November 1, 2013

"If you believe the healthy are entitled to keep the financial benefits of their good health, then you must also believe the sick must be denied medical care."

Writes Jonathan Chait in a New York Magazine piece titled "Why Letting Everyone Keep Their Health-Care Plan Is a Terrible Idea."

Chait concedes that Obama et al. lied when they promised that people could keep their plans if they like them, but wants us to look separately at whether those who had and wanted to keep their low-cost, low-coverage plans should feel that's it's unfair not to be able to have plans like that. Can you separate these 2 things? I have 2 problems with separating these 2 things.

1. If, at the time, Obama et al. had said "If you have a low-cost, low-coverage plan, you'll be forced to buy a much more expensive plan," then the political dynamic would have been different, and Obamacare would almost surely not have passed. A political argument premised on the unfairness of having a plan like that was never attempted, so that's one sign that the unfairness argument isn't too persuasive.

2. Even now, some Obamacare proponents seem to be suggesting that the words "if you like your plan, you can keep it" ought to be interpreted in a deviously subtle way where liking your plan doesn't depend on what individuals with plans consciously feel that they like. The government's sophisticated assessment of what you should want is a truer of test of what you, at a deep level, like. Voila! Lie erased! No means yes!

But I'll nevertheless play Chait's game. Let's just look at whether it's fair for someone to want to buy low-cost insurance that doesn't cover a lot of day-to-day ordinary expenses and that has a high deductible. This person, who Chait thinks is asking for too much, is betting on his continued good health, willing to pay out-of-pocket for routine health things (just as he pays out-of-pocket for food, shelter, and clothing), and uses insurance as a backup in case something big happens. He only wants "catastrophic" coverage.

Now, go back to that quote I used for the post title, and you should see that it doesn't fit: "If you believe the healthy are entitled to keep the financial benefits of their good health, then you must also believe the sick must be denied medical care." Our low-cost insurance-buyer wasn't free-loading! He was making a rational decision that did not unfairly rely on society's unwillingness to deny medical care to the sick. He opted not to pool his money with others for the day-to-day expenses that he incurs before anything big happens. What he declined to do was subsidize other people's routine health care. And he had insurance to cover him if something really expensive comes up.

Isn't it bad enough that this person was egregiously lied to?! You have to also brand him as a taker?!

123 comments:

Drago said...

In the same way that sound financial institutions were threatened and drug kicking and screaming into greater federal oversight,...

...in the same way that the valid bondholders of GM/Chrysler debt were threatened and driven to accept 10cents on the dollar so obama could give those companies to his union pals,...

...in the same way that conservatives (in business and in political activism) who supported Romney were singled out for extra-special IRS scrutiny,...

...in the same way that obama accused doctors of cutting off diabetics legs instead of providing better chemical care of their diabetic patients (simply based on an evil profit motive,...

...we know see perfectly rational people who chose personal medical plans that were rationally aligned with their needs and risk pools being accused of being "free-loaders", "takers", etc.

This is what leftists do.

It's what they've always done anywhere they have gained power.

It's what they always will do.

Why?

Because "reality" cannot be allowed to intrude on the leftist plans to burn down and rebuild society to fit the lefts version of what is "fair".

Gotta break alot of eggs to make the leftist omelet.

Of course, with leftists, the eggs get broken but the omelet never shows up.

BDNYC said...

There's something very creepy about his formulation. I can't quite put my finger on it, but being told that I can't keep the benefits of my own good health strikes me as a highly invasive view of government power. Do you know what I mean?

Quite aside from the creepy invasiveness of his notion, does Chait not realize that punishing those with good health might have a terrible result? Who would want to do the hard work of achieving good health - eating right, exercising, etc - if they can't reap all the benefits of good health? Shouldn't we want to encourage people to achieve good health on their own so that they can live a relatively uncomplicated life, with a reduced reliance on doctors and hospitals, i.e., a healthy life that doesn't burden the healthcare system?

Paul Zrimsek said...

In the long run, Obama and his supporters may incur less political damage from the fact that they screwed millions of people over, than they will from the indifferent shrug with which they did it.

The Drill SGT said...

Can somebody answer a question that Chait seems to dance over?

1. Don't the same 20 odd Obamacare mandates apply to group policies under the Left side of his chart, e.g. 49% get employer sponsored HC?

2. Cause if that isn't the case, why were all the Catholic employers arguing they didn't want to spring for the morally reprehensible mandates?

4. If employers do need to buy new improved policies that cover all the new mandates, then the 49% of the nation that is in that bucket is harmed by Obamacare as well, in that they get less choice, and it costs them more, only one step removed, because every dollar the employer pays in added mandate costs is a dollar less in raises...

Hammond X Gritzkofe said...

Prof. A. said: " The government's sophisticated assessment of what you should want is a truer of test of what you, at a deep level, like."

Exactly. These people are the best qualified to know how our money should be spend - not just tax money it has and the money it creates on credit, but our "discretionary" money we spend ourselves.

We should stop this senseless carping, get with the program, and support the President.

He picked these people because they support him, and he is the one we elected to tell us what to do.

It's wrong to be divisive.

Iconochasm said...

You really ought to read Atlas Shrugged, professor. Because that, right there, was some Ayn Rand villain shit. But it's really amazing how many progressives truly believe that not giving a benefit is the same thing as actively causing a harm. Even more amazing is that none of them realize that that moral premise makes each of them (by their own moral reckoning, compared to how the following stack in any other moral reckoning) far worse than Hitler, Stalin, Mao and Lord Voldemort combined.

EDH said...

You know, once the premium sticker-shock of Obamacare sinks in, you can predict Chait's next argument.

Given all the subsidies in Obamacare: "if you don't want to pay higher taxes, you must also believe the sick must be denied medical care".

Bob Boyd said...

