The Best Health Care System in the World is Gone

Starting today, the health care you want and the health care you are able to receive is gone. When the government manages a system such as health care, it creates more problems than it solves. Contrary to what the President, Speaker Pelosi, and the liberal media tell you, a system such as the bill that the President just signed into law (and the eventual reconciliation bill he, too, will sign when it is passed) will increase unemployment, lead to more uninsured Americans, and force insurance companies to increase their premiums. Don’t believe me? Read both bills. (You can find them here and here.) Reading these provisions and taking them to their logical conclusions indicates that we are in for a very rough ride.

The health care law contains numerous provisions that essentially grant the government the power to tell insurance companies how to run their businesses. These provisions will lead to higher premiums.

Effective immediately, the new law bars insurers from denying coverage to children based on pre-existing conditions, and, in 2014, it bars insurers from denying coverage to adults based on pre-existing conditions. That sounds great on paper. If all you did was listen to liberals, you would think that, when an insurance company excludes someone because of a “pre-existing condition,” it is using the “pre-existing condition” as a trick to deny coverage to a current policy holder (someone who has been paying into his/her plan month after month, and year after year). But that’s not what happens.

What liberals fail to explain is that exclusions based on pre-existing conditions occur when an insurance company denies a new customer with a pre-existing condition. Forcing insurance companies to cover new customers with pre-existing conditions will drive them out of business. An insurance company must be able to refuse new customers with pre-existing conditions. Otherwise, everyone would just wait to get sick to buy insurance. It’s like waiting until your house is flooded to purchase flood insurance. Insurance is designed to protect you from various risks (i.e., injury, liability, fire, flood, etc.). It is not something you purchase after that risk has manifested itself and harmed you. Insurance companies are businesses that must operate profitably in order to continue providing the service upon which millions of people rely. They are not charities.

But let’s assume, for the sake of the liberal argument, that there does exist that evil insurance company that denies coverage to a current policy holder. In a true free market, any insurance company that tried that would be out of business in the blink of an eye. Imagine if certain restaurants stopped serving food. Would we need government to pass a law requiring that those restaurants serve food? Of course not. People would stop going there to eat, and those restaurants would go out of business. There is no better remedy than the decisions of consumers in a free market.

In addition to pre-existing conditions, beginning in 2011, the new law requires insurers to spend 80-85 cents of every premium dollar on medical care, depending on the market in which they operate. You read that correctly. Government bureaucrats who have no experience running an insurance company just passed a law telling insurance companies how to allocate their revenue among administrative costs and medical costs. I am, by no means, an expert on the inner workings of an insurance company, but I will venture to guess that they spend less than 80-85% of their revenue on medical care. After all, they need a lot of staff to process claims and the facilities and resources to be able to do that.

The end result is higher premiums. If insurers have to cover new customers with pre-existing conditions, and if they need to spend a certain percentage of every dollar on medical care (above and beyond what they normally spend), they will need additional revenue to continue operating. That revenue comes from premiums.

But that’s not all!

The law requires employers with 50 or more workers who do not offer “qualified” health insurance to pay a fine $2,000 per full-time employee. If you know anything about the annual cost of an insurance plan, it is much more than $2,000. So, employers who fail to offer qualified insurance (and the insurance that some employers currently offer may not “qualify”) will face a choice: (1) offer insurance at an annual cost greater than $2,000 per employee; or (2) pay the $2,000-per-employee fine. It’s not rocket science: in a bad economy, small business owners will pay the fine.

Sure, in many industries, businesses have to compete against one another, and that involves attracting sufficient talent to hire as employees. A business generally offers insurance in order to attract the same level of talent that its competitors attract. However, after a year or two of paying higher insurance premiums (see above) in a bad recession, certain industries will face a sink-or-swim decision: Do they continue offering insurance, or do they drop coverage, pay the fine, and save money? Again, it’s not rocket science. Do the math. The result will be a far greater number of uninsured than we currently have.

Moreover, if businesses do not want to pay the fines, they will simply lay off a critical mass of workers that enables them to avoid paying a hefty fine but that still enables them to continue operating. Businesses in worse shape will likely cease operating altogether. Thus, in addition to more uninsured Americans, we will have more unemployed and uninsured Americans.

I can only hope that Republicans can repeal this socialist monstrosity of a law. They may have to wait until 2013 to do it (because Obama will likely veto any repeal bill between now and then, and it is mathematically impossible for Republicans to win 2/3 of each house of Congress this coming November). But it is imperative that this law be repealed.

Posted by Robert M. Fojo at March 23, 2010 10:12 AM
Comments
Comment #297741
Effective immediately, the new law bars insurers from denying coverage to children based on pre-existing conditions, and, in 2014, it bars insurers from denying coverage to adults based on pre-existing conditions. That sounds great on paper. If all you did was listen to liberals, you would think that, when an insurance company excludes someone because of a “pre-existing condition,” it is using the “pre-existing condition” as a trick to deny coverage to a current policy holder (someone who has been paying into his/her plan month after month, and year after year). But that’s not what happens.

No, what happens with current policy holders is that when they start actually having to use the policy, the insurance company looks in their pass for an excuse to accuse them of fraud. People are actually rewarded for this. And when they do, the person has their policy rescinded.

As for pre-existing conditions? Pregnancy is being taken to be a pre-existing condition, among other things. It’s being used as an excuse to avoid writing policies for all but the healthiest people.

What you fail to consider in the economics of this is that the purpose of an insurance policy is not to make money for the insurer. It is supposed to be a service the insurers perform in order to prevent medical costs from breaking them.

The same thing with any other kind of insurance. They are meant to provide people with financial protection.

That is the constraint within which the insurance companies are theoretically supposed to operate. Otherwise, what’s the point?

