Obamacare

Free Riding and the Individual Mandate

|

At Forbes, Avik Roy responds to the argument that the "free-rider" problem in health care justifies the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act's individual mandate to purchase health insurance:

The "free rider" problem is not inherent to the nature of health care. It's a problem that was 100% created by unwise federal policy. As we've discussed before, the "free rider" problem, to the degree it even exists, is an artifact of a 1986 act of Congress, the Emergency Medical Treatment and Active Labor Act (EMTALA), which forced hospitals to provide uncompensated emergency care to anyone who needed it.

The idea that you can pass an unconstitutional law to remedy a problem created by a prior act of Congress makes no sense. The more straightforward remedy is to repeal the old law, or fully fund it. If a dumb federal law drove New York's newspapers into bankruptcy, would it be okay for the government to force you to subscribe to the New York Post?

Read Jacob Sullum on free-riding, cost-shifting and the EMTLA here.

NEXT: Reason.tv: Academy Awards Alert! Why You Might Be a Fashion Criminal

Editor's Note: We invite comments and request that they be civil and on-topic. We do not moderate or assume any responsibility for comments, which are owned by the readers who post them. Comments do not represent the views of Reason.com or Reason Foundation. We reserve the right to delete any comment for any reason at any time. Report abuses.

  1. Government simply thrives on proposing solutions to problems it created in the first place.

  2. If a dumb federal law drove New York’s newspapers into bankruptcy, would it be okay for the government to force you to subscribe to the New York Post?

    Not in the case of the Post, since there is really little of value in that rag, but I’d fully support using tax money to keep America’s finest newspaper, the New York Times, going.

    1. So do parrots.

      1. The New York Times is great to have shredded up in the bottom of your cage.

    2. If a dumb federal law drove New York’s newspapers into bankruptcy, would it be okay for the government to force you to subscribe to the New York Post?

      Yes, yes it would.

  3. Sorry, are you really advocating for stopping treating people who come into the emergency rooms unless they can pay for it? You’d let these people die literally outside the hospital until their credit clears? I can’t think you believe that.

    1. Sounds like he’s advocating for someone to be legally allowed to do that, not advocating for someone to do that.

    2. Not stop treating them, but make them responsible to pay the bills. Make them get a loan, liquidate assets, or even go on a payment plan if need be.

      1. Medical bankruptcy is already a huge problem, this would not only make it exponentially worse, but what if they can’t pay? Bankruptcy? Debtors prison? Don’t let them leave the hospital?

        Bee Tagger I’m okay with getting the government out of most things, but I think there needs to be a rule which says, as a hospital, you have to treat any emergency that comes in. And yes, I’m willing to have my taxes pay for that.

        A hospital which refuses to treat patients in dire need is an ethical abomination.

        1. Re: BXH,

          Medical bankruptcy is already a huge problem, this would not only make it exponentially worse, but what if they can’t pay?

          This is irrelevant. Bankruptcy due to credit card debt is also VERY prevalent, would that mean advocating for making credit card companies give free stuff to users?

          Bankruptcy? Debtors prison? Don’t let them leave the hospital?

          This is not 18th Century Europe, BXH.

          I think there needs to be a rule which says, as a hospital, you have to treat any emergency that comes in.

          That’s nothing more than a fallacy of special pleading. Why not the same for restaurants, car dealerships or landscapers?

          And yes, I’m willing to have my taxes pay for that.

          I am not. What now?

          A hospital which refuses to treat patients in dire need is an ethical abomination.

          That’s false. There’s no aggression from the part of the hospital, no taking of property by force, no taking of life. It may be bad business decision or a bad PR move, but it is not inherently unethical.

          1. That’s nothing more than a fallacy of special pleading. Why not the same for restaurants, car dealerships or landscapers?

            Because there is a justifiable exemption to the rule that you you are appealing to, namely, paying for services received. That makes it not special pleading. Emergency healthcare is different from food in a restaurant and cars, and that fact that you care more about money never unjustly changing hands than you do about people dying because they can’t afford care explains all that needs to be known about why you are wrong about everything.

            1. Please don’t feed the troll.

              1. I won’t. He’s nothing more than a marxoid punk. I am bored of him.

                1. I don’t understand why Tony and BXH don’t use their own money to help these poor folks who can’t pay at the ER. Selfish bastards.

                  1. I don’t understand why there is an entire political movement for sociopaths.

                    1. Wisconsin Teachers? Tony thats harsh…even for you!

                    2. Sociopaths typically have an inflated sense of self. Because they do not respect the equal humanity of others, they do not respect the rights of others. This is not an ancillary characteristic of sociopaths — it is their defining characteristic. Hence, they typically delude themselves into believing that the ends justify the means. Glib lying, disingenuous argumentation is all fair game. Whatever they pragmatically decide is fine so long as it advances their own desires. There is no right or wrong to the sociopath — only outcomes.

            2. So what about restaurants? Should they be legally compelled to give food out to persons who say they are hungry and/or starving? If you are going to compel businesses (and make no mistake) a hospital IS a business) to give away their product for free, the expenses are going to rise and the quality is going to go to shit. It doesn’t matter how compassionately you want to frame it. It’s a price control and it’s not going to be feasible.

              If a law’s passed tomorrow to give away the product of whatever industry you work in, I imagine you’d be less than charitable.

              1. We don’t need to require that of restaurants because we already subsidize food for the poor (food stamps).

                I happen to think hospitals shouldn’t be businesses but institutions of public service.

                1. “I happen to think hospitals shouldn’t be businesses but institutions of public service.”

                  Do you know what the ‘Calculation Problem’ is in economics?

                2. —“I happen to think hospitals shouldn’t be businesses but institutions of public service.”—

                  Well, I think you should open a hospital then, and try out your theory.

                3. Then have an “Emergency Room” card for the poor, similar to food stamps. If you genuinely can’t afford it, subsidize it, but for everybody else, make them pay. Garnish wages if you have to. But don’t sabotage the private system, then come back 20 years later and say “look, the private system doesn’t work!! We need more socialism.”

                  1. How about non-profit hospitals funded by rich people and given tax exemption? The Gospel of Wealth is a good thing you know.

          2. And yes, I’m willing to have my taxes pay for that.

            I am not. What now?

            Damn, it’s almost like we need some sort of organization where people could volunatarily send their their money to help others…i’d call it a Helpity.

            1. I can’t contribute to the Helpity…Uncle Sam already took my excess funds.

          3. And yes, I’m willing to have my taxes pay for that.

            People use this argument far too often. If BXH is okay with his money going to that he can donate to a charity hospital.

        2. Medical bankruptcy is already a huge problem, this would not only make it exponentially worse, but what if they can’t pay? Bankruptcy? Debtors prison? Don’t let them leave the hospital?

          Good incentive to have medical insurance, no? Some risk attached to being a free rider would reduce the numbers of free riders, and the reduced numbers would likely be manageable through charities for those who are truly in such dire financial straits they genuinely are unable to pay. And why shouldn’t they have to liquidate their own assets rather than confiscate the paychecks of others? Why must I have my stuff taken away so the free riders can keep their stuff?

        3. Do you think that your taxes pay for free ER treatment now?

          1. Do you think the requirement to provide care to free riders imposes no costs on the rest of us?

            1. He does have a pretty sweet name though.

              1. Yeah, there is that.

            2. The question was intended to illuminate that the “free” ER treatment is not paid for by the government and is explicitly an unfunded mandate on business.

        4. ” I’m okay with getting the government out of most things, but..”

          Everyone’s got some reason they think it’s ok to bring in the guns for.

        5. You’re letting your emotions get the better of you here. How do you make the leap from “Almost everbody in America is more than willing to give a small fraction of their disposable income to see to it that people aren’t dying outside of emergency rooms because they can’t afford treatment.” to “…if the government doesn’t take our money by force, we will all let people die in front of emergency rooms.”?

          What happened to all those people who didn’t mind parting with a little part of their paycheck to help out? Are you saying that people only care when they have a gun pointed at their heads?

        6. Guess I’m kind of in the middle on this. I disagree with OM that this is analogous to a car or restaurant; one does not always have 100% control over choosing to have a life-threatening emergency, and providing care strictly on a paid-for basis means we’re essentially admitting that the rich have more of a right to life than the poor (and you may say that it is NOT admitting that, but that’s the de facto result).

          On the other hand, I genuinely don’t care if they die. Not my problem. I don’t believe in a soul, or that each person is a special and unique snow flake. Tens of thousands of people die in misery every day in Africa and Asia, and I bet most liberals never actually shed a tear for them because they’re too wrapped up in pet projects like union-promoting. People are just highly evolved animals. They die. It happens. So the fuck what.

          1. we’re essentially admitting that the rich have more of a right to life than the poor (and you may say that it is NOT admitting that, but that’s the de facto result).

            I will be the parenthetical guy, because you are wrong. A “right” does not allow you to force anyone else to do anything. There is no right to health care, that can only happen if doctors and nurses are slaves.

            The poor have the exact same right to life as the rich. And the same access to health care…as much as they can afford.

            1. Here’s where we have a legitimate disagreement. I think it’s opinion based, so I’m not going to rant or call anyone stupid for disagreeing with me, or declare someone “wrong” for something that can’t be factually proven one way or another (since there’s not even any way to really prove the concept of rights; it’s just a good idea that most of us adhere to).

              If there is a right to life, then health care is part of that, because lifespan can be directly correlated to health care. If it wasn’t, then everyone would have the same lifespans the world over. As long as healthcare is one of the single most important aspects affecting longevity, then it’s inseperable from life.

              1. Just so were aren’t talking past each other, Jack…

                When we say “right to life” were are acknowledging the negative right only, i.e. “I have the right not to be killed.” Libertarians don’t recognize a positive right to life, i.e. “I can make other people extend my life against their will.”

                1. What SF said.

                2. I appreciate the efforts to clarify Sugar; that’s kind of what I was (poorly) trying to communicate in the post. I think I just disagree with the libertarian stand on this particular rights issue. IMO, not getting healthcare because you can’t afford it IS being killed, if the means exist to provide it.

