October 13, 2009

"Senator Baucus has a big smile..."

"He must feel that his lengthy efforts have been rewarded by winning Senator Snowe’s support; think how grim this would look if she had gone the other way."

121 comments:

MadisonMan said...

Olympia Snowe in my mind has a big white bouffanty hairdo. When I see her in a picture I am invariably disappointed.

David Walser said...

Senator Snowe and her ilk are why I don't contribute to the RNC. Instead, I make contributions directly to candidates.

jayne_cobb said...

At the very least I enjoyed her reasoning behind her vote:

"Is this bill all that I want? Far from it. Is it all that it can be? Far from it. But when history calls, history calls."


I mean with logic like that how can you argue with her?

michaele said...

I find Sen. Snowe's support of this bill appalling in view of the mess Maine's own "insure everybody" state run health program is in. How on earth could she think that a federal program wouldn't be even more of an economic disaster. Maybe the rationalization is that misery loves company so we should all get to share the pain. Add disgusted and sincerely pissed off to how I feel!

LarsPorsena said...

"I find Sen. Snowe's support of this bill appalling in view of the mess Maine's own "insure everybody" state run health program is in."

Snowe wants to relieve Maine of its mess by off-loading the whole steaming pile of S%^T onto the Federal government.
Now it's not Maine's problem.

SteveR said...

Caroline had a harder time with Todd than Baucus had with Snowe.

Henry said...

Sadly, LarsPolena is right. Those of us who already pay outrageous premiums in the Northeast face the least change. Little wonder that Snowe buys into that future.

The rest of the country is screwed.

JAL said...

History calls? Hasn't anyone ever told her she doesn't have to pick up the phone?

You know it would be nice if these legislators would stop being enamored of being part of making history. Look where it got us.

Making BAD history. DESTRUCTIVE history. That is nothing to be proud of. The disregard for other more reasonable, measured options (I think -- how the hell do we know? The people we elect to represent us don't tell us what they are doing which they are doing only because we asked them to represent us. Really. How crazy is that?)

It is very hard to undo the crap they are planning -- and POSTPONING so we don't get the impact till Olympia is retired on her cushy Senate pension and health care. (Make them all have to get what we get.)

People who intentionally are about making history do a very poor job of it.

Quayle said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
AJ Lynch said...

History calls?

How about "Get out of the Beltway bubble Senator!"

wv = unwrel

Quayle said...

Health care for our time.

Rialby said...

One can only hope that when November, 2010 rolls around enough American people will be fully aware of the negative impacts of the bill that finally passes. That will be the true test of whether the Tea Party movement was worth anything.

Quayle said...

You'd need hip waders to get through the self-slobber in the capital building today.

Rialby said...

Megan McArdle concurs:

I think it is more likely is that this thing passes, and fails spectacularly. There are too many moving parts, and if any of them breaks, the whole thing rapidly starts to spin out of control and eat a gigantic hole in the deficit. If it does break, I think that Democrats keep control of Congress just long enough to explain why they keep having to enact whopping new tax increases every few years. Republicans don't need to improve their message. They just have to wait for Democrats to recover their reputation as tax and spend politicians who woefully underpredict the cost of everything they propose.

Montagne Montaigne said...

OBAMACARE IS GONNA PASS

Do Nothin, all talk wimpy hussein Obama is about to have the biggest domestic policy victory since FDR. To quote Thomas Friedman, Suck. On. this.

Lem said...

Olympia Snow is an alien.

That’s why she doesn’t do interviews. She avoids the cameras.

garage mahal said...

Quick DBQ! Grab the propane, ammo, duct tape, and water.

INTO TO THE BUNKERS!!!!

Rialby said...

The thing that the Left has going for it and always has - at least in Modern history - is that they are never forced to confront their mistakes. Wrong on Communism? No worries. Wrong on The Great Society? No problem. Wrong on The New Deal's ability to end the Great Depression? Fuggedhaboutit.

They won't be called to account for the major eff-up that will be Obamacare either. That's why good lefties like Mountain can celebrate this monstrosity. He knows nobody will ever confront him and his fellow travelers for the mess they've made.

elHombre said...

Here's Robert Reich, Obama adviser, summarizing the finer points of the Baucus Bill.

The pinheads applauding in the background are Althouse's left wing trolls.

kentuckyliz said...

The tea parties didn't work because they didn't keep up the pressure. I've heard nothing from them since Labor Day.

Unless it's an Obama-fellating MSM conspiracy of silence.

kentuckyliz said...

Self interest speaketh:

In the Baucus bill, are union members still exempt from paying taxes on their medical insurance premiums, dental/vision premiums, Section 125 health care savings plan contributions, etc?

If so, happy union member here, about ready to use this for recruiting purposes.

Don't freak out, we're open shop.

Triangle Man said...

Ah, so elHombre has a nomination for the counterpart to the "Althouse Hillbillies" t-shirt. Any buyers?

"Althouse Pinheads"

Rialby said...

Not true. There were 6,000 people at a rally in Arizona the other day. I'm sure I can find other rallies that have happened as well.

The media has decided to stop covering them completely. If they aren't in the news, they aren't happening.

Montagne Montaigne said...

Oh jeez, don't cry guys. It's ok. I'm sure ol' Huck will pull it out in 2012.

