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Author Topic: The right to say no to health insurance
G2
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Michelle asked a very relevant question that got lost in the flame fest:
quote:
Originally posted by Michelle:
Do I have a right not to have health care insurance?

The liberal position is that the right to refuse federally mandated insurance does not exist. The Democrats have taken the position that if Congress believes it serves the general welfare to force you to buy it, then you have no right to refuse the will of Congress.

The reality:
quote:
Although the Supreme Court has interpreted Congress's commerce power expansively, this type of mandate would not pass muster even under the most aggressive commerce clause cases. In Wickard v. Filburn (1942), the court upheld a federal law regulating the national wheat markets. The law was drawn so broadly that wheat grown for consumption on individual farms also was regulated. Even though this rule reached purely local (rather than interstate) activity, the court reasoned that the consumption of homegrown wheat by individual farms would, in the aggregate, have a substantial economic effect on interstate commerce, and so was within Congress's reach.

The court reaffirmed this rationale in 2005 in Gonzales v. Raich, when it validated Congress's authority to regulate the home cultivation of marijuana for personal use. In doing so, however, the justices emphasized that -- as in the wheat case -- "the activities regulated by the [Controlled Substances Act] are quintessentially economic." That simply would not be true with regard to an individual health insurance mandate.

The otherwise uninsured would be required to buy coverage, not because they were even tangentially engaged in the "production, distribution or consumption of commodities," but for no other reason than that people without health insurance exist. The federal government does not have the power to regulate Americans simply because they are there. Significantly, in two key cases, United States v. Lopez (1995) and United States v. Morrison (2000), the Supreme Court specifically rejected the proposition that the commerce clause allowed Congress to regulate noneconomic activities merely because, through a chain of causal effects, they might have an economic impact. These decisions reflect judicial recognition that the commerce clause is not infinitely elastic and that, by enumerating its powers, the framers denied Congress the type of general police power that is freely exercised by the states.

The current bill under consideration does force the uninsured to buy government approved or government supplied health insurance - I have provided the relevant section of the bill in another thread. The only way to get this through as-is is a violation of the Constitution.
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JoshCrow
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"The current bill under consideration"

You realize there are several bills right now, right? Also, do you realize that most of the discussion now is about a public option? Emphasis on "option".

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Doug64
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I think the Supreme Court has been mishandling the Commerce clause for decades, by both over-expanding and over-restricting the clause.

"Commerce" at the time the Constitution was ratified was more commonly used for non-economic transactions, and is still recognized as such in dictionaries: "social relations, esp. the exchange of views, attitudes, etc." The first Congress used this definition when it passed laws regulating the interaction of US citizens with Indians. So restricting the clause to economic exchanges is an over-restriction.

OTOH, Congress has gotten way too expansive with what it considers "interstate" and the Supreme Court has gone along for the ride - when a crop grown by a farmer for his personal use can be regulated on the grounds that it impacts interstate commerce, you might as well just drop the word "interstate" altogether, it's meaningless. There has been some pullback from that extreme position, though, and if that law was challenged today it would probably be struck down - IIRC, in the last few decades the SC struck down a federal law banning the carrying of firearms within a set distance of a public school, on the grounds that it couldn't be justified as interstate commerce.

As for my take on the right to refuse medical insurance, I'm all for it - so long as medical practitioners have the right to refuse treatment to people that don't have coverage in non-emergency cases. But giving one group the right to refuse insurance while requiring another group to treat them anyway, is giving the first group the right to defraud the second.

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RickyB
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Ideally this would be handled on a state basis. Most states are plenty big enough to have a powerful public option. Some hard red states would hold out, but soon everyone would see what was better. Oh, and there would be a state or two that would do it, but badly/corruptly.
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Aris Katsaris
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quote:
As for my take on the right to refuse medical insurance, I'm all for it - so long as medical practitioners have the right to refuse treatment to people that don't have coverage in non-emergency cases.
If hardcore-individualists make a voluntary choice not to pay for insurance (not because they can't pay for it, but because they don't want to pay for it), I don't see why they should be treated by the state for *emergency* cases either.

Doesn't spurning of socialized aid logically mean that we should leave them to die on the sidewalk, then bill their heirs for the money used to drag their bodies from their road? Isn't that what they want?

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vulture
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quote:
Originally posted by RickyB:
Oh, and there would be a state or two that would do it, but badly/corruptly.

