There’s a video gaining momentum on Facebook right now, presenting itself as a calm, balanced, and non-political take from Dave Ramsey on Obamacare. The video is definitely calm. Ramsey shows that he has a good heart, which I’ve never questioned. And he insists a half dozen times that this video isn’t politics, it’s just math. But it’s politics on a grand scale, and only a right-wing true believer would not recognize that. See for yourself.
At one point Ramsey says that if insurance companies are mandated to cover everybody, including millions of really sick people, they’ll either a) go broke, or b) double your premiums.
This seems logical and even necessary, but there’s another consideration. The individual mandate was instituted exactly for this reason. Once insurance companies are covering sick people they will be paying out more money in claims, but there’s an ALSO. They will ALSO be receiving premiums from millions of newly enrolled people who are reasonably healthy and will not be filing many claims, and in some cases none at all.
That is the reason the individual mandate is necessary. Covering everyone including sick people can only work if you are also covering everyone including healthy people.
This is so obvious as to be misleading.
Another factor here is that the main reason Obamacare was instituted was actually not to do something kind and compassionate, as Ramsey says. It was to control the rate of increase in medical costs. Obamacare is specifically intended to bring costs down. Does Ramsey really not know this? Now, if that does not work, and we end up with medical costs at greater than 1/6 of the economy (like it is now), then Obamacare has failed, regardless of the fact that everyone will be covered. If costs continue to increase, this won’t be feasible for anybody.
Next, Ramsey claims that actuarial tables and analyses are “not rocket science, you could probably do it in the eighth grade.” That’s completely untrue. Actuaries are very highly paid precisely because their work is unbelievably complicated. Does Ramsey really not know this?
I like Dave Ramsey. He has been instrumental in changing my life. But he keeps repeating “this isn’t political” because it’s so very political. He’s overlooking facts that are directly pertinent to what’s going on here because if he considers them he can’t make the points he wants to make (which are political points). I certainly cannot believe he simply doesn’t know these things.
All of his points about social security, private investment, etc. are standard conservative politics. This is so disingenuous exactly because he presents it as non-political. But when he uses words like “communism” and “socialism” he betrays his real attitude. Can conservatives seriously watch this video and believe it’s non-partisan?
Insurance is collective, by definition. That’s how it works. Always, with no exceptions whatsoever. And if we want to talk about being forced, how about the fact that at this moment you (and I) are ALREADY being forced to pay premiums to cover the healthcare that non-insured people receive at the ER? One reason costs are out of control is because we’re already paying these costs for uninsured people, without the counter-balance of everyone paying in.
As far as being “forced,” you are already “forced” to have your car insured if you’re going to drive on our public roads and highways. Anybody griping about that? Why do you have a “right” to refuse insurance and leave me screwed over when you run into my car? Why do you have a “right” to refuse medical insurance and leave me screwed over when you get sick and go to the ER?
For his gun analogy to be reasonable, he’d have to set it up so that I’m already in a system where I’m already paying for guns for people who don’t have them. That’s the reality with healthcare to begin with. You’re already paying for it, and you’re already being forced.
This video is only “fair” and “even-handed” to people who already believe these non-arguments, which is to say, it’s pure partisan hackery masquerading as fairness about Obamacare. If you want fairness about Obamacare, see my Facebook wall, where I have put dozens of credible articles stating both the reasonable pros AND CONS of Obamacare (scroll down a little — it was early last week).
My point in this video is not that I know everything about Obamacare, it’s simply that Ramsey isn’t even close to coming out with all the information people need. He’s doing exactly what he claims to not be doing, which is just spewing more right-wing propaganda. He’s a smart man so it’s hard for me to believe he doesn’t know this information I’ve provided, but perhaps he doesn’t. Unfortunately, this video will just spread more half-truths and misinformation.
- Response to Dave Ramsey’s “Math” That Explains the Affordable Care Act to Democrats & Republicans. (elephantjournal.com)