August 29, 2011
The interesting part about the above map is the nuance that does not adhere to partisan regions:
States that have passed exchange bills tend to lean Democratic, but it’s by no means a clear dichotomy. Both Nevada and California passed exchange bills under Republican governors;Mississippi and Idaho have, over the past few weeks, become increasingly aggressive about setting up exchanges.
Conversely, not all Democratic-controlled states are moving. Delaware and Rhode Island’s state governments are both controlled by Democrats. Neither has moved exchange legislation. Even here in D.C, an exchange bill has sat in committee since its introduction in February.
June 1, 2011
Andrew Sullivan cites a Krugman column with a logically binding quote:
HALF of all health care costs in the US is concentrated in only 5% of the population, and 80% of costs are accounted for by the top quintile! (source: Kaiser Foundation PDF)
So the effect here is that with such a concentration of costs in such a small segment of the population, the ability of the larger population to move the market is highly restricted. You can make 80% of consumers highly price sensitive, but they can only affect a tiny fraction of healthcare spending. And for the generally well, their costs are probably those which are least responsible for the spiraling inflation. They’re not getting $30,000 stents or prolonged ICU stays, or needing complex chronic disease management.
Conversely, those who are high consumers of health care simply cannot be made more price sensitive, since their costs are probably well beyond what they could pay in any event, and for most are well beyond the limits of even a catastrophic health insurance policy.
Once you are told that you need a bypass/chemo/stent/dialysis/NICU etc, etc, etc, the costs are so overwhelming that a consumer cannot possibly pay them out of pocket. Since, by definition, these catastrophic costs are paid by some form of insurance, the consumer cannot have much financial interest in cost containment. For most, when they are confronted with a major or life-threatening illness, their entire focus shifts to survival, and they could care less about the cost
This combats both Obama’s and the Republican approach to reform health care and Medicare. Some more feedback on this can be found here.
February 13, 2011
Robert Field explains:
The individual mandate was the brainchild of the Heritage Foundation, one of the most conservative think tanks in the country. They saw it as part of the salvation of free market health care.
You’d hardly know it today from the Foundation’s website. A recent visit to the homepage found news on the fight against Obamacare, with links to a page condemning health reform for its “mandates and federal control.” But do some searching on the site, and you’ll discover where the mandate idea actually came from.
Or, you can follow this direct link to Heritage’s 1990 policy report, which explains why an individual mandate should be part of a free market approach to health reform. (The report can also be accessedhere in html format.)
Here is some of what it says. “Under the Heritage proposal, it would be illegal not to buy basic catastrophic insurance…” When you file your tax return, “If the proof of insurance forms were not attached, or did not indicate that the family was insured throughout the year, a financial penalty would be imposed.” (See page 13 of the report.)
The mandate served the same purpose in Heritagecare in 1990 as it does in Obamacare today. Private insurance markets don’t work if the risk pool is too small. When too many healthy people opt out of coverage, insurance becomes unaffordable for everyone else because it is impossible to spread the cost. Then, the only alternative is a government plan.
The mandate-based approach was so appealing to free market supporters in the 1990s that the Republicans proposed it as a law in 1993. Bob Dole, the Senate minority leader at the time, served as co-sponsor.
This brings both sides a bit closer to a medium and depolarizes the field. Both sides, after all, have a bit of a desire to reach a utopia after all.
(thanks alot Charles!)
January 12, 2011
It seems that almost everyone is commenting about our public discourse being out of control. Since the town halls formed during the summer of 2009 in response to health care reform talks, a lot of posters, bumper sticker slogans, and conversations have crossed the line into invective, vitriol, and cynicism. Since the shooting of Rep. Gabrille Giffords, the president of Fox News issued a note to his station to “tone it down” and turn to a more “civil public discourse”. What a “more civil public discourse” looks like coming from Fox News is unknown to me.
As for the gun targets used by Sarah Palin:
Similar targets (bow and arrow perhaps?) have also been used by Democrats:
The Right has been accused lately (by lately, I mean since 2008) of violent rhetoric. I do recall a lot of hurtful rhetoric thrown Bush II’s way.
