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Wednesday, October 10, 2007

The real question is why wouldn't you want to live in Ron Paul's America?


Blogger Kitty said...

I like what he has to say about the war in Iraq and civil liberties, but I get nervous whenever a politician starts talking about abolishing taxes. Cutting taxes is one thing, but abolishing them? Government services cost money, and there are a lot of services that are best provided by the government because they're too important to entrust private interests with. Our incredibly fucked-up health care system and chronic lack of adequate health insurance is a perfect example of private industry failing to meet our needs. Insurance companies don't benefit from helping the insured get high-quality, low-cost health care. Their interest is profit, not serving their customers' best interests. If you don't like your health insurance plan, often there's nothing you can do about it, especially if a pre-existing condition prevents you from finding a better deal. If the government provided health insurance and we didn't like the way it was run, we could fix the problem at the polls.

But I guess all this is why I'm still a Democrat.

10/11/2007 12:34:00 PM  
Blogger Kitty said...

That's the most I've said about politics in months, by the way.

10/11/2007 12:34:00 PM  
Blogger Luke McIntyre said...

He's not talking about abolishing taxes altogether, though. He's talking about abolishing the income tax. There are still many, many, many taxes left. I'm a big fan of switching over to a federal sales tax.

Our health care system is indeed fucked up, but I think that has more to do with government interfereing with it than anything. Right now we have a jumbled up system somewhere inbetween taxing citizens a lot for socialized medicine and everyone using private providers. One or the other works, as we can see in other systems, but any half-assed inbetween system doesn't.

I can't say which of the systems would work better, but being a libertarian I'm obviously in favor of the private one, which doesn't exactly work the way you described it.

You're right that companies don't actually care about anything other than money, just like politicians don't actually care about anything other than votes. That being so, the best system for both is where they have/are free to give the customer/voter exactly what they demand.

Imagine the messed up political situation we'd have if politicians only had to get the votes of people with a sizable amount of yearly earnings. That's essentially what we have with health care. Health insurance companies are in a situation where they have to compete with government, which they can't because government operates at a loss. They can only offer so much because their market is only so big, which means not enough competition, which means shitty prices and service for their customers.

Think about it like this: can you get cheap car insurance? Sure, the little lizard says so. Fairly cheap, anyway, the same way you can get cheap anything. Competition between companies means the companies can't screw you; you'd just go to a company that doesn't bend you over for a doctor's visit.

It might sound like a magic bullet theory to say that a free market will take care of just about any problem (aside from monopolies and unfair business practices, pure anarchy doesn't work, of course, though there are free market theories about that as well), but point out a commercial need that isn't currently being filled by several dozen companies, each struggling to beat the other guy. Why wouldn't health insurance work the same way?

Obviously it would be a huge shift from our current system to a free market one, or really just from our current system to one that works, so in the mean time we need things like S-CHIP to patch holes in the leaking ship. That's also why I like Ron Paul. Everyone complains about government bureacracy never changing, being too big too accomplish anything, blah blah blah. Ronny boy has the balls to do something about it.

And that was a lot more than I planned to type.

10/11/2007 04:11:00 PM  
Blogger Kitty said...

I don't think the government is really in competition with private insurance companies, though. It's more like they fill in the gaps left by insurance companies that charge more than their potential customers can afford. I generally agree that a truly free market will work itself out in a way that's advantageous to everyone, but I don't think it's the answer for health insurance because keeping insurance costs low depends on having a large pool of customers; the market can't be divided into very many pieces without prices going up. Competition is basically disabled as a safety feature in that market.

All that being said, I realize there's no such thing as perfection in government, and even though I think universal health care would be ideal, I know it would have its problems. I just think it's worth it to making sure everyone can get high-quality health care. And like you said, other countries have shown that it can be done well.

10/16/2007 06:13:00 PM  
Blogger cherokee said...

Don't have much time to comment now on what kitty said, but the problem with the health care system is that it's designed and set up to benefit the insurance companies rather than doctors or patients. this has nothing to do with taxes, this has all to do with lobbying, something that i believe is completely unconstitutional in its present form. every citizen has the right to petition their govt but they do so as individual citizens. the minute our lawmakers start listening to corporate lobbying they are costing americans in money, fairness, equality, and liberty. after i'm done studying this international finance stuff i'll comment further

10/27/2007 07:33:00 PM  

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