Sunday, March 7, 2010

Will Fisks Reich on This Week

In a discussion on "This Week" George Will gives Robert Reich a well deserved fisking.
Berkeley professor Robert Reich falsely claimed health insurance companies are exhibiting huge profits: "That is money directly out of the pockets of Americans."

Will countered, "[C]onfiscate all the profits of all the health insurance companies, with those profits you could finance our healthcare for 48 hours."

Reich arrogantly responded, "[R]ecipients of health insurance don't know what they are buying very often. Until there are common standards, minimal standards, then people are going to be taken."

This nicely set Will up to drive the ball out of the park, "There you have the premise of this legislation and the core of today's liberalism: the American people are such dopes they can't be counted upon to buy their own insurance"
Granted, fisking one of the dumbest liberal intellectuals in America is not terribly hard, but it is satisfying to watch.

The Newsbusters report then goes on to rank the 2008 profit percentages of a few dozen sectors, noting that Health Care: Insurance and Managed Care rolls in at number 35 with 2.2%. I.e., they made just over 2 cents for every dollar of revenue. And that's the average, meaning some make less, some more. Useful information, but it contains a premise that needs to be examined.

If the health insurance companies were at the top of the list they would be entitled to every penny - in a free market. That market is now so distorted by regulations it's impossible to know whether they would make more or less than they do now.

One thing is certain, however. Controlling them violates the rights of everyone involved - investors, employees, and customers alike. The only moral solution is to free the market - and every other business in America.

That, of course, is the last thing Reich and his ilk would ever want - regardless of the effect on prices and quality. They are no more interested in "helping the poor/uninsured/lame/halt/downtrodden/'oppressed'/fill-in-the-blank" than is Castro, Chavez, or any other sundry dictator. But they do want what those others have - control of the choices of others.

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