November 11th, 2013

Leaving the fold: criticizing Obamacare

Lori Gottlieb has found out the hard way that complaining on Facebook about her increased premiums and her decreased medical network doesn’t get her a whole lotta love from her “friends.”

My guess is that she has never dissented publicly from the liberal fold before, or should wouldn’t be so surprised. After all, it’s standard operating procedure to be on the receiving end of a lot of criticism if one does.

A great many of the criticisms Gottlieb receives in the NY Times comments section to her article have the same general message as that of her friends, “You should be pleased to have this opportunity to help the poor.” Whether the people writing these notes to Gottlieb are happy to have that very same opportunity themselves, and whether they even understand that there’s a difference between the mandatory purchase of overpriced insurance and voluntary charitable contributions to finance the poor’s medical care—is unclear. But their comments drive home the fact that the concept of liberty isn’t even something they feel they need to take into consideration.

I’m afraid that all arguments on the order of Gottlieb’s, which feature sob stories from an individual who is relatively well-off financially who’s complaining about the effects Obamacare has had on them, will meet with a similar barrage of “suck it up, don’t you want to be a good person?” response. Gottlieb’s article fails to emphasize the real point, which is that:

(a) this will happen to many people; and
(b) Obamacare was sold by proclaiming that exactly the opposite would happen

If the ACA proponents had stated, “Look, up to half of the country is going to have its premiums raised and choice restricted in order to give the other half subsidized coverage,” and the law had been passed in a more straightforward manner, we could still complain about it. But the people would have made a decision that it was what they wanted.

The people actually made no such decision, however. Even if you ignore the very odd and suspect legislative history of this bill, the promise that was explicitly made was that the bill would save a typical family $2500 (that one’s sort of gotten lost in the shuffle, hasn’t it?), and that no one would experience what Gottlieb and so many others are now describing.

The bill was sold by a pack of lies. There could be no informed consent.

What’s more, the ACA involves payments to a private, for-profit industry—the health insurance companies—for a product people are forced to buy or pay a penalty. That industry is now so very heavily regulated that although it is not government-owned it is virtually government-controlled and in part government-financed. Such an arrangement could rightly be termed a form of fascism (in the economic, not the vernacular, sense):

Where socialism sought totalitarian control of a society’s economic processes through direct state operation of the means of production, fascism sought that control indirectly, through domination of nominally private owners. Where socialism nationalized property explicitly, fascism did so implicitly, by requiring owners to use their property in the “national interest”—that is, as the autocratic authority conceived it. (Nevertheless, a few industries were operated by the state.) Where socialism abolished all market relations outright, fascism left the appearance of market relations while planning all economic activities.

It’s ironic that the word “fascist” has been thrown around so much by the left as an insult to the right that the true fascists cannot recognize themselves in the mirror.

[NOTE: If you look at the comments to Gottlieb's article, note also how many of them say, "See, this is why we need single payer---which is inevitable at this point."]

30 Responses to “Leaving the fold: criticizing Obamacare”

  1. Matt_SE Says:

    Two points:
    1) “(a) this will happen to many people; and
    (b) Obamacare was sold by proclaiming that exactly the opposite would happen”

    (c) many of the people affected will not be as financially secure as the upper-middle-class “friends” that are criticizing Gottlieb. People presumed they would get subsidies, but in fact the reverse may be true.

    2) There is no functional difference between communism and fascism, because control of something is tantamount to ownership of that thing. Of what consolation is it to know that you “own” something if its use is dictated by someone else? This is simply rhetorical legerdemain.

  2. neo-neocon Says:

    Matt_SE:

    Kirsten Powers made that point in an interview I saw the other day. She said her premiums had doubled under Obamacare; she had expected a slight increase but was shocked by the amount of her increase. However, she said she could afford it, and was willing to pay in order to insure the previously uninsured (she’s a liberal). But she also made the point that many many people facing the same increase do not have her income and cannot afford it.

