March 28, 2010

Under the individual mandate, will people buy the insurance or just pay the penalty... or just not buy the insurance and not pay the penalty?

Because the penalty is not going to be enforced. (Via Instapundit.) Although they've made proof of insurance or payment of a penalty something you put on your income tax return, the usual enforcement mechanisms the IRS employs to collect taxes are not going to be available. So, no liens, no civil or criminal sanctions.

Sheer, shocking incompetence by Congress? Could be. Or it could be the key to the plan to ruin insurance companies by forcing them to take any new customers who are currently inclined to pay, i.e., customers who now have conditions requiring treatment. [AND: Once the insurance companies are ruined, there will be nothing left but the long dreamed-of, single-payer government program.]

What I don't understand, then, is why insurance companies didn't campaign against the reform. They must have understood what was in the offing. (Right?) There must be some explanation for how this thing is supposed to work, otherwise, we'd have been swamped in "Harry and Louise" ads, like last time. Or is there sheer incompetence in private business too? ... in which case, what does it matter if the government takes over everything?

All I can think is that the penalties were there, the insurance companies were lulled, and then the enforcement was yanked out at the last minute, blindsiding them. And yet, even with enforcement of the penalties, the insurance companies faced the obvious risk that people would opt for the penalty — which was comparatively cheap — instead of buying insurance, until they needed treatments that were more expensive than the insurance policy (minus the penalty). The silence of the insurance companies was already a mystery.

***

A reading for the day: "Silver Blaze," by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle.

132 comments:

lemondog said...

Doubt if they were 'lulled.'
Insurer Cigna spent $850K lobbying gov't in 4Q

New "Hussein" Ham said...

If you are a student of strategy, it makes perfect sense why Senate Democrats put restrictions on IRS enforcement of Obama's health care tax increase

First, most Americans pay their taxes honestly and will pay even if there was no enforcement.

Secondly ... HCR was about individual mandates, but equally was about cutting Medicare by $500 billion. You don't read much about that, because the press thinks if they say nothing, seniors won't know that Democrats are decimating the hard-won benefits they paid a lifetime of payments to get.

Thirdly ... there was nothing to gain by having strict IRS enforcement in the bill at this time. And there was a lot to lose by having it in there. Now that the bill is passed, the downside to enacting enforcement language has been removed (the downside was that the bill might not pass, but now that it has passed).

The elite aren't stupid, Ann. They know precisely what they are doing. They have a strategy. Just because you lack the strategic thinking skills necessary to discern what that strategy is doesn't mean they didn't go into this with a very well-thought out plan.

They went to Harvard, you know. They anticipated this would not be popular. Tax hikes never are. They polled this. They know what is happening in the country. To suspect that this was not a deliberate means to an end is to fail to give your opponents credit for their intelligence and to underestimate them ... always a fatal mistake.

Finally, there is nothing in our jurisprudence to suggest that the House and Senate won't amend this bill at some future date when the heat is off.

As a law professor, you should be very familiar with snakes.

And these are snakes, Ann.

Ann Althouse said...

@lemondog Lobbying is different from advertising. The lobbying heightens the suspicion that there is something opaque here, some insider arrangement. The mystery is still there. I'm asking why the insurance companies didn't advertise, like last time. The people got stirred up against the reform on their own, and the insurance companies sat on the sidelines. In the 1990s, they stirred us up and led the opposition. This time, they sat by.

Explain!

Ann Althouse said...

@Ham Before you conclude I am stupid, why not reread the post and attempt to discern what I am saying?

AprilApple said...

First, most Americans pay their taxes honestly and will pay even if there was no enforcement.


That's true.
Representative Anthony Weiner(D-NY) was just on TV bragging about how 80% of Americans are honest about paying their taxes. Success!

Jason said...

They were trying to appease the crocodile.

Ignorance is Bliss said...

Or is there sheer incompetence in private business too?...

...The silence of the insurance companies was already a mystery.


Well, it's a mystery to those who think that Atlas Shrugged is fiction rather than prophecy.

AprilApple said...

This entire bill is a tax increase. The "heath care" reform package is an excuse for government to confiscate our economy, punitively.

The insurance aspects and complications are all secondary factors that can be tweaked later. Right now, it's time to tax.

Joe said...

I think they were just plain lied to like Congress and the President lied to everyone else about what was in this bill. Just about every day we find out something ludicrous about this bill. Staunch supporters are already displaying massive ignorance about what it is they voted on. I don't think this is largely because of laziness, but because the central players were changing the bill constantly, probably in violation of the spirit of Congressional rules, even if technically in compliance.

This is what makes Obama's complicity all the hypocritical--this bill was created, debated and passed in a profoundly nontransparent manner with Machiavellian duplicity at its height.

New "Hussein" Ham said...

And just so you don't think I'm unfair to the Democrats let me just say this:

Republicans are complicit, despite their many protestations.

The reason no Republicans voted for the health insurance tax increase is because of what Democrats did to the Republicans when Republicans attempted to reform Social Security.

Republicans have no intention of repealing most of what is in Obama's HCR bill.

Oh, they'll make a lot of noise and like Obama they'll claim they are against the individual mandate in order to get elected.

But in the end, there will always be some reason why it can't be overturned. Always some reason why we can't go back to the old way.

Republicans are snakes, too. They just happen to be snakes in the right place, at the right time, and can claim they're against all this.

bagoh20 said...

"What I don't understand, then, is why insurance companies didn't campaign against the reform."

It appears that it would have made little difference and would only have helped the case by giving the Dems a bigger target in the insurance companies. If they came out against it, the Dems would just say: look they are trying to hang on to their sweet status quo deal.

Besides if Jesus Christ showed personally to speak against it, they would have called him a racist and passed it anyway. They had as much opposition as can be possible already. It didn't matter.

Joe said...

The health care bill, cap and trade, finance "reform", the intellectual property treaty, etc. are ALL about one thing: power. The details are completely irrelevant. All that matters is that they chip away as the US Constitution and consolidate more power in the federal government. From this standpoint, the details of the bill are largely irrelevant. The individual mandate is clearly unconstitutional and everyone knows it, despite all the intellectual games being played. The next gambit is to get the Supreme Court to give it a pass, and then Congress will pass what they really wanted in the first place--single payer (and other bills which will make the individual mandate look wonderful.)

Jason (the commenter) said...

Althouse: The mystery is still there. I'm asking why the insurance companies didn't advertise, like last time.

They have four years to fix the bill, they probably don't want to antagonize Democrats. They can let the Republicans do that for them.

If you took all the profits from all the health insurers you could pay for two days worth of health care in this country. They know they don't have any real money for the government to take. They know attacks on them are all for show.

garage mahal said...

So we're not going to be round up by the IRS and SEIU and put into camps? Help. I really wanted to know this by at least today.

New "Hussein" Ham said...

"Before you conclude I am stupid, why not reread the post and attempt to discern what I am saying?"

I never wrote that you were stupid. I said you appear to lack strategic thinking skills.

You should maybe reread my comment, and attempt to discern what I am saying It is not that you are stupid. Rather, that you appear to be unable to ascertain exactly what the strategy is, since that's what you wrote.

You claim, erroneously, in your post, and without evidence I might add, that the penalty is not going to be enforced. You are accepting facts not in evidence.

Nothing could be further from the truth. The law will be enforced. Its penalties will also, from time to time, be amended to increase compliance. Including allowing the IRS to collect penalties and interest.

You're suggesting that the insurance companies see something in the bill that they like. And of course they do ... 300 million forced customers.

They're absolutely fucking giddy now that Congress has passed a law requiring people to purchase their product. It is nothing less than the enslavement of a people ... since the price of that product can be arbitrarily increased or decreased as political whims dictate.

I'm sure the burial insurance lobby will be along shortly to complain that the pikers are bankrupting the country by demanding pauper burials and seek rent to force us to purchase burial insurance. We are all going to die, after all.

And the dentists will be behind them with their dental insurance.

Et. Cetera.

Et. Cetera.

