Single-Payer Health Care Does Not Work

Lost amid the battle between opponents of Obamacare and the Democrats is an explanation of why single-payer health care is a bad idea. Protesters at these town hall meetings refer to government rationing of care and the argument that the government is incapable of running our health care system, but no one has offered the reasons why a movement towards a single-payer health care system would be a disaster.

Make no mistake: this health care bill will eventually move us towards a single-payer system. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi admitted as much. And President Obama favors such a system.

Yet here are the specific reasons why single-payer health care does not and will not work:

Problem 1: It inevitably must ration care.

A single-payer system is a “free-for-all system,” where costs are driven up. Patients over-consume health services because they don’t have to pay for them, and, thus, providers must oversupply those services. The only way a government can deal with overconsumption and oversupply is to ration those services through waiting lists.

Canada’s health care system, for example, illustrates this very point: everyone in Canada’s public system must wait for practically any procedure or diagnostic test or specialist consultation. Moreover, in the long term, access to care will decrease more substantially because the prospect of lower compensation (see below) and lower lifetime earnings reduces the incentive for talented people to choose careers in health care.

Problem 2: It would not save money.

When has our government ever saved money? Social Security is essentially bankrupt. Medicare will soon be bankrupt. So will Medicaid. These programs don’t save money and, instead, lose a lot of it because of the amount of fraud and, more importantly, the overuse they incentivize. Overuse is the real cause of rising health care costs.

After all, when something is free and you feel like you need it, would you ever stop asking for it? Moreover, as long as doctors are paid for providing you with that free service, why would they stop providing it? The same scenario would exist with a single-payer health care system. Overuse of services (again, because they are free) would limit any potential savings and eventually bankrupt the system.

Moreover, any analysis of costs savings by a government-run system is always misleading. Comparisons between private sector costs and the costs of a single-payer system usually exclude many government administrative expenses, such as the costs of collecting the taxes needed to fund the system and the salaries of politicians and their staff members who set health care policy. By contrast, the salary costs of executives and boards of directors who set insurance companies’ policies are included in private sector costs. A government is somewhat immune to the free-market bottom lines that private sector companies deal with annually. Government doesn’t have to account for every penny, and, thus, a lot is lost through the cracks.

Problem 3: Compensation for physicians and health care providers would decrease.

A single-payer system would substantially lower payments to physicians and health care providers compared to our current system. For those of you who embrace class warfare and think this is a good idea, consider this: human beings are only so charitable. Many will draw a line somewhere. An individual spends almost an entire decade (and hundreds of thousands of dollars in student loans) studying to become a doctor, and that doesn’t even include college. These people expect to be (and should be) compensated adequately for their effort and expertise. Whatever you think of what they should be paid, if they don’t feel they are paid enough, they will find something else to do. If doctors leave a profession that no longer pays well, the system will experience a reduction in the supply of active physicians.

That reduction, in turn, will impair access to health care and the quality of health care for everyone.

Problem 4: The quality of care would decrease.

Lower compensation for doctors will limit their ability to invest in advanced medical equipment and new technology, as well as the time they need to stay up to date with medical developments. These limitations, too, will impact the quality of health care for everyone.

Problem 5: It would take medical decisions away from doctors and patients.

A single-payer system will insert the government into private decision-making. Many provisions within the health care bill will slowly chip away an individual’s ability to make choices about everything from his or her private health insurance to actual decisions about medical care.

Now, who wants Uncle Sam telling you what insurance you should have or what treatment you should receive? These are private decisions made by an individual and, often, with the private advice of a physician. The government has no role or expertise in this area and should stay out.

Problem 6: It would hamper medical research.

A single-payer system would also reduce the rate of medical progress. Recall (from above) that, because doctors will be compensated less, fewer talented people will pursue careers in medicine. Fewer people receiving medical training decreases the supply of talented medical researchers and, thus, impairs medical research and progress.

Problem 7: The countries that have had single-payer systems for decades are slowly moving towards more private systems.

Canada, the United Kingdom, and even Sweden are slowly moving away from public systems of health care and allowing the private sector to take over. In each of these countries, particularly Canada, their single-payer systems have been disasters. Five-year cancer survival rates are higher in the U.S. than those in Canada. Americans have greater access to preventive screening tests and have higher treatment rates for chronic illnesses. Only half of emergency room patients are treated in a timely manner. The physician shortage is so severe that some towns hold lotteries, where the winners gain access to a local doctor.

The most vivid indictment of Canada’s system might be the fact that Canada's provincial governments rely on American medicine. Between 2006 and 2008, Ontario sent more than 160 patients to New York and Michigan for emergency neurosurgery. If Canada's single-payer system is preferable to our own, why would they send us their patients? (Hint: Because our system is better.)

These problems are likely only the beginning of what would happen to our health care if the Democrats have their way. I believe a majority of the country already understands the dangers of this health care bill. Details, however, are very important, and opponents of this bill must emphasize (to their Congressmen and fellow voters) the fatal drawbacks inherent in a single-payer system.

Posted by Robert M. Fojo at August 11, 2009 2:08 PM
Comments
Comment #286053

Great arguments, well not really. But another canard. This isn’t what’s on the table. So other than completely creating your own paper tiger, what else have you got?


problem 1: We now ration care, based on wealth.

problem 2: Analysis doesn’t agree with me so it is wrong. Medicaid is currently the dumping ground for private insurers. Bringing the healthy into the same system would financially shor it up. SS is only bankrupt because Congress steals from it. Remember Al Gore’s lock box?

problem 3:

Doctor’s aren’t running from England or Canada. Nice theory, too bad it’s just a theory.

Problem 4: Another canard. We aren’t the highest quality care in the world. In some areas, perhaps, in others not so much.

Problems 5 and 6: Currently Insurance companies decide. Obama’s plan puts control back into doctors hands. Research is mostly funded through government and university grants. We don’t really need another form of Viagra do we?

Problem 7: Aah, finally some reality. The world is not black vs. white, evil government vs. good business angels. Again, there are no proposals for a single payer system, no matter how much that worries you.

Posted by: gergle at August 11, 2009 3:33 PM
Comment #286058

1. Any kind of plan inevitably rations care. No health insurance plan covers everything. Limits are placed on the number of doctors today, raising their salaries and our costs. If having more doctors affects quality, I wonder why that hasn’t happened anywhere else.

2. A public option increases competition. Costs have gone up 80% in the last 3 years in states where there is only one provider.

3. I would rather have a physician that is merely rich and not overworked than one that is grossly overpaid and exhausted.

4. Don’t make me laugh. Do you know how the quality of our care compares to that of countries with single payer systems?

5. The only people talking about the government dictating what procedures you can have are Republicans who want to outlaw abortion. In all seriousness, any healthcare plan only covers so much.

6. There is simply no evidence for this claim.

7. I’ve heard nothing but the opposite.


There is a reason our vets recently protested to keep their public care from becoming privatized.

Posted by: Max at August 11, 2009 4:02 PM
Comment #286059

The only paper tiger here is Obama’s promise that what’s on the table isn’t a single-payer system. The effect of the current health care bill is that it will slowly drive private insurance out of business. The end result will be a government-run, single-payer system.

Posted by: Robert at August 11, 2009 4:03 PM
Comment #286064
1. Any kind of plan inevitably rations care. No health insurance plan covers everything.

