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California: The Healthy State
Posted by: Dale Franks on Tuesday, January 09, 2007

Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger has unveiled his super cool health care plan, which will provide universal health insurance coverage to everyone in California—including, of course, illegal aliens.
Under the proposal:

—Individuals would have to buy insurance, with government subsidies for people earning up to 250% of the federal poverty level, about $24,500 for an individual and $50,000 for a family of four.

—State programs for children would expand to include families earning up to 300% of poverty, about $60,000 for a family of four.

—Employers with 10 or more workers would have to offer coverage or pay a tax equal to 4% of payroll. Under 10 are exempt.

—Insurers could not turn away prospective policyholders because they've got health problems.

—Insurers and hospitals would have to devote 85% of revenue to direct patient care.

—Hospitals would pay a 4% tax on revenue and doctors a 2% tax to help provide coverage subsidies.

—The state would boost by $4 billion the amount it pays to medical providers through the Medicaid program.
McQ covered this earlier today, but I wanted to throw in my two cents.

The 10 or more workers deal is a serious problem for small businesses. Hiring that 10th employee doesn't just increase the cost of payroll by the amount of that employee's pay and benfits. It results in an immediate increase of at least 4% of the total payroll cost. At the margin, of course, this means that any business with 9 employees will remain a 9-worker business. After all, the governor is not proposing that the revenue of the business be increased by 4% to cover the additional costs. And one also notes that the current profit margin for retail business hovers at around 3%. A plan that results in a -1% profit margin will be...unpopular with businesses.

In effect this rule will either a) slow job growth among small businesses, b) cause a noticeable rise in consumer prices, c) force businesses to use independent contractors more-who will, for the most part, require additional government subsidy money to help pay for health insurance and/or d)simply hire workers under the table, which workers—read "illegals" will continue to utilize the emergency room for primary care.

Similarly, this argument that hospitals will "absorb" an additional 4% increase in costs, and doctors a 2% increasae is simply fantasy. Hospitals, doctors, baby food manufacturers, trucking compnaies, etc., don't "absorb" anything. They pass the cost increases to consumers in the form of higher prices.

The requirement that insurers and hospitals devote 85% of their revenue to direct patient care is also interesting. Do capital expenditures, such as buying a new MRI machine count as direct patient care? How about new construction spending to increase the number of beds? Utilities? The devil is certainly in the details in that part of the proposal.

And how about all those illegals in California? How, precisely, will we ensure that they obtain coverage? Short answer: we won't, because we can't. It's nearly impossible to track them. Which means that they'll continue to utilize emergency rooms, many of which are already at the financial breaking point. Naturally, this means that loads of state money will have to be funneled to emergency rooms anyway, in order to keep them going. After all, if illegals can't be convinced to purchase medical coverage, there will be no cost savings from them obtaining primary care in the appropriate venues.

But, let's assume that illegals will freely participate, and accept their state subsidy for obtaining coverage. Do you think this will encourage or discourage future immigrants from coming to the US illegally?

And, finally, some questions for bonus points: Will an additional 4% employment tax on businesses encourage or discourage business formation? For employers who already provide health insurance for their workers, if the 4% tax penalty—I'm sorry, fee—is lower than the amount they are already spending on health coverage, will those employers keep the current coverage, or opt to terminate it, in favor of paying the 4% payroll tax—oops, again, I'm sorry, fee—to the state? If the latter, how far off the mark are the governor's projections for the cost of the program, since a much larger number of employed people will require state subsidy money to purchase their health care?
 
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Previous Comments to this Post 

Comments
And finally, what about all those people in say, New Mexico, that don’t have health insurance, can’t afford it but want it?

"California here I come."
 
Written By: McQ
URL: http://qando.net
On mandatory insurance:

premise 1: If health insurance is not required, some people won’t buy it.
premise 2: Some people who don’t have health insurance will at some point incur substantial medical expenses or die.
premise 3: Some of those people in group 2 will not be able to afford the expenses they occurred. Even if they don’t declare bankruptcy, they will essentially never be able to pay back what the hospital charged them.
premise 4: The size of Medicaid and the size of the uninsured population indicates that this is an enormous problem, not a small one. Huge numbers of people are gambling that they’ll never need expensive care. Huge numbers of people are being proven wrong and ending up on publicly-funded health care.

conclusion: As a society we have three choices: (a) literally let people die of accident and/or chronic but treatable illnesses, due to their inability to pay (call this the Death Option); (b) socialize the cost of treatment after the costs have been incurred (call this the Medicaid Option); or (c) require everyone to join the insurance pool and get more cash up front (call this the Mandatory Insurance Option).

