October 8, 2007

"Why couldn’t these yuppies afford to cover their own damned kids?"

Asks Don Surber (via Instapundit), noting: "The Frosts found an 'affordable' business building and an 'affordable' 3,000-square foot house and an 'affordable' private school."

It's just human nature. Insurance is different from a house and a business and schooling, which are all things people are buying to use now. Insurance looks way too expensive when you have to shell out your own money that you'd like to spend on something else. Surber says why don't they pay for their own damned kids, but this is the same attitude people have when they decide not to put their money into insurance. They think they'll probably get lucky and spend less by paying their bills directly, and mostly they are right. So all that money will be going for somebody else's medical bills, and you don't want to pay. Face it. This is human nature.

137 comments:

Roger said...

There is a lot to be said for the choice they made. Barring disaster they would probably pay a lot less for health care for their children--of course, insurance is precisely for diasaster. Perhaps they just chose poorly.

Bender said...

Fraudulently structuring your finances to make it appear that you are less wealthy that you really are in order to qualify for government-funded benefits is NOT human nature. Fraudulently sticking these people in front of the cameras to promote an expansion of government to give welfare to the wealthy is NOT human nature.

Such fraud and lying might be Democratic nature, but it is NOT human nature.

Maxine Weiss said...

So, Tax Shelters = Fraud ??

There aren't enough jails, and Hollywood would shut down.

The Drill SGT said...

This story demonstrates several interesting points:

a. how either bad or biased MSM reporting can be.

b. in my mind at least, out and out fraud (e.g. welfare fraud)

The questions apparently not asked by the reporter include:

1. If the injuries were the result of an auto accident, why didn't "auto" insurance cover it? was the family driving without insurance?

2. If the family's income is $45K a year, how do they afford private school at $20k each child for 4 kids?

3. Pop owns his own business in its own building, who employed his wife as well. Wife was an "operations manager" that implies she dispatched "woodworkers". He has had the business since at least his 1992 wedding, which made the NYT at the time. Both families appear well off, full of engineers.

4. apparently Pop, the businessman doesn't provide his employees or self with health insurance.

5. Mom, left the woodworking business and chose to go to work for a firm that doesn't offer insurance as well? She is a college graduate. strange decision with 4 kids.

6. Their house appears, based on comps to be worth around $800k and they have a business building worth in excess of $200k, plus the value of several businesses.

I wonder if the dem's can't do any better than somebody who appears to be committing welfare fraud for their victim of the week.

$45k a year? what a joke.

MadisonMan said...

Clearly, this family should have been forced to sell off all their assets and to send their kids to private school (no Choice for them!) before any kind of assistance.

I've become a compassionate conservative -- can you tell?

Drill : Your question #1 was the one that leapt to my mind right away.

Roger said...

Drill and MM: you guys obviously missed the "meta-narrative." Facts are not significant when you have a heart wrenching story about nasty old Bush.

NSC said...

My son was recently dropped from our group policy when he turned 22. Unfortunately I couldn't get him cheap individual insurance because he has a chronic health issue. So I had to do the Temporary Continuation of Coverage thing on my policy which nows costs me $350 a month to give him basic coverage.

The alternative was to let him go uninsured and head to emergency rooms when he got sick and then get government help.

I chose to pay the money because his health is important to me. Yeah, I can afford it - though it stings - but I made that choice. I think I chose wisely.

These people chose badly.

And as to the MSM covering it and the Dems using it for their political purpose - eh, more lies - what did you expect?

Too many jims said...

Republican slogan for healthcare in '08: "Cover your own damned kids."

joated said...

To go along with what Ann said in the original post and roger said in his comment, the Frost's gambled that they wouldn't need insurance so they could spend thier money elsewhere in their budget. "They just chose poorly," says roger. And he is correct.

So why are they bitching to the rest of the world about their poor money management? Why do they expect the rest of us to pick up their tab? Could it be they completely fail to take responsibility for their own actions?

How...Democratic of them!

Super-Electro-Magnetic Midget Launcher said...

"Human nature"? Yes, we all get the urge to do stupid and irresponsible things sometimes. When we do them, people call us "idiots". That's human nature, too.

If you want to take a chance on being uninsured yourself, that's one thing, but taking that chance on your kids is moronic. Taking that chance on your kids, losing, and then blaming somebody else — that's even dumber, and repulsive, too. They don't have time to look after their own children, but they have time to demand that I do it for them. These people are garbage.

MadisonMan said...

Obviously, their money would have been better spent lobbying their Congressmen for an earmark. It's not clear to me why you (generic you) expect honesty from American citizenry when you don't expect it from people in your political party of choice.

Trooper York said...

[opening credits]
Dispatcher: Squad 51, informant reports toxic chemicals in the tanker, use caution.
Dr. Kelly Brackett: Squad 51, this is Rampart. Can you send us some EKG?
John Gage: Ten-four, we're transmitting EKG. We're sending you a strip. Vitals to follow. Pulse is 160, the victim is in extreme pain, Rampart. V-fib!
Paramedic Roy DeSoto: Patient is in V-fib! Rampart, we have lost the victim's pulse, beginning CPR. We're defibrialing victim, Rampart. Rampart, we have defibrilated victim, he has sinus rhythm.
Joe Early: Administer two-amp sodium bicarb, insert an airway. Start an IV, 51. Lactate Ringer's.
Dixie McCall: Squad 51, continue to monitor patient and transport immediately.
John Gage: We're on our way, Rampart.
(Emergency 1972)
(With the one and only Julie London)

Windbag said...

The money quote from the article:

"Interesting that public schools aren’t good enough for their kids but public health insurance is."

Wish I had said that.

Freeman Hunt said...

Back when I made $8 an hour with no benefits, I shelled out over $100 every month to pay for a high deductible private health insurance plan to cover me in case of a major disaster. This family didn't prepare and now they want us to pick up their tab. Shame on them.

Michael said...

So why are they bitching to the rest of the world about their poor money management? Why do they expect the rest of us to pick up their tab? Could it be they completely fail to take responsibility for their own actions?

What I find really odd is, here he have parents who are smart enough to amass at least a million dollars in assets, and yet not smart enough to insure those assets against a medically induced bankrupcy by buying some high-deductible medical insurance.

Having Uncle Sugar bail these people out doesn't address the real need these kids have, which is to be raised by smarter parents.

AJ Lynch said...

It is ironic that the MSM (and Dem manipulators) chose this family to pitch the expanded SCHIP boondoggle.

Both are too arrogant to wonder beforehand if their choice was flawed. I saw one blog that sugested we all make a copy of the article and send it to our Congressman to protest. That is a great idea.

Bruce Hayden said...

It will be interesting whether this ultimately has any legs. It should, but I expect not.

But I do find it interesting that so many moves on the left have been misfiring. We had the Gen. Betray Us ad by moveon.org diverting attention from the Congressional testimony on the progress of the Iraqi war. Then we had Congressional Democrats voting to condemn Rush Limbaugh for slamming our troops, based on an excerpt taken out of context by Media Matters, which turns out to be closely tied to Hillary! And now we have the Democrats using the Frosts as their poster boys for socialized health care for kids turning out to be a lot richer than many, if not most, Americans. As a result of the first of these, moveon.org's tax status is under review and the NYT's is under investigation for violating campaign finance reform laws.

My point here is that the left, including the Democratic Party, are having a lot of major backfires in almost everything they have tried over the last month or so. Almost everything they try is blowing up in their faces.

If there is one thing in common with these blow ups, it may be that the speed of debunking things has sped up to the point that it is now often within the same news cycle. So, instead of something being debunked or defused long after it is out of the public consciousness, it is now being done while it is still fresh, effectively in many cases totally negating it, and changing the focus from the original to its deconstruction.

Maxine Weiss said...

Why do we give wealthy people Social Security?

former law student said...

Although the Dems picked the worst possible poster child, that doesn't obviate the need for children's health insurance.

Moreover, do we really want to penalize kids for the folly of their parents? The Bible says this is a bad idea.

Plus don't discount the possibility of the grandparents bailing out the parents. The legal owner of the house next door to me is the husband's mother. My mother's parents helped provide extras for both our family and her sister's family.

Comrade X said...

Two roads diverged in a wood, and the Frosts took the one less traveled by,
And now they want us to make up the difference

Paddy O. said...

I loved Emergency!

Thanks Trooper!

former law student said...

Why do we give wealthy people Social Security?
Because FDR promised if we paid into Social Security we would receive payments when we were too old to work. He deliberately chose a system not based on need because he wanted every worker to have a stake in it.

Trevor said...

