August 14, 2009

If it was completely wrong for Sarah Palin to say "death panels," why did the Senate scuttle the provision she was talking about?

Why didn't the congressional Democrats defend their own bill? If it was so terribly wrong to say "death panels" — and what indignation was expressed! — then why wasn't it easy to crush stupid, crazy Sarah for what she so outrageously said? By backing down and removing the language she leveraged, they not only seem to admit she had a point, they sacrifice credibility that they need to promote what's left of the bill.

Here's the NYT article headlined "False 'Death Panel' Rumor Has Some Familiar Roots":
Advanced even this week by Republican stalwarts including the party’s last vice-presidential nominee, Sarah Palin, and Charles E. Grassley, the veteran Iowa senator, the nature of the assertion nonetheless seemed reminiscent of the modern-day viral Internet campaigns that dogged Mr. Obama last year, falsely calling him a Muslim and questioning his nationality.
"Seemed reminiscent"? To whom? "Death panels" was a characterization of a provision in a bill — an aggressive, politicized attempt at interpretation of the text of the proposed law. It was a parry in the debate about the bill, and the bill's defenders could have explained exactly why the text could not mean what Palin said it meant, or they could have rewritten the provision to make it absolutely clear that it meant whatever it was that they'd wanted it to mean when they wrote it. Rather than meet Palin's attack, the Democrats pulled the provision altogether, leaving us wondering what other provisions would have to be pulled if someone subjected them to a memorable — viral — attack.

When a big bill is dumped on us, we are challenged to read and understand the text. Usually we don't, but the text is there, and there's nothing scurrilous about trying to read it, calling attention to worrisome language, and putting our arguments in vivid words. A candidate, on the other hand, is not a text to be read, but there are facts about him that we may want to know. If someone asserts a fact about a candidate and says, for example, that Obama is a Muslim or Obama was born in Kenya, then the candidate, if he doesn't choose to ignore the assertion or simply make his own flat assertion of denial, is forced to come up with some evidence, which may be difficult and may lead to a new phase of the controversy in which the evidence is challenged.

This is completely different from a controversy about a written text that people are trying to read. If the text doesn't mean what its opponents are saying, it should be easy for the authors of the text to show how it means something good or to amend the text and make its goodness obvious. The authors of the text should trounce their opponents. If they can't, we should fear and mistrust them.

If Obama can't convincingly prove he's not a Muslim/not born in Kenya, it only means the rumors might be true, but he was not the creator of the rumor, as the Democrats were the creators of the text that lent itself to Palin's "death panels" characterization.
There is nothing in any of the legislative proposals that would call for the creation of death panels or any other governmental body that would cut off care for the critically ill as a cost-cutting measure. But over the course of the past few months, early, stated fears from anti-abortion conservatives that Mr. Obama would pursue a pro-abortion, pro-euthanasia agenda, combined with twisted accounts of actual legislative proposals that would provide financing for optional consultations with doctors about hospice care and other “end of life” services, fed the rumor to the point where it overcame the debate.

On Thursday, Mr. Grassley said in a statement that he and others in the small group of senators that was trying to negotiate a health care plan had dropped any “end of life” proposals from consideration.
Ha ha. I think that "On Thursday" paragraph had to be edited in a the last minute.
A pending House bill has language authorizing Medicare to finance beneficiaries’ consultations with professionals on whether to authorize aggressive and potentially life-saving interventions later in life. Though the consultations would be voluntary, and a similar provision passed in Congress last year without such a furor, Mr. Grassley said it was being dropped in the Senate “because of the way they could be misinterpreted and implemented incorrectly.”
Not just "interpreted... incorrectly" but "implemented incorrectly"! Well, there you have it! We are absolutely right to fear the way laws may be implemented. What does "incorrectly" even mean? If the language is there to be implemented a particular way, what should we care if the members of Congress preserved an out for themselves, letting them say that was not what they meant? It only makes it more underhanded!
The extent to which it and other provisions have been misinterpreted in recent days, notably by angry speakers at recent town hall meetings but also by Ms. Palin — who popularized the “death panel” phrase — has surprised longtime advocates of changes to the health care system.
"Misinterpreted in recent days"... and potentially misimplemented in future days, when it's too late and the law's the law.
... Former Senator Tom Daschle of South Dakota, an advocate for the health care proposals, said he was occasionally confronted with the “forced euthanasia” accusation at forums on the plans, but came to see it as an advantage. “Almost automatically you have most of the audience on your side,” Mr. Daschle said. “Any rational normal person isn’t going to believe that assertion.”
Yes. Then why didn't Democrats argue their side? Why did they back down? I suspect it's because they really did hope to save money by substituting painkillers for curative treatments for the old and disabled.

292 comments:

1 – 200 of 292   Newer›   Newest»
NKVD said...

Hold it, wait, what? Obama is not a muslim?

WV - siamb - oh yes he is.

Kev said...

(the other kev)

Citizens are no longer supposed to read bills and ask questions about provisions in them. That is a task for their betters.

And for the record, I wish the same thing had occurred when the Patriot Act was up for vote. These all-encompassing bills leave too much room for abuse.

mccullough said...

We can't afford to pay for everyone's health care unless we cut it for the elderly (and still probably not then).

TosaGuy said...

Sarah Palin will now be further encouraged to speak out on policy. I am undecided if this will help her or hurt her in the long run. It will focus more attacks on her by the left.

I am in SD for a few days. The local airwaves are being bombarded with pro-obamacare ads...bucking up their Blue Dog rep--the gorgeous, yet utterly political opportunistic, Stephanie Herseth-Sandlin

WV=shabren

Hank said...

A few weeks ago, the state of Oregon sent a letter to a woman with cancer, refusing to pay for her chemotherapy, but offering her a euthanasia option. Link to video here.

So I don't think that concerns about similar implementation of a vague Federal law are inappropriate, and any statements to the contrary by Democrats were/are extremely disingenuous. It can and does happen when the state starts rationing healthcare.

rdkraus said...

Obama has his gifts.

Palin has hers.

If she had come out with a calm and reasoned explanation about what the provisions said and why they were dangerous, that would have done ........ nothing. End of story.

She (or someone) found a phrase that lit up the issue in a way that made people pay attention.

That is her gift. She has the knack of poking her finger in the oppenent's eye, and there was more than enough there (in the bill) for her to score.

Take a look at her facebook rebuttal of those critical of her use of the words Death Panel.

I don't think she's ready to be President, but she has some formidable political skills.

Sy said...

@TosaGuy

They will attack her regardless of the subject. It's almost like a knee jerk reaction whenever Sarah Palin say something. Oh Sarah Palin is stupid meme spreads like wildfire ...until she is proven right or not so outrageous as thought. By that time, the damage is already done and the public still thinks Palin is stupid.

former law student said...

If it was completely wrong for Sarah Palin to say "death panels," why did the Senate scuttle the provision she was talking about?

Why didn't the congressional Democrats defend their own bill?

Because Perception Is Reality. Continuing to argue that your opponents Just Don't Understand is fruitless, and violates the rule against holes. (When you're in a hole, stop digging.) Sacrificing a non-essential provision is the better part of valor.

wv: coquithp: Our company quit HP.

Rose said...

THANK YOU. I've been looking for the words, and you say it all.

Smilin' Jack said...

I suspect it's because they really did hope to save money by substituting painkillers for curative treatments for the old and disabled.

They still do, of course. But now granny won't be counseled first that burial is so much greener than cremation.

L. E. Lee said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Paddy O. said...

"I don't think she's ready to be President, but she has some formidable political skills."

She's increasingly becoming a Fred Thompson style talker with a rather intense fire in her belly.

What's also interesting to me is that she made strong use of Facebook to spark a major policy battle. If anyone else had done that they would have been praised as extremely adept at new communication.

If she keeps pushing this way, pushing on her points even in the face of opposition, pushing the other side to back down, she's going to be increasingly formidable.

Because all the "Palin is stupid" comments will just wash away as more and more people find they agree with what she's actually saying.

Robert Cook said...

"Obama has his gifts.

Palin has hers."




Palin's "gift" is making shit up.

(Or whoever it really is writing her tweets.)

L. E. Lee said...

First post of the day is one about Palin. Way to roust the Althouse Hillbillies Ann! Good move!

Jeremy said...

I know my grandparent have all had DNR orders in their final months and I suspect that many folks don't want heroic (and expensive) measures taken to extend their life. It's not necessarily a cost issue, it's a quality of life issue.

OTOH, it's not unreasonable for someone else to decide that Hell Yes, they want all efforts to be made to extend their life at any cost (to themselves or anyone else).

These seem like deeply personal issues that can't be dealt with (well) on a massive societal level. And yet, any national health system, particularly a publicly-financed one, has to deal with it. This seems like one of those fundamental belief disconnects (like "when does life begin" or "societal obligation to the poor", etc) that can't simply bepatched over with promises of bi-partisanship and cooperation.

-The Other Jeremy

Original Mike said...

“Almost automatically you have most of the audience on your side,” Mr. Daschle said. “Any rational normal person isn’t going to believe that assertion.”.

If you say so, Tom. {rollseyes}

Original Mike said...

And yet, any national health system, particularly a publicly-financed one, has to deal with it..

Why? These conversations can and do happen between patient and doctor. We don't need the government to sanction them.

Jeremy said...

Palin's "gift" is making shit up.


Get that woman in the Senate, where she belongs, stat!

-The Other Jeremy

Robert Cook said...

"...all the "Palin is stupid" comments will just wash away as more and more people find they agree with what she's actually saying."

Which will prove our country is filled with stupid people.

(Although I don't know that I would characterize Palin herself as "stupid" so much as ignorant and happy to tell lies. Her followers are comprised of the stupid, the ignorant, and those hungry to believe lies. Although these are discrete groups, obviously there is bleedover among them.)

Chase said...

Regular Althouse commenter Bruce Hayden already nailed the explanation for all of this in the earlier Althouse post here and here and here.


WV: beriestr as in "Inglorious Beriestrs"

Chase said...

Robert Cook,

I do not agree with you at all, but you do write witty, sir. LOL!

Scott M said...

Two things immediately come to mind over this growing story.

First, how in the hell did Zeke become the health advisor, in any case, without shrieks of nepotism and cronyism?

Second, in Zekes own words (paraphrased here), doctors need to move away from their oaths and start to look at society as a whole. He called on them to do some utilitarian moral calculus about the resources used on an ailing patient - something to the effect of:

...should those resources be better used for another patient with longer life (ie more to offer society) or, if I read correctly, the arts?

One could take that to it's logical conclusion. Why should Family A, who's been on welfare forever, has one kid in jail, another with a teen mother, and a drug-addicted father, get any resources at all when those resources could best be spent to give Family B, with the honor roll kids, a leg up and one that will, presumably, give the most bang for the buck return to society?

Curious...

madawaskan said...

You know they have a damn part of that bill towards the end where they give goodies to the unionized nurses-it's the all too familiar tactic of the Democrats-

Divide and Conquer-

where they award grants for the Diversification of nurses.

I gather-they finally want more-

White guys somewhere!?!?

and, if you haven't noticed they also divided and conquered when they co-opted -

Big Pharma-

Chicago Style.

You guys pay us $80 billion at the beginning of this, let us pick off the rest of your allies and will leaves yunes alone...

Capische?

Also ya can spend $150,000,000 advertising for us and that should shut the yam holes on CNN and MSNBC...

It all reminds me of my supposed Uncle Neldo...they told me he was from Sicily-you do the "matts"..

[wv:intel]

Ya, I think this is how Democrats do war.

madawaskan said...

Which all leads me to another point-

Has the media helped in any of this?

Have they read the bill?

