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27th of May, 2024



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Arrr, matey, ye be steppin' on me parrot!

I wasn’t going to blog today, being against-the-wall with work, and hell-bent on finally sweeping my apartment. An I most certainly was not going to talk like a pirate.

But Jeff Jarvis touched on the one topic that just

In short, I’ll channel John Galt: Buy your own goddamn health insurance and get out of my way!

Let me explain a few things about my social philosophy. Everything you must do is as much oppression as everything you can’t do. Every cent you earn that is taken away from you without choice or compensation, is slavery. Every cent you take from someone without their consent, is theft.

Oppression, slavery, theft. These are not words that anybody associates with the United States of America (well some people, maybe), but it’s exactly the direction America is headed in. Socialized Health Care is exactly the kind of “slippery slope” into slavery that collectivists use to seduce the masses.

Socialized Health Care is not a “Get-out-of-Death-Free” card. It’s mandatory health insurance. It offers nothing that’s not already cheaply and widely available to all Americans. The only difference will be that you do not have a choice. The government enjoys controlling people’s lives, and they’d like nothing better than to put a gun to your head and say, “You will pay for health insurance, or go to jail”. And it will be more expensive owing to bureaucratic overhead, and the inevitable abuse of it by welfare bloodsuckers.

The burden of health care will fall upon productive citizens, to the benefit of the non-productive. In Europe, the aging population and monstrous overhead of entrenched bureaucracy conspire to rob taxpayers of an enormous amount of income. The average tax burden in Germany is close to 70%; and that’s not including the enormous taxes included in things like heating costs, and gasoline, which are 3 to 4 times more expensive than in the United States. “Free” health insurance in Germany costs 10-12% of monthly income. If you earn $24,000 per year, expect to pay at least $200 per month just for yourself; i.e., forget about dependents: they cost extra.

Of course, if you don’t work, you don’t have to pay for your health insurance. That, of course, makes it much more attractive to be unemployed. You can go for years without working, and it involves much less paperwork than either being employed or having employees. A generous unemployment incentive, and a downright scandalous income penalty, discourage financial independence and doom small enterprises to certain failure.

Mandatory, government-enforced health insurance is just another way to generate guilty citizens. Ayn Rand said, “laws were made to be broken, because you cannot control an innocent man.” It enrages me to see intelligent men like Mr. Jarvis telling people that the elimination of free will in any matter is beneficial.

That’s my premise, now let’s look at Mr. Jarvis’ points one by one.

All citizens must be insured: If a prosperous society cannot help the sick among us, then what good is the prosperity?

There’s that “must” again, sweetened by an appeal to a guilty conscience. “Shame on you for being successful,” that sentence says. “How dare you put your own selfish interests before that of the common good”. A citizen should have the choice of being insured or not. What good is health insurance to a billionaire? Health insurance costs more than it’s worth. Most people never need catastrophic health care. It’s there for the case when you will need it, and it’s a lovely way to have peace of mind. But in your 20s, you do not need it. A cheap insurance plan with a massive deductible is the most cost-effective way to insure yourself against catastrophic illness or accidents.

Apparently, only the healthy are prosperous in our society. At least that’s what I read from this horribly worded argument.

Insurance remains private: Who should run insurance? Government or industry. I say industry. The last thing we need is another inefficient and irksome government bureacracy. We need competition. We need choice.

This sounds fishy to me. First we need to remove people’s choice as to whether they’d rather spend their money on cable TV or health insurance. Then suddenly we need choice? I thought we were giving up choice in order to not have to feel bad about boneheads who’d rather have 15 versions of HBO than a sound dental plan?

But who should pay? Think about it: By what logic should should employers have to be the ones who pay for health insurance? What started as a benefit of employment has become an entitlement for many, but then the rest are left out in the cold. Offering health insurance via work makes no sense.

Employers do not have to pay for health insurance. They’ve historically done it in order to get better employees. The are two main reasons so many companies offer health insurance as a benefit: 1) Due to workplace competition, and 2) Union pressures. Offering health insurance via work makes perfect sense if that will get you better employees. At any rate, an organization or corporation should have the choice of offering health insurance as a benefit.

Who should pay for R&D?: It is similarly illogical that through high drug costs, the sick underwrite R&D for new drugs to cure other diseases they don’t have. I don’t know how this system works today but it seems logical that government should help underwrite some cost of development -- and then get the benefit for all of us of lower prices for the drugs that result.

