The Modern Democratic Party, Adults Need Not Apply — Apparently

The left-wing blob and Democratic pundits and spokesmen have jumped on two recent issues which are closely related. Mr Paul in an interview according to the Democrat POV “wants” a hypothetical 40 y/old uninsured person needing long term medical care to die. Likewise Mr Bachmann is criticized for using unsubstantiated anecdotal claims in a discussion on goverment mandated immunizations.

One of the primary features of adulthood is that you make decisions and own the consequences, the fairy godmother (or your parents) is not going to be there to save your butt if you’re decision turns  out to be a bad mistake. The decision (in the case of the not getting insurance) might even be rational. You’re 40. You might be trying a new business venture and the decision to purchase for 8-12k/year medical insurance might be important for your cash flow. You reckon, from an actuarial standpoint, that there is a 1:100,000 chance of you needing that insurance per year. So you roll the dice figuring in 4 years or so you’ll either give up and be working for someone and getting insurance that way, or you’d strike success and be able to afford it. So you roll the dice and got snake eyes.

The Paul interviewer is offering a false choice. It isn’t “do you care or don’t you?” But instead, are you allowed to be an adult or aren’t you? He’s saying can you or can you not make that choice? Can you be an adult? Should an adult individual be allowed to make a choice which results in death? Can you ride a bike (with or without motor) without a helmet? Can you fly a plane you built and maintain yourself? Should hang gliding be allowed? Cliff diving? Scuba? Or (to borrow from the Bachmann example) can you decide for yourself or your children to not get vaccinated (ignore the irony that the a big bloc of vaccination avoiders are Southern Californian Democrats.

What I fail to grok is why Democrats are so firmly against adulthood. The cynical take is that the party in a large part is dependent for votes on a large somewhat non-adult dependent population. Keeping them in their non-adult dependency is required to keep those votes captive. That may be the motivation of the intelligentsia, but my intuition is that is not the motivation of those not entrenched in government. What I don’t understand is the motivation of the rest? Is it a TANSTAAFL fallacy? That the freedom to be an adult doesn’t restrict (for them) an choices that they would be likely to make so it doesn’t matter, so the rejection of adulthood is a free lunch in their view (ignoring that there is no free lunch). Is that it?  

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

25 comments

  1. Boonton says:

    So at any point will you or Paul answer the actual question? Trying to distract and obscure the answer is not a very adult approach as opposed to straightforward directness.

    Once again, your preferred policy is implemented. A 40 yr old man opts not to get coverage and has a sudden stroke. His care will require substantial money. What will be the consequences here under Paul’s vision? Answer the question

  2. Mark says:

    Boonton,
    I’ll answer yours if you answer mine. Mine is, as noted above, the decision made was rational coldly and logically evaluating risk and return. Why should that decision be illegal? Why is adult decision making foreign to the Democrat worldview? This 40 y/old has a dream he wants to realize. He needs that 10k per year for just a few years to make it happen. Why can’t he make that gamble? Why can’t he attempt to realize his dream?

    Seems to me his family, his property will be on the hook. If he has none of those, then he must depend on a rat infested safety net and his remaining years will not be one filled with beds of roses.

    What do you think are the chances of a stroke at 40? 1:10^6? 1:10^7?

  3. Boonton says:

    Let’s say for the sake of argument he has no relevant property to this discussion. Maybe a few thousand in the bank after subtracting current liabilities. He therefore presents at the hospital with some medical condition requiring, say, an estimated $90K of treatment. If he gets no treatment, he will likely die. If he gets treated, he will likely live a normal lifespan but will suffer debilitation that will make it unlikely he will ever earn enough wages to pay back the $90K so putting a private lean on his wages is not a viable option.

    Now he made the gamble and lost, he is currently unconscious in the ER so his decision making in this game is done. Ron Paul’s ‘answer’ of ‘advising him’ to be covered is a non-answer at this point. He didn’t and he ain’t. Now the question is what do the rest of us do in this regard?

  4. One of the primary features of adulthood is that you make decisions and own the consequences, the fairy godmother (or your parents) is not going to be there to save your butt if you’re decision turns out to be a bad mistake.

