Independence Day

The Fourth of July is the day on which the American people celebrate their independence from Great Britain. It is not actually clear why Independence Day is the Fourth. Congress actually passed the Declaration of Independence on July 2, 1776. It has often been thought that the Declaration was signed on the fourth, but that doesn’t seem to be true. There wasn’t any one time when the members of Congress signed the Declaration and there were a few who didn’t get around to signing it until August. Nevertheless, the fourth is the date that stuck. As John Adams wrote to Abigail.


The second day of July, 1776, will be the most memorable epoch in the history of America. I am apt to believe that it will be celebrated by succeeding generations as the great anniversary festival. It ought to be commemorated as the day of deliverance, by solemn acts of devotion to God Almighty. It ought to be solemnized with pomp and parade, with shows, games, sports, guns, bells, bonfires, and illuminations, from one end of this continent to the other, from this time forward forever more.

And so it has been, for the last 241 years. May God bless America and grant us many more years of freedom.

Happy Independence Day.

Free Obamacare!

The Truth team wants me to let all my friends and family to know the truth about Obamacare. Well, I have tried my best.

David —

It’s crazy to think that there are groups in this country whose existence is based purely on hiding the facts about Obamacare from the American people.

So, from time to time, we’re going to call on the Truth Team to fight back by shining a light on the very real, very awesome facts about Obamacare.

This week, we’re talking about how the law is already lowering health care costs for millions of Americans by providing preventive care — without any out-of-pocket expenses. Yup, that’s right — free preventive care in ways that are potentially live saving: FREE annual check-ups, FREE mammograms and other cancer screenings, FREE blood pressure screenings, FREE diabetes screenings, FREE contraception, and FREE vaccinations.

This might not be news to you — but way too few of our friends and family members know about this.

If you’re proud that Obamacare guarantees that health care plans provide this kind of preventive care, share this infographic on all the ways Obamacare is providing care for millions of families:

There’s a reason the other side wants to keep these facts under wraps: When people find out about these benefits, they’re happy about it.

They start to realize that all the hot air about Obamacare might be nothing more than partisanship.

And most importantly, people start to take advantage of the law — because preventive care isn’t about the money saved, it’s about saving lives.

Obamacare is about helping people get the better health care they need — to keep us well by providing preventive care, and help us when we’re sick by lowering what folks spend on doctors, hospitals, prescriptions, and more.

That’s truly great news — and it’s up to us to make sure people know about it.



Erin Hannigan
Health Care Campaign Manager
Organizing for Action

The thing is that none of those benefits are actually free. The recipients may not be paying for them, but someone is. Now, when you are paying for something out of your own pocket, you are naturally concerned about the cost. You might decide you don’t really need that blood pressure screening or that contraception. You might shop around to find the most reasonable deal. If you are not paying for something yourself, you don’t really care what the cost is. Maybe you don’t need that check up, but who cares, it’s free. Maybe your health care provider is overcharging for procedures. Who cares, you’re not paying for it. That is the problem with providing anything for free. People will naturally want more of it that they would if they are paying for it. Economists call this increasing the demand for that good or service.

Under normal circumstances, increasing the demand for a good or service tends to increase the price for that service. As the price increases, demand starts to decrease while the providers of that good or service, sensing profit, will try to produce more of the good or service. Eventually the price and amount produced will reach an equilibrium, until something happens to change the supply or demand.

Under Obamacare, the demand for healthcare will increase, thus causing the price to increase. I am not sure if there will be any real incentive for healthcare providers to increase the supply of services, especially if there is some sort of price cap to control expenses, so there may not be anything that might slow down or reverse the increase in price due to the increase in demand.  Obamacare will not make healthcare more affordable in the long run because it cannot make it more affordable in the long run. You cannot defy the laws of economics any more than you can defy the law of gravity.

To make matters worse, eventually there will have to be some method of controlling costs imposed. As the cost of healthcare increases, it will start to occur to people, even in Washington, that the government cannot spend an infinite amount of money on healthcare. This means that either they are going to have to stop offering free healthcare and start charging something close to the actual cost of each test or procedure, or they are going to have to impose rationing. This means that the government will tell you whether or not you need that blood pressure screening or that cancer treatment. In order to control costs, they may very well decide to deny you treatment if you are old or handicapped. Looking at the matter cold bloodedly, it is difficult to justify spending money on  chemotherapy for a man who is 75 years old. He is going to die within a few years anyway, so why not just fill him with pain medication and let him go?

People mocked Sarah Palin for announcing that death panels would be a part of Obamacare. She was more astute than her attackers. I doubt if anyone who wrote the laws that make up Obamacare ever intended to create death panels, but it doesn’t matter. Something like death panels are going to have to be a feature. The economic logic of the situation makes them inevitable.

So, there you go. I have done as Erin asked and made sure everyone knows the truth about Obamacare.

The Government is the Only Thing We All Belong To

One of the themes coming out of the Democratic National Convention last week is the idea that government is the one institution that unites us all as one nation. The idea being, that we go to different churches, work for different employers, have different racial or ethnic origins, speak different languages, and so on, but we all have the national government in common. I think this short video put out by the DNC illustrates what they are trying to say.

Conservatives have generally interpreted this to mean that the Democrats believe that we belong to the government in the sense that we are all slaves or serfs of the government. This is not accurate. What they seem to mean is that the government is the one institution that all Americans have in common and the one institution that makes us Americans. This confuses the difference between the nationality and the government or the state. In fact, our shared culture and history is what makes all of us part of the American nation, the idea that we are a separate and unique people, distinct from every other nation. We would all still be Americans even if our government were changed or destroyed, so long as we had that shared feeling of nationhood.

I dealt with this sort of idea once before when I explained that Barack Obama’s statement, “you didn’t build that” seemed to ultimately be derived from the philosopher Georg Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel’s ideas that the state embodies the hopes and aspirations of the people and nation and even creates the nation. The statement that we all belong to the government is another expression of that mode of thought and while I do not believe that the Democrats mean that we should all be enslaved by the state, this is an idea alien to the ideals of the founding fathers.

The men who wrote the Constitution saw government as a tool. The purpose of that tool was to protect our rights given to us by our Creator. Consider Thomas Jefferson’s words in the Declaration of Independence.

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their creator with certain unalienable rights, that among these rights are life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.

That to secure these rights governments are instituted among men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, that when any form of government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the right of the people to alter or abolish it, and to institute new government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such forms, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their safety and happiness.

And the Preamble to the Constitution.

We the People of the United States, in Order to form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defence, promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America.

If government is just a tool or a social contract for the purpose of protecting the rights we already possess than a government that does not do its job can or should be replaced. If government is some overarching entity that we all belong to and which gives our lives meaning, than we have no rights, except what the collective grants us and we certainly cannot work against the institution we all belong to. I don’t think the Democrats mean any harm by expressing these kinds of sentiments, but this really is another step on the road to tyranny.

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