T Nation

The Affordable Coffee Act

If everyone drank coffee and we had a system in place whereby people who could not afford coffee showed up at emergency coffee dispensaries and got it anyway, with the bill–inflated far beyond what it would have been at a normal coffee shop–being passed off to the American people, then the analogy would be less stupid.

I’m opposed to the ACA, by the way. But I have an even greater distaste for lazy analogizing.

[quote]smh_23 wrote:
If everyone drank coffee and we had a system in place whereby people who could not afford coffee showed up at emergency coffee dispensaries and got it anyway, with the bill–inflated far beyond what it would have been at a normal coffee shop–being passed off to the American people, then the analogy would be less stupid.

I’m opposed to the ACA, by the way. But I have an even greater distaste for lazy analogizing.[/quote]

I think the point is that government can’t speak something into existence. It can’t speak cheaper healthcare into existence.

The costs of medical care will still be passed off to others(that’s the whole point), unless EVERYONE begins to use medical services each time his nose gets runny, or care is arbitrarily denied. Once everyone is forced to pay for services, do you really think the costs of those services will decrease? Does that really seem likely?

…for what it’s worth, we do have a system in place whereby people who can’t afford coffee can get it-it’s charity. We have a number of privately funded places in my city where the homeless/poor can show up and eat food and drink coffee.

The big issue in comparing coffee to health care is the insane costs though Nick. A kid in my fiances class from about 6 years has been battling cancer for about ten months. His insurance has not covered everything, it has covered some things. Right now he is starting to take a new drug that is not covered by his insurance. The cost of the pills alone (nothing else) for him is 180 dollars a day. Luckily I don’t think he has to take them for a super long amount of time.

The costs of JUST those pills for him if he had to take them for a year is over 65,000 dollars. No doctors appointments. No chemo (he’s been through three rounds). Nothing else. 65,000 dollars a year.

Health care is a bitch because we are talking about people’s lives. It’s way easier to deny yourself coffee if coffee prices are high. Denying your loved ones life saving treatments because of the costs just doesn’t happen.

I don’t disagree with your post, but I think comparing health care and coffee is a gigantic stretch my man.

Nothing can speak cheaper healthcare into existence though, you’re absolutely right.

[quote]H factor wrote:
The big issue in comparing coffee to health care is the insane costs though Nick. A kid in my fiances class from about 6 years has been battling cancer for about ten months. His insurance has not covered everything, it has covered some things. Right now he is starting to take a new drug that is not covered by his insurance. The cost of the pills alone (nothing else) for him is 180 dollars a day. Luckily I don’t think he has to take them for a super long amount of time.

The costs of JUST those pills for him if he had to take them for a year is over 65,000 dollars. No doctors appointments. No chemo (he’s been through three rounds). Nothing else. 65,000 dollars a year.

Health care is a bitch because we are talking about people’s lives. It’s way easier to deny yourself coffee if coffee prices are high. Denying your loved ones life saving treatments because of the costs just doesn’t happen.

I don’t disagree with your post, but I think comparing health care and coffee is a gigantic stretch my man.

Nothing can speak cheaper healthcare into existence though, you’re absolutely right. [/quote]

I hate to hear about the kid with cancer. That’s a terrible and sad thing. I wish him the best, but would anyone approve of him committing armed robberies to pay for his healthcare?

[quote]NickViar wrote:

The costs of medical care will still be passed off to others(that’s the whole point), unless EVERYONE begins to use medical services each time his nose gets runny, or care is arbitrarily denied. Once everyone is forced to pay for services, do you really think the costs of those services will decrease? Does that really seem likely?
[/quote]

No, and I never said anything like that. Though it is absolutely true that a visit to a doctor costs far less than a visit to an emergency room.

Anyway, what I said was that coffee and health care are not comparable–because they are not. You brought up charity–that is not the point. The point is that coffee is not like health care in that it is not something that cannot be denied to someone who needs it (on the dime of the public). (Enjoy that triple negative.)

My beef isn’t with criticism of the ACA–I criticize it too. It is part of my larger crusade against weak (i.e., almost all) analogy in political and philosophical thought.

[quote]NickViar wrote:

[quote]H factor wrote:
The big issue in comparing coffee to health care is the insane costs though Nick. A kid in my fiances class from about 6 years has been battling cancer for about ten months. His insurance has not covered everything, it has covered some things. Right now he is starting to take a new drug that is not covered by his insurance. The cost of the pills alone (nothing else) for him is 180 dollars a day. Luckily I don’t think he has to take them for a super long amount of time.

The costs of JUST those pills for him if he had to take them for a year is over 65,000 dollars. No doctors appointments. No chemo (he’s been through three rounds). Nothing else. 65,000 dollars a year.

Health care is a bitch because we are talking about people’s lives. It’s way easier to deny yourself coffee if coffee prices are high. Denying your loved ones life saving treatments because of the costs just doesn’t happen.

I don’t disagree with your post, but I think comparing health care and coffee is a gigantic stretch my man.

