the Air Vent

Because the world needs another opinion

People Dependent are People Enslaved

Posted by Jeff Id on March 22, 2010

If you think health care had anything to do with providing improved services, you are wrong. America is being systematically robbed and destroyed from inside by criminal elements in charge of banks, insurance agencies and now our government.

The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people.  10th amendment.

The constitution is only a piece of paper.

I never thought I would need to fly the American flag upside down, but then again,  I never thought the American people were stupid enough to vote away their success.  Wrong again…….

“The flag should never be displayed with the union down, except as a signal of dire distress in instances of extreme danger to life or property.”

It is a sad day for America and indeed for the world.  Today is the day a huge portion of the freedom of the American people was stolen.  The day that criminals in charge of government ignore the law of the land, find and define false loopholes in the law, manipulate each other with massive bribery and monetary blackmail, force a money robbing destruction on the American people.  All for the direct benefit of their suitors.  In the midst of it all, the most disgusting part is that far too many American fools cheer them on.  One more step to complete slavery, and it was no small one.

In the past, you could own a piece of land and live there undisturbed.  You could teach your child what you wanted them to learn.  You could make your own health decisions.  Keep your own money you made.  — No longer!

We all hope  for business as usual, we want the economy to recover so we can return to our jobs.  This was 1/6th of the economy, but more than that, this was your control over your own health.  There will be no business as usual.

March 22, 2010 is THE day which will live in infamy.

The constitution is only a piece of paper.

Experience hath shewn, that even under the best forms of government those entrusted with power have, in time, and by slow operations, perverted it into tyranny

Thomas Jefferson – The forefathers knew of which they wrote.

101 Responses to “People Dependent are People Enslaved”

  1. Paul Z. said

    Cheer up, Jeff. We will fight them all the way.
    ===

    5 truths about AGW* I hold to be self-evident:

    1) Al Gore says we need to ask ourselves some tough questions about AGW, but when Al Gore gets asked some tough questions about AGW, Al Gore tells security to get tough with those asking the questions.

    2) AGW proponents must have belonged to a cult of house painters in their previous lives because they have a predilection for whitewashing. Michael Mann inquiry? Whitewash. UEA inquiry? Whitewash. IPCC independent inquiry? Whitewash. Further note how AGW proponents believe that painting all our rooftops white will reflect sunlight and help mitigate AGW.

    3) AGW is really about global cooling because it is the ultimate snowball: using middle-class taxpayers money to fund the lies that will create the policies that will tax middle-class taxpayers even more to fund even more lies that will create the next wave of policies to further tax middle-class taxpayers even more etc.

    4) For some reason, AGW scientist-advocates are all scared shitless for at least a week when they hear the name “Steve McIntyre”. Which is a good thing, because that means less AGW-causing methane gas is released and helps to offset the bullshit coming out of their mouths.

    5) Incredibly, everything wrong in our world can be traced back to AGW. Birds shrinking? AGW. Snowstorms? AGW. Drought? Hurricanes? Famine? Poverty? Violence? Glaciers melting? Polar bears dying? All caused by AGW. The truth is, Al Gore is solely responsible for all of these problems, especially for killing the polar bears. He really is. Because Al Gore created AGW. Remember to tell your kids.
    ===
    *AGW = Al Gore’s Wallet.

  2. Robert E. Phelan said

    Jeff:

    Two months ago health care “reform” was dead. Two months ago climate “mitigation” was dead. What do you think the next big push is going to be?

  3. ClimateQuoter said

    I have to post this here. Those who are fed up will agree.

    Take the Non-Compliance Pledge here:

    http://wewillnotcomply.com/the-non-compliance-pledge/

    It says the following:

    The Non-Compliance Pledge

    I do not recognize the right of our legislators to pass laws against the people’s will.

    I do not give my consent to be governed to those who would act against our interests.

    I do pledge that I will not comply with unjust Federal legislation.

  4. Mark T said

    I’m thinking the poll numbers are going to highlight even more job losses coming this November. Apparently CO has passed a resolution outlawing the health care bill as unconstitutional (10th amendment). Hopefully the Supreme Court agrees with this point of view. Shut Obama up and impeach him for bribing public officials to vote for this crap.

    Mark

  5. Tonyb said

    As a UK Outsider I don’t pretend to understand the arguments about provding those who can’t afford it with the means to access Health Care.

    However, what is certain is that this will create a huge new bureaucracy and it will cost the state many times more than is claimed. I can’t see how America can afford this scheme AND press ahead with meaningful plans to combat imaginary climate change. Combating a phantom is a lot more expensive than tackling something real and tangible and immediate.

    So, either Obama will need to put his AGW agenda on the back burner because the US can’t afford it, or he will see the Health care plans as the opportunity to raise ‘green’ taxes in order to pay for it. Close call.

    Tonyb

  6. michel said

    TonyB,

    I don’t understand it either. I think the debate may be best understood as a two by two matrix. One side of the matrix is insurance versus health care provision. The other side of the matrix is state versus private.

    The UK has state insurance and state provision (the NHS is a nationalized industry). As it happens, the insurance is only obtainable for care provided by the state provider. Generally you cannot take your NHS funding outside the NHS care provider system.

    Europe generally has state insurance and private provision. You take your money and spend it with the provider of your choice.

    The US seems to be going with private insurance and private care, with the proviso that they are adopting measures to make insurers as a universe do universal coverage.

    The pros and cons in general are fairly clear when you look at it like this. The state is the natural low cost provider of universal insurance, since it does not have to screen (its offering universal insurance), and screening out bad risks, or trying to, is the main cost of being in the health insurance business. So the US may be in the worst of all possible worlds with the new plan. It may not lower insurance costs, in fact, it may raise them. It is probably impossible to have universal health insurance at reasonable cost without having the state do it.

    The state on the other hand is a terrible health care producer, as we see in the UK. It falls into the hands of the national unions, which means it cannot impose quality standards, and we see the desperate stories of Maidstone and the recent ones about treatment of patients which is appalling. It also wastes prodigious amounts of money on overheads and non-working staff, enormous numbers of ‘managers’ and huge centralized IT projects.

    You also see that a unified organization will resort to rationing. If you split the two functions, the insurance arm has to pay for all cases which are covered by the rules. The UK however, by combining the two, manages its budgets by simply assigning a certain sum to a provider, and telling it to do the best it can for its area. The result is rationing when budgets run low, so that it transfers the budgetary risk onto the last case presenting. This is why in the UK old ladies mortgage their houses to go abroad for hip operations, despite nominally being covered by the NHS. They are covered, its just that its a one or two year wait. Similarly, try to get a followup visit with your consultant, and you’ll find you have another three month wait, this being after the first three month wait for the first one. Delays in cancer treatment in the UK are particularly appalling in their consequences.

    This is also why in the UK inferior treatments are commonly offered. The UK does far more heart valve replacement than is clinically optimal – repair would be better, but try to get it! The UK dental service pulls teeth rather than put in caps or crowns. The UK provides totally crap hearing aids. You are paying for care, but what you are getting, in the absence of defined entitlement, may not be what you expect or want.

    So you do not want the UK solution, and probably don’t want the US solution. What you should want is the European solution, which results in clear legal entitlements to funding, and incentives through patient choice to care providers to deliver safe and cost effective care.

    The numbers show which is better. On all measures the European solution delivers. And they do not have cases, which the UK has had, of health areas with high mortality rates going on for years, and years of well publicized cases in which hospitals have left patients starving or lying in their own faeces. Yes, it has happened, the government reports on it and the relatives testimony is available. Its gone on for years, its led to deaths, its happened in several different areas of the country. The combination of saving money, and then using those savings to fund beaurocracy, and also being unable to issue orders with sanctions associated with them to the working level staff – all those make the state an unsafe operator of health care provision.

    But it is still the low cost provider of universal insurance. Learn from Europe.

  7. Arnost said

    Jeff,

    Though I don’t entirely agree with him in all things, Alexis de Tocqueville some 150+ years ago made a couple of insightful observations of the US.

    The one most cited is the “bread and circuses” quote:
    “The American Republic will endure until the day Congress discovers that it can bribe the public with the public’s money.”

    Hmmm…

    This is something extensively written on by Hamilton, Madison, Jefferson and the other Federalists because it is a fate that (unless you are vigilant) is inevitable in any democracy. However, I have a sneaking feeling that the socialist/liberals have today gone a bridge too far.

    I think that a lot of people may have today looked over the abyss. And we know there is a groundswell to return to original values centered on the primacy of individual liberty.

    de Tocqueville also observed this:
    The greatness of America lies not in being more enlightened than any other nation, but rather in her ability to repair her faults.

    So spread the word and vote the bastards out while you can. And send in practical people– send in engineers; teachers; doctors and nurses, farmers… those that are the real America … and not the lawyers and party apparatchiks that seem to dominate!

    There is still time to repair the faults.

  8. [...] People Dependent are People Enslaved « the Air Vent [...]