No, but state mandates requires insurance companies to cover many things. This used to be around 200 procedures, now some states are over 1500…

2. A public option increases competition.

No, it doesn’t, not if you understand what competition is and how it differs when monopolies (especially ones with guns) come into play.

Costs have gone up 80% in the last 3 years in states where there is only one provider.

And the Democrats have continually blocked the removal of the requirement that insurance companies cannot cross state lines to offer their insurance.

3. I would rather have a physician that is merely rich and not overworked than one that is grossly overpaid and exhausted.

I would rather have the one I choose, leaving that decision up to me. Something that will most likely be a thing of the past pretty soon… :/

4. Don’t make me laugh. Do you know how the quality of our care compares to that of countries with single payer systems?

It ranks #1. Pretty good if you ask me.

http://politicalcalculations.blogspot.com/2007/09/natural-life-expectancy-in-united.html

5. The only people talking about the government dictating what procedures you can have are Republicans who want to outlaw abortion. In all seriousness, any healthcare plan only covers so much.

Um, no, I am an abortion supporter but I *KNOW* what will happen because it already happens in other government offered plans.

Will I be able to get gastric bypass surgery if I want it? What about invitro fertilization?

Of course, once the private plans are pushed out of existence, where would I go for those kinds of things except to pay for them out of my own pocket. My insurance currently pays for these.

6. There is simply no evidence for this claim.

Except that the most medical advances come from the US and fewer and fewer from those where there is no incentive to do research…

7. I’ve heard nothing but the opposite.

And considering that you seem to get your news from pretty biased sources…

Have a look at this.

The country’s publicly financed health insurance system — frequently described as the third rail of its political system and a core value of its national identity — is gradually breaking down. Private clinics are opening around the country by an estimated one a week, and private insurance companies are about to find a gold mine…..

But a Supreme Court ruling last June found that a Quebec provincial ban on private health insurance was unconstitutional when patients were suffering and even dying on waiting lists — appears to have become a turning point for the entire country.

“The prohibition on obtaining private health insurance is not constitutional where the public system fails to deliver reasonable services,” the court ruled.

In response, the Quebec premier, Jean Charest, proposed this month to allow private hospitals to subcontract hip, knee and cataract surgery to private clinics when patients are unable to be treated quickly enough under the public system. The premiers of British Columbia and Alberta have suggested they will go much further to encourage private health services and insurance in legislation they plan to propose in the next few months.

Private doctors across the country are not waiting for changes in the law, figuring provincial governments will not try to stop them only to face more test cases in the Supreme Court.

Posted by: Rhinehold at August 11, 2009 4:26 PM
Comment #286067

“Social Security is essentially bankrupt. Medicare will soon be bankrupt. So will Medicaid. “

You might just as well say that the US government is bankrupt.

OED[In 16th c. banke rota, banqueroute, a. It. banca rotta (Florio), and its F. adaptation banqueroute (in Cotgr. banqueroutte), with the second part subsequently assimilated to the equivalent L. ruptus, as in abrupt, etc. The It. banca rotta is literally ‘bank broken,’ or ‘bench broken.’ The transference of sense from the fact to the agent (in sense 2) is peculiar to Eng.

According to Johnson ‘it is said’ that when an Italian money-changer became insolvent, ‘his bench was broke.’ But rotto, rotta is also ‘wrecked’ (used of a ship); and fig. ‘discomfited, defeated, interrupted, stopped.’ Cf. the familiar use of break = become insolvent, broken insolvent; also med.L. ruptura failure, ruptus broken man, bankrupt, ‘creditorum fraudator, aut decoctor, qui dissolvit argentariam et foro cedit’ in Du Cange, who has an example dated 1334.

1. The wreck or break-up of a trader’s business in consequence of his failure to pay his creditors; or (in early use) his shutting up or desertion of his place of business without payment of his liabilities.

2. A merchant, trader, or other person, whose property and effects, on his becoming insolvent, are administered and distributed for the benefit of all his creditors, under that system of statutory regulations called the Bankrupt or Bankruptcy Laws. As these laws (which began in England with Acts 34 and 35 Henry VIII, c. 4) were originally directed against fraudulent traders, who absconded with the property of their creditors, or eluded the attempts of creditors to get at them, the earlier senses were:

a. in Law. ‘A trader who secretes himself, or does certain other acts tending to defraud his creditors.’ Blackstone.

b. popularly. One who has brought himself into debt by reckless expenditure or riotous living; a fugitive from his creditors, a broken man in sanctuary or outlawry. (In these senses the bankrupt was a criminal.)

1593 R. HARVEY Philad., By gathering more bankrupts & ruffians to his side.
1614 RALEIGH Hist. World IV. vii. §1. 533 Upon instigation of some desperate bankrouts..they made an uproar.
1709 STEELE Tatler No. 44 {page}6 He can no more live here than if he were a downright Bankrupt.

c. in Law. Also, a trader, who did certain acts which had the effect of defeating his creditors of their property, without reference to any intention on his part.

d. in Mod. Law. Any trader or other person insolvent, who, on the petition of a creditor or creditors, or on his own petition, to the Bankruptcy Court, is declared or adjudged bankrupt, and his estates administered as stated above.

Formerly only a trader could be made a bankrupt; other persons became insolvent; in U.S. the legal distinction between the two was abolished in 1841, and in England in 1869; it had long before disappeared in popular use.

1869 Act 32-3 Victoria lxxi. 76 A single creditor..of not less than fifty pounds, may present a petition to the Court, praying that the debtor be adjudged a bankrupt.

e. popularly. An insolvent debtor; one who is unable to meet his liabilities, whether he is in the Bankruptcy Court or not.

f. to play the bankrupt: to become insolvent, to fail to pay one’s debts; often, to play false with the money of others,

3. One hopelessly in debt; one who has lost all his means, and is without resources.

Posted by: ohrealy at August 11, 2009 5:07 PM
Comment #286069

Robert said: “The only paper tiger here is Obama’s promise that what’s on the table isn’t a single-payer system. The effect of the current health care bill is that it will slowly drive private insurance out of business.”

Apparently, Robert does not believe in the capitalism. For surely, if the government provides health care to those who can’t afford the private insurance, the private insurers will still offer a better insurance plan to those who don’t want government sponsored insurance. We have a socialized military, but, it has hardly put private defense contractors out of business, now has it? Quite the opposite, in fact.

We have Social Security, but, it hasn’t put retirement planners and investment firms out of business, now has it?

Just more fear mongering without fact, reality, or logic to underpin it.

Posted by: David R. Remer at August 11, 2009 6:05 PM
Comment #286071

Yes, Robert Fojo, and Area 51 continues to be a highly classified landing site for regular extra-terrestrial visitors conspiring with the U.S. government to take over the world.

Your article makes assertions without evidence, and in contradiction to reality, and loaded with misdirection and misinformation.

See my comment above to Robert to begin with.

Then, acknowledge the reality that providing insurance coverage to the uninsured will not eliminate for-profit insurance companies from competing with each other for those who can afford and choose to remain on private insurance plans either as individuals or through their employers, or other private association plans. If the government plan results in private insurers consolidating through mergers and acquisitions due to competitive pressures, that is capitalism.