I see no other alternatives. So, what do you choose: Death, Medicaid or Mandatory Insurance?

if your answer is none of the above, please explain where I went wrong.
 
Written By: Francis
URL: http://
(c) require everyone to join the insurance pool and get more cash up front (call this the Mandatory Insurance Option).

So, why why aren’t the costs spread over everyone in the pool in the form of a general tax increase? As usual, the people who want to give everyone in society a new entitlement want to the tab to be picked up by business.

I have an idea: why don’t we allow everyone in California to exchange his current vehicle for a new hybrid car. This will reduce tailpipe emissions and decrease our dependence on foreign oil. The costs of the new hybrids will be paid for by a new tax on plaintiff’s attorneys and public employee unions.
 
Written By: Aldo
URL: http://
"if your answer is none of the above, please explain where I went wrong."

You have made an error of history and all its implications that is so vast that I see no way in the world to "explain" any of this to you.

Here is a fact:

There was never a "health-care crisis" in this country before Lyndon Baines Johnson set us on the road to socialist medicine.

You — and everybody else — are going to have to live through this the hard way.

No matter anyone’s precious sentiment: it is an incontrovertible fact that medical care is an economic good which must be produced — with everything that that implies — according to the very same rules of production that apply to fresh produce in your supermarket or work on your automobile. None of this can be faked in the way of the past forty years in this country, with increasing call for more government to correct the original problem of government destruction of market forces.

I know that this is unpalatable to you, but that doesn’t matter.

You’ll see.
 
Written By: Billy Beck
URL: http://www.two—four.net/weblog.php
I see no other alternatives. So, what do you choose: Death, Medicaid or Mandatory Insurance?

Death to collectivists
 
Written By: John Sabotta
URL: http://www.no-treason.com
Billy is right, but realistically we will not turn back the clock. The people want socialism, they continue to vote for socialism, so there you have it. Best solution would be to force everyone to purchase a certain minimum insurance and turn it into a payroll tax. But then you have to crack down on business who are avoiding the tax by hiring illegals.
 
Written By: kyle N
URL: http://impudent.blognation.us/blog
hmmm....

I’m guessing there won’t be a libertarian movement soon to to allow a foreign born citizen to be president.
 
Written By: stuartl
URL: http://
What happened to Arnold? This was a guy who once was an admirer of Milton Friedman. I guess marrying into the Kennedy clan can do this to you.
 
Written By: Bilwick
URL: http://
Destroying liberty in the name of health care is attacking the spirit to save the body.

The founding fathers knew there were some serious problems with democracy, which is why they endeavored to contain it. People flip out over politicians like Bush and Clinton, but it is an willfully ignorant and mentally complacent citizenry that spawns this kind of madness.

The idea that it is imperative to make decisions for others lest we suffer for their apathy is a seductive inducement, but it is destructive of the ends of Life, Liberty, and the pursuit of Happiness.

The tree grows thirsty.
 
Written By: Augustus
URL: http://
"Billy is right, but realistically..."

...this is going to go very badly.

There’s "realistically" for you.

What you’re going to see is the power of ideas — very bad ones, in this case — in action.

Now, that’s real, too.

The implication of opposite ideas ought to be obvious before the disaster develops to its next level, but everybody insists on riding-out horrible ideas instead articulating good ideas conformant to the reality, the very nature, of the production imperatives at the bottom of this mess, as if they are the sum total of the "reality".

Well, they’re not, and this crippled sort of plea to "reality", arbitrarily constrained in conceptual grasp, is not going to serve you or anyone else well.

You have surrendered the fight at its most important point, and you have nothing serious to say.

I’m not being mean. It’s just the way it is.
 
Written By: Billy Beck
URL: http://www.two—four.net/weblog.php
premise 1: If health insurance is not required, some people won’t buy it.
premise 2: Some people who don’t have health insurance will at some point incur substantial medical expenses or die.
I dare say, everyone — with or without health insurance — will at some point die.

If people don’t want to buy health insurance, how is it in any way moral to force them to buy it?
 
Written By: Steverino
URL: http://steverino.journalspace.com/
If people don’t want to buy health insurance, how is it in any way moral to force them to buy it?
My goodness Steverino, it makes Francis "feel" better.

What’s wrong with you?
 
Written By: McQ
URL: http://qando.net
"if your answer is none of the above, please explain where I went wrong."

