Posts tagged MBH

Re: Against Pseudo-Reform


If you are subsidized, then your insurance policy cannot cover abortions. But that’s how the law has stood since 1976 (see Hyde Amendment). So the new legislation changes nothing.

Of course it does. Specifically, the new legislation (through a combination of subsidies, captive-market mandates, and new regulations on insurance corporations) is designed to corral more women (and men) into government-subsidized plans. That is, last I checked, the point of the “reform.”

Of course, more thoroughly statist options (like, say, putting everyone on Medicare, as some “social democrats” have proposed) would be even worse, in that total conversion of the healthcare industry to political allocation would mean the total subordination of women’s reproductive healthcare to the political mandates of Hyde et al. But this proposal is bad enough. And if your response depends on a claim that government subsidies to one good don’t tend to crowd out substitute goods, then I have to wonder where you would get that notion.


If that’s not Left-Libertarian enough, I hope this is. Charles suggested it. Please click the red ‘Recommend’ button at the bottom if you like.

Although I certainly do support grassroots-organized community free clinics (on the model of the Panther clinics or the feminist women’s health center / women’s self-help clinic movement), I certainly do not favor having goverment “create” community health care centers. And while I very much appreciate the notions of (1) divorcing the idea of “universal health care” from “government health care”; and (2) doing so through voluntary grassroots alternatives to corporate health insurance, I will say that I strongly doubt that any one big voluntary plan for everyone everywhere is going to cut it. What I want to see is a thousand mutual aid societies blooming, and a thousand different approaches to the problem — not for there to be some one network that everyone signs onto, but rather that every one have some network that she individually can sign on to.


The point is that while theoretically libertarians decide these things on individualist principle, in practice the judgment calls on policy options get made according to conservative and patriarchal priorities. This doesn’t have to be the case, but is.

Maybe so, but I may I suggest that MBH’s position on government health care reform is, well, idiosyncratic among self-identified libertarians? And so that the argumentative moves he makes may not be indicative of how most of us would handle the issue?