Thursday, October 17, 2013

Republicans Lose in Route

Well, it's a bad day for the Tea Party.  I think all sides can agree that this whole thing has not worked out well for them.  Not only did they get nothing in terms of concessions with the shut down strategy.  They now have The Chamber of Commerce and other business groups ready to resist them.  Still, as I explained in my prior post, there's a logic to this madness.  Obama Care success is a catastrophe for them.  They'll lash out wildly to stop it, even harming the small businesses they pretend to care about in order to stop it.  So sure, this was a hail Mary pass, and they probably understood early that this was a long shot, but they had to try something.  They've been saying, as Rich Lowry mentions here, that after Oct 1 Obama Care is going to be virtually unrepealable.  That's true because it will be an improvement.  People that previously had few options now have options.  They aren't going to want to give them up.

I'd written my Congressman and I just want to post that here to preserve it.  I start with his initial response to something I wrote to him on his website, which I don't have a copy of.  My reply to that is further down.  Whatever you think of Obama Care, I think you have to be unimpressed with my tea party Congressman as he bases his actions on totally misleading and bad arguments.  He complains that Obama Care leaves too many people without coverage.  He complains that under Obama Care health care costs are going up.  And so he actually voted against this recent bill that re-opened government on this basis, even though the system he fights for leaves more people uninsured, costs more, and raises the deficit even more.  It's really quite bizarre.  He needs a few facts injected in his mind, so I thought I'd help.  Perhaps this will further entrench him in his Tea Party ways, as this research indicates often happens.  But as also indicated at that link, truth in the face of repeated error can have an effect eventually.  I'll do my part.

Dear (Jon)
Thank you for taking the time to contact me, and for sharing your concerns over the government shut-down. We need to keep the government open.  I have voted “yes” on two different continuing resolutions to fund the government for the upcoming fiscal year.
Fortunately, all members of Congress from both parties did come together in agreement that no matter what happens, our service members must receive their paychecks—shut-down or no. That is why the House of Representatives unanimously voted in favor of the Pay Our Troops Act. This bill is a free-standing measure promising military members, some federal civilian personnel, and some federal contractors their pay even if funds for other government operations expire. Our soldiers, sailors, and airmen are not political pawns to be toyed with between the House, Senate, and White House.
That said, the main point of contention between the House and Senate is the implementation of ObamaCare. The bottom line is, no matter what any politician from either party will say about the other, the only way a shut-down can occur is if neither side is willing to compromise—or, one side won’t compromise and the other side won’t entirely give in.  And in this respect, the President and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid have both made clear that no compromise is acceptable to them.  “I will not negotiate on anything,” the President said.
That is unreasonable.
Unfortunately, Obama’s Affordable Care Act won’t get anywhere near granting universal insurance coverage to every American. In fact, the Congressional Budget Office has estimated that after full implementation, 30 million of our fellow citizens will still be without insurance. In both the for-profit and non-profit sectors, we are seeing people lose their coverage. Recently UPS announced that they would no longer offer spousal insurance to their employees and the University of Virginia declared major changes to their healthcare benefits. Both explicitly cited the healthcare reform law as the reason for these changes. Other companies from Home Depot to Sea World to Trader Joes are doing the same. Employees in all sectors of our society are seeing their insurance be changed for the worse because of Obamacare.
Moreover, news outlets recently reported that the Affordable Care Act’s program to help those with preexisting conditions has failed. The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services has announced that it has run out of money to enroll any more individuals in the program. In response, it is blocking states from accepting any more applications to help those who need it. The White House has yet to offer a solution to this problem. Moreover, the technology that is needed for ObamaCare to function properly is still not ready to go.
This year, the Government Accountability Office reported that the healthcare bill adds $6.2 trillion to our long-term deficits. The additional personal costs to every American citizen are even more startling. President Obama promised a reduction of the average family premium by $2,500. The reality of the past two years is this: In 2010, the Kaiser Health Foundation reported the average family’s premium to be $13,770. In 2012, the number went to $15,745, almost a $2,000 increase. The Wall Street Journal has reported that Michiganders should expect their premiums to increase between 35% and 65%.
The American people want change. I am ready to work with any member of Congress who is looking for solutions to out-of-control costs that keep America at the cutting edge of medical innovation. I also do not want to shut down the government. That is why I have supported two different continuing resolutions to fund the government.
Thank you again for sharing your thoughts with me regarding the debate over the continuing resolution and the government shut-down. Please contact me about this or any other issue as it develops.  It is an honor to represent Michigan’s 11th district in Congress.
Kerry Bentivolio
Member of Congress

Mr Bentivolio,
Your response is very disappointing because it expresses several very misleading rhetorical points.  I’m not saying this is your doing.  I’m sure these are ideas that are expressed in strategy meetings, but if we look closely at the claims we can see how unreasonable they are.
The key is to recognize that this is a choice between alternatives.  So for instance you point out that Obama Care increases the deficit.  What you fail to mention is that the prior system, the system you are fighting to save, increases the deficit even more, which is why repealing Obama Care increases the deficit.  You say that Obama Care leaves 30 million without insurance.  The prior system left nearly 50 million without insurance.  You say under Obama Care health care costs are up $2,000 in 2012.  What amount would they have gone up under the prior system?  We all know they’ve been going up astronomically and unsustainably prior to Obama Care.  Kaiser, the same source you cite regarding costs, further points out that this increase is modest as compared to the last 10 years.  Meaning costs are lower than they would have been without Obama Care.  I think it’s highly misleading to portray these as negatives when they are all reflecting much better results than the system you are fighting for.
I’m glad you think military personnel should be paid, but what about people at our national parks?  What about scientists doing research.  What about NASA workers?  Don’t they also have families and bills that need to be paid?  I am an engineer and I have contact with former NASA employees.  Brilliant people who take reduced wages because of the passion for the work.  We’re sticking it to them, all to return to a health care system that is nothing to get excited about.  It would be one thing if you were fighting for a system that cost half as much and produced better outcomes, like the systems that exist throughout the rest of the industrialized world.  But instead you’re fighting for a system that costs twice as much per capita and leaves the poor with few options.  The ones the end up pursuing (ER visits) are about as inefficient as you can get.
I understand that in politics people use whatever methods they have available to them.  Republicans can refuse to pass a budget.  That’s a tool in their tool kit.  But it seems the strategy is to cause so much pain that Obama and the Democrats will finally become so disgusted they’ll back down on duly passed laws that they regard as their signature achievement.  Do you think this reflects well on you and your party?  This is hurting small businesses, such as small restaurants and shops that operate near National Parks.  We’ve lost monitoring capability for our environment, which is now prey to people that might pollute to save money and improve profit.  People that work in the public sector maybe can’t pay their bills, and this threatens an economy in recovery.  This is happening because Republicans have been unable to win through the electoral process.  Passing laws.  Their last resort is pain for everyone.  This makes sense to you?  If Obama Care is as terrible as you believe it will be then you’ll get voters to support you in the future and repeal it.  The pain and harm being done here is not worth a return to our prior system.  Even if you think Obama Care is bad and our prior system is better, you can’t regard it as so much better that it’s worth this much misery.


Jonathan said...


Kudos for engaging with your congressman.


Chad said...

Except for Jon he showed his a**.

His rep was right on - the initial costs have been held in check - give it just a couple years and the costs will explode and coverage/quality of care will plunge.

The level of care and accessibility for the very people he hopes to help will be worse and less of it to go around. It won't affect (other than cost us more) for those who can afford healthcare. It will also crush the younger group who normally are in good health and don't need as much care.

Unfortunately now we have to wait 5-6 years to really see just how bad this is going to be overall, but for a lot of us working people we already feel it. We already got a letter from my wife's employer - Cintas with the stats Jon - nothing you've said is true. For every Cintas employee - every one and there is a lot - the amount of coverage is at its lowest level for less care and this is only the start. The projections into 2014, 2015 and 2016 are absolutely abysmal. Deductibles are the highest by more than 50% - amount of care for the same dollar down 30% and there was some verbiage in there that spouses may be dropped in future coverage doe to costs. You can stick your head in the sand all you would like, but those of us working are getting screwed to shift dollars from one group to a growing recipient class who will bleed this dry as well.

Chad said...

Smile and be happy because the small group of real Patriots fought and lost the good fight, but the truth is 2 fold - we all lost big time and Obama Care will not survive a decade as currently devised.

In fact - I predict that once the Repubs get the power back this mess will scrubbed, limited and stripped away to just a shell.

HispanicPundit said...

I still think its extremely naive to think Republicans actually thought they had any reasonable chance to stop ObamaCare. This was a pure bargaining tactic...and, in general, I agree - Obama outdid em.

But it's not like it was for 'nothing'. There was some means testing added to ObamaCare and some important signaling. I still think overall it was a bad move, but they had a bad hand to play with starting out as well.

Jon said...

the amount of coverage is at its lowest level for less care and this is only the start.

But Chad, these are trends that were in place before Obama Care came about. It's been constantly increasing deductibles, constant increases in out of pocket expenses. You're making the same mistake as my Congressman. Sure, it's bad. I agree. But to make your case you have to show that it's worse than the system it replaced.

