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Ocean
09-07-2010, 11:06 AM
Again, an article in the NY Times (http://www.nytimes.com/2010/09/07/health/policy/07health.html?_r=1&hp) that brings up some important problems with health care delivery and its cost.

Whatfur
09-08-2010, 09:01 AM
Obamacare or bust. (http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052748703720004575478200948908976.html?m od=WSJ_hpp_MIDDLETopStories)

Ocean
09-08-2010, 10:20 AM
Obamacare or bust. (http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052748703720004575478200948908976.html?m od=WSJ_hpp_MIDDLETopStories)

Are you sure?

From your article:

Aetna Inc., some BlueCross BlueShield plans and other smaller carriers have asked for premium increases of between 1% and 9% to pay for extra benefits required under the law, according to filings with state regulators.
...

The rate increases largely apply to policies for individuals and small businesses and don't include people covered by a big employer or Medicare.


What has been going on for the last 10 years?

Since 1999, health insurance premiums for families rose 131%, the report found, far more than the general rate of inflation, which increased 28% over the same period. Overall, health care in the United States is expected to cost $2.6 trillion this year, or 17% of the nation's economy, according to the non-partisan Congressional Budget Office.

The above, of course, without Health Care Reform.

Read the whole thing (http://www.usatoday.com/money/industries/health/2009-09-15-insurance-costs_N.htm?loc=interstitialskip), if you didn't know.

Whatfur
09-08-2010, 12:09 PM
The point here is what I have bolded below:

Aetna Inc., some BlueCross BlueShield plans and other smaller carriers have asked for premium increases of between 1% and 9% to pay for extra benefits required under the law, according to filings with state regulators.

Increases for other reasons still exist and will most likely also be applied. So Obamacare has given them a new rational/excuse? for premium increase.

Ocean
09-08-2010, 12:45 PM
The point here is what I have bolded below:

Aetna Inc., some BlueCross BlueShield plans and other smaller carriers have asked for premium increases of between 1% and 9% to pay for extra benefits required under the law, according to filings with state regulators.

Increases for other reasons still exist and will most likely also be applied. So Obamacare has given them a new rational/excuse? for premium increase.

For profit organizations will use whatever they can as a rational/excuse to increase revenues. That's why Health Care Reform would have been much better equipped to contain premiums if the Republicans had cooperated instead of threatening to filibuster.

The legislation once included changes that would give the government the power to negotiate policy premiums and to provide a public option, but in an effort to acquire the necessary votes to prevent a Republican filibuster the public option was eliminated from the bill. This would have given citizens the option to buy into public programs like Medicare for which current members pay only $96.40 monthly.[37] Instead the bill now requires that all Americans purchase private health insurance or be subject to fines.

The problem isn't HCR but the damage that was done to it mostly by Republicans.

Whatfur
09-08-2010, 01:23 PM
For profit organizations will use whatever they can as a rational/excuse to increase revenues. That's why Health Care Reform would have been much better equipped to contain premiums if the Republicans had cooperated instead of threatening to filibuster.



The problem isn't HCR but the damage that was done to it mostly by Republicans.

Delusions and excuses of your own.

Republicans were iced out of pretty much the whole process and even Dems have no idea what was/is in it.

kezboard
09-08-2010, 03:51 PM
Republicans were iced out of pretty much the whole process

That's a good one.

Whatfur
09-08-2010, 04:06 PM
That's a good one.

How soon you forget. They didn't even want their constituents to know about it. Mostly created behind closed doors by democratic lobbyist and tools.

This was just one of Obama's huge opportunities the he blew. If from the beginning they went about it in a bi-partisan way they may have created something incredible. Instead they tried to shut Republicans out of the process and in the end shoved it through on Christmas eve for fear that "we the people" would learn more about what was in it over the Christmas break. Yep, the most transparent administration evah.

graz
09-08-2010, 04:22 PM
How soon you forget. They didn't even want their constituents to know about it. Mostly created behind closed doors by democratic lobbyist and tools.

This was just one of Obama's huge opportunities the he blew. If from the beginning they went about it in a bi-partisan way they may have created something incredible. Instead they tried to shut Republicans out of the process and in the end shoved it through on Christmas eve for fear that "we the people" would learn more about what was in it over the Christmas break. Yep, the most transparent administration evah.

Once again, sans evidence, the knee-jerk response bot claims that black is white and assumes that anyone who doesn't see it as self-evident is deluded. I'm convinced that he isn't as he's claimed, a computer operator ... just a computer program ... granted, with some bugs. But it sure accomplishes something, if mere annoyance is what it set out to achieve. I hope they're still working on the thinking part of the program!

Whatfur
09-08-2010, 04:50 PM
That's a good one.

Entirely understandable why you and yours would not like to claim ownership however. Blaming its faults on Republicans is what is hilarious.

graz
09-08-2010, 04:56 PM
I posted extensively on this while Obamacare was being developed.
Spreading FUD ineffectively as I recall.

...Not inclined to debate...
Attack the source,
back and forth,
the last post wins...
then post more nonsense, to bury your sins.

Whatfur
09-08-2010, 05:03 PM
That's a good one.

Here is a pretty good explanation of the trap you are falling into. (http://www.hughhewitt.com/blog/g/b1ce98dc-f16d-42df-8489-784ef1cbefb3)

handle
09-08-2010, 07:22 PM
No one forgot "Obama's Waterloo" or how you tried to make it that.

handle
09-08-2010, 07:23 PM
Here is a pretty good explanation of the trap you are falling into. (http://www.hughhewitt.com/blog/g/b1ce98dc-f16d-42df-8489-784ef1cbefb3)

You mean clicking on Whatfur the Troll's links?

kezboard
09-09-2010, 09:57 AM
If from the beginning they went about it in a bi-partisan way they may have created something incredible. Instead they tried to shut Republicans out of the process and in the end shoved it through on Christmas eve for fear that "we the people" would learn more about what was in it over the Christmas break.

