August 19, 2009

If the end-of-life consultation is supposed to be voluntary...

... then "what did Obama mean when he said, '[T]here is going to have to be a very difficult democratic conversation that takes place'? If the only issue were voluntarily providing people with information about hospice care and the like — well, that doesn't sound controversial at all! Why would that require a 'very difficult democratic conversation'? Why would Obama say it raises 'very difficult moral issues'?"

Quite aside from what the 1000-page bill says, it's hard to figure out what Obama is talking about. He's pushing the bill, and yet he keeps saying the most disturbing things... as if he's breaking it to us gently.

135 comments:

Big Mike said...

As I've pointed out repeatedly in my comments in the past, one of the closely-related points is the call for "quality reporting" by the physicians regarding their end-of-life counseling. What, precisely, does this mean?

My take is that it could be used to establish quotas for healthcare providers coaxing the elderly into signing DNR orders and into a hospice despite the treatability of their condition. So far none of the trolls or even the thoughtful liberal commentators have been able to challenge this.

Triangle Man said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Jason (the commenter) said...

Focussing on "death panels" is all about taking the focus away from the terrible job Obama has been doing selling health care reform. What are supposed to be calm, reassuring words only end up adding to people's sense of paranoia. Only someone out of touch with America could do such things on such a regular basis.

David said...

Obama does not understand his own bill or the system that it supposedly will reform. He has made numerous incorrect statements about the bill and some incredible whoppers about the care system ($50,000 amputations?).

The man flounders when off teleprompter. Scary.

Joseph said...

There are very difficult discussion that need to happen about end of life issues. Most people simply never talk about, never tell their doctors or loved ones what they want in time, never take the time to think about what they want in the first place. In a world where you can keep brain dead bodies alive indefinitely, these are discussions we need to have or else we end up with Terry Shiavo insanity over and over.

Dust Bunny Queen said...

It isn't JUST the end of life counseling that comprise "death panels".

The issue is that a group of faceless and unaccountable bureaucrats will be deciding for the entire country who gets medical care and who doesn't based on the cost benefit analysis of your life.

Does private insurance not cover every instance of health care? Of course NOT. Not everyone is insurable either. That is just a fact of life. However, you can shop around for another policy to see if you can get a better deal. You can CHOOSE to pay more for coverage. When it is Government controlled health care we have no other options. No other recourse is available to you.

The horror in this bill is the government deciding who is worthy and who isn't. It isn't a far reach to say that the Government might decide worthiness and who gets to live and die based on political or even ethnic criteria. It has happened before in other fascist states and these liberals are nothing less than fascists

J Riordan said...

Perhaps nobody knows what exactly the proposal will do?

Does the public even know what the bill is? Everyone is discussing it, but where, exactly, is the bill? Can somebody provide a link to it?

The Crack Emcee said...

"If they end-of-life consultation is supposed to be voluntary..."

Ann Althouse practices Ebonics,...

Paul said...

"The horror in this bill is the government deciding who is worthy and who isn't. It isn't a far reach to say that the Government might decide worthiness and who gets to live and die based on political or even ethnic criteria. It has happened before in other fascist states and these liberals are nothing less than fascists"

Might decide? We've all seen enough of the leftwing's demonic hatred of conservatives and republicans to know they would relish the opportunity to thin our ranks in such a fashion.

They are essentially modern Jacobins.

J Riordan said...

Here is the House bill.

Try to read it and understand its implications!

NOBODY REALLY KNOWS what this will do.

We have built the perfect beast! Kudos America!

TosaGuy said...

The House Bill . Have fun!

Issob Morocco said...

Brenda Lee's gem, "Break It To Me Gently" best sums up your assessment of the One and The 'Death Panels', Squiress Althouse!

AJ Lynch said...

When a reasonable person reads Obama's statements and Dr. Ezekial "Death" Emanuel's written record, you have to wonder how far Obama and Dr. Death would take this.

When a reasonable person reads the 1,000 page bill, you learn they will establish about a bazillion new govt boards and commissions to run health care. That also makes you wonder.

traditionalguy said...

I would like to politely suggest that an end of political life consultation is needed for all of the Obamanation Bill's supporters in the House of Representatives in November 2010.

AJ Lynch said...

Fannie Med!

I like the soundbite that this health care reform is in effect establishing a "Fannie Med" which will emulate all the other Fannie's which were bankrupted by Dems like Barney Frank.

BJM said...

J Riordan, You're behind the topic curve; links to HR 3200 have already been shared here as have opinions about the language.

Obama can't sell it because so many of us have read HR3200, not because he's unpersuasive. This sort of political thuggery doesn't help his case.

I don't think the govt option means what you think it means. (what has been proposed is not a "public" option, or insurance, it is govt funded and controlled health care delivery, so let's call a spade a spade).

Rationing and denial of service, especially for the elderly in deep old age (75+) is a feature of the Dems "reform" not a bug. The Brits are already "culling" their elderly.

Dems know they have a fiscal train wreck of massive proportions coming at them with the addition of 70 million Boomers to Medicare. So who do you think will draw the health care short straw?

btw- Were the MSM keeping up a pretense of journalistic honesty they would be reporting the chaos and imminent collapse of the Canadian govt single payer healthcare system.


wv: worien = what I'm doin'.

Big Mike said...

... they will establish about a bazillion new govt boards and commissions to run health care.

According to something on TV (okay, it's the MSM so who knows how accurate it is) there is roughly one person in the health insurance industry for every two doctors. So without government boards and commissions to soak up these people you'd have a massive unemployment problem.

ricpic said...

The head thug just loves that word moral.

Der Hahn said...

Often the same people claiming that these discussions would be 'voluntary' are the same people who claim that surgeons and doctors regularly persuade people to submit themselves and their children to potentially harmful and risky procedures unnecessarily.

Joesph, I guess it is once again necessary to state that no one is claiming that people should avoid discussions about end-of-life issues. We are objecting to the creation of a system under which health care professionals may have a perverse incentive to ensure that their patients have DNI/DNR orders in place.

Michael Hasenstab said...

The horror in this bill is the government deciding who is worthy and who isn't. It isn't a far reach to say that the Government might decide worthiness and who gets to live and die based on political or even ethnic criteria. It has happened before in other fascist states and these liberals are nothing less than fascists.

I have arrived at the belief that the Federal government views American citizens as laborers whose purpose is to give over the majority of their earnings to government during their working lives.

And when those citizens are no longer able to work, no longer able to provide tax money to the government, they are given end-of-life counseling by the government, and a government panel doles out only minimum health care, saving medical treatment for those still able to work and pay taxes.

After the citizens' demise, the government then seizes a portion of their estate; thereby confiscating more of what they earned during their lifetime.

We (and our children and their children) have become enslaved by a government that has burdened us with repayment of trillions of dollars of debt, burdened us with payment of billions of dollars of unfunded local, state and federal pension liabilities.

And those we have elected to look out for us look out only for themselves. We struggle with high taxes, they think nothing of adding to our burden by spending hundreds of millions of dollars on new jets for themselves, on a private health care system for them, and them alone.

Do you think Teddy Kennedy, Arlen Specter and Harry Byrd would receive end-of-life counseling? Or have their treatment limited by a five-person panel? No fucking way.

Sons of bitches. Welcome to the Soviet Union.

Dust Bunny Queen said...

Links to two insightful articles about the pure evil of the system the Democrats want to ram down our throats at any cost.

Death Care and the Commodification of Life

and

Health care and the Banality of Evil

If these two articles don't scare you about our future.....then you are beyond being a thinking human being.

What the liberals want is evil and inhuman.

Paddy O. said...

Interesting link posted on the Corner a little bit ago from the WSJ about VA end of life counseling.

LordSomber said...

We are the Soylent Green we've been waiting for.

Laura(southernxyl) said...

As much as they've talked about the difficult decisions and the difficult choices that will have to be made, it's hard to see how they can sell the proposed health care plan as being any improvement over what we have now. I mean, we already have difficult decisions and choices, don't we? So how is this going to be better?

In a world where you can keep brain dead bodies alive indefinitely, these are discussions we need to have or else we end up with Terry Shiavo insanity over and over.