Are they saying-see where it says-

this?

Hell NO.

Now ask yourselves-

Why?

Jeremy said...

Original Mike -

Because you and I are paying for it. The decision may be theirs, but we are bearing the cost of the transaction, which means that we ought to get some say in it. I'd prefer that said patient make a decision that's not going to raise my taxes.

Though, ultimately, I'd really rather have them make a decision that doesn't involve my taxes one way or the other. That way they can choose freely and bear all the costs and rewards themselves.

-The Other Jeremy

Methadras said...

Robert Cook said...

Which will prove our country is filled with stupid people.


Really? I wonder what your excuse is then?

Methadras said...

madawaskan said...

Which all leads me to another point-

Has the media helped in any of this?

Have they read the bill?

Are they saying-see where it says-

this?

Hell NO.

Now ask yourselves-

Why?


Because they are complicit ultra-leftist, 5th columnist agitprops.

Original Mike said...

Other Jeremy - That's one of the things wrong with this whole thing. The need to write payment codes for every sentence uttered by the doctor. Just pay for the visit to the doctor and be done with it. Let what the two parties say be between them alone. But that's not possible when it's the government.

One of the many reasons this whole big bondoggle needs to fail.

madawaskan said...

Methadras-

Yep-and they need those advertising dollars--at least CNN and MSNBC does.

$150,000,000 from Big Pharma, and supposedly AARP says they don't support the bill or they do-but they are going to advertise for{?} it.

And, finally the media knows that the Democrats have a huge supply of green backs in their war chest.

McCain and some other republicans were NAIVE as hell when it came to campaign finance reform.

Republicans don't do street fighting Democrats have a black belt in that.

AllenS said...

L. E. Lee said...
"First post of the day is one about Palin. Way to roust the Althouse Hillbillies Ann! Good move!"

LE Lee, you ignorant motherfucking fool. The first post of the day was about Hillary Clinton.

AJ Lynch said...

Robert Cook:

Psst.... some of us stupid people can spell discreet and know how to use it properly.

wv = amlfetse

elHombre said...

As pointed out by several commenters here, the "death panels" are not directly related to the end-of-life counselling issue!!!!

Death panels relate to the rationing of health care, particularly for the very young and very old, using standards described in the paper authored by Obama advisor, Ezekial "Dr. Death" Emanuel.

The Democrats are sidestepping the issue by removing the EOL provisions.

Or, per fls: "Sacrificing a non-essential provision is the better part of valor."

----------------------
wv "guilaraw": a form of unpalatable deception practiced by Democrats.

AJ Lynch said...

Althouse:

I will pay an admission fee to one of your meetups if you can get LE Lee there so he can be eviscerated by AllenS.


wv - didev

Sloanasaurus said...

It is easy to envision a reality where the so called "voluntary end- of-life commission" becomes something that is no longer voluntary in practice. In otherwords, a person who hasn't "voluntarily" submitted to the death panel for review, is suddenly subject to administrative delay for the hip replacement they want.

In the tax world Congress created a law to allow review of cases by the Joint Committe on Taxation. the purpose was to orovide oversight by reviewing refunds over a certain amount. Under the law the IRS does not have to submit to the decision of the committee. It's "voluntary!" In practice, the IRS refuses to process any refund without getting approval from the committee first.

Remember, tt won't be Obama or Tom Daschle implementing the bill, it will be low level government workers bo one knows.

ricpic said...

Is anyone naive enough to believe Barak Obama-Ezekiel Emanuel won't press for death panels after they've given the blue dogs cover to vote for a watered down health care bill? ANY version of government health care has to be defeated.

downtownlad said...

They withdrew it, because it wasn't fundamental to the bill.

Doctors are the ones who wanted this provision inserted. Hospitals spend a lot of money on treatment that families object to, but since grandma never had an end of life consultation, they have to proceed with treatment that the families don't want.

This would have cut down costs, because it would prevent medical treatment that the PATIENT does not want.

But woo hoo - you won Ann. You WON! Now we get to spend lots and lots and lots of money treating people, that if they had a CHOICE, would choose not to get that treatment.

And if you want to get end of life counseling, you get to pay for it out of your own pocket - instead of Medicare covering it. But you're a lawyer, so you'll probably create a living will. Most people don't think about it - which means we'll never know what they really want.

But that's what you wanted, right?

You don't want people to think about end of life care. You prefer that when they get old - that we just have to assume that they want to be on respirators forever. God forbid we actually ASKED them before they got sick.

And thanks to you Ann, we won't be asking them. Congratulations.

And how lovely to see that you've now joined the Birther crowd.

LarsPorsena said...

Obama could turn around his slide in the polls if Jack Kevorkian would just endorse the plan.

John Doe, Esq. said...

the bill's defenders could have explained exactly why the text could not mean what Palin said it meant, or they could have rewritten the provision to make it absolutely clear that it meant whatever it was that they'd wanted it to mean when they wrote it.

Explaining or rewriting would work *if* this was a actually an honest debate. But it is not. Opponents-- and that includes you, Althouse -- are willing to lie to advance their cause. So your argument that the left should engage should dishonesty is, well, disingenuous.

m00se said...

Ann,

Spot analysis.

Thank you.

downtownlad said...

Ann likes to sit from the sidelines and throw stinkbombs all day.

She hasn't contributed anything useful to the health care conversation. Ever.

Montagne Mointaigne said...

What is a death panel? Have any of these shameless liars, Sarah Palin foremost, explained what the death panel would be and who it would be composed of? Have these execrable partisan hacks who contribute 0.0 to society pointed to any language in any bill that can even remotely be construed to create something that could be described by the words "death panel"?

No.

Sarah Palin is a liar, and she makes money lying.

People who believe her are dupes.

People who don't call her on her bullshit lose all credibility.

Beth said...

Althouse is arguing that propaganda is substance. If I raise a hysterical argument in words that grab the imagination, then that's substance and the opponents must be hiding something! They "scuttled" this because it became the single-most important target of people wanting to shut down the whole process. Democrats are no good at all at fighting for what they support, but that doesn't make Palin's propaganda any less shameful.

Althouse, why did Palin sign a proclamation endorsing the same type of counseling in Alaska for Healthcare Decisions Day in 2008 if she's really, sincerely afraid of "death panels"?

Montagne Mointaigne said...

I think Althouse wants to be on the opposite side of whatever Ezra Klein advocates, because she's still smarting at the whole antisemitism bait episode.

But she should read this...

http://voices.washingtonpost.com/ezra-klein/2009/08/is_the_government_going_to_eut.html

John said...

"Way to roust the Althouse Hillbillies"

L.E. Lee: Don't get confused. That's your mother's job.

elHombre said...

JD, esq wrote: ...*if* this was a actually an honest debate. But it is not. Opponents-- and that includes you, Althouse -- are willing to lie to advance their cause.

Where do you jackasses come from? If the Democrats had their way, this dog would have been passed without any debate.

You can't seriously be contending that the public option will not endanger private insurance and give rise to rationed health care.

You folks got caught out. The public knows. Quit whining.

Alex said...

Beth - and tell me what substance is it when Reid calls opponents "evilmongers" and Pelosi calls them "un-American". Do you have a double standard now?

Dust Bunny Queen said...

This would have cut down costs, because it would prevent medical treatment that the PATIENT does not want.


Or treatment that the patient has been BROWBEATEN into not taking.

I deal with a lot of senior citizens in my profession. Many of my highest dollar accounts are seniors. I discuss end of life issues with them all the time. Wills, estate plans, trusts, durable powers of attorney, living wills and medical directives. I work with their attorneys and with their children as well. The children (who are usually in their 50's)are important to be involved in these meetings so that they can see that their parents are not being coerced into making decisions that affect everyone.

I can see the changes also in my clients as they age and become more frail and afraid for themselves. They are trusting of authority and an unscrupulous investment advisor can (and the often do) make a killing by selling the client inappropriate investments and churning their accounts. Many of my clients just say to me...."Do what you want with my money, because I trust you" No questions asked. Fortunately for them, I AM an ethical advisor with a conscious and moral scruples.

However, lets put that same frail, afraid and trusting senior who has just been admitted to the hospital or the advanced care facility and who is alone. The Doctor (MR AUTHORITY), who is being paid by the Government to counsel the client and who likely under pressure to increase his own revenues and stay on the good side of the government, will then tell the frail, confused and afraid senior that they really shouldn't have or don't need this or that procedure.

Gently and persuasively selling death to Grandma and Grandpa. Basically taking advantage of them worse than an investment shark. At least all they lose is their money in that case. In the case of the Government pushing people away from medical procedures that are expensive to the cheaper alternative of assisted suicide or hospice care.....they lose their lives. They also cheat the families out of the few remaining years that their loved senior may have left.

Alex said...

This is a guaranteed 400 comments. Health care + Palin makes it inevitable.

elHombre said...

@Beth: It's not about the counselling!!! It's about rationing under the public option.

Democrats are no good at all at fighting for what they support.

They're no good at it, because once they disclose what they really support they lose all the sane people.

Beth said...

Nope, Alex. The debate's mired in acrimony right now, that's true all around.

Ann Althouse said...

The Other Jeremy said: "I know my grandparent have all had DNR orders in their final months and I suspect that many folks don't want heroic (and expensive) measures taken to extend their life. It's not necessarily a cost issue, it's a quality of life issue."

I'm sure the mandatory consultations are about getting people to sign the papers that will allow the hospital authorities to withhold treatment and thereby cause death. I think a lot of people sign those papers with one image in mind, the one the authorities promote, and do not imagine the other scenarios -- in which they'd say, hell no, I want to live.

DTL said: "Doctors are the ones who wanted this provision inserted. Hospitals spend a lot of money on treatment that families object to, but since grandma never had an end of life consultation, they have to proceed with treatment that the families don't want. This would have cut down costs, because it would prevent medical treatment that the PATIENT does not want. But woo hoo - you won Ann. You WON! Now we get to spend lots and lots and lots of money treating people, that if they had a CHOICE, would choose not to get that treatment."

Look at what I said: "I said: "If the text doesn't mean what its opponents are saying, it should be easy for the authors of the text to show how it means something good or to amend the text and make its goodness obvious. The authors of the text should trounce their opponents. If they can't, we should fear and mistrust them."

That is, my big point here is that the Dems didn't defend what they wrote. If your big point is but their text was defensible, you are on the same side as I am -- or you should be -- and ask why they didn't defend it. Why did they let their opponents make them look sneaky and evil?

Montaigne said "I think Althouse wants to be on the opposite side of whatever Ezra Klein advocates, because she's still smarting at the whole antisemitism bait episode."

No. I do dislike him for that, but I also don't read him and therefore don't form opinions in reaction to him.

Alex said...

Also why is the burden of proof on us? The Democrats are the ones who have to prove that their monstrosity of a bill is somehow better then the current system.

Alex said...

Beth - oh that's so easy to say a pox on all houses. It was the Democrats who initiated all this by trying to ram HR 3200 down our throats back in July.

Scott M said...

@John Doe

"Explaining or rewriting would work *if* this was a actually an honest debate. But it is not."

Honest? You mean honesty like when President Obama says he opposes a single-payer/universal system when he's on record as saying he does?

Honest? You mean honesty like President Obama telling us that he's not going to raise taxes on 95% of us, but would in fact cut our taxes, only to release his surrogates to start floating trial bubbles about tax hikes to cover this monstrosity?

Honest? You mean honesty when the Democrats claim that they will only support a deficit-neutral policy and then go hell-bent-for-leather to get something passed even in the face of overwhelming evidence that it will be anything but?

You mean that kind of honesty? I've had it with that kind of honesty on both sides of the isle.

Shanna said...

