March 9, 2010

Healthcare as Inspiration for Fealty

Justin Katz

Further to Monique's post about signs of the wisdom of the Democrats' desired healthcare regime, I thought I'd beat the drum again with Mark Steyn's Saturday column:

... Look at it from the Dems' point of view. You pass Obamacare. You lose the 2010 election, which gives the GOP co-ownership of an awkward couple of years. And you come back in 2012 to find your health-care apparatus is still in place, a fetid behemoth of toxic pustules oozing all over the basement, and, simply through the natural processes of government, already bigger and more expensive and more bureaucratic than it was when you passed it two years earlier. That's a huge prize, and well worth a mid-term timeout.

And well worth some golden-ticket promises to senators and congressmen who may lose their seats over their votes.

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And your solution is?
....must be the system we have in place now, as that has been championed all along by the right.
The system which is costing more and more..and giving less and less. The same system which costs us 9000 per person per year - double what the rest of the civilized world is paying - and yet leaves 40 or more million Americans uninsured.

That great system is killing tens of thousands of Americans per year for excess profit....

That system is also the cause of most bankruptcies today, taking hard working Americans and throwing them out on the street and out of work.

The same exact system keeps Americans working as slaves.....when the economy would do better if they could strike out on their own...but they can't - because they would lose their insurance!

If you are a thinking man of any sort, you would understand that Obama already has health care..and likely will have it for the rest of his days. Therefore, unlike the Bushes and Cheneys who directly profit from their wars and high oil prices, President Obama did not need to take on these hard issues for his future wealth and prosperity...nor for that of his friends.

Rather, he is human enough to see a problem which we need at least to START solving and he is doing so.

Folks like you would rather we throw our children, parents and ourselves under the bus of rampant unregulated capitalism and greed......just to protect the profits of the Health Insurance Companies.....yeah, I know they are big big big in RI........

Treason or worse, IMHO. Anyone who cares about either this country economically or socially would be for major reform....and, of course, the GOP has NEVER been for any reform except those which hurt the average person.

Posted by: Stuart at March 9, 2010 6:45 PM

You are woefully misinformed about conservatives' view of healthcare. I'm for deep, deep reforms, involving tort reform and extensive removal of government-driven mandates and policies and laws (such as ERISA) that drive the system toward a disconnect between paying for a service and receiving it (thus driving up prices).

Posted by: Justin Katz at March 9, 2010 7:12 PM

What planet is this Stuart guy from that he thinks conservatives or libertarians support the status quo, which allows heroin addicts and illegal immigrants to rack up $150,000 in general care emergency room visits every year at taxpayer expense, and insurance companies to enjoy artificial government created oligopolies within state borders due to burdensome regulations that restrict market entry and keep out competition? What we have right now is an abomination.

Posted by: Dan at March 9, 2010 9:17 PM

Gee, Stuart, that's awfully pompous language to convey your Marxist nonsense.

Here are a few points that you have wrong. All of your points are wrong but you're not worth wasting a full analysis on:

1. Employer-paid health insurance was created by a government mandate in the 1940's which made it a tax-deductible expense to the employer but not to the employee. The original purpose was to increase employee compensation without violating the wartime wage and price controls imposed by your beloved Roosevelt.

2. The system persists largely because government finds it advantageous to continue having businesses carry the responsibility for this fringe benefit in two ways: First, it is a hidden tax on business (although it really comes out of the employee's hide as he would get more direct pay were it not for the cost of fringe benefits). Second, it provides employers as a scapegoat whenever government wants to point fingers and demonize someone.

3. The health insurance industry is one of the most regulated in the entire economy. Both federal and state mandates force them to provide coverage that dramatically increases costs while providing little benefit, and sometimes even negative benefit (i.e., harm). For example, in many states insurance must cover chiropractors, "alternative medicine", and drug addiction treatment, as well as a host of phony psychological "disorders".

