Weekend Open Thread (2010-03-26)

Here is your open thread for the weekend beginning Friday March 26th, 2010. You may post random links and off-topic discussions here. Also, if you have an idea or a topic you’d like to see covered in an article, please make it known.

Be sure to also check out the forums, and get your word in the user-driven discussions there!

Here’s a weekend timesink for you. Refresh the page if there is no tiny ball bouncing around. If it takes longer than about five minutes to clear, you’re doing it wrong. Fullscreen here.


About The Tim

Tim Ellis is the founder of Seattle Bubble. His background in engineering and computer / internet technology, a fondness of data-based analysis of problems, and an addiction to spreadsheets all influence his perspective on the Seattle-area real estate market.

145 comments:

  1. 1
    BillE says:

    Wow, this is news. Banks won’t lend to shops that are losing business. She just needs a loan to cover some basic expenses and pay off the mortgage she took out to start the business.
    Crack reporting by the Everett Herald.
    http://heraldnet.com/article/20100325/BIZ/703259908

  2. 2
    ray pepper says:

    SCOTSMAN?? R U LISTENING??

    http://www.cnbc.com/id/36053428

    “Keep the Borrowers in their home and it will save MY home value”

    Sell it to the Nation Obama!

  3. 3

    Home Values Don’t Produce Jobs

    25,000,000 people are U6 unemployed and I’d add in an estimated 10-20,000,000 giveups or youth with no job experience [like college and highschool graduates over the last few years] not counted in the U6 group too….

    Let’s see, theres a potential good economy 155,000,000 jobs in America.

    That gives us a 23-29% range of actual unemployment right now in America. Tell me please, how is raising house prices with government debt gonna put this unemployed army back to work?

  4. 4
    singliac says:

    Has anybody rented a place with oil heat? I found a great place, but the heat source is the only downside. It’s 1000 sq ft. Any idea how much that will cost compared to electric or gas heat. Thanks!

  5. 5
    SammamishRenter says:

    Is July a bad month for renters to start a new lease? My current lease is set to expire end of June and I wonder if I should do month-on-month for a few and start a new one after the summer.

  6. 6

    RE: singliac @ 4
    A lot depends on how new/efficient the oil furnace is. I live with an oil furnace. I’d say it’s just a bit pricier than heating w electric, and maybe 40% higher than w gas.

  7. 7
    SammamishRenter says:

    Re Home Values Don’t Produce Jobs: allow me to do a parody of Winston Churchill
    You can always count on the government to do the right thing – after they’ve tried everything else-

  8. 8
    Lurker says:

    RE: singliac @ 4

    With oil heat I believe you also have to pay a large upfront cost to fill the thing up. When you move out then you are then reimbursed for what is left in the tank.

  9. 9

    RE: singliac @ 4

    Great Question

    And forget the Googling or Yahoo search method, you’ll come up blank [it’s rigged IMO].

    IMO and I have engineering credentials to back myself up; gas and oil are far higher to heat home square footage or water than electricity from Puget Sound Energy or City Light. Snohomish County is another animal, but I imagine even their higher priced electricity still beats gas/oil. I’ve lived in a house with gas heat, then moved to a house with all electric and watched my bills fall through the floor [remember, even forced air gas/oil requires electric fans; so you get two bills to heat your house]. I have an emergency gas stove backup, but have learned to shut the pilot light off [it alone was costing me $30/mo in the summer in propane costs…LOL].

    There’s your analysis from an engineer. Now tell me I’m all wet [’cause you bought a gas heater?]. Another reason to go all electric, heater maintenance and replacement costs are less frequent [costly]. Another reason to go all electric….you don’t need a carbon monoxide meter on your refrigerator….LOL

    Also, if you go oil, and decide to switch to electric or gas later; what the hades do you do with that old oil tank in your lawn with oil in it?

  10. 10
    Scotsman says:

    RE: ray pepper @ 2

    Ray, can you explain to me how this changes anything over a 5 year time frame? Are wages going to magically rise? Are zero down, 2% teaser rate loans coming back? Are taxes going to decrease?

    The home values are still going to fall, the defaults are going to happen, the banks are going to go bust. 2+2 will still equal 4, no matter how they try to change reality. You’re wasting time and energy on a fantasy, even if they do figure out a way to force cram-downs. But hey, in a socialist state with no laws and no rights, everything is possible, right?

  11. 11
    Scotsman says:

    RE: singliac @ 4

    We have oil, 2000 square feet, about 10 degrees colder than Seattle during the winter months, we use 600 gallons a year and keep it comfortable. House is older, built in 1970, double windows with aluminum frames, lots of air leaks. A gallon of oil has more btu than any other fuel and can be quite efficient.

  12. 12
    johnnybigspenda says:

    ahh how times have changed… remember when the thought of realestate not going up was treason? This kind of stuff has been on the Yahoo Finance page several times per week over the past couple of months. We could be approaching the bottom here as the main stream media is pretty much last to the party on everything.

    http://finance.yahoo.com/news/Spring-Outlook-Housing-Sales-cnbc-429602006.html?x=0&sec=topStories&pos=main&asset=&ccode=

  13. 13
    One Eyed Man says:

    RE: singliac @ 4

    Potential price volitility could be a risk factor. Electricity and gas usually come from regulated utilities due to the service monopoly and they usually have to have rate hearings and need to get regulatory authorization for price increases. That all takes time. With oil, if there are geo-political or other economic issues that quickly push up oil prices, I think you see the increase the next time you fill the tank. Then again, the same principle applies if prices go down.

    The new fracture drilling methods in gas shale reserves should keep gas supplies high and prices reasonably low unless the clean water people show that the fracture drilling is endangering clean water.

    I currently have gas heat, 2 water heaters, several gas fireplaces and gas BBQ. My high month winter gas bill for 4200 sq ft is about $350/mo. My low month summer gas bill is about $75. I thought that was expensive until my neighbor said he got a $1200 gas bill for one month. He felt down by a crawl space vent and there was warm air coming out. A major junction on the main heating duct under the house had come loose and fallen down.

  14. 14
    One Eyed Man says:

    RE: Scotsman @ 10

    “the banks are going to go bust”

    Only little banks go bust. Big banks get Ben and Timmy’s defacto Chapt 11 Workout Plan (as I recall Banks can file a real Chapt 11). The Plan provides regulatory authorization for loss deferral and virtually guaranteed steep yield curve income. I think its a 4 year plan but it could stretch out longer. It really depends on how long it takes to slowly work thru the distress sale inventory and eventually normalize real estate prices.

  15. 15
    singliac says:

    Thanks everybody! It turns out it was a false alarm. The county records showed it having oil heat, but I just took a walk-through and it has been updated to gas. Good to have some numbers for perspective though. I’m nervous to know what other hidden costs there will be to rent a house instead of an apartment, but having a yard for the kids to play in will be worth the cost.

  16. 16
    One Eyed Man says:

    RE: johnnybigspenda @ 12

    I guess I’m just old, but I kind of thought everyone knew real estate could go down. But then again I also thought everyone knew lottery tickets were just a tax disguised as a sucker bet. And that should have been especially true in California. Prices tanked 25% in a lot of areas there in the early 1990’s, less than 15 years before the current crash. And I think there was a similar decline in California about 15 years before that. And less drastic crashes happen all the time. Residential prices dropped about 7% here during 1990. In the late 1970’s Iowa farm land topped out at over 2500/acre and dropped back to about 1700/acre. I’m not sure how much prices dropped here in the late 1960’s but the billboard didn’t say “turn out the lights” because prices were going up. And none of that takes into account that if you use a full commission broker you’re underwater by about an 8% to 9% back end sales cost as soon as you close on your purchase.

    Maybe it seems like real estate only goes up because people like to brag about the successes and sales people like to promote the rewards rather than disclose the risks. But I’ve also got to admit I’ve seen people get rich on leveraged real estate. I think its a little like a gold rush. The rumors of success probably far exceeds reality.

  17. 17
    The_Dude_Abides says:

    RE: One Eyed Man @ 16
    You’ve touched upon the subject of my bold next bubble prediction.
    Farmland.
    Good black dirt is now selling for $8000/acre in Illinois. It’s the next bubble, but it is only a regional thang. Not to worry, in a few years, Willie Nelson will be giving farm-aid concerts to support the overleveraged farmers. And do you know the difference between a farmer and a jet plane…the plane stops whining once it reaches Florida.
    Good weekend all.

  18. 18
    One Eyed Man says:

    RE: The_Dude_Abides @ 17

    Several of my relatives still have vacation cabins on lakes in northern Minnesota. The resort owners up there used to say that every summer the farmers would come up for a two week vacation with a clean pair of overalls and a twenty dollar bill and never change either one.

  19. 19

    RE: One Eyed Man @ 16 – Pick just about any city in California at the bottom of this link and you can see that they had at least one significant decline in the past.

    http://mysite.verizon.net/vodkajim/housingbubble/

    People have very short memories. Anything that occurred more than six months ago has been forgotten my most people. That’s the reason so many incumbents in Congress get re-elected. ;-)

  20. 20
    Scotsman says:

    Oooh, this is fun- health care cost estimates verses the reality over time. But just like Seattle, housing in general, etc., I’m sure this time and instance is different/special, whatever… We are going to be so broke before this is over:

    http://michellemalkin.cachefly.net/hotair.com/wp/wp-content/uploads/2010/03/chart.jpg

  21. 21
    David Losh says:

    OK, out of left feild, we did some work on a property and while doing the billing checked the address to find the property has sold for $382K. It’s on a cinder block foundation in a questionable neighborhood. Of course it has bells and whistles, but while I was there I was thinking $299K, tops.

    For me this is getting to be a trend. Bad properties are selling for premium prices.

  22. 22
    pfft says:

    By Scotsman @ 20:

    Oooh, this is fun- health care cost estimates verses the reality over time. But just like Seattle, housing in general, etc., I’m sure this time and instance is different/special, whatever… We are going to be so broke before this is over:

    http://michellemalkin.cachefly.net/hotair.com/wp/wp-content/uploads/2010/03/chart.jpg

    michelle malkin is a joke.

  23. 23
    pfft says:

    By Scotsman @ 10:

    RE: ray pepper @ 2 But hey, in a socialist state with no laws and no rights, everything is possible, right?

    you do realize that using the word socialist doesn’t make you some kinda deep thinker? it’s makes you a tea partier.

  24. 24
    Mikal says:

    RE: Scotsman @ 20 – What would our deficit be looking like if Bush hadn’t pushed his tax cut “plan”.

  25. 25
    Scotsman says:

    RE: pfft @ 23RE: pfft @ 22

    You are so predictable. You don’t even attempt to counter an idea with facts or honest discussion, you just dive right in to the personal attacks. Can’t refute the message? Kill the messenger!

    My 16 year old daughter could beat the mental snot out of you. . . with half her brain tied behind her back.

    Have a great weekend.

