Democrats & Liberals Archives

Choice and Competition

Conservatives are against the public healthcare option because they say it does not offer choice and competition. Choice and competition, choice and competition - this is their mantra. Yet, whatever they recommend tends to destroy choice and competition. The public option, however, is an excellent way to produce greater choice and competition in healthcare.

As an example, Michael Tanner, a senior fellow at the Cato Institute, writes in today's L.A. Times:

The choice facing us now is not between Obama's plan for healthcare micromanaged by the government or doing nothing. Rather, it is a choice between government control, regulation and rationing on one hand, and free markets, choice and competition on the other.

This is wrong in a multitude of ways. Specifically I take issue with the following expressions: "micromanaged," "government control," "[government] regulation," "[government] rationing," free markets," "choice," and "competition." I discuss each, in turn.

Obama's plan does not call for healthcare to be "micromanaged" by anyone. It specifically states that the health of each individual should be determined by the doctor together with the patient. Obama's plan is to assure that this happens for all Americans, including the 46 million currently uninsured.

Tanner does not like "government control." What do we have now? Insurance-company control. Insurance companies control who gets insured and who does not; who will get the healthcare they need and who will not; and who will die and who will not. Obama wants the government to prevent this healthcare asphyxiation by insurance companies.

The next bugaboo is "[government] regulation." The healthcare industry, like every other industry, has its frauds, incompetents, con artists and swindlers. It is 1/6 of our economy and is poised to grow further. The industry never has regulated itself. Like every other industry, it needs government regulation to assure a healthy healthcare industry.

Another phony argument is "[government] rationing." Conservatives insist that the government will limit health services in order to save money. Let me ask this: Is the healthcare of the uninsured rationed? Is the healthcare of the fellow who has "pre-existing" conditions rationed? Is the healthcare of the employee who must pay outrageous fees because he lost his job rationed? Is the healthcare of an American who can afford only very-high deductable insurance rationed? Yes, they are! Because we do not have a decent system that serves all of us, many, many Americans have their health rationed in a very terrible way. Obama's plan would avoid most of the worst rationing. No plan on earth could prevent ALL rationing.

Now I come to "free markets." It sounds so wonderful. Who is against "free markets"? Nobody. Yes, we have private insurance companies, but do they operate in a free market? Almost everywhere, there are one or two big insurance companies that control the market. The healthcare insurance market is not free; it is controlled. Obama's plan is national in scope and assures a level playing field to all. (Tanner does agree with the idea of a national insurance market.)

By the way, a "free market" for what? Insurance companies are in business, not to provide healthcare, but to deprive individuals of the healthcare they sign up for. These companies offer bonuses to employees who find ways to deprive customers of healthcare so the companies' bottom lines increase. They are in a free market for healthcare reduction.

Tanner wants "choice." Do we have choice of doctors in the current private healthcare market? If you work for the government or for a few of the big corporatons or you have plenty of money, you have choice. No doubt about it. But most workers and people with limited means have no choice. And let's not talk about people with chronic diseases, who can't get insurance at all! Choice belongs to the well-to-do; others have no choice. By having a public option, Obama is opening the door to give choice to everyone.

Tanner and conservatives in general worry about "competition." There is no competition in insurance today. This is why insurance companies are so bold in their health-deprivation tactics. A public option will offer competition to these insurance companies, and as President Obama says "keep them honest."

President Obama's healthcare plan offers everything conservatives ask for, especially free markets, choice and competition. The public option is key in achieving these results. I hope conservatives see the light and vote for a healthcare plan with a strong public option.

Posted by Paul Siegel at July 5, 2009 6:50 PM
Comments
Comment #284014

This conservative wants to know WHO IS GOING TO PAY FOR IT. I am not worried so much about the choice part of it.

Posted by: KAP at July 5, 2009 7:27 PM
Comment #284016

KAP-
You mean the other half of the conservatives. Half of all Republicans want a Public Option.

My impression is that it will be a mix of taxpayer dollars and patient premiums.

You might as well ask who pays for it now? Who pays for the skyrocketing premiums? You. Who pays for the denial of patient care? You, when they show up at the emergency room, go on state indigent care. You also pay as employees find themselves unable to work, customers find their finances ruined, and so on and so forth.

You pay in jobs not created because businesses can’t afford to provide their employees with healthcare. You pay in people who can no longer work because they are not treated or rehabilitated when the person has some chance of seeing some good from it.

We pay and pay and pay, and don’t even get decent healthcare in the bargain.

If we’re going to pay, why don’t we get something worth the cost?

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at July 5, 2009 7:56 PM
Comment #284017

AMERICA’S NATIONAL HEALTHCARE EMERGENCY!