4. Most insurers now follow Medicare as their model for coverage, gate-keeping methods, and paperwork requirements. Since Medicare is a government program the system is as bureaucratic and inhuman as any government program.

So you see, the root cause of the "system" that you decry is government.

Your gratuitous inclusion of Bush/Cheney into a topic that has nothing to do with them exposes you as a total moonbat and reduces the weight of anything else you wrote to zero. Of course it was already zero because it is all wrong.

Posted by: BobN at March 9, 2010 9:27 PM

Tort reform? Justin, don't make me laugh too hard. Those who have studied it say that tort reform would save about 2%.
If I want to grossly exaggerate and misinform, I would stretch that to 6% - ABOUT 1/2 of what my premiums go up each year!
Good one....maybe it will also make certain that someone who honestly gets screwed up by a doc does not get reimbursed - another false God, my man!

EVERY suggestion I have heard from the conservative side contains the same main two themes - tort reform and buying over state lines - both red herrings 100%.

I listened VERY closely to what the GOP wanted, and hope you did also.....they used code words like "we need incremental reform" - again, Justin, any thinking human being knows what they means! That means lip service! That certainly does not mean deep and heavy reforms as you are suggesting.

Once again, I think your "thinking" is not really thinking, but some kind of misplaced faith. The reason I say so is that we already know many of the laws of the universe. Among these are:
1. Newtonian Physics
2. Einstein
3. Evolution
4. That NO COUNTRY in the world in history has EVER had a successful for-profit version of modern health care.

Given these very evident truths, what you are saying is that somehow...some way.....we in America can cobble together a system which guarantees profits and unbridled capitalism....and yet provides us the quality and cost of the rest of the civilized world.

I say that is completely impossible and will never happen - during my lifetime or yours! What will (and is) happening is that we are robbing peter to pay paul and putting the burden on our children, society and each other.

Conservatives somehow miss the relationship between:
Hey, our state and towns are out of money....
Hey, we spend an extra $4K per person per year on health care as opposed to the rest of the world.

Think about it. As we hippies used to say "we are all one" and denial is a river in Egypt. Don't you think we would have less fiscal problems if we had another 4K per person to spend on schools and the general economy? Or, is protecting the profits of United Health Care more important?

You decide!

Posted by: Stuart at March 9, 2010 10:25 PM

Bob, perhaps I must point out context to you...The point is that Obama has nothing financially to gain from tackling these difficult subjects, whereas the Bush/Cheney/Oil cartel had trillions to gain from wars of choice, misguided energy policies, etc.

In other words, you can make a basic assumption that he actually sees a BIG problem and wants to solve it - or at least start down that path.

If he was a Republican he would do stuff like Bush did with Medicare Part D, perhaps the biggest gift to big business in history...well..and completely unfunded.

Heck, as mentioned, I think we need to scrap our health care system and start over with the Canadian, British, French or other model (pick one, pick ANY)....

But we won't. And that is largely because of the "conservatives", who are 100% bought and sold by big business. And, yes, the Dems may be 60% bought and sold by big business, but which is better?

It makes me laugh when Justin talks about Republicans getting back to their roots? What roots? Nixon (the crook), Reagan (the failed economics populist?), or GW (the Faith Based President?).........

Heck, if you have to dig for a really decent republican, you'd have to go back to IKE and Teddy Roosevelt.

I know...reality stinks. But that does not change history. Neither does dumb luck, as GW proved to us.

So save me from the "tort reform" and other talking points......those sound bites are for Fox News, not those of us who know business and math. Tell us about how you are going to stop corporations who very job it is to steal from us....from doing so.

