Friday, May 5, 2017

What part of health insurance doesn't the GOP understand?

"Lamentation over the Death of the First-Born of Egypt" by Charles Sprague Pearce 


     A short quiz. Two simple yes-or-no questions, which half of the readership will nevertheless fail.
     Ready? Then let's begin.
     1: Do you want to pay the health care costs for strangers? a: Yes. b: No.
     2. Do you want health insurance for yourself? a: Yes. b: No.
     You can almost hear the thunderous "No!" to 1. Particularly the day after House Republicans finally fulfilled their dream of scuttling Obamacare. Those victorious congressmen and the citizens they represent frequently recoil in indignant horror at the notion of paying for the health care of others. As former Congressman Joe Walsh succinctly put it in a tweet: "Sorry Jimmy Kimmel: your sad story doesn't obligate me or anybody else to pay for somebody else's health care."
     He's referring to talk show host Kimmel's on-air appeal for health care, using his newborn son's heart condition as an illustration.And Walsh is indeed correct — a rarity for him. The poignant plight of others does not obligate him or anybody else to pay for their health care. But you know what does? Possessing health insurance. Paying for the care of others is the definition of health insurance.

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27 comments:

  1. It's not that the GOP doesn't understand. They understand alright, they just don't care. All they care about is having a victory over the Democrats and damn the country. That's what they did in the previous 8 years and that's ​what they'll continue to do as long as people blindly keep voting them back into office.

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    1. I don't think the people voting them in are blind either. They do, just don't give a fuck. If it pokes the eye of the forces they imagine keeping them down, then heck, go for it!

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    2. Do you know the Russian anecdote about the man who saves a forest gnome caught on the fence in his back yard? The Gnome tells him that is reward will be one wish, but since the man saved the gnome from being caught on the fence between himself and his neighbor, whatever the man wishes for himself, his neighbor will also receive. The man thinks to himself for a moment, and then says, "Poke out my eye"

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    3. The neighbor is supposed to receive twice what he wishes for.

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    4. Not just a victory over Democrats but a way to destroy the legacy of the Kenyan Muslim Socialist. https://www.washingtonpost.com/graphics/politics/trump-rolling-back-obama-rules/?utm_term=.e1f58a259bcb

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  2. lets not suddenly heap the affordable care act with high praise. this is a very flawed program. while it expanded coverage for millions through medicaid and thats a positive, because those folks actually get some care. some folks get a subsidy from the feds that lowers the cost of their premiums but the coverage is not good unless your really sick, which has I'm sure benefitted many. then there are people like me who have to pay nearly a thousand dollars a month for a policy with a $12500.00 deductible + a co pay. or don't buy it and get fined several thousand dollars because of the mandate. i know this is better for a lot of people than before obama care but this program needs to be changed. i don't trust the house republicans to get that done in any meaningful or beneficial way maybe the senate will make changes to the bill that benefit americans, unlikely as well . the insurance lobby will make sure the corporate giants benefit as always and i don't care who's president or in control of congress thats always the case , at least since LBJ.
    like almost everyone in the country including most congressman, i haven't read this bill. and don't plan too I'm just trying to limber up so i can get hold of my ankles once again and let me tell you its not because i anticipate the bill includes an affordable colonoscopy. and i imagine Neil you've got coverage through work or through where your wife works and this don't mean shit to you except as fodder to write. for me its the real world not punditry.

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    1. There were ways to fix Obama Care, but Republicans didn't want to do that.
      http://www.newyorker.com/news/john-cassidy/three-ways-to-fix-obamacare https://www.nytimes.com/2016/11/15/upshot/politics-aside-we-know-how-to-fix-obamacare.html I don't know if Charlie Gaba writes about any fixes but he has been blogging about the ACA since 2013. https://www.nytimes.com/2016/11/15/upshot/politics-aside-we-know-how-to-fix-obamacare.html

