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House to Repeal Obamacare today

The House will vote later today on repealing ObamaCare, one of the most unpopular big-ticket bills ever passed by Congress.  Jennifer Rubin contends, it “will pass overwhelmingly, with more Democratic votes in favor of repeal than there were Republican votes to pass it originally.

For that to happen, Republicans will need just two Democratic votes (if by original passage, she is referring to the bill then-Rep. Joseph Cao (R-La) supported).  I expect at least a dozen Democrats to vote with a unanimous Republican caucus for repeal.  Other Democrats will follow the lead the president took when serving in the Illinois Senate.

There will be about 25 (perhaps as many as 40) more votes to repeal Obamacare than there were votes to pass it (219) last March (219).  House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi who, when Speaker last year, was masterful as rounding up Democratic votes to get to a bare majority will have trouble wrangling as many votes as there were Republicans in the House at the time (178).  Methinks that, in the end, only about 170 members, all Democrats, will vote against repeal.  (But, as per the above, a good number of Democrats will either vote present or will have trouble making it to Capitol Hill at the time of the vote.)

Echoing Speaker Boehner who says the Democrats’ health care overhaul will mean “hundreds of thousands of jobs lost“, Michelle Malkin calls Obamacare “the mother of all job creation-stifling regulations“.  Timothy Carney reminds us that even “the bill’s authors admit that ‘reform’ could be something of a time bomb that will cause exploding health care costs down the line.

Meanwhile Douglas Holtz-Eakin, Joseph Antos and James Capretta contend that a “close examination of CBO’s work and other evidence undercuts this budget-busting argument about repeal and leads to the exact opposite conclusion, which is that repeal is the logical first step toward restoring fiscal sanity.

Now, House Majority Leader Eric Cantor is daring his Senate counterpart to hold a vote on repeal.  Go ahead, Harry, make his day.

Has the U.S. House ever voted to repeal legislation this comprehensive within ten months of its initial passage?

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49 Comments

  1. What color is the sky in your world today?

    Comment by Auntie Dogma — January 19, 2011 @ 9:12 am - January 19, 2011

  2. Mine is blue, but then it’s usually sunny in New Mexico. Why are you talking about the weather on this thread? Do you have difficulty understanding the topic?

    Comment by Louise B — January 19, 2011 @ 9:24 am - January 19, 2011

  3. The Auntie of all Dogma asks if we are part of reality:

    What color is the sky in your world today?

    Well, Auntie of all Dogma, what is the color of the sky over your world ? :

    In the Big Rock Candy Mountains,
    There’s a land that’s fair and bright,
    Where the handouts grow on bushes
    And you sleep out every night.
    Where the boxcars all are empty
    And the sun shines every day
    And the birds and the bees
    And the cigarette trees
    The lemonade springs
    Where the bluebird sings
    In the Big Rock Candy Mountains.

    In the Big Rock Candy Mountains
    All the cops have wooden legs
    And the bulldogs all have rubber teeth
    And the hens lay soft-boiled eggs
    The farmers’ trees are full of fruit
    And the barns are full of hay
    Oh I’m bound to go
    Where there ain’t no snow
    Where the rain don’t fall
    The winds don’t blow
    In the Big Rock Candy Mountains.

    In the Big Rock Candy Mountains
    You never change your socks
    And the little streams of alcohol
    Come trickling down the rocks
    The brakemen have to tip their hats
    And the railway bulls are blind
    There’s a lake of stew
    And of whiskey too
    You can paddle all around it
    In a big canoe
    In the Big Rock Candy Mountains

    In the Big Rock Candy Mountains,
    The jails are made of tin.
    And you can walk right out again,
    As soon as you are in.
    There ain’t no short-handled shovels,
    No axes, saws nor picks,
    I’m bound to stay
    Where you sleep all day,
    Where they hung the jerk
    That invented work
    In the Big Rock Candy Mountains.

    Smoke another rock and tell us all about your visions.

    Happy welfare trails to you, until you post again.

    Comment by Heliotrope — January 19, 2011 @ 10:00 am - January 19, 2011

  4. [...] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Meredith, DNC Fail!. DNC Fail! said: House to Repeal Obamacare today http://bit.ly/h5AtqD #tcot #tlot [...]

    Pingback by Tweets that mention GayPatriot » House to Repeal Obamacare today -- Topsy.com — January 19, 2011 @ 10:07 am - January 19, 2011

  5. Well, ususally the sky is a dark smoky black on Granny Goodness’ world, so it’s no wonder her confusion.

    Comment by The_Livewire — January 19, 2011 @ 10:13 am - January 19, 2011

  6. Poor Auntie of all Dogma. She really should wear underwear. Seeing her pedal her tricycle with body parts and flab swinging every which way is not a pretty sight.

    And doesn’t Sarah Palin just get the Auntie of all Dogma’s dander up and her dandruff flying? Auntie of all Dogma loathes character, faith, strength, principle, responsibility, determination, honesty, charm, success, self-reliance, and strong women. It simply isn’t the Chicago way.

    Comment by Heliotrope — January 19, 2011 @ 10:37 am - January 19, 2011

  7. What color is the sky in your world today?

    Of course, no one should be surprised she asks this question.

    Morlocks live beneath the earth, after all.

    Comment by Eric in Chicago — January 19, 2011 @ 10:44 am - January 19, 2011

  8. Since the “Repeal of ObamaCare” really isn’t going anyway beyond the House, I’m ambivalent about the significance of the whole Kabuki-theater pantomime. However, if it serves as a start to make some common-sense revisions such as the heavy regulatory and financial burdens on very-small businesses such as mandatory-coverage and the onerous W-1099 reporting requirements it’s a “good start”.

    And thanks to ObamaCare, my limited-coverage catastrophic health coverage has been withdrawn from the market…and I just can’t afford what the local carriers want for a one-person full-coverage health insurance. And ABSOLUTELY NO WAY am I going to even consider adding an employee when faced with their insurance costs and additional overhead expenses for compliance, reporting and additional business insurances required once you have your “first employee” in the state.

    So instead of encouraging addl. employment, ObamaCare ensures that I will not hire addl. employees. This is what happens when those governing have no real-world, private sector experience.

