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Was Ayn Rand too much of an optimist?

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In respect of this, I didn't elect to illustrate my point above by walking through the US health care supply cycle step by step. Do let me know if you want me to though.

If you think you have an inside that may be relevant - please. However, I am personally not defending current US health care system.

I am disagreeing with your solution to the problem.

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...I am personally not defending current US health care system.

I am disagreeing with your solution to the problem.

Here, here! I'm also a Canadian, and I work in innovation, and don't even get me started on the deadly consquences of a collectivised, unaccountable, retrograde medical system. But I dropped in to suggest that Ely read Peikoff's side to this issue. Peikoff is especially good at communicating issues that he cares deeply about such as epistemology and healthcare. The latter comes from Peikoff being raised in Canada, and having a father who was a doctor.

Please read Health Care Is Not A Right.

http://afcm.org/hcinar.html

stay focused,

<Φ>aj

Edited by aristotlejones
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In case you don't think that Canadian experience reflects US context - Are you aware of the consequences of universal coverage programs in Massachusetts and Tennessee? Listen to

for example.

BTW, I also highly recommend this source FIRM for more information on this topic.

Edited by ~Sophia~
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For my next act, I have a gut feeling I need to explain how the US healthcare system works.
Despite your job, you seem to have a very shallow understanding of it. Basically, you're accepting certain core parts as if they are metaphysical rather than man-made.

Your health-care/medicine parsing demonstrates the concreteness of your approach. Instead of stepping even closer to the subject, you need to step away and look at all sorts of government programs and how they can never bring costs in general and in principle. Consider the thousands of examples across history.

Most of the time, you're simply expounding on some wishes, without providing reasons and moral justification. It's simply about what you want... any reason we'd be interested in your whims?

You need to pick yup a few books about how the free-market works. A few simple books on economics. Then, you ought to be able to apply those principles to economics.

Edited by softwareNerd
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Let's define everything!

"Opt out" to me means you can choose to not go with the government program, and can elect to pursue whatever other insurance methods you want. The government program covers only those who did not opt out, and is funded only by those who do not opt out. You are essentially choosing to buy a government bond or not, only your annuities throughout are in the form of healthcare.

Of course this is all in "Ely's Fantasy America" where I get exactly what I want. I also want a unicorn but I probably won't get that in real life America either.

No it's not a fantasy America. You can have a program funded by willing participants, from which people can opt out, right now. All you have to do is start it, and convince people to buy into it. You can run it exactly as you imagined it.

The only reason why you would need this program of yours to be a government program is because you need force to make it happen, and the government is the only one who can get it for you. No one in their right mind would voluntarily join a venture run by you, because you (or Barack Obama, for that matter) are not qualified to run such a program. No one would trust you with their money, that's why you need to take it by force.

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You also need to understand that many of the aspects of insurance and the insurance companies that you dislike so intensely are the way they are due to government regulation and market intervention. If you are going to go around bashing an industry, find out the true cause of the problem first.

http://www.theobjectivestandard.com/issues...health-care.asp

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The only reason why you would need this program of yours to be a government program is because you need force to make it happen, and the government is the only one who can get it for you. No one in their right mind would voluntarily join a venture run by you, because you (or Barack Obama, for that matter) are not qualified to run such a program. No one would trust you with their money, that's why you need to take it by force.

Jake is dead on here Elysium.

The only point of having the govt do it is force.

What you aren't admitting to yourself is that while you think you want it voluntary now deep down you know it won't work. You know that the nature of "risk pooling" means that the people on the govt program will be people who can't get or can't afford insurance elsewhere.

The only reason for a voluntary govt option would be that the govt is the only entity that can use force. So when the system you desire begins to collapse with its voluntary membership the govt can start herding all us free market rats on to your sinking ship..so to speak.

Take myself for instance.

I engage in very few risk behaviors. I am self employed and fiscally responsible.

I am childless and will remain so my whole life.

Someone like myself has no interest in risk pooling with people with multiple ex spouses, multiple children, the sexually promiscuous, drug users, the morbidly obese or the elderly. The whole point of universal health care- as admitted by the govt officials who advocate it is forcing the young and healthy and the childless to carry part of the burden for the sick, the elderly and people with children.

It is simply another redistribution scheme.

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To me, insurance = healthcare = being healthy = life.

I submit you have not truly focused your thoughts on this issue. Your positions defy some of the more basic, observable adherences to reality. You are speaking in unconnected abstractions that contradict each other in multiple ways.

Insurance = healthcare?!? Why or how could anyone accept that? Ask yourself why you must go this far in evading even the simplest meanings of words and definitions. You're trying to alter reality to fit into a contradictory conclusion. (Specifically, your belief that we have individual rights, but that they are not absolute enough to apply to decisions about purchasing insurance products.)

The above quote I selected may be the most fundamental of your flawed premises, I cannot be certain of that, but it is a clear illustration of how nothing logical can come from this first error.

Insurance is not healthcare. 1.) You can get healthcare without having bought insurance. You simply pay or trade for the services. 2.) You can buy insurance that has nothing to do with healthcare. For example you can insure your jewelry against theft.

Instead of being long winded, I'll stop here. If you can see that insurance does not equal life, and that your right to your life does not mean a right to insurance, then perhaps you'll re-look at the logic of the rest of your positions on this issue.

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I think, Freestyle, that one of the basic problems here you have just hit on the head.

Many if not most Americans seem to believe that healthcare=insurance and insurance=healthcare.

Hence the huge argument over the whole pre-existing conditions issue.