  3. Matt_SE Says:

    This was a point we focused on previously (ah, the good old days…about a week ago):
    We worried about the ratio of givers to takers. Some anecdotal evidence has emerged that even people with chronic conditions are now paying more.
    The data has been truncated by the disastrous non-functionality of the website, but I wouldn’t be surprised if we start hearing more stories along these lines. After all, Sebelius just announced that mental health will now be included in Obamacare. That will increase the rates even further. This, in addition to the indications that the young and healthy are avoiding the exchanges like the plague.

  4. Mr. Frank Says:

    At this point we appear to be caught in what soccer people call no man’s land for goal keepers. He can charge out and make a play on the shooter or he can stay close to goal and react to the shot. If he comes half way out and stops he does neither.

    I am hearing that people can’t go back to their old policies because they no longer exist and would have to be state approved which takes months. They can’t see the new plans because the website doesn’t work. They are in no man’s land.

  5. Baklava Says:

    We are screwed.

    The low information / non-informed voters actually seem to be informed through their religion.

    The believe there is enough upper middle class and above to fund their subsidies of the bottom 47%.

    Whatever happened to able bodied people having personal responsibility and making good financial decisions in life and not expecting others to give to them?

  6. Ann Says:

    Speaking of soccer — Individual health-insurance purchasers: The new soccer moms:

    It is rare that an agenda presents itself so clearly. Republicans would be wise to set out an agenda to help ordinary Americans, beginning with protecting them from the president’s health-care plan. That, rather than an ideological argument over “government taking over health care” or an abstract fight about debt and deficits, is most likely to aid the Republicans’ revival and position them well for 2014.

    Think the Republicans can muster the discipline to pull that off? I hope so, but worried they can’t.

  7. Mike Says:

    Republicans should be making the point that Government coercion is not charity.

    It is not charity, it is coercion.

    Government coercion is not charity.

    Even today, two wrongs do not make a right.

    Over and over. Right to their faces. The simple truth.

    There is no answer to it because it is, well, true.

  8. AlB Says:

    Ms. Gottlieb’s case is interesting. Over the past five years, I have found that making any comment on Facebook that could be perceived as being critical of Obama/Democrats draws the most extraordinary responses, filled with vituperation, ad-hominem insults and really strong curses. They seem unable to intelligently discuss any point of view that is not their own. Anyone who has also found this should read Thomas Sowell’s “Vision of the Anointed”. This book stands out there with Atlas Shrugged and 1984.

  9. stan Says:

    Liberal playbook has two pages — slander and human shields. No matter how stupid, how destructive, how many people are hurt badly, liberals will defend their idiocy by pointing to the two or three people who benefit from govt largesse as a way to deflect ALL criticism of the brain dead liberal policy. And if you point out that spending a trillion to help a few people is incredibly bad economics, they will call you a heartless, mean-spirited racist.

  10. Geoffrey Britain Says:

    H. L. Mencken observed that, “Democracy is the theory that the common people know what they want, and deserve to get it good and hard.”

    This is most certainly true of a democracy politically dominated by liberals. I suspect however that many liberals actually welcome the coercion ‘to do good’, telling themselves that while they do not need to be coerced, the majority of their fellows do need to be compelled.

    The fact that nothing has prevented these sanctimonious liberals from donating their ‘fair share’ previously and that they have not done so is a contradiction that they simply ignore.

    I can’t escape the suspicion that there is something in the liberal mindset that seeks the abuse that requires submission.

  11. physicsguy Says:

    Since soccer moms were mentioned, and to lighten the mood just a bit, here’s a great video:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ePyozYAyMoQ

    There are these 3 moms on every team. As a soccer dad, and a soccer ref, I see them all the time. :-)

  12. parker Says:

    “the true fascists cannot recognize themselves in the mirror”

    When they look into the mirror they see the fairest of them all.

    “There is no functional difference between communism and fascism”

    Ah, but there is the illusion of appearing pure and generous by making the greedy private sector “speak truth to power”. Power to the ‘people’ of course.