By choosing premises that I wish, I can construct any conclusion I want. Without some grounding in the real world, your whole process is pointless. You may be having fun, but you are proving nothing.
 
Written By: timactual
URL: http://
wow, a storm of insults and irrelevant commentary, and not a single targeted response.

timactual, which premise is incorrect? what options other than those described above are available?

mcq, oddly enough i don’t actually enjoy (that’s the "feeling" bit) paying taxes. Nor do I enjoy other people having to pay them, although in your case i’m getting closer to making an exception.

 
Written By: Francis
URL: http://
No one insulted you, Francis. Arn’t you skipping a page in your script?
 
Written By: John Sabotta
URL: http://www.no-treason.com
Tell me how *I* might have insulted you, Francis.
 
Written By: Billy Beck
URL: http://www.two—four.net/weblog.php
This: If people don’t want to buy health insurance, how is it in any way moral to force them to buy it? My goodness Steverino, it makes Francis "feel" better. is insulting, as is this:

You have made an error of history and all its implications that is so vast that I see no way in the world to "explain" any of this to you.

I don’t feel better by forcing people to buy stuff and I am capable of understanding when complex matters are "explained" to me. The statements to the contrary are insults.

[Why "explain" was in quotes is a bit of mystery. Does Billy Beck have special limits on his ability to explain things such that he is only capable of "explanations"?]

My challenges, by the way, stand. Tell me why my 3 options listed above are wrong. Describe a fourth.
 
Written By: Francis
URL: http://
I dare say, everyone — with or without health insurance — will at some point die.

If people don’t want to buy health insurance, how is it in any way moral to force them to buy it?
Great point. One I agree with but am wondering about the cost of catastrophic, end of life medical costs. If person A does not have coverage to pay for them, some entity is going to pick up the bill. Which gets us back to square one.

For me, the real meat of the post is Dale’s last question -
For employers who already provide health insurance for their workers, if the 4% tax penalty—I’m sorry, fee—is lower than the amount they are already spending on health coverage, will those employers keep the current coverage, or opt to terminate it, in favor of paying the 4% payroll tax—oops, again, I’m sorry, fee—to the state?
I can see this being quite a problem. Someone tell me why we can not just get corporations out of insurance all together???
 
Written By: meagain
URL: http://
"[Why ’explain’ was in quotes is a bit of mystery. Does Billy Beck have special limits on his ability to explain things such that he is only capable of ’explanations’?]
Sometimes. It depends.

Look: this sort of thing is a two-way deal. Nobody can reach into your head and assemble concepts for you. You’re the only one who can do that. That’s a pretty "special limit". Now, I might not have "describe[d] a fourth" to your satisfaction, but I certainly pointed out that the scope of your investigation is constrained to a fault. None of this is as simple as the alternatives that you posited. Take a good long look the first clause of the reply posted by ’timactual’. You might find it "instulting", but that’s nobody’s problem but yours if you do, because he’s absolutely right. You can moan about "targeted response" if you want to, but the fact is that nobody is obligated to constrain their thinking — in face of the facts — to your arbitrary set.

FYI: I put that word in quotes because I was quoting you.

There was nothing more to it. It’s an everyday rule of commonly-known grammar. It was just exactly that simple.
 
Written By: Billy Beck
URL: http://www.two—four.net/weblog.php
"If person A does not have coverage to pay for them, some entity is going to pick up the bill. Which gets us back to square one."
In a free country, if you want to help, nobody will stand in your way.

That is "square one".
 
Written By: Billy Beck
URL: http://www.two—four.net/weblog.php
As a society we have three choices: (a) literally let people die of accident and/or chronic but treatable illnesses, due to their inability to pay (call this the Death Option); (b) socialize the cost of treatment after the costs have been incurred (call this the Medicaid Option); or (c) require everyone to join the insurance pool and get more cash up front (call this the Mandatory Insurance Option).

I see no other alternatives. So, what do you choose: Death, Medicaid or Mandatory Insurance?
You see no other options because you are ignorant of history.

How many people were dying due to their inability to pay in the old days? The fact is, back in the day, doctors provided lower cost treatment for poor patients.

Further, health care costs are driven up by employeer-provided health insurance and Medicare.

Our best health care solution is to go back to pay out of pocket. Insurance should be left to those who wish to have it, and if there is any legislative control of insurance it should be to limit it to coverage of catastrophic situations, not routine health care.
 
