Nothin' matters and what if it did? (mijopo) wrote in talk_politics,
Nothin' matters and what if it did?

GOP, Be Careful What you Wish for (or, Why do Conservatives hate free markets?)

As a follow up to yesterday's post about the ruling on the individual mandate, I'd love to further explore a comment I made but which seems to have been largely ignored by you idiots inadvertently lost in the shuffle.  I realized today that it's an argument that both Ezra Klein and Matt Miller have made (before I did), so I don't think I'm completely out to lunch, and with that external validation I repitch my argument here for consideration by all you rabid mouth breathing partisans fair minded and insightful legal, political and economic analysts. (I steal my ideas from Ezra Klein and my LJ cutesiness from htpcl )

To reiterate, I (and Matt Miller, more or less) contend that insofar as the individual mandate isn't a tax, because it's requiring us to buy a service on the free market rather than fund a government program, conservatives should, IMO, think long and hard about opposing it. There's a good reason that this kind of plan was once the darling of conservatives, it leaves the door wide open for market forces. The government could have presumably gone a far more radical route, just make medicare wide open or effectively wide open. In that case, we could have had real discussions about socialism, but what we probably couldn't have had is an objection based on concerns about the constitutionality of the plan. We'd have funded it with taxes and it's hard to see what case could be made to block it. Obama has opened up the door to a constitutional challenge only because he's too moderate, not because he's too liberal or the plan is too intrusive, but only because the plan isn't obtrusive enough. But what conservatives should know, should they manage to win this case, is they've forced the hands of proponents of health care reform. The only workable solution to the cost problem, should a ruling like this be upheld by the SCOTUS, would then have to be one in which the government is involved far more directly so that the funding for the program will pass muster as a tax.
Tags: conservatism, health care, libertarianism, obama
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