Budget

Growing Pains

ObamaCare won't stop rising health care costs.

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Just days after President Obama first took office, Peter Orszag, in his new role as director of the Office of Management and Budget (OMB), held a fiscal summit in which he urged Washington policymakers to commit themselves to an agenda of fiscal responsibility. And for Orszag, the path to fiscal responsibility was through the nation's rapidly growing entitlement programs—in particular, Medicare and Medicaid. Following up on an argument he'd made frequently as the director of the Congressional Budget Office (CBO), the nation's top budgeteer declared that "the single most important thing we can do to improve the long-term fiscal health of our nation is slow the growth rate in health care costs." Reversing course on those projected costs, he said, "is the key to our fiscal future."

If that's so, then the door remains locked. On Wednesday, in his final public appearance as OMB director, Orszag appeared at the Brookings Institute, a center-left think tank in Washington, D.C., to tout the administration's fiscal successes. Tops on the list was the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, the health care reform bill that he played a key role in designing. "The legislation," Orszag bragged, "includes the most promising set of changes ever enacted into law to reduce the rate of health care cost growth over the long term."

But there is now growing agreement that even under the rosiest assumptions, health care costs will continue to expand beyond the bounds of the budget, and that despite—or perhaps because of—the new health care law, the long-term fiscal problem remains. Even Orszag was forced to concede that, at the end of his tenure, "we remain on an unsustainable fiscal course."

Here's the problem: Health care costs—and thus Medicare costs—are growing faster than GDP. Between 1998 and 2008, the rate of the program's growth outpaced GDP by about 2.8 percent. That may not seem like much, but as long as that trend continues, it means that, every year, all else being equal, Medicare eats up a larger share of the budget. In the short term, that's worrying. In the long term, it's a huge problem. Somehow, all that excess growth will either have to be contained or paid for.

That leaves policymakers with three basic options: Raise taxes, borrow more, or cut costs. But as Joseph Newhouse pointed out last week in Health Affairs, each presents significant difficulties. Given the dire reports of growing federal debt—the CBO expects the country's debt-to-GDP ratio to hit 90 percent within a decade—borrowing isn't much of an option. Tax hikes, meanwhile, are political poison, especially given the president's promise not to raise taxes on families making less than $250,000 a year. And even if more of the public was open to tax hikes, hikes wouldn't actually solve the problem, because offsetting the ever-growing costs of Medicare would require ever-growing taxes to match.

In other words, the government can't tax its way out of the fiscal hole it dug. So cutting health care cost growth is the only option.

Except that ObamaCare just doesn't contain costs. Not according to the Congressional Budget Office. Not according to Medicare's chief actuary. Not according to the International Monetary Fund.

In a report released just a month after the passage of ObamaCare, Richard Foster, the chief actuary for Medicare, estimated that the law will result in a $311 billion increase in overall health spending over the next decade in comparison with what would have occurred had the law not passed. The International Monetary Fund, looking at the global fiscal situation, also expressed skepticism that the law's Medicare cost control measures would work, warning that "the substantial decrease in Medicare payment rates [called for by the Affordable Care Act] to health care providers may prove difficult to implement."

Meanwhile, in a presentation on health care costs at the Institute of Medicine, Congressional Budget Office director Doug Elmendorf stated flatly that the health reform bill "does not substantially diminish" the pressure of rising health costs. And in its most recent report on the country's long-term budget outlook, the CBO adjusted its "alternative fiscal scenario"—which is based on assumptions about how policies will actually play out rather than what is explicitly called for in current law—to include the assumption that several of the policies designed to restrain Medicare's growth will fail to work after 2020.

Is any of this a surprise? Hardly. On the contrary, it was the plan from the very beginning. As The New York Times reported in March of 2009, at the start of the Obama presidency, many liberal reform advocates believed that expanding insurance coverage would be possible "only by deferring the big decisions on cost containment."

