Posted by: 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.

76 responses to “Monday Open Thread (2010-03-29)”

  1. BillE

    Somebody please explain to me how the process of buying new construction is different from buying an existing home. What’s the point of a buyer’s agent with new construction? Let’s say I’m interested in a new development. The homes aren’t completed yet, so there’s no home to tour with my agent. Houses in this development seem to be selling so I doubt there’s much room to negotiate price. What’s my agent going to do to earn a commission? Do I even bother to call him, or just call the listing agent?

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  2. One Eyed Man

    RE: BillE @ 1

    A really good agent who knows new construction might be worth their salt in that situation, but in my experience the average agent lacks the expertise to provide the level of representation needed. A pre-sale buyer should probably consult an attorney if they want to understand the risks of construction and the significance of many of the clauses in the builders standard form pre-sale addendum. A good real estate attorney should be more knowledgable about the risks of construction and the details of mechanics liens, importance of warranties and other items including how to incorporate plans and specifications (and perhaps a reference to a completed home by the builder in another subdivision) into the contract to make sure the buyer gets what they bargained for.

    Notwithstanding the above, in most cases, the buyer can probably still use a discount agent to also assist with the transaction, and capture part of the selling office commission as a rebate. There are some issues that can arise, like requirements that the agent be present at all showings, etc, but in most cases, there is some commission money the buyer can pick up (and probably enough to pay for the hourly fee they’ll owe the attorney often needed to fill in what the agent can’t be expected to do).

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  3. Kary L. Krismer

    By BillE @ 1:

    Somebody please explain to me how the process of buying new construction is different from buying an existing home. What’s the point of a buyer’s agent with new construction? Let’s say I’m interested in a new development. The homes aren’t completed yet, so there’s no home to tour with my agent. Houses in this development seem to be selling so I doubt there’s much room to negotiate price. What’s my agent going to do to earn a commission? Do I even bother to call him, or just call the listing agent?

    The seller will be more likely to negotiate upgrades than price. Once they negotiate price, that becomes public knowledge, and they lose bargaining position.

    I’m not a big fan of new construction due to quality concerns over some of the materials used (e.g. hose for water supply), lot size issues, and the biggest concern, you don’t have a clue what the neighborhood will be like in 5 years. But I do have to admit that the pricing of some of the projects has become rather attractive.

    I would be very reluctant to buy before they even start construction. There might be issues that are not apparent. For example, there was some new construction in Skyway a couple of years ago, on Beacon Ave. S., where the houses were built relatively low relative to grade, and the grade sloped toward the houses. It wasn’t really apparent why they didn’t build them at least 6-12″ higher. You’re not likely to see that prior to the start of construction, if not even later, and there could be other things that are not apparent until later on too, like the quality of the finish work.

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  4. Scotsman
  5. BillE

    Thanks guys. My question stems from a conversation I had with someone who bought new construction and felt his agent wasn’t necessary in the process.
    There are mixed opinions on new construction, but some builders are getting more reasonable with their prices.

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  6. Dawn Glover

    About today’s stat that consumer spending rose slightly, does anyone else think that perhaps that the $8000 tax credit that was issued to new home buyers contributed to this? I also can’t help but think that those that are no longer paying mortgage payments may be continuing to spend in other areas. Also, wall street bonus money could add to the numbers. I for one am not believing that there is a recovery under way….

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  7. Kary L. Krismer

    RE: Dawn Glover @ 6 – I think it’s most likely due mainly to the fact that people had the crap scared out of them last year and weren’t in a spending mood.

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  8. Scotsman

    RE: Dawn Glover @ 6

    You’re correct- pull out the stimulus and there’s no growth. Read all about it:

    http://market-ticker.org/archives/2133-Where-Did-The-Income-Go.html

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  9. Trigger

    RE: Scotsman @ 8 – Scotsman – Stimulus was put in exactly to get rid of unemployment and get growth going. If the deficit gets too big you just print yourself out of the mess.

    I think people said that almost 1 year ago. Not a biggie. I think Helicopter Ben is doing what he promised. He is getting liquidity up. Things are going well.

    I would not worry about the deficit too much. We will print if push comes to shove. And the rest of the world will be cool with this. If the US goes under they will take a dive as well.