It’s official. America and the World are now in a GLOBAL PANDEMIC. A World EPIDEMIC with potential catastrophic consequences for ALL of the American people. The first PANDEMIC in 41 years. And WE THE PEOPLE OF THE UNITED STATES will have to face this PANDEMIC with the 37th worst quality of healthcare in the developed World.

STAND READY AMERICA TO SEIZE CONTROL OF YOUR NATIONAL HEALTHCARE SYSTEM.

We spend over twice as much of our GDP on healthcare as any other country in the World. And Individual American spend about ten times as much out of pocket on healthcare as any other people in the World. All because of GREED! And the PRIVATE FOR PROFIT healthcare system in America.

And while all this is going on, some members of congress seem mostly concern about how to protect the corporate PROFITS! of our GREED DRIVEN, PRIVATE FOR PROFIT NATIONAL DISGRACE. A PRIVATE FOR PROFIT DISGRACE that is in fact, totally valueless to the public health. And a detriment to national security, public safety, and the public health.

Progressive democrats the Tri-Caucus and others should stand firm in their demand for a robust public option for all Americans, with all of the minimum requirements progressive democrats demanded. If congress can not pass a robust public option with at least 51 votes and all robust minimum requirements, congress should immediately move to scrap healthcare reform and request that President Obama declare a state of NATIONAL HEALTHCARE EMERGENCY! Seizing and replacing all PRIVATE FOR PROFIT health insurance plans with the immediate implementation of National Healthcare for all Americans under the provisions of HR676 (A Single-payer National Healthcare Plan For All).

Coverage can begin immediately through our current medicare system. With immediate expansion through recruitment of displaced workers from the canceled private sector insurance industry. Funding can also begin immediately by substitution of payroll deductions for private insurance plans with payroll deductions for the national healthcare plan. This is what the vast majority of the American people want. And this is what all objective experts unanimously agree would be the best, and most cost effective for the American people and our economy.

In Mexico on average people who received medical care for A-H1N1 (Swine Flu) with in 3 days survived. People who did not receive medical care until 7 days or more died. This has been the same results in the US. But 50 million Americans don’t even have any healthcare coverage. And at least 200 million of you with insurance could not get in to see your private insurance plans doctors in 2 or 3 days, even if your life depended on it. WHICH IT DOES!

If President Obama has to declare a NATIONAL STATE OF EMERGENCY to rescue the American people from our healthcare crisis, he will need all the sustained support you can give him. STICK WITH HIM! He’s doing a brilliant job.

THIS IS THE BIG ONE!

THE BATTLE OF GOOD Vs EVIL!

Join the fight.

Contact congress and your representatives NOW! AND SPREAD THE WORD!

God Bless You

Jacksmith – WORKING CLASS

Posted by: jacksmith at July 5, 2009 8:28 PM
Comment #284018

S.D.
Yes I already pay for my health care. I pay around $160 per month my employer pays the rest. It’s 80/20 plus deductible for office visits and scripts. If the Pres’ plan is going to cost me more,I don’t want it.

Posted by: KAP at July 5, 2009 9:05 PM
Comment #284019

I think we should go with a Scandinavian style system. That means that everyone will be covered. It also means that lawyers will lose their role in extorting money from doctors and hospitals. But let’s be honest. It also means that some types of medical care will be less available.

We have to make this move. We cannot afford the system we have now and where it is headed. The change will mean all Americans will have access to health care. It means that we can manage care in ways that will save money. But managed care will mean less choice. The hypochondriacs and those demanding all sorts of specialized treatment will be out of luck. Too bad.

IMO - the Scandinavian system overall is better. Scandinavians are healthier than Americans and they pay less for health care. But if you have some rare disease, you will be less likely to get treatment than you would if you had good insurance in the current U.S. system.

I am annoyed at both sides on this debate. Some people want to claim that the system we have now is sustainable. It is not. But some of those advocating change pretend that we will all get the care that a well insured person gets now. They will not.

The public option will be like a public school - not as good as the best private schools but better than the worst and available to all.

Posted by: Christine at July 5, 2009 9:07 PM
Comment #284024

KAP, we are all paying for it now, with constant annual health care inflation in our costs and insurance premiums. Left as is, millions more Americans will be left without health care insurance each year and that will continue to fuel the inflation.

It’s a vicious cycle that has to be halted. Like a leak in a levee, it must be taken care of early and permanently, or the costs of holding back the flood will only get more and more expensive until the cost of an entire replacement becomes a necessity or, the waters are allowed to return to their natural state and course, forcing humans to vacate or die in its wake, altogether.

Pay more now, or pay vastly more later. Seems like a no brainer. Except that as you say, the money must come from somewhere. And that obviously means reprioritizing what is necessary and essential doing away with what is not.