Yes. Then why didn't Democrats argue their side? Why did they back down? I suspect it's because they really did hope to save money by substituting painkillers for curative treatments for the old and disabled.

Well, when the President himself has stated publically that some old people should just take pain pills instead of getting a pacemaker...it’s not exactly crazy to think he might mean what he says, is it?

bagoh20 said...

Rep. Stephanie Herseth-Sandlin

Wow she is hot. I may run for congress myself just so I can filibuster.

Alex said...

There are 2 possibilities:

1. The GOP propaganda machine is brilliant right now.

or

2. The American people are figuring out this socialist monstrosity and the GOP barely has to say anything.

Beth said...

elHombre, did Palin send you a secret decoder ring?

Good thing your private insurer doesn't ration healthcare. That would suck.

madawaskan said...

Just one more example-that this is the Democrat's War and the enemy is-

Republicans.

Harry Reid calls AMERICANS-who are against this Bill and showing up at the Town Halls-


"Evil-Mongers".


Remember when Liberals got all bent out of shape because President Bush called our real enemies-

Evil-Doers?

So get that America-

It's OK for the Senate Majority leader of these United States to call Americans-

Evil Mongers.

But when President Bush called Terrorists-

Evil-Doers-

Well it was beyond the pale...

rocketeer67 said...

Althouse, why did Palin sign a proclamation endorsing the same type of counseling in Alaska for Healthcare Decisions Day in 2008 if she's really, sincerely afraid of "death panels"?

Geez, Beth, don't have heart palpations over this, okay? But if you do, perhaps it would be best if you just took a painkiller instead of seeking corrective treatment that might just not be as cost-effective for society as a whole.

traditionalguy said...

Good old Tom Daschle is from a good old mid-western culture and his voters know that whenever a warning of evil is spoken about good old Democrats being involved in a decietful Final Solution of the problem of uppity old citizen's end of life expenses, then no good old voters could believe the nonsense. Yes Tom, those were the good old days, but now we do believe it big time. No one could also have ever believed that innocent brand new work camps with crowded showers and Industrial strength ovens could be any thing but good for refugees in 1944 Poland either.

Alex said...

Beth - the issue isn't that private health care is unlimited, it's that under single-payer you get no choice or recourse. Of course if you just want to stick it to the wealthy who have more choices, then that's your class warfare at work.

Beth said...

Alex, you are a master of the "I know you are, but what am I" argument. Enjoy yourself, but I'm not going to join you on the playground.

Daryl said...

The provision that got cut has little to do with death panels. That is merely the provision that doctors must pester patients into agreeing to sign a DNR (do not resuscitate) in the event they are incapacitated.

The "death panels" are still in the bill. As long as we have a "public option," then government bureaucrats will decide who gets government care and who does not. People with life-threatening conditions who are denied care will have been death-paneled.

class-factotum said...

And if you want to get end of life counseling, you get to pay for it out of your own pocket - instead of Medicare covering it.

Why should Medicare cover end of life counseling? It is not medically-necessary treatment. If you want counseling, pay for it yourself. If you want something free, download the DNR/power of attorney/living will forms from the internet, sign them and get a notary to witness your signature. It is not that complicated.

Alex said...

Beth - no mas?

Sloanasaurus said...

That is, my big point here is that the Dems didn't defend what they wrote. If your big point is but their text was defensible, you are on the same side as I am -- or you should be -- and ask why they didn't defend it.

Althouse has a good point here. The same argument app-lies to other claims made by the bill supporters. For example, Obama keeps saying that his plan will you allow people to keep their insurance and doctors. If so, where in the legislation is this assured. If it's not in there, why not draft a clause that says the law becomes invalid if people start losing their insurance and doctors.

How can anyone trust Obama at this point. He defends the bill with made up arguments such as a doctor charging $50k to cut off a leg or states that his bill is supported by AARP when it is not.

Piercello said...

Mr. Cook,

Obviously, since half the country is too apathetic, stupid, or ignorant to be trusted with their own political opinions, we should dispense with voting entirely and move straight to a benevolent tyranny of their betters...

Edginess is fine, but let's back off the blanket stupidity accusations already, okay?

-Piercello

madawaskan said...

Here is the link for the American Majority Leader of the Senate -Harry Reid calling-Americans-

Evil Mongers.

The Briefing Room- The Hill Newspaper

Title:"Protesters are Evil-Mongers"

thehill.com

downtownlad said...

That is, my big point here is that the Dems didn't defend what they wrote. If your big point is but their text was defensible, you are on the same side as I am -- or you should be -- and ask why they didn't defend it. Why did they let their opponents make them look sneaky and evil?

Very simple. Because we have a horrible press corps. And Americans are stupid. They really are. They are very, very stupid.

Americans don't understand nuance. The entire debate is about who is winning the political battle. If Obama supports it - then we must oppose it. No matter how sane the proposal is.

And Democrats are going to take the same tactic. Now they are going to want to "win" the battle. And winning will now mean getting "any" healthcare bill passed. No matter how pointless and empty it is.

If Republicans truly wanted to help the country, they could partner with Democrats to get a BETTER bill. A GOOD bill. Because health care is a major problem in this country. And our health care system sucks. Unless you think #37 is god. I don't. But they don't want a good bill. They want no bill so they can say they "won". But they won't win. Democrats will win, because they will get "some" bill.

And guess what. America loses.

Makes me glad I don't live there anymore. I really see no hope for the country. Both parties are gutless to actually solve any problems.

Alex said...

Ah yes the liberals, masters of nuance. F.e. "no blood for oil", "no justice no peace", "bush lied people died", that kind of nuance? LOL....

Sloanasaurus said...

When Obama proposed to provide insurance to the uninsured during the campaign, why didn't he just submit a bill to congress proposing a simple program to provide such insurance. Why does Obama have to mess with the insurance the rest of us already have. If Obama thinks that Americans support health insurance for the uninsured why not pass a bill and a tax to cover them.

IN fact Obama doesn't even have any ideas about the subject. He never created his own bill All the bills are coming from his liberal allies in Congress.

Obama is a worthless leader. He is just a pitchman for others - nothing else.

Billy Mays would have done a far better job selling the worthless health care bill.

Freder Frederson said...

If Obama can't convincingly prove he's not a Muslim/not born in Kenya, it only means the rumors might be true,

Althouse has a good point here. In fact, I heard that a certain University of Wisconsin Law Professor kidnaps babies, murders them in Satanic rituals, then burns their bodies and dumps the ashes in Lake Mendota.

If she can't convincingly prove that the rumors are false, they might be true.

Dogwood said...

Have any of these shameless liars, Sarah Palin foremost, explained what the death panel would be and who it would be composed of?

In one of her Facebook posts, she quite clearly states that her Death Panel comment was referring to the rationing principles being promoted by Dr. Emmanuel, i.e. withhold resources from the elderly and disabled while spending them on younger patients who have the ability to contribute more to society.

She, and millions of other Americans, understand that the only way to provide health care to 47 million more people while simultaneously reducing costs is to ration care in a "ruthlessly pragmatic" fashion.

Dr. Emmanuel wants to restrict health care to those who are capable of contributing to society, while Obama has stated numerous times that if a specific medical treatment does not cure you then you should not receive it.

Rational people take them at their word, then ask how those stated values will impact life-extending care for the terminally ill while also wondering how the disabled will be treated and cared for through the years.

These are legitimate concerns and fears that proponents of national health care are simply ignoring because they know the answers are politically untenable at the present time.

downtownlad said...

And we all die eventually. If people really want to spend $50 million for an extra two weeks worth of life on a respirator, that's fine. But spend your own money, not the taxpayers.

This bill didn't say that. But it should have. If we were actually serious about addressing costs.

I don't want to be on life support if I have zero chance of survival. But I haven't made a living will. So I guess I will be!

Hoosier Daddy said...

Good lord the leftards are in rare form. You know you guys remind me of Young Frankenstein and how the horses react when Igor would say BLUCHER! Althouse says Palin and you all shit yourselves.

This monstrosity of a bill is proof to me that Obama is either completely ignorant of history or is too caught up in his own sense of political invulnerability.

What has been harped on for twenty years now is the unisured, people going bankrupt from catastrophic illness. I'll say it again. A fast, immediate and low impact fix would have been to extend Medicare Part A to those who would qualify (uninsured or uninsurable) and then the whole 'I lost everything because I was diagnosed with X' would go away. It would't be a perfect fix but it would suffice by using an EXISTING and TRUSTED government program rather than creating an entirely new government program with whole new set of provisions that the fucking morons who are trying to sell to us can't even tell us whats in it.

But hey, it's Palin's fault, Limbaugh, Beck, Chuck Norris and Colonel Sanders faul!!! Its all thier fault, not the incompetent fucktards who think the ladies getting wet panties over Obama's smile and manboobs was a mandate for him to turn the whole system upside down.

WV- bagshipp "The kind of crazy that afflicts Obama supporters when you say Palin"

Sloanasaurus said...

Very simple. Because we have a horrible press corps. And Americans are stupid. They really are. They are very, very stupid.

Americans don't understand nuance.


Wow. Americans were apparently smart enough to elect Obama, but are too dumb to oppose his health care plan?

DTW's sentiments are shared among most liberals. Its just a matter of time before Obama gaffes and publicly blames the American people in general for his own failures.

Alex said...

Sloanasaurus - the reason Obama couldn't just propose insurance vouchers and nothing else was he wants to put in the stepping stone to single-payer. Barney Frank admitted this. OTOH, we do need reform. Like portability. Fix the inconsistency that you get health insurance from a company even with pre-existing conditions, but you can't buy a policy on your own at the same price. Stuff like that needs to be taken care of.

But first things first, stop the public option. I can't believe the Dems are getting away with $1.8 trillion deficit as far as the eye can see. All that 8 years of Bush-bashing over deficits, and it's ok for Obama to triple it?

Shanna said...

You don't want people to think about end of life care.

Don’t be so dramatic. If you are at the doctor, you can ask them for specifics on DNR/DNI. You can go read the damn thing yourself. You can make a decision on your own. Nobody will stop you from creating a DNR!

My grandmother always said she hoped she would die in her sleep. Had it been an issue, we would have known what she wanted without a doubt. (it didn’t arise, she died in her sleep).

Hoosier Daddy said...

And we all die eventually.

And for some not soon enough.

Freder Frederson said...

That is, my big point here is that the Dems didn't defend what they wrote.

Only problem is Ann, the text was written by a Republican.

Randy said...

Beth, whenever it seems like you are just wasting your time you usually are. ;-)

Alex said...

DTW's sentiments are shared among most liberals.

Well it's just like the other day when they threw Paglia under the bus. You are not allowed to dissent from even one ideological point of the left-wing or you get "eliminated".

Maguro said...

Only problem is Ann, the text was written by a Republican.

Wow, so this is yet another victory for the Dems. They've maneuvered brilliantly to destroy this Republican-written monstrosity.

madawaskan said...

This Bill is being passed because 10% of America is uninsured.

10%.

Now a numbers guy I talked to last night said he though it was more like 15% but-

That number is a good percentage in other words it is derived at by using good information and isn't as much of a guess as would be a percentage found by using public opinion methodology.

So-

Let's use that number-

15%.

85% of America has to be told by others who also have insurance that they should feel bad about-the 15% that are uninsured.

Notice at some of these Town Halls the more sincere Democrats don't claim to be uninsured they say go talk to the uninsured.

Well- interesting point.

Who are the uninsured?

Back to the discussion I had with "Mr. Numbers"-

A vast majority of the uninsured are young people who just haven't thought of it, and/or don't know how to go about getting insurance.

So-we could get the percentage down to those that are uninsured but who wish to get coverage to probably something in the single digits.

