Who is this “free rider” that Republican contender for Front Man Mitt Romney was talking about when he ginned-up what subsequently became the model for Obamacare in Massachusetts? He of course meant a person without insurance who incurs costs on others (something that is only made possible, incidentally, by the action of state violence; but let’s deal with that unstated premise later on).
Well, who exactly are these free riders, then? Let’s define what we’re talking about – something that grifters such as Romney (and his ideological kissing cousin, Obama) almost never dare to do.
They are almost by definition irresponsible people – as is always the case when the government starts moaning about “helping” anyone (with the “help” provided, of course, by those who aren’t irresponsible, and at gunpoint). But they are irresponsible not so much because they have not bought a health insurance policy. These free riders are the people who knowingly choose to – for example – produce kids (often in multiples) they’re not capable of providing for; who choose to abuse their own bodies with drugs, or too much food or some other thing; who choose to do something they know is physically dangerous… and in all cases, choose to make no provision to provide for the consequences of their actions.
So instead, others will be made to provide.
First by corporate insurance companies via cost-shifting to the people who do pay and who are responsible. Next by law – and at gunpoint. The insurance companies have succeeded, for the first time yet in the history of this country, in getting a law passed that will make it a legal requirement to pay them tribute. Not for medical care, mind. No, not even that. Just a piece of paper saying you have “insurance.” The medical care itself will be ladled out at their whim, in whatever measure they decide sufficient.
But again, this is not the central question.
The real targets of the Romney-Obama Demopublican Janus are the people who who have made rational, responsible decisions in life – and whose freedom to do so must be snatched away.
Consider: Jones is 23. He eats a reasonable diet, has no real vices (never smokes, hardly drinks), takes excellent care of his body through exercise, does not take unusual risks, etc. He decides – rationally – that it makes more sense, financially, to not buy into the company insurance plan that would take two or three hundred bucks out of his pay every month and instead put that money into his savings account. He will thus have a “just in case” fund for the (slight) chance he breaks a leg or some such – but much more important to a young person trying to build a life, if that money doesn’t need to be spent on medical care he very likely won’t need, he will still have it to spend on other things – a future down payment on his first house, for example. Romney-Obama are determined to take that option away and thereby to make him poorer and more dependent on them and their system as a result.
It is no accident that working and middle class people are going broke in parallel with the now-widespread mandates (and social pressure/conditioning) to have insurance for almost everything conceivable – and so, funds available for almost nothing.
Smith is older but like Jones he also eats right and takes excellent care of himself and so hasn’t had any significant health problems, either. But being older he knows things happen, so he has put aside some money and also bought a high-deductible catastrophic care policy that would step in if he had a heart attack or was diagnosed with cancer. Otherwise, he just pays out of pocket – which he is financially able to do to a great extent because he has not spent the previous 20 years of his working life paying through the nose for insurance to cover routine check-ups and so on. Which, to his way of thinking, is as idiotic as using car insurance to pay for oil changes and tire rotations. He did the math, looked at his own life and his own circumstances – and decided for himself it made sense to pay as he goes, keep a few thousand in the bank – and have that high deductible policy for “just in case.”
The Obama-Romney Janus cannot abide this.
It is determined to take even this last lingering free choice out of Smith and Jones’ hands – out of our hands – outwardly because it is “concerned” about all those irresponsible “free riders” who should be able to go through life on the backs of others. But inwardly, the real reason is the Obama-Romney Janus’ burning hatred for the few Americans left out there who do not need them – and more, do not want them. Who want, rather, to be left the hell alone to make their own decisions, based on their own judgment – for good or bad – and be responsible for the consequences.
This is what cannot be tolerated in 21st century America.
And it is why what is called Obamny Care will never be repealed. Indeed, it will be affirmed. And when it is, the last vestige of liberty in this land will have been extinguished at last.
Throw it in the Woods?
Vote for Romney… His tan isn’t as nice but he’ll bring you 2% less socialism.
The problem, as I see it, is that the cost of healthcare is far too expensive. It is too expensive because of insurance both private and public. My retired parents are covered by Medicare, General Motors Retirement Health Plan and his Military Retirement Health Plan.
My mother has Lupus and her visits to her doctor end up as complicated as the OJ trial. It takes a single receptionist 8+ hours to work out the billing from a single visit from my mother. The receptionist is required to first bill Medicare and General Motors before she can bill Tri-Care (tri-care is pretty good about paying for things). An outside observer would see this as a three ring circus.
