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    The Will to Create

    Entries in individual mandate (7)


    Maybe the employer mandate was a big deal

    If delaying the employer mandate is not a big deal as stated by many on the Left who are minimizing the move so that ACA doesn't appear to be falling apart, then why delay it? The defense on the Left is that most companies already provide healthcare, and the mandate doesn't apply to companies with fewer than 50 people, so it only effects about 4% of companies or something like that, but, why would Obama create such negative press regarding Obamacare if the mandate only effects such a low number of companies?

    One reason could be that the administration knew that many companies would drop their coverage and the exchanges aren't ready, so, many employees would be in uninsured limbo. Also, all the companies who have just above 50 employees might think it's profitable to fire a few to get below fifty.

    Surely Obama and his advisors realize there will be backlash because individuals are mandated to get insurance but companies are off the mandate hook. This could be a planned implosion so that there's a demand for govewrnment to fix the problem. I won't be surprised to see a revival of single payer advocacy, a simple process in which everyone has coverage and government provides it. We'll see.


    Morning Joe 3/6/2012 -- Destroy Mitt Romney!

    On Morning Joe during the first two hours, Joe Scarborough attacked Mitt Romney and called him a liar. Scarborough was talking about the 2009 op-ed written by Romney in which Romney advised Obama to look at tax incentives when trying to get people to buy insurance. Romney had written an article prior to the USA Today op-ed which explained more clearly that he doesn't believe in a federal mandate to buy insurance that fines those who fail to abide by the mandate. Romney wrote in the article that states should be laboratories, and that in Massachusetts they decided to use tax incentives for those who could afford insurance but refused to buy it but instead used emergency services and charged their care to the taxpayers.

    Scarborough criticized the other Republican candidates because they had not researched and found this 2009 op-ed. Well, if Scarborough is going to attack Romney and call him a liar, he should have researched and at least included the response from Romney supporters --

    Scarborough has some agenda to destroy Romney, and I don't know what it is, except maybe he thinks he should be in the race. Scarborough promotes Jeb Bush as the type of candidate the GOP needs, but it seems like Scarborough is using Bush as a stand in for himself. Both Bush and Scarborough know how to do it the right way -- they can get the independent votes, those Reagan Democrats. Bush and Scarborough can get the Latino vote. They can pander, by God.

    Here lies the problem: for years Republicans have been frightened by the Democrats who framed Republicans as Latino haters -- black haters -- gay haters -- women haters -- environment haters -- equality haters, and so forth. So, Republicans like Scarborough have shifted to find the center, to surround themselves with like-minded political thinkers with mediocre ideas -- safety in numbers. The free thinking, principled poltician is rare. In DC, the game is statism, so both sides agree to meet somewhere in the middle, and what we get is situations like Romney finds himself in that are hard to explain -- because government intervention in healthcare forces emergency rooms to treat anyone coming in, and because Medicaid and Medicare screwed up supply and demand and market forces, Governors like Romney are forced to come up with more government solutions to fix the problems caused by prior government interventions -- it's a vicious cycle. Now, Romney has to explain. There are Republicans who have responded to Tea Party pressure to roll back statist advancements, but they find themselves stuck in a system that has become complex and convoluted from decades of interventions and regulations.

    If Scarborough really was a limited government conservative, he would realize that Romney was caught in a bad situation in Masschusetts, and Scarborough would have read all of what Romney wrote, and Scarborough would have described the current situation as an awakening in which all Republicans have to understand that the pandering in the past hasn't worked -- it has gotten people elected, but it has driven the country to the brink of collapse facing 70-80 trillion dollars of unfunded liabilities.

    Rather than try to destroy Romney, Scarborough should  promote a rally around anti-statist ideas, so that the GOP can change and roll back all the damaging interventions from decades of government over-reach. And, Scarborough could also, at least, balance out the "lying" by exposing some of Obama's many bald-faced lies. I don't think Romney lied, it's just a difficult situation to explain -- but then statism creates difficulties.


    Santorum has supported individual mandate, too

    This is why integrity and principled consistency are important. Rick Santorum blasted both Newt Gingrich and Mitt Romney for their past support of an individual mandate to buy health insurance, but it turns out Santorum also supported individual mandates back in 1994.