Politics as pro sport is the dumbest thing in the world and the cause of a great number of our problems, but dang if it ain't fun sometimes.

OBAMA FTW

The Drill SGT said...

Lars said...Snowe wants to relieve Maine of its mess by off-loading the whole steaming pile of S%^T onto the Federal government.
Now it's not Maine's problem.


The problem is that the Baucus plan is financed in part by passing the costs down to states in the form of more Medicaid mandates and a funding cut in the Federal share. It is hidden by a short term polus up in the Federal share.

Of course if the Feds get pressure and but the cuts into abeyance like they continue to do on Medicare provider cuts, then the whole bill goes in the red, big time.

its just a CBO game, to score well.

Note, the taxes start NOW, the benefits start in 2013, just after the election and thus the thing again scores better over the first 10 years with 7 years of benefits covered by 10 years of taxes. It's the next 10 years that go into deep red ink

Triangle Man said...

The thing that the Left has going for it and always has - at least in Modern history - is that they are never forced to confront their mistakes.

Isn't this just a feature of bureaucracy?

Rialby said...

Huck FTW

Dude, there's no way the RNC is going to be able to get a more socially conservative version of Mike Bloomberg the nomination in 2012. Not going to happen. People are sick of statists and Huckabee is just another compassionate conservative - i.e. when somebody hurts, government has got to move.

Aridog said...

This is the tip of the iceberg. Single payor is still planned, by direct legislation or deception.

All one has to do to see how well single payor will be managed and how you will be screwed is look at how VA handles Veterans Health Care today versus circa 1970. From omnibus veteran coverage to 8 "priority" classes for exclusion. Since Single Payor can't exclude, it can only reduce coverage per se.

Good luck with that if over 55 or under 10. Welcome to the Brave New World.

Chip Ahoy said...

I just got a letter from insurer #2 listing just short of $1,000 worth of lab tests they're not going to pay until insurer #1 pays first. When I'm notified of what insurer #1 has paid, please relay that information to insurer #2 immediately.

Why drag me into your goddamn billing?

God, I'll be glad when that crap is ended. Of course, the lab test themselves might be ended too and I'll most likely be paying much more for the convenience, but still, I'll be glad for at least that one thing.

Slouching toward socialism.

Scott said...

@Rialby:

"Republicans don't need to improve their message. They just have to wait for Democrats to recover their reputation as tax and spend politicians who woefully underpredict the cost of everything they propose."

Whatever faults the Democrats have, at least they get up there and pitch. They are wrong, they are stupid, they lie and spin and slander and dissemble from morning to night. But they will get up there and pitch their vision, such as it is, as if it was the revealed truth, without a shred of irony.

And what do Republicans do? They just sit there and take it.

Waiting for everything to go to hell and then picking up the pieces is not a strategy -- it's a pathology.

Hoosier Daddy said...

Do Nothin, all talk wimpy hussein Obama is about to have the biggest domestic policy victory since FDR. To quote Thomas Friedman, Suck. On. this.

Oh yeah. That FDR plan is working out so well for us now. You do have one thing right though Monty, those of us productive members of society that actually pay taxes will be sucking big time to pay for those who vote Democrat.

edutcher said...

Pin Snowe's picture next to Benedict Arnold.

Montagne Montaigne said...

OBAMACARE IS GONNA PASS

No, it just passed the Finance Committee. There's still a fight in both the Senate floor and the full House - where, I might add, it looks rather dicey.

If you got your head out the Daily Worker, you might know how the US Government actually works.

kentuckyliz said...

The tea parties didn't work because they didn't keep up the pressure. I've heard nothing from them since Labor Day.

I don't think that's so. The problem is that the core RINOs in the Senate, including the Weird Sisters from Maine, are so easily bought.

Anyone who heard Dick Morris on Hannity last night knows what he said is true - this is the beginning of the fight, not the end.said

Titus said...

The sad thing fellow republicans I Olympia Snowe has like a 70% approval rating in Maine. Same with the other RINO Collins.

If we get rid of her than the seat goes to the libtards because Maine is a blue state. Heck, fags are getting married there now.

I have a confession. I take Paxil. Hold me. thank you.

Rialby said...

Scott - Dems fight

Hey, no doubt. That quote came from McArdle who is no fan of the Republicans herself. I wish we had a Congress full of Reagans but we don't.

The Drill SGT said...

Montagne Montaigne said...
OBAMACARE IS GONNA PASS


Can you count to 60 yet?

- Snowe indicates she may vote against.
- Lieberman is voting against
- Lincohn will vote against if she wants a job

Quayle said...

A government program only Rube Goldberg could describe - the biggest domestic policy victory since FDR!!!!

Deficit spending as far as the eye can see and the mind can imagine - the biggest domestic policy victory since FDR!!!!

Bankrupting the country - the biggest domestic policy victory since FDR!!!!

Fred4Pres said...

Olympia Snowe wins the award again.

Call me when she does something unpredictable.

Triangle Man said...

Slouching toward socialism.

Chip, with a single-payer system you would have the convenience of a single rejection notice.

From Inwood said...

Steve R.

You've hit upon the objective standard for "Death Panels" geezer non care (besides when one is old & gray & nodding by the fire):

If you're too far gone to have young people hitting on you for favors or you are too far out of things to be able to do favors for most young people, you don't get the med treatment you need like a heart by pass.