I am not convinced at all yet, that this reprioritizing has caught on in Congress. Certainly doesn’t appear so, yet. That is why voting out incumbents until reprioritizing becomes the only means of not being voted out, becomes self-evident to those in Congress, newbies and remaining incumbents alike.

Posted by: David R. Remer at July 6, 2009 12:14 AM
Comment #284025

Christine,

As I understand, Obama is going to leave you the option of keeping what you have. So I’m not sure why you keep insisting you’re going to lose something. If you do it’ll be because the insurer you use now denies it to you, not Obama.

The argument here is to get everyone insured and provide a decent public option for those that have zip right now, and as SD points out, we pay for anyway, just in the most expensive way possible.

Of course, the exact details are yet to come.

Posted by: gergle at July 6, 2009 12:17 AM
Comment #284026

JackSmith, I agree pretty much with your assessment of the problem we face. I am not convinced, yet, that Obama has been able to completely wrap his head around the ultimate objective and strategy to get there.

He has yet to display a willingness or ability to play hardball with Congress, and that is not inspiring of confidence, since the public has an approval rating of Congress in the teens. His concessions and compromises with Congress have cost enormously, and there is as yet, little to show for the cost.

Don’t get me wrong, I am aware he has only been in office a half year, but, that alone is cause for skepticism until some validation of results are forthcoming.

Posted by: David R. Remer at July 6, 2009 12:20 AM
Comment #284027

Christine said: “The hypochondriacs and those demanding all sorts of specialized treatment will be out of luck.”

Unless, of course, they are wealthy enough to elect those procedures out of pocket or through much higher cost private insurance. And that is, as it should be. There should always be a private sector health care system willing to cater to the wealthy who choose health care which is unobtainable through the public sectors. Wealth should have its privileges in the private market place, without public support.

The dual systems can only be fair however, if, the public health insurance system provides adequate, and all necessary, coverage for health maintenance and restoration to those covered under the plan. And, as you rightly point out, that can only take place if we effectively and efficiently and rather quickly devise methods to lower the costs significantly for the public sector coverage.

This is not impossible. But, neither is going to come about with great difficulty, turmoil, mistakes, attempts at corruption and sabotage. We must be prepared to anticipate these as possible along the way, remain committed when we fail to anticipate these obstacles to the end objective, an affordable and sustainable quality health care system available to all who want it and pay their adequate share to receive it.

Take special notice of that last sentence. Its implication is inescapable. There will be a percentage who will not want the public plan, and who will refuse to pay an adequate share for it. Our public plan and strategy MUST take this into account and deal with it effectively and fairly for the nation’s and people’s long term general welfare.

Posted by: David R. Remer at July 6, 2009 12:33 AM
Comment #284036

“Yes I already pay for my health care. I pay around $160 per month my employer pays the rest. It’s 80/20 plus deductible for office visits and scripts. If the Pres’ plan is going to cost me more,I don’t want it.”

KAP have you considered that you pay more than that? As an example you and your employer each pay 1.45% of gross for medicare. In addition we are saddled with employer paid health insurance, not health care, which makes any company exporting goods and services less competitive which in turn keeps wages down. Should your job disappear your good deal on insurance won’t look so good as the COBRA costs are rather expensive when drawing unemployment.

Another interesting item of note is the 1.45% has stayed steady for the past several years while the costs of private insurance plans has risen dramatically. Sooner or later medicare will need to increase dramatically, who do you think will pay for that?

Posted by: j2t2 at July 6, 2009 10:18 AM
Comment #284037
Yes I already pay for my health care. I pay around $160 per month my employer pays the rest. It’s 80/20 plus deductible for office visits and scripts. If the Pres’ plan is going to cost me more,I don’t want it.

It’s not just that it will cost more, but it will cover less.

My wife and I are making sure to get all of the medeical procedures we need done this year because most likely they won’t be available next year. :(

Maybe that is how the administration is planning on ‘getting the economy going again’?

Posted by: rhinehold at July 6, 2009 10:22 AM
Comment #284038
Obama’s plan does not call for healthcare to be “micromanaged” by anyone.

Interesting because previously he has stated that we are going to have to start rationing care to the elderly. When did he change his mind? Or, more likely, are people just hearing what they want to hear?

Posted by: rhinehold at July 6, 2009 10:23 AM
Comment #284040

Card carrying Democrat here, although I’m closer to the middle than the left and moving more right as Obama’s term goes by. He’s helped the rich with Wall Street bail outs. He’s helped the poor by extending and increasing social benefits. Sadly, he has done absolutely nothing for the folks who got him elected; the middle class. Even the posturing on health care is starting to sound disturbing. The people who I interact with all agree there is something is terribly wrong with our system. We all hoped Obama would do something about the cost of health care. It now looks like we’re focused on getting something done for the uninsured. That’s not at all what I signed on for. I don’t mean to sound heartless, but the larger issue is clearly costs, not the uninsured. If you took care of the cost problem we probably wouldn’t have a problem with the uninsured. Democrats should be very concerned about missed opportunities. He’s loosing those of us in the middle and 2010 is just around the corner. I don’t like what I’m getting for my vote.