Obama would have given his pinky finger if it would have gotten even one Republican to have supported the bill. The Democrats were so focused on appearing bipartisan that they let the Republicans propose amendments to bills they never for a second even considered voting for. It's a nice trick to suggest that the Democrats decided on day one to shut the Republicans out -- the fact is that it was the Republicans who decided before the process had begun that they couldn't give the Democrats a policy victory and would oppose absolutely everything. Why didn't Olympia Snowe vote for the health care bill? She voted for the Baucus bill, she's from a blue state (and one of the poorest in the country to boot, with a huge uninsured population), and the Democrats would have done pretty much anything to get her vote. But her party wouldn't let her, so she was reduced to saying that she wouldn't vote for it because it was being rushed through too quickly. This is the most transparent, dumbest lie in a debate full of obvious lies. We didn't debate health care long enough? I'm sure the Republicans would have loved to spend Obama's whole term "debating", which is a nice euphemism for spreading disinformation and demagoguery, but fortunately there was at least one gift the Democrats weren't prepared to give you clowns.

Ocean
09-09-2010, 10:48 AM
Obama would have given his pinky finger if it would have gotten even one Republican to have supported the bill. The Democrats were so focused on appearing bipartisan that they let the Republicans propose amendments to bills they never for a second even considered voting for. It's a nice trick to suggest that the Democrats decided on day one to shut the Republicans out -- the fact is that it was the Republicans who decided before the process had begun that they couldn't give the Democrats a policy victory and would oppose absolutely everything. Why didn't Olympia Snowe vote for the health care bill? She voted for the Baucus bill, she's from a blue state (and one of the poorest in the country to boot, with a huge uninsured population), and the Democrats would have done pretty much anything to get her vote. But her party wouldn't let her, so she was reduced to saying that she wouldn't vote for it because it was being rushed through too quickly. This is the most transparent, dumbest lie in a debate full of obvious lies. We didn't debate health care long enough? I'm sure the Republicans would have loved to spend Obama's whole term "debating", which is a nice euphemism for spreading disinformation and demagoguery, but fortunately there was at least one gift the Democrats weren't prepared to give you clowns.

The Party of No. (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qz3u2HkRjXM&feature=player_embedded)

chiwhisoxx
09-09-2010, 12:57 PM
Obama would have given his pinky finger if it would have gotten even one Republican to have supported the bill. The Democrats were so focused on appearing bipartisan that they let the Republicans propose amendments to bills they never for a second even considered voting for. It's a nice trick to suggest that the Democrats decided on day one to shut the Republicans out -- the fact is that it was the Republicans who decided before the process had begun that they couldn't give the Democrats a policy victory and would oppose absolutely everything. Why didn't Olympia Snowe vote for the health care bill? She voted for the Baucus bill, she's from a blue state (and one of the poorest in the country to boot, with a huge uninsured population), and the Democrats would have done pretty much anything to get her vote. But her party wouldn't let her, so she was reduced to saying that she wouldn't vote for it because it was being rushed through too quickly. This is the most transparent, dumbest lie in a debate full of obvious lies. We didn't debate health care long enough? I'm sure the Republicans would have loved to spend Obama's whole term "debating", which is a nice euphemism for spreading disinformation and demagoguery, but fortunately there was at least one gift the Democrats weren't prepared to give you clowns.

Ok, but there a couple points to make in response to that. I think that there were some Republicans who were willing to make a deal at some point, because people like Olympia Snowe and Susan Collins make a living bolstering their bi-partisan credentials by signing on to mushy policy compromises. But they dicked around in committee meetings forever, and the Senate couldn't hammer anything out for one reason or another, and by that point the wonder twins of Maine and a few other moderates probably saw the writing on the wall in terms of public opinion.

More importantly, it's a really really awful bill. I realize that isn't going to convince anyone who doesn't already believe it, but think about it from a conservative perspective. We'll never know the extent to which each politician votes for a bill based on principles vs. politics, but I think it's fair to assume that principles play at least some role for most politicians. And it's incredibly difficult to construct an argument that from a conservative perspective, the healthcare bill should be tenable in any way, shape, or form. Please don't come back with arguments about Republican policy alternatives to Clintoncare from 1993. I don't think parties should become beholden to policy ideas from an entirely different set of politicians from almost 2 decades earlier; and an ideology should be even less beholden to the former ideas of a political party. I don't want to make this another argument about the healthcare bill, because I'm guessing we're all tired of those. I guess my point was simply that I think it's actually defensible to be the party of no in some cases, and I think this situation was certainly one of them.

Whatfur
09-09-2010, 01:18 PM
The Republicans were kept in the dark up until the August recess. They were never consulted, never asked opinions, never asked for contributions and pretty much were just saying Hey what about us. Yes, that recess that Obama did not want to happen because he wanted the vote to happen while Republicans as well as the American people were in the dark. Unfortunately for him the vote did not happen because Dems heard constituent grumblings and then more so during the recess where townhalls showed how upset people were with THEIR representative who were not listening to them and most were hiding from them. Obama came back after that and after being asked to back up his campaign promise of holding ALL the talks on CNN and gave the Republicans about an hour. (Do you want me to link to the youTube of Paul Ryan totally making Obama looking clueless again?) This turned out to be lip service and instead of Obama and the Dems working with Republicans they instead turned to working ON the Republicans they felt they could sway with back room deals.

The history is the history. Its your bill and I now love it as it will most likely bring the house and the senate back to the the right.

Whatfur
09-09-2010, 01:21 PM
The Party of No. (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qz3u2HkRjXM&feature=player_embedded)

The party of Doh!

