Health Care Open Thread II

Talk about health care to your heart’s content, as much as it takes to get it out of your system so the rest of the site can stick to real estate and housing. Note that comments posted here will not clutter up the “recent comments” box on the sidebar.

For previous health care open threads, click here.

As of 03/31/2010, health care comments go here and here only.


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.

422 comments:

  1. 1
    whatsmyname says:

    No comments? This is terrible. C’mon, Kary. Put up yer dukes. Then we can discuss the best way to handle treatment costs for whichever of us takes the worse beating.

  2. 2
    Kary L. Krismer says:

    We need some new news–like maybe the decision on the clarification motion in that FL case. I don’t search for such things like some.

  3. 3
    Kary L. Krismer says:

    Speak of the devil, this just popped up on MSNBC. I’ll have to try to get a copy, but this is being reported as a stay pending appeal. I don’t think that’s really what it is, because I’m not sure an appeal has been filed.

    http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/41890606/ns/politics-more_politics/

  4. 4
    pfft says:

    how is this possible? government only raises the cost of healthcare.

    Medicaid Costs Growing More Slowly Than Private Insurance
    http://www.offthechartsblog.org/medicaid-costs-growing-more-slowly-than-private-insurance/

  5. 5
    Kary L. Krismer says:

    RE: pfft @ 4 – You do realize that article contradicts everything you’ve been saying here, right? I’ve been arguing that a government run program would be cheaper in the long run than Obamacare which calls for more insurance, which is inflationary. That article would support my claim.

    Beyond that though, I’m not sure how prescription drugs fit into Medicaid, specifically if they added more coverage like they did with Medicare. I bring that up because with private health insurance many states over the period mandated additional coverage for health insurance, and that would make the price rise. I’m not sure there’s been any additional coverage added to Medicaid, so it wouldn’t rise for that reason.

  6. 6
    pfft says:

    By Kary L. Krismer @ 5:

    RE: pfft @ 4 – You do realize that article contradicts everything you’ve been saying here, right? I’ve been arguing that a government run program would be cheaper in the long run than Obamacare which calls for more insurance, which is inflationary. That article would support my claim.

    you haven’t been arguing for a government program. you said insurance is inflationary. why wouldn’t care be inflationary? how is it inflationary if everyone has insurance but it isn’t if everyone has government care?

    I’ve alway been for medicare for all.

  7. 7
    Kary L. Krismer says:

    RE: pfft @ 6 – I haven’t been arguing for government healthcare? Read post 55 here:

    http://seattlebubble.com/blog/2010/03/31/health-care-open-thread/comment-page-2/#comments

    As to why insurance is inflationary, read posts 71 and 75.

    As to the difference between insurance and a government run program, read post 149.

  8. 8
    pfft says:

    Forget Medicare, THIS Is The Chart That Shows Why America Is Doomed
    http://www.businessinsider.com/us-most-inefficient-healthcare-system-in-the-world-2011-3

  9. 9
    Kary L. Krismer says:

    RE: pfft @ 8 – That article makes another point: “After all, the costs borne by Medicare are no more sustainable if they’re shifted to private individuals. It’s just the path is different.”

    That’s mainly what the cost savings/deficit reduction of Obamacare is. It shifts the cost from government entities to private individuals. There is almost no savings, and what little there is will be more than offset by increased inflation in health care services and drug costs.

  10. 10
    Kary L. Krismer says:

    Good example of how insurance affects pricing:

    http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/41994697/ns/health-pregnancy/

  11. 11
    softwarengineer says:

    RE: Kary L. Krismer @ 10

    Yes Kary

    Someone must pay, and saying there’s no new taxes is a joke….no new clear taxation is a better way of putting it.

    I’m old fashion Democrat [Independent now-a-days] and push for the taxpayer and the little guy; but keeping or increasing medical payroll at pre-recession labor force [tax base] size, let alone not reducing the medical costs to our shrinking labor force that BLS admits and Scotsman proved is totally absurd.

    We can’t reduce private enterprise jobs to part time and hamburger flipper levels, while simultaneously decreasing higher paid slots and keep government the same size or even dream of enlarging healthcare pay outs for salaries….it’s a pipe dream doomed to fail. Obamacare Democrats better start thinking pragmatically, not just what they want. It’s simply not fair to tax paying [or insurance paying] Americans.

  12. 12
    Kary L. Krismer says:

    Maybe this should be the health care model for avoiding the creation of death panels? ;-)

    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/03/22/sex-as-a-heart-attack-tri_n_839252.html

  13. 13
    pfft says:

    Paul Ryan says we need to destroy medicare in order to save it!

  14. 14
    Kary L. Krismer says:

    RE: pfft @ 13 – I don’t care for his fix any more than I care for Obamacare, because it’s largely the same thing, with a different effective date.

    I do like the idea of making both medicare and social security subject to income/wealth restrictions so that the government isn’t giving “safety net” money to wealthy people.

  15. 15
    pfft says:

    By Kary L. Krismer @ 14:

    RE: pfft @ 13 – I don’t care for his fix any more than I care for Obamacare, because it’s largely the same thing, with a different effective date.

    I do like the idea of making both medicare and social security subject to income/wealth restrictions so that the government isn’t giving “safety net” money to wealthy people.

    really? one gives ten of millions of people access to medical care and the other doesn’t. other than that they are the same though I agree.

    unbelievable.

  16. 16
    Kary L. Krismer says:

    RE: pfft @ 15 – What’s unbelievable is your inability to understand even extremely simple concepts.

    They both rely on private insurance, which is how they are the same. How difficult is that to understand?

  17. 17
    pfft says:

    By Kary L. Krismer @ 16:

    RE: pfft @ 15
    They both rely on private insurance, which is how they are the same. How difficult is that to understand?

    one plan would let you be able to afford coverage and the other wouldn’t. unbelievable.

    by the way Romneycare has been a stunning success. almost everyone has coverage.

  18. 18
    Kary L. Krismer says:

    By pfft @ 17:

    by the way Romneycare has been a stunning success. almost everyone has coverage.

    If your only criteria is coverage, sure. That’s like judging a car only by whether it has four wheels. Every car is great!

    Costs are rising rapidly in Massachusetts, even though when Romneycare started there they already had some of the highest costs in the nation. Now insurers are threatening to pull out or go bankrupt, medicaid spending is up 75% and there are a lot of other problems because all they did was increase the demand for healthcare.

    http://money.cnn.com/2010/06/15/news/economy/massachusetts_healthcare_reform.fortune/index.htm

  19. 19
    Kary L. Krismer says:

    By pfft @ 17:

    one [insurance] plan would let you be able to afford coverage and the other wouldn’t. unbelievable.

    Why do you think there would be different results? With the Republican plan they are even helping people pay for the insurance. If you think more insurance (Obamacare) is great, you should also think more insurance for seniors (the Republican plan) is great.

    I think both plans suck. I would rather have all care more like the VA and Medicare, and have less insurance.

  20. 20
    pfft says:

    By Kary L. Krismer @ 18:

    By pfft @ 17:

    by the way Romneycare has been a stunning success. almost everyone has coverage.

    If your only criteria is coverage, sure.

    is there really another one? the current system is so bad we needed Romneycare and Obamacare. the crisis is already here.

  21. 21
    Kary L. Krismer says:

    By pfft @ 20:

    If your only criteria is coverage, sure.

    is there really another one? the current system is so bad we needed Romneycare and Obamacare. the crisis is already here.

    Of course there’s another one. There’s not spending so much money on healthcare that it bankrupts the entire nation and destroys the economy forcing everyone to live in poverty. That’s where we’re headed with Obamacare.

    But let’s assume you’re right. We’re in a crisis right now that requires immediate action! What is different now about healthcare than 20-25 years ago? It’s that it’s extremely expensive. Now ask yourself, why is that? When you finally figure out the answer, you’ll finally understand why Obamacare is like putting out fire with gasoline.

  22. 22
    Kary L. Krismer says:

    RE: Kary L. Krismer @ 21 – I should have checked the post. The first paragraph above is mine, the second pfft, the rest mine.

