Setting the Stage for Single Payer

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Just before a tsunami wave hits, the sea withdraws – briefly – and people who don’t know better enjoy (also briefly) poking around the uncovered sea bed.

What happened yesterday with regard to the replacing – but not repealing (Republicans couldn’t bear to get the government out of the health care business) of Obamacare with a GOP generic version of the same drug but with different side effects all but guarantees a tsunami of another sort:

Nationalized health care.

The so-called “single payer” option. Which, of course, will be very much not an option. Rather than an individual mandate there will be a collective one. The entire country will be cattle-chuted into socialized medicine. We’ll all be “covered” – and taxed to death to pay for it, too. Go to the doctor anytime you like!

And everyone gets the bill.

Like the “rest of the world” – as its love-it-long-time advocates constantly mantra.

Remember this? Repeal… not “replace.”

This has to have been The Plan all along – and the Republicans deserve a steady diet of fish heads – not cooked – in perpetuity. But we’re imbeciles for believing, if we did, that they wouldn’t Lucy-holding-the-football-us again.

Firstly, they did what they always do – which is to Me Too whatever the Democrats do and thereby affirm the essential principle, which is now as set as three-day-old concrete.

Instead of getting rid of Obamacare – which they initially promised they’d do – they enshrined government’s “role” as Medical Decider. The debate going forward will not be about whether government has a “role” issuing fatwas about health care or health insurance but the form that role will take.

Republicans excel at this.

They always have “more efficient” versions of omnipresent government. Remember with whom you are dealing. Republicans are the Party of Lincoln. The guy who “restored the union” . . . at bayonet point. The Southern states were only looking to depart in peace – not to take over the North.

And now they are Besties.

The so-called “Civil War” is as etymologically abusive as referring to “customers” of the IRS.

The point being, Lincoln could not abide the idea of people opting out, being left in peace to do their own thing sans the bayonet in the back.

Republicans ever since have followed that example.

Insurance companies are despicable – but chiefly because they’ve been empowered by the government – by Republicans as much as Democrats. Democrats gave them the power to force everyone to buy their services – or else.

Big surprise, the cost of their services went up.

Now, Republicans have told insurance companies they must cover “pre-existing conditions” – which is exactly the same thing as requiring car insurance companies to issue policies to habitual offender drunk drivers. But they may charge accordingly.

Expect the cost of such insurance to go up. A great deal.

For everyone.

Because someone’s gotta pay. 

Under Trump’s “plan” – they always have “plans” for us, don;t they? – you will not have to buy insurance, but if you do it will cost a fortune because of the cost of “covering” people who incur chronic expenses.

One feels sympathy for the sick and the old – which is much exploited by the Democrats and the Republicans, who are merely shape-shifting permutations of the same thing. But the cold fact is that insurance is something not supposed to be used regularly – else it is no longer viable as insurance.

Insurance, as an economically viable thing, works only when most people pay in but only a few cash in. Its purpose is to cover possible but not likely occurrences that would otherwise be financially ruinous. By turning insurance into a kind of debit card used for the routine and expected things, everything from kids with the sniffles on up, insurance has become financially ruinous.

And not just insurance, either.

A Frau…

Because almost everyone who has insurance is using insurance as a debit card, the cost of medical care has inflated like a Weimar Deutschmark – to such a degree that it has become unaffordable to get care without insurance. Most doctors’ offices have more desk fraus than doctors – the sour menopausal ladies who deal with all the paperwork. These cost money, which is extracted from the paying customers, especially those who are not insured because the cost of their care isn’t “capped” or haggled over between the insurance companies and the desk fraus.

Thus, as anyone who has experienced it knows very well, fee-for-service medical treatment is as or more expensive than being “covered.”

Routine stuff – some salve and a bandage for second-degree burns from touching the stove, a bad cut that needs a few stitches – routinely costs so much if you have to pay for it out of pocket that many people have to go into credit card debt to pay the bill. Or they simply don’t pay the bill and (writ large) costs continue to spiral upward.

Coming – and going. Either you pay a fortune for “coverage” or you pay a fortune for “care.”

This will not endure. It cannot endure.

And then – ta da! – single payer. The cattle will moo as one demanding it.

As intended.

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79 COMMENTS

  1. Trouble is in America, the perps that have screwed us royally, very seldom ever pay. I fall out laughing every time I hear one of those super rich Wanks mention an ” a tax-deferred Healthcare savings account”, “let them eat cake “.( My “Platinum” plan is all but useless).

  2. I have some friends that had to buy a family plan on The Exchanges. Here’s their deal: $1,000/mo and $12,000/year deductible. How is that insurance? For anything but the most catastrophic medical malady (think cancer or heart attack/bypass surgery) it is not insurance at all. It boggles my mind, and I honestly don’t know what I would do if I was forced to make such a decision.

    • My parents are in a similar boat. They just barely qualify for the subsidy and if they did not, the full cost of their plans, which are shit, is like $3500-4000 per month. Again with high deductibles.

      It is completely broken and no law is going to make it better.

      part of the problems is things like cancer. Get that and it’s millions of bucks to treat. It takes a boat load of people to cover that person. Why is cancer treatment so expensive? Only because it can be.

      What I don’t understand is if my employer is able to provide a decent plan for my family of 4 with a total cost around $12,000 a year or so. Why can’t you buy and individual plan like that?

  3. It’s illegal for hospitals and clinics that receive medicare payments to turn anyone away. Saying there is anyone who is not covered is a lie.

    The Emergency Medical Treatment and Active Labor Act (EMTALA), was passed in 1986 as part of the Consolidated Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act (COBRA).

    It requires hospital Emergency Departments that accept payments from Medicare to provide an appropriate medical screening examination to individuals seeking treatment for a medical condition, regardless of citizenship, legal status, or ability to pay.

    Participating hospitals may not transfer or discharge patients needing emergency treatment except with the informed consent or stabilization of the patient or when their condition requires transfer to a hospital better equipped to administer the treatment.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Emergency_Medical_Treatment_and_Active_Labor_Act

  4. Anyone have any experience doing the medical tourism thing in Mexico or SE Asia? Is it viable/worht it? Forgo all insurance while you still can and get your treatments while vacationing?

    • No personal experience, Brandon, but I’ve heard quite a bit about Taiwan being very cheap and top-notch. Better yet, if you ask the locals, you may even be able to find a legit practitioner of old Chinese medicine…..

      • Nunzio, I’ve also heard that Taiwan is the place to go. Often the cheap/simple/natural/eastern solutions are all you need, and are actually better.

    • Brandojin, this last go round in the patch I saw a lot of people tear off to Mexico for all sorts of problems. Go there, see a doc, get treated and be back on the job the next day….well, or getting that way quickly. It’s the only place to go for medical work.

      A roofer I know got burned badly on his leg and foot with hot tar. He went to the local hospital and it was hum and haw and this and that and never actually got anything done. He went to Mexico where they treated the wound directly, gave him a script of antibiotics and burn salve. A couple weeks later it looked damned good for what it was. He was working again……not carrying hot tar though.

  5. While not necessarily the majority of people, most people still get insurance as a benefit from their employer.

    http://kff.org/other/state-indicator/total-population/?currentTimeframe=0&sortModel=%7B%22colId%22:%22Location%22,%22sort%22:%22asc%22%7D

    If you check the graph in the link (latest data from 2015), you’ll see that although employer provided insurance isn’t necessarily the majority of the total, in all states it is the biggest percentage of the population. Employer and “non-group” insurance is 56%. Government insurance is easily second at 36%. So 92% of the population has insurance already. All this fuss is because 8% of the population doesn’t have insurance. Just remember that.