People inevitably take ill, get injured, develop Chronic conditions as they age. We can face that reality and build a society that functions economically with that, or we can pretend nothing’s wrong and let millions go bankrupt, become disabled or further disabled, lose the ability to work, etc, etc. Healthcare is a need, and like food, water, and energy, unmet it can become a drag on the economy.

Additionally, you’re avoiding a major part of healthcare costs: the providers themselves. The folks who are ordering test after test after test, steering people towards unnecessary procedures, charging for each individual service instead of an overall outcome.

There are better ways to do these things, better ways to handle healthcare, but the healthcare companies have been glad to pass the cost to the insurance company, and the insurance company, unbound often by competitive forces or federal regulation, have often been willing to pass those costs further down the line.

The market isn’t working so well as you would claim, and the best healthcare in the world is not living up to its hype in comparison to life-expectancies elsewhere.

You’re failing to count the costs of all these programs, or include things like subsidies, tax breaks, and medicaid expansion, that help pay for all this expense you’re spinning a nightmare scenario around. You’re also failing to understand something else critical: the vast majority of small businesses are unaffected by the mandates, because most have less than fifty employees.

In addition to pre-existing conditions, beginning in 2011, the new law requires insurers to spend 80-85 cents of every premium dollar on medical care, depending on the market in which they operate. You read that correctly. Government bureaucrats who have no experience running an insurance company just passed a law telling insurance companies how to allocate their revenue among administrative costs and medical costs. I am, by no means, an expert on the inner workings of an insurance company, but I will venture to guess that they spend less than 80-85% of their revenue on medical care. After all, they need a lot of staff to process claims and the facilities and resources to be able to do that.

Medicare, despite the size of its duties, manages to provide better than 98% return for its dollar. They may have to trim their profits a little, but the game in America is supposed to be that you make you profits after doing your job. The insurance companies have made an art out of excessively complex bureaucracy, including all those people they put to work figuring out ways not to pay out claims or maintain policies for those who have paid in for years.

You can call the law names, but I don’t think you have adequate defenses for its alternatives.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at March 23, 2010 12:08 PM
Comment #297743

Utter and complete nonsense. Around 90% of Medicare recipients say they like their Medicare just fine. They are Republicans, Independents, and Democrats.

As a veteran I can say I got outstanding treatment from the VA Hospital in San Antonio.

The private sector and public sector health care systems both have their problems and challenges.

But, the premise of this article is ENTIRELY unfounded and without empirical evidence of any kind to support its premise.

I have private insurance with a private primary care physician and neither of these will change as a result of the new law. My doctor will still be my doctor, and my Humana Insurance company will continue to be my insurer.

For 32 million Americans without health care insurance and millions more who would face bankruptcy under the previous system, their lives and family savings will be rescued by having insurance they could not get in the private sector.

Posted by: David R. Remer at March 23, 2010 1:07 PM
Comment #297744

Robert wrote: “I can only hope that Republicans can repeal this socialist monstrosity of a law.”

You can hope, Robert, but, ain’t no way that is going to happen. They would need a majority in both Houses of Congress and that is NOT in the cards.

Posted by: David R. Remer at March 23, 2010 1:09 PM
Comment #297752

stephen

“What you fail to consider in the economics of this is that the purpose of an insurance policy is not to make money for the insurer. It is supposed to be a service the insurers perform in order to prevent medical costs from breaking them.”

WRONGO ! insurance is a business. the incentive for the startup of any business is to create a profit by filling a need in the marketplace. competition between businesses to provide a better product than the competior is what leads to a quality product for a fair price.

it is this liberal concept like others such as business exists to create jobs. anyone with half a brain knows that jobs are merely a by product of a successful business, and the same is true for insurance coverage.

without incentive there is no reason to create. that incentive is profit, and success. this bill is nothing more than the first nail in the coffin in the private healthcare market. its sole purpose is to eventually drive the private sector out of business, and force everyone into gov’t run healthcare. fortunately there is agood chance some of the bills major provisions, such as forcing everyone to purchase health insurance, will be declared unconstitutional and be thrown out. at least let’s hope so.


Posted by: dbs at March 23, 2010 4:17 PM
Comment #297753

My insurance costs me $58 a month. When I got on board with the present carrier I had pre-existing conditions; congestive heart failure and COPD.

In the year 2011 prescriptions will increase in cost and we will have to start paying into the system.

In the year 2013 new Medicare rates and the excise taxes kick in.

In the year 2014 requirement to purchase takes over.

In the year 2016 the penalty for lack of coverage is instituted.

In the year 2018 aditional excise tax is initiated.

One of the shaft items in this legislation is that we pay into the system for 3-4 years before anyone can actually use it. Every one of you fans of this plan would not go down and purchase an item and pay for it for 4 years before you could use it, but that is exactly what you are doing with this scam.

This scam will not be repealed. The courts may find it inconstitutional. That would be great.

Posted by: tom humes at March 23, 2010 4:18 PM
Comment #297754

Your title:

>The Best Health Care System in the World is Gone

You should have applied an addendum to that title, ie, ‘for the wealthiest among us’, as the best treatment is reserved for those who don’t really need insurance to pay for it.

You should realize that America is failing under its conservative postures, and will soon be made up of a mere handful of ‘haves’ and masses of ‘have littles’. The best health care system is not designed for the ‘have littles’. In case you have been ignoring it, our precious middle class is dwindling at sound barrier speeds.

Ask my grandmother what kind of health care system was in vogue, here in America’ before the advent of the middle class…nuff said.

Posted by: Marysdude at March 23, 2010 4:21 PM
Comment #297755

david

“For 32 million Americans without health care insurance and millions more who would face bankruptcy under the previous system, their lives and family savings will be rescued by having insurance they could not get in the private sector.”

since when does anyone have the RIGHT not to be bankrupted by bills of ant kind, including medical bills? there is no right to healthcare, or healthcare insurance under the constitution. sure it may make you feel warm and fuzzy to believe so, but it doesn’t make it fact.

