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Thursday, July 12, 2012

How To Argue With A Liberal: Part XXIII - Health Insurance Edition

I get a decent amount of hate email, hate tweets, and hate Facebook messages. Usually I read it all and move on, content in my knowledge that I have gotten some Statist angry. Occasionally a piece is so good that it automatically gets added to my "How To Argue With A Liberal" series.

On May 16, I wrote a piece entitled "A Tale of Two Catholic Universities: Georgetown and Franciscan." Nearly a full two months after publishing this piece I got a comment on it that deserves sharing. It was calm, matter-of-fact, friendly, and unusually non-combative. It was also snarky, rife with condescension and terribly off-base. I've seen them before: The well-thought-out social media defense of Statist demands made by Statist volunteers.

To review, the piece contrasted the difference between the way Georgetown University and Franciscan University are handling Executive Orders and Federal mandates regarding health insurance for students using the actual words of the representatives of the respective universities.

Let's take a look at the lengthy reply from "JPR." To accomplish this, JPR's comments will be in bold and my replies, retorts and sarcastic comments are bullet-pointed below each statement.


Here is a fact check: No one is mandated to get insurance that will cover abortions. You are not "forced" to stay on your parents insurance until you are 26.

  • The word "abortion" only appears quoted from the statement from Franciscan University referring to "abortion-causing medications," so your fact-check is factually in error
  • Nowhere do I assert that students are "forced" to stay on their parents health insurance until they are 26. If you had actually read the piece you would have understood I was commenting that because of the Federal mandates that Franciscan rejected via their faith, students would then be forced by rising costs to rely on their parents for something they were paying for independently. Big difference. Read the piece
"The essential health benefits package must cover the following general categories of services:

Prescription drugs

(Note contraceptive services is not listed above)
  • I deleted covered areas that were not germane to the argument, but the last time I checked, contraception for women was available only through prescription. So, fact checker, you're wrong. 
"A state may prohibit qualified health plans offered through the exchange from covering abortions.

Special rules relating to coverage of abortion services:

This title shall not be construed to require a plan to cover abortion services as part of the essential benefits package. If a plan covers elective abortion services, it may not use any funds attributable to subsidies provided through the Exchange to pay for them and must collect a separate payment from enrollees for the actuarial value of those services. State insurance commissioners shall insure that health plans comply with the requirement that plans segregate funds for abortion services."
  • Again, nowhere in the piece do I write about abortion services other than to quote what Franciscan University's position is. You are spending a lot of time on something that isn't even covered in the article. If you had read it, instead of trolling via Google for pieces to comment on, you would know that, and you would have wasted less of our time.
Also, just because you are now able to stay on your parents insurance, that does not mean you have to. Whether or not you are on your parents' health insurance has no bearing on your adulthood, that is a non-sequitur.
  • Except that if you read the piece you would realize the point being made was one of affordability. The "non-sequitur" you refer to is this statement I wrote: "I remember when 26 year-olds were adults, but that's grist for another mill." By the time you're 26 years-old you should probably be looking to be independent -- financially, emotionally and physically -- from your parents. If you're not, that's your problem (as well as your poor parents'), not the Federal government's. Fact check: If you actually read the piece, that statement would be understood as not being a non-sequitur, but rather an editorial statement completely in line with the revolving sentiment of this blog you claim to enjoy so much.
This Is the Part I Love The Most!