Turns out the strategy was a success. ObamaCare passed. As for the big decisions, we're still waiting.

Peter Suderman is an associate editor at Reason magazine.

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  1. Free Health care! Just like Cuba and North Korea!

    1. Caption contest!

      “You just put your hands on top of her head like this and push down. She’ll give in.”

    1. John, all you need to know about it is that you can’t sue it.

    2. Way to bring it back to Weigel.

  2. He was half right – we can’t get the fiscal monkey off our back without addressing entitlements.

    Of course, the idea that we could reduce the fiscal burden of entitlements by expanding them is completely nuts.

    1. You can’t get elected if you say you will address entitlements. At least not in the last 20 years.

      1. “”You can’t get elected if you say you will address entitlements. At least not in the last 20 years.””

        I can understand why. If we are pay out the ass for taxes, we don’t want the guy who will prevent us from getting a return on our tax dollars.

        The more you tax, the more the taxpayer wants in return.

  3. At this moment, the President is making a speech to a Detroit factory full of Chrysler welfare queens. They seem to adore him. And why not? He stole money from the rest of us to prop up their failed labor union, a union that votes overwhelmingly Democrat. Shame? Obama has none.

    1. Shame? Obama has none.

      Sure he does. You just need to look harder.

      1. I’m ashamed I was born in this country. I only WISH the birthers were right.

    2. Political parties are nothing more and nothing less than viruses with a completely parasitical relationship to the body politic. Everything they do is for the advancement of the parasite, with no concern whatsoever for the host.

  4. The cost of every good and service which is enabled by technology (and which has avoided government involvement) has decreased over time, as the quality has increased. Exactly the same thing will happen with health care goods and services, if we get government out of the way.

    I don’t want to “spend less” on health care. I want to consume more, of higher quality, at lower cost.

    Finally, I don’t want to pay for anyone else’s health care.

    I get all of this in the realm of computers and TVs and gadgets. Why can’t I get it in health care?

    1. Agree completely. I was reading an article that provided the actual listing of maternaty service costs. First, that the prices were listed provides valuable information to consumers and is kinda of amazing to modern sensibilities that prices of medical services were once provided.
      Second, like most commerce, when buyer and seller interact without an intermediary, prices remain transparent AND reasonable. You want the satin bassinet? Sure…Oh, 100$ The baby won’t know its in used cotton.

    2. I ask my liberal friends that same question and can’t get a straight answer. They usually fall back on “health care is too important to be left to the private sector”.

      1. Yeah, so is education.

        1. Also voting. I mean, hell, if people can’t manage their own damn health care competently, how can we expect them to sensibly choose tomorrow’s leaders?

          What we need is just one wise Leader, who would guide us. With his gentle, strong, lubricated fingers.

          1. I can haz unmitigated absolute power?

          2. We need a voting Czar

    3. Becuase THERE SHOULD BE NO PROFIT IN HEALTHCARE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

      1. Only rents!

      2. And why not? What makes you think you have the right to use someone else’s brain and body? Why do liberal douchebag’s like you think that modern slavery is okay?

    4. “””I get all of this in the realm of computers and TVs and gadgets. Why can’t I get it in health care?””

      As soon as everyone buys an MRI machine, the price will come down. 😉

      Technology does make medical care more costly. But for the most part, that’s a good thing. Not the cost, but the benefit of the new technology. Providers are looking at the cost of full Electronic Health Record implementation, and it does raise their expense.

      1. Technology government intervention does make medical care more costly

        FIFY

    5. We can drastically lower health care costs if every consumer would start asking just one question. “How much do you charge for that?”

      1. “”We can drastically lower health care costs if every consumer would start asking just one question. “How much do you charge for that?”””

        That question really only matter if you are paying the bill, not your insurance company. Otherwise you expect your insurance to cover it if the contract requires them to, regardless of price. The reason you buy health insurance is to protect your assests from the outragous cost of health care.

