In my last post on recent discussions in the Mises Institute Forum, I highlighted the “ardor for erudition” among Forum members. However, the Forum’s gaze is not only drawn to timeless truths and aureate authors. Hot-button issues are also given their due.
Regarding such issues, there are a great many virulent myths floating around out there in the internet leftyverse; it’s easy to get infected by one. So, many come to the LvMI forum as a sort of intellectual clinic for an argumentative antidote against the latest strain of strained state apologia.
One of the issues most stricken with fallacies, and thus most in need of curative care, has been health care itself. In the following, I will quote the three best recent posts on this topic.
Forum Member “Snowflake” reported the passage of Obama’s healthcare bill in the House with his own splendidly biting commentary:
220-215. 50.6% voted for the plan, 49.4% against. Rounding up the winners’ vote to 100% and the losers vote down to 0%, democracy is clearly of the people and by the people.
The Affordable Health Care for America Act will apply to everyone whether they want it or not because that’s just how it works this is a democracy case closed.
A short summary of provisions is posted on wikipedia, but I would like to add some clarifying notes for all those naysayers out there who doubt the wisdom and good will of lobbyists who spent millions of their own dollars pushing this bill through. All for our benefit.
They are as follows:
“prohibit health insurers from charging different rates based on patients’ medical histories or gender [and] prohibit health insurers from refusing coverage based on patients’ medical histories” Because you have a right to the pooled resources of other people. They have NO right to deny you entry into their free and voluntary associations.
“repeal of the exemption for insurance companies from anti-trust laws” Because otherwise government would be in violation of anti trust laws, and government is NOT a monopoly.
“requiring most employers to provide coverage for their workers or pay a surtax on the worker’s wages up to 8%” Because those greedy employers hate poor people! If the government didn’t require employers to offer health benefits they wouldn’t.
“An expansion of Medicare to all low income Americans.” Because what if someone needed pharmaceuticals or they’d die? We need to stop people from dieing so lets massively expand the pharm industry. It had an annual 17% growth rate before this bill, I wonder what will happen next?
“a government run insurance plan (public option)” Because the free market isn’t competitive enough for some reason…
“requiring most Americans to obtain health insurance or face penalties” Because people are dumb! What if you had an accident and didn’t have insurance? You should have bought insurance! For your own good you should be forced to buy some.
“a 5.4% tax on personal income over $500,000 (individuals) or $1,000,000 (families)” Because those people are rich and greedy! Don’t worry though, The valuable rich people of society like doctors and lawyers will more than break even under our expanded health care system.
“reductions in projected spending on Medicare by $400 million per year” Because we’ll spend less… eventually. But right now we need to expand the $#@! out of health care. We can stay on budget just like we always do.
“a 2.5% excise tax on medical devices” Because we’re going to pay for health care by taxing health care…
Anyway, I hope this answers your questions! Libertarians just seem not to get it. Hang in there mises people, you’ll come around sometime
In his thread “How Do you Talk to the Average Person about Health Care?” Forum member “Democracy For Breakfast” posed the following condundrum:
A lot of people buy onto the myth that Canada’s health care system is “flourishing”, I don’t know why but everyone seems to think that Canada has a great system.
“Poptech” responded with a mini-armory of some excellent resources:
This part is easy, have them watch these videos:
Health Care: Does Canada Do It Better? (Video) (6min) (ABC News)
Sick in America (Video) (41min) (ABC News)
And read the following:
Canadacare May Have Killed Natasha (New York Post)
Canadian Health Care (Ludwig von Mises Institute)
Wait times for surgery in Canada at all-time high: study (CBC, Canada)
In Canada, the average wait for a simple MRI is three months. In Manitoba, the median wait for neurosurgery is 15.2 months. For chemotherapy in Saskatchewan, patients can expect to be in line for 10 weeks. At last report, 10,000 breast cancer patients who waited an average of two months for post-operation radiation treatments have filed a class action lawsuit against Quebec’s hospitals.
In his thread “Why Is Healthcare So Expensive?” Forum member “jct181″ asked…
I understand why a universal healthcare plan will drive healthcare costs up. But why is American healthcare currently so expensive? What is going on in the current market that is keeping costs up?
“Bogart” came forward and answered with an excellent summation:
Here are my top 5 reasons in order of most significant to least significant. These are all caused by government intervention in the marketplace for health care:
1. Price/Payment Fixing by Medicare, CHIP, Medicaid, etc make it difficult for people without insurance to afford health care. Moreover the government has laws about who care providers can serve and what they can charge if participating in these programs. So health care providers have no reason to to compete on price as all the folks using these services have no incentive to economize. The result of this fascism is predictable: Higher prices and Fewer Choices.
2. Regulation of the development, manufacturing, marketing, distribution, advertising, etc of medical devices, pharmaceuticals, alternative medicine etc only helps those large organizations who have expertise in managing the process over those other providers. For example: Kellogs is removing a claim on cholesterol reduction under pressure from the FDA. Why, who does this help, it certainly does not help consumers of food. It does help cholesterol reducing pharmaceuticals.
3. Licensing of doctors, nurses, etc. These licenses are extremely difficult to get. They are given out by “accredited” agencies to people they favor only. The medical industry would save billions by letting the licensing be done by private organizations. Then people would have the ability to request the certifications of their providers. You can have the following done by non-certified people: parenting, educating, communicating, manufacturing, producing food, etc. Why does the government need to license doctors when it does not license who makes your food?
4. Regulation of insurers, people are not allowed to buy insurance across state lines and insurers have lots of mandates on them that increase costs. If the mandates were removed and people could buy insurance across state OR BETTER YET INTERNATIONAL boundaries then the price would be dramatically reduced.
5. Insane liability system for negligence. This part is completely nuts. There is a weird lottery where the whole system is at the whims of a jury. How about a system where the two parties the plaintiff and defendant each select an arbitrator or agree on one to hear the case. Then the arbitrators would pick a third who has binding authority. This would not only save billions but would be much fairer to those who have been damaged.
Social democrats like to point to health care as one of “their” issues, because to them, the case for government-provided universal health care is a slam dunk. But a Misesian, armed as he or she is with the insights of the Austrian tradition, isn’t even given pause by such presumptuous preening. Whether the issue is health care, education, or even public roads, sacred cows are always on the menu in the LvMI Forum.