    So, because Republicans have not walked like they've talked, when it comes down to opposing statism, they have no credibility. They are reduced to arguing who's been the closest to principled. Ron Paul is the only candidate who has consistently held true to his principles. The Republican Party is too damaged to maintain an opposition to statism -- if both parties are going to intervene in the economy, then neither of them should be in power.


    Ezra Klein is confused

    Ezra Klein has found a "real-life libertarian" who agrees with him that the individual mandate to buy health insurance is okay because -- get this -- the government forces us to do other stuff. This is some "libertarian", a virtual Rothbardian.

    Ezra just can't imagine what the conservatives think will happen if the mandate is shot down. My God, they have no Statist Plan to replace this Statist Plan which replaces the old Statist Plan -- what the hell can they be thinking? Without a Statist Plan healthcare will implode and the American people will die out.

    Klein is disingenuous, because we could keep the system we have, as statist-screwed as it is, and save money plus cover as many people with some form of healthcare -- but, there are free market solutions that no one on the left even acknowledged. Let's try those first, then slowly turn the whole business of healthcare back over to the private sector and allow charity to deal with those in poverty. How about THAT for a plan? I've met libertarians, I know libertarians, libertarians are my friends -- Tim Lee is no libertarian.


    Please, tell it like it is -- we're adults

    Allow me to attempt an explication of what bothers me about Conor Friedersdorf's response to Jonathan Chait regarding the individual mandate for healthcare insurance, conservative hypocrisy and the Constitution. Chait criticized Republicans for opposing the mandate when they have supported such mandates in the past. Conor is right that conservative hypocrisy is one thing but the issue remains whether the mandate is unconstitutional. It's Conor's response here that troubles me:

    If the Obama Administration’s health care reform bill stands, I do not imagine that America is going to cease to be free, or that a decisive blow in the battle between capitalism and socialism will have been struck. Although I would’ve preferred different variations on health care reform, I am not even expert enough to know for sure whether they’d have been more successful.

    What does worry me is the notion that the federal government is no longer an entity of enumerated powers – that a limit on its scope purposefully established by the Founders no longer exists. It used to be a check and balance. Is it now completely gone?

    If Judge Hudson’s ruling is upheld, I’ll celebrate not because I fear Obamacare – I’m cynical enough to suspect that whatever came next might well make me even worse off – but because a limit on federal power that I care about generally has been re-asserted.

    Should his ruling be overturned, I’ll be disappointed because the precedent troubles me: if the commerce clause can prevent me from growing marijuana in my backyard and mandate that I buy a particular kind of health insurance that covers far more than emergency room care, what Congressional action can’t it cover? You’d think from Chait’s post that liberals never approach matters of constitutional law in this way, looking past the utility in a given policy area to ask what the long term implications are for state power.

    Why wouldn't a decision to uphold the mandate signal decisively that we are no longer free? If government can basically regulate any area of our lives, isn't this justification for strong language and a clear delineation between freedom and tryanny? Chait called this type of language "hysterical" and Conor was trying to avoid "hysteria" -- but why allow Chait to set the terms for disagreement. This mild, measured response from Conor is indicative of an underlying lack of urgency regarding State power -- it's simply a mild statement of preference. Regardless of what the No Labels movement or centrists in general say about over-heated rhetoric, these issues require language which clearly makes distinctions and addresses the seriousness of losing freedom.

    In the comment section, Noah Millman makes the claim that the Constitution is just a piece of paper and what is important is the separation of powers -- so, don't worry, even if government has all this power, it'll be worked out by the three branches. It's this type of apathetic disregard for limitations on government power which should cause all of us, including Conor in his cool rational center and concern to not be hysterical, to state the position of freedom in the strongest terms possible. Even if Conor was being a little sarcastic about "hysteria", he still failed to use language that addresses the real danger of statism -- the loss of freedom requires a spirited defense, and I've noticed that many current thinkers like Conor are concerned with what others think about the depth of their convictions, which is odd. Why is it now uncool to have deep convictions and to express them in strong language appropriate to the gravitas of the issue. I understand how someone expressing strong convictions could be seen as a hypocrite if they have held opposing positions shortly before with no explanation of enlightened conversion, but Conor says he's concerned about what can't be covered by Congressonal action if the mandate is allowed, but also says he does not "imagine that America is going to cease to be free". Perhaps Conor needs to work on his imagination, because I can imagine a government with unlimited powers, all three branches, killing freedom for good. I have no problem calling this government socialism, or worse.