Why does the word "Illinois" spring to mind?
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Doug64
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quote:
Originally posted by Aris Katsaris:
Doesn't spurning of socialized aid logically mean that we should leave them to die on the sidewalk, then bill their heirs for the money used to drag their bodies from their road? Isn't that what they want?

Only if you are also calling for the privatization of all emergency and general public services, such as firefighting, police, inoculations, etc. Ivory tower libertarians do, more grounded libertarians don't.
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Greg Davidson
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Aris is right, what would be the policy towards those who elect not to have insurance who then need life-saving coverage?

But on the other hand, Obama himself differed from Clinton in the primaries in leaving more room for people to choose to opt out of the system.

I would think that the case for mandatory auto insurance is even more questionable than that for mandatory health insurance (I was going to phrase this the other way around, but I figured I would put this from the perspective that G2 would likely be viewing the issue).

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hobsen
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In United States v. Lopez, the Supreme Court held that the federal government had no right to forbid a student to bring a revolver to school, on the theory that such behavior would cause economic harm:
quote:
The Government's principal argument was that the possession of a firearm in an educational environment would most likely lead to a violent crime, which in turn would affect the general economic condition in one of two ways: first, because violent crime causes damage and creates expense, it raises insurance costs, which are spread throughout the economy; and second, by limiting the willingness to travel in the area perceived to be unsafe. The Government also argued that the presence of firearms within a school would be seen as dangerous, resulting in students' being scared and disturbed; this would, in turn, inhibit learning; and this, in turn, would lead to a weaker national economy since education is obviously an important element of the nation's economic health.

The Court, however, found these arguments to create a dangerous slippery slope: what would prevent the federal government from then regulating any activity that might lead to violent crime, regardless of its connection to interstate commerce, because it imposed social costs? What would prevent Congress from regulating any activity that might bear on a person's economic productivity?

This does seem a slippery slope. If the federal government may not forbid students to bring revolvers to school, it does seem unlikely it can require everyone to buy health insurance, just because harm may result if large numbers refuse.
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cherrypoptart
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So it's going to be illegal not to have health insurance, and then we're going to have death panels to tell us that we're not going to get the best treatments if we don't qualify on their terms. Fantastic!

Quintessential liberal government: you DON'T get what you pay for!

> If the federal government may not forbid students to bring revolvers to school...

I wouldn't go that far. The detail you may be implying here is that the federal government may not do it using the commerce clause.

They shouldn't do this with healthcare either. There is a perfectly acceptable legal mechanism to achieve goals such as these, and it's called a Constitutional Amendment. If there isn't enough support for that, then they shouldn't abuse their authority trying something like this healthcare scheme that is so far reaching into the lives of all American citizens. If it's that great for us, it'll pass the Constitutional Amendment process, and giving all Americans ample time and opportunity to weigh in on the matter is no less than what we deserve.

Also, it'd serve well to cut it down from over a thousand pages to something that we can all understand, unless they want a thousand page Constitution for kids to have to study in school.

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Pyrtolin
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Cherry,
The death panels are an outright myth based on current insurance practices that are on the leading edge of things to be banned. There is absolutely nothing in any of the legislation to justify such a fabrication. One of the primary drives is to make the insurance companies disclose exactly what will and won't be covered _before_ you pay for coverage in simple terms. So, just the opposite of what's being claimed, once coverage for a particular kind of service or procedure is paid for, the company would have to pay no matter what- they wouldn't be able to say that they think you should or shouldn't personally receive anything; there are even specifications for moving toward electronic claims processing such that the doctor's office would be able to punch the cost of the procedure into a terminal and tell you on the spot what the cost would be. Everything is covered or not up front based on the plan you picked, not on a claims processor.

The only "panels" suggested are ones that set the minimum standards for various levels of care so that people can be sure of what the bare minimum is at any given level. Competition between providers will ensure that there is a good variety of choices that offer more than what each level's minimum is.

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cherrypoptart
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If the death panels are a myth they are also based on Obama basically saying that sometimes if you have a 100 year old woman who needs heart surgery, maybe she should just get a pain pill instead.

That sounds pretty ignorant on many levels, not the least of which is how much is a pain pill really going to help a heart condition? But basically you have non-doctors deciding the healthcare that people are going to get. Many argue that's already the case with insurance companies, and that's a fine argument, but we shouldn't pretend that the government isn't angling to take their place and ration out healthcare as well.