This family also has allowed their children to borrow books (even fiction ones!) from the Baltimore public library. And in one case little Graeme borrowed a copy of the new Harry Potter book, taking money out of J. K. Rowling's pocket!

Why couldn't these yuppies afford to buy books for their own damned kids? Stupid social program educating these kids on the public dime!

Bender said...

Moreover, do we really want to penalize kids for the folly of their parents? The Bible says this is a bad idea.

Nobody is saying that we should throw 12-year-old Graeme Frost in jail for making false public representations. If anyone should be penalized and thrown in jail for his family's apparent defrauding of the government, it should be his parents.

rhhardin said...

Realize that the insurance industry is not on the side of low costs.

They charge whatever premium covers whatever their costs are, so are from that point of view indifferent to costs.

But high costs favors them in that it makes fewer people able to afford self-insurance, and thus opt out. So the funds they hold and invest increase, the higher their costs. This is good for them. A modest cut of a bigger pool.

The more people are insured, the higher medical costs go, because once you're insured, demand for services at any cost increases. You demand, somebody else pays.

This drives up medical costs, which drives up the number of insured, which drives up medical costs.

All in all, a nice ride for an industry that used to offer fire insurance.

The government wants to take it all over because they make out on a cut of the money flow, no matter what the money flow is for. Their goal is budgt allocations.

What ends it is taking the final option, you can self-insure and just agree to die in case of catastrophic illness. The final self-insurance.

Thank God we don't have haircut insurance. Nobody would be able to afford grooming.

Trooper York said...

Paddy O, Julie London singing "Black Coffee" as good as it gets. Her performance, her sultry, tired, sexiness,....err excuse me I'll be right back.

Pogo said...

It's both hilarious and arrogant for the Baltimore Sun to choose this family as an example of the unaffordability of health care.

The blogs ripped this apart in seconds. A total sham. Maybe even fraudulent. And this is supposed to make us want to enlarge SCHIP coverage? Apparently so.

The human nature part is less the stupidity of taking such a gamble when you have the money than it is the rent-seeking behavior.

Humans are always trying to be efficient, even if it means making someone else pay your way. The bulk of social welfare is eaxctly this: not to bail out Paul who's down on his luck and undone by disease or accident and now poor, but to bail out Peter and Mary and their two kids, who can't scrape together $100 a month for health insurance because their $800K house and two $20K gradeschool (gradeschool!!) tuitions are forcing them onto the public dole.

From Albert Jay Nock:
""Another strange notion pervading whole peoples is that the State has money of its own; and nowhere is this absurdity more firmly fixed than in America. The State has no money. It produces nothing. It existence is purely parasitic, maintained by taxation; that is to say, by forced levies on the production of others. 'Government money,' of which one hears so much nowadays, does not exist; there is no such thing."

and, more to the point here:
"Speaking for a moment in the technical terms of economics, there are two general means whereby human beings can satisfy their needs and desires. One is by work – i.e., by applying labor and capital to natural resources for the production of wealth, or to facilitating the exchange of labor-products. This is called the economic means. The other is by robbery – i.e., the appropriation of the labor-products of others without compensation. This is called the political means. The State, considered functionally, may be described as the organization of the political means, enabling a comparatively small class of beneficiaries to satisfy their needs and desires through various delegations of the taxing power, which have no vestige of support in natural right, such as private land-ownership, tariffs, franchises, and the like."

Bruce Hayden said...

Why do we give wealthy people Social Security?

Because it was sold from the outset as a retirement program, in order to hide its welfare component. Indeed, that is what it really is, a mandated retirement program supporting a much smaller welfare program.

If the retirement program portion of SS were eliminated, then the welfare portion would stand alone, and would have to compete with other federal programs for funding, and the likely result would be lower funding for the welfare portion.

Pogo said...

Re: "Because FDR promised if we paid into Social Security we would receive payments"

1. He lied about it to the people at the time, though, telling lots of scare stories about destitute grandmas when in fact the elderly weathered the Depression the best. Kids did the worst by far, but the kids' parents got to pay for richer grandmas. This contributed to lengthening the Depression. (Ida May Fuller was the first social security recipient. She paid in a total of $24.75, retired in 1939, lived to be 100 years old in 1975, collecting $22,888. Quite an investment!)
Thanks FDR!

2. He lied to the people a second time by not telling them that he already then knew it was a Ponzi scheme -and not insurance at all- that would fall apart in a few generations. By then it would be impossible to remove, he correctly thought, and someone else would have to fix the mess.
Thanks FDR!

Trevor said...

Another time the Frosts called 911 and police came to their home to arrest a burglar. Totally free of charge. They didn't have to pay the cops OR the 911 operator.

Unbelievable that these yuppies couldn't just hire some Pinkerton men to protect their own damned kids.

paul a'barge said...

Republican slogan for healthcare [sic] in '08: "Cover your own damned kids."

Democrat slogan for health care in every election period in history: "Cover my children so I don't have to".

Pogo said...

Trevor said...

There has long been agreement that the govenrment is the right and proper seat for police, fire, and military protection. It also should protect us in the courts.

The Founding Fathers disagree with you about the government taking over the economy to provide goods and services. They recognized even then that this would fail, as socialism always has, everywhere it has been tried.

Trooper York said...

Harold Weir: Everyone's a Democrat until they get a little money. Then they come to their senses!
(Freaks and Geeks 1999)

angie said...

Duck and cover kids from the nukular Repubs, eh? Soon it'll be writ into every NEA approved textbook and the drill something this generation will remember until its dotage.

Trevor said...

Pogo said, "The Founding Fathers disagree with you about the government taking over the economy to provide goods and services."

Probably should just sell the Library of Congress to Google and get it over with then, huh?

Bart Hall (Kansas, USA) said...

I have one (very snarky) question: How the hell did we ever end up in a situation in which the majority of people expect someone else to cover a basic expense of life?

What's next? Will they want us to pay for food, clothing, housing, or gas in the truck?

Our problem is not that of too little insurance. Collectively we have too much medical coverage and it has distorted the market beyond recognition, and created a widespread entitlement mentality.

I've been in way too many "poor" homes with flat-screen TVs, a bass boat out back, and a newer vehicle than what I drive.

It all comes down to choices, people. My wife and I (together) have pretty decent medical coverage for less than the cost of one latte, or one deck of cigarettes, per day. We could include children for a fraction of that amount.

knoxwhirled said...

Funny how it's not selfish to refuse to spend the money to cover your own children... even if you're well off. In fact, it's perfectly OK to expect everyone else to do it for you.

Yet, apparently it IS selfish to take care of your own, and to expect everyone else who's capable to do the same.

Pogo said...

"Probably should just sell the Library of Congress to Google and get it over with then, huh?"

I'm guessing you find that pretty meaningful. People can debate over the public financing of libraries, and have. It's pretty small stuff, however, and only argued by purists. But health care takes up 15% of the economy or more.

The Soviet Union socialized the entire economy and failed as a direct result. Official Soviet statistics showed that after 70 years of socialism, 40% of the population (and 79% of its elderly) lived in poverty. Families were often housed in eight by eight foot rooms that lacked hot water, if they had running water at all. Meat and sugar were rationed in peacetime. By standards of the capitalist West, all citizens, save for a few top officials, lived in a state of poverty.

By the 1970s, the telephone and water systems, the National Health System, British Steel, British Airways, British Gas (which also made stoves), British Coal, British Rail (which owned gas stations, highways and hotels) and the massive state electric power monopoly controlled huge sectors of the economy. And they were failing. Inflation and unemployment were high, taxes were punitive, and labor strikes were frequent. In 1973, coal and power supplies were so disrupted that British businesses only operated three days per week, and families spent their evenings by candlelight. When hospital workers struck, medical care had to be severely rationed. Work stoppages resulted in uncollected garbage and unburied coffins. By 1976, Britain was forced to borrow money from the International Monetary Fund in order to remain solvent.

The economic spiral was halted when Prime Minister Thatcher began privatization of most of the nationalized industries. Margaret Thatcher explained: “No theory of government was ever given a fairer test or a more prolonged experiment in a democratic country than democratic socialism received in Britain. Yet it was a miserable failure in every respect. Far from reversing the slow relative decline of Britain vis-à-vis its main industrial competitors, it accelerated it.”

Trooper York said...

Barney Miller: What happened Levitt?
Levitt: I talked it over with a couple of doctors and they said 'forget it'.
Barney Miller: Incurable, hunh?
Levitt: Yes sir. Five six and a half, that's it.
(Barney Miller 1975)

Blake said...

Trooper York (and the late, lamented Ron Carey) for teh win.

Trevor said...

