December 11, 2009

Want to take advantage of the proposed buy-in to the federal health care plan? Got $9,900?

But you think you're getting a government subsidy? Oh, but you are. The buy-in will cost $20,000 — according to a CBO estimate — and — assuming you make only $54,000, on which you are attempting to raise a family of 4 — you will get a government subsidy of $10,100.

Or are you over 55 and thinking you'll get to buy into Medicare? That's estimated to cost $7,600 a year per person — $15,200 for a couple. No subsidies until 2014.

Do people who support what the Democrats are trying to do really understand how much money they will be required to come up with to comply?

PLUS: Here comes the VAT!

181 comments:

Dust Bunny Queen said...

Do people who support what the Democrats are trying to do really understand how much money they will be required to come up with to comply?

Hell no. They still think there is a pony under this steaming pile of shit.

lyssalovelyredhead said...

Liberals consistently believe that what they want will be, simply by the power of wanting it to be so.

Henry said...

I still run into people who support Health Care Reform because they're so upset about how expensive their health insurance is.

I've run out of facts for these people. Nothing gets through.

PatCA said...

LOL, DBQ.

The country's in the best of hands.

Scott said...

As a single male resident of New Jersey, where health care costs are high, I can buy an adequate health insurance policy on ehealthinsurance.com for about $450/month or $5,400/year. If I lived in a Southern state, a nearly identical policy would cost a couple hundred less per month.

traditionalguy said...

This is a familiar marketing approach: "In exchange for $9900 plus shipping and handling we will send you absolutely free a membership in Federal Health Care and throw in popular Death Panels at no extra cost.

EDH said...

More government: is there anything it can't do?

Arturius said...

Do people who support what the Democrats are trying to do really understand how much money they will be required to come up with to comply?

To be fair it's not just Democrats. The previous administration embroiled us in two overseas wars paid for on the national Visa card not to mention the Medicare Part D expansion which of course hastened the drive toward insolvency.

Personally I have no problem with a public option; the problem I have is the lack of participation, in the form of income taxes, that a much too large, and ever growing portion of this country is exempt from paying.

But when it comes to Democrats, liberals in particular, will simply argue that such expense can be easily paid for by emasulating the military and raising taxes on the 'rich'.

Scott M said...

Who here doesn't honestly expect a flurry of lawsuits before the ink is dry on any law that makes it out Congress?

Paul Zrimsek said...

More to the point, do they realize that they won't have insurance-- i.e., something that protects them against catastrophic losses-- even if they do come up with the money?

SteveR said...

An overused phrase but absolutely correct:

EPIC FAIL

TMink said...

"Or are you over 55 and thinking you'll get to buy into Medicare?"

I am a month shy of 50, and I do not expect Medicare to survive for 5 years. The progressives opened this push by saying that Medicare will be insolvent in (add your number here) years, now they are offering a "solution" by putting more people on Medicare.

Really amazing.

Trey

Palladian said...

From the link to the Democrat party newsletter "The New York Times" posted above: "Like universal health care, every other industrialized country in the world already has a value-added tax (as do about 100 emerging countries)."

See, all the coolest countries are doing it!

Even the "emerging" countries still dragging their legless selves out of the primordial slime where America remains mired are doing it too!

Socialism: it's the shit!

David said...

My wife is 61. I went on Medicare a year ago. She could have had Cobra rights on my private plan but the Cobra policies would have expired before she turned 65. Therefore we bought a private policy for her through South Carolina Blue Cross.

The policy costs $682 a month and has good but not "Cadillac" coverage. It pays promptly, the provider is solvent and it's accepted nationwide.

And the "Buy-in" will cost $20,000 before subsidy?

These people have no idea what they are doing.

traditionalguy said...

Socialism means no one ever gets fired and hardly anyone works at anything they can get out of with any excuse; and then everybody shares equally in the resulting poverty swamp...except for the More Equal Than Others Tyrants and Police that made this system for themselves, not for you and me.

Comrade X said...

10 Grand? Is that all? Most of the poor folk I know have that in spare change.

Arturius said...

I am a month shy of 50, and I do not expect Medicare to survive for 5 years.

Of course it will survive. Its called raising the Medicare/SSN tax. Don't believe for a minute that Medicare is going to go the way of the dinosaurs. The most active and vocal voting bloc are one and the same who enjoy the benefits provided under that program. In other words, the burden of financing Medicare will be shouldered to an even greater extent by those of us still in the workforce. It will require the simple act of raising the tax, something folks will complain about, but not in the numbers that will evict any legislator out of office. It's something that should have been done decades ago but as with many other things, we tend to wait until crisis mode and then do something, which tends to be the most painful.

AJ Lynch said...

The VAT is Nirvana to liberal Dems in Congress. It's a stealthy tax like the taxes on your electric bills and phone bills and it will go up every year [as prices inflate] so our elected officials won't have to vote in favor of a tax increase.

We need more transparency in taxes. The VAT has far less transparency.

Dust Bunny Queen said...

These people have no idea what they are doing.

Sure they do. They are just not telling us the real goal and what they are really doing They know perfectly well what they are doing. And they don't care about you at all.

The real goal is to bankrupt private insurance and force everyone to submit to socialized medicine. In order to fund this giant money sucking program they plan to force everyone to pay into the program so that certain "chosen people" will get a free ride on the backs of the rest of the population.

Also in order to fund this giant money sucking program, the level of medical care will go way down for many so that everyone can have the same level of crappy care. Less for those who currently pay for their own insurance and more for the leeches on society.

This is the plan.....and has always been the plan.

It really has nothing to do with "insuring" and all to do with Socialism.

This plan also has nothing to do with your health. They don't give a fuck about your health. It is about power and money.

Icepick said...

Concerning the VAT, the linked story has the following:

Members of Congress, like their constituents, are squeamish about such ideas, instead suggesting spending cuts or higher taxes on the rich. But with a lack of political will to do the former, and a practical ceiling to how much revenue can be milked from the latter, economists across the political spectrum say a consumption tax may be inevitable once the economy fully recovers. [emphasis added]

So we'll get it once the economy fully recovers? Well that ought to be any decade now....

Icepick said...

They don't give a fuck...

Hey, that would make a great punk rock album title:

They don't give a fuck
(and neither do we)

T J Sawyer said...

This won't be a problem if you switch from working in the private sector at $40K a year to working for the government at $71K a year.

With the vast growth in government jobs, this should be easy. Oh, wait. Those gov't jobs already include "Cadillac" health care. Woo-hoo! The Extra $31K is available for candy and stuff.

knox said...

My sister runs her own business, as does her husband. They have 3 kids. Their health insurance is $250 a month. Now, that's with a very high deductible, but they also have an HSA to help with expenses. (Her monthly payment was at one time over $600, but as soon as she dropped maternity coverage, the price dropped as well.)

I think that's very reasonable, and affordable by any standard. The states that don't allow such plans need reform. Leave the rest of us alone.

I repeat: please, liberals, leave the rest of us alone. Your master plans are stupid and they are going to cripple the country.

Arturius said...

We need more transparency in taxes. The VAT has far less transparency.

True, but I also encourage a tax in which everyone will be required to pay, not just the productive members of society. I for one resent the fact that I should have to shoulder a higher burden because somehow Fortune smiled upon me rather than due to any hard work I did to attain the wealth I have.

Icepick said...

Thinking aobut it, I think the album title should be

They don't give a fuck about you
(and neither do we)


Of course, it's probably already been done bt the Asexuals or The Dead Kennedys or somebody....

rhhardin said...

A value-added tax instantly steals 10% of your savings, imposing another income tax on income you've already paid tax on. Retirees will not be happy.

The rule is that you can't move the point of tax collection downstream in the earn-spend cycle without taxing something twice.

AllenS said...

Who's running this shit, Madoff?

Dust Bunny Queen said...

My sister runs her own business, as does her husband. They have 3 kids. Their health insurance is $250 a month. Now, that's with a very high deductible, but they also have an HSA to help with expenses. (Her monthly payment was at one time over $600, but as soon as she dropped maternity coverage, the price dropped as well.)



Knox's example is exactly why this Democrat horror is going to inflict extreme harm on the economy and on individuals.

We will not be "allowed" to choose a high deductible plan.

We will be forced to pay for services that we don't want or need. Abortion, Maternity, Alcohol and Drug Counseling, Acupuncture and the list goes on and on.

We will be forced to pay a fine or buy the expensive insurance plan even if we don't want or need insurance. Some people can pay out of pocket for the minimal care they need.

We will be forced to "insure" the uninsurable and therefore raise the cost to everyone else.

Many people will just opt out of having coverage because paying the fine is cheaper.

Many many more will lose their good company provided insurance and be forced to use the socialist state system.

Our free will and ability to make choices based on our own personal circumstances will be ripped away.

I foresee a slew of lawsuits. Muslims will probably get their own special insurance exempting many of these mandatory coverages. Other religious groups might also get exemptions.

I sincerely hope that we get an "unconstitutional" ruling from the Supreme Court, but I doubt it.

The Constitution of the United States is dead, ripped to shreds and now used as cage flooring for us poor little hamsters who will be forced to run endlessly on the money wheel to generate ...money Money MONEY for the government to hand out as party favors.

Larry Geater said...

********Do people who support what the Democrats are trying to do really understand how much money they will be required to come up with to comply?******

Yes.