    That’s a very ideological view of adulthood that pretty much assumes your conclusion.

    Rationally speaking, there are tradeoffs between the cost and value of “saving people’s butts.”

    Morally, we see people as valuable, so if we can help them at a reasonable cost, it seems like the moral thing to do. If I’m standing by a big cliff and I see an adult man careening towards the edge on a mountain bike because he was careless and I can do something reasonable to stop him, am I “against adulthood” if I spare him from the consequences of his actions? Or am I just a decent human being?

    Even amorally, healthy people are valuable and unhealthy people are costly from an economic point of view. Spending even $100,000 to save the life of a 50-year-old might have positive expected value for the country. Spending $500 today to prevent a $100,000 surgery ten years from now would be even better.

    The Paul interviewer is offering a false choice. It isn’t “do you care or don’t you?” But instead, are you allowed to be an adult or aren’t you? He’s saying can you or can you not make that choice? Can you be an adult? Should an adult individual be allowed to make a choice which results in death?

    That was not the question. The question was, assuming that the adult already made that choice, should we just let him die? Paul says no (although at least one member of the audience shouted yes) but neither you nor he seem to be able to explain how that would work in a libertarian system.

  5. Boonton says:

    More generally, Mark asks that people be allowed to take risks. As such, the right to take risks entails being left alone to deal with the consequences should the gamble fail to pay off.

    This right is not seriously in dispute. For example, Mark is allowed to flirt with women he meets at the office and when he has to travel. He runs the risk that his flirting will get out of hand, result in an affair and will eventually ruin his marriage with his current wife taking a huge chunk of his pay for alimony. In this regard, Mark is perfectly free to act like an adult, deciding for himself what is and isn’t an acceptable risk and if he judges wrongly, well neither I nor JA will pay his wife off for him nor would we expect Obama to propose a law to do so.

    But notice here I answered the question Ron Paul refuses to answer directly. “What happens if Mark misjudges his ability to control flirting and destroys his marriage?” “Then Mark’s marriage is destroyed and he will have to live with the consequences, end of story”.

    Suppose I propose that Mark has a right to play Russian Roulette. OK you ask “What happens if when Mark spins the barrel, it ends at the chamber with the bullet?” I answer, “Mark will then blow his brains out”. But in reality Mark probably doesn’ thave a right to play Russian roulette. If I opened a parlor where people can play for a fee, winning from the pot of fees left behind by the losers, I’d most likely be shut down. I’m free to open a bar where Mark may flirt with loose women and risk his marriage, but I’m not free to help Mark gamble on blowing his brains out.

    Now Paul was perfectly free to make this point but he chickened out. Ayn Rand didn’t. She was very clear when the subject was those with extreme disabilities. If they survive, it can only be by the efforts of private charity and altruism. If such private charity is not forthcoming, the person dies. Just like my hypothetical answer on allowing people to play Russian roulette. What happens if they spin the bullet? They will almost certainly die. That’s the nature of the game and if you’re going to let people play it don’t kid yourself that no one will ever spin a bullet….

    Paul, though, does not address the question. He punts as does Mark. Somehow the 30 yr old man would never opt to not get coverage if it turned out he would need it. Or in Mark’s response aren’t the odds really low of a 30 yr old needing major medical care? In other words the advocate of ‘adulthood’ here is telling us let people play Russian roulette but at the same time just pretend that nothing messy is going to go down. It will all be good fun. Here then is the lesson, don’t confuse adolescent naivety about adult consequences with adulthood.

  6. Mark says:

    Boonton,

    This right is not seriously in dispute.

    That is exactly what is in dispute. And to dispute it, you bring in a weighted example (roullete). There isn’t a (good) rational reason for playing. I offered a good reason why for a short period a 30/40 y/old entrepreneur might gamble on a few years to get a start up going because he needs cash flow. The chances are 1/6 in the RR example, but as noted more like 1 in 10^5 for the startup. Yet you offer that isn’t a choice one can make. You haven’t offered an explanation why, except to call it “adolescent naivety about adult consequences” (which btw, isn’t a very good argument).

