Regulation

We're from the Government and We're Here to Help

The government created our current health care mess. So why do progressives want to give the state more control?

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Last week in Mother Jones, Kevin Drum argued that the recent contretemps over the national debt had only a single cause. Defense, discretionary, and interest spending are mostly on a downward slope as a percentage of GDP, he claimed; Social Security is "basically fine"—but not health spending. "The only thing we should be seriously concerned about," he concluded, "is health care spending. Period."

In other words, the federal government's management of its health care programs has turned out to be a financial disaster. So what, according to progressives, is the solution? More government management of health care. Of course.

If Drum is right, then the political fight of 2011 is an astounding development—because Democrats won the political fight of 2010. That fight concerned the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, aka ObamaCare—whose stated purpose, as the president put it on numerous occasions, was to "bend the cost curve downward."

To that end, the legislation includes something known as the Independent Payment Advisory Board, or IPAB. IPAB is a 15-member panel whose purpose is to impose cuts on Medicare spending—i.e., to ration care. IPAB is universally despised by conservatives. A lot of liberals don't much care for it, either: More than 70 Democrats wanted it excised from the final version of the legislation, and a number of them have signed onto a measure to abolish the panel.

Yet some object to IPAB precisely because it constitutes what Doug Schoen termed, on The Huffington Post, "a threat to critical medical treatments and services." Democratic Rep. Allyson Schwartz calls IPAB a "flawed policy that will risk beneficiary access to care." In short, they do not want to bend the cost curve downward.

Or at least not by rationing medical treatment. Many are happy to do so by other means. Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sibelius has issued a rule requiring insurance companies to justify rate increases over 10 percent, for instance. The administration also has imposed a medical loss ratio rule under which insurance companies are forbidden to spend less than 80 percent of collected premiums on medical treatment. ObamaCare also imposes a variety of expensive mandates, and it outright forbids low-coverage "mini-med plans" (although the administration is happy to waive that rule for its political friends).

As a result, the business community is scampering for the exits. A survey by McKinsey & Company finds that almost half of all employers say they will stop providing insurance for their workers after ObamaCare goes into full effect. Seventy-eight million Americans may lose their employer-provided coverage.

Perhaps more than that: The National Federation of Independent Business just released a survey showing that 57 percent of companies with 50 or fewer employers also may cease offering insurance. Millions more Americans must then turn to the new state "exchanges" to buy policies heavily subsidized by Washington. ObamaCare drives people from private insurance to government insurance.

Then there are those progressives who would like to see IPAB expanded, not abolished. Harvard economist Greg Mankiw draws attention to a proposal by the Center for American Progress—a Democratic think tank (president John Podesta was Bill Clinton's chief of staff), funded by George Soros, that Time magazine compares to the conservative Heritage Foundation in influence.

The Center has proposed what it calls a "failsafe mechanism" in case, as seems increasingly likely, ObamaCare does not deliver the promised reductions in health-care spending. "Our failsafe would be triggered if, starting in 2020, total economy-wide health care expenditures grow at a rate faster than the economy. Should that happen, we would empower the IPAB to extend successful reforms in Medicare and other public programs to insurance plans offered in the health care exchanges and then potentially to all health care plans , such that the target is met." (Emphasis added.)

Under that scenario, 15 unelected bureaucrats would make the medical decisions for everyone.

And as government involvement in health care spreads, personal freedom retreats. Witness the recent campaign against obesity, now considered a matter of "public health" because government has socialized the costs. First Washington said: "Jim, we are going to make you pay for Robert's health care." Now it says: "Robert, we are now going to make you eat right—because poor Jim here is stuck paying your insurance."

Washington's increasing control of the nation's medical care means your most personal decisions become matters of public debate. There has been much dispute as to whether ObamaCare is a government takeover of health care. There can be no dispute that some of its principal backers want one—and will probably get their wish.

A. Barton Hinkle is a columnist at the Richmond Times-Dispatch. This article originally appeared at the Richmond Times-Dispatch.

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  1. “The government created our current health care mess. So why do progressives want to give the state more control?”
    Because they have the intelligence of Tony.

    1. Because they disagree with your premise that government created our current health care mess. They believe the free market created the mess. They have a funny definition of “free market”.

      1. Both the free market and the government helped, according to Marxist critical theory. They feed of each other.

        1. No. You’re both wrong. No sensible person wants the mess the government makes. But a lot of people want to see everyone get healthcare when they need it.

          Not ER level, overpriced, stabilize-only, bill-ya-later, see-yer-doctor and see-yer-pharmacist “care”, but actual proper treatment. The universal healthcare, government-based approach offers a chance of that happening.

          You — those of you who are railing the loudest about keeping government out of this — offer NOTHING to solve the actual problem, which is people in need of medical treatment who aren’t getting it. Those of us who are in favor of true universal healthcare are well aware that the government will screw it up, and probably mightily, but it is simply a lot more important that people aren’t left without care.

          And… once a system is put in place, whatever its warts, we can try to improve it. Right now, people are going without proper care. In the face of that, arguments about the government being poor at (well, everything) or the selfish idiot’s unwillingness to pay some tax for someone else’s illness completely and utterly miss the point — your attempt to enter into a discussion is doomed before you even open your mouth.

          Address the care issue, and you have something. Tell us the government is bad at things or you are too cheap to want to pay taxes and we’ll just stare at you. Those things are irrelevant.

          Back to gummint for a minute: Look at the interstate highways. The road surfaces are terrible; they’re too shallow (compare to Europe and the longevity of those roadways), they provide no protection from wildlife, they’re not properly designed for high speed travel, and they’re used to abuse many of our rights, both directly and indirectly. That’s what happens when gummint gets ahold of something. We know. Other examples abound. But — it’s still WAY better than not having roads. That’s why there will eventually be universal healthcare, no matter how hard you people scream about your unwillingness to pay or argue about the appropriateness of government even being involved.

  2. “why do progressives want to give the state more control?”

    Because liberals can’t really think, and all of liberalism is basically just spouting off talking points they’ve heard before.

    even their universal healthcare fails according to their parameters. The rich help pay for the poor’s healthcare, OK. But in that case, why universal coverage? Those rich guys don’t need the coverage. My family could easily pay the extra taxes and still afford healthcare. Liberals are always talking about how rich the rich are and how much they could pay. So then why does their proposal not have some cut-off point for coverage? It’s clearly one of the few ways you could make a healthcare program viable. They fail at their own parameters.

    1. I rather doubt they go so far as to explicitly define parameters. That would be too similar to rational thinking.

      1. We support government healthcare because we can read graphs.

        http://wallstcheatsheet.com/wp…..ctancy.png

        What do those countries on the left side of the trendline have in common? Yup, strongly regulated or government run healthcare.

        1. Oh, and a population who aren’t a bunch of fat-asses, still, the U.K. isn’t too far behind the fat line and their healthcare costs are doing alright.

          http://upload.wikimedia.org/wi…..0chart.png

        2. No, you can look at graphs and not understand what you’re looking at. Explain, in detail, how that one graph provides any basis for a policy proposal.

          1. I see a huge group of countries paying far less per capita and getting better healthcare for doing it. I see the abject failure of the U.S. healthcare system to control costs. I’m not saying that you could transplant these countries healthcare systems and they would work here, but our system is failing.

            Unless something is done, medical costs are going to destroy the country fiscally whether it happens through the private or public market. These countries have decided to make healthcare for all their people a priority and they all manage to deliver quality service for a price FAR below what we pay here.

            What do you see when you look at that graph?

            1. Nothing but health care, or access to health care, affects life expectancy, right?

            2. Better? Laughable. I live in Germany. They have price controls and report the statistics. I wouldn’t trust any numbers put out by governments. Here doctors are fleeing the system because there’s never enough money. Not to mention the fact that they put caps on earnings, which distorts real costs.

              1. Oh, and the care is absurdly bad. Doctors don’t even have time to ask someone what’s wrong, let alone care, because they get paid the same for a headache or a cancer patient.

            3. I see a huge group of countries paying far less per capita and getting better healthcare for doing it.

              Category error. Graph does not show the quality of healthcare. Reboot.

            4. I see two variables that don’t necessarily correlate in any meaningful sense. I’m left with questions, not answers. Specifically:
              What is defined as a health care cost? Actual cost of service? Or the cost of bureaucracy and all the other dead-weright loss? Why is life expectancy the dependent variable? Because it’s easy to measure? Is life expectancy the single variable most useful for determining the utility of the health care spending?

              But you look at it and see proof the government is the only solution to “control health care costs”. If you aren’t paying for my health care, why do you give a damn what it costs me for health care? You presume a problem where none exists.

              1. @ T As long as society has decided that we don’t want people dying on the street for lack of healthcare, we are going to be paying, directly or indirectly for each others medical services. I’m sorry, but that’s just how it is.

                @ sooner, anecdotal evidence is anecdotal

                @ dean, the Europeans as a whole are pretty satisfied with their systems. Choose your metric. They spend less, show me the numbers where they get a worse outcome. http://www.scielosp.org/img/re…..2tab01.gif

                @ rts, choose your metric. I’m sticking with life expectancy because its a clean number. Here are some others. http://blogs.hbr.org/haque/200…..ly_ab.html

                We are REALLY good at dealing with prostate cancer. Probably because Americans have a high rate of screening (citation needed)

                1. Shag,

                  There are three kinds of lies: lies, damned lies, and statistics.

                  Courtesy of Mark Twain

                  It is well known that European systems are out of money. I work with CEOs in the health industry and they are dealing with price controls. Is that counted as a cost? Plus, paying 50%-60% taxes in Germany still doesn’t even come close to private insurance. Germans are much more satisfied with private insurance than public, because doctors actually talk to them and give them tests. This is another reason alternative medicine is such a big deal in Germany, because people have lost faith in the overworked doctors.