                  Now of course, we could reduce this to absurdity all the way to, “well everyone should receive the most expensive, top notch care available, for every ailment, and tax everyone at 50% to pay for it or else it’s murder”. I recognize the problems in my thought. I just don’t know where to draw a line right now. I do tend to shy away from the 100%, binary, it’s good-or-it’s-evil approach often taken by libertarians, because I believe the real world is more complicated than that, and that there are often many shades of gray despite what we’d like there to be in theory.

                  1. Fuck gray.

                    All rights are negative rights, the line is easy to draw.

                    IMO, not getting healthcare because you can’t afford it IS being killed

                    The only way for that to happen is to force others to work for you, which is slavery. Fuck that shit. There is the line, nice and bright. Slavery is fucking evil.

                    1. I understand I’m on a libertarian site, but a lot of people legitimately don’t consider taxation slavery. If they did, there’d be a hell of a lot less Team Red / Team Blue foot soldiers.

                      I’m not saying that being a majority makes them right, but it does mean that the issue isn’t as clear and stark to most people as it is to you.

                    2. Fuck most people.

                      But Im not (necessarily) talking about taxation here, in this case, we are talking straight up forcing someone to work for you slavery. Your view basically says if a doctor refuses to work on you when he could, he is murdering you. And that makes him your slave.

                    3. Not if he freely chose his profession, knowing that this was a consequence of it.

                      And the reason I brought up taxation was from the standpoint of, taxes used to compensate medical providers for services performed for the poor.

                    4. Not if he freely chose his profession, knowing that this was a consequence of it.

                      People are free to quit at any time. You would call him a murderer if he walked off the job.

                      And the reason I brought up taxation was from the standpoint of, taxes used to compensate medical providers for services performed for the poor.

                      So, SF, is it time for a fractional slavery post? Sure, why not, what the hell.

                      see following post.

                    5. The Parable of Fractional Slavery — an original story by robc (Version 2.1)

                      Imagine a fictional 19th century country in which slavery exists much like in the US south, only the owners are mostly kind, christian gentleman, so they dont beat their slaves or make them work on Sundays and provide them food, clothing and shelter. But, they are still slaveowners and slaves are still slaves.

                      The government of this country, seeing the future and wanting to avoid unrest decides to gradually eliminate slavery. Their first step is to buy 1 day of freedom for every slave. One day a week, each slave is free to work for himself and any money he earns is his own. If he saves up enough, he can buy another day of freedom (and so forth) and the owner cannot refuse. Also, the owners must continue to provide the food/shelter/clothes.

                      So, a plantation owner has a slave that is bright and industrious and has earned himself 3 days of freedom (original one plus two more).

                      The owner goes to the slave with a proposal, “You are bright, you could make a lot more money in the big city than you can doing stuff around here, I offer you the following deal. Move to the city, get a job working 6 days a week there, pay for your own basic expenses and send me 50% (3 of the 6 days) of the remaining income. You will make more, I will make more than having you pick crops, and you will be able to make enough to buy another day or two of freedom.

                      So he takes the guy up on it. He lives like a free man, he controls his own actions, works the job he wants, lives where he wants, but sends back to his master 16% (once he is down to 1 day) to 50% of his wages [after basic deductions].

                      Is he still a slave? Yes, he is. Sure he is only a fractional slave, but a slave none the less.

                    6. robc – thanks, that is excellent. I am going to use that to try to educate some of my leftist friends.

                    7. Also, the owners must continue to provide the food/shelter/clothes.

                      According to libertarians, this makes the owner a slave. Those pesky workers and their entitlements!

                    8. “You would call him a murderer if he walked off the job.”

                      No, I wouldn’t. If he would rather not be a doctor, than treat people for free sometimes, then that’s his freely made choice.

                      And I simply disagree with the conclusion of your parable below. I would say that gov’t, which while deeply flawed is supposed to provide for certain common benefits, is different than a private, for-profit master.

                    9. Government? I never mentioned it in my parable? Well, not in the conclusion, they have a minor bit up above that.

                      And above you said: not getting healthcare because you can’t afford it IS being killed, if the means exist to provide it.

                      Now you say No, I wouldn’t. If he would rather not be a doctor, than treat people for free sometimes, then that’s his freely made choice.

                      I agree with the last, but he is a means that exist, so your first statement is wrong, which is cool, because that was an awful statement.

                    10. robc:

                      Your entire parable was in response to a question about taxation, which is a function of gov’t. If you now state that your parable has nothing to do with gov’t, then fractional slavery as presented has nothing to do with taxation, and thus, no point in the conversation.

                      And if he stops being a doctor, then he is no longer an existing means. He has chosen to do something else with his life. Nearly any one of us could learn to be doctors, if we studied hard enough, and spent enough time learning. That doesn’t make us all potential “means”.

                    11. Your entire parable was in response to a question about taxation

                      The parable was written over a year ago. Now, yes, you could draw a conclusion about taxation from it and the author (me) might even be unsubtle about pointing the reader in that direction, but it is still your conclusion.

                      Clearly, you see a connection between taking the fruit of someones labor by force via taxation vs via slavery, or you wouldnt have said that, despite the pointedness of the author. If you then claim they are somehow different, that is up to you to prove that.

                    12. —“I would say that gov’t, which while deeply flawed is supposed to provide for certain common benefits”—

                      Huh?

              2. If there is a right to shelter, then the government can force Architects to design houses for the homeless, cause it’s not right that there are people living under bridges.

            2. …as much as they can afford.

              Which is exactly the opposite of “the same access to healthcare.”

              Again, the typical libertarian fallacy. You’re putting nonaggression above every other possible ethical principle. Why? What’s so special about that one? You don’t think someone could believe that access to lifesaving medical treatment trumps keeping the evils of taxation at bay?

              1. Please don’t feed the troll.

                1. Dude, a guy name Jack On called you Sugar. That’s just weird, and somehow the first time I can think of seeing that.

                  1. Eh… Sugar, Suge, NutraSweet, Splenda, Saccharin Man… I am all these and more…

                    Act fast and be the first to call me Truvia!

                    1. I shall call you Fuzai-no-satou, if it pleases the court.

                    2. Actually, I prefer satou-muryo

                    3. I have seen the last 3 plenty, but as mentioned in the quotations thread, I shall dub you “Bland.” The only thing better than a crappy pun is a crappy pun combined with a pop culture reference.

                  2. Ha, didn’t even think of that. BTW, I’m reading a book by this fellow who is heading a group called the Second Vermont Republic, a secessionist group. Just curious if you’ve heard of them.

                    1. Yeah, you hear about them a couple times a year. Doesn’t every state have a secessionist group?

                    2. Probably. This one just has a book published, which is why I suppose I ran across them (at Half-Price Books).

        7. And yes, I’m willing to have my taxes pay for that.

          Why don’t you just turn out your pockets and make a donation, or regular donations, to the hospital? Why do you need the law to compel you to do something you think is right anyway?

        8. Medical bankruptcy is already a huge problem, this would not only make it exponentially worse, but what if they can’t pay? Bankruptcy? Debtors prison? Don’t let them leave the hospital?

          Medical bankruptcy is an exaggerated problem. The studies have have looked at it are not very good; they tend to count anyone who declares bankruptcy with medical debt as a medical bankruptcy, regardless of their level of other indebtedness. The number of people who would not have to declare bankruptcy except for their medical debt is unquantified, but certainly lower than the numbers that are generally quoted for medical bankruptcy.

          The solution for most non-payment is simply a payment plan. Emergency care can be expensive, but is not completely unaffordable in most cases – you’re looking at the price of an inexpensive car. Most people could afford most emergency medical care on a payment plan.

    3. You’d let these people die literally outside the hospital while you still have a nickel to your name? I can’t think you’d be so callous.

      1. That’s not what he is saying. not at all. Think harder.

        1. Back atcha. Look what Trespassers W was replying to.

    4. Re: BXH,

      Sorry, are you really advocating for stopping treating people who come into the emergency rooms unless they can pay for it?

      Yes.

      The same way restaurants can refuse to FEED a person that cannot pay for the food. Or a renter can refuse to give an apartment to someone that cannot pay.

      You’d let these people die literally outside the hospital until their credit clears?

      You mean there are no charity hospitals? None whatsoever?

      That’s not the point, BXH. The point is giving the hospital that CHOICE: Treat a person, or send him somewhere else. RIGHT NOW, it’s mandatory to treat them, no matter what.

      1. Wow. I’m saddened and shocked at the callousness here. I may have issues with health care reform, but we do have some responsibility over our fellow human beings, according to the rules of society and every major religion. The idea that you’d let someone in an urgent situation die rather than do anything to help them is truly sad.

        1. I’m saddened and shocked at the callousness here.

          You must be new.

          1. Please don’t feed the troll.

            1. I am not a fucking troll, you ridiculous nerd, I simply disagree with you.

              1. A troll is all you’ve ever been.

            2. I promise I won’t. I decide to stop answering marxoid punks from now on.

              1. Tired of getting your ass handed to you every single time?

                1. Yes, Tony, that is it. You are winning Teh Intartubes and pwning us with your inarguably correct logic.

                  1. “Oh, verily hath I been enpwnened! Quickly, take me to the pwning couch! Where are my pwning salts, I feel faint!”

                2. You’ll be disappointed some day when you figure out that most of us don’t read and discuss these articles because we want to compete in internet debates but because we’re interested in the validity or invalidity of ideas. Your ideas have been proven invalid by reality over and over again and nobody here is interested how well you can use emotional blackmail as a tool to “win” fencing matches online.

          2. We’re not against voluntary charity, only the taking of property by force. You statists seem to confuse opposing mandatory provision of services with opposing voluntary provision of services through charity. Or you’re just dishonest.

            1. Please don’t feed the troll.

              I know, I know – sometimes I just can’t help myself.

