"Free Healthcare"

  1. Free Healthcare
    Copyright 09/27/2007 Zashagalka (Used by permission, of course!)

    “Underlying most arguments against the free market is a lack of belief in freedom.” – Milton Friedman.

    Hillary Clinton recently unveiled her new and improved healthcare plan. In effect, the plan is a backdoor to government restricted care. It places such restrictions on business and healthcare that only the government, through heavy subsidies (read tax increases), would be in a position to provide the proposed coverage, at the proposed cost. Hillary says her program offers you choice, but then it systematically erodes that choice by mandates that ultimately make any choice but the government financially impossible.

    The intended result is to systematically shift care to the government. The problem with this is that the government IS the problem with healthcare. As Nobel prize-winning economist Milton Friedman noted, “The government solution to a problem is usually as bad as the problem.” Right on.

    The problems with healthcare today are directly attributable to government interference in the provision of your care. Beginning in WWII, the government imposed wage freezes, requiring employers to look to ‘fringe’ benefits to attract employees. Health insurance was one such benefit, and your Uncle Daddy liked the idea. So, after WWII, Uncle Daddy passed tax breaks for employers to provide insurance, and the rest is history.

    Along with tax breaks come control and once government got control of your healthcare, interference became the name of the game. To the extent that healthcare is broken today, your Uncle Daddy broke it. He has so contorted health insurance that it can’t reasonably any longer even be described as insurance. Instead, it is a pre-paid plan. Does your car insurance pay for oil changes and gas? No, because it is an INSURANCE program. If it paid for all routine car care, it would be a pre-paid program.

    Your government however, is in bed with the corporations that provide health insurance. As a result, lobbyist-directed and do-gooder mandates have turned health insurance into a monster that few can afford without employer or government subsidy. That, by the way, is exactly as intended. If you had a choice, then you wouldn’t choose such cost and care ineffective behemoths. So, you are effectively priced out of a choice. Make no mistake; that is on purpose.

    Your car insurance company cares very much about what you think. Try to watch television without being hyped by one. Those companies can ill-afford to not cater to your wants and needs. The reason why is simple, because you would go elsewhere, and tell your friends and family to do the same. Word of mouth and good will is very important to companies that actually compete for your business. By making you dependent on a government backed, employer provided plan (because you can’t afford it otherwise), the government and their lobbying corporations have removed the freedom of choice from your healthcare. More important, they have removed, from themselves, the need to cater to you.

    So what’s the solution to the government conspiring with big business to remove your freedom of choice from healthcare? Well, of course it is handing more of your freedom in healthcare to the government. Because they failed with the control they now have on your care, they must now be put in charge of ever more of it.

    It’s amazing to me how those on the left fully understand the anti-competitive dangers of corporate monopolies but fail to fully appreciate the very dangers of a government monopoly. Those of us in the real world that must interface with the government, be it social security or the DMV, understand the danger of monopolistic mediocrity. ‘Close enough for government work’ has a distinct and valid meaning.

    The government has systematically kept the price of healthcare out of your individual reach. It has done so on purpose. The result is that there is no real world connection to price and service. Government restricted healthcare would only make matters much worse. Healthcare cannot be ‘free’. First, the taxes to pay for it would be nothing short of draconian. Second, the cost in diminished care would be astounding. For the vast majority of Americans, the cost of such care, in price and decreased quality, will be far more than bargained or advertised.

    The law of supply and demand requires a balance. Unlimited demand (free) means either unlimited supply (impossible) or restrictions on supply. It is inevitable. It is, in fact, a law of economics. Congress can’t repeal that. Even if they want to. Even if it ‘feels’ good. The solution to most of the healthcare financing problems is to get your Uncle Daddy out of the business of subsidizing and dictating care, thereby letting the market provide the best balance of quality and pricing. The free market has an amazing ability to balance quality and cost, when left unmolested by government.

    Healthcare needs to be free. It needs to be free from the shackles of government. A fair share in a dismal outcome is not acceptable when it comes to something as personal as health. The government’s solution to your health care IS the problem with healthcare. If we want a free healthcare system, then it needs a governmentectomy. And it needs it fast, before this cancer spreads any further.

    ~faith,
    Timothy.
    Last edit by ZASHAGALKA on Sep 28, '07
    •  
  2. 31 Comments

  3. by   Spidey's mom
    "Governmentectomy"!!!!! I'm all for it.

