Obamacare

Health Care Reform Passes. But At What Cost?

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Yes they could. And did!

A few minutes ago, the House passed the Senate health care bill. Now the House is preparing to pass a reconciliation bill that will amend the Senate bill—removing legislative kickbacks, changing the tax structure and revenue mechanisms, and increasing the insurance subsidies, among other things. The Senate will probably pass these changes. But it may not. Either way, the original Senate bill has now been passed by both houses. It will be sent to President Obama, and he will sign it.

It's being hailed as a major legislative achievement, and in size and scope, it certainly is. But for those of us who do not take comfort in legislation of great size and scope, it's an achievement of dubious merit. 

But it's not just the size and scope. It's also that this bill is unlikely to achieve most of the objectives that have been set out for it.

The retail argument in favor of the bill was basically twofold: It provides affordable insurance coverage for 30 million, and it reduces the deficit, thereby making it fiscally sensible.

But CBO is clear: In conjunction with the upcoming doc fix—which was split off from the original bill and will be passed later—it doesn't lower the deficit. And if Medicare savings are used to extend the solvency of the program, as Democrats frequently claim will happen, then that eats up the deficit reduction.

The coverage figure is the best argument for the bill; all indications are that it's likely to result in health coverage for 30 million or more individuals. But the evidence that it will do so in an affordable manner is thin. The CBO estimates that the average premium cost will rise 10-13 percent (with a little more than half of folks receiving subsidies). And despite claims that the bill will put a stop to big rate increases, the evidence of the Massachusetts plan, which is very similar to Obamacare, suggests otherwise: Since the start of its plan, that state has seen double digit rate hikes, and expects more to come. And its average premium price is the highest in the nation. How can anyone possibly define this as "affordable"?

In the end, then, we're left with a highly expensive, fiscally dangerous expansion of health insurance that locks even more people into a broken system. That's an achievement, all right, but not a particularly good one.

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  1. Express elevator to hell:GOING DOWN!!!

  2. Fuck all who voted for this POS!

    1. in the ass

      1. with a rusty chainsaw.

  3. time for nullification! don’t give up the fight. where is the due process in them forcing me to either pay the insurance companies or the governments fines? this bill is unconstitutional and a bunch of bullshit, I look forward to fighting it.

    1. Supreme Court precedent is pretty clear on this: If the Fedgov and its laws say Jump and the States try to refuse, say with “massive resistance” (google it), the Fedgov wins.

      1. Just because the Supreme Court ignored the 10th amendment in the past, doesn’t mean they keep ignoring it. I believe that requires a new amendment.

        1. yeah because the feds were soooo successful at stopping state medical marijuana. the feds will have a hard time forcing this on the states and the people.

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      2. Except for one little fact: if there are enough states against this, they could amend the Constitution and tell the Supreme Court and the rest of the government to stick it up their ass and choke on it.

        1. It requires 2/3 of state legislatures to propose the amendment, which would need to be ratified by 3/4 of the states (either by legislature or amendment conventions). The 21st amendment (repeal of prohibition) was the only amendment enacted by state conventions. So, it can be done… but it takes a lot of work.

          1. It takes 2/3 of both houses of Congress to propose an Amendment, which requires ratification by 3/4 of the state legislatures or state conventions.

            The legislatures have no power to propose specific amendments, that solely lies with Congress.

            The state legislatures (again 2/3) CAN however force Congress to call a Constitutional Convention for the purpose of proposing Amendments. This has never been done, however, even though its been attempted numerous times. Its also questionable how a constitutional convention would work, and if it is strictly limited to proposing the suggested amendments or can also propose vast overhauls to the Constitution itself. Again, anything coming out of a constitutional convention would require ratification by 3/4 of the state legislatures or state conventions.

  4. In the end, then, we’re left with a highly expensive, fiscally dangerous expansion of health insurance that lock even more people into a broken system.

    Oh, don’t be such a gloomy Gus. That’s when we get single payer!

    1. We’re on track for “single payer”. We have the utterly destroy the current flawed system first. That’s why they passed this bill.

      1. This.

      2. “We must destroy the health care system in order to save it.”

  5. “The CBO estimates that the average premium cost will rise 10-13 percent (with a little more than half of folks receiving subsidies).”

    So explain to me again the part where we take the money away from the people, send it to Washington, send it back, and it comes back more than what was sent. Because otherwise this would make no sense, right?

    1. That’s the multiplier effect

    2. C’mon, Brian, you left out a couple of steps.

      (1) Take money from people.

      (2) Send it to Washington.

      (3) Borrow from the Chinese.

      (4) Run the printing presses.

      (4) Skim off some for our Our Masters.

      (5) Send what’s left to a different group than coughed it up in the first place.

      If this isn’t utopia, I don’t know what is.

    3. You are right Briane. It’s a bad system.

  6. Was increasing the US deficit to kill Iraqi citizens to gain control of oil an achievement that you are proud of as an American?

    1. I banish thee, troll.

      Get thee to a forum where you know the history thereof.

    2. Somebody has no clue who she’s talking to…

    3. You make me wish the abortion language in this bill provided for retroactive abortions.

    4. Hey at least we have death panels now.

    5. Here are a few sites where you may find your energies more appreciated, and are more likely to make a fucking grain of sense:

      LittleGreenFootBalls.com

      http://www.freerepublic.com

      michellemalkin.com

    6. fuck off, you socialist troll, bitch! Get your ever loving president to get the damn troops out of the middle east, THEN come here and spew that crap. It’s obama’s war now, and he isn’t stopping the invasion spending either, you little commie whore!