                  Life expectancy is not a good indicator, as it does not control for certain things (fatal accidents – many more in the US). When you control for such things, the US is the same or surpasses many EU countries. Having said that, the US still has a terrible system, because it has been cartelized by the US gov’t and big insurance agencies, AMA, etc. Competition has fallen out of the market because of excessive regulation, so it’s not wonder it’s expensive. If monopolies are so bad, why make it completely monopolized? Second, specialization costs more money, and the US is known for having the best specialized medicine and research (see Nobel Prize list).

                  1. I’ve been going out of my way to cite sources, if you could back up some of your claims in the first paragraph with some facts, that would be awesome.

                    As to your second, I agree that specialists in the U.S. will inflate the overall cost of healthcare, but I linked an article earlier indicating that we pay significantly more for common procedures and prescription drugs. This is a real problem.

                    As to your monopoly question, I don’t know that a single-payer system would be the most effective. I do believe the healthcare market needs government regulation because the market is going to fail when it is providing a necessity and not a service. You can’t shop around if you need an appendectomy or if there are complications while a woman is giving birth. There are no market forces at work there. It a huge reason why ~50% of bankruptcies in my country are caused by medical bills.

                    1. Here’s an article that is on your side, but it mentions the price controls for paying doctors. Now, what it does not say is that those doctors are severely overworked and that German doctors are fleeing. They depend now on cheaper doctors from East Europe. That cannot be good for a system. http://www.npr.org/templates/s…..=91931036.

                      This link provides a blurb on German price controls for medicine, which hides costs. That is one reason common procedures are cheaper at least on their face, but it isn’t the real cost. Keep in mind that the US subsidizes a lot of EU medicine, because their research is lacking at best: http://www.ehow.com/info_84821…..stry.html.

                      I tried to find articles that were sympathetic to your side but that mention what I’m talking about. Price controls hide the real cost of health care. Taxes increase, price controls stifle innovation and cause shortages. This is well known. But Europe’s biggest problem is the aging population. Such systems are unsustainable.

                    2. Here’s an article on alternative medicine’s popularity: http://fyiliving.com/research/…..nd-costly/

                    3. Thanks for the links.

                      I don’t think this is a simple issue by any means, but I would absolutely trade our healthcare problems for Germany’s.

                      You are right about the aging population, that is going to be a huge challenge moving forward for every developed nation.

                      I am sticking by original assertion that the U.S. needs to implement some kind of regulation to control costs. Even if it pisses off doctors, without some kind of cost control we are going to go under fiscally in this country. I think for many that means cutting people lose from the healthcare system. I personally think it is better policy to go in the opposite direction and use economies of scale to control costs.

                    4. There is only one way to control costs: free the market to competition and the pricing systems. Governmental price controls do not work. Doctors have a monopoly through the AMA. It is an artificial monopoly. It needs to be opened up to more competition and less stringent licensing for foreign-educated doctors. Also, alternative medicine should not be made illegal by the cartel. Thus, regulation increases the costs of medicine, especially when you consider all the laws written for the benefit of the trial bar.

                      My wife studies medicine in Germany and her mentors are telling her to flee.

                    5. @soonerliberty, I’m with you on pretty much everything. But you’ve blandly restated a common erroneous notion, that “doctors have a monopoly through the AMA.” False. Nonsense.

                      You do realize, don’t you, that the AMA is nothing but a lobbying group for doctors, right? They don’t control anything about medicine the profession or medicine the industry. They are simply another group of rent-seekers who exert influence where thay can on behalf of their members, who are now a declining minority of the doctors in the US. In this, they differ little from the AARP or the Teamsters.

                      They don’t control licensing (individual states), school and residency accreditation (private organization), training curricula (ditto), board certification (ditto), or really anything much at all.

                      I’m a member of my specialty’s society; but due to the the AMA’s greed and fecklessness, I haven’t been a member since I was a medical student, and thus didn’t know any better.

                      I’m all for alternative practitioners. Hell, anyone who wants to see the local shaman for peyote cures should be able to do it. Just don’t expect actually-trained people to bail your dumb ass out – for free – after it goes balls-up. IOW, you pays your money and you takes your chances, just like it should be in every aspect of modern life.

                      A couple generations or so of medical Darwinism like this, and most of the genes for stupid, fat, lazy, and gullible will have been extirpated from the population.

              2. The invisible hand has no place in health-care.

                1. Neither does the iron fist

            5. U.S. Pharma and Medical Device companies should start embargoing all countries with socialized medicine and let’s see what happens to their average life expectancy. The U.S. has for too long been subsidizing health care costs for the rest of the world.

          2. When you express the phrase “health care system” you don’t know what it means.

            First, the so-called Health Care System means Medicare and Medicaid (together both are government medicine). It does not mean private insurance nor cash payments made by private individuals.

            Yet, health care is rhetoric. It’s medicine. Doctors engage in medicine.

            Individuals who eat right, exercise, sleep well and as adults, have sex regularly, are the only ones who engage in health care.

            In the graphs, one sees per capita expenditure, but do those figures include government medicine, private insurance and private cash payments or do those figures only report government medicine?

            How much is spending for colds, for heart disease, for cancer or for cosmetic enhancements?

            1. Forget Google. For you, thinking is hard. I peg your mediocre IQ to be a womanly 117 of 118.

              You were obligated to put forth those figures up front to support your failed argument.

              1. Should you really be drinking before 3:00? There ought to be a law.

                Which argument BTW? I am suggesting that we in the U.S. spend more on healthcare for similar results and that the other industrialized nations have socialized medicine. I think its pretty fair to infer from the data that socialized medicine is better at controlling costs than our system.

            2. Should the mediocre IQ such as yourself be allowed to post on Reason.com before 3:00 P.M., TheShag?

              I am suggesting that we in the U.S. spend more on healthcare for similar results…

              And you base your infantile claim on what, exactly?

              You offered up one chart: http://wallstcheatsheet.com/wp…..ctancy.png

              That chart does not support your argument.

              The chart does not control for murders, accidents, genetic defects induced deaths; all of which would skew results.

              The chart does not exclude cosmetic and elective surgeries expenditures.

              In short, your picture does not support your false claims.

              Did you want to talk about medical economics, or were you merely making chitchat?

              1. In this thread i have linked the absurdly inflated prices we pay for common medical procedures and drugs. I have linked relative European satisfaction with their healthcare system. We spend 11 billion dollars a year on cosmetic surgery, out of 2.3 trillion in total medical expenditures. http://www.surgery.org/media/n…..statistics

                I’m sorry that remain willfully ignorant, maybe if I buy you a shovel you could bury your head deeper in the sand.

        3. What do those countries on the left side of the trendline have in common? Yup, strongly regulated or government run healthcare.

          Yes, and correlation always equals causation. Hidden variables don’t exist.

          1. Let me guess, the hidden variable is the government.

            1. Among other things like lifestyles, genetics, demographics, individual choices, per capita GDP…

              1. Ah yes, but not that we spend between 4-10 times as much for brand-name prescriptions. Or 2-5 times as much for common medical procedures. Gotta be the genetics. http://voices.washingtonpost.com/ezra-klein/IFHP Comparative Price Report with AHA data addition.pdf

                I love how libertarians assume the free market is going to work when during delivery your wife needs a c-section or else she and the baby will die.

                1. http://voices.washingtonpost.c…..dition.pdf

                  Fixed the link.

                2. Why do we spend more for the same product? Could it be that we are subsidizing the low prices in those other countries? Or could it be that our stuff is paid for with other people’s money, so we don’t care how much we spend? Or could it be that we’re the wealthiest nation on earth and we feel like spending that extra wealth on healthcare that we don’t really need? So many factors to consider. I don’t know how I’ll ever put them into a single 2-D plot… much less apply a trendline.

                  1. I honestly don’t know why we spend more, but I can think of a few factors.
                    1. Healthcare costs are hidden, the bill you get is not what your insurance/Medicare paid.
                    2. The vast majority of health insurance is bought by employers.
                    3. Medicare is literally not allowed to negotiate with drug companies, (this is retarded).

                    I think there are quite a few ways to bring both government regulation and the market to bear against rising healthcare costs. Making patients pay a percent of their medical bills no matter what, giving 85 year old women wheel chairs not hip replacements, and getting more aggressive with medicare negotiations would help.

                    I honestly don’t think giving people vouchers and cutting them loose will work, unless we as a nation are alright with people dying for lack of healthcare.

        4. We support government healthcare because we can read graphs.

          That’s the problem. When Obama claimed this program would ‘bend the cost curve downward’, he was looking the chart he was given upside down.

      2. “I rather doubt they go so far as to explicitly define parameters. That would be too similar to rational thinking.”

        And that would contain no emotions …So there for to a progressive it would be pure evil.

      3. They’re not done reading it yet …….

    2. The point is not for the rich to subsidize healthcare for the poor. It’s to decrease healthcare costs by including everyone in the risk pool. Healthcare would be more expensive for government if the only people on the dole were at-risk people like the old, sick, and poor.

      Expanding access to healthcare is the moral component. Making healthcare cheaper is the practical imperative. This isn’t just speculation. We have evidence from around the world for what works best, and the only reason we haven’t implemented it here is because too many people make too much money in the healthcare and insurance businesses. The only real question we face is whether those entities’ profits are more important than cheap universal healthcare. We know what the answer is for libertarians: they often get confused and think it is their role to defend the profits of the corporate status quo.

      1. Tony, everything you guys propose is massively increases the costs of healthcare, and the healthcare in a lot of the countries you point to is severely limited and has to be waited for for extremely long periods of time.

