Free Markets, Free People

Discounting human nature

One of the most ironic and, if it weren’t so serious, amusing aspects of central planners is how they come to the conclusion that their plan – despite thousands of years of human nature – will manage to overcome human nature.  What I mean by that akward sentence is they believe they can retrain us to like what they’ll make us do.  Screw human nature.  Screw the laws of economics.  Screw just about every immutable law of nature.  This crap sounded great in the beer haze of the dormitory among their liberal friends.

It’s a correlary of the “the only reason socialism hasn’t worked is we haven’t tried it my way” belief.  And I do mean “belief”.  An act of faith.  More underpants gnomes.

The case in point?  Megan McArdle brings it to us:

In December, I predicted that “doc shock” was going to be a major problem for the U.S. health-care overhaul, as people found out that the narrow networks insurers use to keep premiums low often don’t cover the top-notch doctors you’d like to see if you get really sick:

“If narrow networks could give everyone in the country access to health-care outcomes no worse than 90 percent as good as the folks with the best doctors at 75 percent of the price we’d pay for broader networks, the health-care wonks would jump on that deal as an unbelievable bargain. But I think it’s pretty clear that average folks don’t think like health-care wonks.

So what does ObamaCare do?  Force people into narrow networks despite it being clear to anyone with the IQ of a turnip and a couple of years observing how humans do things, that narrow networks are going to fail.

“So even if narrow networks actually were better, people would resist them. And they’ll fight with every fiber of their being when you tell them to take their kid with leukemia to a community hospital rather than the top-notch children’s hospital nearby. Expect the fight over doc shock to be bitter and long — and to end when insurers cave and start adding pricey doctors back to their networks.”

That’s right … you’re relegated to whatever backwater network of care the particular insurance company you’ve been forced to buy from (or pay a tax too if you prefer) has contracted with.  Want world-class care for your child?  Tough beans.  See your doc at the community hospital instead.

So what has happened?  Well exactly what happened before when something like this was tried:

However much good, sound policy sense narrow networks might make, they are political poison. Regulators and politicians are going to find it very hard to withstand the appeals of constituents who have been restricted to the bargain basement of our nation’s health-care system. I simply don’t think they’ll be able to stand it for very long. This is basically what happened to the managed-care revolution that held down cost growth in the mid-1990s — people in those plans complained bitterly, in their capacity as both voters and employees. A combination of legal and market pressure forced insurers to open up their networks and approve more treatments. And then costs started rising again. As people begin using their Obamacare policies and start running into restrictions, the same sort of pressure will begin to mount.

But did our estwhile leaders learn anything from managed care’s failure?


Because, you know, they weren’t in charge at the time and besides, human nature is just overrated.

So, as with every other aspect of this nonsense, watch Obama do what is necessary to ensure the fewest number of people possible are hurt by this … until after midterms, at least and 2016 if Mr. “I can do whatever I want” can swing it.


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14 Responses to Discounting human nature

  • Under my PNP plan (Persistently NOT Participating) I get to see any doctor I chose AND I can negotiate with him/her what fees and under what conditions they are paid.
    Today, I heard the story of a lady from Kulhifornia…an insurance broker no less…who has, with her hubby, been hosed by ObamaDoggle.  Her premium went up VERY appreciably, she now pays fees for stuff she will never need (being 63), and “her plan” (which is anything BUT her plan) has a $5,200 deductible which INCLUDED medications.
    I also learned of a completely unauthorized Treasury rule that mandates that employers attest under pain of perjury that their decisions regarding personnel are not based on ObamaDoggle considerations.  No spit.

  • What’s more human than the desire for revenge? Since I cannot have my first choice (a limited government) I wholeheartedly opt for the second choice: getting the reins of power and using them to absolutely bludgeon the left into submission, jail or worse.
    And yes, this goes for the NSA, the IRS, EPA, Presidential Executive Orders and the  FCC which is about to crackdown on conservative/tea party bias. It’s not like we have a free and independent press that deserves first ammendment protection anyway. Get power, put NBC out of business, and the head of the news division in jail.
    It’s only  human!

    • “independent press that deserves first amendment protection”
      I’m sure we can come up with rules about who is and isn’t a ‘journalist’ right, and who is and isn’t entitled to free speech?
      We can have good speech and bad speech and hate speech and tell them we’ve allocated space in an interior coat closet where they can exercise their rights to free speech, but only in that area, after they get a permit of course.

      • And consent to recording, with a waiver for re-education as needed…

        • Did I mention we also want a handwritten transcript of what they intend to say?  Just for the records you know.

  • On the issue of “narrow networks” as good “policy”, I say WTF…???
    I demand to be a free-range chicken, capable of meandering over the broad range of health-providers and encouraging those who want to innovate as they seek my custom.  I understand I don’t need to see a doctor for every possible complaint, and some smart people have set up clinics in my local grocery stores for just such occasions, staffed by nurses.
    If I was stricken with some serious illness, same deal.  I’m going where I think my best interests are served (which includes my bank account).

  • Maybe a few random warrant-less checks of their homes, just to make sure they’re not doing anything we find objectionable, like reading subversive writings, you know “Dreams of my Father” or Zinn or Chomsky.
    Shouldn’t be a problem. If they have nothing to hide there’s no harm in the searches, right?

  • Funny, that Eric Holder guy has no idea what human nature is or what America is really all about. Just like his boss.

  • “We now know that the IRS targeted not only right-leaning applicants, but also right-leaning groups that were already operating as 501(c)(4)s,” Mr. Camp said in a statement. “At Washington, DC’s direction, dozens of groups operating as 501(c)(4)s were flagged for IRS surveillance, including monitoring of the groups’ activities, websites and any other publicly available information. Of these groups, 83% were right-leaning. And of the groups the IRS selected for audit, 100% were right-leaning.
    Can you say, “Disparate impact”?
    I knew you could…!!!

    • Damn you Bill O’Reilly!   There’s not a smidgen of corruption here and if you’d stop talking bout it, we could move on with saving the country from George W. Bush!   This is making the people who just recently found out the President is not completely white confused and delaying the otherwise completely successful implementation of Obamacare.

  • “independent press that deserves first amendment protection”
    I’m sure we can come up with rules about who is and isn’t a ‘journalist’ right, and who is and isn’t entitled to free speech?
    We can have good speech and bad speech and hate speech and tell them we’ve allocated space in an interior coat closet where they can exercise their rights to free speech, but only in that area, after they get a permit of course.

    —–Feh. We are gonna lose our rights (in this and other regards) soon enough in case you haven’t noticed. I’m just pragmatic enough to say I’d rather lose them and get the head of NBC hung rather than lose them and not even get that much later