Friday, January 30, 2015

The Not-So-Subtle ObamaCare Extortion

As ObamaCare gets more entrenched, some previously recalcitrant governors are, as a New Jersey Star-Ledger editorial trumpeted, rethinking their “stiff-arm of ObamaCare.” The Star-Ledger writes:

Tennessee, like most states led by Republican governors, was so adamantly opposed to Obamacare that it rejected the money Washington offered to expand Medicaid coverage.

Now Gov. Bill Haslam is having second thoughts. He has watched several hospitals in his state close down because they could not afford the care they provided to the poor and uninsured.

Even the hospitals that survived are taking a hit.
So now the governor is calling a special session of the state’s Legislature in January to reverse course.

. . . Republican governors in several other states that rejected Medicaid expansion are reconsidering as well . . . . They include Utah, Wyoming, Idaho, North Carolina and Alabama.

The Star-Ledger notes that “Obamacare covers all costs [for Medicaid expansion under ObamaCare] through 2016, and at least 90 percent of the costs after that.” But that money is only available if states sign on to ObamaCare.

I left these comments:

What the S-L just described is extortion. The Federal government gets its money from the taxpayers of the states, then returns it with strings attached. It’s a form of tyranny. There are no Federal dollars. There are only dollars earned and owned by individuals and businesses, forcibly seized by government, then laundered into “government money”—and “returned” on condition of adopting ObamaCare, or Common Core, or some such Federal scheme.

What should be done now is what should have been done instead of ObamaCare’s power grab over health insurance: Eliminate the government policies that created all of the problems ObamaCare was fraudulently sold as a fix for, like pre-existing conditions and spiralling costs. E.G.—eliminate the policies that tie insurance to employment; repeal the thousands of crippling insurance mandates; end policies that forbid insurance competition, especially across state lines. These are not new ideas. But they’re the right ones.

It’s past time to outright repeal ObamaCare, now that it has been implemented. It’s time now to phase it out. Canada’s immoral, doctor-enslavement system is not the answer. (Never mind polls. Polls only tell what healthy people think. The real problem is getting sick under socialized medicine. As the saying goes, there are no victims of socialized medicine to complain, because the victims are all dead.)

The government can make healthcare and health insurance easier to get and more affordable by repealing bad government policies. But it has no legitimate business providing healthcare for all. In order to do that, it must control healthcare. To control healthcare, it must massively violate the rights of healthcare consumers and producers to manage their own healthcare affairs, and to  contract voluntarily with each other. That is immoral, whether disguised as single-payer, socialized, or Medicare-for all.

We are not our brothers’ keepers, and government should not force us to be. We, as individuals, are morally responsible for our own lives. A free market, not Medicare-for all, is the only moral, rights-respecting solution. And by its nature—consumers seeking the best care at the best price, producers competing for consumers’ business, and voluntary private charity—a free market is the best way to “control” costs, maximize quality, and expand access, without trampling rights under a government bureaucracy. The moral and the practical—perfect together.

Related Reading:

Government Intervention, not the Health Insurance Industry, "Ruined the System"

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