              1. It’s OK. I understand the impulse.

            2. Yes, you’re against any transfer of money from one person to the next that wasn’t explicitly the product of their immediate consent.

              You think this is more important to uphold than any other principle on the planet, up to and including the one that says people should receive emergency medical care without regard to their financial worth.

              That’s why you’re wrong about everything. Because you put one principle above all others, even vastly more important ones.

              1. His principle does not suggest anyone go without emergency care, only that it not be financed by force. NO hospital is being compelled to deny care if they want to give it and NO care recipient is being denied charity because of his principle. But you know this and don’t care.

                1. His principle does not suggest anyone go without emergency care, only that it not be financed by force. NO hospital is being compelled to deny care if they want to give it and NO care recipient is being denied charity because of his principle. But you know this and don’t care.

                  But the problem remains. You will say you don’t *want* something to happen but you don’t bother to explain how to fix it. Charity is a copout. Asking hospitals to eat the cost voluntarily will result in patients being treated according to their financial worth.

                  I think this is a hugely immoral stance, and that’s why I favor universal healthcare. It will be paid for by the usual, fair, understandable means of taxation. Probably rich people will have to subsidize the care of poor people. Oh well. That wrong is far less important than the one that says medical care should be based on wealth.

                  1. but it’s not fair. Universal healthcare disproportionately helps white people and Ashkenazi Jews (don’t get me wrong, I love the Jews, literally) because their diseases are more well understood and curable or treatable than those of blacks, whites, and native americans. Universal healthcare merely transfers wealth from the poor (via inflation) to the medically entrenched statistical majority.

                    1. *medically entrenched OR statistical majority.

                    2. and i also meant to say “blacks, asians, and native americans”.

            3. Plus, shit-for-brains like BXH don’t realize that most of this shit takes place at hospitals in very poor neighborhoods where dozens of people visit emergency rooms every day with gunshot wounds – all thanks to the War on Drugs. Stop the War On Drugs and these hospitals can provide some free services to the truly needy.

        2. Re: BXH,

          Wow. I’m saddened and shocked at the callousness here.

          Your feelings are YOUR problem.

          we do have some responsibility over our fellow human beings,

          What’s with this “we” business, Kimosabe? *I* only have responsibility for myself and for those I gave my word to be responsible for. I am not responsible for YOU, or your MOMMY, or anybody else.

          according to the rules of society and every major religion.

          What rules of society or religion ask for treating a person gratis?

          The idea that you’d let someone in an urgent situation die rather than do anything to help them is truly sad.

          It is SAD when because of people like YOU (i.e. socialists), actual PATIENTS are KILLED by a panel of notables:

          http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/…..ml?ref=rss

          And the parents have the capacity to pay. YOUR altruism LEADS to results like the above, not the other way around.

          1. according to the rules of society and every major religion.

            Aaaah, yes, I remember well that passage from the New Testament, Matthew 19:21:

            “If you want to be perfect, go, find some Roman centurions and have them rob your neighbors and give the proceeds of this theft to you, and keep some of the loot for yourself, and pay some to the centurions for their role in the theft, and give some of the rest to the politically well-connected, and then give whatever is left over to the poor because otherwise your acts will lose legitimacy in the eyes of the public, and you will have treasure in heaven. Then come, follow me.'”

            Oh, wait, that must be the New Modern Liberal Statist Translation of that verse.

            The NIV version reads slightly differently from the NMLST translation:

            “Jesus answered, ‘If you want to be perfect, go, sell your possessions and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven. Then come, follow me.'”

            Notice how the NIV version is based on individual charity and non-coercion?

            1. Why did Jesus hate stuff?

              1. Because Jesus didn’t grasp economics or the prosperity and alleviation of misery that could be obtained by allowing free markets.

            2. “We must pass the 10,000 commandments that we may find out what is in them.”

              -Jesus H. Christ

              1. Awesome

        3. And those hosptials that are run by a major religion would not kick them out. So, why is the law needed again?

        4. The #1 rule document of this society is the Constitution.

          And there isn’t anything in there about the federal government being delegated any power to mandate charity from one group of individual citizens to another.

        5. but we do have some responsibility over our fellow human beings, according to the rules of society and every major religion.

          For misanthropic atheists, those rules would be…what?

      2. “You mean there are no charity hospitals? None whatsoever?”

        Moreover, since there are only about 10 million people uninsured for financial reasons, charity would only have to come up with maybe $30 billion annually. Considering Americans give over $300 billion to charity overall, that extra little bit would be no problem.

        1. …and, if liberals donated as much of their time to fundraising for charity as they do arguing for socialism, they’d probably get the $30 billion in a few weeks.

    5. What happened in 1985?

      Seriously, what was occurring then. I dont think anyone was getting kicked out on to the sidewalk to die.

      1. There were a few highly publicized incidents of hospitals either refusing to treat or transferring them elsewhere solely due to financial reasons. NEJM and JAMA jumped on the bandwagon with studies that basically found the everyone was going to be denied care.

        http://jama.ama-assn.org/conte…..00.extract

        1. So basically, hospitals were treating everyone, it got out of control, they started referring them to other hospitals. Charitable ones, Im guessing, that were willing to treat everyone.

          Huh. So what was the problem?

      2. There were cases of people dieing in ambulances because “for profit” hospitals wouldn’t accept the patient.

        It only takes a couple of dead kids or grandparents before the lemmings begin demanding that something be done.

      3. This.

        This is the point that is usually ignored. Additionally, the law is assumed to prevent people from dying due to poverty. The law really targeted hospitals favoring those with a means of payment, and remitting those without means to other hospitals (they still do to some extent — go into any emergency room and tell the nurse that you have insurance… then sit back and watch). Nobody sat outside an emergency room dying from lack of resources, and repealing this law wouldn’t trigger that scenario. Charity and religious hospitals exist and will continue to provide healthcare for the indigent.

    6. Sorry, are you really advocating for stopping treating people who come into the emergency rooms unless they can pay for it? You’d let these people die literally outside the hospital until their credit clears? I can’t think you believe that.

      Let’s try another version of this stupidity:

      Sorry, are you really advocating for stopping feeding people who come into the grocery store unless they can pay for it? You’d let these people die of starvation literally outside the grocery store until their credit clears? I can’t think you believe that.

      Oooh, this is fun. Let’s play again:

      Sorry, are you really advocating for preventing people from stealing life-saving drugs who come into the pharmacy unless they can pay for it? You’d let these people die literally outside the pharmacy doors until their credit clears? I can’t think you believe that.

      ***

      You are advocating making temporary slaves of everyone in an emergency room, making them work without compensation.

      And, you are advocating causing people to die by discouraging emergency rooms from being built or kept operating in areas with lots of poor people because this act can cause the emergency rooms to turn into money pits, causing rational economic actors to not choose to run a business at a loss.

      So, why do you hate poor people so much? =)

      How’s this for an alternate solution: if a hospital wants to offer charity care voluntarily, they can do so. If a hospital wants to be hardasses and turn people away, liberals can boycott them for that business practice and maybe get them to change their behavior.

  4. The “free rider” problem is not inherent to the nature of health care. It’s a problem that was 100% created by unwise federal policy.

    Almost ALL free-rider problems stem from market distortions created by government. Be it public “education”, be it public “housing”, be it public “property”.

    This is a good example of “free riding” created by government:

    http://blog.oropeza.org.mx/wp-…..ablito.jpg

    http://www.noticiaspv.com/wp-c…..g_6560.JPG

    In Mexico, electricity is provided by a government run “company.” Oh, with unionized workers.

    1. You mean “workers.”

  5. Fill in the blanks to create your own Evening News lede. Fun for the whole family!

    And now, ___________. A new report from ___________ found 178 nations guarantee _________ for __________ — as much as ___ months in Sweden. So where does America fall? At the bottom of the list with ________ and ________.

  6. “If a dumb federal law drove New York’s newspapers into bankruptcy, would it be okay for the government to force you to subscribe to the New York Post?”

    Elena Kagan Might say “Well I think it would most certainly be unwise to pass such a law, but as to whether the constitution grants the government the authority to do so under the commerce clause well…Jewish Chinese food Christmas HAHAHA tyranny is cute.”

  7. Yeah it’s an unfunded mandate. But it’s better than treating poor patients as disposable. The only real solution is universal healthcare, of course.

    1. Re: Tony,

      But it’s better than treating poor patients as disposable.

      You mean the poor that buy at Walmart, Tony? THOSE poor, the ones you disdain?

      Let me know WHICH poor you talk about, you elitist fuck.

      1. You want poor people to die in the waiting room because they can’t afford medical care, and I’m the elitist?

        1. Make up your mind, Tony. Are you misunderstanding our arguments and falsely claiming we want them to die outside the hospital, or falsely claiming we want to die in the emergency room?

          1. I think you’re claiming you’re not in fact soulless sociopaths, but you don’t want to bother explaining how to prevent such deaths, instead preferring your usual approach, hand-waving the issue away and mumbling something about free markets.

            1. If nobody but a few ranting sociopaths would prefer letting people die in waiting rooms over parting with any of their money, then why do you prefer to take by force what this same vast majority of people would give voluntarily?

              1. why do you prefer to take by force what this same vast majority of people would give voluntarily?

                There’s probably an economic term for this. The “somebody else will take care of it” problem?

                This is really a moral question. Forget coercion and taxes. MNG ably demonstrates below why these are distractions. So take the golden rule, or more pertinently Rawls’s idea of a veil of ignorance. If you could possibly be someone who had no money and needed medical care, would you think you are entitled to it? Or would you die on the street out of principle? Most people realize that the morally correct position is that emergency care should be available to all regardless of ability to pay.

                It really goes without saying that charity won’t be enough to ensure this as a universal right. So we could either have hospitals eat the cost with an unfunded government mandate, or we could just have the costs socialized so that an almost-universally recognized right to emergency care is available systematically. Maybe one day this country will join the rest of the modern world and work that out.

