Until Midterm Elections...

Scott versus Scott

Welcome to our blog. Here we will debate the days most serious topics and allow users the chance to discuss the topics as well. The range of topics will vary, but one thing will remain certain, the debate will rage on. Scott Lesinski is a proud conservative and Scott Jones is a proud liberal. However, the roles will switch on some topics. Stay tuned.

Scott Lesinski is currently an actuarial associate for a large human resources and insurance consulting firm in Saint Louis. He is also an avid student of US history and enjoys following current events, with an eye to their contextual relationship to the past. He is also, in fact, a former student of Mr. Scott Jones. Scott is working toward his FSA credentials, which is akin to earning a PHD in Actuarial Science.

Scott Jones is currently a high school social studies teacher at a high school in suburban St. Louis, MO. He teaches World History, AP American Government and Senior American Foreign Policy. He has a BS. Ed. (Secondary Social Studies) from the University of Missouri - Columbia and a M.A. (History) from Southeast Missouri State University. He is currently working on a dissertation in character education to earn a Ph.D. in Educational Psychology.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Conservatives - The Only Thing They Have To Sell Is FEAR Itself.

``Fear is the most powerful enemy of reason. Both fear and reason are essential to human survival, but the relationship between them is unbalanced. Reason may sometimes dissipate fear, but fear frequently shuts down reason.'' -- from The Assault on Reason by Al Gore

``I'm afraid of Obama!'' -- woman at a Town Hall meeting on health care reform

I have no opinion on H.R. 3200. Mainly because I haven't read it.

Pardon my presumption, but chances are beyond excellent that you haven't, either. Scott, I know you posted about it, but you got your information from the Free Republic and not the bill itself. Why? The PDF file of the bill, otherwise known as the America's Affordable Health Choices Act of 2009, clocks in at 1,017 pages of often-dense legalese and jargon. I'd like to read it, but I'd also like to have a life, and the two are incompatible.

So excuse me, beg pardon, but it would be really valuable to hear an explanation of the bill by those who presumably have read it, followed by vigorous questioning. Instead, the circus has come to town. And the circus isn't the one that is loved by children because of the wonders of human and animal extraordinary skills and excitement. This is a circus about the wonders of human idiocy.

I refer, of course, to the chaos that has erupted at townhall meetings as Democratic lawmakers try to sell the bill. The New York Times reports shouting matches, fistfights, threats, injuries and arrests. Georgia Congressman David Scott says he's had death threats and a visit from vandals who painted a swastika outside his office.

If you wonder what the Nazis have to do with this, join the club. It's an incoherent protest, and where there is incoherence, naturally, there is Sarah Palin. The former governor of Alaska weighed in on Facebook with a claim that Democrats were proposing a ``downright evil'' system in which the fate of the elderly and the disabled would be determined by ``death panels.''

She said she was referring to Sec. 1233 of the bill, so I read it. It would allow your doctor to regularly consult with you on the need for a living will and advanced-care directives, i.e., decide ahead of time if you'd want to be kept alive in a persistent vegetative state.

This is the exact same prodecure I went through with my Grandma towards in the end of her life. We sat down with her doctors and she turned over to me the power to make her end-of-life decisions. This is a process called "power of attorney." It is a common procedure and did not make me her executioner.

The provision may or may not be a good idea but it's hardly ``downright evil'' and it bears no resemblance to the image Palin conjures: granny forced to justify her continued existence before a panel of men in black hoods.

Conservatives would have you believe this pandemonium is spontaneous. Truth is, it's about as spontaneous as a shuttle launch. The Times account tells us a banner appeared on the web site of Fox News host Sean Hannity inviting people to ''Become a part of the mob!'' A group calling itself Tea Party Patriots advises its members to pack the hall and ``yell out.'' This is manufactured outrage.

And that's fine. If people choose to become part of a synchronized protest, they have every right to. Nor is there anything wrong with dissent. As many of us pointed out when George W. Bush's enablers sought to silence his critics, dissent is patriotic.

But shouting down those who disagree with you is not. Neither is threatening, shoving, hitting, painting swastikas or otherwise rendering reasoned debate impossible. That's not love of country, it's not dissent, it's not even civilized. It's boorish, oafish and crude, the rantings of people panicked beyond reason.

In other words, conservatives. OK, not all of them. But too many of them? Definitely.
By now, it has become reflex, this instinct of theirs to manipulate the debate and muddy the waters by stoking people's primal fears, whether of gays, Muslims, Hispanics or now, healthcare reform. ``I'm afraid of Obama!'' screams a woman. Scott, you argue that Obama is all about creating hysteria, yet I have a hard believing that you see these townhall fiascos orchestrated by the Right as the same thing.

And doesn't that just say it all? Doesn't that speak volumes about the intellectual bankruptcy and decayed moral authority of the political right? With apologies to Franklin Roosevelt, the only thing they have to sell is fear itself.

This is not patriotism. It is the cynical behavior of people who have little faith in their ability to win the debate. So they pick a fight and try to win that instead.

Most of the above post is from Leonard Pitt's article this past week. I added a few things that applied to my thoughts. I thought it would be a good start to my reply to Scott's health care misstatements.

So let's take Scott's fear tactics in a previous post, and apply reasoned logic to his claims...

Page 16: States that if you have insurance at the time of the bill becoming law and change, you will be required to take a similar plan. If that is not available, you will be required to take the gov option! Not quite accurate. The bill says that you will be required to have insurance that is at least equal to the public plan. If you can't find that plan, you are not looking hard enough. It will also allow for the minimum coverage to be competitive with the public plan.

Page 22: Mandates audits of all employers that self-insure! This already occurs. For example, Ford Motor Company self-insures through various insurance companies. Both Ford and the insurance companies audit the fund to make sure the money is being spent according to the contract.

Page 29: Admission: your health care will be rationed. Hardly true, but the insurance companies already do this.

Page 30: A government committee will decide what treatments and benefits you get (and, unlike an insurer, there will be no appeals process). I would hardly consider the appeals process fair. When you appeal a denied claim, who do you appeal to? The Insurance Company itself. Good luck with that one. With the public plan, you will always have right to go to court and convince a judge to invoke an injunction to force care.

Page 42: The "Health Choices Commissioner" will decide health benefits for you. You will have no choice. None. This only refers to the public plan and insurance companies already do this. My wife currently pays for maternity coverage despite the fact she has the same chance as the keyboard I am typing on of getting pregnant. Why do we pay this? Because all insurance companies force all women under the age of 45 to pay for maternity coverage. This would be true even after a hysterectomy.

Page 50: All non-US citizens, illegal or not, will be provided with free healthcare services. While I will agree somewhat with illegals getting coverage, in an emergency situation we should worry about life and not legal details. If you were visiting England and were in a car accident, they would treat you before worrying about have an accepted passport. Awfully nice of them if you ask me.

Page 58: Every person will be issued a National ID Healthcard. It will be your social security card. Currently, insurance companies track care across the plans using your social security number. This is how they are able to know you have a pre-exisiting condition.

Page 59: The federal government will have direct, real-time access to all individual bank accounts for electronic funds transfer. So does PayPal. So does the Social Security Administration. This will only apply to those who sign up for the public plan and will only be used for authorized payments.

Page 65: Taxpayers will subsidize all union retiree and community organizer health plans (example: SEIU, UAW and ACORN). This is just a flat-out lie. I assume you also believe the taxpayers will also have to fund the audit that self-funded plans will be forced to have.

Page 72: All private healthcare plans must conform to government rules to participate in a Healthcare Exchange. Okay, this only applies to meeting the minumum coverage requirements.

Page 84: All private healthcare plans must participate in the Healthcare Exchange (i.e., total government control of private plans). Okay, this only applies to meeting the minumum coverage requirements.

Page 91: Government mandates linguistic infrastructure for services; translation: illegal aliens. So someone comes with major brain trama, should the hospital check for their status before treating?

Page 95: The Government will pay ACORN and Americorps to sign up individuals for Government-run Health Care plan. I truly see nothing wrong here. Maybe a few more organizations could take part, but nothing wrong with the idea.

Page 102: Those eligible for Medicaid will be automatically enrolled: you have no choice in the matter. Huh? I am assuming that you think we should keep Medicaid AND the public plan?

Page 124: No company can sue the government for price-fixing. No "judicial review" is permitted against the government monopoly. Put simply, private insurers will be crushed. Oh, yeah, I forgot how good of a job they are currently doing.

Page 127: The AMA sold doctors out: the government will set wages. Insurance companies already do this. Read an EOB.

Page 145: An employer MUST auto-enroll employees into the government-run public plan. No alternatives. Only if choosing the public plan.

Page 126: Employers MUST pay healthcare bills for part-time employees AND their families. Only if choosing the public plan, which will pay for the bills.


Page 149: Any employer with a payroll of $400K or more, who does not offer the public option, pays an 8% tax on payroll. One thing left out. If they provide health insurance through a private plan, no tax.

Page 150: Any employer with a payroll of $250K-400K or more, who does not offer the public option, pays a 2 to 6% tax on payroll. One thing left out. If they provide health insurance through a private plan, no tax.

Page 167: Any individual who doesnt' have acceptable healthcare (according to the government) will be taxed 2.5% of income. Acceptable covergage is the minimum coverage of the public plan. The tax will sign them up for the plan.

Page 170: Any NON-RESIDENT alien is exempt from individual taxes (Americans will pay for them). Same plan as the government run care. If you are tourist in England, they will cover you free of charge if you need service. Kind of nice of them if you ask me.

Page 195: Officers and employees of Government Healthcare Bureaucracy will have access to ALL American financial and personal records. The IRS.

Page 203: "The tax imposed under this section shall not be treated as tax." Yes, it really says that. This is for budgetary purposes. The taxes collected for health care will be in a separate fund. This is to avoid the problems that has plagued the Social Security budget that is constantly borrowed against by Congress. Congress will not be able to do that with the health care funds.

Page 239: Bill will reduce physician services for Medicaid. Seniors and the poor most affected." Come on, you can't argue that this will cost too much and then complain about this. By the way, Medicaid is only for the poor.

Page 241: Doctors: no matter what speciality you have, you'll all be paid the same (thanks, AMA!). Not at all true. This is a flat-out lie.

Page 253: Government sets value of doctors' time, their professional judgment, etc. Insurance companies already do this.

Page 265: Government mandates and controls productivity for private healthcare industries. Insurance companies already do this.

Page 268: Government regulates rental and purchase of power-driven wheelchairs. Medicare already does this and no one has been denied that actually needs one.

Page 272: Cancer patients: welcome to the wonderful world of rationing! Another flat out lie.

Page 280: Hospitals will be penalized for what the government deems preventable re-admissions. AGAIN, insurance companies already do this.

