Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Selective Memories

by Cylinsier

Here's some quotes:

"[This bill] threatens our most basic civil liberties."

"Critics of the Act initially focused on the question of whether [it] sacrificed constitutional protections of liberty and privacy."

"[This bill] undermines the human rights of Americans."

"We must continue to respect our Constitution and protect our civil liberties."

"If we are not careful, [this] will lead to far worse secondary damage, if the U.S. Congress adopts 'preventive measures' that take away the freedom that America stands for."

"[The President and his administration] apparently think Americans are too free."

Just a handful I chose from literally thousands of potential quotes. What do you think they are talking about? If you guessed health care reform, you are wrong. These are all quotes about the PATRIOT Act, the bill that supposedly kept us safe from domestic terrorism for 7 of the previous administration's 8 years of control. Funny how those that supported it so strongly are the same ones telling us now that health care reform threatens the very principals that support the same Constitution they treated like toilet paper when they still had votes. This is what you would call hypocrisy.

The consistency in the conservative argument against health care reform and in favor of the PATRIOT Act is fear. Conservatives feared people of Islamic faith, and that fear bled out to cover anyone not blatantly pro-American and pro-Bush (because he was the President at the time). That fear made the PATRIOT Act seem like the logical choice to them. Now, without the power to control votes in Congress and no presence in the White House, conservatives instead fear the loss of power. That fear bleeds into a fear of anything and everything that is done in government because fear always assumes the worst case scenario. The conservatives cannot conceive of a world that can exist without their control. Thus, they grasp at straws to try to sway opinion back in their favor, claiming the Constitution is at risk, when it is only their biased understanding of it that wavers. In short, conservatives are blinded by fear. This is why they have acted so erratically since losing the last round of elections.

The Republican party is Lord of the Flies, a bunch of children with no mature leadership stranded on an island, trying to establish a new hierarchy where the smart will manipulate the fear to trick the gullible into falling in line.

The quotes above come from:

- Paraphrase of ACLU
- Amnesty International
- Senator Feingold
- Richard Stallman for Slashdot
- ReclaimDemocracy.org

One last quote for you. This one is from the US Constitution, Article I Section 8.

"The Congress shall have power to lay and collect taxes, duties, imposts and excises, to pay the debts and provide for the common defense and general welfare of the United States."

I guess the founding fathers didn't account for wild variations in interpretation. Sphere: Related Content


Wesley said...

Thomas Jefferson observed: "Were we directed from Washington when to sow, and when to reap, we should soon want bread." The bottom line is that Article 1, Section 8 of our Constitution, which addresses powers of the legislature, never endowed Congress with authority to regulate or collect taxes for banking, mortgage or automaker bailouts. Neither does it present authority for them to subsidize production or service sectors such as health care.

James Madison wrote, "I cannot undertake to lay my finger on that article of the Constitution which granted a right to Congress of expending, on objects of benevolence, the money of their constituents..." Sadly, not one Democrat bill addresses "health care" so much as it seeks omnipotent centralized government power and control, the currency of the Left. However, the proposals certainly betray the Left's condescension and contempt for Rule of Law, along with their frontal assault upon our Essential Liberty.

States such as Maine, Vermont, Massachusetts, and New Hampshire have imposed Obamacare-style regulations, and have seen premiums jump for everyone. If people can wait to get sick until they obtain insurance, fewer healthy people will carry insurance. The cost of an older and sicker insurance pool naturally increases. To prevent this spiral of “adverse selection,” Obamacare imposes a mandate requiring all adults to buy insurance. But Democrats in the Senate Finance Committee — sensitive to its politically unpalatable requirements and fines — watered it down.

This only stokes the cost problem. MIT health economist Jonathan Gruber says that under this looser regime, the young and healthy will drop their insurance, and premiums will go up by 10 percent. Sarah Bianchi, the chief domestic-policy adviser for the Kerry and Gore presidential campaigns, fears the same dynamic.

This is exactly the point made by the much-reviled insurers. How to address this concern and placate a restive Left? Revive the left-for-dead public option. Pelosi insists that the public option will achieve “the lowest cost for America’s working families,” who shouldn’t be left on their own “to negotiate with insurance companies.”