                1. The mind of a marxoid.

                  Ubsubstantiated assertions:

                  “It really goes without saying that charity won’t be enough to ensure this as a universal right.

                  Maybe because health care is NOT a universal right, punk. You cannot have a right on something you don’t have.

                2. “If you could possibly be someone who had no money and needed medical care, would you think you are entitled to it?”

                  No. I could not possibly come to the conclusion that my need makes your time and property mine by right.

                  “Or would you die on the street out of principle?”

                  I *have* been someone who had no money and needed medical care and had no insurance. I called a bunch of doctors until I found one who was willing to let me work weekends on his house for a while to pay it off. This worked out well for both of us.

                  “Most people realize that the morally correct position is that emergency care should be available to all regardless of ability to pay.”

                  Yes, most people do. That’s why charitable donations would cover it.

            2. Tonight rich man A will eat a meal at expensive steakhouse, or have a meal prepared by his in house chef using only the finest ingredients. Middle class man B will eat a meal he or his wife cooked themselves. Poor man C will eat his local soup kitchen. Through different means, all will have achieve gaining the substance to survive until tomorrow.

              Now, why the hell can’t it work the same way with hospitals?

              1. err
                will eat AT his local soup kitchen

                He’s probably not that hungry.

              2. Because an emergency appendectomy is somewhat more costly than a bowl of soup?

                1. Because an emergency appendectomy is somewhat more costly than a bowl of soup?

                  Not inherently, only because of restrained supply

                  Nevertheless, what difference does it make to have the procedure done at Sisters of the Poor Memorial versus Mayo Clinic Regional Medical Center?

    2. The only real solution is universal healthcare, of course.

      Of course! I bet nobody could ever think of any alternative!
      By the way, solution to what?

    3. Please don’t feed the troll.

  8. The EMTLA, brought to you by Ronald Reagan.

    1. Re: Alan Vanneman,

      The EMTLA, brought to you by Ronald Reagan.

      ha ha ha!
      Oh, sorry, you seriously think there are Reaganites here….

      HAHAHAHAHAHAHA!!! What a fucking joke you are!

      1. To be fair (to someone who doesn’t deserve it) there are quite a few defenders of Reagan here.

    2. HEY!

  9. the post? no thx, i prefer reg toilet paper.

      1. Old Mexican|2.24.11 @ 12:57PM|#
        You read toilet paper?

        Hell, from the evidence here, he can barely read.

    1. Why? It’s not like you know your ass from your elbow.

  10. Emergency room free-riders are bloody shirt to wave:

    1. Obamacare is a $50 fix to a $5 problem. Single-payer is a $150 fix.

    2. Liberals considering free-riders a problem is like listening to a TV producer complain about high ratings. The welfare state is nothing but about funding free-riders to shield them from the consequences of their decisions.

    1. Free market healthcare and insurance would be so much better, with excess wealth/much cheaper services and alternatives to subsidize services for the poor.

      Of course, the leadership of the left largely knows this, but there’s no political power in having a free market in healthcare.

      1. I’m beginning to come around to the idea that the negative income tax is the way to go about having a (true) social safety net. At least with the indigent spending money in a competitive free-market, the market distortions (which effect everyone) are minimized.

        The distortions in the health insurance marketplace would be far harder to fix, probably involving ending the employer health-insurance tax breaks, offsetting it with income tax reductions, and maybe even adding a straight line deduction for healthcare costs.

        SLD, of course.

        1. We can’t just flip a switch, to be sure, but there are any number of options for indigent care. Mutual aid societies, charitable organizations, etc. There could even be tax breaks for providing some amount of critical services to the poor, though I’m wary of much government involvement in any of this.

    2. Liberals considering free-riders a problem is like listening to a TV producer complain about high ratings. The welfare state is nothing but about funding free-riders to shield them from the consequences of their decisions.

      Double plus. Without the underlying meme of ‘free shit for hippies’ their voting percentage would rival the LP for last place.

  11. This blog entry must be a honeypot. Every statist commenter from every political website is going to be here soon.

    1. Yup. I bet the Reason alarm is blaring as we speak in whatever dank sewer John Cole hangs out in.

  12. Wow. I’m saddened and shocked at the callousness here.

    Previous liberal advocacy and actions like the HMO bill of 1974 drove up the price of medical care, drove medical students away from being general practitioners, and resulted in the dysfunctions that currently exist. What you call a condition of callousness was built upon the ‘good intentions’ of those like you. Good, reasonable medical care was much more affordable for the working class before people just like you got involved. As for the poor, due to the regulatory apparatus of the modern state, the cost of building and planning charitable hospitals is prohibitive to organizations that are not themselves Leviathans. Thanks a lot, you heartless bastards.

    1. the cost of building and planning charitable hospitals is prohibitive

      Not only that, in some states it is illegal to build a hospital without state approval. WTF? More competition to lower prices cant be allowed, that would be bad. Im looking at you Illinois (but you arent the only one).

      1. “Im looking at you Illinois (but you arent the only one).”

        Who me?, says Assachusetts.

      2. Same deal on Maui. A private hospital could be built at no cost to the taxpayers, but the unionized workers running the only hospital on Maui, and running it at a huge loss, prevailed on the state commission running the Certificate of Need program that decides what can or can’t be built to deny permission to build the second hospital.

        So, poor people are dying so unionized public workers can preserve above-market wages. Nice.

        1. Certificate of Need

          Anyone else shuddering right now?

          1. yeah, me too. I didn’t want to insult the good people of our island state, but that did smack up to the edge of communism.

      3. The hospital my girlfriend (RN) works at is trying to keep the construction of a hospital by a rival company in legal limbo through using some seriously back asswards state laws in regards to unfair competition as a basis. It’s really nuts what we are willing to up with. I hope they lose their teeth in their own legal fees, even if it cost the two of us personally.

  13. This is another example of holding libertarianism to a different standard. There are people who need medical care, but have limited means to pay. Why is it a debate winning trump card to say, aha, you kooky libertarians don’t have a “solution” to this issue. What solutions are offered instead…why, a law ! A law that requires these folks get treatment regardless. Oh wait, we already have that law, so the problem should be “solved”. But one of the arguments advanced (without irony)for the law is medical bankruptcies are a “huge” problem. How can that be, the law was the solution. And the argument that we need more of what has already failed isn’t kooky ?

    1. The one that takes the cake is the argument from pity used by marxoid punks: “You want people to die!”

      Sure, because laws and good intentions are so effective at stopping that.

      http://www.dailymail.co.uk/new…..k-out.html

      What makes healthcare more affordable is allowing businesses the ability to charge for their wares. Taking out licensing laws and other impediments would also help a great deal, maybe I will stop seeing clueless pharmacists filling those silly amber bottles instead of simply giving the actual CUSTOMER a box with the pills.

      1. Oh, and marxoid punks also incur in question begging like so:
        “Emergency healthcare is different from food in a restaurant and cars [which is why it is mandated to treat with no pay]”

        They also resort to appeals to pity:
        “and that fact that you care more about money never unjustly changing hands than you do about people dying”

        You see, when it comes to people dying, one has to stop considering the taking of property that does not belong to you as “theft”. Concepts are pliable in the mind of the marxoid – up is down and wet is dry and thievery is charity.

        1. And, marxoid punks think they won the arguments merely because people stopped paying attention to them.

        2. I’m not sure to say that the value of human life > non-aggression principle is an appeal to pity, it is saying the former is more valuable than the later. But you’ve long had issues with logical fallacies OM.

          1. Re: MNG,

            I’m not sure to say that the value of human life > non-aggression principle is an appeal to pity

            The justification for aggression under the guise of helping a human being IS an appeal to pity.

            it is saying the former is more valuable than the later.

            That’s absurd in its face, MNG. I could justify taking a kidney from a guy in the street to supposedly “save a life”, under that very argument. Are you prepared to defend that position?

            1. I could justify taking a kidney from a guy in the street to supposedly “save a life”, under that very argument.

              Only if, like a fundamentalist considers all sins to be equally horrible, you think all coercion to be equal.

              The justification for aggression under the guise of helping a human being IS an appeal to pity.

              Of course it is not, it just posits that human life is more morally valuable than non-aggression.

              1. Ah, spoofing, the first refuge of the internet scoundrel.

              2. Re: MNG,

                I could justify taking a kidney from a guy in the street to supposedly “save a life”, under that very argument.

                Would you justify it if someone else TOOK it from you?

                Only if, like a fundamentalist considers all sins to be equally horrible, you think all coercion to be equal.

                This is nothing more than a red herring, MNG. You’re now arguing like Tony here.

                Of course it is not[ an appeal to pity], it just posits that human life is more morally valuable than non-aggression.

                But that’s a conclusion, not an argument. The argumnt would be that aggression and coercion is justified when it comes to saving human lives. The argument is based on an appeal to pity, not congency.

                Let’s see now: Would you be so cavalier to justify nake aggression against YOU if the excuse was “to save a life”?

                If a person you purport to take the kidney from defends himself and kills you, would he be in the wrong for stopping the saving of a human life, or would he be in the right for saving his?

                1. OM, you seem to have responded to my spoofer…

                  “The argumnt would be that aggression and coercion is justified when it comes to saving human lives.”

                  The argument would be that coercion is justified to save human lives because saving lives morally outweighs limiting coercion. It’s not that radical. And of course the premise “saving human lives morally outweighs limiting coercion” is conclusory, nearly all premises are so.

                  1. Re: MNG,

                    The argument would be that coercion is justified to save human lives because saving lives morally outweighs limiting coercion.

                    That’s circular thinking!!!

                    “Coercion good because limited coercion bad.”

                    It’s not that radical

                    Nope, just fallacious.

                    You know, I debated countless Creationists in several sites. You happen to make the most incredibly inane arguments, even worse than this one: “It looks designed therefore it’s designed.”

          2. I don’t think I’m the only one who thinks liberty is more important than life. Ask the poor guy who lit himself on fire that started a wave of freedom-seeking in the world a few weeks ago. Life is pretty cheap and easy to come by in this world. Liberty is obtained and maintained only by constant struggle. But it’s worth it.

