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Author Topic: Democrats at least pretend to have a spine, it's a Christmas miracle!
Dan_Frank
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Blayne, where I live most people use the term "right winger" like an epithet. And yeah, Ron pretty much uses "leftist" the same way. But the terms, inherently, are not insulting. If one identifies themselves as politically left or right then the terms aren't even factually misleading. Intent definitely counts for something, but comparing a term like that to a blatantly insulting sexual slur seems like a pretty big leap to me.

Heck, take the line you just quoted! Which part is more insulting? That he called someone a leftist, or that he called them a mental dwarf?

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Orincoro
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Dan, there is a legitimate point there. The use of jargon and specific kinds of terminology in specific ways is part of an attempt to other the opposition and characterize them, and people like them (ie: the left and people who are "leftist"), as a single unified force or a well defined set of motivations. Jargon like that is meant to generate a simplified idea of the opposition, or the person being addressed, in order to appeal to negative associations with that word or category of people. So, "right-winger" and "leftist" are not epithets, as you say, but they are shaded language which can be used to deride and disparage opposition by associating it with an already described oppositional force. Essentially, "leftist" and "right-winger" are mostly propagandistic and useless as actually denominators of political alignment. So Blayne is right in that people ought to avoid using them if their intention is not to engage in or service propaganda. This doesn't mean their use *constitutes* propaganda- it simply appeals to it.
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Dan_Frank
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That's an interesting point, Orincoro. I can see what you mean. But Blayne was specifically saying that if Ron was going to call people leftists then he ought to be allowed to call people tea baggers. (I didn't quote anything, so I just want to make sure you're aware of the whole context of our conversation.)

It seems to me those two terms are wildly different and ultimately designed to serve different goals. As you said, "leftist" or "right winger" or similar are perhaps propagandist terms designed to simplify the opposition. And therefore I can see the argument that all such terms are unhelpful in reasonable, civil discourse.

But terms like "teabagger" or, say, "mental dwarf," are designed to ridicule and insult. Totally unproductive, not just designed to simplify the opposition but to shut down any dialogue with them whatsoever. Not in the same category at all, in my opinion.

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Orincoro
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Sure, I think he was posing a more or less rhetorical point- "if you do this, I should get to do that." Tea-bagger is more openly derisive than leftist, but I think the important point here is that these terms are not very helpful, regardless of how offensive they may be. Blayne was reacting to a term he found derisive- his argument about another derisive term is incidental to that.


quote:
But terms like "teabagger" or, say, "mental dwarf," are designed to ridicule and insult. Totally unproductive, not just designed to simplify the opposition but to shut down any dialogue with them whatsoever. Not in the same category at all, in my opinion
As a matter of degree, yes. In fact I think the more explosive term I read on this very website was the word, "leftaliban," which was just about the most casually offensive thing OSC has ever written. Certainly though, I think we're talking about mandarin and oranges, rather than apples and oranges. If your intent is to malign the opposition through propagandistic language, then it's all a matter of degree. I try, I think more out of a sense of needing to feel at least moderately original, not to employ such terms. I think that's probably a good policy.
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Dan_Frank
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Clearly, you speak Blayne better than I do. [Smile]
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Orincoro
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I don't doubt that.
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Samprimary
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it's actually kind of useful when ron lambert begins speaking of leftists, because you can be sure that he has begun to speak of a nebulous group which as defined thankfully does not exist

it is also kind of like how if he says anything resembling 'disagreement with me on this matter is proof of lack of critical thought'

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Samprimary
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meanwhile: individual mandate for enrollment in health care ruled against, goes to higher court
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The Rabbit
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How unfortunate for Americans.
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MrSquicky
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I haven't seen anything that makes me believe that the individual mandate is anything but blatantly unconstitutional, but I still doubt that the current Supreme Court is going to check the government's assumption of power.
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Samprimary
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quote:
Originally posted by The Rabbit:
How unfortunate for Americans.

perhaps if we just, say, provide proactive healthcare via taxes, then we don't have to worry about the constitutionality of forcing americans to participate in interstate commerce.

oh but no, that is like ‹bersocialism, we can't have that, not in my americas

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BlackBlade
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Perhaps I am missing the legal nuances, but how is requiring citizens to purchase health insurance any different than states requiring people who have car insurance?

