health care

Jimmy Kimmel, Sick Babies, and the Forgotten Barrier to Medical Care

Supply-side restrictions like Certificate of Necessity leave people without the medical services they need, even if they can afford them.

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JIM RUYMEN/UPI/Newscom

The Internet lit up this week with Jimmy Kimmel's emotional and deeply personal opening monologue from Monday night, when ABC's late night host related the story of what happened after his new son, Billy, was born on April 21.

Though the baby appeared health and normal at first, things changed a few hours after the delivery when a nurse noticed the baby's skin was discolored. The baby was taken down the hallway to the hospital's neo-natal intensive care unit, Kimmel said, and the doctors realized that the baby's heart wasn't functioning properly.

After a scary night, Kimmel's son had a successful surgery to repair the hole in his heart and replace a valve. Although the baby will need a second surgery in a few months, the whole story seems to be heading towards a happy ending.

Kimmel ended the monologue with a bit of a political note, mentioning that President Donald Trump's budget plan to cut $6 billion from the National Institutes of Health (which he said would threaten children's hospitals like the one where his son had surgery, despite pointing out earlier in the monologue that Costco, Disney, and other major corporations support the hospital with private donations). He also made a plea, essentially, for greater government involvement in health care.

"If your baby is going to die, and it doesn't have to, it shouldn't matter how much money you make," Kimmel said. "No parent should ever have to decide if they can afford to save their child's life—it just shouldn't happen. Not here."

Coming as it did during the same week that Congress was debating reforms to Obamacare, Kimmel's monologue was credited with "transforming the health care debate" and as strong, personal evidence for why more government intervention into health care markets is necessary.

I'm not sure exactly what policy Kimmel is advocating here. Is he saying government should pay for all expenses relating to giving birth, at least for those who can't afford to pay, or is he saying, by extension, that government should cover all medical expenses in their entirety? I don't know, and likely neither does Kimmel. He's a comedian, not a health policy expert, and people who have recently experienced a traumatic and nearly tragic family crisis are probably not in the best position to give advice on how to structure a health care system.

Here's what he seems to be saying: Government should do what it can to make sure that babies don't needlessly die. Even hardened libertarians can probably agree with that sentiment on some level.

But Kimmel, like many people, is only looking at the problem from one side. He's making the assumption that the only barrier keeping people from accessing necessary, even life-saving medical care is their ability to pay. Granted, that's a major barrier for some people, but it's not the only one.

Supply-side restrictions on medical care—restrictions that are implemented and enforced by government, restricting what services can be offered and by whom—are another major part of that problem. Take, for example, what we reported in January about how a government regulation led to the death of an infant at Lewis Gale Medical Center in Salem, Virginia. The hospital did not have a neonatal intensive care unit like the one that saved Kimmel's baby's life because the Virginia Department of Health (at the request of a nearby, competing hospital) had denied Lewis Gale's application to build one.

Yes, it sounds crazy, but in many states hospitals and other medical providers have to get permission from the government (and, in practice, from their competitors) before opening a new facility or offering a new service. These rules are called Certificate of Necessity laws, and they artificially restrict the supply of medical care—in other words, you might not be able to get the care you or your child needs, no matter how much money you have or how many government subsidies are helping you pay.

Other parents who had similar experiences—though, like Kimmel, with happy endings—told their stories at a public hearing when Lewis Gale re-applied for permission to build a NICU after the infant's death. Again, they were denied by the state even though the competing hospital was the lone dissenting voice in the application process.

The infant's death at Lewis Gale is particularly acute, tragic example of how government-enforced restrictions on medical care can have real consequences, but it's not the only one. In a paper published last year by the Mercatus Center at George Mason University,Thomas Stratmann and Davild Wille argue that hospitals in states with CON laws have higher mortality rates than hospitals in non-CON states. The average 30-day mortality rate for patients with pneumonia, heart failure, and heart attacks in states with CON laws is between 2.5 percent and 5 percent higher even after demographic factors are taken out of the equation.

Yes, our health care system is often a complete mess and people don't always have access to the care they desperately need. Abandoning CON laws that restrict what medical services can be provided, and by whom, would demonstrably improve access to care and possibly even lower health care prices by increasing competition for medical treatments. Then there could be more happy endings to terrible stories like the one the Kimmel family went through last week.