Page 298: Doctors: if you treat a patient during an initial admission that results in a readmission, you will be penalized by the government. Same thing.

Page 317: Doctors: you are now prohibited for owning and investing in healthcare companies! Actually isn't a good idea to prevent conflicts of interest?

Page 318: Prohibition on hospital expansion. Hospitals cannot expand without government approval. No problem with this. Why do hospitals need to spend $1,000,000 on a foyer (Barnes-Jewish) so that it looks pretty?

Page 321: Hospital expansion hinges on "community" input: in other words, yet another payoff for ACORN. Another lie. Yes, input will be important, but I guess if the Federalist Society was getting money, then conservatives would shut up about ACORN.

Page 335: Government mandates establishment of outcome-based measures: i.e., rationing. Not rationing at all. All the government will ask is whether or not the treatment will result in a good outcome. No more tests for the sake of testing.

Page 341: Government has authority to disqualify Medicare Advantage Plans, HMOs, etc. These plans will be uneccessary under the new system.

Page 354: Government will restrict enrollment of SPECIAL NEEDS individuals. This is a scare tactic that is flat-out immorral. With proper documentation from qualified health-care providers, special needs individuals will still get the proper care they deserve.

Page 379: More bureaucracy: Telehealth Advisory Committee (healthcare by phone). Designed to control costs by allowing people who don't know whether they should consult with their physician or the emergency room.

Page 425: More bureaucracy: Advance Care Planning Consult: Senior Citizens, assisted suicide, euthanasia? Another scare tactic. See my comment above. And applies to each of the following pages that deals with end of life care.

Page 425: Government will instruct and consult regarding living wills, durable powers of attorney, etc. Mandatory. Appears to lock in estate taxes ahead of time.

Page 425: Goverment provides approved list of end-of-life resources, guiding you in death.•

Page 427: Government mandates program that orders end-of-life treatment; government dictates how your life ends.

Page 429: Advance Care Planning Consult will be used to dictate treatment as patient's health deteriorates. This can include an ORDER for end-of-life plans. An ORDER from the GOVERNMENT. Super big scare tactic here and a lie.

Page 430: Government will decide what level of treatments you may have at end-of-life. Same as above, but insurance companies already do this.

Page 469: Community-based Home Medical Services: more payoffs for ACORN.

Page 472: Payments to Community-based organizations: more payoffs for ACORN. I still don't see in the bill the word ACORN anywhere. If conservatives had actual community-based organizations, they would be eligible also.

Page 489: Government will cover marriage and family therapy. Government intervenes in your marriage. No government public plan will cover therapy, not intervene.

Page 494: Government will cover mental health services: defining, creating and rationing those services. See the special needs comment.

I didn't read the rest of the bill (OK, I didn't read it) like Scott. Wait, no Free Republic read it and Scott copied it into a post. We can debate the value of individual parts of the bill, but let's have a real debate and not a "made-for-tv" conservative created hysteria. Real ideas and not just a repeat of whatever talk-show host you listen to says for you to say.

60 comments:

  1. Well all I can say besides have more faith than just "blissful ignorance" in this case is that if you are just "paraphrasing" and not reading the bill, then perhaps you don't realize that certain things, aren't, just, scare tactics. Situations have already risen and where we see in those areas is that the government controlled healthcare is failing and just issuing death certificates rather than offering any kind of help.


    "Page 272: Cancer patients: welcome to the wonderful world of rationing! Another flat out lie"

    You're just flat out wrong SJ I'm sorry. It happens everywhere else with government healthcare, it's happening here. I really don't know what else to say other than these patients (as well as others who are considered "grave") are being turned on by the government because "they'll probably not make it anyway".

    Remember that just last week sometime a Oregon woman was denied her chemo therapy and instead offered Hospus treatment. It would be distasteful to say the government succeeded here. Regardless of how bad the cancer is (in this case she had been receiving treatment) if she wants the treatment, she should receive it.

    "Page 318: Prohibition on hospital expansion. Hospitals cannot expand without government approval. No problem with this. Why do hospitals need to spend $1,000,000 on a foyer (Barnes-Jewish) so that it looks pretty?"

    I wasn't aware that we decide how the hospital should or shouldn't spend it's money? And honestly, you're now beefing about a 1 million dollar expenture when the governent this term has spent more money that every other administration combined? Most of it on petty projects that should've been assigned to PRIVATE groups.

    "Page 321: Hospital expansion hinges on "community" input: in other words, yet another payoff for ACORN. Another lie. Yes, input will be important, but I guess if the Federalist Society was getting money, then conservatives would shut up about ACORN."

    Weeeeell the slight difference between FS/Heritage and ACORN is that the previous 2 don't go out threatening people and submitting thousands upon thousands of fake votes.

    "Page 241: Doctors: no matter what speciality you have, you'll all be paid the same (thanks, AMA!). Not at all true. This is a flat-out lie."

    Really? I wasn't aware that you read the entire thing and saw for yourself that this was wrong. I also didn't know that you could foresee the future and know for a fact this won't happen.

    ReplyDelete
  2. "Page 50: All non-US citizens, illegal or not, will be provided with free healthcare services. While I will agree somewhat with illegals getting coverage, in an emergency situation we should worry about life and not legal details. If you were visiting England and were in a car accident, they would treat you before worrying about have an accepted passport. Awfully nice of them if you ask me."

    Too bad "car crashes" are the least of our worry with illegals and healthcare here in the southwest. If I remember correctly, you correctly fooled everyone in our class (excluding myself) by flat-out ignoring from Huddleston the comment about how illegals don't have our necessary immunizations. While the whole thing is naturally a joke and I can't believe there's actually a debate on it,
    1. This wouldn't even be an issue if we JUST BUILD THE F*ING FENCE
    2. Healthcare =/= to life saving procedures. You're comparing apples to oranges in the healthcare world

    "This is the exact same prodecure I went through with my Grandma towards in the end of her life. We sat down with her doctors and she turned over to me the power to make her end-of-life decisions. This is a process called "power of attorney." It is a common procedure and did not make me her executioner."

    The slight problem is though, power of attorny of one thing. Given the choice to die now or die next week is not the same as we're going to try and give Grandma the longest remaining days possible.


    BTW Bob Novak (the Prince of Darkness) died today at age 78 to Brain Cancer. God rest his soul and his wonderful principles and insight into the political arena.

    ReplyDelete
  3. Lski -

    "I also didn't know that you could foresee the future and know for a fact this won't happen."

    Didn't know you could.

    ReplyDelete
  4. SJ, I have to respond to your post in several strides as the limits of this comment box shall most certainly constrain me.

    First, nice to see you can borrow somebody else's fantastically ignorant commentary about what is going on in townhall meetings through America. I'm sorry, but it is a fact that the violence, the threats, the general shouting and shoving matches that have broken out at SOME of the townhalls did NOT begin until Obama sent out a big fundraising/community organizing letter to the Union thugs.

    At Russ Carnahan's townhall in Mellville, 6 people were arrested for beating a black conservative up and yelling racial epithets at him. 5 were wearing SEIU purple t-shirts, the other was a reporter for the post dispatch. They were all Democrats, and supporters of President Obama's healthcare takeover.

    And did you watch the video of Georgia congressman David Scott as he berated a constituent for having the incredible audacity to ask a simple question during an open question period at one of his townhalls? The constituent was a doctor who has legitimate concerns about his future ability to care for his patients, but Scott simply accused him of being part of the "astroturf mob" and told the man the "he has to respond to his constituents". What a jackass, pardon my french.

    And, uh, Mr. Jones...IT WAS NANCY PELOSI WHO ACCUSED TOWN HALL PROTESTORS OF CARRYING SWASTIKAS AND OTHER LIKE SYMBOLS!!!

    Sorry to lose my temper there, but JEEEEEESUS! Pay attention! The speaker of the house accused American citizens who were simply trying to get an answer from their elected representatives of being NAZIS!

    And NO, the comparison of Obama's socialized medicine goals and Nazi socialized medicine is not a ridiculous comparison...the two are very similar. The result is absolutely the same as well...more control over our lives by the State.

    Have you been listening to Obama speak? For months all we heard was how we needed this public option to keep insurance companies honest. It was the cornerstone of his healthcare proposals. But now that he realizes that 55% of America stongly oppose any public option, he's saying that its not essential to his plan. Well that load of tosh has the liberals in Congress upset because they know, like Barney Frank admitted on live audio tape, that the public option was their last best hope to get Single Payer healthcare.

    Let me ask YOU a question and see if you can respond to it.

    Do you trust the Barack Obama who said in 2003 and 2007 that Single Payer healthcare was his ultimate goal?

    Do you trust the Barack Obama who in April of 2009 impressed upon us all the grave importance of a public option to compete (put out of business) with private insurance companies?

    Or do you trust the Barack Obama who just this week has told us that the public option never was an essential part of his healthcare reform?


    After you answer that question, do you trust any of those Barack Obamas to appoint 17 members to the Healthcare Advisory Board (I have the text of the bill on my computer, he gets to appoint up to 17 people, there is nothing in there about Senate confirmation), a board of up to 26 people, who will be in charge of deciding what medical procedures doctors can perform in America?

    Regardless of which Obama you picked to trust, do you trust a man who has NEVER DONE ANYTHING OF ANY SIGNIFICANCE EVER except insight the EXACT TYPE OF ASTROTURF MOB PROTESTING you are now accusing conservatives of doing to make wise choices about who ought to decide WHAT HEALTHCARE OPTIONS ARE AVAILABLE TO US!?!?

    ReplyDelete
  5. SJ and others. I have a proposal. I borrowed this from Rush Limbaugh (Oh no! Not him! Hes a racist, bigot, homophobe, hatemonger!)

    Its called the Limbaugh Option.

    Since you libs all think that socialized medicine is so great, here's what we'll do. If you don't have health insurance and you need to see a doctor, instead of providing all the care and insurance and instituting this huge bureaucracy, we'll buy you a roundtrip ticket to Canada, UK, Cuba, France, whichever socialized medicine haven you desire. You can go, get treated in however long it takes, and come back, all free of charge. Much cheaper than Obama's 1.6 trillion dollar proposal (let me amend that statement...the House's 1.6 trillion dollar proposal. Obama has no proposal. He keeps just making things up and saying they are in his plan, but there is no plan.)

    What say you?

    ReplyDelete
  6. Another thing, you accuse me of not reading the bill, and you're right, i have not sat down and read the damned thing cover to cover. I don't need to. I've read various relevant portions, and I've read reports from others who've done the same and I know enough about the bill based on that research to know that whatever is in the rest of it cannot possibly redeem what they've already got.