AemJeff
09-09-2010, 02:33 PM
Ok, but there a couple points to make in response to that. I think that there were some Republicans who were willing to make a deal at some point, because people like Olympia Snowe and Susan Collins make a living bolstering their bi-partisan credentials by signing on to mushy policy compromises. But they dicked around in committee meetings forever, and the Senate couldn't hammer anything out for one reason or another, and by that point the wonder twins of Maine and a few other moderates probably saw the writing on the wall in terms of public opinion.

More importantly, it's a really really awful bill. I realize that isn't going to convince anyone who doesn't already believe it, but think about it from a conservative perspective. We'll never know the extent to which each politician votes for a bill based on principles vs. politics, but I think it's fair to assume that principles play at least some role for most politicians. And it's incredibly difficult to construct an argument that from a conservative perspective, the healthcare bill should be tenable in any way, shape, or form. Please don't come back with arguments about Republican policy alternatives to Clintoncare from 1993. I don't think parties should become beholden to policy ideas from an entirely different set of politicians from almost 2 decades earlier; and an ideology should be even less beholden to the former ideas of a political party. I don't want to make this another argument about the healthcare bill, because I'm guessing we're all tired of those. I guess my point was simply that I think it's actually defensible to be the party of no in some cases, and I think this situation was certainly one of them.

I don't think you're being serious here, Chiwhi. It's obviously relevant that the policies we're discussing were first proposed by the same party (and in at least some cases the very same people) who now apparently believe the policy is a threat to the very fabric of the nation. I smell hypocrisy. You assert it's a terrible bill - yet it's relatively modest (in comparison to what I would consider a robust and equitable policy) and doesn't, in fact, much resemble the partisan caricature of it (death panels, e.g.), and does serve to at least begin to fix the inequities and structural flaws of the current system. I'm to the point when I hear Republicans discussing this issue, I automatically assume bad faith, and I wonder whether they really have interest in the issue apart from using its caricature as a partisan club.

Whatfur
09-09-2010, 02:58 PM
I don't think you're being serious here, Chiwhi. It's obviously relevant that the policies we're discussing were first proposed by the same party (and in at least some cases the very same people) who now apparently believe the policy is a threat to the very fabric of the nation. I smell hypocrisy. You assert it's a terrible bill - yet it's relatively modest (in comparison to what I would consider a robust and equitable policy) and doesn't, in fact, much resemble the partisan caricature of it (death panels, e.g.), and does serve to at least begin to fix the inequities and structural flaws of the current system. I'm to the point when I hear Republicans discussing this issue, I automatically assume bad faith, and I wonder whether they really have interest in the issue apart from using its caricature as a partisan club.

That is interesting Jeff because, I automatically assume bad faith when I see your name attached to a post. What policies are you talking about having been proposed? You always throw the open-ended bullshit statements out as if they were fact when in truth and as usual you don't know what the hell you are talking about. It is a terrible bill, and it is 2000+ pages of Democrat hell. Can you point to ANYTHING in the bill that was authored by a Republican.

Lastly concerning...

"You assert it's a terrible bill - yet it's relatively modest (in comparison to what I would consider a robust and equitable policy) and doesn't, in fact, much resemble the partisan caricature of it (death panels, e.g.), and does serve to at least begin to fix the inequities and structural flaws of the current system"

If you ever accuse me of word salad again I will choke you on this bit of nonsensical arugula.

stephanie
09-09-2010, 03:26 PM
IYou assert it's a terrible bill - yet it's relatively modest (in comparison to what I would consider a robust and equitable policy) and doesn't, in fact, much resemble the partisan caricature of it (death panels, e.g.), and does serve to at least begin to fix the inequities and structural flaws of the current system. I'm to the point when I hear Republicans discussing this issue, I automatically assume bad faith, and I wonder whether they really have interest in the issue apart from using its caricature as a partisan club.

I do think it's interesting that most of the more substantive critiques really have to do with the compromises made or the so-called conservative goals (budget cutting), as opposed to the more "socialistic" aspects of the bill.

For example, behind "death panels" and "keep your hands off our Medicare" is the idea that everything should be covered or at least as much as currently (for the people with the most expansive benefits).

Behind this "insurance companies use it as an excuse to raise prices" is an admission that insurance companies, well, have an interest in raising prices for any reason, and that it would be good to have some mechanism to address that.

Behind "mandatory insurance isn't fair" is the idea that some people might have trouble affording insurance -- I'm not hearing that we want to deny them all benefits if they get sick or in an accident, however.

Moreover, the people I've mostly heard who are upset about the reform are either bugged by the confusion of it, or -- even more -- because they don't feel like they benefit.

The reform does suck (as I said at the time), but this is because it's basically a reform within the scope of the existing system, which sucked. Much as I wanted a real change (and think the Dems were either wimps or too supportive of the existing system) in not even trying for something more dramatic, there's something to be said for incrimental change and the problems being pointed out could be fixed in that way (as was expected from the beginning).

What is dishonest about the Republican commentary (apart from it simply not being serious) is that it comes from both directions -- it freaks about the cost cutting at the same time it complains about costs. Moreover, it assumes as a comparison something that is nothing like what existed. Specifically, it ignores the fact that costs have been out of control and were going to get more so, and that we had nothing like a free market already. Both points that CATO was happy to bitch about (and which even informed McCain's proposed reform, which would have been even less popular).

Ocean
09-09-2010, 03:36 PM
I do think it's interesting that most of the more substantive critiques really have to do with the compromises made or the so-called conservative goals (budget cutting), as opposed to the more "socialistic" aspects of the bill.


Very good points. Those are the kinds of contradictions, like the objections to eliminating tax-cuts for very high income levels, that make it so difficult to understand what's driving large groups of people to complain. And it's the kind of contradiction that seems to confirm how misinformed people are.

Whatfur
09-09-2010, 03:43 PM
I do think it's interesting that most of the more substantive critiques really have to do with the compromises made or the so-called conservative goals (budget cutting), as opposed to the more "socialistic" aspects of the bill.

