December 21, 2010

Myth busting "taxing breathing"

There's no arguing the emotional appeal of the right when they complain that the individual mandate in the healthcare reform act amounts to, for the first time in human history, "taxing breathing" (although they use the phrase for other things they don't like too).   They are so good at that kind of stuff.  Wow, how "unfair"!

But let's be honest: Yes, you can "choose" to not pay income tax by not making any money, and you can "choose" to not pay property taxes by not owning real-estate and also not renting from someone who owns property, and you can "choose" to not pay sales tax by not buying anything, and you can "choose" not to pay fuel taxes by never going anywhere in motorized transport or using anything that used motorized transport.

But no one willingly chooses that life of extreme poverty, privation and isolation to not make money, not buy anything, not live anywhere and not use anything.

So, take a deep breath, the "moral" argument they are making simply does not hold water.

April 28, 2010

Report Says Health Care Will Cover More, Cost More

The story misses the point and the headline and some of the text get it wrong.  The headline item many people are focusing on is that this projection says the healthcare reform act will cost about 1% more than previous projections (while they accept/ignore the confirmation that 34 million more people will be covered!).

The 1% difference is essentially meaningless since the 1% difference is far less than the % uncertainty in the 10-year projections themselves!  I mean, tell me who can tell, within 1%, what their salary will be in 10 years?  Or what the GDP will be in 10 years?  Anyone that good would become a gazillionaire.  

In fact, given the slightly different assumptions and models, to be off by only 1%, is actually a confirmation that the estimates are all very, very close. 

Whereas adding 34 million (plus or minus even 1% or 0.34 million) is a huge improvement in health coverage in the US.  Adding healthcare for around 75% of those who don't have it today.

The story line should be: Report confirms: 34 million more people will be covered for the expected cost.

Economic experts at the Health and Human Services Department concluded in a report issued Thursday that the health care remake will achieve Obama's aim of expanding health insurance -- adding 34 million to the coverage rolls.


March 25, 2010

More trouble for the repeal effort

[Republican Sen. John] Cornyn and his colleagues repeatedly said that they wanted to ban discrimination on preexisting conditions during the debate and that their argument was with all the other stuff. But all the other stuff ... flows from the ban on preexisting conditions. If you're going to change the insurance market such that the sick can't be left out, you have to make sure that the risk pool doesn't become so sick and expensive that the healthy flee. That's why you do the mandate. And if there's a mandate, there needs to be subsidies to make sure people can afford what they're being asked to buy. And then of course, we need to define what they're being asked to buy, and so you get minimum benefit regulations.

If you're going to change the insurance market, in other words, you need to change the insurance market. And as Cornyn basically admits, people want the insurance market changed.


March 22, 2010

Republican's Waterloo

Waterloo | FrumForum.

Conservatives and Republicans today suffered their most crushing legislative defeat since the 1960s

No illusions please: This bill will not be repealed. Even if Republicans scored a 1994 style landslide in November, how many votes could we muster to re-open the “doughnut hole” and charge seniors more for prescription drugs? How many votes to re-allow insurers to rescind policies when they discover a pre-existing condition? How many votes to banish 25 year olds from their parents’ insurance coverage? And even if the votes were there – would President Obama sign such a repeal?

We followed the most radical voices in the party and the movement, and they led us to abject and irreversible defeat.

March 15, 2010

I threaten you with a continuation of current trends!

I threaten you with a continuation of current trends!.
“If they jam through health care,” said Senator Lindsey Graham of South Carolina, then Democrats will have “poisoned the well” on other issues...

Stimulus didn't get a single Republican vote in the House. The Gang of Six didn't secure Republican votes for health-care reform. Bob Corker won't support the financial regulation plan that he admits has been fundamentally transformed to address many of his concerns. Graham himself has declared cap-and-trade dead in the Senate. If Graham doesn't think the well is already poisoned, then I dare him to take a sip from it.

January 26, 2010

Democrats Now See ‘No Rush’ on Health Care Bill

I guess he liked that curveball thrown by Scott Brown so much he like to get a few more thrown at him?

