21 November 2009


I had this exchange on Hooah Wife and Friends with a good gal named Silke. I thought I should post my reply here since it was an old thread. My initial reply is in bold, her rebuttal is in italics, and my answer follows below each exchange.

SSG E said: The career politician is what has destroyed the system. The Founders never intended politics to be a career.
Since the Founders didn’t mandate term limits in the Constitution this is the system we have. And until an amendment is passed (other than the 22nd which limits the Presidency), it’s one the people choose to have. Besides, I’m not convinced we wouldn’t have more gridlock in Congress if people were constantly changing in and out. And, voters are still free to impose their own term limits by simply rejecting the incumbent.

-I am willing to throw the baby out with the bath water here. Yeah sure, some good elected officials would be tossed out of office. But, it is worth it to get rid of the bad ones. We need to get rid of scumbags like Robert “KKK” Byrd who has been in the Senate since the days of Caesar. We need to get rid of “Bawrney Fwrank” the worthless congressman that shielded Fanny and Freddy from regulation and oversight and ushered in the housing market collapse. The problem is these goons redraw congressional and senate districts to ensure that they cannot lose reelection. Both parties are guilty of this. The Founders never envisioned that people would live as long as we do today and they never thought we would one day have such self-serving and evil people in public office. Otherwise, they might have included specified term limits. I agree that the voters should institute their own term limits and reject these corrupt and worthless politicians. The problem is, however, that today too many people are either:
A. too stupid to see the corruption,
B. are simply not paying any attention, or
C. are morally bankrupt themselves and don’t care, or
D. all of the above.
I would also like to point out that gridlock is not necessarily a bad thing. If congress isn’t able to get anything done that means that they won’t be able to screw things up more than they already have. I don’t want anything passed. The government should be prohibited from doing anything until the corruption is cleaned up. No legislation will I support until these fools are held accountable to the people and are forced to deal with us honestly. We need a Constitutional Amendment to institute term limits for ALL government officials. One 6 year term and that is it! While we are at it we also need to repeal the 17th Amendment so that the states are once again represented in DC.

Now the govt is trying to completely takeover the healthcare system all together,
Since most American’s will continue to get their insurance through their employer I don’t see how that’s possible.

-I will admit that nothing in bill(s) I read give the government total control over healthcare overnight. It will be an incremental process over many years and as new regulatory codes are written in accordance with the new legislation. There will be amending legislation and new rules written in the future. There are foreseeable consequences to this legislation. Many people will lose their private coverage and be dumped into a public option eventually. Several aspects of the proposed legislation will likely have the unintended consequence of fewer people getting private insurance.


-The other issue is the vast array of new regulations, fees, and taxes that will destroy small businesses and incentivize larger business to stop providing insurance coverage and simply pay the fines and dump people into public healthcare.

No one has ever seriously considered the reforms that would actually lower costs.
What do you consider an objective source for assessing the costs and weighing the different options of health care reform?

-That’s a good question, and a fair one. I would say that a cost-benefit analysis must be done. What is the opportunity cost? Clearly we are about to sacrifice a lot of freedom and heavily burden our economy with taxes and our children and grandchildren with perpetual debt. How about letting the American people know the truth and decide for themselves. Instead of trying to ram this down our throats and voting on it on Saturday nights when no one is watching. The way that the congress and president has tried to slip this mess through without our notice has been disturbing. The American people need to be allowed to weigh the costs and decide what course to take on healthcare reform. Right now the current plan has been rejected outright by a vast majority and the politicians are pushing it anyway. Makes you wonder why they are so will to risk their careers on such an unpopular piece of legislation. Could it be that they are counting on the new power and money that they will inevitably draw from this plan?

Instead of trying to overhaul a system broken because of inefficient bureaucracy by creating more inefficient bureaucracy we should look to the individual to solve the problem.
Right now individuals don’t have the leverage to force big changes, not without exposing themselves to greater risk. Employers don’t even have the leverage. If they did the private insurance market wouldn’t be as costly as it is today. Besides, inefficiencies are only part of the problem and are inherent in any large organization (both private and public). The current legislation actually addresses some of the inefficiencies but is unlikely to eliminate them all.