    But let me point something out. About half of your responses to various points highlighted in the free republic's analysis are "insurance companies already do that". Another 25% are "this is a lie"

    Scott, c'mon. You taught me to be a better critical thinker than that! You admit you have not read the bill, yet you say something is a lie?

    You keep saying that when I point out that rationing WILL be a part of this bill, that a government board, called the Healthcare Advisory Board, made up of 26 people, 17 of whom are appointed by Obama with no Senate Oversight, will decide what treatments are covered and which arent, that I somehow am lying?

    Scott, you must have been really crappy at economics!

    Of course the healthcare will be rationed! First law of Economics! Unlimited wants, needs, and desires...scarce resources!

    Couple that with the fact that the vast majority of medical expenses happen when we are elderly, and you end up with government bureaucrats deciding whether Grandma gets the pacemaker or the vicadin! We don't treat the healthy, Scott! We treat the sick! So if we are going to somehow expand coverage to all Americans (speaking of lies...but I'll get to that later) and reduce cost, we have to be cutting services to someone somewhere along the way. It is mathematically impossible to do so otherwise Scott, and its ignorant and irresponsible of you or anyone on your side to go around propogating such utter rotgut B.S.

    But that is what Obama and his ilk would have us all believe!

    SO I ask you again...WHO is LYING? You point out a statement I make where I lied. I have done so for several of Obama's and we are supposed to be trusting him.

    ReplyDelete
  7. I have not lost my place.

    "Insurance companies already do this"

    Simply put...they do not...not in the same way that the government will ration care and decide what is covered and what isn't.

    Scott, insurance companies do not operate the way the government can and will operate under this plan.

    They can't deny you payment of claims for something to which you have a legitimate claim that is covered under the plan. But that is the beauty of private insurance contracts...they are VERY explicit. There is NO WAY you can get confused as to what is covered. And you know up front what you are agreeing to pay for and what will be covered in the future.

    This is not so for the government. The HAB will set what is covered. They will set who can be covered.

    You may not be turned away from the public option for preexisting conditions, but good luck if you're 70 years old and you get breast cancer.

    Scott do you know who Ezekiel Emanuel is? Do you like his "whole life" idea or whatever its called? You know, where a 25 year old is worth more than a 55 year old because the younger person has more years of paying taxes left? Because that is who is running the show in the Obama whitehouse and in his healthcare plans.

    I know I've typed a lot, so I guess I'll stop or you may never respond to anything I put and instead just accuse me of being a fearmonger.

    ReplyDelete
  8. This comment has been removed by the author.

    ReplyDelete
  9. By the way, I just read an interesting piece in the Christian Science Monitor by UMSL economic professor David Rose. He argues for a voucher for every American to use to by health insurance. This system serves several purposes. First, it keeps the insurance industry privatized. Second, it allows for universal access. Third, it increases competition to for care. And finally it simplifies the process.

    This system would be paid for by a 6% national sales tax that will raise money for the voucher. The savings would include the eliminatin of medicare and medicaid as well as the tax credit for employers.

    Without the sales tax, the voucher would equal $2,500 per American based on the $800 billion spent by the American government currently on health care and tax credits.

    The 6% sales tax would generate just over $830 billion dollars based on a GDP of $13.84 trillion.

    Americans currently with health insurance would immediately receive an economic boom (the money currently paid by the employer for insurance that would then trickle down to the employee) and the freedom to shop around for insurance.

    This $2,500 would easily cover a basic plan with high copays. For instance, the average cost of such a plan runs around $1,100 per year. The premiums would come out of the voucher and the rest must go into a HSA that carries over from year to year.

    I think this is a compromise between my desires for universal coverage and Scott's demands for the free enterprise system to continue.

    I would like to hear comments on this.

    ReplyDelete
  10. BTW, I just balanced the budget also.

    ReplyDelete
  11. SJ, why did you remove your post about your brilliance at economics? I thought it was very enlightening about your worldview. Just for our reader's benefit, I'm going to put down what you originally put, which fortunately, I have saved in my email.

    *********************
    "Scott, you must have been really crappy at economics!"

    Nice job, Scott. When in don't attack the person. A true conservative.

    I am actually pretty good with economics. I just don't believe capitalism is the answer for all economic problems. That's right folks, there are other economic systems out there.

    One of the basic principles of capitalism is that the market price is moral. That once the supply and demand curves meet, then the result is moral.

    When we are talking about the price of a car or the price of a house (or other nonessential life items), then capitalism works wonderfully.

    However, the idea that a person's basic needs (i.e. life) has an equilibrium price is absurd. This is where I disagree with capitalism. Rationing is a capitalism word. If we remove price from the equation (unheard of in capitalism, but not in other economic models), then rationing is not necessary.

    Since the entire American system operates on a price scale, to remove price would be impossible. Therefore, the only way to control cost is to remove profit. Not pay of the doctor, but th epay to stockholders of insurance companies.
    *************************

    ReplyDelete
  12. I removed it because I thought it would take away from the proposal of a voucher for health insurance. I thought the post would be more appropriate in another place at another time. Unfortunately, I realized that right after I posted it. I think the discussion on the voucher should remain in the forefront of this discussion and the appropriate places to circumvent capitalism. But that's just me.

    ReplyDelete
  13. That should "and NOT the appropriate places to circumvent capitalism."

    I wish we could edit comments somehow.

    ReplyDelete
  14. I think the voucher would also be a good balance between the two health care ideas. There is always going to be some debate on whether or not this or that is right. The idea is to make it so that everyone has healthcare coverage, and if you are allowed to have the choice then why not without being penalized for it. I think the idea was not to overthrow the insurance companies, so why wouldn't some of the things be similar between the healthcare reform and existing insurance companies. If the voucher isn't used then there will have to be a hit on one end. We won't know what is real or a scare tactic actually until everything comes to light and there will obviously be glitches then.

    ReplyDelete
  15. I think one set healthcare plan by the government is a great idea. I think people will receive more coverage and would not get canceled as easily. What if someone has cancer, insurance plans now will only help so much and they could even find a way to cancel you. If the government was in charge they couldn't just cancel everyone with real problems because that would cause an outrage in American citizens. There would be riots and disaster everywhere. I think healthcare would be fair this way.

    However I am a little worried about people having to go infront of a judge to appeal your coverage of this public plan. I can only imagine the amount of people who will be appealing and how long it could take for someone to finally get infront of a judge. For some people that may just be too late.

    ReplyDelete
  16. @emr
    Wow. That is serioulsy one of the least intelligent things I've ever read. How old are you? 3??? Seriously. I' not even going to waste my time explaining why your post is ridiculous.

    ReplyDelete
  17. Scott, I'm going to respond to this proposal of yours first so as to not interrupt the flow of discourse, but I have to respond to your comments about economics...they betray your worldview and offer us a teachable moment.

    First, I have to commend you on offering up such a conservative approach to fixing our healthcare system. But seriously, do you even read what I post?

    From my original post on healthcare:

    "My solutions for our health care system are much shorter than 1000 pages.

    Tort reform (done it in Texas, God bless that place, and its working like a charm)

    Remove state and federal mandates for coverage

    Set up Health Savings Accounts as opposed to Medicare, Medicaid, and Social Security Disability insurance to allow people CHOICE in what health insurance plan they buy."

    From a comment I later posted in that thread:

    "Now then, when I say HSA instead of Medicare, Medicaid, Social Security Disability, I'm speaking from a government expenditure perspective. I'm saying that instead of having our government dictate who gets what coverage as they do under the current set of programs, lets have the government just allocate funds directly to individuals in these HSAs and then the individual may choose which type of insurance coverage they wish to buy. Have some rules (as already exist) that pertain to what the money may be spent on, for example, out of pocket expenses like checkups, over the counter drugs such as advil or whatever, things like that, along with insurance."

    Scott, Ronald Reagan proposed tax credits or "vouchers" to create these health accounts for people back in the 1980s. David Rose probably ripped off the idea from him, or any number of other conservatives or Republicans who have been proposing this idea to zero media fanfare for over twenty years.

    My only complaint is I don't see the need for a tax increase. If we are taking the place of Medicare and Medicaid, just use that tax money instead. Hell, only 10% of the stimulus has been spent, just use the rest of that money to get us started. If we still have a shortfall, lets cut something else from the budget before imposing more taxes. But alas, this idea will never be looked upon with favor from the liberals and Statists in Washington, especially Obama.

    Why?

    Because it gives Americans too much control over their own lives!

    Look it, you still won't answer my question about which Obama do you believe, but nevertheless, he has betrayed his true self in all of this hubub over the townhalls. Obama went from saying "My main goal is Single Payer, Universal Healthcare for all Americans" in 2003 and 2007, to "I never said I wanted Single Payer...but we need a strong Public Option to compete with Private insurers" in April of 2009, to "Public option not essential to health reform" in August of 2009.

    He doesn't care what healthcare bill he signs as long as he signs on and can say he delivered on a promise. Don't be fooled, he does want government run healthcare, but he will take what he can get. He is building monuments to himself.

    I'm sorry to put a damper on your idea, Scott, but its purely academic until we get a Conservative in the Whitehouse, or enough in the Congress to override Obama's veto.

    ReplyDelete
  18. Now then, please, read this and give it some thought.

    I appreciate that you are well educated on the different economic systems. While there are variants, there are, essentially, two types of economic systems. There is market-based and centrally planned.

    Capitalism is market-based. It is not defined by morality. Capitalism is freedom. The spot where the demand and supply curves meet is not the "moral" price, it is the market clearing price, the price at which the greatest quantity of goods or services will be sold for the highest agreeable price. At this price, no shortages or surpluses will result.

    Also, "rationing" is not a "capitalism word".

    Rationing is what every single economic system does with the resources in that system.

    Capitalism uses the price mechanism to most efficiently ration goods and services.

    The difference in the uses of the word ration in this discussion is that under capitalism's "rationing", individuals maintain the freedom to self-ration, that is they can buy whatever they can afford. They can also determine to undertake extra efforts to raise funds or whatever in order to be able to buy the care they want or need.

    Government "rationing" removes this freedom from the individual and places ALL authority for rationing decision making in the hands of the Healthcare Advisory Board, which, like I said yesterday, is made up of 26 unelected people, 17 of which are appointed by the President, all with no congressional oversight.
    You still are avoiding answering my question about "do you trust Obama to do this?" See my postings above.

    Where you betray your socialist worldview, SJ, is in your assumption that you need only remove the profit motive from insurance and the healthcare industry to somehow remove "rationing" from the equation.