        1. I disagree. Many patients just don’t care how much anything costs, because their insurance will cover it. They demand more services from their physician, who is faced with having to spend time arguing with them or just giving in and ordering the test. Add that to the hidden costs of lawsuit prevention and compliance with government regulations.

          Health care didn’t used to cost nearly as much as it does now, but it’s a function of way more than just technology. There is no cost containing force. The bottom line is it’s easy to spend someone else’s money, whether it’s your parents’, the insurance company’s, or the government’s.

          1. Why are you blaming out-of-control consumerism on government? The paternalism argument only goes so far. Teaching that gluttony and greed are vices rather than true-blue American virtues would contain costs.

      2. I agree that it does only work if you are paying the bill. And I agree, health insurance is meant to protect your assets from outrageous health care costs.

        The problem is, we’ve gotten to a point where ALL health care, even a checkup or routine test, has an outrageous cost. I blame that for our over dependence on insurance, which the new health care plan just chiseled into stone.

        1. The problem is, we’ve gotten to a point where ALL health care, even a checkup or routine test, has an outrageous cost.

          Not true according to my direct experience: this year I went over to an HSA (Health Savings Account) through my employer, I no longer have a copay for doctor visits or tests, and instead I have to pay the “negotiated rate.” I’ve found that the negotiated rate is quite affordable. A test listed at $180 winds up being something like $18, and I can use the money deposited by my employer into the HSA to pay for that.

          So, we were making progress without single payer or other involuntary socialization schemes.

          Thanks a lot, Democrats and Obama, for making it so plans like this will no longer be able to exist as you steer the nation into Single Payer.

          1. For the most part, the other kevin is correct.

            Who negotiated the aforementioned rate?

            1. The “negotiated rate” is what the provider actually wants to be paid. The game-playing comes in the “nominal” fee they charge, which they’re almost never paid. They set it higher than the real fee so that insurers can, when they pay the lower “discounted” “negotiated fee,” can write smug letters to their less intelligent subscribers saying see how much money we waved you? Our salaries are so worth it!

              Works, too. Look at how many idiots think I could NEVER negotiate a reasonable fee with a doctor. What’s his incentive not to charge everyone a billion dollars per visit? Supply and demand? What’s that, some kind of God-damned Tea Party slogan? Give me the peace and security of knowing some Big Brother is looking out for me.

    6. Exactly the same thing will happen with health care goods and services, if we get government out of the way.

      Except that with health care, new procedures are constantly being developed.

      Health care would be cheap if one strictly used medical procedures available circa 1910.

      1. “”Health care would be cheap if one strictly used medical procedures available circa 1910.””

        Agreed. If you want cheap health care, find the doctor with a bucket of leeches.

      2. Haven’t seen the new iPhone or iPay, huh? They are meant to replace some of those devices from 1910.

    7. But our margins and stock prices will decrease if you get government out of health care!

    8. Why can’t I get it in health care?

      Well, don’t overlook Baumol’s Cost Disease. Practically nobody is willing to let the doc diagnose him using a Perl script, so the physician can see 50,000 patients a day this year versus 50 a day last year, and keep a medical Moore’s Law going.

  5. Pelosi, Reid, Frank – An Axis of Evil.

    1. Finally, he wrapped it up: “And then you should ask Mr. Limbaugh ? I don’t know what kind of car he drives, but I bet it’s not an F-150.”

      The F-150 truck, we should note, is made by Ford, which didn’t get federal rescue funds.

      Heh. What a helmet.

      1. A million jobs??? I love it when they make up big round numbers.
        If GM went broke, more cars would be sold by competitors and suppliers would be selling more of their stuff to them. No net jobs would be lost.
        It?s really about the communities to which Gibbs refers to, ie buying votes for the Dem party.