Everyone working has been getting screwed on health care for years and years. This is nothing new. We have to have an alternative to the prior system. I'm not aware of any semi-serious alternative that they've even offered. Do we just keep going the way we were?

As I mentioned before, Republicans don't believe it will be repealed. And when are Republicans expected to get power back? Their support is at record lows. As McCain said, they're down to paid staffers and blood relatives. 2016 seems implausible. Supposing they finally get the Presidency in 2020 we'll be 7 years into this, with all the momentum it carries. I don't see going back. If anything I think the next move is towards a public option or single payer. Though that will also be difficult, because the middlemen are making money and enjoying it.

Jon said...

I still think its extremely naive to think Republicans actually thought they had any reasonable chance to stop ObamaCare.

Is that directed at anyone involved in this discussion? I don't think anyone said they had a reasonable chance. I called it a hail Mary.

HispanicPundit said...

To risk so much for a hail mary??? Even more naive.

Jon said...

So following this strategy confidently thinking it will succeed is naïve, but considering the tradeoffs and moving forward with full knowledge that success is unlikely is even more naïve. OK.

Chad said...

"But Chad, these are trends that were in place before Obama Care came about. It's been constantly increasing deductibles, constant increases in out of pocket expenses."

And there in lies the best question on the table my friend. Your waking up a bit - so why have they been steadily and consistently rising? More people like my sister? More regulations? Less competitiveness? More legacy costs that need to be carried? Evil Republican Doctors charging too much for their work? Too many lawsuits?

These are natural reasons for increase that happen inside the market. What you are now experimenting with sir is to take an outside force like gov't with all its power and you are going to dictate to people under that umbrella what they can and can not do - going to dictate the cost of a procedure to the ones performing the procedure. Your are going to fine or put in prison any person who does not comply to your and their wishes and that is what your calling progress.

In the mean time - 30 million people will remain uninsured, employers are evaluating the best course of action on hiring or in most cases firing, the medical industry will also react - we hear about less doctors coming through - more doctors retiring all due to this outside force.

Lets not forget that this policy, this idea is so very strong and is so solid in its foundation that Congress voted them exempt from it. And how many other companies and interest groups have done the same? How about the individual states fighting back as well with the exchanges and what have you.

So what your excited about here is a new system that does not cover everyone - it shifts cost burden from the working folks to another group of people - your handing the power of cost, procedure and medicine decisions to a divided and broken gov't. Your excited that gov't will use force, penalty and tax law to implement this monstrosity while giving exemptions to the very people who build the law along with a whole bunch of businesses, individuals and groups.

Sounds like a great win - you should celebrate by joining if it is so wonderful.

HispanicPundit said...

Yes. Basically, the lower the probability of success, when so much is at risk, the more stupid you have to assume Republicans are.


Chad said...

What is a hole lot of funny (and really sad at the same time) to me is your arguing that a gov't who is about to speed by $17 Trillion in debt, who can not balance their own budgets, who can not cut spending and who is currently printing $85 Billion a month will be able to control the cost of healthcare effectively while offering better overall care.

Jon said...

But Chad, these problems existed both pre and post Obama Care. So how can they be blamed on Obama Care?

Costs have been out of control. On the prior system. You ask why I should expect costs to get under control now. But I would ask you the same question. How do you expect costs to come under control if you retain the same system without change? What Republicans are fighting for is a system that is, more than anything else, responsible for our debt.

Check this one out. If we had French style health care we could have kept things the same and completely eliminated the income tax.

If we had the kind of care that exists in the rest of the world we would HAVE NO DEFICIT. Imagine that.

What you and Republicans are advocating is a system that creates so much debt and keeps are taxes very high. And produces relatively bad outcomes when you consider the overall effectiveness. To keep doing the same thing while expecting different results is what is often considered to be insanity.

Chad said...

A beautiful dillusion sir. The France Healthcare system is broke sir they are bleeding cash - billions of Euro's per year. Many economist say major reform is needed otherwise it will break. Its always good to reference a country with high unemployment and a bleak outlook and psssst they are in debt up to their eyes too! Let us not forget they have had a war on the rich - taxing them to the stone age or trying too since they are leaving in droves. If I am not mistaken - I believe I read that revenues are down since attacking the rich?

You believe in Socialism so this is a snap for you. You don't mind the Gov't un-naturally setting all the prices for services like they do in France and you seem to not mind waiting months for procedures that take days here.

And as you look under the covers - early on there was less diabetes and other issues we deal with here that is significantly on the rise over there. Our Western Ways are creating in - let us not forget that recipient class is on the rise as well. Your perfect model is cracking.

Now let's talk economics shall we? Your broken magic wand shakes and poof we have Frances broken system - yeah says you - what happens to all the doctors, hospital workers, insurance agencies workers, pharmaceutical workers and all those people that need to take essentially a 40% paycut? Your going to set rates to match France so what do you suppose will happen when there is 40 plus % less revenue???????

How about those who actually believe the posses skills beyond the normal average doctor who will not sell their labor at the rate at which you will pay?

Bad on you sir for making that argument - I won't even touch the fantasy that this would solve the debt.

Chad said...

The super duper awesome thing for you is that your free to take your family to France or Canada to live, work and play then you can leave this great country I love alone for those of us who reject Socialism.

Examinator said...

[" We already got a letter from my wife's employer – Cintas with the stats"]

Really? You told us your wife was an Academic with a Masters! Now you say she works for a 'hospital specialist laundry Corporation'!

I'd like $, no a nickel for every corporation that has used larger issues as cover ( as an excuse) for internal "restructuring" (read more profitable programs aka staff cuts). That one is straight out of the 'more profit' play book. I can think of 100 different reasons other than The Affordable Care Act that could trigger that.
Ranging from blunting staff (union) negotiations to variations on the relationship between the Pareto effect and opportunity costs.
i.e. certain functions don't bring in as much profit as the same outlay might if applied elsewhere.
Keep in mind that the largest recurrent cost, is staff.
Notwithstanding given the size of the corporation a little self interested political manipulation to maintain the current power might be in order.
I find it strange that a corporation that deals with hospital laundering is trumpeting (potentially effecting their share price) a decrease in hospital/medical practice laundering when the ACA has just added potentially another 10 million patients. More people with access to medical attention means more things needing sterilization and therefore specialised services including laundry.
Something tells me there's more to the story....

Perhaps Cintas is concerned tat instead of easy huge hospital laundry a share may drift to the less cash cow (general practice) market. In which case THEIR business may be effected.....In which case Cintas may howl like a lost coyote because it hits THEIR bottom line. They are hardly likely to want a system that does that.

BUT logic dictates that Cintas may have to employ more sales staff (an increase) or there maybe MORE JOBS in other local smaller more labor intensive laundries. Not so good for CINTAS BUT a BIGGER win for jobs for the country.

Isn't the point of love wanting what is best for object of love, in this case, the country? After all, one loving one's country is the definition of a patriot.

So then the gauntlet goes down to the TP er who is affected by this are they a TRUE PATRIOT what is better for the country or simply a selfish mean spirited hypocrite? Especially when it comes to moving for work etc is fine for others but not them.

NB early in my PMW engagement I made it clear I wasn't a 'patriot' as such but I respected and abided by its laws.

Examinator said...

More power to you calling your local congressional representative(?) out.
IMHO he is a self-serving individual who HIDES behind faux patriotism and a fact lite (myopic) political smoke screen.

Examinator said...

Sunday here and with my injured leg I've little to do.

[“So following this strategy confidently thinking it will succeed is naïve, but considering the trade-offs and moving forward with full knowledge that success is unlikely is even more naïve. OK.” ]

I think seeing this whole farrago as anything other than political bastardry, unpatriotic self interest is naïve. Perhaps I'm super cynical but Cruze entered this deliberately for self interested reasons.

It's a clear case of “There is one thing worse than being talked about and that is NOT being talked about” three months ago Cruze was a female and or a male movie star potentially with little man syndrome.
Plain and simple.

The Australian conservative Prime minister said “it's easier to do something and apologise than to get permission”. Cruze's plan was if a week is a long time in politics 2016 is an eternity. He is banking on that by the time of the presidential election he will have been able to remake, soften his image for the non TPers. He has figured that the Extremists were his biggest threat to his nomination and is heading it off at the pass.
Either that or he's so politically dumb as to be a joke. I don't think that is the case as a lawyer he would be strategising big time (that is that what they are trained to do) Consider why is it that the most represented profession in politics \in the western word are Lawyers ?

Chad said...

I believe that I have said before that she works for Cintas, she is the Director of the Six Sigma Group - she has a Master Black Belt. And Yes she also has a Maters degree working toward a second and is considering going after her Phd as well. Cintas is far from a hospital laundry service,but I woulnd't have expected you to do any honest research on that. To educate you a bit, Cintas is over a $4.3 billion dollar company. They employ over 30,000 people making them the largest. In their field by a long shot. A fortune 500 on and off - with Fortune mag Oted them 'Most admired Company' for 8 straight years.

They know a little bit about how to run a business.

It's fun watching and reading your deflections then to try and spin your words in a way as to act as if your adding something then of course you don't.