NEXT: Congress's Big Bad Week and Europe's Continued Decline: The New Fifth Column

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  1. These rules are called Certificate of Necessity laws, and they artificially restrict the supply of medical care…

    Beyond this perfect example of more government not equaling better medical care, there are real costs associated with any level of universal healthcare, and not just monetary ones to taxpayers. I often wonder if people invested in the idea of socialized medicine actually believe that opponents of it are so because they don’t want everyone to have access to healthcare or are too cheap to pay for it. Like with everything, there are trade-offs that must be weighed.

    1. I often wonder if people invested in the idea of socialized medicine actually believe that opponents of it are so because they don’t want everyone to have access to healthcare or are too cheap to pay for it.

      Knowing a number of single-payer advocates, my sense is that they believe the only opponents are those who want to profit off of medical care, and those who are currently wealthy enough to be able to afford good care (and, as you say, too cheap to pay their “fair share” of care for others).

      1. I’m making over $7k a month working part time. I kept hearing other people tell me how much money they can make online so I decided to look into it. Well, it was all true and has totally changed my life.

        This is what I do.,.,.,.,.,http://www.careerstoday100.com

      2. I’m making over $7k a month working part time. I kept hearing other people tell me how much money they can make online so I decided to look into it. Well, it was all true and has totally changed my life.

        This is what I do,.,.,., http://www.careerstoday100.com

      3. ”’….every time we object to a thing being done by government, the socialists conclude that we object to its being done at all. We disapprove of state education. Then the socialists say that we are opposed to any education. We object to a state religion. Then the socialists say that we want no religion at all. We object to a state-enforced equality. Then they say that we are against equality. And so on, and so on. It is as if the socialists were to accuse us of not wanting persons to eat because we do not want the state to raise grain.”

        ? Fr?d?ric Bastiat, The Law

        1. I guess not much has changed in 150 years, eh?

          1. I’m making over $7k a month working part time. I kept hearing other people tell me how much money they can make online so I decided to look into it. Well, it was all true and has totally changed my life.

            This is what I do.,.,.,… http://www.careerstoday100.com

          2. I’m making over $7k a month working part time. I kept hearing other people tell me how much money they can make online so I decided to look into it. Well, it was all true and has totally changed my life.

            This is what I do…,.,.,.,., http://www.careerstoday100.com

        2. *weeps and claps*

      4. It’s always “interesting” to listen to people griping about how certain industries gouge individuals, to realize that the industries they most hate are finance, medical care, and insurance, which are the most heavily-regulated industries in the U.S., and then to see them propose as the only possible solution–more government regulation.

    2. Mainly I think the single-payer crowd thinks that we who oppose it just take our health care for granted. We don’t see or care about the invisible (to us) “victims” of the “free market” health care that we supposedly have now. In my experience, they will urge you to go visit the slums so you can see their suffering first hand. They think that we just haven’t made the emotional connection to government-run health care that they have, and that if they present enough sob stories, that it will overcome our hard hearts.

      Essentially it isn’t much different than how the border restrictionists operate. “If you only saw the horror and destruction that the illegals leave in their wake, you’d want to boot them all out too!” Except here it is, “If you only saw the horror and destruction that is the inner city, you’d want an all-powerful government to take care of them too!”

      1. Indeed, I think they actually believe the current system is a market-based system, when in fact there is a huge government created scarcity in healthcare services. If we regulated food the way we do healthcare, people would be starving, and the they’d be demanding that the government eliminate the private market and simply ration all care (which is what socialized medicine is: all care is rationed).

        Sometimes I’m inclined to think it’s a conspiracy. Socialists gradually squeeze the market with more and more regulations, barriers, taxes, while selectively subsidizing it, squeezing up the prices until they become unbearable, and people, rather than asking that state stop creating shortages and cartels, demand rationing instead. Of course I don’t think socialists are smart enough to be that insidious.

        1. I believe it was Mises who pointed out that a small degree of govt intervention would inevitably lead to a demand for more as a means to solve any newly created problems arising from the first action. Over time, if not stopped with a drastic course correction, this inevitably leads to total govt control.