        Forcing insurers to insure every fucking thing under the sun does not lower the cost of health insurance costs. Preventing inter-state competition does not lower health insurance costs. A system where you force healthcare providers to accept a lower price relative to the market was doomed to crate ever increasing price in the market. Personally bought Health insurance not being a write-off does not help lower costs. These and endless other policies WOULD OBVIOUSLY RAISE HEALTHACRE COSTS AND ONLY AN IDIOT CAN’T SEE THAT.

        What the hell would be wrong with some sane policies coupled with vouchers? This would provide greater access to healthcare much more effectively, and you know it.

        1. Let’s face it, for guys like Tony, it isn’t actually about the stated goal. If they care about the goal so much, they would be willing to try the alternatives I listed above (and often offered in politics) to various extents. It just doesn’t make sense.
          There’s clearly some kind of chip on their shoulder they’ve got that they need to control everything.

          1. I mean for fuck’s sake, the one healthcare system that got even a Reason writer to admit it’s good, France’s, is NOT A SINGLE-PAYER SYSTEM.
            Clearly single-payer is not the best of all the alternatives.

            There’s something fuckin wrong with liberals and all their socialist, anti-corporate, hate the rich bullshit. They got some kindsa chip on their shoulder and control issues.

          2. “There’s clearly some kind of chip on their shoulder they’ve got that they need to control everything.”

            It is more like a Religion the Religion of Government knows best.

            Tony and his kind hate it when people have to make their own choices and live with the results of those choices.

            1. “It is more like a Religion the Religion of Government knows best”

              But that’s the thing, I don’t think it’s that because you could still be for government subsidisation without the ultimate dictatorial control of single payer or our endles regulations, BOTH OF WHICH HAVE BEEN PROVEN TO BE INEFFECTIVE.

              Again, the best healthcare system as voted by the guys Tony loves to fellate, and even as admitted by a liobertarian author of this magazine, if France’s, and is NOT SINGLE PAYER. And I’m willing to bet that whatever regulations they have aren’t BLATANTLY FUCKING STUPID LIKE OURS.

              1. To me it has to do with it because liberals always want “funding”….Which always leads to control in the end.

                He who has the money or more precisely he who CONTROLS the money wins……every time.

                1. Control. That’s it precisely. Telling other people how to live their lives feels good.

            2. Since it’s mostly middle class (possibly Medicare receiving) white Americans lecturing others on personal responsibility, when they are the most privileged human beings ever to grace the planet (except for the superrich few they slavishly devote their politics to), it does strike one as a bit simplistic. We can make the choice to have a better healthcare system, one that is about delivering healthcare rather than delivering profits. The only religion here is market worship–you support it no matter how abysmally it fails at healthcare.

              1. Tony, I’m far from a market worshipper, my comments on this magazine have long shown that. There’s clearly a place for regulation when appropriate. BUT THEY SHOULDn”T BE STUPID REGULATIONS. Again, what the FUCK do you expect with the regulaitons we have? I mean for fuck’s sake, the insurers have to cover even fucking wigs for cancer patients. WIGS. Why the fuck do they have to pay for wigs? And now they want them to cover birth control all the time for every woman? WHAT THE FUCK?

                All that on top of forced acceptance of lower prices RELATIVE TO CURRENT MARKET CONDITIONS. And The huge ass tax write off problem.

                FUCK FUCKING FUCK WHAT DO YOU EXPECT WAS GOING TO HAPPEN TO PRICES?

                1. The market cannot control health care prices in ways most people are morally ok with therefore we must have intervention in the market.

                  1. Funny, I’m able to buy shoes and golf clubs and groceries, and wine without gov’t intervention.

                2. That sounds like middle-class white male privilege talking to me.

                  1. sounds like middle-class white male privilege talking to me

                    Stupid threads – that was for Edwin.

                3. They are going up for all. I just recieved notice that my insurance plan was requesting a rate increase from the NYS Insurance Board.

                  Conicidentally, the very next week (Yesterday), it was anounced that all female reproductive health coverage, including birth control was to be made available with no co-pay.

                  Strange coincidence?

              2. One thing I would agree on is YES we can have a better Health care system BUT the Government is not going to make it better!…..EVER.

                Show me ONE thing that the Government runs that is on the plus side of the balance sheet. And yea Programs need to show a gain on the other end Tony or they are a failure. And the gains cannot be “imaginary” they have to be real dollar for dollar accounting, not tricks or twisted accounting by saying it was bad but we “adverted” this much, so we “saved” …..BS in BS out pal.

                1. No government program should be producing a profit by your ways of accounting. If it did, then a private solution would be the answer. Do you really not believe that government action is needed to provide nonrival and nonexcludable (i.e. “public”) goods?

                  1. Notice how he doesn’t address anything I’m actually saying. The obviously STUPID regulations. The he turns around and says I worship the market, when I JUST SUGGESTED A FORM OF SUBSIDISATION. And he completely avoids the issue that France does NBOT have single-payer, and their healthcare system is clearly among the best.
                    I’m telling you there’s some fuckin bug they got up their butt that they feel like they gotta control everything.
                    What’s wrong Tony, daddy didn’t hug you enough? Too much?

                    1. Okay what about France’s system makes it possibly the best in the world?

                      They spend slightly higher than average /GDP compared to other European systems, but much less than the US. Yet they deliver healthcare universally through a public insurance scheme. 77% of healthcare costs are paid for by payroll taxes, and is otherwise paid by direct subsidy or through negotiated private rates (which are offset by tax breaks).

                      I am not defending anything about the US’s regulatory scheme. I’m in favor of some form of universal access. It can, and will probably have to be, largely supplied privately.

                    2. then why the hell do you keep pushing single payer and claiming that our healthcare system is un-regulated? And refusing to listen to any other proposals?

                    3. oh, didn’t read your post thoroughly, missed this:
                      “It can, and will probably have to be, largely supplied privately.”

                      Oh, so FINALLY you start showing some fucking sense, you fucking slow fuck feeb.
                      Aren’t you a little ashamed that getting just one tiny reasonable comment from you is like fucking pulling teeth?

                    4. I’m not sure where I expressed support for government-supplied healthcare. I think just having government pay for it will be a marked improvement. Somehow even the US manages to keep old people alive and cared for at a cheaper rate than the private sector alone would provide.

                    5. bullshit. You keep pushing SINGLE PAYER SPECIFICALLY.

                      And I never said that subsidisation is out of the question. I just keep proposing alternatives and you keep ignoring them.

                      If you really care about the public’s welfare, you’d at least fucking listen in the first place.

              3. The only religion here is market worship–you support it no matter how abysmally it fails at healthcare.

                How did the free market fail at healthcare? Were you even alive the last time we had a free market in healthcare?

                1. There’s never been a free market, as you define it, in anything. That’s why it’s religion-like–it’s something that doesn’t exist. And I fail to see why you think you are entitled to defend a system that you claim has never existed. With what evidence? We’ve got a world of evidence for universal systems.

                  1. “There’s never been a free market, as you define it, in anything. That’s why it’s religion-like–it’s something that doesn’t exist. And I fail to see why you think you are entitled to defend a system that you claim has never existed. With what evidence? We’ve got a world of evidence for universal systems.”

                    Epic fail again Tony……Make it a Free Market and the price will go down. Remove the un-needed regulations when ever you can,cut most of the red tape and get the AMA out of the decision process on how many and who becomes a “specialist” and or in what field, and the market will equalize over time. Want it to go down faster TORT reform! That will be faster than any Government run system you could ever dream up.

                  2. We’ve got a world of evidence for universal systems.

                    Evidence showing poor service in exchange for guaranteed service.

                    There’s also plenty of evidence showing that more-free markets are better for everyone than less-free markets. It follows that completely free markets are the best of all.

                    1. There’s also plenty of evidence showing that more-free markets are better for everyone than less-free markets. It follows that completely free markets are the best of all.

                      This is wrong on a couple levels. It’s quite clear that with respect to healthcare, more-free markets are not superior. The same could be said with any other universal public need fulfilled by governments that you’re accustomed to and thus OK with. I don’t think a more-free market with respect to food safety regs is a superior one. I just don’t think your premise is correct at all. Besides, “some is good, thus more is better” is fallacious.

                    2. Apparently we disagree on the definition of “superior”.

                    3. “This is wrong on a couple levels. It’s quite clear that with respect to healthcare, more-free markets are not superior”

                      Got proof Straw Boy?

                    4. Yes, Harvard is inferior to Public Universities and private clinics are inferior to public cesspools. Health does not fall outside of economic law. The US does not have a private market in health care. It is cartelized. That is why it’s so expensive.

                      Cars are a pretty universal need. The East Germans had the Trabi. The West had the BMW. Even the worst Western vehicle surpassed the Trabi. Computers, communications. We could go on and on. Allow real competition, and prices will fall. You must also remember that specialized care costs more. Cost is not the only factor to look at, as cost is often closely tied to quality. In Europe (where I am), the cost is low on paper, not including price controls and losses in technology and waiting times, but the quality is low. It’s not for any small reason that my wife’s mentor told her to flee Germany to become a doctor in the US.

              4. You’re beyond thick, Tony. You don’t get economics at all. Your beliefs arise from a childish rationalism inculcated into your mind.

                “Health Care system” means Medicare and Medicaid. Bureaucrats already run it. They’ve run it into the ground.

                If you can scratch together two brain cells, learn the one, true, invariant law for all of economics, that holds true even in the face of subsidy and regulation — the Law of Prices.

                The Law of Prices holds that the winning bids of demand in the face of supply sets the price.

                As long as politicians and bureaucrats (government) outbid themselves year-after-year, prices for medicine shall rise.

                You cannot escape this truth. No one can.

                It’s impossible to control prices as long as markets exist the earth over for resources. For a government would need to confiscate all providers of medicine (doctors, hospitals) and then confiscate all manufacturing of medicine (drugs, med equipment) in order to control prices.

