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There are times when a thought just won’t leave your mind. I try to blog on issues that are…
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The Fallacy of Price Gouging
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It really is that simple, people.
Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY)
In 1952, SCOTUS ruled in Adler v. Board of Education that it was constitutional for school districts to quiz their teachers on their political affiliations (this was all part of the communist witch hunt) and fire them if they refused to answer or answered unsatisfactorily. The decision was later overturned, when in 1967’s Keyishian v. Board of Regents the Court said this quizzing and firing process was actually unconstitutional because it suppressed free speech, limited academic freedom, and was too vague for due process to really occur.
Now, disagree with Rand Paul if you want. I’m not writing this in an attempt to persuade you to oppose today’s decision. But just because SCOTUS says something is constitutional doesn’t mean you have to agree that it is. To take that line means you have to think that, in 1952, it was constitutional to fire teachers if they answered some McCarthyesque questions the wrong way — and that in 1967, it suddenly wasn’t.
I could give other examples — Bowers v. Hardwick, a 1986 case in which the Supreme Court validated a Georgia law against sodomy, calling it constitutional, comes to mind. Or 1883’s Pace v. Alabama, which found an Alabama law outlawing sex or marriage between people of different races to be constitutional. I don’t know about you, but I’d say that SCOTUS declaring anti-sodomy and anti-miscegenation laws to be constitutional doesn’t make it so. The whole thing remains unconstitutional. Ditto for Dred Scott and Plessy v. Ferguson. The discriminatory laws these cases upheld were never constitutional; the Supreme Court was just wrong. I presume you would not disagree.
In short, you may think the Court is right today, but that doesn’t make Rand Paul’s statement stupid; it just means you don’t share his opinion. We don’t have to agree on this, but let’s at least be reasonable.
The End of Health Insurance as We Knew It
The recent SCOTUS decision on Obamacare means the end for the health insurance companies.
What a claim! How can I say this?
It’s cheaper to pay the annual penalty, now called a tax by SCOTUS, than pay for expensive insurance coverage. The “pre-existing condition” clause means no matter how severely ill someone is, you can wait and buy insurance coverage at the time of the diagnosis. This saves the individual the money they would have paid, over time, into the insurance pool when they were healthy. This is how health insurance has worked since it’s inception. The healthy members pay current benefits to unhealthy members. The payment of premiums by healthy members is what builds up the insurance pool from which the unhealthy members draw from. This only works as long as healthy members are paying in. With the “pre-existing” condition clause in Obamacare, now you don’t have to pay into an insurance pool to draw benefits. It’s cheaper, by far, to wait until diagnosed and then buy the insurance coverage and begin depleting the insurance pool.
How long can an insurance pool last under these conditions?
Not long. This spells bankruptcy for all of the health insurance providers. Yes, all of them. Even my “Cadillac plan” I have through my union contract. Blue Cross Blue Shield, who provides my insurance, will also feel the strain of a depleted insurance pool and will be lead into bankruptcy. This is an economic fact.
So, what happens next?
This opens up a huge door for the U.S. government to come to the rescue in this time of “crisis”. I use quotes because this is a manufactured crisis. A crisis of design. The design in this case being single payer socialized healthcare. I would expect something along the lines of the German nationalized model. This where the insurance companies exist but are nationalized by the State. They become nothing more than administrators for national health care paid for through much higher taxes. Depending on one’s profession or place of employment determines which insurance pool the person would belong and be covered under. Everyone of blue collar status would have the same coverage and belong to the same pool. Those who are salaried would recieve the same coverage but belong to another pool. Those who are employed by governments would receive better coverage and belong to yet another pool. The logistics of these “contributions” will be mandated upon employers. All of which is currently bankrupt in Germany. This only means rationing, long waits and lowered quality of care as doctors, surgeons and hospitals receive a much lower payment from the government insurance “companies” for their services.
You ain’t seen nothing yet.
I can speak from experience, having lived under this system as I was employed by the Department of Defense in Berlin, Germany throughout the 1980s. Do you like the service you get at fast food restaurants? Then you will love fast food health care under the nationalized model. Under-trained and under-educated staff await your arrival on your trip through health care lane. The entire system revolves around how many payment sheets the health care provider receives. To elaborate; the health care system in Germany is set up on a payment book method. Similar to the payment book some have to pay their mortgage or a car loan. The member receives his or her annual book of pages of payment sheets. So many payment sheets per year means so many visits per year. This is where rationing comes in. When you arrive at the doctor’s office you hand over a sheet from the book, something like from a check book, with all your information on each page. The more of these sheets the office can amass, the more they receive from the insurance companies. The point being; to get as many patients through the office in any given day as possible. Hence, fast food health care!
This, of course, is all conjecture on my part. I cannot say with all certainty that Obamacare will end up on the German model. This is one example of a myriad of socialized health care models out there. It is also the most efficient. This is why I would expect this to be our new American health care model. But, as the saying goes, only time will tell. For all of those who are waiting, with baited breath, for the Republicans to repeal and save the day; take a breath. Understand that current congresses cannot control what future congresses do. SCOTUS has given new and unprecedented powers to tax to congress. Expect the State to be very involved in your health in the near future.
I found the free epub version at Mises.org (http://mises.org/document/990) after reading an excerpt of it on LewRockwell.com (http://www.lewrockwell.com/chodorov/chodorov10.html) entitled “Taxation is Robbery”.
I must say, I was pleasantly surprised with how well the author has put this book together. Once you start it you find yourself not able to put it down. It reads like a manifesto against taxation and outlines why the violation of the fruit of one’s labor is the most disgusting of legalized theft. I kept thinking of Bastiat’s term of “legalized plunder” while Chodorov was laying down his arguments.
It’s not a particularly long book and an avid reader reader could get through it in a weekend. I read it over the course of about a week as I usually read two or three books simultaneously.
For those who have often pondered taxation and the 16th amendment, this book is a definite recommendation. For those that enjoy loosing money from their paychecks, then I would suggest something from Marx and Engels.
Frank Chodorov 1954, “The Income Tax: The Root of All Evil