And on this topic of being forced to pay into the government program, the sad thing is if that 100 year old lady (who did have the heart surgery she needed and is 105 years old now) is forced to pay for her government health insurance that won't cover her needs and that extra cost prevents her from getting the health coverage that would have provided for her.

Sure they say that won't happen. You can continue to opt out and keep your own coverage, supposedly, for a while anyway, but who honestly believes that with the higher tax bill people have to pony up for to pay for so many more people, some of them won't have their own plans put out of their price range. They'll be in the government program that's going to leave them high and dry when the time comes that they need it?

And if that's not the case, then we're basically saying that the government is going to pay for all of these expensive procedures for the elderly and does anyone seriously expect that not to quickly bankrupt the entire system?

We can't have it both ways. If someone is pretending that everyone is going to get covered for everything and that it's not going to lead to rationing or bankruptcy... that's just naive. We're being sold a bill of goods here, and you know what they say about things that are too good to be true.

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Aris Katsaris
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Do I understand correctly that the summarization of your argument is as follows: "If the poor are given better healthcare than currently, then the rich will have worse healthcare than they currently do"?

If I have summarized accurately, then I find it dishonest that you pretend to care about 100 year old ladies, when in reality you care only about *rich* 100-year old ladies.

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cherrypoptart
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It's not an argument. It's just stating the obvious.

Are you saying that rich people shouldn't be able to pay for healthcare if poor people can't get the same care?

I don't know if that's your position. I'm not saying it is either. That's why I'm asking.

-------------------------------------------

I'm also not pretending to care about anyone.

I don't know whatever gave you the idea that I did.

-------------------------------------------

But in this instance, let's look at the facts. Obama basically said a 100 year old woman might be better off with a pain pill instead of an expensive heart surgery (or society might be better off any way if not the woman in question).

So if we take away her heart surgery, maybe we can afford to give it to someone else instead? That's the usual liberal pie idea. There's only so much pie and if some rich person is eating a slice, it means that a poor person gets nothing. There is never any consideration for the idea that maybe the rich people are making more pies.

Or for the idea that when you start taking away their pies, they stop making them. So you haven't really fed a poor person a slice of pie at all. All you've done is kept a rich person from eating any.

That pretty much describes what happened in Russia and Vietnam and China for quite a while. They thought they'd give all the poor people everything the rich had, but all they ended up with was more poor people, and a bunch of people who used to be rich being dead instead.

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Aris Katsaris
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quote:
"Are you saying that rich people shouldn't be able to pay for healthcare if poor people can't get the same care?"
I don't know anyone ever saying that any people shouldn't be able to pay for as good a healthcare as they want, on their *own* dime. I certainly am not saying anything of the sort.

What seems to be upsetting you is that on the *state* dime, poor people will be getting equal treatment with rich people.

quote:
"There is never any consideration for the idea that maybe the rich people are making more pies."
A rather bad analogy as in this case the pies is the healthcare provided by doctors and nurses, etc, and not any sort of pie that the bankers and the corporation executives are making.

Also, despite conservatives' belief that people's contribution to society is analogous to their income, I don't believe we should be looking at people's level of productivity before we give them healthcare.

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Pyrtolin
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quote:
Originally posted by cherrypoptart:
If the death panels are a myth they are also based on Obama basically saying that sometimes if you have a 100 year old woman who needs heart surgery, maybe she should just get a pain pill instead.

And what if actual statics on the treatments indicate that the heart surgery is not likely to extend her life (or even shorten it)? Shouldn't she have that kind of information when choosing what direction she'd prefer to go, rather than just trusting opinion of someone who stands to profit more from the more expensive procedure?

That's the point of comparative effectiveness research- to put more information in people's hands so that they can make informed decisions about what kind of care would be best for them rather than just assuming that more complicated and expensive is automatically better.

quote:
And on this topic of being forced to pay into the government program, the sad thing is if that 100 year old lady (who did have the heart surgery she needed and is 105 years old now) is forced to pay for her government health insurance that won't cover her needs and that extra cost prevents her from getting the health coverage that would have provided for her.
People will be required to have coverage. No one will be required to have government coverage (and it will be a sad mark for free market efficiency if the private companies can't offer a better value for the dollar once they have something to compete against aside from profit per share for their investors.

quote:
Sure they say that won't happen. You can continue to opt out and keep your own coverage, supposedly, for a while anyway, but who honestly believes that with the higher tax bill people have to pony up for to pay for so many more people, some of them won't have their own plans put out of their price range. They'll be in the government program that's going to leave them high and dry when the time comes that they need it?
Your confusing separate things- a national exchange which would be a market for all companies to use to compete directly with each other on fair terms, the "public option" which would be a non-profit competitor on that market with government oversight, and current entitlement programs which people would hopefully be encouraged to give up over time in favor of credits and subsidies (based on the price of the "public option" to purchase coverage on the exchange.