  23. 23
    Kary L. Krismer says:

    President Obama apparently punted on Medicare/Medicaid. He’s going to make it more efficient. Now there’s a novel idea. Why don’t we apply that to all of government and that will undoubtedly solve all our problems! We don’t need to deal at all with entitlements or worry about the deficit, we’ll just make things more efficient.

    2011 started out better for President Obama, but he’s quickly going downhill again.

  24. 24

    New news today on Medicare. It will be out of funds by 2024 rather than 2029.

    http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/43023843/ns/politics-more_politics/

    What’s interesting is people were in an uproar about Ryan’s plan which only affected people over 50. Apparently when that was being debated no one was arguing that the entire program would run out of funds in 18 years (now 13). Assuming you qualify at 65, people at 50 years of age would have only received 3 years of coverage. Now they won’t be covered at all.

    I never really studied Ryan’s plan, so I can’t say it was a good idea, but something does need to be done.

    BTW, the same story also covers SS, and it’s just the same issue but further out.

  25. 25
    pfft says:

    By Kary L. Krismer @ 24:

    I never really studied Ryan’s plan, so I can’t say it was a good idea

    of course ending medicare isn’t a great idea.

    medicare will just be given more money. simple as that.

  26. 26

    RE: pfft @ 25 – It’s not “ending Medicare.” Don’t buy the Ds rhetoric. It’s just as inaccurate as the Rs rhetoric.

    Also, there are solutions other than more money. For example, don’t pay for medical care for millionaires.

    It’s funny how people who support the estate tax will also support our current Medicare system. Millionaires get medical care so they can pass along more to their heirs. It would be much better, IMHO, to have wealthy people who can pay for their care, and to not tax their estates when they die. There’s no reason for the government to pay for medical care of the wealthy, and no reason to take their assets when they die just because they are wealthy.

  27. 27

    Here’s an interesting article on health insurance:

    http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/43031343/ns/business-consumer_news/

    It starts as a piece about how the big bad insurance companies are making a lot of money because people are not utilizing medical services due to the economy, but then works its way into how people spend their money and how the deductible makes a difference. Apparently now 10% of people who get insurance through their employer have at least a $2,000 deductible (not mentioned is an annual physical is covered).

    Anyway, this type of report is evidence of what I’ve been saying–that we spend too much on medical care because too many people don’t care what anything costs. That’s changing, reducing spending (and temporarily increasing health insurance company profits).

  28. 28
    pfft says:

    By Kary L. Krismer @ 26:

    RE: pfft @ 25 – It’s not “ending Medicare.”

    medicare will go from paying 75% to 35%. that is ending medicare.

    they want to give tax breaks to the wealthy and corporations who have done well while giving you a meager medicare gift card.

    it’s so bad the republican’s have already abandoned the effort after passing the bill in the house.

  29. 29

    By pfft @ 28:

    By Kary L. Krismer @ 26:

    RE: pfft @ 25 – It’s not “ending Medicare.”

    medicare will go from paying 75% to 35%. that is ending medicare.

    they want to give tax breaks to the wealthy and corporations who have done well while giving you a meager medicare gift card..

    No, going from 75% to 0% would be ending Medicare.

    And the point of supporting the “tax breaks” as you call them, or opposing the “tax increases” as anyone non-partisan would call them, is to have more jobs in the economy. The idea is a bigger pie.

  30. 30
    pfft says:

    By Kary L. Krismer @ 29:

    By pfft @ 28:

    By Kary L. Krismer @ 26:

    RE: pfft @ 25 – It’s not “ending Medicare.”

    medicare will go from paying 75% to 35%. that is ending medicare.

    they want to give tax breaks to the wealthy and corporations who have done well while giving you a meager medicare gift card..

    No, going from 75% to 0% would be ending Medicare.

    people can’t afford 35% that’s why we have the program we have now and that is why the public doesn’t like paul ryan’s medicare gift card program.

  31. 31

    RE: pfft @ 30 – It’s “some people” can’t afford the 35%, but we have a system which pays for everyone regardless of need. Do you really think the US government should start paying for Bill Gates’ medical care in a few years?