  13. Paul in Boston Says:

    “It’s ironic that the word “fascist” has been thrown around so much by the left as an insult to the right that the true fascists cannot recognize themselves in the mirror.”

    This use of fascism was pioneered by Stalin against his enemies during the great purges, as in, Trotsky was a fascist and rightest deviationist. Trotsky who with Lenin ran the Russian Revolution.

    In fact, to quote Hitler, aside from our racial theories there is no difference between us and the communists.

  14. Matthew M Says:

    They claim “hey, what’s wrong with helping the poor?” but never promoted policies that actually would do that without destroying the free market. For instance, why weren’t individual policies given equivalent tax treatment to employer policies twenty years ago? Why wasn’t the entire Affordable Care Act two sentences that could have fit on one page: Everyone with a social security number will also receive a tax-free health care spending account. Poor people will have X dollars placed in their account (by the taxpayers).

    I am no longer willing to grant the altruists any goodwill. I think they wish for dictatorship and plan on being in the “in crowd” under such a system.

  15. Ymarsakar Says:

    You know what is inevitable?

    America’s Second Civil War

  16. Ymarsakar Says:

    Whatever happened to able bodied people having personal responsibility and making good financial decisions in life and not expecting others to give to them?

    Most of that ended when people voted in slavery and democracy was used to justify totalitarian leadership.

    Is a slave expected to make financial decisions at all? Is a sex slave expected to get something of value in return from others?

    Is furniture and livestock something that gets to make their own decisions about which Memorials and Barrycades they can go through?

    Democracy is the One and Only system suited for justifying and morphing into totalitarian control by the 1% against the 99%.

    Majority rules is just another term for an oligarchy or dictatorship. It’s what it will ultimately manifest as in time.

  17. Ackler Says:

    I have no sympathy for Ms. Gottlieb. None. Her little sob story elicits nothing but schadenfreude from this conservative curmudgeon. Once a useful idiot for the left, she (and others like her) may now prove to be useful idiots for the right. But they remain idiots.

    Though the article does not explicitly state it, one can assume Gottlieb was an Obamacare supporter (and an Obama supporter) up until her mugging by reality. Her lament is merely a more loquacious version of the “I was all for Obamacare until I found out I had to pay for it” meme. If Gottlieb had been an Obamacare opponent from the start, you can assume:

    A. She would have stated so in the article

    B. The smug, self-righteous scoldings of her “friends” would have come as no surprise. Indeed, most of these individuals would not have been her “friends” to begin with.

    C. The NY Times would have never published her article.

    Nay, the educated conclusion is that she was one of the multitude of low information liberal voters who believed the costs of Obamacare would be entirely borne by “the rich”. Guess what, Lori, “the rich” includes you. It potentially includes everyone who pays more in taxes than they receive in benefits/subsidies, etc. and is not a member of a interest group favorable to Democrats (i.e. unions).

    Her “friends” may be smug, but they are right (whether they sing the same tune when the employer mandate kicks in remains to be seen). If you believe in the liberal utopia of “healthcare for all” by government fiat, get ready to pay. Get ready to pay to subsidize not only the truly needy, but also the entitled. Those who know nothing but dependency and can’t imagine life any other way. Those who shamelessly game the system and make no apologies for it. Those highly educated “beautiful souls” who decide to “make art” not subsistence living, just because they feel like it. And get ready for more and more of them, as hard working, yet low wage-earning, people realize it is in their interest to compromise their morals and feed off the government largesse.

    Get ready to pay, Lori. And pay, and pay and pay. Shut up and like it. You voted yourself this nightmare. Now suffer through it.

  18. Geoffrey Britain Says:

    Not to dispute the larger point but an oligarchy, much less a dictatorship, cannot by definition be another name for ‘majority rules’.

    A majority, constrained by a Constitution that guarantees its minorities and individuals ‘unalienable rights’ is the only form of governance yet conceived that offers the optimum balance of liberty and social responsibility.

    It is exactly those attributes that the left attacks, perverting ‘majority rules’ into the dictates of the mob, led by ideological demagogues supported by fellow ideologues.

