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Emotional arguments and the gilded cage
Posted by: mcq on Wednesday, October 10, 2007

I'm not at all surprised that the SCHIP story has taken the turn it has. That's the story about the Balitmore MD family which has come under scrutiny from opponents of the expansion of the SCHIP program after their 12 year old son was used by Democrats to make an emotional appeal for passage.

The most interesting thing has been the reaction of the left blogosphere. Those of us opposing this expansion and raising questions about the family in Baltimore are automatically "attacking children". Of course, given the use of the 12 year old boy, not a word mentioned about exploiting children, but that really comes as no surprise.

In fact this isn't about the Frost children at all. It is about a program Democrats want to expand well beyond its original concept. It is incrementalism at its finest.

Invoking an emotional response to legitimate questions about the assets of this family supposedly unable to afford health insurance is fairly typical of those who want to change the subject.

It comes down to two philosophies I guess. One says you take responsibility for your actions and choices and you don't depend on or require others to pay for them. That's the America I grew up in. That's what I was taught by my parents. The other says everyone else is responsible to ensure you have a certain arbitrary level of support despite your decisions. In fact, your choices are really irrelevant in terms of responsibility. You are, in reality, responsibility free.

The clash of those two philosophies was never more evident than yesterday in the comment section of a previous post, when I dared to suggest that there was probably a good deal of equity in a house bought at 55K 15 years ago and now worth at least 250K. A commenter couldn't believe I'd suggest that Frost take a second mortgage to insure his family.

I couldn't believe he didn't think that was Frost's duty to his family. It seems that commenter was fine with Frost not touching the equity, continuing to own business property and letting someone else pay for his insurance.

You know, like most everyone, I've been in positions in my life where I didn't know how I'd make it through some weeks financially and ended up making some hard decisions, selling some stuff at times that I didn't want to sell, and generally doing what was necessary to live up to my choices and responsibilities. The most important thing to come out of those experiences was what I learned. I learned from each what I needed to do in order to avoid that sort of problem in the future.

When we continually bail out people who have the assets to bail themselves out of situations, what do they learn from the experience? Well certainly not how to avoid it in the future, that's for sure. And certainly not that it is they who have the primary responsibility for providing for their family.

So for all those out there who want to make this an argument which attacks children, get a clue. This isn't at all about a specific child or even children in general. As Michelle Malkin said:
This is not about The Children. It’s about the purported adults in the Democrat party leadership, the left-wing blogosphere, and the sycophantic media who can’t debate policy without flinging their peas when challenged.

Financial assets are at the very core of this debate. Schip was supposed to be a bridge to help insure children in poor families who barely missed out on qualifying for Medicaid. The Democrats are pushing the Schip eligibility level to 200, 300, 400 percent of the federal poverty line. The kids’ program is no longer just for kids and may well cover illegal aliens to boot.
Demonizing those who oppose you doesn't add weight to your argument. It simply avoids the real nut of the fight. That's okay, I'll be glad to remind you what the fight is actually about. But I certainly won't be intimidated by false claims. And if demonization and emotional argument are all you have, well that's pretty telling. However it doesn't change the fact that those pushing this program are pushing the philosophy that says we're not responsible for our actions or our choices and it is up to government (and others) to pick up the slack.

The ramifications of that philosophy are truly destroying the freedom and liberty we enjoy today. We're beginning to see that manifested in stories like this. And just watch the campaign as candidates pander to that philosophical side with things like $5,000 "baby bonds" and $1,000 401(k)s, and government taking responsibility for your health care - and eventually, your life. That last part means much less freedom and liberty for you. And while it may end up being a gilded cage, it will still be a cage.
 
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A commenter couldn’t believe I’d suggest that Frost take a second mortgage to insure his family.
I guess the best strategy, then, is to tie up as much money as possible in non-liquid assets, then ask everyone else to pay your bills.
 
Written By: the wolf
URL: http://
The "attacks" are not the people discussing means testing or the philosophical implications of government assistance, they are calls and visits to their house by the flying monkeys of the rightwing blogosphere, they are comments on Redstate like:

"If federal funds were required [they] could die for all I care. Let the parents get second jobs, let their state foot the bill or let them seek help from private charities. ... I would hire a team of PIs and find out exactly how much their parents made and where they spent every nickel. Then I’d do everything possible to destroy their lives with that info."

and

"Hang ’em. Publically," the Redstate contributor wrote. "Let ’em twist in the wind and be eaten by ravens. Then maybe the bunch of socialist patsies will think twice."

http://www.baltimoresun.com/news/health/bal-te.frosts10oct10,0,4459992.story?coll=bal_tab01_layout

Please don’t be disingenious, these are the attacks people are complaining about, not the people who want to debate the merits of SCHIP.

 
Written By: Not the senator
URL: http://
Please take a look at AJ Strata’s piece for another conservative take on this:

http://strata-sphere.com/blog/index.php/archives/4518
 
Written By: Not the senator
URL: http://
"In a telephone interview, the Frosts said they had recently been rejected by three private insurance companies because of pre-existing medical conditions."(source)

If you can’t buy health insurance at all, what then?
 
Written By: Tito
URL: http://
"In a telephone interview, the Frosts said they had recently been rejected by three private insurance companies because of pre-existing medical conditions."(source)

If you can’t buy health insurance at all, what then?
Well, if the government can require insurers to cover any auto driver, they can certainly come up with regulations that require insurers to cover anyone with pre-existing conditions.

They only tried 3 insurance companies. Yikes, we got quotes from 4 or 5 for motorcycle insurance when shopping for rates vs service. If something is important enough, you find a way.

The question still stands, what business is it of the Federal government to be giving out medical insurance?
 
Written By: Keith_Indy
URL: http://asecondhandconjecture.com
If you can’t buy health insurance at all, what then?
Get a job with coverage so you can put your family on it?
 