    The problem is this, squeezing profits from insurers or doctors will not make healthcare more affordable because we don't live in an economic vacuum. Its not as if these profits just exist out there for you to take. Profits are the reward for risk-taking, something insurers and doctors are very familiar with. If you force profits to zero, you will force insurers and providers of care out of the market, because those individuals will decide that pursuing a career as an insurance company employee or doctor is not profitable for them and move on to something else. What you will get is a shortage of providers (remember the market clearing price!) and a surplus of demand. This puts strain on whatever doctors and insurers stay in the system, and eventually leads to Single Payer, which, like I've pointed out, is the very goal of the Statists!

    ReplyDelete
  19. "If the government was in charge they couldn't just cancel everyone with real problems because that would cause an outrage in American citizens. There would be riots and disaster everywhere. I think healthcare would be fair this way. "

    @strokesfan

    I agree that this emr's post betrays a severe ignorance of the issue, but lets try and be constructive with our criticism if at all possible. Everyone can then learn from our shared wisdom.

    Now then, emr...

    The government is in charge in Canada, Cuba, the UK, France, Germany...to name a few. You see any riots? No, but what you DO see are droves of Canadians and Britons especially paying their own way to come to America and buy our healthcare because it is the best in the world. It is precisely because we don't have government run care that this is the case. Here, doctors and researchers have the profit motive and the risk-reward to inspire them to invent and research new methods of curing illnesses that would never be funded under a government run system. We have the world's leading pharmaceutical industry, we have the best cancer care, we have the best surgical care, it is better in America because in America men and women are free to pursue their own self-interest and they are rewarded for their wild successes and they are punished for their failures. But they learn from failure and they rise to the challenge. That is what makes America great, not just in regards to healthcare but in regards to everything. In this land, we are free to try and succeed or fail based on our own efforts and the limits we place on ourselves.

    ReplyDelete
  20. In his first work, Theory of Moral Sentiments, Adam Smith laid out how humans can attain perfect morality. Using this as his background, his economic work fundamentally comes from this perfect morality. For Smith, the best economic system is a give and take between producers and consumers. When both sides reach the compromise price, then both sides feel they equally gained the desired outcome, which is what Smith defined as a natural law of morality.

    The basis of the natural law of morality, according to Smith, is that when there is a conflict, the moral outcome is one that leaves the both sides (or all sides) of the conflict feeling satisfied with the outcome.

    However, Smith recognized that this natural law could not govern all human interactions. For Smith, the government still has a major role in providing national defense, safety from crime and other general welfare roles. Smith also granted the government the role of arbitrator so that negotations beween/among producers and consumers are done on a level playing field.

    Smith never talked of the natural right to life and living to an individual's maximum potential. Therefore, we don't have the words of the father of modern capitalism to guide us here.

    However, I do believe that his work on morality would indicate a belief that life is the highest right and that we should do whatever we can to make sure it is preserved.

    I know my abortion views conflict with this some because I place privacy as an equal to life, but Smith never really got into the social contract issues between government and the governed so I am not sure how we would balance these rights, but this is off the topic.

    I still have a hard time reconciling the profit motive of insurance companies, which is higher for every claim denied, and health care so that we can live life to the fullest. I am still not convinced that capitalism (as it pertains to insurance companies) is the best route for this.

    No matter what the proposal, we MUST break the interlocking directorate that is the insurance agency. If that is through a national non-for-profit health care plan or through vouchers that will actually stimulate real competition, I don't care.

    By the way Scott, I fail to see your logic on something. If we increase competition, then we lower price (I know you don't respect my economics knowledge, but I think I got that one right). As we lower price, then we are also lowering the salary of doctors and the profits of insurance companies. As salary decreases, then fewer people become doctors right?

    ReplyDelete
  21. Strokesfan

    "@emr
    Wow. That is serioulsy one of the least intelligent things I've ever read. How old are you? 3??? Seriously. I' not even going to waste my time explaining why your post is ridiculous."

    I am going to leave the post and not delete it, but that it out of line. No need to name call. Disagree with a post and choose to respond or ignore it, but let's be mature here.

    ReplyDelete
  22. Hmmm, learned something new about capitalism and morality. I never knew Smith drew a correlation between the two. It does make sense, but its not really the same way I view morality.

    SJ, you fail to see my logic because your extrapolation skills need just a bit more of a boost. I follow your logic up to where we increase competition and we lower price.

    But here is where the beauty of capitalism and macroeconomics come into play...as you lower price of care, you make more people available to the market! Lower prices = increased quantity demanded. So even if the doctors and insurance companies end up earning a bit less on each procedure, there is a greater demand for those procedures, which in turn drives prices up a notch. This then leads to an influx of suppliers (more doctors and insurance companies going after those excess profits) which bring things back into balance.

    Another factor that weighs heavily on doctor salaries is their medicare and medicaid reimbursement, which right now, is laughably pathetic. You offer more real competition and choice, driving prices down, you'll get more people paying out of pocket for routine care and you'll also end up with more people using private insurance which pays a much higher amount to the doctors than government does. So in this way, dumping people off medicare and enticing them to buy their own policies and pay for some of their own procedures (a truly novel concept, I know), doctor salaries go up as a rule, better technology is pursued and the general level of excellence grows exponentially.

    ReplyDelete
  23. Okay, Scott I was with you until you stated people would pay out of pocket for routine care.

    You stated in an earlier post that you had the option of having some routine tests done on your hand, but you refused and found a cheaper alternative. Great for the maker of the cream that solved the problem with your hand, but the doctor lost income from losing the tests. The overall cost to you was lower, but the higher to the doctor.

    At the same time, unless there is an incentive to get care (HSA from vouchers), too many people will forgo care. For instance, too many seniors have had to choose between medicine and food.

    If the choice is paying for out-of-pocket health care (not a bad idea as we've discussed it so long as the vouchers are for everyone) or paying for food, then we as a society have forced an unfair decision on these people.

    I do agree with the Medicare and Medicaid statements...but this is also true of the insurance companies. However, should we go to this plan of super-competitive insurance plans, will doctors want to offer coverage to all the plans? Will this become a greater nightmare for them and force them to hire more staff and, therefore, cut into their salaries? Will the payouts to the doctors be even poorer? Should we choose doctors based on their low prices?

    ReplyDelete
  24. For every give, their is a take. This is because capitalism on a grand scale is a zero sum game until the game changes. This is even a zero sum equation because those involved with the old game lose out to the new game (see the railroads after affordable airflight).

    What we do know is the old game of health insurance is over. What will the new game look like? It is impossible to predict and anyone claiming to know is full of crap.

    I do know that the United States has the lowest life expectancy and highest child mortality rate of the Western democracies and the only one without universal coverage of its citizenry. This fact is loud and clear.

    This also happens to be the wealthiest nation on the planet. This also happens to be the place where the largest group of highly intelligent people are gathered.

    What a shame that we can't also have the highest life expectancy.

    ReplyDelete
  25. Read this article, plz:

    http://www.newsweek.com/id/212131

    ReplyDelete
  26. "Couple that with the fact that the vast majority of medical expenses happen when we are elderly, and you end up with government bureaucrats deciding whether Grandma gets the pacemaker or the vicadin!"

    First thing: the board you mentioned determines which treatments are effective and which are not for a given illness, and from there provides coverage for treatments that work. Why would you want your tax dollars covering treatments that don't work, Scott?

    Second thing: if Grandma has insurance with a private insurer, don't they decide what they will cover and what they won't all the same? Why is it a problem when it's "the government bureaucrats?" Again, the board you mentions determines which treatments are covered based on their EFFECTIVENESS (very logical thing to do, you agree?); they do not look at individuals and determine who is worth saving and who is isn't.

    Give it a rest.

    ReplyDelete
  27. "At the same time, unless there is an incentive to get care (HSA from vouchers), too many people will forgo care. For instance, too many seniors have had to choose between medicine and food."

    Stop with this either/or scenario. I never said I'm for taking away healthcare for seniors. No, its actually Obama who wants blind policies in force for who is able to get what treatment, not me.

    And I like the tax credit idea...as I pointed out...it is rather a conservative proposal. My point about paying out of pocket for some things means exactly that...some things. And at varying ages. Look it, there is no sense in me paying $300 per month when I would otherwise only spend maybe at most $1000 out of pocket annually for whatever care I need (in my case, its likely to be less than that). So for people in my shoes, it makes sense to have just the catastrophic insurance.

    But if we are all enrolled in one government option...which is the objective of Obama's plan...then I get to pay through taxes for all this wonderful health coverage that I don't need and will likely not use for quite some time. Health coverage, mind you, that has been proven ineffective, inefficient, overly expensive, and poorly managed, causing long wait times and difficult access to care.

    "This is because capitalism on a grand scale is a zero sum game until the game changes."

    SJ, you just spilled the meat and potatoes of why liberals do not understand American economics.

    You lot believe in wealth redistribution because you believe what you just stated...that is that there is a set size to the economic pie. Somehow, clearly by screwing over the poor, the rich have gotten that way, and you all elected Obama to "spread the wealth around...its good for everybody".

    This is patently false, and mathematically untrue. Ever heard of the multiplier effect? Macroeconomics 101. Money spent in the economy causes a ripple effect that generates returns several times greater than the amount you started with. It gets greater the number of times it changes hands. This is why conservatives want to cut taxes on all Americans but especially the rich...when the rich spend money, they spend it on new business ventures, yachts, luxury cars, private jets...in other words, things that generate LOTS of cash exchanges. These exchanges generate more income and you get a net growth in the economic pie.

    You may have heard of this idea,...its called "supply side economics". Bush did it, Reagan did it, and Jack Kennedy did it. Worked every time.

    In your airline example...yes, things become obsolete. It'd be a poor business decision to invest in typewriters at the moment. But our economy as a whole can only improve because of this! Trains lose prevalence in business and commercial travel to airlines. Okay, so more folks can commute much more quickly. More ideas can be exchanged, efficiency improves. The train workers need to get new jobs, and they will if they have a decent American work ethic. The world moves on. But its important that we keep moving forward, not limit ourselves based on junk science.

    ReplyDelete
  28. "This also happens to be the place where the largest group of highly intelligent people are gathered"

    You sure about this? China, India...making some serious inroads on us. Especially with our wonderful, liberal, government run educational system (no affront on you SJ, you are part of the solution, but you know our system sucks in comparison to many others)


    And SJ, Life expectancy is one arbitrary metric. It takes into account only average age at death. The US has some catching up to do on say, France, who hasn't really fought all that many wars, now has it?

    Funny, Switzerland tops the list as of 2006. They don't seem to have ever been involved in much bloodshed.

    Like I said, life expectancy, which is such a "bash you over the head with a club" type of statistic...no subtlety, and infant mortality, which is measured in different ways in different countries, are not the only means of measuring the quality of a healthcare system.