Posted by: dbs at March 23, 2010 4:26 PM
Comment #297756

I died 3 times in ER at my local hospital. Each time I was revived. My insurance paid for all but $500 of the bill. I was not “kicked to the curb” by my carrier, nor was my rate increased. I am just another American who has to watch how my assets are managed. There is no special consideration for me.

Now to the Admin. IRS will have access to all your medical records, bank accounts, and other critical records. Don’t you feel just great that you have someone higher up on the ladder watching out for you?

Posted by: tom humes at March 23, 2010 4:33 PM
Comment #297757

Hi DBS,
I believe the answer to your question “since when does anyone have the RIGHT not to be bankrupted by bills of ant kind, including medical bills? there is no right to healthcare, or healthcare insurance under the constitution.” is as follows:
March 23rd, 2010. That’s when.

Posted by: The other Paul at March 23, 2010 4:52 PM
Comment #297758

The other Paul
That date won’t last long. This bill is an excellant example of unconstitutional legislation. Nowhere does your date get traction from anywhere in the Constitution. There is still the 10th amendment which is still valid on March 23, 2010.

Posted by: tom humes at March 23, 2010 4:56 PM
Comment #297759

dbs said: “since when does anyone have the RIGHT not to be bankrupted by bills of ant kind, including medical bills?”

Since the effective date of this new HC Reform, dbs. Get over it. It’s the law. And all these appeals from the states don’t have a friggin leg to stand on. Medicare set the precedent for a Constitutional test more than 45 years ago, and it passed as Constitutional. Same principles at work.

Health care HAS BEEN A RIGHT in America for a very long time, since we passed the law denying Emergency Rooms to choice of denying treatment. Today, we are going to drive down the cost of all that Right To Emergency Room care, by providing these people with a doctor’s office visit at 1/3 to 1/30th of the cost to the rest of us.

It is a right. Has been for many years now. This HC bill simply makes that right more affordable for all while driving down some health care costs for us all.

Posted by: David R. Remer at March 23, 2010 4:58 PM
Comment #297760


Are some health insurance companies going to go out of business? Absolutely, the smaller companies are in serious trouble. The key to success for the industry with this bill is market share. The big companies will be doing everything they can to gain market share. They will buy or drive the smaller companies out of business.

This is the natural course of events in a corpocracy, leading to fewer but larger corporate entities. Eventually we will have a few to big to fail companies leading to monopoly.

“You should know that America is failing under it’s conservative postures,”

“our precious middle class is dwindling at sound barrier speeds.”

Marysdude:

The conservatives have always looked for ways to destroy the middle class. They were, for the most part, unsuccessful until they gained new partners in their quest. Those new partners were liberal and blue dog Democrats. Without the Democrats, what has happened to much of the middle class could not have happened.

With this health care bill, the Democrats believe they have accomplished a great feat, They can brag that they are helping the middle class and the poor while producing lucrative returns for their new constituents, the other half of the middle class and the corporations.

Their former constituents could no longer afford to support the escalating costs of incumbency.

Posted by: jlw at March 23, 2010 5:11 PM
Comment #297761

dbs-
You know what? Let me be blunt: I believe in Capitalism, you believe in a utopia that does not exist.

I believe that people given the chance sometimes cheat. I believe cheating can become a culture when it gives enough of a competitive advantage that folks find it hard to justify following rules that cost them.

I believe Republicans, by pursuing this market fundamentalist version of capitalism, have created tons of areas where this cheating is rampant, including Wall Street, the insurance sector, and among the healthcare providers. They strike down safeguards on the notion that businesses always know best, which I think is an irrelevant point.

It’s irrelevant because sometimes people do know what is best for them. Best for them, and nobody else. Folks behave selfishly sometimes in the real world I inhabit, and sometimes a culture of selfishness can develop when it gives a competitive advantage.

We saw people selling CDOs and CDSs they knew were on their way down to unsuspecting investors. We saw, earlier in the decade, stockbrokers selling Enron Stock to folks who were looking for a good deal, and who Stockbrokers were supposed to serve the interests of. The brokers forgot to mention that they were part of corporations that also were owed money by those businesses. That meant the financial companies did not have the proper incentives to do good work.

There is a perverse incentive in the insurance industry today to essentially make insurance useless as a matter of public health, denying people coverage for a variety of reasons, creating a bureaucratic nightmare than increases the costs of Doctors getting compensated. They take increasingly high premiums from the few healthy, and leave the rest of us to just avail ourselves of emergency healthcare.

A market, to function, must discourage incentives to do wrong, and encourage incentives to do right. If the regulatory environment and the market together do not create appropriate rewards and punishments, they will create a system that fails its primary purpose.

Healthcare is not right nor privilege, but need. You cannot function in modern society, live out your years, remain productive, or guarantee the future of your children without it. We pay a price for not taking care of business here.

If you want to imagine that profit is the only reason to do business, look around you. People have a lot of needs and desires, and we work to take care of those needs and desires- literally. Everybody’s interdependent.

So, we are well advised to try and avoid situations where cheating and selfishness reach critical mass, because then it becomes the business of business to deny its responsibilities to customers, and instead to fight for its own interests.

That’s why we’re in this financial mess. Folks decided to deceive investors in order to make more money. That’s what the financial crisis of the last few years boils down to.

Here, it boils down to a sector of our economy taking up common practices that essentially defeat the purpose of their product: to prevent the financial ruin that people encounter when faced by expensive illness. When people are sold an empty promise, and the market does not come to their rescue, reform and regulation on a government level is then needed.

If you want to presuppose all the time that this economy is the best of all possible worlds, or that simply derergulating or tax cutting or tort reforming will solve the problem, fine, be my guest. But I will approach this market with the understanding that people sometimes cheat, and therefore sometimes the unrwritten rules of fairness and equity need to be written and enforced.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at March 23, 2010 5:35 PM
Comment #297763

The other Paul

“March 23rd, 2010. That’s when.”

was the const. amended on that date?