"Why can't I get health insurance to take care of my cancer after I've already been diagnosed?"

Because insurance is something you buy in case something happens- not after it happens.

You don't get to buy life insurance after you're dead or house insurance after the house burned down.

Health care and health insurance are not the same thing but most people don't understand that.

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Health care and health insurance are not the same thing but most people don't understand that.

That's also related to people equivocating between not being able to afford something and not being allowed to buy it. The second would certainly violate someone's rights (in the sense of being forcefully prevented from buying a treatment, say by legislative fiat). I think the problem we have is that a lot of people seem to think that when you are not getting treatment because you can't pay for it, the person is denying you access to something you should have.

And that just comes down to the equivocation of rights to act with rights to effects such as healthcare. Ultimately this issue only exists because people are confused about the nature of rights and somehow believe that you have a right to be provided with health care whether you can afford to or not.

I just don't know why people are much more rational about this issue when it comes to, say, food or clothing. Not that many people openly advocated that we should provide everyone with as much food and clothing as they want. I think the main difference is that most emergency healthcare related situations seem so much more serious than the ways in which food or clothing or shelter impact your life. Not getting surgery can easily kill you instantly, but not eating for a day generally doesn't have that same impact.

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Not to mention how far this program must extend for it to be completely voluntary; government medical research; government produced medicine and medical supplies, government employed doctors, government built hospitals and facilities, etc. etc. etc.

Also, the government becomes competition for medical services in the "free" market.

Reason Magazine just posted a short article and a video titled:

Reason.tv: Would ObamaCare Kill Medical Innovation?

goto: http://reason.com/archives/2009/11/23/reas...-obamacare-kill

The video includes a discussion of the healthcare system system in Canada.

<Φ>aj

Edited by aristotlejones
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  • 2 weeks later...

The government could implement a nationwide back end insurance company directory/hospital subscription list where any insurance company could be put into the network of hospitals in all 50 states, even if they did not have offices in every state. This would bring more competition into the market and prices would inevitably drop.

Why is health care so expensive? The answer is pretty simple - inflation. It is no secret that the government is spending massive amounts of money that it is printing out of thin air. As long as this continues, prices will rapidly increase - especially in largely regulated industries such as health care. I look at the situation as a barter system of productivity. When we enable one man to leech off another, and force the most productive men to pay for the majority of the leeches, that principle is against everything this country was founded on. If you want to see more of what is to come, consider the massive government grant orgy participated in by college professors. The government selectively finances ridiculous projects like B.F. Skinner's utopian dreamland and what have you. The real question is is, should the government be allowed all of its responsibilities in spite of the clear principles stated in the Constitution and public opinion? Does the government have a right to still be in Iraq after no weapons were found...? Does the White House have a right to not disclose which insurance agents walk in its doors? Does the government have a right to bail out and purchase our largest corporations? All of these questions require the use of principles, of which Ayn Rand is fighting for.

I'm not going to beat you with a stick and tell you that massive inflation does not exist. The fact is that it does. But this does not mean that we surrender ground and let the government do more damage - create another type of HMO - etc. Though the gains in the short term may be nice, the extra taxes on top of the already 30%+ rate in the US is the last needed ammunition that white eyed/bushy tailed bureaucrats truly need. We have starved our producers enough in this country - and clearly common sense has failed on the policy of taxation and foreign policy, not to mention infringement on the rights of citizens (Patriot Act).

You may say, "I enjoy a hot cup of fear mongering as much as you, but we really need to do something here", and to that I say that you must integrate all of the government's actions and responsibilities and draw the line. Give them an inch, and they will take a foot, as it has been since the days of FDR. If you work in government, of course you want to expand the government, but what happens when everyone works for the government? Our producers already work 1/3 of their year for the government. And what kind of respect has the government given us in return? The thought of institutionalizing western medicine is almost a joke in itself, for it is inherently inefficient in the majority of matters in which it is most needed for its failure to integrate the functions of organ systems, instead looking to coin new diseases. The truly innovative doctors that actually treat patients do not work under government supervision like the men who you will be standing in line to see in the future. The military industrial complex has plenty of treatments which we have no idea about - and I am very nervous at the intellectual property in regards to the treatment techniques which may or may not be allowed to be practiced under a nationalized health care. You must realize that you are institutionalizing a system of ethics when you bring the government even further into medicine.

In Sweden for example a group of scientists performed some tests on addiction with spinal fluid and wanted to ship their results to the States because what they were doing was considered unethical under their current system. Ask yourself why people from around the world come to the US for care - and ask yourself why people used to come to the US for freedom and opportunity. Do not willfully blind yourself to the vested interest government has in blindly sabotaging progress.

Edited by MoralParadise
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I thought I... did? To me, insurance = healthcare = being healthy = life. Life is granted to us, we can all agree.

I'm not sure what you mean by "life is granted to us". Who granted your life to you? Biologically I guess you are referring to parents?

Other than that, no you didn't establish how healthcare is a right.

No, there is no "right" to health insurance. There is a right to pursue (to take action in furtherance of) the means necessary to secure healthcare. Rights pertain to actions, not to products or services at a particular price point arbitrarily deemed "affordable". A right to your life /=/ a right to "affordable" healthcare.

The government's only proper purpose is to protect your right to pursue your life. That only entails providing protection from force or fraud so that men do not have to constantly engage in violence to protect their own rights. That is the justification for the police, courts, military, etc. That is what allows for men to be able to trade voluntarily; to have a free market. The necessity of providing those services is not the same as providing healthcare, even voluntarily funded healthcare.

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