Democrats & Liberals Archives

The Party of Denial

The Republicans have been gleefully bashing Obama for the loss of about five million policies under the Healthcare law. It doesn’t mean these people will all go uninsured. No, a significant number qualify for both better and cheaper coverage, and even those who face more expensive policies will actually get more reliable, more comprehensive coverage. But there are about five million people who won’t get covered period, and this has nothing to do with Obama, and everything to do with the Republican Party’s deliberate sabotage of the Healthcare law.

The biggest and most substantial difference here, in terms of policy, is that the GOP deliberately planned this, deliberately refused to cover these people. This wasn't the Insurance Companies exploiting a loophole to take advantage of people, or failing to inform people that they could actually have better deals waiting for them on the exchange.

No, this is the Republicans saying they simply don't want to cover people at all, and they're willing to deny them what the law intended in order to make Obama and the Democrats look bad.

And they would be just the start of this deliberate destruction of healthcare coverage.

If it is a moral outrage that some people lost the policies they preferred, the Insurance that was most affordable to them under the President's law, then how do we characterize this incredible imposition of politics on people's basic needs?

They not only broke a promise, they deliberately denied people what they would have otherwise gotten, with Justice Roberts helping to strike down a key provision of the law that would have forced all the states to expand Medicaid coverage, and then by having about half of the states refuse to expand that coverage. This wasn't simply an accident. They knowingly did this.

Just about all of them voted to try and destroy the Affordable Care act in the recent fiscal crisis. In fact, that was the whole point, the whole issue they used as their provocation.

So, their idea, taken to it's logical conclusion would be to make it legal once more to toss people off of their plans owing to pre-existing conditions. That's illegal now, but millions lost their insurance before the Affordable Care Act thanks to the practice of rescission, where even an unreported wart could be used to toss people off their policies after years of paying their dues into the system.

It would allow insurance companies to toss millions of children off their parent's insurance, either because they've aged out, or, more insidiously, because they were born with or developed a pre-existing condition.

Many Americans would find their coverage pared back, even as they're charged more for the coverage. Some people might get charged more now, but they'll get policies that cover the basics.

And that's to say nothing about the attempt to encourage Young Americans who could be signing up, paying into the system, getting covered and helping to support a general reduction in healthcare costs to simply opt out, to get people to deny themselves coverage.

The Republicans are deliberately encouraging those young Americans to take their chances with their lives.

If they get hurt or get sick without coverage, you pay for that in your medical bills. The Republicans are teaching our kids to be deadbeats, when there's a route available to take care of themselves, to avoid racking up debts they can't pay off.

They're deliberately depriving the poor, to the tune of millions of people, of their ability to get coverage. This won't prevent you from paying a cost, no matter what the Republicans tell you, because the Hospitals will end up treating these people anyhow, and they'll stick the rest of us with the cost through our hospital bills.

They would knowingly reduce the quality and extent of coverage for all the rest of us, and kick millions of children off the policies which now have to cover them, not just the college students and young unemployed Americans who are having to live at home, thanks to the economy that's low on the GOP's list of priorities, but the children whose childhood injuries, birth defects, and cancers gave insurance companies the pretext to deny them coverage.

I get it, it's not all happening for free, and some people unfortunately got caught in a loophole by their insurance companies. Obama and the other Democrats are trying to fix that now. They can be held accountable. It's in their logical, simple interests to get this working.

But if they are going to be held accountable, what are we going to do with the Republicans who are deliberately trying to degrade national healthcare coverage and kick people off their policies, not merely as a side effect of poor legislation, but as the intended effect of their political agenda.

Obama's legislation may have lost some people the policies they liked, the policies they could best afford. But Obama's policies and Obama's intentions were never to destroy people's coverage, as the Republicans have done already. If the Republicans are successful, then the loss of healthcare coverage will absolutely dwarf whatever problems the Affordable Care Act and the online marketplaces are having right now.

So, consider that while you see conservatives gloat. Consider what they have already deliberately taken from millions of Americans, just to make a political point for their own benefit. Consider what they are planning to take from all of us.

They are not merely just as guilty as Obama. They're far more guilty, their intention far more malicious, their actions far more harmful. They were willing to take us to the edge of national bankruptcy, of telling the world's financial markets that America wasn't good for paying back it's debts, in order to promote their agenda.

They want to pretend like a system where people can't pay for healthcare is the market ideal. They want to pretend that a system which puts people into tens and hundreds of thousands of dollars of debt for healthcare costs they can neither anticipate nor entirely prevent is a healthy system. They want us to judge all the rules that we write for this system not by whether it does well by us, or society as whole, but rather by whether a few people can continue to operate in the lifestyle to which they've become accustomed. We're being asked to feed an industry's sense of entitlement to the money we earn, without the return benefit of actual coverage.

The Republicans want to stir us up in a maelstrom of anger once again. It's the only way they won the last election they came up on top in. But it won't give us good policy. Nothing comes of anger and fear, which all they've been giving us this past year, since Obama got elected.

Do we see a pattern here? Americans reject the Republicans, the Republicans use their power to stir up all the controversies and scandals they can, and then, after everything is said and done, they sit in Washington and when they can actually be bothered to offer actual policy, it's policies that costs us jobs, costs us healthcare coverage, costs us in general. Is their a reason they keep on trying to push us to make these decisions on an emotional basis, on a basis not merely of our feel of a problem, but on free-floating outrage, paranoia and jackal-like ridicule?

Yes. The reason is, if we calmed down, and actually approached this as problem solvers, they'd be the last people we'd turn to.

They won't make the compromises necessary in a nation where not everybody things like them. They won't put in the full work-weeks, nor will they use oversight for more than just political grandstanding on factually suspect grounds. They have not been good stewards of our nation's finances, nor have their policies had a positive effect on our unemployment problem.

They needlessly push us into one crisis after another.

And most relevantly, they are quite willing to cause the absolute denial of coverage to millions of Americans as a response to the relative failure of the Affordable Care act to give some self-insured people the policies they like at the prices they want. It's not real, actual good they are concerned about here, the overall net effect of Obamacare. They would throw all that away, or worse, with their latest proposals, steer the system towards a spectacular disaster that we would pay for.

They would do that on purpose, just to win a political fight!

I don't think it's healthy in either literal or figurative terms for Americans to indulge Republican's brand of politics. This isn't an inherent or permanent feature of Conservative politics, but a malignancy that has grown on the movement that is quite willing to see great harm come to wide swaths of the American population, just so the priorities of the GOP's political elite, and the leaders of the Conservative movement can get their triumph.

This cancer is eating the GOP alive at this point. It's lead them far away from what the dependable conservatives of my Childhood would tolerate, the folks who wouldn't put this nation's fortunes in danger to win an election. Unfortunately, there are those who have decided that the imperative to win elections at all costs should be taken literally, and right now, they're using the failure of one part of Obamacare as a means to promote their agenda.

Nothing's changed about them though, and I think if we let them win on this account, I think we'll quickly relearn the election.

These people aren't trying to help us. They are not holding Obama's feet to the fire in good faith. Whatever he's tried to do, Republicans have faulted him for it.

And why not? If the political objective is to destroy him, and through him the Democratic Party's fortunes in the next election, then why be fair? Why stop when the problem is fixed? Why premise everything on function? Function isn't important, getting back power is, and Republicans have shown an willingness to slow economic growth, destroy job creation, humiliate the country, sow doubt among America's creditors and investors, and cause general dysfunction in our nation's legislative process, in order to get their way.

So, look at these five million people that the Republicans, by deliberate choice, have deprived of any coverage, and see them for what they really are: a party that has put it's politics first, and its country second.

Don't get fooled again. America should not repeat the mistake of 2010, and indulge their malignant brand of politics. We've already lost millions of jobs, and hundreds of billions of dollars in potential national economic growth because of them. Five millions people have been denied coverage over their brand of politics, not merely inconvenienced or imposed upon by more expensive policies.

It's time to end the denial.

Posted by Stephen Daugherty at November 17, 2013 7:45 AM
Comments
Comment #374302

In a special election for a House seat in northeastern Louisiana, the Republican candidate who supported accepting Medicaid for Obamacare decisively defeated the candidate who opposed it.

