The Insanity of our Health Care System

A reader writes:

Few things in this world are more laughable than the U.S. health care “system.” Of course, the Fox/Limbaugh crowd would immediately pounce on such a remark and order my lynching after assuming I’m a flaming Marxist. I’ve read hundreds of white papers, reports, and op-eds expounding upon what’s wrong with American health care. No one explains it better than Mark Steyn.

It’s a consolation to know that insurance companies are sound as a bell though.

  • Steve

    The gripe in that paragraph doesn’t match with the link provided. Mark Steyn lambasts how the presidents health insurance reform law is a giant, stupid wrecking ball. The closest he comes to praising the European model is that it is simpler to understand, has clearer boundaries than our post-Obamacare “system”.

    He concludes that the idiot Republicans need to get to work providing a better alternative. I think the Fox/Limbaugh crowd would applaud that message.

    • John

      Except that the “better alternative” promoted by the RNC/Limbaugh/Fox crowd is really just the status quo with nice curtains. Steyn is at least honest enough to recognize that the corporatization of health care is just as problematic as the socialization of it.
      Amazes me how so many people don’t take the time to read authors and pay attention to subtleties that set them apart from herds. This whole “Steyn subs for Rush occasionally, ’nuff said” line of thought is bizarre. Big difference between the two men, and Steyn is no RNC/Fox hack.

  • Bobby

    Umm…I’d say that Mark Steyn is a charter member of the “Fox/Limbaugh crowd,” as he regularly guest hosts Rush’s show.

  • Ken Wold

    You’re missing the point. It was just a gratuitous remark by Mark SHEA aimed at showing that he’s objective, moderate and adhering firmly to the fallacy of false symmetry.

    Take a position you don’t like, establish an opposite extreme, split the difference between the two errors and Shazam! You win the praise of the mushy moderate majority. Wasn’t Christ Himself hanged on a cross for being a Moderate??? Hmm…

  • HornOrSilk

    Mark Steyn does NOT give a good explanation about the problems of the US health care system. He is constantly on Rush’s show, taking over for Rush, promoting the system which was already obsolete before ObamaCare, which, despite not being what it should be, fixes a FEW things that exist in the American system. Steyn, however, is against “socialized medicine,” that is, any proper health care reform. It’s like saying, “I see problems in Israel, and no one describes them better than Hitler.” Going from problems, which there are, to an ideologue who wants to destroy any chance of fixing them… is outrageous.

    • John

      Didn’t take long for Hitler to come up in the conversation.

      • HornOrSilk

        And didn’t take long until someone mentioned Hitler was mentioned. The reason Hitler is brought up is because it provides ample analogy which people understand. Similar to the way snakes and ropes were brought up consistently in Indian philosophy.

    • The Deuce

      Obamacare doesn’t fix anything at all, and makes the worst things about American health care even worse, in addition to forcing all Christian business owners to violate the Faith.

      Furthermore, as long as liberal Christians continue to conflate reform of health care with socialist takeover of health care by the secular state while promoting it as “social justice,” you will find yourselves getting spanked again and again. You might as well be saying, “Thank you sir, may I have another?!”

      • HornOrSilk

        Tell those who now can get some insurance to pay for bills which they couldn’t because of preconditions that “Obamacare fixes nothing.” Tell that to those in college now getting better health insurance through their parents because the cut-off date where parents can help insure their children is later. The idea that it fixes “nothing” at all is indicative of an ideologue who is incapable of understanding good can be mixed with bad, and wanting to have a dualistic engagement with politics.

        Now, the question I always ask about the so-called violation of faith: where is it said in Catholic teaching we cannot buy insurance which includes coverage for the pill and other contraceptives? To say that it forces a violation of faith means this must be absolutely forbidden. So if it is, then how many people, before the HHS Mandate, before Obamacare, had such insurance who were Catholics, and thus acting against the faith? How many of them are currently told “Quit your insurance and go without, if you can’t get one without such coverage?” Oh, wait, it’s not happening. It’s never been demanded. Therefore, it is not a violation of the faith.

        • Vision_From_Afar

          :slow clap:

        • The Deuce

          Tell those who now can get some insurance to pay for bills which they couldn’t because of preconditions that “Obamacare fixes nothing.”

          If one person gains health insurance, and two people lose it, nothing has been fixed. If you get “insurance” but have your actual care restricted because your preconditions, together with overhead, make the treatment you need too expensive according to the HHS panels, nothing has been fixed.