That is the point - the TP is thinking what is best for the country - quite possibly the only group that is at this point. Mthey are willing to make the tough calls before we go over the edge and once again stand on the very document that was written as the guideline to follow - the Contitution. What could be more patriotic than that?

The TP folks are some of the most patriotic people that I know - seems that when the community needs to rally for something all I see are fellow TP folks standing on the front lines. I see fellow citizens who are pillars in their community, God fearing men and women who more often than not have families they take care of, a moral and ethical center and a real passion for their country that well frankly we see is being torn apart. Personal Responsibility and values make up the core of the TP - I haven't met one yet that I wouldn't feel comfortable having over for dinner or allowing to watch my kids. There is a real connection between the TP of today and the founding fathers. Ex - we have more Patriotism in one pinky then Liberals have in their whole body sir. The men and women who volunteer to serve this great country come from that kind of stock. I read once somewhere - maybe it was on Facebook through a link that more than 98% believe in God, more than 85% that vote - vote Republican and those individuals above all other individuals truly believe in this County and they display the same values as the TP folks.

Examinator said...

Thank you for your response. I'm not saying that your wife doesn't have the qualifications Merely that your story is contradictory. e.g. How is your wife an *academic*?... they work in academia (universities etc they do Objective research and write/ submit peer reviewed academic papers). Not that it matters all that much other than like your boss Her job is for the betterment of a corporation and as such she has POTENTIAL bias. Despite having no contact with or read anything written by her but observing your attitudes/mind set, it is unlikely that she is any less right wing than you. The more you add the less your situation is average.

Yes I knew that Cintas was more than just a laundry etc. I DID the research, however regardless of your wife's qualifications YOU still have a fundamental lack of understanding, objectivity and a mind set to match.
e.g the Portion starting with "The TP folks.......the TP folks"
It's pure hyperbole, gain saying and your unsubstantiated contradictory opinion...which you are entitled to...NO ONE is disputing that.
You saying that you have 'more patriotism in your little fingers' is unsubstantiated hyperbole it's your emotionally derived opinion not fact.

Notwithstanding, You haven't offered a recognised definition of “patriot” I did and your apparent definition consisting of Tpers, Republicans and your COUNTY and excluding everyone else doesn't conform. However it is consistent with Zealot, secessionist (a topic you have raised several times) etc. You can't be a patriot and want to secede or be exclusionist. Read a proper dictionary.

Neither did I say that Cintas didn't know how to run a company … that is your misreading … at worst all I did was speculate on the motivation for the letter.

As for me adding I can only repeat the homily “you can lead a horse to water but you can't make it drink.”
I can but put my comments and what people do with them is their choice.
I'm happy to be PROVEN wrong mistaken etc in a discussion or a debate based on facts … that way I can learn and evolve a more sound understanding.

In is my conclusion that you don't want to discuss or debate merely proselyte.

Thanks but no thanks

Chad said...

I thought I made several solid arguments on my position of Patriotism, but apparently your not capable of understanding what they were so I'm good with where it is at also.

Thanks for the compliment BTW - a zealot and secessionist is exactly what the founders of this fantastic country were. In addition they committed Treason and broke probably a handful more laws and they are considered some of the most Patriotic people in American history so thanks for that.

Jon said...

Chad, if you think France's health care system is bleeding cash that's fine, maybe it is. But if they are bleeding cash, what are we doing?

Their so called cash bleeding is less than half of our cash bleeding. It's the same error you and my Congressman make. Go ahead and criticize them if you like, but at least address the fact that the system you fight for is much worse.

Chad said...

For whom is it worse Jon? If your talking about hard facts - France is now at 90% GDP.

The guy after your own heart - sprouting the same crazy theories Hollande's has promised a debt free France by 2017 - he has the super majority to get this done now and what happened with these idiots amended their Constitution - French Bond Interest rates dropped to an all time low.

They are in a free fall and it is going to get worse.

You asked a valid question - am I advocating for an even worse system. Maybe - but the biggest difference being it is a semi free system with market checks and balances. If the cost of a flu shot was $500 - not many flu shots will be bought. Not to mention here that the market also dictates wages - you walk into a doctors office and are greeted by receptionist, nurses and in some cases several doctors. In France (you should read about this) many of the doctors do not have any admin personnel or a very thin crew because the gov't dictates an average collection of $32 per visit (American). That is it pal - the gov't has spoken and that doctor is allowed to only collect an average of $32 per patient. Wonder how you would feel if the gov't said that Engineers were only allowed to make $100 a day max.

Also keep in mind that it takes some time for Social planning to rear its ugly head and it is coming like a freight train. Early on it looks and feels pretty - then it starts bleeding like they are now - then it bleeds more and more. Now they are way way over the 3% max overage on public programs.

For any idea - any idea at all sir your biggest fear and killer of an idea is those folks who take and do not put in. That is a sure fire way to destroy any solid idea. That is the biggest hurdle after that is when you have to measure the cost of the outside influences like gov't regulations and things of that nature.

Also you have to admit - the reason why the cost is currently half (although climbing quickly) in France is because gov't has un-naturally dictated costs. So when doctors do unnecessary procedures to boost their bottom line - now that is being scrutinized. Pre-care things that were so popular like a day trip to the spa which were previously good are now on the chopping block.

All I am saying here is the costs in America - more than anywhere else - actually represent more closely the true market costs of things.

The only positive thing that may come from Obama Care is that the Private Market may have to figure out how to compete even more with this un-natural immoveable force. I suspect and am predicting that some smart people are going to figure out a way to maybe privatize and opt out of this law.

Chad said...

Quote from the above:

There are now 2.6 people of working age for everyone over 60; by 2033 there will be 1.5 people of working age for everyone over 60.

Need some dramatic music here - Dum, dum .... dum. Disaster approaching.

Jon said...

Chad, you're simply pointing out that the economy generally in France is bad. That may be true. It's true of a lot of European economies, particularly those that followed the IMF/liberterian advice of balancing budgets by cutting social spending. But if they had US style care that only means things would be worse. Take an already struggling economy, make the country as a whole pay twice as much, and further tell about 20 million that they get nothing. Now we're in real crisis.

Given that the goverment dictates the costs why do you think it is that the French love their health care system? It's rated at or near #1 in the world by the World Health Organization. The Commonwealth Fund shows that the French are very satisfied with care. The US is ranked something like 37 in the WHO rankings, and the Commonwealth Fund shows that Americans are more dissatisfied than any other nation surveyed. You have all these theories about how free markets are great and you don't stop and ask what the people actually stuck in the system think.

Jon said...

Sorry, not 20 million. Meant to say 20%, which I suppose would be several million in France.

Jon said...

BTW Chad, the US spends about as much as most EU countries in public money for health care. What we do is create gifts for insurance companies, who don't want to cover the elderly because they are expensive. Dump that on the taxpayer and collect money from healthy people t hat most likely won't need much care. Medicare alone is enough money to cover everyone in this country and give them the best care in the world. The money savings in Medicare alone means we could eliminate the income tax totally. The fact that you are bamboozled by right wing corporoate media into thinking this is a system worth fighting for is what's a bit baffling to me. It's a striking testament to the effectiveness of corporate propaganda.

Examinator said...



The problem with tea bags is that if you let them brew too long they get bitter and useless.

Chad said...

Now that article says it well and why the WHO is not as respected as you might think. Even some of the doctor friends we have talk about how skewed the WHO reports are. Talk about drinking the cool aide - your blinded by the flashing lights and moving parts when the data is clear - France and their healthcare system along with all their Social Engineering is in serious serious trouble in decades to come. Your saying and believe austerity hurt the EU and that is fine, but it's false. We may not be in that much better of shape, but at least we have or should I say had our freedom to make choices. The market has to sort these things out naturally. Some may suffer and some may have golden teeth - winners and losers is a good thing.

You can not print $85 billion forever and the EU is finding out what decades of social programs look like - austerity is needed in big chunks sir.

Chad said...

Ex - we are not bitter sir, we are getting prepared is all. We understand and accept the mob is in control - people are voting themselves goodies, but that will end - Gov't can't survive but we can. Another words when disaster strikes - the Right has far more people of industry, we make things, we plant and harvest things, we own lots and lots of things including arms to protect things and frankly the Right has the ability to start new little towns, cities, counties that can exist all without Gov't.

Jon said...

There are plenty of corporate sources, like the corporate right wing think tank the Hoover Institute, of which your author is a seniror fellow, that will yell and scream on behalf of their corporate masters about how any system that removes major insurance companies as the middle man is awful. They want the money, so this is what they are paid to say.

Americans tend to be unhealthy and live long. That's good for profits of course. It's a fair point that our life expetancy is affected by things like more violent death. I would suggest there is some interplay there. There's more violent death when there's more inequality, and there's more inequality in access to health care in the US. They system isn't a great for the rich.