But, the fact is this will be a win-win for the American people to have competitive insurance plans. If the government’s plan disappoints its insureds, those insureds will be motivated to secure private insurance, increasing business for private insurers. And the converse will also be true. That, Robert, is choice and competition in the market place. What your article really argues for is less choice and competition, and for oligopolism of private insurers. I forget exactly, is it 5 insurers who carry 80% of the health insurance policies in America? That is monopoly through collective cooperation, not competition.

Is the government’s ownership of GM putting Toyota, Ford, or Honda out of business? Of course not. And assertions that a government sponsored insurance for the uninsured would eliminate private insurance, are demonstrably false.

There is a demographic event occurring that is going to cost nations more for health care REGARDLESS of what plans are in place to make that health care accessible and available. Fewer workers, more retirees. So, regardless of whether there is a government plan, private plans, or both, the costs are going up for both, and this has nothing inherently to do with the structure of either plan. It is a demographic event, and a challenge for all nations going forward.

Posted by: David R. Remer at August 11, 2009 6:21 PM
Comment #286074

David, I’m making assertions without evidence? Really? There are no less than 10-15 links in that article regarding the assertions I make.

Moreover, this health care bill will drive private insurers out of business. Have a read: http://blog.heritage.org/2009/08/11/obama-in-2008-obamacare-will-eliminate-private-insurance-over-time/

This isn’t capitalism at all. It’s providing a public option that will incentivize private businesses to stop subsidizing their employees’ health care. The end result is the dumping of 100 million people into a government-run system. That’s not competition; it’s the establishment of a monopoly.

Your analogies regarding social security, car companies, etc. are totally inapposite. The government-owned car companies aren’t offering anything cheaper than Honda, etc. As for social security, people buy private retirement plans to subsidize their social security payments. They don’t opt for one over the other. This is an entirely different situation.

Instead of labeling me a fearmonger, I’d invite you to read at least some of the links in my post.

Posted by: Robert at August 11, 2009 7:18 PM
Comment #286075

I read an interesting article in the NY Times yesterday which indicated that about $440 billion of the cost of the currently proposed health care reform will come from savings such as;
1. tracking procedures to prevent duplication of costly tests.
2. a national health data base to help determine what procedures and treatments effect the best outcomes.
3. Eliminate medical fraud.

This sounds reasonable to me and perhaps we should go forward with this part of the proposed legislation and wait a few years to see if there truly is a huge savings before we legislate the rest of the health care plan.

If significant savings do materialize that’s great and we can then decide how to spend those savings.

I am on Medicare and also have a MedSup. My physician gives me excellent care and I am very pleased with my coverage and cost. I do wonder however how my care might suffer when 40 or 50 million more patients are added to the system. Where are the additional doctors, nurses and hospitals coming from to handle this additional patient load? I also wonder how many folks will increase their doctor visits for minor health problems. Will the system become overloaded?

I read in the newspaper that Mr. Obama says our private insurance companies decide what medical bills they will pay. That’s false. Anyone who has ever had an insurance contract, of any kind, knows what a contract means. It’s a written agreement with everything spelled out and enforceable by law. If a medical procedure is covered in the policy it is paid. If not, it isn’t paid.

I really don’t like the idea of replacing a contract with some politicians word…do you?

Posted by: Royal Flush at August 11, 2009 7:30 PM
Comment #286077

Royal Flush,
The problem with the insurance contract is that the private insurance company has staff dedicated to finding ways of revoking the agreement if a person has high medical costs. Recission only occurs in .5% of all cases. However, 80% of people with private health insurance use little coverage. Only 1% of those covered incur high medical costs in excess of $35,000- in other words, they are really sick. These are the people private insurers primarily targeted through recission. If a person loses coverage and becomes ill, no private insurer will cover that pre-existing condition.

Your Medicare is a government program. Do you trust the politican’s word behind Medicare more than a contract cut with a large corporation whose goal is NOT your good health, but to profit?

Posted by: phx8 at August 11, 2009 8:09 PM
Comment #286078

But do you have a real choice in signing that contract or not? that’s the problem. It’s like choosing which uncertain, precarious black hole to jump down head first. Right now insurance company bureaucrats are drawing up contracts that will ensure they don’t get ripped too badly. They know precisely which things to cover to eliminate over abuse and give you as little coverage as possible.

Posted by: Mike Falino at August 11, 2009 8:10 PM
Comment #286079

for those who can afford and choose to remain on private insurance plans either as individuals or through their employers, or other private association plans.

What will be the participation limit (no. of employees of a company) and what is the tax penalty for employers who don’t provide private coverage? In reading the House bill the first point starts out low but is subject to adjustment after 3 years. The second point has been discussed at 8%.

Changing either one or both of those inputs will impact public option participation. If the size standard is changed to include larger firms, more CFOs will make a calculated decision on whether to provide private insurance or not based on a financial comparison to paying the payroll penalty.

The employee’s “choice” will then be to change employers or go to the public plan, but because of the payroll tax the employer pays there is little or no hope in getting the money that was being applied as a benefit to you. And your employment means you don’t recieve the public plan for free.

Is that the stuff of Area 51 or a legitimate concern?

Posted by: George at August 11, 2009 8:22 PM
Comment #286082

If single payer health care doesn’t work, how come so many other countries have figured it out?

Don’t believe one lick of the propaganda you hear about how horrible care is in Canada, France, the UK, etc. Do Republicans actually think in today’s global world we don’t know ACTUAL citizens of these nations first hand? I do, I’ve talked with them about these issues. The notion that a government sponsored plan is failing miserably in these other nations is a LIE.

Just like the propaganda and lies we’ve all been fed during our lives about how horrible socialism and communism is. I know dozens of Russian Americans who lived in the USSR in the height of the cold war and are utterly baffled at the lies the radical right has been beating into us for generations.

There’s not a single fact in this article that’s backed up by any other source than a right wing publication. This speaks volumes. Give us something unbiased and we might have a conversation. Otherwise it’s just the same internal right wing vitriol.

Who is happy with the status quo? How can you be?
The status quo is stupidly expensive. I just paid 20k for a 15 minute knee surgery. 15 minutes in the O.R.?! WTF?? Are you telling me that $80,000/hr is a reasonable fee to charge? It took 4 months and 4 orthopedic surgeons to get to the decision of surgery, during which time the same tests were done over and over again, costing close to $10k. Our system is completely and totally out of control.

We Americans owe it to ourselves to try the solutions offered. I appreciate those nay sayers who offer up constructive discussion about the issue, but arguing that something that’s working very well in other industrialized nations won’t work here, based solely on the same old lies and fear mongering the right has pushed on us for decades, isn’t gonna cut it.

Posted by: Timothy at August 11, 2009 8:58 PM
Comment #286083

A timely article on single payer healthcare.

What? Oh. That’s right, there is no legislation for single payer coverage out there. Like Claire McCaskill patiently explained to some right wing folks who were in good voice, practically nobody would support such a bill.

But I guess if you don’t exaggerate enough, you might find yourself arguing against something that people actually want, which would not be so easy to get agreement on.