Jim Hu said...

The long-term interests of the company and the short-term interests of the people who run it are not always the same.

Remember in the middle of all this when Henry Waxman started talking about calling insurance company execs to be grilled about compensation?

New "Hussein" Ham said...

"So we're not going to be round up by the IRS and SEIU and put into camps?"

I'm disappointed by this development. I was kind of hoping you motherfuckers would come by the house to try to round me up.

That would be a great day.

Zach said...

Remember, this wasn't the bill that was supposed to go through. This was the bill that did go through because getting a win was more important than getting it right.

I have a bad feeling that this bill is going to end up like the stimulus. There are just enough compromises that even the most enthusiastic proponents can claim they didn't do it right.

AprilApple said...

The meme gives clues:

At every turn, Democrats blame Republicans for "standing with the insurance industry".

The insurance industry stays quiet, lobbies in the background and are on board with the democrat's plan. Why? Because the democrats are going to force everyone to buy their product. (*ahem*, who is in bed with insurance industry? oh yeah – that would be democrats)

Nancy Says: "we have to pass the bill to find out what's in it".
Now we hear rumblings about the ability to enforce. I think that might be where the 16,000 new IRS agents come in...

Fred4Pres said...

Rush, Medved, Levin were all on this subject two weeks ago. Yes, the penalties are crazy small. Less than $100 per year.

So if you are a twenty something without insurance, no problem. In fact, because they have to take you with preexisting conditions, you can sit back and wait to get sick, then get insurance and be better off (financially) if you paid the premiums all along.

But ultimately, insurance companies will either raise their premiums to make up the difference (hurting those of us responsibly paying premiums) or the government will restrict the insurers from doing so (making these policies unprofitable) which will ultimately make a single payer system more "sellable" by the lefties. It is intended that way. It is what they ultimately want. And it is a disaster for us all.

virgil xenophon said...

Jason is on tgt here. They were buying time. The thinking being that there is always the possibility that the worst can be modified or changed thru subsequent lobbying or regime change. OTOH, total resistance upfront meant the risk of break-up or outright confiscation. They saw what happened when there was no general public outcry over the take-over of GM.

And never underestimate the Quisling factor. Many probably took the attitude that they'd be retired and on the links at Sarasota or having morning coffee on the terrace at their lake-side villa in Lake Cumo before things fell apart--but if they initially opposed their company might be seized, themselves fired/deposed like the GM head and their golden parachutes ripped to shreds.

OTOH,Occam's Razor might also apply. They were stupid--simple as that. Wouldn't be the first time for our vaunted "Captains of Industry." History is littered with such peoples bones...

Ralph L said...

Are we supposed to take note of dogs not barking in the night or disguised horses?

Perhaps the Insurance companies are playing rope-a-dope. They let this monstrosity go through and the people vote out Democrats for a generation, leading to repeal before the mandates take effect in 2014. Very high risk, but it might work. We'll see where they spend money in the 2010 campaigns (thank you, SCOTUS).

It's very bad to encourage cheating, just as they've done with illegal immigration.

New "Hussein" Ham said...

"The mystery is still there. I'm asking why the insurance companies didn't advertise, like last time."

Barack Obama defeated Hillary Clinton for the Democrat Party nomination after promising the people that he was opposed to requiring people to purchase insurance.

He won the Presidency with a similar claim - in fact he severely criticized John McCain for his stance on taxing Cadillac plans.

Ann, last time, nobody was required to purchase insurance.

This time, people are required to purchase insurance.

How could there possibly be any mystery here?

If you sold widgets, wouldn't you want a law requiring people to buy your widgets? With the fucking IRS as your enforcement team?

Rent seekers. All.

New "Hussein" Ham said...

Ann,

Do you think there would have been ads by the insurance industry against health care reform if Barack Obama had not dropped the "public option."

The "public option" was always a bargaining chip to get the insurance companies to sign on.

The "public option" was always the lynchpin of the entire strategic philosophy behind how this tax increase was passed.

Democrats never intended to have a public option because insurance companies donate heavily to re-election campaigns. Why kill the Golden Goose?

But Democrats needed the insurance industry to shut the fuck up, so they threatened them with the public option. They brought a gun to the knife fight.

That's why there were no ads.

There's no mystery here.

themightypuck said...

All you need to do is create a credible threat that not paying the penalty will make you more likely to get audited. Although the vast majority of people who don't have healthcare probably don't have very interesting tax returns.

lemondog said...

@Althouse, my point is that they were not lulled. CIGNA has a bevy of lawyers who, I'm sure, fully scrutinized each and every line of the 2700 pages of legislation.

As I'm not privy to the goings-on within CIGNA CEO board meeting, I cannot say why the industry chose not to runs ads.

Perhaps they were wary of generating a backlash by the various congressional and WH thugs?
CIGNA Exec Whistleblower Puts Wind in Health Care Reform Sails

ark said...

Here's my question: Just because the law doesn't give the IRS the authority to enforce the penalty, what makes you think that they're not going to enforce it?

For example, suppose the IRS decides to apply tax withholding payments to the insurance penalty first, thereby creating a shortfall in an area the can enforce, what mechanism do taxpayers have to challenge that procedure? Tax court?

rhhardin said...

Lobbying is a Tullock auction.

All bidders pay whether they win or not.

In a Tullock auction, you can sell a dollar for ten dollars. The guy who bid $.98 has lost the $.98 if somebody bids $.99; so he increases his bid to $1.00. Now the $.99 guy bids $1.01 to save his $.99. And so on until it ends at some high price.

The politician is selling the dollar.

Cigna's last bid was just where they quit, presumably trying to recoup the previous bids.

New "Hussein" Ham said...

"We'll see where they spend money in the 2010 campaigns (thank you, SCOTUS)."

Don't hold your breath.

The insurance companies will, of course, bribe everybody in sight - Democrat and Republican - so that they have leverage no matter who wins.

Which is precisely what Washington wants.

Joe said...

This is easily remedied; apply the same penalties for not registering for the draft (and if there's a law to repeal, that's it.)

Ritmo Brasileiro said...

So if a suit is brought, why can't the insurance industry just buy off the judges, or the governors, or the states' attorneys generals for that matter?

This Republican style of corrupt and unscrupulous governing is really intriguing and broadly applicable! You guys have converted me (to your tactics and way of thinking)!

Julius Ray Hoffman said...

Oh Jesus Christ, Althouse, stop drinking the Kool Aid! You seem to take as given the assumption that masses of people are going to forgo the mandatory insurance and opt to pay the penalty, or even lie about it on their tax returns, instead. While many Tea Partiers and Althouse crazies might think this is going to happen, they're wrong. Americans are at large a follow-the-law and do-what-the-government-tells-you type. It's not likely that many will pay the penalty. (Has a survey on this ever been taken?) And it's not likely that many will cheat.

Look at the issue of car insurance for guidance. You don't need car insurance to get in your car and drive; you need it at registration in some places, but it can be subsequently canceled for all sorts of reasons. Tickets are given for not having insurance. But almost all people driving do have at least the minimum level of insurance.

New "Hussein" Ham said...

"For example, suppose the IRS decides to apply tax withholding payments to the insurance penalty first, thereby creating a shortfall in an area the can enforce ... "

Precisely.

And in fact, Senate Democrats did leave this language in the bill (allowing the IRS to confiscate any outgoing payments from the government to any non-compliant drone).

Resistance is futile.

As I said, these people aren't stupid. They know precisely what they are doing.

We can either continue to let them, or we can fucking stop them.

Ralph L said...

New HH, if they end up selling insurance only to the sick & injured because the mandate isn't enforced, they'll be bankrupt as soon as people figure that out. The insurance subsidies won't be able to keep up with the premium increases.

AllenS said...

All I know is what I've been told. Health care will be like totally free. Why, it'll be just like Christmas!

ricpic said...

Maybe "the plan" is that we all die of boredom reading about health care.

T J Sawyer said...

Ann, of course, was thinking strategically. She was concerned about the long term future of the insurance companies!

