Democrats Decline to Listen to Unhappy Constituents, Decide to Label Them Nuts Instead

A handful of Democratic lawmakers have decided that rather than engage in intelligent conversation and debate with actual constituents who are protesting nationalized health care, it would be better just to label them crazy.

"It is a small fringe group, and if we let a small group of people who want to monopolize the conversation and not listen to the facts win, you may as well hang it up," said Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-NY). Sen. Dick Durbin (D-Ill) took it one step further by saying, "These town hall meetings have been orchestrated by the tea baggers and the birthers to just be a free-for-all, make a lot of noise, go on YouTube and show discord. I mean that is what they are determined to do. But that is not going to accomplish what we need to accomplish: real health care reform."

Always the optimist, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid responded, "In spite of the loud, shrill voices trying to interrupt town hall meetings and just throw a monkey wrench into everything we’re going to continue to be positive and work hard." However Pollyanna-ish that sounds, what Reid is really saying is that he doesn't want to listen to the opposition—even if they are his constituents. Good luck in 2010!

While some fringe elements will always exist when opposition this passionate arises against a single issue like health care, that shouldn't overshadow the broader, not-so-fringe message. Nor should the Democrats focus only on those elements while ignoring the genuine antipathy against Obama's plan for health care.

Trying to link together Americans who have legitimate concerns with groups like the birthers is largely strategic misdirection on the part of lawmakers who are, in theory, supposed to answer to their constituents. A lot of Americans, in fact, are wary of the Senate's grasp of health care. But that doesn't really matter, does it?

The fact that Durbin brought up the "tea baggers" only illustrates this point further. What was so "fringe" about the tea party protests, anyway?

In the end, I'm a tad skeptical about a messaging strategy that consists of throwing around ad hominem attacks before taking the time to listen to constituent concerns. Hopefully, these members of Congress will use the August recess as a time for a little self-reflection.

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  • ||

    What was so "fringe" about the tea party protests, anyway?

    Only someone from the fringe could oppose Obama; and I'm not just some plebian saying that, I am a journalist! You know, like Dan Rather!

  • Warty||

    ADMINISTRATION, n.

    An ingenious abstraction in politics, designed to receive the kicks and cuffs due to the premier or president. A man of straw, proof against bad-egging and dead-catting.

  • kilroy||

    Here's the "Enough of the Mob" video the DNC is running.

  • <strike>strike through</strike||

    Trying to link together Americans who have legitimate concerns with groups like the birthers is largely strategic misdirection on the part of lawmakers...

    ...and their lapdog brethren in cable news. Olbermann, Maddow et al are getting very nervous. They see the tide turning and, unable to counter Americans' genuine discomfort with this creeping--nay, galloping--socialism, they resort to ad hominem attacks. It's truly comical and a bit gratifying to see it, as it indicates a tipping point in the debate. When your opponent finally resorts to name-calling and smear tactics, he's finished.

  • bruce||

    I'm sorry, but in this case it's true. The people sending out fake emails about how "Obama's healthcare bill legalizes illegal immigration!" are the same people who were sending out emails saying "Sonia Sotomayor said white men should be castrated."

    They don't want to have a reasoned, rational conversation, these people want to maintain the status quo either because they are working for the health insurance companies or because they've been convinced by Uncle Ronnie's record that any government healthcare plan is commie-socialism (as if they could even define those words) and they "don't want the government between them and their doctors making healthcare decisions" (but it's fine for for-profit insurance companies, who have a conflict of interest every time a dollar has to be paid out for medical treatment, to make healthcare decisions for themselves and their children).

    The democrats won the election, and healthcare reform was the big issue. Sorry, but anyone who had a problem with healthcare reform got their chance to speak last November, and they were duly heard.

    Don't assume you know anything about my politics from this post.

  • bruce||

    strike through: the "tide turning" is not people making informed decisions, but rather the Democratic Party falling apart because they are afraid of nasty 30 second soundbites calling them ugly names. Just because the Republicans know how to play politics and are winning from the sidelines doesn't mean the American people actually agree with them.

  • ||

    Maybe the administration will burn down the Reichstag to convince people of the danger of all these naysayers who are part of the treasonous Republican conspiracy.

    Sorry, I couldn't help myself. I'll write a check to Mike now.

  • <strike>strike through</strike||

    "The democrats won the election, and healthcare reform was the big issue. Sorry, but anyone who had a problem with healthcare reform got their chance to speak last November"

    Bruce, we're supposed to be a republic, not a dictatorship.

  • Spoonman||


    The democrats won the election, and healthcare reform was the big issue. Sorry, but anyone who had a problem with healthcare reform got their chance to speak last November, and they were duly heard.

    No. Just no. The election is not a fucking mandate from heaven.

  • ||

    "The democrats won the election, and healthcare reform was the big issue. Sorry, but anyone who had a problem with healthcare reform got their chance to speak last November, and they were duly heard."

    I guess since Bush won in 2004, the Dems and BO should have shut the fuck up about Iraq. They didn't have a chance to be heard. And if the Dems in Congress get their asses handed to them in 2010, we can tell you to shut the fuck up you were duly heard?

    That is just fucking ignorant. We don't live in a winner take all government whereby once an election is held our representatives are free to do anything they want and no one is free to question them.

    "these people want to maintain the status quo either because they are working for the health insurance companies or because they've been convinced by Uncle Ronnie's record that any government healthcare plan is commie-socialism (as if they could even define those words) and they "don't want the government between them and their doctors making healthcare decisions" (but it's fine for for-profit insurance companies, who have a conflict of interest every time a dollar has to be paid out for medical treatment, to make healthcare decisions for themselves and their children)."


    That is so fucking ignorant it makes me think you are trolling. They don't support it because 1) they understand the government fucks up nearly everything it touches; 2) they understand how barbaric the healthcare system in the UK and Canada here; 3) they are happy with their current insurance and health coverage; 4) know we can't afford what the Obamasiah is selling.

  • WWJGD||

    Don't assume you know anything about my politics from this post.



    I think the link to your LiveJournal says enough. I must say, I've never met an angsty pop-punk teen girl named Bruce.

  • Tomcat1066||

    bruce: With all respect, bullshit.

    That's the same as people telling folks that they had their chance to speak about the Iraq war a few Novembers back, and they were duly heard. People have a right, and I dare say and obligation, to protest anything they disagree with.

    Yes, there are some who spread lies about all of this stuff. There were those who did the same during Bush's reign. However, there are a lot of people out there who have a serious fucking problem with this because they see a lot of fucking problems with this.

    And frankly, a lot of us weren't duly heard in November. After all, for a lot of people, healthcare was just ONE FREAKING ISSUE in the whole platform...and maybe one they didn't think was a priority.

    So, respectfully, get over it. I'm going to bitch all I want to and protest all I want to.

  • Warty||

    Don't assume you know anything about my politics from this post.

    You gave us a lot of data points to interpolate with, dude.

  • ||

    its laughable.

    THe true fringe are the individuals who want National Health Care. The unfortunate part is that fringe is centered over Washington.

  • The Angry Optimist||

    Don't assume you know anything about my politics from this post.



    Oh pleeeeaaaaaase.

    "The fascist president and their corporate-media lapdogs are enabling the capitalist pigs in their continued oppression of the working man.

    Please don't assume you know anything about my politics from this post."

  • The Angry Optimist||

    these people want to maintain the status quo either because they are working for the health insurance companies or because they've been convinced by Uncle Ronnie's record that any government healthcare plan is commie-socialism



    If you don't think nationalizing a big sector of the economy isn't some kind of mix of communism/socialism/command-economy beliefs, you're dumber than a bag of hammers.

  • TallDave||

    Personally, I enjoyed the people in the LA media getting very very upset that people were putting up posters of Obama painted like the Joker with "socialism" under it.

    I bet some of the people who worked on that story have Bushitler posters and don't see an irony at all.

  • ||

    STFU, you peasants!

  • ||

    I'm not convinced healthcare reform was the big issue, bruce. I voted for Obama, and I don't want this healthcare bill passed.

    By the way, feel free to assume you know something about my politics from this post.

  • ||

    Please define what the insect-like collective mind of America thought was "healthcare reform" in November 2008. Also, please explain why that was the principal issue. I don't think it was in the top ten. The vast majority of us, after all, have medical insurance. We were diving into a deep recession at the time, which took precedence over everything else.

    What some of us voted for, was someone other than who held office at the time. It's that simple. In bad times, switch parties.

    Mandates aren't part of the American political system. We're not a democracy. Or a tyranny.

  • ||

    The exercise of individual rights are not subject to election results. That is the republic the framers ordained. Elections serve the purposes of installing new and fresh blood to preserve over the primacy of individual liberty and the rejection of socialistic legislation.

  • Federal Dog||

    Attacking dissenters in sexual terms ("tea-baggers") relates the extremely reduced intellectual and ethical level at which these people operate. I am no fan of Republicans, but when was the last time that they resorted to sex insults against people who might disagree with them?

  • ||

    "Personally, I enjoyed the people in the LA media getting very very upset that people were putting up posters of Obama painted like the Joker with "socialism" under it.

    I bet some of the people who worked on that story have Bushitler posters and don't see an irony at all."

    Vanity Fair did a cover which showed Bush as a vampire attacking the neck of the statue of liberty. But one underground art poster showing Obama as the Joker is racist and dangerous. One thing about this last election, it has made the media and the left show its true colors. As if anyone needed reminding, the last thing they want is free expression and debate.

  • ||

    What a hack article.

    These people are nuts. They aren't trying to have a conversation, they are simply shouting down anyone who isn't crazy with bullshit slogans.

    There is nothing mainstream about the people running around yelling about how health care reform is a plot to euthanize seniors, and anyone who pretends otherwise is a fucking loon too.

    In the end, I'm a tad skeptical about a messaging strategy that consists of throwing around ad-hominem

    Right -- like the people screaming socialism and government take over of health care and euthanizing seniors.

    This place is really turning into the fucking NRO.

    There are lots of legitimate concerns about health care reform, and yet these loons aren't voicing any of them.

  • ConHugeCo||

    make a lot of noise, go on YouTube and show discord.


    They are on to Lonewackos plan....

  • ||

    @bruce:

    why is it that anyone who is ever against an idea that would radically change our society must be either a shrill for the insurance companies or otherwise have some deep dark motive?

    Why do you feel your position is so pure that we should all shut up and support it just because you want it?

    Do you understand how to read words at all? Do you ever think about meaning? Just because the majority are against YOUR plan, doesn't mean everyone thinks the status quo is great.

    Open your mind for once instead of just your mouth and you won't sound so much like a 30 second sound bite from some washed up NPR talking head.

  • Spoonman||

    CT, are you really just joe by another name?

  • The Angry Optimist||

    then piss off with your command-economy beliefs, ChicagoTom. This "place" is only "turning into NRO" in your own mind, because any opposition to command-economy beliefs just has GOTTA BE coming from "teh dumb Republicanz".

    Thanks for that airheaded "analysis", small stuff.

  • ||

    I totally agree that Democrats are completely ignoring the very real group of people/citizen/constituents that have true concern about health care reform. Valid arguments need to be raised and addressed to their respective congressmen.

    The problem is with the small group of dissenters that interrupt these 'town hall' meetings. By drowning out any conversation (which is a two way street) neither side gets a chance to actually enter in a reasonable debate.

    Those that feel they are raising the visibility of those against Democratic health care reform have succeeded in doing so. However, it has put this side in a negative light (which Democrats are all too happy to exploit). These disruptive outbursts have hindered real discussions and debates about health care (with Republicans not helping at all) and has held back any chance to true progress.

  • Warty||

    I'm just glad to see congressmen getting some of the disrespect due them. If this helps kill nationalized healthcare, then that's just a bonus as far as I'm concerned.

  • The Angry Optimist||

    like the people screaming socialism and government take over of health care and euthanizing seniors.

    There are lots of legitimate concerns about health care reform, and yet these loons aren't voicing any of them.



    The first three you listed aren't legitimate concerns?

    So, we're talking about "overhauling" (i.e. socializing) a system at the expense of 290 million people for the benefit of 10 million people.

    What a great idea!

  • ||

    "These people are nuts. They aren't trying to have a conversation, they are simply shouting down anyone who isn't crazy with bullshit slogans. "

    Fuck you Tom. There is nothing nuts about showing up at a meeting and telling your Congress Critter what a jackass you think he is. In fact, it is downright America. Further, are you really so stupid and dogmatic that you think that everyone who opposes Obama's half assed plan is nuts? None of these people have legitimate concerns or anger. They are just nuts.

    But of course the anti-war protesters who did things like stand outside Walter Reed with signs saying "you were mauled for a lie" were patriotic Americans right? No one on your side is nuts and everyone who disagrees with you and raises their voice is nuts. You are a real authoritarian.

  • ||

    Bruce, we're supposed to be a republic, not a dictatorship.

    Bruce is too busy patting you on the head and scooting you away to listen right now.

    "For the 49.9% of you that lost this election, the complaint line forms out back. Please take a complimentary blindfold and cigarette with you as you leave."

  • ||

    "The problem is with the small group of dissenters that interrupt these 'town hall' meetings. By drowning out any conversation (which is a two way street) neither side gets a chance to actually enter in a reasonable debate."

    The Left has been shouting down and disrupting people for years. That is the left's tactic. They invented it. Now a few people show up at meetings and "we have to have reasoned debate". Fuck you.

  • The Angry Optimist||

    The problem is with the small group of dissenters that interrupt these 'town hall' meetings. By drowning out any conversation (which is a two way street) neither side gets a chance to actually enter in a reasonable debate.



    I respect that position, but I feel that the time for reasonable debate has come to an end.

    You had 50-1, or 100-1, letters and phone calls pouring in against TARP.

    Status: TARP passes.

    You had big opposition to the stimulus

    Status: Stimulus passes.

    What's the point of reasoned debate at this juncture? It is apparent that you can raise all of the good, moderated points you want and still have them doubletalked around (rather than addressed) and roundly ignored.

  • bruce||

    So let me get this right, when Republicans win elections they get mandates, but when Democrats win elections they don't get mandates?

    Explain why it works like that.


    Sure, people have the right to talk, write letters, and protest, but they have no right to have their congressman sit down with them and have a two-way debate. They don't even have the right to receive a form letter written by a congressional aid in response to their complaint. But they'll usually always get that.

    That's especially true when they don't want to actually debate the issue, but instead want to toss around allegations about communist this and socialist that and "European" ... those are not arguments.

    After 8 years of Bush - who took joy in ignoring all dissent and shutting out everyone who was not a die hard evangelical christian republican, our country is now a two party nation. Democrats will have democrats as constituents and republicans will have republicans as constituents. When Democrats are in office, they do not represent Republicans, and Republicans have no right to so much as write a letter to their Democratic Congressman. And vice-versa.

    Meanwhile, I'm pissed off that Obama is caving in on everything for the sole purpose of placating Republicans. Bipartisanship is a means, not an end, and Obama does not seem to understand that. I thought he'd at least TRY to get a single payer system, yet he gave up on that real quick - the health insurance companies whined too loudly.

    America will not work with "healthcare insurance." You can insure a car, a home, a boat, a computer, and you can argue over whether a dinged windshield is covered or not. But your life cannot be insured. It's against public policy, like letting a murderer collect insurance benefits from his victim. Unfortunately, public policy means nothing anymore, especially if there's a dollar to be made off of misery and suffering.

  • ||

    Everyone will love socialism, it works great in Cuba and North Korea.

    If you don't think so, you're crazy and I'm reporting you to the White House for re-education.

  • hmm||

    Many don't want the status quo. The problem is they don't want to run all the way to the left with a president talking about single payer programs. Most of the white middle class people I know who voted for Obama as a moderate, something he isn't.

    Bruce:
    From your journal.


    A Few Thoughts on Healthcare Reform
    The Health Insurance Industry shoudl not exist. Why is it that nobody short of Michael Moore will point out that providing necessary medical treatment for its insured customers is lost profit and a direct conflict of interest for health insurance companies?

    Lots of things can legitimately be insured. Homes, cars, boats, jewelry. Even life. But health insurance is so clearly against public policy it amazes me that this industry was ever allowed to exist at all. It should be illegal to sell insurance policies to cover medical treatment. The incentive to deny a claim for someone's medical treatment leads to a far different result than the incentive to deny a claim for a damaged roof, stolen watch, or crashed airplane.

    However, that being said, no matter what healthcare system we have, either ALL claims are paid, or someone, somewhere, will review the claims and decide whether some are "unnecessary" or otherwise not payable. All else equal, I'd rather have a government bureaucrat making this decision than a for-profit corporation. But I don't like the idea of the government making that decision, either. Just like I'd rather have a government-paid firefighter put out a fire at my house than a private firefighting service I pay for (each fire they put out costs money, and risks equipment and the lives of trained employees so there would be an incentive to ignore the call or do as cheap, half-assed a job putting out the fire as possible). How many commercial airplanes have crashed because maintenance costs are high and the for-profit company would rather skip those costs? More than one...

    On the other side of the coin, though... if all claims are paid as a matter of course without question, it gives hospitals and doctors a financial incentive to order unnecessary tests, treatments, etc. We can make that illegal, or more illegal, but it won't fix anything. And if we have the government pay all claims without question, for every American, there won't be enough money on the planet to pay for it all.

    So I don't know how to fix this. Maybe a flat rate for treatment of a patient. Every patient a doctor treats, he gets paid somewhere in the neighborhood of $2,000-$3,000. Maybe give doctors a good annual salary to treat all patients assigned to them, with limits for each field of medicine (a dermatologist can treat more patients per year than a brain surgeon). A standard rate for new doctors, or the average salary for the past X years. And usual standards of care would still apply for purposes of medical malpractice lawsuits (so the doctors don't get lazy).




    Are there unicorns and rainbows in your world of WTF facts you live in? Your politics are showing. Along with a few other things that just aren't worth mentioning.

  • Spoonman||

    So let me get this right, when Republicans win elections they get mandates, but when Democrats win elections they don't get mandates?

    Explain why it works like that.

    Did somebody tell you this was a right-wing site? We were equally pissed off when Bush steamrolled all his noxious shit through, as somebody pointed out above with Iraq.

  • ||

    For the record, are we allowed to assume anything about your politics from that post?

    Just checking.

  • ||

    So let me get this right, when Republicans win elections they get mandates, but when Democrats win elections they don't get mandates?

    Explain why it works like that.


    It doesn't.

    Who told you it did?

  • The Angry Optimist||

    bruce -

    Forgive me for the all caps and the style, but you need to write this on a note and paste it to your computer:

    WE ARE NOT REPUBLICANS, YOU FRIGGIN' DOLT.

  • lunchstealer||

    FWIW, the birthers really are crazy. If the teabaggers wanna protest the expensive suckitude that would be the result of anything Washington's likely to do in the next few months, more power to 'em. But throwing their lot in with the birth-certificate crowd makes 'em look like complete frakkin' wackaloons.

  • Fluffy||

    ChicagoTom,

    Look, I understand that your urgent desire to sponge off the taxpayers for health care is a critical issue for you, so it makes you somewhat upset.

    But it doesn't matter if the Tea Party guys going to these health care "Town Halls" are right or not. They still get to go, and they still get to shout, and anyone who doesn't like it can go fuck themselves.

    Don't want people to show up and bitch at you? Don't try to run Potemkin Village "Town Halls" where the usual cocksmokers who come to your events will show up and claim to be all for the position the Congressman already wants, so he can go back to Congress and say, "My constituents want X."

  • Federal Dog||

    "What some of us voted for, was someone other than who held office at the time. It's that simple."

    People who did anything this fucking simple-minded deserve to have Obama forcibly confiscate every last damned asset they own.

  • ||

    Bruce,

    Let me guess. You are a college graduate and most of what you write you learned in school? This country is so fucked.

  • ||

    This "place" is only "turning into NRO" in your own mind, because any opposition to command-economy beliefs just has GOTTA BE coming from "teh dumb Republicanz".

    You and your ilk have become deranged since Obama has taken office. The loonie wing of the libertarians has had it's feathers ruffled at the prospect of health insurance companies losing their huge profits (at the expense of the sick) so you've decided to start pretending like your bullshit corporate-fellating mindset is "mainstream" thinking.

    You see socialists under your bed coming to take away your freedoms. Fucking loonie-tunes nonsense.

    Let's ignore the fact that these "Grassroots" organizations are being funded by the same people that funded the swift boaters. Let's ignore that their central purpose is to spread disinformation. Let's ignore the fact that all they are doing is shouting lame slogans and preventing a real discussion about the issues. Let's ignore the fact that no one has proposed a government take over of health care despite the silly alarmist rhetoric. Let's ignore the fact that Freedomworks people distribute plans on how to disrupt the meetings and how to make them look they have more numbers than they really do. Let's also ignore the polling that suggests they are in the minority of what they america people want (the american people want health care reform)

    Let's ignore all that and pretend like these people are anything but fringe because it validates what your preferred ideology.

  • Spoonman||

    The birthers are mindblowingly retarded. They're like the truthers were to the Ron Paul campaign.

  • The Angry Optimist||

    But your life cannot be insured.



    Don't you fuckin' tell me what I can and cannot do with my life.

    If I want to enter into a contract with someone to insure my life and my health, you need to get the hell out of the way, little man.

  • creech||

    I called my congressman's (a D) district office this morning and inquired about town meetings. "We'll let you know when he schedules them." I took it to mean either he wasn't planning any or I'll get a last minute announcement and won't have time to organize anyone else to attend.

  • Meta4||

    Last night on TV I heard Sen. Boxer (I think it was her) railing against the people turning out at these town hall meetings. She said she knew they were all Republicans by the very expensive clothes. And I thought wait aminute, I thought Republicans were backward hicks in overalls and seed caps.

    But here's the deal, everyone in the crowd was at least 60. It was a veritable sea of senior citizens.

  • Gilbert Martin||

    "So let me get this right, when Republicans win elections they get mandates, but when Democrats win elections they don't get mandates?"

    Name one liberal democrat who ever accepted the idea that any Republican president had a mandate for anything.

    If the Democrats never accepted the idea of a Republican mandate, there's no reason for Repubicans or anyone else to accept the idea of a Democrat mandate.

    Obama only got 2% more of the popular vote than Bush did 4 years earlier.

    IF X% isn't a mandate, then X+2% sure as hell isn't one either.

  • The Angry Optimist||

    Shorter ChicagoTom:

    Blah blah appeals to popularity blah blah ad hominems blah blah "we won. you lost. get over it."

    Not a Republican, ChicagoTom. Get that through to your lizard brain, please.

  • ||

    ChicagoTom | August 5, 2009, 1:20pm | #
    Everyone will love socialism, it works great in Cuba and North Korea.

    If you don't think so, you're crazy and I'm reporting you to the White House for re-education.


    Pathetic. You have to revert to this kind of shit because that's the extent intellectual ability you have. You can't argue on the merits so you have to spoof other posters.

    Sad really.

  • Spoonman||

    CT, nobody is upset that dipshit insurance companies are losing their profits. At least, I'm not. I am upset that instead of making real free-market changes to the health care system, they are just going to pump in more government money, increasing fraud and waste.

  • bruce||

    "For the 49.9% of you that lost this election, the complaint line forms out back. Please take a complimentary blindfold and cigarette with you as you leave."

    JW: That's a direct quote from George W. Bush, except it was 51% that lost the election....

    In politics, two wrongs make a right. But the Bushie Republican-Christians started it, and milked it for 8 long, miserable years. Now when a Democrat wins the white house - with a landslide victory and a clear majority of the popular vote, suddenly the minority voice should be heard...

    Amazing. How convenient for you... your opinion counts no matter what! That must be nice.

  • Reasonable||

    Unfortunately, public policy means nothing anymore, especially if there's a dollar to be made off of misery and suffering.

    I hate all these doctors, nurses and medical researchers who get up every morning grinning at the prospect of making money off of misery and suffering. Bastards.

    But your life cannot be insured. It's against public policy, like letting a murderer collect insurance benefits from his victim.

    Epic. The first sentence seems to imply life insurance either can't or shouldn't exist, and the second promptly uses it in an example of why.

  • hmm||

    When Democrats are in office, they do not represent Republicans, and Republicans have no right to so much as write a letter to their Democratic Congressman. And vice-versa.



    I was going to try and play nice. But jesus harry s. christ you are clueless fucktard. I have no right to write my representative? Are you really that fucking stupid. Representatives represent everyone you party hack. You know what there are people who don't even belong or identify with one of the two major parties. your level of stupid has reached biblical proportions.

  • The Angry Optimist||

    Oh yeah, I forgot one of your points, ChicagoTom:

    "PROFITS BAD! Healthcare and ponies should fall from the rainbow sky!"

  • ||

    You see socialists under your bed coming to take away your freedoms. Fucking loonie-tunes nonsense.

    You don't? Perhaps you need to change your prescription.

    For the record, I saw them coming during the Bush admins too. Does that count?

  • Spoonman||


    In politics, two wrongs make a right. But the Bushie Republican-Christians started it, and milked it for 8 long, miserable years. Now when a Democrat wins the white house - with a landslide victory and a clear majority of the popular vote, suddenly the minority voice should be heard...

    Amazing. How convenient for you... your opinion counts no matter what! That must be nice.



    Look, dipshit.

    Look.

    WE ARE NOT REPUBLICANS

    We are libertarians. We hate them all.

  • The Angry Optimist||

    Amazing. How convenient for you... your opinion counts no matter what! That must be nice.



    Bruce - We're not Republicans. Repeat until you get it.

  • ||

    The loonie wing of the libertarians has had it's feathers ruffled at the prospect of health insurance companies losing their huge profits



    Yes, that's why the lobbyists for the health insurance companies are supporting and writing the bill.

    Let's ignore the fact that these "Grassroots" organizations are being funded by the same people that funded the swift boaters



    Who, T. Boone Pickens?

