September 14, 2011

Blitzer's question about the uninsured man who needed expensive care hit Ron Paul close to home.

Sam Stein explains:
Paul's 2008 campaign manager, Kent Snyder, went through a strikingly similar experience to Blitzer's hypothetical one, dying of complications from viral pneumonia just two weeks after Paul ended his presidential bid. Snyder was uninsured, so family and friends were forced to raise funds to cover his $400,000 in medical bills. Their efforts included setting up a website soliciting contributions from Paul supporters.

The episode reflects what Paul himself argued should be the free-market ideal for health insurance policy. During Monday night's GOP primary debate, the libertarian Republican made the case that health insurance coverage was a choice. If one decided to forgo it, he ran the risk of mounting bills. If a patient was on his deathbed, it wasn't the taxpayers' responsibility to pick up that tab.

"I practiced medicine before we had Medicaid in the early 1960s when I got out of medical school. I practiced at Santa Rosa hospital in San Antonia, and the churches took care of them," Paul said. "We never turned anybody away from the hospital. And we've given up on this whole concept that we might take care of ourselves and assume responsibility for ourselves, our neighbors, our friends, our churches would do it. This whole idea -- that's the reason the cost is so high. The cost is so high because they dump it on the government, it becomes a bureaucracy."
As Stein notes, people have been paying way more attention to the unseen idiots in the audience who shouted "yes" when Blitzer asked if we should let that guy die than to Paul's answer. And the fact is, Paul's answer is brilliantly stated. I'm not saying I agree with Paul, but what an articulate response!

Blitzer's question was designed to make Paul look heartless and extreme and unrealistic, and Paul flipped it, perfectly. Which is, I think, why the media would like to pay more attention to the yes-shouting jerks in the audience.

123 comments:

AFG said...

I suspect many of your commenters would agree more with the dorks in the audience than with Paul's articulate answer.

Fred4Pres said...

Paul is exactly right (on this) and Blitzer is a stooge.

MnMark said...

A while ago I found an old hospital invoice for a surgery my grandfather had in 1944. He stayed in the hospital for 12 days. The total bill - adjusted for inflation from 1944 to now - was just over $1,000 in today's dollars.

What the hell happened between 1944 and now to multiply the cost of a 12 day stay in the hospital to so many many times $1,000? Obviously the free market has not been allowed to work, because that would have made it even cheaper by now.

Ron Paul is right. They made a bureaucracy of it and it drove the price through the roof.

T J Sawyer said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Tim said...

"Blitzer's question was designed to make Paul look heartless and extreme and unrealistic, and Paul flipped it, perfectly. Which is, I think, why the media would like to pay more attention to the yes-shouting jerks in the audience."

Partially, yes.

The rest of the story is, we've become so acculturated to third-party health coverage, half of it publicly provided, and the Left has so aggressively and consistently pounded the “health care for all” (whether it be “Medicare for all,” or “single-payer” or full-blown socialized healthcare) that the notion of personal responsibility, outside of the unconstitutional “individual mandate” is now a thoughtcrime.

chickenlittle said...

Was Synder unpaid and therefore unable to afford insurance? Or did he have a pre-existing condition which made it prohibitively costly?

T J Sawyer said...

AFG Said: "I suspect many of your commenters would agree more with the dorks in the audience than with Paul's articulate answer."

We only leave the liberals alongside the road to die. We administer first-aid to the rest and then nurse them back to health.

garage mahal said...

Anyone should be able to raise $400,000 like Ron Paul can.

Fred4Pres said...

Part of the reason hospital bills are so outrageously high is because so many people do not pay (eliminating malpractice suits would be insignifcant at best). So hospitals over charge those who do. So basically that is how universal coverage is funded in the United States.

We are not going to turn people away from emergency rooms. I am open for suggestions on ways to pay for this without increasing the size of government.

Fred4Pres said...

Nice quip GM.

John Althouse Cohen said...

Well, if Paul's one hospital in the '60s never turned anyone away, I guess the country has nothing to worry about! Brilliant plan!

Chuck66 said...

A related problem with government provided/funded health care is fraud. We lose BILLIONS and billions a year to fraud. Private insurers would work to reduce this. The government doesn't care as it is not their money being wasted.

chickenlittle said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
The Drill SGT said...

chickenlittle said...
Was Synder unpaid and therefore unable to afford insurance?


I suspect Synder got paid, but was either an LLC or was paid as a 1099 consultant and therefore was responsible for his own coverage and didnt.

MnMark said...
A while ago I found an old hospital invoice for a surgery my grandfather had in 1944.


Once health care is free for all, we won't be able to afford it for anyone.

chickenlittle said...

Anyone should be able to raise $400,000 like Ron Paul can.

Well I couldn't afford that out-of-pocket, but I can afford catastrophic insurance which covers it. I just want to know why Snyder couldn't do the same. The answer I don't want to hear is that he didn't want to. Too much volition and free will would be involved.

jimspice said...

For the record, it was Reagan who introduced the turn no one away concept.

Chuck66 said...

I wonder if the war on Christianity will hurt health care in the future. With things like forcing all hospitals to perform abortions and now making it illegal to hire someone without paying for their birth control, it may be possible that religious based hospitals will start to go away.

The Drill SGT said...

Chuck66 said...
A related problem with government provided/funded health care is fraud.


Beyond the naked fraud, one needs only watch the TV for the firms selling hospital beds, powered wheelchairs, items for diabetics, custom showers/tubs, etc...

all of which, "Cost you nothing, and we'll help you fill out the Medicare forms"

PS: dont get me started on the topic of SSI.

garage mahal said...

Ironic Ron Paul has the best health care in the country. Paid for taxpayers and run by the government.

madAsHell said...

Wolf Blitzer scored -$4,600 on Jeopardy. Where...you know...you have to answer in the form of a question.

So, why is he asking questions? He's a moron.

edutcher said...

Randian he may be, but Paul does remind us of the way things used to be. People forget, if they ever knew, that a lot of medicine was charity work before Medicare.

