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Comment: Suggestion: Click Through (Score 1) 1352

by tizzo (#34578358) Attached to: Survey Shows That Fox News Makes You Less Informed
Seriously, click through and read the actual article. Half or more of the things that FNC viewers are stupid for believing are in fact true. Drill even deeper (the linked article itself links to other articles on older studies), which show the same sort of pattern of identifying subjects (in once case Iraq war supporters rather than FNC viewers) as being misinformed for believing things that are in fact true.

Comment: Re:Bad science: not more sex, more partners (Score 1) 397

by tizzo (#33220934) Attached to: Stats Show iPhone Owners Get More Sex

This study suggests that iPhone users report more sexual partners.

That doesn't necessarily mean more sex.

What it does strongly suggest, however, is fewer repeat performances. And let's face it - for guys, no matter what phone they carry, that can only mean fewer requests for repeat performances (or more "hell no" responses to their own requests). And while the same doesn't apply to women in general, since iPhone users tend to be indiscriminate about things, it may very well apply to the women in the study.

All of which leads to one inescapable conclusion. iPhone owners of either sex are lousy lovers. Ouch.

Comment: Point taken, but... (Score 1) 205

by tizzo (#33137692) Attached to: Why NASA's New Video Game Misses the Point

It will be more than a decade before humans even attempt another trip outside of Earth's orbit.

Not an incorrect observation - but it bears noting that the game wasn't put together overnight, and until very recently the above wasn't true. President Obama campaigned heavily here in FL, and presumably in other space industry areas like Houston, on the promise that Constellation and Orion, which would have been putting people back in orbit in 2015, would be continued and even beefed up. It was only in mid 2009 that he reversed course on space, and I'm sure this game was well into development by then.

Comment: Re:Ares = manrated, Falcon = cargo. (Score 1) 352

by tizzo (#32639944) Attached to: SpaceX Falcon 9 Relatively Cheap Compared To NASA's New Pad
Quite right. In the end Falcon 9 may very well be a more cost effective rocket than anything else NASA can launch. But we can't know this from an analysis comparing it with a man-rated system. Why not compare it with the Atlas or Delta variants that are closest in capabilities? To my mind, the SpaceX story is perfectly illustrative of the proper roles of government and private sector in space. SpaceX exists because there is sufficient profit motive in getting cargo into space to make their business model viable. This wasn't always the case, and NASA's work, together with their contractors, over the decades is directly responsible for the fact that now it is. SpaceX is the next step in the transition of space launching from a scientific endeavor to a commercial one. If they do end up proving more cost effective than COMPARABLE services from Boeing and Lockheed, then these current operators will either be squeezed out of the industry, or will adapt in order to compete. That's capitalism. Human space flight, on the other hand, is still a completely different animal. It is still an exploratory, purely scientific, and high-risk high-cost activity. No reasonable business person would expect to be able to turn a profit developing a man-rated system, because there is no commercial demand for putting humans into space. You have a market with exactly one customer, and in which the barrier to entry is so high that if you put forth the investment and don't win the business, your company simply ceases to exist. It really is the height of irony that the current administration, which sees a government role in such inherently private endeavors as health care, automobile manufacturing, and banking, appears to believe that the one and only human endeavor where the government should not take the lead role is in human space exploration. I don't know that there is a better illustration of someone who just doesn't "get it".

Comment: Re:health insurance is like auto insurance now (Score 1) 2424

by tizzo (#31587152) Attached to: House Passes Massive Medical Insurance Bill, 219-212

I'm not sure if you're following this (as I'm slow to respond - different time zone and not online all day)... but...

Following, but can't afford to spend as much time as I have been...

... In this case, the key elements for a well functioning market that are missing are competition and an informed consumer.

A situation which is worsened by the health care bill, not improved. The best answer we had to this was the combination of catastrophic coverage with health savings accounts. These plans are now illegal (or more accurately slated to be illegal) in the US unless you are under 30.

People are simply very poor at judging risk, so they don't know what insurance is really worth to them. They also don't understand the legalese of insurance contracts, so they might not be purchasing what they think they are.

I can't disagree there, and one of the positives in the bill is an attempt to clear this up. Although mostly it declares illegal things that are already illegal and doesn't really address the enforcement so much...

A competitive market in insurance is difficult to maintain because economies of scale are so important in the insurance industry - the more customers you have, the better you can spread risk. So you can open up markets to interstate competition (not a bad idea as long as it's properly regulated), but that will just end up with consolidation - the insurance companies will just buy each other up until there are only two or three left.

Right again, and another thing that the bill worsens instead of improves. Insurance companies are allowed to compete, but the government will specify what they will and won't cover and how much they can charge, so there won't be any basis on which to make a comparison. The predictable result is that without anyone buying anyone else, the biggies will over time morph into copies of each other. I wouldn't be a bit surprised to see enterprising insurers resorting to offering perks and trinkets not related to health care in order to entice customers, much like banks used to offer things like free toasters for opening an account - provided that is legal (I haven't found anything saying it isn't yet, but I've only read about 300 pages).

In addition, the ban on underwriting means that insurers can't even consider risk. On an only peripherally related note, the bill makes the same mistake government so often does of trying to constrain two dependent variables independently, specifically the cost of the insurance premiums and the value of the services provided in return. A prime example of this is the so-called "Cadillac Tax" on plans above a certain cost. The stated goal of the tax is to provide incentives to reduce the premiums charged for the plan. But opportunity to reduce premiums is limited by the fact that plans can't cut any services.

I fail to see how any of the measures in the U.S. health care bill, or for that matter any of the real "socialized" health care systems in the world, affect incentives for R&D. You're making the assertion that the bill goes "WELL beyond just changing the way health care is delivered", but as I understand it, the bill doesn't change how health care is delivered at all. The change is limited to how health care is paid for (consumer-side rather than supply-side).

The bill changes how health care is paid for, and more importantly how much is paid for health care. Under the bill, when for example a new drug hits the market, it will still have patent protection (in fact I saw a provision that for some drugs the patent period is extended to 12 years from 7). But the price that can be charged will be much more strictly regulated by the government, especially under Medicare.

To make you case convincing you need to demonstrate that somehow the American health INSURANCE industry encourages R&D.

The only way health insurance influences R&D either way is by paying a price for new drugs that is set by the market rather than fixed by the government.

The evidence that you brought before, that so much medical R&D happens in the U.S., doesn't really make your case.

To offer some context for my comments, there has been an ongoing debate in the US for several years about legalizing the re-importation of cheaper drugs from Canada. That is, to allow US consumers to purchase drugs from Canadian pharmacies that had been sold to those pharmacies by US manufacturers at reduced prices in order to comply with Canadian drug price controls. This was the left's answer to what they perceived as the unreasonable cost of RX drugs in the US. Since Canada and other nationalized health systems impose price controls on drugs that the US does not, the argument goes, maybe we should let US consumers benefit from the price controls that we can't or won't impose by buying drugs that have been exported to Canada at the prices imposed by Canada's government. In a way, they had a point. Because the price controls imposed by Canada and other countries certainly results in higher prices in the far less regulated US market than would otherwise exist. Eliminate the ability to sell drugs profitably in the US, and there's nowhere else left where you can jack up prices to recoup the loss.

Anyway, I'm rambling. My point was that any new drug, regardless of where or by whom it is developed, relies primarily on the free-market aspects of the US market to recoup their investment, because most other markets regulate the prices they can charge. Last week, they could still count on commanding enough of a price premium in the US market to offset the cost of R&D, notwithstanding price controls in other markets. This is no longer true, as the new health care bill imposes some price controls on patent protected drugs (particularly with respect to Medicare), though nowhere near to the extend found elsewhere - yet. It is not logically possible for this to be neutral with respect to pharmas' ability to innovate.

I could just as easily argue the opposite. If the 30% or so (from memory - but I can try to find a link if you like) of overhead that goes to the insurance industry in the U.S. were spent on health care, then there would be more money for actual treatment and more of that money could go into research.

Another good point, and another example (overhead) of where the health care bill makes things worse not better.