After all, if people actually understand many of the reforms, or are lead to understand them, the polls say they rather like them.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at August 11, 2009 9:03 PM
Comment #286087

Rationing - Who does the best cardiologist in the U.S. operate on? I’m pretty sure it’s the guy with the most money. If healthcare weren’t rationed, he or she would perform all the heart surgeries. That’s fantasy land. The question is - how do we ration healthcare? I rather have a government agency making that decision than a for-profit insurance company. The problem is not big government; the problem is small government - small government controlled by lobbyists.
Canada - Everyone I’ve talked to from Canada is quite pleased with their system (one of whom is involved in cancer treatment and multiple operations). I suppose there might be a few rich people who aren’t.
Single payor system - not officially on the table, but a well run government insurance system with overhead as low as Medicare could run the for-profit insurance companies out of business - now explain to me why that is a bad thing.
Quality - The U.S. ranks 65th (6.26 deaths in first year per 1000 live births) in preventing infant mortality. Countries such as Cuba and Slovenia do better. In fact, about 16,750 babies die in the U.S. every year who would be alive if we were the best at preventing infant mortality. (That honor belongs to Singapore with a 2.31 rate.) So if you like babies dying, a suggest you advocate doing nothing about our great health care system.

Posted by: Tom at August 11, 2009 10:03 PM
Comment #286092
The U.S. ranks 65th (6.26 deaths in first year per 1000 live births) in preventing infant mortality.

Ah, another already debunked canard…

http://healthcare-economist.com/2007/10/02/health-care-system-grudge-match-canada-vs-us/

And before you trot out the old ‘37th in life expectancy thing’ try

http://politicalcalculations.blogspot.com/2007/09/natural-life-expectancy-in-united.html

Posted by: Rhinehold at August 11, 2009 10:28 PM
Comment #286093
The country’s publicly financed health insurance system — frequently described as the third rail of its political system and a core value of its national identity — is gradually breaking down. Private clinics are opening around the country by an estimated one a week, and private insurance companies are about to find a gold mine…..

But a Supreme Court ruling last June — it found that a Quebec provincial ban on private health insurance was unconstitutional when patients were suffering and even dying on waiting lists — appears to have become a turning point for the entire country.

“The prohibition on obtaining private health insurance is not constitutional where the public system fails to deliver reasonable services,” the court ruled.

In response, the Quebec premier, Jean Charest, proposed this month to allow private hospitals to subcontract hip, knee and cataract surgery to private clinics when patients are unable to be treated quickly enough under the public system. The premiers of British Columbia and Alberta have suggested they will go much further to encourage private health services and insurance in legislation they plan to propose in the next few months.

Private doctors across the country are not waiting for changes in the law, figuring provincial governments will not try to stop them only to face more test cases in the Supreme Court.

Talk to more people Tom. I’m not sure why so many people would be turning to private care at such a rate to make it necessary to have these types of issues, but I doubt it would be a problem if most people were pleased…

Posted by: Rhinehold at August 11, 2009 10:30 PM
Comment #286097

BTW, possibly the most poignant statement I’ve heard at least this week:

It is notable that the mainstream Republican position is that the President is a mysterious quasi-socialist who isn’t to be trusted… except with sweeping executive powers to do pretty much anything he wants in foreign policy… whereas the mainstream Democratic position is that it’s irrational to fear that the federal government will engage in obviously immoral practices… except for all the torture it committed and detainees it abused over the last 8 years.
Posted by: Rhinehold at August 11, 2009 10:45 PM
Comment #286098

Oh, and let’s nevermind that Canada doesn’t have to muck about with worrying about violating anyone’s 9th or 10th amendment rights either…

Silly Americans, believing in something so quaint as individual liberties (for now).

Posted by: Rhinehold at August 11, 2009 10:55 PM
Comment #286100

Rhinehold-
Careful about quotation. You don’t have a link on that substantial quote.

Life Expectancy is all about what you live to if born today. Given that few of us were born yesterday, I don’t think we should readily accept that line about accidental deaths being excludeable. For one thing, dealing with accidents is part of dealing with real world medicine. I’ve had some recent experience with that. Medical mistakes can kill, as can bureacratic decision making, things like having to wait for somebody’s doctor to get them treated.

It’s like thinking that because the heart is a organ that’s anatomically distinct, that it won’t be messy to cut one out from the rest of the body.

Additionally, healthcare is not merely about what people die of, but what they deal with afterwards. I know another person who I believe, due to poor healthcare, saw his earning potential inordinately reduced, and his quality of life later reduced as well.

I’ve seen first hand how this current system disadvantages people, and I’ve seen it cause problems across income ranges.

So you can count on me not favoring the status quo.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at August 11, 2009 10:59 PM
Comment #286101

Daugherty,

See my link above re: the well-known fact that the current health care bill will effectively drive private insurers out of business. Even if it’s not labeled a “single-payer system,” logic would dictate that it will eventually (within a few years) create such a system. The American people (whom you admit would never support such a system) are smarter than our politicians and know that the current bill will create a single-payer system. That’s why they are so passionately opposing it in these town hall meetings. God bless them.

Posted by: Robert at August 11, 2009 11:18 PM
Comment #286105
Given that few of us were born yesterday, I don’t think we should readily accept that line about accidental deaths being excludeable

You are going to have to explain that one to me slowly Stephen…

If someone uses ‘life expectancy’ to say that a healthcare system is bad or good, should they not take out those parts of the life expectancy figures that the healthcare system has no control over?

If I come up behind you and but a gun to the back of your head and pull the trigger, you die instantly (most often). Now, did the healthcare industry have anything to do with that death? If not (and you can’t logically say it does) and it is added to the life expectancy stats that are then used to say that the US healthcare system is failing, then those stats are flawed.

No one is saying that MEDICAL accidents should not be included, we’re talking about automobile accidents when people are dead at the scene. Or murders when people are dead before anyone can get to or can reasonably be able to do anything about them. Overdoses, electrocutions, falling from large buildings, etc. There is no reasonable way anyone can include those in the statistics if you are focused just on healthcare.

At least someone has tried to calculate those accidents, murders, ect out of the equation. You don’t like them and don’t like answer they came up with, but you can’t point to anyone else who is interested in doing the hard work in finding out those numbers and instead support those who use the flawed statistics to scare people into panic and crisis mode.

I heard the President say that the RIGHT was the ones using fear and panic to get people moving… but he refuses (and I’m sure you do as well) to accept that the LEFT is using fear and panic to get people moving to accept changing the system. With flawed statistics like the life expectancy and low birth weight numbers. They’ve been debunked, yet the left keeps on using them and then wondering why the right uses statistics and other information that is incorrect to push THEIR agenda. Neither one is interested in TRUTH. They want their agenda pushed.

I’ve seen first hand how this current system disadvantages people, and I’ve seen it cause problems across income ranges.

Welcome to life. If you want perfection, you’ve come to the wrong place. And you SURE aren’t going to get it with an increase in government in the equation. If you think you are you are going to be eternally disappointed.

Posted by: Rhinehold at August 11, 2009 11:42 PM
Comment #286106

Robert-
It will only create such a system if the other system, supposedly superior, drives off so many people as to make that a reality.

The question is whether increases in healthcare profits are the result of hard work, and a job well done, or the optimizing of the company and the laws that govern it to produce certain numbers that please Wall Street.

