinterpreted by the media eager to talk simultaneously about “death panels” and “womens health” because they can then appeal to the stupidest elements of both parties. It seems all it takes to get a liberal to buy into “death panels” is to apply such reasoning to some disadvantaged group, hyperbole is fine if it charges up their base. We could have women at 20 getting regular mammograms too and I’m sure we would catch some more people’s cancer before it set on; however it would cost a lot more in money spent on testing and damage caused by false positives. We’ve already drawn a line.

                      Now I’m not for telling anyone what kind of care they can and can’t get if they are willing to pay for it; that’s why I support free market health care. If women decide freely to spend more of their own money on mammograms that is their business. However we do have to control the costs of government, and if we have a government plan we can’t reasonably expect large swaths of the population to pay higher taxes to fund something science says is of dubious benefit, regardless of anecdotes.

                      What I am attempting to point out as a problem with government health care in America at least is that people feel entitled to everything, and that a breast cancer survivor or other anecdotes will beat out health experts and sound science any day of the week. I don’t want to pay for that. If you want to that’s fine, but don’t try to force others to when the science seemingly contradicts your claims. Maybe the science is wrong, but if it is it should be disproved with other science; not anecdotes.

                      It’s ironic that you accuse me of using “headline words” to “hide important debate” after readily dismissing scientific evidence because you knew a few people who had breast cancer. Were they over 50 at the time, would they haven fallen into the subset of women who are recommended to get screened before fifty, and would they still have found their breast cancer in time without regular mammograms? Do you know the answers to those questions? Now maybe they wouldn’t have fallen into those groups, but we could always find more diseases by screening more people more frequently; however we live in a world of scarcity and have to make decisions about what resources we use and screening has costs both monetary and to the patient in false positives and unnecessary treatments.

                    3. “Maybe the science is wrong, but if it is it should be disproved with other science; not anecdotes.” Where Have I heard that before? “Were they over 50 at the time, would they haven fallen into the subset of women who are recommended to get screened before fifty, and would they still have found their breast cancer in time without regular mammograms?.” My experience with breast cancer conclusions are valid even though it is observational. I can’t think of any woman that I have know with the disease who are over 50. In the sixteen years that my children have been in schools I have certainly met a large sample of woman. I know that more woman die from lung cancer than breast cancer combined with others. I also know the squeaky wheel gets the grease. The fact is they have a great lobby network and it does not make their work less valid. Breast cancer research is funded at twice the level of testicular cancer because more woman die from their cancer and it strikes earlier. False positives that lead to unnecessary treatment can be reduced with a base mammogram and proper analysis of other factors such as fluctuating hormone levels. I think we just fundamentally disagree with the use of tax dollars. “I’m not for telling anyone what kind of care they can and can’t get if they are willing to pay for it; that’s why I support free market health care” I just indubitably disagree that a free market will ever develop and whether it could actually work in health care. I think health insurance companies will spend upfront money to guarantee their monopoly and will squash any competition that tries to compete directly with their market share.

                    4. I’m not dismissing the work of those who do research on breast cancer, and I am not disputing whether or not tax dollars should be spent on R&D. If breast cancer kills more people than x other diseases it isn’t a bad thing to fund more research about it.

                      What I am dismissing is your arguments that lack scientific evidence. What I don’t want is the government funding treatments science considers not very effective.

                      Whether or not you believe free markets will happen or work has no bearing on the question of how government should spend its money on health care. I can’t see any reason why government isn’t morally compelled to be ruthlessly utilitarian here, directing money to the treatments that do the most good for the most people rather than respecting an individual’s rights to spend money as s/he pleases. Worse though the government won’t be scientifically utilitarian but politically, doing the most good for the most likely voters. Hence why we will have a hard time controlling costs, because every squeaky wheel that can dredge up some anecdotes rejecting science that says something else will get their way if the decision is left up to politics.

                      The likelihood that squeaky wheels and special interest groups will overcome any attempts by government to promote sound and equitable medicine however have a great deal of bearing upon why we should have free market health care.

                    5. “Whether or not you believe free markets will happen or work has no bearing on the question of how government should spend its money on health care.” The most good is hard to define because it could entail the most people with a disease /the most people in pain/the most people who will die /the most people who will live the longest and have a greater likelihood to monetarily contribute to society. Perhaps you mean why should they spend monies on healthcare because it is very simple for me. I have always thought of health insurance companies has a OPEC but without the reserves found elsewhere and none of the in-fighting.

  8. This video attempts to raise doubt or persuade the viewer, but there is no formal argument or presentation of fact, it’s the intellectual equivalent of a Michael Moore film… The attempt to persuade without the use of logic is the definition of propaganda. Perhaps a new magazine should be created called “Rational” or “Non-Contradiction”, this one is a misnomer.

    1. Its a three minute spot that will hopefully encourage people to read the arguments laid out in the magazine…

  9. Tim, speaking of attention spans…

  10. Matt, the video points out contradictions between former stated goals and actions, then it claims that this divergence discredits future stated goals from the same source. It IS a formal argument. No new presentation of fact is needed to point out inconsistencies between video of what I said I was going to do and video of my explanation of why I did what I actually did.

  11. Matt, the video points out contradictions between former stated goals and actions, then it claims that this divergence discredits future stated goals from the same source. It IS a formal argument. No new presentation of fact is needed to point out inconsistencies between video of what I said I was going to do and video of my explanation of why I did what I actually did.

  12. My only point is that if you take the Bible straight, as I’m sure many of Reasons readers do, you will see a lot of the Old Testament stuff as absolutely insane. Even some cursory knowledge of Hebrew and doing some mathematics and logic will tell you that you really won’t get the full deal by just doing regular skill english reading for those books. In other words, there’s more to the books of the Bible than most will ever grasp. I’m not concerned that Mr. Crumb will go to hell or anything crazy like that! It’s just that he, like many types of religionists, seems to take it literally, take it straight…the Bible’s books were not written by straight laced divinity students in 3 piece suits who white wash religious beliefs as if God made them with clothes on…the Bible’s books were written by people with very different mindsets…in order to really get the Books of the Bible, you have to cultivate such a mindset, it’s literally a labyrinth, that’s no joke

  13. Its a three minute spot that will hopefully encourage people to read the arguments laid out in the magazine…
    reply to this

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