This is a total fantasy. To tamp down fears that a public option is a vehicle for a government takeover, the House bill has a relatively tepid version that will supposedly only attract 10 million people. If so, that won’t help the broader middle class much. If a more “robust” public option is designed to drastically undercut private insurance rates and pull in more people, the costs of the squeeze it puts on doctors and hospitals will be passed along to the private system. In this scenario, the public option will be like Medicare, a program beggaring the private system even as it grows out of control itself.

In short, the public option is a recycled means of pretending away Obamacare’s costs. When the Office of the Actuary at Health and Human Services said the House bill would increase system-wide costs, the Democrats had a ready response — the bill is already being changed. The perfect bill that will bring greater coverage coupled with miraculously declining costs is always just over the horizon, a shimmering mirage of wishful thinking and willful dishonesty.

Eventually, Democrats will have to settle on a final bill and won’t be able to sweep its weaknesses under the rug of the next drafting process. Whatever its final form, it will raise taxes, cut Medicare, and — in all likelihood — increase insurance premiums. If the past few months of polling are any guide, it will be under 50 percent approval. Its benefits, such as they are, won’t kick in until 2013, while the taxes will start immediately.

Gertrude said...

Admittedly I didn't read Wesley's whole post. I am of the opinion that the only time that it is appropriate to talk at THAT length about your own opinions is in therapy. With a shrink whom you are paying to listen to you. Because no one else should have to. Surely someone here could make a good referral??

That said, it seems he is arguing that the proposed bills are not good because they are watered down? To please whom, do you suppose, if not whiny Republican blog whores?? I am confused. Stop with the whining and maybe we'll get a real bill passed.

On that note, a single payer option should adequately address all of the concerns in the first half of his post by default.

Cylinsier said...

Apparently, the public option is the fast track to single payer because of how it will work so well that it will put private insurers out of business, despite the fact that we are constantly reminded of how it will also fail miserably. Sometimes I think all conservatives have dissociative identity disorder.

Wesley said...

Gerssy, WTF. If you have ADD and can’t keep up then I suggest switch to Twitter or take your meds. Excuse me, but I thought this was a blog and we were only limited by google’s 1450 characters? By your logic, El and Cy should seek therapy and stop blogging immediately. What makes their opinion worthy of more length than mine? My therapist does not give a shit about my political views and in fact encouraged me to find a bunch of retards in the blogishpere to banter with. Mission accomplished! Now, go take your meds and call me in the morning.

No one needs a bill passed. Your premise is all wrong. Most Americans are happy with their current health care. Why put everyone in Yugo health insurance? You never answered that point. There are a lot of things we could do to fix health insurance like compete across state lines or Tort reform. They can’t even get a pig flu vaccine out to the public. Why the fuck do you think the same government that brought you the failed Post Office, Medicare, Social Security, etc. could get health care right???? YGTBSM

I am cutting off here in hopes that your attention span did not wane.

Ellipses said...

"There are a lot of things we could do to fix health insurance like compete across state lines or Tort reform. They can’t even get a pig flu vaccine out to the public. Why the fuck do you think the same government that brought you the failed Post Office, Medicare, Social Security, etc. could get health care right????"

I can buy blue cross/blue shield insurance here in PA... If I lived in North Carolina, I could also buy blue cross/blue shield... What exactly would change, price-wise, if I could buy NC BC/BS while living in PA? What is the projected size of the price decrease by allowing insurance companies to sell insurance in other states (given that most sell in multiple states anyway)?

Second, what is the projected savings from tort reform? Part of the reason that damages awarded are so high is that the "patient" is often either uninsurable, or only able to be insured at a much higher cost due to the medical fuck up. In effect, the reason you get such a big judgement in malpractice cases is because it has to pay for future medical expenses due to the original fuckup. If everyone is guaranteed coverage through a central, single payer system, then damages can be realistically limited only to lost wages, direct financial loss, and punitive damages... you can ignore the bazillions of dollars in addition medical costs for the rest of their lives.

As far as medicare, social security and the post office... what about them doesn't "work?"

If I put a letter in the mail with the proper postage, it goes wherever I sent it in a day or two. I call that "something that works."

