Tag Archives: Healthcare

Obama Did Not Lie III

Today, the Old Media discovered that Obamacare means many individually insured people will lose their insurance, and they will have to pay more for inferior products to boot. The good folks at Drudge Report read the leftist news on behalf of those with weaker stomachs, and they noted NBC‘s breathless discovery of Obamacare’s dark side. Yes, the Obama Administration wrote regulations designed to force as many people as possible out of their coverage and into plans that share costs with unhealthy and old participants. However, this humble blog reported such problems over three years ago.

In September 2010, Shout Bits shared a letter from its author’s insurer warning him to not change anything about his coverage or else his plan would be terminated – not because Humana hated him, but because the law so demanded. The horrors the OM discovered today were known years ago to anyone who would listen.

Shout Bits will note again, Pres. Obama did not technically lie about his health care act. At the time of the law’s passage, what he said was true – the individually insured could keep their policies. However as of March 24, 2010, the promise expired. This type of gotcha promise is typical of Washington, and the OM were more than happy to hide Obama’s critical caveat. Now that millions of people are being booted from their chosen coverage, the OM simply cannot hide the truth any longer. Still, NBC deserves no credit for discovering what independent reporters knew over three years ago.

Obama: Why Not Socialism?

And private insurers have to make a profit. Nothing wrong with that. That’s what they do. And so you’ve got higher administrative costs, plus profit on top of that. – Pres. Obama, Oct. 3, 2012

 

Amid the hoopla about the candidates’ relative perspicacious energies during last week’s debate, the above quote by Pres. Obama seems to have been lost. In his worst line in the debate, Obama reveals his socialist instincts and complete ignorance of how the private sector works. That line alone renders him unfit for public office because it shows his ideologue faith in big government and misunderstanding of the critical value of profit in a free market.

Obama’s posit underlying his quote is that government can be more efficient than for-profit companies. First off, the quote belies his repeated promise that people can keep their insurance if they like it; he is clearly implying that government insurance is better, so it will eventually replace private insurance. Obama has advocated for a single payer (i.e. socialized) healthcare system, so this gaffe has legs.

The argument behind Obama’s quote is that government healthcare like Medicare and Medicaid has a lower administrative overhead than does a typical insurer. Further, that insurer must earn a profit. Both of these drain money from services to patients, and reduce the quality of health care. Even so, Obama’s arguments do not support his conclusion that government health insurance results in better or cheaper care for patients. The key to Obama’ error is understanding profit.

As Obama would probably agree, profit is the thin and uncertain margin between revenue and expense. Profit is the goal, the only goal, of business. Profit is to be maximized, and the risk of failure to profit is to be avoided. Businesses innovate and invest to increase and protect their profits. What Obama appears to not know is that profit also is the messenger particle of business.

Businesses study each other’s profits, and emulate the best practices of their peers. When a company earns a superior profit, its peers move to compete by either providing a better product or a similar product at a lower price. This competition drives down overall profits to the level only the most efficient company can tolerate.

By competing for each other’s profits, companies also attempt to optimize the amount of administrative overhead they require. Reducing administrative headcount is often a path to more profit, but not always, and Obama’s allegation that the government is more efficient is suspect. If the government overpays for services or is wasteful in its distribution, it causes administrative overhead to appear lower. Further, governments often apply their administrative efforts to tasks unrelated to customer service; governments work for themselves, not the people. Without profit as a measure of success, government bureaucrats are inclined to maintain the status quo even when it is wasteful. Therefore, applying the private sector’s metric of administrative overhead to government is not helpful.

If Obama’s argument for socialized healthcare were valid, why then is his administration now outsourcing flights to the International Space Station to Space X, a for-profit company? Their profit motive should be costing taxpayers money, yet Space X’s cargo rockets are far cheaper than the Space Shuttle they are replacing. Also, why does the government allow for-profit airlines, car companies, or anything? The obvious answer is that this idea was tried in communist Europe and Asia, and it failed so miserably that it killed 100 million people.

Voters should listen to Obama’s own words. He wants a socialized single payer healthcare system for the US. Anyone who thinks that is a bad idea really should not vote for him.

The Evil Instinct

Humans are deeply flawed, and nearly everyone has a challenge to overcome. Some people like booze or drugs too much. Some people are too impulsive and can’t hold down a job. Some people are ignorant and gullible, so they believe what politicians tell them. Everyone has at least something working against him, but even when experience and maturity enables him to overcome, there is a new evil instinct as bad as all the rest: bossiness.

Plato’s The Republic uses the allegory of a cave to explain the philosopher’s duty to spread his enlightenment to those trapped in ignorant darkness. In other words, Plato, like many people, was a bossypants and a bit too high on his profession’s worth. The time for arrogant ignorance is youth, and most adults laugh or cringe at their foolishness. No doubt time disciplines and focuses lives, but it does not seem to reign in the arrogance of those who want to impose their values on others.

The leader of today’s bossy tin-pot tyrants is New York Mayor Bloomberg. From fat to salt to smokes to sugar, Bloomberg is remaking formerly street tough New York into a compliant Stepford. If anyone told the people of Wyoming how big their sodas could be, they would bring back tar and feathers. Bloomberg’s arrogance is laughable because he confines it to trivial areas of life and to a people who seem to enjoy collectivism. Perhaps because Bloomberg worked hard and achieved substantial success in finance and media, he has concluded he knows best regarding mother’s milk. In reality, he is just another small minded busybody who can’t control his instinct to tell people how to live their lives.

There are other petty do-gooders besides Bloomberg. First Lady Michelle Obama is Bloomberg for kids. Tipper Gore and other white gloved Senators’ wives couldn’t stand that dreadful rock music. Still the evil instinct of bossiness gets ugly when anyone gets too much power.

Of course buying health insurance is a good idea, but that does not justify Obamacare’s mandate to do so. Obamacare forces men to pay for mammograms and women to pay for PSA tests. Everyone must buy contraceptives and abortions. The issue is not religious freedom, but whether adults can set their own priorities as individuals. Anybody can choose to not buy contraceptives for any reason, not just Catholics.

The inexplicable need for people who see themselves as successful to boss others around is an evil instinct that libertarians must confront. There is always a Bloomberg or worse who can’t resist the urge to run people lives, so any time a politician wants to impose his view on how to lead a proper life, it is time to push back.

I got my own ideas about the righteous kick, you can keep the rewards, I’d just as soon stay sick

– Lux Interior