February 19, 2011
Common Ground for Justin Bieber and the American Left
Justin Bieber has just graced us with his opinion on healthcare. Regarding US healthcare policy, he has said, "You guys are evil. Canada is the best country in the world... we go to the doctor, and we don't have to worry about paying him."
Ah, the naivety and ignorance of youth. I mean, that's what it is, right? To think that it should just be natural to get something for nothing?
Well, it's naiveté and ignorance, certainly. But it's quite clear that these traits are not limited to the young. Huge swathes of older Americans share his opinion, so youth is not the only catalyst for such erroneous thoughts. So in light of Bieber's comment, maybe it's time to revisit why many of our own naïve and ignorant people agree with a naïve and ignorant kid like Justin Bieber.
In America, advocates of government administrated healthcare generally believe in one or both of two basic premises. One, they believe that evil insurance companies drive up the cost of healthcare, and that government regulation can keep them in check and make the industry more efficient. Two, they believe that those who oppose government administrated healthcare are insensitive barbarians who can't realize that everyone deserves the best healthcare, even if they can't pay for it.
The first belief is a result of pure ignorance. This may come as a surprise to some liberals, but the government is subject to the same economic realities as the rest of us. And in the real world, spending money doesn't keep you from going bankrupt, Joe Biden. In the real world, it makes sense to know what you are spending your money on before you decide to spend it, Nancy Pelosi. And most importantly, choosing what you want to supply based on what you want people to demand is not prudent business, Barack Obama.
Need evidence of this? Look no further than the bang-up job government regulation has done with GM. What has been their strategy? Heavily market and amply supply a product that only a select few demand. The feds pumped money into GM to make "green" strides, thinking that if they made enough Chevy Volts, people would want to buy them. But that is simply not how the law of supply and demand works. To believe that such a plan might work is as stupid as dropping a rock and expecting the law of gravity to carry it up.
So unless he's absolutely blind, Obama is quite aware by now that wanting people to buy a certain product will not make people buy it. But there's been an ace up that sleeve of his. What if he could just make them buy what he wants them to buy?
Enter ObamaCare. Before, Cadillac policies were designed and written for people who needed them and could afford them. Policies were written with fewer bells and whistles for those who could afford less, needed less, or wanted less. And for those who could afford little, mini-med plans were offered by insurance companies, so low-income families could have healthcare they could afford.
By 2014, there can be no annual spending cap on any policies without a waiver, so the historically less expensive plans like mini-meds cannot be offered. Essentially, ObamaCare does not allow the lesser plans that can be offered at an affordable price, but mandates that everyone buy the more extravagant plans Obama wants them to buy, though they may not need, want, or be able to afford them. And because ObamaCare decides what will be supplied, and has ensured that everyone must demand it, prices cannot be set naturally by supply and demand. So it seems safe to assume that the government will have a hand in pricing these products, too.
That is not efficient business, or even regulation. That is tyranny.
But this is where that second factor of blind idealism in American liberals comes into play. Many of them would tell me to lose the hyperbole, call me fear-monger, and would defend Obama as anything but a tyrant. To them, he can't be a bad guy. After all, he's making sure that everyone gets the healthcare they deserve!
Ronald Reagan addressed that nonsense a long time ago. First, he recognized the ease with which the idealist clings to rhetoric like Obama's about the moral obligation of ObamaCare. "It's very easy to disguise a medical program as a humanitarian project. Most people are a little reluctant to oppose anything that suggests medical care for people who possibly can't afford it." But he goes on to say that many such programs are generally offered as a "foot in the door" policy towards socialized medicine. And Obama has, on many occasions, advocated a single-payer healthcare system. He just chose to use less polarizing rhetoric when he pitched ObamaCare to get his "foot in the door."
So Obama has preyed upon idealistic American liberals by positioning ObamaCare as a "humanitarian project" in order to get a step closer to the goal of socialized healthcare, moving us closer to a Canadian-style healthcare system. But this leads to the truly ironic thing in Bieber and the American left admiring the healthcare system of the neighbor to our north, but vilifying our own. For years, Canada's healthcare system has been in a state of financial crisis, with rationing of healthcare as a necessary occurrence and causing more Canadians to travel to America for timely, advanced treatment. So as we march in bounding steps toward government-administrated healthcare, Canada is clambering to amend their socialistic system to more closely follow the private, market-based health care of the United States!
Yet in spite of all this, Justin Bieber can still say America is evil, and that Canada is the best country on Earth because he doesn't have to pay his doctor when he goes in. To be honest, I can forgive him for his naivety, ignorance, and blind idealism when it comes to healthcare. After all, he's just a dumb kid, and there is still hope for him.