Obamacare

Is ObamaCare a Government Takeover of Health Care?

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The Cato Institute's Michael Cannon says it is

Just before the holidays, the fact-checking journalists at PolitiFact.com gave their Lie of the Year award to the claim that ObamaCare is a "government takeover of health care." Backed up by the unanimous judgments of five ObamaCare supporters, PolitiFact declared that notion "simply not true," "inaccurate," and "ridiculously false."

Egad, I thought. I have written entire reports calling ObamaCare a government takeover. I've said it on television, in op-eds, interviews and online. I was spreading the Lie of the Year!

ObamaCare is not a government takeover, I learned from PolitiFact, because it "uses the private health insurance system to expand health care coverage."

But wait. In my research, I found that distinction between public and private to be illusory: what difference is there between a public system where the government taxes and spends your money, and a "private" system where the government forces you to spend your money in the same way?

"It is irrelevant," I wrote, "whether we describe medical resources (e.g., hospitals, employees) as 'public' or 'private.' What matters – what determines real as opposed to nominal ownership – is who controls the resources." I detailed how making private health insurance compulsory – as ObamaCare does – "would give government as much control over the nation's health care sector as a compulsory government program."

Read my response to PolitiFact here

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  1. Politifact maintains Obama didn’t raise taxes because tobacco “doesn’t count”

    They also say government employess don’t make much more than private sector workers because benefits “don’t count”

    That Politifact lies is old news.

    1. “Politifact maintains Obama didn’t raise taxes because tobacco “doesn’t count””

      Easy way to make an argument; any evidence which doesn’t fit, ‘doesn’t count’.
      Works for 3rd grade kids, why not lefties?

  2. Liar Liar plants for hire

  3. I think there’s little doubt that Obamacare is, if nothing else, intended to be the first step towards nationalized healthcare. Maybe first giant leap would be a better way to phrase it.

    1. Just for you, PL. Is cold fusion a sketchier proposition than Obamacare being a private system.

      1. They’re in a state of mutual superposition.

    2. A “great leap forward” towards nationalized healthcare would probably be more accurate. Maybe calling it the “five year plan” because we will end up with nationalized healthcare in five years (although it will probably only take 4 years).

      1. Does this portend a famine ?

        1. Not if we pass a one child only law.

  4. Lame retort after being caught using Republican lies as a substitute for thought.

    1. What would you know about thought?

      All you do is feel.

    2. “But, but, the government making insurance companies insure everyone, and making everyone be insured by insurance companies ISN’T a government takeover! Because!”

      1. I am so not interested if Republican propaganda has a shred of truth in it. You know the language is meant to scare people, not inform them.

        1. so what words would you use to describe a law that forces everyone to buy a product, forces the provider of said product to sell it to everyone, sets the price that it must be sold at, mandates what the product must be and micro manages how said product can be managed? If it isnt a “government takeover” its some term with a very similar meaning.

        2. So you are willfully ignoring truth because of party loyalty?

        3. Tony|1.24.11 @ 1:00PM|#
          “I am so not interested if Republican propaganda has a shred of truth in it.”
          You lying asshole, you wouldn’t know a “shred of truth” if it got caught between your teeth.

        4. You may well believe that it is a good thing for the government to determine how insurance companies provide coverage, to whom they must provide coverage and who must buy coverage from them. Reasonable people can disagree. But that does not change the simple fact that government has taken over all of the essential decision making in the healthcare market. Just because your lie makes some people feel better, doesn’t mean that the scary truth shouldn’t be told.
          And don’t a lot of people on the left want the government to take over health care? If that is the case, then why is the language used by opponents so scary? Isn’t that the result you want?

          A lot of people seem not to want the government to take over healthcare. You people pretending that that is not what is happening are the liars. Ass.

          1. Yes, exactly. The progressive position on healthcare is that it should be single-payer. I DO want a government takeover, because having it run by the insurance industry hasn’t worked.

            This moderate patients’ bill of rights is not a government takeover, though I don’t think it’s an exaggeration to say that Republicans have gone full retard.

            1. Re: Tony,

              The progressive position on healthcare is that it should be single-payer. I DO want a government takeover, because having it run by the insurance industry hasn’t worked.