  9. KTWO said

    Michel: Thanks for your remarkably clear explanation of the insurance matrix. Others can profit from it. I agree that the combination of state insurance and private care is about the best solution possible.

    It would be my selection if I hadn’t made another choice decades ago.

    I avoid contact with government in every way possible. It is extremely difficult. I dutifully pay taxes, fill out census forms, and obey laws much as others do. I consider obedience better than being beaten by IRS goons or those from another of the roughly 50,000 agencies of government.

    I regard any government as the dominant gang of thugs over some geographic area. I feel no allegiance. And after observing governments for a long time I wonder why anyone would.

    Governments have every characteristic of criminal bands. But technically they can not be criminals. “criminal” is a legal term and they make the law and decide what the word means. So they are not criminals.

    My greatest concern after a very long and healthy life is that I won’t die suddenly. If I lapse into some great physical difficulty some f**** moron may notice and call for medical assistance. Then I will be in the hands of medics and totally controlled by others.

    But to those a bit more fond of government some insurance laws will seem better than others.

    In outline the ObamaCare passed today is not horrible as such things go. It seems I will just pay a few thousand in higher taxes. And possibly fill out a form or two. Later some govt ass**** may bother me more about it.

    There far worse things coming than ObamaCare. And government will deliver them as fast as possible.

  10. Tonyb said

    Michel

    You make some very good points.

    “The state on the other hand is a terrible health care producer, as we see in the UK.”

    When it was first instituted directly after the war, the idea was that the NHS would attend to basic health care on a free at the point of delivery basis. This was particularly relevant at that time, what with lots of injuries and perceived health problems due to rationing and general housing conditions etc.

    The notion was that basic universal health care would raise everyones health and demand would eventually reduce. What we have seen is the opposite, with the state now providing health care in all sorts of fields-much of which should be funded privately.

    If you give peiople the chance to have ‘free’ treatment for all sorts of things for which the NHS wasn’t originally intended it will become fat, bloated, and inefficient, and the only way it can continue to function at a ‘reasonable’ level is by throwing vast sums of money at it.

    I don’t know how tightly drawn the US health plans will be, or if it will be allowed to grow in scope to an all encompassing health provider, with all that entails in terms of efficiency and costs and bureaucracy.

    In case our US friends don’t know, the British health service is the third biggest organisation in the world, just behind the Indian railways and Chinese army!

    The NHS needs reforming but not completely dismantling-the general principle is good but it has been allowed to grow far beyond its original intentions. I agree that the European system is generally better, but dont know if the US will eventually have its own unique solution or find itself copying the UK or Europe models.

    Tonyb

  11. Chuck L said

    The decline and fall of the United States of America has begun. Repeal will almost impossible once the bureaucracy has been established. We must throw out every Democrat in the fall elections and make sure that Obama is a one-term President. There is still hope that the Supreme Court will find the bill unconsitutional.

    This is one of the most tragic days in the history of our country.

  12. P Gosselin said

    There is a silver lining. Stupidity has to be punished, and that will happen soon enough.
    Hopefully Americans will learn a lot from the Punishment that is about to be meted out.
    There is a problem, though. Great stupidity has to be punished greatly. So if Americans are greatly stupid, then they will also pass Cap&Trade – and then be Greatly Punished.
    Often times societies do not survive Great Punishment, and thus never have the chance to learn the lessons. They simply die and go extinct. Could America become extinct? The possibility is very real now. Children of America! Put on the yoke of debt and slavery.

    Anyway, welcome to unsustainable, socialised medicine!
    Anyone who believes that it’s sustainable is a fool. Just come out and take a look at Europe.
    For Americans, it could not come at a worse time or place.

    1) Half of Mexico will storm across the border for “free” health care. (I would!).
    2) The demographics alone will crush the system.
    3) A bad economy will cripple the program from the start.

  13. P Gosselin said

    Chuck L
    “There is still hope that the Supreme Court will find the bill unconsitutional”
    What are you smoking? Take tzhat idea/hope and bury it. Aint gonna happen.

    The solution is now in the hands of the States. The question of federalism. States will have to rebel and refuse to enact it. That’s the only way. You listening Texas?

  14. AEGeneral said

    The burden of this bill falls on the states and they had no say in it. They’ll sue in court, as they’re already lining up to do, but they’ll lose.

    So they’ll be forced to rebudget at the state level to handle the costs, and they’ll quickly find out it’s nothing short of impossible. Some states will be forced to choose between abiding by this bill or declaring bankruptcy.

    This is going to get ugly. I can’t see any other logical outcome. But such a fallout is to be expected for such a mass usurpation of power by the federal government.

  15. Simon J said

    So when are you Yankees (note that I’m a Brit) going on and on about “socialised” medicine going to refuse help from your “socialised” police service, or your “socialised” fire service. When are you going to go back to the good old days of fire insurance, when the fire engine would only turn out if you had the correct plaque on your house?
    This “socialism” you so fear is already all around you.

  16. Gary said

    Simon J,
    You’re making our point. Police and fire unions are breaking city budgets in the many cities in the US Northeast.

  17. D.T. said

    RE: Simon J,

    Note that in the U.S. there are no federally required Police or Fire Departments. Nor emergency services. They are operated by the state or local governments as desired. Or not.

    In Oklahoma, for instance, the only state police force is the Highway Patrol; authorized by state constitution only to enforce traffic laws. Sheriffs are elected by the citizens of each county to enforce state law. There are no county fire districs required—only those locally as organized by communities or rural residents. Emergency services are supplied either by private companies or local governments. Other states are as similar or as different as their citizens choose.

    Federal police like the FBI are restricted to enforcing federal law.

    D.T.

  18. Jeff Id said

    #15, That doesn’t make it good.

    I’m happy with some government service, certainly enforcement of law should fall to the law makers. I don’t ask the firemen or police for advice on abortion, broken legs, heart conditions, or how they feel about my smoking and drinking. (I don’t smoke).

    I’m not sure if the central database proviso for medical records was added into this bill. What will we do when we have a doctor who is a smoking wactivist and he finds out we smoked a pack of cigarettes in college and decides to write us down as an occasional smoker. Will that push us down the line for lung cancer treatment later on? How will you appeal the now absolutely necessary limitation of service (rationing) which will follow. Of course it will take 5 years to begin by which time the people will have forgotten what happened here. The Europeans,in general, will see it as no different because they bought into the lies told by the media of millions not getting treatment in our evil capitalist system.

    If you provide free unlimited service (Increased demand), what will come from the cost of supply? Will you limit money output by setting the cost of a procedure now? What they did is evil. None of this bill was about proper cost control or improving the ability to provide health care. It is a massive cost adding bureaucracy where your health requirement will be determined and meted out as the state sees fit.

    In the meantime, lawyers can continue to run hundred million plus businesses based entirely on feeding off mistakes made by physicians.

    But all that isn’t the point.

    Watch who get’s to be in charge of the new insurance “exchanges”. You just watch the names who happen to make the list for people qualified to run an exchange or profiting in other ways from the sudden and dictated shift in policy and lets see what kind of percentage they get for the opportunity to distribute already existing insurance.

    As I said in the headpost, this has nothing to do with providing service, and certainly nothing to do with improving healthcare. Like AGW, it’s follow the money.

  19. timetochooseagain said

    Laid in state for all to see,
    The bloodied corpse of Liberty.

  20. P Gosselin said

    Cheer up Comrades! Union Members!

  21. P Gosselin said

    And here’s another favourite. Worth it’s weight in gold!

  22. Mark T said

    Simon J said
    March 22, 2010 at 8:11 am

    This “socialism” you so fear is already all around you.

    Clearly you do not understand socialism. Police and Fire protection are not “socialized,” at least not in the sense that the few are supporting the many. You get the same protection that you pay for with these services, there is no wealth redistribution.

    In the case of health care, it is the few that will be supporting the many. The few, of course, are not the healthy, but the rich. That is socialism.

    I am surprised that so few of you understand the very basic principle at work with this. It is nothing more than individual rights at stake here. Oh, and for the record, the state is not the lowest cost provider. It is the highest, and the rest of the world will figure that out when the last bastion of free market health care goes under.

    Mark

  23. mrpkw said

    very sad day for the American people indeed !!!

  24. CarlGullans said

    Michel,

    “The pros and cons in general are fairly clear when you look at it like this. The state is the natural low cost provider of universal insurance, since it does not have to screen (its offering universal insurance), and screening out bad risks, or trying to, is the main cost of being in the health insurance business. So the US may be in the worst of all possible worlds with the new plan.”

    This is probably not accurate reasoning on this point. Screening activities are a very small portion of the costs of insurance companies (this is really only part of the marketing budget, part of the underwriting budget; losses themselves, general expenses, taxes, the rest of underwriting, and claims represent the vast majority of costs). What people also miss out on is that, in order to successfully screen people, you need to figure out what is driving your costs and charge it a higher price. This process itself leads to lower costs, so long as the policyholder’s conditions are changeable (e.g. policyholder is obese; obese get charged 80% more, so policyholders in general will lose more weight, or at least pay more if they don’t).

