Rather than focusing on making health care affordable, the current debate is on how to force people either to buy health insurance if they don’t have it, or to pay more for it if they do

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24 Responses

  1. This is another scam to steal from the people while taking total control over our lives.

    We are told that we will be required to pay into the system for 3-4 years before the program actually begins. The money is needed to build a “fund” to help pay for the plan.

    The implication is that the money will go into some type of trust where it will accumulate. Does this sound like Social Security?

    The money “borrowed” from Social Security appears to be a false representation of what truly is occurring. First, “We the People” are the creditors and debtors to the same money in this scheme. And second, there is no such thing as a government trust according to William Hummel:

    He claims that “In the case where a trust fund program spends more than it takes in, the outlays are still funded the same way that all outlays are funded: by tax revenues and borrowing from the public to make up the shortfall. But the trust fund balance is reduced by the amount of the shortfall. What does that mean? It means the federal government cancels debt to itself by ‘redeeming’ some of the bonds it issued to itself.”

    “Just as I incur no debt by issuing an IOU to myself, neither do I decrease my liabilities or increase my assets by canceling such an IOU. The same is true of the federal government. The government acknowledges this in the FY 1996 budget document entitled Analytical Perspectives, p. 258, where it says:

    “These balances are available to finance future benefit payments and other trust fund expenditures – but only in a bookkeeping sense. Unlike the assets of private pension plans, they do not consist of real economic assets that can be drawn down in the future to fund benefits.”

    “The Real Meaning of a Government Trust Fund”

    The very use of the term trust fund when applied to federal trust funds is misleading. As the government puts it in Analytical Perspectives, FY 1996, p. 251:

    “The Federal budget meaning of the term trust differs significantly from its private sector usage. In the private sector, the beneficiary of a trust owns the income generated by the trust and usually its assets. A trustee, acting as a fiduciary, manages the trust assets on behalf of the beneficiary. The trustee is required to follow the stipulations of the trust, which he cannot change unilaterally. In contrast, the federal government owns the assets and earning of federal trust funds, and it can raise or lower future trust fund collections and payments, or change the purpose for which the collections are used by changing existing law.”


    If this is true, then I think it is impossible for any sort of “trust fund” to be managed by the government. What are the chances that any of the “prepayments” will be there to help fund the program 3 or 4 years from now?

    This is a hidden tax and a fraud on the American people…again. Our “public servants” in congress, and their staffs, have opted out of this program with good reason. We should demand that they participate in whatever they pass.


  2. Nice article, Ellen. So, what are the leftists going to do in 2010? Swallow deep and pull the trigger for Republicans? Their deregulation of the FIRE economy turned out so well, yah?

    Where is our Populist Party option?

  3. Another very interesting article Ellen. I am from Britain where we have a National Health Service (NHS) which is free at the point of delivery, this was introduced after the Beveridge report made the case for the Welfare State, and has been a truly wonderful thing for poor people. My grandfather used to tell me stories of his mother having to pay an “insurance premium” to the doctor, who would collect once a week, the problem was most people didn’t have any money and so could not get medical care!

    The Welfare State has been abused and lead to too much dependence on benefits, but the principle of free healthcare is a noble and christian one, although prescription prices hospital cleanliness and lack of free dental care undermine this.

    The health reform bill Obama is pushing does seem to be just exploiting people for profits for the health insurance industry…..sickening really!

    Healthcare should be based on need not wallet size or Big Business profits!

    • Thanks. Yes my daughter went to London School of Economics for her master’s degree and said the health care was great there — fast, efficient and free, and she wasn’t even a citizen. She now lives in Switzerland, which enforces compulsory private insurance, where she has to pay a hefty sum monthly. She had a minor surgery that cost $3000, all of which she had to pay out of pocket, because she had a $3000 deductible.

  4. I’m at the point of ignoring the health care debate. The health care “problem” they are trying to solve is the excessive expense associated with getting health care. This is an economic issue so until our economy is fixed, no health care “reform” will fix the health care problem.

