[ExI] health care individual mandate

JOSHUA JOB nanite1018 at gmail.com
Mon Nov 9 20:48:18 UTC 2009

On Nov 9, 2009, at 3:01 PM, Damien Broderick wrote:

> Presumably the argument is that the govt-run option would have its  
> funding topped up to a traumatic level from taxes, so the fees it  
> charges customers would not reflect the true costs, or something. It  
> couldn't possibly be that the new player might function more  
> frugally (as happens elsewhere, because of not having to gouge their  
> customers in order to pay the owners their rightfully huge salaries  
> and perks), but surely that can't be it--what, capitalist businesses  
> objecting to competition that drives down costs?
Actually, what they object to is unfair competition. The public option  
will be set up by the federal government, through taxes, and will  
supposedly operate from that point on as a non-profit. Let alone the  
fact that the poor will be getting tax breaks and subsidies so that  
they can afford to buy health care (and probably pick the public  
option, making it a back-handed subsidization of the program which is  
supposed to be non-profit and fully self-contained). If a non-profit  
insurer was such a good idea, then a whole bunch of people could get  
together, get philanthropists, and create it themselves. But it likely  
wouldn't survive without the subsidies to the poor and the requirement  
that everyone get health insurance, as well as future subsidization  
with tax dollars (either directly or indirectly).

If your goal is to drive down costs by increasing competition, how  
about removing the restrictions on insurance altogether? Let people by  
any type or size of coverage they want, from any company anywhere in  
the country. Right now, you can only buy insurance from a company in  
your state, which artificially restricts competition and increases  
prices, as well as fosters oligopolies and monopolies. If you  
eliminated such restrictions, competition would shoot up. And how  
about putting employer-based care on equal footing with individual  
care by eliminating the tax exemption from employer-based care? Then  
competition would increase enormously, with tens of millions of buyers  
on the marketplace with enormous flexibility (which forces insurance  
agencies to be competitive) and would eliminate the objection that  
health insurance is employer-based. This would also make it easier for  
charities and non-profits to offer care, because they would be  
competing for individual customers on a level playing field with  
insurance giants, rather than it being a competition between a  
straggling few individuals vs. giant purchaser-groups.

More importantly than all of this, is that, as spike said, the  
government has no authority to do what it is doing, and is  
overstepping its bounds (as it has been in numerous other areas for a  
century). If we aren't going to pay attention to the Constitution,  
then why bother having one?

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