Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Speaking of Which, NannyCare Comes Back!

Clinton's new plan is all about “choice,” a word the senator employed at least 20 times in her Monday remarks. What’s not to like? A great deal, actually. Start with the so-called “individual mandate.” This provision of Clinton’s plan would require all Americans to purchase health insurance. Refusal is not option: fail to follow the government’s orders and you will be subject to penalties... , The Return of Hillary Care, Jacob Laksin, Front Page Magazine, 9/19/2007

For those of you old enough to remember, back in the 1970's one of the Kennedy's was an advocate of a school program which employed "mandatory volunteering". That little oxymoron is a paradigm for liberal, nanny-statism.

Look, medical insurance is a bet. If you're twenty-five you have several options. You can bet about $20,000 a year for comprehensive medical coverage that you will get sick, and that it will cost a lot more than $20,000 to pay the bill. Or you can bet that you won't get sick. If you don't get sick, you'll save $20,000. If you lose, you'll be paying the bill for twenty years.

Another bet, of special interest to women, you can bet that limited coverage that might cost you $7500 a year, coverage which includes the costs surrounding giving birth, is a better bet than comprehensive care, which includes coverage for such illnesses as prostate cancer and heart attack, neither of which are very likely to affect a 25-year-old woman.

These bets are what economists call market choices. What Senator "NannyCare" Clinton proposes to do is to remove the market choice from medicine. You will have to take what the government decides is comprehensive coverage (which might not be sufficient, and might be mostly unnecessary) or you will be in violation of employment law. This is classic liberal interventionism. The net result will be a perverse mixture of over-insurance and rationing, what is sometimes called Canadian medicine.

If you think this sounds suspiciously like Clinton’s old plan, you haven’t been properly listening to spinmeisters. What makes the new plan different, they say, is that small businesses will no longer be punished for failing to provide insurance. Instead, they will be encouraged to do so through tax credits. Large businesses will still be required to provide insurance. Two conclusions follow. The first is that Clinton has plainly absorbed the lessons of her 1993 defeat, which sent the country’s leading small-business organization, the National Federation of Independent Businesses, fleeing headlong into the Republican camp. The second is that the concepts of basic economics continue to elude her. How else to account for the senator’s peculiar notion that strong-arming employers to provide coverage -- a measure that will only serve to discourage hiring -- is a step toward progress?...Hillary Care..., Continued....

Well, not to put to fine a point on it, but ignoring the marketplace is precisely what avowed socialists like Senator Clinton do as a matter of principle. Who cares about the impact on employment? As long as the dirty market isn't allowed to make choices, all will be well.

Indeed, like it’s ill-starred predecessor, the new Clinton plan should make even a first-year economics student wince. For instance, Clinton proposes massive regulation of the insurance industry as means to “end discrimination” against those with pre-existing health problems....Hillary Care, Leksin, continued...

The writer has some familiarity with differential rates and differential coverage. His spouse has a serious medical condition which will not go away, and has had it for thirteen years. Can she and I reasonably expect everyone to have pay for coverage for the exorbitantly expensive medications she takes? If that kind of coverage were required for everyone in the United States, nobody could afford health insurance. This may sound terribly unfair, but the fact is that between our coverage and our income we feel it's appropriate to pay the extra cost. If we didn't, to sustain the coverage, everyone else would have to pay for our exceptional coverage.

And it's on that fact that socialism runs into the shoals of rationing. To provide exactly the same coverage to everyone flies in the face of actual need and completely screws up supply. The likely result is that those drugs will not be available for the small populations that can get some use out of them. "Justice" will mean rationing and exclusion. You want it? Try Canada first.



Wonker said...

We are truly doomed.

Anyone wanna try Rudy instead?


Anonymous said...

I think we should do a test program and only offer universal health care, and its attendant requirements, to registered Democrats.

Hillawy Dalloway