Monday night, Democratic strategist Mark Hannah debated Emily Miller, the senior opinion writer for the Washington Times. Things didn't go well for Mr. Hannah. Ms. Kelly pointed out that Florida Blue sent out cancellation notices to 300,000 people, that Kaiser Permanente sent cancellation notices to 160,000 people in California, that California Blue Shield sent out 119,000 cancellation notices to 119,000 people. Here's how Mr. Hannah replied:
MR. HANNAH: What the Affordable Care Act does, Megyn, is that it basically takes these plans that are basically predatory plans and sets a minimum baseline for what can be what an insurance plan has to offer and if it doesn't offer these things, then absolutely, these are companies that are booting people off because these are crumby plans.
Later in the interview, Megyn questioned Hannah, saying "What if I like my crumby plan? Maybe I like my crumby plan. I had a dad on last week. He said 'we're done having children, There's a reason why I didn't pay extra for maternity care. I'm fine with that.'"
The question isn't whether insurance companies are predators. It's whether the government isn't the bigger predator. Who says that government forcibly telling people what they must do is better or more altruistic than a major health insurance company telling people what they must do?
Years ago, Phil Donahue interviewed conservative economist Milton Friedman. During the interview, Dr. Friedman asked this question:
DR. FRIEDMAN: Is it really true that political self-interest is nobler somehow than economic self-interest? You know, I think you're taking a lot of things for granted. Just tell me where in the world do you find these angels who are going to organize society for us? I don't even trust you to do that.
The point is that liberals like Mr. Hannah think that government bureaucrats are merchants of altruism and virtue. That's utter nonsense. There's plenty of proof that they're anything but. Members of the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees, usually refered to as AFSCME, a high-powered public employee union, is anything but altruistic or virtuous:
Last month, Dawn Bobo, owner of Village Dollar Store in Union Grove, Wis., was asked to display a pro-union sign in her window. Ms. Bobo, a self- described conservative Republican, refused and received a letter from the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees asking her to reconsider.
“Failure to do so will leave us no choice but do [sic] a public boycott of your business,” the letter said.
That isn't the only instance where AFSCME have threatened people:
If necessary, we will use the valuable public service jobs that we perform as a weapon and shut this state down.
According to AFSCME's About Us webpage, here's what they're involved in:
The International Union, based in Washington, DC, coordinates the union’s actions on major national issues such as privatization, fair taxes and health care.
In other words, the thugs that threaten entrepreneurs with boycotts and the thugs that threaten the citizens they're supposed to serve are the bureaucrats that are employed by the US Department of Health and Human Services.
Within that context, why should we think that Mr. Hannah is justified in thinking only insurance companies are predators? Why shouldn't we think that government bureaucrats are predators, too?