For example, behind "death panels" and "keep your hands off our Medicare" is the idea that everything should be covered or at least as much as currently (for the people with the most expansive benefits).

Behind this "insurance companies use it as an excuse to raise prices" is an admission that insurance companies, well, have an interest in raising prices for any reason, and that it would be good to have some mechanism to address that.

Behind "mandatory insurance isn't fair" is the idea that some people might have trouble affording insurance -- I'm not hearing that we want to deny them all benefits if they get sick or in an accident, however.

Moreover, the people I've mostly heard who are upset about the reform are either bugged by the confusion of it, or -- even more -- because they don't feel like they benefit.

The reform does suck (as I said at the time), but this is because it's basically a reform within the scope of the existing system, which sucked. Much as I wanted a real change (and think the Dems were either wimps or too supportive of the existing system) in not even trying for something more dramatic, there's something to be said for incrimental change and the problems being pointed out could be fixed in that way (as was expected from the beginning).

What is dishonest about the Republican commentary (apart from it simply not being serious) is that it comes from both directions -- it freaks about the cost cutting at the same time it complains about costs. Moreover, it assumes as a comparison something that is nothing like what existed. Specifically, it ignores the fact that costs have been out of control and were going to get more so, and that we had nothing like a free market already. Both points that CATO was happy to bitch about (and which even informed McCain's proposed reform, which would have been even less popular).

Have some fires to put out at work so I do not have time to address this as joyfully and thoroughly as I would like but in most cases above either your premise or your arguments are unfounded. How can Republicans be serious when we have to spend our time battling the bullshit you all are throwing out here?

chiwhisoxx
09-09-2010, 03:53 PM
I don't think you're being serious here, Chiwhi. It's obviously relevant that the policies we're discussing were first proposed by the same party (and in at least some cases the very same people) who now apparently believe the policy is a threat to the very fabric of the nation. I smell hypocrisy. You assert it's a terrible bill - yet it's relatively modest (in comparison to what I would consider a robust and equitable policy) and doesn't, in fact, much resemble the partisan caricature of it (death panels, e.g.), and does serve to at least begin to fix the inequities and structural flaws of the current system. I'm to the point when I hear Republicans discussing this issue, I automatically assume bad faith, and I wonder whether they really have interest in the issue apart from using its caricature as a partisan club.

I'm being plenty serious; you disagreeing with someone isn't a sign that said person isn't serious. You didn't really really explain why Republicans should be shackled to something a few people proposed 17 years ago. Hypocrisy in political parties is not a very interesting critique, because it cuts both ways 95% of the time, and political parties have to take positions on lots of things, which leads to inevitable contradictions down the road. Also, the mood and composition of parties changes over time. And lastly, why can't Republicans today just say that the 93 proposals were a bad idea? There were plenty of people willing to criticize Romneycare, a Republican proposal. It doesn't have to define the entire party. If you restricted your case to some politicians being cynical and opportunistic on the issue, then fine, I don't think anyone would argue with that. But it seems intellectually lazy and an example of grasping at low hanging fruit to accuse the conservative movement of grand hypocrisy because they aren't showing proper fealty to bad Republican ideas from a long time ago.

I say the bill is terrible, you say the bill is modest, and neither one is going to convince the other. My point was, can you try and construct a plausible case for the healthcare bill from a center right perspective? Not that everyone should be ideologically blinkered, but it would be folly to pretend that ideology doesn't tint the way we see legislation, and I don't think there's anything wrong with that. Perhaps it's impossible to have this discussion without simply re-hashing the bill itself. As for accusations of the bill being caricatured, sure, I guess. Again, I don't find this very interesting, because it's what politicians do to get elected, and it's not a defense of the healthcare bill qua the healthcare bill to bitch about what Republicans are saying about it. I'm sure you'll respond with how Republican caricatures of Obama and the healthcare bill are beyond the pale, but if you wanna get into this square dance, I got 8 years (actually, 10 years now, because Barack Obama seems unable to grasp the fact that George W. Bush is no longer a member of government, and blaming him at every turn is tired and dishonest) of endless liberal screeching about George Bush being Satan incarnate.

AemJeff
09-09-2010, 04:06 PM
I'm being plenty serious; you disagreeing with someone isn't a sign that said person isn't serious. You didn't really really explain why Republicans should be shackled to something a few people proposed 17 years ago. Hypocrisy in political parties is not a very interesting critique, because it cuts both ways 95% of the time, and political parties have to take positions on lots of things, which leads to inevitable contradictions down the road. Also, the mood and composition of parties changes over time. And lastly, why can't Republicans today just say that the 93 proposals were a bad idea? There were plenty of people willing to criticize Romneycare, a Republican proposal. It doesn't have to define the entire party. If you restricted your case to some politicians being cynical and opportunistic on the issue, then fine, I don't think anyone would argue with that. But it seems intellectually lazy and an example of grasping at low hanging fruit to accuse the conservative movement of grand hypocrisy because they aren't showing proper fealty to bad Republican ideas from a long time ago.

I say the bill is terrible, you say the bill is modest, and neither one is going to convince the other. My point was, can you try and construct a plausible case for the healthcare bill from a center right perspective? Not that everyone should be ideologically blinkered, but it would be folly to pretend that ideology doesn't tint the way we see legislation, and I don't think there's anything wrong with that. Perhaps it's impossible to have this discussion without simply re-hashing the bill itself. As for accusations of the bill being caricatured, sure, I guess. Again, I don't find this very interesting, because it's what politicians do to get elected, and it's not a defense of the healthcare bill qua the healthcare bill to bitch about what Republicans are saying about it. I'm sure you'll respond with how Republican caricatures of Obama and the healthcare bill are beyond the pale, but if you wanna get into this square dance, I got 8 years (actually, 10 years now, because Barack Obama seems unable to grasp the fact that George W. Bush is no longer a member of government, and blaming him at every turn is tired and dishonest) of endless liberal screeching about George Bush being Satan incarnate.