    Though it is not a total fix, separating health care from employers and breaking health care into many small entities, each focused on own specialty, would help out. Having a few large entities that do everything may seem convenient, but it removes competition from the marketplace, allowing those entities to raise prices while reducing services. And tying health care to employment shackles us to our current employers which means that changing jobs is unnecessarily risky.

  5. Well said. Thanks for the back link too

  6. Surprisingly (to me), there were some very good points made in this article, especially about the violation in individual rights that has now become the heart and soul of this bill. Although the author doesn’t mention it, I’m sure she’ll agree that this bill could be described as an extraordinary act of Fascism.

    Of course, as expected, the author takes the disappointing position that a public option would somehow have been less intrusive or more economically beneficial. This is very misguided. A public option is just as intrusive and economically unsound.

  7. While I agree with the article, you may want to remove the link to the Dr.’s letter. The follow up post by the same author admits that the article is not accurate.


    There is enough good, clear criticism by the likes of Howard Dean and the largest nurses union. We don’t need to recycle lies by the right:

  8. As usual, unelected puppet politicians and their pimps are just creating more unlawful corporate-state waste and bureaucracy that multiply problems rather than solving them.

    With appropriate RECs-based monetary reform, most underlying flaws in our so-called “economy” will be solved and every citizen can afford good health care in a peaceful, free and fair market:


    More democracy, not kleptocracy!

  9. As usual, unelected puppet politicians and their pimps are just creating more unlawful corporate-state waste and bureaucracy that multiply problems rather than solving them.

    With appropriate RECs-based monetary reform, most underlying flaws in our so-called “economy” will be solved and every citizen can afford good health care in a peaceful, free and fair market:


    More democracy, not kleptocracy!

  10. This health care boondoggle assumes that people, and America can afford it. To quote our dearest vice president, Joe Biden, “If we do not pass health care reform, America will go bankrupt.” Once again, another scare tactic to give the government more power over production, which it has shown to have destroyed in a way the free market could never have. Why do you think Joe says such things? Is it because he doesn’t know the definition of inflation and has not realized that ultimately free market production has to back the dollar? Sometimes I wish these boys could read a real textbook on the “Gilded Age”, which was cleverly rewritten as a time of lackluster presidency, while consequently the economy was booming and a surplus existed in our economy within these years. Those facts are always disregarded by the arbitrary assumed superiority of fascist foreign policy, though, which currently rocks our world. Our leaders lives are too short and their medulla oblongatas to thin to be bombarded with rewritten textbooks and collectivist philosophy from the time they were “chosen” to lead. Ayn Rand was right, and Joe Biden is wrong. They want a lackluster spot in the history books, and we can give them that without giving them the power to deteriorate our lives simultaneously.

    • With regulations being removed, a totally “free” market is no better than anarchy. The “freedom” just allows the economically more powerful to enslave the rest of us through debt. Given time, chattel slavely may also return.

      So, if things are looking bad with our government supposedly managing things, removing regulation and turning it over to private companies will be worse — at least the politicians have to make the voters somewhat happy. Once regulations are removed, oversized, monopolistic, private corporations can do whatever they want !

      • “The “freedom” just allows the economically more powerful to enslave the rest of us through debt. ”

        Banks’ privilege to issue money is a special grant given to them by the State. Their monopoly power over money is a result of legal tender laws and not the consent of consumers in a free market. You condemnation of free markets is therefore, a non-sequitur. All that you condemn is derived form political connections and ties. I don’t know what freedom you’re talking about.

        “Once regulations are removed, oversized, monopolistic, private corporations can do whatever they want !”

        You mean like GM that would have gone bankrupt a long time ago already if not for the government bailing them out with your money?

        The accusations of monopolistic power against the market are curious. It seems that the only monopolistic organization that actually has the legal power to finance itself by compulsion is the government. Contrast this to the private individual, firm, or corporation that cannot force anybody to purchase its services without the consent of the consumers.

        This can be summarized in the following way: The economic power in the market is derived from voluntary consent. The political power is derived from the use or threat of use of physical force, i.e., compulsion and coercion.
        If you doubt this, look to see why the biggest wall street banks have not yet gone belly up. It is the market that demanded their liquidation and the end to their “empire”, but it is your government (political power) that came to their rescue.