Posted by: John at July 6, 2009 10:50 AM
Comment #284041

BTW, I love the notion that this plan will tie healthcare to Social Security and a provision has been made that if (when) this results in a Social Security shortfall occurs as a result of this new burdeon on the system, the Social Security system can just take money from the general fund to cover it.

Does anyone else get this? The administration is fixing SS and Healthcare all at the same time by just borrowing the money on the backs of our children.

I am reminded of the words of James Madison who said:

Each generation should be made to bear the burden of its own wars, instead of carrying them on, at the expense of other generations.

And

I believe there are more instances of the abridgement of freedom of the people by gradual and silent encroachments by those in power than by violent and sudden usurpations.

And

In Republics, the great danger is, that the majority may not sufficiently respect the rights of the minority.

and finally

It will be of little avail to the people that the laws are made by men of their own choice if the laws be so voluminous that they cannot be read, or so incoherent that they cannot be understood.
Posted by: rhinehold at July 6, 2009 11:05 AM
Comment #284042

rhinehold

i think that last one says it all.

Posted by: dbs at July 6, 2009 12:02 PM
Comment #284043

dbs,

I agree. Remember we were to see and read all bills for 5 days before being signed, Obama has broken that one many times already.

But even worse, when the Stimulus bill was posted, it was posted in a nonsearchable PDF format, all 3,000 pages.

3,000 pages? Are you f’ing kidding me?

Posted by: rhinehold at July 6, 2009 12:04 PM
Comment #284047

Rhinehold-
Look through the stimulus plan to your heart’s content.

In Madison’s day, the healthcare system was built on Galen’s four humors: Blood, Phlegm, Bile and Black Bile. George Washington, attended to by his physicians, was bleed. Needless to say, in that time you were lucky not to die before age forty or fifty.

One of the primary reasons we can maintain a large, urban society, with people all crushed in together, is healthcare that allows people to be immunized, and outbreaks to be contained. Furthermore, given that people are living longer, we’re having to keep folks productive much longer than in Madison’s day.

But I wonder what he would have thought of the idea of spending such a large part of our economy on such mediocre healthcare, of letting huge insurance companies dominate the landscape, raising prices by huge margins, while constantly, constantly denying services.

The modern healthcare providers are acting more like Robber Barons on the Rhine, building their castles on the river and impeding the legitimate trade with their tolls. It is nothing more than a hidden tax on every American, one paid to an unnaccountable industry that cannot fall from power merely for its unpopularity.

Oh, and by the way: did you know that one of the primary reasons people go into bankruptcy, is because of medical expenses? Harvard Professor Elizabeth Warren, looking for reasons why people declare bankruptcy, discovered that one of the primary reasons why women in particular go into bankruptcy isn’t consumer spending, but having kids. Seems like, you do what you have to to take care of an ill child.

There’s all kinds of information out there on the resistance to efficiency raising measures, preventative care, and the avoidance of unnecessary procedures.

This isn’t the free market at work, but a parody of it, where oligarchical companies dominate the markets they are in, and raise prices and lower efficiencies accordingly. They have no incentive to improve.

But the American people, including a majority of independents and half of all conservatives do want it. Even conservative companies are aiming for it, because they feel the bite of that inefficiency and oligarchy in their own profits.

The question here, which you should be asking is, is that if things are left as they are, how long will it be until Americans forcefully nationalize the industry? You can’t expect people to endure the status quo forever, and unless you got a better alternative which has been proven to work, most people want to go with a public option.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at July 6, 2009 2:02 PM
Comment #284048
In Madison’s day

Oh, so you’re saying that the ideals that this country were founded upon no longer apply because it’s a couple of hundred years later? I suspected as much in your response…

But I wonder what he would have thought of the idea of spending such a large part of our economy on such mediocre healthcare, of letting huge insurance companies dominate the landscape, raising prices by huge margins, while constantly, constantly denying services.

Probably would have thought the same thing as I do, remove their governmental backing that enables them to do those things.

This isn’t the free market at work

On that we agree, the medical system in the US hasn’t been a free market for decades. We just disagree on how to fix it, to return it to more of a free market or add more of what caused it not to be one by getting government even more involved in the area of healthcare.

unless you got a better alternative which has been proven to work, most people want to go with a public option

Most people want this to be a Christian nation as well, Stephen. Thankfully we haven’t perverted the constitution enough to allow that, though you are right, individual liberties are definately something most people (the majority being democrats) have no respect for anymore.

