December 20, 2009

The health care bill as a "starter home."

And that's supposed to be a good thing.

57 comments:

Mark said...

Thank you, Anne. Thank you for being the one of the many who realizing their place in history voted for the current president thus giving the political structure in Washington the power to do what they pleased with us.
Thank you, Anne.
\sarc

Elliott A said...

A starter home is inexpensive, and improves the living situation of the owner. The health care bill does NOTHING positive. It raises everyone's premiums. It reduces the ability of seniors to find a doctor. It gives government appointees the power to decide what is acceptable treatment. It stymies innovation and new technology. It is an absolute unmitigated disaster brought on us by lunatics. I had to control myself to say just that.

Dr. Elliott A

AprilApple said...

Bulldozer. Nice flowery language leading us to more unsustainable welfare.

We need safety nets, but our safety nets are broken, dysfunctional, corrupt, mismanaged and heading towards insolvency.

The answer, of course, is to keep asking people to pay more.
Asking? I meant "forcing".

Fred4Pres said...

Britney Murphy just died. Must be the fault of the GOP and George Bush for not wanting health care.

Ron said...

Since we seem to be underwater on our "starter home", can we move back with Mom and Pop Great Britain now?

EDH said...

Reminds me of a "No-Doc" sub-prime loan.

rollingdivision said...

It's all about empowering politicians via increasing the size, scope and control of government. A part of the redistribution obama believes in. In healthcare one goal is no one should receive better medical treatment or care because of the individuals ability to pay for better care. The second universal goal is the elimination of the for profit market system. So starter home, yes on our way to complete politicized medicine.

LonewackoDotCom said...

There were public meetings about the "permit" for the "starter home". Those would have been a good place to have a high-level, detailed debate about the specifics of such bills.

Instead, the neighborhood "intelligentsia" sent their followers to those meetings and had them throw tantrums. Great Fox News fodder, but not so great for showing how they thought their opponents were wrong. Maybe it wasn't such a great idea to have people who knew little about UHC and who had no experience with "cross-examining" people to ask politicians things they could answer with ease. Certainly, those people might have valid concerns, but that doesn't mean they know how to inquire about them in the correct way; most people don't do their own dental work for the same reasons.

I hate to keep repeating myself, but if people had simply followed this plan they could have blocked or modified the bill. That plan is topic- and ideology-neutral and can be applied to many different fields. The problem is that almost any leader (broadly defined) has little interest in promoting holding others accountable lest they too be held accountable using the same technique. People need to break through that on their own, because their leaders aren't going to do it.

former law student said...

The new bill does remind me of the starter home my great-aunt and uncle bought after WW II. A shell, the inside was unpainted. Water came from a well in the front yard. The lot was too small for a septic field, so they used a chemical toilet. Yet over the years, family and friends remodeled it into quite a comfortable home -- the city's connecting it to water and sewerage lines certainly helped.

Nowadays, places like Home Depot would make the job easier. Where is the Home Depot for the health care bill?

It raises everyone's premiums.

Extending medical care to more people will indeed mean more money spent on medical care. At this time of year, it's hard to remember that a great many people view A Christmas Carol as a tragedy -- the story of a basically sound man gone tragically wrong.

``If they would rather die,'' said Scrooge, ``they had better do it, and decrease the surplus population. Besides -- excuse me -- I don't know that.''

``But you might know it,'' observed the gentleman.

``It's not my business,'' Scrooge returned. ``It's enough for a man to understand his own business, and not to interfere with other people's. Mine occupies me constantly. Good afternoon, gentlemen!''


It reduces the ability of seniors to find a doctor.


Really? I'll alert my mother-in-law immediately. How long till her doctors desert her? I'll try to find an osteopath as a backup.

It gives government appointees the power to decide what is acceptable treatment.

Right now we have corporate employees charged with those decisions. Employees who are rewarded for the money they make for their employers. I'd rather not have someone who can pocket the savings making those decisions.

It stymies innovation and new technology.

For half-a-century we Americans have been chumps, funding technical advances that foreigners can enjoy at a fraction of our costs. Shift the burden to all who will benefit -- it's only fair.

William said...

