Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Is ObamaCare's Individual Mandate Necessary to Prevent "Freeloading?"

In the Huff Post article in which Michael Smerconish took on the charge that ObamaCare is socialist, Smerconish said in support of his argument refuting the "socialist" charge:


The further irony is that those who were quick to level the "socialist" charge were advocating for the right of people to remain uninsured and burden everyone else, which CNN's Jake Tapper recently raised with Sen. Mike Lee (R., Utah): "When did Republicans start saying, 'That's OK, you can freeload'?" I don't think that's a fair characterization of the Republican position on this at all," Lee replied. Tapper responded: "If you're against the individual mandate, or any sort of requirement that people have health insurance, then that is your position." The only liberty interest being sacrificed under the ACA is one's ability to be uninsured. And even that is violable. [Kaiser Health News's Mary Agnes] Carey reminded me that you can still exercise your right to be uninsured, but you will pay a fine.

Such is the twisted logic of ObamaCare supporters. What is Smerconish taking as the given?—Government welfare programs that allow some people to "burden everyone else" by forcibly transferring wealth from productive citizens through various welfare programs.

Smerconish lumps two opposite premises into a package deal; that the right to be uninsured means the right to steal (which is what cashing in on welfare is). But in fact, one is a right and the other isn't. People do have a right to "remain uninsured." People do not have a right to unearned benefits that others are forced to provide.

This highlights the essential political and moral problem with ObamaCare: The individual mandate is a rights-violating government's answer to a problem caused by government—the alleged "right" to healthcare provided by others. The fact that you are "free" to not have insurance by paying a "fine" only means that the mandate is an extortion scheme.

The solution consistent with liberty is simple: Do away with all government programs that force taxpayers to pay for others' healthcare, and there is no freeloader problem. No freeloader problem, no individual mandate. No individual mandate, no "fine."

Related Reading:

Is ObamaCare Socialist? No, . . . and Yes: But Who Cares?

ObamaCare's Useful Idiots

4 comments:

Mike Kevitt said...

But this would mean doing away with ObamaCare and all the other stuff, back to the '20's. Nobody in this 'enlightened', 'educated' culture is gonna have that. We can keep telling 'em & keep explaining clear down the basic philosophical fundamental. They'll just keep rejecting it and keep proceeding, upon our property , upon us, & upon our lives. THEY DON'T CARE, & WILL NEVER CARE. They are automatons.

But then, compare no health ins. with no auto ins.

With no health ins. & no pocket money, you need & seek health care, they can say, "Tough. Get money (from friends, relatives, a charity, etc., but not from gvt.)." You haven't hurt anyone, except yourself.

But, with no auto ins. or pocket money, you cause an accident, you've hurt person and/or property, maybe incl. you & yours. To others, you & yours don't matter, but whaddabout others & their property? You're a turnip. Too bad for the victim.(?) If you're still a live body, maybe enough value can be wrenched outa ya, with interest. Under individual rights, you might help them wrench you by getting charity if any charity is willing. Or, under individual rights, private road owners might have their own arrangements & safeguards.

Mike Kevitt said...

But this would mean doing away with ObamaCare and all the other stuff, back to the '20's. Nobody in this 'enlightened', 'educated' culture is gonna have that. We can keep telling 'em & keep explaining clear down the basic philosophical fundamental. They'll just keep rejecting it and keep proceeding, upon our property , upon us, & upon our lives. THEY DON'T CARE, & WILL NEVER CARE. They are automatons.

But then, compare no health ins. with no auto ins.

With no health ins. & no pocket money, you need & seek health care, they can say, "Tough. Get money (from friends, relatives, a charity, etc., but not from gvt.)." You haven't hurt anyone, except yourself.

But, with no auto ins. or pocket money, you cause an accident, you've hurt person and/or property, maybe incl. you & yours. To others, you & yours don't matter, but whaddabout others & their property? You're a turnip. Too bad for the victim.(?) If you're still a live body, maybe enough value can be wrenched outa ya, with interest. Under individual rights, you might help them wrench you by getting charity if any charity is willing. Or, under individual rights, private road owners might have their own arrangements & safeguards.

Mike Kevitt said...

I Don't know why my comment was posted twice, unless it has something to do with the fact that I had to jump thru the posting hoop twice before it was posted.

Michael A. LaFerrara said...

"under individual rights, private road owners might have their own arrangements & safeguards."

Good point, Mike. Some RomneyCare/ObamaCare supporters point to mandatory auto insurance as a precedent to justify the health mandate. But in the case of auto insurance, the government owns the roads, so—just like private road owners would have a right to do—the government is exercising it prerogatives as the owner. (The government shouldn't own the roads, but that's another issue.)

There's no parallel between auto and health insurance mandates, unless they're willing to argue that the government owns the nation's wealth.