Meanwhile in recent polling-

85% of the people who have insurance are happy with it.

But-again those are the people that might identify with the people being called-

"a mob".

"Un American.".

and-

"Evil-Mongers."

Dust Bunny Queen said...

And we all die eventually. If people really want to spend $50 million for an extra two weeks worth of life on a respirator, that's fine. But spend your own money, not the taxpayers.


I take it then, that you are in favor of abolishing medicaid. Since the majority of the people who are taking advantage of the welfare system of medicaid are not tax payers and I really don't want to spend my tax dollars on a bunch of non productive citizens....we should just stop treating them. Right?

Since people who have AIDS are not going to get better, we should really not spend valuable resources on them either. Correct?

downtownlad said...

Wrong Shanna. What incentive does the doctor have to ask? Especially if Grandma is not going to pay for it. What incentive does the doctor have to do it for free?

Insurance companies have an incentive to ask. But guess what? Grandma doesn't have insurance. Grandma has medicare. And medicare can't ask, because it's illegal to ask.

Why is it illegal? Because Republicans like to waste taxpayer money.

And the 1.8 trillion dollar deficit is entirely OWNED by Bush. He created it. Obama has plans to bring that deficit down substantially.

Alex said...

Our trolls behavior is continuing the "Emmanuel Goldstein" meme. No matter that the GOP is a minority in the Congress, they must bash them rather then the Blue Dogs who are their real enemy. The problem for libs is that they can't rally the troops over Blue Dog bashing as easily as throwing Palin-meat.

Bruce Hayden said...

Thanks for the kind words from Chase, but I did have help from Gov. Palin: Concerning the "Death Panels" (which many of you have already read):

Of course, it’s not just this one provision that presents a problem. My original comments concerned statements made by Dr. Ezekiel Emanuel, a health policy advisor to President Obama and the brother of the President’s chief of staff. Dr. Emanuel has written that some medical services should not be guaranteed to those “who are irreversibly prevented from being or becoming participating citizens....An obvious example is not guaranteeing health services to patients with dementia.” [10] Dr. Emanuel has also advocated basing medical decisions on a system which “produces a priority curve on which individuals aged between roughly 15 and 40 years get the most chance, whereas the youngest and oldest people get chances that are attenuated.” [11]

President Obama can try to gloss over the effects of government authorized end-of-life consultations, but the views of one of his top health care advisors are clear enough. It’s all just more evidence that the Democratic legislative proposals will lead to health care rationing, and more evidence that the top-down plans of government bureaucrats will never result in real health care reform
.

Montagne Mointaigne said...

How can people equate protesting a WAR with protesting REFORM? Sorry, they aren't equivalent. Not even close.

See, because Hitler started a war, Bush=Hitler at least makes some kind of sense.

Bush lied (about going to war for WMDs-- 'cause where are they?) and people did actually die.

People who say Obama wants to kill grandmothers are lying and no one died.

SLIGHT DIFFERENCE.

Alex said...

And the 1.8 trillion dollar deficit is entirely OWNED by Bush. He created it. Obama has plans to bring that deficit down substantially.

Oh wow that's precious. Too bad the American people don't agree with you. Obama didn't have to push that $800 billion porkulus, did he?

downtownlad said...

In case you haven't heard DBQ, they have drugs that treat AIDS very well - to the point where it is a treatable disease just like diabetes.

And yes, of course I favor getting rid of Medicare. I don't give a fuck about old people. So I am on the same page as Republicans here - Medicare must go. Now.

I have health insurance. I don't give a fuck about anyone else. If they can't afford insurance - well as they Wall street Journal said - they are DEADBEATS. And they should just fend for themselves.

L. E. Lee said...

John replied after I wrote "Way to roust the Althouse Hillbillies"

"L.E. Lee: Don't get confused. That's your mother's job."

Who told you I was Ann Althouse's love child?
--------------
AllenS wrote
"LE Lee, you ignorant motherfucking fool."

hmmmmmmm.(looking at profile picture)...I don't think so.

Bruce Hayden said...

And the 1.8 trillion dollar deficit is entirely OWNED by Bush. He created it. Obama has plans to bring that deficit down substantially.

Huh? I am aware that President Bush has been out of office since January, but would suggest that the signature on those bills making them law was President Obama's. Indeed, I might even suggest that if President Bush had signed those bills instead, they would not have gone into law.

Why is it illegal? Because Republicans like to waste taxpayer money.

I would suggest that this is one of the larger instances of projection I have seen here.

Alex said...

If the American people thought that Bush owned the current deficit, Obama's poll numbers wouldn't be plunging. But I guess the American people are dumb right?

Dust Bunny Queen said...

And medicare can't ask, because it's illegal to ask.

Why is it illegal? Because Republicans like to waste taxpayer money.


Oh BULLSHIT.

Doctors address this issue all the time with their patients and they consider it a part of their duties. It doesn't cost you anymore in Doctor's office fees if the Doctor decides that the issue is important and wants to discuss it. Often the Physican will have a group visit with family and the patient to do the couseling. Nany times at no charge.....because Doctors actually do care about their patients.

There is nothing preventing this.
There is also nothing MANDATORY about it either. It is a personal choice on the part of the patient and a professional duty on the part of the Doctor. The government has no need to be involved.

madawaskan said...

Freder- from Sweden-

Again that has been refuted-

That part of the bill was-not written by a Republican.

Now here is what Obama claimed but got wrong.

“The irony is that actually one of the chief sponsors of this bill originally was a Republican — then House member, now senator, named Johnny Isakson from Georgia — who very sensibly thought this is something that would expand people’s options,” Obama said in Portsmouth.

Not so fast, Isakson said.

“This is what happens when the president and members of Congress don’t read the bills,”
Isakson said Tuesday.

“The White House and others are merely attempting to deflect attention from the intense negativity caused by their unpopular policies.

“I never consulted with the White House in this process and had no role whatsoever in the House Democrats’ bill,” Isakson said. “I categorically oppose the House bill and find it incredulous that the White House and others would use my amendment as a scapegoat for their misguided policies.”

Scott M said...

@Montagne

"How can people equate protesting a WAR with protesting REFORM? Sorry, they aren't equivalent. Not even close. See, because Hitler started a war, Bush=Hitler at least makes some kind of sense."

Hitler considered himself an "ambitious reformer". Read your history...the stuff beyond what goes for the drivel in public school these days.

lol

Anonymous Blogger said...

I disagree, Ann.

Public statements in the political arena echo. The politically uninformed hear assertions of trusted figures and believe them wholesale. If Newt Gingrich and Sarah Palin claim there will be “death panels” – despite that both politicians voted for similarly worded provisions in standalone bills concerning end-of-life issues – then millions of Americans watching Fox News will believe that there will be death panels.

So, it matters not whether the provision is well-worded. (In fact, the provision consists of boilerplate language used regularly in state bills concerning these matters.) Sarah Palin is knowingly lying. Her motivation is probably to disseminate the false idea that there will be death panels. Once that idea takes root, there is really no way to show it isn’t true, because Sarah Palin is a liar. She will claim there are death panels no matter what the wording of the provision is, because she does not care what the wording of it is. All she wants to do is spread a lie. For that reason, the only way to stop the lying about the provision is to eliminate the provision.

The Democrats do not want to debate whether there will be death panels. There will not be any death panels, and Sarah Palin knows it.

Maguro said...

How can people equate protesting a WAR with protesting REFORM? Sorry, they aren't equivalent. Not even close.

I'm sorry, did I miss the part of the constitution that says you can speak up against war but not against healthcare bills? Matbe you can point it out to me.

Free speech is free speech, sorry you don't like the results but people are allowed to protest anything they damn well please.

Jeremy said...

If people really want to spend $50 million for an extra two weeks worth of life on a respirator, that's fine. But spend your own money, not the taxpayers.

I happen to agree with you and I think a lot of people do, too. But let's imagine a future where that is the case. Lots of rich people are spending $50 million for an extra two weeks while poor (!), black (!), old folks (!) die early because they can't afford it and are on the gov't plan. There's no way that that doesn't become an Equal Rights issue. There's no way that to prevent benefits from extending. Creep - it's not just for kudzu, it's for the government, too

-The Other Jeremy.

downtownlad said...

The stimulus bill is over three years - so about $250 billion a year. And with the multiplier effect, it probably only increases the deficit by $100 billion. And if it gets us out of the recession, as looks likely - it will pay for itself.

And Republican's answer was to cut income tax rates by %40 - lowering the top rate to 25%. That would have blown a huge whole in the deficit - forever. But hey - who's counting.

Care to name the pork Alex? Cmon - it was an $800 billion dollar bill.

So point out $200 billion of pork for me. Should be easy.

Here - I'll even provide a link with the details:

http://projects.nytimes.com/44th_president/stimulus

Good luck - as the vast majority of the stimulus plan was tax cuts and Aid to the States - decidedly NOT pork.

Alex said...

Is Sarah Palin really lying or just exaggerating? When you consider every word out of Obama's mouth is a lie, I don't find that particularly egregious.

madawaskan said...

And another meme that is going around-

The Democrats and even Republicans are allowing it to be said over and over again that old people are the ones most aggravated about this-

because-

they are the ones that "use up services the most".

Well, it could also be that older Americans are more against this because they also have more-

EXPERIENCE.

They are less NAIVE.

But, Democrats would rather attribute it to more selfish reasons and those reasons alone.

[wv:gangbet]

Synova said...

South Dakota has a large Native American population. I doubt there are many Native Americans who are unaware of the behavior of the health services on reservations that resulted in the sterilizations of teenage girls often without their knowledge or consent and that have been equated by Native American groups to attempted genocide, even if most other Americans have never heard of it.

Daschel might be surprised how many of his former constituents don't find the concept of government death panels hard to believe at all.

Richard Dolan said...

Has anyone read the text of the various drafts floating through various Congressional committees?

It's a fair bet that the NYT reporter hasn't. Obama said he hadn't as of a month or so ago. It's hard to believe that he's plowed through thousands of pages of really deadly prose since then, and not very likely he's taking it on his vacation.

I'd be amazed if any of our daunted representatives or senators have plowed through it either. That's why they have aides. And the aides rely on the lobbyists. After all, only someone paid a lot would be willing to wade through that stuff, and only a lobbyist who's trying to slide something in to benefit a client fits that bill.

Until it's passed on to the taxpayers to pay, that is.

LarsPorsena said...

I know everyone is having fun with the 'end of life' = death
panels but we need to move the discussion along about how the 'plan' insures illegal immigrants.

Wait until Mr. and Mrs. America find out they get to pay for anyone who staggers across the border

Alex said...

The basic issue here is transparency in government. Liberals like Beth don't care and prefer to demagogue conservatives instead of defending the specifics of legislation.

Synova said...

AB, bullsh*t.

"If Newt Gingrich and Sarah Palin claim there will be “death panels” – despite that both politicians voted for similarly worded provisions in standalone bills concerning end-of-life issues –"

What Palin put her name to was a public service program to promote community education similar to "eat vegetables" or "read a book". It was *not* a health care bill with the force of law.

elHombre said...

Beth wrote: Good thing your private insurer doesn't ration healthcare. That would suck.

I guess that means you think that market limitations on goods and services are equivalent to government rationing.

Do I remember that you are an English teacher? Best stick with that. Economics and ethics are not your long suit.

Bruce Hayden said...

How can people equate protesting a WAR with protesting REFORM? Sorry, they aren't equivalent. Not even close.

See, because Hitler started a war, Bush=Hitler at least makes some kind of sense.

Bush lied (about going to war for WMDs-- 'cause where are they?) and people did actually die.

People who say Obama wants to kill grandmothers are lying and no one died
.