I do find that pretty meaningful as a response to your statement that the government should only provide for law enforcement and national defense and leave the rest to businesses with profits for motives.

I'm saying that we have decided the government is in a unique position to invest in goals that extend beyond immediate returns. Education and health care produce smarter, healthier citizens who produce smarter, healthier citizens. Both are big losers financially in the short-term, but not in the long-term.

Was I arguing we should follow a British--let alone, Soviet--model? Your examples, while certainly evidence of someone's investment in education, aren't relevant. (Unless you're convinced the public can be fooled into a bread line. Not on your watch, I'll bet.)

But in the current context, we're talking about one Baltimore family who availed themselves of an already existing social program, a program that saved two kids' lives and a family's solvency. Why should they be attacked?

Too many jims said...

Bruce Hayden said...
Then we had Congressional Democrats voting to condemn Rush Limbaugh for slamming our troops,


Could you please direct me to the roll call vote on that vote?

Roger said...

Trevor: the issue to me is not the validity of SCHIP program; I have no problem with these types of need based programs; the issue for me is that this Baltimore family has (perhaps fradulently) taken advantage of the SCHIP program and by so doing they have deprived another more needy family of that program. Thats what bothers me.

angie said...

Yay, Pogo and Trooper!

Pogo said...

"Education and health care produce smarter, healthier citizens who produce smarter, healthier citizens. "

Both of those are true. But it is open to debate whether that remains true when the State controls them. Many if not most people argue against public education as a current mark of success, but instead find it a grotesque failure.

The same can be said of health care in State-run monopolies a la the NHS, or State-financed-but-privately-run systems as in Canada.

laser72 said...

I hate to burst this party of calling a hardworking family a bunch of welfare frauds, but if you take a look at this post

http://whiskeyfire.typepad.com/whiskey_fire/2007/10/next-time-you-g.html

you'll see that there are perfectly innocent explanations for the Frosts' apparent "wealth."

First, the kids' schooling is obviously subsidized, and given Baltimore's "top notch" public school system (believe me, I've been in some baltimore schools), I don't blame them.

Second, this guys nice home is likely due to the fact that its in Baltimore, where there are lots of run down abandoned homes that people with the dedication and skill can fix up into nice places.

The Frosts are hard workers who have done all they could with what they had. Calling them welfare frauds is pretty callous.

Trevor said...

Roger, I'd love to see your evidence for that "perhaps fradulently (sic)" allegation.

Pogo, I'd agree that there's plenty to be fixed in education and health care. I don't know anyone who'd disagree. And once again the debate settles on the remedy and philosophical principles behind suggestions. Conservatives say privatize and tough love; liberals say collectivize and free love. The answer, as always, will lie somewhere in between and in compromise.

jeff said...

"Another time the Frosts called 911 and police came to their home to arrest a burglar. Totally free of charge. They didn't have to pay the cops OR the 911 operator.

Unbelievable that these yuppies couldn't just hire some Pinkerton men to protect their own damned kids.



This family also has allowed their children to borrow books (even fiction ones!) from the Baltimore public library. And in one case little Graeme borrowed a copy of the new Harry Potter book, taking money out of J. K. Rowling's pocket!

Why couldn't these yuppies afford to buy books for their own damned kids? Stupid social program educating these kids on the public dime!"

Hey, good call. These are EXACTLY the same things. I look forward to your letter to your representatives demanding the limits to be adjusted to provide Bill Gates and his family insurance.

"Pogo said, "The Founding Fathers disagree with you about the government taking over the economy to provide goods and services."

Probably should just sell the Library of Congress to Google and get it over with then, huh?"

You think the library of Congress has somethng to do with the economy?


"But in the current context, we're talking about one Baltimore family who availed themselves of an already existing social program, a program that saved two kids' lives and a family's solvency. Why should they be attacked?"

Because that family has resources most of us do not and chose not to invest in insurance. I would be most interested in knowing why their car insurance didn't save the two kids lives and the family solvency. When do YOU think a family has the responsibility to provide for itself? At what income level?

Roger said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Roger said...

Trevor, I have absolutely no evidence, which is why I said perhaps fradulently. The perhaps fradulently allegation is based on the level of their assets and ability to spend 20K per year per kid for private school. I guess I am just a suspicious by nature....but that's just me. YMMV

jeff said...

"I hate to burst this party of calling a hardworking family a bunch of welfare frauds, but if you take a look at this post"

I was unaware they were also receiving welfare. Where did you hear that?

"First, the kids' schooling is obviously subsidized, and given Baltimore's "top notch" public school system (believe me, I've been in some baltimore schools), I don't blame them."

Obviously. How much and from what source? And isnt it a choice in where their money goes? They chose the 20K/year school, not the $500 month insurance. Also, what is the story with the lack of car insurance?

"Second, this guys nice home is likely due to the fact that its in Baltimore, where there are lots of run down abandoned homes that people with the dedication and skill can fix up into nice places."

Which has exactly what to do with this issue. Their neighbors hold sold for 1/2 mil. Theirs is supposed to be in the 700K range. How does that obligate them to my tax dollars? I live in a apartment.

"Calling them welfare frauds is pretty callous."
No one called them welfare frauds. When you have more than most people in assets, its pretty damn presumptuous to demand others pay your bills.

I read your link to whiskey fire and I didnt see anymore information on this story. Just more speculation as to why a family that has assets approaching a million dollars is a family that is falling thru the safety net. And still nothing on that car insurance. I look forward on your support for future tax breaks for that demographic.

former law student said...

I have one (very snarky) question: How the hell did we ever end up in a situation in which the majority of people expect someone else to cover a basic expense of life?

What's next? Will they want us to pay for food, clothing, housing, or gas in the truck?


(1) We're the only industrialized country that doesn't have universal health insurance. (2) When I've been to France, Germany, Italy, Austria, and even Canada, people seemed to be paying for their own food, clothing, apartments (although there were social housing projects same as here), and gas for their trucks. So though the slope might be slippery, the bottom is only an inch away. If you prefer a different metaphor, the sky has not fallen anywhere.

Roger said...

Trevor: I quick google of Maryland SChip program: for a family of five income has to be 200% of the Federal poverty line (FPL is 29,300) for a family of five; slightly less than 60K). Gee: they are spending that much for school tuition including mortgage payments on some 200K worth of mortgages. Geee.....Those financial burdens alone would appear to require an annual income in excess of 80K a year or so..not counting much of anything else.

laser72 said...

Jeff,

"I was unaware they were also receiving welfare. Where did you hear that?"

Many of the commenters here are using such language, take it up with them.

e.g. http://althouse.blogspot.com/2007/10/why-couldnt-these-yuppies-afford-to.html#6277724857025295736

"Obviously. How much and from what source? And isnt it a choice in where their money goes? They chose the 20K/year school, not the $500 month insurance. Also, what is the story with the lack of car insurance?"

Who cares how much, and from what source? It's obviously almost completely, if not completely subsidized, either by the school itself, or by private sources of aid. What difference does it make? The family can't afford the cost, and they're lucky enough to get aid.

"Which has exactly what to do with this issue. Their neighbors hold sold for 1/2 mil. Theirs is supposed to be in the 700K range. How does that obligate them to my tax dollars? I live in a apartment."

Are you suggesting that the family of 6 should be forced to live in an apartment as well before they get health insurance coverage?
Somehow, I think you'd approve of that. If that's the case, how nice of you.

"Just more speculation as to why a family that has assets approaching a million dollars is a family that is falling thru the safety net."

I don't know where you're getting that they have assets approaching a million dollars. They obviously have a fairly nice house, which they need to SHELTER 6 PEOPLE (sorry for the yelling).

J said...

Is it true Terry Semel is moving Yahoo headquarters to MD since his $1/yr salary qualifies him for SCHIP and welfare there?

I agree with Maxine that tax shelters aren't the same thing as fraud, but I also have a brother with a net worth well into eight figures who "makes" about the average annual income for the US and always has. Of course, he owns the business he works for; the tax benefits of that situation can hide a lot of income.

Whatever you think of SCHIP and such, this family is a bizarre, stunningly poor choice for it's poster children. Unless you oppose the program.

NSC said...

(1) We're the only industrialized country that doesn't have universal health insurance. (2) When I've been to France, Germany, Italy, Austria, and even Canada, people seemed to be paying for their own food, clothing, apartments (although there were social housing projects same as here), and gas for their trucks. So though the slope might be slippery, the bottom is only an inch away. If you prefer a different metaphor, the sky has not fallen anywhere.

Those countries pay TONS in taxes for that "free" bad socialized health care. Their slope slipped long ago.

Pogo said...