    When you have only one healthcare provider that has to provide to everybody, you save on marketing budgets and such, but you lose the power to use the free market to lower costs. Cost reductions generally come from draconian decrees in such a system: “there will be no mammograms before age 50″, or “nobody is allowed to smoke anymore”. And, if the governement were to charge more for smokers rather than ban them (“smokers will pay 30% more”), they’d never get the price right; politics always interferes, and there is no competition to compare their price to. this is a massive, economy-wide inefficiency in such systems.

  25. Tonyb said

    Jeff said;

    “The Europeans,in general, will see it as no different because they bought into the lies told by the media of millions not getting treatment in our evil capitalist system.”

    Come on jeff, most of us are a lot more sophisticated than that :)

    Making suitable provision for the less able seems reasonable to most Eurpopeans I guess, but I don’t know if this is the right way to do it as I don’t understand your culture well enough.

    You are right to think that the state will eventually want to know if you smoke, eat, or drink too much and may push you down the treatment list if you give an answer they don’t like. Our government has taken nannying to absurd lengths.

    Surely you could all see what Obama was going to be like before you elected him? Is this health care measure generally supported by the majority?

    Tonyb

  26. Jeremy said

    The best part was watching Obama stand behind a podium and give sound-bite after sound-bite just beaming because over a year since entering office he’d finally had something that could be counted as an administration success, no matter how tenuous.

    My favorite quote: “This is what change looks like.”
    LOL! Change Mr Obama? Change is when Americans from all walks of life alter their behavior. Change isn’t created at the point of your pen with no vote, it’s created when the citizens who elect you change themselves collectively. The very idea that your position or any elected position can create change is directly in line with dictatorship thinking. Furthermore since the corporate-controlled-2-major-parties give Americans essentially no choice in who holds your positions I declare that America is already a dictatorship paying lip service to democracy just as so many other dictators pay lip service to it so that they may enjoy more favor at the United Nations.

    Your elected position exists to properly respond to the changes that your fellow citizens have already made. You *are not* there to steer the ship, that’s our job. Your job and the job of your fellow elected officials is to make sure the sails are trimmed for the course we’ve laid out. You *are not* supposed to be a politician as a career shuffling around from position to position feeding off the taxpayers while simply expanding the federal bureaucracy. You *are not* there to create new expenses for the nation, you are there instead to make sure that you underspend for the times when war or federal outlay is absolutely necessary and deemed so by the people who put you there. You *are not* there to shoe-horn in legislation instead of voting for it through normal legislative process purely to save your own ego. You *are not* there so you can ignore us.

    If you continue to ignore your citizens at the polls, you will find it difficult to ignore the effective power the 2nd amendment gives your citizens.

  27. Jeremy said

    Tonyb said:

    “Surely you could all see what Obama was going to be like before you elected him? Is this health care measure generally supported by the majority?”

    Actually no, it was running behind in the polls the whole way. The American people clearly did not want this legislation. In fact it’s hard to call it legislation as to avoid the inevitable problems with popularity they didn’t even properly follow legislative procedure to “pass” the bill.

  28. Jeff Id said

    Tony,

    “Making suitable provision for the less able seems reasonable to most Eurpopeans I guess, but I don’t know if this is the right way to do it as I don’t understand your culture well enough.”

    Ya see, that’s the lie I’m talking about Tony, your assumption is flatly untrue. There is already suitable provision for the poor. In this state if you make less than a large number all medical care is perfectly free. People already swarm to the US for free health care. You can prove it to yourself too, just ask how do we have 30 million illegal aliens here, none of whom can buy health insurance b/c you need a social security number, yet not fill our streets with dead bodies?

    It’s just a lie, it’s propaganda meant to fool sophisticated people like yourself. BTW, they claim 30 million uninsured, I wonder who they are referring to. My partner here was in Ireland learning about how we don’t treat people without insurance and leave them to die. After explaining that it isn’t how it works here, with a bit of authority, b/c his wife is an emergency room Nurse and sitting right there, he then found out that Ireland didn’t even have a 24 hour ambulance service. Hell, you can dial 911 here and get a free ride to the hospital within minutes any time day or night, insurance or not. The poor use it like a car service to get free pain meds – one of the costs not discussed by the cost saving bill. Even charging them $30 would probably cut that practice in half.

    Is this health care measure generally supported by the majority? –no, by every poll, most people didn’t want it.

    Hell, my overseas business partner had an illness here, he spent two weeks in the hospital and 50,000 USD, all without insurance. Guess how much he had to pay?

    There are too many lies in the news. Our ‘culture’ is therefore not the issue. Our culture is defined by the flat proof of what worked for humanity — Limited, rarely seen or heard from government. Stand on your own feet first. Keep your own money, buy whatever the hell you want to make your life better.

  29. Mark T said

    Indeed. That’s OK. When every other country that relies on the profits that the US pays into the global healthcare arena discovers that their cash cow is no longer there to foot the bill… then we’ll see real change. Unfortunately, I’m pessimistic enough to believe that this might lead us into economic ruin.

    Mark

  30. Tim said

    Frankly, I am quite happy with the “socialized” medicine I get in Canada and would not trade it for a US model under any circumstances. The only change I think is necessary is an end to the ban on private healthcare. i.e. Canadians should be able to purchase their own healthcare services in Canada. Right now many are forced to go to the US because that is the only place where clinics are allowed to take your money.

    I also know by comparing notes with US collegues that my taxes including healthcare costs are lower than taxes + a decent healthcare plan in many US states (e.g. New York, California).

  31. Tonyb said

    Jeff

    Ok, so who are these 30 million people that the plan is supposed to assist? Are they the poor, the feckless the chronically ill, the old? Just what is the nature of the group that Obamas believes he is going to help? I can’t stand the man myself-he rememds me too much of Tony Blair and David Miliband-two British politicians I despise.

    As I said in my first post I see some sort of basic state provision/health insurance as being reasonable. In the UK however we have gone much too far down the state provision and all sortts of things are available that the founders of the NHS never intended.

    My concern-quite apart from the philospohical elements which a non native might find difficult to understand-is that the Obama plans have the potential to cost vast amounts of money(much larger than has been projected) and I don’t believe the US has currently got the spare funds to do this. It will inevtably grow in scope as well-which will cost more money and brings in yet more philosphical elements as to its desirability.

    I am curiious at this stage to know the nature of the ‘thirty million’ that Obama has identified. Can you enlighten me?

    Tonyb

  32. icman said

    If the bill was to “improve and lower” the cost of health care. What does adding 16,000 IRS workers do to accomplish this?

  33. Kenneth Fritsch said

    I do not like these types of political discussion because they tend to be cliched to the hilt.

    I also notice that no one has bothered to discuss the apparent problems of financing these huges government programs regardless of country of origin. With all the unfunded liabilities they present for future generations the sustainability of programs like government retirement programs (SS in the US) and government sponsored health care must be questioned.

    I get a kick when I here how much present generations love these government programs (SS and medicare in the US). Do they wonder how much their future generations are going to love them or have we gotten beyond being concerned about such details.

  34. mrpkw said

    # 31

    Who are these 30 million??

    http://directorblue.blogspot.com/2008/06/who-are-47-million-uninsureds.html

    It’s old but the data is still valid.
    It’s a canard and a strawman.

    America already has Medicare/Medicad to help most who can’t help themselves. These programs are exactly why we don’t need any further government involvement in “health care”
    A “safety net” is ok, government taker is not.

  35. mrpkw said

    # 32
    Pelosi aslo said it will create 400,000 jobs.
    I think she’s lying but if she is correct, that is a heck of a lot more overhead.

  36. mrpkw said

    #34
    Take over

  37. Retired Engineer said

    Tim, if the Canadian model is so good, why do so many folks in the GWN come to the States for treatment? (Including a top minister of one of your eastern provinces?) I agree, your system is great, as long as you don’t get seriously ill. Of course, you can come down here and get fixed up. We won’t have that option.

    Voting the ‘Rats out won’t be easy. You may note that only about 1/3 of the “stimulus” money has been spent, and TOTUS said that most of it would be spent in the “second” year. Meaning they have about $500 billion to buy votes. Critics have already shown that Blue states receive far more than Red ones. I expect that trend to continue.

    Nothing like bribing the voters with the taxpayers’ money.

    I fear we are in for a long cold winter.

  38. AMac said

    Here is a link to a good comparative survey of health care delivery, covering Germany, France, the UK, Taiwan, Japan, and a few other countries. It’s written for a lay audience by a Wash Post reporter, TR Reid, who is very pro-ObamaCare. Still, it’s the best book of its type I’ve read. (Given the author’s orientation, it’s also interesting for the topics he declines to discuss.) The Healing of America (amazon.com).