  7. We couldn’t keep it.

  8. Let the wailing and gnashing of teeth and rending of clothes begin.

    I expect to see many people tomorrow in mourning clothes or maybe sackcloth and ashes.

    “Vanity of vanities, saith the Preacher, vanity of vanities; all is vanity. What profit hath a man of all his labor which he taketh under the sun? One generation passeth away, and another generation cometh: but the earth abideth for ever.”

    1. Yeah, the Democrats are going to be in utter tears when President Pailin signs the repeal bill in 2013.

      The 6/10 structuring now means, of course, repeal will be scored against 9/10 in 2013. Cutting benefits nobody’s ever received (because they don’t come into play until 2014) is as painless a method of deficit-reduction as was ever invented.

      1. When have the republicans ever repealed anything the democrats passed? Once they own it, they’ll quickly learn to love it.

    2. You like quotes, dude? Here’s a quote for ya:

      What shall it profit a man to work his ass off, if his fellow man can come and take it all away like a swarm of pestilential locusts?

  9. Peter, I have to take issue with your blog post. You paint way too much of an optimistic picture of this health care bill.

  10. Did they kiss?

    1. As if Pelosi could still get her lips together.

      1. Making fun of a burn victim is not cool, dude.

        1. We haven’t burned her – yet.

          Witch burning is way underrated.

          1. string her up and gather wood

    2. Why the fuck don’t they just get a room already? Jezuz!

  11. Beer and schadenfreude buddies! It’s g?tterd?mmerung.

    1. It was the year they finally Immanentized the Eschaton…

      1. Too soon to tell – there is always November, but you did make me all warm and fuzzy for bedtime – night night Buckley.

      2. Where’s Hagbard Celine when you need him?

    2. Thank You for your vote Jennifer. I could have done it without you but I still appreciate your support.

      1. (see the “who are you voting for” comment thread) if you have any doubts of Jennifer’s undying love of the Democrat flavor of statism.

        1. Uhh, Barry – I’m not being sarcastic, you guys really pissed me off today. I think there might *possibly* be more than one Jennifer… Hyperbole, maybe, it’s just that social engineering on this kind of scale puts me in a German mood.

          1. Excuse me if you aren’t the former regular comenter Jennifer who is the bad newspaper writer. They can’t all love me

            1. You do have warm eyes… but no, I just can’t sleep with Democrats – too icky.

              I am newer to Reason (hehe) – this message board has me lmao often.

              1. My deepest apologies Ma’am

                1. You better apologize. That other Jennifer was almost on the joe scale of annoyance.

        2. I understand she’s leaving her boyfriend to gay marry it.
          And have it’s children.

        3. Oh, give it a fucking rest. Most people felt a need to choose between two statist pieces of shit in the election.

          1. Looks like they picked the wrong one.

            I mean, who could have seen this coming? A lefty academic Chicago machine politician with majorities in both houses – how is that not a recipe for fabulousness?

  12. Yes it sucks, but they have control of Congress and the Presidency, and they passed it. People voted for them to do this. All that is happening is America is joining the ranks of the rest of the civilized world and extending health care to the uninsured (more or less). The sky won’t fall, and if it does, everyone will get together and prop it up.

    Such is big government. It wins every time.

    1. Yay!!! Long waits, death panels, and lack of innovation! We are civilized!

    2. Forcing people to buy things they don’t need and stealing the money to help them! Yay!

    3. All that is happening is America is joining the ranks of the rest of the civilized world and extending health care to the uninsured (more or less). The sky won’t fall, and if it does, everyone will get together and prop it up.

      What did the uninsured do to deserve health care?

      1. Everyone deserves to be able to obtain health care. What these people think they deserve is to obtain health care paid for entirely by other people. Big difference. No one deserves that.

        1. Everyone deserves to be able to obtain health care. What these people think they deserve is to obtain health care paid for entirely by other people. Big difference. No one deserves that.

          Would you want to pay for the health care of sex offenders who are out of jail or prison?

    4. oooh! And higher taxes to pay for the sex change operations for unemployed and unemployable transvestites! to pay for free needles for junkies, STD clinics for hookers and magic unicorns for all! After all, it’s not like we really need the money we earn every day. Someone else needs it so fork it over! Ohhh christ I could go on all night…I need a drink – Hey Chony – I’m gonna wreck my liver and YOU will pay for it! Ha-fucking-ha

      1. Listen Comrade, this is the kind of “libertarian” blog where many comenters support government-funded needle exchanges

        1. I dont think any regulars here support that. Privately funded needle exchanges, sure–if people want to donate to support them then we won’t lift a finger to stop them. But it is wrong to force people to subsidize someone else’s addiction.

        2. Hey it’s our friendly neighborhood GOP shill. Didn’t I tell you four threads back that one of your favorite politicians is in a public bathroom somewhere doing something he voted against?

        3. cheerfully withdrawn then! maybe its the the rye talking but okay. im sure there are other ludicrous examples i could throw in but i dont give a shit right now. ive got some sorrows o drown.

      2. Hey Chony – I’m gonna wreck my liver and YOU will pay for it! Ha-fucking-ha

        Only if he has a job. Which I doubt.

    5. Since when is putting a gun to people’s heads to buy insurance or else count as “extending health care to the uninsured”?

      Since that’s literally what it is. You don’t buy health insurance, you go to jail (at gunpoint). Sure, some people might get subsidies to help pay for it, but if you don’t accept it, off to jail with you.

      1. It’s extending health insurance to the uninsured with extreme prejudice. If you keep refusing to buy insurance, you better not have a dog you’re to fond of!