Nothing can speak cheaper healthcare into existence though, you’re absolutely right. [/quote]

I hate to hear about the kid with cancer. That’s a terrible and sad thing. I wish him the best, but would anyone approve of him committing armed robberies to pay for his healthcare?[/quote]

I wouldn’t think so. I just think comparing coffee and healthcare is a big stretch. Healthcare is one of the few things in our market that most people are obligated to get when they need it. If costs are too high in almost any other market we can just do without.

I cut the cable cord a few years back because the service wasn’t that good and the costs were too high.

If I get told I need an operation or I will die from liver cancer I can’t turn that down. I could easily turn down cable.

And that ignores the biggest fact which is healthcare is insanely expensive compared to cable TV (or a cup of coffee).

[quote]H factor wrote:
…battling cancer… The cost of the pills alone (nothing else) for him is 180 dollars a day.

The costs of JUST those pills for him if he had to take them for a year is over 65,000 dollars. No doctors appointments. No chemo (he’s been through three rounds). Nothing else. 65,000 dollars a year.[/quote]

Cancer treatment is not intended for the poor.

http://www.techyville.com/2014/01/social-media/pharmaceutical-ceo-says-poor-people-dont-deserve-cancer-treatment/

[quote]NickViar wrote:
…but would anyone approve of him committing armed robberies to pay for his healthcare?[/quote]

I really like you Nick, I’m a big Mises/Hayek/Rothbard fan myself. Ideologues serve a valuable role in policy debate. You do a great job with the world as it should be stuff…

[quote]BlueCollarTr8n wrote:

[quote]NickViar wrote:
…but would anyone approve of him committing armed robberies to pay for his healthcare?[/quote]

I really like you Nick, I’m a big Mises/Hayek/Rothbard fan myself. Ideologues serve a valuable role in policy debate. You do a great job with the world as it should be stuff… [/quote]

You could argue it would behoove a civilized society to help pay for the healthcare of someone that can’t afford it in order to reduce the likelihood of said person resorting to armed robbery.

[quote]usmccds423 wrote:

[quote]BlueCollarTr8n wrote:

[quote]NickViar wrote:
…but would anyone approve of him committing armed robberies to pay for his healthcare?[/quote]

I really like you Nick, I’m a big Mises/Hayek/Rothbard fan myself. Ideologues serve a valuable role in policy debate. You do a great job with the world as it should be stuff… [/quote]

You could argue it would behoove a civilized society to help pay for the healthcare of someone that can’t afford it in order to reduce the likelihood of said person resorting to armed robbery. [/quote]

Indeed, people facing death or the deaths of their loved ones will do just about anything in order to turn the reaper away.

If people started showing up at hospitals with children, the children bleeding to death, and being turned away–I wouldn’t want to be a receptionist at a hospital, that’s for sure.

In many ways, a rational choice in such an eventuality is violence, hostage-taking, hijackery, etc. Denzel warned us.

[quote]usmccds423 wrote:

[quote]BlueCollarTr8n wrote:

[quote]NickViar wrote:
…but would anyone approve of him committing armed robberies to pay for his healthcare?[/quote]

I really like you Nick, I’m a big Mises/Hayek/Rothbard fan myself. Ideologues serve a valuable role in policy debate. You do a great job with the world as it should be stuff… [/quote]

You could argue it would behoove a civilized society to help pay for the healthcare of someone that can’t afford it in order to reduce the likelihood of said person resorting to armed robbery. [/quote]

ANd this is one of the many reasons charity donations are tax deductible. Because it is the “right” thing to do.

However, government coercion, using force to “behoove” you, isn’t really the same thing.

One of the generalizations I see get thrown around a lot is the Contemporary American Liberal would rather look to their tax dollars as charity so they can satisfy their own manifested guilt because they are better off, without actually having to do anything of substance to accomplish this.

I live in a “red” state with pockets of blue that swing the demographics to a totally blue state. In other words, there are a shit ton of Contemporary American Liberals in MA, who congregate together and live their little utopian lives. This tends to show me the above generalization over and over. I see it, hear it, and read about it a lot, and most of the people don’t even realize they are doing it.

So, while yes, it is our responsibility to make sure our people that need help get it, assuming you call us civilized (I wouldn’t, but…), it is also not anyone else’s place (government) to force you to do such a thing.

[quote]usmccds423 wrote:
You could argue it would behoove a civilized society to help pay for the healthcare of someone that can’t afford it in order to reduce the likelihood of said person resorting to armed robbery. [/quote]

You certainly could! Davy Crockett apparently once made a great speech about just this sort of thing: http://archive.lewrockwell.com/orig4/ellis1.html

[quote]countingbeans wrote:
So, while yes, it is our responsibility to make sure our people that need help get it, assuming you call us civilized (I wouldn’t, but…), it is also not anyone else’s place (government) to force you to do such a thing. [/quote]

With the understanding that government isn’t forcing anyone to pay for any one thing, more than any other.