  26. 26
    Scotsman says:

    RE: Mikal @ 24

    Nice talking point- unfortunately it just shows how ill informed you are. Here’s a summary of the tax cuts and their real effect as calculated by the non-partisan CBO:

    http://www.americanthinker.com/2010/03/lying_about_bushs_tax_cuts.html

    Here are some highlights:

    “Bush tax cuts actually shifted the total tax burden farther toward the rich so that in 2000-2004, total income tax paid by the top 40% of income-earners grew by 4.6% to 99.1% of the total.”

    “The second major misconception spread by the left about the Bush tax cuts is that the lower tax rates caused the federal deficit woes we face today. . .In fact, the Bush tax cuts actually increased government revenue.”

    D@mn facts.

  27. 27
    One Eyed Man says:

    RE: Scotsman @ 26

    First, as someone in the top marginal tax bracket, I’d like to say thankyou to the American public for cutting my taxes and giving me tens of thousands of extra dollars over the last 7 years. And I’d also like to thank you for paying several hundred thousand dollars of my fathers medical expenses with medicare (even though he has the assets to pay it) because my siblings and I will probably inherit that several hundred K some day. So to anyone out there whose not in the top marginal bracket, just remember I urinate cash so if you just stand under the stream you will benefit as it trickles down on you.

    So, just as with global warming, that settles it right? I’m sure it wasn’t all the deficit spending and the exit from the recession that caused GDP and tax revenues to increase after 2003. It was the full bladders of the rich that triggered the golden shower of tax revenue. I’m sure a 2% decrease in the marginal tax rate made all the difference in their decisions. I know I ran out and started new companies and increased hiring when I heard my marginal tax rate dropped 2%. Of course you’re right that I might have put some money in the stock market. But unless it was a sold by the issuer of the security, that cash just went to some other investor and not to a party who creates jobs or invests in plant and equipment.

    And in the end, the fact that total tax revenues increased isn’t the whole story. Even though tax revenue increased, where’s the money coming from to pay for trillions in Bush deficits. Did the CBO and the authors of the linked article include that as a cost of the Bush tax cuts?

    Of course the right wing commentators would never try to spin things. They’re just there to help me understand what’s best for me. Just this week I heard McCain say once again that, “This is a right of center country,” so all those left wing people who elected Obama must be a minority. I used to think that by definition, the center was the center, but I guess that was my mistake. I’m sure glad he’s there to help me see that the right is the center and everyone else is just out to lunch.

    I know that’s just my editorial comments so let me link some authorities you despise to help move that right of center equilibrium back a little bit.

    “In contrast to the claims made by Bush, Cheney, and Republican presidential primary candidates such as Rudy Giuliani, there is a broad consensus among even conservative economists (including current and former top economists of the Bush Administration such as Greg Mankiw) that the tax cuts have had a substantial net negative impact on revenues (i.e., revenues would have been substantially higher if the tax cuts had not taken place), even taking into account any stimulative effect the tax cuts may have had and any resulting revenue feedback effects.[13] When asked whether the Bush tax cuts had generated more revenue, Laffer stated that he did not know. However, he did say that the tax cuts were “what was right,” because after the September 11 attacks and threats of recession, Bush “needed to stimulate the economy and spend for defense.”[14]”

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Economic_policy_of_the_George_W._Bush_administration

    “Taxpayers responded to President Bush’s tax cuts in 2001 and 2003 by generating greater taxable income, according to a new paper to be published this fall in the National Tax Journal. In fact, taxpayers reported so much more income than was anticipated, it likely offset as much as 40% of the revenue that was lost by lowering the top two tax brackets, the paper, authored by a vice president for economic policy at the Tax Foundation, Robert Carroll, and economists Gerald Auten and Geoffrey Gee of the Department of the Treasury, found.”

    http://www.nysun.com/business/bush-tax-cuts-increased-tax-base-study-says/84823/

    http://www.factcheck.org/taxes/supply-side_spin.html

  28. 28
    Cheap South says:

    RE: One Eyed Man @ 27 – Everyone knows facts have a liberal bias. It’s easier to just blow hot air out of your as…, agitate the masses, and done!!

    This is worth posting again; since shortly after, Mr Frum got fired from his job (I thought he would apologize). I can’t even imagine the crap he had to take from Fox and the others. These people have not learned that you never, ever, criticized the third reich.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xGi_wGs43GE

  29. 29

    By One Eyed Man @ 27:

    <Just this week I heard McCain say once again that, "This is a right of center country," so all those left wing people who elected Obama must be a minority. I used to think that by definition, the center was the center, but I guess that was my mistake. I'm sure glad he's there to help me see that the right is the center and everyone else is just out to lunch.

    I wouldn’t use the 2008 elections as a measure of where the country is at. Given the financial crisis that was unfolding at the time the most liberal Republican in the country on the national stage would have lost to the most conservative Democrat, if those had been the tickets. And quite frankly, I think that was a good thing, because one thing we needed was a sense of change, just for moral. Actually, you could argue that is all we got–a “sense of change.” ;-)

    But I think your point is well taken. The center is the center, whatever it is. The center is different in France than it is in the US, but it’s still the center where ever you are.

  30. 30
    David Losh says:

    The new taxable income had to do with a set of cheap economic tricks. War generates a lot of jobs, durable goods orders, and new business, quickly.

    More importantly credit came cheap. Housing units were created, cheap.

    The tax system is a dead issue and has been since Reagan. We need a simplified tax code. Flat tax is what makes the most sense.

  31. 31

    RE: Kary L. Krismer @ 29
    The center is the center, but where the center currently sits is not where the center used to be.
    What I mean is that the center has shifted to the right over the last 40 years or so. I’m not saying that’s good or bad, but Richard Nixon proposed a health care reform bill 40 years ago that was far more ” socialistic” than what Obama proposed and what congress passed. Nixon was the one who started the Environmental protection agency. The marginal tax rates were much higher. By 1960’s-1970’s standards, Obama would be considered a moderate Republican.
    If Obama’s a socialist, I’m a rap star.

  32. 32

    RE: Ira Sacharoff @ 31 – That very well could be true. I remember Nixon as being considered rather conservative back then. But wasn’t it Nixon who said something to the effect that during the primaries you run to the right and during the election you run to the center? If so, who knows what Nixon really was, except for someone who would do anything for power.

    Oh, and btw, I’d consider Obama a moderate Republican by today’s standards. ;-)

  33. 33
    David Losh says:

    RE: One Eyed Man @ 27

    You are correct. The wealthy only take in any money we give them.

    What I have thought about these past few months is that we are onto the second, third, and fourth generation of wealth in this country. In Europe you have wealth that goes back a thousand years, but here, it’s a new thing.

    We talk about the Camelot of the Kennedy family, and I guess now, we can say the same about the Bushes.

    Our founding fathers never intended for this great nation to come under the tyranny of the wealthy. The People are paramount to all the language in the Bill of Rights, and the Constitution. Liberty is a term used by the French while they guillotined Marie Antoinette.

    Our way of life is to Promote the General Welfare rather than give to the very few.

    Those tax cuts need to go, and be increased. The wealthy made obscene amounts of money in the past 10 years. The idea that they will take their money and go if we don’t continue to cater to them is ridiculous. There is no place on earth that is as generous to the wealthy as the United States. This is the capitalist play ground.

  34. 34

    RE: David Losh @ 33 – Are you really arguing that increased taxation doesn’t lead to less productivity? Seriously? That’s a rather interesting economic theory, but I don’t think it has any foundation at all.

    And let’s say a certain amount of earnings are not taxed. Where do you think that money goes? Do you think it just goes into a rathole and is never seen again?

  35. 35
    The_Dude_Abides says:

    RE: pfft @ 23
    My favorite is ‘bankster’…simply a great lead-in for an intelligent, thoughtful conversation. That said, it’s a headshaker that Mozila, Fuld, Perry, O’Neal, Killinger, & Prince have yet to be brought to task. I’m a fan of the Buffett strategy to, somehow, render them dirt poor.
    He even said…including their wives. :)
    I’m thinking a Godzila-like clawback?

  36. 36
    David Losh says:

    RE: Kary L. Krismer @ 34

    It’s flaming, and yes the money goes where it will get the highest return. My bank account in Peru gets a 4% return. The lending rate is 24% to be repaid within a year. 15 yrs is 8% with a quick foreclosure and substantial down.

    So you really think that giving the wealthy a tax break will increase productivity? Seriously?

  37. 37
    One Eyed Man says:

    RE: Ira Sacharoff @ 31

    Per Ira: “If Obama’s a socialist, I’m a rap star.”

    So Scotsman, did I just hear you say: “Let’s give it up for Ice Sacharoff!”

  38. 38
    Scotsman says:

    RE: One Eyed Man @ 27

    Oh please. The facts are the rich now pay a higher percentage of the total than they did before, and revenues have continued to grow. Unfortunately spending has grown much more quickly. The following picture should make it easier for some to understand that with the exception of the 2000 recession and the related drop in revenues the growth of revenue hasn’t been affected that much by any tax cut.

    http://www.marktaw.com/culture_and_media/TheNationalDebtImages/ReceiptsOutlays.gif

  39. 39
    David Losh says:

    RE: Scotsman @ 38

    You should really look at the graph. Strange, the more we spend, more comes back in.

    You’re the one screaming about how the government has taken over the private sector.

    Government spending is the economy.

  40. 40
    pfft says:

    By Scotsman @ 25:

    RE: pfft @ 23RE: pfft @ 22

    You are so predictable. You don’t even attempt to counter an idea with facts or honest discussion, you just dive right in to the personal attacks. Can’t refute the message? Kill the messenger!

    My 16 year old daughter could beat the mental snot out of you. . . with half her brain tied behind her back.

    Have a great weekend.

    I have absolutely zero respect for her and I will never listen, read or watch anything she says.

  41. 41
    Scotsman says:

    RE: David Losh @ 39RE: David Losh @ 39

    “Government spending is the economy”

    That’s the problem- because the government doesn’t generate any new wealth, it just takes what is already out there and redistributes it. It’s like a giant leech. And when it finally sucks all the blood out of the populace, killing the private sector, then there will be nothing left for it to feed on, and it too will die.

    Oh well, it’s a sunny day- time to play.

  42. 42
    pfft says:

    By Scotsman @ 26:

    RE: Mikal @ 24

    Nice talking point- unfortunately it just shows how ill informed you are. Here’s a summary of the tax cuts and their real effect as calculated by the non-partisan CBO:

    http://www.americanthinker.com/2010/03/lying_about_bushs_tax_cuts.html

    Here are some highlights:

    “Bush tax cuts actually shifted the total tax burden farther toward the rich so that in 2000-2004, total income tax paid by the top 40% of income-earners grew by 4.6% to 99.1% of the total.”

    “The second major misconception spread by the left about the Bush tax cuts is that the lower tax rates caused the federal deficit woes we face today. . .In fact, the Bush tax cuts actually increased government revenue.”