Leaving aside the fact that Terri Schiavo wasn't brain dead, I suppose that to stop the "insanity" we'll have to starve and dehydrate brain-damaged people to death right away, regardless of their families' wishes. Terri was only being "kept alive" by being given food and water, the same as you and I have to have. And then a further hard choice might be people in Christopher Reeves' situation before he died: wheelchair-dependent, and being kept alive by a respirator, which Terri was not. Stop the insanity!

Robert said...

Possibly, just possibly....he really isn't that good at the job, his own opinion notwithstanding.

Montagne Mointaigne said...

Can some wingnut please explain why they think Democrats are so interested in killing old people? Is it because old people vote Republican? In that case what about the old people who vote Democrat (and minority old people)? Is there a passage in the bill that explains that the death panels would check party registration before reaching a verdict?

I hope serving on the death panels is like jury duty and I get a chance to sit on one! Hopefully I'll get to kill some old people (I'm a Democrat, and I just love killing old people, doncha know).

Michael Hasenstab said...

I hope serving on the death panels is like jury duty and I get a chance to sit on one! Hopefully I'll get to kill some old people (I'm a Democrat, and I just love killing old people, doncha know).

Thank you, Monty, for confirming what many believe Democrats will do. You've gone from killing babies to genocide against the elderly.

Darcy said...

Two things: I saw a breakdown of Obama's 40+ million people without coverage in the U.S. and it was an eye-opener. If the breakdown is correct, 2/3 of that is illegals and people who can afford coverage, but have chosen not to.
About 15 million fall into the category as "needy". Is it rational to offer this sweeping health insurance takeover for 15 million? Logic should dictate that there are so many preferable alternatives to give these people some relief.

My second comment is this (and somewhat off topic): Didn't Congress create the HMO? I've been mulling this over and believe that right around then is when Americans expectations of health insurance started changing. We've been conditioned now for quite a while to believe that insurance should cover everything, including a doctor visit.

I think, beyond this obviously horrible HC bill and the need to defeat it to head off government takeover of health insurance, we should prepare for some reforms that bring actual coverage back in line with what is reasonable.

Methadras said...

I've read the bill twice and nowhere in it is the conversation about the quality of care that will be imparted because of it. If you read it like I've read it then only conclusion that you can come to is that your care will be rationed. Your care will be minimal, and your care will be questioned. The fact of the matter is, is that these people do not understand what they are peddling. They have zero clue about what is in the bill, what is covered, how it will be administered, the cost of that administration, the level of care to which you will not receive, and any other innumerable gaping question marks that this legislation leaves behind in ones mind.

And again, I'm going to ask this because no one seems to either understand it or is incapable of answering it, but what is the compelling reason for this total redux of medicine and healthcare? What is it?

Methadras said...

Darcy said...

Two things: I saw a breakdown of Obama's 40+ million people without coverage in the U.S. and it was an eye-opener. If the breakdown is correct, 2/3 of that is illegals and people who can afford coverage, but have chosen not to.

About 15 million fall into the category as "needy". Is it rational to offer this sweeping health insurance takeover for 15 million? Logic should dictate that there are so many preferable alternatives to give these people some relief.


Darcy, that's why i've said for a long time that these 47 million are alleged to be uninsured. When you do the breakdown you can see the lie that makes up this fake statistic. So in essence even if you are 15 million uninsured there are plenty of opportunities for these people to get covered. However, what is being asked is that 15 million makes up 5% of the population and we want to drop 20% of GDP on them as a means to foist this nonsense on 300 million to capture the other 15 million with coverage? It's insanity.

Michael Hasenstab said...

Here is an op-ed regarding health care rationing written by Martin Feldstein, a Harvard professor and the former chairman of the Council of Economic Advisors.

Darcy said...

Well, I would like to see Obama questioned on his "47 million" figure, and if this breakdown is true, Methadras, it really is a big lie. A very bold and shameful one.

Where is our media on this? Oh. Right. Never mind.

Here's a question for those nodding their heads to covering all illegals: Does France, for instance, cover illegals with their national health care? I don't know the answer to this. I'm asking sincerely. Canada? Can I go over there and have a surgery covered?

Penny said...

The government didn't create HMO's per se. What they did was require that employers offer an HMO alternative to their employees. Young and healthy workers moved from indemnity plans to HMO's in droves because of all the freebies offered. The result of this was that costs for private plans began to skyrocket because the older, sicker workers predominated. This was also the beginning of separating people from the reality of health care expenses.

I am sure the government "meant well", but as usual, they didn't predict the unanticipated consequences.

Do they ever?

elHombre said...

We are the Soylent Green we've been waiting for.

God, what a fabulous, but frightening, comment!

Health care rationing overseen by committee is inherent to government "single payer" health care. It is absurd to claim otherwise. People will die as a result of choices made by gov't bureaucrats, period!!

------------------
wv "sione" = Mis amigos endorsing Oblahblah

AJ Lynch said...

Darcy:

Where the heck have you been? That fact has been voiced here about 6 million times by Hoosier and others.

I have a sister and b-i-l who are in the category of make over $100K but won't buy health insurance. They are liberal Dems and are in for a rude awakening when the Obama plan makes them pay for it!

Father Martin Fox said...

The "counseling" is a problem, but not the major one. The major reason this spells earlier death for people is the rationing of care. President Obama and his allies can deny there will be rationing all they want, but (a) it's his own words, and those of folks working with him, that give rise to the concern (as documented above), and (b) it's the very nature of such programs; it's what happens elsewhere.

Or, as NPR said today in its ongoing attempt to propagandize for this--and they said it in an oh-by-the-way fashion: people in Spain do dislike the long waiting lists. Yeah, I'll bet they do! Here, take another aspirin.

Folks on the left can superciliously mock talk of "death panels," but the real "death panel" will be the whole, bureaucratic mass that will be charged with "turning down the cost curve"--which as President Obama himself says, involves a lot of expensive care near the end of life.

Darcy said...

Ahh. Thanks, Penny!

I remember growing up, my dad had what was at the time excellent health insurance through his company. I also remember that doctor visit charges were not covered. With seven children, my parents always owed the doctor some kind of balance. I don't remember my parents ever complaining about this kind of insurance.

Bruce Hayden said...

If the breakdown is correct, 2/3 of that is illegals and people who can afford coverage, but have chosen not to. About 15 million fall into the category as "needy". Is it rational to offer this sweeping health insurance takeover for 15 million? Logic should dictate that there are so many preferable alternatives to give these people some relief.

What this means, simply, is that ObamaCare is designed to send Granny to an early grave through health care rationing by unelected nameless bureaucrats so that illegal aliens can have free health care.

Darcy said...

Sorry, AJ! (And HD and others!)

Some of these threads get so long that by the time I get to them, I don't read the whole thing. :)

It can't be said enough, though. This administration needs to be questioned on their numbers.

AllenS said...

A letter to the POTUS

Dear Barak,

I understand that your wife, used to work in a hospital, and I have a question. Would she be willing to check my prostate?

ps: If I gave her an extra $5, could I get her to use two fingers?

Thanks,
Your friend,
AllenS

Michael Hasenstab said...

Darcy, as this article indicates, the Canadian government is canceling thousands of surgeries due to lack of funding. You probably don't want to plan your next surgery there.

A few years back the annual budget for epidural blocks was expended 10 months into the budget year. So for the final two months, pregnant moms who were delivering babies couldn't get an epidural block.

Some system, eh?

Darcy said...

Oooh. Ouch, Michael. That made for some crabby moms, I'll bet.

Feeling blessed that I had no problem getting one here, in the good old days.

Methadras said...

Father Martin Fox said...

Folks on the left can superciliously mock talk of "death panels," but the real "death panel" will be the whole, bureaucratic mass that will be charged with "turning down the cost curve"--which as President Obama himself says, involves a lot of expensive care near the end of life.

Bruce Hayden said...

What this means, simply, is that ObamaCare is designed to send Granny to an early grave through health care rationing by unelected nameless bureaucrats so that illegal aliens can have free health care.