[quote]smh_23 wrote:
No, and I never said anything like that. Though it is absolutely true that a visit to a doctor costs far less than a visit to an emergency room.

Anyway, what I said was that coffee and health care are not comparable–because they are not. You brought up charity–that is not the point. The point is that coffee is not like health care in that it is not something that cannot be denied to someone who needs it (on the dime of the public). (Enjoy that triple negative.)

My beef isn’t with criticism of the ACA–I criticize it too. It is part of my larger crusade against weak (i.e., almost all) analogy in political and philosophical thought.

[/quote]

Perhaps the best solution would be to allow doctors/the medical industry to operate the same way plumbers and electricians do.

[quote]NickViar wrote:

[quote]smh_23 wrote:
No, and I never said anything like that. Though it is absolutely true that a visit to a doctor costs far less than a visit to an emergency room.

Anyway, what I said was that coffee and health care are not comparable–because they are not. You brought up charity–that is not the point. The point is that coffee is not like health care in that it is not something that cannot be denied to someone who needs it (on the dime of the public). (Enjoy that triple negative.)

My beef isn’t with criticism of the ACA–I criticize it too. It is part of my larger crusade against weak (i.e., almost all) analogy in political and philosophical thought.

[/quote]

Perhaps the best solution would be to allow doctors/the medical industry to operate the same way plumbers and electricians do.[/quote]

That sounds suspiciously like a free market…

[quote]BlueCollarTr8n wrote:

[quote]countingbeans wrote:
So, while yes, it is our responsibility to make sure our people that need help get it, assuming you call us civilized (I wouldn’t, but…), it is also not anyone else’s place (government) to force you to do such a thing. [/quote]

With the understanding that government isn’t forcing anyone to pay for any one thing, more than any other. [/quote]

This is often my issue. I don’t always understand why some are so in favor of certain aspects of coercion and not in others. Obviously a lot of it is “what” we want our tax dollars to go to.

The biggest issue is most people disagree on all these things. We are always going to have some level of taxation in this country, or at least while I am alive.

Americans are very hypocritical on many things and have been for a long time. We want freedom, but we don’t always like what that freedom brings and so we look to government to “fix” things in our market economy. Right, wrong, or indifferent we have basically done that throughout time.

Almost all government actions throughout history in America in the economy have been attempts to fix the results of markets. Then we get caught trying to fix our fix for the new results of markets. It’s a never-ending cycle.

[quote]BlueCollarTr8n wrote:

[quote]H factor wrote:
…battling cancer… The cost of the pills alone (nothing else) for him is 180 dollars a day.

The costs of JUST those pills for him if he had to take them for a year is over 65,000 dollars. No doctors appointments. No chemo (he’s been through three rounds). Nothing else. 65,000 dollars a year.[/quote]

Cancer treatment is not intended for the poor.

http://www.techyville.com/2014/01/social-media/pharmaceutical-ceo-says-poor-people-dont-deserve-cancer-treatment/
[/quote]

Well then cancer treatment is certainly not intended for my fiance’s friend.

[quote]countingbeans wrote:

[quote]usmccds423 wrote:

[quote]BlueCollarTr8n wrote:

[quote]NickViar wrote:
…but would anyone approve of him committing armed robberies to pay for his healthcare?[/quote]

I really like you Nick, I’m a big Mises/Hayek/Rothbard fan myself. Ideologues serve a valuable role in policy debate. You do a great job with the world as it should be stuff… [/quote]

You could argue it would behoove a civilized society to help pay for the healthcare of someone that can’t afford it in order to reduce the likelihood of said person resorting to armed robbery. [/quote]

ANd this is one of the many reasons charity donations are tax deductible. Because it is the “right” thing to do.

However, government coercion, using force to “behoove” you, isn’t really the same thing.

One of the generalizations I see get thrown around a lot is the Contemporary American Liberal would rather look to their tax dollars as charity so they can satisfy their own manifested guilt because they are better off, without actually having to do anything of substance to accomplish this.

I live in a “red” state with pockets of blue that swing the demographics to a totally blue state. In other words, there are a shit ton of Contemporary American Liberals in MA, who congregate together and live their little utopian lives. This tends to show me the above generalization over and over. I see it, hear it, and read about it a lot, and most of the people don’t even realize they are doing it.

So, while yes, it is our responsibility to make sure our people that need help get it, assuming you call us civilized (I wouldn’t, but…), it is also not anyone else’s place (government) to force you to do such a thing. [/quote]

I agree with all of this, however, I just must not have the same faith in humanity as you do. Assuming Americans paid zero tax I still don’t think enough people are charitable, or would be charitable sans taxes, enough to actually pay for our nations needs let alone things that aren’t necessarily needed, but could potentially improve our society. Charity is a great thing and I wish the reality of this world was that people would actually use their wealth to better society. I just don’t see it on a large enough scale to viably replace the use of tax dollars for certain social programs.

I wish this wasn’t the case believe me.

I think I’ve said this before, but in case not I am against the ACA.