Archive for March, 2010

The future of the health care system

March 26, 2010

Here is a concrete example of the clash between negative and positive rights.  The new health care legislation has set up a very interesting conflict: creating ‘health care’ for roughly 30 million people while at the same time a number of doctors will likely be leaving their practices.  Let’s look at implications of this.

Progressives believe that everybody has a ‘right’ to health care.  Furthermore, they believe that those with the resources to pay for health care must be taxed to pay for those who don’t.  The net result of this will be an increased demand for health care.  There will more and more folks that expect that they will be able to get the care they want when they want it.

Now look at the supply of health care.  There will be a decreased number of doctors to treat an increased supply of patients.  This will result in wonderful things like rationing and long wait times, that is, if you can even find a doctor (as is happening in Canada).

Those doctors who leave practice while still able to provide care are a ‘resource’ that can be used to help address the supply-side problem.  Additionally, many of these doctors were trained with public subsidies.  Progressives would argue that these doctors ‘owe’ society their services.  The free market solution to the lack of doctors would be to allow prices to rise enough to entice the doctors back into practice.  This isn’t going to happen under the controls being imposed by Washington.

This leads to my challenge to any progressive readers out there: Should doctors who no longer wish to practice be compelled to provide their services to patients in our reformed health care system?  Why or why not?  Remember, if there is a right to health care, patients have a right to the services that doctors provide.

Hopefully this scares the daylights out you, the reader.  How can liberty possible survive?  Talk about a brave new world!


Letter to the Coloradoan

March 24, 2010

Update: The Coloradoan did publish the letter on Saturday, Mar 27.  Kinda fun.  I notice most of the commenters think that debate amounts to hurling insults back and forth.

Here is a letter I sent off to our local paper, the Fort Collins Coloradoan, in response to Betsy Markey’s rationale for her ‘yes’ vote on the health care bill.  Now to see if they’ll print it!

Kudos for Betsy Markey for explaining her ‘yes’ vote for the health care bills in spite of the overwhelming opposition to the legislation within her district.  Unfortunately, her explanation falls short on several counts. Let’s examine a few of her claims. (more…)

My letter to Rep. Markey

March 18, 2010

The healthcare reconciliation bill may be coming up for a vote soon. You have shown your true colors by voting for the Slaughter Strategy: You believe the ends justify the means. I urge you to vote ‘no’ on the reconciliation bill.

The sleights-of-hand, bribes and backroom deals used to push Obamacare through are an affront to the rule of law. Anyone, including you, who votes for such trash deserves to be tarred and feathered.

If you cared to read history, from the days of the French Revolution all top-down and articulated reason-driven programs such as Obamacare have been abject failures, leading to widespread misery and bloodshed. The untold millions killed in the name of ‘caring for the People’ should be all the incentive needed to vote against this monstrosity.

A ‘yes’ vote for Obamacare will serve to condemn our fellow citizens and their descendants to a life of servitude and penury, if not extermination.  Their blood will be on *your* hands.  Vote ‘NO’!

Betsy Markey – A Profile in Cowardice

March 12, 2010

The Democrat’s panicked push for healthcare “reform” has deteriorated to the point of using the “Slaughter Strategy” where the House will deem that the Senate bill as passed without an actual vote by the House.  This is most likely an unconstitutional act and should cause revulsion in anyone who values the rule of law.  Once again, we have a demonstration of the left’s philosophy of ‘the ends justify the means.’

Now look at Betsy Markey.  It would be nice to hear her position on the Senate bill, but she surely won’t take one without kissing Speaker Pelosi’s ring and getting her blessing.  However, it is illuminating that Markey has nothing to say on the  process of these healthcare shenanigans.  What a craven parasite.

Have a 401(k)? Watch out!

March 12, 2010

Not surprisingly, the Feds are looking at ways of getting their fingers into your 401(k) retirement savings.  The Treasury is proposing to take money from 401(k) accounts and convert it into government-backed annuities paying a 3% return.  Look here and here for more discussion.  It is absolutely astounding how little play a proposal like this gets in the major media.

Negative vs. Positive Rights

March 12, 2010

The US Constitution was designed to create a republic with a weak central government and strong member states.  The Bill of Rights reflects this principle quite well, listing rights that the citizens inherently possess and the government cannot infringe upon.  Barack Obama has described the Constitution as having a “blind spot” in that it doesn’t specify the things that government must do for the citizens.  Look at FDR’s Second Bill of Rights for an example of what Obama would like the government to supply to the citizens.  These are confiscatory or “positive” rights that require the redistribution of the fruits of the labor, i.e. property, of one party to another party deemed to have a deficit of the same fruits.  Judge Andrew Napolitano gives us great explanation here:

Take housing as an example.  The negative right view of housing that we’re all familiar with is that you have option of finding housing proportionate to your willingness and ability to pay.  This can mean purchasing, renting, staying with family or living under a bridge.  A positive right to housing means that the government is obligated to provide you housing.  How is this to be accomplished?  How about things like electricity, water, natural gas and septic, which are all needed to make your government-supplied dwelling livable?

A system such as this would require a government body to weigh all the various and ever-changing needs of the people that come before it to demand housing.  Think about this: Once you have obtained your new pad, what is to prevent the commissars from deciding that some other family has a greater need for your house than you do and that you must decamp for another ‘home’ deemed more appropriate for your situation?

Liberty and freedom cannot survive such a regime.

Another aspect of health insurance costs

March 6, 2010

Since the health care debate is still raging, one thing that gets overlooked are the effects of state-mandated coverages.  In Colorado there are 46 mandates, according to “Health Insurance Mandates in the States 2007,” which adds as much as 50% to the cost of basic health care.  As a single male, it seems rather strange to be forced to have coverage for maternity.  This article discusses several aspects of the problems created by these mandates.

This is one more example of what happens when government meddling occurs and the ‘concentrated interest’ vs. ‘diffused costs’ dynamic takes over.