Monday, August 10, 2009

Healthcare "reform" means less freedom

There's a great article in the July 24th edition of Fortune ("5 freedoms you'd lose in health care reform") that discusses in fairly straightforward fashion why healthcare reform, as currently proposed by both the House and Senate, will add up to a significant encroachment on individual liberty. Here's my summary of the article, but you should read the whole thing.

No freedom of choice. Since Congress wants to force everyone to have health insurance, the government must define the minimum type of policy you have to buy. And the minimum level of coverage is almost certainly going to be much more than a bare-bones, high deductible type of policy you can get today. You will inevitably be forced to buy the type of policy mandated by the government. Also, you will not be able to choose your doctor once you inevitably end up getting your insurance from the government-approved "exchange." "You're assigned a primary care doctor, and the doctor controls your access to specialists. The primary care physicians will decide which services, like MRIs and other diagnostic scans, are best for you, and will decide when you really need to see a cardiologist or orthopedist." Even worse, you will have no freedom to choose not to have insurance, since if you decide to be uninsured you will have to pay a substantial fine.

No freedom to benefit from healthy choices. Since Congress ultimately wants everyone to pay the same rate, the young and those who live a healthy lifestyle will subsidize the old, the infirm, the obese, and the sedentary among us.

No freedom to keep your existing plan. There are all sorts of ways that you could lose your existing plan. If you change jobs, or if your employer decides to not offer insurance or to change the type of coverage they offer, among other things, you would be forced into a government plan.

One very important thing to remember, above all, is this: the more things that the government controls or provides us, the more government encroaches upon our liberty; more power for government always means less freedom for the individual.


randy said...

These bills are awful and should be buried. On top of that, in our current fiscal condition, we shouldn't be considering anything that makes it worse. Bad plans and bad timing shouldn't be evidence that all universal care ideas are universally stupid though. For example, the horror stories painted about Canada might be misleading:

Scott Grannis said...

Caveat: NPR is not an unbiased source of news. I've heard plenty of bad things about Canadian healthcare. And in any event, you simply can't have a mandatory universal healthcare system without rationing, and without restricting people's freedoms. There is no free lunch, especially when the government is running the program.

Dead Cat Bounce said...

I've spent much of the day educating myself on all that is going on in this proposed reform and alternatives. I'd like to recant my support for any mandated purchase from your previous blog, but just clarify that I've always opposed a single-payer option. I appreciate your calling my attention closer to these issues, and why you've chosen to phrase the debate in term of freedom (though I'm not enamored with the article). I must admit in my willingness to be open-minded regarding reform, which I think we can all agree is needed (albeit in very different ways), I've been distracted from what are the real and redressable issues in healthcare.

Government mandates and autonomy is absolutely not the way to go. That this type of power-grab can be packaged in such a emotional and absolute terms is appalling.

There is no telling how much we could save by doing away with state monopolies (allowing interstate insurance competition), instituting tort reform and penalties for frivolous lawsuits, instituting tax incentives and reforming government entitlements. I'm for more preventative medicine and education, but I'm not sure we have to have a net increase in costs/taxes to accomplish this. Have heard all kinds of stats on this. But the fact that they don't want to do this gradually but want to essentially socialize is very telling but not surprising.

The breadth of the bill is shocking. Access to bank accounts? Government agencies decide what is covered (increased lobbying and corruption)? Not treating the tax as a tax? I found this site informational:

CDLIC said...


In my opinion, the following is an excellent article that gets to the real bottom line regarding the direction the USA is headed. The title of the article is 'Obama: A Modern Day Plebeian Tyrannical Politician'. The parallel between the decline of Rome due to plebian tyrannical politicians and the same now taking place in the USA is stunning, and the more that Americans become dependent on the massive handouts the more likely we will go the way of Rome as clearly reviewed in the article.

Scott Grannis said...

Dead Cat: All of your former transgressions are forgiven. As penance, all you have to do is to spread the word exactly as you have expressed it here.

Scott Grannis said...

CDLIC: I think you are being too pessimistic. Aren't you encouraged by the eruption of Town Hall fiascos? By the ongoing decline in Obama's popularity? By the sidelining of cap and trade and healthcare reform? Obama has taken some very serious hits, and this is fantastic news for the country. What makes today different from ancient Rome is the internet, and its ability to spread the truth at lightspeed.

CDLIC said...


Actually, I am a very optimistic person--have to be since I agree with almost everything you write.

