How Are Americans Enjoying ObamaCare? HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius Counts the Ways.

Oh happy day! It’s ObamaCare’s first birthday. And although there’s no cake, Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius decided that it was time to give the law (and its beleaguered supporters) a pep talk, and try to make the case that maybe this ObamaCare thing ain't so bad after all.

Given the steadily increasing opposition to the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, you might not think that Americans are enjoying all that much about last year’s health care overhaul. But if so, according to Sebelius, you’d be wrong.

Thanks to ObamaCare, the secretary says, “the American people are enjoying new protections, greater freedoms and lower costs.” For example, they are “enjoying”: the freedom not to purchase child-only health insurance policies, and the freedom to be informed by The New York Times that “the rising cost of health care is prompting insurance premiums to skyrocket while coverage is shrinking” and that “health insurance costs are still rising, particularly for small businesses.”

But fear not; relief is on the way. Just hold on tight for a few more years until the subsidies savings kick in.

A family of four, making $55,000, could save more than $6,000 a year on health insurance in 2014. For a family making $33,000, those savings will be nearly $10,000 annually.

This is true, at least if you can’t tell the difference between savings and subsidies. Historically, Sebelius has had trouble with this distinction, so it’s worth explaining again: The total price of health insurance purchased on the individual market is actually projected to rise. But many individuals will also be eligible for federally funded health insurance subsidies. So ObamaCare uses money collected from taxpayers to subsidize the purchase of health insurance that is projected, on average, to be more expensive. There are no savings here, just a few hundred billion dollars in taxpayer-funded subsidization.

Ultimately, we know that the biggest factor driving up premiums is the soaring cost of care.

But why has the cost of care soared for decades? There’s evidence to suggest that the provision of subsidized insurance following the implementation of Medicare drove up demand and provided a well-funded payment base that providers could count on—and thus drove up both the cost of services and overall spending.

So, as part of the health care law, we have invested in preventive care, and innovative programs aimed at slowing that growth of premiums.

What is it they say about an ounce of prevention? Oh, right, it’s that there’s quite a bit of evidence to indicate that government-driven efforts to encourage preventive care don’t save money. In fact, according to the Congressional Budget Office, “for most preventive services, expanded utilization leads to higher, not lower, medical spending overall.”

What about those “innovative programs?” Ah, yes. Sebelius must be referring to the bill’s much-lauded “pilot programs”—government-managed experiments designed to figure out how to make care cheaper without sacrificing quality. But the best case for believing that the law’s pilot programs will eventually pay off is a weak one: If the government funds enough projects, a few of them just might work. Fingers crossed!

I’d encourage anyone tempted to put their faith in government-driven pilot programs to read John Goodman of the National Center for Policy Analysis. He’s argued that there are two big problems with this approach. First, policymakers don’t actually know if any of the pilot programs will work. Second, even if they do produce results, they have to be replicable. And as Goodman explains, there’s precious little evidence to suggest that the practices are easily replicable. Even those who support the pilot program approach have a hard time extracting anything more detailed than generalities from their research. How many bureau-wonks does it take to determine that the nation’s top performing medical institutions have better leadership and make use of measurement tools and financial incentives? These are not exactly stunning insights, but those are the sort of findings that came out of a research project co-authored by the Obama administration’s current Medicare chief, Donald Berwick.

That’s not to say that innovation and experimentation can’t work. They do. But it shouldn’t be thought of as a top-down process driven by thousands of pages of intricate federal legislation. ObamaCare’s designers put their hopes in a centrally planned cost-control miracle.

Is it any wonder the law is so unpopular when its most prominent defenders are so unconvincing—and when its many problems are so apparent? It's got to be painful for administration officials to see their biggest achievement flail like this. Regardless of the line they're selling about the public, I can't imagine they're enjoying it at all.  

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  • Concerned Citizen||

    It's like an anchor tied to the left's neck.

  • Charlotte Sometimes||

    I'd say she's more like an albatross.

  • ||

    Not with that neck.

  • ||

    "Albatross!! Albatross!! Albatross!!"

  • ||

    When I read her name I always unconsciously read it as Kathleen Sebaceous...oily + waxy.

  • Federal Dog||

    Have people always been this stupid?

    I mean, confusing savings and subsidies: How impaired must the woman be in her most basic reasoning skills?

  • WTF||

    She actually knows the difference - she just thinks everyone else is stupid.

  • #||

    Tony thinks not taxing rich people is "welfare" so don't blame her for playing to the audience.

  • Restoras||

    She's not impaired, she's just a big government liberal...oh wait, they're the same thing.

    Carry on.

  • Ol' Liberal||

    (sigh) He's right. It's all going horribly for us liberals. Since a year out, the entire country believes very strongly in all the real-world and well-thought out alternatives of the Wingnut/totally free market health plans. And the way the Democrat party's health care reform polling numbers have tanked to even lower than they were when it was passed. And the way that it destroyed the republic, and made us all Europe. Why, just last week, I drove past the Death Panel in my hometown, and the line stretched all around the block, just like everyone said would happen, one year later. Sigh. If only we had something more than desperate flailing...