                Still, real prices must get paid for the inputs that go into manufacturing drugs, machines and the like. However, those resources trade freely all over the earth. So government would get forced to pay those market prices or go to war to conquer the whole of the earth and control of all resources, of everything.

                Because of regulatory capture designed by bureaucrats, politicians and oligopolists, supply gets curtailed in any moment. In the face of ever increasing demand by government as single payer, the result is ever higher prices.

                If you want prices to collapse, you need to do this:

                [1] End Medicare
                [2] End Medicaid
                [3] Get the FDA out of drug efficacy testing. Let a free market of 3rd parties arise to do this
                [4] Ideally, eliminate drug patents. Short of that, reduce patent life to 7 years from the outrageous 20 where it is now.
                [5] Get government out of licensure. Let 3rd parties arise to vet and give seals of approval for various kinds of medicine.
                [6] Require all employers to pay cash wages at day’s end, unless any employer and employee comes to an alternative arrangement, which would most likely have the employer paying interest on any delayed payment.

                Employers need to get out of the medical insurance premium paying business. At a minimum, writing off premiums as expense should be eliminated.

        2. I think the private sector has failed to deliver anything worthwile with respect to access to affordable healthcare. Our country’s healthcare costs are not the highest in the world because of too much government regulation–that’s a relative concept and we have the least regulated system going. So no I’m not interested in trying a patchwork system that attempts to lower costs while preserving insurance company profits. It just won’t work and never has.

          1. I never said anything about private/public. And your claim about ours being the least regulated is a blatant lie. The number of written laws might or might not be less but they’re clearly extremely powerful. No interstate competition, no tax write off for personal purchasing, endless control of hospital locations at the local/zoning end, control of licensing and the supply of doctors, etc. is far from the “least regulated”

            1. Relative is not absolute. Compare our medical regulation to the UK, France, Germany, Canada and Australia and you’ll find out system the least regulated.

              1. I disagree. The nature of the actual laws, the power they actually give to various bureaucrats and politicians is way more meaningful. All the licensing and filing bullshit laws in the world (all of which are CONDITIONAL to doing some other thing) are nothing compared to outright MANDATES to cover certain things or accept certain prices, or huge inequities in tax law.

            2. “No interstate competition, no tax write off for personal purchasing, endless control of hospital locations at the local/zoning end, control of licensing and the supply of doctors, etc. is far from the “least regulated””

              All true and now add into the effect that the Government will not only control the care and “cost” the doctors pay will go down. But at the same time the Government has taken over the Student Loan market.So said new Doctors will owe the Government boat loads in loans and the Government will get to decide how much to pay the “New Slaves”……I see trouble ahead.

              But hey lets keep sailing through Tony land and hope for no Ice Burgs …..Care for a Drink?

          2. Our country’s healthcare costs are not the highest in the world because of too much government regulation

            Sure they are. Most of the money that goes to healthcare passes through the government or is subsidized by the government first. Subsidies like this are how bubbles get going. Look at the .com bubble. It was powered by low interest rates, set by the government. Look at the housing bubble. It was powered by government backed mortgages and mortgage interest tax deductions. Look at the higher education bubble. It is being powered by low interest, government-provided student loans.

            See a trend? Whenever government gets involved a bubble forms due to all the “free” money/credit being injected. Do you think the healthcare market is immune to this?

            1. The good thing about government is that it can sustain a “bubble” indefinitely. We need more education and healthcare than the private sector will tolerate on a for-profit basis, because they are good things regardless, and they represent investments in future growth. Housing is debatable as something worthy of a society to promote, but that bubble wasn’t a huge problem because of government encouragement–it was a real by-definition private-sector bubble, created by an irrational belief in the infinite growth of home prices as well as inadequate oversight of the industry and financial markets related to it.

              1. and a government that made it endlessly profitable to endlessly make loans by buying up mortgages no matter what

                1. pput your dinner in front of a pig and he eats it, then it’s your fault you lost the dinner, no tthe pig’s, you knew what the pig would do

              2. The good thing about government is that it can sustain a “bubble” indefinitely.

                Not true. Eventually you always run out of other people’s money (whether it be borrowed, taxed, or stolen.)

                Also, bubbles like this harm the rest of the economy by sucking up dollars that could be used more effectively elsewhere. Sadly, you are not smart enough to know exactly how much investment each industry deserves.

                We need more education and healthcare than the private sector will tolerate on a for-profit basis, because they are good things regardless, and they represent investments in future growth.

                Wait… I thought you were complaining about the rise in healthcare costs. Now you’re saying they’re ok because they represent investments in future growth? Get you’re story straight. Also, the VAST majority of healthcare dollars are consumed, not invested. They’re used to keep old people alive for another year or two. That doesn’t sound like a spectacular investment in the future….

                1. Also, bubbles like this harm the rest of the economy by sucking up dollars that could be used more effectively elsewhere.

                  Dollars that could be used more effectively than education and healthcare? I suppose cheap plastic crap made in China is a more efficient allocation of resources, because that’s what makes someone a profit? Big picture, people. Without some amount of investment in education and healthcare (which are not different from police and infrastructure in this conversation) then you have a market moving along in a significantly hobbled way. It takes a partnership, and always has.

                  They’re used to keep old people alive for another year or two.

                  One of several cost drivers in healthcare. It takes a lot of hard decisions to drive down costs in healthcare whether you’re for a private or public system. The fact is we’re an aging population. The question that presents us with is do we pay a little more in taxes to take care of their healthcare needs just like we did for their parents and grandparents, or do we decide that a few pennies in our pockets is more important than old people not dying for the crime of aging?

                  1. Dollars that could be used more effectively than education and healthcare?

                    Are you implying that we should spend all our money on education and healthcare? Do I even have to mention that higher education spending doesn’t even correlate with higher student achievement, much less cause it?

                    I suppose cheap plastic crap made in China is a more efficient allocation of resources, because that’s what makes someone a profit?

                    No, it’s more efficient because someone who has money actually wants buy it.

                    It takes a partnership, and always has.

                    Partnership? I don’t think it means what you think it means…

                    The question that presents us with is do we pay a little more in taxes to take care of their healthcare needs just like we did for their parents and grandparents, or do we decide that a few pennies in our pockets is more important than old people not dying for the crime of aging?

                    I suppose these old people had no shot at saving for their retirement? Why is it my responsibility to take care of those who were too irresponsible to take care of themselves?

                    1. Why is it my responsibility to take care of those who were too irresponsible to take care of themselves?

                      Are you defining “irresponsible” as having the indecency to age and get sick? It’s your responsibility because we are not a barbaric society. We are a wealthy society that can afford to take care of its elder population. You give me the reason why we shouldn’t. Because you think you’re special and don’t have to contribute anything to the society that lets you earn a living?

                    2. I’m defining “irresponsible” as having the indecency to age and get sick without saving enough to cover yourself. Everyone knows they are going to eventually age and get sick. Almost everyone has an opportunity to prepare for when this happens. If someone refuses to take that opportunity, then they should have to deal with the consequences themselves. They shouldn’t be able to band together and loot the rest of us.

                      The few who are stricken with a severe disability early in life are an exception and deserve the support of charity. I’m not heartless.

              3. “he good thing about government is that it can sustain a “bubble” indefinitely”

                Really….Ha ha ha ha….I think I pee’d a little….

                No it cant do that with out causing inflation….massive inflation Tony.

                Read up an the Weimar republic and see just how great that worked out….we will wait for you…..

                …Ok…..

                Yea yea we know…..”It just hasn’t been the Right people in charge yet”

                Read it again…..

                1. So when is the defense bubble going to cause runaway inflation?

                  1. It already is. We should cut back on defense spending. You and I can do it together!

                  2. See below

            2. I agree. My wife works in the health insurance industry, and gov’t is one big clusterfuck in the market.

          3. I’ve told you a few times already, but I’ll try one more time to explain to you how to fix our healthcare system:

            – End the tax-favored status of employer-sponsored healthcare as it creates the incentive to insulate people from the cost of healthcare at the point of service. Insurance will then revert to its primary purpose: to protect people from catastrophic financial loss due to health care costs. Also, people would have a real economic incentive to buy dread-disease and cancer policies. These policies protect the insured against the risk of a change in health status. Since most people get their coverage through their employer or from the government, and those entities have no incentive to cover people under anything but standard, annually-rated, health care indemnity plans, a workable market in change of health-status insurance does not yet exist. But it would come naturally as people worried about being uninsurable or having too high of premiums.

            – End coverage mandates and rating rules as they invite adverse selection thus further driving up the cost of care (and causing the good risks to leave the pool in guaranteed issue environments). Pooling works, but only if those in the pool pay for the appropriate price for the coverage of their risks. The reason for allowing competition across state lines is just to avoid these mandates and rating rules in states like Maine and New York.

            – End licensing requirements for professionals, increase the number of medical schools, end Certificate of Need laws, etc. In other words, let the supply of healthcare be decided by the demand for these services, not government dictate to benefit certain interest groups like hospitals and doctors.

            – Allow patients and providers to enter into agreements which limit the liability of providers. Again, let the market decide how providers and patients should settle decisions about prospective liability instead of a retrospective system run by the plaintiffs’ bar, judges and state legislatures.

            So what you’ll have from the above is:
            – A larger and more cost-effective supply of health care.
            – A demand for healthcare that, like every other functioning market, reflects the true cost of the services being purchased at the point of sale.
            – Health insurance coverage that truly insures people against catastrophic loss, whether it be in the near- or long-term not a pre-payment plan or a way to redistribute wealth.
            – A legal environment that allows for the proper practice of medicine without fear of unnecessarily punitive lawsuits.