  6. Great article Eric. While there is no mandate, there is this gem:

    “The Trumpcare bill does away with the mandate under the ACA that requires people have health insurance or pay a fine. However, under the new bill people who go 60 days without health coverage will be penalized when they rejoin a health plan. They will face a 30 percent penalty on their insurance policy for one year.”

    Thanks party of “freedom.”

    What other business that you voluntarily patronize charges you a penalty to start shopping there again if you skip shopping there for 2 months? I wonder who wrote that provision???? Who could possibly benefit from such a law???? This is a real head scratcher.

    So now the republicans are the collections arm of the insurance mafia. Car insurance in Michigan was changed to such a scam a few years back as well.

    To your most excellent point, when Republicare implodes and we go to full blown single payer “everybody” is now “covering” everybody else.

    You think the government is down our shorts NOW about what we do? Just wait. They have no reason not to regulate every other aspect of our lives they’re not already regulating when “everybody’s” money is at risk.

    No more “dangerous” jobs as it will cost the collective. No more “dangerous” hobbies as it will cost the collective. No more “dangerous” vices… No more “dangerous” websites. No more “dangerous” fattening food. No more “dangerous” cars.

    This will keep another 535 new members of congress fat and happy just defining all these new collective dangers that must be banned for the financial safety of the collective.

    I am aghast that people can’t imagine what is was like before government got involved in health insurance (apology for calling Medicare/Medicaid “insurance”). I know it is a stretch.

    I asked my grandfather if there were old people dying all over the streets before Medicare started in 1965. I’m 48 years old.

    Turns out there really weren’t.

    If you look at the balance sheet of the U.S.A., Medicare is, by a massive margin, the budget expense adding to the unfunded liabilities at the highest clip (NPV of unfunded liabilities are now at over 200 trillion bucks).

    So we are going to take this Medicare/Medicaid debacle and put it in overdrive by “covering” everyone.

    What could possibly go wrong?

    • Thanks, Blake!

      On the 30 percent penalty thing: A penalty? For what, exactly? This is a new level of outrageousness. Consider: Let’s say times are tough and so I decide to save some money by taking my car off the road and – while it is off the road – cancelling my car insurance. This is still – for the moment – legal to do.

      So, the following year, times are better and I can afford to drive again – so I renew the plates and registration and buy insurance, as mandated. They don’t – yet – sock you with an automatic 30 percent surcharge merely for having walked/taken the bus for a year prior. Generally, the premium only goes up to that degree if you’ve caused an accident, been convicted of “reckless” driving or DWI or some such.

      Bet the car insurance mafia follows the new Example.

      • They already do that with homeowners insurance. Since I don’t have a mortgage, I decided to save a few bucks and skip the homeowners for a couple years. The wife started to get worried (ain’t that always what happens), and insisted that I get a policy. Now, however, since I don’t have a “history”, most companies won’t touch me with a ten foot pole. The two companies that will write a policy want almost double what it should be until I “establish” myself – notwithstanding the fact that I previously had insurance for 35 years and never made a single claim. Tens of thousands in premiums, not one single penny in return, and now they want to shove it up my ass even farther. Screw ’em, I’ll continue to go without.

        • Filthy bastards…

          I expect the same if I ever decide to “renew.” But then, I won’t. The wife is now the ex-wife and it’s entirely my decision whether to bend over – and I’ve decided not to.

          I stopped paying about six years ago. I had been paying about $1,500 annually for the policy. So I have already saved myself $9,000. That is a large chunk.

          The entire insurance industry is now based on neurotic fear, deliberately fostered. How many people do you know who have ever suffered a catastrophic loss? I know no one. A tree might fall on the roof, maybe. But it’s not likely – and if it does happen, I can afford to pay out of pocket… because I haven’t been paying insurance!

          • eric, west Texans are accustomed to catastrophic loss and it used to be affordable. The only glitch is you had to pick and choose your insurer since some of the greedier, more shabbily run companies, generally those that were advertised on tv, would throw tornadoes as “acts of God” which weren’t covered. Insurance was affordable and protected you against such loss.

            Now we see the average businessman so swamped by health care, mandatory crop insurance, mandatory vehicle insurance, mandatory equipment insurance(by the bank) and rising costs of “complying” with so many ill-conceived fatwas that it is literally destroying the last fabric of independent businessmen. I tried to warn everyone 30 years ago where chemical farming was taking us as seed patents served to make every farmer indebted to big ag. But the Republicans took the “mantle’ of the protector of the farmer away from Democrats and upped the ante every year with unscrupulous legislation. It wasn’t that the Democrats didn’t intend to eventually do the same but that Republicans ramped it up. Now we see farmers with two years in a row of no or bad crops hanging on by the skin of their teeth and everyone of them that fail is now being sucked up(land)by big corporate farming.

            I sometimes wonder where our original Jason went off to. I like to think he’s living in a bunker somewhere in Arizona, tapped into the power off a wind generation field, growing some righteous bud and stuffing his mattress so to speak for the day of reckoning when the grocery stores run dry. I like to think he’s got his own collection of Stoners he keeps in tip top condition among other brands and trying to keep peace amongst his supply of trim…..and quim.

      • Eric:

        The car insurance mafia already does this in most states. I don’t drive my 04 Frontier during winter here since it is about useless with any amount of snow on the ground (one wheel drive). However, I still have to keep both my Civic and my Frontier insured year round. Because safety. Because of cost to the collective.

        As you can see – Michigan is not only most expensive for insurance by far, but also has the highest penalty for “lapse” of insurance (for cars you haven’t even been driving).

        Be careful before you view this website. It will infuriate you:

        http://www.carinsurance.com/Articles/lapse-in-coverage-penalties-by-state.aspx

      • I just got socked with a penalty for having “not registered a car for more than 30 days” after purchase. I bought my daughter’s 2010 Mazda back in July and kept it in the garage till now because I didn’t need it until I decided which of the other two cars to get rid of so why pay insurance for 3 cars if I’m only going to need 2. Was the right move because I saved way more in insurance payments than the fine cost me but it still sucks. What if I was a collector of sorts and had ten cars? Why should I have to insure every car I own if I can only drive one at a time? (good trick if I could drive two simultaneously)
        I think you’ve touched on this in the past Eric, if the mafia requires insurance it should be on me and irrespective of whatever vehicle I happen to be driving. Guess that’s too logical, plus it would deprive our overlords of the additional cash.

        • You know Mike, for most of my adult life, I’ve always had two or 3 vehicles, plus the wife has one of her own. Usually a work/commuter shitbox, a truck for Home Depot/dump runs, and a weekend toy or two. Every additional vehicle would add 6 or 800 bucks to my premium. Never understood why an additional vehicle should add anything to the premium. Doesn’t matter how many I have, I can only drive one at a time. The others are always sitting at home, creating ZERO liability to the insurance company. Here in the great state of Florida, it is illegal to have any vehicle anywhere on your property that is not registered and insured. Even if it’s in a million pieces, in a barn, and hasn’t moved in 30 years, still gotta be insured and tagged, or you’re lookin’ at a potential felony charge!!

