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By wiredog (Mon Aug 10, 2009 at 11:33:16 AM EST) (all tags)
From Krugman in the NY Times
For the most part, the protesters appear to be genuinely angry. The question is, what are they angry about?

There was a telling incident at a town hall held by Representative Gene Green, D-Tex. An activist turned to his fellow attendees and asked if they "oppose any form of socialized or government-run health care." Nearly all did. Then Representative Green asked how many of those present were on Medicare. Almost half raised their hands.

Now, people who don’t know that Medicare is a government program probably aren’t reacting to what President Obama is actually proposing. ... they’re probably reacting less to what Mr. Obama is doing, or even to what they’ve heard about what he’s doing, than to who he is.

That is, the driving force behind the town hall mobs is probably the same cultural and racial anxiety that’s behind the "birther" movement, which denies Mr. Obama’s citizenship.



From Pulitzer winner Steven Pearlstein
The recent attacks by Republican leaders and their ideological fellow-travelers on the effort to reform the health-care system have been so misleading, so disingenuous, that they could only spring from a cynical effort to gain partisan political advantage.

On the other hand, from Robert J. Samuelson

One of the bewildering ironies of the health-care debate is that President Obama claims to be attacking the status quo when he's actually embracing it.

Also from the NY TimesWe already ration health care in the US.

From Andrew Sullivan

...the deepest reason for reform is fiscal. No serious plan to reduce deficits without hugely increasing taxes excludes healthcare savings. There's no way to get from spiraling debt to stable public finances without tackling the exponentially rising costs of healthcare. So this is a fiscally conservative issue.

...Instead of pulling a Palin, conservatives should propose real reforms: ending the tax exemption for businesses; medical malpractice reform; an independent body to provide some kind of data on the relative effectiveness of treatments; incentives to reward doctors less for any and all services provided than for health outcomes within clear budgets. This, actually, is not far from the Romney model, as the NYT notes today. Real conservatives should point out that the current proposals are not tough enough on costs - and criticize Obama for that, not for fantasies like a communist takeover or euthanasia program for special needs kids.

...One final thing: most Americans do not want people dying in the streets.

If you have guaranteed emergency room care for the uninsured at public expense, you have already effectively socialized medicine.

...the fiscal and economic costs of the current system, however wonderful it has been for a few decades, simply cannot be sustained much longer.

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Thoughts on Health Care | 46 comments (46 topical, 0 hidden) | Trackback
That's the thing by ucblockhead (2.00 / 0) #1 Mon Aug 10, 2009 at 11:54:59 AM EST
There is a thing that could fix private health care in the US.  It's regulation aimed at curbing the abuses of the current system, like:


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[ucblockhead is] useless and subhuman
I don't know about banning bulk discounts. by wiredog (2.00 / 0) #2 Mon Aug 10, 2009 at 12:04:59 PM EST
Most places, including my local supermarket, have bulk discounts.

Earth First!
(We can strip mine the rest later.)

[ Parent ]
It's bankrupting the little guy. by ad hoc (2.00 / 0) #3 Mon Aug 10, 2009 at 12:08:29 PM EST
As someone who pays his own insurance - ALL of it - being put in a "group of 1" is a killer. The only way to make it fair is to either outlaw the discounts for large groups or allow the smaller guys to form larger groups through some sort of association. That's not allowed now.
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[ Parent ]
allow the smaller guys to form larger groups by wiredog (2.00 / 0) #5 Mon Aug 10, 2009 at 12:20:24 PM EST
That's my preferred solution.

Earth First!
(We can strip mine the rest later.)

[ Parent ]
Make bulk discounts by ana (4.00 / 1) #6 Mon Aug 10, 2009 at 12:21:54 PM EST
negotiated by the big guys available at the same cost to individuals. It's like the non-union employee in the union shop.

"And this ... is a piece of Synergy." --Kellnerin

[ Parent ]
this. by garlic (2.00 / 0) #45 Tue Aug 11, 2009 at 03:13:29 PM EST


[ Parent ]
i'm torn by StackyMcRacky (2.00 / 0) #9 Mon Aug 10, 2009 at 12:50:42 PM EST
while i really like the idea of allowing insurance co-ops (seems like a good phrase for it), it wouldn't even matter if everybody was charged the same thing, without allowing any discounts.  if both insurance companies and individuals had to pay, say, $10,000 for a c-section, it would level the playing field a bit.

hrm, now that i'm thinking about it, i think they should do both - even costs and allow individuals to join groups.