Written By: shark
URL: http://
They’re not looking hard enough.

the problem is, most carriers wont accept you with a pre-existing condition (which is a problem)...but there are those that will, for a significantly higher premium. They’re probably doing what most americans do: ignore those higher premium options looking for the ones with the cheapest premium.

But that’s what happens when you announce your problem for the entire world to hear about and have them use you for politics: everyone knows who you are and your problems.

It’s their own damned fault, and while I feel awefully bad for the kid, fact is, I shouldn’t have to foot the bill because the parents are incompetent.
 
Written By: Joel C.
URL: http://
"We work hard, we’re honest, we pay our taxes,” Mr. Frost said,"

They can’t be working all that hard, since neither of them has a steady, full-time job. Perhaps if one of them sought a full-time, permanent job with benefits such as health insurancer, the problem would be solved. They might even make more than $45k.
 
Written By: timactual
URL: http://
If they had insurance BEFORE the accident, this wouldn’t be a problem, though right?

the wolf is right, too, there will be ways to game the system.

Why couldn’t the Dems have found a below-poverty line family to highlight? Not telegenic enough?
 
Written By: Harun
URL: http://
"If federal funds were required [they] could die for all I care. Let the parents get second jobs, let their state foot the bill or let them seek help from private charities. ... I would hire a team of PIs and find out exactly how much their parents made and where they spent every nickel. Then I’d do everything possible to destroy their lives with that info."

and

"Hang ’em. Publically," the Redstate contributor wrote. "Let ’em twist in the wind and be eaten by ravens. Then maybe the bunch of socialist patsies will think twice."
Classic idiocy. I don’t want people like this anywhere near ’being in charge’ than I want Shrillary Clinton for President.
Please don’t be disingenuous, these are the attacks people are complaining about, not the people who want to debate the merits of SCHIP.
No one I’ve seen here is condoning asinine attacks as above on the Frost family because of this.

Anyone doing that is a certified @sshole, no matter how they vote, and frankly to prove I’m the fascist you probably think I am, I’d take their voting rights away because clearly they can’t handle the responsibilities of voting if they feel they have any right, in any way, to phone, visit, picket, etc, the Frosts.

This is about means, and choices, the Frost family just happens to be the case study chosen to demonstrate a need, and it appears they were not the best choice for that demonstration.
In a telephone interview, the Frosts said they had recently been rejected by three private insurance companies because of pre-existing medical conditions."(source)
Tito, place some heavy emphasis on the word ’recently’ and you see the problem.
The suspicion that they chose to spend their insurance dollars somewhere else in the past has led them to find themselves recently with conditions that were probably not pre-existing back then.

I don’t want this kid to suffer because of his parent’s business decisions, and that appears to be what’s happening. By the same token, I make decisions, you make decisions and let me ask you who you think is responsible for picking up the pieces if we make poor decisions. The argument is that it appears from the evidence that his parents continue to improve their equity standing in business ventures without sacrificing those ventures before they turn to ’us’ to assist them.

The fact of the matter is the proponents of SCHIP picked a poor spokes family to make an emotional rebuttal to the President of the United States doing his job.
 
Written By: looker
URL: http://
"get a full-time permanent job with health insurance" (summed by many people)

So your gilded cage is then a large corporation, where you are essentially unable to find another job because of the pre-existing condition (again). You cannot work for a small company because their HI provider would drop them or jack up the rates on the whole company. You cannot be self employed because no provider will take you. Even larger companies require you to pay a significant portion of the premiums.

Shopping for car insurance isn’t like shopping for health insurance. First, there are no "pre-existing conditions" for cars. (Yes I realize that cars don’t pay for routine maintenance and that is an issue in the health insurance market.) However, if a car’s maintenance gets too high, you can junk the old car and get a new one with less maintenance costs... and I don’t think anyone is advocating that with their children (though based on some comments on various right wing blogs, I wouldn’t be too surprised).

"significantly higher premium"
That’s the whole point isn’t it. How much higher? They make under 50k combined. And sure I guess you could say "get a higher paying job"... but if it were that easy... everyone would have a higher paying job.

Look, I’m not saying that CHIP is the answer, or even public health insurance. However, saying "too bad your f*cked" makes CHIP look like a great alternative.

You regulate HI companies to not ask about pre-existing conditions, require flat rates across the board (based on some criterea, but no breaks to large companies), and other things so people can actually get health insurance, then that works. I can handle requiring insurance of some kind, like car insurance. You want high deductable plans that don’t cover checkups and such, I can go with that at well, but then HI companies need to pay out the full lifetime medical costs for an accident, just like car insurance companies. As it stands now, you get dropped and or jacked up rates as soon as they can when the insurance companies actually need to pay up. Some of these sound good, some not... whatever, but trashing the family doesn’t make them look bad... it makes you look bad.

(and yes, I know the QandO guys have made a number of suggestions, and many make sense... but the commenters here haven’t said "yes things are screwed up... remember this alternative to public programs", they’ve said "you (and your kids) are f*cked")
 
Written By: Tito
URL: http://
"The suspicion that they chose to spend their insurance dollars somewhere else in the past has led them to find themselves recently with conditions that were probably not pre-existing back then."

You sure about that? HI companies will try to drop you (and/or jack rates through the roof) the moment they need to start paying out... especially on these lifelong therapy issues like his sister has. Also, they could have been on CHIP before the accident, so that would have been their health insurance at the time. I haven’t been able to find details on that yet, so I don’t know for sure either.

Again though, I’m fine with mandatory HI, like mandatory car insurance, possibly with govt assistance for premiums (though EITC has been shown to be a very efficient alternative). Or vouchers. Or something other than "your f*cked".
 
Written By: Tito
URL: http://
First, there are no "pre-existing conditions" for cars. (Yes I realize that cars don’t pay for routine maintenance and that is an issue in the health insurance market.) However, if a car’s maintenance gets too high, you can junk the old car and get a new one with less maintenance costs... and I don’t think anyone is advocating that with their children (though based on some comments on various right wing blogs, I wouldn’t be too surprised).
Ah, but there are pre-existing conditions for DRIVERS, which leads them to have higher premiums. And yet, even with laws requiring coverage, people still skate past and go without.
(and yes, I know the QandO guys have made a number of suggestions, and many make sense... but the commenters here haven’t said "yes things are screwed up... remember this alternative to public programs", they’ve said "you (and your kids) are f*cked")
You need to read more then just the posts surrounding this particular case then.

