Free Markets, Free People


Quote of the Day

Hillary Clinton, now Secretary of State and once First Lady who championed a failed attempt at government run health care, on the present effort at “reform”:

“It’s interesting that what we are proposing is fundamentally so conservative compared with so many of our friends and allies around the world who do a much better job than we do in covering everybody and in keeping costs down and yet some of the political opposition is so overheated.”

So what can we learn from that? First, the talking about about the opposition being “overheated” has reached all corners of the left. It again proves that if this is “overheated” then history began January 20th, 2009.

More importantly though, it makes the point that whatever is passed by Democrats and called “health care reform” (and something will be passed), it will only be the beginning of deep government intrusion in that segment of the economy. If this is “conservative” you ain’t seen nothin’ yet.

~McQ

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17 Responses to Quote of the Day

  • Well, they are testing every conceivable combination of words, hoping to find just the most reasonable, unassailable way of saying that they want to invest yet more power over medical care in the governing class. That when the only path to restoring balance to medical costs is by decreasing the involvement of government.

    Failing to mention, as Mark Steyn has so ably pointed out, that state run health care is the tipping point at which the fundamental relationship between individuals and the state is permanently* changed.

    * Permanent in the sense of “until Rome is conclusively sacked.”

  • Question. Let’s say they pass healthcare, but then lose 2010 midterms and then 2012 presidential…any chance of simply immediate rollback?

    Or reform of reform to make it more reasonable?

    • Harun, it depends on the situation. The Democrats have sixty Senators. To rollback the legislation they’d have to pass something in the Senate, and then get the President to sign. Theoretically if things are going bad for Obama he might sign and Democrats might support a ‘reform of reform,’ but the odds are very much against that. If health care reform isn’t working as well as hoped, and if the GOP wins in the 2012 Presidential elections (not likely due to demographics and the power of the incumbency)there might be real efforts to reform the reform. And, to be sure, whatever passes will be reformed as we learn what works well and what doesn’t, no matter who is in power.

      Every other industrialized state has a health care system that insures everyone, they all pay much less — usually significantly less — and have health outcomes better than ours. It’s really nothing to fear, and given the out of control costs (insurance is expected to cost a family of four $25,000 by 2016) something needs to be done in any event.

      • Erb dissembles: “Every other industrialized state has a health care system that insures everyone, they all pay much less — usually significantly less — and have health outcomes better than ours.”

        One of the greatest things about being the United States, although it is being eroded, is that it is not “every other industrialized state.” You detest the United States, Scott, so that is essentially meaningless to you.

        “Health outcomes” is a meaningless weasel term. Canadians often frequent American doctors and hospitals because they don’t enjoy waiting months to be treated. When the state controls the medical industry, the state controls the statistical reporting on the medical industry. The NHS in the UK is a revolting system that no serious American would want to be treated by.

        The American system is costly because of government interference, especially in the area of not allowing real competition.

        Eighty-five percent of Americans like their health insurance. They don’t want to get rid of it to address the 10% of the population that is uninsured.

      • Every other industrialized state … have health outcomes better than ours.

        Scott, can you back this claim up? You repeat it often but I’ve never seen you provide evidence that it’s true. You aren’t going to convince anyone here without backing it up. So I say to you that this isn’t true, putting this argument back to square one.

      • In reality, we have much better health outcomes than any other country – our patients survive at a higher rate for the vast majority of diseases.
        When you remove non-health care related factors such as murder and death in car accidents, the U.S. has the longest life expectancy of any nation).
        Facts Erb has seen and ignored.

        Bonus tidbit for Mr. ‘I deplore the loss of innocent lives’. If we had the cancer survival rate of the country you hold up as the model system – Germany- more than 140,000 innocent lives would be lost every year.
        140,000 dead EVERY YEAR just to please your twisted sentimentalities.

        In addition, a factor in Europe’s lower cost is that we pay for much more than a proportional share of the research (over one third of the total amount spent on medical reasearch world-wide comes from the U.S.) Even if we only cut down to the average for an advaced European system, ten percent of the world’s medical research goes away. Of course, to maintain our current top level of care under a centralized system, we’d have to cut much more than that.

        • I don’t believe you, Ted. You’re making such bizarre limitations that it’s almost like you’re in a limbo contest to say others are doing worse — I simply don’t believe you.

          Here is what I do believe:
          http://content.healthaffairs.org/cgi/content/full/23/3/89
          http://www.commonwealthfund.org/Content/Publications/Fund-Reports/2007/May/Mirror–Mirror-on-the-Wall–An-International-Update-on-the-Comparative-Performance-of-American-Healt.aspx

          Otherwise, when I do comparisons in class between health care systems (when teaching courses on European politics) I go to the World Health Organization website and look up the data. It’s clear that the US generally under performs on many, many measures, and over performs on others. Yet we spend a lot more, and leave far more uninsured, often afraid to seek health care.

          Most of the world, correctly, sees our system as inhumane.

          • Erb;
            You don’t beleive me because you HAVE NOT looked at the WHO data for health care, only summaries of overall expense and number of insured people. Here is the actual data from the WHO:

            http://www.photius.com/rankings/world_health_systems.html

            The only figures in these WHO ranking that are tied diectly to the health care system are for Responsiveness. The U.S. is #1 for Level of Responsiveness. The only countries ahead of the U.S. for Distribution of care (i.e. who can actually get that #1 level of care) are the UAE and Bulgaria, which rank 30th and 161st for level of care. The Democrats biggest fallacy is that unisured people can’t get care, when actually the WHO says they can.

