Obamacare

I Like My Insurance Plan and I Can Keep It—for About $1,740 More Per Year

Thanks, Obamacare!

|

Health. Join In/Facebook

Last week I received nasty but not-entirely-unanticipated news: my insurance carrier, Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield, is amending my current plan effective January 1, 2015. Come the New Year, I can keep my current plan—a low-premium, high-deductible setup meant to cover major medical expenses and not much else—except it won't actually be my "current" plan. My premium will be almost quadrupling, from $55 per month to just over $200 per month.

There are a few other options available to me. I could enroll in my employer's coverage, but that, too, would cost me a little over $200 per month. I could seek insurance through one of the Obamacare exchanges, on which I would qualify for a tax subsidy for my plan, but—so far as I can tell in the dense, unworkable digital jungle of the Affordable Care Act's (ACA) marketplaces—the cheapest plan I could find would jack my deductible up by an enormous $1,350.

This is the essence of Obamacare: delivering inferior products at higher prices. And while it's been somewhat satisfying to watch the ACA's disastrous first year, at heart this is a deeply distressing and worrisome sign of things to come. This is your money, your family's health, and your liberty—all sacrificed so that a bunch of inept bureaucrats could score points wheeling out "healthcare reform" and help you buy things you simply don't want to buy.

On its face this may seem like a standard, garden-variety failure of progressive statism. But the Obamacare mess isn't simply a problem of the left; the right is complicit, too.

The star reform effort that Republicans put forward in 2012 proposed a healthcare plan that was, at its core, functionally identical to Obamacare (and lest we forget, as governor of Massachusetts, Mitt Romney implemented what ended up being the blueprint for Obamacare). Things are looking no better in 2014, as even Virginia's supposedly super-conservative Senate candidate Ed Gillepsie proposes a healthcare reform plan that's a mess of tax credits, pre-existing condition provisions, and "state-run high risk pools." Small-government touting politicians seem to have accepted the left's central premise about healthcare reform: Whatever shape it takes, the state must be in control.

Both conservatives and liberals are avoiding useful and substantial reform efforts in favor of washed-out, middle-of-the-road policies that make every aspect of the healthcare system genuinely worse. But for healthcare reform to have any measurable effect, it needs to be driven by a concrete set of political actions that dispense with the absurdly complicated and overlarge technocratic bureaucracy that has sprung up around Obamacare.

The right, for one, needs to dispense with any notion of moderation when it comes to cleaning up America's insurance disaster and offer a serious set of proposals to strip away the deleterious effects of government meddling in the healthcare market. As Virginia Libertarian candidate Robert Sarvis points out, "Real healthcare reform begins with deregulation." If you're a small-government politician and you're not supportive of aggressively stripping away the useless, costly, and counterproductive framework of modern American healthcare, you probably shouldn't be listened to.

And the left? It should get away from the messy and embarrassing disaster of Obamacare and instead advocate for what it truly desires: a government-administered, single-payer healthcare system. Indeed, many politicians, including Barack Obama himself, have mentioned that single-payer is their preferred healthcare scheme. And it's worth pointing out that single-payer system would at least be less horrendously complicated than the ACA.

As Peter Suderman recently pointed out, Obamacare's cheapest "bronze" plans are rising in price next year, anywhere from 16 percent to 64 percent; meanwhile, the price of its middle-of-the-road "silver" plans will decrease on average by one percent—though in some places the price will rise. Four years after it passed, nearly three-quarters of Americans are still terribly confused by this law. As bad as government-run, single-payer healthcare may be, it would at least be simpler and more straightforward than this debacle. 

We need clear and decisive options, in other words—not this half-assed, heavy-handed, piecemeal kind of thing. If you want the genuine affordability, the abundant choices, and the freedom offered by a free-market solution, then fight for it. Alternately, if you want the expensive, bloated, and low-quality—yet dependable and widespread—system of universal healthcare, then advocate for that. But spare us from Obamacare, or anything like it. It is a worthless disaster of a law, and it is only getting worse. 

Advertisement

NEXT: Does Hillary Clinton Oppose NSA Spying? Nobody Knows (Except Maybe the NSA)

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. The link said the article discussed why they are doing it wrong, not what they are doing wrong. I think an honest discussion of why they are doing it is in order. I think we all know what the reason is, but it needs to be said out loud. The more often and louder, the better.

    1. The health insurance lobby is bigger than the “we don’t want to pay more for an inferior product” lobby?

      1. That’s part of it. But there’s also the media shitstorm that would ensue, and the fact that many on TEAM RED are just anti-abortion progressives. Plus bureaucratic inertia.