        Yet is private enterprise that you are condemning and political power that you are advocating for. Very curious.

  11. Why is no one pointing out that it is UNCONSTITUTIONAL for the government to force citizens to make payments to a private company? So, just don’t buy the insurance, and don’t pay the fines– you can’t be jailed for and unconstitutional law.

    • Thanks, I’d be interested in your source on that. Ellen

      • The Fourth Amendment reads

        “The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated…”

        If the compulsion of every citizen to pay money to a financial company is not an “unreasonable seizure” then the fine resulting from refusal to pay surrely would be.

        • I find this distinction between the “public” and “private” quite illusory.

          When a “private” entity operates by government finance and according to government decrees (regulations), it is precisley as if the government itself is performing the service. The “private” is no longer private in any meaningful manner. It is an error to make this distinction between “private” and “public”. It’s just two different ways for government to act.

          Besides, I don’t want my money stolen for either a “private” entity or a “public” entity. I don’t approve of either scheme so what does it matter who the money goes to?

          • Where money (profits) go is quite important. If the money returns to the public, it can offset taxes while still providing for public services. If enough returns to the public, it cannot only offset taxes but provide a dividend for the citizens.

            When money goes to private individuals or corporations, it is used to satisfy the needs and wants of those private parties with no regard for the needs of the community. The fact that vast quantities of money are spent on economically non-productive pursuits such as hunting for and exploiting very small arbitrage opportunities in the stock, commodity, and money markets while large numbers of the earth’s population starve is evidence enough that the current system needs to change.

          • I don’t care to have my resources taken either – whether through taxation or high prices.

            However, I have to admit that a portion of my earnings exist as a consequence of the community in which I work, live, and have my investments. The portion which represents my personal efforts should remain mine, but the portion which comes about solely due to factors outside myself should be returned to the community.

            As it is, government taxes my income, purchases, and non-monetary wealth. Though some of my income may rightly belong to the community, taxing it slows down the economy. Sales taxes are a direct hit on the economy, slowing down purchases and economic transactions. Taxing my non-monetary wealth is basic theft.

            Instead, government should tax money because money’s entire value derives form the community. What I mean be taxing money, is that if I hold money and do not spend it, that money should be taxed. Such a tax would encourage spending of money. People would be encouraged to build up income streams and non-monetary wealth – rather than bank accounts or debt.

            The other things government should tax are private use of land and natural resources as well as activities that may harm the community. For example: private land holdings, pollution, and speculative transactions in the markets. Such taxes would encourage economically productive use of land and reduce activities that cause pollution or tie up large sums of money for speculation.

            • Good post Zarepheth,

              People are overtaxed at all levels today, from the local housing associations to townships to counties to states and up to the federal levels. But people are deceived about the real causes of the problem.

              The problem is not government; it is the people who have gotten control of our governments. It is the Money-Moguls that establish the taxation polices, as it is they who eventually pocket them.

              I must be nice to determine how much money filters up through the system and into your own vaults and bank accounts. It is especially nice to be able to to that while convincing the public that “Uncle Sam” is the one stealing your money. Sweet, if you can pull it off, and apparently they can, and have been doing so for decades, even centuries.

