While we all mock the latest (but probably not the last) delay in Obamacare deadlines, ponder this - the Administration has unilaterally extended the sign-up deadline for anyone who wants a delay:
The Washington Post reports that the administration will rely on the “honor system” to determine if people enrolling past the deadline are hardship cases, with no attempt to check if they started the enrollment process before the deadline or if they are telling the truth.
My alma mater, the University of Virginia, relies on the honor system. The penalty for a violation is expulsion. The penalty for violating the Obamacare honor system is nonexistent.
Well, honr codes are a matter of penalties and attitude - after all, the people who cheat on this have to live with themselves for the rest of their life. But what is that attitude? Earnest progressive Matt Yglesias had no qualms whatsoever about claiming a fake baby for purposes of increasing his Amazon discount (Amazon endorsed this becasue waddya gonna do, but expressed the hope that "We are using the honor system, and we expect the vast majority of users to be honest."
Yeah, yeah - there is nothing as powerful as a rationalization whose necessity has come. Here was Matt later explaining why he was not a moral midget:
I think it's pretty clear that Amazon is a sophisticated firm that's perfectly capable of coming up with a better verification process if it really meant to limit the program to authentic parents. What it's doing is a little bit of price discrimination. People who take the trouble to sign up for Amazon Mom get a discount. The program is targeted at parents because parents are thought to be a more price-sensitive group.
Oh, why not just cite "Steal This Book" and explain that Amazon is rich, Jeff Bezos is rich, so screw 'em.
An back to the current topic - is the US Government a sophisticated entity with the ability to verify people's situations? Sure, as if Team Obama is going to endure the televised spectacle of a weeping mom with three kids and no insurance in early April. I suppose I could try the same ploy come the April 15th tax filing deadline, but my demographic and political affiliation suggests i will be told to go stuff myself - some of these government deadlines are real, at least for some of us.
Well, then, are people who sign up late "just because" and then lie about it guilty of any moral transgression? Oh, please - if progs perceive them as merely ripping off the Evil Insurers, then no, its all good.
But if late enrollees are collecting subsidies from the taxpayer? I am sure it is still all good, since anyone with an income low enough to be eligible for subsidies is a victim of our oppressive racist/sexist/classist/ageist/homophobic/generally deplorable society. Honor? Please. The greater (I probably should say "only") honor is in advancing the progressive agenda.
SETTING 'SPECIOUS' TO ELEVEN: Back on the Amazon doscount, I can't read this from Josh Barro without wanting to harm myself:
To address Weinstein's substantive argument for a moment: He says using Amazon Mom even if you don't have a kid is like taking a retailer's veteran discount even if you're not a veteran. I agree the latter behavior is immoral. The retailer is offering that discount as a thank-you for veterans' service, and if you're not a veteran you're basically taking a gift that wasn't offered to you.
But is Amazon Mom really a similar "thank you" to parents, or is it just a price discrimination strategy premised around the idea that parents (and especially moms) are more likely to be price-conscious? I'm pretty sure it's the latter. And while I think price discrimination is a-OK, I don't think consumers have any obligation to help businesses implement their price discrimination strategies.
Please. Businesses just want to say 'thank-you' to veterans and it never crossed their minds that this might build good-will, or broaden their market appeal, or bring in a free-spending customer base, or price discriminate in favor of a budget-constrained customer base, or anything else. Contrariwise, who would ever want to say 'thank-you' to a mere mother? What is the heroism or public service in going through labor and delivery? Josh Barro has thought it over and price discrimination it is.