Who's Afraid Of The Big Bad Health Care Crisis?

Obama-socialism_0.jpg

The scary Obama-Joker face seems a perfect fit for this truly awful AFP article shilling for the President.

But Obama, hoping to offer healthcare to the 46 million Americans who currently have no insurance, attempted to cool the boiling rhetoric being blasted across cable news channels and conservative talks radio every day.

"For all the scare tactics out there, what is truly scary -- what is truly risky -- is if we do nothing."

So... it's okay for Obama to scare us, but not his critics? How is his own scare tactic different than the ones he decries in the same sentence? And how in God's name does playing his own scare card cool the rhetoric?

Speaking of Obama's scare tactics, that 46 million is a very dubious statistic, the kind Mark Twain had in mind when he talked about lies and damned lies. Here's a chart from a GOP Senator (based on U.S. Census data) that explains who those 46 million actually are.

uninsured_chart.jpg

So what we actually have is about 12 million American citizens of income less than $75K who have no access to insurance or government programs. That's about 4% of the population. Many of those are young, healthy people who don't particularly need insurance, and those at incomes of $40-$50K or above can probably afford to borrow and repay medical bills over time; half seems a reasonable estimate of the two combined. So we have 2% of the country that really has a need for this reform. Some "truly risky -- truly scary" crisis.

And if that seems flippant or uncaring, well, as it happens, I am one of those uninsured people in that last piece of pie: I was laid off last year, my income this year is less than $75,000, and I am not carrying insurance. And I don't want it if it comes at the price of a gigantic socialization of the health sector that will cost taxpayers trillions, stifle innovation, slow our economic growth, and may lead to government controlling a significant percentage of the economy.

Mr. President, I have the courage to do nothing. I would ask you to look deep within yourself and find that courage as well.

posted by Dave on 08.11.09 at 09:21 PM










Comments

"So what we actually have is about 12 million American citizens of income less than $75K who have no access to insurance..."

$75k and no option? Dude! Insurance companies are ripping sick people off! They're MEGA corporations! Their bottom line is to make the most they can!

Arrgy   ·  August 12, 2009 12:57 AM

So for 2% or 4% (or whatever the small percentage is) we have to scrap the entire system and get the gov't massively involved in healthcare?

How about we tweak the mostly-good system we already have BEFORE we let the gov't take it over?

They are not interested in 'fixing' healthcare unless it involves near-total gov't control.

Les Nessman   ·  August 12, 2009 10:51 AM

Insurance companies are ripping sick people off! They're MEGA corporations! Their bottom line is to make the most they can!

So?

I suspect you're being sarcastic, but it's hard to tell because I've heard the same "argument" made seriously. And I just don't get it.

Who cares how much money insurance companies make? If they're defrauding their customers, well, there are laws against that -- prosecute those who are guilty. If you believe you can provide better customer service, form your own insurance company and out-compete them(*).

But don't demand that 96+% of the country give up their liberty in order to provide for that 4%.


(*) Of course, that's nearly impossible to do, because government regulations intended to protect you against the big, bad insurance companies have, instead, protected the insurance companies against competition. Maybe that's part of the problem? Nah...

Rob Crawford   ·  August 12, 2009 10:51 AM

Cue the lefties to say that they hope you get sick and die.

Scott   ·  August 12, 2009 10:51 AM

Until proof has been provided of "insurance companies making obscene profits or ripping people off" that statement is a red herring (it will be considered ravings of ideologue).

Peter   ·  August 12, 2009 10:54 AM

Arrgy....how are MEGA corporations any better than MEGA government?

At least with MEGA corporations, I control how much money I give them, where as MEGA government just takes my money.

Not to mention that statist policies of MEGA government tends to squash small businesses.