That candidate faced his whole election campaign on repealing all of Obamacare. He lost. By a lot, 59 - 40%. This was a district Romney carried with 60% of the vote, and the candidate that demanded repealing Obamacare lost by a mile.

Running against Obamacare failed to work for Republicans in 2012, it failed in VA earlier this month, and it just now failed big-time in Louisiana.

It will get much, much worse for Republican states that refuse Medicaid payments for Obamacare. The problem is that people without health care insurance go to the emergency room, and about 60% of those people never pay their bill. The hospital receives its payment from Medicaid. When GOP states refuse Medicaid money, the hospital emergency rooms will not receive their money, so they will have to increase everyone else’s costs.

So while states with insurance exchanges will see dramatic drops in 2015, as insurance companies bid against one another, states without Medicaid money will see health care costs dramatically rise.

I’m quite enjoying this. That doesn’t mean there have been no mistakes with the rollout. It means the GOP completely misinterpret the effect on the electorate. They are believing their own propaganda. They just lost ANOTHER election in Louisiana, but they still won’t get it, because they are trapped in that echo chamber bubble. Reality slapped them in the face, but they still don’t get it. And I am enjoying every second of it!

Posted by: phx8 at November 17, 2013 11:27 AM
Comment #374304

phx8

It is not necessary to run against ObamaCare. It is imploding and people will see the truth and maybe the politicians will set them free.

Posted by: CJ at November 17, 2013 12:49 PM
Comment #374308

Yes, CJ, pray we go back to the failing health care system we had before. That’s conservative for ya. Just like other Republican voters who want to return to independent states without a federal union, or back to the old Southern Democratic Party of segregation and separate and unequal. The problem with trying to conserve the past, is that the past is gone and irretrievable. That nut of reality is one too many Republicans just can’t swallow, making them the perpetual minority party in the polls, in modern times.

Posted by: David R. Remer at November 17, 2013 4:53 PM
Comment #374312

David

I believe we need to reform health care. ObamaCare is not the solution we need.

It is not a matter of choice. The government cannot make ObamaCare work in any way that Americans can afford to pay. It needs a major redo. Right now, ObamaCare is like trying to make water run uphill. We CAN do it, but at great cost and perhaps it would be better to allow it run in a more natural direction.

Posted by: CJ at November 17, 2013 6:06 PM
Comment #374315

So this is how you are trying to take attention away from the FACT that the President of the United States and liberal representatives knowingly LIED to the American people. Typical and expected.

“No, this is the Republicans saying they simply don’t want to cover people at all,”

Nice spin. Fact is that not everybody believes it is governments job to cover everybody. It is pathetic to promote the lie that we do not think people should have health insurance coverage.

“and they’re willing to deny them what the law intended in order to make Obama and the Democrats look bad.”

Get over your poor Obama and poor democrats BS. This is ALL about a poorly thought out law that was rushed to beat a vote. A law that strips away rights. A law that moderate Dems had to be bribed to vote for. A law that the President and his fellow democrats had to lie about and continue to lie about. A law that is causing more harm than good.
A law that transformed a system that the majority were satisfied with into a system the majority are not satisfied with. That’s liberal for ya.

I’m a freakin atheist and for the good of what’s left of our country, even I pray this travesty of a “law” fails.


Posted by: kctim at November 18, 2013 10:56 AM
Comment #374319

C&J-
My sensibility is that it’s always best to make your own luck. Yes, right now Obamacare’s not doing so well. Right now. But then the same thing happened with the Medicare Drug Benefit decade ago, and most won’t fault the Republicans for it now.

Republicans need to have an alternative ready, one that can actually work, if they don’t want the heat and the acidity of the nastiness they’ve turned on Democrats deflected back in their direction. You think after all this screaming and vilifying from your side that Democrats won’t be quick to even the score as the consequences of repeal play out?

And really, you can never really claim that it failed of its own accord, not with all your people have done to sabotage it. 4.8 million people have been denied healthcare as a direct result of Republican political choices. You can’t undo that!

You may destroy Obama, but that won’t make the new generation more conservative. All this nastiness may have alienated these people to the extent that they believe that Obama was foolish for going for the mandate instead of the public option or single payer.

You need to realize that your side has gotten so locked into winning newscycles that it hasn’t asked itself what it does after it succeeds. And not asking that question, they’ve lost the initiative on long-term policymaking.

If there is no alternative, Republicans will not benefit from a repeal. They will take the full responsibility for the failure of the markets, because they actively worked to restore the markets as they were, recreated the conditions that were losing people their insurance and denying them healthcare coverage in the first place.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at November 18, 2013 11:56 AM
Comment #374320

And this is how Democrats are going to fix the perception issues (and how it deals with any dissent to its policies).

It seems as though a “national conversation” will not be part of the solution to fixing the insurance coverage messes that have followed the launch of health exchanges. The insurance commissioner of Washington, D.C., tried and is now looking for a new job. Courtesy of The Washington Post:
A day after he questioned President Obama’s decision to unwind a major tenet of the health-care law and said the nation’s capital might not go along, D.C. insurance commissioner William P. White was fired.

White was called into a meeting Friday afternoon with one of Mayor Vincent C. Gray’s (D) top deputies and told that the mayor “wants to go in a different direction,” White told The Washington Post on Saturday.

White said the mayoral deputy never said that he was being asked to leave because of his Thursday statement on health care. But he said the timing was hard to ignore. Roughly 24 hours later, White said, he was “basically being told, ‘Thanks, but no thanks.’ ”

On Thursday, after the president announced that he was going to try to get insurance companies to delay cancellations for a year of policies that were not in compliance with the Affordable Care Act’s coverage requirements, White was one of the people who worried it would make a bad situation even worse. He issued a statement agreeing with the National Association of Insurance Commissioners that the change “threatens to undermine the new market, and may lead to higher premiums and market disruptions in 2014 and beyond.”

The statement has been removed from the department’s web site. Sources tell The Washington Post leaders were upset that the statement had not been vetted by the mayor’s office before posting.

As you can see from Stephen’s articles and responses, this is the way Democrats respond to criticism. Deflect, group and label, obfuscate and if necessary, use the force of government to silence their critics.

And people wonder why civil libertarians are so concerned in today’s big brother totalitarian society…

Posted by: Rhinehold at November 18, 2013 12:09 PM
Comment #374321

BTW, if you want to know the REAL reason that health care costs so much in today’s society, this is a perfect example of that.

PET scanners are pretty cool. They give a 3-dimensional glimpse of the body’s internal processes, allowing physicians to diagnose and observe the progress of health conditions like cancer, heart disease, epilepsy, and Alzheimer’s. Hospitals are known for wanting to diagnose such things, so it’s not uncommon for them to purchase PET scanners.

But 19 states and the District of Columbia require health providers to seek permission from state bureaucrats before buying a PET scanner. Obtaining this permission can take years and cost hundreds of thousands of dollars in application and attorney’s fees—to say nothing of opportunity cost. After all that time and expense, there is no guarantee that permission, in the form of a “certificate of need,” will be forthcoming.

North Carolina is one such state that forces health providers to submit to this kind of micromanagement. In May, two Winston-Salem-based hospital systems filed PET scanner applications. Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center already owns a scanner and uses it for medical research—and needs permission to convert it to clinical use. Novant Health meanwhile wants to build a new cancer center. Applications denied.

If they get permission, who is going to pay for those additional costs in petitioning the government for approval? And who is going to pay if they are denied permission?

Posted by: Rhinehold at November 18, 2013 12:12 PM
Comment #374322

Stephen is operating under the mistaken assumption that this reform is better than no reform. He doesn’t qualify it, it is, to him, just indisputable. Unfortunately for him, it is not the case…

In order to ‘provide’ health insurance (again, not the same as health care) he thinks we need a large bureaucracy that dictates stringent rules in an attempt to enact a one size fits all health insurance system. The cost of doing so is not only more than the cost of just having people who seek medical care pay a little extra for their care to cover those who can’t pay themselves, but it also decreases competition, increases overhead and bureaucracy and puts unelected officials in charge of the very intimate detail of our own bodies. Something, btw, that I can’t understand from today’s Democrats who, in the case of abortion, rightfully understand that a person’s body is not the government’s business. Apparently that’s the only situation that they can get behind that thought, they ignore it in all other political cases.