    Comment by Ted B. (Charging Rhino) — January 19, 2011 @ 11:42 am - January 19, 2011

  9. I am not sure that “Kabuki-theater pantomime” (#) is what is going on.

    Obviously, whatever the House passes has to get past the Senate and gain the President’s signature to have any legal effect. I would say that Obamacare was passed via “Kabuki-theater pantomime.”

    But keeping repeal of Obamacare alive and out front in the House is a show of force that is far more than “going through the motions.” Reid and Obama now have the added burden of fighting the House in addition to going on endless sales tours for explaining Obamacare and wooing the public.

    Whether it is 57% or 48% of the people that want Obamacare repealed is not the point. If Obamacare can’t carry two-thirds of the people it is dead in the water until 2012.

    I favor keeping this dog of an economy wrecking mess front and center a yapping.

    Comment by Heliotrope — January 19, 2011 @ 12:46 pm - January 19, 2011

  10. I am not sure that “Kabuki-theater pantomime” (#) is what is going on.

    Obviously, whatever the House passes has to get past the Senate and gain the President’s signature to have any legal effect. I would say that Obamacare was passed via “Kabuki-theater pantomime.”

    But keeping repeal of Obamacare alive and out front in the House is a show of force that is far more than “going through the motions.” Reid and Obama now have the added burden of fighting the House in addition to going on endless sales tours for explaining Obamacare and wooing the public.

    Whether it is 57% or 48% of the people that want Obamacare repealed is not the point. If Obamacare can’t carry two-thirds of the people it is dead in the water until 2012.

    I favor keeping this dog of an economy wrecking mess front and center a yapping.

    Comment by Heliotrope — January 19, 2011 @ 12:46 pm - January 19, 2011

  11. What color is the sky in your world today?

    Didn’t that idiot shooter in Tucson have a penchant for spouting weird, non-sequitur questions and remarks in online fora?

    Why, yes he did.

    Comment by V the K — January 19, 2011 @ 12:59 pm - January 19, 2011

  12. 200 Economists sign letter urging repeal. Democrats are crying that insurance companies “discriminate” against people with pre-existing conditions; much in the same way car insurance companies “discriminate” against people who have already wrecked the car they want to insure.

    Meanwhile, Houston’s Village Idiot Sheila Jackson Lee says repealing ObamaCare would be “unconstitutional.”

    And they say Sarah Palin is dumb.

    Comment by V the K — January 19, 2011 @ 1:11 pm - January 19, 2011

  13. The Auntie of All Dogma would inform us that Sheila Jackson-Lee “graduated from Yale University with her Bachelor’s degree in 1972 and later graduated from Virginia Law with her Juris Doctor degree in 1975.

    After which The Auntie of All Dogma would point out that Sarah Palin took home ec and basket weaving at East Eskimo Kneecap Junior College and Storm Door Company and then went into the baby making business.

    By The Auntie of All Dogma perspective, Yale and Virginia Law bestow and affirm brilliance and those who do not have such esteemed paperwork are necessarily (in Palin’s case) STUPID. (Not to mention that living in Alaska and touching fish is for icky rubes who can’t rise above Wal-Mart and driving a pick-up truck.)

    Sheila Jackson-Lee is undoubtedly a credit to her schools. They are likely no prouder of any other graduate. Why hasn’t Obama tapped he to be a Czar of something? She is clean and articulate and, like Obama, a Constitutional scholar.

    Comment by Heliotrope — January 19, 2011 @ 1:43 pm - January 19, 2011

  14. In an extraordinary outburst on the House floor, Rep. Steve Cohen (D-TN) invoked the Holocaust to attack Republicans on health care and compared rhetoric on the issue to the work of infamous Nazi propagandist Joseph Goebbels.

    “They say it’s a government takeover of health care, a big lie just like Goebbels,” Cohen said. “You say it enough, you repeat the lie, you repeat the lie, and eventually, people believe it. Like blood libel. That’s the same kind of thing, blood libel. That’s the same kind of thing.”

    And Congressman Cohen didn’t stop there.

    “The Germans said enough about the Jews and people believed it–believed it and you have the Holocaust. We heard on this floor, government takeover of health care. Politifact said the biggest lie of 2010 was a government takeover of health care because there is no government takeover,” Cohen said.

    http://tinyurl.com/4pz5vdw

    Except Politifact said no such thing.

    Comment by ThatGayConservative — January 19, 2011 @ 2:03 pm - January 19, 2011

  15. I’m curious – “then-Rep. Cao”; he got defeated? Too bad if he did, he was the first Vietnamese-American in Congress.

    Comment by Jim Michaud — January 19, 2011 @ 2:15 pm - January 19, 2011

  16. I posted this at Hot Air, but wanted to share.

    Liberals compare our troops to Nazi’s (Thank you Dick Durban)
    Liberals say they support the troops.
    Liberals compare Republicans to Nazi’s…
    So Liberals support the Republicans?

    Comment by The_Livewire — January 19, 2011 @ 2:29 pm - January 19, 2011

  17. But at a time when our discourse has become so sharply polarized – at a time when we are far too eager to lay the blame for all that ails the world at the feet of those who think differently than we do – it’s important for us to pause for a moment and make sure that we are talking with each other in a way that heals, not a way that wounds. … Except for you, Representative Steve Cohen of Tennessee. You just keep bein’ awesome!”

    Comment by V the K (Assistant to the Regional Manager) — January 19, 2011 @ 3:20 pm - January 19, 2011

  18. Actually, this statement just shows what a complete and total liar Barack Obama is, and how the Barack Obama Party supports and endorses the very behavior it criticizes in others.

    This really underpins the whole reality of liberalism; liberals are people who spend their entire lives demanding rules of others that they have no intention of obeying or following themselves. That’s why liberals can propose massive and crippling tax hikes for individuals and businesses; liberals don’t pay taxes.

    Comment by North Dallas Thirty — January 19, 2011 @ 3:29 pm - January 19, 2011

  19. Actually, TGC, Politifact did say that.

    http://politifact.com/truth-o-meter/article/2010/dec/16/lie-year-government-takeover-health-care/

    Comment by Rob Tisinai — January 19, 2011 @ 3:30 pm - January 19, 2011

  20. Damn. I was going from memory, as I glanced over it a few weeks ago. I thought it was about Death Panels. Serves me right for not spending more time going back and looking it up.