    If its so great in Andorra (tied for 1st in life expectancy), why aren't people just flocking there?

    My contention in this whole debate has been about freedom, and the ability and, yes, right of the patient to freely decide with his/her doctor what treatment may be most effective for him/her. Not some silly arbitrary government panel, whose foremost concern is going to be cutting cost, not providing ME personally with the highest quality of care available and affordable.

    ReplyDelete
  29. "First thing: the board you mentioned determines which treatments are effective and which are not for a given illness, and from there provides coverage for treatments that work. Why would you want your tax dollars covering treatments that don't work, Scott?"

    David... you have such utter blind faith in government, it really is disconcerting. One would think that one might have a little more critical eye toward an organization that has failed to administer a $3 billion "cash for clunkers" program when one is presented with the proposal of putting this same organization in charge of deciding what are "effective" means of treatment and taking over 16% of the US economy.

    Let me drag out this example from Oregon again and see if you actually read it.

    Woman gets cancer in Oregon. A drug exists that will cure her. Drug is deemed too expensive...oh wait, I meant, "ineffective" by the Oregon health board. No drug for woman. Thankfully, the pharmaceutical company found out and provided the drug free of charge, but that ain't gonna happen on a grand scale in our economy if Uncle Sam takes over.

    Only the patient and doctor get to decide what is "effective". If the treatment falls outside the scope of the insurance agreement, you'd better damned well believe it falls outside of Obama's health board's agreement, especially if you're 65 or older. But if we still keep the private system, at least you can do something about getting treatment even without insurance.

    ReplyDelete
  30. "when the rich spend money, they spend it on new business ventures, yachts, luxury cars, private jets...in other words, things that generate LOTS of cash exchanges."

    Since you are such an economics genius Scott, you had to have heard of a Brit named John Maynard Keynes. Interestingly, his demand-side "prime the pump" solutions also lead to huge economic gains when they were used, but with less wealth stratisification.

    Supply side economics from 1983-2008 led to a 5,600 percent increase in wealth stratification in America. Sure, the economy grew, but, from 2003-2008, only 15% of Americans cashed in on it.

    And that Scott is the bias that will continue to haunt the Republican Party. As fewer and fewer Americans continue to have a fair share of the pie, fewer and fewer Americans will continue to support the "support the rich" policies of the Republican Party.

    Keep it up. I can get used to this idea of my side being in control.

    ReplyDelete
  31. Scott L., I have faith in the government because I see all the good it does despite conservative hypocrisy. It's not perfect, but it works well in my opinion considering the sheer size of the population it has to manage.

    ReplyDelete
  32. "Since you are such an economics genius Scott, you had to have heard of a Brit named John Maynard Keynes. Interestingly, his demand-side "prime the pump" solutions also lead to huge economic gains when they were used, but with less wealth stratisification"

    Keynes is the genius behind FDR's New Deal. His work directly lead to Roosevelt picking up the mantel of Socialist In-Chief and Redistributor of Wealth In-Chief.

    As I've pointed out, these destructive policies prolonged the Great Depression by 7 or 8 years (Source: UCLA Study in 2004)

    I've also gone and agreed that some of the expenditures that government makes CAN have a beneficial effect on our economy, that is when the government literally creates a real demand for goods or services that are then provided by the private sector.

    Building roads such as what Eisenhower did, ordering tanks, jets, etc from Boeing et al, those are two things that actually create demand, which since you are such a Keynsian, you will understand as "demand-side" economics.

    The problem is that the statist policies being pushed by the liberals in Congress and Obama such as taking over healthcare, cap and trade, and this boondoggle stimulus package are only redistributing wealth around. No real demand is being stimulated.

    "And that Scott is the bias that will continue to haunt the Republican Party. As fewer and fewer Americans continue to have a fair share of the pie, fewer and fewer Americans will continue to support the "support the rich" policies of the Republican Party."

    Scott! We have 9.4% U3 unemployment! When you count those that have given up, the U6 number, its 16.9%! Sounds to me like right now, under your dream President's economic redistribute the wealth socialist policies, fewer and fewer people are sharing ANY part of that economic pie!

    I'm really quite tired of your demonization of success, Scott. I thought you appreciated it when people worked hard to earn something and were justly compensated for it. Remember YOUR point about merit pay in education? If there are some people out there who are willing to really bust their butt, working 70-80 hours a week, taking on loads of risk, pursuing higher education what right is it of yours to tell them that they cannot keep what they have earned?

    Republicans and Conservatives are not "for the rich" any more than liberals are "for the little guy". Conservatives are "for Americans". We are for Americans keeping more of their own money, of retaining their own independence, of keeping the freedom to decide what kind of healthcare they'll buy.

    "Supply side economics from 1983-2008 led to a 5,600 percent increase in wealth stratification in America. Sure, the economy grew, but, from 2003-2008, only 15% of Americans cashed in on it."

    You know what this means? It means our economy was BOOMING during most of those years! It means there was OODLES of opportunity to be had! Get out there and seize some of it for yourself instead of griping about others who've done it!

    ReplyDelete
  33. "Scott L., I have faith in the government because I see all the good it does despite conservative hypocrisy. It's not perfect, but it works well in my opinion considering the sheer size of the population it has to manage."

    David, what "conservative hypocrisy" are you talking about? You may be talking about Republicans, but please, careful when making snide comments about people's whose ideology is, essentially, private property, right to life, and freedom. That has not ever changed.

    And since this post is supposed to be about healthcare, why not some more tidbits about these townhalls eh?

    Barney Frank held a charade, ooh excuse me, town hall last week during which he responded to a woman holding a sign of Obama done up as Hitler, "On what planet do you spend most of your time?" in response to the question, "why do you keep supporting these Nazi policies?"

    Now before you go off and start cheering Frank on, know this about that woman...she is a Lyndon LaRouche Democrat. She was a plant. Barney Frank either wanted a funny soundbite of him berating what would be reported as a conservative kook townhall goer, or this Lyndon LaRouche democrat babe wanted to give it to him. Either way, Scott, its not the conservatives doing all this ridiculousness.

    Scott, do you realize that your party's supporters sent out SEIU union thugs to intimidate townhall goers in Mellville, MO at Russ Carnahan's townhall a couple weeks ago? They literally beat a man up for selling conservative trinkets (buttons, "Don't Tread on Me" flags, etc). 6 of them were arrested!

    Now we got liberal plants making Obama up to look like Hitler, David Scott in Georgia had a swastika painted on his office...wouldn't surprise me if that was another tactic by liberals to make us out to look nutty. Not too far-fetched anyways, the guy who did that photo of Obama as the Joker was a Dennis Kucinich supporter, a 20 year old Palestinian. Not exactly your everyday run-of-the-mill conservative kook eh?

    ReplyDelete
  34. "It's not perfect, but it works well in my opinion considering the sheer size of the population it has to manage"

    Forgot to comment on this.

    David, our wonderfully run, magnanimous government is closing down the "cash for clunkers" program because they have again run out of money. They said they underestimated the popularity of the program.

    Oh really? You start giving away $3,500 - $4,500 toward a new car and you don't think its going to be really popular?

    Speaking of the government running things well, only something like 2% of the claims for reimbursements have been paid to dealers and many of them have stopped accepting the program because they haven't gotten reimbursed at all. Yeah, I agree, that is one helluva competent government don't you think?

    And you want to let these monkeys run our healthcare system, when the one they already run is fraught with corruption and waste and is schedule to be bankrupt in about 2-3 years (Medicare). Oh, my source for that is the Social Security Administration's Trustee's report for 2009. Its on their website.

    ReplyDelete
  35. Dave Sinclair is still owed over $1 million from Cash for Clunkers.

    http://multimedia.play.it/m/audio/25623159/tiam-john-sinclair-on-cash-for-clunkers.htm

    ReplyDelete
  36. SJ and others,

    Here are two links to youtube videos. The first is Linda Douglas, healthcare propagandist for Obama, as she rips on people who "cut up, edit" clips of video to make it look like Obama supports universal healthcare.

    The second is a 54 second, uncut video clip of Obama explaining his goal of universal healthcare.

    Do these people think that we are all idiots who can't learn to use Youtube? When you lie on tape, its real easy to prove it.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=U0XCl6OHgiM&eurl=http%3A%2F%2Fwww%2Erushlimbaugh%2Ecom%2Fhome%2Fdaily%2Fsite%5F080409%2Fhome%2Emember%2Ehtml&feature=player_embedded#t=180

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fpAyan1fXCE&eurl=http%3A%2F%2Fwww%2Erushlimbaugh%2Ecom%2Fhome%2Fdaily%2Fsite%5F080409%2Fhome%2Emember%2Ehtml&feature=player_embedded#t=54

    ReplyDelete
  37. "Conservatives are for 'Americans.'"

    Seriously. You don't think that I want great things for America and its people? We might have different views on how to achive this, but don't consider yourself more "patriotic" than I.

    "I'm really quite tired of your demonization of success, Scott."

    As we discussed at lunch, I am not opposed to success. I can't believe you would actually use those words after our discussion. I am not opposed to success. I, do however, want to see us as a society do a better job of allowing more people an opportunity for success.

    As we discussed at lunch, we talked about the MO Scholars Academy. I don't oppose it. I think it would be awesome to have MORE people eligible to apply to attend. This, in fact, would make the application process more selective and the honor even greater.

    I was lucky enough to be nominated by some students to attend teacher appreciation day. One thing that struck me was the homogeneous racial aspect of those who attended. My ideal society would create everyone an equal and fair opportunity to achieve at the levels the MO Scholars Academy requires. It doesn't mean that I think everyone should attend this honorable academy. However, I think it would be wonderful for so many more students to have the opportunity, which does not exist for too many of our children, to achieve.

    From this perspective, health care access from conception to age 18 is a key part of this expanding the opportunity. We know too much about the last stage of the fetus to the first 6 years of life and the importance of access to medicine to ignore this.

    ReplyDelete
  38. SJ,

    My "for Americans" comment relates to the treatment of Conservative ideology on the citizens of this country.

    Our ideology does not treat people as groups, as yours does. Liberals are constantly pitting Group A against Group B. We've got to split up the income "quintiles" and then compare how bad the poorest quintile has it relative to the richest quintile. You guys constantly stress about the plight of Hispanics or Blacks or Indians or "THE Poor" or Gays all while imposing destructive economic policies that hurt everybody and do nothing but gain power for the government.

    Conservatives want to cut everybody's taxes! We want to inspire people to go out and work hard, as you have done. We see everybody as individuals, not as African Americans or Hispanic Americans.

    We see citizens of this country as Americans!

