• The Heritage Network
    • Resize:
    • A
    • A
    • A
  • Donate
  • The Logic of Obamacare

    The Washington Post’s Ezra Klein asks: “One of my frustrations with the cost-control discussion is that people set this up like a choice between this bill and a bill with more cost control. In reality, it seems more like a choice between this bill and nothing. And this bill does a lot more cost control than nothing.”

    MIT’s Jonathan Gruber answers: “Here’s how I think about this: Do you know Pascal’s wager? Why not believe in God? I think of health-care reform similarly. We don’t know if we’ll really bend the cost curve. But if we do this and we don’t do anything, we still go bankrupt in 100 years. We don’t lose much. But if we do it and it works, then it’s a savior.”

    Three thoughts:
    1) The House bill does bend the cost curveup.
    2) Pascal’s wager is based on the assumption that there is no (or minimal) possibility of a downside to the proposed action. That is not the case with the House bill.
    3) Yes Minister nailed what Gruber/Klein are really thinking years ago:


    Posted in Obamacare [slideshow_deploy]

    16 Responses to The Logic of Obamacare

    1. Pat, Florida says:

      I don't see how a bill that doesn't address any of the known problems with our health care system can do anything to repair it and make it work better for more people, but we know, it will raise costs for people and is bound to cause rationing when it all shakes out.

    2. Jeff Brodhead, WA (s says:

      I'm running out of polite words, to use in describing those whom have taken America from WE THE PEOPLE.

      Thomas Jefferson was soooooooo right in sooooooo many of his statements!

    3. Roger S., Ma. says:

      Thanks for the comic relief (the video clip).

      Unfortunately none of "what's going down" will be so funny,

      once it hits the streets!

      Now, whom do we recall / impeach first?

      Can't do 'em all at the same time, unfortunately!

    4. Bobbie Jay says:

      yeah, that is the twisted logic.

    5. Big Daddy Matty, Los says:

      To expand upon thought #2 above:

      I've been studying this issue for over 15 years, and every apples-to-apples comparison of access and outcomes I've ever seen has confirmed that we receive the highest quality of health care of any nation on Earth. To act as if there is no chance that health care reform will jeopardize the quality of care available in this country is naive at best, highly disingenuous at worst.

    6. Bobbie Wright - AL says:

      What I would like to know is, How many people have ACTUALLY asked FOR the Healthcare Bill? I hear Obama over and over say that this is what the "people" want and have asked for. OK, then, tell me HOW MANY? I doubt he or anyone could. I could come closer to telling HIM how many people DON'T want this monstrosity!!

      Obama's argument about the Constitution does not make sense to me. NO WHERE in the Constitution SAY "on behalf of the people". For some reason, he thinks that he is in office to do things "on behalf". Our Founders were very, very smart. If they had wanted "on behalf" in the Constitution, they WOULD have put it in there. What part of "of the people, by the people and FOR the people" does this man NOT UNDERSTAND.

      It is very clear to me, at least, that Obama does not LIKE America. And, I feel that he is out to destroy it. He's already gotten a really good start at doing just that. I have never seen him truly smile, except at the Media Dinner. I have never seen him show one ounce of emotion. I have never even seen him show any integrity at all. I picked up on all of this during the campaign. This man is just simply NOT who he says he is. And he doesn't say much about who he is, does he?

    7. Roger S., Ma. says:

      Bobbie Wright-AL: Obviously, the FOR part. He thinks "on behalf" and "for" are synonymous. We all know that they're not! "For" means to benefit (the people). "On behalf of" means, as their proxy. That's precisely what the Founders did NOT want, and had had their fill, somebody calling the shots for them and then asking them to say "thank you" and pay up!

      If BO really fails to see that distinction, one has to wonder how he made it into, much less through law school.

      On the other hand, I have a quite sinking feeling that many of our fellow citizens believe the same thing, that the two terms "effectively mean the same thing". Thanks to our Dewey based educational system which has failed to impress upon pupils that words have precise meanings and then to make them learn those. And that is all thanks to our pragmatic philosophy which has preached that to know the exact meaning of something is not too important. Close enough if it "somehow fits in", in context, mostly with our feelings.

      Many have a lot of remedial learning before them, I'll wager!

    8. Ringo Phonebone says:

      The simplest and most direct means to provide universal health care to everyone would be to nationalize all clinics and hospitals and hire the people who run them as federal employees. That would cut out all the insurance company squabbling as there would be no need for "insurance". This fictitious scenario would at least be an honest attempt to fix the delivery system. But no, a 1990 page bill full of regulation, penalty and kickbacks is a better solution?