          • Hi vz, I always thought Florida would be a better place to register a car because no annual “inspection” sticker required; a real pain here plus the petty theft when the guy insists I need new wiper blades even though I always use high quality winter blades and I know damn well they’re fine. Easier to just pay up than have to come back a second time and we both know it. You have convinced me that Florida is not the place to go to get out of here, need to find somewhere that’s not so freaking cold in the winter but not cloverific. Not sure if such a place even exists anywhere.

        • If we had a free market for insurance there would be options for people like us with many cars. But instead the idea is to reduce our independence and our ability to have redundancies to prevent us being crippled. To make it so we cannot accumulate capital of any sort.

      • You’re lucky. In some states if you don’t constantly have vehicle insurance the companies drop you in a high risk pool when you return to driving. But so long as you have at least one car insured.

        The state of Illinois also tries to get the years the car sat when it is put back on the road.

        • Hi Brent,

          Another dodge/end-run is to buy a car old enough for antique vehicle tags, then permanently register it as such. Tags are forever; no annual fee. Insurance is relatively low, too.

          Farm Use tags are another way to avoid some of the government’s pocket picking.

          • Not in Illinois. Severe limitations on use and pay every five years for tags.
            Typically not enforced. There’s a new limited use plate for old cars that sit through the winter but it costs more and I think needs to be paid annually.

    • I’ve not had health coverage for 55 years……as a first time purchaser, would that mean I wouldn’t be charged a 30% surcharge, but the guy who let his coverage lapse for a few months would? Ah, gotta love it! And yet they all clamor for more!

      [Don’t get your hopes up, Uncle….I have no intentions of purchasing health insurance….EVER!]

      • Congrats, you won the lottery… and risked making your Single Pay hating friends pay for any catastrophic event you may have at any minute (or are you also blaming those who get sick).Clover

        The same thing the Capitalist Healthcare model (ie Wall Street gets their billions), which I assume you support, crowd says is wrong with the Single Pay model (I’m not paying someone else’s bill)!

        Healthcare is not a commodity, but clearly WS has done a stellar job of convincing the “patriots” in America to vote against their best interests time and time again…

        So, it seems propaganda and mass hypnosis really does get a bum rap… seems everyone on this thread is all in… meh

        • Hi SRV,

          None of us here support making others pay for our care – catastrophic or mundane. That is the whole point, you see. We believe we are each responsible for ourselves and our families; that no one else is responsible for us. That no one else is obligated to help us.

          Because we oppose coercive, authoritarian collectivist “solutions.” Which amount to: You – or some group of people like you – using force to compel other people to do as you think they ought to with regard to their lives and their money.

          What gives you the right to do so?

          No one here “blames” the sick. I’m personally very sympathetic. I don’t enjoy the suffering of others or take any joy in their misfortune. But I reject the idea that someone else’s misfortune gives them the right to threaten me with violence, to force me to “help” them. Do you see?

          You write of “best interests” – which seems to be, in in your view, taking by force whatever you can from other people.

          In other words, like the hyena.

          Disgusting.

          I wish I could just get away from people such as yourself.

          Mark that. I am not out to do anything to you; I simply wish that you extend the same courtesy to me.

          But of course, that would not be in your “best interests,” would it?

          • Shocking opinion, or reflection of every other bot on this thread…

            What you do has zero impact on me… I don’t pay thousands a year to WS for the “privilege” of having my family treated for illness or accident.

            I pay taxes and my family gets world class, effective (I can walk to three clinics from here and get immediate care at zero cost… the famous “delays” are for elective procedures and those unaware how many clinics do not require appointments that use Emergency for everyday issues) healthcare… and per capita costs are just over half of the ‘Free Enterprise’ mess you defend (because Mr Global needs his slice of everything you desire and you seem to be fine with that… your choice of course).Clover

            Yes, you pay twice as much as I do so hospital Execs and Doctors make millions (our hospitals aren’t for profit and the Financiers get nothing from us), and top Insurance Execs make 10s of millions (we don’t pay Insurance behemoths to run our healthcare system)… but remember, THEY aren’t “doing” anything to YOU but extracting tens of thousands a year and sending it off to the Caymans to avoid the annoying taxes YOU’RE left to pay. All so you can risk bankruptcy (since enacted no one has ever been financially ruined from catastrophic illness here… your utopian solution caused 650,000 last year alone, and that’s families so it’s over 2 million people a year devastated. Clover

            Yup, easy to see why you’d be so pissed at someone showing you the only viable alternative out there with well over 50 years of objective evidence to support the conclusion… my bad.

            You ever hear the term Useful Idiots… prolly not.

            • Clover,

              I elect not to be “covered.” How’s that? By so electing, I save myself thousands of dollars every year that would otherwise be literally thrown away on something I do not use. But which people like you think I should be forced to pay for.

              The chief reason why health insurance is as expensive as it is is because of the costs imposed by others – not me. I’m healthy, in excellent shape, I exercise every day and eat right – insurance ought to cost me very little. But it costs a fortune – even though I don’t go to the doctor more than once every several years and only for minor things – because others go to the doctor all the got-damned time!

              Bloated fat slobs who guzzle soda all day; skanks with eight kids by six different men, ad infinitum… and they are encouraged to be unhealthy and to go to the doctor all the time because, hey, they are “covered”!

              It’s like having to pay triple what car insurance should cost me because someone else keeps on crashing their car.

              So instead of paying for insurance, I pay out of pocket for routine things like dental cleanings and such, which I can afford to do because I can still elect not to waste thousands of dollars a year on something I do not use.

              And you have no right to force me to do otherwise.

              My “care” is not your business, just as yours is not mine. And if I have a problem, it does not not impose an obligation enforceable upon you.

              Nor yours on me.

              You seem to believe otherwise. That your problems are my problems, even though I had nothing to do with them and don’t even know you. Nonetheless, you advocate using violence to compel me to “help” you (and countless others).

              What does that make you, Clover, if not a parasite and a thug? How are you any different from a street mugger? Who at least has the guts to do his dirty work himself? I don’t expect a direct – an honest – answer. I’m certain you’ll spout the predictable non sequiturs. Perhaps you will prove me wrong.

              PS: Has it ever occurred to you that if medical care is a right – that is, in plain and honest language, if you are entitled to force other people to provide you with medical care – then certainly, using the same despicable reasoning, you also have the right to force others to provide you with food and a place to live, too.

              You believe that are obliged to work and produce for your benefit, against their will and at their expense.

              In other words, you believe in slavery. The degree to which you wish to enslave people doesn’t change the essential nature of the thing, either. And once you enslave others for one reason, you have opened the door to enslaving them for any reason – and to any degree.

              Your socialism is just a watered down version of communism – a system that has consumed hundreds of millions of people. I mention that as a riposte to your crocodile tears about people “going uninsured” in the United States.

            • Ah yes….”free”- LOL. But you pay taxes.

              And if you don’t use those “free” services? Still have to pay for them by paying those taxes, don’t you?

              And I’ll bet those taxes (when all totaled) consume about 70% of the fruit of your labor. Free isn’t so free is it?

              And I’ll bet for all of that, you likely get to live in little more than a row-house or apartment; and if you’re lucky, and are a professional, maybe get to drive a car.

              What would it take for you to live on 27 acres there, and be able to do as you please on your own property, and have livestock, and a big vegetable garden, and peace and quiet, and the time to enjoy it all, because you don’t have to work like the slave that you are to pay for all of those taxes so you can get all of that “free” stuff?

              I’m considered a pauper, yet I live in the manner described above. When I do go to that one doctor for the congenital malady, I pay exactly what the insurance company would pay him ($35 for a routine visit).