    Ron Paul “refuses” to answer it because it neglects the charity of allowing choice to be on the table, it assumes that is not relevant and off the table. Mu is the answer. That is a false choice weighted badly to your expected answer.

    JA,

    That’s a very ideological view of adulthood that pretty much assumes your conclusion.

    Are you disagreeing with that as an important aspect of adulthood or not? It seems to me that you are both assuming there is no rational reason for going without care. That’s wrong. It’s just a choice you wish to take away because you (apparently) can’t imagine why someone would choose it.

    If I’m standing by a big cliff and I see an adult man careening towards the edge on a mountain bike because he was careless and I can do something reasonable to stop him, am I “against adulthood” if I spare him from the consequences of his actions? Or am I just a decent human being?

    And when you find out he’s wearing a cliff-diving suit, a helmet cam, and has contracted at great expense for two camera crews (one in a helicopter) and you’ve just ruined the shot, three day, perfect weather, and $75k in expenses by your ostensible humanitarian decision. What then? Are you still a decent human being? Or a meddling putz. I think we’re back to the “can’t imagine” what’s going on.

    The question was, assuming that the adult already made that choice, should we just let him die?

    And I offered … an answer, in the negative but qualified it by noting that he’s getting inexpensive and likely marginal care. I did explain. You just ignored it.

  7. Are you disagreeing with that as an important aspect of adulthood or not?

    One of the fundamental differences between you and me is that I look at categories as descriptive and you look at them as prescriptive. For example, in today’s links, you link to a post about an MMA movies and analyzes it in the context of “real men.” For me, there is no such thing as “real men.” For me, “Men” is a category that, like all categories is fuzzy on the edges. Generally, it means adult humans with male chromosomes, but there are edge cases like people abnormal chromosomes, people who have sex changes, people who want sex changes, people with hormonal abnormalities, hermaphrodites, etc. It seems not just absurd but offensive to me to say that an MMA fighter is more of a “real man” than some gay guy who just won Project Runway.

    See also our discussion on religion/subgroups, the endless fetus/human thing, the are Mormons Christian thing, etc.

    Similarly, “adulthood” is a fuzzy label. Strictly speaking, it could refer to post-puberty or post-moving-out-of-your parents or post-school life. You have seized upon an idea that a little more arbitrary still than those that doesn’t even stand up to a minute’s scrutiny, as I think my adult on a bike careening towards a cliff example shows. You talk about actions and consequences as if it’s a moral imperative to not decouple them. The obvious challenge to that is to question you about what happens if the consequences would be so severe that it seems monstrous to not decouple them. Hence the Paul question.

    And when you find out he’s wearing a cliff-diving suit, a helmet cam, and has contracted at great expense for two camera crews (one in a helicopter) and you’ve just ruined the shot, three day, perfect weather, and $75k in expenses by your ostensible humanitarian decision. What then? Are you still a decent human being? Or a meddling putz. I think we’re back to the “can’t imagine” what’s going on.

    OMG if you completely change the story, the moral is different! Who would have thought? There are no such confounding factors in the real-life example we’re talking about. It’s not a question of what if the guy who chose not to have insurance and now has cancer wants the cancer. He doesn’t. The question is what do we do about it.

    And I offered … an answer, in the negative but qualified it by noting that he’s getting inexpensive and likely marginal care. I did explain. You just ignored it.

    Not really. You still didn’t explain where that care is coming from and who’s paying for it.

    Also, note that the very scenario you’re imagining where it’s rational to roll the dice without health insurance wouldn’t exist if we had universal coverage. Nobody would have to make that choice.

    Do you understand that you’re arguing for a country in which people literally have to risk their lives to make career moves rather than one in which health care is not contingent on being employed or wealthy? Think about the costs of that! How many potential entrepreneurs are playing it safe because they don’t want to gamble their lives? How many people are in suboptimal employment because they can’t risk losing insurance for their children? Etc.