          4. “I think the private sector has failed to deliver anything worthwile with respect to access to affordable healthcare.”

            Thanks for your opinion…..NEXT

      2. “We know what the answer is for libertarians: they often get confused and think it is their role to defend the profits of the corporate status quo.”

        It is not confusion Tony, for a system to work there has to be a VALUE to the services rendered. And if there is no profit there is no reason for someone to provide the service.

        “The point is not for the rich to subsidize healthcare for the poor. It’s to decrease healthcare costs by including everyone in the risk pool. Healthcare would be more expensive for government if the only people on the dole were at-risk people like the old, sick, and poor.”

        Right Comrade…. lets all suffer the same even if the problem was never “ours” to begin with. Like it or not life is not fair, the only thing your system will ever do is lower the bar for every one involved, and when the costs don’t go down your Grammy and Mommy will be dined the “Government Care” because there is not enough money to go around.

        Also you logic is still wealth redistribution END of subject.

        1. if there is no profit there is no reason for someone to provide the service.

          Another central fallacy of market worship. National defense doesn’t generate monetary profit–far from it. Is it worthwhile, or should we scrap the whole thing?

          A business’s ability to generate a profit tells you exactly one thing: it is able to generate a profit. That doesn’t come with any value judgment, and societies are perfectly capable, and permitted, to value things other than the products of profit-generating entities. Like healthcare or national defense.

          Like it or not life is not fair

          So why not work to make it as unfair as possible, you say. What exactly is being denied to rich people here? They will still be able to buy whatever they want in the marketplace. A universal system won’t change that, though it might make things cheaper for everyone. “Life is not fair” is the most childish of possible excuses for maintaining the status quo. It is not your job to defend the profits of the health insurance industry.

          1. National defense doesn’t generate monetary profit–far from it. Is it worthwhile, or should we scrap the whole thing?

            That’s why they put it in the damn Constitution.

            1. So if only the constitution mentioned healthcare, it would be perfectly OK if it violated these supposed firm laws of economics?

              1. Being in the Constitution doesn’t make something a good idea… it just makes it legal. You see, there are multiple reasons why the government should not be involved in healtcare.

          2. What exactly is being denied to rich people here?

            The products of their blood, sweat and tears. Products that they could re-invest in other productive activities.

            It is not your job to defend the profits of the health insurance industry.

            No one should ever have to defend the profits they make from interacting with willing partners.

          3. “National defense doesn’t generate monetary profit–far from it. Is it worthwhile, or should we scrap the whole thing?”

            Nice try……National Defense if the Governments job because the Constitution says so, also it National Defense kept your MOM from being forced to learn to speak German or being shot, and it keeps us from having to worship the Koran or be shot ourselves. Now health care was never part of the constitution and it says that they cant force us to buy…..but now they have.

            “What exactly is being denied to rich people here? They will still be able to buy whatever they want in the marketplace”

            Freedom for one…..Money for the other…..and if the Government gets its way with the “One Payer System” …..well then that would be loss of Choice also.

            I know you think that the Government is here to “help” but it has been proven over and over that the opposite is the case.

            1. Stop using the constitution as a cop-out. I say the constitution does allow for universal healthcare, and if it doesn’t, it’s flawed. Who cares what it says? The argument is that things that don’t generate a profit aren’t worthy of existing. Both I and the constitution clearly disagree on this premise. Does the constitution confer magical powers upon certain industries that make them immune from this alleged law of the universe?

              1. “Does the constitution confer magical powers upon certain industries that make them immune from this alleged law of the universe?”

                Not going to get into Constitutionalism, but your “alleged law” is a basic law of economics, and of the system that generated far more prosperity than the alternatives you prefer.

                1. “Not going to get into Constitutionalism, but your “alleged law” is a basic law of economics, and of the system that generated far more prosperity than the alternatives you prefer.”

                  But Tony would not get the same feeling out of it if he could not “tax” and redistribute ….

                2. I don’t think there’s ever been a society run entirely based on what market success dictates. Profitability indicates success according to the parameters of the market–but that’s not the be-all-end-all of human existence. We don’t need competition and profit to tell us what basic human needs are, or even how to fulfill them. The market is a tool for certain ends, not an end unto itself.

              2. “Who cares what it says? ”

                I do for one. And since you don’t think it should be valid any more ….How about I take all your money…..house ….car…..even though the Constitution says I cant, I need it more than you do, at least that how I feel……Right….that is how you make you decisions…Feelings!

                But see you only support the parts of it that YOU like. It does not work that way…..See the piece of paper you seem to hate also provides for Amendments….Just get 66% of the country to go along with your little pipe dream and your all set Tony.

                1. What a wonderful offer… I’ll apply a needlessly strict interpretation to the constitution for no reason other than you are scared of universal healthcare because a talking head told you to be.

                  1. “I’ll apply a needlessly strict interpretation to the constitution for no reason other than you are scared of universal healthcare because a talking head told you to be.”

                    No Tony I am not scared of universal health care….I am Scared of Government run health care. I will not put MY future in the hands of any one else.

                    1. And the Strict interpretation would be perfect by my standards.

                    2. Then don’t go to the hospital.

                    3. “Then don’t go to the hospital.”

                      I dont…my doctor works out of a country “clinic”

              3. I say the constitution does allow for universal healthcare, and if it doesn’t, it’s flawed. Who cares what it says?

                It’s willing slaves such as yourself that make my job that much simpler, Tony.

                Thanks. Seriously.

                1. Says the person worshiping the absolute demands of a piece of paper.

                  1. I actually agree with Tony here. The law of economics does apply to defense spending, which is why it should be cut before it inflates into the abyss with entitlement spending. Just because it’s in the Constitution does not make it worthy of following. Think blacks 3/5 of a vote, for example. Defense worship is one reason we’re in this mess, but it’s not the only reason, as Tony would like it to be. Europe is in the same mess without such massive, wasteful expenditures on war, but we have put Europe’s largesse on steroids here by adding the stupidity of endless war to socializing all risks.

                    Tony sees us as Republicans and thinks defense spending is a good criticism. His justification is that if the other side does we can too. It’s just bad logic and it should be seen as such. They are both bad.

                    1. The Constitution didn’t say blacks were 3/5ths of a person. It said slaves were. Just because slaves were predominantly black doesn’t mean the slave holding states should get a bonus in representation for it.

        2. “Like it or not life is not fair”

          Depends on your definition of fair. I think a free market capitalist world would be awfully close to fair.

          1. “Depends on your definition of fair. I think a free market capitalist world would be awfully close to fair.”

            And that is my point. Freedom and free markets are the only way out. We as a country did the best when the Government did the least.

      3. Microecon. Not too dense even for you, and it’ll show how wrong all your assumptions are.

        “It’s to decrease healthcare costs by including everyone in the risk pool. Healthcare would be more expensive for government if the only people on the dole were at-risk people like the old, sick, and poor.”

        I don’t think you entirely comprehend that healthy people are in the risk pool, by choice, by getting health insurance. The argument the leftist make is that they need to get the poor and sick in the pool, so they can mooch off the healthy. Now you mention *government healthcare*, but you ignore that the actions of the free market and state are in this case contradictory.

        “Expanding access to healthcare is the moral component.”

        Expandind access to healthcare–at whose expense? Ask yourself how you’re going to make this work.

        “Making healthcare cheaper is the practical imperative.”

        Making it easier to open a hospital, open a practice, reduce taxes on hospitals and doctors–that might reduce the cost. Now, I think that they should be allowed to do whatever they want with the money they earn, but for the time being I’ll compromise and propose a tax credit for doctors whose employers reduce their salary so that the costs to patients are lower.

        ReasonTV did a video on how much better animal medicine is compared to human medicine. The big difference: animal medicine is largely unregulated, and still high quality. Maybe markets *can* be self regulating.

        “We have evidence from around the world for what works best, and the only reason we haven’t implemented it here is because too many people make too much money in the healthcare and insurance businesses.”

        Free markets work best: the twentieth century should have taught us that. Soviet Union and China are my examples. China is improving because they’ve liberalized portions of their economy.

        In America, yes, there is a medical lobby that would like to stay unnationalized, but they should be lobbying for better regulation. Better =/= more. Better will probably mean less.

        “The only real question we face is whether those entities’ profits are more important than cheap universal healthcare.”

        This answers our question above: at the expense of those who have succeeded, for the sake of those who haven’t. Or to put it simpler, you don’t care about property rights.

        “We know what the answer is for libertarians: they often get confused and think it is their role to defend the profits of the corporate status quo.”

        Libertarians don’t automatically love corporations or the Kochtupus. We love freedom. I don’t especially care about big companies. I care about free markets. The government’s job to not to protect those profits, in the sense you mean, but to protect property rights. I’m a little overwhelmed by the ignorance in that sentence.

        If this is a spoof, well done. Either way, these points need to be addressed.

        1. The argument the leftist make is that they need to get the poor and sick in the pool, so they can mooch off the healthy.

          The drivers of US healthcare costs are complex, but the most at-risk people are ALREADY in single-payer systems. And guess what they have cheaper per capita costs and higher satisfaction with their programs. It’s why US health metrics all of a sudden get better once people reach Medicare eligibility.

          China is improving because they’ve liberalized portions of their economy.

          I will never tire of libertarians using China as an example of the magic of free markets. I’m not the one who wants all-or-nothing here. China is able to direct its market to do basically whatever it wants. That is not what you’re talking about, it is the exact opposite.

          animal medicine is largely unregulated, and still high quality.

          Does it work for whole populations of animals, or just the ones we select as pets? Not really a comparison.

          This answers our question above: at the expense of those who have succeeded, for the sake of those who haven’t. Or to put it simpler, you don’t care about property rights.