    No need to worry about currency depreciation. The currencies in the rest of the world are not better off. So not a biggie. Go bike and hike. And let the govt hire unemployed people. And just do cash infusions to the economy like crazy. Let’s watch this grow!

    Anybody still believes in this deflation theory?!!

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  10. Lake Hills Renter

    Wow. I wonder if this will survive appeal — Judge Nullifies Gene Patents

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  11. Scotsman

    If the government can mandate that you purchase health insurance, why can’t they mandate that you purchase anything else, say a GM car? What difference is there?
    Those Prius drivers are going to be pissed.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Tu3EXGwRitU&feature=player_embedded

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  12. Daniel

    By Lake Hills Renter @ 10:

    Wow. I wonder if this will survive appeal — Judge Nullifies Gene Patents

    I sure hope it will. And while we are at it lets also nullify all software patents. Both are only a perversion of a good idea to feed lawyers and modern day robber knights under their t(r)oll bridges.

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  13. David Losh

    RE: Scotsman @ 11

    This is another clip of how badly the Republican party has misread the American people. The vast, majority of conservatives are fed up with the Sarah Palin brand of mockery. We’re tired of the unAmerican activity of entertainers like Rush Limbaugh, Shawn Hannity, and a Glen Beck. the Boehner guy looks like a snake with pearly teeth.

    We’re tired of sound bites about how bad things are now, and how good things were way back when. No Republican has a positive talking point. All they ever say is, America bad, but better than Europe.

    As Sarah says, the Tea Party isn’t the party of No, it’s the party of Heck No. Of course I had to clean that up for her, but you get the idea.

    We’re tired of it.

    We want to hear solutions that don’t involve the government giving more tax breaks, deregulation, or use of Federal Land. We’re especially tired of hearing about oil.

    It’s time to move on, no pun intended. This way back machine that has become the Republican Party should get some new blood, and a back bone.

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  14. One Eyed Man

    RE: Scotsman @ 11

    The discussion on the constitutionality of the health care bill lacks any real depth on the legal issues. The following articles won’t give you the answer to who wins the constitutionality debate, but they’ll give you enough legal background so that you’ll know more than the talking heads. It’s basically just a law review article on the commerce clause by a law school professor followed by some Wiki sections on the constitutionality of taxes. As you’ll see, the law professor thinks that the bill is contitutional under the current case law on the commerce clause, but he also thinks that those cases are incorrectly decided.

    http://volokh.com/archives/archive_2009_09_20-2009_09_26.shtml#1253489281

    http://papers.ssrn.com/sol3/papers.cfm?abstract_id=916965##

    http://www.law.cornell.edu/supct/html/03-1454.ZS.html

    A second and perhaps subordinate issue to the commerce clause debate would be whether the “penalty” for not getting health insurance is an unconstitutional tax. I’m not sure about the final bill, but the earlier drafts of the health care bill called the penalty a tax and assessed the penalty as a tax. The issues might include whether it is a direct tax applied based on population (I believe direct taxes are authorized in the constitution without the need for the 16th Amendment that authorized the income tax) and whether an exemption from tax based upon the purchase of health care insurance is also constitutional. The articles are just from Wiki and merely provide a brief discussion on the constitutionality of taxes under Art I Sec 8 of the Constitution and on the 16th Amendment (if you’re psychotic enough to want to do that sort of thing).

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

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Direct_tax#U.S._constitutional_law_sense

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

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

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  15. Scotsman

    RE: One Eyed Man @ 14

    Thanks- that’s my project for tomorrow. So far there’s been a lot of noise, but little meat to the discussion. I don’t think this issue will ever translate well to digestible sound bites for public consumption, but I hope to have a better understanding of the core issues.

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  16. Trigger

    Stocks are zooming along. Are there people who still believe we are in some kind of depression and the govt cannot do anything to inflate the economy?

    Will we surpass 11,000 points?

    Last year was a good year to get rich. You just needed to put some money in Dow. That’s all. And just wait and get your money coming.

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  17. SammamishRenter

    http://finance.yahoo.com/news/Home-prices-post-smallest-apf-3722911936.html?x=0

    Seattle? Not so rosy. 4% drop (147.54) compared to 154.37 in January 2009.

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  18. softwarengineer

    RE: Trigger @ 16

    Now, After the 2009/2010 “Bailout Boom” Pops for the Stock Market Bubble

    When do you time selling your stocks?