But notice that the Commonwealth Fund, which polls people and asks them what they think of their care and asks them specific questions about how long they must wait, if they avoid care because of income problems, what's the overall impression, that study tracks well with the WHO study. In other words people that are paid to lie on behalf of an industry to improve their profits are naturally going to have a certain presentation. That's not a conspiracy. That's the stated goal of companies that give money to right wing think tanks. Maximize profits. Lie (call it "Public Relations" or advertising if you like) to improve it. WHO is not there for the stated purpose of tricking people into having a problem with the system maing the insurance companies' owners wealthy. You can allege a conspiracy if you like, but there's no otward reason to think that's their goal. But that's why right wing think tanks say what they say. And apparently they successfully are able to persuade you that what's in their profit interest is what you should support, even though the alternative means the income tax could go away, something you constantly complain about. Pretty incredible.

Jon said...

Meant to say the system IS great for the rich. Other typos are due to a tablet keyboard that isn't the greatest.

Jon said...

Also a word on "free choices." In the US there's free choice. For the rich. You and I can do whatever we want.

If you make over about $10K or whatever it is you don't qualify for Medicaid you don't really have a choice. Unless going to the doctor and perpetual indentured servitude is a choice. Our care limits choices to, but the burden is one only the poor feel. And not just the poor actually. Even normal middle class people are compelled to "choose" to wait and hope the infection clears up on it's own, because the enormous bills are just too crushing, even for a median income family getting by on $50K/yr.

In France the middle class family doesn't have to wait. They can get it checked without fear of perpetual debt. They have a real choice because if their preference is to go to the doctor they just go. Not here. This means they have more freedom, more choice.

Saying we are free to choose health care for a lot of people is like saying I'm free to buy a few Lamborghinis. In a sense I am free to do that, but in another sense I'm really not.

Examinator said...

You have hit the nail on the head.
BUSINESS does well out of the US system and it's what they do to maintain and improve it.
The psychology is clear on why.

While I have my reservations of it being quite as Gary describes it but it is clear that the "problem" is they are now facing the reality that being white, Christian and conservative is no longer enough in its self to be part of the ruling class.
They are a bit like the character in 'Blue Jasmine' they are no longer the belle of the ball. They are desperately trying to hang on to their 'Raj type rule' mentality. (frankly like the English in India in 1947 … time to go …. it was a culture shock clearly Britannia didn't rule the waves and god wasn't an Englishman) Being English was no longer in and of it's self something 'important' so too America has and will continue to change. Psychologically no one likes losing that sort of powerful image least of all those who rely on the reflected glory as their identity.
The Mongolians still emotionally pin their national identity on Genghis Kahn. Where as the country today is nothing like that. Aussies share little with Crocodile Dundee. Even the larrikinnsm is waning.

Obama and Obamacare are tangible proof of the change and they just can't hack it. They resent education, Logic, minorities anyone or thing that doesn't allow them to rule. It is no longer a matter of compromise or reasoning it's their way or.......??

Every comment is an insult attack on their perceived messianic (vision sic). i.e. my comment about a tea bag was to you and general enough to mean anything yet Chad took it as.....

Think of the current Tea Party (sic) situation like a long term conservative marriage split... how the husband can't accept the change of roles. The husband fusses and threatens, all the actions that will make further contact with the wife or children acrimonious at best ensuring a bad out come for the children.
From the "I was a good provider, a good father and husband... what a matter with her?" then to the "if I can't have her no one can” mentality".

Ergo Chad and fellow travellers are blaming everyone else (made up of other minorities like them), claiming they are exemplary patriots (providers etc.) and even blaming the majority. Even almost withholding the house keeping etc. They, well Chad, is threatening secession some violence ready to destroy the USA to get their way. The same high stakes bullying/ abuse refusal to discuss still wanting to tell. Unaware of the reality they too are destroying their home. It's sad really when it could all be better by just accepting that their role is no longer the same as it was.

Laproch said...

I, too, wrote to Kerry Bentivolio and received the same form letter in return.

I was taken aback by his parroting of what I believe is basically tea party propaganda (i.e., stats taken out of context to impart "untruths").

He quotes Kaiser researchers in part, but fails to include the rest of what they found, " is not clear if the Affordable Care Act, as the law is formally known, has contributed to the moderating of premium increases, Kaiser researchers said."
“My general sense is it’s too early to take what’s happening with health care spending, whether it’s for good or bad, and assign it to the A.C.A.,” said Martin S. Gaynor, a professor of economics and health policy at Carnegie Mellon University.
He also fails to mention that while costs have gone up, it may be 4% compared to years' prior at 10%.

I don't like being manipulated and misled with Mr. Bentivolio's type of skewed information, and whether he was a democrat or republican I could not and would not vote for him.

I believe our leaders should enlighten us, not make us less informed, and certainly not completely misinformed. A constituent takes his information for truth, quotes it to others and ends up looking like an absolute ignorant patsy.

I think I will just copy and paste this and send it to him.

Chad said...

Your still ignoring the fact that what is there for the middle class today in France will absolutely not be there in 5 years and most definitely not in 10. Gov't Cost controlling will only work for a very short period of time. With a dictated $35 per visit by gov't it won't take too long for the pool of doctors to will shrink and so on.

I can't help you to see past the wool over your eyes on the WHO report - I must simply point out that NO ONE is traveling to France when their life or a loved ones life is on the line - it's America they come too - period.

I have absolutely no desire to wait twice as long in France for healthcare I can get in half the time - better quality especially in the specialty fields here. Now once again if your happy with that system why not leave this one alone and go there? Why ruin what we have here.

Ex - a divorce analogy - holy crap man your out there. I have been divorced and many of my RIGHT wing friends as well - never once did I hear or think anything like you described. We are competitors and winners - we move on and improve ourselves and the choice the second time around.

Geez your scary off and strange.

Chad said...

Back to reality after taking a weird spin down the Twilight Ex Zone.

Remember something folks - a clear distinction between the two sides. We (TP and Conservatives) are not asking anyone to buy in by force. We agree that there is a divide and we agree to disagree and so we want to fall back on the Constitution and we would welcome, cheer, applaud and be very happy if each State had the opportunity to choose their path. We are very confident in our beliefs so if Illinois wants to offer healthcare to everyone - we say good and more power too you. We only ask that your Tate pay it's own way - no taxes collected across State lines to pay for your programs - no borrowing from the Fed either. Your ideas, your paycheck and your responsibility - we are all for that 100%. On the other hand you folks require all ideas to have a 100% participation and profit or money shifting is a must. Just let us opt out - simply put let us opt out and go our own way.

Chad said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Chad said...

JC - sooooooo are you looking at the OA or the OP portion of the WHO?

Also in regards to the initial reason you wrote this, how about the 34 States still in a fight against Obama Care. It sounds like there is traction and considering the fuck up made at the a supreme ourt level the first time making OC a tax - I am betting that we might see a win for the Repubs on this one. If I am reading it right the Individual Mandate is on the chopping block and without it OC dies - it can not survive if they can not force by law and imprisonment the youth to sign up. If they can't penalize or put them in jail the house of cards falls. This sort of has quietly been under the radar but is a big deal.

Examinator said...

Of course you're divorced I'd be surprised if you weren't statistically speaking.
You do realize I hope that I was writing in generalities not specifics.

The analogy of divorced conservative husbands is based on statistical fact.
That doesn't mean that your so called liberals aren't represented. However divorces like that I described are more heavily represented amongst the more undereducated, fixed mind set, conservative minded males ( both meanings of conservative). This is mainly because of the Functional Fixedness of their mind sets.

Statistically one could also ****statistically**** predict that your current wife is significantly younger than you (Aground 10 year or greater). Stats don't predict individuals rather wider trends.

Judging from your answers over the time I'd suggest your contacts on a socnal level are all pretty much Homogeneous (all much the same type). Again that is a function of your functional fixedness mind set.

The point of the analogy was simply to draw attention to the fact that the same fundamental emotions are at play in both situations.
Keep in Mind YOU did advocate secession and wanting to run things YOUR way regardless of the population or even the majority of those who are in the better position to predict the consequences of such actions.

Definition: If someone who has no substantive evidence or knowledge of a topic and still prefers to deny the clear majority who do can be said to be EMOTIONALLY motivated.

The AVERAGE TEA Partier(sic) is unequipped to second guess those who do. They are prone to shopping for information or opinions to confirm their emotional conclusions.
About France you should be aware that they aren't the gold standard or even relevant in the conversation about Universal health cover or single payer meds.

One could look to Australia amongst others.

BTW your argument that Big Pharma can't afford to sell most of their meds cheaper and remain very profitable. We've been down that rabbit hole and proved it's e dead end, unsustainable in fact.

As a minority the Tea Party (sic) is under-qualified to dominate Government I'd suggest that given their predilection for higher learning etc. the current Tea Party particularly their ill informed intransigence IS WHAT THE FOUNDING FATHER'S FEARED. Certainly not the Democrats who have been the PARTY most prepared to reach a consensus/ compromise at least for the last 12 or so years.

Examinator said...

Off topic!
But get a load of this

Jon said...

Chad, you ignored everything I wrote about how in a sense Americans are not free, about how your sources are incentivized to lie and put down the health care systems in other countries whereas WHO does not have the same incentive structure. I just want to make sure that is clear.

Gov't Cost controlling will only work for a very short period of time

Government has been controlling health care in France since 1945. Still going after nearly 70 years. Is that a short period of time? In that time France has outperformed the US economically.

I must simply point out that NO ONE is traveling to France when their life or a loved ones life is on the line - it's America they come too - period.

