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Reblogged: "Incremental" Strategy Alive and Well

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Over at Commentary Magazine is an article by Tevi Troy on the rough year facing the Affordable Care Act (ACA, aka ObamaCare) in 2015. The article is valuable as an analysis of "the possible" the old saw on politics as an art tells us about. The good news, up to a point is that the law is very unpopular, faces serious legal challenges, and has become a public relations albatross for its supporters.

Unfortunately, I see cause for concern in how these problems will likely shake out in the short haul:

It is possible that none of these changes will get signed into law by President Obama. He has the veto pen, and both the House and Senate lack the two-thirds majorities necessary to override him. But the fact that these matters, and others like them, will be on the legislative agenda will keep ObamaCare on the defensive. President Obama can engage in a holding action to protect the ACA from legislative changes over the next two years. But he cannot hold off changes forever, and it is a near certainty that the next president, from whichever party, will be far more open to significant alterations.

The problem lies with the kind of tinkering we are likely to see should a Republican vote to repeal the ACA be vetoed. Success at any pecemeal changes could, through masking, delaying, or appearing to solve some of the more obvious problems with the ACA, end up mollifying enough people long enogh to "fix" the ACA, saving it from oblivion. This would be ironic since part of the rationale for the ACA has been to "fix" other problems caused by government meddling (but blamed on capitalism). It would also leave a fundamental problem, that controls breed controls, unaddressed, practically guaranteeing that any lessening of government control would be obviated sooner or later by even more central planning.

Unless those who favor freedom on principle remain vigilant to this threat, the "incremental strategy" for realizing socialized medicine will remain alive and well. This is a big part of why, as Paul Hsieh recently wrote, "The New Congress Should Propose Free-Market Health Care Reforms".

-- CAV

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The entire health care debate can be boiled down to this: either we let somebody who hasn't the money or insurance die at the steps of a hospital or we don't. Insofar as we don't, then the most efficient system of socialized medicine makes sense.

 

I don't think writers like Paul Hsieh fully understand (or choose to illuminate) the implications or their premises--while they debate those who do both. This leads, I am sure, to much frustration on either side of the debate...

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The entire health care debate can be boiled down to this: either we let somebody who hasn't the money or insurance die at the steps of a hospital or we don't. Insofar as we don't, then the most efficient system of socialized medicine makes sense.

 

Were people dying at hospital steps? I am unaware of anyone who died at any hospital steps because they didn't have health insurance. The logic of this red herring applies to socialized food and socialized housing. People are dying because they don't have housing or food. We have to socialize food and housing NOW!!! Lol!!!!!!

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Were people dying at hospital steps? I am unaware of anyone who died at any hospital steps because they didn't have health insurance. The logic of this red herring applies to socialized food and socialized housing. People are dying because they don't have housing or food. We have to socialize food and housing NOW!!! Lol!!!!!!

 

Yep, they haven't in the USA for at least half century. We have socialized medicine here in the USA (I use that term broadly).

 

If we want to abolish it, we need to come to terms with what it really means and stop sugar-coating it, and stop evading it.

 

If you don't have money (directly or indirectly) you don't get free heath care. Period. Any other system is "socialized medicine" in one form or another.

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Homeless man dies on New Year’s Day in Pontiac: ‘This was avoidable’

Roquemore often stayed in years past at the HOPE Hospitality and Warming Center on Baldwin Avenue and at the QTMC Centerstage banquet hall and charity on Perry Street.

“There aren’t enough shelters for homeless people in this city,” said Dave Coleman, president of Centerstage, who helped the homeless at his facility for 18 years until April 2014, when it was shut down by the city due to ordinance and code issues.

 

How timely.

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Homeless man dies on New Year’s Day in Pontiac: ‘This was avoidable’

Roquemore often stayed in years past at the HOPE Hospitality and Warming Center on Baldwin Avenue and at the QTMC Centerstage banquet hall and charity on Perry Street.

“There aren’t enough shelters for homeless people in this city,” said Dave Coleman, president of Centerstage, who helped the homeless at his facility for 18 years until April 2014, when it was shut down by the city due to ordinance and code issues.

 

How timely.

 

I guess that's a good point (if this was the point you were making): that people seem to be okay with relegating homeless people to their deaths? I guess if they can be made to live with this, they can be made to turn away the dying from a hospital. We'll see.

 

Regardless, as an EpistemologistTM, I cannot stand articles like the above and the ones that it links to: it perpetuates a lie, an evasion. In doing so, it links liberty to unreason and corruption, not reality and reason.

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To which article do you refer?

It seems to me that shelters, socialized or not, will bar their doors to the homeless when at capacity. The poor guy had alcohol issues and apparently lost access to housing after someone secured it for him. This isn't a free-market/socialized care issue, this is a personal health/growth issue. Some people aren't going to make it in any system. Whether this particular guy's problem was due to early childhood experience, a genetic predisposition, or something else I don't know. But sooner or later the doors to any shelter will close, even when they aren't being shut down "due to ordinance and code violations." It's a resource problem that socialism is just as susceptible to, if not more so.

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To which article do you refer?