    I betcha even Buffet can’t answer that question right….LOL

    But you are right, all them Wall Street Bonus bailout payoffs meant money made the last 12 months in the stock market….I made a killing too :-)

    But I’m not haughty enough to admit I could lose a killing too and potentially very soon, if I don’t sell at the right time. BTW, the Great Depression had the same historic anomaly, article in part:

    “…The Great Depression had barely started, and the stock market suffered losses of another 85 percent measured from this interim high of 1930. How does the current rally compare to this frightening potential predecessor? There is a scary similarity between the 1930 rally and 2009’s. Well, from the March low the S&P 500 has soared 69 percent in nine months. In doing so it recouped a bit more than 50 percent of its former losses. But it’s still 27 percent below its all time high of October 2007. Yes, the market rallied strongly in 2009. But it did the same thing in 1930. History then tells us that the current stock market rally is not sufficient enough to reason that the worst is over….”

    http://jutiagroup.com/2009/12/30/a-low-volume-stock-market-rally-and-a-burst-real-estate-bubble/

    Trigger, just as the Bible says: “A haughty man goeth before the fall.”

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  19. TJ_98370

    RE: Scotsman @ 11

    What is the difference between states mandating that you have car insurance and the federal government mandating that you have health insurance?

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  20. EconE

    RE: TJ_98370 @ 20

    Car insurance is liability only. No mandate for comp or collision unless there is a lienholder.

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  21. Lake Hills Renter

    By The Tim @ 21:

    I think after this week I’m going to banish the subject of health care / health insurance from the comments.

    Thank you. But I suspect the partisan rhetoric will just choose a new topic. Unfortunately, the open threads have become a front line for red state vs blue state among the regulars, drowning out most non political topics. At least, that’s the way it seems to me.

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  22. Ira Sacharoff

    By EconE @ 23:

    RE: TJ_98370 @ 20

    Car insurance is liability only. No mandate for comp or collision unless there is a lienholder.

    If we’re going with the car analogy, the equivalent would be that other people will be covered if they catch anything from us ( liability) but if we injure ourselves hitting ourselves in the head with a computer monitor, there is no coverage?
    Or is it simply that requiring everyone to have a high deductible catastrophic policy would be a better equivalent?

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  23. Trigger

    RE: softwarengineer @ 19 – I think people are all crazy about Obama. They love the project where the govt will provide jobs for unemployed. It will get cash into the system quickly while boosting confidence.

    I think people feel strong that the US has nukes, we have debt in US currency so we can print.

    They feel that interest rates on bonds will not go up because of printing. There are lots of countries that depend on the US and will buy US debt even if it depreciates a little.

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  24. Fran Tarkenton

    RE: The Tim @ 22 – “1) It’s not the federal government’s job as defined by the Constitution.”

    If I may, http://www.theonion.com/articles/area-man-passionate-defender-of-what-he-imagines-c,2849/

    The Supreme Court – spanning many years and many justices having many viewpoints – has consistently interpreted the commerce clause as giving the federal government broad rights in regulating things that affect interstate commerce. For instance, the S.Ct. during WWII ruled that the commerce clause extended to give the feds power to regulate growing and selling wheat entirely within a state’s borders. The outer limits of these powers has been set by /US v. Morrison/ (the Violence Against Women Act) and /US v. Lopez/ (outlawing handguns in schools). Both cases were decided last decade and both laws were held unconstitutional because the subject matter regulated was too attenuated relative to interstate commerce. Given that framework, federal regulation of health insurance falls well within what is black letter law as Constitutional.

    You may believe that the role of federal government /should/ be much narrower, but a belief that the federal government’s role as defined by the Constitution is much narrower is not supported by the facts.

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  25. Trigger

    RE: The Tim @ 22 – The Tim – but in socialist countries the govt has a big role in guiding its citizens what to do and what not to do. So a govt employee gets to decide on a lot of things.

    I think the society chose Obama precisely because it wants more guidance and wants to believe that the govt can help them.

    High taxes are also part of the bigger govt unfortunately but maybe Obama will ask the Chinese to pay the tax instead or sthg. But regardless I think all the people are for big govt so that it can tell them what to do.

