Squaring the Culture

"...and I will make justice the plumb line, and righteousness the level;
then hail will sweep away the refuge of lies,
and the waters will overflow the secret place."
Isaiah 28:17

02/22/2010 (10:07 am)

A Lesson in How Leftists Think

I picked up this gem from the still-active ObamaBot web site, Organizing for Obama. It’s written by David Plouffe, Obama’s campaign manager in 2008:

Just last week, we learned that insurance companies all around the country are trying to jack up rates — by 39% in California, 23% in Maine, and up to 41% in the D.C. area. This, after health care spending rose at a record rate in 2009.

Hmm… is there a connection between “health care spending rose” and “insurance companies are trying to jack up rates?” Hmm… Hmm… Let’s think real hard now…

In case any leftists are reading this and can’t make the connection, or in case there are some cynics among us who have sadly been infected with the cultural disease of instantly thinking “theft” whenever a corporation is involved, it’s really very simple. Insurance companies pay claims according to what doctors and hospitals bill. If the amount of billing goes up, the amount paid out by insurers goes up. Insurance rates are calculated based on the expected medical costs of the individuals in their insurance pool; if the rates being charged by medical practitioners goes up, the expected costs for the pool goes up, and they have to charge each member more. That’s the way the business works.

Trust a leftist to imagine that there exists no legitimate connection between actual medical costs and insurance rates, and to insist further that at a time when actual costs are rising, insurance companies ought to hold their rates steady, or even reduce them, as a public service. Insurance companies are not in business to make money, you see, or even to spread the cost of medical care over a larger population to make them manageable, they’re a public service organization. They exist to make medicine free for all. This is a cute, charming point of view when voiced by a 5-year-old; it’s incredibly dangerous when voiced by an adult who is supposed to be mature enough to vote.

So let me remind you of the words of PJ O’Rourke, which I posted here ‘way back in 2008:

What will destroy our country and us is not the financial crisis but the fact that liberals think the free market is some kind of sect or cult, which conservatives have asked Americans to take on faith. That’s not what the free market is. The free market is just a measurement, a device to tell us what people are willing to pay for any given thing at any given moment. The free market is a bathroom scale. You may hate what you see when you step on the scale. “Jeeze, 230 pounds!” But you can’t pass a law making yourself weigh 185. Liberals think you can. And voters–all the voters, right up to the tippy-top corner office of Goldman Sachs–think so too.

The occasion for the letter containing this stellar example of the American left’s disconnect from reality is a request for activist calls into the state of Colorado and Virginia’s 5th congressional district, which Republicans ought to be able to wrest from two freshman Democrats in the fall election. Colorado’s Senator Michael Bennett, former Superintendent of Denver’s public schools, was appointed Senator by Colorado’s Democrat Governor, Bill Ritter, after Sen. Ken Salazar was selected to be Secretary of the Interior in President Obama’s cabinet; Rasmussen puts Republican Lt. Governor Jane Norton ahead of the pack at the moment. Virginia’s 5th is represented by newcomer Tom Perriello, who won the seat by a margin of fewer than 800 votes in 2008. The district has been represented by Democrats for most of the 20th century, and only slipped into the R column after Rep. Virgil Goode, Jr. switched from D to Independent in 2000, then from I to R in 2002. However, the district went for Bush in 2000 and 2004, and for McCain in 2008, indicating a close split between the parties there. A fight appears to brewing among Republicans to decide which of them will challenge him; the RNC favors a moderate, but local Tea Partiers are angling for a conservative.

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February 22, 2010 @ 12:07 pm #

My understanding is that the rates in California rose in response to legislative requirements. I can’t say I’m informed about it, but I think I read that the insurance companies will now be required to accept those with pre-existing conditions, and that was the basis for the rise in rates.

I do know that they legislature is once again proposing a single payer health plan for California at a cost of 200 million per year – even though the state is already 20 billion in the hole. Swarzenegger vetoed the proposal the first time they raised it – here’s hoping he succeeds in doing so again.

February 22, 2010 @ 3:07 pm #

The housing market crash happened because banks were giving loans to people who could not afford them. This had the effect of artificially inflating the price of homes and pricing many, more responsible people, out of the market. However, rent stayed realistic because if you tried to charge too much, the house would remain empty, and some rent was better than no rent.

It seems to me that there are parallels between the housing bubble and what I’m going to call the health care bubble. The price of health care will continue to go up as long as insurance companies are still able to raise the price of premiums, and God help the uninsured. Left alone the insurance company’s could probably deal with this, but like in the housing market, the government, state and federal, are interfering and making the problems worse.

February 27, 2010 @ 1:34 am #

Whoa, Phil

Leftists think?

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