          Not more than the right to basic human necessities. The “successful” are not victims of anything, and they don’t need your fealty. I’m talking about a cheaper and more equitable society here–I don’t give a fuck about who you think is morally worthy of being taxed. Keep your religion off my body.

          1. “Not more than the right to basic human necessities. The “successful” are not victims of anything, and they don’t need your fealty. I’m talking about a cheaper and more equitable society here–I don’t give a fuck about who you think is morally worthy of being taxed. Keep your religion off my body.”

            The successful are not victims, but you seem to think they deserve punishment for soem reason. The successful have my respect, not fealty. Those who came to wealth through force or fraud don’t even have that.

            I direct you to my favorite philosopher. Ayn Rand flame thread in 3..2..1..

            http://www.aynrand.org/site/Pa…..man_rights

            1. The right to life is the source of all rights?and the right to property is their only implementation.

              Is this so? There are lots of people with very little property to their name. Is there no other consideration, no other form of rights, that contribute to one’s right to life? Like, say, healthcare?

              There is no such thing as a free market. There will always be actors who try to game the system in their favor. Just like there will always be people who attempt to violate social norms to gain an advantage in every other type of human endeavor. If you understand the value of police, then you can understand the value of market regulations. Any system will have unfair aspects–but the most unfair system of all is one that is not policed. The end of any political system should be human well-being. I’m sure Ayn Rand thought that’s what she was going for, but she completely misunderstands what constitutes human well-being. It’s not just property rights. Those are for people who already have property, and who gained it by whatever means.

              1. Very little property =/= no property. Rand believed in a free world, everyone could accumulate a fair amount of wealth. Wealth in this case equals consumables, or means of exchange (money).

                Did you totally miss this part? It was the bit I wanted you to find.

                The Democratic Party platform of 1960 summarizes the switch boldly and explicitly. It declares that a Democratic Administration “will reaffirm the economic bill of rights which Franklin Roosevelt wrote into our national conscience sixteen years ago.”

                Bear clearly in mind the meaning of the concept of “rights” when you read the list which the platform offers:

                “1. The right to a useful and remunerative job in the industries or shops or farms or mines of the nation.

                “2. The right to earn enough to provide adequate food and clothing and recreation.

                “3. The right of every farmer to raise and sell his products at a return which will give him and his family a decent living.

                “4. The right of every businessman, large and small, to trade in an atmosphere of freedom from unfair competition and domination by monopolies at home and abroad.

                “5. The right of every family to a decent home.

                “6. The right to adequate medical care and the opportunity to achieve and enjoy good health.

                “7. The right to adequate protection from the economic fears of old age, sickness, accidents and unemployment.

                “8. The right to a good education.”

                A single question added to each of the above eight clauses would make the issue clear: At whose expense?

                Once you’ve read that, then we’ll talk.

                1. At the expense of the excessively wealthy. Sorry, Romantic Randian fairy tales notwithstanding, nobody got wealthy all by himself. All of those things are much, much more worthy of a society protecting than obscene wealth, which is really what the end of this ethic is–protecting every last dime anyone happens to have gotten his hands on at the expense of most everybody else. Sure it’s a tradeoff. We can’t have unlimited wealth for a few individuals–nobody is that special. At any rate, either way is a choice for a society to make and an indication of its priorities. If we’re not protecting the market system and the profits it generates to some end then we’re merely worshiping it.

                  1. At the expense of the excessively wealthy.

                    The only people who are excessively wealthy are the thieves. Everyone else has just the right amount of wealth. They did earn it after all…

                    1. How do you know if they earned it? The easiest way to make more wealth in this country is to already have lots of wealth with which to invest. Is that earning? Did someone really work for a $250 million yearly income? You’re taking a Protestant work ethic and applying it in a totally vulgar way. It amounts to defending every last dime of wealth if it happens to be in the pockets of the wealthy. Well, what if government subsidy and favoritism is what led to certain people being very wealthy? How do you correct for that?

                      All I hear is that the wealthy are by definition virtuous, and thus the poor are by definition vicious.

                    2. If you invest $100 million that you have (let’s suppose by inheretance), and you recieve $10 million in interest, that interest is reward for investing in a company. Said company is engaged in productive work, and by giving them $100 million, enabled them to expand their production, creating wealth. They pay you back for your contribution (TANSTAAFL), and then interest, as a thank you for having the confidence in them to do so. You wouldn’t have invested without the prospect of interest, so that profit motive actually increased the amount of wealth available to the population.

                      Mutual consent, mutual benefit.

                      I bet you think Bill Gates is an evil exploiter.

                    3. “All I hear is that the wealthy are by definition virtuous, and thus the poor are by definition vicious.”

                      That is not Rand’s belief. The productive are by definition virtuous, and the unproductive are by definition vicious. In a laissez-faire capitalist economy, productivity and wealth would be closer related than they are in this mixed economy. The two are reversed in a command economy (Reference: Soviet Union: nonproductive bureaucrats were paid more than the factory workers and peasants the communists exalted).

                    4. he productive are by definition virtuous, and the unproductive are by definition vicious.

                      Well, I reject that too. It’s the work ethic thing I was referring to–which most libertarians happily distort to mean simply worshiping wealth. I don’t think we should structure society based on how you morally judge people. Do we have productivity police snooping around everyone’s accounts to make sure they earned it in a sufficiently “productive” way? I don’t think you want that, so I don’t think creating society around rewarding work and productivity without addressing human needs as well is very useful.

                    5. How do you know if they earned it? The easiest way to make more wealth in this country is to already have lots of wealth with which to invest. Is that earning? Did someone really work for a $250 million yearly income?

                      Yes they did. It doesn’t matter if you think they earned it. It only matters if their employer thinks they earned it. As far as investment goes, risking your wealth can be just as productive, or wasteful, as manual labor. Don’t think of the investment as just money. Think of it as a harvester that ups a farms productivity or a new machine tool that ups a factories output.

                      Well, what if government subsidy and favoritism is what led to certain people being very wealthy? How do you correct for that?

                      By ending those government subsidies and regulations (favoritism)!

                      All I hear is that the wealthy are by definition virtuous, and thus the poor are by definition vicious.

                      Then you aren’t listening very carefully. A poor person who earns his way through life is virtuous, but he still doesn’t have any right to a wealthier person’s property. A wealthy person who spends an inheretance, but produces nothing is not virtuous.

                    6. A poor person who earns his way “through life is virtuous, but he still doesn’t have any right to a wealthier person’s property. A wealthy person who spends an inheretance, but produces nothing is not virtuous.”

                      this!!

                    7. “How do you know if they earned it?”

                      How do you jump to the assumption that any particular person did not earn their wealth just because thay have wealth? Without that justification, your rationalization that the state has a moral right to confiscate that wealth falls apart.

                    8. “Well, what if government subsidy and favoritism is what led to certain people being very wealthy? How do you correct for that?”

                      By doing the utmost to get rid of the corruption. However, you don’t want to do that. You want to expand the government’s ability to subsidize and play favorites.

                  2. The irrational hurts.

                    You really don’t believe in property, and have no conception of individual work. Rand addresses all these claims either explicitily or implicitly, you just have to look for them. I have.

                    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=muHg86Mys7I

                  3. The poor in America are considered wealthy in other countries. They were lucky to be born in America. So they should be taxed more so that their money goes to more needy people in poor countries.

                    Should I give you the bank details where you can transfer the money that you did not earn ?

                    1. While that’s an interesting freshman philosophy concern, I think a good starting place is to use some of our national wealth to provide for human needs before we provide for the excessive luxuries of a tiny minority. The world doesn’t have to be perfect before we’re permitted to make our country a little fairer.

                    2. So fairness is decided by arbitrary lines on a map. A man in Texas is not allowed be fair to a Mexican just over the border, but has to be fair to some stranger on some faraway Pacific island ? Sounds very fair to me.

                      So you agree that the excessive wealth of “poor” Americans (a minority of the world population) needs to be handed over to the real poor, to make the world fairer.

                    3. I’m happy to talk about why we need stronger global government, but for now, people who don’t have a stake in our system (don’t vote or pay taxes) don’t get to benefit from its services.

                      There are ways to reduce human misery on a global scale, but it’s complicated and we should lead by example first. I’m so sick of hearing about how our poor have it so good (as if that’s some sort of excuse for something).

                    4. You support giving free services to people in America who do vote or pay taxes, so basically someone by accident of birth is automatically allowed more priviledge than if they are born in the wrong place, I thought your pro fairness.

                      It is not complicated at all what has reduced human misery – globalisation. It has created more wealth in the world than ever before. It has rewarded millions of workers in China and India, and it is punishing millions of overpaid entitled losers in America, it is as fair and just as it gets.

                    5. basically someone by accident of birth is automatically allowed more priviledge than if they are born in the wrong place

                      Exactly. And what you’re saying is that someone by virtue of this same accident of geography is entitled to everything he gets his grubby hands on as if he “earned” it all through sheer individual determination.

                      I’m glad you think that adding a billion eager Chinese workers to the supply is fair. It is sure to make “fairness” as you define it inconsequential as a matter of public policy. Society doesn’t exist to provide profits to existing market actors, it exists to enhance human well-being in a mutually beneficial way.

                    6. I do not believe that, that is what YOU believe, I stated it to show how contradict yourself. You believe in granting privilidge to someone born in America and not China. I do not believe in giving anyone more rights than anyone else anywhere in the world. You believe Americans should deserve more than others, that is totally unfair.

                      I say that someone doing the same work in China should not be paid less than someone doing the work in America, your narrow minded nationalism will want to tolerate that, but in the end it is utterly indefensible to support paying someone more because they were born in the right country.

                    7. I think all people are entitled to a basic standard of living and the opportunity to advance that with honest work. That’s not the case in large parts of the world, but that’s no excuse not to try in our own society–it’s no excuse for anything, in fact.