    Leave the government in its proper place . . . . and stop encroaching on personal freedom . .. of course, the monster is well entrenched.


    steph
  4. by   pickledpepperRN
    I have asked this many many times already. Perhaps someone will answer.

    When and where has the "free market" existed?
  5. by   ZASHAGALKA
    Quote from spacenurse
    I have asked this many many times already. Perhaps someone will answer.

    When and where has the "free market" existed?
    Where ever the government isn't. THAT is why our framers sought to keep Uncle Daddy out of most places.

    ~faith,
    Timothy.
    Last edit by ZASHAGALKA on Sep 27, '07
  6. by   CHATSDALE
    i vote that the government pay for my auto insurance
  7. by   pickledpepperRN
    Quote from ZASHAGALKA
    Where ever the government isn't. THAT is why our framers sought to keep Uncle Daddy out of most places.

    ~faith,
    Timothy.
    Where is that?

    Has there ever been a free market?
  8. by   ZASHAGALKA
    Quote from spacenurse
    Where is that?

    Has there ever been a free market?
    You're being just a tad disingenious. The free market is COMPETITION. You understand that monopoly is bad, yes? So it is. Even when it's the government. Or, even when the gov't conspires with big corporations to remove their need to be competitive (at least, in the sense that they should care to cater to the ultimate consumer.)

    Because healthcare is provided by tax breaks through your employer, both your employer and Uncle Daddy are the ultimate consumers of the products. The corporation that provides you your work related health insurance does not view you as their client. Why should they. You aren't.

    Even some highly regulated industries, like car insurance, are relatively free markets. The reason why is because the gov't might set a ground floor, but then the companies are free to compete for your business. Because the gov't WANTS you to purchase said insurance, and without significant gov't subsidy, that ground floor is kept modest.

    Health insurance is a much different animal. There is a conspiracy to deny you choice and that conspiracy is in pricing. Tylenols don't cost 12 dollars if bought with insurance to pay for the 5 that didn't pay. No, they cost that much to insure that you get your insurance only by means of a subsidy, thereby being dependent on a plan that NOW has the luxury of not being competitive to you.

    It is the worst case of government and business being in bed against you. Your gov't has been sold to the highest dollar, and it ain't you.

    Everything is relative. You might be technically correct that there has never been a completely laissez-faire market. To the extent that gov't interferes, that is a tax, a burden upon the market. The more interference, the less well the free market does. To say there is no such beast is disingenuious. Of course there is competition, and of course the provision of goods and services to you is vastly improved by the degrees of competition involved in such things reaching you.

    THAT COMPETITION WOULD DO WONDERS FOR HEALTHCARE, AS WELL. To say the current choice is between a now private market and the gov't is a false dichotomy. The current choice being offered is between massive gov't interference in your healthcare vs. total gov't interference in your healthcare. There is another choice: reverting to the one system proven to be the absolute best at balancing price and quality- competition, aka, the free market.

    The free market is competition. You cannot deny the existence of competition. And you shouldn't deny that competition works to your benefit. That principle underlies the wealth of nations. Especially ours.

    ~faith,
    Timothy.
    Last edit by ZASHAGALKA on Sep 28, '07
  9. by   ZASHAGALKA
    This is a great article. It's long, but read it.

    http://www.reason.com/news/show/122019.html
    The 4 Boneheaded Biases of Stupid Voters (And we're all stupid voters.):
    by Bryan Caplan

    1. Anti-Market bias

    "Yet profits are not a handout but a quid pro quo: If you want to get rich, you have to do something people will pay for. Profits give incentives to reduce production costs, move resources from less-valued to more-valued industries, and dream up new products. This is the central lesson of The Wealth of Nations: The "invisible hand" quietly persuades selfish businessmen to serve the public good. For modern economists, these are truisms, yet teachers of economics keep quoting and requoting this passage. Why? Because Adam Smith's thesis was counterintuitive to his contemporaries, and it remains counterintuitive today."

    2. Anti-Foriegn bias

    "Anti-foreign bias is easier to spot nowadays. To take one prominent example, immigration is far more of an issue now than it was in Smith's time. Economists are predictably quick to see the benefits of immigration. Trade in labor is roughly the same as trade in goods. Specialization and exchange raise output--for instance, by letting skilled American moms return to work by hiring Mexican nannies."