      I've given up expecting politicians to do right for the country. They are too busy doing what is right for them. The Government is run by the lobbyists with the most money. The founding fathers would to flee to another wilderness and start over again if they could see this mess.

    9. E. J. America, Flori says:

      It seems to me that there is a major issue with the cost curve that has not been addressed – yet will affect the curve sharply: Where is the money coming from to build the new courthouses, jails, staffing, and operational costs for all of the people who will be arrested for not buying health care? Think about it for one minute. It is a known fact that the court and prison systems in this country are beyond capacity now. How can we financially deal with the explosion of cases this bill will create?

    10. Bulwyn says:

      Don't let these issues cloud the fact that This legislation is unconstitutional

    11. Jeanne Stotler, wood says:

      As a ret. Nurse I can tell you it doesn't matter if you are rich or poor for the quality of care you get, the Insurance co.s have driven up the cost, limited care,yet the people in congress don't care about that. The limiting of profits and regulating the co's output would help. The secrecy of congress also should be looked into. All of this bill including the PORK should be available for US, the PEOPLE to read. We are being snookered by a dishonest congress and administration. VOTE 2010

    12. T. Wilson, Texas says:

      Obviously the administration and Speaker Pelosi aren't the sharpest tools in the shed. If I can see this why don't they. Exactly who is it that will be paying "A Penalty" or going to jail for not purchasing this "Public Option Health Care Plan" ( which is an oximoron )? I'll tell you who, the YOUNG and generally healthy, the JOBLESS, the POOR who can't afford to spend money on any "extras" in their lives, and people like me, a PROUD AMERICAN, who will willingly go to jail to reject the governments over-reaching mandates that goes against Texas's sovereignty. The court costs for presenting all of us before a judge will be more exspensive than just taking the penalty for non compliance out of the bill.

      If "America" is under-employeed, wouldn't it make sense to get "America" back to work before you come up with another burdensom exspense that most freedom loving Americans don't want anyway. What America needs is JOBS STUPID……..

    13. ACE SEZ says:

      Surely, most certainly, the voters of the Bay Area that have supported Pelosi must realize by now they have foisted a demented old hag on the American people?

      She is anti Constitutional Gov't–so egotistical as to appear she didn't make it thru the menstural change with all her marbles—sack this idiot first chance you folks in SF get–save the USA from the ultra radical left crazies.

    14. Tim Az says:

      Mao-Bama's Health care should in all honesty be called a death bill. It legislates death far more than life. If one is able to escape being aborted they have the good fortune of a life of servitude to their government until they are no longer an asset to the their government. At wich time they will no longer receive even the most meager of health care until death occurs. This will save the government a bundle in social security and all other benefits for senior citizens. What a country.

      How's that hope and change working out for you?

    15. Al, The Villages, Fl says:

      One congressman on Fox News, when challenged on the Health CAre Bill, stated that we must believe in something. That and Reid/Pelosi with a majority to push things through results in the dismantling of our country with such bills as the health care bill, cap and trade, card check etc. Obamas' main objective, I think, is to remake America into a secular progressive government. All these bills are either favorites of the left (environment, socialism etc.) or is a means to consolidate and guarantee power. Obama uses carefully chosen words to sound like he is saying something different from that which he and congress are doing. He decries censorship and champions openness and dialogue in his meeting with students on his Asian trip yet, at home, his administration is going about finding a way to shut down talk radio and censor the opposition.

    16. Lynn B. DeSpain says:

      The logic of Obama Care? Seriously? None.

    Comments are subject to approval and moderation. We remind everyone that The Heritage Foundation promotes a civil society where ideas and debate flourish. Please be respectful of each other and the subjects of any criticism. While we may not always agree on policy, we should all agree that being appropriately informed is everyone's intention visiting this site. Profanity, lewdness, personal attacks, and other forms of incivility will not be tolerated. Please keep your thoughts brief and avoid ALL CAPS. While we respect your first amendment rights, we are obligated to our readers to maintain these standards. Thanks for joining the conversation.

    Big Government Is NOT the Answer

    Your tax dollars are being spent on programs that we really don't need.

    I Agree I Disagree ×

    Get Heritage In Your Inbox — FREE!

    Heritage Foundation e-mails keep you updated on the ongoing policy battles in Washington and around the country.