  8. Boonton says:

    That is exactly what is in dispute. And to dispute it, you bring in a weighted example (roullete). There isn’t a (good) rational reason for playing.

    There isn’t a good rational reason for playing? Says who? You? I thought the idea here is to talk about adults and the fact that adults make decisions and have to live with the consquences. Yes roullete is an extreme example where most but the strongest libertarians would probably not want to permit, but I also brought in an example (you flirting with women while married) that almost everyone would say is a decision an adult has a right to make.

    The chances are 1/6 in the RR example, but as noted more like 1 in 10^5 for the startup. Yet you offer that isn’t a choice one can make. You haven’t offered an explanation why, except to call it “adolescent naivety about adult consequences” (which btw, isn’t a very good argument).

    Chance of what is 10^5? That the start up will make a lot of money? That the guy would be struck with a stroke during the period he goes without coverage? If the odds of serious medical expense were really that low coverage would cost next to nothing.

    Ron Paul “refuses” to answer it because it neglects the charity of allowing choice to be on the table, it assumes that is not relevant and off the table. Mu is the answer. That is a false choice weighted badly to your expected answer.

    Bullshit, he refuses to answer because he thinks voters won’t like the answer period. Roullete may be extreme, but at least I’m being upfront about the consquences. If you play and your spin puts the bullet in the wrong chamber you get shot in the head. It would be highly uncharitable for me to prattle on about a right to choose to play roullete but pretend that voters needn’t worry about people getting shot since there’s a 5/6 chance the chamber will be empty.

    Here is the fact, you and Ron Paul have an obligation to answer the question directly. Until you do, “he would let them die” is a perfectly reasonable interpretation to make of this proposed policy.

  9. Mark says:

    Boonton,

    There isn’t a good rational reason for playing? Says who? You? I thought the idea here is to talk about adults and the fact that adults make decisions and have to live with the consquences. Yes roullete is an extreme example where most but the strongest libertarians would probably not want to permit, but I also brought in an example (you flirting with women while married) that almost everyone would say is a decision an adult has a right to make.

    It seems to me that an argument could be made against roulette offering that those who want to participate are not mentally fit. I was not wanting to bring that in. What is wrong with my take on your example, i.e., entrepreneur takes low risk bet on health to help fund startup. How about an elderly grandparent wanting to forgo healthcare costs and accept pain/palliative care so her grandchildren can inherit more. Why is that choice not rational or possible? Why do you need to take it off the table?

    Here is the fact, you and Ron Paul have an obligation to answer the question directly.

    But I did answer it directly. I’ll repeat (cut/paste)

    Seems to me his family, his property will be on the hook. If he has none of those, then he must depend on a rat infested safety net and his remaining years will not be one filled with beds of roses.

    You on the other hand continue to avoid answering my direct question. I’ll repeat.

    Mine is, as noted above, the decision made was rational coldly and logically evaluating risk and return. Why should that decision be illegal? Why is adult decision making foreign to the Democrat worldview? This 40 y/old has a dream he wants to realize. He needs that 10k per year for just a few years to make it happen. Why can’t he make that gamble? Why can’t he attempt to realize his dream? Why can you hang glide but not take this choice?

    I offered Democrat politicians have a vested interest in keeping a captive/childlike electorate (as an aside it’s also their reason for continuing affirm/action in that keeping the minorities down (while appearing to do the opposite) is in their interests). What I don’t get is why you reject adult responsibilities as being a good thing.

    JA,

    . For example, in today’s links, you link to a post about an MMA movies and analyzes it in the context of “real men.” For me, there is no such thing as “real men.” For me, “Men” is a category that, like all categories is fuzzy on the edges.

    Hmm. I think a lot of that is in your reaction not in the piece. When I read it, “real man” didn’t refer at all to the MMA aspect but that he was willing to stake his health/life to do what was necessary for his family. MMA and macho-ness crap was irrelevant to the “real man” part for me. For you, somehow, it was the highlight.

    Similarly, “adulthood” is a fuzzy label.

    Yah, yah, yah. But you’re missing a real point the fetishizing extended childhood and selfishness (think boomers) is a real social issue.