      2. In jail, you get free health care.

        1. In Soviet Russia, health cares you!

    6. Nobody voted for them to do this.

    7. You’ll think of some way to keep us solvent…you always do!

    8. All that is happening is America is joining the ranks of the rest of the civilized world and extending health care to the uninsured

      No, insuring the uninsured would have been far cheaper than this unconstitutional measure. This is a massive, unconstitutional intrusion into everyone’s life, mandating that we all buy a service from a private party, whether we want to or not.

      This is not reform, this is the fulfillment of the desires of some very big campaign contributors. Follow the money.

      -jcr

      1. This is not reform–
        correct, this is good, old-fashioned fund raising in a way that provides expanding employment for many many new Fed employees who will be reliable Democrat voters. It is about reliable employees becoming reliable dues-paying members of unions that provide continuous contributions to Democrat politicans.
        To even consider returning to the USA of 50 years ago is senseless. Accept the new reality and make sensible plans to evade and resist. Every man for himself.
        Both major parties are in on this, people.

    9. This is the worst thing passed in the history of this country….It will bankrupt us as a Nation and it will do nothing for heathcare as a whole. All it does is add another Government entitlement program that will be costly and pronide very little coverage for the intended people, while those who already havegood heath care are going to be loosing care and paying more for it.

      Sound great to me!

  13. ROW! ROW YOU TAXPAYING BASTARDS! ROW AS IF YOUR LIVES DEPENDED ON IT. FASTER!

  14. Charlie: Since when do you pay to stay in a hospital?

    Doctor: Since always.

    Charlie: Uh, no, I believe that is what taxes are for.

    Mac: Yeah, you don’t pay a fireman to put out a fire.

    Charlie: Or a cop to shoot a guy.

    Dennis: How do you not know how this works? You’ve been in a hospital before.

    Charlie: I?-I guess I must have slipped through the cracks. I do always give a fake name ’cause I like to stay off the grid. You know what I mean?

    Mac: Yeah, they usually just give me a bunch of antibiotics, the sores go away, and I walk out.

  15. But it’s not just the size and scope. It’s also that this bill is unlikely to achieve most of the objectives that have been set out for it.

    Baby steps, Suderman, baby steps.

    The train is now on the tracks and heading down the line. And at the end of that line: Single Payer Healthcare. There’ll be many stops and towns on the way. At each stop a few more free market pinholes within the healthcare system will be plugged up, then onto the next town. Eventually, we’ll arrive at our Final Destination.

    1. No thanks to those fucking Republican Teabaggers

    2. And just think of all the great new government jobs that will be created – more government employees to support an ever growing expansion of the ruling class. I wonder where the taxes for the additional salaries and benefits will come from? I guess the serfs can work a little harder – hope there will be enough of them. But if there isn’t, I guess we can let in some more immigrants or something.

  16. “People voted for them to do this.”

    Yeah, I’m going to call a big no on that one.

    “All that is happening is America is joining the ranks of the rest of the civilized world and extending health care to the uninsured (more or less).”

    All that’s happening is Obama and the forces behind him are slick enough to realize if you can grow government bureaucracy big enough, they suppose it’s like an eternal political win. It doesn’t matter if Democrats get voted out, the system is big enough where an ousted politician can still make a fortune leaching somewhere in the system.

    The one fault in that theory, long-term, is that Republican politicians, ala’ Huckabee, will just adapt to the Democrat’s system. As money begins to dry up, there won’t be enough slush to keep even just all the bureaucratic parasite groups happy. Republicans will then just play to whatever group is out of favor, spooning off decreasing revenue of a slowly dying country. Good times!

    1. Yup. Government of the government, by the government, for the government.

  17. So now that it’s passed, I suppose it’s time to learn what travesties it actually contains. Can someone point me to a summary?

    1. So now that it’s passed, I suppose it’s time to learn what travesties it actually contains. Can someone point me to a summary?

      It covers health care for sex offenders who are out of jail and prison. That should have been enough reason to oppose the bill.

    2. Next time you take a dump, don’t flush, then look in the bowl. If you have lots of money you earned honestly through capitalism, be prepared to eat some. Enjoy!

      1. Maybe everyone should mail Nancy a turd instead of a teabag.

  18. I hope democrat control implodes this year. Two years of democrat control is the cubed root of eight. If we can stay on that sequence, maybe the republicans will implode in the cubed root of two years, and do in this shit for good.

  19. Let me correct the column above. This bill will not achieve ANY of its stated objectives. But it will achieve its unstated objective: to build the case for completely nationalized health care.

    1. Man! It’s so obvious now! I kept asking myself “Do they know what’s going on in Massachusetts? Why do they want to replicate that system?”

      But this thing is DESIGNED TO FAIL, so that it’s easier to change, er, takeover later. I hate to be so cynical, but the flat out denial of reality by the Democrats leads me to that conclusion.

    2. Man! It’s so obvious now! I kept asking myself “Do they know what’s going on in Massachusetts? Why do they want to replicate that system?”

      But this thing is DESIGNED TO FAIL, so that it’s easier to change, er, takeover later. I hate to be so cynical, but the flat out denial of reality by the Democrats leads me to that conclusion.

    3. its unstated objective: to build the case for completely nationalized health care.

      That’s not the actual objective. The entire motivation is only to increase the power of the government. Any other stated purpose is mere propaganda.

      -jcr

      1. It’s important to always remember this.

      2. its unstated objective: to build the case for completely nationalized health care.

        Whaddaya mean unstated? Obama and any number of lefty Dems were quite explicit that this is the first step to socialized medicine.