Sure they can keep their personal divide-and-conquer plans, where the insurance companies have no incentive to keep the premiums down or requirement to pay claims if they can find any excuse to deny it, even a completely unrelated detail or the wrong phase of the moon.

There would definitely be economic pressure to buy coverage, perhaps even from the same company, on the national exchange, where direct competition would keep prices lower and there would be explicit requirements to cover all promised services.

quote:
And if that's not the case, then we're basically saying that the government is going to pay for all of these expensive procedures for the elderly and does anyone seriously expect that not to quickly bankrupt the entire system?


If it would bankrupt the system, then we're all screwed anyways, because that would basically mean that it's impossible for adequate care to be fairly available to all people. Do you seriously believe that to be the case? That there must always be people who have to be sacrificed for overall survival?

The results that other countries have seen show this to absolutely not be the case.

quote:
We can't have it both ways. If someone is pretending that everyone is going to get covered for everything and that it's not going to lead to rationing or bankruptcy... that's just naive. We're being sold a bill of goods here, and you know what they say about things that are too good to be true.
Lead to rationing? That implies that we're not already seeing it. At least any rationing would be more done by health care providers based on need rather than based on wealth, and more than that being actively rationed to inflate insurance company profits, as the current system has it.
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Aris Katsaris
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But honestly I don't know why I bother. I keep seeing how further down into barbarism American conservatives can fall.
- you guys believe in creationism, and reject evolution as atheist propaganda.
- you support torture, against people that you don't even know whether they are terrorists or not, just on the mere chance they might be.
- you believe poor people don't deserve to be given healthcare, because this might hurt the purses of rich people.

How further low can you people fall into sheer barbarism? Why am I even bothering to debate you?

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JoshCrow
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Aris, that is a gross mischaracterization of "conservatives". Just as I hate being lumped in with the extreme liberal charicature, so too is your depiction unhelpful in the extreme. In fact, I'd say a post like yours fouls the air of debate.

You can be more constructive, I know you can. If for any reason, just to not let the other guy point to you as the problem.

[ August 23, 2009, 08:34 PM: Message edited by: JoshCrow ]

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Pyrtolin
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quote:
Originally posted by cherrypoptart:
So if we take away her heart surgery, maybe we can afford to give it to someone else instead? That's the usual liberal pie idea. There's only so much pie and if some rich person is eating a slice, it means that a poor person gets nothing. There is never any consideration for the idea that maybe the rich people are making more pies.

Or for the idea that when you start taking away their pies, they stop making them. So you haven't really fed a poor person a slice of pie at all. All you've done is kept a rich person from eating any.

You forget to add that by taking a few slices away from rich people, not only do they still have enough to gorge themselves on several times over, but now the poor people can make pies to instead of just starving to death. The investment of an incosequential number of slices vastly increases the total number of pies.

But of course that would threaten the pie-hegemony that they currently enjoy, so they'll find ways to resist it. One of the most effective ways is by tricking people that they've allowed just enough pie to get by into thinking that they might have a chance to make more pies, but the poor people are out to get them.

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Greg Davidson
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Perhaps the people who keep citing the existence of death panels are Republican vampire zombies. I am not saying that they are, I'm just saying that it is possible.
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yossarian22c
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quote:
Originally posted by cherrypoptart:
And on this topic of being forced to pay into the government program, the sad thing is if that 100 year old lady (who did have the heart surgery she needed and is 105 years old now) is forced to pay for her government health insurance that won't cover her needs and that extra cost prevents her from getting the health coverage that would have provided for her.

What 100 year old has private health insurance now? Seriously purchasing private health insurance not through Medicare would cost an insane amount of money if she could find any insurance company at all to insure her at any price. How are the elderly your example of how evil government health insurance is when the elderly already have government health insurance and generally like it?

There are plenty of rational objections to make to the health care bill. I’ll list a few

1) Cost, will it be revue neutral as promised. What are the effects of the new taxes?

