-5 votes

Remind me again why the ACA is a bad idea? A very persuasive article.


What is really at war here is different conceptions of individual liberty. I always thought that liberty meant the ability to live one’s own life as one likes without being pushed around by others or suffering desperate deprivation. On that understanding, basic health, undergirded by medical care when necessary, is just part of the liberty that ought to be guaranteed to everyone. The ACA is a step forward for freedom. But there is another view, which holds that individual liberty just means limitations of government power. That means that it’s your tough luck if you’re sick and can’t pay for it: Your situation isn’t a threat to your liberty or anyone else’s because government isn’t causing it. This Tough Luck Libertarianism evidently is the caulk that is filling the huge gaps in these judges’ reasoning.

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Shameless bump...

...in the hopes of more thoughtful responses.

"Only a virtuous people are capable of freedom. As nations become corrupt and vicious, they have more need of masters." Benjamin Franklin

I understand where you're coming from

and have had similar discussions (although they related to welfare in general.) It's tempting to support universal health care, at least on a minimal "survival" basis, due to a certain (I say flawed) interpretation of the right to life, a quest for some sort of equalization of opportunity, and some other reasons.

I know of several persuasive arguments against any sort of universal health care. Some are coming to light as I read Economics in One Lesson by Henry Hazlitt. Others are simply from experience or logic.

#1: Any sort of coercion is immoral. This is based on the non-aggression principle, central to libertarianism. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Non-aggression_principle While I know little about the ACA, other than the individual mandate, this is enough for me. Either you are forced to purchase a service or you are forced to pay a tax. I won't get deep into any sort of Voluntaryist theory here, since I'm still undecided on that, but both outcomes are opposed to self-determination.

#2 The second argument exposes a fallacy of assumption. Why is it assumed that the ACA will better the situations of those without adequate health care? While a wealth transfer is sure to occur from those paying the tax, will enough be transferred to the poorer side by a combination of theoretical lower prices or welfare payments to better their situation? It is EMTALA (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/EMTALA) that has largely caused this whole mess, requiring hospitals to treat those who cannot offer payment, at their own expense, resulting in skyrocketing medical and insurance fees. Rather than repeal EMTALA, the ACA is supposed to make care affordable enough that people will no longer rely on free care. But why go for the cheap option when the free is still readily available? On top of that, bureaucratic waste is always a reality, so I would expect the government middlemen to be sapping a good portion of any wealth transfer.

#3 The next point also addresses a fallacy. This one declares that "If anything must be done, the government should do it." In most cases, this is easily discredited. Must the government produce cars, run gas stations to fuel them, or produce mechanics to fix them? Of course not, as these services are accomplished by people in the private sector, whose motive is to make a profit. Let it not be said that transportation is not extremely important: it provides access to almost all of our activities, encompassing both work and leisure. Should the government provide each of the poor with a car, gas money, and auto insurance. I would say no. If I were to follow your pattern logically, I would say that you disagree with me. Furthermore, altruism does exist. Whatever you may hear from some ornery Objectivists, there are people out there (me included, by the way) who do derive satisfaction from aiding those in need. It just gets our jimmies a bit rustled when you claim that we have to do it through a greedy middleman or, ultimately, get thrown in prison.

I haven't addressed all of the points I could make, but I think my position is pretty clear. While in a perfect world, it would be nice for us all to be healthy, the truth of the world is that to do so, we would have to commit a massive thievery from those who have worked for their money to even begin to address the issue of illness. While I completely disagree with your thesis (and would advise that you reconsider your libertarianism), I will upvote your topic because it is valuable for discussion. Have a good day, and I hope this has helped you in some way.

Thank you for your time.

This is just the well stated reply I was hoping to garner from this post. Excellent points. Bastait well summed it up when he state, "The delusion of the day is to enrich all classes at the expense of each other; it is to generalize plunder under pretense of organizing it."
Thank you again. Your points will be of good use as I continue to debate this topic.