In old hospitals, you find charity wards endowed by the wealthy and doctors - this was before Medicare made rich men of doctors - often gave a day a week of free services.

Churches were a major force in taking care of the sick and so were communities.

When the government moved in, everyone assumed they would do everything.

Just like the people in France who assumed the government would look after their parents when they went on vaca in the middle of a ghastly heat wave.

Bender said...

Part of the reason hospital bills are so outrageously high is because so many people do not pay (eliminating malpractice suits would be insignifcant at best). So hospitals over charge those who do

The movement from a pure insurance model before the 1980s (which covered only major medical, accidents, etc., and left routine care for out-of-pocket payment) to HMOs and now the current system certainly has had a destablizing effect on costs. When the provider knows that it can leech off the government, it will jack up prices and suck it dry.

But another large part of the problem is a complete lack of an attitude of genuine charity (caritas) on the part of healthcare providers. That is, giving of themselves for the good of others. Instead, for all too many doctors and unionized nurses, as well as the drug companies and medical equipment companies, it is all about $$$$$.

I've met many, many lawyers who were struggling to pay the bills. I've never met a poor doctor.

More of them need to adopt a personal ethic of service, rather than demanding $300,000 annual salaries.

Leland said...

Kent Snyder's story reminds me of a friend's story. My friend was driving home when he was hit by a city dumb truck that ran a red light. The dump truck pushed his jeep into a group of workers installing a handicap ramp to a sidewalk. One of the workers were killed, and my friend was left with severe brain damage. According to a Sheriff's Deputy at the scene, there was no doubt of the city employees fault.

So what happened? Because it was a city vehicle, the driver is indemnified by the city. The max that the city could be sued is $1.5 million per incident. So the city settled and gave a million to the family of the dead worker, and about $300,000 to my friend's family.

Here's the problem, the dead worker's family (though deserving of a big payout) had no medical bills. My friend's family had medical bills well in excess of $300,000. His insurance wouldn't cover the bills, because it was an accident caused by somebody else. They also couldn't get accidental dismemberment, because even though his brain damage impairs movement; he didn't actually lose body parts.

So when the city failed to take care of a medical condition it caused; it was friends and the local community that held fundraisers to help out the family.

garage mahal said...

Or did he have a pre-existing condition which made it prohibitively costly?

According to his sister "a pre-existing condition made the premiums too expensive."

pbAndjFellowRepublican said...

For the record, his response was the opposite of brilliantly articulate.

First he says that nobody was turned away from the hospital, which means that the uninsured did get their treatment, regardless of their ability/willingness to pay for themselves.

Then, he says that now we've given up on the concept of taking care of and assuming responsibility for ourselves. But, again he doesn't actually propose having this hypothetical thirty year old take care of himself, or suffer the consequences of not getting health care. He thinks that this moocher should be cared for by his friends, church, and neighbor.

But, even if this guy doesn't have the ability to raise half a million (or whatever) from pals and parishioners, the ingrate can go to the hospital and Paul will guarantee that he will be admitted and cared for, just as happened back in San Antonia.

So, as Paul indicated by saying 'No,' -- prior to some of the audience saying 'Yes' -- and further detailed by the rest of his answer, when push comes to shove Paul is in favor of treating these folks when they show up at a hospital, even if they don't have insurance or dough or some other funding source. For these folks (sans the gov as a payer of last resort) Paul would like to see hospitals take care of these folks but not be paid for their efforts. Presumably he also believes that grocery stores should allow hungry people to take food for free -- no more gov food stamps!

The Drill SGT said...

garage mahal said...
Ironic Ron Paul has the best health care in the country. Paid for taxpayers and run by the government.


actually no, GM. The Congress is part of the FEHBP. Like most Federal programs, the Feds dont actually do anything except put admin staff and costs on top of private insurers. Yes, those evil private insurers...

The Fed Wife belongs to FEHBP, but her actual coverage comes from Blue Cross. The Feds, just add those evil admin costs on top of the insurers. You know, those admin costs that Obamacare caps in insurance markets? Well, when the Feds put pure overhead on top, that's ok...

Now Obama? He's got the gold plated plan....

Michael said...

The question is when the pre existing conditions became pre existing. If you refuse to buy insurance for yourself directly or through a company plan but then become sick you then have a pre existing condition. Is that the kind of pre existing condition he had?

traditionalguy said...

A quick reality lesson:

The pricing of a hospital bill is set to hit a target that keeps the Hospital running if it only recieves the 80% if insured patients insurance claim amounts.

The stiffed persons are the middle class with assets to make Bankruptcy impossible that are stuck paying 20% out of pocket on top of the 80% through their Insurance that they also have paid $7,000 a year into for over 20 years.

The asset-less Bx candidates and the poverty cases are all paid for by that guy.

For example, if the cost of a 12 day stay would be $12,000 if all patients paid their bills, it is nevertheless set at $80,000 so the insured guy's insurance pays $64,000 (which is a $52,000 over payment) and then the Hospital also gets another $16,000 from asset holding insured patients making a total over payment of of $68,000.

The $68,000 pays for 6 free ride patients.

But nobody is denied care.

And the poor schmuck with insurance that he has paid for over a lifetime is great full that he only had to pay $16,000.

cubanbob said...

chickenlittle said...
Anyone should be able to raise $400,000 like Ron Paul can.

Well I couldn't afford that out-of-pocket, but I can afford catastrophic insurance which covers it. I just want to know why Snyder couldn't do the same. The answer I don't want to hear is that he didn't want to. Too much volition and free will would be involved.

9/14/11 5:40 PM

It isn't clear whether the state he lived in allows for medical catastrophe insurance policies.

Fred4Pres said...

Texas teen gets creative!

Earning $17K the easy way, pretending you have cancer.

Hoosier Daddy said...

"... The total bill - adjusted for inflation from 1944 to now - was just over $1,000 in today's dollars.."

I think GIs were making about $50 a month in 1944.

