Saturday, October 12, 2013

Need Less Freedom, More Control

I was on facebook the other day, and I became embroiled in a health care discussion. I asked the Pen Gillette question, "Is it possible we can solve this problem with more freedom instead of less?" The answer from the other participants was a resounding, "No, we cannot". They didn't even want to consider free market solutions. They don't understand free market economics 101, or they think the free market has already been tried, and failed. (We haven't had a free market in health care for over half a century, and it's getting less free all the time.*) The other commentators couldn't possibly see how it would even work.

According to them, we need more control and less freedom, and ObamaCare is just the ticket. It's sad, frustrating and frightening. Check it out... There are a few locally well-known names in that discussion. I really had to flap my gums rapidly on this one to un-twist my words, and dodge bullets.

*Is it any surprise the cost is going up? I realize that correlation does not imply causation, but this is an easily testable hypothesis. Hardly anyone wants to test it though.


  1. Nice try Karl. The problem starts and stops with health insurance paid for through your employer and mandated by government. The individual has lost the ability to buy what they need. There is no absolute right to health care, only a societies individual moral duty to help your fellow mankind whenever possible. But these are not rights and they are no longer moral once government steps in and mandates it.

    The economic disaster that Obamacare will wreck upon society has not even begun to be felt. Everyday I hear or talk to people already who are gauging themselves to make certain that they do not work (or earn) too much to put themselves over the threshold of "free" (yeah right!) health insurance through subsidies. This is so far outside the realms of free market principles it makes my head hurt.

    Cafeteria plans for private individuals and families who can pay for themselves.
    Special pools for those with diseases that will otherwise bankrupt them, whereby public or private programs support the payments.
    Families should decide for themselves if they want to keep their children on their plan. If we can do it for other private purchases then we ought to be able to do it with health insurance. The only reason it wasn't offered before is likely because the vast majority of health insurance has been provided through business and businesses should not have to pay for adult children!
    Incentivize people to purchase catastrophic plans, through cafeteria style plans and Health Savings Accounts to accumulate the cash to pay for the preventive care that keeps people out of the emergency rooms, or doctors office for frivolous visits they're making only because the cash wasn't coming out of their pocketbook.

    And as far as paying for abortions on demand...where do these people come from???

    1. Employer provided insurance is what I was referring to when I mentioned government distortion of the health care market since WWII on facebook. Wage and price controls during WWII (bad policy, naturally - you can't control this stuff - it's an illusion), caused employers to respond by offering "benefits" in lieu of raises to attract and retain the best employees (which also puts the lie to the idea that employers don't care about their employees, or that it would be a race to the bottom if we eliminated the minimum wage, but I digress).

      So due to misguided government policy, employer provided health care was born, and people began having health insurance in unprecedented numbers, and they quickly started using the insurance indiscriminately, effectively making all clients appear "rich" to the providers: Clients would not haggle for price, they would not question the need for procedures, and so prices rose more quickly. Insurance costs rose too, not on the clients, but on their employers. Nevertheless, individuals who were unemployed and had to buy insurance privately, or who had no insurance, found health care less and less affordable. Who caused this? Bad government policy. The problem is, one study shows that too many people are incapable of solving more than a two step problem, and this problem has three or more steps. Doh!


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