Obamacare in a Nutshell: It's Not Just About the Public Option

Opposition to Obamacareat least so far as the legacy media is concernedhas crystalized around the public, er, government option. So if the President or Congress agrees to pull the plug on the government option, well, continuing Republican opposition would just be unreasonable, right?

No. It's not just about the government option and it has never been just about the government option. That part of Obamacarethe part intended to scuttle the health insurance industryis only one of many things wrong with the President's proposal. Here are some others (taken from the President's proposals and the bills being batted around Congress, all of which I will collectively refer to as "Obamacare"):

(1) Forcing insurers to accept all applicants.
This is a big one because it's another Obamacare provision which can ultimately lead to the collapse of the industry. If you force insurers to accept all applicants, two things must happen. Either the price of insurance will rise for everyone or insurance will cover less medical care.

There's no way to avoid it. Forbidding insurers from rejecting anyone for pre-existing conditions or high-risk lifestyles is going to raise their costs. That increase will either be paid for out of higher premiums or by providing less care. That leads me to the next problem with Obamacare:

(2) The President says that for those unable to pay for private insurance, the government will subsidize their premiums. And who is going to pay for that? The taxpayer. So not only will the Obama plan raise rates (or cut care), it will impose a new burden on the roughly half of Americans who pay income taxes.

Like most (all?) Democratic proposals over the past eight months, this is fundamentally, unavoidably anti-prosperity. We're in the midst of Biden's "Great Recession." Now is not the time to impose another dead-weight loss on the economy. Actually, it's never the right time to raise taxes, but there's a slight chance that even Democrats and middle-ground squishes will at least admit that raising taxes in an economic funk is a bad idea.

(3) Obamacare imposes mandatory coverage. Backed by the threat of fees (more taxes) for people who fail to sign up for health insurance, Obamacare will require individuals to have health insurance. In other words, the government is going to tell you that you must spend money on thiseven if you don't want it.

Now, I know. As with auto insurance, there is some benefit to having most people covered. But the fact is that many peopleespcially young, healthly peopledo not want to buy insurance and will never recover the value they've spent on premiums. I was required to purchase insurance in college and graduate school and law school. I needed it only once in nine years. In other words, I spent thousands of dollars subsidizing other people's healthcare. (And the truth is I finally quit buying insurance in law school after I realized how ridiculous the expense was and determined that the school couldn't enforce that "requirement" anyway.)

(4) In addition to individual mandates, Obamacare would impose employer mandates. During the campaign, the President and Senator McCain got into an argument at one of the debates about this. McCain claimed that Obama would penalize employers who failed to provide health insurance. Obama indicated very vaguely that he would not.

Obama is having the last laugh now. Under Obamacare, employersincluding small businesses least able to adapt to a new fixed costwill be required to buy into insurance plans for their employees. Failure to participate will result in penalties, once again in the form of a tax.

I know I sound like a broken record on this point, but this would be an economic disaster. For a small business, the options are simple. Reduce your workforce to be beneath whatever threshhold number of employees Obamacare sets. Lay offs, good job Obama! If the small business can't do that, it's options are to pay the expense of funding health insurance or pay the tax. Those costs can only come from a few places: employee pay or production of whatever good or service the business provides.

So Obamacare results in lower pay and fewer goods and services. Brilliant, but not unexpected from Democrats. Incidentally, it probably also means small businesses will hire fewer new employees (comparatively) in the future, since the cost of employing them has risen.

In short and say it with me: "Obamacare is anti-prosperity." This is going to hurt and not just a little and not just because of the government option.

Even more nutshellery: I think this thought might be DrewM.'s originally, but I'm not sure and it's getting passed around a bit now.

Health care in the US is covered by three main systems-- Medicare, Medicaid, and private insurance. Two of these systems are bankrupt, and will be unable to make payments beyond 2017. The third is solvent, and can make all of its payments for the foreseeable future.

Obama's plan is to take the one system meeting its obligations and fold it into the two systems that are bankrupt.

o_O

I encourage you to pass that on to everyone you know.

Posted by: Gabriel Malor at 12:43 PM



Comments

1 I touch myself. A lot.

Posted by: Dang at September 08, 2009 12:45 PM (6L3mJ)

2 Are we going to be "required" to obtain a biometric medical identification card?
just asking.

Posted by: fireman1 at September 08, 2009 12:49 PM (EiXbT)

3 (1) Forcing insurers to accept all applicants.

It bears mentioning that it is impossible to "insure" anyone for a pre-existing condition.

Insurance is coverage you get for a POTENTIAL problem, not one that has already happened.

Forcing insurers to "insure" people who are already sick is just subsidizing their medical coverage at the expense of everyone else who isn't sick.

Put differently, imagine how nice it would be to get guaranteed auto insurance at the same rate as everyone else, no matter how many car wrecks you've been in, AFTER THE FACT, AFTER people are already suing you for damages!

Posted by: looking closely at September 08, 2009 12:50 PM (6Q9g2)

4 Opposition to Obamacareat least so far as the legacy media is concernedhas crystalized around the public racism!!111!!! FIFY

Posted by: Keith Olbermann at September 08, 2009 12:51 PM (QYJUz)

5 ...and zero free market policy's.

Posted by: sTevo at September 08, 2009 12:52 PM (wqFo3)

6 Auto Insurers can compete across state lines. The government option can compete across state lines. Health Insurance cannot. PROBLEM.

The solutions are practically mugging the government at this point. When will they wake up and examine the regulatory forces that stifle competition AND realize that costs are rising because of the reductions in the supply side.

Posted by: WTF Capital Investments at September 08, 2009 12:53 PM (GtYrq)

7 (1) ...high-risk lifestyles
A very important point! Folks who still troll San Fran bathhouses, etc. will be subsidized (TAX)by others. The US already spends on HIV/AIDS over 4x the amount given to Alzheimer's. The former is most often a choice, while the latter is totally innocent.
Add folks who race crotch-rockets, ski down steep, rocky slopes, swim the Miss. River... Choices all.

Posted by: Rewrite! at September 08, 2009 12:54 PM (UaSIe)

8 How is it constitutional for the Feds to force me to buy a health insurance policy? I get state mandates for car insurance. I don't like it, but driving is not a right.

Don't I have a right to my own property or is that another "tried and failed ideology of the past?"

Posted by: runninrebel at September 08, 2009 12:55 PM (i3PJU)

9 If the small business can't do that, it's options are to pay the
expense of funding health insurance or pay the tax. Those costs can
only come from a few places: employee pay or production of whatever
good or service the business provides.

You forgot - less pay or profit to the small business owner - of course, since he or she is one the few actual taxpayers this might not work out so well.

Posted by: Jean at September 08, 2009 12:55 PM (L64A6)

10 >>As with auto insurance, there is some benefit to having most people covered.

Perhaps. . .though there is actually NO benefit to the majority of young healthy individuals who virtually never require medical attention, or if they do, could likely afford it cheaper out of pocket.

Forcing them to get health insurance largely means, as you've already pointed out, that they will be subsidizing the sick from their own pockets. (That's not counting the tax money already coming out of their pockets that is paying for Medicare, SCHIP, and Social Security, payments which they are unlikely to ever see a benefit from).

The most important difference between health insurance and auto insurance, is that auto insurance covers *OTHER PEOPLE* who are injured, not just the one with the insurance.

In other words, if I run you over, YOUR ability to recover damages shouldn't be based on MY foresight or lack thereof in getting insurance.

Posted by: looking closely at September 08, 2009 12:55 PM (PwGfd)

11 Backed by the threat of fees (more taxes) for people who fail to sign up for health insurance, Obamacare will require individuals to have health insurance. ... Now, I know. As with auto insurance, there is some benefit to having most people covered.
I see your point, but let's not concede too much. There is some benefit to having most or all people have a high-deductible, low-cost catastrophic policy, to cover major costs, especially hospital costs as hospitals are prohibited by law from turning people away. I could even live with a very narrow mandate for catastrophic coverage,but that's not what's on the table under a democrat congress. I'd be happy to buy one myself, but my state has massive requirements that effectively disallow low-cost policies.
If young, healthy people aren't buying low-deductible or first-dollar policies in the marketplace, that's because (as you acknowledge), they don't make economic sense for the individuals. I would add there's no benefit to society from their having one; employer insurance covering basic care is one small part of what's driving up health care costs to begin with.

Posted by: Dave R. at September 08, 2009 12:59 PM (ch5D3)

12 And as Thomas Sowell has pointed out, the original plan to vote it in before the recess still did not become effective until 2013. That's incredibly revealing along with the czars being seen as a way to get much of what they want despite legislative failures.

Posted by: Mark at September 08, 2009 01:00 PM (Kxq4w)

13 Is Tingly Leg Syndrome a pre-existing condition?

Posted by: Chrissy Matthews at September 08, 2009 01:00 PM (GwPRU)

14 Don't I have a right to my own property or is that another "tried and failed ideology of the past?"


Hell, how about the right to make choices about your own body? Allowed
only if you're vaccuming something out of your uterus, or barebacking your
way around Provincetown. IYKWIMAITYD.

