William M. Briggs

Statistician to the Stars!

Health care: Dems to vote to increase taxes and debt ceiling simultaneously

Some ill-informed persons out there actually had the temerity to accuse Democrats as the “tax and spend” party. A stereotype!

Whatever could have given them that idea?

NYT health care pic

Perhaps this: Democrats will—on Christmas eve, in a festive display of mono-partisanism—vote to raise taxes and increase the national debt limit. The old limit couldn’t properly account for their prodigious profligacy, you understand.

The government is bleeding money: it’s gushing from every bureaucratic orifice. Solution? Spend more!

The new health care tax–which isn’t yet honestly called a tax, but a “program”—will almost certainly pass the Senate. Part of this “program” is said to be an “individual mandate”, which will require, via the full majesty of the law, that individuals purchase health insurance, even if they do not want it.

That is, you will be forced by implied gunpoint to fork over your money to a private company. You can well imagine these companies’ new customer service messages. Listen carefully, for our options have recently changed: Press 1 for “Hahahahahahaha”!

This, incidentally, leads to our definition of mandate: comply, or be jailed, where you will be forced to comply.

The Los Angeles Times (D), was concerned that citizens would be confused about this mandate. It published a “Healthcare Q & A“, to explain to its readers why more of their money should be taken from them. Like all good Q & A’s, it is in the form of bullets.

  • “Why require everyone to buy insurance?” The truth is that the new government entitlement, like all entitlements before it, is a beast that must gorge on fresh money to survive. It needs to be fed often and copiously. The LAT’s confusing answer said that some people don’t have insurance, and that those who do will be “helping pay the costs of those without it.” This explanation would have been fine if the word helping was omitted.
  • “What benefit do I get from being required to buy insurance?” Probably less back pain: your wallet will be significantly lightened, thus relieving stress and strain. You also get to see a few companies, presumably those that have given generously to the reelection campaigns of certain politicians, receive our mandated largess. Surely they will spend our money wisely. The LAT says, “you will get coverage”.
  • “How can insurers afford to cover so many people who have expensive illnesses? Will my premium go up?” Excellent question. They cannot, so, yes, premiums must rise. The LAT said, “Gee, would ya look at the time?”
  • “Since young people don’t cost the system much, would they be allowed to buy less expensive plans?” No. They should be allowed not to buy and only pay for services as needed. Even the LAT had to admit that if that dangerous idea “were carried too far, however, it would defeat the purpose of an insurance plan.” The government’s plan, that is.

Inexplicably, the LAT’s Q & A stopped there. They forgot the most important questions.

  • If everybody is forced to buy insurance, it isn’t really insurance anymore, is it? No, it isn’t. Insurance is a bet between two parties, no different than a wager on a football game. It’s like buying a lottery ticket you hope won’t win. If everybody is forced to pay into a pool, whose monies will be used to fund health care expenses, then that is a tax.
  • People are a lot healthier now than twenty years ago, and people twenty years ago were a lot healthier than people forty years ago, and so on. So why is everybody calling our current state a “crisis”? Three things have gone wrong: politicians lie, exaggerates or are ill informed, the press lies, exaggerates or is ill informed, and the bulk of the public eats it up, cowers in fear or is ill informed.
  • After the Democrats pass the health care tax, what can I do? Grip your ankles, baby. It’ll be just like going to the doctor to have a “digital” exam, only this time without the Vaseline. Another option is to donate to the DNC and then form your own insurance company.

Update Reid invents new super-super majority:

The bill sets up a supermajority threshold of 67 votes to bring accountability to IMAB decisions, and the rule on being in or out of order can get waived at 60 votes. However, as this battle shows, even getting to 60 is almost an impossibility, let alone 67. Clearly Reid wants to put accountability out of reach with these radical propositions.

13 Comments

  1. It is so-o-o-o thoughtful of those jolly DNCer’s to wrap up the rest of us in this delightful blanket of insurance at this appropriate time of year. And how unselfish to choose to not insure themselves the same way. Gems, they are. True gems of human kindness. If only I lived in Detroit so I could vote for them.

  2. 49er, didn’t you know? ACORN has already registered you in 17 states; twice actually in Michigan and Illinois. And it turns out you voted a straight Democrat party line in all 17 states!
    See, you’re already part of the solution!

  3. I for one am gearing up to cancel my current catastrophic family policy (since I won’t be able to comply with, i.e., afford, the minimum standards forced upon me by our so generous government), opt for no insurance at all and pay the fine (which I read last is unenforceable even through the IRS). So there will be five fewer insured in the U.S. And I’ll be we are not the only ones.

  4. Sir,
    I beg to disagree with you.
    When you take my money and build a road – that is a tax.
    When you take my money and feed a soldier who will protect me – that is a tax.
    When you take my money and give it to the guy who went cruising when I was at home
    studying and who now has pre-existent medical conditions from all the smokin and druggin
    and booze – that is theft.