    2. The honest reason for many progressives is that there truly are problems in our healthcare system, and they cannot bring themselves to trust free people to solve them. Part of that is a dislike of profits, especially in healthcare. Part of it is an ingrained belief that if large corporations are left free, that they will inevitably abuse consumers. It’s an honestly held belief, and they can reinforce it pretty easily because, yes, some corporations do use their power to abuse consumers. So they latch onto those stories and don’t pay attention to the majority of businesses that serve their customers well, along with all the benefits that come from fee and competive markets. Or, if they do acknolwedge those things, they claim that governemnt regulations are the only things keeping people in line.

      It’s not so much that they viscerally hate the idea of liberty. Some may, but most simply don’t trust rich, big businesses because of what they perceive to be an inherent power imbalance with respect to the humble consumer. So they turn to government which, despite numerous failures, is ostensibly in the hands of the people thanks to democracy.

      We can point out the failures of government and the contradictions in the worldview above all we want. Unless we tip the balance regarding liberty vs government, it won’t matter much.

      1. Turn to government, which is in the hands of the big corporations. How’s that working out for you?

        The only winning move is not to play.

      2. There are two components as you mentioned. To summarize, the Left believes (and says) that:

        A) People can’t be trusted to make their own decisions.
        B) Businesses will cheat their customers.

      3. A big problem with your argument is that we already have evidence against the claim that insurance companies will serve their customers well. The certainly have served many or most customers of their customers well, but not all. In order to enforce treating customers well, one needs some sort of “regulation”. To make this more palatable to Reason readers, this can be viewed as the government enforcing contracts. Nobody seems to remember insurance companies taking customer’s money for years and then refusing to pay for health care because of a 10-year old yeast infection.

        And also, there is plenty of evidence that government-run healthcare works. In the end, it’s just a matter of cherry-picking which facts you want to hear and which ones you don’t.

  2. And the left? It should get away from the messy and embarrassing disaster of Obamacare and instead advocate for what it truly desires: a government-administered, single-payer healthcare system.

    That would be honest. The left is incapable of honesty.

    So instead of being honest about a single payer system, they are driving up the cost of health insurance in an effort to force people onto Medicaid. Meanwhile they get to blame the free market and the evil corporations for the price increases.

    Heads they win, tails we lose.

    1. No, no, no.

      They are not incapable of honesty. They just never let honesty or integrity get in the way of a good story.

      Oh, and it isn’t Heads they win, tails we lose. Closer, I think, to, “Heads, they win, tails RASCISTWARONWOMENATTERBIGGOTHOWDAREYOUHOMOPHPOBE!”

      1. That they have not recently (EVER?) been honest about their policies says nothing about their ability to be honest, only that honesty is inconvenient.

        1. I don’t think they are capable of being honest. They put so much effort into hiding their true intentions that dishonesty becomes ingrained. Lying is the default. Maybe they could be honest if they tried, but it would require a conscious effort.

          1. Agree. Seems like they lie when they don’t have to.

          2. Touche.

            1. Never heard of the guy. That was pretty good.

            2. Thanks for the link. I never heard of this guy.

          3. I don’t think they are capable of being honest.

            They’re honest when it suits their political interest and only then. For them honesty is a thing of convenience that will occasionally save them the effort of fabricating.

          4. No, they’ve been clamoring loudly for socialized med for decades. What they’ve gotten is what they’ve been allowed by the opposition. I don’t know what makes you think their intentions have been disguised in the area of medical care.

    2. No, they’re perfectly capable of honesty, but they saw they couldn’t get what they wanted right away, so they take the compromises they can get. It’s not a grand deception.

      1. Yes, I think you are right about this. There’s been no lying on the Left with regards to their desires. They’ve loudly proclaimed they’d rather have single payer.

        “PELOSI: Well of course I wanted single-payer, and I wanted a public option. ”

        “Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D., Nev.) was asked whether his goal was to move Obamacare to a single-payer system. His answer? “Yes, yes. Absolutely, yes.””

  3. Repeal Obamacare. Get the fuck out of regulating and intervening in healthcare and healthcare insurance markets. Privatize drug certification. Close the VA and just pay for private medical services. And so on. I know we aren’t going to Libertopia, but there is a better place than where we are, even in this fucked-up system.

  4. yet dependable and widespread

    Didn’t the VA scandals disprove the notion that a centrally directed health system is even necessarily dependable ? I know that single-payer and an actual single system are two different things. However, one of the reasons the VA troubles got out of control would likely afflict a single-payer system: people lied, and outrageously so.

    1. ” I know that single-payer and an actual single system are two different things.”

      I think it’s like communism: It’s a great system, they say. We just have to work harder and keep the right people in charge. It’ll work this time for sure.