At least I do. Any who wish to know the consequences of a bismark plan can look to one of the nations that already have one.

I understand that the 'ceentrists' reject every facet of the plan that would actualy save money claiming that it will increase the cost because they are playing to the average voters gut rather than studying the policy.

I understand that the way the bill is structured to get the CBO score needed for pasage makes sure that the increase in cost kicks in before the parts of the plan that actually help the situation.

I understand that passage of this bill wil likely help the GOP in '10 and '12 because the average voter does not study these issues.

I understand that the GOP has decided to opt out of the debate over what form reform should take in favor of sticking their fingers in their ears and yelling, "No, No, No, No, No, No, No, No, No, No, No....."

I understand that this reform is imperfect and will need to be reformed itself.

I am for the plan because for all of its flaws it is beter than what we have now, and any plan that was better than it is moot, because any plan that represented better policy would not pass in the senate.

Dust Bunny Queen said...

@Larry

They haven't studied the policy? HELL....they haven't even READ the freaking bill.

Do you even understand the mechanics of insurance or economics at all? I don't think so.

The plan, at least the parts that we have been made aware of, will absolutely kill the ability of people to make choices about their insurance AND about the level of medical care they can have.

It will raise the costs of insurance, if we are even allowed to have private insurance in the future, which I doubt.

It will lower the quality and availiblity of medical care for the majority of the population.

So....I don't know what kind of "PLAN" you have now, but be ready to kiss it goodbye and don't forget...I TOLD YOU SO.

garage mahal said...

Wonder if Sarah Fangirl DBQ knows none other than Sarah Palin is going to speak at a Canadian socialist hospital that provides abortions, AND, onsite death panels. Oh my!

Maguro said...

Well, the fact that it will cost more than most people can afford is a feature, not a bug. The blasted unfairness of it all will force the Dems to come in and take over the rest of the healthcare system (for the children!) a few years later.

Extending this successful program to those between 55 and 64 would be the largest expansion of Medicare in 44 years and would perhaps get us on the path to a single-payer model,” said Representative Anthony Weiner, Democrat of New York.

Exactly.

Scott M said...

@Larry Geater

I understand that the GOP has decided to opt out of the debate over what form reform should take in favor of sticking their fingers in their ears and yelling, "No, No, No, No, No, No, No, No, No, No, No....."

Nobody that pays attention will ever say I carry water for the GOP, but even with the obvious attempt at being glib, this statement is 100% false and you know it.

Try using facts and I'm perfectly willing to debate you in order to point how this is a venomously unconstitutional usurping of personal liberty.

Use generalizations like a politician and I'll tune you out and steamroll you for the next decade.

Dust Bunny Queen said...

Wonder if Sarah Fangirl DBQ knows none other than Sarah Palin is going to speak at a Canadian socialist hospital that provides abortions, AND, onsite death panels. Oh my!

Who gives a shit? I don't care where Palin is appearing.

I also don't give a crap about abortions if people want to have them, go for it.

I just don't want to PAY for them for other people and don't want to be forced to PAY for them in insurance policies that I am going to be forced to buy or PAY a fine to not buy.

Scott M said...

@garage mahal

Wonder if Sarah Fangirl DBQ knows none other than Sarah Palin is going to speak at a Canadian socialist hospital that provides abortions, AND, onsite death panels. Oh my!

Comments like that (with the gross lack of understanding that goes with it) along with yesterday's comments about not meeting with the Norwegian king are really slotting you for the little kids table.

I hope you like grape juice.

Sam U. said...

Economics, Insurance, Taxes!

What a red letter day!!

Althouse spouts off about three things she clearly knows nothing about.

Gotta love those law profs who think they are experts in everything! Funny thing -- they tend to be experts in nothing at all.

Thanks for the blatant reminder, A-house

AprilApple said...

NY Times:

High Premiums in Senate Democrats' Health Plan

http://www.nytimes.com/2009/12/11/health/policy/11insure.html?_r=2&partner=rss&emc=rss

Old Dad said...

Here's a little math primer for Harry and the boys. For the sake of discussion, let's assume that a suitable health insurance program coould be purchased at Walgreens for $10. For whatever reason, 30 million Americans (plug in any number you wish)choose not to buy this product, so naturally Uncle Sam decides to force everyone who can afford it to buy it. Of course, the portion who can't afford it will be subsidized by us. So what happens? Our costs go up to cover the subsidized portion and a substantial amount of disposable income is shifted out of the general economy and into the health care sector. What's the multiplier for that money? Damn low.

Add to that the mystical management skills of the federal bureaucracy. More cost.

We're well and truly screwed if Uncle Sam gets in the healthcare biz. Think TSA.

AprilApple said...

Sadly, this nation has forgotten what "insurance" really means.

Scott M said...

Add to that the mystical management skills of the federal bureaucracy. More cost.

I thought a wonderful example of the government's ability to achieve excellence in management came out just a couple days ago when it was reported that even the fast food chains (non-government run) had higher quality of meat than school lunches (government run).

If you can't get something as basic as school lunches right...why would you possibly think you go master something as complex as health care?

Unless your goal has nothing to do with health care...

AprilApple said...

Raise insurance premiums.
Raise taxes.

It's a win-win! for the socialist-Democrats.

AprilApple said...

We fought a war in Iraq for many years. Now, after less than one year, under the watch and control of one party, the deficit has exploded.

Pay up, suckas.

Word is, we can continue to blame it all on the war.

Elliott A said...

@Sam-

Actually, items such as insurance and taxes are only understood by lawyers. The convoluted language and nuances are indecipherable to the average Joe. A lot of lawyers do a lot of graduate level economics in law school. They also know how to read critically and properly parse and digest information. I am NOT a lawyer. (My son is and he got rediculously knowledgable about these things in law school.)
Lastly, if all discussion is only in the purview of "experts" we get climategate redux.
Double lastly, don't make fun of Ann's name, it is mine also!

Dust Bunny Queen said...

Here is another example of how this Democrat plan is going to work.

Larry....I am mandating that you spend $600 a month on groceries and also mandating that you must spend least 25% of your grocery on Rib Eye Steaks (because they are my favorite) and I am also deciding what other food you can buy or not buy. Those Ho Ho's you like...forget about it.

But you say: "I don't eat steaks, I'm a vegan and I don't want to spend $600 a month. I don't eat that much food. I only want to buy $400 of groceries"

Tough. Buy it anyway or give me $200 a month for not buying the food. I insist that you eat steak and buy it whether you want it or not!!

Also, since your neighbor can't afford to spend the mandatory $600 a month, we expect you to also give the grocery store some extra money or better yet, just leave some of the food at the store since you don't really NEED it and we don't really expect you actually eat all that food.

And/or we will also use the $200 fine to help your neighbor. That way you can "help your neighbor" by subsidizing his mandatory food expenditure.

You are now on your own for the food $400 that you really wanted to eat anyway.

Fair enough? Sounds like a good plan to you?

AprilApple said...

CNN: 61% Oppose Senate Health Care Plan


Doesn't matter. Eat it! Eat it! Eat it! Harry Reid and 59+ other democrats know what's best. Screw you, tax payer.

Scott M said...

CNN: 61% Oppose Senate Health Care Plan

You just don't see very many opinion polls these days with one side in the 60's or higher. This is pretty stunning especially in light of the last poll CNN did on the subject.

ricpic said...

Dawning yet that the goal is punishment?

Larry Geater said...

@ Dust Bunny Queen

When you complain that people are not reading the bill, are you refering to the plainlanguage sumary or to the actual leagal language of the bill?

If it is the former many have read it. If it is the later they would be wasting their time.

I work as an office manger in a family practice office. I and the doctor I work for both support reform, as do a majority of doctors and their billing staffs, because we are comparing the propsed reforms to the current system and not to the fantasy of it that is popular in the minds of people who like to claim that we have the best healthcare system in the world.

Your insurance choices will change under this new plan. You will have options that were not there before. Some options that were previously available will no longer be. That is the nature of reform.

That said the quality of a system cannot be measured by the number of choices available. More choices is often the mark of an inferior system. What matters is not the number of choices but the quality of choices available.

Costs will certainly go up for some, and down for others. The largest groupe for whom costs will go up is those who because they are in good health now choose to opt out of the system.

In insurance the best way to reduce costs for the average individual is to increase the size of the risk pool. This plan will have the advantage of making the risk pool everybody.

There is nothing undemocratic or unconstitutional about public utilities or services. We all use our socialist highway system. Some of us get our electricity for socialist utilities like the TVA. Treatiing healthcare like a utility rather than a compodity is a policy choice that is debatable on its merits but it is not the decent in to Un-American communisim.

Larry Geater said...

@ Scott M

The GOP leadership has indicated that they are going to opose this bill regardless of its content, that there is no compromise that the Democrats could offer that would earn their support.

If that is not opting out of the debate, what would opting out of the debate look like?

Scott M said...

@Larry

Two obvious responses come to mind.

First, the democrats obviated far and wide about how open this process was going to be (open debate, posting on the internet, etc). They never followed through with those promises. The GOP was shut out of closed-door deliberations on finer points of the bill. Further, a good many perfectly sound GOP-backed ideas for reform were completely ignored by this leadership..