    D@mn facts.

    ha ha, yeah the facts. increasing revenues don’t mean anything if the deficit increases by more, which it did.

    the bush tax cuts will add almost $2 trillion to the debt.

    What Are These Three Numbers?
    http://www.econbrowser.com/archives/2010/03/what_are_these_1.html

  43. 43
    pfft says:

    By Scotsman @ 41:

    RE: David Losh @ 39RE: David Losh @ 39

    “Government spending is the economy”

    That’s the problem- because the government doesn’t generate any new wealth, it just takes what is already out there and redistributes it. It’s like a giant leech. And when it finally sucks all the blood out of the populace, killing the private sector, then there will be nothing left for it to feed on, and it too will die.

    Oh well, it’s a sunny day- time to play.

    businesses use police, fire and etc. education is a big help to businesses too. not to mention how much money goes to businesses through government contracts.

  44. 44
    pfft says:

    By Scotsman @ 38:

    RE: One Eyed Man @ 27

    Oh please. The facts are the rich now pay a higher percentage of the total than they did before

    that’s because they gobbled up all the income after 30 years of reaganomics deregulated the economy and wall street.

  45. 45
    Bill Droit says:

    By softwarengineer @ 3:

    Home Values Don’t Produce Jobs

    25,000,000 people are U6 unemployed and I’d add in an estimated 10-20,000,000 giveups or youth with no job experience [like college and highschool graduates over the last few years] not counted in the U6 group too….

    Let’s see, theres a potential good economy 155,000,000 jobs in America.

    That gives us a 23-29% range of actual unemployment right now in America. Tell me please, how is raising house prices with government debt gonna put this unemployed army back to work?

    “We are at the end of an era – a turning point in history. We are approaching the threshold of runaway climate change. We underline the urgency of radical action to reduce emissions, by both immediate action and longer-term measures; to stress to political leaders the non-linear nature of the processes at work which will generate sudden change; and to assert that the overriding priority must be to avert the impending risk of catastrophic climate change.” – Club of Rome/UNESCO communique

    In other words, many of us will be generating our income through “green jobs” given to us to protect the environment from mankind. Assuming mankind is really a problem. Without accurate and/or objective science, it’s hard to tell.

  46. 46

    RE: David Losh @ 36 – Apparently you don’t think money motivates, and that more money will provide more motivation. That’s just crazy think. If someone has the opportunity to earn X dollars they are more likely to do the activity than if they are only given an opportunity to earn X minus Y dollars.

  47. 47
    softwarengineer says:

    RE: Scotsman @ 41

    Better Play Fast

    The next week of forcasts after today is more rain, wind and showers….

    Kind of like when the overpopulation debt taxes goes into high gear by 2013, enjoy your larger paycheck with lower cost benefits now. I hear AT & T is getting a $1B bill due to the new bill signing [more unemployment layoffs now forcasted by all companies too], some solace though, my best friend with pre-existing serious health conditions and President of his own company, can buy health insurance again.

  48. 48

    By Scotsman @ 41:

    RE: David Losh @ 39RE: David Losh @ 39

    “Government spending is the economy”

    That’s the problem- because the government doesn’t generate any new wealth, it just takes what is already out there and redistributes it. It’s like a giant leech.

    That’s not quite true, but on average government spending is less productive than private spending if you look at secondary benefits. If government builds a road, that will lead to increased productivity for some time. If they build a bomb, that’s pretty much just dead wood except for any spending resulting from that initial purchase.

  49. 49
    Scotsman says:

    RE: pfft @ 43

    “not to mention how much money goes to businesses through government contracts.”

    I give up. Where do you think they got the money for those government contracts, Einstein? Well, at least in the past before they just started printing it.

  50. 50
    Scotsman says:

    Let me get this straight……we’re trying to pass a health care plan written by a committee whose chairman says he doesn’t understand it, passed by a Congress that hasn’t read it but exempts themselves from it, to be signed by a president that also hasn’t read it and who smokes, with funding administered by a treasury chief who didn’t pay his taxes, all to be overseen by a surgeon general who is obese, and financed by a country that’s broke.

    What the heck could possibly go wrong????

  51. 51

    RE: Scotsman @ 49 – You forgot to mention that the plan only passed because it managed to get a super-majority to pass through the Senate, and that over 50% of the members of the house didn’t like it, but some of those only voted for it because of that.

  52. 52
    S-Crow says:

    Interesting week at the office: became aware of a suit against a brokerage from a disgruntled owner and also office was subpoena’d for file information on a separate 2006 purchase transaction. Public records show multiple purchases in a very tight window. Agent was also loan officer: something I have written/commented about a couple years ago as a very very ripe environment for potential problems.

    Wish I was an attorney. I would have a favorable market of a lifetime at my feet.

  53. 53
    One Eyed Man says:

    RE: Scotsman @ 38

    I don’t disagree that the rich pay an even greater percentage of the income tax than they did before. But their income also grew much more than that of taxpayers in lower tiers.

    http://motherjones.com/mojo/2008/07/richest-1-percent-get-biggest-share-income-ever-inequality-record-high-what-do-we-do

    “In 2006, the richest one percent of Americans garnered the largest share of the national income since 1929, the Wall Street Journal reported last week. The Journal, which based its conclusions on the most recent available IRS data, also noted that in 2006 the richest one percent’s average tax rate fell to its lowest level in 18 years. Who are these richest one percenters we hear so much about? Well, in 2008, the richest one percent of Americans make at least $462,000 a year, and the average income of the group is almost $1.5 million. Bush administration tax policies have been especially kind to this group, which has reaped the bulk of the country’s economic gains since 2001. That has led to record income inequality, and, of course, to hearings on Capitol Hill.”

    The article continues:

    “The Right likes to claim that since the rich are paying a higher share of income tax now, the tax system must be more progressive than it was in the past. Greenstein explained why that’s not true:

    A progressive tax cut, like a progressive tax system, is one that reduces inequality. The 2001-2003 tax cuts have done the opposite. When fully in effect, those tax cuts will boost after-tax income by more than 7 percent among households with incomes of more than $1 million, but just 2 percent among middle-income families, according to the Urban Institute-Brookings Institution Tax Policy Center. That is an average tax cut of $158,000 in 2010 for households with incomes of over $1 million, but just $810 for middle-income families. Tax analysts know that effective tax rates and shares of after-tax income, not the share of taxes paid, are the proper indicators of progressivity.”

    PS, Scotsman, I hope your already out enjoying a good spring day. That’s what I’m headed to do now.

  54. 54

    RE: S-Crow @ 52 – Shouldn’t the appraisal have picked up the multiple sales? Was the appraiser the same?

  55. 55
    David Losh says:

    RE: Kary L. Krismer @ 48RE: Scotsman @ 41

    Here’s economy 101. 15 million people switched to Geiko last year. 15 minutes could save you $500 if you switch to Geiko. You could save $438 if you switch from Geiko to Allstate, your good hands people.

    Allstate has yet to settle it’s claims for hurricane Katrina and is expecting FEMA to fix it.

    What’s crazy is that we all give money to banks, credit cards, low interest mortgages, insurance companies, invest in the stock market, and talk about how smart we are. We shop at Wal Mart, give money to Target, and save so we can afford a college education for the kids.

    The government, on the other hand, produces durable goods that are exported world wide.

    As long as we’re at it let’s distinquish between the rich, and the wealthy. Wealth is self sustaining. There’s very little risk in wealth. The smart money stays on the sidelines quietly making a return on other free money ventures. Free money is what we give them both from our pockets, and in government tax dollars.

  56. 56
    Scotsman says:

    RE: David Losh @ 55

    “The government, on the other hand, produces durable goods that are exported world wide.”

    What? Tell me one durable good the government produces and exports world-wide besides. . .

    MILITARY WEAPONS

    You see this as a positive? Your Seattle Liberal status has been revoked. Kaput. Finished.

  57. 57
    Scotsman says:

    RE: One Eyed Man @ 53

    Surprisingly, I agree that the tax system could and should be more progressive in terms of actual rates paid. A modest top rate of say 30% minus the myriad deductions, off-shore maneuvers, etc. would do the trick. The emphasis needs to shift to actual taxes paid, away from legislated rates that may or may not reflect the bottom line.

    But this discussion was about Mikal’s thinly veiled assertion that Bush’s tax cuts led to the current deficit while letting the rich escape. And despite what “Wiki”, Mother Jones, or other balanced sources assert, that’s simply not true. It’s a bit more complex.

    I know Bush is responsible for all that is bad in the world, starting with that first nasty incident where someone left the salt and pepper off the table at the last supper to the failed Zoron colonization of Mars, but I really don’t think we can put all of the current financial mess at his feet.

    Last dry day for a week- I’m gone.

  58. 58
  59. 59
    David Losh says:

    RE: Scotsman @ 56

    Hummers, half tracks, armored personnel carriers, skiffs, ships, air craft carriers, planes, half the infrastructure in Iraq, drones, it’s a long list. If you really wanted to watch something drone technology will only add to the robotic work force of the future. Did I fail to mention satellites, communication stations, turbine technology, or saline treatment facilities?

    If you wanted to actually look at the military you’ll find weapons are a small part of the supplies.

  60. 60
    softwarengineer says:

    RE: Ira Sacharoff @ 31

    You Got It Ira

    Richard Nixon was for Earthday and reducing America’s population too in the early 70s, before we doubled it.

  61. 61
    softwarengineer says:

    RE: S-Crow @ 52

    You’re Right

    We all need to learn from guys like Kary. I may make attorney jokes at times, but when you need one, they sure are handy. My family law attorney handled my case for a couple years, then I took over and used his paperwork as boiler plates; I won my trial case too, as my own attorney. I did use my old attorney as a mentor though and had him write up the final papers.

    What I learned is totally useful at work too and rarely taught in a technical school….I would have took more law electives if I had to do college all over again…LOL

  62. 62
    Mikal says:

    RE: Scotsman @ 57 – He received a surplus on arrival. What did he leave?

  63. 63
    softwarengineer says:

    More New Republican Replacements Come Elections

    50.4% Oppose Healthcare Bill
    40.5% Favor

    http://www.pollster.com/polls/us/healthplan.php

  64. 64
    softwarengineer says:

    RE: Bill Droit @ 45

    Assuming Green R & D in America Produces Domestic Manufacturing…LOL

    And it all isn’t outsourced to China or some cheap labor area anyway.

    BTW, where’s the jobs created with current/massive social spending debt to prop real estate prices? My actual 1st question.

  65. 65
    pfft says:

    By softwarengineer @ 63:

    More New Republican Replacements Come Elections

    50.4% Oppose Healthcare Bill
    40.5% Favor

    http://www.pollster.com/polls/us/healthplan.php

    By Slim Margin, Americans Support Healthcare Bill’s Passage
    http://www.gallup.com/poll/126929/slim-margin-americans-support-healthcare-bill-passage.aspx

    republicans aren’t going to win any more seats than normal after a presidential election. if republicans want to run on repeal I agree with the president- GO FOR IT! we want you too.

