Sunday, July 01, 2012

Dave Winer: Economic Illiterate

Dave Winer is a technical pioneer and arguably one of the world's first bloggers (he says he started blogging in 1994). But when it comes to philosophy, law, and economics, it would appear that he is a complete illiterate.

Consider his "epic rant on health reform":

There's no reason that everyone you know who uses the Internet shouldn't know exactly what the Affordable Care Act does. Never mind whether you like it or don't. Everyone should know what's in it.

And how would that be possible, Dave? None of the members of Congress even read the 2,700-page monstrosity before voting on it. It was created in secret, without open committee hearings, without any participation from Republicans, and shielded completely from the public until a few hours before the vote.

Everyone should know what's in it.

Everyone. Should. Know. What's. In. It.

And why not. [sic]

Gee, Dave, I'm struggling with this concept.

How can anyone comprehend a 2,700-page bill that creates a massive, Rube Goldberg-like labyrinth of more than 160 agencies, offices, bureaucracies and directorates?

How can anyone hope to understand a government takeover of one-sixth of the U.S. economy that attempts to replace and centrally manage billions of individual choices and interactions by doctors, nurses, caregivers, facility owners, insurers, medical device manufacturers, pharmaceutical companies and patients?

How can anyone come to grips with a 15-person panel of "masterminds" -- the Independent Payment Advisory Board (IPAB) -- whose dubious mission is to "slow the growth in national health care expenditures while preserving or enhancing quality of care"?

How can anyone grasp the series of claims used to market the bill -- "if you like your health care plan, you can keep it" and "your health care premiums will go down by as much as $2,500 per year", for example -- which have already been proven utterly false?

What an outrage that insurance companies can cancel your insurance when you get sick. How convenient for them. Hard to believe that's even possible, but it is.

An insurance contract does not permit a company to arbitrarily "cancel" a policy. An insurance policy is a legal contract, plain and simple. It can't be canceled during the term of the contract. And for the vast majority of Americans who receive health care through their employers, such an act is virtually unheard of.

So if you have a way with words and infographics and want to help your country, let's do this.

You mean like Avik Roy's "How Obamacare Dramatically Increases the Cost of Insurance for Young Workers", which describes the massive redistribution of wealth from young to old? You mean like "paying for" Obamacare by stealing $500 billion from Medicare?

Here are my words, Dave:

Where's tort reform in Obamacare? Where's true, free market competition? Where are price controls -- which always result in negative, unintended consequences -- obliterated? Where is the plan to save Medicare, which is headed for fiscal collapse in only five short years? Where is the plan to rescue all of the other failed federal programs -- from Fannie Mae and Social Security to the Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation and the student loan program takeover -- that are now facing tens of trillions in red ink?

Who will pay for all of these programs, Dave?

And how much longer can the country survive trillion-dollar annual deficits, Dave?

I won't hold my breath waiting for answers. Because these insane, Utopian plans always fail. Always. And the very last thing this country needed was a massive, new entitlement when it can't even pay for all of the entitlements and wealth redistribution programs it already has.


The_Bad said...

What people tend to forget when discussing this topic is that government healthcare already existed before this law. Now, instead of the State managing healthcare for those who cannot afford it, it will be the Federal leviathan. Considering this, I have a question for Dave:

Have you ever had the experience of the government caring for your health, Dave?

I have. From mid 2007 through the end of 2008 I was out of work. During this time, my family received healthcare through such a state program. The “care” provided to my wife – suffering a permanent disability injury – was the most horrific display of incompetence, ignorance and indifference I have ever seen.

Now, we are going to have an even larger government body with even less interest in your well-being deciding which tests not to administer. I challenge any proponents of the ACA to answer the question I have posed to Dave. If the answer is “no, I have never been medically covered by the government before,” then sit down, be quiet and listen to the arguments against it.

At least in my situation, my family had a way out of it. When I secured work, and our new healthcare kicked in, my wife finally began to receive the tests and appropriate treatment she so desperately needed and was flatly denied for 18 months of government “care”. What will we do when the government is the only game in town? Suffer.

Anonymous said...

You're channelling Levin Doug.

I like it.

Bones said...

The court decision ended the uncertainty about hiring people by private business. Now they are certain they will not.(in the USA that is)Example: Used car dealer with 4 employees closes the lot and sells 3 or 4 cars a month on his own and makes the same take home pay. Result, 4 more unemployed and another vacant building. All because of taxes.

Calibur said...

Very good, sir.

directorblue said...

@The_Bad - great description!

@MM - hope you and your family are doing well, glad to see that you got to go back home!

@Bones - you are correct, this theme is all over the small business sites.

@Calibur - thank you, sir

Chunkdog said...

I think you should get 1000 of your closest friends, and friends of friends, and have each person take 2 or 3 pages. They can read those pages, dissect them, analyze them and report their findings.
That's the only way regular Americans will know what's in it.