              You can not rely on statistics for the cost of US healthcare, as we have a strange system here, where services are presented at “list” price on a bill, but the provider gets nowhere near that list price from the insurance co. or the government.

              My friend had a CAT scan a few years ago. The list price was $1600. The price the insurance company would give the hospital if she had insurance, would be $600. The price the government would give the hospital for someone on Medicaid or Medicare would be much less than that. My friend paid $600 out of her pocket. Yet, any statistics compiled would show the cost of that CAT scan to be $1600. It’s all smoke and mirrors.

              But yeah, all of your “free” perks are fine, as long as you’re content to live within the constraints of the system they impose on you. Be a happy little worker-bee and go along to get along and all that.

              It doesn’t work too well if you want to be out somewhere doing your own thing or homeschool your kids, because they can not have any defectors in such a system, so all must conform. I am not a conformist.

              And then when the money runs out, after the rich have been fully looted (since such systems are unsustainable) austerity is imposed, and you get less and less “free” stuff for all the taxes you pay. If it hasn’t happened in whatever country you live in YET…it will, shortly.

              But that’s what this always comes down to- “the free shit army”. You discover, after a while, that it’s not so free…and then you’re just left with ______?

            • SRV, medical care stopped free market in the USA in 1910. Yes Nineteen ten. See there was a problem. Medical care got too cheap. Doctors weren’t making enough money. The Flexner report of 1910 was the first step of many to increase prices. So excuse me if I don’t want more government meddling because I know the reason for the meddling, to INCREASE prices.

              The trouble is that when prices are increased more people can’t afford the services. So government steals from those who only need a little or none to pay for those who can’t afford it.

              Then there is the benefit of power that the political system gets. Who gets to live and who gets to die is very powerful. In the USA this is progressive origins in eugenics bubbling up to the top again.

              I don’t know what country you live in, but single payer everywhere comes down to the whim of your owners. We don’t want owners.

              I spent three years of my life working at a company to make a certain treatment dirt cheap. So cheap anyone could afford it. Ultimately why it doesn’t work is because of federal government single payer for it. See by making it better (very much better) and cheap we would have taken all the profit out of it for those that benefit from the existing system. And that’s what government single payer is for. It’s an exercise in rent seeking.

              I have spent my professional career making things better and cheaper. To make it so people can do for themselves instead of being dependents, being independent instead of owned. You may think your master is kind and maybe he is, but the ones in the USA are brutal and evil and have been for a 150 years.

              • > Flexner viewed blacks as inferior and advocated closing all but two of the historically black medical schools. His opinions were followed and only Howard and Meharry were left open, while five other schools were closed. His perspective was that black doctors should only treat black patients and should serve roles subservient to white physicians.

                Nice guy (not). He also prevented women from becoming doctors by causing schools to adopt a male-only admittance policy.

                https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Flexner_Report

                • Yep. I know. But of course today they teach that is was the evil free market that prevented blacks and women from being doctors.

                  As you point out the free market was doing well to correct that problem so the government stepped in to stop it.

        • SRV,
          I pay for any services I use, and if I can’t pay, then I don’t want it.

          And I certainly was never consulted when they implemented “must treat without regard to ability to pay” laws. (Such laws were just a pretext for what we are seeing now)

          In my whole life, I’ve used maybe $15K worth of medical services (Which I paid for out of pocket, cash on the barrelhead). I don’t go to doctors, other than occasionally to one specialist for a problem with which I was born- other than that, in my adult life, I have never gone to a doctor or hospital- and THAT is another problem with these socialistic schemes: They make no provision for people like myself who object to the practices of modern medicine, and who can take care of themselves. (Nay, in-fact, they impede such, by out-lawing alternatives)

          I’ll be damned if I’m going to pay yet another tax so others can have something which I do not even make provision for myself to have.

          And as Eric mentioned in the article (and as I’ve always said, too) there is no benefit to having “insurance” for something which the majority of insureds will have claims for payment for. That is not insurance; that is just making it cost more for everyone; and when such “insurance” is mandatory, it is nothing but socialism and extortion (Is there a difference?).

          I’m so sick of hearing the oft-parroted “Oh, you’re being irresponsible, and your neighbors will have to pay!”. No, SRV, people like you force EVERYONE to pay, including those who are not sick, and/or who do not use any services. And for those who do use services, you force them to pay more, because the average person would be far better off just paying for services rendered, than paying an insurance premium, which is often exponentially higher than the cost of any services they might use.

          Reminds me of an old man I knew: Had no insurance, no money to speak of. Had a heart attack one day, and his wish was just to be taken home (instead of to the hospital) so he could die in the house that he built with his own two hands and had lived in for 40 years. Instead, they took him to the hospital, where he lingered for c. 7 days in great agony…and then died.

          They got their money, by placing a lien on his house.

          Contrast that with the average Medicaid recipient, or subsidized Obozocare beneficiary- WE pay for them. And they have “insurance”.

          So in the end, who is making their neighbor pay? People like myself and old-man Freddie described above; or millions of people who go along with the program, and participate in these various Ponzi schemes?

          No one else has paid for me.
          No one else paid for old Freddie.
          But EVERYONE’s paying for the sow with 6 illegitimate kids on Medicaid, and the minimum-wage earner who’s being subsidized on Obozo/RINOcare.

          So, SRV, while the standard argument which you parrot might work in the eyes of the average CNN-viewer, to anyone who can actually think and/or perceive reality, it just sounds like utter ignorance.

          And think about what you are saying: “We should all be forced to pay….otherwise everyone might have to pay”.

          • I live in a universal HC system… no one dies for lack of care, per capita costs are just over half of the US, and per these comments it seems many simply go without and pay out of pocket, AND THE PER CAPITA COST IS STILL TWICE OURS!

            You are the victim of $billions in propaganda to maintain status quo where the Gold Plated Plan crowd get great healthcare, the doctors, Hospital and Insurance Execs get filthy rich, and you get the shaft.Clover

            I could not care less about the fans of this mess… I do however care about the many millions of victims sacrificed at the alter of obscene profits for those that already “have it all.”

            Thank you for the shining example of what the for profit healthcare disaster is all about… and WS STILL got their pound of flesh!

            As Ole Ross Perot would say, “I rest my case.”

            And you know what… I think Trump may get to single pay given half a chance. He’s a clean slate and he cares about ordinary people… a very powerful wildcard.

            • Clover,

              You just don’t get it, do you?

              The disagreement here is about coercive collectivism. I and others don’t want anything to do with “universal care.” Why won’t you leave me and others who don’t want anything to do with your “plans” alone?

              I’ll care for myself, as I am able to do so – and even if I am not able, that doesn’t entitle me to steal from other people. To threaten them with violence in order to coerce their “help.” My misfortune does not impose an obligation enforceable at gunpoint on others to ameliorate it. If people wish to help and do so of their own free will, that is laudable. It’s the coercive collectivism I despise.

              I’ve explained this already; it’s not a difficult concept to grok – but like every Clover I have ever dealt with, you absolutely refuse to discuss the issue of coercive collectivism. Whether it is moral to use violence against peaceful people to coerce them to participate in your “plans,” and so on.

              Instead, you blather on tangents that have nothing to do with the question I’ve raised.

            • SRV,

              We don’t favor the status quo, which you would recognize if you had not been brainwashed by a massive propaganda campaign that equates free markets (voluntary exchange) with corporatism (collusion between government and business for mutual benefit). We consider corporatism, which is what most people mean by the term capitalism, to be both morally repellent and economically destructive.