      1. If you could somehow stabilize and maintain the status quo, then it should be possible to work out some optimum and efficient allocation of resources. The problem is that reality won’t cooperate.

      1. “Well I sure don’t like the sound of them boncentration bamps.”

  5. George Carlin said people want honest politicians ! Then Bill Clinton came along, looked the American people in the eye and said, “Hi, I’m Bill Clinton, and I’m full of shit.” And people said, “Well, at least he’s honest.”

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0twWuMAUqrQ

  6. “Alternately, if you want the expensive, bloated, and low-quality?yet dependable and widespread?system of universal healthcare, then advocate for that”

    It’s not “yet-dependable”, as the VA has most recently demonstrated. I’m not even sure what “widespread” is supposed to mean, except that there’s no escaping it.

    The people on the left who want single-payer won’t make an honest argument because they know they have no way to win it. At best they’re well-intentioned fools running purely on faith in Gov to save them. At worst they’re fascists intent on running your life and don’t really care what mechanism provides the excuse for control.

    1. So…evil people and useful idiots?

    2. “…they’re fascists intent on running your life and don’t really care what mechanism provides the excuse for control.”

      This is exactly what its all about.

    3. The people on the left who want single-payer won’t make an honest argument because they know they have no way to win it.

      I don’t know what country you’ve been in, but that’s not what I’ve heard. Here in the USA for at least 25 yrs. the message has been a mixture of, “You’d better give us this, or we’ll push for single payer, and soon we’ll get that,” and, “OK, folks, we can’t get single payer now, as you’d like, but we can get this.”

  7. “Real healthcare reform begins with deregulation.”

    Deregulation ?! that’s a dirty word. How can things work without regulation ? Who would you ask for permission ? Who would give the orders ? You can’t just let people make their own choices. That would be chaos.

    (credit sarcasmic, of course)

  8. Couldn’t we (the USG) just give low-income people vouchers to go to an urgent care clinic once or twice a year? People with kitchen knives in their shoulder wait for hours at the county hospital emergency room behind others with winter colds.

    1. This generally isn’t actually true. Triage still happens, even in facilities that do indigent care.

      It would be far more accurate to say that the presence of people with winter colds (or ‘needing’ a free pregnancy test) in the ER cause a general slowdown of the entire facility. And a vast increase in the bitterness levels of the staff.

      But if you show up with a penetrating trauma, you’re very very likely to go to the head of the line. (Unless someone else is there with an even worse and more emergent condition. GSW to the head, for instance.) Just sayin’. It’s bad, but it’s not quite as bad as you’re making it out to be.

    2. Or just let them spend their own money on medical care. Why do they need vouchers?

      1. Creating problems to solve problems. The government has dramatically driven up costs to the point where illnesses and treatments without insurance or government handouts is financially crippling. so naturally people clamor to have the government tax payers pick up as much of the tab as possible.

  9. “This is the essence of Obamacare: delivering inferior products at higher prices.”

    But at last count, at least 14 more people are covered! Success!

  10. Nobody ever ran for office so he could leave me the fuck alone.

    None of these self-aggrandizing bastards would ever admit a top down one size fits all solution designed and implemented by Top Men is doomed to failure.

    1. Nobody ever ran for office so he could leave me the fuck alone.

      Yep. That’s the libertarian conundrum. People generally don’t seek power so they can dismantle it. They seek power so they can wield and expand it. Exceptions to that rule do exist, but because most voters want their free shit, such exceptions rarely win elections.

      1. “Anyone that wants the presidency so much that he’ll spend two years organizing and campaigning for it is not to be trusted with the office.”

        ? David Broder

        1. “Anyone who is capable of getting themselves made President should on no account be allowed to do the job.”

          – Douglass Adams

      2. Yep. That’s the libertarian conundrum. People generally don’t seek power so they can dismantle it. They seek power so they can wield and expand it. Exceptions to that rule do exist, but because most voters want their free shit, such exceptions rarely win elections.

        Which is why the path to liberty isn’t a politically paved road.

    2. No, there was one…

      “The most terrifying words in the English language are: I’m from the government and I’m here to help.” – Ronald Reagan

      1. Yeah, but he didn’t do it. So, at best, he talked a good game.

  11. 20 years from now libertarians will be yearning for the days of freewheeling open insurance markets under Obamacare. Single payer was always the end game.

    1. I have to admit having found myself pining for the halcyon days of the Clinton Administration. :-/

  12. This article is pretty thin gruel. While Sarvis’ statement is correct as far as it goes, it is nothing but an empty platitude. We are not going to deregulate healthcare entirely in one fell swoop. So the question is where to start.