    As Kenneth Fritsch notes in #33 above, one slight problem with the newly-passed legislation is that it is unstustainable and will bankrupt the US. The CBO cost estimate(s) was (were) fantasy, at a number of levels. Nobably, one of the points that TR Reid doesn’t mention in his book is that most entitlement-based medical delivery systems are facing this same problem; it’s really only mitigated by draconian rationing. Unsustainability is just confronting those other countries at a slower rate. Yay.

    The reasoning (such as it is) in favor of this reform seems to be, “Well, there are so many ways that the US is on an unsustainable path — Social Security, foreign military commitments, pension promises, interest on the debt, bailouts, stimulii — So, what harm can come from adding one more straw to the camel’s back?”

  39. Ed said

    Take the blue field of stars off the flag after yesterday. There is no longer any meaning to those fifty entities. There is only one entity. Replace the blue field of stars with red background upon which the hammer and sickle proudly stands.

    I weep for my lost country.

  40. Up the road, this new national health plan will create more problems than ballooning costs. It will become a focus for various agendas—the escalation of diagnoses of so-called mental disorders and the prescription of drugs with documented serious adverse effects; the coercive administration of multiple vaccines for babies, whether or not the parents approve; and in general, a vast escalation of the adminstration of pharmaceuticals for every conceivable symptom.

    Try reading a landmark journal paper by Dr. Barbara Starfield, Johns Hopkins School of Public Health, July, 2000, published in JAMA, “Is US Health Really the Best in the World?” Annual death totals of 225,000 caused by the US medical system. 106,000 deaths from medical drugs; 119,000 deaths from various causes in hospitals. The US medical system is the 3rd leading cause of death in the US, behind heart disease and cancer.

    Bottom line is, freedom to be or not to be part of this system, and under what conditions, has just been dealt a very serious blow.

    For all its faults, the US has had a greater tradition of personal freedom than any other nation in the world, as embodied in its Constitution—and that core idea of freedom is being lost day by day…to the point where more and more people don’t even know what it means. Don’t even know what it means.

    It’s fine to compare one national health care system against another, but when they’re all COMPULSORY, you’re comparing one form of slavery against another, and if you don’t see that, you don’t know what freedom means and you don’t care.

  41. Tim said

    #37 – People go to the US because it is illegal to set up a private hospital in Canada and charge people for services. If those legal barriers were removed people would be able to go to the nearest private hospital in Canada. This is the one aspect of the system that needs changing. The principal that government should offer basic health insurance coverage to everyone is not invalidated because it does not provide 100% of services.

    As for the Newfie politician that went to Miami – the procedure he wanted was available in Montreal or Toronto. Who knows why he went to Miami. I suspect it is because I wanted an excuse to get out of the Canadian winter while he was recovering.

  42. Artifex said

    It is probably worthy explaining to the non-US readers that this bill doesn’t magically give the US a european style healthcare system (that is arguably better than what we are going to get). Currently (both before and after the vote) we have a system that is controlled by three powerful government enabled entities.

    The American Medical Association maintains a monopoly over medical care. Even simple requests such as an antibiotic for a cough or a need codine cough syrup drives you through these gate keepers. The insurance industry provides insurance against catastrophic events. They too have hooks deep into the legislative process to prevent competition by co-ops or other citizen funded alternatives. Their profit margins are generally small, but they drive up costs with paperwork and regulation. The third member of this unholy triad is the Trial Lawyers. They use our legal system that has been politically co-opted by this powerful group to parasitically extract cash from the other two groups. A major point to make is that large monetary rewards in civil (not criminal proceedings) is something european’s and other countries with a more sane legal system just don’t have to deal with.

    Any reasonable fix to the US system MUST address all three of these rent seeking parties. A euro-style system that dumped the crony-capitalism would probably work better (and IMHO dumping this all for a sane market driven solution would be the best solution of all, but with our political system it just isn’t going to happen). What really happened is none of the above. The Trial Lawyers are the sugar daddy’s of the DNC, so there is no chance that the Democrats would attempt to fix this huge problem. The AMA seems pretty powerful as well, so no real concessions were pulled from them. The insurance companies were the only entity that could be politically approached and they were given a population forced into their arms at gunpoint in trade for having to cover existing conditions. Now if you want to see how much this really hurt them, did their stock move up or down this morning ? They may feel differently in about 6 months, but then they can buy some other political bill to solve those problems later.

    This bill is nothing short of lipstick on a pig. Same old broken healthcare. Different set of unsustainable political payoffs sold by to unscrupulous to the credulous.

  43. Kendra said

    I think it’s 15,000 new IRS agents (job creation!) and 110 new federal agencies (job creation!).

    It’s not about health care, it’s about power. Also, it won’t just be the rich paying, it will be the youth as well. They comprise about 15 million of uninsured, they just don’t want to pay when they’re young and strong (I have known many and been one myself). A huge portion of that 30 million were those who qualified for either SCHIP or Medicaid (or Medicare, I always forget which is which) but never got around to signing on – probably because they hadn’t gotten sick.

    The corrupt way it was done is sickening – I followed it closely and read much of the various bills.

    And, in terms of denial rates, the Medicaid/Medicare is 6% – only one private insurer has a rate that high – the rest are around 2-3%. So it’s not all rainbows in that sense either.

    And, of course, your body is now no longer your own business, it’s the business of every busybody – you’re costing them with your overweight, drinking, etc. BTW, not the smokers, they already pay far more than they cost society and keep in mind that the expansion of SCHIP, one of the first bills signed by Obama without posting, without transparency, is already completely funded by smokers, including a 2400% increase on rolling tobacco, which is what the poorest smoke (except for elitist smokers who get their special blends and like to show off that they hand roll).

    I definitely will not be moving back (live in Switzerland) – although I already had a horror of having to go on the Medicare/Medicaid if I did, all the bureaucracy and lack of doctors even to treat them, but this seals it for sure, especially as they’re going to rob that entitlement as well. Here, we have the mixture, I can shop for my private insurance company, including those that offer alternative medicine, and the government’s involvement is to subsidize the basic coverage if I’m below a certain income. There is a mandate, which drives costs up, but at least my insurer is my own business. Also, of course, mandates for certain procedures are set by the government, so I’m quite sure I’m paying for others’ abortions, facelifts, etc. The cap on deductibles has also just been lowered, driving costs up. And, of course, new expensive technologies drive costs up when mandated. But the rest of it’s between me and my doctor and if I want something not covered I pay for it myself and that’s the way it better stay (there’s naturally a socialist move on to nationalize it).

    So as PJ O’Rourke said, Americans love freedom and they love free stuff (or they think is free, haha), so they go back and forth. Unfortunately, once an entitlement is created its pretty hard to get rid of it. Since the taxation already starts but implementation not til 2014, “they say” there’s still a slim chance.

    In fact, now the corruptocrat idiocracy has carte blanche to ban everything deemed “unhealthy” but I bet you they don’t ban the Kool-Aid.

    Oh, I saw an article today somewhere about how climate scientists should have gotten more involved in pushing for health scare reform, haha.

  44. AEGeneral said

    Governor Bredesen here in TN announced that this would cost our state $1.4B over five years. And where are we supposed to get that money?

    Oh, silly me. It’s going to come out of mine & everyone else’s wallets. Predictable.

  45. [...] People Dependent are People Enslaved [...]

  46. G. E. Lambert said

    40 – “It’s fine to compare one national health care system against another, but when they’re all COMPULSORY, you’re comparing one form of slavery against another, and if you don’t see that, you don’t know what freedom means and you don’t care.”

    That’s it in a nutshell; everything else is fluff. Those of us who are old enough have actually witnessed our freedom disappear bit by bit. Those of you who are too young to have a 60 year horizon, and who write us off as overwrought, beware. When you see it it will be far too late. It’s probably already too late.

    #41 – “The principal (sic) that government should offer basic health insurance coverage to everyone is not invalidated because it does not provide 100% of services.” That “principle” enslaves the citizen, a violation of the thirteenth amendment to our constitution.

  47. Jeff Id said

    #33, I agree, the whole thing just pissed me off though. I mean when are we supposed to stop being silent? How long are the politicians supposed to get away with spending us into bankruptcy for the benefit of their friends?

    #31, I can’t find em, I’m told there are maybe 10 million “legal” people without insurance 1 in 30, I trust that number as much as the 30 million though. In most states there are programs for the uninsured, I wonder if they are then considered insured. Maybe someone else here can help you locate them. What usually happens here is you get treated, then you get billed. They can’t take more than you have so they don’t get paid and write it off. Where it get’s messy is poor people with long term illnesses that require million dollar treatments. Hospitals don’t like to write that off, but in most states people get it for free. This cost falls on those who can pay by default – through insurance premiums.

  48. RB said

    On the one hand, the part that is broken that most people seem to agree upon is the insurance industry not covering those with pre-existing conditions. You could say that their actions are consistent with maximizing profit. On the other hand, covering them under a system requires enough healthy people joining the system under the assumption that they will willingly do so if they perceive themselves to be protecting themselves against being in a similar situation in the future. Of course in practice, if you already know who the unhealthy people are, you may not be willing to offset the wealth transfer from the healthy to the unhealthy.