Second, we're supposed to have representative government. A republic. Just as a ferinstance, if %61 people in this country don't support the bill, should Congress still pass it? What about 70%? What's your threshold for thinking it's okay for the "experts" to decide what's good for the rest of us that put them there?

AprilApple said...

The GOP has offered solutions. The GOP has been told to "shut up".

Henry said...

Larry - Nice substantive reply.

Costs will certainly go up for some, and down for others.

My question to you is this: For whom will the costs go down?

Don't count the subsidy. A subsidy doesn't control costs, it just controls who pays the costs. We could push subsidies into the current system right now, but that wouldn't change the current system.

One group who might see costs go down are citizens of states that have already instituted many of the cost-driving "reforms" in the bill: first dollar coverage, community rating, mandated benefits, etc.

The people least hurt financially by the Federal regime will be those most already screwed by the State.

Gretchen said...

Our family of five makes about $95,00 a year, so the CBO says we can expect to pay 16% of our income for "healthcare" because we purchase our own policy and are not covered by employers. That's over 14,000 per year and those figures are a family of four, not five. Currently we are happy with a plan that costs less than half or about $650 per month, however Harry Reid thinks we need to have a different plan.

So here's the budget off the top of my head, I'm sure I'm forgetting something:
25% Mortgage, ins. and prop. tax
25% Federal, state and local and payroll taxes (these are sure to go up)
16% Health care
11% groceries (two teen boys, no eating out)
2% clothing, shoes
1% school fees, school supplies
1% children's activities
7% utilites, phone, water, heat, gas
10% cars, insurance, gas, oil, repairs

That totals 98% of our income, without home repair and maint, toilet paper, shampoo, vet bills, gifts, etc., much less savings! We will no longer give to charity because we won't be able to, and I don't know how we will afford college for our kids. This is horribly depressing and I don't know why it isn't widely publicized. Furthermore my employer mentioned paycuts to account for the tax she'll have to pay as a result of this bill.

Scott M said...

"obviated" was supposed to be "bloviated"

Curse you, autocorrect...

AprilApple said...

@ ScottM,

It's anecdotal, but I've been surprised by some liberal/left friends and family members who have stated they don't want it either.

This isn't just a left/right issue.

Paul said...

"Dawning yet that the goal is punishment?"

Well, you can't hate America without hating the American people.

EDH said...

Come on Larry,

Drop the subjunctive you're hiding behind.

The Republicans are engaged in the debate and, according to the polls, they are winning the debate.

Beside, where's the "compromise" offered by the Democrats that wrote this bill behind closed doors.

wv-"amedouse" = hair product used by Mozart

Elliott A said...

@Larry-

Is your office going to continue to see the non compliant diabetics who have medicare when your reimbursements are cut? Are you going to try to push them off onto the few endocrinoligists that are out there? Will you continue to accept the hordes of new ones coming to your office knowing your reimbursements will drop even further once you see them for a few months and their A1C is still over 10? The plan sucks. Period. I want reform, but starting over is the way to go.

T J Sawyer said...

"...the fantasy of it that is popular in the minds of people who like to claim that we have the best healthcare system in the world."

I have a different opinion of our healthcare system than I do of our payment system.

Which one do we want to change?

PatCA said...

After a lifetime of being a moderate and a reasonable person, I am now of the mind that these guys running the Dem Party are trying to destroy the fundamentals of the US economy and culture.

Larry Geater said...

@ Scott M

You refer to the CNN poll showing that 61% opose the Senate bill. How much of that oposition is from the left. If you read the comments on progressive sites there us much gnashing of teeth and bunching of undies over the lack of a public option, as if that was the most important, or even a large part of the reforms proposed.

Larry Geater said...

@ T J Sawyer

What is being debated now is a change in the way that our heavily regulated payment system is regulated.

EDH said...

So now it's the left that's unwilling to compromise with the Democrats?

wv-"aunters" = a very special breed of cougar hunter

Scott M said...

@Larry

You didn't answer my question and ignored my response to your earlier statement.

Expanding on both of those would be appreciated.

Larry Geater said...

@ Elliot A


The office I work in is in an underserved area (we are the only primary care office in our urban zip code), that has been here for over fifty years, so our patient population has a high percentage of the poor and the elderly.

Medicare accounts for 25% of our gross reciepts. There is much that doctors can do to increase patient compliance even umong the least compliant demographics if they are willing to work at it instead of giving up and saying it is up to the patient.

I would be in favor of Medicare for all if it had a chance of passing. The scare stories you bring up only scare doctors who do not work with medicare.

Paul Zrimsek said...

"Making the risk pool everybody" is an advantage only if you like cross-subsidy. A lot of us don't.

DADvocate said...

You guys don't understand. Once the government is in control of everything it can possibly be in control of, all will be sunshine and roses. Despite the fact that government screws up nearly everything it touches. And, the hell with your so called personal freedom.

vbspurs said...

Here comes the VAT!

The bane of every Brit's existence -- except it's not, because we don't even notice the 17.5% markup on everything.

Say goodbye to TJ Maxx and Marshall's guys.

Cheers,
Victoria

Larry Geater said...

@ Scott M

I am sory if I missunderstood your question.

The current debate is almost wholely about the payment system and not the delivery system. The few things that were part of the debate that were related to healthcare delivery, comparative effectiveness research for example, were subjected to dishonest attacks like aclling them 'Death Panels' and then removed from the discussion.

Bruce Hayden said...

As a single male resident of New Jersey, where health care costs are high, I can buy an adequate health insurance policy on ehealthinsurance.com for about $450/month or $5,400/year. If I lived in a Southern state, a nearly identical policy would cost a couple hundred less per month.

There are a number of reasons for those higher premiums:
- New Jersey coverage mandates.
- Medical malpractice environment, and
- Cost of living, which translates into cost of doing business for the health care providers.

Keep in mind that NJ is adjacent to several major metropolitan areas, most notably NYC. As a result, the state has inherited their cost of living. Also, it has gone quite liberal in recent years, and as a result, has apparently not only a bad medical malpractice environment (which significantly drives up the cost of defensive medicine, while also layering on the required coverages through mandates).

Which, BTW, is why selling policies across state lines is so important here for the liberals living in high cost states like NJ, NY, and CA. They pay a lot more money for their policies because of their leftist governments, which they elected. They want the rest of us to bail them out by paying more for our insurance, so that they can pay less. The better solution would be for them to limit malpractice awards and eliminate insurance mandates. Won't happen.

Arturius said...

There is nothing undemocratic or unconstitutional about public utilities or services. We all use our socialist highway system. Some of us get our electricity for socialist utilities like the TVA.

That is more than a bit disingenuous don’t you think? Other than anarchists, I think you’ll find few who believe there is no role for the government, the building of roads and bridges being right up there with delivering the mail and providing fire and police.

No the issue I think that many people have is whether or not the government should have a role in providing health care. Let’s stipulate that it does, because everyone needs health care. Why not education, particularly post-secondary education since it’s all but a requirement in our 21st century economy. Why should our best and brightest be saddled with crippling debt in order to obtain an education? Why not demand federally funded education for all? Let’s take it down to the basics for that matter. We require three essentials for survival; food, clothing and shelter therefore we can expect that the government should provide these items, at the very least at a subsidized level for all.

Yes I am stretching things but in honesty, I have heard people express one or more of these very expectations at one point or another and frankly, it doesn’t take much imagination to see our government want to take on these roles if it secures a dependable voting bloc. One thing to keep in mind is that overall, Americans are an independent lot. Unlike Europe which has a culture of dependency on the state, our nation was forged in large part with an independent pioneer spirit. That’s fact, not rhetoric. Europeans going back to medieval times looked to the aristocracy for their basic needs. We didn’t since we didn’t have an aristocracy, or at least, not a ruling one. Therefore the expectation that the state will provide is more or less inbred in your average Brit, Frenchman or German.

AJ Lynch said...

Gretchen:

You make a great point- who can afford 14% and still pay their other household bills?

It shows none of the Congress critters have sat down and "done the math" like you just did.

Shows how out of touch they are!

Elliott A said...

@ Larry-

My wife is a Diabetes Educator/Diabetes Clinical Nurse Specialist. She works at Eastern Virginia Medical School in Norfolk, VA, with a patient population like yours. There is a real segment of the diabetic population (as well as the entire population) who will never do what they are supposed to do. She does several one on one hour visits with these patients. They weight 350 pounds but swear they don't eat. They think carb counting is too difficult. They don't take their medicine as they should. Nobody will see these medicare patients undre this new plan with the payment for outcomes instead of visits. The outcomes, the hospital admissions and readmissions, the ER visits are preordained. There can be no financial accountability for the Doctor if there is none for the patient. These people will just get subsidized or free care (the new 55-64 group) with the money that is removed from the physician's reimbursement. This isn't reform, it's insanity. I know hundreds of physicians, most of whom are paid salaries, not in private practice. They are less biased than others might be. It is about 90% against at the moment. They all favor reform, just not this fiasco.

Larry Geater said...

@ Henry

Those who will see their costs go down the most are those with severe illness or a pre-existing condition.

The most important parts of the current bill are -

1. The end to recision
2. The end of pre-existing conditions restrictions
3. Must buy
4. Must sell

If the final bill includes these provisions I am not concerned with the rest of the details.

Scott M said...

@Larry

I'll try again...