Re; "We're the only industrialized country that doesn't have universal health insurance"

We're the only industrialized country with a fully functional national defense.

Hey, is it possible that those two facts are related?

laser72 said...

"We're the only industrialized country with a fully functional national defense."

I'm pretty sure some Chinese people (and others, obviously) would disagree with that.

Pogo said...

Re: "The answer, as always, will lie somewhere in between and in compromise."

Not really.

While a certain level of social experimentation may be desirable, at some point the economic burden can threaten prosperity. Indeed, wealthy nations can easily tolerate the consumption of 30 percent of its economic output by the state, as is currently true in the US, “but once the government take approaches 50 percent, as in many of the nations of northern Europe, economic growth begins to suffer.”

[Bernstein WJ, The Birth of Plenty: How the Prosperity of the Modern World as Created; McGraw-Hill New York; 2004 p. 380.]

Pogo said...

Most of China is still 3rd world. Parts are industrialized. They aren't exactly yet a modern society. That will change in a few years.

But you're correct. I was referring to the West alone.

David53 said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Bart Hall (Kansas, USA) said...

(1) We're the only industrialized country that doesn't have universal health insurance. (2) When I've been to France, Germany, Italy, Austria, and even Canada, people seemed to be paying for their own food, clothing, apartments (although there were social housing projects same as here), and gas for their trucks. So though the slope might be slippery, the bottom is only an inch away. If you prefer a different metaphor, the sky has not fallen anywhere.

I lived in Canada for many years, and my in-laws are European. Both areas, but especially Canada, have a two-tier health system. The top tier is in the States.

Those quads from Calgary (pop 1.2 million) were born in Great Falls, Montana (pop 50,000) because not only was there no neo-natal ICU in Calgary capable of handling four babies at once, but also, not in Edmonton (pop 1.1 million), Vancouver (pop 2.4 million) or any other place in Canada.

If Bill Clinton were Canadian and had not come to the States for treatment, he almost certainly would have died before he could work his way up the waiting list for a by-pass.

The notoriously liberal Supreme Court of Canada -- they voted 9-0 to require same-sex marriage -- has declared that the Canadian health care system is "unconstitutional" because its interminable waits violate the constitutional guarantee to "security of the person" and lead to widespread but unnecessary pain and suffering as well of hundreds of needless deaths per year.

The have now required provinces to allow private insurance and private payment arrangements between doctors and patients ... even if those patients come ahead of those on the government plan.

The expansion of SCHIP is little more than a back-door attempt to sneak through national health insurance by nibbling at each end. Do you really want to cover "children" up to age 25? Do you really want to cover families making over $80,000 per year?

Remember the proposal to allow anyone over 55 into Medicare? See the connection?

laser72 said...

please let this end the discussion of the Frost's worthiness to recieve public funds to cover their health care.

http://thinkprogress.org/2007/10/08/attacking-graeme-frost/

Dust Bunny Queen said...

Why do we give wealthy people Social Security?

Maxine: we do it because they paid into the system and earned the right to have benefits. Even if they try to decline SS... they can't. Why do we give SSI to people who haven't paid one red cent into the system and to some who aren't even citizens???

Luckyoldson said...

The bottom line is this: We're the wealthiest nation on the planet we should be able to implement a national health care plan for its citizens.

We can argue about his until hell freezes over, but right now the insurance and drug companies are making massive profits for goods and services that could be spread across the board for the wealthy and the less fortunate.

Someday we will have such a plan and Americans will look back on this entire debate and wonder why it took so long.

My wife and I pay about $400 a month for insurance, which merely supplements the coverage we get from a major corporation, who pays another $400 apiece...and we're both in excellent health, with no previous health problems.

It's an absolute waste of money that could be spent or invested elsewhere.

Cedarford said...

I personally think we should have universal health coverage...or at least a Romney type plan that keeps the state's ability to innovate and the private sector as providers and insurers - but ends the free ride like the millionaire woodworkers family, illegal immigrants expect US citizens to pay, instead of them.

The key to the Romney plan is everybody must contribute as they can reasonably be expected to - no more free rides - even for the poorest, who have to chip in something so they don't develop unlimited demand for unlimited "free care". That is something the Mass Dems finally went along with, in return for other features of better efficiencies that lowered costs for people and businesses to insure, and new regs to make it harder for insurers to drop or cherry-pick only citizens in good health.

Moreover, do we really want to penalize kids for the folly of their parents? The Bible says this is a bad idea.

OK, then pass a law saying that the wookworker family may also buy a BMW instead of paying for food out of their budget -and as soon as their children! the children! begin to get hungry, we will of course have taxpayers pay for their food.

The Bible also said God never demanded that we act as our Brother's Keeper....and that sloth, greed, and failure to provide for wife and children so money and wealth could go to more venal pursuits -were unacceptable sins.

I oppose this SCHIP because it is (1) another halfass, piecemeal program that does not address health care costs and affordability for the masses but (2) is set up as another wealth transfer scam using regressive "sin taxes" on tobacco, and likely later on alcohol, movies, fast food that hit other people to pay for parents that have other spending priorities than health insurance - and view buying their own as a "waste" of money that could go to higher priority "lifestyle choices".

Luckyoldson said...

Oh, and I loved Maxine's comment that if we eliminate "tax shelters" it would close down Hollywood??

Does anybody here actually think Hollywood is the capital of tax shelters?

Good grief...75% of those who work in the industry live from month to month.

Luckyoldson said...

Dust Bunny Queen said..."Why do we give SSI to people who haven't paid one red cent into the system and to some who aren't even citizens???"

I'm unfamiliar with such a program...unless of course, you're talking about someone's spouse receiving benefits from a relative who's passed away.

And I don't think illegals are allowed such benefits either, but there may be a law that allows SS to go to whoever survives.

*But I'm sure everybody here got your; "those damn illegal immigrants are cheating us" message loud and clear.

Luckyoldson said...

Bart Hall,
I hear the drumbeat about how horrible health care is in Canada and wester Europe all the time, but my experience with those who actually live there is quite different. (I've lived in Europe, but not Canada.)

Sure, they bitch about specific aspects of the programs, but I've never heard one ever say wanted the government to discontinue providing such services.

Do you think if there was a vote...the Canadians and Europeans would want OUR system...or what they've got right now?

reader_iam said...

Here's what TalkLeft reported (though without citing a source or sources of the information):

1) Graeme has a scholarship to a private school. The school costs $15K a year, but the family only pays $500 a year.

2) His sister Gemma attends another private school to help her with the brain injuries that occurred due to her accident. The school costs $23,000 a year, but the state pays the entire cost.

3) They bought their “lavish house” sixteen years ago for $55,000 at a time when the neighborhood was less than safe.

4) Last year, the Frost’s made $45,000 combined. Over the past few years they have made no more than $50,000 combined.

5) The state of Maryland has found them eligible to participate in the CHIP program.

Joan said...

It's an absolute waste of money that could be spent or invested elsewhere.

Lucky: yes. Do you have the option of a low-cost "catastrophic" policy that covers hospitalization and other major expenses, but lets you handle low-level medical events yourself? Many people, particularly young single people, would be better served by a policy like that, but since their employers offer full coverage, they take it.

Luckyoldson said...

This is the family everybody is upset about??

1) Graeme has a scholarship to a private school. The school costs $15K a year, but the family only pays $500 a year.

2) His sister Gemma attends another private school to help her with the brain injuries that occurred due to her accident. The school costs $23,000 a year, but the state pays the entire cost.

3) They bought their “lavish house” sixteen years ago for $55,000 at a time when the neighborhood was less than safe.

4) Last year, the Frost’s made $45,000 combined. Over the past few years they have made no more than $50,000 combined.

5) The state of Maryland has found them eligible to participate in the CHIP program.

Luckyoldson said...

joan,
I agree with what you say and I carry the standard health insurance and long-term care insurance, but...

...I think the problem with not having standard health care is that people do nothing in the way of "preventive" health care because they can't afford to go to a doctor or pay for the drugs that are prescribed. This specifically effects those with kids who pick up all kinds of ailments from other kids. A simple cold becomes much, much more if not treated at the start.

Personally, (when much younger), I didn't carry any insurance at all for many years...and was quite lucky to remain healthy.

former law student said...

We're the only industrialized country with a fully functional national defense.

I wish it stopped at national defense. Switzerland has a fully functional national defense - their army plans never to step off their turf; the U.S. still acts as the World's Policeman.

Luckyoldson said...

reader_iam,
I didn't realize you'd posted what I did, but who's YOUR SOURCE of anything NOT being TRUE?

Throw it out there...

knoxwhirled said...

