I submit several admittedly ignorant questions for your consideration and response:
1. Isn't one component of rising health care costs the additional options for treatment available now, as opposed to twenty or fifty years ago? We continue to find new treatments for previously untreatable conditions(not me personally mind you, as I stated before, I am admittedly ignorant). Employment of those new treatments costs money. If we are doing more than we used to, and doing things costs money, doesn't it follow that costs will increase?
2. Is it possible to cut health care costs by doing anything other than increasing the efficiency of delivery or reducing the delivery of services? Assuming the actual direct costs for providing the services demanded is X, and the system is only 70 percent efficient in delivery, the total cost of delivering health care about 1.42X. We appear to be unwilling to limit(ration) the services provided or to make the changes needed to improve the efficiency of delivery (tort reform, complete privatization of Medicare, etc.). If so, then the only option for reducing costs is reducing demand. How does a free market system facilitate a reduction in demand?
3. Assuming prevention and early treatment of most conditions are less expensive than care of late stage diseases and conditions, how can healthy behaviors be promoted?
Your thoughts and kind responses are solicited.Comment Posted By Mark On 17.05.2009 @ 13:51
I was hoping that this was some kind of bad joke or another Internet twisting of the truth. Unfortunately it isn't. Apparently being losers is not enough for the GOP. We now intend to become a bad joke.
I respectfully disagree that we should oppose Obama with every fiber of our being. Let's disagree with and oppose the policy choices based on why we think they won't work. The ad hominem attacks and silly sniping just make us look like bad losers. Do we have any ideas of our own, or are we only willing to sit on the sidelines and snipe?
Right now the entirety of the Republican action plan seems to be to attack Democrats. Not by coming up with better solutions, but by calling them names. Go to the Republican National Committee web page. It looks like a bad copy of perezhilton.com. The only news is about why Democrats are bad and who was appointed to fill what new vacancy in the GOP’s leadership. What’s next? Are they going to start posting pictures of Michelle Obama and criticizing her clothes?
Those of us that remember the excitement of Reagan’s 1980 Presidential Campaign know that it was about ideas. We had a leader that had ideas about where to take the country and how to fix what was wrong with our government. Even if you didn’t agree with everything you were willing to be led by somebody that seemed like he had a plan. After he won, the democrats stooped to the same kind of idiotic sniping that the GOP is trying now. What happened to them? They didn’t get the White House back for another 12 years! Is that what we want?Comment Posted By Mark On 14.05.2009 @ 21:04
Posner’s entire article is interesting and relevant, but the decline of intellectualism can most clearly be seen in how the GOP has publicly responded to the abortion issue for the last twenty-nine years.
Basic conservative principles would argue that government should refrain from interfering in personal liberties absent a clear necessity to do so. The need to infringe on any personal freedom should be demonstrated by a clear and convincing argument that the exercise of that freedom either unreasonably infringes on the rights of others, or that it undermines the orderly operation of society in a material way.
For too long, the only argument conservatives have articulated against abortion has been based on Christian religious doctrine. Each person should be free to act according to the tenets of their faith, but not to impose them on others. We have to be concerned when we begin asking government to create laws based solely on religious principles.
Either we can make a clear secular argument for how banning abortion is in the public interest or we can’t. If we can’t, then it seems to run counter to basic conservative philosophy to seek government intervention to impose our will. If we can make the argument, then we should set aside the faith-based justification for the purposes of forming public policy.
While we may revile abortion, we need to have the courage to act in accordance with the principals we espouse. If we can’t do that, perhaps we should admit that we don’t really believe in a limited role for government. At least not when we’re getting our way.Comment Posted By Mark On 16.05.2009 @ 01:09
Travis M and Ryan
You both skipped the part of my response that said "...to a rational degree..."
Obviously the steps we should take need to make economic sense. What do you think I am, a liberal? Biofuels are a great example of a supposed conservation measure that doesn't conserve anything at this point. It may make sense to continue research on biofuels, but that can be funded by the private sector. If it can be made to pay for itself, they will work that out. The government shouldn't fund that research.
