Enough about Venezuela

Taranto is funny when he stays away from gender politics.  Well, he's funny then, too, but in a different way.   Here he is on the Great Leap Forward to Health and Solvency:
"People complain of having to stand in line for hours, often in vain, and many are losing patience with the government's explanation that unsavory conspirators are to blame for the nation's problems," reports the New York Times.   But enough about Venezuela.  Let's talk about ObamaCare.
All is not lost, however, despite reporters' increasing and almost fruitless urgency to find someone, anyone, who has successfully signed up for Obamacare via a federal exchange.  (Apparently some of the state exchanges are doing rather well.)  As Taranto points out, it should have been more or less a no-brainer that the feds could set up a successful feeding trough.  The real trick will not be getting impoverished people with expensive illnesses to sign up for subsidized coverage.   The real trick will be getting young, healthy people to sign up in droves in order to foot the bill for all the largesse.  Taranto happily points to a Hartford Courant article that's being trumpeted by "a senior ObamaCare publicity agent" as success, in the form of a 30-year-old law student who managed to navigate a website and sign up for health insurance.   Before we get too excited about bringing that federal deficit under control, though, it's helpful to note that the young student was already paying several hundred dollars a month for coverage, and now will pay nothing at all:  the site informed him that he was eligible for Medicaid.
So the great success story of ObamaCare's first day is the transformation of a future lawyer who was already paying for insurance into a welfare case.
Well, I've always said that uninsured people who already have an expensive medical condition don't need what we've traditionally called "insurance."  Their risk is no longer unquantifiable; it is known.  What they need is either income or charity.  Charity's a great thing, when it takes the form of people giving up their own resources to help others in need.  It's an ugly thing when it's merely disguised theft.  It's not just that it's dishonest to arrange things dishonestly, though that's bad enough.  It's that dishonesty, by more or less successfully blinding some or all of us to reality, prevents our doing anything to solve a problem in a sustainable way.  The cost of good things doesn't go away because we rob Peter in order to indulge in unearned self-congratulation for our charity to Paul.  It costs real-world time and resources to provide medical care to people who can't afford it.  If it's our duty and desire to do so anyway, it's time we quit pretending it was somebody else's job to pay for it.

1 comment:

Elise said...

Taranto is funny when he stays away from gender politics. Well, he's funny then, too, but in a different way.

This cracked me up - thanks.