  • Almanian||

    This makes my heart warm. Keep telling yourself this - I'll put on more popcorn.

  • ||

    Fucking delusion...how does it work?

  • ||

    It flows from right to left...who can explain it?

  • Sean W. Malone||

    +1

  • Old Mexican||

    Re: Ol' Liberal,

    Since a year out, the entire country believes very strongly in all the real-world and well-thought out alternatives of the Wingnut/totally free market health plans.


    We have a "totally free market" health plan?

    If it's "free market," how can it be a "plan"?

    I am sensing a contradiction there, stemming from lack of language sophistication... or wits.

  • ||

    McBUSHITLER!!!1!1! DEREGULATION!!!1!

  • adam||

    Did you pay attention to the election just a couple months ago? The one where liberals got hammered?

  • Classical Liberal||

    Huh. I don't remember very many of us running.

  • ||

    ^^^ THIS ^^^

  • Tony||

    There is no difference between a savings and a subsidy to the person with more money in her pocket.

    The problem is obviously that private health insurance still exists. If we had a system whose goal was to provide healthcare rather than provide profits for health insurance corporations, we might actually be able to bend the cost curve, just as it is done in every other advanced country where healthcare costs half what it does here per capita for better health metrics.

  • Almanian||

    What? No, forget it - I don't want to try to understand you.

  • Shorter DNS Tony||

    The problem is obviously that private health insurance still exists. If we had a system whose goal was to provide healthcare rather than provide profits for health insurance corporations, we might actually be able to bend the cost curve, just as it is done in every other advanced country where healthcare costs half what it does here per capita for better health metrics.

    We will own the system and control your personal behavior. Government knows better than you and will render decisions accordingly.

  • Restoras||

    "There is no difference between a savings and a subsidy to the person with more money in her pocket"

    This may be the dumbest thing I've ever read

  • sevo||

    "This may be the dumbest thing I've ever read"
    Could be, but give him time. He'll lower the bar.

  • adam||

    "There is no difference between a savings and a subsidy to the person with more money in her pocket."

    There's no difference from the perspective of the person getting the subsidy. There's a huge difference in terms of the federal budget and national health care costs.

  • Pip||

    There is no difference between a savings and a subsidy to the person with more our money in her pocket.

    Go suck a diseased cock, Tony.

  • ||

    Please stop impersonating Tony. His real posts are bad enough.

  • West Texas||

    Whoever it was, it was actually a decent spoof. Not great, but not so over the top as to give it away, either.

  • Vermont Gun Owner||

    Spoof?

  • barfman||

    The problem is obviously that private health insurance still exists.

    *barf*

  • ||

    the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (otherwise known as ObamaCare)

    Thank you, Peter. You're back in my will now.

  • DNS||

    :D

  • Vermont Gun Owner||

    For me it was the alt-text (not the quality, just its existence).

  • ||

    Yes, Ol' Liberal, the country's full of people who don't want to have to pay their own medical bills.

    So, of course, they will continue to vote for politicians who promise that "health care is your right".

    Bu then, in the old days plantation owners voted for for politicians who promised that "getting your cotton picked by negroes is your right".

  • the boss||

    Bu then, in the old days plantation owners voted for for politicians who promised that "getting your cotton picked by negroes is your right".

    Well hell yes! The businessman has a right to cheap labor - the cheaper the better. Send me some more of them wetbacks immigrants so I can keep getting rich. Why in hell should I have to pay high wages to a bunch of cracker, redneck, fellow Americans?

  • Almanian||

    It's a good thing they passed the bill, so we could find out what was in it. Cause the more light shed on this thing, the more I like it. Yep, like having kidney stones or having pneumonia, that's how much I'm starting to like this bill.

    They really did do The People's Work™ with this one.

    Thank you, Kathleen Syphilllitix, for continuing to carry the torch! Thank you!

  • ||

    What law? The one struck down as unconstitutional? It's been stayed for expedited appeal, but the likelihood of the law remaining in effect after the Court has reviewed it is not good.

  • Almanian||

    Oh, snap!

  • Vermont Gun Owner||

    Did he get to 7 yet?

  • ||

    Oh, that you were right.

    I expect that results-based jurisprudence will nullify any confounding Constitutional issues.

  • Old Mexican||

    Re: Tony,

    There is no difference between a savings and a subsidy to the person with more money in her pocket.


    Thus said the nitwit who reads a text differently than the words written on it.

    If we had a system whose goal was to provide healthcare rather than provide profits for health insurance corporations, we might actually be able to bend the cost curve


    Obtaining profits and providing a service are not mutually exclusive, Tony. What you're saying is that you want people to pay each other's bills - that's a totally different concept. It also makes for poor economics as, at one point, people WILL become tired of paying for someone else's bills.

    just as it is done in every other advanced country where healthcare costs half what it does here per capita for better health metrics.