Posted by: dbs at March 23, 2010 6:04 PM
Comment #297764

Robert,

The majority of non-elderly Americans already have protections against pre-existing exclusions under their employer group plans. The HIPAA Act of 1996 limits group plan exclusions (12 months) for new employees and essentially prohibits any time period exclusions for employees tranfering jobs if they had prior group insurance. This bill essentially extends those type of protections to the individual insurance market, e.g., for the self employed.

Posted by: Rich at March 23, 2010 6:10 PM
Comment #297765

I believe the critics of the reasonable laws to reform healthcare should vote with their feet. Go find yourself your Vahala of freedom. Try Costa Rica. or anywhere. Us Americans are rather tired of your crocodile tears and lying words. Go. With our blessing. Live in peace and prosperity. Nanu Nanu.

We now return you to reality.

Posted by: gergle at March 23, 2010 6:15 PM
Comment #297766

I’ll leave the legal nuisance to constitutional scholars. In terms of being a SMART and JUST society it makes all kinds of sense to ensure that our members have access to basic healthcare. I have a child with a pre-existing condition and very nearly lost coverage for him because of this recession. I managed to avoided what could be a very damaging situation for my family, but not by much… I’m VERY happy with the fact that my child can not be denied coverage, disregarding the shape of my financial situation.

To all my conservative friends: Please get off your ideological bubble and work with the Democratic leadership and the President to improve the overall state of this UNION. Your best political strategy is the success of this nation!

Come November, are you seriously going to campaign on the premise that insurance companies have a higher right to be profitable than that of my kid to be alive?

Posted by: Genaro at March 23, 2010 6:20 PM
Comment #297767

david

“It is a right. Has been for many years now. This HC bill simply makes that right more affordable for all while driving down some health care costs for us all.”

maybe if you believe our rights are derived from gov’t. the founders didn’t, and made that clear in the declaration of independance.


in this country the final arbitor of what is legal is supposed to be the const. the fact many disregard, or ignore this fact because it doesn’t support thier argument doesn’t suprise me. no clause in the const. as far as i know makes healthcare a right.


telling insurance co.s they have to accept anyone, and mandating 85% of premiums be spent on healthcare will result in many, and at some point all getting out of the business altogether. the end result will be less choice, and higher prices for coverage, and eventually no private option. the fact anyone would believe that this will decrease the cost of healthcare is hilarious.


Posted by: dbs at March 23, 2010 6:22 PM
Comment #297772

dbs said: ” no clause in the const. as far as i know makes healthcare a right.”

I am overwhelmed by the quoted comment’s ignorance of our constitution. The Constitution creates the Legislature and Executive Branches which just passed this law. The Constitution is a framework for law making and enforcement. It was never intended to be an unchanging Tablet of Commandments, inviolable. The Constitution provides for amendments, interpretations, and lawmaking, and this HC reform law is a product of that Constitution.


Posted by: David R. Remer at March 23, 2010 6:52 PM
Comment #297773

genaro

“Come November, are you seriously going to campaign on the premise that insurance companies have a higher right to be profitable than that of my kid to be alive?”

your kid has no right to be alive. only the right to exercise the freedom to persue his/her dreams, and happiness while they are alive. by the grace of god, or what ever you believe we are alive. it is by no means a right, or guarenteed, and eventually will be gone.

on the other hand people have the right to engage in commerce, or business, and it is your choice to patronize those businesses, or not. if you don’t like the price of health insurance negotiate directly with your doctor. people do it all the time.

having the mentality that because you need something you are entitled to it, and if you can’t afford it someone else is obligated to pay for it is nonsense.

gergle

ther are plenty of countries that have screwed there economies up, with socialist policies, and endless entitlments. i suggest YOU go there, and leave my country, and freedom alone.

Posted by: dbs at March 23, 2010 6:53 PM
Comment #297775

david

“It was never intended to be an unchanging Tablet of Commandments, inviolable. The Constitution provides for amendments, interpretations, and lawmaking, and this HC reform law is a product of that Constitution.”

the const. was intended to limit the power of gov’t. the founders believed as do i, that the biggest threat to liberty is gov’t. it is also why they didn’t create a democracy, but a representative republic. it is intended to be inturpreted by the standards and meaning of the language of the times in which it was written. IMO the originalist inturpretation is the best. the only thing maliable about the const. is the amendment process. to argue the the interpretation of the document can be changed to reflect the times is absolutely absurd, and makes it absolutely worthless as a tool for keeping the power of gov’t in check.

Posted by: dbs at March 23, 2010 7:07 PM
Comment #297776

dbs said: “the const. was intended to limit the power of gov’t.”

And it continues to do so. This government is elected by the people, and they legitimately passed health care reform by the provisions established in the Constitution. There was no DICTATOR here. There was no coup by Democrats to take over government. There was no fiat which excluded Republicans from the process with more than 100 Republican amendments incorporated into the law which, Republicans turned right around and voted against.

This law passed and was signed with all the due processes afforded the Congress and the President. Don’t try to make your disappointment in being in the minority into something unConstitutional. It was ENTIRELY constitutional.

And like I said, the people of this country have assented to the growth of government along with the population growth and growth of States for over 200 years. Nothing at all unprecedented here. Don’t recall you crying UnConstitutional when Republicans passed the Rx Drug plan ENTIRELY on the National Debt, not a penney of it paid for by current tax payer’s dollars.

Your argument is protected by the First Amendment still. That is ALL the protection our Constitution and reason will afford such an ill-conceived and illogical argument.