Is it because cars are not something people must have?

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MrSquicky
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Car insurance is not required, except as a condition for driving on public roads. It's also a state, not a federal requirement.

The individual mandate forces everyone to give money to private companies or face a fine imposed by the federal government. There is no provision for anything like this in the U.S. Constitution.

If this is ruled constitutional, then it opens the door for the federal government to require you to buy pretty much anything they want you to.

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Rakeesh
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I look at it (like many people, I suspect) as one of those things we really ought to have gotten around to putting into the Constitution ages ago, in some form or another: everyone is going to get sick at some point or another in their lives. It's a given. And it's going to be, again at some point in their lives, beyond their ability to pay for on their own, also a given. When that happens, well, as a society we're not going to just let them get sicker and die, we're going to care for them-causing a drain on the economy as a whole.

Therefore, mandate some sort of requirement that everyone must have health care or mandate that when they do get sick if they don't have health care, we really will let them get sicker and sicker with no help from anyone else in government. But...I'm not aware of anything in the Constitution right now that spells anything like that out, either. I think it should be there, but that's a far cry from saying it's there now. Then again, it's extremely possible I don't know about it.

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TheHumanTarget
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quote:
The individual mandate forces everyone to give money to private companies or face a fine imposed by the federal government. There is no provision for anything like this in the U.S. Constitution.
This is precisely why a public option should exist! Then it wouldn't be an issue of Constitutionality, but of common sense. The current system isn't sustainable or effective, so propping it up by forcing people to buy it is counter-productive.
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Samprimary
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quote:
Originally posted by Rakeesh:
I look at it (like many people, I suspect) as one of those things we really ought to have gotten around to putting into the Constitution ages ago, in some form or another

Not really. The whole thing is a massively inferior option to public, universal healthcare. In a grimly utilitarian way it would be maybe better to let the free-marketeers sabotage the bill enough so that we putter around with private non-universal coverage long enough for the entire system to implode, because then reform would be swift via necessity.

taxes!

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TheHumanTarget
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quote:
Not really. The whole thing is a massively inferior option to public, universal healthcare. In a grimly utilitarian way it would be maybe better to let the free-marketeers sabotage the bill enough so that we putter around with private non-universal coverage long enough for the entire system to implode, because then reform would be swift via necessity.
I'm really baffled at the intense, visceral reaction that I get from some people when I mention a public option.

Would taxes be raised to pay for it?
Probably.

Would it be in addition to what most of us are already paying for health insurance?

Probably not.

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MrSquicky
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quote:
Originally posted by TheHumanTarget:
quote:
The individual mandate forces everyone to give money to private companies or face a fine imposed by the federal government. There is no provision for anything like this in the U.S. Constitution.
This is precisely why a public option should exist! Then it wouldn't be an issue of Constitutionality, but of common sense. The current system isn't sustainable or effective, so propping it up by forcing people to buy it is counter-productive.
I'm definitely not against a more "socialist" form of health care reform.

In this case, I think they set up a situation where their system hinges on forcing people to buy private insurance and didn't care that they didn't have the right to do this and that the states (and honestly, individuals) have perfect right to challenge and refuse to do it. And I don't view "But we need to do this!" as adequate justification for blatantly violating the Constitution, even if I agree with the thing they are ultimately trying to do.

But the Supreme Court is very pro-government power right now, even moreso with the addition of Elena Kagan, so I expect that they will rule in favor of the government on this one.

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TheHumanTarget
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quote:
I expect that they will rule in favor of the government on this one.
I'd be surprised if they don't strike down provisions of this law and open the door for a public option (which is what the Democrats were angling for originally).

The conspiracy theorist in me believes this is what they intended all along...

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BlackBlade
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They don't have the congress to pass a public option yet. Obamacare has not yet become unassailable as it hasn't been in place long enough to change minds.
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MattP
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I always considered the "mandate" to just be a tax break given to people who purchase health insurance.
It's effectively the same as saying "There is a $2000 (or whatever) healthcare tax for everyone. If you purchase your own insurance, you don't have to pay that tax."

