Sunday, August 30 , 2015, 7:40 am | Fair 72.0º




Joe Conason: If Obamacare Goes, Will America ‘Let Him Die’?

If the Supreme Court voids the law's insurance mandate, we know about Tea Party Republicans will take care of the ill and injured

By Joe Conason |

Despite significant negative signals, the final outcome of this week’s arguments over the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act will remain unknown until the Supreme Court issues a ruling in June. What is painfully obvious today, however, should have been clear enough long before any of the lawyers opened their mouths. The five Republican justices represent an ideological bloc as adamantly hostile to universal health care — no matter the cost in lost lives or squandered trillions of dollars — as in 1965, when Medicare passed.

If the high court voids the law’s insurance mandate (once promoted by the same politicians and policymakers who now scorn it), we know how Tea Party Republicans would cope with the financial problem posed by ill and injured people who show up at hospitals without coverage. They told us last fall during the presidential debate in Tampa, Fla., when they cheered for, “Let him die!”

Neither the Republican justices nor the lawyers challenging the law were nearly so crude in court. Indeed, Michael Carvin, the eminent attorney representing the National Federation of Independent Business, specifically rejected the notion that overturning health reform could result in denying care to the uninsured, during a crucial exchange with Justice Sonia Sotomayor.

“What percentage of the American people who took their son or daughter to an emergency room and that child was turned away because the parent didn’t have insurance,” Sotomayor sasked, “... do you think there’s a large percentage of the American population that would stand for the death of that child — (who) had an allergic reaction and a simple shot would have saved the child?”

In his response, Carvin scolded, “One of the more pernicious, misleading impressions that the government has made is that we are somehow advocating that people be — could get thrown out of emergency rooms, or that this alternative that they’ve hypothesized is going to be enforced by throwing people out of emergency rooms.”

But the alternative proposed by him and Paul Clements, the attorney for the states challenging the law, was astonishingly absurd (much like their repeated claim that the health “market” is like the market for any other commodity and should be treated as such). The problem of the uninsured receiving uncompensated care paid for by everyone else could be eliminated, they argued, by requiring them to buy insurance when they need it — that is, when they show up at the hospital.

How many needless, cruel deaths such an alternative might cause is something we may yet learn if the court majority accepts the plaintiffs’ callous position. Serious illness or injury doesn’t magically make insurance affordable to families that could not afford it before — and only someone prepared to let people suffer would pretend that it does.

If the Affordable Care Act is voided, and Americans must start over again on a project completed decades ago in all the other advanced industrial nations, then perhaps we should look forward in the direction indicated by Carvin himself, a leading member of the right-wing Federalist Society.

“I want to understand the choices you’re saying Congress has (under the Constitution),” Sotomayor inquired. “Congress can tax everybody and set up a public health system.”

“Yes,” Carvin replied. “I would accept that.” In fact, he probably wouldn’t — and certainly the Republicans wouldn’t without losing an enormous struggle first — but at least now their chosen advocate is on the record suggesting that “Medicare for All” would pass constitutional standards. And considering how popular Medicare remains, even among many elderly voters who identify with the Tea Party, that might be the right place to begin again.

Joe Conason writes for Creators Syndicate. Click here for more information, or click here to contact him.




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» on 03.29.12 @ 01:48 PM

Here we go again. Those countries that adopted this way of handling healthcare are now bankrupt Joe. Those that aren’t quite there yet are only so because we pay for their defense.

The point has been all along, how do you pay for this? Where is the massive amount of money going to come from? We cannot defend bankrupt Europe or defend Asia while borrowing from them and still provide cradle to grave healthcare that allows you to spend your entire adult life living as an adolescent under the care of government.

It is sickening to listen to parasitic wealthy white liberals bark about how un European we are when they have done nothing to contribute to economic growth here, done everything possible to thwart economic growth and then shelter their own wealth off shore so its protected from the very parasitic policies they espouse.

However, and this is important for fear mongering AH’s like you Joe to consider, even if all the wealthy liberal lefty loonies were to ante up all their personal assets to the causes they bark about and live a modest life like the rest of us, it wouldn’t put a dent in the bill for the services they want to render under a fiercely strong central government. Even, Joe, if they took all the wealth from their arch enemies on the right (a smaller number, BTW) in addition, it wouldn’t make a dent.

Do the math; figure out what you are willing to do with out, then tell me if this is such a great idea.

» on 03.29.12 @ 03:22 PM

I don’t understand the logic behind this doomsday prediction regarding people dying if Obamacare is overturned as un-Constitutional.

Why would the situation after Obamacare is gone not be the same as it was before Obamacare was passed?

» on 03.29.12 @ 10:07 PM

Regarding Joe’s assertion that it is absurd to consider the idea that the “market” for healthcare is like the market for any other commodity, he reveals some common economic fallacies.  Health care, like just about everything we’d like to have more of, can be considered a scarce resource – its provision requires inputs such and labor, research, and supplies.  These inputs will never be unlimited in any system. Allocating scarce resources can be done through a “free market”, or by central control.  One could argue some combination of both is best, but that leads to the slippery slope we’ve experienced in health care over several decades… increasing government intervention and control. Allocation then becomes a bureaucratic exercise, replete with favors, special interest pandering, vote buying, etc.  Without a market to set prices, shortages and surpluses become inevitable, and further bureaucratic intervention creates a vicious circle. With a free market in healthcare, just as in other products or services, the providers must compete for consumers.  Costs decrease, innovation is rewarded, and the product or service becomes available to more people.  The much smaller number that would “fall through the cracks” would be taken care of by voluntary charity, something a free and prosperous people do.  To blame our current healthcare problems on the free market ignores the fact that we haven’t had anything close to a free market in healthcare in decades.

» on 03.29.12 @ 11:53 PM

Bishop ANchove, get back in the cafeteria and finish your creamed peas, you pedantic parasite.

» on 03.30.12 @ 02:02 AM

Nice try ramjet, now go get sober and try again.

» on 03.30.12 @ 02:26 AM

I thought Obama was a constitutional scholar. How could he possibly craft legislation that doesn’t stand up to legal challenge? Something stinks.

» on 03.30.12 @ 12:26 PM

GeeWillikersWally - Seriously?  Do you have any understanding of how our Federal Govt works?  Have you a clue as to the three branches of Govt and their functions?  Answer = obviously not.

An50 -  you make a patently false claim that all other countries with centralized / single payer healthcare are broke and then call others the fear mongers?  Are you really that blatantly stupid?  Answer = yes.  You simply parrot, you do not think, you do not research and you do not matter.  The last one is probably the hardest for you to see… get a clue and a purpose.  You serve no one and produce nothing.  You’re a superfluous man who does nothing but complain and inject.

» on 03.30.12 @ 12:34 PM

Willie, he is, and a bright one at that. However the law we mischaracterize as “Obamacare” was drafted by the senate under Harry Reid. Yes the president signed it and supported it but he really is not responsible for its content. He is responsible for not vetting a cumbersome piece of legislation he signed into law, though given its mind numbing size, who could blame him. Remember Pelosi’s famous analysis? “We have to pass it to find out what’s in it.” Well the justices are finding out and they are hopping mad that this mess was left to them to decipher. Even the liberal judges are fuming over the mess.

I guess if you are looking for someone to lay blame on it would have to be Harry Reid. Right now he is not making many friends, right or left, for this sloppy, overly complicated, rushed through law. And if it goes down it will be Harry who is responsible for screwing his own guy out a second term as a result. On the bright side we can maybe salvage some of the good points the law ushered in and reform health care insurance. As for providing universal insurance for all you already know where I stand on that.

» on 03.30.12 @ 12:47 PM

Somedolt, yes there are a few of countries that are not broke, do you know which ones and why? Canada, a major energy and resource exporter and some smaller European countries that are also net trade exporters. Get the picture numb nut? Those countries that are trade revenue neutral or net deficit are all broke. We are not only already broke, without some huge universal healthcare entitlement, but are also running a huge half a trillion dollar a year trade deficit and providing Europe is damned defense.

So once again dim wit, how are you going to pay for something as expensive as universal healthcare when you can’t pay for what you do now, and import more crap than you produce? And if you give some stupid dim witted answer like your dopy OWS pot heads and just say tax the rich, keep in mind if you took all the wealthy’s surplus income it wouldn’t put a dent in the cost of a universal healthcare system for 310 million people.