The entire bill is a giant death panel. Even if there isn't a specified section, clause, or sub-clause outlining what a death panel is or does, if you read the entirety of the legislation, then the whole becomes and effective death panel. When a legislative commissioner is the one that gets to decide on your treatment or lack thereof, you are in effect at the hands of a death panel. As I said before, there is no listed coverage for treatments, what ailements or diseases will be covered, what tests can or cannot be administered and when, or whether or not any care can be applied and as long as a commissioner is in effect the arbiter between you and your doctor, well, what do you have, a judge, a jury, and most likely an executioner.

That in effect makes the entire legislation a death panel and that's what this is about. The control of the citizens lives on a daily basis as a function of the medical they will receive when they need it or rather when a commissioner/bureaucrat thinks they need it or may not. Once they effect this type of legislation and inject themselves directly into your lives in this manner, then this country as you know it is over. The first salvo was believe it or not was the DMCA, the second is Crap n' Tax, this third salvo is BarelyCare, and if they pass this, then right afterward it will be Illegal Alien Amnesty and there will be no way to undo any of it and the country you've known and loved and grew up with will be completely remade in the ultra extreme leftist mode.

Big Mike said...

@Paddy O. Thanks for the link. Very thought-provoking.

@Robert, let me know if the Great One starts doing his job. I was surprised last December when he (or should I capitalize the 'h' -- perhaps Montagne can weigh in here?) took off for a twelve day Hawaiian vacation at the same time that he was saying that we were in the worst economic slump since the Depression. Maybe he should have cut it short by a couple days in that case? Where are the meetings with the opposition, or even with the "Blue Dogs"? He seems to think that he can let Pelosi and Reid draft the legislation and dispatch "Rahm the Enforcer" to keep everybody in line. Work, what's that?

@BJM, thanks for the link about the "wonderful" Canadian healthcare system -- Drudge also has it.

@Darcy, it's probably even worse than that. There's the question of how they calculate the numbers. A couple years back my son lost coverage over a weekend when he changed jobs. I believe that counts as "being without insurance" the way it's being computed.

John said...

The 80% of all medical expenses is spent in the last year of life is a very misleading statistic. It is put out as proof that most expeneses are given to hopeless cases. That is just not true because we don't know that the person is going to die when we give them treatment.

For example, if I get in a car accident and am medevaced to the hospital and die the next day, all those expenses would be considered end of life care. But that doesn't mean that we should leave me on the road to die. Or, take my mother. She got cancer for the second time and died a little over a year later. All of her expenses were end of life care. But, that doesn't mean they were futile. They just didn't work. For every person who is in my mother's position who died, there is at least one other who lived. You don't know who will live and who will die until you try the treatment.

So, if you look to cut "end of life care" you are either not going to save any money or kill a lot of people who would have otherwise lived.

Joe said...

One of the more astonish revelations on NPR last night:

SIEGEL: And why is a public option so essential to health care that you would threaten to vote against a bill without one?

Rep. GRIJALVA (D. AZ): It's the toehold, quite honestly. In this process, most of us who are signatories on that letter, we're single-payer proponents.

(Yes, this is a no-shit-Sherlock moment, but such candor is unusual amongst politicians.)

Montagne Mointaigne said...

If this bill passed there would be nothing in it to prevent you from paying out of pocket for any kind of treatment you wanted. Or buying a premium health insurance plan that covered anything. The Death Panels, or any decisions about limiting treatment or "rationing," would presumably only apply to people who relied on the government coverage. Aka, people who don't deserve health care because they can't pay for it anyway.

So "rationing" is a horror we must avoid because it could limit the amount of money the government gives away for health care.

So, in essence, all of these teaparty sworn blood opponents of socialism are hell-bent against reform because it MIGHT NOT BE SOCIALIST ENOUGH.

I say, get a job, losers.

Darcy said...

We don't believe there will be private insurance to be had, Montagne.

I don't, anyway. That's okay with you but not me, apparently.

And you have foam dripping out of the corner of your mouth, btw.

Dust Bunny Queen said...

The Death Panels, or any decisions about limiting treatment or "rationing," would presumably only apply to people who relied on the government coverage. Aka, people who don't deserve health care because they can't pay for it anyway.


Deserve.....there is a telling and chilling word that reveals your complete lack of a soul. You want to have the government decide who "deserves" treatment and who doesn't. Who is worthy and who isn't worthy of living.

Many people will be forced onto the Government option until eventually there is no other option. Business will opt out of private coverage becuase they will be punished and audited if they don't. People will NOT be able to get the coverage that they want after year 1 of this plan according to the House Bill. The plans that private insurers will be "allowed" by the government to issue will have to be very expensive in premium to qualify to the government standards.

You are a fool if you think that this is a good thing. You are a representative of the Banality of Evil when you agree that the government can decide who is DESERVING of life or death.

Montagne Mointaigne said...

Why would the private insurance disappear, Darcy of the foam-free mouth? And if you want to keep your grandma alive against the recommendation of the Demokrat Death Panel Ayatollah, what will prevent you from paying for it your own damn self?

avwh said...

"The 80% of all medical expenses is spent in the last year of life is a very misleading statistic. It is put out as proof that most expeneses are given to hopeless cases. That is just not true because we don't know that the person is going to die when we give them treatment.

For example, if I get in a car accident and am medevaced to the hospital and die the next day, all those expenses would be considered end of life care. But that doesn't mean that we should leave me on the road to die. Or, take my mother. She got cancer for the second time and died a little over a year later. All of her expenses were end of life care. But, that doesn't mean they were futile. They just didn't work. For every person who is in my mother's position who died, there is at least one other who lived. You don't know who will live and who will die until you try the treatment.

So, if you look to cut "end of life care" you are either not going to save any money or kill a lot of people who would have otherwise lived."


THIS is really well-articulated and reasoned for WHY "death panels" and more bureacracy for controlling healthcare are such a bad idea - because either you kill people who would benefit from treatment, or you don't save $$. There is no other "in between".

Penny said...

".. as if he's breaking it to us gently."

I think that is exactly what he has been doing. We can talk about single payer systems and death panels until we all turn blue in the face, but the fact remains, as a country, we do not have the money to accomodate our current liabilities for Medicaid and Medicare.

Obama tried to position the discussion in a positive light..."Look at us! We CARE about people and therefore we need major healthcare reform that will cover everybody!

He is being intellectually dishonest, perhaps he was hoping to "pull" us into massive, major changes that are inevitable, as opposed to "pushing" us there.

His plan isn't working, but worse yet, the REAL problem isn't even being discussed, because he refuses to frame the problem.

If he did, his party would never forgive him, even though the country would eventually be much better off.

Party politics as currently practiced, is killing this great land of ours.

Bruce Hayden said...

If this bill passed there would be nothing in it to prevent you from paying out of pocket for any kind of treatment you wanted. Or buying a premium health insurance plan that covered anything.

Somehow, I suspect that, in the long run, your "premium health insurance plan" is not going to be authorized by the ObamaCare bureaucrats, and thus would be illegal. Maybe not, but the mechanism is sure in HR 3200 to prevent such an unfair type of insurance.

Dust Bunny Queen said...

Why would the private insurance disappear

Why don't you get an economics 101 book and read it.

Michael Hasenstab said...

Monty said If this bill passed there would be nothing in it to prevent you from paying out of pocket for any kind of treatment you wanted

Listen moron, are you familiar with how Medicare works? No?

A patient who is insured by Medicare is prohibited by federal law from making payment for any services not covered by Medicare.

And a physician who accepts any additional payment from a Medicare-insured patient is subject to loss of license, heavy fines and imprisonment.

So please identify for us exactly which provision in HR3200 will make it legal for a patient covered under the new health care regime to pay excess or non-covered costs to a hospital, clinic or physician. State the page where that provision can be found, because I've read the bill and did not find it.

Darcy said...

Well, Montagne, read DBQ above to understand a bit. Have you only been reading what you want to read?

Of course I could pay for anyone's health care bills that weren't covered by insurance. I can do that now as well. Why do I need the government to take over health care coverage to do that?

Montagne Mointaigne said...

DBQ, a lot of people can't afford health insurance now. If they "deserve" it as you say, how do you suggest they get health care? YOU are the one who thinks that only people who can afford health insurance should get it, because to think otherwise is SOCIALISM. It's giving away hard-earned tax dollars to the indigent. It's two hairs away from Auchwitz.

The government can't decide who lives or dies (except when it actually executes or bombs them, which as a conservative I'm sure you support). It can only decide what it pays for. Just like insurance companies. The only difference is the government has no profit motive.

Bruce Hayden said...

Why would the private insurance disappear, Darcy of the foam-free mouth? And if you want to keep your grandma alive against the recommendation of the Demokrat Death Panel Ayatollah, what will prevent you from paying for it your own damn self?

Quick answer - ObamaCare, at least in the form of HR 3200.

Ok, I will admit that there isn't anything in the proposed legislation that would prevent anyone from paying additional amounts out of their own pockets for additional care. Buying insurance to cover that instead, though, is much more problematic.

You may not believe that this was the intent of the legislation. It may not have been. But add on or supplementary insurance is health care insurance, and is apparently subject to all of the limitations that the legislation puts on such, including the requirement for being qualified or authorized, etc.

John said...

Mortimore

A friend on a different site answered your issue brilliantly She said

"The advocates of single payer health care argue, essentially, that nobody should be denied treatment for anything, ever. They use the unpleasant reality of people dying for lack of health care to argue for "universal" coverage. Which implies that everyone will get treated, no matter what.

But, they them selves will admit that the government will have to do some kind of rationing to control costs. All national health care services ration at some level, even if it is by limiting supply and having waiting lists.

The length and nature of those waitinglists can be manipulated by funding one type of specialist more than others, or by giving priority to the young over the old, and so forth. Which means, at some level in the political process, decisions are made as to which treatments are most important, and which patients are more deserving of treatment.

Which is to say, there will always be decisions about who is more deserving of treatment. The only real question is whether those determinations are made by some collective political process or by the individuals private ability to pay. We could, for instance, make it an election issue whether to favor the young over the old in organ donations, under a national health care plan. We could decide to prioritize AIDS treatment over care of the mentally handicapped.

Now, personally, I don't see how a collectivized decisions making process determining who deserves health care is more "moral" than one where individuals pay their own way.
Noone is really claiming that everyone will get unlimited health care. The only difference is whether rationing decision is made by you or someone else with power over you."

Darcy said...

Ooh, is that true, Michael? I didn't know that! (And don't understand it, either.)

John said...

Hold it Mike. You are confusing two things. It is true that you cannot pay more for a service that is covered by medicare. But you can buy a service that medicare refuses to pay for. That is what the supplemental insurance policies do.

Bruce Hayden said...

The government can't decide who lives or dies (except when it actually executes or bombs them, which as a conservative I'm sure you support). It can only decide what it pays for. Just like insurance companies. The only difference is the government has no profit motive.

Oh, and you forgot the other difference with insurance companies - the government has sovereign immunity from being sued, so you likely won't be able to sue the government when it refuses to pay for needed health care for economic reasons.

And, you forget that much of the legislation revolves around determining what health insurance can be sold. What can be covered, and what cannot. What insurance companies will pay for, and what they won't. So, while right now, our federal government cannot control very much what private insurance pays for, if ObamaCare passes, it will have that control.

Hey - real word "mangle" - what ObamaCare will do to our health insurance market.

Cedarford said...

DBQ - "Does private insurance not cover every instance of health care? Of course NOT. Not everyone is insurable either. That is just a fact of life. However, you can shop around for another policy to see if you can get a better deal. You can CHOOSE to pay more for coverage. When it is Government controlled health care we have no other options. No other recourse is available to you."

Funny, in every other advanced nation, everybody IS insurable in a common risk pool. Almost no one is bankrupted by their necessary medical expenses. And in most democracies, people are still free to shop around and take supplemental insurance.

DBQ either knows nothing of universal health care countries, or she deliberately dissembles.

=======================
Laura(southernxyl) - Leaving aside the fact that Terri Schiavo wasn't brain dead, I suppose that to stop the "insanity" we'll have to starve and dehydrate brain-damaged people to death right away, regardless of their families' wishes.

Schiavo was not brain-dead, anymore than a rutabaga or oyster. She was a complete vegetable..with noting working but the brainstem.
The Schiavo husk was being kept alive by insurance money initially, then by a specious 1.5 million dollar medical malpractice lawsuit.

And almost 1/2 of US deaths are caused or hastened by people starving themselves (cachexia) or
dehydrating. It doesn't bother dying patients. Doctors say that, and I know from family experience.

However, one dishonest part of the debate - is both sides pretending rationing is as unthinkable as raising taxes steeply to pay for elederly and those who can't afford or refuse to get health insurance.
We have a 37 trillion dollar gap between just medicare obligations and projected funding without raising taxes. Worsened enormously by the idiot Bush's free prescription drug program adder-on that Republicans refused to ask the public to fund. Just take IOUs from CHina and let others worry about paying for it once Bush, DeLay, Hastert, Frist were out of office.

You have a choice of more rationing by private insurance cos, rationing by Gov't, or paying huge new taxes for all the debts accumulated since Reagan's days on unfunded medical liabilities and present shortfalls in taxes not equal to exploding medical care costs.

The Schiavo husk was a great example of the problem. 2.5 million in healthcare, 3 million in legal costs - America cannot afford - to keep a living corpse with no functioning brain "plugged in" to machines.

Notice in Schiavo, the Alzheimer vegetatives, families "insisting" on taxpayers or insurer rate-payers taking on ruinously expensive end of life healthcare for simply prolonging poor or non-existent quality of life for the dying --none of these Right to Life Fanatics is out demanding we have private charity pay for it, or lining up themselves to hock their houses or savings to pay a hospital for more "blessed life" for some other family's dying person.

Why - That wouldn't be real freedom for freedom lovers, would it!! Freedom means you can't walk into a neighborhood and demand, door to door - people chip in a thousand dollars every other week to help pay for some old lady dying of cancer and demented...for living another month!
And we have Freedom Lovers!! demanding care, free or heavily subsidized drugs...but no more gummint taxes!

As it is, the system is unsustainable.

Dust Bunny Queen said...

DBQ, a lot of people can't afford health insurance now. If they "deserve" it as you say, how do you suggest they get health care?

I didn't say that people 'deserve' health care. You are confusing health care with health insurance by the way. I was objecting to your contention that the Government gets to decide who lives and who dies. Who deserves health care through rationing.

If a person is truly unable to get insurance, which is not the same thing as health care, and they need EXPENSIVE medical care there are many ways. Medicaid. Charitable Organizations. Medicare for the elderly. Make payments...most hospitals will make arrangements for this.

My husband doesn't have insurance. He is part of that small minority of the uninsured. He is self employed, so no group plan. He has pre existing conditions that make him uninsurable. We make too much money to qualify for any programs. He isn't old enough for Medicare. We self ration so to speak. We pay out of pocket for his medical care and prescriptions and hope to hell that he doesn't have anything really serious happen before Medicare eligibility.

Would we personally benefit from a single payer plan? Maybe. But I am still completely opposed to a government take over of the health care and destruction of the health insurance industries because it would be a terrible and evil thing. Everyone's medical care would be rationed. The Government would be in total control of our lives. I would rather not benefit on a personal level than to have this happen.

Dust Bunny Queen said...

The only difference is the government has no profit motive.

The government has a HUGE profit motive. Making older people die thereby removing them from Social Security and Medicare....two programs which are going bankrupt....would save the Government billions of dollars. Old people don't pay taxes. They just suck up resources and in the eyes of Obama and his advisors don't 'deserve' to have money spent on them.

Alex said...

Honestly, how is this any different then "end of life counseling" private insurance currently does? It sounds like right-wing demagoguery to me. The real problem I have with HR 3200 is the public option. Sarah Palin has muddied the waters with her "death panels" idiocy.

Michael Hasenstab said...

John, You are confusing two things. It is true that you cannot pay more for a service that is covered by medicare. But you can buy a service that medicare refuses to pay for. That is what the supplemental insurance policies do.

No confusion at all. A person may not pay a physcian, clinic or hospital an amount above Medicare plus approved supplemental insruance. Medicare typically pays about 30% of actual costs; you may not pay your physician the remaining 70% or any fraction thereof.

Why do you think physicians have had to limit the number of Medicare patients they have? They lose money on each one, and would soon be bankrupt if they didn't impose a limit.

Darcy said...

And why do you have a problem with the public option then, Alex. It's all good, right? No death panels?

Sarah kicked ass and did the heavy lifting the Republicans were too cowardly to do.

Methadras said...

Montagne Mointaigne said...

Why would the private insurance disappear, Darcy of the foam-free mouth? And if you want to keep your grandma alive against the recommendation of the Demokrat Death Panel Ayatollah, what will prevent you from paying for it your own damn self?


So you've just made the argument that government provided health-care is unnecessary. So tell me again why you are fighting for it?

Alex said...

And why do you have a problem with the public option then, Alex. It's all good, right? No death panels?


My point is we already have private "death panels", so it's a right-wing straw man to even talk about that. So do Christians have a bigger problem with government funded "death panels" then privately funded ones? I think this issue gets back to the Terry Schaivo and legalized euthanasia. The real elephant in the room here is the theocratic wing of the GOP that doesn't care about socialism, but wants to control our lives.

elHombre said...

(Yes, this is a no-shit-Sherlock moment, but such candor is unusual amongst politicians.)

Yeah, well, I knew Grijalva well during our days as locally elected Dems in Arizona. Candor is not his long suit, so don't get your hopes up.

I'm hoping his willingness to tell the truth on this doesn't mean he is confident of passage.

Roger J. said...

Obama has put out so many LIES (AARP supports the bill, surgeon's make 50K for amputations etc), has floated trial balloons (sibelius); and put out so many contradictory signals and statements, I don't the think the dumb f**k knows where he is.

That said, it strikes me we don't really have a bill yet--we have five differing versions floating around committees; and we wont have a bill if and when the house senate conference committee meets on it--so it genuinely difficult to tell what will end up in it.

Re "end of life counseling." My major concern is the "quality reporting" physicians have to do post counseling. As long as counseling is voluntary I don't have a big issue with it; I already have end of life directives and do not need a physician to tell me what to do. It is that nebulous "quality reporting" thing I worry about.

Health care rationed? bogus argument on both sides--it's already rationed within the existing system--when demand exceed supply its rationed via a market system (my preference).

Private insurance remaining available? Probably for the very rich; employers will go with the cheapest insurance, and a government subsized one will probably crowd out private insurance--at least thats what economic theory teaches. But no one knows.

I almost feel sorry for the dems (NOT) because they are trying to sell something that does not exist as of yet--and their con game has been eviscerated by the majority of the american public. I do hope they ride the wild lightening on this one and we get back to divided government in 2010.

How is that Obama thing working out BTW? Anyone tracking the casualty count in Obama's excellent Afghan adventure? DOMA? DADT? SSM? who exactly are the rubes here.

Laura(southernxyl) said...

Cedarford, Terri Schiavo was neither a husk nor a carrot. She was a brain-damaged human being who could not defend herself. To describe her as "the Schiavo husk" is heartless and cold and beyond disrespectful.

I suppose she was using up your oxygen allotment. I don't know why else you need her to have been killed, as you evidently do. Talk about a husk.

Michael Hasenstab said...

Honestly, how is this any different then "end of life counseling" private insurance currently does?

Private insurers may or may not include end-of-life counseling in their policies. Under mandated federal health care, the end-of-life counseling would be mandatory. The insured would have no choice.

You are pro-choice, aren't you?
__________

If the true objective is to insure those who are here legally and cannot get insurance, why not simply allow them to apply for Medicare? The mechanism is already in place.

Well, it's because the Obama regime wants to impose a lot of other things on us. Did you read the section of HR3200 that MANDATES that a government worker visit every household that has children and instruct the parents in the proper, government approved methods of child raising?

You did read that, didn't you? Not a problem for you now, I'd bet, but how will you feel about it when Sarah Palin or Jeb Bush sends gummint drones to your house to explain proper, approved methods and values to you, and insists on your full compliance?

Triangle Man said...

A patient who is insured by Medicare is prohibited by federal law from making payment for any services not covered by Medicare.

How about a pointer to the Medicare reg, or a FAQ on the medicare.gov site that supports your assertion?

Cedarford said...

Hasenstab - Listen moron, are you familiar with how Medicare works? No?

A patient who is insured by Medicare is prohibited by federal law from making payment for any services not covered by Medicare.


I'm afraid you are the moron.

Ever hear of Medicare supplemental insurance? Private payments by seniors?

Do you know anyone on Medicare???

Next to Freder's treatises on thermodynamics, you just asserted about the most ignorant thing I have read on Althouse's Blog.

I think poor Freder also used the line "listen, moron" when he got pissed when people laughed at him about his Gore bulbs saving more electricity than they use.

=======================
John - So, if you look to cut "end of life care" you are either not going to save any money or kill a lot of people who would have otherwise lived.

Only if you assume the medical pros don't know a preemie is doomed, granny is PVS, or a person with stage IV metastatic cancer is not terminal - and heroic medical care is or is not futile with no real quality of life gained from such a hugely expensive intervention.
The difference between that and the car crash you mentioned (or someone with Stage 2 cancer or mild CHF) is that at the time care starts the medical professionals don't know if the accident victim is now a rutabaga, the cancer victim might have cure or remission or go to a miserable Stage 4 dying process. Or the CHF patient may have his heart failure stalled by care or voluntary cachexis (staving) and still have quality of life before the end stage.

=======================
DBQ - Dust Bunny Queen said...
"Why would the private insurance disappear?"

Why don't you get an economics 101 book and read it?


Why don't you get a book 1st, and explain the existence of the robust free market private health insurance continuing to flourish in France, Switzerland, Japan, Germany, Italy, Australia as contractors to universal health coverage or as providers of supplementals?

You claim "Gummint" will wreck the best in the world heath care system with private insurers as gatekeepers - that our Free Market gifted the Freedom Lovers!! with is either ignorant or DBQ misinformation.

====================
=================

Darcy said...

Who said anything about Christians, Alex?

Again: Why are you against the public option if it is the same as private insurance, in your mind.

What is different?

elHombre said...

... the theocratic wing of the GOP that doesn't care about socialism, but wants to control our lives.

Well, that's an altogether ridiculous observation.

One need not be a Christian or a genius to note the moral/ethical/practical difference between health care rationing imposed by government fiat and health care limitations resulting from the working of the market.

One is tyranny, the other is part of life in a free society.

Paddy O. said...

So do Christians have a bigger problem with government funded "death panels" then privately funded ones?A

s a card-carrying member of the theocratic wing of the Republican party, I can definitively say that I have a bigger problem with government funded "death panels" than privately funded death panels. As any good theocrat knows, we theocratists are a fractious bunch, and if the wrong theocracy gets in, there's a fair chance I'll be put out... if you know what I mean.

Plus, nameless a private firm with only interest in one field may be highly frustrating, but they at least cannot connect their frustration with their extensive interest in manifold other fields.

Plus, I'd say fix the private firms issues, don't just hand power over to the government to do the same thing that's already not working.

Plus, theocrats are pretty clearly pro-life as far as killing innocent people who haven't murdered anyone else, or slaughtered political opponents, so theirs a pretty firm commitment in our theocraticizing conclaves to try to help as many people as possible, as we can, without having to be burdened by the budget constraints of a trillion dollar deficit government.

Not having money is a really bad reason to die, and it's still bad if it's the government that doesn't have enough money. Especially if those putting such a thing together aren't going to live, and die, by their own policies. Don't do unto others what you'd not like done unto you. That, in its various forms is a theocratical foundation.

traditionalguy said...

We are being told to adjust our standards to Depression era poverty because our wealth has disappeared. So what makes wealth these days? Oil, gas, and coal energy harnessed for modern industrial production causes jobs that pay for everything else those workers need and want, and kicks up the value of real property near the job sites. So why did President Obeyme intentionally fail to stimulate jobs and still prohibts industry to Drill Here and Drill Now? Answer those question and you will know what is really happening to us today. The elimination of surplus United States citizens has become the conscious policy choice for Soros/Obama and friends to avoid harming our pristine environment. That is how insane they have become, because sane men and women can do both at the same time.

Paddy O. said...

Please pardon the atrocious spelling/grammar/typing issues of my last post. We theocrats aren't so good wit hthe keystrokes or word-fashioning, as is well known.