  20. So… what marginally profitable industry do they nationalize next?

    We act as if this was a huge loss, but they really just went from 60% control to about 95%. It was bound to happen.

    I mean, you Bill Gates types still have the freedom to buy timely and effective care. The rest of us will have to resort to back-ally colonoscopies.

    1. I had no idea that’s what it was called these days.

    2. Student loans.

  21. “extending health care to the uninsured ” = “forcing the uninsured to buy health insurance”

    Well, I guess, according to some people …

  22. Can’t wait for the next phase of the progressive transformation. I’m buying extra lube now.

  23. +1

  24. At what point can we just quit obeying these fools?

    1. I do believe this bill could possibly lead to riots and such.

      1. It could get a bit Greecey.

        1. Only when they try to roll it back.

    2. The point where we grow some balls?

  25. “Get outta the Road”

  26. We’re on board as long as it doesn’t fund abortion.

    1. Not a single Republican voted for this tonight.

    2. Oh, can we stop this? Let’s give the GOP some credit for opposing this bill from the start and never caving. In the end, the Democrat majorities (and their willingness to legislate against the will of the people) just proved too much for them.

      I don’t think I heard the abortion issue raised by the GOP at all (that was the blue-dog Dems issue). They were mainly playing up the fiscal irresponsibility, the loss of quality health care, the mandatory insurance, etc.

      I know the name “Rush Limbaugh” is practically the mother of all cuss words to this blog, but his position against this bill was indistinguishable from your average libertarian H&R blogger (as it is on so many other fiscal issues).

      I know it’s been said that Republicans are only small gov’t when they’re not in power, and it’s true, but hey, at least it’s something…and it’s definitely different than the Democrats.

      They came this close, –>||

      1. …to stopping this bill and, with the help a few Senate Dems, did stop the public option from being included.

        1. you have a point…the only bipartisan aspect to this bill was the opposition to it.

      2. I know it’s been said that Republicans are only small gov’t when they’re not in power, and it’s true, but hey, at least it’s something…and it’s definitely different than the Democrats.

        Right, so what we need to do is make sure Republicans stay out of power. I’m all for that. Now if we can just create an alternate universe where both Democrats and Republicans stay out of power…

        1. we need to get rid of the democrat party and its statist regressive social liberals, and get the dialogue in this country to take place between conservative ideas and classical liberalism.

          trite, i know, but i’m tired.

          1. Here’s my view on the Republican party:

            Fool me once, shame on you; fool me twice, shame on me.

            As much as I hate to admit it, I went past the ‘shame on me’ position years ago. I’m not making the GOP mistake again. Ever.

            1. Let me sum it up this way.

              The Democrats look me in the face and say, “If you vote for me, I’ll expand government power beyond your wildest imagination!”

              The Republicans put their arm around me, act as if they’re my friend and say, “If you vote for me, I’ll restrain the growth of government.”

              In the end, the Democrats keep their promise, and Republicans make me feel raped… in the face.

              1. C’mon, Paul. The Democrats in office now are 10 times worse that Republicans. Look at the projected deficits! The ideal is the enemy of the good. We need to throw our support behind market-friendly Republicans. That’s the only way to get *close* to getting the country back!

                It’s like you’re bleeding to death in the ER and you’re not letting a doctor stitch you up because you got an infection last time.

                First things first. Defeat government expanding Democrats at all costs!

                1. “…look at the projected deficits…”
                  Yes – surplus after Clinton, deficit after Bush. Obama has done his fair share of spending but he is not the cause of the deficit problem. Mr. W can be thanked for that. Two wars, a tax break, and prescription drug act – all not properly budgeted for. I don’t think republicans really have the best track record here.

                  1. Deficits in budgets where Republicans controlled a majority of the three budget-making powers (at least two of Senate, House, and Presidency) average much lower than the deficits in budgets where Democrats controlled a majority of the three budget-making powers.

                    So, yeah, we couldn’t have managed a surplus without Clinton. After all, if he hadn’t successfully pissed off the voters so badly in ’93 and ’94, the Republicans wouldn’t have taken over Congress.

                  2. No, he’s not the cause of the problem, he (and more to the point, the Democratic congress) has just made it exponentially worse. Wake up.

                  3. Yes – surplus after Clinton, deficit after Bush. Obama has done his fair share of spending but he is not the cause of the deficit problem. Mr. W can be thanked for that. Two wars, a tax break, and prescription drug act – all not properly budgeted for. I don’t think republicans really have the best track record here.

                    By how much has Obama reduced the deficit?

                  4. Clinton gets no credit from me for the surplus. Divided government gets the credit for that.

              2. You don’t object to being raped, you just want to be told up front. Got it.

                1. Worse than that. The “rape” going on between the two parties is of a completely different magnetude.

                  The Republicans will get randy and grab your boob, but the Democrats will give you a Cleavland Steamer.

            2. So, you’re better off with Dems in power after November, cued up and ready to pass cap-‘n’ -tax, centralized control of the financial system, and whatever else they have in mind?

      3. I’ll make a deal with you. If you are willing to round up Mike Gerson and the other hacks who raised a shit fuss over Ron Paul winning the GoPac straw poll and extract their hearts for sacrifice to Beelzebub (don’t pretend you don’t know how to summon him, you are Republicans for fuck sakes), we’ll bury the hatchet and work together to achieve gridlock for the midterms. No promises after that, but this at least sounds like a matter of mutual interest.

      4. NAL — I’d give them credit for it, if I thought it took any guts. But this vote was an absolute no-brainer.

        You get the Republicans to consistently bring freedom-based bills to the floor, and I’ll consider supporting them. That would mean: bills outlawing proactive war, de-criminalizing victimless crimes, etc.; you get them to understand and support freedom in a real way, and I’ll start to give them credit.