Posted by: David R. Remer at March 23, 2010 7:16 PM
Comment #297777

dbs, if you don’t believe in democracy, I invite you NOT to vote in November. Your statement is hypocritical to say the least. You would be the first among those to CRY unconstitutional should anyone attempt to take your right to vote away. You would be the FIRST to CRY if anyone attempted to take the Minority Party vote away from Republicans in the COngress. Your comment is the height of hypocrisy.

I don’t believe for a minute that you would voluntarily give up your democracy, vote, party’s say in Congress, for less democracy. Not for a minute.

Posted by: David R. Remer at March 23, 2010 7:20 PM
Comment #297778

I’m sorry to report to my friends on the left that health care is NOT a right in this country under our Constitution. If it was a right, it’d be unconstitutional to repeal the legislation and I’m sure no one is going to argue that.

However, our Constitution allows the government to levy taxes and spend this money to provide for the general welfare as dictated by our representatives in the democratic process. There are many services the government provides even though it is not Constitutional mandated to do so.

Examples of these services date back to 1789 when we first started operating under our present Constitution.

Some of these services are no-brainers like national defense, but we must remember that the presence of the US Army is a privilege and not a right. We operated for two years without a standing army under the current Constitution and for seven years under the Articles of Confederation and it would certainly possible to disband the Army if we wanted to (It’d be an incredibly poor decision in light of the current situation overseas, but not due to any constitutional problems). Likewise, this generation has decided to regulate health care as well as provide health care to some who would otherwise go without. A future generation may think differently and there is nothing short of a Constitutional Amendment we can do to stop them.

Posted by: Warped Reality at March 23, 2010 7:24 PM
Comment #297781

The Declaration was a disavowal of England and George III, and has NOTHING to do with the Constitution or the passage of HC Reform. The Declaration is a historical document, but the Constitution, which created our law making bodies, is the law of the land. If you want to replace the Constitution, feel free to do so. There are provisions for that IN the Constitution. However you cannot rescind the Declaration that separated us from a tyrant.

Posted by: Marysdude at March 23, 2010 7:32 PM
Comment #297784

dbs,

My point was despite your own and Rush Limbaugh’s hyperbole, neither of you plan on leaving, because not even you buy your own rhetoric.

Mork makes more realistic assessments than either of you.

Right wingers have called everything from the New Deal, the Civil Rights act, and Medicare, and now Economic Reform of Healthcare socialism and the road to ruin. Get a new act, will Ya? Guess what we’re still standing. How often do you have to be wrong before you finally understand?

Posted by: gergle at March 23, 2010 8:37 PM
Comment #297789

gergle

i find it interesting that you threw the civil rights act into your little rebuke. you told those who disagreed with you to leave. i merely pointed out there are countries that already have the entitlements, and policies the loonies on the left are pushing here. why screw up this country too?

Posted by: dbs at March 24, 2010 5:09 AM
Comment #297790

david

“Don’t recall you crying UnConstitutional when Republicans passed the Rx Drug plan ENTIRELY on the National Debt, not a penney of it paid for by current tax payer’s dollars.”

go ahead and dig into your archives and show me where i supported this. you won’t find it.

as far as the rest of it. the const. protects the rights of the minority by not allowing the majority to vote away an individuals const. rights to life liberty, and property. but go ahead and argue otherwise. alexander tyler was right about the nature of democracy. that is why this country was not founded as a democracy. it seems tylers beliefs have been playing out for quite some time now. little by little liberty slips away, in the name of the greater good. the founders would be disappointed to say the least.

Posted by: dbs at March 24, 2010 5:21 AM
Comment #297792

Tom Humes,

Your opposition to the health care reform bill is baffling and short sighted.

You state that you have multiple pre-existing conditions, a number of prior emergency admissions and, yet, you were not subject to any exclusions upon enrollment in your plan by your insurer and pay only a $58.00 per month premium. So, what’s the problem? Why do we need to pass such a bill when the current arrangement works for most people? Private insurance works just fine.

Well, you have employer group insurance. You already have protections from exclusions for pre-existing conditions and portability thanks to a 1996 federal act sponsored by Ted Kennedy and Nancy Kasselbaum called HIPAA. It is not the largesse of the insurance companies that gives you the opportunity for affordable coverage despite pre-existing conditions. It is federal legislation enacted on your behalf by liberal/moderate senators working in a bi-partisan manner, something that has apparently gone the way of the Dodo bird.

Tom, you need to think about the possibility that you and your family may find yourselves one day outside the employer group insurance arena. Corporations are finding it increasingly difficult to maintain the cost of health insurance, particularly small businesses with a small risk pool. The recent enacted bill extends the protections of group insurance to the individual insurance market and provides a more competitive market and subsidizes cost based on income for those required to purchase in the individual market.


Posted by: Rich at March 24, 2010 6:46 AM
Comment #297793

dbs-
Yeah, you have a direct phone line to the afterlife to poll those framers.

You know something? Has it occurred to you that the real reaction of the framers to what has come of their nation is entirely unpredictable? That they might not side with the folks you believe they would? That they might not side with anybody?

But the gift the framers gave us was that we were not bound to their opinion, that we could adapt and change the government to meet our needs, rather than to flatter the sensibilities of a long dead set of patriarchs, enshrined in silent history.

As for Alexander Tytler,/a>, the man was part of the aristocracy(he bore the title Lord Woodhouselee), a contemporary to the Revolution, and his critique of Democracy may have been the critique of somebody who thinks it to be inferior, rather than somebody warning of its corruption to save it from itself.

The Republicans want to believe that they are Democracy’s saviors, even as they strain against its limitations to get what they want. They adopt the attitudes of an entitled elite, and attempt to impose their will despite the constitutional rule of the majority in Congress. When will Republicans learn that they do themselves few favors in terms of precedent when they use these tactics against what they want to be the future minority?

Try getting a repeal, much less a vote to override a veto through Congress.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at March 24, 2010 8:29 AM
Comment #297803

If law (Constitution included) is not in place to protect the innocent from harm done to them by the non-innocent, what is it? Tell me the difference between our insurance corporations/our financial houses/our paharmaceutical companies, and highwaymen who would mug us blind if given free rein. Are conservatives saying we should lay back, relax and hand over our wallets without a fight?