Anyway, it's been nice debating with you. I'm subscribed to posts so if you reply I'll see it, but may or may not respond as time permits. Hope you understand...

Comment: Re:health insurance is like auto insurance now (Score 1) 2424

by tizzo (#31571580) Attached to: House Passes Massive Medical Insurance Bill, 219-212

Upholding McCain/Feingold or overturning the 2nd amendment would have been difficult votes for even a very liberal member to cast. To my mind, being that the court in both these cases sided with the unambiguous plain language of the constitution, these decisions are as right down the middle as any - and both were 5-4.

Put another way, neither of these decisions were "conservative" unless you're willing to give conservatives the title of sole defenders of the constitution - which I presume you are not.

A better example would be Kelo, in which five justices took the undeniably liberal position, and four took the conservative position. That was a different court of course, but in general the turnover has replaced liberal with liberal and conservative with conservative.

Comment: Re:Pro / cons (Score 1) 2424

by tizzo (#31570768) Attached to: House Passes Massive Medical Insurance Bill, 219-212

The problem with the Republicans on this issue is that they have been complete obstructionists. They may well have had excellent proposals, but they didn't even try to implement them in the six years in which they controlled the Senate, House, and White House. They didn't do anything towards it in the six years they controlled Congress while Clinton was President, or the two years in which Bush was President, the House was Democrat, and the Senate was split.

When you're right, you're right.

They offered no support to the current bill, under any circumstances.

...to their tremendous credit.

They took themselves completely out of the process; while the blame isn't entirely theirs this Congress, they had plenty of opportunities earlier, and Obama was at least willing to talk to them.

I'm not sure where you got this information, but it flies in the face of all reporting on the issue. As I indicated elsewhere, Republicans were as fully involved in the process of crafting this bill as they were allowed to be by the majority. Most of the bill was written behind closed doors without Republicans or even most Democrats even being able to know what was being discussed.

Obama repeatedly SAID that he was willing to talk to them. But on those rare occasions when he made himself available, he responded to their ideas with "I'm the president". Most recently, at the health care summit, he had the gall to take four minor proposals, tout them as his adoption of republican ideas, adding limited versions of them to the talking-points version of the bill, and then dropping all of them from the bill that was voted on.

I'm not real happy with the bill that got passed, but it's not a disaster. It's the first step towards decent reform, and in my opinion is actually a step forward.

I guess we have to agree to disagree. And I suspect that a lot of that disagreement is rooted in our understanding of the nature of the problems that reform would solve. As far as I'm concerned, this bill doesn't address any of those problems. The single biggest problem in the health care system is the isolation of the health care consumer from the cost of health care. Specifically, no choice that you can make in health care right now will commensurately influence your out of pocket cost, and therefore there is no incentive not to consume any given service, nor to demand fair pricing for that service. The bill just passed only makes things worse.

Other problems nearly as large are the tort situation, and fraud and waste. Neither of them are addressed by the bill just passed, and both of them are enabled by the aforementioned isolation. We all get pissed off when someone wins a jackpot lawsuit, or gets caught stealing from Medicare. But the cost is buried in our taxes and insurance premiums. And no one seriously believes that if fraud, waste, and tort-related costs are eliminated that our insurance premiums or taxes are going to go down, so we have no motivation to demand change. Meanwhile, those abuses afford those who benefit from them with more than enough resources and incentive to buy as many senators, congressmen, and even the occasional president, to allow the status quo to stand. The result is exactly what you would expect - either congress does nothing, or they pass something like what we got last night.

Comment: Re:Pro / cons (Score 1) 2424

by tizzo (#31569792) Attached to: House Passes Massive Medical Insurance Bill, 219-212

Couple of corrections:

First, health care is in no way worse than it was 12 years ago.

Citation necessary, it's not worse if you have it, but the plans have been getting expensive at an alarming rate. A couple years back when I had an individual policy, I was lucky to only get a 12% increase in premiums. Some people are having increases as high as 76% or more. Sure if you have health care it's not any worse, but it's an increasingly common thing for a person to not have any at all.