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fugu13
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It isn't quite that. In a mandate, not having insurance is a type of offense, which it isn't with the tax break.
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MattP
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Taking a tax break that you aren't qualified for is also an offense, so I think it still think it's effectively the same.

Scenario 1:
There is a mandate with a $2000 fine. I don't buy health insurance, I owe the fine. I don't pay the fine - I get in trouble.

Scenario 2:
There is a $2000 health insurance tax and a $2000 credit if I purchase insurance. I don't purchase insurance. I take the credit - I get in trouble.

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Geraine
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Hey, as soon as the US Government can show me one program that they haven't completely screwed up, I'll be on board for a public option.

One program. That's all I'm asking for.

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0Megabyte
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The interstate highway system?
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Orincoro
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The Marshal Plan? The GI bill?
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Glenn Arnold
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Apollo? WPA?
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Blayne Bradley
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The US Army?

National Parks?

Civil Rights Act?

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Blayne Bradley
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And what about other gov'ts, like say Canada, where our healthcare service works pretty well?

Now answer me this, find me one gov't program that hasn't worked but NOT because of republicans interfearance/meddling*?

*Including times when it was done by Democrats but in efforts to appeal to or compromise with republicans.

Social Security doesn't count.

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Orincoro
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quote:
Originally posted by Blayne Bradley:
And what about other gov'ts, like say Canada, where our healthcare service works pretty well?

Your healthcare service is awful, really. And that's an even better argument in favor of socialized medicine, because as bad as your system is, it *still* beats the US system hands down and blindfolded.
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Geraine
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I concede, though none of those have the magnitude of something such as Social Security or the Health Care Bill.


I'll never see any Social Security payments when I hit 67. The post office is losing billions of dollars a year.

I think the best way to reduce health care costs isn't to force everyone to take it, nor put everyone on a single payer system. Health insurance companies are forced to cover you for things you have no chance of getting. In Nevada, my health care provider is forced to cover me in the event I get cervical cancer...Problem is I'm male.

If health care providers were able to create customized plans and levels of coverage based on what you actually need covered, you would see costs go down and more people being able to sign up for it. I don't need coverage for cervical cancer or for some childhood diseases. That may change when I have children, and would be more than likely to sign up for that extra coverage when I do have children. Until then I don't feel I should pay for a service I will never use.

[ December 14, 2010, 11:14 AM: Message edited by: Geraine ]

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fugu13
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quote:
I'll never see any Social Security payments when I hit 67.
The retirement age might be pushed back a few years, but that's a natural consequence of the higher functioning older people have at the same ages than they did in the past, not a failure of government. Much as I think social security's accounting needs fixing, the actual program is fairly successful.

quote:
I'll never see any Social Security payments when I hit 67. The post office is losing billions of dollars a year. A study was released about a year ago that said women with no insurance had higher survival rates from
I'm not absolutely sure what you're referring to, since your post cuts off, but all the studies like that I'm aware of have serious problems controlling for other variables and dealing with other confounding effects.

quote:
If health care providers were able to create customized plans and levels of coverage based on what you actually need covered, you would see costs go down and more people being able to sign up for it. I don't need coverage for cervical cancer or for some childhood diseases. That may change when I have children, and would be more than likely to sign up for that extra coverage when I do have children. Until then I don't feel I should pay for a service I will never use.
If it is just a public option, you don't have to. Just don't buy the public option, and buy some private plan (edit: that is, the fact that coverage for cervical cancer is required seems entirely orthogonal to the question of a public option). If we're talking about single payer, as the conversation had veered onto, this complaint is just silly. The whole point of single payer is that payment by individuals is unrelated to need. What's more, you'll find few, if any, private insurance plans break up things in the way you seem to want, for the simple reason that it is an accounting nightmare. The added costs of trying to have such nuanced plans completely outweighs any 'savings' individuals would have from such tailored plans. This is true of most public goods, such as publicly funded fire departments ("I just want to pay for coverage of my home. I don't own a barn, so I don't want to pay for barn coverage" -- see how little sense that makes?).

quote:
Taking a tax break that you aren't qualified for is also an offense, so I think it still think it's effectively the same.