Bob_R said...

How can you tell 100 Americans from 100 Europeans? Make them smile. British bankers have the same smiles as WV hillbilly meth heads. US Dentistry has been mostly free market (though regulated insurance is infiltrating). It is better, cheaper, more widely available. Happens whenever and wherever medicine is left to the market. The reason Snyder's bill was $400K is that the billing system is designed to milk insurance companies - not compete for patients.

Martin L. Shoemaker said...

MnMark said...

What the hell happened between 1944 and now to multiply the cost of a 12 day stay in the hospital to so many many times $1,000? Obviously the free market has not been allowed to work, because that would have made it even cheaper by now.

Ron Paul is right. They made a bureaucracy of it and it drove the price through the roof.


While bureaucracy and third-party payers are contributors to the problem, I think another aspect often gets too little notice: we're not really comparing apples to apples over time. Or rather if we are, the new apples are a lot larger and tastier than the old apples.

And I'm not just talking about the dramatically better (and more expensive) treatments available today, although those are a big part.

But our standards of what we think of as quality care have changed dramatically -- but so gradually we hardly noticed.

In the 70s, my mom went into the best area hospital for gall bladder surgery. The building was relatively new at the time, or at least that wing was. Dad was UAW with pretty decent health benefits. That meant mom got a semi-private room: i.e., only one roommate, and room for dad and all four kids to visit, though not enough chairs for us all to sit. Wouldn't have been room for them. Mom and dad considered splurging for a TV for mom (not covered by insurance), but decided we couldn't afford it. Besides, the roommate had a TV, and mom likes to read.

This spring, my sister went into the hospital for a mastectomy. This was the same hospital by name, but a completely different building in a completely different part of town. She had only a basic room for that hospital, meaning she had room -- and seating! -- for around ten visitors. The room had a private bathroom attached. The couch -- couch! -- folded out into a bed so her husband could stay overnight. The big-screen TV in the room had cable TV including free HBO. Honestly, I've stayed in less luxurious hotel rooms at 4 star hotels.

That new hospital also includes manicured gardens, a fantastic restaurant, a weekly farmer's market, and a full-featured physical therapy center at the YMCA just down their street. (The old hospital's physical therapy center was the size of a large classroom.)

The new hospital is very nice. It makes for a much more pleasant stay. But that kind of luxury drives the prices up.

Hoosier Daddy said...

"... What the hell happened between 1944 and now to multiply the cost of a 12 day stay in the hospital to so many many times $1,000?.."

Big increase in life expectancy? Caring for the terminally ill that simply didn't happen back then mainly due to medical limitations. Technology.

There are tons of factors, Pauls example being just one.

FedkaTheConvict said...

Wolf Blitzer scored -$4,600 on Jeopardy. Where...you know...you have to answer in the form of a question.

So, why is he asking questions? He's a moron.


Because he looks good and can read a teleprompter.

Oh wait, that reminds me of someone.

Bob_R said...

@Hoosier Daddy - $1K in today's dollars is $82 in 1944. Two months salary in a lot for a GI, but how much do you expect two weeks in the hospital to cost?

cubanbob said...

Fred4Pres said...
Part of the reason hospital bills are so outrageously high is because so many people do not pay (eliminating malpractice suits would be insignifcant at best). So hospitals over charge those who do. So basically that is how universal coverage is funded in the United States.

We are not going to turn people away from emergency rooms. I am open for suggestions on ways to pay for this without increasing the size of government.

9/14/11 5:27 PM

Unlike private carriers medicare and medicaid are unbelievably bad at providing med malpractice lawyers copies of all the paid billing records. I say unbelievable because the private companies are Johnny on the spot with the records since they are first in line in any recovery and medicare and medicaid would be first in line as well. If medicare and medicaid only audited the work billed half as well as the private companies (and fought the fraud like the companies) and congress would allow true competitive contracting there would be no need for stunts like Obama care as the current revenues would be enough to cover for all the uninsured. It would also be nice if congress were to allow for a true national health insurance market so young people could buy true medical catastrophe insurance policies at a very affordable price. But this is too simple for both parties.

Hoosier Daddy said...

"... Anyone should be able to raise $400,000 like Ron Paul can..."

Didn't I see in an older thread you dropped a grand on a mutt? Imagine if 400 compassionate liberals like yourself and it could happen!

The Drill SGT said...

Bob_R said...
How can you tell 100 Americans from 100 Europeans? Make them smile. British bankers have the same smiles as WV hillbilly meth heads. US Dentistry has been mostly free market (though regulated insurance is infiltrating). It is better, cheaper, more widely available.


The other pure medical examples are laser eye surgery and cosmetic surgery. Both are pretty much non-insured markets. In both, there is lots of price competition, and the prices are going down.

The rest of medicine is covered by insurance and the costs go up, because little reduces demand.

Dust Bunny Queen said...

Or did he have a pre-existing condition which made it prohibitively costly?

According to his sister "a pre-existing condition made the premiums too expensive."

Then he did make a choice to not have coverage. Even if it was expensive and if it were important enough..he could find a way.

He received health CARE. He didn't have health INSURANCE.

If he had purchased health insurance BEFORE his conditions occurred, then he would still have insurance since the companies are not allowed to drop you for getting ill. They can drop you if you LIE about your conditions.

Some people are not insurable.

Life isn't fair.

Carol_Herman said...

Um, while unemployment hovers at 10%. And, 10% is a real number. Ron Paul has been hijacking the republican debates ... because he's about their biggest loser up there.

Or, maybe, it's Michele Bachmann.

Ron Paul represents the kind of doctor that costs patients their lives! That's why he's a politician. It's worse if he has to "return to practice."

Dead patients are nothing new.

Which makes lawyers very happy.

The dead 30 year old? His family can sue for millions.

WIN-WIN (Sarcasm tag!)

traditionalguy said...

The free rides to young uninsured women with total hysterectomies for cervical cancer can be cut to nearly nothing with a new vaccine Merck makes...if only we can get it distributed over Michelle Bachmann's narrow morality pride issues.