            1. Put it this way, what good would liberty be were there no living human beings for it to be experienced by? Liberty is a good because it enriches human life.

              1. Of course, this neo-liberal notion that liberty is an instrumental good, a mere means to the end of enriching human life, is the EXACT OPPOSITE of the Enlightenment principle enshrined (however imperfectly) in the country’s founding documents, namely that liberty is an end unto itself more valuable than life, fortune, and honor.

              2. Liberty is a good because it enriches human life.

                Why MNG, if I didn’t know better, I would think you were suggesting that liberty is not an inherent and inalienable right of all individuals. If I weren’t crazier than a shithouse rat, I would say you were laying groundwork for an argument that if liberty doesn’t enrich human life, for example, “liberty caused person X to die outside of a hospital, therefore liberty did not enrich this person’s life, liberty is bad and must be opposed.”

                But that’s just silly, as it would make you a petty tyrant.

          3. It is a logical fallacy to say that you can initiate force against innocent people out of respect for the value of human life.

        3. And you’re still struggling with the begging the question…It’s not that the quote argues that by different he means “should be a target of government intervention”, THAT would be begging the question. Instead it’s just saying that emergency care is different from the others in a way that would make it fall into the category of “things warranting government intervention.” He’s assuming or implying you know how they are different, but that isn’t begging the question.

          1. Re: MNG,

            Instead it’s just saying that emergency care is different from the others in a way that would make it fall into the category of “things warranting government intervention.”

            You should turn on your irony detector, MNG. You’re just assuming the difference in order to conclude it requires DIFFERENT treatment by government. SEE?

            “It’s different therefore it’s different (in the eyes of government)”

            1. Again, an unstated but implied premise is not begging the question OM. You really struggle with this.

              1. Re: MNG,

                Again, an unstated but implied premise is not begging the question OM. You really struggle with this.

                I don’t think so, MNG. Let me show you why:

                “Instead it’s just saying that emergency care is different from the others in a way that would make it fall into the category of ‘things warranting government intervention.'”

                This is the breakdown
                Emergency care is different from other services
                Therefore
                Merits different treatment by government.

                Take away “government”, and you will see the fallacy:

                Emergency care is different than other services,
                so Emergency care is treated differently.

                This is circular thinking, it does not explain why the difference, there’s only the assumption that it is. You simply fell for the formality trap of the “Question Begging” definition. It took me YEARS to learn how to detect this fallacy.

                1. The “why” is because emergency care is sometimes necessary to keep people from dying. That is not an arbitrary thing. It’s what makes it different from the purchase of a car.

                  Just because my initial comment left this implied (because it’s obvious) doesn’t mean any question begging is going on.

                  1. Re: Tony,

                    The “why” is because emergency care is sometimes necessary to keep people from dying.

                    There are many other things that keep people from dying, Tony. Making a reductio ad absurdum, I can give anything the status of “necessary for keeping people from dying”, thus justifying its pilfering.

                    Emergency care exists because people are willing to give it. If you believe emergency care should be given as a matter of right, what would happen if nurses and doctors refused? Would you be justified to enslave them? The logical conclusion from your argument would say yes.

                    It’s what makes it different from the purchase of a car.

                    In your opinion. To me, a good is a good, subject to scarcity and exchange. Just because I *need* something badly does *not* give me justification to *take* it.

                    Just because my initial comment left this implied (because it’s obvious) doesn’t mean any question begging is going on.

                    It is – don’t kid yourself. MNG was wrong and you’re wrong. You assume the difference to conclude that different treatment is required by government – that’s not a cogent argument.

                    1. You can’t give anything the status of necessary for life. This is not arbitrary. Though standards certainly can raise with time. What’s arbitrary is assuming you have an absolute right to the dirt beneath your feet, something you didn’t create, you just claimed, but there’s no such thing to a right to healthcare.

                    2. Re: Tony,

                      You can’t give anything the status of necessary for life.

                      You mean “everything”, don’t you? Because I can certainly give ANY thing the status of life keeper, just not EVERY thing. That would be impossible.

                      This is not arbitrary.

                      Of course it is not; it simply is absurd.

                      What’s arbitrary is assuming you have an absolute right to the dirt beneath your feet, something you didn’t create, you just claimed, but there’s no such thing to a right to healthcare.

                      Same thing – YOU did not create the health service, so how can you claim it as a right for yourself?

                      See how your silly arguments can return to bite you on your ass?

                      As for claiming the dirt below me, I can’t simply claim it for me if it is already someone else’s. If nobody else has claimed it, then I can, especially after applying transformation into it. If you think this is arbitrary, it would be a silly conclusion: If you’re not there and nobody else is but me, how can my claim to a land be “arbitrary”?

                      If YOU claimed it first and I came and said “I am Tony-esque in my thinking and I want your land”, THAT would be arbitrary, as it is obvious the land was already claimed before I came and you’re there. My thinking would not be based in anything else except my envy for your land – hence, arbitrary.

      2. OM, I can’t find it, but just recently your friend Tony said on another thread, (paraphrasing) “I am morally superior because I care about other people”. That struck me as the essense of the collectivist mind, saying in effect, my sense of superiority comes only from what is in my own head, and needs no validation of actual results in the real world.

        1. I believe the marxoid punk said that.

          He also said this:

          Therefore, if government (whose law defines ownership) taxes you, those taxes are taken legitimately and not by theft[.]

          Because, you see, the same government that defined what’s yours said it is not theft!

          Ha ha ha ha!!!!

          http://www.youtube.com/watch?v…..r_embedded

          1. I think you missed Tony’s point. His point is, what does it mean to say you “own” something? The concept of ownership includes within it the idea of legitimate possession. If government determines the legitimacy as Tony seems to argue then yes taxation isn’t theft for the government to determine that some fraction of what you own you do not.

            1. Well, no. Ownership isn’t invariably based on who government says owns something. If I find a piece of driftwood along the beach, and then carve it into something more valuable, I legitimately own that carving. If a gang of thieves comes along (let’s call that gang “government”) and “determines” that they own half of the value of the carving, then that is still theft.

              A gang declaring that they have to right to determine legitimacy of ownership at the point of a gun doesn’t mean that those confiscations are legitimate.

              1. What makes property owned by someone? Even Nozick admitted there is no satisfactory explanation here. Good luck.

              2. A gang declaring that they have to right to determine legitimacy of ownership at the point of a gun doesn’t mean that those confiscations are legitimate.

                But it probably means you are sans a piece of carved driftwood. I’m sure protesting about your moral rectitude will do a lot to change that.

                Now how do you go from theoretical legitimacy to actual legitimacy (wherein you actually get to keep your stuff)? You need a formalized system (called a government) to define and physically secure your claim. Without that you’re just yelling into the wind about your correctness, and you don’t have anything because someone not so upstanding has taken it.

                1. Now how do you go from theoretical legitimacy to actual legitimacy (wherein you actually get to keep your stuff)? You need a formalized system (called a government) to define and physically secure your claim.

                  No, what I need is a gun to defend my right to my private property, and maybe some friends if I’m outnumbered by the thieves.

                  I can hire a protective service to do all that for me.

                  Now, if someone imposes a government upon me and calls it a protective service for my benefit, even though they are in fact stealing from me, the government is NOT then “defining and physically securing my claim”, because I did not hire them, and they are stealing from me, if their idea of “defining” is “defining my property as theirs” and their idea of physically securing is “physically securing it on their property after taking it from me.”

                  You are assuming a benevolent government. I am not.

            2. Re: MNG,

              I think you missed Tony’s point. His point is, what does it mean to say you “own” something?

              You missed the point yourself. He argues that ownership exists by virtue of government, therefore government can tax because it decided what’s ownership. That’s classic circular thinking.

              I am not going to get into a discussion about what’s ownership with you, MNG. Just for starters, you’re already committing a perfunctory contraduction – are you really accepting that in order for “ownership” to exist, it must be defined legally? Do you have then a legal certificate that states your body is yours? And if it didn’t exist (be careful here) would that mean you don’t OWN your body?

              The concept of ownership includes within it the idea of legitimate possession. If government determines the legitimacy[…][???]

              “Legitimate” and “Government said so” are NOT the same thing – you’re equivocating.

              1. “I am not going to get into a discussion about what’s ownership with you, MNG.”

                Lucky you.

            3. But, as I pointed out in a previous thread yesterday, that’s a dangerous road to go down. It’s essentially a justification for a law being passed that says 100% of MNG’s shit must be confiscated and liquidated, and you can’t do anything about it, because we passed a law, all legal like, so it’s OK.

              The question is, are some actions wrong in and of themselves, or is nothing wrong as long as it is mandated by the legal process in place? I understand Tony’s problem with mystical inviolate rights, but the legalist position is too easily debunked by the existence of many different legal traditions and systems in nations around the world. Since the legal system can be changed in any nation given sufficient impetous, you could basically find a way to justify robbing anyone of anything, and then, what’s the point of having an ownership concept at all?

              1. A government that is truly based on the consent of the govern is one that can accept that the people are merely contracting out their legitimate use of force to protect themselves and the products of their labor to agents operating in good faith.

                To say that the government decides what you do and do not own is absurd as the night security guards thinking that they own the store.

              2. I’ll grant there are problems imo with the idea that government’s determine who owns what. But here’s the rub, there are problems with any idea of who owns what. That’s what Nozick was getting at.

                1. But here’s the rub, there are problems with any idea of who owns what.

                  From a purely functionalist viewpoint, I assert that if a private actor takes something without my consent and it is considered theft by the government, then the taking by the government of the same stuff without my consent is also theft. It’s my consent that matters, not how the thieves choose to justify ignoring it.

                  1. “takes something”

                    You mean takes possession of it? I’m betting you mean “takes something of mine” which in this case you get the whole ownership issue again (what makes it mine?).