Posted by: HeatherRadish at September 08, 2009 01:01 PM (NtiET)

15 I get state mandates for car insurance. I don't like it, but driving is not a right.
But health care is a right. Therefore, they have the obligation to force you to have it. Get it?

Yeah, me neither.

Posted by: rockhead at September 08, 2009 01:03 PM (RykTt)

16 Don't forget the creation of the "health care boards" that will determine standards of care. No doubt this body will respond to political pressure.

Posted by: ken at September 08, 2009 01:05 PM (Bs34i)

17
I touch myself. A lot.

Posted by: Dang at September 08, 2009 12:45 PM (6L3mJ)
We believe in a hand up, not a hand down.

Posted by: Herr Morgenholz, Associate Goon at September 08, 2009 01:05 PM (5aa4z)

18 Ok, watched as much of the school indoctrination speech as I could stomach. It's clear that the speech as a huge shift back to the center. Full of conservative ideas and principles that were probably choking the marxist turd. So, Precedent Wee Wee is back to being the 'centrist' that he lied about during the campaign, I imagine his presser in front of congress will be more of the same. We can't let the squishies and RINOs cut a deal, morons, we need to stay on them and keep that dirty socialist bastard from passing anything at all.

Posted by: Dang Straights at September 08, 2009 01:05 PM (Haq+B)

19 Someone in the know, please answer me this...
Why is it that you cannot purchase health insurance across state lines? What law prevents you from doing so? When did it kick in? Who wrote the law?

Posted by: EC at September 08, 2009 01:05 PM (mAhn3)

20 I could even live with a very narrow mandate for catastrophic
coverage,but that's not what's on the table under a democrat congress.
Can you answer runninrebel's question above? What authority does the federal government have to require someone to buy health insurance coverage? See here for some good reasons why they can't.

This slope is so slippery it makes Teflon jealous.

Posted by: Andy at September 08, 2009 01:05 PM (QYJUz)

21 I'd be happy to buy one myself, but my state has massive requirements that effectively disallow low-cost policies.


You would think anyone serious about "health insurance reform" would address this.

Posted by: HeatherRadish at September 08, 2009 01:06 PM (NtiET)

22 How are they going to force me to pay for insurance I can't afford? Bring back debtors prisons?

Posted by: BackwardsBoy at September 08, 2009 01:07 PM (ZGhSv)

23 Nothing would thrill me more than to be slathered in Obamacare.

Posted by: Chrissy Matthews at September 08, 2009 01:07 PM (GwPRU)

24 We believe in a hand up, not a hand down.
Don't you mean hand JOB?

Posted by: Dang Straights at September 08, 2009 01:10 PM (Haq+B)

25 watched as much of the school indoctrination speech as I could stomach.
O/T, my kid just asked me if his school would be showing it (he only goes 1/2 day). When I asked why he didn't want to see it he told me, "because Obama is an idioyotch" (must be some kind of permutation of "beyotch").

Posted by: rockhead at September 08, 2009 01:11 PM (RykTt)

26 Get your hands off my nutshell.

Posted by: wHodat at September 08, 2009 01:11 PM (+sBB4)

27
Don't end it, mend it!

Posted by: Tweet, Jacobs, Shapiro, Gold, Liebowitz, and Magillicuddy at September 08, 2009 01:12 PM (jVldi)

28 The three main initiatives of the Obama administration, socialist healthcare, cap and trade, and card check, without mincing words are clearly and explicitly SOCIALIST. Obama's friends, associates and mentors are socialists, national socialists, anarchists and communists.
How anyone, let alone an entire party and many in the other parties, can conclude that Obama himself has somehow remained aloof from these radical influences, is something that continues to astonish me.
This is NOT a socialist country yet Obama is being allowed to take this entire country down that road.
The lack of resistance to this, given the history of socialism, especially the lack of effective resistance from the Republican party, is equally if not more, astonishing.

Posted by: Hussein the Plumber at September 08, 2009 01:12 PM (RkRxq)

29 How are they going to force me to pay for insurance I can't afford? Bring back debtors prisons?
Posted by: BackwardsBoy at September 08, 2009 01:07 PM (ZGhSv) -
What do you mean, bring them back. We all live in one now. Oh, we can get in our car and go pretty much where we want, as long as we can afford it. But it's still a prison without walls. Hell, even if your house is payed off, you don't even own it. At least not if you live in a state where you pay a personal property tax on it.

Posted by: teej at September 08, 2009 01:13 PM (c459z)

30 Is 'Sasha' a Russian name?

Posted by: wHodat at September 08, 2009 01:15 PM (+sBB4)

31 So with two government entities failing, we are going to latch onto the only one that has survived, successfully mind you and hope it can tread water long enough for Obastard to get credit.

So what's next? Taking Fed-Ex and UPS and folding them into the USPS to make up the slack?

This is a logical retarded thought process. Thanks for making the 2010 and 2012 elections SOOOOOOO EASY lefties.

Posted by: LoneRepublic at September 08, 2009 01:15 PM (84yWb)

32 So, when everyone is eventually dumped into socialized medicine run by Washington...what happens when it goes (and it will in time) belly up? All of it is unsustainable. Medicare & Medicaid being the precursors of what's to come. These bastards don't give one damn about helping insure those that aren't insured. Control is the goal. That's all it's ever been. Otherwise, more realistic and workable solutions would've been implemented. Alas, they're not even considered.

I'm feeling discouraged today, even though I hesitate to say that.

Posted by: Twinks at September 08, 2009 01:16 PM (wjosM)

33 31 - I can't believe you said that outloud.

Shhhhhhhh!

Posted by: Hussein the Plumber at September 08, 2009 01:16 PM (RkRxq)

34 Health care in the US is covered by three main systems-- Medicare, Medicaid, and private insurance. Two of these systems are bankrupt, and will be unable to make payments beyond 2017. The third is solvent, and can make all of its payments for the foreseeable future.
Obama's plan is to take the one system meeting its obligations and fold it into the two systems that are bankrupt.


I already posted that on FB..

Funny.. since the start of the year and I've been posting and linking anti-socialist stuff...

I've lost a couple of friends.

Not sure who though.. their loss, those dummies.

Posted by: Dave C at September 08, 2009 01:17 PM (La0Tt)

35 24
We believe in a hand up, not a hand down.Don't you mean hand JOB?

I believe in those. Whole-heartedly.

Posted by: LoneRepublic at September 08, 2009 01:17 PM (84yWb)

36 "Is 'Sasha' a Russian name?"

Sasha is a guy's name in Russian: short for Alexander...somehow.

Posted by: Dave J. at September 08, 2009 01:18 PM (n8GeP)

37 Andy 20>>What authority does the federal government have to require someone to buy health insurance coverage? See here for some good reasons why they can't.

What authority do they have to make you pay Social security or Medicare taxes?

I don't think they can constitutionally force you to carry insurance via mandate, but in truth they really don't have to.

All they have to do is broadly increase your taxes (to pay for it), and then offer it to you. If you choose not to take advantage of the "entitlement", that's OK, nobody will force you to use it.

If you can't be rejected from insurance because of "pre-existing" conditions, then it doesn't matter if you have the insurance or not. . .you can simply sign for it five minutes before your surgery.

In short, its the same effect as compelling you to be insured without mandating it.

If you have private insurance, you can use it whenever you like.

If you don't, you'll get around to using the public insurance when (ie if) you need it or you can sign up for one of the "approved" programs (any time you like) for the same effect.

Its roughly the same right now with poor Americans who are eligible for Medicare, but don't bother signing up for it until they are admitted to the hospital.

Posted by: looking closely at September 08, 2009 01:18 PM (PwGfd)

38 Don't you mean hand JOB?
Not allowed under ObamaCare because it'll make you go blind.

Posted by: Death, Etc. Panel Expert at September 08, 2009 01:18 PM (X6Zdh)

39 The lack of resistance to this, given the history of socialism, especially the lack of effective resistance from the Republican party, is equally if not more, astonishing.
Posted by: Hussein the Plumber at September 08, 2009 01:12 PM (RkRxq) - Could that be because the "elites" from both parties are really on the same team? You betcha. And their marching orders come from the worlds central bankers. You know, those fine folks who control the money supply and loan us our own money at interest.

Posted by: teej at September 08, 2009 01:18 PM (c459z)

40 33

31 - I can't believe you said that outloud.
Shhhhhhhh!
You're right! I don't want to make LGF Kos lefties mad.

Posted by: LoneRepublic at September 08, 2009 01:19 PM (84yWb)

41 50 million people don't have access to Google. We must close Google and run search services at the Post Office.