          It’s not so much an insidious action on the part of the statists… it’s just a natural law of how it and people lacking economic intelligence work.

    3. Except that there is little evidence that CoN’s are actually restricting supply of any medical care in any way that would reduce costs or improve outcomes.

      Hospital bed occupancy rates are 61% – 64% in urban areas and 43% in rural areas. Those have been DROPPING over time and are similar between CoN/nonCoN states. These are not util rates that lead to more capacity being built. There may well be issues that patients are being pushed out of hospital too quickly but it isn’t because of a shortage of beds.

      The extra capital stuff that this article mentions is a big reason medical costs in the US are out of control. Those get built and it ain’t Field of Dreams. It doesn’t mean that neonatal ICU patients come – or that doctors will get more experience and hence better outcomes either. It just means those become fixed costs that have to get covered by every other patient at that hospital. Even the article mentions that the problem in this case was that a specially-equipped ambulance with bassinets wasn’t available to transfer the patient to a hospital that DID have the neonatal ICU 5 miles away. That ambulance is the shortage – and it almost certainly doesn’t require a CoN to get it – and it’s a HELL of a lot cheaper. So why is the hospital interested in a massive project that is only, from the article itself, needed once every couple of years?

      1. The only true shortage in our system is a lack of primary care doctors – which in turn drives up ER usage and eliminates preventive medicine. That has nothing to do with CoN’s. But it is very much caused by the way we have structured insurance/payments – which in turn ensures that medical students choose specialties rather than primary care.

        1. Um no. There’s a shortage of any good or service for which the prices is going up, by definition.

  2. Because no baby has ever died in a country with socialized medicine. Never.

      1. I’d love to hear Bernie Sanders’ spin on this.

        1. Probably something about how too many decadent capitalist plastic cribs cause babies to starve

  3. I like to ask the single payer crowd if they want their doctor to work for the government…usually only get a confused look on their face

    1. That’s because they don’t see it that way. They envision nothing changing – medicine continuing to work just like it’s a for-profit practice – but just being paid for by the government/single-payer-entity. An insurance monopoly, essentially, but one that wouldn’t hike up prices and reduce services. Because reasons.

  4. The hospital did not have a neonatal intensive care unit like the one that saved Kimmel’s baby’s life because the Virginia Department of Health (at the request of a nearby, competing hospital) had denied Lewis Gale’s application to build one.

    This can’t be screamed loudly enough, because I can tell you, almost no one who claims the US Medical system is a wild-west free-for-all depending entirely on one’s ‘ability to pay’ hears it.

    Anyone who’s worked in healthcare for even a short time learns quickly just how tightly regulated every aspect of the US healthcare system is, and how the governments, both federal and local actually restrict the increase of available services for fear that prices drop. Yes, you read that right: state and local governments are actually afraid that healthcare will become too affordable, stressing the existing systems’ ability to continue to make money, so they restrict who, when and what services can be delivered.

    1. My mom had a new aortic valve put in this week. It’s a trial valve. Care to know what the innovations are?

      New materials? Nope.
      New design? Nope.

      The two innovations requiring validation before FDA approval are:
      1) Pre-drilled suture holes in the outer casing for ease of stitching
      2) Embedded markers that show up in any future CT’s for IR or someone like that to use as a locator.

      This trial will take over a decade before approval can be granted.

      Further, no fewer than 4 Anesthiologists/Anethestists/Nurse Anesthetists got to stop by to collect their RVU’s because, according to Medicare, they can!

      Yes, government is clearly the answer to all of our healthcare problems.

      1. But for government, your doctor would insert an un-sterilized sheep-bladder as a valve and laugh, counting his money while your mother dies of a massive internal infection.

        1. That is the government.

  5. VA for everyone. What could go wrong?

  6. I remember the first time I heard of Certificate of Need laws when a new hospital was proposed near my neighborhood.

    I could not believe this was a Real Fucking Thing.

    One of many factors that pushed me towards libertarianism.

    1. I wonder what the single payer folks think of COD laws. I would like to hear their hypocritical defense of them some day, just for laughs.