              “I do however care about the many millions of victims sacrificed at the alter of obscene profits…” Nice try, but virtue signalling is not an argument. It is free markets and voluntary exchange that help people. In fact, the problem of health care for the poor was solved in the US well over one hundred years ago through the free market innovation of lodge practice. http://www.freenation.org/a/f12l3.html

              Established doctors, represented by the AMA, and appalled at the prospect of low cost health care, conspired with the government to destroy this innovation. The specific purpose of the intervention was to increase the cost of care. Every subsequent intervention, regardless of intention, has produced the same result. Had this system been allowed to evolve naturally in a free market, it is likely that very high quality care would be affordable for nearly everyone, including the working poor.

              The per capita comparison you claim is meaningless. The vast majority of medical innovation (research, development, techniques and equipment) occurs in the US. This drives up the per capita figure in the US and lowers it for other countries. In a sense, the tiny bit of the free market in health care left in the US subsidizes the single payer, coercive system you favor. This is just one of many confounding variables that render the comparison meaningless. Also, such statements assume that if the US adopted a single payer, universal system then health care costs would decline in the US. Both theory and evidence suggest such a belief is absurd.

              Collectivists seem largely incapable of abstract, long term thought. Government “solutions” are proposed in a static world, oblivious to the effects of previous “solutions”. Health care costs too much, therefore we must subsidize is the beginning and of it. Serious thought as to why health care costs so much are dismissed with the truly moronic claim, “because profits”. The pursuit of profits, in a free market, always drives down costs. This is because, absent special protection, the only way to gain profits is to increase value to the consumer. However, in a subsidized, controlled, and regulated market, “profit” can more easily be made by flattering the egos and fattening the wallets of their co-conspirators in government. If you believe that “profits” lead to cost increases you have to explain why the least regulated and least subsidized industries (consumer electronics, for example) continually lower costs and increase quality.

              Aside from the obvious immorality of forcing others to pay for your value preferences, coercive collectivist “solutions” don’t work. In the long term, they destroy wealth, hamper innovation and increase costs which always leads to the imposition of another “solution”, etc… Why do you not care about the billions of people sacrificed at the alter of collectivism?

              Jeremy

            • No one dies for lack of care? That’s simply because you’re counting to hide it or the system isn’t what you think it is. All socialized systems are rationed by the people who run them. They make decisions on how much of this or that. People queue up for what is available. There is no way for centralized system to make sure everyone will get what they need because there are no feedback mechanisms to determine how much allergy treatment or heart bypasses there has to be capacity for.

              The other option is you live in some sort of rent-seeking system where the government pays nominally private providers. In which cases there are a variety of other maladies that develop. For instance the inability to choose your own course of treatment. You do X or nothing. That’s something the US system attempts to impose. You either do FDA approved X or you get nothing. If there is something that looks better that the government doesn’t approve you have to beg the government to allow you to try it.

              There are people who died in the US system simply because the FDA did not allow proven treatments and devices from other countries to be used here. It’s the nature of a government controlled system. It decides, not you. So yes, people must die for lack of care of in any government controlled system because the government can’t make decisions for millions of individual and it’s very nature to limit the choices of care.

        • Hi SRV,

          “Healthcare is not a commodity”.

          – Yes it is, and it is because “we” have been brainwashed into believing that it isn’t that the cost of health care has risen above the means of average people.

          – Health insurance and health care are not the same thing. But, both are commodities and neither is a right.

          – Food and clothing are far more necessary for human life than healthcare. Thankfully, “we” still consider those to be commodities.

          Jeremy

          • Healthcare isn’t a commodity because there is no such thing as a unit of healthcare. Healthcare is nebulous term for an infinite variety of products and services which require all sorts of commodities and human labor to deliver.

            • Hi Brent,

              A commodity, in the economic sense, is anything, including services, produced for sale to satisfy wants or needs. So, I don’t understand your comment. Of course, “healthcare” is a nebulous term that
              “means” different things to different people. But, when I buy a particular medical service, say a teeth cleaning (why is this not a unit of healthcare?), I have purchased a commodity.

              Unwitting propagandists like SRV correctly understand that those who produce commodities expect to earn a profit. Because he accepts the truly idiotic idea that the pursuit of profit drives up costs, he accepts the “healthcare is not a commodity, it is a right” nonsense.

              You and I have often pointed out the corrupt and self-serving motives of the early interventionists. But, these facts never make an impression on the collectivist mind. When I point out that minimum wage laws were created specifically to render “undesirables” (Chinese, blacks, Mexicans, women, etc…) unemployable, collectivists either deny the fact or believe it is irrelevant. They genuinely believe that intentions trump reality. While they will never recognize it, collectivists believe that government is magic. While many of them are intelligent and competent within their own area of expertise, when it comes to the nature of government and “proper” public policy, they become incapable of rational thought.

              Jeremy

              • Jeremy, so many collectivists authoritarian goose steppers completely miss the fact that a business must return a profit.

                Mises has a good example of how minimum wage destroys an otherwise profitable business that ultimately gives many people a job and destroys it by “legislating” its costs of operation into the negative.

                For anyone who ever had a business of any sort it’s not a difficult thing to understand. For those who have never created anything in life it’s easy for them to completely miss the entire point of “making a living”. Most of these people “make” their living from a govt. coercion of some sort.

                Little do most people, even business people, realize that those who seek high political office do so at the behest of those they serve. The Bush family is a good illustration of this. They don’t realize the Bush family was low on the familial tree and sought to move up in society by doing the biddings, evil or otherwise, of those higher on the societal ladder.

                Preston did the bidding of various entities profiting on war. Most people still don’t know that Preston was saved from the hangman’s noose for trading with the enemy as much by who he traded for and with and how they weren’t caught till the end of the war. It showed everyone involved including those who wished to punish them in a bad light.

                Now, probably few Texans know we’re looking down the barrel of another Bush gunning for the ultimate state power no doubt, an Hispanic Bush. That doesn’t bode well for the health of this state but it will keep the Bush “dynasty” alive and help them see themselves as equal to the Queen or even superior as the shrub no doubt thinks of himself. Dynasty, shit! When that tv show was running we called it Die Nasty.

                • Hi Eight,

                  As usual, you can blame the government (at least in part) for the elimination of low cost drugs. In 2006, the FDA launched the unapproved drug initiative which essentially gives pharma companies the chance to “prove” what is already well known, re-brand the drug, receive a monopoly and then increase the price as much as they want.

                  I occasionally suffer from gout attacks. Colchicine is the only drug that really works to mitigate the pain. It is quick, effective and (was) very cheap. Due to the FDA’s concern for my health, a pill that once cost about 10 cents, now costs about 5 bucks. And, it is exactly the same as before. The “new” product, Colcrys, is identical to generic colchicine. US Pharma received exclusionary privileges because they “proved” that the more common low-dose regimen produces less gastro-intestinal distress than the older high-dose regimen. Something most doctors already knew and already recommended. The whole thing is a scam.

                  Jeremy

                  • Jeremy, second verse same as the first. I’m wearing my “The State is the Problem. Anarcho-Capitalism is the answer.” LRC T shirt today. You and every other anarchist are preaching to the choir today.

