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Healthcare and the vicious cycle of government intervention

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I traveled overseas for a couple weeks this summer for an international conference. While there, I met people from the UK, India, Germany, Poland, China, and even Brazil. One of the topics that came up during the week was healthcare. When I mentioned that I was opposed to government run healthcare, I received an immediate response, particularly from the UK gentleman. His point was: Everyone should have healthcare. My point was: Things always run better without the government involved.

We went back and forth for a bit, but eventually we found some middle ground when I asked… “When you take your car in to get the oil changed, why don’t you run it through your insurance first?”

If car insurance were run like health insurance, every time we went to get our tires rotated or our brake pads replaced, we would send the bill through insurance. Luckily, car insurance (and home insurance) is designed to be, well… insurance. In other words, we have it primarily for major mishaps we can’t easily pay out of pocket. If we asked for money from our car insurance every time we went in to the shop, our insurance rates would climb. How could they not? No one works for free, and that includes insurance companies who need to make a profit to stay in business. Yes, liberals, they earn a profit – But everyone works for profit. That paycheck you receive on Fridays… That’s a profit.

Yes, healthcare is a very personal topic, because people’s lives are directly affected by it. How then, can I so easily say that it is better without the government involved? Because of these two statutes: Milton Friedman’s Four Ways to Spend Money, and the Law of Unintended Consequences.

I. Milton Friedman once described the four ways a person can spend money:

  1. “You can spend your own money on yourself. When you do that, then you really watch what you’re doing, and you try to get the most for your money.
  2. You can spend your own money on somebody else. For example, I buy a birthday present for someone. Well, then I’m not so careful about the content of the present, but I’m very careful about the cost.
  3. I can spend somebody else’s money on myself. And if I spend somebody else’s money on myself, then I’m sure going to have a good lunch!
  4. I can spend somebody else’s money on somebody else. And if I spend somebody else’s money on somebody else, I’m not concerned about how much it is, and I’m not concerned about what I get.”

Government is always in this fourth category. It spends someone else’s money on someone else. This is exactly why government will always remain inefficient, with a poor return on investment.

II. The law of unintended consequences states that actions of people always have effects that are unanticipated. This is especially evident with government intervention, where millions of lives are impacted by the actions of a few elected officials. Unfortunately, this tends to be a vicious cycle that governments are in the business of perpetuating. It generally goes like this:

  1. Government finds a problem which they seek to fix
  2. Government passes a law which proposes to fix the problem
  3. Another problem arises from the solution
  4. Government seeks to fix the new problem

Then round and round we go. In healthcare, it’s developed like this:

Problem Government Solution Unintended Consequence
Some people can’t afford healthcare Medicaid started by Johnson administration Medicaid payments to doctors are low
Doctors (who need to make a profit to live) refuse Medicaid
Doctors refuse Medicaid Government mandates hospitals take Medicaid Healthcare costs increase due to low Medicaid payments to doctors
Insurance costs increase to cover higher healthcare costs. Some people can’t afford health insurance
People can’t afford health insurance Obamacare mandates businesses provide insurance or pay fines Businesses can’t afford to pay for everyone’s insurance. Businesses cut benefits or jobs
Some people can’t afford healthcare
Some people can’t afford healthcare

h/t Andrew Wilkow

Notice that the last problem is just the original problem coming back round again! So why exactly are we looking to the government to solve this? The truth is, these things never get solved by the government. Sooner or later, the free market provides a solution, because the best ideas usually come from those of us who reside within these fields in our daily lives – not some bureaucrat who reads about it from afar.

Now if we could just come up with a free market solution to keep the government in check… Like, something that tells them what they can’t do… And put it in writing… And display it for all to see… Yeah. Wouldn’t that be great?

A full time engineer by trade, Dan is a conservative, Christian, father, and veteran. He considers himself a rebel against the dominant liberal culture.

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News

Multiple fatalities as Amtrak train derails in Washington state

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Derailed Amtrak train in Washington state has injuries and casualties

At least three people are dead and 77 people injured as an Amtrak train has derailed over Interstate 5 about 60 miles southwest of Seattle. Amtrak train 501 heading for Tacoma was part of a new set of trains being launched today. It was a high-speed train capable of going 79 MPH.

There were 78 passengers and five crew members on board when the train derailed.