I joined the service because I had a lot of cavities and no money. The dentists I saw in the service were a bunch of pricks. They gave you a quick shot of novicaine and, if you continued squirming, they told you to hold still in an irritable way. They did their jobs with no special kindness or consideration. Still, I got my dental work done "free"......I pay my current dentist out of my own pocket. She is very gentle and seems genuinely concerned if I show the smallest discomfort. I'm sure she is a genuinely decent and conscientious professional, but prompt payment seems to improve nearly everyone's disposition...I hold these truths to be self evident: It is much better to have a private dentist than a government dentist. It is much better to have a government dentist than to have painful cavities....From these self evident truths, I extrapolate the following: People on Medicare are going to get treatment that seems abrupt and harsh. Their patient- doctor relationship will change and not for the better. There will be other people whose medical options will greatly improve. These are the people who lives will be dramatized on television and major motion pictures. And so it goes.

Fred4Pres said...

William, do you think a lot of dentists in the military are there because they can't cut it in the private sector?

Elliott A said...

No, fls....

It raises everyone's premiums without providing care to more people. There is only so much care our number of Drs. can give. Period. There aren't enough of them. In many parts of the country, Medicare access is already limited. Reducing reimbursement will make it worse. Having insurance does not mean you get seen. Paying based on outcome without any incentive of disincentive for the patients will leave many of them orphaned. Why put up with a non-compliant patient if he/she is going to reduce the reimbursement you receive for all the others? BTW, there is no difference between a DO and an MD. Both are trained in the same residencies. The DOs won't see your mother in law either. The system will work well for most people, just pray that your future maladies do not fall outside the usual. It won't be pretty.

Jason (the commenter) said...

That pro-health care reform people would make an analogy between this bill and the real estate market, after what has been happening with the real estate market of late, shows just how out of touch with reality they are.

Elliott A said...

As a dentist, I can answer the military question. When an enlisted person is in their chair, it is the only time they have the ability to act like a superior. Despite the rank, they're not going to provide any direction to people about their regular duties. Secondly, they do not have to be nice. In private practice, there is always another dentist down the street if you are not treated well. I can say that they are very well educated, have lots of continuing education and work in excellent facilities. It is easy to judge the quality of the treatment you receive by the demeanor of the person providing the service, but the two are actually not related.

dbp said...

A couple of thoughts about military dentists:

I spent 11 years in the Marine Corps and saw a lot of different dentists in that time. They were all skilled, professional and kind. They were also all young. What this tells me is that they usually do not stay in the service, most likely going into higher-paying civilian practice. A pretty common career path is to get the Army, Navy or Air Force to pay for med/dental school, put in your 6-8 years and then get out and go into private practice.

dbp said...

Lest anybody jump to conclusions: I defend the docs and dentists who took great care of me, but I am not for the monstrosity the Senate just passed.

Jason (the commenter) said...

Healthcare reform: like a house the government bought by borrowing huge amounts of money from foreigners, at the peak of the real estate market, when it only has the income to afford to rent.

info said...

elections matter...very tough way to learn that lesson...maybe some will this time...maybe not...

edutcher said...

Repeal is going to have to enter the vocabulary of Conservatives, Libertarians, and Republicans. As soon as possible, this thing has to be shot down because, as that Lefty lout, Tom Harkin, put it, this is only the first step. These neo-/proto-/crypto-communists want to turn this country into the kind of pastoral abyss we see in Rhodesia or the old Soviet Union.

And woe betide anyone who objects. Bambi's civilian National Defense Corps will see to it. One of the commenters here, Irene, talked about a civil war, and she may be right.

former law student said...

There is only so much care our number of Drs. can give. Period. There aren't enough of them.

There weren't enough engineers and programmers till H1-B visas made importing Indians and Chinese attractive and easy. In much of the country you can't find a doctor not named Mehta or Wong. This has been true for years -- forty years ago my doc was from the Philippines. As long as living in the US is relatively more comfortable, I'm sure demand for more docs will be filled by Third Worlders.

LonewackoDotCom said...

One of the commenters here, Irene, talked about a civil war, and she may be right.

That's so hilarious. I'm trying to picture a combo between this and this with a little of this thrown in and ending for them even worse than this.

Hysterical, delusional, low-wattage drama queens are funny, aren't they?

Elliott A said...