It seems to me that shelters, socialized or not, will bar their doors to the homeless when at capacity. The poor guy had alcohol issues and apparently lost access to housing after someone secured it for him. This isn't a free-market/socialized care issue, this is a personal health/growth issue. Some people aren't going to make it in any system. Whether this particular guy's problem was due to early childhood experience, a genetic predisposition, or something else I don't know. But sooner or later the doors to any shelter will close, even when they aren't being shut down "due to ordinance and code violations." It's a resource problem that socialism is just as susceptible to, if not more so.

 

The blog posting links to an article which links to various articles talking about the evils of Obamacare, all the while (overtly) accepting the premises behind Obamacare (which is to say, you are your brother's keeper).

 

In other words, these Fox Newsers need to come right out and say, "yes, if you don't have money and/or you don't have insurance, then too bad, you get no care and you will be left to die".

 

Oh, and saying, "our caring society will always take care of you" breaks the entire system because people will inevitably rely on this "kindness" as a matter of fact. Freeloaders need to be told to pound sand, or they will freeload. That's indisputable human nature.

 

Of course they cannot come out and say this because it would sound funny (and surely many who do say don't understand the implications of their own premises), so their work-around is to launch a war on reason and reality, and/or they are unwittingly, be caught up in said war.

 

I wasn't really following the above thread about homeless shelters...

Edited by CrowEpistemologist
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To the Pontiac area credit, the calls are out to the churches in the community to open their doors. By including how "unavoidable" this event was in the headline underscores the we have to do something mentality which a politician is usually the volunteer to get up on the soapbox, often converting a personal health/growth issue into a pseudo free market/social issue.

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In other words, these Fox Newsers need to come right out and say, "yes, if you don't have money and/or you don't have insurance, then too bad, you get no care and you will be left to die".

 

As long as we're having them to commit to something that won't happen, why don't we have them get rid of the false alternative entirely and combine benevolence with the non-initiation of force?

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As long as we're having them to commit to something that won't happen, why don't we have them get rid of the false alternative entirely and combine benevolence with the non-initiation of force?

 

Why wouldn't it happen? Magic?

 

(By the way, this is what I meant above when I said, "evasion").

Edited by CrowEpistemologist
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So what's the message?  How do you tell the world to stop wanting socialism?  Men hate pain and misery and they will sell their souls for security.  So what's the solution?   Give up?   Let the world have what it wants (at our expense I might add)?  

 

I am seriously frustrated and so is everyone that wants a free country.  What can we do?

 

Crow makes a valid point though.  I can see it.  Men will die in a free country and some will die tragically and painfully.  It happens.  Do we just need to get over it or what?  

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Crow, I don't know what you're referring to when you wrote "evasion" in your last post. You're going to need to spend a little bit more effort explaining your position if you want me to understand. Are you saying that benevolence can't be combined with the non-initiation of force? That believing as much is an evasion?

 

Edited by FeatherFall
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So what's the message?  How do you tell the world to stop wanting socialism?  Men hate pain and misery and they will sell their souls for security.  So what's the solution?   Give up?   Let the world have what it wants (at our expense I might add)?  

 

I am seriously frustrated and so is everyone that wants a free country.  What can we do?

 

Crow makes a valid point though.  I can see it.  Men will die in a free country and some will die tragically and painfully.  It happens.  Do we just need to get over it or what?  

 

I don't know what the solution is, but the first step is clearly stating the problem...

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Crow, I don't know what you're referring to when you wrote "evasion" in your last post. You're going to need to spend a little bit more effort explaining your position if you want me to understand. Are you saying that benevolence can't be combined with the non-initiation of force? That believing as much is an evasion?

 

 

I'm saying that in a free country, shit happens. Cruel things happen. There are bad outcomes--and even potentially a lot of them. Ayn Rand didn't advocate a "perfectly safe" world, she advocated a just world where everybody gets what they deserve--and she went to lengths to show that some don't deserve anything at all.

 

I know that people--lots of people--will attempt to game any system presented to them. If there is "benevolence" in society that allows people to get stuff for free, then lots of people are going to try to get that. Whether the source of the free stuff is compelled taxes or non-compelled charity is irrelevant in this context. Insofar as charity is systematic, then we are... right back to where we started with socialism. The only logical solution is to not have benevolence in any systemic way, and at lots of cases must be made an example of e.g. people need to die on the steps of hospitals in order for the looters to see what happens when they don't work to sustain their own lives.

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While the moral premise of private charity can come from the same premise that justifies socialism, the crucial element of force is still important enough to draw a meaningful distinction. Not to mention the fact that private charity can come from a different premise. You can see that premise at play when some charities vet their beneficiaries. Systematic benevolence actually sounds pretty great when we keep in mind the idea that duty-based "benevolence" is really not benevolence at all.

Edited by FeatherFall
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I wasn't talking about where charity came from, I was talking about its net aggregate effects.

 

If lots of people are nice, and give people free health care when they need it, then nobody has any physical reason to buy health insurance. That effect, in the context of socialized care, is what Obamacare (and its predecessors) tried to address: that millions of people don't buy any sort of insurance because they know they will always be taken care of regardless.

 

If the solution is some sort of different future world where people consistently (nay, perfectly) have a strong moral compass, we can debate how to get there, but the present-day world has lots of assholes in it, and they ruin it for everybody.

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