        It won’t be easy though, since they’ve made a career out of conditioning their base to be afraid of such things. To the GOP leadership, freedom is just a useful word — luckily though, I do think it has a much more real meaning to their base than it does at the top. So it’s not impossible, but their base is going to have to get over that fear and take ownership of their own party.

        1. Agreed. Republicans are far from perfect, but right now they are the only thing that has a chance of blocking the US from becoming Greece II. I’ve given up on all other issues for now. Fiscal responsibility is the only one that matters to me now…

          Look at it this way…Republicans may be warmongers, but wars eventually end.
          Government handouts never end…in fact they just keep getting bigger.

          1. I understand what you’re saying, but that reasoning presupposes that the possibility of a fiscally responsible government exists in the first place. It doesn’t. We’re not on our way to Greece-like status because of Republicans or Democrats — we’re going to end up there regardless of who is at the wheel, and it’s going to be due to the people’s mistaken belief in the efficacy of coercive government in general. Even if one party were relatively less fiscally irresponsible than the other, the only real difference you’re looking at in the end is that you’ve extended the countdown to the government’s inevitable fiscal failure.

    3. In the end Obamacare and its offshoots are going to be the tools that finally allow the GOP to prohibit abortion outright. Sure it will still technically be “legal”, it eventually just won’t be “approved”.

  27. Wow, look what Nancy Pelosi is going to smash the American people with.

    1. No, no. That’s for the celebratory orgy in the cloak room later. Nancy’s going to be using that mallet-shaped dildo until the shaft snaps off from the torque.

      Who she uses it on first is up to the coin toss.

  28. It is FUCKING TIME to ditch libertarian purity and unite with Republicans and conservative Democrats to kick these cocklicking twat poodles out of office on Nov. 2. It is FUCKING TIME. So, any volunteers to fuck the criminal Nancy Pelosi in her wrinkled brown star?

    1. -1

      I predict (1) the House switches parties in 2010, and (2) this bill is NEVER repealed. Ever.

      1. NEVER ever EVER? Cool…if you’re wrong, I’ll come back on here and write that you were wrong. In big capital letters. I swear, I’ll do it.

        1. But when will “never” happen? If this bill isn’t repealed immediately, he’s right, it won’t get repealed. History has been abundantly clear on these things: once people order their lives around these types of sweeping legislative omnibus bills, you can never repeal them.

          I mean, think of all the jobs that will ultimately be lost if we repeal this bill even a few years in the future.

      2. Until a few years down the road when the less retarded states realize they have nothing to gain by being part of the US and having its socialist policies around their necks, and that the US is so flat ass broke it can’t actually stop them from leaving.

        1. Kansas wants to leave the Union? My God, what is wrong with those people?

          1. I do think Texas is the best hope for this happening. We actually can leave the union (I think) and our governor, while jackass he may be, has expressed support for the concept.

            1. Nope, Texas can’t leave the Union – that was decided by the War Between the States. It originally joined the Union in 1846 with the proviso that it could split itself into a number of smaller states, but that option was probably withdrawn with it’s re-entry (or whatever they called it)to the Union after the war.

              1. Nope. The provision allowing Texas to split into five states is still on the books.

                It’ll never happen of course, but there it is.

            2. Sadly, we can’t leave.

      3. Your attempt at disaffected cool wearies me.

    2. Explain to me again why it’s time to unite with Republicans? Would that be so I can get Iraq 2.0, a.k.a. Iran? Or more lovely DHS with a side order of Patriot Actish goodness? Why is it that Republicans always think I might see those things as less idiotic than today’s egregious display? Oh yeah, I remember; it’s because they have absolutely no clue what the word freedom means.

      So, straighten that out and then maybe we can talk.

      1. That was GOP 1.0… New and Improved GOP 3.6 (beta) won’t do these things.

        Old GOP said things like “We’re all for the free market but…” New GOP won’t do that.

        Old GOP used to say “911!” every time some liberal wanker bitched about wiretaps. New GOP won’t do that.

        Old GOP gave you the PATRIOT act. New GOP… well, let’s not get ahead of ourselves.

        1. Okay, GOP, you’ve sold me, and I totally trust that you’re not feeding me a line. Let me go get my wallet.

          You take Citicard?

          I think their old CEO works for you guys now, right? Or was that the other party? Yeah, I think with you it was that other, much balder, guy. Or something like that, anyway; I get confused the way you switch places all the time. I’m just glad you guys are tight; I mean, who will look out for the free market if you guys don’t do it?

        2. Lets hope New GOP gets it, this time. I’m not so sure, but if I didn’t think there was some hope, I’d be on the plane with Limbaugh, and I can’t stand *him.*

      2. Yes yes. Let’s wait til the GOP proves itself by… doing exactly what it just did?

        In the mean time, we’ll be fine with Pelosobama at the reigns quadrupling the deficit every now and then.

        1. Listen, there’s only one reason Republicans are not in power right now, and that reason is not libertarians. So, if you don’t like being ruled by Pelosi and Obama, fix your damn party. Why you would think libertarians have anything more in common with Republicans than they do with Democrats is beyond me.

          1. Listen, there’s only one reason Republicans are not in power right now, and that reason is not libertarians.

            Really, I would think that like anything else, there’s more than one reason.

            Why you would think libertarians have anything more in common with Republicans than they do with Democrats is beyond me.

            So then no libertarian should be particularly upset at this bill, then.

            1. Play semantics all you want; my meaning should be clear: Republicans can only blame the Republican party for the Republican party’s failure. They remain in denial about that at their own peril.