I think the Republican stance on this issue has been short sighted, mendacious, without an empirical basis, and presented without regard for sense or the interests of actual people. There have been no substantive critiques, only partisan attacks posing as such critiques, no acknowledgment of the problems of the current system or of how the proposed system might, even it has flaws (it does) still improve on what has already proved to be unsustainable. There is no evidence of any wish on the part of Republicans to address the underlying problems, with people like Mitt Romney unwilling to make honest public statements in regard to the debate.

Regardless of whether a "center-right" case can be made for this bill, asserting" that it's "a really awful bill" requires some other basis. This was a bill designed to appeal to the center, and most of its flaws flow from that decision. The lack of a direct appeal to the out-of-power political party's wish list on an issue they're actively opposing hardly seems like grounds to deplore the quality of a bill.

chiwhisoxx
09-09-2010, 04:26 PM
I think the Republican stance on this issue has been short sighted, mendacious, without an empirical basis, and presented without regard for sense or the interests of actual people. There have been no substantive critiques, only partisan attacks posing as such critiques, no acknowledgment of the problems of the current system or of how the proposed system might, even it has flaws (it does) still improve on what has already proved to be unsustainable. There is no evidence of any wish on the part of Republicans to address the underlying problems, with people like Mitt Romney unwilling to make honest public statements in regard to the debate.

Regardless of whether a "center-right" case can be made for this bill, asserting" that it's "a really awful bill" requires some other basis. This was a bill designed to appeal to the center, and most of its flaws flow from that decision. The lack of a direct appeal to the out-of-power political party's wish list on an issue they're actively opposing hardly seems like grounds to deplore the quality of a bill.

Just to clarify, are you saying that Republican politicians critique of the bill has been substance less, or conservative intellectuals? Because I'd partially agree with the former, and couldn't disagree more with the latter.

AemJeff
09-09-2010, 04:43 PM
Just to clarify, are you saying that Republican politicians critique of the bill has been substance less, or conservative intellectuals? Because I'd partially agree with the former, and couldn't disagree more with the latter.

I haven't heard a good conservative intellectual argument against, but I haven't been paying as much attention to people who aren't influencing the political, public debate, I must admit.

chiwhisoxx
09-09-2010, 04:57 PM
I haven't heard a good conservative intellectual argument against, but I haven't been paying as much attention to people who aren't influencing the political, public debate, I must admit.

EPISTEMIC CLOSURE!!!1111 Just kidding. Sort of. But there are many, many, many intellectual arguments to be made against the bill, and I could find some of them if you're interested.

AemJeff
09-09-2010, 05:09 PM
EPISTEMIC CLOSURE!!!1111 Just kidding. Sort of. But there are many, many, many intellectual arguments to be made against the bill, and I could find some of them if you're interested.

I'm interested. But I'll say her and now that I am epistemically closed against any sort of libertarian arguments on this issue. I flatly reject the usefulness of markets in regard to providing primary health care (As I've argued elsewhere. e.g. http://bloggingheads.tv/forum/showthread.php?p=140175#post140175)

Whatfur
09-09-2010, 11:02 PM
...For example, behind "death panels" and "keep your hands off our Medicare" is the idea that everything should be covered or at least as much as currently (for the people with the most expansive benefits).

Death panels were about non-medical bureaucrats making decisions about what would and would not be covered...concerns centered on taking the decision out of the hands of doctors and patients. Medicare discussion had to do with exposing the deception being employed by Democrats as they claimed they were cutting .5 trillion from Medicare to help their CBO score when Republicans knew those cuts would never really happen. Republican's proven right in this with the first available empirical action of the Democratic Congress passing this years "Doctors Fix".

Thus, neither was about the "the idea that everything should be covered". BS premise.

Behind this "insurance companies use it as an excuse to raise prices" is an admission that insurance companies, well, have an interest in raising prices for any reason, and that it would be good to have some mechanism to address that.

If insurance companies are forced to cover things they were not covering previously their costs and risk obviously will go up. If you are not honest enough to admit that, calling it an an "excuse" is no less opportunistic than what you accuse them of. This was an area where Republican discussion was shut down. Market forces like allowing companies to participate across state lines and other areas of increased competition are starkly absent from the bill.


Behind "mandatory insurance isn't fair" is the idea that some people might have trouble affording insurance -- I'm not hearing that we want to deny them all benefits if they get sick or in an accident, however.

The "fair"ness of mandatory insurance was never the clarion call. Inventive but silly. The argument always was about the freedom of individuals to choose to have or not have it. As far as the second concept about denials, I am not sure I even understand what your point is there. If an individual chooses badly, they choose badly...but they should be at liberty to choose for themselves and not have some goverment choose what and how much. I guess some forget what country they live in...the constitution will take care of this issue.


Moreover, the people I've mostly heard who are upset about the reform are either bugged by the confusion of it, or -- even more -- because they don't feel like they benefit.

"Moreover" what? It IS confusing and few will gain anything. This is the classic Churchillesc example...an "equal sharing of the miseries".

The reform does suck (as I said at the time), but this is because it's basically a reform within the scope of the existing system, which sucked. Much as I wanted a real change (and think the Dems were either wimps or too supportive of the existing system) in not even trying for something more dramatic, there's something to be said for incrimental change and the problems being pointed out could be fixed in that way (as was expected from the beginning).

Ahhh, agreement. It does suck. More dramatic change however would suck even more. Incremental change, smartly done like other Republicans spoke of...allowing things to happen like the Republican welfare of the 1990s happened. Letting States experiment with what can work and what doesn't and transitioning to something remarkable instead of regrettable.