            Since that may be too many numbers to process, here’s a handy chart for all types of cancer:

            http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/uknews/1560849/UK-cancer-survival-rate-lowest-in-Europe.html

            All Cancer. Total level of health care. Ability for all people to access health care. That is what you claim are bizarre limitations.

          • Scott, the Commonwealth “study” is not really a study. It is a telephone poll. What a silly thing that is. So, we are going to call people in various countries and rank the health care systems based on what they think. Of course, the participants have no knowledge of another countries system except what they have heard.

            That so called study is an embarrassment. No one can make any rational decision based on an international poll. Did you actually read the study and it methodology?

            Then I looked at your content.healthaffairs.org study at it is equally as meaningless. For example, the chart shows the US relatively low for colorectal cancer, but there is no indication of colonscopies. Could it be that the US has a higher rate of colonoscopies that reflect a reduced rate of colorectal cancer. We have no idea based upon this data.

            Look, Scott, you claim to be educated and to teach others, but you seem to fall for the most fraudulent and meaningless of studies as a way to support your point of view. Clearly, Maine has run into problems and heavy costs with its foray into health care. Maybe you can tell us why this Examiner reference is misleading and why the US will avoid the problems Maine (and Tennessee and Massachusetts) have had:

            http://www.washingtonexaminer.com/opinion/blogs/beltway-confidential/In-Maine-good-intentions-paved-the-road-to-health-care-Hell-50653362.html

            I expect more from you than mere talking points, but I am continually disappointed.

            Rick

          • Those who don’t expect are never disappointed, Rick.

            There is no basis on which to expect more from Scott Erb. Except for more of the same. Thus it has always been.

      • The “rest of the world” does not view us as barbaric. My friend from Italy came here for a surgery she paid for with her own money because the waiting times in Italy might have caused her death.

        Also, all the western Europe countries are in even more dire financial straights than we are, and it is their socialized medicine that is the biggest expense.

        You are a dolt who refuses to see reality because of your socialist ideology. You refuse to see any of the cons of the socialist systems and see only the golden dream of your marxist utopia.

    • About one in a ten million.

      No.

      Even a Repub Congress is not about to lay off the tens of thousands of Federal “workers” they’re going to (have already?) have to hire to run this monstrosity.

    • Well, so far, there’s something incredibly wrong with the way that Republicans (not the conservative or libertairan commentariat necessarily, but the elected Republican opposition) are making counter-proposals. They have not yet put forward a coherent set of free market reforms.

      Yes, yes, there’s the usual “tort reform” thing, but where’s the whole coherent package? Have I missed it?

      I suspect that this question of nationalizing competition among medical insurers is very tricky business. That a lot of very secure positions in the insurance industry will be disturbed if the state-by-state system is overthrown. That’s a guess.

      On one hand I think that the Democrats, what they are really trying to do, is to bail out the bankrupt Medicare system by corrupting, undermining and stealing from the rest of the medical insurance industry, which will pass those costs onto the insured before the medical insurance industry disintegrates and the government takes over entirely.

      The Republicans, meanwhile, are complicit in any number of restraints on the market for insurance and are simultaneously afraid of anything that looks like a free market reform of Medicare. They are cowards, as usual, and locked in state-by-state with the parochial nature of the insurers.

      It’s a hand job all around. And the “crisis” of escalating costs is, ta-da, a government created crisis that no one really has the courage or will to solve. The Democrats have the “courage” and the will to make it even worse. The Republicans are largely passive and therefore complicit.

      But whatever the Democrats manage to get through this time will almost certainly make matters worse, although it will also certainly increase the divide between those who work for a living and those who vote for a living.

      The best option, therefore, is that nothing pass. And that the debate itself be restructured to bring real free market reforms down the road. Down the road because the Democrats and Obama aren’t interested in anything like that and the Republicans need to pull themselves together and not make it just another trip to the legislative sausage factory.

      • “The Republicans, meanwhile, are complicit in any number of restraints on the market for insurance and are simultaneously afraid of anything that looks like a free market reform of Medicare. They are cowards, as usual, and locked in state-by-state with the parochial nature of the insurers.”

        Yes,I think you’re right about that and opening up the insurance market to competition across state lines is one of the keys to fixing this mess.

        I’m thinking of a new clothing line for Republicans; a bottom end ensemble, 100% wool custom tailored pants to expose their entire ass, coupled with large fluffy pink bunny rabbit house slippers with bicycle handle grips sticking straight out of the toes. That way, when they are publicly spouting their horseshit their constituents can get a true picture of what’s really going on.

    • It is highly unlikely that once enacted, changes to health insurance will be rolled back. The more likely outcome is that over time, more and more will be tacked on to the plan in order to mold it into what the Democrats had hoped to pass from the start, and then it will grow as even more requirements and coverage is added. Like Medicare, it’ll grow out of control. Unlike Medicare, we won’t have to wait decades for it to crush the US economy under its weight.

  • Once again, I ask:

    Are the democrats (in this case, the Hilldabeast) too stupid to understand the plain meaning of words, or do they think we’re too stupid, or both?

    There isn’t a single think that is “conservative” about the government taking over our health care system.

  • I for one wished they had kept up the “uniquely American” rhetoric. A while back I heard it from 4 or 5 different sources, all leftys, in about a three day period, then it pretty much dropped off the cliff. No wonder, uniquely American, just screams no government involvement to me.