  32. 32
  33. 33

    RE: pfft @ 32 – I saw that. He’s clearly posturing, but I’ve said myself Ryan’s plan isn’t necessarily the best but that something needs to be done. The status quo won’t cut it.

  34. 34
    pfft says:

    By Kary L. Krismer @ 33:

    RE: pfft @ 32 – I saw that. He’s clearly posturing, but I’ve said myself Ryan’s plan isn’t necessarily the best but that something needs to be done. The status quo won’t cut it.

    yes it does. we can’t afford to cut benefits. we need to raise taxes on the rich and lower healthcare costs which obamacare does.

  35. 35

    Why can’t we cut benefits for the wealthy? What’s so important about paying medical costs of wealthy elderly people?

  36. 36
    pfft says:

    look at the travesty that is Obamacare!

    At Least 600,000 Young Adults Join Parents’ Health Plans Under New Law
    http://www.kaiserhealthnews.org/Stories/2011/May/01/young-adult-health-insurance-coverage.aspx

  37. 37
    pfft says:

    By Kary L. Krismer @ 35:

    Why can’t we cut benefits for the wealthy? What’s so important about paying medical costs of wealthy elderly people?

    won’t do much for savings.

  38. 38

    By pfft @ 37:

    By Kary L. Krismer @ 35:

    Why can’t we cut benefits for the wealthy? What’s so important about paying medical costs of wealthy elderly people?

    won’t do much for savings.

    So you’d rather have the entire system crash for everyone in 2024 than to have those who can afford to pay more do so?

  39. 39

    By pfft @ 36:

    look at the travesty that is Obamacare!

    At Least 600,000 Young Adults Join Parents� Health Plans Under New Law
    http://www.kaiserhealthnews.org/Stories/2011/May/01/young-adult-health-insurance-coverage.aspx

    If you want to limit yourself to a shallow of analysis, then yes, that’s good news. If you want to look at secondary unintended (but known) consequences of that, then it might not be so good.

  40. 40
    pfft says:

    By Kary L. Krismer @ 39:

    By pfft @ 36:

    look at the travesty that is Obamacare!

    At Least 600,000 Young Adults Join Parents� Health Plans Under New Law
    http://www.kaiserhealthnews.org/Stories/2011/May/01/young-adult-health-insurance-coverage.aspx

    If you want to limit yourself to a shallow of analysis, then yes, that’s good news. If you want to look at secondary unintended (but known) consequences of that, then it might not be so good.

    I don’t even know where to start. name these known secondary unintended consequences. I would love to hear such nonsense.

  41. 41
    pfft says:

    By Kary L. Krismer @ 38:

    By pfft @ 37:

    By Kary L. Krismer @ 35:

    Why can’t we cut benefits for the wealthy? What’s so important about paying medical costs of wealthy elderly people?

    won’t do much for savings.

    So you’d rather have the entire system crash for everyone in 2024 than to have those who can afford to pay more do so?

    why would it crash?

  42. 42

    By pfft @ 40:

    By Kary L. Krismer @ 39:

    By pfft @ 36:

    look at the travesty that is Obamacare!

    At Least 600,000 Young Adults Join Parents�¢ï¿½ï¿½ Health Plans Under New Law
    http://www.kaiserhealthnews.org/Stories/2011/May/01/young-adult-health-insurance-coverage.aspx

    If you want to limit yourself to a shallow of analysis, then yes, that’s good news. If you want to look at secondary unintended (but known) consequences of that, then it might not be so good.

    I don’t even know where to start. name these known secondary unintended consequences. I would love to hear such nonsense.

    Do you have a severe memory problem? Inflation in the cost of medical services and rapidly rising insurance rates.

  43. 43

    By pfft @ 41:

    By Kary L. Krismer @ 38:

    By pfft @ 37:

    By Kary L. Krismer @ 35:

    Why can’t we cut benefits for the wealthy? What’s so important about paying medical costs of wealthy elderly people?

    won’t do much for savings.

    So you’d rather have the entire system crash for everyone in 2024 than to have those who can afford to pay more do so?

    why would it crash?

    Oh, apparently you do have a severe memory problem. The news is only about a week old that Medicare will be bankrupt in 2024.

    http://www.naturalnews.com/032452_Medicare_bankruptcy.html

    That’s part of the reason Ryan was trying to do something about Medicare.

