Tom Pittman's WebLog

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2006 April 17 -- Evil Mass Health

There are now (besides the Muslim-controlled countries of Africa and southern Asia) two states in the USA where I really do not want to live.

I am told that Oregon used to have a billboard on I-5 at the California border, "Welcome to Oregon. Now go home." Perhaps the sign is still there, but it's unnecessary. Anybody in their right mind is aware that Oregon is the only government in the whole world where persons more than a few days old can be legally killed against their will without committing any crime, solely if somebody deems their life not worth living. That can also happen to you in Holland and Florida, but not as a result of legislative action. Younger people can be killed with impunity all over the country -- again, not a legislative choice, but a consequence of the fact that we no longer live in a republic subject to the will of the voters. In Oregon the voters made their choice.

In Massachusetts the voters also (through their elected representatives) have chosen the harmful path to destruction -- not this time in the termination of life, but for the maintenance of affordable quality health care, which by the Law of Unintended Consequences they have utterly and foolishly abandonned while claiming to do the opposite. It's a Lie from the Pit.

I was going to repeat here my previous explanation of why the new Mass law will drive up health care costs for everybody, but I see there still are a few sane voices of reason in that state. The Coyote Blog begins with this poignant quote:

What are you guys smoking over there? Here I am in Massachusetts, without health insurance, and with a family of four, and all that has happened is on top of having to pay full freight for my family's doctor bills, I get fined $1000.00 for the privelege.
Other postings in the same blog point out, as I have noticed over the years, that paying cash for medical costs is cheaper in the long run than buying insurance.

I downloaded the full text of the law to look for loopholes. There are a couple, one of which is the empty shell of a religious exemption, but if you ever pay for any medical services the exemption is revoked. In other words, Jehovah's Witnesses are not required to pay for services they don't use, but the rest of us must pay double. A somewhat sturdier loophole is a 63-day grace period between coverage blocks. Provided that you can affirm that you were covered on December 31, the law seems to allow for signing up for insurance on the last day of every other month, then cancelling it the next day. I don't know how much of a refund you can wheedle out of the carriers, and you may actually need to use the service that one day (go in for a hangnail or something) to keep them from retroactively cancelling out the whole enrollment, but it might cost less than the penalty tax. I was hoping I could find a way to declare self-insurance as compliance, but apparently not. Another possibility that might work for me, should I ever have the misfortune to live under this monstrosity, is to point out that my self-insurance has cost me $35/month (with no burden on other taxpayers) for over 20 years, and their cheapest offering is much more expensive. Of course they know that, that's why they want my dollars being put into the system.

They say Governor Romney is hoping this will energize his bid for the WhiteHouse in 2008. Not with my vote. He was quoted as comparing this to mandatory car insurance, but that's a lie. You don't have to buy car insurance if you don't own a car. Driving, we are told by the Department of Motor Vehicles, "is a priviledge, not a right." There are costs associated with that priviledge, one of which is being able to pay for the damage a car can do. Bad health mostly does not do damage to other persons or property. Some states provide an exemption to their mandatory car insurance law, if you post a bond to cover the statutory liability requirements. Rich people (and smart people of modest means) put the money in the bank instead of buying insurance, then post the bond if needed. Perhaps that option is not available in Massachusetts. It is reported that Romney wanted a bond-posting option in the health care bill, but the legislature took it out. More's the pity.

Some people are claiming this new law encourages personal responsibility, but that's another Lie from the Pit. It actually discourages people from making responsible health care decisions by having that option taken away from them. Now their only remaining choice is whether to spend another $10 for an unnecessary procedure recommended by the doctor -- who gets to keep a large piece of the $1000 of somebody else's money that it really costs. That's not a responsible choice, and it will not be made responsibly.

From where I sit -- recall that I have the full text of the law, not a regurgitated repetition of some other person's half-baked ideas who has neither read nor understood it -- the Democrats and crypto-Democrats in Massachusetts are doing for their cronies in the insurance and medical industry what they (falsely) accuse Cheney and the WhiteHouse of doing for the oil companies, namely fattening their corporate profits at the expense of innocent taxpayers. They call that evil and I agree.

The worst part of this law is that everybody recognizes it as the camel's nose in the tent. The sycophant left-wing bigot media mavens all love it (I was unable to find a single mainstream media writer finding fault with it), as do the homosexuals and others who want everybody else to pay the consequences of their own unhealthy behavior choices. The best we can hope for is that the other states will take long enough to follow suit, so that the inherent problems of this system will become apparent before it spreads over the whole country.

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