No, the cure for what ails us is worse than the disease of what we had before this reform. Sensible changes were either ignored or lied about to convince people that this would be their savior. Unfortunately, the long term effects of this reform is going to be worse, as it has been in most other cases of far reaching government reform over the past century. And we are going to have to live with it, as will our children.

Personally, I would rather take the hit myself and let our children have a better society, one that works for their needs and allows them the freedom to live their lives as they choose to, not as the government chooses to…

But apparently I am in the minority in that sentiment and we all know the minority has no place in today’s totalitarian progressive utopia.

Posted by: Rhinehold at November 18, 2013 12:21 PM
Comment #374323

I think Stephen’s problem is that his hero Obama and other Democrats got found out about the lies they have been telling ever since ACA was passed and now is trying to spin the lie into the fault of republicans. Keep trying Stephen.

Posted by: Rich KAPitan at November 18, 2013 1:52 PM
Comment #374324

kctim-
Look, you can complain about the means, but there are certain problems we have to solve. Your solution is that everybody agrees with you basically. You believe that this will somehow create a perfect world, and everything will be better.

My point of view is more complex. Ideology is an approximation.

Truth is, if we could have passed this with just fifty two or fifty-five votes, the process would have been quicker and better thought out. The “bribes” would have been unnecessary.

Or, if Republicans were more cooperative. Instead, they basically tried to kill everything. Even being short that one vote, taken up by Scott Brown, put that outcome in doubt.

If things had been allowed to take their natural, democratic (small-d) course, it would have been better for everybody. But Republicans wanted to repeat the political victory of 1994.

Ironically enough, Obama succeeded where Clinton failed, and the Republicans failed where they previously succeeded.

Republicans are starting things up now, in the hopes that they’ll be able to push this all the way to next year. The question is, whether they’ll be able to keep the bad blood going all year, without losing focus or getting hit by one of their own brainfarts, like the one that stole their thunder at the beginning of October.

They lucked into this, in my opinion. If they had known something truly bad was coming, what they would have done was pass a continuing resolution for the rest of the year, and then hit things on the new year, with the website screw-up there for real. Instead, they staged their shutdown with almost perfect timing to step all over the dysfunction of the site. You can pick a person who will mindlessly spout what you want to spout, and vote what you want them to vote, but that doesn’t necessarily get you the policies you want, the successful votes that make them so.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at November 18, 2013 2:57 PM
Comment #374325

Rhinehold-
Would you mind posting links? I shouldn’t have to pull google voodoo in order to divine your source. If you don’t, I’ll have to start deleting.

The quotes are directly from two Reason articles, whose URLs I would like you to post, so readers can follow their way to them and make their own decisions on what it meant in context. They will also assure people on a dependable basis that you were quoting, and who you were quoting from.

As for what they’re quoting, The man failed to really run his message by the communications department, much less the Mayor. I know you’re shocked, shocked to find politics going on here, but the truth is, if an employee makes it seem like your company or your city government has taken a position that the leaders weren’t, then yes, you stand a good chance of being fired, or at least punished in some fashion. You want to make him into a truth telling martyr, but this article, which was the original source, indicates that he wasn’t completely against Obamacare in the first place, so you might reconsider that angle.

The Mayor, simply put, did not want to send the message that the subordinate appeared to send.

As for the last paragraph of the first comment, it’s a hypocritical argument, as you are quite obviously trying to define me, or at least my political persuasion.

As for that comment without a quote, I’ll ask what I’ve asked people a hundred times: stop making assumptions about what I believe. You know, the irony is, you could enlist me and others to support legislation to permit common sense variations on what constitutes a suitable insurance policy- you know, letting men go without maternity coverage, as long as a woman of childbearing years is not on the policy.

But what you’re going to do instead, is play your argument down the line of partisan division.

To me, this is the worst thing about the policy of obstruction. You can’t tell me there aren’t Republicans who could better serve their constituents, be better liked by their constituents, if they were to support some liberal policies. The modern GOP, though, is too frightened of going soft, having marketed itself as a hardline, take-no-prisoners party.

So, the government remains ill-adapted to what people want.

You could say that nothing could be worse than the current fix. But I think there are some people now, who got affordable policies, who would disagree. On the other side, if you succeed, there may be a whole bunch of people, yourself perhaps included, who come to believe that the fix was better than the current situation. I know you want to see this in rugged individualist terms, with only your own opinion mattering, but the truth is, policy will, eventually, follow the popular pressures.

Whatever follows up will have to be objectively superior in enough ways that people are satisfied with it. Otherwise, one should not be surprised when the backlash blowtorch comes burning back in your direction.

Stop pretending that everybody in this country is a libertarian, and just needs to admit it. Plenty of people think you’re wrong, don’t subscribe to the same moral disdain for government services that you do. The hardest thing in the world these days for libertarians and conservatives to do is to acknowledge and respect that people are free to make decisions for themselves.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at November 18, 2013 3:31 PM
Comment #374326

Rhinehold,
All of the countries in the OECD have socialized health care except the US. Do you think they are totalitarian, or less free than us?

We are the only major industrialized country with a private health care system. We spend $8508 per person. No other country spends as much. Norway spends $5669 per capita, Switzerland $5643, and New Zealand only $3182.

Does spending more result in better health care? The US ranks 27/34 in the OECD for life expectancy. Not good.

“37 percent of Americans went without recommended care, did not see a doctor when sick, or failed to fill prescriptions because of costs, compared to as few as 4 percent to 6 percent in Britain and Sweden.”

http://www.nbcnews.com/health/best-health-care-system-really-john-boehner-2D11598594

“Americans also wait longer to see primary care doctors; 76 percent in Germany said they could get a same or next-day appointment, and 63 percent in the Netherlands, compared to 48 percent in the U.S. Only Canada scored worse, with 41 percent saying they could.”

So the privatized health care system of the US has failed badly compared with socialized medicine. We pay more, and get less. Not good at all.

We have tried the privatized system and it has failed. AT the same time, Medicare has been very successful and is very popular. The ACA represents health care reform that retains private health care insurers. If the ACA fails- and I don’t think it will, but if- then what would you suggest? The obvious move is to go to Medicare-for-all, but is there a better way?

After three years, the GOP has yet to pass an alternative bill for reform in the House, even though they have the majority. Of course, Republicans stand for nothing anymore, other than hatred of Obama. They have lost their way. But Libertarians still stand for something. They still have principles. What do they stand for when it comes to health care reform?

Posted by: phx8 at November 18, 2013 3:51 PM
Comment #374327

Stephen

Actually, I complained about the law, the politics and the lies, things your “complex view” wishes to ignore. Your eagerness to gloss over “bribery” in the highest offices of our land just shows that to you, ideology is an absolute, not an assumption.
Why such a willingness to only care about wrongs when the other party is in power?

Of course Republicans tried to stop such huge government involvement in our health care, that’s what people on the right expect them to do.

Has Obama really succeeded? Due to the Presidents own words and actions, the nation is more divided. He created a law the majority don’t approve of. A law that he rushed through that flopped out of the gate. He LIED about the law and continues to lie about it. He’s got people like you claiming it’s ok to harm some people in order to maybe help others.
You have a weird definition of success my friend.

When I went off the reservation and started voting Republican a few years ago, I didn’t do it to hear reps “spout” things I wanted to hear, nor did I expect them to give us our Constitution back. I voted for them to stop the ACA from ruining our country.

“there are certain problems we have to solve”

Of course there are, but government is not always the answer. People on the right would probably be more open to compromise IF you people would ever get that through your heads.

Posted by: kctim at November 18, 2013 4:07 PM
Comment #374328
The “bribes” would have been unnecessary.

The ‘bribes’ were for members of your own party, somehow blaming all of that on Republicans seems a stretch. I know you are going to do it anyway, but be aware you lose a lot of credibility when you make such comments.

You want to make him into a truth telling martyr, but this article, which was the original source, indicates that he wasn’t completely against Obamacare in the first place, so you might reconsider that angle.

I never suggested he was against Obamacare, I don’t think he is now. What he said was the President’s ‘fix’ would cause more problems. Which most every thinking person agrees with.

As for the last paragraph of the first comment, it’s a hypocritical argument, as you are quite obviously trying to define me, or at least my political persuasion.