Now don the tin hat and go back to the basement, and remember you can have all the dopy nanny coddling dependency encouraging crap your little adolescent heart desires when and if you figure out how to pay for it, without stealing from people who actually earn their keep.

» on 03.30.12 @ 12:47 PM

Don’t know why conservatives always look across the pond… Canada has a single payer system, has a multiethnic society with lots of immigration issues, and Canada isn’t anything like bankrupt… in large part because they never deregulated their banking/housing loan/derivatives system.  They still have normal honest banking in Canada.

Far more Americans sneak across the border for regular low cost health care to Canada (like, from Detroit to Windsor) than Canadians who arrive on jet planes for cadillac treatment in America.

On healthcare, conservatives have flip flopped… the Romney/Obama plan of a mandate with choice of insurer is from the Heritage Foundation in the 1990’s, and was once supported by Newt Gingrich, Bob Dole, and many others.

As for jumping first and figuring out later… seen any WMD in Iraq lately?  Thank you George W Bush for your $5 trillion misadventure in Iraq and Afghanistan.  And thanks for the $25 trillion Wall Street Bailout.  Millions of Iraqis and Afghan chieftains with millions in swiss bank accounts, and of course Wall Street executives who got their $10 million yearly bonuses guaranteed by Republican handouts love the tax and spend policies of conservatives.

» on 03.30.12 @ 01:02 PM

Petry = AN50 and Wireless.  Same words, same un-creative retorts, same limited vocabulary…

Dan you really are one lonely and pathetic guy.  Maybe you should think about improving your own life before you tell everyone else how to live?

» on 03.30.12 @ 02:42 PM

Publius, as you have probably already read my previous post, Canada is a net exporting economy. Therefore they can afford it. We on the other hand are close to bankruptcy. That’s the difference. I wish we could get off this dopy and divisive partisan crap as both parties are as guilty as the other for the damage done to our economy. That and the baby boom generation’s infatuation with wealth accumulation over wealth generation (if you don’t know what that means you are the problem).

It isn’t that hard to figure out people, you can’t get something for nothing. And no, as rich as the rich are they still don’t have enough wealth no matter how they got it to pay for this monster and that isn’t going to change one friggen bit because we hand control of the economy over to the biggest debtor on the planet and in all human history, the US federal government.

Stop thinking about what you friggen want and start figuring out how you are going to pay for what you already owe the world $70 + trillion for. Got it?

» on 03.30.12 @ 03:31 PM

Folks, Obamacare is un-Constitutional.  Period.  The federal government is one of limited powers.  There is nothing, nothing in the Constitution that authorizes the federal government to compel us to enter into commerce in order to regulate us.  If they can do that there is no limit to federal power.  QED.

Obama and Democrats were warned about this and disregarded the advice and pushed through a takeover of the health care sector along strictly partisan lines and against the will of the American people.  They paid the price in 2010 and will again in 2012.  You don’t ram something down the throats of the American people they don’t want.  Regardless of how well intentioned you might think it is.  They wasted a year dividing this country and foisting this travesty on the public while more pressing problems, like the economy, debt and deficit, went unaddressed.

This law will be gone one way or another.  Either the court will hopefully throw this abomination out or it will be repealed politically.  Whatever the intent was, Obamacare is clearly driving up costs faster than they were before.  The problem we have is that costs are increasing faster than the rate of inflation, and have been for some time.  If you pass a law and it makes things worse it should be repealed.  And it will be.

All this hand wringing and focusing on the scenarios where a very small percentage of people benefit but those benefits cause the system to collapse or have costs spiral out of control is sophistry.

» on 03.30.12 @ 03:56 PM

someguy, what is this fascination you have with Petry?  You are strangely obsessed with him.  He’s living rent free in your obviously small mind

» on 03.30.12 @ 03:59 PM

Yes, I totally agree: the rich in the US got it the old fashioned way, from handouts of their cronies in government.  25 Trillion $ of taxpayer’s money was siphoned right to rich peoples bank accounts by Henry Paulson and George W. Bush.  $5 Trillion for the Iraq and Afghan wars to the rich who own General Dynamics, Lockheed, etc.

We are a country of rich people who rob blind anyone with actual initiative and hard work.  We are now officially Argentina or Mexico.  As I work my butt off and pay my 40% toal tax rate for my meager income, I rest happy knowing General Electric and Mitt Romney and Barack Obama pay either 0 or less than 20 or 30%.  Lots of billionaires pay 0%.

Heard a conservative commentator yesterday call the rich `job creators’.  Yes, they create jobs for FoxConn in China.  They take their $25 Trillion in taxpayer handouts and create $5/hour jobs for illegals cleaning their toilets.

And where do folks on the left get their entitlement philosophy?  They learn it right from George Bush and Hank Paulson.  Since the captains of conservatives are hollow liars, the left figures they can lie lie lie and reward sloth and BS just the same.  They just do it differently… instead of giving out $10 million per person gifts of taxpayer largess, they give $50,000 per person to a lot more people.

As for health care… a small minority of physicians, nurses, and assistants work their butts off.  But for every one like that there are 5 or 10 administrators working to justify 2,000 percent markups and all kinds of greed, graft, and corruption.  That is the real health care story.

» on 03.30.12 @ 04:45 PM

p,

Leave aside for the moment that 1) the law is unconstitutional and 2) the public did not and does not want it and let’s just look at the mechanics of this law.  It is raising costs faster than they were before and it will not solve 1) the uninsured problem or 2) the cost problem.

http://news.investors.com/article/606001/201203291458/mandate-will-not-solve-health-care-flaws.htm

There are tons of articles and studies on this that show it will not work and will make things worse.  Everybody can’t be subsidized, it is an economic impossibility.

» on 03.30.12 @ 04:53 PM

Here is another example of how bad this law is performing from a practical point of view:

http://news.investors.com/article/606119/201203291853/premiums-going-in-wrong-direction-under-obamacare.htm

“The cost of an average family premium shot up 9.5% in 2011 — the highest rate in seven years and three times the rate of overall inflation”

“Obama, as a candidate, promised he’d slash family premiums by $2,500 a year by the end of his first term. That was in 2008, when health care coverage cost the average employer and American family $12,680 in annual premiums. Now it’s $15,073, nearly 20% higher. That means Obama has broken his promise by a whopping $4,893.”

This is an uneconomic train wreck that steals our liberties and gives the federal government unfettered powers.  You lefties that like Obamacare need to think about this a little more.  You might like the mandate to buy insurance but you aren’t going to like some of the other things they will, over time, force us to do.  Once you surrender liberties they are difficult to get back.

» on 03.30.12 @ 05:41 PM

This is a good, if long, synopsis of the underlying conceit and unworkable philosophies of the left.  Government solutions for all problems.  Healthcare is the worst place to apply a top down government solution:

http://blogs.the-american-interest.com/wrm/2012/03/29/the-health-care-disaster-and-the-miseries-of-blue/

» on 03.30.12 @ 09:04 PM

P, the top 10% pay 70% of the taxes, you and I pay the other 30% and the bottom half pays nothing. But really none of that matters. The bottom line is our economy as a whole does not make enough wealth to account for our consumption. Yes you can redistribute the accumulated wealth of all of us that make more personally than we spend but it will not equal or make up for what we are borrowing to cover existing living standards.

I know, we were sold the Harvard, Keynesian ponzi scheme and sucked it up like a bunch of lotto ticket buyers hoping to make it big. But P, you know as well as I do that you don’t get something from nothing, I don’t care what these obfuscators tell you. You cannot have an entire country running around doing whatever makes them feel good and expect to pay the bills. We cannot fund healthcare off of the work of healthcare workers. It doesn’t matter how hard they work. Same goes for about 80% of the workers in our economy, yes they work hard, they do good things, but their efforts do not make as much wealth as the activities they do consume in resources and value.

Those teachers, nurses, firefighters and cops you lefties love to support and unionize are very important and necessary for the well being and survival of our society, but they are costly professions and we have to make up the wealth somewhere else P. It gets worse as you go up the food chain. Lawyers command large salaries but are huge drains on wealth. They, as with entertainers, sports figures, bankers, investors, financiers and politicians have a really bad return on the investment. Yet we glorify these professions and push our children into high dollar showy jobs that don’t pay the bills in the end.