To put it succinctly: If you're getting the by pass, you don't get a by pass!

ElcubanitoKC said...

Chip, you can always drop one insurance and save yourself the headache. They always pay, eventually. I've found this out myself. It is a lenghty process, but it happens.

wv: magioni

Quayle said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Paul Zrimsek said...

Health-care reform hasn't been this inevitable since the last time it was inevitable.

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

A dollar shrinking to nothing before our very eyes - the biggest domestic policy victory since FDR!!!!

GM and Chrysler sales down 40% - the biggest domestic policy victory since FDR!!!!

Unemployment on its way to over 10% - the biggest domestic policy victory since FDR!!!!

Mercilessly whip the middle class taxpayer to carry you across the finish line, and when he dies tonight in the stable, who the hell cares - IT'S THE BIGGEST DOMESTIC POLICY VICTORY SINCE FDR!!!!

Titus said...

Althouse, is Meade's dog now living with you?

jayne_cobb said...

Interesting development


Apparently Unions are now opposing the Baucus plan unless a public plan is inserted and certain taxes are dropped.

Roger J. said...

Edutcher has properly pointed out that this is only the senate finance committee--senate floor, full house, and if its still alive, then conference committee. This is a skirmish involving the finance committee. Lots to see ahead.

jayne_cobb said...

And AHIP is now doing a major ad buy opposing it as well.

here

Roger J. said...

The public option is the holy grail for the democratic left wing, and that was dropped out of the baucus compromise bill. This bill is most definitely going to changed--not in the senate I dont think if survives the senate, but definitely in conference committee where the house democrats are more left wing than in the sentate. Interesting times.

Clyde said...

It was a Snowe job, alright. I wonder what that RINO got with her thirty pieces of silver?

MnMark said...

Montagne Montaigne said...
Oh jeez, don't cry guys. It's ok. I'm sure ol' Huck will pull it out in 2012.

Wow!!! The Dems got a vote from one RINO in a committee after agreeing to scrap the provision - the socialist option - that their supporters most wanted! What a victory!

ricpic said...

When Snow says that "...when history calls, history calls," she's acquiescing, whether she knows it or not, in the lefty meme that history has a direction and its direction is ever leftward, ever more statist. There are so many like her today, nice folks, good folks, but so marinated in enlightenment doctrine that they sleep walk into useful idiocy.

JAL said...

Scott --

When Republicans speak Democrats do NOT listen. ("I Won")

There are Republican ideas and plans which just are not given any coverage. (NYT anyone?)

There was a youtube embedded recently -- perhaps through the Althouse comments, perhaps over on Instapundit -- which covered Republican offerings. (Haven't time to find it for you right now.)


wv flnke
A nuanced version of FAIL

Montagne Montaigne said...

Console yourselves however you like, knaves, but no matter how you slice it, health care reform is currently steamrolling over all the lies, hysteria, and b.s. promoted by the teabaggers and sub-neanderthal house Republicans. A much needed reordering of a crap-tastic system is in process, and it will go down as a BIG win for Barry No-Bama, our president until 2016.

Oh, and dollars to donuts a public option makes it into law.

Roger J. said...

This bill, BTW, is going to be merged with a more liberal bill coming out of the health care commiittee--The full senate will not see this finance committee's bill as it was voted out today.

Pogo said...

"Senator Baucus has a big smile..."

Leftists are never happier than on the cusp of enserfing their subjects.

When Andrew Sullivan wrote that "sex is so close at times to the presence of the divine, and reflects and incarnates God in ways few other things can so easily", he was referring to the ultimate collective orgasm that Progressives feel when they enslave their inferiors. In doing so, they become gods, however briefly.

Just read Montagne Montaigne above; he needs a bib and a towel to wash up after that la petite mort. Baucus would have smoked a cigarette were it still legal to do so.

john said...

MOM: “Dimmy, why you did this to me?”
MOM: “Please Dimmy, I'm afraid.”
Montagne gets out a small fan and places it on her bedstand.
MONTAGNE: “Mom, my name is Monty, not Dimmy.
MOM: “Dimmy please!”
Merrin re-enters the room.
MERRIN: “What is it?”
MONTAGNE: “Her heart.”
MERRIN: “I will give her something.”
MONTAGNE: “Dammit mom, you'll be fine! There’s lots of old people here. You have the finest health care the government will provide.”
Mom speaks a few pleading phrases in Italian to Montagne.
MONTAGNE:(shouting) “Mom, were French, not Italian!!”
MERRIN: “Don't listen to her.”
MOM: “Why, Dimmy?”.
MONTAGNE (sobbing into his hands): “Mom, I’m Monty, not Dimmy. Can’t you understand, mom? We are going on holiday. We don’t need this whining from you right now. But don't worry, Mr. Merrin is taking care of everything for us.”
MOM: “Dimmy, please!”
MONTAGNE (screaming): “Mom, it's Monty!!”
MERRIN: “Monty. Get out! Now!”
Monty arises from the bed. Merrin leads him out, and then re- enters the room himself. It is quiet. He turns on the small fan to mitigate against this stifling Paris heatwave, and prepares two blue pills (being half the price of red pills). He holds her hand tightly.
MERRIN: “Our Father, who art in heaven..”
INTERIOR- MONTAIGNE HOUSE- FOYER- NIGHT Downstairs MONTAGNE sits brooding as MRS MONTAGNE enters.
MRS MONTAGNE: “Can we leave now?”