(note: my insurance was billed $25,000 for my c-section, but they only had to pay their negotiated price of $1,400.  it makes me sick thinking about it).

[ Parent ]
That almost sounds like single payer by georgeha (4.00 / 1) #10 Mon Aug 10, 2009 at 12:52:17 PM EST
at least in which one entity sets one standard price.


[ Parent ]
Either way by ad hoc (4.00 / 2) #11 Mon Aug 10, 2009 at 01:08:44 PM EST
but you still have to deal with the fact that a basic insurance (HMO) policy costs about $8000 per year for an individual and goes up 15-20% per year. That's simply not sustainable. It's my single largest expense save federal income tax. It's more than my mortgage, more than twice my property tax, and nearly double my state income tax.

And that doesn't even factor in the co-pays and other out-of-pockets.
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[ Parent ]
Can't you just go to an emergency room? by georgeha (2.00 / 0) #14 Mon Aug 10, 2009 at 01:28:12 PM EST
I'm sorry, that's a crank on another forums proof that the uninsured have medical care.

I keep asking him if his ER's have blood labs and psychiatrists on call.


[ Parent ]
$500 copay by ad hoc (2.00 / 0) #22 Mon Aug 10, 2009 at 03:11:03 PM EST
reduced to $250 if they admit you for a stay.
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[ Parent ]
wow by StackyMcRacky (2.00 / 0) #20 Mon Aug 10, 2009 at 02:32:45 PM EST
we're paying $650-ish a month for a family plan through clock's company ($7800/year), and that's OUR cost after his company picks up some part of it.

it's all insane.

[ Parent ]
That's about right by ad hoc (2.00 / 0) #24 Mon Aug 10, 2009 at 03:15:15 PM EST
It's about $650/mo, but I pay it all. If yours portion is $650, the employers part is probably about that much, too. The "family" amount for the plan I have is $1524.49/mo.

Oops, now that I look, I tell a lie. My monthly premium is not $650, it's $580 or about $7000/yr.

It was going to be $650 this year but I reduced my coverage to a lower plan because I couldn't afford that much.
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[ Parent ]
$1524.49/month. by wiredog (2.00 / 0) #26 Mon Aug 10, 2009 at 03:19:23 PM EST
Sounds similar to the situation friends of mine in Rockville UT were in. The cost of flood insurance was so high that they just saved up the cost of replacing the house by setting aside the yearly premium for 10 years in a bond fund. Since they've been there 30 years it's worked out for them.

Earth First!
(We can strip mine the rest later.)

[ Parent ]
So then by Bob Abooey (2.00 / 0) #36 Tue Aug 11, 2009 at 09:42:35 AM EST
What's your thoughts on the whole health care reform then? Are you fer or agin the idea?

Warmest regards,
--Your best pal Bob

How's my blogging: Call me at 209.867.5309 to complain.

[ Parent ]
I'ma fer it by ad hoc (2.00 / 0) #41 Tue Aug 11, 2009 at 10:49:29 AM EST

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[ Parent ]
That's different by ucblockhead (2.00 / 0) #15 Mon Aug 10, 2009 at 01:54:40 PM EST
You can change buying decisions at a supermarket instantly.

Bulk discounts serve to punish people getting private insurance.  They force people to get it through their workplace, which leads to lack of choice an and unfree market.  (Not to mention screwing small business.)
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[ucblockhead is] useless and subhuman

[ Parent ]
The Times rationing story mentioned Gleevec by georgeha (2.00 / 0) #4 Mon Aug 10, 2009 at 12:08:32 PM EST
my bud from high school's life was saved by that, but since he was an early guinea pig, he doesn't have to pay $40,000 a year.


Just hilarious to me by jayhawk88 (4.00 / 2) #7 Mon Aug 10, 2009 at 12:25:32 PM EST
We dumped something like $800 billion into the Afghanistan/Iraq wars over ~7 years and nobody on that side of the aisle blinked an eye. But all of the sudden now spending is out of control.


QUite a few fiscal conservatives by wiredog (4.00 / 1) #8 Mon Aug 10, 2009 at 12:35:38 PM EST
are giving/have given up on the Republicans.

Earth First!
(We can strip mine the rest later.)

[ Parent ]
And going where? by ad hoc (2.00 / 0) #12 Mon Aug 10, 2009 at 01:10:20 PM EST

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[ Parent ]
Democrats by wiredog (2.00 / 0) #13 Mon Aug 10, 2009 at 01:13:56 PM EST
The so-called "blue-dogs".