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  26. Kary L. Krismer

    RE: The Tim @ 29 – Every once in a while the Supreme Court limits the power of the feds. It’s rare, but it happens. The last one I remember was a decision a few years ago indicating that the feds could not restrict guns around schools.

    Health care (including this constitutional issue) has become like global warming. What you think about it depends on whether you’re a D or an R. It’s pretty pathetic that such major issues are decided by so many people without much thought.

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  27. Lake Hills Renter

    By Kary L. Krismer @ 30:

    RE: Health care (including this constitutional issue) has become like global warming. What you think about it depends on whether you’re a D or an R.

    That’s pretty much every issue these days as far as I can tell. Everything is political; everything is partisan. It’s a bad time to actually want to civilly discuss issues and find real solutions.

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  28. Everett_Tom

    I just noticed that redfin has added a link to their listings where someone can link to a blog post / external website from the listing.. that seems like a dangerous service to offer..

    ( to see this, open a page for a listing and scroll down until you see “Sites Linking to..” ).

    Kary / Ira.. I though this kind of thing wasn’t allowed by the NWMLS..

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  29. Scotsman

    Oh boy! Elizabeth Warren on CNBC-

    “By the end of 2010, about half of all commercial real estate mortgages will be underwater, said Elizabeth Warren, chairperson of the TARP Congressional Oversight Panel, in a wide-ranging interview on Monday.”

    “They are [mostly] concentrated in the mid-sized banks,” Warren told CNBC. “We now have 2,988 banks—mostly midsized, that have these dangerous concentrations in commercial real estate lending.”

    “As a result, the economy will face another “very serious problem” that will have to be resolved over the next three years, she said, adding that things are unlikely to return to normalcy in 2010.”

    http://www.cnbc.com/id/36085517

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  30. Kary L. Krismer

    RE: Everett_Tom @ 32 – Something else I’ll have to look at later. There are rules about what blogging is allowed on their site. Maybe they’re trying to get around it by linking to other sites.

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  31. Kary L. Krismer

    By Lake Hills Renter @ 31:

    By Kary L. Krismer @ 30:
    RE: Health care (including this constitutional issue) has become like global warming. What you think about it depends on whether you’re a D or an R.

    That’s pretty much every issue these days as far as I can tell. Everything is political; everything is partisan. It’s a bad time to actually want to civilly discuss issues and find real solutions.

    What’s ironic though is if you get an entire legislative body to agree on something, chances are it’s a really bad idea! ;-)

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  32. Everett_Tom

    RE: The Tim @ 36 – Ah. Thanks. I suspect that the default is checked “allow”, as all of the listing I looked at today had this option..

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  33. Lake Hills Renter

    By Kary L. Krismer @ 35:

    What’s ironic though is if you get an entire legislative body to agree on something, chances are it’s a really bad idea! ;-)

    Hah! Very true. I expect Congress to be partisan and political, but it seems to be everywhere these days. Every topic is about spin and scoring political points, and is utterly black and white. Disagree, and you’re the enemy.

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  34. Kary L. Krismer

    RE: Everett_Tom @ 37 – The default is allow on automated valuations and not allow on blogs.

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  35. Everett_Tom

    RE: Kary L. Krismer @ 39 – Interesting.. Thanks for following up.

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  36. pfft

    By Scotsman @ 8:

    RE: Dawn Glover @ 6

    You’re correct- pull out the stimulus and there’s no growth. Read all about it:

    http://market-ticker.org/archives/2133-Where-Did-The-Income-Go.html

    that’s why the keynesians wanted stimulus, because there would have been no growth. not that I believe karl d.

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  37. pfft

    By Kary L. Krismer @ 7:

    RE: Dawn Glover @ 6 – I think it’s most likely due mainly to the fact that people had the crap scared out of them last year and weren’t in a spending mood.

    yes. we are seeing the reverse of the panic.

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  38. pfft

    By The Tim @ 18:

    RE: Trigger @ 16

    the economy != the stock market

    when the stock market was crashing the bears no doubt didn’t believe that. stocks are up because the earnings are up because the economy is doing better.

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  39. pfft

    By The Tim @ 22:

    By TJ_98370 @ 20:
    RE: Scotsman @ 11

    What is the difference between states mandating that you have car insurance and the federal government mandating that you have health insurance?

    I hope you’re asking that in jest, but I’ll take the bait anyway…

    1) It’s not the federal government’s job as defined by the Constitution.