                    1. Inability to grasp concepts that a 3-year-old readily understand doesn’t make you profound.

                      If you think I don’t own anything that I think is mine, feel free to break into my house some night.

              3. The question is, are some actions wrong in and of themselves, or is nothing wrong as long as it is mandated by the legal process in place?

                But how do you get everyone else to agree with you about that, and how do you prevent people from doing wrong?

                1. They will shoot them when they do what they think is wrong Tony. And then they will call that shooting “non-aggression” because they define aggression as violence against other people’s rights, with rights being defined as things they think justify violence to protect, and they will be unaware of the question begging going on…

                  1. And then they will call that shooting “non-aggression” because they define aggression as violence against other people’s rights, with rights being defined as things they think justify violence to protect, and they will be unaware of the question begging going on…

                    To MNG, sucker-punching someone and hitting someone back after being sucker-punched to keep them from hitting you again are morally equivalent actions.

                    This is why he is either arguing in bad faith or an idiot. Most of the time, I assume bad faith.

                    1. To MNG, sucker-punching someone and hitting someone back after being sucker-punched to keep them from hitting you again are morally equivalent actions.

                      It is the way of The Utilitarian Church (Orthodox).

                    2. When you challenge the basic assumptions of libertarianism people around here insult you or your “honesty” real quick. I mean, no one, no one could think there is a problem with defining aggression as violence against what I think as right!

                    3. When you challenge the basic assumptions of libertarianism people around here insult you or your “honesty” real quick.

                      Continually pretending that questions already answered are unanswered questions is why you are dishonest, not disagreeing with the answers themselves.

                    4. “sucker-punching someone and hitting someone back after being sucker-punched to keep them from hitting you again are morally equivalent actions.”

                      Oh, it’s not that they are morally equivalent, but both are aggressive acts. One might be justified by some attendant ethical principle, but then so are the “aggressions” that liberals and conservatives advocate.

                    5. Oh, it’s not that they are morally equivalent, but both are aggressive acts.

                      The same tired argument you always make because you refuse to acknowledge that “initiation of aggression” and “aggression” are not the same thing. Collapsing categories doesn’t win arguments.

                      “Initiation” and “retaliation” are morally unequal actions. A bicycle and a motorcycle at not the same thing just because you insist on only recognizing that they are two-wheeled vehicles.

                    6. “you refuse to acknowledge that “initiation of aggression” and “aggression” are not the same thing”

                      No, I acknowledge they are not the same thing, but they are not because of a moral principle separate from “aggression/coercion is bad.” That principle is smuggled into the “non-aggression principle” and makes it seem like libertarians are against aggression and everyone else is ok with it. In actuality libertarians, like everyone else, think aggression is justified at times. The differences just lie on what justifies it and what does not.

                    7. OK, so what I say I believe means nothing in the face of what you think I believe. Thank fucking goodness someone finally came along to clear up my muddled mind.

                      Utilitarians want to drink the blood of infants. Don’t deny it; you couldn’t possibly know what you believe, only I know your mind.

                    8. WTF? How did you get that from what I said?

                      You yourself say that some forms of violence are justified and some are not. You call the latter aggression and label them bad. Well everyone believes that unjustified violence is bad, that is what it means to say it is unjustified! Libertraians just disagree over what makes violence unjustified (and therefore “aggression”). You’re no more against aggression (i.e., “unjustified violence”) than anyone.

                    9. What makes you think that anyone cares about formless aggression? Only you do insofar as it makes for a self-serving argument. No, not all aggression is equal. Yes, there are value judgments to be made to decide the morality of an action. Ohhhh! You really got me there!

                      You hit me. I hit you back. Are these morally equal actions or not?

                      I’ve got to go. Try to remember the next time you bring this up that an answer you don’t like is not the same as no answer at all.

                    10. Re: MNG,

                      No, I acknowledge they are not the same thing, but they are not because of a moral principle separate from “aggression/coercion is bad.” That principle is smuggled into the “non-aggression principle” and makes it seem like libertarians are against aggression and everyone else is ok with it. In actuality libertarians, like everyone else, think aggression is justified at times.

                      You’re confusing “aggression” which means initiating a violent act against someone, with mere “violence”, which means the use of overwhelming force. Self-defense can require violence, but self-defense is NOT coercion or initiation of force.

                  2. AAGHH!! GAAHHH!!1 HELP!! MNG IS BEATING THE SNOT OUT OF ME!!!111!

                    1. AAGHH!! GAAHHH!!1 HELP!! MNG IS BEATING THE SNOT OUT OF ME!!!111

                      *lights a match*

                2. Tony:

                  “But how do you get everyone else to agree with you about that…”

                  You CAN’T get everyone else to agree with that. Which is why the state should be out of this business entirely. Everyone should be free to make up their own minds on the issue, and not have someone else’s opinions forced on them.

                  You should know, I’m not a con-shit-tutionalist. I hate the great centralizing document, and I don’t imagine a vast American empire where everyone agrees with me. I want thousands of small, self-regulating communities, where shared beliefs would be easy to accomplish. And if my beliefs change, or I don’t like them in practice, I can freely move to another community with different beliefs.

                  I realize this is unrealistic, but it may help clarify my responses.

                  1. Jim,

                    That’s fine and consistent. I do think that in the modern world, even your small self-regulating communities would have to interact with each other, necessitating a government above them all.

                    I don’t believe in government for its own sake. I believe two things: one, any society larger than a small tribe needs a formal government to function somewhat peacefully. Two, governments will emerge whether you want them to or not, and it pays to be sure it’s a democratic and fair one instead of a strong man asserting control by force or something.

        2. Reminds me of the Phil Gramm debated the education chick on some news program:

          PG: My education plan is based on the fact that I care more about my children than you do.

          EC: No you dont.

          PG: Really? then what are their names?

    2. you kooky libertarians don’t have a “solution” to this issue.

      Its not even that. We have a solution: charity.

      But somehow that isnt acceptable.

      1. Charity is never a substitution to people who aren’t charitable.

        They think everyone else is just as ugly as they are, never understanding that they are really looking in a mirror.

        1. Just to drag in another hot button issue, but that’s what I think when I hear arguments for gun control. Why, people will kill each other over a parking spot ! REALLY ? Or, maybe, they project their own murderous thoughts and lack of self control onto the rest of us.

      2. Charity is not much of an answer. They had charity before such laws and people found it wanting.

        1. Re: MNG,

          They had charity before such laws and people found it wanting.

          Uh, like… Which people, MNG? Those in Congress or those in the DMC?

          1. Those in Congress tend to pay some attention people to everyone else (well, those that vote anyway).

            1. Re: MNG,

              Those in Congress tend to pay some attention people to everyone else[…]

              Think about what you say – do you really think voters wanted hospitals to treat patients gratis? Of ALL things that could be in a taxpayer’s mind? Really?

              1. I don’t know that they wanted that, I imagine they wanted people in need of emergency care not to be turned away by hospitals. Maybe they wanted the bill to be paid by taxpayers but they realized that would be teh Communism and we cannot have that.

                1. Re: MNG,

                  I don’t know that they wanted that, I imagine they wanted people in need of emergency care not to be turned away by hospitals.

                  You’re guessing it was so. That does not make it so.

        2. but it’s fixed now, because of that law, right ?

          1. If the concern was with people being turned away, then that is fixed. Lots of government laws have all kinds of effects, that certainly doesn’t mean government can’t make other laws to address those effects.

            1. It’s turtles all the way down for MNG.

            2. It’s hard to parody someone who inadvertently sounds like a troll, but actually means what they say because they haven’t reflected on the silliness of “well, if our poorly thought out laws make things worse, well, then the dim-witted people who were incapable of seeing beforehand the obvious unintended consequences of their prior laws will just pass more laws fixing all those problems and everything will be perfect and there will be no new unintended consequences.”

              1. The turtles reference worked for me.

              2. You’re confusion springs from the “makes thing worse” part. The law was meant to stop people being turned away. It does that. It did not “make things worse” in that area. Now perhaps it creates an incentive or barrier that makes for a problem in another area. Well, pretty much any law is going to do that. It’s not crazy to then pass another law to address that, to lessen the effects of the incentives created by the first.

                1. Consider Libertopia. There are strict no trespassing laws there. Because of the strict enforcement many vagrants take up some other undesirable activity. It’s not crazy to pass a law addressing the second activity, and you certainly wouldn’t recommend repealing the trespass laws.

                2. Then you can make other laws to address the problems from that.

                  then you bring in a mouse to eat the beetle, cat to eat the mouse, wolf to eat the cat and so on. the system works.

            3. make other laws to address those effects…

              which brings us back to the original article.

        3. Do you have actual numbers? Were people dying in the streets before this law was passed?

    3. The template that they run on is to pretend that all of their previous actions haven’t shaped the current system* into its current state. That which works in our system has been the result of the free market, that which is a failure is the result of previous efforts to regulate the health care system and the unintended** consequences that resulted as in the example I gave in the post above.

      They play a game where they pretend they are starting from scratch, reorganizing a system that is the result of the savagery of the free market. Somehow they get away with this venality and only get called on it by the few who have actually looked into the history of their previous actions in any depth.

      *I hesitate to use that word, it has an entirely different meaning for me, a functional meaning like you would find in Hayek than the meaning that socialist advocates attach. A system so complicated that only the government can properly manage it.

      ** The goal to reach some form of socialized medicine through fucking up what we have is nothing new that originated with Obamacare. It has been the driving impetus to actual legislative action from the left at least since the late 60’s.

      1. They play a game where they pretend they are starting from scratch

        Yes. It’s like bringing in two bicycles for repair, one that has slipped a chain and the other which has been run over and then beaten with sledgehammers and expecting them to be fix with the same amount of effort. “See, you don’t have a solution to ANYTHING!”

  14. -10 pts for not mentioning Koch brothers.

  15. I’m saddened and shocked at the callousness here.

    And we’re sickened by the stupidity and immaturity of you and your ilk. So?