  7. If you support policy that results in higher costs, lower quality, less quantity of services, and rationing via waitlists, I’m sorry, you do not have the moral high ground and libertarians aren’t the heartless ones for favoring a system provides enough supply to meet all consumer demand, not just those who survive the waitlist.

  8. The government also limits the supply of doctors. Students pay for their own medical school –no limitation–but to practice one must do a residency and these have a supply limited by the government, which funds them.

    1. The doctors’ labor union, the AMA, restricts the number of medical students. Don’t want too much supply.

      1. You didn’t even read his post. Residencies not med students.

        1. I think he was saying that the number of medical students were in fact limited also just not by the government.

      2. Yeah, thinking about how much just that one organization drives down supply and costs up makes one cringe. They (and the Bar Association and a lot of other professional organizations) are arguably worse than unions even; they’re modern day Mafias that shake down the whole country even the point of killing large number of people.

  9. The problem with healthcare in the U.S. is the absurd cost. This situation is entirely a creation of a labyrinth of statutes, regulations and rent seeking parties who’ve created a “market” wherein neither buyer nor seller know what the price is. Nobody including Reason magazine is addressing this issue. That was the case before Obamacare and it will be the case after Trumpcare. The idea that the federal government can somehow unleash market forces is a fantastic notion as illustrated by the article above. I fully expect that this insane industry will ultimately crash whatever economy we have left.
    And while it’s difficult to criticize a man who nearly lost a child, I doubt multi millionaire Kimmel spent 10 minutes pondering the healthcare system until his ox got gored. So fuck off slaver.

    1. This situation is entirely a creation of a labyrinth of statutes, regulations and rent seeking parties who’ve created a “market” wherein neither buyer nor seller know what the price is. Nobody including Reason magazine is addressing this issue

      That’s not true. Reason has discussed this very aspect of the healthcare system many times.

      1. You’re right, I should not beat up on Reason. I’ve reached the conclusion that the only cure for the health care bubble is creative destruction of the entire system and the current discussion is just fiddling while moving the deck chairs on the Titanic. But yeah, at least Reason covers the issue.

    2. That labyrinth exists because of the fucking government. Start with the original sin of tax exemption for employer provided health insurance and go from there.

      1. “Start with the original sin of tax exemption for employer provided health insurance and go from there.”

        WWII wage fixing and the econ-ignoramus known a Truman wouldn’t lift it because ‘prices would go up’. As they did anyhow:
        “Wanna buy that car? Well, the price is fixed, but you gotta buy this dog at the same time and he’s rare and expensive breed!”

        1. Another ahistorical meme that gets repeated ad nauseum by ideologues even though it just ain’t true.

          Corporate tax deductions (and non-taxability for employees) for employee insurance were put into the tax code in Feb 1939 – when unemployment was 18%, most people didn’t pay income taxes, and there were no wartime wage/price controls because WW2 hadn’t started yet.

          There is a cronyist story behind why that was put in then – but it doesn’t fit the ‘free market works really well in healthcare so why did gummint fuck it up’.

    3. I think Reason has been ok on it. Making the case for a free market in healthcare is, for some reason, obscenely difficult. People think healthcare is just “different” and no matter how hard you try to convince them otherwise, they refuse to listen and say we have an obligation to “take care of everyone” (nevermind how healthcare and health insurance are different things, and even I’ve fallen into the rhetorical trap of equating them). And so just like Reason, I’ve often had to bring up to people that Obamacare does not address the core problems with healthcare: an obscene cost, much of which is due to government intervention

    4. Advertised on the subway in NYC and the L in Chicago is breast augmentation for $3,999, with easy financing available. (Anyone remember Earl Scheib?)

      Peels? Dermabrasion? Tummy tucks? No cash? Not a problem!

      Cosmetic surgery is usually not covered by insurance and government healthcare, and has evolved a competitive marketplace. If you need a stent or hernia surgery or one of the many commonplace surgeries performed these days, would you want a choice of a single hospital chosen by bureaucrats, or a competitive market where I can choose a surgeon who meets my criteria?