For instance:

Real health care reform requires a cultural change in how we view health insurance

The Universal Health Care tactical battle

Japan’s experience with universal health care

What is the basic premise of Nationalized Health Care or Insurance?

National Health Care

Entitlement Programs: "models of bureaucratic efficiency"
 
Written By: Keith_Indy
URL: http://asecondhandconjecture.com
I dared to suggest that there was probably a good deal of equity in a house bought at 55K 15 years ago and now worth at least 250K.

According to an article in the New York Times, "the Frosts said they had recently been rejected by three private insurance companies because of pre-existing medical conditions."

This is often the case with states that don’t have nasty socialist regulations that force insurers to insure people who might actually need insurance, as opposed to insuring only healthy people and then dumping them if they get sick — the "free market" way!

And I love the "get a job" suggestions. Health insurance is turning into the chains that bind us to big corporations. We may hate our jobs, but we don’t dare quit and strike out on our own (as the Frosts attempted to do) because we’ll lose our insurance, and then we will be labeled "irresponsible" by a howling virtual lynch mob.

The American Right wants to turn us all into wage slaves and cannon fodder, in the name of "freedom." Yep, irony is dead.
 
Written By: Barbara O’Brien
URL: http://
I guess the leftist/liberal/progressive/democrats got their marching orders and narrative...

So Barbara, what you want is a world where people are free to live without taking responsibility for the consequences of their choices.

No matter that the entire society is burdened (unequally at that) to provide for this "freedom."

Yes, socialism, where everyone is equally a slave to societies whims.
 
Written By: Keith_Indy
URL: http://asecondhandconjecture.com
The American Right wants to turn us all into wage slaves
Well, who is that wants me to work and send my taxes (my wages) to the government so it can redistibute it?
Slaves to whom?

There may be other insurers, there may be other employers.
How many Federal governments, exactly, do we have Barbara?
What are my options for disagreeing with the way the government spends the money I am forced to send them? Why should I want to send them more to redistribute?
Does that not have the potential to put me, and mine, ’in danger’ because I will be required to scale back, or go without, in order to meet the financial obligations I incure in addition to my obligations to pay taxes to help cover the choices the Frost adults have made?

Careful with your rhetoric, in this case, it can cut either way.
And so far I haven’t seen anyone here, specifically say ’fu[k you kid’, what we’re discussing is, did the parents spend their available capital on ’themselves’ via their investments instead of investing in insurance for their children.

And, to my knowledge, it is speculation on our part as to their investments and financial situation, however, there’s enough real world experience in such things here that the suspicion is not without merit.
 
Written By: looker
URL: http://
Maybe if states were using this program for children, Democrats wouldn’t need to increase funding for it.
According to the states’ budget projections, 13 will spend more than 44 percent of their SCHIP funds in 2008 on people who are neither children nor pregnant women.

Michigan tops the list with 71.6 percent of its SCHIP money earmarked for adults who have no kids. In New Mexico, 52.3 percent of the state’s SCHIP dollars will be spent on childless adults.
 
Written By: Keith_Indy
URL: http://asecondhandconjecture.com
And I love the "get a job" suggestions. Health insurance is turning into the chains that bind us to big corporations. We may hate our jobs, but we don’t dare quit and strike out on our own (as the Frosts attempted to do) because we’ll lose our insurance, and then we will be labeled "irresponsible" by a howling virtual lynch mob
Hey, if health insurance is so vital to these people then YES, they are irresponsible for striking out on their own and putting their kids at risk to a point where they have to come to the taxpayers with their hands out.

Having kids means having to do loads of crap you may not like. And yes, sometimes that means *GASP* having to work one or multiple crummy jobs we don’t like. Many of us have had to work crummy jobs even without kids.

Health Insurance aren’t the chains that bind. Family responsibility is. In the case of the Frosts, they are self forged chains.

Again, I know I’m a mean man, but if you can’t afford kids, don’t have them. If the Frosts overriding dream was to "strike out" and be on their own, god bless. They should’ve been smarter with their family planning.

 
Written By: shark
URL: http://
Emotional arguments and the gilded cage
What was this post about again?
 
Written By: looker
URL: http://
The American Right wants to turn us all into wage slaves

When in human history have people had the luxury of not being "enslaved" to a job? It isn’t the "American Right" that is enslaving you by making you work for a living. It is economic reality.

One of the reasons that healthcare costs have spiralled out of control is misguided government interventions into the market that incentivize both consumers and providers to behave as if healthcare has no costs, and one of the biggest looming economic threats our country faces is entitlement programs that lock the government into providing politically popular benefits without reasonable eligibility limits, costs controls, or guaranteed funding.

This program is the worst of both trends, and the Democrats’ own case study proves it, which is why people who are looking at this family’s actual financial situation are being demonized. The program was being marketed as a way to get insurance for families that were too poor to afford it on their own. The Frosts are clearly a family that could afford insurance, but at the cost of paring down the nice lifestyle to which they have become accustomed.

Even with tuition breaks, $20,000 private school educations for two children is far more costly than public schools. Is it really unreasonable for us to ask that people who have had a healthcare crisis put their children into public education before we give them public healthcare benefits? I’m sure the father prefers living a bohemian lifestyle turning out woodcrafts, but is it really cruel to ask that he become a "wage slave" and get a job with benefits in order to provide for his own family after a crisis, before we raise taxes on people who are much less affluent than he is to provide healthcare for his children?