          Tell that to those in college now getting better health insurance through their parents because the cut-off date where parents can help insure their children is later.

          That’s the demographic that is most screwed over by Obamacare, which is intended as a massive wealth transfer from the young and healthy to the old and sickly. More of that age set will lose health insurance than gain it, while having to pay a penalty. Many will lose their prospects for full-time employment, where they would have gotten health insurance otherwise. So nothing has been fixed.

          Now, the question I always ask about the so-called violation of faith: where is it said in Catholic teaching we cannot buy insurance which includes coverage for the pill and other contraceptives?

          And out it comes. You’re on board with the contraceptive and abortificiant mandates yourself, or else you are so enamored with socialized health insurance that you’re willing to rationalize it.

          So if it is, then how many people, before the HHS Mandate, before Obamacare, had such insurance who were Catholics, and thus acting against the faith?

          The issue introduced by Obamacare isn’t having insurance that covers those things (without using them), but being forced to buy those things for others as their employer. I think you probably already know that though, and are just being intellectually dishonest here.

          Oh, wait, it’s not happening. It’s never been demanded. Therefore, it is not a violation of the faith.

          Or rather, it’s a conflict of interest.

          • HornOrSilk

            You make up things, like so many who speak about the health care reform act, such as suggesting people are losing insurance due to it. Certainly some businesses are using it as an excuse for a decision they had long ago decided to engage, but that’s the problem: it becomes a post hoc ergo propter hoc with a scapegoat. This is the same thing with full time employment: pure and utter tripe from the corporate overlords who have been making record profits and unwilling to promote the proper pay of their workers. They don’t need as many workers to continue record profits, so they are cutting back on them as well. Health care reform is not causing this: the greed of the CEOS is.

            Finally, you commit a logical error by saying I agree with contraception and the like. No, I don’t. However, making it a religious liberty issue fails, because the Church has never said one can’t have health insurance which includes such benefits. Never. Ever. Religious liberty violation comes when that which the Church forbids is forced. The mandate was a bad idea, for other reasons, but making it a religious liberty question has hurt true religious liberty concerns. Again, if it is not a problem to have health insurance which covers those things, then being forced to buy them, however much one wishes they were not covered, is still not a violation of religious liberty. Especially when such a force is often in play due to the market within particular job situations, where no one has said “this worker has had his religious liberty violated by being told by his employer this is the insurance they offers.” It’s not a religious liberty concern, again, the fact that the Church itself has approved such insurances before with universities indicates this fact. It might not be desired, but many things in the public are not as we desire without it being a religious liberty concern

            • The Deuce

              You make up things, like so many who speak about the health care reform act, such as suggesting people are losing insurance due to it.

              Actually, I’m just pointing to the reality of what’s going on. There’s a reason 97% of job growth this year has been part-time. There’s a reason we’ve had all these announcements from multiple companies and universities of dropped coverage and reduced benefits, explicitly because of Obamacare (including the one I work for, btw, which is a government contractor in the DC area).

              You’re the one making things up. Or rather, you’re repeating things other people made up, like the claim that the young would get better coverage without having to pay for it, or that those with pre-existing conditions would get treated better. Those are merely the stated intentions behind the law, not the actual effects, and only a fool would continue to say that something is going to happen just because Obamacare promised it at this point.

              Health care reform is not causing this: the greed of the CEOS is.

              Oh, that must be it. Such bad luck, human greed coming into existence all across America at the same time as Obamacare mandates.

              Finally, you commit a logical error by saying I agree with contraception and the like. No, I’m not.

              Yeah you are. You’re just using the oft-trod “personally opposed, but…” excuse.

              the Church has never said one can’t have health insurance which includes such benefits.

              Once again, you’re either ignorant or dishonest about the fact that the mandate is about business and charity owners being forced to buy contraception and abortificients for their employees, not about employees accepting plans that cover those things without using them.

              You’re also dishonest to claim that there’s no religious liberty violation unless the Catholic Church takes the extreme measure of ordering all Catholic employers to fire everyone and shut down their businesses. Besides, has it not occurred to you that the Catholic Church isn’t the only religious body in the country?

