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The Great Health Care Ho-Hum

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Nothing much happened regarding health care (not a bad thing, actually, considering the alternatives!) despite a seven-hour-long EST-style, no-bathroom-breaks marathon yakfest.

WASHINGTON — Congressional leaders remain pessimistic that a marathon health care policy session with President Obama on Thursday will lead to compromise, which could prompt Democrats to forge ahead alone.

 After more than seven hours of occasionally acrimonious debate, Democrats and Republicans said they see little chance for bipartisan action.

Dems stressed how close they all were to a real meeting of minds; Republicans wanted to start over.

More here.

For solid reform ideas, check out Reason.tv's healthcare playlist already, including our most recent vid on the subject, "Treat Me Like a Dog":

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  1. Couldn’t agree more on the veterinary medicine. I had to take my pet rat in for emergency surgery a few months ago, and was amazed by the fact that we could walk in with no appointment, wait less than ten minutes to be seen, be treated with sympathy and respect by every person in the office and have the surgery done that day. They gave us a high and low price estimate before they did anything, and paid $250 for a rare surgery on an unusual pet. Contrast that with when we’d thought my girlfriend had broken her ankle and had to wait for 8 hours in ER for a doctor to feel her foot and tell us to put ice on it, at a low low price of $680. I just sent another one of our girls to the same vet for an emergency spay with a similar experience; they even accommodated us when we were late due to traffic.

    When I make the point that the veterinary medicine experience is superior to human medicine in a lot of ways, people tend to say that it’s not a fair comparison because human health is so much more complicated. I’ve even heard “a rat is a lot smaller than a person, so it makes sense that an emergency spay would cost a tiny fraction of what a hysterectomy (same procedure on a person) would cost.” Really, the opposite is the case, because vets have to know the physiology of many different species, have patients that can’t tell them what hurts and what doesn’t, and have to operate on smaller animals, meaning that everything is closer together, an infection is much more likely to reach vital organs and be fatal, and the work has to be much more precise. And if anyone doubts that human doctors are overpaid, consider that vets earn a median of about $80,000 per year and get training that is just as costly and just as long as that of human doctors, but at more competitive schools.

  2. From the USAToday article:
    Democrats argued it is government’s responsibility to ensure most Americans can get decent health insurance and be protected from insurance company abuses.

    If there had been a republican there who had actually read, and maybe carried around a copy of, the constitution, then they could have said “Why don’t you show me where the government gets this authority and responsibility, because I can show you where this says we don’t.”
    Unfortunately we are talking about politicians here.

    1. Well if they did that they might have to start looking at ways THEY are using the Constitution as toilet paper and we can’t have that.

      Short version = we are screwed.

    2. Even more basic lack of Constitutionality:

      The only viable bill is the Senate bill. It is chock full of taxes, fees, fines, assessments, etc.

      Article I, Section 7 of the Constitution:

      All bills for raising Revenue shall originate in the House of Representatives; but the Senate may propose or concur with Amendments as on other Bills.

      The Senate bill, because it contains measures for “raising Revenue”, is unconstitutional on its face.

      The only question is, who has standing to challenge it in court? Perhaps a member of the House?

      1. That whole Revenue bills having to originate in the House of Representatives thing ocurred to me too. But I just thought I lacked the enlightened interpretation skills of our Washington overlords. Something like a medieval peasant challenging a priest’s interpretation of holy writ.

        I seem to recall a tax-raising (“revenue enhancement”) bill in the early eighties (basically when Reagan pretty much cancelled out Kemp-Roth) that raised the same objections. I guess having a tax bill originate in the Senate and no one questioning it is now considered the equivalent of amending the CotUS.

      2. The Senate bill, because it contains measures for “raising Revenue”, is unconstitutional on its face.

        Nope, it only appears so. The Senate bill is actually a House-originated revenue bill passed by the House. Majority Leader Reid simply offered the entire health-care bill as a substitute amendment to the original House-passed revenue bill before it was passed to avoid the Constitutional issue. From a discussion of how it works:

        I anticipate Leader Reid will move to proceed to a “shell bill,” some random tax bill already passed by the House (so he doesn’t run into a Constitutional problem). If the motion to proceed is adopted, he would then take his proposal and offer it as a complete substitute amendment to the bill. As a technical procedural matter, the Senate will then debate and try to amend the “Reid substitute [amendment].”

      3. All bills for raising Revenue shall originate in the House of Representatives; but the Senate may propose or concur with Amendments as on other Bills.

        The Senate took a House originated and passed revenue bill and then Reid offered an amendment in substitute of the bill that completely eliminated the old bill and replaced it with the health care bill.

        The Senate passed it, but technically it’s considered “concur[ring] with Amendments” to the original House bill, though the House has to either pass the Senate amended bill or go into conference.

  3. Frank Luntz did one of his focus groups yesterday with something like 30-40 people, half Obama voters and half, not watching the entire summit.

    After it was over, more than 90% of the room agreed that they should start over again and not try to ram the current bill through via some nuclear option. And even a few of the democrats seemed to feel as though Obama came off as arrogant and imperious.

    This was one of those extremely rare occasions when citizens got to listen directly to the republicans without the content being “filtered” by the scumbags in the media, and as a result the dems were utterly obliterated in this debate. I don’t believe they’re really going to go for the nuclear option; if they do they are insane. I think it’s like they’re going to go for a “plan B” of a scaled-down, much less ambitious bill.

  4. Dems stressed how close they all were to a real meeting of the minds mind

    FTFY

  5. Nothing much happened regarding health care (not a bad thing, actually, considering the alternatives!) despite a seven-hour-long EST-style, no-bathroom-breaks marathon yankfest.

    FTFY

  6. Only after watching this video did I realize Michigan has a CON law. As if this weren’t a shitty enough place to live. I just wish there was a decent place to move to somewhere on planet earth.

  7. I like to see how a list of states which have gotten rid of CON laws compares to a list of states with the lowest Health Insurance Rates, for obvious libertarian reasons. Interesting? Or would it fail to show what I hope it to, and if so why?

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