    After 8 years of Bush - who took joy in ignoring all dissent and shutting out everyone who was not a die hard evangelical christian republican, our country is now a two party nation.



    Weird, a filibuster proof majority in the Senate and control of the House means a "two party nation," whereas opposition control of both houses of Congress (or a tied or 51-49 opposition Senate) doesn't. How strange.

    The birthers are nots, just like the truthers. Partisans of the party out of power always include nuts; so do partisans of viewpoints never in power. But Howard Dean and Cynthia McKinney and plenty of elected Democrats gave a lot more time to the truthers than elected Republicans are.

  • ||

    You see socialists under your bed coming to take away your freedoms. Fucking loonie-tunes nonsense.

    Come on, stop impersonating me. No one would really write anything this trollish and stupid.

  • ||

    spoonman said No. Just no. The election is not a fucking mandate from heaven.

    I heard the preacher say on several occasions when Bush was in office that God is responsible for all the rulers of the world becoming rulers. He has been strangely silent on the subject since last November.

  • ||

    JW: That's a direct quote from George W. Bush, except it was 51% that lost the election....

    [citation needed]

    You seem to be ill educated about our system of government in this country. Perhaps you should audit those courses again and this time stay awake?

  • Warty||

    bruce, we're not Republicans, you dolt.

  • ||

    But it doesn't matter if the Tea Party guys going to these health care "Town Halls" are right or not. They still get to go, and they still get to shout, and anyone who doesn't like it can go fuck themselves.

    Burn that straw fluffy. Name one person who said they can't go? If FreedomWorks wants to bus people in to town hall meetings they have that right.

    But that doesn't mean the movement isn't fringe or filled with loonies.

  • JB||

    Motherfuckers like Durbin should get out of this country while they still can.

    They have plenty of places to choose from where they can jack-off in peace to their dreams of socialism and communism.

    The Obama zombies should all start packing their bags.

  • ||

    But the Bushie Republican-Christians started it, and milked it for 8 long, miserable years.



    Really? Because No Child Left Behind was written by Ted Kennedy. Many of the stupidest things about the Bush presidency were bipartisan, No Child Left Behind, agricultural subsidies, TARP, housing subsidies in general, highway funding. Invading Iraq was bipartisan too.

  • ||

    - We're not Republicans. Repeat until you get it.

    You're right. You aren't. You are even more fringe than that.

  • The Angry Optimist||

    shorter ChicagoTom: [Big Ad Hominem]

    Let's stipulate that they are fringe loonies, ChicagoTom? Are they wrong?

  • Spoonman||

    I heard the preacher say on several occasions when Bush was in office that God is responsible for all the rulers of the world becoming rulers. He has been strangely silent on the subject since last November.

    I'm normally suspicious of preachers, but asshats like those are the worst.

  • ||

    "PROFITS BAD! Healthcare and ponies should fall from the rainbow sky!"

    They would, if it weren't for evil private companies and their rainbow-killing machines.

    And you DO know why unicorns are extinct today, right? Try thinking for once.

  • hmm||

    I'd say bruce is trolling, but he actually has a live journal with the same arguments.

    Maybe he is a meta-troll

  • bruce||

    Spoonman: exactly. We're going to end up with a system that "compensates" (read: gives hundreds of billions of taxpayer dollars straight to the insurance companies) the insurance companies for the added risk of making them take customers (and their high monthly premiums) that they would not otherwise take. Needless to say, I'm not the least bit happy about that.

    Any system that incorporates the existing insurance companies is not a viable solution. But no American politician has the balls to come right out and say it's either us or the health insurance companies - we cannot both exist. I'm extremely disappointed that Obama gave up on the single payer plan after only a few days in office. He should at least have pushed for the single payer so that public option would be the middle ground upon which everyone ultimately would settle. First rule of bargaining - ask for more than you can get.

  • The Angry Optimist||

    You're right. You aren't. You are even more fringe than that.



    And? Argumentum ad populum.

  • ||

    What if they are not all loons? Then these idiots just handed their opponent in the next election a perfect tailor made commercial ...."Ladies and Gentlemen, remember when y'all came to your congressmen's town hall meeting to express your frustration at the health care bill? Do you remember his response? Remember the 'fuck you looney toons, I will do what I want anyway.' I promise to send your wishes to washtington, not mine. vote for me."

  • Spoonman||

    You're right. You aren't. You are even more fringe than that.

    Tom, given where the mainstream has taken us, I say "fuck yeah" to being called fringe.

  • the innominate one||

    The fact that Durbin brought up the "tea baggers" only illustrates this point further. What was so "fringe" about the tea party protests, anyway?

    That it was a relatively small group, Amanda?

    Or that the protests were coordinated by a certain "fair" and "balanced" news outlet?

    fwiw, people have the right to protest, and those being protested have the right to protest the protestors. people don't necessarily have the right to disrupt meetings. "peaceably assemble", you know.

  • ||

    There is nothing mainstream about the people running around yelling about how health care reform is a plot to euthanize seniors, and anyone who pretends otherwise is a fucking loon too.



    Might be crazy, but it's totally mainstream. Were you even paying attention when the Bush Administration proposed changing the growth rate of Medicare payments, or changing Social Security? The AARP and the Democrats ran around saying it was a plot to euthanize seniors.

  • ||

    "You and your ilk have become deranged since Obama has taken office. The loonie wing of the libertarians has had it's feathers ruffled at the prospect of health insurance companies losing their huge profits (at the expense of the sick) so you've decided to start pretending like your bullshit corporate-fellating mindset is "mainstream" thinking."

    Yeah, because Libertarians hated insurance companies and loved the idea of the federal government providing healthcare before Obama supported it. What the hell are you talking about Tom? Libertarians hated Bush for the drug benefit. If he had ever proposed this crap weasel plan, they would have hated him more. We really must be winning the arguement for you to resort to this. That is pathetic.


    "Let's ignore the fact that these "Grassroots" organizations are being funded by the same people that funded the swift boaters. Let's ignore that their central purpose is to spread disinformation."

    So what? Last I looked it was a free country. They can spread anything they want. It is called the First Amendment. If you don't like what they have to say, put out your own information. If you can't do that, go fuck yourself. Further, is it the case now that disfavored organizations have no right to speak anymore?


    "Let's ignore the fact that no one has proposed a government take over of health care despite the silly alarmist rhetoric."

    How so? I don't think the video of Obama admitting that his goal is single payer is alarmist. It is the truth. You don't like what they have to say. We got it. Sometimes life is like that.


    "Let's ignore the fact that Freedomworks people distribute plans on how to disrupt the meetings and how to make them look they have more numbers than they really do."

    It is called civil disobedience. The left has been doing it for years. If they break the law arrest them. Otherwise shut the fuck up. They have a right to speak to.

    "Let's also ignore the polling that suggests they are in the minority of what they america people want (the american people want health care reform)"

    One, that is not true. Obamacare is tanking in the polls. Two, who cares if it is true. So the minority doesn't have a right to speak and protest? That is real democratic.

    It is pretty obvious Tom, you and your ilk are getting your asses handed to you on this. And it is being done by the same tactics you love to use on the other side. It is just killing you isn't it?

  • Chicken Bones of Justice||

    Sure, people have the right to talk, write letters, and protest, but they have no right to have their congressman sit down with them and have a two-way debate.

    Actually, no Congressperson has any right to take so much as a single step outside their office without any member of the public getting in his face and telling him to go fuck himself.

    Not. One. Single. Step.

    If your Congressman is so much as taking a shit in a bathroom in a building that's on public property, you can stand outside the door shouting, "You stupid Communist douchebag fuck!" and the Congressman can't say shit about it. Period.

    I would almost love to see them try to use force to shut these guys down. Tyrannical state force against leftist protestors generally produces nothing more distressing to the system than Crosby Stills and Nash songs. Tyrannical state force against these tea party guys will probably result in direct action and violence in resistance. And we could use a little revolution every once in a while.

  • The Angry Optimist||

    bruce - a hypothetical for you. Let's say that five friends and I get together and offer to insure each other's health. We incorporate for tax purposes. Are you going to put us all in jail, for being consenting adults and entering into harmless contracts with each other?

  • Spoonman||

    bruce: So now you recognize that the Democrats are just as beholden to corporations and moneyed interests as the Republicans?

  • ||

    Yes, that's why the lobbyists for the health insurance companies are supporting and writing the bill.

    ANd that's why they are lobbying against the public option. Because they are scared shitless about what it will do to their inflated bottom line.

  • ||

    Any system that incorporates the existing insurance companies is not a viable solution.



    Fun fact for bruce: The vast majority of people in France buy private insurance. Is France's system "not viable" then?

  • bruce||

    It's funny, clearly some people don't agree with my position, but just like the people who are the subject of this post, they have NOTHING constructive to add to the debate. Make fun of the color scheme on my livejournal page, call me a name or two, but has anyone so much as said a single word about WHY they think I'm wrong?

    No, not ONE person. Why? Because they have nothing construction, reasoned, or rational to add. They oppose it because they were told to, and they've never rationally thought about this issue for one minute. The same people insulting me are the same people going to town hall meeting and yelling at the microphone so that nobody else can have a rational discussion.

  • bruce||

    I'm not against librarians, I like books! You guys aren't making sense at all.

  • hmm||

    funny thing.

    The town hall I went to here, that Claire didn't show up to, had three loud and applauded speakers. One local conservative republican political figure (not a politician but part of the GOP/RNC here), one independent you younger military gentleman, and one progressive. All against the program one against it because it wasn't single payer. Granted the two against it outright got the loudest cheers. The progressive chap got a few.

  • Meta4||

    "Attacking dissenters in sexual terms ("tea-baggers") relates the extremely reduced intellectual and ethical level at which these people operate"

    And in the case of Tony, internalized homofobia. Yesterday he used the term and when called out on it he said he just liked fatasizing about fat, pasty white rednecks in testicular play. Anyone who uses their sexual fantasies as a term of demeanment is clearly a self hater.

  • The Angry Optimist||

    yeah, and? I would expect a grocery store to campaign against a "public food option", too. Why do you hate freedom of speech, ChicagoTom?

    And if you are campaigning for the public option, doesn't that make you just as much of a rent-seeker.

    That's not a question.

  • Spoonman||

    ANd that's why they are lobbying against the public option. Because they are scared shitless about what it will do to their inflated bottom line.



    And they're succeeding, because there's no difference between Republicans and Democrats.

  • Abdul||

    No offense to Democrat leaners here, but the party of mass protests chanting imbecilic slogans, wearing stupid costumes, and carrying nonsensical puppets has always been the Democratic party. With the exception of the pro-life crowd, I didn't think a single Republican even knew how to make a picket sign.

    Obama finally accomplished something bi-partisan: he got the docker-clad GOP types to join in the inane public demonstrations that were always the Democrats' forte.

  • The Angry Optimist||

    bruce - answer my hypothetical at 1:31.

  • ||

    No, not ONE person. Why? Because they have nothing construction, reasoned, or rational to add.

    Well, since you've made up that giant brain of yours, don't let the door hit you on the ass on your way out.

  • ||

    "ANd that's why they are lobbying against the public option. Because they are scared shitless about what it will do to their inflated bottom line."


    They are scared by the thought of the government outlawing their business. "Inflated bottom line" ReallY? Let me get this straight Tom. Last I heard, the Obamasiah was telling us that we get too much healthcare and need to stop getting stuff that "doesn't make us better". Yet, now you are telling me the insurance companies are evil and have inflated bottom lines presumably because they are denying us all care and keeping our money. Those two propositions can't both be true. Which is it?

  • ||

    The Democrats have a filibuster-free majority in both houses and the whitehouse. So when they keep saying the peasants yelling at them are crazy or hired by BIG INSURANCE, they are trying to convince those brave congressman in their own party.

    They convinced them that they were being brave and statesman-like to vote for the deeply unpopular TARP/Stimulus/Cap&Trade. Or maybe they convinced them that the voters would forget about all that by november 2010.

    Like Peter Pan - just clap your hands and say "I believe in Obama. I believe in Obama."
    Just might work.

    [also all members of congress should be tarred and feathered on a weekly basis (both oligarchic parties)]

  • Meta4||

    "One thing about this last election, it has made the media and the left show its true colors."

    Which is why Bush 43 called them a special interest group and rarely bothered to speak with them. How prescient!

  • <strike>strike through</strike||

    Warty | August 5, 2009, 1:12pm | #

    I'm just glad to see congressmen getting some of the disrespect due them.


    You call that disrespect? That's nothing.
    Tar and feathers would be too good for these statist blood-suckers.

  • ||

    The loonie wing of the libertarians has had it's feathers ruffled at the prospect of health insurance companies losing their huge profits (at the expense of the sick) so you've decided to start pretending like your bullshit corporate-fellating mindset is "mainstream" thinking.

    Fuck you, Tom. This is mendacious to the point of ridiculousness. We are extremely concerned that socializing medicine will make health care massively worse over time, and that it also is fundamentally a loss of liberty. I've been through the NHS in Britain, dude, and I do NOT want that here.

    But claiming that we want to "preserve health insurance company profits"? You're retarded. I used to think you were pretty OK, but now I see that you're actually retarded and just want cake.

    And regarding "tea baggers":

    Mac: You put your balls in my mouth while I was sleeping?

    Dennis: Yeah, man. Twice.

    Mac: That's rape! That is borderline rape!

  • ||

    You see socialists under your bed coming to take away your freedoms. Fucking loonie-tunes nonsense.

    If you genuinely believe that, then you clearly have not been paying attention.

    I don't know how old you are, but I have seen in my lifetime a great reduction in various individual liberties - or, at the very least, people's willingness to freely engage in certain activities that would be an exercise of individual freedoms, out of some vague fear that it's "not allowed" or that there will be some other negative repercussion, like a lawsuit.

    We are not as free a country as we were a mere 20 years ago. The federal government has encroached and continues to encroach ever more into the daily lives and activities of individuals. I don't know what else to call it except creeping socialism.

    Just look at some of the assinine bills proposed by Dianne Feinstein, Barbara Boxer, Chuck Schumer, or Carolyn McCarthy. Feh. Asshats all of them - each and every one.

    Just remember: resistance is futile.

  • Reasonable||

    ANd that's why they are lobbying against the public option. Because they are scared shitless about what it will do to their inflated bottom line.

    What a great idea! We should do this with every industry! No more inflated bottom lines for anyone!

    Let's have a public option for cars, food, computers, sex toys... the possibilities for savings are endless!

  • Fluffy||

    It's funny, clearly some people don't agree with my position, but just like the people who are the subject of this post, they have NOTHING constructive to add to the debate. Make fun of the color scheme on my livejournal page, call me a name or two, but has anyone so much as said a single word about WHY they think I'm wrong?

    Whether you realize it or not, bruce, health care is not the topic of this thread.

    The disdain for public protest shown by Democrat office holders is the topic of this thread.

    There are about a billion threads in the archives analyzing in excruciatingly tedious detail every aspect of the various health care plans that have been floated.

    People aren't engaging you on the health care topic because it's much, much more entertaining and novel to engage you on your claims that the side that loses an election should refrain from engaging in public political speech until the next election.

  • ||

    sex toys...

    We can call that one "The Taxman". :-)

  • hmm||

    It's funny, clearly some people don't agree with my position, but just like the people who are the subject of this post, they have NOTHING constructive to add to the debate. Make fun of the color scheme on my livejournal page, call me a name or two, but has anyone so much as said a single word about WHY they think I'm wrong?



    You have to offer something worth debating to get constructive criticism. You don't automatically get the luxury of being treated as if you know something or are capable of debate until you prove you are. Constantly deferring to the rhetoric of bad bad republicans on a libertarian minded board will lead most to write you off as a complete dipshit. You're live journal is full of poorly constructed arguments with little or no basis in politics or economics. There's plenty of constructive criticism, but you are only offering up vague politically aligned views with no substance to debate. It's like trying to debate jello.

  • ||

    but has anyone so much as said a single word about WHY they think I'm wrong?



    Yes, and the fact that you don't understand that demonstrates that you're incapable of having a rational discussion or rationally thinking about it for even one minute.

    Health insurance company profits are a tiny part of overall health spending in the United States. Any analysis that starts from assuming that they are the problem, and that it's "us or them," is not grounded in reality at all. It's almost as crazy as the people like LoneWacko claiming that the problem with ObamaCare would be illegal immigrants.

  • The Angry Optimist||

    hey, a "little competition" is good for the private sector, right? That's what Obamabots like ChicagoTom tell me.

    So can we get a little competition for the public sector> We can get rid of their inflated administrative costs.

  • bruce||

    John I'll spare you the "fun facts" that distinguish the french system from ours, which you either already know or won't listen to.

    But for everyone else, the french system is a "public health insurance program" and it's only "insurance" in the sense that it covers you when you're sick. The people chip in a little bit, which is just another tax (but you can call it a "premium" if you want to) and in return they get healthcare. Everyone gets it - nobody is turned down, and there is no company trying to make a profit, so there's no duty to shareholders to avoid payment of benefits at all costs all the time.

    The English system can be called "insurance" too, you pay into the NHS and you get coverage when you're sick. If you'd like to adopt a system like France or England, join the club. Or explain why not.

    But don't be disingenuous and imply that French people are buying health insurance because their public system doesn't work or because health insurance is so great and wonderful.

    You can see why John Thacker is being a disingenuous asshole merely by googling "France healthcare system". But misleading people is the only way guys like John can ever win a debate.

  • Obama||

    Let me be clear: I will bring the same realistic cost estimates and prudent planning to health care reform as I brought to the Cash for Clunkers program.

    My advice: if you need healthcare, get it early in the first week.

    I'm Barack Obama, and I approved this message.

  • ||

    I don't see what's wrong with the public food option. Can't Obama multiply the loaves and fishes? And he can make all the two-buck chuck we need for free.

  • The Angry Optimist||

    bruce - answer my hypothetical at 1:31.

    that's the third time I've offered it to you.

  • Tomcat1066||

    "For the 49.9% of you that lost this election, the complaint line forms out back. Please take a complimentary blindfold and cigarette with you as you leave."

    JW: That's a direct quote from George W. Bush, except it was 51% that lost the election....

    In politics, two wrongs make a right. But the Bushie Republican-Christians started it, and milked it for 8 long, miserable years. Now when a Democrat wins the white house - with a landslide victory and a clear majority of the popular vote, suddenly the minority voice should be heard...

    Amazing. How convenient for you... your opinion counts no matter what! That must be nice.


    Bruce you ignorant slut. Don't you get that this isn't a fucking republican site in any way, shape, or form? Both the democrats and republicans have fucked up this country. Right now though, Obama is the one fucking it up...he got the sloppy seconds right after Bush finished his turn fucking it up.

    Pay attention to your environment before you open your pie hole, and you might (and I stress night) avoid embarassing yourself further.

  • Meta4||

    Surely there will be some price to pay for equating nearly 60 percent of the voting public with "mobs of extremists."

    According to a new Qunippiac poll:

    In the Quinnipiac survey, 55% (including 54% of the key independent voter bloc) said they were more concerned that the overhaul would increase the deficit than that Congress would not pass some kind of overhaul. That same 57% (and 59% of independents) disagreed with the following statement: "Overhauling the nation's health care system is so important that it should be enacted even if it means substantially increasing the federal budget deficit."

    The poll also contains another piece of the public opinion puzzle that Mr. Obama and the Democratic congressional leadership may find problematic: Voters by a large margin don't want a health care overhaul if it can only garner Democratic votes. In other words, even though Democrats control both houses of Congress, voters are suspicious of a bill that only has Democratic support.

    The poll found 59% of the public disagreed (and only 36% agreed) with the following statement: Congress should approve a health care overhaul even if only Democrats support it."



    http://blogs.wsj.com/capitaljournal/2009/08/05/poll-shows-perils-for-obamas-health-overhaul/tab/print/

  • ||

    I think Tom is about to pull a Joe. Give it a few minutes and he will have a post about how we are all racists and birthers and he can't bear to post here anymore. He is really out of his tree on this one. I think he senses how badly things are starting to go and how unpopular Obamacare is in the country.

  • ||

    Yeah, because Libertarians hated insurance companies and loved the idea of the federal government providing healthcare before Obama supported it. What the hell are you talking about Tom? Libertarians hated Bush for the drug benefit. If he had ever proposed this crap weasel plan, they would have hated him more. We really must be winning the arguement for you to resort to this. That is pathetic.

    John what are you talking about?

    Libertarians love insurance companies or any corporate entities.

    It's just that until Obama won (and the democrats got 60 seats in the Senate) there was no threat to the insurance companies. Now they are going crazy because they see the writing on the wall and the fact that Americans want our health care system to be changed dramatically (mainly by stopping insurance companies from doing the shit they do, like refusing to pay out legitimate claims, or rescinding coverage to people once they get sick or doubling and tripling premiums to have bigger and bigger profit margins)

    So what? Last I looked it was a free country. They can spread anything they want. It is called the First Amendment. If you don't like what they have to say, put out your own information. If you can't do that, go fuck yourself. Further, is it the case now that disfavored organizations have no right to speak anymore?

    Burn that straw.

    It is a free country, and these organization can lie all they want. But I expect "journalists" to expose the bullshit. And that is what I am doing. Exposing the bullshit.

    Show me anyone who has proposed silencing these groups?

    It is called civil disobedience. The left has been doing it for years. If they break the law arrest them. Otherwise shut the fuck up. They have a right to speak to.

    That's not civil disobedience you dolt. They aren't breaking any laws. But it's funny that you defend their practices. So I suppose you support Code Pink and their tactics right?

    One, that is not true. Obamacare is tanking in the polls. Two, who cares if it is true. So the minority doesn't have a right to speak and protest? That is real democratic.

    Linky? Citation?

    It is pretty obvious Tom, you and your ilk are getting your asses handed to you on this. And it is being done by the same tactics you love to use on the other side. It is just killing you isn't it?

    Actually what's obvious is that me and my ilk are winning the debate -- that's why your side has to resort to lies and disinformation and scare tactics. And that's also why GE and Disney and Cato and the corporate whore media keeps pretending like these people are anything but fringe.

    If it were an honest debate your side would lose. Especially when your side think arguments like "the government cant run cash for clunkers how are they gonna run health care" is a winning argument.

  • Lloyd Doggett||

  • Spoonman||

    There's a new thread on this just above, one that's actually about healthcare.

  • Warty||

    Shorter bruce: Fuck you, you're a bunch of stupid dishonest assholes in the pocket of the insurance companies. You don't deserve to speak, because you lost the election, wingnuts! Why won't anyone debate me?

  • hmm||

    Conform or be ridiculed. The 2010 DNC slogan.

    Kinda politics as usual. The progressive movement has done just that for years. I've found debating progressives almost always devolves into a partisan they did it, they are crazy/evil/vile/ argument. The Democratic party has started towing that lion.

  • ||

    Single payer is to Dems what abortion bans are to the GOP: a promise to never deliver on to keep the activists perpetually enraged and engaged.

  • Gilbert Martin||

    "No, not ONE person. Why? Because they have nothing construction, reasoned, or rational to add. "

    Hey Brucie, give us one "rational" reason as to why government should be involved in healthcare at all and why anyone else should be oglibated to subsidize your healthcare in any way.

  • hmm||

    The GOP slogan will be. Dude, where's my party?

  • The Angry Optimist||

    Shorter ChicagoTom: ad hominem, ad hominem, argumentum ad populum, strawman.

    Dude, you suck now.

  • ||

    And when we win, and the unicorns and rainbows have returned, then Lenin will rise from his grave and we will DANCE!

  • ||

    You can see why John Thacker is being a disingenuous asshole merely by googling "France healthcare system"



    Yeah, and you'll find links like 90% of French people buy private insurance.

    Did I claim that their system was terrible? No. You're the idiot who claimed that private insurance was incompatible was life itself, that it was either "us or them." That it was impossible to work with private insurance companies, or have them make profits. Indeed, you claimed that private insurance was impossible and a contradiction in terms.

    But,

    Indeed, nearly 90 percent of the French population possesses such coverage, making France home to a booming private health insurance market.

  • ||

    I don't know how old you are, but I have seen in my lifetime a great reduction in various individual liberties - or, at the very least, people's willingness to freely engage in certain activities that would be an exercise of individual freedoms, out of some vague fear that it's "not allowed" or that there will be some other negative repercussion, like a lawsuit.

    We are not as free a country as we were a mere 20 years ago. The federal government has encroached and continues to encroach ever more into the daily lives and activities of individuals. I don't know what else to call it except creeping socialism.


    Well I would call it authoritarianism not socialism. The government encroaching into our daily lives is not something that is exclusive to socialism, and the fact that you equate the two tells me more about you than you realize.

  • Spoonman||

    Libertarians love insurance companies or any corporate entities.

    You're an idiot.

  • the innominate one||

    epi - you're repeating your quotation of that exchange from Sunny

    I think you like it a little too much

    snoogans

    :P

  • curious||

    I'm wondering, when Medicare and the rest of the "great society" programs were pushed through in the 1960s, was there as much debate, or were the old time political bosses still in enough control to squelch oppostion?

    Are we freer than we were int he 60s?

  • Fluffy||

    Personally, bruce, I would oppose the public option less, if it were guaranteed to me that that option would be paid for solely by the premium payments of the people who sign up to use it, and would not employ a single dollar of taxpayer money.

    You should be able to do that, since your side claims over and over that the only reason private health insurance is so expensive is because of insurer profits, and because of insurer administrative costs.

    If that's really true, you should easily be able to set up a public option that charges less than the private insurers and doesn't rely on tax dollars.

    But for some reason, that's not what is being proposed. I can't for the life of me imagine why - after all, it couldn't be because progressives are lying sacks of shit, or anything like that, so what could it be?