Written By: Don
URL: http://
My challenges, by the way, stand. Tell me why my 3 options listed above are wrong. Describe a fourth.
Your failure is that you don’t understand your first option. It isn’t a "death option", those in need will receive care. The costs will be effectively split between providers and wealthy patients. Just as it was, back in the day . . .
 
Written By: Don
URL: http://
As an aside, the illegals already use ERs as free health care. Demand for ER services is high, but not in a true economic sense where providers obtain additional pay.

The requirement that ERs must treat should be removed.
 
Written By: Don
URL: http://
"You see no other options because you are ignorant of history."

Before you take that as an insult, Francis, check to make damned sure that it’s not correct. It could very well be. (I believe it certainly is.) Whether it is or not, there can be no question but that you’re simply not accounting for the facts of history (and what they mean) in all this. They are facts, which means it’s a grievous fault to not account for them. Now; if you’re doing that because of ignorance, I would point out to you that there is nothing disgraceful in that, in and of itself, because that can always be corrected with knowledge.

Beyond that, there is no excuse.
 
Written By: Billy Beck
URL: http://www.two—four.net/weblog.php
They are facts, which means it’s a grievous fault to not account for them.
When Hillery was pushing her plan, she didn’t talk about those who didn’t receive care, she talked about the possibility that someone might not receive care.

The same debate point—the
possibility
of not receiving care—was brought up in the ’60s to support Medicare.

Who, exactly, didn’t receive care, back when Medicare wasn’t around? Who isn’t receving it now? Names or solid stats would be nice. Prove that option 1 is the "death option".

 
Written By: Don
URL: http://
Before you take that as an insult, Francis, check to make damned sure that it’s not correct.


It could both be an insult and correct. Insults don’t have to be incorrect.
 
Written By: Don
URL: http://
This is what I intended to post:

When Hillery was pushing her plan, she didn’t talk about those who didn’t receive care, she talked about the possibility that someone might not receive care.

The same debate point—the possibility of not receiving care—was brought up in the ’60s to support Medicare.

Who, exactly, didn’t receive care, back when Medicare wasn’t around? Who isn’t receving it now? Names or solid stats would be nice. Prove that option 1 is the "death option".
 
Written By: Don
URL: http://
The first two points in the original article and last one indicate the expansion of government with a large hike in Medicaid and increased government subsides for coverage. Sounds like a good deal for those earning less than 250% of the poverty level doesn’t it? They’ll get insurance they’ve been convinced that they must have for some reason (and now mandated by the state) for free or nearly free or at least greatly reduced. Except, someone must be paying for it and the rest of these points detail that part of the equation.

The 4% increase in payroll could decimate the retail industry. Retail businesses typically have a profit margin of 3%-5% with payroll typically being the highest expense after merchandise. Stores in enclosed malls barely break even at an average 0.0% profit margin. Every employer that can will cap his payroll at 9, you can count on that. It would be crazy not to, some retail stores will certainly go under if they cannot get to 9 or less employees or at least reduce their staff enough to offset the increased payroll expense. Once that happens, the free ride won’t be so free.

Now we get to the section where government tells business how to do it’s business. Insurance companies must take on whoever applies regardless of their current health status. In other words, a company cannot decide who it’s clients will be. If a lifetime 3 pack a day smoker, overweight, diabetic, cancer ridden 60 year old shows up demanding coverage - he gets it. Despite the fact that it’s going to cost the company tens, if not hundreds of thousands of dollars with little or no chance at recouping those losses from the future premiums this guy would pay. Some of you may think that would mean this guy did not receive health care but that’s not the case. Insurance premiums are now estimated to include 10% to 17% in "hidden taxes" - money used to pay medical providers to make up for the uninsured and low payments for those on state programs. So he’d get the care he needs and it’s already being paid for in these so-called "hidden taxes". Except they’re not really taxes since I have the option to opt out of paying premiums and it all remains in private hands, not governments.

Add to this, 85% of what an insurer takes in must be spent directly on patient care. This is nuts. Insurance companies should spend whatever is charged for patient care, no more or less. Insurance companies make a lot of their money by investing it, the premiums are a way to fuel that investment. Over time, these investments hopefully, and typically, outpace the company’s health care reimbursements. With this little wrinkle in the plan, insurance companies will need to divest themselves of some of their investments threatening their profitability and, ultimately, their ability to reimburse people for health care costs. I wonder how many insurance companies will continue to do business in California? There must be some bean counters at MetLife, Mutual of Omaha, and others doing the math right now.