The answer of course was when Obama undoubtedly whispered in the ear of the insurance company lobbyists. "OK, I'll get you the policies and the premium agreements. Now when folks don't pay, are you going to be able to come back and get the next president to go after the millions of Americans that aren't paying what they owe?"

Ritmo Brasileiro said...

The Republicans have taught the Democrats well! They have become just as corrupt and sneaky as their predecessors!

You guys must be proud! Come on, admit it. In a way you're happy that all this cunning double-speak has "trickled down" to your adversaries. You see your own selves in it. A parent can't hate his kid for employing the same sociopathologies at least as successfully as the parent did... Can he?

AprilApple said...

It’s LIKE... if you crash your car and kill someone, you are allowed to then go out and purchase the government approved insurance you need.
The rest of us will pay via higher taxes and higher premiums. but first, we will be taxed and fined up front anyway.
Glorious.

But don't worry, as Anthony Weiner (D-NY) understands, duped & honest Americans will pay up, because unlike sleazy Democrat politicians, most people do what the government demands.

Mattman26 said...

As I near the end of Michael Lewis' The Big Short, I'm inclined to think that stupidity and ignorance on the part of big insurance should not be ruled out.

But to the question of: If big business is so inept, who cares if an equally inept federal government takes over? The answer, I think, is that when private enterprise is sufficiently inept, it will fail and be replaced (or at least have a fair chance of being replaced) with something smarter and more responsive. When a government-run enterprise sucks, there's a good chance you're stuck with it forever. Which is a really long time.

Ritmo Brasileiro said...

See, Republicans care about creating an authoritative legacy and making a national, historical impact. Your malfeasance, deviousness and cunning have lived on in the pols to whom you passed on the governance of this country. Isn't that something to be proud of?

Balfegor said...

All I can think is that the penalties were there, the insurance companies were lulled, and then the enforcement was yanked out at the last minute, blindsiding them. And yet, even with enforcement of the penalties, the insurance companies faced the obvious risk that people would opt for the penalty — which was comparatively cheap — instead of buying insurance, until they needed treatments that were more expensive than the insurance policy (minus the penalty). The silence of the insurance companies was already a mystery.

I think the penalties were originally higher (in the House bill, at least), although the 2.5% of income tax, though not onerous enough across the entire population, will still force a fair number of people to buy health insurance they don't particularly want. And earlier versions of the bill, including in the Senate, did include full enforcement. (or rather, I understand that the Kennedy bill gave the IRS subtitle F powers (see page 88), which from reading the discussion recently I understand to be the usual enforcement powers.)

New "Hussein" Ham said...

"... if they end up selling insurance only to the sick & injured because the mandate isn't enforced, they'll be bankrupt as soon as people figure that out. The insurance subsidies won't be able to keep up with the premium increases."

Look to car insurance as your guide. Not everybody buys car insurance even though the law requires it.

The insurance companies know this; and so do the legislators.

Rates are adjusted accordingly (and in almost all states a reasonable profit is guaranteed by law) so that the law abiders pay for those who do not comply.

And it works! Sure, there are penalties if you get in a wreck and don't have insurance, but these are almost always lower than paying for the insurance. In fact, if you use your insurance, you're penalized with higher rates, so many people don't even report damage to their vehicles to their insurance company.

What an amazing scam!

Once the government forces the people to buy a rent seeker's product, the government ensures that the seller of that product can make a profit.

Insurers are fucking giddy with this reform bill. (Which is why Republicans won't repeal it).

Their future is set. There will be no new competitors (THEIR lobbyists will ensure this) and prices now guarantee profits where before you had to compete to get those profits.

And, if I'm wrong, and insurance companies go out of business ... the Democrats see that as the best possible outcome anyway since it forces the public option.

It's a no-lose situation for everyone involved - except for the people.

Your government is being run as a Mafia (probably by the Mafia). They're collecting their tribute.

We can submit to it - and resistance is futile - or we can find new guards for our security.

Submit or revolt.

Choice is yours.

kentuckyhusseinliz said...

I remember early on, an insurance company sent a letter to its Medicare Advantage customers alerting them to the program being cut as part of the bill.

Obama's thugs sicked insurance regulators on them, accusing them of illegal lobbying activities or some such thing, threatening criminal charges and fines and whatever.

They got thugged and realized they couldn't go up against that.

____________________

In other news, it's been a whole week and I still don't have my free pony!

Ralph L said...

You don't need car insurance... it can be subsequently canceled for all sorts of reasons. Tickets are given for not having insurance. But almost all people driving do have at least the minimum level of insurance

Here in NC, your insurance co. is supposed to notify DMV if your policy lapses, and they revoke your car license. I was rear-ended by a woman whose insurance company had never heard of her, and nothing happened--no one cares about fraud. That's why they sell uninsured motorist coverage--they're out there.

AprilApple said...

Speaking of getting thugged:

http://www.powerlineblog.com/archives/2010/03/025940.php

kentuckyhusseinliz said...

People who are judgment-proof buy auto insurance briefly once a year, to renew their car tags.

And if they get a ticket with no insurance as one of the charges, they get insurance briefly again to provide to the court to get that charge dropped.

They buy the minimum state mandated coverage for a few days.

When you got nothing, you got nothing to lose.

Lots of people comply with the law, but lots of people game the system. You're ignorant if you believe otherwise.

lucid said...

Welcome to being robbed.

The fundamental purpose of the health deform bill is to redistribute income.

Because the individual mandate to purchase inurance is non-enforceable--and, because insurnce cannot be denied for prior conditions--those without insurance will be incentivized to not get it until they are seriously ill. They will pay nothing until they impose major costs on the rest of us.

Their major illness costs will be borne by those who have insurance paid through their employers. This will dramatically raise the cost of employment-based policies.

Welcome to being robbed.

Ritmo Brasileiro said...

Submit or revolt.

Choice is yours.


I humbly submit that there is a third choice.

That would be the choice to recognize not so much a hatred of the player, but a hatred of the game.

It's your game, Dickweeds. The Left is just winning it.

Can't hate them and can't replace them. Not until the rules and the culture of the game are changed.

But the electorate isn't going to fall for your shenanigans and confusion between tactics and strategy anymore.

garage mahal said...

I hear the FBI is raiding a suspected terrorist location in SE Mich. as we speak. Good.

garage mahal said...

Make that location(s).

Michael Hasenstab said...

To answer Althouse's question: Some people who are healthy will avoid buying the individual-mandate insurance until their health requires that they become insured, at which time they will happily buy insurance.

Some who go without the individual-mandate insurance will pay the penalty; it's the mafia-esque fee for not buying. Others will seek to avoid paying the penalty as well as buying the insurance.

A few bright ones will say: "Duh. If I pay the penalty, then the government will know that I have not bought insurance, and will compel me do do so."

Of course the ObamaCare bill gives the fedgov full access to everyone's banking information, so the fedgov's enforcement division can look at an individual's checking, savings, 401(k), mortgage and other accounts and say "You can afford it. Just sell your car, buy a less costly home, give up your cable and internet service, take fewer vacations, and save or invest less money. We checked your accounts."

The insurance will be from a single-payor, government program, because changes to insurance company rules in the ObamaCare bill are intended to put them out of business in the next few years.

Your ObamaCare insurance card may carry the name of Cigna, or Aetna, or Humana or one the the few large insurance companies that remain in business. They will be, however, a much different business than they now are. They will essentially be plan administrators, paid a predetermined amount for their services in managing the single-payor, government health care system the is the ultimate objective of those who support ObamaCare.

And it'll be a fine system, until the annual budget is exhausted three months before the end of the budget year. Or you are really sick, and are too old to provide the fedgov with an income stream via taxation of your labors.

Jason (the commenter) said...

Julius Ray Hoffman: You seem to take as given the assumption that masses of people are going to forgo the mandatory insurance and opt to pay the penalty, or even lie about it on their tax returns, instead.

