Tuesday, September 11, 2018

On Cadillacs and Health Care

I could never get affordable, or even any, health insurance until Obamacare was passed, since I was diagnosed with a chronic illness at the age of 23 and never worked for a big enough employer to get health insurance through them. But some would argue that people not being able to afford a good health insurance policy is like some people not being able to afford the car or house they would like to have. Sure, it would be nice if everyone could have a Cadillac, but in a free market economic system, some can afford it, and some can't. We'd bankrupt our country if we went socialist in such a way that we tried to give everyone who wanted one a Caddy. Besides, who would work hard if Cadillacs were distributed in accordance with need. What goes for Cadillacs, should go for health insurance. It is an individual's responsibility, not government's, to take care of our health. If we go socialist to the extent that will be necessary to make sure everyone has health insurance, we will end up with economic failure like they have in Venezuela. 

This is not an argument I buy, by the way. 


World of Facts said...

The argument is worse than that. To continue with the analogy, if we were to all chip in so that everyone has a car, we could get the same treatment as the Cadillac but for the price of a Prius...

Joseph Hinman (Metacrock) said...

the obvious fallacy in the conservative thinking is to equate a status symbol car with healthcare which is necessary for life, while the car is not, Except maybe to conservatives status symbol is necessary for life..but that;s just a problem they need to get over.

btw on Metacorck;s blog,

Arguing with the secular Outpost guys

Socrates set it up. Do the gods command things because they are good or are they good because the gods command them? If one their commands are arbitrary and if the other then there is a standard higher than God. I answered this long ago atheists philosophers fail to take up my argument,

bmiller said...

Who exactly is making this argument?

Joseph Hinman (Metacrock) said...


World of Facts said...


Opponents of healthcare measures such as 'single payer' claim that healthcare isn't a right. Ben Shapiro explains his position here:

Lots of good points but he left out 2 facts:

1) if 1 entity gets to shop and negotiate on behalf of a group of individuals, instead of each individual doing it themselves, the large entity will get a better deal. That's the principle of collective bargaining.

2) if the overall cost of a system is sperad across users and non-users if the system, the cost per payer goes down

Therefore, my opinion is that it's better to have a form of healthcare that is single-payer with an individual mandate. I grant that it forces people to pay for something they might not want; that's a tradeoff. But because of the 2 facts listed here, both the overall cost of healthcare and the cost to individuals would go down, and nobody would be left without healthcare, be it by choice or not.

Starhopper said...

One could use the same argument for national defense, or for the interstate highway system, or public schools. Everyone benefits when society is physically and mentally healthy, so everyone ought to chip in, just as we do for roads, schools, and the military.

Forget about what is a "right". Go for what is best and most efficient.

bmiller said...

Once again. Who is making this argument? Or is it just a made up argument?

World of Facts said...

Why don't you watch Ben Shapiro's arguments? That's as close as it can get to what Victor presented.

Starhopper said...

I'm pretty sure I heard Ron (not Rand) Paul making this very argument during a 2012 presidential debate.

World of Facts said...

That would make sense. It's pretty common because it's not a stupid argument; it's just a different approach.

bmiller said...


World of Facts said...

Bmiller, again, did you look at the link to Shapiro's argument. It's not exactly the same words but the logic is the same. He wants to treat healthcare as a commodity; some agree, some don't.

I was also curious about that argument from Rand Paul and found this gem. Not quite the argument we are trying to addres, but an interesting reaction from the audience:
People basically seem to agree that if someone is not insured, we should just let them die, because it was their fault for not being insured...

Starhopper said...

Ah, yes. The Republican audiences that year were priceless. I recall when they booed a gay serviceman calling in from a war zone with a question for the candidates. Or was that 2008?... Nah, that was the year they shouted "Kill him" when Sarah Palin mentioned Obama's name.

bmiller said...


No. Shapiro did not make the argument of the OP and neither did Ron Paul in the segments you provided.

People basically seem to agree that if someone is not insured, we should just let them die, because it was their fault for not being insured.

Paul explicitly answered NO to that idea and the idea was absent from the Shapiro segment. If you have a politician making the same argument as the OP, then please provide a link.

I'll have to consider this a strawman argument now unless someone prominent can be shown to have presented it.

World of Facts said...

"No. Shapiro did not make the argument of the OP"
It's implied in his statement that we should consider healthcare as a commodity. Here's a link to one of his tweet to help you understand how it relates to the analogy Victor presented:
Shapiro considers that if you cannot afford a certain treatment, just like Victor's example of not being able to afford a Cadillac, it's just the consequences of the market.

Shapiro also agrees it's problematic right now though, as the Cadillac is too expensive, and he has rational arguments as to how the situation could be improved.

"and neither did Ron Paul in the segments you provided."
Correct, that's exactly what I said. Good to know you understand that part.