Not America "period". Plenty of people leave American and go overseas for heart surgery and other treatment. Even France is attracting Americans, particularly for hip and other joint replacement.

I continually request that before you make a claim, take 5 minutes and Google it to see if it's actually true. I think the idea that people only come to the US for critical surgery is something that simply makes sense to you based on your background assumptions, but you really have to look at the facts to see. I think conservatives generally deemphasize the facts for this reason. It just makes sense to them that social spending harms an economy, so the failure of countries that follow this course is always right around the corner. The countries that pursued an austerity response are simply going to recover quickly because balancing the budget is just so critical at this juncture. When these stories don't materialize you just move on to the next claim (Romney will win comfortably).

Chad said...

Short period of time is relative and you need to be honest for once - when was the last time France's healthcare was on budget? Hence the Statistical truth (that is your thing now) that it is not working and cost fixing only works for a relatively small amount of time. I am sure that you can find a person or 5 that has a specialist who happens to trust a doctor in France - net net there is no way your arguing that more people leave the US to go elsewhere then those coming here for healthcare.

France and all the Social programs over there are dying sir - this is known - it's not austerity - its the social programs - that is a fact.

The WHO does have an agenda Jon - they want Socialized Medicine from ocean to ocean - who do you think pays their salaries? Look at that group as hard as you look at the rich - you'll find a ton of warts.

Once again - which WHO report do you put more stock in? The OA or the OP? Certainly you must then be happy to discard the version of the WHO that ranks the US 15 - which is the actual and not the expected numbers right? How about the inherit flaws in data tracking? Again you take the report as golden and our unwilling to investigate the data collection and reporting - just dive in.

Chad said...

Ex - wow how far off.

Wife is 4 yrs older, the friends we are closest with - 2 couples. 1 mixed race male, black female. Second couple - white women and a former green card (now they air married) immigrant from Portugal. Neighbors are black - we just had a BBQ.

The group we run with includes 2 homosexuals - man/women and a Korean guy -

Once again you know nothing about TP people at all - we actually don't give two shits about race - solid God fearing people rooted in the Constitution pass the test for us. Everyone is welcome in our circle.

Keep in mind there is about a 50/50 split in America so when you say I want to run the country MY WAY your saying the way of 50% plus of the population. I am splitting the Independents down the middle and handing an equal,share to both sides for simplicity sake.

So here we are group 1 says - allow us to control our path (with all the stupid people according to Ex) and we promise not to,tax or take from you doing it.

Group 2 - we require EVERYONE to participate, we will take more from some, we will put you in jail if you donot participate and absolutely no you can't opt out.

Mmmm. That is the bottom line here.

Examinator said...

You really need to read what I actually WROTE about STATISTICAL.
Just to refresh your mind I said STATISTICS CAN'T PREDICT the individual just the wider trend.
I was saying that taking all the divorced men conservative men as a whole most will marry 2nd time round someone younger by approx 10 years.
That does not mean that every one of the above will do that ... !! It is feasible that you being as fixed in your rationale as you are that you may not be on social terms with any of the above.

Given your STATED (by you) mind set you don't help anyone outside your area immediate church etc.

Given that limitation you are NOT in the position to know the circumstances beyond that limited environment.

I went to a barbecues at which there were quite a few Bulgarians and some Kazakhstanis but it would be arrogant to call them friends or claim know or understand all the others of either race that live in Australia.

I still stand by my original statement as it was written all those in your social group would share many traits and attitudes regardless of the rest.(largely a homogeneous lot).
Unless one makes a conscience effort not to stick to your comfort zone your social contacts will be homogeneous.
I.e. when was the last time you tat and spoke and listened to say a Muslim imam, a Budhist monk, A Jewish rabbi. Last week I was at a community round table meeting that involved all the above
Tell me how many people with real mental illness do you know well? How many single moms? how many really disabled people do you associate with regularly. How many poor people do you know well who are trapped in their circumstances. How many elderly do you regularly help out side of your church.? How many wives and children of alcoholics, prison inmates. How many sexually and or Physically abused wives, children have you helped say in the last fortnight. How many wider community service organizations do you belong to and what is your input. According to you none.
That meeting dealt with all the above.

That is NOT a criticism. Merely a reality check on how connected you are to the wider society. i.e. you personal friends group are unlikely to be a fair representation of society as it is.

Chad said...

Yes - but understand what your saying here. What your basically saying is that people gravitate toward groups of people who are more like themselves - who have similar tastes and ideas. That is the biggest Duhhh statement anyone can possibly make. Of course the statistics would support such a fundamental and obvious thing. I don't seek out Left Wing Dems to befriend, but at the same time I wouldn't turn down a BBQ request because they were Dem.

Your exactly right about 1 thing - I am more in tune with, interested in and take great pride in the community that surrounds me. That is the absolute way it is supposed to be guy.

Examinator said...

here are some actual statistical facts on why and how people die.

NB that most peoples deaths have strong genetic links and other than "life style" causal factors. Cancer and others.
Ergo your argument about "it's their fault (lifestyle)" is proven wrong or at best over stated (dubious).
In short your views are condemning people to death(at least prematurely) SOLELY ON LACK OF WEALTH!

Examinator said...

["I am more in tune with, interested in and take great pride in the community that surrounds me. That is the absolute way it is supposed to be guy."]

1. Absolutely but where is it mandated that that is exclusively? Certainly not in the "Bible's Primary Commandments". e.g. It says "YOU shall not kill" It doesn't read "You shall not kill except...they're not rich or don't believe you economic mantras or those who inhibit profits etc.

2. Notwithstanding that you are still trying to divert the thread from the points that Jon and I raised rather than answer them directly. Where are YOUR FACTS that DISPROVE EITHER OF US.

You are arguing on emotional beliefs not discussing the facts.

I would point out that I am and have been involved with my local community too only my focus has been on all of it not just those who are like me. When considering larger issues I consider them to include but not exclusively.
e.g. while I may have lived in "better" areas I was/am engaged with those who are vastly different from me and in the wider community.

The us my neighborhoodi city county etc is in the context of the state and country.
My point is that a patriot is one who concerned/loves his country not just comfortable parts of it ( the ones that agree with me)... that is a definition of a narrow minded self (interested) obsessed bigot.
Keep in mind Chad I've lived and worked in three continents and in several States ("liberal" [sic] and conservative). Ergo I didn't really have a consistent 'comfort' group.


Jon said...

You ask when was the last time France's health care was on budget. When was the last time ours was on budget? That is, the one system Republicans shut the government down to save? Every nation has budget problems with health care, but nobody is worse in this regard than the US.

You just say WHO is incentivized to lie, but you don't explain how. I explain exactly how right wing think tanks are incentivized to lie. They are literally paid to lie in the same way a person that develops a commercial is paid to lie. This is not the same for WHO. They don't lose their salary if they say private health care is good.

BTW, there's plenty of private health care in France as well. I don't necessarily oppose every aspect of private care, but to hear you complain about France is weird because we should be so lucky as to be as bad as them.

Whether the US is 15 or 37 doesn't change my arguments. There's a lot that's good about the US system as well, but it has major problems. Cost has to be addressed.

Examinator said...

There is more in the following point than pedantism.

["Cost has to be addressed."]
there in lies the problem the Common idiom misuse of the the word 'COST' is not the same as 'CHARGED'.

One is finite the other is not.
The public have been conditioned to "think" that the two are interchangeable.
Break that propaganda link and its a different game where all the wider values a society *needs* are possible.
If one looks at the reality of the actual figures "real" COSTS are constantly decreasing. (see me to patenting. Vertical marketing tactics to exclude competitors, direct marketing of ethical medications to end users, aren't real costs of manufacture) However, profits are increasing.

Ask yourself 'How come Big pharma is busting it's ass to get drugs on the Aussie market at cheaper rates than in the USA ?' Answer the Pharmaceutical Board Scheme and that direct end user Drug advertising is banned etc ( Big Phama saves on the 'pseudo costs'.. no business does anything without a pay off.

Dispite their Universal Health Care system limits it's rebates on services to Drs. Most GP surgeries offer co payment free consultations Many do that exclusively. Hmmm?

Examinator said...

I fell across this recording from another good site.

The panel discussion is
It's terrific. It makes some of the points that under pin my views of economics.
Ostensibly its about a movie and the FED'S culpability in it's creation and the causal factors.

The discussion panel is made up of REAL experts.
There are some absolute gems.
Well worth the listen.
NB the the 4 factors that are necessary for a crisis;
also their solutions;
Their dismissal of the self adjusting markets;
The limitations on Private Industry to create full employment;
and flaws of executive remuneration.
Hell, it's full of goodies and raises many interesting lines of thought.

Chad said...

What subject do you want some stats or as you say proof? I thought you both were capable of making logically deductions.

Costs Jon - agreed let's work on that without the use of Gov't.

You want proof that the WHO is designed to make Private medicine and more specifically targets the USA to fail because people hate our freedoms?

Answer me this one simple question sir?

Life Span is a major champion of this report right?

Yes or no - does the the WHO include murders and car crash deaths in the study as a failure of the health care system? Yes or No?