Posted by: Marysdude at March 24, 2010 1:36 PM
Comment #297804

PS:

What is unconstitutional about the ‘people’ rising up to fight against those things that are doing them grievous harm? Why have a Constitution at all if it is a toothless old rag that cannot protect the innocent and defenseless? Do the strong, wealthy and powerful need a constitution more than the meek?

Posted by: Marysdude at March 24, 2010 1:44 PM
Comment #297805

Rich
My point is that what the Congress is doing is a power grab and not health care reform. Health care reform should be done at the state level. The cost of this bill that is called health care reform is going to sky rocket and the plan I presently have will not be available to me. I am not in a group plan. My plan is between me and the carrier. That is why %80 of the people are ok with their present coverage whether it is individual or group coverage. The states do need to make some changes.

Another beef I have with the power grab plan is that the IRS will now have access to my bank account, my medical records, and they will have the power to do what they want with both.

Now you may be ok with some IRS person wheeling and dealing with your personal records and accounts, but I find that quite disturbing.

The truth is that the federal government has no business doing anything at anytime with me and my insurance. They have no business dictating to me to buy something just because they think they know what is best for me.

Well I have come to the conclusion that I know what is best for them. They need to retire this November and I am going to do what I can to enforce on them something they don’t want and that is to go back home and stay there.

Posted by: tom humes at March 24, 2010 2:13 PM
Comment #297807

Tom
Your right. All the libs were complaining about the wire taps under Bush. Now they have no problem with the IRS intrusions.

Posted by: MAG at March 24, 2010 3:06 PM
Comment #297810

MAG, IRS Intrusions? Well, yes, I guess if you DON’T pay your taxes and the American people, through the IRS come after to you to make you pay your fair share for our government, that might appear an intrusion by the TAX EVADER!

I frankly don’t think the IRS intrudes enough when 100’s of billions of dollars legally collectible go unpaid. BY all means, let’s have MORE IRS Intrusions on the selfish anarchists who refuse to pay their share. YES! I don’t want to carry their load for them while they vacation in the Cayman Islands next to their secret hoard of cash which is contributing to the bankrupting of the law abiding American people like me who don’t object to protecting and defending their nation with their taxes.

Posted by: David R. Remer at March 24, 2010 4:09 PM
Comment #297811

Tom Humes said like a good Southern Secessionist circa 1860: “My point is that what the Congress is doing is a power grab and not health care reform. Health care reform should be done at the state level.”

And Slavery should have remained a state’s right according to your argument, as well as segregation. And white juries exonerating those murdering little black girls in Church or innocent black men should have remained a state’s right.

Opinions like yours have been trying to hold America back from becoming a real civilization since the colonial days. But, the goodness of heart of the majority have beaten opinions like yours back time and again, and fostered real progress and growth to the point of our becoming the greatest nation on earth, for awhile.

And we will beat back opinions like yours again and again, because despite the criminals, the anarchists, the selfish and greedy, the majority of American people who believe in the rule of law, and democratic process, and who believe that we as a nation of people are responsible for our own in times of need and vulnerability, will always outnumber those holding opinions like yours.

Posted by: David R. Remer at March 24, 2010 4:21 PM
Comment #297812

David
Then I guess your alright with the IRS looking into your bank accounts and your medical records. I pay my taxes. I don’t need the government being my nanny, maybe you do, but I don’t.

Posted by: MAG at March 24, 2010 4:23 PM
Comment #297813

Marysdude asked: “Are conservatives saying we should lay back, relax and hand over our wallets without a fight?”

They are saying we, as victims should be grateful for the privilege of having been mugged and allowed to survive it. Their Darwinian philosophy is everywhere evident as they become violent, and enraged, and throw tantrums over having been bested by the democratic process. They believe in rule by survival of the fittest, not democratic principles. That is the philosophical underpinning of everything the Right does, whether their followers are educated enough to be aware of it, or not. They don’t believe in other’s rights, only their own, defined by them for themselves. Their view has paved the road to authoritarianism for as long as human beings have congregated.

Why they don’t all find a good African dictatorship to overthrow and call their own, is beyond me. They must secretly in their subconscious be aware they should be punished with the humiliation of defeat. Otherwise, they would have left after the Civil War.

Posted by: David R. Remer at March 24, 2010 4:29 PM
Comment #297814

MAG asked: “Then I guess your alright with the IRS looking into your bank accounts and your medical records.”

To QUOTE and oft heard phrase from the RIGHT on surveillance: “Sure, I have nothing to hide.”

DO YOU?

Posted by: David R. Remer at March 24, 2010 4:32 PM
Comment #297823

David
It amazes me how you and others on this blog can condemn the wire taps of the Bush admin. but condone the Obama admin. for prying into our private lives. AND NO I HAVE NOTHING TO HIDE. I also don’t condone the wire tapping but I do understand the necessity. The IRS digging into my bank account is NOT a necessity unless I have commited a tax fraud which I haven’t. I have never made enough for them to worry about fraud.

Posted by: MAG at March 24, 2010 6:33 PM
Comment #297826

What is the source of the charge against the IRS? To what extent is this a problem…to what extent a Beck or Limbaugh baseless rant?

Posted by: Marysdude at March 24, 2010 7:21 PM
Comment #297827

Marysdude
The HC bill.

Posted by: MAG at March 24, 2010 7:25 PM
Comment #297834

Marysdude
Thanks for the softball response. The bill in question is having the IRS hire over 16,000 new employees for the specific purpose of interfering with yours and mine records both financial and medical and whatever else they want to stick their nose into. They will not need a court order. They just need to have a roulette wheel to see who gets the fisterius next. And you know what, you can’t do a thing about it. Oops, you can do something. You can spend money you probably don’t have to defend yourself.
Concerning the IRS, been there, done that.