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    2. FME your cynicism cuts right to the heart of the matter. Lost in the healthcare debate is the acceleration of costs well beyond the rate of inflation for the last four decades. Unfortunately the Affordable Care Act did not lower costs as hoped, not surprisingly because there were little if any cost saving features in the bill. The Democrats and their lobbyist locked out the Republicans and their lobbyist from having any part in writing the legislation. Unfortunately the Republicans see this as an opportunity to add additional costs to the benefit of their lobbyist. There is an alternative for those who answer no and no to questions one and two. As a result of the messed up healthcare in Canada and Great Britain, a thriving industry has emerged called Medical Tourism. I find it intriguing that in the U.S. a $300,000 heart procedure only costs $91,000 when preformed in Taiwan. So go ahead all you partisan hacks screw things up as much as you like, in the emerging global economy people will find a better way without the help of busy bodies.

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  3. I'm tired of the constant fighting between both parties. Both sides are preoccupied with making the other side look bad, instead of focussing on providing affordable health care for all. We should hold all of Congress accountable and vote them out of office if they don't stop this infighting. They need to collaborate and address the issues in a responsible manner.

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    1. The "plague on both their houses" stance is threadbare. The Democrats made a great advance in health care. The Republicans hate him and fucked it up. It's that simple.

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    2. Totally disagree with you. It's all about one upping the other guy. Otherwise, the Dems would have worked with the GOP in the first place, but they explicitly told the GOP that their input wasn't wanted. And then, the Democratic leadership had to twist arms and bribe their own members to vote for the ACA.

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    3. great advance in healthcare? what? if like you say insurance is everyone paying so that when a catastrophe happens to somebody we all pay a little. thats not what the ACA did . lots of people didn't pay anything and get care and the rest of us pay a great deal and get nothing. I'm not saying we shouldn't care for the poor , I'm just saying lets be honest about what obama care had at its heart. this pissed off a lot of people . and not just the stupid ones

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    4. It is as simple as Neil noted. A chance to poke a thumb in Obama's eye, while simultaneously freeing up a trillion dollars to cut taxes on billionaires. Sometimes life is simple. This is one of those times. Now we get to see if people whose grandchildren will soon lose their health care will finally wise up to the con our "populist" Narcissist in Chief has perpetrated on them. I'm confident they will follow him off the edge of a cliff, just as he he moving money from their wallet to his.

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    5. Stan P. -- DIsagree you might, but it's bullshit. I know this being unmoored from reality is contagious, but I won't tolerate it here. The GOPs had no interest in working with Obama over health care. If you don't know it, you should. Merely insisting on fantasy is not an argument.

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    6. Hmm, I go back to my original point that no-one seems to want to collaborate on fixing the reasons for the high cost of medical care. As an example, our first child was born while I was between jobs back in 1977. The cost of the medical bills amounted to the price of a new Cadillac at that time and we were able to pay for it, over time, without insurance. I don't think that the cost of a new Cadillac today would pay for all the costs associated with a delivery and a week's stay in the hospital. So, did anyone do a root cause analysis of why costs are so high now relative to 40 years ago? I don't think so. Instead the focus was on figuring out how to pay for the insurance within the existing structure of the current system. The two political parties hate each other so much that there's no attempt to work for the people they're supposed to represent. I give the Dems credit for passing the ACA, but it had problems which they recognized but were not willing to work on because the GOP wasn't going to help them. Now the GOP has the majority and they came out with a bill proposal which has problems but the Democratic Party won't help them. So who gets stuck with the mess are the American voters. We are not being helped by our political parties at this time.

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  4. All the Brits I know are staunch supporters of the National Health System, although as is the case with Medicare, those who can afford it buy supplemental policies to cover co-pays and faster treatments.

    Does anybody else but Bernie think that shopping worldwide for the cheapest heart operation is going to be an option for many people?

    An interesting historical irony is that the first universal health system was installed in 1880's Germany, not by Karl Marx but arch conservative Otto von Bismarck. It was opposed by some on the left as an infringement of liberty, but he argued, successfully, that a healthy population was needed to "make Germany great again."