              • HornOrSilk

                You continue to prove yourself dishonest. You ignore the long history of unemployment coming into this country long before Obamacare, and acting like it is all tied to Obamacare. You ignore that this trajectory was predicted before Obamacare was suggested. You also fail to acknowledge that some good things come out of Obamacare by talking about all that you see is bad. Again, dishonest, dualistic, all or nothing, mentality.

                And nothing is more dishonest than your claims about business and charity owners BUYING contraception and abortificients. They are not — they are buying insurance. You can’t have it both ways, that it is fine to buy the insurance but then it’s bad to buy it.

                Finally, no, it is not the “personally opposed” mentality. You show no real engagement with ideas. But I guess you think St Thomas Aquinas supported prostitution and was in favor of it because he thought it should be legal. But of course, he rejected prostitution as an act. Seriously, your arguments, strawmen as they are, explain why people who are in agreement with you fail to convince anyone.

                • Rosemarie

                  +J.M.J+

                  My brother-in-law lost his job a few months ago. He had worked there for ten years but they decided to downsize because of the impending implementation of Obamacare so they fired him. He’s now working two part time jobs, his wife works part time, too, but none of those jobs provide insurance for them or their three kids. They looked at the price of insurance for a family of five and they can’t afford it. They tried to get their children some kind of Medicaid deal but could not for some bureaucratic reason. He’s been trying to get a full-time job since he was fired, going to interviews and all, but can’t get one.

                  I’m sure some of the provisions of Obamacare and will help some people, but other people really are hurting. But go right ahead, fire away with your “post hoc prompter hoc” and “strawmen” and whatever ad hominem attacks against me you can think up. I fully expect to be savaged for pointing out that some people are truly suffering because of Obamacare.

  • Dave G.

    The reader apparently has never listened to Limbaugh. What I’ve heard suggests Limbaugh is not some flag waving supporter of the system as is, he simply opposes Obama’s solution more. He’s railed against insurance companies over the years and seems to echo Steyn’s basic take many times. Why do I listen to and read and watch FOX/MSNBC/Limbaugh/Beck/Stewart/Colbert/CNN/ABC/NBC/CBS/NYT/BG and others? To make sure I don’t say ‘I’m supporting Obama, and I’ll bet MSNBC would lynch me for saying it.’

    FWIW, all that I’ve read so far (and I’m open to correction) suggests that the US Bishops supported Obama’s mandate, as long as it didn’t do what it ended up doing, and that’s try to force the Church to compromise its moral stance on abortion/contraception.

    • HornOrSilk

      I’ve listened to Rush a long time. He promotes the system as it is. Just because he criticizes insurance companies does not mean Rush, in the long run, is for reform. He isn’t. He is for capitalism for health care. Anything which goes into social justice he criticizes as socialism, even if it isn’t.

      • Dave G.

        I’ve listened to Rush a long time, too. He has continually questioned why the Insurance industry is what it is. That’s not to say he doesn’t defend parts of it. I remember when Insurance companies were pushing new Mom’s out the door a day after childbirth (back in the 90s). He supported them doing so, opposed Clinton trying to change it, and said the problem was the existence of Insurance as it was in the first place (much like Steyn). He does not support Obama’s mandate, and defaults to keeping things as they are versus that. But for years, he has time and again said that the rise and presence of Insurance as it currently is caused the problems. Not that his solution is one I would agree with, he puts a lot of it on employers having to provide benefits, but still, he hardly has supported the Insurance status quo. He only does so, again, in light of Obama’s mandate.

        • Vicq_Ruiz

          Insurance companies were pushing new Mom’s out the door

          Practically speaking, the problem is that the American public wants unlimited access to the very best high-tech health care of which human minds can conceive, and wants someone else to pick up the tab.

          The “liberal” solution is rationing by government bureaucrat.

          The “conservative” solution is rationing by insurance actuary.

          So sooner or later, we are going to ration health care, hopefully in an explicit and open way, because “find a magic dwarf who can spin straw into gold” is not a solution open to either party.

    • The Deuce

      “FWIW, all that I’ve read so far (and I’m open to correction) suggests
      that the US Bishops supported Obama’s mandate, as long as it didn’t do
      what it ended up doing”

      Yup, those gutless wonders had their grubby fingers all over this thing, and helped bring it to fruition. They were quite happy with it, as long as Obama promised a nice little carveout specially for organizations run by the Catholic Church. The fact that private Catholic business owners would still be screwed, not to mention Christians of many other denominations who cannot provide abortificiants in good conscience (and who knows what else is coming down the pike at Sebelius’ whim), apparently didn’t occur or matter to them, or both. They didn’t show a spine or express concern about those things until after it was (conveniently for them) too late to do anything about it, so that they could give the excuse that they tried but failed.