Amartel said...

AFG:

"I [WANT DESPERATELY TO BELIEVE THE WORST OF PEOPLE WHO THREATEN MY WORLD VIEW] suspect many of your commenters would agree more with the dorks in the audience than with Paul's articulate answer."

Fixed. No charge. Your gracious "thanks" and "job well done" are enough for me.

Hoosier Daddy said...

"... Ironic Ron Paul has the best health care in the country. Paid for taxpayers and run by the government..."

Once again demonstrating you just make shit up or don't know wtf you're talking about. The FEHBP is not run by the government but by a evil private insurer.

FedkaTheConvict said...

Didn't I see in an older thread you dropped a grand on a mutt? Imagine if 400 compassionate liberals like yourself and it could happen!

Touche, but I think it was $1,100 and the dog still needed surgery. So he'd need approx. 364 wealthy liberals who care more for dogs than for actual human life to contribute.

traditionalguy said...

Carol...Fear not for Ron Paul in Texas. lawyers suing doctors there is an extinct species... all thanks to Rick Perry.

garage mahal said...

Drill Sgt
I remember while people like McConnell, McCain, Blunt, and Kit Bond were warning us of the horrors of government run health care, when they need a surgery, where do they go? Bethesda Naval Hospital. Hypocrites.

cubanbob said...

Bob_R said...
How can you tell 100 Americans from 100 Europeans? Make them smile. British bankers have the same smiles as WV hillbilly meth heads. US Dentistry has been mostly free market (though regulated insurance is infiltrating). It is better, cheaper, more widely available. Happens whenever and wherever medicine is left to the market. The reason Snyder's bill was $400K is that the billing system is designed to milk insurance companies - not compete for patients.

9/14/11 6:19 PM

British Chavs, yes. British bankers, no. I have friend who has a chain of dental practices in the UK (they do allow for private dental and medical for those willing to pay) and he has made himself rather well off making sure the bankers have beautiful teeth.

Hoosier Daddy said...

"... Two months salary in a lot for a GI, but how much do you expect two weeks in the hospital to cost?..."

Depends. There was a time when women stayed in the hospital for days after a baby and now its out the next day barring problems.

Again costs are higher for a multitude reasons, one of which is Pauls example. We have an illegal immigrant population estimated at 10-15 million. Any idea how much that is raising costs?

Carol_Herman said...

Back in the 1970's, when I worked at a Medical college in Manhattan, it was the doctors fighting Medicare. They HATED insurance forms.

You couldn't fill an insurance form out (for a gynecological patient who had come in for an annual exam) by giving a reason other than "yeast infection." All the paperwork, so the patient could get a $15 reimbursement.

When insurance came along, everyone scammed the system! That's why the prices not only went up, but through the roof!

Dick Cheney's birth, in the early 1940's, had his hospital bill ... which his mom had saved ... at being $44.

My mom saved her's from my birth. And, the whole thing cost $39.

Then? When prices began to rise. And, a hospital bed cost more than a night in a first class hotel ... people wanted to know why they couldn't just check into a first class hotel suite?

Oh. And, you also added personnel! Even in lawyers offices! Which once ran on one man and his secretary. (And, those who really saved married their secretaries. So the person who answered the phone was the wife.)

That's just not how it is now!

One doctor needs to be covered by other doctors. Because no one can handle 24/7 alone.

And, the back off STAFF also has a front office staff. Plus, lots of computers.

Drugs, too, are very very expensive.

In other words when old men look at their "little blue pills" that let them maintain their erections ... do you know how much each little pill costs? The old man ain't paying for them!

We can't fix this problem, either.

Of course, if you added a small co-pay ... like Kaiser does ... because everyone who uses their insurance has to be a worker where these policies are offered ...

Has found that co-pays reduce costs. Because people won't opt for stuff they don't need. Even if it's another pair of glasses.

People have gotten used to this free stuff.

It's like shopping with coupons. Which is about the only thing that keeps newspapers alive. (Struggling. But alive.)

I don't have any answers!

You want a good doctor when you need one.

And, if you're very lucky, you'll also find a good lawyer (and not just a crappy lawyer), when you need one, too. Me? I'd call Ken Thompson's office. From him, (or his secretary), I'd accept a recommendation.

By the way, a capable and good nurse is also vital in saving your life.

mariner said...

John Althouse Cohen,
Well, if Paul's one hospital in the '60s never turned anyone away, I guess the country has nothing to worry about! Brilliant plan!

In how many hospitals have YOU practiced medicine?

garage mahal said...

Didn't I see in an older thread you dropped a grand on a mutt?

Excuse me? Mutt?

I changed my mind at the last minute and went with a different litter, but yea still $1100. The first breeder was kind enough to give me my deposit back.

Check out this sire, "Cowboy". Getting one of his block-headed pups in two weeks. Cannot effing wait!

Hoosier Daddy said...

Excuse me? Mutt?

Yeah, mutt. Four legged hairy beast that smells when wet and craps a lot. Sorry, I don't get ga ga and coo over animals. I've had pets all my life up till last year and they're cute for about 15 minutes and then a giant hemmeroid for the next 10.

I changed my mind at the last minute and went with a different litter, but yea still $1100.

That's wonderful.

J said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Matt said...

Which is, I think, why the media would like to pay more attention to the yes-shouting jerks in the audience.

You're kidding right? Seriously.

The fact is more Americans than not choose not to get insurance because they cannot afford it. Or they cannot get insurance because they have a pre-exisitng condition. So how do you answer that one?

I find Paul worse than the guy who yelled from the audience. Why? Because the guy who yelled from the audience merely has an opinion, no matter how fucked up. But Paul is a legislator who would have no problem making society into an Ayn Rany nightmare that would have far far worse consequences on Americans.

J said...

And the fact is, Paul's answer is brilliantly stated. I'm not saying I agree with Paul, but what an articulate response!