                    8. You depriving poor people in the world of their right to basic service by giving too much to Americans. There are poor people Africa who have no clean water, yet you want to give free internet and art funding to Americans instead, that makes you are a cold greed meister.

                      So like I said, stop being a hypocrite and hand over your money to provide basic services to poor people in the world.

                    9. I’m perfectly in favor of contributing to foreign aid as much as possible. Not just for charity purposes, but for our national interest. But you guys are incapable of seeing the world through any lens except a microeconomic one.

                    10. “Our national interest”, your lens is the jingoistic one. Globalisation is the greatest macroeconomic good ever to occur to man, and yet I can only see the microeconomic one ?

                      Like I said, if you can feel a greater affinity to someone living on a faraway Pacific island as opposed someone living across the border in Mexico, perhaps you should reconsider how wise it is to be a nationalist.

                    11. “I think a good starting place is to use some of our national wealth to provide for human needs before we provide for the excessive luxuries of a tiny minority. The world doesn’t have to be perfect before we’re permitted to make our country a little fairer.”

                      Tony, I am glad you are so concerned about “humans”…..but if you were really into your beliefs for “human interests” you would just leave people to there own means and STAY out of their lives. Playing socialist Robin Hood will only give you more poor people on the “program”. I have told you this before if you want to “help” start a business and pay people to work for you, give them a wage that raises them up and sell products or services that other people want.

                      Time to stop fussing over what other people “have” that YOU would like to “give” to the people you see as “poor”…..If you feel so bad about where you are at in life because you are better off than the “poor”…..Then feel free to help them yourself.

                      STOP trying to get the Government involved in YOUR moral dilemma. While you would get what you want…..I can bet you still will never “feel” any better about your self even if you got what you want.

          2. animal medicine is largely unregulated, and still high quality.

            Does it work for whole populations of animals, or just the ones we select as pets? Not really a comparison.
            _________

            Wow. Holy shit Tony. You’re really grasping for straws. Yeah, we can’t pay for every single animal in the world, we don’t even know half of them. But the comparison is valid since the subset “pets” are the ones we’re willing to pay for, just as “humans” is what we’d be willing to pay for. Not to mention the technologies are similar.
            And did you forget the scandal when people were trying to file themselves as animals (or something of that nature) in Sweden (or Norway or something) just to get some form of medical care?

            1. I just don’t think it’s a relevant comparison at all. We allow for much more price elasticity in pet healthcare than we do for humans. It’s not morally acceptable to take granny out and shoot her if her healthcare costs are too high, for example.

              I don’t think this comparison measures healthcare quality to include access. Don’t the pets who don’t get taken to the vet simply not get counted?

              1. the point Tony, is that very very similar things are compared. The training of the doctors is very similar and if anything GREATER (since they have to learn about multiple animals), and the materials and equipment necessary are similar and frequently the same.

                1. You don’t think it’s relevant that there is a large amount of self-selection going into who pays for what, and that the fact that it’s animals means it’s not a moral crisis that we let pet owners with the money to afford medical care for pets define the entire market?

                  1. “You don’t think it’s relevant that there is a large amount of self-selection going into who pays for what”

                    I don’t really know what you mean by that.

                    “we let pet owners with the money to afford medical care for pets define the entire market?”

                    That’s why the comparison. Why the hell is one so expensive and the other not, when all the inputs are extremely similar/same? Here’s a hint, the regulations in this country in particular that massively raise the cost of healthcare, as I’ve mentioned above (very specifically with the economics involved, I might add)

              2. It’s not morally acceptable to take granny out and shoot her if her healthcare costs are too high, for example.

                But it is morally acceptable to just let her die. Eventually you will run out of other people’s money and it will happen anyway!

      4. It’s to decrease healthcare costs by including everyone in the risk pool.

        The problem is that there is effectively a single risk pool. You get the savings from this, but lose savings by eliminating competition through overregulation. This expands inefficiency, drives out potential insurers, and eliminates *reasonable* incentives to cut costs. This then leads to mandates which further drives people out of the medical field, which in turn suppresses innovations and ideas to which might have occurred otherwise. There will eventually be some equilibrium, but it will end up not being any better than what we have now, but I’m being optimistic.

        1. You put too much stock in competition. Let’s get that clear: there is competition to generate the most profits, but that is in no way the same as generating quality affordable healthcare.

          Imagine if healthcare worked like a pure free market. That means human lives are simply a variable. The insurance model quite evidently simply prices people out who are too high-risk–hence the motivation for creating public insurance in the first place.

    3. Because if the government does not control health care, that means that there is no particular identifiable entity that is in control. Progressives have a neurotic fear of there being no one officially in charge of important aspects of our daily lives.

  3. Why were the words emphasis added after the big quote? There was no emphasis.

    Addressing the quote itself, however, I must be amazed at the illogic of the left. If healthcare costs go skyhigh, and we’re already spending government money on healthcare, then we need to “reform” Medicare so more people can get it. Let’s solve the problem by making it worse.

    Of course, that’s the theme of the article.

  4. So why do progressives want to give the state more control?

    If they are part of the power structure, it’s because they want more power.

    If they are ordinary citizens who get all aroused at bigger government, it’s because they are fucking morons.

  5. Is it too early to note that Gabby Giffords has half a mind to do something about this?

    Too soon? No?

    1. our federal budget is more fucked than Steve Irwin in a stingray tank

    2. No, I think it’s about time. She’s put herself back out there, so she gets no pass from the mockery her idiocy deserves.

  6. A market driven solution to increasing health care costs is to increase the number of doctors.

    Why aren’t we doing that?

    1. Microeconomics? What’s that?

    2. Because the supply of doctors is inelastic. It takes at least 7 years and tens of thousands of dollars to become a doctor. Additionally, the amount of health care provided by doctors is lower due to incentives to join specialties not matching the actual demand for those specialties due to the fee for service model.

      Finally, I’ll note that it doesn’t make a lot of sense to suggest that “we” do a “market driven” solution. When a market works, there is no need for societal action. When there are market failures, we need to either add artificial incentives to the market or change how that market works.

      1. Because the supply of doctors is inelastic.

        For one thing, procedures, etc., that can be done by someone with less than a PHD in some medical area should be. We’re already headed in that direction I think, but too slowly.

      2. How long does it take someone with an MD to quit practicing medicine?

        1. You have to give your patients 90 or 120 days’ notice, or thereabouts, lest you be accused of “abandonment”. Patients are helpless victims, you see, and can’t look after themselves.

  7. “Last week in Mother Jones, Kevin Drum argued that the recent contretemps over the national debt had only a single cause. Defense, discretionary, and interest spending are mostly on a downward slope as a percentage of GDP, he claimed; Social Security is ‘basically fine’?but not health spending. ‘The only thing we should be seriously concerned about,’ he concluded, ‘is health care spending. Period.'”

    Obvious solution: phase out Social Security (because it sure as hell isn’t “fine”), Medicare, and Medicaid. That solves to problem.

    Secondly, GDP is calculated as Y = C + I + G + NX. G stands for government. Therefore, increased government spending affects GDP, no matter what government activity it is, NASA or the EPA (one produces (though not very effectually), one prevents production). In addition, actual dollar amounts of discretionary, defense, social security could be on the rise, but if government healthcare spending grows faster than both of those and GDP, then it “increases” as share of GDP.

    I haven’t checked the the math on this, so it’s all in my head right now, but it seems logical enough. If anyone wants to actually calculate these, I’d be delighted.

    It helps to have at least a little economics background before making a policy choice.

    1. I don’t understand the scare quotes around the word increases. It seems to me that if a bigger proportion of our GDP goes to healthcare, then healthcare spending has indeed increased. What are you trying to say?

      1. Clarify. What scare quotes, and what part specifically confuses you?

        1. Okay, found the quotes. Wrong paragraph, naturally. Annoyance at absence of edit button.

  8. That actually looks like it might just work dude.

    http://www.privacy-tools.no.tc

    1. No, it doesn’t…

  9. [It helps to have at least a little economics background before making a policy choice.]

    Then explain Paul Krugman.

    1. I said economics, not magical Keynesianism.

      Perhaps I should have said microeconomics. I’ve noticed that a good deal of macroeconomics operates in contradiction to microeconomics.

      1. Then explain the Nobel Prize. Hang on. Never mind, liberal Norweigan socialists, I keep forgetting. Proceed.

  10. I just love the mindset behind this giant ferris wheel of shit we ge to ride in: We are going to solve the cost problems in the healthcare system, at least partially caused by bureacracy(some if not most of it state-imposed) by implicity creating even more bureacracy infused with even more worthless desk jockeys who will be even more concerned with maintaining their recently minted non-jobs than actually decreasing the costs of healthcare.

    1. Bureaucracy. Dammit…public school and perpetual drunkeness strike again.

    2. Bureaucracy. Public School strikes again.

    3. Bureaucracy. Public School strikes again.

    4. Bureaucracy. Public School strikes again.

    5. Bureaucracy. Public School strikes again.

    6. “Government bureaucracy” is not the problem in itself. It’s the decoupling of cost from supply and demand. This is a result of several factors – including both our third party payor system and the inelasticity of demand for health care. The vast majority of doctors and patients aren’t looking to control costs therefore costs increase.

      The health care industry is dominated by two major restrictions on the market: licensed doctors and patented prescription medication. However good these policies may be for health care outcomes, they massively increase the cost. Combine that the increase in chronic disease due to our previous successes in health care and you will see a constant rise in cost from the market.

      1. Yeah I know I fucked that one up. Really, it’s just a reflection of my life. Bureaucracy. Public School strikes again.