      Then, having sold out Christendom outside their own little circle, they acted all shocked and appalled when Obama sold them out, when he had already telegraphed that he was going to do so, and when Christians of all stripes had been begging and pleading with them to come to their senses, and warning them that they were digging their own graves. They earned their own comeuppance, but unfortunately they bought it for everyone else in the process.

      • http://www.subcreators.com/blog Lori Pieper

        Do you have any documentation for all of this? Or is it based on your reading of the bishops’ minds?

        I recall the entire process of adopting Obamacare. The bishops were very clear in all their public statements that this legislation was flawed because of the fact that all the insured would have to pay for abortion /contraception (different from the HHS mandate for employers, which was put in as a regulation after it passed), as well as for other reasons. They made it clear that in spite of the Church’s long-stated support for health-care reform, they could not support this bill unless it was drastically revised. I recall this clearly. There were other things the bishops could have said but didn’t; they barely ever mentioned the alarming signals about “death panels” and reduction in care for the elderly for the elderly, for instance.

        I don’t know where you got the idea that the bishops “were quite happy with it, as long as Obama promised a nice little
        carveout specially for organizations run by the Catholic Church.” This is some way to characterize the fight for conscience provisions, and for religious liberty, which the bishops and other Catholics have been carrying on.

        As for the HHS mandate, the first few statements by the bishops might have not mentioned the fate of private Catholics businesses as a concern, but they were certainly mentioned very early on by many bishops and later in official statements as well. These businesses certainly proved capable of fighting for themselves, as the number of lawsuits filed by Catholic businesses proved very early on. They understood Catholic principles well enough to act on their own, as the laity is supposed to do.

        I find that those who take the tack that you do are those who don’t believe the Church’s teaching about universal access to health care to begin with. The only thing they would be satisfied with would be the bishops opposing ALL health care reform. But the bishops are called on to uphold ALL aspects of Catholic social teaching, including those that happen to be unpopular with some political parties. Unfortunately, we are living at an especially horrendous time in history to have to do this.

        The last thing we should be doing at this point is to engage in angry tirades, exaggerating whatever mistakes were made, and proving ungrateful for the work of our pastors.

        • Dave G.

          Exactly where did the Bishops oppose Obama’s healthcare plan for reasons other than contraception/abortion? I’ve found plenty of evidence that they opposed that. But it’s opposing his plan for the other concerns, some of which were valid and many of which foresaw the restrictions of other rights, that I haven’t found any evidence of. I don’t think anyone denies that the Bishops made it clear they wouldn’t support a plan that pushed either support for abortion or contraception on the Church. My quest has been to find where the Bishops opposed it for the various other problems it could cause or the other concerns people had.

          • http://www.subcreators.com/blog Lori Pieper

            They did mention a few other items, which I don’t remember too clearly. I think they pointed out that that Obamacare doesn’t cover everyone (as even its defenders admit), and might well leave the poorest uncovered, or might skimp on care for the elderly. I believe they were also concerned about immigrants, documented or undocumented. But I don’t actually disagree with you; I think the bishops could have said more.

            But while leaving people uncovered or not doing enough for this or that group might be undesirable, and it would be right for the bishops to point this out, it was far more important to point out the things that were intrinsically immoral and evil in the law, like the contraception and abortion, Those are the reason the bishops had to actively oppose the law. If those things weren’t in there, there would have been more room to talk about the other things. Perhaps the bishops just though: “If they aren’t going to remove the abortion provisions, there isn’t really any point about talking about other things, because we will nonetheless have to oppose it.”

            I don’t know exactly where these statements are located; somewhere in the back archives of the USCCB website might be a good place to look. Or maybe a specific branch of the USCCB, especially one devoted to justice and peace or healthcare?

            • Dave G.

              The main problem is that Obamacare, by mandating healthcare in the first place, is seen by many as an violation of our liberties. The very structure of it problematic. Not to mention that more than one critic charged that the very things now happening would happen (our premiums have done nothing but go up since it was passed). I’ve not found those complaints from the Bishops yet, though I’m sure any criticism that it would’t cover everyone would be consistent with their concerns. But again, all I know is that what I have found and read shows that they supported it, despite the pleas of many critics that it violated our rights well beyond the contraception mandate. And yet, they supported it. I haven’t found any complaints beyond the above mentioned concerns, perhaps way back in the archives, but I’ve looked there before.

