The Individual Mandate According to Epstein, and Other Links

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  1. Alex says:

    And don’t forget, college costs are rising too. Ouch.

    Also, I completely agree about Krugman. I’ve heard his same arguments from other people a thousand times, but the way he frames them and his arrogant attitude makes me just want to deflate that ego.

  2. Brian says:

    great article by Richard Epstein. He needs to be interviewed by the cable news networks immediately.

  3. Lucius Junius Brutus says:

    Wonderful links. Very informative.

  4. Brian Williams. says:

    What’s the average return on investment for raising a child? And when can I cash in?

  5. Ambrose Lee says:

    Wow. Even Herman Melville could teach Mr. Epstein a thing or two about word economy.

    In reading into his article, I see the same line of conservative drivel that constitutes most anti-Obamacare publications. We can talk about market forces and incentives to innovate. We can discuss the benefits of guaranteeing patient choice and enabling private-sector competition. And we most certainly can discuss the importance of personal responsibility in the health care system, that people should be held responsible for their actions (smokers should pay a smokers’ premium and shut up about it).

    But all of this nips around the corners of the bigger (biggest) issue: more often than not, one’s health care situation is not a function of one’s decisions. You can advocate for personal freedom not to buy health insurance or to buy a policy that suits your needs, but I see an inherent immorality in this policy position. Not all people are born equal from a health point of view, and many will face near-insurmountable obstacles in this sphere of their lives. However, all people (I think even my conservative friends will agree) have an equal right to life and an equal right to the opportunity to prosper in it. How do you reconcile these facts, that everyone should enjoy a fill life but many will be prevented from doing so through no fault of their own?

    The standard response: life’s not fair. To the person who says that, I hope you will know the pain of an excrutiatingly expensive, noncurable disease at some point in your life. That way, you can understand that a moral society, while recognizing that life’s not fair, would nonetheless seek to mitigate that unfairness.

    Health policy is all-too-often determined by people who have benefitted from superior genes and environments that say nothing regarding their personal virtue or dedication to treating their body as a temple. Society has a moral responsibility to help those in poor health because, in the end, they are merely the victims of nature in an unfair world. Maybe it makes me a Lefty, but all things equal, I believe our society should value fairness over unfairness.

  6. Devon Herrick says:

    I like how Richard Epstein explains the difference between market insurance and social insurance. If their goal is really to perpetuate social insurance, policy wonk and politicians should not expect a social insurance policy to sell well in the marketplace. By definition, social insurance is meant as a mean to redistribute income. It goes without saying (but I’m going to say it anyway) that it is much easier to get the beneficiaries of income transfers to buy into a redistributive arrangement than to entice those expected to cross subsidize others to willing go along with a redistributive arrangement.