Earth First!
(We can strip mine the rest later.)

[ Parent ]
So... because Bush ran a deficit by ObviousTroll (2.00 / 0) #16 Mon Aug 10, 2009 at 02:03:04 PM EST
it's okay for Obama to almost double it? Because that's what he did, according to the CBO.


An Angry and Flatulent Pig, Trying to Tie Balloon Animals
[ Parent ]
Nuance by wiredog (2.00 / 0) #17 Mon Aug 10, 2009 at 02:09:03 PM EST
Bush ran a deficit during an economic expansion, when you should be reducing the deficit (the way Clinton did.)

Obama is running up the deficit during an economic contraction, when you should run up the deficit (which is reduced and paid off when the economy recovers).

Earth First!
(We can strip mine the rest later.)

[ Parent ]
...which is reduced and paid off when the economy by ObviousTroll (2.00 / 0) #21 Mon Aug 10, 2009 at 03:00:51 PM EST
I think you need to read the CBO's analysis of Obama's budget proposals - because his proposed spending plans aren't going to reduce the deficit even after the recession ends.

http://rossdouthat.theatlantic.com/wapoobamabudget1.jpg


An Angry and Flatulent Pig, Trying to Tie Balloon Animals
[ Parent ]
If you trust the CBO, one won't believe that by georgeha (2.00 / 0) #23 Mon Aug 10, 2009 at 03:12:01 PM EST
tax cuts will pay for themselves.

I've queried a vehement conservative on this, and he only believes the CBO reports that mesh with his worldview.


[ Parent ]
Hey, I'm not here to argue the Laffer curve. by ObviousTroll (2.00 / 0) #30 Mon Aug 10, 2009 at 06:06:43 PM EST
Although that certainly raises the question of how Obama is going to pay for "healthcare reform" that covers more people but doesn't raise taxes on the middle class.


An Angry and Flatulent Pig, Trying to Tie Balloon Animals
[ Parent ]
I was okay with Clinton's level of taxation by georgeha (4.00 / 1) #33 Mon Aug 10, 2009 at 06:25:35 PM EST
if you want a real scare, go back to the CBO site and see what happens if Obama doesn't let Bush's temporary tax cuts expire.


[ Parent ]
Yeah. by ObviousTroll (2.00 / 0) #44 Tue Aug 11, 2009 at 03:02:08 PM EST
I'm more worried about what's going to happen when Medicare and the SSA starts cashing all their treasury bonds, though. Taxes will go way up.


An Angry and Flatulent Pig, Trying to Tie Balloon Animals
[ Parent ]
Theory vs reality. by wiredog (2.00 / 0) #25 Mon Aug 10, 2009 at 03:17:04 PM EST
Obama's gonna have to raise taxes. If McCain had won he would be raising taxes too.

Because neither party is willing, yet, to make the cuts necessary in other programs. Just look at the fight over the F-22.

Earth First!
(We can strip mine the rest later.)

[ Parent ]
Agreed. [NNT] by ObviousTroll (4.00 / 1) #31 Mon Aug 10, 2009 at 06:08:44 PM EST
No New Taxes

(That's a joke for the old people in the audience.)


An Angry and Flatulent Pig, Trying to Tie Balloon Animals
[ Parent ]
This depression was caused by easy credit... by lolwhat (4.00 / 1) #34 Tue Aug 11, 2009 at 06:08:12 AM EST
Other recessions are inventory-led; that is, too much shit was produced, so things slowed down until consumption soaked up the excess. This one is credit-led. Everyone and his dog could get NINJA loans, no-doc loans, HELOCs, OptionARMs, a thousand credit cards, on and on and on. Even worse, our government has been backstopping these debts, so now it's our entire country's problem, not just that of those who should pay. Guess what other event in our history was credit-led? The word depression should clue you in.

Do you really think that money intended for government spending just falls out of the sky? The buyers of our Treasury debt will call in our credit lines before too long; some speculate that they already have, but the government is doing everything it can to hide that little problem. Oh, and have you looked at tax revenue figures lately? They're, um, depressing. The government can't spend its way out of this mess.

And by the way, before anyone resorts to partisan attacks: I hate all politicians equally. I don't vote for Dems or Reps if I can help it. This shit is simple math; it has no feelings or political correctness. Partisanship is a mere distraction.
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If cigarette packs are required to have pictures of diseased lungs, college brochures should be required to have photos of grads working at Starbucks.

