Friday, July 7, 2017

American Hubris, or Why Revolutions Usually Focus on the Educated Classes

In America, the two federal legislative bodies are trying to reform a healthcare bill passed by a previous administration. The old bill increased premiums, especially for younger people, and didn't sign up as many people as expected in some states.

I'm seeing a lot of Americans encouraging people to vote on the healthcare bill who don't realize the terms are not yet final. The CBO report--issued by a nonpartisan government agency--relied upon by the media addresses the last version of the bill, not the latest negotiations.

In response to the CBO report, Congress is attempting to resolve inconsistencies between the House and Senate bills. The House bill received more support from the CBO, causing the Senate to revise its own version. If someone tells you to vote "No" on the healthcare bill as of July 7, 2017, s/he is missing the key point: there is nothing final to vote on.

Too many Americans have the hubris to encourage others to vote a particular way without knowing the facts, which is a pattern among modern-day Americans with high levels of education: they like to encourage supportive acts that make themselves feel good, but without any substantive understanding of the issues. Such hubris has torn the country apart and allowed Trump to flourish.

When choosing between a team that thinks it knows enough about healthcare to encourage voting a particular way on a bill that hasn't even been finalized, and a team actually trying to reduce long-term healthcare costs--which sap resources from younger generations--it doesn't take a Ph.D to figure out which side makes more sense.

Bonus: Nothing prevents states from raising taxes, borrowing money, or taking other actions to make up any shortfall in federal healthcare funding. For example, if Medicaid was completely eliminated, California has Medi-Cal and would still be able to provide any service currently subsidized by the federal gov. States want unlimited or ever-increasing funds from the federal government, a paradigm that masks the true costs of gov programs; keeps taxes artificially low; causes national security risks by putting future generations in debt to foreign creditors; reduces state and local gov flexibility by increasing dependency on the federal gov; and reduces accountability. 

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