We fade out as Tubular Bells starts to play.

Cedarford said...

That America had an unorganized, unfair, and exceptionally expensive system (costing 50-120% more than our advanced nation rivals with equal or better life expectancy) ...and all forecasts pointed to it being financially unsustainable for employers, private policy holders, tax payers?

It was well known since Teddy Kennedy and Nixon began jousting over how to implement the drastic changes the system needed to become more effecient, cover the uninsured - back in 19 frikkin' 71!!

But the can was kicked down the road until the crisis was so dire action was unavoidable. (Premium payments doubled while the hapless Dubya was in office, our competitive disadvantage led to 1.2 trillion trade deficits bleeding our accumulated wealth into foreign hands each time a ChinaMart cash register has a new customer.

And the Medicare debt went from 24 trillion to 37 trillion because Dubya had Evildoers to fight, tax cuts to make, and added a huge new unfunded entitlement - free presciption drugs at premium prices footed in government debt.)

You may excuse Reagan because he rejected past Republican thinkers on the unsustainability of the hapazard US healthcare model - out of idealogical purity thinking that a deregulated Free Market of Freedom Loving!!! insurers and healthcare providers would make our system magically better and be the best, most productive in the woooorrllddd!!! in short order.

But Reagan was 30 years ago....and things only got worse. But we have not just wild Leftist redistributionists to blame, but also those that clinged to Reagan's failed optimism about the healthcare system being self-fixing if we only let the Free Markets and Freedom-Loving!!! Vendors of Healthcare services alone.

Now we are back full circle to Baucus proposing a variant of the Nixon Plan, with loads of oolies the liberals are inserting in backrooms - in honor of "Teddy". Except instead of just paying for the Plan of 1971, we also have to pay for 37 Trillion in unfunded healthcare liabilities that have accumulated since 1975.

Next up? Perhaps a foreign energy crisis or collapse of the US dollar will backburner Global Warming and put us back to the Nixon National Energy Independence Plan of 1973, derailed by Watergate. Back when we were 30% dependent on foreign energy sources, vs. 70% today.

Methadras said...

john said...

MOM: “Dimmy, why you did this to me?”
MOM: “Please Dimmy, I'm afraid.”
Montagne gets out a small fan and places it on her bedstand.
MONTAGNE: “Mom, my name is Monty, not Dimmy.
MOM: “Dimmy please!”
Merrin re-enters the room.
MERRIN: “What is it?”
MONTAGNE: “Her heart.”
MERRIN: “I will give her something.”
MONTAGNE: “Dammit mom, you'll be fine! There’s lots of old people here. You have the finest health care the government will provide.”
Mom speaks a few pleading phrases in Italian to Montagne.
MONTAGNE:(shouting) “Mom, were French, not Italian!!”
MERRIN: “Don't listen to her.”
MOM: “Why, Dimmy?”.
MONTAGNE (sobbing into his hands): “Mom, I’m Monty, not Dimmy. Can’t you understand, mom? We are going on holiday. We don’t need this whining from you right now. But don't worry, Mr. Merrin is taking care of everything for us.”
MOM: “Dimmy, please!”
MONTAGNE (screaming): “Mom, it's Monty!!”
MERRIN: “Monty. Get out! Now!”
Monty arises from the bed. Merrin leads him out, and then re- enters the room himself. It is quiet. He turns on the small fan to mitigate against this stifling Paris heatwave, and prepares two blue pills (being half the price of red pills). He holds her hand tightly.
MERRIN: “Our Father, who art in heaven..”
INTERIOR- MONTAIGNE HOUSE- FOYER- NIGHT Downstairs MONTAGNE sits brooding as MRS MONTAGNE enters.
MRS MONTAGNE: “Can we leave now?”


We fade out as Tubular Bells starts to play.


Awesome exorcist reference.

avwh said...

"Caroline had a harder time with Todd than Baucus had with Snowe."

Post of the day, IMO.

Lem said...

"Senator Baucus has a big smile..."

Olympia Snowe Dick Butkus?

AJ Lynch said...

Cford:

They could fix Medicare easily by raising the tax rate from 2.9% to 3.9%. That would raise $80 Billion a year and fix the incolvency.

At the same time, they should eliminate employee FICA for anyone under 45 and modify drastically their expectations as to future soc sec benefits. And increase the employee tax rate by 1% for those over 45 years of age.

That would fix most of the solvency issue for Medicare and Soc Sec.

BTW I don't necessarily agree that there is a health spending crisis.

Frank said...

UGH this is all so frustrating. Why can't we be faithful to the party when we're 6 points down in the 4th quarter??


Speaking of faithful republicans, I saw an ad today for something Michelle Bachmann is doing on her website tomorrow....what kind of event is this?

Eric said...

Note, the taxes start NOW, the benefits start in 2013, just after the election and thus the thing again scores better over the first 10 years with 7 years of benefits covered by 10 years of taxes. It's the next 10 years that go into deep red ink

This is critical. Instead of being honest about what this is going to cost, the Democrats are gaming the CBO numbers to hide the fact this will have to be paid for with a slew of new taxes.

Father Martin Fox said...

Re: Obamacare "steamrolling"...

That is way premature.