Let charity handle it and the typical taxpayer and anti-govt. rant. Not exactly Demosthenses.
Thank the insurance bureaucrats who charge outrageous premiums on pre-existing conditions.

Health care in the USA isn't about...helping the sick people who need it: it's about appeasing underwriters

Hoosier Daddy said...

But Paul is a legislator who would have no problem making society into an Ayn Rany nightmare that would have far far worse consequences on Americans.

Indeed because the path of insurmountable debt to pay for more social welfare programs is just what the nation needs.

I mean debt crisises only happen to those moronic Europeans. We have a magic printing press that shits out all the money we need.

Hoosier Daddy said...

PS: dont get me started on the topic of SSI.

Ok I'm going to poke the bear :-)

Gee I wonder why its going broke!

In 2010, the Social Security Administration awarded benefits in 63.4% of its initial decisions in Puerto Rico, compared with much lower rates elsewhere. In Arizona, for example, benefits were awarded in initial applications in 35.6% of the cases. Nine of the 10 top U.S. zip codes for workers collecting Social Security disability benefits are in Puerto Rico, according to government data.

A spokesman for the Social Security Administration said in light of "statistical trends" in Puerto Rico it has asked the inspector general's office to "make sure that these trends do not reflect an increase in fraud."


Linky

Marshal said...

Intelligent people understand how different the circumstances would be if the government - employer - insurer cartel didn't exixt. Not only would health insurance be much cheaper, the bills for service would be vastly less as well. If you pay for service directly you're paying 5 - 50 times more than an insurance company does. That's not 5 - 50 %, that's 5 - 50 times more.

chickenlittle said...

Health care in the USA isn't about...helping the sick people who need it: it's about appeasing underwriters.

Ah but it is. Your attitude shows that you're not close to anyone who provides it.

Healthcare is also about staying healthy. Our system has mechanisms built in to promote personal responsibilty.

Kirby Olson said...

Who were those yes-shouters? Democratic plants?

Hoosier Daddy said...

Just for the record garage, all my pets were from the humane society and one homeless kitten whose deadbeat mom irresponsibly got knocked up and left her behind.

Being the compassionate conservative I am I took in the misfits that no one wanted. I'll leave the $1100 gold plated pets to you rich liberals.

Matt said...

Hoosier Daddy

The debt is not solely because elderly people have medicare and some kids in poverty have medicaid. As much as I know you want to blame everything on them....

J said...

Wow....that's Hoss-like glibertarianism as well--whining about the high health care premiums on small businesses, which the evil Obama and Dems jacked up (Obama--you know, the guy you supported). No,the companies--even rinky-dink sweatshops like like yours- should pay.

Blitzer's question was designed to make Paul look heartless and extreme and unrealistic, and Paul flipped it, perfectly

And the Paultard-in-chief played his part of libertarian winger perfectly: heartless and extreme and unrealistic

Michael said...

Garage. Comrade, that is a great looking Labrador! Really a beautiful animal. He appears to have the larger,leggier,stance that I think of American Labs having as opposed to British Labs. Really exciting for you and congratulations! You may be a commie dipshit but you have great taste in the retriever category. I hope you will link to pictures of the pup when you get it. And i hope you buy and use James Lamb Free's classic book to train him. Well done, and fuck the people whining about the cost. Cheap at twice the price.

Lisa said...

Why is it okay to expect your neighbors and church to pick you up but not the government?

Are we not all one nation? Does that not make us family in a way? Is it so wrong to make sure that we as a nation are all cared for?

chickenlittle said...

I'll leave the $1100 gold plated pets to you rich liberals.

LOL. I never made that connection. All our pets (cats) are fosters and adoptions too.

Are liberals big believer in animal eugenics?

J said...

Chkie Luciano--

you're not the attitude judge ,here--are you perp . You don't know fuck about HCR, or the insurance scams (actually, looking at yr cheap shystery site, I imagine you work with insurance/HC bunko types along with other white collar perps. yo state bar of CA..it's...Chicolina ).

chickenlittle said...

J is the Don Rickles of Althouse and Trooper York.

sorepaw said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
sorepaw said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
garage mahal said...

@Michael
Thanks! These are actually the English style labs, with the thicker coats, short otter tails, and those massive block heads and barrel chests. They are also known for their mild temperament as opposed to some of the more hyper American style bred labs. My last pair of labs looked real similiar to this litter.

I'll check out that recommendation on the book, thanks.

Hoosier Daddy said...

Hoosier Daddy

The debt is not solely because elderly people have medicare and some kids in poverty have medicaid. As much as I know you want to blame everything on them....


Well no of course not and I'm not blaming everything on the poor old folks and poor childrens.

But the fact of the matter is Social Security and Medicare alone account for over half the Federal budget. Hell we can eliminate every dime of defense spending and we're still sitting at a $1 trillion deficit.

So while you want to paint me as Ebenezer Scrooge's evil twin, the fact remains we have an unsustainable entitlement program in place and the only option I hear from liberals is lets tax the top 1% and call it a day. I being more grounded in reality than most liberals realize that isn't going to do anything but make people like you feel warm and fuzzy inside because you were able to take more money from some rich people.

I on the other hand would like to see some reasonable reforms that won't have your poor grandmother eating garage mahal's leftover Alpo from his $1100 puppy but won't bankrupt the nation either.

Hoosier Daddy said...

Why is it okay to expect your neighbors and church to pick you up but not the government?

Your neighbors and church don't forcibly take a third of your paycheck to do it.

I think it would be just fine if we have a French style health care system provided everyone, I mean EVERYONE is required to pay into it. No exceptions, exemptions, special union deals. Everyone pays, everyone shares.

As soon as liberals agree that everyone who earns a paycheck should have some skin in the game rather than insist that the top 1-5% of wage earners foot the bill for everything then maybe we can talk about one big family. Cause right now liberals idea of the 'family taking care of everyone' is Mom and Dad paying all the bills while the kids and Crazy Aunt Edna get a free ride.

