Leftist Shibboleths

FISH, BARREL BANG!.

From Knowledge is Power.

Really! The reason we spend so much on medical care in this country is not that it costs too much, it’s that we spend it. That might sound like a tautology, but — trust me — it’s not. Prices might go up faster, and with less apparent justification, than in some other areas but that’s because of a marked absence of the natural signals that prices provide in a free market. There’s no incentive to keep prices low, and every incentive to keep them high. But that’s not because the market is free and open; it’s not. That’s because government has emplaced such perverse incentives through regulation and the tax codes.

“Affordable” means you can afford it. If you have the money and can pay for something, it’s affordable. The concept is meaningless when it’s applied to rights.

–First of all, NOTHING has gotten cheaper over the years. With the exception of perhaps some electronics, who get cheaper when a new model comes about, everything else has gotten more expensive. I’m sure that you have noticed that just by going to the corner grocery store.

Typical economic illiteracy. Of course, any idiot who confuses price increases with monetary inflation — as reversing cause and effect — wouldn’t know a post hoc, ergo propter hoc fallacy if it sunk its big donkey teeth into his ass and chomped down good and hard.

If businessmen had their way, prices would stay the same, because businessmen know (as government pukes seem incapable of apprehending) when you raise prices, it makes it harder to sell your stuff. The only reason businessmen raise prices (absent collusion, which — in a well-regulated (i.e., working as it should) market — means absent government collusion) is because costs have increased. Why do costs increase? Most usually, the root cause is inflation. Which is caused by … anyone? Beuller? Right. The government, expanding the money supply beyond what the market can absorb. I.E., printing money — usually to pay off debt.

When I was a kid, I could buy a candy bar for a nickel. Prices had been pretty stable for a long time. Then Nixon uncoupled the dollar from any precious metal standard and gave it over exclusively to the Federal Reserve’s fiat currency. (Anybody remember Silver Certificates?) And we had Weimar-style inflation in the ’70s. Jimmy Carter caught the brunt of the blame for it, but Nixon and Ford really deserve more — to the extent that Presidents really have any control over that stuff. In the ’80s, candy bars started going for 50 cents. Same candy. Same package. Same value, as in the amount of time somebody had to work for it, but it looked like the candy bar cost more. But what really happened was that government stole 90% of the value of your money. Any money you earned before the inflation was worth that much less afterwards.

People who don’t pay attention might see the change in the price tag and not realize what actually happened. That’s not an excuse, just an indicator of their stupidity.

–deregulation of the free market is what got us into this mess, to advocate more deregulation is ludicrous.

BZZZZT! Oh, I’m so sorry! You’re WRONG. What got us into this mess is gratuitous government intermeddling in the market, and the only way to escape the morass is to tell the government to butt the hell out. The kind of abuses we see in today’s so-called “market failures” (a real term of art in idiocy, that) can only occur with the connivance of government. Without it, no single corporate entity has the throw weight to force people into compliance with unfavorable situations. And that’s what’s happened with — for example — the Community Reinvestment Act, which mandated, through an escalating series of bad laws passed over thirty years, that those in the business of lending money on real estate (a bad risk if there ever was one) no longer pay as much attention to the would-be borrower’s ability to pay as before — particularly if the borrower is a member of a connected — er, protected, I mean — group.

— advocating that it’s ok to exclude people from health care on the basis of pre-existing conditions? So we’re saying that it’s ok to exclude people on a whim depending on how much money this real or perceived pre-existing condition could cost…

Your house is on fire, so you should be able to go to State Farm or Allstate and buy a policy that will make you whole? And the policy should cost one penny less than the replacement cost of your house? And you pretend to understand the nature of insurance? I laugh up my sleeve at your ignorance. I fart in the general direction of your foolishness.

And, by the way, you’re not blocked. You just have to pay a higher premium to get coverage. Unless, that is, the government forbids the charging of premiums on an actuarial basis, in which case, yes, coverage might not be available. Quelle surprise. They’re not saying, “No soup for YOU!” They’re saying, “We’re not allowed to sell it to you at any rate but a loss. Sorry, not as stupid as you seem to be.”

–This whole dribble is a push by the insurance companies who are obviously peeing their pants because if we go to a third party system they won’t be able to make the gazillion of dollars they are presently making off people’s backs.

You know, nobody — yet — is required to have health insurance coverage. That would be dictatorial, tyrannical and draconian. Un-American, evennn. It is possible and even legal for you to go out and simply pay for your medical care out of your own pocket — cutting out the middle man. The only reason this system has any traction at all is due to the Internal Revenue Code provisions that make it tax deductible for employers to pay for their employees’ coverage, but not for individuals. (And even that’s not really true. You can deduct medical expenses if you file long-form and itemize. And you can even buy individual first-dollar HMO coverage, if you don’t mind paying for your medicine twice.) In other words, the government has jiggered the rules so people think the only way they can get medical care is to pay somebody else to pay for it. And if you think the insurance companies pay out more to medical providers than you pay them in premiums, well… I know of a bridge to Kentucky you might be interested in buying.

What? You think the insurance companies should work for free? What are you, in favor of slavery or something? Of course they expect to get paid. It’s how they make a living. And, if they didn’t take in more from you than they paid out in your medical expenses, well… they wouldn’t be in business very long, now, would they?

A sensible person would pay out-of-pocket for quotidian expenses and only insure against catastrophic illness, requiring sudden, large bills — as from a stay in a cardiac intensive care unit or bypass surgery or something, thus saving the “insurance” premiums for the first-dollar coverage. But that’s not feasible for a lot of folks, because they have to participate in their employers’ plans, which frequently don’t offer a lot of options as to how things are structured.

But then, they’d be more aware of the costs of everything they’re consuming, medically speaking. And they might start price shopping. In reaction to which, the medical field might start sharpening its pencils, as we put it in the real business world of buying and selling, and actually — gasp! — compete on the basis of price. And prices might react like they do in the market — the free, unregulated market that is, you know, the natural way people arrange their affairs when left to their own devices and not be-bothered by meddling government bureaucrats and greedy, power-hungry politicians.

Shocka!

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