[ Parent ]
For the record by Breaker (4.00 / 2) #35 Tue Aug 11, 2009 at 09:41:37 AM EST
I have no dupe accounts here.


[ Parent ]
It's not OK in either case by jayhawk88 (4.00 / 2) #18 Mon Aug 10, 2009 at 02:17:21 PM EST
The point is, no one even remotely associated with DC politics really cares about being fiscally responsible or truly trying to help those in need. They only care about attacking the other side, making themselves look better in the process, and securing as much power for themselves and their party as possible.


[ Parent ]
Another link, teh stupid by georgeha (4.00 / 3) #19 Mon Aug 10, 2009 at 02:21:46 PM EST
The U.K.'s National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence (NICE) basically figures out who deserves treatment by using a cost-utility analysis based on the "quality adjusted life year."

One year in perfect health gets you one point. Deductions are taken for blindness, for being in a wheelchair and so on.

The more points you have, the more your life is considered worth saving, and the likelier you are to get care.

People such as scientist Stephen Hawking wouldn't have a chance in the U.K., where the National Health Service would say the life of this brilliant man, because of his physical handicaps, is essentially worthless.


wtf? by aphrael (4.00 / 2) #27 Mon Aug 10, 2009 at 03:22:47 PM EST
No! Get the goverment's hands off Medicare! by georgeha (4.00 / 2) #28 Mon Aug 10, 2009 at 03:26:57 PM EST
Facts have a liberal bias!


[ Parent ]
When the Nazis bombed Pearl Harbor by georgeha (4.00 / 5) #29 Mon Aug 10, 2009 at 03:29:29 PM EST
do you think we relied on the government to help? Do you?


[ Parent ]
You're on a roll... by ObviousTroll (4.00 / 1) #32 Mon Aug 10, 2009 at 06:10:12 PM EST
The facts remain by Bob Abooey (2.00 / 0) #37 Tue Aug 11, 2009 at 09:54:14 AM EST
There is nothing wrong with our system as it stands today.

In fact all you need to do is look at how we rank with other countries wrt infant mortality so see how well our system works! We sure know how to show those socialist commies a thing or two about USian innovation and capitalistic superiority!! Most of those babies that die are negroe or poor people babies so they don't matter anyway!!! BWUAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!!!

How about our superiour life expectancy rate!!!! Take that you Canadian socialists!!! BWUAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA

LONG LIVE THE USA AND DOWN WITH THE SOCIALIST COMMIE LOVIN NAZI LIBERALS!!!!! YOU BETCHA!!! MWUAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!!!

Warmest regards,
--Your best pal Bob

How's my blogging: Call me at 209.867.5309 to complain.

so much trollbait, so little time by clover kicker (2.00 / 0) #38 Tue Aug 11, 2009 at 10:01:44 AM EST
Oh yeah, at least the US has better infant mortality then Cuba!!!!! Oh, wait...

I do wonder why Puerto Rico has a better life expectancy then the USA?

[ Parent ]
Different methods of measuring and cultures by georgeha (4.00 / 2) #39 Tue Aug 11, 2009 at 10:10:12 AM EST
In the US, we take extraordinary methods to help premie babies.

In other countries, like the UK and Canada, if infants don't meet minimal standards, they're not recorded as live births, and left to die on lonely moors or icefloes, respectively. Take Stephen Hawking for instance, if he was in the UK, he'd be dead because he couldn't meet minimal standards.



[ Parent ]
URanIDIOT by darkbrown (4.00 / 2) #40 Tue Aug 11, 2009 at 10:32:01 AM EST
If Hawkwing was born a quadraspaz, then sure, he'd have been sacrificed at Stonehenge, but he wasn't born like that. God turned him into a quadraspaz when he started trying to pretend that "black holes" existed.

[ Parent ]
You BETCHA!!!! by Bob Abooey (2.00 / 0) #46 Tue Aug 11, 2009 at 04:39:21 PM EST
~nt~

Warmest regards,
--Your best pal Bob

How's my blogging: Call me at 209.867.5309 to complain.

[ Parent ]
(Comment Deleted) by xth (2.00 / 0) #42 Tue Aug 11, 2009 at 12:27:00 PM EST

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(Comment Deleted) by xth (2.00 / 0) #43 Tue Aug 11, 2009 at 12:51:00 PM EST

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[ Parent ]
Thoughts on Health Care | 46 comments (46 topical, 0 hidden) | Trackback