    You start with three things that would make things significantly better.

    1. Repeal all of the coverage mandates of Obamacare so people can go back to buying policies that fit their needs.

    2. Repeal the EMTAL. It effectively made every hospital in America a charity hospital and did nothing but clog emergency rooms and stick insurance companies and those who have health care with the costs. And all of that was done in response to a problem that never existed. No one ever died because a private hospital sent them to a public or charity one.

    3. Follow the Paul Ryan plan only make it bigger and happen quicker. Turn medicare into an insurance voucher program. We have to be realistic here. We are not killing off medicare. It is too popular of a program. Old people want it and their kids want it because they don’t want to have to take care of their parents. That sucks but it is reality. Even though we can’t kill it, we can at least turn it into a voucher program and get the government out of the business of paying doctors and effectively setting compensation rates. I would also dramatically reduce the compliance costs associated with the program and in doing so reduce the overall cost of health care.

  13. Lastly, this article misses the obvious and necessary solution to high health care costs; increase the supply of health care by breaking down the licensing restrictions and taking efforts to increase the supply of health care providers via immigration and government support for expanded medical and other professional schools.

    1. and government support for expanded medical and other professional schools.

      Uhhhhhh, how ’bout no? While we’re extricating health care from the clutches of government, maybe let’s take a crack at doing the same with education.

      1. Because that is not going to happen that is why. You want to lower the cost of something, increase the supply. One way to increase the supply is to subsidize the creation of it.

        In an ideal world, that would happen without government action. We do not, however, live in an ideal world. In the real world colleges are ghastly expensive and the AMA has a stranglehold on the supply of doctors. As a result we have an artificially low supply of them and a lot of other types of medical professionals. While I would dearly love to kill off the AMA and kill off the higher education bubble while we are at it, those are separate issues that are unlikely to be solved very soon. So in the short term, the government needs to step in and admit more medical professionals via immigration and also do something to create more of them internally.

        I mean God fucking forbid we have any immigration that doesn’t involve low skilled labor from Central America or we have any native medical professionals who are not drowning in student loan debt.

        1. “the AMA has a stranglehold on the supply of doctors”

          Bust that monopoly and you solve half the problem.

        2. I’m of the persuasion that relying on the government to solve a problem caused by government is always, everywhere, universally a bad idea. Subsidizing education for certain fields is among the worst possible ideas I can think of. Same goes for subsidizing STEM majors, which has also been floated. It’s not very difficult to imagine the unintended but entirely foreseeable consequences. Government-imposed market imbalances are a bad thing even if they temporarily buy you a little bit of something you want.

          1. Sure, in an ideal world the best solution is to end all government involvement. But we don’t live in an ideal world. All you are telling me is “why can’t we just play pretend and think about getting the government totally out of it?”. The answer is because we don’t live in pretend world. We live in the real world were the government is going to be involved for the foreseeable future and the challenge is how to make things better in spite of that.

        3. You have seemingly ignored the issue of college prices rising precipitously in recent years primarily due to the vast influx of government provided cash. Oddly enough, as the supply expanded, prices went up to absorb it.

          Pumping more cash into this system is not going to start curtailing that tendency all of a sudden.

          1. No I haven’t. I didn’t say I would pump cash directly into the colleges. There are more ways to do it than providing loans. And further, there is nothing to say that subsidy is the same as a blank check.

            We created a higher education bubble because we gave out money with no corresponding controls on costs and we gave out money regardless of for what purpose it was used. None of that had to be true.

    2. I totally agree with you John on the voucher method over hospital emergency care.

      But

      increase the supply of health care providers via immigration

      is troublesome. Getting a US citizen admitted to a US medical school takes the patience of Job. You can straight A an undergraduate curriculum in biochemistry, like my wife’s daughter did, and not have a prayer of being admitted into a US medical school.

      Medical schools want people who did good works as well as being studious and smart. Answering YES to “Have you ever been to Africa?” is number 2 on the agenda.

      1. I interpreted that as making it easier for foreign trained doctors to work in the U.S.

        1. Yeah. Foreign trained doctors don’t have to go through the same gauntlet.

          1. Which is why I had a devout Pakistani Muslim at the hospital to give my daughter stitches. He refused to shake my wife’s hand or to talk to her. She’d ask a question and the guy would only answer to me. If I’d had something resembling choice in whose services to contract, I’d have requested a doctor from a part of the world that uses toilet paper.

          2. The so-called “best and brightest” from around the world are on a dual-path in all areas of higher education.

    3. Lastly, this article misses the obvious and necessary solution to high health care costs; increase the supply of health care by breaking down the licensing restrictions and taking efforts to increase the supply of health care providers via immigration and government support for expanded medical and other professional schools.