I guess this is what passes for logic on the left. I think that the Iraq stuff has been so debunked here that I won't waste space.

For the people protesting right now, their fear that their lives are on the line is real. The sort of death panels, whether formal, or just some sort of board prioritizing their health care, that come with "health care reform".

Of course, no one has died yet through implementation of ObamaCare, since, of course, it has not been implemented yet. So, your argument that no one should protest because granny is still with us is, rather, silly I think.

Maybe you don't care if you live or die. But most of us do, and most of us care whether our loved ones die when they could have lived longer.

The Iraq war was really fairly abstract for most of us. Most of us didn't know anyone who died there, and few even had loved ones serve. And, by most indications, many fewer Iraqis died than would have if we had not intervened there.

This isn't abstract. This is real. And a lot of people are getting scared, and they are doing so for very good reasons.

downtownlad said...

Old people are the biggest protestors of this health care bill.

They are right - socialism is tyranny.

Time to abolish Medicare. Now. Let the old fuckers fend for themselves. Has there ever been a greedier bunch of people - insisting on government funding for their health care - but none for anyone else?

I think not.

Shanna said...

Wrong Shanna. What incentive does the doctor have to ask? Especially if Grandma is not going to pay for it. What incentive does the doctor have to do it for free?

Why does the doctor have to ask? Who cares! If Grandma has an opinion (and lord knows both of mine have always had opinions) she is quite likely to just tell her kids, like my grandmother did, what she wants. Those kids can get power of attorney and make those decisions. I personally would not sign up for either DNR/DNI, instead I would give a medical power of attorney to someone I trusted to make the right decisions based on the circumstances present (ie, just because I don’t want to be put on a ventilator for 10 years doesn’t mean I don’t want my heart restarted or to get cpr).

And medicare can't ask, because it's illegal to ask.

OK, somebody earlier said medicare already will pay for consultations, so maybe we need some sort of factual ruling on that point. However, not paying for it is not the same thing as preventing it from happening and it’s certainly not the same thing as making sure every old person has some sort of consultation session. I don’t really have a problem with people talking about it, I’m far more concerned about rationing. I just thought you were being massively overdramatic.

Obama has plans to bring that deficit down substantially.

I don’t care what he says, I care what he does. You can’t just talk about vague “plans” when you are in the process of tripling the deficit. Good lord.

Rich said...

madawaskan said...


Who are the uninsured?

They include everyone who gets their “insurance” through their employment.

Alex said...

Beth doesn't understand the difference between price rationing and government rationing. It's all the same to her feeble mind.

Alex said...

Yeah Obama has "plans" to cut the deficit like I have "plans" to make the roster of the Dallas Cowboys this year.

Daniel said...

Hypothetical scenario:
Health care bill gets passed by Congress in September. Coverage of voluntary end of life planning sessions with your doctor, available now for those who are terminally ill through a Republican supported rider to the Medicare prescription drug bill, is not in the bill.

So now, if you are 70 and in good health, but want to have a discussion with your doctor about a DNR, or something similar, when you are healthy and sharp, rather than while being wheeled into an emergency room, you can't, because you can't afford it.

ARE YOU BETTER OFF?? OR ARE YOU JUST PISSED OFF THAT THE REPUBLICANS WANTED TO KILL THE BILL AND CHOSE THIS STUPIDITY AS A WAY TO DO IT???

Particularly since half of them, including New Gingrich, SUPPORTED THIS BEFORE THEY OPPOSED IT.

I'm pissed.
Thanks.

By the way, nice logic Ann. Why bother with an empirical argument when you can make a logical one? Roadmap to your post: point to event 1 (inclusion of coverage in bill). Point to event 2 (removal of coverage). Logically derive the link between event 1 and event 2, ignoring what actually happened over the last several weeks.

Here's an explanation for your question, "why didn't the congressional Democracts defend their own bill"?

1. They did. Immediately. Aggressively. All over the place. Constantly. Forcefully. However:

2. Nobody gave a shit, because it was never about the "death panels" in the first place (how could it have been? there were no death panels). It was just a way to kill the bill. See Gingrich, Newt, flip flopper.

3. The Democrats don't want to lose the entire endeavor because of a stupid rumor.

Now, frankly, this is politics (this shit is chess, it ain't checkers, right?). It's hardball, it's nasty, it's not fair, and that's the way it goes. I remember Obama taking down Hilary with centrist Democrats over the mandate thing -- and then taking down McCain over ending the tax breaks on employer health care coverage.

But let's not pretend that this was a good outcome. For Republicans and a good number of Americans, it's not a good outcome if the bill gets passed without this. It's a good outcome if the bill doesn't get passed. In that sense, maybe it's a good tactical, interim outcome for Republicans (or maybe it's a good one for Democrats, who can try to move on). As I said though, if there's a successful bill, we'll all regret that this was removed.

Dust Bunny Queen said...

And yes, of course I favor getting rid of Medicare. I don't give a fuck about old people. So I am on the same page as Republicans here - Medicare must go. Now.


I guess you can't read very well. I said Medicaid.

Medicare is funded by payroll taxes. I now pay 2.9% of my income to Medicare, as a self employed person and I have paid into the system for over 40 years as has my husband. Over 100k for the two of us. Money that I could have invested and had a decent return to accumulate a nest egg that I could use to SELF FUND my own health care if I so desired.

When I'm able to enroll, assuming the system is still around, I won't have to pay for Part A because I have over 40 quarters.

HOWEVER......Medicare is not FREE

•Most people do not pay a monthly Part A premium because they or a spouse has 40 or more quarters of Medicare-covered employment.

•The Part A premium is $244.00 per month for people having 30-39 quarters of Medicare-covered employment.

•The Part A premium is $443.00 per month for people who are not otherwise eligible for premium-free hospital insurance and have less than 30 quarters of Medicare-covered employment.


and Part B is not FREE....96.40 a month.

In addition there are co pays and caps on the coverage so that the Medicare recipient is out of pocket. NOT FREE.

If you want additional coverage then most people purchase a Medicare Supplimental Plan. PURCHASE....not FREE.

You are a tool.

wv = rammentru

Alex said...

Daniel - you are sounding VERY desperate!!! I likey a lot!

Original Mike said...

Why should Medicare cover end of life counseling? It is not medically-necessary treatment..

This is a good question, and yet another example of the result of conflating health insurance with free health care.

Alex said...

Just watch Rahmbo try to pull out all the stops in the next weeks to ram this bill through. Bribes, threats, blackmail, whatever it takes to twist the arms of 20 Blue Dogs.

Bruce Hayden said...

I know everyone is having fun with the 'end of life' = death panels but we need to move the discussion along about how the 'plan' insures illegal immigrants.

Wait until Mr. and Mrs. America find out they get to pay for anyone who staggers across the border
.

I think that it is the combination of the two that may be deadly to the proposal here. What is being proposed is essentially and ultimately health care rationing, and one of the express justifications for it is the 45 million or so "uninsured", about 1/3 or so of whom are illegal aliens.

That means that granny is going to die before she needs to so that we can provide health care to people who are here illegally.

Yes, that is harsh, but it is also the natural corollary to the proposals before us.

Cedarford said...

I think it is a case of Palin's disingenuous stupidity attacking most politician's cowardace & dishonesty in the face of voter ignorance. With Palin's reckless, cunning stupidity (and the multimillion-dollar "anti-change" lobbying) winning out.

Let me explain:

1. We already ration care. We have to. This is true right down to the local hospital where protocols have been drafted with government and insurer concurrence that "heroic medical measures" that do not contribute to a positive outcome or meaningful extension of life can be terminated. Even if the "Victims Family...they of infinite moral superiority..insist that the brain dead patient be kept going on machines for weeks until the heart stops beating.
But politicians are absolutely loath to admit they support such rationing to keep hospitals and State medicaid viable for others. Somebody has to back up the docs and the payers when an illegal alien demands futile heroic measures for a preemie born 3 months early with no chance of survival..but perhaps a chance of 2 more weeks of life in neonat ICU..at 30K a day.

2. With reason...there are innumerable Sarah Palin demagogues out there arguing that a politician or insurer or taxpayer wanting anything other than all the care the victim or patient wants is a Death Panel!! Even though her initial premise was stupid. A Downs baby with no other complications is just like any other birth. Indeed, many were delvered and grew to adulthood in the past with no medical care whatsoever.
And the politician therefore is a monster that wants to whack baby Trig.
This echoes to the Terri Schiavo Fiasco and the Right to Life fanatics.
Bush as governor quitely agreed that the state and Texas insurers were correct in limiting what they would pay for 'futile heroic medical care' despite "victim family demands".
Bush as President, though, demagogued away...with RTL yammering about each life being of infinite value being worth any price to keep alive, in any condition..

So, in a sense, we are right back to the incident that marked the end of the sway of the Religious Right outside the rural South, and Western, MW, and Alaskan backwaters..This time, the Terri Schiavo wing think they have won...and fearful seniors will help them "win one" for the healthcare establishment.

"Best in the World! No change needed, except those awful malpractice suits must cease!"

(BTW - Terri Schiavo, or her brainless husk...was kept alive for 15 years thanks to a specious 1.5 million dollar malpractice suit the husband and family launched and about 700,000 in insurer costs - Despite arriving at the emergency room with 3/4ths of her brain being dead mush from lack of oxygen from no CPR by husband or brother before EMTs arrived..)

Shanna said...

See, because Hitler started a war, Bush=Hitler at least makes some kind of sense.

Wow. So, who else = Hitler? Lincoln. FDR. Wilson. George Washington. Totally.

madawaskan said...

You know when they euthanized a famous person awhile back they-

deprived her of-

Food.

and-

Water.

You wouldn't do that to a DAMN dog.

Kirk Parker said...

Alex,

Well, there is the John Kerry style of nuance, where he can spend 10 minutes answering a simple, direct question and at the end you have no idea where he stands.

Daniel said...

Shanna says:

I personally would not sign up for either DNR/DNI, instead I would give a medical power of attorney to someone I trusted to make the right decisions based on the circumstances present (ie, just because I don’t want to be put on a ventilator for 10 years doesn’t mean I don’t want my heart restarted or to get cpr).

My Dad did this for his mom. She was supposed to be DNR, after months of pain. When they got to the emergency room, and my dad just couldn't do it. That was his mom, after all. He couldn't let her go, especially couldn't make the decision himself. So he allowed a blood transfusion to happen.

Four more months for her, in a hospital bed, unable to communicate. He's regretted it every day of his life since then.

madawaskan said...

C-4-

You think it is OK to end human life by-

Starvation and Dehydration-

Well of course you would.

Your reputation proceeds itself.

Daniel said...

Alex, I'm sure you do. I don't have a problem with that. We're on different sides of this. Just don't pretend a good thing happened hear in a discrete sense, rather than as a part of a larger strategy to kill the bill. That's what Ann did. And it's nonsense.

L. E. Lee said...

I am adding "death panels" to the Althouse Hillbillies red meat menu. Of course Palin remains the main course.

madawaskan said...

Well I don't get it.

Back in the Terri Schiavo days we supposedly wanted government -

out-of -it.

Now....

Let them have the money....

Sofa King said...

What is a death panel?

Basically the IMAC: a board of unelected, unaccountable bureaucrats making decisions about who will receive extraordinary lifesaving health care and who will not.

That, by the way, is still in the bill.

Alex said...

Daniel - by hook or crook I don't car how this bill is killed. I just want it killed. Results matter. Ethics are for wimps.

Daniel said...

The Schiavo case was the start of the downfall of the Republican Party. Oooh, let's rehash that one!!! (If the Democrats were smart, they'd go there.)

Alex said...