A lot of the obscene cost increases I've read about are like the one the president kept bringing up in CA. I think it was 39%. This was in a state that has already adopted some of the same kinds of "reforms" that are part of the recently passed bill - and those increases are directly attributable to those reforms.

Bear in mind that a large number of the uninsured are people who can afford insurance but who conclude it is not a good deal because of the cost. The government proposal substantially increases the cost relative to the status-quo, and then requires everyone to pay it. (The president himself admits this). The cost increase will affect everyone, including the currently insured. Then, the majority of the uninsured who can't afford even current rates will get subsidies from the government (read: me) to pay for the even higher cost of the policies that they'll be required to buy.

I don't know about your situation. But from my perspective (and I'm more the norm than the exception) the policy I have now, for which I pay about $12k/year and consume maybe $500 in benefits, will increase to about $18k. On top of that, my taxes will go up so that others unwilling or unable to do so themselves can buy health insurance - without having to first give up their cigarettes or their big-screen TVs (neither of which I use).

Second, all of the concessions made to get health care passed were made to entice Democrats. No concessions were made to Republicans, and no Republicans voted for any version of the bill.

Umm, perhaps if the Republicans were willing to participate in the debate instead of blindly saying no, they'd've got something out of it. There were plenty of concessions made to conservative causes, they were just to ignorant and stubborn too participate. Remember the scare tactics about things like the "death panels" nowhere in any of the versions of the bill was there a single mention of that. And the portion which they twisted into "death panels" was completely removed. Also, single payer was stripped from the bills.

As I pointed out, all these concessions were made to get democrats on board, not republicans. Also, it has been well documented that republican absence from the debate was NOT their choice. Republicans made amendments to this bill all through the process whenever they were given the opportunity. All were defeated, even those that accomplished goals that the president said he wanted. The charge that republicans were not shut out, but rather refused to participate, just won't stick. They were fully involved in the very limited portion of the debate that was not held behind locked doors.

Third, Republicans have had detailed proposals on the table, all of which addresses specific problems with specific solutions, since before the first Democratic bill was ever conceived. You're right that they failed to enact any of these when they had power, and for that they deserve scorn. But supporting the democratic bill on those grounds is a bit like shooting yourself in the head because your mother served meatloaf for dinner even though she had steak in the fridge.

Bullshit, the Republicans haven't at any point put any proposal on the table that had even the slightest chance of working. They were fundamentally flawed and were never intended to be put into place. Basically window dressing for people uninformed enough to not know any better. Some of the ideas that were good were put into the final bill.

Double bullshit. Most of the republican proposals were simple enough to have made their effectiveness obvious. Some had already been tested at the state level and PROVEN to work. And NONE of them made it into the final bill.

Fifth, this is the first ever use of reconciliation for something that isn't reconciliation. And there has never been anything bigger than this, let alone anything bigger than this passed by reconciliation.

Bullshit, that's something that the Republicans under Bush 43 did on more than one occasion.

Again, nothing like this has been passed - ever. Not with or without reconciliation, and certainly not under Bush 43.

And worse still, the Patriot act was passed without any of the legislators being given time to even read the whole thing.

The Patriot Act was written by all the legislators together. You may like it or you may not - there's plenty of room for reasonable disagreement there. But everyone who voted one way or another knew exactly what was in the bill, and it was not passed using reconciliation.

...which stands in extremely sharp contrast, by the way, to not only the health care bill, but also TARP (which was a bipartisan abomination, but which saw very strong Republican opposition and almost universal Democratic support), and the Recovery Act.

Sixth, support for this bill is under 40%. That is not "mildly unpopular".

Citation required, the vast majority of Americans support reform, the fact that the Republicans can lie to the American people without any remorse is just disgusting. Perhaps if they hate this so much they can move to some other country.

They support reform. They do not support this bill. Poll after poll after poll.

Seventh, our proposal is not "doing nothing". If anything, the democratic proposal would be more accurately described as "doing nothing" on the grounds that while it does do a ton of stuff, none of it addresses any of the things that are wrong with health care in the US today - with the possible exception of the individual mandate, which is unconstitutional.