  16. It’s actually refreshing to hear the REAL issue (EMTLA) being discussed, and it’s unintended (*) consequences.

    * SugarFree at 12:59 would probably disagree that the results are “unintended”. I’m inclined to agree.

    1. I’d say that they were unintended in the sense that I don’t believe that the EMTLA was passed with the foresight that it would be used as an excuse for a government takeover of healthcare a couple of decades later, but unfunded mandates have a healthy measure of FAIL built into their very DNA.

      1. I’ve seen frank admission of such designs going back forty years from various health care advocates who have had a great measure of input into every law passed in that time. It’s safe to assume that the only reason the left would strike this bargain with the insurance companies is that an action that goes against their principles (enriching market based actors) is seen as a step in a direction to which they still see as a goal.

      2. They werent planning a couple of decades out. Remember, they tried a government takeover of health care about 5 minutes after the first Dem president got in office. The problem thought they would get a shot in 1989, so they were only planning 3 years ahead.

        1. That last sentence should read: They probably thought…

        2. It just seems to me that they are self-servingly reactive as opposed to grand masters of the long-term conspiracy. I have a hard time granting them that much intelligence and guile.

          1. Ive met enough intelligent liberals to think otherwise.

            95% of congressmen voting for something…sure, not bright. But there are 1 or 2 pushing things that are.

            1. It’s not about intelligence. It is about perception. Liberals are driven by a perception that government can achieve “fairness” in life even if they must infringe on the rights of free men and women to achieve “fairness”.

              This is how people with advanced degrees can argue that a mental decision to not engage in real-world physical activity is actually commerce.

              1. It really comes down to what I said the other night about coercion not being the only and/or worst thing in the world. There are situations where coercion is the lesser of two evils for liberals (and conservatives btw). For libertarians there seems to be none. Not even saving human lives is as important as preventing coercion.

                1. If your local priest denies you the sacraments because you refuse to provide aid to the poor and helpless, that is totally fair game.

                  If the state demands taxes on pain of imprisonment to provide aid to the poor and the helpless, that is not.

                  Not all coercion is equal.

                2. Libertatians are neither liberal or conservative. Those groups are both wrong on most topics of importance.

                  1. What’s really confusing to me is how you can be so confused as to my point…I didn’t say libertarians were liberal or conservative. I said liberals and conservatives see some things as more wrong than government coercion and therefore are OK with government coercion to stop those wrongs. Libertarians see nothing as wrong as government coercion.

                    1. Libertarians see nothing as wrong as government coercion.

                      A government that serves the people can only use coercion to resolve conflicts between the people (and even then, just to prevent conflict from becoming violence).

                      A government that uses coercion for any other purpose no longer serves the people; it serves itself.

                    2. Libertarians see nothing as wrong as government coercion.

                      Horseshit. It’s just that non-libertarians readily accept the individual-on-individual coercion is wrong, but that when the government does the same, it’s magically A-OK.

                      If no one owns anything, justify the mugger, the armed robber, the burgler.

                    3. Because you have to have that in order to prevent individual-on-individual coercion. Normal people accept government coercion as a part of life, because it facilitates their ability to peacefully enjoy that life. Is it really fundamentally unjust that you are prevented from murdering another person by the threat of force from police? Doesn’t the equation here balance on the side of more freedom, even though coercion is required?

                    4. Would anyone else like to ask Tony exact question? I’ll answer them.

                    5. Because you have to have that in order to prevent individual-on-individual coercion. Normal people accept government coercion as a part of life, because it facilitates their ability to peacefully enjoy that life. Is it really fundamentally unjust that you are prevented from murdering another person by the threat of force from police? Doesn’t the equation here balance on the side of more freedom, even though coercion is required?

                    6. Well, “kinnath”…

                      Because you have to have that in order to prevent individual-on-individual coercion.

                      No, you don’t. We give government our agency (you know, the whole consent of the governed jazz) to act on our behalf. Stealing from me is not acting on my behalf. Cops tasering me into a coma is not on my behalf.

                      Normal people
                      Fuck off, dipshit.

                      accept government coercion as a part of life, because it facilitates their ability to peacefully enjoy that life.
                      What people accept is not the measure of what the government should be doing. Your wife might tolerate you giving her a black eye once a month, but her not leaving you is not a signal that what you are doing is moral.

                      Is it really fundamentally unjust that you are prevented from murdering another person by the threat of force from police?
                      Fuck off, dipshit.

                      Doesn’t the equation here balance on the side of more freedom, even though coercion is required?
                      Once again, “kinnath,” you display a willful ignorance of negative and positive rights. And dishonest conflation of libertarianism and anarchism that you and other trolls constantly employ.

                      Troll feeding deactivated.

                    7. Thanks for setting me straight. I’ll never make that mistake again.

                    8. So SugarFree since you’re not arguing on behalf of an absolutist (anarchist) position, which is the logical conclusion to many of the claims made here, all we differ on are policies. All the hostility over that? That’s all I’ve been saying. We just have different policy ideas. Of course some of us aren’t bestowing upon our policy ideas the imprimatur of mystical forces…

                    9. All the hostility over that?

                      The hostility is that you are a fucking troll, fake innocently asking questions that have been answered to you thousand of fucking times. You are not persuadable, we are not persuadable, and therefore you are only here to be an annoying dick… so kindly FUCK OFF AND DIE.

                      But I have no illusions that you are even capable of understanding that doing something against the express wishes of someone else is wrong. So I’ll go back to filtering now, ashamed that I helped you bore the fine and loving community of this fair board.

                    10. Which one of us are you?

                    11. thread-failure — I can’t tell to whom you are responding

                    12. Which one of us are you?

                      I am he, as you are he, as you are me
                      and we are all together.

                    13. You’re the Walrus? Holy shit!

                    14. Normal people accept government coercion as a part of life

                      So, you’re labeling anyone who doesn’t agree with this premise as abnormal?

                      Is it really fundamentally unjust that you are prevented from murdering another person by the threat of force from police?

                      It is unjust that I am forced to accept, and pay for, the monopoly of force in a geographic area by police who may or may not do an effective job of protecting my rights.

                      That may be a lesser injustice than being forcible disarmed by the state and having no police protection, but it does not make the injustice go away.

                      It is not unjust if someone can protect their rights and their life by hiring a protective service to prevent me from murdering them by threatening retaliatory action if I do murder them. It is not unjust if I do the same and hire my own protective service.

                    15. So, you’re labeling anyone who doesn’t agree with this premise as abnormal?

                      Yes. Anarchism is not a normal political philosophy that normal people hold.

                      You really think a world is just in which everyone (those who can afford it, that is) has a private security force, and hence every dispute is won on the grounds that the winner had a bigger arsenal? You think that’s superior to having a few legitimate, universalized programs like police?

                    16. Yes. Anarchism …….

                      There you go again.

                    17. kinnath if you don’t accept government coercion you are by definition advocating anarchism.

                    18. A government that serves the people can only use coercion to resolve conflicts between the people (and even then, just to prevent conflict from becoming violence).

                      A government that uses coercion for any other purpose no longer serves the people; it serves itself.

                      So in the words of the immortal Sugarfree, Fuck off and Die you dishonest prick.

                    19. Re: MNG,

                      I said liberals and conservatives see some things as more wrong than government coercion and therefore are OK with government coercion to stop those wrongs.

                      There’s no disagreement that liberals and conservatives believe this.

                      Libertarians see nothing as wrong as government coercion.

                      That’s a strawman. I see bombarding planets with asteroids as more wrong than government coercion, and I believe I am right.

                      What libertarians espouse is that government ITSELF is not justified in its existence because it completely relies on the initiation of force to obtain goods, i.e. the government steals; it relies on causing death through to garner political points, i.e. the government kills. Whether liberals or conservatives justify these actions a posteriori is irrelevant.

                    20. sorry, “causing through war to garner political points”

          2. I do tend to try to assume incompetence rather than ill-wishes.

            1. I assume (because I believe it so) that most people are reasonably competent.

  17. We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights, that among these are life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.

    As cruel as this may sound to the progressive wing at H&R, your rights are limited. The government may not take your life without due process. This does not mean that the government can force other free individuals to keep you alive.

    1. Causing something to happen and not preventing something from happening are not necessarily morally distinct.

      1. How did you pass out of grade school . . . . . never mind — social promotion.

        1. I said not necessarily. If you have the means to prevent a wrong from happening and won’t be burdened by doing so but choose not to, how is that any better than causing the wrong in the first place?

          1. The stupid is strong with this one

            1. Such a compelling rebuttal.

              1. If you have the means to prevent a wrong from happening and won’t be burdened by doing so but choose not to, how is that any better than causing the wrong in the first place?

                If you have to ask the question, then you can’t understand the answer.

                1. So educate me. Are their angels on your shoulders, making you a little more morally correct?

                  1. You are guilty of the death of every child that starves in Africa.

                    1. I said “won’t be burdened by” acting.

                    2. There are no acts that don’t have a cost.

                    3. If you have the means to prevent a wrong from happening and won’t be burdened by doing so but choose not to, how is that any better than causing the wrong in the first place?

                      […]

                      I said “won’t be burdened by” acting.

                      So you’re in the clear when you buy food for yourself, but when you bought a second house you starved hundreds of people. Unless, of course, it was one of your spoofers who talked about having a second house. I’m not sure on that. Even if it was, every hour you spend debating people on this blog, you’re starving even more people since you could be using that time to make money that could feed them. After all, spending time or money on any cause that isn’t a matter of life and death means murdering people affected by causes that are matters of life and death.

                      You know, I thought I believed that humans are pretty awful. I guess I was wrong. Even starting a war is just small potatoes, apparently. If I accept your premise, almost everyone who isn’t living under totalitarianism is guilty of multiple acts of genocide every day.

                2. So you are saying that murdering someone, and choosing to not intervene and stop a murder you witness because bad things are likely to happen to you if you try to intervene, are exactly the same thing?