I wasn't saying not paying the fine was an offense, I was saying the fine itself was to satisfy an offence. Someone who doesn't get insurance and pays the fine has legally transgressed against society in a way that someone who doesn't get insurance and doesn't take a tax break for insured people hasn't.

[ December 13, 2010, 08:38 PM: Message edited by: fugu13 ]

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Samprimary
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quote:
If health care providers were able to create customized plans and levels of coverage based on what you actually need covered, you would see costs go down and more people being able to sign up for it.
under this plan:

young healthy people: Yo this still looks like a crimpable expense *continue leaving coverage*

older and more risk-prone people with known medical issues: hey that just leaves us!!

insurance companies: sorry mates we can't make money covering just you, time to jack your rates up!

young people: hey some of us got serious medical events ANYWAY, whoops, guess the people still insured are picking up that tab

insurance companies: whoops, rates go up again!

*more young people leave as a result*

*cycle continues*

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Orincoro
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quote:
Originally posted by Samprimary:
quote:
If health care providers were able to create customized plans and levels of coverage based on what you actually need covered, you would see costs go down and more people being able to sign up for it.
under this plan:

young healthy people: Yo this still looks like a crimpable expense *continue leaving coverage*

older and more risk-prone people with known medical issues: hey that just leaves us!!

insurance companies: sorry mates we can't make money covering just you, time to jack your rates up!

young people: hey some of us got serious medical events ANYWAY, whoops, guess the people still insured are picking up that tab

insurance companies: whoops, rates go up again!

*more young people leave as a result*

*cycle continues*

Heh. Pretty much Geraine, everything you understand and believe about free market capitalism does not apply to health care in any way because health care is not a commodity with a fixed value. The value of health coverage varies widely across the market, because individuals require radically different levels of coverage- this destabilizes prices and costs and drives the market higher despite the effect of shrinking the consumer base. It is a commodity that cannot function under a capital market structure.
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AvidReader
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quote:
Originally posted by Orincoro:
It is a commodity that cannot function under a capital market structure.

I'm not sure I understand how a competing public option helps, then.

To use Florida's public option home insurance as an example, we've got near constant claims by the for-profit insurance that the state is artificially keeping rates down in an attempt to drive them out. (While the citizens beg the state to allow the rate hike so they can keep State Farm!) Meanwhile, there are near constant claims that the government insurance is actuarily unsound and would require tax hikes to replenish its funds after another big storm.

See, there's the difference between the two. A private company has to operate at a profit pretty much all the time. The government can pretty much do what it wants knowing it can always jack up taxes later.

So while I wouldn't mind a tax to provide care for the catastrophically ill in our country, I'd rather just go there directly. The guy making the rules for the product shouldn't be selling it. Period.

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Week-Dead Possum
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quote:
Originally posted by AvidReader:
quote:
Originally posted by Orincoro:
It is a commodity that cannot function under a capital market structure.

I'm not sure I understand how a competing public option helps, then.

Well, a few things. The public option would be a less than ideal compromise which needs a number of other pieces in place to fulfill its function.

The public option would be tax-payer backed, but the object of having it in place is as a part of a regulated, transparent marketplace. So, for instance, the public option would come with guarantees of not being dropped from coverage, but it would also require that all other insurance programs have similar guarantees. Likewise, the public option would meet a minimum standard of coverage which legislation would need to require all people to have. The effect here is to provide a program which allows all people, without exception, to fulfill a government requirement to be covered, by providing a government guaranteed mechanism for obtaining that coverage. The effect is to lower costs across the board, because the government is in a position to legislate in favor of other market place regulations which make the program more feasable. For instance, the government could, through legislation, institute certain price controls which would effect the entire health industry. At present, private payers and small insurance companies are charged exhorbitant medical costs which are negotiated down by large insurance companies and by employers, so that there is a HUGE economic penalty for not having insurance through an employer backed program. Insurance companies have the capital to negotiate lower rates, while they demand that prices remain high as stated, in order to keep people from changing or disrupting their insurance coverage. This kind of behavior is, simply, abuse.