Yet the segments of our economy with the highest rate of return, wealth generators that not only make their CEO’s rich but enrich our economy 5 fold we are regulating and taxing out of existence. Those menial manufacturing jobs, mining and energy production jobs and agricultural jobs add significant value for the dollars invested. They aren’t showy, glamorous or popular but they are making Asia stinking rich while we borrow our prosperity so dopy movie stars can live a lavish lifestyle along with George Soros and Warren Buffet.

The healthcare people want has to be paid for and as a sovereign economy we don’t make enough to pay for it, bottom line. Canada does. How? By exporting more than she consumes, like we used to.

» on 03.30.12 @ 10:14 PM

Someguy,I gotta say you are a piece of work. I probably have forgotten more than you will ever know about government function. Save the lecture for OvertaxedTaxpayer, the next time you two tadpoles are playing on the see saw .
  My point was (is) that Obama made health care reform a major component of his campaign platform. After election he was very hands on as the bill progressed through committee. Lots of time to scrutinize its viability against future challenges. As a constitutional scholar , one would think he would make sure that the bill was constructed to withstand any challenge .

» on 03.30.12 @ 10:17 PM

The right is no different than the left.  The right’s solution is a big government military that invades Afghanistan, Iraq, Iran, etc. with phone claims of WMDs and nuclear programs.  All total BS and just paid-for politicians siphoning tax $ to their buddies. The right’s solution is $25 Trillion in taxpayer bailouts to their banker buddies, who happen also to be big buddies of the left.

The only people who get screwed in the US are those who work hard and are honest.

Obamacare was invented by the right… by the Heritage Foundation.  Sure, Obamacare enriches insurance companies and some government bureaucrats.  Just different criminals than the criminals that the right wants to enrich.

So fun hearing the totally bribed and bought-off Supreme Court waste everyone’s time with phony questions.  Someone should ask each justice just how much graft and under-the-table payoffs to their children, cousins, inlaws, etc it takes to buy their vote.  If Obamacare is declared unconstitutional, group A paid more to each justice; if Obamacare is declared constitutional, group B paid more.

Anyone who argues constitutionality is just a dupe: in the US, Consitutionality is just a matter of money, not principles.

» on 03.30.12 @ 11:19 PM

p,

Geez.  Let’s see if we get it. Everyone is corrupt, everyone is a big liar,  the Dems and Republicans are the same, everything is a giant rigged screw job, the “man” is holding us all down, and life in general just sucks.  I think that pretty much covers it.  Now lets all go slit our wrists.

Dude, take a valium, it will be OK.

» on 03.30.12 @ 11:23 PM

Wally,

Obama and the Dems were warned that this law was likely unconstitutional but they were so arrogant and reckless they apparently didn’t listen or didn’t care.  They care now as this thing is turning into a complete debacle.  It has already cost them the House and it will likely cost them the Senate and it will likely cost Obama his job.  Totally irresponsible piece of legislation.

PS, welcome to our world with the lunatic rantings of someguy.

» on 03.31.12 @ 01:37 AM

Cardinal Witless, the issue of constitutionality re the ACA is now under consideration by the Supreme Court, which I am sure will give a 5-4 opinion. We already know that the Supreme Dunce (i.e., you) has declared it unconstitutional, but that does not make it fact.

Please. Post another link to an insipid blog.

» on 03.31.12 @ 01:42 AM

There are many good comments about the flawed nature of this law, but I thought dm225’s comments were right on. The answer to our crazy health care system is not more top down centralized control, but to reform the system to allow the marketplace to truly work. We need more choice to give insurers and health care providers greater incentive to compete for customers. By abolishing employer-based health care, unnecessary mandates and other costly subsidies, we can create a system that rewards innovation, high quality care and reduced costs. If our dopey politicians would get their act together, it wouldn’t be that hard to do.

» on 03.31.12 @ 02:08 AM

Not everyone is a witless dupe of the government… lots of people do their best to be honest and keep any and all government involvement to a minimum.  But anyone who gets to elected office beyond a City Council is most likely totally bought off, and about 1/2 of City Councils and below are bribed to do what the people with the big $ want.

Anything that actually helps honest and hardworking Americans… like honest Mortgage contracts… is brutally and ruthlessly corrupted not by the `man’ but by the devotees of corruption and graft.

Honest good healthcare is an example… hospitals like Cottage mark up by 2,000 percent, doctors charge $10,000 a day for mistaken care, and administrators enrich themselves with a cut of it all.  Good and honest doctors and nurses are driven out by bad evaluations and accusations of inefficiency.

We live in a society where the local Chambers of Commerce and small businesspeople encourage one type of graft and corruption, where County government and above have their own kind of graft and corruption, and it just gets worse and worse as you get to bigger and bigger business and government.

There is no `man’ but just a complete collapse of hard work, ethics, and honesty.  The Catholic Church sexually abuses young boys with impunity, and the pastors of the Christian Right get 13 year-old girls pregnant, send them for abortions, and denounce abortion and birth control publicly.  Israel tries to inside nuclear devastation with Iran.

» on 03.31.12 @ 05:28 AM

Petry ( aka wire) says - “they were warned ” & “they were so arrogant and reckless they apparently didn’t listen or didn’t care.”
  Hmmm…. sounds vaguely familiar.

» on 03.31.12 @ 11:46 AM

There certainly is an excessive amount of name-calling going on in this “discussion.”

I learned many decades ago when I was a child that people who have to resort to calling someone names when they are trying to debate an issue probably don’t have a good grasp of the facts of the issue and probably should be ignored.

» on 03.31.12 @ 12:10 PM

Babbler,

They certainly should rule it un-Constitutional, doesn’t mean they will.  We shall see. 

But even you must acknowledge that the government’s case was pathetic.  They had two years to prepare for this and could not identify a “limiting” principle with this new mandate that everyone buy insurance.  Its not that they weren’t able attorney’s, its that there is no limiting principle if this stands.  The government could force us to do pretty much anything under the guise of regulating commerce.  Unlimited power for a Constitutionally limited federal government = un-Constitutional Open and shut case.

» on 03.31.12 @ 12:12 PM

p,

This is still just a rant against pretty much everything.  Anything specific you think we should do about it?  According to you everything sucks and we’re all screwed.

What about the topic we are discussing here?

» on 04.01.12 @ 07:51 AM

How ironic that this conservative majority of Supremes may strike down a bill that guarantees health care access to millions of otherwise non qualifiers , all the while enjoying government paid health care insurance for life themselves.

» on 04.01.12 @ 03:01 PM

Sure, here’s one: if any hospital or medical clinic marks up any drug, implement, or physical object more than 100%, the difference can be seized immediately from all non-practicing administrator bank accounts @treble the difference.  Being a medical administrator is a privilege like driving is; run the enforcement like drunk driving… you can protest but you must stop being a medical administrator and stop drawing salary while your protest is underway (like you can’t drive while you protest your failure to submit to an alcohol test).

Here’s another: all political advertising expenditures above $100,000 of any kind get taxed at a 98% rate.

Here’s another: no foreign interventions by US military unless 2/3 of US Citizens (not voters) vote in favor.

» on 04.01.12 @ 07:10 PM

“the difference can be seized immediately from all non-practicing administrator bank accounts @treble the difference.”

So, the first thing they will do is transfer the money to practicing administrator bank accounts.

You might be surprised to learn one of the reasons for the outrageous markups is the enormous cost shifting imposed on hospitals because of Medicare and Medicaid. Health care providers are reimbursed below cost by the govt and are forced to cost shift to private insurers and the uninsured to makeup the difference. Whenever govt imposes price controls, there are always unintended consequences, which is why it rarely ever works. There are ways to get hospitals to lower their costs, but when you allow Cottage to acquire all their competitors and, therefore, achieve monopoly control of health care in SB, it has become a lot harder to accomplish. Competition and choice are always the best ways to get any company, including hospitals, to exercise fiscal discipline. It can be done in health care, unfortunately, it has never really been tried.