The whole idea of Obamacare is based on confusing insurance with public assistance. Chait continues that here.
Why didn't Democrats just come out and say we are going to take money from groups X,Y and Z and use it to provide health care for groups a,b and c? Because there wasn't support for that. X,Y and Z would have said no fucking way.
They had to deceive people into thinking the money would come from "smart policy",i.e. overall improvements to the entire system and from faceless rich people and corporations.
Many trusted Obama enough not to bother themselves about the details. They felt good supporting a cool guy who wanted to help people.
Obamacare is a bunch of small lies wrapped in one big lie.
The media has been complicit in these lies from the start, both outright and by omission.
I expect them to keep up the good work.

Paul Zrimsek said...

The quote in the title won't even fly even if you manage somehow to blow through Althouse's objections. Even given that something ought to be done for people whose ex ante risk level is so high as to make them uninsurable at a price they could possibly afford, all you've shown is that someone should subsidize them; your choice to saddle young, healthy people with the entire cost still has to be justified. We don't stick these people with the bill for things like food stamps, SS disability payments, or unemployment insurance; what's special about health care?

The Drill SGT said...

"They had to deceive people into thinking the money would come from "smart policy",i.e. overall improvements to the entire system and from faceless rich people and corporations"

The mythical: "Fraud, Waste, and Abuse"

jr565 said...

Why must we believe those two things together at the same time?

rhhardin said...

I reap the benefits of my good health by not buying insurance at all.

Ralph Hyatt said...

This goes back to the "you didn't build that" mind set.

It's pure luck that you are healthy and have the means to obtain health insurance.

Therefore, you have a moral responsibility to subsidize medical care for those not so fortunate.

Of course, it wasn't sold that way. The president and the Democrat party straight out lied to get the law enacted.

Larry J said...

Once again with the deliberate misrepresentation of health care with health insurance, only this one arguing that healthy people are obligated to pay more so the unhealthy can pay less.

St. George said...

Comrade, you must leave your home and go to the commune because what you have here is not so good, though you may think it so, but, in truth, I tell you you are being unfair. You do not really like what you have. I know what is best.

Freeman Hunt said...

What about the people who bought fancy insurance while healthy, became sick while on it, and are now being booted thanks to Obamacare?

Michael K said...

"From each according to their ability; to each according to their need."

And the nomenklatura have greater needs.

Who would have thought that was possible here ?

The Drill SGT said...

The whole reason that Team Obama lied about, If you like your doc you can keep your doc, if you like your insurance you can keep your insurance is because of "Harry and Louise"

They Chose, We Lose

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Dt31nhleeCg

Paul Zrimsek said...

Exploiting kids for premiums is tough. We have to put up with a lot of bad conversation.

The Drill SGT said...

Freeman Hunt said...
What about the people who bought fancy insurance while healthy, became sick while on it, and are now being booted thanks to Obamacare?


I assume the "pre-existing conditions" stuff kicks in, but, I'll pose a different question

Suppose my insurance coverage was just canceled because it was out of bounds for 'grandfathering" AND the Obamacare web site debacle continues beyond Dec 15, who covers me on Jan 1?


Paul said...

Really it's nothing more than attempt to rationalize Obama's lies and his policy failures. I think weasels like Chait go through these convolutions mainly in attempt to convince themselves of this nonsense so they can continue to imagine they hold the moral high ground.

Because for liberals it's all about the conceit of their imagined moral superiority, and everything they do is animated by that egoistic impulse.

That's why applying logic to an argument with a liberal is a waste of time. It's like sword fighting a fart.

Paul said...

"If you believe the healthy are entitled to keep the financial benefits of their good health, then you must also believe the sick must be denied medical care."

This is just a fake guilt trip by trying to force you into believing if you don't allow them to take your money then sick people will die..

Pass of that lie then I could say if you believe in owning a gun then you believe it's ok to shoot kids.

Funny thing is, most of the ones printing such bull are limousine liberals. They are rich but want YOU to pay for others welfare.

But the reality is, if you are sick it is YOUR responsibly to find ways to get care, not the other guy down the street.

Tom said...

What I supported was a plan that made the US govt the insurer of last resort for a modest raise in the Medicare taxes. The way this would work is the the government would insure everyone with a deductible of 15% (give or take based on what makes the best financial sense) of their adjusted annual income (individual or household, for families). Now, for some people it would make sense to self-insure for this 15% and for others, an insurance policy makes sense. There can be cost controls baked into anything above 15%, so you may want another catastrophic policy to cover the best new treatment. But everyone would be covered in the case of a health crisis to the point they at least wouldn't need to go bankrupt. It would also encourage pharma to market routine drugs at a reasonable cost because, if they don't, people won't use them.

I'm sure there are holes in a plan like that - so please, by all means, find and shoot more holes in it. But I can't understand why something like this hasn't been proposed by Republicans.

Freeman Hunt said...

Drill Sgt, right, the pre-existing kicks in, but the new plans are expensive. The alternatives in our state are plans that do not cover pre-existing, cost the same as the old plans, and will result in a fine.

CWJ said...

Person A wanted and bought insurance. Person B apparently wants and demands pre-paid health care. One is not the other and vice versa.

A commenter I labeled incoherent recently accused me of thinking myself oh so smart and clever. I know I am nothing of the sort. However, I have no trouble labeling Jonathan Chait as such. He is a sophist of the first order. And I assume he is pretty darn proud of his sophistry. Playing with words and false equivalencies is fun!

Jupiter said...

If you believe Johnathon Chait has a right to exist, then you must also hold puppies down while I cut their heads off. With a rusty old penknife.

whswhs said...

BDNYC: Your point about the incentive effects of taxing the healthy for the benefit of the sick being a way to induce people to take poorer care of their health is well taken. But there's a next step: the "fat and fags" movement in the UK (the polite name is "patient responsibility," but I find the rude name more evocative). The proposal there is that if you smoke, or weigh more than an approved amount, you will be denied all health services other than emergency treatment of immediately life-threatening conditions. Of course, you won't be exempted from the heavy taxes that pay for those health services! (Reportedly the UK has exceptionally high cigarette taxes that give rise to smuggling, for example.) The healthy are going to resent being imposed on and will find people to take it out on.

rehajm said...

non sequitur of the week.

rehajm said...

non sequitur of the week.

Jason said...

Number 2 = "She secretly wanted it."

El Pollo Raylan said...