              … since the single-payer system has worked marvels wherever it has been tried…

              http://www.liberty-page.com/issues/healthcare/ukkidney.html

              http://www.liberty-page.com/is…..gery4.html

              Substitution of a bad system with an even worse system does not seem like progress to me…

              This moderate patients’ bill of rights is not a government takeover, though I don’t think it’s an exaggeration to say that Republicans have gone full retard.

              Not to mention that the Republican counterproposal is more of a token effort at reform than a true reform.

              By the way, nobody has a right to healthcare, as healthcare is somebody else’s labor (medical services and knowledge). Unless you espouse slavery, you cannot have a claim over someone else’s labor.

              1. Substitution of a bad system with an even worse system does not seem like progress to me…

                Since we had the worst system, it couldn’t hurt trying something else.

                nobody has a right to healthcare, as healthcare is somebody else’s labor (medical services and knowledge). Unless you espouse slavery, you cannot have a claim over someone else’s labor.

                Having armed forces requires someone else’s labor, so that must be slavery too.

                1. Service in the military is voluntary you fucking twat.

            2. Man… I remember the time when I was able to spend hours explaining at length how big of an idiot Tony is.

              I wish I had that time now, but really… the thrill is gone, anyway.

              An insurance-industry “controlled” corporatist system isn’t, of course, what anyone here would actually argue for but Obamacare is far and away a worse proposition.

              1. I realize you are only for utopian systems that have the great fortune of never having been tested. How might you deal with the corporate-controlled situation that is reality? All I see on the table from libertarians is giving the corporations more freedom to make money any way they see fit, without regard to people’s lives at all.

                1. As opposed to state run stuff that has been tested and proved to be utter bullshit?

                  1. Wait a minute. Michael Moore was LYING when he said Cuba’s health care system was better than the US’s? But lefties don’t lie!

  5. Lame retort after being caught using Team Blue lies as a substitute for thought.

  6. Politifact’s logic is as sound as “I don’t see your name written anywhere on the chair, so I guess it’s not yours then.”

  7. Jeez PolitiFact, how about the read-my-lips made-for-tv bend-over-and-take-it load of bullshit “Let me be clear: If you like your doctor or health care provider, you can keep them. If you like your health care plan, you can keep that too.”

    1. “Let me be clear: If you like your doctor or health care provider, you can keep them. If you like your health care plan, you can keep that too.”

      And keep them you will, or face heavy fines.

      1. If you like your health care plan, you can keep that too

        Unless its an HSA, because those dont count.

        1. Speaking of that. Can I sue the government for screwing me out of HSA bennies? I mean, I can put aside the same money tax-free (for now), but I can’t buy fucking sudafed with those funds without visiting a doctor. Talk about shifting the cost curve up.

          1. Sudafed, you say?

    2. Well, technically they were true statements. What Obama neglected to tell us was that if the plan changed in any way, shape or form then it was no longer the same plan.

      Oh, and the admin was negotiating at the same time with the providers to change the plans.

      Politifact is universally regarded as useless. I don’t know why you guys waste cyberink retorting their distortions of reality. Oh well, it beats the incessant nut-punching we’d otherwise be taking from Balko.

      Really, Radley. A double-whammy on Sunday? That was uncalled-for.

      1. “technically they were true statements”

        Yeah, you gotta watch that Barack, he knows how to parse a sentence.

        That would be like his statement about the Dodd-Frank financial bill..”no more tax payer funded bailouts”…
        see what he did there ?

  8. ObamaCare is not a government takeover, I learned from PolitiFact, because it “uses the private health insurance system to expand health care coverage.”

    So, if the federal government decides to use your home as a barracks for troops, it’s still your home, despite the fact you have no substantive control over who enters and makes use of it.

    Okay, then.

    1. Well, the federal government can decide to use your land as a wildlife preserve, and then still tax you for owning it.

      1. The wabbits, squirels, rodents, and birds are FREE, FREE to come and go. Therefore, it is obviously a free system…

        1. You forgot the froggies. Don’t ever forget the froggies.

      2. I should say “owning”.

      3. When did the federal government start collecting property taxes?

        1. Don’t give them ideas.

  9. Lame retort after being caught using Republican lies as a substitute for thought.

    Spoofer? I can’t tell.

    1. You have to find out if he smells like a goat, to know for sure.

  10. Here’s the thing.
    Inserted into the health care bill was the little noticed nationalization of the student loan program.