When my grandmother goes to the doctor, she gives them her medicare card and that's it. I call that "something that works."

Every month, on the same day, my grandmother gets her SS check. I call that "something that works."

When letters stop going to the address on the envelope or when SS checks stop showing up in mailboxes or medicare doesn't prevent my grandma from paying 30 grand a year for her health care, then we can talk about things that don't work... Your issues with the accounting processes don't really matter a dime's worth of difference in terms of "end user experience."

Cylinsier said...

I can tell you what tort reform and buying insurance across state lines will save: nothing, so long as private insurers remain immune to anti-trust law.

Wesley said...

If you want to punish insurance companies, then make them compete. As economist Adam Smith observed, whenever two businessmen meet, the conversation ends in a conspiracy against the public, or in some contrivance to raise prices. That's why we need a third, fourth and 100th competing insurance company that will undercut them by offering better service at a lower price.

France and Germany have more competition among health insurers than the U.S. does right now. Amazingly, both of these socialist countries have less state regulation of health insurance than we do, and you can buy health insurance across regional lines -- unlike in the U.S., where a federal law allows states to ban interstate commerce in health insurance.

U.S. health insurance companies are often imperious, unresponsive consumer hellholes because they're a partial monopoly, protected from competition by government regulation. In some states, one big insurer will control 80 percent of the market. (Guess which party these big insurance companies favor? Big companies love big government.)

Cy, like most real liberals, thinks they can improve the problem of a partial monopoly by turning it into a total monopoly. That's what single-payer health care is: "Single payer" means "single provider."

It's the famous liberal two-step: First fuck something up, then claim that it's fucked up because there's not enough government oversight (it's the free market run wild!), and then step in and really fuck it up in the name of "reform."

Government-provided health care isn't a competitor; it's a monopoly product paid for by the taxpayer. Consumers may be able to "choose" whether they take the service -- at least at first -- but every single one of us will be forced to buy it, under penalty of prison for tax evasion. It's like a new Internet plan with a "yes" box, but no "no" box.

You want to protect consumers? Do it the same way we protect consumers of groceries, energy drinks and plumbers: Give them the power to tell their insurance companies, "I'm taking my business elsewhere."

One of the largest contributing factors to the cost of health care today is malpractice insurance. It's driving doctors out of the business. Obama has promised that he's going to squeeze payments to doctors even further. He's going to squeeze payments to hospitals. He's going to squeeze payments to insurers, meaning he's going to decide what prices are. That's not going to do any better than that's happening today, where insurance companies and the government working together determine what prices are.

A simple element of tort reform would be to make the loser pay. In health care, where professional hustlers -- and they're not all this way -- but professional hustlers in the tort bar, these plaintiff lawyers, they hustle around, they read the papers, they mine for people like this who have been somehow mistreated or misdiagnosed or whatever they want to claim by a doctor, and they want to sue for big bucks, not for any legitimate reason, just to get some money. Today the simplest way for that to happen is for the doctor to pay in a settlement to avoid costs of litigation, but if loser pays were implemented, that would end all of this, and you would lower health care costs dramatically with just that one move. They don’t do this because the people who write the laws in this country are all lawyers, and the Democrats receive most of their financial contributions from the tort bar, from the plaintiffs bar.

And so it's a dirty little secret. Just follow the money trail. It's always all about money, and it's a way for Democrat constituents to get rich, once again feeding off the achiever class, the entrepreneurial class, just go get what they've got, penalize them for their hard work, penalize them for their risks, but if you just institute loser pays, it's that simple, you would find the costs of health care dropping dramatically, and then we could get to the policy aspects of reforming it even further.

scott said...

Wesley's apparent inability to refrain from expressing his opinions in long form seems tailor made for his own blog. Yet he chooses to limit himself to comments here where he knows his opinions will be routinely met by those who disagree with him and who seem to find his opinions lacking in merit. Perhaps he knows that piggybacking on posts at The Elliptical Press is the only way he'll gain any readership?

Wesley said...

If you want people to limit their comments then I suggest you petition Google to further constrain the word limit. However, recogizing the attention spans I am dealing with here I will try and do better on the length.

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