Our low-cost insurance-buyer wasn't free-loading! He was making a rational decision that did not unfairly rely on society's unwillingness to deny medical care to the sick. He opted not to pool his money with others for the day-to-day expenses that he incurs before anything big happens. What he declined to do was subsidize other people's routine health care. And he had insurance to cover him if something really expensive comes up.

That's a bingo, Althouse and thank you for pointing that out. After years and years of paying into an expensive healthcare plan, I jumped at the opportunity to put the same amount of money per month into lower cost catastrophic coverage and the difference into an HSA for routine stuff. Now it's gone.

Titus said...

My hubby and I have a platinum caddy plan and there are going to be no changes.

I don't really give a shit about the rest of America.

How are you?

I am super, thanks for asking!

Have a terrific weekend!

tits.

CWJ said...

"Isn't it bad enough that this person was egregiously lied to?! You have to also brand him as a taker?!"

The Althouse quote above hits on what bothers me the most about all of this.

They twisted legislative procedure into an unrecognizable pretzel to get Obamacare passed with a Cornhusker Kickback and Louisiana Purchase to close the deal.

They lied to us throughout the process.

Any critic or criticism regardless of how legitimate was mocked and demonized from the lectern, pulpit, East and West coast salons, and almost all the media.

And now that the critics' predictions are just BEGINNING to come true, they double down with every expectation of getting away with it.

Now that the lies are beginning to be revealed, do they at least have the decency to shut up? No, they have to spin their lies as OUR fault. They say that our existing individual health plans are crappy/substandard. That somehow we owe THEM. I don't expect a mea culpa, just stop insulting and demonizing me.

And when they are not actively insulting us, they're patronizing us by pointing out that even though the barn door is closed, the horse is gone. No shit Sherlock! Kesler's 4 pinochios is scant recompence for years of covering for these liars when honest journalism actually could have made a difference.

I've eaten a lot of shit sandwiches in my life. We all do at one time or another. We get by. We soldier on. But the one thing that sets me off more than any other is that when I'm eating one and they expect, no demand, that I smile.

So a collective fuck you to the Dems, this administration, and the Jonathan Chait's of the world. Enjoy your cocktail party invitations, and the fawning of your sycophants.

ALP said...

whswhs:

"The proposal there is that if you smoke, or weigh more than an approved amount, you will be denied all health services other than emergency treatment of immediately life-threatening conditions."
***********
This brings up something that is constantly festering in my mind:

We hear a lot of yammering from various people that health care is a "basic right".

But don't rights come with responsibilities? It would seem fair that if we want to extend the "right" of health care to all, it is each person's responsibility to keep themselves healthy to the extent they can, controlling aspects of their health that they can control.

That's the discussion I'd like to see politicians take up...but I won't hold my breath.

Whatever happened to the rights = responsibilities concept? Or did I dream that up?

avwh said...

"Life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness", with guys like Chait morph into " you didn't do anything to DESERVE that good health you have, so you HAVE to pay more for all those in bad health".

It's the classic left thinking: equal outcomes, not equal opportunity. If they need to be fascists to enforce that, so be it.

Titus said...

I am totally Ayn but don't smoke or utilize medicare/social security.

I am total giver, not taker....in every sense.

Chick, pull yourself up by your bootstraps and quit compalining you whiney Sullivanist bitch.

El Pollo Raylan said...

@Titus: I am heartened that you have adopted my term "sullivanist."

Long may it live!

El Pollo Raylan said...

BTW & FTR, I use the term "sullivanist" not to demote or ridicule The Man, Sullivan, but rather to prod, poke, and needle his bigoted followers.

PackerBronco said...

If you believe people should be able to enjoy gourmet food, then you must also believe that the poor should starve.

If you believe that parents should be able to send their children to good private schools, then you must also believe that the poor should be left uneducated.


Michael K said...



" 11/1/13, 7:07 PM
Blogger Titus said...

My hubby and I have a platinum caddy plan and there are going to be no changes.

I don't really give a shit about the rest of America."

The next shoe will drop when you find out which hospitals will accept your plan. Are you sure ?

Shahid Alam said...

Tom wrote:
What I supported was a plan that made the US govt the insurer of last resort for a modest raise in the Medicare taxes. The way this would work is the the government would insure everyone with a deductible of 15% (give or take based on what makes the best financial sense) of their adjusted annual income (individual or household, for families).


So you're suggesting a system that charges individuals and families more for decreasing benefit? It's certainly nakedly redistributive, and well in spirit of a tax code with various 100%+ effective marginal tax rate intervals.

No, this never needed to be as hard as all that if the objective was really to just help the relative few who needed it instead of screwing over everyone else.

El Pollo Raylan said...

If you believe that people should be able to live in fabulous dwellings, then you must also believe that the poor should be left unhoused.

The end is listless.

NotquiteunBuckley said...

We sat here right in this room and went over this and over this!

JERRY
Yah, but that TruCoat -

CUSTOMER
I sat right here and said I didn't want no TruCoat!

JERRY
Yah, but I'm sayin', that TruCoat,
you don't get it and you get
oxidization problems. It'll cost
you a heck of lot more'n five hunnert -

CUSTOMER
You're sittin' here, you're talkin'
in circles! You're talkin' like
we didn't go over this already!

JERRY
Yah, but this TruCoat -

CUSTOMER
We had us a deal here for nine-teen-five. You sat there and darned if you didn't tell me you'd get this car, these options, WITHOUT THE SEALANT, for nine-teen-five!

JERRY
Okay, I'm not sayin' I didn't -

FARGO

Starring Barack "Those numbers are right alright" Obama.

Hagar said...

The short version: All you have are belong to us.

Left Bank of the Charles said...

Is it actually unlawful for insurance companies to continue the plans that are being cancelled? Sure, a particular policy might not meet the minimum standards to avoid the individual mandate tax, but is that reason enough to cancel the policy, if the insured wants to keep it in force?

Sounds like a plausible basis for a class action lawsuit.

But if your plan doesn't include a right of renewal, don't you see that your right to keep your plan is an empty one. The people who do get to keep their plans are folks like the unions who were able to negotiate that right. That's who the promise was directed too.

n.n said...