              But that’s sort of the point. Despite the fact that it was argued that the very structure of it violated our rights by demanding we buy something whether we want to or not, the Bishops – from all I’ve easily found – supported it as long as it didn’t do something that violated *their* rights. And there’s an issue with that, IMHO. To me, it’s been a feather in the cap of non-Catholics who have rallied with the Church against the HHS mandate. After all, most aren’t particularly affected by being forced to pay for contraception (something they don’t oppose), or even all abortions (most allow for at least some in the gravest of circumstances). And yet they see where this can lead and support the Bishops in their opposition. Had the Bishops done the same thing, been willing to stand against it even if the problems wouldn’t impact the Catholic Church directly, perhaps Obama would have lacked a key element to pass it in the first place (the Bishops’ support made the news I remember), and we wouldn’t have the mess we have now, both economically as well as with our liberties in question.

              • http://www.subcreators.com/blog Lori Pieper

                Dave, I agree that the whole structure of the personal insurance mandate is problematic. It is, no matter how the administration tries to fudge it, a draconian fine for not making a personal purchase, not a tax, and that is unconstitutional and in violation of our liberties. But to say the bishops “supported” this aspect merely because they didn’t publicly say anything against it is a bit much.

                On the other hand, there are certainly means for the state to help manage health care through taxes and other lawful means. We have had Medicaid and Medicare for some time without a huge outcry against them from Catholics about them. It is not wrong for the bishops to support such lawful means toward universal health care. So bash them if anything, for not being Constitutional scholars, and for being too distracted by the most obvious serious dangers to pay enough attention to equally serious but not so obvious ones. The Church does nevertheless have a right to speak about such matters.

                I think you are wrong, however, about the bishops “support” helping Obamacare and that an opposite approach would have turned the tide. In the first place, most of the left spun what you call “support” as opposition. Remember that little weasel Patrick Kennedy saying to the press that “the bishops have opposed healthcare from the beginning”? I believe he read the same statements you and I did. I never got the impression that the CHA and other “Catholic” organizations who supported the bill cared in the slightest what the bishops did; they were simply acting on their own, which is endemic in the Church nowadays. Most of the Catholics who voted for Obamacare were of the same type. Sad as it is to say, the bishops probably didn’t make that much of an impact. We can only hope that their actions will continue to keep the remainder of the Church together.

                • Dave G.

                  I don’t know that an opposite approach would have turned the tide. I do know that it was quite the news story that the Bishops had more or less given support to Obama’s plan (with the obvious caveat that he not do what he turned around and did). That’s my point. I can’t speak, of course, for the whole of all who supported this. Most Catholics would probably have supported it, if the surveys and the polls of Catholic support in those areas mean anything. But again, the Bishops from all I’ve read threw their hats in the Obamacare ring. I’ve just not found anything that says otherwise. And this despite it being opposed because of other clear and obvious problems that the Bishops had to have known about, and yet it didn’t seem to bother them. Only one thing bothered them, and we all know how that turned out.

                  • http://www.subcreators.com/blog Lori Pieper

                    OK, please show me some article, some piece of news reporting that says what you claim. (I’m assuming that many news stories said the bishops supported Obamacare, because, as is mostly the case with the MSM, the authors didn’t know what they were talking about. But I’d have to see the stories to judge that).

            • Vicq_Ruiz

              Or maybe a specific branch of the USCCB, especially one devoted to justice and peace or healthcare?

              And if the USCCB site is down for maintenance, feel free to visit the Democratic National Committee’s site. Effectively identical content on 95%+ of the issues.

              • http://www.subcreators.com/blog Lori Pieper

                So is your main problem that the bishops are seemingly in line with the tenets of a political party? Or is it just that they are not 100% in line with your party?

                • Vicq_Ruiz

                  Since I have no loyalty to a political party, I don’t think that’s the issue. I usually find left-wing cant slightly more objectionable than right-wing cant, but that’s about it.

                  I know a lot of Catholics who don’t hold that every single problem in contemporary America is best solved by more taxation and more supervision by our elected and regulatory ruling class. The path to a bishopric seems to select for the contrary view, however.