Um, right, but only under a very technical definition of doing nothing. Tort reform and waste reduction is something, it's just easy to confuse that since it's so little that it rounds to nothing.

Nothing? It's almost everything!

Also it's not unconstitutional, you'll have to cite a legit source on that. This sort of thing has been litigated in the past and the SCOTUS has recognized that it doesn't violate the constitution.

Nothing like this has ever been litigated because nothing like this has ever been tried. It is undeniable that the US Constitution forbids the government from requiring you to buy health insurance. Cite the constitution itself. It clearly states that anything the federal government is not specifically empowered to do, it may not do. There is no part of the constitution that can be interpreted to permit this sort of thing.

But then again, SCOTUS lately seems to not feel like reading the constitution when it's not convenient for the conservatives.

By definition, it is never inconvenient for conservatives to igore the constitution.

Imagine that there's a garbage can on fire in your back yard. A couple hundred firefighters respond. They evacuate your neighbors from their homes, dig trenches around the garbage can and bulldoze your home to prevent the fire from spreading, but nobody throws any water on the fire. This is a little bit like what this bill does. You couldn't exactly accuse the firefighters of "doing nothing", but it would surely be absurd to accuse the homeowner, standing helplessly by watching this happen while imploring the firefighters to please just throw water on the fire and leave my house standing, of advocating "doing nothing".

I'm not going to dignify this with particular comment. It's a complete fallacy and is in no way shape or form analogous to the situation at hand.

Yeah, I didn't think so.

Comment: Re:health insurance is like auto insurance now (Score 1) 2424

by tizzo (#31569260) Attached to: House Passes Massive Medical Insurance Bill, 219-212

Ack. Hard to read your post because it's all one paragraph.

Sorry about that.

But you start with an assertion that's demonstrably false, so it tends to undermine anything else you say that might have merit.

First, the biggest funder of medical research in the U.S. and throughout the world is government. That's not likely to change regardless of how health care is provided.

You're not the first person to mention this, and I've responded to it elsewhere. To summarize, the government funds some of basic research (EG the science), but none of the process of bringing a product to market (the "engineering" if you will, which is by far the most expensive part of the process).

Second, even the Cato study (which you're probably referring to) found that 40 percent of what they termed "innovations" happened in countries with "socialized medicine". Now I haven't researched the details of the study (though I tend to be very suspicious of anything Cato writes), but I think it's plausible that the U.S. contributes more than its fair share to medical science. I would need evidence aside from Cato, but I wouldn't be all that surprised if it were true.

But even if I were to accept that, it doesn't follow that this is due to the American health care system. There are at least two confounding factors that I can think of right off the top of my head:

1. The market for medical research is global. American companies that do R&D sell their products all over the world. While the U.S. is a huge market, it's still only a fraction of the global market, so there's no reason to believe that Americans paying less for health care would significantly reduce investment in R&D.

2. While Americans do pay more than anybody else for health care, most of that goes into insurance industry overhead. It would be interesting to know how much of the additional money paid by Americans for health care actually goes into research, but it's clearly not a huge amount.

From what I gather following the debate from Europe, Americans seems to be unable to look at this issue realistically. Free markets are good, in general, but they have problems. If you assume that free markets are always the best solution then you're taking an idealogical position when what's really called for is a careful examination of the actual problem at hand.

The one new thing here is the critique of free markets. Whether you have a point or not is almost moot, because we have constitutionally imposed preferences for free market in the US.

In any case, the bottom line argument in favor of free market above all else is sound. There is absolutely no incentive for any company, based in the US or elsewhere, to spend the enormous amount of money (and take the enormous risk) involved in developing anything new, other than the chance to recoup their investment plus a little profit.

The problem with your argument is that the bill just passed goes WELL beyond just changing the way health care is delivered. For pharmas and innovation in general, the salient fact is that the government has given itself the power to determine how much anyone may be charged for any kind of medical service. And while swearing to never use that power, they also adamantly refused to give it up, even when the bill's passage was in jeopardy. The uncertainly alone posed by that is enough to alter the cost benefit analysis on new product development. Add to that the fact that our sitting president has referred as "abuses" to such things as daring not to pay for the health care of people who didn't buy health insurance until they were sick. Add to that the fact that these new powers are concentrated in the Executive branch, and as such subject to change possibly every four years, and guaranteed every eight - both of which are shorter than the development cycle for a new drug or therapy...

