Saturday, June 24, 2017

Affordable Care Fairy Dust

By Daniel McLaughlin, 6/22/17

I just got notice that the cost of our health insurance is going up almost fourteen percent for the year. To give some perspective, if you accept the official figures, the consumer inflation rate is 1.9%. The increase in premium is more than seven times the overall rate of consumer price increases. About the same time, I read that New York governor, Andrew Cuomo, will unilaterally implement measures to subject New Yorkers to the Affordable Care Act (ACA) provisions even if Congress repeals and replaces it. He is only one of many who whole-heartedly embrace the tragedy of Obamacare.

The House of Representatives with a Republican majority have come up with one version of a replacement, while the Senate Republicans work on their own. Critics of the measures are correct in that a Republican bill will not be an adequate replacement, but most of them get it wrong as to why that is.

The underlying problem is that the Republicans buy into the same basic fallacy as the Democrats in designing Obamacare,  that government central planners can correct what they believe are market failures. They believe that Washington bureaucrats can design one system that works for hundreds of millions of people spread out over millions of square miles of wildly dissimilar geography, those in tiny, isolated back-woods mountain villages as well as residents in mega-metropolitan centers, with different objectives, priorities, desires, capacities, and resources. It is the same brazen arrogance of all central planners throughout history.

By accepting the premises that everyone has a right, not only to health care, but to the cutting edge best of everything, that government is made of wise administrators who have only the best interests of people in mind, and that the market is broken and needs politicians to fix it, they have become active participants in the Marxist dialectic. Rather than oppose it, they move the window of acceptable thought closer to socialist ideals.

It is no doubt that many people have compassionate motives when they promote progressive/socialist principles. They sound so darned good: from each according to his ability, to each according to his need. Utopia is so wonderful. Utopia, however, is a dreamland with no relation to reality. In contrast, market-based societies succeed in raising the standard of living consistently, simply because they allow people to work within reality, based on their own needs, goals and desires. They let people gain by their own efforts, but hold them accountable for the effects of their decisions. The incentives encourage productivity and increased individual prosperity.

Life does, however, seem so unfair. Some people have personal tragedies of various types, others keep getting knocked down by circumstances, while still others seem to prosper, having everything go right in spite of what they do. There really is nothing unfair about it, however, as long as individual rights to life, liberty, and property are respected. What is actually unfair and counterproductive is imposing one view of fairness on everyone through political force.

As we are witnessing, the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act is doing a miserable job at protecting citizens and making healthcare affordable. The lamentable truth is that, though many opposed it based purely on partisan politics, many recognized that it would fail, even before it was implemented, simply because it is based on lies, the socialist lies that everyone deserves everything at the expense of others and that government can fix all problems.

Republicans will have a hard time in the future if they continue to embrace progressive ideals and refuse to differentiate themselves from the Democrats. They will inflict the same failures and even more misery, because effects arise from causes, not from political fairy dust.

Originally published on

No comments: