Friday, February 26, 2010

More Republican fibs from the health care summit

Here's what my Nobel Prize winner thought about the Republican health care "plan".
In reality, House Republicans don’t have anything to offer to Americans with troubled medical histories. On the contrary, their big idea — allowing unrestricted competition across state lines — would lead to a race to the bottom. The states with the weakest regulations — for example, those that allow insurance companies to deny coverage to victims of domestic violence — would set the standards for the nation as a whole. The result would be to afflict the afflicted, to make the lives of Americans with pre-existing conditions even harder.


Kevin Scheunemann said...

Doesn't this make it a state issue at this point?

That is certainly preferable to the baffoons in D.C. running health care.

Do you know what the rate of fraud is on Federal health care programs (Medicare/Medicaid) vs. private insurance?

Its shocking at the ongoing fleecing the taxpayers are enduring on existing government run health insurance programs!

patrick said...

Yes! Because some americans are unable to buy insurance because of pre-existing conditions, we should destroy the best health care system in the world and embrace massive budget disasters. We should make the system worse for all. And, since no lefty post would be complete without a red herring--lets remind people that since one plan did not cover domestic violence, the concerned consumer might buy another one that did. But whatever we do, lets not stop to think that government mandates that force people to buy insurance plans with things they don't want or need--prices go up. Afterall, who didn't get a huge rebate when Wisconsin mandated that auto insurance liability levels go up--despite what the consumer wanted.

So this is a philosopher's choice for the Nobel Prize? Very impressive thinking here.

Mpeterson said...

Here you go Kevin.

Mpeterson said...

Sorry Patrick -- you mean 37th in the world.

patrick said...


Perhaps you should look into the background of the WHO report a little deeper. Does anyone really wan to go to Costa Rica or Morocco for a heart transplant? To be reasonable, the US is most likely 15th.

Even still, the text of our post must have seemed thin to you, since you don't really address my critique of the substance of your comments. You simply address an inessential claim of value and leave it at that. I expected a little more in the spirit of Socratic debate.

Mpeterson said...

Patrick, people *are* going to Thailand for major surgeries and Americans without health insurance do cross the border into Canada on a regular basis to get equivalent treatment for half the price.

Let me ask you then: are there any associations whose numbers you do find creditable? What I'm seeing lately is that no international associations of any kind are thought to be trustworthy by the ultra-right and those who are absorbing its worldview. The IPCC, WHO, and even our own CBO -- none are thought to produce accurate numbers.

So, fine. How do you suggest we answer this question about how good the US health delivery system is (not the doctors, not the cool technology -- but the actual creation of a healthy population)?

patrick said...


After looking at the report you cited--that the U.S. is 37th, I also looked for some critiques of the document which many might agree is out of date. I conceded that the U.S. is perhaps 15th, not first.

As for the IPCC, I think recent information regarding how the report was put together as well as the biased nature of the primary authors (who make their living off of climate change research grants which would not be availble were there no crisis)might make a reasonable person begin to ask questions. But it is reasonable to question data, methods, and conclusions. Were I to cite a critique of Obama care from the Heritage Foundation, I'm sure you would react with some skepticism. Finally, on this point, I've not seen much doubt placed on reports placed on the WHO or CBO, at least not to the extent that one side is more skeptical than the other towards these last two organizations.

But back to the point of your post, perhaps laws should be changed so that individuals under the age of 18 can't be denied coverage for pre-existing conditions and that people be allowed to port their insurance coverage from job to job and state to state. Since most people under eighteen are covered by their parents or existing government programs, wouldn't this solve the problem without massive and doomed government intervention. And, why not allow people to buy insurance at the level they would like. If I am young and only want to be covered for catastrophic injuries or something like that, why should I have to pay for some woman's birth control? Of course, eople would have to assume some level of risk and responsibility, but these are the things freedom is made of.

Mpeterson said...

So, you're conceding that we don't have the health care system that produces the healthiest citizens. Good start.

The so-called IPCC scandal about the data was a hoax propagated by groups funded with petro-dollars. This was well understood even at the time it happened and blown into headlines by idiotic members of the media who are more interested in the drama than the data.

You and I agree on a lot of things in your final paragraph, in fact. The one downside of allowing people to opt out of a public option is that, if they get into an accident or sick, you and I end up paying for them anyway -- the same way we pay for those who roll their Harley's without wearing a helmet. How do you suggest you and I cover the cost of those folks?

patrick said...

But doesn't your comment about the IPCC hoax or, I assume, the email scandal engage in the same type of thinking that you accused me of? Sure, Bush lied about the war--that has to be true, absolutely--but scientists with a financial hores in the race could never behave unethically of do shody work. Seems to me like crap thinking and self-deception if you ask me.

As for those who refuse to wear helmets and roll their bikes, the answer is simple: we don't pay for them. They took the risk. Let their families care for them. If this means they receive only the most basic care after the accident, I don't care; they made choices.

Part of the problem is that I've always grown up hearing that Americans were to be self-reliant, people who took care of themselves. But in the last fifty years, well intentioned government has stripped most of this away. People do believe they are entitled to be cared for by the taxpayer, not just on rare occasion--which would not be a bad thing--but for years. This destroys the fabric of a democracy.

Mpeterson said...

The difference is that the data comes from more than these scientists and the inferences they reached have been confirmed all over the planet -- when we check the numbers we find there was no lying about the numbers. When we checked Bush's math we find that he did lie.

What financial "horse" could scientists possibly have in this? Are you under the impression that they'll only be funded if they support Al Gore's global warming position? Scientists don't have any need to bend weather data to stay in business... those guys are not funded on the basis of their discoveries. Look to the pharma supported research, not NOAA support.

Besides, if it were about the money, then why didn't the scientists under the Bush administration do a 180 and say, since they were being "paid" by a pro-petroleum drill-baby-drill president?

I grew up hearing that Americans are always strongest when they pull together. Self-reliance did not get us out of Vietnam.

But we do not disagree about a spreading sense of entitlement -- but check out how entitled the wealthiest people seem to be these days: and they cost us a LOT more than the poor.

patrick said...

Ths is a long way from the health care debate, but I'm sure you've noticed that so called "global warming" research has seen its funding tripled since the late 1990's to about 1.7 billion in 2006. This is the funding from governments and govenrment agencies. I'm sure you would argue that this is because there is an alarming problem we need to learn more about. But a socratic mind is also a skeptical one. How much money given by these "neutral" governments of those who doubt the theory of man made global warming? What would all these "scientists" do if we took away their gravey train? I guess I don't understand why one group of scientists you "disapprove of"--those funded by "petro-dollars"--is biased by their funding for reaching one conclusion, yet another group you "approve of"--those funded by "government" which reaches another conclusion is unbiased. Either way, science man has to eat. I'm sure there are plenty of whores on both sides, but no whore is worse than one who justifies herself with a sense of mission. Nobody has accused the petro dollar scientists of falsefying data, taking anecdotes from magazines to make sensational claims in IPCC reports, or "losing" large sections of data.

As for the numbers from all over the planet, last I checked, they noted no global warming in the last decade. Remember, the warming people said this was a hiatas--or something like that.

As for Bush and his math...purhaps he can't do any. As for WMD's--everyone including Hillary said the exact same thing. But this is really a distraction, right.

Mpeterson said...

Hmm. Global warming gravy train? That's not how government funding of pure research works, I'm afraid. And "numbers over the last decade don't indicate any global warming"?? Where did you look?

Here's a place you might start to reconsider:

You can start here.