Posted by: wHodat at September 08, 2009 01:20 PM (+sBB4)

42 Not allowed under ObamaCare because it'll make you go blind.

The new healthcare bill does not provide electrolysis on hairy palms...sry.

Posted by: IRS at September 08, 2009 01:21 PM (84yWb)

43 Never mind the fact that American's spend $7,290 per person on health care while the rest of the world spends about half of that. Japan spends $2,591!

And the rest of the world delivers that same level of care and covers everyone.

And they do it with some sort of single payer/public plan. All of them.

And you dumbfucks think it's just dandy for us to spend twice, that's twice, what the rest of the world spends for the same level of care.

Astounding ignorance. I am ashamed to have you as a fellow American.

Posted by: honest cloud at September 08, 2009 01:21 PM (4dCEv)

44 We must close Google and run search services at the Post Office.

How are we going to get all those tubes that go to the google connected to the post office?

Posted by: Dang Straights at September 08, 2009 01:22 PM (Haq+B)

45 @28
Hear, hear! Resistance is strong amongst the populace who are nowbecoming informed and voicing their concerns at town hall meetings and tea parties. Politicians' grip on power is being loosened daily by average, everyday Americans. But we still have a long way to go to reach a point where we are able to install representatives who will actually do our bidding. We must start looking for officials who are truly interested in solving problems, not creating new ones with "solutions" that only beget more problems and cost a fortune too.

Posted by: BackwardsBoy at September 08, 2009 01:22 PM (ZGhSv)

46 "How is it constitutional for the Feds to force me to buy a health insurance policy?"

The question answers itself: it obviously isn't. You don't think these people actually care about such niceties, do you?

Posted by: Dave J. at September 08, 2009 01:23 PM (n8GeP)

47 Just before I turned 25, I got sick and ran up over $300K in medical bills. I'm glad I had insurance. I could live with a catastrophic coverage requirement, if it stayed that way, but we all know that once the foot is in the door, by the time they are done it will require coverage for when you get the sniffles.

I now have to get insurance that covers pre-existing conditions. And it costs more. That's fine. I've proven I cost more to cover. So, I would benefit from requiring all insurance companies to cover me anyway, and I still don't want it to happen. That's one of the differences between classical liberals and lefties, and they will never understand why I think this way.

Posted by: cranky-d at September 08, 2009 01:23 PM (LLcqh)

48 And the rest of the world delivers that same level of care and covers everyone.

Yet they still come here for healthcare. Go figure. They must be really stupid to the states to use our primitive medical system. Dumbshit.

Posted by: Dang Straights at September 08, 2009 01:23 PM (Haq+B)

49 I have a question. Does Socialized sound better than Socialist, and if so, why?
Liberal was effectively changed by the left to Progressive by the left because liberal became too closely linked to negative shit like Socialist. We on the right let them. And there is no arguing that even subconsciously,the term progressive absent political conotations is positive yet when substituted with socialist, it is negative.
IMO - we should not be adopting their wolf-in-sheep's-clothing bullshit terminology. A spade is still a spade - or should be.

Posted by: Hussein the Plumber at September 08, 2009 01:23 PM (RkRxq)

50 (1) Forcing insurers to accept all applicants.

This is the biggy.

Why buy insurance if no one can be denied for pre-existing conditions?

Just wait till your sick or hurt, *THEN* get insurance.

This clause is specifically designed to drive profitable insurance companies into bankruptcy.

As much as I hate pre-existing exclusions, they are the only way insurance companies can be run. Maybe there could be a (much) higher premium associated with those who wait to buy or waiting period or say 5yr period after which exclusion couldn't apply.

Posted by: The Commissar of Love at September 08, 2009 01:24 PM (ao5cQ)

51 43
Never mind the fact that American's spend $7,290 per person on health
care while the rest of the world spends about half of that. Japan
spends $2,591!And the rest of the world delivers that same level of care and covers everyone.

Pull your head out of your ass.

If you think the rest of the world delivers the same level of care as they do in the USA, you've never waited for 18 hours to be seen in a Canadian Emergency room. . .or found out that your doctors have taken three months off since they aren't being paid to see more patients. . .or been told you can see an oncologist to treat your breast cancer in SIX MONTHS.

I've seen all of these things first hand.



Posted by: looking closely at September 08, 2009 01:24 PM (PwGfd)

52 So what should people do for pre-existing conditions? What is Glenn Becks daughter going to do?

Posted by: Jerome at September 08, 2009 01:25 PM (ENGMe)

53 I am ashamed to have you as a fellow American.

Then by all means leave.

Posted by: Dang Straights at September 08, 2009 01:26 PM (Haq+B)

54 <blockquote>
Never mind the fact that American's spend $7,290 per person on health
care while the rest of the world spends about half of that. Japan
spends $2,591!

And the rest of the world delivers that same level of care and covers everyone.
</blockquote>
You are mind-numbingly stupid.

Posted by: cranky-d at September 08, 2009 01:26 PM (LLcqh)

55 And html doesn't work here. Forgot that.

Posted by: cranky-d at September 08, 2009 01:26 PM (LLcqh)

56 "And the rest of the world delivers that same level of care..."

Hey, dishonest cloud, is this the same world that, in the UK, let's pregnant women give birth in the hallways? Is this the same world that wants to come HERE for cancer treatments, rather than their own country's medical facilities? Is this the same world where Canadians cross our borders for their MRIs and CAT scans, brain surgeries? The same world where those same Canadians send their premature babies to be taken care of?

Hey, dishonest cloud, did you ever ONCE think about why costs are higher here? What gov't interference and outrageous litigation practices have brought to the table? Di you ever think? Stupid fuck.

Posted by: Twinks at September 08, 2009 01:27 PM (wjosM)

57 How are we going to get all those tubes that go to the google connected to the post office?

Comrade, we will walk up to the Post Office.

Posted by: wHodat at September 08, 2009 01:27 PM (+sBB4)

58 Same level of care, eh cloud? Were you born in an elevator 10 months after the postman knocked up your mom?

Posted by: runninrebel at September 08, 2009 01:27 PM (i3PJU)

59
How are they going to force me to pay for insurance I can't afford? Bring back debtors prisons?
Posted by: BackwardsBoy at September 08, 2009 01:07 PM (ZGhSv) -

Did you miss the part where the IRS is responsible for enforcement? They will just garnish you onto a plan of their choice.

Posted by: Jean at September 08, 2009 01:27 PM (L64A6)

60 This is why I don't feel comfortable with the possibility of a "trigger" that has been talked about lately. They'd create some kind of goals that would be next to impossible for the insurance companies to meet, for many of the reasons you stated above, ensuring that the public option would be triggered.

Posted by: sydney jane at September 08, 2009 01:27 PM (T8h7U)

61 I disagree with Gabe on Item # 1. I live in Washington and if you have insurance and want to get another policy you can with no penalty for having pre existing conditions. My inusurance is cheap and very good. Washington does however bar people who waited to get sick before buying insurance from this program so maybe that's the part Gabe is talking about in Obama's bill but in Washington you are not required to fill out an insurance questionair and companies can't research your medical history when you apply for coverage and it seems to work quite well .

Posted by: Allen Glines at September 08, 2009 01:27 PM (H60q6)

62 Obama gave his kid a Russian name? Who does this?

Posted by: wHodat at September 08, 2009 01:28 PM (+sBB4)

63 Sorry for the OT, but this is important:
http://tinyurl.com/mdqs86
Is the Titans cheerleader having an "Elaine Bennis" moment?

Posted by: Navin R Johnson says listen to 7 Seconds at September 08, 2009 01:28 PM (J7/Ud)

64 People with pre-existing conditions pay more, or have to be insured for a specified number of years with no claims for that condition before they are covered for that condition. At least, that's how it is in some cases. It probably varies across insurance companies.

Posted by: cranky-d at September 08, 2009 01:28 PM (LLcqh)

65 With Emanuel Rahm's deathpanels, all those with pre-existing conditions will be 'counseled' into taking a dirt nap. See? Instant savings!

Posted by: Dang Straights at September 08, 2009 01:28 PM (Haq+B)

66 62
Obama gave his kid a Russian name? Who does this?

Posted by: LoneRepublic at September 08, 2009 01:28 PM (84yWb)

67 62
Obama gave his kid a Russian name? Who does this?

Has to give homage to his Comrades!

Posted by: LoneRepublic at September 08, 2009 01:29 PM (84yWb)

68 Japan spends $2,591!

Hospital patients in Japan have to bring their own sheets, towels, soap, and latex gloves. Which are removed by the nurse and returned to the patient so for re-use.

Posted by: HeatherRadish at September 08, 2009 01:32 PM (NtiET)

69 43 Never mind the fact that American's spend $7,290 per person on health care while the rest of the world spends about half of that. Japan spends $2,591!

Gentlemen, I give you "HonestCloud", ignorant dumbfuck.