DADvocate said...

When my oldest daughter was born in 1971, the entire doctor bill, prenatal care and delivery, was $250. Don't know what the hospital bill was, but, after insurance, I paid $8.61 out of pocket.

Paul is right. Government health insurance has driven up the cost. Providers know they can get more money out of the government through lobbying, etc and few will protest because it doesn't come directly out of anybody's pocket.

Government also has minimum charge requirements. If government pays a certain amount, you can't charge anyone else less.

Hoosier Daddy said...

Well done, and fuck the people whining about the cost.

LOL!

Hell I think its fucking awesome that he can spend $1100 on a dog. Stupid but awesome.

I wonder how many folks spend that kind of money on pets or gadgets or other toys but can't 'afford insurance'?

garage mahal said...

Just for the record garage, all my pets were from the humane society and one homeless kitten whose deadbeat mom irresponsibly got knocked up and left her behind.

Noted!

chickenlittle said...

I wonder how many folks spend that kind of money on pets or gadgets or other toys but can't 'afford insurance'?

I had a neighbor several years ago who could afford insurance (but didn't) who bought a third house.

I Callahan said...

I've had pets all my life up till last year and they're cute for about 15 minutes and then a giant hemmeroid for the next 10.

You sound like as much fun as a wet pile of rags.

Good looking dogs, Garage.

wv: turaffs. What dogs say loudly when they run into Hoosier Daddy.

Hoosier Daddy said...

'.... You sound like as much fun as a wet pile of rags..."

One man's joy is another man's burden.

garage mahal said...

Thanks, I Callahan

Dust Bunny Queen said...

@ Garage

You are missing the boat on the very best breed of hunting dog. Labs are nice and all, but nothing beats a Chesapeake Bay Retriever.

OK.. They don't smell so good and can be pretty territorial, but you can get them to retrieve anything and they won't give up.

But....if you want second best, that's up to you.

(I'm kidding you)

Synova said...

I clicked through someplace or other when this was mentioned before (I believe it was from this blog) and one of the comments at the site I went to caught my eye.

The person said... They'd gone someplace or other and noticed that there was one of those donation jars for a young woman, a mother of two small children, who had leukemia and the poster with the jar was asking for donations to help pay for her medical bills and help the family. Disgraceful, this person said. Only in America, this person said, do we not care about our neighbors or want to help them.

It just struck me.

The lesson this person took away from an explicit example of people caring for and working to help their neighbor was that we Americans neither care nor help our neighbors.

garage mahal said...

DBQ
I love Chesapeakes! I actually looked, but I couldn't find any breeders with pups though.

"Turbo" still in the running too :)

Hoosier Daddy said...

I still have a pet rock.

Mary Beth said...

Because the "yes" wasn't enough - I couldn't help but think of that Republican debate question and the "Let him die!" chanting that followed.

Cedarford said...

Paul's 2008 campaign manager, Kent Snyder, went through a strikingly similar experience to Blitzer's hypothetical one, dying of complications from viral pneumonia just two weeks after Paul ended his presidential bid. Snyder was uninsured, so family and friends were forced to raise funds to cover his $400,000 in medical bills.
==============
How come, since this Freedom Lover opted out of any lousy and unconstitutional "Mandate" and elected to free ride and spend his money elsewhere - Dr. Ron Paul couldn't find doctors and a hospital that would treat him for free? Like he said the well-off 30 year old that needed 6 months of intensive care would be?
The guy was Paul's campaign manager!
Perhaps Ron Pauls answer that Freedom Lovers could free ride if they wanted to because charity and pro bono doctors and hospitals would pick up for a lack of responsibility isn't true.

Paul Zrimsek said...

Ironic Ron Paul has the best health care in the country. Paid for taxpayers and run by the government.

Really ironic if Ron Paul were working for the State of Wisconsin instead of the federal government, Garbage Mahal would be claiming that Ron Paul is paying for 100% of his taxpayer-funded health care.

Lisa said...

Hoosier Daddy,

I am not familiar with the French system. MY model for universal health care is Israel. 4 plans to chose from. Everyone MUST by law carry insurance. But everyone pays the same... the bus driver, the teacher, the general... except the very poorest who get assistance in paying their premiums. The government funds the plans and also heavily subsidizes medical training.

chickenlittle said...

Hoosier Daddy said...
I still have a pet rock.

Is it pure crystalline or metamorphic?

dp said...

The problem with Ron Paul is that he is pro-life and that he really believes that charity will pay for this, it won't. The goal of so many posters is to get rid of socialized medicine. Okay lets do it. We can start by banning group policies (groups get a lower rate because the risk is diffused across the many). Next medicaid, then medicare. Then allow the hospitals to check for either insurance information or proof of ability to pay. If you can't meet either of these I'm afraid that we have to let you die.

Brian G. Heyer said...

In other speeches, Dr. Paul describes taking the weekend shifts in the E.R. at that Texas hospital in the 60's.

They paid $6 an hour.

Let that sink in a bit.

Look how the gov't has destroyed not only our medical care functions, but also the value of everyone's money.

Synova said...

"Drill Sgt
I remember while people like McConnell, McCain, Blunt, and Kit Bond were warning us of the horrors of government run health care, when they need a surgery, where do they go? Bethesda Naval Hospital. Hypocrites.
"

I suppose any service member who is fiscally conservative or (gasp) libertarian inclined is also a hypocrite?

Saying the word doesn't make it so.

One of the reasons I don't want to see government run health care is because I was in the military. Between my husband and myself we had two babies and one spinal surgery in "government run" hospitals. With an exception or two we got exemplary care.

What you don't get in a government run program is a choice. And in the case where my husband did not get adequate care there was nothing that could be done about it. No recourse at all, though you could pay out of your own pocket to go to a civilian facility and see a civilian doctor. (Sort of like how there are so many Canadians getting medical care in Minot and Grand Forks). He saw one civilian doctor by virtue of being more than 300 miles from a military hospital and finally got access to a neuro-surgeon by relocating to the other side of the world.