    OMG if you completely change the story, the moral is different!

    I didn’t change the story one whit. You see a guy “careening toward a cliff” but you know nothing about him. I just added some background about who/what that particular guy was about. From a probability standpoint the chance that a guy in the mountains near a clifftop speeding seemingly out of control towards a cliff is doing so intentionally is greater than 50% in real life and not in your examples. Googling, in 2008, one guy went off a cliff on a MTB in Bolivia and that’s one of the top entries.

    The question is what to do about it

    And I answered that.

    Also, note that the very scenario you’re imagining where it’s rational to roll the dice without health insurance wouldn’t exist if we had universal coverage. Nobody would have to make that choice.

    Yer bein’ reel dum heer. The point was universal coverage costs that $10k/year that he chose to avoid. Yes, if you remove his choice to roll the dice, then the rational choice to roll the dice doesn’t exist.

    Do you understand that you’re arguing for a country in which people literally have to risk their lives to make career moves rather than one in which health care is not contingent on being employed or wealthy?

    You seem unaware that you live in a country, America, in which pretty much that was the choice taken by every single person who comes here. Apparently I’m arguing “for America.” What are you arguing for, nerf-world USA?

    How many people are in suboptimal employment because they can’t risk losing insurance for their children?

    Which is, oddly enough, completely beside the point. A rejection on of Employer funded via tax breaks healthcare != universal coverage. There are other options.

  10. Mark says:

    Boonton,
    One more thing, I’m calling you out on what seems to be an intentional foul. You offer:

    Chance of what is 10^5? That the start up will make a lot of money? That the guy would be struck with a stroke during the period he goes without coverage? If the odds of serious medical expense were really that low coverage would cost next to nothing.

    Yes, the chances of a healthy 40y/old having a stroke is very low (and stroke was your suggested malady, not mine). Uhm, you do realize that healthcare costs/actuarial calculations aren’t done that way. When you buy healthcare it isn’t sold like life insurance, where they take blood tests and so on before your coverage/cost is calculated. Nope, you buy typically one-size-fits-all plan regarding age and risk. Your 10k/year payment is the same from 25->retirement. My healthcare cut/cost has gone up, but not up/down/left and right as my family moved through their years. I got no healthcare cut in costs after my vsect.

    So don’t bring up real actuarial notions if they don’t apply to actual costs.

  11. I’m so sick of this shit. Why is it that the people in every other Western democracy accepts that some form of UHC makes sense but we’re stuck with ridiculous dogmatists who think that “actions must have consequences” means that it’s more important that people can opt out than it is that we cover everybody. As a result, tons of unnecessary illness and deaths, but you get to tell yourselves that we’re “more free.” Because that’s what matters. Your stupid dogma.

  12. Mark says:

    JA,
    I see, you’re sick of it, but you can’t actually defend your position in a way make sense except by resorting to some sort of free lunch hypothesis. Yah, that’s right free UHC at no cost. Does a pony come with that too? Please I’d like a pretty pony. Oh, wait, just tax the rich that will pay for everything. It would if 1+1=17. But it doesn’t and it wouldn’t.

    “Tons of unnecessary illness and deaths” alas unsubstantiated by any actual statistics. Remember, those 100k+ people with no access to insurance because of pre-existing conditions, which disappeared when the program appeared and only a few thousand showed up. Glad we’re ante-ing up few trillion for a few thousand people.

    What you really want are situations like the “rest of the world” where everybody has inadequate healthcare not just a few. OK. Just up and move to Cuba where you can have your “universal” (but crappy) health-care and lose that freedom you don’t give a crap about as to boot.

    You offer that you’re not a nanny stater. The discourse coming from the ideological left-wing-blob talking points you spout, alas, disagrees. Go suck on the teat of Obama’s “federal family_TM” and give him all your love.