1. You are screwed if you get health insurance from your employer. The health care coverage you can purchase on your own will be heavily subsidized. Everyone will ask their employer to stop offering health insurance, pay the $2000 fine, and let them buy their own insurance. The employer and employee both save lots of money this way.

2. You can buy health insurance whenever you want, so why pay for it until you know you need it?

3. The penalty for not having insurance is tiny, even if you do decide to pay it.

4. The IRS can't make you pay the fine; you don't need to lie on your taxes, just don't pay the fine. Nothing happens!

5. Almost no one follows the speed limit now. How much faster would people drive if they knew they wouldn't ever be pulled over, at worse, sent a letter saying they owed money they never had to pay?

6. Everyone doesn't have to behave this way. But the people who do will benefit and each month the cost of health insurance will rise for everyone else, encouraging them to behave in the same manner.

edutcher said...

How many bills were introduced in the house to plug holes in this mess, including one for public option? As Pelosi Galore said, "We have to pass the bill to find out what's in it".

Enforcement doesn't have to be passed by Congress. Keep in mind that, of all the enabling agencies charged with administration of this, at least one will have regulatory power and it/they can do it. Anybody who thinks the Feds won't sic the IRS on anyone who doesn't pay doesn't realize the income tax is based on "voluntary compliance".

Julius Ray Hoffman said...

Oh Jesus Christ, Althouse, stop drinking the Kool Aid! You seem to take as given the assumption that masses of people are going to forgo the mandatory insurance and opt to pay the penalty, or even lie about it on their tax returns, instead. While many Tea Partiers and Althouse crazies might think this is going to happen, they're wrong. Americans are at large a follow-the-law and do-what-the-government-tells-you type.
...

And it's not likely that many will cheat.


May I introduce you to the Volstead Act?

Or, for that matter, Medicare?

Michael Hasenstab said...

...

Of course the ObamaCare bill gives the fedgov full access to everyone's banking information, so the fedgov's enforcement division can look at an individual's checking, savings, 401(k), mortgage and other accounts and say "You can afford it. Just sell your car, buy a less costly home, give up your cable and internet service, take fewer vacations, and save or invest less money. We checked your accounts.

The insurance will be from a single-payor, government program, because changes to insurance company rules in the ObamaCare bill are intended to put them out of business in the next few years.

...

And it'll be a fine system, until the annual budget is exhausted three months before the end of the budget year. Or you are really sick, and are too old to provide the fedgov with an income stream via taxation of your labors


You broke the code. This will destroy America as an economic power and a military one. That's been the plan all along. Remember The Zero talking about how the surrender of Japan at the end of WWII made him "uncomfortable"?

Mr. Soetaro simply wants to level the playing field - with us under it.

Ritmo Brasileiro said...


It's your game, Dickweeds. The Left is just winning it.

Ah, the reasoned discourse of the National Socialists.

I see Ritmo has the shift this afternoon. My question is, do our Lefties do it in shifts (danielle, then Loaf, then Ritmo...) or is it one guy with 50 different handles?

Can't hate them and can't replace them. Not until the rules and the culture of the game are changed.

Of course, you're hated and will be replaced. Wait until the economy collapses. You own this one.

Ritmo Brasileiro said...

Far be it from me to see how the rage of 22% of the country translates into a movement large enough and powerful enough to make a significant difference politically. Perhaps if I filled my head with as many constant and unoriginal references to Hitler as edutcher does then I could see the light...

Wait until the economy collapses. You own this one.

Did you mean this to be funny, or are you just too dumb to get irony, edutcher?

Rialby said...

By the way, where the hell did Chuck Schumer get away with saying this morning on MTP that his daughter doesn't want to pay $1,200 a month for an insurance policy between graduating from law school and starting her first legal job.

According to the Kaiser Family Foundation, annual insurance costs for an individual are $4,000. That's 1/3 of the cost that Schumer cited.

Rialby said...

I was wrong above when I said the following:

3) Health insurance for a family is NOW about $4000 per year while the penalty for the average family is probably about $2000 per year

--
It's actually about $11,000 as per the KFF.

So, the penalty is 2.5%. Let's say that's on gross income. If a family of 4 makes $100k per year, that's $2,500 per year in penalties.

Does the family pay $11,000 for a plan in the exchange (even after getting credit from the employer) or do they pay $2,500 plus minor expenses (doctor visits)? What person is going to say, "I'd like to pay an extra $8,500 because I should".

Ritmo Brasileiro said...

You know, I shouldn't be so elitist to dismiss the cozy references to Hitler among the raging, well... the raging. After all, if a minority of aggrieved Germans could take over the country with 33% of the vote, led by a man who was not so much into tea parties as he was into beer hall putsches (a la "Joe Six Pack"?), then perhaps edutcher's rambling ravings are not as removed from reality as they seem.

El Pollo Real said...

Geez Althouse, you voted for it, you explain it!

Bryan C said...

The insurance companies probably were double crossed on enforcement. But long before that, I think upper management had concluded that their industry were next in line to be nationalized. They could go down fighting, inviting punative salary controls, rigged investigations, and Congressional show trials. Or surrender and spend their last few independent years in relative comfort. With the possibility of cushy government positions for their cooperation.

El Pollo Real said...

Ah, more jaundiced-eye views from Ritmo.

I'm waiting for the next round of AGW buddy!

Rialby said...

Here's my thought on the insurance companies:

1) Employers probably get volume-based discounts on individual plans for signing on. Ex: Cigna signs up 50,000 GM employees for healthcare and gets to pay $500 per month whereas the book value of that policy is $700.
2) Insurance companies thought, "hey, we will get a huge number of people who used to pay reduced volume-based discounts who now have to pay for individual policies." Instead of charging $500 per month, now we can charge $600 per month - that's a nice increase in revenue and margin.
3) Insurance companies may have run the numbers and believed a) there would be lots of voluntary participation and b) there would be enough forced participation to make it a viable business model.

In the end, insurance companies had to play along with something. This is a train that couldn't be stopped and they did not want to suffer from any regulation backlash that could come from the administration.

Rialby said...

Bryan C, I second you.

Ritmo Brasileiro said...

Do you really think science proceeds according to the bouts of WWF-style internet flame wars, Pollo?

Rialby said...

Before we dig too far into the - why do people buy car insurance if they don't have to?

People who have assets - house, car, bank account - have to buy car insurance because if they don't AND they get in a wreck, they can have their assets seized, no?

No rational person is going to risk losing personal wealth over a car accident.

On the other hand, there is no such compunction for a person who forgoes health insurance. If I decide not to get health insurance and then I break my neck in a skiing accident, nobody can sue me. I can only run to my nearest insurance exchange office and demand that they now cover my large hospital bills for a preexisting condition.

Rialby said...

One more point on the tanning tax and why the outcome is, de facto racism.

The vast majority of people who go tanning are white. The law imposes a 10% tax on tanning. Therefore, the tax only really applies to white people.

It likely wasn't created from a racist impulse (get white people!) but from a nanny state health-focused impulse (stop people from going tanning). Unfortnunately, the outcome is disproportionate.

People have been raging for years that cigarette taxes are racist because the percentage of minorities that smoke is higher than the percentage of the white majority that smoke. What's the difference?

marklewin said...

Ann queries: "What I don't understand, then, is why insurance companies didn't campaign against the reform."

There are too many unknown variables for me to make an educated guess. However, since you raised the issue Ann, why don't you personally do a little research on this question and weigh in yourself? We would be interested in your thoughts.

SteveR said...

No one who pays attention and is honest can come to any other conclusion that this process was designed to end up in a small amount of time with a single payer system.

Why did Obama lie about it being transparent? Why did the process not involve any bipartisan effort? Why was the legislation so broad and large that no one who voted for it could claim to have read it and understood it?

There was no rush to do it for any other reason than to hide the actual intent. I, like many people, held my nose and voted for McCain because this was always Obama's prinary goal. Create a massive new class of dependents.

As badly as it's been undertaken, it's a done deal now. It will never go back.

Michael Hasenstab said...

