On Health Care, It's Republican Stupidity vs. Democratic Deception


…is a fucking hipster?

In today's Politico, Democratic Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz and possible fucking hipster Rosa DeLauro go after Republicans like Jon Kyl who are now championing and taking credit for the new health care law's preventive care provisions, despite having knocked some of those those same provisions, as well as having voted against the law's passage entirely. That's not just dirty politics, they say, it's also fiscally shortsighted. "Preventive care is fiscally responsible," they write, and it "goes a long way toward reducing surging health care costs for American families." Overall, they're half right.

As is so often the case in America's health care squabbles, the Republican side is clueless and classless—while the Democratic side is deeply misleading.

When Wasserman Schultz and DeLauro argue that preventive care is fiscally responsible, they're ignoring the fact that the best evidence we have indicates that, despite many politcians' frequent claims to the contrary, preventive care programs aren't likely to lower costs in most cases. In fact, according to the CBO, such programs are likely to raise costs overall.  

But as the GOP's ongoing bout of Medicare-mania has made exceedingly clear, when it comes to health care, much of the party has decided that shameless pandering is the way to go. (Granted, this seems to be working, at least in the short term: Seniors, who already benefit from Medicare, are the group most deeply opposed to the new health care bill.) Kyl touting the health care bill's preventive care provisions at this point is a lame, calculated political move from a party still struggling to figure what, exactly, it stands for on health care besides repealing the other party's law—or if it wants to stand for anything at all.

More on preventive care from David Harsanyi and Nick Gillespie.

NEXT: Life for Half an Ounce of Medical Marijuana?

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  1. We are Doomed!! Seriously, what do you say to this? You will never solve a problem if no one can talk about it truthfully or intelligently.

    And I thought hipsters were supposed to be young and semi attractive? Can an aging lesbian really be a hipster?

    1. Camille Paglia.

      1. Is she really a hipster? I think of her more as an entertaining nut. I am not sure Paglia is boring enough to be a hipster.

        1. She’s the real thing.

          1. But doesn’t being a real anything preclude you from being a hipster? Isn’t being a hipster by definition mean you are fake something?

            1. I think it’s more rational to conclude that hipster twinks dress like Paglia, not the other way around.

    2. DOOM

      Sorry, Warren. But you’ve been right.

      1. I’m going to sing the doom song!

        Doom doom doom doom doom,
        Doom doom doom doom doom,

      2. Amy: We’re doomed.
        Hermes: Doooooomed!
        Bender: [Breathes in.] Doooooooooooooooooooo…

  2. Preventive care is fiscally responsible,” they write, and it “goes a long way toward reducing surging health care costs for American families.” They’re half right.

    Which half is right? As far as I can tell, its all wrong. I thought “preventive care programs aren’t likely to lower costs in most cases. In fact, according to the CBO, such programs are likely to raise costs overall.”

  3. I’m giving them credit for their knock against Kyl, which I think is fair.

  4. Currently Medicare doesn’t pay for most preventive visits. Making them pay would increase the money Medicare pays out greatly.

    A problem with prevention is that everything becomes a doctors visit, just in case it’s something else. Sometimes that’s true but more often it’s not.

    Some people promote having every little thing checked out regardless of the absence of other symptoms. Stub your toe, go see the doc, it might be broke, but forget the fact that it’s not sore to the touch, swellling, or changing colors. It still needs a doctors visit just in case.

    1. I hate going to the doctor more than almost anything else in the world. I use about $100 a year in medical care, and that includes aspirin, antacids and band-aids. I’m sure I’ll croak quickly after reluctantly going in for some lingering problem, only to find it’s something terminal. I’m cool with that, BTW. I don’t want to live forever.

      1. “”BTW. I don’t want to live forever.”‘

        You can’t. But the government has an interest in making sure you can work and pay taxes into your late 60s.

        1. With four kids smart enough for college, I’m pretty sure I’ll be working to the day I kick the bucket. If I ever see a dime of Social Security, I’m sending the cash to my kids as restitution for what’s been stolen from them.

        2. No it doesn’t. To say otherwise is to say we are the government’s slaves.

          1. Sure it does. It needs the money to spend the money, and they keep wanting raising the age at which you can get some of that money back.

            Beside slaves didn’t get paychecks, must less ones with taxes withdrawn.

          2. Not slaves, but definitely servants.

        3. I’m with Jeffersonian. The feds are going to have to work extra hard and be very intrusive to make sure I make it that long.

          1. I’ll smoke to that.

    2. I went to the doctor recently because my right lower front abdomen was hurting a lot, and that’s where the appendix is. Turned out to be nothing, but even after a CAT scan and various doctor-poking showed that it was almost certainly not appendicitis, they kept me in the hospital overnight on only IV fluids, after which I felt the worst I have since I was a binge-drinking insomniac pothead.

    3. Agreed. If I hear once more that preventive care saves money I will puke. It doesn’t save money, it costs more. It involves giving a lot of expensive tests to people who are mostly healthy. If some of them are “at risk” for some disease then they are put on expensive medications which for many of them are useless. Some of these meds (Im lookin’ at you, statins) have unhealthy side effects which may then need to be treated. And if people do end up living longer they cost more in SS, Medicare, etc. Just because we can keep someone with a serious medical problem alive for years doesn’t mean we always should.

  5. Sudermann is showing his Weigal again. The Republicans have proposed tons of health care ideas. Tort reform, interstate insurance markets, and HSAa to name just a few.

    1. Yeah but Kyle said something stupid and that is all that matters. If Suderman would ever post about the other ideas, this post would be tolerable.