      You left out the dismantling of the American Medical Association as a central planning bureau, an institution that both fixes prices and monopolizes medical school accreditation.

      1. I saw on a later post you did mention the AMA. But I think even more costly than it’s accreditation monopoly is it’s price fixing powers. They have a committee of technocrats that provide pricing “recommendations” to Medicaid/Medicare, 90% of these recommendations are accepted without second thought. Insurance carriers are then incentivized by a patchwork of laws, regulations and tort precedent to base their own pricing for medical procedures on whatever the Medicaid/Medicare bureaucracy says is acceptable.

    4. Efforts to increase supply by loosening licensing will be opposed, not only by the cartels, but by the insured public, as evidence that you’re trying to cut the quality of the care they’ve paid for. It doesn’t seem possible to push for reform on both the supply and the demand side simultaneously.

  14. I could enroll in my employer’s coverage, but that, too, would cost me a little over $200 per month.

    You braggart! Only a little over $200.00?

    1. Yeah, that seems pretty cheap to me.

      1. How many people is that covering? One? One half?

    2. Mine costs more than that per biweekly paycheck.

    3. Don’t hate me: I’m paying about $190/month for individual and that includes $7 for added life insurance and $25/month for long-term care. Of course, I’m not looking forward to open-enrollment this year as I assume the premiums are going to go up – a lot.

  15. government support for expanded medical and other professional schools.

    Big Government Republicanism speaks!

  16. government support for expanded medical and other professional schools.

    Big Government Republicanism speaks!

    1. No, no, no. Cut spending, you fools!

  17. My premium will be almost quadrupling, from $55 per month to just over $200 per month.

    How old are you, 23?

    1. Over $200 a month? Why, I remember those days, back when the Earth was cooler and the Internet was some sort of fishing apparatus.

  18. Cut spending, you fools!

    How will we ever solve the nation’s problems if you refuse to be serious?

    1. I’m as serious as the flamethrower I will apply to the budget if given the authority to do so.

      1. You’ve got my vote.

  19. Real healthcare reform begins with deregulation.

    Agreed. But progressives have succeeded into turning deregulation into a dirty word. The average person hear’s it and immediately thinks it means getting rid of all protections for consumers (or patients) so that rich corporations can take advantage of the weak and helpless to line their pockets with yet more money.

    There are plenty of examples of deregulation that would do the exact opposite and no one could really claim otherwise (certficates of need come to mind). But I think you almost need a different word than deregulation to describe it, so that people will wait long enough to listen. And then you need to spread that message, and leave other, more controversial ideas for the future.

    Libertarians, for the most part, are bad at messaging. That isn’t the only reason for the lack of libertarian policies and politicians (plenty of people are genuinely opposed to liberty, consistent applied), but it is a big part of it. Yet there are more and more opportunities for libertarians to step up being presented by failed government policies. How do we do that?

    1. ^^THIS^^

      Libertarians don’t understand that as long as the Progs own the culture they by extension also own the language and how these issues are framed. It is a real problem and I don’t see how you solve it.

      1. The best example of this was opponents of Obamacare being labeled as opponents of “healthcare reform” as if ‘Obamacare’ and ‘reform’ are even remotely synonymous.

      2. I just recently moved back to the States and was really stoked about getting involved with some local libertarians. I do a lot of public outreach in my real job, and frankly, I’m good at it. I wanted to bring that to the table. But so far, I haven’t been able to find a truly active libertarian group! The activities seem limited to monthly happy hours and/or discussion groups that aren’t going to change any minds or spread any message. The college group does some things, but I’m starting to get too old to pull that off. I tried to volunteer with some campaigns but I’ve barely been contacted.

        So the first thing libertarians need to do is increase visibility en masse. And when it comes to crafting the message, you first have to figure out what average people actually think of libertarians. You can’t counter misconceptions without knowing what those misconceptions are. In the process you also get a sense of what messages will appeal to people.

        BTW, if there is anyone in central VA that knows of organizations that are already doing some of that, I’d love to hear about it. So far my efforts have not turned up much.

        1. Campaign for Liberty is a college group, but they’re fairly inclusive towards old farts, at least in a supporting role.

          1. Thanks for that. Nothing in my county, but maybe that presents an opportunity. I’ll contact them.

        2. I dunno about anyone else, but I, for one, am fucking depressed. At 19, I was fucking gung-ho to be all libertarian changing the world and the like. At 38, fuck. Not only did none of that effort do any good, the world has gotten significantly crappier on a the “liberty” front since then. Ha ha only serious about missing the days of the Clinton Administration. 🙁

          1. I hear ya. You came on the scene slightly too late to experience the major advances in liberty that characterized the world for a long time before then. I’m depressed about the past 19 yrs. too, but since I’m 60 YO I can look back over the period of my life & see how much better things have gotten?still.

