Friday, November 13, 2009

ObamaCare Argumentorium

Via Right-wing nuthouse, four common arguments used to advance ObamaCare, and responses:

Discourse #1 - The "It's ObamaCare or the Horrible Status Quo" Argument

it’s not like the alternative non-government option (such as the status quo discussed above) is without huge, even worse problems of its own.

This is the logical fallacy of the False Choice. It’s either Status Quo or ObamaLosiCare?

Wrong! Here’ a simple “third way” that could be bipartisan:

1. Allow insurance purchased from any of 50 states - lower cost through more choices.
2. Medical tort reform - lower cost.
3. Address pre-existing conditions with regulations requiring acceptance of people under such conditions in insurance (also prevent insurance companies from dropping coverage) and a Government program (based on tax on insurance itself) to pay into a catastrophic health insurance plan for pre-existing situation.
4. Posted prices for all medical items - lower cost.
5. Individual / small business pooling program to lower cost. We could also try tax breaks to equalize individual vs company provided healthcare.
6. Expand health savings accounts so all health spending can be pre-tax. (related to #5)
7. Allow prescription drug importation.
8. All Medicaid/Medicare recipients can get their govt subsidy via a voucher for same amount for insurance program of their choice.

Understand - ANY system will have economic limits, and thus there will be imperfections. Do these things and see how it improves over the next 3 years. This is how REAL REFORM would work. If more/different is needed, iterate. Maybe this list needs tweaking,but the key - Fix what is broken without breaking what works - healthcare in the US is 85% okay and 15% broken and assuming it is the other way is wrong; the ‘idee fixe’ of going after ‘universal coverage’ (which will never happen) while ignoring that overall issue of cost, access and quality as a whole is folly.

ObamalosiCare is not REAL REFORM, it’s a Government takeover attempt. It will not make things better and is inferior to other alternatives.

Discourse #2 - It's a Rigged Market so Government control is better than industry control

“How can anyone defend a healthcare (or any other kind of) system that’s based on markets that are mostly non-competitive?”

Government over-regulation has made health sector markets non-competitive. Profit levels for insurance companies are less than 4%. Much of that Government regulation is indefensible, for example, silly mandates at various state levels that do nothing but make health insurance more expensive and less accessible. Often these are done for no reason other than some special interest got it in there - chiropractic care, acupunture, mental ‘welness’, etc. all drives up cost of health insurance. We should allow and have ‘bare bones insurance’ available, especially to young healthy individuals who cannot afford the premiums (and consitute a large portion of those opting out of health insurance entirely).

Discourse #3 - The Modern Age Requires Big Government

"[ in the 19th century] You would have next to no contact with any government."
Many people had plenty of contact with Govt back in 19th century, that they didnt desire, that's why they escaped to the US as immigrants.

"In 2009, you live in an single family home with about 5000 people living within that 100 acres."
Only in Manhattan do you find 50/acre densities ... come to Texas, you can get your own 100 acres outside of town for less than the price of a Manhattan condo.

" You can’t even shoot a gun"
Come to Texas. Concealed carry state.

"electricity, sewers, police and fire."
And a gazillion other things provided via the free market, private-sector economy. Electricity provided in the US mostly by private sector utilities, and other 'necessities' like food, telecom, housing, are largely private, with Govt mainly involved via redistributing in some sectors.

Govt is over-involved in 2 sectors of the economy: Education and healthcare. Curiously, those are the two sectors of the economy that suffer from an inability to improve cost-effectiveness and cost-efficiencies, despite the obvious opportunities due to the information revolution.

" You come in constant contact with government: speed limits, sales tax, gun licenses."
If that's all the Govt did, it could live off of less than 1% of our GDP.

Point well taken that urban Government is more involved than rural Govt, but there too you have only another 1-2% of GDP for sewer, trash, parks, police, etc. That's 'some' Government (and local Govt too, the less intrusive kind), not the Leviathan Government like we have now that is consuming and spending 27% of a very huge $13 trillion GDP.

The Leviathan Government has nothing to do with our daily interactions with Govt in order to live peacably together. What that Leviathan Government is (aside from about 20% for DoD) is a massive amount of wealth distribution, from young to old, from taxpayers to welfare-takers, from consumers to farmers, from those who work to those-who-have-a-friend-in-Congress, etc.

The idea that 'right-wing' America is 'anti-Government' ergo doesnt want local police is just a red herring and sophistry. The REAL issue is this: Do we want the 'limited but effective Government' that sticks to the sewer/police/protect-the-border basics, or do we want the Leviathan Government that does that AND takes on managing industries (banks, GM), healthcare, energy, etc. AND redistributes wealth massively.

The real dividing line is not Government vs no Government (pace the Somalia Red Herring), it's Redistributionist-Socialist Government vs Limited Government.

"Overall I’ll take 2009. Bring on healthcare reform."

While we all will take today over yesterday, the false choice here is that implies support for Redistributionist-Socialist Government over the Limited Government vision.

The size of Federal Government relative to economy was smaller in 2008 than in 1945, and it was fairly even from 1960s through until 2 years ago... now it has spiked up and Federal Govt/ GDP is higher now than in 60 years. Is that the "future"? Inevitably Big Government?

Why bring on a 1945-era style of Government control - like ObamaLosicare - instead of something more modern, grounded in market-based choice, and leveraging modern technology? In reality, ObamaLosiCare is a THROWBACK to the mindset of the post WWII British socialists. The whole push to 'single payer' is based on a mindset locked in paradigms that are out of date.

Didnt fall of USSR, and socialist economic basketcases warn us off that kind of path? If the future is Big Government, then the future will look much like the failed visions of Socialism Past.

Discourse #4 - Moral Outrage, and hard times requires Socialism

“Is it okay with you that working people, people who put in their 40 hours plus every week, can end up living in a box under a freeway”

It is absolutely NOT OKAY that millions have lost jobs under Obama and will be losing homes as well due to the economic mis-management of Obama and his fellow Democrats.

It is absolutely NOT OKAY that in ObamaLosiCare they are proposing a tax on millions of Americans, and a tax on businesses too, that will destroy jobs and hurt many.

It is absolutely NOT OKAY that in the process of putting this bill together, they are going to be hurting the current recipients of Medicaid and Medicare by straining massively the budgets of both, thereby making it harder to help those truly in need.

It is absolutely NOT OKAY that those in favor of ObamalosiCare are using faux moral outrage instead of defending a very flawed bill that will harm millions and head us towards bankrupcy.

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