» on 04.01.12 @ 11:19 PM

Wally,

What does the fact that the Supreme Court justices, as federal employees get the government employee health insurance, have to do with whether or not the individual mandate is constitutional.  Answer:  Absolutely nothing.

This is one of the problems with the left.  Your logic is no logic, its all emotion.  You’re non-sequitor example is absurd.

This law guarantees nothing except we lose more liberty, which you don’t seem concerned about.  Did you bother to read any of the links I provided earlier?  I’ll summarize:  insurance rates are going up even faster than they were before, this law will not solve the problem of the uninsured, the cost estimates have already doubled and we haven’t even begun the program yet, the insurance exchanges that the systems depend on are totally unworkable, the Medicaid mandates will over time crush the state’s budgets, medical innovation will decrease due to increased taxes on medical innovations, and on and on.  Other than that Mrs. Lincoln, how did you like the play?

This whole fiasco needs to be wiped from the books and we need to start over.  Lou is on the right track.  Treat health care and health insurance like the product that it is and put the consumer, you and me, back in touch with the product by owning our own policies just like we do with every other insurance policy we have.  The more the government gets involved the worse they make it.  When has government running something ever made it cheaper or better?

» on 04.01.12 @ 11:32 PM

Has your family only been in the US for 20 years or something lou segal?  Stories abound in my family of the era of total medical deregulation… hucksters to the nth degree, medicine shows, radium water, snake oil, well, thalidomide is a bit after the government got involved.

The good part was you really were close to your family physician because the level of anxiety over all the quackery was huge.  And you left cash or a check with the physician… a very one to one relationship.  But if you couldn’t pay, you just died, like Henry Kaiser’s Mom.

You want to blame the government for everything, lou segal, but the real offender is the whole concept of insurance, which did not actually originate with the government.  Once you get a giant pool of money managed by any group of humans, graft and corruption are endemic, and that is the real origin of Cottage’s 2000% markups.  They know that no-one really cares about spending out of a giant pool of money, whether that pool of money is controlled by a private insurance company or by the government, or, worse, by both.

And actually Kaiser does a pretty darned good job.  So do Canada, Germany, and France.  I know lots of Americans who go to those places for garden variety healthcare, although the super rich who want cadillac treatment to correct the consequences of their licentious lives do get better service in the US for a vast outlay of $.

» on 04.02.12 @ 01:57 AM

p,

How is it the rest of our economy outside health care seems to manage to continuously improve the products and offer more for the money?  Answer:  It is competitive and the government has little or no involvement in the structure of the market or delivery of the product.  Not so with health care.

If insurance is such a scam, I tell you what, don’t insure your house and don’t buy any life insurance, or disability insurance, or umbrella insurance, Director’s and Officer’s insurance,  or rocket launch insurance, or specialty insurance for athletes, or Key Man insurance etc.  How is it these products offer a huge range of companies and offerings that most people freely buy without compulsion?  How involved is the government in these insurance products?  Compared to health insurance, barely at all.

Health care and health insurance is no different than any other product in our economy.  Everyone working in health care has kids to send to school and mortgage to pay, they don’t work for free.  If you let the market work like a market it will behave like a market.  The more the government gets involved the more they distort the market and you end up with the situation we have now.  A Frankenstein of the government’s creation.  Do you really think that health care would be so expensive if the government wasn’t dictating so much and controlling over half of the market?  I dare you to try and make that case.

You just seemed generally pissed off at life.  Listening to you there isn’t anything good about anything.  It’s all bad, just a matter of degree of badness.  Cheer up, its not that bad.  I tell you what, you lefties leave us alone and stop trying to control our lives and we’ll leave you alone.  Deal?

» on 04.02.12 @ 02:20 AM

P, You obviously lack any faith in individuals making intelligent choices in a free market system. I will make this easy for you and tell you how to make the system work effectively and efficiently by wringing out some of the unnecessary costs in the system and creating incentives for health care providers to deliver quality care. You could do this in two easy steps. First, abolish employer-based health care and allow everyone to obtain an HSA plan. The policy holder would be responsible for the first $5,000 to $7,500 of coverage, making the consumer not only cost-conscious but also more responsible about the amount of health care they consume as well as incentivizing the policy holder to evaluate health care providers for price and quality. Second, allow people to purchase insurance policies across state lines. Instead of choosing between 2 or 3 companies, you could conceivably have hundreds of companies to choose from. Make the insurance companies compete for your business. Also, eliminate mandates, so you could design your own insurance without forcing the individual to pay for things he doesn’t want. If I don’t need mental health care, addiction services or contraceptives, allow me to lower my costs by refusing this coverage.

I agree with Wireless, the the Obama plan is unconstitutional. As Justice Kennedy said, “this law changes the relationship of the federal govt to the individual in a very fundamental way.” If the govt has the power to make individuals buy a product from a private company, then there is no limit to the govt powers to coerce individuals to engage in commercial or economic activity despite their wishes or recognized self-interests. There has to be a limiting principle with respect to the govt’s authority to regulate commerce, otherwise the purpose of the Constitution to limit the power of the govt is rendered moot.

» on 04.02.12 @ 12:05 PM

Yikes, wireless and lou segal… are you guys fresh off the boat or what?  Your families probably came to the US after 1900 and built their fortunes off of the government largesse of the founders of this country through all the generosity of spirit that once made this country great.  And now you turn around and think you hit a triple when this country’s greatness landed you on third base, so you denounce the very government that provided a fair chance compared to whatever benighted Afghan-like s***hole your fathers or grandfathers had the sense to clear out of.

Because if you’d been here a while you’d have family stories of what it was like when health care was totally deregulated.  But you have no clue whatsoever, your ignorance swamps your feeble attempts at constructing a sensible argument.

At least Henry J. Kaiser understood the problem, but you don’t even know who he is.

Without some kind of government oversight, the health care industry degenerates into a horror show of hucksters and medicine shows, like the pre-1900 US. Anyone who thinks people under the stress of illness are shrewd economic judges is on LSD.  People handle snakes and go to faith healers and buy radium water.  And these days the big media does everything it can to encourage emotional, irrational thinking.

But you guys hate the US government and blame it for everything.  Don’t let the door hit your bum on the way back to Afghanistan or wherever you came from.

» on 04.02.12 @ 01:24 PM

While “p” is correct that an unregulated medical industry in the US a few decades ago allowed many abuses, there is a vast difference between government oversight/regulation (to prevent those abuses) and government mandates and control (with which we are now being faced).

» on 04.02.12 @ 02:23 PM

p,

There is a big difference between sensible regulation and over regulation.  The US government has largely created the mess in health insurance we have now.  Medicare and Medicaid under reimburse providers and that shifts cost to the private sector.  Govt. now pays half of health care bills.  Minimum coverage mandates increase the cost of coverage. And on and on and on. Put a band-aid on a government created problem here and it just creates another problem somewhere else. 

So the answer to an obvious failure of all of this past health care regulation is what else?  More regulation of course.  Let’s pass a 2700 page bill to put a bunch more band-aids on the hemorrhaging patient and steal our freedoms in the process.

I tell you what, explain how the health services provided outside of the government dictated market like LASIK eye surgery, cosmetic procedures like breast implants, cosmetic dental work, etc.  They all are highly competitive, offer great service, the quality keeps improving and the costs are kept in check.  How can it be that all of these advanced surgical procedures manage to have a very healthy and competitive market without the government involved to protect all of we hapless morons and the great unwashed out here in the real world?

How is it that we are able to figure out what kind of other insurance policies we want and need without the government telling us what we have to buy? 

Like I said, just leave us alone please.