FLS- All your Indians and East Asians graduate there, but train in their specialty here. Sorry, but the spaces are finite. You can't import doctors like you can toys. There are rigorous standards they must meet before they can treat you. Believe me, this is a GOOD thing. The major problem with the health care bills from the Congress is the total failure to address the providers' issues. This whole thing is FUBAR!
The righties don't see that markets do not function in the face of inelastic demand. The lefties are just clueless about how the system works.

Lem said...

The health care bill IS a "starter home."

Its John Edwards starter home.

dbp said...

It is not a starter, it is a dream house. What could go wrong?

class-factotum said...

My father was in the air force. I saw military doctors and dentists until I got out of college. As my father was dying of cancer 12 years ago, he was treated by military physicians and staff in San Antonio. They were professional, respectful, courteous, and good at their job. I would have absolutely no qualms about being treated by military doctors. None.

However. I would want it to be my choice. I do not want the government telling me what to do with my medical care. Or anything, for that matter.

edutcher said...

Notice Wacko only listens to himself.

The people, whether he likes thet fact they didn't consult with him first or not, have made it clear to the "ruling class" what they think of this "reform". They have spoken out and made their views clear in poll after poll. If this is the way the Demos intend to conduct the nation's business during the next four years, I don't see the public just sitting there and taking it.

Penny said...

"That pro-health care reform people would make an analogy between this bill and the real estate market, after what has been happening with the real estate market of late, shows just how out of touch with reality they are."

Yes, but the analogy is easy to understand. All those who worked hard to live comfortably are expected to give a lot of that up so that more people can move into starter homes, because ya know, home ownership is "good for America".

The missing link, YET AGAIN, is WORK.

You may get the starter home for less than you imagined, but the mortgage will come due. Sticking your hand out for subsidies, is NOT work.

section9 said...

This bill passed for two reasons:

1. The "Progressives" who took leave of any kind of economic sense do not trust the market to distribute goods and services. They trust the State. If you take a look at how the Military Procurement System has been functioning lately, you'll see how well that has worked out. Bottom line? We're fucked. Except the elites, of course. They'll get on demand health care. The working people of this country will get State Rationing. Just as the Left wanted.

2. These same Progressives not only do not trust the Market to distribute goods and services, but saw the conquest of fully 1/6th of the economy as a means to permanent political power over the Middle Classes. Reagan frightened them. You have no idea how much the Progressives hated Reagan. They only spoke well of him after he died.

This is a bid for permanent control of the State and subordination of State Power to one political party. That is the bottom line. This is also a bid to make the Middle Classes permanently in a state of constant financial struggle, so that they might not rise and "vote conservative".

The Left knows what it is doing. Unfortunately for them, when your entire ideology is built on the proposition that you can rob Peter to pay Paul to purchase Paul's vote; you haven't factored in the proposition that Peter could move his factory to India.

Trust me. We are fucked as a nation in so many ways by this bill it is not funny. I didn't mention the currency crisis and the eventual monetization of the debt, but I'd thought I'd let some other conservative handle that.

Again, and I and others have written this before: we are living through the middle chapters of Atlas Shrugged. There is no avoiding what is to come. Ezra Klein gleefully wrote today that "trillions of dollars" in health care subsidies would be available for this program.

He wrote as if there was no consequence to what he was saying. They haven't built a starter home. They've broken the plumbing in the foundation in the basement. There's water coming in.

ricpic said...

And what about the cohort, William, that will get a blue pill at the moment when a private doctor, a free doctor, would have provided the procedure and medication that might have pulled them through a potentially terminal illness? This is a death bill for the elderly. But from a purely cost/benefit analysis they're such a drag. Ah, brave new heartless hell.

Penny said...

It's inexcusable to me that our President focuses on everything BUT improving our abysmal unemployment statistics.

The more safety nets we provide, the less likely it is that people understand that they are responsible for providing their own.

People who WORK don't need to look to the rest of us for handouts.

Ralph L said...

I would have absolutely no qualms about being treated by military doctors.
Did that include the lean years of the 70's? We got stuck with some mediocrities - at Bethesda, the Navy's premier hospital, where Presidents and Congress go. Mom finally went private for her female trouble, but alas, not for what turned out to be cancer.

WV - carimul - obnoxious leftwing candy

Freeman Hunt said...

The "Progressives" who took leave of any kind of economic sense do not trust the market to distribute goods and services. They trust the State.