    Comment by ThatGayConservative — January 19, 2011 @ 4:54 pm - January 19, 2011

  21. One of the ironies of life, TGC, at least for me: every year means more to remember and less ability to remember it. :)

    Comment by Rob Tisinai — January 19, 2011 @ 4:57 pm - January 19, 2011

  22. 245-189. Let us celebrate the bi-partisan repeal of the health care bill in the house!

    Comment by The_Livewire — January 19, 2011 @ 6:01 pm - January 19, 2011

  23. Why does the Democrats keep saying the ObamaCare repeal is going nowhere?

    The Hill editor chick on Fox News Special Report panel cited the AP poll as it gaining support so the Republicans have to be careful in her words. The AP poll is propaganda, but since she is one of the Hill editors, she favors Democrats over Republicans. In this case, she is no more an expert than Big Bird.

    Comment by Sebastian Shaw — January 19, 2011 @ 6:58 pm - January 19, 2011

  24. [...] House to Repeal Obamacare today [...]

    Pingback by GayPatriot » 26 more House members in current Congress vote to repeal than number who voted in favor in last Congress — January 19, 2011 @ 8:06 pm - January 19, 2011

  25. Hi VK,
    “200 Economists sign letter urging repeal. Democrats are crying that insurance companies “discriminate” against people with pre-existing conditions; much in the same way car insurance companies “discriminate” against people who have already wrecked the car they want to insure.”
    1. The car analogy doesn’t work for me. If you wreck the car, you can get another one. If you wreck a body, you can’t. Further and most germane, wrecking a car can be determined to be a question of stupidity or lousy driving on the part of the driver. In that case, it makes perfect sense to charge higher premiums. In the case of pre-existing conditions, yes,some are going to be because of some peoples’ stupidity or self-negligence; especially as you get older. But there are many cases where pre-existing conditions are outside the control of an individual–be it genetics (Huntington’s anyone?) or aggravated by the place they live (asthma, etc). Your analogy breaks down in this case. If a car crashed because of a faulty car system, should an individual pay more for insurance? My intuition says no. What do you think? Even if you think they should, I can sue the car company for compensation due the faulty vehicle. But who does the ill individual I described sue–god?

    2. It is interesting that the economists that I recognize are strong free market economists–from the Public Choice School (Niskanen) or Rational Expectations theorists (Lucas), who are antipathetic to government intervention by academic background. I am sure that you could also find plenty of economists who would support the law (albeit reluctantly, because a single payer system is more efficient in their view; they see it as a step in the right direction; e.g., Krugman).*

    * Yes, I suspect that last claim might rile you. My apologies.

    Comment by Cas — January 19, 2011 @ 8:31 pm - January 19, 2011

  26. Cas,

    as to you point 1, you suffer insurance fail. insurance is a calculated expence. You’re calculating that you put less into it than you get out, the company brokering the contract calculates the opposite. By removing pre-existing conditions you remove the economic incentive to provide insurance. Heck you remove the meaning of the term ‘insurance’. My auto policy (which I pay for, above state minimum coverage) will reimburse me if the yahoo hits me and doesn’t have insurance. Circumstances out of my control (other idiot drivers or genetic instability) are covered.

    Disclaimer: I work for an insurance company and am damn proud of the work we do. I don’t speak for them, nor would they want me to.

    Comment by The_Livewire — January 20, 2011 @ 7:01 am - January 20, 2011

  27. In the case of pre-existing conditions, yes,some are going to be because of some peoples’ stupidity or self-negligence; especially as you get older. But there are many cases where pre-existing conditions are outside the control of an individual–be it genetics (Huntington’s anyone?) or aggravated by the place they live (asthma, etc). But there are many cases where pre-existing conditions are outside the control of an individual–be it genetics (Huntington’s anyone?) or aggravated by the place they live (asthma, etc).

    Actually, Cas, let’s check the facts on what the Obama Party is screaming are “pre-existing conditions”.

    The second includes additional common health and mental health conditions (e.g., arthritis, asthma, high cholesterol, hypertension, and obesity) that would result in an automatic denial of coverage, exclusion of the condition, or higher premiums according to major health insurers’ underwriting guidelines identified using internet searches.

    But it gets better.

    Individuals with five common conditions – arthritis, asthma, high cholesterol, hypertension, and obesity (BMI > 35) – were included in the second measure, as were individuals who had “ever been” diagnosed with arthritis, asthma, high cholesterol, or hypertension

    So that’s where your contradictory rhetoric and spinning gets exposed. You claim you support charging people different amounts for stupid health choices, but then you move these stupid health choices under “pre-existing conditions” and block insurers from charging different amounts for them.

    Furthermore, let’s then move to block your next spin, which is the “preventative care lowers these costs”; turns out, it doesn’t.

    Why? As any underwriter could tell you, when you are talking about things of extremely low occurrence like Huntington’s disease, which has an occurrence rate of one-tenth of one percent in the population, the cost of just requiring everyone to be tested for it far exceeds the cost of paying for it when someone develops it. Of course, you could raise your prices and add testing for Huntington’s as an automatic benefit, but under Obamacare, you are not allowed to charge anyone differently for anything.

    Now, Cas, a very simple question. You claim you support different pricing for bad health decisions. Your Obamacare law that you fully support and endorse outlaws this.

    Were you unaware? Or were you fully aware and merely trying to obfuscate?

    Comment by North Dallas Thirty — January 20, 2011 @ 11:54 am - January 20, 2011

  28. But who does the ill individual I described sue–god?

    Oh PLEASE.

    Really, where does this stop? Your “logic” is that people who are born with a genetic defect or issue should be able to take money from other people who don’t have that genetic defect or issue to pay for it. To you, government is about forcible redistribution and making up for sheer chance.

    Therefore, Cas, I pose you this question; since to what family you are born is a matter of chance, and you argue that government must offset all “chance” in the name of “fairness” and “equality”, it is government’s job to make sure that you have an “equal” amount of money available to you. Therefore, government should be empowered to take money from a child whose family is more wealthy and give it to you, regardless of why they are more wealthy or yours is less wealthy, in the name of “fairness” and “equality”.