    Just like Soviet factories churned out stuff according to metrics... not if people actually wanted the things or not.

    http://www.vdare.com/roberts/soviet_economy.htm

  • Tony||

    So what now you're interested in what people want instead of what you, an antigovernment radical, determine they should want if only they were as smart as you? The American people want cheaper healthcare and are fine with more government if that's what gets them there. Free market fetishism is not an obsession of the majority of Americans.

    The problem is that what counts as profitable for health insurance has nothing to do with what counts as broad delivery of healthcare, and you can't demonstrate how that could be the case. There are some things societies need or want that the market just isn't capable of delivering.

  • sevo||

    "The American people want cheaper healthcare"

    Yeah, and cheaper yachts, too. Problem is those things cost money. Darn reality!

  • Tony||

    As I said, we pay twice per capita what other advanced countries do, and they manage to cover everyone.

  • Doktor Zombie||

    Are you willing to put Tort Reform on the table?

  • Tony||

    Depends on how much you want to "reform" it. Tort reform is a special interest concern. I tend to be skeptical of attempts to take away people's freedom to sue for damages, especially in this case when the savings might amount to 1.5% of total costs.

  • ||

    1.5% my ass. A sizable percentage of the medical care in this country serves no clinical purpose, but is provided solely to fend off a lawsuit.

  • one of the patients||

    And a sizable percentage of it serves no real purpose but to provide lucrative profits to doctors as well. Want to spend less per capita? Then tell doctors to quit charging $150 to $200 to see their patients for 10 lousy minutes.

  • Tony||

    I didn't make that number up. Look it up. At any rate, what the fuck is libertarian about restricting people's right to sue?

  • DNS||

    At any rate, what the fuck is libertarian about restricting people's right to sue?

    The right to sue is not abrogated. There are limits placed on awards, barring exceptional res ipsa loquitor cases like amputation of the wrong limb. This libertarian favors a "loser pays" system to root out dubious claims.

  • Tony||

    But it is a little peculiar, don't you think? First we're told we don't need regulations because everyone could just avail themselves of the courts. Then libertarians want to have government impose its own judgment over that of a jury's, restricting their choices across the board, top-down. I don't get it. The only plausible explanation is that libertarianism is flimsy philosophical cover on the politics of protecting wealth over people.

  • ||

    How bout the fact that you don't have a right to tens of millions of dollars because doctor's are human and make mistakes? I'm all for letting people sue, but judgment awards are grossly overinflated.

  • Tncm||

    "But it is a little peculiar, don't you think? First we're told we don't need regulations because everyone could just avail themselves of the courts."

    Most libertarians are talking about private courts. Most people here are voluntaryists, believe it or not. And you are correct that no regulations under than market forces would be needed.

    "Then libertarians want to have government impose its own judgment over that of a jury's, restricting their choices across the board, top-down. "

    If anyone is actually saying that, then you're right in calling them hypocrites. But in private courts, damages would most likely be limited and wouldn't be left up to the emotions of the jury, as they are under our current monopolized court system.

    "The only plausible explanation is that libertarianism is flimsy philosophical cover on the politics of protecting wealth over people."

    So when just a few people on this one thread are philosophically inconsistent, you instantly jump to the conclusion that libertarianism is just a veil for the elite to hide behind?

  • Ray Pew||

    As I said, we pay twice per capita what other advanced countries do, and they manage to cover everyone.

    "Cover" is the keyword. Cover does not mean "provide service", as witnessed by significant waiting times and rejected services.

  • sevo||

    Tony|3.14.11 @ 5:05PM|#
    "False comparison with added lie"

    Thanks, Tony, you're good at that.

  • ||

    Except for the people they don't cover or let die waiting to see a doctor.

  • Ray Pew||

    So what now you're interested in what people want instead of what you, an antigovernment radical, determine they should want if only they were as smart as you? The American people want cheaper healthcare and are fine with more government if that's what gets them there. Free market fetishism is not an obsession of the majority of Americans.

    Nice bit of sophistry, Tony, but the concept of "estoppel" prevents you from making this argument. Libertarians are logically consistant in making this case, but someone who advocates force to extract their desired ends are "estopped" from arguing against force, especially given that the "force" you speak of is actually the removal of force and allowing voluntary transactions as the means to acheive ends.

    The problem is that what counts as profitable for health insurance has nothing to do with what counts as broad delivery of healthcare, and you can't demonstrate how that could be the case.

    Really? So Walmart isn't an example of profit by serving the largest numbers possible?

    There are some things societies need or want that the market just isn't capable of delivering.

    Unsupported claim is unsupported. I asked MNG, so now I will ask you: if ALL of the individuals in society cannot figure out how to collaborate to acheive their desired ends, then how can they possible figure out the best person to vote for to figure it out for them?

  • Tony||

    Libertarians are logically consistant in making this case, but someone who advocates force to extract their desired ends are "estopped" from arguing against force, especially given that the "force" you speak of is actually the removal of force and allowing voluntary transactions as the means to acheive ends.

    The only way to achieve a democratically unpalatable goal would be to use force to implement it. You can call it the "removal of force" but it's still the imposition of an overall policy on people who don't want it. Maybe people don't want all force removed from their lives. I know I don't. I'm glad that I'm forced to stop at a red light, because it means everyone else is too.