Therein lies the insanity.

Sam U. said...

We know, Althouse: you already have a home, and you don't give a damn about the homeless

You'll be fussing about the wine this week and wondering whether your outdoor gear is good enough. But you'll find time to complain bitterly that your society of going to reduce the number of uninsured. I hope that doesn't ruin your holidays,

Penny said...

"Notice Wacko only listens to himself."

What I notice, edutcher, is that LoneWacko feels strongly that we could all be doing some things that would help our current predicament. Better than that, he spends a lot of time to do the legwork so that our job is easier, should we get on board with him.

Whether I agree with him or not, I am impressed with his willingness to work hard to get his message out there. The fact that very few here engage with him on his views, may REALLY tell us who isn't "listening".

Penny said...

Course, I'm a rhythm girl myself. The sound of the lone, precision drummer, usually catches my attention.

Wishing you well getting your message out there LoneWacko.

AprilApple said...

Yes- This tax-hiking fiasco IS a John Edwards Starter Home.

Just a tiny little monstrosity, built with ill-begotten dinero.

Irene said...

My "civil war" analogy on an old thread was meant somewhat in jest.

I do, however, think we've reached an an ideological divide that may be difficult to repair. Both sides dig deeper, with a "you're with us, or you're the enemy" posture. Moderates and creative thinkers have no place in a debate framed so bluntly. It's why the blogosphere is quick to paint Althouse as a "conservative," and why critics of the Althouse commenters tease out the remarks that make the conversation seem one sided. It's why I overheard a co-worker a few weeks ago refer to Lieberman as "Liebrfuck."

The analogy to a "starter home" is unfortunate, because many of us have "mansion" healthcare. For those of us who face serious, even life-threatening, illnesses, the future really is "nuanced."

Henry said...

Here's a possible silver lining scenario:

1. The tax hit, coming before any benefits, should help along some turnover in Congress, whether the economy un-bottoms-out or not.

2. With significant turnover in Congress, the health care bill can be made less toxic before it creates a dependent constituency.

3. Moneys collected in the meantime can pay off some of this and the last administration's idiotic spending.

edutcher said...

Fair enough, but many a true word..., as they say.

If we face economic decline, where 7% unemployment, rather than 3, is considered full employment; the return of stagflation (and most people under 50 have no idea what that means), more 9/11-style terror attacks - or even the type of thing Israel has faced for 40 years with a PC government refusing to acknowledge there's a threat, it's very difficult to see how people stand by and do nothing.

The fact that this blog is as active as it is tends to suggest that a great many people are very concerned. Right now, we have an arrogant, power-mad ruling class, legislating as it pleases without addressing the problems the people face. This is what happened in France, Russia, Germany, and a great many other places and the results were often violent.

Irene said...

"Right now, we have an arrogant, power-mad ruling class, legislating as it pleases without addressing the problems the people face. This is what happened in France, Russia, Germany, and a great many other places and the results were often violent."

It's especially unsettling because this ruling class demonstrates no understanding of history.

former law student said...

the conquest of fully 1/6th of the economy

When I was a kid, all of healthcare -- including optical and dental -- only added up to 2% of the economy. Left to its own devices, health care will swallow up the economy.

BJM said...

@Henry

The new lockbox is the same as the old lockbox: bottomless.

Congress will dole out these taxes as quickly as they collect them and write the healthcare fund IOU's just as they have Social Security and federal pensions.

Paul Zrimsek said...

A little death paneling in the rec room will fix this old place right up.

AprilApple said...

Change Nobody Believes In:

http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052748704398304574598130440164954.html

AprilApple said...

from the link:

"Mr. Obama promised a new era of transparent good government, yet on Saturday morning Mr. Reid threw out the 2,100-page bill that the world's greatest deliberative body spent just 17 days debating and replaced it with a new "manager's amendment" that was stapled together in covert partisan negotiations. Democrats are barely even bothering to pretend to care what's in it, not that any Senator had the chance to digest it in the 38 hours before the first cloture vote at 1 a.m. this morning. After procedural motions that allow for no amendments, the final vote could come at 9 p.m. on December 24.

Even in World War I there was a Christmas truce.