Finally, it is disengenuous to claim that only the people making cruel comments about the Frosts are being attacked. The hive is in a frenzy right now, trying to keep any discussion about this family’s personal financial situation off limits. That is not reasonable when the Democrats, and the family themselves, offered these children up as the case study proving the need for SCHIP. Yes, the MSM did try to help the Democrats turn this story into a morality play about good Democrats versus the evil Chimperor, but we live in an age now when thinking people in the blogosphere are willing to ask questions that the MSM won’t, and they took up the challenge of actually treating this case study as an actual case study.

 
Written By: Aldo
URL: http://
Having kids means having to do loads of crap you may not like. And yes, sometimes that means *GASP* having to work one or multiple crummy jobs we don’t like. Many of us have had to work crummy jobs even without kids.

Health Insurance aren’t the chains that bind. Family responsibility is.
D@mn straight...

Being responsible sometimes means enduring sacrifices at some level.

When you get married, you often have to make accommodations for the benefit of your marriage, at least if your marriage is important enough to you.

When you have children, you ought to be making sacrifices to your life style if taking care of your children requires it.
 
Written By: Keith_Indy
URL: http://asecondhandconjecture.com
"HI companies will try to drop you (and/or jack rates through the roof) the moment they need to start paying out."

The key word there is ’try’. As I have heard countless times on my television(I watch too d*m much), ’If you have a phone, you have a lawyer’.


"So your gilded cage is then a large corporation, where you are essentially unable to find another job because of the pre-existing condition (again)."

So? I am terribly sorry that at least one of them will not be able to continue their evidently life-long search for a satisfying, fulfilling, part-time job with great pay and benefits, but one would think that litle things like the children’s health would come first. It must be nice to be one of those folks for whom a job is an opportunity for self expression and self actualization rather than a way to pay the bills.

 
Written By: timactual
URL: http://
Tito:
"Look, I’m not saying that CHIP is the answer, or even public health insurance. However, saying ’too bad your f*cked’ makes CHIP look like a great alternative."
To whom? Look, man: I don’t have anything to do with this, and your "alternative" is to force me to pay for it. That might "look great" great to you, but I positively resent that. I wouldn’t do that to you.

Babs:
"The American Right wants to turn us all into wage slaves and cannon fodder, in the name of freedom.’"
Oh, not like the left, who want to yoke us all to everybody’s teething-rings and Depends and everything in between. (And hey, everybody: mum’s the word around Babs when it comes to things like how "health care" got to the straits it’s in. You can see how promiscuous she can be with words like "freedom", so you can imagine how real concepts and history would go with her. BTDT.)
 
Written By: Billy Beck
URL: http://www.two—four.net/weblog.php
The philosophical realm of this debate is interesting, as are the moral/ethical questions. However, in a very pragmatic sense, the fact of the matter is we are in debt about 70% of GDP, and adding new programs and expanding government is not the best course of action right now. Paying for it with a new tax isn’t an answer either. Let’s say I’m in debt $100,000, and say "gee, I can work an extra job and buy a new car with that money." No, if you get an extra job, you should pay down your debt.

Because it’s not really Billy’s money that goes to pay for this, but the money of the next generation who gets saddled with this debt. They don’t even get to vote on it.
 
Written By: Scott Erb
URL: http://faculty.umf.maine.edu/~erb/blog.htm
Because it’s not really Billy’s money that goes to pay for this, but the money of the next generation who gets saddled with this debt. They don’t even get to vote on it.
BUT IT’S FOR THE CHILDREN!
 
Written By: shark
URL: http://
I see lots of debating over the right attacking this kid, and his family.

I see little mention of what started the debate: the left exploiting this kid in support of using the force of government to steal more of the money I earned, to support my life and family, in order to dole it out to someone they deem more "deserving".
 
Written By: Nathan
URL: http://
I see little mention of what started the debate: the left exploiting this kid
I think you need to define exploitation. Is any use of children in advertising "exploitation." Should children never be used in a political debate? What is exploitation anyway? If it’s voluntary, or if compensated, is it exploitation.

The term "exploitation" gets thrown around a lot. When, precisely, do we know when we can say someone is ’exploited’?
 
Written By: Scott Erb
URL: http://faculty.umf.maine.edu/~erb/blog.htm
Why couldn’t the Dems have found a below-poverty line family to highlight?
Because SCHIP, in its current form, doesn’t cover families below the poverty level. That was never its intent. Argue that all you want, argue the use of the Frosts all you want, but the Dems were honest in that choice.

Question for all who have tossed out HI premium numbers: Are those for a family of six, two of whom are children with severe head injuries?

Question for those who have talked about the Frosts’ car accident: Are there any limits to what prior HI and car insurance would cover under Maryland law?

I have mixed feelings about all this but I think these would be mitigating circumstances.
 
Written By: Lynn
URL: http://
If you step back and look at this entire debate it really is quite funny. The Donks wheeled out a 21st century version of a welfare queen and now their followers are realizing not only how friggin stupid the Donks were to select this family, but also that the program they’re demagoguing isn’t really geared to serve anybody but this type of family. This expansion will never have the poster child they wish they could present because it’s not really for poor people!

It must be demoralizing to pick a fight you realize later you wouldn’t have chosen and then be forced to make idiotic emotional attacks in order to stay in the game.

Oh, and B. O’B. takes the cake with that gem. If I were to script the brain-dead, irony lives claptrap of the modern left I couldn’t do it any better.
 
Written By: spongeworthy
URL: http://
But, SCHIP (State Children’s Health Insurance Program,) in its current form, doesn’t just cover children, or even only families with children.

And how about some research into it’s effectiveness.
SCHIP covered 6.9 million children at some point during Federal fiscal year 2006, and every state has an approved plan.[3] States are given flexibility, and an enhanced match is paid to states. Some states have received Section 1115 demonstration authority to use SCHIP funds to cover the parents of children receiving benefits from both SCHIP and Medicaid, pregnant women, and other adults. However, the program is already facing funding shortfalls in several states.[4]

In 2007, researchers from Brigham Young University and Arizona State found that children who drop out of SCHIP cost states more money because they shift away from routine care to more frequent emergency care situations.[5] The conclusion of the study is that an attempt to cut the costs of a state program could create a false savings because other government organizations pick up the tab for the children who leave SCHIP and later need care. In a 2007 analysis by the Congessional Budget Office, researchers determined that "for every 100 children who gain coverage as a result of SCHIP, there is a corresponding reduction in private coverage of between 25 and 50 children." The CBO speculates this is because the state programs offer better benefits and lower cost than the private alternatives.[6] A Cato Institute briefing paper estimated the "crowding out" of private insurers by the public program could be as much as 60%.[7] The program cost $40 billion federal dollars over 10 years.
 