              And — don’t try to pigeonhole me with your false dichotomy; I’m perfectly capable of being opposed to both the Republican and Democrat forms of governmentalism.

        2. Because it really fucking matters what we think.

    3. Unite…..never you dumb ass. I oppose bOTH Republican and Democrates.

    4. It is FUCKING TIME. So, any volunteers to fuck the criminal Nancy Pelosi in her wrinkled brown star?

      Maybe with the handle of that gavel she’s holding.

    5. The most important civil liberty I expect from my government, is my right to be kept alive.

      – Mitt Romney
      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v…..re=channel

      Good luck with that, Jaimie.

  29. The really scary thing is that when things inevitably go badly, most people will think that the problem is that we aren’t spending enough. The GOP will do well in 2010, but they won’t repeal this bill. We are stuck with it, and it will only get worse.

    We are doomed.

    1. People are wildly opposed to the auto bailouts, TARP, and the stimulus. If they can figure those out, I think they’ll figure this out.

  30. I’m certifiably poor and not white. Thusly I’m exempt from healthcare mandate. If they still make me buy healtchare, I’ll scream racism.

    “Racist white Pelosi, half white BHO and a bunch of white politicians pass healthcare bill that will force minorities to buy healthcare. ‘If you like your current healthcare, you may keep them,’ President Obama reassured the anxious white crowd months before.”

    With the right play of the race card, libertarians could have created headlines such as these.

    1. reassured the anxious white crowd

      Still laughing. Thanks.

      1. Yeah, that line killed me, too.

    2. +1

      But why are you only JUST NOW coming up with this? It could have been really helpful a few months ago.

      1. Despair is the mother of wit.

  31. By the by…the number of Americans who are unable to afford health insurance and WANT health insurance is NOT 30 million. It’s 12-20 million.

    1. One is too many, and it would be our moral obligation to bankrupt our country for him just the same!

    2. …and of those, a huge chunk already qualify for either Medicaid, Medicare, SCHIP, or some state programs. They’re just either too lazy or too ignorant to sign up.

      1. Or they just don’t need it or *gasp* don’t want to take a handout. How is it progressives can’t understand that last bit?

        1. You want insurance companies to not be able to deny coverage or cut you off when you need it the most? There have to be more payers into the system. Take it or leave it. (you’ll like it after you get some crappy disease when you didn’t have coverage and forever flags you with ‘pre-existing condition’ forever banishing you from ever getting a reasonable rate)

          1. I’d rather have a reasonable rate for health care than a reasonable rate for insurance. Mostly what this bill subsidizes is the overpriced medical field…and the malpractice industry.

          2. (you’ll like it after you get some crappy disease when you didn’t have coverage and forever flags you with ‘pre-existing condition’ forever banishing you from ever getting a reasonable rate)

            That is no different, in principle, than a drunk driving conviction banishing people from ever getting a reasonable rate.

    3. But if they don’t buy health insurance, then who is to subsudize insurance rates for the people with pre-existing cancer?

  32. What an awful day.

    1. Word. Can I get a Valium drip in our brave new world? Will it help me accept this? No? At least I’d be amused, instad of just outraged and sad.

  33. 2030 Healthcare Budget Exceeds Projections by 20 Trillion Dollars: Inflation Continues Apace

    1. While housing prices continue to drop. And Tim is still writing about dead green shoots.

      1. While housing prices continue to drop.

        People will need housing to be more affordable just so they can pay for this.

        President Nixon’s solution to health care (price controls) will end up less costly than this.

    2. Governments response: We must keep health care prices high, so that we can raise more money in health care taxes to pay for health care.

  34. This healthcare thing is free haven’t you heard? It’s also universal, universal only if you don’t count the 24 million not covered.

    1. The AP headline was “Congress Passes Universal Healthcare Bill.” Thanks for getting the facts out, “watchdog” press. Disgusting.

      1. The press is no longer the watchdog that it was decades ago. We now have a fifth columnist press openly hostile to America.

  35. Good morning! Welcome to the United Socialist States of Amerika. Please, shift to the left. FTL.

  36. At what cost? Mostly a 3% tax on ultra-rich investors. Yes, I sure that if hedge fund managers have to pay, you know, a tax rate almost three quarters of what their secretaries pay that they will all quit their jobs and blow their fortunes John Galt style by repeatedly building and razing castles until their funds are depleted….

    errr….yeah, that will happen.

    1. No, you envious little fuckwad. Any higher taxes will simply be passed along to the end consumers. Hope you like seeing your rent and other expenses increase. Besides, capital is portable – it will be taken and invested in some other country’s economy where it will bring a better return, leaving our economy to stagnate. Cockroaches like you are such dumbshits.

      1. Do you really think that a 3% tax is going to raise 940 billion dollars? How rich do you think the ultra-rich are, anyway? A three-percent tax implies there is 28 trillion in “ultra-rich” money out there.

        Are you clinically retarded?

        1. That’s an insult to retards.

          1. I apologize on behalf of Rahm Emanuel for the insult.

          2. Hahaha, so true. Where I come from greed is good, it is envy that is recognized as the destroyer of civilizations.

    2. Their are other options besides going Galt for the billionaires unwilling to part with their money. For example, I’m Bill Gates could buy Haiti for the a fraction of the price he pays to the Federal Government over the course of 3 years. Gates can then delcare himself leader of Haiti, Establish the Bank of Haiti, enabling Haiti to be another tax haven for his rich compatriots.

