A few quick things that continue to annoy me

Yeah, it’s Friday and I’m surly. But I’ve spent a week getting harassed, and I’m sorta done. So here are a few statements that are at the top of my list:

1) “Why should I have to pay for someone else’s healthcare?” – Seriously, this one baffles me. All insurance is paying for someone else’s health care. Either your health care is being paid for by someone else, or you are paying for someone else’s care. Insurance is just transferring money to those who need it (the sick) from those who don’t (the healthy).

2) “I shouldn’t have to cover someone else’s bills if they do [INSERT SOME ACTIVITY HERE].” – The problem I have with this one is that it sounds great, but it’s absolutely, positively impossible to implement. First, no one can agree on what [INSERT SOME ACTIVITY HERE] is. For some, it’s smoking. For others, it’s riding on a motorcycle. For others, it’s eating too much. For others, it’s having a vagina.  Regardless, if everyone got to design their ideal plan, they’d all be in risk pools by themselves.

Moreover, how would you monitor this? Would you submit to observation to make sure you never did anything unhealthy? Would you really allow a company to do that to you? Would you allow the government? I think not. Until you can describe to me how your system of not paying for people who do [INSERT SOME ACTIVITY HERE], then please stop telling me this.

3) “Just because you love Obama, you refuse to acknowledge that it’s a failure!” – So many things wrong here. First of all, I support an outcome, not a law (or a politician). Given a choice between two options, policy wise, I will choose one. I think the ACA is better than the status quo ante. But I don’t think it’s perfect, and I have said so many, many times here. There are lots of things I don’t like about it.

I also have said – clearly – that the rollout last month was a disaster. But I don’t think that means the whole thing is a mistake or that it’s doomed to fail. Pointing out a problem is not equal to saying an idea was totally wrong. Remember, Medicaid did not achieve full adoption until the mid 1980’s, but today it’s so American-as-apple-pie that threatening to take it away was ruled coercive by the Supreme Court. So chill. These things take a while to settle out.

Moreover, I still maintain that wonks who support ACA-like reform are way, way, way more willing to point out its failures than those who oppose it are willing to point out its successes. It’s not balanced.

I reserve the right to add more to this list later.


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