Written By: Keith_Indy
URL: http://asecondhandconjecture.com
And really, SCHIP is only a band-aid on the real problem, the cost of medical services and insurance.
 
Written By: Keith_Indy
URL: http://asecondhandconjecture.com
The term "exploitation" gets thrown around a lot. When, precisely, do we know when we can say someone is ’exploited’?
How about finding a family that qualified that didn’t have two children with head injuries to roll out for the cameras.
 
Written By: looker
URL: http://
Test
 
Written By: Aldo
URL: http://
Aldo - this isn’t the stupid-o-meter calibration test post, that’s
Remember the "poor" child who gave the Dem response on SCHIP? (update)
 
Written By: looker
URL: http://
President Bush encouraged 9 states to cover not only kids but poor adults too, mostly poor parents under SCHIP when Republicans controlled congress. Now he’s cynically playing politics trying to look fiscally “responsible” by scuttling the whole program. That won’t happen but it will cost Illinois alone an extra $75 million to push these adults into Medicaid according to the Chicago Tribune, by far a more expensive program to both Illinois and federal taxpayers than SCHIP.

That makes no financial sense at all. But then our whole hodge podge healthcare system which is twice as expensive as most other countries in the world doesn’t either. Hopefully it will make no political sense either when the American people kick the Republican party to the curb next year.
 
Written By: markg8
URL: http://
Well, if the government can require insurers to cover any auto driver, they can certainly come up with regulations that require insurers to cover anyone with pre-existing conditions.

The question still stands, what business is it of the Federal government to be giving out medical insurance?
Well, Keith, what business is it of the Federal government to mandate that insurers be required to give coverage to anyone???

The simple solution for this family is that if the Dems want to use them as a poster boy, then they should receive royalties. Also, they should be able to sue some of you f*cks for libel.
It must be demoralizing to pick a fight you realize later you wouldn’t have chosen and then be forced to make idiotic emotional attacks in order to stay in the game.
For a second there sponge, I thought you were referring to the Iraq war.

Cheers.
 
Written By: PogueMahone
URL: http://
According to an article in the New York Times, "the Frosts said they had recently been rejected by three private insurance companies because of pre-existing medical conditions."

This is often the case with states that don’t have nasty socialist regulations that force insurers to insure people who might actually need insurance, as opposed to insuring only healthy people and then dumping them if they get sick — the "free market" way!
The concept of insurance makes economic sense if Party A pays Party B to assume the risk of a catastrophe that is statistically unlikely to occur. Party A benefits from the arrangement, because she is relieved of a potential liability that she could not afford, and Party B benefits because, statistically, she will not have to pay off. The same concept that built Las Vegas.

When the government orders Party B to pay the costs related to a "pre-existing" catastrophic event that has already occurred, to someone who hasn’t even paid any premiums yet, that is not "insurance," and it does not make economic sense.

In fact, the whole idea of insurance has become hopelessly distorted in the health care context, where people have come to expect to have all of their healthcare expenses, even routine, preventative, unecessary, or elective procedures, paid by someone else as an employment benefit, or in exchange for a small monthly premium that doesn’t even cover the costs of care when there is no catastrophic event.

I have heard the argument that the government could solve the problem of runaway costs by picking up the tab for the most catastrophic cases. If true, this would certainly be preferable to me than nationalizing the whole system. Under this arrangement the Frost children would be covered regardless how much money the parents had. This isn’t what the Dems are trying to sell us with SCHIP, though, is it? We are being sold a program based on the supposed needs of poor people, and yet the program is not limited to poor people. It would be one more middle-class entitlement program that our country does not need and cannot afford.



 
Written By: Aldo
URL: http://
Aldo - this isn’t the stupid-o-meter calibration test post

This thing wouldn’t take my comment because I was either blacklisted or I used a naughty word. After an hour of searching I couldn’t find any naughty words, so I was testing to see if my IP address was blacklisted.

I finally re-wrote the whole comment and it went through.
 
Written By: Aldo
URL: http://
That makes no financial sense at all. But then our whole hodge podge healthcare system which is twice as expensive as most other countries in the world doesn’t either
Ours works better though. I’m fairly certain that even if our system cost 80 times what other systems cost, we’d still be getting more bang for our buck.

Our system - screwy as it is- still delivers the best to the most
 
Written By: shark
URL: http://
For a second there sponge, I thought you were referring to the Iraq war.
It can be applied.....to the Dems who keep failing to stop it. Betrayus and such!
 
Written By: shark
URL: http://
Please don’t be disingenious, these are the attacks people are complaining about, not the people who want to debate the merits of SCHIP
Who is being disingenuous ... I’m talking about what has taken place right here on this blog.
 
Written By: McQ
URL: http://www.qando.net/blog
Shark check your facts. We get poorer medical outcomes from our system than most everywhere else. And it’s not just poor people who get the shaft.

My mother who was covered by Medicare and BCBS was admitted to the hospital with a pretty serious gut infection a couple of years ago. 9 days in while still being treated with wide spectrum antibiotics for that and the other infection she picked up in this heart surgery mill they gave her an "emergency" triple bypass knowing full well she wasn’t going to be able to get up out of that bed and clear the fluid out of her lungs afterward. 6 miserable months and 3 institutions later she died. Every single one of those medical decisions were based on what treatments and procedures the institutions could get Medicare and BCBS to pay for. They milked every penny they could out of the system (over $517,000) without taking into account the physical condition or medical needs of the patient.