Olympia Snowe's vote is not terribly surprising, although disappointing.

Actually, it's kind of good in a way, because now there is more pressure on other Senate Democrats such as Nelson (Neb), Lincoln, Landrieu and Nelson (Fla). They must decide whether they will help reach 60 votes to break a filibuster, and help slide this through.

While I can't read minds, it could be that Snowe's vote means she knows someone else, or several someone elses, are going to cast the votes that keep it from reaching 60, so she's not needed.

Or, who knows--and this really wouldn't surprise me--she's planning to vote against cloture, so this gives her a way to vote both ways. Her comments set her up to do that, did you notice?

Given the political problems this bill creates for so many Democrats, my guess at this point is that they will not go the "reconciliation" route, so that they can blame the filibuster--and the GOP (yes, it's bogus, but it's their least implausible scenario)--for it failing. While there are those who insist the Dems would be better off just muscling it through, I don't believe that, and I have a hard time thinking they really believe that. I doubt Blanche Lincoln of Arkansas believes that. I suspect she will end up saying sorrowfully, gee, I so wanted to support a bill, but it was so unreasonable...as she votes against cloture.

Mickey Kaus at Slate speculated the other day that the pols love this, because they are wallowing in so much "juice"--opportunities for fundraising. Certainly the lobbyists are wallowing in it. Everyone with anything to gain or lose -- which is a lot of folks -- is throwing money into ads, mailings and consultants by the barrelful.

What's that you say? The Democrats are afraid to disappoint their base, the Left?

That's exactly why I don't expect them to bypass the filibuster: because then, all over the country, they can say it was all the fault of those Senators from strange places like Arkansas, Nebraska and (shudder) Louisiana--and the rest of the Dems will be off the hook: "we tried! It was their fault!"

Lockestep said...

Cedarford again repeats the canard that we pay more and get less for health care, by citing life expectancy. It is the wrong stat to use, as life expectancy has a huge non-healthcare related component: lifestyle.
Check out cancer survival rates if you want to know that we are getting what we pay for in the US.

john said...

It all goes back to Watergate, according to C'ford. If we could have enacted something then, there would have never been exponential growth in entitlements, government largesse to itself, Subtitle D freebies, old people wanting more and more Medicare, and on and on. What an opportunity missed.

c3 said...

I think it is more likely is that this thing passes, and fails spectacularly.
It will likely pass. Didn't we know that all along. And if like Mass. it won't fail "spectacularly" it will progressively stumble and we will muddle towards "refinement". Everyone will try to connect the "hassle" of healthcare (see Chip's comment above) with the a) failure of the new system or b) the inadequacy of the new solution (read: need for public option/single payor).

And in all of that, no one will acknowledge that cost remains the single biggest issue.

If we've been uable to restrain Medicare growth and costs, what makes us think we can restrain the growth in costs of this or anything else.

I'm not optimistic (and I'm in the business) because so few of us are willing to pay for (or forego) our blepharoplasties, viagra, breast reductions, $10,000/month "end of life" chemotherapies, ....

wv: colas. Yes its those annual colas that have us paying so much

Roger J. said...

re life expectancy, Lockestep has it exactly right and C4 has proven while he might be a good engineer, he's a lousy epidemiologist. In addition to lifestyle as Lockestep points out, its also the heterogeneity problem inherent in a very diverse population, and trying to compare two disparate populations.

master cylinder said...

so L-step- is cost also a canard? The cost of healthcare is out of control and scary as hell if you dont have a job.

Roger J. said...

master cylinder--you apparently missed the point of the metric

of course cost is a consideration--but it is unrelated to life expectancy

you get what you pay for and in our health care system you get the best outcomes, but they do cost money--most of which you dont pay unless you are self insured.

you missed the basic point of the discussion--low cost lousy outcomes

mccullough said...

If health insurance nee health care reform passes while unemployment is 10%, will unemployment ever go below 10% again?

What kind of idiots would pass a tremendously expensive bill during a major recession?

Ann Althouse said...

"Althouse, is Meade's dog now living with you? "

The dog that you think was Meade's dog was not.

You can borrow dogs, you know.

fred said...

Skimming briskly through the venom spilled all over these comments I note the one that says that when history calls you don't need to answer the phone. Alas, but when one must vote Yea or Nay--you do answer. You simply dislike her answer and have all the answers to how to fix what is clearly a totally screwed up system that worsens daily.
Ps: today I was told by my health insurance that they would not pay for blood work my doctor ordered because I had blood work done many months ago but in the same year.My doctor was not a happy medic.

c3 said...

you missed the basic point of the discussion--low cost lousy outcomes

Reference please. Folks at the Dartmouth Atlas would disagree with you.

Methadras said...

fred said...

Skimming briskly through the venom spilled all over these comments I note the one that says that when history calls you don't need to answer the phone. Alas, but when one must vote Yea or Nay--you do answer. You simply dislike her answer and have all the answers to how to fix what is clearly a totally screwed up system that worsens daily.