Given the staggering inefficiencies of the system, the ever rising costs, the fact that the places where costs have risen highest have not seen concomitant rises in quality of healthcare, I think its plain to say that the latter option is more likely.

As for your logical implication? Well if private insurance companies don’t take the hint, the Public Option could be such a death knell. If they instead take the hint and reform themselves, then they’ll prove a government program can’t steal customers from them.

As for admissions, I haven’t made any of the kind you claim. I did not claim that the Public’s against the Public Option, instead I would say that nearly every poll that asks about it finds the public option in favor.

As for the town hall meetings? We got the admissions of the FreedomWorks think tank employees that they’re playing a major role in organizing the Tea Partisans, which means, oddly enough that your God-Blessed anti-democratic disruptions, wherein your folks get to exercise their freedom of speech by impinging on that of others, aren’t quite the spontaneous grassroots eruptions of everyman rage you’re trying to get them to be.

In other words, I didn’t fall off the back of a watermelon truck yesterday. These things are astroturfed like a bloody pee-wee golf course.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at August 11, 2009 11:56 PM
Comment #286107

Tell me, Stephen, is organizing smaller groups of organizations to make them more effective a bad thing or a good thing? Because that is what you are calling ‘astroturfing’. I’ve already debunked many of your claims (and did again in the other column) yet you keep making them, and then wonder why the right keeps using debunked information in their arguments…

When the left does it, it’s ok. When the right does it, it’s not. I don’t see the specific point you make that differentiates the too, other than one supports your policies and the other doesn’t…

Of course, that is a different argument than wanting to ‘shut down debate’, which again I debunked several times, but you keep mushing the two together. But when has the left avoided that practice?

Posted by: Rhinehold at August 12, 2009 12:07 AM
Comment #286109
It will only create such a system if the other system, supposedly superior, drives off so many people as to make that a reality.

Stephen, I would agree 100% with you *IF* the ‘other option’ were a non-governmental organization, or NGO.

Because the government cannot compete fairly in any market. It is an impossibility. It can push the costs onto people who don’t use the system and further onto people who aren’t even born yet and have no representation.

Let’s use an example. Microsoft decides to get into the iPhone business and puts out a Zune Phone. Now, were it a GOVERNMENAL entity, it could put the phone out at 50 bucks a piece and charge everyone who buys an iPhone tax. Even if the Zune Phone were inferior, how many people would then start using the Zune Phone (since they already pay for it) and not the iPhone? Pretty soon, only the very rich could afford an iPhone on top of the money they are already paying for the Zune Phone. The financial incentive for Apple would be over, so eventually it would just stop selling them…

Do you NOT remember what happened to Netscape? It’s a very similar tale.

And the naivete and/or willing BS that the left is pulling on this topic both saddens and amazes me at the same time…

Posted by: Rhinehold at August 12, 2009 12:14 AM
Comment #286110

Rhinehold-

You are going to have to explain that one to me slowly Stephen…

Let me give you an example: two people fall over. One of them is a sixty year old woman who has a heart condition. The other is a healthy twenty year old. Maybe healthcare has nothing to do with how well the latter deals with the fall, but what about the former?

Life Expectancy is the age you might live to if you were born today. So trying to apply accidental death statistics to things means dealing with those who grew up in times where, for many reasons, life expectancy was lower. Reasons for this include inferior quality of historical care, more exposure to pathogens that would leave their mark on a person’s health thereafter, greater exposure to toxic pollutants, not to mention various exposures to heavy metals and airborne particulate contaminates.

Oh, and yes, more smoking.

There’s another angle to this: you’re assuming a one to one correspondence between accidental death and what shows up in life expectancy.

What you’re not considering is that statistics might skew different ways for different reasons in that respect. For one thing, it my skew towards youths because they do more stupid things and take more risks. But they might also skew more towards older folks, who have less robust bodies, less ability to multitask, inferior sensory sensitivity and reaction.

I don’t like the answer you folks come up with because it tries to make hard and fast distinctions where they don’t exist.

As far as fear goes? Well, my opinion is that fear is not always a bad emotion. It’s a survival trait. Sometimes you fear something for a good reason.

Sometimes. You got to be sure of that.

Some folks just say whatever it takes to get people afraid. There fear is the mind-killer. Fear is what sends people running in different directions because they think something might be true, not because it is.

More to the point, who went out of their way to deliberately disrupt the discourse?

I don’t want perfection. I want decent function. I want the purposes that we build these institutions for fulfilled. It’s not an increase in government that I’m putting my hopes in, but a change in government, and I am willing to see changes made to the structure until it works.

But don’t expect me, with that mindset, to think much of people who are coming to those townhalls for no better reason than to stop those voted into the majority by the majority from following their mandate.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at August 12, 2009 12:16 AM
Comment #286111

BTW, this is the same thing that is going on with our school system, which of course the left pretends doesn’t exist, and why they oppose school choice because they KNOW and FREELY ADMIT that it would cripple attendance at the government run schools…

So everyone is paying for the public schools and those rich enough to afford it can send their children to the better private schools (like Obama) and WE get a far inferior uneducated graduate entering the job force and voting.

The Left has blocked any attempts to remove this unfairness, just as it blocked any attempt to remove the limit on health insurers to insure across state lines and allow real competition, then complain when the result is bad. And the answer must be MORE GOVERNMENT, never acknowledging the fact that it was GOVERNMENT that caused the problems in the first place.

The GOVERNMENT is the reason we have employer based health insurance today and is the reason that some states only have a handful, or one, insurance company operating within it.

Posted by: Rhinehold at August 12, 2009 12:19 AM
Comment #286112

Rhinehold-
First, it’s only astroturfing if you’re not open about what’s being done, when you’re trying to claim that you’re something you’re not. The Obama campaign used similar organizing principles, but instead of hiding the fact that these former grassroots organizations were now part of something bigger, it became an honestly publicized part of the organizational story.

Not so, the Tea Partisans. They instead insist that this is all grassroots rage. Then when you point out their support comes from an elite-funded elite-lead group that industry insiders pay the bill for, that somehow becomes beside the point.

Except it isn’t. Would these people be leaders in all this, if that were the case, or would they be just some fringe groups puttering around home?

Somebody doesn’t want their points and their propaganda judged in its proper context.

Or put another way, they’re lying to us, and helping others to lie for cynical political reasons, whatever the sincere or insincere motivations they might carry. Their message should be considered appropriately.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at August 12, 2009 12:26 AM
Comment #286113

Rhinehold-
Why are we paying government to ship the kids off to unaccountable private entities. Public education is public. Let private money fund private schools, and public money fund public schools. The combination of the two is simple corruption of both groups responsibilities.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at August 12, 2009 12:28 AM
Comment #286114
Why are we paying government to ship the kids off to unaccountable private entities. Public education is public. Let private money fund private schools, and public money fund public schools. The combination of the two is simple corruption of both groups responsibilities.

And the point goes right over the head…

The Obama campaign used similar organizing principles, but instead of hiding the fact that these former grassroots organizations were now part of something bigger, it became an honestly publicized part of the organizational story.

Again, what a load of garbage. In February, we were being told that Obama’s campaign was still grassroots. In fact, we were told that his national campaign’s investment in the grassroots efforts is where his advantage was.

The real fact is, the campaign was doing the same thing that FreedomWorks is doing now, only they were advancing ideals you disagree with.

