Implied Dissent

Saturday, December 29, 2007


Krugman says the point of a mandate to buy health insurance "isn’t to dictate how people should live their lives — it’s to prevent some people from gaming the system". Two points. One, so what? Even if the point is what he says it is, the mandate still does dictate to people how to live their lives. Two, I don't really believe him, as his recommendations always involve dictating how people should live their lives. At a certain point, you have to think that control is the point of his ideas, not any other (supposed) benefits.

Here is my understanding of the rationale for these mandates. A lot of people don't buy insurance, knowing that hospitals are required to treat anyone who shows up at the ER sick. So, to prevent them from gaming/cheating the system, we have to require everyone to buy insurance. Translation: we take away some people's freedom, so we have to take away other people's freedom as well. Paging Dr. Hayek, paging Dr. Hayek.

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