    You are a moocher, Cas. Your solution for everything is to take from other people and demand that other people pay. The really pathetic thing about Obama Party members like yourself is that, if you truly wanted to help people, you could take the money of the innumerable multimillionaires like Nancy Pelosi, John Kerry, George Soros, and Barack Obama and BUY health care and health insurance for all these people you’re sniffling over. But instead, you have to impose crippling taxes on OTHER people — taxes which, given the record of Kerry, Geithner, Sebelius, and Rangel, as well as the fact that 47% of Americans pay no Federal income tax themselves, you will never pay.

    Comment by North Dallas Thirty — January 20, 2011 @ 12:03 pm - January 20, 2011

  29. Cas babbles about the difference between insuring a human body and insuring an automobile. Then Cas drops this nugget:

    because a single payer system is more efficient in their view; they see it as a step in the right direction

    Voila! The wraps are off!!!

    A single payer system …… with no medical rationing? Whatever it takes, you get and the single payer pays for it. Right?

    Who is the single payer? That is simply a bottomless vault. It is not related to insurance in any manner whatsoever. Apparently, some people can not afford to pay for their own bottomless pit medical care, so someone else must do so. So, to be fair, everybody should get bottomless pit medical care which is paid by someone else. Who is the someone else? Why, it is all of us, of course. To each according to his medical needs and from each according to how much he has in order to pay the bottomless pit medical bills. Simple. Great economists agree.

    Here is how it could best work. Every year, the government surcharges each citizen for his “fair share” of “single payer health care” for all. The surcharge would be determined by taking the total national health care bill and spreading it out among those who pay taxes according to their “ability” to pay. The Ability to Pay Czar would write the rules and regulations concerning individuals and businesses that try to shelter assets to lessen the Ability to Pay Surcharge. Unions, pension funds of unions, endowment funds of liberal universities and all retirement funds of Democrat politicians would be exempt from the Ability to Pay Surcharge. Wal-Mart would be subject to a minimum of a double surcharge. Also big oil. Also Halliburton. Also Fox News, Limbaugh, Hannity, Beck, Palin, Coulter, Drudge, Savage and fundamentalist Christian congregations.

    Comment by Heliotrope — January 20, 2011 @ 1:01 pm - January 20, 2011

  30. If you want to blow a lefty’s mind, ask them if they would support BlueCrossBlueShield, or Aetna, or any of the large insurers cornering the health insurance market and establishing a monopoly — and if they would not, why not?

    Odds are, you will get an emphatic NO, followed by the usual litany against corporate monopolies, how they drive up prices, how they reduce services, etc., etc.

    Respond by pointing out that it would reduce overhead and redundancies, increase efficiencies of scale, and allow the insurance company to bargain harder with suppliers, thus reducing costs. Then let them rant again how no, that’s not the case, monopolies are bad and inefficient, etc.

    Then point out that a single health insurance company having a monopoly would in fact be “single-payer”; therefore, all of the reasons they have listed as for why such a monopoly would be a bad idea would also apply when the GOVERNMENT is the monopoly.

    At that point stand back. Brain spatters don’t come out of clothing easily.

    Comment by North Dallas Thirty — January 20, 2011 @ 2:31 pm - January 20, 2011

  31. Hi all,
    Thank you for your replies. Let me address some of your issues (as far as I can see that they relate to what I posted), in the order they were raised:
    1. The_Livewire says: “you suffer insurance fail. insurance is a calculated expence. You’re calculating that you put less into it than you get out, the company brokering the contract calculates the opposite. By removing pre-existing conditions you remove the economic incentive to provide insurance.” OK, this is not addressing the argument I made, but let me answer your issue. I agree with you. Working with the equation of “pre-existing condition = lousy driver”, this is one of the reasons why we are all legally required to have universal 3rd party insurance. Many people don’t need to have this insurance, because they won’t get “ill = crashed”. But a small proportion will. Because some payouts are going to way big, that no insurance company can cover on its own, without a pool of “healthy = good driving” individuals to spread these payments out. I think that is why the health care law requires universal opt in or penalties if you want to opt out. In the auto example, if we allowed people to opt out, premiums would be way higher than they are now. The compulsory nature can be economically defended because 3rd party insurance is a positive externality. Having it, makes society as a whole, better off.

    2. NDT says: #27 “You claim you support charging people different amounts for stupid health choices, but then you move these stupid health choices under “pre-existing conditions” and block insurers from charging different amounts for them.” I think you make an inference that I did not support. I simply raised the issue that not all “pre-existing conditions” are the result of moral hazard. I am interested in your lumping in asthma into things that shouldn’t be covered. Why is that? Do you see this as purely self-inflicted? If so, how? Arthritis can be self-inflicted, I grant, but it can also be a genetic pre-disposition. The Huntington’s Disease issue isn’t about testing for it. It is simply about providing someone with healthcare, who cannot otherwise get it, when they discover they have it. As to your question, I dislike the healthcare bill. But it is better than what we had previously.

    #28 “Your “logic” is that people who are born with a genetic defect or issue should be able to take money from other people who don’t have that genetic defect or issue to pay for it. To you, government is about forcible redistribution and making up for sheer chance.” I can grant the first claim, but not the second. The first claim doesn’t logically entail the second claim. I would point out that one of the reasons why we join society of one form or another is to help ourselves against the vagaries of fortune. It is easier to handle mis-fortune with others with our combined resources, than it is with my resources alone. Society is itself, a form of insurance. Further, I disagree with your characterization that I must believe that: “it is government’s job to make sure that you have an “equal” amount of money available to you.” Redistribution doesn’t have to be equal For example, we have tax redistribution in our society, and yet we have one of the most skewed income/wealth distributions in the world. But some redistribution is a good thing (I believe).

    #29 “A single payer system …… with no medical rationing?” I understand your passion, and I enjoyed your rhetoric afterwards, but, nowhere did I say what you think I said. It is possible to have a single payer system AND have medical rationing based on price. You can still make people pay something when they use the system. $ co-pays to visit, etc., which helps consumers value the good they use. I agree, charging zero just replaces the price rationing with waiting list type rationing. Please note, as I model health care, I see it economically, not only as a private commodity, but also as a public good with positive externalities (especially for those who have little healthcare). Even what I propose has its downside, granted; it is just a different downside to what we have in this country, at the moment.

    Finally, NDT, you and I have philosophical differences. Would this be a fair statement of what you believe?: “Life is unfair; bad things happen to good people. You just have to work it out on your own or with others who are willing to help you. If you have the resources, great. If not, that is life.It sucks being you. I don’ know you, so don’t ask me, and I am sorry, you are in this mess; but I have my own troubles to deal with. And, I certainly don’t want some third party redistributing my income to you, to help you out.”