Such a farce of a lie. The private insurance healthcare system isn't screwed up, it's governments version of it that is. Also, it's private healthcare insurance systems that are not only government regulated, but government instituted in the 40's. Again, this is an institutionalized, systematic government problem. Why are they trying to fix a system that most people like, some people have issues with, whole systems like Medicare languish in waste, corruption, at the taxpayers expense and not have them do anything about that system. Instead, you are looking at this one dimensionally, not with an overall picture of the future. That future being that more government control into our lives via our healthcare which will be used as a premise to do all kinds of other nanny state regulation and legislation to control us even further. The more rabid leftist Democrats have more or less stated that they are willing to sacrifice their seats to get this legislation pushed through because they know what the rewards will be for themselves on the back end. Either another run for election or cushy lobbying positions elsewhere. They will never disappear and will have even more input into regulations for any pending legislation/regulation to any healthcare bill.

You simply do not understand what you are talking about.

Methadras said...

Montagne Montaigne said...

OBAMACARE IS GONNA PASS

Do Nothin, all talk wimpy hussein Obama is about to have the biggest domestic policy victory since FDR. To quote Thomas Friedman, Suck. On. this.


And why are you rooting for a piece of legislation that will shackle the American public with an even greater public debt? Your type of cheerleading is a dangerous thing and for what? So you can see your guy get political brownie points for a win while you espouse the some sort of comparative to FDR, a man who has nearly single-handedly put legislative devices into place (unbeknown to even himself) that have allowed for this type of nonsense to percolate to our time? Really? You are unAmerican trash that doesn't deserve the mantle of this citizenship. You disgust me.

Titus said...

Oh I thought that was Meade's dog.

I would not let anyone borrow the rare clumbers ever.

Cedarford said...

AJ Lynch said...
Cford:

They could fix Medicare easily by raising the tax rate from 2.9% to 3.9%. That would raise $80 Billion a year and fix the incolvency.

================
Unfortunately, it is not that easy. Unchecked healthcare spending (doubled per capita under the Hapless Evildoer fighter) would have eaten up your modest FICA increase and still left us with 37 trillion in unfunded healthcare liabilities in just Medicare.
80 billion extra, even if not gobbled up in "spare no cost" medical services and insurers profits and new people in welfare status because jobs went to China...would still be like pissing in the Pacific and expecting the water level to rise.

80 billion a year to pay for the 37 Trillion needed in the next 25 years without any cost increases??? That is 37,000,000,000,000 divided by 80 billion a year "extra" - or 462.5 years.

Oh, and that also excepts interest on the money China loaned us to keep it solvent so far.

AJ - 462.5 years to handle the present unfunded mandate???? With no inflation in costs and no interest payments to our Asian and Saudi lifesavers factored in?

No, people are talking about a 20% FICA tax, no cap...to pay for the artificial "free ride" and false prosperity we have had since 1975.


You can live high on the hog with a big credit line and use new credit to pay off old debt bills. But eventually the game must end and people have to pay for the present and the fiscal sins of people in the past.

==============
Contrary to others who grasp at hope that lifestyle changes will make our hapazard, inordinately expensive system magically competitive with Asia and Europe are grasping at NOTHING.
Ideally, you want someone who is working and productive to keel over from a heart attack or a short terminal cancer between the ages of 60-65 because they had "poor lifestyle choices".

What kills our system in cost management are "healthy lifestyle people" who have 20-25 years after age 65 with Medicare paying for everything they seek, "free" drugs the hapless Dubya didn't fund but promised the drug lobby his Bank of China Credit card would pay top retail price for. And of course SS and various other welfare programs paying "healthy lifestyle" seniors their various entitlements for the next 20-25 years while assuring them that they can avoid any billing for all that and pass their assets on tax free in estates...

Stop grasping at straws. The choices are huge new FICA taxes, big cutbacks in care, estate taxes, denial of care, becoming as effecient as the Asians and Europeans.

Not claiming that if everyone lives to 100 after going on the taxpayer dole at 65 because of healthy lifestyle choices - that money will be saved.
Of course, early on, money would be saved if we avoided doing heroic medical care for alcohol or drug damaged, premature induced babies. There are some "lifestyle" savings early on like that....and healthy lifestyles would assist employers by reducing employee absenteeism.

master cylinder said...

Yes, Im guilty as charged, I often miss the point of the discussion here.

AJ Lynch said...

FYI Cford, 1% reps a 34% increase in the Medicare tax. Is that miniscule?

The 37 trillion you love to throw out assumes that everyone stopped working and paying the tax. So it is a very misleading number. It is an actuaries number and better suited to the pension time bomb where you could select currently retired pensioners and estimate the total net present value of their pensions.

When Medicare only pays out about $400 Billion per year, how could your $37 Trillion be accurate? Even if at $500 Billion, that is 74 years worth of payments.

Are you sure your are not Chicken Little? Heh.

Ann Althouse said...

"I would not let anyone borrow the rare clumbers ever."

You would let Meade.

mccullough said...

Cedarford,

More than 70% of seniors live solely on social security. The vast majority of people don't leave an estate.

This healthcare reform will be funded by cutting the military to about 5% of federal spending and pushing double-digit tax increases on those who still have jobs.

We will always have double-digit unemployment in this country after healthcare reform. Always.

mccullough said...

A.J. Lynch,

You're 34% increase in the Medicare tax assumes that the tax increase on wage-earners will have no effect on consumer spending, which is the biggest part of GDP.

Consumer spending goes down, employment goes down. Employment goes down, tax revenues go down.

Eric said...

We will always have double-digit unemployment in this country after healthcare reform. Always.