I'm pretty sure some Chinese people (and others, obviously) would disagree with that.

You DID NOT just bring up China!

former law student said...

Bart -- I do not want the Canadian or any English speaking health care system. I want the French system, but would settle for the German system.

Luckyoldson said...

former law student said......"the U.S. still acts as the World's Policeman."

That's true, but we also manufacture and sell more weaponry than any other country in the world, and last time I looked, we're also the only one who's invaded and occupied a sovereign nation.

Pogo said...

"Do you think if there was a vote..."

1. Almost no one, save for the lactose-intolerant, ever refuses free ice cream, so why would they do so?

2. Being popular and being correct aren't very often related things. For example, Jimmy Carter got elected President in 1976.

3. In his 1991 book Parliament of Whores, P.J. O'Rourke wrote:

The eighteenth-century Scottish historian Alexander Tytler said: A democracy cannot exist as a permanent form of government. It can only exist until a majority of voters discover that they can vote themselves largesse out of the public treasury.

Even better:
"If you think health care is expensive now, wait until you see what it costs when it's free."

dick said...

They would want theirs because they could get their current coverge and if they got a serious illness they could always come here for medical care in timely fashion and then sue their government to have their investment repaid. (been done already)

Luckyoldson said...

cedar says: "The Bible also said God never demanded that we act as our Brother's Keeper."

Uh...

Ezekiel 25:17.

The path of the righteous man is beset on all sides by the inequities of the selfish and the tyranny of evil men.

Blessed is he who, in the name of charity and good will, shepherds the weak through the valley of the darkness. For he is truly his brother's keeper and the finder of lost children.

And I will strike down upon thee with great vengeance and furious anger those who attempt to poison and destroy my brothers.

knoxwhirled said...

my experience with those who actually live there is quite different. (I've lived in Europe, but not Canada.) Sure, they bitch about specific aspects of the programs, but I've never heard one ever say wanted the government to discontinue providing such services.

The US system subsidizes their systems, in numerous ways. We pay the high costs for prescription meds that finances R&D for the drug companies; we offer the excellent services/procedures/surgeries practically on demand that desperately ill people come here for when their "universal" systems fail them (or make them wait so long they fear they'll die.) Without our system, our dollars, they'd not be so happy...

angie said...

The Frosts probably only squeak by by serving thrifty Christ Church Creamed Schipped Beef most morns in their pretend unfortunate middle class home-kitchen.

Bless 'em and good luck with our tax dollars.

Pogo said...

LOS:
We have had this discussion before, and you are mixing facts.

Preventive care only saves money and trouble for the individual involved. It does not save an insurance company or single payer system any money at all. In fact, the hard truth is that it would be far cheaper to avoid all preventive services once a person reaches around age 30. And ask them to smoke, too. Dying is almost always cheaper than living.

As Lydia Lunch supposedly said, "Life is cheap, but death is free."

Your use of the 'penny saved or pound foolish' argument is incorrect when applied to systems rather than people.

Dust Bunny Queen said...

SSI stands for Supplemental Security Income and is one of the most important federal programs for people with disabilities. SSI is an income support program and provides monthly payments to persons who have disabilities and have limited income and resources. It is not necessary to have worked to be eligible for SSI. You can be considered for SSI regardless of your age, and whether or not you are single or married.

My husband's ex brother in law was getting SSI because his disability was alcoholism. When he would get his SSI check he would make a beeline to the liquor store. Others on this program have disabilities like drug addiction. I have no issue with a real disability getting SSI. I have a friend who had a stroke at the age of 45 that left him paralyzed on one side....he deserves it. Drug and alchohol abusers don't. People who are indigent and work for cash under the table and pay no taxes don't deserve SSI either.

But if you people are going to try to deny SS benefits to people who worked, paid into the system and through perseverance actually made something of themselves, you need to address the multitudes of freeloaders and non citizens who are also getting benefits that they didn't earn.

The reason that this SCHIP increase was vetoed was due to the massive increase in coverage to include people who have the capabilities to pay for a policy or who may already be covered under a work policy that they will drop in favor of the FREE coverage. The funding was from a declining revenue source that would have to be eventually paid for by deficit spending and most likely more taxes on the "wealthy".
The program was just not well thought out and is basically creeping socialism in disguise.

The Democrats wanted to load up the bill so that Bush would have to veto it (as any responsible person would) They then would have another manufactured talking point to become outraged about. See how mean he is to the childreeeen... mean Bushilter.

Luckyoldson said...

Dust Bunny Queen,
Just because Bush vetoed it, that doesn't mean it was some kind of "exclusive" Democratic bill by any stretch of the imagination...even yours. (And attaching things to bills goes with BOTH sides of the aisle.)

I think they'll tweak it and get it through, one way or another.

As for your husband's brother-in-law spending his SS on booze...well, alcoholism is a disease, as is many types of drug addiction, and people deal with their problems in different ways...some not that good.

Maybe if you lived in their shoes for a day...?

Windbag said...

Anyone who honestly thinks that the government-run schools are producing better-educated kids than home-schooled kids or kids from private schools isn't going to understand the basics of any discussion concerning nationalized health care.

Ralph said...

in the name of charity and good will
Or we send you to prison (or just hell).

Luckyoldson said...

Pogo says: "Preventive care only saves money and trouble for the individual involved."

That's not true at all.

I have a couple of very good friends who are doctors and a triage nurse and every time we discuss this...the term "preventive medicine" is dominant from their point of view.

If a mother puts off taking their child to the doctor with a cold (because of not having insurance), and it eventually turns into strep throat or something worse (both highly contagious), they can infect other kids...leading to more expenditures for more people for more doctors and medications.

Right now, many of those without insurance wait so long they have to go to the emergency room...and if you don't think the expenses there aren't passed on to other patients...you're kidding yourself.

Right now we're ALL paying for high cost of medical attention and we'll continue to pay...until some kind of national program is implemented to slow the rising costs of treatment.

*And I'll lay odds you have plenty of insurance yourself. (Do YOU pay for it?)

Dust Bunny Queen said...

As for your husband's brother-in-law spending his SS on booze...well, alcoholism is a disease, as is many types of drug addiction, and people deal with their problems in different ways...some not that good.

Yes, a disease that we supported, aided and abetted with public funds. Instead of forcing the druggie or alcoholic to deal with their problems, we give them free money with no strings attached. Hand out needles to make it even easier for the junkies to shoot up with the drugs they bought with taxpayer funds.

This is the issue I have with universal coverage. It is subject to abuse and we know how good the Government is in controlling abuse of the system. NOT.

The abuses in our current medical system (which I agree is badly broken) When something is FREE, people have a tendency to over use it. Medical insurance that covers us for every scrape and sore throat just encourages more frivolous and excessive uses of the system. More use = more expense for the rest of us who have to pay for our own health insurance. More use = more expenses for the Doctors to pass on to the rest of us. More use = higher malpractice insurance costs.

Basic economics 101.

Trooper York said...

Dr. Mark Greene: There are no small patients Carter...
Dr. Dave Malucci: What about dwarves?
( ER, 2001)

Revenant said...

Is it too much to ask that men and women who can't afford to take their future kids to a doctor KEEP IT IN THEIR PANTS?

Nobody has a right to have children they can't care for.

Trooper York said...

Jason: You wanna know who I want to get pregnant? Felicity Huffman. Ever since I saw Transamerica, I can't get her out of my head
(Knocked Up 2997)

Trooper York said...

Of course that's the remake. Sorry Teacher.

reader_iam said...

LOS:

Wait a second--I was NOT saying that TalkLeft's information was wrong. I wasn't even saying that I suspected it was. I simply stated that there wasn't a source a given.

Lucky, I was a newspaper journalist for a number of years (including stints as assistant city editor and assistant copy desk). Currently, and as I have for almost six years, I also edit articles for a scholarly quarterly journal. I REFLEXIVELY notice if a source is there or not, and what it is. (This is also why I tend to follow links, among other habits.) It's a mindset. I'm not using it as a weapon or an argument. It just "is".

Please note that I did not participate in this thread earlier. The primary reason is that what I was reading across the blogosphere struck me as long on speculation and assumption and short on actual facts and figures. I simply didn't have the whole picture, and I still don't. But I noted that TalkLeft actually presented some figures (unlike much of what I read elsewhere), and that these were comporting with a scenario at least as credible a reality as what was being presented elsewhere as a "yuppie" meme, without similar facts and figures.

As I said, I don't have the whole picture, so I can't definitively make a judgment with regard to the Frosts in particular. I fail to see how that should translate into a problem for you.

who's YOUR SOURCE of anything NOT being TRUE?

Throw it out there...


