Kevin Drum Does Not Like Being Called A Moocher

Apparently, he things "moocher" is unfair.  So I will remind you what he wrote a while back:

...for the first time that I can remember, this means that I have a personal stake in the election. It's not just that I find one side's policies more congenial in the abstract, but that one policy in particular could have a substantial impact on my life.

You see, I've never really intended to keep blogging until I'm 65. I might, of course. Blogging is a pretty nice job. But I'd really like to have a choice, and without Obamacare I probably won't. That's because I'm normal: I'm in my mid-50s, I have high blood pressure and high cholesterol, a family history of heart trouble, and a variety of other smallish ailments. Nothing serious, but serious enough that it's unlikely any insurance company would ever take me on. So if I decided to quit blogging when I turned 60, I'd be out of luck. I couldn't afford to be entirely without health insurance (the 4x multiplier that hospitals charge the uninsured would doom me all by itself), and no one would sell me an individual policy. I could try navigating the high-risk pool labyrinth, but that's a crapshoot. Maybe it would work, maybe it wouldn't.

But if Obamacare stays on the books, I have all the flexibility in the world. If I want to keep working, I keep working. If I don't, I head off to the exchange and buy a policy that suits me. No muss, no fuss.

Attempting to remind him of these comments, I commented today:

I'm confused here.  A few weeks ago, didn't you say you support Obamacare because it let you retire early?  You said you could not afford to quit working early without Obamacare, because you would need your work and income to pay for, what to you, is a vital good.   Obamacare allows you to quit working earlier, presumably because other people, rather than you, will pay for at least a part of your health care with their labor.

I understand no one likes the word "moocher."  But you came on these pages really proudly announcing that Obamacare allowed you to retire early while others labored to support your needs.  What word would you suggest as an alternative, then, to describe this behavior?

(Yeah, I can predict the response.  It's not the subsidy you want, just the community rating.  Well, high premiums for 55-year-olds with pre-existing conditions are not some evil conspiracy, they reflect true cost to serve.  Having a government mandate that you pay the premiums of a healthy 25-year-old when you are 60 and sick is still a subsidy, paid for with someone else's labor.  As a minimum, 25-year-old minimum wage workers just entering the work force pay more when they are healthy so you can lead a life of indolence).


  1. Michael Bruner:

    Your comment isn't showing up there....

  2. mark2:

    I am not surprised. It was probably drowned out by the plethora of posts from all the whining moochers.

  3. mark2:

    I am surprised how much the Truth hurts as the saying goes. Moochers will vote mostly for Obama, no kidding!
    The latest is the Palestinians don't want peace - well shoot - that is what I have learned from a lifetime (40 years now) of peace negotations with the Palestians - only to have the Palestinains scuttle them last minute so the elite can continue to get Arab "support = ($)"
    I like this tell it like it is Romney, I don't know how it will play with the electorate, acustomed to being lied to.

  4. MNHawk:

    It's not hard to predict a monkey cage in full agitation mode.

  5. MNHawk:

    And for clarification, Mittens never said the word, "moochers."

    Quote of the Day: Obama Voters Are All a Bunch of Moochers

    That is just out and out fraudulent journalism. Of course your comment wouldn't show up in a place that caters to those who are willingly lied to by frauds. The willing stupid as I refer to them as.

    Kevin Drum is a personal and professional fraud, standing behind that headline.

  6. anonzmous:


  7. alanstorm:

    "If I want to keep working, I keep working. If I don't, I head off to the exchange and buy a policy that suits me."

    Minor point - how's he going to BUY a policy from anywhere without being employed?

  8. obloodyhell:

    Low-Deductible Cigna: $462.00/month (ca. 5500 per year)
    Plan Type



    Office Visit





    High-Deductible Aetna: 175/mo (ca. 2100/yr)
    Plan Type



    Office Visit




    Visits 1-5: $40 copay, deductible waived; Visit 6+: No Coverage

    What's the problem? Sure, those will boost with the pre-conditions, but
    "I have high blood pressure and high cholesterol"
    So freaking what? Both of these are easily controlled with medications these days. This ain't the 1950s.
    "a family history of heart trouble"
    Who the freaking hell doesn't? If he's in his 50s and it isn't a major concern YET, then he's typical of most Americans. And, if the first part was true, that's probably the cause of it... so if he gets medication to keep it under control, then probably there aren't going to be that many late-in-life problems until much later.

    BTW -- Note that the government has already moved to eliminate coverage for precautionary EKGs, a fairly CHEAP process -- and this can REALLY spot early warnings of... heart issues. So he's not going to get EKGs that might show problems BEFORE they get serious...under ObamaCare.

  9. Dimitri Mariutto:

    I sometimes wonder if the people who say things like this actually believe what they say, not knowing what they said previously [and thus make me question their intellect] or understand what they said previously and what, hope no one will figure it out or don't care they are not consistent or just know they are lying but that's OK because I have to write something. Geez, I don't know which one is better or worse.