The link in my 12:29 PM comment does not work. Put this into your browser to take you to the site I wanted you to see.

http://www.rushlimbaugh.com/home/daily/site_032310/content/01125109.guest.html

It is an interview of an insurance company executive who called the Rush Limbaugh show. Her company, she says, will be out of business in two to three years.

El Pollo Real said...

Ritmo:

It's just that every time you show up here it is to personally attack commenters.
You may not like it, but I have decided to adopt you to help you see the errors of your ways and to make you a better person. :)

Blue@9 said...

I would think the insurance companies didn't fight too hard because they don't know for certain if this bill is good or bad for them. The bill does a number of things, some of which hurt their business and some which helps. In the plus column, they could see a massive influx of new subscribers, many of whom are young and without illness. That's just money in the bank. On the minus side, they're going to have to take a bunch of chronically and terminally ill patients without the ability to deny coverage or services.

I did think it was comical that the Admin and Congressional Democrats were going after the insurance industry as if they were fighting some mighty behomoth hell-bent on stopping this bill. Did anyone see any proof of a real effort by the insurance industry to stop this bill? I didn't.

William said...

If the choice is between dumb beyond belief or Machiavellian beyond comrehension, I go with dumb.

Peter V. Bella said...

Remember what they kept telling us? This is not the whole enchilada? This had to get passed sot they could fix it and amend it as time went by. It was important to pass the 3000 page structure first. Don't worry about reading it.

Well, the government does not run out of trees. So there will probably be 3000 pages more that no one will read. add to that all the regulations Sebelius plans to add- probably 300 volumes- and the catastrophe is in the making. It gives catastrophic insurance a whole new meaning.

They cannot criminalize this yet anyway. They have to build the health care prisons and reeducation camps first.

Ignorance is Bliss said...

Representative Anthony Weiner(D-NY) was just on TV bragging about how 80% of Americans are honest about paying their taxes.

So 20% of Americans are not honest about paying their taxes.

Obama's gonna need a bigger cabinet.

Penny said...

No insurance companies will go out of business as long as they remain providers and administrators of state government plans, as they are right now.

Remember, there are ever increasing numbers of people working for the government.

Peter V. Bella said...

How could the insurance companies fight against the Democratic Propaganda machine- the Mighty Wurlitzer? They were being demonized at every turn. There was no fight. The politicians started terrorizing the insurance companies in the media and on the floor of the House and Senate early on.

Then you had Sebelius threatening legal action against insurance companies for producing ads aimed at seniors and sending letters to seniors about the severe Medicare cuts. I guess if you are a provider to seniors, you have no free speech rights, by law.

How do you fight this? Now that the bill is passed, all businesses must get courage and fight. Just like the citizens.

What could the government do if 100 of the largest corporations just decided to refuse to comply? How about if just the 30 companies of the Dow Jones just said no? Add to that the millions of people who will refuse to comply?

Exactly what could the government do to them?

Largo said...

Indictments? It is hard to indict millions of people. Would it be hard to indict officers of thirty companies?

Alas.

edutcher said...

Ritmo Brasileiro said...

Far be it from me to see how the rage of 22% of the country translates into a movement large enough and powerful enough to make a significant difference politically. Perhaps if I filled my head with as many constant and unoriginal references to Hitler as edutcher does then I could see the light...

O, but you have already seen the Light and it is The Messiah, or some other New Age drivel. You bought this clown, I didn't.

Besides, the more you denigrate the validity of the Tea Party movement or the similarity of what The Zero is doing to what happened in Germany (means of production in private hands, but government control), and it's hardly mine - even here, the more it's obviously what's going on. Those are the talking points you've been told to spread, right?

When 55% of the voters (theoretically, the people with the power in this country) want ZeroCare repealed, it's a large and powerful movement. That's why the Establishment Media and The Zero are trying to discredit it.

Wait until the economy collapses. You own this one.

Did you mean this to be funny, or are you just too dumb to get irony, edutcher?


How many major companies announced on Friday they would take major hits from ZeroCare? How many more layoffs in the next few months? How much debt we can't pay are we amassing? And then there's that 79% that fear such a collapse will occur. Most of the Euros are almost there already, but The Zero will prevail, right?

PS When's your shift over? I suppose it Wacko's turn after you.

Penny said...

The problem is health care costs are too high. Doctors, hospitals, insurance companies, medicare and medicaid recipients as well as the uninsured, including illegals, not to mention state or federal union employees, have no incentive to try to change this.

Those with a clear vested interest in stemming that tide are the federal government (because of swelling numbers of recipients) and private industry employers (because of concern for competitiveness) and taxpayers not covered under any government subsidized plan.

This legislation, like it or not, will allow the government to set price controls on hospitals and doctors who have not done so on their own in the name of "saving lives", with costs being no object, since they are passed right along to consumers.

Oh the irony, that the government needed to jump in to correct a problem of its own making when they dramatically increased the healthcare safety net with medicare and medicaid, not to mention the requirement to cover uninsured in emergency rooms. Couple that with their requirement to offer HMO's in the 70's, which separated people from the dollar value of their healthcare decisions, and well...They made a mess of things, didn't they?

The bottom line remains, however. Like it or not, something MAJOR needs to be done to control health care costs.

AlphaLiberal said...

Here is the video of Rep Cleaver being spat upon by teabagger protesters, which Althouse demanded.

She will dismiss or rationalize this in some way.

Balfegor said...

This legislation, like it or not, will allow the government to set price controls on hospitals and doctors who have not done so on their own in the name of "saving lives", with costs being no object, since they are passed right along to consumers.

Why would the government want to set price controls? In fact, there's already automatic cuts to Medicare reimbursement rates every year, and Congress pretty much always blocks them. Why on earth would we think Congress and/or the President would be at all likely to push through unpopular cuts to doctors for the medical industry as a whole, if they won't do it for Medicare?

The whole point of setting up an "independent," supposedly un-repealable commission to fix prices was so that politicians could avoid taking the heat for controlling prices and thus enraging the doctors, the hospitals, and all their patients. As I understand it, that idea never actually made it into the final bill. I don't think it's at all likely politicians will do it, without that fig leaf cover.

Iapetus said...

@alphaliberal: Thank you for the link to the video. It very clearly demonstrates to me that Cleaver was NOT spat on, at least not intentionally, and so it puts my mind at ease. I note, for example, that two (black) men passed directly in front of the same protester just seconds before Cleaver and neither one flinched, even though the protester was yelling loudly ("kill the bill") with both hands cupped around his mouth. Cleaver then passed by the same protester, but much closer, nearly bumping into the man's elbow. Cleaver then stopped short, very startled, perhaps by the loud shouting or perhaps by accidental spray from shouting protester. In any case, there was no spitting and I have you to thank for clearing the matter up.

New "Hussein" Ham said...

"Under the provisions of the new health care law, there is a compelling and overwhelming logic for us to end the payments for private health insurance ..."

Actually, your Condo Association will realize very quickly that under the provisions of the new health care law, there is a compelling and overwhelming logic for you to end the practice of employing people altogether.

Your Condo Association will realize that it is far cheaper to subcontract the work these employees do to a third-party. That way, you can ignore whether these people have insurance or not.

That third-party will be incentivized to hire illegal aliens to avoid paying the health insurance costs and keep everything "under the table" ... but your Condo Association won't really care at that point, since they won't be your employees.

This is essentially what Mitt Romney did while he was Governor of Massachusetts.

He hired a lawn company to take care of his lawn. They hired illegal aliens from Costa Rica to come in and take care of his lawn.

That way, it was legal for Mitt to hire - one step removed - illegal aliens to take care of his lawn.

Obama's massive tax increase will have many unintended effects. Killing jobs will be one of the intended effects.

Chef Mojo said...

Alpha, you are pathetic. Cleaver was not spat on. He was sprayed by spittle from a yelling man. The video proves that.

To intentionally spit, you have to shut up. This guy was bellowing the whole time. No opportunity to actually spit on Cleaver.

Are you really this stupid?

Chef Mojo said...