In Japan, they have a HUGE problem with patient dumping. Excuse me, it's not even patient dumping, it's ambulance refusal.

If the incoming patient is one who's condition is very serious or high risk, they turn them away. Sometimes a patient has to be driven around for hours before they can find a hospital that will take them. And in the meantime, die.

Hey, Japan has "Death Panel" Vans!..........heh.

Why?

If the doctors and hospitals have "bad" outcomes, their funding is cut.

Think that won't occur here? Talk to Michelle "Poor Patient Dumper" Obama.

Posted by: The Commissar of Love at September 08, 2009 01:32 PM (ao5cQ)

70 mandatory coverage.
I defiantly dont think coverage should be mandatory. People have the right to spend their money on what ever the fuck they want. Its their bodies they can do what they want. Shouldnt have the government telling people what to do with their bodies.

Posted by: Jerome at September 08, 2009 01:33 PM (ENGMe)

71 My body! My Choice!

My body! My Choice!

My body! My Choice!

My body! My Choice!

Posted by: The Commissar of Love at September 08, 2009 01:35 PM (ao5cQ)

72 I live in Washington and if you have insurance and want to get another
policy you can with no penalty for having pre existing conditions.
That's a provision of HIPAA (1996 federal law).

Posted by: Andy at September 08, 2009 01:37 PM (QYJUz)

73 What do you mean, nutshell? Is this "nutshell" brown by any chance? Brown like a certain President who you don't like because of his RACE?

Posted by: Lib Media at September 08, 2009 01:39 PM (vcu4T)

74 Obamacare isn't the right approach, but the anti-reform folks lose me when they start opposing guaranteed issue for pre-existing conditions, etc.

The fact is that this is money that's going to be spent, it's money that's going to come out of the economy somewhere, and it's better that it go through private insurers (even if it's then tax-subsidized on the other side) than that it be spent on creating more federal and state indigent-care programs.

I'm all for cost containment and tort reform and competition, but at the same time I also support separating health insurance from employment and leveling the playing field for the self-employed and small businesses.

Posted by: mrkwong at September 08, 2009 01:39 PM (G8Eo0)

75 >>So what should people do for pre-existing conditions? What is Glenn Becks daughter going to do?


I don't know what Glenn Beck's daughter has, so I can't comment, but if she is a child, presumably she would be covered under his family insurance.

In general, you try to get insurance before you have a pre-existing condition. (Yes that means before BIRTH, in many cases). Then you make sure your insurance doesn't lapse.

If you can't, then you have to accept that you have a higher risk and either get insurance that excludes your pre-existing condition and/or pay considerably more for your insurance.

Posted by: looking closely at September 08, 2009 01:39 PM (6Q9g2)

76 When you consider this - And as Thomas Sowell has pointed out, the original plan to vote it in
before the recess still did not become effective until 2013.This is not a given - Thanks for making the 2010 and 2012 elections SOOOOOOO EASY lefties.

So they can pass this crapfest, then when none of the pocketbook realities come to pass they can spout their, "see we passed it and nothing bad has happened" b.s. in TWO consecutive elections.

Good thing the press won't let them get away with it.

Oh, nevermind.

Posted by: rockhead at September 08, 2009 01:40 PM (RykTt)

77 71 - Excellent point(s)!

Posted by: Hussein the Plumber at September 08, 2009 01:41 PM (RkRxq)

78 77 71
Agreed

Posted by: Jerome at September 08, 2009 01:43 PM (ENGMe)

79 "A spade is still a spade - or should be."

RACISM!

Posted by: Typical Moonbat at September 08, 2009 01:43 PM (n8GeP)

80 I live in Washington and if you have insurance and want to get another policy you can with no penalty for having pre existing conditions.

.....Washington does however bar people who waited to get sick before buying insurance from this program

these both can't be true

Posted by: Bruce Heffernan at September 08, 2009 01:44 PM (k7SeR)

81 Now, I know. As with auto insurance...

There is no comparison here at all.

The government doesn't FORCE anyone to own a car, and you CAN own a car and NOT have insurance on it if you never put it on a public highway.


Posted by: Purple Avenger at September 08, 2009 01:44 PM (Jt/DM)

82 Health status insurance can help protect against a pre-existing condition ie one's health status changing at some point. Some regulations would need to be changed though. The CATO Institute has a paper on this.

Posted by: Mark at September 08, 2009 01:45 PM (Kxq4w)

83 I misread. If you have insurance....OK

Posted by: Bruce Heffernan at September 08, 2009 01:45 PM (k7SeR)

84 Twinks,

"Hey, dishonest cloud, did you ever ONCE think about why costs are higher here?"

Yes. And it didn't take me long to figure it out.

We are the only modern country in the world without a single payer/ public plan. And private insurance companies eat up to 25 cents on the dollar in administration costs. Medicare is less than 5%.

Some day you ignorant fools will see the light. Until then enjoy paying double what the rest of world pays. For the same level of care.

Posted by: honest cloud at September 08, 2009 01:47 PM (4dCEv)

85 People who want to mandate coverage for pre-existing conditions are trying to force equality of outcome. Conservatives think that's a bad idea in education, employment, and most other spheres of life. Why suddenly approve of it in healthcare?

I'm sorry if that seems unfair to you, but life is not fair.

Posted by: XBradTC at September 08, 2009 01:47 PM (NimeM)

86
I am ashamed to have you as a fellow American.

Then by all means leave.


Posted by: Dang Straights

If you are unhappy with Obama Care it is you that can leave. We won. Remember.


Posted by: honest cloud at September 08, 2009 01:51 PM (4dCEv)

87 HC, one reason insurance companies have such high overhead costs is that they have to operate under 50 different regulatory regimes, in addition to a federal regime.

And if you really think Medicare operates at a 5% overhead, I've got a nice bridge to sell you.

Posted by: XBradTC at September 08, 2009 01:53 PM (NimeM)

88 We are the only modern country in the world without a single payer/ public plan. And private insurance companies eat up to 25 cents on the dollar in administration costs. Medicare is less than 5%.Some day you ignorant fools will see the light. Until then enjoy paying double what the rest of world pays. For the same level of care.
Medicare runs out of money in 2017 cloud brain. Medicare and medicaid has$37 Trillion in unfunded promises for service. The countrys that do have single payer without exception tax ALL of their citizens at a much hight rate than we do ours. That means all citizens not just the top 1%.

Posted by: Allen Glines at September 08, 2009 01:54 PM (H60q6)

89 I forgot I wasn't Allen Gines anymore damn

Posted by: robtr at September 08, 2009 01:56 PM (H60q6)

90 If you are unhappy with Obama Care it is you that can leave. We won. Remember.
And the totalitarianism tendency of liberalism comes out in dishonest clod's statement. "Obama Care" hasn't passed yet, and it might have helped your cause if Messiah had submitted a bill laying out exactly what the Administration wanted instead of having gits like Nancy Pelosi, Barney Frank, and Harry Reid write it piecemeal for him.

Posted by: Kratos (on the back of Gaia, scaling Mt Olympus) at September 08, 2009 01:57 PM (9hSKh)

91 If you think health care is expensive now, wait until it's free.
Hairy palms aren't so bad. Feels kind of good, actually. Isn't that right HC?

Posted by: Buck Ofama at September 08, 2009 01:57 PM (/xXMi)

92 There are also estimates that as much as a third of all Medicare payouts are a result of fraud, waste or abuse.

Posted by: XBradTC at September 08, 2009 01:58 PM (NimeM)

93 #88 Medicare runs out of money in 2017 cloud brain. Medicare and medicaid has$37 Trillion in unfunded promises for service. The countrys that do have single payer without exception tax ALL of their citizens at a much hight rate than we do ours. That means all citizens not just the top 1%.
Right-o. And remember that several people such as Obama and Pelosi are on tape admitting that this "public option" scheme is a Trogan Horse to eventually get to a single-payer system.
But hey, what Dem honestly loathes higher taxes?

Posted by: Kratos (on the back of Gaia, scaling Mt Olympus) at September 08, 2009 01:59 PM (9hSKh)

94 91
If you think health care is expensive now, wait until it's free.
How original. Got in more zingers?

Posted by: Jerome at September 08, 2009 02:00 PM (ENGMe)

95 "The countrys that do have single payer without exception tax ALL of
their citizens at a much hight rate than we do ours. That means all
citizens not just the top 1%."

You have no idea what you are talking about.

Go visit Hong Kong or Singapore or Taiwan. All of them have lower tax rates than us. And all of them spend half of what we spend on health care. And all of them cover everyone. And all of them deliver the same level of care.

Posted by: honest cloud at September 08, 2009 02:00 PM (4dCEv)

96 Go visit Hong Kong or Singapore or Taiwan. All of them have lower
tax rates than us. And all of them spend half of what we spend on
health care. And all of them cover everyone. And all of them deliver
the same level of care.