    Ostensibily managed “via the private sector”, the student loan program was so tightly prescribed by the state, that the private sector control became little more than symbolic. Thus, congress finally found it trivial to transfer control to the state, since the private banks weren’t doing anything other than slicing a cut off the top.

    But this is effectiely what PPACA does to the insurance companies – it tightly prescribes exactly what product they can sell, and institutes the MLR to prescribe exactly how much profit they can make. In effect, it turns them into administrative fictions.

    I believe that the REASON the nationalization of the student loan program was added to bill was to signal to progressives “this is what will eventually happen to the private insurance system”. Eventually people will realize it is nothing other than an accounting fiction, and will decide that the government should simply take it over.

    1. “Eventually people will realize it is nothing other than an accounting fiction, and will decide that the government should simply take it over.”

      You say that like it’s a problem.

    2. We’ll call it “capitalism with American characteristics.”

      1. Genius!

  11. That’s the beauty of fascism – govt gets the power while keeping ‘private’ actors around to blame for any negative results.

    1. Isn’t that fascism?

  12. I think there is a difference, and for liberals it should be one that makes it WORSE. For years liberals have derided “private profits, socialized costs” and now they support something like this (or TARP or yes the auto bailout). Sheesh.

    1. Most liberals I know did not like Obamacare for that exact reason. Of course they wanted single payer, but at least they recognized that this bill is an insurance company executive’s wet dream.

  13. No, because we don’t call it fascism.

  14. No, no, Politifact is right. The government only took over health insurance. And health insurance doesn’t pay for ALL healthcare in this country, just the vast majority of it. So the government didn’t take over health care.

    1. Good point.

      One of my dogs doesn’t have insurance, for example.

  15. Backed up by the unanimous judgments of five ObamaCare supporters, PolitiFact declared that notion “simply not true,” “inaccurate,” and “ridiculously false.”

    Five ObamaCare supporters…yeah, no bias there.

    1. FIVE wolves and a sheep voting on what’s for dinner?

      1. Actually the sheep wasn’t invited to vote.

        1. But he most certainly was invited to dinner.

  16. Is ObamaCare a Government Takeover of Health Care?

    Is the pope catholic?
    Are puppies cute?
    Is Call of Duty: Black Ops a slightly better game than Medal Of Honor?
    Is the POTUS black?

    1. Well, half black. I don’t go for this “one drop” crap.

      1. I’ve taken to calling him white.

  17. “ObamaCare is not a government takeover, I learned from PolitiFact, because it ‘uses the private health insurance system to expand health care coverage.’

    But wait. In my research, I found that distinction between public and private to be illusory: what difference is there between a public system where the government taxes and spends your money, and a ‘private’ system where the government forces you to spend your money in the same way?”

    There’s NO difference, as both are manifestations of the same thing: Central Planning.

    1. Central Planning is OM’s Term of the Week.

      1. Re: MNG,

        Central Planning is OM’s Term of the Week.

        Sadly, it is the Theme of The Statist Fuck. So, enjoy it.

        1. and “ignoring reality and handwaving” is the The Theme of the Dogmatic Anarchist Libertarian

          1. Re: Edwin,

            and “ignoring reality and handwaving” is the The Theme of the Dogmatic Anarchist Libertarian

            “Ignoring reality”? “Handwaving”?

            Non sequiturs seem to be also a BIG THEME among the intellectually challenged – i.e. Statist Fucks.

            1. …Statist Fucks.

              Hmm, good band name…if said band plays awful emo-style music.

          2. Wrong, Edwin. Anarchists are the only one’s who acknowledge reality. The problem is that once you have done so, there is no good practical course to follow. Getting things done and governing is the part that requires “ignoring reality and handwaving”.

            1. huh… I think you just admitted you don’t really care about getting things done

  18. Technically if you use the standard leftist definitions Obamacare is not a government take over but more in line with their definition of fascism.

    ie a government/corporate alliance designed to keep the poeple down.

    Calling it a “government take over” is actually the nice way of describing it.