If you removed murders and car crash deaths - which have nothing to do with medical care the USA would have the HIGHEST life expectancy in the world Jon and Ex. That is a fact and you can look it up.

By itself that one thing should make you question the motives of the WHO Jon.

Second question - how was the subject "access" and "equality" formulas created? Those are keys to the formulas used - who gets to determine those baselines - people who' agenda is to make sure the evil USA shows bad.

What other facts on points do you want Ex?

Chad said...

Sums it up well and it is all factual. He gives examples of what is added along with why they add it - the report was designed and rigged to make sure the US finished low. Your a smart guy - you have to that this is true and that report says absolutely nothing about the quality of health care or medicine.

Chad said...

Another good read and it's strikes me odd that your defending something that is so skewed from the truth. You see sir - now that you see the factual flaws, that peer review groups and folks who dig past layer one discount and essentially discard this report where is your rock now?

I have a simple and easy solution. Take 100 Frenchy's and bring them over to the US - have them spend a year using our healthcare and lets see which one they would prefer? Some of these polls asking if they are happy with their healthcare? How the hell do they know if they do or not - to what do they have to compare that to?

Examinator said...

["If you removed murders and car crash deaths - which have nothing to do with medical care the USA would have the HIGHEST life expectancy in the world Jon and Ex. That is a fact and you can look it up."]
Really? um er Where?

["What other facts on points do you want Ex?"]
What FACTS? are you putting forward in your comment? There are none, the whole post is opinion assertion and vague questions on methodology ... like you're qualified (have sufficient knowledge)to out guess WHO. show us precisely where they erred
I suggest you actually read the WHO report in full rather than 3rd hand selectivity.
Their methodology is available and life expectancy isn't the only criterium.
You're using the same smoke and mirror TECHNIQUES of Big Tobacco.

In a nut shell it is YOU who is arguing against the widely accepted orthodoxy it is therefore up to YOU to prove your Absolutist (and dogmatic) assertions. Not the other way round.
NB I'm not asserting anything merely examining your (counter?) fact lite, assertion heavy, opinion.

Examinator said...

re the creators comment .
This is a 3rd rate opinion piece that offers only a truncated hash up of the Commentary one. It says nothing , proves nothing it is a simply a lot of what if's and unproven assertions.

The Commentary piece is far better in fact very interesting argument. But the devil is in the detail.
Like it or not all Transport Accident are INSTANTLY fatal. Ergo there are elements of the health system involved that may contribute to the deaths.
Many such cases are time and expertise critical.
e.g. hang around an ER on a Friday and or Saturday nights and look how many eventually transport/gun shot fatalities may also have other health system failures contributions in the deaths involved. A delay here or there the wrong or too conservative decision or looking/waiting for the senior to make the correct action, too many cases at once etc. It's more common than you would imagine.
One needs far more information. Then you can take into consideration that a victim in a small country hospital may have survived if there was timely specialists available. It isn't simply cut and dried.

Also the same error factor would be also evident in other countries too.
To me that's a the professor's view doesn't take that into account and as such is a dubious objection.

As for the bias towards the 40 million + the 28 million under insured. the simple math tells me that 68million is a sizeable % of the US 300+ million population.
I might point out that that number represents WAY, WAY more of the American Population than the Tea Party(sic) (all versions there of) of does.
Especially given that in your previous assertion the tea party (sic) is a different side than the Republicans.

The rest of the piece is more political than objective.

One thing I know about Conservatives is that they are by definition nationalistic in their sensitivities i.e. they find it nearly impossible to accept that their country and therefore it's systems aren't the best in the world. Which in logic is emotional bias rather than objective.
Take for example you hyperbolic comment about Frenchies ( derogatory term) living under the US system would choose that over their own country's system. There are too many variable to even to make sense.
I ( with a stated lack of nationalistic pride etc) have lived under 4 different health schemes and MUCH prefer the Australian one.
Not withstanding that is one families Opinion not an absolute.

Linda said...

I appreciated your original post about the form letter we both received from our rep, Kerry Bentivolio. I was very much taken aback at how blatantly backwards Mr. Bentivolio is, and I was hoping to learn more about him through comments that may be posted in response. As of yet, I don't find the comments very relevant to your post. Maybe that is just my perception given my initial interest.

I get notices that comments are made, but in reading them I find your blog has been rather hijacked to be used as a tea party soap box with more outlandish and unverified claims, and a lot of hyperbolic personal opinion.

I assume one purpose of the blog is to give others the opportunity to "Prove You Wrong" on something you post; however, there never is any proof and topics of responses seem to go wildly off the rail.

I was going to opt to have notifications stopped, but then I realized the writer's name is in the email so I can save myself the time of following the link every time I get a notice. I will carefully look for the names of worthwhile writers and ignore the name associated with boorish rhetoric.

I look forward to hearing if you receive a response from our rep, Kerry Bentivolio, explaining his cherry picking of facts from the very article he quotes partial data. On that, no one can "Prove You Wrong".

Chad said...

Ex - you just managed to look like the biggest horses ass in 3 counties -.congrats.

Even faced with solid factual data as to the reasons why the WHO report is skewed at best your still unable to admit your wrong or should I say someone else is right. You even attempted to defend the undefendable somehow?

My Grandfather always told me that you can't fix stupid and now I know exactly what he means.

Jon said...

Thanks Linda. I agree we're off the rails here. I too would like to see someone rebut what I said in my original post, how every argument our Congressman made actually reflects worse on the system he defends compared to Obama Care, so really it's an argument in favor of Obama Care. The contrast to the prior system is the key, not whether Europe has deficits, missed budgets, or whatever else.

I also don't want to see things like"you can't fix stupid". That's adding nothing of value. People that I think are not fixable I simply don't reply to. Otherwise I'm fixing the unfixable, and that would be just as stupid, right?

It's a balance here. I like the passionate back and forth, sometimes even when it is off topic, so I prefer letting discussions go freely without restraint, but I'd love to see more people focus on one topic at a time, including myself.

Chad, both of your links I've covered before, if I'm recognizing them right, but due to a slight time crunch I'll perhaps have to get back to you.

Examinator said...

Yet again you refuse to process more than one point at a time.

I didn't say the report was wrong I merely pointed to the factors that need to be considered when reading such essays.

BTW- I DID say that I was NOT TECHNICALLY competent to argue against his technical and political arguments and would not do so. Ergo I'm not in the position to confirm or refute the technical part of his essay.
Conversely you on the other hand feel you are. I challenge that!

I DID point out the obvious wider potential flaws i.e. plausible alternative perspective.

I DID point out that it was an interesting piece worthy of noting

Again you still don't understand the way academic type papers work!
It is NEVER a case of absolutes (right or wrong.) That is the uneducated public's misconception. They tend to work on consensus and balance of PROBABILITIES.

I also CLEARLY said that my choice for the Aust system was mine as an individual. I also said I was NOT speaking on behalf of anyone else.

Tell me how I'm making my self the greatest horse's ass of four continents? By admitting that I don't have an absolute answer? By admitting that I'm not competent to make a definitive conclusion on a single article? By stating my non prescriptive opinion? By pointing out that win loose or draw on this academic article that to the 68million (he mentioned) whether America is Number one or number 32 is a moot point. Especially when you consider those wishing to deny is by far a lessor minority than those being denied.
Really Chad, your absolutism is making you appear more than a little dogmatic even messianic.
To avoid this read my posts as a complete logical interwoven argument rather that a gain saying mish mash of unrelated single points.

Examinator said...

Sorry I'll sand in the naughty corner …. :-( .........back now. ;-)
I thought the original argument had run its course.

Let me say clearly on topic, that the congressman's response is consequential flaw of party (schism's thereof) government.

The congresspersons FEAr they have to parrot Party or schism's policies rather than hang themselves out to the party/schism's ire by representing the real majority of their constituents opinions on the topic.
IN FACT THE PARTIES/SCHISMS have usurped the public's power over the representatives by being allowed to dictate (limit) the scope of ballots i.e. who can stand and um ideology read "policy"(sic) i.e. on what.
Business/rich determine these ideologies via the check book

The technique the representative is using is as old as politics it's called “ if you don't like the question asked ...answer the question you wished they'd asked”
The whole form letter response is based on the flawed, party government fallacy of 'mandate' to enshrine a political ideology.

In logic they the party/ schism can't claim a mandate on specific issues simply because the reality is that people vote for parties for different reasons i.e. some for perceived financial, religious, lifestyle benefits etc. But I wonder how many Republicans voted specifically for the threatened shut down of the USA, the default on debt payments etc. My guess is not many, just the schism minority. Such actions would clearly adversely effect them. My experience has shown me that very few people are prepared to be martyrs for some ill considered bizarre principal.

The reality is that the Government's deficit is despite the huge numbers is ACTUALLY 3% of GDP (stated last night) and falling, light years from national Bankruptcy or a real crisis.
The problem is as I've said before the utter Macro Economic ignorance of the likes of the TP (sic) /schism.
They are emotionally lead by vested interests to panic.
Yes the more the Sovereign l debt the more tax is required to pay it down.
BUT the real national problem is PRIVATE DEBT and it's impact on the ability of banks to borrow money to fund mortgages, credit cards, consumer credit, cars, petrol, coal, exotic foods etc.