Without researching the Frosts myself, which I have no intention of doing, or having even a description of TalkLeft's sources, I have no way of evaluating the information it gave. (Again, note what I said above about it painting "at least as credible a picure" as the yuppie meme.)

With regard to the "yuppie meme," my skepticism stemmed from:

1) Years of experience in evaluating stories and looking for alternative explanations, as a professional exercise; if there's more than one reasonable scenario, then absent definitive facts, the default position is to remain skeptical as to which is the truth
2) Personal knowledge of a number of the factors being discussed (from buying run-down old houses in unstylish city neighborhoods; to running a small business; to having been insured in my time through employers, via out-of-pocket policy paid for as an individual, via coverage provided and paid for through my own small business, and via COBRA; to being in a position to see the devastating affects of a catastrophic medical situation on families. Etc.)
3) A well-developed ear for axe-grinding.

So, to answer your question, Lucky--"who's YOUR SOURCE of anything NOT being TRUE?"--I guess it's "myself," the same source for evaluating whether something IS true. That's what it comes down to: I determine it for myself with as open a mind as I can and to the best of my ability and within the resources I have available and limited by whatever priorities I have set.

In the Frosts' case, I do not know what's true or not true.

If you have a problem with my taking that stance, then so be it. I don't answer to your conscience, I answer to mine.

reader_iam said...

Sorry if I seem cranky. But LOS, I don't understand how my adding a short, factual parenthetical --(though without citing a source or sources of the information)-- should have provoked your snide response.

Also, we have local elections tomorrow, and I'm being inundated by automated, pre-recorded (and surprisingly often sarcastic) political phone calls on both land-phone lines and even my freakin' cell phone!

Makes me impatient.

Bruce Hayden said...

Regardless of what the Frosts actually made, the reality is that they likely could have borrowed at least a half a million on the house and probably a hundred or so thousand on the business building. Sorry, I don't think that they "need" 3,000 sq ft in that expensive a neighborhood just because they have 4 kids. Growing up, we had 5 kids in a house half that size.

And I love this: Desperate to defend Bush’s decision to cut off millions of children from health care, the right wing has stooped to launching baseless and uninformed attacks against a 12 year old child and his family.

Let's see if I understand this. The family puts the 12 year old kid up to making the response. And now, the family is off limits because we are attacking the kid.

Sorry, the family and the DNC put the kid up to it. It is totally BS for them to do that, and then whine about the kid being off limits when faced with the reality that the family chose to forgo health insurance.

BTW, how do a couple both with college degrees and coming from at least some money only earn $45k a year? They could earn that working for McDonalds. Sorry, I don't buy it.

Pogo said...

Re; "until some kind of national program is implemented to slow the rising costs of treatment."

It can't be done except, as I said, by letting people die without treatment. Good medical care costs money. Lots of it. Preventive savings are eaten up and exceeded by longer life and care consumed later. Your doctor friends are simply wrong, having expanded from the singular to the plural. A common enough error, but not one we should base a health care system on.

Artificially setting prices below equilibrium does nothing to lower the cost, only the price.

Failure to understand that fails all.

downtownlad said...

What does Ann think of Michelle Malkin now stalking this family?

The politics of personal destruction, brought to you by the Republican party and conservative bloggers.

zzRon said...

"Blessed is he who, in the name of charity and good will, shepherds the weak through the valley of the darkness. For he is truly his brother's keeper and the finder of lost children."


Personally, even though I am not religious, I agree with the moral theme of this statement. However, what you are proposing is FORCED charity...and if being charitable is demanded (through threat of punishment) by the government, there can be no real and heart felt giving, but only taking and redistributing. To me, this type of system can not be classied as charity, and "good will" does not come into the picture at all.

former law student said...

Regardless of what the Frosts actually made, the reality is that they likely could have borrowed at least a half a million on the house and probably a hundred or so thousand on the business building.

Dude, are you an out of work mortgage broker? Nowadays we look at ability to pay. No sane person will lend 500K to someone who makes less than 1/10 that amount.

Sorry, I don't think that they "need" 3,000 sq ft in that expensive a neighborhood just because they have 4 kids. Growing up, we had 5 kids in a house half that size.

They were smart enough to buy a well-built old house in a run-down, now gentrifying neighborhood, using sweat equity to bring it up to standard. I agree they could sell and move to a smaller place.

Tim said...

"Blessed is he who, in the name of charity and good will, shepherds the weak through the valley of the darkness. For he is truly his brother's keeper and the finder of lost children."

That's exactly what I want. I'm tired of working and being responsible. I'm gonna quit, become a Democrat, and get the whole freakin' economy and Democrat Party to line up how I can live at Bill Gates and Warren Buffett's expense, including health care. Then I'll find me some wanna-be welfare queens and play "jewels in the crown." Boy, why'd I wait so long...? The rest of you suckers can keep on workin' for the Man. I'm gonna be a free-rider!

downtownlad said...

By the way - they paid a whopping $55K for their house.

Ralph said...

$55K for their house.
Oh goodie, let's tax the hell out of their capital gain, sweat equity be damned.

downtownlad said...

Personally, I don't like this program.

I'd prefer to let Darwin take its natural course. And if you can't afford health insurance - then you deal with the consequences - and if that means you die - so be it - it's your problem, not mine.

But this government program exists. This family took advantage of it, since they were eligible. And why shouldn't they?

So because they were logical - the conservative blogs think it's fine and dandy to invade the privacy of this family, publish their address, spy on them, dig into their financial matters (and lie about them), and slander a 12 year-old kid.

Disgusting.

mcg said...

The path of the righteous man is beset on all sides by the inequities of the selfish and the tyranny of evil men.

Blessed is he who, in the name of charity and good will, shepherds the weak through the valley of the darkness. For he is truly his brother's keeper and the finder of lost children.

And I will strike down upon thee with great vengeance and furious anger those who attempt to poison and destroy my brothers.


Luckyoldson's been reading the Pulp Fiction translation of the Bible again! Here's the KJV:

And I will execute great vengeance upon them with furious rebukes; and they shall know that I am the LORD, when I shall lay my vengeance upon them

Yep, that's it. All that other stuff is made up.

downtownlad said...

And four kids makes no sense. Like they couldn't afford a couple of abortions. Give me a break.

mcg said...

Just to head off suggestion that Quentin was paraphrasing, here's Ezekiel 25:15-17 (NIV):

This is what the Sovereign LORD says: Because the Philistines acted in vengeance and took revenge with malice in their hearts, and with ancient hostility sought to destroy Judah, therefore this is what the Sovereign LORD says: I am about to stretch out my hand against the Philistines, and I will cut off the Kerethites and destroy those remaining along the coast. I will carry out great vengeance on them and punish them in my wrath. Then they will know that I am the LORD, when I take vengeance on them.'

C. Schweitzer said...

My health care now provided by the same people that make up the Teacher's Union and the workers at the DMV?

Where do I sign up?

What I really want is a world in which all the responsibilities of being an adult are taken care of by a benevolent governmental overlord.

rcocean said...

Greedheads always justify their love of money and their wealth.

Oh, it wasn't luck or politic,or connections, why we worked hard for *our* money.

Newsflash: millions of people work hard. The guy at the 7-11 works hard. But he didn't have connections with IBM or a relative that bankrolled his startup or a banker that gave him the money to BUY MS-Dos.

Pogo said...

Public spending for health care hit 60 percent by 1999, meaning more than half of the market, and nearly 2/3rds, was already government-run. Between 1965 and 1999, while overall health costs rose 2900%, the government share of tax-financed health spending rose more than 5700%.

By 1999, the government portion of health spending ALREADY exceeded total per capita health spending in every nation but Switzerland.

And the Democrats answer to health care is that the remaining 40% of hyper-regulated insurance bears the entire blame for health care costs and underinsurance.

More socialist bullshit.

titus22 said...

Hello fellow republicans. I make over $200,000 a year and have to pay 26.70 bi weekly for my individual health insurance. Hello, I don't give a crap about you liberals what your health insurance for free.

Pay for it like the rest of us hard earning Americans do.

If you can't afford it, die.

titus22 said...

Also, if they could afford the health insurance for a family of 6 they should of aborted a couple of the brats. At least I wouldn't have to hear about their "woe is me" crap.

titus22 said...

We need to get rid of Medicaid and Medicare next. What a bunch of BS. If you want to talk about socialized medicine we are offering it in these two BS programs.

2007 is a new different year. Many gizzards are working through their old age and should be paying for the health insurance like the rest of us. I don't want to pay for Norman Thayer's gall bladder surgery. Pay it for yourself bitch.

titus22 said...