    1. Yes Josh leftists who support Obamacare see it as a government/corporate alliance designed to keep the poeple down.

      Sheesh. Maybe under Obamacare you can at the least get back on some meds. Since that guy won you’ve been sliding the slippery slope to nutjobtown pretty fast dude…

      1. But there are a lot of people on the left who don’t like Obamacare and do see it as Josh describes.

      2. Yes Josh leftists who support Obamacare see it as a government/corporate alliance designed to keep the poeple down.

        Oh I never said they see it that way. I am saying that it what it is. Of course there are leftists who do see it that way. Go to lakedogfire.com to read all about it…or is that doglakefire.com…fuck who knows.

        Anyway the point is if the left were not the hacks that they are then they would be forced to identify obamacare as fascist policy.

        Going back and reading my first comment it is pretty clear that is what i wrote. Either you have a reading comprehension problem MNG or you simply misinterpreted what I wrote on purpose.

  19. Do you people really see absolutely no difference between Obamacare and the NHS in England? I mean, you can hate both but still see there are some differences that should make a difference to someone who opposes government intervention per se, right?

    1. Re: MNG,

      Do you people really see absolutely no difference between Obamacare and the NHS in England?

      Well, it is the difference between a vicious pitbull puppy and a fully-grown vicious pitbull. It is just different stages of the same tragedy.

      I mean, you can hate both but still see there are some differences that should make a difference to someone who opposes government intervention per se, right?

      You mean like being ass-raped compared to be raped from the front? Sure, there can be a discussion about the differences between each other. I would say that such discussion would not have any usefulness beyond the academic, JUST LIKE the discussion between one form of intervention (ObamaCare) and the other (NHS). Both are nothing more than iterations of the same raping of individual freedoms.

      1. No, no, no. Don’t you see the standard here. Obamacare isn’t EXACTLY like the NHS.

    2. Yes, of course there is a difference. Obamacare doesn’t take over healthcare in the sense of owning all of the hospitals and employing all of the doctors. It just takes over they way things are paid for. So perhaps it would be fairer to say that it is a takeover of the health insurance industry and a burdensome set of regulations on the rest of the healthcare industry. But since the way things are paid for pretty well shapes the way the rest of the system works, I don’t think it is too unfair to call it a takeover of the healthcare system.

    3. Not one comment has discussed the similarities and differences between Obamacare and NHS. Why are you bringing it up?

      Government takeovers of industry can take many forms. Obamacare is one of them. (Although to be fair government has commandeered healthcare so thoroughly already that Obamacare is an incremental step. A big one, but still just an incremental step on the trajectory)

    4. I think that there’s a distinction to be made between ObamaCare and the NHS, but it’s a largely meaningless one.

    5. Do you people really see absolutely no difference between Obamacare and the NHS in England?

      No.

      You will probably misread the word “no”.

      So to be clear: we see differences.

      There is also differences between the GULAG and the killing fields. They both still suck ass.

  20. Yes Josh leftists who support Obamacare see it as a government/corporate alliance designed to keep the poeple down.

    Of course they don’t see it for what it is. That’s why they support it, MNG.

    1. There aren’t many progressives who are thrilled with Obamacare. Those who are OK with it probably feel that, while we’ve gone from one corporatist status quo to another, it’s got good improvements, and was necessary for the greater battle of getting Medicare for all.

      1. No doubt that is what they think. Everyone on both sides knows it was a trojan horse for single-payer socialized medicine.

        1. But look at the ways the Republicans attacked the bill. It’s too many pages! Mandates are evil! If we had a real “government takeover” it wouldn’t need to be so complicated and wouldn’t need mandates either. I bet you Medicare for All would have sold pretty well. With the people, that is, not with Congress and their lobbyist friends.

          1. It’s too many pages!

            I fail to see how a libertarian would be opposed to this type of criticism of a proposed law. Who the fuck are you trying to convince here? Other leftists?

            You have been here for fucking ever Tony….how long does it take to understand what a libertarian is.

            Also how are mandates not a government take over?

            If the government use to not tell you what to do and then suddenly starts telling you what to do by force of law then isn’t that by definition a take over?

            What? Does the government actually have to own the band aids in order to be considered a “Take Over”?

            1. To me a government takeover would mean government made public all that was private. But maybe it’s not an exaggeration to you. I’m curious what you’d call a much more progressive system.

              1. By this definition socialism and communism have never been tried. That explains the interest in experimenting with the US. Go long on unicorns.

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