Tuesday, July 28, 2009

The moral case for health reform?

Ezra Klein asks, "What Happened To The Moral Case For Health-Care Reform?" and I was wondering the same thing myself, as the Obama administration has focused on making the economic argument, rather than the moral one.

Of course, this also raises the question of whether there's even still a moral debate to be had. More than 40 years after the creation of Medicaid, is there anyone out there arguing that the government shouldn't provide some form of assistance to the poor in regards to medical care? Isn't the big debate about economics- what form this gargantuan sector of the economy should take? And beyond that, aren't we talking about just who should be subsidized? The dirty little secret of health reform is that it's not about the poor at all. It's about the middle class, with those looking to have their middle class lifestyles subsidizes playing the victim to the young, uninsured villains who aren't contributing their "fair" share.

2 Comments:

Anonymous rose said...

What happened to the moral case? Klein makes it too complex.

The administration realized that only 21% of Americans believe that universal coverage is more important than controlling cost growth.

Does Klein think Obama can somehow change that by talking about it more?

Obama didn't win the election by persuading people to change their minds about important issues(ron paul is one of the few who actually does that)...he won by telling people what they wanted to hear, regardless of whether he had any intention of doing it.

That formula isn't going to change on healthcare.

2:49 PM  
Anonymous rose said...

One other thing, sort of semi-related subject:

So the Obama CFTC has concluded an investigation and speculators are to blame for high oil prices last year (wonder if they were responsible for $35 oil this winter). We're going to take some steps to curb speculation.

Ignoring the fact that supply of oil is extremely inelastic, which explains huge price moves in response to demand shifts...

what is the practical effect of volatile oil prices? If I'm buying a car and I have no fucking clue whether gas will cost me 6.00 a gallon next year, or 2.00 a gallon, rational folks will likely err on the side of efficient cars if they are budget constrained.

I'm no energy expert, but it seems inelastic supply is meeting volatile demand from emerging economies and price volatility is the result. The MARKET response to increased price volatility would be to conserve. If stocks are extra volatile, we demand extra return to compensate. If gas prices are extra volatile, we're willing to pay more for a more efficient car to protect ourselves from that extra risk in the future. You gonna buy a hummer if you have no clue where gas prices are going?

The CFTC won't let the market dictate conservation.

Meanwhile, we pass an inefficient cap and trade bill that is the recipe for big business/government collusion...in order to promote...conservation.

4:32 PM  

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