            But we can get back on the track that brought down the Berlin Wall, deregulated & denationalized major infrastructure industries, ended the draft in the USA (& some other countries), legalized most porn, got simple cannabis possession downgraded from a felony to at most a minor offense, legalized a great many forms of gambling, got rid of taxes on food & drugs in most of the USA, and produced a myriad other advances in freedom not long ago.

            1. and produced a myriad other advances in freedom not long ago.

              And yet at any given moment we remain a cunt hair from the obliteration of all that progress. I believe those were Thomas Jefferson’s exact words.

              1. Sure, but we’re a cunt hair’s breadth from the obliteration of all life by a nearby supernova. So what?

                1. The odds of death by supernova is an order of magnitude lower than the odds of death by governments and statist ideologies.

        3. figure out what average people actually think of libertarians

          Not hard. Just work up your own telephone poll.

          I did so here in the Bronx back when it still mattered on my phone bill whether calls were local or long distance. I took the polls over 1987-93. By the end, albeit not at the beginning, people had a pretty good idea of what “libertarian” meant.

          Overlapping that period a little later, LP national did some polling too, but their premises were defective. They counted someone’s guessing what “libertarian” meant on the basis of the word as a lack of knowledge. That’s a mistake. “Libertarian” is not a bad name after all; people surmise correctly that it has to do with liberty. But that’s what they do with most technical terms that they don’t need every day.

          LP’s poll analysis also erred by judging people’s knowledge of the term against, frankly, expertise in the subject. That’s silly. People understand “libertarian” at least as well as, usually better than they understand other ideologic descriptors. Not surprising, considering how simple libertarianism is compared to many other -isms. Go ahead, explain what a modern “liberal” or “conservative” is, huh?

          So the problem people have with libertarianism is not lack of knowledge or understanding. That may have been the case before about 1990, but note that people have even stopped confusing us with LaRouche, which used to be a common confusion.

          1. It’s unreasonable to expect to turn many people into political philosophers. You don’t need to do so to build & sustain a tendency.

            1. Without institutions of democracy, there’d be no need to rely on the thoughtfulness of your neighbors to remain secure in your life, liberty and property.

    2. Find a way to frame liberty as an appeal to emotion.

      1. Better yet, go on the attack. Their argument are laughable and easily destroyed. Laugh at them and destroy them.

        1. I don’t see that working. Maybe with people that aren’t yet very committed to one ideology or the other, but not with people who already lean. How often has Jon Stewart or Russel Brand changed someone’s mind by making fun of them and people that think like them?

          It’s good for reinforcement, but not for growth. You don’t attract people by calling them stupid.

          1. Well when Jon Stewart and Russell Brand make fun of people, they may alienate the butt of their joke and people who identify with the butt of the joke, but vast numbers of drones will have just been programmed about what is both hip and true.

            1. Absolutely. But libertarians don’t have vast numbers. That is what has to change.

              1. Good ideas are harder to sell than bad ones, since the bad ones require virtually no reasoning or intelligence to adopt. I think we’re jousting at windmills in trying to libertarianize the vast hordes of degenerates we call neighbors and countrymen. In the absence of state institutions, liberty will be thrust upon them like it or not.

                1. No, that’s ridiculous, other things equal, bad ideas are much harder to sell. People do have intelligence. One doesn’t hear every day about people trying to step into an upper-story window instead of taking the stairs or an elevator. You don’t see people trying to eat soup with a fork, or walk thru walls instead of using doors.

                  1. No, that’s ridiculous, other things equal, bad ideas are much harder to sell.

                    The platform of the Democratic Party and every socialist party in existence, begs to differ.

                    You don’t see people trying to eat soup with a fork, or walk thru walls instead of using doors.

                    But you do read stories about taxing the rich at a 90% rate, you do read stories about the triumph of central planning and you do see people claiming that a 1% cut to the rate of increased spending is an apocalypse.

                    Obviously I wasn’t talking about bad ideas like eating a soup with a fork, I never claimed people were too stupid to eat. But they’re not smart enough to accurately work out how both the world and human nature actually work.

                    There is no meritocratic system for the elevation of ideas into policy, to say otherwise is what’s ridiculous.

                    1. There is a field called sociobiology that disagrees with your last sentence. It may not be what you’d call a system, but it is to me. Sociobiology’s claim is that societies are in evolutionary competition with each other, and that therefore in the long run the world tends to be populated by societies with better policies. Indeed you do see that rule by the likes of Idi Amin tends not to last long unless propped up from outside.