Democrats Now See ‘No Rush’ on Health Care Bill -

The Senate majority leader, Harry Reid, Democrat of Nevada, deflected questions about health care. “We’re not on health care now,” Mr. Reid said. “We’ve talked a lot about it in the past.” He added, “There is no rush,” and noted that Congress still had most of this year to work on the health bills passed in 2009 by the Senate and the House.

November 20, 2009

GOP Wants Six Weeks To Debate Health Care Bill That They Will Oppose No Matter What

Sometimes you wonder, "how stupid do you think we are?", but in this case I think it more a case of us asking them "just how stupid are you?"

GOP Needs Six Weeks To Debate Health Care Bill That All Republicans Will Oppose.

Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) argued last Sunday that Republicans deserve at least six additional weeks to consider health care reform before letting the bill come to a vote. But on Friday, his top lieutenant said the entire GOP has already made up its mind on the legislation.

Appearing on Fox News Friday morning, Sen. Jon Kyl (R-Ariz.) insisted that "every single Republican will oppose" even debating health care reform because "they know it will only get worse."

The Wrong Side of History ... again

There is a dangerous meme that says something to the effect that conservatives today need to reform to their basic principles like the good old days. That somehow they've gotten off track and need to return to their roots from some golden age of conservatism.

Let's be clear. It is the same as it ever was. Fear-based paranoia of loss of a mythologized America and one that, then as now, is based not on how things work in the real world but on ideology.

Op-Ed Columnist - The Wrong Side of History -
Indeed, these same arguments we hear today against health reform were used even earlier, to attack President Franklin Roosevelt’s call for Social Security. It was denounced as a socialist program that would compete with private insurers and add to Americans’ tax burden so as to kill jobs.

In hindsight, it seems a bit ridiculous, doesn’t it?  Social Security passed, and the republic survived.

Similar, ferocious hyperbole was unleashed on the proposal for Medicare.  President John Kennedy and later President Lyndon Johnson pushed for a government health program for the elderly, but conservatives bitterly denounced the proposal as socialism, as a plan for bureaucrats to make medical decisions, as a means to ration health care.

November 05, 2009

GOP Health Insurance Proposal saves less, covers fewer

The GOP health insurance proposal would save $34 billion LESS than the Democratic proposal while only covering 3 million new people vs the Democratic proposal covering 40 million more people.  There may be some useful ideas in the proposal to further improve the Democratic one, but gee: cover more, save more with the Democratic proposal!

Republicans have spent months on an absurdist position only to concede in their proposal to do less and cost more.  Hm.

The GOP Proposal - The Daily Dish:

[According to the Congressional Budget Office, the GOP healthcare proposal would] cut close to $70 billion off the deficit in the next ten years.

...Vast numbers of people would be shut out of access to insurance because they just cannot afford it. The GOP's response to this is: we cannot afford to help right now. Which is honest enough. But it doesn't exactly counter the fact that, according to the same CBO, the Democrats bill would save $104 billion off the deficit in the same time period. So, if affordability is what's at stake, why not back the Dems?

October 30, 2009

John Boehner Whines About Having To Read Health Care Bill (VIDEO)

John Boehner Whines About Having To Read Health Care Bill:

Here's a video of House Minority Leader John Boehner reacting negatively to the House Health Care Reform bill on the grounds that reading legislation is hard. And just who the hell obligated Boehner and his colleagues to read laws, anyway? Some group of "voters" in a "congressional district" or something? It's crazy. ...

The funny thing is, regarding this bill he couldn't possibly peruse, he's got all sorts of definitive assumptions about it. "We've got better ideas," he says, "and we'll be talking about them over the next week." [Like he's been saying for months.] Sure! It's not like anyone told John Boehner about the summer-long health care debate that we'd be having. He's only now getting up to speed.

[Yes] as Igor Volsky pointed out yesterday, a whole slew of measures that the GOP requested have been provided in the bill. These include ... deficit neutrality, long-term cost reduction, across-state-lines competition, medical malpractice reform, protections for small business, and much more.

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