      1. Cosmetic surgery is a LUXURY item. That is why it can be a ‘competitive marketplace’ – and is IN FACT a competitive non-socialist marketplace in every freaking country on Earth except maybe Cuba. And BTW – breast augmentation is cheaper in most of Europe than it is here (unlike most everything else in Europe which is more expensive than here) and is entirely out-of-pocket there too.

        but hey – obviously the boobjob and tummytuck model is the solution to everything and only American libertarians realize that.

        1. I have no idea what point you are trying to make.

          1. OK. Imagine riding the subway and seeing ads for coronary bypass surgery – ‘buy one get one free sale this weekend only’ – ‘reduced price of $40000 with ez financing’.

            You gonna say – you know I may need one of those in ten years, why not get it now while prices are cheap? Or maybe – I really need to have my knee looked at not my heart but maybe I can get that thrown in for free? Or – wow this is definitely the heart surgeon who knows how markets work so it’s probably the best heart surgeon too?

            Just because cosmetic surgery involves a knife and cutting doesn’t make it the same as either non-cosmetic surgery or your local butcher or your local mugger.

            1. Wrong again. Housing and food are necessities rather than luxuries and the prices for these in cities/states with less regulation of them are generally a fraction of what they are in more centrally planned municipal economies. I don’t know where you got the idea that competition only applied to luxury goods, but it’s horse shit.

              When CALPERS, the California public employee pension/medical benefits system, changed how joint replacements were covered for clients such that rather than covering all expenses except for a fixed sum, a fraction (the majority of course) of expenses were covered and the patient had to pay the remaining fraction (meaning patients actually saved money by seeking cheaper treatment) the result was enormous: prices among providers in the CALPERS network fell by like more than half. Yes, competition actually works.

              1. So let me get this right. You are arguing that a government agency can foster competition and make the pricing system work in healthcare? Does this argument make libertarian heads explode?

                Hell I’ve been making a similar argument for a couple decades now. That the focus needs to be on reforming Medicare payment practices because until that elephant changes its role in the system, ain’t nothing else gonna have any impact at all. But that is usually met by libertarians who think ‘reforming Medicare’ is a fatal compromise with evil.

                Oh – and health services are very different from food/water too in tons of ways that drive the structure of how that sort of market would work. Just one example (among literally dozens I could list off the top of my head):
                1. We purchase food/water many thousands of times in our life. We are knowledgeable shoppers.

                1. “You are arguing that a government agency can foster competition and make the pricing system work in healthcare?”
                  What? Christ, are you being deliberately dense? Try actually paying attention to what I’m writing. I’m pointing out that the government getting out of the way even a little bit and allowing even slight competition drives down prices. It seems you’re just desperate to come to the conclusion that government works wonders; but it’s government getting out of the way and letting markets set prices that works wonders.

                  “1. We purchase food/water many thousands of times in our life. We are knowledgeable shoppers.”
                  Most Americans know about as little about food, how it’s made and what it’s effects are, as they do about health care. And there are plenty of things people only purchase a few times in life and know little about (cars, for example) that have functional markets.

                  1. And I reiterate, there is plenty of empirical evidence, much as you government healthcare enthusiast insist to the contrary, that competition does in fact work in health care; in the UK, for example, when costs are fixed (because they have a more or less socialist system already), the density of hospitals directly correlates with the quality of care, because the more hospitals have to compete with each other (funding is dispensed in the UK relative to patient volume), they give better quality care. If the state just lets the market work, (some) consumers do indeed shop for better quality providers and/or lower costs (and some, hell even just a small fraction of customers being informed shoppers is enough to create competitive advantages), and providers do in fact compete with each other to lower prices and/or improve quality. I’m sorry if that bothers you.

            2. OK. Imagine riding the subway and seeing ads for coronary bypass surgery – ‘buy one get one free sale this weekend only’ – ‘reduced price of $40000 with ez financing’.

              It’s farcical how you fucking bugmen always pick the most extreme example.

              Tell me, how does this only apply to catastrophic emergency care and not ordinary healthcare needs like physicals or even a broken arm? Or hell, even a knee replacement surgery? Why do you chucklefucks ALWAYS cite an event *that would normally be covered by insurance, in the traditional sense, anyway?*

              It’s like your type goes out of its way to show that you really can’t wipe your own ass without .gov giving you a free roll of TP and an instruction manual.