    (Speaking of groups...SJ, how come we never worry about the plight of Asian Americans or Indian (from the country) Americans? HMMMMMMMM?! Maybe a slightly better individual work ethic? An understanding that they are not owed anything by the government? No self-pitying sense of entitlement to free government handouts? Just a thought...)

    ReplyDelete
  39. "From this perspective, health care access from conception to age 18 is a key part of this expanding the opportunity. We know too much about the last stage of the fetus to the first 6 years of life and the importance of access to medicine to ignore this."

    So wait...

    Hang on just a sec here....

    You just got done telling me how the Constitution does not recognize fetuses as citizens...yet they deserve universal healthcare?

    Scott, I agree with you that babies in the womb deserve great prenatal care, and they get it for the most part. But what do you keep telling me about consistency?

    Besides, we don't need a $1.6 trillion dollar healthcare takeover for this, we have SCHIP! Lemme remind you, that is the State Children's Health Insurance Program! Insures impoverished children up to age 30!

    ReplyDelete
  40. Big difference between my abortion stance and my feelings about health care in the womb.

    If a mother decides to carry the baby to full term, then we must provide her with the resources to give birth to her child (the SCHIPs do not cover fetal care). This help does not violate her privacy rights so long as she wants the care, which I don't think there would be too many mothers-to-be that would turn it down.

    If a mother decides to terminate her pregnancy, that is an entirely different issue.

    ReplyDelete
  41. I posted this in the last healthcare blog as well, but I have my doubts as to whether or not anybodys seen it so I'm going to go ahead and post it again here. I've been wondering to myself, since the healthcare debate began, how in the hell conservatives could so easily misconstrue the truths of the healthcare bill. That is until I saw this a couple weeks ago on MSNBC:

    http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/3036677/vp/32365793#32365793

    ...and then it occured to me "OF COURSE! Because the people they think are the most truthworthy people to run our governement our miscontruing the truth themselves!" The fact that any politician, as he explains in the video, would go so far as to make up something as ridiculous as the idea of "death panels" to intice fear in to the people that trust them proves that he or she is not out for the truth, but out for themselves. And their party. And the 3200 healthcare lobbyists that are paying them plethoric amounts of money to scare the general public in to going to townhall meetings and causing chaos (and im not referring to ONLY republicans on this one).

    Is it too much to ask for someone to go to one of these meetings, that are being held for the benefit of the people that it will effect, and act like a civilized human being? No, but people do it anyway because deep down, they like the guilty thrill of the chaos they caused much, much more than intelligent conversation. You don't even have to be intelligent to partake in intelligent conversation, you just have to be polite, and simply ask questions, ESPECIALLY when the topic is something you don't fully understand.

    As SJ mentioned before, none of us here can say that we have read the entire healthcare bill cover to cover (although some of us have apparently found the healthcare-industry sponsored analysis of the bill online somewhere and blindly took it for truth. Oh yeah, that can't be biased at all!). But it just sickens me when people use fear to intimidate people over matters the don't understand. I don't fully understand the healthcare bill (but i know for sure things like "death panels" and "rationing of care based on merital worth in society" won't ever exist under a public insurance option), and thus I refuse to debate it. The moment you feel anger in an argument, you have ceased striving for the truth and began striving for yourself.

    Oh but one more thing....
    "Scott! We have 9.4% U3 unemployment! When you count those that have given up, the U6 number, its 16.9%! Sounds to me like right now, under your dream President's economic redistribute the wealth socialist policies, fewer and fewer people are sharing ANY part of that economic pie!"

    Really? And what right-side biased news organization did you get this little piece of information from? Could it have been rightsidenews.com, the first article you see when you google U6 unemployment? Hmm... That's strange. By the way, U6 unemplyment isn't people who have "given up", it's people who are working part time and desire full-time work, but can't due to economic downturn. This president has been in office for 7 months, barely enough time for him to even introduce enough economicly aimed legislation to help our economic crisis, which I remind you started underneath our previous president, not this one. Our democratic governement is not an efficient one, which is a good thing considering the most efficient form of governement is a dictatorship.

    I am not a democrat, but at least this president is doing SOMETHING. Something that can be proven through the laws of economics, that increasing taxes increases G(government spending) which increases GDP. This wealth will then trickle down (a reference to the socialist-inspired Reganomics, which isn't far off from this presidents policies) to the people.

    ReplyDelete
  42. Alright, I watched Keith Olbermann for as long as I could without puking all over my keyboard.

    He compared a hyperbolic, and yes, controversial, comment made by former Alaskan Governor Sarah Palin to a witch hunt back in Salem.

    Drew, I really appreciate your passion on this topic, I really do. You have shown more passion than the other liberals who post here most often, and that's a good thing.

    That being said, there are so many things wrong with your statement that I don't even know where to begin...

    First off, the outrage over any government takeover of healthcare is not new. Just look at what happened in 1993 when Hillary Clinton tried to go full bore. Yet the public outcry against this iteration of government healthcare is far greater than even that was.

    Also, as further evidence that the 55% of Americans who are being polled as against this bill (Rasmussen daily polling) are not brainwashed, mind-numbed robots who do whatever Rush Limbaugh and Sarah Palin say...we have been on this for months now. These town hall meetings were bursting at the seams with energy and opposition to this healthcare legislation long before Palin said anything.

    "(although some of us have apparently found the healthcare-industry sponsored analysis of the bill online somewhere and blindly took it for truth"

    Drew, now c'mon. I have not read the bill cover to cover, but I have read several portions of it, especially as it relates to analyses being talked about on talk radio and television.

    The bit about keeping your doctor, as Obama says, is simply not true. Dunno if you heard him caveat his statement recently but now its, you may be able to keep your doctor.

    There is a section of this bill that allows for government bureaucrats to have the authority to come into the homes of new and soon-to-be parents and discuss "proper methods of childrearing". What the hell does that have to do with health insurance reform?

    There is a panel of people, 26 members, 17 of whom are appointed by the president, who get to decide what treatments are effective for EVERY illness.

    Drew, where in the Constitution does it say that the government has the ability, duty, authority or otherwise to make intimate medical decisions as they relate to an individual's medical situation!? IT DOES NOT.

    This whole freaking bill is unconstitutional! But will we hear about that from the "constitutional law professor" Mr. Obama? No! Actually, as I pointed out in another thread, Obama doesnt even have a bill. We are all being expected to believe that he will take care of us, he will do what is right. The power of his personality will prevent the spread of disease. It is all so ridiculous it makes me sick.

    Drew, I am not a pawn of any insurance company. Nobody has told me what to think, nor have they told me to be angry about this usurpation of my freedom. I am a free-thinking individual, as are the rest of us in opposition to this government takeover of our liberty.

    "Really? And what right-side biased news organization did you get this little piece of information from?"

    http://www.bls.gov/news.release/empsit.t12.htm

    Budget and labor statistics website. I don't even know what rightsidenews.com is, Drew.

    ReplyDelete
  43. I really wanted to end my response with that brilliant point, Drew, but I simply can't. There is too much more that is totally wrong with what you've said.

    You seem like somebody who at least pretends to understand economics.

    Then you have to understand supply and demand.

    Now, I'm going to go over this again for everyone's benefit, but I would have thought that had you been reading my postings for the last several months, you'd at least understand this.

    You claim there are no "death panels" and I assure you, if you word search all 1,017 pages of HR 3200, you will not find any reference to "death panels".

    What you will find is an economic reality that cannot be denied by any amount of angry protestation - Law of Economics Numero Uno:

    Resources are scarce. Wants, needs, and desires are unlimited.

    There is simply no feasible way that the government can take over paying for everyone's healthcare, bring costs down, and NOT ration care. These three things simply cannot exist at the same time. So when Obama says he is going to bring costs down with his phantom, platitudinous healthcare proposal, he is either lying about cutting costs or he is lying about not rationing healthcare. They are mutually exclusive options. Well I suppose he could be lying about both, in which case, I would accept that.

    Now then, I have established that government rationing of healthcare WILL happen under this plan. Well how then can we expect it to be rationed?

    Look no further than Ezekiel Emanuel, brother to Rahm Emanuel. Zeke is Obama's healthcare advisor. He is a physician, but he has a strangely Kevorkian approach to treatment.

    Obama's advisor on Healthcare believes in the "whole life" method of attributing value to an individual's life. This essentially measures the cost of care against the expected future value of the person. It also considers the amount of resources already spent on the life of that individual. In this way, infants who have not been socialized are worth less than 3 year olds, and 25 year olds are woth more than 65 year olds.

    Now, its another fact that the large majority of healthcare expenses are incurred when we are elderly. So if Obama is going to have to cut care, he is going to have to cut it for elderly and sick people, because we don't treat the healthy.

    Now pay attention, Drew... No insurance company told me these things. I have been performing a reasoned, logical, thought experiment based on what I know of Obama, his advisors, and economic realities.

    Perhaps you ought to spend less time watching Keith Olbermann slander Sarah Palin and more doing some careful research of your own.

    ReplyDelete
  44. "I am not a democrat, but at least this president is doing SOMETHING. Something that can be proven through the laws of economics, that increasing taxes increases G(government spending) which increases GDP. This wealth will then trickle down (a reference to the socialist-inspired Reganomics, which isn't far off from this presidents policies) to the people."

    Doing SOMETHING is far worse than doing nothing when that something is destructive to whatever you're trying to fix. For instance, if my boat is sinking in the lake, I COULD drill a couple holes in the bottom to let the water out. When the water starts coming in faster, at least I can say, "well hell at least I did SOMETHING!"

    Reaganomics is something you clearly don't understand. How you could call it socialist is just utterly ludicrous. You do realize that socialism is when the Central Planners own the means of production and run them. Reagan cut taxes and undid regulations..thus putting the means of production and their operation into the hands of individual citizens. That's called Capitalism.

    And you uttered another logically false statement yet again. You said that when government taxes and spends it increases economic output...but that too is wrong. Government does not produce any economic output, it can only shift economic output around from private citizens and companies to government ones. When larger taxes are imposed upon the most productive among us, those people lose their incentive to work as hard, thus decreasing the taxable income base. It really makes a lot of sense. So as government's piece of the pie grows, not only does the private sector's piece get smaller as a proportion, but the whole pie shrinks.


    "I don't fully understand the healthcare bill (but i know for sure things like "death panels" and "rationing of care based on merital worth in society" won't ever exist under a public insurance option), and thus I refuse to debate it"

    Well, clearly we can have a reasonable, logical debate then. You claim you don't understand what's in the bill, then claim that rationing will of course never happen based on no evidence in your favor (and quite a lot to the contrary! Please examine the UK and Canada!) and then refuse outright to listen to a reasoned debate.

    YOU sir, are the problem with America that Keith Olbermann mourned.