The doctor has to pass all those costs along – the costs caused by insurance – so I end up paying for it as I’m one of those guys with catastrophic insurance that likes to pay for basic services with cash.
This is a common argument in favor of mandatory government-enforced “health care” – but the premise is faulty. Doctors (and so on) have no more right to treat someone and transfer the cost of doing so onto you or me than a mechanic has a right to fix your car and then make me pay for the repairs. Unfortunately, the system does precisely that. And in the most egregious ways. For example, the scumbag criminal who gets shot in the course of a home invasion robbery. The ER spends $100k saving this creature’s life and then another $200k rehabbing him. Who pays? You and I do. Why should we? More to the point, what gives anyone the right to force us to pay? To literally threaten to put us in a cage or shoot us if we resist their demand to pay? You tell me…
Now, if the doctor wishes, for his own reasons, to treat such a person on his own nickle that is his right and perfectly fine. But while he has the right to donate his time and his resources as he sees fit, he has no right whatsoever to casually dispose of the property of others and then demand compensation at gunpoint – which is what he in fact does, routinely, under our system. You want more of that?
Medical treatment is no different than any other good or service. No one has a “right” to medical care any more than they have a “right” to a meal or a job or a car or a trip to the Bahamas.
We are each responsible for ourselves and those whom we have obligated ourselves to care for, such as our children.
That’s it. The rest is eyewash.
Eric is absolutely right about modern healthcare; it is a luxury item, just like electricity, running water and phone service. If you can find someone willing to provide healthcare to you and you are willing and able to pay for it, then no one else (especislly the goverment) should be allowed to interfere in that contractual arrangement (other than to enforce the contract if one party or the other fails to perform).
Some might say “Well Boothe, that’s not very benevolent. We have poor people that need our help too.” Fine. Let these magnanimous philanthropists, like Hillary, Barack and Mitt, take a little time off from killing brown people living in third world sand boxes and start a charity. But don’t take my money from my employer before I even see it and give it to overwieght diabetics that got that way on foodstamps.
Nickel, when I was a kid my mom took us to the doctor only as needed (that meant somethng serious was wrong) and paid for it out of pocket. Office visits in the mid-1960’s out in rural Viriginia were $14.00. Practically no one had insurance. We played on monkey bars, rode our bikes down steep hills with no helmets, climbed trees and spent hours in the woods. We all lived through it and most of us with very little “healthcare” required.
You’re quite right; the insurance companies, the conglomerates that own the hospitals and nursing homes, big pharma and the AMA, et al are in collusion to “set” (read that “fix”) artificially high “customary and reasonable” prices and then skim the proceeds. We’re paying for the indigent (and often not so indigent) it’s true, but much of the burden is the “administrative costs” every step of the way.
The days of the independent country doctor’s private practice are all but done. It costs about $75 out here just to walk into urgent care. An ER visit for my wife 2 years ago cost me $1500 out of pocket. I have a “Cadillac” plan as our sock puppet in chief calls it. All they did was tell her she was fine and sent her home. Where did that money go? They didn’t do anything.
If there were actual real competition, across state lines by insurance companies and the same level of freedom as seen in plastic surgery (i.e. fewer regulations), healthcare would be affordable and private. The state doesn’t want that any more than big pharma, the hospital conglomerates and insurance companies do. I wonder who lobbied for all this regulation in the first place? It wasn’t me.
The bureaucratic circus, the unbelievably onerous regulations, the total regulatory capture by big pharma, the ridiculous liability, and the intellectually stifling environment caused by all that caused me to leave medicine in 1997 and become a software engineer instead.
Software–so far–is the least regulated professional field I know of. And look at the results! Fantastic innovation, seemingly endless improvements year after year, at low low prices. But wait there’s more!
Medicine steadily attracts less and less qualified people, kids who are willing to be total drones and follow the party line precisely. The demise of the independent doctor is entirely by design; they don’t WANT wealthy, independent, educated, upper-middle-class, self-employed doctors making waves. They want employees who write prescriptions in response to patients who’ve just seen the latest commercial for Zyprexa–whether they need it or not.
Here’s a funny antidepressant commercial that’s not too far from the truth.
My wife’s desperate to leave it too. Every year it becomes more and more difficult to remain in private practice; their incomes have fallen by half since she started.
What we’ll get is what the Soviets enjoyed; “hospitals” populated with “doctors” who thirty years before wouldn’t have even qualified as nurses.
But everyone will be covered.