    2. If they’d let GM and Chrysler fail it would have saved or created two million jobs.

      1. That comment just created or saved two million jobs.

        1. If Congress had passed a law mandating that Scarlett Johannsen suck my cock twice a day it would’ve saved or created a billion jobs.

          But of course, they didn’t, because the Republicans cast an evil spell over the Sun and the Democratic super-duper majority wasn’t able to find its ass with both hands in the sudden dark. That’s why unemployment is still at 9%, you dumfuks. Why don’t you listen?

          1. Scarlett Johannson creates or saves an erection in my pants.

    3. Wow, not only does the link work, but there’s alt-text on the link.

      WTF is SF’s link posting nemesis.

  6. the law will result in a $311 billion increase in overall health spending over the next decade in comparison with what would have occurred had the law not passed.

    A day of reckoning for the pack of them. They’ll stand before the Death Panel soon enough.

  7. You should be thanking the unions you…sun! They gave us the weekend off, apparently.

    1. That was supposed to be a reply to sun, without the stupid joke name.

      1. You moron. Has the fog burned off by you yet?

        1. Mostly. The sun is punching through in some spots. It better not rain. Save that crap for the week, you rain gods.

          1. But it hurts to hold it for that long

  8. There is now growing agreement that even under the rosiest assumptions, health care costs will continue to expand beyond the bounds of the budget, and that despite?or perhaps because of?the new health care law, the long-term fiscal problem remains.

    Since there’s not a goddam thing in the massive example of toxic sausage making that lowers the cost of actually delivering medical services, only an idiot would be surprised.

  9. There are two problems with reforming health care – a great deal of money is spent in the last year of life – but you don’t know who not to spend money on (i.e., who do you let die)
    and
    different people have different values – a great many of those (or their relatives) you determine to let die will not accept your diagnosis (i.e., guess about whether treatment will extend your life). funny how that works.

    http://www.newyorker.com/repor…..ct_gawande

    1. Goodbye rule of Law, hello rule of Man.

      1. I heard that! Now, they’ve even found a way to f up Arlington National Cemetary. They don’t even know whose grave they’ve been pissing on for 70 years.

    2. Let’s make a deal: you won’t spend money on my health care, and I won’t spend money on your health care, and I’ll decide what kind and amount of health care to spend my money on, and you can do the same. I know it’s really hard to grasp.

      1. Obviously, Draco, this makes you a selfish, heartless, evil bastard on par with Lex Luthor. Plus, you are probably a racist.

        In all seriousness, you’ve hit the nail on the head. Some people argue that at the least, the elderly should be taken care of and I can sympathize with that argument to some extent but if you have lived to 80, had a family, and are considered such an asshole that you don’t deserve to be taken care of by friends and/or spawn, then no amount of healthcare is going to solve that problem. In fact, curmudgeony old bastards who didn’t plan for shit in any way might be the first to be shipped off to the soylent green factories in 2043 by our “benevolent” technocracy.

        1. The thing is, if we cack gramps and grammy then you get the half of their estate that we don’t tax. Win-win.

        2. A lot of our problem is not having any idea what the patient might have wanted. Half the time there is no designated decision maker so we end up doing all kinds of things to save someone who is completely demented, contracted up, and has huge bed sores on their butt, in order that we might send that person back to the nursing home.

          If you don’t have a living will, get one now. I’d wager that many of the people bitching and moaning on here about those docs doing for them what they want don’t have that basic step in place.

    3. “but you don’t know who not to spend money on (i.e., who do you let die)”

      That’s easy, you spend it on those who are likely to vote for you.

    4. “What do we want Sara and her doctors to do now?”

      It’s depressing that it is a given that question is up to all of us.

      I am pro-choice, but it is funny that the prog crowd thinks that if a woman wants an abortion, it is nobody’s business but her and her doctor. If a (34 year old!) woman wants to squeeze a few more months out of life, it’s essentially not up to her.