    “The Congress shall have Power To lay and collect Taxes, Duties, Imposts and Excises, to pay the Debts and provide for the common Defence and general Welfare of the United States”

    what is more general welfare than healthcare?

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  40. TJ_98370

    RE: The Tim @ 22

    It appears that it is a matter of perspective. I don’t see mandatory health insurance as a threat to my freedoms. A responsible person would have health care insurance and car insurance whether or not there were laws requiring such. I see mandatory health insurance as “encouragement” for people to do what is responsible. Who pays the medical bills for someone without health insurance – everybody does! Who pays for the damage / injuries caused by an uninsured driver – everybody but the uninsured driver!

    I do not like the mandatory requirement to wear a helmet while riding a motorcyle in this state, but I understand the reasoning behind it. It’s not because the state actually cares and wants to protect your well-being, it’s to protect society from the cost of having to support your disabled ass for forty years because you bashed your brains out on the street. If you weren’t aware enough to know to wear a helmet, the state is there to help you along with that.

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  41. pfft

    By The Tim @ 29:

    RE: Fran Tarkenton @ 27 Are there any limits at all, or is the federal government basically allowed to do whatever the hell it wants? I seriously want to know.

    the bill of rights?

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  42. Kary L. Krismer

    By pfft @ 42:

    By Kary L. Krismer @ 7:
    RE: Dawn Glover @ 6 – I think it’s most likely due mainly to the fact that people had the crap scared out of them last year and weren’t in a spending mood.

    yes. we are seeing the reverse of the panic.

    I’m not sure what you mean by that. Calm?

    There can be panic selling and panic buying. Each of those cause the market to over-react, but in different directions. An extreme example of panic buying would be buying four units in a yet to be completed condominium project in a state you don’t live in and have no intention of ever living in, thinking that you’re going to sell them for more money before completion. I would even describe our local market from 3/07 to 7/07 as being a panic buy market. And I think you even saw some of that condo action at that point in time.

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  43. Kary L. Krismer

    RE: The Tim @ 47 – You might want to re-think that because I think I agree with every word. ;-)

    (Not that we’re necessarily diametrically opposed on every issue, but complete 100% agreement is rare.)

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  44. EconE

    RE: TJ_98370 @ 45

    It’s not mandatory to carry uninsured motorist (UIM/UIMPD) coverage. If you do have it and get hit by an uninsured motorist, your insurance company will subrogate.

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  45. Kary L. Krismer

    RE: EconE @ 50 – Subrogate to what?

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  46. EconE

    RE: Kary L. Krismer @ 51

    Google insurance subrogation.

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  47. HappyRenter

    RE: The Tim @ 47

    “Then the states where a majority want single-payer can have that, and states where the majority want a more market-driven system can have that.”

    The current health care system is not market-driven. It’s employer based. In a market-driven system you do not get health care covered by your employer, but you go out and shop for it. This creates competition among insurers which will force prices down. The current system is not sustainable because it encourages costs to spiral up. I’m always surprised that almost none of my colleagues at work is aware how much our employer is paying for health care each year for each of us.

    That said, I’m not sure whether the new system is sustainable either because it does not change anything for those who do have employer based insurance.

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  48. pfft

    By The Tim @ 47:

    By TJ_98370 @ 45:
    Why should the federal government be involved in this issue at all? Why not give the states full control? Then the states where a majority want single-payer can have that, and states where the majority want a more market-driven system can have that.

    Give it some time and it would become clear which system works best and more states would naturally switch to that system. Instead we get a year of angry arguing and a watered-down bill that neither side is happy with. Yippie.

    I believe the states can do whatever they want if they show their system is better and still sticks to everyone having insurance.

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  49. Fran Tarkenton

    RE: The Tim @ 29 – The standard is whether the regulated activity has a substantial economic effect on interstate commerce.

    If you’re asking me personally, (a) I got a B+ in Con Law, so you should probably look elsewhere, and (b) I’m a “living document”alist, as opposed to a strict constructionalist.

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  50. pfft

    By The Tim @ 54:

    By HappyRenter @ 53:
    The current health care system is not market-driven. It’s employer based.

    I don’t believe I said that the current system is market-driven. I don’t think I said anything about the current system at all, actually. IMO, you’re right, employer-provided coverage is a big part of the problem. My employer doesn’t pay for my auto insurance or my homeowner’s/renter’s insurance or my veterinary bills.

    employer-based coverage is the only reason lots of people, maybe including you, have health insurance. if a company wants a tax break their health plan cannot discriminate against certain employees.

    if you have employer coverage you might only have insurance for that reason. of course when you have insurance you don’t know for sure if you’ll get dropped. you might also be underinsured.

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  51. Kary L. Krismer

    By EconE @ 52:

    RE: Kary L. Krismer @ 51

    Google insurance subrogation.

    I know what insurance subrogation is. I was just thinking that in the typical uninsured driver case, they have nothing of value to subrogate to. Only the right to sue someone who is probably judgment proof. I guess they can also file with the state to mess up the ability of the person to get their license renewed.

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  52. Kary L. Krismer

    RE: The Tim @ 54 – The problem is employer coverage is likely to lead to too much coverage because: (1) Income transferred to such coverage is tax free; (2) The employee likely has little choice as to how much coverage they get; (3) They might not need any due to a spouse; and (4) Companies that are likely to provide too little coverage are more likely to provide no coverage at all.

    Too much coverage leads to too much being spent on medical services, which leads to higher prices.

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  53. pfft

    the insurance companies are already playing games.

    On kids’ care, insurance weaseling begins
    http://www.boston.com/bostonglobe/editorial_opinion/oped/articles/2010/03/30/on_kids_care_insurance_weaseling_begins/

    this is just unconscionable behavior. how can people support this system?

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  54. Kary L. Krismer

    RE: pfft @ 60 – I thought we already talked about that. I support their position, at least as to individual policies, because you cannot ignore pre-existing conditions prior to requiring coverage. For group policies I don’t think it really matters, because there typically already is mandatory coverage within the pool. But for individual policies, allowing this will just cause insurance premiums to rise, and effectively be a wealth transfer from one group to another.

    Unfortunately, the insurance industry seems to be backing down from that interpretation. Personally I’d like to see the language used.

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  55. HappyRenter

    By pfft @ 57:

    By The Tim @ 54:
    By HappyRenter @ 53:
    The current health care system is not market-driven. It’s employer based.

    I don’t believe I said that the current system is market-driven. I don’t think I said anything about the current system at all, actually. IMO, you’re right, employer-provided coverage is a big part of the problem. My employer doesn’t pay for my auto insurance or my homeowner’s/renter’s insurance or my veterinary bills.

    employer-based coverage is the only reason lots of people, maybe including you, have health insurance. if a company wants a tax break their health plan cannot discriminate against certain employees.

    if you have employer coverage you might only have insurance for that reason. of course when you have insurance you don’t know for sure if you’ll get dropped. you might also be underinsured.

    In a market-driven system it’s also necessary to define a basic health care package that everyone is forced to purchase. The government would then help out those people who cannot afford it. The new bill addresses only part of the problem but there is still a lot more to be done.

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  56. EconE

    RE: Kary L. Krismer @ 58

    You’d be surprised how much effort they put into squeezing blood from a turnip.

    Penny wise and pound foolish.

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  57. Kary L. Krismer

    RE: EconE @ 63 – Probably about the same amount of effort that they use to defend against paying valid claims. Back when interest rates were fairly high in the 80s I used to say that the attorney fees were apparently less than the interest they earned on the money.

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  58. David Losh

    OK, this is a Constitutional matter. Health Care is a right provided by the Constitution of the United States. If you want to say it’s a matter of National Security you would be right.

    We are denied our rights daily by a lack of health care. We are kept in dead end jobs that offer us, and the Nation, nothing more than employer based Health Care coverage.

    How many Verizon phone support people would there be without the Health Insurance package? How many industries have been put out of business by rising Health Insurance costs? State based? California, and New York, would take the brunt of AIDS treatment costs.

    We are in a National Health Crisis. Our private health insurance system is wholly, totally, and completely, inadequate to handle the scope of Public Health issues we have today, let alone what is coming from our shrinking global community.

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  59. anonymous

    RE: The Tim @ 47 – That has already been happening on a worldwide scale. Turns out every industrialized independent state except the USA has opted for universal health care in some form.