What is dishonest about the Republican commentary (apart from it simply not being serious) is that it comes from both directions -- it freaks about the cost cutting at the same time it complains about costs. Moreover, it assumes as a comparison something that is nothing like what existed. Specifically, it ignores the fact that costs have been out of control and were going to get more so, and that we had nothing like a free market already. Both points that CATO was happy to bitch about (and which even informed McCain's proposed reform, which would have been even less popular).

Republicans have not been arguing for the status quo. We also want reform. Just not something created behind closed doors with rampant deception and rammed through by liberal elites who think they know better and should have the ability to make decisions for the majority when the majority was against Obamacare. Talking about Republican dishonesty when we have the example of Obamacare's travels is laughable..."If you like your doctor, you can keep your doctor". Yep, laughable.

AemJeff
09-09-2010, 11:41 PM
...

The reform does suck (as I said at the time), but this is because it's basically a reform within the scope of the existing system, which sucked. Much as I wanted a real change (and think the Dems were either wimps or too supportive of the existing system) in not even trying for something more dramatic, there's something to be said for incrimental change and the problems being pointed out could be fixed in that way (as was expected from the beginning).

...

I would have liked a much more comprehensive reform that simply eliminated direct out-of-pocket costs for treatment and medication, mediated by (unspecified here) mechanisms to control against abuse and "try everything since it's free" strategies. I'd have been happy with a model that offered federal or state payments to multiple vendors competing on provided benefits, but who were prevented from charging people directly - so long as there was a guarantee of reasonable coverage for everybody. I'm not sure that anything beyond what was passed was an attainable goal, particularly considering the disingenuous Republican attacks, and the unity of Congressional Republicans, and the flakiness of the anti-abortion Democrats and Blue-Dogs. I do wish the Democrats had been a lot more assertive.

stephanie
09-10-2010, 01:28 PM
I would have liked a much more comprehensive reform that simply eliminated direct out-of-pocket costs for treatment and medication, mediated by (unspecified here) mechanisms to control against abuse and "try everything since it's free" strategies. I'd have been happy with a model that offered federal or state payments to multiple vendors competing on provided benefits, but who were prevented from charging people directly - so long as there was a guarantee of reasonable coverage for everybody. I'm not sure that anything beyond what was passed was an attainable goal, particularly considering the disingenuous Republican attacks, and the unity of Congressional Republicans, and the flakiness of the anti-abortion Democrats and Blue-Dogs. I do wish the Democrats had been a lot more assertive.

I pretty much agree with you. Given the extent to which the public opinion seems to support a much more comprehensive reform and the problems of the existing system even under some conservative analyses, I perhaps optimistically think that something more far-reaching could have been achieved or at least should have been tried for, so the public could participate in a more interesting discussion of the problem. I'm reasonably cynical about what really was possible, though, most of the time.

stephanie
09-10-2010, 01:55 PM
Death panels were about non-medical bureaucrats making decisions about what would and would not be covered

No, death panels were a made up and stupid issue that basically came down to a fear that if cost concerns were an issue certain desired treatment would not be covered. The "non-medical bureaucrats" thing is just the conservative version of the scare words (liberals have an analogous version). The fact is that coverage decisions already involve people other than the doctor and patient, that's the nature of "coverage" being a concern and not everything being covered. If you want to avoid that, you have to give coverage for all procedures that a doctor might justify or propose, and while that seems to be what Kaus and Pinkerton want, it's not a good faith statement of the Republican position.

If insurance companies are forced to cover things they were not covering previously their costs and risk obviously will go up.

Depends on the overall pool, etc.

This was an area where Republican discussion was shut down. Market forces like allowing companies to participate across state lines and other areas of increased competition are starkly absent from the bill.

Republican discussion wasn't shut down at all. Republicans refused to participate honestly in a discussion of what our health insurance system provided and what they wanted it to provide.

For example, as you know, the problem with competing across state lines is that it ends up making the state with the least regulations (and there would be competition to see who could be that state) the determinator for the country as to what regulations were appropriate. This is actually contrary to one supposed conservative principle -- diversity and competition between states as to local laws. However, I am okay with nationalizing the regulations, which is what in essence you'd be doing, so then it comes down to what regulations do people want?

The Republican answer was not to address this, but I think they know that the public as a whole wouldn't like a solution that basically let the insurance companies do what they wanted, without regulation, or left it all up to individual contract law. Yet that's what the libertarian theory of reform tends to support. Unsurprisingly, the Republicans didn't push this as their issue, but instead fears about Medicare cuts -- again, hypocritically and dishonestly.

The "fair"ness of mandatory insurance was never the clarion call. Inventive but silly. The argument always was about the freedom of individuals to choose to have or not have it.

Whatever distinction you are trying to make exists only in your own mind.

Again, so what do we do about the people who choose not to have it? Keep paying for them, as we have been, at the expense of the taxpayers? If so, shouldn't they share some of this burden? It's essentially spreading it among all who benefit from health care programs, and not just taxpayers in general.

Or, would you actually cut them off? If so, admit it.

I guess some forget what country they live in...the constitution will take care of this issue.

Oh? Please explain how that would work.

Republicans have not been arguing for the status quo.

That was the Republican argument. Why? Because Republicans know that what they've proposed -- see McCain's plan -- would be unpopular, because it would threaten the existing benefits that people have far more than anything the Dems suggested. Thus, rather than honestly pushing for their competing reforms, they attacked the Dem progams on rather liberal grounds -- people without much money will be forced to pay for insurance, Medicare might get cut, you might not get coverage for every treatment you might want. Dishonest, but revealing.

Whatfur
09-10-2010, 03:11 PM
No, death panels were ...


You're mistaken. The original Palin statement talks of the bureaucrats I mentioned. Spin what you will, but death panels were never about EVERYTHING being covered and was ALWAYS about who is making the decisions.

