23 March 2010

Health Care Aftermath

Republicans felt that health care reform ought not to focus on expanding the insured but, rather, on limiting lawsuits.

Within hours of Obama signing the new health care bill, Republicans have sued.

19 comments:

Anonymous said...

Wow, that's really insightful and clever. The Republicans aren't pursuing a frivolous lawsuit. They are suing to prevent the Gov't from trampling on the freedom of its citizens. If they can make you buy health insurance, levy any fines they feel like, set the premiums, where do you think the politicians will stop. Why isn't tort reform or compettion across state lines, or any other free market solution in the bill? Wait until there is a single payer system in this country managed by the gov't that has proven they can manage large organizations and treasure chests so well. Do you have any doubts that this is just the first step in putting private insurance companies out of businees and moving to a single payer system?

Ron Davison said...

That's the kicker, isn't it anon? Every party thinks that theirs is a serious lawsuit and everyone sued thinks it is a nuisance. But I like your proof that this is a serious problem: it is just the first step. By the same reasoning, we could sue the government for letting 18 year olds vote because it is just the first step towards letting 6 year olds vote.

Anonymous said...

Hmm so challenging the consitutionality of mandatory purchasing of health insurance is frivolous in your opinion? If we can be forced to purchase health insurance, what else can we be forced to purchase? When you have dozens of states filing suits to stop the federal govt from forcing insurance on their residents and trying to stop the Feds from forcing any number of unfunded mandates on the states it might be in the non-frivolous category. This may be a little bit diffferent than the average law suit that doctors face on a regular basis. Plus I'd guess that the states are only trying to stop the Feds and not going to ask the supreme court to hand them trillions in damages. You seem to be stretching to present them as the same. So don't you find it strange that our reform has effectively avoided any free market solutions. Does it bother you that the president is surrounded by advisers who publicly bash the free market? Have you heard, in his own voice, how he sought out the Marxist professors is school, or how it was unlikley that he could get to a single payer system in one step? Do you believe we are headed toward a single payer system? Do you believe that's a good way to go?

Ron Davison said...

Anon,
there are people in congress who wanted to scrap all health care plans. There are people in congress who wanted to put in place single-payer plans. Those two parties lost. You can speculate about what comes next but that seems a little tough for a country that voted in Bush and then Obama. I've never been able to predict who'll get elected or what policies will get enacted next, but if you can my hat is off to you.

Anonymous said...

That's funny, because based on your original post and your replies, I was actually predicting that you wouldn't answer any of my direct questions and made a point to ask a few there at the end to really test my predictive abilities.

I think people can predict what's going on if you pay attention to people's stated intentions (prior to running for office or when they are in front of an audience of their friends) and then assess if they have the ability to implement what they intend to do. You could spend 30 seconds researching what Obama and his close circle of advisers and mentors think about the Free Market vs the "Social Justice" you can gain with redistribution of wealth strategies they've touted for many years.

Have you taken a hard look (even a safe look) at the net of leftists who brought Obama to Chicago, mentored him and then the cast of Chicago characters who have followed him to DC.

Do you think it's impossible to predict where Valerie Jarret, Van Jones, Anita Dunn, Jim Wallace (his new spritual adviser, after a couple of decades of sitting the church of the Black Theology, Racist, Marxist, American Hating Rev Wright), Holdren, Sunstein, Lloyd, Bronwer, Jennings, Andy Stern ... etc. are on Free Markets vs Socialist/Marxist Ideology? Frank Marshall Davis, his childhood father figure? I wonder what side of the fence he came down on? Don't worry I don't expect you to answer.

Did you see our President essentially mocking the Republicans today? Do you ever remember a President behaving like this while in office. You can think what you want about Bush, and believe me his administration made some incredibly poor decisions and lost sight of many true conservative policies, but I don't remember ever seeing this kind of unprofessional public behavior by a previous president, maybe I was asleep.

I don't really expect many Obama supporters to take the position that Obama is clearly planning on moving to a single payer govt run healthcare system, or that he intends to legalize millions of people here illegally to beef up votes for Nov, or that he wants Card Check for the Unions, ... because they'd have to admit that he is far left of where he lead you all to believe he was. Then you might end up feeling like you might have been a bit naive to assume away all of his radical associations of the past.

