Thursday, February 9, 2012

A Beltarian Implicates Milton Friedman in National Healthcare Adovcacy

Stuart Butler, a distinguished fellow at the Heritage Foundation, was once in favor of a federal healthcare mandate. He justified this the way most beltarians justify government regulations, by ignoring the fundamental fact that government regulations go against liberty and the right of people to be left alone.

The calls for interventions and regulations are always based on some kind of wacky technical twig, but that is how they survive in D.C. Justifying regulation twig by twig. What's interesting about Butler dancing on one of these twigs is that the politics has turned and it is no longer politically correct to be in favor of a federal health mandate, so it is entertaining to watch Butler attempt to distance himself from the twig that is now sticking out of his butt. It's even more entertaining because he drops a dime on Milton Friedman and correctly implicates Friedman in healthcare central planning madness:
Is the individual mandate at the heart of "ObamaCare" a conservative idea? Is it constitutional? And was it invented at The Heritage Foundation? In a word, no...

The confusion arises from the fact that 20 years ago, I held the view that as a technical matter, some form of requirement to purchase insurance was needed in a near-universal insurance market to avoid massive instability through "adverse selection" (insurers avoiding bad risks and healthy people declining coverage). At that time, President Clinton was proposing a universal health care plan, and Heritage and I devised a viable alternative.

My view was shared at the time by many conservative experts, including American Enterprise Institute (AEI) scholars, as well as most non-conservative analysts. Even libertarian-conservative icon Milton Friedman, in a 1991 Wall Street Journal article, advocated replacing Medicare and Medicaid "with a requirement that every U.S. family unit have a major medical insurance policy."
Hey Stuart, no confusion here. A beltarian changing his position as the political winds shift is nothing new, a beltarian having principles and sticking to them, that would be new.


1 comment:

  1. Uhhhhh.....replacing Medicare and Medicaid with an individual mandate would be a vast improvement from in liberty, you twit.

    God damn you're consistsntly stupid. Do you not grasp the nuance behind these kinds of political compromises or do you deliberately ignore them?

    It's like reading an Austrian Paul Krugman. You're an embarrassment.