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#331515 - 28/03/2010 19:18 Re: The United States Enters the 20th Century! [Re: maczrool]
wfaulk
carpal tunnel

Registered: 25/12/2000
Posts: 16706
Loc: Raleigh, NC US
Originally Posted By: maczrool
If you increase their costs by applying restrictions, forcing them to take on customers that they know from the start will lose them money they could very easily be forced out of business.

Currently, insurance companies provide insurance to all of the employees of a company at lower cost under the assumption (occasionally requirement) that most of the employees will accept the insurance, and the costs of the few sickly will be overcome by the lack of costs of the healthy. There is, to my knowledge, no requirement that insurance companies provide these deals to employers, so they must be making money at it.

What this bill does is create a new group from the set of people who don't have employer-based coverage. Many of these people don't have coverage merely because they cannot afford individual rates. There are certainly some who feel that they are healthy enough to chance not having it. However, I find it hard to believe that there is a significant difference in the ratio of sick people to healthy people between the employer-covered group and the rest.

Assuming that there is no difference, why would a plan that makes them money when it's done with the employees of a company not make them money when done with the general populace? Imagine instead of the government intervening with this bill, that those 36 million people all suddenly got jobs that provided health insurance. Would the health insurance providers be complaining that they were going to start losing money what with all of the new customers? Of course not; they'd be making more money than ever.

I understand your problem with being forced to purchase insurance, but there are honestly very few people who are opposed to buying insurance, yourself probably included. I understand that your concern is the force. But in order to maintain the ratio, you have to make sure that there isn't a statistical bias in the numbers by preventing the self-selection bias that might exist from the healthy removing themselves from the pool. It's there both to make sure that as much of our society as possible is covered, and to make sure that the insurance companies can still function while keeping premiums relatively low. It's the same reason that the bill prohibits (new) individual policies.

Will it force some people who don't want to buy insurance to do so? Yes. Sorry. We also force you to pay for highways that you may or may not directly use. C'est la vie. Will it cause insurance profits to go down, or rates to go up? Maybe, as insurance companies will no longer be able to drop people who start to incur large expenses. Then again, they're unlikely to be spending money on finding "legal" reasons to drop those people, so there probably won't be as big an effect as seems likely on the surface. Does it make insurance companies provide a minimum level of coverage? Yeah, but we also make companies that sell beef actually provide beef to the consumer, not cellulose with real-beef-flavor, and we require auto companies to put brakes in their cars. I don't think any of that is unreasonable, and it's these provisions that the insurance companies are actually opposed to.

I also understand your point about insurance companies being profit driven. It makes financial sense for them to reduce their costs. Which, honestly, is why a profit-driven system makes bad sense for healthcare. Imagine a scenario where an insurance company gets a claim for a medicine that costs $100,000. If the patient doesn't get it, they will die in three days. It's in the insurance company's interests to just stall for three days and let the person die. Would you be okay with that? I'm sure (at least one of) your rejoinder(s) would be that that person would still get that drug somehow. Which is probably true. But should the insurance company be able to foist that cost off onto someone else? And how is that different from dropping them because they went searching and found that ingrown toenail they forgot to report?
_________________________
Bitt Faulk

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#331518 - 28/03/2010 19:23 Re: The United States Enters the 20th Century! [Re: jimhogan]
TigerJimmy
old hand

Registered: 15/02/2002
Posts: 1049
Quote:

It just kills me that discussion of such a basic issue should turn in to a debate about the merits of Alisa Zinov'yevna Rosenbaum's objectivist philosophy or Marx's spin on the fruits of labor. I often don't think of myself as an exceptionally nice guy, but the grim grumbling about "property" makes me feel like a pretty cheery dude. Bitt, I admire your patience. TigerJimmy, I have concluded that you must be a robot.


I don't really understand what you're saying. I'm guessing that you believe that I feel no compassion for the unfortunate of the world (or perhaps that I'm an unthinking follower of Ayn Rand), but that is absolutely not the case. I just feel that a totalitarian government is not the way to care for them. I believe that a rising tide of wealth that comes from economic freedom (with regulations and constraints to protect the system) lifts all boats (albeit unevenly). I assert that the reason we have the nearly magical (though expensive) health care treatments in the first place is because of property rights and liberty. When we compassionately try to extend these benefits to everyone without considering that there's no such thing as a free lunch, I fear that we will eventually destroy the system which created them in the first place.

Quote:
OK, I jest, I exaggerate, but I just don't get it. I feel like the American body politic is essentially antisocial. There is no sense of the commonwealth. Republicans aren't *for* anything, just against. Democrats pretend to be *for* something and talk about putting insurance companies in their place while taking exceptional care to please special interests (like insurance companies and pharma).

It is not anti-social to mistrust a strong central government, and it does not follow that I believe we shouldn't help those who can't help themselves. I just don't want to incrementally install the next bankrupt socialist government that controls every aspect of citizen's lives in order to do so.

Quote:
I won't ever vote for a Democrat or Republican again, but I have to say that it concerns me to no end when Republican demagogues spout bullshit about how they have the will of the American people behind them. Goddamn proto-fascists and a bunch of freaking maladjusted children. They lost a few elections but seem to have conveniently forgotten their lessons in Democracy 101. If I wasn't going to be dead within 15-20 years I would be hugely concerned.


Huzzah! I would only add that the proto-socialist Democrats are just as bad.

Quote:
And it is a total riot. The teabaggers and wingnuts with whom I would expect TigertJimmy to make common cause are railing about the "Socialist!" Obama and his evil designs when, in fact, Obama has turned out to be the most miserable, ineffectual, middle-of-the-road-to-nowhere, Harvard-trained tool of special interests that I can recollect.


Yes, he's nearly totally ineffective in a Jimmy Carter magnitude, and this "reform" will be also. The war on drugs or the USA Patriot Act bother me far more than this legislation. But it's just another duck bite.

We must stop seeing a strong central government as our national parent. If believing that makes me a teabagger and wingnut, so be it.

Quote:

Stuart, was the Canadian single-payor initiative just a pathetic excuse for the (Canadian) libs to get their clutches into their every day lives and tax (Canadians) into oblivion? Or was there maybe something more to it?


Sure there was. Sure people are compassionately motivated. Sure they want to help the unfortunate. But they are misguided because they destroy the protections against a totalitarian state believing the ends justify the means.

It's the same as the people who (overwhelmingly) passed the Patriot Act. They were motivated to protect people from an external threat. But the result has been abused and is now seen by almost everyone as a terrible assault on liberty. I agree we need to help the unfortunate. I disagree that we can trust the government with broad powers. In fact, I think that putting these matters on the federal government is a form of the anti-social attitude you talk about -- since the government takes care of the problem, we don't need to care for our neighbors or our community. That's a bad thing.


Edited by TigerJimmy (28/03/2010 19:25)

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#331521 - 28/03/2010 19:48 Re: The United States Enters the 20th Century! [Re: TigerJimmy]
hybrid8
carpal tunnel

Registered: 12/11/2001
Posts: 7738
Loc: Toronto, CANADA
Quote:
I just feel that a totalitarian government is not the way to care for them


I don't think you'l find any objection from people who want healthcare reform on that comment. It's a far stretch, regardless of how slippery a slope you think you're down, to call your government totalitarian. It would have been less of a stretch to use that term a few years ago, but a stretch nonetheless.

I'm all for smaller (and leaner) government and less government involvement in many aspects of society. But healthcare is one place I think it needs some oversight and ability to assert guidance. The US government is already there in a large way and I don't think this is the beginning of the end of liberty, profit or capitalism.

Seriously, if anyone opposed to this had actually put forth a valid and tangible argument for why it's a bad thing, I probably wouldn't be so interested in commenting. All I've seen so far is unfounded proclamations of doom and gloom. Chicken Little style. Oh, and of course a call to arms from the bigger nutters.
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Bruno
Twisted Melon : Fine Mac OS Software

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#331528 - 28/03/2010 22:10 Re: The United States Enters the 20th Century! [Re: wfaulk]
maczrool
pooh-bah

Registered: 13/01/2002
Posts: 1627
Loc: Louisiana, USA
Quote:
Currently, insurance companies provide insurance to all of the employees of a company at lower cost under the assumption (occasionally requirement) that most of the employees will accept the insurance, and the costs of the few sickly will be overcome by the lack of costs of the healthy. There is, to my knowledge, no requirement that insurance companies provide these deals to employers, so they must be making money at it.


I wasn't going to get into this anymore, but this is a quickie. Bitt, either you don't know what you're talking about or you're being duplicitous. You fail to mention anything about employer contributions to health plans which definitely hide much of the cost borne by employee health plan members. Employers often contribute as much or more than the employee for the employee health care offered. In my case I have one of those much maligned cadillac plans that has all kinds of stuff I will probably never use. It's not by choice, but rather because it's all that is offered. I myself don't pay that much for it, but my employer pays through the nose. I will probably have to get off of it once I am taxed at 40% (that would be $4000 in tax) of it since it will no longer be cheaper than buying it on my own.

Stu
_________________________
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#331530 - 28/03/2010 22:37 Re: The United States Enters the 20th Century! [Re: hybrid8]
TigerJimmy
old hand

Registered: 15/02/2002
Posts: 1049
Originally Posted By: hybrid8
Quote:
I just feel that a totalitarian government is not the way to care for them


I don't think you'l find any objection from people who want healthcare reform on that comment. It's a far stretch, regardless of how slippery a slope you think you're down, to call your government totalitarian. It would have been less of a stretch to use that term a few years ago, but a stretch nonetheless.


This is an absurd comment. There has been no repeal of any of the liberty-destroying policies that were put in place by the last administration, despite promises to do so. These measures have a different flavor, but still increase the size and bloat of a government that has become so corrupt, bureaucratic, expensive and burdensome that we serve it more than it serves us.

Quote:
I'm all for smaller (and leaner) government and less government involvement in many aspects of society. But healthcare is one place I think it needs some oversight and ability to assert guidance. The US government is already there in a large way and I don't think this is the beginning of the end of liberty, profit or capitalism.


It certainly is not the beginning of the end of liberty. As far as medicine is concerned, that may have been the Harrison Act, almost a century ago. I'm not claiming that it's the beginning of anything. It's just more sliding down the slippery slope you alluded to.

Quote:

Seriously, if anyone opposed to this had actually put forth a valid and tangible argument for why it's a bad thing, I probably wouldn't be so interested in commenting. All I've seen so far is unfounded proclamations of doom and gloom. Chicken Little style. Oh, and of course a call to arms from the bigger nutters.


There have been several valid and tangible arguments mentioned here. You just don't agree with them. This is a complex issue and your assertion that those opposed to this bill have completely baseless positions seems a bit extreme. While the majority may have supported some kind of reform in health care, the majority (of citizens) did not support this bill. Even if it passed, it was a very, very narrow majority. Perhaps there are actually valid arguments on the other side?

This idea of majoritarianism makes me think of an answer to Bitt's question of me regarding the role of a FEDERAL government. It does not follow that because I oppose the Patriot Act, War on Drugs and National Health Care that I don't see a morally legitimate use for an Army, freeways and some forms of environmental protection.

Here's an idea I had that bridges the gap between philosophy (where I hope to have made my arguments), and practicality (where I think almost every counter argument has been in this thread). If an overwhelming majority of the nation supports Something (like the existence of an army or freeways), say over 95%, AND that Something is impractical to provide through non-governmental means, then I think there is a reasonable case that the Something is a legitimate "public good" (used in a very specific philosophical sense, not just meaning beneficial to people), and probably should be a service or function of the federal government.

Private industry could never create something like a fighter plane or an aircraft carrier, for example, as nobody would buy such an extremely-designed piece of machinery. As an example, I would guess that easily 95% of Americans would support federal measures to ensure clean water supply and to protect our borders.

You guys, let's be real. We have FEDERAL laws encouraging the purchase of hybrid vehicles, while we DESTROY used vehicles they replace. This is insanity! We destroy real wealth (used vehicles) to try to create fake demand for vehicles. If we really cared about the environment, we'd drive USED cars (recycling the car by driving it), rather than providing tax credits for hybrids which use extremely toxic batteries. The energy saved during the life of the hybrid can't compare with it's shorter life and production expense (in energy and hazardous materials) vs. driving a used car. Meanwhile, I get no tax credit for a motorcycle, which gets 25% better fuel economy than the Prius. These things happen because as soon as we want the federal government to fix everything it becomes an avenue for corruption and special interests. Why in the WORLD does anyone expect heath care to be any different? The government is incompetent and corrupt. Amazingly, almost everyone agrees with this, but still looks to government to fix all their problems. Our Founding Fathers knew this, and saw it all throughout history, which is why they took fairly extreme measures to contain it.

Those non-Americans on this board who don't understand this argument probably don't understand that point. America was founded, at root, on the principle of extreme distrust in government. Much of that distrust is gone today, despite overwhelming evidence that such distrust is well founded.

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#331531 - 28/03/2010 22:40 Re: The United States Enters the 20th Century! [Re: maczrool]
gbeer
carpal tunnel

Registered: 17/12/2000
Posts: 2665
Loc: Manteca, California
My prediction is that group health care plans will be going away.

They will die off in the same way that the defined benefit retirement is dieing. Existing contracts will be honored but a new tier of employee will be created.

Employers will convert the health benefit into income and you will be responsible for getting your own health care. Which it not an option any more!

Employers will do this to limit their exposure to escalating costs, putting it onto the individual. It will be the employee's income getting squeezed, and their choice as to how much their insurance is going to cover.

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Glenn

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#331536 - 29/03/2010 02:30 Re: The United States Enters the 20th Century! [Re: maczrool]
wfaulk
carpal tunnel

Registered: 25/12/2000
Posts: 16706
Loc: Raleigh, NC US
Originally Posted By: maczrool
You fail to mention anything about employer contributions to health plans which definitely hide much of the cost borne by employee health plan members.

Yeah, because it's not relevant. I'm not sure exactly what your point is, but at a guess, I'm not saying that the cost paid by employees is less than what's paid on an individual policy; I'm saying that the total amount, employee plus employer contributions, is less.

Originally Posted By: maczrool
In my case I have one of those much maligned cadillac plans that has all kinds of stuff I will probably never use. It's not by choice, but rather because it's all that is offered. I myself don't pay that much for it, but my employer pays through the nose. I will probably have to get off of it once I am taxed at 40% (that would be $4000 in tax) of it since it will no longer be cheaper than buying it on my own.

That implies that your healthcare insurance costs either $18,500 a year if it's just you, or $33,000 a year if it includes anyone else. (Assuming you aren't in a "high-risk" profession.) That's, uh, some expensive health insurance. Chances are that your employer is really just pretending to pay you more by giving you this giant healthcare package, and getting out of paying some payroll taxes. I'd be very surprised if your employer didn't find you an $8,500/$23,000 plan before 2013 rolls around.
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Bitt Faulk

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#331537 - 29/03/2010 02:40 Re: The United States Enters the 20th Century! [Re: gbeer]
wfaulk
carpal tunnel

Registered: 25/12/2000
Posts: 16706
Loc: Raleigh, NC US
Originally Posted By: gbeer
Employers will convert the health benefit into income and you will be responsible for getting your own health care.

The bill requires employers with over 50 employees to provide health insurance as a benefit to their employees, as shown here. Otherwise, there's a fine. They will be allowed to offer plans from the health care exchange, though. (ISTR that there's some size and time limitation there. I can't find it now.)

Originally Posted By: gbeer
you will be responsible for getting your own health care. Which it not an option any more!

Huh? Yeah, you won't be able to get an individual plan anymore, but you can get in on the same group plans that those without employee-sponsored health plans can get on. That is, assuming that your employer decides it would rather pay a fine than deal with getting you health insurance.
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Bitt Faulk

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#331538 - 29/03/2010 02:55 Re: The United States Enters the 20th Century! [Re: TigerJimmy]
wfaulk
carpal tunnel

Registered: 25/12/2000
Posts: 16706
Loc: Raleigh, NC US
Originally Posted By: TigerJimmy
We have FEDERAL laws encouraging the purchase of hybrid vehicles, while we DESTROY used vehicles they replace. This is insanity! We destroy real wealth (used vehicles) to try to create fake demand for vehicles. If we really cared about the environment, we'd drive USED cars (recycling the car by driving it), rather than providing tax credits for hybrids which use extremely toxic batteries.

To be fair, the cars we destroyed were those with notably lousy gas mileage. And I'm sure the cars were recycled (in the "traditional" sense of being melted for scrap, etc.) And the replacements were required to have significantly better mileage than the ones that were disposed of.

I'm not a huge fan of hybrid cars. It's neat technology, but I imagine that the majority of the fuel efficiency comes from having the engine turn off when it is not needed to provide acceleration. I expect that history will eventually see them as having been a stopgap measure. That said, I assumed that lithium batteries are highly recyclable. Maybe I'm wrong.

You also won't get any argument from me that a significant portion of the "green" movement is hypocritical and uncritical. If it sounds "green", it must be. So, uh, yeah. I guess I kinda agree with you there. Except I think that it made enough sense to try to get rid of the cars with the lousy mileage. And they needn't have been replaced with hybrid cars, but merely cars with better mileage. There was also an economic benefit to prompting money to be moved around through those purchases, but that's another story.
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Bitt Faulk

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#331542 - 29/03/2010 09:34 Re: The United States Enters the 20th Century! [Re: TigerJimmy]
andy
carpal tunnel

Registered: 10/06/1999
Posts: 5785
Loc: Wivenhoe, Essex, UK
Originally Posted By: TigerJimmy
If an overwhelming majority of the nation supports Something (like the existence of an army or freeways), say over 95%, AND that Something is impractical to provide through non-governmental means, then I think there is a reasonable case that the Something is a legitimate "public good" (used in a very specific philosophical sense, not just meaning beneficial to people), and probably should be a service or function of the federal government.

I would hope that 95% of Americans support the idea of everyone having access to healthcare ?

I would appear that it is impracticable for people on low wages in the US to afford their own healthcare through the private healthcare system ?

That would appear to make government provided healthcare for all (or at least everyone who can't afford it themselves) meet your criteria.
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#331544 - 29/03/2010 11:50 Re: The United States Enters the 20th Century! [Re: wfaulk]
drakino
carpal tunnel

Registered: 08/06/1999
Posts: 7868
Loc: Seattle, WA
Originally Posted By: wfaulk
but I imagine that the majority of the fuel efficiency comes from having the engine turn off when it is not needed to provide acceleration.

Covered in another thread ranting about the US.
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Tom

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#331557 - 29/03/2010 15:56 Re: The United States Enters the 20th Century! [Re: maczrool]
tonyc
carpal tunnel

Registered: 27/06/1999
Posts: 7058
Loc: Pittsburgh, PA
Quote:
but guess who leads in denials of care, why it's your hero the federal government!


Come on, that's disingenuous, and you know it. The Feds insure the highest risk population (the elderly) via Medicare, and they can't terminate anyone's policy whenever they feel like it. So, of course they deny claims that other insurers don't have to deny -- the private insurers already refused to carry the sick person's policy in the first place, or jacked up the rates so as to be prohibitively expensive.

Quote:
I fail to see that the poor and often uneducated will see fit to take part in that just because it's there.


Then explain the thousands who show up at clinics held by the National Association of Free Clinics. One was just held in your state of Louisiana recently.

Quote:
You are right, missed a zero in there. Such a simple analysis is really far removed from how insurance works anyway though. The CBO has to crunch whatever numbers it's given, no matter how bogus or fraudulent they are. Garbage in garbage out.

Go ahead and move the goalposts -- I don't mind. First you claim without any basis that we could cover all the uninsured with the cost of this bill, then when called on your fact-free assertion, you backtrack and insist that the numbers must be wrong.

The fact is that CBO has a Panel of Health Advisers on staff who are tasked with understanding the real-world implications of the legislation, not simply spitting out numbers based on what Congress tells them. The CBO is not a rubber stamp -- they do their own research and forecasting, and are the only referees on the field. Their forecast was good enough to pass Bush's tax cuts on the wealthy, but now that they're giving their blessing to something that helps the not-so-well-off, they must be a rubber stamp bunch of stooges who just slap a sticker on the bill's cover sheet.

Quote:
As far as the credit cards, well they are a business too. They are not a welfare entity. People need to learn to read up on things and what they are getting into before they use their cards irresponsibly, but I guess that will never happen because the liberals take them by the hand make it all better before they learn from their mistakes.


I assume you own a credit card, so do me a favor. Without digging out your agreement, which is no doubt dozens of pages of 6-point text, tell me if any of the following terms/conditions are in your agreement:
  • Double cycle billing
  • Universal default
  • Trailing interest

Now, I'm sure a responsible, hard-working fella like yourself never plans on being behind on his payments, so surely these will never come into play. But, in the real world, people do miss payments, or are forced to carry a balance for a few months, and instead of paying the advertised interest rate, they end up paying more due to these arcane fine-print clauses that let the banks either jack the rates up, or apply payments to portions of the balance that were borrowed at a lower interest rate.

These are all gimmicks that the banks have come up with to extort money from people. What other excuse is there for this?
Quote:

In 1980, according to the Wall Street Journal, the typical credit card contract was about a page and a half long. It told you about the interest rate, about being late and that was pretty much it. Today, the typical credit card contract according to the Wall Street Journal is about 31 pages long. So, tricks and traps? It's that other 29 and a half pages.


This is exactly what happens when free markets run amok, and no amount of "personal responsibility" is going to make everyone able to follow along with the ever-increasing complexity of credit card terms. It's a boondoggle, plain and simple, just like health insurance.

You are right that the banks that issue credit cards are a business, but they've made a business out of tricking people with agreements that nobody can read. These abusive practices are a direct result of a lack of regulation, some of which was recently addressed with legislation, but the banks are already working on their next gimmicks, which will no doubt add more pages of incomprehensible text to all of our agreements. How does that benefit the consumer?

Quote:
Why not? Obama makes his straw men arguments all the time in speeches. Seems to work for him.

Fantastic, so when he stops by the BBS to debate you, go ahead and use those tactics. Until then, I would hope you can engage the arguments I've made, rather than refuting ones I haven't.

Quote:
Many people who qualify for things don't join. Medicaid being one of them.

This is the best argument you've made, and I agree that under-enrollment in Medicaid is the problem. Unfortunately, the only way to improve that is to fund it more to educate people on who is eligible, and to reach out to them to help them sign up, just as a private health insurer would advertise to them. I assume you'd support an increase in Medicaid funding to increase enrollment of people who already qualify?

Quote:
In fact, 55% support its repeal.

Ah, so you see my cherry-pick and raise me a cherry-pick from Rasmussen, which is known to have a large house effect that favors conservative candidates and positions.

Look, I have my polls, you have yours. We can argue about which side of an obviously polarizing issue the public narrowly favors, but remember that much of the criticism of the bill is coming from the left, who wanted it to be more progressive. You're always going to end up with people not liking the finished product after it gets through Congress, but in a choice between "reform the system" or "status quo", the public favors reform.

Additionally, those 55% of people are idiots, because repeal is impossible. (Two thirds of both houses of Congress to override Obama's veto -- good luck with that!)

Quote:
It's been fun debating you guys, but this is like the water boy taking on the football team in a brawl.

That's absurd -- you have Redrum and TigerJimmy supporting your side of the debate quite well. All we're asking you to do is defend the assertions you made earlier, and frankly, it's been demonstrated that several of them were made carelessly and without supporting evidence. There are differences of opinion and political philosophy, but when you're backing up your positions with shoddy evidence (or none at all) you should expect to get called on them. Go ahead and walk away from the table if you're not prepared to show your work, but it's not an unfair fight just because you came unarmed.
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- Tony C
my empeg stuff

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#331559 - 29/03/2010 17:06 Re: The United States Enters the 20th Century! [Re: tonyc]
tonyc
carpal tunnel

Registered: 27/06/1999
Posts: 7058
Loc: Pittsburgh, PA
On the constitutionality of the individual mandate:
Quote:

In July, 1798, Congress passed, and President John Adams signed into law “An Act for the Relief of Sick and Disabled Seamen,” authorizing the creation of a marine hospital service, and mandating privately employed sailors to purchase healthcare insurance.

This legislation also created America’s first payroll tax, as a ship’s owner was required to deduct 20 cents from each sailor’s monthly pay and forward those receipts to the service, which in turn provided injured sailors hospital care. Failure to pay or account properly was discouraged by requiring a law violating owner or ship's captain to pay a 100 dollar fine.

John Adams -- Constitution shredder!
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- Tony C
my empeg stuff

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#331567 - 30/03/2010 01:03 Re: The United States Enters the 20th Century! [Re: andy]
TigerJimmy
old hand

Registered: 15/02/2002
Posts: 1049
Originally Posted By: andy
Originally Posted By: TigerJimmy
If an overwhelming majority of the nation supports Something (like the existence of an army or freeways), say over 95%, AND that Something is impractical to provide through non-governmental means, then I think there is a reasonable case that the Something is a legitimate "public good" (used in a very specific philosophical sense, not just meaning beneficial to people), and probably should be a service or function of the federal government.

I would hope that 95% of Americans support the idea of everyone having access to healthcare ?


For free? No way. It was barely 50% of the public that supported this bill.

Quote:
I would appear that it is impracticable for people on low wages in the US to afford their own healthcare through the private healthcare system ?


Not true. Veterinary medicine is our example.
Quote:

That would appear to make government provided healthcare for all (or at least everyone who can't afford it themselves) meet your criteria.


I think it's off by at least 30%.


Edited by TigerJimmy (30/03/2010 01:15)

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#331568 - 30/03/2010 02:04 Re: The United States Enters the 20th Century! [Re: TigerJimmy]
wfaulk
carpal tunnel

Registered: 25/12/2000
Posts: 16706
Loc: Raleigh, NC US
I remember, it was just last week when I had my cat run through an MRI.

Which actually brings up a point I meant to make earlier. I don't want to put words in your mouth, as I don't remember you espousing this theory, but a lot of anti-universal-healthcare types like to say that if you limit medical pricing, then fewer people will be interested in investing time and money to become doctors, develop drugs, etc. Well, if that's the case, then wouldn't the fact that basically no one could independently afford the cost of an MRI mean, if health insurance didn't exist, that it's unlikely that the MRI would have been developed?
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Bitt Faulk

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#331614 - 01/04/2010 00:14 Re: The United States Enters the 20th Century! [Re: TigerJimmy]
jimhogan
carpal tunnel

Registered: 06/10/1999
Posts: 2591
Loc: Seattle, WA, U.S.A.
(After 3 days of flakey POTS/DSL I, for better or worse, return. Plus, I was unkind, impolite. Let's see what I can do....make that better? worse?)

Originally Posted By: TigerJimmy
Quote:

It just kills me that discussion of such a basic issue should turn in to a debate about the merits of Alisa Zinov'yevna Rosenbaum's objectivist philosophy or Marx's spin on the fruits of labor. I often don't think of myself as an exceptionally nice guy, but the grim grumbling about "property" makes me feel like a pretty cheery dude. Bitt, I admire your patience. TigerJimmy, I have concluded that you must be a robot.


I don't really understand what you're saying. I'm guessing that you believe that I feel no compassion for the unfortunate of the world (or perhaps that I'm an unthinking follower of Ayn Rand), but that is absolutely not the case. I just feel that a totalitarian government is not the way to care for them. I believe that a rising tide of wealth that comes from economic freedom (with regulations and constraints to protect the system) lifts all boats (albeit unevenly). I assert that the reason we have the nearly magical (though expensive) health care treatments in the first place is because of property rights and liberty. When we compassionately try to extend these benefits to everyone without considering that there's no such thing as a free lunch, I fear that we will eventually destroy the system which created them in the first place.


I know that there are no robots on the BBS. I avoided the term "bot" because I thought that would be insulting smile My frustration is that I find many expressions of "big L" Libertarian principle to be somewhat mechanistic, dogmatic, inflexible and lacking nuance. Certainly you can credit free enterprise with helping nurture innovation and over-priced treatments, MRIs and such, but you seem to rely on a flimsy straw man -- that polity is a binary function and that places like Sweden (and Canada?) must fall into the "totalitarian state" category because their approach to social welfare is not pure "L".

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OK, I jest, I exaggerate, but I just don't get it. I feel like the American body politic is essentially antisocial. There is no sense of the commonwealth. Republicans aren't *for* anything, just against. Democrats pretend to be *for* something and talk about putting insurance companies in their place while taking exceptional care to please special interests (like insurance companies and pharma).

It is not anti-social to mistrust a strong central government, and it does not follow that I believe we shouldn't help those who can't help themselves. I just don't want to incrementally install the next bankrupt socialist government that controls every aspect of citizen's lives in order to do so.

We have lots of reasons to worry about our government, but I think that the chance that we might ever adopt a Canadian-style single-payer system that could reduce costs and take those costs out of big pockets of existing liability (read: corporate-funded employee and retiree health plans) should be low on anybody's list of concerns.

But don't worry. Obama was never too serious about this.

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I won't ever vote for a Democrat or Republican again, but I have to say that it concerns me to no end when Republican demagogues spout bullshit about how they have the will of the American people behind them. Goddamn proto-fascists and a bunch of freaking maladjusted children. They lost a few elections but seem to have conveniently forgotten their lessons in Democracy 101. If I wasn't going to be dead within 15-20 years I would be hugely concerned.


Huzzah! I would only add that the proto-socialist Democrats are just as bad.


I'll admit to liking elements of socialism. Public libraries and public schools (more Horatio Alger stories! Everybody can grow up to be president!) and single-payer-style health care. But I mostly like the last one because it take administrative and entitlement overhead/waste out of the system and sets some expectation that therapies get judged on their merits and the effect on outcome.

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And it is a total riot. The teabaggers and wingnuts with whom I would expect TigertJimmy to make common cause are railing about the "Socialist!" Obama and his evil designs when, in fact, Obama has turned out to be the most miserable, ineffectual, middle-of-the-road-to-nowhere, Harvard-trained tool of special interests that I can recollect.


Yes, he's nearly totally ineffective in a Jimmy Carter magnitude, and this "reform" will be also. The war on drugs or the USA Patriot Act bother me far more than this legislation. But it's just another duck bite.



I meant to reply to Stuart's reply that I find myself in a unique spot of unhappiness in that I feel almost nothing worth advocating for in this plan...a plan that accommodated the interests of all those "free market" insurance companies and pharma at the very outset. So I could hardly imagine trying to convince anyone to favor the current plan. Yet I find the bases of much of the "teabag" opposition to be appalling. And I obviously think that Libertarian fixation on free-market medicine to be naive and wrong-headed.

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We must stop seeing a strong central government as our national parent. If believing that makes me a teabagger and wingnut, so be it.


I think to qualify as a real wingnut you have to be a birther. But such are your allies in the current circumstance

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Stuart, was the Canadian single-payor initiative just a pathetic excuse for the (Canadian) libs to get their clutches into their every day lives and tax (Canadians) into oblivion? Or was there maybe something more to it?


Sure there was. Sure people are compassionately motivated. Sure they want to help the unfortunate. But they are misguided because they destroy the protections against a totalitarian state believing the ends justify the means.


I asked rhetorically, but your answer really seems "way out there". If I were Canadian, my feelings might be hurt. I have to say I drive up to BC 4 or 5 times a year and I have to say, not only do people *not* seem depressed like they are toiling in an Orwellian Hell, they mostly seem (on average) 10 percent nicer than folks down here. And certainly nicer (and happier?) to me than a lot of the folks down here who are screaming about "LIBERTY!" "FREEDOM!" all the time. Why are big L Libs so grumpy?

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It's the same as the people who (overwhelmingly) passed the Patriot Act. They were motivated to protect people from an external threat. But the result has been abused and is now seen by almost everyone as a terrible assault on liberty. I agree we need to help the unfortunate. I disagree that we can trust the government with broad powers. In fact, I think that putting these matters on the federal government is a form of the anti-social attitude you talk about -- since the government takes care of the problem, we don't need to care for our neighbors or our community. That's a bad thing.


Sorry. I have been around the health care system in various capacities for a long time. I believe that your view, if not naive, is just dogmatic and "binary". Do the socialized citizens of Canada not care for their neighbors?

I think I have posted the link before, but I always reply on smarter people to make a point better than I can. So I rely on The Onion
_________________________
Jim


'Tis the exceptional fellow who lies awake at night thinking of his successes.

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#331652 - 02/04/2010 14:43 Re: The United States Enters the 20th Century! [Re: jimhogan]
TigerJimmy
old hand

Registered: 15/02/2002
Posts: 1049
Originally Posted By: jimhogan
Plus, I was unkind, impolite.


Not at all.

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I know that there are no robots on the BBS. I avoided the term "bot" because I thought that would be insulting smile My frustration is that I find many expressions of "big L" Libertarian principle to be somewhat mechanistic, dogmatic, inflexible and lacking nuance. Certainly you can credit free enterprise with helping nurture innovation and over-priced treatments, MRIs and such, but you seem to rely on a flimsy straw man -- that polity is a binary function and that places like Sweden (and Canada?) must fall into the "totalitarian state" category because their approach to social welfare is not pure "L".


Well, my argument is a philosophical and ideological one, not a practical one. When you reason from a particular set of core principles, then once those are well understood I imagine it could seem "robotic", but I prefer to think of it as deductive.

There are practical arguments both ways, I get that. To me, the practical side of the argument is really two-fold:

1. "Insurance" is for risk aggregation of large impact, but rare events. Since nearly everyone is guaranteed to become sick and require increasingly expensive (and magical!) treatments, almost everyone will have the opportunity to spend frightful amounts of money to stay alive a few more months, unless they die quickly from an accident or something. There is nothing rare about getting sick. Specific diseases, perhaps, but in aggregate everyone will eventually have something that could break the bank. So, there is no "risk" here, properly understood. As a result, insurance is the wrong model. Nearly everyone will have the opportunity to spend more than their entire fortune on medical care, and nobody wants to have to spend their own money on it. This is the core problem. The only thing to do is to let people decide for themselves how much of their family's fortune they want to spend on treatments. Yes, the rich will have more options, just like they do in nearly every other aspect of existence. That's life. It's also a good reason to try to become rich (and yes, I understand not everyone has that opportunity). Life is not fair. But in our outrage at that injustice, we can't simply ignore economic reality that everyone can't spend more than they have.

2. A free market on medicine would lower costs on average. There is a valid point to be made of collective bargaining and leverage that a national plan would have, but my veterinary example is intended to show that the exact same treatments (drugs mostly) are available for a small fraction of the price than they are with human healthcare. This is primarily due to government bureaucracy and regulation. MRI scanning is also used for animals, despite Bitt's funny comment, and the costs are way lower than for humans. But the machine is also smaller. If you look at the exact same treatment for animals vs. humans (drugs allow this comparison), the free market system is always dramatically cheaper.

I don't think that this particular bill means we have a totalitarian society. I believe that it removes important checks and balances against totalitarianism and that it is fundamentally not the role of federal government. I gave another practical standard: 95%+ agreement from the public and no ability to deliver it through a market mechanism and you probably have a genuine "public good" on your hands. Roads fall into that category. Prescription drugs and seeing a doctor do not.

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...and single-payer-style health care. But I mostly like the last one because it take administrative and entitlement overhead/waste out of the system and sets some expectation that therapies get judged on their merits and the effect on outcome.


That's extremely naive in my opinion. What government bureaucracy works this way? Even if you can name one (someone mentioned the post office), that would be a very rare exception. In fact, the exact opposite happens. Perhaps I misunderstand you - you ARE really saying that the government will *remove* administrative overhead and waste? Where WERE you that you didn't have DSL? Mars?


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I think I have posted the link before, but I always reply on smarter people to make a point better than I can. So I rely on The Onion


That's funny as hell. However, it's based on a gross misunderstanding of libertarian ideas. Libertarian philosophy has a place for things like fire departments and roads and national defense and even taxes. We do not, generally speaking, ask the federal government to provide fire departments for every citizen, do we? That would be stupid. Communities organize this for themselves.

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#331661 - 02/04/2010 17:36 Re: The United States Enters the 20th Century! [Re: TigerJimmy]
wfaulk
carpal tunnel

Registered: 25/12/2000
Posts: 16706
Loc: Raleigh, NC US
Originally Posted By: TigerJimmy
If you look at the exact same treatment for animals vs. humans (drugs allow this comparison), the free market system is always dramatically cheaper.

For better or worse, people, on average, value the lives of animals far less than they value the lives of humans. So we have to limit the scope of drugs to encompass only drugs that are available to both humans and animals.

Here's 500mg Cipro for animals and 500mg Cipro for humans. 35¢ vs. 39¢. I think that's probably pretty close.

Fluoxetine (Prozac): veterinary 30¢, medical 57¢. That's a sizable difference.

Lysodren: veterinary $9.99, medical $4.87. Also a sizable difference, now in the other direction.

Selegiline: veterinary $2.50, medical $1.70. Still leaning the wrong way.

Tapazole: veterinary $1.79, medical 87¢ (or 33¢ for the generic). Your argument's not starting to look so good.

For the record, I went through this page and picked the ones that seemed likely to have a human analog (I guessed wrong a lot) and appeared to maybe be non-generic (except for the fluoxetine and cipro). I don't think I cherry-picked any data. Honestly, I was surprised. I thought you would be more right; I thought I was just going to show that the differences weren't all that significant. I recognize that this is largely anecdotal, given my non-scientific data set selection. If you have other better data, I'd be glad to see it.
_________________________
Bitt Faulk

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#331665 - 02/04/2010 19:12 Re: The United States Enters the 20th Century! [Re: TigerJimmy]
canuckInOR
carpal tunnel

Registered: 13/02/2002
Posts: 3159
Loc: Portland, OR
Originally Posted By: TigerJimmy
1. "Insurance" is for risk aggregation of large impact, but rare events. Since nearly everyone is guaranteed to become sick and require increasingly expensive (and magical!) treatments, almost everyone will have the opportunity to spend frightful amounts of money to stay alive a few more months, unless they die quickly from an accident or something. There is nothing rare about getting sick. Specific diseases, perhaps, but in aggregate everyone will eventually have something that could break the bank. So, there is no "risk" here, properly understood. As a result, insurance is the wrong model.

I disagree with this, entirely. The whole notion of insurance was created back when traders were sailing the oceans. Since nearly every trading company was guaranteed to have a ship sink and lose significant investment, almost every trading company had the opportunity to spend frightful amounts of money to stay in business a few more months, unless they lose their whole fleet at once in a freak storm or something. There was nothing rare about losing a ship. Losing one (or more) with an extremely costly cargo, perhaps, but in aggregate every company will eventually have a ship sink which could put them out of business. So, there is risk there, properly understood.

It's no different with being sick -- I don't know when, or where I'll get sick. It could be now, it could be 20 years from now, but I do expect I'll get sick at some point. The risk is, will it be catastrophic enough to wipe me out financially for whatever reason. With the traders, they don't know when, or where they'll lose a ship. They might lose one this trading season, or not for several years, but they are expecting to lose a ship. The risk is, will it be catastrophic enough to wipe them out financially?

That said, private insurance makes sense for traders -- it's a small group of people amongst whom the risk needs to be shared. With health care, it's silly to have private insurance -- the group of people needing such insurance isn't small, it's the entire population. That's why it makes sense to have a single-payer system, IMHO.

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2. A free market on medicine would lower costs on average.

Who are you trying to kid? If this is true, why doesn't the US have lower costs for the health care system, than any other 1st world country with government-run systems? I'd say the free market on medicine isn't exactly working out too well.

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...and single-payer-style health care. But I mostly like the last one because it take administrative and entitlement overhead/waste out of the system and sets some expectation that therapies get judged on their merits and the effect on outcome.
That's extremely naive in my opinion. What government bureaucracy works this way? Even if you can name one (someone mentioned the post office), that would be a very rare exception. In fact, the exact opposite happens.

The oft-quoted statistic is that Medicare has ~2% administrative costs, compared to %15-30 for private insurance companies. Of course, the rebuttal is that that doesn't include a lot of hidden costs of Medicare, but even with those costs included, the analysis suggests that Medicare costs are, at worst, no worse than private insurance companies. For a program that doesn't pick and choose who they're going to cover, I'd say that's pretty reasonable. If the private insurance companies are showing as much (or more) overhead and waste as a government organization, and not covering everyone, then let's get rid of 'em all, and just have the government do it -- at least everyone would be covered, then. smile

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#331666 - 02/04/2010 19:52 Re: The United States Enters the 20th Century! [Re: canuckInOR]
TigerJimmy
old hand

Registered: 15/02/2002
Posts: 1049
Originally Posted By: canuckInOR
Originally Posted By: TigerJimmy
1. "Insurance" is for risk aggregation of large impact, but rare events. Since nearly everyone is guaranteed to become sick and require increasingly expensive (and magical!) treatments, almost everyone will have the opportunity to spend frightful amounts of money to stay alive a few more months, unless they die quickly from an accident or something. There is nothing rare about getting sick. Specific diseases, perhaps, but in aggregate everyone will eventually have something that could break the bank. So, there is no "risk" here, properly understood. As a result, insurance is the wrong model.

I disagree with this, entirely. The whole notion of insurance was created back when traders were sailing the oceans. Since nearly every trading company was guaranteed to have a ship sink and lose significant investment, almost every trading company had the opportunity to spend frightful amounts of money to stay in business a few more months, unless they lose their whole fleet at once in a freak storm or something. There was nothing rare about losing a ship. Losing one (or more) with an extremely costly cargo, perhaps, but in aggregate every company will eventually have a ship sink which could put them out of business. So, there is risk there, properly understood.

It's no different with being sick -- I don't know when, or where I'll get sick. It could be now, it could be 20 years from now, but I do expect I'll get sick at some point. The risk is, will it be catastrophic enough to wipe me out financially for whatever reason. With the traders, they don't know when, or where they'll lose a ship. They might lose one this trading season, or not for several years, but they are expecting to lose a ship. The risk is, will it be catastrophic enough to wipe them out financially?

That said, private insurance makes sense for traders -- it's a small group of people amongst whom the risk needs to be shared. With health care, it's silly to have private insurance -- the group of people needing such insurance isn't small, it's the entire population. That's why it makes sense to have a single-payer system, IMHO.


Sorry, but you're misunderstanding this entirely. A smallish fraction of the total number of cargoes were lost. If all cargoes were lost, or nearly all, as in the case with sickness, insurance would not work. As the probability of loss for each individual voyage increases, risk aggregation becomes less and less effective. Technically, it is still effective, but less worthwhile. When the probability approaches 100%, as in the case of sickness and death in humans, then it is of almost no value. Risk, in this sense (which I called "properly understood" means a small chance of a large consequence. It's not risk if you know it's going to happen -- it's certainty.

Your argument compares insurance of a single shipment or cargo to a long sequence of events in which loss is almost assured. That's a logical mistake.

Just look at it this way: if everyone (or nearly everyone) will eventually face medical bills higher than their wealth, who will pay for it? The idea of medical "insurance" is a Ponzi scheme, because the probability of catastrophic expense is nearly 100%.

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#331667 - 02/04/2010 19:52 Re: The United States Enters the 20th Century! [Re: canuckInOR]
TigerJimmy
old hand

Registered: 15/02/2002
Posts: 1049
Originally Posted By: canuckInOR

The oft-quoted statistic is that Medicare has ~2% administrative costs, compared to %15-30 for private insurance companies. Of course, the rebuttal is that that doesn't include a lot of hidden costs of Medicare, but even with those costs included, the analysis suggests that Medicare costs are, at worst, no worse than private insurance companies. For a program that doesn't pick and choose who they're going to cover, I'd say that's pretty reasonable. If the private insurance companies are showing as much (or more) overhead and waste as a government organization, and not covering everyone, then let's get rid of 'em all, and just have the government do it -- at least everyone would be covered, then. smile


How much of the administrative expense of private insurance companies is a result of federal regulation?

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#331668 - 02/04/2010 19:54 Re: The United States Enters the 20th Century! [Re: wfaulk]
TigerJimmy
old hand

Registered: 15/02/2002
Posts: 1049
Originally Posted By: wfaulk
Originally Posted By: TigerJimmy
If you look at the exact same treatment for animals vs. humans (drugs allow this comparison), the free market system is always dramatically cheaper.

For better or worse, people, on average, value the lives of animals far less than they value the lives of humans. So we have to limit the scope of drugs to encompass only drugs that are available to both humans and animals.

Here's 500mg Cipro for animals and 500mg Cipro for humans. 35¢ vs. 39¢. I think that's probably pretty close.

Fluoxetine (Prozac): veterinary 30¢, medical 57¢. That's a sizable difference.

Lysodren: veterinary $9.99, medical $4.87. Also a sizable difference, now in the other direction.

Selegiline: veterinary $2.50, medical $1.70. Still leaning the wrong way.

Tapazole: veterinary $1.79, medical 87¢ (or 33¢ for the generic). Your argument's not starting to look so good.

For the record, I went through this page and picked the ones that seemed likely to have a human analog (I guessed wrong a lot) and appeared to maybe be non-generic (except for the fluoxetine and cipro). I don't think I cherry-picked any data. Honestly, I was surprised. I thought you would be more right; I thought I was just going to show that the differences weren't all that significant. I recognize that this is largely anecdotal, given my non-scientific data set selection. If you have other better data, I'd be glad to see it.


It's very different from when I last looked at it, which was also a small sample size (a drug I was taking). It would appear, at worst, that an mostly unregulated market is just as effective as a highly regulated one? What, then, is the value of this regulation?

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#331669 - 02/04/2010 19:58 Re: The United States Enters the 20th Century! [Re: wfaulk]
TigerJimmy
old hand

Registered: 15/02/2002
Posts: 1049
Originally Posted By: wfaulk

I'm not a huge fan of hybrid cars. It's neat technology, but I imagine that the majority of the fuel efficiency comes from having the engine turn off when it is not needed to provide acceleration. I expect that history will eventually see them as having been a stopgap measure.


And institutionalizing hybrids (or any specific "solution") through federal regulations and mandates will ensure that they stick around much longer than they should.

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You also won't get any argument from me that a significant portion of the "green" movement is hypocritical and uncritical. If it sounds "green", it must be. So, uh, yeah. I guess I kinda agree with you there.


Why do you think that health care will be any different?

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#331670 - 02/04/2010 21:02 Re: The United States Enters the 20th Century! [Re: TigerJimmy]
canuckInOR
carpal tunnel

Registered: 13/02/2002
Posts: 3159
Loc: Portland, OR
Originally Posted By: TigerJimmy
Originally Posted By: canuckInOR
Originally Posted By: TigerJimmy
1. "Insurance" is for risk aggregation of large impact, but rare events. Since nearly everyone is guaranteed to become sick and require increasingly expensive (and magical!) treatments, almost everyone will have the opportunity to spend frightful amounts of money to stay alive a few more months, unless they die quickly from an accident or something. There is nothing rare about getting sick. Specific diseases, perhaps, but in aggregate everyone will eventually have something that could break the bank. So, there is no "risk" here, properly understood. As a result, insurance is the wrong model.

I disagree with this, entirely. The whole notion of insurance was created back when traders were sailing the oceans. Since nearly every trading company was guaranteed to have a ship sink and lose significant investment, almost every trading company had the opportunity to spend frightful amounts of money to stay in business a few more months, unless they lose their whole fleet at once in a freak storm or something. There was nothing rare about losing a ship. Losing one (or more) with an extremely costly cargo, perhaps, but in aggregate every company will eventually have a ship sink which could put them out of business. So, there is risk there, properly understood.

It's no different with being sick -- I don't know when, or where I'll get sick. It could be now, it could be 20 years from now, but I do expect I'll get sick at some point. The risk is, will it be catastrophic enough to wipe me out financially for whatever reason. With the traders, they don't know when, or where they'll lose a ship. They might lose one this trading season, or not for several years, but they are expecting to lose a ship. The risk is, will it be catastrophic enough to wipe them out financially?

That said, private insurance makes sense for traders -- it's a small group of people amongst whom the risk needs to be shared. With health care, it's silly to have private insurance -- the group of people needing such insurance isn't small, it's the entire population. That's why it makes sense to have a single-payer system, IMHO.


Sorry, but you're misunderstanding this entirely. A smallish fraction of the total number of cargoes were lost. If all cargoes were lost, or nearly all, as in the case with sickness, insurance would not work. As the probability of loss for each individual voyage increases, risk aggregation becomes less and less effective. Technically, it is still effective, but less worthwhile. When the probability approaches 100%, as in the case of sickness and death in humans, then it is of almost no value. Risk, in this sense (which I called "properly understood" means a small chance of a large consequence. It's not risk if you know it's going to happen -- it's certainty.

Your argument compares insurance of a single shipment or cargo to a long sequence of events in which loss is almost assured. That's a logical mistake.

I don't think I'm misunderstanding, at all.

Am I going to die? Yes. Does that mean that I'm going to require medical care costing huge sums of money in the process? Not in the least -- perhaps you have better prognostication skills than I? The insurance companies have huge swathes of actuaries calculating these sort of risks. Along the way, I may need the odd bit of medical service, however, just like the trading company that eventually closes for reasons other than "all our ships sank" might lose a few ships through the lifespan of the company. Hence, the need for medical insurance.

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Just look at it this way: if everyone (or nearly everyone) will eventually face medical bills higher than their wealth, who will pay for it? The idea of medical "insurance" is a Ponzi scheme, because the probability of catastrophic expense is nearly 100%.

Look at it this way, if the probability of catastrophic expense is nearly 100% for all people, then how do insurance companies stay in business, let alone make profits? The answer, I think, is that the probability of catastrophic expense is not nearly as high as you think. You're starting from a false premise, drawing whatever conclusion you like. That's a logical error.

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#331672 - 02/04/2010 21:16 Re: The United States Enters the 20th Century! [Re: TigerJimmy]
wfaulk
carpal tunnel

Registered: 25/12/2000
Posts: 16706
Loc: Raleigh, NC US
Originally Posted By: TigerJimmy
It's very different from when I last looked at it, which was also a small sample size (a drug I was taking). It would appear, at worst, that an mostly unregulated market is just as effective as a highly regulated one? What, then, is the value of this regulation?

Huh?

Let's ignore the cipro, as that's not going to be a maintenance medication, and take a look at a 30-day supply of all those drugs. If you were paying for yourself, you'd be out $240.30. If you were paying for your dog, you'd be paying $437.40. That's 82% more for veterinary medicine than, uh, human medicine. (Not that I had to multiply by 30 to get that number, but merely to put it in a familiar context.)

That said, I'm unfamiliar with any pricing regulations on pharmaceuticals. I am familiar with collective lobbying for prices via insurance companies.

I was going to say that I no longer know what I'm arguing for, but, in reality, I'm not taking a side at the moment. I'm just trying to set the record straight as best I can.

I guess how this applies to this argument, though, is that you claim that prices are inflated when insurance companies are involved, because no one has a horse in the pricing race. But it would seem that prices are actually lower when an insurance company is involved. Again, hardly a scientific measurement, and I'm not inclined to draw a conclusion (not least because I don't want to be commending the insurance companies wink ).

Originally Posted By: TigerJimmy
It's very different from when I last looked at it, which was also a small sample size (a drug I was taking).

You weren't self-medicating with veterinary drugs, were you? wink

Why is that repellent? Do I really think that pharmaceutical companies' quality standards lower when making veterinary medicine? Maybe I do. If it's true, that sucks.
_________________________
Bitt Faulk

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#331673 - 02/04/2010 21:32 Re: The United States Enters the 20th Century! [Re: wfaulk]
TigerJimmy
old hand

Registered: 15/02/2002
Posts: 1049
Originally Posted By: TigerJimmy
It's very different from when I last looked at it, which was also a small sample size (a drug I was taking).

Originally Posted By: wfaulk
You weren't self-medicating with veterinary drugs, were you? wink

Why is that repellent? Do I really think that pharmaceutical companies' quality standards lower when making veterinary medicine? Maybe I do. If it's true, that sucks.


That would be ILLEGAL! wink But, in a strictly hypothetical argument, as an engineer with quite a lot of operations experience, there is almost NO WAY there is a separate production line for the two... Not cost effective.

You can see why I prefer the philosophical argument to the practical one. The issue is vastly complex and I doubt anyone understands it very well at all. For that reason alone, we should be reluctant to mandate an approach at the federal level. Nobody is likely to have THE answer.

I think our differences boil down to this: I think government is a largely wasteful, corrupt and incompetent monster that seeks to grow itself and needs to be controlled and minimized. It makes me a classical liberal, in the Jeffersoninan sense. We have to call ourselves "libertarians" because the Left has taken our word "liberal". Most people don't mistrust the government as much as (I think) they should. I also think that history shows that government grows until it cripples the society and then the society collapses. I'd like to avoid that -- for another 40 years, anyway, but there I go being practical again :-)

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#331680 - 03/04/2010 00:18 Re: The United States Enters the 20th Century! [Re: TigerJimmy]
wfaulk
carpal tunnel

Registered: 25/12/2000
Posts: 16706
Loc: Raleigh, NC US
Originally Posted By: TigerJimmy
You can see why I prefer the philosophical argument to the practical one. The issue is vastly complex and I doubt anyone understands it very well at all. For that reason alone, we should be reluctant to mandate an approach at the federal level. Nobody is likely to have THE answer.

I understand where you're coming from, and I'd like to be Mr. Pie-In-The-Sky, too. I'd rather see a single-payer healthcare system, for example. But we've got 40 million people getting fucked over right now, and practicality has to win the day.
_________________________
Bitt Faulk

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#331682 - 03/04/2010 04:15 Re: The United States Enters the 20th Century! [Re: wfaulk]
Dignan
carpal tunnel

Registered: 08/03/2000
Posts: 12131
Loc: Sterling, VA
I still can't believe we're comparing medical costs for animals. Forget about drugs, have you looked into how much it costs for surgery for your pet?

I'm sorry, but it's just not comparable. They're too different.
_________________________
Matt

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#331690 - 03/04/2010 15:46 Re: The United States Enters the 20th Century! [Re: Dignan]
wfaulk
carpal tunnel

Registered: 25/12/2000
Posts: 16706
Loc: Raleigh, NC US
Jimmy's point is that when the same drug is used to treat both animals and people, they are almost certainly the exact same thing. I tend to agree. If you want to compare labor, they are certainly not the exact same thing.
_________________________
Bitt Faulk

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#331692 - 03/04/2010 16:49 Re: The United States Enters the 20th Century! [Re: wfaulk]
Dignan
carpal tunnel

Registered: 08/03/2000
Posts: 12131
Loc: Sterling, VA
I understand, but I thought we were talking about medical expenses. Drugs aren't the only thing to consider. Sorry, I would just laugh if anyone said that medical care for pets was inexpensive. Perhaps it varies with where you live, but it's expensive around here.
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Matt

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