                  1. Pretty sure I said exactly the opposite. It would be quite a burden on oneself to intervene and potentially get yourself killed.

                    What we’re talking about is the government (which has a lot of power and resources) ignoring the poverty of millions can be morally equated to government causing the poverty of millions.

                    1. The stupid is strong with this one

                    2. Either:

                      The government has no power that is not granted by the governed and has no resources not provied by the governed….

                      Or:

                      The governed possess nothing that isn’t granted by the government…..

                      It’s really that simple — a nice clean discrete difference of philosophy.

                    3. Pretty sure I said exactly the opposite.

                      Nope. I’ve captured the essence of what you said:

                      If you have the means to prevent a wrong from happening and won’t be burdened by doing so but choose not to, how is that any better than causing the wrong in the first place?

                      Now, perhaps in YOUR mind there is no difference between the government and you, but in my mind there is a huge difference between that gang of thugs and me.

                      Pretty sure I said exactly the opposite. It would be quite a burden on oneself to intervene and potentially get yourself killed.

                      What we’re talking about is the government (which has a lot of power and resources) ignoring the poverty of millions can be morally equated to government causing the poverty of millions.

                      Well, first of all the government’s prior interventions are causing much of that poverty you speak of.

                      Second, the interventions you advocate to fix the problems caused by those prior interventions will cause further poverty and further suffering, because it will involve taking money from the more productive private sector and moving it to the less productive public sector.

                      Third, we’re not talking about some amorphous disembodied being when you talk about “government” and say it is “ignoring the poverty of millions”. We’re talking about specific individuals who have seized power and are using that power to steal from others, causing poverty by that act, and then convincing useful idiots like you that such theft will alleviate poverty instead of cause more of it.

                      There is nothing moral about theft. There is nothing charitable about taking people’s stuff at the point of a gun and keeping some of it and giving some of it to others, some of whom are poor.

      2. Please don’t feed the troll.

      3. I do not subscribe to your religion.

      4. Re: Tony,

        Causing something to happen and not preventing something from happening are not necessarily morally distinct.

        Really? For instance?

        For example, if I cause the planet Mars to explode, is that as morally reprehensible as not stopping the planet Mars from exploding?

        1. Pay attention to my caveats. I said not necessarily.

          1. Re: Tony,

            Pay attention to my caveats. I said not necessarily.

            Pay attention to my questions: For instance? Give me an example.

            1. You’re standing at the edge of a cliff. Someone trips and is about to fall off. You have the ability to save her. Is sitting there and letting her fall morally more laudable than pushing her off?

                1. Pourquoi? The angel on your shoulder?

                  1. Our existing legal system already differentiates between intentionally causing death, unintenionally causing death, and just not getting involved.

                    1. And all of that complexity–to the extent that we legally differentiate between morally equivalent acts–can be found in the laws of nature, I presume?

                    2. And all of that complexity–to the extent that we legally differentiate between morally equivalent acts–can be found in the laws of nature, I presume?

                      It is called “kin selection” and “the selfish gene” hypothesis, among other things. The moral thing, if you read Ayn Rand’s “The Virtue of Selfishness”, is to act in our self-interest, broadly defined, which includes helping those we love, but not sacrificing ourselves to strangers.

                    3. It is called “kin selection” and “the selfish gene” hypothesis, among other things. The moral thing, if you read Ayn Rand’s “The Virtue of Selfishness”, is to act in our self-interest, broadly defined, which includes helping those we love, but not sacrificing ourselves to strangers.

                      Which sounds more like a description of how people do act in nature than a claim about how they should act in a complex modern world. Even in a densely packed but decent city nobody is asked to sacrifice himself for others. Maybe a few tax dollars, but that’s only because it’s in his best interest to share in some endeavors. Why can’t people act in their self-interest by engaging in shared long-term projects? Dawkins said that he could have just as easily titled his book “The Cooperative Gene,” since sometimes–often, for humans, even in their natural state–cooperation is what’s best for self-interest.

              1. Re: Tony,

                You’re standing at the edge of a cliff. Someone trips and is about to fall off. You have the ability to save her.

                Who says I have the ability to save her, what does that mean? You mean I am like the Flash? Or Superman?

                Is the woman pretty? That may sway me… if I were Superman. Would put me in character, definitively.

                Is sitting there and letting her fall morally more laudable than pushing her off?

                You seem to think that morality is about keeping score. You would be wrong if you think that.

                It’s not immoral to let a person fall off a cliff if your acts did not provoke it. It may not be nice, I would be an asshole for letting it happen, but being an asshole does not make me immoral (i.e. evil.)

              2. You’re standing at the edge of a cliff. Someone trips and is about to fall off. You have the ability to save her. Is sitting there and letting her fall morally more laudable than pushing her off?

                Yes. The person pushing is committing an act of murder. The person choosing to not risk their life (because grabbing a person about to fall off a cliff might mean BOTH of you go down to your deaths) is not morally culpable for the death of the person who acted careless around the edge of a cliff and thus put their life in danger.

                Now, if I VOLUNTARILY choose to risk my life for that person — which, in this situation I would do if I cared about them, and which I might not do for some random stranger if I deemed it too risky — then I might be lauded for that action, but I am not morally required to sacrifice myself for strangers who are careless and take stupid risks that bite them in the arse.

                1. because grabbing a person about to fall off a cliff might mean BOTH of you go down to your deaths

                  Look my stipulation is that no harm will come to you, it is totally within your means to save the victim.

                  I am not morally required to sacrifice myself for strangers who are careless and take stupid risks that bite them in the arse.

                  Nobody’s asking you to, and nobody has made a claim about the way the victim arrived at the cliff’s edge. It’s a pure accident you can 100% prevent vs. a deliberate act on your part.

                  Before you accuse me of moving goalposts, my point is that if you can find a moral equivalence between inaction and action then suddenly they don’t seem separated by as thick a line. There is such a thing as negligent homicide, after all.

                  So since the outcome of either action is exactly the same, and that outcome was 100% preventable by you in either scenario, what’s the big difference?

                  1. And negligent homicide cares the same punishment as true homicide? Also your example would not be negligent homicide.

                    You are simply a consequentialist. By definition amoral.

  18. I feed off your anger.

    1. Seriously, this guy must be a Reason employee. No one else would have this much time to be on every post. I salute you sir, you have done an excellent job in building up comment numbers.

  19. Tony|2.24.11 @ 1:26PM|#

    Tired of getting your ass handed to you every single time?

    Joe, buddy- long time no see!

  20. I suspect the ENORMOUS!!!!!! cost of the emergency room “free rider problem” has more to do with tax accounting than the actual cost of treatment.

    Particularly since (I believe) the hospital is obligated to provide enough care to stabilize the patient, but not to provide long term care. Conflating a bloody head wound from a car crash with cancer treatment is just a cheap rhetorical trick.

    1. I agree with you. A common cry is that “everyone already gets care, even if they can’t pay for it, in emergency rooms!”

      Well, they get prevented from dying due to an immediate injury, but no, as you pointed out, they do NOT get long-term care for things like cancer or organ failure. For those who make just too much to be on medicaid, they have to rely on charity or private donors. I personally want to know why hospitals charge insurance companies $10 per aspirin and $12 for a band-aid (true story, I read it on an itemized statement I requested).

      1. I personally want to know why hospitals charge insurance companies $10 per aspirin and $12 for a band-aid (true story, I read it on an itemized statement I requested).

        Because they can.

        Because insurance companies will pay for stuff that an individual would decline to pay for if they were footing 100% of the bill.

  21. I free rode your momma last night.

  22. At the hospital I worked at in Anchorage we had bums coming in to the ER all the time. Some were drug seekers, some wanted a warm bed for a few hours, some wanted some attention. None of these are the responsibility of medical workers, and especially not in a trauma center. But so long as they didn’t admit there was nothing wrong with them they could get in, even if it meant sleeping in the waiting room. The triage nurse (or doctor) should be able to say “there’s no reason for you to be here”. And AFAIK they can’t do that.

  23. Well, since the gauntlet was thrown by MNG, here it goes:

    MNG:

    What makes property owned by someone? Even Nozick admitted there is no satisfactory explanation here.

    Well, you can always try a little experiment. Go to the end of the block where your house sits, knock on the door, enter the house once whoever opens the door, and try to take their TV.

    While you’re dying from your gun wounds (or maybe golf club-induced contusions all depends), you will have your epiphany regarding how property is owned. I am pretty sure Nozick is too much of a hypocritical coward to try it, but I have greater hopes for you.

    1. In one ear, out the other.

      1. I don’t talk to marxoid punks, punk.

        1. You gave up. That means I win.

  24. You’re standing at the edge of a cliff. Someone trips and is about to fall off.

    My advice? Go for the head shot, so she doesn’t suffer on the way down,

    1. In utilitarian ethics murder and not saving a life are equivalent. There really isn’t much point debating someone when you have such different premises.

  25. People aren’t going to sit quietly while their loved ones die because they can’t pay.

    Put people in that place and watch them lash out violently.

    1. I can’t help but to agree with you.

    2. And I suppose people are going to sit quietly when the gov’t says “sorry, we don’t think you need the treatment.”

      1. Looking a gift horse in the mouth?

      2. Shouldn’t it be Scruffy looking? Or are you Scruffy the janitor from Planet Express? Because if that’s the case I need to finish my whole beer…

    3. Is that claim quantified? And what if medical costs bankrupt an entire family? Tough shit, a billionaire deserves a Bugatti more?

      1. “And what if medical costs bankrupt an entire family?”

        So your telling me that health care, one of the most regulated and thus bureaucratic industries in the United States, is expensive, and to solve this problem we need more bureaucracy, rent-seeking, and regulation? That’s kind of like saying, “This man is dying of alcohol poisoning! Quick, someone get him a Budweiser!”

        “Tough shit, a billionaire deserves a Bugatti more?”

        No ones saying that the wealthy ‘deserve’ anything, Tony. Your straw man fallacies got boring a long time ago.

Please to post comments

Comments are closed.