I looked at parking places at 55k a year and you want my empathy? Hello, you are liberal losers looking for the government to help you.

Stand up on your own two feet and do something about it rather than bitching about the government bailing you out. Have one less kid, don't get into a car accident, move to a cheaper neighborhood. I don't want to hear your shit.

Now let's talk about me. I like to have anonymous sex. I don't want to get to know anyone. I don't care about your hardships or your family you life I just want to f..k your hole. If you are up for that with no conversation I am game. If I have to hear about your life I am soft and bored. Just shut and put out. Also, I would appreciate it if you would scream papi as I am plowing you.

titus22 said...

Once a trick bitched to me about giving him a ride home.

I was like hello Amigo, their is a cab right outside the building, and no I don't have any cash.

Get your spicy ass out the door and pay for your own damn cab.

titus22 said...

I was honest with the amigo in the cab too. I told him it was going to be quick, he couldn't say over and he was going to have to find his own way home.

You think he would of listened buy nooooooooooooo. Also, a friend of my who was in th cab told him it was going to be quick.

He still expected cab fare, breakfast and reading the NY Times together. I am very honest with my trick.

titus22 said...

It can be difficult with a trick sometimes. You have these conversations before you cum and you are excited and horny but you sometimes lose perspective.

Afterwards, it is a different story. It is unccomfortable, real and challenging.

I try to be honest with my tricks and tell them where is it and where I am. But sometimes, either because of a language barrier or Liquor barrier they are oblivious. I happen to think they are clouded by my beauty and willing to do whatever just to get my hog in their hole.

It is hard being me.

How is everyone toinght?

titus22 said...

Also, if my tricks don't at least allow my clumper spaniels to watch their are out the door.

I am not into bestiality but at least give my clumbers the dignity to watch, bitch.

reader_iam said...

Well done.

reader_iam said...

Seriously.

reader_iam said...

Referring to the series, taken together.

Revenant said...

The guy at the 7-11 works hard. But he didn't have connections with IBM or a relative that bankrolled his startup or a banker that gave him the money to BUY MS-Dos.

Family connections didn't get me into college, they didn't get me my scholarship, and they sure as hell didn't get me a job. Brains and hard work did those things.

The real difference between me and the guy behind the counter at 7-11 is that I'm an intelligent guy who studied and he's a jerk-off who spent high school staring at the ass of the girl sitting in front of him.

So he "works hard". So what? A donkey can word hard. If you want to make a good wage as a human being, learn to use the one advantage humans have: intelligence.

Pogo said...

Well, titus can do a faux rethuglican better than most. Not that it's hard. Just steal liberally from Dickens, and you've pretty well got it. "Decrease the surplus population" and all that.

Yes, all the pretty and gay and famous and rich liberals support giving other people's money to everyone else, damn the consequences. What could possibly go wrong?

So if we're going to do this under government control, we will do it right, and I want a say.

For one, Titus will need to stop having anonymous sex. If I cannot smoke, and Edwards is going to make me have preventive care, and Hillary is going to take things away from me for the common good, then Titus can quit engaging in behaviors that are high risk for expensive diseases like STDs and AIDs. Public health means public health. Goodbye, bath houses and gay bars.

Because, sorry, but the public owns you once it controls the purse. What you eat, how many drinks you have, whether you are actually exercising, all these become my business once your check gets cut from Uncle Sam, and all these can be monitored quite easily. England has begun doing so. And so will we.

But Titus is correct, I guess. Funny, too! Because conservatives may claim to prefer liberty and free choice (with charity care and government assiistance for the poor) but are actually just selfish pricks who don't like kids.

The Drill SGT said...

Reader_IAM:

I'm not convinced (nor are you apparently) that the factiods from your post represent reality, but let's assume they are for a second.

If they are correct, then most of my questions/issues raised at the top, are not valid (e.g. $20k tuitions)

My question to you is: How would you evaluate the reporter's work in writing a story that would provide facts and answer the obvious questions that an inquiring reader would immediately pose. My best example would be, "If Graeme was hurt in an auto accident, didn't auto insurance cover his treatment, why SCHIP?"

Other comments, not intended for reader alone would be:

1. After Democrat's write a speech for a 12 y/o kid making him their mouthpiece, does he have full child privacy expectations or does hanging him out there make his the facts that he claimed, fair game for investigation?

2. The firm I work for does a lot of work for the IRS looking for small business people who "money launder" and "tax evade". The perception is that these crimes are done by drug dealers, and gamblers etc, however, the largest volume are small business folks. Anyone, that has control over taking in cash and deciding whether the cash goes on the books. (e.g. waiters, plumbers, woodworkers, etc). Anyway, that experience (fair or not fair) causes me to doubt a 45K total family income when at least one of the wage earners has a college degree. My doubts may be unfair, but they are not unreasonable.

titus22 said...

Pogo, I was actually being serious.

Have your cigarettes, I will have my dick.

Pogo said...

Sorry, Titus, but both phalluses will be forbidden under national health care.
I'm being serious, too.

Pogo said...

Because choice and personal preference follow the money. The State pays, the State chooses.

Paul Zrimsek said...

They bought their “lavish house” sixteen years ago for $55,000 at a time when the neighborhood was less than safe.

The original Baltimore Sun story said their mortgage payments are "about $1,200 a month". They've evidently either taken out a second mortgage to pay for improvements, or cashed out some equity (and where's the money now?) Either way, it's misleading to suggest that they've only got $55,000 in the house.

Pissed Off Hillbilly said...

The original Baltimore Sun story said their mortgage payments are "about $1,200 a month". They've evidently either taken out a second mortgage to pay for improvements, or cashed out some equity (and where's the money now?) Either way, it's misleading to suggest that they've only got $55,000 in the house.

Or they paid 155,000, which would be about right for the payments they're making.

Dust Bunny Queen said...

55K for their house.
Oh goodie, let's tax the hell out of their capital gain, sweat equity be damned.


You get an exemption on capital gains for selling your primary residence. $500,000 for a married couple. So this is a non issue. Learn2tax first.

A mortgage payment of 1200 a month is about right for a loan of 150K to 200K depending on the interest rate of the loan and the term. I pay 1271 for a 212,000 30 year mortgage.

The biggest issue about this SCHIP controversy is the funding. How are we going to pay for all of this expanded health care for the middle class? The Democrats proposed funding by increasing cigarette taxes by a dollar a pack nationwide. While I also think that smoking is a terrible idea, the fact is that this tax is punitive on people who are mostly lower income and is a decreasing revenue source.

Any business that proposed to fund itself from a decreasing source of revenue would have been laughed out of my office when I was a lending officer. Why should the Government get away with such a harebrained idea.....Oh yeah..... they can come back and tax the bejeezus out of the rest of us to make up the deficit.

former law student said...

The Democrats proposed funding by increasing cigarette taxes by a dollar a pack nationwide... this tax is punitive on people who are mostly lower income and is a decreasing revenue source.

I'm going to say it's always a bad idea to tax drug addicts on the price of their drugs. If they could quit, most would have, years ago. My late sister's apartment (lung cancer, age 45) was littered with blister packs of nicotine gum.

Joan said...

I have to go back to this:
If a mother puts off taking their child to the doctor with a cold (because of not having insurance), and it eventually turns into strep throat or something worse (both highly contagious), they can infect other kids...leading to more expenditures for more people for more doctors and medications.

This is insane for several reasons, and no pediatrician would ever suggest that a parent bring in a child who has a cold. First, Kindergardeners spend about half the school year sniffling. If we brought them in to the doctors every time they caught a cold, the offices would be completely overwhelmed and no one would ever get care for more important illnesses.

Second, colds are caused by viruses, and there is no treatment for the underlying disease. You can treat the symptoms, but with kids that's tricky, as most decongestants have a horrid rebound effect on little systems. You basically have to wait it out, push fluids, and enforce rest as much as possible. The fact that the kids feel fine even with their gunky noses doesn't help.

A cold does not "turn into" or "progress" to a more serious condition like strep throat. A cold may make a person more vulnerable to a secondary infection, but the vast majority of people, including kids, recover from colds without ever getting a bacterial infection. It's true that strep throat and other bacterial infections should be treated, but the average parent can tell the difference (I hope and pray) between sniffles and a raging cough or a throat that's so sore the kid can't swallow.

General guidelines: a fever that persists more than 3 days needs to see a doctor. Coughing accompanied by wheezing (put your ear against the kid's chest, if it doesn't sound like Darth Vader -- if you hear any squeaking or popping) needs to be seen immediately,too. But not every sore throat is strep; post nasal drip is the biggest culprit there.