    Comment by Cas — January 20, 2011 @ 3:02 pm - January 20, 2011

  32. I am interested in your lumping in asthma into things that shouldn’t be covered. Why is that? Do you see this as purely self-inflicted?

    Of course you are.

    First, that’s because you have no way of defending why you and your fellow Obamacare enthusiasts include obesity, high cholesterol, and hypertension as “pre-existing conditions”, even though it’s clear that those represent the overwhelming majority of the “129 million” figure now being bandied about. You’re merely trying the typical dodge they do with abortion, shrieking about “rape” and “maternal health” when those represent a tiny fraction of the problem.

    Second, you don’t want to deal with the fact that your bloviation about supporting different pricing is made completely and hilariously contradictory by your support of a bill banning it.

    So now that that’s out of the way, let’s point out something; parental smoking has been directly linked to childhood asthma development. So has having shag carpet or dirty furnace filters.

    Private insurance companies deal with these choices on the part of the parent by charging more. Under Obamacare, that is forbidden; the person who continues to smoke, keeps the shag, and ignores the furnace filter is charged exactly the same amount as a parent who quits smoking, puts in safer flooring, and cleans their filters, even though the former’s child is going to suffer far more asthma attacks and run up far more bills.

    That is liberalism in a nutshell. Why should you take responsibility or have consequences for your actions? Obama himself is a smoker; is it any surprise he screams and whines and cries that insurance companies are discriminating when they charge more for people like him who deliberately endanger their health and the health of their children and incur more costs?

    And that really puts the lie to this statement.

    I would point out that one of the reasons why we join society of one form or another is to help ourselves against the vagaries of fortune. It is easier to handle mis-fortune with others with our combined resources, than it is with my resources alone.

    Problem is, moocher, you and yours don’t combine your resources. Instead, you take and take and take and take while demanding that other people pay in more and more and more and more to cover what you’re taking.

    Finally, NDT, you and I have philosophical differences. Would this be a fair statement of what you believe?

    And here we see the usual leftist tactic of slandering, attacking, and mischaracterizing a person’s beliefs under the guise of “just asking a question”.

    I prefer to stand on what I have already pointed out, which is that your stated stances are completely opposite to your actions. You, of course, cannot answer for why that is the case, so you resort to these sort of slander-by-associations that your Obama Party demonstrated so nicely the past week on Sarah Palin.

    Comment by North Dallas Thirty — January 20, 2011 @ 4:35 pm - January 20, 2011

  33. Cas @31 says a mouthful:

    Please note, as I model health care, I see it economically, not only as a private commodity, but also as a public good with positive externalities (especially for those who have little healthcare). Even what I propose has its downside, granted; it is just a different downside to what we have in this country, at the moment.

    First: congratulations for not taking the bait on “no medical rationing.

    Second: congratulations on admitting that “death panels” are a fact. (You didn’t use the term “death panels” but you know exactly what that means, even when Sarah Palin uses the term. Otherwise, you could not write: ” I agree, charging zero just replaces the price rationing with waiting list type rationing.” You might be near having an intelligent debate.

    Third: It appears you have been schooled on the concept that “insurance” can NOT exist with mandates but not being permitted to ration insurance and/or setting premium prices based on actuary tables.

    Fourth: You entirely ignore your economist heros and their insistence that “a single payer system is more efficient in their view; they see it as a step in the right direction.” That is because the only possible single payer system is through wealth redistribution through taxation or wealth confiscation by the government.

    Fifth: I do not comprehend how you can embrace a “private commodity” single-payer plan. That is an oxymoron. I read “private commodity” as some sort of nod to the “free market economy.” A single-payer plan makes health care a “public commodity” by definition. (Admittedly, I am unaware of a “commodity” being either “private” or “public.” If the government pays for the commodity it might be dispensed “privately” and paid through public funds. But this is not economic jargon.)

    Sixth: You may return with your externalities whenever you like. (For those who might not know what economists mean by externalities it is a side effect enjoyed by or dumped on a third party as a result of an economic decision unrelated to the third party.)

    The Army Corps of Engineers is masterful at justifying all sorts of crap by putting enormous values on presumed positive externalities. In other words: if you buy this crap, I will sell you shares in the Brooklyn Bridge.

    Probably the biggest externality floated on national health care is that we will create a more healthy population through preventative medicine which will lower the cost expensive medicine by keeping people from getting critically ill. If we make people eat healthy foods and if we monitor their lifestyles and if we get people to exercise and if we educate people to take care of themselves and if we ban guns and if we legalize drugs and if we eliminate greenhouse gases and if we protect endangered species and if we stop cutting trees and if we switch to green energy and if we can instill civility and if …… heck, everybody will be so healthy and cavity free and happy that we can run the world on the sunshine they blow out of their butts.

    Comment by Heliotrope — January 20, 2011 @ 4:38 pm - January 20, 2011

  34. But a small proportion will. Because some payouts are going to way big, that no insurance company can cover on its own, without a pool of “healthy = good driving” individuals to spread these payments out.

    And yet, somehow, the private insurance companies have managed to do it quite nicely for years WITHOUT a compulsory mandate — and at a handsome profit, if the rhetoric of the left is to be believed.

    The reason for the “compulsory” is simply this; in order for Cas and his ilk to get free health care, someone else has to pay for it. They are simply using the government to force people to do it. As ILC is fond of pointing out, they’re simply robbing people at gunpoint using governmental power.

    How do we know this? Look at what leftists like Cas have done to “help” the sick already. There are thousands of multi-millionaires and billionaires like Soros, Bloomberg, Pelosi, Kerry, Buffett, Gates, and the like who whine about the need for health insurance. They could create their own nonprofit entity to provide health care and health insurance to anyone at a modest price, no denial of claims, no exclusions for pre-existing conditions, same premiums for everybody, and so forth.

    But they don’t.

    Why? Because that money would actually have to come from them. They couldn’t just use the government’s power to force others to ante up, or to issue bonds and print money to feed the unsustainable beast. For all the whining they do about “redistribution” and “too much wealth”, it’s amazing how little of it they choose to spend on what they demand others spend.