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  60. Sniglet

    Just a reminder that the Optimistic Bear internet radio show will be airing live tonight (Tuesday the 30th) at 9:00pm Pacific Time. We will be discussing the past week in economics and finance. Feel free to call in and share your thoughts.

    http://surkanstance.blogspot.com/2009/11/introducing-optimistic-bear-weekly.html

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  61. Kary L. Krismer

    By The Tim @ 21:

    I think after this week I’m going to banish the subject of health care / health insurance from the comments. Forum only after this week. You have been warned.

    That might be a bad decision given the volume. Maybe you need a spin off health care site–Seattle Bubble of Puss.

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  62. Scotsman

    RE: David Losh @ 65

    ” Health Care is a right provided by the Constitution of the United States.”

    Really? Where does it say that?

    Health care is the labor of other people, no different than construction or accounting. Where does the constitution say you or anyone else has a right to my labor, or Kary’s or Tim’s, or anyone else’s? The entire focus of the constitution, with very few exceptions, is on limiting government, not on forcing communal giving.

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  63. Herman

    RE: David Losh @ 65 – The only solution to the health care crisis — i.e. the amount of burden that it places on the economy, is rationing.

    The unspoken objective under any of these schemes to figure out how to apply rationing to the nation’s health care services most fairly and effectively. Our existing system does a very poor job at rationing and some say it is also unfair.

    The public option is, for example, a pre-cursor to rationing. (And to give the .gov the grounds to legislate control over your lifestyle, but that’s food for another post.) And the current plan is a pre-cursor to a public option. It’ll get there, it will just take many steps.

    Unfortunately for Obama’s plan, it’s mostly about a new definition of fair and completely absent of rationing (quite the opposite). Because of that the plan is only an illusion of progress.

    By the way, I fully support “intelligent rationing” and “value-oriented care”.

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  64. David Losh

    RE: Scotsman @ 69

    promote the general Welfare,

    Welfare
    welfare n. 1. health, happiness, or prosperity; well-being

    nor be deprived of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law;

    Deprive
    deprive v. 1. To take something away from; divest. 2. To keep from the possession of something.

    If people want to argue the right to life, such as the abortion issue, is a Constitutional matter, then so is Health Care.

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  65. David Losh

    RE: Scotsman @ 69

    It’s time to stop playing games with the Public’s Health. It’s just stupid to compare my health with a car fender, or a Real Estate transaction. You think that some how a health insurance policy will magically protect your children from HPV, the Human Papaloma Virus, well it didn’t. You think that your health insurance policy will magically solve the Hospital Staph epedemic that kills those 19,000 people per year, but it doesn’t. Your health insurance Policy is a worthless piece of paper that does absolutely nothing to further the health issues facing the world today.

    You federal government on the other hand has provided more technology than all private industry in this country. We are the greatest country on earth because of our government.

    There is no provision in the Constitution for a standing army, yet we have one. Public Health is the same demanded defence of our People.

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  66. pfft

    By Scotsman @ 69:

    RE: David Losh @ 65

    ” Health Care is a right provided by the Constitution of the United States.”

    Really? Where does it say that?

    Health care is the labor of other people, no different than construction or accounting. Where does the constitution say you or anyone else has a right to my labor, or Kary’s or Tim’s, or anyone else’s? The entire focus of the constitution, with very few exceptions, is on limiting government, not on forcing communal giving.

    insurance is not a communal giving. you are part of a pool that shares risk. instead of car insurance or home insurance this is health insurance. nobody knows if they are going to be giving just like nobody knows if their house is going to burn down and cash in on their insurance policy. nobody knows when they pay in how much they’ll benefit from having health insurance. most individuals can’t stand the high cost of healthcare should they get sick just as most people can’t stand the high cost of replacing a home should it need replacing.

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  67. David Losh

    RE: pfft @ 73

    Totally different. Your house, and car, have replacement values. A human life, as is argued by the extreme right, is priceless, it is a gift from God.

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  68. Herman

    By David Losh @ 74:

    RE: pfft @ 73

    Totally different. Your house, and car, have replacement values. A human life, as is argued by the extreme right, is priceless, it is a gift from God.

    That is an entirely impractical position and is at the root of why our health care burden is unsustainable. The entire world’s resources will not be marshaled to save every human life. pfft is correct, I am correct (see: rationing) and you are wrong.

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