It's absurd to suggest that running every kid with a cold to the pediatrician would reduce the overall sickness in a student population. Better hygiene (using and properly disposing tissues, rather than wiping the nose with the back of the hand, and washing those hands frequently) has been demonstrated to be effective and is extremely cheap -- it only costs you the effort you make to nag.

reader_iam said...

Drill Sgt.: I would say the reporting is incomplete and not rigorous.

I don't know about the auto insurance. I don't know what policy they have (or what choices they had there, either). Without going to our bank safe deposit box and pulling our policy, I can't vouch for sure what is provisions are. However, I'm pretty sure there's something in there about monetary limits with regard to some provisions. Please note that not just Graeme (then 9) but his sister (then 6) were seriously hurt (both suffered brain injuries). He was in a coma for several days, she for more than three weeks. Both required months of inpatient care. Among other things, he reportedly had to learn how to swallow and to walk again. She could walk, but couldn't remember words and had to learn how to speak all over again, as well as such daily skills as dressing, etc. (She had also required reconstructive eye surgery.)

See here for a source that brings together medical details.

Of course, there was treatment and medical followup long after the months of inpatient and transitional care.

Was the auto policy unlimited? Were the limits high enough to cover the kind of medical expenses we're clearly talking about here for not just one, but two brain-injured children?

I have no idea. But I can imagine a credible scenario in which its provisions weren't adequate to needs of this type of situation, which I think most reasonable people would agree is unusual, not routine. Absent facts, I can't make a judgment about the auto insurance.

***

People here say they can't imagine the 45,000 to 55,000 figure. Somewhere, I read that there was a "past few years" attached to that. I don't know what that means. Perhaps Mrs. Frost was working just part-time in the family business (not unusual, especially as bookkeeper) prior to the crash. She did, after all, have young children. The two youngest look as if they would have pre-school at the time of their older siblings' (then 6 and 9, recall) accident.

After the crash, you think both parents were working full time? You think it's just possible, if not credible, that one or both spent significant periods of time by the side of one or both of the seriously injured kids? (Plus, there were those two youngers kids.) What would you think if they didn't?

Do you think this might lead to a drop in income, especially in the case of the self-employed, who do not tend to have paid sick leave, family leave or vacations--or, well, they might, but only as long as the funds they must generate themselves, by working hold out?

Again, I do not know the particulars of the Frost situation. Everything I just wrote falls into the realm of speculation (well, except for, I'll bet, the medical info). But then so does a lot of the discussion on the other side.

***

I could also provide a scenario or two about income as related to running to a small business (and, for example, how quickly even 120,000 in gross might eventually translate into 50,000 income), but hey! I'm self-employed myself, which means if I don't get back to work, I can't bill, which means I don't get paid. The consequences of slacking, or even coasting, tend to be very direct, indeed. Sometimes I miss my W-2 days.

But I'll get back to you.

Pogo said...

reader_iam,

You may be entirely correct. I have no doubt there are people that are wiped out by catastrophic medical illnesses. Without doubt, that's what needs to be covered. But these folks aren't being used as a cautionary tale about carrying catastrophic insurance, but covering all kids. Regardless of income.

it was a stupid gesture, because it opened up a young kid and a family to attack. They let this kid twist in the wind, except to complain about the backlash. Criminey.

It was disingenuous at best.

Original Mike said...

LOS: "If a mother puts off taking their child to the doctor with a cold (because of not having insurance), and it eventually turns into strep throat or something worse (both highly contagious), they can infect other kids...leading to more expenditures for more people for more doctors and medications."

Joan: "This is insane for several reasons, and no pediatrician would ever suggest that a parent bring in a child who has a cold."


Thank you, Joan. I'm glad somebody commented on that nonsense.

Jacques Cuze said...

Dearest Ann,

Let's not let the facts get in the way of a good old fashioned hate.

It's also important to recognize that these guys are basically doing everything that republicans tell us we should do:

A) Small business owners
B) Move to inner city and buy low and refurbish home
C) Try to get their kids the best education possible.

So exactly what was it that justifies your hate?

A) They were in a car accident?
B) They weren't as successful as you were?

They can't get current insurance due to their car accident and the preexisting conditions it caused.

They are not rich. That business was sold almost 10 years ago.

They seem to work at least two jobs.

Why the hate? It just pours naturally out of your huge vortex when you get worked up?

Capitol Feud: A 12-Year-Old Is the Fodder - New York Times

Capitol Feud: A 12-Year-Old Is the Fodder

By DAVID M. HERSZENHORN
Published: October 10, 2007

...
In recent days, Graeme and his family have been attacked by conservative bloggers and other critics of the Democrats’ plan to expand the insurance program, known as S-chip. They scrutinized the family’s income and assets — even alleged the counters in their kitchen to be granite — and declared that the Frosts did not seem needy enough for government benefits.

But what on the surface appears to be yet another partisan feud, all the nastier because a child is at the center of it, actually cuts to the most substantive debate around S-chip. Democrats say it is crucially needed to help the working poor — Medicaid already helps the impoverished — but many Republicans say it now helps too many people with the means to help themselves.

The feud also illustrates what can happen when politicians showcase real people to make a point, a popular but often perilous technique. And in this case, the discourse has been anything but polite.

The critics accused Graeme’s father, Halsey, a self-employed woodworker, of choosing not to provide insurance for his family of six, even though he owned his own business. They pointed out that Graeme attends an expensive private school. And they asserted that the family’s home had undergone extensive remodeling, and that its market value could exceed $400,000.

One critic, in an e-mail message to Graeme’s mother, Bonnie, warned: “Lie down with dogs, and expect to get fleas.” As it turns out, the Frosts say, Graeme attends the private school on scholarship. The business that the critics said Mr. Frost owned was dissolved in 1999. The family’s home, in the modest Butchers Hill neighborhood of Baltimore, was bought for $55,000 in 1990 and is now worth about $260,000, according to public records. And, for the record, the Frosts say, their kitchen counters are concrete.

Certainly the Frosts are not destitute. They also own a commercial property, valued at about $160,000, that provides rental income. Mr. Frost works intermittently in woodworking and as a welder, while Mrs. Frost has a part-time job at a firm that provides services to publishers of medical journals. Her job does not provide health coverage.

Under the Maryland child health program, a family of six must earn less than $55,220 a year for children to qualify. The program does not require applicants to list their assets, which do not affect eligibility.

In a telephone interview, the Frosts said they had recently been rejected by three private insurance companies because of pre-existing medical conditions. “We stood up in the first place because S-chip really helped our family and we wanted to help other families,” Mrs. Frost said.

“We work hard, we’re honest, we pay our taxes,” Mr. Frost said, adding, “There are hard-working families that really need affordable health insurance.”

Democrats, including the House speaker, Nancy Pelosi, have risen to the Frosts’ defense, saying they earn about $45,000 a year and are precisely the type of working-poor Americans that the program was intended to help.

Ms. Pelosi on Tuesday said, “I think it’s really a sad statement about how bankrupt some of these people are in their arguments against S-chip that they would attack a 12-year-old boy.”

The House and Senate approved legislation to expand the child health program by $35 billion over five years. President Bush, who proposed a lower increase, vetoed the bill last week. Mr. Bush said the Democrats’ plan was fiscally unsound and would raise taxes; the Democrats say he is willing to spend billions on the Iraq war but not on health care for American children.

Mr. Bush’s plan could force states to tighten eligibility limits, but it seemed likely that the Frost children would still be covered.

Republicans on Capitol Hill, who were gearing up to use Graeme as evidence that Democrats have overexpanded the health program to include families wealthy enough to afford private insurance, have backed off.

An aide to Senator Mitch McConnell of Kentucky, the Republican leader, expressed relief that his office had not issued a press release criticizing the Frosts.

But Michelle Malkin, one of the bloggers who have strongly criticized the Frosts, insisted Republicans should hold their ground and not pull punches.

“The bottom line here is that this family has considerable assets,” Ms. Malkin wrote in an e-mail message. “Maryland’s S-chip program does not means-test. The refusal to do assets tests on federal health insurance programs is why federal entitlements are exploding and government keeps expanding. If Republicans don’t have the guts to hold the line, they deserve to lose their seats.”

As for accusations that bloggers were unfairly attacking a 12-year-old, Ms. Malkin wrote on her blog, “If you don’t want questions, don’t foist these children onto the public stage.”

Mr. and Mrs. Frost said they were bothered by the assertion that they lacked health coverage by their own choice.

“That is not true at all,” Mrs. Frost said. “Basically all these naysayers need to lay the facts out on the page, and say, ‘How could a family be able to do this?’ S-chip is a stopgap.”