» on 04.02.12 @ 02:24 PM

Here is a piece in today’s WSJ about all this liberal head exploding that is going on over the arguments in the SC last week.  Can you say hypocrisy?

http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052702304023504577317781153213486.html?mod=WSJ_Opinion_LEADTop

» on 04.02.12 @ 06:42 PM

This is a test comment for the 03.28.12 Conason column. 2:45 p.m. 04.02.12

» on 04.02.12 @ 07:22 PM

Here is an interesting article on what the Supreme Court faces.  Mostly what to do if the individual mandate is struck down.

http://www.weeklystandard.com/articles/undoing-obamacare_634908.html?nopager=1

This is a key observation that you libs need to think about:

“...it’s not just Obamacare that must go, but rather the whole liberal and progressive notion of “comprehensive” legislation for a nation of 300 million people. Obamacare is the epitome of that confidence in central planning by experts. Whether the Court strikes down Obamacare, or President Obama is defeated and Obamacare is repealed, or the Court strikes down part of Obamacare and a new president and Congress repeal the rest, last week’s historic hearings have made one thing clearer than ever: Attempts at “comprehensive” legislation compromise the very notion of limited government, in which the people’s representatives try to accomplish attainable goals in a free society. Comprehensive legislation is what happens when you have unlimited government. It is that effort, and the attitude underlying it, that need to be repudiated—by the Court and, more important, by the voters this November.”

» on 04.02.12 @ 08:50 PM

My guess is that none of you have read the bill.  I certainly haven’t. But more importantly, it’s been reported that the vast majority of our legislators have confessed to not reading it, including Queen Pelosi, under whose House leadership this thing was passed, and our own Lois Capps, self-described nurse and health care advocate, who just does whatever Pelosi tells her.  Given that the legislators had no idea what they were voting for, this bill should be killed and perhaps reconsidered after our legislators have read it and can pass a test on its contents.

As to the question of Obama knowing if portions were unconstitutional, the answer is that either he did not know (hence the Supremes agreeing to review the case) or he did know and was foolish enough to believe that he wouldn’t be challenged - silly rabbit.

» on 04.02.12 @ 08:53 PM

There are three issues here folks.

Issue one being considered by the court is the constitutionality of a federal mandate that everyone buys insurance or be fined. The mandate was put in to ensure that the healthcare bill is funded, though the costs are sky rocketing even with the mandate and it is unclear whether the bill itself can work with or with out a mandate.

The second issue is the over arching “comprehensive” idea of central healthcare control by a government for 310 million people. This is the liberal versus conservative debate about the role of government and how much power we desire government to have.

The third issue is rarely discussed but has to do with whether or not our economy as a whole, regardless of how it is controlled, publically, public/private or solely privately can actually afford more of a service when we have been borrowing our prosperity for the last 40 years. Healthcare is a net drain on any economy, just like law, finance, most services, transportation, etc. In this issue you have to ask yourself, can a country with a federal debt of $16 trillion, $4 trillion in state debt and nearly $50 trillion in private debt afford any new services that consumes wealth?  Keep in mind folks that those areas of the economy that actually add wealth are declining very rapidly with manufacturing leading the way. Manufacturing which was once a third of our GDP in 1980 is now less than 9% and falling fast. It is being replaced by net wealth consuming industries like banking, finance and yep you guessed it healthcare. Oh and that ole tax the rich mantra we so love to spew, doesn’t put a dent in the cost of new services and only serves to drive accumulated wealth off shore.

While the courts wrangle with constitutionality of law, the parties argue over who controls what, we are in fact going bankrupt in a hurry and demanding the biggest wealth consumer on planet earth, the US federal government do more for us.

Here is a suggestion. Put a crow bar in your wallet and fork over the money for goods made here. Get your lazy get rich quick ass back to work actually making the things you want and stop telling your lazy spoiled entitlement minded children to pursue wealth consuming high profile jobs in industries that have no net gain for the economy as a whole. Quit complaining about what government hasn’t done for you lately or why government doesn’t do more, they have the absolute worst return for every dollar spent of any organization or institution on earth.

Now some of you, right or left aren’t going to like this. Those on the right who think anything that makes you money should be ok are absolutely nuts. What you should be pushing for is money making enterprises that also enrich the economy as a whole so everyone benefits. And those of you on the left who always think government is the answer, you need to get your friggen head examined! The bottom line is still the bottom line and we are going broke people. Just because our economy is so massive its taking decades to do it doesn’t mean we can keep it up. At some point and that is very soon now, we hit the tipping point, that point of no return where we start to fall and we cannot stop it no matter what we do. This healthcare bill may be the one thing that pushes us over the edge.

» on 04.03.12 @ 12:11 AM

Right here and now in this county physicians and staff are so unsanitary in their practices (don’t wash hands, sterilize catheters, etc) that there are 100,000 unnecessary deaths per year.  Say that again: medical staff carelessness over simple sanitation causes 100,000 unnecessary deaths in the US per year.

Don’t go claiming that on the one hand, our government is such a tightwad that the poor health care industry can’t cover its costs, and on the other hand, the government is profligate in spending.  If you can’t see the contradiction you have no brain whatsoever.

As for LASIK, breast augmentation, cosmetic dental: who cares?  Those are totally unnecessary operations that in no way make a life-or-death difference.  It is cancer, diabetes, heart disease that are truly challenging and important health issues.  But the way the system works now, you pay your huge insurance costs, you get in the hospital, and the physician doesn’t wash their hands and you die from an infection.  Happened to my elderly neighbor… the hospital kept her on life support until they had her $500,000 in assets, and then pulled the plug.  I’m sure lou segal and wireless and AN50 think the US Government did it somehow…. like maybe a federal marshal stood over the physician and wiped streptococcus on his hands.

The simple truth: the medical industry in the US is incompetent: they kill 100,000/year because the frigging don’t wash their hands.  100,000/year because they don’t wash their hands.  In the past you guys have accused me of being fixated on that number, and I am, because that number proves that the US medical industry is phony, over-rated, and incompetent.  They don’t deserve all the Jaguars and Ferraris (paid for with 2,000% markups) that grace, for example , the Cottage Hospital Lots when they kill 100,000 a year because they can’t even wash their hands.  Why should anyone believe their cost numbers when there are so many $100,000 cars in their lots?

People who hate the US Government simply want to blame everything on the US Government, that is clear and simple.  The US Government doesn’t stop physicians from washing their hands, I’m sorry, that is not the government’s fault.  Why in heaven’s name should I ever believe the cost accounting of a health industry that can’t get its act together enough to prevent 100,000 needless deaths per year?  I say: cut their payments from Medicaid and Medicare by 20% a year until some decent performance is achieved.  No more easy taxpayer money to subsidize the medical industries Jaguars and Beamers until they learn how to simply wash their hands.

» on 04.03.12 @ 01:45 AM

sevendolphins,

Quite the uninformed screed.  I hope you feel better getting that uninformed nonsense off your chest.  I tell you what, if you think government run health care is so wonderful I suggest you go to Britain and enjoy their wonderful systems where patients actually starve to death occasionally and die waiting for care.  Here are a few examples of where you wish our system to go.  You’ll note these are a little dated, there are plenty more.  I can get you a list for Canada too if you want.  Is this really what you lefties want?:

Kidney cancer patients denied life-saving drugs by NHS rationing body NICE
- April 29, 2009 [Daily Mail (UK)]?
Girl, 3, has heart operation cancelled three times because of bed shortage
- David Rose, April 23, 2009 [Times Online]?
Number of children going to hospital to have teeth pulled soars by 66% since 1997
- Daniel Martin and Cher Thornhill, April 12, 2009 [Daily Mail (UK)]?
NHS ‘failings’ over elderly falls
- March 25, 2009 [BBC]?
Learning disabled ‘failed by NHS’
- Nick Triggle, March 24, 2009 [BBC]?
Cancer survivor confronts the health secretary on 62-day wait
- Lyndsay Moss, March 21, 2009 [The Scotsman]?
Culture of targets prevents nurses from tending to patients
- Claire Rayner, President of the Patients Association, March 21, 2009 [Telegraph UK]?
Children being failed by health system, says head of watchdog
- Sarah Boseley, March 21, 2009 [Guardian Unlimited]?
Our cancer shame: Survival rates still lag behind EU despite spending billions
- Jenny Hope, March 20, 2009 [Daily Mail(UK)]?
Failing hospital ’caused deaths’
- March 17, 2009 [BBC]?
Health gap drive ‘wasted money’
- Nick Triggle, March 14, 2009 [BBC]?
Longer GP opening hours branded wasteful ‘PR exercise’ by doctors
- Lyndsay Moss, March 13, 2009 [The Scotsman]?
“Political meddling” threatens general practice, warns GP leader
- March 13, 2009 [Management in Practice (UK)]?
Children at risk through lack of training for doctors and nurses, report warns
- Rebecca Smith, March 13, 2009 [Telegraph UK]?
Chocolate should be taxed to control obesity epidemic, doctors are told
- Simon Johnson, March 13, 2009 [Telegraph UK]?
1,000 villagers wait for a dentist after just one NHS practice opens
- March 10, 2009 [Daily Mail(UK)]?
Study that proves the folly of NHS Alzheimer’s drug ban
- Jenny Hope, March 7, 2009 [Daily Mail(UK)]?
NHS charges to rise in England
- March 5, 2009 [BBC]?
Disabled children wait up to two years for wheelchairs
- March 4, 2009 [Guardian Unlimited]?
NHS under fire over waiting times
- February 25, 2009 [The Scotsman]?
Government procrastination blamed for HIV-contaminated blood tragedy
- February 23, 2009 [Guardian Unlimited]?
Specialist nurses ‘vastly overworked’
- February 20, 2009 [Harwich & Manningtree Standard]?
Hundreds of operations cancelled at Lothian hospitals
- Adam Morris, February 19, 2009 [The Scotsman]?
Stop asking for antibiotics to cure coughs and colds, Government tells patients
- Daniel Martin, February 17, 2009 [Daily Mail(UK)]?
Stroke services are ‘UK’s worst’
- February 17, 2009 [BBC]?
Hospitals curb caesarean births
- Sarah-Kate Templeton, February 15, 2009 [The Times]?
Only five out of 51 hospital trusts pass hygiene test, say inspectors
- Sarah Boseley, November 24, 2008 [Guardian Unlimited]?
Top doctors slam NHS drug rationing
- Sarah-Kate Templeton, August 24, 2008 [The Times]?
Heart patients dying due to poor hospital care, says report
- Sarah Boseley, June 8, 2008 [Guardian Unlimited]?
NHS dentistry loses almost a million patients after new dentists’ contract
- David Rose, June 6, 2008 [The Times]?
Private healthcare managers could be sent to turn round failing NHS hospitals
- Philip Webster, Political Editor, and David Rose, June 4, 2008 [The Times]?
Cancer patients ?betrayed? by NHS
- Sarah-Kate Templeton, June 1, 2008 [The Times]?
NHS scandal: dying cancer victim was forced to pay
- Sarah-Kate Templeton, June 1, 2008 [The Times]?
Pensioner, 76, forced to pull out own teeth after 12 NHS dentists refuse to treat her
- Olinka Koster, March 26, 2008 [Daily Mail(UK)]?
Dental patients face care lottery
- March 26, 2008 [Metro(UK)]?
Lung patients ‘condemned to death as NHS withdraws their too expensive drugs’
- Jenny Hope, March 24, 2008 [Daily Mail(UK)]?
Women in labour turned away by maternity units
- John Carvel, March 21, 2008 [Guardian Unlimited]?
Health inequality has got worse under Labour, says government report
- Andrew Sparrow, March 13, 2008 [Guardian Unlimited]?
Angry GPs reluctantly accept plan for weekend and evening surgeries
- John Carvel, March 7, 2008 [Guardian Unlimited]?
NHS chiefs tell grandmother, 61, she’s ‘too old’ for ?5,000 life-saving heart surgery
- Chris Brooke, February 28, 2008 [Daily Mail(UK)]?
Patient ‘removed’ from waiting list to meet target
- January 31, 2008 [The Scotsman]?
NHS patients told to treat themselves
- James Kirkup, January 4, 2008 [Telegraph UK]?
NHS is ‘failing patients’ despite record funding
- Rebecca Smith, October 4, 2007 [Telegraph UK]?
NHS rationing rife, say doctors
- September 24, 2007 [BBC]?
One in eight patients waiting over a year for treatment, admits minister
- John Carvel, June 8, 2007 [Guardian Unlimited]?
Audit Office asked to investigate record ?500m NHS underspend
- John Carvel, May 30, 2007 [Guardian Unlimited]?
The drugs the NHS won’t give you
- May 11, 2007 [Telegraph UK]?
UK lagging behind on cancer drug access, study finds
- May 10, 2007 [Guardian Unlimited]?
One in six trusts is still putting patients on mixed-sex wards
- Daniel Martin, May 10, 2007 [Daily Mail(UK)]?
Specialist stroke care ‘lottery’
- May 9, 2007 [BBC News]?
Smokers and the obese banned from UK hospitals
- May 2, 2007 [Healthcare News]?
Cancer patients told life-prolonging treatment is too expensive for NHS
- Lyndsay Moss, February 13, 2007 [The Scotsman]?
UK health service “harms 10 percent of patients”
- Kate Kelland, July 7, 2006 [Reuters]?
5,000 elderly ‘killed each year’ by lack of care beds
- June 26, 2006 [Telegraph UK]?
Dental Socialism in Britain
- Llewellyn H. Rockwell, Jr., May 9, 2006 [LewRockwell.com]?
Pay for nurses and surgeons doubles NHS overspend
- Beezy Marsh, Patrick Hennessy and Nina Goswami, April 23, 2006 [Telegraph UK]?
The money addicts: it’s your cash they are gambling with
- Patience Wheatcroft, April 23, 2006 [Telegraph UK]?
NHS chiefs get luxury car deals
- Daniel Foggo and Steven Swinford, April 9, 2006 [The Times]?
Secret NHS plan to ration patient care
- Nigel Hawkes, April 7, 2006 [The Times]?
British Healthcare To Be Rationed
- April 7, 2006 [United Press International]?
British body rejects EPO drugs for cancer patients
- March 17, 2006 [Reuters]?
National Health Service – Grappling with Deficits
- March 9, 2006 [Economist.com]?
Hundreds wait to register as another dentist quits the NHS
- Martin Williams, September 23, 2005 [The Herald (Scotland)]?
Life-saving cancer drugs ‘kept from NHS patients by red tape’
- Sam Lister, September 20, 2005 [The Times]?
NHS slides into the red despite record increases in health care spending
- September 20, 2005 [Telegraph UK]?
Alzheimer’s sufferers hit by further delay in NHS approval for vital drugs
- Michael Day, September 18, 2005 [Telegraph UK]?
We all pay a price for our ‘free’ NHS
- John Smith, August 19, 2005 [The Scotsman]?
2,000 British doctors out of work
- August 14, 2005 [The Washington Times]?
UK health ‘unsustainable’
- August 14, 2005 [Finance24]?
NHS faces rising bill for negligence claims
- Ben Hall, August 8, 2005 [Financial Times]?
British boy to go to India for operation
- August 5, 2005 [United Press International]?
NHS failed to stop doctor raping scores of women
- Lois Rogers and Jonathon Carr-Brown, July 31, 2005 [The Times]?
Top crimewriter funds drugs for cancer victim refused by NHS
- Martyn Halle, July 8, 2005 [Telegraph UK]?
Report says NHS is mired in huge debts
- David Simms, June 25, 2005 [ABC Money (UK)]?
U.K. set to restrict smoking
- June 21, 2005 [The Associated Press]?
NHS ?fund bias? against men may cost 2,500 lives a year
- Sarah-Kate Templeton, June 19, 2005 [The Times]?
Doubts on funding NHS ‘monuments’
- Nicholas Timmins, June 10, 2005 [Financial Times]?
17 million reasons why we must improve hospital meals
- June 7, 2005 [Cambridge Evening News]?
Figures show more patients waiting for operations
- June 3, 2005 [Guardian UK]?
Scarcity of NHS dental treatment is revealed
- Celia Hall, May 19, 2005 [telegraph.co.uk]?
Why NHS Opposes ‘Treatment by Demand’ for the Dying
- Stephen Howard and Jan Colley, PA, May 18, 2005 [Scotsman]?
800 queue for NHS dentists
- May 5, 2005 [telegraph.co.uk]?
Hundreds more heroin addicts to be given a fix on the NHS
- Nic Fleming, April 25, 2005 [telegraph.co.uk]?
British health service facing nurse exodus
- April 25, 2005 [United Press International]?
About 400 patients a year in Scotland succumb to MRSA
- April 25, 2005 [Scotsman]?
NHS debts soar to over ?1bn
- Karyn Miller, April 24, 2005 [telegraph.co.uk]?
British taxpayers foot $26.5 million bill for abortion tourists
- April 18, 2005 [Catholic World News]?
U.K. Liberal Democrats Would Raise Taxes to Pay for Health Care
- Reed Landberg, April 14, 2005 [Bloomberg]?
Number of NHS Bureaucrats ‘Rising Faster Than Health Staff’
- Joe Churcher, March 22, 2005 [Scotsman]?
‘?500m hole’ in hospital budgets
- Celia Hall, March 21, 2005 [telegraph.co.uk]?
1,000 Scots desert NHS every week
- Murdo Macleod, March 5, 2005 [Scotsman]?
British NHS facing financial crisis
- March 3, 2005 [Washington Times]?
NHS drugs regulator to withdraw approval of Alzheimer’s treatment
- Nicholas Timmins, March 2, 2005 [FT.com - Financial Times]?
NHS waiting list rises
- February 11, 2005 [Guardian UK]?
Tumour patients hit by NHS shortages
- Jo Revill, February 6, 2005 [Guardian UK]?
NHS financial crises set to outlast winter
- Mike Waites, February 4, 2005 [Yorkshire Post]?
NHS 24 ‘priority’ callers wait four hours for advice
- Caroline Wilson, January 14, 2005 [Evening Times (UK)]?
‘No strategy’ on NHS waiting time
- January 14, 2005 [BBC]?
Output figures show NHS decline
- John Carvel, October 19, 2004 [Guardian UK]?
Heart patients die on waiting lists
- Peter Sharples, October 18, 2004 [Manchester Online]?
?25bn overspend feared for NHS computer network
- Karen Attwood, October 12, 2004 [telegraph.co.uk]?
Gaps in care cost ?7bn, says charity
- John Carvel, October 4, 2004 [Guardian UK]?
NHS excluding poor people, UK
- September 15, 2004 [Medical News Today]?
Smokers ‘should not get NHS care’
- September 6, 2004 [BBC News]?
Waiting list row blights Brighton
- John Carvel, September 4, 2004 [Guardian UK]?
Patients are denied the last rites under data protection law
- Elizabeth Day, July 25, 2004 [telegraph.co.uk]?
Shortage of dentists to double by 2011
- John Carvel, July 24, 2004 [Guardian UK]?
Britain’s stiff upper lip gives way to a snarl
- Sarah Lyall, July 18, 2004 [The New York Times]?
Hospital Overcrowding A Cause of Superbug Infections
- John von Radowitz, July 1, 2004 [Scotsman.com]?
Hospital Crisis: Fallen Angels
- Lindsay Mcgarvie, May 23, 2004 [Glasgow Sunday Mail]?
Study finds British hospitals are still austere, cold, smelly and poorly maintained
- May 6, 2004 [News-Medical.net]?
Hospital bathrooms and showers: a continuing saga of inadequacy
- Andy Monro, MRCP & Graham P Mulley, DM, FRCP, May 2004 [Journal of the Royal Society of Medicine]?
Majority back public smoking ban
- March 24, 2004 [BBC]?
Discrimination Rampant In British Health Care
- Peter Moore, November 17, 2003 [365gay.com]?
PERIPATETICS?To the Medical Socialists of All Parties
- Sheldon Richman, September 2003 [FEE.org]?
Creeping Privatization?
Shortages of skilled workers, low morale, long queues for services, crumbling facilities and corrupt practises. - Roland Watson, August 6, 2001 [LewRockwell.com]?
The World’s Worst HMO
- Stephen D. Moore, November 24, 1999 [Random Thoughts]?
Socialized Medicine in Great Britain: Lessons for the Oregon Health Plan
- Professor John Spiers, March 18, 1999 [Cascade Policy Institute]?
The Sickbed Which is Socialized British Medicine
- December 23, 1997 [NCPA]?
The British Way of Withholding Care
- Harry Schwarz, March 1989 [FEE.org]