It was NOT like all of these small groups decided to put Obama on the ticket and he woke up one day and realized that he was suddenly winning elections on Super Tuesday. But what we read from the LA Times then was:

What gave Obama an edge, his strategists say, was a heavy investment in grass-roots organizing, coupled with support from local politicians and community leaders who lent their personal credibility to a relatively little-known Illinois senator who might have seemed worlds away from the lives of local voters.

Tell me, Stephen, exactly, where is the difference?

Or put another way, they’re lying to us

Who’s lying to you, Stephen? When and where did anyone lie to you, other than to say they were a grassroots organization, which as far as I can see they are?

You keep on ignoring that these smaller groups have existed for some time, long before 2009. That FreedomWorks created a way for them to be better organized is different from the Obama campaign how EXACTLY?

Posted by: Rhinehold at August 12, 2009 1:16 AM
Comment #286115

This was written by you in May 2008, Stephen:

It helps things that Barack Obama’s campaign involves people so much at a grassroots level, that it’s funding, it’s style of spreading the campaign relies on people’s own initiative. This is a campaign, it seems that happens with you, rather than just to you.

Now, are you suggesting that the people who are part of the smaller organizations are not using their own initiative? I’m trying to use your own words to determine what YOU mean by ‘grassroots’ here, because I’m having trouble figuring out what you see as the difference and how it makes any difference at all…

Do you suggest that the Obama campaign wasn’t bringing in money and directing it to the local campaigns where needed? That they weren’t organizing those groups from a central location?

Please help me out here, Stephen…

Posted by: Rhinehold at August 12, 2009 1:36 AM
Comment #286118

Rhinehold,

So everyone is paying for the public schools and those rich enough to afford it can send their children to the better private schools (like Obama) and WE get a far inferior uneducated graduate entering the job force and voting.

BS. One can get fine education in public schools. What private schools offer is a more “protected” enviroment for children. If you fear contaminating your children with influences of the “underclasses” you will send your children to private school. Of course, one may simply be substituting the bad influences of the underclasses for the bad influences of the idly rich.

What makes the difference is involvement of the parents. Period.

Posted by: gergle at August 12, 2009 2:43 AM
Comment #286119
One can get fine education in public schools.

Well, I was educated in a private school until I was in 4th grade. My family moved and I went to a public school. I moved in the middle of the year. I was a year ahead of everyone in my class when I arrived.

This is the experience most people have who have been in both systems.

Or… I’m just smart. Of course that doesn’t explain why they were teaching us in 3rd grade at a private school what was being taught in 4th grade at a public school…

Personally, I think your ‘view’ is a bit simplistic. I do agree parents have a lot to do with it, but the school has a lot to do with it too.

Posted by: Rhinehold at August 12, 2009 2:47 AM
Comment #286120

Rhinehold,

Do you NOT remember what happened to Netscape? It’s a very similar tale.

You’re saying Netscape no longer dominates because of government intervention? Huh? I’m confused.

Posted by: gergle at August 12, 2009 2:50 AM
Comment #286121

Rhinehold,

I was in Public schools my entire k-12. I met some kids who attended a local Catholic school. They felt they were behind us. My sister taught at that school later and complained that her resources were limited there.

I just don’t buy that you can’t get a good education in public school. You seem to be evidence of that, as you point out. I do understand why some parents may fear inner city gangs and such in some public schools.

Posted by: gergle at August 12, 2009 2:55 AM
Comment #286122

I should point out I grew up in a suburb or ex-burb of Dayton, Ohio in the sixties. It was a small school that I walked to and rode a bike to Jr. High. It was nearly an all white school.

I’m not suggesting all public schools are the same. My parents were a part of white flight. That is still the case here in Houston, though public schools are far different today from what they were then.

Posted by: gergle at August 12, 2009 3:01 AM
Comment #286130

Rhinehold-
Look, I never have said that Obama’s campaign was entirely grassroots. In fact my argument is, Obama’s campaign was very honest about the fact that it was a national campaign that would help seed grassroots-level pro-Obama groups, then come along and organize them and fund them as they came along. Nobody was trying to hide the fact that it was a hybrid set-up, not entirely grassroots.

These other people, though, insist that everything’s just grassroots. Even the economic and political elite-founded group, led by a former Congresscritter, founded by a billionaire energy magnate’s heirs and successors.

This is what drives me up the wall about Republican Politics, and the right-wing politics that follows in lockstep: they claim they’re populists, but their policies, if you look who its aimed at, are purely elitist in their aims and philosophy. Why is it that only a rich folk’s tax cut can be of economic benefit? Why is it that the industries always seem to be the only right folks with the Republicans?

This is elitism twisted to sound like populism, implying an argument that should raise red flags for true populists, if they’re paying attention: only by helping the rich and powerful can we help everybody else.

We Democrats, for all our flaws, and our imperfect record concerning special interests, at least have a philosophy that doesn’t encourage and reinforce a view that the populace only benefits when the elites get what they want.

And essentially, you have all those grassroots people out there, even if they are grassroots, who essentially have that philosophy- that the optimum outcome is a free market outcome- or in other words the outcome where the economic elites charge whatever the market will bear and do whatever the market allows them to do.

That’s already intolerable as far as healthcare goes.

So, there are two points on which Obama’s people are better than these folks: one, they’re not hiding their associations, not claiming that it’s all just pure grassroots, and two, the grassroots from Obama’s side reflects populism not just in rhetoric, but in what they hope comes of the legislation- more equitable outcomes for the poor and middle class, rather than just better outcomes for the rich and powerful, from which benefits are supposed to (but really rarely) shower down upon the rest of us.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at August 12, 2009 9:05 AM
Comment #286176

Rhinehold
I’m a bit confused here. Help me out. If lack of competition is what is causing the problems in our school, do you advocate a second or third fire department, police agency etc. so that there is more competition? Will it bring better service?

Private schools pay their teacher less than public schools, work them harder, give less benefits. What is the incentive for the best teachers to go there and how does that fit with your view of capitalism and a market based system?

Posted by: 037 at August 12, 2009 7:05 PM
Comment #286193

Robert states “Moreover, this health care bill will drive private insurers out of business. Have a read: http://blog.heritage.org/2009/08/11/obama-in-2008-obamacare-will-eliminate-private-insurance-over-time/”

So I did. A comment caught my eye. “ShaneFM, Torrance, CA writes:

Not only does this “hogwash” article only create a mythical boogeyman from complete and utter lies…the very Group “The Lewin Group” that is the supposedly the credible source…has been linked to one of the major Private Insurance Companys-United Healthcare. That alone makes me question there objectives. And if that was enough they’ve claimed that they were not funded by insurance companys until someone exposed them. So, my basic point is that your “credible source” fabricates lies in the behest of business interest and not the interest of YOU or ME!

Robert it seems your sources are the one’s creating the health insurance problem for their own gain, why would you think they have any credibility whatsoever?

Posted by: j2t2 at August 12, 2009 10:21 PM
Comment #286196

Stephen,

You said, “What? Oh. That’s right, there is no legislation for single payer coverage out there. Like Claire McCaskill patiently explained to some right wing folks who were in good voice, practically nobody would support such a bill.”