Until we take the financial incentives out of the system that gives us the tug of war between the insurance companies that try to deny services and the medical providers that try to provide the most expensive and profitable procedures and treatments we’ll never have a healthcare system as good as nations that do.


 
Written By: markg8
URL: http://
Well, markgS, if your main complaint with the present health-care system is that the participants try to game the system for financial reasons, why do you think that would change under a nationalized system? The only difference would be that instead of prescribing too much expensive care to make big bucks, the government would prescribe too little care to save big bucks. Doesn’t sound like an improvement to me. The problems with our healthcare system stem from it not being privatized enough (i.e. it’s subsidized by the gov’t and usually purchased through an employer,) not the other way around.
Until we take the financial incentives out of the system...
Impossible, period. Unless we force doctors to provide care for all for no compensation whatsoever, there will be financial incentives one way or the other. Whether its in relation to saving money or making money, money is a part of it (just like its a part of everything else) and that just simply cannot be changed.
 
Written By: James O
URL: http://
Until we take the financial incentives out of the system that gives us the tug of war between the insurance companies that try to deny services and the medical providers that try to provide the most expensive and profitable procedures and treatments we’ll never have a healthcare system as good as nations that do.


Just where are these other nations that have it so much better than us? You’re certainly not gonna use Michael Moore’s script here, are you? Cuba? France? The UK? Have you read anything lately from the Guardian or Canada’s papers regarding what’s going on with their healthcare? Please don’t give us the tired arguments based on pseudostudies slanted toward socialist systems. "Taking the financial incentives out of the system" means trading insurance companies for the government, which leads to shortages, lower quality of care, and longer wait times for everyone. Canada, Britain, and Norway, I believe, are all allowing for more privatization to relieve their burdens. I can’t believe how deranged this whole debate has gotten. The info is readily available online to find out for yourself. I’ve gotta believe it really comes down to willful ignorance at this point in order to justify Really Big Libtard Govt.
 
Written By: Rob
URL: http://
"This is often the case with states that don’t have nasty socialist regulations that force insurers to insure people who might actually need insurance, as opposed to insuring only healthy people and then dumping them if they get sick — the "free market" way!"

I think you confuse insurance with welfare. Insurance involves the company calculating the probability of an insured needing medical care and setting the premium accordingly. If someone has a condition needing mecdical care at the time the policy is applied for, the probability is, of course, 100%. Would you buy a car that needed a new engine for the same price as one that didn’t?

"Are there any limits to what prior HI and car insurance would cover under Maryland law?"

Yes. I believe they have already reached that limit.
https://www.maif.net/emaif/raic.htm
http://www.millerandzois.com/personalinjuryfaq.html#19
 
Written By: timactual
URL: http://
I have been thinking about this whole Frost kerfuffle, and I think that its an excellent case to discuss for the following reasons:

1. The case is a borderline case and thus gets people thinking about who really should get help and who shouldn’t. Where do we draw the line?

2. Frost is a small business owner and a landlord, a veritable capitalist. Usually if we discussed this kind of program in a vacuum, we’d be imagining some poor working-class single mother or something. A concrete example like this is helpful.

3. The family is well educated and comes from excellent backgrounds. They have no excuses for not understanding that insurance is important, or that they might want to hold off on having so many kids until his business is more established.

4. His business is doing very poorly but he doesn’t close it. (I am assuming 45,000 - wife’s income = 20,000+) This means he keeps chugging along for the psychic reward. I have a real problem with that, in this case, because he expects the rest of us to fund his business and his hobby essentially. Economically, isn’t it also sending out some wrong incentives to people? On the reverse side, if kids were covered from birth, would more people take a shot to become entrepreneurs?

5. We could follow this family as a case to review both the current market, and test various proposals. For example, as a business owner, wouldn’t some of these health care reform plans force him to get health insurance? (and that would force him out of business LOL!) Or would they get a break for being very small? I think Captain Sarcastic may have some insight here.

6. The whole case just screams personal responsibility. When I started my company, I had to work another job to keep afloat (and get healthcare.) Why isn’t Frost doing that? I mean, with a one man company with revenues of only 20,000 - 30,0000 he should actually have a lot of spare time. He could probably mow lawns all day or deliver papers and still do that amount of woodworking at night! (Actually, I am very curious as to his business and what he does.)

One more question:

7. Has his family income always been US$ 45,000 or he take a major hit after the accident, where they had to stay with the kids more, etc.? Because I really scratch my head that a guy would be willing to do woodworking for 20,000 a year for many many years and not quit.
 
Written By: Harun
URL: http://
If it were possible for socialized medicine to perform well, it would have happened in some European country already.

 
Written By: Cincinnatus
URL: http://
In an ideal world, as soon as this family was brought into the argument the left would be thoroughly mocked for resorting to anecdotal evidence. It is unfortunate that anyone had to waste time responding to such a story, but I am glad that the left’s narrative has been challenged and the potential unintended effects of the SCHIP increase exposed.
 
Written By: Jim
URL: http://
Demonizing those who oppose you doesn’t add weight to your argument.
Says the guy whose only argument is to demonize the 12 year old messenger. Nicely self-refuting.
 
Written By: Retief
URL: http://
Markg8:
President Bush encouraged 9 states to cover not only kids but poor adults too, mostly poor parents under SCHIP when Republicans controlled congress. Now he’s cynically playing politics trying to look fiscally “responsible” by scuttling the whole program.

Wrong. The request was to slightly expand the program, not balloon it into an even larger umbrella plan.
 
Written By: Ted
URL: rocketjones.mu.nu
I’m a single 46 year old self-employed female w/no children who is investing in my own health care insurance. Further, I live in NYC where insurance rates are higher than those in MD plus have that extra high city tax to pay.

Why should I be forced to pay even higher taxes in order to pay for other’s health insurance when they make more money than I?

Secondly, the Frost family has something I do not...four children who when they are adults will be able to care for their aging parents.