    3. Make Work Bias

    "After technology throws people out of work, they have an incentive to find a new use for their talents. The Dallas Fed economist W. Michael Cox and the journalist Richard Alm illustrate this process in their 1999 book Myths of Rich and Poor, citing history's most striking example, the drastic decline in agricultural employment: "In 1800, it took nearly 95 of every 100 Americans to feed the country. In 1900, it took 40. Today, it takes just 3....The workers no longer needed on farms have been put to use providing new homes, furniture, clothing, computers, pharmaceuticals, appliances, medical assistance, movies, financial advice, video games, gourmet meals, and an almost dizzying array of other goods and services."

    4. Pessimistic Bias

    "How can high levels of pessimism coexist with constantly rising standards of living? Although pessimism has abated since World War I, the gap between objective conditions and subjective perceptions is arguably greater than ever. In The Progress Paradox (2003), the journalist Gregg Easterbrook ridicules the "abundance denial" of the developed world: "Our forebears, who worked and sacrificed tirelessly in the hopes their descendants would someday be free, comfortable, healthy, and educated, might be dismayed to observe how acidly we deny we now are these things."

    ~~ a very educating article to read in its entirety.

    ~faith,
    Timothy.
  10. by   pickledpepperRN
    I am asking a question.

    Is there or has there been anywhere, anywhen "The one system proven to be the absolute best at balancing price and quality- competition, aka, the free market"?
  11. by   pickledpepperRN
    Quote from ZASHAGALKA
    This is a great article. It's long, but read it.

    http://www.reason.com/news/show/122019.html
    The 4 Boneheaded Biases of Stupid Voters (And we're all stupid voters.):
    by Bryan Caplan

    1. Anti-Market bias

    "Yet profits are not a handout but a quid pro quo: If you want to get rich, you have to do something people will pay for. Profits give incentives to reduce production costs, move resources from less-valued to more-valued industries, and dream up new products. This is the central lesson of The Wealth of Nations: The "invisible hand" quietly persuades selfish businessmen to serve the public good. For modern economists, these are truisms, yet teachers of economics keep quoting and requoting this passage. Why? Because Adam Smith's thesis was counterintuitive to his contemporaries, and it remains counterintuitive today."

    2. Anti-Foriegn bias

    "Anti-foreign bias is easier to spot nowadays. To take one prominent example, immigration is far more of an issue now than it was in Smith's time. Economists are predictably quick to see the benefits of immigration. Trade in labor is roughly the same as trade in goods. Specialization and exchange raise output--for instance, by letting skilled American moms return to work by hiring Mexican nannies."

    3. Make Work Bias

    "After technology throws people out of work, they have an incentive to find a new use for their talents. The Dallas Fed economist W. Michael Cox and the journalist Richard Alm illustrate this process in their 1999 book Myths of Rich and Poor, citing history's most striking example, the drastic decline in agricultural employment: "In 1800, it took nearly 95 of every 100 Americans to feed the country. In 1900, it took 40. Today, it takes just 3....The workers no longer needed on farms have been put to use providing new homes, furniture, clothing, computers, pharmaceuticals, appliances, medical assistance, movies, financial advice, video games, gourmet meals, and an almost dizzying array of other goods and services."

    4. Pessimistic Bias

    "How can high levels of pessimism coexist with constantly rising standards of living? Although pessimism has abated since World War I, the gap between objective conditions and subjective perceptions is arguably greater than ever. In The Progress Paradox (2003), the journalist Gregg Easterbrook ridicules the "abundance denial" of the developed world: "Our forebears, who worked and sacrificed tirelessly in the hopes their descendants would someday be free, comfortable, healthy, and educated, might be dismayed to observe how acidly we deny we now are these things."

    ~~ a very educating article to read in its entirety.

    ~faith,
    Timothy.
    I read it.

    Where is Mr. Caplans plan for the hungry and homeless?

    He seems to know why all our ideas are wrong so what is the practical solution?
  12. by   ZASHAGALKA
    Quote from spacenurse
    I read it.

    Where is Mr. Caplans plan for the hungry and homeless?

    He seems to know why all our ideas are wrong so what is the practical solution?
    The best vehicle for taking care of the hungry and homeless is the free market. Look all over the world. Prosperity leads to a better life, for all.

    Because of the free market, I recently read that the number of peoples living on less than 2 dollars/day has shrunk rapidly, even as population has grown.

    The FREE MARKET provides the prosperity that plans for the hungry and homeless. And, it does it far better than gov't.

    Look at THIS nation. As a result of a historical gov't-hands-off on the economy, our nation is such that poverty has a whole new definition. Very few people go hungry in this country. Persistent malnutrition is virtually extinct. Poverty has a whole new meaning, a poverty of want as opposed to a poverty of need. The reason why is that this nation, BECAUSE OF COMPETITION, is such that anybody who wants to make it here can, and millions more besides.