    “America is like a healthy body and its resistance is threefold: its patriotism, its morality, and its spiritual life. If we can undermine these three areas, America will collapse from within.”

    The above quote has been attributed to Josef Stalin but in any case, it is when a majority of a society’s citizens lose those attributes, that ‘majority rules’ becomes the rule of the mob.

  19. parker Says:

    “I have no sympathy for Ms. Gottlieb. None.”

    http://tinyurl.com/bg8e2f5

    Serves you right to suffer and be alone…. milk, cream. amd alcohol and you can’t sleep at night. Smell those TB sheets.

  20. Steve Says:

    How right you are about the left’s name calling being projection.

  21. parker Says:

    ” becomes the rule of the mob”

    The only saving grace is that the mob tends to agitate close together…. a target rich environment. Sooner or later it will all come down to ashes, ashes. Those left will crawl out from underneath the rubble and build a new nation. What it will be no one knows.

  22. Promethea Says:

    It’s important that we keep repeating the phrase, “Liberal Fascism.”

    We small-government patriots have a lot of trouble explaining our views. I, for one, never ever win an argument because the liberals I know….everyone except for a tiny group….think they know everything. They never argue; they just shut down the conversation if they think I disagree.

    I most recently had this experience last night re “global warming” and the Philippine typhoon disaster.

    So we must find a way to throw the brain-dead people simple phrases that they can grasp easily.

    “Liberal Fascism” is one such cliche, but together I hope we can develop some simple phrases that work as push-backs to the dominant communist ideology now being promoted everywhere.

  23. Beverly Says:

    Time for the hapless Gottlieb to step up and engage in the ritual of samokritika. (I was thinking of this Communist custom in connection to the blacklisted Richie Incognito of the NFL, but it fits the pattern so many Leftist mob attacks, doesn’t it?)

    Samokritika: Note the parallels between our Leftists’ witch-hunts and the practice in Stalin’s USSR.

    ‘Kritika/samokritika is an example of an “apology ritual” in which the apology element served to affirm the “mistake,” to pronounce a lesson to others below [in rank] not to make the same mistake, and to recognise the status and rights of the party receiving the apology (the Leadership) to set the rules.

    ‘It thereby affirms the unity and authority of the Collective.

    ‘The subject, who was either removed or censured, was supposed to play his part by recognising that the leadership’s position was “completely correct”, reiterating the critique in the context of “self-criticism” [samokritika].

    ‘These apologetic rituals were a “show of discursive affirmation from below,” indicating that the dissident “publicly accepts . . . the judgment of his superior that this is an an offense and reaffirms the rule in question.”

    ‘In this sense, they had a transactional component, in which the self-criticism paid “symbolic taxation” to a higher authority.’

  24. Beverly Says:

    I am hearing that people can’t go back to their old policies because they no longer exist and would have to be state approved which takes months. They can’t see the new plans because the website doesn’t work. They are in no man’s land.

    Exactly right, Mr. Frank. And for those of us with preexisting conditions, who HAD insurance until the Central Government bombed it, the situation is rather desperate.

    And there’s more: the great Sharyl Atkisson had a report on CBS News tonight that the Obamacare website is fatally vulnerable to hackers and identity thieves —

    “(CBS News) WASHINGTON — CBS News has learned that the project manager in charge of building the federal health care website was apparently kept in the dark [if you believe him!] about serious failures in the website’s security. Those failures could lead to identity theft among those buying insurance. The project manager testified to congressional investigators behind closed doors, but CBS News has obtained the first look at a partial transcript of his testimony.

    Henry Chao, HealthCare.gov’s chief project manager at the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS), gave nine hours of closed-door testimony to the House Oversight Committee in advance of this week’s hearing. In excerpts CBS News has obtained, Chao was asked about a memo that outlined important security risks discovered in the insurance system.

    Chao said he was unaware of a Sept. 3 government memo written by another senior official at CMS. It found two high-risk issues, which are redacted for security reasons. The memo said “the threat and risk potential (to the system) is limitless.” [!!!] The memo shows CMS gave deadlines of mid-2014 and early 2015 to address them.