Another point, Alpha. Cleaver reacts a number of times, all in time to the yelling man's vocalizations. Does that sound like spitting to you? Really?

More of a case of "say it, don't spray it."

But Cleaver ran with it, didn't he? Screamed "RACIST!" first chance he got.

You're as pathetic as he is.

New "Hussein" Ham said...

Cleaver is a such a fucking girly-man.

Look at the cop he had to have marching with him. What a fucking mama's boy. Guy should grow a pair and become a man and march by himself.

Even Rosa Parks didn't require a police escort. She just sat down and dared anyone to make her get up.

Look Alpha, the video shows one thing ... a black deliberately provocative Congressman attempting to incite a race riot and ordinary people exercising, in a restrained and legal way, their free speech rights.

We aim to misbehave.

No freedom no silence.

You will not enjoy your time in public life.

If any spittle was flecked, I certainly didn't see it in the video, but let's stipulate for the moment that someone did spit.

Spitting on Congressman is an act of free speech taught to the Tea Party protesters by Code Pink, Act Up! and all of the lefty anarchist groups that you have never once criticized for speaking truth to power.

Spitting on a Congressman is a time-honored protest tactic and a way for people to demonstrate to their Congressman just what's going to happen when they steal from us.

We will speak Truth To Power.

We will be spitting on you.

If you can't stand the heat, get out of the Congress.

Ritmo Brasileiro said...

Besides, the more you denigrate the validity of the Tea Party movement or the similarity of what The Zero is doing to what happened in Germany (means of production in private hands, but government control), and it's hardly mine - even here, the more it's obviously what's going on. Those are the talking points you've been told to spread, right?

Once one strips away the hilarity of the idea that physicians (who support the reform and, increasingly, universal access, BTW, but who's counting?) and other health care providers will lead the nation into a genocidal war of supremacy under a the guise of a nationalistic, right-wing demagogue, is there anything left to parse or reply to in edutcher's nutty Glenn Beck talking point?

I fully look forward to seeing disgruntled GM employees joining the doctors in this imagined crusade to take over Russia and Europe while engaging in bombing raids over Britain and committing mass murder against Jews and gypsies.

Which one of your brain cells validated this nonsense, Edutcher? I mean, I'd call it a "conspiracy theory" but that would give it too much legitimacy. It really sounds more like a game of Chinese whispers among some truly committed insane asylum residents.

Perhaps your recreational therapist can come up with more engaging activities for your group next session. Clearly the Hitler books and FOX News broadcasts are impeding your progress.

Ritmo Brasileiro said...

I'd gladly criticize Code Pink and Act Up!, but their ridiculousness obviates doing so.

If you want to emulate them, though, step right on up. Surely your path to legitimacy will be secured by looking to Code Pink and Act Up! for inspiration.

Wackos of a feather...

Der Hahn said...

As far as I know Obamacare includes no limit on the premium charged for the guaranteed issue policy. So while the insurance company may be required to issue you a policy after you're diagnosed with cancer, I don't think there's anything that says they can't say the premium won't be, say, $50,000 a year. They might not be able to get by with premiums totally unconnected from risk but so long as they are paying the required 85% of premiums in claims (and guess what, they know they'll be paying for your cancer treatments) they can charge whatever is necessary.

This is probably what their silence (and lobbying) got them.

cubanbob said...

If there is no enforcement of the mandates and the companies cannot escape the no pre-condition clause, would they not have the mother -of-all takings clause lawsuit?

Don said...

The law of unintended consequences may come into play here. If the insurance companies were killed and MD's were being forced to accept inadequate government compensation for the services wouldn't that just put us back into a cash market? Wouldn't that bring medical treatment prices down? Cash goes to the head of the line, all others must wait?

Medical insurance that pays first dollar coverage is unreasonable anyway. I have been paying cash for my unemployed 21 year old son's infrequent medical treatments for various minor stuff. According to the law in PA I could add him back onto my policy until he's something like 30 but its expensive.

edutcher said...

Ritmo Brasileiro said...

Besides, the more you denigrate the validity of the Tea Party movement or the similarity of what The Zero is doing to what happened in Germany (means of production in private hands, but government control), and it's hardly mine - even here, the more it's obviously what's going on. Those are the talking points you've been told to spread, right?

Once one strips away the hilarity of the idea that physicians (who support the reform and, increasingly, universal access, BTW, but who's counting?) and other health care providers will lead the nation into a genocidal war of supremacy under a the guise of a nationalistic, right-wing demagogue, is there anything left to parse or reply to in edutcher's nutty Glenn Beck talking point?


First, can't stand Beck - he was a twerp at CNN and still is. As to doctors supporting ZeroCare, I assume you mean there are a few beside the empty lab coats Zero had at his dog and pony shows. I seem to recall a figure of something like 45% were considering retirement if ZeroCare wnt through.

I don't know what kind of war you're babbling about (clearly, you don't, either), but I'm talking about the fact that debt service and the need to fund this beast will draw funds away from any pursuit but ZeroCare, the same way it has in Europe and lead to more government takeovers of more industries (Christopher Dodd's "financial reform", f'rinstance).

I have a feeling your "genocidal war of supremacy under a the guise of a nationalistic, right-wing demagogue" is the next evolution of The Zero's attempt to control the dialogue here.

PS The Nazis weren't right wing, if that's what you're trying to say. Ernst Rohm split with Hitler because he wanted the revolution to go all the way to state capitalism the same way it had with Mussolini and Lenin.

Deborah said...

"Even Rosa Parks didn't require a police escort. She just sat down and dared anyone to make her get up."
Excellent point. Excellent.

Ritmo Brasileiro said...

Ask the AMA and poll physicians - not just the old farts of the profession either, but those who are new to it, reflect changed attitudes, and a willingness to actually place compassion for those who need their care on a level approaching concern for their own salary.

I have a feeling your "genocidal war of supremacy under a the guise of a nationalistic, right-wing demagogue" is the next evolution of The Zero's attempt to control the dialogue here.

Pot, kettle, black.

So says someone who thinks that knee-jerking references to Hitler and Nazis are talking points of great distinction and illumination to a debate on something as tangential to Hitler and Nazis as health care and market failure. So says someone who pretends that he doesn't pull out his handy Hitler references as a way to stifle debate on the actual matter at hand.

Oh, but how you must resent being called a (or resent imagine being called) "racist". Right?

Jason said...

It's expensive, yes. Plus, you have no personal liability if he has a major medical event you can't write a check for.

Worse case: He gets the basic treatment anyway and then joins millions of others in bankruptcy.

You can't try it on yourself, though, because you could be driven to bankruptcy by medical bills, personally. Depending on your state, though, there are ways to make yourself relatively judgement-proof, thanks to entities, trusts, annuities, retirement plans, and permanent life insurance.

Get a good life insurance guy and a good lawyer, and do your planning ahead of time, and they can go a long way to making you nearly judgement-proof.

One less reason to buy government medical insurance.

Franklin said...

Bankrupting the insurance companies and forcing single payer isn't a 'bug' of ObamaCare - it's THE FEATURE.

Everybody knows this is the actual goal.

RIP America. We had a good run, I guess.

Michael Hasenstab said...

Strange, innit, how the far left and its puppets get all worked up about yelling and such at Tea Party events, but happily overlook their own violent behavior at the 2008 RNC convention in Minneapolis.

But then what are a few bricks thrown through bus windows, and sandbags dropped overpasses onto cars compared to a dreadful spittle-ing?

Blue@9 said...

Once one strips away the hilarity of the idea that physicians (who support the reform and, increasingly, universal access, BTW, but who's counting?)

The AMA represents a small portion of doctors. And they only supported the bill because the Democrats held the "doc fix" over their heads like Damocles' sword. How many doctors have you talked to? Most of the ones I know are horribly depressed about the coming changes.

marklewin said...

Bankrupting the insurance companies and forcing single payer isn't a 'bug' of ObamaCare - it's THE FEATURE.

I suspect the forces shifting this country in the direction of single payer lie as much outside of the Federal government as within.