              1. how does this only apply to catastrophic emergency care and not ordinary healthcare needs like physicals or even a broken arm?

                What % of total medical spending do you idjits think is on physicals and routine crap? Answer – damn near NOTHING. To be more precise – the healthiest 50% of the population spends 3% of total spending (less than $600/year). That’s pretty much the amount spent in total on routine stuff too. Three TIMES more money is spent on heart disease/surgery in the US than is spent on ALL routine care for everyone combined.

                Even if the market worked great for routine stuff, it would have no more effect on total medical spending than a gnat squeezing its butt cheeks. And as long as those ‘insurance events’ keep driving up the cost of insurance, then that rising cost of insurance will drive out routine care paid for out-of-pocket and Americans will continue to wait to seek medical care until it IS an emergency paid for by insurance.

                IOW – it is not POSSIBLE for a market to function in ANY part of the medical spending area until the huge dollar item stuff is fixed. THAT is why free market boobjobs are cheaper in socialized Europe than they are in the US. Because Europe has fixed the expensive crap and the US still has its head up its ass about that stuff.

                1. What % of total medical spending do you idjits think is on physicals and routine crap? Answer – damn near NOTHING.

                  So show some balls and stop demanding that the government cover the cost of those procedures, too.

                  1. So show some balls and stop demanding that the government cover the cost of those procedures, too.

                    I have no problem with that. But there is no reason to waste one second of time rearranging deck chairs and shopping for curtains when a hurricane is blowing the whole house down.

                    Fix the big things first. Then and only then will it be possible to pay attention to the little things.

    5. “I doubt multi millionaire Kimmel spent 10 minutes pondering the healthcare system until his ox got gored. So fuck off slaver.”

      This.

      His plea was projection and presumptuous. What else is new? Ever notice how the ‘apolitical’ or ‘indifferent’ generally swing straight to the progressive side whenever a traumatic act happens to them?

      I’m glad it’s working out for him but spare us the calls for more government.

  10. “If your baby is going to die, and it doesn’t have to, it shouldn’t matter how much money you make,” Kimmel said. “No parent should ever have to decide if they can afford to save their child’s life?it just shouldn’t happen. Not here.”

    What a steaming pile of shit.
    Kimmel, like it or not, life is a constant series of compromises. YOU may think your child’s life it worth everything, but I don’t see you offering to pay for the kid who got surgery right after your kid.
    Nope, like every other brain-dead lefty, you are more than willing to have everyone else pay for what you want, thereby leaving THEM unable to pay for what they want.
    There is no pile of medical care ‘stuff’ hidden away from you by those evil people who aren’t lefties. Medical care is scarce for the same reason that all other economic goods are scarce; everybody wants more than they have. You can’t have everything, Jimmy, regardless of what your idiot buddied tell you.
    Fuck off, slaver.

  11. If your baby is going to die, and it doesn’t have to, it shouldn’t matter how much money you make,” Kimmel said. “No parent should ever have to decide if they can afford to save their child’s life?it just shouldn’t happen. Not here.”

    But one parent can decide to kill their child, of course. Anything else would be uncivlized.

    1. Forced birthing is slavery. It’s the same thing as forcing you to donate a kidney for your dying kid. You should do it, but should there be a law to make you do it? Any counter argument, especially stating an equivalency for a couple of cells to a human being, is a religious argument, a Taliban argument indeed.

  12. Jimmy Kimmel is a silver dollar bouncing around in the pockets of coffee shop Maduro’sall spread likely about the fucking free meadows. His baby stories are an NBC nickle dream.

  13. “If your baby is going to die, and it doesn’t have to, it shouldn’t matter how much money you make,” Kimmel said. “No parent should ever have to decide if they can afford to save their child’s life?it just shouldn’t happen. Not here.”

    What a heartless bastard – wants free healthcare for babies with life-threatening medical issues “here” but not for toddlers or teenagers or middle-aged people or old folks and not for merely debilitating or uncomfortable medical issues and not for anybody who’s not “here”? I say free unlimited healthcare for everything for everybody everywhere! That can’t possibly cost more than about 110% of the GDP of the entire planet, can it? Once we get that issue solved, we can work on free food and clothes and shelter and internet access and college educations and 5 weeks paid vacation for everybody, too. That should only cost another 400-500% of the planet’s total GDP.