“The America I know and love is not one in which my parents or my baby with Down Syndrome will have to stand in front of Obama’s ‘death panel’ so his bureaucrats can decide, based on a subjective judgment of their ‘level of productivity in society,’ whether they are worthy of health care,”


Depends on the overall pool, etc.

Pools? Huh?


Republican discussion wasn't shut down at all. Republicans refused to participate honestly in a discussion of what our health insurance system provided and what they wanted it to provide.

For example, as you know, the problem with competing across state lines is that it ends up making the state with the least regulations (and there would be competition to see who could be that state) the determinator for the country as to what regulations were appropriate. This is actually contrary to one supposed conservative principle -- diversity and competition between states as to local laws. However, I am okay with nationalizing the regulations, which is what in essence you'd be doing, so then it comes down to what regulations do people want?

Maybe "shut down" was not the word I wanted talking in the wilderness maybe or ignored by the bill writers. Find me anything before August 2009 where Democrats or Obama were reaching out to Republicans for input. You and yours continue to spout off about the dishonest Republican discussion...find me some of that while you are at it too. The democrats were obviously the deceptive creatures here. Your example is gobbldy-gook.


The Republican answer was not to address this, but I think they know that the public as a whole wouldn't like a solution that basically let the insurance companies do what they wanted, without regulation, or left it all up to individual contract law. Yet that's what the libertarian theory of reform tends to support. Unsurprisingly, the Republicans didn't push this as their issue, but instead fears about Medicare cuts -- again, hypocritically and dishonestly.

Steph, you offer nothing here. Of course there are unanswered questions with any and every proposal ...and you, I'm sorry but happy to say, do not speak for the "public as a whole". To use an Obama analogy, the Republicans were not driving the car!! Medicare again. Republicans simply pointed out that the Democratic plan was ludicrous...Democrats were denying coverage reductions while at the same time they had a $.5 trillion cut in their plan as well as a gutting of Medicare Advantage subsidies. So the Republicans are using fear as a tactic because they were pointing at the TRUTH?? Give me an effing break.


Whatever distinction you are trying to make exists only in your own mind.

Again, so what do we do about the people who choose not to have it? Keep paying for them, as we have been, at the expense of the taxpayers? If so, shouldn't they share some of this burden? It's essentially spreading it among all who benefit from health care programs, and not just taxpayers in general.

Or, would you actually cut them off? If so, admit it.

Huh? Yes, if someone chooses not to buy insurance and they unfortunately run into medical issues then they are required to pay for it themselves. And again it has nothing to do with your original bit of "fairness" featherbrainery. And to take you inane concern a step further it is Obamacare that many argue will cause people to pay the fine and not get insurance knowing their nanny will take care of them in the end anyway.


Oh? Please explain how that would work.

Ummm...I guess you have not been paying attention..over a dozen state have filed lawsuits about this exact thing. I guess we will see how it works.



That was the Republican argument. Why? Because Republicans know that what they've proposed -- see McCain's plan -- would be unpopular, because it would threaten the existing benefits that people have far more than anything the Dems suggested. Thus, rather than honestly pushing for their competing reforms, they attacked the Dem progams on rather liberal grounds -- people without much money will be forced to pay for insurance, Medicare might get cut, you might not get coverage for every treatment you might want. Dishonest, but revealing.

To be honest, I have no idea what the "McCain plan" is but I can tell you that it was never at the forefront of the Republican agenda. If anyone, Paul Ryan, has been the most out front on this issue.

But I will agree with you that dishonesty is revealing as is deflection from it real source.

Ocean
09-10-2010, 03:38 PM
You're mistaken. The original Palin statement talks of the bureaucrats I mentioned. Spin what you will, but death panels were never about EVERYTHING being covered and was ALWAYS about who is making the decisions.

“The America I know and love is not one in which my parents or my baby with Down Syndrome will have to stand in front of Obama’s ‘death panel’ so his bureaucrats can decide, based on a subjective judgment of their ‘level of productivity in society,’ whether they are worthy of health care,”


And where did that (bolded part) come from?


Pools? Huh?

Yes, pools. Pools of insured people. For example adding college age people to a health insurance pool, should have a net effect of lowering premiums. Why? Because they tend to be healthy people with low health care utilization, while they contribute their share of premium.

Not having health insurance doesn't prevent people from getting ill and needing health care. Someone will have to pick up the bill. And those funds will, most of the time, end up coming from the government and our taxes anyway.

stephanie
09-10-2010, 04:15 PM
The original Palin statement talks of the bureaucrats I mentioned.

That's irrelevant to the point I was making. The fear about "death panels" was about stuff currently covered (typically by Medicare or Medicaid) not being covered anymore.

That Palin dressed up an essentially liberal, spend more critique in weird paranoid language doesn't change that more make the complaint consistent with some rightwing approach to health care generally. It, instead, points up that what the public really gets upset about is not "socialism," but fears that their benefits will be less.

Pools? Huh?

Basic insurance. If you can't or won't address that, you can't have an intelligent conversation about health insurance.

The democrats were obviously the deceptive creatures here.

In other words, I know you are but what am I? I really get the sense from your posts that your interest in politics is far more about some kind of "my team is best" identification than actual issues.

Democrats were denying coverage reductions while at the same time they had a $.5 trillion cut in their plan as well as a gutting of Medicare Advantage subsidies.

Non-sequitur that nonetheless proves my point --you know damn well that the political advantage here has nothing to do with Republican ideas or "socialism." It's about fear of a reduction in benefits. If the Republicans honestly discussed the problems, they'd have to face the fact that their supposedly favored solutions would be even more upsetting to the public. For example, the preference of many that the link between employment and insurance be broken, which is, of course, contrary to the supposed free market approach in a number of ways. And, of course, the need to address Medicare and Medicaid spending and figure out what to do with those without insurance generally.