Posted by: Stuart at March 9, 2010 10:35 PM


Show me one credible source that says healthcare is the cause of most bankruptcies. Lefty urban myth. Check out open secrets and see who contributes how much and to whom. The "big business" of Wall Street is the libs' piggy bank, as are the trial attorneys (84% of their campaign bucks went into dems campaign coffers in 2008). And you believe that 2% number in regards to tort reform? Please quantify the amount saved by the elimination of the practice of defensive medicine by docs who have been stung just once by a frivolous lawsuit. Or the decreased quality of life and access to medical care for women in certain areas who can't easily access an obstetrician because no doc will practice there due to the state's litigious environment. BTW What's 2% of the the total cost of healthcare in the US? HUGE BUCKS. You do the math.

Look at MA, the model for Obamacare. Highest insurance premiums and healthcare costs per capita in the US. Long waits to see docs, particularly in urban areas, depite highest per capita number of docs. Out of control deficit. Great plan.

Geez, there's one born every minute.

Posted by: MadMom at March 9, 2010 11:12 PM

Ok, based on this thread and the one before it, I am done talking with spastic caps-lock Stuart. He is either a troll or an utterly indoctrinated lunatic who doesn't have the slightest interest in meaningful dialog. Don't particularly care which is the case.

Posted by: Dan at March 9, 2010 11:35 PM

[Not allowed --- JK]

Posted by joe bernstein at March 9, 2010 10:33 PM
Mr Bernstein can not comment without insulting someone.

Be Well All

Posted by: Jeff at March 10, 2010 12:20 AM

Joe, I assume you actually want to learn something - although my past experience tells me you will shout that businessweek or Harvard (GW went there!) is a liberal front and that is the reason for their stories!

Actually, the figure is probably higher now...but here you go:

"Study Links Medical Costs and Personal Bankruptcy
Harvard researchers say 62% of all personal bankruptcies in the U.S. in 2007 were caused by health problems—and 78% of those filers had insurance

By Catherine Arnst


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Medical problems caused 62% of all personal bankruptcies filed in the U.S. in 2007, according to a study by Harvard researchers. And in a finding that surprised even the researchers, 78% of those filers had medical insurance at the start of their illness, including 60.3% who had private coverage, not Medicare or Medicaid.

Medically related bankruptcies have been rising steadily for decades. In 1981, only 8% of families filing for bankruptcy cited a serious medical problem as the reason"

I think the right is so used to fearmongering that they don't see a REAL problem when it occurs. In other words, they are looking for that terrorists under their beds, while their fellow Americans are sent into bankruptcy and sickness by the broken system.

It reminds me more of that bad math. We accept drinking and driving and skyrocketing insurance premiums and the bankruptcies and needless deaths caused by lack of proper care.......and a lot of other stuff, then spout that it is worth spending a trillion on security if it saves even one American from "terror".

Take off the blinders.....

You forgot the most important Ma. statistic, BTW. I think 96% of the population is covered, more than any other state in the USA. Now I know your fellow man means little to you, but still that is an impressive stat.

Of course Ma. can not really reform the system, because a state has to still work within the giant ripoff we call corporate medicine. Also, remember that this is RomneyCare. Surely you know that Romney has OWNED many of these medical companies and hospital corporations through Bain Capital (his investment bank) and other means. He is laughing all the way to the bank! Still, the Ma. system is a good start, as it covers everyone. But when the entire system from the top down stinks, it's tough for a state to really reform the cost part.

In any case, maybe you can go to bed every night thinking those 6-10,000 Americans who filed for bankruptcy THAT DAY deserved it.

Posted by: Stuart at March 10, 2010 8:05 AM

There is no point arguing with Stuart. He takes his Democrat talking points as an article of religious faith. The Left has not replaced God with atheism, but with Government. They live in a universe of lies. Because the basic postulates of their arguments are false in reality, there is no way to argue their statements without first entirely rejecting their premises.

So the only rational way to deal with them is to talk to the public and expose the falsity of their statements. The public can hear both sides and make its own decision about who is right. But engaging them directly, in the hope of changing their minds, is an utter waste of time and effort.

