Still working my way through a backlog of legal and other writing work, so the best I can do is to give you a heads up about a few other articles I found interesting. All of these came courtesy of Earl, and all address Obamacare.
First, Earl sent me a Reason article saying that, when Obamacare implodes, Republicans should stand ready to give the free market a chance. I couldn’t agree more. And the important thing to remember in that regard is that the free market hasn’t functioned in the world of medical care since the mid-1960s, when Johnson introduced Medicaid and Medicare. Both of those entitlements swiftly perverted the market and created America’s e enormous debt burden. Indeed, Avik Roy puts a little perspective on things by showing that Obamacare, rather than being an entirely new socialist burden, is simply the icing on the government entitlement cake. The system was collapsing anyway and Obamacare, rather than “bending the curve,” will only hasten the system’s wholesale collapse. This means that Leftists are on to something when they say conservatives are being unduly hysterical. They understand that Obamacare is simply more of the same, rather than a whole new system.
My sense is that Republicans, with their usual knack for snatching defeat from the jaws of victory will be caught utterly flat-footed when the system does break under its own weight. Rather than having a free-market plan at the ready, they will out-shriek Democrats when it comes to creating yet another government monstrosity to repair the disaster. Rahm Emanuel may have said that one should never let a crisis go to waste, but it’s the Republicans that have put a spin on it: never let a crisis be used to advance liberty and the free market.
Speaking of the free market, have you ever heard of Samaritan Health-Care Ministries? It’s an absolutely fascinating group whereby its members help each other. It’s predicated on faith, honesty, and generosity, all of which are alien to a government program, and antithetical to a society that causes Disneyland to shut down its line-skipping benefits for handicapped people, because so many fully-abled people were cheating. The question is whether Samaritan Health-Care Ministries can survive Obamacare? This is because Obamacare does nothing to incentivize price cuts in the free market, and does everything to make more people dependent on having others pay their way — without any reciprocating obligations. It’s those reciprocating obligations that are so important to gratitude, moral fiber, and honesty . . . and that are so at odds with the impersonality of government largesse and the sense that people can demand their “rights” rather than count their blessings.
I have to comment upon all of the liberals I know on Facebook who are complaining that what the House is doing is unconstitutional because “Obamacare is the law.” They all seem terribly surprised when I point out to them gently that it’s entirely constitutional for the House to have the power of the purse. Moreover, they are slumguzzled when I note that the Founders probably gave the House this power because it is called the “House of Representatives” for a reason. It’s members serve for much shorter terms than Supreme Court justices (life terms), executives (minimum 4 year terms) and Senators (minimum 6 year terms). This means that, if people are not pleased with the decisions made by those bodies that cannot easily be booted, they can make their displeasure known through the House, where new representatives can be rotated in every two years. Additionally, unlike the other branches of government, the House of Representatives mirrors population. This is why it’s got the power to put the brakes on schemes cooked up by members of the other branches of government who are elected or appointed in numbers unrelated to the American population, and who have job security unrelated, or less related, to their immediate conduct.
Summed up, the Founders made it very clear that, no matter the laws passed, the ultimate power lay with the body most close to the people. After all, he who pays the piper calls the tune.
And, on a completely different topic, Qwest CEO Joseph Nacchio is out of prison. He was sent there for engaging in unethical practices, but he said all along that he was set-up by the government. His crime? Refusing to allow the NSA to spy on his customers. With Edward Snowden’s revelations about the scope of government spying, Nacchio is feeling pretty darn vindicated. Glenn Reynolds has the perfect coda to this news blurb: “There was a time I would have doubted that sort of claim, but not so much now.”