"Paul explicitly answered NO to that idea and the idea was absent from the Shapiro segment. If you have a politician making the same argument as the OP, then please provide a link. "
Ah you did not get that one correctly I am afraid. I specifically said it was the CROWD that made that point, with several people shouting an answer.

Kevin said...

"Ah, yes. The Republican audiences that year were priceless."

It certainly has a modern-day echo.

bmiller said...

Right, like I said. No prominent person promotes the OP or this:

People basically seem to agree that if someone is not insured, we should just let them die, because it was their fault for not being insured.


World of Facts said...

You're confused by sources and arguments bmiller. I get it that it can be hard to follow 2 different points at the same time. Let me try to clarify:

1) The argument presented in the OP is indeed what prominent Republicans and/or Conservatives support. Victor presented a valid analogy; Shapiro's tweet is the closest to it. That's the main point of this thread and what is actually interesting to discuss imho.

2) The part in bold, which you included above, referred to the video I linked to. I am sorry if that distracted you from the OP; it was something else completely. I ran into that while searching for what Ron Paul said in 2011 and thought it was interesting. In that clip, you can hear part of the crowd yell 'YES' when asked whether someone uninsured should be left to die.

Ron Paul, being more rational than these individuals, quickly dismissed their reaction. Therefore, a strawman would be to claim that Ron Paul did agree with the crowd. Note that I am using the conditional 'would' here; this means that this is an hypothetical scenario, something that we can think about, but has not happened.

bmiller said...

Shapiro's argument is that healthcare is too expensive due to a number of factors including government involvement. Whether you agree or disagree with him this is simply not the OP argument.

Which is basically if you can't afford an "expensive" healthcare plan then no one should help you.

"It is an individual's responsibility, not government's, to take care of our health."

I agree with you the Ron Paul clip was irrelevant to the topic.

But I was referring to the OP once again as a straw-man argument that no one makes as far as I know.

Victor Reppert said...

Let's do a little history. While he was still an actor, Reagan did recordings for the American Medical Association fearmongering about socialized medicine, but if you listen to them carefully what he is talking about is was for people over 65, so what he was objecting to was what eventually became Medicare. I'm old enough to remember opponents of Medicare were condemning that a socialized medicine. I remember hearing Rush Limbaugh complaining about Bill Clinton's health care proposal by saying THIS IS SOCIALISM. The s-word was used to scare everyone away from the plan, which, of course, never passed even through the Democratic Congress he had at that time, and the fear of socialized medicine was a major talking point for the Contract with America in 1994. Opponents of changing our health care system kept insisting that we have the greatest health care system in the world, even though it left millions of people uninsured and uninsurable. When Obama came along the Affordable Care Act was a compromise. It was originally proposed with a public option. Trump began his campaign by saying that everyone should be enabled to have health insurance, but called Obamacare a disaster and joined the chorus who wanted it repealed and replaced. He was challenged by Ted Cruz at one point for his comments at some point in his past in favor of single payer, but he denied that he supported that. It is hard to know what he believes about health care (if he believes anything at all coherent), but he does seem dedicated to destroying the works of Obama. Nevertheless the Administration has supported bills that would take health insurance away from millions of people. Even now they repealed the individual mandate and support state lawsuits that challenge the constitutionality of the ACA. Republicans have sometimes insisted that they want a market-based solution to the health care problem. But what does that mean? Markets are things you can be priced out of, otherwise they aren't markets. If it's a market-based, the insuring that everyone gets health care is like insuring that everyone gets, if not a Cadillac, at least a Hyundai. Health insurance companies won't make a profit insuring people like me, unless the government does something to make it profitable for them in insure people like me. It seems that there are two things you can say about the situation I was in for all that time. One is that the previous system, while it left me in an unfortunate situation, was part of the prince we pay for a free society, which means a free market. It's an argument that could have been used, and was used, against Medicare. Health care isn't a right, it's a commodity, which means that if it is unaffordable, that may be unfortunate, but it's not an injustice, and that Obama and the Democrats were wrong on principle for trying to fix it. Or, they can admit that Obama and the Democrats were right in attempting to redress that injustice, even if they didn't go about it in the right way. (Republicans, or course, are going to insist that single payer is not the right way either). Which makes it incumbent upon them to show us what the right way is instead of just objecting to what was actually passed. Republicans need to answer the in-principle question clearly, so that we can understand what, in fact, they want to do.

SteveK said...

Were you ever denied medical treatment because you didn't have health insurance?

bmiller said...

Topic has moved to a new post.

World of Facts said...

bmiller said...
"Shapiro's argument is that healthcare is too expensive due to...
I was referring to the OP once again as a straw-man argument that no one makes as far as I know.

Yes, Shapiro said that healthcare is too expensive, and I agree. That's not the point.
No, Victor's OP was not a strawman.

Moving on to the next thread to explain.