I am making a opinioned judgment call based on your own words the past several years. I believe that is not ‘hypocritical’, at least how I understand the word to mean. Perhaps you could give me a new definition I’m not aware of that would fit this?

stop making assumptions about what I believe.

Stop posting opinions then, then we won’t take those arguments and words you post and use them against you…

You know, the irony is, you could enlist me and others to support legislation to permit common sense variations on what constitutes a suitable insurance policy- you know, letting men go without maternity coverage, as long as a woman of childbearing years is not on the policy.

This is BS and you know it Stephen, because we’ve HAD those discussions and I was told that ‘we didn’t want to live in the 1890s’. Almost any suggest I’ve made, and I’ve made them for years on this blog, has been met with derision and redefining of my views and opinion to fit your own needs. And THEN you get indignant that I take your own words and apply them to your views?

Let me know when you look up that definition of hypocritical…

But what you’re going to do instead, is play your argument down the line of partisan division.

You know it’s funny, that I’ve actually come to a very close agreement with Rich (who I think you would agree is liberal) about a good solution for Healthcare in the US. In all of those discussions, not once have you said ‘you know, I might agree with that’ or ‘you might have a point there’. Not *ONCE*. No, all you have been is All In on Obamacare as the only real solution. Even to the point of continually saying that ‘there are no other solutions’.

So this notion that I’m trying to ‘play my argument down the line of partisan division’ is a fantasy you are creating to make yourself feel superior and it quite frankly is insulting.

You could say that nothing could be worse than the current fix. But I think there are some people now, who got affordable policies, who would disagree.

Yeah, just like we could have said that nothing could be worse than leaving slavery in place, but there are some people then, who disagreed, who got affordable manpower to run their businesses, who would disagree.

Sometimes it’s about what is right, not about pleasing people who are getting something of someone else’s through coercion. About what is best for the long term health of the country, not about how many votes you can buy with short-term bennies.

I know you want to see this in rugged individualist terms

I love how you want to let yourself define your own views and then dump all over mine with this ignorant, asinine, charged statement. When you want to debate like grown men, let me know.

It is *NOT* ‘rugged individualism’ to want a society where people don’t use the government to put guns to the heads of others in order to personally gain from them. It’s actually more like ‘empathic human civility’ that libertarianism is about, not some ignorant notion of ‘mountain men’ and ‘rugged individualism’.

The hardest thing in the world these days for libertarians to do is to acknowledge and respect that people are free to make decisions for themselves.

Actually, that’s the exact BASIS of the libertarian thought. It’s almost like you don’t even know the meanings of words anymore… We just don’t respect that people are ‘free’ to make decisions for OTHERS through force.

I have no problem AT ALL with people getting together and helping other people, hell I started and run several non-profit organizations that do just that. But that isn’t what these laws are, they are people getting together and deciding what they want to do and making others do it as well. The difference is that those concerned could just do it, they don’t need a law. The reason for the law is to force those who disagree with them to do it there way.

And you don’t see a thing wrong with that.

Unfortunately, not too many other people do either, either through brainwashing or through indoctrination. So the Democrats and Republicans just keep going on and enacting law after law telling others how to live their lives.

The funny thing is, Democrats actually pay LIP SERVICE to combating that, when they have finally come around to gay rights (where libertarians have been for decades, glad to finally have you on board). They say that they don’t want to tell people how to live their lives, but it’s the biggest con because every policy that a progressive enacts is just exactly that. And they are ok with it. Because in your mind the end justifies the means. If they have to beat people over the heads with rocks to make them live the healthy lives that they want them to live, they’ll do it.

If you want to tell me where I am getting my view of your opinions wrong, please tell me. But don’t get defensive when in the next paragraph you do worse.

Posted by: Rhinehold at November 18, 2013 4:09 PM
Comment #374329

“The hardest thing in the world these days for libertarians and conservatives to do is to acknowledge and respect that people are free to make decisions for themselves.”

So says the guy willing to defend the ACA to the death.

IF it’s hard for Libertarians, it’s damn near IMPOSSIBLE for you guys, Stephen. Your entire agenda is based on making decisions for everybody because you know better than them.

Posted by: kctim at November 18, 2013 4:29 PM
Comment #374330
All of the countries in the OECD have socialized health care except the US. Do you think they are totalitarian, or less free than us?

Yes, here let me give you an example:

Tony Miano, 49, a former senior police officer from the US, was held for around six hours, had his fingerprints and DNA taken and was questioned about his faith, after delivering a sermon about “sexual immorality” on a London street.

Mr Miano, who served as a Deputy Sherriff in Los Angeles County, said his experience suggested that the term “thought police” had become a reality in the UK.

He said he was amazed that it was now possible “in the country that produced the Magna Carta” for people to be arrested for what they say.

Mr Miano, who was provided with a solicitor by the Christian Legal Centre, was arrested under the controversial clause of the Public Order Act which bans “insulting” words or behaviour.

I wholeheartedly disagree with Miano’s views, but I would defend his right to speak his views without fear of being arrested.

We have tried the privatized system and it has failed.

We haven’t had a privatized healthcare system in the US since before 1910, as I pointed out previously.

Your stats are also not telling a full story. That’s something I am very willing to get into if you are and not just wanting to parrot what you’ve heard and claim it to mean something it doesn’t.

“37 percent of Americans went without recommended care, did not see a doctor when sick, or failed to fill prescriptions because of costs, compared to as few as 4 percent to 6 percent in Britain and Sweden.”

And those costs are high because of government involvement into the health care system. When you take out government, and insurance, you get better lower costs, much lower than what you get in those countries you want to emulate. Of course, those countries also do all kinds of things that we don’t want to emulate, because they can violate all kinds of freedoms we take for granted. That ignoring the damage that the FDA has done for prescription costs and access to live saving drugs.

And no libertarian is saying we shouldn’t fix the problems in healthcare or that there were no problems in healthcare, but we also feel that we can do that *AND* respect individual rights at the same time. It might not be as ‘easy’ as just putting a gun to people’s heads and saying ‘go to the doctor and eat right’, but it would be more respectful of human dignity.

BTW, a great example is this… You mention wait times. In Georgia, the average wait time to get in and see a primary care physician is a little over a week. In Mass, where Obamacare was modelled after (fully admitted to by the administration and those on the left that want to hit Republicans over the head with it), the average wait time to see a primary care physician is OVER 2 MONTHS.

Do you think Romneycare helped or hurt the healthcare system? Do you think it is dragging down the average?

AT the same time, Medicare has been very successful and is very popular.

That you actually think that is beyond amazing to me. Doctors avoid it because of the draconian pay cuts to services they have to take, there are 87 TRILLION DOLLARS in unfunded liabilities, etc. It has been and will be a huge failure, no matter how many people like free money, because it can not sustain itself. It is not a free exchange of goods/services.

What do they stand for when it comes to health care reform?

http://www.lp.org/issues/healthcare is a good place to start, though it is a bit simplistic because of the nature of the website. If you want more tolerable solution you could try the progressive libertarian’s plan, which is a plan that Rich and I actually are in close agreement on. There are a lot more detailed ones if you are interested, just let me know and I can direct you to them.

Posted by: Rhinehold at November 18, 2013 5:01 PM
Comment #374331

Since pxh8 brought up how great things are in other countries…

http://www.irishtimes.com/news/world/europe/secret-report-warns-france-on-verge-of-revolt-on-tax-issue-1.1595169

“Throughout [French] territory … society is in the grip of tension, exasperation and anger,” says the ministry of the interior’s monthly summary of reports from 101 prefects, dated October 25th.

The monthly reports are usually couched in careful, and sanitised language, which makes the blatant warning to the interior minister and president all the more alarming. “The legitimacy of tax” is now widely questioned, it notes. “This mix of latent discontent and resignation erupts through sudden bouts of anger, almost spontaneous, and not within structured social movements.”

The publication of excerpts of the report yesterday coincides with the rise of at least a dozen protest movements, many with animal names including chicks, turkeys, bees, sheep, dodos and storks. There are also red, green and orange bonnets, and “the sacrificed”, who oppose a scheduled VAT increase next January 1st.