Second, we're supposed to have representative government. A republic. Just as a ferinstance, if %61 people in this country don't support the bill, should Congress still pass it? What about 70%? What's your threshold for thinking it's okay for the "experts" to decide what's good for the rest of us that put them there?

As to your statement about the GOP and the NoNoNo, thing, most of the reforms forwarded by the GOP very early in this debate were tossed by the Democratic leadership for no good reason I've seen at all. I'd like your response to that as it was a response to your NoNoNo comment.

Bruce Hayden said...

The theory that we should have VAT because everyone else does ignores the fact that in many countries, VAT is instead of income taxes, not in addition to such. Or, if they have income taxes, etc., they are at a much lower rate.

Besides, VAT taxes are regressive. Which means that the more money you make, the lower your tax rate. Why? Because the more you make, the less a percentage of your income is spent. Bill Gates only needs a certain number of button down cotton shirts. Even if he only wore them once, he would still be paying far less for them as a percentage of either his wealth or his income than many of us spend on their clothing.

wv: bereta - reminds of something that might be useful when the revolution comes. b

Paul Zrimsek said...

If the final bill includes these provisions I am not concerned with the rest of the details.

If it doesn't, will you say no, no, no, no, no and opt out of the debate?

Dust Bunny Queen said...

When you complain that people are not reading the bill, are you refering to the plainlanguage sumary or to the actual leagal language of the bill?

I am complaining that the people who are making the legislation are not reading the bill. They don't even know what they are voting for.

Are you saying it is a waste of time for the legislators to read the legal language of a bill they are ready to cram down our throats??


I work as an office manger in a family practice office.

I work as a financial planner and have been insurance and security licensed for over 20 years.


"the quality of a system cannot be measured by the number of choices available. More choices is often the mark of an inferior system. What matters is not the number of choices but the quality of choices available.
"

In a free market system the choices are left to the consumer and poor choices will disappear because people will not buy the inferior product if they can get a better one. In addition, who is the government or you for that matter of fact to decide if my choices are poor because they aren't the ones that you would choose???

However, in this plan the choices are mandated by the government. HSA plans are not going to be allowed. High deductible, catastrophic insurance not allowed. Many items will be forced to be included in the insurance policies and we will not have the choices to opt out.

In insurance the best way to reduce costs for the average individual is to increase the size of the risk pool. This plan will have the advantage of making the risk pool everybody.

Bull Crap. The risk managment strategy of the insurance companies is to LIMIT the numbers of high risk individuals in the pool and/or charge them more for the premiums because they will use more of the services than the rest of the pool. This levels out the premiums for the entire pool and makes it affordable.

By allowing the young and healthy to opt out of the program with a fine and forcing the insurance companies to increase the percentage of high risk individuals in the pool at NO additional cost, the premiums will have to go up for everyone. People will just wait until they are sick to buy insurance.

When the level of high risk insureds increases so does the level of use of services. The only way to keep costs down is to limit the services allowed (rationing) or to raise the premiums accross the board to keep the policy solvent. Both of these things are sure to happen.

The other way to reduce costs in the risk pool is to reduce usage of the product. Rationing.

Risk managment on a personal level doesn't mean that everyone MUST have insurance. Many people do not need to buy insurance and many people only need a high deductible catastrophic policy.

Forcing everyone into a low deductible cover everything plan is not a good stragegy for risk managment and it is the MOST expensive way to force insurance onto people.

You might want to consider what the nature of insurance actually is. This plan isn't it.

Don't argue with me about insurance, economics or risk management. This is what I do for a living.

As to the COMMUNISTIC nature of this plan. It is what it is. No one forces you to use utilities or other services. You are not FORCED to drive a car and incur all the other expenses associated with a car. This plan is mandating that we buy something whether we need it, want it or even plan to use it. It is also mandating that we pay fines to support other people's purchase of a commodity.

Forcibly transfering money or goods from those who have or can to those according to their need.....sounds communistic to me.

Bruce Hayden said...

The current debate is almost wholely about the payment system and not the delivery system. The few things that were part of the debate that were related to healthcare delivery, comparative effectiveness research for example, were subjected to dishonest attacks like calling them 'Death Panels' and then removed from the discussion.

They may have been removed from the discussions, but are still in the bills, last time I looked.

And you are just being silly. Of course they were Death Panels. You just don't like that Gov. Palin was able to start that meme.

And note that the more important reform is not in any of the bills - malpractice reform. Sure, the direct cost of malpractice insurance, between states with good and bad malpractice environments is only a couple of percent. But that does not take into account the added cost of defensive medicine practiced in jurisdictions with liberal malpractice laws.

What will be interesting is when the feds and their comparative effectiveness panels try to cross state lines, and will likely find, surprise, surprise, that all the efficient health care providers are somehow magically in the states with strict limits on malpractice litigation.

No, I am not going to hold my breath. The crooks in charge of health care "reform" know all this, and aren't about to open themselves and their major contributors (the plaintiffs' tort bar) to this knowledge on the part of the people.

Larry Geater said...

@ Arturius

We already do this for food and shelter with Food Stamps and Section 8. I have no problem with including post secondary, or even post graduate education in the mix if that is what we decide to do.

jimbino said...

The VAT is wonderful because it taxes all those free-riding kiddies of the breeders instead of the producers.

Furthermore, when I leave the country for a nicer place like Brazil, I won't have to pay a USSA tax, unlike the income tax Amerika claims to have the right to exact on worldwide income.

Larry Geater said...

@ Bruce Hayden

Malpractice reform could be in there in any form any member of the GOP cacus wanted. All he or she would have to di is say that it is the price for their vote, such is the desire for even the smallest ammount of bipartisanship. Since none of them has offered to vote for a bill that contains it, it is not in there. You cannot get what you want if you vow to vote against the bill even if it is included.

Bruce Hayden said...

1. The end to recision
2. The end of pre-existing conditions restrictions
3. Must buy
4. Must sell
.

All specifically guaranteed to drive the cost of coverage up for those of us who already have decent health care insurance.

And the "rescission" point is a red herring. Yes, insurance companies can sometimes rescind an insurance contract if you lied on your application - but that is typically limited, both by law, and by policy, to a limited period of time, maybe a year. So, no, in most states the insurance company cannot come back years later and rescind because you lied years ago about something trivial. A heart attack 3 months ago? Yes. An appendectomy when you were ten? No.

What they are trying to protect against (in order to keep premiums lower) are the people with preexisting conditions who lie about them. They sign up for insurance, already needing health care. And that just penalizes those of us who carry insurance when we don't need it, for the time that we do.

Bruce Hayden said...

Malpractice reform could be in there in any form any member of the GOP cacus wanted. All he or she would have to di is say that it is the price for their vote, such is the desire for even the smallest ammount of bipartisanship. Since none of them has offered to vote for a bill that contains it, it is not in there. You cannot get what you want if you vow to vote against the bill even if it is included.

Whoever is suggesting this to you either is intentionally trying to mislead you, or has not followed the progress of the debate.

There is absolutely no reason to believe that the Democrats would be willing to include reasonable malpractice reform in exchange for Republican votes. It has been repeatedly proposed, and voted down on party lines. This has, from day One, been one of the major sticking points keeping almost all of the Republicans in Congress from accepting the Democratic bills as starting points. It has never, ever, been seriously on the table by the Democrats running the two houses of Congress.

Larry Geater said...

@ Dust Bunny Queen

***Are you saying it is a waste of time for the legislators to read the legal language of a bill they are ready to cram down our throats??

Yes, it is uninteligable because it is amending existing law. If you read a sentence that said, "in sentence 7 of paragrraph 4 of the doda bill of 1847 change 'and' to 'or'", it would be meaninglees to you and to our legislators. They read the plainlanguage summary that lets them know what the intent of the law is and leave changing the required language in all previous statutes to achieve that outcome to those whose jobe it is to do so.

****In a free market system the choices are left to the consumer and poor choices will disappear because people will not buy the inferior product if they can get a better one.

This is only true if they can understand the choices offered and predict how the products will behave in for them in the uncertain future.

*****The risk managment strategy of the insurance companies is to LIMIT the numbers of high risk individuals...

That is their strategy in the current regulatory environment. The purpose of this reform is to make this illegal.

*****People will just wait until they are sick to buy insurance.

I think that our solution to this will be treating everyone like we do medicare patients who opt not to get coverage. When they decide they need it, they have to pay the back premiums for the time that they were not insured. People opting out is not a new problem. We have solved it in the past.

******The only way to keep costs down is to limit the services allowed (rationing) or to raise the premiums accross the board to keep the policy solvent.

Or to enact policies that encourage good public health policies. Once they cannot recind or exclude they will become advocates for these policies.

*****Forcing everyone into a low deductible cover everything plan is not a good stragegy for risk managment and it is the MOST expensive way to force insurance onto people.

That sounds like a beautifull theory. It is to bad that the real world experiences of nations who have chosen to go that route do not support it. Theory is our best guide in the absence of examples in practice. But it is no substitute if they are available.

*****You are not FORCED to drive a car and incur all the other expenses associated with a car.

I am forced to pay the taxes that support road construction wether I drive or not. They are largely paid for out of the general fund and not user fees. The same goes for the police hired to enforce trafic laws. You picked a bad counter example.

Larry Geater said...

