Comments on: Here’s why health insurance is not like broccoli Thu, 21 Jul 2016 07:57:19 +0000 hourly 1 By: Gracieee Fri, 25 Jan 2013 18:29:59 +0000 I’ve talked to a dental implant specialist told me that we should be given the choice of what to pick among the present health insurances cause we will be the one whose going to use it, right? Though I think the government only thinks that this will be the best way to provide equality when it comes to health benefits.

By: cathystanford Tue, 17 Apr 2012 18:46:29 +0000 Yes, broccoli is a provocative reduction, a way to belittle the importance of the individual mandate to buy health insurance. In fact, I would say that we are required by law to buy food, although we have our choice whether or not to choose that vegetable over another. If you do not buy food and your children suffer, that would be grounds for the state to charge you would neglect or even abuse. If you as an adult individual refused to buy any food for yourself, then you would likely get in trouble. You could go to a food pantry or a soup kitchen and get by on some days, but you could end up in jail (for stealing food) or you for disorderly conduct if you went to a restaurant and insisted on your right to eat without paying.

The individual mandate is the good old American value of taking individual responsibility for your life, contributing your fair share towards your own health care and realizing that you are part of a health care system. It is very much closer to the requirement to buy car insurance — and there has been some cost shifting there as well because we have an uninsured motorist cost on the car insurance bill.

The individual mandate was a conservative Republican idea to begin with in order to counter the Democrats’ idea of an employer mandate, so it is so obvious that Republicans and Tea Party folks are against it now only because Obama adopted this provision in the law that was passed under his watch as President! The individual mandate is part of RomneyCare in Massachusetts. One of the sickest things about this political season is to see Mitt Romney running against a national health care reform law that is modeled after one of his best achievements as Governor or Massachusetts!

By: paintcan Tue, 03 Apr 2012 17:14:50 +0000 People who advocate that an exclusively market driven economy is the wave of the future and the only road to the future seem to forget that there are few frontiers open to grass roots exploitation anymore. Unexploited resources are the unmentioned necessary ingredients to capitalist success.

The fault of capitalism is that is not interested in the total welfare of humanity. That is the dirty and unrewarding work that it always leaves to governments and it always resents it. That is very easy to understand. But the rich don’t necessarily have to worry about costs as much as the poor. Big business is not the marvel of cost efficiency they seem to claim they are. They are inclined to puff their success and to bury their embarrassing mistakes and they don’t advertise their hidden secrets and fudge factors. The market itself is obviously not as full of the well-informed and intelligent market analysts that it is claimed to be or all sorts of very dubious and even fraudulent products and services would never see their day in the sun. Mafiosi are always dedicated capitalists. Madoff and other fund wizards like he are illustrations of the get rich quick mentality of the market place. To be fair, the successful ones do not believe in “get rich quick”.

The most successful capitalists are not necessarily the risk takers as is often touted. An article in the New Yorker several years ago asserted (with good reasons) that the most successful capitalist don’t tend to be the vanguard of entrepreneurial bravery at all. They are those who have found as close to a sure thing and know how to milk it for all it’s worth. In the economies of the developed places, the most aggressive and well funded raise to the top. Intelligence does not necessarily mean that they somehow possess superior brains -it means that they have more reliable information, far more training and experience, better organization and more leeway to pick those most suitable to advance their interests. Access to and construction of that intelligence is their greatest tool. You don’t necessarily have to be “intelligent” or a person with a high IQ either. They are inclined to cling to their personal resources and try to discard those human resources they can’t use. Ruthlessness can work for a time too. They could in fact be just like those they are inclined to consider wastes of time, space and resources but they have funding and the momentum to compete for more. They have not been eager to kick-start the economy with the enormous cash reserves they have. They want a sure thing whenever they can find it. They have a desire always to be monopolists.

Government is the last resort for the unprofitable labor of governments. They also work best when they can write out the difficult and inconvenient costs associated with keeping the mass of the potential labor pool alive and educated at all. They need unexploited resources.

The capitalist seems always to resent the fact that the world isn’t easier for him to exploit. He also tends to want to overlook his own dependency on government largess by way of lucrative contracts (got by fair means or foul), or at the subsidies to keep businesses, such as airlines and public transportation, alive at all. The capitalist generally likes the government to pick up the slack he does not like to deal with and his own sense of superiority tends to blind him to the fact that he often needs welfare as much as the long term welfare recipient. This has been said many times by many people, in this paper and in other comment threads.

The only thing in this society that is concerned with broader issues of human rights for the mass of those business does not want to use, are the governments of the world. And that is why – I think – many of those on the “right” of the health care debate- don’t trust that the mandate will be a golden or even practical road to the nations welfare. It is very much more likely to be the last desperate “frontier” that big insurance needs to keep it’s own house of cards from collapsing. And they tend to be no more honest than they absolutely must be by law.