    ReplyDelete
  45. "Please examine the UK and Canada"

    Higher life expectancy and lower child mortality. You have argued in the past that these numbers don't define quality health care. I would like to ask what then is the definition of quality health care.

    For me, the definition is medicine that keeps us healthy for longer and allows children to be born more healthy. What other aspects of health care are there?

    If you have other measures that the United States performs better in for the whole population, then please inform me and save me from my own ignorance (sarcasm)

    ReplyDelete
  46. What about survival rates for serious illnesses such as cancer? Like those that were nothing but a death sentence a few decades ago.

    Don't have time to look anything up right now but how many of the breakthroughs in these treatments were because of the US?

    ReplyDelete
  47. "Don't have time to look anything up right now but how many of the breakthroughs in these treatments were because of the US?"

    Actually, you can't prove that ANY of these treatments are the exclusive development of the US. The two biggest pharmaceutical companies are located in France and England, respectively. Medical research schools in England, France and Germany are producing outstanding research in cancer treatments.

    For example, while the United States is currently deciphering the genetic code at its finest research institions, the Europeans are working on applications. These medical schools in Europe are not only producing some great doctors (who by the way mostly work in their home country and provide outstanding care) but also are, at the very least, equal to developmenting medical breakthroughs.

    In other words, nice myopia Wardo!

    ReplyDelete
  48. Alright guess that means it's my turn again. But before I go any farther, let me just lay down this little disclaimer for every single one of my future posts: Every generalization I make about republicans, conservatives, and yes, even democrats, is purely a generalization and not directed at any particular person posting on this blog. When I say that most people "like the guilty thrill of the chaos they caused much, much more than intelligent conversation", I am not talking directly to you SL, as I can tell that you are clearly somewhat of an intelligent individual who really does his homework before speaking. Now that that's over with, let's continue...

    "He compared a hyperbolic, and yes, controversial, comment made by former Alaskan Governor Sarah Palin to a witch hunt back in Salem."

    No he didn't. He claimed it was a wildly irresponsible thing for a person of power to tell such blatant lies over national television. What he compared was the picture of some asshole smiling for a picture while hanging freshman Democratic Congressman Frank Kratovil in effigy in the middle of a street in broad daylight, an action that could be considered a threat against the Representative's life, to a picture of a crowd hanging "witches" whom are not even bothering to cover their faces knowing full well that they'll never be punished for the murders.

    "These town hall meetings were bursting at the seams with energy and opposition to this healthcare legislation long before Palin said anything."
    It's not just Palin. Any regular Fox News watcher knew what their elected Repulican representatives felt about the healthcare bill long before any town hall meetings were ever planned. Sean Hannity exclusively refers to the healthcare bill as Obamacare. SL, how is that NOT meant to incite anger and opposition from anyone who didn't vote for Obama? I've seen the videos of these town hall meetings and I understand why people want answers, but there's a difference between the people that have legitimate concerns, and people that just want a chance to go down and scream at their Congressman.

    "There is a section of this bill that allows for government bureaucrats to have the authority to come into the homes of new and soon-to-be parents and discuss "proper methods of childrearing". What the hell does that have to do with health insurance reform?

    There is a panel of people, 26 members, 17 of whom are appointed by the president, who get to decide what treatments are effective for EVERY illness."
    If this is true, I drastically oppose this. Source?

    ""Really? And what right-side biased news organization did you get this little piece of information from?"

    http://www.bls.gov/news.release/empsit.t12.htm

    Budget and labor statistics website. I don't even know what rightsidenews.com is, Drew."
    That doesn't dismiss the fact that you misdefined U6 unemployement and tried to turn it in to a kind of anti-obama argument.

    "You seem like somebody who at least pretends to understand economics."

    SL, I do understand economics. And if you truely understand economics, you would know that economics has no definitive laws. What I mean by that is it's not like mathematics, where a squared plus b squared will always equal c squared in a right triangle. There are only economic theories, or as economists call them, "schools of thought". Just because someone disagrees with yours, does not mean they're wrong, or that they're merely pretending. So that, sir, was uncalled for.

    ReplyDelete
  49. "There is simply no feasible way that the government can take over paying for everyone's healthcare, bring costs down, and NOT ration care. These three things simply cannot exist at the same time."

    Your right. This does, indeed go against the rules of supply and demand. Which is why it's not true. Obviously the government isn't going to pay for everyone's healthcare, or else the amount of money being put aside by Congress to pay for every citizens healthcare would...well... I'd give you a number but my calculator only goes out to 8 digits. And yes, they can bring down healthcare costs by bringing major competition to the healthcare market.

    So on the topic of rationing care. This is a rough topic to talk about because when people talk about rationing care, they usually don't give a reference frame. I'm an engineer, so as an example from a physicists point of view, wathcing a train going 80 khm appears to have no velocity from someone on a train traveling next to it at the same velocity. It's all about in what context you're speaking. The governement's healthcare system can't afford to NOT ration care because, like we both know, it contradicts the laws of S&D. But neither can ANY healthcare institution. Of course medicine has to be rationed to some extent. What I was refering to, is the misguided belief that healthcare, or "obamacare" will be rationed based SOLELY ON THE INDIVIDUAL'S MERIT WORTH IN SOCIETY. This....

    "Obama's advisor on Healthcare believes in the "whole life" method of attributing value to an individual's life. This essentially measures the cost of care against the expected future value of the person."

    ...Is what EVERY health insurance company does. This is how they determine healthcare premiums. So what you're telling me is Obama's healthcare advisor believes in the same method for evaluating an individual's life as every other health insurance corporation. This is why I believe in health care reform, but am very slowly and very cautiously backing away from the current health care bill.

    ReplyDelete
  50. "Reaganomics is something you clearly don't understand. How you could call it socialist is just utterly ludicrous. You do realize that socialism is when the Central Planners own the means of production and run them. Reagan cut taxes and undid regulations..thus putting the means of production and their operation into the hands of individual citizens. That's called Capitalism. "

    I know what socialism means, and I'm not saying that Reagan magically turned the entire US economy in to a socialist state. What I meant was that Reaganomics were very much socialist inspired, even more than Obama's. What Obama's trying to do is redistribute weath from the wealthy to the poor, and what Reagan did was redistribute wealth from the poor and middle class to the wealthy.

    "Reagan cut taxes and undid regulations..thus putting the means of production and their operation into the hands of individual citizens."
    Wrong again. In 1981 he signed a law that greatly reduced income taxes for the wealthiest of citizens THINKING that it would create jobs and cut the deficit, however it did the opposite and sent the US in to a recession. THEN, he signed a massive tax increase in 1983 and promised to use it to create a surplus in the Social Security system, with the general public not realizing that a section of that bill gave the president the exclusive right to use the surplus money however he wanted. Thus began a massive transfer of weath from the poor to the wealthy, including a huge leap in the self-employement tax (a 66% leap, to be exact). He then continued to slash taxes for the wealthiest, or most successful as you like to put it, and for the first time in history, increase taxes for the poorest of people. Now explain to me SL, how this isn't socialism?

    "You claim you don't understand what's in the bill, then claim that rationing will of course never happen based on no evidence in your favor (and quite a lot to the contrary! Please examine the UK and Canada!) and then refuse outright to listen to a reasoned debate."

    Like I said, rationing always happens. I explained this in my last post and don't want to do it again. And no I didn't refuse to listen to a reasoned debate, I read every word you had to say and then retorted to the best of my knowledge. What I refused to do was debate any specific aspects of the bill seeing as how I, like the majority of our Congress I'm sure, haven't read it. So how about from now on you not speak to me like I'm an angry little 12 year old who watches too much msnbc and decides to argue whatever I saw over an internet forum, ok SL?

    ReplyDelete
  51. http://www.medscape.com/viewarticle/561737

    This article discusses differences in survival rates among the three most common types of cancer: rectal, prostate, and breast cancer.

    To summarize, "The age-adjusted 5-year survival rates for all cancers combined was 47.3% for men and 55.8% for women, which is significantly lower than the estimates of 66.3% for men and 62.9% for women from the US Surveillance, Epidemiology, and End Results (SEER) program ( P < .001)."

    And, "Survival was significantly higher in the United States for all solid tumors, except testicular, stomach, and soft-tissue cancer, the authors report. The greatest differences were seen in the major cancer sites: colon and rectum (56.2% in Europe vs 65.5% in the United States), breast (79.0% vs 90.1%), and prostate cancer (77.5% vs 99.3%), and this "probably represents differences in the timeliness of diagnosis," they comment. That in turn stems from the more intensive screening for cancer carried out in the United States, where a reported 70% of women aged 50 to 70 years have undergone a mammogram in the past 2 years, one-third of people have had sigmoidoscopy or colonoscopy in the past 5 years, and more than 80% of men aged 65 years or more have had a prostate-specific antigen (PSA) test. In fact, it is this PSA testing that probably accounts for the very high survival from prostate cancer seen in the United States, the authors comment."

    So there really are some very pronounced differences between the US and Europe in a distinct way.

    ReplyDelete
  52. SJ, I've explained this before, but I'll summarize again for everyone's benefit. The reason Life Expectancy at birth and Infant Mortality do not tell the whole tale is essentially this:

    They are not comparable data points among different countries. Now let me explain...

    In Macau, the nation with the best mortality rate in the world (you know where Macau is?) the population is ~500,000. It is a very small, homogeneous population. It is essentially one small city that counts as a country. They have very low disease rates, they aren't involved in wars, they are isolated from the things that lead to lower mortality rates.

    In fact, many of the leaders in this statistic are small, homogeneous populations.

    One of the reasons life expectancy in the US is lower than, for instance, Canada, is that we have a significant minority population (significant parts being black and hispanic).

    http://www.cdc.gov/nchs/data/hus/hus08.pdf#026

    No data on hispanics there, but as of 2005, in the US, total life expectancy was 77.8.

    For whites, it was 78.3.
    For blacks, it was 73.2.

    When 12%-13% of the population averages 5 fewer expected life years at birth, that hurts the total average.

    This analysis does not even begin to scratch the surface of the myriad other contributing factors to lower life expectancy in the US. Drug use, obesity, violent crime, life style, genetics, these things affect the overall life expectancy of a nation the size of the US much more than France.

    Now do you see what I mean when I say that life expectancy at birth is a bad measure of the quality of the healthcare system in a given country? It is not subtle, it cannot measure the effect of all these contributing diversifying factors that muddy the water, and it frankly has very little to do with the quality of healthcare.

    The same can be said of using infant mortality.