I think this is probably true. Countries with these kinds of programs seem to have a minimum of 10%-12% unemployment even in the best of times, though they tend to hide it by putting laid-off people in school or retraining courses, which counts as employment.

The people who are really going to suffer are the young. When the recession ends they won't be able to find entry level positions.

MadisonMan said...

I'm not thrilled about the bill -- but I'm very glad it's getting out onto the floor for a vote. This Senate fondness for bottling stuff up in Committee so Senators don't have to actually vote on things bugs me. What's wrong with saying Yes or No -- on the record -- about something? Maybe the vote will piss off enough people that incumbents might actually get shoved bodily from office. Here's hoping.

Alex said...

Ann is bantering with Titus. How charming.

kate said...

i bet meade wouldn't borrow ella the 15 month old golden retriever. *sigh* someday we know she will be a perfect golden. if we don't kill her first. ;)

Quayle said...

You can borrow dogs, you know.

So, Ann, was this one of those deals where Mead got a cute dog to attract and look more appealing to women?

Methadras said...

Quayle said...

You can borrow dogs, you know.

So, Ann, was this one of those deals where Mead got a cute dog to attract and look more appealing to women?


While wearing shorts?

wv = suproph = what the word surprise sounds like with a mouthful of cake. :D

*runs away

Eric said...

I'm not thrilled about the bill -- but I'm very glad it's getting out onto the floor for a vote. This Senate fondness for bottling stuff up in Committee so Senators don't have to actually vote on things bugs me.

Would have been nice to have them vote on the actual bill instead of the non-binding fluffy version. Not that any of them wrote it. Or read it.

AJ Lynch said...

McCullough:
1% increase in employee portion of Medicare tax is $500 on $50,000income. But I also said scrap th FICA tax on those under 45. That represents a 6% lower taxes to the younger workers. That translates to tax relief of $3,000 on a $50,000 income. [Granted I would encourage and hope the younger workers socked the savings away in investments].

So, to answer your point, on a net/net analysis, I think it would enable "consumers" [viewed in the aggregate or collectively] to continue to spend at a level equal to past history highs.

Also, cutting the FICA tax on the younger workers would be a safety valve on them in this tough recession.

Michael Hasenstab said...

Progressive trolls throw around loose, made-up assertions like they are throwing around taxpayer dollars.

AJ Lynch said...

Althouse:
You have mostly held back on sharing your opinion on health care reform. Except for the occasional exasperation you show in your posts. Why is that?

ricpic said...

What're you doing taking Paxil, Titus? I'm concerned. I'd get off the Paxil if I were you. You're stronger than you think.

AJ Lynch said...

Paxil? Is that some kind of mood elevator?

Titus you don't need that crap. You are perfectly normal. It's the rest of the world that is f-ed up.

traditionalguy said...

Looks like President Obama borrowed a GOP Dog for today's vote on his Nationalized Health Services. Let's hope she runs away and returns home later. Here Rino, hear Rino, come home Rino.

yashu said...

Meanwhile, the dollar loses reserve status to yen & euro. (Go team!-- eh, Monty?)

Titus said...

Althouse if you haven't watched it watch Curb Your Enthusiasm from this week.

It was about men wearing shorts.

Peter V. Bella said...

The best thing FDR did was die.

As to this pig in a poke health care garbage- if you liberals were smart, which I doubt, you would demand that the Congress and Senate be subject to this bill. They get the same health care you do and they have to pay for it.

Medicare sucks and they are going to cut it further. Maybe we should just put them on Medicare and see how they like it. Demand it. We are the government. They are the servants and we are the masters.

But you will not. You love the servants being the masters. You love being dominated. You wallow in the cult of their personalities. You love that they have the Rolls Royce and you get the bus pass. SUCKERS!!!

I will bet you will even cry when the name the bill after that murderous drunken piece of garbage Ted Kennedy.

Matt said...

You know the Right Wing has completely gone off the charts when they start criticizing Lindsey Graham.
Lindsey [effing] Graham! One of the most Conservative members of Congress.

Chip Ahoy said...

The distress of being presented with the false dilemma of socialized health care and doing nothing, a logical fallacy that is easily refuted, has caused me to mill a few cups of hard winter wheat and produce a batch of delicious whole wheat cheese crackers.

Chip Ahoy said...

I'm for lending dogs and for borrowing them. They're always up for an adventure.

Eric said...

You know the Right Wing has completely gone off the charts when they start criticizing Lindsey Graham.
Lindsey [effing] Graham! One of the most Conservative members of Congress.


On the contrary, Graham has been the target of a whole lot of conservative vitriol for years. Might have had something to do with accusing opponents of immigration amnesty of racism.

Montagne Montaigne said...

Peter V Bella... congress can keep their insurance cooperative plan... just like you can keep your plan if you like it... the only difference is 30 million people without insurance will now get it. I guess that's tyranny, and if so, sign me up!

Methadras said...

Montagne Montaigne said...

Peter V Bella... congress can keep their insurance cooperative plan... just like you can keep your plan if you like it... the only difference is 30 million people without insurance will now get it. I guess that's tyranny, and if so, sign me up!


