Posted by: Jim | June 3, 2008

Tyranny of the Consuming Majority

Thanks to Todd for the tip on this one:

Massachusetts is fining people for not buying Health Insurance.

“Monthly penalties for those who can afford health care but refuse will jump and could total as much as $912 for individuals by December.”

So, let’s say I’m a 22-year old guy and I make decent money. I’m healthy, I live a healthy lifestyle, so I roll the dice and decide I don’t want to pay $500 a month for Health Insurance. Now, it is true that this decision makes health insurance a teeny tiny bit more expensive for everyone else. Indeed, the law has caused the cost of Health Insurance to drop 7% – 13%, but at what expense? Apparently the law says “if you can afford health insurance, you must buy it.” 71% of working-class adults are in favor of the law. Guess who they are? The people who were already insured. What a concept! Force non-consumers to consume, and drive the prices down for all the consumers. Tyranny of the consuming majority.

Todd calls this a “nanny state” law, but the term “nanny” implies someone who actually cares about it’s little charges. Let’s be honest, people, the politicians in Massachusetts were not looking out for their constituents, but for their campaign contributors, who are the people who benefitted most by this law: insurance companies. If Massachusetts were truly a nanny state, it would tax everyone to provide free health insurance to anyone who couldn’t afford it. And if someone can afford it but chooses not to, they go without.

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Responses

  1. Looks more like the workings of a cartel than the nanny state.

    For the nanny state, go to the UK, where there is no opt-out of anything, and because most people can’t afford to buy private health insurance, too, what is happening is that the Ministry of Health now feels that it is going to enforce lifestyles upon people or deny them treatment, penalise them in some way. Of course, the rabble endorses this, as it is always good to have targets to hate/obsess over, etc. The rabble never considers for an instant that no matter how people live, the government will not release the financial fruits of any such measures in any way. To the UK government, taxes not increasing as fast as they were a year ago constitutes “an effective tax cut”.

    The UK govt also wants to read all text messages, emails, and record all the websites its citizens visit, as well as logging all car journeys. At some point, Nanny morphs into Big Brother.

    The difference in MA appears to be that it forces people into the purchase of a private service (is there an MA ‘public’ health insurer, and if so, is it just a front for a private contractor?). The notion that ‘price will go down for everybody’ as a justification is ludicrous – the same could be said of any product. Should voters in Michigan be all forced to buy Big 3 pick-ups because ‘the price will go down for everybody’ – maybe people in Nevada could be mandated X number of lapdances a month to help the price ‘go down for everybody’.

    This whole notion reminds me very much of George Bernard Shaw’s writing on the medical profession and how, in the eyes of these people, health is a resource to be plundered, and the fact of rejecting their services is considered an affront, a direct challenge to the doctor’s ability to live well.

    I quote:

    “It is not the fault of our doctors that the medical service of the community, as at present provided for, is a murderous absurdity. That any sane nation, having observed that you could provide for
    the supply of bread by giving bakers a pecuniary interest in baking for you, should go on to give a surgeon a pecuniary interest in cutting off your leg, is enough to make one despair of political humanity. But that is precisely what we have done. And the more appalling the mutilation, the more the mutilator is paid. He who corrects the ingrowing toe-nail receives a few shillings:
    he who cuts your inside out receives hundreds of guineas, except when he does it to a poor person for practice.”

  2. I’m all for the lapdance law, but to be fair, it should apply nationwide, not just Nevada, and you should be able to choose your own provider, who must comply whether she likes it or not.

    No touching, of course — let’s be civilized about this. After all, I’m not a rapist; just a horny control freak who didn’t get enough action in high school. 😉

    * * *

  3. The lapdance measure could be KingFelix’s Law – I am sure it won’t be hard to get a million signatories.


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