Posted by: rhinehold at July 6, 2009 2:31 PM
Comment #284050

BTW, mediocre healthcare? Sorry, but our healthcare options in the US are #1 in the industralized world. Despite the ridiuclous canard about us being 27th in live expetency supposedly having something to do with healthcare…

So why do Americans die younger than people living in most other developed democracies? Well, there is the Michael Moore answer delivered in his “documentary” Sicko—it’s because we lack a benevolent government funded health care system. But life expectancy is not dependent on just medical care. For example, Texas A&M health economist Robert Ohsfeldt and health economics consultant John Schneider point out that deaths from accidents and homicides in America are much higher than in any other of the developed countries. Taking accidental deaths and homicides between 1980 and 1999 into account, they calculate that instead of being at near the bottom of the list of developed countries, U.S. life expectancy would actually rank at the top.
America’s relatively high infant mortality rate also lowers our life expectancy ranking. A 2007 study done by Baruch College economists June and David O”Neill sheds some light on why U.S. infant mortality rates are higher—more low weight births. In their study, U.S. infant mortality was 6.8 per 1,000 live births, and Canada’s was 5.3. Low birth weight significantly increases an infant’s chance of dying. Teen mothers are much more likely to bear low birth weight babies and teen motherhood is almost three times higher in the U.S. than it is in Canada. The authors calculate that if Canada had the same the distribution of low-weight births as the U.S., its infant mortality rate would rise above the U.S. rate of 6.8 per 1,000 live births to 7.06. On the other hand, if the U.S. had Canada’s distribution of low-weight births, its infant mortality rate would fall to 5.4. In other words, the American health care system is much better than Canada’s at saving low birth weight babies —we just have more babies who are likely to die before their first birthdays.
Taking all these unhealthy proclivities into consideration, the American health care system is most likely not to blame for our lower life expectancies. Instead, American health care is rescuing enough of us from the consequences of our bad health habits to keep our ranking from being even lower.
Posted by: rhinehold at July 6, 2009 2:39 PM
Comment #284051
Look through the stimulus plan to your heart’s content.

Oh, I have Stephen, I have. And I am still weeping for our children.

Posted by: rhinehold at July 6, 2009 2:40 PM
Comment #284061

Rhinehold,

Madison would be for reforms too. He was smart enough to understand an ounce of prevention by the current generation can be worth a pound of cure for the next.

The trajectory of Medicare and Medicaid costs bankrupt out nation 50 to 75 years out. Spending some dollars today, to avert that outcome then, is providing the ounce of prevention needed for future generations to avoid the pound of cure in terms of revolution, civil war, anarchy, and or massive economic collapse. All of these are a direct potential consequence of America failing to BOTH halt the rise of the uninsured and get control of and halt the long term health care inflation.

Doing nothing is not an option. Failing to halt the rise of the uninsured is not an option. Failing to bring down the costs of health care per capita, is not an option. In other words, the private sectors answer is NOT an option, since the private sector’s system has put us on the course we are on today toward bankrupting the nation or leaving 50 million and growing Americans without health insurance at all.

Posted by: David R. Remer at July 6, 2009 4:04 PM
Comment #284062
Doing nothing is not an option

Where in my comment did you get the idea that I suggest ‘doing nothing’? I want to ensure that whatever we do, individual liberty remains intact.

Unfortunately, that isn’t what is being offered… I say we try to do better.

Posted by: rhinehold at July 6, 2009 4:09 PM
Comment #284065

rhinehold, my statement was a declaration without attribution. I never said, YOU said, doing nothing was an option. I simply stated a fact of reality.

Posted by: David R. Remer at July 6, 2009 4:26 PM
Comment #284067

Rhinehold, there is no individual liberty in suffering or dying of neglect and inability to afford otherwise available medical care.

Posted by: David R. Remer at July 6, 2009 4:27 PM
Comment #284069

David,

Actually there is. Of course, that bodes ill for it being a concern when it isn’t even considered, is it?

Posted by: rhinehold at July 6, 2009 4:33 PM
Comment #284071

Rhinehold, there is no individual liberty if a citizen contributes to their society and is treated inhumanely by that society as a result. Failure of a society to provide medical care to those in need of it due to illness or injury can become a breeding ground for insurrection and revolution.

Adam Smith discusses this social contract at great length in his Theory of Moral Sentiments. Stalin’s Russia, or the Czar’s Russia were examples of regimes in which the health and well being of its contributing citizens was of no concern to the government.