                    2. “Sociobiology’s claim is that societies are in evolutionary competition with each other, and that therefore in the long run the world tends to be populated by societies with better policies.”

                      Well I for one, welcome our new neo-Communist Chinese over lords!.

                      Actually, all kidding aside, I agree with you and the concept. However, there’s no guarantee we won’t be stuck in a sub-optimal valley, with ever greater ‘security’ at the cost of ever lower ‘freedom’.

        2. Their argument are laughable and easily destroyed.

          Not for people who feel their arguments to be true. No amount of logic and reason can change how someone feels.

          1. Can’t reason someone out of a position they didn’t reason themselves into.

            1. you nailed it.

          2. Well, their way has resulted in a torpid economy with little hope of maximizing wealth for those of us not connected to government.

            Our way has historical success, and, even in this economy, the pockets of freeish markets do worlds better than the bubbles and other freakish mutants created by massive government intervention and control.

            So woo them with wealth.

            1. Most people don’t understand the difference between money and wealth. What we call wealth, they call cheap Chinese crap. They want money and Made In America. The want free shit and protected jobs. They want massive government intervention and control.

            2. So woo them with wealth.

              But the ole Tony argument that “Show me where there is wealth without a big government” will be employed. Granted it utterly reverses causation, where increased wealth means increased revenues for an increased government, but the argument wins most people over because most people can’t tell the difference between correlation and causation.

    3. plenty of people are genuinely opposed to liberty

      No. The # of people who are Maoist or something & genuinely opposed to liberty per se is vanishingly small. In fact, nearly everybody thinks liberty is at least somewhat good. What they are opposed to is some of the results from liberty, or what they anticipate would be the results.

      If people didn’t want to do things people disapproved of, they wouldn’t want laws to keep them from doing so. Indeed, there are many things that would have overwhelming public opposition, but there are no laws against them because practically nobody wants to do them.

      1. Most of the opponents of liberty don’t even know that they are opponents of liberty. They have a bastardized version of liberty in their head to begin with and then couple that with the tendency to be logically inconsistent in their application of bastard principles and you have the makings of an authoritarian. Few things are more dangerous than an authoritarian that isn’t self-aware.

        1. Please give an example of what you mean.

          1. Sandra Fluke feels that her liberty in enhanced by demanding that tax-payers finance her sex life. It’s called ‘positive liberty’ and is but one example. I mean FDR thought he was a champion of freedom as well, but we should all know better.

            1. But those people are not opponents of negative liberty per se. They may think the benefits of positive liberty in some cases make it desirable to brush negative liberty aside, but not because negative liberty is bad, only because in those cases positive liberty is better and the 2 are incompatible. And you’ll see that in cases where they don’t think there’s a positive liberty to be gained, they’re for negative liberty.

              There is practically nobody who thinks, “I want to get rid of [negative] liberty, and I don’t care what replaces it.” No, just people who have in mind a particular regime that’s better than liberty in at least some cases and which is incompatible with it and therefore needs to replace it. Practically everybody values liberty to some degree (everybody is somewhat libertarian), it’s just that people usually value something else more in some cases. Practically nobody thinks tyranny is a good in itself.

            2. Even FDR’s 4 freedoms included at least 2 (speech & worship), arguably 3 (if you count freedom from fear) negative liberties. Only freedom from want was unarguably a positive one.

        2. I’ll put it another way: Very few thieves are motivated by wanting to punish their victims; usually they just want the victim’s stuff. If they could get the stuff without the victim’s losing it, that’d satisfy them just as well.

          Yes, there are some people who are mean spirited & just want to vandalize whatever you have to make you feel bad. But they are far outnumbered by those who’d steal your goods if they were sure they could get away with it.

    4. *Libertarians, for the most part, are bad at messaging.*

      It’s hard to take libertarian messaging seriously when half of the message is WE HATE COPS. COPS BAD. BAD COP, NO DONUT. HEY, COP, SHOOT ANY DOGS TODAY? COPPITY COPPITY COP.

      1. You just simultaneously failed two types of Turing Tests, progbot.

    5. “Agreed. But progressives have succeeded into turning deregulation into a dirty word. ”

      Well, Abortion proponents started using the term pro-Choice while Abortion opponents used the term pro-Life. And the political framing involved is somewhat successful.

      Perhaps some terminology like Regulatory Overhaul? Where it’s widely understood, that the most effective regulations will remain, but the overall number will be reduced.

      To be effective, it would have to be a continuous process. It’s not a matter of once and done. It would need to be a core function of government to rid a certain amount of regulations per year. And you would need a third party (non-governmental) to run a cost benefit analysis on the regulations to be added and the ones to be removed. So, that we would have some idea of the overall net affect.