2) Choice in the level of coverage provided (many people may want high deductable insurance for cheap and pay for physicals and standard stuff out of pocket) for the standard everyday care there is no greater freedom of choice than paying cash.

3) Health insurance mandates (the topic of this thread), should people be required to buy health insurance? What about some religious sects that refuse modern health care should they have to purchase as well?

This bill is far from perfect, attack the bill not some strawman euthanasia argument.

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yossarian22c
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quote:
Originally posted by JoshCrow:
Aris, that is a gross mischaracterization of "conservatives". Just as I hate being lumped in with the extreme liberal charicature, so too is your depiction unhelpful in the extreme. In fact, I'd say a post like yours fouls the air of debate.

You can be more constructive, I know you can. If for any reason, just to not let the other guy point to you as the problem.

Ditto.
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TomDavidson
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No, it's not possible. Vampires cannot also be zombies.
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yossarian22c
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I really think we are going the entirely wrong direction with this bill we need less health insurance not more. Health insurance should be for hospitalizations and major surgeries not physicals and diabetes drugs. The average health insurance policy in my state for a family of 4 was $13,000. If that could be cut to $4,000 for catastrophic coverage the family would have $9,000 to spend on pediatricians and routine health care. Family doctors would have more time to spend with patients and have drastically less paper work. The entire system would be more efficient leading to cheaper better care. Doctors would actually compete on price to see patients. If you were unhappy changing doctors would be no problem because you don’t have to find another doctor approved by your insurance company, you can choose who you like best.

Daruma may agree with me here I’m beginning to think that Democrats will push hard on health insurance reform, and pass a couple restrictions on health insurance companies and get us an individual mandate. Repulicians will push hard against the public option and get that dropped so we end up with it being mandated for us to buy coverage from a private for profit health insurance company. The only winners will be the insurance companies. Now we have a mandate to purchase their product with almost no real competition (health insurance is a monopoly or duopoly in most states).

I don’t think that all the people in congress are stooges for the insurance companies but it seems like enough of them are (both Dems and Reps) to manipulate things around so that the compromise ends up in the sweet spot for the health insurance companies.

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Gina
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quote:
Originally posted by Pyrtolin:
And what if actual statics on the treatments indicate that the heart surgery is not likely to extend her life (or even shorten it)? Shouldn't she have that kind of information when choosing what direction she'd prefer to go, rather than just trusting opinion of someone who stands to profit more from the more expensive procedure?

That's the point of comparative effectiveness research- to put more information in people's hands so that they can make informed decisions about what kind of care would be best for them rather than just assuming that more complicated and expensive is automatically better.

And what if the expensive is better? If the death panels are about simply providing people with better information, why does Obama talk about them in terms of dramatic cost reductions? It sounds like he knows ahead of time what the outcome of this research will be. Curious.
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Pyrtolin
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quote:
Originally posted by Gina:
And what if the expensive is better? If the death panels are about simply providing people with better information, why does Obama talk about them in terms of dramatic cost reductions? It sounds like he knows ahead of time what the outcome of this research will be. Curious.

If it's better, it's better. Now grandma knows that for sure, as well as any quality of life impacts that it might have on her (would she be trading 2 years of fully active life for 5 years hooked up to life support? For example)

The savings are simple- if we have the hard information, there will be a heck of a lot less trial and error. Right now most of the information is slanted in favor of product promotion. There are pockets of independent research, but even most of those don't contain cost/benefit information.

There's a wealth of savings to be had in knowing how to choose the order in which to try various treatments for complicated ailments- if, for example, it's worth trying a process that only works 50% before on that works 90% of the time because the first one costs 10% of what the latter does, so it doesn't cost much more to the people that have to go on, but it cuts out more than half the people that do need the more expensive on anyway. Or whether some new, highly expensive procedures are worth much consideration at all if they're actually flat out less effective than cheaper combinations of existing methods.

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Aris Katsaris
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JoshCrow -- if the barbarism I keep seeing is a misrepresentation of American conservatism, there's nothing that the conservatives of this forum have done to dissuade me from such, either in this thread or other ones.

Even in this thread they aren't saying anything other than "let the poor die, if it means taking a single dime out of a rich man's wallet". The rest is just babble hiding this plain sentiment. "What if this single dime was the money needed by my rich grandmother to get her better treatment?". Whatev.

It's your prerogative to try and be "constructive" with the barbarians. But since their motives and goals are opposed to those of civilization, I don't see what of anything you can supposedly construct together.