I am reminded on this topic of individual liberty of the whore houses springing up around Wash. D.C. Civil War encampments. VD was taking up to 4 out of every 10 soldiers out of action. The ultimate answer was simple. Tax the whores at $5 per, and use the funds to set up health inspections of the whores and a hospital for those who became infected, one for whores and another for soldiers. The VD rate dropped off precipitously, and everyone was healthier, happier, and individual freedom was preserved.

Tax and government provided health care. That was the answer that worked OH so well to remedy the problem. Success is a very obstinate argument. Individual freedom is grossly diminished by an unhealthy state of being. There is no getting around that reality. Individual freedom is enhanced when one is healthy. There is no getting around that reality either.

Posted by: David R. Remer at July 6, 2009 4:47 PM
Comment #284075
Rhinehold, there is no individual liberty if a citizen contributes to their society and is treated inhumanely by that society as a result. Failure of a society to provide medical care to those in need of it due to illness or injury can become a breeding ground for insurrection and revolution.

Doing so at the expense of other’s individual rights IS a violoation of THEIR rights.

You make a great point later about a great way to deal with an issue that does not violate individual liberty and solves a problem, making my point for me while dismissing it. Strange…

You see, the people who did not want to pay for the healthcare of those who got infected by VD did not engage in the service. It solves the problem without stepping on individual rights.

The ideas being presented now are done the way YOU are presenting them, that we should not be concerned with individual liberty. As a result, we WON’T. Things like forcing everyone to have health insurance, whether they want it or not, is an example of the ideas that are being taken seriously and even enacted in two states. Even though it is, IMO, unconstitution (and I hope it gets to the Supreme Court who finds it so). Never have we crossed that line before, but emotion and politics are playing fast and loose with the facts in order to convince people that their rights no longer matter, we are going to move towards an environment where ‘the state’ is in control of your healthcare.

And that worries me most of all, considering ‘the state’s’ track record on that subject.

It is unhealthy for me to smoke a cigarette or eat McDonald’s. In your statement you seem to suggest it is better for individual freedoms if we stop people from doing those things, against their will (outlaw them), for their own good and only then will they be truly free. What a sick concept.

And worse, of course, is that by using the power of ‘deficit spending’ we can guarantee that any option offered by the government is the cheapest options chosen, forcing the others out of business and then happily raising taxes to pay back the deficit (a price our children will pay).

We smacked Microsoft on the ass when they tried that, and now we are going to engage in those same monopolistic practices?

Posted by: rhinehold at July 6, 2009 5:07 PM
Comment #284076

BTW, in order to ensure that something is provided to someone, you have to then ensure that there will be enough people who are doctors, nurses, pharmicists, etc to do the job. If there are not, you have to ‘draft’ them into it in order to meet the demand.

There are currently some 800,000 doctors covering the 250 million people who have health insurance now. You propose to add 50 million more people to the insured roles, where are the additional doctors going to come from? What if they don’t want to be doctors? Are you for a ‘draft’ for our healthcare much like we had for our military?

Posted by: rhinehold at July 6, 2009 5:10 PM
Comment #284079

rhinehold

we currently have the best and brightest the world has to offer. because of the opportunity many choose to practice thier craft in this country, as opposed to thier own including canada, and the UK. what will happen when the gov’t takes over payment, and limits the incentives, for these people to come here? answer: they will go elsewhere, and we will suffer.

Posted by: dbs at July 6, 2009 7:27 PM
Comment #284084

rhinehold-


Most people want this to be a Christian nation as well, Stephen.

It would be nice if you sourced that claim, especially since other sources indicate that about half the people who say they go to church regular, don’t.

Regardless, there’s no constitutional restriction against healthcare, especially since it easily qualifies as interstate commerce nowadays.

You refer to the Michael Moore film Sicko. Sorry, I didn’t ever get to see that film. Me, like most people, came to believe that our healthcare system was broken from bitter experience.

Oh, and could you give a source for that text you posted about life expectancy?

One objection that comes to mind is, did they then remove accidents and homicides from the other nation’s death tolls, so they could compare apples to apples rather than apples to oranges? Of course life expectancy would increase for Americans if you left aside murder and accidents. But so too would it increase for other nations.

Another question: wouldn’t poor healthcare affect mortality from accidents, either through direct consequences of poor coverage, or indirect results of overcrowed, overworked emergency rooms?

There’s a whole lot of rationalization going on here.

Oh, I have Stephen, I have. And I am still weeping for our children.

Yes.

Will… Will nobody think of the children? (Throws arm over eyes)

As for the question of Doctors and RNs?

Look, if we get the system back functional, the Doctors and RNs have less serious cases to deal with. The focus of Obama’s plans are on raising efficiencies, reducing unnecessary treatments, making preventative care the primary focus rather than expensive after the fact intervention, and digitizing records to make errors rarer and reduce the paper work involved in getting healthcare.