Hospitals would pay a 4% tax on revenue and doctors a 2% tax to help provide coverage subsidies. Let me translate this for everyone: Hospitals would increase their charges by 4% and doctors by 2% to help offset their costs for coverage subsidies. This plan will effectively increase health care costs by these amounts instantly on the day its enacted. Businesses (including those in the health care industry) do not pay taxes, only people pay taxes. Actually the increase will be a little more than this as doctors and hospitals shoulder the burden of becoming tax collectors.
 
Written By: Gary
URL: http://

premise 1: If health insurance is not required, some people won’t buy it.
premise 2: Some people who don’t have health insurance will at some point incur substantial medical expenses or die.
premise 3: Some of those people in group 2 will not be able to afford the expenses they occurred. Even if they don’t declare bankruptcy, they will essentially never be able to pay back what the hospital charged them.
On 1 and 2, that is their choice and they know the risks they are taking. You’re also advocating a worse case scenario as if it’s the norm - catastrophic health care is not as common as you’d think. However, if it is an premise 3 occurs, so what? How many people have their health care repossessed? It’s not possible. How many people lose their homes, cars, etc? Only those that wish to do so. The reason is that hospitals and doctors set up a payment scheduled. You may owe them $500,000 but if all you can pay is $20/month then that’s what they take. It may be a lifetime payment plan but that’s ok, see my previous post about the "hidden tax" in insurance premiums to offset the medical costs.
premise 4: The size of Medicaid and the size of the uninsured population indicates that this is an enormous problem, not a small one. Huge numbers of people are gambling that they’ll never need expensive care. Huge numbers of people are being proven wrong and ending up on publicly-funded health care.
It does not indicate this to be an enormous problem, this premise is extremely flawed. I also don’t understand the last part of that - are you saying that ending up on publicly funded health care (e.g. Medicaid) is a problem? If so, then why is further publicly funded health care the solution?
 
Written By: Gary
URL: http://
Mr. Beck: I have read your posts and consulted history. I’m also aware that correlation does not equal causation.

But unless you have a time machine, the people and the government of the State of California are constrained by the state of health care as it currently exists. The current system has millions of people not on health insurance. Under current law, this is their right. It also creates an incredibly inefficient system where people with treatable chronic diseases — diabetes, hypertension, depression, cancer, etc. — first wait until they are extremely sick to get care, then exhaust their finances, then qualify for the safety net known as Medicaid. As the Tennessee experience shows, Medicaid is falling apart.

The wealthy have insurance. The insurers are refusing to continue subsidizing the poor. Hospitals are going broke because Medicaid is not picking up the full cost of treating the poor and uninsured. So what’s the alternative to the current system?

A: Explicitly ration health care based on ability to pay. You’re poor? No MRI. [Before you all jump on this proposal, remember that the Republican party does not want to be a permanent minority. Much like ending agriculture subsidies, adopting this would quickly lead to a complete single payor plan as Republicans go down to defeat. Be careful what you ask for.]

B. Offset the impact of community pricing and mandatory coverage with the creation of multi-tiered plans — high-deductible, no extraordinary measures, others.

C. I’m open to suggestions.
 
Written By: Francis
URL: http://
Billy B. and others are merely pointing out the difference between saying "If I’m going to be robbed anyway, I at least want what’s taken from me to be used efficiently," and proclaiming "Efficient or not, I’m being robbed."

The first is pragmatism, but amounts to partial consent to villainy. The second is moral clarity, but is practically fruitless without some act of defiance.
 
Written By: Roy W. Wright
URL: http://
Okay Billy, someone hit your tripwire.

Roy wrote "pragmatism" with a lower-case "p". That usage has specific colloquial connotations having very little if any thing to do with your capital letter Pragmatism.

Don’t blow it.

Yours, TDP, ml, msl, & pfpp
 
Written By: Tom Perkins
URL: http://
"Efficient or not, I’m being robbed."
There is also the problem of believing that some ultimate good will spring from a program founded on malfeasance. As if proclaiming that something “works” ultimately makes it moral or insulates oneself or one’s posterity from the ultimate consequences of abandoning Principle for Pragmatism.
 
Written By: Douglas Black
URL: http://
"Okay Billy, someone hit your tripwire."

Not the way that you did, Tom.

This is interesting. I understand that you’re still thinking about that. Well, I have, too, and all I can tell you right now is that we’d have to go over the session that we’re talking about in detail, again. But Roy conditioned the thing in a way that you didn’t, and he’s right.
 