Anonymous said...

AMEN ANONYMOUS - Hopefully the American voter will wake up come November and at least create a roadblock by reclaiming a Republican majority in either the House or Sentae for the next two years before Obama is given the boot. Based on the reaction I have seen this week, I don't think the American voter will forget what has been jammed down our throats!!

Big Al said...

Anonymous #1,
1st of all, the GOP can sue all they want, and yes, the lawsuits are frivolous. In fact, in the case of the TX AG, state legislators are pushing back because the TX AG never got permission from the state's legislators, which he was required by law to do. As far as the HC Bill, the lawsuits will fail. If the Bill is pursued to the Supreme Court, the ONLY way it'll get revoked is if the SC goes against historical precedent. The Bill's authors wrote it to make sure it would pass any legal challenge.

As for your assertion Obama mocked the GOP and past Presidents have not, have you been in a coma the last 50 years? About the only past President that possibly hasn't mocked the opposition party was Carter, a President who didn't know how to mock anybody, political or not. Reagan was one of the best and GW Bush one of the cruelest, but Clinton was a sly one as well. It's part of the political scene and all of the President's have done it, save maybe Carter as I mentioned above.

And as for the HC Bill, believe it or not but much of it has roots in the '93 GOP plan led by Senators John Chafee and Bob Dole as an alternative to Clinton's proposal. The Chafee/Dole plan was the basis for the universal health plan passed in Massachusetts by Mr. former GOP Presidential candidate himself Mitt Romney, which was the plan used as the basis for Hillary Clinton's '08 plan which ultimately became the HC Plan passed by Obama. Yes, that's right...the HC Bill Obama signed into law closely resembles what the GOP offered up almost 20 years ago.

This HC Bill is not perfect, by no stretch is it perfect, but at least almost all Americans will be able to get health care while the details are improved. Let's hope the GOP gets involved, even though I expect they'll continue to sulk and whine instead of attempting to represent the people who elected them, including yours truly.

Anonymous said...

"this bill is not perfect", the understatment of the century. But as long as it's for a "good cause", the ends justifies the means right? Not a single Republican vote and 15% of the Dems voted against it, and clearly there were other Dems who didn't want anything to do with or it wouldn't have gone to the last minute, nor would so many bribes and threats been necessary?

Where to start? So being the good Socialist that you are, it's okay for the Gov't to force you to purchase a product from a Private Entity even if you don't want it. And, for anyone who "can't afford" it, we'll take a little more from those who can "afford it"? Of course it has to be for a good cause like health care.

What about Dental Care Insurance? What about Daycare? What about Housing? What about Transportation? What about unlimited education forever? Hmm I just don't know where to stop. Any of these could be determined to be a "Right" as well.

Where do you propose we draw the line?

Beyond picking the Products "we have a right to", to give to some for free, how much of that product or service do we determine everyone is entitled to? An unlimited amount of anything forever?

We are going to give people other people's money for these things based on what? Need? Can you define need for the rest of us?

What if someone is 50 years old, has always done just enough to get by, has always bought things they didn't really need, never saved their money, lived in a house bigger than they needed, had a new car every year, now they lose their job, don't have an emergency fund, owe more on everything they have than those things are worth.

Do we now subsidize this person's insurance, with the money of another 50 yr old who has been investing 20% of what they've earned for 30 years? Do we subsidize lowering their mortgage so they can afford to keep their house while unemployed, even if it's twice the size of the other 50year old's house? Do we subsidize their car lease payment or some other form of transportation?

If you'd (Al or Ron) answer any questions, here's what I'd love to know. What are the things you think we should subsidize? Is there anything we shouldn't subdize? Any specifics would be greatly appreciated. Should there be any limits on what people receive, how do you determine the limits? Do you believe subsidizing these things create any incentives for any irresponsible behaviors?