    So Walmart isn't an example of profit by serving the largest numbers possible?

    If what you want is cheap chinese crap, they have done a marvelous job at figuring out how to make it as widely available as possible. Now what about healthcare? Are health insurance companies similarly incentivized to make their product universally available? Or might they be incentivized to price people out who are elderly or sick? Shit, remove medicare and what you have is a huge population of uninsurable people.

    if ALL of the individuals in society cannot figure out how to collaborate to acheive their desired ends, then how can they possible figure out the best person to vote for to figure it out for them?

    Public policy would seem to be the way all people collaborate to achieved a desired universal end. The market is not collaboration, it is interaction, and libertarians expect us to believe that any goal a society might have would emerge organically from this collection of interactions. Either that, or that we shouldn't be allowed to want any social goal that doesn't emerge this way.

  • Old Mexican||

    Re: Tony,

    The only way to achieve a democratically unpalatable goal would be to use force to implement it.


    You mean unlike now???

    Maybe people don't want all force removed from their lives. I know I don't.


    Masochists are not a lonely bunch, that's for sure.

    I'm glad that I'm forced to stop at a red light, because it means everyone else is too.


    Maybe they stop because they already know you NEED force to make you stop. They're not the barbarians that require force - YOU are.

    Civilized people do not require to be forced to act with civility. If YOU need it, then you are a savage, a barbarian. Only dogs (and savages like you) need force to comply.

    Now what about healthcare? Are health insurance companies similarly incentivized to make their product universally available?


    You're equivocating again. Healthcare and health insurance are different things.

    Public policy would seem to be the way all people collaborate to achieved a desired universal end. The market is not collaboration, it is interaction, and libertarians expect us to believe that any goal a society might have would emerge organically from this collection of interactions.


    Isn't collaboration an interaction?

    My God, are you an unthinking fool.

  • Tony||

    Maybe they stop because they already know you NEED force to make you stop. They're not the barbarians that require force - YOU are.

    So you would prefer that at every intersection everyone exit their cars and have a discussion and come to an agreement to stop when the light is red?

    Civilized people do not require to be forced to act with civility.

    It's not about civility. It's about rules that are understood by all. When reputation is at stake, civility will do. When lives are at stake, it pays to have an enforceable and universally understood system. Not everyone will be civil, and if you base your political ideas on the premise that everyone will be perfect human beings, then you are just delusional. But all of your arguments seem to be based on this.

    Healthcare and health insurance are different things.

    Yeah but I assume any system we have will be based on the insurance model.

  • ||

    Or it could work the way it does when a stoplight quits working. People automatically treat it as a four way stop and without any government interference or force make it work.

  • Tony||

    All the while moaning about the inconvenience and hoping it's fixed by the time they have to come back through.

  • Ray Pew||

    The only way to achieve a democratically unpalatable goal would be to use force to implement it.
    You can call it the "removal of force" but it's still the imposition of an overall policy on people who don't want it. Maybe people don't want all force removed from their lives. I know I don't. I'm glad that I'm forced to stop at a red light, because it means everyone else is too.

    I can call it "removal of force", because THAT IS WHAT IT IS. The idea that government not imposing rules on society is actually a policy imposing rules on society is absurd. "I don't want government to NOT take my money!!" doesn't sit well intellectually. Some are downright logically contradictory: "Government should NOT allow me the freedom of speech!!"

    If what you want is cheap chinese crap, they have done a marvelous job at figuring out how to make it as widely available as possible. Now what about healthcare? Are health insurance companies similarly incentivized to make their product universally available? Or might they be incentivized to price people out who are elderly or sick? Shit, remove medicare and what you have is a huge population of uninsurable people.

    Two major problems with your argument:
    1. Your anti-Walmart rant is based on the assumption that a UHC system is inherently superior in quality, which you have not demonstrated, and
    2. Of course dropping Medicare recipients, ceteris parabis, would produce a huge population of uninsurables. That is true BECAUSE of the intervention into the market and the creation of Medicare. There is no reason to believe that Medicare is the only system that could satisfy this market.

    Public policy would seem to be the way all people collaborate to achieved a desired universal end.

    I don't know why you believe this, especially since this is the most distant "collaboration" that man could do. Electing a small group of individuals because of rhetoric and then letting them loose to impose all manner of rules that the many have no say in, is the weakest possible collaborative process, next to monarchy.

    The market is not collaboration, it is interaction,

    This is semantic nonsense, especially after attempting to argue that "public policy is collaboration". Collaboration is an interaction and best describes the market.

    and libertarians expect us to believe that any goal a society might have would emerge organically from this collection of interactions.

    If people can't acheive their goals, then how can people acheive their goals? And this is not a typo. It is an absurdity to believe that government man is some ubermensch capable of supernatural feats that private man is not.

    Either that, or that we shouldn't be allowed to want any social goal that doesn't emerge this way.