@ Bruce Hayden

They have been voted down because not one single member of the GOP has been willing to say for the record that if it passed he or she would vote for both cloture and the final bill. That is the price of including it.

Bruce Hayden said...

The GOP leadership has indicated that they are going to opose this bill regardless of its content, that there is no compromise that the Democrats could offer that would earn their support.

Sure there is - malpractice reform

But right now, why bother? The Democrats ramming this through w/o Republican support is likely to give the Republicans the House next year, and wipe out much of the Democratic majority in the Senate. The people don't want this, despite a huge amount of hype on the part of the lapdog media.

Larry Geater said...

Bruce Hayden

The recision laws vary from state to state but the most agregious of them here is the ability of insurers to retroactively recind coverage. We can file a claim and get it paid and the insurance company can recind the persons policy back to day one. Then our choices are limited to cutting them a check to refund the insurance company or alloing them to take it out of futere payments for other patients.

Larry Geater said...

@ bruce hyden

They sign up for insurance, already needing health care. And that just penalizes those of us who carry insurance when we don't need it, for the time that we do.

That is the injustice that must buy is to address.

Bruce Hayden said...

Yes, it is uninteligable because it is amending existing law. If you read a sentence that said, "in sentence 7 of paragrraph 4 of the doda bill of 1847 change 'and' to 'or'", it would be meaninglees to you and to our legislators. They read the plainlanguage summary that lets them know what the intent of the law is and leave changing the required language in all previous statutes to achieve that outcome to those whose jobe it is to do so.

And why would a Republican member of Congress trust the Democrats who would be doing this to do it right? Heck, why would anyone trust them?

Bruce Hayden said...

The recision laws vary from state to state but the most agregious of them here is the ability of insurers to retroactively recind coverage. We can file a claim and get it paid and the insurance company can recind the persons policy back to day one. Then our choices are limited to cutting them a check to refund the insurance company or alloing them to take it out of futere payments for other patients.

I think that this is mostly talking points. I am not aware of having lived in a state where an insurance company could rescind for more than one year, or for anything except for lying on the app (nonpayment of premiums is something different).

So, let's compare the number of people who have their policies rescinded through no fault of their own, compared to the added policy costs that all of us will pay if the ability to rescind is eliminated. And, make sure that you include in the cost of increased fraud.

Larry Geater said...

@ Paul Zrimsek

If it doesn't, will you say no, no, no, no, no and opt out of the debate?

Nah, I'll just keep on voting for and working for the campaigns of those who support universal care. Those who favor it have been workiong on it since before it was proposed by Teddy Roosevelt. We can keep doing until it passes.

We got Medicare, Medicaid, and SCHIP our of previous tries. Now as then we will take what we can get and fish on.

Larry Geater said...

@ Bruce Hayden

Nothing about what I was complaining about is contradicted by what you ssaid. I did not speak to how long ago the policy was in effect or what it was recinded for.

I said that they would recind it retroactively. They will take premiums, pay claims, recind a policy, demand repayment for all claims they have paid, and not refund premiums that were paid to them.

I know that they do it because not a week goes by that I am not cutting a check to an insurance company to pay them back for care they have paid for because they have recinded the policy. Then we get to try to collect from a patient who has paid premiums but gotten no coverage.

Larry Geater said...

****And, make sure that you include in the cost of increased fraud.

there will be no cause for fraud if one cannot be excluded for pre-existing conditions.

Paul Zrimsek said...

Unresponsive, Larry. You've already said that any Republican who won't support some version of the current legislation in return for a bone or two is "opting out of the debate". (Your hint at a Fabian strategy for your own side offers a better explanation than you might have intended for why they might do that.) What I wanted to know, obviously, was whether you'd hold yourself to that same standard if the bill were to be changed to make it as unattractive to you as it now is to Republicans.

LarsPorsena said...

Fee,fie,foe fum, I smell Axel-turfing.

Larry Geater said...

@Paul Zrimsek

I would continue to advocate for what I want instead of against what the other side wants, and engage in negotiation to try to get it. And once it is passed continue to advocate for its reform. That is what I did with the Medicare Part D bill. No program is ever in its final form. They all change with time.

edutcher said...

Ann said...


PLUS: Here comes the VAT!

No, Ann, what you should say is,
"BEND OVER, Here comes the VAT!"

In theory (and some countries), the VAT is used in place of the income tax. The Demos, of course, want both. How do you say, "A la Bastille", in Redneck?

Arturius said...

Do people who support what the Democrats are trying to do really understand how much money they will be required to come up with to comply?

To be fair it's not just Democrats. The previous administration embroiled us in two overseas wars paid for on the national Visa card...


Wrong, as usual. We were "embroiled" in a war on terror after the previous (dare I say Democrat?) administration did all it could to avoid living up to its responsibilities under the Constitution of the United States to "provide for the common defense"
(after all, pouncing on interns and selling guest accomodations in the White House is time-consuming). Something about some fanatics flying jetliners into office buildings...

Of course, the current administration (dare I say Democrat?) is doing all that it can to see we lose said war so said fanatics are free, courtesy of our current Secretary of Homeland Security, to come here and start killing people like you. They'll even have free health care whether they come in legally or not.

Sam U. said...

Economics, Insurance, Taxes!

What a red letter day!!

Althouse spouts off about three things she clearly knows nothing about.

Gotta love those law profs who think they are experts in everything! Funny thing -- they tend to be experts in nothing at all.

Thanks for the blatant reminder, A-house


I'll put money on the proposition she knows more than you, pal.

PS Looks like somebody washed out Jeremy's mouth and he now call himself the Geater with the Heater or something (old Philly joke).

AJ Lynch said...

Ed:

Sounds like you mean "Jerry Blavat is live from Memories in Margate"!

I have never been there but have heard the radio ads.

Paul Zrimsek said...

One last try, Larry: I'm not hypothesizing a situation where Republicans are proposing a bill that only gives you part of what you want. I'm hypothesizing a situation where they're pushing a bill that you believe makes things worse in some important ways, and offering you some concessions on side issues in return for your support. Are you just being a nay-sayer if you turn down the deal?

AJ Lynch said...

Ed:

I agree with you. When Clinton was president, he avoided fighting Muslim extemists. So his war budget looked small.

However, if Uncle Sam had had a very savvy accountant, that accontant would have accrued the future cost of fighting Muslim terrorists. So, in effect, part of the cost of Iraq/ Afghan wars would have been in Clinton's budget.

Larry Geater said...

@ Paul Zrimsek

I do not accept your premis that the entire GOP cacus thinks the bill is that bad. I think at least some of them are opposing it out of political calculation and paty discipline.

That given if I persoanly thaught a bill was that bad I would opose it. If my entire caucus did so I would think that some of them were against it for secondary gain.

I personaly think that party discipline is bad but if the GOP is going to enforce it then the Democrats are unilateraly sdisarming if they fail to respond in kind, so I am conflicted about it in the present circumstance.

miller said...

So you have no issue with the government simply sucking in another 14% of my income? Just like that?

Pixies and fairy dust.

Larry Geater said...

@ Miller

I certainly have no problem with us returning to the taxation levels we enjoyed under Reagan, or Bush I.

Paul Zrimsek said...

That given if I persoanly thaught a bill was that bad I would opose it.

All I wanted to know, thank you. As for the rest, if the GOP is a unitary enough sort of thing to be capable of sticking its fingers in its ears and saying "no, no, no" as a group, it's certainly a untary enough sort of thing to be capable of disliking must-issue and must-buy as a group.

edutcher said...

AJ Lynch said...

Ed:

Sounds like you mean "Jerry Blavat is live from Memories in Margate"!

I have never been there but have heard the radio ads.


OMG, I thought I was the only one still alive who remembered that stuff!! (Ann, though she lived in the broadcast area, was far too young, of course :)). Can't remember whether he was on WDAS or WHAT. Memories was later in his career, wasn't it?

In a previous incarnation, talking of old rock 'n' roll stations in Philadelphia, I had the chance to meet Bill Wright, Sr., Joe Niagara, and Hy Lit. Nice guys.

God, radio was fun back then.

Larry Geater said...

@ Paul Zrimsek

It is not that they are that unified in opinion. It is that their cacus in the Senate like both cacuses in the House uses committe memberships and chairmanships to enforce discipline. The Democrats in the Senate do not.

I think that it is preferable to allow members to vote their conscience, but doing so when your oponents do not is a tactical mistake.

Synova said...

"So you have no issue with the government simply sucking in another 14% of my income? Just like that?"

Heh. What do I care for another 14% of YOUR income if I believe I'm going to somehow end up paying less of MINE?

Huh?

Palladian said...

The truth is that Larry, like all supporters of the further armed robbery of the American people, is simply an accomplice of the base murderers and robbers that call themselves the government:

The fact is that the government, like a highwayman, says to a man: "Your money, or your life." And many, if not most, taxes are paid under the compulsion of that threat.

The government does not, indeed, waylay a man in a lonely place, spring upon him from the roadside, and, holding a pistol to his head, proceed to rifle his pockets. But the robbery is none the less a robbery on that account; and it is far more dastardly and shameful.