  • bruce||

    Angry Optimist: Competition is usually good from the private sector, but there are simply some situations in which the private sector should not be permitted to join. With the private sector comes the motive to earn a profit. And the private sector should ALWAYS be encouraged to earn a profit. That's the point. So when earning a profit is anathema to the particular industry, the private sector should be barred from participating. Running jails/prisons is a prime example. Privately-run jails and prisons give a perverse incentive to lock up as many people as possible for as long as possible. To be sure, America's incarceration rates and the number of people in custody has skyrocketed since the advent of "private prisons." Companies like CCA should not exist. It's against public policy. These companies go out and lobby for the longest, harshest drug laws, donate to the campaigns of the most evil, pro-prosecution judges, oppose any form of sentencing reform, oppose probation/parole, and do everything they can to keep Americans locked up for as long as possible - "to protect the children" of course.

    There's a similarly perverse motivation for profit with health insurance companies.

  • ||

    Shorter TAO : BEcause I can't address an of your points, I will mock it and pretend to be above it.

    Dude why don't you just ignore me then? If I have nothing but ad-homs then just pretend I am not here.

  • ||

    We are not as free a country as we were a mere 20 years ago. The federal government has encroached and continues to encroach ever more into the daily lives and activities of individuals. I don't know what else to call it except creeping socialism.

    Creeping fascism would be just as accurate. The two are essentially the same: A small group of power elite decide how everyone else has to live their lives.

    When asked wether we will ever have fascism in America, Huey Long replied:

    "Of course we will. But we'll call it anti-fascism."

  • ||

    CT-

    What about those that support any government involvement in health care, much less the whole statist nine yards of single payer, are not they the lunatic fringe?

  • Warty||

    Well I would call it authoritarianism not socialism.

    Fine, if you like. Your team is currently the leading force for it, dude.

  • The Angry Optimist||

    Well I would call it authoritarianism not socialism. The government encroaching into our daily lives is not something that is exclusive to socialism



    Fine, ChicagoTom - review my hypothetical at 1:31 and tell me you're NOT being an authoritarian.

  • ||

    Libertarians love insurance companies or any corporate entities.

    HAHAHAHAHAHA

    Fuck you again, Tom. If you are too blind to see the railing against corporate rent-seeking that goes on here, I wonder if you can drive or even walk without a cane. if you're actually serious about this, you are way stupider than I would have ever thought. You normally seem pretty rational, but this is retarded.

  • Joe Biden||

    Let me be clear: I will bring the same realistic cost estimates and prudent planning to health care reform as I brought to the Cash for Clunkers program. My advice: if you need healthcare, get it early in the first week.

    Thank you Barack, that was very clean and articulate.

  • EscapedWestOfTheBigMuddy||

    If you don't think ..., you're dumber than a bag of hammers.



    Damn. You've gone and screwed up my intelligence hierarchy again.

    How does a bag of hammers compare to a box of rocks?

  • ||

    Libertarians love insurance companies or any corporate entities.



    Right, that's why libertarians are against ethanol subsidies (Archers Daniels Midland), TARP, the GM and Chrysler bailouts, etc. Democrats voted and continue to vote for all of those.

    Clearly, by the same logic, "Democrats love corporate entities."

  • ||

    epi - you're repeating your quotation of that exchange from Sunny

    I think you like it a little too much


    I'll have you know, innominate, that that quote is just too perfect not to use. Really. Really!

    Maybe the gorilla mask one could be used:

    Mac: What's not to like? Cricket with a face full of pubes? Hilarious!

    Dennis: Yeah, but where are we supposed to get that many pubes, man?

    Mac: We shave!

    Dennis: Well, that's gonna be a problem. I laser. It's like a turtle shell down there.

  • Meta4||

    "In politics, two wrongs make a right. But the Bushie Republican-Christians started it, and milked it for 8 long, miserable years."

    You weren't around in the 1960's that's for sure.

  • ||

    I think Tom is about to pull a Joe. Give it a few minutes and he will have a post about how we are all racists and birthers and he can't bear to post here anymore. He is really out of his tree on this one. I think he senses how badly things are starting to go and how unpopular Obamacare is in the country.

    I'm out of my tree? You guys are treating the people yelling "Obama wants to Euthanize the elderly" as a mainstream movement, and *I* am the crazy one? That is funny.

    Even the fact that you have to call it ObamaCare (wouldn't BaucusCare be more appropriate since he is the point man on this? but that would allow you to attack Obama would it?) shows how pathetic your arguments against it are.

    The fact that your side has to rely on disinformation and lies proves how weak your argument is.

  • The Angry Optimist||

    These companies go out and lobby for the longest, harshest drug laws, donate to the campaigns of the most evil, pro-prosecution judges, oppose any form of sentencing reform, oppose probation/parole, and do everything they can to keep Americans locked up for as long as possible - "to protect the children" of course.




    And? That's called free speech, baby, and you have no one to blame but your Congressman for swallowing lobbyist propaganda whole cloth.

    So, yes, if I set up a voluntary health insurance company, you would put me in jail, right, bruce? It's a yes or no question.

  • Federal Dog||

    "I didn't think a single Republican even knew how to make a picket sign."

    Not to mention giant papier-mache puppet heads. What's up with that? Don't they know you can't have a respectable protest without many giant papier-mache puppet heads?

  • Reasonable||

    Especially when your side think arguments like "the government cant run cash for clunkers how are they gonna run health care" is a winning argument.

    I don't know why anyone would think the wild underestimation of costs in one government program (and subsequent frightening celebration of those spiraling costs as "success") would have any bearing on the prospects of those same people taking over 15% of the economy.

    Not.

    At.

    All.

  • Fluffy||

    So I suppose you support Code Pink and their tactics right?

    Absolutely, you douchebag. Don't fucking come around here and accuse us of not supporting the rights of the people in Code Pink.

    Well I would call it authoritarianism not socialism. The government encroaching into our daily lives is not something that is exclusive to socialism, and the fact that you equate the two tells me more about you than you realize.

    Socialism is a subset of authoritarianism.

  • The Angry Optimist||

    Disinformation and lies? Come on, CT, you know as well as I do that Fluffy is right here. If think you can do a better job, then don't ask anyone else to pay for it by force. The insurance companies are such piss-poor, inflated bureaucracies? Start your own insurance firm.

  • ||

    Burn that straw.

    "It is a free country, and these organization can lie all they want. But I expect "journalists" to expose the bullshit. And that is what I am doing. Exposing the bullshit.

    Show me anyone who has proposed silencing these groups?"

    When you refuse to engage them on the issue and expect journalists to just report that they are nuts and not report on what they are saying, you are silencing them. You want to marginalize and ostracize your opponents. You don't think anyone who disagrees with you has any valid points or is acting with anything other than malicious or suspect motives. You want journalists to report what your opponent's say entirely through the prism that any dissent to Obama is fringe lunacy. That is effectively silencing your critics and denying them a vote. Mine and AO's and Fuffy's points about this are not straw men. You are just a liar and wont' admit that you don't want a debate.


    "That's not civil disobedience you dolt. They aren't breaking any laws. But it's funny that you defend their practices. So I suppose you support Code Pink and their tactics right?"

    Just like you supported Code Pink. Code pink did what they did and they have a right to do it. But I don't think Code Pink means that everyone who objected to the war is like them. You try to take the actions of a few lunatics and smear anyone who disagrees with you. That is what makes you such a dogmatic authoritarian fuck.

    Linky? Citation?

    See the WSJ poll cited in post above. As an aside, WTF is up with leftist in the word "linky". Only nasty ass leftist seem to use it and it is annoying as hell.

    "Actually what's obvious is that me and my ilk are winning the debate -- that's why your side has to resort to lies and disinformation and scare tactics. And that's also why GE and Disney and Cato and the corporate whore media keeps pretending like these people are anything but fringe."

    You are "winning" the debate, but the only point you can make is how everyone who disagrees with you is on some evil corporation's payroll. Whatever get's you through the night Tom.

  • ||

    I don't know why anyone would think the wild underestimation of costs in one government program (and subsequent frightening celebration of those spiraling costs as "success") would have any bearing on the prospects of those same people taking over 15% of the economy.

    Particularly when the same people have a history of equating the amount of $$ spent on healthcare, but only when part of a govt program, with compassion, love of mankind, and general goodness.

  • MT||

    Bruce,

    Democracy is a process, not an event.

    In any case, Obama pledged to hold a "conversation" with the American people. That means a "conversation" with people who don't necessarily agree with him. Perhaps Obama regrets making that promise, but we're holding him to it anyway.

  • Federal Dog||

    Sorry, Abdul. I missed the puppet reference in your post.

    It nonetheless deserves emphasis: If those protests really were astroturfing -- as administration officials insist -- there would be puppet heads.

  • Spoonman||

    I'm out of my tree? You guys are treating the people yelling "Obama wants to Euthanize the elderly" as a mainstream movement, and *I* am the crazy one? That is funny.

    Do you not agree that's a possible consequence of trying to reduce costs in a government health care system? Are you that naive? I'm not saying it'll start January 1st, but will it happen eventually? It's certainly plausible.

  • ||

    Running jails/prisons is a prime example. Privately-run jails and prisons give a perverse incentive to lock up as many people as possible for as long as possible... There's a similarly perverse motivation for profit with health insurance companies.



    You don't think that government has perverse incentives? Red light cameras suck, but they suck when run by governments, and aggressive cops targeting speeders (especially those of the wrong race) are all about revenue as well.

    To be sure, America's incarceration rates and the number of people in custody has skyrocketed since the advent of "private prisons.



    1) That's not how you use "to be sure" rhetorically.

    2) While that's true, America's incarceration rate and number of people in custody have skyrocketed even in areas and states that have no private prisons. Private prisons are a tiny part of the overall population and aren't legal in all states. And yet the incarceration rate rises everywhere. Perhaps it has to do with creating more crimes.

    I'm sensing a pattern with you. This reminds me of insurance companies. You focus on criticizing something that, even if all your criticisms were true, only makes a tiny contribution to the problem and can't possibly account for everything, yet you pretend that it's the overwhelming problem.

  • JB||

    'bruce', move. Get the fuck out. You have plenty of options to choose from for socialized medicine. Go to one of your paradises.

  • ||

    How does a bag of hammers compare to a box of rocks?

    Like Palin to Pelosi?

  • Gilbert Martin||

    "I'm wondering, when Medicare and the rest of the "great society" programs were pushed through in the 1960s, was there as much debate, or were the old time political bosses still in enough control to squelch oppostion?"

    Yeah we've seen how well that worked out. They vastly underestimated the costs for Medicare.

    They predicted the annual costs in 1990 would be $12 billion and they actually came in at $107 billion.

    Now the unfunded liability for Medicare and Social Security is over $100 trillion.

    So naturally the wise thing to do is create another boondogle "entitlement" program.

    What could possibly go wrong with that?

  • ||

    Right, that's why libertarians are against ethanol subsidies (Archers Daniels Midland), TARP, the GM and Chrysler bailouts, etc. Democrats voted and continue to vote for all of those.

    Are you really going to pretend that libertarian ideology isn't pretty much aligned with what benefits corporate America?

    Also I was here during TARP, and the level of opposition to it was quite muted when compared to the Stimulus (whereas to me, the TARP and bailouts were much more offensive than the stimulus)

    Clearly, by the same logic, "Democrats love corporate entities."

    Democrats do love corporate entities. That's why they wanted to protect AT&T from lawsuits for violating privacy laws.

    I'm not a Democrat. Im a liberal with libertarian leanings. Democrats aren't liberal. They love their corporate $$'s just as much as the GOP.

  • ||

    ANd that's why they are lobbying against the public option. Because they are scared shitless about what it will do to their inflated bottom line.

    The Big Lie in the current health care debate is that the business of health insurance is somehow insanely profitable.

    Its not. The average margin for commercial health insurance may get all the way up to 4% in the best years.

  • Spoonman||

    Are you really going to pretend that libertarian ideology isn't pretty much aligned with what benefits corporate America?

    Yes. The best evidence of this is that corporations donate to Republicans and Democrats to increase the burden on their competitors, not to Libertarians to open up the market for free competition.

  • Chicken Bones of Justice ||

    Chicken Bones of Justice @ 1:31 pm

    Quit using my handle, asshole.

    You did it yesterday too, fuckwad.

  • The Angry Optimist||

    so, just to get this clear, bruce and ChicagoTom, if we were to start Reason, Inc., a health insurance company, with all, say 50 of us who are regulars (including the staff and such), and we made a profit and everyone was happy with that system...you would outlaw that? If we deigned to make a profit, you would tax the shit out of it to pay for your public "option". By the way, it's not really an option if you cannot "opt out" of paying for it.

  • Chinny Chin Chin||

    "...if we let a small group of people who want to monopolize the conversation and not listen to the facts win, you may as well hang it up," said Sen. Chuck Schumer.

    He went on to add, "For this reason, I will no longer accept contributions from, or consult with, lobbyists.

  • ||

    The issue of "evil insurance" companies show how stupid and out of their minds people like Bruce and Tom are on this. On the one hand we hear how medical care costs so much and there is so much unnecessary care done, especially at the end of life. On the other hand, we hear about how evil insurance companies are denying needed care and only the government can save us.

    Both of those things can't be true. If insurance companies are so evil and good at keeping costs down, they we wouldn't have much a problem with unneeded medical costs. If we are bankrupting the country keeping grandma alive the extra two months, then insurance comapanies must not be so cheap and evil.

  • ||

    Is someone spoofing ChicagoTom, like all of his posts? He's usually only this stupid when the subject of organic food comes up.

    Anyway, bruce and "ChicagoTom" have nothing and they know it. They are so used to winning any debate on "but, teh poor people!" grounds that they can barely form an argument any longer.

    Pooling risk is the same it an insurance company does it if the government does it. The difference is that an insurance company doesn't have the force of government behind it to force me to comply to their guidelines.

    Public option is a scam. Nothing stays optional for long.

    The government never does anything cheaper. Liberals used to have enough honesty to admit that (government might be "fairer" but never cheaper, government overhead outstrips private overhead every time,) now they just lie about it because it's expedient.

    It's bullshit from start to finish. Leftists know it, they just don't care about anything but making the government the biggest player in people's lives.

  • ||

    There's a similarly perverse motivation for profit with health insurance companies.



    Sure. And there's a similarly perverse motivation for saving money with a public health insurance system. What restrains the perverse incentive in the private case is competition, bad publicity, and other factors which can also include government regulation. What restrains the government is public sentiment, but if public sentiment meant everything we wouldn't have speed cameras and red light cameras.

    Look at Medicare and the VA. Are they devoid of complaints about denying care? Is there any reason to expect that an expanded public system would be different than Medicare, also spending more than elsewhere in the world and sometimes denying care?

  • The Angry Optimist||

    Also I was here during TARP, and the level of opposition to it was quite muted when compared to the Stimulus



    Now you have become a liar. A big one.

  • ||

    bruce-1:46

    You are conflating matters. Of course, any good libertarian is going to oppose any kind of rent seeking activivty and the rent seekers themselves. Thus, the prison building/prison administration industry lobbying for more draconian drug and incarceration measures represents a reprehensible reprobate practice. That industry is not making or producing anything on a consensual basis and is just looking to loot you and me.

    However, if the state is actually builidng, administering and operating the prison system, what say you on lobbying efforts made by ANY public sector actor seeking more prison dough?

    To the extent that health insurance companies take Medicare/Medicaid and/or other state money, they are rent seeking scum. But, to equate prison with health care is non-sense. Even though I do not think that prison should be limited to the state's monoply, the vast majority of libertarian/limited government folk have always distinguished the prison industry from that of healthcare in that the former has been traditionally accepted to be within the exclusive purview of government whereas the latter has been traditionally viewed as not witin the legitimate purview of the state.

  • ||

    Absolutely, you douchebag. Don't fucking come around here and accuse us of not supporting the rights of the people in Code Pink.

    You lying sack of shit. You people "supported" their rights the same way I am supporting the tea baggers and the FreedomWorks people. You mocked them as crazy fringe lefty loons.

    Oh and the Code Pink people got arrested. These loons aren't being arrested (and no one is calling for it)

    Socialism is a subset of authoritarianism.

    So is fascism. Pretending that creeping authoritarianism can only be because of socialism is either stupid or dishonest.

  • ||

    Here is some video of a few "nuts" in action:

    Really disturbing video

    This is definitely considered to be from the fringe, by the establishment.

    Yet, just look at the actual video, and put yourself in the place of either the citizens, or the police, and ask yourself what you would do in either case.

    I especially like how quickly the armored paddy wagon appeared on the Mall in Washington. It looks just like the things they have in South Africa or in other militarized trouble spots.

    Any thoughts on where we are headed? Is this the "change" we were promised?

  • ||

    if we were to start Reason, Inc., a health insurance company, with all, say 50 of us who are regulars (including the staff and such), and we made a profit and everyone was happy with that system...you would outlaw that? If we deigned to make a profit,



    And what about mutual insurance companies, owned by the policyholders, with no shareholders or other owners? Are those a problem too, bruce?

  • ||

    "Also I was here during TARP, and the level of opposition to it was quite muted when compared to the Stimulus"

    Peole went bizerk over TARP on here. That is just bullshit.

  • ||

    Are you really going to pretend that libertarian ideology isn't pretty much aligned with what benefits corporate America?

    This is performance art, right, Tom? Tell me it is, so I don't have to be so contemptuous of you.

    Also I was here during TARP, and the level of opposition to it was quite muted when compared to the Stimulus

    OH GOD the hits keep on coming. More, please. At this point I'm just looking and shaking my head in amazement. Great stuff.

  • EscapedWestOfTheBigMuddy||

    "How does a bag of hammers compare to a box of rocks?"

    Like Palin to Pelosi?

    ::LOL::

    So, one is all outdoorsy and can be attractive in a good light, the other is collection of hard-headed tools and they are both good for hammering stakes into the ground?

    Got it.

  • Warty||

    Also I was here during TARP, and the level of opposition to it was quite muted when compared to the Stimulus (whereas to me, the TARP and bailouts were much more offensive than the stimulus)

    You're remembering what you want to remember.

  • ||

    Also I was here during TARP, and the level of opposition to it was quite muted when compared to the Stimulus

    This is a lie not even Tony would try. And all he does is lie. Simply amazing.

  • Chicken Bones of Justice ||

    "Chicken Bones of Justice | August 4, 2009, 11:11am | #

    Savage? I'll tear your heart out and eat it raw before your very eyes you bastard!"

    First handle use by anyone on H&R ever, dicklicker. I added the hat link later in the thread.

  • bruce||

    Fluffy: Like I said in the first post, don't assume anything about my politics from what I said about healthcare. I'm not a Democrat and this is not "my side" (I'm not a republican either).

    I'm a strong believer in ideological estoppel, and while you may be an exception, all the people who are opposing healthcare reform due to what could be the high cost are the same people who had no problems running up a huge debt over the past 8 years with Iraq, Afghanistan, 150 million to retrain TSA employees to search our shoes, etc. Sure enough, the Republicans and their "fiscal responsibility" ran us into the red to the point of no return. Those same people are not allowed to protest the cost of the healthcare program.

    Now, you'll say "well I am different, I also opposed the Bush Administration's wild spending"... okay fine, although I'm not saying I believe that. So in response to your main point, yeah I'd also feel much better about the public option if it would be paid for by the premiums. But it seems to me that if premiums would cover it, the health insurance companies would already be taking those people as customers. The fact that the health insurance companies have already decided it will cost them more to take people who are not in perfect health (even with their premiums) seems pretty conclusive to me that there's no way it can be paid for with premiums alone.

    So, yeah, we will need to raise taxes. A lot of people got tax cuts they didn't deserve.

    HOWEVER, I don't believe anyone should pay more than 10% (at most) of their income in taxes. It should be 10% for the wealthiest Americans, and under 5% for everyone else. The only way to do that is to legalize drugs, tax them, get rid of the IRS, DEA, and stop spending hundreds of billions of dollars trying to keep purportedly free people from eating certain leaves and powders. We can have lower taxes and healthcare reform, but that means we have to accept the fact that heroin can be sold to white children on playgrounds. But it will be clean, 100% pure heroin made, packaged, and measured (in known quantities) by a real company - not a foreign druglord - so it will be extremely safe.

    Unfortunately I don't see this ever happening. Too much power and money is already invested in keeping people and the drugs they like separated. Everyone from the police to the alcoholic beverage industry has a vested interest in preserving the status quo when it comes to drug prohibition.

    So is there anything we can do? No, there's not. I truly believe that our government will collapse one day in the next 2 years. And you know what, I think the world will be better off without us. The only question is what will remain after Washington DC closes down. 50 nation-states? Maybe. Will the south unite in a United Christian Confederacy? Yeah quite possibly.

  • Spoonman||

    so, just to get this clear, bruce and ChicagoTom, if we were to start Reason, Inc., a health insurance company, with all, say 50 of us who are regulars (including the staff and such), and we made a profit and everyone was happy with that system...you would outlaw that? If we deigned to make a profit, you would tax the shit out of it to pay for your public "option". By the way, it's not really an option if you cannot "opt out" of paying for it.

    We wouldn't be allowed to deny anonymity-bot coverage until he went to opium rehab, that's for sure.

  • ||

    Do you not agree that's a possible consequence of trying to reduce costs in a government health care system? Are you that naive? I'm not saying it'll start January 1st, but will it happen eventually? It's certainly plausible.

    No I do not agree. I do not agree that it's a possible consequence that the government is going to start euthanizing the elderly. No, not even in the least.

    What IS POSSIBLE is that the same way people are killed by insurance companies who get denied coverage for expensive treatment might occur in a government run system. But that shouldn't be objectionable to you, since you like the status quo and that's happening already.

  • Chicken Bones of Justice ||

    "ANd that's why they are lobbying against the public option. Because they are scared shitless about what it will do to their inflated bottom line."

    And as we all know, the primary goal of government is to reduce profits.

  • ||

    Sugar Free-

    You might be right that someone is spoofing Chicago Tom. Whoever it is, along with Bruce, are dead wrong.

    However, CT is not stupid on the organic food issues. And not just cuz I agree with him.

  • Federal Dog||

    "that's why your side has to resort to lies and disinformation and scare tactics."

    That definitely sounds fishy. You'd better turn us into the relevant government overseers RIGHT NOW.

  • Wolves of Self-Reliance||

    He went on to add, "For this reason, I will no longer accept contributions from, or consult with, lobbyists.

    But Chin, the money!

  • Spoonman||

    all the people who are opposing healthcare reform due to what could be the high cost are the same people who had no problems running up a huge debt over the past 8 years with Iraq, Afghanistan, 150 million to retrain TSA employees to search our shoes, etc.

    Dude, have you ever met a libertarian?

  • ||

    Holy cow. 178 comments in just more than an hour. A Hit & Run landspeed record?

  • ||

    Could it be that those opposing the "public option" are afraid that it will turn out like Citizens Property Insurance Corporation, Florida's "public option" in property insurance.

    Now, why would any busines be worried about a "competitor" who could undercut its prices while drawing huge subsides from the public treasury.

  • ||

    This is a lie not even Tony would try. And all he does is lie. Simply amazing.

    Then go ahead and prove me wrong.

    Reason was much more vocal in their opposition to the stimulus than to the bailouts. (To be clear I am talking about Reason staffers posts, not the comments sections.)

  • robc||

    TAO,

    WE ARE NOT REPUBLICANS, YOU FRIGGIN' DOLT.

    You misspelled FUCKIN'.

  • ||

    Holy shit this is an awesome train wreck. This is on a joe-like scale, but with more obvious lies. Fucking excellent.

  • ||

    bruce,

    all the people who are opposing healthcare reform due to what could be the high cost are the same people who had no problems running up a huge debt over the past 8 years with Iraq, Afghanistan, 150 million to retrain TSA employees to search our shoes, etc.

    Fuck you, you piece of shit lying cockbag.

  • Michael Ejercito||


    In the end, I'm a tad skeptical about a messaging strategy that consists of throwing around ad-hominem attacks before taking the time to listen to constituent concerns.


    It did not work when Tom Tancredo did that to those who protested his speech at the University of North Carolina.

    It does not work now.

  • The Angry Optimist||

    Now, you'll say "well I am different, I also opposed the Bush Administration's wild spending"... okay fine, although I'm not saying I believe that.



    Now, you may well say "I am not a socialist"...okay fine, but I definitely don't believe that.

  • hmm||

    Dude, have you ever met a libertarian?



    I got two into bed one time! Oh the good olde days.

  • Tomcat1066||

    So, yeah, we will need to raise taxes. A lot of people got tax cuts they didn't deserve.

    More like the government hasn't been getting enough of the money they've done NOTHING to deserve to make them happy.

    The money I earn is what I deserve, and I don't get it all. Keep that in mind.

  • Fluffy||

    Companies like CCA should not exist. It's against public policy.

    You know, I thought the first time you did this it was some kind of typo, but now I see that it's not.

    I'm not sure what you think the clause or sentence "It's against public policy" means, but it doesn't mean whatever you think it does.

    I think that you think it means, "That would be bad public policy" or "This should not be public policy."

    Since it is currently the policy in many areas to have privately-run prisons [which I also oppose, by the way], it makes no sense to say "Privately run prisons are against public policy." Um, no they aren't - they are the current public policy in many places.

  • ||

    "No I do not agree. I do not agree that it's a possible consequence that the government is going to start euthanizing the elderly. No, not even in the least.

    What IS POSSIBLE is that the same way people are killed by insurance companies who get denied coverage for expensive treatment might occur in a government run system. But that shouldn't be objectionable to you, since you like the status quo and that's happening already."

    If it is impossible, please explain what is happening in the Netherlands right now. Also, explain the horror stories out of the UK with months long waits for basic procedures? Lastly, name one thing the government has ever run more efficiently than the private sector? Why is healthcare different? If not, why shouldn't we just have a single payer option for everything or at least for necessities like food and legal representation?