I've got another bridge to sell you if you think the medical care in Taiwan is as good as in the USA.

But, I do like your idea of lower tax rates contributing to economic growth. Maybe that's something the USA might decide to emulate.


Posted by: looking closely at September 08, 2009 02:04 PM (PwGfd)

97 There are also estimates that as much as a third of all Medicare payouts are a result of fraud, waste or abuse.

Two ways for a practice to recoup losses sustained providing care to Medicare patients (reimbursements are often less than the cost of supplies used for seeing a patient) are a) fraud and b) overcharging paying customers.

Hrm, maybe forcing people to provide their own latex gloves and tongue depressors isn't such a bad idea.

Posted by: HeatherRadish at September 08, 2009 02:04 PM (NtiET)

98 Hong Kong or Singapore or Taiwan. All of them have lower tax rates
than us. And all of them spend half of what we spend on health care.
And all of them cover everyone.

...what percentage of the population of those nations is non-Asian?

I don't accept Sweden as a role model, either. Same reason.

Posted by: HeatherRadish at September 08, 2009 02:07 PM (NtiET)

99 HC,

Comment #69.


Got no response?


Thought not.

Posted by: The Commissar of Love at September 08, 2009 02:11 PM (ao5cQ)

100
The Commissar of Love

HC,





Comment #69.






Got no response?






Thought not.
_____________________________________________________

Right on brother. I've got no response. I don't address unsubstantiated bullshit.

Posted by: honest cloud at September 08, 2009 02:13 PM (4dCEv)

101 You have no idea what you are talking about.Go visit Hong Kong or Singapore or Taiwan. All of them have lower tax rates than us. And all of them spend half of what we spend on health care. And all of them cover everyone. And all of them deliver the same level of care.
Posted by: honest cloud at September 08, 2009 02:00 PM (4dCEv)
Ok cloud brain I looked at one of your models, I am not going to spend all day proving you wrong on the other ones. It's seems Taiwans Health Care System is broke, like Medicare is. They are having to borrow money from banks to pay doctors for services.


So the United States spends too much on health care, and doesn't even cover everybody. But the Taiwanese don't bring in enough money to pay for all the services they offer.
"So actually, as we speak, the government is borrowing from banks to pay what there isn't enough to pay the providers," Cheng says.
Taiwan's politicians are reluctant to increase premiums: they're afraid the voters will punish them.

Posted by: robtr at September 08, 2009 02:16 PM (H60q6)

102 Can someone explain what "community rating" is? I know it's something the Left wants. I've also read people like Megan McArdle claim it has resulted in very high rates in places like NY which have community rating. But I still don't know what it is.

thanks.

Posted by: drake88 at September 08, 2009 02:24 PM (BXqkH)

103
robtr
"So the United States spends too much on health care, and doesn't
even cover everybody. But the Taiwanese don't bring in enough money to
pay for all the services they offer.


"So actually, as we speak, the government is borrowing from banks to
pay what there isn't enough to pay the providers," Cheng says."




And what, might I ask is wrong with that? We're in a deep deep worldwide recession you stupid fuck.

Did it ever occur to you that sometimes when business is slow that one needs to borrow to get through a difficult time.

Good God, the stupid here takes ones breath away.


Posted by: honest cloud at September 08, 2009 02:25 PM (4dCEv)

104 In regard to 1) let me add:

Here in Germany the insurers already have to do this. But accepting all applicants does not mean "Has to retain all applicants at all costs". That means that in effect risk customers who make noise about changing insurers do not get to hear "Please no" but rather "Here's the door".
Now in Germany that is ultimately futile since costs are split between insurers, so all that money saved by having to pay for your ex-insuree ? It's going to a common pool from where his new insurance will likely make good it's losses (Since risk customers seem to swarm insurers). But his old insurance does not have to deal with the paperwork for him so that is seen as a win.

But since I think that if you get something along the lines of 1) mandated along with a public insurer with the private insurers untouched, what I think will happen for you is:
Nursing home patient: "My insurance sucks, do something"
Private insurance: "So very sorry, no can do. But the public insurer is supposed to be better my *fake relative* swears by it"
NHP: "Then I'll change insurance"
PI: "Bonus".

Profit insurees are snared by better service

Posted by: DoesNotMatter at September 08, 2009 02:27 PM (EvOvW)

105 Cnn.money of all places.

5 Freedoms You'll Lose in Healthcare Reform

Posted by: Twinks at September 08, 2009 02:34 PM (wjosM)

106 Honest Cloud, want to try again to prove how stupid you are?
Accoding to JP Morgan Taiwan's economy is growing at 5.4%. I wish the Obama recession was that good don't you dumb ass?

Posted by: robtr at September 08, 2009 02:35 PM (H60q6)

107 "Accoding to JP Morgan Taiwan's economy is growing at 5.4%."

Hmmm. Interesting. I do a lot of business in Taiwan and that is not what I see and hear but I'll take your word for it.

And it just goes to show you what the efficiencies of a modern health care system do for economic growth.

Just imagine what we could do with $4,000 for every man woman and child to boost our economy instead of pissing it way on the most inefficient health care system in the world.

Posted by: honest cloud at September 08, 2009 02:42 PM (4dCEv)

108 HC,

dishonest as always.

I've lived there. But you don't need to live there to know the truth.

There's a little invention called Google. Give it a try.

Posted by: The Commissar of Love at September 08, 2009 02:43 PM (ao5cQ)

109 The Commissar of Love,

"I've lived there. But you don't need to live there to know the truth."

So what? You live here now and obviously don't know your ass from first base.

Why would I assume you know anything about Taiwan based on your ignorance of the U.S. health care system.

Clue. When you are a dumbfuck in the United States moving to Taiwan only makes you a dumbfuck living in Taiwan.

Posted by: honest cloud at September 08, 2009 02:51 PM (4dCEv)

110 Don't take my word for it dumbass, try reading. This is from the economist. I have to get back to work you're ignorance is boring.

Take Taiwan: JPMorgan predicts that its GDP in 2009 will be 3.8% lower than in 2008, implying another dismal year. But this forecast also implies that GDP will grow by a brisk 5.4% in the year to the fourth quarter. By this measure, Asias emerging economies are clearly leading the global recovery (see chart 2). Even if Americas economy grows during the second half of this year, it is still expected to end the year smaller than it was at the start.

Posted by: robtr at September 08, 2009 02:55 PM (H60q6)

111 HC,

Your reply makes you a dumbfuck because you can't read.

J-A-P-A-N spells Japan. Not Taiwan.

Thanks for playing anyway.

Posted by: The Commissar of Love at September 08, 2009 02:58 PM (ao5cQ)

112 HC,

As to your (almost non-existent point) that US healthcare is more expensive.

So what?

It's the best health care in the world. Why do we know that? It's the number one country that foreign nationals come to for health care. And that despite it's expense.

If all you care about is cost, go live in Cuba. Health care is free!!!!!!!

Just take an old inner tube to Key West and swim south. Follow (in the opposite direction) the groups of refugees heading in our direction.

Posted by: The Commissar of Love at September 08, 2009 03:03 PM (ao5cQ)

113 Your last pararaph reminds me that I think we have spent time talking about other countries that we could have profitably used to redirect criticosm to bad government policies. Woth all the demonizing of insurers and docs, I feel the government is a very actor and shows no ability to mend its ways. It is negligent about preventing billions in fraud and claims efficient administration with a straight face. Many challenge critics demanding to know if they would repeal Medicare. This would backfire if people knew they don't pay providers, shiftying those costs to others. O haver Medicare Advantage and they want to end it and shift the cost to me. Boo.

Posted by: Claire Solt at September 08, 2009 03:07 PM (n75ML)

114 Honest Cloud @100 "Right on brother. I've got no response. I don't address unsubstantiated bullshit."

In this argument, I've seen unsubstantiated claims made by both sides, with you making all of the ones supporting the health care reform that is currently before congress. So, before you talk about not addressing unsubstantiated claims, why don't you back up what you say with some references?

To be honest, I would prefer that everyone back up what they say with links so that I can follow those links and gather what one hopes is information from primary sources, but for comments on a blog such as this, that seems like too much to ask. The only reason I write in response to you, specifically, is because you made a point of talking about substantiation, so I would expect you to be prepared to put up or shut up.

Posted by: Jonathan G at September 08, 2009 03:07 PM (LbwB9)

115 "It's the best health care in the world. Why do we know that? It's the
number one country that foreign nationals come to for health care. And
that despite it's expense."

Please tell me you aren't this fucking stupid. Because a foreign national comes here for a certain treatment doesn't mean a goddamed thing about the level of care available to most Americans.


Posted by: honest cloud at September 08, 2009 03:13 PM (4dCEv)

116 Medicare is less than 5%

This one is straight from the Department of Lies, Damned Lies and Statistics. HC, you do know that this number is bullshit, don't you? The 5% number expresses the administrative cost as a percentage of total costs, including healthcare claims, which are much higher for Medicare than private health plans on a per-enrollee basis.