Posted by: tom humes at March 24, 2010 7:55 PM
Comment #297835

DRR
Your charges are outlandish for starters. I have never written or spoken in favor of the ideas you have charged me with. So, if you have a documentation to refute it spit it out, if not end of story.

Posted by: tom humes at March 24, 2010 7:59 PM
Comment #297836

Tom,

The only thing the IRS would need to know under this bill is whether a person purchased health insurance. There would be absolutely no need for any medical records. What’s the bank account concern? We already provide information on income for determination of credits, penalties, refunds, liabilities, etc. I would also point out that the regulations implementing the act will available for public review and comment. This seems to be one more manufactured argument to thwart the health reform act. The “death panel” canard had some traction. I doubt that this will as successful.

Posted by: Rich at March 24, 2010 8:04 PM
Comment #297838

MAG, thank you for this insight into your contradictory comments and arguments: “I also don’t condone the wire tapping but I do understand the necessity”

That says it all. The cognitive dissonance on the Right is strains all credibility. Republicans chances of taking over the majority in either house in Congress in Nov. is 1 in 10 according to one person who called the Democratic takeover correctly. I give them 1 in 100, now with the McCain 6 year old temper tantrum, the Tea Partyers promoting violence and intimidation toward our Democratic processes and those who participate in them, and Palin’s, Becks, and Limbaugh’s incitations toward secession and civil war, and Republican Congress persons regaling the Don’t Tread On Me flag as if to declare war on the United States for nothing more than having lost a vote on the HC reform and confidence of the American public in 2006 and 2008.

The GOP is growing ever more anarchistic, revolutionary in the worst sense, and war-like in speech and rhetoric. It is as if, and I mean this literally, they are riling themselves up to reverse the outcome of the Civil War to reinstate slavery, destroy the Union and United in our nation’s namesake, and to exact vengeance upon any who refuse to think like they do, act like they do, and look like they do.

Not a prescription for winning votes and hearts and minds of the American public majority, I assure you. The GOP is becoming the party of the emotional and uneducated increasingly, finding that constituency most pliable and manipulatable for their conservative agenda. It is, in two short words, political suicide.

And that is truly dangerous for America, because America cannot function well with one party consistently controlling the power, as Republicans proved from 2001 to 2009.

Posted by: David R. Remer at March 24, 2010 8:11 PM
Comment #297839

Tom Humes, the truth usually elicits the strongest response. Thank you.

Posted by: David R. Remer at March 24, 2010 8:12 PM
Comment #297846

Rich
The legislation will allow the IRS to take the fees, fines, taxes or whatever one wants to call them, from you bank account. It will allow the IRS to examine you health records to make sure your defective gall bladder is ok to be removed or whatever you spend your time at the doctor for.
Good nite all

Posted by: tom humes at March 24, 2010 8:56 PM
Comment #297849

David
Contradictory? Do you like getting a tooth pulled when it is rotten No but you do understand the necessity of getting that tooth pulled. I don’t like the wire taps but I do understand the necessity of National Security. You and all the rest of the liberals were complaing about Bush and his wire taps now that the right is complaining about to much government intrusion you play it off and call conservatives unedeucated. I think not David, more people are seeing through the BS that the liberal agenda is pushing. People are not pleased with what happened, and you find one poll that fits with your ideals and you call it factual and unbiased dismissing all the rest of the polls.

Posted by: MAG at March 24, 2010 9:21 PM
Comment #297851

MAG, you already lost this debate by saying: “Do you like getting a tooth pulled when it is rotten No but you do understand the necessity of getting that tooth pulled.”

You changed the argument because you lost the last one. The operative word here is NOT “like”, but, condone, your word. You do condone the wiretapping as a necessity.

When you said: “It amazes me how you and others on this blog can condemn the wire taps of the Bush admin. but condone the Obama admin. for prying into our private lives.”, when collecting taxes of necessity requires the IRS looking into the income, assets, and cash flow of its citizens.
It is a necessity.

You entirely contradict your own argument. And then try to get of the corner your comments painted by changing the word condone to “like”, which changes the subject entirely. Sorry, you comments lost this debate by violating logical rules for debate. Your argument of necessity for condoning wiretapping is just as valid for the necessity of oversight by the IRS to insure the LAWS regarding taxation are equally enforced.

Or, are you of the opinion that the law should not be equally applied to all, exempting business owners from oversight but not wage earners, for example? IRS oversight of income is essential to equal application of tax laws passed by the duly elected representatives of the American people in accordance with Constitutional provisions.

Your arguments display an intrinsic contradiction.

Posted by: David R. Remer at March 24, 2010 10:04 PM
Comment #297865

Look at the title of this piece. He should have said the best health care system in the world left the station two decades ago, because that’s when we started our downward slide.

Here is a ranking of national health care systems. It is put out by the WHO:

1 France
2 Italy
3 San Marino
4 Andorra
5 Malta
6 Singapore
7 Spain
8 Oman
9 Austria
10 Japan
11 Norway
12 Portugal
13 Monaco
14 Greece
15 Iceland
16 Luxembourg
17 Netherlands
18 United Kingdom
19 Ireland
20 Switzerland
21 Belgium
22 Colombia
23 Sweden
24 Cyprus
25 Germany
26 Saudi Arabia
27 United Arab Emirates
28 Israel
29 Morocco
30 Canada
31 Finland
32 Australia
33 Chile
34 Denmark
35 Dominica
36 Costa Rica
37 United States of America
38 Slovenia
39 Cuba
40 Brunei
41 New Zealand
42 Bahrain
43 Croatia
44 Qatar
45 Kuwait
46 Barbados
47 Thailand
48 Czech Republic
49 Malaysia
50 Poland
51 Dominican Republic
52 Tunisia
53 Jamaica
54 Venezuela
55 Albania
56 Seychelles


Please note that while we are still superior to Slovenia, we rank under Costa Rica…isn’t that where Rushie is expatting to? No wonder he wants to go there, they have better health care.