The highwayman takes solely upon himself the responsibility, danger, and crime of his own act. He does not pretend that he has any rightful claim to your money, or that he intends to use it for your own benefit. He does not pretend to be anything but a robber. He has not acquired impudence enough to profess to be merely a "protector," and that he takes men's money against their will, merely to enable him to "protect" those infatuated travellers, who feel perfectly able to protect themselves, or do not appreciate his peculiar system of protection. He is too sensible a man to make such professions as these. Furthermore, having taken your money, he leaves you, as you wish him to do. He does not persist in following you on the road, against your will; assuming to be your rightful "sovereign," on account of the "protection" he affords you. He does not keep "protecting" you, by commanding you to bow down and serve him; by requiring you to do this, and forbidding you to do that; by robbing you of more money as often as he finds it for his interest or pleasure to do so; and by branding you as a rebel, a traitor, and an enemy to your country, and shooting you down without mercy, if you dispute his authority, or resist his demands. He is too much of a gentleman to be guilty of such impostures, and insults, and villainies as these. In short, he does not, in addition to robbing you, attempt to make you either his dupe or his slave.



from Lysander Spooner, "No Treason, No. 6, The Constitution of No Authority" Ch. III, Sec. I

Scott M said...

It is not that they are that unified in opinion. It is that their cacus in the Senate like both cacuses in the House uses committe memberships and chairmanships to enforce discipline. The Democrats in the Senate do not.

Up until now, I credit Larry with, if nothing else, keeping the level of discourse at a reasonably high level. Right there, though, Usted saltó el tiburón.

Titus said...

My British/Indian husband and I make over 500k a year combined, with bonus and stock options.

I pay 42.00 a month for my cadillac insurance.

He pays $37.00 a month for his cadillac insurance at the fabulous State Street Bank.

And can I just say we are struggling? What is this going to do to our finances?

Maguro said...

It is not that they are that unified in opinion. It is that their cacus in the Senate like both cacuses in the House uses committe memberships and chairmanships to enforce discipline.

Interesting...this is the first time I've seen anyone argue that Republican congressmen secretly love Obamacare but have been intimidated into opposing it by John Boehner, Mitch McConnell and the GOP's rock-hard party disciplne.

You'd think a story like that would get more MSM play.

Michael Hasenstab said...

Do people who support what the Democrats are trying to do really understand how much money they will be required to come up with to comply?

Based on the comments above, I'd say some do, but many others simply don't give a damn because they see it as a way to solve their particular problem on someone else's nickel.

And yesterday's spending bill passed by the House included 5,000 earmarks. The hell we need a VAT. Just stop the pork and corruption in Washington.

I favor term limits for most in Congress. One term in office followed by one term in prison.

Larry Geater said...

@ Scott M

Usted saltó el tiburón

1. like most Americans I speak only one language.

2. The rules of the caucuses do vary and the Democrats in the Senate are the only one that awards them based on seniority with no limmits on terms. Hell, they will not even threaten Leiberman with discipline if he does not vote with the cacus on cloture.

Titus said...

We both receive $200.00 a year fitness reimbursement with our companies-I will be bullshit if that is taken away from me.

I don't think I am going to receive my full 30% bonus this year and I am unable to exercise my stock options because they are underwater. Years past I exercised 20-30k in stock options but not this year.

I am furious.

Thank God my tits are firm and hard and sculpted.

Michael Hasenstab said...

Titus, it's worn thin.

AJ Lynch said...

Titus:

What is up with you always writing " my British/ Indian" husband? Are you bragging about your diversity bonafides?

Larry Geater said...

@ Maguro

I did not imply in any way that there is anyone who loves the current bill. It is a mashup that no one could love like most legislation. I simply think that were it not for the threat of party discipline there would be at least a couple of members of the GOP cacus who would vote for it because they believed it was better on balance than the status quoe.

Palladian said...

"Titus, it's worn thin."

Oh it was threadbare long ago.

Titus said...

Michael, you shouldn't post your picture.

Titus said...

And Palladian's fat.

Sofa King said...

I am forced to pay the taxes that support road construction wether I drive or not. They are largely paid for out of the general fund and not user fees.

Wrong, they are paid out of the transportation fund, which is generated mainly through gasoline taxes, which obviously are paid mostly by drivers. In fact, particularly in Wisconsin, due to Doyle repeatedly raiding the transportation fund for general revenues, it is drivers who are subsidizing non-drivers.

Larry Geater said...

@ Paladin

Lest you forget, may I remind you that this is a democracy. We are the government. We get what we chose/deserve.

Sofa King said...

We get what we chose/deserve.


What's your point? Just because a majority choose something doesn't automatically mean it's a practical, wise, or moral policy.

Scott M said...

@Larry

'may I remind you that this is a democracy." 8th-grade-wrong. As I tried to remind you before, we live in a republic.

"We are the government. We get what we chose/deserve." Absolutely correct on many fronts. However, as I repeatedly asked you to answer, what we've got is a polity (us) that now by a large margin doesn't want this bill to be passed. More so, it appears, than the House's version. A group of elected individuals with what amounts to shrinking accountability each year they remain in office thinking they know best for me and my family.

I'll level you. I have an HSA and an insurance policy for catastrophic medical needs. I also have agreements with doctors to pay for bills in cash at time of service. This results in significant savings for my family's (4 kids me and the missus) health care with some of the most highly recommended physicians in the area.

Your program would end what I have struggled for and sacrificed to build. And you would be doing it under threat of fines and jail.

Palladian said...

"And Palladian's fat."

And Titus is named Steve Lee.

Supposedly.

Is your Alex persona also named Steve Lee?

Maguro said...

@Larry - If what you're suggesting is true, I would expect to see some more stories about GOP legislators who want to do the right thing and vote for health care reform, but can't because Boehner's such an uncompromising hardass. The MSM loves those stories, can't get enough of of 'em and their absence seems significant to me. Maybe you can direct me to one or two.

Or maybe the R's just hate the bill and think it sucks. Their constituents do.

Larry Geater said...

@ Sofa King

I Stand Corrected. I was missinformed about the proportion of funds for highwats that come from fuel taxes. A quick Google search confirmed my error.

Michael Hasenstab said...

@Titus - I am comfortable as I am. The photo is who I am, wrinkles, bald dome and all. I'm at peace with it all.

I wish you the same.

Palladian said...

Larry, before you lecture others about "studying policy" you might want to work on studying names. My name is PALLADIAN, not Paladin. I do not play World of Warcraft.

Michael Hasenstab said...

Titus, just to be clear, what's "worn thin" had nothing to do with who you are or who your boyfriend is.

It had everything to do with you happily chirping yet again about your very good financial circumstances when most on this thread are facing a very, very difficult situation if the HC bill is passed into law.

A bit of sensitivity to others' circumstances and concerns would have been better.

Larry Geater said...

@ Scott M

What's your threshold for thinking it's okay for the "experts" to decide what's good for the rest of us that put them there?

I think that it is not in the nations nor the politicians selfish electoral interest to rely on the popularity of a bill before it passes to determine how to vote. There are many programs that have served us well that could not have gotten majority support as an ballot measure. The voting rights act comes to mind. They should vote for what they believe is in the nations interest.



And the asertion that we are a republic rather than a democracy is a distinction without a difference.

re⋅pub⋅lic  /rɪˈpʌblɪk/ [ri-puhb-lik]
–noun 1. a state in which the supreme power rests in the body of citizens entitled to vote and is exercised by representatives chosen directly or indirectly by them.


de⋅moc⋅ra⋅cy  /dɪˈmɒkrəsi/ [di-mok-ruh-see]
–noun, plural -cies. 1. government by the people; a form of government in which the supreme power is vested in the people and exercised directly by them or by their elected agents under a free electoral system.

Larry Geater said...

@ Palladian

Sorry about the misspelling. I cannot promise it will not happen again. Spelling is among my weakest skills.

Michael Hasenstab said...

@Larry - Having quickly perused your blog, I doubt that you'd find fault with anything passed by the current Congress and signed into law by President Obama.

Listing "Bush Bashing" and "Weirding Out The Normals" as two of your interests seems to evidence mind closed to other points of view.

Palladian said...

No problem, Larry. I just had to make a World of Warcraft joke since I have been called Paladin many times in the past.

Scott M said...

@Larry

"I think that it is not in the nations nor the politicians selfish electoral interest to rely on the popularity of a bill before it passes to determine how to vote. There are many programs that have served us well that could not have gotten majority support as an ballot measure. The voting rights act comes to mind. They should vote for what they believe is in the nations interest."

How does that square with your statement from earlier:

"We are the government. We get what we chose/deserve."

So our opinion should only matter to them when they're about to get elected, then? I laud your idealism re "we are the government", but we stopped being the ones really in charger, oh, probably when Congress started bitchslapping the Interstate Commerce clause.

Entrenched incumbents who are either ideologues or wholly beholden to special interests or lobbies are not voting for things in the nation's best interests. If we had term limits, I might be inclined to agree with you.

And by the by, there's a huge difference between a democracy and a republic. I'm curious as to why you think there is not. That seems to smack of lazy poli sci.

You didn't answer my HSA question, either.

Scott M said...

@Palladian

There's only one WoW joke worth mentioning and his last name is Jenkins.

Joe said...

They should vote for what they believe is in the nations interest.

That's a load of shit. I vote for my local senators and congressman to represent the interests of our state and community. And they generally do, some of them very well.

Besides, what is the nation's interest? Bankrupting the economy, or presenting opportunity? I submit that most liberal federal policies (and a few conservative ones) are against our nations interest.

blogless said...