» on 04.03.12 @ 01:52 AM

Gosh, sevendolphins, it is hard to know how to respond to your stream of consciousness. You have constructed so many straw men, it is a daunting task navigating them to respond to your litany of non sequiturs. Please let us know how Obamacare can get doctors to wash their hands. I must have missed that provision. Is it on page 24,561 of the Bill.

» on 04.03.12 @ 01:58 AM

sevendolphins,

As far as why LASIK and the like are relevant, it is because they are advanced procedures that fall outside of the government regulated insurance market.  They perform much better than any measure.  The moral of the story is the health care business is a business and will run like a business if you let it and don’t smother it will all this government love.

Your quote on a all these people dying in US hospitals is highly misleading.  Our rate of unintended deaths in our hospitals is comparable to other industrialized countries.  If you get sick you want to be here.  Humans make mistakes but to say our healthcare in this country is substandard is absurd.

» on 04.03.12 @ 02:24 AM

sevendolphins,

One more thing, you said cut their Medicare and Medicaid reimbursements by 20%.  What do you think would happen?  I’ll give you a hint:  they will stop taking Medicare and Medicaid.  They already mostly lose money on it.  How does that help anyone?  If Obamacare stands most of us will eventually end up on Medicaid.

BTW, perhaps you weren’t aware of this but Medicaid actually delivers worse health benefits than having no insurance at all:

• Head and neck cancer: A 2010 study of 1,231 patients with cancer of the throat, published in the medical journal Cancer, found that Medicaid patients and people lacking any health insurance were both 50% more likely to die when compared with privately insured patients—even after adjusting for factors that influence cancer outcomes. Medicaid patients were 80% more likely than those with private insurance to have tumors that spread to at least one lymph node. Recent studies show similar outcomes for breast and colon cancer.

• Major surgical procedures: A 2010 study of 893,658 major surgical operations performed between 2003 to 2007, published in the Annals of Surgery, found that being on Medicaid was associated with the longest length of stay, the most total hospital costs, and the highest risk of death. Medicaid patients were almost twice as likely to die in the hospital than those with private insurance. By comparison, uninsured patients were about 25% less likely than those with Medicaid to have an “in-hospital death.” Another recent study found similar outcomes for Medicaid patients undergoing trauma surgery.

• Poor outcomes after heart procedures: A 2011 study of 13,573 patients, published in the American Journal of Cardiology, found that people with Medicaid who underwent coronary angioplasty (a procedure to open clogged heart arteries) were 59% more likely to have “major adverse cardiac events,” such as strokes and heart attacks, compared with privately insured patients. Medicaid patients were also more than twice as likely to have a major, subsequent heart attack after angioplasty as were patients who didn’t have any health insurance at all.

• Lung transplants: A 2011 study of 11,385 patients undergoing lung transplants for pulmonary diseases, published in the Journal of Heart and Lung Transplantation, found that Medicaid patients were 8.1% less likely to survive 10 years after the surgery than their privately insured and uninsured counterparts. Medicaid insurance status was a significant, independent predictor of death after three years—even after controlling for other clinical factors that could increase someone’s risk of poor outcomes.

http://www.forbes.com/sites/aroy/2011/03/02/why-medicaid-is-a-humanitarian-catastrophe/

http://www.heritage.org/Research/Reports/2011/05/Medicaid-Provides-Poor-Quality-Care-What-the-Research-Shows 

Put your emotions in check for a few minutes and think.  On what basis are you asserting the federal government is competent to run our health care?

» on 04.03.12 @ 04:23 PM

I’m all for American exceptionalism.  100,000 deaths due to unsanitary conditions in our hospitals is *NOT ACCEPTABLE*, even if it happens in France or Zimbabwe or Cuba or wherever.

What saps you guys are for the hospital-industrial complex.  They cry poverty and say big bad Medicare and Medicaid are not reimbursing their expenses.  You express no skepticism to the gucci-shoed Ferrari driving administrators to feed you that line. Wanna buy some Florida coastal property from me?

A total hoot that you bring up cosmetic surgery as a shining example of good old American ethics.  It is simply horsewinkies to compare life/death illnesses, which greatly distort folks consumer thinking process, with the thought process of wanting bigger boobs.

And as for horsewinkies, copying 100’s of lines of talking points from some website is a whole barn of winkle juice.  I guess you can’t quite think for yourself, and think copying agitprop is somehow like good old amurican hard headed thinking.  Yuk yuk!

