29 Mar 2017

Paul Ryan Should Have Listened to This Guy

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Avik Roy is a graduate of Yale Medical School who has published extensively on the problems of America’s current health system and Health Care Reform.

Republican and conservative leaders failed the cause of free-market health reform in three principal ways. First, they failed to make a moral case for replacing Obamacare, as opposed to purely repealing it. As a result, they then failed to unite the hard-line and pragmatic wings of the GOP around a coherent health-care-reform proposal. And due to the ambitions of the 100-day legislative agenda, and the peculiar legislative calendar associated with the Senate’s reconciliation process, they chose not to invest the time in getting health-care reform right.

Conservatives intuitively understand the moral case for repealing Obamacare. The law significantly expands the role and scope of the federal government in determining Americans’ personal health-care choices. Its individual mandate is a constitutional injury. And its Rube Goldberg-like maze of insurance regulations has made health insurance unaffordable for millions.

But when it came to replacing Obamacare, Republicans usually presented the case in exclusively political terms: Replacement was necessary because the alternative would be daily front-page stories of the millions thrown off of their health-care plans by the GOP Congress. Conservatives rarely attempted to make a moral case for replacing Obamacare. Indeed, if you believe that the federal government has no legitimate role in helping the uninsured afford health coverage, your intuition is that there isn’t a moral case for replacing Obamacare. …

That intuition is understandable, but mistaken, because it is in fact the federal government that has made health insurance so costly through seven decades of unwise policies. Those policies include the exclusion from taxation of employer-sponsored health insurance, an outgrowth of World War II-era wage controls. They include the enactment of the Great Society entitlements, Medicare and Medicaid, in 1965. They include the EMTALA law, signed by President Reagan, that guaranteed free emergency-room coverage to everyone, including the uninsured and illegal immigrants. And they include Obamacare.

This seven-decade pileup of federal intervention in the health-care system is directly — and exclusively — responsible for the astronomical costs of the present-day American health-care system. It is not right, when confronted with such a state of affairs, to shrug our shoulders and say “tough luck” to those who can’t afford insurance. Indeed, we have an affirmative duty to reform federal policies so as to make health insurance once again affordable for the working poor.

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3 Feedbacks on "Paul Ryan Should Have Listened to This Guy"

Seattle Sam

Imagine every time you went to the store, government and Safeway required you to put a steak, ice cream, broccoli, spinach, diapers and a cake in your shopping cart. This requirement would apply to vegetarians, lactose intolerants, dieters, the childless and those who hate vegetables. What do you think would happen to the cost of a shopping trip?

There are only two major areas where prices have been increasing far faster than general inflation rates over the last 30 years: Medical care and education. These just (coincidentally?) happen to be the two areas which government subsidizes the most. Getting government OUT of health care and education is the only way to ensure a lower cost trajectory. However the desire for a Free Lunch at someone else’s expense is a very powerful force.


Wrong on everything. Essentially what I got from this expert is that government intervention caused the problem so we need and must have more government intervention to fix it. Get the federal government out of health care. It is unconstitutional. The states could do it if they want to but the constitution doesn’t allow the federal government to do it.

I also dislike the tendency for “experts” to pair Medicare and Medicaid together. What kind of expert doesn’t understand that they are totally different. Medicaid patients pay nothing. Medicare patients paid for the insurance their entire working life. You could argue that they don’t pay enough or that the medicare still needs government subsidy but it is still essentially a self funded insurance.

While it may be reasonable to say that we are our brothers keeper and have a moral obligation to help those who need help that is something that should never be done by the government. Imagine the harm that a federal government can do with the power to tax only the productive people and to transfer that money to only the unproductive people. Obviously this will result in an ever increasing pool of unproductive people and an ever shrinking pool of productive people. The only logical reason to rob peter to pay Paul is to get Paul to vote for you. And of course that is indeed why they do it.

Dick the Butcher

How many more financial depressions? How many more people in poverty and dependent on food stamps? How much more does the real median family income need to nose-dive? Etc.? Before we the people wake up and realize two facts: one, we have the worst political class in History; and two, if the Federal government set out to reformed the Sahara Desert, in five years there would be a shortage of sand (Milton Frie3dman).


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