Who is Chait's target audience? Not even the children are so naive or immature to buy into his regressive paradigm, or are they.

I wonder if they are more upset about Obamacare's optics, or that it consists of little more than a massive increase in subsidies, which implies stunted or even negative economic progress; or that it entails increased total costs, which implies not only a preservation of the status quo, but progressive cost inflation in medical care, or more likely general inflation (those trillion dollar deficits are not free).

I am concerned that while there is no unalienable right to Life, there is an unearned right to health care. There was a serious liability accrued when we treated labor as a mere commodity. There is a progressive liability accrued when we treat life itself as a commodity (i.e. without intrinsic value).

pm317 said...

Has Mr. Chait enrolled in Obamacare? If he has not, why has he not? He should volunteer to give up his cushy employer paid insurance and buy a plan using Obamacare that has the highest premium with the highest deductible. I want to know why if he does not want to do that. Hope he writes about it.

traditionalguy said...

To understand Obama's ways one only needs to study the crafty ways of V. I. Lenin.

Henry said...

If the Democrats wanted to provide health care to poor people they could have made that their goal. They did not.

No revisonist cant, no rhetorical bird bath can change that. This law isn't about how the poor get care. It is about how insurance companies get money.

Richard Dolan said...

Appeals to fairness, particularly with respect to the allocation of goods such as medical care or intangibles such as risk, always assume a common set of values and priorities that just don't exist in our society. There are sophisticated versions of that argument (e.g. Rawls) and purely rhetorical one (Chait's, e.g.). But the persuasiveness of the argument turns on whether the reader agrees, consciously or (more often) just impressionistically, with the value scheme used to provide the measure of fairness.

Economics does not use fairness as a criterion at all; instead, it focuses on efficiency and then looks at the macro- and micro- impacts of the various mandates, incentives and subsidies that comprise O-care. They are, singly and even more so in combo, crazy.

Just to focus on the macro- level, O-care requires insurance plans to cover preventive care. But if everyone acted on the essentially cost-free access to preventive care built in to O-care -- all those check-ups, mammograms, colonoscopies, endless blood tests, and on and on -- medical providers would have no time to attend to anything else, such as sick people. That is symptomatic of the main problem with O-care on the macro- level -- in conception, it portends a massive increase in the resources devoted to medical care in the US, where one of the key failings of the pre-O-care system was that the US was already devoting far more resources to medical care than comparable societies, with nothing to show overall in terms of better health results.

Not a good idea, and on any rational scale, not likely to lead to a result anyone would recognize as fair (and certainly not efficient).

El Pollo Raylan said...

Henry wrote: If the Democrats wanted to provide health care to poor people they could have made that their goal. They did not.

No revisonist cant, no rhetorical bird bath can change that. This law isn't about how the poor get care. It is about how insurance companies get money.


Exactly. There was time when some dear liberals believed that the Iraq war was Bush II's personal war, based on Saddam's threats to Bush I and a feeling of not having finished the job. Presidents are driven by personal agenda was the mantra. I believe I read it in The Atlantic.

Obama's animus against American healthcare insurance companies is also a personal vendetta. Scratch the internet records--speeches, thoughts, writings, and you will find a man personally angry about the fate of his own mother--Stanley Dunham--who after living a life abroad without paying into American insurance, fully expected to be cared for when her sickness came. It's really as simple as that. He could have come up with a better solution.

somefeller said...

If the Democrats wanted to provide health care to poor people they could have made that their goal.

And they would have been attacked as wealth-redistributing socialists led by a Kenyan seekrit mooslim had they done so, just the same as they were for endorsing national Romneycare. Plus, as we all know, policies seen as being redistributive rather than universal are easier for conservatives to demagogue and attack (see AFDC vs. Social Security).

Once again, the problems in the system are being noted and addressed by people with the credibility to do so. Conservatives don't have that credibility and should pour themselves a big cup of STFU on this topic.

Xmas said...

The people with catastrophic plans, that pay for basic medical services with money out of their pockets (or perhaps a HSA or FSA), are the only people setting an actual market price for medical goods and services.

Everyone else is paying for medical goods and services at prices negotiated by a biased third party.

pm317 said...

Hey somefeller, are you the 6th guy?

Illuninati said...

This is more BS from the left. By making BS excuses for their blatant lies, excuses which he knows his victims will recognize as BS, he along with the remainder of the lefties are gloating. There will be a few marginal Democrats who might feel the heat, but by and large the Democrats probably feel safe. They know that hate speech and unrefuted lies, no matter how ridiculous, works.

Two weeks of unending slander against the Republicans and especially the Tea Party have so poisoned the minds of their target audience that the could do about anything and will suffer little harm. One would think shafting millions of people would work against them, but by now the Democrats have succeeded in convincing a large segment of the population that their fellow citizens are their enemies and deserve to be damaged in any way possible.

TosaGuy said...

Once one understands how progs are immersed completely into grieving about privilege then one can understand why Chait wrote what he did

To be healthy is to have privilege.

Henry said...

@somefeller - It was STFU that got us to this point. Sure reforming Medicaid would have generated opposition. But so did the ACA. The Democrats were in a position to pass anything they wanted and they chose this.

They could have gone for direct, fair, and compassionate. Instead they went for Byzantine, deceptive, and collusive. STFU, they explained.

Unfortunately for your apologists and equivocators, STFU doesn't work anymore.

CatherineM said...

Dont worry! Mother russia help you! I think this with all of these policies. My 6th grade teacher would say that as he pretended to choke a student pretending to be poland. Same thing. The polish never gave in. I am not to sure about us today. 24hr news saying, "shhh shhhhh. Trust him. He's just giving everyone tgeir fair share. He is your benevolent leader!"

Lydia said...

Commissar Chait and friends are really showing their Marxist-Leninist leanings now. And we, I'm afraid are the kulaks in this story because we just don't want to go along with their plans. And they're getting closer each day to Lenin's rhetoric about kulaks, whom he called "bloodsuckers, vampires, plunderers of the people and profiteers".

somefeller said...