Darcy said...

Thank you, elHombre.

Alex said...

We are being told to adjust our standards to Depression era poverty because our wealth has disappeared.

Who is saying that? We haven't even reached the depths of the 1981-1982 recession yet. It's the Robert Reichs of the world who are pronouncing doom.

Triangle Man said...

Did you read the section of HR3200 that MANDATES that a government worker visit every household that has children and instruct the parents in the proper, government approved methods of child raising?

Doesn't exist.

There is a provision in Sec. 1904 for grants to states to support voluntary home visits for families with or expecting children.

Michael Hasenstab said...

Here.

PAR physicians agree to take assignment on all Medicare claims, which means that they must accept Medicare’s approved amount (which is the 80 percent that Medicare pays plus the 20 percent patient copayment) as payment in full for all covered services for the duration of the calendar year. The patient or the patient’s secondary insurer is still responsible for the 20% copayment but the physician cannot bill the patient for amounts in excess of the Medicare allowance.

.

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

I think the metaphor of a football team moving the ball down the field fits well into what Obama & the Democrats are doing these days.

While Obama is doing his usual spinning, carefully listen to what Democrat congressman, Anthony Weiner, said this morning.

Cedarford said...

Laura(southerxyl) - Cedarford, Terri Schiavo was neither a husk nor a carrot. She was a brain-damaged human being who could not defend herself. To describe her as "the Schiavo husk" is heartless and cold and beyond disrespectful.

No, autopsy showed she was the living corpse that physicians diagnosed ten years and 5 million dollars beforehand (ultimately paid by taxpayers and insurance payers). And which also proved the huge medical malpractice money payments were made on false representations of her being "partially aware".

The only thing that "worked" after her brain died & rotted away was the hindstem between the spine and true brain.
And the only difference between her and someone with their head chppoed off being kept warm and respirating on machines for organ transplant purposes.

Being a Flat-Liner is not being a "brain-damaged human being". It is a corpse kept alive by machines.

Shanna said...

Business will opt out of private coverage becuase they will be punished and audited if they don't.

Hell, it hasn’t even happened yet and congress is apparently threatening, harassing private citizens at private businesses based on their compensation packages, their trainings, etc…

Dust Bunny Queen said...

Being a Flat-Liner is not being a "brain-damaged human being". It is a corpse kept alive by machines.


Except in the case of Terry Schaivo she was not on artifical life support. They removed her feeding tube and starved and dehydrated her to death.

The Schaivo case is a good example of why people should have living wills or medical directives before becoming ill. It also illustrates why the Government should be kept out of these decisions.

As to France and private insurance there is this:

"France’s high rate of private insurance coverage is partly explained by historical factors and partly by the preferential tax treatment of employer-sponsored coverage. Because of the high rate of employerprovision – roughly half of all contracts are obtained through the workplace – coverage tends to vary with activity and industry classification"

Unlike the plan proposed by the Democrats which will make employer sponsored private coverage unattractive so that the majority of small businesses and many larger ones will opt out of private insurance. In addition they propose severly limiting the types of plans that private insurers can issue after the Gummint plan goes into effect. There will not BE a robust free market of private insurance because the Obama plan puts shackles on the companies and will tear away much of their most profitable lines of business.

Bruce Hayden said...

My point is we already have private "death panels", so it's a right-wing straw man to even talk about that. So do Christians have a bigger problem with government funded "death panels" then privately funded ones?

I still don't concede privately funded death panels. If a private insurance company comes into the end of the year with a bad claims/loss ratio, it just has to suck it up, and dip into its reserves. And, if it can't cover its claims, and doesn't have sufficient reserves, it is out of business. One thing it cannot do is tell its policy holders that they would have had this health care procedure, drug, test, etc. if only there had been money available, it had been a different year, etc. If it does, it will be legally liable.

But that is just what government funded health care is able to do, and does regularly in other countries. If it allocates $X for something over the population, and your test or med will take it over that, then tough. You are SOL.

The private insurance company provides policy provisions that promise certain benefits. Then, it underwrites and rates accordingly, with the expectation that based on its actuarial calculations, it will be able to cover the promised benefits. And, then it is stuck. If the policy says that it will pay for something, then the insurance company has to pay, or it can get sued for not paying.

Laura(southernxyl) said...

Being a Flat-Liner is not being a "brain-damaged human being". It is a corpse kept alive by machines.

A, you're wrong about that - a corpse can't be kept alive by machines; and B - Terri wasn't a flat liner. She couldn't have been. She breathed totally on her own and her heart beat, and her body functions were regulated by her brain. No machines here at all. You are trying to turn her into a thing instead of a person. Why? What's the motive here? How was Terri Sciavo's being fed and given water harshing your mellow?

Further, her brain didn't "rot away". It had shrunk. What the hell do you think a brain looks like after the owner has been deprived of water for two weeks until the deprivation kills her?

Cedarford said...

Paddy O - Plus, theocrats are pretty clearly pro-life as far as killing innocent people who haven't murdered anyone else, or slaughtered political opponents, so theirs a pretty firm commitment in our theocraticizing conclaves to try to help as many people as possible, as we can, without having to be burdened by the budget constraints of a trillion dollar deficit government.

1. I must have missed those theocrat fundraisers for Schiavo and other rutabagas.

2. The Schiavo debate happened at a time when the Bushies, Religious Right, and Dems all pretended America had all the money it needed to spend it however it wanted.
Now we are back to real world. And have to back choices on where our medical care budget - both personal and government - has to be spent. The days when we could say we need a million for the care of 5 rutabagas, a million for trauma care, and a million for 20,000 children's dental care - but we only have a million so we just borrow the rest - is coming to an end.

3. You could say that any declined intervention that results in anyone dying, or which fails to prolong futile care...is directly killing someone. But we don't think that way. Failing to pay for a 21-million dollar better highway intersection may kill 6 people over 25 years - but we decline that intervention because we have better uses for that money.

elHombre said...

Terry Schiavo has little to do with the issue of rationed health care.

There are
much better illustrations of what The One and his minions have in store for us.

AJ Lynch said...

This bill, if passed, becomes effective in 2013??

I wonder how much the guvmint has to spend in the next three years to get this montrosity up and running? $25 Billion is my estimate.

So follow the money - that is where Obama cronies, the Dems and their supporters will be feeding at the taxpayer trough.

Alex said...

A, you're wrong about that - a corpse can't be kept alive by machines; and B - Terri wasn't a flat liner. She couldn't have been. She breathed totally on her own and her heart beat, and her body functions were regulated by her brain. No machines here at all. You are trying to turn her into a thing instead of a person. Why? What's the motive here? How was Terri Sciavo's being fed and given water harshing your mellow?

I have a problem with the taxpayer paying $5 million to keep a living husk alive for 10 years. If the family wanted to keep the husk alive, let them pay for it and keep their grubby hands out of my wallet!

Shanna said...

The only real question is whether those determinations are made by some collective political process or by the individuals private ability to pay.

I think this is a good time to mention the role of charitable giving in paying for medical bills.

Locally, if someone at your church has excessive medical bills or someone in your community, it is not uncommon to be asked to donate to the cause. Sometimes you hear about a 5k for so and so’s medical bills. Why is this kind of thing never mentioned? We could have (and there probably already are) charities that help to cover catastrophic care for those who truly can’t afford it. I think St. Jude’s does something like this for children who need care. Shouldn’t some of these options be explored and some real work be done to see who is REALLY not getting the care they need? Because I just don’t hear about a lot of people forgoing chemo because they can’t afford it.

Laura(southernxyl) said...

Okay, I see. You have to use unspeakable words like "rutabaga" in order to dehumanize Terri. If she had been a woman, then it would have been harder for you to justify her murder, and the murder of other people you might want to kill.

Laura(southernxyl) said...

Alex, her family wanted to care for her. Her husband wanted her dead. Your taxes weren't paying for her care, anyway.

If taxpayer-provided health care means euthanasia for people whose quality of life you can't approved, then that is one huge reason to reject obamacare.

Darcy said...

I take my question back, Alex. Reading your latest stuff makes me not care what you think. Never mind.

Dust Bunny Queen said...

If taxpayer-provided health care means euthanasia for people whose quality of life you can't approved, then that is one huge reason to reject obamacare.