BTW I do not favor extra-ordinary life-saving care for the elderly. It is a waste of money and against their dignity. However it is a red-meat issue for millions of Americans and smart politics to go after it.

Synova said...

"Hitler considered himself an "ambitious reformer". Read your history...the stuff beyond what goes for the drivel in public school these days."

Hitler was responsible for enacting health care reforms... we usually call it eugenics and usually think of the millions of Jews and Gypsies that were gassed or experimented upon, but it was also terrible for any fully Aryan German citizen that was mentally infirm or had a genetic abnormality. Many people were killed outright and many were sterilized.

It was a very bad thing in Germany to be a blue eyed, tow headed, retarded child.

Daniel said...

Alex, for now the third time, let me say that I don't have a problem with that. What I do have a problem with, big time, is Ann posting that a STUPID, MORONIC, COMPLETELY IDIOTIC outcome (if looked at discretely, rather than as part of a larger strategy to kill the bill) is a good thing.

To make the point yet clearer, since you apparently didn't draw it out of my last two posts:

The Republicans are doing a good job of making up stupid shit and getting people to believe it in order to kill the bill. Hey, it worked on Ann. Welcome to politics.

(Yes, I know the Democrats do it too. Which is why I brought up Obama on the mandates and the tax breaks for employer health coverage, both of which he now supports.)

Florida said...

Senator Grassley has been dutifully reported to Reichsmarshall Douglass as a purveyor of "fishy" information concerning Obama's health care plan.

I've forwarded a copy of the NY Times to herr office.

madawaskan said...

BTW I do not favor extra-ordinary life-saving care for the elderly.

Well why the hell should that be a

POLITICAL issue.

Cedarford said...

Anonymous Blogger - Sarah Palin is knowingly lying. Her motivation is probably to disseminate the false idea that there will be death panels. Once that idea takes root, there is really no way to show it isn’t true, because Sarah Palin is a liar. She will claim there are death panels no matter what the wording of the provision is, because she does not care what the wording of it is. All she wants to do is spread a lie. For that reason, the only way to stop the lying about the provision is to eliminate the provision.

Of course Palin is lying. Even as she says stupid things, she is still smart enough to know that she approved measures to lower Alaskan taxpayer's healthcare burden by limiting care to what had demonstrated therapeutic value. Smart enough to know that Baby Trig is in no danger, but her own "rationing" role properly says that a profoundly retarded Native American or white Wasilia wino's baby with a damaged heart and kidneys - born with Fetal Alcohol Syndrome Preemie - doesn't get the 2 million dollar "cherish life at all costs" intervention of surgery and unlimited neonatal care.

Palin is channeling her "no-knothings" and Base...and no doubt will get fat contributions for her PACs from the lobbyists for spreading her lies.

It's how Chris Dodd and Tom DeLay politics works, you know..It's an awful thing, but voters get the politicians they deserve. If they go along with opportunism, ignorance and lies...instead of rejecting them...they get less Tom Coburns and Moynihans and Reagans...and more Obamas, DeLays, Palins, Jesse Jacksons, and Dodds.

reader_iam said...

From what I can tell, Barbara Wagner's health plan was Medicaid (as opposed to Medicare). She was approx. 61 when she was diagnosed with lung cancer in 2005. No clue whether she was already on Medicaid at that time, and if so, why--disability? unemployed? couldn't afford private insurance? kicked off due to life-long smoking habit [she quit when she diagnosed in 2005, according to news reports from a year ago]? had she maxed benefits on her private plan due to other health issues? who knows?

I'm not sure what she's supposed to be the poster child for, given the [definitely sketchy] fact set that's available. It seems to me she could fit major rhetorical themes of both those opposed to and supportive of a public option or, for that matter, both those who think our current system is just fine as is and those who think it's irretrievably broken with government intervention.

vh: plidogre

Shit, that figures.

madawaskan said...

Why the hell do you want to get into grandma's bed but stay out of titus' ?

Daniel said...

Hey Synova, do you always post in Glenn Beck snippets?

I just saw that thing about eugenics verbatim on his show (though I saw it on Colbert, quoting/mocking Beck). Nice work! From his mouth to yours!

reader_iam said...

*withOUT* government intervention, that should be.

vh: ingst

(a typo: *angst*, that should be

LOL)

ricpic said...

The most horrible thing about government health care - as set out most clearly in DBQ's 12:48 comment, paragraph 3 - is that it will pressure doctors to break The Hippocratic Oath.


What's so important about The Hippocratic Oath? Only that it holds doctors to a sacred standard. An absolute standard. And when that standard is tossed? Well, traditionalists know what follows...relativists are too lost to care.

Dust Bunny Queen said...

The Republicans are doing a good job of making up stupid shit and getting people to believe it in order to kill the bill

Then the corollary must be true that the Democrats are doing a piss poor job of refuting stupid shit.

If they can't come up with good, logical, coherent arguments that are TRUTHFUL to combat what you call stupid shit.....then who is the stupid incompetents?

Democrats are therefore, stupid shits who can't argue their way out of a wet paper bag, much less defend this monstrosity of a bill.

If the bill is even defensible.

Original Mike said...

The stimulus bill is ... about $250 billion a year. And with the multiplier effect, it probably only increases the deficit by $100 billion..

Ha ha ha ha HA HA HA HA. Stop it DTL. You're killing me.

Florida said...

"I suspect it's because they really did hope to save money by substituting painkillers for curative treatments for the old and disabled."

Don't be a sucker, Ann. You seem to think they've given up trying to cut costs by denying health care to people. They haven't given up.

They've merely retreated to fight another day. That's part-and-parcel of the plan of incrementalism.

They want to get a law passed. Any law passed. Then, they can implement it however they want, regardless of what it actually says. By the time the courts get around to deciding what it says our health care system will be completely in their hands.

A fait accompli.

The bill is being written specifically so that anyone anywhere can interpret it however they want. That's why Grassley is saying there was fear that it would be "implemented incorrectly."

We have to stop them from passing ANY law that gets their foot in the door.

They cannot be trusted.

Ever.

Dust Bunny Queen said...

sigh.....ARE the incompetents

redneckgal said...

All you idiots calling Sarah Palin A liar and anyone else who does not go along with you,read the bill. This is so typical of progressives. When you are losing the battle make it personal.

Daniel said...


Then the corollary must be true that the Democrats are doing a piss poor job of refuting stupid shit.


Well, no, the corollary doesn't have to be true. Some narratives catch on more than others. The birther thing, for instance, which could not be more refuted. When the myth is a proxy for an underlying frustration of a fairly large (though minority) subset of Americans with the Democrats/Obama, refuting it is like treating the symptom rather than the illness.

That said, the Democrats are doing a bad job. Mickey Kaus (shudder) is right -- they should have from the start been talking about why people need better coverage. Which. We. Do. Rather than talking about cutting costs.

Scott M said...

@DBQ

“Democrats are therefore, stupid shits who can’t argue their way out of a wet paper bag”

I watched, at length, the DNC contort and convulse itself over the MI and FL delegates. My conclusion was that here is a group of people that cannot be counted on to abide by their own standards and don’t have either the brains to realize it or the sophistication to do anything about it. Also true in both the cases of A) superdelegates and B) proportional allotment of delegates. With superdelegates, the DNC freely admits (if not vocalizes) that they are just fine with elitism. Here is a group of the DNC’s nobles that must be swayed with god-only-knows-what and are beholden to nobody. With proportional allotment, all you do there is guarantee that if you have anything resembling a close primary race, you’re going to waste a ton of cash and allow the candidates to savage each other until the end, just to satisfy your egalitarianism…not smart.

Given the above, how can anyone expect them to govern well?

LarsPorsena said...

@daniel:
"..Some narratives catch on more than others."

How about the narrative that it will include illegals? Think that is a catchy narrative?

Scott M said...

@Daniel

“they should have from the start been talking about why people need better coverage. Which. We. Do. Rather than talking about cutting costs.”

Middle-class, married, four kids, suburbanite. My insurance coverage is just fine. Now, if you want to truly cut costs, take up the banner of removing the defacto ban on national health insurance competition, address true tort reform, and enact a mechanism for a board of review to weed out frivolous lawsuits.

Costs would plummet and my aforementioned just-dandy health care would be still be mine and under my/my doctor’s control.
@Daniel

“they should have from the start been talking about why people need better coverage. Which. We. Do. Rather than talking about cutting costs.”

Middle-class, married, four kids, suburbanite. My insurance coverage is just fine. Now, if you want to truly cut costs, take up the banner of removing the defacto ban on national health insurance competition, address true tort reform, and enact a mechanism for a board of review to weed out frivolous lawsuits.

Costs would plummet and my aforementioned just-dandy health care would be still be mine and under my/my doctor’s control.

madawaskan said...

redneckgal-

Seriously, but then they are just following their "leadership".

Nancy Pelosi:"Swastika carrying astro turfers."

Boxer:Astro turf -aka fake "mob".

Steny Hoyer:" Un-American".

Harry Reid:"Evil-Mongers".

And let's allow this Party of the most ethical-

the ones that produced John Edwards as a major Presidential Candidate to get their hands on the money that is derived by Health Care-coming and going.

And, let's allow them to do that unchecked by a neutral media or party opposite.

If you show up at a Town Hall because you feel unrepresented by a fair media, and the Democrat Congressman filibusters his answer, and the union paid attendees drown out your efforts to be heard-

YOU are the wrong one when you get a little frustrated after sitting there for an hour waiting to be heard.

Synova said...

"Hey Synova, do you always post in Glenn Beck snippets?

I just saw that thing about eugenics verbatim on his show (though I saw it on Colbert, quoting/mocking Beck). Nice work! From his mouth to yours!
"

Too funny! I spent all morning getting my daughter registered for school (where I was given a pamphlet describing low cost health insurance available if I were interested, and filling out a dozen forms for the school nurse and free clinic, immunization permissions and stuff like that) and just got home.

I have not a clue what Beck said. Someone on YOUR side brought up Hitler, not me. I wouldn't have thought of it otherwise.

I wonder why it bothers you?

I will *often* bring up eugenics. Even months ago I added a eugenics tag at the group blog I was invited to contribute on. It's something that Americans (and likely everyone else!) are shockingly uninformed about, particularly about the extent to which eugenics policies were enacted in the United States and England. Hitler is the bad guy, not us!

In any case, as I said, I'm not the one who brought up Hitler and made the moronic statement that all Hitler did was start a war... and I'm not even counting the formulized massacre of the Jews... I'm talking about what was happening in hospitals to his "own" people.

And the sterilization of Native American girls is relatively recent, utterly shameful, and almost entirely unknown.

The idea that we don't need to even guard against this reveals an alarming misunderstanding of human nature while operating behind the ethically distancing mantle of government.

Roger J. said...

I am inclined to go with Alex on this--kill this abomination of a bill. I personally believe we do have the best health care system in the world and as has been pointed out, there are simple things that would improve it. For example: We all understand, I am sure, that the indivual states regulate insurance in their own state the result of which is to make insurance in many cases non-portable. Remove that barrier under the commerce clause; impliment tort reform to reduce the costs of defensive medicine; as Hoosier pointed out, expand medicare to provide an OPT-IN provision that would provide younger americans with a mechanism to protect themselves against catastrophic events; and expand HSA.

There are some substantive proposals--any liberals like to take them on so we can talk about, you issues and alternative, rather than this hyperventilating bullshit about whose lying? The biggest liar of them all the the President of the United States, and it appears the people have caught on.

Scott M said...

...doh

sorry for the double-post

reader_iam said...