Joe said...

Max Baucus, another gift that keeps on giving:

"Too often, much of late, the last couple three years, the mal-distribution of income in American is gone up way too much, the wealthy are getting way, way too wealthy and the middle income class is left behind. Wages have not kept up with increased income of the highest income in America. This legislation will have the effect of addressing that mal-distribution of income in America."

edutcher said...

Ritmo Brasileiro said...

Ask the AMA and poll physicians - not just the old farts of the profession either, but those who are new to it, reflect changed attitudes, and a willingness to actually place compassion for those who need their care on a level approaching concern for their own salary.

God forbid we ask the profession since the AMA was co-opted by the Left years ago. I have yet to hear any voices dancing with joy at the idea of working for the government, except, as I say, at The Zero's dog and pony shows.

So says someone who thinks that knee-jerking references to Hitler and Nazis are talking points of great distinction and illumination to a debate on something as tangential to Hitler and Nazis as health care and market failure. So says someone who pretends that he doesn't pull out his handy Hitler references as a way to stifle debate on the actual matter at hand.

Oh, but how you must resent being called a (or resent imagine being called) "racist". Right?


History and the facts are what they are. I know the history, which you wish I didn't, because it's what you can't stand, that someone can refute your arguments. The crash of '29 was a Godsend to the Nazis. It put them back on the national stage; you remember, "Never let a serious crisis go to waste". The collapse of GM because they couldn't compete puts the government in the same position that Hitler was with Farben and Krupp - you make what we tell you and we'll tell you how it's going to be done.

But I'm not trying to stifle debate, I'm engaging in it. You and your little friends (or alter egos) are the ones who have been trying to stifle debate all week; if it's not, "We won", it's, "Shut up", or, "Racist".

Call me what you will, sooner or later you have to prove it, as you do with the Tea Partiers - and you can't. You just throw it out, the way Uncle Saul told you, and hope it sticks.

And guess what? It's not!!

Anita said...

"What I don't understand, then, is why insurance companies didn't campaign against the reform. They must have understood what was in the offing. (Right?)"

I don't understand why you voted for Zero, Ann. Surely you must have understood what was in the offing.

As to the insurance companies' behavior - They were hoping to be eaten last. They were also hoping to get rid of competition and have their profits guaranteed by the gov't that was otherwise threatening to pass single payer.

Insurance companies make about a 3% profit as it is. Not that much. Wouldn't it be nice to have it guaranteed and to have the press write nice things about you.

Of course, they probably also believed, as Ann did, that Zero was a centrist or at worst, a center-left kind of guy. *snort*

Hard left collectivists are hardest on internal opposition. There must be no opposition, for they are doing things to help "the people". That they also help themselves and their friends and families to lots of cash and power is a feature, not a bug.

They also have the press on their side. They play hardball with domestic enemies and Zero must have quite the enemies list.

When an industry is as highly regulated as the insurance industry is, there's always a way to "get" them.

I don't feel very sorry for these folks, but I do feel for their customers.

Anita said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Peter V. Bella said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Peter V. Bella said...

Ritmo-
The AMA only represents less than 25% of physicians. Docs have been leaving it for years and newer docs are not joining in numbers like before. They are irrelevant.

The other docs? You mean those phonies in lab coats Obama marches out? Probably government workers.

Mark said...

Back to the original topic, I think this is a big fish/little fish scenario. Enough of the big fish insurers were given assurance that their backs would be covered that the little fish insurers have been effectively silenced.

I agree that the plan re: enforcement was to address the omission at a convenient time, presumably after the 2010 elections. I also believe that was a big mistake for the Democrats.

The bounce Obama (and a significant percentage of those who voted for this pig) may have believed he would get didn't happen. As the flaws finally get aired out, things are going to get worse and worse.

What will be cool will be seeing Democrats who voted for it calling for its repeal in October. That's going to be sweet.

LoafingOaf said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
pm317 said...

New "Hussein" Ham said...

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

Thank you for all your comments. I almost bought Ann's premise literally and wondered aloud (like she does) but not to the point of thinking that insurance companies were lulled and blindsided.

LoafingOaf said...

AlphaLiberal: Here is the video of Rep Cleaver being spat upon by teabagger protesters, which Althouse demanded.

She will dismiss or rationalize this in some way.

She showed that video the other day and linked to InstaPundit as they both claimed it was un-intentional spitting. Looked like he had to wipe off a full gob of spit from his face to me though. At the InstaPundit post she linked to, InstaPundit then posted a poll about whether these people deserved to be spit on in any case. Althouse is sticking to her claim that the Tea Party crowd is "too nice", despite the fact that her own comment section has proven the opposite. Oh, but she also noted that even if it all is true...SO WHAT!

These lawyer bloggers felt confident to just deny everything once they saw that no clear video existed about the various incidents. But, I sure didn't get the feeling that either of the right-wing lawyer bloggers was actually interested in people knowing what really happened.

Barney Frank appeared on MSNBC after the event and stated that more than one person hurled a homophobic attack at him. The media reported that onlookers stood around and laughed after these homophobic attacks. Althouse, apparently, is calling Barney Frank a complete liar.

Maybe InstaPundit doesn't care about homophobic attacks. He is, after all, married to an extremist right-wing shrink who thinks it's okay for psychiatry to be used to "cure" homosexuals of their homosexuality.

Rialby said...

Mark - I suspect you're probably right. I think Jonah Goldberg has talked about this before, that is, the tendency of big businesses to fall in line when the government steps in to regulate. Many big businesses go right along with government regulation because the small business in their industry cannot afford to 1) keep up with the paperwork and 2) fight it. It empties the marketplace of small competition.

Perhaps insurance companies saw the regulatory writing on the wall and, hoping for the best, fell in with government regulators.

LoafingOaf said...

BTW, I saw a few bits of the "Conservative Woodstock" on C-Span as I was waiting for Obama's speech and there didn't seem to be much of a crowd at the "Showdown in Searchlight" at all. Nothing interesting was going on on stage either. A total dud of an event. That's why no one's blogging about it today.

LoafingOaf said...

garage mahal said...
I hear the FBI is raiding a suspected terrorist location in SE Mich. as we speak. Good.

Yeah, and the insta reaction on the InstaPundit website was to encourage Obama conspiracy theories. And, the lawyer/liar that he is, he'll claim stupid about what he very well knew he was doing. But, go to the right wing web sites and read the comments. InstaPundit's succeeded on his blog yet again, but will insist that people are misrepresenting him if they call him on it.

Kroshka said...

@LoafingOaf,

Hey, honey, check this out for one of those reality checks.

http://americanpatrol.com/10-FEATURES/100327-FEATURE2/PHOTOS/100327-Photos.html

But no worries. Obama and his bots are soooo beloved, soooo admired, have absolutely nooooo opposition. You can rest easy. Your lids are getting heavyyyyyy. Ain't self-hypnosis wonderful?

Ritmo Brasileiro said...

Facts and history being what they are, it might surprise you to know that lots of things happened after 1929. FDR came to power. Churchill ultimately came into prominence. But you focus on the rise to power of a genocidal maniac either because that's all you know, or because you want to restrict debate to that insignificant talking point. If your only point is to say that "depressions are bad because last time one happened a genocidal maniac rose to power in a country that not only lost the first global conflict it started after its short history as a unified country, but was in a shitty economic position long before the crash of '29", then guess what? Point taken. Feel better? It's about as small and insignificant a point as I expect you're capable of making, but I suppose that's par for the course with someone so in love with the nickname of "Zero".

As for other facts and the rigorous methodology supporting them, try that, know-it-all. Let's see how well articles from the New England Journal stick to your teflon-coated mind. Let's see how deep the impression is that they might make in your shallow view of things.

Peter Bella apparently doesn't know what the New England Journal's good for, either. Must be a phony publication attributing false views to phony physicians in phony lab coats.

Jason said...

Just looked at the crowd photos from Searchlight. The one Oaf said was "a dud."