I agree, but I’m confused when you go further to believe that the reforms will necessarily lead to better medical outcomes. You have cited medical mistakes as a contributer to our problems, how is a bill that is primarily organized around funding the same medical care that we are already receiving going to make dramatic changes in medical mistakes?

Posted by: Rob at August 12, 2009 11:20 PM
Comment #286197

david

robert has it right. apparently you haven’t bothered to read the bill. don’t feel bad though neither has most of the congress, or obama for that matter, but don’t let that stop you continue telling everyone how wrong they are.

Posted by: dbs at August 12, 2009 11:33 PM
Comment #286200

Rhinehold said “And the Democrats have continually blocked the removal of the requirement that insurance companies cannot cross state lines to offer their insurance.”

There is a reason for that. Once they can cross state lines easily what will happen is the same with financial, all insurances companies will move to the least regulated state and that state rules. Next thing you know they are paying voters of that state with free health insurance to keep in power. By that time though I’m sure there will be a civil war.

“Of course, once the private plans are pushed out of existence, where would I go for those kinds of things except to pay for them out of my own pocket. My insurance currently pays for these.”

If you ask me, there should either be a government run insurance, or better yet. No insurance companies. The people who can afford their care can, otherwise let charity do its work. Again, with your last suggestion Rhinehold if people can still go privately to the doctor and not need health insurance then it can be deemed constitutional. Besides Canada and US does not have the same constitution as ours. Their Supreme Court fails at logic. It is not a constitutional right in Canada for healthcare, just like it is not a right in the US.

Robert disappoints us with lack of facts “Moreover, this health care bill will drive private insurers out of business. Have a read: http://blog.heritage.org/2009/08/11/obama-in-2008-obamacare-will-eliminate-private-insurance-over-time/” If you bother to read the blog, which I did, no facts of evidence that this will destroy, kill, bankrupt or otherwise disable private health insurance. Very Lame to site a source. Now of course private insurance could go out of existance but chances are slim if not none. Besides Repbulicans keep saying that we will have to ration ration ration, and we won’t be able to cover everything. Well guess what? That gives something for private insurers to cover. Like I said before I think there should be a government option, but private insurance should, and they will stick around. I mean god we still have the post office, and you don’t see fedex or ups being killed, not including all the other shipping companies.

Rhinehold, The reason we have a mix of private and public education is to control costs or to Ration education. You are right, no different then health care. Everyone is guaranteed to get some education, but the people with the money get more of it. Never forget that those that have private education usually can also afford private tutors. That and their parents generally demand more education out of their children, unlike most of the general public.

About education now, when I went to school there was 3 “classes” of people. The smart kids, the average kids, and the ED kids. The smart kids were the ones taken advance courses, and their grades could support it. The average kids could move up or down depending on their grades. ED kids could also move up if their grades surpassed their skill level. I do agree there is bad public schools, but there is also good public schools. Role models and Parents have more role in education then you probably would ever think Rhinehold. That is why some choose to home school and still get a better education then both private and public.

But something like DAN would say, You only get what you put into it.

Posted by: kudos at August 13, 2009 12:23 AM
Comment #286210

Rob-
The Public Option is not the only reform. There’s going to be an institute of kinds, a CBO for medical procedures, which would advise doctors and patients on cost effective treatment. There’s going to be a push for digitizing records, which is empirically proven to improve patient care, as well as create an emphasis on preventative care in the public option, which is also shown to have good effects.

dbs-
I really doubt that nobody has read the bill, or had a staffer read the bill and give them the nickel summary. I think that’s just one of those difficult to disprove but impossible to factcheck notions that folks fling around for theatric effect.

Although you could argue many Republicans haven’t read the bill, given the outlandish, yet authoritatively delivered criticisms they have of the legislation.

I mean really, there is no excuse here for the Republicans. They can’t say, like with the Stimulus Package, that they only had a couple weeks to read it. They have something like a month at this point, and if they aren’t so busy inciting their crowd to riot, they might actually read the legislation.

You’re excusing your politician’s laziness.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at August 13, 2009 8:15 AM
Comment #286243

Fees at the public high schools where I live are equal to the tuition that I paid at the high school that I attended until 1969. The tuition at that school is now Twenty times what it was then, although still less than this fine private school in a prosperous suburb with highly ranked public schools: http://www.nscds.org/Default.asp?bhcp=1

Incidentally, Arne Duncan’s plans for “public” education, are based in part on this organization, which receives a large amount of public funding for a small number of students: http://www.maryvilleacademy.com/

Posted by: ohrealy at August 13, 2009 5:39 PM
Comment #286257

Stephen,

I realize all of those things are part of the equation, but at the end of the day, most of them will not alleviate medical mistakes. The one with the most hope is record digitization, but that will only prevent the medical mistakes made from ignorance not carelessness.

I think that it is a stretch to tout that the reforms will eliminate these. In fact, without tort reform (according to the study posted under David’s last article), defensive medicine will continue, and it will likely lead to more medical mistakes. If we are going to try to reform, we need to take a hard look at the cost/ benefit equation of other actions as well.

Posted by: Rob at August 13, 2009 9:44 PM
Comment #286258

stephen

at this point i think the bill has been read and evaluated. some have read it all, some have just read sections to check the claims made, but everyone has enough information to make a judgment as to whether it’s good or bad. and it appears things aren’t going your way. we’ll see if they try to sneak it through in budget reconciliation, but that would IMO be a huge mistake for the democrats.

Posted by: dbs at August 13, 2009 9:45 PM
Comment #286333

Rob-
Tort reform was a project of the cigarette industry, who spread the movement around the same way FreedomWorks is building up the Tea Partisans.

Reform of the way doctors handle mistakes and the doctors who make them would probably go a lot further than the kind of Tort Reform those guys are advocating. It’s the quality of care that is driving costs, in addition to the fact that the insurance companies didn’t underwrite the enterprise properly.

If we do want tort reform, it should be in such a way as to discourage errors, not make it less worth people’s while to take action against doctors with bad practices.

It’s difficult to separate industry rhetoric from what some of the default positions in our government have become, and with good reason: people like the insurance industries and some of these trade groups have been fighting for legislation which favors them.

But as the crisis of the last couple of years indicate, tailoring legislation to the industries in question can sometimes bring on the curses peculiar to answered prayers. Government shouldn’t be for or against regulation based on how it affects the bottom line of the companies involved. The Public interest should predominate, and compromises of optimal substance should be reached, rather than having lobbyists write the laws, or an angry public push restrictive legislation in the wake of a terrible crisis out of necessity.

I believe that you need to be watchful of potential problems before they get serious, because the solution to disasters are more complicated than the answers to the smaller issues that often produce them.

Defensive medicine is a product of a system rigged against the patient. If we make it easier for doctors to do their job, easier for patients to hold doctors and hospitals to account, easier for doctors and patients to have access to information about what procedures and treatments work, a lot of that will go away. If we practice preventative medicine, we’ll see far fewer cases where the doctor’s arriving on the scene at a moment of crisis, and far more where the doctor’s in the position to nip the problem in the bud.

dbs-
Oh dear. Things aren’t going my way? Hmm. I guess I’ll have to give up then.

While I’m in the process of giving up, could I ask you a question?