    Of course libertarians claim this, just as statists do also. It is predicated on one's moral ideology. We all believe that some means are not allowed to acheive ends.

  • Tony||

    The idea that government not imposing rules on society is actually a policy imposing rules on society is absurd.

    There is no such thing as no policy. You can have a heavy-handed policy or a laissez-faire policy, but not no policy. What you're selling, few want, no matter how much you call it freedom.

    the assumption that a UHC system is inherently superior in quality, which you have not demonstrated

    Perhaps I haven't, but plenty of countries have. You can try to define a free market system that achieves the same goals, but I can't figure how any healthcare system would be universal without some form of subsidy.

    this is the most distant "collaboration" that man could do

    As you would expect when hundreds of millions of people attempt to collaborate. To me government isn't something separate from other human activities. If it's a representative government, it's simply at the end of a continuum of ways humans cooperate.

    It is an absurdity to believe that government man is some ubermensch capable of supernatural feats that private man is not.

    Private man cannot allocate vast amounts of resources in the service of common goals. That's the entire reason governments exist. There aren't governments over nearly every square mile of land on earth just because they were imposed by evil power-hungry forces, but because they are how large numbers of people cooperate and accomplish things on a macro scale.

    We all believe that some means are not allowed to acheive ends.

    True, but I do think your priorities are seriously warped if the evils associated with creating and maintaining governments (like taxation) outweigh the evils that governments are established to mitigate (armed invasion, resource depletion, poverty, etc.)

  • ||

    Can you name a government that isn't a power hungry force for evil?

  • Ray Pew||

    There is no such thing as no policy. You can have a heavy-handed policy or a laissez-faire policy, but not no policy.

    Tony, the falsity of this claim is self-evident. A government policy is created. It does not exist in nature. If the scenario of "no policy" does not exist, then why do governments claim that they must intervene in "unregulated" areas? "Unregulated" in government verbage = no policy.

  • Vermont Gun Owner||

    If what you want is cheap chinese crap

    THE TRUTH!

  • Michael Ejercito||

    Or might they be incentivized to price people out who are elderly or sick?


    Why shouldn't they be priced out?

    People with drunk driving convictions are often priced out, and yet few people are complaining about that.

  • Tony||

    Because decent societies don't throw their elderly out on the streets to die?

  • DNS||

    Because decent societies don't throw their elderly out on the streets to die?

    What's it to you; euthanized or dead in the streets (give me a break with that tired canard)? In your view, the elderly are a burden, just taking up space and resources that rightfully belongs to "society". You think they should be warehoused, sequestered away from you until they croak so you can rifle their pockets for loose change, provided they have any left. When was the last time you donated time at a local senior care or nursing home? Or is that too icky for you?

  • ||

    Logan's Run!

  • Michael Ejercito||

    Because decent societies don't throw their elderly out on the streets to die?


    And similarly, decent societies do not let those with drunk driving convictions without auto insurance.

  • Old Mexican||

    Re: Tony,

    So what now you're interested in what people want instead of what you, an antigovernment radical, determine they should want if only they were as smart as you?


    I don't understand your question, and seems disingenuous to suggest I want to impose my wishes on other people - it is clear you have remained clueless all these years.

    The American people want cheaper healthcare and are fine with more government if that's what gets them there.


    Seems like that's a clumsy lie from your part.

    Free market fetishism is not an obsession of the majority of Americans.


    Doesn't have to be an obsession - people simply practice it by freely exchanging goods and services, without thinking about it.

    The problem is that what counts as profitable for health insurance


    Don't equivocate - we're not talking about health insurance.

    "If we had a system whose goal was to provide healthcare[...]"

    Healthcare/i> and health insurace are not the same thing.

    There are some things societies need or want that the market just isn't capable of delivering.


    There are MANY things the market cannot provide as the market exists only to solve SCARCITY problems. A market cannot give you love, for instance.

  • Irresponsible Hater||

    The cake is a lie.

  • Montani Semper Liberi||

    OT: Better stock up on gas today. Saudis just sent troops into Bahrain to back the ruling family against the Shia protesters.

  • Old Mexican||

    Oh, shit. There goes the neighborhood.

  • Tman||

    #|3.14.11 @ 4:20PM|#

    "Tony thinks not taxing rich people is "welfare" so don't blame her for playing to the audience."

    reply to this
    Tony|3.14.11 @ 4:27PM|#

    There is no difference between a savings and a subsidy to the person with more money in her pocket.

    That took a whole seven minutes! A new record!

  • ||

    The American people want cheaper healthcare and are fine with more government if that's what gets them there.


    No, Tony, they want free healthcare and lots of other "free" stuff to boot.

    Trouble is, there's no such thing as free stuff, just stuff that someone else has to pay for. And, guess what, just like the spongers want free stuff the productive people that have to pay don't like doing it and avoid it whenever they can.

  • Tony||

    Until you people address the fact that healthcare costs half as much per capita while still managing to be available universally in other advanced countries, this bullshit rhetoric means nothing. There is no fundamental difference between private insurance and government insurance in terms of paying for services going to other people. Happens in both. So the question is how to make it the most efficient system.