  66. 66
  67. 67
    pfft says:

    By Scotsman @ 49:

    RE: pfft @ 43

    “not to mention how much money goes to businesses through government contracts.”

    I give up. Where do you think they got the money for those government contracts, Einstein? Well, at least in the past before they just started printing it.

    I guess you don’t understand that when the government is handing out contracts, subsidies and tax breaks even the most pro-business republicans are getting their greedy little hands on them.

  68. 68
    David Losh says:

    RE: pfft @ 67

    Pro business means how much money can our government give them.

  69. 69
    S-Crow says:

    RE: Kary L. Krismer @ 54 – appraisal wouldn’t catch a consumer buying other houses as far as I know.

    There are affidavits in loan docs that hold a buyer’s feet to the fire per se, such as affirming that you are not obtaining any other credit. There is just no way to know that a buyer is going from escrow co to escrow co (there should be a “system” in place to do a name search that could trigger alerts). They obviously were not closing at the same title or escrow offices.

    This past fall our office contacted the local FBI and DFI office about a suspect transaction where the money to close could not be sourced and the principles didn’t want the money secured. How about just writing on your forehead “I am laundering money.” Some background checks and simple court record search showed these cats had a history involving alleged fraud. —and still working in the real estate business and as a loan officer.

    I have to say that I’m seeing more cooperation between title co’s and escrow out there shutting this “chocolate” down. Sick of it.

  70. 70

    RE: S-Crow @ 69 – I misunderstood you. I thought you were referencing the same property selling within recent history, not the same buyer buying something else.

  71. 71
    pfft says:

    By softwarengineer @ 64:

    RE: Bill Droit @ 45

    Assuming Green R & D in America Produces Domestic Manufacturing…LOL

    And it all isn’t outsourced to China or some cheap labor area anyway.

    BTW, where’s the jobs created with current/massive social spending debt to prop real estate prices? My actual 1st question.

    the jobs are on the way.

    we do manufacture wind turbines and solar panels here. we also employ people to install them and maintain them. you ideology precludes you from seeing them.

    search monster, the jobs are out there. wind, solar, energy efficiency and HVAC. I think someday geothermal could be huge.

  72. 72
    Mikal says:

    RE: pfft @ 66 – He is the kind of guy that never had a family member lose coverage. I’m not sure what they are doing is right, but anything would be better.

  73. 73

    By pfft @ 66:

    By Scotsman @ 58:

    Our future:

    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/health/healthnews/7529454/Hospital-wards-to-shut-in-secret-NHS-cuts.html

    our present.

    Insurer targeted HIV patients to drop coverage
    http://www.reuters.com/article/idUSTRE62G2DO20100317

    As to the first link, that’s how they choose to ration care. You have to ration care in some manner. The thought that everyone is going to have medical care at the level of a Boeing Machinist is just pure fantasy. Half our GDP would be devoted to medical care if that happened.

    As to the second link, it’s really hard to defend insurance companies when they do that sort of thing (find the slightest evidence of fraud but fail to investigate it fully). But the idea that they have the right to go back and look at someone who is a new customer and suddenly comes down with an expensive disease isn’t an invalid thought. But now it’s irrelevant because they won’t be able to preclude those with pre-existing conditions, or limit the total payout for an individual, which will mean that insurance costs will skyrocket for everyone else, especially during the period that we’re waiting for insurance coverage to be mandatory. The politicians like to pretend the money to pay for these things is free, but what they’re really trying to do is move the cost from the government budget to employers and those paying for their own insurance.

  74. 74
    softwarengineer says:

    RE: pfft @ 71

    Please Give Me Numbers and Facts

    Not unsubstantiated opinions, and BTW, if your alleged green jobs numbers change or your facts need updating with new information, that’s fine IMO…..the news is horribly ambiguous IMO to date on important things like numbers of scarce new jobs created to date, so I understand.

    In my estimate, I’d say they’ve created maybe a few thousand jobs in the last year at best. I hear geothermal is blocked environmentally, tears mountains and landscapes apart. Have you been to Eastern Washington where the wind turbines are? Ugly, noisey overpopulation machines, that nobody [even Ted Kennedy blocked ugly/noisey wind turbines near his mansion] would want in their backyards or sea coasts…dead birds littered beneath them too.

    I vote for depopulation instead.

  75. 75
    softwarengineer says:

    RE: softwarengineer @ 74

    Outsourced Overpopulation Manufacturing

    I stick to my original blog opinion too…when and if the green overpopulation manufacturing goes whole hog, employing 100s of thousands….it will be outsourced.

  76. 76
    softwarengineer says:

    RE: pfft @ 65

    One Inaccurate Poll Opinion From You

    My data is a conglomeration of a plethora of recent polls from a plethora of news sources on a scatter diagram mean avg. Yours is just one “subpar mathematically” scatter point poll data you picked to match your politics.

  77. 77
    Scotsman says:

    Alright, another rousing federal success! These guys can’t even administer a program to insulate homes, but they can run 1/6 of the economy more efficiently than the private sector? We are so screwed:

    After a year of crippling delays, President Barack Obama’s $5 billion program to install weather-tight windows and doors has retrofitted a fraction of homes and created far fewer construction jobs than expected.
    In Indiana, state-trained workers flubbed insulation jobs. In Alaska, Wyoming and the District of Columbia, the program has yet to produce a single job or retrofit one home. And in California, a state with nearly 37 million residents, the program at last count had created 84 jobs. …
    But after a year, the stimulus program has retrofitted 30,250 homes — about 5 percent of the overall goal — and fallen well short of the 87,000 jobs that the department planned, according to the latest available figures.
    As the Obama administration promotes a second home energy-savings program — a $6 billion rebate plan — some experts are asking whether that will pay off for homeowners or for the planet.
    ”A very rosy picture was painted that energy efficiency would be a great way to create jobs and save money,” said Michael Shellenberger, an energy expert who heads the Breakthrough Institute, an Oakland-based think tank that is financed by nonpartisan foundations and works on energy, climate change and health care issues. ”The Obama administration risks overpromising again.”

    http://www.nytimes.com/aponline/2010/03/27/us/AP-US-Stimulus-Weatherization.html?_r=2

  78. 78
    pfft says:

    By David Losh @ 68:

    RE: pfft @ 67

    Pro business means how much money can our government give them.

    I forgot all the lobbying to do things like lessen restrictions on arsenic in water and pollution.

  79. 79
    David Losh says:

    RE: softwarengineer @ 64RE: softwarengineer @ 63

    Though over population should be a main priority globally, no politician will touch the issue. Even though research in sexually transmitted diseases has found condoms effective, no politician is going to encourage the use of them. Population is a sexual issue. Sex will be the last thing any politician will want to talk about. OK? Can we agree on that?

    So if there continues to be population growth, and we continue to see rises in sexually transmitted disease, we will have global health issues.

    The Human Papaloma Virus is being linked to a variety of cancers. HPV is the “new” epidemic even though it has been known since the 1970s. The vaccine that young women are encouraged to get will never be fool proof. Again condoms are effective, and can extend the health of women as a protection for cervical cancer. Research is showing a correlation between HPV and cervical cancer.

    The joke in the medical community is that if there was a virus that causes cancer in male human reproductive organs the vaccine would have been available in a year of discovery, instead it took 15 years. Viagra is a good example.

    The United States can do anything. We can cure anything, given enough time, and money. There are millions of health issues in the world today that are not profitable. Any number of strains of bacteria, and viruses can mutate a million times before any one cares about them.

    You have provided the very reason we need to have global health care. Over population is it’s own concern. The idea that the United States can continue with a for profit medical system is naive. The fact we continue to throw money at pain medication rather than research what will kill us next is the proof.

  80. 80
    ray pepper says:

    RE: pfft @ 66

    Absolutely EXCELLENT LINK!

    Two Thumbs WAY UP!

  81. 81
    pfft says:

    By Scotsman @ 77:

    Alright, another rousing federal success! these guys can’t even administer a program to insulate homes, but they can run 1/6 of the economy more efficiently than the private sector:

    After a year of crippling delays, President Barack Obama�s $5 billion program to install weather-tight windows and doors has retrofitted a fraction of homes and created far fewer construction jobs than expected.
    In Indiana, state-trained workers flubbed insulation jobs. In Alaska, Wyoming and the District of Columbia, the program has yet to produce a single job or retrofit one home. And in California, a state with nearly 37 million residents, the program at last count had created 84 jobs. �
    But after a year, the stimulus program has retrofitted 30,250 homes � about 5 percent of the overall goal � and fallen well short of the 87,000 jobs that the department planned, according to the latest available figures.
    As the Obama administration promotes a second home energy-savings program � a $6 billion rebate plan � some experts are asking whether that will pay off for homeowners or for the planet.
    �A very rosy picture was painted that energy efficiency would be a great way to create jobs and save money,� said Michael Shellenberger, an energy expert who heads the Breakthrough Institute, an Oakland-based think tank that is financed by nonpartisan foundations and works on energy, climate change and health care issues. �The Obama administration risks overpromising again.�

    http://www.nytimes.com/aponline/2010/03/27/us/AP-US-Stimulus-Weatherization.html?_r=2

    By Scotsman @ 77:

    Alright, another rousing federal success! these guys can’t even administer a program to insulate homes, but they can run 1/6 of the economy more efficiently than the private sector:

    1. the government isn’t taking over, that’s a tea party talking point. there still is private insurance. the government has just written new regulations. the government has always regulated health care.

    2. it’s not easy to start a program from scratch. especially one started during a panic.

    3. how can better insulated homes not be good for the planet?

    4. the government can run health care better than the private sector. the private sector only wants those that don’t need insurance. when they do get it they try and drop them.
    even republicans don’t want to repeal medicare. the proof:

    New Study: U.S. Ranks Last Among Other Industrialized Nations on Preventable Deaths
    101,000 Fewer Americans Would Die Annually If the U.S. Improved Its Preventable Death Rate to that of the Three Top Performing Nations
    http://www.commonwealthfund.org/Content/News/News-Releases/2008/Jan/New-Study–U-S–Ranks-Last-Among-Other-Industrialized-Nations-on-Preventable-Deaths.aspx

    you know why european health care works? because it covers everyone. our private insurance system doesn’t. of course anyone with common sense can see a system that covers everyone is better.

    can you imagine all the deaths and suffering(walking wounded) we would have if we didn’t have employer-based coverage, strong insurance regulation, medicare and medicaid?

  82. 82
    David Losh says:

    RE: Scotsman @ 77

    Obviously you didn’t read the article. In our State the Weatherization Project is run by http://www.washingtonenergy.com/

    This has been going on for decades. The States are given access to the money, turn the project over to a bunch of yahoos, and off they go.

    Ohio, as well as Oregon, have more successful programs than most States.

    It could be a good program. The Federal Government does it’s part in suppplying the funds, so your point is poorly made by this example.

  83. 83
    Scotsman says:

    RE: David Losh @ 82

    I read this part:

    “But after a year, the stimulus program has retrofitted 30,250 homes — about 5 percent of the overall goal — and fallen well short of the 87,000 jobs that the department planned, according to the latest available figures.”

    It’s probably too early to tell. I be they’re still getting ready- to get ready- to actually do something. Of course, by then the money will have run out. Health care work work the same way until the rationing begins. Then it just won’t work. Sweet.

  84. 84
    David Losh says:

    RE: Scotsman @ 83

    Again, you are not reading the article. The program has been in place for decades, probably since the 1970s. It’s one thing for the Federal government to provide the funds, it’s another for the States to administer the funds.

    VA on the other hand does work. It’s shameful that politicians have kept so many of our military off the program to further prop up our failed Private Health Insurance boon doggle, but thankfully that’s coming to a close.

  85. 85
    Scotsman says:

    RE: David Losh @ 84

    I think you’ve got your programs mixed up, David. Here’s an update from the same source:

    “Instead of creating 85,000 jobs with the $5 billion, the Department of Energy (which runs the program) claimed it created 8500 jobs, a tenth of the goal. That would put the cost of each job at a whopping $588,235.30, and that’s only if the DoE has its numbers right. Those numbers appear to have been calculated using the White House “saved or created” algorithm, which wasn’t exactly known for its accuracy. In any case, those jobs would likely be temporary anyway, which means we just tossed away $5 billion on temp work that mostly didn’t occur, and when it did, got done poorly.”

  86. 86
    David Losh says:

    It fascinates me that you insist the Federal government has such a limited ability to administer social programs. Let me show from the article where the problems actually are:

    “In Indiana, state-trained workers flubbed insulation jobs.”
    “The program was a hallmark of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act,”
    “The stimulus package gave a jolt to the decades-old federal Weatherization Assistance Program.”

    “Many states held off on weatherizing under the stimulus over concerns about a Depression-era law that requires contractors to pay workers wages equal to those paid for local public works projects.”
    “The Energy Department plans to hire one program officer for each state to watch for waste, fraud and mismanagement.
    That also will help to ensure crews’ performance is up to snuff.”

    “In Illinois, the staff of the department’s inspector general, Gregory Friedman, discovered that one agency weatherization inspector missed a dangerous gas leak on a newly installed furnace. State and local officials told auditors they would make sure the leak was fixed and retool statewide training materials.
    In Indiana, where workers were required to go through a state weatherization training program, local managers say they have spent hours teaching new recruits to do their jobs properly.”

    Follow the article and you will find that States want to retool the work force. Even though there are millions of construction workers who are qualified to do the job, States want to address unemployment issues. It’s always the same, it’s been going on for decades. One week some bureaucrat is pushing paper work and the next week they are inspecting furnaces.

    I don’t see the quote you just used to make your point in the article, but did see:

    ”A very rosy picture was painted that energy efficiency would be a great way to create jobs and save money,” said Michael Shellenberger, an energy expert who heads the Breakthrough Institute, an Oakland-based think tank that is financed by nonpartisan foundations and works on energy, climate change and health care issues. ”The Obama administration risks overpromising again.”

    Then found that:

    The Breakthrough Institute (TBI) has dedicated the resources of their organization to trying to kill prospects for climate and clean energy action in this Congress and to spreading disinformation about Obama, Gore, Congressional leaders, Waxman and Markey, leading climate scientists, Al Gore again, the entire environmental community and anyone else trying to end our status quo energy policies,”

    Energy conservation has been vilified for ever. I don’t understand the rational, but there have been political road blocks to any attempt to reduce our dependence on foreign oil.

  87. 87
    David Losh says:

    Now about Health Care:

    http://www.health.gov/default.asp

    The federal government administers Public Health, and VA. They also provide grants to a wide variety of health issues that are effective in targeting specific medical concerns.

    As much as any one would want to point at the English system of health care, Canada has a better system as an example.

    What I will be working toward in the next decade is a trade agreement with Canada to expand our medical services. There is no reason on earth why we should have separate health systems, and I would personally include Mexico.

    If Europeans can put thousands of years of war fare behind them to cooperate, we should be able to build the most comprehensive Health Care system on our corner of the earth.

  88. 88
    pfft says:

    By Scotsman @ 83:

    RE: David Losh @ 82

    I read this part:

    “But after a year, the stimulus program has retrofitted 30,250 homes â�� about 5 percent of the overall goal â�� and fallen well short of the 87,000 jobs that the department planned, according to the latest available figures.”

    It’s probably too early to tell. I be they’re still getting ready- to get ready- to actually do something. Of course, by then the money will have run out. Health care work work the same way until the rationing begins. Then it just won’t work. Sweet.

    what is sad is that you probably think that healthcare is working now and that there is no rationing.

  89. 89
    Scotsman says:

    RE: pfft @ 88

    You keep bringing up the efforts of insurance companies to exclude those with aids. What makes you think that a federal system under severe financial constraints isn’t going to ration care and also exclude those who have an incurable disease that can only be kept at bay by expensive drugs? Old people, high risk cases, those with unusually expensive treatments, those will be the first to go when the money gets tight. And in case you haven’t noticed, the money is already tight and the number covered ready to expand. Something has to give- aids patients will be among the first to go. After all, a very high percentage of the cases are the result of a lifestyle choice, like smoking. In England you can be denied care based on lifestyle choices. Why not here?

  90. 90
    pfft says:

    By Scotsman @ 89:

    RE: pfft @ 88

    You keep bringing up the efforts of insurance companies to exclude those with aids. What makes you think that a federal system under severe financial constraints isn’t going to ration care and also exclude those who have an incurable disease that can only be kept at bay by expensive drugs? Old people, high risk cases, those with unusually expensive treatments, those will be the first to go when the money gets tight. And in case you haven’t noticed, the money is already tight and the number covered ready to expand. Something has to give- aids patients will be among the first to go. After all, a very high percentage of the cases are the result of a lifestyle choice, like smoking. In England you can be denied care based on lifestyle choices. Why not here?

    all those are already happening so if that does happen we are back to where we are now. corrected, we will be back to where we just were but aren’t anymore.

    you guys have stop being so scared. europeans have had this system for decades and they wouldn’t take our system if we gave it to them. same with our canadian neighbors.

    the numbers are on the side of the democrats. our system costs twice and much and doesn’t give better care than the european systems. europeans don’t go bankrupt and lose their homes like we do.

  91. 91
    pfft says:

    I’ll take a chance on the nation going bankrupt to try to get 30 million people to the doctor and try to save the lives of the 45,000 americans who die every year due to our healthcare system.

    45,000 americans dying a year equals 450,000 people over a decade. that is just not acceptable.

  92. 92
    Scotsman says:

    RE: pfft @ 91

    The 45,000 deaths number is bogus.

    Here’s a real number- over 100,000 people die each year from alcohol related injuries. Why don’t we just make alcohol illegal- that would save twice as many lives at very little cost. Don’t you agree?

  93. 93
  94. 94
    pfft says:

    By Scotsman @ 92:

    RE: pfft @ 91

    The 45,000 deaths number is bogus.

    Here’s a real number- over 100,000 people die each year from alcohol related injuries. Why don’t we just make alcohol illegal- that would save twice as many lives at very little cost. Don’t you agree?

    I see a pattern. every piece of data that contradicts you is “bogus.” global warming data is bogus. economic data is bogus. now a harvard study on health care is bogus. what do you think happens when people don’t have insurance?

    “Nearly 45,000 people die in the United States each year — one every 12 minutes — in large part because they lack health insurance and can not get good care, Harvard Medical School researchers found in an analysis released on Thursday.”

    http://www.reuters.com/article/idUSTRE58G6W520090917

    more evidence.

    “101,000 Fewer Americans Would Die Annually If the U.S. Improved Its Preventable Death Rate to that of the Three Top Performing Nations”
    http://www.commonwealthfund.org/Content/News/News-Releases/2008/Jan/New-Study–U-S–Ranks-Last-Among-Other-Industrialized-Nations-on-Preventable-Deaths.aspx

    people choose to drink, to compare that to not having health insurance is sheer lunacy.

    I just realized I don’t care anymore. it passed and probably will never be repealed and there is nothing the tea partiers can do about it!

  95. 95
    David Losh says:

    RE: Scotsman @ 89

    AIDS was a known African disease since the 1940s. Research in the 1950s isolated a global health crisis. 1978 it was discovered in the gay community in the United States:

    http://www.aegis.com/topics/timeline/

    This is what bankrupted the for profit Private Health Insurance Programs in the United States. It took them 30 years before it was time to call enough, enough.

    As I’ve said before this is not a discussion. What needs to be fixed is the Insurance Industry. Let’s see World Trade Center not fixed, let’s blame the government. New Orleans, not fixed, let’s blame the government. Auto Industry building public safety features required by the Insurance Industry, let’s blame the Unions, and the government. Retro fitting houses for earthquake, for higher premiums, let’s blame the government.

    The Insurance Industry has this thing about dictating expensive requirements so they don’t have to pay. They choose to pay what is quick, and easy because all they have to do is raise premiums.

    I’m surprised that people aren’t more upset about the Insurance programs that refuse to do the job they claimed they could for all the money we give them.

    In terms of autos, homes, and personal property the Insurance Industry can play all the games they want. When it comes to the health of the People it’s time to pull the plug on a system that refuses to do the job.

  96. 96
    pfft says:

    By softwarengineer @ 74:

    RE: pfft @ 71

    Please Give Me Numbers and Facts

    don’t worry I will answer your question about green jobs. here is a sampling.

    Rise of Wind Turbines Is a Boon for Rope Workers
    http://www.nytimes.com/2009/12/25/business/25climb.html

    Green Jobs: Now Better Paying than Non-Green Jobs
    http://www.treehugger.com/files/2009/10/green-jobs-now-better-paying-than-non-green-jobs.php

    here is a guide to becoming a home energy auditor.

    HOW TO BECOME A HOME ENERGY AUDITOR
    http://www.buildingsciencetech.com/index.php?page=become-a-home-energy-auditor

  97. 97
    David Losh says:

    Where did my comment go?

  98. 98
    The Tim says:

    RE: pfft @ 94 – Just because a bunch of people repeated the 45,000 number doesn’t make it true.

    Political Science Strikes the Health Care Debate

    1) The study, which involved 9,004 subjects, is based on a single interview done with each study participant between 1988 and 1994. The interviews elicited a variety of self-reported information related to health, including insurance status. The interviewees were followed until 2000, when mortality status was determined.

    2) The researchers report that the death rate was 40% higher among those who did not have health insurance at the time of the interview.

