Just Joe’s Imagination

Joe Doakes from Como Park emails:

is an imaginary conversation that could never happen in a Minnesota bureaucracy:

Colleague: Trump is an idiot.  “Who knew health care could be so hard?”  Moron.  Single-payer is the answer and easily affordable.  For example, if 3M didn’t have to pay employees’ health insurance premiums, 3M could afford to pay more taxes to buy everybody health insurance.  Apply that principle across the board and Problem Solved.  But Trump’s so stupid, he can’t understand simple math.

Me: Well, yes, 3M would save money on premiums.  But instead of buying health insurance for its present workforce of 90,000 people, 3M would be footing the bill for all of them PLUS a bunch of presently-uninsured people.  If each person’s health insurance cost the same under single-payer as it does under the present system, 3M would pay MORE in taxes than it now pays in premiums.  That’s bad for profits which means bad for shareholders who buy stock in big, safe, blue-chip companies, shareholders such as pension funds.  Why hammer retirees?  What have you got against them?

Colleague:  Unless the individual cost of health insurance under single-payer is cheaper, then it would work.

Me:  Seriously? Do you also believe we’ll save $2,500 per year and be able to keep our own doctors?  You’re an adult.  You have a college degree.  Do you really believe health care is unlike any other commodity and therefore is exempt from the laws of supply and demand?  Obamacare is collapsing because it was unsustainable from the day it was enacted and everybody knew it, which is why they bragged about lying to get it passed.  The costs have skyrocketed exactly as predicted.  Nothing about single-payer will change that.

Colleague:  It’s the Republicans’ fault that Obamacare isn’t working better, they should have fixed it when they had the chance.

Me:  [Interior monologue: The guy seriously lives in fantasy land.  If I push him too hard to confront the disconnect between his fantasy and the real world, he might snap.  I’d better back off, give him his safe space.]  Okay, dude, whatever, see you around.

Of course, this is an imaginary conversation.  Could never happen in real life.


Joe Doakes

In Ramsey County?

Maybe a time or 200,000…

4 thoughts on “Just Joe’s Imagination

  1. Apart from the exact details, I had that very conversation a couple of years ago (prior to Trump). Especially the part about “Republicans should’ve fixed it”. I asked in response why it is that Republicans should fix something the Democrats went out of their way to create all by themselves without a single vote from the Republicans.

    I’m still working on this why the left lies so easily and often… I think it may be something related to that George Costanza line that wonders, is it really a lie, if you believe it?

  2. The root cause of this idiocy is that our pointy headed progressives believe the government is free. Every law, every page of regulation requires people to administer these laws and regulations. Government employees, especially government employees, do not work for free. What we need is a sustainable government movement.

  3. Activists like to believe that the middle is finally seeing the light and moving in their direction. This almost never happens in American politics. The middle, or the center, stays pretty well grounded. The middle often switches votes from one party to the other when the party in power is perceived to have failed their interests somehow. So it is a negative impetus from dissatisfaction with the current regime and not the magical attractions of this generation’s version of radical chic that moves centrist voters. 

    It is crucial to understand that this generation of Democratic activists has learned nothing from Hillary Clinton’s colossal health care task force screw-up of 1993-94 or the complicated politics around Obama’s signature domestic legislation, the ACA, the first major piece of domestic social legislation passed since Johnson’s original Medicare and Medicaid bills in the 1960s. 

    If suburban congressional districts are the crucial battleground, then Medicare for All and Single Payer promise one thing: massive disruption to the established health insurance plans of the vast majority of voters in these districts. Tell me where the winning strategy is in this and I will happily sell you a bridge. 

  4. If there is anything that the failure of socialism has taught us, it is that government rationing of a product or service does not increase its supply.
    Up until around 1980 it was actually possible to argue that a group of experts could make more efficient economic decisions than the market — or some people did, anyhow.
    That is no longer a valid belief. The Left — which still desires to make economic decisions for everyone else — has resorted to claiming that the greater efficiency of capitalism at producing goods and services comes at too high a price. You can read any of the “mainstream” progressive publications (“Dissent”, for example), or any of tens of thousands of academic papers produced each year that blame capitalism for everything from environmental devastation to women’s “menstrual shame.” No, I am not kidding.
    The ACA is being eviscerated in large part because it was hyped as a way to “bend the cost curve” of healthcare. That never happened, needless to say.

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