And if push comes to shove, that means more money to employ the new Doctors and Nurses with.

Seriously, man, you’re stretching it. The supply of doctors will rise to meet the demand.

dbs-
Where to? We’re one of the few industrialized countries without government healthcare, and all the rest of the places aren’t exactly economic powerhouses.

But that’s a new one by me. Doctors going Galt.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at July 6, 2009 9:06 PM
Comment #284085

Rhinehold-
It just occured to me: the fifty million uninsured people are being treated by those doctors already. Uninsured doesn’t mean immortal and invulnerable. They’re just coming in less often and with worse conditions.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at July 6, 2009 9:08 PM
Comment #284087

Stephen D. said: “They’re just coming in less often and with worse conditions.”

Bingo! And that is driving up the costs for everyone else. Significantly, as the costs of treating the uninsured who can’t pay, is passed on to those who can and do pay either out of pocket or with insurance premiums. The doctors and hospitals and staff who treat the uninsured don’t eat that cost, they pass it on to those who do pay.

Posted by: David R. Remer at July 6, 2009 9:20 PM
Comment #284088

Gergle

Obama will not let us keep our insurance under anything like the terms we have it now. I don’t care what he says, or even if he really believes what he says. It cannot work that way.

No country has a better health care systems than we have … for those with good insurance. That is because no other country pays more for health care than we do in total. If we want to insure the 15% of Americans who don’t have health care we have to get the resources someplace. Since we already spend significantly more than anybody else on health care, it seems that the option of adding another 15% to that is not very attractive.

So it is likely that we will become more like the other countries that have universal health care. As I wrote, I like the Scandinavian system. But I see that it works differently from ours. There is less choice and significant de-facto and de-jure rationing. I don’t have a problem with this. We Americans have too much health care. We spend piles of money extending life by a couple of weeks or saving lives in vegetative states. Our European friends do much less of this. This is one of the things I find attractive about their systems.

We cannot afford the health care we have now and we certainly cannot afford to extend it to all Americans. I don’t want to do that. I actually would find it morally repugnant to hang around on life supports with a near zero chance of recovery. I have told my kids to kick out the plug if that ever happens. In this case, I also apply the golden rule and do onto others as I would have them do onto me.

David

Hypochondriacs can pay if they want, but we should see it for what it is: an expensive indulgence. We should not be asked to pay for it.

Posted by: Christine at July 6, 2009 9:25 PM
Comment #284090
Regardless, there’s no constitutional restriction against healthcare, especially since it easily qualifies as interstate commerce nowadays.

Actually, it is set up through governmental regulation from being interstate commerce. An insurance company in one state cannot cover someone who lives in another state. As I recall, the Democrats blocked the lifting of that restriction a few years ago…

And there is a huge difference between regulating interstate commerce and taking over interstate commerce. There is still no provision in the Constitution that I can find that allows for this. Nor is it constitutional, IMO, for there to be a requirement to carry insurance on yourself, that has never been attempted before last year and hasn’t been tested in the big court.

It would be nice if you sourced that claim, especially since other sources indicate that about half the people who say they go to church regular, don’t.

Sure, I’ll play the game, but expect it to be returned.

lmgtfy.com/?q=poll+think+US+should+be+a+christian+nation&l=1

Oh, and could you give a source for that text you posted about life expectancy?

Sure: http://lmgtfy.com/?q=%22So+why+do+Americans+die+younger+than+people+living+in+most+other+developed+democracies%3F%22&l=1

One objection that comes to mind is, did they then remove accidents and homicides from the other nation’s death tolls, so they could compare apples to apples rather than apples to oranges? Of course life expectancy would increase for Americans if you left aside murder and accidents. But so too would it increase for other nations.

Yes, they did.

Another question: wouldn’t poor healthcare affect mortality from accidents, either through direct consequences of poor coverage, or indirect results of overcrowed, overworked emergency rooms?

That is addressed in the original link too.

There’s a whole lot of rationalization going on here.

I didn’t realize comparing apples to apples was now called ‘rationalization’. Learn something new every day I suppose.

Look, if we get the system back functional, the Doctors and RNs have less serious cases to deal with.

And you accuse me of rationalizing? Is that the result of Medicaid and Medicare? What evidence do you have for that assertion of fact?

The focus of Obama’s plans are on raising efficiencies, reducing unnecessary treatments, making preventative care the primary focus rather than expensive after the fact intervention, and digitizing records to make errors rarer and reduce the paper work involved in getting healthcare.

Interesting, because *I* was under the impression that the government wasn’t going to get involved between the decision that you and your doctor should be making, but for what you suggest to occur, they would have to do just that. So, which is it? And where does the rationing of elderly care come in that Obama spoke about a few months ago?