Ron Davison said...

anon,
you are obviously intelligent. And obviously unclear on the difference between arguing against the bill itself and arguing on the basis of a slippery slope (e.g., if we let men have freedom does that mean that they're free to marry cows or shoot cars or sleep on the floor of the senate? if we provide health insurance for everyone should we insure that everyone is guaranteed video games?).
So, irresponsible behavior as in some stupid newborn has the poor sense to be born to a woman without enough money to pay for an expensive procedure? Hard to imagine anything more irresponsible than contracting a disease.

Anonymous said...

Again, it is interesting to note that there are only generalized statements rather than answering any questions proposed by Anon #1. I like the questions but I'm sure we will be waiting for answers for a long time since the best delay tactic is to answer a question with a question.

Ron Davison said...

Anon,
if you are interested in what I think about health care, you could look here:
http://rwrld.blogspot.com/2009/09/11-talking-points-about-health-care.html

If you want me to predict whether enough Republicans will win in November to reverse this legislation or whether Valerie Jarret will have more influence over Obama's policies than Timothy Geithner, I don't pay close enough attention to know.

Big Al said...

When logic fails, start labeling people? Now I’m a Socialist based on what I’ve written in a blog post? How comical that I, a registered Republican, am being called a Socialist just because of a few sentences I’ve written.

As far as no GOP voting for the HC Bill, just because no Republicans voted for it the HC Bill is a bad piece of legislation? Is this the new logic? Republicans like legislation = good, Republicans don’t like legislation = bad?

So, who or what should be subsidized? My opinion is nobody or nothing. But the government long ago made it clear they were going to subsidize: farm subsidies, timber subsidies, fishing industry subsidies, airlines, and so forth. Why not just cut out subsidies for everyone? Agreed?

About that 50 yr old who’s lived beyond their means: we already pay for that person today when they walk into ER, or when they drive w/o insurance as our rates increase. How many people are like this irresponsible 50 yr old vs. how many can’t afford health insurance today given current rates? Please provide the numbers.

As far as subsidies creating incentives for irresponsible behaviors, are you arguing that a person will want to spend beyond their means and/or lose their home because they believe the government will be there to bail them out? What reality world do you live in? Have you not read how foreclosures are continuing unabated? With health insurance, the economic reality is those who can’t afford today’s costs are already subsidized by those of us who can. The new HC legislation better lead to lower rates such that the uninsured can start paying for insurance. But if the new legislation does NOT create lower rates, there will be a backlash and both parties will repeal this legislation or markedly improve it, or so I hope.

Anonymous said...

Ron and Al,

Maybe I'm asking too many questions. You clearly both believe that we should provide Health Care to everyone. Is that by being born in US, by being on US soil?

What else do you think we should provide for everyone, by virtue of being born. Yes/No answers would be sufficient.

Dental Care?
Eye Care?
Education?
Housing?
Utilities?
Transportation?
Communication Devices (cells)?
Daycare?
Employment?

Big Al said...

Anonymous, please re-read my last posting where I stated I support our government providing zero subsidies.

Do you agree?

Anonymous said...

Big Al,

I must have started my last entry while you were posting yours. Yours wasn't up when I started my last.

Wow, no subsidies, sign me up. I do agree, no gov't subsidies. But you do agree that everyone should be entitled to Health Care?

So, can I assume you don't believe anyone is entitled to Free Health Care? Free Dental Care? Free things on my list in the previous post? Or at least, Free Gov't provided services? How about you, Ron?

On the bill, there were zero repub votes and 15% of the dems against. There was surely another reasonable faction for the dems who didn't want anything to do with the bill, otherwise it wouldn't have gone down to the wire with untold backroom deals. Have you not heard Dem after Dem essentially admit they don't like the bill either, but had to get something done, and they'll fix it after? Did you hear some of the Dems say that they were told that if the bill didn't pass that Obama's presidency was finished? Do you honetly believe this will lower costs? Make insurance more affordable? The farce of this being budget positive or neutral is laughable. 10 years of revenues, six years of services in the first 10 years. Hundreds of Billions of dollars that were pulled out of the bill early on to be taken care of outside of the bill. Hundreds of Billions of dollars that the CBO said were problematic because they were double counted. Hundreds of Billions of dollars that are future Medicare cuts that won't happen. The CBO scores what they are given with assumptions they are given. The CBO wrote a letter confirming that there were issues with the score when asked, on the double counting for example. Did you see or hear about that in the media?