I mean think about it. If you are the one and only guy making decisions for a pharma company considering beginning development on a new drug or therapy or machine or whatever - and knowing your costs and (if you're honest with yourself) the affect this bill has on your chances of recouping them - do you seriously expect me to believe that you're going to make the same decisions you would have made otherwise?

Comment: Re:health insurance is like auto insurance now (Score 1) 2424

by tizzo (#31568250) Attached to: House Passes Massive Medical Insurance Bill, 219-212

Because treatments aren't purchased from researchers by hospitals.

Because the people developing treatments are already paid by the government (NIH etc.)

The government funds some of the basic research, but they don't fund any of the process of converting a scientific discovery into an employable therapy.

Because marketing things like drugs is insanely profitable, and one of the things that got yanked out of this healthcare bill last night was the ability of medicare to negotiate drug prices.

???

Because 6 of the 10 largest drug companies are based in countries that already have socialized (single payer) health care and it seems to be working out fine for them.

Because there's a similar situation in medical technology companies (Siemens, Phillips)

Because until now they've had the US as a market, and the US patent system to protect their innovations. Unless you're going to try to tell me that new therapies and drugs from the likes of Novartis and Seimens are available on the worldwide market for the same cost as the generic version that hits the market 10 years later in the US?

Breast cancer and AIDS research aren't exactly giant profit centers, and again the research is primarily government funded already.

There aren't any "giant profit centers" in the pharma industry. These are all publicly traded companies, so anyone can see how much they make and share in it if you're sure they're doing so well. That said, the therapies available do pay for themselves plus at least a little bit on top, otherwise they'd never have been developed - which is kind of my point.

And again, maybe some of the basic research is government funded, but not any of the development and approval of drugs or therapies based on the science.

As to constitutionality, SCOTUS upheld social security, and it will uphold this bill under congress' authority to tax and the general welfare clause.

The individual mandate is unprecedented in US history. There are also a number of infringements on states rights that will be challenged. It may indeed be upheld but not without wiping out large swaths of the constitution. Consider some of the things for which the individual mandate could be cited as precedent if it survives a court challenge. If you can prosecute someone for refusing to enter into a private contract with a private entity, you pretty much automatically empower the government to require anything less intrusive of its citizens, such as voting, buying specific makes and models of car (or no car at all), certain kinds of food, the list goes on.

Comment: Re:Yup. (Score 1) 999

by tizzo (#31567718) Attached to: Texas Approves Conservative Curriculum

The Times objects to the teaching, for example, that we are a constitutional republic rather than a democracy - which is an objectively true fact.

Except the fact is that we have a democratic republic.

Right. A democratic constitutional republic. NOT a democracy.

They object to teaching that the free enterprise economic system works best in the absence of limited government intervention - which is another objectively true fact.

Right, because Standard Oil and AT&T improved all on their own without government intervention. Because it's regulated, socialist countries that try to blow up the world economy every few decades.

Recall that the breakup of AT&T is widely regarded as a mistake. No improvement has been registered there as a result of government intervention.

Can you be more specific about "blowing up the world's economy" every few decades? Recall that the current worldwide economic crisis was driven by the housing sector in the US. Specifically by the unwise lending of money to people who should not have been considered good credit risks. More specifically still, lending that was mandated by the federal government.

Someone else here objected to the rejection of a liberal's amendment trying to explain that the founders favored a separation of church and state, when it is objectively false that they did.

You should have stopped digging a hole in your credibility when you passed Baghdad Bob. The founders were deeply concerned about keeping government out of religion and religion out of government. Which is why we have the first amendment. Which is why the Constitution specifically says that a religious test will never be required to hold any office.