                    I briefly had a gout problem in the 80’s and like you, it was easily addressed with drugs that cost nearly nothing. I changed my diet although it seems to be coming back but that may be just the genetic problem us boomer kids in our family inherited. It doesn’t seem to be helped by much of anything except pot and being a commercial driver I can’t partake….dammit….and they try to say it’s bad for you. It’s bad for big pharma and don’t ever forget it….or else.

                    Speaking of malicious behavior, my best friend’s wife died in Sept. of melanoma. She woke up one morning with a tennis ball size tumor under her arm. She had been seeing the same dermatologist for over 3 years every month. He’d been wrongly diagnosing and completely missing the warning signs. She was stage 4 before she ever knew she had it…..due to the tumor. I’m trying to get my friend to sue shit out of that quack and see if he can’t cause him to not be a public nuisance….a lethal one. I was miffed, still am. She was a close friend from the 70’s. She had nearly died 5 years ago due to a cardiac problem, stayed in CCU for 2 weeks and died 4 times but trooper that she was recovered and vowed to hang in there. She wouldn’t take much painkiller for the cancer that was really painful, using ice bags instead of drugs. She died getting ice bags out of the fridge. The coroner reports she died of complications from taking hydrocodone. My friend was pissed because he knew she would only take very little of it. He asked the coroners office about it. Oh, that doesn’t mean she died from hydrocodone they said, it was just complications from it. Bullshit. She died from heart failure and cancer combined. The fact she had a script for hydrocodone was enough to bring back the new way of hurting people, tagging hydrocodone use as the culprit when she was taking minimal amounts. The new FDA/DEA collusion to cause people who take pain meds all the time to pay through the nose. Last year they made doctors write written prescriptions with no refills and require an office visit so hundreds of thousands of people now can’t get the pain meds they need because they can’t afford it. That’s that wonderful govt. Gail loves so much.

                    I’ve watched that same wonderful govt. do my friends wrong who were suffering from Agent Orange their entire adulthood. They denied them VA claims for decades and then didn’t do anything for them when they were forced to stop denying it.

                    To give you an example, a friend and I were loading a 1000 gallon pesticide tank with a banding agent which has a somewhat similar chemical as 2, 4 DT, Agent Orange. The hose bursts and he got covered in the heat of west Tx., pores open wide. He ran into the barn and got in the shower where he stayed for a long time trying to wash as much of it off as he could. After that day we’d take lunch together sometimes and this went on for years. He liked hot peppers like I did so he’d get a good dose and “yellow” sweat would run off his head. He did that till he died of cancer. Yep, that chemical farming is the way to go. I used to set up their spray rigs and calibrate their emitters for them. I quit after that incident and wore a gas mask and long sleeve shirt when I had to mix a load for myself. I still use a gas mask when I mix up pesticides but now I only spot spray and have done little of that in the last 10 years or so.

              • Commodity items are generally considered fungible low profit and often standardized items. There simply is no such thing as a unit of healthcare. I can buy an oz of gold or a lb of copper but I can’t buy a liter (or any other measure) of healthcare.

                If teeth cleaning is one unit of healthcare, what is open heart surgery? There’s just no such thing. It’s all put together to confuse us and bamboozle us. It’s like saying there is a unit of car repair when body work and mechanical work are two entirely different ball games. Never mind recovering the seats. All different services, different specialties involving different commodities and people.

                • Hi Brent,

                  You are talking about the specific meaning of a commodity good, I am talking about the general meaning of commodity. Of course there is no unit of healthcare in the way you mean, perhaps discrete is a better word.

                  In the general economic sense a commodity is anything produced for sale to satisfy wants or needs.

                  Jeremy

                  • It’s not anything though. If I come up with a unique product or service it is not a commodity and I price it accordingly. If there is a lot of demand for it others enter the field and it begins its march to commodity status. Standards of uniformity develop and so on.

                    Some of medical care has reached the commodity level while other aspects have not. The solution is to medical care is the free market which uses demand signals to drive what has wide demand to commodity level and make it inexpensive. Meanwhile other more unique services are constrained by people’s ability and willingness to pay.

                    The current system intentionally separates medical goods and services from the competition that drives them to commodity pricing and breaks the link of pricing to people’s ability/willingness to pay.

                    • Reaching commodity level is what a great deal of meds did…..so they were scrapped. Nobody makes big pharm produce anything and when, like several still effective and dirt cheap antibiotics, reached that level they were simply not produced. I even had a doctor from India tell me his doctor brother still in India prescribed one of the old faves left and right and it was so cheap that even poor Indians could afford it. Many other pharmaceutical products reached this point and were re-badged(nothing could replace them)and repriced at 10 times their previous price, no explanation given and none needed. You either want it or you don’t. No telling what would happen if everybody did as I did and used an ag chemical exactly the same so I simply reduced its concentration by 90% and called it good.

                    • Brent,

                      We’re just talking past each other. I understand the meaning of commodity in the specific economic sense you describe. Such items are often called commodity goods. But, like many words in the English language, commodity has multiple meanings. One is the specific sense you describe, another is the general sense I describe, a third is intangible and refers to human traits. For instance, Gail probably believes that compassion is a rare commodity around here.

                      When SRV and others like him claim that “healthcare is not a commodity”, they do not mean that it lacks the characteristics of wheat or oil. They mean that it should not be produced and sold for a profit. It is this absurd and destructive idea that I was criticizing.

                      Jeremy

  7. It would seem they are not above ransom style demands, if this goes to nationalized care. Didn’t they say they don’t negotiate with those who conduct themselves in this manner. Oh I get it, those other ones, not these here.
    My brother received the “package” for his mandated coverage, all I needed to see was the “penalties of perjury” on the portions requiring a signature. Yeah right I’m going to give the O.K. to go poking and prodding into my life by someone other than an actual doctor, and then be keelhauled if it’s not done to another’s satisfaction. Of course these schemes depend on people not thinking these things through.

    • Hi Max,

      As a personal matter, for me, this is something I’ve decided to take a stand on. I pay “my” taxes, reluctantly. But I will not be cooperative when it comes to this business. They can come get me, if it comes to that.

      Perhaps it is arbitrary, I realize.

      But I figure that even most Clovers – who would howl about a “tax cheat” – might pause for a moment about putting someone in a cage for not paying the insurance mafia to be “covered.”

  8. This beast cannot die. Once the federal printing press got behind a portion of the healthcare industry via medicaid and medicare it was inevitable. The unlimited printing press, with all of the fraud and abuse that it always brings, ensured that there would be no end to the exponential increases in cost. It simply is not “real” money.

    There is no cost that an unlimited printing press cannot pay, whereas in the real world once a stone is bled, nothing more can be drawn from it and a defacto ceiling is established.

    I live in the Vision of Utopia known as NYC where Medicaid Fraud is one of the last high growth industries and where “real estate development” to launder those proceeds by the tens of billions is a cottage industry especially for “former” bolshevik eastern europeans.

    The illustrious senator Schumer falls all over himself to make certain that his people are not encumbered by pesky laws and investigations into fraud. Yeah sure, there is a headline here and there about a multimillion dollar ring, representing not the tip of the iceberg, but the snowflake on the tip of the iceberg – being prosecuted that quickly fades from the news by the time a sentence of no time served and a $1 Million kickback to the federal government is made in the form of a “fine.” More like “fine, keep 95% of the money you stole and go back to do it again”.

    Our decent into utopia began the moment the federal printing press began holding up parts of the healthcare industry.

  9. Get ready to pay 90% of your yearly income in taxes when the socialized medicine arrives. Oh, and your hospital will be just like that crappy VA hospital they throw our spent “warrior hero’s” into. A VA hospital is a preview of what all of us will have soon.