At this point I must now purchase long-term care insurance in addition to my own health care insurance yet I’m supposed to feel sorry for adults who fail to take responsibility for their own lives?

I don’t think so.



 
Written By: syn
URL: http://
Says the guy whose only argument is to demonize the 12 year old messenger.
You know, I’ve heard a lot of people talking about the parents, and the parents responsibility for their situation. I’ve yet to hear anyone demonize the 12 year old.
 
Written By: Keith_Indy
URL: http://asecondhandconjecture.com
Has his family income always been US$ 45,000 or he take a major hit after the accident, where they had to stay with the kids more, etc.? Because I really scratch my head that a guy would be willing to do woodworking for 20,000 a year for many many years and not quit.
Harun, no, you see, those of us who have done similar things with our own businesses and families (sans the catastrophic accident) all have the same questions, but we’re not allowed, it seems, to ask, or discuss this, because then we’re hatin on the Frosts and demonize(ing) the 12 year old messenger (thanks Retief, as always, you’re a life saver for quick mindless talking points).

We’re supposed to shut up and go along because do to otherwise makes us evil, cruel and pawns of some higher power.

I’ve already had, 3 times now, the discussion of health insurance with my sons as they each graduated high school and went off of the coverage we could provide for them (not everyone goes to college...another Constitutional Right, to be discussed another day).
Aged 22, 21 and 19. They’re all classic cases of people who are paying into a system they aren’t going to get anything out of (unless....) because of course they’re young, invincible and don’t have any dependents.
At no point have we given them the feeling that ’the gubmint’ would take care of their coverage in the event of something serious happening.
 
Written By: Looker
URL: http://
Says the guy whose only argument is to demonize the 12 year old messenger.
Funny coming from the guy who has to hide behind a 12-year old messenger.

If the GOP ever had a 5 year old read an anti-abortion speech ("I’m only alive today because my mommy decided to let me be born" etc etc) people like you would start bellowing like furious screech-owls.

Who do you think you’re kidding?


And on that very topic, not that I would endorse it, but if someone wanted to go after the kid, his mommy, daddy and the Dems have made him fair game. It sounds like Mommy and Daddy don’t really care about this kid too much.
 
Written By: shark
URL: http://
It sounds like Mommy and Daddy don’t really care about this kid too much.
Well, it appears not enough to let having no health insurance for the kids stand in the way of doing what they wanted to do with their capital and their careers.

But we’re the monsters....

 
Written By: looker
URL: http://
This case opens up an entire gamut on questions of personal responsibility to yourself and family -

What do we want to do for a living, is it enough to pay our bills or to support the standard of living we desire?
How many kids can we afford?
Should we use a form of birth control?
Now that we have one, shouldn’t we provide health insurance for our family?
Do I have to work a second job to support my family?
Do I have to sell things I own in order to support my family?
Do I have to delay my career goals in order to support my family now?
Do I have to change my career goals in order to support my family?
Does one of us have to change their career goal in order to help support our family?
Do we have to change our standard of living in order to support our family?

I gather we’re supposed to accept that some number of us are required to be responsible in order to be forcibly coerced into assisting those who are not by virtue of their ignorance, incapacity, or their own choice not to be.




 
Written By: looker
URL: http://
"We get poorer medical outcomes from our system than most everywhere else"
Complete bullsh*t. Maybe YOU did, but WE, generally, don’t. And if your outcome was so obviously rife with rampant malpractice, there are hundreds of lawyers who would be glad to take your case and run with it all at no up front cost to you. It should be a slam dunk.




 
Written By: Grimshaw
URL: http://
I gather we’re supposed to accept that some number of us are required to be responsible in order to be forcibly coerced into assisting those who are not by virtue of their ignorance, incapacity, or their own choice not to be
Well, it takes a village!
 
Written By: shark
URL: http://
Well, it takes a village!
They used to call it Noblesse oblige - fine, I want my noble prerogatives, my tithes, fealty oaths, etc. I’m thinking a crusade in the Holy Lands might be appropriate and my destrier has broken down so I’ll have to raise the tithe to purchase a new.

Wuld yew be so goode M’lord Shark as to committ saye, 100 archers to the quest, possibley a fewe goode mene at armes as welle?

I promise to be a just lord for the domain, and can hope, but alas and alack, not promise, that my descendents will be the same.

Vincit Veritas!
 
Written By: looker
URL: http://
Oho! Et n’oubliez pas le droit du seigneur!
 
Written By: timactual
URL: http://
Wuld yew be so goode M’lord Shark as to committ saye, 100 archers to the quest, possibley a fewe goode mene at armes as welle?
Right-o guv’nor!

 
Written By: shark
URL: http://
Markg8:

I can understand your personal disgust with "our medical system", but your argument seems to be that your mother died because of Government-run health care, and your solution would be ... more Government-run health care?...
 
Written By: Challeron
URL: http://
And if you want personal anecdotes, how about the case of, my brother-in-law received cancer treatment, without insurance or even the ready means to pay. The cancer treatment worked, and he’s doing fine.

And he never paid a dime, AFAIK, to the hospital, mostly because he was irresponsible, and kept putting it off. So the hospital wrote it off. I’m sure others had to absorb the cost for his bad choices. I’d rather he’d have taken full responsibility for his debts. But that’s life, it ain’t often fair.

Or how about, despite being diabetic, I still have health insurance at normal rates, and was able to obtain life insurance at a normal rate. Even though it’s pretty certain that I will die at some point in my life from complications due to diabetes. Why because I keep control of it, and not the other way around.

Or how about all the people who die from malpractice or just bad luck, despite being insured.

Case in point, my grandmother died of an infection in a convalescent home, after being attacked by a dog. She received A1 medical care, and still died. She was old, and her body was weak. All the insurance in the world didn’t save her life.
 