Oh, I'd agree the Democrats didn't go far enough and should have gone for Medicare For All, single-payer or at least the public option. They made the mistake of trying to go for a more moderate approach and wasted a lot of time trying to appease Republicans who weren't going to come along. Obama's naïveté and overly conciliatory attitude towards the Right didn't buy him anything in the end. Lesson learned.

But "direct, fair and compassionate" are three things the GOP would never sign onto, so once again I say - STFU. You had your chance to be constructive and passed that up years ago.

Ambrose said...

This is an attempt to grab the high land, but it is wrong. Obamacare is a poorly designed healthcare program that will result is worse healthcare in the US. That means, Mr. Chait, that more people will die because of tis. Dead children will be the result of this ill-advised idea. The bureaucrats who run this will do well, but sick children are going to die because the Democrats wanted to federalize healthcare. And no one in the Democrat Party cares.

Michael K said...

"wasted a lot of time trying to appease Republicans who weren't going to come along."

Oh, that's what it was ! I appreciate the translation of "I won."

PackerBronco said...

Blogger somefeller said...

Nice try at rewriting history, but it ain't gonna work. Obama couldn't get a public option and certainly not single payer passed because he didn't have the votes within his own caucus.

Illuninati said...

Somefeller said:
" Obama's naïveté and overly conciliatory attitude towards the Right didn't buy him anything in the end. Lesson learned."

I'm not sure why the Democrats chose the present system, but it is their choice alone. If Obama and the Democrats were ever "conciliatory" I missed it. Right after the election the first thing they started talking about is how they could shut down talk radio. From day one, they have moved against one right after another. Trying to take away people's constitutional rights is not "conciliatory" in my book. They didn't need any Republican votes to pass it and didn't get any. For the majority of the Presidents term we have heard nothing but hate speech from the Democrats.

"Oh, I'd agree the Democrats didn't go far enough and should have gone for Medicare For All, single-payer or at least the public option."

They did go for Medicare, just not the way you are suggesting. They robbed the "lock box" which they had promised the seniors they, the Democrats, would guard against any raids by those rascally Republicans.




Michael K said...

"And they would have been attacked as wealth-redistributing socialists led by a Kenyan seekrit mooslim had they done so, just the same as they were for endorsing national Romneycare."

Some of us actually know your comment is a lie. Romney vetoed the employer mandate and the 80$D Mass legislature overrode the veto.

A basic plan for the poor would have been OK. The problem i the progressive's obsession with everyone having the same plan. In 1965, I was a medical student. The big public hospitals provided good care for the poor. Medicaid specifically excluded public hospitals from reimbursement. The result was Medicaid mills that gave lousy care and the decline of the big public teaching hospitals.

The left insists that no one can have better care than the worst available.

PackerBronco said...

somefeller said...

Once again, the problems in the system are being noted and addressed by people with the credibility to do so.

I would say the group that's lacking credibility are the Dems and specifically Obama. What are we left with now? Two options? Either Obama was so damn stupid that he thought his statement that "you could keep your own plan" was the truth, or he knew it was a lie and said it anyway, multiple times.

And how's that credibility standing up with the Web site rollout? Y'know all of the lies that in the weeks leading up to the rollout that the Web site was functional and GREAT? And then lying about how it was the volume that caused the site to crash when we learn later on that the site was crashing in the minimal beta testing they put it through.

So is the administration mendacious or incompetent? Hell of choice there and not much to build your credibility on.

betamax3000 said...

What is This Obamacare People Seem to Be Talking About? Should I Be Paying Attention?





I Want a Milkshake.

NotquiteunBuckley said...

Look, just as Bush let Teddy write No Child Left Behind:

OBAMACARE IS A REPUBLICAN BILL!!!

Dummies.

Just, duh. Why don't you get it?

OBAMACARE IS A REPUBLICAN BILL!!!

OBAMACARE IA A REPUBLICAN BILL!!!

traditionalguy said...

Chait's message is simple: "private property" is abolished and the American middleclass (a/k/a the Bourgeoisie") shall be be eliminated forever.

Real American said...

this fucked up mindset forms the fundamental basis of the leftist redistributionist program and ideas: take from those who earned it and give it to those who didn't. Instead of having a rising tide lift all boats, sink all the boats so they're at the same level...at the fucking bottom of the sea.

somefeller said...

Nice try at rewriting history, but it ain't gonna work. Obama couldn't get a public option and certainly not single payer passed because he didn't have the votes within his own caucus.

Agreed, he didn't have the votes in his own caucus. Because there were a lot of Democrats who didn't want to go that far, mainly because they weren't progressive enough, or were in search of mythical GOP congressional support or the support of conservative voters at home. The last item is easy to understand and more forgivable. But the main point is the same. Conservatives got in the way of a better health insurance reform plan, attacked what was suggested and spent they time demagoging and wallowing in resentments and conspiracy theories. They had chances to be credible interlocutors and passed them up.

somefeller said...

A basic plan for the poor would have been OK.

Glad to see you feel that way. Unfortunately, that wouldn't have been okay with most politically active conservatives, as shown by the events of the past several years. When it comes to social policies that seek to help the poor, conservatives never miss an opportunity to miss an opportunity.

PackerBronco said...

somefeller said...

Agreed, he didn't have the votes in his own caucus. Because there were a lot of Democrats who didn't want to go that far

That's not what you wrote earlier. Crediblity problems? Can't get your spin straight?

, mainly because they weren't progressive enough, or were in search of mythical GOP congressional support or the support of conservative voters at home.

Yeah, trying to do the will of the voters really gets in the way of the progressive agenda, don't it?

Conservatives got in the way of a better health insurance reform plan, attacked what was suggested and spent they time demagoging

It's sure looking like the Conservatives critique of ObamaCare was spot on. It ain't demagoging if it's true.

It's the Dems that are furiously spinning their earlier - well, let's be charitable and call them "misstatements."

PackerBronco said...

NotquiteunBuckley said...

OBAMACARE IS A REPUBLICAN BILL!!!

The Dems spin on this fiasco is so ridiculous these days that I can no longer tell whether this is a sarcastic post or a real one.

poppa india said...