  13. Mark says:

    JA,
    Sorry that was a bit in the heat of the moment. Look you happen to live in a democracy and more than 50% of the people in the country don’t agree with you. You need to convince them by meeting their reasonable objections (like why ponying up a car each year for something they’d prefer to opt out of isn’t a decision that can make) with something more insightful than “other countries d it.” Well, yes, other countries do it. But their history, their demographics, their consequent growth and wealth are different than ours. You need the case for why Americans (who as noted did in fact take greater risks than our 40y/old example to get here) should turn their back on that and decide that these choices are out of bounds.

    I asked in the original post for a notion of what principle you decide to take freedoms away? Why can one hang glide or build and fly a plane when one cannot opt out of insurance when young and in good health? How do you decide one is OK but the other isn’t. Both are a gamble with your life. So where is the distinction?

  14. The reason I’m “sick of it” is because so much of the country apparently cannot be reasoned with. Your reasons are not logical but dogmatic. Your opinions are based on fabrications, not facts. You can’t even follow an argument without radically changing every. single. thing. your opponent says.

    On top of all that, you seem to suffer from a mean-spirited selfishness (except when giving charity to your church or some religious group gives you a narcissistic pat on the back so you can tell yourself how great you are) and an “every man for himself” mentality.

    Your “opting out” of UHC question assumes that people are paying for their own HC, but that’s not how UHC is supposed to work. If that’s how it worked, we wouldn’t need it! The point is basically along the lines of Marx’s “from each according to their ability, to each according to their needs.” (Yes, true UHC is and should be socialist.) So if we let those with the ability but no likely short-term needs “opt out”, then that means that the total burden of paying for it would rest only on those who do imagine short-term needs. With health care being as expensive as it is, this is clearly a problem.

    The other problem, of course, is that even Ron Paul apparently wouldn’t let an uninsured man die even if he needed expensive treatment, so who is paying for it? You seem to imagine that every uninsured person has a large estate and earning potential and otherwise are somehow satisfied that their care will be “rat-infested” but that really doesn’t solve the problem, does it?

  15. Boonton says:

    It seems to me that an argument could be made against roulette offering that those who want to participate are not mentally fit. I was not wanting to bring that in. What is wrong with my take on your example, i.e., entrepreneur takes low risk bet on health to help fund startup….

    Irrelevant, and notice your framing of the question here. The bet is ‘low risk’ and the purpose is some worthwhile venture (a promising start up). Interesting you don’t seem to evaluate a more likely case. A person whose health profile is probably not all that great seeking to fund higher consumption (which he perceives as ‘making ends meet’) by eliminating the $300 or so per month he might be paying in health insurance. Or would you define such a person as too mentally imbalanced to make that bet, reserving the bet for an ‘elite’ as determined by, whom? some gov’t agency? You?

    Yes, the chances of a healthy 40y/old having a stroke is very low (and stroke was your suggested malady, not mine).

    Stroke is just a throwaway example, heart attack, diabetes, or even just a serious injury are all other possibilities as is cancer. The odds are indeed low, but hardly trivial.

    When you buy healthcare it isn’t sold like life insurance, where they take blood tests and so on before your coverage/cost is calculated. Nope, you buy typically one-size-fits-all plan regarding age and risk. Your 10k/year payment is the same from 25->retirement.

    You’re making an assumption about the health insurance market here where as the right your discussing is a bit more abstract.

    More to the point, you must answer the question as “he will be left to die….barring some private charity, friend, or family willing and able to fund his medical care”. If not, then you’ve created a new entitlement. A right to go without insurance but when you get a heart attack nothing will be denied you based on your ability to pay. Unless you or Ron Paul are willing to say “yes as a consquence of your bet, you may be denied if you can’t pay” you have created a new entitlement.

    In fact, Paul’s answer reveals this when he prattles on about hospitals never turning people away. The hospitals are under gov’t order to care for those who need help first and worry about payment later. But the Constitution doesn’t allow the gov’t to mandate involuntary servititude. The hospitals must get paid or they must be allowed to deny service to those who can’t pay. Either you and Paul will let people die or you have no right to claim to be talking about treating people like adults.