For all the whinging and fear-mongering about a big government backed system costing us a lot of money, some recent history and a look at other countries tells us, with a great deal of assuredness, that the overall effect of this kind of legislation would be to drop the overall health care costs in the US by roughly half. A great deal of what would be eliminated would be corporate profits, on both the care and insurance sides. While there is a considerably economic effect in eliminating that pool of money, you need to remember that a great deal of that is being sucked out of the otherwise wealth producing middle class, which is hardest struck by medical cost inflation. So while the health care industry is profitable overall, it still represents a powerful economic drain on the most productive portions of our economy by limiting access to health care, destroying family savings, and locking workers into jobs tied to health care plans.

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Samprimary
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the judge who found the health care law to be unconstitutional is part-owner of a campaign consulting firm that helps Republican candidates who think it is unconstitutional so I guess that might muddle the issue judicially before it goes on

however if the 'activist judges alglarblargl' crowd goes notably silent on this issue, it'll at least be worth a laugh!

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Orincoro
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quote:
Originally posted by AvidReader:

So while I wouldn't mind a tax to provide care for the catastrophically ill in our country, I'd rather just go there directly.

I should have also addressed this. We have this. It is grossly, grossly inefficient. It involves uninsured people receiving the minimm of care in emergency rooms. Would you like to expand that kind of program so that it would depress the number of people, especially young people, who carry insurance because uncle sam will foot the bill anyway if they get really, really sick? Why are you in favor of that fairly awful type of social insurance, and not in favor of more effective measures?


quote:
The guy making the rules for the product shouldn't be selling it. Period.
Then don't think of it as a product. You don't have a problem with the government making the rules for cops, firemen, public works, air traffic control, the military, or any other of the many branches of government service, I assume. You know that ultimately the tax-payers who foot the bill will be responsible for what laws and regulations remain in place. And in case you haven't noticed this before now, though I have no idea how that could be possible if you are well read on this issue, the insurance industry *already* makes the rules for the products they sell. There has been very little check on what they have been allowed to do. Obama's plan would have takken control of the industry out of the hands of the insurance companies, who have been making the rules by buying (and I don't find that too strong a term in this debate) the votes of congressmen and senators for many years. Somebody is going to make the rules- and that somebody is going to have a financial interest in what those rules are. Personally, I think that somebody ought to be us, the voters. Who it should not be is an insurance industry that robs us blind and pays out of our pockets to lobby congress for more liberty to rob us.
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MrSquicky
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So, Geraine, given that people have given you a multitude of things that fulfilled your request, are you now on board with the public option, like you said you would be?
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katharina
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quote:
Would it be in addition to what most of us are already paying for health insurance?

Probably not.

Taxes would most certainly go up, and on top of what people pay for private insurance right now.

Currently, many people are not getting health care. Any solution that means more health care where there currently isn't means the money for it has to come from somewhere.

It isn't just a matter of shifting things around. When more of an activity happens, it requires more resources. Health care that covers everyone will certainly cost more than health care that doesn't cover everyone. Since the people currently with health care correlate strongly with the people with money, getting health care that covers everyone will overwhelmingly likely mean that the people who currently have health care will pay more.

There's no getting around it.

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Geraine
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quote:
Originally posted by Orincoro:
quote:
Originally posted by AvidReader:
[qb]


[QUOTE] The guy making the rules for the product shouldn't be selling it. Period.

Then don't think of it as a product. You don't have a problem with the government making the rules for cops, firemen, public works, air traffic control, the military, or any other of the many branches of government service, I assume. You know that ultimately the tax-payers who foot the bill will be responsible for what laws and regulations remain in place. And in case you haven't noticed this before now, though I have no idea how that could be possible if you are well read on this issue, the insurance industry *already* makes the rules for the products they sell. There has been very little check on what they have been allowed to do. Obama's plan would have takken control of the industry out of the hands of the insurance companies, who have been making the rules by buying (and I don't find that too strong a term in this debate) the votes of congressmen and senators for many years. Somebody is going to make the rules- and that somebody is going to have a financial interest in what those rules are. Personally, I think that somebody ought to be us, the voters. Who it should not be is an insurance industry that robs us blind and pays out of our pockets to lobby congress for more liberty to rob us.
Whether it is a tangible product or a service does not even matter. Right now if I don't like the insurance my company provides, I can find my own health care plan. I lose that ability with a single payer program.