    1. You forgot six months paid parental leave, you heartless bastard!

      1. Only six months? It looks like you’re the heartless bastard here. It should be paid parental leave at least until the kid is too old for Little League and those annoying school plays where every kid gets a part.

  14. In all honesty, well done, Kimmel. This is how political battles are one. Appeal to the emotions rather than to reason. Batter your opponents with emotionally loaded non-sequiturs until no one doubts their sociopaths. “You don’t support nationalizing the food industry? You want children to starve. You don’t support nationalizing the car industry? You want people to have to walk till their feet bleed just to get to work.”

    1. Classic case of emotion over logic. Seems to be the norm these days.

      1. Santa and Sob Stories. How does reason stand up to that?

      2. These days?

        Emotion and passion is the default position of man. This is why reason and logic had to be invented. It started in Ancient Greece and we refined it over the centuries right up until the Age of Reason in the 18th century.

        Logic and reason may assume a small space next to emotion and passion but does act as a buffer against it.

  15. “Government should do what it can to make sure that babies don’t needlessly die. Even hardened libertarians can probably agree with that sentiment on some level.”

    No, I don’t think hardened libertarians would agree with that sentiment on any level.
    Government- nope
    Government should- nope
    Government should do- nope.
    Government should do what it can- nope
    Government should do what it can to make sure- nope
    I may be wrong but it seems to me that to qualify as a “hardened libertarian” you have to be able to resist the “for the children” argument and to “agree on some level” is giving ground you can not take back.

    Libertarians hardened or otherwise seem to have correctly identified Kimmel as a schmuck willing to use his sick kid in his political prop so do a proper drive-by and spray Kimmel and everyone standing to close with scorn for his sob soaked appeals to emotion and ignorant head bobbing.

    1. While I get your point… I think even a hardened libertarian will agree with the statement. The issue comes when you identify what, functionally, the gov would do to meet this goal.

      To most people it would do magic (also known as stealing other people’s money).

      To us… it would protect property rights, nothing more, and let people fix the problem. To us… that is what the gov should do for the end of saving the children.

    2. I don’t agree that government should save sick babies either. I might agree with this statement though: “People should do what they can to make sure that babies don’t needlessly die.”

      As in, individual help and private charity. The level of charitable help for medical care is less than it should be, because the government keeps “doing more” and making people think “OK, I don’t really need to do anything, as long as I pay taxes.”

      Kimmel is implying that if the government doesn’t save your sick baby, there’s absolutely nowhere else you can go, which is hogwash.

      1. You have lots of faith in the goodness and grace of human beings. In Victorian England there were plenty of good folks and charity hospitals. Plenty of people dying in the streets too. We could certainly sue the people dying in the streets for public littering though.

    3. I actually agree with the the statement. But all government can do is get the hell out of the way. Unfortunately, government is not very good at that, either.

  16. BUT WON’T SOMEBODY ***PLEASE*** THINK OF THE CHILDREN!?

    No child/mother should have to . So we, as a society, must be prepared to spend up to infinity dollars (including borrowing/printing money that does not exist) and bankrupt ourselves so that child/mother gets whatever it is they deserve.

  17. As Maxwell Smart might have told KImmel: “So . . . the old Argument from Pity fallacy!”

  18. Economist Jeffrey Sachs was on Trish Regan’s show on FBN this week arguing that because medical providers have local monopolies the gov’t needs to be involved in medical care. CON’s are one reason why and need to be abolished.

    1. “Economist” Jeffrey Sachs. Sachs is a devout disciple of the church of Al Gore. Just like Krugman, he’s just wearing an economist as a skin suit at this point.

    2. We should call this phenomenon “socialism creep.” Government strangles market, drives up costs, drives down supply, but leaves it (barely) nominally private; then government enthusiasts use said occurrences as evidence that government needs to take over the whole industry and ration goods and services.

  19. “No one should be worried about their sick kid not getting treated”

    “Your gas prices will now go up to 5 bucks a gallon of gas and people like Jimmy Kimmel gets hits with Euro level tax rate”

    They essentially mean the same thing.

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