“Taxation has become the principal engine of opposition to the government,” the report says. It speaks of the “painful” climate in France, of “a feeling of deep despondency that prevents people hoping for a better future”. This is fertile ground for “a possible social explosion,” the prefects warn, quoting the slogan of an artisans and building workers union: “Watch out; it’s going to blow.”

Until now, attention focused on protests in Brittany against the “ecotax” on freight lorries. The prefects asked the government to dismantle hi-tech gateways built to collect the tax “before they are all destroyed”. Protesters continued to vandalise the gates even after the government “suspended” the tax at the end of October, and Breton trade unions are organising another day of protest on November 23rd.

“The prefects note that mobilisation extends to territories or sectors which were quiet until now,” the report says, listing nine troubled departments far from Brittany.

Politicians are adding to the dire warnings. “France is on the verge of insurrection,” the centre right leader François Bayrou said repeatedly on breakfast radio. “We’re going from anger towards violence,” said the former prime minister Jean-Pierre Raffarin.

“Are we really in 1789?” the historian and biographer of Louis XVI, Jean-Christian Petitfils, asked in an opinion piece in Le Figaro. Petitfils listed parallels between the eve of the French revolution and the present: a huge foreign debt; chronic budget deficit; crushing, unequally shared taxes; an impotent and unpopular government; rivalry among ministers; high unemployment and outbreaks of violence. Petitfils compared François Hollande with Louis XVI: “two hesitant optimists… disconnected from reality…”

Posted by: Rhinehold at November 18, 2013 6:01 PM
Comment #374332

Oh, something left out of the last quote:

A study commissioned by the Élysée from the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development pointed out the fundamental weaknesses of the French economy: falling levels of training and education; excessive taxation; lost productivity and a minimum wage that is 80 per cent higher than the OECD average.
Posted by: Rhinehold at November 18, 2013 6:03 PM
Comment #374333

BTW, France’s anti-gun laws should help keep things in check though…

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-europe-24985779

“A manhunt has been launched in Paris after a gunman attacked offices of the newspaper Liberation and fired outside the HQ of the bank Societe Generale.”

Posted by: Rhinehold at November 18, 2013 6:13 PM
Comment #374334

The EU isn’t doing much better:

“I can’t stand the bureaucracy of the European Union. It’s detrimental to the whole place.

“They’ve made some decisions now where I think it can only fly apart at the seams. Sooner or later. Hopefully sooner.”

Daltrey, a former Labour supporter who is fiercely proud of his working class roots, condemned Tony Blair’s and Gordon Brown’s administrations for the loss of British jobs.

BTW, I find it infuriating that people try to compare France or England with the US. A more fair comparison might be the EU, which of course is failing magnificently. There is a real chance that it won’t survive the decade.

Posted by: Rhinehold at November 18, 2013 6:20 PM
Comment #374336

Daugherty writes about denial of the obvious. Here’s a quote from CNS news regarding our national debt.

“When Treasury Secretary Jacob Lew appeared in the Senate Finance Committee on Oct. 10 and called for Congress to increase the legal limit on the federal debt, he lamented that people do not understand that the Treasury needs to constantly borrow new money to meet ongoing expenses and pay off the tremendous volume of old debt that must be redeemed.

“Every week we roll over approximately $100 billion in U.S. bills,” Lew testified. “There is no plan other than raising the debt limit that permits us to meet all of our obligations,” Lew said later in that hearing.

Lew’s description of the way the government handles its now-$17-trillion-plus debt mirrors the Securities and Exchange Commission’s definition of a Ponzi scheme.

“A Ponzi scheme is an investment fraud that involves the payment of purported returns to existing investors from funds contributed by new investors,” says the Securities and Exchange Commission’s definition.

“With little or no legitimate earnings, the schemes require a consistent flow of money from new investors to continue,” said the SEC. “Ponzi schemes tend to collapse when it becomes difficult to recruit new investors or when a large number of investors ask to cash out.”
To keep the government in cash during fiscal 2013, which ended on Sept. 30, the Treasury had to sell $8,323,949,000,000 in new debt. The government’s single larget expense in fiscal 2013 was paying off $7,546,726,000,000 in debt that matured during the year.”

Posted by: Royal Flush at November 18, 2013 7:20 PM
Comment #374340

Royal, Stephen won’t buy the Ponzi Scheme analogy because he says that for it to be a ‘Ponzi Scheme’, the government must lie about what it is doing in order to get us to go along. Since they are up front about it, it can’t be a Ponzi Scheme. The fact that that type of monetary manipulation is unsustainable is lost in the ensuing semantic debate…

Posted by: Rhinehold at November 18, 2013 9:03 PM
Comment #374343

Remember the company that was given a no-bid contract to construct healthcare.gov? Apparently they also were responsible for the Massachusetts connector and, as amazing as this is, it’s even WORSE.

There’s a health insurance website that performs worse than even the notoriously disastrous federal Obamacare site, a top software expert tells the Herald — it’s Massachusetts’ own $69 million Health Connector site, which is bogged down with unnecessarily large files, operates at slower speeds, and has other major flaws that are keeping Bay State users from getting the policies the law requires.

“It’s even less optimized than the federal website. It was slow. It was clunky,” said Bill Curtis, chief scientist for CAST Software, a nationally recognized expert who examined the site at the Herald’s request along with his own technician.

“At one point, he couldn’t get on. He got a maintenance in progress, and it wasn’t clear what was happening.”

Curtis looked at more than 100 pages of work change orders, while his technician poured over the website’s code.

They found that elements, such as large numbers of complicated JavaScript code that power certain functions of the site, are all downloaded when the user first logs on, even if they aren’t needed.

“In most cases, unless you’re going to do it, why download it,” Curtis said. “It looks like they’re trying to get you prepared for all the things you might do.”

Other items, such as high-resolution photos, are unnecessarily large. All of which is slowing down the speed of the website, limiting the number of users who can sign up for health insurance, and locking others out.

“If you’re a professional developer of websites, it’s pretty basic,” Curtis said. “You don’t see Amazon or Google making those mistakes. They know they have to optimize or it’ll just crash.”

The Herald has reported that the state’s glitch-plagued site has only successfully enrolled fewer than 1,000 applicants as of last week, out of an estimated pool of more than 150,000 people whose policies are being canceled.

Curtis did praise the state system for being slightly more secure than the federal site, though he said it is by no means hacker-proof.

Posted by: Rhinehold at November 18, 2013 11:36 PM
Comment #374345

Republican health care is based on Darwinian survival of the richest. If you can’t afford to support profits of the health care system and insurance industry, you are not entitled to health care. Simple philosophy. Which is why ObamaCare, predicated on the more complex philosophy that health care is a moral right in a nation as wealthy as ours, is too much for Republicans to comprehend or accept. They like it simple, black and white, good and bad, profitable or worthless.

Jack Kemp was the last Republican I could support. Waiting for the next one like him to come cross my horizon.

Posted by: David R. Remer at November 19, 2013 12:48 PM
Comment #374347

My son was born in 1985. His prenatial care, doctor, delivery room cost me $600 total. I paid $25 a month without interest until it was paid off.

What the astericks happened since then?

Posted by: Weary Willie at November 19, 2013 12:55 PM
Comment #374350

Weary Willie, check out my comment http://www.watchblog.com/democrats/archives/008667.html#374279 for what happened since then.

Posted by: Rhinehold at November 19, 2013 1:26 PM
Comment #374351

“What the astericks happened since then?”

Well Weary, more people started believing that they were entitled to have others pay for their health care. That they shouldn’t be held responsible to pay a minimum per month until their debt was cleared.
For selfish and emotional reasons, more entitlement minded people now equate such responsibility to “survival of the richest.”
Sure, they will preach to you about free health care being a “moral right,” but that’s only as long as somebody else is forced to pay for it. What’s funny though, is that they are usually the same people demanding others don’t push their morals on them when it comes to things like abortion, marriage and freedom of religion.

Posted by: kctim at November 19, 2013 1:38 PM
Comment #374352

Sorry David, even though I’m not a Republican, that comment of yours is part of the problem, not the solution. You are doing nothing more than saying all liberals are evil people who want to turn this country into a communist dictatorship, etc. The only one being ‘black and white’ here is you.

