POLICY/POLITICS: It’s all the illegal Austrian socialist’s fault

It’s all quite amusing. You wouldn’t know it, but there are no problems with health care in California, and what Arnie did yesterday was a display of showing his true feelings—a combination of handouts to illegal aliens and an introduction of European socialism.

At least that’s what you’d think if your only source was reading the Los Angeles Times reader comments about the proposal. Methinks that the FreeRepublic or Michelle Malkin crowd was sent over there….

(BTW I’ll be writing more about the Arnie plan at Spot-on tomorrow, but I wrote most of what I think the result will be there last week)

7 replies »

  1. Dear Peter,
    Two or two million wrongs do not offset two or two million other wrongs, or make anything right. Any means of acquiring wealth other than through one’s own industry – i.e. by confiscating another’s property – is plunder. Plunder is still plunder whether accomplished by legislation or a gun, and regardless of whether it is done on behalf of the rich or the poor.
    Forcing people to contract with medical insurance companies, HMOs or similar perversions of nature not only subsidizes the poor; it subsidizes rich insurance/HMO/ medical corporate interests. Everyone in the middle gets squeezed by dysfunctional governmental and medical establishments that function on plunder. It only goes to prove what Frederic Bastiat said 150 years ago; that, “Government is the great fiction through which everybody endeavors to live at the expense of everybody else.” As such, I wouldn’t be so proud or happy that the new governmental plunder program is a wealth redistribution scheme. It is evil.
    And you are also very correct in assuming that much will go wrong. Arnold’s program is more hot air than substance. Taxing doctors and hospitals will not unburden the public. Doctors and hospitals will simply raise their rates to spread their costs to consumers. The plan has no mechanism to preventing such cost spreading. The same is true of businesses forced to insure their employees, only worse. Businesses also get to decide whether they can afford the cost, or: 1) go out of business; 2) move out of state; 3) fire employees (all the way down to below 10 in number); 4) spread added insurance costs to consumers in the form of higher prices; or 5) a combination of some or all of the above to be able to afford the cost.
    If you don’t think such calculations take place, just look at what happens to the unemployment rate when the federal government raises the minimum wage. A lot of people lose their jobs in States where the minimum wage is the federal mandate. The victims of the layoffs in those States are invariably the poor and underprivileged. Don’t think for a moment Arnold’s plan won’t have the same effect. Medical insurance is much more expensive per employee than a raise in the minimum wage.
    On top of this, vastly greater costs will be incurred by adding 10 million more people to the rolls of an overburdened, broken medical system. They’ll need more hospitals, equipment, doctors, nurses, and other medical technical staff. They already do, even without the new burdens. B.T.W., I say it will be 10 million or more people – because the plan will attract people from out of state, and because we have underestimated the number of illegal aliens in California.
    These are just some of the problems the program has even before it gets challenged on constitutional grounds. Due process claims for invasions of privacy, personal autonomy and bodily integrity, freedom of contract, freedom of association, and freedom of religion are likely to be just some of the challenges made to the personal mandate provisions. Some of these claims will likely work, too. After all, coercing people, by operation of law, to enter into contracts with other private parties for personal services is unheard of. A coerced contract is an oxymoron.

  2. “Furthermore, it subsidises the poor”
    Well John, furthermore government subsidises the rich through corporate subsidies. Tax scams such as Single Sales Factor, Certified Capital Companies, Property Tax Abatements, Direct Relocation Subsidies, Tax Increment Financing and Enterprise Zone Rebates and Credits are some of the schemes rich and successful corporations use to get tax payers to subsidise profit. $300 million for Dell in North Caroilna, 282 property tax exemptions given to Exxon over 10 years in Louisiana for $93 million (just part of a $2.5 BILLION taken from local schools and governments there), billions in Ohio, Illinois, South Carolina. The list is endless. The history of mankind is nothing more than a, “wealth-redistribution scheme” – SO WHAT. Most of this wealth redistribution has been by those policically connected and in a position to use hobnobing, bribery, kickbacks and coercion. In other periods of history the rich used used armies of poor to enrich themselves. Hospitals using full chargemaster for the uninsured, then using the AG’s office to take their homes for inability to pay is “wealth-redistribution”. Damn right this plan is wealth redistribution – about time.
    With all that said I remain skeptical that this plan will work. I see no control on costs and a huge multilayered bureaucracy of confusion with multiple insurance companies, government agencies, and rules, rules, rules. In the end premiums will continue to rise at 10-15 % per year compounded.

  3. Sorry. I stubbed my toe, and I have to take back much of the last paragraph (above).
    Arnold’s plan for universal health care IS socialism. It may draw everyone into the system as consumers, but that is not all it does. It also interferes with producers, and businesses with 10 or more employees. They must pay to support the system. So must doctors and hospitals. Furthermore, it subsidises the poor, including illegal aliens – and the subsidy money must come from taxes. Thus, it is clearly a wealth-redistribution scheme which also depends on government (read common) support and control. That’s about as socialist as it gets.

  4. Serious problems exist in the California health care system. However, Arnie’s proposed cure is, in my view, worse than the illness.
    One of the main problems with the health care system is that it is broken at the service level. Doctors are over-worked, and doctor and hospital staffs are under-manned. There is a national shortage of qualified nurses and health care technicians, and large numbers of the latter are getting older and leaving. The stop-gap has been to import poorly trained nursing personnel from overseas. The overall result has been deprecated patient care in a system that cares more for getting patients’ needs “off its plate” than helping the patients.
    One must then consider that more and more people are seeking medical treatment as the baby-boomers get older and approach retirement. This, I believe, is a factor that places a severe strain on an already broken system.
    So, under these circumstances, the Government wants to foist this system on the entire population (and vice versa)? That’s not going to result in health care for all. It’s going to result in a universal field trip to the zoo with everyone getting locked in the lions’ cage.
    Arguably, what Arnold proposes right now isn’t socialism, or even interventionism, because it only coerces everyone into the market as consumers. It does not affect the entrepreneur side of the health care market yet. But with the surge in consumers, the system will become more broken, and people will howl. And then health care subsidies and regulations will come, and government control of health care, itself, will follow. Then we will have true socialism from an ersatz Republican.

  5. Stuart, releasing the “power” of an unregulated insurance industry sure puts profits in the hands of insurers, it does not provide affordable healthcare or access to healthcare. Insurance companies are a useless third wheel in this system. They add nothing but paperwork and give people false hope that when you’re sick you won’t go broke. Look what happened when Reagan de-regulated the savings and loan industry, or California de-regulated electrical producers. These industry groups will conspire to cut themselves the best deal. How far do you trust your insurance carrier?

  6. Matt, I think that these provider/insurance based plans are a last ditch effort to keep what they have without really changing. I agree with the White/Christian/Republican guy mentality is really holding this country back. The argumant seems to be that the system sucks because not enough patients buy health insurance. If only we could force them to pay our exorbitant prices (even with gov. subsidies) the system would correct itself. I heard a comment about the CA proposal that a family of four making about 30K/year will be required to pay $2000 in premiums. Probably less than what they would have to pay now but still an extra $2K I doubt they have lying around. And just wait until they adjust their buying habits to afford the mandatory 2K to see how other business will react when their sales fall. Maybe even Walmart will notice a drop in junk item business.