Bingo. And this was just what Palin was saying about her son. Many on the left think he should have been killed (aborted) and I'm sure that once they get in charge of our health care, they will decide that Trig and others who they consider substandard shouldn't recieve treatment. After all they didn't want him alive in the first place, why would they spend money to keep him alive now.

Big Mike said...

@Bruce, thank you. You found an articulate way to express my sentiments.

And here's the difference between the alleged private insurance "death panels" that the trolls keep pointing to and the death panels that one gets through the single-payer systems that Obama, Montagne Mointaigne, Barney Frank, and the rest of the left wing lunatics want. Insurance firms decide what they will and won't cover and that applies across the board. If they fail to cover something that they say they cover, they can be sued. If your firm offers you your choice of multiple plans, as mine does, you can make an intelligent decision based on your costs and what the different plans provide.

With single payer the "death panels" -- In the best tradition of George Orwell's novels they'll be called something much more benign -- can decide to apply a treatment based on one's age and current health condition (go Google UK QALY). Been a smoker? Even if you quit years ago, that's tough. Overweight? High blood pressure? No heart surgery for you, my friend. 75? 80? Maybe you should just learn to walk with a cane instead of getting knee replacement surgery. And the Federal government cannot be sued.

Now Montagne Mointaigne said "The only difference is the government has no profit motive." But that's not completely true, is it? For years now I've been wondering what's going to happen when we Baby Boomers start going on Medicare and Social Security given that the former is already underfunded and the latter's trust fund has been raided to pay down deficits of various sorts. And now we have our answer -- the Baby Boomers have a duty to die and single payer will help them.

I don't think we're going quite so easily as that, Monty. Your side has 14 months and then I think even some Democrats in safe seats are going to find themselves needing to work for a living.

AJ Lynch said...

So Alex, in Pennsylvania, the Dem governor repealed the helmet requirement for motorcyles.

Are you in favor of the guvmint and taxpayers footing the the medical bills and nursing home bills for the increased number of donor-cyclists?

Penny said...

Pelalusa, that was a great YouTube link.

Medicare for all! Oh, and get rid of those nasty profiteering insurance companies.

I loved Wiener's petulant question to Scarborough..."Tell me what insurance companies CREATE! They don't MAKE anything." (Free enterprise by damned.)

All this brought to you by what the government MAKES...Witless bureaucrats! In ever increasing numbers. And this guy and his committee created one of the plans floating around out there.

America, you just can't go down this way.

AJ Lynch said...

The American voters will backlash next November so the Dems will lose their majority power.

Many of these dumb bills will be repealed in 2011 by the non-Dem Congess over the prez's veto!

Methadras said...

Michael Hasenstab said...

the physician cannot bill the patient for amounts in excess of the Medicare allowance.


Which means the physician will have to cut your feet off and pull your tonsils to make a profit.

Methadras said...

Jeremy said...

Hey look everyone it's him again. Always late to the game with nothing to contribute. Good show.

Methadras said...

Alex said...

I have a problem with the taxpayer paying $5 million to keep a living husk alive for 10 years. If the family wanted to keep the husk alive, let them pay for it and keep their grubby hands out of my wallet!


I believe that's what they wanted to do, but where stopped by her (ex?)husband by a court order. They were willing to take on the responsibility, but where prevented from doing so. That was a civil problem, but one that could have been resolved with ease, but agenda's got in the way.

Methadras said...

Jeremy said...

Methadras - If what I say is so unimportant, why do you always respond?


Because I love feeding trolls and you are always so eager to eat.

Are you still upset about not having my balls in your mouth?

Why no. It's just that your dog monopolizes them all the time.

Michael Hasenstab said...

Four questions for those who support HR3200---

(1) If HR3200 is such a good program, why haven't any members of Congress said that he or she will gladly be covered by the plan?

(2) And why has the President not stepped up and declared that he and his family be covered by the plan?

Because it sucks and they know it.

(3), Why is there no booklet that fully explains coverage and premiums? You know, like the kind of booklet you get with your current health insurance plan. Shouldn't be too hard for the gummint to put a coverage booklet together and post it on the internet so we can see the details. Transparency and all, like we were promised during the last campaign.

(4) Why does my insurance have to be disrupted in order for the gummint to provide insurance for others? I like my insurance, leave it alone. And don't levy a tax on my employer for providing private insurance.

Kirby Olson said...

I think maybe Obama feels like he has to do some kind of general healthcare plan since he campaigned on it, but now he knows it blows, so he's making the most miserable mess that he can, so he doesn't have to do it, and then he can say, but you didn't want it. And then he can just go back to smoking and eating cheeseburgers and feeling sorry for himself.

Synova said...

Monty: "Can some wingnut please explain why they think Democrats are so interested in killing old people?"

Penny: "I am sure the government "meant well", but as usual, they didn't predict the unanticipated consequences.

Do they ever?
"

Me: Worry about how the Democrats want to kill people entirely ignores that the Democrats can't be guaranteed to stay in charge, can they Monty. The good motivation and best intentions are meaningless if political sentiment shifts drastically, and it very well might. Can be guaranteed to shift, actually.

Think of the scariest politician out there, Monty. And imagine that person just became president.

How are you going to ensure that icky mean people do not displace the benevolent Democratic leadership? Pull a Zelaya or Chevez?

Not that good intentions prove that things won't go wrong. The government often does things with the best intentions and ends up screwing things up badly, and yes, even killing people.

Oops!

Monty: "If this bill passed there would be nothing in it to prevent you from paying out of pocket for any kind of treatment you wanted. Or buying a premium health insurance plan that covered anything."

DBQ: "People will NOT be able to get the coverage that they want after year 1 of this plan according to the House Bill."

This is pretty clearly the case. The ONLY private coverage available will be available only to the utterly filthy rich who can pay out of pocket or loot their national treasury to fly to the US for treatment (if we're still the gold standard) or purchase private insurance that no one else can afford. For regular folks, the only option would be the government option because ACCORDING TO THE BILL all private options will be required by law to reach the standard (as stated on paper!) of the government plan and will not be able to offer the same (as stated on paper) level of benefits while competing with taxpayer subsidized insurance. They will not be allowed by law to offer less expensive options. The only other options will be the super premium wonder policies.

No middle ground... and would force ever greater divides between "haves" and "have nots".

Maybe this is actually the plan.

It's not hard to see it coming.

And either the "have nots" will revolt or the government will bring the "haves" down to their level without a revolt... by requiring by law that everyone have the same care. EVERYONE.

No buying your own. It wouldn't be fair.

Hillary actually saw the need for this and wrote it into her plan from the start.

Darcy said...

I miss Palladian.

Synova said...

Yes, Jeremy. You make my point.

And the next eight years will be Sarah Palin.

Maybe you should get your head out and think about that before you try to put the government in charge of our bodies on account of how the Democrats are wonderful people and Obama *cares*.

Big Mike said...

Will allow the government to make decisions about when to stop providing medical care to the elderly

Likely to happen: 45
Unlikely to happen: 50

Almost half of the country has their heads buried up their ass
.

As I read the numbers, precisly half the country has their heads buried up to their ass.

Big Mike said...

Anybody got a link to the Wall Street Journal/NBC poll that the troll mentioned? The latest one I can find is dated July 27-29 and doesn't mention the question he references.

WV: hates - appropriate for the troll

Darcy said...

I don't have a link, Big Mike. But I'm extremely suspicious of any NBC poll. If any network is in the tank for O, it's NBC. They'll massage these questions. And even despite that, I think I read that Pelosi was angry with NBC for their recent polling, so the answers couldn't have please Dems.

I'm just astounded at how many people who are either very willing to let our government control the health care in this country or who, out of pure partisanship and pride, don't care.

Roger J. said...

yes, jeremy--congress has a plan provided by our tax dollars--and it sure is not the plan you will get under obama care--are you really that obtuse?

two other plans provided by the government: medicare and social security--both of which headed for bankruptcy

The rich in this country will continue to have gold plated plans because they can personally afford them--

The working stiffs like you and me will rely on EMPLOYER plans over which we have little control--our employers will chose the cheapest plan which will be the government subsidized one--do I KNOW this? no, but the economic theory of crowding out suggests it is quite possible

At any rate--the fundamental issue for me in this debate is choice, and the current five bills circulating rovide little in the way of choice

Bruce Hayden said...