The total dollar amount of claims doesn't drive admininstrative costs. Administrative cost per enrollee is the appropriate base for an apples-to-apples comparison, but it doesn't give liberals the answer they want.

Mankiw's summation.

Posted by: Andy at September 08, 2009 03:14 PM (QYJUz)

117 "Here's your fine: zero." - Barack Obama. It happens at 4:12 of that video. There's also a clip at the end of the third debate where he reiterates that noone, individuals, families or businesses - would be fined for not having/providing coverage. This guy is a huckster. He makes John Stossel's head explode with all of his lies.

Posted by: JR at September 08, 2009 03:15 PM (bpu8E)

118 Andy,



So it's more accurate to include those who have no claims and no doctor
visits when computing the administrative costs of private insurance?



Good God out country is full of fucking morons.


Try this.



The VA runs the largest integrated health-care system in the
country, with more than 1,400 hospitals, clinics and nursing homes
employing 14,800 doctors and 61,000 nurses. And by a number of
measures, this government-managed health-care program--socialized
medicine on a small scale--is beating the marketplace. For the sixth
year in a row, VA hospitals last year scored higher than private
facilities on the University of Michigan's American Customer
Satisfaction Index, based on patient surveys on the quality of care
received. The VA scored 83 out of 100; private institutions, 71. Males
65 years and older receiving VA care had about a 40% lower risk of
death than those enrolled in Medicare Advantage, whose care is provided
through private health plans or HMOs, according to a study published in
the April edition of Medical Care. Harvard University just gave the VA
its Innovations in American Government Award for the agency's work in
computerizing patient records.

And all that was achieved at a
relatively low cost. In the past 10 years, the number of veterans
receiving treatment from the VA has more than doubled, from 2.5 million
to 5.3 million, but the agency has cared for them with 10,000 fewer
employees. The VA's cost per patient has remained steady during the
past 10 years. The cost of private care has jumped about 40% in that
same period.

Posted by: honest cloud at September 08, 2009 03:31 PM (4dCEv)

119 http://www.time.com/time/magazine/article/0,9171,1376238,00.html

Forgot link.

Posted by: honest cloud at September 08, 2009 03:31 PM (4dCEv)

120 Please tell me you aren't this fucking stupid. Because a foreign national comes here for a certain treatment doesn't mean a goddamed thing about the level of care available to most Americans.

HC,

Please tell me you aren't this fucking stupid. Foreign nationals come here EXACTLY because of the level of health care available to most Americans.

They come from Canada to the US to give birth because of the piss poor care and rationing. This is simple baseline care and Canada can't even provide that properly.

And in what world does 47 million uninsured Americans out of roughly 300 million Americans constitute *most* Americans?

Yes, yes. I know.....Math is hard!

Posted by: The Commissar of Love at September 08, 2009 03:32 PM (ao5cQ)

121 One problem which is wholly ignored through all of this is the fact that any employment-based coverage is virtually unenforceable in court, so the insurance companies can deny claims, valid and invalid, and there's no meaningful consequence to them for doing that. In sum all employment-based coverage is a scam. Here's Arizona representative Shadegg discussing the point, which remains unaddressed in any proposal to date:

http://tinyurl.com/kw3ndc

Posted by: Richard Johnston at September 08, 2009 03:34 PM (VLKfY)

122 HC,

Since you're too stupid to use Google, here's a simple article from that far right rag TIME magazine about the ambulance turn aways and death.

Click on the linky:

Honest Cloud Pwned

Posted by: The Commissar of Love at September 08, 2009 03:41 PM (ao5cQ)

123 US citizens have evidently not been teaching the Constitution and its history to their children for many generations. Otherwise, citizens would be able to stop Obamacare dead in its tracks by pointing out the following. Given the Constitution's silence about public healthcare, the 10th A. automatically reserves government power to regulate and lay taxes for healthcare to the states, not the Oval Office and Congress.

In fact, Chief Justice Marshall had established the following case precedent, now wrongly ignored, which appropriately limits the power of the feds to lay taxes.

"Congress is not empowered to tax for those purposes which are within the exclusive province of the States." --Chief Justice Marshall, GIBBONS V. OGDEN (1824) http://supreme.justia.com/us/22/1/case.html

So not only is misguided Obama's proposed healthcare constitutionally unauthorized, but based on Justice Marshall's official words, the corrupt Congress never had the power to lay taxes to fund such programs in the first place.

What's going on is that state sovereignty-ignorant voters have been electing lawmakers to both the state legislatures and the federal senate who are as state sovereignty-impaired as the voters are. Consequently, these lawmakers have not been doing their jobs to protect state sovereignty by protecting citizens from the power-hungry, tax-loving, Constitution-ignoring "leaders" (crooks) running the federal government.

Finally, the following link should help give people an idea as to how state sovereignty-ignorant voters have shot themselves in the foot with big, corrupt federal government.

http://www.ronpaulforums.com/showthread.php?t=199792

Posted by: B. Johnson at September 08, 2009 03:45 PM (x8Zt1)

124 In a bid to reduce costs, the Health insurer WellPoint Inc. is setting
up a pilot program to send patients to India for surgeries.

An
estimated 1.5 million Americans are expected to travel abroad for
medical treatment this year, attracting the attention of insurance
companies like Aetna, Cigna and UnitedHealth in medical tourism for non
emergency care, such as knee and hip replacements, shoulder surgery and
even heart bypasses. Such surgeries in India cost almost a tenth of
what they do in the U.S. Typically hip replacement costs $70,000 to
$80,000 in the U.S. compared to $8,000 to $10,000 in India.



By the year 2010, more than 6 million Americans annually will be
seeking medical treatment abroad, according to the Deloitte Center for
Health Solutions, a consultancy. The potential savings are significant.
Knee surgery that costs $70,000 to $80,000 in the United States can be
performed in India for $8,000 to $10,000, including follow-up care and
rehabilitation, Dr. Hashmi said. Similar savings could be achieved for
such common procedures as hip replacements and spine surgery.

Posted by: honest cloud at September 08, 2009 03:46 PM (4dCEv)

125 So it's more accurate to include those who have no claims and no doctor
visits when computing the administrative costs of private insurance?
Sure it is. If for no other reason than that the people who have no claims or doctor visits pay the premiums that, in turn, fund the claims payments for those who do.

The administrative cost is best measured by the cost of running the entire enterprise and not on a cherry-picked statistic formulated only to support the left's case.

Riddle me this, dickwad ... how does it make sense that the private health plan could, using your preferred measure, become more administratively efficient by spending itself to the brink of bankruptcy?

Oh, and by the way, the cost of capital to the government is assumed to be zero
in that 5% number, and it also leaves out the costs of CMS, the IRS and
other government agencies necessary to support the program. I haven't looked into it, but I'll bet you a shot of Valu-Rite that the VA numbers quoted in the unbiased Time magazine article you linked suffer the same problem.

Posted by: Andy at September 08, 2009 03:51 PM (QYJUz)

126 @124

HC,

Great example of the free market providing a solution!

And here, I thought you were just another whining socialist!

Those Americans who think Third World Health Care is fine will buy Wellpoint's Third World Program. They won't have the US gov't forcing 3rd World health care of the rest of us.

Those who want American care by American doctors will pay for the privilege.

Brilliant! Again congratualtions for pointing out such an innovative free market solution!

Posted by: The Commissar of Love at September 08, 2009 03:54 PM (ao5cQ)

127 The individual mandate is a "breathing tax." If you are still drawing breath, you have to pay it one way or the other. Wait until they decide to add a "dying tax" for anyone having the effrontery to "opt out."

Posted by: ManeiNeko at September 08, 2009 03:55 PM (OUW5U)

128 The Commissar of Love,

I read your link. Let's go thru the reasoning.

The U.S. spends $7290 per person. Japan spend $2591.

How about this idea? Japan need to spends more. Maybe even $3,500 per person just like the rest of the world.

Our $7,290 is outrageous. And our insurance companies kill just as efficiently.

For three times the cost.

The California Nurses Association/National Nurses Organizing
Committee today blasted insurance giant CIGNA for failing to approve a
liver transplant one week earlier for listen to 17-year-old Nataline
Sarkisyan, who tragically died last night just hours after CIGNA
relented and agreed to the procedure following a massive national
outcry.
On Dec. 11, four leading physicians, including the surgical director
of the Pediatric Liver Transplant Program at UCLA, wrote to CIGNA
urging the company to reverse its denial. The physicians said that
Nataline currently meets criteria to be listed as Status 1A for a
transplant. They also challenged CIGNAs denial which the company said
occurred because their benefit plan does not cover experimental,
investigational and unproven services, to which the doctors replied,
Natalines case is in fact none of the above.