Somefeller wants the GOP to STFU because they passed chances to be constructive years ago. Does that means we should be pleased with a system which upsets millions of people's healthcare plans and is (supposedly) to be entered into by a failed website (which is not leading to much public trust in the planner's abilities)? So, since the planners of the Titanic are known to be failures, we should be happy with the work of the Hindenburg's designers.
Anyway, the GOP has put forward several plans to address healthcare issues, but they were canned by the Dem's senate leader.

Henry said...

The only pragmatic thing about the ACA was cowardice. Otherwise it was vanity. It looks more important to come up with a big new thing than to reform the old. It is easier to rhapsodize about the unknown than to remap the known.

In a way it is good that Chait is willing to claim this state of affairs. Here is a mark by which he and his ilk may be judged.

But it is telling that Chait is already desperate for scapegoats. Expect more of this to come. Cowardice seeps downward.

Illuninati said...

somefeller said:
"Conservatives got in the way of a better health insurance reform plan, attacked what was suggested and spent they time demagoging and wallowing in resentments and conspiracy theories. They had chances to be credible interlocutors and passed them up."

For the life of me, I can't see why Republicans would want to be involved in this lefty project. The Democrats had the chance to create something good which had bipartisan support but didn't because they wanted to move much farther to the left than most Americans were prepared to go.

As Hawaii and Massachusetts had already demonstrated, it was possible to set up state health care systems without disrupting healthcare for the entire country. The Democrats were not willing to settle for that because they knew that the citizens of many states were not interested in government medicine. As true "self styled progressives" they were determined to force their will on people who disagreed with them. That is why we are where we are today.

Michael The Magnificent said...

I think people are missing an important point about "grandfathering" in existing policies.

Name one incentive for an insurance company to keep a policy grandfathered in.

They actually have every incentive (yet another perverse incentive built into obamacare) to terminate your policy, and offer you a much higher priced one in it's place. They get to blame obamcare, AND raise your premiums, AND raise your deductibles, AND know full well that the law says you HAVE to have an insurance policy or else the IRS is coming after you.

We have incentivized small businesses to fire enough people to get below the 50 full-time employee threshold.

We have incentivized businesses to shorten part time workers hours from 34 hours per week to 29.

We have incentivized low income workers to lower their income so as to be eligible for more subsidies in the Obamcare marketplace.

We have de-incentivized healthy living habits, since the healthy and non-healthy now pay the same premium.

We have incentivized businesses and governments to drop health insurance as an employment benefit, since the $2000/employee penalty is far less than their contributions towards their employee's health care plans.

This is no shit sandwich. This is a shit diet. You think this is bad? Just wait until the employer mandate kicks in a year from now.

Oh, and to all the koolaid drinkers out there, who called us racist for actually reading the fucking legislation (I read the first 300 pages, which was enough), and pointing out why it was a recipe for disaster, ESAD!

pm317 said...

When it comes to social policies that seek to help the poor, conservatives never miss an opportunity to miss an opportunity.

What is the origin of "all liberals are good and all republicans, er, conservatives are evil"? The usual 'I must be great, because I think so much about helping the poor'.

pm317 said...

@Michael The Magnificent

I read recently that insurance companies don't want the enrollment deadline pushed. They cancelled these plans for a reason. By golly, they will get their share of this Obamacare heist. Speaking of heist, the company that is now contracted to fix Obamacare was a big Obama bundler. CGI was a family affair and this one is an extended family affair.

somefeller said...

What is the origin of "all liberals are good and all republicans, er, conservatives are evil"? The usual 'I must be great, because I think so much about helping the poor'.

I didn't claim all liberals are good and all conservatives are evil. But the origin of the idea that liberals generally support policies that help the less fortunate while conservatives don't is based on the history of the last century or so. Conservatives (many of whom were Democrats) opposed the New Deal, Great Society, the Civil Rights movement and various other movements that made America a better place, while liberals (many of whom were Republicans) supported those things. Facts are stubborn things and influence people.

somefeller said...

The Democrats had the chance to create something good which had bipartisan support but didn't because they wanted to move much farther to the left than most Americans were prepared to go.

They had no such chance for constructive bipartisanship on health care and many other issues. The GOP decided to oppose anything Obama supported the moment Rush Limbaugh said he wanted Obama to fail, if not earlier. Obama's mistake was in not realizing that early enough, but he seems to have learned from that. But once again, conservatives have no credibility because of the way they have conducted themselves and should STFU until they've done adequate penance for their shenanigans.

LilyBart said...


Life is uneven. You can't fix that by turning over control of your life and your money to power-hungry, self-interested politians.

pm317 said...

wow, talk about stereotyping. I am just surprised how ingrained this whole 'we care about the poor and they don't' idea is. I think it is more because of the media propaganda but Republicans are not really smart in countering that perception either (understandable to some extent because they do not have any support from the media whatsoever). This country's politics is so much more fucked up that I ever realized. I hope there is a revolt and a lot more independents and people in the middle and not tied to either extremes.

BTW, the generally poorer minority gave a big support, 95+%, to the party of the poor and the one man who would help them. I wonder what he or his party is doing about that? Last time I heard, he was giving them phones.

hombre said...

somefeller wrote: "But the origin of the idea that liberals generally support policies that help the less fortunate while conservatives don't is based on the history of the last century or so."

Only for those who are ignorant of history, basic economics, and the essence of conservatism.

In other words,those who believe that liberal policies help the less fortunate by creating more of them and perpetuating their misfortune.

Paul Zrimsek said...

Plus, as we all know, policies seen as being redistributive rather than universal are easier for conservatives to demagogue and attack (see AFDC vs. Social Security).

Clip and save: this may be the only time you'll ever see a soi-disant progressive admit that Republicans aren't attacking Social Security.

As for the rest, the upshot seems to be that the only people with the credibility to address a problem are the ones who caused it.

Insufficiently Sensitive said...

They had to deceive people into thinking the money would come from "smart policy",i.e. overall improvements to the entire system and from faceless rich people and corporations.