-You’re right. There are much needed changes that must be implemented. Unfortunately government is not the answer. Government is not the solution to the problem, it is the problem. We need to get away from employer-based coverage. Shifting the burden to government will not solve the problems inherent in an employer-based system. It will only amplify the problems and diminish what is left of the free market competition forces left in healthcare. We need reform and we need solutions. This legislation is in large part a pay off to certain special interest groups, and it is a power grab by the federal government. Nothing that is over 2,000 pages long is going to address inefficiency, except to say “look at me I am highly inefficient!” For reasons I have enumerated in previous posts, the government has already shoved its fist into the orifice of private healthcare insurance and corrupted the system to the point that it is unsustainable. The solution is to remove the fist, not shove it in deeper.

-The government programs already in existence are complete disasters. Anything the government touches is corrupted.

At the same time we should seek to reform our food and exercise habits and encourage people to take preventative measures to help lower healthcare costs.
I agree but any measure the government takes to “encourage people” sounds dangerously close to the “nanny-state” you oppose.

-I said encourage, not mandate. People should be given proper information and options. The decision to act on it is there own. I would be okay with incentives for healthy lifestyle choices, but at all times the individual should be free to choose.

People are still going to make bad choices, but if the people have to pay for their healthcare then they will have incentive to make better choices.
How do you do this without legislation that requires people to pay for their health care (which this legislation does – and you seem to oppose)?

-I have a problem with the government being the deciding force in this. The individual mandate is unconstitutional and will do very little to help solve the healthcare problems.

-There are a few cash only clinics that provide good care at low prices and would flourish in a free market healthcare system. We need more freedom to bring innovation and efficiency to a system bogged down by government and insurance company bureaucracy. I am not opposed to people paying for their own healthcare. I am opposed to government interference in that transaction.

People should work with their provider to lower costs. The only way that can happen is if the govt is out of the way and people are free to do so.
The insurance companies aren’t going to lower premiums just because people ask them to. Nor will the insurance companies voluntarily end the practice of dropping people for pre-existing conditions or dropping them when they get too expensive to cover. How does “less government and more freedom” address this?

-I’m not talking about the stupid insurance companies here. I am talking about healthcare providers. Get the insurance companies and the government out of the way. Let the consumer talk to the doctor. Do you know how much a standard doctor visit costs? Most people don’t. How many things do we pay for without asking how much it costs? It is ludicrous. Doctors will make a great deal with you if you offer to pay in cash. They would be thrilled to give you a good price just so that they don’t have to deal with the bureaucratic red tape from government and insurance companies.

We are trading one inefficient system for an even more inefficient system.
I’ll take a more inefficient system that provides some health care to many more people over the current system. Why make the perfect the enemy of the good?
I do understand the concern over paying for health care reform. The government typically underestimates costs and there are usually unintended consequences. I hope the final bill that is passed by both houses of Congress addresses this. Given what was passed by the Senate Finance Committee I think there’s reason for hope. This article explains why:
Sorry for the long response and thanks for a great discussion.

-I am not looking for perfect. I am looking for something that works and will solve problems, while maintaining the maximum amount of liberty. The article you mentioned above is a fairly good one. It points out some of the problems in the bill and some of the solutions presented. Some of the bill is good. It is not all an ‘evil conspiracy’ and I think some of the solutions could be implemented on a much smaller scale. This is something we need to take our time on. We should be debating this over the course of years, not weeks and months. It has to be an honest debate. The politicians and media pundits are not being honest. They are trying to force this through even though it only has 35% support from the American people. It is a threat to liberty and that is why people are vehemently opposed to it.

Spending on entitlements is destroying our nation’s economic solvency. This new entitlement being created will only serve to make things much, much worse.


Once again, thanks for a wonderful discussion.