Jim O.   ·  August 12, 2009 10:55 AM

Insurance companies can make A profit and still provide better service than the famously incompetent Federal Government.

andy   ·  August 12, 2009 11:09 AM

At this point, I don't think Obama is going to be able to get the public option plan he wants. However, if the healthcare industry is not reformed internally or externally, then I think some form of nationalized healthcare is inevitable. National health expenditures are projected to reach $3.1 trillion in 2012, up from $1.4 trillion in 2001. This rate of growth is not sustainable. Soon, in some areas already, comprehensive healthcare has become more expensive than a family who makes the median annual income (~$51,000) can afford. As someone who works in employee benefits, I am very skeptical of the 12 million number. Family coverage in many areas for a comprehensive healthcare plan is now over $1,000/month. Add in an 8-10% growth rate and the premiums become unsustainable for the median wage earner with a family in the near future. Not to mention that Medicare is going bust and will require tax increases or rationing to keep it solvent. How do you control costs without stifling innovation? That's very hard to do.

Steelheader   ·  August 12, 2009 11:30 AM

But Obama, hoping to offer healthcare to the 46 million Americans who currently have no insurance,

I love that little lie.

Since when did no insurance = no health care?

Answer: Never.

The Ace   ·  August 12, 2009 11:30 AM

And Ace, don't you love the way he is "offering" health care?

Only when you're a politician can you offer someone else's money to solve a problem. In every other circumstance that would be considered tacky at best and criminal at worst. Let's see Obama open his wallet and take out enough to pay for 47 million people. That would be a true offer.

"The problem with socialism that eventually you run out of other people's money."

kcom   ·  August 12, 2009 11:42 AM

There are so many lefties that WANT single payer due to the reason in the first comment. A guy at work told me the other day he'd rather pay more taxes and have a politician be responsible because he has power over the politician because he can "vote him out of office", than corporations be responsble for health care who don't care about him.

I just shook my head, I've given up trying to convince people the government can force you do things but no company can.

The central problem I think is this: People don't want insurance, they want welfare. They want healthcare for free, but at the same quality. And they believe it's a moral issue, so if you try to say you can't have it all, they think you want people to suffer.

plutosdad   ·  August 12, 2009 11:56 AM

You are correct that it's better to "do nothing" than to jump on some stupid "reform" idea that will make things worse.

However, this meme plays into Obama's hands, because he's always accusing us of wanting to "do nothing."

It's his favorite straw man argument, because Republicans always offer a common-sense alternative, which Obama/Pelosi/Reid block.

But yeah, it's definitely better to "do nothing" than to rush in doing something bad.

Daryl Herbert   ·  August 12, 2009 12:07 PM

Good friends of the Republican party and conservatism like Chris Matthews are always warning against becoming The Party of No. At this point, I wonder how NO would poll. Certainly during the election NO was a dirty word, for McCain as well as Barry and Hill. The foundation for much of that was, "Hey, it couldn't be any worse, right?" Oh wrongo. Right now there is a true, at least tactical opportunity. You might even get a good sampling of the Progressive Caucus, dissillusioned as they momentarily are with the Obama option. NO has gotten a bad rap. Often NO is the answer especially if the gub is asking the questions. NO is right. NO is good. NO is largely the foundation of this great country. The Constitution expressly describes the YESs, and what the Constitution does not say the gub MAY do, it MAY NOT do. And it is expressly proscribed from doing many things as well, in the Bill of Rights. NO, even if for many it is a temporary pause hoping for Single Payer later, has a timely appeal. It is perhaps no party being the Party of NO but may be a necessity especially as it seems now to be a possibility. For the Reps, go ahead, just say NO. It has at least the clarity of brevity.

megapotamus   ·  August 12, 2009 12:15 PM

If someone as smart and articulate as this blogger is not being swamped with job offers, then we do indeed have a frightening crisis - and it's not health care, it's the economy, stupid.

jim in la   ·  August 12, 2009 12:16 PM

No doubt a fan and emulator of Obama, an angry-looking shirtless guy on the subway once "offered" me health care. He said that if I gave him money, I wouldn't suffer any broken bones or severed arteries.

The we-must-do-something-NOW!!! ploy is right out of the time-tested "liberal fascist" playbook.

"The fact that I have no remedy for all the sorrows of the world is no reason for my accepting yours. It simply supports the strong probability that yours is a fake." --H. L. Mencken

Bilwick   ·  August 12, 2009 12:44 PM

"Doing nothing" is of course not nothing, it is to unrestrict the people to find business models and offer services that suit people's needs. If people don't like a service, they can find another one. Only the free market can find reasonable solutions that don't involve taking money from some people to subsidize others.

