by Jon Sanders
Research Editor and Senior Fellow, Regulatory Studies, John Locke Foundation
Once politics was about only a few things; today, it is about nearly everything. — James Q. Wilson
There was never any respite from politics. There was no “safe zone.” Politics was infused into everything — and it was one kind of politics, of course: Left. — Jay Nordlinger
When nonpolitical things are politicized, it contributes to polarizing society needlessly. … You name it — food, music and the arts, even sports, and Barack knows, religion — and [statists want it to] be yoked to the political message du jour. — The Locker Room, 4/12/11
The reason for listing those quotations is the opening of John Goodman’s column today:
Actors. Actresses. NFL football players. Baseball players. Librarians. Mayors. City councilmen. Members of AARP.
The Obama administration is looking far and wide, leaving no stone unturned in a relentless search for…well…for help. Help with what? Help with getting people to enroll in health insurance plans this fall.
Goodman sees it as evidence of panic from the White House over Obamacare, which it no doubt is, but it is also indicative of the rude, intrusive, uncouth philosophy behind it that brooks no retreat, no “safe zone” from its incessant drumbeat. In such a stifling environment, any oasis of perspective is to be cherished.
Goodman lists reasons why the White House is panicked, and they merit recounting here. Note how they buttress George Leef’s post earlier today entitled “Health insurance does not ensure health care“:
- About one in every four individuals who are eligible for Medicaid in this country has not bothered to enroll.
- About one in five employees who are offered employer-provided health insurance turns it down; among workers under 30 years of age, the refusal rate is almost one in three. …
You almost never read statistics like these in the mainstream media. Why? Because they completely undermine health policy orthodoxy: the belief that health insurance (even Medicaid) is economically very valuable, that it improves health and saves lives, and that the main reason why people don’t have it is that they can’t afford it. …
Study after study has purported to have found that health insurance improves health, saves lives, makes people happier, etc., etc. But these studies almost always ignore two cardinal facts:
- We have made it increasingly easy in this country for the uninsured to obtain health care after they get sick.
- We have also made it increasingly easy for people to get health insurance after they get sick.
Both developments reduce the incentive to spend time and money enrolling in a health plan.