    Simply put, after trillions of dollars, the war on poverty is a worse failure than the war in Iraq. And, it has cost more, in treasure AND lives. Far more. Our war on poverty has deprived generations of hope. Milton Friedman said it best: "The government solution to a problem is usually as bad as the problem".

    I just don't have faith in the government.

    The free market provides more opportunity, for more people, than any other mechanism. That is a universal, economic truth.

    I'm for free market competition because it is MUCH MORE COMPASSIONATE than any gov't could be. Or, to be more precise, the opportunity costs associated with letting the gov't handle social problems is ALWAYS the worst deal possible. That money would be far better spent on free exchange of idea and industry than in the hands of gov't.

    I believe in the free market BECAUSE I'm compassionate and want what is best, for the most people possible. I'm against government solutions BECAUSE they are uncompassionate, by any reasonable comparison.

    So, let me turn your question around: what is the gov't's plan for hunger and homelessness? More to the point, after trillions of dollars and decades of work, how successful have such plans been? In fact, the statistics have barely moved, in 40 yrs. To the extent things have improved, it is in direct tandem with the economy as a whole, in spite of gov't aid. The proof is in. Your solution to these problems, the gov't, is an abject failure. Maybe it's time to try a better approach.

    ~faith,
    Timothy.
    Last edit by ZASHAGALKA on Sep 28, '07
  13. by   pickledpepperRN
    Now I'm really confused as to how both of these are true.

    Look at THIS nation. As a result of a historical gov't-hands-off on the economy, our nation is such that poverty has a whole new definition. Very few people go hungry in this country. Persistent malnutrition is virtually extinct. Poverty has a whole new meaning, a poverty of want as opposed to a poverty of need. The reason why is that this nation, BECAUSE OF COMPETITION, is such that anybody who wants to make it here can, and millions more besides.
    Simply put, after trillions of dollars, the war on poverty is a worse failure than the war in Iraq. And, it has cost more, in treasure AND lives. Far more. Our war on poverty has deprived generations of hope.
    I do not think we have not deprived generations of hope. WE are better than that. People without hope don't wait on lists for slots in nursing programs.
  14. by   pickledpepperRN
    Quote from ZASHAGALKA
    The best vehicle for taking care of the hungry and homeless is the free market. Look all over the world. Prosperity leads to a better life, for all.

    Because of the free market, I recently read that the number of peoples living on less than 2 dollars/day has shrunk rapidly, even as population has grown.

    The FREE MARKET provides the prosperity that plans for the hungry and homeless. And, it does it far better than gov't.

    Look at THIS nation. As a result of a historical gov't-hands-off on the economy, our nation is such that poverty has a whole new definition. Very few people go hungry in this country. Persistent malnutrition is virtually extinct. Poverty has a whole new meaning, a poverty of want as opposed to a poverty of need. The reason why is that this nation, BECAUSE OF COMPETITION, is such that anybody who wants to make it here can, and millions more besides.

    Simply put, after trillions of dollars, the war on poverty is a worse failure than the war in Iraq. And, it has cost more, in treasure AND lives. Far more. Our war on poverty has deprived generations of hope. Milton Friedman said it best: "The government solution to a problem is usually as bad as the problem".

    I just don't have faith in the government.

    The free market provides more opportunity, for more people, than any other mechanism. That is a universal, economic truth.

    I'm for free market competition because it is MUCH MORE COMPASSIONATE than any gov't could be. Or, to be more precise, the opportunity costs associated with letting the gov't handle social problems is ALWAYS the worst deal possible. That money would be far better spent on free exchange of idea and industry than in the hands of gov't.

    I believe in the free market BECAUSE I'm compassionate and want what is best, for the most people possible. I'm against government solutions BECAUSE they are uncompassionate, by any reasonable comparison.

    So, let me turn your question around: what is the gov't's plan for hunger and homelessness? More to the point, after trillions of dollars and decades of work, how successful have such plans been? In fact, the statistics have barely moved, in 40 yrs. To the extent things have improved, it is in direct tandem with the economy as a whole, in spite of gov't aid. The proof is in. Your solution to these problems, the gov't, is an abject failure. Maybe it's time to try a better approach.

    ~faith,
    Timothy.
    I am neither an economist nor a genius so I ask, "What is a better approach?"

close