Classical Hippocratic Oath

"I swear by Apollo Physician and Asclepius and Hygieia and Panaceia and all the gods and goddesses, making them my witnesses, that I will fulfill according to my ability and judgment this oath and this covenant:

To hold him who has taught me this art as equal to my parents and to live my life in partnership with him, and if he is in need of money to give him a share of mine, and to regard his offspring as equal to my brothers in male lineage and to teach them this art—if they desire to learn it—without fee and covenant; to give a share of precepts and oral instruction and all the other learning to my sons and to the sons of him who has instructed me and to pupils who have signed the covenant and have taken an oath according to the medical law, but no one else.

I will apply dietetic measures for the benefit of the sick according to my ability and judgment; I will keep them from harm and injustice.

I will neither give a deadly drug to anybody who asked for it, nor will I make a suggestion to this effect. Similarly I will not give to a woman an abortive remedy. In purity and holiness I will guard my life and my art.

I will not use the knife, not even on sufferers from stone, but will withdraw in favor of such men as are engaged in this work.

Whatever houses I may visit, I will come for the benefit of the sick, remaining free of all intentional injustice, of all mischief and in particular of sexual relations with both female and male persons, be they free or slaves.

What I may see or hear in the course of the treatment or even outside of the treatment in regard to the life of men, which on no account one must spread abroad, I will keep to myself, holding such things shameful to be spoken about.

If I fulfill this oath and do not violate it, may it be granted to me to enjoy life and art, being honored with fame among all men for all time to come; if I transgress it and swear falsely, may the opposite of all this be my lot."

[an example of] Modern Hippocratic Oath [apparently it now varies, at least by country?]

"I swear to fulfill, to the best of my ability and judgment, this covenant:

I will respect the hard-won scientific gains of those physicians in whose steps I walk, and gladly share such knowledge as is mine with those who are to follow.

I will apply, for the benefit of the sick, all measures [that] are required, avoiding those twin traps of overtreatment and therapeutic nihilism.

I will remember that there is art to medicine as well as science, and that warmth, sympathy, and understanding may outweigh the surgeon's knife or the chemist's drug.

I will not be ashamed to say "I know not," nor will I fail to call in my colleagues when the skills of another are needed for a patient's recovery.

I will respect the privacy of my patients, for their problems are not disclosed to me that the world may know. Most especially must I tread with care in matters of life and death. If it is given me to save a life, all thanks. But it may also be within my power to take a life; this awesome responsibility must be faced with great humbleness and awareness of my own frailty. Above all, I must not play at God.

I will remember that I do not treat a fever chart, a cancerous growth, but a sick human being, whose illness may affect the person's family and economic stability. My responsibility includes these related problems, if I am to care adequately for the sick.

I will prevent disease whenever I can, for prevention is preferable to cure.

I will remember that I remain a member of society, with special obligations to all my fellow human beings, those sound of mind and body as well as the infirm.

If I do not violate this oath, may I enjoy life and art, respected while I live and remembered with affection thereafter. May I always act so as to preserve the finest traditions of my calling and may I long experience the joy of healing those who seek my help."

***

Bruce Hayden said...

Basically the IMAC: a board of unelected, unaccountable bureaucrats making decisions about who will receive extraordinary lifesaving health care and who will not.

Part of the problem here is that for other countries that ration health care, it isn't just extraordinary lifesaving health care, but even much that we have come to take for granted, and, in particular, for those who are older.

Daniel said...

Hey Scott, don't get laid off.

Synova, my bad. Great minds...

madawaskan said...

OMG-

Obama is in-

Belgrade Montana to give an oratory on HR 3200.

As a Croatian-American-

I piss myself-I'm just saying.

And he's had to say-

"True story."

Twice.

Scott M said...

@Daniel

"Hey Scott, don't get laid off."

That would be difficult as my boss is...me. LOL, don't pretend to know someone else's circumstances, even to make a glib point.

Randy said...

Basically the IMAC: a board of unelected, unaccountable bureaucrats making decisions about who will receive extraordinary lifesaving health care and who will not.

That's probably true. Rather like how an insurance company decides what it will or will not pay for under its contract isn't it?

Daniel said...

Let's talk about varying state regulation. You can't eliminate the non-portability without setting a minimum nationwide standard. Otherwise, you'll get a bunch of insurance companies setting up in California, whyere they can deny you coverage if you went to a therapist once or had shin splints.

Here's Timothy Noah at slate making the point that once you start doing these things individually, you end up with the full package anyway, because one thing leads to another.

http://www.slate.com/id/2224863/

LoafingOaf said...

Not just "interpreted... incorrectly" but "implemented incorrectly"! Well, there you have it! We are absolutely right to fear the way laws may be implemented.

Good point.

I just wanted to say Althouse's post has convinced me that I was wrong to attack her in previous threads for defending Palin's "death panels" concerns. Palin's language was so over the top I instantly thought, "There she goes again", and I couldn't believe Althouse was defending it. But now I'm glad they removed that language from the bill, and I agree that, by doing so, they're admitting Palin had a point. My hatred of Palin made me react wrongly in this instance.

Bruce Hayden said...

The bill is being written specifically so that anyone anywhere can interpret it however they want. That's why Grassley is saying there was fear that it would be "implemented incorrectly."

This is a feature, not a bug.

The entirety of ObamaCare is being implemented through a series of panels, commissions, etc. which will, in the end, decide who gets what health care and which policies live and which die.

So, the Democrats crafting the legislation are not specifically denying granny coverage so that illegals can get free health care. Rather, they are setting up those commissions and panels with mandates that will ultimately result in such effects. Yes, maybe they will be staffed with totally selfless people, who take time off from divinity school or their pastoral duties to make these decisions. But, in the end, we will have unelected bureaucrats who have their own agendas, whatever they may be, making these decisions.

But, importantly, the Democrats in Congress and the White House will have (somewhat) plausible deniability when people die from these rationing and policy availability decisions.

So, any time you hear that such and such is not explicitly in this bill or that bill, what you need to look at is what does that bill allow and even incentivize. And that is what is important.

Randy said...

Reader_Iam

I seem to recall reading something a couple of years ago that graduating doctors generally no longer swear to uphold the Hippocratic Oath and have not done so for quite some time. Do you know if that is true?

Sofa King said...

Rather like how an insurance company decides what it will or will not pay for under its contract isn't it?

No, because ultimately, I am not compelled to deal with them. I have a choice. Doesn't that mean anything to you?

Daniel said...

Scott, you think I'm being glib?

I'm being deadly serious. Congratulations that you're your own boss. Don't lay off anyone, then.

And frankly, you're the one assuming others' circumstances. That's why you think it matters that YOUR health care is fine. You're just one family. The point has no meaning unless you were trying to generalize it.

madawaskan said...

Obama:"We have the American Nursing Association on board [...]

He repeated that AARP is for the bill...

I wish AARP would quit paying footsie with it.

The nurses' union has been promised lots of goodies I bet.

You can even read some of them in one of the five drafts.

[wv:breaksc]

Randy said...

Sofa King:

But you are compelled to deal with them if and when that time comes, aren't you? Surely you can't believe that you can change your carrier at that time?

Bruce Hayden said...

That's probably true. Rather like how an insurance company decides what it will or will not pay for under its contract isn't it?

Well, no.

If the insurance company denies payment for something that it should be paying for, you have legal recourse, which often includes punitive damages. In the case of the government bureaucrat, you have nothing. Zip. Zero. Nada.

It is called sovereign immunity, and it means that you can't (usually) sue the government, and even if you could (and you can't), the standard is far, far, lower than it is with private insurance companies.

Roger J. said...

Daniel--thanks for addressing a substantive issue. Much apreciated. To your point, that is certainly one of the potential pitfalls with full portability; however, assuming insurance companies are motivated by profit, and consumers seek to maximize utility, who would patronize those insurance companies (remember that part of my proposal provides for a catastrophic government subsidized insurance option)

Original Mike said...

I have absolutely no doubt that AARP has supported it in private. I doubt they appreciate Obama telling the world.

AJ Lynch said...

After Obama leaves office as a mediocre, former president in 2013, will he become the "new" Jimmy Carter and spend the rest of his life looking for his beloved "middle ground" in the Middle East?

Cause so far Obama is drowning in ObamaCare!

Scott M said...

@Daniel

If President Obama's aims are reached, the one's he's publicly and passionately said he supports, I will loose said health care because I will be forced to buy some federally mandated minimum.

I use an HSA supplemented with private high-deductible catastrophic insurance (the deductible was saved and is currently gaining simple interest before we jumped).

If your side wins, I loose all of that. I loose my before-tax deductions and, bet your ass, my completely unfettered freedom of choice.

And before you go lumping me in again, our income is hardly steller. We're just a hair over the middle-class median.

I don't have any employees to lay off, but if I did, I would be trying to steer them into HSA's.

Roger J. said...

BTW--I should specifically say that for those having EMPLOYER provided health insurance, the individual doesnt have much say, and employers will generally seek the lowest cost package (which is, of course, why a government program would crowd out private plans and lead to a single payer wish)

Randy said...

If the insurance company denies payment for something that it should be paying for, you have legal recourse, which often includes punitive damages. In the case of the government bureaucrat, you have nothing. Zip. Zero. Nada.

You're a lawyer, aren't you Bruce? I'm not, but I do recall hearing that post-mortem lawsuits are not overly renumerative.

As to what may or may not be covered under the contract, I doubt most people have ever read their contract, even fewer understand, and fewer still understand that significant decisions are left to the judgment of the insurance company alone.

Daniel said...

Roger, I would love to have a substantive conversation about this. Thanks to you too. (And it's why I'm frustrated by the start of this thread).

Sure, catastrophic coverage from the government. But then you also need high risk coverage from the government, because the people who are most profitable for the insurance company are the healthy. Diabetics, people with asthma, etc. And if you have a public high risk pool and a private low risk pool, you first of all are segregating people by health status, and second are going to quickly bankrupt the public pool. There has to be one big pool to offset risk and expenses -- which is why employer-based insurance works effectively for those who have it.

Again, every which way you start, you end up with a basic comprehensive reform package. That's the point of the "three legs of the stool" argument I linked to earlier.

Synova said...

Daniel, the connection is obvious.

It's up to you if you are actually interested in *why* people oppose the expanded involvement of government in health care.

All I hear are the easy answers, the slurs, and the absolute insistence that those who oppose do not actually *have* an opposing opinion.

I'm a bit tired of being told that I don't even have an opinion... though it does free proponents of these bills an easy out.

It's like this...

HE: We need to cross this river. We must build bridge.

SHE: We don't need a bridge to get across the river. Boats or a ferry, perhaps.

HE: Of course we need a bridge! Only rich people have boats and it hasn't gotten everyone over there. We have to cross this river.

SHE: A bridge is too expensive and will probably wash out during the spring floods. A bridge is a bad idea.

HE: The only reason you don't think we need to cross this river is because you hate the people on the other side, you hater!

SHE: I'm not a hater. I love those people as much as you do, but we do not need a bridge to cross the river. There are other ways to cross the river!

HE: Oh, and what about people who can't swim, you hateful moron, just let those people drown, huh? And you claim you aren't a hater.

SHE: I never said swim!

HE: Glenn Beck! Glenn Beck! Glenn Beck!

Cedarford said...

madawaskan said...
C-4-

You think it is OK to end human life by-

Starvation and Dehydration-

Well of course you would.

Your reputation proceeds itself.


It was a stupid emotional argument during the Terri Schiavo Fiasco and is a stupid argument now. And completely par for you, Madawaskan.

The whole Schiavo Affair badly damaged the Religious Right. It made people who thought they were harmless people of belief pay much closer attention to them - as a threat to individual or family medical decisions.