But addressing your concern for your fellow man by trying to label healthcare as a right, you have to then start ranking rights by importance. Is it more important to have that right than it is to have the right to choose the career you want? Because if no one decided to become doctors anymore, you would then have to conscript them into being doctors, right? Then, you could just pay them what you think they should be making, not what the market bears for them to make, like we do soldiers, and we know how well soldiers are being paid…

Is it more of a right than deciding what to do with your own body? Because if healthcare is a right, then we have to take care of you no matter your health choices. You can be a cutter and still have to be taken care of no matter how much money you make or pay into the system. No matter how much skin you have in the game, as it were. And if you then try to stop people from doing things with their own body in order to lower the cost of the right of healthcare, like ban soda drinks or fatty foods, etc, then you are saying that that right is more important than the right to choose to live as you want to live.

You are saying that the right to healthcare is more important than the right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness…

BTW, there is a right to healthcare and there is a right to have your healthcare paid for you by someone else through force. Which one are you talking about exactly?

And when did we start legislating morals or say that is something we should do? I thought most of us were fighting against the legislation of morality (gay sex, promiscuity, drugs, etc)? Are you saying it’s ok to start legislating moral behavior now? Aren’t you opening up a huge can of worms then?

As I said, you are the one who is trying to make it black and white and in the end trying to make those you disagree with seem as selfish evil pricks. It isn’t reality and it doesn’t help anyone.

Posted by: Rhinehold at November 19, 2013 1:43 PM
Comment #374353

Rhinehold, start with reality, not ideology. Health Care is ALREADY a right. No one can be turned away from the ER if unable to pay. The issue is how to 1) reduce the number of emergencies through preventive care, and 2) provide health care in a way that slows and halts health care inflation, which was driving ever more Americans out of the health insurance marketplace. Under ObamaCare, even the poorest signing up for health insurance pay SOME premium, which is a darn sight better for us all, than their getting high cost emergency care on our dime without ever paying any premium.

Facts, Rhinehold, not ideology, make a good argument. I have just given you an excellent example.

Posted by: David R. Remer at November 19, 2013 2:28 PM
Comment #374355

Remer writes; “Which is why ObamaCare, predicated on the more complex philosophy that health care is a moral right in a nation as wealthy as ours, is too much for Republicans to comprehend or accept.”

Here’s another person who believes that the US is a wealthy nation. With over $17 Trillion in debt, nearly $100 Trillion in unfunded liabilities…we are a nation rich with private wealth and a bankrupt government.

So, to make Remer’s comment sensible we must understand that any largess given to others will come at the expense of those Americans who have some assets and income.

Perhaps Mr. Remer will share with us the amount of additional taxes each working American should pay to accomplish his social agenda.

I suspect he will be satisfied when both…private wealth and national wealth…is completely squandered.

Posted by: Royal Flush at November 19, 2013 3:45 PM
Comment #374360

“Under ObamaCare, even the poorest signing up for health insurance pay SOME premium”

How do they do that when they don’t have any money?
Facts, not ideology, projections or dreams, please.

Posted by: kctim at November 19, 2013 4:39 PM
Comment #374361

kctim…I suspect Remer means that some will pay for healthcare premiums with chickens and other farm produce or perhaps by a bounty paid for capturing rats in the city.

Posted by: Royal Flush at November 19, 2013 4:49 PM
Comment #374362

I luv this headline from Fox News.

ObamaCare backer cited by president loses tax credit

“How affordable is the Affordable Care Act? Not very, it would seem for Washington state resident Jessica Sanford.

The self-employed single mother was cited last month as an ObamaCare success story by President Obama in the Rose Garden. But according to Washington State Wire, she’s now finding out she doesn’t qualify for the tax credits she was originally told she’d get.”

http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2013/11/19/obamacare-backer-denied-tax-credit/

Posted by: Royal Flush at November 19, 2013 5:12 PM
Comment #374363

Rhinehold, start with reality, not ideology.

I am the one talking reality here, David.

Health Care is ALREADY a right.

Actually, no it isn’t. If healthcare was a ‘right’ you could not be turned away from any health professional.

What we have is a requirement of a business that if they operate as that type of business they can’t turn away any customer if they can’t prove they can pay. And they are only required to give stabilizing procedures to the patient, nothing more than that. After the service is given, the business can then go after the patient for payment of services through the legal system, including garnishing of wages. Only after those efforts are exhausted does the hospital have to ‘eat’ the costs and pass them on.

To remedy this, many hospitals get donations from concerned citizens to pay for those situations, as well as funds set up through local governments who benefit from their services to help pay for those situations through some taxation of the people of the community. The notion that we all pay for those who can’t pay is not as clear cut as proponents of birth-to-grave government healthcare want to make it.

And when those costs are passed on to others at the hospital, that is a good solution. It is better, IMO, than taxing every citizen in the country to pay for health insurance, and then limiting the type of health insurance they can get… But hey, we’re talking reality here, not ideology, right?

So no, healthcare is NOT a right.

The issue is how to 1) reduce the number of emergencies through preventive care

There are many ways to tackle this, but you need to start with the notion that this is the most cost effective way to go about it. Research tells us that it is not. For Example:

http://www.nejm.org/doi/full/10.1056/NEJMp0708558

Now, you may have other reasons other than simple numbers and math to decide if you want to go down the preventative care route, which is fine, but then you’re encroaching in on the ideology part and we need to talk about rights if your solution tramples them.

2) provide health care in a way that slows and halts health care inflation, which was driving ever more Americans out of the health insurance marketplace.

The rising health care costs have been directly attributable to the federal government stepping in and trying to solve perceived problems in a way that caused those issues. Medicare is a notable example. I’ve listed out how we haven’t had a free market in healthcare for a century here. Again, let’s address the causes, not try to fix a problem in a way that just makes things worse.

Under ObamaCare, even the poorest signing up for health insurance pay SOME premium

Actually, not they don’t. http://www.nytimes.com/2013/11/04/business/under-health-care-act-millions-eligible-for-free-policies.html?ref=todayspaper&_r=1&pagewanted=all&

“Millions of people could qualify for federal subsidies that will pay the entire monthly cost of some health care plans being offered in the online marketplaces set up under President Obama’s health care law, a surprising figure that has not garnered much attention, in part because the zero-premium plans come with serious trade-offs.”

HTH

Posted by: Rhinehold at November 19, 2013 5:13 PM
Comment #374364

Didn’t phx8 say he went to the Cover Oregon website and got the bronze plan for $600 a month? He must have a really good web connection because there seems to be some kind of problem with the Cover Oregon health exchange.


Oregon residents demand answers over failure of state’s ObamaCare website

Despite getting an early start and extra funds from the federal government, Oregon has yet to enroll a single person in the health exchange under the Affordable Care Act.
I called Cover Oregon, the OR state insurance exchange. Someone picked up the phone immediately, even though it was 4:00 in the afternoon. She answered my questions, and because I do not qualify for any subsidies, it turns out the site simply serves as a one-stop shopping mart. I can go directly through the insurer I chose.
Posted by: phx8 at November 14, 2013 8:29 P


I wonder if phx8 got ripped off! Or, perhaps he’s lying. Who knows, right?

Even if it is legit, that’s a pretty expensive phonebook Oregon’s got there! Extra funds from the federal government to the tune of 400 million!

You’d think they’d be at least a little embarrased over this wasteful spending. Well, Obama did say the word “sorry” in that spiel the other day.

So what is it, phx8? Did you get screwed or don’t people in Oregon know how to count? Which is it?

Let’s try to be factual this time, yes?

Posted by: Weary Willie at November 19, 2013 5:26 PM
Comment #374366

Ya, Rhinehold, hear you loud and clear. If it costs you taxes, it can’t be a good thing. Yet, your life is supported by technologies and innovations brought about by tax dollars. Oh the willfully ignorant hypocrisy.

Posted by: David R. Remer at November 19, 2013 6:04 PM
Comment #374370
Rhinehold, hear you loud and clear.

Nah, all you hear is your own mind numbing petulant squealing and hatred for anyone who doesn’t share your views. It’s getting worse, to be honest…

If it costs you taxes, it can’t be a good thing.