“Emergency crews are on the scene and the Amtrak Management is responding,” an Amtrak spokesperson said in a statement. “Some injuries are reported. Service between Seattle and Portland is suspended for the time being.”

Terrorism has not been ruled out.

Amtrak Derailment

Amtrak Derailment Location

Mayor Jenny Durkan releases statement.

“This catastrophic derailment is horrific. My thoughts are with the passengers, families and those injured as well as our first responders, firefighters and police who rushed to the scene. “The City of Seattle has offered our assistance and aid to Pierce and Thurston counties, and is ready to work with Amtrak, local, state, and federal officials as they manage the response and deal with the aftermath of this tragic incident.”

This is a developing story. We will be updating it constantly and adding more links that become pertinent below, as well as displaying the live Twitter Moment feed from the event below.

Perspectives

Amtrak derailment: Live coverage of Amtrak train 501 derails in Washington state

https://www.cbsnews.com/news/amtrak-train-derailment-tacoma-washington-traffic-today-live-updates/DUPONT, Wash. — An Amtrak train has derailed on an overpass in Washington state, with at least two train cars falling onto the highway below. Authorities say multiple fatalities and injuries have been reported. At this time, all southbound lanes of traffic remain blocked on Interstate 5.

The Washington State Department of Transportation tweeted a photo of the derailment, urging motorists to avoid the area.

CBS News affiliate KIRO-TV reports first responders are treating the derailment as a mass casualty incident. Authorities have not yet provided details on injuries.

“Emergency crews are on the scene and the Amtrak Management is responding,” an Amtrak spokesperson said in a statement. “Some injuries are reported. Service between Seattle and Portland is suspended for the time being.”

Amtrak derailment in Washington state: Multiple fatalities reported on train, official says

http://www.cnn.com/2017/12/18/us/amtrak-derailment-washington/index.htmlAn Amtrak passenger train derailed Monday morning, spilling multiple cars off an Interstate 5 overpass and killing several people on the train in Pierce County, Washington, according to the spokesman for the Pierce County Sheriff’s Office.

Several motorists in vehicles that were struck by the fallen train cars suffered injuries, but there were no fatalities among people in those vehicles, the sheriff’s office said.

The deaths “are all contained to the train,” said Ed Troyer, the Pierce County Sheriff’s Office spokesman. “It’s pretty horrific.”

Twitter Moment Live

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Foreign Affairs

World says an embassy in Jerusalem prevents peace… unless it’s Turkey opening an embassy to East Jerusalem

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World says an embassy in Jerusalem prevents peace unless its Turkey opening an embassy to East Jerus

When President Trump announced the United States would recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel and move our embassy there, most world leaders condemned the plan as an obstacle to peace. The chorus rang loud that putting an embassy in Jerusalem would derail the progress that has been made in the last few decades. Now that Turkish President Erdogan has decided to open an embassy in East Jerusalem and recognize it as the capital of Palestine, the world responded as expected.

Crickets.

It’s not that most of the world is against an embassy in Jerusalem or anyone acknowledging it as the capital. They just don’t want an embassy to Israel there, nor do they want it recognized as Jerusalem’s capital. The anti-Israel world (which is made up of a vast majority of world leaders, a good portion of the non-Jewish people, a surprisingly large number of Jews, and pretty much every Muslim) knows only one way to peace: a two-state solution.

The world wants to take a country the size of New Jersey with the only Jewish majority in the world and split it up with people, many of whom have vowed to destroy Israel itself. That’s why they’re okay with Erdogan making his fuss over all this. Let’s take a brief look at what Erdogan is doing, then I’ll leave my final thoughts on the matter.

Further Reading

Turkey’s Erdogan: Muslim nations to go to UN over Jerusalem

http://abcnews.go.com/International/wireStory/turkeys-erdogan-muslim-nations-jerusalem-51811201Turkey’s president says Muslim nations will ask the United Nations for an “annulment” of President Donald Trump’s controversial decision to recognize Jerusalem as Israel’s capital.

Recep Tayyip Erdogan says the initiative would start at the U.N. Security Council and if it’s “vetoed there, we will work within the U.N. General Assembly for the annulment of this unjust and lawless decision.”