You raise an excellent point. It is a truism that smart people with initiative despise bureaucracy, stifling regimentation and all the rest of that. Hence, smart people are probably deciding that medicine is not the best option (leaving aside the financial aspects just as decent, empathetic people want nothing to do with modern “law enforcement.”
The wheel turns… and is picking up steam….
Hey Mr. Engineer? Can I toot the whistle? 🙂
Yeah, yeah! It’s become vogue to call a programmer a “software engineer”, but I fully agree–software is still very much a craft and much less a strict engineering discipline.
There are shops like NASA in some areas that practice full-on CME 4 or 5 “software engineering”–but it takes them three years to generate 64K of code.
What I do is about 10% engineering, 20% math, and 70% artisanship.
Who is John Galt?
The real “free riders” are a substantial voting block that will not change or go away under our current system of fascist medicine (Socialized Medicine is a misnomer) or any other state sanctioned “solution”. The real agenda is to force every working or otherwise productive Amerikan to buy a product, so-called “health insurance”, not only for themselves but for their non-productive contemporaries as well. This money, which is coerced from the public with the threat of violence, is in turn “shared” with the pharmaceuticals industry, hospitals, doctors and nursing home operators (Can you say “spread the wealth around”?). They certainly aren’t going to oppose the system which they’ve fostered, being a class of “free riders” in their own right.
At the same time the health care / insurance / pharmaceuticals industry is asking the state to pick our pockets for them, “our” FDA is striving diligently to heavily regulate and all but ban vitamins and supplements that could potentially prevent us from needing the services of their “clients”. Never mind that nutritional supplements are far safer than the prescription drugs that big pharma foists upon the public under the auspices of the FDA. Even safer than fluoridated tap water for that matter. But as more and more of the public figures out that saw palmetto extract, vitamin D and resveratrol actually fix a lot of the things that modern pharmaceuticals mask (or the body parts modern medicine wants to cut off of you) there are billions of dollars at stake. They could care less about our overall health and longevity as long as the money keeps rolling in.
Not so with the politicians though. The Ponzi scheme called Social Security is already dead. Dr. Bernank and Timmy the Tax Cheat are keeping it on life support by borrowing and inflating, but that can only gone on so long. Then we end up with an economy that will make the Weimar Republic look good. So we can’t have all these oldsters coming around to collect what they’ve paid in. If they start taking vitamins, eating right and exercising there will be a whole bunch of centenarians looking for that money they put in along with their kids and grandkids. That’s not going to work, now is it? So it will be necessary to kill them (us, actually) off one way or the other. What better way than through “health care” as in “We’re sorry Mr. Smith, that procedure isn’t authorized under your plan.” Or “Mr. Jones, your coverage doesn’t include coverage for that drug”. This is how it works in the UK and before long, that’s how it will work here.
So what the elite want us to do “to be good citizens” is pay the maximum amount for taxes, insurance, traffic fines and social security, stay healthy until retirement age, let a young person have our job, go home, lay down and die before we’re a burden on the “system”. Would this be Clover-topia perhaps? I say no thanks. Instead, we can head over to http://operationpushback.com/ and join with Bill Sardi to help keep our right to use supplements if we want. That way with a little exercise too, we will not only outlive our Cloverite neighbors, we’ll still be able to climb on a bike or down in a two-seater so we can blow by the Clovers’ funeral processions on our way to the beach! Now that’s what I’d call poetic justice!
Well said my friend. Well said.
While the state of this country is growing sadder and more aggravating by the second, this constant usurpation of individual choice is no longer surprising. Governments are not reason, but sheer naked aggression. That is why they are instituted. The state exist so that the individual wills of men and women are overridden on a regular basis. This is why the state gives itself the legal privilege to tax and punish those who resist its taxes. Governments have but one means to do anything, and that is violence and the threat of violence.
I look at Obamny-Care the same way I do all state action. It is nothing more than forcing some men to subsidize the lives of other men. This is why those of us who reject the state and its machinations must be forced to pay for it, instead of being able to provide for our own security or what have you.
If people want to voluntarily pay into Obamny-Care that is their choice. If people want to pay into the minimalist nightwatchman state, that is their choice. If people want to pay into the huge, bloated omnipotent, leviathan state that is also their choice. But just like in the case of the coming healthcare law, those who choose not to be apart of Obamny-Care, the minimalist nightwatchman state, or the leviathan state, should be left to our own devices and to live our lives on our own terms as we see fit.