Days of Change

Day 1260 – Opportunity Cost

April 17, 2012
1 Comment

Lately, I find myself thinking about political calculations in terms of opportunity cost. Opportunity cost is what it sounds like. For every decision, there is an associated consequence or even drawback. One of the problems with partisanship is that either side tries to erase opportunity cost from their political calculations. Without it, compromise is much harder. It becomes about winning and losing, rather than doing good.

Rep. Barney Frank called the ACA, or Obamacare, a mistake in a recent interview. For the House of Representatives, there was a tremendous opportunity cost. They proposed a much more liberal version of Obamacare, but they would not have a chance to pass it or even compromise with the Senate version. After Scott Brown’s win in Massachusetts, the House had to lose all their changes from the Senate bill to pass ACA at all. They still took it, because they wanted the ideological victory.

In fact, Frank only admits to the mistake of not brainwashing informing the public sufficiently about the virtues of Obamacare. Many liberals still think Obamacare has no costs, opportunity or otherwise. Everyone will apparently have “free” health care and the government will pay less for it. The question is, who loses money? The drug companies won’t. There are no provisions for negotiated drug prices. The insurance companies may lose some money, but that will lead to job losses at the lower levels, not the elimination of high salaries. Costs are driven by the marker, and the only way to reduce costs is to eliminate the market. The only way to do that is cut doctor pay and cap lawsuit damages. In other words, socialized medicine.

If socialism works for 20% of the economy, why wouldn’t it work for 100%? If people should have a “right” to health care, why not housing and food as well? You can live a long time without seeing a doctor, you can only live so many days without food or shelter. When they talk about the Buffet rule, Obots like to bring up trust fund babies, the hard-working poor and whatever straw men are necessary. In the end, each millionaire with the ability to pay should help pay for each person who has a need for economic relief. For some reason, however, when you ask them if the tax code should be “from each according to his abilities, to each according to his needs,” they seem to bristle at that phrasing. I wonder why.

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