  49. mrpkw said

    # 41
    The Newfi politican went to Florida because #1, it was quicker and # 2 they didn’t have to crack any bones to do the procedure.
    They did not offer that choice in Canada

  50. Tom in St. Johns said

    #40 For all its faults, the US has had a greater tradition of personal freedom than any other nation in the world, as embodied in its Constitution—and that core idea of freedom is being lost day by day…to the point where more and more people don’t even know what it means. Don’t even know what it means.

    I could not agree more. This is part of the cultural difference between Americans and those who are puzzled by the reactions here. It should also be noted that this law differs, for now, from a tax. It was passed under the interstate commerce clause which regulates business activity between the states. For the first time Americans are being required to purchase a product. We can rightfully ask what else we may be required to purchase.

    For many the first few paragraphs of Common Sense by Thomas Paine provides an apt description of our view of government

    http://www.ushistory.org/paine/commonsense/sense2.htm

  51. PhilJourdan said

    Slight correction. The American people did not, but the democrat congress did. They represent only about 33% of the people. The majority saw this for what it is, but unfortunately it will take a long time and almost a miracle to undo what the tyrants have done.

  52. #50, Tom:

    Exactly right. People who live in other cultures with other traditions don’t understand why some of us are boiling about this monstrous piece of legislation.

    And you are also right about the need to read Thomas Paine, Common Sense, with the link you provided. Better than any other writer in American history, he described what government is all about and what freedom is all about.

    His words, to many, will seem as if they were written by an alien from another planet. They will gasp. THIS is what America was supposed to be all about? MY GOD, I HAD NO IDEA.

    This would be the day to read all of Common Sense and realize that, in 1776, perhaps 1 in 15 adult colonists had the pamphlet in their hands, could read it, understand it, and could be motivated to seek a new country founded on freedom.

  53. PhilJourdan said

    Tim #41:

    As for the Newfie politician that went to Miami – the procedure he wanted was available in Montreal or Toronto. Who knows why he went to Miami. I suspect it is because I wanted an excuse to get out of the Canadian winter while he was recovering.

    Well, according to him, when it came to his health, he refused to play politics and wanted only the best. That is from a Canadian, not American, so I would do some navel gazing if it was my health and I lived there as well.

  54. TinyCo2 said

    Something OT to cheer you up.

    OXFAM have had this chart made for them so that they can understand sceptics and how they’re so darn effective… uh I mean annoying. Tee, hee. I hope they didn’t pay a lot because it’s wrong but check out the names on each side of the divide. Talk about David and Goliath!

    And then an obligatory winge.

    http://www.leftfootforward.org/2010/03/combating-the-growing-influence-of-climate-sceptics/

    h/t Tom Nelson (who isn’t mentioned sadly)

  55. Tim said

    #49 – Wrong. The non-bone breaking procedure is done by the hundreds in Canada.

  56. mrpkw said

    # 55

    My source:

    http://www.google.com/hostednews/canadianpress/article/ALeqM5h0QC7bditrEb3wYz_6_b-gsGGDxA

  57. Kenneth Fritsch said

    #31, I can’t find em, I’m told there are maybe 10 million “legal” people without insurance 1 in 30, I trust that number as much as the 30 million though.

    There are a number of people who receive medical care through Medicaid counted in the 30 million and a large number of people (mainly young and healthy) who choose not to have medical insurance. Also there are people who temporarily do not have medical insurance. The 30 million and its intent for disinformation is a phony number just like a lot of the other propaganda that was passed off as facts by the supporters of the bill. That is really nothing new in our political process – just a matter of degree.

    Preexisting conditions can be insured when you are with a group insurance plan and at substantially higher rates if you have an individual plan. It will be interesting to see how much Obamacare will be gamed by people paying penalties to go without insurance and then going for insurance with a preexisting condition.

  58. RB said

    “Preexisting conditions can be insured when you are with a group insurance plan and at substantially higher rates if you have an individual plan. ”
    That seems problematic, don’t you think? I do agree with there will be people trying to game it though as you suggest. Insurance doesn’t work unless the healthy people join the system.

  59. michel said

    It seems from a European perspective that you are rather missing the point. No civilized society can take the view that if the poor cannot get medical treatment, so much the worse for them. The richer members of civilized societies have got to understand that making medical provisions for the poor is an awful lot cheaper than having a revolution. That is what the Europeans came to understand clearly and very painfully. And not just about health care, incidentally.

    However, this does not mean that the recent US proposals make any sense. It just means that the problem with them is not what you all think it is. The problem is not that they are too left wing. They are not socialism in any form. The problem is they are too right wing. They embody a determination to try to do things through the private sector which are better done through the state.

    What you need is a state insurer. You do need universal insurance. You do need choice in who provides that insurance, and you do need diversity of organizations which provide. But you should not hand over the provision of that universal insurance to a bunch of private companies who will have higher costs than the state, and the wrong motivation.

    Nor should you be objecting on the grounds that you are all right, Jack, and you do not see why you should subsidize the poor. You should be objecting on the grounds that this is one more sell out to the financial sector, borne out of an idiotic ideological determination not to have done by the state what can only be done cost effectively and humanely by the state.

    The tragedy of this is that special interests have seized control of a project which is essential and worthwhile, and the result will be that huge amounts of the costs will be siphoned off into the shareholders and salaried senior management of the insurance sector. What has happened is that once again, special interests will impose on the country as a whole costs which are many times the benefits they actually receive. But they will not care a hoot, as long as they get some benefits. Which they will, they will.

  60. michel said

    Sorry, the above was mistyped. I mean to say, you do need diversity in who provides the care which is paid for by the insurance.

    You don’t need diversity in provision of insurance. This is the whole problem. When you have that, and you attempt to have universal insurance, you will just end up with vastly expensive insurance and the same frantic efforts to avoid taking on unprofitable business which raise everyone’s costs today. You have got to accept that freedom consists in choosing who treats you, not in choosing who insures you, when the price of not being insured by the state is worse and more expensive converage.

    Now if the administration were to propose making health care a giant nationalized industry, like in the UK, with a vast union, where everyone worked for the government, then you might have a point about socialism. But the present proposal is so little socialist that it does not call for any of the providers of insurance or care to work for the government. It has an almost religious zeal to avoid that. That, to Europeans, is neo conservatism. But then, the Democratic Party does not look in the least left wing to us.

  61. Tim said

    #56 http://www.theglobeandmail.com/life/health/williamss-heart-surgery-choice-was-based-on-ignorance/article1480937/

    Had Mr. Williams asked his questions of the right people, he would have learned what procedures are offered in Canada, and that cardiovascular outcomes in this country are as good as in the U.S., and often better.

    The surgery that Mr. Williams wanted and was medically appropriate was not available in St. John’s, but is available in at least seven Canadian cities.

    (And let’s dismiss quickly the suggestion that every procedure should be offered in small centres like St. John’s. In surgery, high volumes translate into better quality and safety, so it is wise to bring patients to central locations.)

    If he’d sought advice in Canada, Mr. Williams would also have learned that minimally invasive surgery, despite the hype, is not necessarily the best option for his condition.

    In the U.S. system, marketing, newness and profit margins too often trump evidence.

    Mr. Williams’s sin was not in going to the U.S. for surgery, it was in acting on partial information, uttering untruths about the availability of care, and smearing – however inadvertently – Canada’s health system in the process.

  62. Jeff Id said

    It seems from a European perspective that you are rather missing the point. No civilized society can take the view that if the poor cannot get medical treatment, so much the worse for them. The richer members of civilized societies have got to understand that making medical provisions for the poor is an awful lot cheaper than having a revolution. That is what the Europeans came to understand clearly and very painfully. And not just about health care, incidentally.

    Again and again, there are programs for the poor in place already. It’s a myth started by leftists in the US and promulgated by the endless droves of leftist media. In Europe, you think nothing of having the govt. provide services like this. In the US it’s hell, we have the best system in the world. It’s screwed up for sure, primarily due to regulation, but adding government rationing, distribution and massive beaurocratic load will not help. The law requires treatment of anyone whether they can pay or not.

    However, this does not mean that the recent US proposals make any sense. It just means that the problem with them is not what you all think it is. The problem is not that they are too left wing. They are not socialism in any form. The problem is they are too right wing. They embody a determination to try to do things through the private sector which are better done through the state.

    What you need is a state insurer. You do need universal insurance. You do need choice in who provides that insurance, and you do need diversity of organizations which provide. But you should not hand over the provision of that universal insurance to a bunch of private companies who will have higher costs than the state, and the wrong motivation.