You mean, if it means putting guns to people’s heads and forcibly making them do the things you want them to do, yeah, I’m kind of against that unless it is necessary. Anything else is just selfish… As Oscar Wilde eloquently put:

Selfishness is not living as one wishes to live, it is asking others to live as one wishes to live. And unselfishness is letting other people’s lives alone, not interfering with them. Selfishness always aims at creating around it an absolute uniformity of type. Unselfishness recognises infinite variety of type as a delightful thing, accepts it, acquiesces in it, enjoys it. It is not selfish to think for oneself. A man who does not think for himself does not think at all. It is grossly selfish to require of one’s neighbour that he should think in the same way, and hold the same opinions. Why should he? If he can think, he will probably think differently. If he cannot think, it is monstrous to require thought of any kind from him. A red rose is not selfish because it wants to be a red rose. It would be horribly selfish if it wanted all the other flowers in the garden to be both red and roses.”

But you go ahead and be your same selfish self, always doing what you think is best with other people’s time and future without concern about their needs, desires or cares.

your life is supported by technologies and innovations brought about by tax dollars

Because of or despite? You obviously have your own views on that one I bet, hell without government how do we not just sit around in squalor and eat raw bugs to stay alive?

Posted by: Rhinehold at November 19, 2013 6:33 PM
Comment #374371

That’s a good one, David R. Remer!

Yet, your life is supported by technologies and innovations brought about by tax dollars.

I’m not sure how to take that one. Who is the ignorant one? Most innovations are brought about by private enterprise. Most technologies are started by private businesses. Are you really that enamored with government?

Technologies and innovations come first. Then come the taxes. Not the other way around.

Alexander Bell gets a letter from the government asking for taxes so it can pay him to create the telephone.

Thomas Edison has a IRS agent knocking on his door and hits him up for money to get him to think of the light bulb.

Barrack Obama calls up Bell and says, “..uh.. You dint build dat!”

Posted by: Weary Willie at November 19, 2013 6:36 PM
Comment #374372

“Yet, your life is supported by technologies and innovations brought about by tax dollars.”

Yes indeed, it was government that invented the wheel and discovered fire. MY…MY.

Posted by: Royal Flush at November 19, 2013 6:45 PM
Comment #374377

I think that David is going to try to use the ‘government invented the internet’ canard as some sort of proof that we need government for such innovations. This line of thinking requires that we ignore that several private companies worked on the internet AND other projects that would have resulted in the same type of inter-connectivity of computers. Of course, it was easier when you could use funding that you forcibly took from others to do the research, but it doesn’t make it the only way it could happen. Compuserver, Prodigy, et al are examples of some of the systems that were working in place, and Cisco (a private company) is the company that invented the routing technology that made any of that including the internet possible.

Beyond that, in the story is a great example of how government gets in the way more than it helps. The government help create the TCP/IP protocol, the statists/totalitarians will tell you. What they don’t tell you is that after creating it, they sought to eliminate it, deciding to go another way and fought against it being used at all. The people decided to go a different way because luckily, at that point, they they weren’t required to follow the government’s edicts.

In other words, if the government had their way, we would have a harder time talking to each other through these fancy computing machines than we do now.

Posted by: Rhinehold at November 19, 2013 7:07 PM
Comment #374378
Facts, Rhinehold, not ideology, make a good argument. I have just given you an excellent example.

BTW, notice just how fast David went from ‘let’s debate on facts’ to calling people who disagreed with him ‘selfish’ when presented with facts he couldn’t counter…

Welcome to the modern progressive/statist/totalitarian worldview.

Posted by: Rhinehold at November 19, 2013 7:23 PM
Comment #374379

Rhinehold…that’s the obama way all right.

Posted by: Royal Flush at November 19, 2013 7:30 PM
Comment #374391

Rhinehold-
Ponzi schemes basically give old investors new investors’ money in order to give them high returns that they lie about in order to convince that they’re just that good at making their clients money.

Social Security neither promises high rates of return, nor deceives people about whose money they’re getting. It’s a matter of public record and understanding. Really, if we lifted the cap on social security taxable earnings, we’d be fine.

You call it a Ponzi scheme for the same reason Republicans call the Affordable Care Act a Government takeover. Because an honest argument wouldn’t scare or outrage people enough.

You guys hit us for one broken pledge, but Republicans and conservatives in the media have been acting like pathological liars, the lies only getting bigger and more profound as time has gone on. They can’t even be straight on what happens if America goes through a sovereign default, how many millions of jobs could be lost if that occurs!

This is one of the primary reasons I oppose you folks so strongly. The lies have stacked up to the point where I don’t think Republicans are really capable of deliberately creating a good policy. They’re still trying to cut taxes in a time of deficit. They’re still trying austerity and doing these market-destabilizing shutdowns and debt ceiling confrontations. The fact that they could allow America to fall two million jobs short on the recovery just shows that their idea of good policy has never really recovered. They’re no better at creating jobs than they were before.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at November 20, 2013 8:11 AM
Comment #374405
As it now exists, Healthcare.gov, the federal exchange for approved health plans, “creates massive opportunity for fraud, scams, deceptive trade practices, identity theft and more,” Morgan Wright, CEO, Crowd Sourced Investigations, LLC told the House Science, Space, and Technology committee in a hearing held yesterday. He was only one of several cybersecurity experts who testified as to the vulnerabilities of the already infamous Website, launched October 1 as part of the rollout of Obamacare. Perhaps the only saving grace is the frequency with which Healthcare.gov crashes, dissuading people from entering information, or even making use impossible, and so sparing them the high risk of data theft.

http://reason.com/blog/2013/11/20/healthcaregov-is-hacker-bait-say-securit

http://science.house.gov/sites/republicans.science.house.gov/files/documents/HHRG-113-SY-WState-MWright-20131119.pdf

Posted by: Rhinehold at November 20, 2013 11:40 AM
Comment #374408

Just saw the new numbers for Obama and they are not good. 31% approval is dismal. IMO it’s people like Stephen and his friends that are the ones in denial.

Posted by: Rich KAPitan at November 20, 2013 1:45 PM
Comment #374415

Rhinehold-
Okay, so let’s never do anything that requires any kind of computational complexity. I mean, let’s not do Facebook. That’s only five times less complex, right?

Look, it’s probably on the list of issues to deal with. You’ve got extraordinarily complex software flying all over the place, day in and day out.

If we don’t do things that require complex code, well we’re kind of limiting ourselves arbitrarily.

Rich KAPitan-
Taken a look at your numbers lately? It is not that unfair to say that the best you’ve done is bring Obama down to your level, if that’s true. Congratulations. Now recall 2012, where Obama rebounded from another polling low to gain re-election.

Does it not occur to you that this obsession with making Obama unpopular has only led the Republicans to torch their own popularity, too? They’ve become seen as a party of deadbeats and extremists.

And even if Obama doesn’t recover, he is not the only Democrat out there. Somebody else will come along, and maybe you folks will go through the same thing that you did with Obama, and Clinton before him.

Except you won’t be nearly as popular as him at that point, and people will begin to notice a pattern: when America elects Democrats, Republicans become obstructionist, cynical, and pessimistic about everything. This isn’t the party of Morning in America anymore, this is the party that’s Mourning for America because they aren’t running it anymore.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at November 20, 2013 7:13 PM
Comment #374427

SD
I did not use vulgarity nor attack anybody. I just extended the remarks and how they would apply to Obama care.

Thanks again for your irresponsibile and elitist attempt to stiffle remarks by someone.

Posted by: tom humes at November 20, 2013 9:24 PM
Comment #374428

Stephen, I’m not making Obama unpopular, he is doing a good enough job of that himself. Stephen I don’t have any numbers to look at because I don’t claim either party. I don’t pull the party lever at election time, I’ll vote just as fast for a Democrat as well as Republican or Independent. You on the other hand seem to be blindly following a sinking ship. When you and others like you give a pass to a lying SOB and blame others for his downfall and his policies that are breaking the backs of my children and their great grandchildren is beyond me. I think it’s time you got your head out of the sand and smelled the BS you and YOUR PEOPLE are pushing.

Posted by: Rich KAPitan at November 20, 2013 9:47 PM
Comment #374439
Okay, so let’s never do anything that requires any kind of computational complexity. I mean, let’s not do Facebook. That’s only five times less complex, right?

Not even sure what you are trying to say here, it’s gibberish.

“we” do all kinds of things that are computationally complex in the world every day. This issue is not that we should avoid hard things, the issue is that when doing hard things we should have the proper people in place doing them. And the proper people in place managing them.