As a practical matter, we have politicians and supplicants who want to do "something". We must demand policy papers from our politicians, where they fully investigate and justify their proposals. We can't live with "let's try this and see". It is not our job to read tea leaves and pick apart 1000 page bills written in Old English to figure out what they are really saying. The whole idea of "legislative language" is to obscure what is going on.

If Obama is wise and good, then have him show his ability and insight by presenting the policy papers that guide his legislation. He has to have them. It would be unthinkable that Obama would attempt to legislate major changes in society without a written, organized analysis of proposed results, proposed evolution, methods, justifications, comparative studies, past successes, funding sources, the works.

Regardless of your party or philosophy, you should demand this display of thought and investigation. Demand it ahead of any legislation. The rule of construction is "Measure twice and cut once".

Obama wouldn't try to legislate from some scribbles on a cocktail napkin, would he? He wouldn't say "give me anything, we'll rearrange it later to do what we want", would he?

Join me in the demand to "Show me the policy paper!". If Obama refuses or says that it doesn't exist, then mock him with "Show me the cocktail napkin!"

A Few Words About Policy

Andrew_M_Garland   ·  August 12, 2009 12:44 PM

"Good friends of the Republican party and conservatism like Chris Matthews are always warning against becoming The Party of No."

Weren't the American Whigs (you know--the Adamses, Jefferson, those guys) "the Party of No" in the 1760s and 1770s? And was that a bad thing?

Bilwick1   ·  August 12, 2009 12:49 PM

"Doing nothing" is of course not nothing, it is to unrestrict the people to find business models and offer services that suit people's needs. If people don't like a service, they can find another one. Only the free market can find reasonable solutions that don't involve taking money from some people to subsidize others.

As a practical matter, we have politicians and supplicants who want to do "something". We must demand policy papers from our politicians, where they fully investigate and justify their proposals. We can't live with "let's try this and see". It is not our job to read tea leaves and pick apart 1000 page bills written in Old English to figure out what they are really saying. The whole idea of "legislative language" is to obscure what is going on.

If Obama is wise and good, then have him show his ability and insight by presenting the policy papers that guide his legislation. He has to have them. It would be unthinkable that Obama would attempt to legislate major changes in society without a written, organized analysis of proposed results, proposed evolution, methods, justifications, comparative studies, past successes, funding sources, the works.

Regardless of your party or philosophy, you should demand this display of thought and investigation. Demand it ahead of any legislation. The rule of construction is "Measure twice and cut once".

Obama wouldn't try to legislate from some scribbles on a cocktail napkin, would he? He wouldn't say "give me anything, we'll rearrange it later to do what we want", would he?

Join me in the demand to "Show me the policy paper!". If Obama refuses or says that it doesn't exist, then mock him with "Show me the cocktail napkin!"

A Few Words About Policy

Andrew_M_Garland   ·  August 12, 2009 12:56 PM

Folks, let's cut to the chase here. The fact still remains that we are the only developed nation that does not have compressive, not-for-profit (what you keep calling "socialized") health care. And it's a key part of the reason we are no longer competitive. I'll not try to argue the details but just consider this. Germany, a country with a population of 80 million, is the second largest exporter in the world. I don't mean on a per capita basis but in absolute terms. And they provide their citizens, that is, their citizens provide themselves government coordinated, universal health care. It's not rationed; there's no euthanasia; they pick the doctor they want to see. Abortion, however, is another matter. In many of these socialized countries, it's very difficult to obtain an abortion. That's an aspect of government health care regulation that many would find enviable, no? Bottom line, like all other developed countries, they have normal, high quality health care. All of the horror stories that are circulated are exaggerations. If you cared to check, you would find the the results - infant mortality, for example - are much better in these scary, so-called socialized countries than they are in the US. On the other hand, if you are so wedded to the idea of preserving the ideal of mano-a-mano individualism, then let that be your argument. You are crippling our ability to compete. But please set these other false claims and scare tactics aside. They are nonsense.

crghyz   ·  August 12, 2009 2:11 PM

I am requesting that you sponsor the following amendment to the health care bill.

