Serious arguments are welcomed here, not political jabs

An anonymous commenter recently took umbrage over one of my posts regarding the numerous legal and policy defects in Obamacare, posting what I called an obtuse comment to the effect that the only reason for the opposition to that law was that Republicans and conservatives are just unremittingly hostile to the president.

I replied that the observation was obtuse because I’m not a conservative, couldn’t care less about Republicans (most of them, anyway) and oppose Obamacare for the same reasons I oppose increasing statism no matter who pushes it.

My rejoinder has drawn a reply from that same individual. I post it here:


I won’t make a case for England or socialized medicine because the ACA is not socialized medicine. It’s nowhere close. Furthermore, if you ask anyone in England which system they would prefer–the one the US has now or the one England currently has, I would venture to say 95 percent of the English would say let’s keep our socialized care.

Do you think otherwise?

Yes. The legislation sets in motion incentives that will turn the country into a “single-payer” system, but well before that happens, people will suffer from declining quality and availability of care. Read Dr. David Gratzer’s book  The Cure to see how bad the system is in Canada for those who can’t afford to obtain needed treatment in the U.S. 

As far as my obtuse comment, I would say this: How else would you explain the massive amount of fear mongering and mudslinging and misinformation? From the pejorative “Obamacare” to death panels and “authoritarianism” conservatives have been out to tear down not only health care reform, but Obama in general. Never mind that Republicans INVENTED the mandate, that it is a free market based solution, that Obama purposefully offered mandates as a means to get the GOP on board, knowing of course that it would be impossible for the GOP to disdain an idea that they created and used.

Politics is full of fear-mongering and mudslinging, but nothing I have posted about either the unconstitutionality of this legislation or its adverse effects on the quality and affordability of medical care is either. It is my view that this legislation is blatantly unconstitutional, and I’d gladly argue the point with anyone. It’s also my view that the legislation is a disastrous policy mistake, plunging the nation further into a politicized medical care system, when the very problems with the status quo are rooted in previous political intervention — a case that Sheldon Richman recently made in an article I posted. If there is an argument to be made that the great increase in government domination of the market for medical care actually will make for better and more affordable care for Americans (not just nice intentions, but probable results), I would be glad to debate that, too.

The only explanation is the GOP wanted to make this Obama’s Waterloo, facts be damned.

Again, I have no interest in what the GOP wants. I want to see all legislation that undermines our constitutional framework defeated, no matter what party is behind it. I want to see all legislation that increases the federal government’s power to dictate to free people what they must and must not do defeated. I want to see all legislation that takes more money away from the individuals who earned it so that politicians can squander it on their vote-buying schemes defeated.

Serious legal and policy arguments will be debated here if and when they are made.



Reader Comments

  • Pops

    This blog is fraught with political jabs. Calling me out hardly seems fair.

    That said, I will stick to policy and legal issues.

    The issue centers on whether the fed government can force someone to buy something.

    The marketplace for healthcare, whether Scalia or anyone else wants to admit is so unique that a pure free market approach is impossible. It will inevitably mean that some will win, and some will lose. It is the nature of capitalism, agree? When there are losers in a health care system, it means undue suffering and we as a civil society will not allow that. That is why we have laws in place that REQUIRE hospital emergency rooms to never, ever under any condition, turn someone down.

    WIth that fact established, we can assume that the market for baseline health care coverage is actually an illusion. Everyone has it whether they purchase it or not. In the great broccoli analogy, that would mean that anyone who ever wanted broccoli but didn’t have the money to buy it, would automatically, by law, be allowed to have their broccoli. It doesn’t work that way in the broccoli market; it does in the health care market.

    The markets are inherently different.

    All the mandate seeks to do is to spread the cost around. Those whose liberty is currently being trampled on by having to pay for other’s lack of health care, would be allowed keep some of that money and those who want the free ride would have to pay.

  • George Leef

    This blog has loads of political arguments, but I have hardly ever seen one that takes a “my party is good and your party is bad” approach. Most of the posters here are just as disdainful of Republicans who promote destructive policies as they are of Democrats when they do.

    For reasons I have explained here — see my post on March 27 — the legislation is unconstitutional whether one thinks it a good idea or not. It’s not just the mandated purchase of federally-approved health insurance, the uncontrolled bureaucracy of IPAB, and the commandeering of the states. Under the Tenth Amendment, the federal government has no authority at all with regard to health and medical care. Regarding the argument that the status quo permits free riders, as Roy Cordato observed yesterday, that’s a strange concern coming from leftists who are often eager to socialize costs, forcing some citizens to pay for things they don’t want or use. But if we took that concern seriously, we would get much further by un-doing existing government controls than by increasing them.

    And even if Obamacare (PPACA if you prefer) did solve the free rider problem, which it won’t, it has all sorts of other serious unintended consequences, like exacerbating the looming shortage of doctors.

  • Mitch Kokai


    I wouldn’t waste much more time on Pops. His brief — but busy — tenure as a commenter on this site has shown him to be singularly interested in propagating Democratic Party and/or progressive talking points.

    He has avoided the profanity and juvenile name-calling that characterizes some other left-of-center partisans, so he’s given us no good reason to stifle his expression.

    And to the extent that his continual trolling of our site drives up Web traffic, we thank him.

    But to expect to have an honest debate with a partisan of his type is to expect more than is likely to occur.