  • The Deuce

    Yes, no one explains it better than Mark Steyn, the Canadian WHO FREQUENTLY FILLS IN FOR RUSH LIMBAUGH!

    Education, people.

    • John

      Filling in for Rush doesn’t mean he is or thinks like Rush. Steyn is thoughtful, articulate, and not a hack or idealogue.
      Thought, people.

      • Rebecca Fuentes

        And he’s much more entertaining to listen to than Rush. I’ve gotten to the point where I only listen to Rush when he’s Mark Steyn.

  • LSUStatman

    The inconvenient truth is that the rapid escalation in costs in health care is due to the linkage between employment and coverage, started during the FDR administration as a way to get around New Deal wage caps. Until this changes, we will never fix the problem.

    Steyn’s analysis is accurate in that the Obamacare effect is to make labor drastically more expensive with no expectation of increased productivity. Republicans understood this during the debate in Congress. Labor Unions have figured it out and are now decrying the fact that such an increase in labor costs undoes a lot of what they have won over the years with negotiation and strikes. Either way, Obamacare is an anchor to the economy.

    Two ways to solve this problem exist. The first would be to allow individuals to negotiate their own coverage parameters. This would mean that each person or family would be able to purchase affordable coverage by eliminating services they don’t wish to do purchase. Recent articles about how much can be saved by not making an insurance claim when visiting a clinic show how such a system could work.

    The second solution is to have the government take over the whole thing. This would lead to never ending arguments about what would be covered, but people who needed healthcare would never go into poverty dealing with a health crisis. This is what the bishops seem to favor.

    Obamacare rejected both of these solutions, doubling-down on the employer mandate. The cynical among us believe that the current damage to employment that Obamacare seems to be responsible for is a feature, so the advocates of governmental take-over can finally win the argument.

    So it’s not accurate to say there are no ideas out there to solve the problems. It is accurate to say that the ruling class have convinced many voters that they can find the pot of gold to pay for the free lunch they have been promised. The further we go before that is addressed, the harder the collapse of the system will be.

    • The Deuce

      The second solution is to have the government take over the whole
      thing. This would lead to never ending arguments about what would be
      covered, but people who needed healthcare would never go into poverty
      dealing with a health crisis.

      Well, that’s the claim anyway. In reality it would just result in destruction of price information, waste, inefficiency, misallocated resources, and fraud. And of course hard rationing by a central body to limit demand.

      Also, instead of ordering businesses and insurance companies around and telling them what to cover and for how much, the HHS would directly order doctors around, so we could see people having to choose between prescribing contraceptives and performing abortions or upholding their faith and choosing a different field.

      • LSUStatman

        Oh, I completely agree with you and would support a more direct market-oriented solution. Taking the decisions away from patients is the opposite of normal American solutions.

        I was just pointing out that there are two ways to eliminate the corrosive effect of the employment-health coverage linkage.

  • John Barnes

    Having paid a great deal of attention to both Rush Limbaugh and Mark Steyn over the years, it’s clear there’s a difference between how they view our current health care system and needed reforms. Steyn is much more honest about corporate bureaucracy and the fundamental problem of having ANY third party pay for health care. Limbaugh seems largely content with the status quo, and I get the sense he has called for changes only to the extent that it’s become necessary for Republicans to admit (albeit grudgingly) that what we have now is truly a mess. I don’t agree with everything Steyn says, but the bottom line is that he tends to be intellectually honest, while Limbaugh is much more of an opportunist blowhard.

    • Dave G.

      There are differences, but differences from the same basic perspectives.

  • meunke

    I’m always amused when people try to make sense of the new healthcare law. “Why would they do xyz? unless, maybe they were hoping it would do abc for the poor, but then that means…” etc.

    People really tie themselves in knots over it. It’s like trying to constantly tweak and add more epicycles to a solar system model because you insist that planets MUST have perfectly circular orbits.

    You just have to realize one thing: It’s main purpose was not to help the poor. It’s purpose was not offer help at all. Once you understand that, Once you accept that, it’s like dropping the perfect circle from the model. Explanations get simple very fast and things that were a hopeless jumble and made no sense suddenly become very clear.

  • erin

    My husband’s company is beginning to send out info on all the new changes coming to our healthcare options due to the new health law. As of the new 2012 rules, the abortion surcharge, or premium, was required to be included on all plans bought through exchanges. It’s not clear yet whether existing employer plans will have to pay this surcharge (I’ve been trying to find out).
    But if yes, what the new law amounts to is this: Obama has made it illegal not to buy health insurance, and he may very well have made all health insurance immoral.