Written By: Billy Beck
URL: http://www.two—four.net/weblog.php
The wealthy have insurance.
Ah, good old class warfare. Could you perhaps define "the wealthy". How much does one have to make to be "wealthy"? How much does insurance cost in California now? Even Wal-Mart is offering cheap insurance to their employees and surely none of them could be considered wealthy.
The insurers are refusing to continue subsidizing the poor. Hospitals are going broke because Medicaid is not picking up the full cost of treating the poor and uninsured
This is not true. I have already posted the fact that insurance premiums include 10% to 17% extra built in to cover those without insurance or for where state programs fall short. The poor are getting covered, they’re just not getting a free ride nor should they.
A: Explicitly ration health care based on ability to pay. You’re poor? No MRI.

B. Offset the impact of community pricing and mandatory coverage with the creation of multi-tiered plans — high-deductible, no extraordinary measures, others.

C. I’m open to suggestions.
A. Never happen. People will,just like the do today, continue to get the best quality care regardless of ability to pay.

B. This is already done by insurance companies, HMO’s and PPO’s. It works there, so why inject the government and all it’s inefficiences into it?

C. How about leave well enough alone? The crisis is manufactured and does not really exist. Creating a new massive bureaucracy that will destroy small business and the health care industry surely isn’t going to help.
 
Written By: Gary
URL: http://
> Death to collectivists
> Written By: John Sabotta

That’s the spirit.
 
Written By: Mike Schneider
URL: http://
"C. I’m open to suggestions."

Okay: get all government completely out of the business of health-care as fast as possible.

How "open" are you, exactly?
 
Written By: Billy Beck
URL: http://www.two—four.net/weblog.php
You have surrendered the fight at its most important point, and you have nothing serious to say.
I’m not being mean. It’s just the way it is.

Written By: Billy Beck
Not quite, I have something VERY serious to say. You are in fantasy la la land if you think we will not end up with some sort of socialist medical scheme in this country. I have seen it coming for a long time and now it will happen very soon, maybe before Bush leaves office. My concern now is only damage control, try to make it as pro-market forces as possible.

Not sure if you are aware but nearly every time the American people are polled upon any sort of scheme these days they are overwhelmingly in favor of the big government socialist approach. That is on all subjects. Minimum wage? wildly popular, prescription drug plan? People like it. Privatizing SSN? The people say NO!

Guess what, the people are going to get the government they want, in fact they just elected the right guys to give it to em, and boy are they going to give it to em good!

Things are going to get a lot worse before they get any better.

 
Written By: kyle N
URL: http://impudent.blognation.us/blog
Francis:
The wealthy have insurance. The insurers are refusing to continue subsidizing the poor. Hospitals are going broke because Medicaid is not picking up the full cost of treating the poor and uninsured. So what’s the alternative to the current system?
Capitalism, either here, after the next revolution, or some other country (e.g., Philippines) where, in a much freer economic climate, medical costs are one-tenth to one-twentieth of the prices in Socialist America.

If you cannot conceive of any solutions to the problem of empty bread shelves in Soviet groceries other than to authorize the plunder of yet more rubles from the people who are nominally inclined to build groceries and bring the bread to them — then I suggest immediately jumping under the nearest bus before you breed.

Yes, that’s an insult. Tough >blip<, chew harder.
 
Written By: Mike Schneider
URL: http://
Things are going to get a lot worse before they get any better.
Absent a time-machine dialed to reverse, things will HAVE to get worse before they get any better, because it is the nature of mob-dictatorship (AKA "democracy") that communazis will claw their way to the top and drive things straight to hell.

Only after they are deposed will liberty have a chance to bloom, if however briefly, before the next cycle of political stupidity manifests.
 
Written By: Mike Schneider
URL: http://
If you cannot conceive of any solutions to the problem of empty bread shelves in Soviet groceries other than to authorize the plunder of yet more rubles from the people who are nominally inclined to build groceries and bring the bread to them — then I suggest immediately jumping under the nearest bus before you breed.

Soviet Union: totalitarian state. command economy.

US: republic. regulated capitalistic economy.

yeah, these two things are just like the other.

_______________________________________________

One thing that liberals like me believe is that one role of government is to force the capture of externalities. The SEC was created to force business to publish accurate statements of its financial affairs. The advantage in the marketplace of being dishonest was captured and regulated. The EPA was created to force business not to pollute. The advantage in the marketplace of dumping pollution on the commons was captured and regulated.