Opinion: Erdogan′s boring taunts in the fight over Jerusalem

http://www.dw.com/en/opinion-erdogans-boring-taunts-in-the-fight-over-jerusalem/a-41784633He’s back: the rapscallion, the bully, the lout, the eternal political campaigner Recep Tayyip Erdogan. The Turkish president was at his old game as soon as the conference of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) kicked off in Istanbul. He called Israel a “terrorist and occupier state,” and invited “every country” to “recognize Jerusalem as the capital of the occupied state of Palestine.”

Turkey’s President Erdogan says he will open an embassy in East Jerusalem

http://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/middle-east/turkey-recep-tayyip-erdogan-embassy-east-jerusalem-palestinians-israel-donald-trump-a8115281.htmlTurkey will open an embassy in East Jerusalem, President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has said, days after leading calls at a summit of Muslim leaders for the world to recognise it as the capital of Palestine.

“God willing, the day is close when officially, with God’s permission, we will open our embassy there,” he said in a speech, while maintaining his fierce criticism of the US decision to recognise Jerusalem as Israel’s capital.

Final Thoughts

These moves have very little to do with Jerusalem. They have everything to do with Erdogan’s ambition to be the leader of the Muslim world. He wants to build a coalition behind him to be the “great uniter” of a diverse people spread around the globe who are often at odds with one another. He wants to rebuild the Ottoman Empire. The scary part is that it might work.

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Culture and Religion

Trump betrays conservatives: Nominates anti-Christian, pro-LGBT activist to EEOC

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Trump betrays conservatives Nominates anti-Christian pro-LGBT activist to EEOC

When US Supreme Court Justice Anthony Kennedy created a non-existent constitutional right to same-sex marriage out of thin air in Obergefell v. Hodges, justices in the minority of the 5-4 decision “legalizing” the practice warned of the inevitable threat it would create to the First Amendment right to religious freedom.

While LGBT radicals and their allies in the Gay Mafia deny it, warnings by Justices Roberts, Scalia, Thomas, and Alito about the threats have proven to be true. In fact, the threat to religious liberty resulting from the LGBT agenda existed even before Obergefell.

In a piece I wrote shortly after the same-sex marriage ruling, I joined my fellow conservatives in expressing our concerns over the possible loss of religious liberty. In the article, I quoted several pro-LGBT activists who flat-out admitted that taking down religious liberty was the plan all along. One of those activists is Chai Feldblum, a homosexual activist appointed as a commissioner to the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission by Barack Obama.

The “zero-sum game” is how homosexual activist law professor and Obama EEOC (Equal Employment Opportunity Commission) appointee Chai Feldblum describes the legal battles between modern “rights” based on homosexual “orientation” (read: behavior) and the traditional American principle of religious liberty.

“Gays win, Christians lose,” Feldblum said, predicting homosexuals would win most of the legal contests.

Well, it looks like Donald Trump is ready to give Feldblum and the LGBT agenda a big boost.

In an announcement last week, the “most pro-LGBT” Republican candidate for president re-nominated Feldblum to keep her job at the EEOC. And despite claims by some in Trump’s inner circle of “evangelical advisors” that this only happened because Trump wasn’t briefed on Feldblum or involved in her nomination, the track record of the man who swore to “do everything in (his) power to protect LGBTQ citizens” at the Republican National Convention indicates that this is right in line with the priorities of President Trump and Vice President Pence.

For example, when Trump followed Jared and Ivanka’s advice to reaffirm an Obama executive order that essentially legalized discrimination against Christian business owners by requiring them to embrace the LGBT agenda or lose their right to do business with the federal government, Pence–who has a history of his own when it comes to caving to LGBT radicals–defended the pro-LGBT decision.

“I think throughout the campaign, President Trump made it clear that discrimination would have no place in our administration. I mean, he was the very first Republican nominee to mention the LGBTQ community at our Republican National Convention and was applauded for it. And I was there applauding with him”

In June, Trump pretended to reverse an Obama directive that allowed students to use bathrooms and showers based on their gender identity. In reality, Trump’s order opened the door for the government to prosecute schools that fail to recognize a transgendered student’s “right” to use the facility of their choice.

From the very beginning, the Fellowship of the Pharisees have defended Trump because he’s “God’s man,” and he will protect religious liberty. It seems to me that nominating a pro-LGBT, anti-Christian lesbian activist to a federal job where she can advance the LGBT agenda fails in that department.

Originally posted on The Strident Conservative.

 

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