    This was painful to read. First, you’ve got to be kidding that it’s not a socialist style redistribution. Of course it is, there are probably other “ism’s” that fit better facism or something but it’s far left extremism at its best. The worst part about your two paragraphs is the crazy notion that the fact that govt. doesn’t make a profit, somehow means it will cost less. This is incorrect on even the best possible grounds. Government employees are completely unmotivated to finish any job either more efficiently or faster. I haven’t got any numbers but when you walk into a state office as compared to a private one, the work pace is 1/4 — and that’s when they are excited.

    Michael, I’m sure your not surprised to hear that I think you’re wrong here on all counts. It is not a coincidence that the US has the best medical development and care, and it sure as hell ain’t the government driving it. — well it wasn’t anyway.

  63. Mark T said

    michel said
    March 22, 2010 at 3:58 pm

    No civilized society can take the view that if the poor cannot get medical treatment, so much the worse for them.

    Wow, stating opinion as fact. Wonder what made you the arbiter? In my opinion, no civilized society can accept the notion that it is OK to steal from one person to pay for another, period.

    The richer members of civilized societies have got to understand that making medical provisions for the poor is an awful lot cheaper than having a revolution.

    And the poor people of society need to understand that they would have nothing were it not for the rich. Rebellion against those that are ultimately footing the bill in any society is a silly idea.

    That is what the Europeans came to understand clearly and very painfully. And not just about health care, incidentally.

    Which is also why the European model is destined to fail.

    Mark

  64. Mark T said

    Jeff Id said
    March 22, 2010 at 4:38 pm

    The worst part about your two paragraphs is the crazy notion that the fact that govt. doesn’t make a profit, somehow means it will cost less.

    Economic theory 101 – of the most basic sort. Private industry resulting from the free market is the most efficient simply due to competition. This drives prices down and maximizes productivity.

    Do they not teach supply and demand in Europe any more?

    Mark

  65. Tim said

    #64 – I think it is absurd to say the US private insurance system is a model of free market economics with the coverage mandates, state regulations that keep out competitors, subsidies via the tax system and coverage for the poor/old/government workers.

    If you really wanted a free market you would have to eliminate all of those. What this means is there is no debate about the virtues of “socialized” medicine. All we are debating is the mechanisms used to deliver the “socialized” medicine.

    The single payer model used in most other countries works reasonably well but that does not mean there is no room for improvement. It is certainly better than the monstrosity that was just passed can be best described as taking the worst aspects of socialized medicine and combining it with the worst aspects of a private system.

  66. JAE said

    As they say, socialism works only until we run out of other people’s money. Capitalism seems cruel (and indeed can be, if unchecked), but it is still the most efficient, free, and stable system for an economy. Hell, even China gets it! The USA has plenty of safety nets, relative to medical care. We don’t need the damn government trying to “engineer” medical care! Government does nothing well.

  67. Lady in Red said

    The good news is that, had the bill not passed, the sneaky bastards would have
    tried something else. For a bit, we might have let our guard down.

    Now, the fight is to repeal the garbage. And, as more and more leaks out about
    the legislation itself, even more people are going to be angry. Passage of
    health care focuses the fight, wonderfully. ….Lady in Red

  68. mrpkw said

    # 61

    This isn’t an issue worth any more discussion but
    #1 We will never know what the scheduling for doing this procedure under the Canadian system was

    #2 Given the choice between some one who has performed this procedure 100 times compared to 8000 times, most would choose the 8000

    #3 The Canadian patient said that he made HIS medical choice on what was best for HIM. Something Americans will too soon not be able to do.

  69. RB said

    Part of the fight here is also about some senior citizens who want “Government hands off my Medicare”, couched in free-market terms.

  70. G. E. Lambert said

    Yes, I want them to keep their “government hands off my medicare”. You may think that it’s funny to mock someone for saying something like that but it makes perfect sense. It is a government program. Against my will, I have been paying into it for 40+ years. That money invested elsewhere could have much more health care than I am apparently going to receive now with the $500B program cut.

    At the end of the day, the government lied to us about our benefits for 40 years. The promises being made in the current health care bill have as much credibility as the (relatively) small promises they made us.

  71. G. E. Lambert said

    70 .. provided much more…

  72. RB said

    They say that the thing is broke as well.. but yeah, democrats’ chances in the next elections hinges on convincing voters that enhancing coverage wasn’t at the expense of the status quo of those who are currently provided for.

  73. RB said

    er.. ‘expanding coverage’

  74. David JP said

    Well, it looks like I made two mistakes. One, I should have realized that Jeff would post on this topic and planned ahead. Two, I should have realized that the only way to get improvement is to have an open and free discussion on a topic, which is something I don’t think we get from our representatives in Congress.

    Late last week I sent a letter to an MSM outlet regarding health care reform, but I no longer expect a reply. Perhaps it would have been better to write to my Senator instead? But I don’t think so now. I should have saved it for Jeff’s post and gotten some ideas in earlier in this thread. But alas, I’ll have to settle for the bottom of the thread instead. :-)

    I’m a cancer survivor. I’ve had surgery 7 times in my life (I think I’m about the same age as Jeff). So the health care reform issue is something that will probably affect me more than just about everyone else.

    In #48, RB said:

    “covering them under a system requires enough healthy people joining the system under the assumption that they will willingly do so if they perceive themselves to be protecting themselves against being in a similar situation in the future”

    Yep, that sounds like how insurance should work to me. If the awful should happen to you and you need super expensive medical care, I sure hope you have insurance to cover it. If you’re an individual, then I would guess that your insurance to cover such things will be temporary. You’ll get dropped by the private insurance company soon after the expenses pile up. Luckily, I have group insurance through a large company. Given the unique situation I’ve found myself in, I’m not sure I’d be here if it wasn’t for this insurance coverage.

    But it’s not all good. As an engineer I have some personal ideas for inventions that would improve our energy efficiency. However, I’m not free to pursue those ideas. I am a slave to the group. Assuming I would be successful with my inventions, the cost of having to stay in a large group effects not just me personally, but the rest of society as well. It’s actually better for society if people with good ideas are free to pursue them.

    Although I’ve been keen on health care reform, I’m not convinced that our president has even the slightest clue on how to help the sick (and poor) get good health care. What passed yesterday is probably not so good for you, and most likely very bad for me.

    So I wrote to the MSM last week with some thoughts on reform. I’ll share with you the section concerning insurance companies with the caveat that there is much more to health care reform to get the costs down and retain/improve service.

    For insurance companies, I thought about what would be desirable practices and then choose a carrot to entice private companies to participate.

    Society needs:

    1.open coverage to all at a fixed price with no preconditions (only one group)
    2.limits on executive pay to a max of 100-200X of lowest paid insurance company employee (including the sub-contracted janitors)
    3.Stock that pays profit dividends to investors, which gives a different reason to buy company stock than the crazy schemes currently running on Wall St.
    4.Excellent service as judged by the survey results of customers (patients and doctors)

    In exchange for this, society can give such companies a PASS on corporate taxes. No need to tax a company that performs a very valuable service as important as this one. Doing it this way would probably cause less damage to the deficit as well (compared to government run insurance).

    Furthermore, a company that performs so well in providing health insurance to it’s customers (as judged by the survey results in #4) can issue the dividends to the investors TAX FREE. That’s the carrot that could get the ball rolling.

    If this post proves fruitful, perhaps I’ll post the rest of the ideas in my letter to the MSM later.

  75. Jeff Id said

    #74, Congratulations on your continued war against the most aggressive disease ever known. My thoughts on #2 are that there must not be pre-existing condition exclusions from coverage, however a steep penalty for those who don’t have insurance already in place isn’t unreasonable. There should be enough penalty that those with the means don’t just wait until there is a problem.

    Your ideas of limitation of pay are unnecessary b/c even a fifty million dollar CEO creates little load compared to a couple of good quality lawsuits. Why didn’t you mention the lawsuits?

    I love the idea of tax exemption for health insurance profits, at least the govt would loose that bit of profit from our health. Also, why is it that the health insurance we buy isn’t a deductible expense?

    Anyway, I cede to your experience in the US. I’ve had plenty of minor issues which cost far more than anything I could imagine,plenty of family members with similar issues to myself. Several with cancer also. I’ve not had the pleasure of the nightmare you have continued to defeat.

    Actually, in considering your point, you have the floor if you wish. Write it up. My email is on the left.

  76. Anthony Watts said

    Jeff, you’ve given me one hell of an idea.

  77. michel said

    The worst part about your two paragraphs is the crazy notion that the fact that govt. doesn’t make a profit, somehow means it will cost less.

    Yes, this is a truly crazy idea, and that is why I do not think it. The argument goes like this: universal health insurance with defined coverage is essential. We cannot have people unable to get health care because they cannot pay for it. The question is how we deliver it.

    There are two components to health care in Western societies. The first is an insurance element. This pays for defined conditions to defined limits (or in the UK, it pretends to do this while not in fact doing it at all, but that is another story).

    The second element is the actual delivery of health care, in hospitals, clinics, surgeries.