I'm curious to know if there is an industry you think the government shouldn't take control of?

You seem to think insurance companies are just out to screw everyone. Perhaps you should look at the insane amount of regulation already on the insurance companies imposed on the state and federal levels. Then ask yourself if any of these regulations would cause health insurance payments to rise. I know that once the healthcare law passed my rates for next year went up while also losing benefits. You can blame the insurance companies all you like, but regulation is what really caused it.

Let's look at Social Security. We pay 6.2% of our income into this program, and our employer matches that amount every payroll. I'm forced to pay this because the government thinks it knows how to invest my money better than I do. I also have a 401(k) that I contribute to. What kind of returns am I getting on both?

On my latest social security statement, it says I'll get about $1200 a month (after inflation) when I retire at 67 (more than likely the retirement age will be increased before then) That will be in 2048. As it currently stands, estimates say Social Security is set to be gone by 2042 unless something drastic is done. That is if all of the money that the two Bush presidencies and Clinton plundered from the fund is repaid. I'm not very hopeful right now.

My 401(k) however has grown over 13% a year for the past 4 years I've been contributing at my current job. If I keep contributing for the next 37 years and continue to get the same rate of return I should have a few million tucked away.

For me, it all comes down to how much I want the government choosing how I spend or invest my own money. It is about personal responsibility. I was raised being taught that if I wanted something, to work for it. I shouldn't rely on the government or anyone else to feed me, clothe me, or provide me with anything.

I'm not someone that believes that the situation you were born in prohibits you from any opportunity. There are immigrants that come here all the time with only the clothes on their back and work hard to accumulate wealth. The problem is that too many people are willing to just hold their hand out, because they know it will be filled.

I'm not trying to be a cold hearted bastard. I'm all for helping those less fortunate than I. Show you are trying to improve your situation, and I have no problem helping you.

The difference is that I'd like to choose to help rather than be forced to.

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scholarette
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kat- the thing is, the govt is not going to increase taxes by 10-25%. Heck, even the 4% increase back to Clinton levels for the richest group of Americans was massively opposed. So, odds are, I stop paying 10-25% of my paycheck to health insurance, taxes increase, and I will still end up with more money in my paycheck. The 10-25% is the percent of my paycheck I paid towards health care when I had it.

Also, many people not getting health care actually end up increasing the cost when they do need health care. Biggest example- a diabetic patient can be effectively treated for very cheap. Untreated, they can cost many, many thousand dollars. So, we treat them for a few hundred dollars a year or we leave them untreated and pay thousands when they have an emergency, which can leave them disabled and unable to work, putting them on welfare. In many ways health care is kinda like that oil spill. For a few bucks, the safety measures could have been increased which would have prevented the whole disaster or you can "save" those few books and spend millions to fix it when everything explodes.

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katharina
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What makes you think you are going to be covered by the new insurance? You have insurance now - you're covered. No one wants to add you to the public dole when you can already pay for yourself. And if everyone drops what they have now and 300 million people's health care gets paid for by the government, when health care is already over 15% of GDP, taxes will not incrase 4%. It will increase by much, much more than that.

While it would be nice if the savings for not having things develop into a crisis would cover regular health care for everyone, it isn't true. Crisis health care is more expensive than the same event on someone whose diabetes has been managed, but one or two crises is considerably cheaper than a lifetime of continuous care.

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Tresopax
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quote:
Whether it is a tangible product or a service does not even matter. Right now if I don't like the insurance my company provides, I can find my own health care plan. I lose that ability with a single payer program.
This is not true. Public education doesn't prevent the existence of private schools, public mail delivery doesn't prevent the existence of UPS, public police doesn't prevent the existence of the private security industry, and if enough people wanted additional health care coverage then public health care wouldn't prevent the existence of private plans.
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katharina
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This isn't to say that I'm opposed to socialized medicine.