Ouch! Oaf. You just got shot down in flames, bitch.

Ritmo Brasileiro said...

Oh! And look at this additional little turd left in the punch bowl! So cute! So pungent! So sorry I missed the opportunity to remove it and fumigate earlier...

I have yet to hear any voices dancing with joy at the idea of working for the government, except, as I say, at The Zero's dog and pony shows.

I suppose that's why all those physicians working with the Veterans Administration hospitals are so glum! They look like they've been in a depressed state of doom! The poor bastards! And Francis Collins at NIH? Never looked more downtrodden! Oh, the humanity!!!

And BTW, dipshit: Recession's over. The Hitler talk doesn't apply (even theoretically) until you guys get back in office and start another one all over again.

I'm sure you can't wait. O, think of the credibility you will restore to the Republican party!1!!1!!1!!!!

Ritmo Brasileiro said...

PS The Nazis weren't right wing, if that's what you're trying to say. Ernst Rohm split with Hitler because he wanted the revolution to go all the way to state capitalism the same way it had with Mussolini and Lenin.

3/28/10 5:07 PM


Nazism (Nationalsozialismus, National Socialism), is the ideology and practice of the Nazi Party and of Nazi Germany.[1][2][3] [4][5][6][7][8] It is a unique variety of fascism that involves biological racism, anti-Semitism.[9] Nazism differs from mainstream fascism in that it does not view the a nation is created and developed by a state, but that a nation is created and developed separate from the state.[10] This difference is based upon the different histories of development of the German nation and Italian nation that formed the basis of Nazism's and Italian Fascism's respective nationalisms, the German national identity developed outside a state while Italian national identity evolved through a state.[11] It presents itself as politically syncretic and incorporates policies, tactics and philosophies from right- and left-wing ideologies; in practice, Nazism is a far right form of politics.[12]

Emphasis added. Look up the part on far-right politics and see the part regarding the "complete rejection of the concept of social equality as a norm". Also, see the part on "authoritarianism", "homophobia", "xenophobia", and "ultra-nationalist or reactionary ideologies and movements".

Sound familiar?

Want some tea with that?

Jason said...

@Ritmo:

Hey, Mr. Know-it-all...

Before you go lording the NEJM over other people, you ought to check what else you might find that same publication published.

For example, the NEJM published this survey of physicians by the Medicus Firm:

However, only 28.7 percent of physicians responded in favor of a public option as part of health reform. Additionally, an overwhelming 63 percent of physicians prefer a more gradual, targeted approach to health reform, as opposed to one sweeping overhaul. Primary care, which is already experiencing significant shortages by many accounts, could stand to be the most affected, based on the survey. About 25 percent of respondents were primary care physicians (defined as internal medicine and family medicine in this case), and of those, 46 percent indicated that they would leave medicine — or try to leave medicine — as a result of health reform.


and further:

Forty-one percent of respondents feel that income and practice revenue will “decline or worsen dramatically” as a result of health reform with a public option, and 31 percent feel that a public option will cause income and practice revenue to “decline or worsen somewhat” as a result. This makes for a total of 72 percent of respondents who feel there would be a negative impact on income.

http://www.themedicusfirm.com/pages/medicus-media-survey-reveals-impact-health-reform

Turns out doctors like this legislative shit sandwich even less than the rest of us.

Ritmo Brasileiro said...

New England Journal surveyed over 5 times as many physicians and wasn't conducted by a private physician employer - "Medicus" hardly has an unbiased stake in their "research".

So yes, the NEJM's own results, as conducted through a VA and Mount Sinai's School of Medicine, are to be privileged over those found by a bogus, phony employment firm. At least, if you practice medicine or did research that's how you'd look at it. You'd actually look at the numbers, the biases and interests of the researchers, and the statistical analyses involved. Your "Medicus" survey doesn't even quote a single statistical finding.

Do you even know what a p value is or is that just part of a conspiratorial climate scientist's vocabulary and beneath your consideration?

jk said...

"The Capitalists will sell us the rope with which we will hang them."

- Vladimir Ilyich Lenin

LoafingOaf said...

Kroshka: What's your crowd estimate at the Conservative Woodstock? It didn't sound like more than a few hundred when I caught bits on C-Span today, though I guess they're saying there were a few thousand.

The original Woodstock had nearly half a million people. It was you guys who billed your event as the "Conservative Woodstock"....

And the original Woodstock had memorable performances by artists such as Jimi Hendrix. At the Conservative Woodstock: "Victoria Jackson performed a song that described Obama as 'a communist dictator who is taking us to hell'."

ROFL!

LoafingOaf said...

I don't find those pics impressive at all for a supposedly "Woodstock"-level event. Those are the three absolutely most favorable looking photos of all, carefully taken to make the crowd look its best. And it still doesn't look like they got anyhere near 10,000. On C-Span, the crowd sounded to be about 300 strong. Or I should say, weak. Woodstock had half a million folks. But all you need to know is that I'm really the only one talking about the Conservative Woodstock, and that's only because I found it funny that Althouse is sucking up so hard to the right wing blogosphere that she tried to hype this event as some big deal. 99% of America didn't even now it took place!

Zero blogposts from Althouse about the "Conservative Woodstock" the day after it took place. Nothing bloggable! ROFL! A dud!

Revenant said...

First, most Americans pay their taxes honestly and will pay even if there was no enforcement.

I used to be one of them, too. :)

Revenant said...

I don't find those pics impressive at all for a supposedly "Woodstock"-level event.

Considering that you divide all right-of-center actions into two groups -- "unimpressive" and "frightening" -- I can't say I'm surprised at that. :)

LoafingOaf said...

Hmm, well I guess nothing of note happened at this weekend's Tea Party event, because they didn't have any black or gay people to spit on or call names.

LoafingOaf said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Kroshka said...

@LoafingOaf,

First of all, I didn't call it anything. I certainly think that any comparison to the actual Woodstock, which featured ridiculous levels of public drug use, public nudity, wallowing in mud, and MOUNTAINS of garbage, is won by the conservatives in Nevada, who were there for an IDEA that's dear to their hears, who didn't poop in public, and who left the place clean. You can choose to believe the crowd estimates offered by CNN, who made complete fools of themselves over it, or, to the contrary, such bastions of conservatism as the L.A. Times or the local law enforcement. It's your choice. Hey, maybe you just need glasses! What was it about "There is none so blind as he who will not see"? Apparently, you believe your "lying eyes." That's okay too. Enjoy the denial. At least the Searchlight contingent were not union goons (well, except for, probably, the 35 -- that's less than three dozen -- supporters of Harry Reid).

Oh, and were you concerned about people not blogging too much about the fact that Obama couldn't fill a 10,000-seat arena in the not-so-recent past (Google it for yourself, won't you?) and what that said about the popularity of his HCR "ideas"? Not so much, huh?

Tell your bot handlers that you (and they) need a new set of talking points. This Woodstock comparison is...how do I put it?...a dud.

damikesc said...

You would the CBC members would've turmed theirheads if they heard slurs...yet they didn't even flinch after they claimed they were slurred so viciously

Jason said...

Ritmo:

n was high enough to be significant, and the preponderance of physicians smelling trouble as a result of this bill was far, far beyond the margin of error.

Medicus is not a "bogus" company, dipshit, any more than NEJM is a "bogus" journal.

Further, do you even know what an 'ad hominem' fallacy is? Because you just wallowed in one. The fact that a private company took a survey does not invalidate it. Gallup, Zogby, Pew and Rasmussen are private, too. And the ones that have taken a serious survey of public sentiment have all shown that the American public resents and despises this bill and the bastards who shoved it down our throats.

Mark Manderson said...

This has been a puzzle to me as well. I tentatively conclude, as you have suggested, that the aim of the administration is to put the private insurance companies under and then nationalize the industry.

Nichevo said...

Ritmo: "Hilarity" is overused. Also forms "hilarious," "hilariousness."

Just in case you missed the memo...I have noticed you keep drawing from this well. It's out of water and now you're milking it.

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