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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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Judiciary

Census case will demonstrate if the Supreme Court is political or not

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Census case will demonstrate if the Supreme Court is political or not

There is an unnecessary amount of controversy surrounding whether or not a citizenship question can be added to the upcoming United States census. But now that it’s here, the outcome of the case will say a great deal about the makeup of the Supreme Court and whether or not it has become a body that is driven solely by politics despite the intent of the founders to make sure it never would be.

On the surface, this case seems rather mundane. It’s just a question about the citizenship status of individuals. Some may be wondering what the big deal really is. In reality, it’s a very big deal. Census data is used to determine pretty much everything as it pertains to the relationship between the federal government and the states. Grant money, House of Representative seats, and district allocations are among the many changes that will all be determined by the census.

From a purely political perspective, this should be a no-brainer to conservatives. Of course the question should be included. It’s unfair for states who allow a higher level of illegal immigrants to gain more power as a result. These are not voters (at least they’re not supposed to be). It’s idiotic to give states a great incentives to bring in as many illegal immigrants as possible, so if the presence of a censorship question lowers the numbers reported, that’s not a bad thing.

Politically, the citizenship question is a winning play for conservatives.

But here’s the problem. The judiciary is not supposed to be driven by politics. Their job is to interpret the Constitution and the law of the land to determine how it’s to be enforced by the executive branch and whether the legislative branch is in line with the intent of the Constitution through the laws they establish. By those criteria, the Trump administration has a major problem with the citizenship question. The Census Act clearly states Congress is to be given notice of changes to the census three years in advance. They were not. The citizenship question was not part of the original list sent by Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross in March, 2017. It was sent in the March, 2018 list, but that’s not enough time for Congress to review if we’re going solely based on the letter of the law.

This is an insanely stupid aspect of the law; it shouldn’t take Congress three years to read a question and determine whether or not they need to make new laws as a result. But it’s the law nonetheless and Ross broke it by not including the question in his original list. It was a rookie mistake made by someone who really shouldn’t be in his position, but what’s done is done.

Part of my heart says the censorship question is righteous and does not violate the Constitution, therefore it should be allowed. But the other part of my heart longs for a judiciary that is truly apolitical, one that does its job as laid out in the Constitution. If that’s the measure of this case, then the Administration clearly did not meet the standards set forth in the law to add the question to the census.

Where I take solace is knowing the balance of political bias within the judiciary favors the left. If it’s impossible to completely remove politics from the judiciary, then any win for conservatism is acceptable just as any loss for conservatism is unwelcome. I desperately want the originalist perspective to prevail in our judiciary, but if such apolitical adherence is only possible when convenient or in a robotic utopia of a truly impartial judiciary, then I’m forced to defer to the side of my heart that says, “Take the win and move on.”

We need the citizenship question in the census, and though I would have preferred to have seen it handled properly by the Commerce Department, I’ll accept a victory on it even if it comes by the hand of conservative bias.

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Culture and Religion

Matthew 22:37 – ‘love the Lord thy God’

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Matthew 2237 love the Lord thy God

Jesus said unto him, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind. – Matthew 22:37 (KJV)

We’ve all heard this verse, but have we really contemplated it? This is a verse that sits in the middle of many different things happening. The Pharisees and Sadducees were questioning Him. His answers were profound and defining.

This important portion of this message is echoed three times: all. Love thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all they mind. This is the most important Commandment according to Yeshua.

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Opinions

Sign the petition demanding term limits on Capitol Hill

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Sign the petition demanding term limits on Capitol Hill

It’s time for term limits. This has been on my heart for some time, but I have held back because there are so many other important issues to cover. Today, I realized if I wait until more pressing issues are solved, I’ll be waiting forever. There are always going to be more pressing issues than term limits, but here’s the thing. Our representatives realize this, too, which is why it’s never given the attention it deserves. They use these other issues as cover to prevent them from having to address the one issue that will affect them the most.

This is my first petition on Change.org. I’ll admit I’ve never been a fan of the site because it is mostly progressive topics on the table, but this is an issue that even progressives should be able to acknowledge as a problem.

Here’s what I posted:

Set term limits for U.S. Representatives and Senators

Corruption is rampant in Washington DC. One of the biggest reasons this is the case is because lifetime politicians have become power brokers, making them the beneficiaries of favors, payoffs, and under-the-table deals. They live in a perpetual state of campaigning rather than focusing on addressing the problems that face Americans.

Term limits were never included in the Constitution because it was expected by the founders that those serving as our representatives in the legislative branch would do so as a duty to be fulfilled rather than a luxurious position of excess. They did not anticipate the electoral benefits of incumbents, nor did the realize the two-party system would polarize the nation to the point that positions could be made essentially permanent.

Power should not be accumulated over the length of a long career. It should be earned through action and earnestly held for a brief period of time. Today, too much power is consolidated in Washington DC, partially as a result of the extended lengths in which our representatives enjoy their tenure.

Members of the House of Representatives and the Senate should be there because they want to serve their country, not because they enjoy being part of the DC Country Club. Term limits are very popular among the people, but Capitol Hill continues to ignore our will by failing to address it. Why should they? Only they can be hurt by it, and it does not behoove them to hurt themselves.

Instead, they continue hurting us.

We demand Congress immediately put together legislation that spells out term limits for themselves. Americans need to know who is willing to suppress their own power for the sake of the nation. This can only happen by bringing legislation to the floor.

Imagine Capitol Hill without the perpetual campaigning. Imagine forcing our representatives to work within a time limit instead of working to stay in the DC Country Club forever. It’s time for term limits in the House and Senate.

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Get this story in front of tens of thousands of patriots who need to see it. For every $30 you donate here, this story will be broadcast to an addition 7000 Americans or more. If you’d prefer to use PayPal, please email me at jdrucker@reagan.com and let me know which post you want boosted after you donate through PayPal.

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