    • The Deuce

      If it hasn’t been mandated in employer plans already, all it takes is the whim of Kathleen Sebelius to change that. Mandatory “transgender therapy” coverage sure to follow.

      My own employer had the little “Obamacare talk” with us about the changes in options too. They didn’t mention the abortion surcharge, since the company plans already covered that, but the bottom line is that our costs are going up, and benefits are being scrapped or curtailed elsewhere to try and compensate. And to think that this is only the beginning…

      • erin

        Our coverage had already covered abortion as well, but this surcharge is new. As worded in the law, it is not to be less than $1, and it is taken from everyone in the plan to specifically cover elective abortions covered by that plan. With no opt out.
        AND, per wording in the law, the insurance company only has to disclose the breakdown of this charge BEFORE you enroll. Once you are covered in their plan, they are not required to tell you about it.
        ACLJ has some good round-ups of this. But there is very little that is recent. I think I just saw that final rules are delayed, again, till mid-September. What are Catholics to do if this surcharge is in their insurance options??

  • Stu

    What the healthcare system could be with a little help from principles found in authentic Catholic Social Teaching.

    http://distributistreview.com/mag/2011/07/distributism-and-the-health-care-system/

  • Tom

    I’ve always been for a Canadian-style single-payer health system for the U.S., so “Obamacare” was never enough to suit be. But I do know that a dear friend is now able to insure a daughter who was once diagnosed with leukemia. Repeal the ACA ,and with 24 hours that family gets a certified letter cutting that child off. I can’t see any way that result is a good.

    • http://chicagoboyz.net/ TMLutas

      The problem will be when the insurance card is presented and nobody will accept it. Such is the case with Medicaid and Medicare is starting to suffer the same issue, fewer and fewer will accept it.

      There’s a difference between a paper promise that means little and a system that actually works to sustainably provide care.

  • TheodoreSeeber

    “All third party systems are crappy and inefficient”- Absolutely true. And not just in health care, but in food, clothing, shelter, water supplies as well

  • Mike the Geek

    The term “Healthcare System” immediately implies some kind of nationally-directed management system. My health care involves me, my doctor(s), my (prior) employer, and my insurance company. What does the state – at any level – have to do with that?
    Most of my adult life, I bought an 80/20 plan + catastrophic through an employer (who could get a group discount and paid part of the premium in lieu of salary). That was fine with me.
    One of the reasons prices went through the roof was y=that the government started shoveling out taxpayers’ dollars to “help” us. How about them getting out of the business and sticking to, maybe, governing?

  • tz1

    Insurance companies are as sound as the Liberty Bell.

    Isn’t “Cracked” a term for “insane”?

    Libertarians can be as dazed with their ideology. There is and can be no “market” for most things. If you are run over by a truck but not killed, you aren’t going to pull out your cell phone to get bids on the ambulance and ER. And the marginal utility of not dying from diabetes, kidney failure, or any number of chronic conditions is infinite. The probability of you being hit by a meteor or getting a rare cancer might be the same, but do you buy insurance? Check your policy.

    Yet here I blame the Church. There used to be Catholic catholic hospitals. One argument is they don’t ask for baptismal certificates. They do ask for insurance info and the billing address. Healing the sick used to be a corporal work of mercy. We have given that to Caesar. (Like we have given Marriage to Caesar and wonder why the pagans aren’t virtuous).

    The Church has no authority to use violence or to appropriate property. They have moral authority, and can preach and excommunicate. So it is safe if they are socialist, communist, even Marxist. Let them shout the story of Lazarus and Dives from the housetops.

    Instead it is much more convenient to simply advocate violating the commandment prohibiting robbery – of the rich to give to the poor – by proxy. As long as we all vote and the robber is called a “tax collector”. The collection basket is so unreliable and inconsistent. Guns work so much better.

    Hungry? – Obama will give you an EBT card.
    Homeless? – Obama will give you section 8 housing
    Disabled? – Obama will give you SSI.

    The church might agonize about how to provide health care (or other aid under the works of mercy), but it wouldn’t be insane. Caesar – Nero – Caligula – Diocletian – are at best insane, at worst objectively evil. And these the Bishops have commanded fealty to in such things.


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