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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?

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Immigration

As predicted, Trump offers DACA amnesty in exchange for border wall

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As predicted Trump offers DACA amnesty in exchange for border wall

Throughout Trump’s first two years in office, I’ve been one of only a handful of conservative voices shouting from the rooftops that the New York liberal’s promise to fix America’s out-of-control illegal immigration problem was nothing but a lie.

As a candidate, Trump promised to build a “big beautiful powerful wall” on our southern border at Mexico’s expense, and he promised to overturn Obama’s unconstitutional Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) executive order that allowed illegals to stay in America indefinitely. Unfortunately, the “wall” has become an “artistically designed” barrier of some sort funded by the U.S. taxpayer, and DACA is not only still in effect, it’s on its way to becoming permanent.

While the reality of Trump’s broken promises dealing with illegal immigration have been crystal clear to those not drinking the orange Kool-Aid, his inevitable betrayal on the issue has been brought sharply into focus since last summer.

In May 2018, as Trump and the GOP were looking for ways to save their jobs ahead of the midterms, the House Freedom Caucus joined hands with Democrats to push for a “fix” to DACA.

In June 2018, Paul Ryan proposed a plan that would allow DREAMers to legally stay in the country and be put on the pathway to citizenship in exchange for $23 billion for building a border wall.

Following their September 2018 budget betraying funding everything from Planned Parenthood to DACA and sanctuary cities, rumors began spreading around Washington that Trump was ready to cut an immigration deal with Democrats in light of the reality that the Democrats were about to retake the House in the midterms.

The Democrats did retake the House, and in the days since their victory, Trump and the GOP have been laying the foundation for their inevitable immigration betrayal. With the help of Trump’s son-in-law and advisor Jared Kushner, trading DACA amnesty for a border wall is now the official position of the Trump administration and the GOP-controlled Senate.

So, it came as no surprise when Trump proposed a deal over the weekend to end to his manufactured government shutdown by offering Democrats a three-year extension of DACA in exchange for $5 billion for border security funding — an idea originally conceived by Sen. Lindsey Graham.

Three years? I’m sure it’s just a coincidence, but that’s just enough time to kick the can down the road until after his 2020 election … assuming there is one. And just in case there are any doubts about the motivation behind this three-year timeframe, consider this: Mitch McConnell, who has refused to let the Senate vote on the shutdown, has endorsed Trump’s offer and will hold vote on it this week.

Mickey is also up for re-election in 2020.

For now, Democrats are rejecting Trump’s offer, but it’s only a matter of time before they get what they want. After all, Trump and the GOP want the same thing.

Originally posted on StridentConservative.com.

 


David Leach is the owner of The Strident Conservative. His daily radio commentary is distributed by the Salem Radio Network and is heard on stations across America.

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Foreign Affairs

Is Israel on the brink of war?

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Is Israel on the brink of war

Israel and Iran continue to trade threats and missile attacks over Syria as the latest round targeted Iranian Quds forces near Damascus. The IDF, which has confirmed attacks recently, went so far as to announce the attacks on Twitter.

This attack was in response to a missile launched from Syria by Iranian Quds Forces into the Golan Heights. The missile was intercepted by the Iron Dome, which was captured on camera by skiers on Mt. Hermon.

The overnight attacks on Syria resulted in many missiles and guided bombs being shot down, but enough made it through to damage Quds training grounds, weapons depots, and kill at least 11 people. There are no reports of how many of Iran’s elite forces were killed, though British-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said only two of the dead were Syrians.

Israel, in rare move, announces attacks on Iranian targets in Syria, delivers warning

https://www.foxnews.com/world/israel-attacks-iran-forces-in-syria-military-confirmsIsraeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu recently confirmed that Israel had struck hundreds of targets in Syria linked to Iran and the Lebanese Hezbollah militant group, including a weapons facility two weeks ago.

Iran and Hezbollah are allied with the Syrian government in the civil war.

Iran has begun its loudest saber-rattling in some time as they send clear threats of war and the destruction of Israel through state television.

“The young people in the air force are fully ready and impatient to confront the Zionist regime and eliminate it from the Earth,” IRIAF Brigadier General Aziz Nasirzadeh said following the strike.

Iran says ready for war with Israel that will ‘lead to its destruction’

https://www.jpost.com/Breaking-News/Iran-We-are-ready-for-a-war-that-will-lead-to-the-destruction-of-Israel-578108The commander of the Iranian Air Force warned on Monday that Iran was prepared for a decisive war with Israel, “which will bring an end to the IDF’s attacks on Syria.” “Our armed forces are prepared for a war that will bring the crushing destruction of Israel,” he said, according to media reports.

“We are ready for the day when we will see the end of Israel.”

My Take

Americans are often unaware of the importance of Syria to Iran. For years, it’s been assumed the only reason Iran hasn’t attacked Israel, especially when they were at the height of their power during the latter years of President Obama’s administration, is they have no clear path to reach Israel. Iraq, Syria, and Jordan are between Iran and the tiny Jewish state, making it nearly impossible for them to have any real reach into the heart of Israel.

This is why they are so intent on having an embedded military presence in Syria. It’s why Israel is doing everything in its power to prevent them from getting a serious foothold there.

Iran’s military is strong and somewhat sophisticated, but it’s still no match for Israel. However, Iran could take advantage of Israel’s small size if they can get enough missiles and launchers into Syria. Doing so would allow them to use Syrians as cover, a strategy currently in use by anti-Israeli forces in the Gaza Strip and Lebanon.

As long as Iran continues to pursue entrenchment in Syria, war is on the near horizon. Israeli strikes may be a catalyst for war, but they’re necessary if they have any hopes of preventing Iran from taking over their Syrian neighbors wholesale.


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Entertainment and Sports

What really separates Tom Brady from every other player on the field

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What really separates Tom Brady from every other player on the field

Every season, Patriots quarterback Tom Brady gains more people who believe he’s the greatest of all time. It has been a long road for him because he didn’t have the pedigree that other potential GOATs had. He wasn’t the #1 pick in the NFL draft like John Elway or Terry Bradshaw. He was drafted in the 6th round. He didn’t come in with lots of fanfare. His first starting job came as a result of Drew Bledsoe’s injury. He doesn’t have a flashy style like Brett Favre, a complex system like Peyton Manning, or a cannon for an arm like Aaron Rodgers.

He just wins.

The key to his winning ways may have nothing to do with his strong skills, good supporting cast, or excellent game plans. It may just come down to hard work and good ol’ fashioned competitiveness. His mental toughness has been likened to Larry Bird’s or Evander Holyfield’s, two greats in their sports who made up for physical deficiencies by constantly improving mentally even when they weren’t at the top physically.

“Every quarterback can throw a ball; every running back can run; every receiver is fast; but that mental toughness that you talk about translates into competitiveness.”

Football is more than just a physical sport. As Tom Brady has demonstrated, mental toughness may be even more important than 40-yard-dash times or arm strength.


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