    But Chao testified he’d been told the opposite.

    “What I recall is what the team told me, is that there were no high findings,” he said.

    Chao testified security gaps could lead to identity theft, unauthorized access, and misrouted data.

    According to federal guidelines, “high risk” means “the vulnerability could be expected to have a severe or catastrophic adverse affect on organizational operations . . . assets or individuals.” [See CBS Evening News' website for Nov. 11th for the rest of the story.]

    So we’re supposed to sign up on THAT? and they’ve already said they’re hiring convicted felons who’ll have access to all our medical and financial/tax information!!!

    Where is Franz Kafka?

  25. Ymarsakar Says:

    Part of a comment I wrote at Bookworm Room.

    “Ironically, centralized planning grows the best from a test case of democracy. It make take a few generations for it to manifest, or a single one such as Jamestown or the Pilgrims’ communism, but the effects are dramatic. It comes from the natural interpretation that equal rights and status means equal access to individual resources. Thus in a group of 10, 6 will decide for the majority what is best between equals. Amongst the six, they will have a debate, and 4 will win it by dent of equal status. Thus the 4 decides for the six what is done, and the 6 decides for the 10 what will be done. Amongst the majority of 4, there will be 1 strong leader, 1 executive officer, and 1 supporter. They determine for the 4 what will be. Amongst the group of 4, 2 are most important, the leader and second in command. In a hierarchy of 2, the leader determines what goes on.

    So in a democracy, it naturally comes about that 1 or 2 people, determine 99% of the time, what 10 people will do all together. Thus once this system is naturally evolved and matured from the raw condition of democracy, equality, they will have a First Among Equals. As a natural step after that, is equal distribution of resources, as determined by the 1%.

    Meanwhile, the rest of the democracy community thinks they “voted” in their leader. That may or may not be true depending on the virtues of individuals. So in actual fact, democracy and equality are the best conditions in which to grow tyranny, centralized control, and confiscation of private property.”

    This is why majority rules is almost indistinguishable from an oligarchy, since in the 4th dimension (+time), it naturally becomes an oligarchy.

    What keeps a democracy or republic functioning the way it was designed is unnatural human free will and the exercise there of. Virtues that keep the vices at bay.

    Not even the US Constitution was designed to be able to govern a bunch of virtueless thieves and mass murdering rapists.

    An oligarchy, though, doesn’t pretend it has the support of the majority of 99% of the people. A democracy does though.

  26. Jamie Says:

    My husband believes that this is all according to plan – that the administration deliberately messed up the rollout of a sort-of-market-based approach to health insurance in order to make society throw the baby out with the bathwater and go single-payer. I dunno… all I know is that he and I both opposed it from the get-go, albeit for different proximate reasons.

  27. I R A Darth Aggie Says:

    Another thing to point out is that many of the people without insurance now still will not have insurance after.

  28. physics geek Says:

    “See, this is why we need single payer—which is inevitable at this point.”

    This has been the end game. I think I mentioned that this massive failure would lead to single-payer. The Democrats will point to O-care’s failure and say “See? This is how private insurance is a failure” and then say the only fix is single-payer. The fact that government run health care is a failure the first time will be completely ignored.

  29. James Says:

    There are no friends in leftism only comrades.

  30. Ymarsakar Says:

    For those that doubt the 99-100% number for democratic “majority support”, consider that 93% of DC ruling class and fodder slaves voted for Obama in 2008.

    Also it has been reported that 100% in precincts were for McAuliffe.

    So while they have not yet made the 1% rule over the 99% giving “consent” or 100% “consent” by majority rules, they are working on it even as we speak. Just give them time.

    Saddam had 99% of the vote. Difference? There will be none.

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About Me

Previously a lifelong Democrat, born in New York and living in New England, surrounded by liberals on all sides, I've found myself slowly but surely leaving the fold and becoming that dread thing: a neocon.
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