Posts tagged ‘Health Care’

August 29, 2011

Health Reform Implementation in one map

by Vince

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.

July 30, 2011

Quote of the Day

by Vince

“For those who insist that the center is always the place to be, I have an important piece of information: We already have a centrist president. Indeed, Bruce Bartlett, who served as a policy analyst in the Reagan administration, argues that Mr. Obama is in practice a moderate conservative. Mr. Bartlett has a point.

The president, as we’ve seen, was willing, even eager, to strike a budget deal that strongly favored conservative priorities. His health reform was very similar to the reform Mitt Romney installed in Massachusetts. Romneycare, in turn, closely followed the outlines of a plan originally proposed by the right-wing Heritage Foundation. And returning tax rates on high-income Americans to their level during the Roaring Nineties is hardly a socialist proposal.

True, Republicans insist that Mr. Obama is a leftist seeking a government takeover of the economy, but they would, wouldn’t they? The facts, should anyone choose to report them, say otherwise.” –Paul Krugman

June 1, 2011

Humans as Patients as Consumers

by Vince

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.

May 26, 2011

The Effects Of Obamacare

by Vince

I have heard from some people close to me that their health care rates have gone up since Obama passed his health care bill. I don’t know for sure if those two are correlated directly. What I have seen is the rise in young Americans being covered by insurance, which ultimately can help bring down costs:

The provision of the law that permits young adults under 26, long the largest uninsured demographic in the country, to remain on their parents’ health insurance program resulted in at least 600,000 newly insured Americans during the first quarter of 2011.


Because the under 26 crowd tends not to get sick, adding them to the insurance pools helps bring the very balance that was intended by the new law. The more healthy people available to pay for those in the pool who are ill (translation- the older people), the better the system works and the lower our premium charges should go.

One cannot help but notice that the health insurance companies turned in record profits for the first quarter of 2011 due, according the insurance companies, to fewer people seeking medical treatment.

When you add into their customer base a large number of people who are paying premiums but are less likely to get sick (the young adult demographic), this would be the expected result.

May 15, 2011

The Right Turns on Mitt; Huck is Out

by Vince

Mind you, by the Right, I mean the National Review. And why? Because of his Obama-style Massachusetts health care plan. It seems that the tides have turned against Mitt, not the other way around with Mitt turning with the tides. State/National health care plans are anathema to the right today. It is much different today than 2007;  they were not in the discussion in 2007.

Mitt is still in the front of the pack for GOP candidates and may even be pushed farther ahead by the recent announcement that Mike Huckabee will not be running for Republican nomination in 2012.

May 14, 2011

Mitt Romney + The Onion

by Vince

“Every day I am haunted by the fact that I gave impoverished Massachusetts citizens a chance to receive health care. I’m only human, and I’ve made mistakes. None bigger, of course, than helping cancer patients receive chemotherapy treatments and making sure that those suffering from pediatric AIDS could obtain medications, but that’s my cross to bear,” – Mitt Romney


“The major strike against Mitt Romney is that he not only tried to help people get medical care, he actually did help people get medical care,” conservative columnist Jonah Goldberg said. “No other Republican in the field has that type of baggage. And in the end, in order to defeat President Obama, the GOP needs someone who has a track record of never wanting to help sick people.”

H/T: Andrew Sullivan

May 13, 2011

Romneycare vs. Obamacare

by Vince

Did you know the former uses Massachusetts tax dollars for abortions?

May 13, 2011

Comparing Health Care to Slavery of the Day

by Vince

“With regard to the idea of whether you have a right to health care, you have realize what that implies. It’s not an abstraction. I’m a physician. That means you have a right to come to my house and conscript me. It means you believe in slavery. It means that you’re going to enslave not only me, but the janitor at my hospital, the person who cleans my office, the assistants who work in my office, the nurses. … You have a right to beat down my door with the police, escort me away and force me to take care of you? That’s ultimately what the right to free health care would be,” – Senator Rand Paul.

Some days I like Rand. Today, I feel he is off kilter.

May 11, 2011

The Large Cost of American Health Care (in one graphic)

by Vince

This is a good read (hat tip to Ezra Klein).

March 25, 2011

Question(s) for the Weekend

by Vince

I had a good chat with a friend the other day and the Affordable Care Act (Obamacare, Obama’s health care plan, the health care plan that came to fruition after 30+ years of push) came up. This friend of mine mentioned that even though they (U.S. gov) may be trying to do a good deed, what will happen when all services are taken over and ran by the government?

This was a striking question for me. I hadn’t really thought about this for some time. I have mainly been caught up with the government doing what I see as the best for the common good.

So I leave you, the loyal readers, a few questions for this weekend: could America reach the point where all of its services and main entities are run or have been taken over by the government? Would that ruin America? Is there anything stopping America from getting to that point? Would that make America a bad place to live in?

Email your responses to vgiordano at gmail dot com.

January 3, 2011

Political Cartoon of the Day II

by Vince

This one makes me giggle.

H/T: Tony Auth

December 23, 2010

‘Obamacare’ as a Pejorative Term

by Vince

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.

December 16, 2010

Political Cartoon of the Day

by Vince

H/T: Auth

December 5, 2010

Visualizing Health Care Strides

by Vince
November 17, 2010

Health Care and the Uninsured

by Vince

Since the GOP is back in town, lets talk health care:

Those millions of uninsured people, and the public and private costs tied to them, will not disappear if the health care law is repealed. “The challenge for Republicans is that they now represent states and areas with [many of] the highest rates of un-insurance,” says Neera Tanden, who served as counselor in the Health and Human Services Department during the health care fight. “That means costs are shifted onto people who have insurance in those areas. It also means the uninsured tax the public and private hospitals and other resources in those areas.”

Whatever else can be said about the “replace” component of the GOP promise to “repeal and replace” Obama’s health care plan, it’s difficult to argue that it does anything meaningful to reverse the ongoing erosion of coverage. The plan that House Republicans offered last year and reaffirmed in their campaign “pledge” proposes controlling health care costs by limiting medical-malpractice lawsuits and allowing insurance policies sold in any state to be sold in every state (an idea even the insurance industry has traditionally opposed for its potential to undermine quality coverage). But it would do little directly to expand access. Analyzing the GOP plan last November, the Congressional Budget Office calculated that by 2019 it would reduce the number of uninsured by only about 3 million, leaving well over 50 million Americans uncovered. The health reform law is projected to cover about 33 million of the uninsured by then.

Many newspapers asked their readers what the GOP should do now that they have control of the House of Representatives. Many conservative readers wrote in with a treatise, detailing a point by point list of what to do. Many of these lists included repealing “Obamacare” (I hate calling it that; the stigma that goes with it irks me) as well as pushing for tort reform.

I wonder if tort reform is a way for the GOP to stick it to the lawyers that are anathema to their base.  If you are looking at insurance as a universal good as well as a personal commodity, expanding coverage is the way to go. Following the lead of insurance companies who today do almost anything to cancel policies will leave a growing amount of Americans without insurance and ironically impeding on everyone’s coverage (rising premiums due to the uninsured using the ER).

If the GOP continues on this irrational path, it will seem to show another layer of its divisiveness and hedge itself in from tens of millions of Americans.

September 21, 2010

GOP Plans for Health Care

by Vince

They may have some decent ideas.

September 14, 2010

Itching for Division Ctd.

by Vince

“If Obama is a Kenyan anti-colonialist for supporting financial regulation, than Scott Brown is a Kenyan anti-colonialist. If Obama is a Kenyan anti-colonialist for supporting the proposed Islamic community center near Ground Zero, then Michael Bloomberg is a Kenyan anti-colonialist. If Obama is a Kenyan anti-Colonialist for supporting health care insurance reform, then Ben Nelson is a Kenyan anti-colonialist. The Center for American Progress is a Kenyan anti-colonialist think tank, MoveOn is a Kenyan anti-colonialist advocacy organization, and Peter Orszag is a Kenyan anti-colonialist intellectual,” – Adam Serwer.

For that matter, if Obama wants to return to Clinton-era tax rates, does that make Clinton a Kenyan anti-colonialist? If Obama wants access to private health-care insurance, while Richard Nixon backed a far more expansive program, does that make Nixon a Ugandan Marxist? Once you unpack all this, especially when you consider the multiple crises that Obama had to handle when he came to office – and the extraordinary moderation he has shown throughout (infuriating those to his left) – you realize just how base this kind of “critique” is. – Andrew Sullivan

September 11, 2010

“They went to save survivors, not raise taxes”

by Vince

Another notch against the House Republicans who claim to be from the “patriotic, we speak on behalf of all of those who died or risked their lives on 9/11” party. This leaves me without words.

September 2, 2010

A Tea Party, Indeed

by Vince

I gathered a whole load of reax to the Honor Rally. Enjoy!

A reader wrote in to the Dish:

Glenn Beck said he wore a bulletproof vest because his wife insisted on it. And I don’t understand how Hitchens can call the people at the rally self-pitying white people.  The Iraqi soldier with no hands (who is now training other soldiers in hand-to-hand combat, believe it or not) and the Vietnam vet whose face was burned off were far from self-pitying.  I believe the latter will be on Beck’s Friday show, along with other clergymen and women.

I didn’t see anyone there who was self-pitying.  I saw many people of all ages and races.  Maybe Hitchens is the one who is protesting too much.  Or maybe he was angry because Beck had 240 clergymen and women on stage with him (ministers, priests, rabbis, and imams), all different races, all holding hands. You should have watched Beck’s show yesterday, not the Monday show.  Yesterday he answered Hitchens and every other reporter/journalist who wrote about the rally and got mostly everything wrong.  BTW, the rally raised $5,000,000 for the children of Special Ops.  Yes, what a self-pitying group of white people.

Some additional reading/footage here:

The VanityFair piece detailing the new world of anger, fear, and illusion inhabbited (so we’re told) by Sarah Palin.

August 2, 2010

A Chart of Health Care Reform

by Vince

A full PDF high res version here.
Kevin Hasset explains:

This clearly is a candidate for most disorganized organizational chart ever. It shows that the health system is complex, yes, but also ornate. The new law creates 68 grant programs, 47 bureaucratic entities, 29 demonstration or pilot programs, six regulatory systems, six compliance standards and two entitlements.