» on 04.03.12 @ 05:25 PM

sevendolphins,

Spoken like a true revolutionary marxist!  Have you been hanging out with the “Occupy” crowd? 

Open your own hospital if you think you can do better.

» on 04.03.12 @ 06:20 PM

Here is a list as of 2002 of acts of congress ruled unconstitutional by the supreme court:

http://www.gpo.gov/fdsys/pkg/GPO-CONAN-2002/pdf/GPO-CONAN-2002-10.pdf

Apparently our law school president needs a refresher course in the Constitution.  That press conference yesterday was a disgrace.

» on 04.03.12 @ 07:37 PM

Wireless, perhaps you can open your own Medicare or Medicaid, you Stalinist you!

Years ago other countries actually used the US constitution as a basis for theirs.  No more! 

http://www.upi.com/Top_News/US/2012/02/06/US-Constitution-no-longer-an-inspiration/UPI-59941328583268/

And as all true Republicans know, the US Constitution once supported slavery, until the fantastic Republican-led movement to radically amend the US constitution after the Civil War succeeded. 

Those pesky Republicans… didn’t they start the income tax too during the Civl War?  And that darned insurance mandate that is in the new Healthcare bill… another Republican innovation too!

» on 04.03.12 @ 08:14 PM

Seven, you seem a bit unhinged. Take it easy. Who cares what other countries want to do or who they want to emulate. Most countries around the globe prefer dictatorships, totalitarian statist regimes or fascist governments. Those that don’t are still wedded to the old oligarchies where the wealthy elite control everything and pacify the masses with an adolescent adulthood.

Look its obvious you had a bad experience with the health care system and live in some dopy leftist sycophancy over European models. So let me remind you of where you live.

You live in the United States of America, land of all those escaping what you so love about Europe and your leftist dreams. Here, we get along, usually by our own merit. Yes we get sick sometimes and if we don’t have the money to get medical care we die. We have a free market capitalist economy, fraught with risks and rewards, susceptible to greed and power hungry and it’s often unfair, but we prefer that to the stable, central run, euthanized economies elsewhere where a giant elitist run nanny state dictates your needs, wants and desires. This is the land of the free and the brave, not the slaves and the cowards. Here you figure out how to get along, get ahead or you suffer and starve and you have no one but your self to blame. In this country we take care of each other, as messy, sticky and dangerous as that may be because it’s a hell of a lot more human than passing it off to some big nameless faceless government bureaucracy.

Now I know you love your mommy and daddy and want to live at home forever or have the government take that roll on for you because you are afraid to live life on your own. But son, this is the wrong country for that, you want Canada or France.

» on 04.04.12 @ 12:12 AM

This is one of the better articles I’ve found explaining in layman’s terms the case and the constitutional issues involved.  A little long but worth the read:

http://www.forbes.com/sites/dougbandow/2012/04/02/obamacare-the-supreme-court-as-a-constitutional-death-panel/

» on 04.04.12 @ 11:58 AM

Here is what is constitutional, according to Wireless, AN50, and Justices Roberts, Alito, Scalia, and Thomas:

Strip searching your daughter on suspicion of thinking of a Muslim, and then probing her with an ultrasound wand.

The only time these `limited government’ and `personal liberty’ arguments come up is when the oligarchy who runs America feel threatened.

When they don’t, they strip search your daughter, probe her, or, worse, institute chattel slavery and support the Dred Scott decision.  And say that is `original intent’, `freedom’, and `protecting the individual’.

Orwell detailed these issues wonderfully.

» on 04.04.12 @ 12:18 PM

I vote we add sevendolphins to the loony list of someguy, intheknow, truthie, etc.

» on 04.04.12 @ 12:40 PM

Seven, you have a serious problem and need serious psychiatric help. Your weird delusional rants border on psychosis. Please get help.

» on 04.04.12 @ 01:11 PM

strike up the twilight zone music, we have another unhinged leftist on the loose

» on 04.04.12 @ 02:09 PM

What a hoot you guys are!

Sevendolphins: slavery once existed in the United States, and was found by the US Supreme Court to be constitutional.

AN50’s reply: “Seven, you have a serious problem and need serious psychiatric help.”

Sevendolphins: strip searches for any or no reason have just been found to be constitutional by the current Supreme Court.  (See Wall Street Journal, http://blogs.wsj.com/law/2012/04/02/supreme-court-upholds-strip-search-policy.

wireless’s reply: “strike up the twilight zone music, we have another unhinged leftist on the loose”.

Sevendolphins: bad sanitary practices in US Hospitals kill about 100,000 a year.
( http://www.hss.edu/newsroom_infection-control-strategies-can-adapted-everyday-use.asp )

wireless’s reply: You are a revolutionary Marxist.  And I’m proud that US infection rates are just a little worse than Cuba, Canada, and France.  And the US should be proud that its great capitalist system give the best and cheapest boob jobs on earth.

Maybe you can get me committed to the place in Gorky where the held Sakharov, or, a nice mental hospital in China where protestors against the grotesque exploitation of workers are now sent.

» on 04.04.12 @ 05:59 PM

Although sevendolphins used a ridiculous example to explain the recent Supreme Court decision regarding strip searches, I have to agree that the court decided this case incorrectly. The Court ruled that anyone arrested, even for unpaid parking tickets or other minor offenses, can be strip-searched if they have to spend anytime in jail. I think the Court should have delineated these less serious cases from the types of crimes which would necessitate strip searches. This is one more small encroachment on our civil liberties which should be a concern to all us who believe that our Constitutional rights are sacrosanct.

» on 04.04.12 @ 06:53 PM

The current Supreme Court believe in the right of the government to strip search.  The states (for example, Texas and Virginia) mandate vaginal penetration of women seeking abortion

http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052970204124204577152992567818170.html

It is totally reasonable to imagine Texas Rangers arresting a woman going out of State, and forcing a strip search and vaginal penetration if they believe she was going out of state for an abortion (of course, due to the Supreme Court ruling, the Texas Rangers don’t have to be accurate… they just need suspicion that may prove to be erroneous).

Add in an accusation of involvement with a Muslim and some worry about terrorism… and… anything goes now.

That is what individual rights have come to in the US.  State-sanctioned rape.

Not surprising at all… those who look a the `original intent’ of our Constitution must recognize that women didn’t get the right to vote, originally, and slavery was allowed, originally.

» on 04.04.12 @ 09:44 PM

Seven , add to the bizarre rulings handed down by the current Supreme majority their ethical lapses and you have a dismal , dispicable failure. Between Alito , Thomas and Scalia they can fill a bank vault, all with immunity not afforded other members of the judiciary.

» on 04.04.12 @ 11:27 PM

Seven, although I agree with you about the recent Supreme Court decision regarding strip searches, your examples are totally irrational. Furthermore, whether you agree or not with the Appeals Court decision in Texas regarding sonograms, to say that it will allow the state to force a woman to have her vagina penetrated is lunacy.  Your ability to reason and logically analyze these issues is seriously in doubt.

» on 04.05.12 @ 01:22 AM

Lunacy?  Here is a picture of the procedure the State of Texas requires right now…

http://www.revolutionhealth.com/articles/transvaginal-ultrasound/zm2593

» on 04.05.12 @ 02:05 AM

Seven, to be honest with you the Texas law is pretty silly (although it doesn’t specifically require this procedure), but I fail to see what this has to do with constitutionality of the health care law. Striking down Obamacare hardly equates to violating a woman’s body. BTW, if a woman is going to have an abortion, I would think she would be undergoing a procedure far more intrusive than this example.

» on 04.05.12 @ 05:27 PM

In many cases non-transvaginal ultrasound fails, in which case Texas and other law do cause vaginal insertion to take place.

The connection is so obvious: if the government can force an object up a woman’s vagina, that is far, far more invasive than forcing the purchase of insurance.  And just about everyone agrees the responsible people do get health insurance… does that give the government the right to require it?

Not that I even support forced purchase of insurance.  But if a government or supreme court goes into a woman’s vagina, they’re committed to big invasive government.  Same goes for strip searches.

Some women have lots of invasive procedures done at the gynecologist by their own request and desire for health.  Does that give the government the right to force them to have a want inserted in their vagina?

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