In the end, one close friend of mine explained to me a lesson from which she learned it from another friend of ours. My postings on here over the last few months were at times strident. It reflected a hard few months for me. I have since then started to work through some of my own anger and invective but have also looked to change my format and approach. These friends of mine explained to me that I can reach more audiences and readers by speaking to people in love and less strident tones (how diverse a spectrum of readers does Michelle Malkin or Ann Coulter or Michael Moore attract?). An example of this is the writings of Dave True. In the end, I hope I can make a difference in this big national conversation table known as blogging.
December 23, 2010
It seems that the term Obamacare, in either open or guised ways, is used as a pejorative term. Why does it irk me when the term Obamacare is used? I feel it is a non-neutral / condescending term that, yes, polarizes the conversation. Again, a great question is this: has the term Obamacare ever been used without a sneer? As the reader cited says, Obamacare is almost used by some media outlets as a slur:
Just about the as often as “conservatives” say “liberal” and mean something nice, do they say “Obamacare” and mean something non-judgemental.
Another great example of what happens with the term Obamacare:
Google the term “Obamacare.” The first result is a Wikipedia page mentioning its pejorative connotation. The second result? “The Truth About Obamacare.” The third? A YouTube video of a group that doesn’t like the law. The fourth? “20 Ways Obamacare will take away our freedoms.” Why is it pejorative? It is used pejoratively.
Try also Google Image searching Obamacare.
I may be too sensitive, I suppose. I am one for open conversations. If a term such as Obamacare is used, I want to know if it is used with pejorative motives. I am all for talking out the issue of health care in America, but the widespread usage of Obamacare jump starts conversations in a polarized direction.
In the end, I might as well inspect the words I use or let roam through my head.
November 24, 2010
Weigel points out her poorly crafted smear of the Obama’s while defending the Tea Party of not being slightly racist:
Like a lot of conservative pundits, her Exhibit A is the inability for Congressmen John Lewis and Andre Carson to prove that they were actually subjected to racial slurs during the health care vote.
Despite the fact that everyone walks around these days with a cell phone capable of capturing video, evidence to support the charge has never emerged. In the weeks and months after the alleged incident, conservative blogger Andrew Breitbart even offered huge cash rewards to anyone who could produce proof that the health care protestors had shouted racial slurs. No proof ever emerged.
This quickly wends into Palin’s much-excerpted rant about how Barack and Michelle Obama believe America is racist because “both of them spent almost two decades in the pews of the Reverend Jeremiah Wright’s church listening to his rants against America and white people.” The irony: There was a search during the 2008 campaign for video proof that the Obamas had been in the pews during the most offensive Wright sermons, but everyone came up dry, leading many people to conclude that, rather than being inculcated, Obama simply didn’t go to church that much.
The Tea Party has acknowledged this happening but the original video doesn’t seem convincing. On a side note, I am excited to read in the upcoming year John Lewis’s memoir.
November 8, 2010
“Had congressional Republicans taken pragmatic steps on health reform between 1994 and 2008, PPACA wouldn’t have happened. President Bush’s reform of the tax exclusion for employer-provided health insurance alone would have made a significant difference, as would his plan for giving the states greater control over Medicaid. If you believe that the 111th Congress made many bad calls, Republicans in previous years deserve much of the blame. Major policy shifts are rare. But when it rains, it pours.” ~ Reiham Salam
I have said this, in some wording or another, before. All of those years with NOTHING to show for and now you want to keep the status quo going until change can be revealed “another time”?
October 7, 2010
Health care reform finalized by Barack Obama, which I refuse to condescendingly call Obamacare, breaks all 10 commandments. Thank you, American Thinker:
#10. You shall not covet.
As with many bills, politicians sold ObamaCare by stoking envy. It goes like this: “What other people own — what they earned — you are entitled to.” Covetousness, wanting what others have, is cloaked as a “right.” But a “right” to a product (like insurance) or service (like health care) means others are forced to pay for or provide it, with no concurrent “right” to be justly compensated.
#7. You shall not commit adultery.
ObamaCare channels millions of dollars to graphic sex education programs which instruct kids as young as kindergartners to be sexually active. Read what some of the comprehensive sex education programs teach. This sets children up to take marriage vows lightly since “it’s just sex.”
Read them all. They have some substance interwoven between their hysterical reach claims.