    In passing the Affordable Care Act, the Democrats may not have paid a great deal of attention to Republicans, but they did get input from medical associations, insurers, and a number of experts who had spent years studying a subject Donald Trump recently discovered was "complicated." Hours of hearings. Republicans now seem to be talking to themselves.

    Tom

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    1. Hi Tom. It was in a 60 Minutes segment from 12 years ago. I and whoever produced that episode believe medical tourism can be a solution for some, so there is at least two of us. One reason the Brits and Canadians availed themselves of the alternative was because they couldn't abide the waiting list for surgery. You need more cynicism! In forming the Affordable Care Act, the insurance companies wanted to drop coverage for their sickly customers, or have others subsidize those patient's care. Hospitals don't want to be stuck with the bill for uninsured and poor people, or implement cost savings that would upset the status quo. Then there was an assortment of special interests that wanted mandatory coverage for their cause. It's puzzling why doctors were locked out of the process, and also no reform of liability laws. Some doctors have retired early or limited the services they provide, because of the high cost of liability insurance.

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  5. They didn't pay attention to Republicans when reforming healthcare? Of course, since Republicans don't want to improve it. Republicans don't want poor people to get healthcare, they want them dead or in prison.

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  6. For a lot of people, and I'm now one of them, the ACA did exactly what it said: made care affordable. Now if this abomination passes the Senate, people like me will be stuck with a bill for health insurance that's bigger than our mortgage.

    The key to this debate IMO is that the great majority of Americans get health insurance through work and don't really care much about those who don't. One of the great political achievements of conservative Republicans is that they've cast selfishness as some sort of virtue.

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  7. It's not just a failure to understand insurance, it's a failure to understand civilization.

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  8. The notion that Republicans were shut out of discussions about the ACA is mostly bullshit. What I remember is an argument that the US has the most wonderful health care in the world and nothing should be done to interfere with it. It is some kind of progress that now the GOP knows that something is needed. Just seems sad that they have, so far, come up with a crappier alternative.

    Breaking news. Mr. Trump has just complimented the Australian PM on that country's health care system, saying its better than ours. It is, of course, a universal coverage system not too unlike the ACA.
    Bernie Sanders agrees.

    Tom

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    1. Hey calling my opinion BS is not nice, it makes you sound lake a regular Dishonest John. Care to cite whatever significant Republican idea was implemented in Obamacare? Whatever ideas were included it was not enticing enough, all the Republicans voted against the bill. It is a moot point anyway, we are probably in agreement, the Republicans have no solutions that would increase the quality of healthcare, or make it more affordable.

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    2. Your second sentence:

      "Care to cite whatever significant Republican idea was implemented in Obamacare?"

      Your fourth sentence:

      "Republicans have no solutions that would increase the quality of healthcare..."

      So perhaps no "significant Republican idea" was included in Obamacare because they didn't have any.

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    3. "Care to cite whatever significant Republican idea was implemented in Obamacare?"

      In fact the ACA, Obamacare, is almost a carbon copy of Romneycare, the successful Republican equivalent.

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    4. Good point Wendy C. More of a template, the ACA would have been a better bill if it actually was a carbon copy of Romenycare. I'd say the Massachusetts plan was more of a bipartisan effort than a pure Republican plan.

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    5. On the day Obama became the president the republicans got together and decided that they will not work with this president in an effort to make him a one term president. Period. The Democrats had no choice but go alone and bring us a program that while not perfect has helped many Americans get health insurance for the first time in their life, many of them went later and voted for Trump because they believed he'll deliver cheaper and better health insurance for all. Yeah, right.

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  9. Joe Walsh. A sterling character. Lied about having a job to avoid paying child support. A law was made because of this guy. Just the sort a large portion of Americans voted into office. Obamacare sucks. It needs work. But it is still better than nothing. Which it looks like a lot of people are going to be left with. Joe Walsh and his ilk have theirs. The politicians are floating in insurance. God help them, too, if there is a reversal of fortune in their future. Of course, bowing to the machine guarantees them a job for the time being.

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