  • Tman||

    This is why you are a hack Tony-

    There is no fundamental difference between private insurance and government insurance in terms of paying for services going to other people.

    You never argue honestly. You, like all other liberals, want to frame the debate in "so when did you stop beating your wife" type ways so you can maintain your illusion of intellectual superiority.

    You are afraid to debate the true merits of the arguments because either you know you have a losing argument (unlikely) or you are too stupid to realize that other liberals have blinded you to the stupidity of your arguments (more likely).

    Hack.

  • Tony||

    "Paying for the services of other people" was the frame I was responding to. You, on the other hand, just wasted a couple minutes typing absolutely nothing of substance.

  • Tman||

    "Paying for the services of other people" was the frame I was responding to."

    No Tony, you want to set the argument on your own terms. Your terms start with the unequivocally false assumption that "There is no fundamental difference between private insurance and government insurance in terms of paying for services going to other people". Once you've established this false narrative you argue the merits of how much we should each be willing to pay in order to achieve a Euro-socialist Utopia.

    You do this in every single debate at this website. It's total bullshit, but I'm well familiar with it because all other liberals do the same thing. The Wisconsin situation was a classic example -"REPUBLICANS WANT TO MAKE THE MIDDLE CLASS POOR!!!". Total unequivocal bullshit and because the left owns the media no one questioned that argument.

    Fuck you and your false narrative. You know of no other way of debating because you are a hack.

  • ||

    ...healthcare costs half as much per capita while still managing to be available universally in other advanced countries,...


    Healthcare costs are kept low in those countries by price controls and rationing the most expensive care.

    The charade of "universality" is maintained by the fact that primary care is widely available so that the majority of people report no problems getting healthcare. It is only when critical care for a serious ilness is needed that people are put onto waiting lists that amount to death sentences.

    Fortunately for the trusted authorities, hardly anyone actually knows someone it happened to, so when it gets reported it gets filed in the "shit happens" file of most peoples' memories.

  • ||

    In other words, Tony, in those countries people are still dying because someone won't pay for their medical care. Only there, it's the government instead of their families.

    And in some countries it's the government not paying and preventing anyone else from paying too.

  • Tony||

    So what accounts for the fact that our health metrics suck compared to those other countries?

  • #||

    which ones do you speek of? Cause things like cancer survival rates, tge US is much better. If its life expectancy, well then Tony, health doesn not equal healthcare. Out unhealthy eating habits and greater level of car accidents account for that.

  • #||

    i guess the other question is too... if government run single payer systems are so much more cost effective, why is it that Medicare costs so much? The country spends about as much on medicare as a percent of GDP as other nations entire healthcare bills. Why isnt magical obama able to cover everyone with the money he already has via medicare?

  • Tony||

    Medicare's cost has risen at a lower rate than private insurance. Medicare recipients also rate their coverage more highly than those with private insurance, for what that's worth.

    In other words, we don't have a Medicare cost problem, we have a health care cost problem.

  • sevo||

    Tony|3.14.11 @ 7:57PM|#
    "Medicare's cost has risen at a lower rate than private insurance."

    Funny, I don't see a cite.
    Oh, it's TONY, therefore claims are accepted as...........
    well, lies.

  • Old Mexican||

    Re: Tony,

    So what accounts for the fact that our health metrics suck compared to those other countries?


    That the governments of the other countries are lying?

  • Tony||

    Of course they are. The US, alone among advanced countries, is honest about its health statistics.

    Somehow those countries have managed to fool even independent international organizations.

  • sevo||

    Tony|3.14.11 @ 8:20PM|#
    "Unsupported claim which is supposed to support a prior unsupported claim."

    On top of your game tonight, Tony!

  • Kreel Sarloo||

    Independent organizations like the
    world Bank, the UN etc which count whether a country has "universal healthcare" and other welfare legislation as a positive in determining "quality of life" without ever determining if that legislation produces quality of life.

    Demographics, Tony, no other country that has these "wonderful" statistics has a population of the size or diversity anywhere near that of the US.

    Another question for you, do you actually have any relatives in any of these wonderful countries?

    Do you even know anyone there?

    Have you even ever been to any of them?

    I though not, you're just mouthing platitudes from your team.

  • sevo||

    Kreel Sarloo|3.14.11 @ 9:49PM|#
    "Independent organizations like the
    world Bank, the UN etc which count whether a country has "universal healthcare" and other welfare legislation as a positive in determining "quality of life" without ever determining if that legislation produces quality of life.

    And here's the evidence from the horse's mouth:
    "Fairness of financial contribution:[...]In North America, Canada rates as the country with the fairest mechanism for health system finance – ranked at 17-19, while the United States is at 54-55. Cuba is the highest among Latin American and Caribbean nations at 23-25."
    http://www.who.int/whr/2000/me.....elease/en/
    parsed:
    'Who cares about outcomes? It's the 'fairness' that counts!"