Posted by: honest cloud at September 08, 2009 03:56 PM (4dCEv)

129 Follow up to 128.

And I know I can be accused of blog pimping. But I do think it's on point. Anyway, the Sarkisyan matter is no outlier. This sort of thing happens a lot, primarily thanks to ERISA. Here's another example, the Andrews-Clarke case:

http://tinyurl.com/ndulsk

Posted by: Richard Johnston at September 08, 2009 04:04 PM (VLKfY)

130 The Commissar of Love,

"Those Americans who think Third World Health Care is fine will buy
Wellpoint's Third World Program. They won't have the US gov't forcing
3rd World health care of the rest of us."

Do you give any thought at all to your idiotic posts?

No. American's employers will be making the choice for them. Just like they do today. And will stand to profit from it. If something isn't done about escalating health care costs we'll all be traveling to India.

Posted by: honest cloud at September 08, 2009 04:05 PM (4dCEv)

131 Andy,

"Riddle me this, dickwad ... how does it make sense that the private
health plan could, using your preferred measure, become more
administratively efficient by spending itself to the brink of
bankruptcy?"

Take another toke off the bong and try to ask a coherent question.

Posted by: honest cloud at September 08, 2009 04:09 PM (4dCEv)

132 HC,

You do realize don't you that you have free will?

If you don't like an employer's health care plan, don't take the job. Or buy you're own health care plan.

And making profit is not a bad thing, goofball. You'll never make headway with a silly argument like that.

@128 Yeah, that's bad, but bad things happen in every system. What about the million patients needlessly put to death under National Health in Britain?

Honest Cloud Pwned by Death Panels

Under Obamacare Nataline would've had no other choices if refused, under the free market there were appeals (too late unfortunately) and other options to pay for the surgery besides insurance(loans, charity, etc).

Posted by: The Commissar of Love at September 08, 2009 04:27 PM (ao5cQ)

133 I do agree that our healthcare and technology are some of the best in the world but what good does that do us if no one can afford it except the rich, and foreign nationals who are wealthy enough to fly here and get treatment?

Posted by: Jerome at September 08, 2009 04:36 PM (ENGMe)

134 The Commissar of Love,


"If you don't like an employer's health care plan, don't take the job. Or buy you're own health care plan."

"You do realize don't you that you have free will?"

You've answered my question. Thank you. You clearly don't give any thought to your idiotic posts.

No you don't have free will you stupid fuck. It's called pre existing conditions.

And by doing nothing, your plan, the cost of the U.S. health care will remain at two to three times what the rest of world pays for the same level of care.

Oh, and we can start outsourcing surgery to India too. That'll be good for the U.S. economy.


Posted by: honest cloud at September 08, 2009 04:42 PM (4dCEv)

135 "Under Obamacare Nataline would've had no other choices if refused"

Under Obama Care Nataline wouldn't have been denied the transplant you fucking moron.

I've gotta run but thanks for the opportunity to post. It gives me great pleasure to see first hand the ignorance my son will be up against in the business world.

Parting you ignorant redneck hicks form your meager earnings is going to be like taking candy from a baby. The health care industry openly fucks you out of 4 grand a year and you can't even grasp the concept.

Posted by: honest cloud at September 08, 2009 04:46 PM (4dCEv)

136 @131, let me dumb it down for you with the example from one of Mankiw's links. Sorry, it involves math, so you may not understand:

Imagine, for a moment, that Fred and Jane
each have a credit card from a different bank. Fred charges $5,000 a
month, and Jane charges $1,000 a month. Suppose it costs each bank $5
to produce and send a plastic credit card when the account is opened.
That $5 "administrative cost" is a much lower percentage of Fred's
monthly charges than it is of Jane's, but that does not mean Fred's
bank is more efficient. It is purely a mathematical artifact of Fred's
charging pattern, and it would be silly to compare the efficiency of
bank operations on that basis. Yet that is how many analysts compare
Medicare with private insurance.

Posted by: Andy at September 08, 2009 04:57 PM (QYJUz)

137 HC,

Under Obama Care Nataline wouldn't have been denied the transplant you fucking moron.

Maybe in your dreams Nataline wouldn't have been denied the transplant. In reality, however: Here's a cancer case from....well, imagine that from the single payer state of Oregon!

More Death Panel
Pwnage of Honest Cloud

No you don't have free will you stupid fuck. It's called pre existing conditions.

Well, of course, you have free will. It's called planning ahead or paying more or joining your state's pool of insurance or moving to a state that has a pool if your's doesn't.

Like every libtard, you want what you want when you want it without regard to reality or who has to pay. You aren't three years old, take responsibility.

And by doing nothing, your plan, the cost of the U.S. health care will remain at two to three times what the rest of world pays for the same level of care.

Oh, and we can start outsourcing surgery to India too. That'll be good for the U.S. economy.

Again, there are great free market options out there. Tort Reform. Dropping State Barriers. Pooling. And yes, Wellpoint Third World Care.-ie. making the market worldwide. It will cause prices to drop.

Again, I certainly would be glad to pay less but not at the expense of my liberty and self-autonomy. And you certainly have the means to go to Cuba for some of that yummy free health care should you wish to do so.

In no country, place or time, has socialized medicine dropped costs. It's raised them while increasing rationing and poor care.

Of course, medical care costs more in the US. Everything does. And we have the best care - you get what you pay for.

Really, grow up and take responsibility for yourself and your family. I hope your son isn't learning to be a whiny grubber like his old man, sitting around waiting for a hamburger to fly into his mouth. Hopefully, he'll grow up to be a good free market capitalist who respects other peoples' rights.

Posted by: The Commissar of Love at September 08, 2009 05:21 PM (ao5cQ)

138 Youre assuming everyone can just pack up and move or can just pass up a job because the healthcare benefits arent up to par.

It's called planning ahead or paying more Again you assume that people wont be dropped from their plan once they get something horrible, like cancer. Now its a pre-existing condition. You assume that everyone can just pay more if need be but not everyone can.

The federal poverty rate for a family of 4 is $22,050 annually. Someone making $10 hr (which is much higher than the nat. minimum wage 7.25) full-time, all 52 weeks of the year makes $20,800--this is the working poor--those working and still in poverty. In these jobs, there is usually no insurance. If there is insurance, it's usually something the employee has to buy out of their small salary. Also, companies often discourage full-time employment b/c part-time employees are more cost-effective, so many of the working poor have multiple jobs but no health coverage due to part-time status.

Posted by: Jerome at September 08, 2009 05:36 PM (ENGMe)

139 50 (1) Forcing insurers to accept all applicants. This is the biggy. Why buy insurance if no one can be denied for pre-existing conditions?
Or what's to stop someone from buying cheap, bare-bones insurance (or not buying insurance at all and just paying the fine) and then switching to one of the "premium" plans when they get sick or hurt or pregnant?

Posted by: Meezle at September 08, 2009 05:38 PM (xAiSe)

140 @138

Jerome,

You're assuming that the only solution then is to scrap the system and replace it with Obamacare, ie. socialized medicine.

Since there are only about 12 million US citizens who truly can't afford their health care (US census - look it up), it would be easy enough with the other free market reforms I listed above to start a voucher program for those truly in need.

They could shop for and buy their own insurance then without destroying our first class health care system.

See? Problem solved. For much less money. And no social or medical or personal rights disruption.

Health care is a commodity. And like any commodity, it responds best to free market solutions.

Posted by: The Commissar of Love at September 08, 2009 05:49 PM (ao5cQ)

141 You're assuming that the only solution then is to scrap the system and replace it with Obamacare, ie. socialized medicine.
I didn't say that.
Healthcare shouldn't be considered a commodity just like education isn't. Everyone has the right and means to an education and same should be for healhcare. We're talking about peoples lives.

Posted by: Jerome at September 08, 2009 06:00 PM (ENGMe)

142 Healthcare shouldn't be considered a commodity just like education
isn't. Everyone has the right and means to an education and same should
be for healhcare. We're talking about peoples lives.

The analogy to the three basic needs ... food, clothing and shelter ... is a better one than comparing healthcare to education. After all, any shotgun-pumpin', bible-thumpin', cousin-humpin' bitter clinger could tell you education isn't a necessity. I particularly like the analogy to food, since the people who are agitating for socialized medicine largely just want a free lunch.

I know you picked education as your example because it's "free" and "universal" (at least as far as K-12 education is concerned). It's also a great example of the reality of universal health care. You're delusional if you don't think you'll get the inner-city D.C. shithole public school version of universal healthcare while elitist pricks like Obama pat you on the head and send their kids to the Sidwell Friends version.

As Orwell said, all the animals are equal, but some are more equal than others.

Posted by: Andy at September 08, 2009 07:00 PM (QYJUz)

143 @141

What Andy said.

Also, libtards don't like school vouchers either.

Sure, they cost less. Sure, they're effective. Sure, they introduce competition and therefore increasing service into the education system.

But, they don't allow a money and power grab by libs.