  • Spoonman||

    No I do not agree. I do not agree that it's a possible consequence that the government is going to start euthanizing the elderly. No, not even in the least.



    Jesus. Did you believe there's no way they could have lied on WMDs too?

  • hmm||

    Fuck you, you piece of shit lying cockbag.

    JB may have a use for you, bruce, if you are in fact a cockbag. He can be found in this thread dismembering members.

  • ||

    This is performance art, right, Tom? Tell me it is, so I don't have to be so contemptuous of you.

    What exactly is wrong with my statement?

    You are honestly telling me that an ideology which abhors any and all regulation of commercial activity doesn't align with what corporate America does? An ideology that believes that consumers shouldn't get protection from the government but instead should have to try and litigate against potential deep pockets to get reparations after they have been harmed doesn't align with what corporate America wants?

    Are you really that blind to your own beliefs?

  • Michael Ejercito||

    Fun fact for bruce: The vast majority of people in France buy private insurance. Is France's system "not viable" then?


    About as viable as their nuclear power plants.

  • ||

    all the people who are opposing healthcare reform due to what could be the high cost are the same people who had no problems running up a huge debt over the past 8 years with Iraq, Afghanistan, 150 million to retrain TSA employees to search our shoes, etc.



    Only in the sense that all the people who are supporting healthcare reform are the same people who did those things too-- perhaps most of them, definitely most politicians, but certainly not all people.

    HOWEVER, I don't believe anyone should pay more than 10% (at most) of their income in taxes. It should be 10% for the wealthiest Americans, and under 5% for everyone else. The only way to do that is to legalize drugs, tax them, get rid of the IRS, DEA, and stop spending hundreds of billions of dollars trying to keep purportedly free people from eating certain leaves and powders.



    Umm, Dude, I'm all for ending the Drug War and lowering taxes, but UNFORTUNATELY that certainly wouldn't save enough money to lower tax rates to 10% for the rich and 5% for everyone else. Exactly how innumerate are you?

    The fact that the health insurance companies have already decided it will cost them more to take people who are not in perfect health (even with their premiums) seems pretty conclusive to me that there's no way it can be paid for with premiums alone.



    Huh? No. The health insurance companies will always take people that pay enough in premiums to cover their cost. The problem is that people don't have the money (or in the case of some young healthy people have the money but don't want to pay) the premiums necessary to cover the cost. The problem is that people who are already sick are going to have to have a lot of expensive treatment that they can't afford.

  • Wolves of Self-Reliance||

    Episiarch | August 5, 2009, 2:03pm | #


    +1

  • Warty||

    Then go ahead and prove me wrong.

    You rape puppies in your spare time. What? Go ahead and prove me wrong!

  • Spoonman||

    You are honestly telling me that an ideology which abhors any and all regulation of commercial activity doesn't align with what corporate America does?

    Yes. Corporate America uses the government to increase barriers to entry for their competitors.

    An ideology that believes that consumers shouldn't get protection from the government but instead should have to try and litigate against potential deep pockets to get reparations after they have been harmed doesn't align with what corporate America wants?

    We all believe fraud should be illegal.

  • ||

    You are honestly telling me that an ideology which abhors any and all regulation of commercial activity doesn't align with what corporate America does?



    Yes. Because Big Business (and Small Business) will always seek regulation that hamstrings its competitors. I'll assume that you're just ignorant, not stupid, so I recommend that you read up on public choice theory.

  • hmm||

  • The Angry Optimist||

    Unbelievable! The level of cock-knockery here is amazing.

    Health insurance companies don't cover "pre-existing conditions" for the same reason you cannot buy life insurance after you die. Or get car insurance after you cream somebody. Are you (bruce) that retarded?

  • ||

    Are you really that blind to your own beliefs?

    The irony...it burns!

    You are honestly telling me that an ideology which abhors any and all regulation of commercial activity doesn't align with what corporate America does?

    Many regulations HELP the big corporations, Tom. How is it that you can't understand this? This is where the contempt comes from, by the way, just because you asked.

  • ||

    Bruce-

    It says here that Fluffy, aside from Kwais, Squarooticus and me (apologies to others I may be forgetting and no offense to the many intelligent posters here who consider such ideological consistency to be goofy), is the most ideologically consistent voice on Hit&Run.

    So, whether or not you believe Fluffy condemned the Bush administration's profligate spending is of no moment; I personally read hundreds of such posts from Fluffy.

  • The Angry Optimist||

    ChicagoTom is attracted to 60-year-old trannies.

    What? prove me wrong!

  • Chicken Bones of Justice ||

    "Linky? Citation?"

    Look up the page a few inches, bitch.

  • ||

    Jesus... WTF happened here?

    It's like trying to debate jello.
    You owe me a new screen.

    ...also why GE and Disney and Cato... and the Queen, The Vatican, The Gettys, The Rothschilds, Colonel Sanders...

  • hmm||

    I'm glad someone is taking him serious and arguing with bruce. This is like watching midget porn.

    Thanks to all

  • ||

    bruce, you have apparently never been to Reason or hit and run before.

    If you had you would find that many alternatives to obama's pland and the current system have been advanced, sometimes there's agrement sometimes scorn and derision.

    I'd suggest that you read hit and run for a while before you shoot of your mouth about how superior you and your policy prescriptions are.

    Yes, we disagree with you. But that doesn't mean we march in lockstep with the Republicans, either.

    This thread was not about the policy. it's about some Democrats thinking they can squash debate by dismissing their opponents as crazy, or un-american.

    It was wrong when Bush did it, it's wrong when the Democrats do it.

  • ||

    If it is impossible, please explain what is happening in the Netherlands right now. Also, explain the horror stories out of the UK with months long waits for basic procedures?

    Are people being euthanized in the netherlands against their will? I know that they have death with dignity laws that allow people to kill themseleves, but who is euthanizing the elderly against their will?

    This kind of rank dishonesty is what I am talking about. Your side lies and says Obama wants to kill the elderly, and when challenged you respond with "waiting times in the UK"

    And for the record. The UK is a government run health system. They are employess of the NHS. THat is not what anyone is trying to do in the US.


    Lastly, name one thing the government has ever run more efficiently than the private sector? Why is healthcare different? If not, why shouldn't we just have a single payer option for everything or at least for necessities like food and legal representation?

    The police, the fire department, the post office, the army. Just to name a few.

    We do have a type of single payer for food. It's called welfare.

  • ||

    You are all stupid,
    We are all wise,
    All we say is truth,
    All you speak is lies.

    We don't know any econ,
    And frankly don't want to,
    It sounds too much like "neocon"
    Eww, ewww, ewww, eww!

    So enjoy our fine trolling,
    And please keep in mind,
    That's how we be rolling,
    Koolaid suits us just fine.

  • ||

    ...also why GE and Disney and Cato... and the Queen, The Vatican, The Gettys, The Rothschilds, Colonel Sanders...

    /damn html

  • ||

    ChicagoTom is attracted to 60-year-old trannies.

    That's a lie. I've never been attracted to TAOs mom and he knows it.

  • Spoonman||

    the post office

    Lysander Spooner FAIL

  • hmm||

    Unbelievable! The level of cock-knockery here is amazing.



    everything is more fun with links.

  • ||

    Are you really going to pretend that libertarian ideology isn't pretty much aligned with what benefits corporate America?


    Libertarian ideology is aligned with people who want to make an honest profit. If that includes "corporations" (eeek!) then so what? It also includes, to an even greater extent, the self-employed, small businesses, anyone who wants to start a small business, and anyone that wants to grow from a small business to a large one.

    Just about all of the regulation and economic intervention we oppose has the effect of making it difficult for people to climb the economic ladder of self-reliance, from self-employed, to big business.

    The Democratic economic model currently in place involves the regulation and taxation of large corporations, but also their protection and support as permenant economic entities. Too big too fail. Can't let GM/Chrysler go out of business. Corporations providing Pensions, health care, as a matter of law. It ALL assumes a relatively static set of large corporations under the wing of the government.

    The net result of this is a system of economic stratification. The corporations on top of the heap are never allowed to die (due to bailouts), and the small business are never allowed to rise (due to regulation). Even if the net about of economic inequality is lower, it also results in lower social mobility. You start off an auto worker, you STAY an auto worker, for the rest of your life ... you get a company pension and a health plan. But good luck trying to start your own business .... you'll never make it, precisely because you'll be competing with government-supported corporations -- who are supported because they provide pensions and health plans to an immobile dependent work force.

  • Federal Dog||

    "Privately-run jails and prisons give a perverse incentive to lock up as many people as possible for as long as possible"

    Bullshit. Courts, juries, probation departments, and parole boards -- none of which are private -- make decisions about conviction, sentencing, and release.

  • ||

    "Against public policy"-

    Is that in the constitution?

    A great example of actual, unauthorized judicial activism.

  • robc||

    Well I would call it authoritarianism not socialism.

    Its socialism when the government owns the means of production - banks, car companies, health insurance, etc.

    Looks like socialism to me.

  • ||

    ChicagoTom,

    Here are 370 mentions of TARP in threads. Find one positive thing that was said about them from an acknowledged libertarian or anarcho-capitalist. A muted response to TARP by us is all in your deluded mind.

  • Fluffy||

    Chicken Bones of Justice -

    Sorry, I did not realize you had adopted that as a permanent handle, so I was sockpuppeting it.

    Since I invented the phrase you adopted as a handle, perhaps you can forgive me from squatting on it once or twice. I won't do so again.

    The fact that the health insurance companies have already decided it will cost them more to take people who are not in perfect health (even with their premiums) seems pretty conclusive to me that there's no way it can be paid for with premiums alone.

    Whoa whoa whoa, hold on a second.

    Two seconds ago, the problem was that the evil health insurance companies make unfair profits.

    Now suddenly the problem is that the health insurance companies aren't willing to lose money? Is that really your complaint here? When you first said "unfair profits", the dollar threshold you had in mind was $0? $0 is an unfair profit?

    And you're angry that people are waving picket signs claiming that you're a socialist?

    I'm a strong believer in ideological estoppel, and while you may be an exception, all the people who are opposing healthcare reform due to what could be the high cost are the same people who had no problems running up a huge debt over the past 8 years with Iraq, Afghanistan, 150 million to retrain TSA employees to search our shoes, etc.

    Well, now I forgive you a little, because it's clear you have absolutely no fucking idea where you are or who you're talking to.

    The number of pixels expended here denouncing Bush and all his works was basically limitless. You have no idea what you're talking about.

    The Tea Party movement grew out of the Ron Paul movement. The Paul people hated Bush and hated every one of the things you list. Assholes like Beck and Hannity try to pretend that it's their movement, but it's not.

    And ChicagoTom, for you to come here basically every day and say there wasn't universal rage here against the bailouts is just jaw-dropping. Mind-boggling. It would be like going to Greenwald's site and saying, "Hey asshole, when are you going to talk about the Jawad case!" Just jaw-dropping.

  • ||

    And for the record. The UK is a government run health system. They are employess of the NHS. THat is not what anyone is trying to do in the US.



    I thought it was what you were trying to do, ChicagoTom.

    We do have a type of single payer for food. It's called welfare.



    Yeah we have WIC (which works with private grocers and uses an EBT card). We also have Medicaid. Are you proposing that we expand WIC to everyone?

  • Art-P.O.G.||

    Spoonman,

    Does your handle refer to Spooner?

  • ||

    Many regulations HELP the big corporations, Tom. How is it that you can't understand this? This is where the contempt comes from, by the way, just because you asked.

    I understand it quite well, thank you. That's why I oppose those types -- Like licensing for florists and horse massagers. But that doesn't mean that there can never be good/proper regulations -- Unlike you and your ilk whose knee jerk response is "regulation is always bad"

    Why are you purposely pretending like I defend any and all regulation or that I don't believe it can be abused? But the difference between you and I is that just because something can be abused, I don't throw my hands up and say "well then we should never do anything -- cuz it might be abused"

  • kilroy||

    I thought for sure Bruce was a troll, but then I followed his link and it looks like a journal with some history and at least some consistency. Seeing this I planned to come back and address him as someone who just needed a little Reason orientation.

    Then I saw this:

    When Democrats are in office, they do not represent Republicans, and Republicans have no right to so much as write a letter to their Democratic Congressman. And vice-versa.



    I'm pretty sure now that the level of orientation Bruce requires will have to come in book form.

  • ||

    "The police, the fire department, the post office, the army. Just to name a few.

    We do have a type of single payer for food. It's called welfare."

    The police and the army are not healthcare. We have a single government run police and army because in order to maintain the peace you need the government to have a monopoly on force. So those examples are not good ones.

    The Post Office? Are you serious? I will let you take that one back. Don't ever say I am not a nice guy.

    Welfare is not single payer food. Single payer food is Maoist China or Stalinist Russia. Why not have a system where the government buys all the food and rations it out to peole based on need? If it will work for healthcare why not food? We all have to eat don't we?

  • <strike>strike through</strike||

    It was all downhill after the fourth comment.

  • The Angry Optimist||

    That's a lie. I've never been attracted to TAOs mom and he knows it.



    By definition, she could not be my "mother". I know you FAIL at econ, but biology too? Poor dear - hope you didn't pay too much for that sheepskin.

    The police, the fire department, the post office, the army. Just to name a few.



    These institutions are not run for efficiency purposes. They are run out of fairness - and because most of these are "public goods" - I mean, real public goods, not that made-up shit you've been spouting off about.

    We do have a type of single payer for food. It's called welfare.



    Oh, for the love of Christ, do you even know what you're arguing about? That is NOT the definition of "single payer", you fucking twit.

  • robc||

    The police, the fire department, the post office, the army.

    Nope, nope. UPS bitch, nope.

    A private army with the same funding level as the US Army would kick its ass.

    I guarantee a private police force couldnt get away with the shit Balko documents on a daily basis.

  • ||

    Why are you purposely pretending like I defend any and all regulation or that I don't believe it can be abused?



    Why are you pretending that libertarians think fraud should be legal? Strawman, burn thyself.

  • ||

    Any flooding problems, robc?

  • Spoonman||

    Does your handle refer to Spooner?

    No, it refers to Soundgarden. I used to post here as Nigel Watt (which refers to my name), but for some reason I switched.

  • DEPARTMENT OF STUPIDITY||

    Unlike you and your ilk whose knee jerk response is "regulation is always bad"

    You have now exceeded your government-alloted stupidity ration.

  • ||

    I thought it was what you were trying to do, ChicagoTom.

    Why would you think that? Cuz LIBERALS ARE ALL THE SAME?!!?!?!?

    I would never support a UK style system.

    But I also don't accept the bullshit argument that we shouldn't reform health care because "Medical decisions should be between the patient and doctor". It isn't that way right now. Medical decisions are between the patient doctor and the insurance company. I would be happy to swap the insurance company with the government bureaucrat since I can at least have some sway over the beurocrat with my vote.

  • Tomcat1066||

    I'm just hoping that whatever was in the Koolaid ChicagoTom drank can't be transmitted over the internet...or that there are at least shots for it.

  • moosey||

    As loyal informant I have reported this post and commentary to the communications director for the White House Office of Health Reform

    all your thoughts are belong to us

  • Reasonable||

    Spoonman,

    I'm together with your plans.

  • robc||

    Anyone who has ever tried to track a package shipped via the USPS would never say they were efficiently run.

  • The Angry Optimist||

    For your benefit, ChicagoTom:

    Single-Payer (n.) - "In the case of health care, a single-payer system would be setup such that one entity-a government run organization-would collect all health care fees, and pay out all health care costs."

    Does that sound like welfare to you?

  • Spoonman||

    Why are you purposely pretending like I defend any and all regulation or that I don't believe it can be abused? But the difference between you and I is that just because something can be abused, I don't throw my hands up and say "well then we should never do anything -- cuz it might be abused"

    It's not really abuse when it's the goal of the people pushing the regulation. It's corrupt, certainly, but not abuse. And what regulations can you point to that don't increase barriers to entry?

  • robc||

    Any flooding problems, robc?

    Nah. I live on a hill.

    Somehow I didnt lose power for a week this time.

  • ||

    Why are you purposely pretending like I defend any and all regulation or that I don't believe it can be abused?

    I did nothing of the kind--no one did. We are pointing out that you keep spouting the patently false idea that libertarians love corporations. Stop projecting your own slide into stereotyping on us.

    You're totally unhinged here, dude. It's funny as hell, but it's also a little disturbing coming from someone who is otherwise normally pretty rational. It means there are obviously a lot of others out there with these abjectly false ideas about us just sitting in their heads.

  • ||

    The Post Office? Are you serious? I will let you take that one back. Don't ever say I am not a nice guy.

    Why would I ? I love the post office.

    For $0.44 they will take male from my front door to anywhere in the USA. And considering how much mail goes through them, their error rate is lower than UPS / FED/EX.

    I know people like to bash the post office, but most Americans are happy about it and wouldn't want to trade it for private entity.

  • The Angry Optimist||

    I would be happy to swap the insurance company with the government bureaucrat since I can at least have some sway over the beurocrat with my vote.



    HA! Riiiight - did you think you're going to be voting for the low-level functionary who is going to fail to order that cortisone shot you need?

    What country do you live in where you vote for 99% of the bureaucracy? At least if your health insurance company were super-onerous, you can switch providers. With government, you have to move.

  • robc||

    Many libertarians oppose the concept of corporations.

  • robc||


    For $0.44 they will take male from my front door to anywhere in the USA. And considering how much mail goes through them, their error rate is lower than UPS / FED/EX.


    Someone else would do it cheaper if they didnt have a law preventing it.

  • Spoonman||

    For $0.44 they will take male from my front door to anywhere in the USA. And considering how much mail goes through them, their error rate is lower than UPS / FED/EX.

    They have a government-enforced monopoly on mail below $1. And they aren't taxed.

  • ||

    We are pointing out that you keep spouting the patently false idea that libertarians love corporations.

    It's not false at all. Libertarianism loves them their corporations. There are so many examples.

    Along with the stuff I said upthread, the hate you have for anti-trust laws is pretty telling.

  • ||

    "I would be happy to swap the insurance company with the government bureaucrat since I can at least have some sway over the beurocrat with my vote."

    That is why public school bureaucracies are so responsive to the public will. That is why big city public schools in this country are so much more effective than private schools. All because government bureaucrats are more responsive to the public than the private sector. Come on Tom, that is laughable. How did you write that with a straight face?

  • The Angry Optimist||

    Don't turn this into an argument about the friggin' Post Office!

  • dhex||


    I know people like to bash the post office, but most Americans are happy about it


    have you ever been inside an actual post office during normal hours or are you basing this on commercials you see on tv?

  • Linda Douglass||

    abjectly false ideas... sitting in their heads.

    I will HUNT THEM DOWN!!

    YOU CAN'T HIDE FOREVER!

  • ||

    Let's not get into the subsidization of rural postal routes via the USPS, shall we?

  • robc||

    they will take male

    Freudian?

  • Spoonman||

    It's not false at all. Libertarianism loves them their corporations. There are so many examples.

    Go on, I'll wait.

  • ||

    For $0.44 they will take male from my front door to anywhere in the USA.

    Yes, they deliver anywhere in the USA. I'd prefer they deliver it to where it was addressed and supposed to go, but instead, your mail could go anywhere in the USA.

  • ||

    They have a government-enforced monopoly on mail below $1. And they aren't taxed.

    So?

    They do the job well and efficiently.

  • Art-P.O.G.||

    For $0.44 they will take male from my front door to anywhere in the USA.

    R C Dean: where would we be without his lawz.

  • ||

    Why would you think that? Cuz LIBERALS ARE ALL THE SAME?!!?!?!?

    I would never support a UK style system.



    No, because you spend half the thread talking about how the current bill didn't go far enough and you wanted a single-payer health system?

    The UK's various NHSes (they are different by nation) do, unlike many other public health systems, employ a fair number of doctors directly, mostly specialists. However, the vast majority of General Practitioners, dentists, optometrists, etc. have their own practices and contract/bill to the NHS.

    The NHS is a single-payer health system; not all doctors work for the NHS or an NHS Trust administered hospital.

  • The Angry Optimist||

    It's not false at all. Libertarianism loves them their corporations. There are so many examples.



    When I engage the services of a health insurer, that's my own choice. It's between three consenting parties: the insurer, me, and my provider (or providers).

    Why are you opposed to consensual, contractual activity, ChicagoTom?

  • Spoonman||

    So?

    They do the job well and efficiently.

    So there's no basis for comparison. It's like saying the Sun does the best job of heating the Earth.

  • ||

    I would be happy to swap the insurance company with the government bureaucrat since I can at least have some sway over the beurocrat with my vote.

    You know, just like how all of the millions of people who think taxes are too high routinly get to vote out Congress members who raise taxes. Those fuckers can barely get in sight of the Capitol. Imagine the power that the aggrieved nobodies that get fucked over in a rationed healthcare situation will have.

    Of all the dumb shit said in the defense of socialized medicine, this is the fucking dumbest.

  • Art-P.O.G.||

    Dammit, robc! Gah!

  • ||

    "Why would I ? I love the post office.

    For $0.44 they will take male from my front door to anywhere in the USA. And considering how much mail goes through them, their error rate is lower than UPS / FED/EX.

    I know people like to bash the post office, but most Americans are happy about it and wouldn't want to trade it for private entity."

    It bleeds billions of dollars and is no where near as reliable as FEDEX or UPS. Get rid of the post office and let other companies compete for business and we would have much better service. The post office is great, just like AMTRAK is a great train company and British Leyland was a great car company.

    Central planning has never worked in any other industry at any time in history. Yet, it is going to be different this time. yeah right.

  • ||

    OK, that's it. Tom is definitely trolling or at least purposely stirring up shit. Well done, dude, I give you credit for roiling the crap out of this thread, but your most recent stuff was just too far and exposed the trolling.

    Right?

  • ||

    I forgot to mention the generally protectionist trade policy advocated by Democrats. That too, is cheifly aimed at protecting domestic markets for large corporations.

    What we're seeing emerging is sort of a quasi-centralized economic model, where big corporations are protected by the government from competition and death, and used as a system to provide socal welfare benefits (pensions and health plans) for their employees. The government also seeks to subsidize favored industries, protects them for foreign competition, and uses trade policy to try to benefit them in export markets.

  • Post Office||

    I know people like to bash the post office, but most Americans are happy about it

    Plus, we only lost a few billion dollars this year.

    Not to worry, though: we get a bailout EVERY year!

  • robc||

    They do the job well and efficiently.

    Bullshit. Try to get a package across the country delivered before 11 AM tomorrow. They cant do it.

  • The Angry Optimist||

    I want to know what it is that ChicagoTom thinks I should be able to walk into a store and purchase weed from someone who is selling it, but I shouldn't be allowed to walk into an office and purchase health insurance.

  • Art-P.O.G.||

    'Course, if the post office was really good they'd take female from anywhere in the U.S. to my front door. Giggity.

  • Spoonman||

    Or "The US government has the best federal court system in the United States."

  • Fluffy||

    So?

    They do the job well and efficiently.


    If they do the job efficiently and well, why do they need a legal monopoly?

    If you lift the legal monopoly, we should experience no change at all, if they're already doing the best possible job that could be done. Right?

  • ||

    Go on, I'll wait.

    I've posted 3 so far. Go on and read them.

    have you ever been inside an actual post office during normal hours or are you basing this on commercials you see on tv?

    Yes actually, I go to busiest one in downtown Chicago and often times the line is pretty long. And I have never been unsatisfied with the job they do?

    Are they always the most polite people? Not always, but it's no different than any other store I go to. With any customer service, it's hit or miss.

  • Reasonable||

    All my friends are brown and red.

  • ||

    I would never support a UK style system.



    I am a bit surprised by that, too. Even though the statement was based on a foolish assumption by ChicagoTom that all UK doctors are NHS employees (not true for the vast majority of GPs), I'm a little confused as to why you wouldn't support any private insurance companies, but you're okay with doctors making private profits, even though presumably they would have financial incentives to recommend the tonsils come out instead of the red pill, as Obama says.

  • Spoonman||

    I've posted 3 so far. Go on and read them.

    Give us some more, because those didn't fly.

  • Spoonman||

    All my friends are brown and red.

    I'll save you.

  • ||

    If you lift the legal monopoly, we should experience no change at all, if they're already doing the best possible job that could be done. Right?

    Anyone want to take bets that USPS style healthcare from Obama's public option will eventually 'require' a USPS style monopoly to keep it going? For our own good?

  • hmm||

    A real time graphic showing the flow of comments sections would be awesome. With sub categories like emotions, topics, questions, and so on.

  • ||

    But I also don't accept the bullshit argument that we shouldn't reform health care because "Medical decisions should be between the patient and doctor". It isn't that way right now. Medical decisions are between the patient doctor and the insurance company. I would be happy to swap the insurance company with the government bureaucrat since I can at least have some sway over the beurocrat with my vote.

    Why are you pretending to be surprised that libertarians are opposed to the gummint essentially taking over the health care system in this country? Do you really think that whatever is proposed and (gulp) passes will be the end of it? They're going to just slap the backs, light cigars and never think about it again?

    And if you think a civil servant or bureaucratic is going to be cowed by your "vote", your train really has gone chugging around the bend.

    98% incumbent re-election rate. They're fucking quaking in their boots.

  • EscapedWestOfTheBigMuddy||

    They have a government-enforced monopoly on mail below $1. And they aren't taxed.

    So?

    They do the job well and efficiently.



    Well I would agree with the metric being does my mail come to my door, and can I expect that mail I send gets where it is going.

    But you simply don't know if they are efficient or not. Not on money, and not on time. You have nothing to compare them against.

  • ||

    I know people like to bash the post office, but most Americans are happy about it and wouldn't want to trade it for private entity.

    And if they lose your mail, then they will have to answer to the mighty power of YOUR ONE VOTE!