Richard Fernandez has nailed it with his numerous statements indicating, re government squandering, that the money would simply be extracted from The Stash, kept out of sight by The Man, and that the righteous downtrodden are entitled to, and are at last getting a share of, its inexhaustible bounty.

pm317 said...

This is embarrassing, I would laugh if it were not so serious.

LilyBart said...


How about this:

You're not entitled to neglect your health and become a financial liability to your fellow citizens. Therefore, going forward, it will be illegal to eat any junk food or sugar, and there shall be mandatory exercise programs. There will be no extreme sports, however (which is pretty much any sports activity where you can be injured. Cars will be considered too dangerous (and therefore too costly to the people) - you will take only public transportation.

Illuninati said...

Somefeller said:
"They had no such chance for constructive bipartisanship on health care and many other issues. The GOP decided to oppose anything Obama supported the moment Rush Limbaugh said he wanted Obama to fail, if not earlier. Obama's mistake was in not realizing that early enough, but he seems to have learned from that."

Somehow I seem to have missed the bipartisanship coming from the Democrats and Obama. Where did that come from?

Rush Limbaugh speaks for himself, not the Republican party. He said that when he said he hoped Obama failed he was referring to his radical agenda. I'm sure that he would have been delighted if Obama had proven him wrong and had moved to the center and governed from the middle. That never happened.

I have been worried about this administration from the beginning. After the election there were people in the streets outside the Whitehouse waving the hammer and sickle. Apparently they thought Obama's win was their win. Granted they were not necessarily representative of the new administration, but it was alarming just as if members of the KKK were to celebrate the election of a Republican president. I'm sure you would worry if you saw that. Shortly afterwards Anita Dunn, a member of Obama's inner circle, said one of her favorite philosopher is Mao Tse-tung. Shortly after the elections the Democrats decided to go after people first amendment rights and to shut up talk radio. I know about that because I wrote my Senator protesting his stance and he reiterated his position against allowing unfettered speech on the radio.



n.n said...

I have to question Chait's sincerity. Since he believes that human life has no intrinsic value, and that it is a mere commodity, then what is his motivation to "help" men and women without an earned value, and who are, in fact, burdens on society?

The same question must be posed to Obama, Reid et al. It's not just that they are preserving the status quo, but they are effecting a change in the existing order for their political and financial benefit.

Illuninati:

It's the same with the budget. Obama and Reid have stubbornly rejected budgets which would constrain their massive deficits and force accountability of their liberal spending habits. In fact, Obama has done this twice. Each time to coerce a consensus. The first time for Obamacare. The second time to preserve a progressive redistribution scheme in order to fund it. Obama said he would use a scalpel in pursuit of reform, but has only done hatchet jobs since his entry to office.

heyboom said...

@illuninati:

I'm sure you saw the news about Obama signing an executive order giving himself control of climate change policy:

http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2013/11/01/obama-creates-climate-change-task-force/

Looking more and more like the dictator he is at heart. Like his father.

Ctmom4 said...

@ NN n.n said...
I have to question Chait's sincerity. Since he believes that human life has no intrinsic value, and that it is a mere commodity, then what is his motivation to "help" men and women without an earned value, and who are, in fact, burdens on society?" He is not helping them. He has his cushy employer provided healthcare plan. ( at least for the time being ? he wants to help them help themselves to our money.

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

I'm truly enjoying this whole "It's the Republicans' fault for not helping" line of argument.

I suppose this is because it requires an unstated acknowledgement that leftists are incompetent.

Carl said...

Parsing what Chait says is a waste of time. He's a whore devoid of the slightest shred of self-respect. He will say and do anything to keep the good opinion of power. If Obama proposed everyone jump on Carrousel at age 30 to be vaporized, not to save costs or anything, but just so he and Michelle could watch and laugh, Chait would write a sententious column in TNR or the LA Times the next day extolling the nobility and genius of the idea, and cursing obstructionist Republicans for not groveling sufficiently submissively. I would say he defines "useful idiot" except I don't think he's that useful, he drools on boots instead of merely licking. Icky.

wholelottasplainin' said...

There he goes again....attempting to immanentize the eschaton.

It's all part of Sowell's idea that progs seek "cosmic justice", where all the inequities of life itself are solved by simply forcing those who have more give it up to those who have less.

And isn't it....curious...that Chait passes over in silence the waivers that Obama's political supporters get? Are those groups immune to the charge of believing sick people must be denied health care simply because they fought successfully to get to keep theirs?

avwh said...

"Obama's overly conciliatory attitude towards the Right"

Yeah, "I won, STFU" is very conciliatory.
So is "you can't get in the car or drive again because you drove it into the ditch".

And the IRS auditing R enemies and holding up all non-profit tax status applications? Yeah, super-conciliatory.

You know who needs to STFU, somefeller? You and the incompetent executive in the White House, who lied for 5 years about his signature legislation, AND totally f#%ed up the rollout that was required to implement his stealth redistribution under the guise of some twisted version of "universal healthcare". (Because everyone knows requiring mandatory health insurance automatically means they all magically get healthcare, right?)

Annie said...

wholelottasplainin, Sowell is too kind in attributing an almost noble deed/outcome to the 'elite' amongst us. It's a ruse. They are filthy corrupt lying thieves who give not one shit about the poor or anyone else. They are interested in power and causing others that don't agree with them or they resent, pain. They seem to relish it.
And the few true believers who comment here, are breathtaking in their defense of them and the lies. Not to mention willful ignorance of facts, history, and outcomes because SHUT UP. Mean-spirited and intolerant like the man they worship. I've yet to see them mention those waivers.

Gary Rosen said...

" Anita Dunn, a member of Obama's inner circle, said one of her favorite philosopher is Mao Tse-tung."

Mao has some redeeming qualities. He once said, "I like dealing with rightists. They tell you what they really think unlike the leftists who say one thing and think another".

eric said...

Wasn't there a link to a Megan McArdle article on this website not too long ago that said we'd never get single payer, so don't worry about it? That it wasn't politically possible because 85% of the public already have health insurance that they like and wouldn't give that up?

Um, did McArdle not read the story about 92 million people will be giving up their healthcare for obamacare come this next year?