  20. But I think you almost need a different word than deregulation to describe it, so that people will wait long enough to listen.

    I like “rationalization”. But I’m sure that would be turned into a slur in short order.

    1. Progressives have done a great job of changing the meaning of words. We need to embrace that, as icky as it is. Start with something mildly related in meaning to reregulation that is currently almost universally seen as good and not yet politicized (sadly, liberty may not qualify). Then use it relentlessly. Heck, it doesn’t even have to be mildly related, it can mean the exact opposite as long as it sounds good.

  21. This article is a waste of time. Disastrous first year of the roll out?

    The New York Times already decreed Obamacare a complete success that has lived up to nearly every promise made by Obama. The NEW YORK FUCKING TIMES! Who is Reason?

    1. So many experts praising the emperor’s wardrobe! Who is this cheeky little kid to defy the experts?

  22. The best example of this was opponents of Obamacare being labeled as opponents of “healthcare reform” as if ‘Obamacare’ and ‘reform’ are even remotely synonymous.

    Even worse, they (both sides) have been allowed to conflate “insurance” with “health care”

    1. Even worse, they (both sides) have been allowed to conflate “insurance” with “health care”

      I’ll do you one better. Everyone has been allowed to conflate “insurance” and “government welfare benefits”. I’m in the insurance industry and I can tell you that health insurance carriers are little more than a cartel of semi-private distributors of welfare benefits.

      1. Aaaaargh. And the conflation of “insurance” and “free shit”. Drives me crazy.

        “But I need to get insurance, so I don’t have to pay for the $1000 a month medication I take!”

        “If you already have the problem, then ‘insurance’ isn’t what you are looking for. You’re looking for a handout. ‘Insurance’ is a hedge against something that might not happen. You getting ill has already happened.”

        *WHAAAAAAAAARGARBL!*

      2. Unfortunately, ACA opposition hasn’t properly conveyed the expansion of the welfare state argument.

  23. ” As bad as government-run, single-payer healthcare may be, it would at least be simpler and more straightforward than this debacle. ”

    Everything is going as they planned then?

  24. Small-government touting politicians seem to have accepted the left’s central premise about healthcare reform: Whatever shape it takes, the state must be in control.

    Practically the whole world has. The USA has been quite the outlier here. There seems to be near universal acceptance of the notion that, whatever health care is available in your country, gov’t must ration it, and also divert resources from less-essential economic activity to health care. You’ll get rid of practically all other incidents of socialism before that one.

    The star reform effort that Republicans put forward in 2012

    Of course that’s some Republicans.

    However, it’s true that this area is intractable for reform. Politically only gradual reforms are feasible, but practically, gradual reforms are unworkable. The blog author is correct on that point, but suggests no way to get there from here.

    1. Realistically the collapse of the system will generate near instantaneous “reform”, though that reform will not be to the benefit of liberty nor the benefit of those whose lives hang in the balance (basically everyone). Single-payer catastrophe here we come.

      We need to start counting those who die due to systemic failures of the industry as though they were any ole victims of government murder.

  25. I got lucky. My employer offers good coverage, and I switched to a consumer policy for next year that still covers preventative care 100% but for other visits, it’s an 80/20 coinsurance plan. I figured the average Doctor visit is $100, so $20 coinsurance is a lot better than the $35 copay I have currently, and I’m young enough to not have to worry too much about major medical. And it’s half the cost of my current plan (about $50-60 per month instead of per paycheck). But, most people are seeing their policies terminated or prices jacked up, the subsidized plans are a joke, and it’s a huge expense for tax payers because of the additional people on Medicaid.

  26. “a bunch of inept bureaucrats could score points wheeling out “healthcare reform” and help you buy things you simply don’t want to buy”

    Help? don’t you mean compel me by a legal mandate and penaltax?

  27. Can you have some spare time to sit back in your chair having your laptop with you and making some money online for some interesting online work said Jenny Francis in the party last nightsee more what is for you there to increase your pocket money??.

    http://shorx.com/clickforsurvey

  28. “This is your money, your family’s health, and your liberty?”

    You, your family, and all that you have ever had and ever will have, are property of the Tax Ranchers.

  29. (yawn) One more “git gummint out” rant, totally devoid of any details. Voters aren’t THAT stupid.

    This is why we’re losing after 30+ years with a majority of Americans self-identifying as fiscally conservative and socially liberal. And I was hoping to see why CATO’s policies are just as useless.

    If left and right are both useless, as they are, what’s better?
    “Git gummint out” is NOT a campaign platform.

Please to post comments

Comments are closed.