    3) Among the many problems with the study, here are four of the most glaring; all of which will likely be missed by the media:
    • The researchers assumed that study subjects lacking health insurance at the time of the interviews did not subsequently gain or regain insurance coverage. In fact, a study subject could have received health coverage the very next day after the interview and this would not have been considered by the researchers.
    • The researchers essentially assume that lack of health insurance at the time of interview is the causal factor in the deaths that occurred. No data was gathered to back up this assumption.
    • None of the data collected during the interviews, including insurance status, was validated by the researchers.
    • The study result is statistically weak. Combined with the peculiar date-of-death cutoff (the year 2000 as opposed to any other year), it raises questions as to whether the study result was produced by “data dredging” – essentially cherry-picking data that provides the desired result.

    4) The main study author, David Himmelstein, is a well-known single-payer health insurance advocate. He the founder of Physicians for a National Health Program. No disclosure of Himmelstein’s bias or association is made in the study or the media release. See Bill Moyers’ interview with Himmelstein at http://www.pbs.org/moyers/journal/05222009/profile2.html.

    5) The lead researcher, Andrew P. Wilper, was funded by the Department of Health and Human Services ─ i.e., the Obama administration — to do the study.

  99. 99
    Scotsman says:

    RE: The Tim @ 97

    “4) The main study author, David Himmelstein, is a well-known single-payer health insurance advocate. He the founder of Physicians for a National Health Program. No disclosure of Himmelstein’s bias or association is made in the study or the media release. See Bill Moyers’ interview with Himmelstein at http://www.pbs.org/moyers/journal/05222009/profile2.html.

    5) The lead researcher, Andrew P. Wilper, was funded by the Department of Health and Human Services ─ i.e., the Obama administration — to do the study.”

    What?! I am shocked, I tell you, shocked! Science just ain’t what it used to be. Or maybe it is, and I just didn’t pay attention like I do now.

  100. 100
    David Losh says:

    RE: The Tim @ 97

    My comment contained the AIDS time line:

    http://www.aegis.com/topics/timeline/

    Statistics are one thing and logic is another. How many people were left to die in these 30 years with lack of Insurance?

    I know of one woman who died as a direct result of not having health insurance. She went to the emergency room twice, was given some pills, and sent home to die. What are the odds, that I would know some one? Another gentleman had a heart attack, was stabalized, and sent home, he’s dead. That’s two.

    Many more than 45,000 die in this country for lack of Health Insurance.

    My comment was more to do with the Insurance Industry as a broken American way of life. If the Insurance Companies want to play games with Auto, Home, and personal property, fine, but Health care is a matter of the Public Welfare.

  101. 101
    David Losh says:

    Thanks for fishing my comment.

  102. 102
    Scotsman says:

    RE: pfft @ 94

    “people choose to drink”

    Yeah, and those most at risk for aids choose to engage in known risky behavior. You can’t have it both ways. Are people responsible for the consequences of their own behavior, or not? Insurance companies have the right to either not insure known drunk drivers or charge them a higher price for coverage, but those known to be at risk for aids should get a pass?

  103. 103
    David Losh says:

    RE: Scotsman @ 102

    Man, you really stepped over the line. Reread my comment concerning AIDS at #95. AIDS in Africa was transmitted by common sexual activity. There are a lot of theories for why the gay community here in the United States became the focal point for the disease, but ultimately it can be passed by unprotected sexual activity.

    Let’s see, what more we can do for the Insurance Industry? Give up sex? Did you get the part about HPV, the Human Papaloma Virus, and women with cervical cancer? Then let’s give up alcohol, fast food, cigars, cigarettes, lead, mercury, butter, sugar, automobiles, skiing, soccer, volley ball, crossing the street, and the list goes on for the life style choices we make,

    Really, I guess it could just be sex, alcohol, cigarettes,and fatty foods. Any one else have something we can give up so the health insurance industry can function?

  104. 104
    Scotsman says:

    RE: David Losh @ 103

    You consider it “over the line.” I consider it an uncomfortable truth that reveals a bit too much of our “evolved” social norms and standards. Yes, we should give up sex, fatty foods, drinking, smoking, etc. It will be interesting when the government tells us that indeed we must give up these behaviors if we want to partake of their (not our) insurance program. Within 10 years government will be the only supplier of health insurance. How will you feel about the “insurance industry” then? What makes one risky behavior acceptable, and another not?

    Did you know that the recently passed health care bill requires all restaurants and food servers to post calorie counts on their menus- not just make them available in a brochure or wall posting as they are now? How many more steps is it until they tell you how much you can eat, or drink. or how much salt you can have? (Attempts were recently made to limit by law salt levels in resturaunts in NY) The problem is, once we start down this road we can’t come back. The government will be asking and requiring much more of you and your behavior in the future than you can possible believe, all in the name of “health,” the common good, and cost controls.

  105. 105
    Snigliastic says:

    RE: David Losh @ 103
    Um, isn’t unprotected sexual activity known to be risky, unless it’s with a long-time, stable partner?

    Once again, Losh misses the forest for the trees he also misses.

  106. 106
    David Losh says:

    RE: Scotsman @ 104

    We are the government.

    As I have said before, you should read our Bill of Rights, and Constitution. We have a say in the government.

    International corporations, like the ones who run our private health care debacle, we have no say in. They can only be regulated by the government.

    Yes I was aware that the McDonalds, Pizza Hut, KFC, and Taco Bell corporations are now required to disclose calorie counts. Would you really argue that’s not in the interest of the Public Welfare?

    Yes, I hope the blight of private health insurance is a very distant memory.

    My hope for the future is that our government takes on some of these other big business issues that have stifled our economic growth. Having portable Universal Health Coverage will open up many new private industries. Heavily regulating banking, and oil industries, will open up many more opportunities.

    The govenment is the problem when it turns it’s back on the people, and starts catering to huge business interests. Protecting dead weight Industries was never in the thoughts of our founding fathers.

  107. 107
    Snigliastic says:

    RE: Scotsman @ 104
    Scotsman,
    I believe the menu idea is a very good idea. You can feel free to ignore it. The Burgerville in Centralia has all the calorie and fat information on the walls, but sometimes you want a damn tasty burger. I think at this point, it enables people to make more informed choices about their health and what they eat. People will still eat at Claim Jumper.
    However, I think the legislation should stop there. While I think restricting calorie counts in restaurant servings is a good idea (and would be perfectly legal), it does impinge on some freedom.

  108. 108
    David Losh says:

    RE: Snigliastic @ 105

    It is now, after 30 years of mandated public education.

    Please, try to keep up.

  109. 109

    By pfft @ 90:

    By Scotsman @ 89:

    RE: pfft @ 88

    You keep bringing up the efforts of insurance companies to exclude those with aids. What makes you think that a federal system under severe financial constraints isn’t going to ration care and also exclude those who have an incurable disease that can only be kept at bay by expensive drugs? Old people, high risk cases, those with unusually expensive treatments, those will be the first to go when the money gets tight. And in case you haven’t noticed, the money is already tight and the number covered ready to expand. Something has to give- aids patients will be among the first to go. After all, a very high percentage of the cases are the result of a lifestyle choice, like smoking. In England you can be denied care based on lifestyle choices. Why not here?

    all those are already happening so if that does happen we are back to where we are now. corrected, we will be back to where we just were but aren’t anymore.

    you guys have stop being so scared. europeans have had this system for decades and they wouldn’t take our system if we gave it to them. same with our canadian neighbors.

    the numbers are on the side of the democrats. our system costs twice and much and doesn’t give better care than the european systems. europeans don’t go bankrupt and lose their homes like we do.

    Our costs will skyrocket. Fewer people will be able to have insurance because of that. No government mandate is going to change that.

  110. 110
    David Losh says:

    RE: Kary L. Krismer @ 109RE: David Losh @ 108

    My comment was unkind to snigliastic.

    It’s frustrating that so many people don’t see the AIDS epidemic for how it happened. It was a Public Health issue. Cerivical Cancer, right now, and for the past 30 years, has been a Public Health issue. The Human Paploma Virus is a sexually transmitted disease, preventable by the use of condoms.

    Private health insurance will never be able to get in front of people to warn against at risk behavior.

    Between 1976, and 1980, our private health insurance companies provided coverage to adult males with HIV without knowing what it was. From 1980, to 1984, as more men were dumped into the medicaid, medicare system, more interest was paid to the symptoms. If you look at the spread of the disease while we fooled around with it, you can see that some mobalization should have taken place sooner.

    HPV, on the other hand, was found in the Public Health System with little, or no, interest in it because it was a women’s issue. I kid you not that was the term. The private sector has less interest in women’s health issues. Breast cancer is used as the most notable example.

    Between HIV, and HPV, we have a few billion dollars of health care that can be prevented by the use of condoms. Will the private health insurance programs give a good sex discount? I think not.

    These are the reasons that AIDS is used as an example of why we need a stronger Public Health Option.

  111. 111
    sleepwalker says:

    I think housing prices are in Seattle are high.

  112. 112
    One Eyed Man says:

    RE: Scotsman @ 104

    So you say:

    “Within 10 years government will be the only supplier of health insurance.”

    I think the Canadians would probably disagree:

    “About 30% of Canadians’ health care is paid for through the private sector. This mostly goes towards services not covered or only partially covered by Medicare, such as prescription drugs, dentistry and optometry. Some 65% of Canadians have some form of supplementary private health insurance; many of them receive it through their employers.[36] There are also large private entities that can buy priority access to medical services in Canada, such as WCB in BC.”

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Health_care_in_Canada

  113. 113

    Apparently the health bill isn’t necessarily as advertised:

    http://seattletimes.nwsource.com/html/nationworld/2011468255_healthchild29.html

    What this goes to is an issue I raised–that excluding pre-existing conditions before you had mandatory coverage is putting the cart before the horse. Well apparently the insurance industry is saying they won’t have to issue a policy to someone that has a pre-existing condition, but if they do that they can’t exclude the pre-existing condition. So basically you still won’t be able to get coverage until 2014 in most cases.

    This is actually a good thing for most of us because if it were as advertised insurance costs would skyrocket as those with pre-existing conditions jumped on immediately, while those without waited until 2014. Also, it probably means that it will be at least 2015 before insurance companies stop writing new individual policies altogether, even for those without issues.

  114. 114
    Daniel says:

    By Kary L. Krismer @ 73:

    But the idea that they have the right to go back and look at someone who is a new customer and suddenly comes down with an expensive disease isn’t an invalid thought. But now it’s irrelevant because they won’t be able to preclude those with pre-existing conditions, or limit the total payout for an individual, which will mean that insurance costs will skyrocket for everyone else, especially during the period that we’re waiting for insurance coverage to be mandatory. The politicians like to pretend the money to pay for these things is free, but what they’re really trying to do is move the cost from the government budget to employers and those paying for their own insurance.

    I agree that there are no real measures to prevent insane profits on the insurance side. Having said that you just need to look at the 30+ other countries where people are not excluded and this tells quite a different story. I love all those scary stories about rationing care elsewhere but most of them are just nonsense. In one case I experienced this first hand as my wife had a condition associated with a “waiting list” in Canada. Turns out that list is only for non-acute cases and that she got treatment right away. After that first procedure which solved the problem temporarily she is on the waiting list and turns out the risk is lower if you do not perform both procedures at the same time =)

  115. 115
    pfft says:

    By The Tim @ 98:

    RE: pfft @ 94 – Just because a bunch of people repeated the 45,000 number doesn’t make it true.

