The further to the left or the right you move, the more your lens on life distorts.

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Give Me a Break

ABC’s Jon Stossel is among the growing number of mainstream media types who have begun to question the irresponsible legislation that is increasingly referred to as “Obamacare.” Stossel writes:
It's crazy for a group of mere mortals to try to design 15 percent of the U.S. economy. It's even crazier to do it by August.

Yet that is what some members of Congress presume to do. They intend, as the New York Times puts it, "to reinvent the nation's health care system".

Let that sink in. A handful of people who probably never even ran a small business actually think they can reinvent the health care system.

Politicians and bureaucrats clearly have no idea how complicated markets are. Every day people make countless tradeoffs, in all areas of life, based on subjective value judgments and personal information as they delicately balance their interests, needs and wants. Who is in a better position than they to tailor those choices to best serve their purposes? Yet the politicians believe they can plan the medical market the way you plan a birthday party.

Leave aside how much power the state would have to exercise over us to run the medical system. Suffice it say that if government attempts to control our total medical spending, sooner or later, it will have to control us.

Also leave aside the inevitable huge cost of any such program. The administration estimates $1.5 trillion over 10 years with no increase in the deficit. But no one should take that seriously. When it comes to projecting future costs, these guys may as well be reading chicken entrails. In 1965, hospitalization coverage under Medicare was projected to cost $9 billion by 1990. The actual price tag was $66 billion.

The sober Congressional Budget Office debunked the reformers' cost projections. Trust us, Obama says. "At the end of the day, we'll have significant cost controls," presidential adviser David Axelrod said.
Give me a break.

Every politician at the federal level has a very large ego. It goes with the territory. And most suffer from so much hubris that they begin to believe their own bullshit. (excuse the language, but its appropriate in this context).

They tell us "If you like your current health-care plan, you can keep it" even though any government sanctioned health care option will slowly invade the private medical insurance landscape like crabgrass, forcing private options to wither and die.

They argue that their legislation will lead to “savings” even though the non-partisan Congressional Budget Office clearly states that no “savings” will be achieved under the current legislation.

They believe that they can run 15 percent of the economy even though the vast majority of legislators and our President have never run a business of any kind, never met a payroll, and never balanced a budget.

They tell us that 47 million people go without health insurance, even though no one can substantiate the number or put it into context (e.g., as many as 10 million are illegal aliens). They fail to mention that (doing the math with their inflated numbers) 84 percent of Americans are insured and have immediate access the world-class medical care.

And then, our President tells us that the current problems facing American business, job creation, and the economy in general are somehow tied to health care. To quote a commenter named "Cowboy" at The Belmont Club,
This is absurd. Our financial panic never had anything to do with health care, but rather the ticking time bomb of securitized mortages and various similar financial instruments which spread risk wantonly all over our financial sector. Doctors and Big Pharma didn’t cause this pain.

Would targeted reforms of health care be a good idea? Of course, but a total restructuring of the system is … well, it’s through-the-looking-glass crazy. But then again, what more can we expect when the designers’ strongest attributes are ego and hubris.