Salon is Nervous

Salon is not happy with Charles Krauthammer and others issuing predictions of liberalism’s demise. One of the resident hacks, Elias Isquith, offers his lame rebuttal here:

http://www.salon.com/2013/11/14/the_rights_wild_new_fantasy_obamacare_is_killing_liberalism/

I was compelled to offer a response in the comments:

“Now, if the right were to say the idea of universal healthcare coverage itself is the principle being tested by Obamacare’s performance, that would be a debate worth having. But “repeal and replace,” the mantra that for years now has defined the GOP’s position with regard to Obamacare, implicitly grants universal coverage as a mutual goal.”

I don’t know if progressives are being willfully dishonest (likely) or are just utterly clueless as to the differences between the two sides’ ideas for how to achieve something approaching universal coverage.  You guys believe in single-payer and universal coverage, because it is administered solely by the State and therefore the State assumes total control of healthcare.  Yes, giving the State total control of anything can allow for universality (we could have full employment if the State would just seize the means of production!), but the actual performance of that universe leaves a lot to be desired.  Non-statists believe that there is potential for universal health coverage by leaving the health care industry entirely in private hands.  If we allowed a true competitive free market in the insurance industry (portability and purchase across state lines are the principal aspects of this), and then slashed a lot of the regulations that currently affect companies differently based on their state, there would be a world of improvement in both cost and coverage.

But the progressive mind just cannot even entertain the plausibility of the latter, as it does not make immediate intuitive sense the way a one-size-fits-all approach does.  And there is also the not-so-secret reality that progressives know that their social ends are best achieved through an expansive State, so why not co-opt the healthcare industry as a means to that end?

Much as I loathe the motives, I almost respect the strategy.  You guys are nothing if not relentless in your dogged desire to operate society from a central bureaucracy.

Fortunately, the disaster that is Obamacare will have a majority of Americans casting a jaundiced eye at any large initiative brought forth by the progressives for a while, so you guys may have to wait another hundred years to get single payer.  You blew it with Obamacare.  That is what Krauthammer means.

—-

The argument that Obamacare is somehow a “conservative” policy is truly hilarious.  If that is the case, why did every progressive vote for it and every conservative vote against it?  Does not compute.  But oh yes, the individual mandate was once floated by some dude at Heritage in the 90’s, ergo it is the perfect embodiment of conservative health policy thinking!  (See how stupid that is?)

Further, enough with the idea that Obamacare champions competition or free markets.  Our health insurance industry has long been bastardized and co-opted by the State as to render the free-market extinct in that industry.  Except for the individual market, where there was a close facsimile of a free market that allowed actual individuals to cater to their own individual choices.  Obamacare was designed (and succeeded) to kill the individual market.  The idea of ten mandatory coverage options is the very antithesis of any conservative or libertarian notion of choice and individual agency.  It is a bureaucratically deemed, top-down mandate from the central government that must apply to all 300M individuals in this huge country.  If not the truest example of socialist/collectivist thinking, the mandated coverage options and federal mandate to buy their product (very different from one individual state imposing a mandate, a la Massachusetts) are clearly much closer to socialism than conservatism.  And yet you guys either don’t know what words mean or are just content to spout outrageous lies about the nature of this law.

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