    SJ, think of how ludicrous it is to use infant mortality as a measure of the overall quality and accessability of a nation's healthcare system? The infants who die have no chance to use our healthcare system! And quite frankly, the neonatal care provided in the US is far superior to most other countries. For one, its available to everyone (can't be turned away at an ER).

    http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-1209034/The-babies-born-hospital-corridors-Bed-shortage-forces-4-000-mothers-birth-lifts-offices-hospital-toilets.html

    A bit of anecdotal evidence from the horse's mouth...

    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/health/healthnews/6092658/Cruel-and-neglectful-care-of-one-million-NHS-patients-exposed.html

    And a bit more...

    These are but a taste of what government run rationing of care will lead us to. Its not a scare tactic SJ and Drew, it is empirical evidence from another country that has already implemented such a system.

    ReplyDelete
  53. "'He compared a hyperbolic, and yes, controversial, comment made by former Alaskan Governor Sarah Palin to a witch hunt back in Salem.'

    No he didn't. He claimed it was a wildly irresponsible thing for a person of power to tell such blatant lies over national television."

    Actually, he did. I sat through five more minutes of that guy to make sure I was right. He said that Palin may as well have accused Congress of being a covenant of witches with Kenyan born birth certificates. Its not really relevant, but I just wanted to let you know that I do have the stomach to watch that man talk.

    Drew, I appreciate your candor in responding the way that you do. I apologize if you were insulted by my language toward your comments.

    But you do watch too much MSNBC... :)

    "Any regular Fox News watcher knew what their elected Repulican representatives felt about the healthcare bill long before any town hall meetings were ever planned."

    You've still got this backwards. Look at Chuck Grassley for instance, R from Iowa. He was very wishy washy until the townhalls started popping up. Only then did he start coming on strong against the public option.

    Look it, I'm too young to remember the healthcare debates back in the 90s, but many conservatives (democrat and republican) are not. We can read the news coming out of Canada and the UK about their debacles of health care rationing. We understand that "public option" leads to "single payer" which means the government will claim the right to regulate every aspect of our lives on the basis that they are paying for our healthcare costs.

    Its not rocket science, and it does have a track record. The way the single payer system in Canada was started was with a public insurance "option" that put the private market out of business.

    ReplyDelete
  54. "If this is true, I drastically oppose this. Source?"

    http://www.thewoodlandsteaparty.com/fliers/Healthcare_bill_HR-3200.pdf

    Its a PDF of the bill, go to page 30. Section 123 describes the Health Advisory Committee.

    Also go to page 837. Section 1904 titled "SEC. 1904. GRANTS TO STATES FOR QUALITY HOME VISITATION PROGRAMS FOR FAMILIES WITH YOUNG
    CHILDREN AND FAMILIES EXPECTING CHILDREN."

    You want to read through to page 845 at least where it details all the wonderful sounding intrustions into our private lives and how we are raising our kids. As you read it, bear in mind that it is none of Obama's or Pelosi's or Reid's business what we do with our kids, in our own homes, in our own lives, barring child abuse, for which we already have laws. Besides, what does this have to do with insuring the 12 million uninsured?


    "Just because someone disagrees with yours, does not mean they're wrong, or that they're merely pretending."

    Lots of people disagree with me. They're usually wrong.

    I'm kidding! I'm kidding! I'm only practicing my Limbaugh-esque pompousness!

    ReplyDelete
  55. "This does, indeed go against the rules of supply and demand. Which is why it's not true. Obviously the government isn't going to pay for everyone's healthcare"

    If you agree with me, how come Obama is out there claiming what we both agree is not true? And why do you continue to trust this man, given ALL the evidence I have presented to prove his complete untrustworthiness!?

    "And yes, they can bring down healthcare costs by bringing major competition to the healthcare market."

    Drew, we already have major competition in the healthcare market. The problem is that we also have GOVERNMENT in the healthcare market! We've been over this, the number of mandated coverages by state is mind-boggling. In Montana, you can't buy a policy without having prostate insurance covered even if you are a woman!

    But you are right about one thing, there is one thing the government could do to actually increase competition...allow small businesses to pool together and buy insurance for their employees like larger companies do, and open up the interstate insurance trade by removing all the individual state government mandates for coverage. I know this goes against my whole "states rights" mindset, but it is in favor of the free markets. Plus, its against insurance companies, so you ought to be happy about that, right?

    "This...'Obama's advisor on Healthcare believes in the "whole life" method of attributing value to an individual's life. This essentially measures the cost of care against the expected future value of the person.'

    ...Is what EVERY health insurance company does. This is how they determine healthcare premiums."

    Again, I'm sorry to have to say this, but you're just wrong. I actually am an actuary and I know full well how insurance premiums are calculated. But let me first remind us what medical insurance was intended to be:

    Insurance is a method of mitigating financial, not health, risk in the event of a debilitating injury or chronic disease. Its not supposed to cover the day-to-day health related expenditures that are now commonly mandated by state law much in the same way that auto insurance does not cover oil changes and tire rotations.

    That being said, premiums are calculated by assessing the loss risk a given individual brings to the table. Many factors go in: medical risks under coverage, demographic information of the applicant, etc. Actuaries use their data to assign expected losses and then mark up the premium a bit for profit, expense, and reserve loading to come up with the final premium.

    What they DO NOT do is decide to whom they will sell policies based on any factor. They set the price. You are free to purchase or not purchase.

    Besides, you are missing something fundamentally different between insurance companies and government...

    The insurance companies are not the providers of care. They are not the arbiters of who can access care. They are simply a vehicle through which individuals can mitigate their own financial risk.

    The government, if this passes, will be the single moral arbiter in all medical decisions. They will decide who can receive care and their word is final. To quote our great president, they are "God's partner in matters of life and death."

    http://www.washingtonjewishweek.com/main.asp?SectionID=57&SubSectionID=76&ArticleID=11291

    (My source for that last BO quote)

    ReplyDelete
  56. http://www.cato.org/pub_display.php?pub_id=1120&full=1

    This is a lengthy report, but it is worth a read-through when you have an hour or so to commit. The CATO institute did a fantastic financial impact study of Reaganomics in 1996 when Bob Dole was proffering an idea of a 15% tax cut. The data is shown in full and in context. I'll let you have a read through before discussing, but it is very evident that Reagan was on to something with his tax cut policies.

    And SJ, median household income increased by $4,000 (in real dollars) during Reagan's tenure...

    I'm not sure where you got that 5,600% increase of rich over poor increase in wealth, but it wasn't caused by the poor getting 3,000% poorer...It was just that the rich were able to really invest and create wealth like they hadn't been able to do for 4 years of Carter and the first year of Reagan before he could implement any of his policies.

    ReplyDelete
  57. Scott - since you love posting links for articles that support your unsubstantiated views on the UK and Canada health care systems, here's mine.

    http://www.stltoday.com/stltoday/news/stories.nsf/editorialcommentary/story/348F52DE319AF4DC86257623007FAAEB?OpenDocument

    The British, French, Irish, Finnish, Swedes, Swiss, Germans, Italians,etc love their national health care program. Conservatives like to point out the small minority of problems with the European model of health care, but these are simply not true of the overall picture of these systems.

    I've been in constant contact with friends from Europe and they are appalled at the conservative attacks on their system. Sure, they argue all the time about what should be covered, but they never argue about the overall program. They love it and are very happy with it.

    This link explains the lies of conservatives concerning the British National Health Service from the British perspective. http://www.salon.com/politics/war_room/2009/08/14/british_nhs/index.html

    A recent Harris poll found the following information about the overall happiness Europeans have with their health care. The numbers below represent that total percentage of people that were at least happy with the system and felt only minor changes were needed (the numbers in parenthesis are people who were completely happy with the system and felt absolutely no changes were necessary)

    France: 78% (29%)
    Netherlands: 91% (42%)
    Canada: 86% (26%)
    Spain: 83% (22%)
    UK: 76% (26%)
    Italy: 77% (22%)
    Germant: 77% (19%)

    These overwhelming majorities indicate a strong satisfaction with the sytem. Many people who indicated some minor changes were needed consider them minor and not worthy of a system overhaul.

    Furthermore, the following information from the Harris poll shows the following percentage of people in each country who believe their health care system is the best in the world. (Not as much data was available here.)

    UK - 59%
    France - 70%
    Germany - 32% (Most envious of the Netherland system)
    Italy - 28% - (Most envious of the French system)
    The Netherlands - 86%

    Furthermore, the same poll found that 69% of British believe the National Health Service is a fundamental program that is necessary for the maintaining of the high standard of living in Britain and that everything must be done to maintain the service.

    I don't think these numbers indicate the same irrational fear that conservatives are attempting to ram down the minds of Americans. This is understandable since the truth doesn't support their position.

    ReplyDelete
  58. Scott L.,

    Your defense of Reagan counters your attack on Obama. Reagan inherited an economic mess that cycled out and led to a recovery. According to your attacks on Obama, this is what you also believe about Reagan.

    Oh wait, Reagan was a genius and the economic recovery wasn't due to the natural cycle of economic growth/decline. (That was sarcasm).

    If Reagan deserves credit for the economic recovery two years into his term, Obama will deserve credit for the economic recovery one year into his term.

    At least this is what the logic dictates.

    ReplyDelete
  59. Scott-

    I like the fact that you start this blog off with the title "You have nothing to fear, but fear itself!" What I want to bring to the table is the fear that many of our elected polictical figures have for President Obama's National Health Care Plan. The state that our economy is in, the past ways that insurance companies have treated its clietns, and the sheer fact that all men have the right to live, why is it that so many are apposing this life altering change.

    Is it because some fear the unknown. Why is it that we can't take the ball from countries like
    Canada and in European countries where they all have universal healthcare and the programs work. Why does america have to be the last to get the ball when it comes to everything in this country. For example, why is it we can build a car that is meant to last only a few years "after it is paid off" when in elsewhere they build cars that can last decades. Why is it that we are behind in wireless phone technology when other countries are excelling?

    Are we not the United States of America, the most powerful nation in the world! Should we not have the best of the best, and a track record that says we will not be undersold. I think this country does fear change cause everytime someone comes around with a radical idea, there is always opposition to it. I think change is good, great, no it is Necessary, and it is Now. We must change our way of thinking. We must embrace the future as it is fastly approaching and we don't want to be left behind.

    What do you think?

    ReplyDelete
  60. @STL_MAR

    Change for the sake of change is stupid. What if the status quo is better? I'm not saying it is in all cases, but just claiming that change is necessary, that we must change our way of thinking...you sound like Obama before he lost his halo.

    And my opposition...as I've pointed out in innumerable ways...has to do with substantive disagreements in worldview and the role of government with Obama and the liberals who push for national healthcare. We cannot afford Medicaid in this country and you want to let the government handle all of healthcare?

    Come down off your platitudes and look at some data, please.

    ReplyDelete