For the record, I believe they are really the favored solutions of many right of center and libertarian-leaning wonks, but not that Republican politicians will do anything to further them or that they are passable.

Yes, if someone chooses not to buy insurance and they unfortunately run into medical issues then they are required to pay for it themselves.

The question is what happens if they don't have the money? Or if you don't know if they have the money and they need emergency care? Would you deny them that care? Or do the taxpayers keep picking it up?

And again it has nothing to do with your original bit of "fairness" featherbrainery.

I can't tell what you think you are talking about here. I think it's fairer for the taxpayers that someone who gets the basic safety net of free emergency care, say, contribute to the system if able by having insurance. (I also think it's fine to make people who drive buy insurance.) And I admit that I can't tolerate a solution that says it's their free choice so hospitals need not treat people (or their kids) who can't pay or lack insurance, even in an emergency. (And my intolerance there appears to be shared by society.)

Why are you unable or willing to seriously address this question?

Ummm...I guess you have not been paying attention..over a dozen state have filed lawsuits about this exact thing. I guess we will see how it works.

Another non-sequitor then.

To be honest, I have no idea what the "McCain plan" is

The plan McCain proposed when he was running. It included a number of ideas popular in some rightwing thinktank circles, mainly aimed at breaking the connection between employment and insurance. It had some advantages over the current system, but would have been politically impossible, and the potential effects (intended and unintended) would have freaked out tons of people -- like me -- who are content with our employment-based insurance.

Whatfur
09-10-2010, 04:26 PM
And where did that (bolded part) come from?



Yes, pools. Pools of insured people. For example adding college age people to a health insurance pool, should have a net effect of lowering premiums. Why? Because they tend to be healthy people with low health care utilization, while they contribute their share of premium.

Not having health insurance doesn't prevent people from getting ill and needing health care. Someone will have to pick up the bill. And those funds will, most of the time, end up coming from the government and our taxes anyway.

As far as the bolded part, you might want to ask Palin, but it was exemplified by the case of the 90yo lady who was told not to get a certain treatment because of her age. She could afford to and did and was still happily living years later...the fear is that the option would not be afforded her of course. Its still just the fear of having strangers subjectively rationalize your care.

The pools were brought up in response to my stating that increased services logically are going to create increased costs. Pools may of course help determine the increase but an increase is still a logical outcome. The rest is blather.

Ocean
09-10-2010, 04:30 PM
The rest is blather.

Okay.

Whatfur
09-10-2010, 04:47 PM
Lets lighten the load a bit and take these one at a time.

Can you find me one article by anyone that claims that the concerns about death panels are really about Republicans or anyone wanting EVERYTHING covered?

You brush off the Palin quote, yet that is where the original concept comes from. Maybe someone besides you has evolved it in the way you originally purported and I have not seen it. Until you come up with some additional validation to the re-invention of the death panel concern, I am going to have to stick with reality.

Whatfur
09-10-2010, 09:14 PM
A couple timely articles:

First the GOP continues its fear tactics of pointing out the continued deception employed by the current administration in regards to Medicare. (http://dailycaller.com/2010/05/26/gop-says-medicare-financed-health-care-brochure-is-propaganda/)

How dare they speak the truth?

and...

Concerning the Sebelius threatening of insurers who claim rate increases are partly caused by the Healthcare Bill. More thuggery from this administration. (http://hotair.com/archives/2010/09/10/sebelius-insurers-who-criticize-obamacare-may-get-locked-out-of-system/)

There is something for everyone there...heres one for me...

"It's a basic law of economics that additional benefits incur additional costs."

stephanie
09-11-2010, 11:10 AM
Can you find me one article by anyone that claims that the concerns about death panels are really about Republicans or anyone wanting EVERYTHING covered?

You are continuing to miss the point.

"Death panels" -- once you strip away the insane "Dems are Nazis" rhetoric -- are fundamentally about a fear that government coverage will be less than it currently is. Specifically, a fear that the government won't pay for some coverage that you want it to pay for. The underlying assumption is that the government should pay for all treatment that individual doctors recommend and patients want.

Whatfur
09-11-2010, 11:31 AM
You are continuing to miss the point.

"Death panels" -- once you strip away the insane "Dems are Nazis" rhetoric -- are fundamentally about a fear that government coverage will be less than it currently is. Specifically, a fear that the government won't pay for some coverage that you want it to pay for. The underlying assumption is that the government should pay for all treatment that individual doctors recommend and patients want.

So I guess the answer is that you are unable to come up with anything that actually validates your disjointed logic. Similarly you now try to paint anyone who would have the gall to argue with your point as falling in the "insane" camp. My, my.. I guess when all else fails... Maybe now you can produce the article you are quoting the "Dems are Nazis" from, eh?

Bottom line is your original death panel premise was invented and does not stand up to the scrutiny of reality. And sorry your linkages and castigation only add it the patheticness.

But lets move on...

Whatfur
09-11-2010, 01:59 PM
...so yeah lets move on to your next bit of historical fantasy.

You have alluded that the Republicans argument against how Obamacare was dealing with Medicare was in a "keep your hands off Medicare" mode where I countered that the Republican argument concerned the deception the Democrats were using to gloss over what they were doing. You might have seen the recent article I also posted below here that shows the Dems and this administration have continued with this charade.

I will grant you that Republicans pointing out the truth of the Obamacare Medicare issue upset those Medicare recipients being lied to by the Dems and their cohorts (AARP). I would even grant you that addressing Medicare problems is something Republicans want to have happen. I won't grant you that pointing out the Democrat deception was in a keep your hands off Medicare mode.

Paul Ryan has some ideas in this area with the difference being...he is out front and honest about them. In the case of Obamacare the Dems have, as they are want to do, taken an elitist approach that begs the masses to ignore the facts and just beeelieeeeve. <insert throwing of pixie dust here>