    My claim is that the second element cannot be safely and effectively delivered by the state, but has to be delivered by a variety of private and social providers – by anyone who wants to. In most European countries you have hospitals run by charities, religious foundations, corporations, communities. Interestingly you generally do not have them run by the central government (except in the UK).

    My claim is that the state is the low cost provider of insurance. Not because it does not make a profit. Of course not, that is a crazy idea. The reason is that the state, when it provides insurance, does not have to screen. It does not have to screen because it covers everyone. The savings come from not having to screen. These amount to an astronomical proportion of the costs of health insurers. The effort by the whole industry to avoid insuring those who most need it. Yes,the state probably does have higher personnel costs than if the same thing were done privately. But it is not successfully done anyplace privately, still less at lower total costs. It is an article of religious belief, comparable to the fanatical belief in AGW, that universal health insurance cannot be effectively provided by state agencies, and can be provided by the private sector with lots of private companies competing. It is similarly wrong headed and in defiance of the evidence.

    All you people who are fanatical opponents of state insurance need to do two things.

    One, consider the extent to which the state does provide insurance already. What do you think happens when a state of emergency is declared? Why should Vermont have its assets stolen in order to bail out New Orleans? You all live in the same country is why, and you do not think that every community should have to bear all natural disasters unaided. Unemployment insurance is similar.

    The second thing you should do is go look at the health care insurance system in the Low Countries. There is empirical evidence available. It works. The model of universal health insurance provided by the state, and medical care provided in the private sector, with full patient choice, does work. It delivers better care than the UK system. And it delivers care to sections of the population that the US system leaves uncared for.

    The left in the UK and the right in the US suffer from the same delusion. They think that there are only two models in health care, something they call socialism and something they call free enterprise. On the continent of Europe, there is a working model which does not fit into either category: go learn from it.

    A bit like when you look at the evidence, and you see that the MWP really did happen, really was global, really was as warm as today. Yes, it happened, it was real. No, your theory cannot explain it, and that means there is probably something wrong with it.

  78. David JP said

    #75 Jeff said:

    “Your ideas of limitation of pay are unnecessary b/c even a fifty million dollar CEO creates little load compared to a couple of good quality lawsuits. Why didn’t you mention the lawsuits?”

    Regarding exc pay:

    Some folks in congress think it’s necessary, so it’s a carrot to them. I’m actually on the fence on this one regarding whether or not it should be mandatory. If I owned the 51+% of the company (any company), I wouldn’t pay the CEO so many millions. I think there are plenty of qualified folks who can do the CEO job for lots less. I also think the company investors deserve all the profits. :-)

    Someone will have to explain to me further how CEOs have managed to game the system. I once saw a graph of incomes over the decades. The slope of pay increases for the executives is quite a bit steeper compared to the rest of us grunts.

    Regarding lawsuits:

    I haven’t neglected them at all, just in post #74. :-)
    In my letter to the MSM the insurance bit was only about a third of it. The other 2/3rds are about doctors/lawsuits/the uninsured/and intellectual property rights. Malpractice insurance/lawsuits (as you’ve probably surmised) is a major portion of the unnecessary costs we all pay for health care.

    I’ve only battled cancer once, 4 years ago. The surgeries (starting when I was 9 months old) and the cancer are all related to a rare mutation in my genes.

    It took 40 years of my life to discover this rare mutation and explain all my health problems. That discovery happened after my cancer battle. I was about to undergo a second round of chemo for what we initially thought was a failed remission when we doubled checked some earlier test results and discovered the mutation. Thankfully, I have not failed remission yet, but I’ll never be completely cured since we know the root cause in my case is a mutation that would have caused natural selection to occur many years ago.

    I am so thankful for that second test. And I doubt I would have gotten the second test in Canada. My doctors didn’t hesitate to order it and make sure I really needed a bone marrow transplant, and I didn’t. Hopefully I never will, but my stem cells are in cryogenic storage just in case.

    I’ve ridden (literally) the technology wave my entire life. It’s kept me alive. And yes, I’d like to see others have this access to health care.

    Thanks for your kind words. I’ll consider your offer for the floor. I had thought about starting a blog. But someone named Jeff wrote in his blog how much work it was to keep one going, and I changed my mind :-)

    #77 Michel,

    Let me just say that I personally don’t distinguish things the way you’ve implied.

    People do things.
    Not governments; not institutions. Just people.

    The best system, is the one that allows good people with good intentions to do good work for a decent day’s pay.

    All my prior experience with the quality of jobs, government versus private, is not in the government’s favor :-)

  79. RB said

    David,
    You must be referring to <a href="http://www.epi.org/economic_snapshots/entry/webfeatures_snapshots_20060621/&quot;? this chart .

    With regards to why, it is easy to see – a virtuous circle for those in the position to set the compensation.

    Warren Buffett, 1993 Letter to Berkshire Hathaway Shareholders

    “Why have intelligent and decent directors failed so miserably? The answer lies not in inadequate laws-it’s always been clear that directors are obligated to represent the interests of shareholders-but rather in what I’d call “boardroom atmosphere.

    It’s almost impossible, for example, in a boardroom populated by well-mannered people, to raise the question of whether the CEO should be replaced. It’s equally awkward to question a proposed acquisition that has been endorsed by the CEO, particularly when his inside staff and outside advisors are present and unanimously support his decision. (They wouldn’t be in the room if they didn’t.) Finally, when the compensation committee – armed, as always, with support from a high-paid consultant – reports on a mega grant of options to the CEO, it would be like belching at the dinner table for a director to suggest that the committee reconsider…..

    . In recent years compensation committees too often have been tail-wagging puppy dogs meekly following recommendations by consultants, a breed not known for allegiance to the faceless shareholders who pay their fees. (If you can’t tell whose side someone is on, they are not on yours.) True, each committee is required by the SEC to state its reasoning about pay in the proxy. But the words are usually boilerplate written by the company’s lawyers or its human-relations department. This costly charade should cease.

    The acid test for reform will be CEO compensation. Managers will cheerfully agree to board
    “diversity,” attest to SEC filings and adopt meaningless proposals relating to process. What many will fight, however, is a hard look at their own pay and perks.

    Directors should not serve on compensation committees unless they are themselves capable of negotiating on behalf of owners. They should explain both how they think about pay and how they measure performance. Dealing with shareholders’ money, moreover, they should behave as they would were it their own.

    In the 1890s, Samuel Gompers described the goal of organized labor as “More!” In the 1990s,
    America’s CEOs adopted his battle cry. The upshot is that CEOs have often amassed riches while their shareholders have experienced financial disasters.

    Directors should stop such piracy. There’s nothing wrong with paying well for truly exceptional business performance. But, for anything short of that, it’s time for directors to shout “Less!” It would be a travesty if the bloated pay of recent years became a baseline for future compensation. Compensation committees should go back to the drawing boards.”

    The solution is easy to identify and does not rest with government mandates on salary, but to give shareholders a say in executive compensation and to vote out the board of directors.

    (p.s. Congratulations on your personal story).

  80. RB said

    Heh, this chart

  81. RB said

    Actually, a favorite topic for Buffett. More on page 16 onwards here

  82. Mark T said

    michel said
    March 22, 2010 at 11:58 pm

    The argument goes like this: universal health insurance with defined coverage is essential.

    Why?

    We cannot have people unable to get health care because they cannot pay for it.

    We don’t.

    The question is how we deliver it.

    Charity? The less taxed we the people are, the more charitable we are as well. This is a very well known relationship.

    At any rate, when one “right” is allowed to abridge another, neither is a right any longer. They are both priveleges granted, and when convenient, taken away, by the government. That’s the whole point that people like you just don’t seem to get. Once there is a law that allows the government to decide who has “more rights,” then none of us has any rights. It is a conundrum that nobody has yet to resolve – except to value all rights equally and apply them to each individual equally.

    Mark

  83. Tim said

    On the CEO pay issue:

    CEO pay is not really set in a free market. It set by executive compensation committees that tend to be members of a closely knit old boys network (think peer review in paleoclimatology). These committees have a vested interest in inflating salaries because high salaries at one company will set the benchmark for their salaries at another. It is a bit like asking the workers a MacDonalds to decide what the workers at Burger King get paid.

    That said, statutory limits on CEO pay will invariably backfire as long as the old boys network is in place. They will simply find other ways to get around the limits. It is a cultural problem and is better addressed by incentives. i.e. different corporate tax rates for companies that adher to a voluntary policy on CEO pay.

  84. RB said

    The argument for leaving it to shareholders is that companies are very creative about evading compensation rules in ways that the govt cannot track. The rise of stock options itself owed its origin to 1992 Congress rules on executive compensation. If a few big institutional shareholders turned on the screws, things would change very quickly.

  85. G. E. Lambert said

    A point of possible interest: I learned today that my health insurance carrier expects to have to raise premiums next January by 300 to 400% in order for them to be in compliance with the bill just passed. Nice work, Congress. Nice work, President.

