Saturday, June 20, 2009

The freedom of choice that isn't very free when you get right down to it.

The word “freedom” takes more abuse than a submissive in an SM whorehouse. The word is used to justify oppression, war, death and carnage. “Freedom” and “capitalism” are the ties that bind, the chastity belts that protect us from the dangling dick of democracy. Whenever a politician speaks of freedom, the wise person heads for the nearest exit while those who think freedom means freedom bend over and spread their cheeks.

Politicians do not have a monopoly on the word. Private enterprise uses it to justify its avarice and rapacity as it associates freedom with choice, meaning that the consumer is free to choose from a wide selection of useless items designed to fill the artificial needs created by clever advertising.

Now the word had entered the debate over healthcare reform. In a statement that threatens the collapse of life on earth as we know it if Congress adopts a single-payer health plan, the American Medical Association warned, “The introduction of a new public plan threatens to restrict patient choice by driving out private insurers, which currently provide coverage for nearly 70% of Americans (emphasis mine).”

In this case, the “free choice” is the freedom to choose which private insurer one wishes to be screwed by, assuming the one can afford a private plan.

The association goes on to wave the tattered red flag of “tax increases” when it warns that, “If private insurers are pushed out of the market, the corresponding surge in public plan participants would likely lead to an explosion of costs that would need to be absorbed by taxpayers.”

This assumes that the public is too stupid to do the math, i.e., wouldn’t the tax increase created by a public plan with a 5% expense ratio be less than the premiums charged by private plans with their 30% expense ratio? Plus, the best example of a single-payer plan, Medicare, charges premiums based on income, unlike private plans who want an arm and a leg, no matter how poor you are.

Not that the AMA has to worry. The corporate flunkies in Congress are not about to do anything as radical as a national single-payer health plan. It can’t afford to jeprodize all those campaign contributions.


Anonymous said...

I had my personal epiphany about six years ago. I had suspected I was getting almost nothing for my money and efforts, but when I lost my last real job, with benefits and serious money, my eyes were opened!

I had to cut way back on everything, and this is when I discovered how little money and work were really necessary to keep me happy. My wife claims she feels the same way about this.

Case Wagenvoord said...

Life is sweeter when we stop worrying about how much stuff we have.

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