James Pethokoukis

Politics and policy from inside Washington

Romney: Values vs. data

May 12, 2011

A very tough WSJ editorial today looking at RomneyCare, but it was the summary that really caught me:

For a potential President whose core argument is that he knows how to revive free market economic growth, this amounts to a fatal flaw. Presidents lead by offering a vision for the country rooted in certain principles, not by promising a technocracy that runs on “data.” Mr. Romney’s highest principle seems to be faith in his own expertise.

More immediately for his Republican candidacy, the debate over ObamaCare and the larger entitlement state may be the central question of the 2012 election. On that question, Mr. Romney is compromised and not credible. If he does not change his message, he might as well try to knock off Joe Biden and get on the Obama ticket.

If a series of studies somehow (unlikely) showed that high taxes and nationalization of business would produce a higher standard of living, would I be for those policies? I would not, because that sort of society would be a far more oppressive one where a person would not be free to pursue happiness as he or she saw it.  While numbers should inform decisions, it’s not always about following the data wherever it takes you. Not at all. I remember talking with a libertarian econ professor who said he used to believe that his side “had the better studies.” As he got older, he became a bit less sure of that. But he also really didn’t care since at the core of cosmology was a belief in the value of freedom.

Comments

This is the same tired argument that we lose our freedom if the government takes over healthcare.

What this argument fails to present is the current state of private healthcare in American an how it presents a financially unsustainable paradox to the notion of free market capitalism for this area of human services.

To begin, the market isn’t free. It has been gamed in favor of the Big Insurance. This has allowed a model of financial innefficiency that takes healthcare dollars and allocates them to shareholder, executives pay, advertising, commissions and staff members who’s sole job is to deny claims and deny coverage.

This is where our free market model has led us. With healthcare, the only people who should be making a great living are those who provide healthcare or exist in the support infrastructure surrounding it.

Cut out the middle man.

If I am to pay $1,000 per month to ensure I am covered, I don’t want my dollars going to pay commissions, dividends to shareholders, or gross executive salaries. I want my investment to pay for the healthcare infrastructure that will need to be there when I need it.

If I am to pay $1,000 per month to ensure I am covered, I don’t want the insurance company to drop me from coverage or deny me access to certain treatments or limit my care.

If I am to pay $1,000 per month for years just to be told my copays, coinsurance and residual costs, and ultimately my cut off from care will make me go bankrupt under a private healthcare model, then give me the freedom to choose the single payer, government healthcare model I am destined for anyway.

I know people like Mr. Pethokoukis would rather we all suffer through another decade of this level of financial graft handed to Big Insurance, but I no longer want to piss away my hard earned money to a system that continues to fail all Americans.

Posted by NobleKin | Report as abusive
 

NobleKin offers the same tired arguments as all believers in the nanny state- that the grass is greener when grown by the bureaucrats in Washington.

There really is no factual argument given, just platitudes about how bad things are and how they will be better without a middle man – the evil private for-profit corporations.

If I am to pay $1,000 per month to ensure I am covered, I don’t want my dollars going to pay commissars [or is it czars], union kickbacks, political favors, and other graft.

f I am to pay $1,000 per month to ensure I am covered, I don’t want government politically appointed untouchable bureaucrats to limit the amount and types of healthcare I receive

I know ignorant whiners like Mr NobleKin would rather we all submit to the nanny state and relieve ourselves of personal responsibility and liberty and allow unelected czars to run our lives because it would so simple then, and surely the grass is greener- just look at all the examples around the world.

Posted by Arnold_Layne | Report as abusive
 

Talk about no factual argument given, just platitudes…

Tell us exactly how much money is going to pay exactly which commissars [or is it czars], which union kickbacks, which political favors, and which other graft. And be specific.

This is the usual spoon fed babble the ditto-bots get drummed into their little heads every day, two hours ever morning, and four hours every afternoon, followed by three hours of prime time, every single day.

So yes, let’s look at all the examples around the world, and compare them to America’s system. America treats healthcare as a risk, while the rest of the civilized word treats it as a cost. That’s why Americans pay twice as much for health services as the rest of the world, and get results that are no better.

There is no risk of getting sick. Disease does not care if people have health “insurance” or not. People get sick, they get care, and society pays the COST. Adding a layer of for-profit business to “manage the risk” is insanity.

And yet, Republicans are willing to spend whatever capital, political or otherwise, to protect this racket.

Posted by GetpIaning | Report as abusive
 

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