And yet again, brethren, we are gathered here for a postmortem on another idea that made just about everyone feel very happy and warm and fuzzy inside because it was mentally convenient and socially successful. We are here to witness its failure, and with it the failure of human intentions and rationalizations, both of which are based in the anti-reality of preferences which we like to think we share with others in order to believe they are reasonable.
In this case, the bubble of illusion deflating comes to us from the ongoing failure of American-style socialized medicine:
On Monday evening, Aetna, one of the nation’s largest insurers, announced it is pulling out of the Obamacare insurance exchanges in 11 of the 15 states it currently operates. According to Business Insider, Aetna “determined that the nearly $300 million in pretax loss it was sustaining on an annual basis was not worth the business.”…Two other top-five insurers already announced plans to pull out of Obamacare earlier this year.
In response to this clear and dramatic failure of Obamacare, there has been no reassessment or calls to fix the health care law. Instead, President Obama has renewed calls for a “public option” to provide insurance coverage. Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton has also come out in support of a public option.
Let’s be clear about what a public option would be. Major insurers with decades of experience sustaining their business on narrow profit margins are losing hundreds of millions of dollars annually under Obamacare’s current rules and mandates. The public option is predicated on the belief that the government could build its own insurer from the ground up, run by bureaucrats, and do it more efficiently and economically than private insurers.
Like all Leftist policies, Obamacare was never designed to work in reality. It was designed to work in the mental space of human beings, making them feel good — marks for con-men, saps for snake oil salesman, punters for whores — so that they hand power over to the Leftists, who then blame their opposition for the failure of Leftist-originated policies.
There is a pocket that exists between the time a lie is told and the moment when it becomes clear from the response of reality that the lie was never true. This pocket is where Leftist and liberalism occur; it is the domain of moments in which human illusion holds sway over reality. We can con ourselves into thinking that we do not know wha the outcome will be because we have not seen this exact thing before down to the detail.
This is nonsense, of course. We abstract principles from life, including of morality, to preserve knowledge in a flexible enough form that it can be reapplied in such “near miss” scenarios. If we look into the past, we can see many instances where the idea of universal subsidies has failed, especially in America, which is a culture based on individual achievement where the most realistic win and everyone else hopefully dies.
Recall the American frontier: individuals, taking risk, set out to conquer this new terrain and settle it. In doing so, they stood together as a group, but only so far as each member of the group could pull his or her weight and further the group. Otherwise, the desperate circumstances under which they found themselves made it intellectually convenient to do what people should do anyway, which is discard dead weight. When fools and parasites perish, evolution smiles on humanity.
Right now, the pocket is ending for the postwar Leftist order created by the Allies in their defeat of those nasty Nationalists who believed in conservative things like reality and thus, that genetics are more important than human intentions and rationalizations. No, rationalization and good social feelings won the day back in ’45, and since then we have all been waiting for those Leftist policies to either succeed or fall apart. As the latter cascades around us, there is a sense of a long wait being over, since now we have the proof — which was unneeded — that these delusion ideas are in fact delusional.
In fact, as one thinker opined, delusional ideas are like trends. They win the day for some time, then collapse in the face of reality, flinging the now energized crowd into the next trend:
In reading the history of nations, we find that, like individuals, they have their whims and their peculiarities; their seasons of excitement and recklessness, when they care not what they do. We find that whole communities suddenly fix their minds upon one object, and go mad in its pursuit; that millions of people become simultaneously impressed with one delusion, and run after it, till their attention is caught by some new folly more captivating than the first…Men, it has been well said, think in herds; it will be seen that they go mad in herds, while they only recover their senses slowly, and one by one.
As far as healthcare? The classic American response is the sane one: people should not need doctors. Those that do are generally runts of the litter. If you do need a doctor, it should be a cash transaction, so the smart people go to the smart doctors and make them more rich than the dumb doctors, driving the idiots out for the benefit of all. But that upsets the class president types who know they can beat any test, but might not be so good in the far more complex world of reality. They want government to license doctors and fix prices so that even stupid doctors can prosper.
And what should we do about the people who die in a cloud of millions of dollars and years of medical care? Or those who get run over by four-wheelers and chalk up hundreds of thousands of dollars in costs? The old fashioned view was that you bought insurance to keep catastrophe at bay, since once you have paid to avoid it by the ironic law of the universe it will not visit itself on you. That insurance did not regulate your healthcare, but paid out certain amounts of money to you to spend to fix the problem. If you got it wrong… natural selection again.
Civilizations fail because they succeed. When they get wealthy and powerful, they start trying to make themselves “safe” and in doing so, breed a bumper crop of idiots. These idiots form an Idiot Defense League which demands democracy, and at that point the deal is sealed: the society will go down and die in the pocket, going to bed as an empire and waking up as a third-world slum. The only way to win that game is not to play.