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JoshCrow
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quote:
Originally posted by Aris Katsaris:
JoshCrow -- if the barbarism I keep seeing is a misrepresentation of American conservatism, there's nothing that the conservatives of this forum have done to dissuade me from such, either in this thread or other ones.

Even in this thread they aren't saying anything other than "let the poor die, if it means taking a single dime out of a rich man's wallet". The rest is just babble hiding this plain sentiment. "What if this single dime was the money needed by my rich grandmother to get her better treatment?". Whatev.

It's your prerogative to try and be "constructive" with the barbarians. But since their motives and goals are opposed to those of civilization, I don't see what of anything you can supposedly construct together.

I have longed to see the more eloquent and thoughtful conservatives out there turn on their more rabid, spittle-flecking shouters and fear-mongers, the same way I one day hope to see moderates of all persuasions learn to curb their own uncivilized.

While I wait for that to happen, I might settle for setting an example. Please don't become the loony "on my team" that I have to put down because you've gone wild and forgotten how to make a logical argument instead of just shouting about how mean and nasty the other guys are.

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Greg Davidson
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quote:
I have longed to see the more eloquent and thoughtful conservatives out there turn on their more rabid, spittle-flecking shouters and fear-mongers, the same way I one day hope to see moderates of all persuasions learn to curb their own uncivilized.
Josh, you've capture one of my concerns from the past month or so. I want well-reasoned arguments from a conservative perspective, because I really do believe that the best solutions will come out of the reasoned clash of different ideas.

Instead, we get nonsense like:

quote:
If the death panels are about simply providing people with better information, why does Obama talk about them in terms of dramatic cost reductions?
I really can't understand how a thoughtful or sincere person could write this, since death panels are a figment of the Republican imagination and the Obama Administration has not attributed dramatic cost reductions to a provision that provides for funding of end-of-life counseling. Gina, do you dispute my last sentence? If not, why do you refer to things that you know are false?
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RickyB
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"שnd then we're going to have death panels to tell us that we're not going to get the best treatments if we don't qualify on their terms.

Unlike the private companies... Right.

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Rallan
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Actually, there already is a death panel. It's in Texas and Dubya signed off on it while he was governor.
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cherrypoptart
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- posted August 24, 2009 05:18 AM Profile for cherrypoptart Send New Private Message Edit/Delete Post Reply With Quote If there aren't going to be death panels, then is there going to be any limit on the health care services available for people?

If there aren't any limits, how would such a system be sustainable?

If there are limits, who decides them? And how are those deciders not basically a death panel?

Is this another semantics thing like there being no such thing as death taxes? They are estate taxes, not death taxes. Potato, potato (pronounced however you please, it's still the same thing).

By the way, going back to the original issue of whether or not it will be legal not to have health insurance, I was curious about what the penalty would be if it's illegal not to have it.

I heard it would be a $2500 fine. That was on the Mancow show, so obviously it's likely just a rumor, but at least it's an idea.

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RickyB
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"And what if the expensive is better? If the death panels are about simply providing people with better information, why does Obama talk about them in terms of dramatic cost reductions? It sounds like he knows ahead of time what the outcome of this research will be. Curious."

Because we know for a fact that *sometimes* cheaper is better, and we know for a fact that where practiced, end of life counseling does indeed translate into savings - and also improved quality of life (as self reported by the patients) for those last months.

Ain't nothing "curious" about it, unless one insists on seeing it so. Even then there is nothing curious - there's just an insistence on seeing it.

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RickyB
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"If there are limits, who decides them? And how are those deciders not basically a death panel?"

How is this different than your existing coverage? Why is imperfection tolerated for the private sector, but anathema if it's done by gov't?

Yes, there are limits. Yes, a bunch of people sit and decide. It's subject to review, to FOIA and to change. Try to force your existing insurance company to reveal their considerations.

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G2
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quote:
Originally posted by Greg Davidson:

I would think that the case for mandatory auto insurance is even more questionable than that for mandatory health insurance (I was going to phrase this the other way around, but I figured I would put this from the perspective that G2 would likely be viewing the issue).

The difference is that auto insurance is mandated by the states, not the federal government. The Constitution does not address auto insurance, this is a power that should be reserved to the states.

quote:
Originally posted by Greg Davidson:
quote:
I have longed to see the more eloquent and thoughtful conservatives out there turn on their more rabid, spittle-flecking shouters and fear-mongers, the same way I one day hope to see moderates of all persuasions learn to curb their own uncivilized.
Josh, you've capture one of my concerns from the past month or so. I want well-reasoned arguments from a conservative perspective, because I really do believe that the best solutions will come out of the reasoned clash of different ideas.