      Going Galt is just an option when the rest of the world is so much shittier than U.S., but the U.S. is rapidly sliding into the toilet as well. Outside of a fictional universe, this is unlikely as long as there are third world nations with horrible governmental histories willing to take money for land.

  37. To borrow a quote from William Pitt:

    Roll up the Constitution; it will not be wanted for the next twenty years.

  38. I have noticed a lot of opponents of the bill getting melodramatic. I opposed the bill on fiscal and philisophical grounds. I am not pleased it passed.

    But folks, we are talkiing about a fiscal boondoggle, not the Enablig Act.

    Let’s all get some perspective.

    1. No, I think that most of the people who are using “hyperbole” are just about capturing how bad this really is.

      The government just took over almost 20% of the economy.

      Let me say that again, because you do not think it is that critical:

      the government just assumed control of 1/5 of every. single. American’s…well…life. And productivity.

      This really is that serious.

      1. No it’s not. Government didn’t take over anything. It enacted a few regulations that halt some of the most disgusting abuses of the health insurance industry.

        Did it ever occur to you that people might be more productive when they’re not going bankrupt from health issues?

        1. Really, Tony? What would you call forcing everyone in America to purchase a product? That would be corporatism, the first step in the “f” word.

          Also, forcing companies to accept any and all people, regardless of current state of health? Wow, awesome! What do you think would happen to banks if they had to operate that way?

      2. You say that as if it is starting from zero. Government regulation already just about completely controls the way health care is run in this country. This new bill sucks, but I think that there is some hyperbole going on here.

        1. Again, the mandate is a wholly unprecedented power-grab. If the government can do this, then it can do anything.

    2. Perspective? The state is about to take over responsibility for the life and death of every American citizen. This will forever alter the relationship between the federal government and the American people. There is your “perspective”. Chew on that for a while.

      1. “The state is about to take over responsibility for the life and death of every American citizen.”

        I wish the state luck with that. I think there is some truth to that. The problem for the Democrats is that the Republicans (who would thought it) actually grew some backbone and didn’t cast a single vote in favor of it. That means the Democrats now own healthcare and all its problems. They are now on the hook to be blamed for all the problems that are to come. It is not the state that is taking responsibility but a particular set of politicians in power right now. I think before this is done they are going to want to give it back.

        1. grew some backbone

          Either that or saw a political opportunity in November. Even if they sweep the House in November we’re talking about early 2011 by the time they introduce bills to repeal (or defund) this monstrosity. That’s almost a year from now, and the TPers and others who mobilized against this now won’t have the same energy then. We’ll already have moved on to the next crisis. And if you think the Republican party will stick its neck out then you’re delusional. I hope I’m wrong, but I don’t see it playing out another way.

          They are now on the hook to be blamed for all the problems that are to come.

          In a better world, yes. But I’m with the group who believes remaining problems — or even problems created because of this bill — will be blamed on insurance companies and the “free” market. Democrats and liberals will clamor for more government involvement, and they will get it.

          1. The Democrats will clamor for more government involvement, but I don’t think it will work this time. The problem is that in the past government expansion has always been “bi-partisan”. That always allowed its advocates to claim “we tried moderate things and they just were not big enough”. Well, this plan is not bi-partisan and doesn’t get that cover. Obama also has wildly over sold it. I don’t think this is going to play out the same way it has in the past.

            Also, the Democrats are talking a good game now, but they haven’t lost yet. Don’t buy for a minute they did this out of principle. They actually believe things will cool off before November and they will get away with it. And who knows maybe they will. But if they don’t and they get slaughtered in November, when the reality of losing all those jobs and influence sets in, they are going to be very angry. And they also are going to be desperate to placate the public. A hundred percent word for word repeal will not happen. But, a bi-partisan fix that guts this monstrosity can definitely happen. The question for Republicans will be do they take half a loaf and lose the issue or do they tell the Democrats all or nothing and make them filibuster and veto the repeal of a very unpopular bill.

            It all comes down to November. Either people in this country care about this or they don’t. And if they don’t, then we get what we deserve. But if they do, the Democrats are in a lot of trouble. I, being an optimist, think they do. But what do know? Not much.

            1. So you indicate that you care about this country by… voting Republican?

            2. Anyone who thinks that November is going to be nothing but a bloodbath for the Democrats is delusional.

              On that note, Michael Moore has a column out where early in the article he states that Bart Stupak’s district is pretty conservative and obviously would only elect a conservative democrat, and then concludes with a plan to run a more progressive candidate in the primary against him. To Moore’s credit, his delusions didn’t follow each other but were found at opposite ends of his article; I suppose that suggests his delusions are treatable.

          2. In a better world, yes. But I’m with the group who believes remaining problems — or even problems created because of this bill — will be blamed on insurance companies and the “free” market. Democrats and liberals will clamor for more government involvement, and they will get it.

            It will be blamed because of our fifth-columnist media.

    3. LoL. Get some perspective…

      There is now some growing portion of Americans who are quite literally serfs: vassals of Washington from their cradle to their grave. The government owns their education, their job, their house, their bank, their car, their pension, and their health.

  39. This country is on the road to serfdom.

  40. I thought I killed this thing.

    1. In Soviet America, thing kills you.

      1. Dude, I think I accidentally exceeded the quota for Smirnovisms in the thread (see upthread).

        1. By Jove, I believe you did.

  41. How many currently uninsured people making 50k or 60k a year are making the choice to just play the odds and go without insurance? How many are going to be pretty pissed when they find out they now have to spend about 10-12% (depending on the final reconciliation package) of their incomes on premiums? I’m just imagining that guy in the reason tv segment who was spending $400 a month on protein powder and complaining about not having health insurance.