Cost of a voucher system for the truly needy about $84 billion or less.

Cost of Obamacare $1-2 trillion.

Posted by: The Commissar of Love at September 08, 2009 07:14 PM (oEAm5)

144 Well, for all the people who oppose government intervention in the health insurance market, there is a basic decision that needs to be made, as I discussed in yesterday's thread-
How are those 12 million people who can't afford health insurance going to be covered? Do you :
A. Turn sick people out into the street;
B. Give them health care for free;
C. Find a way to get health insurance down to where it can be affordable.
The last way of course is preferable- but I haven't heard any solutions that come near that. The cheapest health insurance for one parent and child will consume about half their after tax income. This is not affordable.
Bitch all you want about Obama's solution, but it is better than nothing, which is what I am hearing from the Right.

Posted by: ChipD at September 08, 2009 07:21 PM (NHwWM)

145 @144

Chippy-poo,

Read 143. Back track if you need to.

Posted by: The Commissar of Love at September 08, 2009 08:20 PM (oEAm5)

146 The Commissar of Love,

"Here's a cancer case from....well, imagine that from the single payer state of Oregon!





More Death Panel


Pwnage of Honest Cloud"

You are a foolish foolish man. I didn't even read your link as I am well aware of the content.

The case you cite has to with the 5 for 5 rule. 5% of the afflicted have to have a survival rate of 5 years in order to for the State of Oregon to cover the treatment. In the case you cite the survival rate of 5 years for 5% was not met.

Seems fair enough to me. And guess what? If you don't like it buy your own fucking insurance. Exactly what Obama Care proposes.



Posted by: honest cloud at September 08, 2009 08:36 PM (4dCEv)

147 HC,

Now now even Obama himself has admitted the goal is a single payer system. Any plan is a trojan horse to achieve this goal.

That eliminates my choices.

And as we all know: My body! My choice!

And, of course, you approve of Death Panels like those in Oregon. Well, sorry I don't. If someone wants to fight for 4.5 years against their disease it's not your right to take that away.

Accepting government control of your body and health may be fine for a whiny little socialist like you but that makes you not only foolish but just plain stupid.

Posted by: The Commissar of Love at September 08, 2009 09:48 PM (oEAm5)

148 "If someone wants to fight for 4.5 years against their
disease it's not your right to take that away."



Posted by: The Commissar of Love

Hey dumbfuck,

It has nothing to do with your right to fight to get well. Oregon's health insurance is spelled out quite clearly. 5% have to have a 5 year survival rate in order for it to be covered.

And if you don't like it, buy your own fucking insurance. Pretty simple. Even something a neanderthal could comprehend.

And what is your insurer's policy on the 5 and 5 rule?

You are a complete and utter fucking moron.

Posted by: honest cloud at September 08, 2009 10:02 PM (4dCEv)

149 I preferred the old squishy honest clod. Life has beat this one down.

Posted by: toby928 at September 08, 2009 10:09 PM (PD1tk)

150 Sorry HC anybody who would willingly turn over their body and health to the tender disregard of the state is the moron (the bad kind).

Are these the values you're teaching your son? That you're not responsible for either your own or your family's welfare. That stealing other peoples money is fine if you really, really want something. That killing other people is fine if they cost too much. That you are property of the state to dispose of as they see fit and not a free individual.

Posted by: The Commissar of Love at September 08, 2009 10:15 PM (oEAm5)

151 I preferred the old squishy honest clod. Life has beat this one down.


Posted by: toby928

You are as equally fucking stupid as the dumbfuck Commissar.

How would you have any idea whether life has beat me down or not.

Let's see. I live in a nice house, make a very good living, have worked for myself for 25 years, work when I want, play golf when I want, fish when I want, among other pleasures.

And somehow because I call Commissar out on his astounding stupidity you think life has beat me down?

I'll say it again. You are as equally fucking stupid as Commissar.

Posted by: honest cloud at September 08, 2009 10:20 PM (4dCEv)

152 150
Sorry HC anybody who would willingly turn over their body and health to the tender disregard of the state is the moron

Again, you fucking imbecile. It has nothing to do with turning your body and health to the state. It is simply another choice.

If you don't like the insurance offered by the state.

Go buy your own fucking insurance. What is so hard about that to understand?

Posted by: honest cloud at September 08, 2009 10:23 PM (4dCEv)

153 Toby928,

I agree. Read his above comments about cost. The guy's obsessed with other people's money.

Now @151 he talks about how he's living the good life.

Sure he is. All that anger and stupid is the hallmark of a guy satisfied with his life.

Beaten down by life indeed.

Posted by: The Commissar of Love at September 08, 2009 10:25 PM (oEAm5)

154 HC,

Try being honest. (heh)

Every one of Obamacare's architects, every single one, has said the goal is single payer socialized health care. Every single one. Any plan is a trojan horse to lead to socialized health care.

That eliminates my choice.

You lose. But keep living that good life. Go play a round of golf......on your Wii, excuse me Nintendo 64.

Posted by: The Commissar of Love at September 08, 2009 10:31 PM (oEAm5)

155 (1) Forcing insurers to accept all applicants.

This is a big one because it's another Obamacare provision which can
ultimately lead to the collapse of the industry. If you force insurers
to accept all applicants, two things must happen. Either the price of
insurance will rise for everyone or insurance will cover less medical
care.


There's no way to avoid it. Forbidding insurers from rejecting
anyone for pre-existing conditions or high-risk lifestyles is going to
raise their costs. That increase will either be paid for out of higher
premiums or by providing less care.
The real problem with the pre-existing condition element of this is the free rider problem. If I know that the insurance companies have no choice in signing me up, then I might very well just go without insurance, at least until something goes seriously wrong. Should that happen, like if I were to end up with cancer, I could just sign up at that time. Of course, if everyone did that, the only money coming in would be the relatively tiny premiums coming from people with very expensive treatment needs.
So, what to do? Well, how about requiring that the insurance companies sign up anyone who has had continuous coverage for at least a year, and disallowing them from canceling people who get sick. That way, people will have to sign up when they are healthy if they expect to still have coverage when they get sick and the insurance companies will be able to rely on a good base of insureds.


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Posted by: jason at September 08, 2009 10:54 PM (xHDY8)

157 You gentlemen truly epitomize the ignorant American.

Whether you make 50K or 500K why in the fuck would you want to pay twice what the rest of the world pays for the same level of health care.

And I very well might just play golf tomorrow. Or fish. Or work in the yard. Or simply take the day off.




Posted by: honest cloud at September 08, 2009 10:57 PM (4dCEv)

158 @157

And so, the circle of stupid is complete.

We end as we began with the unemployed HC making the already disproven assertion that we pay twice the price for the *same* level of health care as the rest of the world.

The libtard abides.

He abides.

Posted by: The Commissar of Love at September 08, 2009 11:22 PM (oEAm5)

159 @145-
No, vouchers would not solve the problem- what you people are trying to do is make the marketplace do what it can't- that is, you want the insurance marketplace to somehow cover everyone, even those who don't have money. The marketplace only gives things to people with money.
The only way to get health care to people without money is to give it to them for free, meaning at taxpayer expense.

Posted by: ChipD at September 08, 2009 11:36 PM (NHwWM)

160 Good one, Commissar.

Having a little trouble dealing with the fact that if you don't like the insurance offered by the State of Oregon that you can simply go buy whatever insurance you'd like?

Facts are often troublesome. Especially when they destroy your preposterous arguments.

Posted by: honest cloud at September 08, 2009 11:38 PM (4dCEv)

161
"The only way to get health care to people without money is to give it to them for free, meaning at taxpayer expense."

Posted by: ChipD
We're already doing that. And in the most inefficient way on the earth.

Posted by: honest cloud at September 09, 2009 12:30 AM (4dCEv)

162 Straight out of the mouths of the Progressives; MY BODY, MY CHOICE

Posted by: elclynn at September 09, 2009 12:04 PM (LytoR)

163 If everybody has government sponsored "health insurance" it's not insurance. It's government provided health care, just like in Cuba. It will work just as well at the rest of government. No!!! way. Medicare sucks money like every other government agency. Single payer/one payer/whatever they want to call it, will be a disaster.

CHANGE! Yeah, but you aren't going to like it.

Posted by: ohgoodgrief at September 09, 2009 05:06 PM (j8jdm)

164 Obviously, the only way you're going to be able to fund this massive program is by making everybody pay in. If we all had a choice, I think we'd all just say, "No, thanks".
Auto insurance is different from health insurance. The main reason we have auto insurance - and why they make us have it - is so that when we run into someone, the bills get paid. The insurance companies are betting that we (you or I) won't run into anyone.
The other reason is that when the uninsured driver (who clearly doesn't exist, because, after all, everybody has to have it, right?) runs into someone, our insurance company will see that the bills get paid. (I have no idea what happens when two uninsured drivers run into each other.)

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