I just read in the UN news digest last night that the Arab world alone needs 50 million new jobs just to employ its youth. How on earth is that going to happen now? What are you waiting for capitalists? Megamillions await the exploitation but not even the largest mega businesses are able to deal with such an embarrassment of riches. Unfortunately, those mega-millions are time sensitive and can turn to garbage very quickly if they are not incorporated into the productive industries capitalists claim (erroneously) that only they can provide effectively. And if capitalism proves it’s inadequacies – other inadequate solutions are going to look so much more attractive. Roosevelt knew that during the Great Depression. .

China is the petra scandali of the modern world – but they don’t have a national health care system either; with or without insurance protection (as I understand it). That is not at all encouraging that there will ever be an adequate solution to this problem. It will make it more expensive because so many more will be able to satisfy the cash demands for a perpetually scarce resource. Asking private insurance to lower costs is asking one of the contributors to the escalation and sophistication of the health care system to change its ways. They won’t know how. They will have to act like a branch of government but the worst kind of branch. They will become an arm of the government that must always be concerned with making a profit to satisfy the investors. Those investors will move elsewhere if the proposed solution doesn’t work. That is why I mention insolvency of the big insurance companies as a possibility. Other than the TVA or even the government sponsored mortgage financiers, there are few examples of that kind of partnership in the US.

By: matthewslyman Tue, 03 Apr 2012 15:57:04 +0000 Too many legal cases rest on spurious arguments and tenuous analogies.

Isn’t there a reason why judges are paid so much more than the average person? Aren’t they supposed to THINK and “DELIBERATE”? Personal experience has shown me that they don’t always do this.

Let’s hope these Justices do justice to their office this time… Whichever way the argument falls, let them make the most valid argument…

By: JL4 Mon, 02 Apr 2012 19:09:21 +0000 I can grow my own broccoli. That heart surgery would really be a tough one to perform alone.

Car insurance is so much less expensive than medical insurance because everyone is legally required to buy it. And we pay for uninsured motorists to cover the costs of those who don’t buy it.

You could argue that medical policy costs could be increased for the insured with a “Uninsured Illness/Injury”

The right winged Supreme Court Justices are making a political issue out of this.

By: cbowen Mon, 02 Apr 2012 16:11:50 +0000 This argument seems a bit weak on it’s base. If we are looking at supply and demand dictating market forces. If there isn’t a market for brocoli then the market for it would dry up just as if there wasn’t a market for health insurance it would cease to exist. Perhaps it’d be easier to look at the impact of healthcare (provider side) without insurance (payor side) to backstop the costs.

By: 0okm9ijn Sun, 01 Apr 2012 18:53:05 +0000 @mewster & hoosier_gdi. In both Lopez and Morrison, the court reasoned that the absence of interstate/commerce connection to the non-economic and criminal nature of the prohibited conducts–gun within school zone and violence against women dictated the limit on congressional commerce power. Further, in Lopez, the court held that Congress’s commerce authority includes the power to regulate those activities having a substantial relation to interstate commerce. While individuals purchase broccoli at supermarkets, such purchases lack that substantial relation to interstate commerce.

By: Pendulumswings Sat, 31 Mar 2012 17:26:35 +0000 Why do I have to buy auto insurance? Because the system won’t work if some (many I would think) driver’s don’t have insurance.

The medical system doesn’t work if some (many) people don’t have medical insurance.

Of course, there are many other reasons our medical system doesn’t work, such as the fact that much of the money flows to profits instead of medical care and research, but that is for another article I guess.

By: hoosier_gdi Sat, 31 Mar 2012 05:12:24 +0000 Interesting article and comments. Too bad almost all of it is irrelevant to the matter at hand. The task of the judicial branch, atop which the Supreme Court sits, is to decide on the legal and constitutional merits of the case, not to decide what is most economical. So, the interpretation and applicability of the Commerce Clause is the crux of the matter, not whether a need for health insurance demands that the Court allows this particular law to stand.

By: PapaDisco Sat, 31 Mar 2012 01:45:26 +0000 The grand, unsolved problem with forced participation such as with healthcare is that it puts an enormous burden on the individual for a very, very tiny (if any) benefit to society as a whole.

If making everyone participate would cut the cost of health insurance in half, then maybe the author would have point, but it actually produces a benefit to the whole that is so slight it isn’t even measurable.

Economists always seem to miss accounting for the effect on the individual and the end result is that misguided policies from trade to healthcare end up hurting our society instead of helping.