Healthcare

The Libertarian Fantasy Utopia

That judge character with the impossibly low hairline from Fox News Channel was the guest on The Daily Show last night, and he mentioned this bit of nonsense about free market healthcare:

Stewart told Napolitano it was "insane" to trust a corporation more than the government, and seemed downright crestfallen at the Judge's view that, if the government stopped regulating the health care market, "we would be able to go to health care facilities that would be as plentiful and inexpensive as Starbucks."

They already exist. They're called urgent care centers and, if you don't have insurance, it costs $200-$300 to be treated for post-nasal drip -- the medical equivalent of a $5 cup of coffee. If you're earning minimum wage, that's a week's salary.

The world that Napolitano and the others are craving would be an industrial dystopia not unlike the alternate 1985 from Back to the Future II.

  • r_dale

    I thought there already was a Libertarian Fantasy Utopia: Somalia. No government, no taxes, all the guns you want. You can even be a pirate, aaarrrgghh!

  • D_C_Wilson

    I actually went to an urgent care facility for a scratched cornea recently. The care was excellent. Of course, I have insurance and only had to pay the $25 co-pay. I shudder to think what it would cost someone who didn’t have insurance.

  • dildenusa

    Now, I’m a libertarian socialist and as long as we realize that social needs come before economic and financial needs everything falls into place.
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Social_libertarianism

    So don’t get bent out of shape about libertarianism. These people like Napolitano are a lot like the people who are constantly misquoting the Bible for their own self interests. Clowns like Judge Napolitano, Ron Paul, and Reverse Robin Hood Ryan have no clue what they are talking about when it comes to libertarianism. Whenever I listen to one of these clowns I want to puke my guts out all over them. They really do make me sick to my stomach. When they wrote the book about selective memory and selective amnesia these are the kind of people they had in mind. In their heart of hearts they know that libertarianism means that the government can’t tell you who to marry, what you can and can’t do to your own body, but yet when they get into a position of political power, it’s “Katy Bar The Door.” Anything goes. Libertarianism is whatever I say it is.

    • Good points, dildenusa, but Ron Paul, Rand Paul and Paul Ryan are not Libertarians per se — they are Randian ‘Objectivists’ and impure even in their embrace of that addled philosophy. All say they believe in God, would perpetuate the drug war, and against a woman’s right to an abortion. Ayn Rand would have kicked them out of her inner circle for such apostasy.

  • holyreality

    “The world that Napolitano and the others are craving would be an industrial dystopia not unlike the alternate 1985 from Back to the Future II.”
    Or Idiocracy

  • it costs $200-$300 to be treated for post-nasal drip

    Actually, the cost is more like $1000+.

    Adding……….oops……you said “urgent care facility”, and my brain translated it, erroneously, in to “emergency care”, i.e., emergency room.

    So, disregard the rest of this comment.

  • GrafZeppelin127

    Napolitano knows better. He knows that a person has only those “rights” which he can enforce, and if there is no law, there is no way to enforce those “rights.” No law, no rights; no government­, no law.

    Self-descr­ibed “libertari­ans” like Judge Napolitano are, in my view and experience­, no offense intended, completely full of shit. They purposeful­ly confuse (or fail to recognize the difference between) government and law, liberty and autonomy, freedom and lawlessnes­s. And they only do it when there’s a Democrat in the White House.

    You are not “free” to do anything if I am free to stop you. You are not free to speak if I am free to silence you. You are not free to move if I am free to restrain you. You are not free to be in a particular place if I am free to keep you out. You are not free to own property if I am free to steal it, destroy it, damage it, or interfere with your use and enjoyment of it. You are not free to earn money if I am free to not pay you for your labor, goods and/or services. You are not free to enter into a business arrangemen­t if I am free to violate the terms of that arrangemen­t. You are not free to breathe if I am free to pollute your air. You are not free to eat if I am free to poison your food.

    No law, no freedom. No government­, no law.

    When Judge Napolitano says these things during a Republican presidency­, I might take him seriously.

    (That is, if he says it during a Republican presidency and not just for the purpose of dissuading people from voting Democratic­.)

    When it comes to the size, scope, power, reach, &c. of the federal government­, there’s nothing that self-procl­aimed “libertari­ans” like Napolitano are complainin­g about today that was substantia­lly different in 2003. And what did they do? They enthusiast­ically re-elected an administra­tion and a congressio­nal majority that had grown government more than any other in history, that had taken a balanced budget and purposeful­ly thrown it out of balance, that had created the largest single new federal bureaucrac­y since the New Deal, and enacted the most sweeping curtailmen­t of individual liberty since the Alien and Sedition Acts.

    As it is, self-profe­ssed “libertari­anism” of this sort is just a post-hoc justificat­ion for voting Republican­, nothing more, and a pretty ironic one at that given the GOP’s actual record over the past 30-40 years. I’ve neither seen nor heard nor read anything that would convince me otherwise. All this will go away the moment President Romney takes office in 2013, and remain dormant until the next Democratic president is elected to clean up the next Republican economic disaster.

    • If I could hit “Like” 100 times on this post, I would.

    • Carol Jones

      Damn that was awesome. Well said.

    • Wow, Graf. Perfect.

    • Another good one, Graf. Try telling someone like that nincompoop Napolitano that the gov’t will no longer be involved in the enforcement of contracts, copyright laws or private property laws and watch how fast they suddenly believe in gov’t regulation.

  • Ned F

    We already have free market healthcare. I shop around for the best priced insurance policy from the two or three monopolies every year. I also see billboards and TV ads for hospitals and specialists many times a day, why are they advertising if not to compete? What sort of government interference in the health care market (notice it’s a market) would Napolitano like to eliminate, licensing? Inspections? There’s quite a few Urgent care centers around here, but they don’t compete on price, they just take insurance or set you up on a payment plan for the next few years. Maybe we should eliminate health insurance altogether and we should all pay out of pocket. Then when nobody can actually pay for health care, prices will come down to affordable levels. Makes as much sense as his argument. Libertarian ideas always sound so easy and logical as long as you don’t say “but” or “what if”.

    • If Napolitano were somehow in a hospital bed deathly ill and had no insurance, you can safely bet he would be screaming his head off demanding treatment, his ‘Libertarianism’ be damned. If he managed to survive, he’d be right back on Fox News pushing the same nonsense on health care he did on TDS. These people are incurable hypocritical assholes and I’m glad to say they’re losing ground as more of the public becomes aware of what insufferable jerks they really are.

  • ThoseNerds

    This was a perfect debate between Liberalism and Libertarianism. Stewart wins per usual. Napolitano comes off as a cheerleader for the rich and an anti-government dick, which he is.

    • GrafZeppelin127

      He’s not anti-government. He’s anti-Democratswinningelections.

      • D_C_Wilson

        Is there really any difference between the two these days? I mean, if anyone can tell me what a so-called conservative or libertarian believes in besides the idea that no democrat should ever win an election, I’d love to hear it.

        • GrafZeppelin127

          That’s not quite what I meant. My point is that people like Napolitano were not “anti-government” in 2003. They did not believe, let alone say publicly, that government was “an inherent evil” in 2003. They did not talk, let alone complain, about “tyranny of the majority” in 2003. They haul this bullshit out of the trunk in the attic whenever there’s a Democrat in the White House, then put it back into storage when a GOP good ol’ boy moves in.

          In other words, they’re full of shit.

          • D_C_Wilson

            No argument there. My only question is, what are they actually FOR today.

          • GrafZeppelin127

            They’re for Republicans winning elections. Nothing more. Everything else is post hoc validation of that desire.