Posted by: Marysdude at March 25, 2010 9:54 AM
Comment #297871

David,
“MAG, you already lost this debate by saying: “Do you like getting a tooth pulled when it is rotten No but you do understand the necessity of getting that tooth pulled.”


I think the readers of this blog will determine the winner of the argument. So far MAG gets my vote

Posted by: catfish at March 25, 2010 11:48 AM
Comment #297878

MAG gets your vote whether his views are right or wrong, so perhaps DR had it right all along.

Posted by: Marysdude at March 25, 2010 1:05 PM
Comment #297887

On the list provided in 29865…did you notice that almost all the nations considered to have superior health care to the United States, have one type or other of Universal Health Care?

Do you think that PHARMA, insurance corporations and providers running amok during the last three decades has anything to do with that?

Government works best when it governs least…except…

Posted by: Marysdude at March 25, 2010 2:36 PM
Comment #297891

“MAG gets your vote whether his views are right or wrong, so perhaps DR had it right all along.

Posted by: Marysdude at March 25, 2010 01:05 PM”

And why do you say this?

Posted by: catfish at March 25, 2010 3:14 PM
Comment #297898

stephen

“The Republicans want to believe that they are Democracy’s saviors, even as they strain against its limitations to get what they want. They adopt the attitudes of an entitled elite, and attempt to impose their will despite the constitutional rule of the majority in Congress. When will Republicans learn that they do themselves few favors in terms of precedent when they use these tactics against what they want to be the future minority?”

i find it interesting that you would use the word “rule”, as opposed to govern. not suprising, but interesting. i guess that would make the american people subjects. isn’t this after all how the liberal elites view the american people. to stupid to act in thier own best interest, so liberals must protect them from themselves. who is it that is imposing thier will now?

i can’t predict the future, but it does appear the dems are in for at the least a significant weakening of thier majority in november. we’ll see just how happy americans are about having this jammed down thier throats.

“Try getting a repeal, much less a vote to override a veto through Congress.”

won’t happen. more likely one or more provisions will be thrown out by the supreme court. that’ll do the job. eliminate the mandate of purchase, and the bill’s dead, game over. if that happens it’ll be funny to see the liberals whine about the right wing activist supreme court.

Posted by: dbs at March 25, 2010 4:25 PM
Comment #297973

dbs,

What I actually said was:

I believe the critics of the reasonable laws to reform healthcare should vote with their feet. Go find yourself your Vahala of freedom. Try Costa Rica. or anywhere.

Which was a response to:

since when does anyone have the RIGHT not to be bankrupted by bills of ant kind, including medical bills? there is no right to healthcare, or healthcare insurance under the constitution. sure it may make you feel warm and fuzzy to believe so, but it doesn’t make it fact.

Which, of course, is not in any bill, anywhere. Again, reasonableness rather than lunatic nonsense was the issue I addressed. Insurance serves a function beyond simple profit, or at least it should. Health care, per the Hippocratic oath, should not be primarily a for profit scheme. Preachers, probably should not be in it for profit. Teachers, should not be in it for primarily profit. Police should not be in it for primarily profit. Firemen nor Generals, …….

As to your fantasies about the Constitution and apparent inability to understand the Commerce Clause….

We currently have an entitlement to health care, in case you were unaware of it, prior to this law.
The problem is, it’s become a feeding ground for the corporate health care industry which is bleeding the middle class to pay for it. That’s the nanu nanu moment of your posts. Wake Up, or join Rush in his fantasy island off Costa Rica.

Again, ain’t nothing screwed up about fixing health care.

Posted by: gergle at March 26, 2010 3:00 PM
Comment #297981

gergle,

It’s like batting your head into the wall…reason, it ain’t in ‘em…conservatives who were once known for ‘steadfastness’ are rushing pell mell into the abyss.

Posted by: Marysdude at March 26, 2010 4:08 PM
Comment #298035

The Republican Party was shrinking, so they held out their hands to the religious right for numbers, and won some elections. Then the party started shrinking again, and the welcoming hand went out to the kooks and criminals. Who knows, it may buy them another election or two…but, what next? Where does the party go for reserve troops when the shrink begins again? Do those people not see that the shrinkage is created because of lack of message…through lack of positive policy?

Republicans have a captive audience in military organizations, and the leadership there tend to be of conservative bent…see where this leads? It leads, in the near future, to Central American and African type coups with Junta formed governments.

I have been asking what kind of Constitution a Boehner, Limbaugh or Beck might create for a future America…I think I’ve answered my own question.

Posted by: Marysdude at March 27, 2010 9:02 AM
Comment #298214

History shows us that insurance companies cannot be trusted. That is why there are insurance commissioners in each state, along with an agency which looks out for the policyholders, in each state. These positions were not created because insurance companies were altruistic and always looked out for the well-being of their policyholders. They were created because insurance companies scammed consumers at every turn. The corruption was so rampant that EVERY state had to do something.
There comes a time when govt has to step in to stop the fleecing of the public, because we do not have the power to do it on our own. We select representatives for our govt to act on our behalf when necessary. When it comes to insurance, it’s necessary.
By the way, the govt is not running the insurance industry. I wish that conservatives would stop saying that. It’s just some regulations. Why is this issue so different than so many others where the govt regulates some aspect of business?
A govt governs best when it governs least? I don’t agree with that. It governs best when it knows when to step in and when it knows to stay out. Republicans would have us believe that they support a tiny govt, but we all know that is just not true. Republicans LOVE them some big government. They just want to regulate our private lives more, and regulate businesses less.

Posted by: Seatech1 at March 30, 2010 2:05 PM
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