Who is the penalty on? The penalty is on people who have the wherewithal but refuse to buy health insurance, figuring they won't be sick, and if they do, other people will have to cover it. So these free riders, as they were identified by Governor Romney himself, he said, people have the ability to pay and can't expect to be free riders, and I think that he termed it exactly right. These free riders make health insurance for those who are taking responsibility more expensive. Personal responsibility is a principle of our country. Conservatives claim it. Progressives claim it. Liberals claim it. We all claim it.So she's using the conservative rhetoric of responsibility. People who don't buy insurance and then take advantage of the healthcare system have been free riders, and it's this free-rider behavior that identifies them as the targets of the new tax. Rush says this is a big "attitude shift" for Democrats. When getting the bill passed, the Democrats mostly called upon us to feel sympathy for people who lacked insurance and to want to help them — a typical liberal theme. They rarely portrayed the uninsured as people who deserved our negative judgment for taking and not contributing — which would sound more conservative.
Rush acts irritated to hear the conservative theme coming from Pelosi.
The entire mission of the Democrat Party is to create more and more free riders. Haven't they seen to it that almost half the country doesn't pay income tax, a bunch of free riders?Okay. Hell's bells. Whatever. But if this is one instance of holding people responsible — something you support — why not be pleased about it?
Isn't their goal to get more and more people dependent on the government? Didn't they spend millions advertising for more people to take free handouts from the government? Isn't there a big advertising campaign on right now to expand the scope of food stamps to the food free riders? Hell's bells, folks, the Democrat Party is the free rider party....
Now all of a sudden, according to Pelosi, if you don't have health insurance, why, you're gaming the system, why, you're probably cheating on food stamps, too. Look at the 180 they've been forced to do because they cannot admit that this is a tax. You know, the uninsured are now scum. Free-riding scum.Cannot admit that this is a tax? They don't like calling it a tax, but Pelosi's explanation fits the problem she's confronted with, which is: Now that the Supreme Court has called it a tax, what will you say to people who are outraged that middle-class people are getting a big new tax? Her answer is: They deserve to be singled out for taxation, because they are free riders.
ADDED: Now, you might say, Rush is acting irritated because he must go on and on rejecting everything the Democratic Party says, because that's the way to achieve conservative goals. I know that's what he does. But it's not the only way to achieve conservative goals. For example, you could say, it's great that Nancy Pelosi finally acknowledges the problem of free riders. Obamacare was sold on different propaganda, but let's recognize that was propaganda and that the free rider problem is real. Let's insist on looking at those other programs and portraying them in economically realistic terms. Let's not let the Democrats bully us with demands that we care about people, and let's be sophisticated about the incentive structures in these various programs.
ALSO: What Pelosi said was what Romney said in 2006 in Massachusetts and in debate this year:
“Yeah, we said, ‘Look, if people can afford to buy it, either buy the insurance or pay your own way,’ ” Mr. Romney said during a January 2008 debate in New Hampshire. “Don’t be free riders and pass the cost of health care on to everybody else.”
In an opinion article in USA Today in 2009, Mr. Romney again used the term “free riders,” writing that a penalty like that in his health care plan “encourages ‘free riders’ to take responsibility for themselves rather than pass their medical cost on to others.”
What Pelosi said sounded conservative because it is the way the conservative Mitt Romney defended his own plan at the state level. Remember, the Supreme Court case was about whether Congress had an enumerated power that would allow this requirement to buy insurance to be done from the federal level of government.