Really interesting discussion. I've pretty much made up mind about the bill (that would be a "no"), but Larry you've made me think twice about that.

Larry Geater said...

@ Scott M

1. Term limits are just the voters screaming stop me before I re-elect. If we cannot throw the bums out we deserve to be ruled by bums.

2. A republic is a form of representative democracy and saying that it is not is just semantic picking of nits.

3. I did not answer your question about your HSA because I am not arguing that any specific individual will be better off under this plan. I think that the system will be more stable, and that on average we will be better off but wether you or I are personally better off is irrelevant.

Larry Geater said...

@ Joe

I feel loyalty to neither my city nor my state. I am an American.

If things are going well for the nation my city and state will be fine and if the U.S. economy fails we are screwed.

Larry Geater said...

@ blogless

Thank you.

knox said...

And Titus is named Steve Lee.

How do you guys figure out this stuff???

AJ Lynch said...

Titus scares away pretty easily so he can't be Jeremy, Michael, or Lucky.

Knox:

I think some Althousians met Titus at a meetup in NYC.

Palladian said...

"And Titus is named Steve Lee.

How do you guys figure out this stuff???"

He told me. But, again, I would take anything an internet troll (or any person on the internet for that matter) with a heavy dose of skepticism.

It might seem to violate some sort of standard of internet propriety to "out" Mr Lee this way, but I am quite tired of someone anonymous like him being able to attack me with the advantage of having access to personal information such as my appearance because I choose to be transparent about my identity. I'm leveling the playing field, so to speak.

I have a few more fun facts about Mr Lee to reveal if he wishes to continue this little badinage.

Palladian said...

"I think some Althousians met Titus at a meetup in NYC."

Nope. He's always had some "excuse". Which is one of the things that makes me suspicious of the reality of his identity.

Arturius said...

We already do this for food and shelter with Food Stamps and Section 8. I have no problem with including post secondary, or even post graduate education in the mix if that is what we decide to do.

Yes and we can see what a stellar success food stamps and Section 8 housing have been. Health care managed by the government should be a treat I'm sure.

I'm also pleased you have no problem with the government funding post-secondary education as well. Tell me, 1) how much exactly do you think the American taxpayer should be footing for all of these services, and if we're going to be doing this for all, shouldn't all be sharing in paying for these services? In other words, regardless of how much you earn, you still need to pay some percentage.

hdhouse said...

and the GOP idea was what? bitch and moan and die poor?

If there isn't absolute proof that health care costs are an absurd facet of our society this should prove it to one and all.

I'm on Cobra now and it is 1000 a month for two of us. We shopped for new health insurance and neither of us can get it due to preexisting conditions. Turned down flat except save one company who would exclude our conditions and still charge 2000 a month for us.

I spent a week in Karolinska in Sweden some years back. My bill was 50 Kroner (about 8 dollars back then) because I had the newspapers delivered.

You right wing putzes may mock the rest of the world but they have it right and we have it so totally wrong.

Arturius said...

I spent a week in Karolinska in Sweden some years back. My bill was 50 Kroner (about 8 dollars back then) because I had the newspapers delivered.

Am I to understand that Sweden provides free health care to non-Swedish citizens? Or are you a Swedish citizen?

Oh I think the rest of the world has it right on a lot of issues. Take nuclear power for instance. France derives 75% of its electricity from it yet we think we can power cities like Chicao or NYC with windmills.

There are putzes on both sides hdhouse. Don't think one side holds a monopoly.

fred said...

Why not, then, tell us what it will cost for private insurance down the road compared to buying into Meciare at 55 if you have some years to go? What does it cost now for private insurance, or do you get yours via your job, unlike so many Americvans, employed or recently unemployed?

Easy enough to belittle what is now on the table and that is only there because though the American public supports (60%) for pulic option, the Blue Dogs and the GOP will not give Americans what they want and need.

All the snarly remarks will not fix a system that is truly fucked up. Ops: I have no worries or no needs for a plan. I am all set.

bagoh20 said...

"Liberals consistently believe that what they want will be, simply by the power of wanting it to be so."

And appeareantly, cruel neutrality is no cure.


WV: "ganbegag" = I'm not sure, but I think its a type of porn.

Paul Zrimsek said...

I count myself privileged to have met the only person in the country who believes that Mary Landrieu is voting her conscience.

Larry Geater said...

@ Arturius

I think that government healthcare financing will perform much better than Section 8 or Food Stamps. Its performance would be much more like the Interstate System, or Department of Defense. Whin the government deals with something that people care about it tends to do a good job. those on Medicare are hapier with their insurance on average than any other group.

And Yes I think all should pay and all should recieve benifits. Like Social Security and Medicare. I am against means testing for government programs. The means test should be if you show up and do not chose to opt out of the government system you should get served, like public schools on a local level or the post office.

The government program should provide a minimum level of coverage that we are unwilling to allow our fellow citizens to fall below regardless of their employment situation. If you can afford it you can opt out like those who pay a premium to use private schools or FedEx.

bagoh20 said...

Seems to me that food and shelter are more important than health insurance. We need universal groceries and housing first. I don't care what it takes, it's a moral issue.

Palladian said...

"Easy enough to belittle what is now on the table and that is only there because though the American public supports (60%) for pulic option, the Blue Dogs and the GOP will not give Americans what they want and need."

Yes, because it is the responsibility of the government to give Americans "what they want and need"! I want and need 10 million fucking dollars, and a few dozen strapping young male college atheletes to sodomize on a regular basis. Gimme gimme gimme! Because after all everything the givernment, err government gives us is made from unicorn farts and absolutely not stolen on pain of imprisonment or death from the pockets of productive citizens. I also want and need a steady supply of fois gras and a 500 dollars a day liquor budget, if only those fucking Blue Dog GOP scumbags would get out of the way and let Conmander-in-Chief Unicorn Fart break out the golden shovel and start shovelling it out to us.

bagoh20 said...

You have to beleive at least 4 things to be in favor of this plan:

1) Our system is so terrible it's worth the risk of losing it.
2) Our government will do it better.
3) Cost estimates are somewhere near realistic.
4) The plan will not grow out of control in the future and become low quality / high cost and nearly devoid of innovation and efficiency.

History is all you need to clear your eyes.

Larry Geater said...

@ bagoh20

Why do you think our government is so much less competent that those of all other industrialized nations? If they can do it for cheaper than we are, why can't we find the cost saving measures?

The reason I believe this will work is because I believe we are just as good as the French and the Germans at providing for ourselves.

Palladian said...

"The government program should provide a minimum level of coverage that we are unwilling to allow our fellow citizens to fall below regardless of their employment situation. If you can afford it you can opt out like those who pay a premium to use private schools or FedEx."

well since the government creates all the money it spends from renewable unicorn farts that system will totally work. It's not like we need to steal money from the "wealthy" to pay for all the permanently needy underclass's abortions and Paxil and genital wart creme.

Because apparently there's some sort of moral imperitive to foot the bill for the wants and needs of a bunch of unproductive people I don't even know or care about. The Robin Hoodlums in the Imperial City are gonna force me to be charitable and fork over more and more of my hard-earned money- or else!

Arturius said...

I think that government healthcare financing will perform much better than Section 8 or Food Stamps. Its performance would be much more like the Interstate System, or Department of Defense.

Is there anything that you can point to that would lead you to such a conclusion? I mean, I hear a lot of complaint about our 'crumbling infrastructure' of which the interstate system is more than a big part of. I think you might be the first person I heard that used the DoD as an example of good performance.


Whin the government deals with something that people care about it tends to do a good job.

Well I think most people care about their shelter but I'm at a loss to see any Section 8 housing that wasn't anything shy of a dump.

those on Medicare are hapier with their insurance on average than any other group.

Hardly surprising considering that I pay nearly as much in Medicare tax per pay than the Medicare beneficiary pays per month for their Part B premium, which, compared to my insurance premium, is chump change.

Again, I think the government has a function and a role to play. My issue is that our government, with some notable exceptions, tends, to quote my late grandfather, most likely capable of 'f***ing up a one car parade.

Palladian said...

"The reason I believe this will work is because I believe we are just as good as the French and the Germans at providing for ourselves."

LOL. America should collectively slap your face for that little insult.

You hear that, America? You're just as productive as the French!

We can tax our citizens into indolence and childlessness just like them sophitos in Urrup! And then we can use the money to subsidize an aggressively multiplying, hostile underclass of brain-damaged white trash and radical Muslims just like them English and Swedes!

Arturius said...

If they can do it for cheaper than we are, why can't we find the cost saving measures?

Well that's rather easy. Doctor's in Europe aren't paid nearly as much as in the US. Simply reduce the reimbursement level for coverage and oila, cost savings is achieved.

vbspurs said...

Dust Bunny Queen. I just discovered the AMC Mad Men forums. On looking at this member's profile avatar, I thought, aha, that's my chum from Althouse!

Darcy said...

Titus couldn't possibly have meant you, Michael. And whomever he meant, he was rude. Nothing new though, unfortunately.

Scott M said...

And the collectivist said...

3. I did not answer your question about your HSA because I am not arguing that any specific individual will be better off under this plan. I think that the system will be more stable, and that on average we will be better off but wether you or I are personally better off is irrelevant.