    Political Science Strikes the Health Care Debate

    1) The study, which involved 9,004 subjects, is based on a single interview done with each study participant between 1988 and 1994. The interviews elicited a variety of self-reported information related to health, including insurance status. The interviewees were followed until 2000, when mortality status was determined.

    2) The researchers report that the death rate was 40% higher among those who did not have health insurance at the time of the interview.

    3) Among the many problems with the study, here are four of the most glaring; all of which will likely be missed by the media:
    • The researchers assumed that study subjects lacking health insurance at the time of the interviews did not subsequently gain or regain insurance coverage. In fact, a study subject could have received health coverage the very next day after the interview and this would not have been considered by the researchers.
    • The researchers essentially assume that lack of health insurance at the time of interview is the causal factor in the deaths that occurred. No data was gathered to back up this assumption.
    • None of the data collected during the interviews, including insurance status, was validated by the researchers.
    • The study result is statistically weak. Combined with the peculiar date-of-death cutoff (the year 2000 as opposed to any other year), it raises questions as to whether the study result was produced by “data dredging” – essentially cherry-picking data that provides the desired result.

    4) The main study author, David Himmelstein, is a well-known single-payer health insurance advocate. He the founder of Physicians for a National Health Program. No disclosure of Himmelstein’s bias or association is made in the study or the media release. See Bill Moyers’ interview with Himmelstein at http://www.pbs.org/moyers/journal/05222009/profile2.html.

    5) The lead researcher, Andrew P. Wilper, was funded by the Department of Health and Human Services ─ i.e., the Obama administration — to do the study.

    I googled steven milloy and it was the most awesome search I’ve ever done.

    it involves.

    cato
    CEI
    big tobacco
    big oil
    evolution
    climate change
    DDT

    read his bio.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Steven_Milloy

  116. 116
    pfft says:

    By sleepwalker @ 111:

    I think housing prices are in Seattle are high.

    so why are you on a healthcare blog telling us that?

  117. 117
    The Tim says:

    RE: pfft @ 115 – Good for you. Do you have any substantive criticisms of the actual content of his post? He points out some valid problems with the study in question, but your only response is basically that he’s a Fox News goon so everything he says is worthless?

  118. 118
    pfft says:

    By Kary L. Krismer @ 109:

    By pfft @ 90:

    By Scotsman @ 89:

    RE: pfft @ 88

    You keep bringing up the efforts of insurance companies to exclude those with aids. What makes you think that a federal system under severe financial constraints isn’t going to ration care and also exclude those who have an incurable disease that can only be kept at bay by expensive drugs? Old people, high risk cases, those with unusually expensive treatments, those will be the first to go when the money gets tight. And in case you haven’t noticed, the money is already tight and the number covered ready to expand. Something has to give- aids patients will be among the first to go. After all, a very high percentage of the cases are the result of a lifestyle choice, like smoking. In England you can be denied care based on lifestyle choices. Why not here?

    all those are already happening so if that does happen we are back to where we are now. corrected, we will be back to where we just were but aren’t anymore.

    you guys have stop being so scared. europeans have had this system for decades and they wouldn’t take our system if we gave it to them. same with our canadian neighbors.

    the numbers are on the side of the democrats. our system costs twice and much and doesn’t give better care than the european systems. europeans don’t go bankrupt and lose their homes like we do.

    Our costs will skyrocket. Fewer people will be able to have insurance because of that. No government mandate is going to change that.

    why will costs skyrocket? europe and canada spend less per capita than the US and gets the same outcomes. all of the government health systems in the US have lower costs. medicare has almost no overhead.

  119. 119
    pfft says:

    By The Tim @ 117:

    RE: pfft @ 115 – Good for you. Do you have any substantive criticisms of the actual content of his post? He points out some valid problems with the study in question, but your only response is basically that he’s a Fox News goon so everything he says is worthless?

    I don’t have a doctorate in mathematics to judge a harvard study. I instinctively believe Harvard over someone who doesn’t believe in evolution, climate change, the clean air act because it restricts freedom and just seems to be skeptical about conventional wisdom on any subject.

    here is another study.

    http://www.usatoday.com/news/health/healthcare/2002-05-22-insurance-deaths.htm

  120. 120
    Scotsman says:

    RE: One Eyed Man @ 112

    That’s nice. Last time I checked we weren’t in Canada.

  121. 121
    Scotsman says:

    RE: pfft @ 118

    ” medicare has almost no overhead”

    Really? It just sort of “happens?” Skittle pooping unicorns just make the magic happen, eh?!

    That’s it- it you clearly don’t have an understanding of how any of this works.

  122. 122
    One Eyed Man says:

    RE: Scotsman @ 120

    Haven’t you heard, after our Federal government defaults and the currency collapses Washington will be sold to raise cash and become one of the new southern provinces. Aye. ;-)

  123. 123
    Scotsman says:

    RE: One Eyed Man @ 122

    You’ll have to learn to speak Canadian. It’s “eh?”, not “aye”

    Molsons for all, eh!

  124. 124
    One Eyed Man says:

    RE: Scotsman @ 123

    Just as long as I don’t have to learn to speak French. As you know I’m still in remedial classes learning to spell English.

  125. 125

    By pfft @ 118:

    By Kary L. Krismer @ 109:

    By pfft @ 90:

    By Scotsman @ 89:

    RE: pfft @ 88

    You keep bringing up the efforts of insurance companies to exclude those with aids. What makes you think that a federal system under severe financial constraints isn’t going to ration care and also exclude those who have an incurable disease that can only be kept at bay by expensive drugs? Old people, high risk cases, those with unusually expensive treatments, those will be the first to go when the money gets tight. And in case you haven’t noticed, the money is already tight and the number covered ready to expand. Something has to give- aids patients will be among the first to go. After all, a very high percentage of the cases are the result of a lifestyle choice, like smoking. In England you can be denied care based on lifestyle choices. Why not here?

    all those are already happening so if that does happen we are back to where we are now. corrected, we will be back to where we just were but aren’t anymore.

    you guys have stop being so scared. europeans have had this system for decades and they wouldn’t take our system if we gave it to them. same with our canadian neighbors.

    the numbers are on the side of the democrats. our system costs twice and much and doesn’t give better care than the european systems. europeans don’t go bankrupt and lose their homes like we do.

    Our costs will skyrocket. Fewer people will be able to have insurance because of that. No government mandate is going to change that.

    why will costs skyrocket? europe and canada spend less per capita than the US and gets the same outcomes. all of the government health systems in the US have lower costs. medicare has almost no overhead.

    I was talking specifically of insurance costs. Those will skyrocket because this is really just a plan to move the uninsured today from the government rolls to insurance. Money doesn’t just come from insurance companies for free. They charge more when they have to pay out more.

  126. 126
    The Kid says:

    RE: Scotsman @ 104RE: Scotsman @ 104

    Ahh, the old “slippery slope” argument, the last refuge of the paranoid. Where does it all end!

    Fire and brimstone coming down from the skies! Rivers and seas boiling!
    Forty years of darkness! Earthquakes, volcanoes…
    The dead rising from the grave!
    Human sacrifice, dogs and cats living together… mass hysteria!

    They’ve put calorie counts in a slightly more accessible place. This is an unmistakable omen of the end times.

    I’m scared, Scotsman. Hold me.

  127. 127
    Scotsman says:

    RE: The Kid @ 126

    You should be scared. Your life is soon to be controlled by idiots who can’t even count heads or manage an IT program properly for the census, even though thousands of businesses do it all day long. But don’t worry, even though they can’t run a computer, they know what kind of medical care they can afford to give you, or not. And they know what to tell your doctor- NO!

    ““Key information technology systems continue to experience performance functionality shortfalls and these systems can affect the ultimate scheduled cost and success of the Census,” said Gordon. ”

    http://cnsnews.com/news/article/63380

  128. 128
    pfft says:

    By Scotsman @ 121:

    RE: pfft @ 118

    ” medicare has almost no overhead”

    Really? It just sort of “happens?” Skittle pooping unicorns just make the magic happen, eh?!

    That’s it- it you clearly don’t have an understanding of how any of this works.

    I know that medicare’s overhead is practically nothing. the health insurance companies though spend all kinds of money to deny people insurance because of pre-existing conditions, deny claims and use money to lobby and advertise.

    I do know that the insurance industry abuses are so bad that the american people demanded change even though they have had an aversion to a system that has more government. that is unless they don’t have medicare, medicaid, their employer or care through the VA. then they love the government.

    how many here no for sure that they would get coverage if we didn’t have a government mandate on employers to provide insurance if they want a tax break? I bet a lot of people who are against Obamacare wouldn’t get healthcare but for the employer mandate.

  129. 129
    Mikal says:

    RE: Scotsman @ 127 – Why, is Sarah Palin soon to be elected?

  130. 130
    pfft says:

    By Kary L. Krismer @ 125:

    By pfft @ 118:

    By Kary L. Krismer @ 109:

    By pfft @ 90:

    By Scotsman @ 89:

    RE: pfft @ 88

    You keep bringing up the efforts of insurance companies to exclude those with aids. What makes you think that a federal system under severe financial constraints isn’t going to ration care and also exclude those who have an incurable disease that can only be kept at bay by expensive drugs? Old people, high risk cases, those with unusually expensive treatments, those will be the first to go when the money gets tight. And in case you haven’t noticed, the money is already tight and the number covered ready to expand. Something has to give- aids patients will be among the first to go. After all, a very high percentage of the cases are the result of a lifestyle choice, like smoking. In England you can be denied care based on lifestyle choices. Why not here?

    all those are already happening so if that does happen we are back to where we are now. corrected, we will be back to where we just were but aren’t anymore.

    you guys have stop being so scared. europeans have had this system for decades and they wouldn’t take our system if we gave it to them. same with our canadian neighbors.

    the numbers are on the side of the democrats. our system costs twice and much and doesn’t give better care than the european systems. europeans don’t go bankrupt and lose their homes like we do.

    Our costs will skyrocket. Fewer people will be able to have insurance because of that. No government mandate is going to change that.

    why will costs skyrocket? europe and canada spend less per capita than the US and gets the same outcomes. all of the government health systems in the US have lower costs. medicare has almost no overhead.

    I was talking specifically of insurance costs. Those will skyrocket because this is really just a plan to move the uninsured today from the government rolls to insurance. Money doesn’t just come from insurance companies for free. They charge more when they have to pay out more.

    the insurance companies are for the mandate if we close the pre-existing conditions and recission because they get a larger pool that is usually a much younger demographic. the younger demographic needs little care comparatively. while they insurance companies have to pay for the sick and insure people they may not want to, they get a new young pool that doesn’t need care but will pay premiums for years.