Just what is it supposed to be sneaking past? What legitimate authority, pray tell? Those forty folks in Congress who won’t vote for an end to debate, and give the bill an up or down vote? The real subversion here, the real evasion is of Republicans from the will of the voters.

If you folks won’t end your stall tactics, we’ll just have to find some way to get some legislation to the floor of Congress for a vote by the democratically elected representatives voters sent to do their jobs.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at August 15, 2009 9:04 AM
Comment #286346

stephen

what the hell are you talking about? the 40 folks who won’t give the bill an up or down vote? the senate doesn’t even have a bill, so at this point i’ll assume your talking about the house. that is after all the bill everyone is talking about, or am i missing something? control of the house, and 60 senate seats, the white house, and it still the republicans fault? you can’t actually believe what you’re saying, can you?

Posted by: dbs at August 15, 2009 7:23 PM
Comment #286347

Stephen:

I find it odd that on many occasions and in many threads, you rail against the Republican Party walking in “lockstep” and you even go as far as to say,” Just what is it supposed to be sneaking past? What legitimate authority, pray tell? Those forty folks in Congress who won’t vote for an end to debate, and give the bill an up or down vote? The real subversion here, the real evasion is of Republicans from the will of the voters. If you folks won’t end your stall tactics, we’ll just have to find some way to get some legislation to the floor of Congress for a vote by the democratically elected representatives voters sent to do their jobs.”. That is not only ripe, but is demonstrative as to the mindset of the Democrats that are willing to say anything regardless of the record and then be willing to rail against misinformation that they then spread. Perhaps Harry Elmer Barnes of the Institute for Historical Review, and only Harry Elmer Barnes of the Institute for Historical Review, can reconcile your anger at lockstep voting and the record.

A simple google search for “congressional voting by party” yields a Washington Post article that shows how each Senator of the 110th Congress voted as compared to “party lines”. Supporting your distaste for voting along party lines, one must scroll past 32 Democrats to find the first Republican that votes in “lock step” with his party! Care to guess which party has the top percentage of members voting in lockstep so far in the 111th Congress??? In a fair comparison, care to guess how the one member that shares both parties in these sessions(Senator Spector) casts his votes along party lines when in each party? Would you be suprised to learn that he has increased his party line votes by one-third as he settled into the opened minded Democratic Party? Harry Elmer Barnes of the Institute for Historical Review has his work cut out for him.

Posted by: submarinesforever at August 15, 2009 7:28 PM
Comment #286420

Single-payer health-care does not work…

Public Option health care does not work…

Oh, well, I guess we are stuck with the ever diminishing positives of our current system…only the wealthy ever deserved good health care to begin with…us ‘lower lifes’ just gotta make due with home remedies. That’ll make us all good, stand strong, individualistic Republicans eventually. Those of us who live long enough, that is.

Posted by: Marysdude at August 17, 2009 12:53 PM
Comment #286424

Dude-

Today Bill Press was saying that if you can’t have Public Option then we should have no reform at all. He is one of the few honest ones out there who says he’s for Single Payer and was hoping that Public Option would kick the can down that road. But if reform doesn’t lead to Single Payer than don’t do anything.

So to me that’s the big question. Should Obama do nothing or try to get a compromise bill? Weave in some of the Republican’s reforms that take us away from employer based insurance with some insurance pool reform, portability reform and subsidies to allow the uncovered to buy Medicaid type coverage at lower prices. Or let the crisis build a little more and next time put Single Payer on the table.

Posted by: George at August 17, 2009 3:07 PM
Comment #286529

Anyone here seen Sicko? What about those USan’s interviewed here in Europe about their experiences in France, Germany, UK etc? What about the Canuks speaking of their system glowingly? Why is it that USan’s are vehemently opposed to what is clearly in their best interest, and support that which steals from them; oligarchies on Wall Street, the Military Industrial Congressional Complex etc etc etc. You as citizens vote for your government, but it works for the power blocs who pay it through the lobbying system. I read recently that the Health insurance industry has six lobbyists for every member of Congress. Incredible!!! And these Congress critters slide nicely into their paymasters industries after “public service”, to continue the merry-go-round of buying government. Just like Wall Street runs the administration, particularly Goldman Sachs. You can’t see the wood for the trees.

Posted by: Paul in Euroland at August 18, 2009 8:42 PM
Comment #310834

I’m going to defer to an expert

http://fora.tv/2009/09/14/TR_Reid_The_Healing_of_America

watch it he’ll tell you what’s happening in the other countries as he went and tested them out

Posted by: Marcia Everett at October 21, 2010 10:34 AM
Comment #330429

Remember kids, it was the Republican Dulles click, which financed and fueled the Third Reich. It was the Evangelical Christian Church, which supported the Third Reich. The American bankers and industrialists (all Republicans) literally financed and fueled the Third Reich. After Roosevelt sent troops to fight in Europe, these same bankers and industrialists were not only still doing business with the Nazis and investing in the Third Reich (that’s where America’s money went in those days), they were investing on both sides of the war. These goddamn Republicans and their Evangelical Christians are as depraved and evil as ever. Nothing has changed! Now, it’s the sons and grandsons repeating history. These are the same blackguards, who are now rationing medical care, while collecting outrageous premiums all in the name of “profit.” Brokers like George Norcross, who never went to college, are making billions of dollars, while people are suffering and dying! They killed millions of people in the 1930s and 1940s — and they will continue to kill millions of people all in the name of “profit.” “God will heal you!” Yeah, so they can make billions like the miscreant thug, George Norcross, and his Republican supporters and the Christie-crats. These people call themselves “conservatives,” when they are actually anarchists and murderers and liars and thieves and cheats. Every professor of medicine will tell you how the HMO pays — it doesn’t pay! It pays bupkis, while deliberately denying the patient access to medical treatment. The Traditional plans for the chronically ill now cost over $30,000 annually. Even after one pays these outrageous premiums for over twenty years, the insurance corporation will terminate one’s coverage and/or raise the annual premium to over $30,000, if one develops a disease like lupus. Are we supposed to lay down and die, so you can make money off of people’s suffering? Off with your heads, Republicans and Christie-crats! Hey, F-F Christie, I hope you drop dead and go to hell for the suffering you have caused to women and veterans. May you rot in hell for your crimes against humanity. May you rot in Gahana! Dumb, evil, fat goy! I hope your helicopters and private jets crash!

Posted by: HellWithFatChristieInJersey at October 11, 2011 7:37 PM
Comment #369287

When has our government ever implemented an entitlement program that didnt end up costing more? The end result of Obamacare will be a single payer system simply because why would a business owner pay for something they dont have to. The argument that exchanges create more competition just proves that regulation gets in the way. Why not just open up competition without the government involved costing the taxpayers an extra expense to run this unnecessary step to create competition. I would like to give everyone everything but unfortunately I dont have a money tree and the government doesnt either. This country is going to go through alot of pain learning this lesson about what trusting the government to take care of everything will do. I pray that brain transplants will be covered in this monster because there are many needed.

The most terrifying words in the English language are: I’m from the government and I’m here to help.
Ronald Reagan


Posted by: Nick at August 7, 2013 7:45 PM
Comment #377718

Well, this comment section makes one thing clear: The Left Wing has little regard for history or reality.

Posted by: Marxist Hypocrisy 101 at April 5, 2014 8:58 PM
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