"Only a virtuous people are capable of freedom. As nations become corrupt and vicious, they have more need of masters." Benjamin Franklin

To the down voters.

Congrats on passing up a chance to educate. You serve the movement well with your mouse buttons. However, in the name of perpetuating further enlightenment I highly suggest trying the keyboard from time to time. You never know what your two cents could add up to collectively.

"Only a virtuous people are capable of freedom. As nations become corrupt and vicious, they have more need of masters." Benjamin Franklin

Many are uninsured by choice.

ACA doesn't provide medical care.
It doesn't even provide insurance.
It makes people who would rather pay for care out of pocket, buy private insurance.
That is not freedom.

Why should I not be allowed to pay for my own healthcare without donating to Blue Cross every week?

I am currently paying a good sized hospital bill but it is still more affordable than paying 85$ a week for the next 30 years. And that will go up as well.

I know, because I'm in the minority my rights don't matter right. I MUST make sure everyone else feels secure, even though if I spend an additional 350 a month I'll be quite squeezed to make my mortgage and other bills. But hey , whatever I can do to help Blue Cross.

It is not even progressive! All you nutty progressives were tricked by the two pottys into supporting a corporate sponsored program, invented by Newt and Mitt.
But because some guy with a D next to his name signed the bill you all just settle for it.

Thank you.

I hope others understand that I am simply trying to gather input and am not making the case for Obamacare. I am having a tough time with some very staunch liberals in my family in regards to turning the lights on. Your comments, not votes, are coveted.

"Only a virtuous people are capable of freedom. As nations become corrupt and vicious, they have more need of masters." Benjamin Franklin

I didn't downvote


Didn't mean to imply you had.

Didn't mean to imply you had. Just wanted others to understand my intentions before the post is voted into obscurity.

"Only a virtuous people are capable of freedom. As nations become corrupt and vicious, they have more need of masters." Benjamin Franklin

Guaranteed to Everyone...

...at whose expense???

If you're proposing to take money out of one person's pocket against his will, to put into another's....via force or fraud...that's not freedom.

When this country didn't have any gov't intervention into healthcare, it's a myth that people were simply falling dead in the streets from lack of affordable and available care. Medical care was generally affordable to all but the most destitute, and for those, private charity was openly available and freely given. How did we get to this point where our medical care is among the most expensive in the world?

It's only in today's world where government intervention has caused drastic price rises - via Medicare, Medicaid and employer health 'insurance' plans used as 'pre-paid' medical with effectively unlimited 3rd party payments - that medical care has become unaffordable to the poor.

This is true

Not only that, but government isn't going to give people a wide range of choices in doctors or treatments. You will get what they give you, and if what they give you, hurts you, then it's really tough.

Medicade has this problem now, where people have fewer choices and stay sick. Mental Health is designed to keep a person sick, as I've never met anyone who recovered, they just go through one prescription and side effects to another, living in perpetual misery.

To top that off, as Kenda's Law and Laura's Law are passing state governments, people who never committed a crime will be placed before a judge, without an lawyer, to be declared "sick", and then told they will take medication or given options that have not been made clear. I've been asking. The silence is deafening.

To me, this ACA looks like a way to round up people and FORCE them to comply with government, who if healing the environment is any indication on how well they will heal the people, there's gonna be a nation of very sick people.


That is my understanding. It is just so easy to level the charge of being "heartless" against this position. I am trying to buff up on this subject and I appreciate your well stated input.

People really don't understand the principle of personal property rights anymore. That right includes my right to my income. Being bullied out of it or just plain having it taken is theft. Period.

Why people insist on using the same system that has caused these problems to begin with is beyond my understanding. They don't understand that if we had little or no government "taxes" we would have more money to help ourselves and our neighbors. The frog has been in the pot too long I am afraid.

It is also baffling that people think "voluntarily" not resisting and facing the consequences is a form of charity. Giving under the shadow of punishment is not real giving. It is obeying.

"Only a virtuous people are capable of freedom. As nations become corrupt and vicious, they have more need of masters." Benjamin Franklin