  10. John Dewey:

    I'm not defending Kevin Drum at all. But I believe Americans who are older right now are justified in seeking some relief from the free market for health care. If Medicare did not exist, the free market would have created prepaid catastrophic health care plans. At age 30 or 40, I could have started funding such a catastrophic plan which would have continued until my death. That would be similar to the long term care insurance I bought in my 40s. Medicare did exist when I was 30 and 40. So a private prefunded health care plan for retirement did not emerge. Today, at 61, I have an medical condition which is uninsurable. No private insuror would willingly accept me as a customer. I am positive this is true. As I see it, because government prevented the emergence of a private prefunded health care plan for retirement - and because government confiscated a significant portion of my earnings in return for a promise to provide for my retirement health care - I am justified in expecting the government to make good on its promise to provide for my health care needs during retirement.

  11. Erik Carlseen:

    Free market for health care?!?? Where?!?? I've been looking for one...

  12. mark2:

    Does CA mean you are in California. My health plan went up by 1/3 so I dropped it, and have not really been able to find someone willing to selling me a catastrophic plan like the Aetna plan above. Whom did you get it through? Thx.

  13. mesaeconoguy:

    Kevin Dumb is a moocher.

    Full stop.

  14. Incunabulum:

    ". . . and because government confiscated a significant portion of my earnings in return for a promise to provide for my retirement health care - I am justified in expecting the government to make good on its promise to provide for my health care needs during retirement."
    No, no you're not. Because its not "government" that pays for anything. Its people lke me who pay for it, by having our present and future stolen so that you can have you're free shit. I don't care what you expected, I don't care what you were promised, I'm just not interested in taking care of you.

  15. John Dewey:

    Yeah, and I wasn't interested in taking care of retirees for the last 40 years. But I didn't have any choice and you won't either.

  16. Doug S.:

    "indolence" is a little harsh, don't you think? How does it exhibit habitual laziness and sloth to not want to be turned down for health insurance because you have a pre-existing condition and can't afford a plan that will take you?

    It is a fundamental question I guess: do you want to live as an island taking care of everything yourself and accepting the consequences if it goes bad or do you want some kind of safety net, which you will have to pay for when you are young and healthy. I really would prefer the latter, but it is difficult to see how it can be done without a shakeup in the whole medical industry and without relying on people to not game or cheat the system.

  17. Robert Mooney:

    some of us aren't against compromise. the compassionate thing to do in a situation of scarce resources is to figure out a way to continue supporting those that have no other choice but to depend on the programs. meanwhile, we have to unwind dependencies for those that are still working. the alternative is everything unwinds in a chaotic manner.

  18. John Dewey:

    Actually, I don't see that as the only alternative. I prefer market solutions, but I think we've gone way too far to turn back from socialized medicine. I think health care is going to be nationalized. Not what I want, but I think that's more fair than having subsidized national health care for 120 million Americans (Medicare and Medicaid recipients) and some pseudo market based health care for the rest.
    Social security is a much smaller problem, and I think a compromise can be reached.

  19. Bob Smith:

    One of the problems with the insurance "market" is that one cannot voluntarily exclude their preexisting conditions, either permanently or for a trial period at the beginning of the policy. I'm sure many people could get a health policy if they could do that, but alas I suspect that such a policy wouldn't be legal to write. Hence I blame government regulations, not the insurers, for their inability to buy health insurance. Just because a person has, for example, a heart condition is no reason to refuse a policy that covers cancer or accidents.

  20. dagoof:

    Go get em'

    I think it's high time we start calling out moochers for what they really are.

    For too long we've been considerate of the "feelings" of the "less privileged", and by so doing, we have removed the most of the natural shame that is involved with living off of the fruits of another's labor.

  21. SamWah:

    Always a surprise that these guys have no sense of humor.

  22. wkevinw:

    You have hit on a good point, but are forgetting that the "free market" already had a chance to do this- prior to Medicare. And, what happened? There was no such insurance product available. One of the biggest reasons that elderly people were a high percentage of those in poverty prior to Medicare was medical costs. Since then, this tendency has reversed itself. Note- I tend to agree with what you say, as a libertarian/conservative, but reality says/said something different.

    A "good" use of government may have been to set up a marketplace for such insurance INSTEAD OF setting up Medicare- which is a fiduciary disaster. The government could have set up the regulations and put out the intention to purchase such policies, had several suppliers, etc. We would not have the Medicare mess we have today.

  23. HumansNeedToWakeUp:

    Capitalism was never a moral system to begin with so it is entirely unfair and mean to criticize this Kevin as being a moocher. Paradism would be a lot more moral and we wouldn't have to answer to anybody for money, robots would do it all. Yes people might have to monitor the robots, but yeah. Don't blame the victim, blame the situation! If it is, then it's fair to criticize his criticizers as either being the same or similar! I have been called a moocher as well and I am getting to the point where I might lash out in violent anger at somebody if they keep it up!