We are finding that, as expected, the reason for the failures in the website were NOT technical in nature, they were managerial. Changing requirements, lack of good testing and proper project management are the main downfalls of the website working properly. Further, and more damning, when testing was failing, or not even being done, the administration went ahead with the roll out of the website. The administration had a responsibility to not inflict that on users, instead it should have announced a delay and waiting until it was working. Someone had to make those calls, either the administration did or they were wholly incompetent in allowing it to happen.

Stephen, much more complex things are being done all of the time all over the world, without these issues. As much as you WANT to make it seem like healthcare.gov was some new amazing thing that has never been done before, there is literally nothing that it is supposed to do that hasn’t been done before, for far less money, with no issues on launch at all.

No one is saying we shouldn’t things because we can’t, some of us are saying we shouldn’t do things because we shouldn’t. Because it is NOT a good program, it is worse than what we had before (which wasn’t very good either), it makes the government pick ‘winners and losers’, something you’ve said in the past that it shouldn’t be doing (which of course no one believed when you said it) and it is going to cost more in the long run through rising opportunity costs, lack of competition, artificial price manipulation and sheer incompetence.

Look, it’s probably on the list of issues to deal with. You’ve got extraordinarily complex software flying all over the place, day in and day out.

No Stephen, it is *NOT* that ‘complex’. We are not creating things that haven’t already been done and have been used over and over again. There are no new ‘algorithms’, no new way of utilizing code, etc. No one is inventing anything new. Data Warehousing has been in place for over a decade, coding is not that hard, trust me I *DO IT*.

Please, tell me exactly what part of the coding of the healthcare.gov website is ‘complex’ and then tell me how http://www.thehealthsherpa.com/ was able to do basically the same thing in days for free?

BTW, I’m involved in these type of large data warehousing/multi-directory access endeavors on a daily basis as my job, so you aren’t going to be able to snow me with what you THINK might be going on, come back with something concrete and we’ll discuss. Otherwise, you need to stop trying to dabble in things you clearly do not understand.

Posted by: Rhinehold at November 21, 2013 10:12 AM
Comment #374440

tom humes-
If you agree with the premise that using the S-Word repeatedly constitutes profanity, and the premise that the Rules for Participation explicitly forbid the use of it, then you will agree with me that your comment deserved to be unpublished.

Rhinehold-
The Administration has a legal requirement to go through with that schedule, and lacks the majority in Congress to go in there and do revisions to that time table.

You can talk about complex things being done without bugs, but if you could point that out to me, I’d just be so grateful. See, my job basically has me dealing with updates and upgrades, and all that junk all day. I get to see how many patches and revisions that even basic software gets. Your programs for whatever businesses you deal with might be immaculately perfect, but most of the animals I see out in the wild, especially from the big boys, can screw up just the same as anything else.

So, when you say that everything in the private domain runs without such big catastrophes, I have to wonder whether you and I share the same world or time period. Maybe in the place you are, private enterprise does everything right the first time, with big operating systems and big companies never getting anything wrong, but in the real world 90% of the big projects worth over ten million fail.

Granted, this was a high profile failure, in a system that ought not to be failing, but my thinking is that whenever you get something that complex together, it will be difficult to avoid unintended consequences.

As for the Health Sherpa? I’d ask whether the system they built has the same requirements as the Federal Exchange, the same protocols for variation. It’s one thing just to set up a system that lets you shop for insurance. Progressive has that, as do others. But if it has to do something like access tax information, or do multiple states, then that’s another thing entirely. Also, let me ask you a question, since you’re pulling the familiarity card on me: what exactly do you know the program for the exchange is doing? Not what do you think is going on, or being required, what do you know it’s actually doing?

You can say that the Exchange resembles something, but Natalie Portman resembles Kiera Knightly. That doesn’t make them the same.

I’ve learned that context is often important in judging things, that simple appearances can often be deceiving.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at November 21, 2013 10:38 AM
Comment #374444

I will agree only if you print those words that are referenced as unacceptable.

Strange that you and others use a letter and the *** approach to go around whatever words are not acceptable.

That is hypocrisy.

Posted by: tom humes at November 21, 2013 11:10 AM
Comment #374445

I’d just love to get the Republicans, Conservatives, and Libertarians read on this latest stunt some Republicans are trying to pull:

That is, taking money specifically budgeted for Medicaid Expansion, and using it to make up for the Sequester’s defense cuts.

Because I know Republicans are ALL about making sure people’s benefits aren’t cut.

They would never do anything that might deprive those who already have healthcare of their benefits, would they? They wouldn’t nearly all sign a bill deliberately designed to do that, would they?

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at November 21, 2013 11:15 AM
Comment #374446

tom humes-
That’s what we were told by the editors we could do. Part of the point of it was to get past filtering software which might lock us out if the language gets too vulgar. Another part of it, though, is that some might just try to win by being so caustically foul-mouthed (or would that be foul-keyboarded?) that they drive everybody else out of the discussion.

I canned your comment for no other reason than repeated use of profane language, to make a rather vulgar point, that, might I add, wasn’t altogether relevant.

If you want to discuss healthcare policy, or, failing that, gloat over whatever Obamacare’s current problems are, fine. But uncensored profanity doesn’t cut it, and you know it.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at November 21, 2013 11:28 AM
Comment #374447
The Administration has a legal requirement to go through with that schedule, and lacks the majority in Congress to go in there and do revisions to that time table.

BS, tell me how the administration was able to delay the implementation of the business part of Obamacare without congressional approval? The simple fact is that they could have delayed the website being published without going through Congress, but they didn’t WANT to.

And they would have gotten congressional approval IF they needed it, which they didn’t. That was the whole point of the shutdown, the Republicans wanted a delay in the implementation of Obamacare for one year to match the one already given to businesses…

You are REALLY making yourself look silly here Stephen.

You can talk about complex things being done without bugs, but if you could point that out to me, I’d just be so grateful.

We aren’t talking about minor bugs here, Stephen. We’re talking about the company building the website showing a powerpoint presentation to the administration as a working copy, we are talking about no testing being done, we are talking about laws that they violated designed to protect user information according to the Privacy Act of 1974. We are talking about knowing that the basic functionality of the website didn’t work and then NOT DELAYING IMPLEMENTATION.

Most everyone would have understood them saying that there were some issues, we’ve brought in a different group to fix it and we are going to have to delay the website (while still taking people in by phone and in person) in order to protect the users’s information and ensure that the website actually works.

Not minor bug fixes, whole processes that a) don’t work or b) aren’t even BUILT YET.

See, my job basically has me dealing with updates and upgrades, and all that junk all day. I get to see how many patches and revisions that even basic software gets. Your programs for whatever businesses you deal with might be immaculately perfect, but most of the animals I see out in the wild, especially from the big boys, can screw up just the same as anything else.

Again, there is a difference between bug fixing and what happened with the healthcare.gov website. That you can’t differentiate between the two of those means I really don’t want you working with me on any of my projects…

So, when you say that everything in the private domain runs without such big catastrophes, I have to wonder whether you and I share the same world or time period.

Name one.

Maybe in the place you are, private enterprise does everything right the first time, with big operating systems and big companies never getting anything wrong, but in the real world 90% of the big projects worth over ten million fail.

Fail? Please show me where you got that statistic, Stephen, and tell me again what constitutes failure? If after basic pre-implementation user testing the entire website fails to function as designed, do those companies release it to the entire user base anyway?

Granted, this was a high profile failure, in a system that ought not to be failing, but my thinking is that whenever you get something that complex together, it will be difficult to avoid unintended consequences.

How is it ‘complex’ Stephen? You keep SAYING that but, tell me SPECIFICALLY what is so complex about the healthcare.gov website?

Posted by: Rhinehold at November 21, 2013 11:32 AM
Comment #374448
I’d ask whether the system they built has the same requirements as the Federal Exchange, the same protocols for variation.

They are using the actual healthcare.gov back end…. It was made available for developers through published APIs to do just the thing that they are doing.

https://www.healthcare.gov/developers/

Posted by: Rhinehold at November 21, 2013 11:43 AM
Comment #374877

Let’s see what voters think and do in 2014?
The ACA is doing more harm than good.

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