Posted by: BobN at March 10, 2010 8:35 AM

"The Left has not replaced God with atheism, but with Government."

And one of the prophets of this new religion is Al "Planet Has a Fever" Gore.

Posted by: Monique at March 10, 2010 11:12 AM

Stuart-you again answered something i didn't ask.
After your asinine rant about guns and penises I have little regard for anything you say.Anyway,were you eager to work for no personal profit?I kinda doubt it.So why should a health provider get no profit?it doesn't make sense unless you are a communist-and you know how that turned out,don't you?
Jeff-let me know when I've insulted you.
I wonder what kind of indoctrination you gve those kids at the after school program?No leftist propganda I'm sure.
Maybe you're not the right Jeff,but i sort of think you are.

Posted by: joe bernstein at March 10, 2010 11:50 AM

You folks are a hoot!

Monique acts like she actually knows something by posting on a blog, but when her position is questioned, she talks about Al Gore. Seriously, that is funny!

The others also quickly turn into pit bulls. It seems the facade of "right wing intelligence" which Justin seems to want to communicate, is almost instantly throw to the dogs...

And it is quite telling that Justin allows people to call me all kinds of vile names, etc. without commenting or banning those posts.

Typical - what I expect from those with nothing better to say. It always comes down to "might = right" with those folks who cannot use reason and logic to defend their positions.

The radical right tries to talk to the mainstream and act like they are one and the same - but quickly we see how they tolerate hate and attacks, etc.

Sorry, Justin, you tried. But your lack of ability to set a civil tone among your readers and commenters will come back to bit you. Mark my words.

Posted by: Stuart at March 10, 2010 5:35 PM

By the way, in the same realm of REALITY - notice this poll today. Yeah, tell me again what the american people want!

Half of all Americans say health care should be changed a lot or "a great deal," and only 4 percent say it shouldn't be changed at all.

Hmmmmm......yeah, now only a tiny percent stand behind the republican plan (nothing).

Posted by: Stuart at March 10, 2010 7:07 PM

Stuart-[snip]-here you are invading a blog where no one wants to hear your crap and demanding that people be banned for calling you names.What a punk you are.If you ever run into me I'll call you to your rotten face what I call you here and you come with it [snip].

Posted by: joe bernstein at March 10, 2010 9:31 PM

Calm down, are going to hurt your health and I am going to have to pay for it...and, yes, I will.

Even you are human. You just have problems with humanity in general.

Posted by: Stuart at March 10, 2010 9:43 PM

I just have problems with smarmy left wing skunks like you.

Posted by: joe bernstein at March 11, 2010 5:58 AM

Ya know Stuie(if you are even a real person and not a RIF virtual concotion)I guess you do pay for my medical care since I get it from the VA,but seeing as we're from the same era,I may have taken your place in that war-I'm sure you had a deferment-so it's even up.
Jeff and rhody are too young for me to say such a thing to them.

Posted by: joe bernstein at March 11, 2010 1:23 PM

Nah, Joey, I registered but the war was winding down - they were bringing them back at that point......

I'm actually lucky, because I would have went in out of military school as a 2nd Lt, which I think had a shelf life of a few weeks over there!

But, you are right. I pay for your care - and I am pleased to help. A good society takes care of everyone, especially those who cannot take care of themselves.

I just do help that the medication get's adjusted so as to calm you down a bit.

Back to health care - so, do we have a bunch of people who collect government health care complaining about it? I loved that sign at one tea party gathering "Obama, get the government hands off my medicare".

Posted by: Stuart at March 11, 2010 3:55 PM

It's time for another episode of "Truth in Blog Commenting". One of the most popular Progressive memes of 2009, for obvious reasons, is "Keep your government hands off my Medicare." Lefties saw this line as too good to fact-check, and have spread all kinds of untruths.

Stuart has done that here, claiming that there were signs at Tea Party events with that saying. After an extensive web search, I have found zero evidence of any such alleged signs.