    Funny how that never comes up when they talk about social medicine. How expensive it really is, and how crappy it actually is. You never hear the horror stories about the British NHS and other countries government “healthcare”. Wonder about all the jokes about bad British teeth? Where do you think that came from?

    I know Brits that avoid living (and working) at home so they don’t have to pay their share of their NHS taxes. I don’t remember how long you have to be out of the country to avoid it, That is 30%+ of your yearly income on TOP of income taxes. And you pay it, even if you don’t use it (you can pay extra to use private care).

    They talk about all the people that will die without Obamacare. How about all the people who die because they DO have socialized medicine?

  10. as I see it there will not ever be a fix for healthcare, there can’t be. It is too expensive for any proper system to operate within. Had govn’t never gotten involved and employer provide health insurance never became a thing we would not be in this mess. The problem is you can’t undo it.

    The only possible way forward is govn’t healthcare. It’s going to be ugly but it’s the only future possible until it all collapses.

    The biggest reason for the sky high costs is that we all (most of us) choose to be sick. Even when people are told what diet changes to make, they still don’t do it. There is absolutely no reason today that any person should become type 2 diabetic and the ones that are should not be on any drugs. It is totally controllable by diet and that has been proven time and time again. Yet I constantly see type 2 diabetic people complain about drug side affects, complain about diabetes side effects, like foot pain. It is because they will not change the way they eat. Until we as a country decide to take our health seriously, cost will never go down.

    I’m not sure the solution that Eric is suggesting, if there is a suggestion. Is it that the gov’t legislates what insurance will or won’t be used for? They say it will not be used for any routine care or any care less than $10,000? That doesn’t sound like the free market either.

    • I agree, Todd.

      I watch what I eat and I exercise. No health issues. Hence, no got-damned insurance! I won’t spend $500-plus a month on something I don’t need because I might need it. I’d rather have money in my bank account, so that if something does happen, I can pay for it… and if, well, I still have my money!

      Other people’s problems are . . . other people’s problems. I am sympathetic, but I don’t see how their problems imposes an obligation on me – enforceable at gunpoint – to “help” them.

      • So should you suddenly have a heart attack and can’t pay $100k for all the surgery and such, just let you die?

        That’s part of what I mean about the broken system. You should be able to save cash and pay for procedure. However the broken system has priced everything so high that no one can afford to do that.

        Do you just suggest that you not be required from having insurance even though that effectively prices you out of care?

        • Hi Todd,

          Whatever my problems, they do not impose an obligation enforceable at gunpoint on others.

          This doesn’t mean others aren’t free to help me, if they wish to.

          • @ Eric
            Unless I’ve misunderstood, Todd doesn’t seem to believe that you and I are not our brother’s keeper.

            People using the classic liberal argument that if somebody doesn’t have medical insurance they will simply die, and nobody will care & the streets will be littered with dead bodies. So, therefore, everyone should have a “right” to have coverage.

            Ahh, if only I could get in a time machine and return to life of the 1950’s.

            • Bob, I grew up in the 50s. When you find the time machine please give me a call. I long for the 50s every day .

              At least, in the meantime, I live in what many uninformed people call redneck country and Im proud to be here
              Texas isn’t what it was 60 years ago but it’s one helluva lot better than most of the country.

              I wear “redneck” gladly, like a thorny crown. The free shooting range built on county property is a mile from me. I occasionally hear full auto fire, music to my ears

            • @bob I do not think you are your brothers keeper. I was trying to say that we may all want to use healthcare or insurance. The system needs to be fixed. They have messed it up so severely that it is no longer possible to buy something you should be able to buy. At least not for most people.

              Eric seems to be saying that he’s just not going to buy insurance because it is not worth the price and if he gets sick he’ll just die because he can’t afford to pay for care. That is a terrible situation the gov’t has put us in.

              • Hi Todd,

                I hope I won’t die! 🙂

                But it seems the smart option is for me to put money aside – so it’s available for “just in case” – rather than waster a minimum of $500 a month for “coverage” I don’t use. It’s analogous to Socialist Insecurity. If I had all the money that has been stolen from me over the past 30 years, I could retire today. Or at least, I would not have to worry about money much. But since the government stole all that money from me to “help” others, I am forced to continue earning more money (a large portion of which will be stolen)… and so, a Gerbil on the spinning wheel, like most of us…

                • What I resent most about collectivist systems is that because the guy down the street or in the next county or whatever does not have the discipline to look after himself I have to be penalized. This slowest ship in the fleet nonsense they start conditioning us with in grade school. I resented it then and I resent it now. On all levels government and private/corporate.

                  And do our neighbors do in response? They look after themselves even less. They ‘live life in the present’ and all those other stupid platitudes that people who are taken care of can afford to make. So they are continually in the need for more.

                  Now the intellectuals are pushing universal basic income. The tortured powered strip plugged into itself math they are using to justify it plus this pie-in-the-sky people will work because they love to work idealism.

                  I’ll keep working….. on my hobbies. But fuckall if I going to show up for an engineering gig generating millions of taxable revenue if I can get paid to follow my hobbies. If just a small percentage of people like me do that their whole plan fails like liberty ship with brittle steel.

                  All of these intellectuals assume the prudent and productive people will just keep working in the same numbers producing the revenue necessary.

                • An old protest song reminds me how few might have had an insight into how our country has been taken over from the inside with complete silence from the lame stream media leaving only us “radicals” left to openly complain.

                  If TPTB thought we had a collective leg to stand on without a replaced knee joint they’d be after us more aggressively.

                  I fear this prison country will never hear a shot fired in protest.

                  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Dh994JcEfkI&list=RDDh994JcEfkI

        • The medical system is not broken. It was designed starting in 1910 to increase prices. At each step of the way government intervention has been done to secure high prices and push them higher. It is working as designed.

          What if a person can’t pay? He has to beg the powers that be. He has to beg the wealthy, the state, whomever. That’s the design. Power. They decide who lives and who dies. High prices plus government programs means they decide. Remember, progressive politics comes out of eugenics. The managerial state will get rid of the unproductive and unfit. They can’t let on that’s still their goal until the net has full closed but once it has and single payer is a reality they can begin.

          Medical insurance is mandatory not only to suck in wealth but also to enslave. It’s unaffordability expensive unless one has a job in the corporate system. That keeps us chained in the system.

          People can’t see their chains but serfdom and slavery have been re-established using a variety of financial tools created by government intervention.

          The solution is a free market and driving costs down so low just about anyone can afford them. Like computers, cellphones, air conditioning, and countless other things. However that’s the last thing that our rulers, our owners as Carlin put it, want. So the free market is derided, people convinced it can’t work, so people remain chained.

    • Hi Todd,
      You correctly point out that had the government never become involved, we would not be in this mess. The real crisis in health care is absurdly high costs. It is not an access or insurance problem. As Eric correctly points out, the cost of routine medical services has become so high that it is not rational to purchase a high deductible policy or pay for routine care out of pocket. The reason for this is that government policy subsidizes low deductible policies, which eliminates the necessity for real competition in the provision of routine care. Unless enough individuals pay for care out of pocket, medical care providers are not forced to compete on quality or PRICE.

      As I’ve pointed out before, the so-called crisis was solved well over a hundred years ago through “lodge practice” and other voluntary institutions. This innovation, crushed by collusion between the State and the AMA, would have created affordable basic care and allowed for luxury care to develop as well.

