Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Don’t Replace–Eliminate

Yesterday I heard a very interesting interview on radio. The host of the morning talk show interviewed a member of the U.S. House of Representatives from southern Indiana. The topic was “Obamacare.”

The House member seemed to be a rather “conservative” (vague, I know, but I will use it for now) Republican. The talk show host seems to be, at least when I have heard him, something of a dissenter from the usual “center-leftist” political orthodoxy we find frequently in power and in the media today.

I was a bit shocked by what I heard. What follows is not exact, but close enough to convey the thoughts accurately:

Interviewer: Do the Republicans have a proposal to replace Obamacare?

Rep: Yes. A few parts of it are good. For example, people like that fact that it requires health insurance policies to be portable. And that feature is very inexpensive. We think there are a few things like that which are worth keeping. But much of Obamacare needs to be changed.

If this is what conservative Republicans think, then we are doomed to Obamacare and many other things even worse.

Perhaps some people do like portability in health insurance. If enough people like that feature, someone will eventually sell it. If the government requires it in all policies, that is just a cost that must be added, even for those who don’t care about portability.

But the worst of the matter is this: once you concede that it is appropriate for governments to demand that you buy health insurance that is portable, you have conceded the very principle that makes Obamacare appropriate. If it is appropriate for government to demand portability, it is appropriate for government to demand anything at all related to health insurance.

Many so-called “conservative” Republicans don’t seem to understand that individual liberty ends wherever any government requirement begins. Things like Obamacare do not need “replacement” – not if you are interested in freedom. Such things need to be eliminated.

Those who wish to offer a true alternative to the present course of government cannot consistently do so by advocating some “toning down” or “tweaking” of laws that defy the free economic choices of people. Liberty requires that such laws, programs, and policies be completely and forever eliminated.

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