People without health insurance are free-riding on the basic empathy of US citizens not to let the free-riders die. The universal insurance mandate is capturing the externality.
 
Written By: Francis
URL: http://
"You are in fantasy la la land if you think we will not end up with some sort of socialist medical scheme in this country. I have seen it coming for a long time and now it will happen very soon, maybe before Bush leaves office."
Let me explain something "very serious" to you, mate:

I don’t know how long you’ve been at this, but I stopped paying income taxes in 1976 — that’s three decades ago last year — because of what I saw coming and my decision to have as little to do with it as possible. I’m fifty years old, now. I don’t know you, how old you are, or whether you know what that means, but here is one thing that it means to me: it means that I’m entering the period of human life where medical concerns start to become real concerns. Well, I’ve wrecked my career with my politics, I don’t own anything serious, I never will, and it’s extremely difficult for me to find work because of the rules against paying people like me. And here’s the upshot:

When the times comes for me, of a sort that most people slide through on everybody else’s backs, I’m just going to die. I have, in the twenty-first century in America, a strictly medieval attitude about this.

Do you understand? None of you saps are going to have to pay for my medical care in a market out of which I have been priced by your goddamned rotten government.

Now, then: I made made my mind up about this a long, long time ago. You don’t have to believe any of it. You can just watch the action.

Don’t bloody lecture me about any of this, because I’ll beat your ass all day long with — yes: the reality — of a righteous conviction that I have lived all my adult life.

When you talk about socialized medicine, you can save that "we", because I know at least one person who’s not going to go there.
 
Written By: Billy Beck
URL: http://www.two—four.net/weblog.php
First of all,
You are in fantasy la la land if you think...
Is just not true.
Because I live in fantasy la la land and I’ve never seen Billy there.
Don’t bloody lecture me about any of this, because I’ll beat your ass all day long with — yes: the reality — of a righteous conviction that I have lived all my adult life.
Jab — Jab — Uppercut — Uppercut

Heh-heh.
I love these bouts between Billy and ... well... everyone.
When the times comes for me, of a sort that most people slide through on everybody else’s backs, I’m just going to die. I have, in the twenty-first century in America, a strictly medieval attitude about this.
Where after reading your story about rock climbing with Lucy, I have little reason to doubt you.
However, I have heard similar from none other than my father. Who, like you Billy, stopped paying taxes in the seventies, and also adopted a "medieval attitude" about his mortality using the same principle.

That was twenty years ago.

Now, as he is creeping into his seventies, his attitude about his mortality has ... oh, how should I put it ... evolved.

Cheers.
 
Written By: PogueMahone
URL: http://ceilidhcowboy.typepad.com
Just watch, Pogue.

My attitude has "evolved", too. I understand exactly what you’re talking about. The older you get, the more you just want to hold on.

Nobody is going to be held responsible for my life.

Watch.
 
Written By: Billy Beck
URL: http://www.two—four.net/weblog.php
Francis’s four choices are spot on.

I suggest "mandatory" insurance (with a rather difficult form to fill out for opting out to assuage Billy Beck’s goal of dying without insurance) but with private insurers.

Poverty line and below gets subsidized.

Special charities are set up for liberals to donate into to pay for topping up those who are above poverty but not able to get insurance. If there are not enough donations, then, sorry no subsidies.
 
Written By: Harun
URL: http://
"...with a rather difficult form to fill out for opting out to assuage Billy Beck’s goal of dying without insurance..."

You insolent jackass. Think good and hard about what you’re talking about. In the context of what I’m talking about, do you think you stand a chance in hell of making me sit down with your idiotic permission-slip?

What the hell is wrong with you? What on earth makes you think that your "form to fill out" would make the least difference to me?

I’d set fire to the stupid thing right in front of your face, fool.
 
Written By: Billy Beck
URL: http://www.two—four.net/weblog.php
"Soviet Union: totalitarian state. command economy.

US: republic. regulated capitalistic economy."

So tell me what the difference between a command and a regulation is. In a command economy, if I don’t obey, I go to jail. In a regulated economy, if I don’t obey I go to jail. The ambiance of the respective penal facilities may differ, but I don’t think that is what you had in mind.
**************************************


"People without health insurance are free-riding on the basic empathy of US citizens not to let the free-riders die."

Untrue. Guess what, not everyone gets seriously ill. I suppose I was what you sneeringly call a "free-rider" until well into my 30s. I paid for all my medical and dental expenses myself. I was not the only one to pay my doctor/dentist with cash or a check, either. I fail to see why that is objectionable. People like you aren’t really talking about health insurance anyway, you are talking about subsidizing health care. Somehow you think that if everyone is forced to pay, it will get cheaper. If you were talking about insurance, routine medical/dental/optical/drug expenses would not be covered. None of that $10 copay bs, people would pay full price for a visit to a doctor or dentist. I had to give up some things, but I paid my own bills, and I do not see why others can’t pay theirs. I consider it immoral that some people think I should pay for their root canal or broken arm so that they won’t have to give up that trip to Disney World.


 
Written By: timactual
URL: http://
"Mr. Beck: I have read your posts and consulted history." - Francis

That was quick. I’m guessing History didn’t have a very large call volume today?
 
Written By: Ironbear
URL: http://oldwolves.co.uk/
wow, a storm of insults and irrelevant commentary, and not a single targeted response.

timactual, which premise is incorrect? what options other than those described above are available?



What you call the "Death Option" is the correct choice. When you strip it of its excessively pejorative and pessimistic baggage, it is simply this:

"Nobody shall force any doctor to care for any patient at any time, under any circumstances."

Put another way, it is:

"A doctor is free to care for a patient in exchange for any compensation the doctor requires at the time."

This means:

- a doctor may care for a patient in exxchange for an exorbitant sum.

- a doctor may care for a patient in exchange for a modest sum.

- a doctor may care for a patient for free.

- a doctor may refuse care to any patient at any time, for any reason, including inability to pay the compensation the doctor requires at that time.

- a doctor may refuse care to all patients regardless of compensation, for the rest of his natural life.

(That last option is called "retirement" by the way.)

In short, a "health care provider" should have exactly the pricing freedom that a "food provider" has now.

Nobody is forced to "provide" food for others, and yet few starve. That is because producers of food are free to require any compensation they desire. If you are willing to pay it, you get the food. If not, the producer keeps the food.

With this freedom to produce comes surplus. The poor get fat, and the destitute go to soup kitchens stocked and staffed by volunteers.

When you see a "Medicaid" type program for food, rest assured that is when food shortages will begin.

Any good such as food or health care is produced by human beings. If you force a producer to exchange his goods for less than he could obtain freely and voluntarily from another, the producer will tend to produce less.

All of you people who wish to force doctors to do that which they would not otherwise do voluntarily, should instead mind your own business and start producing something yourself.

We don’t need people to "run" "society." What we need are people who produce goods and trade them for other goods. End of story. Anything else is Death.

So, in conclusion, what you call the "Death Option" is actually the most life-affirming option of all.
 
Written By: Patrick Chkoreff
URL: http://fexl.com
"Nobody shall force any doctor to care for any patient at any time, under any circumstances."
To that add:

"Nobody shall be forced to pay for the medical expenses of others who they are not directly responsible for."



 
Written By: Don
URL: http://
Mr. Beck: I have read your posts and consulted history.
So you were lying when you called option 1 the "death option"?
Soviet Union: totalitarian state. command economy.

US: republic. regulated capitalistic economy.

yeah, these two things are just like the other.
They don’t have to be "just like" each other for the analogy to be correct.
However, I have heard similar from none other than my father. Who, like you Billy, stopped paying taxes in the seventies, and also adopted a "medieval attitude" about his mortality using the same principle.

That was twenty years ago.
You seem to have misplaced at least 8 years. Too many drugs back in the day?

 
Written By: Don
URL: http://
Francis, here’s some history for you to consider. The country in question is slightly different, but the essential ideas are the same. All of the events documented in that link occurred well before I was born. You will note that certain ideas won (and became the law of the land) and certain ideas lost (why they lost is the subject of very interesting essay by a certain Unmentionable Woman).

If you fast forward to 2007, I can now purchase medical for my daschund, but not for myself or my loved ones. Now, I know why that is the case, but very few others around me are willing to put forth the effort to reach back in the past and understand how this "health care crisis" all came about.

It’s happening all over again south of the border, and the current political culture is even less equipped to fight the battle of ideas.
 
Written By: Jay Jardine
URL: http://www.jayjardine.blogspot.com
Francis: "....regulated capitalistim...."
Hold still while I beat you upside the head with a shovel for blorting that ridiculous oxymoron.
 
Written By: Mike Schneider
URL: http://
The above poster, John Sabotta is a methanphetamine addict. Goggle, "John Sabotta" & "methanphetamine". Anything he says is filtered through a brain rotted on drugs.
 
Written By: sunnywillnever withjohn
URL: http://

 
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