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Comment Re:Its good they're doing this research (Score 1) 70

Yet Julian Simons won the bet.

You might want to read down a little further in the article: (especially the last sentence of this section)

Simon got lucky once. His track record overall isn't so hot.

Comment Re:Thank goodness (Score 1) 999

"Better" may not have been the right word. More convenient ? More expedient ? More choice ?

Private health covers gets you into elective procedures quicker, gets you niceties like private rooms, and the like.

I don't think the care in the private system is any better, though.

Comment Re:yet 33% in the House opposed it (Score 1) 999

Yes, it was pandering.

The difference for Pres. Obama, then Sen. Obama, was that Democrats did not filibuster the debt-limit increase. They voted for cloture then against final passage. The GOP filibustered cloture repeatedly.

So, Democrats surely pandered. Which seems to be something of a bad pattern, with one side or the other using the vote to criticize or embarrass the majority party. Only until now they never actually tried to prevent it from passing.

Comment Re:Thank goodness (Score 2) 999

This varies widely by area. I live in Florida, and I have about 140 plans available to choose from on the exchange, and they range in cost from around a hundred dollars month, to around four hundred a month. Compared to the private market before, there are a few more choices (and a few new carriers, and a few new regional plans) and costs are very similar or slightly lower.

What is definitely different is that junk insurance that provides very little actual insurance is gone from existence. Even for catastrophic plans, if you can get one (based on your age) provide basic preventative health care at no out of pocket cost. If you had one of these plans, you are easily looking at double.

As far as subsidies go, 40k for a single person is not nothing, but it is probably to low a threshold. Businesses are not going to be penalized for about a year, so until then, there is some incentive to dump you off insurance into the exchange system.

User Journal

Journal Journal: Yeah, about that ...

Okay, so there's this quote that never seems to die. It's often attributed to Morgan Freeman, although I believe it actually comes from Henry Rollins; in any case, it doesn't much matter who said it. It just gets posted and reposted as a bit of snarky wisdom. Snarky it certainly is, but wise it's not.

First, the quote: "I hate the word homophobia. It's not a phobia. You are not scared. You are an asshole." There it is. Read it, enjoy it, revel in the snark.

Comment Re: you really want to know what obamacare is? (Score 1) 382

The fraud, abuse and waste within the Medicare system is legendary, and expanding that coverage to all Americans would destroy our economy in no time.

It is true that there is some fraud. But there is a redress system. It is investigated and people routinely go to jail. In the private system, there is very little redress. It is much more difficult to detect and correct.

The reality is that every other country out there has found ways to deal with the fraud and abuse in the single-payer systems they host. And regardless, even given that, it is a far smaller number than the waste and mal-investment that comes from the overhead of the private insurance system.

Comment Re:you really want to know what obamacare is? (Score 1) 382

And given how badly the US federal government screwed this up (actually making fundamental problems like high health care costs worse) why should they be trusted with single payer or some similar scheme?

I am not saying they should, but it is more likely that what comes next is not a Signapore style open free market, but rather, single payer. Which the rest of the western world has in some form or another.

Comment Re:you really want to know what obamacare is? (Score 2) 382

The problem is not the insurance companies or the libertarian mold or worldview.

The problem is that delivery of medical care is not an insurable event. Medical care does not follow the patterns of insurable events that can be insured, re-insured, and hedged against. For your card analogy, it would be as though your chips, and the dealer chips, just disappeared at midnight.

Insurance that is truly that - insurance against unlikely events - is very inexpensive. Consider that insuring your home against major losses, say to $500k, in areas not flood prone or tornado prone, costs perhaps around a thousand dollars a year. That is quite cheap. The cost to insure the same home in an area prone to floods is perhaps five times the base rate. Or more. And in some areas, it is not available at any cost.

And so that's that. Medical insurance is not really insurance. It's a combination of a payment plan, a pre-payment voucher for routine services, a cost sharing plan, a buying club, and a hedge against future events.

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