    Jeebus, this is like fist-fighting a baby.

  • robc||

    CT,

    Seriously, have you ever tried to track a package shipped via the USPS. This is brutally simple stuff and they have no fucking clue how to do it.

    UPS (and others) are brilliant at it. UPS is a package tracking company that happens to deliver at the same time. It makes them awesome.

    I want to know where my damn package is at all times. USPS cant deliver that service despite claiming to have tracking.

  • Bigg Blakk Dikk||

    Will the south unite in a United Christian Confederacy? Yeah quite possibly.

    I'm done fucking your mother. You need to wash her.

  • ||

    Can I choose a mail delivery service that _won't_ shove massive amounts of junk mail into my mailbox? Online, that's called 'spamming', why is it OK when the USPS needs the revenue?

  • ||

    For $0.44 they will take male from my front door to anywhere in the USA.

    Thank you, CT.

    They do the job well and efficiently.

    How do you know, since you don't have any points of comparison?

    I would point out that for packages and overnight mail, where we do have points of comparison, I don't think the USPS is particularly outstanding. I can say that UPS, Fedex, etc. has never "lost" a package of mine, but the USPS damn sure has.

  • hmm||

    Post office not doing so well.

    In other news my mail lady is fucking HAWT.

  • The Angry Optimist||

    spamming is free speech.

  • ||

    If you lift the legal monopoly, we should experience no change at all, if they're already doing the best possible job that could be done. Right?

    No one said it was the best possible job. the job is done adequately and efficiently enough at the price point. Most people are content with that level of service. Could the service be better? Sure, but then the price would probably go up substantially.

    I'll grant that the price is artificially low for some people and some people are subsidizing others. So be it. It's still a pretty good system and one that I don't believe deserves the amount of disdain people show towards it.

  • ||

    hmm, who is Hawt, and why is that a concern of ours? :-)

  • The Angry Optimist||

    People, please - I want to know why ChicagoTom is standing between me and my consenting health insurer.

  • ||

    For some reason, this thread just angries up the blood, doesn't it?

  • robc||

    LT,

    Can I choose a mail delivery service that _won't_ shove massive amounts of junk mail into my mailbox? Online, that's called 'spamming', why is it OK when the USPS needs the revenue?

    Eliminate junk mail and I would like to see the PO keep prices anywhere near 44 cents.

  • ||

    spamming is free speech.

    I want to choose a mail carrier contractually obligated not to provide bulk mail services, and the right to consider others trespassers on my property.

  • ||

    Good to hear, robc. A bunch of colleagues at UofL and Louisville Free Public got fucked pretty hard. One guy at LFPL has four feet of standing water in his office.

  • Spoonman||

    the job is done adequately

    People aren't dying on the streets either, so that must mean that our health system is adequate and we shouldn't change it.

  • ||

    Jeebus, this is like fist-fighting a baby.

    No way, dude, Tom is trolling the shit out of us. He has to be, because there's no way the shit he's saying could be something he seriously believes, unless...

    Tom, did you get a lobotomy recently, or get struck about the head and neck repeatedly? Or maybe you dropped a few hits of acid this morning?

  • The Angry Optimist||

    Johnny - FedEx ships documents.

  • robc||

    Last year, mail volume fell by 9.5 billion pieces to a total of 203 billion pieces. It is expected to fall by 28 billion pieces this year to a total of 175 billion pieces.

    An unusual trend for a service people are satisfied with.

  • Art-P.O.G.||

    In other news my mail lady is fucking HAWT.

    That's how pornos start: a hot postwoman and an overnight male delivery.

  • Tomcat1066||

    Guys, think about it for a second. You're arguing with someone who thinks that the government can do something efficiently. That should tell you everything you need to know and leave him alone on this thread. ;)

  • ChiTomrbrucejoe ||

    Don't try to confound and confuse us with facts,
    When there's a problem, government acts!
    And then the rainbows can shine and the unicorns play,
    Why are you shaking your head in that way?

    Oh, money is evil and bureaucrats good,
    Government always does just what it should!
    Now if you'd only stop arguing you would soon see,
    The bliss of a world where eveything's free!

  • Federal Dog||

    "since I can at least have some sway over the beurocrat with my vote."

    Yeah, do bring the power of your vote to the attention of the nearest public employee union official. I am sure that he'll be quaking in his boots.

  • ||

    Speaking of USPS... I wonder if this is familiar to other people:

    Is there one day of the week when you never get anything other than junk mail? Mine's Tuesday. Pizza coupons, flyers, glossy business postcards, but never any personal mail or packages.

  • ||

    Seriously, have you ever tried to track a package shipped via the USPS. This is brutally simple stuff and they have no fucking clue how to do it.

    UPS (and others) are brilliant at it. UPS is a package tracking company that happens to deliver at the same time. It makes them awesome.

    I want to know where my damn package is at all times. USPS cant deliver that service despite claiming to have tracking.



    UPS isn't that much better. When I track my packages from UPS i get stuff like "Scanned for departure" and "In Transit". Basically updates whenever it reaches a destination point.

    What level of detail are you asking for? Street maps and the route the driver takes?

  • robc||

    One guy at LFPL has four feet of standing water in his office.

    Im sure he is blaming it on us voting down the new library tax last year.

  • ||

    Yeah, do bring the power of your vote to the attention of the nearest public employee union official. I am sure that he'll be quaking in his boots.

    As much as the insurance bean counter will be scared by my telephone call??

  • Art-P.O.G.||

    I want to know why ChicagoTom is standing between me and my consenting health insurer.

    Pornos sometimes start like this, too.

  • robc||

    CT,

    UPS gives you every point. Departure, each overnight warehouse, on truck for delivery, etc. And it updates on the fly.

    USPS gives departure and delivery and updates overnight.

  • ||

    "No way, dude, Tom is trolling the shit out of us. He has to be, because there's no way the shit he's saying could be something he seriously believes, unless..."


    Sort of. His commitment to Obama is requiring him to do some pretty distastful things; like pretending that government run healthcare is a good idea. Hopefully, when it is all over, he can get some PTSD counseling like some soldier who had to shoot people.

  • Spoonman||

    UPS isn't that much better. When I track my packages from UPS i get stuff like "Scanned for departure" and "In Transit". Basically updates whenever it reaches a destination point.



    UPS tells you every time it enters or leaves their property. That's pretty good. Besides, this is ludicrous. USPS is good because UPS is better, but not by whatever you consider to be "that much"?

  • Reasonable||

    Hilariously, the guy who was just railing about anti-trust laws supports a monooply for the USPS.

    You see, monopolies are good... if the gov't runs them.

  • robc||

    What level of detail are you asking for? Street maps and the route the driver takes?

    This is coming. They know exactly where MANY of their trucks are exactly (due to some union stuff, IIRC, every truck isnt being tracked yet). Connecting that to your package is easy, since they know exactly which truck every package is on, as it is scanned on loading.

  • ||

    An unusual trend for a service people are satisfied with.

    From Bloomberg:

    Falling shipments at United Parcel Service Inc. and FedEx Corp., which together deliver 80 percent of packages in the U.S., show the economy is in a recession and unlikely to rebound this year.

    UPS, whose domestic volume has outperformed the gross domestic product for almost a century until last year, said April 8 that deliveries dropped in the first quarter. UPS also said earnings for the three months through March will miss its previous projection by as much as 7.4 percent, just the third time the Atlanta-based company has made a new forecast that was below an earlier one.

    FedEx's U.S. shipments dropped 2 percent last quarter, and the company said last month it would have ``limited earnings growth'' this year because of the slowing economy. Both companies are also struggling with soaring jet-fuel, gasoline and diesel costs after crude oil surged 80 percent in the past year



    Maybe in general people are shipping/send less stuff because the economy?

    Maybe the shipping sector as a whole is taking a hit?

    No it MUST be because the POST OFFICE SUCKS.

  • ||

    "As much as the insurance bean counter will be scared by my telephone call??"


    I take my business elsewhere. I have never had a problem with an insurance company. My mother had cancer and never had a problem beyond them fucking up the bills. But every bill that was wrongly sent, they backed down on. They certainly never denied her care. She was a 68 year old woman with cancer for the second time. She was just the kind of person Obama and his army of bureaucrats would like to get at to save money. Fortunately she was at the mercy of the evil insurance companies rather than Obama.

  • ||

    What level of detail are you asking for? Street maps and the route the driver takes?

    I want my USPS guy RFID chipped like a pet schnauzer.

  • The Angry Optimist||

    argh! Folks, stop with the Post Office red herring.

    ChicagoTom - why do you want to stand between me and a consenting insurer?

  • Spoonman||

    Can we get to 350?

  • The Angry Optimist||

    Spoonman - keep in mind that we have broken 2000 before.

  • Federal Dog||

    "As much as the insurance bean counter will be scared by my telephone call??"

    No, but discontinuing your contract and taking your business elsewhere might communicate something relevant.

    Thanks anyway for playing.

  • ||

    Epi,

    No way, dude, Tom is trolling the shit out of us.

    Maybe, but that same concept (a government system is accountable to a single person) was the ultimate rationale of a dumbshit Slate article just two days ago. Even if it's a troll, this is still an idea that's out there.

    A single person might (and I stress might) be able to get their employer to go to bat with them with the company and sway them with the threat of switching service.

    One person is a fart in a hurricane to government.

  • ||

    Besides, this is ludicrous. USPS is good because UPS is better, but not by whatever you consider to be "that much"?

    UPS has a marginally better tracking system.

    Ok. So what? Just cuz robc thinks that's very important to him doesnt mean it applies to everyone. Or that somehow that's a substantial advantage or that makes UPS by far superior?

    You know what I care about? Having my package delivered on time regardless of what level of tracking detail I get.

  • ||

    The government has played THE major role in effing up medical insurance. Through Medicare and Medicaid, over 30% of Americans directly get their coverage from the government. Another big chunk get other kinds of government controlled coverage or care--emergency care, VA care, etc. So somewhere around 50-60% of healthcare in this country is already government controlled and the government's influence on the rest of the industry is, as a result, huge.

    So why should we take a flawed system and add more of what makes it flawed? More competition--not just within states but across state lines--would almost certainly improve access. Why not let companies like Wal-Mart into the mix? Etc., etc., etc.

    The worst part for me is that the administration and members of Congress are clearly misleading us about their intentions and about what the actual situation is in the U.S. Acting like the private sector has failed is a flat-out lie. The government has failed. Period.

  • robc||

    Maybe in general people are shipping/send less stuff because the economy?

    Maybe the shipping sector as a whole is taking a hit?

    No it MUST be because the POST OFFICE SUCKS.


    That is why I said "in general". The trend was happening before the recession though. UPS and Fed Ex will bounce back.

  • Art-P.O.G.||

    Spoonman - keep in mind that we have broken 2000 before.

    I missed that one. Was it election coverage?

  • ||

    I oppose Obamacare. Lets assume the govt institutes it anyway. The govt would have then totally ignored me, an individual, single voter. If they don't fear me concerning Obamacare's existence, why would they fear me if I objected to Obamacare's later actions?

  • robc||


    UPS has a marginally better tracking system.


    UPS has a kickass tracking system.

    For business reasons, I need to know detail about package deliveries. I hate receiving/shipping them via USPS because I have no clue.

    I do have issues with UPS too, but they are minor compared to USPS. My business partner has banned the use of FedEx due to some issues with them, but they are still better than USPS.

  • ||

    I oppose the current health reform proposal because it is so fucked up and half-assed that it will make everything MUCH WORSE.

    First of all, they are capping medicare payments even more, which means more cost-shifting to the private sector.

    Secondly, they want these health co-ops, or whatever, that will do the same thing. Which will either mean doctors start dropping Medicare/Medicaid/Govt Plan/Coop patients, or they FORCE doctors to take these patients (more cost shifting to private insurance providers).

    Thirdly, they want to tax any employer that doesn't provide health care to his employees. Which is the opposite of what we should be doing. We shoudl get RID of the link between employment and health care. A small business shouldn't be punished for not having a health plan.

    Fourthly, they want to establish a set of bullshit boards to try to "cut costs" and make rulings of what procedures should be "recommended". It's not to clear exactly how these decisions will be made, or what their powers actually are. (Rent-seeking opportunity for medical companies here).

    Fifthly, even by the CBO's undoubtably optimistic projections, not even half the cost of the plan is paid for. The real costs will probably be several times larger.

    Finally , all of the "cost-cutting" measures in the proposal are effectively government price controls. There is absolutely no effort made to repair the market feedback mechanisms that normally keep costs down. If anything they want to damage those mechanisms further by preventing insurance companies from saying "no".

    In sort, what we have before us, is a bucket of poorly-thought through bit and pieces that will cause costs to spiral even further and make the health care system even more complex and jury-rigged than it already is.

    It is a recipe for disaster, both from a budget stand point, and from a functioning-market perspective.

  • Spoonman||

    You know what I care about? Having my package delivered on time regardless of what level of tracking detail I get.

    OK, so why can't the post office provide this in competition with other carriers?

  • Chicken Bones of Justice||

    "Chicken Bones of Justice -

    Sorry, I did not realize you had adopted that as a permanent handle, so I was sockpuppeting it.

    Since I invented the phrase you adopted as a handle, perhaps you can forgive me from squatting on it once or twice. I won't do so again."

    My Dearest Fluffy

    No need to apologize. I read it in your post yesterday and absolutely loved it. I wouldn't have kept it, but when I found the hat picture, I couldn't resist.

    Best,
    Gunboat Diplomacy

    PS I hold your well reasoned opinions in high esteem.

  • ||

    "The worst part for me is that the administration and members of Congress are clearly misleading us about their intentions and about what the actual situation is in the U.S. Acting like the private sector has failed is a flat-out lie. The government has failed. Period."

    Now Tom says it is everyone else that is lying. The government could never lie to you. People who point out the obvious facts you do are the ones who are lying and distorting the debate.

  • robc||

    Having my package delivered on time regardless of what level of tracking detail I get.

    My "favorite" USPS commercials was the one where they compared the price of UPS and FedEx guaranteed overnight delivery to their 1-2 day delivery.

  • ||

    They do the job well and efficiently.

    I know you're not talking about the US Postal Service.

    -jcr

  • ||

    I take my business elsewhere. I have never had a problem with an insurance company. My mother had cancer and never had a problem beyond them fucking up the bills. But every bill that was wrongly sent, they backed down on.

    If you have that luxury. I can't, since I get mine through my employer like most americans. And before you say "well buy your own" -- well that's the problem -- many people can't buy their own.

    And John, I'm glad your mother didn't have any problems except for the billing problems -an insurance companies job is to pay the fucking bills, and even that they didn't do right, yet you say that isn't a problem -- but for far too many people when they get cancer or pregnant, their insurance companies drop them. (In Illinois the biggest insurance company settled with the AG because they were dropping coverage of women who got pregnant)


    And for the record, a person going through cancer treatment shouldn't have to waste their time and energy to get the insurance company to back down from "erronious billing".

  • ||

    Don't try to confound and confuse us with facts,
    When there's a problem, government acts!
    And then the rainbows can shine and the unicorns play,
    Why are you shaking your head in that way?

    Oh, money is evil and bureaucrats good,
    Government always does just what it should!
    Now if you'd only stop arguing you would soon see,
    The bliss of a world where eveything's free!


    (Except, of course, you and me!)

    Finished your poem for you.

  • ChiTombrucejoe||

    The Post Office is good,
    The Post Office is great!
    So what if the mail,
    Is expensive and late?

    You see, foolish people
    They get honorable mention
    For being all union
    With generous pension.

    Now you'll say this is costly,
    But we disagree,
    The taxpayers fund it,
    Not you and me!

    So you must acquiesce
    Our logic is crushing
    And don't mind that brown mess
    The toilet's stopped flushing.

  • Warty||

    Jesus, this clusterfuck is still going?

  • Spoonman||

    On the plus side, Reason may start publishing hourly brickbats when health care reform goes through.

  • ||

    "What we've got here is failure to communicate. Some men you just can't reach... And I don't like it any more than you men."

  • ||

    UPS has a kickass tracking system.

    UPS may have an adequate tracking system, but I will never use them for anything that can be broken by being dropped from a height of up to ten feet. In my experience, UPS employees couldn't care less about delivering a package intact.

    When I have anything to send that I care about, I use Federal Express, Airborne, DHL, ANYONE besides UPS.

    -jcr

  • ||

    The worst part for me is that the administration and members of Congress are clearly misleading us about their intentions and about what the actual situation is in the U.S. Acting like the private sector has failed is a flat-out lie. The government has failed. Period.

    So what are their intentions? And what has the government failed at, exactly?

  • Spoonman||

    Does Amanda read the threads? I've never seen her comment; is it possible she doesn't even know the clusterfuck that's attached to her name?

  • ||

    UPS may have an adequate tracking system, but I will never use them for anything that can be broken by being dropped from a height of up to ten feet. In my experience, UPS employees couldn't care less about delivering a package intact.

    That CAN"T BE -- they are a private entity! They have to be TEH AWESOME!!!@!

  • The Angry Optimist||

    And for the record, a person going through cancer treatment shouldn't have to waste their time and energy to get the insurance company to back down from "erronious billing".



    HA! I would rather go through erroneous billing, onerous though it is, than be out-and-out denied end-of-life treatment, which, yes, is going to be the first "cost cutting" measure of the government you so obviously cherish.

    Anyway, why are you opposed to me consensually contracting with an insurance company?

    And you never see libertarians supporting the current perverse incentives the tax code gives to employer-based insurance. Decoupling health insurance from employment would make it look like car insurance, which works pretty freakin' awesome, if you ask me.

  • Spoonman||

    That CAN"T BE -- they are a private entity! They have to be TEH AWESOME!!!@!

    No they don't, but note how jcr can use somebody else because he doesn't like their service.

  • JB||

    They do the job well and efficiently.

    Because ChicagoTom says so. What a delusional retard.

  • The Angry Optimist||

    ChicagoTom - libertarian minded, until it comes to consensual contracts. Which kinda defeats the "libertarian" portion.

  • ||

    Libertarianism loves them their corporations.

    This is really just a silly and nonsensical statement. An overly broad diversion.

    I mean, a "corporation" is nothing more than a chosen form of legal entity under which to conduct business. You might as well say "Those Democrats hate limited liability companies." Or "If there's one thing Green Party members can't stand, it's partnerships. And don't even get them started on publicly-traded partnerships!"

    It's like saying "Libertarians love those cardboard cartons."

    A corporation is not an inherently "bad" or inherently "good" things. It can exist for noble and just purposes, provide desirable and valuable services and benefit a huge portion of society, or it can be some piddly little piece of shit run by people who hope only to get their hands on as much hot geeter as they can squirrel away before it goes belly up.

    It does get pretty old to hear people whinge and bitch about those nasty "corporations"!

  • Jordan||

    I can't, since I get mine through my employer like most americans.



    Yet another problem caused by blessed goverment. But they'll get it right this time.

  • ||

    No, but discontinuing your contract and taking your business elsewhere might communicate something relevant.

    Thanks anyway for playing.


    Right. Because I can just tell my employer to do that because I wasn't happy with it.

    Nice try, but in the real world, it's not as simple as it is in fictional libertopia.

    Thanks for playing, try again when you want to deal with reality.

  • ||

    Taiwan has a pure, gubmint run single pay system. Wiki it. It's fascinating.


    JB sure reminds me of Jamie Kelley. From out in Montaney.

  • hmm||

    So what are their intentions? And what has the government failed at, exactly?

    That's a loaded set of questions.

    I'd say retaining power and just about everything at one point or another.

  • Tomcat1066||

    And to think, all this dialog from Congressmen being idiots and discounting discussion by claiming those who disagree with them are crazy.

    It's funny how things work out sometimes.

  • ||

    A corporation is not an inherently "bad" or inherently "good" things. It can exist for noble and just purposes, provide desirable and valuable services and benefit a huge portion of society, or it can be some piddly little piece of shit run by people who hope only to get their hands on as much hot geeter as they can squirrel away before it goes belly up.

    Obviously. But libertarians will fight to the death to make sure that corporations have the right to be as evil as they want.

    The only recourse you should have is to try and take them to court instead of putting rules in place to disallow bad behavior and have the government punish them for it.

  • ||

    CT,

    If the government provides most of healthcare and heavily regulates or influences the rest of it, how is a problem in healthcare not the government's fault?

    I thought one of the more damning criticisms of the government attempting to take us to a nationalized model was the suggestion that the government should fix Medicare first before taking on everything else. That's been a looming disaster for a while, and nobody in D.C. has even tried to fix it. Can't do that, can;t run the whole system, either.

    Incidentally, medical insurance and the screwed up pricing models in healthcare aren't some complete disaster--they're just screwy. The vast majority of us are covered and do get adequate healthcare. So why do we need radical change?

  • The Angry Optimist||

    Nice try, but in the real world, it's not as simple as it is in fictional libertopia.



    So you acknowledge, then, that we have nothing approaching a free-market in health insurance?

    Oh good.

  • ||

    That's a loaded set of questions.

    That's a cop out I'd say.

  • hmm||

    Obviously. But libertarians will fight to the death to make sure that corporations have the right to be as evil as they want.

    Of course they will. This ensures the corporations that are evil and bad go away. If you/government consistently save them from their own actions you get the mess we currently have.

  • Art-P.O.G.||

    JB sure reminds me of Jamie Kelley.

    I've thought the same thing.

  • ||

    So you acknowledge, then, that we have nothing approaching a free-market in health insurance?

    Of course I acknowledge that. The status quo isn't a free market, and I think the status quo needs to change.

    Now if you ask me if a pure free market would be a good solution, I would say no. It would be great for healthy people, and a disaster for the sick.
    These mandates didn't come into place for no reason. It's beacuse by the nature of the for profit insurance business, it is in their financial interest to make it as difficult as possible to collect your benefits.

  • ||

    Because I can just tell my employer to do that because I wasn't happy with it.

    Because your boss is just an evil mustache-twirling capitalist pig runningdog and would never be concerned for his employee's morale and health. Unlike a congressman, the most caring individual you will ever meet, who listen to every constituent's tiniest concern, unless they define them as "loonies."

    This is just a pathetic display.

  • The Angry Optimist||

    CT - given that 290 million people are or could be covered under all existing "programs", why are you so hellbent on changing it for the 10 million who aren't?

    Things I believe:

    1. If it is the case that an insurance company is breaking its contract by dropping you for no good reason, then I would argue that the payee has "substantially performed" under the contract and the insurer should be sued.

    2. Tax incentives provide the perverse system of tying health coverage to employment. End those incentives.

    3. Medicare and Medicaid should be held to account: they don't pay their bills on time, and when they do they only pay maybe 50% of what the costs are. Fix that first.

  • Art-P.O.G.||

    The only recourse you should have is to try and take them to court instead of putting rules in place to disallow bad behavior and have the government punish them for it.

    But doesn't the government end up taking them to court? I guess the idea is the gov't has better resources for better suin'.

  • ||

    hmm | August 5, 2009, 2:05pm | #

    Dude, have you ever met a libertarian?
    I got two into bed one time! Oh the good olde days.



    Lotsa strong nylon cord?

  • The Angry Optimist||

    Now if you ask me if a pure free market would be a good solution, I would say no. It would be great for healthy people, and a disaster for the sick.



    No - a free market "lifts all boats", as it were.

  • Federal Dog||

    "Because I can just tell my employer to do that because I wasn't happy with it."

    Take it up with the government that is responsible for mandating employer coverage -- albeit unacceptable and dysfunctional -- under pain of legal penalties. You know, the same government you have faith will give you everything you want and need once you point out to low-level functionaries that you have a vote.

  • Xeones||

    Hey guys! What's going on in this thread?

  • ||

    This ensures the corporations that are evil and bad go away.

    Really? How so? By the magic of the market fairy? If a company get's large and then decides to start acting in a poor way, who is supposed to stop them? Lawsuits by the aggrieved parties? (and let's not forget where libertarians stand on capping punitive damages and limiting class action lawsuits -- more proof of the corporations uber alles mindset)

    If you/government consistently save them from their own actions you get the mess we currently have.

    Outlawing actions isn't saving them from their actions, it's attaching consequences for those actions.

    Or do you think that laws that spell out punishments for bad behavior (like assault) are stupid too?

  • Wading through||

    I don't have the patience to keep wading through this thread, but this did catch my attention:

    "But Howard Dean and Cynthia McKinney and plenty of elected Democrats gave a lot more time to the truthers than elected Republicans are."

    Did the Israelis ever let her out of jail?

  • Chicken Bones of Justice||

    "I missed that one. Was it election coverage?"

    No, zombies.

  • The Angry Optimist||

    let's not forget where libertarians stand on capping punitive damages and limiting class action lawsuits -- more proof of the corporations uber alles mindset



    O RLY?!

    Perhaps you an inform me where I stand on that issue, you liar.

  • ||

    But doesn't the government end up taking them to court? I guess the idea is the gov't has better resources for better suin'.

    That's a big part of it. Some poor schmuck who can barely get by isn't going to be able to afford to sue a corporation that wronged him, and even if he won, they would tie it up with appeals.

  • JBinMO||

    Anyone else notice that no matter what Sotomeyer said we all know it is a foregone conclusion that she will be nominated. We have a House that is controlled by a party that wants to nationalize healthcare, ditto in the Senate (Veto proof majority) and a president who will sign it. You can get as loud and upset as you want, they will pass something, probably something no one likes. Next November most Americans will be repeating, "voting for a third party is throwing your vote away!" and 95%+ of Congress wil be re-elected.

  • ||

    Oh guys, you just don't get it. Tom is lashing out and beating up on all the strawmen that he's ever built up in his liberal fantasies, and you're playing the game with him.

    I mean, it's entertaining and all, but after a certain point it's become obvious that Tom is enjoying this and there isn't a damn thing you can say to change his mind, and in fact, he's pushing your buttons like a master.

