Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Blue Dogs Still Over-Rated

My suspicion is that the moderate Democratic jihad against health reform is peaking. Moderates on the House Energy and Commerce Committee prevented health reform legislation from being "marked up" the other day. But moderates ultimately don't have much of a bargaining position because they don't have many ideas of their own.

9 comments:

Anonymous said...

well it doesnt hurt that the bill is bad in the first place.

Todd Mayo said...

Of course the "Blue Dogs" have no ideas. They are republicans in Democratic attire. They are useless to the American people. I really hope you're right Ric. I hope their 15-minutes are almost up and they will get behind their/my President on this issue. Especially the Public Option. I NEED the Public Option. I've been without health care coverage for 19 YEARS!!

Epicurus said...

To say that they have no ideas seems to me to be illogical. Also, I agree fully with a public option, but if that public option is just an extension of Medicare (assuming the bill doesn't have provisions for fixing issues with Medicare) then it will at least be a stop-gap measure. Medicare as a system isn't very good.

Now, they should not pass legislation mandating that people purchase heal insurance. I can understand things like car insurance being mandatory, but a persons health has little or no impact on anyone else but themselves. I understand that arguments that a parents health has an impact on a child, but, it does not have the same impact as a reckless driver hitting someone. A person should have the right to choose whether they want healthcare or not, they should have the right to choose whether or not they want to pay taxes, and they should have the right to choose whether or not to participate in other activities that we assume are tacitly agreed to.

Anonymous said...

Health care and auto insurance are exactly the same in this realm of mandatory coverage. Everyone has to have auto ins to cover their car or to cover for damage done to another, aka taking responsibility for your self. If everyone weren't forced to obtain auto coverage, there wouldn't be many cars on the road with auto insurance - requiring those who do to pay the cost for repair. Health care is working exactly this way right now. If it is not mandated, then only those who can afford health ins will have it, and also be paying the cost for those who don't have by choice or in-affordability.

Epicurus said...

You really think people wouldn't have the good sense to buy auto insurance if it were A: affordable and B: not mandatory?

Also, health insurance and auto insurance are two different things. With health insurance you are only buying protection for yourself or your family. With auto insurance you are buying protection, potentially, for other drivers in case you make a mistake on the road. The one (H.I.) relates only to the person and family, therefore no harm can really be done if someone does not have health insurance. The other (A.I.) a clear harm can be seen.

Making something mandatory is usually a bad idea. I think that if most people could afford health insurance they would have health insurance. I also think if most people could afford car insurance they would have car insurance. I believe this would be the case even if they were not mandated to have it.

Forcing certain behaviors is a bad idea. Assuming that certain behaviors must be forced is an even worse idea.

Ric Caric said...

Everybody should be required to get health insurance. In fact, we already have a very bad form of "socialized medicine." Those without health insurance are treated in emergency rooms. That treatment is very expensive and (here's the socialized medicine part) it's paid for by everyone (i.e., socialized) in the form of higher insurance premiums. What makes the current form of socialized medicine particularly bad is the combination of lack of cost controls and health insurance abuses. The Obama plan is sensible in getting everyone into the system and adopting a public option to provide a check on the health insurance companies. Where it needs is controlling medical inflation. Obama has made a start with the pharmaceutical companies but also needs to jawbone the hospital companies, medical equipment manufacturers, and the like. I'm pretty happy the current state of the legislation because it's going to reduce everybody's overall health costs. It's just that more needs to be done to reduce the cost to government.

Epicurus said...

The government should never force behavior. To force people to do something just seems counter-intuitive. Basically, what you are arguing is that the government, or perhaps even the system, knows what is better for people than the people do themselves. That type of logic just doesn't seem applicable to the real world.

You're assuming that people must be told what is best for them and that they lack the capacity to decide for themselves. That's way too Hobbesian for me. I don't need someone with a tactical nuclear weapon to make me buy healthcare, I want to buy it as it is. I just can't afford it. The government should help control the cost, a public option would go a long way in this regard, but mandating everyone buy into the system is just plain wrong.

I mean, what about the Christian Scientists who don't believe in medicine? Should they be forced to buy into healthcare, and, if they should, then doesn't it follow that we should force them to GO to the doctor as well? I think no. Do the Christian Scientists have some messed up beliefs? Yes. Do we have a right to tell them they're beliefs are wrong? Probably. Do we have a right to forcibly change their behavior? No.

And that's the heart of the issue. Forcing people to behave a certain way, whether you try to keep them from doing drugs or try to get them to buy health insurance, doesn't work. It just demonizes people as being unable to take care of themselves and as stupid if they don't follow convention.

Anonymous said...

I cannot disagree with you, but in your principal theory only. I do not like the idea of mandating everyone have health insurance; however, our dr's offices, emergency rooms, health clinics, and society in general, will not allow someone to DIE outside an ER because of injuries received in an auto accident or from any other life-threatening ailment such as a bullet wound. Hobbesian theory doesn't apply on cases such as MVA or bullet wounds. However, Hobbesian would apply if death were a more lasting event - such as death due to inability to afford chemotherapy or simple blood pressure medication. No one needs auto insurance till they are in an accident - no one need health ins. till they need it. If no one has it, there is NO POOL OF MONEY TO PAY FOR CARE. Costs need controlled, but not mandating maintaining H.I. coverage would be a mistake. We will not allow people who have accidents to die because they don't have health insurance. If someone can afford health. ins., they should be required to obtain it. Unless there are govt. subsidies or cost control efforts, eventually only the superwealthy will be able to afford health care.

Epicurus said...

I'm not saying the government shouldn't offer a public option or trying to control costs. What I'm saying is that the government is wrong in trying to mandate that people buy health insurance. Hobbes applies perfectly here because the sovereign is trying to force a type of behavior (buying healthcare) when a more Lockean system would work much better. It is reasonable to assume that most people, given an affordable option would buy health insurance. I'm not saying the government is wrong at all in offing a public option. I am merely saying that trying to force peoples behavior is a bad idea.