Laissez-faire Socialism

A study by Jonathan Gruber, an MIT professor, found that replacing the individual mandate in ObamaCare, as suggested by many opponents of the law, would significantly erode the coverage gains from the law and raise premiums for health care consumers. Representatives of the health insurance industry separately backed up Gruber’s conclusions, stating that alternatives proposed in Congress will be expensive and unsustainable.

Wasn’t that the purpose of ObamaCare? Originally, Obama and Pelosi’s Congress wanted to simply pass single-payer, outright socialized medicine. They called this the public “option.” When that became politically impossible, they decided to keep the hampered “market” in place and — regulate it to death. ObamaCare is socialized medicine by the back door. Although most Americans don’t yet support a free market in medicine, a majority never was sold on socialized medicine, either. Congress and the President simply decided to kill the market instead.

Gruber’s study claims that removing the mandate would significantly lower the ‘bang for the buck’ of health reform, reducing the number of covered persons by 50 percent to 75 percent while only lowering cost savings by 25 percent to 30 percent, far less than current law projections.

There is no such thing as “bang for the buck” in any government program. Government programs are “freebies” paid for with other people’s money. In the case of ObamaCare, what’s left of private health insurance is regulated to a point where those with private health insurance will, via increased premiums, pay for the free Medicare and Medicaid of growing numbers of Americans eligible for these programs. For liberals and socialists, it’s a win-win. While “private” insurance still exists, the premiums and payments can keep hospitals and doctors afloat, and perhaps even profitable. But once all or most of those private companies go bust, what then? Well, it’s still a win from the liberal point-of-view, because the federal government can now take over all of health care, as in Canada and Britain: Single-payer health insurance. At that point, taxes will presumably rise even more than they’re already going to rise to reduce the deficit, keep Medicare and Social Security afloat, and pay off the national debt. Liberals assume there’s an unlimited flow of capital to be created by the productive members of American society, even as productivity decreases and the economy stops growing. No matter; the money will come from somewhere, somehow. If only conservatives would get out of the way.

Gruber stated, ‘There is not an alternative to the mandate that would give us close to comparable results.’ Any alternative, he went on, would impose much higher costs on those buying insurance in the new health insurance exchanges because the healthiest would opt out, and the less healthy would confront increased premiums.

Exactly. Mandate or no mandate, the privately productive will pay for the politically protected. As in Britain and other European welfare states, the number of people clamoring to be politically protected by welfare state programs will grow. Who doesn’t want something for nothing?

Rep. Sheila Jackson-Lee, a strong proponent of ObamaCare and all things socialist, explained why the $750 fine contained in the health-care law for people failing to carry a government-approved health insurance policy is not in fact a penalty: ‘I would make the argument, one, that instead it is an incentive to do right — that it is not penalizing because penalty is punishment,’ Jackson-Lee told the House Judiciary Committee. ‘You’re not punished if you have health insurance, in fact. And so you are, in fact, incentivized to have health insurance, rather than take the negative which is to suggest that because we have a penalty you are being punished,’ Rep. Jackson-Lee said.

An incentive — at gunpoint? I don’t think so. An incentive is a motivation offered to do something you’re not otherwise required to do. “I’d love it if you’d cut my lawn. Can I tempt you with $50? Or a dinner at Ruth’s Chris?” These are incentives. “Cut my lawn or I’ll put you in jail” is not an incentive. Nor is “pay the fine or go to jail.” These people may be idiots, but they’re not stupid. They know what they’re saying and they know what they’re doing. They simply don’t care.

Don’t be lulled into security by a well-meaning but probably ineffective Republican House of Representatives. The redistributive welfare state in America is out of control. It’s so out of control that socialists are reduced to arguing, in effect, “Private sector and private capitalism: Get out of our way.” They want laissez-faire socialism.

If you ask me, the private sector — who pays for every single penny of government — should do just that. Get out of the socialists’ way. Leave them alone, set them free — and cut them off for good.