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03-30-2012, 01:20 PM   #1
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NYT/Krugman: Broccoli and Bad Faith

QuoteQuote: insurance is nothing like broccoli.

Why? When people choose not to buy broccoli, they donít make broccoli unavailable to those who want it. But when people donít buy health insurance until they get sick ó which is what happens in the absence of a mandate ó the resulting worsening of the risk pool makes insurance more expensive, and often unaffordable, for those who remain. As a result, unregulated health insurance basically doesnít work, and never has.

There are at least two ways to address this reality ó which is, by the way, very much an issue involving interstate commerce, and hence a valid federal concern. One is to tax everyone ó healthy and sick alike ó and use the money raised to provide health coverage. Thatís what Medicare and Medicaid do. The other is to require that everyone buy insurance, while aiding those for whom this is a financial hardship.

Are these fundamentally different approaches? Is requiring that people pay a tax that finances health coverage O.K., while requiring that they purchase insurance is unconstitutional? Itís hard to see why ó and itís not just those of us without legal training who find the distinction strange. Hereís what Charles Fried ó who was Ronald Reaganís solicitor general ó said in a recent interview with The Washington Post: ďIíve never understood why regulating by making people go buy something is somehow more intrusive than regulating by making them pay taxes and then giving it to them.Ē

03-30-2012, 01:27 PM   #2
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Colbert did his usual brilliant bit, demolishing the broccoli argument in less than 5 seconds, in the interview with Emily Bazelon.
Daily Kos: Stephen Colbert on Supreme Court's mandate decision
03-30-2012, 02:14 PM   #3
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QuoteOriginally posted by Nesster Quote
Colbert did his usual brilliant bit, demolishing the broccoli argument in less than 5 seconds, in the interview with Emily Bazelon.
Daily Kos: Stephen Colbert on Supreme Court's mandate decision
Colbert has been on a roll lately..

Yes! I mean, if they can tell us to buy health insurance, that completely destroys the idea of limited government. Because right now, all the government can do is tax me, draft me, put me in jail, or declare me an enemy combatant and then execute me without trial using a flying death-bot.

But making me eat broccoli?? I think we'd all rather die from a preventable disease!
03-31-2012, 01:55 PM   #4
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Emily Bazelon is terrific.


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