      1. FUCK YOU

        1. Don’t worry, even though we seem to disagree on the legality of abortion, you can still use the rest of my point (which maybe you didn’t even read?) as a talking point for pro-lifers.

          1. The rest of your point was great, but how is anyone’s right to live greater than mine?

            1. The answer is in your name oh slimy one.

              1. My position in the birth canal does not affect my right to continue living. Think about this – if the right to live isn’t safe, what rights are?

                1. Nor does your position in the birth canal seem to affect your WIFI.

            2. “The rest of your point was great.”

              Thanks!

              I doubt we’ll ever see eye to eye on abortion, but there are people who are likely to die due to shortages, longer wait times and/or being outright denied expensive care. That to me is indeed a greater tragedy than a three week old fetus coming to an end. Doesn’t necessarily make the latter right, but I don’t see them as the same.

              1. The last time I checked abortion was an elective procedure and not at all funded by government insurance nor most private plans. End of life care is exactly the opposite. Not a valid comparison in my view.

    5. There are two problems with reforming health care – a great deal of money is spent in the last year of life – but you don’t know who not to spend money on (i.e., who do you let die)
      and
      different people have different values – a great many of those (or their relatives) you determine to let die will not accept your diagnosis (i.e., guess about whether treatment will extend your life). funny how that works.

      If people want to spend tens of thousands of dollars to stay alive for a few months, why not let them?

      1. It’ll deprive the state of estate or inheritance tax revenue.

      2. We don’t mind. We just want it to come through our hands first.

  10. Good article, but the problem with this article and others like it are that they don’t offer any solutions to the problems. Even ideas of solutions.

    1. Well…Reason did scream about selling insurance across state lines, reducing barriers to entering the medical field, reducing taxes on health care related expenses and the like as solutions. But I see what you mean John. You meant possible solutions on par with passing an unpopular, unafforable, implossible to implement “plan” that will magically reduce costs by increasing provider expenditures. Obviously anything on par with deregulation will never come close to the machinations of our infallible leaders.

    2. My view is that there are no solutions. You die.
      You can spend a few hundred dollars, and you die, or you can spend hundreds of thousands, and you die.
      Government trying to adjudicate, or ration, or apportion, or economize, doesn’t change the fact that it can’t rationally decide who to ‘invest’ in at the end. Some people will opt for the least pain, and the cheapest way out, some will endure incredible pain because life means everything to them.
      I was in a veterans cancer ward when I was 25, and I always found it parculiar that very religious people wanted every possible intervention – I mean, they were going to a better place when they died, why did they want to hang around here so much?
      But again, when government intervenes, it can never get the intervention right because it can never get everyone’s preferences right – people often don’t fit the preconceived notions of what they want.
      I want to be kept alive like in futurama, damn the cost. Some may not want only their head kept alive in a glass jar, but as long as you give me a straw, a pretty girl, and the opportunity for oral sex, I’ll be happy.

      1. I was in a veterans cancer ward when I was 25, and I always found it parculiar that very religious people wanted every possible intervention – I mean, they were going to a better place when they died, why did they want to hang around here so much?

        Many of them probably had families.

    3. “”Good article, but the problem with this article and others like it are that they don’t offer any solutions to the problems. Even ideas of solutions.””

      There is no good solution. Either we pay up, or support you die because you don’t have money. Is there a fine balance between the two?

      I think health care is a tough issue to solve. Part of the issue is our belief in a right to life. If we view life as a responsiblity to surive, the above second option isn’t as distasteful.

      Tough issue to solve.

      1. Why is it a hard issue to solve? What actually needs solving? Are you sure you haven’t just been propagandized into thinking Eurasia is an enemy that needs defeating?

        (1) Let’s think it out. Is there some dire need to pay for the medical care of poor people? Why, no there isn’t. If you look carefully, you’ll note poor people aren’t dying on the sidewalks of easily treatable diseases. By and large, they get decent care. Perhaps, in cases, a shade less prompt and comfortable and even good care as the very rich — but, you know, that’s what being rich and poor is all about. The poor eat crappier food and drive junky cars, too. What else is new? However we’re managing to cover the cost of medical care for the poor, it’s working, at least well enough.