  • ||

    "I missed that one. Was it election coverage?"

    No, zombies.


    Mindless hordes are mindless hordes.....

  • ||

    Perhaps you an inform me where I stand on that issue, you liar.

    More dishonest.

    Libertarians don't support tort reform and caps on damages? Esp. re medical malpractice? Really?

    Libertarians don't pratter on about "frivolous lawsuits" really?

    And *I* am the liar?

  • Art-P.O.G.||

    Ooh, TAO beat me to it!

    CBoJ,

    I shoulda known it was zombie/sci-fi related/

  • The Angry Optimist||

    Art P.O.G. - funnily enough, it was a post about the MPP or NORML saying that if California were to legalize pot, they could tax it. The Anarchrist shat upon the thread, and all hell broke loose.

  • The Angry Optimist||

    Libertarians don't support tort reform and caps on damages? Esp. re medical malpractice? Really?



    NO, you friggin' lunatic, they don't.

  • ||

    "And John, I'm glad your mother didn't have any problems except for the billing problems -an insurance companies job is to pay the fucking bills, and even that they didn't do right, yet you say that isn't a problem -- but for far too many people when they get cancer or pregnant, their insurance companies drop them. (In Illinois the biggest insurance company settled with the AG because they were dropping coverage of women who got pregnant)"

    The government will do a lot worse than fuck up a bill. More importantly, it was illegal for those insurance companies to drop those people or they wouldn't have settled with the AG. So what? People sometimes do illegal things. That is an argument for law enforcement not a government take over.

  • ||

    Oh guys, you just don't get it. Tom is lashing out and beating up on all the strawmen that he's ever built up in his liberal fantasies, and you're playing the game with him.

    Which straw men? Show me one example of where I am mis-stating the standard libertarian position?

    Tort Reform?
    Regulation?
    Antitrust?

    Which of those positions are strawmen?

  • The Angry Optimist||

    tell me, a libertarian, where I stand on "tort reform".

    Tell me, ChicagoTom. Go ahead.

  • ||

    Libertopia? I'll take Libertopia over the equally fictional Bibertopia. Though I grant that attempts to create the latter are much, much, much more real than the former.

    I think part of the problem with businesses in this industry is their sexual relations with government. At the state level, insurance companies create gigantic barriers to entry to competition and get regulations that further favor some of their more questionable tactics. That's something they could not do without the government's active connivance.

    Hardly any libertarian is going to bless what some businesses do in this disturbing mishmash of free markets and socialism. It corrupts everything. Like it does pretty much every time the government sticks its snout into the economy. Education is equally well run.

  • ||

    Tom, if you think I'm going to play this game with you any longer, you're nuts. Nice try, though.

    No, I'll munch my popcorn and enjoy.

  • The Angry Optimist||

    Episiarch is right - you have built up all of these "libertarians believe X! And X is bad" positions in your head and you're lashing out.

  • Art-P.O.G.||

    Good one, Longtorso!

  • Chicken Bones of Justice||

    "So why do we need radical change?"

    Because Obama has spoken it.

  • ||

    The government will do a lot worse than fuck up a bill.

    Says you.

    The government will do a much better job.

    And since your beloved insurance companies have had years to do a better job and haven't maybe it's time to give government a chance and see what they do.

    More importantly, it was illegal for those insurance companies to drop those people or they wouldn't have settled with the AG. So what? People sometimes do illegal things. That is an argument for law enforcement not a government take over.

    It isn't law enforcement, cuz it wasn't a crime. It's a civil fine/penalty because they went afoul of the regulations.

    They do "illegal" things usually for greed/profit. They didn't drop them because they are mean or evil, they dropped them because it was financially the better option. Even with the fine they paid, they did the math and the cost benefit analysis said it's more profitable to drop them now and not pay claims, and pay fines if and when they get caught.

    And after they settled with the AG, what good does that do for the people who got fucked in the process?

    And now you people are trying to convince me that this is a good way to do things (or even the best way possible).
    No thanks.

    Talk about drinking the Kool-Aid

  • Spoonman||

    The government will do a much better job.

    ...Fuck it.

  • hmm||

    I'll assume the first three questions are self evident and just hyperbole.

    If a company get's large and then decides to start acting in a poor way, who is supposed to stop them?

    Ask yourself how most companies grew to be so large. I can't think of one, past or present, that didn't grow to its size w/o government intervention of some sort. Everything from sweat heart deals to government backed mergers. (banks are a great example)

    Outlawing actions isn't saving them from their actions, it's attaching consequences for those actions.

    For every outlawed action there is someone working a loophole. Either the loophole was lobbied or someone found it, either way it creates an uneven field. Drugs are outlawed, the consequences don't seem to be working. Capital adequacy ratios were mandated, yet I now own BAC, WFC, C, AIG and others. As a matter of fact the most heavily regulated industry on the planet seems to have gone to shit.

    Your punishment argument is a red herring. You've managed to not defend the position that laws will alter behavior and tossed a pretty red herring at the end about not using laws for punishment. I don't think the guys at GS are being punished. Actually just the opposite I think they were rewarded with my coerced money. Where are your laws?

  • ||

    "They do "illegal" things usually for greed/profit. They didn't drop them because they are mean or evil, they dropped them because it was financially the better option. Even with the fine they paid, they did the math and the cost benefit analysis said it's more profitable to drop them now and not pay claims, and pay fines if and when they get caught."

    And government bureaucrats promising to "cut costs" and "guard the public trust" don't have the same motivation. What is your agrument herer? That because one company ignored regulations and had to pay for it, we are better off letting the government take over the entire thing? Fucking A, micorsoft broke anti-trust laws, does that mean the government should take over the software industry?

    You are either trolling or just dumber than a fucking post.

  • Warty||

    Insurance companies suck! Yuh huh!


    This thread has gone about as far as it can go.

  • ENRON||

    "Really? How so? By the magic of the market fairy? If a company get's large and then decides to start acting in a poor way, who is supposed to stop them? Lawsuits by the aggrieved parties? (and let's not forget where libertarians stand on capping punitive damages and limiting class action lawsuits -- more proof of the corporations uber alles mindset) "

    Made it mom! Top of the world!

  • OWH||

    But libertarians will fight to the death to make sure that corporations have the right to be as evil as they want.

    (1) Of course, that would be "evil" according to, uh - you?

    (2) No. There is a point at which an entities activities affect the rights of others. It's a matter of degree - the extent to which the government should impose, as it were "prior restraints" no private transactions between consenting adults.

  • hmm||

    Spoonman | August 5, 2009, 3:19pm | #

    The government will do a much better job.

    ...Fuck it.



    Sound NSFW

  • Goldman Sacs||

    Me too, Mom!

  • hammeredHead||

    I would love to know when a townhall is considered a debate. As far I can tell it is nothing more than a hour long infomercial.

    There are problems with health-care, but creating a government owned single-payer insurance is not the solution. There are simple fixes.

    1)Remove health insurance (and 401ks, it is not related to this issue but similar) from employer control through top line tax deductions for individual policies.
    2)Remove mandates on required coverages
    3)Tort reform, doctors shouldn't have to pay for every negative outcome, only true malfeasance. To me this is considered forced charity.
    4)Insurance vouchers for the very poor or uninsurable.
    5) No medical care for individuals of means, but who do not want to lower their standard of living and buy insurance. It might sound cold, but if you don't care about your health, why should I.

  • ||

    Episiarch is right - you have built up all of these "libertarians believe X! And X is bad" positions in your head and you're lashing out.

    No sir. I came to these conclusions by reading the comments and the articles posted on this site and other libertarian sites.

    They aren't in my head. This is what you people are saying.

    Tom, if you think I'm going to play this game with you any longer, you're nuts. Nice try, though.

    Of course you wont. Because you can't argue honestly that libertarianism doesn't worship the corporate entity above all else. So you decide "I wont play this game".

    You can't honestly say that libertarians have ever seen a regulation that they are willing to support.

    You can't honestly say that libertarians believe there is a place for anti-trust laws.

    You can't honestly say that libertarians don't want to limit punitive damages.

    You just can't say those things honestly because they aren't true.

  • T||

    Goddamn. I spend all morning in meetings and go to eat lunch and this is what I miss? Damn, Epi, pass me some of the popcorn. This is just an epic bundle of insanity.

  • ||

    Tom, I have to give you points for trying.

    (hands T the popcorn)

  • Tomcat1066||

    "5) No medical care for individuals of means, but who do not want to lower their standard of living and buy insurance. It might sound cold, but if you don't care about your health, why should I."

    How about they just pay for their own medical care?

    And while doctors shouldn't have to pay for every undesirable outcome, tort reform also indicates that the government can also decide how much someone's suffering is worth. That ain't flying for me either.

  • Chicken Bones of Justice||

    "CBoJ,

    I shoulda known it was zombie/sci-fi related/"

    I really just made the Zombie thing up. I have no idea what the 2,000+ post subject was.

  • ||

    "You can't honestly say that libertarians have ever seen a regulation that they are willing to support."

    Regulation and regulators are great. But, insurance companies are so evil that even regulators can't stop them. And the government must take over completely.

    "You can't honestly say that libertarians believe there is a place for anti-trust laws."

    Monopolies are bad except when they are govenrment monopolies. Then, they are effient public service mechanisms.

    "You can't honestly say that libertarians don't want to limit punitive damages."

    Healthcare is too expensive,so the way to fix it is to give greater damages in malpractice suits

    Your positions are even logically consistent. You have lost your mind on this issue Tom.

  • The Angry Optimist||

    Libertarians don't want to limit punitive damages.

  • Jordan||

    When did Lefiti appropriate Chicago Tom's screenname?

  • ||

    I have no idea what the 2,000+ post subject was.

    I think it was the questionaire thread.

    Best beer
    Best pizza
    Best os
    Worst president
    Bonus question was: Palin Or Biden, who could pour piss from a boot without illustrated instructions?

  • ||

    The democrats won the election, and healthcare reform was the big issue.

    So, now that Obama's running the war, it never was an issue? Cause I could swear I remember someone making a bid deal about that during the election. Something like McCain shooting himself in the ass by saying he was OK with US troops being in Iraq for a hundred years? Does that ring a bell?

    Thanks, pinkbot. I feel so much better now.

    -jcr

  • ||

    I'm taking Epi's cue and walking away before he starts flinging poo.

  • ||

    Suge, that reminds me of a story idea.

  • ||

    "But I also don't accept the bullshit argument that we shouldn't reform health care because "Medical decisions should be between the patient and doctor". It isn't that way right now. Medical decisions are between the patient doctor and the insurance company. I would be happy to swap the insurance company with the government bureaucrat since I can at least have some sway over the beurocrat with my vote."

    If the government takes over health care by knocking out all private insurance by competing with it with their tax subsidized public plan, do you really think that your vote will have much power, Tom? A better solution would be to encourage more high deductible catastrophic policies by allowing people to shop for insurance across state lines, then when you take the insurance companies that pay for routine health care out of the equation, there would be more direct contact between doctors and patients over routine care. Right now, the big insurance companies, Medicare, and Medicaid are the doctors' customers. Doctors feel free to drive up the costs when they know that big insurance companies and big government are paying the bills. This situation will only get worse when government takes over complete control of insurance. Another good reform would be for Medicare and Medicaid and SCHIP recipients to receive vouchers for their routine care. They could pocket the money they don't pay out for routine care which would encourage them to shop around for lower priced care which would in turn help bring down prices for routine care.

    Obama and the Democrats in Congress are not considering these programs because they would give more power to patients. They don't want patients to have more power. They want more power for themselves.

  • The Angry Optimist||

    Just to get it clear, when we did not support the antitrust lawsuit against Microsoft...were we worshiping Microsoft or failing to worship the other numerous corporate entities involved with the suit?

    Just want to get my deities straight.

  • ||

    I think it is time to retire this thread. Maybe Joe was posting under Tom's pseudonym.

  • Bill||

    Oh, and the other thing is the standard practice of applying a label and then characterizing any individual who you believe fits that label as holding views that you ascribe to those you you feel fit the label.

    "Libertians believe..."

    Is there a standard set of notions that it can be said as a universal truism that all Democrats believe, or all Republicans believe? And all of that begs the definitional questions. First, what do we mean when we say "Republican"? Someone who has registered to vote as a member of the Republican party? Just because someone self-identifies a member of a particular political party or as generally ascribing to a general political philosphy does not mean he or she shares every position or viewpoint broadly ascribed to that party or philosophy.

    Painting with a very broad brush is easy.

  • EJ||

    "What we're seeing emerging is sort of a quasi-centralized economic model, where big corporations are protected by the government from competition and death, and used as a system to provide socal welfare benefits (pensions and health plans) for their employees. The government also seeks to subsidize favored industries, protects them for foreign competition, and uses trade policy to try to benefit them in export markets."

    Kind of sounds like Italian Fascism to me.

  • ||

    Regulation and regulators are great. But, insurance companies are so evil that even regulators can't stop them. And the government must take over completely.

    Right because that's what a public option to compete with existing insurance companies is -- a takeover.

    Again you have to lie and distort what's being proposed because you know that your position is the weak one.

    If the government is so useless why would the efficient private sector be so afraid of competition from the public option?

  • The Angry Optimist||

    "libertarian minded" ChicagoTom likes consenting adults, but only when he consents to their activities as well.

  • Fluffy||

    Hey, I'm happy to stand up and say that I oppose the entire practice of allowing punitive damages awards in civil courts.

    They don't have those in Europe, Tom. Is that because everyone in Europe is a libertarian corporation lover?

    The simple fact of the matter is that civil courts should be about restorative justice. You harm me, I prove it, I get compensated for my harm.

    Punitive damage awards exist for the specific purpose of increasing damage awards beyond the point at which they compensate plaintiffs for the actual harms they have received. That means they by definition aren't restorative.

    If we want to use the courts to "punish" someone, we should be forced to use the criminal courts for that purpose. That would provide defendants with the proper due process protections, and it would force the state to actually promulgate a list of things you can be punished for. In other words, it would fulfill the minimum requirements to make the judicial system respect the human rights of all defendants.

    Allowing the existence of a system of punishments that operates on a "preponderance of the evidence" standard, that has open-ended punishments not defined in advance of the case, and does not define the list of activities that can be punished in advance, is tyrannical. Sorry. If that makes me a corporation lover so be it.

  • Kevin||

    I just don't have the hours it would take to read all these posts. But at 400+, this is sure to make next week's "most popular" list. Which means we get to do this again Monday! Can't wait!

  • Spoonman||

    I think it is time to retire this thread. Maybe Joe was posting under Tom's pseudonym.

    I posited this like 350 posts ago.

  • ||

    If a company get's large and then decides to start acting in a poor way, who is supposed to stop them?

    Does the name "Enron" ring a bell?

    The market brought them down, not the government.

    -jcr

  • The Angry Optimist||

    If the government is so useless why would the efficient private sector be so afraid of competition from the public option?



    Because that isn't all this is? Did you miss the part where private insurers are going to have to "conform" to a list of arbitrary criteria, or risk being outlawed?

  • ||

    Painting with a very broad brush is easy.

    Of course it is. Have you seen the way "leftists" and "liberals" are characterized around here.

    On this board I have seen multiple comments saying "liberals" hate profits.

    Libertarians are the first people to paint anyone who doesn't believe in their ideals with broad strokes.

  • The Angry Optimist||

    Reposted for effect:

    "libertarian minded" ChicagoTom likes consenting adults, but only when he consents to their activities as well.

  • Fluffy||

    If the government is so useless why would the efficient private sector be so afraid of competition from the public option?

    Compete without using a single tax dollar and while subject to the same mandates the private insurers are subject to, and I'll complain less.

    If you want to use tax dollars to subsidize a public option that runs at a loss, that's not competition but deliberate destruction.

  • ||

    Because that isn't all this is? Did you miss the part where private insurers are going to have to "conform" to a list of arbitrary criteria, or risk being outlawed?

    Arbitrary? Really? Not dropping people who have paid their premiums once they get sick as an example of arbitrary?

  • hmm||

    If the government is so useless why would the efficient private sector be so afraid of competition from the public option?

    Are you kidding?

    Lets play monopoly. I will be the banker, make all the rules, determine what you can and can't do separate from myslef, fund myself with whatever money I want (including yours), and determine who wins. Who do you think wins?

  • WE HAVE WINNER!||

    "If the government is so useless why would the efficient private sector be so afraid of competition from the public option?"

    Stupid comment of the day, maybe the week.

  • ||

    On this board I have seen multiple comments saying "liberals" hate profits.

    I'll agree with you that that's an unfair statement. In fact, saying liberals hate profits is about like saying that vampires hate blood.

    -jcr

  • ||

    "If the government is so useless why would the efficient private sector be so afraid of competition from the public option?"

    Because they can't compete with an entity that will be subsidized by taxes.

  • The Angry Optimist||

    Arbitrary? Really? Not dropping people who have paid their premiums once they get sick as an example of arbitrary?



    Is that the only thing on the list? Hey, look, if the capricious dropping of people is your big Sticking Point, then I propose granting some investigative powers to the DoJ or some other "consumer" agency to look into it, and turn the findings over to a civil attorney or the state attorneys general for lawsuits.

    See how that didn't require taking over the entire industry? When government actually investigates the fraud that you allege is going on, that's government doing its job. no takeovers or top-down mandates required.

  • hmm||

    profit = taxable income

    What lefty could hate that?

  • ||

    Lets play monopoly. I will be the banker, make all the rules, determine what you can and can't do separate from myslef, fund myself with whatever money I want (including yours), and determine who wins. Who do you think wins?

    Except that isn't whats being proposed. The rules for both entities will be the same. There won't be a different set of rules for the public options vs. the private plans.

    So no I don't see what the problem is. Private insurance has to collect premiums, so does the public option -- they just do it via taxes.

  • ||

    "On this board I have seen multiple comments saying "liberals" hate profits."

    Liberals only hate it when others are making the profits.

  • <strike>strike through</strike||

    433 comments! I have met the nuts, and they are us!

  • ||

    So no I don't see what the problem is. Private insurance has to collect premiums, so does the public option -- they just do it via taxes.

    Will my tax money go to your public option whether I use it or not?

  • ||

    Since when has righty antigovernment rhetoric been consistent or logical?

    Government is incompetent and useless, except when it's all-powerful and all-controlling.

  • The Angry Optimist||

    Compete without using a single tax dollar and while subject to the same mandates the private insurers are subject to, and I'll complain less.



    Yep. Although it should be said that if we had anything approaching a free-market, insurance companies would not be able to get away with a lot of the stuff that folks (reasonably) allege. My problem with the categorical vilification is that it is a transparent effort to cast the Government as the White Knight and the Insurance Companies as The Evil Empire.

  • hmm||

    Except that isn't whats being proposed. The rules for both entities will be the same. There won't be a different set of rules for the public options vs. the private plans.

    Says the guy making the rules.

    I have some nice property with a wicked ocean view in Nebraska if you are interested. Especially if you believe what you are posting.

  • The Angry Optimist||

    Private insurance has to collect premiums, so does the public option -- they just do it via taxes.



    Private insurers collect premiums from people whom voluntarily purchase their services.

    Taxation is not that at all, is it? Let a public option run solely on the premiums it collects from users, Tom. What are you so afraid of, hmm?

  • hmm||

    I can choose to pay my insurance.

    Choosing not to pay taxes is a little rougher row to how.

    The comparison is absurd.

  • Spoonman||

    There won't be a different set of rules for the public options vs. the private plans.

    Except the private ones will be taxed, and so will operate at a disadvantage.

  • ||

    JB sure reminds me of Jamie Kelley.

    No way. Jamie was a master, a true genius, an artist working in obscenities. He wove tapestries with the unthinkable. JB is just vulgar.

  • ||

    Is that the only thing on the list? Hey, look, if the capricious dropping of people is your big Sticking Point, then I propose granting some investigative powers to the DoJ or some other "consumer" agency to look into it, and turn the findings over to a civil attorney or the state attorneys general for lawsuits.

    First of all, lawsuits after the fact (which can take years to resolve) aren't going to help the person who is denied treatment because his insurance dropped him.

    It's not just that. The denial of claims as a business practice and the fact that many companies do it to make people with valid claims just give up.

    And how is the private sector supposed to handle people with pre-existing conditions.

    I have a low paying job and I can't afford health insurance (or qualify for medicaid), and then I get diagnosed with a disease, what should my options be?

    In libertopia I guess my options are hope a charity helps me out, or I can die. Or I can try and get treatment that I can't afford (which is hard since most places require proof of ability to pay) and then have creditors hounding me and my credit ruined to the point that it becomes quite difficult to live a normal life.

    All because I happened to get sick.

    This isn't a good system for a first world country.

  • ||

    The rules for both entities will be the same. There won't be a different set of rules for the public options vs. the private plans.

    So, the private insurers will get to collect premiums with a gun to my head like the government can?

    -jcr

  • ||

    Except the private ones will be taxed, and so will operate at a disadvantage.

    Their profits will be taxed -- and not at 100%. SO what? The public plan doesn't have profits to tax so it's a wash

  • ||

    So, the private insurers will get to collect premiums with a gun to my head like the government can?

    jcr, jcr, jcr, tisk, tisk, you know all taxes are collected voluntarily. We just voluteered collectively, and you volunteer to pay by not moving to Zimbabwe or something.

  • ||

    "Except that isn't whats being proposed. The rules for both entities will be the same. There won't be a different set of rules for the public options vs. the private plans."

    That's what they're saying now, but will that always be the case? Can we really trust the government? If they have any shortfalls, all they have to do is charge the taxpayers to make it up. Private insurance companies can't do that.

  • hammeredHead||

    How about they just pay for their own medical care?

    Yes, sorry that is the second option. Buy insurance or pay for care.

    And while doctors shouldn't have to pay for every undesirable outcome, tort reform also indicates that the government can also decide how much someone's suffering is worth. That ain't flying for me either.

    Should have been more specific. I blieve in real tort reform and not overly simplistic caps. I don't think tort law works well for inherently risky activities. If I hit your car, I owe you money. If I am unable to save you after a gunshot, I usually owe you nothing. I think the standards are too low and are basically charity and not real torts.

  • The Angry Optimist||

    ChicagoTom, if you ever find one thing that turns people off of conversation faster, it's constructing outlandish sob stories to try to "prove" your point.

    The fact remains is that there are 10 million people who do not qualify for any kind of program - and you want to reform the whole system even though it works for 290 million people.

    And how is the private sector supposed to handle people with pre-existing conditions.



    Dude, really, WTF? Why do you think you should be able to call up a car insurance company and ask for coverage after you get in a wreck? Or call up a home insurer and try to add fire coverage while your home is ablaze?

  • Spoonman||

    Their profits will be taxed -- and not at 100%. SO what? The public plan doesn't have profits to tax so it's a wash



    Um...fuck.

  • robc||

    let's not forget where libertarians stand on capping punitive damages

    Yeah, we oppose caps.

  • hmm||


    Their profits will be taxed -- and not at 100%. SO what? The public plan doesn't have profits to tax so it's a wash


    So you just admitted the public option can't compete? Since the public option won't generate profits, but instead rely on coerced taxes. While the private options will have to attract customers to generate profits.

    My palm and forehead can't take much more.

  • ||

    And how is the private sector supposed to handle people with pre-existing conditions.

    If you're already sick, what you need is not insurance. It just isn't.

  • Mike Laursen||

    Hopefully, these members of Congress will use the August recess as a time for a little self-reflection.

    Sure, if there's one thing Congresspersons are known for, it's a deep-seated psychological drive towards self-reflection.

  • The Angry Optimist||

    In libertopia I guess my options are hope a charity helps me out, or I can die.



    Why are you arguing against libertopia? Is that what we have here? you want to change the status quo, so quit arguing against so-called "libertopia".

  • robc||

    how is the private sector supposed to handle people with pre-existing conditions.

    The private sector accepts cash for services.

    If you have a pre-existing condition, pay cash.

  • ||

    Obviously. But libertarians will fight to the death to make sure that corporations have the right to be as evil as they want.

    ChicagoTom, you must have missed the memo about libertarians being opposed to corporation engaging in the use of force, fraud, sponging off the government, or using the government to obtain unfair advantage over consumers or competitors.

    But other than that, yeah.

    So no I don't see what the problem is. Private insurance has to collect premiums, so does the public option -- they just do it via taxes.

    Alright, this tears it. CT is definitely just winding us up.

  • ||

    "Their profits will be taxed -- and not at 100%. SO what? The public plan doesn't have profits to tax so it's a wash"

    It's not a wash. If the public plan doesn't have to operate at a profit, they can charge lower premiums. How can a private insurer compete with that?

  • ||


    jcr, jcr, jcr, tisk, tisk, you know all taxes are collected voluntarily. We just voluteered collectively, and you volunteer to pay by not moving to Zimbabwe or something.



    You can't respond to every argument by "blah blah government has a gun and makes me pay taxes blah blah." Either you believe taxes are necessary and legitimate or you're an anarchist. You can't have some taxes be legitimate (such as the ones that pay for defense) while others are immoral theft.

  • hmm||

    My man crush Cavuto is covering this story.

  • ||

    let's not forget where libertarians stand on capping punitive damages

    Yeah, we oppose caps.


    Actually, I oppose punitive damages, period. The civil justice system shouldn't be in the business of punishing people. Its proper purpose is restitution.

    If you want to punish someone, take 'em to criminal court.

  • ||

    How can a private insurer compete with that?



    So let them die. Health care should be a public service.

  • ||

    Either you believe taxes are necessary and legitimate or you're an anarchist.

    If my choices are anarchy or socialism, I prefer the former.

  • ||

    Either you believe taxes are necessary and legitimate or you're an anarchist.

    Believing that some level of taxation is necessary is not the same as believing any level of taxation is legitimate, nor is it the same as believing any use of tax revenue is legitimate.