There's absolutely nothing that says you HAVE to accept the government's plan.

Maybe, maybe not. It is conceivable that the bureaucrats running the agencies qualifying, etc. policies may just eliminate competition. We shall see.

Stay where you are, continue to feed the insurance companies...as in:

PROFITS at 10 of the country’s largest publicly traded health insurance companies ROSE 428% from 2000 to 2007 (BUSH YEARS), while consumers paid MORE FOR LESS coverage
.

Well, maybe. Note that 2000 was part of the recession at the end of the Clinton Administration. And, 2007 was the end of the Bush boom. So, it is likely that the dates for those figures were cherry picked for effect.

But also keep in mind that consumers paid more for less coverage because of overall health care inflation AND increased cross-subsidization of government programs such as Medicare, etc. through cramming down their reimbursement rates below providers' costs. It probably shouldn't surprise anyone that increased costs translate into increased premiums.

There is a growing LACK OF COMPETITION in the private health insurance industry that has led to near MONOPOLY CONDITIONS in many markets.

Maybe. Maybe not. Or, at least the question remains open (despite your conclusory statement to the contrary) whether there were any illegal monopolistic practices going on. See more below.

With Premiums Soaring in Consolidated Health Insurance Markets, over the past 13 years, more than 400 CORPORATE MERGERS have involved health insurers, and a SMALL NUMBER OF COMPANIES NOW DOMINATE local markets but haven’t delivered on promises of increased efficiency.

I don't know where you find this stuff, but it just appears to be almost aimless ranting. And, I am not sure what you mean by promises of increased efficiency, and how you would measure that. Indeed, I would suggest that whoever you are quoting probably doesn't know either.

Bruce Hayden said...

94% of insurance markets in the United States are now highly concentrated, with insurance companies raking in enormous profits and paying out HUGE CEO SALARIES.

I guess you would probably think that any profits are enormous. But let me suggest that there are plenty of other industries with higher profit levels and whose CEOs make more money. Maybe we should look at the profits, salaries, and bonuses of the companies involved in the recent financial melt down, and compare them to health insurance profits, salaries, and bonuses. Or, maybe compare those salaries and bonuses to the malpractice attorneys making money by cranking up those insurance costs.

The larger companies use their power to RAISE PREMIUMS AN AVERAGE OF 87% over the past six years (BUSH YEARS),—RESTRICT AND REDUCE benefit packages and control and CUT PROVIDER PAYMENTS.

I think I addressed this above. Premiums are driven primarily by health care costs, which are going up for a number of well known reasons.

I would be interested in any (primary source) documentation showing that private insurers are paying providers less, per procedure. Of course, Medicare is doing that, but their doing it is driving up costs for everyone else.

They've basically secured monopolies or tight oligopolies and exercised that power to put profits ahead of patients.

A LACK OF ANTITRUST ENFORCEMENT has enabled insurers to acquire dominant positions in almost every metropolitan market
.

Conclusory statements if I have ever seen them. Keep in mind though that state AGs can sue for antitrust violations, just as the federal DOJ can. So, even if the evil Bush DOJ was totally corrupt and in the pocket of the insurance industry (of which there is no evidence), there were plenty of grandstanding state (esp. Democratic) AGs who could have sued under state and federal antitrust laws, if there really were the sort of antitrust abuses that you are asserting. For example, both NY AGs Spitzer and Coumo have reputations for going after low hanging corporate fruit for political gain. Or, how about former CA Gov. Moonbeam and current AG Jerry Brown?

Joan said...

I have a question about insurance industry profits. Are these big insurance companies publicly traded? If so, don't most profits go back to the shareholders? And who owns those shares?

I'm sick and tired of this demonization of profits, as if it weren't everyone and his brother with stocks (by way of mutual funds and other such instruments) in their 401(k)s, IRAs, and other retirement accounts.

Big Mike said...

@Bruce, very good points. Actually, if Obama was going to go after an industry where the people mostly make ridiculous incomes, may I suggest we start with basketball teams?

FWIW I didn't find the raw numbers on the NBC/Wall Street Journal poll, just an article where MSNBC pre-digests the material, sort of like mommy bird does to a worm before she feeds the babies.

scinfinity said...

If this bill passed there would be nothing in it to prevent you from paying out of pocket for any kind of treatment you wanted. Or buying a premium health insurance plan that covered anything.

M.M, So we'd still have to buy insurance to get decent coverage --- but we'd have a lot less money due to the cost of giving everybody equally terrible coverage?

You're selling this proposal. Really. Solid job!

Can you explain how this is any different from our current system, except it costs trillions more?

elHombre said...

Ol' dim Jeremy wrote: [The proposal] will allow the government to make decisions about when to stop providing medical care to the elderly

Likely to happen: 45
Unlikely to happen: 50

Almost half of the country has their heads buried up their ass (sic.).

Once again Jeremy is confused by the basics. Fifty per is half, not almost half.

Obviously, 45% of those polled understand that government, single payer health care is the Dems ultimate goal, and know how it works.

The fifty per cent with their heads up their asses are, like Jeremy, dumb as rocks, dupes or liars.

scinfinity said...

You know, Jeremy, if all of the hikes in premiums were such a concern, you'd think that all of the governments who oversee the insurance industry would've done something about it.

So, how many companies lost their right to sell insurance in a state in the last, oh, 20 years?

Can you name one?

Heck, why not make health insurance, like auto insurance, NATIONAL and not state-by-state. Progressive and Allstate fighting for car insurance subscribers has led to a massive reduction.

I bet that there is a chance that allowing an insurance company to sell policies nationally might lead to the premiums getting much reduced.

Big Mike said...

Well, it scarcely would be called a "death panel" now, would it? As I said above, the panel would be named something much more innocuous like "Health Benefits Advisory Committee" or some such. And they wouldn't talk directly about rationing, now would they? They'd have a section talking about the establishment of "quality measures" and buried inside the list of "quality measures" they'd mention something about using quality measures "to assess the efficiency and resource use in the provision of care".

You know, I'm very straight but I'm also very uncomfortable with the way you fling around homophobic epithets. Particularly on this blog, that's not called for.

Big Mike said...

So you see, there really are hillbilly wingnuts who do their research. In fact, I'm inclined to think you're the one who needs to examine the legislation.

scinfinity said...

scinfinity - Look, dicklick.

We got it. You're homophobic. You don't need to beat us over the head with it. We know, you think calling people homophobic slurs is the height of wit, but it really isn't. It's a wee bit sad --- but expected from the Left which has a massive racism/sexism/homophobia problem that pops up anytime any group is so "uppity" as to disagree with them.

Can you prove you're not a homophobe? Your posting, admittedly, will make it difficult.

If you think your insurance is just fine and you think your premiums are just fine...stick with your insurance company.

...provided they provide all services the gov't feels they should. If the gov't feels they don't, then I cannot. Nor do I have any real ability to argue against the government's decision.

Nice system there.

The Obama plan flatly states that you can stay where you are.

...provided they provide all services the gov't feels they should. If the gov't feels they don't, then I cannot. Nor do I have any real ability to argue against the government's decision.

Nice system there.

You're proving the polling correct: The people who most support the plan are the ones who know the least about it.

Big Mike said...

WV: quicksur -- Like Big Sur, only much faster.

Penny said...

"The White House and Senate Democratic leaders, seeing little chance of bipartisan support for their health-care overhaul, are considering a strategy shift that would break the legislation into two parts and pass the most expensive provisions solely with Democratic votes."

This from a WSJ article with tomorrow's date on it, titled "New Rx for Health Plan".

http://online.wsj.com/article/SB125072573848144647.html

PatCA said...

A preview of coming attractions...If you want to see what the VA end of life booklet is like (discontinued under Bush and restored under Obama), here it is: http://www.rihlp.org/pubs/Your_life_your_choices.pdf

JAL said...

lypomboo

I couldn't resist.

Ann Althouse said...

I'm deleting Jeremy for rudeness. Please don't respond to him.

elHombre said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Big Mike said...

You got it, lady.