      2. And Yes, I totally agree with you about the supply/demand decoupling. I was just pointing out that regardless of what you are trying to make more affordable (be it blow jobs, roller coaster rides, hand jobs, t candy bars, glass-bottom boats, etc.) entrenching an army of public-school/government-approved educated bureaucrats to administer it in some way will do nothing to solve the problem in the least. At its core, the idea that we can appoint the right army of people to solve a problem that would destroy the world’s supercomputers (we still have those right?) is another in an endless string of arrogant follies perpetuated by a middle-aged empire sliding ungracefully into her so-called golden years.

        1. The alternative is having the same fallible bureaucrats in charge, but their goal not being delivering healthcare but generating profits for a private enterprise.

          1. Or firing the fucking lot of them.

          2. Competition.

            1. There’s no competition in government? Their very jobs get put up to a vote ever 2?6 years! And it’s pure competition (allegedly), not competition within a context of vast disparities in influence based on wealth (though this is no longer really the case–thanks free market guys!)

      3. “Government bureaucracy” is not the problem in itself. It’s the decoupling of cost from supply and demand.

        This is what annoys me. There are so many common sense actions that could have been taken, but never were. We didn’t need to reinvent (and badly) the entire health care system.

  11. The government created our current health care mess. So why do progressives want to give the state more control?

    That’s a trick question, right? They’re progressives, statism is what they do.

  12. ‘giant ferris wheel of shit we get to ride in’

    1. on my end it isn’t showing, but that was supposed to include

      1. okay, evidently Less than sign + 3 (a heart) self-deleted, but for the third time.
        HEART. Drax, that was awesome.

        1. Thanks, Pizza man.

  13. Can someone explain to me how these regressive power-thirsty types get to call themselves “progressives”? They’re really the opposite.

    1. Communists are more reactionary than capitalists.

      Socialists stole the term liberal.

      Still waiting for them to call themselves what they really are. I’m going to be here awhile.

    2. Handing more money and power to the State is the epitome of progress. It’s time to get on board the ProgressTrain or get out of the way.

  14. Tony|8.2.11 @ 11:39AM

    No need to comment further… it’s chock full’o stoopid as it is.

    1. I’m learning that the hard way.

  15. and while Tony’s babbling about other countries with better healthcare, how much you wanna bet which side of our Southern gets more people going across it? I’ll bet far more Americans go South into Mexico to get healthcare they can actually afford than come up here.

  16. Tony, France is not that rich as you imagine, since you want to keep argue that it is not morals but prosperity, there is not a single wealth metric where France beats America.

    The funny thing is, if you had to try to socialise with average Frenchmen, they would probably treat you for the buffoon you are. I recommend you go to France, you will get over your France worship VERY quickly.

    1. I’ve been to France, and I’m not sure what you’re talking about. It’s not France worship, it’s recognizing that they have one of the best healthcare systems in the world.

      1. Bullshit have you been to France. The place is poorer in every way. Unless you are Paul Krugman and were staying at a 5 star hotel (and think thats why socialism works), you have never been to France.

        Everything is more expensive there, the middle class is poorer than the US middle class, the poor people are poorer than the US poor people. And their rich are also poorer, but no doubt you like that, in the name of equality.

        1. France is #11 on the Human Poverty Index (with 7.3% poverty rate based on median income) compared to #17, the US, with 17% poverty rate based on median income. Comparing absolute dollars, the poverty rates are comparable. But the virtue of a more socialized system is that many services that would represent large individual costs in the US are provided for in France–you don’t need as much money to live and your livelihood isn’t at as great a risk of being completely undermined by a catastrophe. Nobody said France was perfect, but the US has a lot of really shitty metrics and it has nothing to do with a simplistic equation of less vs. more government.

          1. Not sure what you proving here, the place is still poorer than America. The argument “you do not need as much money to live” is bullshit, it can be used for any poor country in the world, that does not put the country at the same wealth level.

            1. I prefer measures of poverty that compare absolute terms, like access to certain basic services. Once those needs are addressed then we can talk about wealth inequality, which is a problem in and of itself. The US is one of the worst in the world on wealth inequality. I’m not sure how you’re defining “poorer.”

              1. Wealth inequality means nothing, two hobos have lower than wealth inequality than me and Carlos Slim, it still does not make them wealthy.

                The American poor have HIGHER standards of living than someone living in a banlieu. So they are wealthier, despite the satanic inequality in America. You think that the medical care for someone from the banlieu is better than for a poor person in America ?

                1. Considering the US has single-payer healthcare for the poor, I expect our poor do OK.

                  1. A few posts ago, you were openly saying how dismal the care for the poor was compared to France. A new word for you to learn: Contradiction.

                  2. According to Team Blue terrorists, who tell us otherwise… the poor are in danger of dropping dead in the streets, and they’ll be reduced to waiting for the wagon to come around with the guy saying “bring out your dead!”.

                    Care to revise your remarks above, Tony?

                  3. “Considering the US has single-payer healthcare for the poor, I expect our poor do OK.”

                    So why then do you feel the need to “help” them all the time ????

                    Could it be control…..YOU and YOUR morals will make them better people?

                    Get a clue you cannot perfect people.

  17. From HERE:

    For about a hundred years, America has been a nation of accumulating medical controls. Each new regulation was passed with the same justification made for the previous one: This measure will sufficiently correct the failings of the free market and thus save the free-market system. And the result? Today’s “crisis in health care” — as the welfare statists themselves call this iatrogenic disease. The more band-aids are applied, the more wounds appear! And with nothing but band-aids in their bags, these “liberals” (often the same aging advocates of past regulation) can now prescribe only covering the patient head to toe — i.e., the final move to the outright socialization of all medicine. What this says about the microcosm of medicine is obvious; what it means for our mixed economy is ominous.

    1. The only healthcare programs that work well in this country are the single-payer ones. Rising healthcare costs are healthcare-related, not government-related. If anything government keeps costs down relative to where they would be.

      1. “Rising healthcare costs are healthcare-related, not government-related.”

        What the hell is that even supposed to mean? What are “healthcare related” reasons for the cost of healthcare rising?
        I’ve given you numerous examples of government policies that predictably jack up the price of healthcare.

        “The only healthcare programs that work well in this country are the single-payer ones”

        Actually doesn’t work that well. Lotta bureaucracy to deal with, and sometimes you might not get service when you thought you would.
        At least, it’s not nearly as good as private service.

        The question is why is that private health services so expensive? Again, you’ve been given reasons that only the most economically illiterate couldn’t understand; very specific disastrous policies.

        As an alternative, the government could simply subsidize the healthcare payments where appropriate. Hell, it could make things cheaper by getting bulk deals on care from groups of doctors.

        You know, stuff like France does.

        And yet you keep pushing single-payer.

        1. I’d take France’s system over our own any day. I don’t disagree with you on bad government policy.

          But the fact remains that healthcare costs are rising independent of government–Medicare costs per capita are rising at a slower rate than private health insurance spending per capita.

          So the major drivers of healthcare costs are the following:

          New tech and prescription drugs
          Chronic disease
          An aging population
          Administrative costs

          At the very least we should apply the minor success of Medicare at constraining rising costs to the private sector. There’s a lot more we can do and I’m sure we’d agree on the bulk of it.

      2. and, oh yeah, there’s literally a body that meets every year that includes people from the medical industry and adjusts medicare outlays for current costs. They’ve needed to raise the outlays every year since the 60’s or whenever when those regulations came into place. Gee, I wonder why they always feel the need to do that?

      3. “The only healthcare programs that work well in this country are the single-payer ones”

        Umm no….Romney care here in mass is a total failure!

  18. In case anyone forgot

    https://reason.com/archives/200…..ealth-care

    So this guy has actually extensively been through this system.

    So basically, the libertarians are wrong in ONLY opposing Obamacare and essentially implying that what we have now is better or OK. It’s not and clearly this form of “socialism” is better than our crappy MIX system (and by the way, ours is crappier because it is a weird MIX of the two systems, they really don’t mix well and so what we got was shit.)

    And Tony is also wrong because he keeps pushing for single-payer, even though I’ve clearly shown this and other alternatives.
    What’s fucked up is he claims to care about equal access to healthcare and blah blah blah and yet he keeps simply pushing single payer. If he cared so much, he would at least be OPEN to an alternative like this. But no.
    Im telling you him and the liberals have got some issues and it makes them get their jollies off from the idea of control.

    1. I’m not wedded to single-payer I just think it’s what will work best in this country considering we already have robust and successful single-payer programs to serve as models.

      1. well since France’s system clearly works much better than most other first world countries’, then clearly single payer ISN’T

        why don’t you read wikipedia’s synopsis on France’s systems. A number of elements make it different from single payer and a lot smarter too. Elements that (it looks to me skimming it) make use of MARKET FORCES. HUHHHHH!!! THE HORROR!

      2. Unfunded liabilities greater than the economic output of the entire world is not the mark of a successful program.

  19. “So why do progressives want to give the state more control?”

    Because that’s what they do.

  20. Was curious as to what everyone thinks of this:

    http://online.wsj.com/article/SB124718085849920111

    and this:

    http://nchc.org/content/are-no…..-taxpayers

  21. When all is said and done, public health care inevitably follows the same patterns as private insurance companies.

    The government paying for everyone’s procedures without limitations equates to a sum of infinity, that is how much the program costs. Unless you believe that the government can provide you with ANY amount of coverage anytime (and for anybody), then you’ll eventually have to accept the reality that government will have to establish limitations on pre-existing conditions, term lengths, treatments options, etc, etc. ..

    The only real difference between private and public health insurance will be one voluntary and one will be compulsory.

  22. The gvt didn’t make the US have the most expensive health care in the worled – insurance companies did that.

    And there is a simple way to make SS and Medicare solvent forever – ELIMINATE THE CEILING CAP. And make them pay on Capital Gains of over $500,001.

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