  16. Mark says:

    JA,

    The other problem, of course, is that even Ron Paul apparently wouldn’t let an uninsured man die even if he needed expensive treatment, so who is paying for it? You seem to imagine that every uninsured person has a large estate and earning potential and otherwise are somehow satisfied that their care will be “rat-infested” but that really doesn’t solve the problem, does it?

    Uhm, wake up. People make that kind of decision for themselves (to not undergo treatment) everyday. My father’s sister did. My wife’s aunt as well. These were people who might have needed expensive treatment, but opted out and died. They chose to not have it. Ron Paul (and you) let them.

    When I note that you’re essential problem is that your UHC desires go against the fundamental grains of much of American origins and subsequent beliefs … is not one likely to be overcome by quoting Marx.

    You can’t even follow an argument without radically changing every. single. thing. your opponent says.

    Oddly enough, in this particular argument when you called out “OMG” you’re changing the premise … I wasn’t changing the premise. but making the essential point (but not spelling it out for the K-6 crowd) that you only see the external fact of MTB rider “careenining down the path to the cliff” and don’t know his reasons or motivations. You insist the government step in to safe and prevent him from falling, but don’t know if it is intentional.

    Your reasons are not logical but dogmatic. Your opinions are based on fabrications, not facts.

    I agree. Your reasons are dogmatic and your opinions not based on facts.

    Boonton,

    The bet is ‘low risk’ and the purpose is some worthwhile venture (a promising start up). Interesting you don’t seem to evaluate a more likely case. A person whose health profile is probably not all that great seeking to fund higher consumption (which he perceives as ‘making ends meet’) by eliminating the $300 or so per month he might be paying in health insurance.

    OK. I’m doing the same thing you were doing with the revolver. You want to push to a case for me to consider that is marginal to see where I stand, how far I will go. So do I. How far will you go to eliminate his choices when they are further toward the reasonable side. i.e., let’s not consider the 50 y/old smoker who wants to forego insurance to buy a new car and replace is 2y/old current ride. (I’m figuring 800-1200 per month btw).

    The hospitals are under gov’t order to care for those who need help first and worry about payment later.

    I was unaware that was gov’t order, I thought it was the Hippocratic Oath. When I suggest palliative/hospice care for cancer isn’t that “letting people die?”

  17. Mark says:

    JA,
    When I noted,

    My father’s sister did. My wife’s aunt as well. These were people who might have needed expensive treatment, but opted out and died. They chose to not have it. Ron Paul (and you) let them.

    Here’s the question. Why cannot a person allow that decision to be made (as likely both did in their case) far in advance of cancer or degenerative illness and not have send 10k per year to the state for something they don’t choose to use.

  18. Boonton says:

    I was unaware that was gov’t order, I thought it was the Hippocratic Oath. When I suggest palliative/hospice care for cancer isn’t that “letting people die?”

    Give me some more details there. “Letting” someone die implies an ability to reasonably save them. Cancer patients on palliative or hospice care usually have no available treatment options or only options whose benefit is meger relative to the physical cost they would impose on the body. I’m unaware of hospice care being used for a patient with a treatable cancer. Are you proposing that?

    And hospice care is also not free. It requires doctors, nurses, trained health care professionals. It’s more than “here’s a bed, watch TV in it till you’re dead”

    OK. I’m doing the same thing you were doing with the revolver. You want to push to a case for me to consider that is marginal to see where I stand, how far I will go….

    The hypotheticals are endless. A man may be playing Russian Roulette in order to win a jackpot to fund his start up, which because he is some type of John Galt type of genius he knows it will become the next Microsoft. But the gist here is unless you’re going to have some mechanism to approve people who choose to ‘bet on no coverage’, you can’t assume those who do so will be making wise bets.

    The question then turns to who will pay for bets that go bad. In the case of you flirting with other women, the answer is you do. If nothing bad happens you can have your fun. If something bad does happen, well its on you (and your wife and family). This no one disagrees on. You take the risk, if it goes bad you pay. Likewise when your wife married you, she took a risk that you may take such a risk. Again if it goes bad the price is on her….