    Comment by North Dallas Thirty — January 20, 2011 @ 4:46 pm - January 20, 2011

  35. NDT hit’s it on the head. The private insurers offer the services that Obamacare offers, faster, cheaper (Look at Medicare Advantage vs Medicare) and with lower rejection rates than Government run health care.

    The ‘penalties’ are so small compared to the premiums that it becomes a ‘no brainer’ for a company to drop their coverage. I’ve shown elsewhere that my (non-executive) HDHP is pretty close to the ‘cadallac plan’ tax, and I’m a single male, w/o a shiny union plan.

    And, to quote a certain house representative, the left has trotted out the big lie again again and again about the ‘massive health profits.’

    Comment by The_Livewire — January 20, 2011 @ 6:27 pm - January 20, 2011

  36. Hi Heliotrope,
    Thank you for your reply. Let me take your points one at a time:
    1. Rationing happens no matter what system you use. It could be waiting lines. It could be pricing. The end result is that some will get the service and some will not. The difference is in who gets denied service.
    2. To the extent that rationing care means that some people won’t get that necessary operation to survive–yes, I guess there are “death panels.” The difference again is: whether one gets the transplant from being on the waiting list and from a rating based on the say so of doctors (which many here would no doubt find offensive); or because one is too poor to afford the operation that could save their lives (which many others might also find offensive), based on the forces of the impersonal and dispersed market place.
    3. If I follow you rightly (the double negative is a little off-putting for me), you will have to explain why we have universal mandated 3rd party car insurance.
    4. I will say again: I don’t require equality of outcomes. Some redistribution of income to take the edge off the heavily skewed income/wealth distribution would not be a bad thing, in my opinion, and would be socially beneficial in this instance. I do think that a single-payer system is more efficient in terms of cost reduction. I think, again, that making people pay something of the marginal cost of their healthcare is also a socially efficient thing to do. Free health care is not a solution, but a single-payer system into which we (the users) contribute some percentage of marginal cost would be a better solution, I think.
    5. Sorry, I was trying to say that health care is BOTH a private good (consumed by an individual) AND a public good (in which not everyone pays what they value public health at–e.g., vaccinations and those who don’t get them for their children and/or for themselves). It also acts as a positive externality.
    6. I would just add to your definition: “and that is not paid/costed by the creator of the externality (i.e., is not reflected in market prices.). The one argument that I could get from this point: “Probably the biggest externality floated on national health care is that we will create a more healthy population through preventative medicine which will lower the cost expensive medicine by keeping people from getting critically ill.”
    I think you can claim that as a benefit. But I was thinking more of the costs to society of me being sick or my child, etc. In that case, productivity falls at my place of work. If I am an important gog, the company I work for loses more than the value of my wages. It could dock my pay, but, it could actually end up costing a company way more than that in lost profitability. So, preventative are is good, but the impact on society of less ill days is bigger than your point. I think that is quantifiable as well. “Lost work days due to illness and injury carry total annual costs of nearly $63 billion in lost work and productivity, “http://www.entrepreneur.com/tradejournals/article/169311045.html The figure I quote is for all sick days, but there is probably a study somewhere that could actually estimate what a fully health insured workforce might save employers in missed sick days, etc.

    Comment by Cas — January 20, 2011 @ 10:04 pm - January 20, 2011

  37. Hi TL,
    Thanks for your reply. I think the jury is still out on what costs more. You might want to add the VA into the mix. They appear to be as cost efficient as private insurers, http://www.herc.research.va.gov/resources/faq_b06.asp. And Medicare Advantage is made murkier by the controversy that rages over differential payments made to private health insurers. But, the Health Care Bill is such a convoluted piece of legislation (so many constituencies to satisfy) that I can well believe that there are plenty of inefficiencies in it.

    By the way, the problems that you point to (with low penalties for dropping out of being covered) are one reason I am not 100% in favour of this bill.

    Comment by Cas — January 20, 2011 @ 10:39 pm - January 20, 2011

  38. Rationing happens no matter what system you use. It could be waiting lines. It could be pricing. The end result is that some will get the service and some will not. The difference is in who gets denied service.

    Correction. The difference is that, in the former, the service is not available to you in any circumstance, regardless of price.

    We do not have rationing in our private health care system. We have selfish liberals who will not pay other peoples’ bills with their own money. For all the cases that the liberals can find about people being “denied care”, not once do you ever see the multi-millionaires and billionaires in the Obama Party offering to pay for it.

    And Cas illustrates that point with another classic moocher example.

    The difference again is: whether one gets the transplant from being on the waiting list and from a rating based on the say so of doctors (which many here would no doubt find offensive); or because one is too poor to afford the operation that could save their lives (which many others might also find offensive), based on the forces of the impersonal and dispersed market place.

    The latter is easily fixed. Have all the liberals that find these sob stories after the people are dead and buried find them BEFORE and pay their bills for them, using said liberals’ own money.

    George Soros can afford to pay Media Matters millions of dollars to spread lies about Sarah Palin and push death-threat making nutballs like Eric Fuller, but he won’t spare a penny to save the lives of the sick. Nancy Pelosi has millions of dollars to spend on houses and vineyards and lavish furnishings, but insists on stealing from working Americans at governmental gunpoint while she dodges her own taxes.

    And then, hilariously, the moocher tries to claim a business reason for his attempt to steal from others.

    If I am an important gog, the company I work for loses more than the value of my wages. It could dock my pay, but, it could actually end up costing a company way more than that in lost profitability.

    Which is why the businesses for which that is true already have health insurance as a benefit, and why the businesses for which it is not do not.

    Seriously. The moocher seems to think, as is typical for liberal leftists, that he is smarter than all these other businesses out there that have been running these types of numbers for almost half a century and making the decision for what they are going to pay.

    We understand, Cas; before brilliant liberals like you came along, no one had ever thought of this. That’s why no companies anywhere offer health benefits. My god, how did society ever function without leftists like yourself to tell us how to think?

    Comment by North Dallas Thirty — January 20, 2011 @ 11:19 pm - January 20, 2011

  39. Hi NDT,
    Thanks for the reply. The first point you make confuses and conflates the two possibilities I offered.
    The issue about firms having health insurance as a benefit is well-taken. Though, I thought some actual evidence might be useful: “Firms with large numbers of employees are more likely to offer their employees health insurance:

    * Among medium and large private-sector employers (firms with 50 or more employees), 97.8 percent of all employees worked where health insurance was offered in 2002.10
    * Among small private-sector employers (firms with fewer than 50 employees), 63.5 percent of all employees worked where health insurance was offered.