Never mind the fact that our current system allows the United States to provide the lion’s share of medical breakthroughs. Let’s fuck with it.

The paperwork torture must end: Insurance companies are managing costs via harassment, in paperwork and in “managed care.” As I understand it, one great thing Canada did was standardize paperwork and bureacracy. With the Internet, it is now possible to standardize and modernize this entire system, from doctor to hospital to pharmacy to insurance company. It reduces the costs considerably for doctors and hospitals (and that should stop some of their complaining) and it reduces the hassle for us, the sick.

Sigh. Yes, let’s get the government involved in order to reduce paperwork. Anybody who has never lived under socialized health care will never understand what torture it is to not only arrange your health care, but to be able to prove to the IRS (or equivalent organization) that you are, indeed, paying your fair share of it. Expect an audit everytime you’re in the hospital. An accountant becomes an expensive necessity, because nobody understands the tax code over here.

Malpractice should be limited: But the threat of malpractice must remain over the heads of incompetent practitioners. We are still consumers of health care. We reserve the right to go after bad doctors -- protecting fellow consumers from them -- the way we can after bad contractors. And, yes, lawyers must stop being the primary beneficiary of the malpractice system.

We agree here. I’m not exactly sure how this fits into his plan of turning America’s health care system into Cuba’s, though.

We must grapple with extreme care: I don’t want anyone unplugging me and letting me starve or choke to death. No thanks. And I hate seeing old people treated like the leftovers at garage sales. But I also recognize that some care is extreme and costs everyone a great deal of money for buying little hope. Who should set and enforce the standards of what is covered and is not?

Please explain to me why I should pay your medical bills, just because you were too lazy to get medical insurance. A $1000 deductible makes health insurance cost less than cable television.

UPDATE: TB in the comments raises a good point: People who don’t take care of themselves cost the system and us. So how about higher rates for people who not only smoke but, what else?, get fat, don’t exercise, don’t get preventive tests on a set schedule....

I propose higher rates for: Smokers, drug abusers, homosexuals, people under 30, people over 30, sky divers, bungee jumpers, and alpha types. Of course, in order to assess those at risk, the government will need a big huge database of exactly who the smokers, sky divers, and homosexuals are.

Invest in manufacturers of little pink triangles, for they have a bright future. Why anyone would want to put John Ashcroft in charge of health care, I’ll never understand.



Rose Nunez

Woooo+++++--what a great rant; I'm awake now! As a former employee of a housing authority, I couldn't agree more. When the government gives out goodies, it becomes obligated to give virtual proctological exams to the recipients to ensure their "worthiness," "neediness," and compliance with every last jot and whimsy in the rules. It's rididulously expensive, not to mention invasive, and it enables stupid lifestyle choices by weakening their consequences.

Best wishes to your parrot for a speedy recovery, although I think the bird gave as good as it got.


it enables stupid lifestyle choices by weakening their consequences.

Exactly, Rose. And it does it with your money, not theirs. Government subsidizing of goldbricking is an easy way to buy votes, unfortunately...

ann m.

fact check germany:


Es gibt keine zeitliche Befristung des Arbeitslosengeld II-Anspruchs. Der Grundsatz des Frderns und Forderns sorgt aber dafr, dass Langzeitarbeitslose schneller wieder in Arbeit kommen und dass derjenige, der arbeitet, mehr in der Tasche hat als jemand, der keine Eigeninitiative zeigt. " -->

ausfhrlicher erklrt:

hartz I-IV:

Dave Schuler

Interesting. Do you believe that publicly-funded fire departments are "oppression, slavery, and theft"? After all private insurance can take care of the problem much more efficiently. The insurance companies can then provide the fire department service in their own best interest. That is the way it used to done. Of course, when the uninsured house next door burns down, yours will too. And that's also what used to happen. And that's why we have publicly-funded fire departments.

We have public health departments for a similar reason. When the poor get sick they pass their diseases right along to the well-to-do.



I have absolutely no doubt that private fire departments could be very effective, in much the same way that private security companies operate. An interesting idea.

The "poor", of which I'm probably considered one, could also buy their own freaking health insurance. The point here is why I should have to pay money for other people's insurance. If it's such a good idea, convince people to do it of their own free will, not by force of government. I'm not understanding why you're trying to legislate me into being a good samaritan.

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