    But by refusing to provide the ‘let them die’ answer, you open the door to a pretty insideous entitlement. Either Paul would let them die, or he is allowing them to take the bet but if things go bad its ok, the gov’t will make sure they don’t face the real consquences. Either hospitals are allowed to say no, or hospitals aren’t in which case you’re not allowing someone to behave like an adult but to behave like a child.

  19. Mark says:

    Boonton,
    So, in the case of health you’d take away the choice (for whatever reason). But … why then, in the case of a married man don’t you penalize, segregate, or attempt to remove the choice from the man who would have a dalliance while married with children. After all, you can make the argument that the kids future “value” for the country outweigh that 40+ y/old guy who wants to gamble. Why do allow the one and not the other. I’ve been asking you (several times now) for your criteria and you’ve demurred.

    Just so you know, you might be shocked to realize that 6 months in a hospice/palliative care is a lot less cheaper than 6 months in intensive care.

    Did you ever read the Michael Moorecock Jerry Cornelius chronicles? One of the books is “The Cure for Cancer” which turns out to be, if I recall correctly, heroin addiction.

  20. Here’s the question. Why cannot a person allow that decision to be made (as likely both did in their case) far in advance of cancer or degenerative illness and not have send 10k per year to the state for something they don’t choose to use.

    The same reason we don’t let people “opt out” of fire protection. It puts us in a terrible spot when their place catches on fire.

    Obamacare is misleading because it’s a compromise between the way it should be (single payer), corporate interests (having for-profit insurance companies involved), and the right (who oppose taxes.) The mandate is basically a tax in another form. It’s not just for you, it’s for everybody.

  21. Mark says:

    JA,
    There are districts in which you can “opt out” of fire protection. Last year (2 years?) there was a case that was discussed when a house that didn’t opt to pay was on fire and how that unfolded was a topic for a few days to a week.

  22. Yeah, I was thinking about that case when I wrote my comment. I think it demonstrated the flaws with libertarianism and the ability to “opt out” excellently.

  23. Boonton says:

    Mark

    So, in the case of health you’d take away the choice (for whatever reason). But … why then, in the case of a married man don’t you penalize, segregate, or attempt to remove the choice from the man who would have a dalliance while married with children. After all, you can make the argument that the kids future “value” for the country outweigh that 40+ y/old guy who wants to gamble. Why do allow the one and not the other. I’ve been asking you (several times now) for your criteria and you’ve demurred.

    The question you refuse to answer Mark are you giving a choice? Say you will let the 40 yr old die if he chooses wrong, that’s all you have to do. Otherwise you’re just advocating giving a 40 yr old the ‘choice’ to act like a 4 year old….which is really just taking choice away from everyone else who must be burdened by his childishness.

    Yes hospice care is cheaper than intensive care. Intensive care is probably the most expensive thing you can do, though.

    Did you ever read the Michael Moorecock Jerry Cornelius chronicles? One of the books is “The Cure for Cancer” which turns out to be, if I recall correctly, heroin addiction.

    You’ll have to go into more detail on that….cancer patients are given morphine all the time which is basically in the exact same family as herion (opiates). While it helps deal with pain I never heard that it in itself could stop cancer.

    There are districts in which you can “opt out” of fire protection. Last year (2 years?) there was a case that was discussed when a house that didn’t opt to pay was on fire and how that unfolded was a topic for a few days to a week.

    Indeed, and the answer to the question “what happens if someone who opted out has his house catch on fire” was, in fact, answered. They let it burn. Some places are willing to let that be the answer, some are not. But to have that discussion you have to be open and honest which Paul and Mark are not. Do we pretend that no one who declines fire protection will see a house fire? Do we prattle on about how the odds of a house fire happening at the same time you let your coverage lapse is so low? Or are they just red herrings to distract from the reality of what is being advocated?

  24. […] the Paul interview sparked a conversation about the limits of government to take our choices putatively for the public weal. This is, for the nonce, the status quo […]

  25. […] … School, Healthcare, and Beyond By Mark O. Recently the Paul interview sparked a conversation about the limits of government to take our choices putatively for the public weal. This is, for the nonce, the status quo […]