    1. We will find out in November. I was flipping around the news channels this morning and the consensus among Democrats seemed to be that this vote puts the issue to bed and they can go home now not have to talk about it anymore and move onto other things. I think that is crazy. We are only going to talk about this thing between now and November. But that is what they think.

      1. Well that requirement won’t hit until 2013-2014, so we won’t know everything in November.

    2. I bet many of these people don’t follow politics, especially young people in their twenties. Talk about shock.

  42. I’m looking into my next local Tea Party gathering. It will be my first. Thanks Obamacare for making me all political and stuff.

  43. What do 21 March 2010 and 7 December 1941 have in common? The United States of America was attacked by an external enemy. War was declared on the USA. Patriots rallied then to defeat the enemy and we will do so again.
    The liberals’ next effort has already begun – allowing millions of illegal aliens to become citizens and give them YOUR hard earned tax money.
    Double your efforts – Protect your money from the Tax Beast; Remove ALL liberals from leadership positions; hold a Constitutional Convention; Take the gloves off. War is Hell. Make them feel it.

    1. However godawful this shit-storm of a bill is, the Democrats are the elected government of the United States, unfortunately. They’re not an external enemy – the enemy is the government.

    2. What external enemy? You are a fucking idiot. Like it or not, this is actually the government that people elected.

      1. Only some people – not all voted for the turds in power.

  44. In fairness once again, I lived in Massachusetts before RomneyCare and my individual policy increased by double-digits every year, too. At times, the increase was dramatic.

    Massachusetts is just a real screwed-up state.

    Having said that, I expect my individual policy in California to increase big-time (and I just had a large increase when the House bill passed the first time.)

    That’s if the policy is still offered. I doubt it meets Obama’s standards. And who knows if my insurance company will even bother offering it anymore?

    But I will never, never sign up for Medicaid, or whatever they’re gonna call it.

    1. Your choice of states to live in is questionable at best.

      1. Speaking just for myself, I was born here. At that time, California, taken as a whole, was fairly conservative and even libertarian in its politics. From the late 1960s through the 1980s, though, our politics took a big left-turn and today, we are reaping what was sown in that “progressive revolution.” It was a takeover that happened in my lifetime. I “picked” a great State to be born in, thank you, and I’m damned if I am going to run from the invading socialists.

  45. I have thought for a while that our only hope for a healthy and prosperous future USA, is for the states to organize, and tell the feds that enough is enough. We’re taking back our freedom. There are a lot of places that this idea is stirring. There have been bills about gun rights passed, allowing those states to regulate in state gun laws. There are states that resisted the Federal ID standards. There are states working on passing bills to not allow enforcement against citizens who don’t step to the line on this healthcare mandate. We don’t have to leave the Union to take our freedoms back, but we do have to be loud and active. I hope that this weekend is enough to push states to much more action. After all, this bill will bankrupt many states.

  46. At what cost? Fire all incumbents at the earliest electoral opportunity. The Congress showed their “strength” in dismissing the wishes of a huge segment of America. It is now up to voters to show at least that same strength in dismissing the so-called public “servants” who have inflicted us with this bill and so many other unwanted programs (bailouts, etc.).

    Leave no incumbent standing in November, and for as many Novembers as it takes to sweep out all the varmints. Elect not their opponents in the opposing “major” party, but third-party candidates and independents. This won’t guarantee that we’ll get a good slate of politicians into office, of course. But it will guarantee that the new members get the message “You can be replaced. The people are boss. You serve at our pleasure. We are not pleased.”

  47. Initial feedback is split right down the middle & some say our country is now more polarized than ever. Comments I found surfing social media site Twitter http://bit.ly/bms1Sn

  48. Leave no incumbent standing in November, and for as many Novembers as it takes to sweep out all the varmints. Elect not their opponents in the opposing “major” party, but third-party candidates and independents. This won’t guarantee that we’ll get a good slate of politicians into office, of course. But it will guarantee that the new members get the message “You can be replaced. The people are boss. You serve at our pleasure. We are not pleased.”

    Pehari

  49. Leave no incumbent standing in November, and for as many Novembers as it takes to sweep out all the varmints. Elect not their opponents in the opposing “major” party, but third-party candidates and independents. This won’t guarantee that we’ll get a good slate of politicians into office, of course. But it will guarantee that the new members get the message “You can be replaced. The people are boss. You serve at our pleasure. We are not pleased.”

    Pehari

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  51. I thought America was about helpng those that cannot help themselves. We need to stop looking at ourselves and look out for someone else. Life could be so much better for all of us. Am I my brother’s keeper? You damn right you are or you should be.
    It has always been “dog eat dog” but it has gotten ridiculous. These supposely grown men and women acting like a class of first graders. I know those Republicans were ot ashamed of themselves, but I was ashamed for them.
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  54. As this article points out, this bill is unlikely to accomplish the goals the Democrats were shooting for. But they know that. They’ll just later claim that it isn’t enough and pass more legislation that grants more funds to it and increases our taxes more.

    That is unless it is repealed by those who replace these crooks in November. That will be the #1 issue I will be voting for, and I’m not alone. I hope political suicide is worth it.

  55. As this article points out, this bill is unlikely to accomplish the goals the Democrats were shooting for. But they know that. They’ll just later claim that it isn’t enough and pass more legislation that grants more funds to it and increases our taxes more.

    That is unless it is repealed by those who replace these crooks in November. That will be the #1 issue I will be voting for, and I’m not alone. I hope political suicide is worth it.

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  65. The legislatures have no power to propose specific amendments, that solely lies with Congress.Get thee to a forum where you know the history thereof.

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