On the 50 yr old, it's simply an example. I don't know how many people can't afford insurance, and can't without knowing what you are talking about. Are you talking about affording $0 deductible, no-copay, 100% or everything covered, with no caps? Or are you referring to a high deductible, with some preventative care, and a catastrophic loss coverage. There is a very wide range of monthly costs for insurance, what are we debating? Once you decide what level of insurance everyone deserves, how do you decide what they "can afford". Are they allowed certain amount of cost for housing, for eating out, car payments, cell phones, education, etc?

On subsidies, why would you like to see no subsidies for anyone if you didn't beleive they provided the wrong incentives? That doesn't make sense to me. Anytime our gov't tries to centrally engineer something in our society by pushing one thing or another with a subsidy we see unintended consequenes from the resulting behaviors. Take the social re-engineering effort in housing. The goal was to have everyone particpate in the American Dream, which was tied to home ownership, how do we provide ownership opps to people who wouldn't have them otherwise. Let's create a subsidized public(political)-private entity (we'll call it Fannie Mae). This objective of houses for everyone, led to an almost incomprehensible series of guarantees (real and implied), derivatives, new types of brokers, new easing of leverage requirements, no doc loans, etc. We all know how that turned out.

So yes, I believe that subsidies create actions that would have otherwise not happened at the level they happened. When people are spending money that isn't theirs, or have access to things they are entitled to for free, they tend to be less responsible than they would be if that money were their own, No?

Part 2 on next post ...

Anonymous said...

Part 2

Regardless of how you slice this bill, it boils down to forcing some people to purchase a product they don't need or want (young people for example), it puts it's hands in the pockets of some citizens, takes their money and then redistributes that to others in the form of tax credits, subsidies, services, etc. That redistribution is a socialist virtue, whether it's for a noble cause like health care, or for "social justice", or any other cause.

Do you think there's a chance that key people in the administration and Congress really want to get to a single payer system and they believe this was a first necessary and enabling step? That they might believe that this will actually cause costs to go up, which can be blamed on a dwindling insurance industry, and will ultimately result in the gov't having to step in to save our health care system. Again I'd point you to Cloward-Piven, and Rules for Radicals, which was coincidentally the text book for some community organizers.

Now that Health Care has passed, the key is to keep it alive until it's momentum doesn't allow for a practical pull back. That requires keeping the key block in office, maintaining the support of key supporters, figuring ways to add other supporter to the voting roles.

Here's what worries me. I think we will have a hard time repealing this regardless of the actual costs and damage it will cause. There are reasonable estimates that we have a large part of population in the category to the "zero liability voter", those who pay nothing to the treasury. If that is approaching half the population roughly, you really don't need many more people put in that category to reach the tipping point where return is unlikely.

What if we were able legalize 10 to 20 million voting age adults who would very quickly add to the "zero liability voter" numbers. What about a million or two convicted felons able to vote? What if we could significantly increase the number of people who depend on the Unions, by taking away the secret ballots used for Unionizing a company and we were able to walk around with a petition to create a company union (this is Card Check). We could have a pretty significant unionization of companies in the next 2.5 years or so. Coincidentally, one of Obamas recess appointments today, believes he can do this with a Federal Regulation and doesn't need Congress to pass anything. Thank God, now that Congress doesnt' seem to have the stomach for Card Check.

Do you fear we could be on a dangerous path that could change the way this Country is governed?

Big Al said...

Anonymous,

I absolutely am relishing our conversations. Thank you for the dialogue. I truly mean this.

Having said this, I'm looking at an extremely busy week and therefore might not respond back ASAP. You've provided feedback that's got me thinking more and I want time to review all you've written.

Anonymous said...

Anonymous with the two long posts,

Well done. You have put into words the thoughts and fears of many concerned Americans. Thank you for taking the time to leave your comments on this blog.

Damon said...

mmm.

Me loves a good debate. This thread wasted a good 15 minutes of my day. woot!