The rushed, secretive way that a bill this destructive and unpopular is being forced on the country shows that "reform" has devolved into the raw exercise of political power for the single purpose of permanently expanding the American entitlement state. An increasing roll of leaders in health care and business are looking on aghast at a bill that is so large and convoluted that no one can truly understand it, as Finance Chairman Max Baucus admitted on the floor last week. The only goal is to ram it into law while the political window is still open, and clean up the mess later."

David said...

The nose under the camel's tent has its foot in the door that the stalking horse which is already out of the barn
on the pretext that a Trojan horse had already left anyway and really this is just a starter mansion not a barn or a tent and it's really a Trojan camel and if you read this upside down you will understand that it's a moral obligation and you can keep your vet if this makes sense so does the health bill.

Penny said...

Henry, I always like to look for the silver lining too, and here's the only lining I see:

* There will be many more people working for the government in higher paying jobs with above average benefits.

This is a BIG deal, frankly, and not to be taken lightly. As a nation, we need replacement jobs for all the manufacturing jobs that died because we have not been competitive enough internationally.

Where this silver lining gets "toxic", is here. More "government workers"? Ask anyone for their top five oxymorons, and "government worker" is on that list.

That isn't by chance. That's because over years and years and years, most of us have come to find that downright comical from our personal observations and experiences.

So when does "funny" meet the highway in an awful accident? Right around the same time that more than 50% of us are government recipients, workers, or spouses of same.

We are THERE!

When we tip over, there is no looking back. In one moment, in one vote on the floor of Congress, we will all become the joke that is "government worker"...or "government voter".

It's tragic. We've become a nation whose character is defined by "What's best for ME."

JD said...

Interesting... The nailed it! Excellent blog post...

____________
http://www.top3acaiberry.org

former law student said...

The rushed, secretive way that a bill this destructive and unpopular is being forced on the country shows that "reform" has devolved into the raw exercise of political power for the single purpose of permanently expanding the American entitlement state.

Brings a nostalgic tear to my eye. That's exactly the way Phil Gramm rammed through the bill to ward off regulation of the credit derivatives that led to last year's collapse of the banking system.

Except that the "Commodity Futures Modernization Act" was piggybacked to the budget bill -- so that voting against it would have shut down all government operations -- and that it was passed during the whole 'dimpled chad' sideshow, where people were wondering if we would have a new President at all come Inauguration Day.

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Nichevo said...

fls,

Brings a nostalgic tear to my eye. That's exactly the way

So as usual, Tu quoque? I am shocked, shocked that you would endorse a presumably illegitimate means of political strategy because an opponent used it at another time.

Methadras said...

Leave it to a Democrat to equivocate the beginning of the end of America as we know it in legislative form as a 'starter home'. So Harkin, you piece of garbage, what will you say when it becomes a McMansion? Oh, you might be dead by then you shiftless piece of ofal, so you won't care. I hope you rot in hell along with your 59 other cohorts you traitorous bastard.

former law student said...

So as usual, Tu quoque?

No, I'm wondering who was the Ananias who caused the scales to fall from the Republicans' eyes. When was the moment of conversion, and how did they show repentance?

Nichevo said...

Phil Gramm is no longer among us if that's what you mean. So who's sorry now for ramming the Dem legislation through? Who will atone and how?

If you think one is bad, you should think the other is bad.

Ugh, Dad just ruined the teamaker I got him. I don't know if I can fix it. You don't make coffee in a teapot, Dad!

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former law student said...

the conquest of fully 1/6th of the economy

When I was a kid, all of healthcare -- including optical and dental -- only added up to 2% of the economy. Left to its own devices, health care will swallow up the economy.
12/20/09 6:36 PM

I would like to see a graph which depicts the the % increase of healthcare compared to the
medical advancements
life expectancy, and
medical law suites.
It seems that lawyers have taken it upon them selves to to make sure that doctors are punished monetarily for in most cases human mistakes.( I dont know why the good sameritan law doesnt apply to doctors.)A portion of the fine goes to the victim while most of it goes to the Lawyers. These fines are then passed on to greatly increase the cost of healthcare. A sure way to decrease the cost of medicine is to change the way doctors are punished for their mistakes. Let a complaint be taken to the Board of medicine who actually are knowledgeable in matters of medicine and let them suspend or take away his license depending on the offense. Lawyers are causing costs to rise with no benefit except lining their own pockets with other peoples money.