  • hmm||

    Either you believe taxes are necessary and legitimate or you're an anarchist.

    Bullshit absolute argument. If you think all taxes are necessary then I hereby declare a 50% tax on your income cause I need a few new guns and my wife wants a vacation.

  • The Angry Optimist||

    great idea, RC - let's make more things crimes.

    The civil system has punitive damages to express outrage about egregious, but not necessarily criminal, behavior.

  • Jordan||

    Government is incompetent and useless, except when it's all-powerful and all-controlling.



    Uh, those two scenarios aren't mutually exclusive.

  • ||

    Believing that some level of taxation is necessary is not the same as believing any level of taxation is legitimate, nor is it the same as believing any use of tax revenue is legitimate.

    For example: "Rapists and murderers should be locked up for life, therefore locking people up for life is acceptable, therefore we should lock up jaywalkers for life".

  • The Angry Optimist||

    Health care should be a public service.



    Great! Pass the cigarettes, the wine and the steak. Shit, since you're paying, why the fuck should I take care of myself?

  • ||

    "So no I don't see what the problem is. Private insurance has to collect premiums, so does the public option -- they just do it via taxes."

    But private insurers have to charge high enough premiums to make a profit, the public option plan doesn't have to make a profit, so they can charge lower premiums and steal customers away from the private insurers.

  • ||

    But private insurers have to charge high enough premiums to make a profit, the public option plan doesn't have to make a profit, so they can charge lower premiums and steal customers away from the private insurers.

    No, the public option can operate at a loss and make the private insurers (or their tax paying customers) make up the shortfall. You can have a private non-profit organization. Every charity or church qualifies as one.

  • ||

    "Health care should be a public service."

    Why?

    It's a service just like anything else. You might say that because it's a necessity, it should be a public service. But so is food. Should it also be a public good?

  • ||

    The problem with jury awarded punitive damages lies in the emotional aspect of monetary punishment. Juries are making awards out of spite and envy, not as restitution or reasonable monetary punishment.

  • EscapedWestOfTheBigMuddy||

    It's not just that. The denial of claims as a business practice and the fact that many companies do it to make people with valid claims just give up.



    If you can prove it, this is criminal. A RICO violation none-the-less. Which means company executives staying at Uncle Sam's house for while.

    My personal bet is that they undertrain the staff (saving a few bucks) and use an asymmetric system for holding them responsible for errors.

    That way they get the same effect cheeply and deniablely.

    Always, ALWAYS, ALWAYS send back the first denial. Assume the are wrong and make them prove it. It works.

    /much experience with insurance companies in my house.

    BTW: It is much harder to get Medicare to acknowledge and fix an error than Blue Cross. Take that for what it is worth.

    /much experience with that too.

  • ||

    Believing that some level of taxation is necessary is not the same as believing any level of taxation is legitimate, nor is it the same as believing any use of tax revenue is legitimate.



    So some taxes are okay, but others are immoral theft, depending on what they're being spent on, according to you?

  • ||

    The fact remains is that there are 10 million people who do not qualify for any kind of program - and you want to reform the whole system even though it works for 290 million people.

    It doesn't work for 290 million people.

    That's why employers are making people bear more and more of the financial burden while scaling back coverage. Because what's currently going on is unsustainable.

    Dude, really, WTF? Why do you think you should be able to call up a car insurance company and ask for coverage after you get in a wreck? Or call up a home insurer and try to add fire coverage while your home is ablaze?

    No I don't. I should be covered from birth from any health issues just like the rest of the first world.

    Do you really think that sick people that don't have insurance should go bankrupt or die? How do you handle those people without government involvement?

    Health insurance isn't the same as property insurance. I can survive without my property, i cant really survive without my health.

  • The Angry Optimist||

    No I don't. I should be covered from birth from any health issues just like the rest of the first world.



    What is it, exactly, about your birth that makes you entitled to the labors of others? Just curious.

    Cradle-to-grave entitlements: that certainly puts paid to your "libertarian mindedness"

  • ||

    Great! Pass the cigarettes, the wine and the steak. Shit, since you're paying, why the fuck should I take care of myself?



    Stupid slippery-slope nonsense. The big problem with your guys' arguments is that health care is better and cheaper in every other advanced country, all of which have socialized programs.

    Of course all the problems with our system are government's fault I take it. Apparently there's good (socialism) bad (some government meddling) and extra good (libertoipa), which we haven't experienced yet but could if we'd just listen to you guys.

  • hmm||

    No I don't. I should be covered from birth from any health issues just like the rest of the first world.

    Is stupid a health issue? The rest of the first world isn't covered from any health issue from birth. That is an outright lie.

  • The Angry Optimist||

    Tony - please explain how you insulating me from my choices in life is "slippery slope nonsense". Seriously, if you are paying, why should I actively manage my own health?

  • ||

    What is it, exactly, about your birth that makes you entitled to the labors of others? Just curious.

    That whole life liberty and pursuit of happiness thing. That's what.

    Everyone is entitled to life -- which translates into care when you are sick.

    But that's the reason why I part ways with libertarians -- and why as a political movement you are in the wilderness -- my health and my life should be dependent on my ability to pay.

    Civilized societies don't operate that way.

  • ||

    It's a service just like anything else. You might say that because it's a necessity, it should be a public service. But so is food. Should it also be a public good?



    If there are people starving I expect them to be fed by public means, and they are. But food is cheap and its need is completely predictable. Health care costs are more or less random, often very expensive, and, in the 21st century, considered a necessity to civilized people. The private sector provides food quite well, but it sucks at providing health care.

  • ||

    Seriously, if you are paying, why should I actively manage my own health?

    Are you serious?

    This is what you consider a serious argument?

    You really think people think "well since the government is paying, I want to get sick" ?? Then why don't people with employer provided health insurance believe that? Cuz it's fucking irrational and idiotic

    Most people will manage their own health because not getting sick regardless of who pays is a preferred state for normal people.

  • ||

    So some taxes are okay, but others are immoral theft, depending on what they're being spent on, according to you?

    So, every tax is OK, regardless of how much it is or what its spent on, according to you?

    Do you really think that sick people that don't have insurance should go bankrupt or die? How do you handle those people without government involvement?

    Charity.

    Seriously. A big percentage of the health care in this country is delivered by charities. Cut my taxes, and I'll give more to charity myself. Get rid of the government subsidies and de facto price supports, and the price of health care will come down so fewer people can't afford it. Get rid of the government mandates, and the price of health insurance will come down, so fewer people can't afford that.

    Realize, finally, that the kind of massive government funding you envisage is unsustainable in the long run.

    Let people live their own lives, and take care of themselves and each other. Why is that so hard for you, ChicagoTom?

  • The Angry Optimist||

    So, your birth places an obligation on me to take care of you? Really? You think that's what justice and "liberty" looks like - enforced care for others for whom I am not responsible?

    "The man who speaks to you of sacrifice is speaking of slaves and
    masters, and intends to be the master. "

  • ||

    It's a service just like anything else. You might say that because it's a necessity, it should be a public service. But so is food. Should it also be a public good?

    Access to it is. WELFARE! FOOD STAMPS.

    I know you are against it, but they exist. Most people believe that basic necessities like food should be available to people, even if they don't have the means to pay for it. Why should health care be different?

  • hmm||

    This is what you consider a serious argument?

    Irony. I get it.

  • Mike Laursen||

    That whole life liberty and pursuit of happiness thing. That's what.

    Chicago Tom, since you brought it up, how do you think the word, "liberty", in that quote might bear on this issue?

  • hammeredHead||

    ChicagoTom,

    I think my post a few hundred posts back answers all your concerns. It is better to give truely needy people health insurance vouchers than to take over the whole health insurance market. Other people with means will be expected to lower their standard of living to the point where they can afford insurance or pay the bills directly.

    Honestly, if you don't want to pay for your insurance, why should I have too.

    As far as cost are concerned, increase competition by removing insurance from employer control and base malpractice on true negligence, while removing punitive damages.

    Problem solved.......

  • ||

    That whole life liberty and pursuit of happiness thing. That's what.

    That whole life, liberty, and pursuit of happiness thing is the right to live, be free, and pursue happiness free of government interference. Its not the power to demand that others provide these things for you.

  • ||

    "You can't have some taxes be legitimate (such as the ones that pay for defense) while others are immoral theft."

    Why can't you? If the government isn't authorized by the Constitution to be involved in certain things, are taxes used for those unconstitutional uses legitimate? If the government takes money from some to give to others, isn't that theft?

  • ||

    Seriously, if you are paying, why should I actively manage my own health?



    This point could be addressed by data. Let's take a look which countries have the healthiest people, and whether that correlates to which have the most socialized systems. Oh way, the US, with its free market health care, is near the bottom of every health metric. So apparently having to pay out the ass for health coverage isn't a major incentive to live a healthy life. Or perhaps preventive care provided by public services has something to do with it.

  • Mike Laursen||

    Access to it is. WELFARE! FOOD STAMPS.

    So, why not simply means-tested health care assistance to those who need it. Why does it have to be a "universal" system that forces participation by those who are currently managing to afford their own health insurance?

  • The Angry Optimist||

    ChicagoTom, I hope you aren't spending anything on pleasurable pursuits for yourself. There are starving children in Africa!

    "misfortune is not a claim to slave labor; there is no such thing as the right to consume, control, and destroy those without whom one would be unable to survive."

  • Ayn Rand||

    Poverty is not a mortgage on the labor of others-misfortune is not a mortgage on achievement-failure is not a mortgage on success-suffering is not a claim check, and its relief is not the goal of existence-man is not a sacrificial animal on anyone's altar nor for anyone's cause-life is not one huge hospital.

  • ||

    So, every tax is OK, regardless of how much it is or what its spent on, according to you?



    No, I'm not the absolutist here. You guys make the moral argument that taxation amounts to theft. That has to mean all taxes, since they're all redistributive, even the ones paying for defense. Reasonable people can disagree about which government programs are needed, or even legitimate, but not on the basis that taxes are theft and that's why a government program is bad. Taxes are integral to civilization and always have been, and libertarians have slithered their way out of too may arguments by making the nonsensical claim that *this* tax is immoral theft (while others are okay, even though they're in principle the same thing).

  • Ayn Rand||

    The issue is whether you do or do not have the right to exist without giving him that dime. The issue is whether you must keep buying your life, dime by dime, from any beggar who might choose to approach you. The issue is whether the need of others is the first mortgage on your life and the moral purpose of your existence. The issue is whether man is to be regarded as a sacrificial animal. Any man of self-esteem will answer: "No." Altruism says: "Yes."

  • ||

    Chicago Tom, since you brought it up, how do you think the word, "liberty", in that quote might bear on this issue?

    I think that if you are dead or dying of disease cuz you can't afford treatment, then you don't have liberty either.

  • hmm||

    This point could be addressed by data. Let's take a look which countries have the healthiest people, and whether that correlates to which have the most socialized systems. Oh way, the US, with its free market health care, is near the bottom of every health metric. So apparently having to pay out the ass for health coverage isn't a major incentive to live a healthy life. Or perhaps preventive care provided by public services has something to do with it.

    I love using statistics in obtuse false correlations to argue points. Is it possible other countries have different cultures that lead to different lifestyle choices? Or is it solely the government insurance. I'm not sure, but something smells like someone farted.

  • ||

    "I know you are against it, but they exist. Most people believe that basic necessities like food should be available to people, even if they don't have the means to pay for it. Why should health care be different?"

    Nobody in this country is denied health care when they really need it. There's always emergency care. Let's take care of the truly needy and not put everybody under a socialized plan which will lower the quality of care and bring about rationing.

  • Ayn Rand||

    I think that if you are dead or dying of disease cuz you can't afford treatment, then you don't have liberty either.




    misfortune is not a mortgage on achievement-failure is not a mortgage on success-suffering is not a claim check, and its relief is not the goal of existence

  • Jordan||

    Oh way, the US, with its free market health care, is near the bottom of every health metric.



    This is not a free market.

  • JB||

    JB sure reminds me of Jamie Kelley.

    No way. Jamie was a master, a true genius, an artist working in obscenities. He wove tapestries with the unthinkable. JB is just vulgar.


    Don't know who Jamie Kelly is. I've really only been posting heavily since January and lurking and posting rarely before then.

    It's too bad you consider me 'vulgar' for venting my frustrations. I have no problem calling a cunt a cunt. And that fishy fuck in the Whitehouse is a cunt.

  • ||

    This is not a free market.



    So you agree that on the continuum of good health care systems, assuming your libertopian version is the best, the evidence suggests that between the best (libertopia) and the worst (ours--some government influence) is single-payer or something like it (every other country, with better health metrics)?

  • hmm||

    Rand Paul running for KY senate seat.

  • Jordan||

    So you agree that on the continuum of good health care systems, assuming your libertopian version is the best, the evidence suggests that between the best (libertopia) and the worst (ours--some government influence) is single-payer or something like it (every other country, with better health metrics)?



    No... That doesn't even follow. Seriously, wtf?

  • The Angry Optimist||

    no, Tony. Just, no - if government involvement is making things worse, why would I want more of it?

  • JB||

    Tony, are you that dense? 50% of current US health care spending is already in government control.

    Do you realize how much that other 50% subsidizes the rest of the world? Not just drugs (which is a huge), but devices, techniques, etc.

    You want socialized medicine? Leave. We can even take up a collection to help get you the fuck out of this country.

  • ||

    No, I'm not the absolutist here.

    You certainly give a good impression of one, Tony. Don't smear all libertarians as anarchists. Most of us are minarchists, meaning we see a role for a minimal state, and would be willing to pay taxes for the legitimate purposes of that state.

    So, since you apparently do have some limiting principle of government taxation and expenditure, don't keep it to yourself. What shouldn't the government tax, and what shouldn't it spend tax money on?

  • hmm||

    The logic in this thread is full of unicorn piss and rainbow smegma.

  • ||

    Jordan, TAO,

    Maybe I'm not making my point clear enough.

    Our system = some government meddling = the worst system in the industrialized world.

    Every other country = total government control or something like it = better systems.

    Libertopia = no government control = best system (assumed).

    So absent libertopia and the magical ability of the free market to make unicorns shit honey we should all be in agreement that a totally socialized system is better than what we have, since that's what the evidence suggests.

  • Xeones||

    Seriously, having read through this thing, i'm disappointed at the marked lack of any ChiTom/bruce/Tony 3-way slashfic from SugarFree.

  • Federal Dog||

    "That whole life liberty and pursuit of happiness thing."

    You have made a very basic error here: Those guarantees mean that the state cannot actively stop you from pursuing those goals, not that you are entitled to forcible confiscation of other people's assets in order to pay for what you want.

    The fact that you are laboring under such a basic and profound misconception about your imagined right to take other people's money might well indicate why you have such a poorly-paying job that you can't take care of yourself.

    We're not your parents. Government functionaries are not your parents. Grow up already.

  • Mike Laursen||

    ...libertarians have slithered their way out of too may arguments by making the nonsensical claim that *this* tax is immoral theft...

    Just want to point out only some schools of libertarian thought claim that "taxation is theft". I'll now return you to your regular programming...

  • The Angry Optimist||

    Our system is not the worst in the industrialized world. Logic FAIL.

    Like someone else pointed out to you, our "system" provides massive R&D to the rest of the world, off of which they do, in fact, sponge through price controls and the like.

  • ||

    Every other country = total government control or something like it = better systems

    Hidden costs and rationing better.

  • Cliché Bandit||

    HOLY CRAP I'M MISSING IT!!!!! Damn having to pay for all these taxes with work...no time ot comment on the GOD THREAD of recent Reason history. Maybe if I follow hmm's model and sell my Cobra, wait, ohh, yeah I own it. That would be stupid. Anyway, You are all in trouble when I get home from my wage slave job and start REALLY commenting.

    Day late and a dollar short

  • ||

    Hidden costs and rationing better

    I had a "not equals" sign in there before 'better'.

  • ||

    "the US, with its free market health care, is near the bottom of every health metric. So apparently having to pay out the ass for health coverage isn't a major incentive to live a healthy life. Or perhaps preventive care provided by public services has something to do with it."

    Time for my Sally Pipe quotes from "The Top Ten Myths of American Health Care".

    "As for the WHO's look at overall health system performance - which ranked the US 37th out of 191 countries - that research too is seriously flawed. For one thing, it used only life expectancy in assessing overall population health. And that factor alone accounted for 25% of how the nation's health care system was ranked."

    Other factors such as homicide rates, genetics, traffic fatalities, drug and alcohol abuse come into play concerning life expectancy. These have nothing to do with the quality of health care. In fact, in treating cancer, the US leads the world.

    Sally Pipes also pointed out: "Another factor accounting for 25% of a nation's ranking was distribution of health, or 'fairness'. By this logic, treating everyone exactly the same is more important than treating people well. So long as everyone is equal - even if they're equally miserable - a nation will do quite well in the WHO ranking."

  • ||

    You certainly give a good impression of one, Tony. Don't smear all libertarians as anarchists. Most of us are minarchists, meaning we see a role for a minimal state, and would be willing to pay taxes for the legitimate purposes of that state.

    So, since you apparently do have some limiting principle of government taxation and expenditure, don't keep it to yourself. What shouldn't the government tax, and what shouldn't it spend tax money on?



    I don't think you're anarchists. I'd have more respect for the argument if you were, though, because at least it'd be logically consistent.

    All taxes are redistributive, so if redistribution is immoral theft in one instance, it must follow that it's immoral theft in all instances. It is consistent to argue that government has limited functions that are legitimate, but you can't argue that some aren't legitimate based on the idea that taxes are theft--you need some other argument.

  • ||

    Nobody in this country is denied health care when they really need it. There's always emergency care. Let's take care of the truly needy and not put everybody under a socialized plan which will lower the quality of care and bring about rationing.

    Bull shit. You are talking about emergency/accidental care. Like if I show up bleeding at a hospital they will stabilize me and send me home.

    But people are denied life saving/life extending care all the time (cancer treatment is a big example). I can't just go to the hospital and get chemotherapy without an ability to pay.

    And We are already have rationing. The insurance company rations to keep costs down and profits up. Many times they deny claims/treatments because of a cost analysis.

    Every complaint you guys spout about the government system already exists in the status quo. Why are you guys pretending like the current system is so great.

  • ||

    Hidden costs and rationing better.



    So we resort to the "ignore evidence that doesn't support my argument and make up shit that does" line of reasoning.

  • ||

    Shorter federal dog:

    If you cant afford to get sick, you deserve to die.

  • The Angry Optimist||

    Shorter ChicagoTom: One starving child in Africa destroys any and all claims on ones' own life.

  • Lucille Bluth||

    Progressives are so dramatic and flamboyant. It just makes me want to set myself on fire!

  • ||

    Tony, is reply to this

  • The Angry Optimist||

    Tony = Dan T.?

  • hmm||

    How many people here have gone without insurance? For how long? And at what age?

    Just out of curiosity.

    I did for just shy of 4 years @ over 30.

  • ||

    Shorter TAO: the "it's mine!" rationale, championed by such illustrious philosophers as Ayn Rand and Billy the 4 year old, is the apex of morality.

  • ||

    Shorter ChicagoTom: One starving child in Africa destroys any and all claims on ones' own life.

    Shorter TAO -- I AM STUPID

  • ||

    Shorter ChicagoTom: Waaaaaahhhhhh!!!!

  • The Angry Optimist||

    actually, Tony, the morality that you are advocating, one wherein people take from others by force, is the mentality of children and savages.

  • Federal Dog||

    "Shorter TAO: the "it's mine!" rationale"

    Actually, that's Tom's claim. He doesn't feel that he makes enough at his job, so he wants other people to pay for what he wants.

  • The Angry Optimist||

    Shorter TAO -- I AM STUPID



    Stunning rejoinder.

    Now, tell me again how the birth of a child entitles that child to my labors.

  • ||

    hmm,

    I'm forced to pay hundreds of dollars a month that goes to an entity whose main purpose for acquiring those dollars is making a profit. I'd much rather pay (probably less) in taxes for the purpose of having a universal risk pool and access to any health care I may need, even if I lose my job.

  • The Angry Optimist||

    Tony, in case you could not read, the issue is not whether it is proper to give, the issue is whether I have the right to not give.

  • Michael||

    If there are people starving I expect them to be fed by public means, and they are. But food is cheap and its need is completely predictable.

    If you stuck a lump of coal between your ears, in a week you'd have a diamond.

    Food is cheap, certainly. Ever venture a guess as to why that might be? Has it ever dawned on you that maybe - just maybe - it is cheap because the efficiency of free market distribution makes it so? Have you bothered to consider that the very same thing will happen with health care pricing if this mechanism is applied?

    The second part of your sentence truly takes the prize though. It quite clearly proves that you form your beliefs only on what is immediately visible to you. If you think it's so predictable I suggest you try managing a grocery store for a month and afterward return here and report your findings.

  • ||

    actually, Tony, the morality that you are advocating, one wherein people take from others by force, is the mentality of children and savages.



    Why is it only force when it pays for a program you don't consider legitimate? Aren't the taxes that pay for defense taken by exactly the same means as the taxes that pay for anything else?

  • ||

    How many people here have gone without insurance? For how long? And at what age?

    I had a 6 month gap from when I graduated college to when my insurance kicked in at the company that hired me out of college.

    In that time I suspect I had a bad reaction to something I ate, that caused me to get an extreme numbness in my hands and feet, made me feel nauseous and then I passed out in my bathroom and I hit my head on the sink gashing my head open. I then must have fell over and hit the bathtub as well cuz there was a gash on the other side too.

    My mother who I was living with at the time called an ambulance and had me taken to the hospital.

    Stiches and a few tests (they found nothing and had no idea what could have caused what happened to me) costed me a few thousand dollars (and a 700 ambulance ride)

    It took me a few years to pay off the hospital bill in monthly installments.

  • ||

    Tony, in case you could not read, the issue is not whether it is proper to give, the issue is whether I have the right to not give.



    You can always renounce your citizenship. You have that liberty. Taxes are the price we pay for civilization, and in my opinion we're not as civilized as we should be without universal healthcare. You can disagree, but the disagreement doesn't make one of us an immoral savage and the other a noble randian hero. It means we have a policy difference, and I simply happen to be on the mainstream side of civilizations on the planet.

  • ||

    "Shorter TAO: the "it's mine!" rationale, championed by such illustrious philosophers as Ayn Rand and Billy the 4 year old, is the apex of morality"

    Basically, it's alright to look after your own interests. It's ok if you want to contribute to charity if it comes from the heart, but it should be a voluntary thing, not something coerced by the government. Liberals don't seem to be able to grasp this. They seem to think there's something immoral in looking out for your own interests and not doing things out of a sense of guilt. I think that's what Ayn Rand was really getting at.

  • ||

    Now, tell me again how the birth of a child entitles that child to my labors.


    No, you tell me why that child deserves to die or live with illness unless his family has an ability to pay.

  • Citizen Nothing||

    "I hit my head on the sink"
    This explains a lot.

  • hmm||

    I'm forced to pay hundreds of dollars a month that goes to an entity whose main purpose for acquiring those dollars is making a profit. I'd much rather pay (probably less) in taxes for the purpose of having a universal risk pool and access to any health care I may need, even if I lose my job.

    You are making an assumption that you will get the health care. No one has argued that your utopia isn't utopia. The argument is that your utopia will not happen. You only get a universal risk pool with single payer health care. The real question is why does the risk pool matter if you have already committed to paying for everyone, there is no need to determine risk. You have agreed to cover all risks with forced payment.

  • The Angry Optimist||

    So, Tony, in other words, every beggar does have a claim to the dime in my pocket. And I do not have the right to deny it to him.

  • The Angry Optimist||

    No, you tell me why that child deserves to die or live with illness unless his family has an ability to pay.



    Deserves? What do you mean by deserves?

  • ||

    Most of us are minarchists, meaning we see a role for a minimal state, and would be willing to pay taxes for the legitimate purposes of that state.

    If you don't think providing health care to it's citizens is a legitimate purpose of the state, than what is (other than defense).

    Now, tell me again how the birth of a child entitles that child to my labors.

    Why should the fruits of my labor be stloen from me AT GUNPOINT to pay for roads, or the fire department, or the police.

  • hmm||

    No, you tell me why that child deserves to die or live with illness unless his family has an ability to pay.



    The child will die if his family does not have the ability to pay or arrange otherwise.

    That what you wanted to hear? Life isn't fair, it never has been, it never will be. If you can't survive on your own your best bet is to seek the charity of others. You do not have the right, regardless of your illness impending death or any other circumstance, have the right to force me to help. It's a cruel fucking world. Thank god the vast majority of people are charitable, even after being forced to be charitable.

  • The Angry Optimist||

    No, you tell me why that child deserves to die or live with illness unless his family has an ability to pay.



    Why is that child in Africa dying from lack of food while you sit fat and happy in America?

  • ||

    Food is cheap, certainly. Ever venture a guess as to why that might be? Has it ever dawned on you that maybe - just maybe - it is cheap because the efficiency of free market distribution makes it so?



    Yes--with caveats which I won't go into. And I said as much.

    Have you bothered to consider that the very same thing will happen with health care pricing if this mechanism is applied?



    The market works more or less great for things like food and televisions. It just doesn't work for healthcare (if your goal is for it to be affordable and universal). If I get cancer I don't get to choose whether I want the McDonalds version of chemotherapy or the Four Seasons version. The market supposedly relies on rational actors making choices. It is not clear that there are many actual choices to be made with regard to health care. You need the care you need, and it's more or less a matter of chance what you will need. When your life is at stake factors that are supposed to make the market function are irrelevant.

  • hmm||

    I am enjoying the OMG KIDS DYING hyperbole.

  • ||


    Actually, that's Tom's claim. He doesn't feel that he makes enough at his job, so he wants other people to pay for what he wants.