Solar is a slightly different story. I don't want the government to pay for this, but I don't want them to get in my way either. Solar is not a panacea for all our energy needs. The implementation cost is way too high for most applications. However, in Southern California there are some situations where solar is an economical peak load shedding measure, especially for large facilities. Unfortunately, the utility rate structure approved by the California PUC provides a disincentive to that option. This has nothing to do with the production cost per kilowatt. SCE wants to retain control of energy production. I can't blame them, but they shouldn't get help from the government to do it.
My answer is the exact opposite of letting the government control the minutia of our daily lives. Get the hell out of my way and let me take the steps that make economic sense.
All of this goes back to my basic point. Why have we let ourselves get dragged into an argument over global warming and CO2? Nobody wins this fight except liberal politicians and movie stars. Sound energy policy can make us less dependent on foreign oil, lower energy prices, and would generally reduce carbon emissions, in the event we decide that matters. More importantly, it would provide rational stability to energy market, which is good for American business. Last time I checked, we still wanted to keep those in the U.S. so at least a few people will have jobs.Comment Posted By Mark On 13.05.2009 @ 00:34
Fine, the science on global climate change is fuzzy. Aren't most of the things we should do to counter global warming good ideas anyway? Less dependence on fossil fuels, more investment in conservation measures and energy efficiency, and development of alternative energy to a rational degree make sense. Global warming is a red herring. Let's not get caught up in bad argument. Let's just take some reasonable steps toward sound energy policy.Comment Posted By Mark On 11.05.2009 @ 19:53
Everything you've said is true, but it doesn't really address the core problem. We conservatives have allowed a small, vocal minority to dominate public perception of the GOP. The mainstream media doesn't give us any help, but if you were not paying attention you would think Ann Coulter, Rush Limbaugh and Dr. James Dobson represented main stream conservatives. Even if you grant that each of them has something intelligent to say on some topic (and I am not always certain of that), they don't represent the average conservative.
We don't need to run to the middle, because we already reflect the values and beliefs of typical Americans. It just doesn't sound like it in the press!Comment Posted By Mark On 11.05.2009 @ 19:34
How is government activism to promote an agenda of religious morality conservatism? I've always thought of myself as fundamentally conservative. The government should not interfere with our individual liberty without a compelling need to prevent interference in the liberty of others. As far as I can see, it is the "religious right" that are not following a genuinely conservative philosophy. Why do some supposed conservatives think it is OK for the government to interfere in peoples private lives as long as the behavior they are trying to impose fits within traditional Christian values?Comment Posted By Mark On 11.05.2009 @ 23:46
You guys forget the PENS.
Not original but close. Rabid fans and reeallyyyy creaky LOUD and happinin Igloo...(this year anyway till we to go to a new barn.)Comment Posted By Mark On 7.01.2009 @ 18:29
Rick, Nicely put. I am an ex-Dem who has grown conservative over the years, but have been uncomfortable with much of what some of the Republican party is. I see that Clinton Derangement Syndrome in the 90s as a mirror image of Bush DS in the 00s. It was my reaction against Clinton hatred that actually helped me vote for Bush in 2004.
I did not vote for Obama. I don't agree with him in many ways. I really like McCain, but I think his time had passed. I didn't see anything in the last two months or in the debates that would convince an undecided voter.
Fair or not, Bush and the Republicans until '06, created this loss. I was attracted to Gingrich in the 90s, but could never cross the line. I finally did in 2004, but have been disappointed by the Republican party in the last 4 years.
The prospect of the Pelosicrats is frightening. I can only hope Obama has the cojones to resist the left-wing temptation.
Let's give them 2 to 4 years and see what they will do. If they fail, then they will get what the Republicans are getting now--rejection.Comment Posted By mark On 5.11.2008 @ 17:53
I tend to agree that it's over, but Gallup has it at 49-47. Maybe Obama hasn't closed the deal yet.Comment Posted By mark On 16.10.2008 @ 18:37