      Still, I don’t share your pessimism that it cannot be fixed and that the only “solution” is single payer. Of course, the proper solution is to eliminate all government involvement in the health care industry; including insurance mandates, policy requirements, licensing laws, etc… This would eventually drive down prices to an affordable level due to the competition that would be necessary in a truly free system. However, this option is not politically feasible because it would take time for competition to drive prices down enough so as to be accessible to the average person.

      Right now, high deductible polices are rare because of the incentive for purchasing low deductible policies. So, absent the lower premium costs, high deductible polices do not create a cost advantage to the individual consumer. But, what if the government stopped subsidizing low deductible polices? While low deductible policies are not specifically targeted for subsidies, the result is the same because the tax code punishes both the employer and employee for choosing a cheaper, more responsible, high deductible policy.

      So, I suggest a change in policy that is perhaps politically feasible and that would, quite quickly, drive health care costs down to an affordable level. Namely, allow the size of the deductible to be claimed as a tax deduction. Please note, I understand that this is not a “libertarian” solution. Still, imagine one currently pays $15,000.00 a year for a $500.00 deductible policy. Then imagine one switches to a plan that costs $5,000.00 a year but has a $10,000.00 deductible. In either case, one would be able to claim a $15,000.00 deduction from one’s income, so the tax “cost” to government would be the same. Unfortunately, such “revenue neutrality” is politically necessary in modern day America. But, in my example, the person would have an extra $10,000.00 to spend on anything. At least part of these savings would likely be set aside for unexpected and routine medical expenses. More importantly, the number of people paying for day to day medical expenses would likely increase to a point that would require price competition among medical care providers, thus driving down costs.

      Jeremy

    • I have insurance through my employer, a so-called group plan. I have 2 “choices,” actually referred to as “pay now” and “pay later.” The “pay later” plan has a $5000 deductible, the “pay now” plan has a $250 deductible. So if you’re basically healthy, have no kids or hypochondriacs in the house, and can manage to keep a few bucks in a savings account you take the “pay later” plan. But then your income tax will be higher and you have to park that deductible money somewhere where you can get it in a hurry. That’s it, take it or leave it. If you leave it, you get nothing. So if your spouse has a solid gold medical plan and you’d rather be on it instead, too bad. You can do it, but you effectively take a pay cut.

      If you really want to fix this mess, get back to putting the user of the service in charge of paying for it. Make the employer who offers insurance pay the equivalent of the benefit cost if an employee chooses to not take the group plan. Of course that would also require people smart enough to find qualified doctors instead of buying magic beans and faith healers (although the overwhelming majority of the population will have no problem with this task, the communists and media whores will seek out the chiropractor- and vitamin-loving morons to prove their point).

      • Kind of ironic, expecting the govt to fix a problem they created.

        Why this fetish for force, rather than trust in the market.

        This all happened as a result of Nixon’s price and wage controls.

        Employers wanted to retain their best workers so they offered healthcare.

        Which was a raise that didn’t violate the controls.

        • Government created the health insurance benefit when they implemented (and waited far too long to repeal) the wage controls imposed during World War II. Benefits were a loophole to get around the price controls in order to attract employees. Once employers figured out that it was an easy way to keep employees from jumping ship they institutionalized it.

        • And why is it that part of my compensation is in the form of health insurance? The Federal Reserve Notes read “This note is legal tender for all debts, public and private.” OK, I already know that your next argument is that you reject FRNs cause you’re a libertarian, etc. But hear me out. If that’s the case, I’d think one could make a pretty good argument that if I were to want the cash equivalent of my employer-provided health insurance I should actually get a premium over and above what I get in health insurance because I can’t exchange my health insurance for other goods and services, and I certainly can’t pay taxes with it. In fact, I can’t even transfer it to another party outside my immediate family.

          • The problem comes with manipulation through taxes. Employer would pay taxes on that health insurance benefit, you would pay taxes on it too. They use taxes to get you to do what they want.

            I agree that were I able to get my full compensation as $$ I’d easily be able to save for expenses.

            I will say one problem with it is Americans are terrible savers and most will simply buy a bigger car and a bigger house with the money. Then when their kid needs medical care they will be screaming in the streets for help. Then everyone feels we need to “do something” and we end up right back where we are.

  11. Excellent article Eric. Couldn’t agree more. The Sheeples’ emotion and abject fear of sickness and death have been stoked feverishly for almost a century now, and the payoff for big pharma and big insurance (but not exactly doctors and nurses) is nigh. There is so much damned money to be made insulating us from our fear of being “sick” or even dying, that politicians are simply helpless to resist the temptation to continue to codify in law, the further enslavement of humanity. We can’t even seem to get any traction changing the course of discussion back to the question of whether one has a right to enslave another for reasons of health. (for us libertarian NAP adherents this is an obvious and fundamental NO). The paradigm where coercively or forcibly aggressing thy neighbor via the proxy of the state is somehow legitimate is still so firmly entrenched among a very significant portion of our population. We actually do all have a right to live, but not to live at the expense of anyone else. People can’t seem to recognize the investment they make each day when they feed themselves, exercise or not, see to their own financial, physical and mental well-being etc… And they increasingly rely on the state like a parent. I’m feel so fortunate to have my own mortality to eventually take me away from such idiocy. My gift back to the world after a lifetime of consuming resources will be my own carbon dense and nutrient rich corpse. Our enslavement to the state built upon the back of the ignorance of humanity cannot be all there is to the universe.

  12. Excellent article Eric. Couldn’t agree more. The Sheeples’ emotion and abject fear of sickness and death have been stoked feverishly for almost a century now, and the payoff for big pharma and big insurance (but not exactly doctors and nurses) is nigh. There is so much damned money to be made insulating us from our fear of being “sick” or even dying, that politicians are simply helpless to resist the temptation to continue to codify in law, the further enslavement of humanity. We can’t even seem to get any traction changing the course of discussion back to the question of whether one has a right to enslave another for reasons of health. (for us libertarian NAP adherents this is an obvious and fundamental NO). The paradigm where coercively or forcibly aggressing thy neighbor via the proxy of the state is somehow legitimate is still so firmly entrenched among a very significant portion of our population. We actually do all have a right to live, but not to live at the expense of anyone else. People can’t seem to recognize the investment they make each day when they feed themselves, exercise or not, see to their own financial, physical and mental well-being etc… And they increasingly rely on the state like a parent. I’m feel so fortunate to have my own mortality to eventually take me away from such idiocy. My gift back to the world after a lifetime of consuming resources will be my own carbon dense and nutrient rich corpse. Our enslavement to the state built upon the back of the ignorance of humanity cannot be all there is to the universe.

    • Thanks, Roland!

      And yeah, it is very depressing. Whether it can be changed is questionable. It seems the only way to get back to relative liberty is to get away from those who have contempt for liberty.

      • What should be able to happen is doctors set their own standards for care and school. Run cash or credit only offices. Hospitals setup to do the same. Run entirely how they feel they should be run.

        If the doctor thinks a bachelor degree or no degree is fine with apprenticeship, so be it. If you don’t like it then go to another doc. Most family docs do what google does. Eliminating all drug laws and need for prescriptions and pharmacy would be a start. Let Amazon do what it does best.

        Next let the gov’t wrangle in the courts to limit malpractice to truely malicious behavior.

        Those are things the government can do to help fix the problem but it requires giving up control. That never happens.

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