      But cut the guy a break. He is married to Megan McCardle who is a total whining “I really don’t want to be a Democrat but those Republicans are just icky” hipster. The poor guy can’t post anything good about Republicans if he plans to get laid anytime soon.

    2. They keep supporting the albatross that is Medicare to keep those senior welfare votes though.

      1. We do have to provide medical care to old people. And we passed a law that says you have to be on medicare if you are over 65. So just eliminating it after we made them get on it, would be pretty dickish I think.

        1. Take it from a guy who saw Brazil up close and personal during the 1980s: Letting your currency turn to shit is pretty dickish, too.

          1. True. But that means we need to reform medicare and make it into something we can afford and ween people off of it. It doesn’t mean we should eliminate it.

            1. It was once a program we could afford, and it’s grown into this monster run amok. Trim it back, and it’ll be used again to arrogate power to greedy pols and threaten the public fisc.

              Kill it.

              1. And what do you tell the millions of people who once had health insurance only to be dumped on medicare when they were 65? Understand this is not a case of people sticking their hands out. You have to join medicare when you are 65. And the insurance companies love that. Those people would be totally fucked. They can’t get insurance at their age. And the government insured that they would lose what they had. You can’t do that. That is completely immoral. We made the bed, we have to lie in it.

                1. I’d favor cutting everyone a check for their individual contribution to medicare and shut it down.

                  I’d also do the same for social security.

                  1. Yeah, but they have to taxes us more to come up with the money.

                    1. I’d wager that the debt incurred in that one-time cash payment is less that the cost of continuing the programs for the next 10 years.

  6. Oh, and fuck Jon Kyl for jumping on the preventative medicine lie.

  7. Insofar that they are trying to say that they she is a hipster, they are incorrect. She’s a nutty old lady. Hipsters strive to dress like nutty old ladies, to create frisson between their objective age and subjective age of their outward apprentice.

    A person in a werewolf costume is not a werewolf. A werewolf is not a person dressed in a werewolf costume.

    Of course, the “granny” hipster girls are being crowded out by the torn t-shirts and legging contingent, anyway.

    1. torn t-shirts and legging contingent

      The Ke$ha factor. I’m not surprised that would have a stronghold in Kentucky.

      1. I can’t believe a single human could have that many STDs at once. Maybe she’s sort of supertard space-whore.

      2. I had to look that up. Some things I’d rather not know about.

  8. A Message to the GOP:

    Undo all of the shit, or we’ll vote the Democrats back in. Or maybe some crazed third party.

    Fuck you very much.

    P.S. The only mandate you’re getting is to stop the insanity and to get our fiscal house in order. Fuck with us, and you may not be in power when we finally become the authoritarian state that you and the Democrats dream of and work towards daily.

    1. I am thinking we are ripe for a crazed third party. That may or may not be a good thing.

      1. I’ve heard the ripe for third party before. And it may not be a good thing. The lesson may be the third party can screw you equally as much as the other two. Having said that, it’s worth a shot.

        The reality is, quite frankly, reality. A candidate can talk a good talk but the reality of the way things are in many ways dictate what one can do. That’s part of Obama’s Iraq, and Gitmo prison problems.

        1. that is very true. Reality is a harsh mistress. But we are going to have to learn someway.

      2. Dispite what they say on the campaign trail, they can not have their way.

        The only candidate that I’ve heard recognize that is Ron Paul. On Cobert’s show, he was asked if would do away with the IRS. He said he couldn’t but he would work with Congress to do away with the IRS, which is correct. But not a winning strategy for public office. People want to here that your a can do guy dispite the reality that it’s beyond your authority.

      3. Crazy like. . .the Nazis?

    2. “Obamacare” isn’t going anywhere. It will be tweaked and modified, but the Republicans will never be able to “undo all that shit”.

      1. They will fight over who will be best to make the tweaks.

    3. There’s no way you’d do it again……. would you?

  9. As is so often the case in America’s health care squabbles, the Republican side is clueless and classless ? while the Democratic side is deeply misleading.

    They’re both misleading – BOTH want more power; the devil is in the details on how they want achieve it, that’s all.

  10. In fact, according to the CBO, such programs [Preventive Care] are likely to raise costs overall.

    Because of the Law of Supply and Demand. Just because you make it a single-payer system or some sort of hybrid monstrosity does not mean that more RESOURCES (doctors, nurses, beds, meds) will be magically conjured into existence.

    THIS is basic economics, not the Neoclassical crap that Chad peddled the other day.

  11. I believe the CBO link is misrepresented. Indeed, some preventive care will gross a higher cost because you have to screen several people. But it’s the costs you don’t see, in productivity losses, and in the treatment of PREVENTABLE CHRONIC CONDITIONS, which that same article cites as taking up 75 PERCENT of total health care costs, which leads that very article to say “Proven preventive services are worth it.”

    1. But it’s the costs you don’t see, in productivity losses,

      Would that be productivity that is saved or created by preventive medicine?

      and in the treatment of PREVENTABLE CHRONIC CONDITIONS, which that same article cites as taking up 75 PERCENT of total health care costs,

      Aren’t these the same people telling us that most people spend a large percentage of their lifetime health care costs at the end of their lives? Which is it? Because it can’t be both.

  12. BTW, Old Mexican, what’s the difference between “basic” and neoclassical economics? I just finished a class on the history of economic doctrine, and we never studied the ‘basic’ school. What’d I miss?

  13. Patient-centric payment systems and deregulation, what horrible ideas will these Repubicans come up with next? Good thing we have beltway libertarians to point out the errors of their ways.

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