When it's good, it's good, and when it's bad you're simply screwed.

One is not a hypocrite to take advantage of the medical care available due to your *employment* just because you're aware of the limitations of the system that supports it.

chickenlittle said...

Perhaps Ron Pauls answer that Freedom Lovers could free ride if they wanted to because charity and pro bono doctors and hospitals would pick up for a lack of responsibility isn't true.

No, perhaps Pauls' anecdote that the present isn't like the past is true.

Patrick said...

Garage, that's a fine looking dog. You a hunter? Most of the labs I know are good bird dogs. Not all though. One friend of mine insists you get either a hunter or a pet, never both. I'm not a hunter, but I always thought he was wrong. But that is a nice looking dog - hope you're pleased with the pup.

Seven Machos said...

Brian -- Inflation is part of the engine of economic growth. What you don't want is for prices and wages to remain stagnant.

Moreover, many, many things are cheaper now. Televisions, computers, dishwashers, plane rides, etc.

Dust Bunny Queen said...

One friend of mine insists you get either a hunter or a pet, never both. I'm not a hunter, but I always thought he was wrong

He is wrong. Your hunting dog knows when it is 'job' time and when it is not....IF you are a decent trainer/owner. If your hunting dog is not working it is YOUR fault. He/she wants to do the job and it is up to you to be the guide and the one in control.

Your friend must not be a very good trainer and is blaming his faults on his dogs.

There is no need to keep your hunting dog in purgatory, in jail or away from being part of the family. That is just cruel and frankly stupid.

When people do that, I want to pen them up in a backyard. Dogs are pack animals and need to have their pack/people around them to be sane. Insane dogs are not good hunters or good pets.

Let me know where your friend is and I'll personally come and kick his ass and install a shock collar on him.

Synova said...

"Why is it okay to expect your neighbors and church to pick you up but not the government?

Are we not all one nation? Does that not make us family in a way? Is it so wrong to make sure that we as a nation are all cared for?
"

Two reasons:

Your family, neighbors and people at church know you and are better able to judge what you need and if you're just sponging or not.

You know your family, neighbors and people at church and the faces of the people the money is coming from and are more likely to weigh your needs and if you're sponging or not.

I once handed a $20 to a guy on a corner with a cardboard sign. He looked into the back of my car at my three little kids and said, "Are you sure?"

That's the difference.

Also, of course, is the difference between charity and extortion.

Your family, neighbors and church people give voluntarily. The "family" of the "one nation" give because they don't want to go to jail.

EDH said...

Blitzer's question was designed to make Paul look heartless and extreme and unrealistic, and Paul flipped it, perfectly. Which is, I think, why the media would like to pay more attention to the yes-shouting jerks in the audience.

And why, as I suspected in the original thread, TalkingPointsMemo cut-off Paul's actual answer to the question.
_______________

EDH said...
garage mahal said...
The question wasn't answered I don't think. So there is no further misunderstanding, what is the official Republican position on that 30 yr old w/o insurance? Is he left to die in the free markets, or not?

Actually, TalkingPointsMemo cut off Paul's answer. (Anybody got a link to that.)

garage mahal said...

Patrick
I see DBQ batted the pet/hunter myth. I hunt pheasant, but not quite like I used to. I went every year with a group to Iowa, but I skipped out a year and lost my spot. I'll hunt him around here and train him, but if he doesn't do well I won't care. I'm buying him to be a family pet.

Patrick said...

Well, I did think the pet/hunter thing was wrong. My friend is a very successful hunter. Garage, I hear SD is very good on pheasant. We tried stopping in Chamberlin SD, heart of pheasant country for rest en route from the West. Couldn't get a room - it was pheasant season. Had no idea. Always interested in bird hunting, but never had time to develop the skills required. I'm teaching my kids to fly fish. If it were easy, they'd call is Bass fishing.

E.M. Davis said...

What would happen if we eliminated everything but catastrophic insurance?

Seven Machos said...

What would happen if we eliminated everything but catastrophic insurance?

What would happen under a law that mandated affordable, very limited catastrophic healthcare plans? Not mandated having them, but mandated their availability by carriers of a certain size.

Marshal said...

" dp said...
The problem with Ron Paul is that he is pro-life and that he really believes that charity will pay for this, it won't. The goal of so many posters is to get rid of socialized medicine. Okay lets do it. We can start by banning group policies (groups get a lower rate because the risk is diffused across the many). Next medicaid, then medicare. Then allow the hospitals to check for either insurance information or proof of ability to pay. If you can't meet either of these I'm afraid that we have to let you die."

It's sad so many leftists have such a juvenile understanding of economics. But I guess that's why they're leftists.

Group rates are better because (a) the government subsidizes insurance purchased through employers, and (b) the insurance industry is organized to service policies purchsed by employers.

Ralph L said...

Bethesda Naval Hospital. Hypocrites
You obviously are not familiar with Navy medicine. When it's good, it's very good, but when it's bad, it's deadly. They never could figure out the clicking sound in my mother's carotids and later misdiagnosed her cancer as a hiatal hernia for six weeks.

Until they rebuilt Bethesda in the early 80's, outpatients had to go in one door and walk a quarter mile in a big circle to pick up their records, then walk to their appt.

E.M. Davis said...

Imagine a world in which a doctor cannot charge $450 for a simple shot or in-office treatment because the market will not bear such a price?

B said...

chickenlittle said...J is the Don Rickles of Althouse and Trooper York.

Trooper York? I seem to recall him being one of if not the only poster here who tried to find something worthwhile in J.

Mark said...

The wonder of the "why is asking Government to do what Society used to do?" question is that each and every one of the people who ask it has at least heard of the Tragedy of the Commons problem.

Summarized, the Tragedy of the Commons problem is that is always someone else's problem.

So, you say Government should take care of our old people. And when they die because the summer is hot, and you want to go to the beach without worrying about Grandma, you do, because Grandma (by law) is Someone Else's Problem.