For a blog titled "Reality Based Libertarianism and Other Stuff", you ironically rely on an appeal to fear, tradition and religiously based social conservatism to make your "argument". If you are truly based in reality I would suggest not blindingly following social conservative ideals. Don't be a sheep and don't let party lines, define how you think when regarding topics like politics and healthcare law.
  • This is the condescending part I warned you readers about.
  • This is such an utterly stupid and partisan thing to say that I'm not sure whether to laugh or be sad that your brain functions this way. If you had read the piece you would've realized the point-of-view the piece was written from. To "fear" an over-reaching government that appeals to the dependent mind-set that has creeped into our society is a good thing, and it's something I write about constantly. To protect people's belief systems, whether they jibe with mine or not, is an enlightened approach to freedom and liberty that is in diametric opposition to the Statist view that anyone who believes differently than you is a dullard.
  • Your statement: "Don't be a sheep and don't let party lines define how you think when regarding topics like politics," is kind of dumb, don't you think? Here you are arguing straight down the party line and you're admonishing me not to let party lines influence what I think about politics. Really?
Also, it's all well and good that Catholics don't want abortions covered in their insurance, but many people do. Catering to any religion, even Christianity, goes against the very same 1st amendment you referenced in the beginning. "Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion."
  • All well and good as long as those Catholics don't try to force their beliefs on...themselves, right? 
  • Sadly you missed the point made here (probably because you didn't actually read the piece). Your logic is so warped and faulty that I'm beginning worry about you. The point here JPR, whoever you are, is that the Federal government is forcing a group of people to conform to its demands even though those demands are in opposition to the beliefs of the group. Before you whip out your sophomore year college Constitutional adjunct lecture on me, read this: Catholics opposing abortions presents no burden on people who want to have abortions.
  • Statists opposing the Catholic opposition to abortion place a  burden on Catholics. When governments place burdens on the people they govern, those people become subjects, not citizens.
To recap: You argued that the bill is wrong because it forces people to get health insurance that covers contraception. This is false. The majority of your writing is littered with logical fallacies and appeals to emotion/tradition/religous views, because of this, even if your false claim that abortion coverage is required of everyone, your argument would still fall apart logically. Try and keep it based in facts, because an argument can be made to the same point you are trying to make, just not the way you did it.
  • As I write this I realize I am engaging in a debate with a person who hasn't bothered to read the piece they're arguing about. This means you are most likely a political operative who has trolled Google looking for things to pontificate on. The fact that you were so completely, ridiculously nice also bears that out -- real objection from Statists usually end up with me being called a @#$%^&* @$$%^&*.
  • This last paragraph is insulting to your intelligence because you are countering an argument I never made. The next time you want to take me on, read the friggin' piece you are arguing about. Please.
  • Then there's this line of yours: Try and keep it based in facts, because an argument can be made to the same point you are trying to make, just not the way you did it. Well, thanks for the advice! Coming from someone who has clearly based your arguments on a pre-conceived notion of what you think I wrote, as opposed to arguing what I actually wrote, this bit of condescension just makes me smile.
Not content with offering a non-sequieter argument that had nothing to do with the piece JPR was arguing about, JPR then apologized for being wrong about something JPR was arguing about that had nothing to do with the piece JPR was arguing about in the first place.
July 11, 2012 6:13 PM

JPR said...

Wow. Well this is awkward. I needed to do a fact check of my own. I realize my mistake in not noting the document I referenced was old. My other comments on you using logical fallacies and the like still stand though. I do enjoy reading your blog, but this could have been written from a much better perspective. Also, it seems that, as long as I am not reading outdated articles, that religious institutions would not have to fund contraceptive coverage, but rather this is done between the individual and insurer seperately and that essentially the religiously affiliated employer or organization would not pay for this cost. I apologize for my mistake.
  • You used the tried and true trick of the liberal activist: Trying to butter me up by saying that you enjoy reading my blog on one hand, while you condescend about what you read on the other.
  • I submit that you've never seen this blog before it came up in your Google search last night.
  • Here's the two possibilities: 1) you enjoy reading the blog but are incapable of comprehending what the hell I am talking about, or 2) you found the blog through your Google search as part of your OFA volunteer shift and you're trying to come off as reasonable. Coming off as reasonable puts me in the position of acquiescence to your points, but because your points have nothing to do with what I wrote, you lost this debate.
  • Oh, and before you smugly say that my writing is so bad that you can't understand what the hell I am saying half the time, why do you contradict yourself by saying you enjoy reading my blog?
  • In conclusion, your insipid logic (and that of your political party) dismissed the complaints of the oppressed organization by claiming the transaction is between the insured and the insurance company. This logic is severely faulty because it doesn't take into account that to a spiritual person being a middle-man (between the patient and the insurance company) is the same thing as taking part in the transaction directly.

Dear JPR,

Take some time and learn to understand other people before you start wagging your finger at them and telling them what's good for them. And, please, take that advice back to the Statists at OFA you volunteer for.

The basic tenet of being a libertarian is that I am not gifted with the knowledge of what is good for someone else. I know what my needs are and I trust you to know what your needs are. If your needs begin to infringe on my rights as a human being then your needs begin to oppress mine. I am against that.
I would suggest you actually take some time and start reading this blog on a regular basis. It will open your mind up to freedom, equality and liberty, and it might even help you be a better, more fulfilled person.

Your friend,

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