  131. 131
    pfft says:

    By Scotsman @ 127:

    RE: The Kid @ 126

    You should be scared. Your life is soon to be controlled by idiots who can’t even count heads or manage an IT program properly for the census, even though thousands of businesses do it all day long. But don’t worry, even though they can’t run a computer, they know what kind of medical care they can afford to give you, or not. And they know what to tell your doctor- NO!

    “â��Key information technology systems continue to experience performance functionality shortfalls and these systems can affect the ultimate scheduled cost and success of the Census,â�� said Gordon. ”

    http://cnsnews.com/news/article/63380

    I don’t think you really understand what has happened. you are just mandated to buy insurance. the government just writes some more regulations.

    for all your scare-mongering even republicans won’t abolish medicare or medicaid. bush couldn’t even privatize SS.

    Anthony Weiner introduces amendement to repeal Medicare; puts Republicans on the Spot
    http://www.democraticunderground.com/discuss/duboard.php?az=view_all&address=385×345627

    what you don’t get is that doctors and patients are more in control now instead of the insurance companies. the government has only written more rules because of insurance industry abuses.

  132. 132
    David Losh says:

    Health Care Reform is a concern because it adds to the entitlement programs of Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid.

    I heard today that those three programs will take $100 trillion dollars to fund.

    OK, let’s call Social Security a lost cause. Maybe it should wind down.

    Public Health, Medicare, and Medicaid, along with VA, are harder to argue against. Expansion of a Public Option is a choice, in my opinion a lot of people would take, and pay for.

    All anyone was asking for is the same Health Benefits the people of Congress have. The cost of a family plan to a person of Congress was $7K. I’d pay that.

    Actually I would pay for a Public Health Option because I would get more Health Care.

    I understand the concern for using tax dollars. What bothers me is that the Republicans blocked my ability to buy into a government run program.

    I would prefer a health care plan run by the government.

  133. 133

    By pfft @ 130:

    the insurance companies are for the mandate if we close the pre-existing conditions and recission because they get a larger pool that is usually a much younger demographic. the younger demographic needs little care comparatively. while they insurance companies have to pay for the sick and insure people they may not want to, they get a new young pool that doesn’t need care but will pay premiums for years.

    And I would agree with that. The problem is the administration is arguing that the pre-existing exclusion kicks in right away, while the “mandate’ doesn’t kick in until 2014, and even then it’s not really a mandate. It’s cheaper to pay the penalty. Much cheaper. And I believe the penalty goes to the government, not the insurance company that then has to pay out a lot more money.

  134. 134
    Scotsman says:

    RE: pfft @ 131

    “what you don’t get is that doctors and patients are more in control now instead of the insurance companies”

    I can’t take you seriously anymore. At least Losh makes sense once in a while, puts some creative thought into his posts, and trys. But today you’ve really outdone yourself. First we get the assertion that Medicare doesn’t have any (administrative) overhead, and now this- that doctors and patients are in control. Let me give you a big hint about life- he who writes the checks, or pays the bills, has the control. In this case, that would be the insurance companies. Sure, there are some contractual limits through your policy on how they are required to perform, but that isn’t the same as control. Come on back when your life experience is a bit broader than just reading democratic underground, daily kos, etc. Until then, take care.

  135. 135
    Scotsman says:

    Stupid me, or stupid pong game? I can’t get past three.

  136. 136
    David Losh says:

    RE: Scotsman @ 134

    It occurs to me you have no idea what you have, or what you are entitled to.

    You have a Health Insurance Policy, or benefit through your employer.

    Most people think that when they pick a doctor, or hospital that they are in the driver’s seat. You’re correct: “In this case, that would be the insurance companies.”

    Your doctor, or the hospital, does not care about you. Even if they did, they are required to follow the protocols. You have 15 minutes with the doctor, he has a list of treatments he follows, and everything is based on the profitability of the procedures.

    You are a set of policies, protocols, and procedures. No one cares, no one has to.

    The Republicans want Tort Reform so your doctor, and hospital, can care even less.

    Having a Health Insurance Policy, or benefit is much different from having health care.

    Most people are unaware of how bad our system is because they are still economically viable. A young professional comes in to get a leg set, or an auto accident in the Mercedes, and pow, he’s fixed. A woman with breast cancer takes her chances, even if she is an attorney. MS, you’re further down the food chain, heart transplant, OK, heart disease, more risky. It’s all actuaries. All anyone cares about is getting paid. No one has to think twice about you. It’s cheaper to kill you than maim you. No one cares, and if they say that they do, they’re lying.

    That’s your health insurance Policy in a nut shell. Every one finds out in the end, but by then it’s too late.

    Your money, or your life, you chose what to fight for.

  137. 137
    David Losh says:

    Here’s another tid bit that you should consider when defending your Health Insurance Policy, hospital staph infections. I’m connecting a link that seems kind of beniegn: http://cornellsun.com/node/25303

    I didn’t read it because a Google search of hospital staph infections is enough to scare you. There’s no money in your Health Insurance Policy to address this issue. It just runs rampant.

    Can it be fixed? You betcha, but who’s going to pay the expense? Government? It has to be an epidemic first. Wait for it, it’s what you have to look forward to.

  138. 138
    Daniel says:

    By David Losh @ 137:

    Can it be fixed? You betcha, but who’s going to pay the expense? Government? It has to be an epidemic first. Wait for it, it’s what you have to look forward to.

    Actually, fixing this will cost pretty much nothing: http://www.reporternews.com/news/2010/jan/01/norway-cuts-antibiotics-successfully-battles/

    Not rocket science if one thinks about it.

  139. 139
    David Losh says:

    RE: Daniel @ 138

    Read the article. A Public Health system can afford to isolate patients, do the research, and change the protocols for the use of antibiotics.

    Private Health Insurance makes policy rather than direct protocols.

    This is another example of how our Private Health Insurance system inadequately protects the citizens of the United States in favor of the smallest of profits.

  140. 140
    pfft says:

    By Scotsman @ 134:

    RE: pfft @ 131

    “what you donâ��t get is that doctors and patients are more in control now instead of the insurance companies”

    I can’t take you seriously anymore. At least Losh makes sense once in a while, puts some creative thought into his posts, and trys. But today you’ve really outdone yourself. First we get the assertion that Medicare doesn’t have any (administrative) overhead, and now this- that doctors and patients are in control. Let me give you a big hint about life- he who writes the checks, or pays the bills, has the control. In this case, that would be the insurance companies. Sure, there are some contractual limits through your policy on how they are required to perform, but that isn’t the same as control. Come on back when your life experience is a bit broader than just reading democratic underground, daily kos, etc. Until then, take care.

    one someone uses the life experience card they usually are saying they have lost the debate. do you realize that someone can have more life experience than you and disagree with you? you can’t even get my quotes right, so much for life experience.

    “I know that medicare’s overhead is practically nothing.”

    “all of the government health systems in the US have lower costs. medicare has almost no overhead.”

    paul krugman has life experience. he can fill in for me. he went to yale. Phd from MIT. has traveled all over the world. has written numerous textbooks, books and writes an op-ed column for the New York Times. he also won a nobel prize and is a princeton professor. I sense an anti-intellectual streak in your views, so all that education might turn you off. nonetheless, here is what he says about administrative costs:

    “Medicare’s administrative costs are around 2 percent of benefits, so 98 percent gets spent on health care, while companies providing individual insurance typically have “medical loss ratios” – the percentage of premiums spent on health care — of only around 80 percent.”

    http://krugman.blogs.nytimes.com/2007/02/09/john-edwards-raises-the-bar-on-health-care/?pagemode=print

    “Let me give you a big hint about life- he who writes the checks, or pays the bills, has the control. In this case, that would be the insurance companies.”

    you have been saying that the government was now in control and could do all sorts of bad things. now you are saying the government isn’t in control? which one is it? the truth is we write the checks and we vote at the polls.

  141. 141
    Scotsman says:

    RE: pfft @ 140

    I’m sorry, but Paul Krugman on- JOHN EDWARDS- getting it “right”?? From Feb. 2007? Certainly the two most credible sources you could find- and so current! An idiot partisan tool passé economist endorsing an idiot passé adulterous ridiculed politician. But of course!

    I’m dying here. I need air. My wife is telling me to walk away from the keyboard, and that I will only succeed in reducing myself to the lowest common level. You win, I quit, I won’t respond to any more of your posts. I won’t, I won’t I won’t.

    Love ya, hope you really do get more from life than you ever dreamed possible. It’s still a great country. Good night.

  142. 142
    Mikal says:

    RE: pfft @ 140RE: Scotsman @ 141 – Neither one of you look at the middle nor know your ass from a hole in the ground. How can you guys read some of the stuff you quote, just goofy crap, and seriously believe it. You are so blinded by your own politics that you are unwilling to really see what your side is doing in your name. The republican and democratic partys are doing it solely for themselves. The one big loser in the health care deal might be Harry Reid, but I’m guessing that a million dollar job will be waiting for him regardless. Look at what these guys do when done with “public” office when they are done.

  143. 143
    pfft says:

    By Scotsman @ 141:

    RE: pfft @ 140

    I’m sorry, but Paul Krugman on- JOHN EDWARDS- getting it “right”?? From Feb. 2007? Certainly the two most credible sources you could find- and so current! An idiot partisan tool passé economist endorsing an idiot passé adulterous ridiculed politician. But of course!

    I’m dying here. I need air. My wife is telling me to walk away from the keyboard, and that I will only succeed in reducing myself to the lowest common level. You win, I quit, I won’t respond to any more of your posts. I won’t, I won’t I won’t.

    Love ya, hope you really do get more from life than you ever dreamed possible. It’s still a great country. Good night.

    you can’t admit the fact that you were wrong. john edwards has nothing to do with this. krugman is right. medicare has a lot less overhead. deal with it!

  144. 144
    pfft says:

    By Mikal @ 142:

    RE: pfft @ 140RE: Scotsman @ 141 – Neither one of you look at the middle nor know your ass from a hole in the ground. How can you guys read some of the stuff you quote, just goofy crap, and seriously believe it. You are so blinded by your own politics that you are unwilling to really see what your side is doing in your name. The republican and democratic partys are doing it solely for themselves. The one big loser in the health care deal might be Harry Reid, but I’m guessing that a million dollar job will be waiting for him regardless. Look at what these guys do when done with “public” office when they are done.

    I am in it for the 31 million people who will see a doctor. I am in it for the tens of millions of undersinsured. I am in it for the 45,000(or at least 20,000) people who die each year for lack of health care. obama’s plan is very much centrist. it’s not much different from Romneycare or what Bob Dole proposed as a counter to Hillarycare in the 90s.

    I wanted single-payer! that is compromise.

  145. 145
    The Tim says:

    NOTE: Starting today, March 31, if you want to talk about health care, I have created a dedicated post for that topic. Any comments on the subject of health care posted anywhere else will be moved to that post.

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