  • Tony||

    I lived in the UK for a time. Dismiss the studies all you want, they still weigh countries equally, and trying to assert that the US has a comparably equitable system doesn't pass the laugh test. I don't understand what size and especially especially diversity have to do with anything, except as a lame excuse.

  • sevo||

    Tony|3.14.11 @ 5:43PM|#
    "Lie posed as question"

    Thanks, Tony, you're good at that.

  • ||

    Of course they don't control for ethnic demographics when they do those studies. So any comparison is flawed from the start.

  • sevo||

    "Of course they don't control for ethnic demographics when they do those studies. So any comparison is flawed from the start."

    Would that controls of that sort were the worst of the problems. See above; UN healthcare stats are based on who pays, not the results.

  • Michael Ejercito||



    Healthcare costs are kept low in those countries by price controls and rationing the most expensive care.


    So why does Chony advocate UHC if price controls will simply do the job?

  • ||

    Just in case you missed it, price controls and rationing are part and parcel of UHC.

  • Old Mexican||

    Re: Tony,

    Until you people address the fact that healthcare costs half as much per capita while still managing to be available universally in other advanced countries,


    There's nothing to address as that is a red herring. Since those systems are basically monopolies, then the fact that people spend half of what Americans spend does not mean nothing - maybe they're getting half-quality shit.

    There is no fundamental difference between private insurance and government insurance in terms of paying for services going to other people.


    That's false. There IS a big difference: In the underwritting.

    So the question is how to make it the most efficient system.


    Not through so-called insurance. The most efficient way, economically speaking, is through a direct provider-customer relationship.

  • Michael Ejercito||

    Since those systems are basically monopolies, then the fact that people spend half of what Americans spend does not mean nothing - maybe they're getting half-quality shit.


    Indeed, there are very few cyborgs in those countries.

  • Tony||

    maybe they're getting half-quality shit.

    Except they're not according to the metrics. You cannot hand-wave these facts away. A lot of what we argue about is speculation. Health care is not. There is plenty of evidence out there for what works and what doesn't.

  • sevo||

    Tony|3.14.11 @ 8:19PM|#
    "You cannot hand-wave these facts away."

    WHAT "facts", asshole? You keep making claims as if your reputation meant anything other than slinging bullshit.

  • Tony||

    I am not responsible for other people's ignorance in the age of google.

  • The Ingenious Hidalgo||

    But you are responsible for your opinions and your arguments. Support them or shut up.

  • Vermont Gun Owner||

    Who has no access to healthcare in this country? Oh right, no one. In case you forgot the law you so support means that anyone can show up at a hospital and get treated for free.

  • Tony||

    Meaning costs are already socialized, only in the least efficient way.

  • Vermont Gun Owner||

    So stop claiming that other countries have access for everyone and we don't.

  • Tony||

    Is the fact that you aren't turned away in a medical emergency supposed to be an excuse for something? That does not = healthcare.

  • Vermont Gun Owner||

    Receiving healthcare doesn't count as having access to healthcare?

  • sevo||

    Tony|3.14.11 @ 5:15PM|#
    "False comparison with added lie"

    Thanks, Tony, you're good at that.

  • ||

    Tony, i will give you credit for one thing.

    You're right about what the people want.

    The problem is that you think it's a good thing that so many people are whingers and bludgers.

  • ||

    "So ObamaCare uses money collected from taxpayers to subsidize the purchase of health insurance that is projected, on average, to be more expensive. There are no savings here, just a few hundred billion dollars in taxpayer-funded subsidization."

    When the inflation comes, America won't forget who the irresponsible party was.

    At a time when entitlement programs were about to make all discretionary spending impossible, Barack Obama made millions more Americans dependent on government programs--and the Democrats egged him on!

    Fiscal responsibility is not extreme.

  • Brian Combs||

    "When the inflation comes, America won't forget who the irresponsible party was."

    Both parties?

  • ||

    The entire fucking government. Now, plus or minus fifty years.

  • ||

    I made a name for myself bashing the Bush Administration--and we can give him plenty of blame. We can blame the Republicans for their overspending too, but...

    "So ObamaCare uses money collected from taxpayers to subsidize the purchase of health insurance that is projected, on average, to be more expensive. There are no savings here, just a few hundred billion dollars in taxpayer-funded subsidization."

    That wasn't the Republicans' fault.

    ObamaCare--that's Obama's fault.

    Watch for them to start trying to call it something else. ...if they haven't already.

  • Tony||

    According to the CBO, Obamacare is a net reduction in the deficit.

  • DNS||

    According to the CBO, Obamacare is a net reduction in the deficit.

    According to Sec. Sebilius, the funding numbers used for Medicaid and Obamacare were double counted. CBO used bad numbers in good faith to get a bogus conclusion. That is called "fraud".

  • Tony||

    That is a complete distortion of the facts.

    I'll let Ezra Klein school Paul Ryan on this:

    EK: This is where I think we end up in different places. The philosophical differences are all fair enough. But insofar as the double counting goes, the double counting is an issue of how some Democrats are talking about this. And I agree with you. Saying that the money will do two things at once is out of line. But what I want to make sure is clarified here is that the numbers people are using from CBO are not afflicted by that rhetorical overreach. When CBO says the bill will save this much money, it really will, at least according to the best estimates.