It is not the right that ever has or ever will favor application of a religious test for office. Recall that atheism/secularism is as much a religion as any other, and it becomes clear that a preference for these ideologies is as much a violation of the first amendment as any other kind of religious test, and is exactly the sort of thing the founders were so afraid of.

Comment: Re:health insurance is like auto insurance now (Score 1) 2424

by tizzo (#31567400) Attached to: House Passes Massive Medical Insurance Bill, 219-212

An awful lot of that remains to be seen. Liberals still have a 5-4 majority on the SCOTUS so that looms large in any court challenge. Although you have to be quite a bit more than just a liberal to uphold a lot of this bill.

It will surely be tied up in court, probably for years. Even if the dems lose both houses in November, any effort to repeal would be vetoed, so you'd need 2/3, not 51%, to fix anything. That means no chance of repeal until Barack Obama is no longer president. And that could be too long.

Furthermore, a partially successful court challenge, which may be more likely that a completely successful challenge, could simply make it worse. The individual mandate is more obviously unconstitutional than say the ban on preexisting condition exclusions, making it entirely possible that the individual mandate would be struck down and preexisting conditions retained. And that would bankrupt every insurance company virtually overnight. And that would leave the public option as the only game in town, giving them their precious single-payer system, which would be impossible to repeal for obvious reasons - which is terrorism by every conceivable definition.

Comment: Re:Pro / cons (Score 1, Informative) 2424

by tizzo (#31566760) Attached to: House Passes Massive Medical Insurance Bill, 219-212

Couple of corrections:

First, health care is in no way worse than it was 12 years ago.

Second, all of the concessions made to get health care passed were made to entice Democrats. No concessions were made to Republicans, and no Republicans voted for any version of the bill.

Third, Republicans have had detailed proposals on the table, all of which addresses specific problems with specific solutions, since before the first Democratic bill was ever conceived. You're right that they failed to enact any of these when they had power, and for that they deserve scorn. But supporting the democratic bill on those grounds is a bit like shooting yourself in the head because your mother served meatloaf for dinner even though she had steak in the fridge.

Fourth, the backroom deals were not eliminated, they are still there along with a bunch of new ones.

Fifth, this is the first ever use of reconciliation for something that isn't reconciliation. And there has never been anything bigger than this, let alone anything bigger than this passed by reconciliation.

Sixth, support for this bill is under 40%. That is not "mildly unpopular".

Seventh, our proposal is not "doing nothing". If anything, the democratic proposal would be more accurately described as "doing nothing" on the grounds that while it does do a ton of stuff, none of it addresses any of the things that are wrong with health care in the US today - with the possible exception of the individual mandate, which is unconstitutional.

Imagine that there's a garbage can on fire in your back yard. A couple hundred firefighters respond. They evacuate your neighbors from their homes, dig trenches around the garbage can and bulldoze your home to prevent the fire from spreading, but nobody throws any water on the fire. This is a little bit like what this bill does. You couldn't exactly accuse the firefighters of "doing nothing", but it would surely be absurd to accuse the homeowner, standing helplessly by watching this happen while imploring the firefighters to please just throw water on the fire and leave my house standing, of advocating "doing nothing".

Comment: Re:Hoorah! (Score 1) 2424

by tizzo (#31566408) Attached to: House Passes Massive Medical Insurance Bill, 219-212

Here it is. If you're an insurance company, you are now responsible for the health care costs of anyone who walks through the door, including those who have not bought a policy from you.

To mitigate the obvious problem with this - which is that everyone is automatically covered whether they buy health insurance or not, meaning that your revenues will approach zero as your liabilities approach infinity, we will require all US citizens to buy health insurance. After a brief transition period there will be no such thing as a preexisting condition because everyone will have health insurance. This is called "individual mandate".

As for the obvious problem with the "individual mandate", which is that we lack anything approaching the authority to force individuals to buy health insurance - we plan to ignore that restriction on our activities. If it is found unconstitutional and stricken from the legislation - well, you're on your own then. Remember that we tried to protect you and it was the right that insisted you bear the cost of preexisting conditions without the individual mandate.

It is clear that the individual who persecutes a man, his brother, because he is not of the same opinion, is a monster. - Voltaire

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