If you cannot support the below amendment then you cannot in good conscious vote to approve this bill.

1) UPON THE PASSAGE OF NATIONAL HEALTH CARE BILL IT IS RESOLVED THAT ALL MEMBERS OF CONGRESS AND THEIR FAMILIES ARE REQUIRED TO BE SOLELY COVERED BY THE GOVERNMENT PROVIDED HEALTH CARE PLAN.

2) CONGRESS AND THEIR FAMILIES MAY NOT HAVE ANY ADDITIONAL INSURANCE PLAN OR PRIVATE HEALTH CARE SYSTEM APPLIED TO THEM EVEN IF THEY PAY FOR IT THEMSELVES.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
This health care plan does not look so good when YOU and YOUR FAMILY are forced to live by the same rules you are planning to force on the rest of us.

Bryan   ·  August 12, 2009 2:50 PM

I'm wedded to the idea of liberty, Mr. GarlandIndividualism* is sort of a secondary but still valued wife, but liberty is my main love. I have no real battle with socialism, stupid as it is. If you want a non-coercive socialism, fine. Socialism between consenting adults. Form a commune. You can pay for each other's medical expenses--and LEAVE THE REST OF THE @#$% alone! That clear enough for you, fella?

(*Note that Mr. Garland just can't say "individualism." It's "mano-a-mano individualism," implying that to be an individualist is to be at war with all other individualists. Actually, individualists get along pretty well, in my experiance. It's the damn statist, with their coercion and aggression and lust for pocket-picking, who go around causing serious conflicts. I'm sure this doesn't apply to Mr. Garland, but using an expression such as "amno-a-mano individualism" is pretty much like using "Social Darwinism" or "neoconservative"--almost a sure sign pointed toward the user's head, with a sign "No real thinking going on here."

Bilwick1   ·  August 12, 2009 2:51 PM

Sorry, crghyz, but you're not quite believable - Germany, for example, DOES have what most of us might call 'euthanasia lite': choosing not to treat conditions for older citizens they are willing to treat for younger ones. I've read - and talked with - too many not to know that. It reduces the credibility of the rest of your argument to make that claim.

On another issue: what we need is not just NO action, but a REDUCTION of gov't interference with the market, to permit fair competition to provide cheaper, more portable insurance.

Cost of waiting for that to happen? How about 12 million people x $500/mo x 2 yr = $144 billion worth of ins. vouchers for basic ins for the most-needy (don't make it so generous it creates a counter-incentive to job-hunting, but provide something. Sounds a LOT less expensive, even if you fiddle with the numbers, than Obamacare - and it ends at some point, rather than going on forever.

Allen   ·  August 12, 2009 2:55 PM

To Bilwick1,

I think your argument is with crghyz, not me. The identifications appear below the posts. You and I are on the same side.

Andrew_M_Garland

Andrew_M_Garland   ·  August 12, 2009 3:09 PM

You're right, AMG. After I sent it I saw another one of your posts and thought: "Can this be the same guy?" Sorry for the error.

Bilwick1   ·  August 12, 2009 4:32 PM

The Obama Plan is to do nothing. If they deem your care not cost effective they will do nothing for you.

M. Simon   ·  August 12, 2009 4:36 PM

In addition, those 12 million are not a fixed group. It is 12 million who are uninsured at any given moment. Some, as you note, are young people who haven't climbed the career ladder to jobs that offer coverage. As they mature and their skills increase, they will be eligible for jobs w/coverage. At any given time, X number of people are unemployed and without insurance. When they are employed again, many will be in a position to buy employer-sponsored insurance, or have it covered entirely (depending on their job level).

The most important bit, however, is the one you mentioned. These 12 million are not without access to health care. They may be uninsured, but they qualify for Medicaid (or something similar). We're already footing the bill for their medical costs if they need it, so "NO" means they'll still get medical care, just no medical insurance.

Mrs. du Toit   ·  August 13, 2009 4:34 AM

Example of really bad healthcare i found here:

www.medicalforgery.com

Dennis Flock   ·  August 14, 2009 7:40 PM

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