Editor’s Note: Bill is on the road. So instead of his regular contribution, here’s a timely article from the archives.
Obamacare was a controversial topic in last night’s Republican TV debate. And you may find today’s essay – about President Obama’s gun-toting health care enforcers – equally controversial…
We woke up Sunday morning in New York with a copy of the New York Times at our door. What caught our eye in the paper was the sad saga of ‘Obamacare.’ The Affordable Care Act, to give it its official name, seems to set off emotional outbursts.
Conservatives are agin’ it. Liberals are for it. And the New York Times, journal of record for the liberal intelligentsia, is so livid at Republicans and conservatives for opposing it, the Old Grey Lady can’t think straight.
A terrible system
On Saturday night, we had a conversation with a Yankees fan…
‘What’s the matter with Republicans, anyway?’ she asked, as if we might have an insight.
‘They look like idiots trying to shut down the government over Obamacare. The health care system in this country is terrible. At least Obama is trying to come up with a better system.’
‘I don’t know what’s wrong with Republicans, in general,’ we replied.
‘But they’re not necessarily wrong to oppose Obamacare. And shutting down the government is not necessarily a bad thing.’
We began to explain why. But it was hopeless….
Our interlocutor was convinced that earnest politicians and policymakers could improve the public’s health…and that anyone who tried to stop them was just a moss-backed troublemaker.
Ripping off the young
The editorial in the Times on Sunday took the same position.
Yes, some private companies were forced to cancel their insurance programs. But the voluntary arrangements made between buyers and sellers of insurance were of little interest. Because the insurance policies now prohibited by Obamacare were ‘not worth keeping.’
How did it know?
‘Some had deductibles as high as $10,000,’ the Times reported.
What’s wrong with a high deductible?
It is just the plan most people should have, in our opinion. It protects against health calamities but leaves most of the purchasing power (and decision making) in your hands.
It also discourages you from going to the doctor too often or taking too many drugs.
Health care is like everything else. A little of it is probably a good thing. A lot of it is disastrous…expensive…and sometimes deadly.
The Times goes on to tell us that old people will come out ahead under Obamacare, but that health insurance premiums ‘will likely go up for younger, healthier patients.’
Right. Rip off young people!
But who cares what we think?
Neither the Times nor the Obama administration!
They know best about what kind of health care we need — and everything else.
And since they have the NSA, the FBI, the IRS, the CIA, the SEC, the TSA…and the whole panoply of gun-toting enforcers behind them…what THEY want is what WE get.
Can you really improve people’s health by bullying them?
Funny how one thought leads to another, whether you want it to or not.
We have been wondering about the use of force and violence in the modern world.
Does it pay, we ask, even when it is used to ‘fight terrorism’?
Our answer: Maybe not.
As we all know, terrorism is such a threat to Western civilization and our way of life that we’re willing to spend at least a trillion dollars a year (including the Pentagon budget) to protect ourselves.
We send out unmanned aircraft to kill people we’ve never met…or even heard of.
And we give the spooks at the NSA and elsewhere billions of dollars (they won’t tell us how much) and let them hire thousands of employees (they won’t tell us how many) and let them do pretty much whatever they damn well please (they won’t tell us what).
But guess what?
It doesn’t work.
For Markets and Money, Australia