The clear reality is that the rich/ businesses don't want to pay taxes BUT they don't want to cut their consumer spending that would reduce the cost of overseas loans etc.
NB even this thumb nail is crude it's really way more complex.

Chad said...

JC - I will be waiting for your reply as I am very interested in how you intend on spinning the hard data (life expectancy #1 in the US when excluding murders and car deaths).

Then - please outline how the final legs of the stool that make up the WHO scores have anything to do with actual medicine and quality thereof. When you pull back the sheets - look at how the rating system was designed sir - it is difficult to ignore or to deny that the intent was to promote socialized medicine and further more to make sure the US scored down the list. The study of actual quality of medicine and care was not the design of the report.

In regards to your initial post - I too thought it ran its course. I thought I did a yomans job showing/arguing that socialized medicine costs have risen significantly and in many cases more than the % here in America and they are not done. More over I thought I did a good job outlining the quality of medicine is not better (wait times double) and life expectancy is less that in the US. What I find fascinating when talking about healthcare quality is that Americans are very unhealthy people - we play hard - I would argue we play harder than just about anyone with food, drink and smoke - recreation and yet the life expectancy here is still #1 when removing murders and car crash deaths.

What you and no one can fully understand yet is the impact that an unnatural force - especially Gov't will have over time. Just today Jon we read now that 1 million US Citizens will not be able to keep their current insurance and the numbers will continue to rise.

Jon and now Linda and God knows Ex will chime in - I have a question I would like you all to answer.

If your ideas or this idea (Obama Care/socialized medicine) is so wonderful for all then why does it require an unnatural force like Gov't to work? This idea of affordable healthcare should be ale to stand on its own two feet if it is a sound and fair idea shouldn't it? These exchanges can be created without any Gov't assistance - the US is made up of about 50% who think as you do so why not find insurance agencies, doctors to subscribe and then sign up your membership and pay for those members using the low cost doctors agreeing to the plans? Why do you need the gun - the power of imprisonment and the Gov't if this idea is so wonderful?

Hell Jon - if it's done right maybe a guy like me may choose to buy into the plan.

Why the gun?

Chad said...

While you ponder how to,answer my question - my company just Recieved it's threat to fines and fees because of Obama Care. The first of many threats to come - if our company does not have every employee sign a piece of paper stating that we informed them about Obama Care we are subject to a $100 fine per person per day.

The gun.

Examinator said...

Take the hint, you're off topic and trolling
Perhaps you need read this

Jon said...

Chad, very briefly because I think we've pretty much run course here, but don't you think any assessment of health care needs to consider life expectancy? And by the way WHO uses "Disability Adjusted Life Expectancy". Meaning they're addressing healthy years. I think that means if you are in a wheelchair because your health care system is too crappy to stop polio, this is a factor. In the US we have for profit health care and as I said our system is being gamed by the insurance industry to dump costs associated with being elderly on the taxpayer and reaping profits on the young and healthy. What this means is there's not a lot of incentive to take as many preventative measures. Americans can live long and sick, and that's a profitable condition. Disability adjustment means a country that is more preventative and keeps you healthy longer is overall a benefit.

As I said I do agree that violent death and car accidents should be considered. But also remember that there is some interplay there. I just got back from London and everyone there walks. I must say most people there seem pretty fit. If I saw someone fat I assumed they were American. The destruction of our public transit system, not something that happened arbitrarily but by design to benefit the profits of the automotive industry, plays a role in the overall health system we reside in. We sit in traffic all day driving on roads that aren't all that bike friendly (often, there are exceptions of course but overall not as good as EU). This is a factor disassociated from the skill of doctors. But maybe we have good doctors because we require so many surgeries because of our overall system, and so naturally overseas people might come here because our doctors are the best. Because overall we are sick and rich, so doctors get lots of practice.

And isn't accessibility a factor? If you have the best stuff in the world, and you have 100 citizens that will live to be 120 and the rest get by in a sickly condition, well that's not necessarily great.

Your critiques complain that the WHO study is based on subjective factors. Complaining about the subjective nature of the assessments is a lot like complaining about Obama Care. Do you have an alternative?

I think your rush to judgment based on the writings of people paid to advance the profit interest of the insurance industry is pretty typical of you. Dismiss pages and pages of detailed study of 191 countries because the war cheer leading Hoover Institute says it's bad over the course of a few paragraphs. I can admit these things are complicated and I'm doing the best I can. No study like this can be perfect. But I fall back on the polls of Americans and residents of other countries who likewise express views that coincide with WHO findings. Overall people in the US don't like their health care system. And for people that don't like deficits, it's pretty amazing that they want to continue doing the same things we've been doing.

But then it's not surprising because a whole industry derives profits here and they pay Hoover and other right wing think tanks to spin on their behalf, and naturally some will go along. We have a whole industry that extracts tons of money as a middle man, adding almost nothing of value but taking an enormous chunk. Other systems that don't share that kind of a burden obviously are going to get a boost from that. Remember, we're the richest country in the world. We should be far and away better in terms of life expectancy, not squeaking by if we adjust for car accidents. Even if EU countries have a life expectancy very close to us, we have to ask how they do it for half the price. Or Cuba. We may have a year in life expectancy on them. They do it for a tenth the cost and while subject to a punishing embargo that prevents them from getting all the supplies they would otherwise need. You can't tell me there's nothing to be learned from that.

Chad said...

Learned - absolutely. I like learning, but I also like choice and freedom. I choose to eat poorly, drink heavily and play very hard - I realize and accept that lifestyle will cost me more financially. Not to be crude - why do you want people to live until their 100 - I know I don't. I am lucky to have 3 grandparents on this earth - all in their 80's, but watching their lack of a quality of life is scary. All they are doing at this point is living - other people get their groceries, 2 wear diapers and they seem to be at the hospital or doctors more than they are at home.

I don't deny and never will profiteering plays a role in cost, but it also plays a role in employment, development and growth as well.

You haven't answered my question - why the gun Jon? Why ideas so good that they need Gov't to force 50% plus of the population who does not believe in it to participate? Saying that the EU system is half the cost (for now) as a result of the force of Gov't dictating medical costs is not a fair comparison. Gov't could take over the car industry and sell cars for half the price too.

Why the gun sir?

Jon said...

We're drifting back to the earlier discussion about how the poor have a choice in the way I can choose to buy several Lamborghini's. That's not really a choice.

Why the gun? Well, you know what system requires a gun. It's capitalism, and property rights. Capitalists simply put up stakes, put up fences, and said "This is mine" and to enforce that they have armies. Not only here, but all over the world protecting their access to resources.

What prevents you from walking on to my property if you are hungry and grabbing an apple that's fallen to the ground? I get to call the state and with their guns they stop you. Or if I have a hammer and you want to use it. The state stops you with guns. The whole sytem is predicated on violence and the threat of it.

So what liberals say is that we have to work within the constraints of capitalism, a system entirely based on violence. And in that system we have a welfare state. What I try to emphasize here is the welfare state was created to SAVE CAPITALISM. Capitalism naturally produces all this inequality, and it gets to the point where the whole thing is near collapse. This is why FDR introduced welfare. He told the wealthy stockholders that he's happy to use the guns to make sure workers send the fruits of their labor to the capitalist. But the suffering of the workers is getting so extreme that they are about to storm the castle and bring the whole system down, which means the non working capitalist that takes all the money and does none of the work could see himself out in the cold, having to work like an ordinary person for money rather than taking it based on state violence. So they use the same threat of violence to throw the poor a bone. The welfare state. You have to pay your taxes. You have to participate in Obama Care. If you don't like the threat or use of violence and want no compulsion, fine, but give it up for property rights as well. Welcome to anarchism.

Chad said...

That is what I thought - twist, deflect and blame it on others.

Chad said...

I was hoping for a lot more than that - that was not only off topic, but it was disingenuous at best.

Examinator said...

If I may, I no issues your summation of FDR saving capitalism BUT I'd ask what were his alternatives? A bloody civil war resulting in??

I would would suggest that The US would never have gone Communist simply because the conditions(power) was far more diversified than say Russia in was primarily an agrarian country i.e. 1% held the power such as it was. 99% had very little to lose.
The US today the 1% holds most of the qualified power BUT there is still a middle class and the standard of living is even for the (sliding scale) poor is infinitely better than of the Russian Peasants circa 1917. i.e. that have more to loose by chaos that their Russian counterpart.

The part that the 1% don't seem to fully understand is that the bar is higher today and that the big E (EXPECTATION) can still bite them on the ass. It's THEIR catch 22, the 1% NEEDS the big E to maintain their wealth/Power. If for example Hyper inflation takes over and money and law order breaks down 1917 is possible. Hence from the perspective of the 1%ers the Political parties (particularly GOP) are there to dampen down Expectation from becoming ENTITLEMENT (OF the ignorant masses, mob rule). To them the DNC is more of a safety valve 'giving cake to the peasants' but not enough for it to turn into ENTITLEMENT. Some in the 1%ers have no real sense of the moderation and are financially backing the more extreme/ gullible middle classers (read religious right and Tea Party (sic) ) to reign in more aggressively, the expectations of ENTITLEMENT by the majority by playing on their insecurities/ fears (sense of entitlement) etc .

