The employer-provided model is fading. Many of us -- a growing number -- are on our own dealing with the insurance comapanies. Your defense of the insurance industry conveniently ignores all of us.Comment Posted By michael reynolds On 11.08.2009 @ 15:24
In the last 40 years we extended full legal equality to women and African-Americans. We've begun to do the same with gays.
And 40 years ago late term abortions were being carried out. They just weren't being carried out by doctors.
It is not true that society has coarsened. 40 years ago my family was threatened because we had black friends in our home. That was pretty coarse.Comment Posted By michael reynolds On 11.08.2009 @ 14:37
I think Graham does make a reasonable slippery slope argument.
There are profit pressures on private insurers. There are taxpayer pressures on a public option. Graham's right that a public option will be pressured politically to expand in every direction, but it's also true that the public option would have countervailing pressures to limit its cost.
The public option is likely to be one size fits all. Private insurers can peel of niches -- gold-plated policies, for example. But they aren't wrong to fear the public option.
Still, it's far from a given that public would drive out private. Public will certainly increase pressure on private but that's a good thing, up to a point.
I have to say, though, that the private companies brought this on themselves. They all followed the same approach: cherry-pick the most profitable (healthiest) customers, dump the most expensive (sickest) and lie like hell to obfuscate their core business model. They could have made choices that yielded reasonable profits, but like lemmings they had to pursue maximum profit, regardless of the cost in lives.
Maybe what we're coming to here is an area where government is simply superior. Or maybe we'll be good with a hybrid system like some European nations where government and private insurance function side by side.
But neither I, nor much of anyone, is going to shed many tears if Aetna or Blue Cross find they can't compete and go under. They made this bed. They made the decision that a billion dollar profit and health insurance for sick people was not good enough and that they needed 2 billion and to hell with sick people.Comment Posted By michael reynolds On 11.08.2009 @ 12:21
Yawn.Comment Posted By michael reynolds On 10.08.2009 @ 21:05
Why don't I pay a trillion dollars? Are you an idiot? Why don't I just defend the country all by myself too, genius? Then I'll build all the roads.
Incidentally, "top 1 or 2%" does not mean billionaire. It doesn't even mean rich. It just means well off.
Look, I know conservatives are stupid, but try this out: some things we do together, as a country. We defend the country together. We build roads together. We patrol the borders together. We inspect food together. We negotiate treaties together.
You know, as a country. Together.
So the only question here is whether we treat healthcare as something we do together. I say yes. You say no.
Or do you? Would you shut down medicare? How about VA health care? Shut down all federally-sponsored medical research? Somehow I doubt it.
You asked who's going to pay for it and I answered. Those of us who are able will pay a little more. I'm willing to be part of that.
Now, if you want to continue discussing the issues, why not start with reality as opposed to hysterical Glen Beck rants?Comment Posted By michael reynolds On 10.08.2009 @ 12:52
I've been hired by as a member of the death panel. I've decided three of the above commenters are going to have to die. I'm not telling which. However, a thousand bucks each would go a long way toward staying my hand . . .
Death panels. Jesus Christ in a chicken basket, there is literally nothing so stupid some winger won't believe it. Yes, wingnuts: the federal government is going to kill old people. Because it's not like old people vote or have any political sway.
Oh, sure, if old people had demonstrated any capacity to enforce their will, say, if they had drained vast portions of the federal budget into their pockets, or if they held sway in an important electoral swing state or two, well yeah, then they'd be safe from these wandering death panels of doom.
In what lunatic alternate universe would any president ever, ever, ever, regardless of party, decide it was a great idea to euthanize old voters . . . er . . . old people?
You want to see a "death panel" in action? Ask your health insurer to cover an experimental treatment for a child's fatal disease. It's fun to make the health insurers laugh.Comment Posted By michael reynolds On 9.08.2009 @ 23:55
I read that piece.
It's funny how no one notices that we have bills out of 4 committees -- something Clinton never managed.
And how the debate has shifted so that the only really contentious issue is the public option -- something I always suspected was trade goods anyway.
And how Obama by showing deference to the Congress has left himself the option of making a last stage push to support a compromise bill.
And as a bonus the Republicans have become so batshit even Republicans think they're crazy.
It's the Obama way: he keeps looking like he's losing until he wins. People should remember that he beat Hillary and Hillary's people didn't even know it had happened for another couple of weeks.Comment Posted By michael reynolds On 9.08.2009 @ 21:38
Your sarcasm doesn't really work.
1) It's not a question of insurance not covering what we want, its a question of insurance not covering us at all, or lying about coverage, or deliberately obscuring coverage, or canceling coverage.
2) Yes, I think I have more control over government coverage than over private insurance. I have no leverage over the insurance companies, and they are completely indifferent to my wishes or needs because there is no effective competition.
3) Yes, the poor deserve to have their medical problems treated. No, I don't want Americans to have cancer and go untreated. It's barbaric.
4) Since I am lucky to be in the top couple of percent on income let me make this very clear: I am willing to be taxed to provide health insurance to the poor. I consider it my duty to my fellow American citizens. Unlike you, apparently, I do not think it's okay for a poor American, or an unemployed American, or a working class American living hand to mouth on minimum wage, to suffer pain and death for lack of care.Comment Posted By michael reynolds On 9.08.2009 @ 20:20
I don't think that works as well because then you're debating Sausage A vs. Sausage B and may not like either recipe. You have to be able to get into the sausage factory, to own a piece of it. Add your own ingredients from the start. You have to be in the committees and in the meetings. That means a party.
I think there's a tendency to work from the internet model which has to some extent atomized us more as individuals. But it has also formed self-selected groups, an idea I'd like to have Rick expand on.Comment Posted By michael reynolds On 9.08.2009 @ 12:40
Write a book. You have the chops. Possible titles:
"Republican No More: 10 Reasons A Conservative Can No Longer Be a Republican."
"Conservative Should Not Mean Crazy."
"Farewell to Crazy: Conscience of a True Conservative."
"The Rational Right: A Manifesto."
You have enough online editorial positions to have a "platform" as they like to say in the biz. You should reach out to other rational conservatives you know, gather names behind a book, go with a co-author if you think one is helpful, or at least go armed with a list of blogs who have agreed to review and promote the book.
If you really want to help your country (and I take it as a given) start talking to other rational conservatives. Now is the time. This is your opportunity. There is still a need for genuine conservatism. The GOP is melting down and you are not going to get it back. You won't, don't kid yourself you won't. They own it now. So now you form a new party for a new age and a new reality.
Focus on Northern Virginia, Colorado, Oregon and New Hampshire. These are places where the people want to be with you but can't be because of the nuts you bring with you. You need to give conservatives a place to go and feel involved. Reach out to conservative Hispanics. Go to the campuses and push back against the Young Rpublicans. Craft a forward-looking, Silicon Valley conservatism based on economic self-reliance and realistic limited government.
I think you'd be very successful and faster than you think
The GOP went from Fremont to Lincoln in four years. The Whigs and Know Nothings all evaporated.
By the way, yours won't be the only such book. Publishing abhors a vacuum, and someone is going to start filling this particular need.Comment Posted By michael reynolds On 9.08.2009 @ 11:18
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