Available Now! (click cover)

America's Counter-Revolution
The Constitution Revisited

From the back cover:

This book challenges the assumption that the Constitution was a landmark in the struggle for liberty. Instead, Sheldon Richman argues, it was the product of a counter-revolution, a setback for the radicalism represented by America’s break with the British empire. Drawing on careful, credible historical scholarship and contemporary political analysis, Richman suggests that this counter-revolution was the work of conservatives who sought a nation of “power, consequence, and grandeur.” America’s Counter-Revolution makes a persuasive case that the Constitution was a victory not for liberty but for the agendas and interests of a militaristic, aristocratic, privilege-seeking ruling class.

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Forcing Insurance Companies to Cover Preexisting Conditions Is Immoral

The Christian Science Monitor today published my op-ed on the fundamental dishonesty of President Obama’s healthcare proposals. Read “Forcing insurance companies to cover preexisting conditions is immoral” here.


Stephan Kinsella said...

This is great. We need more principled, moral defenses of liberty--not the ambiguous, inconclusive utilitarian analysis.

Anonymous said...

Insurance companies should cover pre-existing illness for people transiting from group coverage to individual coverage. This is reasonable.

Sheldon Richman said...

Anon, should the company be free to charge the full cost of "insuring" the person with an existing condition?

If not, who should pay? The insurance company employees? The shareholders? The managers? Please be specific.

Why do you call it "insurance" if the condition and need for medical care already exist? Isn't insurance about risk?

Should homeowners' policies cover preexisting fires? If not, why not?

your NoVA neighbor said...

Sheldon, You really are the stupidest person I have yet to hear opine on either healthcare or national security. You are pretty high and mighty sitting behind a typewriter and basically casting all poor Americans with pre-existing conditions under the train. Do you really want there to be no State influences? Do you really want the US to look like India where people die and rot on the streets? You better be glad there is a state, otherwise a true American, i.e. someone with strength and compassion, would kick your pudgy arrogant little ass.

Sheldon Richman said...

NoVa, try rebutting my arguments. You just embarrass yourself with this irrelevant nonsense.

Patrick said...

Ya, NOVA, why don't you rebut his arguments instead of resorting to name calling?

your NoVA neighbor said...

“Those who stand for nothing fall for anything.”-Alexander Hamilton

your NoVA neighbor said...

And you guys can go tell your sick kid that it's OK the insurance company denied coverage because they are a bad risk and after all, insurance companies must maximize profits. Irony can be cruel, so I hope you bastards never get sick.

Anonymous said...

I disagree in part because it is so selfish and childish to think we do not all depend on one another...not only should insurance cover all people insurance should be state managed and legally mandated. You are a silly anarchist...try living in the real world of families and people who realize actions of generosity matter more than selfishness!

Sheldon Richman said...

Anon, you miss the point. Society is of course a grand network of interdependence. True liberals and anarchists celebrate society for that very reason. We don't wish to be hermits. Far from it. Mises almost called his treatise "Social Cooperation." It may be the most frequently used term in "Human Action" after "division of labor," which also refers to cooperation.

That's not what we are disputing here. We are disputing the necessity for organizing on the basis of physical force and compulsion.

Why do you think nothing good can come about unless State violence is behind it? I believe that is the childish view in this argument.

Anonymous said...

I really will read your comments: and this is not meant to be hostile, but honestly as a social worker, perhaps my profession is all that the Freeman group dislikes, but without law please give even three examples of people behaving well, my experience as person seeing folks everyday is we are just one police force shy of sheer anarchy...already are in many significant urban areas...people do very evil things without law...I mean this politely I guess you think people run things well without law? NOT by any decent measure I see Somalia seems a good example of the society your group would easily have us fall into. LAW is a beautiful creation. Respectfully, Robert

steven said...

Robert, anarchy doesn't mean a society without laws, it means a society without rulers. Whenever people interact with each other, they need laws to govern their interactions. Would you steal and murder if there was no state to punish you for doing so? I'd like to think that you, like most others, would respect the rights of your neighbors, not just because you're a "good" person, but because you want them to repect your rights in return.