  5. Forcing one man to pay another man’s doctor bills is no more justified than forcing one man to pick another man’s cotton.

    The healthcare market in America is the most government-regulated, government-controlled, government-subsidized and socialized market in existence. Let‘s look at a few examples of what government has done:

    There are, at present, over 140,000 pages of Medicare rules and regulations alone, and the average doctor that accepts Medicare patients spends an average of one day per week doing nothing but paperwork to comply with this mass of rules.

    Hundreds of thousands of other pages of regulations — which are constantly being expanded — cover the production of virtually every conceivable medical device or product. These regulations inflate costs — and, even worse, they constitute a huge burden to new competitors entering the market and thus protect older, less efficient companies.

    The FDA spends years reviewing drug submissions — AFTER the drug companies spend years testing them.

    The fixed payment schedules for Medicare, Medicaid and S-CHIP destroy any possibility of price competition between hospitals and doctors — while those same programs destroy any motivation on the part of those receiving benefits to shop for the best value.

    Federal laws require emergency rooms to treat all comers, regardless of their ability to pay. This invites millions to get treatment free of charge, with the costs passed on to those of us who can pay.

    State laws force insurance companies to sell policies that include coverages you may not want or need while prohibiting you from buying insurance from out of state.

    Government destroyed the free market for healthcare — it has crippled all the market mechanisms that normally drive innovation and lower costs — and the resulting mess, complete with constantly rising costs and deteriorating services, is now being cited as a reason to EXPAND government’s control through the creation of dozens of new bureaucracies and thousands of additional regulations. This is positively Orwellian in nature and is exactly the equivalent of advocating that gasoline be applied to put out a fire.

    ACTUAL healthcare reform would reduce or eliminate government’s role and return us to a competitive free market. But in its present form, this alleged healthcare “reform” is nothing but an excuse to further mass-loot America’s most productive people to pay for unearned benefits for the rest, while granting government vast new powers over our lives.

    Whether Americans will tolerate this attempted power-grab-larceny or stop it dead in its tracks remains to be seen. Our fate as even a quasi-free people hangs in the balance.

  6. It’s been my experience that people often aren’t happy about paying for government programs that they don’t support whether it’s a health care program or a war. Bill S creates a distinction that seems to say that taxes for programs he supports is a justified, but taxes for programs he doesn’t support is theft. I fail to see the distinction. Either you accept that the government can take money from people for things they don’t want or you reject the principle. I’m intrigued by the idea of people only paying for what they want or use, but I’ve never quite been able to imagine how it would work.

  7. JD,
    The distinction is that taxes should benefit myself or my progeny in some way.
    Taking my money and giving it to an established deadbeat only promotes the creation
    of more deadbeats.
    As in most situations nothing is clear cut. Example – I favor some forms of welfare in the
    belief that a more educated society will benefit my progeny.
    On the other hand I cannot rationalize the need for Obamacare without invoking religion.

  8. Briggs

    December 23, 2009 at 5:01 pm

    JD,

    I take your point and agree that the government (so far) has the right to take my money and apply to purposes which I find useless, counterproductive, and even harmful. My point was to emphasize, as many have before, that that right should be limited.

    Now how about the idea that this bill is a use of our money which is counterproductive and even, in many ways, harmful?

    Why should I pay to care for somebody else who is sick, who got sick through his own bad behavior, and will likely do so again? And what are the limits of “sickness”? How broadly can it be defined? Knowing politicians, anything will count.

  9. Told you so.

    Whoops. That comment was too short.

    Man, did I ever tell you people, yes I did, not to vote for those lunatic Socialist anti-American kook wackos …

  10. The funky thing is that the mandate won’t really do what it is ostensibly supposed to — force people who (supposedly) can afford insurance to buy it. The fines are way too small to get that result. (I can’t keep up with every version of the proposed legislation, but every time I look at it, the fines get smaller.)

    A person who doesn’t want to spend the money on health insurance will probably still not buy it even if he has to pay the fine.

    Now, if you couple this with the requirements in the law that insurance companies must sell insurance to people with pre-existing conditions at “community rates”, then healthy people would be fools to purchase insurance until they get a major medical problem. I can’t see any other result but that the market for health insurance, at least for individuals, will completely collapse within a couple of years.

  11. After a few months of this – and the Detroit-Chicago style gum’mint we see, this may be our new national anthem.

  12. Mr. Briggs wrote:

    I take your point and agree that the government (so far) has the right to take my money and apply to purposes which I find useless, counterproductive, and even harmful.

    Why? What gives government the right to take your money?

  13. Briggs

    December 24, 2009 at 7:01 am

    Michael Smith,

    We must all contribute to our government necessary functions, I think. It then becomes a question of what those functions are. Paying for somebody else’s wart removal is not one of those functions.

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