Friday, January 17, 2014

No One is "Supposed" to Shoulder Unchosen Obligations

A key purpose of ObamaCare is to impose government-approved health insurance designed to redistribute wealth through mandated coverage for all, regardless of whether any particular individual wants or needs the coverage. Obama's contraception mandate is a good example. Under that mandate, all policies must cover women's contraception, including policies bought by old men, men who have had vasectomies, or men who are impotent. 

Supporting this scheme, the NJ Star-Ledger twisted itself into a logical pretzel trying to defend these measures. Under the editorial headline Why shouldn't men pay for maternity care, the editors slammed conservatives who spoke out against the maternity mandate imposed on health insurance policies. Here is the editors' audacious response:

    Here’s how it’s supposed to work: The group subsidizes the costlier, needier individual. That means younger people help pay for older people. Healthy people help shoulder the costs of sicker people. And young men help pay for young women who go to the doctor more frequently, at an earlier age, because of reproductive issues.
    Let’s not ignore the inevitable role that men play in those reproductive issues. And this is not just about gender, either: A young woman who’s never taken drugs, and doesn’t intend to, will be subsidizing the addiction treatment of some man who’d otherwise wind up cycling through our prison system.
    Why? Because it's good for society. And in return, men help pay for her prenatal care, without which we’d all be stuck with higher health costs later.
    The idea that women are the sole users of maternity services also ignores the fact that every man was once a baby, too. Think of it this way: As adults, these young men are now helping to repay society for the costs of their own prenatal care. [emphasis added.]

Whenever a socialist tries to justify redistribution, the inevitable appeal to collectivist group supremacy will not be far behind. The logic here is simple: You, the individual, are not the focus of moral concern. You belong to the tribe—in this case, "society." Whatever society wants to do with you is fine, as long as it deems that something to be to its own benefit, as determined by—whom? Since society does not exist apart from the individual human beings that make it up, some individual(s) must determine what is to society's benefit. The individual human being, after all, is the only human existent. All it takes is for an individual(s) to claim "Society, cest moi!" to qualify himself as a spokesperson for society. That's what the editors are doing.

Why rely on collectivist rationalizations? Because what's good for individuals varies from individual to individual. What's good for the individual depends on each individual's personal circumstances. Focus on the individual, and no identification of what's "good for society" is possible, apart from what's good for every single member of society. How often does that happen? Since every individual is an equal part of society, what's good for society ceases to be so if a single individual deems it not to be good for him. The logical end result can only be: There is only one thing that's literally good for society—laissez-faire. Leave each individual free to determine for himself what's good, and to act accordingly. That doesn't fit well with statism. Hence, collectivism is the statists' default argument.

I left these comments:

"This is how it's supposed to work."

Supposed, by whom? By government officials wielding the legalized power of the gun? By do-gooder busybodies who claim to speak for society? By phonies who claim a desire to "help" their fellow man—by forcing others to pay for that help?

Here's how it's supposed to work in a free, moral society. Each individual is responsible for his own life and the consequences of his own actions. If a man impregnates a woman, he has a clear obligation, based on his own actions, to help shoulder the financial burden of that pregnancy and the child's upbringing. He has no obligation to pay for maternity care for every pregnant woman. 

The same goes for every aspect of healthcare. Each individual has a moral right and obligation to take care of himself and those whom he has voluntarily chosen to take responsibility for—and no more. The purpose of insurance is to buy personal protection from unforeseen catastrophic healthcare expenses, not to pay for someone else's healthcare. Each individual has the right to determine what protection to buy based on his own needs, circumstances, and ability to pay. And insurers competing for business should, in justice, be free to structure and price their policies according to the demand of its customers and the relevant individual risk factors. Whatever an individual is not insured for is his responsibility to pay for out of pocket, or by seeking voluntary help from people of good will. No one has any right to expect others to be forced to cover his bills. Forced "help" is legalized armed robbery.

ObamaCare is a scheme that forcibly redistributes wealth, with quasi-private insurance companies as the tools of redistribution. It is a scheme to make everyone responsible for everyone else's healthcare, but not his own; in other words, to turn everyone into both a slave and a mooching predator. The big winners? The seekers of the unearned and, most importantly and as we have seen—the government, in the form of unlimited, arbitrary power to control our wealth and to determine who gets what healthcare, if and when, and at what price. 

Socialized medicine under any guise is morally wrong and un-American. Every individual has an inalienable right to be free from forcible interference from his fellow man, including from statist masterminds with collectivist, group supremacist ideas who think they have the right to tell us what we're "supposed" to do and back his edicts up at the point of a gun. It is simply unjust and immoral to force any person to pay for more insurance than he needs or wants in order to subsidize someone else's healthcare needs. The most dangerous kind of human being is the person with good intentions in one hand and a gun in the other.

Related Reading:

Obama's Collectivist "Togetherness" vs. Individualist Togetherness

Individualism vs. Collectivism: Our Future, Our Choice—Craig Biddle

To Defeat Collectivism, Deny Collectivist Premises

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