  12. Thank You Zarepheth for pointing out a piece of logic many people seem to overlook.

    While I definitely agree with the Austrian distaste for coercion whether it be Government enforced or otherwise the central philosophy of Austrian or similar economic schools of thought are very self centered and put too much faith in the power of greed as the unspoken foundational basis of the thought process that guides the philosophy of Austrian and other similar schools of thought. This black and white paradigm is very narrow and naive. This self-centered view is most likely due to it’s focus on individual greed as the motivator and means of progress to such a degree that the means become a more important part of the philosophy than the ends or outcome. Without clearly formulated outcomes and goals a reliance purely on the undirected greed and personal self interest of individuals could easily create just as disastrous a society as the worst Governments and Countries of the world today. The other fact that the self-centered views of Austrian like schools of thought seem to overlook is that individual innovations are never solely %100 attributable to the innovotar, every innovator is standing on the shoulders of a giant. That giant is composed of all humans that have contributed to the collective wisdom, either technological artistic or manual, that currently exist and everyone alive, to one degree or another, currently benefits from. I am not a collectivist but my point is that the collective and the individual cannot be neatly seperated into 2 seperate boxed components that do not interact or effect each other and while the tendency of the human mind to campartmentalize everything is a useful tool it does not accurately reflect reality which is more subtle then what is generally espoused. This is easily shown when one considers countries with massive gulfs between the rich and poor where the richest people have lost as much of their freedom as the poor since they are forced to basically live in guarded palaces due to fear of being robbed or having family members kidnapped by unscrupulous and desperate people. While I do understand that self interest is a powerful motivator of progress my point is that the greed that overlooks the contributions of humans past and present due to the belief that they are entitled to it without any thought to contributing back on a sliding scale vs how much they have benefited is the greed that is actually harmful because it counteracts outcomes and goals that benefit all including the individual who overlooks this fact and worships greed instead.

    The other point I want to make is against the irrational idea of arbitrarily drawing a line between the Government sector and the private sector. Government is nothing more than the free markets choice, in other words the peoples choice, for taking responsibility to be the underpinning of a mutually beneficial society and the trade therein no different than the underlying ideal basis of trade, namely mutual benefit. How this institution has become to be understood to be an entity of its own that does not serve the people it is there for but preys on them is hard to understand. The truth is that the problem is that Government has become an entity to be destroyed and hollowed out because of widespread apathy and a lack of taking any personal responsibility to really understand issues and vote on them or even vote at all and in many cases taking the easy road by blaming everything on some fictional Government entity that really does not exist except as a representation or reflection of society. The real answer is for individuals to take personal responsability for returning Government to its rightful place as the servant to facilitate mutually beneficial trade in a fair society not to be the master of the people. The best way to do this is not to arbitrarily stop Government from supplying services (which when you get right down is the reason Government was created) claiming that Government is some evil entity outside the control of the people but to regain control and take responsibility for Government and the benefits it can potentially provide by allowing Government to compete and/or work with the private sector whether it be to supply currency for the facilitation of trade, providing medical services or regulating industries with long term outcomes and overarching goals for the benefit of society at large in mind. Within the right framework the advantages of the Governmental sector that can potentially increase the efficiency of the services it provides would sharpen the competitiveness or efficiency and price of private industry and vice versa and as long as consumers could freely choose between a state and federal service or a private one this would only serve to create more competition, choice and options which is always better than the opposite namely less competition, choice and options. The whole diatribe against Government and for Private industry always makes me wonder whether the people who believe this is true think Government attracts corrupt and deceitful people into its ranks while the private sector only attracts honest people who work there way up to being the captains of industry and will one day drive society into a new golden era. If this is really what is believed then the question should be how can the Government be changed to put its positive aspects that the free market of ideas once upon a time saw in the idea of Government to work for the benefit of society not how to hollow it out and give all the power to what would most likely become the new benevolent dictator of society the private sector. A balance of power between the private and government sectors is the best way to make sure neither ever become too powerful by using a more open and unrestricted framework based on people choosing whatever provides them the best result without arbitrary rules limiting who (government or otherwise) can or cannot compete or what individuals can and cannot choose just as long as coercion and fraud are not involved.

    • Another good post John. Thanks. I think your touched on a very key point that not enough people grasp. Balancing of power is the key. All of our founding fathers knew that. It’s written into our constitution and into just about every state constitution. It’s the central subject of nearly all the correspondence of the period from 1750 to 1830 or so.

      Madison, Jefferson, Franklin Paine, Adams, Washington, they all warned about unchecked concentrations of power. Although most of them feared the more visible government power, Jefferson, Franklin and money other warned loudly and repeatedly about the Money-Powers that had their roots in Europe and their central banks.

      It appears those warnings have come to pass. The question is now: what do we (the people) do about it?

  13. Nice…
    Thank you !!

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