But if it happened, it would be enormously expensive, it would be paid for by the people who have and are generally happy with their health care, and it would require massive tax increases. If we are going to debate the proposition, I'd rather do it with a true idea of the costs. It would cost.

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scholarette
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I don't have time to find the numbers, but I am pretty sure that for diabetes the numbers have been worked and the savings in preventing those crisis are huge- way way over the cost of lifetime care for diabetes (mostly because the crisis for diabetes usually leaves someone with severe disability so now need lifetime care).

But I was shocked when I looked at the numbers. Every first world country out there is able to do managed health care hugely cheaper than we do and with overall better results. I think the only area we did best on was cancer treatment. Even things like surgery that people claim the US is best in had significantly worse results than in most other countries. So why can't the US do this? What is so special about us that we spend twice as much as everyone else and get worse results?

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MattP
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quote:
Right now if I don't like the insurance my company provides, I can find my own health care plan.
This is extraordinarily expensive to do, to the extent that it's not a practical option for most people. And that's in the best case scenario where you don't actually have any ongoing or recent medical conditions that you will need continuing treatment for. If you do have such a condition (likely in a scenario where you've had a recent reason to be dissatisfied with your present insurance) then preexisting conditions clauses make it altogether impossible.

The ability to switch providers at will is largely a theoretical benefit which most people can't or won't exercise.

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Blayne Bradley
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quote:
Originally posted by katharina:
This isn't to say that I'm opposed to socialized medicine.

But if it happened, it would be enormously expensive, it would be paid for by the people who have and are generally happy with their health care, and it would require massive tax increases. If we are going to debate the proposition, I'd rather do it with a true idea of the costs. It would cost.

The digitalization of the healthcare system records/etc would save upwards of 200 billions that could go towards any potential short term increase.

But the idea that you need massive tax hikes, or that costs would truly go up, are a myth propogated by the Republican Right.

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katharina
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BB - No. You don't get something for nothing, and if 40 million who didn't have health care suddenly get health care, that costs money. If 315 million get health care paid for by the government, that costs a LOT of money.

People use whatever is available - be it energy, health care, food, everything. If unlimited health care is available for everyone, then it will cost an enormous amount of money and people use what they need and more. There's no getting around that.

-----

scholarette - I've seen those numbers, too, and maybe it would eventually get to where it isn't as expensive. But the infrastructure of health care in America won't change overnight, and switching to a one payer system giving everyone equal access to our bells and whistles hospitals won't suddenly turn those bells and whistles hospitals into a strictly utilitarian ones.

Like I said, I'm not saying it shouldn't be done. But we should be honest about the costs, and the costs, while possibly (but not definitey) lower in the long term, would be enormous in the short and mid term.

My major objections about the health care bill that just passed was all the lies told in order to pass it. If you have to lie to people to get support, then it doesn't deserve support.

------

The worst part of the recent health care was the lie that it would be paid by cutting Medicare payments to doctors. That was abandoned within months, and Obama did some rhetoric about no way old people should have to get less. But without those promises of Medicare cuts, it wouldn't have passed. This is a serious problem.

My favorite part of the bill are the exchanges. State-wide exchanges, with easily understood ways to sort the offerings, would go a long way towards bringing a breath of fresh market-driven air to health care.

Also, I think doctors should have to publish their price lists. The reason health care costs keeps going up is because the costs are hidden and paid by a third party. If the individual services were actually subject to market pressure, that would stop the crazy inflation in its tracks.

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Raymond Arnold
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The point is that while the initial cost may be high, it will create longterm savings. Any change from status quo always costs more initially, but the long term savings are such that putting "cost" as a principle objection isn't a productive way to frame the discussion.

The savings are not only from everyone getting care and avoiding "emergencies," its from the massive drop in bureaucratic work needed to figure out who has insurance and what is covered.

(This is talking more specifically about universal health care. I'm not sure precisely what subject we're on right now, but my frame of mind is that any change in that direction helps us build momentum towards it)

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