    Small employers not offering health insurance typically cite the cost of insurance and the belief that employees have other sources of coverage (e.g., through a spouse) as their principal reasons (Figure 1). The firms least likely to offer coverage are those with low-wage workers, high turnover, no unions, and many part-time employees. The smaller the firm size, the more likely are its employees to be uninsured. However, it is interesting to note that the proportion of uninsured workers employed even by quite large firms (500 or more workers) has grown in recent years. Between 1987 and 2001, the proportion of uninsured workers in these firms expanded from 25 to 32 percent. Declines in manufacturing jobs and unionization rates are the most important reasons for the rise in uninsured workers at these large firms”

    and,
    “In general, the higher the employee contribution is, the less likely employees are to enroll:

    * In 1999, employers offering a plan without employee contributions had an enrollment rate of 87.3 percent; employers requiring an employee premium contribution had an enrollment rate of 77.0 percent.13
    * Between 1996 and 2002, the average employee premium contribution per enrolled private-sector employee for single coverage rose 65.2 percent, from $342 to $565.8
    * In the same period, the average employee premium contribution per enrolled private-sector employee for family coverage rose 55.8 percent, from $1,275 to $1,987.8
    * In 2002, the average employee premium contribution per enrolled employee for single coverage was 19.0 percent lower in small firms than in large firms.14
    * However, the average employee premium contribution per enrolled employee for family or employee-plus-one coverage was over 10 percent higher in small firms than in large firms.14

    In an AHRQ study, a model was developed to examine the influence of out-of-pocket contributions, total premiums, and employer and workforce characteristics on workers’ enrollment decisions. The researchers estimated that eliminating employee premium contributions had the potential to reduce the rate of employees declining coverage by almost a fifth. If the cost to employees of single coverage were to fall to zero, 18.1 percent, or 2.5 million of the 13.8 million private-sector employees who currently decline insurance coverage from their employers, might enroll in such insurance. Using a statistical model, the researchers also found that the take-up rate with coverage at no cost to employees in predominantly low-wage establishments would increase by almost 10 percentage points, compared to an increase of 3.9 percentage points in predominantly high-wage establishments.”

    And,
    “Although people insured through their employment are relatively less sensitive to premium size than those in the individual market since they pay only a fraction of the full premium, low-wage workers are more sensitive to the size of the contribution than are higher income workers.15

    * During 2002, 63.5 percent of employees in predominantly low-wage establishments (50 percent or more of employees earn less than $9.50 per hour) were enrolled in a health insurance plan.
    * In establishments in which less than 50 percent of employees earned less than $9.50 per hour, 83 percent of workers were enrolled in a health insurance plan.”
    http://www.ahrq.gov/research/empspria/empspria.htm

    What this means is that though you raise a good point, it isn’t the “slam dunk” you purport it to be. There are still plenty of employed Americans who don’t get health insurance through their employers, and even in firms that traditionally covered workers, the numbers being covered is dropping. :)

    Further, you present NO evidence to support the following claim: “Which is why the businesses for which that is true already have health insurance as a benefit, and why the businesses for which it is not do not.” It could also be that those small businesses that don’t offer health insurance, do so because they cannot afford to do so (as per the report excerpt offered above).

    Comment by Cas — January 20, 2011 @ 11:59 pm - January 20, 2011

  40. Further, you present NO evidence to support the following claim: “Which is why the businesses for which that is true already have health insurance as a benefit, and why the businesses for which it is not do not.” It could also be that those small businesses that don’t offer health insurance, do so because they cannot afford to do so (as per the report excerpt offered above).

    And here, folks, we see an excellent example of the thinking behind the Obama Party economic system.

    What was it that Cas was saying before?

    But I was thinking more of the costs to society of me being sick or my child, etc. In that case, productivity falls at my place of work. If I am an important gog, the company I work for loses more than the value of my wages. It could dock my pay, but, it could actually end up costing a company way more than that in lost profitability.

    So the argument of the Obama Party is that the cost of health insurance is outweighed by the benefit of reduction in the cost of sick days and lost productivity.

    But if that were the case, businesses wouldn’t have a problem paying for it.

    If sick days cost me $50,000 a year in lost productivity, but I can eliminate them completely by paying $30,000 for insurance, then it would be patently stupid for me NOT to do that; the choice is between paying $50k or paying $30k.

    But more likely what is happening is that sick days are costing $50k and insurance is costing $60k. In that case, the answer is obvious; you pay the $50k in lost productivity rather than the $60k in insurance premiums. You cannot “afford” insurance in that case because the cost of going without it is less than the cost of having it.

    No businessperson out there with half a brain is going to spend money they don’t have to spend. If insurance makes financial sense and provides benefits greater than the cost, they will have it; if not, they won’t.

    This is what Barack Obama and his talking-points repeaters who have never run a business don’t understand. Businesspersons have been doing this math for years because, if they don’t, they go broke. If providing insurance could reduce costs for businesses as opposed to not providing it, they would. However, if it doesn’t, they won’t.

    Comment by North Dallas Thirty — January 21, 2011 @ 3:18 am - January 21, 2011

  41. Oh, my. When the statists talk “efficiency” and “fairness” you know that rules, regulations, and rounding up the herd for a good dose of what’s good for them is in the offing.

    Cas @#36 in asks (third) why we have mandated auto insurance. Clearly, because driving is not a right. It is a privilege. You want to drive, you must be able to pay for the possible damage you do to another car, property or a human body. If there is a parallel between that and just being alive and being mandated to have health insurance on your own human system, I fail to see it.

    Nearly half of this nation does not pay federal income tax. They have no stake in the game. They get a great deal in return. Money is bled from others to maintain them and still many of them do not “have enough.”

    What follows is from Garret Hardin and a monograph he wrote in 1980:

    ….that a right is a claim upon other people, is undeniably true.

    This is apparent from one of the earliest definitions of right by Samuel von Pufendorf, a statement that was influential in the writing of the Declaration of Independence: “A right is an active moral power of a person to receive something from another as a matter of moral necessity.”