What a fool.

Kirk Parker said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Kirk Parker said...

"Isn't it bad enough that this person was egregiously lied to?! You have to also brand him as a taker?!"

This is what you voted for. Own it, Althouse. Still think McCain would have been just as bad?

John Lynch said...

The uninsured are the takers. By definition.

John Lynch said...

Also-

If people can be punished for having bad habits like smoking, why can they also be punished for having good habits that result in good health?

FleetUSA said...

My conclusion is that Obamacare rather than being surgical with our health care system used the Wrecking Ball approach and is implementing a system in which the population will be put in Straight Jacket coverage - for "our" own good. Just too sad.

MayBee said...

Obama couldn't have made that argument because then he would have had to acknowledge his critics had very valid concerns. It was easier to call them extremists who only criticized him because they were unwilling to compromise.

Diogenes of Sinope said...

Not for one second does the Left give a damn about fairness. Fairness is a red herring. This is all about power over people.

It all boils down to Democratic politicians making your personal medical treatment decisions instead of you having choices. The Democrats through obamacare, are now controlling health insurance plans. Your insurance determines what medical treatments are acceptable, what medical treatments will be paid for and what medical treatments will not be paid for and the criteria for payment. If you don't control what is in your health care insurance policy, You don't control your medical care. So under obamacare politicians are making your personal medical care decisions. It's all about Liberals having control.

tim in vermont said...

" Conservatives don't have that credibility and should pour themselves a big cup of STFU on this topic."

What a funny thing to write in defense of a lie and the liar who told it.

Rusty said...

Somefeller said,

"Once again, the problems in the system are being noted and addressed by people with the credibility to do so."


That you believe this is disturbing and at the same time hilarious.


Once again. The ACA is not about healthcare at all, but the control of as much of your life as the government can get its hands on.
Obey.

Bob Loblaw said...

There's nothing liberal about progressives. They'd rather enslave the poor through government benefits and enslave the middle class to pay for it. You can't call yourself a liberal if the policies you espouse impede freedom and opportunity.

Original Mike said...

"Isn't it bad enough that this person was egregiously lied to?! You have to also brand him as a taker?!"

When caught in a lie, double-down. That's what these bastards are doing.

B said...

Chait is preaching to the faithful. If this is the official line that the progressives are going to take, 'all you people appalled about losing your insurance and being forced into plans with increased costs for less coverage with higher deductibles are just selfish' and, 'oh, by the way, its the republicans fault that this didn't occur earlier' then have at it. See how it plays next election year.

It doesn't matter that loyal fucktards like Somefeller try to push on blogs. Still spreading the bullshit talking points that this is somehow all the conservative's - read republican's or in some fevered dream Rush Limbaugh's - fault and once the website is fixed everyone will see how good Obamacare is for them doesn't matter to the general public. Hell, even the MSM, excepting the low audience share dedicated DNC water carriers still stuck on stupid, have passed beyond the website as the issue of people losing their current plans looms larger and larger.

The progressive sheep like Somefeller or Inga can't even understand much less address the unrushing trainwreck because their talking points don't allow discussing it. Fixing the website is irrelevant. People vote their pocketbooks and there is no way I can see that the real issues of the ACA can be laid at the feet of anyone except Obama and the politicians that voted for it.

somefeller said...

Clip and save: this may be the only time you'll ever see a soi-disant progressive admit that Republicans aren't attacking Social Security.

No, I'm said it's harder for conservatives to attack Social Security because of its universality, not that they don't do so. To be sure, many have moved on from that fight (primarily because they want elderly people to vote Republican), but many still attack it. In the latter case, their ancestors opposed the New Deal and they are still up for the fight. That's part of the short history lesson I gave last night.

Otherwise, I don't see much else happened of note after I signed off, despite all the pixels expended. Why don't you righties take my advice and STFU for a few years as penance for your actions? I'm just trying to help you out here.

Rusty said...

In the latter case, their ancestors opposed the New Deal and they are still up for the fight. That's part of the short history lesson I gave last night.


Jesus, fucking christ, but you're brilliant.

RecChief said...

logical fallacy 101

William Chadwick said...

I call it "liberal logic." Which is to say, no logic. "Liberals" (and by "liberals" I mean of course "tax-happy coercion-addicted State-humpers") should start a magazine, whioh would be their version of the libertarian magazine REASON, and call it NO REASON.

William Chadwick said...

I call it "liberal logic." Which is to say, no logic. "Liberals" (and by "liberals" I mean of course "tax-happy coercion-addicted State-humpers") should start a magazine, whioh would be their version of the libertarian magazine REASON, and call it NO REASON.

Inga said...

Somefeller, they should just keep talking. Afterall, it's going to help us win back the House, well keep the Senate and in 2016 we will have all three. If they are really worried about single payer, that would be the time.

n.n said...

Ctmom4:

That may offer him temporary comfort, but his motive, and the motive of the minority he supports, is political leverage, which provides a return in money and control.

In the past, this minority exploited labor. Actually, they still do, in the form of devaluation (e.g. trillion dollar deficits) and displacement (e.g. unmeasured or illegal immigration). Today, their focus is on exploiting conflict. Actually, that is also a traditional path to their elite status. They also denigrate individual dignity and devalue human life. So, really, not much has changed at all. They have simply improved their skill to obfuscate or guard their true nature.

Anyway, what is notable about his arguments and appeals, is that they still hesitate to fully enforce their diverse, incompatible agendas. They are still in a progressive state of consolidating capital and control, and, to a lesser extent, democratic leverage.

That said, the Republicans also hesitate to fully engage their purported agenda. This implies that there is at best a tenuous balance of power.

Conserve Liberty said...

It isn't a very large step to, "You can't keep the current benefits of your past good savings and investing habits. It isn't fair that you have more money than your neighbor,"

EMD said...

Somefeller, they should just keep talking. Afterall, it's going to help us win back the House, well keep the Senate and in 2016 we will have all three. If they are really worried about single payer, that would be the time.

What is this "we" shit? You 'voted' for Jill Stein, remember?

Inga said...

I'm still a Democrat, duh.