        (2) Are we, as a nation, finding that the average lifetime cost of healthcare is beginning to exceed the average person’s lifetime ability to pay? Are millions of lower middle-class wage slaves looking at the new monthly tab for their health insurance and going well, it’s either pay the insurance so my kidney transplant will let me live past next year, or freeze to death this winter because I can’t pay the heating bill. Damn!

        Why no, they’re not. The fact is, we are each paying for our own healthcare, on average, over our lifetimes. We do tend to plug in a metric buttload of money when we’re young, only to get most of it back when old, but what else is new? Buying a house works similarly.

        So what are the actual problems? There are two: first, we are simply using a larger and larger share of our incomes to pay for our health care, and this just grates on people. Computers and cars get cheaper every year — why should seeing the doctor get more expensive, just because he can give us some more months or save us more pain when we get cancer? Sheesh.

        But this is really a non-problem, just a matter of jaded perspective. We spend a much higher fraction of our incomes on Internet access and cell phones and cable TV and whatnot than our parents did in the 50s, 60s, 70s — but no one is moaning about the exploding share of our budget that goes to electronic gadgetry. We spend much less on food, more on shelter, more on taxes, way more on education, way less on machines and travel. This is just history in action; the prices of things do not stay constant with respect to each other as time and technology marches on. The fact that health care takes up a bigger chunk of the budget and buggy whip repair much less shouldn’t be in itself a surprise, or concern.

        (2) The other problem is the total unsustainability of Medicare and Medicaid, under the present tax scheme. But all this proves is that there’s a fantasy gap between how much people thought M and M were goign to cost, and what they do. This is an accounting problem, and to fix it you need to either push the costs back to the subscribers, or get everyone to agree to pony up lots more taxes to cover the tab, depending on whether you like individual liberty or The Good Of The Many more. Either one is pretty much fine, and either one does, in fact, mean that future generations are going to be spending a significantly bigger chunk of their income on healthcare, either through much higher M/M premiums, or higher taxes, or both.

        It’s a bit of a scam that the present generation on M and M, or a retiree health plan, is kind of getting away with murder — getting today’s healthcare at yesterday’s prices, while passing the unpaid balance onto tomorrow. The moral of that story is that it’s nice to be born into a population bulge that can dominate electoral politics — be all antiwar and pro-drug, pro-sexual liberty when you’re in your 20s, turn anti-tax, pro-capital gains, pro-home-ownership and anti-drug when you’re a middle-aged working parent, and then get deeply concerned with socializing the costs of health care just as you enter the twilight years of increasingly expensive healthcare. Sweet!

  11. “But there is now growing agreement that even under the rosiest assumptions, health care costs will continue to expand beyond the bounds of the budget, and that despite?or perhaps because of?the new health care law, the long-term fiscal problem remains.”
    As Taleb has commented, sometimes planes arrive 2 hours late, and sometimes 2 weeks late (i.e., iceland volcanos).
    Has there EVER been a gubermint program that delivered more than promised, under budget???

    1. Yes, the SCOTUS building was completed several weeks ahead of scedule and $94,000.00 under budget. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/U…..t_Building

      1. Or sometimes “schedule”.

  12. So I had a car wreck, you know? And but, you know, I like, didn’t have any insurance and stuff, but my car was like, all messed up and stuff, you know? So I called a car insurance company and said, like, “hey, I’d like to get some insurance to fix up my car. It’s all smashed up.”

    And the dude was like, “no way, bro – we won’t pay for damages that you already have when you buy the insurance.”

    And I’m all like, “what?”