    One person’s right is, then, a demand upon others. Pufendorf follows his definition with a two-word précis: Vocabuli ambiguitas. Rights are ambiguous words, literally “words that drive both ways.” This fact is conveniently neglected by those who fight most vigorously to establish new legal rights on the basis of supposed translegal rights. The desirability of the right to the person benefited may be admitted by all; but before acquiescing in the establishment of a new legal right, we need to examine its drive in the other direction, in the demands it makes on those who must pay the cost of the right.

    When one plays the “greatest good for the greatest number” game you may rest assured that no account is taken of the impossibility of maximizing two dependent variables simultaneously. To wit: One pie can be divided into slices to feed a growing number of recipients but the size of the slices will continually diminish. Or one standard slice of pie can be given to a growing number of people so long as the standard slices multiply as well. In the final analysis, either the number of people or the amount of pie or both must be rationed.

    Statists take care of the herd and themselves. They play a dual game. The livestock gets fed, watered, treated and penned. The statists move about outside of the herd, making decisions, regulating, and treating themselves to time away from the herd and fighting among themselves for greater control.

    Sometimes, the herd forms TEA Parties and grab their pitchforks and torches and stampede toward the statists and trample their nests and run them out of town. And they replace central planning and the pogroms with free market decision-making.

    Soon enough, some couch potato on welfare gets a phone call from a statist who wants to organize him and his community into a pack of people who demand fairness and more of the pie. (We are not talking about the man who uses a hand up to better himself from that vast pool of charitable people who would like to see him prosper, pay taxes and join the free-market system of accumulating wealth.)

    It was ever thus.

    Comment by Heliotrope — January 21, 2011 @ 11:09 am - January 21, 2011

  42. Hi Heliotrope,
    For some reason, I can’t get my reply up to you. I’ve tried twice. Barebones might work?
    1. What do you make of mandatory Federal Flood Insurance. Seems a hybrid of your claim-right to shelter; privilege living in a particular place?
    2. Garrett Hardin piece–he is not pro-growth, which supports your two choices. Introduce third choice–grow the pie. USSR (statist) grew in 1930s when capitalist ecos got smaller. How does that fit within your claim.
    3. Are you saying bottom 50% bleed upper 50%? Get more than they deserve?

    Comment by Cas — January 21, 2011 @ 8:10 pm - January 21, 2011

  43. Hi NDT,
    Keeping it brief: Positive externalities makes case for increasing output and consumption of a good–say health insurance. If this is true, there is a case to be made to support small businesses who could not otherwise afford to offer health insurance. Use subsidies, etc. The downside is taxation meant to pay for it, may or may not be efficient in economic sense. If not, got to compare increase and decrease in efficiency, to see what end result is for society.

    Comment by Cas — January 21, 2011 @ 8:14 pm - January 21, 2011

  44. Cas, sorry I missed your reply.

    I know that at least our MA plans benefit from being run by us, in large part because private insurers, in our ongoing efforts to get people to pick us over our competitors, try to make ‘free’ incentives for our members, that MA members get because we run the show. For example our members can get discounts on vitamins, acupuncture, massage therapy, vision exams, ect, even if their medical plan doesn’t cover those things. We also try to make cost of care tools available online for our members to they can budget and estimate.

    The problem with health insurance is not the amount you pay vs what you use that year. The problem would be that we (as a nation*) have to be able to let people suffer the result of their bad decisions. Those bad decisions include suffering when you didn’t buy insurance and can’t afford a treatment.

    *As a nation does not mean ‘as a people’ My friend I took in doesn’t have health insurance (or a job) right now. She’s staying on my (rapidly shrinking) dime while she job hunts, and I’ve paid some of her bills, and health care providers have used their own programs to pay others.

    Comment by The_Livewire — January 22, 2011 @ 1:18 pm - January 22, 2011

  45. EditL I forgot, check who administers payments for Tricare, as well as Federal Employees.

    Comment by The_Livewire — January 22, 2011 @ 1:18 pm - January 22, 2011

  46. Hi TL,
    Thanks for your reply. I have a lot of sympathy for the idea that we “have to be able to let people suffer the result of their bad decisions” The point I make (and which seems for some reason to be continuously ignored) is that there are cases where bad things happen to good people, who didn’t make bad decisions and who cannot honestly make healthcare insurance payments. Who had bad luck or bad genetics or … If you accept the possibility that this can happen, then what will you do in those cases? Do we as a society say–”sorry, you are on your own, because you didn’t have the income to afford health insurance?” To me, that is a fundamental issue that doesn’t get taken care of by saying–”Go to an emergency room…”

    Comment by Cas — January 22, 2011 @ 4:09 pm - January 22, 2011

  47. And, even in your fine example, helping a friend with living expenses, with the cost of health care today, your friend is going to need a lot more support if they get ill… It is great that a health insurance company helps out occasionally, but you can’t rely on that. I mean, is the answer to do as Blanche suggests and “rely on the kindness of strangers”? Or can we have a more systemic approach here that doesn’t require the involvement of government?

    Comment by Cas — January 22, 2011 @ 4:13 pm - January 22, 2011

  48. To be blunt, Cas. Yes.

    There are always going to be people who slip through the cracks. Even Dickens saw this with Scrooge’s comment “Are there no Poorhouses?” Government can’t do it efficiently, and the Federal Government least efficient of all. Private citizens, and the organizations they make, work best on the local level. Employers offer insurance now, as a matter of course, as benefits to entice/keep their employers. I don’t know how well even the individual market concept will replace that. My blood pressure, is balanced by my coworkers, and a coworker’s heart transplant is balanced by my blood pressure meds. It would depend on how the risk is pooled.

    I’ve another friend who was lamenting the cost of the high risk premium for her newborn son (who has a heart condition). She thought it was callous to pay (say) 600 a month for the baby. She got upset when I pointed out that she’d not feel that way if she paid that 600 a month, and the baby had 50K of medical expences and died in 6 months. Risks vs rewards.

    Yeah yeah, Tact isn’t my strong point.

    Comment by The_Livewire — January 22, 2011 @ 10:15 pm - January 22, 2011

  49. Hi TL,
    Thanks for the reply. I don’t think I agree with you (but no surprise there!)
    This thread is about to shuffle off, so I look forward to continuing our conversation in the near future.

    Comment by Cas — January 23, 2011 @ 2:14 am - January 23, 2011

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