Cachexia/dehyration is described as the natural endpoint to dementia. And it is the VOLUNTARY mechanism that hastens & brings a better, less painful end to a near-majority of cancer, congestive heart failure, kidney failure patients. They deliberately starve and dehydrate themselves towards the end, and tell family torn up by watching them waste away that they are in no pain..It is an utterly routine happenstance in medicine.
We DON't force-feed them. We don't hydrate them against their wishes.

Now, a certain number of people with terminal illness end the whole "natural progression of terminal illness early and voluntarily by more commonly recognized methods of suicide. Others and their doctors, elect the unofficial euthenasia approach.. enough morphine to end the pain, bring a final unconsciousness --and hasten death by respiratory failure..but not enough to kill immediately.

I had two grandparents that died by the "Schiavo" cachexia/dehydration way, happily, and in full support of family. What should have happened to Shiavos husk in the 1st few months. And an uncle that had melanoma that had spread to his spine and invited friends and family in for a sudden goodbye ceremony before he got the morphine he demanded to "end the pain, knock me out, put me out of my misery" in the next few days. (Nothing the doctors had other than that approach would stop the unendurable pain.)

What you seem to be advocating, Madawaskan, is actual euthanasia. True? Or are you a RTL'r that wants suffering and vegetative state prolonged at any cost??

My grandma told me after one Grandad died that doctors believe that the cachexia, his voluntary starvation - actually prolonged his life because the lack of sugars in his blood greatly slowed cancer's spread. Many doctors feel that end of life starvation is natural and even a good thing for certain medical conditions and do not advise "forcing food/water" on terminal patients or use of appetite/thirst stimulating medications..

LarsPorsena said...

OM:
"I have absolutely no doubt that AARP has supported it in private. I doubt they appreciate Obama telling the world."

Yep! I believe the same. The reaction of their membership is the only thing that has given them pause.

Daniel said...

Scott, I believe that you would have to pay a tax (2.5% rings a bell) if you chose not to get insurance and keep your current system, which may very well be possible. I don't know what would happen with HSAs, though.

And I never said or would have assumed you were rich. I'm my own boss too (sort of -- I'm a consultant. My company hired me that way because it's cheaper -- they don't have to pay benefits. Luckily, my wife has employer based insurance. Hope she doesn't get laid off.) and I'm not rich, to say the least.

Rich said...

Bruce Hayden said...

If the insurance company denies payment for something that it should be paying for, you have legal recourse, which often includes punitive damages.

Leaving aside fears of being perceived as an obsessive troll, I am constrained to point out that if you get your insurance through your employment -– which according to the WSJ amount to nine out of ten of us -- this is wrong, wrong, wrong. To save space and time here I will cite my freshly-minted blog. It is, admittedly, a polemic. Every single word on it is also true. And in my opinion it is important to know, because Bruce’s point is widely accepted and it is completely inaccurate.

Daniel said...

Synova, you brought up Hitler in this conversation. That means I don't engage with you after that, since you're not being serious. Bye.

Christopher said...

That Montaigne dude wrote:

"What is a death panel? Have any of these shameless liars, Sarah Palin foremost, explained what the death panel would be and who it would be composed of?"

As a matter of fact, yes. Here's an excerpt of a shameless liar from the New York Times.

----------------------------

Shameless Liar: So that's where I think you just get into some very difficult moral issues. But that's also a huge driver of cost, right?

I mean, the chronically ill and those toward the end of their lives are accounting for potentially 80 percent of the total health care bill out here.

Interviewer: So how do you - how do we deal with it?

Shameless Liar: Well, I think that there is going to have to be a conversation that is guided by doctors, scientists, ethicists. And then there is going to have to be a very difficult democratic conversation that takes place. It is very difficult to imagine the country making those decisions just through the normal political channels. And that's part of why you have to have some independent group that can give you guidance. It's not determinative, but I think has to be able to give you some guidance. And that's part of what I suspect you'll see emerging out of the various health care conversations that are taking place on the Hill right now.

----------------------------

The Shameless Liar in this case is our illustrious president, The One, the Only, Barack Obama.

This is where he wants to move us, buddy-boy: cutting costs by cutting back care to the "chronically ill and those toward the end of their lives".

We will have death panels if Obama gets his way. There are death panels in Oregon. There are death panels in France. There are death panels everywhere that the government rations health care -- only they don't actually call them death panels.

It's right there in plain language: Obama telling us what kind of panel he wants, who he wants it to be made up of, and suggesting that we will have to make sacrifices to implement it.

Roger J. said...

Danie--I think we agree there has to be some type of government-subsidzed pool for catastrophic or other high rish populations; I do not expect private insurance to assume those pre-existing conditions risks. But I think, as Hoosier pointed out somewhere in the thread above, that can possibly be done by medicare part A expansion and using an opt in format. Using medicare means an additional cost in terms of adding more govt employees, but avoids the bigger cost of creating an entirely separate agency. This this approach also maximizes individual choice (to participate or not) which is something I value.

Synova said...

"Synova, you brought up Hitler in this conversation. That means I don't engage with you after that, since you're not being serious. Bye."

I did not bring up Hitler. That means you lie.

No loss.

Sofa King said...

But you are compelled to deal with them if and when that time comes, aren't you? Surely you can't believe that you can change your carrier at that time?

Obviously, at that point I've already made my choice and am compelled to reap the consequences. BUT here's the thing: at least with a private insurer I have a contract. I can read it and understand it and if they fail to live up to it I have recourse.

You won't get a contract with the government. You'll get promises. Promises that they can withdraw, modify, stipulate, or deny with absolute impunity for no reason beyond political expediency.

Robert Cook said...

"Psst.... some of us stupid people can spell discreet and know how to use it properly."

Pssst, A.J.,...you're thinking of the wrong word. "Discrete" and "discreet" are two different words and I know which one to use for my meaning.

madawaskan said...

C-4-

Well you have a reputation for years now across many different blogs for being less than sympathetic to one whole group of people based on a single identifier.

And, you also expect for that to be never held against you.

How many different blogs have I been the one to confront your constant drip of poison?

So I can understand why you would consider me to be, or my arguments to be-"par for the course."

What you do over and over again is pure evil, insipid and sneaky yet you are treated like a "rational actor'.

Sorry but I do not consider you to be that.

And I do feel that one of these days people will wish there was more evidence that they pushed back against the evil that you most often spew...

I won't have any such regrets.

Scott M said...

@Danieal

I doubt very much that HSA's would survive the crowding out that will inevitably happen.

Even if you think that national competition between the health care providers is untenable (which I happen to disagree with, but let's move on), the other two points are still valid. Texas has addressed those two things specifically with great success. There are completed bills that address exactly those two things in Congress, but the Dem committee leadership won't let them out.

Robert Cook said...

"Mr. Cook,

Obviously, since half the country is too apathetic, stupid, or ignorant to be trusted with their own political opinions, we should dispense with voting entirely and move straight to a benevolent tyranny of their betters..."


If you think half the country agrees with Palin, you have a worse opinion of your countrymen than I do.

madawaskan said...

And to add to that comment-

Liberals have hated Republicans and spewed that consistently- now they want us to "trust them"-with our health care.

Sorry but their reputation proceeds them.

Daniel said...

Roger, I think it's worth differentiating between catastrophic and high risk. Everyone needs catastrophic coverage, because the catastrophe can happen to anyone. But high risk is a certain sector of the population -- defined differently by different people, and the range of definitions is at this point determined by state law as to what constitutes a valid reason to deny coverage (I think -- I don't know the details very well on that, though I do know that in some states people are denied who can't be in others). I do agree with you that the government needs to get involved in some way. Frankly, I'm surprised you want to have the government provide that coverage, rather than some sort of regulated private insurance. As I said, I think that bankrupts the government (even quicker than it is already being bankrupted -- yes, the deficit is hideous and totally shocking).

Big Mike said...

@Daniel, there is nothing made up about Section 1233 of HR 3200. Buried inside that section is this gem:

"The level of treatment indicated under subparagraph (A)(ii) may range from an indication for full treatment to an indication to limit some or all or specified interventions. Such indicated levels of treatment may include indications respecting, among other items--

`(i) the intensity of medical intervention if the patient is pulse less, apneic, or has serious cardiac or pulmonary problems;

`(ii) the individual's desire regarding transfer to a hospital or remaining at the current care setting;

`(iii) the use of antibiotics; and

`(iv) the use of artificially administered nutrition and hydration.'."

While you won't find the words "death panel" anywhere in the text of HR 3200, it does call for a number of panels. Most are named in a benign fashion, as a reasonable person would expect, however throughout Section 1233 the term "live sustaining treatment" is used in a distinctly Orwellian fashion -- referring mostly to DNR orders and living wills.

Another thing I find chilling in this section is the following:

"... the Secretary shall include quality measures on end of life care and advanced care planning that have been adopted or endorsed by a consensus-based organization, if appropriate. Such measures shall measure both the creation of and adherence to orders for life-sustaining treatment."

Translated into English, the point is that once a person has decided about "no heroic measures" or DNR or such-like, those orders will be adhered to no matter what. Is that good or is it bad? Would Democrats like you care to debate it rationally? Nope, you'd rather sling mud; that's all you're good at and all you ever will be good at.

But what I find most worrisome is that the very next paragraph says the following:

"PROPOSED SET OF MEASURES- The Secretary shall publish in the Federal Register proposed quality measures on end of life care and advanced care planning that the Secretary determines are described in subparagraph (A) and would be appropriate for eligible professionals to use to submit data to the Secretary. The Secretary shall provide for a period of public comment on such set of measures before finalizing such proposed measures.'."

Could this paragraph be turned into a de facto quota system for terminating the old and infirm? Yes, that's how I read it. You may disagree, but only if you're being mendacious.

And -- hint -- your argument that it was right and proper to make Terri Schiavo die by slow starvation and dehydration ignores the reality that there are people in a Persistent Vegetative State (PVS) who do, in fact, recover fully. Try looking up the cases of Jesse Ramirez, Carrie Coons, Gary Dockery, and Haleigh Poutre.

madawaskan said...

Do a thread search for-"hitler"

First hit is found here-

Montagne Mointaigne said...
How can people equate protesting a WAR with protesting REFORM? Sorry, they aren't equivalent. Not even close.

See, because Hitler started a war, Bush=Hitler at least makes some kind of sense.


Montagne is a Liberal commenter.

Synova said...

BTW, Daniel... the bridge thing wasn't You-Me. It was a general illustration of how I perceive the overall meta-argument and the utter and absolute refusal of one whole side of it to admit that any one on the opposing side is making an honest argument.

Randy said...

Sofa King: That's only partially true. If your insurance is through a group, the contract can, and usually does, change at the annual renewal date (just as Medicare's rules can change once per year - that's why they send out the booklet).

If you have an individual contract, the company can cease offering that contract at any time. (In most states, it cannot cease renewing existing policies, however.) This is done frequently. When they stop offering the specific contract, the healthy ones tend to flee to the new contract as the premiums ratchet up in response to the lack of new insureds, aging of the policyowners, and the flight of the healthy. Thus, the old contract quickly becomes prohibitively expensive save for those who have sufficiently serious pre-existing conditions that they cannot find insurance anywhere else.

NOTE: I'm not saying insurance companies or evil or a government plan is wonderful. I am saying that it is ridiculous to pretend one doesn't do just about the same thing the other does, such as make decisions from on-high about what is or is not covered. You may have read your contract, for example, but I doubt it tells you specifically just how far your carrier is willing to go for each and every potential illness. It probably has the phrase "usual, customary and reasonable" buried in there somewhere. What you or I think of as UCR may not in fact be the same as the insurance company's opinion.

«Oldest ‹Older   1 – 200 of 292   Newer› Newest»