    PR: I'm not disagreeing with that. But I think CBO is omitting other fiscal effects that are not in the bill -- unless we plan on cutting doctors 21 percent next month. Unless we plan on doing that, then we're not truly capturing the fiscal effects.

    EK: But now we're not talking about double counting. We're talking about the doctor's fix in Medicare.

    PR: Right. And I think you and I simply don't agree on this.
  • sevo||

    "EK: But now we're not talking about double counting. We're talking about the doctor's fix in Medicare."

    Parsed:
    "It won't cut costs, because the assumptions built into the CBO calcs are false."

    Thanks for the 'schooling' Tony, you're good at tossing bullshit.

  • Tman||

    You remain a dishonest HACK.

    EZ:...let's get into the double-counting issue. If I understand your argument right, you're not saying the Congressional Budget Office is double-counting this money. You're saying the administration and other Democrats have made arguments in which they double-count the money. I agree with you on that. But just so we're clear, CBO's number are still solid.

    PR: CBO just scores what's in front of them. So let's just go through it point-by-point. When you raise Social Security's tax revenues, you also raise benefits. More coming in taxes says more benefits are being obligated CBO says you can only count that money once. If you're counting it as offsets for this bill, you're increasing unfunded obligations for Social Security.CLASS Act is another example: These are premiums for a benefit. You're counting these premiums for this benefit as offsets for another spending project, you're creating unfunded benefits. That's double counting. We're increasing obligations and we're not setting aside those dollars for those programs.


    Your typical response will be "but hey, I'm just arguing that the CBO didn't double count in their estimates" knowing full well that they just counted the numbers given to them one way for Obama to get this shitpile passed, and now when asked if Obamacare is repealed the CBO says the following-

    "The Congressional Budget Office, in an email to Capitol Hill staffers obtained by the Spectator, has said that repealing the national health care law would reduce net spending by $540 billion in the ten year period from 2012 through 2021. That number represents the cost of the new provisions, minus Medicare cuts. Repealing the bill would also eliminate $770 billion in taxes. It's the tax hikes in the health care law (along with the Medicare cuts) which accounts for the $230 billion in deficit reduction.

    I love how you thought Ezra "SKOOOOLED" Ryan. Perfectly describes your perspective.

    HACK.

  • ||

    Ezra Kline the little weeny schooling anyone on anything is a laugh

  • sevo||

    Tony|3.14.11 @ 8:18PM|#
    "Unicorns will be delivered tomorrow!"

    Hey, Tony, I knew you weren't real sharp, but how gullible are you?

  • ||

    "According to the CBO, Obamacare is a net reduction in the deficit."

    How can expanding Medicaid eligibility bring about a net reduction in the deficit?

    How can making millions of people eligible for subsidies somehow bring about a net reduction in the deficit?

    How can expanding prescription drug coverage for Medicare patients bring about a net reduction in the deficit?

    You have to drink some really strong kool-aid to buy that line--it doesn't even pass the smell test!

  • ||

    I hope Obama runs on taming the deficit by expanding more entitlement programs!

    No really.

    Maybe Mencken was right about the American people and our intelligence--but I don't think the American people are that stupid.

    They voted for Obama because they were sick of the Bush Administration's perpetual state of war. ...not because they wanted to tame the deficit by expanding entitlement programs!

    Fer cryin' out loud.

  • Tony||

    Take it up with the CBO. This was a major point of healthcare reform: to reduce healthcare costs and hence government costs.

  • ||

    garbage in = garbage out. Congress decides the rules that CBO plays by, allowing them to "game the system". The CBO makes this reference several times - if you actually took the time to read the damn thing.

  • ||

    I don't need to take it up with the CBO.

    I don't need a weatherman to know which way the wind blows, and I don't need the CBO to tell me that increasing entitlement spending--increases entitlement spending!

  • ||

    Watch for them to start trying to call it something else. ...if they haven't already.

    They've already started complaining that its mean-spirited to call in ObamaCare. They're such nobs, though, that the Official Name doesn't even make a decent acronym, so there aren't any alternatives.

  • Vermont Gun Owner||

    Yeah, what the hell. A year wasn't enough time to come up with a decent (or even just pronounceable) acronym?

  • ||

    If they try to start calling it something else? Backpedaling is an excellent indication of how much trouble they think they're in with the general public on this...

    Trying to talk the American people out of associating him with this monstrosity is gonna look like taking the 5th! Who's he gonna blame it on--The Tea Party?!

  • barfman||

    the Official Name doesn't even make a decent acronym, so there aren't any alternatives

    Poo Poo cACA

  • cynical||

    No, I think it's Pee Pee Caca. Less redundant, yes?

  • sevo||

    "WTF"?

  • chaussures shox||

    good

  • ||

    Neither Obama nor his corrupt buddies in Congress will have Obamacare forced on them, like the rest of us. This is wrong and everyone knows it.

    And yes, they do think we're all stupid

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