September 16, 2009
-- by Dave Johnson
What is the "cost" of ordering 30 million uninsured to buy health insurance? Let's say that no one else will have to pay anything, only the uninsured. Let's say that they get off lucky at $250 a month average. That comes to $3000 a year times 30 million is $90 billion a year, is $900 billion over ten years.
That "cost" is not in any of the figures, it is shifted from the government as a huge uncounted tax that goes straight to insurance companies. It's also money people won't be spending elsewhere and is not redistributed to useful functions which real taxes are.
It's also 30 million people who will never, ever vote for a democrat again.
Posted by Dave Johnson at September 16, 2009 7:30 AM
This post reveals more than you probably intended it to. You suggest that if the government forced people to buy health insurance in way that makes the cost transparent to them - the people will be unhappy. So, you advocate that the government do that same thing in a non-transparent way. If the government funds some health care plan out of, say, income taxes - it is still forcing the people to pay it, but the fact of how much people are paying for this benefit will be hidden. In that case, you suggest, the people won't abandon the Democrats.
If the truth of the policy will make people angry, why not change the policy? Instead, you advocate hiding the truth.
I'm writing about two things.
1) It is wrong to force people to buy a shitty product from a private company. This is what the lobbyists are trying to push through, hence the fight against the "public option."
2) Yes, the POLITICS of it are better if the government just pays for it. People LOVE free stuff. That's why they accepted the Bush tax cuts, which mostly went to the already-rich, even though everyone's kids will have to pay for it. (Remember Bush took office with a $250 billion SURPLUS and left office with a $1.5 trillion deficit.
What the government SHOULD do is just extend Medicare to everyone, and that the rich and corporations to pay for it. This would greatly reduce the country's total health care bill, and businesses wouldn't have to choose whether to insure employees or move factories out of the country. it works out as less expenseive for those taxed, actually.
"It is wrong to force people to buy a shitty product from a private company." - Is it wrong to force people to buy a shitty product from the govt? I know you'll argue that "democracy demands it". But if democracy makes it okay - then why can't democracy "force people to buy a shitty product from a private company" instead of "forcing people to buy a shitty product from the govt." Does it matter who we're buying from?
Another question, isn't it really just wrong to force? Period. Isn't force wrong? Force is violence. I like peace.
Ah yes, the old "taxes are theft" argument. Right in line with making you do your homework and eat your broccoli. Republicans just HATE having to live with other people around and follow the rules of the community.
Yes, in a democracy when the decisions are made to build a bridge, we all chip in. It's called the social contract, ands it evolved FROM what we had before, which was a few wealthy peopple controlling everything and making the decisions.
THAT is the choice - either the people through a government, or control by and service to a few wealthy people. There are no other alternatives, and the people who put out the "taxes are theft" argument are ALWAYS the wealthy few.
Seriously, go learn who funds the libertarian movement.
You think there is an alternative to the choice of democratic government by the people, or being ruled by a wealthy few for their benefit only, then tell me what that alternative is. In history this has been the ONLY choice.
I tried to preempt your "democracy" boilerplate in my first comment. Since that didn't prevent you from citing the democratic process as the vindication of your preferred policy - this discussion has become incoherent.
Additionally, I don't play these "who funds you?" games. I'm an intellectual and I deal with ideas - not who people are or how they get their money. It would be easy to discredit you, Dave, with questions about "who funds you?" It's an ad-hominem attack, it doesn't enlighten, and it lacks class.
Anyway, I'm cool if you are. I'm done commenting on this blog.
Ok - I lied. One more thing. You said:
"You think there is an alternative to the choice of democratic government by the people, or being ruled by a wealthy few for their benefit only, then tell me what that alternative is. In history this has been the ONLY choice."
The answer is a Constitutional Republic - which is exactly what we inherited from the founders. Old-school progressives starting undermining the constitution about 90 years ago - and we've been using the state to rob each other ever since.
I never said anything about who funds you - I was pointing out that the libertarian movement is entirely funded by billionaires, often from oil money -- our oil taken out of the ground and sold to us.
As for me, I currently make about 1/5 what I made in the "private sector" and I do that by working FOUR jobs, all as a contractor so there are no benefits. So this isn't about money.
You're understanding of this game of funding comes from what goes on with the right. A person doing what I do is making six figures PLUS regular speaking fees of $5K up PLUS big money for articles - especially if they deny climate change (up to $10K per article) - PLUS huge book advances.
Decades ago Lewis Lapham reported a job offer from the right: "the terms of the offer an annual salary of $200,000, to be paid for life even in the event of my resignation or early retirement." THAT is the kind of funding people were getting on the right as far back as the 70s-80s.
I will say this. If you are NOT making money like that for espousing the philosophy that others are paid so well to espouse, what does that say about you?
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