Do you play at being a dumbfuck in real life or do you just pretend to be one on this blog? Your idiocy has been shred to pieces on this legislation time and time again and yet you still continue to believe the lie. 30 million alleged uninsured could have easily gotten medicare with a few legislative changes to medicare. One of the major ones would have been to lower the minimum age for medicare enrollment. Then only allow those 30 million alleged uninsured to sign up for it. Problem solved. You are dumber than you people give you credit for.

JAL said...

fred - Ps: today I was told by my health insurance that they would not pay for blood work my doctor ordered because I had blood work done many months ago but in the same year.My doctor was not a happy medic.

And you think the Fed's program will make that *
better*
??

hahahahaha

wv smsaxyl
New SSRI antidepressant for Titus

JAL said...

fred -- the current president made a practice of not "answering the phone" when he was a senator.

Remember?

"Present"

JAL said...

With Eric --

Graham gets hammered regularly by conservatives.

On the right they are free to criticize. Remember -- many were not happy at all with the 'selection' of John McCain.

The Republicans have RINOs. Do the Dems have DINOs? (Remember, the Dems dislodged Lieberman, their recent VP nominee, for impurity from the tolerant, diverse party.)

PatCA said...

And O goes on TV and calls it a bipartisan bill with ONE Republican vote!

Astounding. And people still believe him!

Methadras said...

PatCA said...

And O goes on TV and calls it a bipartisan bill with ONE Republican vote!

Astounding. And people still believe him!


And Senator Snow is now an official administration lap dog.

Deb said...

Looks like President Obama borrowed a GOP Dog for today's vote on his Nationalized Health Services. Let's hope she runs away and returns home later. Here Rino, hear Rino, come home Rino.
Good one, TG.

wv=lesswrie

Paul Zrimsek said...

the only difference is 30 million people without insurance will now have to get it whether they want to or not.

Fixed.

Fred4Pres said...

And Ann, you might note that Charles Johnson is peddling the Rush is Racist meme to gin up some blog traffic.

Charles Johnson is now Dan Rather. Charles makes Andrew Sullivan look sober and even keeled.

Beaverdam said...

Cancer. 3 years, 600,000$. My share2,000$ Insurance never denied a payment. Great medical care. Great people. In remission. This needs reform?

c3 said...

MM;
Peter V Bella... congress can keep their insurance cooperative plan... just like you can keep your plan if you like it... the only difference is 30 million people without insurance will now get it. I guess that's tyranny, and if so, sign me up!

Uhh, wait a minute:
from NYT (from) its analysis, the budget office found that by 2019 the bill would reduce the number of uninsured Americans by 29 million, leaving about 25 million people uninsured — of whom one-third would be illegal immigrants.

So don't you mean that of the 30 million (that number excludes non-citizens) who didn't have insurance before, now only 15 million won't have it. (And that's not saying anything about the sustainability of those newly insured under the mandate and subsidy. See how that's playing out in Mass.)

There's a lot to complain about in this bill, not the least of which if the minimal to no cost controls. But what really amazes is that we got into this because of the crisis of the uninsured. And yet, like the poor, it seems "they will always be with us".

But by gosh we got SOMETHING

AJ Lynch said...

Little math for you folks:

The recent S-chip bill provided coverage for 6 million plus kids at $1,700 per kid per year.

Could we have provided basic insurance coverage for the 30 million uninsured at the same cost per person? If so, it would cost every worker an addl tax of about $300 per year.

That sounds like a simple way forward to me.

wv = scarme

c3 said...

"Could we have provided basic insurance coverage for the 30 million uninsured at the same cost per person?"
In a word...no.

(Has to do with difference between insuring kids and adults who tend to have more..well..medical problems.)

Bruce Hayden said...

That America had an unorganized, unfair, and exceptionally expensive system (costing 50-120% more than our advanced nation rivals with equal or better life expectancy) ...and all forecasts pointed to it being financially unsustainable for employers, private policy holders, tax payers?

Keep in mind that any time that someone argues this way, that they are essentially arguing that because we have more gang bangers capping each other (and everyone else around them), that we need health care reform.

Of course, if we wanted to look at why we have so many gang bangers capping each other, we need not look any further than the last great liberal wet dream - The War on Poverty portion of LBJ's Great Society, and how it destroyed the family structure of our under classes, and esp. in the Black communities.

Bruce Hayden said...

Cancer. 3 years, 600,000$. My share2,000$ Insurance never denied a payment. Great medical care. Great people. In remission. This needs reform?

Not sure if I can beat the ratio, but we had better than a million spent on back surgeries that allowed my SO to walk and turn her head, that would have been denied in pretty much any country with socialized medicine, was well as by Medicare. Interestingly, the big fight seems to always be about coverage of stomach medicines, which are necessitated by the prescription meds she is taking. But, even those are a thing of the past - the insurance company tried twice to deny coverage, but was convinced to cover them.

Out of pocket is probably about $10k or so a year when she has had surgery, but that still means that the insurance company is paying about 95% of the costs.

Bruce Hayden said...

"Could we have provided basic insurance coverage for the 30 million uninsured at the same cost per person?"

Actually, it would probably have been cheaper than you would think. Remember - a lot of the uninsured are 20 something guys who see no need for health insurance, since they are healthy, single, and bullet proof. They would just rather spend the money on more important things, like partying, etc. And, making things worse, a lot of them are the same people who are being pushed out of jobs right now due to the major increases in the minimum wage (another policy guaranteed to increase unemployment and reduce GNP in the midst of a recession).