It's VERY important to me. It's important to my kids, whether they know it now or not. You seem to grasp the concept that, sure, everyone has a burden in society to shoulder. The problem is, and it's a very human problem, not everyone's shoulders are the same width or the same strength. Furthermore, some people with immensely powerful shoulders do absolutely nothing with them in life, while others with weak pathetic-looking shoulders accomplish more than most.

You give no credit for personal achievement and, instead, insist that we all "pay the freight". I'm guessing Peter Singer's pretty high up in your esteem?

Pastafarian said...

Palladian, it's good to have you back.

And to all commenters -- this is an excellent thread.

Palladian, I've read your comments about single malts and taken them to heart. Tell me -- what are your thoughts on tawny port?

I've taken up drinking again; I'm not sure if it's in response to the whole shit-show of the world spiraling into a socialist abyss, or just a midlife-crisis-induced return to my late adolescence (since I'm also re-reading my old HP Lovecraft books and listening to Lynyrd Skynyrd. All I need is constant masturbation and social anxiety disorder, and I'd be 16 again).

Anywho...I've tried some tawny ports, and this stuff is the shit. Whisky is a little too brutish for my dainty constitution, but I lurrrve this port stuff. I'm swilling it right now, in fact.

What's your opinion of the stuff?

And no, commenters, I'm not going off-topic. This is directly related to the health care reform debate on several levels.

Larry Geater said...

@ Scott M

I am unconcerned with wetherit will improve yours or my current situation. That is unrelated to my belief that we would both be better off in the long run. Our healthcare, and the healthcare of our children will be more secure and not dependent on our continued employment or good health.

Under you current system if you become disabled or lose your employmeny your family loses their health care.

Larry Geater said...

@ Arturius

I think you might be the first person I heard that used the DoD as an example of good performance.


Our military is the most respected institution we have last time I checked. If you think they are doing a poor job, you are in the minority.

Scott M said...

H-S-A

We do not participate in employer-provided healthcare.

Your system, the one you're proposing to hoist on me unwillingly and against my strongest objections, will end that. It will end literally a decade's worth of work and sacrifice.

Tough titty for me, huh? Work hard...don't take handouts (ever)...become as self-sufficient as possible and have the federal government make that all basically amount to null.

Not to mention the fact that Dems are playing games with the costs. Non-partisan numbers are showing that the costs will far exceed their estimates (big surprise there) which both makes this bill NOT deficit neutral and does NOT save any money in the long run. Add to that little inconvenient truth the fact that President Obama promised not to sign a reform into law if it wasn't deficit-neutral. Based on his track record, I'm betting he breaks that promise in a Chicago minute.

And you want to do all of this during one of the worst recessions in modern history?

Scott M said...

As to the military, Larry, as institutions go, it doesn't get any better. As a cost-effective operation goes, which is what I think he was talking about, the military sucks. This can be somewhat overlooked by the fact that military is very, very good at what it does.

The point was that government-run anything becomes a boondoggle almost all the time.

BrianE said...

It's probably not worth mentioning, but Larry Gaeter made a series of unsubstantiated claims (often referred to as wishful thinking).

Larry wants the new Health Care Department, or Department of National Insurance run like the Defense Department, the bureaucracy most notable for $900 hammers and $2,000 toilet seat covers. For the most part we let that pass, since what the military does is so important to our survival.
And what the military does well, is kill our enemies. Other than that it may be the largest, most inefficient example of government largess existing.
Larry's desire may be closer to reality than he thinks.

Larry offhandedly dismissed term limits. Term limits are the only way to get rid of corrupt gerrymandered legislators that infect our Republic (and it does make a difference, Larry).

Larry asserts that the perverse incentive built into the bill to encourage people to not buy insurance, pay the penalty, and buy insurance only when they get sick can be handled by requiring same people to pony up the premiums they didn't pay along the way.
He makes it sound so simple, but couldn't we do that now? And wouldn't it be cheaper than destroying an entire industry-- which, of course, this is what it's all about.
I hate the insurance industry as much as the next guy, and they rank slightly above or below lawyers, dentists or used car salesmen (depending on whose services I most recently be gouged by).

Catastrophic insurance plans, coupled with HSA's could do much to lower health care costs, since it would put the consumer of medical services closer to the payer. Tort reform, cross state-line insurance options and incentivize healthier lifestyles would also be baby steps in the right direction.

In spite the lefts insistence this has to be done now, nothing actually takes effect for four years in their plan (which coincides with a future national election and hides the true cost of this new entitlement).

BrianE said...

"Under you current system if you become disabled or lose your employmeny your family loses their health care."- Larry

Fine, let's make insurance portible.

lucid said...

The only way the Democrats can make health care cost less than it does is expropriate the labor of doctors, nurses, etc. by price-fixing, by rationing the care that one can obtain, and then by re-distributing to other people--mostly non-working other people--what the vast affluent middle of the country had been planning to spend on own their health care.

Larry Geater said...

@ BrianE

In spite the lefts insistence this has to be done now, nothing actually takes effect for four years in their plan (which coincides with a future national election and hides the true cost of this new entitlement).

The reason that most of the benifits of this plan do not go into effect till 2014 is because of the way the CBO scores bills. It is a bug and not a feature. It will cause the Democrats to lose seats, but that is the price we have to pay. One does not acrue power to hold it. One acrues power to get things done.

BrianE said...

The reason that most of the benifits of this plan do not go into effect till 2014 is because of the way the CBO scores bills. It is a bug and not a feature.-Larry

That doesn't make any sense. The government will start collecting revenue, but not begin paying benefits is a silly scheme to hide the true cost of the program. The estimate of the 10 year cost beginning in 2014 is closer to $2.5trillion. Calling that a "bug" is a novel way of describing an attempt to hide the true cost of the progam.
That was before Reid trotted out this new plan of lowering Medicare eligibility to 55- a rather direct attempt at single payer.
I don't know if that has been scored, but raises a new set of problems. Many folks between 62-65 keep working to access employer health benefits. If they were eligible for Medicare, many, if not most would opt to retire at 62, which would increase pressure on social security. We should increse the elgibility age of Medicare to 67 to encourage older folks to keep working.

Catastrophic health insurance, coupled with HSA's should be encouraged. Instead the current regime of statists will kill the program.
I wonder why? Could it be that it encourages people to be responsible for their own health spending and gives them tools to do just that?

Pogo said...

"One does not acrue power to hold it. One acrues power to get things done".

Complete and utter bullshit.
No bigger lie was spoken by Mr. Geater than this, and that's saying something.

With cap and trade, CO2 a "pollutant", and total control of the healthcare industry, there is literally nothing that prevents the government from taking over even the smallest portion of your life.

And Mr. Geater's lie is that his intent, like all statists, is exactly that.

I have no patience for the mendacity of the left any longer. Fuck them and their oily and unctuous words. They are preaching enslavement, not metaphorically, but for real. So go to hell Mr. Geater.

Paul Zrimsek said...

If not for those meddling kids at the CBO, Democrats would be able to start spending money right away and lie about it. Instead, they were forced-- forced, I tell you!-- to game the CBO's scoring system.

AprilApple said...

@ Palladian

Yes, because it is the responsibility of the government to give Americans "what they want and need"! I want and need 10 million fucking dollars, and a few dozen strapping young male college athletes to sodomize on a regular basis. Gimme gimme gimme! Because after all everything the givernment, err government gives us is made from unicorn farts and absolutely not stolen on pain of imprisonment or death from the pockets of productive citizens. I also want and need a steady supply of fois gras and a 500 dollars a day liquor budget, if only those fucking Blue Dog GOP scumbags would get out of the way and let Conmander-in-Chief Unicorn Fart break out the golden shovel and start shoveling it out to us.

Dreamy. I hope you don't mind, I'm copying that and sending it out with my Christmas cards this year.

AprilApple said...

..."Alexander cites the new report from the chief actuary for the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) as a potential death blow to Reid’s cause. The CMS, a division of the Department of Health and Human Services, says that if Reid’s bill became law, America would spend $234 billion more on health care over the next decade."


"Add the CMS report to the Mayo Clinic’s devastating letter against the expansion of Medicare, as well as the opposition of the American Medical Association and hospitals to Reid’s Medicare idea, and it’s clear that the more people find out about this, the less they like it,” says Alexander. “I’m not ready to make a prediction (on whether it will fail), but things aren’t looking good for the majority leader."
-Robert Costa

This isn't about a fix, this is all about Harry Reid's ego, and the push to socialize health care.
ah - screw you, America. This was never about lowering medical costs.

Now - watch as the predictable lies and deception pour out of Reid's office.

miller said...

@Larry
@ Scott M

Usted saltó el tiburón

1. like most Americans I speak only one language.


With this comment, you reveal yourself as an utter twit.

No more conversation with you.

miller said...

Remember, there are more than one "Michael" and "Jeremy" (and "Gene," too).

There is the troll "Jeremy/Michael/Gene/LuckyOldson" and there are others.

Old timers here know of the name-shifting troll "Jeremy."

Unfortunate for the others who share the same name, albeit unwillingly.

Tom Watson said...

He was a good guy. Gave us samples of his cheesecake. Mrs Junior looked down zee nez at us arriviste (though she had obviously been in the same position 30 years earlier), especially when she saw me doing my own home repair work. claremont plumber