Sunday, March 22, 2009

Thursday talk radio update I

For months, Sean Hannity has been defending America's healthcare system by pointing out that medical providers are obligated by law to provide emergency help. Every time he says this, my internal Hannity Rebuttal Machine responds, "That's not an example of free-market success. That's an example of free-market failure." When laws are passed requiring McDonald's to give a free Big Mac to every broke customer who walks in the door, then we will know that the free market for food has broken down, too.

Since Hannity routinely interrupts just about every sentence spoken by those who disagree with him, I never heard a caller dispute this bromide. Until Thursday. Hannity, perhaps unwittingly, let an unusually articulate and persistent caller point out that laws requiring free emergency medical care are an example of socialism, not capitalism. Even more remarkable, Hannity agreed with the caller. This prompted him to go ahead and actually describe his own medical plan, which would require Americans to pay into mandatory health savings accounts.

My Hannity Rebuttal Machine wants to know why Obama's plan, which as I understand it would require employers who don't offer medical insurance to pay into a pool to cover the uninsured, is more socialistic than Hannity's. In one case, the government tells employers what they have to do. In the other, it tells private citizens what they have to do. Socialism, anyone?

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