And if push comes to shove, that means more money to employ the new Doctors and Nurses with.

So, more cost then? How is that going to cost less if we are increasing the pay for doctors and nurses?

Seriously, man, you’re stretching it. The supply of doctors will rise to meet the demand.

Supply and Demand… where have I heard that phrase before? Seems recent…

But seriously, it is one thing to say that we should be able to attract more doctors and nurses. But it is something else to say that providing healthcare to ALL americans (or illegal immegrants as well, I don’t know yet) is a requirement of government, you then have to ensure that the supply meets demand, which means that there may come a time (baby boomers retiring perhaps) when there will just not be enough doctors or nurses (we ALREADY have a nursing shortage) and they will have to be drafted into action. If you take that statement out to its conclusion.

If you are saying that it is not a government requirement and we will just do our best, well, aren’t we already doing that?

Where to? We’re one of the few industrialized countries without government healthcare, and all the rest of the places aren’t exactly economic powerhouses.

I wonder why that is….? Connect the dots…

But that’s a new one by me. Doctors going Galt.But that’s a new one by me. Doctors going Galt.

Right, because they aren’t human beings either, subject to human nature? If their benefit package changes and they are not getting what they were wanting when they entered into the career, why wouldn’t they change careers? Seems a human thing to do.

Of course, most of what the left suggests requires that we suspend the ‘human nature’ part of the equation, so why would this be any different?

Posted by: rhinehold at July 6, 2009 10:49 PM
Comment #284091
It just occured to me: the fifty million uninsured people are being treated by those doctors already. Uninsured doesn’t mean immortal and invulnerable. They’re just coming in less often and with worse conditions.

Right, because just because you have insurance means that you go to the doctor all of the time.

Considering that anyone is ABLE to get insurance now, why don’t they? Just because we force them to get insurance doesn’t mean they will use it any more than they do now. The number of people you speak of is extremely small percentage, especially considering that we now have Medicare, Medicaid, s-chip, low cost health insurance available throughout the country, etc.

That number of people you mention is NO WHERE NEAR 50 million.

Posted by: rhinehold at July 6, 2009 10:53 PM
Comment #284094

“You propose to add 50 million more people to the insured roles, where are the additional doctors going to come from?”

Rhinehold many individuals can be seen by a nurse practitioner or a physicians assistant thereby cutting the demand for a doctors time.

Posted by: j2t2 at July 6, 2009 11:30 PM
Comment #284106

Rheinhold is correct about taxing the existing health care system with millions of new insured seeking services. It was one of the major problems with Massachusset’s mandate for health insurance coverage.

But is that a good reason for not providing coverage for millions of uninsured? I think not. Additional demand will provide incentives for expansion of physician training and implementation of sorely needed effiencies in the health care system.

Posted by: Rich at July 7, 2009 7:57 AM
Comment #284141

hmm, seems that CBS is starting to question the president on health care. I’m shocked.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JeZyxO41cFA&feature=channel_page

Good quotes:

“You may want to keep your doctor, but your doctor may not want to keep you.” Apparenlty under the plan, doctors would be paid 20 to 30% less. Going ‘Galt’ as Stephen says?

“Americans will have to have some level of healthcare.” If it is more than what you currently have, you may find yourself without work sponsored care and have to take the public options. Oh wait, didn’t President Obama decry this ‘requirement’ when he was running for president? Oh well, no good campaign promise goes unbroken in this era of change.

Posted by: rhinehold at July 7, 2009 5:38 PM
Comment #284178
I don’t care what he says, or even if he really believes what he says. It cannot work that way.

Well, when you’re making up both sides of an argument that pretty well ends it.

Posted by: gergle at July 8, 2009 1:05 AM
Comment #284280

Gergle

I look to what will probably happen not what politicians say will happen.

Obama &Co have made promises that they cannot keep. They can promise that you will be able to keep your insurance the way you have it AND still cover those people who don’t have insurance AND have it not cost more (or even less). But reality shows that they are not telling the truth. Nowhere in the world has it worked like that.

Your faith in Obama is greater than mine and all we are talking about is faith.

Posted by: Christine at July 9, 2009 7:32 PM
Comment #285455

What? Huh? Ummm…. Auuh….Who?
Did a little bird tell us in a dream that somehow the lack of healthcare had something to do with bankruptcy and housing foreclosers? To whose advantage would it be to continue that vicious cycle? When those at the top of the hill see the rising waters bringing up boatloads of fellow citizens would it be to their advantage to drain the lake and, or, punch holes in the bottom of the rising boats?
Answer: The first rule of competition is this: Eliminate the competition.

Posted by: Stephen Hines at August 1, 2009 2:22 PM
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