And yes, in the short run I am encouraged by the Town Hall meetings; by the declining popularity of Obama and Congress; by the exposure of the truth regarding cap and trade and healthcare reform; by the beating Obama has taken recently in the polls, and how the news in the short run is good for the country; and yes, the Internet with its light speed technology does act as somewhat of a brake on the forward momentum of those plundering via government approval--but remember, the Internet also can be used by the government to enslave its citizens (we see a recent attempt by the Obama administration to do just this).

I ask you do you believe those living in Roman times were any different from those living today when it comes to human action (human nature) regarding getting something for nothing at the expense of the producer? If you do not, then the principles that governed and eventually caused the decline of the Roman Empire are the same basic principles that will lead to the decline of America, i.e., principles allowing the non-producers to receive the wealth of the producers via the actions of the politicians.

ALL great civilizations slowly collapse when the parasite--government--eventually kills the host--producers--via the distribution of the wealth taken from the producers and given to the non-producers through such bailouts, cash-for-clunkers, welfare, foreign aid, universal healthcare, wars, etc. It happened to Rome; it in England (a mere shadow of its greatness), and is now happening to the USA and an ever increasing pace.

I am still holding out hope that the parasite does not destroy the host too quickly; however, when the government--parasite--has BOTH the mandate to protect its citizens but also has the power to make laws, laws the parasite will inevitably pass to keep itself in "business" and its non-producers in support. Therefore, I am very pessimistic that the current form of government can in any way prevent the eventual collapse of our civilization.

The only bright spot I see in the long term is the excellent work by Dennis Riness (www.civilizaitonengineering), work which clearly identifies how to build the world's first stable, durable civilization and put a stop to the ever accelerating attack on the producer.

Hopefully, his exact identification of the intellectual confusion that has led to the collapsed over the last 3500 years of every past and current civilization will be acted upon before the parasite kills the host.

REMEMBER THIS MOST IMPROTANT PRINCIPLE: The parasite never willingly leaves the host.

It is time to realize the Titanic is sinking due to the “sucking” of the host, thus, an alternative must be build before the looming iceberg created by the current system delivers all to the freezing waters below.

CDLIC said...


I forgot to add the following quote to the end of my last post:

"You cannot legislate the poor into freedom by legislating the wealthy out of freedom.. What one person receives without working for, another person must work for without receiving.. The government cannot give to anybody anything that the government does not first take from somebody else. When half of the people get the idea that they do not have to work because the other half is going to take care of them, and when the other half gets the idea that it does no good to work because somebody else is going to get what they work for, that my dear friend, is about the end of any nation. You cannot multiply wealth by dividing it."
~~~~ Dr. Adrian Rogers, 1931

Unknown said...

CDLC: I think that's a GREAT quote.

Scott Grannis said...

Indeed, that is a quote that bears repeating often.

Unknown said...

Obama just shot himself in the foot.

This is worth spreading

CDLIC said...


Wow! You are absolutely correct: "He shot himself in the foot" and he may not recover once the general public clearly understands what he really said.

Thanks for posting this. I am sending it to my entire mailing list.

Dead Cat Bounce said...

Ironic that in one breath Obama can argue that the Post Office is less competitive than the private parcel services [due to its inefficiencies and inability to adjust to market demand] and in the next argue that a gov't option won't involve subsidies to be competitive. I must have missed the analogy, unless of course it is completely disingenuous (if I am to credit him with any intelligence). The PO "borrows" billions from the gov't every year now and won't be profitable for the foreseeable future, isn't this the type of unsustainable model that taxpayers want to avoid, even ignoring the principle issues of the quality and freedom of such an "option?"

Here is something that made me sick. The PO has been buying $1M+ homes for employees to relocate. Just another example of gov't corruption that very few people are aware of in the opaque governmental world of self-regulation. Not only is this unjustified from a cost-value perspective, it should be illegal misappropriation of tax dollars. When Clinton created subprime and turned Fannie and Freddie into unregulated and undisciplined taxpayer funded hedge funds, gov't employees made out like thieves at the taxpayers expense. Why are we not going after these funds or at least shaming the individuals responsible? When will the average gov't expansionist learn that these people do not work for us, they work for themselves? Should I not expect these same abuses to happen when gov't agencies are granted the power to decide what types of things are covered in the gov't option plan and which providers will receive funds? Again this doesn't even touch on the inherent fallacies and complications of the plan.

Here is the PO link: