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Monday, September 12, 2011

"Are you saying that society should just let him die?"

Posted by on Mon, Sep 12, 2011 at 8:03 PM

The GOP base cheers for death. The answer to the question—"Are you saying society should just let him die?"—is, "YEAH!"

And what if it was a kid whose dad didn't have insurance that covered his dependents? And what if this man's kid wasn't insured not because dad didn't think that anyone in his family could ever get sick, but because dad lost his job and couldn't afford medical coverage and his daughter was diagnosed with childhood leukemia or badly burned in a fire? Let the kid die? Presumably the answer to that question is "YEAH!" as well. Followup question: toss some morphine the kid's way or let the kid die in agony?

The party of life, ladies and gentleman.


Comments (183) RSS

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michaelp 1
My optimism in America, of which there is plenty, is being chipped away by these debates.
Posted by michaelp on September 12, 2011 at 8:11 PM · Report this
Jennifer in Chicago 2
God, these fucking people make me sick.
Posted by Jennifer in Chicago on September 12, 2011 at 8:13 PM · Report this
KittenKoder 3
Actually, the "yeah's" in the background were more likely people against him cheering the tough question. Nice filtering though, it does make him look like a jerk, but a smart one. The problem with hypothetical questions, they are always corners. Like polls or statistics they are designed to get a specific answer.

I love these extremes, on one hand we have "let's give everyone the over inflated medical bills to pay for everyone else" on the other it's "let's not do anything but just require insurance" .... wait, I think only one of those is now in the works .... either way, whatever happened to the middle of the road, or in more medical terms, fixing the problem instead of the symptom?
Posted by KittenKoder on September 12, 2011 at 8:13 PM · Report this
laterite 4
Posted by laterite on September 12, 2011 at 8:13 PM · Report this
treefort 5
canada is so goddamn appealing right now.
Posted by treefort on September 12, 2011 at 8:13 PM · Report this
Change the way money works or you change nothing.
Posted by Spindles on September 12, 2011 at 8:14 PM · Report this
Catalina Vel-DuRay 7
Republicans are dreadful people. Sociopaths, mostly.

And michaelp, for what it's worth, just remember - the Tea Party is an invention of corporate marketing departments. There's no one who really believes in it, and poll after poll shows it to be less popular among Americans than either Atheists or Muslims.

And I don't think this debate is going to win them any friends, either.
Posted by Catalina Vel-DuRay on September 12, 2011 at 8:14 PM · Report this
laterite 8
What are you talking about, KK? The crowd starts cheering when he gets about three sentences into his answer.
Posted by laterite on September 12, 2011 at 8:16 PM · Report this
OutInBumF 9
@5- But oh, the COLD! Were it not for the cold, I'd've been there in 2001, after W was appointed.
"Party of Life", indeed.
Posted by OutInBumF on September 12, 2011 at 8:17 PM · Report this
KittenKoder 10
@8 PART of the crowd ... sheesh, you'd think that the only people that go to these things are all just blind supporters ... wait ... they are all blind supporters, just not all of the same "side".
Posted by KittenKoder on September 12, 2011 at 8:20 PM · Report this
Depends -- if the hypothetical man is a libertarian/teabagger, then hell yes, pull the plug.
Posted by FeralTurnip on September 12, 2011 at 8:23 PM · Report this
KittenKoder 12
@11 ... hmm, choose the side being honest about pulling your own, or choose people like you who pretend to care by giving everyone something but post such comments .... that's a no brainer, you are not helping your "side".
Posted by KittenKoder on September 12, 2011 at 8:25 PM · Report this
@12: Hey, I'm just concerned not to violate his moral integrity, is all.
Posted by FeralTurnip on September 12, 2011 at 8:27 PM · Report this
Last republican debate the crowd erupted in cheers for Rick Perry's death penalty record. This one they cheered the prospect of a poor person dying because they didn't have health-care. Next debate, they should just reenact the scene from Batman Begins where Liam Neeson orders Bruce Wayne to kill a thief. Wolf Blitzer should lead someone on stage and be like, this man is an illegal immigrant, he just got a DUI in an area where many innocent twelve year old girls live. What will you do to him?
Posted by Hosono on September 12, 2011 at 8:41 PM · Report this
KittenKoder 15
@13 Well, I'm not surprised at the callousness of opposition in any debate anymore, it's all Us Versus Them now, it's just realize that comments like that make you look the fool just as much because hypocrisy is one of the things many swing voters can't stand. ;) I tally them up, and vote which side has the fewest lies and hypocritical moments. So far, the Reps are winning this time. The idea is that since I have to vote for an extremist, may as well pick the one that's most honest about it.
Posted by KittenKoder on September 12, 2011 at 8:49 PM · Report this
Y.F. Redux 16
Yeah, you know what? In Somalia, the Tea-twats vision of heaven, doctors either work for cash or for charity and guess what? They get kidnapped by militias of poor people because there isn't enough medical care to go around.
Posted by Y.F. Redux on September 12, 2011 at 9:01 PM · Report this
It's funny, one of my tea party relatives was just explaining that the reason he can't support Ron Paul, in spite of agreeing with him on so many things, is due to Paul's isolationism. This means that it's not enough that he's just willing to let people die from neglect; to be manly enough for Republicans to vote for him, he needs to be actively seeking new people to bomb.
Posted by Proteus on September 12, 2011 at 9:04 PM · Report this
KittenKoder 18
@16 So you are all for letting the doctors control how much you have to spend on medical care, gotcha. As I say, I would rather they go after the problem instead of a bandage or pretending all is okay, but since I have to choose one failed ideal or the other, may as well be the more honest of the two. You do realize that Obama lies to, right? So does every Democrat, there is no real difference other than the masks they wear. If you want change, you will vote for Joe Plumber himself, not one of the princes who pander to him.
Posted by KittenKoder on September 12, 2011 at 9:07 PM · Report this
Mark in Colorado 19
To be a Republican you have to be a liar--it's a prerequisite and virtue for them. I have yet to meet one that I haven't found to be despicable. Now add ignorant, old, racist, antigay, misogynist, and white to the mix and you get a teabagger AKA rebranded rightwing social conservative POS.
Take their medicaid, medicare, and social security away from them--I'm sure they won't mind.
Posted by Mark in Colorado on September 12, 2011 at 9:09 PM · Report this
Just Jeff 20
Republicans: party of pig fuckers.
Posted by Just Jeff on September 12, 2011 at 9:13 PM · Report this
fucking mother fuckers.
Posted by neverbeenthere on September 12, 2011 at 9:15 PM · Report this
KittenKoder@3 Are you saying that the situation described in this "hypothetical" question is unlikely?
Posted by puddles on September 12, 2011 at 9:15 PM · Report this
Mark in Colorado 23

Poor pigs. I can only imagine the horrible diseases Republicans would transmit.
Posted by Mark in Colorado on September 12, 2011 at 9:19 PM · Report this
Remember when Andrew Sullivan pitched a hissy fit attempting to burnish his "conservative" credentials when Alan Grayson said that the Republican healthcare plan was "don't get sick" and if you do get sick "die quickly"? That literally is their plan, but saying so is mean mean mean and wrong wrong wrong and a disgrace to civil discourse etc.
Posted by fsb on September 12, 2011 at 9:19 PM · Report this
KittenKoder 25
@22 Where did I say that? I assert, as always, it would be better to make medical affordable without requiring a third party like insurance. Originally that's what Dems made it sound like they wanted, then they twisted, and eventually became "everyone has to now pay for insurance" .... That's far from making it affordable, that's just shifting the cost.
Posted by KittenKoder on September 12, 2011 at 9:22 PM · Report this
trstr 26

If being opposed to people who cheer on people dying because they're uninsured makes me an "us against them" kinda person, then you know what? I am proud to be against those nihilistic fucking assholes. I am totally against them, and I will fight them with whatever it takes.

As for the rest of your argument: That anyone is capable and serious of that reasoning scares the fuck out of me.
Posted by trstr on September 12, 2011 at 9:30 PM · Report this
@25 I'm assuming you are making an argument in favor of single payer healthcare/socialized medicine. I agree with you but the rest of your point about Obama lying and whatever the thing about Joe the Plumber is supposed to mean is just incoherent nonsense. Establishing a mandate to purchase health insurance in order to increase the pools of insured people and lower prices is not "less honest" than "letting people die". You have no idea if it is a "failed ideal [sic]" or not because it has never been attempted on the scale of the Affordable Care Act before.
Posted by fsb on September 12, 2011 at 9:40 PM · Report this
KittenKoder 28
@26 So it's better to make insurance affordable instead of making medical affordable ..... you do realize that's the same reasoning that go the housing loan problem started, right? Making the loans affordable but not the houses. It's trying to cure a symptom instead of fixing the problem. We don't need to allow Obama to make the medical industry worse just so he can make a profit off it.
Posted by KittenKoder on September 12, 2011 at 9:42 PM · Report this
KittenKoder 29
@27 Medicaid is a failure, and that was it's purpose, to insure the uninsurable, it failed because it could not do it, the rising costs of medicine has ruined it.
Posted by KittenKoder on September 12, 2011 at 9:45 PM · Report this
KittenKoder 30
Seriously, what logic has lead people to believe that insurance companies are setting the prices?
Posted by KittenKoder on September 12, 2011 at 9:46 PM · Report this
Max Solomon 31
i'd like to hear the rest of ron paul's answer. because most of that was dodging the question. the likely result: if the 30 year old lives, he gets a bill for 100K, and either pays for it the rest of his life, or declares bankruptcy and the hospital eats it.
Posted by Max Solomon on September 12, 2011 at 9:51 PM · Report this
trstr 32

I have no fucking clue what you're going on about.

I am talking about the fact that people cheered when Paul said "too bad" when presented with someone without health insurance. That is sick. That is totally and utterly inhuman.
Posted by trstr on September 12, 2011 at 9:52 PM · Report this
trstr 33

Gawker has the rest of Paul's response, which was that churches should and would pay for it.
Posted by trstr on September 12, 2011 at 9:56 PM · Report this
venomlash 34
I was in a social justice youth program a few years ago, and we spent a day figuring out a budget for a family of three whose parents worked minimum wage jobs. We found that the only way to have enough to eat, based on an admittedly pessimistic scenario, would be to not buy health insurance.
Fuck this screw-you-I've-got-mine bullshit.
Posted by venomlash on September 12, 2011 at 9:57 PM · Report this
Alanmt 35
SO, as kain has pointed out:

Debate 1: all candidates raise their hands when asked if they would torture someone.

Debate 2: audience cheers Perry's 200+ criminal executions

Debate 3: Audience cheers death of poor young man who can't afford insurance

What the hell level of depravity and inhumanity is left?
Posted by Alanmt on September 12, 2011 at 10:00 PM · Report this
The best part of this is that statistically, most of these people consider themselves Christians. Remember the part of the Bible where Jesus told the sick people to fuck off unless they could pay him?
Posted by Lmlk813 on September 12, 2011 at 10:00 PM · Report this
Max Solomon 37
@35: the hypothetical 30 year-old had a good job but was too cheap and immortal to pay for insurance. just the sort of thing that churches have spare cash to cover.
Posted by Max Solomon on September 12, 2011 at 10:08 PM · Report this
I think a lot of you missed the point, the question was not "What happened if a poor person without health insurance get sick ?" but "A wealthy young men decided not to take an insurance, instead buying a new TV, and then get sick, whout are we going to do ?".

And of course, it's way less controversial, after all why would you pay the health cost of someone who had the money but decided to get other things while at the same time, you worked hard to paid your own insurance ?

I think the question was dishonest and misleading, because everyone wanted to ear the real question (poor man who can't afford an insurance) and so interpreted wrongly the answers.

Ps : Bear in mind that a number of person are actually opting out of medicair and medicaid like the Amish for example, if they get sick, they are on their own.
Posted by Hipolyte on September 12, 2011 at 10:09 PM · Report this
@38 what an idiotic hypothetical question. Buying a "new TV" makes you wealthy? You can buy a 46" 1080p TV for about $750, which would not even buy you one month of family health insurance on your own, at least in New York. Maybe they should have made it "bought a Ferrari" which would of course never happen since the number of Ferrari owners without health insurance is almost definitely zero.
Posted by fsb on September 12, 2011 at 10:17 PM · Report this
Sargon Bighorn 40
GOD I so want to have a sex scandal with Perry AND Romney. Please dear GOD I will take both at once.
Posted by Sargon Bighorn on September 12, 2011 at 10:20 PM · Report this
@39 : I think you should watch the video and not just the headlines (shame on you Dan !), the questions clearly mention that the guy is "making a good living".

And I know you didn't watch the video, the TV part is mine ;-).
Posted by Hipolyte on September 12, 2011 at 10:24 PM · Report this
KittenKoder 42
@39 Bullshit:…

A $750 TV (more than I earn in a month) is enough for 10 months of health insurance in Washington state.
Posted by KittenKoder on September 12, 2011 at 10:26 PM · Report this
KittenKoder 43
@38 I think has the right idea.

Make healthcare affordable, don't just blindly attack health insurance. All the people who are attacking insurance companies must need mental hospitalization or some such. I thought "trickle down" tactics were already proven to fail, and that's exactly what going after insurance companies is, it's a trickle down theory, the worst kind. Again I ask, why is everyone so against affordable healthCARE?
Posted by KittenKoder on September 12, 2011 at 10:30 PM · Report this
schmacky 44
The theoretical 30-year-old in question has lived his life according to the same principles the teabaggers espouse -- he made a CHOICE not to get health care. No mandates, etc.

And yet when the "should society let him die" question gets asked, they scream YEAH! with a kind of righteous anger, like the poor bastard had it coming somehow. What did he do to make them so angry? What inspired the bloodlust? I'll tell you what: The idea of somebody being left to die stirs up their primitive Randian juices and they can't suppress a yalp of approval. They're barbarians who simply don't believe in society...they'd rather we all go back to feudalism where our plutocratic masters reign supreme and everyone else lives in a hovel with dirt floors and slaughters chickens for food (if they're lucky), because at least then we'll be free, Free, FREE!!!

Gross. Really. Fucking. Gross.
Posted by schmacky on September 12, 2011 at 10:33 PM · Report this
in-frequent 45
FWIW, at the very end of the clip, paul answers with a "no" despite the few cheers of "yeah" that can be heard.
Posted by in-frequent on September 12, 2011 at 10:43 PM · Report this
I was expecting to hear Perry offer to sign the execution order for the hypothetical 30 yr. old without health insurance. The audience would have whipped themselves into a frenzy of orgasmic & epic proportions.
Posted by TampaDink on September 12, 2011 at 10:45 PM · Report this
This is why I can no longer speak to my relatives in Arizona.
Posted by StuckInUtah on September 12, 2011 at 10:45 PM · Report this
KittenKoder 48
@45 I think the cheers were for the question being asked, the timing and sound of them seem more likely to be those opposing him proud to see such a question asked then .... well ... shock at his "no" ensues. ;) But shh ... let the blind supporters of the opposition continue to spew their own hatred, at least they're finally getting it in the open.
Posted by KittenKoder on September 12, 2011 at 10:47 PM · Report this
mikethehammer 49

I work for Blue Cross/Blue Shield and certainly don't condone the blind attacks on insurance companies. And I think most (or at least quite a few) would agree with you in theory that the best way to resolve the problem would be to make care affordable. But to do so you're going to need to also address the entire secondary education system, among countless other things.

A huge chunk of the rising cost of care is directly attributable to those providers paying off several hundred thousand dollars worth of student loans. "Obamacare" (ugh) actually has several cost control measures built directly into it as a central tenet of it's foundation (in addition to the mandate, no doubt.)

Yeah, I think you may just be a tiny bit naive or ignorant as to what "affordable healthCARE" which again, I'm fully in support of, would actually entail in attaining.
Posted by mikethehammer on September 12, 2011 at 10:49 PM · Report this
It is not one bit more appallingly, disgustingly inhumane to believe that an uninsured person should die than it is to believe that peasants in Afghanistan should die in order for us to feel safe.

Obama and the Democrats believe that innocent peasants in Afghanistan (and Pakistan and Yemen and Somalia) need to die in order for Americans to feel safe from terrorism.

People who support Obama and complain about the inhumanity of Republicans need to take the planks out of their eyes.
Posted by LJM on September 12, 2011 at 10:54 PM · Report this
KittenKoder 51
Oh look, a real; plan:… Sorry, I'm siding with the T-Party now on this issue, period. FYI, Tea party isn't a real party, it's a group of people who are swing voters, yep, the swing voter population has gotten that big, large enough to organize. But the blinders on everyone have not allowed you to accept this. After a bit of research I now understand why they are supporting mostly Republicans, yep, I watched the debate, that little clip is disingenuous, though the Reps use such tactics as well, I thought you'd be above that Dan, I really did.
Note, most of the audience is Republican, not Tea Party, again, nice try to spin. So threatened by swing voters organizing that the Democrats are stooping to this level? Not to mention, Paul saying he wants to legalize alternative healthcare, what's wrong with that? One thing I hate, is people telling me what I can or cannot spend money on, period, they are not but Democrats are, and it's an expense that I should have complete control over. "Single payer" is "here's your insurance, deal with it" ... with alternative plans you can pick and choose, but most importantly, you need to cut the actual cost of medicine, single payer does NOT address the cost of healthcare, it's a bandaid, bandaids only cover the wound, they don't heal it.
Posted by KittenKoder on September 12, 2011 at 11:06 PM · Report this
Abortions for some.....miniature American flags for others!
Posted by Spindles on September 12, 2011 at 11:08 PM · Report this
There was also a huge cheer when Rick Perry talked about being for capital punishment, when there's pretty good evidence that some innocent people have been put to death under him. I'm agnostic and pro choice, but I've read the new testament, and I can't understand how anyone could possibly cheer on death in this way and call themselves either Christian or pro life
Posted by waiguoren on September 12, 2011 at 11:12 PM · Report this
@42 Where does $750 get 10 months of health insurance? If you can show me how someone can get health insurance for $75 a month I know people who really need to buy it. (In all seriousness; no snark intended.) When I was not working my Cobra rate was over closer to $400 than to $300 a month, individual only.
Posted by Crafty on September 12, 2011 at 11:16 PM · Report this
KittenKoder 55
@49 That is a good point, and one issue I really wish someone would pick up. The education system is completely fucked, and not going to be an easy fix, mostly because the requirements for jobs are really skewed. New doctors, fresh out of school, no matter how much study, don't do nearly as good as doctors who have been through less school but have more time practicing. I have had to deal with both, and strangely it was a med student doctor (intern?) who was at the emergency room that actually saved my life, indirectly, he diagnosed my problem correctly, I went to a different hospital to get a truly experienced surgeon to do the procedure, and he did his best (though now I have a huge scar thanks to the failed doctors delaying treatment before the med student). Honestly, until this happened to me, I didn't care, I was able to pay for my medications that I take and it was all "they'll figure it out for me" ... but after this I saw the bill ... which shows what was covered by Medicaid, I wasn't angry with my out of pocket expenses, I was pissed at what Medicaid had to pay for. Many of the costs were not even because of the doctors, they are regulated by the hospital's administration, and were really inflated beyond anything I had seen. All the products I buy at home already, they were charging up to ten times the amount I pay (I'm picky about brands and products), food was over charged, glad I ate light. I know it's not all the doctors directly, but I'm lazy and typing medical administration all the time is just too much effort. ;) The other problem is the frivolous lawsuits, "oh, a doctor had to chop off my dick to save my life? I'm ruined, let's sue!" Seriously, stupid, or the people that go in for elective surgeries and sue because they change their minds afterward. My whole point is that it's not as simple as blaming health insurance, they are the middle men, that's like blaming the sale's person for the shipping costs. It's not going to solve anything.
Posted by KittenKoder on September 12, 2011 at 11:16 PM · Report this
ForkyMcSpoon 56
@15 I assume you're talking about the presidential race... you have to vote for an extremist? Obama is an extremist?

He's so extreme that he passed a health care bill essentially like the first proposed by the GOP during the 90s health care debate. He's so extreme that he's continuing the wars we were already in. He's so extreme he wanted to, but ultimately did not,, raise the top marginal tax rate a couple percent.

If you think that both sides are extremists then you're a perfect demonstration of how ridiculously skewed the perspectives of many Americans are. If you think Obama's an extremist, you reveal yourself as not a swing voter just trying to innocently decide between two parties, but as a conservative partisan who views anything left of center-right to be leftist extremism.
Posted by ForkyMcSpoon on September 12, 2011 at 11:17 PM · Report this
Paul Pearson 57
I guess the Tea Party's changed their minds about death panels.
Posted by Paul Pearson on September 12, 2011 at 11:18 PM · Report this

Paul is full of shit. He answers no but then listen to his response. He basically says that charities and his family should cover his medical costs. First, that does not relate in any way to his mantra of personal responsibility. Second, his answer is a pipe dream. When will these magical charities materialize? And what if the hypothetical patient is not the spawn of millionaires? We're talking about a hypothetical patient that required 6 months of intensive care, that's hundreds of thousands of dollars of medical costs.

Blitzer's question was terribly phrased and exactly what I'd expect from that moronic empty suit, but even within the confines of his ridiculous hypothetical, Paul's response was despicable.

Private-run, insurance-based health care is a disaster. Insurance companies get a percentage of the cost of the health care they provide. So not only do they have no incentive to control costs, they actually have an incentive to see cost of medical care increase. It's not like they pay for the increase. They just raise premiums.

And to you Kitten Kooder or whatever the fuck your name is, to say that Republicans and Democrats are all just liars and pretty much the same means you are either stupid, dishonest or both. I'm all for single-payer, government-run healthcare, and the reason Obama and the Democrats did not propose that idea is that they know the Republicans would not only prevent them from passing such a plan but also paint them as evil, baby-killing, pinko, commie, homo-fascist, pedophile horse fuckers for even suggesting it.

BTW, KK, saying that $750 would buy an individual 10 months of health insurance in Washington suggests that you do not understand how the health insurance works. Not everyone pays the same premium . It varies based on age, medical history and health-risk factors. A healthy 30 year old with no history of illness might pay $75 (though I doubt it), but one with a chronic condition or a history of illness would pay a great deal more.
Posted by mshawn on September 12, 2011 at 11:22 PM · Report this
KittenKoder 59
@54 the links I posted, the first one shows a quoted price depending on the auto-detection of your region. While quoted prices are not usually what you pay, it's the bare minimum price, and it's $71 a month here in Washington. Because of the healthcare costs many insurance companies will add based on current problems, to cover the most probable costs of care for things like chronic illness and such so others who are healthy do not have to pay more. This is only one of the many links I saw though, with a Google search: .... but the $71 would be likely based on such a scenario as they are touting, thus why I said it, again, the actual cost for someone not in perfect health is likely to be more, and it's logical as to why. Here's a nice "guide" like website:… That may help better.
Posted by KittenKoder on September 12, 2011 at 11:23 PM · Report this
ForkyMcSpoon 60
@51 And here we go, I see that I was correct in assessing you as a conservative partisan posing as a swing voter. It's just Republican rebranding, nothing more. The Tea Party is not swing voters, it is not previously apolitical people, it is not bipartisan.

A survey, done both in 2006 and 2011 finds that despite the Tea Party's origin story of being a grassroots organization of non-partisan, previously apolitical people who are just angered by what they were seeing, the most important predictor of being a Tea Partier or viewing the Tea Party favorably is BEING A POLITICALLY ACTIVE, PARTISAN REPUBLICAN.

(Not only that, but they also are more likely to dislike blacks and immigrants, imagine that!)…

The Tea Party is not the middle, and the fact that you would even think it was just shows you for the conservative partisan you are, not the wide-eyed, undecided swing voter you portray yourself as.
Posted by ForkyMcSpoon on September 12, 2011 at 11:24 PM · Report this
KittenKoder 61
@56 Many people supported Obama because he claimed he wouldn't, I knew different so I didn't support him myself. Now I get to gloat and say "told you so" ... I hate saying that because it's getting old, I've said it so much so often lately I'm just going to say this: He wasn't what you thought because no one paid enough attention.

Also, just because he's not hanging people, doesn't mean he's not an extremist.
Posted by KittenKoder on September 12, 2011 at 11:26 PM · Report this

'Dan' did watch the video, and conciously chose to lie about it and post an out of context version of the question and answer per usual Stanger 'journalistic' standards.

This is the modus operandi. Read only leftist propanda. Twist even the facts presented by those propandandists farther left. Finally, post a headline which lies even about the misleading 'facts' in the blog posting.

And all of you went into full progressive reaction. That is, believe the obvious lie about the issue despite even the wording of the source of your deviant messiah. Then get all weepy about the consequences of the lie, which never happen in real life. Then blame Republicans for the lie you told in the first place. For reference, see Alan Grayson lying about 40,000 deaths through no health insurance. Or lying about what an opponent for the legislative seat he lost said about the role of women in a marriage. Maybe Grayson is as pathological as Savage, but I don't think that quite clinically possible.

Why anyone should believe anything any progressive says or writes, ever, is simply bewildering to me.
Posted by Seattleblues on September 12, 2011 at 11:28 PM · Report this
KittenKoder 63
@60 But you are ignoring their questions, did you not watch the debate at all? I base my judgments on actions, not words. I know, that's a little old fashioned but meh. As for polls, I have said this a million times, polls don't show shit, they are bias ... and to quote Penn "Fuck you Luntz" .... seriously, don't show me a poll, show me what they do and say. Also, I didn't say middle, I said swing voters, there are new swing voters every day, the large influx of Republicans disappointed because of the Bush era have joined the swing voter population, swing voter doesn't mean moderate or middle of the road, it means someone who is not committed to a party, someone who is not blindly following a politician, someone who chooses issues not faces.
Posted by KittenKoder on September 12, 2011 at 11:32 PM · Report this
Actually, it's almost comical really, how very bad at lying progressives are.

It's kind of like when my daughter was small and would take chocolate chip cookies without asking. 'Did you take a cookie?' we'd ask. No (fingers smeared with melted chocolate, mouth lined with cookie crumbs) she'd say with an innocent expression.

Only, when a little girl does it, it's cute even when you have to make them aware of the consequences of dishonesty.

Maybe that's whats wrong with progressives. Your parents never told you that 'truth' and 'falsehood' are actually a bit different.
Posted by Seattleblues on September 12, 2011 at 11:32 PM · Report this
KittenKoder 65
@62 While I do not like this "reporting" on the debate myself, the "rightwing" folks have done the same thing on many occasions, do not be fooled by my pointing out the flaws in their approach, I do not agree with much of what Republicans do or say, just in the healthcare issue they have much better answers. Though this doesn't mean much until after they are in office, healthcare is a big thing to me now. So careful not to get all high and mighty there, the rightists have not acted much better, nor have they been much help either.
Posted by KittenKoder on September 12, 2011 at 11:36 PM · Report this
ForkyMcSpoon 66
@63 And here comes the rejection of science.

If you can show me that you understand the statistics behind random sampling and that you understand what a confidence interval and a margin of error are and how they can be calculated and how they relate to the size of the population you're sampling, I'll take your opinion seriously. Your rejection of the study because it is a study is noted and ignored as kneejerk defensiveness.

You're not a swing voter if there's no realistic chance of you voting for the Democrats. People who are disillusioned with the GOP establishment but who are still very strong GOP partisans (they show their displeasure by voting in primaries, not by voting for Democrats) are not swing voters by any normal definition.
Posted by ForkyMcSpoon on September 12, 2011 at 11:40 PM · Report this
ForkyMcSpoon 67
@66 That should read "your rejection of the study because it is a survey"

If you have a substantive objection to the study rather than "polls and surveys are meaningless dur dur dur", such as a critique of methodology (you know, something based in science), please make it.
Posted by ForkyMcSpoon on September 12, 2011 at 11:44 PM · Report this
KittenKoder 68
@67 Seriously? You really believe that interpreting answers to a survey can tell you what people think? I suppose you support other forms of profiling as well, perhaps skin color can determine the chances of committing crime to? Same logic, same science. I do not denounce science, I prefer it, but real science, and psychology is NOT a science, it's a guess, nothing more. Polls and surveys are also not science for one reason, a rather scientific reason really, the outcomes are altered by the presence of the viewer, even if the viewer (as unlikely as it is) does not interject their own bias.
Posted by KittenKoder on September 12, 2011 at 11:48 PM · Report this
KittenKoder 69
Wait! I get it, keep attacking the messenger to try to break them down to your level and say something stupid like "I wish they would die just so they'd shut up" .... nice tactic there, won't work with me, I'll keep spreading the word that the medical industry, not the insurance industry, is the problem, and since it's catching on, I'll keep doing it until even the stupid ignorant people who wish the other "side" dead will finally get it, of course that means you'd have to need hospitalization and see the whole bill, but I don't want you to have to go through the suffering I did, I want you to use your heads, think about it, follow the money, as someone once said. Make some real change that will stick and work instead of a quick fix or bandaid that will fall apart in a few years. Stop feeling happy about bullshit politicians hand you and start thinking for yourselves, all of you on both "sides", for once in your life, do some digging because it would suck if you all had to go through the shit I did just to learn your lesson.
Posted by KittenKoder on September 12, 2011 at 11:56 PM · Report this
@59 That insurance quote ($75) must be for someone exactly like the scenario presented (30 yrs old, male). I went to your links and the cheapest quote I got was $175. It only asks age, gender, and zip code, not state of health (aside from a smoking question). So I'm guessing there are very few people who could actually find insurance for $75
Posted by Little Brown Hen on September 13, 2011 at 12:03 AM · Report this
Neptune 71
@36 Thank you for making my night!
Posted by Neptune on September 13, 2011 at 12:08 AM · Report this
ForkyMcSpoon 72
@68 Yes, I do think so. Because I understand math (specifically statistics) and science.

You clearly do not understand how statistical sampling works or the theoretical underpinnings. Yet you feel that you are qualified to dismiss it as not "real science".

Bias introduced by the interviewer is an important issue and one that pollsters and social scientists think about deeply. It is, however, not one that you have thought about deeply and the fact that you dismiss all polls based on your shoddy reasoning shows this. It would be something you could bring up, if you looked into the methodology and could identify some substantive problem with how the researchers conducted their interviews. Instead you embrace ignorance. The fact that you refer to this as "psychology" just reveals how deep your ignorance is.

Get an education and return when you know something. In the meantime, you'd do better to refrain from commenting on polls unless you want every statistically literate person to think you're a twit.
Posted by ForkyMcSpoon on September 13, 2011 at 12:08 AM · Report this
KittenKoder 73
Actually, Forky, I do understand math quite well, I also understand that the wording of a question can alter the answer much more than you seem to want to admit. Look more into Frank Luntz's story, it sort of explains it all pretty clearly. Profiling is considered a psychological science, so stop being such a card, okay. Polls and surveys are nothing more than lies fabricated by the pollsters, period, anyone who thinks otherwise is really naive. Here's the perfect example:…
Posted by KittenKoder on September 13, 2011 at 12:17 AM · Report this
horatiocain 74
Kitten, I think you should examine the memes that reside in your brain and maybe flush a few of them. Please ask yourself why you're towing the line on this thread, and if you have in fact been infected by the Ron Paul Apologist Meme.
Posted by horatiocain on September 13, 2011 at 12:19 AM · Report this
KittenKoder 75
Actually no, I was deluded by the Democrats before. ;) sorely mislead, and that opened my eyes on a lot of things. I'm not "towing the line" here, I'm explaining the details, I know you don't like details, you just want to go vote for your "side" and feel good about it, but here's the problem, medical care costs too much ... what's the solution? You can't really expect to solve this by throwing more money at it, here's what the doctors will think "oh, now they'll give us money, let's raise the prices and see if we can get more of it." ... that's what they did, they'll do it again. But tell me, would you pay $10 for one adult diaper? I sure hope not, because if you will, I'll sell you my used coffee maker for $20 ....
Posted by KittenKoder on September 13, 2011 at 12:24 AM · Report this
KittenKoder 76
The irony here is that I had no clue, no idea what Republicans were saying on this until today, of course you all probably don't believe that since you are so use to lying you can't trust anyone else either. But yeah, thanks for showing me who is really smarter on healthCARE.
Posted by KittenKoder on September 13, 2011 at 12:27 AM · Report this
According to ehealthinsurance I (45, female, non-smoker) can get insurance for $146 a month - with a $10,000 deductible and 50% coverage.

Now, on the subject of what kind of irresponsible employed people might run around without health insurance...

Let's say I'm a day care teacher, I make $10 an hour and do not have employer-based health coverage. So, for catastrophic coverage I'm shelling out $1752, or 8.5% of my gross pay.
Scenario 1 - no use. I've been pretty healthy and I hate the doctor anyway. $0 on medical care. The $1752 is not looking like a good deal.
Scenario 2 - minimal use. I see the doctor once for routine care and once for the flu, bronchitis, a UTI - something mundane. Total doctor bills - about $400, labs $100, plus 2 prescriptions, maybe $50. Total doctor visits about $600, insurance pays $0, total health insurance $1752. Still not looking so good.
Scenario 3 - I take a regular medication which keeps me healthy, happy and capable of being employed. The $150/month for my meds leave me pretty poor, but it works for the depression, keeping the breast cancer from coming back, minimizing my MS symptoms or managing my diabetes, whatever the case may be. No way am I spending all that money on insurance which won't cover prescriptions anyway.
Scenario 4 - I break my leg. Damn, that is expensive, but not over the $10,000 deductible. Now I'm out $5000 for the leg and $1752 for the insurance.
Scenario 5 - catastrophe strikes. Brain cancer treatment $50k - $750k or breast cancer $50k - $100k, hit by a car - $0 (instant death) to more than I will make in a lifetime, heart attack with bypass surgery - $60k...Basically no matter how you slice it bankruptcy or charity care are looking like the only options. From my point of view being buried under a debt of 5 years salary or 100 years salary is about the same to me. But at least I wasn't irresponsibly running around without health insurance!

Posted by Crafty on September 13, 2011 at 12:50 AM · Report this
KittenKoder 78
Found it, proof that I was the first to say it, and was attacked for even suggesting it by not only Democrat followers, but also Republicans .... thus why I wasn't supporting them until now. ;)…
Posted by KittenKoder on September 13, 2011 at 12:51 AM · Report this
KittenKoder 79
@77 Thanks for doing the math to prove my point.
Posted by KittenKoder on September 13, 2011 at 12:59 AM · Report this
@56 - The moment KittenKoder said the tea party is a group of "swing voters" (#51) he gave himself away. (Pretty sure it's a he.)

Of course he's not a swing voter either. He, like Joe the Plumber, is a poseur.

Silvio Levy
Posted by codairem on September 13, 2011 at 1:01 AM · Report this
KittenKoder 81
Let's do a little poll, do you believe that medical costs are too high?
Posted by KittenKoder on September 13, 2011 at 1:01 AM · Report this
KittenKoder 82
@80 Nice assumption, but you are wrong on all of it. ;)
Posted by KittenKoder on September 13, 2011 at 1:09 AM · Report this
HelpMeJebus 83
@58, Kitten Koder is indeed an idiot.

One of these new-breed libertardarian computer programmer types that watches too many clips, and assumes that because there are some stupid laws enforced by society (war on drugs, etc.), that being an Ayn Rand sociopath is acceptable.
Posted by HelpMeJebus on September 13, 2011 at 1:14 AM · Report this
pissy mcslogbot 84
Sure the Tea Party Volk are swing voters... they swing all the way from to far right to the extreme right.
Posted by pissy mcslogbot on September 13, 2011 at 1:15 AM · Report this
KittenKoder 85
@83 .... more assumptions, this is just too awesome. Actually, I don't like the war on drugs only because it costs too much money. Don't know this Rand person but if you hate them so much they can't be that bad. Libertarian ... I agree with some of their views, but I don't know many of them anyway so can't deny or acknowledge. I really don't pay much attention to politics anymore because, well, none of the politicians have kept their promise. But here's the thing, why are you so against making doctors do what's "right"? Why do you like handing them money for shit they don't even do half the time? Why do you support the medical CORPORATIONS ... thought corporations were the evil to many people on here, well, doctors are businesses. Health care should not be a business, it should be a public service, but no, you want insurance to be a public service and healthcare to remain a greedy business. Seriously, I;m not even twisting logic here, that's what you are saying. If I am an idiot, that makes people who don't understand who's really ripping them off complete morons ... or is it Mormons ... I can't tell the difference anymore.
Posted by KittenKoder on September 13, 2011 at 1:22 AM · Report this
KittenKoder 86
@84 They are the swing voters who fell from the Republican supporters, so of course many still hold Republican views but you see, they are smart enough to see their politicians lying to them, yet ironically the Democrat supporters don't want to see it.
Posted by KittenKoder on September 13, 2011 at 1:24 AM · Report this
pissy mcslogbot 87
You know, the Koch brothers AstroTurf leaves a mighty painful rugburn...
Posted by pissy mcslogbot on September 13, 2011 at 1:34 AM · Report this
KittenKoder 89
@87 ... again, I have said it before anyone else, doctors have been ripping us off.
Posted by KittenKoder on September 13, 2011 at 1:43 AM · Report this
Kitten, I agree, medical costs are too high. Moreover, they are growing at an unsustainable rate. What I have not seen is any evidence that Republican proposals or policies are going to address either current costs or projected growth in cost. Please explain.

Health care constitutes a much higher share of GDP in the US than in any other nation on the planet, yet we have outcomes notably worse than dozens of nations. If nothing else, this is a competitive disadvantage for our nation, and it concerns me greatly.

Virtually every nation that gets more bang-for-buck in health spending has universal coverage. How do Republican proposals give us this 1-2-3 combination of increasing coverage while improving outcomes while reducing costs? And which existing model most closely approximates the outcome that you, and Republican proposals, hope to achieve? Name a country, state or entity that you suggest emulating, please.

I agree with Bernie Sanders that the best solution is, essentially, Medicare for all: everyone has basic and catastrophic coverage, while 'gap' coverage for deductibles and extras would be a marketplace for private insurers, as is the case for seniors currently covered by Medicare.

What, again, is the Republican approach that you believe would be better than this, and would result in the improved outcomes for lower cost that I'm sure we all agree would be desirable?
Posted by Functional Atheist on September 13, 2011 at 2:33 AM · Report this
KittenKoder 91
@90 They address the actual cost of healthcare in their debate, it's oddly the only reason I would consider voting for them at all really, most of the other issues I disagree with completely and wholeheartedly. But they're looking at it from an angle that would yield better results for everyone. If the Democrats would at least consider looking at the this angle I would just abstain from voting until they made at least a promise to fix it. but so far all the Democrats and their supporters are still looking at insurance, which changing that will fix nothing. But here's the biggest flaw, comparing other countries to us, it simply doesn't work like that, all countries have unique economies and even more unique people. As I said, it's that they are taking my side now, a complaint I made almost 10 years ago (though I only found a two year old post that wasn't the first time I mentioned it). I have no real plan, that's what politicians are suppose to be paid to do (instead of standing around bickering or partying). We can't know what any politician will do until they get into office, because too many people lie these days, something that really pisses me off and why I generally despise all politicians, but one can hope they do. All of the Republican candidates have said that "the problem is the cost of health care, not health insurance" ... we know this is true. What I don't get is why Democrat supporters are being so snotty about that.

For me though, the cost isn't even something that actually impacts me directly, I get Medicaid (what little it covers now) and everyone else pays most of my bills, I'd rather just pay in cash but no one can afford to do that right now. But my biggest problem is the doctors are getting away with not treating people, this bothers and worries me. The major medical need I had was ignored by doctors for a long time, I honestly bought their whole "it's in your head" diagnosis at first because I didn't want to deal with surgery. Turns out it wasn't in my head and the delay almost killed me. Now I have another medical issue that's not even being looked at again, getting the "it's all in your head" response and this time with no tests at all (I mean at least doing the wrong tests gave the illusion they were trying). So yeah, what I really want is for them to start doing their jobs, one way is to hit them where it hurts, their pocket books. But since we can't do a "you only pay if they actually do something" just lower the costs so we can see more of them until one of them does do something, or at least let them realize we aren't taking their bullshit anymore as patients. Also, stopping the stupid lawsuits, I already mentioned those, recently a few have been stopped by the courts, a good trend but barely a beginning.

I don't suggest emulating anyone, I suggest doing something new, trying something that hasn't been tried. Every country has problems with their medical care, and each problem is different, but one commonality is that many other countries tell doctors what they can charge, instead of just giving them more money. It's also the only avenue that hasn't been looked at until recently, and I'm saddened that it was the Republicans who are saying it now, I really am. I had hopes for the Democrats at one time, but shit like this is making me lose all hope for them.
Posted by KittenKoder on September 13, 2011 at 2:51 AM · Report this
KittenKoder 92
@90 Also, that kind of insurance idea of Bernie Sanders', that actually sounds good to, but we would still need to find some way to curb the costs for it to work. Medicaid is falling apart only because there isn't enough money to cover anything (thanks to politicians for part of it but also rising costs).
Posted by KittenKoder on September 13, 2011 at 2:54 AM · Report this
Andy Niable 93
Ladies and Gentleman: the Tea Party has just turned into the Soylent-Green Party...
Posted by Andy Niable on September 13, 2011 at 4:10 AM · Report this
Just Jeff 94
Blitzer was also well out of touch thinking that health insurance is "$200-300 per month".
Posted by Just Jeff on September 13, 2011 at 4:17 AM · Report this
KittenKoder 95
@94 For some people it is.
Posted by KittenKoder on September 13, 2011 at 4:25 AM · Report this
Frau Blucher 96
The way I see it, and this is strictly from my point of view, the question was posed incorrectly for us progressives. The question was presented as a person, with a good income that 'willfully' rejects the purchasing of healthcare insurance. The question should have been presented as 'a working poor family/person who could not afford healthcare insurance." It would have been interesting to see the results of the crowd and/or the candidate. It's the working poor that I believe we progressives are concerned about.

On a side note, I realize it's a 'free' country and all, but Jesus, this 'KittenKode' dude prattles on incessantly on every thread he/she posts. Practically dominating the whole conversation. And, upon reviewing the time frame of posts, I want whatever drugs 'kittenkoder' is on that could keep me posting from 8pm to 4:30am.

Okay, I'm done.
Posted by Frau Blucher on September 13, 2011 at 5:24 AM · Report this
Griffin 97
Oh, dear KK. You not only fail to understand how statistics work, but you seem to fail to understand how insurance pooling works, either. You are falling into the trap of "it's cheap for me, so ergo it's cheap for everyone," aka over generalizing.

I get your convoluted points, I really do. Education is undervalued and has been for a long time, hence it's expensive to get a specialized advanced education, like a medical degree. And there's no easy way to get someone staring down a $250K debt to take a job that pays $50K or less (which is why there's so few GPs in rural areas). I get that you're pissed that healthcare is expensive--it is so for a multitude of reasons, most of which are not as simple as you would like them to be. And you're far from the first person to look at a poll, see your group represented in the responses, and say "but that's not what I think! poling bias! statistics are lies!"


Not everyone is an 18 year old non-smoker. And yes, under a traditional insurance market, such a person would have very low premiums, mostly due to a lack of utilization of healthcare. But, those premiums (and the actuarial tables showing the low risk for insuring these pool members) are to offset the multitude of people like my parents (late 50s), and that low introductory rate will rise as you get older. That's the pool effect. Unless you plan to join the Forever 27 club or have perhaps found a source of immortal youth, you will get older, probably sicker, and ergo riskier and more expensive to insure. Run your parents' numbers through your online calculator and see what a good deal they'll get. And no, health insurance isn't identical to car insurance, in that you can't choose not to age but you can choose not to ride Motocross.

And yes, one can create misleading polling questions, but that's not the case in the poll that you're complaining about. Statistical sampling isn't the problem here. It seems to be that you're surprised researchers saw hoofprints and found horses, not zebras.
Posted by Griffin on September 13, 2011 at 5:28 AM · Report this
Cato the Younger Younger 98
"Today's GOP: Not as clever as the Nazi's but they're trying!"
Posted by Cato the Younger Younger on September 13, 2011 at 6:04 AM · Report this
KittenKoder 101
@96 No drugs, I have insomnia ... oddly a symptom of depression .... I don't like sleep meds so I just weather through it. While it does make me slightly ranty, it also makes me highly productive and ideal for monitoring web servers, not my chosen profession but it's what my skills and disability allow me to do. ;)
Posted by KittenKoder on September 13, 2011 at 6:50 AM · Report this
Is it widely known in the United States that your healthcare system is very unusual in the First World, and that 'socialized medicine' is more the norm?
Posted by James Hutchings on September 13, 2011 at 6:59 AM · Report this
@29, you said "Medicaid is a failure, and that was it's purpose, to insure the uninsurable, it failed because it could not do it, the rising costs of medicine has ruined it."

I always find it interesting when people call Medicaid and Social Security failures. These programs have been successful for 46 years. Social Security, without any changes would continue to be successful for another 40 years and with minimal tweaking could be around forever. If Republicans hadn't stolen from the lockbox it wouldn't even need tweaking. Medicare needs a more substantial overhaul but it can be saved.

Now, in comparison, almost 80% of businesses fail in the first year. Somewhere around 2% of businesses last 50 years or more. So, if Medicare & SS were in the private sector they would be among the longest lasting most successful businesses of all time. Please explain exactly how they are a failure?

Also @101 (same person) you should consider St Johns Wort for the depression and Valerian Root for the sleep issues. Valerian Root just calms the mind and allows you to sleep normally and doesn't have the kind of side effects of most sleep aids. I use it sometimes when I'm stressed. Even if you've taken it you will still be able to wake up quickly if you get a server alert.

Of course, if you had good insurance (maybe universal health care?) you could see a good therapist who could help you work through your issues. They might be able to help you with your depression and Republicanism.
Posted by Root on September 13, 2011 at 7:20 AM · Report this
Max Solomon 104
@102: no. 'Merkins are afraid of the word Socialism, so they refuse to consider it, or learn what it means. even though they love its benefits: fire dept., police dept., roads, functioning water and sewer systems. it took the wealthy conservatives of this country 100 years of ceaseless propaganda to get to the place where, for instance, a disabled web server monitor making <$9000/yr. is reflexively against their own interests because the solutions can be construed as Socialism.
Posted by Max Solomon on September 13, 2011 at 7:59 AM · Report this
The Tea Party are swing voters? Not likely, by and large they've never voted for a non Republican. They're a sub set of the Republicans like the Bull Moose Party 100 years ago. The difference being that the Bull Moose Party were the more sane members who got frustrated with the increasingly nutty policies of the main GOP. The main stream GOP, such as it is, worries not that Tea Partiers will vote for Democrats but that they won't vote at all. Medicare, Medicaide, and SS have been huge sucesses by any rational standard, they might not last forever but nothing ever does.
Posted by MikeB on September 13, 2011 at 8:03 AM · Report this
puppydogtails 106
Lapsed Catholic here, seconding the commenters mentioning Christianity. I simply don't understand how these people can believe in Jesus and his message, then scream for people to die on the electric chair or because they didn't buy health insurance. This is not Christianity. Maybe it's an evangelical or pentecostal thing. Are those denominations more vengeance and anger based?
Posted by puppydogtails on September 13, 2011 at 8:07 AM · Report this
venomlash 107
Okay, ladies and gentlemen, I have identified what is wrong with this thread. Of the 106 posts here in front of me, 35 were written by KittenKoder. NEARLY ONE THIRD JUST BY ONE PERSISTENT BOBBLEHEAD.
Posted by venomlash on September 13, 2011 at 8:17 AM · Report this
sobecool 109
Kitten, I agree with you about the need to control medical costs, not just the cost of insurance itself and how much they must cover; but you competley lose me on your sympathy for the Tea Party. Really think over what you are suggesting. The need to control costs (how much doctors and hospital, et al, charge for their services) can only be handled and enforced through the hand of government agencies. In other words, they must be told the max that they can charge. In other-other words, GOVERNMENT REGULATION. Correct me if I'm wrong, but isn't that something the Tea Party explicitly rails against?

I mean, the nice folks sign waving on the street and what not decried the very notion that the government wanted regulate the health insurance industry, which makes billions upon billions of dollars in profit each year acting as a gate keeper between the patient and their doctors. Can you imagine what the Tea Party folks would have screamed if the healthcare bill included cost control measures directly imposed on doctors and healthcare providers?
Posted by sobecool on September 13, 2011 at 8:30 AM · Report this
sobecool 110
@ 104 is correct. Amreicans are afraid of the word socialism. Better yet, american politicians are afraid of being labeled with that word as if it were a dirty word. Even though one of our longest lasting, most succesful entitlement prgrams has the word SOCIAL in it, and the fact that most seniors would kill the first-born child of any politician who tries to tamper with it, socialism is not part of the vocabulary of a patriotic american... Unless he/she is using it to call out an opposing politician who has ideas about expanding healthcare to cover anyone/everyone by spreading the cost out over everyone, sick and healthy, rich and poor, young and old alike. Which is just like what we do with our public school system, or our enormous militairy, or our border patrol and transportation security people, or our police and fire, or our... oh never mind. Its not socialism when taxes pay for all those things. Its only socialism when poor people get to go to the doctor for free, I guess.
Posted by sobecool on September 13, 2011 at 8:43 AM · Report this
Kevin_BGFH 111
I would be curious if Ron Paul's answer would be different for an unemployed man with no insurance versus an employed (the question didn't say wealthy) man. But if so, how does he parse it? How does he explain how to treat them differently?

Also, where in the country can you get 10 months of real health insurance for $750? In San Francisco, you can sign up for Healthy SF to get basic coverage for less than that, but that's only because it's government subsidized which everyone on that panel opposes. I now have insurance through my work. My share of the costs is over $300 a month -- and that's just my share. The total is almost $700 a month. And I'm a relatively young, relatively healthy man on a group plan.
Posted by Kevin_BGFH on September 13, 2011 at 8:50 AM · Report this
venomlash 112
@108: ...but if everyone is required to have insurance, this isn't even an issue. President Obama has already solved this.
Posted by venomlash on September 13, 2011 at 10:17 AM · Report this
Kitten, the kind of insurance you're talking about, with super-high deductibles, bare-bones coverage, no prescription coverage, etc., still results in people avoiding medical care. The 30-year-old in Wolf Blitzer's example might survive his coma and be able to sign his bankruptcy papers, but in the real world people with that kind of coverage and low incomes would still skip the doctor for a lot of things out of lack of money.

And bringing out the old standby about "frivolous lawsuits" being any kind of major contributor to health care costs? That's been shown again and again to be greatly exaggerated by the right, and is used largely to take people's rights away from them in favor of corporations' rights (right to sue vs. right to be protected from "frivolous lawsuits"). This link is a little old but it's not hard to find many examples online:
Posted by g on September 13, 2011 at 10:21 AM · Report this
ForkyMcSpoon 114
@91 A more inane point could not be made.

Universal coverage shouldn't be tried because we're all unique snowflake countries so there's no reason to assume that something that works in a variety of countries would work in the US.


Other industrialized countries (thus, similar to the US in many respects) including many of the largest economies in the world (Japan, Germany, France, the UK, Canada) have universal healthcare. They don't all do it the same way... but they all do it with some variation of a public option+mandate (Germany, Japan), single payer (Canada, France) or government run healthcare (UK), and tight regulations on any private insurers. I don't see the Republicans proposing any of those things. And there's really no reason to assume that one (or any) of those approaches couldn't work in the US other than as a lame defense for the Republicans proposing something that hasn't been shown to work anywhere.

True, the Democratic bill fell short of that (and if the GOP had their way, it would've been even worse), but it's a step in the right direction.
Posted by ForkyMcSpoon on September 13, 2011 at 10:22 AM · Report this
Some Old Nobodaddy Logged In 115
@107 lol, the Shriekocracy at work: a tiny minority throwing the largest tantrums setting the agenda.
Posted by Some Old Nobodaddy Logged In on September 13, 2011 at 10:25 AM · Report this
And even for the shitty just-in-case-you-get-hit-by-a-bus insurance, as other have said, it's usually a lot more than $71 a month. I pay almost $200 and recently had to get a fairly simple test done and ended up paying about $800 more once everything was done. I could easily see skipping the test in slightly different circumstances, which could be bad if it had turned out differently. (And if it had, I can only imagine what things would have started costing.)
Posted by g on September 13, 2011 at 10:26 AM · Report this
At the heart of this is the moral question posed by the right- Who is responsible for your personal financial or physical well being, you or your fellow citizens? And of course you have your fear mongers and the power mad on this side manipulating data for their own convenience.

From the left the approach is- In a wealthy country this far into the historical stream why should anyone die of things easily prevented by routine care? On this side too you have people like Alan Grayson and Dan Savage lying about things for personal ideology or power.

But on both sides you have Americans genuinely concerned for their country and its people, no matter what the loud mouthed crazy or just manipulative and dishonest people like Glenn Beck or Dan Savage say.

Since among those who actually are honest brokers neither side even makes the same assumptions about the moral nature of the world I doubt very much this argument is going away anytime soon.
Posted by Seattleblues on September 13, 2011 at 10:54 AM · Report this
Kitten Koder-is it possible you make less than $750 a month because you are on SLOG leaving pointless and somewhat confused comments. All. The. Fucking. Time? Go code a kitten or something.
Posted by whomever whilst have me on September 13, 2011 at 11:16 AM · Report this
dwightmoodyforgetsthings 119
@107- And now that you point that out, there's a Seattleblues comment.

I'm thinking they're one-in-the-same.
Posted by dwightmoodyforgetsthings on September 13, 2011 at 11:21 AM · Report this
Those kittens aren't going to kode themselves...
Posted by g on September 13, 2011 at 11:22 AM · Report this
sobecool 121
In one sense Seattleblues you are correct. The healthcare debate/debacle, despite all its back and forth name-calling and statistc-citing antics really comes down to a fundamental question of principle. Without addressing it, I do not believe there is any way we can truly reform healthcare, and I mean RE-FORM, (from scratch) not just reform (adjust or fix). But where you are clearly mistaken Seattleblues, is what the nature of that fundamental question is. You say that the question posed by the right-wing is correct: Who is responsible for your personal, financial well-being? What do you expect someone to say to that? "Why, it's the government of course!" I can assure you, liberals do not believe that; not many people do. But the more appropriate question on this topic should be: Is healthcare a Human right? Should adequate healthcare be a right guranteed by the constitution just as the bill of rights grants us each citizen the right to own a gun or the right to be a protestant or the right to publically call the president a shit-head? Without answering that question first, publically arriving at a majority concensus, I do not believe we will get truly universal healthcare in America.
Posted by sobecool on September 13, 2011 at 11:33 AM · Report this
Knat 122
And of course you have your fear mongers and the power mad on this side manipulating data for their own convenience. And the manipulators who bus in disruptive people to take over debates and prevent real discourse, or incite riots.

There, fixed that oversight for you.

Posted by Knat on September 13, 2011 at 11:39 AM · Report this
Teabaggers are heartless bastards.
Posted by Weekilter on September 13, 2011 at 11:39 AM · Report this
sobecool 125
Oh, one more thing. Seattleblues said:
"Since among those who actually are honest brokers neither side even makes the same assumptions about the moral nature of the world I doubt very much this argument is going away anytime soon."
There you have it. We agree! Rather than hearing political partisans endlessly debate this issue let's have the american public decide whether or not healthcare should be a guaranteed right for all...employed or not, rich or broke, sick or well. Because you do realize that if the majority of people agree that it is indeed a human right, and in turn are horrified by the cheers of "yeah" to Paul's question, then there can be only one viable solution. The people must use their government to ensure their right to healthcare is met, just as the people expect their govenment to ensure their right to safety is protected from foreign invaders, or assisted by police when their homes get burgled, or their kids get educated when they reach a certain age, or their right to free speech is protected when some asshole tries to suppress them. Simple. Over and done. Now you tell me why healthcare should not be a human right. I genuinely would like to know why you would think that... assuming that you do.
Posted by sobecool on September 13, 2011 at 12:01 PM · Report this
keshmeshi 126
Private-run, insurance-based health care is a disaster. Insurance companies get a percentage of the cost of the health care they provide. So not only do they have no incentive to control costs, they actually have an incentive to see cost of medical care increase. It's not like they pay for the increase. They just raise premiums.

That isn't entirely true. Insurance companies want to collect the greatest amount of premiums possible while paying out the least amount of benefits possible, which means they'll engage in cost control more than government-funded insurance will. (At least most of the time, Medicaid is pretty fucking stingy, but Medicare isn't.)

Of course, cost control often means denying valid claims and cutting provider compensation.
Posted by keshmeshi on September 13, 2011 at 12:03 PM · Report this

Rights aren't defined by majority rule, but by the federal or applicable state constitutions and the laws based on them. I assume that you can see why this is so. To protect from tyranny of the majority we set a baseline at both federal and state levels ensuring basic rights without consideration of minority status.

At the federal level, whatever the language of the constitution grants the executive, legislative or judicial branches is the sum total of their power. ALL other powers and duties devolve 'to the several states' and the citizens of them.

So, if you want health care to become a governmentally ensured right you have 3 options. Amend the federal constitution to explicitly state such a right enforceable on the states. Or amend your state constitution to do so. Or support a legal challenge from someone ostensibly denied this right at the local level and follow it through to the Supreme Court. Otherwise it isn't a right gauranteed by our government at any level.

At the personal level I may feel a duty to donate to Childrens Orthapedic Hospital or a free clinic near me in their admirable work, or to volunteer time or resources to those places. Were I a doctor or other health care professional I might feel an obligation to provide pro bono work to fulfill my perception of medical care as a human right. But those are personal decisions I have no right to enforce on others. My morality in this matter is no more compelling to my fellow citizens than it is with regard to sexual morality or religious beliefs.
Posted by Seattleblues on September 13, 2011 at 12:27 PM · Report this
this is a good thing. the republicans are acknowledging who they are and how they plan to govern. they are so drunk on their successes of the past 30 years they aren't even trying to hide it any more. now, let the american people decide. if you are a fascist or a nihilist, there is a party that represents your views... go ahead & vote for them. and if they get enough votes, then this country will get what it deserves... republican 'leadership.'
Posted by philosophy school dropout on September 13, 2011 at 12:28 PM · Report this
@127 Oh look, Seattleblues is talking about morality as though he were a moral individual, not someone who's been caught lying on several occasions and who only considers something to be a fact if it sounds right to him.
Posted by Tiffany Lamp on September 13, 2011 at 12:40 PM · Report this

Turn on the lamp, Tiffany. You're still wandering around in the darkness of your own ignorant mind. I'll be mortified by your perception of me as dishonest when you apply half that outrage to the deviant dishonest Savage. Or did you miss that this entire post is based on his lie about what the question and answer Ron Paul gave were?

And as usual you don't dispute the facts. Since, of course, as usual you can't.

Posted by Seattleblues on September 13, 2011 at 12:44 PM · Report this

You sure 'Grade School Dropout' wouldn't be a more appropriate tag?

That whole refusal to use grammar and punctuation, like someone who actually knows how to write and speak English would do, was irritating when EE Cummings did it. With you it's just boring.

(For you liberals out there, this was a supposed poet, not a porn star. Don't get excited.)

Posted by Seattleblues on September 13, 2011 at 12:50 PM · Report this
YanaBanana 132
Posted by YanaBanana on September 13, 2011 at 12:52 PM · Report this
Hey, guess what 38, I KNOW THAT PERSON. Yep. She worked a $100K+/year job, drove a fancy car, went out to dinner all the time. Her employer offered 2 options: make a little less money and get benes, or make a little more and get nothing. She elected to get nothing...and then in her late 30's she got really sick, had a stroke after surgery, and is now on SSDI. She spent over 2 months in the ICU, a month in an in-patient rehab facility, gets driven by a transport service to twice-to-thrice weekly doctors appointments, and will never pay a dime of those bills. She's also intentionally running up her credit card bills, so she said, so that when she declares bankruptcy she can write off a chunk of her living expenses for the time since she last worked, as well (99% of her money was in her primary home and retirement accounts, which can't be touched in bankruptcy).

And, no, I have no idea how it's gone in the last few months because it makes me sick that someone could say that insurance mandates are the devil and then behave like this when her turn comes around, so I stopped speaking to her. While I don't support letting people die, it's really, really hard to suppress that thought while watching this particular shitshow, so I stopped watching the shitshow.
Posted by Ms. D on September 13, 2011 at 1:00 PM · Report this
tomsj 134
Wasn't it Ebenezer Scrooge who suggested that the poor should "die quickly and decrease the surplus population"? The GOP has become the party of Scrooge.
Posted by tomsj on September 13, 2011 at 1:02 PM · Report this
@130 Bring up some facts Seattleblues and we can dispute them, but your arguments are always long on opinions and short on facts. That's why when you're confronted with facts you either respond with sarcasm or run away. Do you argue with your family that way? Or is no one in your family allowed to have opinions of their own that contradict yours?

And I hate to remind you of this but don't go around criticizing other peoples' grammar when you can't even use words like "anecdotal" properly.

Posted by Tiffany Lamp on September 13, 2011 at 1:05 PM · Report this
@131 Oh, and thank you, Seattleblues, for demonstrating again that you're a bigot. Maybe you don't judge people based on race, but you make broad assumptions about peoples' intelligence and education based on what you think their beliefs are. Remember that the next time you object to being called a bigot.

Posted by Tiffany Lamp on September 13, 2011 at 1:07 PM · Report this
venomlash 137
@127: The Elastic Clause of the Constitution gives the Federal government leeway to regulate health care just like any other industry. As far as enforcing a Federal law on the states, the Supremacy Clause prohibits state or local governments from attempting to overrule, annul, or otherwise neutralize Federal laws.
@130: Please tell us exactly what lies or distortions Dan Savage has articulated here in this post. He posted the video, quoted it, and then provided some speculative commentary clearly identifiable as such.
@131: Actually, philosophy school dropout's only error was that he didn't capitalize, if you'll allow the loose use of ellipsis. And, Seattleblues, you have on many occasions mangled the English language by misusing words, phrasing your ideas with odd mechanics, and occasionally misspelling words that no person with a head on his shoulders should misspell.
Posted by venomlash on September 13, 2011 at 1:07 PM · Report this
Geni 138
@102 - a lot of Americans don't seem to really believe that the rest of the world even exists, let alone that other countries may have better systems in place than ours. We are an exceedingly provincial nation. I would be interested to know what the stats are, for example, on how many Americans speak another language with any fluency. I think bilingualism is much more common in other developed countries.
Posted by Geni on September 13, 2011 at 1:37 PM · Report this
Geni 139
@107 - and that is why I am still using the GreaseMonkey registered commenter filter, which saves my sanity and greatly shortens some threads.
Posted by Geni on September 13, 2011 at 1:40 PM · Report this
BEG 140
I am just agog.
Posted by BEG!/browneyedgirl65 on September 13, 2011 at 1:53 PM · Report this
sobecool 141
@ 127
Yes, Seattleblues, thank you for the civics refresher. As you restated, at some point in order to ammend the constitution on either a state or federal level to add a previously excluded right, the people would have to vote on it, unless the issue was taken to the courts. I'm no lawyer, but since there isn't any existing right to healthcare that I know of, it would be hard to challenge this in court. So, in our hypothetical scenario, it looks like a popular vote it is. I assume by your artful dodge of my question that you would vote NO. Can I ask why?

You gave a nice summary of the fact that you are a charitable person, without a desire to withold healthcare from anyone. And you also made it clear you do not wish to force a moral agenda on anyone either. Very, uh, liberal of you. But in my viewpoint, by voting NO to the question of whether or not healthcare is a human right, you ARE in fact taking a moral stance and by the act of voting, are attempting to "force" it on others, just as someone who votes yes is attempting to do the same. By that logic, isn't all voting a form of "forcing?" Voting for someone other than Obama as president is attempting to "force" that candidate on to the rest of us, and voting for him is "forcing" the rest of us to keep him. If you were in the 60's and the civil rights act was put up for a popular vote, would you have used the same logic you use here to vote no to that historic bill? "Sorry blacks and other minorities. I personally believe you are equal to me and should be treated as such, but I don't want to force that opinion on anyone, so I'll have to vote no. No, you cannot have your civil rights."

Posted by sobecool on September 13, 2011 at 2:02 PM · Report this
sobecool 142
And what is more, Seattleblues, you can sugarcoat it how you want, but the truth is the truth: By voting NO you are saying another human being should NOT HAVE the right to healthcare, and that too IS a moral stance. And don't give me flack about how since there is no existing LEGAL right to healthcare, voting no isn't the same as taking away an existing right. The status quo does indeed routinely deny people access to healthcare that they need but cannot afford. I have lived through such an experience in my own family. And the cities of America are filled with others who have similar horror stories. By denying this, or glossing over it, you are being no better than the very partisan crybabies who ignore the needs of other americans that you were decrying earlier.
Posted by sobecool on September 13, 2011 at 2:04 PM · Report this
I'm a little bothered when people like 133s friend (or this hypothetical guy who chooses not to buy health insurance) get totally nailed, then walk into the ER to get admitted (because the ER can't refuse care or admission to someone with a medical emergency), then is admitted into an ICU for months, with the hospital paying the bill - and then sue the living shit out of the hospital when something goes wrong.

I don't know, it's not like people should be open targets for malpractice once they lose medical coverage, but....come on. There should be some consequence for people who have the option for coverage and then decline it. Maybe any lawsuit compensation for pain and suffering (e.g. beyond care expenses) first goes to pay medical bills? Hospital gets dibs on your organs when you die? Chopped up and fed to hippos?
Posted by Yeek on September 13, 2011 at 2:15 PM · Report this
@131 wow, that was pathetic. i am sometimes shocked by people's fixation on things like capitalization as a means to devalue a person's ideas, but then i remember how small minded most people are. generally speaking, this means i've hit home... hard. thanks for letting me know!
Posted by philosophy school dropout on September 13, 2011 at 2:38 PM · Report this

First, if you can't tell when Savage is lying, watch for when he speaks or writes. It's a safe bet that he's lying when engaged in either pursuit.

The Elastic Clause is not, contrary to progressive thought, a blanket grant of limitless power to the federal government. The clause is itself contextualized by the rest of the constitution and the courts will view claims of government authority or lack thereof on that basis and on past rulings, not on the clause alone. Until Wickard this was true also of the Commerce Clause, though since Wickard this has become an effective grant of absolute power to our federal government.

The government is allowed to interpret the duties and powers given it under our constitution, and we are allowed to protest those interpretations through the courts. Whatever the courts decide is how the law lies, with a presumption of constitutionality on government action until ruled otherwise.

Unfortunately, we have no mechanism but the voting booth for punishing government officials who overstep their authority deliberately. For reference, Obamacare forces me to engage in commerce of a specific kind, whether it suits my needs and desires or not, whether I had any intention to engage in such commerce or not, whether in my interests or not.
Posted by Seattleblues on September 13, 2011 at 2:43 PM · Report this
Seattleblues, what is with your fixation on Savage? And it's pretty ridiculous when you try to spin yourself as a humane person and then call Savage "deviant" - your true colors are always pretty close to the surface, on the rare occasions when you're not spouting them off...
Posted by g on September 13, 2011 at 2:52 PM · Report this
@141 and 142

Being able to afford something is not usually a valid test for whether I in theory have the right to it.

Every single American has the right to health care. No hospital or doctor can turn you away for being a woman or black or Jewish or in a wheelchair. You or I can go into any medical provider in this country that's accepting new patients and make an appointment.

How we pay for it is a procedural thing, not an issue of rights.

I might ask where the rights of the person who had a family they could afford, insured them and provided for them financially are. They're being forced to provide medical care through their taxes for nearly half the population who won't or can't do so for themselves. Don't they have rights as well?
Posted by Seattleblues on September 13, 2011 at 2:54 PM · Report this
This Tea Party/Libertarian/Republican view that corporations should just run as unfettered as possible and somehow people will be taken care of and protected is ridiculous. Corporations aren't evil, they just aren't compassionate entities...that's not why they exist. They need to exist within a government that regulates them for the good of greater society. That's part of why we have government - so the people can provide services for ourselves, control the power of businesses if they get too powerful, etc. To behave as if corporations are looking out for the common good is insane. I wouldn't rely on Maury Povich for family counseling either - that's not what he's there for, and his goals have nothing to do with my well-being. To refuse to see that is delusional.
Posted by g on September 13, 2011 at 2:59 PM · Report this
Seattleblues, the right of a family to retain every dime they have taken home in pay is surpassed by the moral responsibility we have as a society to not let people suffer and die needlessly. Simple as that.
Posted by g on September 13, 2011 at 3:02 PM · Report this
WHat people don't understand is that this already happens in the current healthcare system. People die because they can't afford treatments and medications. This is much more the case for chronic rather than acute conditions, but still people die because like it or not, care is rationed. The only way it cannot be is if we all agree to pay for it. All of it. For everyone. And everything. In this particular case, the question for me is to what are we saving this guy? Six months in a coma does not bode well for quality of life afterwards. Would he even want to be saved. And if he does, then yes, I guess he should by insurance. Unlimited care for everyone is a nice idea. It's just not financially feasible. Not unless we're willing to give up almost all other govt services. Short answer: yes, he (Myself) might have to die.
Posted by realist99 on September 13, 2011 at 4:42 PM · Report this
sobecool 153
@ 147..Seattleblues...

You know you're not going to change my, or anyone else's mind by the silly hoop-jumping you're pulling here. So obviously senseless and biased is your reasoning, I'm leaning toward thinking you must certainly be trolling. Disingenous semantics, just like the politicians and pundits you hypocritically deride. Heck, I guess I'll dig in for one last bite. But this is it from me. I got lot's more to do and I can't be bothered fretting over some willfully capricious commentor's next spat of naive comments. So, last round... here goes:

You say: "Being able to afford something is not usually a valid test for whether I in theory have the right to it." Ok then, how about the right to AFFORDABLE healthcare? TADA! Problem solved. Now will you sign up as a yes vote in our hypothetical constitutional ammendment? And just because someone can make an appointment at the doctor doesn't mean that he/she will get all the treatment he/she needs. Afterall, you still have to pay for it and even with insurance the cost of these services can be outrageous... FOR THINGS THAT CAN SAVE A PERSONS LIFE. We're not talking about cars and refrigerators, SB, we're talking about hearing aids and physical therapy, chemo therapy and anti-viral drugs. Things people need. Let me ask you, do they deserve to be denied these treatments because they cannot afford them? Or do they deserve to be provided with them regardless of their cost? Is healthcare a human right?

Posted by sobecool on September 13, 2011 at 5:09 PM · Report this
sobecool 154
@ 147..Seattleblues...

Lastly, you ask, "where the rights of the person who had a family they could afford, insured them and provided for them financially are." Yes where are those rights? You show your true colors as a partisan patsy here, SB. Because that family you talked about IS THE EXACT family I have in mind when I ask the question of guranteeing the right to healthcare. Who said I was talking about only the uninsured? Such an ammendment would benefit everyone. Everyone. Even the average, hard-working middle-class american family.... especially them. My mom was fully insured by her employer when she suffered a blood clot and stroke not related to her health, she was healthy, and fully insured. We almost lost her. 4 weeks into her hospitilization, her insurance company sends her and her employer a letter saying they are discontinuing her coverage. No reason was given, but it doesn't take a genius to figure out why. She suddenly became too expensive for them. All they said in their letter was that they are not required by state law to continue her coverage. She could have died in that hopsital for all they cared. Thankfully she didn't. And what they did was perfectly legal. It was a business decision. IT WAS THEIR RIGHT. Let me ask you Seattleblues, where were her rights? The right to healthcare? The right to receive whatever she needed to preserve her life? Today she is disabled and survives on Social Security and my help. And she is covered by Medicare. And best of all, she was/is in the hypothetical family of your comment, fully insured, hard-wroking and responsible. What happened to her could happen to anyone, you even. Wouldn't you rather live in a society that says rich or poor, young or old, sick or healthy, must ALL be treated with adequate and affordabe helathcare? Don't like taxes? Then go live on your own island in the sea. We all pay for things we don't need/want. It's part of the responsibility of living in a society. Why shouldn't healthcare be one of those things?
Posted by sobecool on September 13, 2011 at 5:10 PM · Report this
undead ayn rand 155…

"Libertarian Legacy? Ron Paul's Campaign Manager, 49, Dies Uninsured, Of Pneumonia, Leaving family $400,000 Debt"

Posted by undead ayn rand on September 13, 2011 at 5:31 PM · Report this
undead ayn rand 156
Maybe Ron Paul will pay Kent Snyder's medical billaaaaaahahhahahahahha.
Posted by undead ayn rand on September 13, 2011 at 5:34 PM · Report this
"A healthy, thirty-year-old young man has a good job, makes a good living, but decides, "You know what? I'm not gonna spend two hundred or three hundred dollars a month for health insurance, 'cause I'm healthy, I don't need it," but, you know, something terrible happens -- all of a sudden, he needs it."

Two hundred or three hundred dollars a month for health insurance in the United States today? What kind of utopian fantasy world is Wolf Blitzer living in?
Posted by PCM on September 13, 2011 at 7:10 PM · Report this
venomlash 158
@145: I read the whole post, and cannot see within it a single lie told by Mr. Savage. If you want me to believe that he is in fact lying, you'll need to point out a deliberate falsehood on his part. Show me the lie, you jive turkey.
Now, with regard to the Elastic Clause:
It reads as follows: "[The Congress shall have Power] To make all Laws which shall be necessary and proper for carrying into Execution the foregoing Powers, and all other Powers vested by this Constitution in the Government of the United States, or in any Department or Officer thereof."
Now let's look up at the beginning of Article I, section 8: "The Congress shall have Power To lay and collect Taxes, Duties, Imports and Excises, to pay the Debts and provide for the common Defence and general Welfare of the United States"
How exactly is mandating that all Americans have health insurance NOT "provid[ing]...for the general Welfare of the United States"? It prevents the burden of emergency room costs from falling unnecessarily on taxpayer shoulders, and ensures that all Americans will have access to the health care that they need. You better show me how that's unconstitutional, or you better shut your punk ass up.

If you want to talk the talk, you'll need to walk the walk. Go big or go home. Nut up or shut up.
Posted by venomlash on September 13, 2011 at 8:39 PM · Report this
@156, Kent Snyder exhibited perfectly what flaws lie in some of the attitudes behind libertarianism.

A) The odds are always in my/your favor, even if "they" say otherwise.
B). The consequences are always personal.
C). Voluntary charity is enough to cover all outcomes.

Reading that report was one of the sadder things amongst many sad pieces of information I have encountered lately. If he had been in Mexico he likely could have purchased the antibiotics over the counter dirt cheap. We will never know the societal cost of not having his skills available, and Paul's charity of medial care obviously never came.

Posted by Married in MA on September 13, 2011 at 9:43 PM · Report this
KittenKoder 161
@158 Well ... it's a mandate that controls personal life ... thought that neolibs wanted to attack corporations that were ripping people off ... like doctors.
Posted by KittenKoder on September 13, 2011 at 11:05 PM · Report this
KittenKoder 162
@160 That's why I don't like blindly following any party, they will say one thing that sounds great but then later something that's completely contradictory. The sad thing is that people in power right now don't want to make the antibiotics affordable, they just want to pay for it all with taxes.
Posted by KittenKoder on September 13, 2011 at 11:08 PM · Report this
I think you mean the Soylent Green Tea Party
Posted by mshawn on September 13, 2011 at 11:11 PM · Report this
venomlash 164
@161: Huh?
Man, you ought to make that picture your avatar or something.
Posted by venomlash on September 13, 2011 at 11:13 PM · Report this
KittenKoder 165
People are afraid of truly affordable healthcare, they don't want that because then they think they'd have to pay something ... but here's the thing, if healthcare was made truly affordable then insurance like Medicaid could be brought back up to full coverage and there could be a public insurance option for everyone, or people could opt out and still be able to cover most things without any insurance. Which is really better? Just handing corporations like clinics and hospitals blank checks from your pockets or ... telling them they can't overcharge anymore? Also, whatever happened to being against big pharm? Obama's plan is catering to them most because they have a steady stream of people buying from them. Do you really think that the big pharm companies will lower their prices to not hurt the US? I mean they have such a wonderful track record, right, so giving and so wonderful.

Sorry, but single payer is pro-corporation and pro-big-pharm.
Posted by KittenKoder on September 13, 2011 at 11:14 PM · Report this
KittenKoder 166
Venomlash, why do you fail at such simple comprehension so often?
Posted by KittenKoder on September 13, 2011 at 11:15 PM · Report this
venomlash 167
@166: If you want us to understand what the hell you're trying to say, you'll need to eschew obfuscation.
Sound off, anyone who could make head or tail of post #161.
Posted by venomlash on September 14, 2011 at 12:31 AM · Report this
KittenKoder 168
Venomlash, I love how you are so egotistical to believe that you speak for everyone, a lot like politicians really ....
Posted by KittenKoder on September 14, 2011 at 1:50 AM · Report this
@165 (KittenKoder): Single payer is pro-corporation and pro-Big Pharma? Where on earth did you get *that* idea? Okay, it's pro-corporation in the sense that it drastically reduces healthcare costs, including corporations' share, but pro-Big Pharma?

Do you know what a monopsony is? It's when you have a single buyer or bargaining agent. Absent corruption, that is the situation that results in the lowest prices for consumers; it's like a monopoly in reverse. Every other developed country in the world uses some form of monopsonistic bargaining and price-setting in healthcare. We are the *only* First World country that doesn't, and we have *by far* the world's highest medical prices (including pharmaceutical prices). We have 5% of the world's population, and Swiss pharmaceutical companies make *half* of their worldwide profits from us because their profit margins here are far higher than anywhere else.

No one (except for the Republicans, with Medicare Part D) has proposed a single-payer system that pays whatever the seller demands. Bargaining for fair prices from all providers is always part of the proposal. You can have monopsonistic bargaining without a single-payer system -- Germany, Switzerland, the Netherlands, and Japan do -- but you can't have a single-payer system without monopsonistic bargaining unless you're either corrupt or an idiot -- see Medicare Part D, above -- and none of the single-payer bills in Congress or in the several states omit the monopsonistic component of the package.
Posted by PCM on September 14, 2011 at 1:56 AM · Report this
KittenKoder 170
@169 ... seriously? Tell us all how single payer magically decreases the price. Also, what magical world do you live in where the is no corruption in the government? Also, do you even understand ALL the difference between the other countries and our system?
Posted by KittenKoder on September 14, 2011 at 2:08 AM · Report this
venomlash 171
@168: What are you talking about? You DO speak for everybody, Mr. One-In-Every-Four-Posts-Is-Me-Shooting-My-Mouth-Off.
I specifically call on other people to articulate their own opinions with regard to your comprehensibility, and apparently I'm trying to usurp the voice of the masses. I suggest you alter your dosage.
Posted by venomlash on September 14, 2011 at 3:40 AM · Report this
KittenKoder 172………
The big one that people SHOULD care about: "higher treatment costs triggered by our uniquely American tort laws, which in the context of medicine can lead to “defensive medicine” — that is, the application of tests and procedures mainly as a defense against possible malpractice litigation, rather than as a clinical imperative."
Posted by KittenKoder on September 14, 2011 at 3:47 AM · Report this
KittenKoder 173
Damn, I finally found the one I was looking for, guess that will teach me for not bookmarking it:…

There it is, in digital black and white, enjoy. I love the Cato Institute. Anyone who claims they are "right winged" though has not read much of their studies, lectures, or theories.
Posted by KittenKoder on September 14, 2011 at 3:52 AM · Report this
KittenKoder 174
Venomlash, I was not the one saying "us".
Posted by KittenKoder on September 14, 2011 at 3:53 AM · Report this
@169 (KittenKoder): It "magically" decreases the price by having dramatically lower administrative overhead and by bargaining down monopoly profits. Ever since Kenneth Arrow published "Uncertainty and the Welfare Economics of Medical Care" in 1962, most economists have conceded that that healthcare is not a perfectly competitive market and that providers have significant market power, whether due to barriers to entry (doctors), superior information (doctors), impossibility of price-shopping (ambulances and ERs, and to a less dramatic degree, diagnostic labs and hospitals), or patents (Big Pharma and Big Device). The way to counter that market power is to have a single bargaining agent negotiating fair, uniform prices.

But you don't have to buy the theory. Just look at the results of decades of real-world experience. Japan (functional national single-payer) spends around 8% of GDP on healthcare, covers virtually everyone, and gets better overall outcomes than us. The UK (national single-payer/single-deliverer) spends around 8.5% of GDP on healthcare, covers virtually everyone, and gets better overall outcomes than us. Canada (provincial single-payer) spends around 10% of GDP on healthcare, covers virtually everyone, and gets better overall outcomes than us. France (functional national single-payer) spends around 10.5% of GDP on healthcare, covers absolutely everyone, and gets better overall outcomes than us. Switzerland (regulated nonprofit multi-payer with an individual mandate, extensive premium subsidies, and canton-by-canton monopsonistic bargaining -- the world's second most expensive healthcare system, after us) spends around 12% of GDP on healthcare, covers virtually everyone, and gets better overall outcomes than us. We (fragmented government, non-profit, and for-profit multi-payer with no monopsonistic bargaining) spend over 18% of GDP on healthcare and get among the worst overall outcomes in the First World in most health indicators. The CBO predicts that under ObamaCare, that percentage will go up to over 20% by 2019 ... while leaving around 25 million completely uninsured and additional tens of millions with "bronze-level" plans seriously underinsured.

We bear a higher per-capita healthcare-related tax burden than any other country in the world, including rich countries that provide tax-funded, comprehensive care to all of their citizens -- because the medical prices our government programs have to pay are so much higher. Add to that the fact that most of us have to also pay premiums, deductibles, co-pays, and out-of-pockets for exclusions to actually *get* care, and you begin to understand why we end up paying twice as much for our healthcare as the OECD average.

In the early 90s Taiwan, which had a system similar to ours and was facing rising healthcare costs, decided to establish a commission of experts to study the world's healthcare systems to determine which approach was best. In 1995, they established a single-payer national health insurance program. Within around 18 months, they covered nearly 100% of the population and health outcomes improved markedly. The system has around 1% administrative overhead (compared to our 25%-31%) and it costs them around 6% of GDP. It's not perfect -- their politicians are as reluctant to raise taxes when necessary as ours are -- but it beats the hell out of *our* system.

There's nothing magic about it. Single-payer is cheaper, fairer, and better. Theory predicts it and real-world experience proves it.

PS: Sure, corruption can be found everywhere ... but how come people in other rich countries pay so much less for healthcare -- prescriptions drugs, consults, procedures, diagnostic tests, MRIs, ambulance rides, hospital stays, etc. -- than we do? Why does an MRI cost roughly a tenth in Japan of what it costs here? Why does a GP consult cost $32 in France? If that's the result of corruption, count me in.
Posted by PCM on September 14, 2011 at 4:40 AM · Report this
KittenKoder 176
PCM "but how come people in other rich countries pay so much less for healthcare -- prescriptions drugs, consults, procedures, diagnostic tests, MRIs, ambulance rides, hospital stays, etc. -- than we do?"

They cap prices that the medical providers can charge. ;) Single payer is only part of their system, not the whole system. As the Cato paper pointed out, because most patients know little, or pay little attention to medical practices the providers (not the insurance companies) will often use less expensive and inferior procedures while still charging for the more expensive ones. The single payer countries simply do not allow this to happen. The bargaining should NOT exist, not for healthcare, that's where the big problem is, the doctors and their administration are holding all the power even when we get to choose who does the bargaining. My point, as it always has been, is that a single payer system (which I am not against) will collapse if the costs are not curbed first. Another huge problem is the frivolous lawsuits, those need to be stopped, though it seems like those may be ending on their own with some recent court rulings in such cases, there needs to be a way to simply say "this saved your life, you cannot sue" because it's not just the ruling that makes the difference, it's the steps up to that ruling that increase costs as well. Also, for administrative, we need to get rid of power that the FDA has, and get rid of the AMA, those are wasting government funds, making patients less likely to learn enough about their medical care, and increasing the costs of operation for medical providers. The FDA also poses a huge barrier for better and less expensive procedures, options that patient simply cannot get in the US so it would be a double win for both patients and medical providers. (Look up joint replacement and joint resurfacing for more on that problem) The largest problem as well is to make the doctors who are being greedy do their jobs or get rid of them. Many ride the coattails of a degree and avoid actually helping the patients, ultimately costing the patients and their insurance more because the ailment is not taken care of in any way, so the patient has to see a doctor again, and again, until they are lucky enough to get real care. That's not right at all, and if they don't get the care they need the costs of the eventual emergency care and likely death as well as legitimate lawsuits increase the costs even more.

A simple "single payer" system won't fix all those problems, as I call it, it's a bandaid on a gaping wound, or attempting to cure the symptom and ignoring the disease. The reality is that health insurance should not be needed to pay for a doctor visit or medication, the fact that it is needed shows that the costs are way out of control. A single payer insurance system would actually work even better if these costs were put under control in some way.

I am actually formulating a plan now, someone asked me for a plan that works and since I know of none and I see no politician putting one on the table I may as well try it. The odd thing is that I know a few general practitioners (though most retired fearing Obama's plan hurting their patients too much since I go to sliding scale clinics) actually want their administration team replaced because of the problems they are costing. So it's not even always the doctors themselves directly, and the medical administration teams in most places need to be put into check as well. My biggest gripe with the Democrat politicians is that they are not even considering such an idea, which is suspicious, it's the same thing the Republican ones did for many other issues usually driven by religious idiocy or profit. Honestly I have no idea how the current government admin is going to make a profit off this bill, but I know they are somehow and that's why they're pushing it so strongly instead of even considering other possibilities. I so hate politicians more every day, but meh.
Posted by KittenKoder on September 14, 2011 at 5:09 AM · Report this
Fifty-Two-Eighty 177
VL: I'd articulate my opinion, but I stopped reading this thread when it became the KittenKoder Show.
Posted by Fifty-Two-Eighty on September 14, 2011 at 5:39 AM · Report this
Trollspotter 178
Posted by Trollspotter on September 14, 2011 at 6:21 AM · Report this
With respect-

I don't know how much clearer to make it. The phrase 'general welfare' doesn't stand alone. It is limited by the things government is actually allowed under the constitution.

But to your post, the Commerce Clause is what gives the feds power to regulate the medical profession and any other INTERSTATE commerce. They have no such articulated power with regard to purely intrastrate commerce, or didn't until FDRs pet court ruled on Wickard. In that case a man growing corn on his land for his livestock was convicted by a Kafkaesque law forbidding that practice. And the government won! The court interpreted that corn as interstate commerce though it never even left his acreage or entered even the local marketplace.

This doesn't even get to the heart of the matter, which is that while commerce can be regulated, forcing someone to engage in such commerce by law isn't regulation, it's dictatorship.

As for the actual Elastic Clause, where does it stop? I can think of a lot of things that would be in the general welfare.

My kid is pretty sure a pony is integral to her general welfare. By your reasoning she should not only have the pony but be allowed to stable and feed it at the neighbors, since he has a barn with 3 stalls and uses only one. We have no barn at all. So we need an Affordable Pony Act. Anyone who has more ponies than they can ride or more stable space than they need must give up either to a government agency tasked with redistributing them according to their own notions of fairness. Sure, this usually means the folks who built the barns or bought the horses will enjoy neither, but it's the General Welfare, damn it!
Posted by Seattleblues on September 14, 2011 at 8:29 AM · Report this
KittenKoder - Perhaps my ideas on this subject are strongly influenced by my work history (in my jane-of-all-trades years I spent time as a receptionist in a medical office, an operator for an answering service that catered primarily to doctor's offices and hospitals, and a licensed insurance agent), which is probably completely unlike whatever employment path has led you to being a late-night server babysitter and may explain some of the differences in our views. Perhaps it's also related to the fact that I have no vendetta against doctors (I'm referencing your post @55) - my life-threatening health situation was handled promptly and expertly, but if it had been mishandled in the way yours was, I might be just as angry at doctors in general as you seem to be.

But, it kinda seems to me that, in blaming the "doctor corporations" (?? maybe this is a big-city thing, but here in southern Ohio we don't have those), perhaps you don't truly understand how insurance works, or at least how it is that insurance companies make money and how that influences the costs of medical care. You do realize that insurance companies are for-profit corporations, right? Like any for-profit corporation, their ideal preference is to make more money every year - ever increasing profits. The way they make a profit is to take in more than they pay out, and they use a variety of tactics to ensure that what they pay out is significantly less than what they take in. Denying coverage, discontinuing coverage, ever-increasing premiums, very high deductibles to discourage claims, insisting on pre-authorization and other forms of bureaucratic hoop-jumping as a way of legally denying legitimate claims ("Hey, you didn't follow procedure, so we're not paying!"), etc... There's a reason I only had that job for a few months - I have too much of a conscience.

Yes, you're right in saying insurance is not the SOLE problem with our medical establishment, but I think you're blinded by your contempt for doctors if you think it's not a huge portion of the problem. All of that money - billions of dollars annually - that those insurance companies make in profit... all of the money they spend advertising to attract new dupes, excuse me, customers... That money is wasted - it doesn't make anyone healthier, doesn't save anyone's life. We need to cut the leeches out of this system. Seriously, how could one not-for-profit claim-payment system NOT save us money over THIS???

Even if every doctor everywhere insisted on a 32-carat gold star for every treatment performed, I can't imagine that would be more expensive than the billions we're paying these insurance companies.

Yes, getting rid of the leeches also means getting rid of the shitty doctors who only care about a paycheck. And while I am truly and sincerely sorry about your bad experiences with doctors (I can't imagine what it would be like to know I almost died because a couple of doctors thought it was all in my head, that's terrible!!), knowing what I do about the lives most doctors lead, I'm confident that the seemingly-uncaring doctors you dealt with are in the minority. People who choose to be doctors and who are not from wealthy families put themselves into a ridiculous amount of debt to achieve that degree. They start working with patients as medical students (or at least they do here at our local university), and the endless round-the-clock questions and caring-for-others starts then and doesn't end until retirement (if it even ends then). As interns and residents, they are the first people we called (when I was at the answering service) with patient questions after office hours, and they were the ones hanging out at the hospital all night just in case. Once they're licensed, they're not only dealing with everything the interns and residents do, they're also usually managing their personal practices, still struggling to pay off the educational debts they racked up, and paying *INSANE* amounts of money to the insurance companies for malpractice insurance. (Side note - about seven years ago, all GP's in my part of Ohio stopped attending births because the malpractice insurance got to be too expensive. Every. General. Practitioner.)

You mentioned defensive medicine in a previous post, and its relationship to lawsuits. Did you know those same insurance companies that "protect" doctors against malpractice suits also set out rules the doctors must follow if they want to keep that malpractice coverage? Defensive medicine isn't caused by doctors gone whacky over lawsuits - it's caused by insurance companies wanting to pay out fewer claims, so they assess what treatments and practices are most likely to or to not generate a claim, and set guidelines based on that. It is NOT about best outcomes for the patients - it is about covering asses so if things go poorly for that patient, the doctor can say "I did everything I could!" and the insurance company can avoid paying a malpractice claim. This is why our caesarean rate is so astronomically ridiculous in the US, why we pay so much more than other countries for crappier outcomes, and why our maternal mortality rates are worse than Romania's.

Again, I recognize that you have legitimate reasons for being dissatisfied with the medical care you have received. As difficult as it is to become a doctor, not to mention the insane amount of personal, financial, psychological, and societal pressure on everyone who stays in that field, I'm confident that the ones who were so uncaring about your problems are the exception, not the rule. Most doctors DO care about their patients or they wouldn't be doctors - there are much less stressful (and far more successful!) ways to get rich than doctoring. But with single-payer, you could choose to tell the doctors who weren't listening to you to fuck off and you could go find one that took your concerns and symptoms seriously, instead of being stuck with the only ones in your insurance network or the ones you can afford to pay out-of-pocket because of sliding scale fees.

Doctors aren't the root of the problems with our medical system, just as teachers aren't the root of the problems with our educational system. Check out some doctors that are just as pissed about the status quo as any of us:
Posted by MarleyBarley on September 14, 2011 at 8:33 AM · Report this
Lissa 181
@180: Thank you for that thoughtful and informative post. I, for one, apreciate it. KittenK on the other hand will probably ignore it as she has made up her mind and that's that.
Posted by Lissa on September 14, 2011 at 9:13 AM · Report this
@179 Seattleblues, are you now admitting that there isn't a single lie in Dan's post, and that you were in fact making a false accusation? Oh, wait, you'll never admit that. Instead you're going to throw out completely misleading analogies about what your daughter wants and use that to defend your belief that the "general welfare" is so vague and undefinable that you shouldn't have to pay taxes and pretend that you never said anything about there being lies in this post.

Posted by Tiffany Lamp on September 14, 2011 at 10:05 AM · Report this
venomlash 183
@174: Yes you were. Read your own post at #170 and get back to me.

@179: Since when were we talking about the commerce clause? I was talking about the Elastic Clause. In Article 1, Section 8, Clause 1, Congress is given the power to "provide for the...general Welfare". In Article 1, Section 8, Clause 18, Congress is given the power to make WHATEVER LAWS are "necessary and proper for carrying into Execution" the aforementioned power along with the 17 others enumerated.
Unless the health care law is not necessary (that is, is irrelevant to the issue at hand) or not proper (that is, directly conflicts with the limitations of Congress as explicitly laid out), it is constitutional.
Do you have any evidence to this effect? I don't care about the Commerce Clause, as it is not under its auspices that health care reform was made.
I'm still curious as to where in this post Dan Savage told a lie.
Posted by venomlash on September 14, 2011 at 10:30 AM · Report this
You wrote: At the heart of this is the moral question posed by the right- Who is responsible for your personal financial or physical well being, you or your fellow citizens?

It' not quite that cut-and-dried. My husband does not have health insurance because he has a pre-existing condition and insurers don't want to cover him. We would happily pay for it.

I have tried to have him put on my employer-provided health insurance, but since we're both men and our state doesn't recognize our marriage (legally performed in Canada), I'm not allowed to add him, even though all my straight colleagues can add heir spouses or children automatically.

We'd like to demonstrate our "personal responsibility," but we've been shut out twice--once by the insurance industry, and once by our non-marriage equality state.

Posted by Clayton on September 14, 2011 at 12:58 PM · Report this
undead ayn rand 185
Everything is "cut-and-dried." to absolutists like SeattleBlues. Your husband is not his "responsibility", and he won't hear anything else.
Posted by undead ayn rand on September 14, 2011 at 2:09 PM · Report this
undead ayn rand 186
@160: "Reading that report was one of the sadder things amongst many sad pieces of information I have encountered lately. If he had been in Mexico he likely could have purchased the antibiotics over the counter dirt cheap. We will never know the societal cost of not having his skills available, and Paul's charity of medial care obviously never came."

Absolutely. The story is somewhat old, but perfectly encapsulates the horror of Paul's "benign neglect" philosophy.
Posted by undead ayn rand on September 14, 2011 at 3:39 PM · Report this
@SeattleBlues, 127, you stated:

"Rights aren't defined by majority rule, but by the federal or applicable state constitutions and the laws based on them. I assume that you can see why this is so. To protect from tyranny of the majority we set a baseline at both federal and state levels ensuring basic rights without consideration of minority status."

Ummm . . . can you square your knowledge of this fact with your insistence that gay marriage is a Wrong Thing?

Regarding Wickard, the Supreme Court has had 70 years to overturn it--going through many compositions that can't be described as FDR's 'pet'. They have not done so to any substantive degree. It's settled law; move on. Also, the dude wasn't 'convicted', he just wasn't allowed to sell his wheat (not corn, *wheat*) at an advantageous price. That price was set high for those farmers who agreed to only grow wheat on a certain number of acres. Farmer Filburn believed that the acreage he grew wheat on for his own use didn't count and he should get that artificially high price. The Ag Department, and then the SC, disagreed. Filburn wasn't convicted of anything; he did not go to jail, nor did he pay a fine. He just wasn't allowed to get a huge price for his wheat by participating in a program designed to stabilize the market price.

Are you that ignorant of your own points, or are you just lying?
Posted by clashfan on September 15, 2011 at 7:50 AM · Report this
Being Seattleblues means never having to admit you're wrong.
Posted by Tiffany Lamp on September 15, 2011 at 8:04 AM · Report this
Seattleblues means never having to say you're sorry.

cue schmatltz piano music as we watch Ali McGraw die.
Posted by Clayton on September 15, 2011 at 10:16 AM · Report this
An awful lot depends on where you live. Here in Massachusetts, we are required by law to have health insurance. I make too much for state subsidized insurance (I bring home about $3000 a month). But my family insurance is $750 a month for a high deductible, practically no coverage insurance. (It's $1050 for a useful policy). Our rent is $1000 a month (which is pretty cheap for here). My husband has only been able to find a part time job because of the economy, and his pay isn't enough to cover the health insurance and our child's subsidized daycare. The system is broken, especially for the working poor.
Posted by Zebrine on September 16, 2011 at 6:26 AM · Report this
If you choose not to buy insurance, then I guess you do take a calculated risk, and being uninsured if something happens is one possible consequence of that. A 30 year old guy in a coma kind of brought (the bills) on himself.
But what about someone who does want to buy insurance, but has a pre-existing condition and can't find anyone willing to sell him one? Dwarfism is considered a pre-existing condition, so if the 30 year old man were under 4 feet tall it wouldn't matter how much cash he threw at insurance agencies. Cancer within a certain number of years is one also, so one bad mammogram or mole can count you out. A major depressive episode at any time in your past does it too. So what about them? Should society just let them die? And what about their KIDS? If you can't buy yourself a policy it's hard to add your kids under you. Should the kids die because Mom or Dad was a little too emo in college and spent a night under observation for depression?
If my kid has cancer and I tell the hospital administrators that I won't pay for treatment, and my kid dies as a result, I get arrested and charged with her death. If an insurance company does the same thing, it's just free market capitalism!
Posted by charlie on September 16, 2011 at 6:32 AM · Report this

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