The meme was started in a Washington Post story about a town-hall meeting in Simpsonville, SC held by Rep. Bob Inglis. According to the Post, a senior citizen shouted this out. The Post quotes Mr. Inglis, ""I had to politely explain that, 'Actually, sir, your health care is being provided by the government,' " Inglis recalled. "But he wasn't having any of it."

The notorious liberal Paul Krugman picked up on the meme. Shortly thereafter, Obama referred to it, possibly based on the Krugman story.

However, there is no other evidence in any other news stories as to the veracity of that incident. Apparently nobody has asked Mr. Inglis to confirm or deny the quotation in the WaPo. Even if the story is true, it is the only such incident that made the news in the entire country. One single senior citizen out of the tens of thousands who protested against Obamacare during the summer recess and since then.

As I said, it was "too good to fact-check". And that means the Left has run with it far and wide, blowing it up into a huge myth, basing their arguments on yet another Big Lie.

Posted by: BobN at March 11, 2010 7:32 PM

Caught you in another lie Stuie.What "military school"could you have attended where you would have been a "2nd Lieutenant"?Somehow I coubt you were in West Point or The Citadel.
And I haven't participated in the Tea Party nor have I joined the health care discussion to any meaningful degree.
You are an idiot.BTW I am not on meds,but that is your retarded way of having a debate.
You do realize that I could sh*t care less about this whole conversation with a made up persona called "Stuart".It's fun though.

Posted by: joe bernstein at March 11, 2010 8:35 PM

C'mon, Joey boy...we know you never lie!

When you graduate from Valley Forge Military Academy Junior College (2 years) you are a 2nd Lt.

"The Army ROTC Early Commissioning Program (ECP), one of only five offered in the United States and the only program in the Northeast, has experienced a +48% increase in enrollment from 50 to 74 cadets. These ECP Cadets will earn their commission as Second Lieutenants in the U.S. Army after only two years at VFMC."

Posted by: Stuart at March 11, 2010 8:38 PM

Stuie-you quote something,but give no source.
I have no reason to lie.Please point out where I've lied.
Never heard of the school you refer to,nor the program,but I guess it COULD have existed.I knew a lot of guys who were in ROTC,but never had to go on active duty.
I was discharged as an E-5,although in Nam I was an E-4.
I actually have health insurance outside the VA for my wife which I PAY FOR you a**hole.
That being if you're not an invention of one of those demnented turds at RIF.
Since you "don't lie" let's have your real name and maybe the business you're in.
I don't expect a response other than more keyboard diarrhea from you.

Posted by: joe bernstein at March 11, 2010 8:56 PM

Maybe you should look it up, Joey - Valley Forge Military Academy or VFMC. Very famous place - I got a lot of medals there. Well, we could say they are fake medals, but that is true of many awards.

Oh, and some of my fellow alumni:
General H. Norman Schwarzkopf, United States Army (Retired), CENTCOM Commander, Operation Desert Storm
Warren B. Rudman, United States Senator, R-New Hampshire

I'm sure E-4 outranks most of those guys, but then again I never attained that stated.

You may enjoy beating your chest, but what you are really doing is showing all the decent readers and folks with actual point to debate - why the right wing is has gone off the rails.

Let's make a deal. I'll give my opinion, you give yours. We are done with each other, as you and I both wish.

Posted by: Stuart at March 11, 2010 10:29 PM

I DID look it up.Rudman and Schwartzkopf however,actually served in the military.
You damn well know that E-4's are the lowest ranking NCO's,and E-5's just slightly higher.If I were going to make something up,it would be better than that.
Oh,and when did I mention medals?
I just did what I had to,period.Nothing heroic you can be sure.
I truly despise fake heroes.
And that's okay with me.I'm really getting tired of the back and forth,but at least you finally gave a specific answer.

Posted by: joe bernstein at March 12, 2010 3:29 AM
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