NB this is NOT AN UBER conspiracy scenario more a case of
“Big fleas have smaller fleas on their backs
And these fleas have smaller fleas on their backs to bite them
And those fleas have smaller fleas again ad infinitum” Alexander Pope

It is human nature to seek status over “lessors” regardless of party or system of Government. However, it is our personal responsibility and Need to support a society for our species survival. Rather than devolve back into animals (see my previous posts along that line)
Simply put it is all too complex to allow any one group to blunder around like a blind bull in a china (crockery porcelains etc) shop.

In the final analysis it is only the out of touch American 1%ers who fear that universal health care as the slippery slide into anarchy … The reality is it works as well as any other human conceived program. It may even take some of the entitlement steam off as is the case in many many countries around the world.
Defeat of the nay extreme nay sayers was inevitable by the sheer weight of numbers (statistical pressure i.e. the mass tends to move to the centre).

FDR knew that to ignore the mass demands would mean the probable destruction of the US as we know it.

Examinator said...

FDR was one of the 1%ers.

Laproch said...

Some may understand and forgive me for not coming back to read posts to this ongoing conversation; however, I do check few lines in my email notifications to see where it's going, and one in particular brought me back to the site: " unnatural force like Gov't..."

For some reason it seemed odd to refer to government as being an unnatural force. I guess I never really thought of government as a unnatural or natural gravity or electromagnetism, or a force of any kind; however, it did occur to me that government is a rather natural force found in social science. I immediately thought of "Lord of the Flies" in which a group of children naturally gravitated toward the need for an organizational hierarchy in order to function as a group.

It also occurred to me that possibly even that little group of heathens, :), would have chosen healthcare for all regardless of rank and power.

My thoughts then turned to thinking of how differently people might think about healthcare as a "right" or a "given for all" if we had a population of 100 people. As long as everyone knew and could see each other in terms of their individual abilities (i.e., limited or abundant)and stories; would they choose to deny healthcare to anyone? Would they deny it to their neighbors with limited ability and let them suffer the horrors of untreated diseases and/or let them needlessly die, or would those blessed with more abundant ability, along with those blessed with extreme abundant ability, decide to chip in and provide humanitarian aid?

My friends in Canada say they love going to sleep at night knowing that somewhere a wife or a child or a father will continue to be able to keep fighting against their cancer or other disease without undue financial pressure of the threat of bankruptcy.

As Americans, I think it is time that we take pride in being able to say we actually take care of our own. Sure, as Mitt Romney said, "you aren't going to die in your ambulance will pick you up and take you to the ER..." and most likely live, but at the astronomical ER cost that we all pay. (There is no healthcare fairy, Mr. Romney.) Anyone who does not understand that those of us who pay taxes, insurance premiums and our own medical bills have not been paying more and more for those things in order to cover the uninsured who show up in ERs is beyond ignorant. Many who show up in the ER without insurance are there for a sore throat or other minor high priced ER rates. The person to whom Romney refers would have saved us all a lot if he/she had preventative treatment which the ACA will provide for everyone.

For me, this is not debatable, so please don't bother to try to shoot holes in my opinion. No one is going to change my opinion or my progressive liberal tendency for social responsibility. I view it as a way to force people to practice the golden rule, christian values, or whatever you want to call them, since people can't seem to do it willingly.

If there is an increase in anyone's expenditures to cover this program it will be miniscule, and I truly believe it will reduce what we've all been paying for others anyhow. We, as taxpayers, pay far more to cover the costs of expenditures for which no one receives anything in return (except maybe government contractors, some oil people, etc.).

Personally, I agree with my Canadian friends, I don't see how people can sleep at night knowing there are others suffering illnesses for which the relief is withheld purely because of the almighty dollar. I don't see it as a choice, but a duty.

Please excuse my digression on this blog, but that seems to be a big theme of this particular blog, lol. I admit my guilt. :)

Jon said...

Not to start yet another digression, Ex, but....

one could hope the alternative to FDR's capitalism would be economic democracy. A world where workers keep the fruits of their labor and decide themselves their working conditions. That was the goal of a lot of people in 1917 in Russia and it didn't work out for them. It's hard to say what might have happened here.

But capitalism, with it's endless need for expanded consumption, with the death and misery it has imposed throughout the world, isn't sustainable. Check this article from Naomi Klein where she reports on a conference from scientists where the scientists are getting more blunt. Here's the title of one of the presentations. “Is Earth F**ked? Dynamical Futility of Global Environmental Management and Possibilities for Sustainability via Direct Action Activism”

FDR saved capitalism. The expanded consumption and increased burning of fossil fuels continued, and today we're at the precipice. It may be already too late. Not sure what would have happened otherwise, but the alternatives can hardly be much worse than what we face today.

Examinator said...

As pointed out in my posed URL to him even his side of politics are now saying Enough is enough with shut downs etc.
While he won't accept this the reality is that the TP have lost and if they continue to be as obstructionist as they have been they will be progressively further marginalised.
Chad's outrageous claim that the TP is a party on it's own merits is hogwash they NEED the GOP to survive.

The weakness in the 1st. past the post elections in this context is that it would split the conservative vote.

Ask yourself how long would they survive if they split from the Republicans and ran candidates on their own? 1 maybe 2 cycles that would be all DNC.

Power inside and out (donors) of the GOP would not stand for that. They NEED a disciplined Republican vote. Karl Rove proved that But his brain fade/ short term thinking was once he'd activated the ignorant mass with emotions and fear how do you control it? A bit like poking a cassowary to get it to move...(an ostrich size bird with a brain the size of a small walnut but the attitude of Tasmanian devil and claws like bayonets that can/will disembowel a human). He started another Business/rich catch 22.

The Cassowary shares other features with the TP too:
it will never fly,
It is so lacking in reason/learning and so instinctual (emotional) single minded, it will attack unnecessarily attack anything that it feels is a threat even to the detriment of its self and its young.
Nor does it understand that things have changed
And is frightened of anything new.
e.g. A male raising chicks came across a parked rangers 4X4 Toyota truck. It saw it's self in the larger than normal side mirrors and attacked the “other male” in the mirror with such ferocity it trashed one side of the panels on the truck and the mirror then went to the other side saw the same other male and started to trash that side. The rangers returning from their heat count of the endangered bird saw a suffering, bloodied male dying and its three defenceless chicks near by.. the male had to be destroyed and the chicks caught for hand raising (social welfare?).

Examinator said...

Part 2
Personally I think the whole cassowary Kamikaze routine of the TP will eventually be its own downfall. Simply put, Most non poor Americans have too much to lose to go the extra step of putting their asses (read wealth/ toys/advantages) on the line to go to WAR, as in either direct action as you suggest or allow the TP to risk the lot. That said, Yes, the world AS WE KNOW IT is in dire peril but as I've said before people are largely instinctive based because it's easier than thinking it through. I don't think Homo sapiens are about to go extinct any time soon but They will be thinned out A LOT And yes again America is not going to be immune.
Ideology from either side isn't the answer. Ideology works in theory BECAUSE it minimises by simplistically generalises the biggest variable human nature. Non authoritarian Socialism has been tried and has collapse because of human nature wasn't factored in. To be blunt I no more want Occupy movement to run the country any more than the *^@$! TP. They are simply opposites of the same coin all froth and angst. Neither side know what or how to change the system and the human nature that underpins it. Even My much admired Chomsky is big on the problems but not the how and what is the replacement (presumably some form of socialism) will deal with HN. The base fact we in our self important arrogance is that Nature is both interconnected and we ARE A COMUNAL SPECIES and it's not W2FM but W2FU (What's In It For Us)
Meanwhile both side are getting more afraid and aggressive over the inevitable change.
My view is if there must be panic let it be organised.
That folks is all I feel I can contribute so So long and I wish everyone what they would wish for themselves.
Peace and contentment. Bye
Examinator Ant

Chad said...

Laproach - just one question. In your society - which sounds fantastic BTW - I am going to choose to not work, I am going to choose to not go to school or study or to learn a craft - then because I can I plan to marry and have some kids - are you still going to take care of me? What happens when 50% of the people no longer feel the need to contribute or work - what if I came in your house and took your food because I had none - we still good?

Chad said...


I am not going to attempt to change your mind at all - In fact I wish you the best in finding the Utopia you seek - now with that said may I ask just one little favor? Just one little favor is all I ask and I'll leave you alone and that is to simply not use gov't as your weapon to take my earnings to support (Financially) your beliefs - that is all that I continue to ask for.

Is that so hard? We don't have to believe in the same things and in fact I am glad we don't it makes the world very interesting, but in order for any social planning idea to work it requires the redistribution or reorganization of wealth - it can not and will not stand or work on its own merits. As I explained - the un-natural force is gov't in this - they determine regardless of all the consequences what something costs and in this particular case - something that costs X in today's market suddenly can only demand Y. Those two numbers don't jive so overnight an un-natural force just changed the entire market for whatever X was.

Again - believe whatever you want I simply ask that you allow me to exclude myself from the participation (financial burden) of that idea and I wish you only the best success.