    And he’s all like, “no, really, seriously, dude – you can’t smash up your car and then try to get us to pay for it – you have to buy insurance first, in case you smash it up, and then, like, if you do, then we’d, like, pay for it.”

    And I’m like, “dude, that’s fucked up, you know? I mean, isn’t there a law or something that says you have to pay to fix my car?”

    And he’s all like laughing and stuff and saying, “no way, bro.”

    And so now I’m like, getting pissed and stuff, and I’m like, “well, dude, there should be, man!”

    So I hung up on his ass.

    1. And another Obama voter was born.

      1. If, by voter, you meant Congressman

  13. Attention, if you beleived Obama could keep the cost down, I have a special spray that will keep aliens away. It’s endorsed by Fox Mulder.

    1. I’ve come to think that he actually will be able to keep costs down. By costs, I mean total expenditure for health care.

      Denying one person chemo and cancer drugs can buy an awful lot of vaccinations, penicillin and basic doctors visits for everyone, especially at a “negotiated” discount rate.

      Of course, when people hear about cutting costs, they assume it means getting the same treatment they have been getting (or better) at a lower rate.

      Prove me wrong, Obama, prove me wrong!

      1. That’s the theory, but it never works out that way in the long run. Because at the end of the day, you don’t want to deny someone chemo and other cancer drugs, so it becomes a fiscal boondoggle.

        1. Hope you’re right, but it happens all the time in England and Canada. I have no reason to think it won’t here.

  14. Here is one example of govt health care waste: those adds you see about mobility scooters/electric wheelchairs. “Apply for one and if the govt subsidy is denied we will give it you for free”. So the company knows how to scam the govt for them, and people who don?t need them – and might benefit from some exercise – figure hell, why not, I?m not paying for it. It?s not the underlying reason for rising health costs, but blatant evidence of waste.

    The main reason is an ageing population combined with the premise that you dont have to save for old age because younger generations will foot the bill.

    1. I didn’t pay a penny for my chair!

  15. “”The main reason is an ageing population combined with the premise that you dont have to save for old age because younger generations will foot the bill.””

    Also, we don’t habiate as families the way we once did. Families are more spread out and not as tight. By sending grandma to the nursing home, we pass the effort and time to someone else, so we can keep our own time.

  16. “So the company knows how to scam the govt for them, and people who don?t need them – and might benefit from some exercise – figure hell, why not, I?m not paying for it.”
    Plus, I have a damn good time on my scooter…scooter races, picking up babes, going to the A&W…etcetera 😉

  17. ChonyNG are conspicuously absent from this thread.

    I read all of these threads waiting to hear about how my failure to support the health care bill means that I want senior citizens and minorities to die.

    1. Well, if you’re aware of it already why point it out again? I’m glad you’re proud that you equate human life with cars and stereos.

      I’m sure,too, that you are proud that you believe that a child molesting socialite who inherited millions can live a healthy and pain-free life but a hard-working, honest but poor person should resign himself to a short and miserable life.

      And don’t whine about “the politics of envy”. If it were nothing more than that some socialist revolution would have long since happened.

      1. It IS the politics of envy. Wealth envy. And nothing positive EVER comes out of wealth envy, unless one counts the euphoric feeling one gets from hating others simply because they have more money or stuff than they do.

        1. So your solution to that is….what? To make the poor happy that they’re going to live short and miserable lives – that, according to your philosophy they all but deserve to? How do you do that?

          Remember this is a discussion about life and death – not consumer goods. Most people are okay with not having useless consumer junk. It’s about being on the receiving end of social darwinism.

          1. My troll bait worked! The schadenfreude is strong in this one.

            Remember this is a discussion about life and death

            Which is exactly why it should NOT be in the hands of bureaucrats that are motivated purely by the desire to justify their existence.

            1. Whereas leaving those decisions in the hands of mid-level executives justifying their existence to the shareholders is just peachy?

            2. Don’t feed the trolls Chris. And keep your hands in the car.

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