Written By: Keith_Indy
URL: http://asecondhandconjecture.com
And if your outcome was so obviously rife with rampant malpractice, there are hundreds of lawyers who would be glad to take your case and run with it all at no up front cost to you.
... which is the primary reason healthcare is so expensive at this point. Paging John Edwards...
Case in point, my grandmother died of an infection in a convalescent home, after being attacked by a dog. She received A1 medical care, and still died. She was old, and her body was weak. All the insurance in the world didn’t save her life.
Ah, but according to the Hillarys of the world, since she died, she must not have received "A1 care" at all. Which is why the government must continue to work for perfect-world solutions until all grandmothers are either kept alive... or given the exact same (shabby) government-sanctioned treatment...
 
Written By: Rob
URL: http://
.. which is the primary reason healthcare is so expensive at this point. Paging John Edwards...
Rob, you’re not arguing that there is no place for prosecuting malpractice are you?
 
Written By: Grimshaw
URL: http://
If the GOP ever had a 5 year old read an anti-abortion speech
You mean like this one, you @#$%^*? Please direct me to the comparable storms of invective.

 
Written By: Retief
URL: http://
Retief, what’s your point? If SCHIP expansion is "for the children", then what, exactly, is Partial-Birth Abortion for?
 
Written By: Challeron
URL: http://
My point is that shark is wrong. He defends going after this kid and his family by imagining to himself that democrats would be worse. He suggests that opponents of SCHIP are justified in going right to the gutter because they’re just preemptively retaliating for what he imagines democrats would do. He gives a hypothetical that he suggests would start "people like me" bellowing like a furious screech-owl. Turns out his hypothetical is already a reality (yes republicans are sleazy enough to use a 7 year old to pretend partial birth abortion is a pressing issue) and it is marked by an absence of screeching. Certainly an absence of CNN doing meta reporting about it. So no, shark isn’t down in the mud with the democrats. He’s down in the mud all by himself.
If the GOP ever had a 5 year old read an anti-abortion speech ("I’m only alive today because my mommy decided to let me be born" etc etc) people like you would start bellowing like furious screech-owls.

Who do you think you’re kidding?


And on that very topic, not that I would endorse it, but if someone wanted to go after the kid, his mommy, daddy and the Dems have made him fair game. It sounds like Mommy and Daddy don’t really care about this kid too much.

Written By: shark
 
Written By: Retief
URL: http://
And again, who’s been going after the kid???
 
Written By: Keith_Indy
URL: http://asecondhandconjecture.com
SO you’re comparing a local campaign commercial vs giving a national address on a current legislative fight?

L
M
F
A
O


You’re not very bright, are you?

 
Written By: shark
URL: http://
He defends going after this kid and his family by imagining to himself that democrats would be worse.
Actually, what I said:
And on that very topic, not that I would endorse it, but if someone wanted to go after the kid, his mommy, daddy and the Dems have made him fair game. It sounds like Mommy and Daddy don’t really care about this kid too much
How you get this, I don’t know:
He defends going after this kid and his family by imagining to himself that democrats would be worse.
Don’t try me until you can learn to read.

God, can we at least get some competent trolls up in here?

 
Written By: shark
URL: http://
And again, who’s been going after the kid???
We must be, we’re questioning the parents decisions in the past on health insurance.

I mean, why not, it got hysterical enough in another thread that we were advocating his death.

After we’d achieved that we’d probably spend a leisurely day strolling around, unplugging old people from life support, pushing wheelchair bound individuals in front of buses or down flights of stairs, and offering to sell young orphans to Bolivian drug lords.

We are Jenghis Khan.
yes republicans are sleazy enough to use a 7 year old to pretend partial birth abortion is a pressing issue
Good to see that you have your priorities in order Retief, after all, we won’t have to worry about SCHIP coverage if we choose to exercise the proper choices. Good on you Retief.
Morality is a point of view you know, and from where I stand, like the Dems picking the Frosts to dun the President, YOU picked a lousy aside to assert your moral superiority over the Republicans.
 
Written By: looker
URL: http://
After we’d achieved that we’d probably spend a leisurely day strolling around, unplugging old people from life support, pushing wheelchair bound individuals in front of buses or down flights of stairs
No, I thought it was the liberal/leftist/progressive/democrats who are hot on the assisted suicide issue.

I mean, they’ll need to in order to keep health care costs down, wont they.

IT’S PEOPLE!!! SOYLENT GREEN IS PEOPLE!!!

And where were all these people when we were having serious discussions about health care policy???
 
Written By: Keith_Indy
URL: http://asecondhandconjecture.com
I mean, they’ll need to in order to keep health care costs down, wont they.
No, because it will be so well run by the government that it will just jolly well always do the right thing. Like Medicare!

If that doesn’t seem to work, we can always tax the evil rich a more.

Maybe a tax on sex, it’s for our own good you know. Bit early for that I guess.

More education of the children we don’t abort so they understand their responsibility to society to send in the majority of their income in order to receive the bounty from government run programs that only the Federal government can dispense?
 
Written By: looker
URL: http://
Don’t try me until you can learn to read.

God, can we at least get some competent trolls up in here?
Anybody else hear that furious screech owl up in here?


Keith, you’re right, it’s just about what scum the parents are. BTW is it true that your mom goes through three sets of kneepads a week? More seriously, your co-blogger Lance’s take seems very solid.
 
Written By: Retief
URL: http://
BTW is it true...
Yep, nothing off limits cause we’re only joking, right Retief?
You’re a case.
 
Written By: looker
URL: http://
What are you talking about looker. Are you suggesting that saying something about Keith’s mom might be understood as an attack on Keith? Gee whiz, who’d a thunk it?
 
Written By: Retief
URL: http://
No Retief, it’s an ’attack’ on Keith’s mom (as a joke of course).
The point would be to get a rise out of Keith.

It’s a simple playground tactic, I see you’ve stuck with it.
 
Written By: looker
URL: http://
Retief is funny, I notice he didn’t respond to either of my points

L
M
F
A
O

@
HIM
 
Written By: shark
URL: http://
Shark, you didn’t have any points. Good use of the return key though.
 
Written By: Retief
URL: http://

 
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