  86. Kendra said

    I’m recommending this thread to various others – I’ve found it an incredibly good discussion, disagreements have been discussed with respect and passion.

    I don’t expect them to get interested in “anomaly” stuff – I even get amazed at myself that I read every thread with avid interest.

    I’m probably not even up to date, passions have been high all over today, about many things – I did spend a bit of time on the Oxfam Network Analysis too this morning – maybe that’s here already? As of this morning, it was providing a wonderful source of scathing disdain. I’m hoping a certain “someone” who gets big funding for bravo sierra like that to take notice!

    Gonna go look!

  87. After Seven said

    Battle lines are drawn Jeff. There’s more of us than there is of them. Stamp Act, Intolerable Acts, Kansas Nebraska Act, Were all very divisive governmental acts that has predictable consequences. Keep your chin up, and let the liberals over reach. With a bad economy, bad public policy and a tin eared government that votes against the majority of public opinion…something like 59% against today, it screams out for a massive correction. In fact the only way to get enough public support to eradicate the interstate commerce clause (the vangaurd of all things progressive) is through mass public outrage. Let them keep pushing…

  88. Kendra said

    Weird, I submitted a comment and it’s gone! Can’t remember exactly what I wrote, but I promise, it was brilliant.

  89. Kendra said

    How embarrassing, even though I’d refreshed it wasn’t there and then I wrote the last. Sorry, I see it was quite prosaic on the surface (you have to look for the brilliance – I must have shown that in a better light elsewhere in the meantime – I do know if I could put it all together in one place, I’d have a circle of admirers all eager to hear my next wisdom-byte).

    I’m flaming a bit – overexcited with everything going on and the myriad points of view here – it’s a place I felt at home months ago. Meanwhile, of course I found the Network Analysis thread. I could have something to say about that from the point of view of an innocent bystander.

    From a soft science point of view, I’m going to take another look at the Mann Network Analysis in the Hockey Stick Illusion.

  90. Garry said

    The American Republic will endure until the day Congress discovers that it can bribe the public with the public’s money.

    — Alexis de Tocqueville

  91. derek said

    Fact is government can’t run anything without screwing it up some how this was a power grab plain and simple ans it will be a complete mess but they are at the controls ( and that was the goal) thats why they resorted to chicago politics to get it passed, we need a super hero to undo this cluster****.

  92. Kendra said

    OK, I’m in shock – just checked the last news:

    Dingel said: “…it takes a long time to do the necessary administrative steps that have to be taken to put the legislation together to control the people.” there’s video.

    Now he’s trying to walk back the cat by saying he was “tired.” But we know what that means – when people are tired, or drank too much, what usually is offensive is how they say something – bluntly, aggressively, with hostility or simply uncool at the time and place – and also the other way, with expansive, sweeping loving. Normally, it’s not even so bad what they say it’s just how. Normally, we assume the truth of it and often forgive because we know the inhibitions of consideration or appropriateness were not in place and, especially with friends, we already know their weaknesses. If we hear something that reveals an ugliness we’d never known, we might try to excuse it or whatever – but we don’t doubt that it is a part of the person. Example: the guy who played Kosmo or something on Seinfeld went too far on a stand-up comedy act (there’s video). He was horribly remorseful – but he can never walk back that he revealed an ugly part of himself. I think I would want to kill myself if I were him, or at least run away to sea. Thought that about Phil Jones et al. too, so go figure. Well, whatever.

    Second, they just discovered AP article that they somehow forgot to cover kids with pre-existing.

    How can this be? There are thousands of pages, this past year (and of course its been in the pending file for years in various forms) they were working, working, working on it/them.

    Even though we knew so much of the bill was just simply bad, to have such a major oversight come out right away is frightening. If something so big was overlooked, the devils in the details could be even much worse than we thought.

    So let’s play devil’s advocate: the answer to the charge that similar plans have always failed in the past, the answer is that the people were incompetent, we’re the ones who can do it right. And we learned from their mistakes, so we’ve got it covered.

    How can we possibly believe they can make it work? Even if you want such a system, these people are incompetent and the bill is a disaster. We also know they are corrupt, even if only from what happened last weekend.

    On the light side, Coburn is gumming up the works with the amendments. Seems he wants one that would disallow giving Viagra to sex offenders. Go Tom!

    On a related note, but also showing incompetence at the least, is an article in the NY Times. Arizona has had to scrap their State Children’s Health Insurance Program – lack of funds. At the end of the article, they say its expansion was to be funded by the Master Settlement Agreement. NOT TRUE. The expansion was funded by one of the first bills O signed, claiming glory for him and his cronies. He never thanked those who were paying – a huge tax increase on tobacco, the highest being 2400% on rolling tobacco, which, excluding elitist rebels who roll their own designer organic, the poorest smoke. Median income of smokers is around 35,000, the bill funds children as old as 26, depending on the state, from families with an income up to over 80,000. Now before you antis jump on me and say they shouldn’t be smoking anyway, let’s put a tax like that on Dom Perignon – why not 2400% of, what? Probably at least 100. And why should only the poor be deprived of their pleasure, just because you disapprove.

    My point: Since they certainly won’t roll back the tax increase, WTF is going to happen to that money? The Feds won’t give it back unless the state “behaves.” It was extortion in the first place, now the very children of the ones paying the tax are cheated.

    By the way, most states have long since plundered their Master Settlement funds, which were meant to compensate for the fantasy extra expenses of smokers to society (fantasy because they already paid enough, yes, I’ve got backup). Only a few states actually use it for its intended purpose, mostly to fund harassment and demonization campaigns, lobbying to forbid freedom of assembly and overturn private property rights and useless (about 1.5% success rate) nicotine replacement therapy (with huge salaries all around, of course).

    I know if anyone’s even still reading this thread the wrath of god is going to come down on my head but junk science is being used to control in many more ways than climate scientology (I have links to evidence of all).

    End of rant, I’m worn out and shattered.

  93. John Frum said

    People Dependent are People Enslaved

    Don’t get baby’s then. You’ll become dependant on a woman, they are dependant on you, it’s an entire mesh of dependancies in that prisoncamp called family!

    You lot are just as strange as the leftists. You even wear the same blindfolds.

  94. Kendra said

    Sorry, John, you lose.

    While I agree, people are sure strange, but there’s a huge difference between choosing to be with someone thereby agreeing to take on certain responsibilities and giving and taking out of having that bond of affection, is far different than being dependent, with the threat of force, on a whimsical, faraway, uncaring machine. One might be benevolent, one might be a vicious dictator. And, above all, forcing others into the same position who did NOT choose it. No one has the right to vote to enslave me.

    By the way, this applies to friendships as well. Or do you advocate no social networks too?

    Here’s an idea: All who want to be dependent on government can pay the government for that “privilege” and leave the rest of us alone. When people get tired of one “system,” they can opt out and join the other. The government system would be a pool, like insurance (no different than what the government will end up offering – by force).

    And, what the O promised but didn’t deliver, transparency. They swore an oath to defend the constitution and they’re breaking that oath. All they have to do is say “down with the Constitution, down with the Bill of Rights” and if that’s what you want, join that system. Leave us alone. The bill of rights only delineates the most important of our natural rights, not given by man and not to be taken away by man.

    Born free!

  95. John Frum said

    but there’s a huge difference between choosing to be with someone thereby agreeing to take on certain responsibilities and giving and taking out of having that bond of affection, is far different than being dependent, with the threat of force, on a whimsical, faraway, uncaring machine.

    So you are free, yet your children are slaves? They didn’t choose you.

    By the way, this applies to friendships as well. Or do you advocate no social networks too?

    I advocate a complete stop to sloganism.

  96. Kendra said

    John, it looks like you’re out to score points – I was interested in an exchange and your reply makes no clear point that I can find. I don’t see where children are slaves – of course, some are mistreated, it’s an imperfect world. Sometimes papa polar bears eat their young. It’s the way of nature, though, that in most cases the parents nurture their young until they are able to cope on their own – then it’s also their job to set them “free” into the world. Depending on the culture and the individual, the numerical age varies. As you may know, at least in the U.S., as of a certain age, younger than what’s called majority, they also may emancipate themselves.

    Which slogan were you referring to?

    Why don’t you just tell us what you’re on about? Maybe there is something valuable there, but you are clouding it with hostility.

  97. PhilJourdan said

    Kendra #92 – Re: Dingel

    People are often the most honest when they are tired. They do not have the energy to lie. Dingel was just being honest.

  98. physical recuperation…

    [...]People Dependent are People Enslaved « the Air Vent[...]…

  99. limousine service exotic…

    [...]People Dependent are People Enslaved « the Air Vent[...]…

  100. Best Cheap Tablet PC UK…

    [...]People Dependent are People Enslaved « the Air Vent[...]…

  101. denisjeans said

    denisjeans…

    [...]People Dependent are People Enslaved « the Air Vent[...]…

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

 
Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 147 other followers

%d bloggers like this: