Healthcare and Individual Responsibility

In spite of seven years of railing against ObamaCare, the Republican Congress seems to be having a hard time to repeal and replace or even to reform ObamaCare. The whole process strikes this observer as a bloody mess with a decent outcome in doubt.

One of the biggest political bugaboos with the Paul Ryan replacement proposal is that the Congressional Budget Office predicts that something like 14 million of people will lose their healthcare under the Ryan plan in the first year. This number is surely exaggerated. Karl Rove estimates it to be 10 million.  Still, this is a large number, and it scares the bejesus out of moderate Republicans, who fear the ensuing hyper hard luck stories in the Democrat media if even a single soul is dropped from coverage.

But interestingly, Rove also notes that of this 10 million losing health insurance, almost all are due to repealing the individual mandate penalties. Those who enrolled in ObamaCare under the force of a penalty had, for the most part, previously decided to forgo health insurance. They were primarily the relatively young and healthy and opted to spend their money on other things than health insurance. And heaven forbid if someone, as Rep. Jason Chaffetz did, crassly suggests that these people should perhaps invest in their health insurance instead buying a new iPhone or some other gadget. Then all hell breaks loose.

Here's the question. Is the nation now supposed to worry about people, who could afford it, losing health insurance when it is not gift wrapped for them, courtesy of the U.S. taxpayers?

Apparently so. For as Charles Krauthammer says, history shows that once government creates an entitlement and gives something away, especially something like healthcare, it is extremely difficult to take back again. This is especially true when the Democrat Party Holy Grail is a uniform, single single payer system for all. 

And to be sure, much of ObamaCare is welfare, where money was taken from Medicare, an earned entitlement, and diverted into Medicaid, a highly subsidized unearned entitlement.

This brings us to a larger issue, and that is the growing sense of entitlement throughout society. Arnold Ahlert captures the problem beautifully as it relates to health care when he writes:

Nothing about America’s ever-expanding welfare state has been more egregious than its unflinching cultivation of personal irresponsibility. From able-bodied people getting welfare or disability payments, to single women having illegitimate children, much of what we used to consider unacceptable or immoral behavior has been de-stigmatized.

Our shame-free society must be kept in mind during the GOP’s effort to repeal and replace ObamaCare. That’s because the Left’s greatest weapon -- one also embraced by several weak-kneed Republicans -- is the idea that if whatever emerges in ObamaCare’s place leaves even one less person without healthcare insurance, America becomes a nation of heartless Cossacks willing to let people “die in the streets.” 

No doubt, irresponsibility and unaccountability has been a growing trend in the U.S. for quite a while. College students riot and even assault conservative speakers on campus and there are no expulsions or arrests. Irrespective of immigration laws, illegal aliens waltz right into the country and often avail themselves of drivers’ licenses, educational services, and medical treatment in sanctuary cities. Foreigners of all stripes overstay their visas with little to no consequence. Reckless bankers and other financial gurus brought us the 2008 financial meltdown and none of them lost their jobs or bonuses let alone went to prison. Don't study in school and you still get a high passing grade. The examples could go on and on.

Back to health care. Ahlert concludes:

If we’re going to have genuine healthcare reform in this country, a critical component of it will be disabusing people of this execrable mindset. While there are many Americans who cannot afford healthcare who must be covered, there is a vast difference between them and those who choose not to buy healthcare coverage they can otherwise afford. It must be made clear to the latter group that while they are free to make that choice, the consequences of it may very well be financial ruin in the event of an unforeseen tragedy. Financial ruin that will not be mitigated by the government.

If the truth hurts? Too bad. It’s about time millions of wrong-headed, self-entitled Americans who can afford paying for their healthcare needs—but decide not to—were tossed off the free lunch bandwagon. No matter what your helicopter parents, college professors or vote-grubbing politicians might have told you, life comes with obligations. Unavoidable obligations in many cases.

America will always have a safety net for the genuinely needy—unless we bankrupt the nation catering to those who embrace personal irresponsibility. And while there are a myriad of details that would vastly improve the current GOP healthcare proposals—such as provider price transparency and requiring Congress to use the same system they create for us—no successful system of healthcare delivery can withstand hordes of people who believe they’re entitled to something—or is that everything—for nothing.

An I-phone or healthcare coverage? Your choice -- and your consequences.

I could not agree more with such sentiments. But it would take a historic cultural metamorphosis to implement such a change of heart, a change which may be nearly impossible given how far down the dependency slope America has already slid. As long as there's a dime in the pocket of taxpayers, the Democrats and their media soul mates will be after it for one Democrat constituency or another. 

In spite of seven years of railing against ObamaCare, the Republican Congress seems to be having a hard time to repeal and replace or even to reform ObamaCare. The whole process strikes this observer as a bloody mess with a decent outcome in doubt.

One of the biggest political bugaboos with the Paul Ryan replacement proposal is that the Congressional Budget Office predicts that something like 14 million of people will lose their healthcare under the Ryan plan in the first year. This number is surely exaggerated. Karl Rove estimates it to be 10 million.  Still, this is a large number, and it scares the bejesus out of moderate Republicans, who fear the ensuing hyper hard luck stories in the Democrat media if even a single soul is dropped from coverage.

But interestingly, Rove also notes that of this 10 million losing health insurance, almost all are due to repealing the individual mandate penalties. Those who enrolled in ObamaCare under the force of a penalty had, for the most part, previously decided to forgo health insurance. They were primarily the relatively young and healthy and opted to spend their money on other things than health insurance. And heaven forbid if someone, as Rep. Jason Chaffetz did, crassly suggests that these people should perhaps invest in their health insurance instead buying a new iPhone or some other gadget. Then all hell breaks loose.

Here's the question. Is the nation now supposed to worry about people, who could afford it, losing health insurance when it is not gift wrapped for them, courtesy of the U.S. taxpayers?

Apparently so. For as Charles Krauthammer says, history shows that once government creates an entitlement and gives something away, especially something like healthcare, it is extremely difficult to take back again. This is especially true when the Democrat Party Holy Grail is a uniform, single single payer system for all. 

And to be sure, much of ObamaCare is welfare, where money was taken from Medicare, an earned entitlement, and diverted into Medicaid, a highly subsidized unearned entitlement.

This brings us to a larger issue, and that is the growing sense of entitlement throughout society. Arnold Ahlert captures the problem beautifully as it relates to health care when he writes:

Nothing about America’s ever-expanding welfare state has been more egregious than its unflinching cultivation of personal irresponsibility. From able-bodied people getting welfare or disability payments, to single women having illegitimate children, much of what we used to consider unacceptable or immoral behavior has been de-stigmatized.

Our shame-free society must be kept in mind during the GOP’s effort to repeal and replace ObamaCare. That’s because the Left’s greatest weapon -- one also embraced by several weak-kneed Republicans -- is the idea that if whatever emerges in ObamaCare’s place leaves even one less person without healthcare insurance, America becomes a nation of heartless Cossacks willing to let people “die in the streets.” 

No doubt, irresponsibility and unaccountability has been a growing trend in the U.S. for quite a while. College students riot and even assault conservative speakers on campus and there are no expulsions or arrests. Irrespective of immigration laws, illegal aliens waltz right into the country and often avail themselves of drivers’ licenses, educational services, and medical treatment in sanctuary cities. Foreigners of all stripes overstay their visas with little to no consequence. Reckless bankers and other financial gurus brought us the 2008 financial meltdown and none of them lost their jobs or bonuses let alone went to prison. Don't study in school and you still get a high passing grade. The examples could go on and on.

Back to health care. Ahlert concludes:

If we’re going to have genuine healthcare reform in this country, a critical component of it will be disabusing people of this execrable mindset. While there are many Americans who cannot afford healthcare who must be covered, there is a vast difference between them and those who choose not to buy healthcare coverage they can otherwise afford. It must be made clear to the latter group that while they are free to make that choice, the consequences of it may very well be financial ruin in the event of an unforeseen tragedy. Financial ruin that will not be mitigated by the government.

If the truth hurts? Too bad. It’s about time millions of wrong-headed, self-entitled Americans who can afford paying for their healthcare needs—but decide not to—were tossed off the free lunch bandwagon. No matter what your helicopter parents, college professors or vote-grubbing politicians might have told you, life comes with obligations. Unavoidable obligations in many cases.

America will always have a safety net for the genuinely needy—unless we bankrupt the nation catering to those who embrace personal irresponsibility. And while there are a myriad of details that would vastly improve the current GOP healthcare proposals—such as provider price transparency and requiring Congress to use the same system they create for us—no successful system of healthcare delivery can withstand hordes of people who believe they’re entitled to something—or is that everything—for nothing.

An I-phone or healthcare coverage? Your choice -- and your consequences.

I could not agree more with such sentiments. But it would take a historic cultural metamorphosis to implement such a change of heart, a change which may be nearly impossible given how far down the dependency slope America has already slid. As long as there's a dime in the pocket of taxpayers, the Democrats and their media soul mates will be after it for one Democrat constituency or another. 

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