It's the perfect way to stay a child forever, and this is the feature of Big Government that the endorsers love. Anything that requires personal responsibility can be farmed off to Someone Else. And if you're in the right income bracket, you can game the system so Someone Else will probably never be you.

Darleen said...

I've never met a poor doctor.

Geez, someone has never left their parents' basement.

J said...

B, another of the mormontroll 's bogus s-names. mind y own business

Where's yr blog B aka HossRon the acid dealer? Oh thats right don't have one--just a few dozen phony names.

J said...

The Stupid continues with....
Darlene .

every modern govt. in the world has some type of state health care ,excepting the USA. A german type system could have easily been established, but no....demopublicans had to appease pharma and insurance

Hoosier Daddy said...

"... Trooper York? I seem to recall him being one of if not the only poster here who tried to find something worthwhile in J..."

I can too. Manure has its uses.

Robert Cook said...

One of Althouse's resident commies said:

"I think it would be just fine if we have a French style health care system provided everyone, I mean EVERYONE is required to pay into it. No exceptions, exemptions, special union deals. Everyone pays, everyone shares."

Um...Who's Yer, that's what single payer would be.

Not "free," but paid for out of our tax revenues..."everyone pays, everyone shares".

Beyond a Reasonable Doubt said...

I truly do not understand the cries of those opposed to letting government bureaucrats come between people and the doctors. What makes them any worse than insurance company bureaucrats coming between people and their doctors?

Most people don't get a choice of insurance companies-they get whatever their employer offers, if they are so lucky to a: have a job, and b: have a job that offers benefits. You can only go to certain doctors, they will only pay for certain things, certain procedures doctors want to perform are deemed "experimental" (mostly if they are expensive), etc.

Bureaucrats are bureaucrats, and I'd rather have my fate in the hands of a government bureaucrat trying to ration care than an insurance company bureaucrat who is trying to make a massive profit.

SGT Ted said...

Employer paid insurance as a benefit has distorted the medical market to expect high dollar payment for everything, as it takes the consumers ability to pay right out of the question.

No one seems to want to question $20 per aspirin or $450.00 to administer a shot, which any 1st year nursing student could perform. Hell, E-1 pay grade privates in the US Military administer that sort of health care for less money.

The medical establishment has become expert at milking insurance, both public and private and they want the gravy train to keep rolling, regardless of their patients, or anybody elses, ability to pay for it.

Dustin said...

"AFG said...

I suspect many of your commenters would agree more with the dorks in the audience than with Paul's articulate answer.

9/14/11 5:15 PM"

Typical dork reaction to something interesting. Judgment and paranoia and strawmen, painting with a broad brush.

No, I don't think most folks here actually like people dying. Many will accept that people do live and die and should have the freedom to work their own lives out, and also to support one another.

Some liberals are stingy about community service and charity, while making a big show our of community 'organizing' that is simply political work. They want government to do it, and control it. It's all about control.

Ron Paul, for all his many stupid comments over the years, believes in people controlling themselves and that's why this resonated with everyone, even those who pretend it doesn't.

Hoosier Daddy said...

Um, Robert Kook, no. The French system is not single payer.

Try again.

Hoosier Daddy said...

The French system is essentially our Medicare system on a universal level. It's an 80/20 plan with the individual having to secure ....gasp....private insurance as a supplement to cover the additional costs.

Robert Cook said...

Hoosier,

Yes, our Medicare system is also essentially single payer...through tax revenues, our government pays for most of the health care costs of those enrolled in Medicare.

You're quibbling over specifics as to whether this particular model single payer plan pays for all or only most of the medical costs, as if requiring the enrollees to maintain supplemental insurance through private insurers makes this any less what it is: government-provided health care.

Every country in the world could establish their own variation on the idea--government-provided healthcare where the government pays all medical costs and the patients pay none (outside their tax contributions, that is), or government-provided healthcare where the government pays for 50% of the medical costs and the citizens pay the other 50%, or any other variation that might be devised.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Single-payer_health_care

From the Wikipedia page:

"Medicare in the United States is a single-payer healthcare system, but is restricted to only senior citizens and certain other classes of people."

Joe said...

As was stated above, we can't ignore how much more "medicine" there is in doctoring today.

As a young teen, I was in the ER and hospital in 1975. I've since been in both and they've not only improved dramatically, but there are a lot more machines that go "beep." MRIs are expensive as are fully mechanized beds and private rooms larger than the double room I shared as a teen.

Add to that a huge amount of end-of-life care. This came up the other day at work and one person admitted that their 90-year-old grandfather had recently gotten open heart surgery. Complain all you will about the uninsured who don't pay (I've been uninsured, but paid my ER and medical bills in full), as long as we are doing hip and heart valve replacements and open heart surgery of 90-year-olds, the cost of medicine is only going to go up, especially as the baby boomers age.

Synova said...

"Bureaucrats are bureaucrats, and I'd rather have my fate in the hands of a government bureaucrat trying to ration care than an insurance company bureaucrat who is trying to make a massive profit."

Would you really?

(And I'm pretty sure that the "massive" profit is actually a tiny percentage.

dp said...

Marshal,
Again another conservative who doesn't understand how insurance works. Insurance rates are based on risk. An individual with a pre-existing condition has to pay more because it is more likely that they will have a claim. An individual with a pre-existing condition in a group policy gets a lower rate because the risk for that person is spread out across a group of mostly healthy people. This is SOCIALISM. Why should a healthy person subsidize the unhealthy?

Also, your argument that GOVERNMENT subsidizes employers to provide health insurance is also SOCIALISM. Why should I as a taxpayer subsidize a company's health insurance plan? If a company wants to provide insurance they should do it without a subsidy from the taxpayers. Liberals might not understand economics but we do know socialism. The problem with conservatives is that they are willing to toss taxpayer money at corporations and somehow not equate that to the socialism that it is.

dp said...

In reference to SSI isn't that the program that Paul Ryan's family was on?