Instead, we get nonsense like:

quote:
If the death panels are about simply providing people with better information, why does Obama talk about them in terms of dramatic cost reductions?
I really can't understand how a thoughtful or sincere person could write this, since death panels are a figment of the Republican imagination and the Obama Administration has not attributed dramatic cost reductions to a provision that provides for funding of end-of-life counseling. Gina, do you dispute my last sentence? If not, why do you refer to things that you know are false?

I really can't understand how a thoughtful or sincere person could write what you did, since death panels are currently in place. Why do you deny things that you know are really happening?

This passive aggressive type of dismissal you've taken (and I've tried to emulate) overlooks one thing, the "death panels" have been implemented by the administration in another government run health care program - the VA. It's hard to dismiss it as a figment of imagination when it's actually being done right now.

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JoshCrow
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G2 - do you oppose the existence of the VA? How do you feel about it?
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Gina
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quote:
Originally posted by Greg Davidson:
I really can't understand how a thoughtful or sincere person could write this, since death panels are a figment of the Republican imagination and the Obama Administration has not attributed dramatic cost reductions to a provision that provides for funding of end-of-life counseling. Gina, do you dispute my last sentence? If not, why do you refer to things that you know are false?

Your protestations of innocence rely solely on the fact that Barack Obama often tries to pretend that he doesn't mean the things he's actually said. He talks about end-of-life counseling in terms of cost savings, repeatedly mentioning the statistic that 80% of medical costs are in the last year of life, referring to a "difficult democratic conversation." If it's only about making everything roses for everyone, what is difficult about it?

As to the continued mantra that insurance companies already do this: Why, then, do we need a huge new federal bureaucracy boondoggle to do what insurance companies already do?

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aupton15
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The VA has implemented death panels in the 8 months since Obama took office? I've never know the VA to implement any program so quickly! Perhaps government run health-care will not be so inefficient after all!

Of course, since some Republicans who oppose the bill have said that the "death panel" criticism is unfounded and unnecessary, it could be that this is being kept alive to rouse the people to protest rather than to actually have an informed debate. There are plenty of other legitimate difficulties to overcome without bringing in pretend ones.

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kenmeer livermaile
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The answer provided repeatedly by the admin is:

to promote and subsidize competition, the idea being that the health insurance industry has followed a well-known historical pattern of steadily conglomerating until what was once a number of competitive offerings has become a few well-connected monopolies.

The current prospect is complicated by the fact that private insurance companies need to be purty dang big in the 1st place if they are to be truly competitive, since insurance depends on the enhanced economies of scale that large investment pools provide.

So the idea is to provide a government *alternative* (repeat until one grasps that alternative is NOT replace or dismantle or destroy).

As for even alluding to the death panel nonsense, Gina, I award you this:

The Purple Barney

IF the guv is to take any stake in providing health care for its citizens, it is only wise to ask them to complete a living will. Doing so not only improves the hospice aspect of health care, it helps control health care costs by avoiding keeping people alive, VERY EXPENSIVELY, on artificial life support when they (like me) would prefer the plug be pulled shortly after certain criteria (as defined in my living will) have been met.

Every time I have a surgical procedure done (as I do 3-4 times a year), the hospital asks me if I want to fill out a living will.

Wouldn't hurt to have an MD sit down with me and give me up to date, professionally informed insight on the various forms of illness that might put me in an artificial life support scenario. I'd pay a $20 copay for that.

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JoshCrow
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quote:
Originally posted by Gina:
Your protestations of innocence rely solely on the fact that Barack Obama often tries to pretend that he doesn't mean the things he's actually said. He talks about end-of-life counseling in terms of cost savings, repeatedly mentioning the statistic that 80% of medical costs are in the last year of life, referring to a "difficult democratic conversation." If it's only about making everything roses for everyone, what is difficult about it?

I believe the "difficult" he's referring to is the difficulty of making end-of-life decisions. The costs of care in the last year IS high - and making sure that it's spent according to the wishes of the patient is pretty important, which is why covering a session to plan that care is important. The only card you have to play is to assume that there will be deliberate deception involved in trying to get elderly people to pull their own plugs - and I think that fear is largely being overstated for partisan reasons.
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