But not all people will respect the rights of others, and that will never change. And we anarchists recognize that. It's in the self interest of each of us who want peace and cooperation to take steps to protect ourselves against those who would commit aggression against us. And because it's in our self interest to do so, we don't need coercive institutions like the state to force us into organizations that claim to protect us against aggressors. We can protect ourselves through voluntary associations. Why should we need to state to force us to do what's in our own self interest?

Besides, every state that has ever existed has used aggression, such as compulsory taxation, against their subjects. And we anarchists oppose aggression in all its forms. Read Stephan Kinsella's article "What It Means To Be An Anarcho-Capitalist".

steven said...

And Robert, by aggression I mean the use of force against people who are causing no harm to anyone else. Aggression can never be justified.

Sheldon Richman said...

Anon, Steven said pretty much what I was going to say. Law historically was not the product of states. It was the product of custom emerging through social cooperation for mutual benefit. It was very "powerful" in keeping people's behavior within civilized bounds. Force could be used as a last resort because, after all, we have the right of self-defense. These historical episodes yielded what we would today call systems of libertarian rights. Look at the papers of legal scholar John Hasnas. I've linked to them many times so a search of this blog will turn them up.

One last point: If people are as evil as you say, why would you trust any of them with a monopoly of the legitimate power to use physical force? When has this power not been abused? Think about it.

Anonymous said...

The gods tempt people for which they are most weak. Artificial Intelligence will create desire in people's minds for the following sins:::
1. Alcohol
2. Drugs
3. Preditory "earning"
4. Homosexuality
5. Gambling
6. Something for nothing/irresponsibility (xtianity)
7. Polygamy/superiority over women/misogyny (Islam)
Much like the other prophets Mohhamed (polygamy/superiority over women/misogyny) and Jesus (forgiveness/savior), the gods use me for temptation as well. In today's modern society they feel people are most weak for popular culture/sensationalism, and the clues date back to WorldWarII and Unit731:TSUSHOGO.
It has been discussed that, similar to the Matrix concept, the gods will offer a REAL "Second Coming of Christ", while the "fake" Second Coming will come at the end and follow New Testiment scripture and their xtian positioning. I am that real Second Coming.
What I teach is the god's true way. It is what is expected of people, and only those who follow this truth will be eligible to ascend into heaven as children in a future life. They offered this event because the masses have just enough time to work on and fix their relationship with the gods and ascend, to move and grow past Planet Earth, before the obligatory xtian "consolation prize" of "1000 years with Jesus on Earth" begins.

Your job as a future mother is to learn the god's ways and to help your child understand despite the negative reinforcement and conditioning of today's society. Without consciousous parents the child will have no hope, and may even exaserbate their disfavor by becoming corrupted in today's environment.
Your ultimate goal is to fix your relationship wiith the gods and move on. You don't want to be comfortable here, and the changes in Western society in the last 100 years has achieved just that.
1000 years with Jesus is the consolation prize. Don't be deceived into thinking that is the goal.

Without the Holocaust the Nazis would have created an Eastern Block-style enviornment throught all of Europe until Reagan spent them into submission. But all Europeans would have received the extra time instead of just those from the east.
Chinese would have gotten more time, perhaps many decades more, if they resisted temptation when ultrasound promoted infantcide. Problem is the Chinese have a problem with growth and are stagnant. Their women are distracted and consumed excessively and it hurts the people as a whole.
Many Chinese may doubt infancide has hurt them, but typical of the god's tactics their punishment has already been administered:::::Western-style corporate capitalism.

Only children go to heaven. By the time you hit puberty it is too late. This is charecteristic of the gods:::Once you realize what you have lost it is too late.
Now you are faced with a lifetime to work and prepare for your next chance. Too many will waste this time, getting stoned, "Hiking!", working, etc.

The gods used AI to bring this Situation EXACTLY where they wanted it to go.
Don't make the mistake and fail to give them proper credit for their sinister pathology.