    Nice try, but I make quite enough and I get very good coverage from my employer. Unlike your ilk, just because I got mine doesn't mean I think others should go fuck themselves. In fact, I am willing to pay more to help others get what they want.

  • The Angry Optimist||

    I am willing to pay more to help others get what they want.



    Then do that. You should not be forcing me to, however.

  • Federal Dog||

    "They seem to think there's something immoral in looking out for your own interests"

    Except, apparently, for when they demand to confiscate other people's meager wages and property to pay for their own interests.

    And they somehow completely overlook the selfishness, hypocrisy, and immorality of their parasitic demands. Are they that mind-bendingly stupid, or just plain malignant?

  • The Angry Optimist||

    Tony and ChicagoTom - Why is that child dying from lack of food and medical care in Africa while you sit here with your luxuries in America, arguing on a blog?

    you better get to work, Sonny Jim.

  • ||

    Why is that child in Africa dying from lack of food while you sit fat and happy in America?



    I feel it is a legitimate function of an advanced society to help out destitute ones--not just for moral reasons but self-interested ones as well.

    But putting that aside, the child in africa isn't a stakeholder in our community. He (or rather his parents) aren't paying taxes into our system so he isn't receiving the benefits of that system. You live in this community rather than Somalia through sheer luck of birth. You can choose to leave and live without the benefits of that society or you can choose to contribute and enjoy them. We're merely arguing that one of those benefits should be health care. Not just for moral reasons, but practical ones. The evidence suggests that profit-based health care is less efficient than public versions.

  • ||

    I agree with Tom that providing health care(coverage) is a legitimate function of the government. Unfortunately, I don't have a frieakin clue how to get there from the fustercluck we have now.

  • hmm||

    I am willing to pay more to help others get what they want.

    I'm not.


    I do pay to help people get what they need. I pay in time. I pay in dollars. I pay in resources available to me and not them. And I do it on a weekly basis. I never want to be forced to do what I willing do. Nor do I want someone else forced to do it.

  • Citizen Nothing||

    I'm betting that the charible contributions line on old ChiTom's Schedule A leaves a lot to be desired.

  • hmm||

    I feel it is a legitimate function of an advanced society to help out destitute ones--not just for moral reasons but self-interested ones as well.

    We could just colonize them and make their lives better.

  • The Angry Optimist||

    Shorter Tony: America, love it or leave it.

  • MNG||

    "one wherein people take from others by force, is the mentality of children and savages."

    A better one is where guys take stuff from others by force, give that stuff to their kids, and then make a non-aggression rule and trumpet competition...When the victim's kids whine, remind them life ain't fair. Repeat as necessary...

  • Citizen Nothing||

    "...the child in africa isn't a stakeholder in our community."
    Jesus Christ. Tony is LoneWacko!

  • ||

    But putting that aside, the child in africa isn't a stakeholder in our community. He (or rather his parents) aren't paying taxes into our system so he isn't receiving the benefits of that system.

    So people who live in the US, are citizens, but don't make enough to pay taxes won't get healthcare benefits under your system?

  • Federal Dog||

    "He (or rather his parents) aren't paying taxes into our system so he isn't receiving the benefits of that system."

    So anyone who is not paying taxes shouldn't receive the benefits of taxation?

  • The Angry Optimist||

    I never want to be forced to do what I willing do. Nor do I want someone else forced to do it.



    There's my Randian hero. :P

  • ||

    Life isn't fair, it never has been, it never will be. If you can't survive on your own your best bet is to seek the charity of others. You do not have the right, regardless of your illness impending death or any other circumstance, have the right to force me to help. It's a cruel fucking world

    You say things like "life isn't fair" as if there is some type of pre-ordained order of things. It may not have been fair but that doesn't mean it never will be. It can be if people will it so.

    And yes, I do have that right. OUr government has the right. If we vote to make it so we do have the fucking right. Taxation is a right whether you like it or not. That's why most first world nations are providing it. Because they have the right.

    If the people demand more fairness from life and forcing you "help" those who need it then it will happen. Whether or not you think it's fair

    Stop pretending like just because it's a cruel world, that is how it must be always and forever. It's a cruel world because there are cruel people in it.

    I am enjoying the OMG KIDS DYING hyperbole.

    It's not hyperbole. It's the outcome of your proposed way to dealing with health care. Poor people would die in your system.

  • The Angry Optimist||

    MNG, I am not arguing that Spiral of Injustice bullshit with you again.

  • ||

    Tony and ChicagoTom - Why is that child dying from lack of food and medical care in Africa while you sit here with your luxuries in America, arguing on a blog

    TAO, why is it that the only things you add to the conversation are absurd nonsensical comments?

  • The Angry Optimist||

    It may not have been fair but that doesn't mean it never will be. It can be if people will it so.



    Oh. My. God.

    Never did I think I would see someone really argue that.

    ChiTom is a social metaphysician: reality can change if enough people believe it can.

  • The Angry Optimist||

    ChicagoTom - what, do you think that child deserves to die? What are you doing? Murderer!

  • Michael||

    Shorter Tony: America, love it or leave it.

    But if you decide to stay, make it more like Europe!

  • Citizen Nothing||

    The scary part is that guys like Tony and ChiTom and 100 million others like them really believe that they're the good guys.

  • The Angry Optimist||

    OUr government has the right. If we vote to make it so we do have the fucking right. Taxation is a right whether you like it or not. That's why most first world nations are providing it. Because they have the right.



    "To the Gas Chambers...GO!"

  • Federal Dog||

    "Taxation is a right whether you like it or not."

    You really are a fucking idiot.

    And shame on you, you selfish capitalistic predator, for not donating all of your assets to pay for the dying children.

  • ||

    Taxes are the price we pay for civilization,

    No, civilization consists of far more than the State, Tony. Taxes are the price we pay for government.

    Its fascinating, to me, how often leftists and other flavors of statist let slip how little they value anything that isn't done by the state.

    No, you tell me why that child deserves to die or live with illness unless his family has an ability to pay.

    Nobody thinks the child "deserves" to die.

    However, thinking that so-and-so should have X but can't afford it does not lead ineluctably to the conclusion that the rest of us should be taxed to provide so-and-so with X.

    Why should the fruits of my labor be stloen from me AT GUNPOINT to pay for roads, or the fire department, or the police.

    And so we come to the true meaning of the General Welfare Clause.

    There is a difference between, on the one hand

    (a) taxes levied to provide benefits to society as a whole (the "general welfare" of legend, provided by roads open to everyone's use, police and fire departments, and a military, that protect all equally, etc.)

    and, on the other hand

    (b) taxes levied to transfer wealth from one segment of society to another, such as taxes that fund bonuses for Lehman executives, welfare programs, and the like.

  • The Angry Optimist||

    And people make fun of Ayn Rand because they say her villains were cartoony caricatures.

    Who's laughing now?

  • ||

    So, Tony, in other words, every beggar does have a claim to the dime in my pocket. And I do not have the right to deny it to him.



    Actually what I'd say is that in purely materialistic terms you have no more a claim on the dime in your pocket than anyone else does. "Rights" don't come from the ether, they are established by people. Your liberty to keep your money is not distinguishable from someone else's liberty to take it, except by law (based on and publicly-funded law enforcers.

  • ||

    It's not hyperbole. It's the outcome of your proposed way to dealing with health care. Poor people would die in your system.

    You mean the poor who don't pay taxes, aren't stakeholders, and should get no more benefits than the starving in Africa?

  • ||

    TAO, I like to think of it as the free market that is the american voting public. The market is speaking.

  • Fluffy||

    Everyone is entitled to life -- which translates into care when you are sick.

    A useful way to test your hypothesis about the equivalence of positive and negative rights is to imagine how they would be actualized in the absence of a state.

    Rights precede the state in all theories of rights that actually mean anything. In the absence of a state, you would still be morally entitled to act to enforce your rights, if someone threatened them.

    So the state is absent for some reason, and someone tries to kill you. Can you morally take direct action to protect your life by using violence to kill or incapacitate your attacker? Most people would say yes.

    The state is absent and someone tries to take away your liberty and make you their slave. Can you morally take direct action to protect your life by using violence to kill or incapacitate your enslaver? Most people would say yes.

    OK, now the state is absent and you need a health care service. Can you morally take direct action, find a doctor, and use violence to force him to give you medical care? I say no, but I guess Tony and ChicagoTom say yes.

  • MNG||

    "I am not arguing that Spiral of Injustice bullshit with you again."

    When you are on of the top steps of the spiral its easy to say that...


    TAO, I agree, people like me, Tony and ChiTom should be out there working harder to save that kid by working hard to pass government policy to force you and others to help them.

  • ||

    "To the Gas Chambers...GO!"
    ChiTom is a social metaphysician: reality can change if enough people believe it can.

    The absurdity of your responses is mind boggling.

  • ||

    There is a difference between, on the one hand

    (a) taxes levied to provide benefits to society as a whole (the "general welfare" of legend, provided by roads open to everyone's use, police and fire departments, and a military, that protect all equally, etc.)


    And universal health care falls squarely in A.

  • Jordan||

    And yes, I do have that right. OUr government has the right. If we vote to make it so we do have the fucking right.



    Ah, so you'd be cool with slavery then. People voted to make it so for quite a while.

  • ||

    "What was so 'fringe' about the tea party protests, anyway?"

    The fact most of the protests had attendance barely in double digits and amounted nationwide to a few thousand people in a nation of 300 million pretty well proves that they were a fringe group.

  • ||

    *...except by law (based on more or less arbitrary determinations of fairness) and publicly-funded...

  • The Angry Optimist||

    Your liberty to keep your money is not distinguishable from someone else's liberty to take it, except by law



    And there it is, laid bare, everyone. Just so you all see it.

    And he calls us the savages.

  • Danny||

    "Our system is not the worst in the industrialized world. Logic FAIL."

    Sure it is. I know jingoists who think America is automatically the best at everything simply by virtue of being America can't grasp this, but there's actually something we're not good at. But rather than wanting to fix that, and make our healthcare system the best in the world like it should be, you'd prefer to pretend that it already is the best, facts be damned.

    "Like someone else pointed out to you, our 'system' provides massive R&D to the rest of the world, off of which they do, in fact, sponge through price controls and the like."

    R&D is completely separate from insurance. We have the best medicare research in the world, but we don't have the best medicare CARE.

  • ||

    A useful way to test your hypothesis about the equivalence of positive and negative rights is to imagine how they would be actualized in the absence of a state.

    How is that useful? What reality are you living in where there is an absence of the state?

    Asking how would Somalia deal with it is not a useful excersize.

  • MNG||

    "Can you morally take direct action, find a doctor, and use violence to force him to give you medical care?"

    Of course if a serious harm will occur to you or another if not, that's an easy question.

  • The Angry Optimist||

    Tony and ChiTom should be out there working harder to save that kid by working hard to pass government policy to force you and others to help them.



    Children in Africa are dying, MNG! How dare you not sacrifice all of your worldly possessions to save them?

  • ||

    Ah, so you'd be cool with slavery then. People voted to make it so for quite a while.

    So lets see.

    Taxation is theft. Check

    Taxation is like the gas chambers. Check

    now we have We've had taxation is slavery.

    Any more absurd comparisons?

  • Mike Laursen||

    I think that if you are dead or dying of disease cuz you can't afford treatment, then you don't have liberty either.

    Well, I and the guy who first wrote the line you quoted have a different definition of the word, "liberty". I think our world views are so divergent it would be useless to debate any further.

  • ||

    How is that useful? What reality are you living in where there is an absence of the state?

    If I don't fund your healthcare, and you're poor, am I violating your rights? If I don't exist, I'm not funding your healthcare, therefore I can violate your rights by not existing. Fail.

    If I don't exist, I _cannot_ violate your right to free speech.

    See the difference?

  • MNG||

    We're working on making sure you scrifice some of yours too TAO.

  • Fluffy||

    Actually what I'd say is that in purely materialistic terms you have no more a claim on the dime in your pocket than anyone else does. "Rights" don't come from the ether, they are established by people. Your liberty to keep your money is not distinguishable from someone else's liberty to take it, except by law.

    If this is true, then there was nothing wrong with plantation slavery. Slaves had no more right to their time and labor than their masters did, other than that established by law, which said the masters were right.

    Rights are moral claims. States can either acknowledge those moral claims, or they can fail to acknowledge them. But in either case they neither create the claims or destroy them.

  • The Angry Optimist||

    Apparently, by the mere fact, by the mere happenstance that somewhere, somehow, a child is sick and you happen to be alive, that means that your labors are now forfeit because of that coincidence.

  • ||

    So people who live in the US, are citizens, but don't make enough to pay taxes won't get healthcare benefits under your system?



    How could I guess this lie would be brought up in response. EVERYONE PAYS TAXES. Even poor people, as you guys so aptly noted in the cigarette tax threads.

  • The Angry Optimist||

    no, ChicagoTom, your assertion that rights are entirely dependent on the whims, the arbitrary preferences, of 50%+1 of whatever locality you are in, is what makes you an advocate for the gas chambers, for the plantation.

  • Michael||

    Poor people would die in your system.

    Shameless, mealy mouthed, unadulterated bullshit. It's the same rhetorical trick that some people try to pull when you dare mention doing away with Social Security. "Old people will die in the streets, man!" No, they won't. Just as the sick and injured get treated under the current system. Nobody is being left at the curb to expire under the hot sun.

  • hmm||

    You say things like "life isn't fair" as if there is some type of pre-ordained order of things. It may not have been fair but that doesn't mean it never will be. It can be if people will it so.



    Who gets to determine what fair is? Because I don't think you are going to see a clear consensus. Maybe, just maybe that is the underlying meaning of "life is not fair."

    And yes, I do have that right. OUr government has the right. If we vote to make it so we do have the fucking right. Taxation is a right whether you like it or not. That's why most first world nations are providing it. Because they have the right.



    Government has no rights. Never has, never will. Government is given authorities by the people. Rights are inherent in the human. Your understanding of the word right is seriously lacking.

    If the people demand more fairness from life and forcing you "help" those who need it then it will happen. Whether or not you think it's fair

    Stop pretending like just because it's a cruel world, that is how it must be always and forever. It's a cruel world because there are cruel people in it.



    People now get to force actions from other people and you are justifying this with the idea of fairness?

    Again your understanding of the phrase "it's a cruel world." is pretty basic. People have nothing to do with the world being inherently cruel. They can effect it, but they aren't the impetus of the "cruelty."

    It was hyperbole.

  • MNG||

    fluffy
    Certainly if a greater harm would occur if you did not impress the doctor into using his services you would immoral to NOT do that.

    If a person were dying and you, a doctor, were present but did nothing saying you were too busy reading the latest issue of Reason to bother, and I made you attend to him via threat of force, then I've done the right thing. At most you've got a "temporary enslavement" to prevent a man's death. A morality that weights the former over the latter as more important is pretty bizarre to most people...

  • The Angry Optimist||

    Tony - so one penny of tax and one million in tax - these are equivalent to you?

    you used the term "stakeholder", but you want the guy with one share to have equal privileges as the guy with 1,000 shares.

  • Jordan||

    Of course if a serious harm will occur to you or another if not, that's an easy question.



    And there it is. Scratch a leftist, find a fascist.

  • jpp||

    But putting that aside, the child in africa isn't a stakeholder in our community. He (or rather his parents) aren't paying taxes into our system so he isn't receiving the benefits of that system.

    What a complete crock of shit. How fucking convenient that you just happen to draw your "community" boundaries around the already relatively affluent while leaving out the truly poor. If you really cared for the poor you wouldn't offer such a morally bankrupt justification as "community" for ignoring them while you sit on your fat, rich ass and demand "help" from others. You're a complete fraud you pathetic loser. Go do some good for the real poor of the world or shut the fuck up.

    You live in this community rather than Somalia through sheer luck of birth.

    No shit, which is even more of a reason that you're a pathetic tool for whining about "poor" kids not getting health care through no fault of their own, then dismissing the truly poor who are stuck in a hell-hole 1000 times worse than any kid in the US faces through no fault of their own. Jesus, it's a good thing nobody takes a thing you say seriously.

    You should be demanding the "poor" in America send welfare to Africa, not collect it from their fellow citizens since we're all "rich" just from being lucky enough to live here.

  • hmm||

    Tom and Tony are Hitler and Goebbels!!!


    Someone had to do it.

  • MNG||

    "Just as the sick and injured get treated under the current system."

    Er, by government programs similar to those liberals are supporting here...

  • The Angry Optimist||

    See, guys, it's just "temporary enslavement" - that's OK! And forgive MNG if that temporary enslavement has to go on a little while longer, see, because little Suzy needs braces and little Joey needs his cough looked at...

    And the whole nation of Africa needs food.

  • ||

    OK, now the state is absent and you need a health care service. Can you morally take direct action, find a doctor, and use violence to force him to give you medical care? I say no, but I guess Tony and ChicagoTom say yes.

    Can a person who is starving morally steal food to eat? I say yes.

    If I or a loved one is dying, and I can't pay then yes it is moral to force someone with the threat of violence to help if they refuse to help because I cant pay them.

    In fact, if we are going to talk about morals, it is immoral to refuse to help someone who is sick and dying because they can't afford it.

  • Fluffy||

    How is that useful? What reality are you living in where there is an absence of the state?

    Asking how would Somalia deal with it is not a useful excersize.


    It's useful because to be a "right", the moral claim has to exist outside of and before the state. States are created to protect rights. We delegate our private moral option to defend our rights with violence to the state. Therefore it follows that nothing we could not morally defend with violence privately were the state to fail can possibly be a right.

    now we have We've had taxation is slavery.

    Any more absurd comparisons?


    MNG just openly and nakedly asserted a private right to enslave a doctor if medical need exists. So I guess it's not so absurd a comparison after all.

  • ||

    TAO,

    What I'm driving at is to counter Fluffy's idea that

    Rights precede the state in all theories of rights that actually mean anything.



    I disagree. Rights are the creations of civilized people. Most people who have ever lived have not enjoyed free speech, freedom to self-defense, or what have you, so it can't be said that they come from some natural place. There is no stone on which a universal standard of rights is etched. They exist because our ancestors made them exist, and we agree that abiding by certain standards of communality (including individual rights) is a better way to live than the alternatives.

  • MNG||

    TAO
    Do you want the guy with 1,000 share to taxes to get 1,000 times the police protection for libertarian friendly things like robbery, larceny, murder, trespass, etc?

  • ||

    "Just as the sick and injured get treated under the current system."

    A system you oppose.

    You live in this community rather than Somalia through sheer luck of birth.

    Not really. As a child of immigrants, my parents chose to come here when they left their home country. They come here because of what America offered them -- hope and a chance to live a better life than they could have had where they were.

  • The Angry Optimist||

    Right Tony. I got it. Rights are whatever the collective say they are.

    "To the Gas Chambers...GO!"

  • ||

    Tom and Tony are Hitler and Goebbels!!!

    Would that MNG Eichmann?

  • Mike Laursen||

    Every complaint you guys spout about the government system already exists in the status quo. Why are you guys pretending like the current system is so great.

    First of all, I don't think anybody here is claiming that our current system is "great", if by "great" you mean without major flaws. We libertarians are not contradicting our free-market principles by admitting that the current system has flaws, because our current system is a mixed-economy system.

  • ||

    TAO,

    you used the term "stakeholder", but you want the guy with one share to have equal privileges as the guy with 1,000 shares.



    No, not equal privileges. Equal rights, and I argue that health care should be considered a right.

  • ||

    Right Tony. I got it. Rights are whatever the collective say they are.

    Without a state to enforce those rights -- what does claiming rights get you exactly?

    Rights are only as meaningful as the enforcement mechanism.

  • MNG||

    Oh please don't have cows children, I said:

    "At most you've got a "temporary enslavement"

    Meaning "even if we take you guys wacky ideas about what this means" your still morally obligated to make the doctor help

  • The Angry Optimist||

    So, you create an enforcement mechanism, and through that enforcement mechanism, you are now claiming the "right" to dictate what rights are.

    I see how that works.

  • Federal Dog||

    "it is immoral to refuse to help someone who is sick and dying because they can't afford it."

    So do it and shut up already. No one is stopping you.

  • EscapedWestOfTheBigMuddy||

    I am enjoying the OMG KIDS DYING hyperbole.

    It's not hyperbole. It's the outcome of your proposed way to dealing with health care. Poor people would die in your system.



    Poor people are going to die for lack of care in your dream world too, Tom. Only they are going to gethave to listen to a smarmy bureaucrat tell them how it is for the public good first.

    This is policy in Great Britan even as we type.

  • The Angry Optimist||

    Don't worry, guys - this temporary enslavement...how bad can it be? How long can it really last? It's just a few seconds of slavery...quit being such a baby!

  • jpp||

  • Mike Laursen||

    If you don't think providing health care to it's citizens is a legitimate purpose of the state, than what is (other than defense).

    If it were up to me, it would be a very short list. But, I'm perfectly OK with living with a system where we have government-provided health safety net for people who are having financial difficulties. I don't understand why that wouldn't be enough -- why do we have to have a "universal" system where people who have no problem providing for their own health care are forced to participate?

  • The Angry Optimist||

    Rights are only as meaningful as the enforcement mechanism.



    In other words, rights are defined by the enforcement mechanism. Which really doesn't make it an enforcement mechanism at all. That makes it a "rights granting" mechanism. And people are not granted the right to live just by the affirmation of the tribe.

  • jpp||

    But putting that aside, the child in africa isn't a stakeholder in our community. He (or rather his parents) aren't paying taxes into our system so he isn't receiving the benefits of that system.

    What a complete crock of shit. How fucking convenient that you just happen to draw your "community" boundaries around the already relatively affluent while leaving out the truly poor. If you really cared for the poor you wouldn't offer such a morally bankrupt justification as "community" for ignoring them while you sit on your fat, rich ass and demand "help" from others. You're a complete fraud you pathetic loser. Go do some good for the real poor of the world or shut the fuck up.

    You live in this community rather than Somalia through sheer luck of birth.

    No shit, which is even more of a reason that you're a pathetic tool for whining about "poor" kids not getting health care through no fault of their own, then dismissing the truly poor who are stuck in a hell-hole 1000 times worse than any kid in the US faces through no fault of their own. Jesus, it's a good thing nobody takes a thing you say seriously.

    You should be demanding the "poor" in America send welfare to Africa, not collect it from their fellow citizens since we're all "rich" just from being lucky enough to live here.

  • ||

    Not really. As a child of immigrants, my parents chose to come here when they left their home country.



    It's still luck that you were born to those parents and not others. What really fucks with libertarian arguments in my opinion is the fact that children exist. I'd argue that one of the primary reasons we need collectivity is because of a peculiarity of human biology: children must be raised, and no legitimate moral standard makes children totally culpable for their circumstances.

  • ||

    Poor people are going to die for lack of care in your dream world too, Tom. Only they are going to gethave to listen to a smarmy bureaucrat tell them how it is for the public good first.

    This is policy in Great Britan even as we type.


    ANd the UK's system is one of the worst. Thank god no one is advocating for that.

    Any more straw men you'd like to burn?

  • MNG||

    "As a child of immigrants, my parents chose to come here when they left their home country."

    Tony's point I imagine is the Rawlsian one that in evaluating if it is fair (just, whatever) for you to have what you have compared to someone in Africa having what they have, then surely what your parents (or any other party) did can have no weight.

  • ||

    So, you create an enforcement mechanism, and through that enforcement mechanism, you are now claiming the "right" to dictate what rights are.

    Isn;t that pretty much how it works.

    How are you rights enforced in the US?

    Stop conflating with the existance of right in theory with the practical matter of enforcing those rights.

    People in Iran have a right to protest their government, but a lot of good my lip service to that right is doing them. Without an enforcement mechanism (like out Constitution) your rights are nothing more than a wish list.

  • ||

    No, you tell me why that child deserves to die or live with illness unless his family has an ability to pay.

    Deserves? What do you mean by deserves?



    Maybe I can offer another perspective that augments TAO's argument that he should not have to pay for a child's medical expenses. I'm going to assume TAO is not a doctor. This means that TAO cannot actually save this child by administering a medical cure, no matter what level of income TAO is at. But a doctor is able to save this child. The doctor could save this child at no charge or at a minimal charge appropriate to the family's income. But ChiTom's argument is that the doctor's charge for treatment is too high for the family and therefore it is moral to rob TAO of his money to pay the difference, rather than the burden of morality being put on the doctor to administer the treatment at a low or zero cost. Furthermore, there is no moral imperative being foisted on the doctor by ChiTom to even provide the care at all. So the doctor, who doesn't even have to provide the care needed by the dying child, gets to rob TAO of his money to offset the difference, and if TAO objects, he's the immoral villain, not the profiteering doctor. Neither is ChiTom the villain, who wants to not pay the full cost of the child's treatment by himself or with other concerned citizens.

    So, the original problem with the high cost of medical care relative to people with low incomes are the health care providers themselves being unwilling to charge less to low-income people, therefore forcing these families into bankruptcy or blackmailing the ChiTom's of the world to support coercive redistributive programs to preserve the doctor's incomes. TAO stands vindicated of this child's dilemma because he could not help the child even with all the money in the world because he has no medical skills. The doctor and other health care providers, however, are indicted because they can help the child with no money, because they have all the skills.

  • The Angry Optimist||

    What really fucks with libertarian arguments in my opinion is the fact that children exist.



    Hear ye, hear ye,

    The existence of children being a FACT, all claims of adults to the rights of their own labors are hereby FORFEIT until such time as all the children of the world are taken care of. Don't worry; this enslavement is only temporary.

    Signed,

    The Masters

  • MNG||

    Mike
    What if it could be shown that a system which only provides catastrophic care to the needy is more costly than one that provided broader coverage (some seem to make this argument, though I have a hard time buying it)? What if it were shown that whatever value makes you go along with catastrophic care for the needy would be maximized or better served by such broader support?