  44. 44
    pfft says:

    By Kary L. Krismer @ 43:

    By pfft @ 41:

    By Kary L. Krismer @ 38:

    By pfft @ 37:

    By Kary L. Krismer @ 35:

    Why can’t we cut benefits for the wealthy? What’s so important about paying medical costs of wealthy elderly people?

    won’t do much for savings.

    So you’d rather have the entire system crash for everyone in 2024 than to have those who can afford to pay more do so?

    why would it crash?

    Oh, apparently you do have a severe memory problem. The news is only about a week old that Medicare will be bankrupt in 2024.

    http://www.naturalnews.com/032452_Medicare_bankruptcy.html

    That’s part of the reason Ryan was trying to do something about Medicare.

    ryan doesn’t care about medicare. who cares if medicare goes bankrupt? we’ll just give it more money. problem solved.

    ryan’s plan will crush healthcare for seniors. it’s a millions times worse than what we have now.

  45. 45
    pfft says:

    By Kary L. Krismer @ 42:

    By pfft @ 40:

    By Kary L. Krismer @ 39:

    By pfft @ 36:

    look at the travesty that is Obamacare!

    At Least 600,000 Young Adults Join Parents���¢�¯�¿�½�¯�¿�½ Health Plans Under New Law
    http://www.kaiserhealthnews.org/Stories/2011/May/01/young-adult-health-insurance-coverage.aspx

    If you want to limit yourself to a shallow of analysis, then yes, that’s good news. If you want to look at secondary unintended (but known) consequences of that, then it might not be so good.

    I don’t even know where to start. name these known secondary unintended consequences. I would love to hear such nonsense.

    Do you have a severe memory problem? Inflation in the cost of medical services and rapidly rising insurance rates.

    yeah because we all know that’s not happening now.

  46. 46

    RE: pfft @ 45 – Again, you have a really bad memory. I don’t care to go over that yet another time.

  47. 47

    By pfft @ 44:

    who cares if medicare goes bankrupt? we’ll just give it more money. problem solved.

    Wow. You really don’t understand the issues at all. With simplistic blind to the world thinking like that you could solve the social security problem, and every other problem in the world!

  48. 48
    pfft says:

    By Kary L. Krismer @ 47:

    By pfft @ 44:

    who cares if medicare goes bankrupt? we’ll just give it more money. problem solved.

    Wow. You really don’t understand the issues at all. With simplistic blind to the world thinking like that you could solve the social security problem, and every other problem in the world!

    actually it IS that simple. if medicare is “broke” just add more money to the
    program. how do you think they solved the SS problem in the 1980s? they added more money through a tax. it IS that easy. obamacare had significant reforms for medicare anyway but nobody talks about it.

  49. 49
    pfft says:

    By Kary L. Krismer @ 46:

    RE: pfft @ 45 – Again, you have a really bad memory. I don’t care to go over that yet another time.

    they studied it and the impact was minimal especially compared to the tens of millions it would cover.

  50. 50

    RE: pfft @ 49RE: pfft @ 48 – As to 49, again you have a bad memory. You can’t remember what you don’t remember. That answer is completely non-responsive.

    As to 48, you can’t keep throwing more and more money at healthcare, I know you don’t care how much is spent, the the economy does care.

  51. 51
    pfft says:

    By Kary L. Krismer @ 50:

    RE: pfft @ 49RE: pfft @ 48 – As to 49, again you have a bad memory. You can’t remember what you don’t remember. That answer is completely non-responsive.

    As to 48, you can’t keep throwing more and more money at healthcare, I know you don’t care how much is spent, the the economy does care.

    no it doesn’t. what evidence do you have for that?

    Romneycare is VERY popular.

    The poll by the Harvard School of Public Health and The Boston Globe found that 63 percent of Massachusetts residents support the 2006 health law, up 10 percentage points in the past two years. Just 21 percent said they were against the law.

    http://www.boston.com/lifestyle/health/articles/2011/06/05/support_for_massachusetts_universal_health_care_law_rises/

  52. 52

    RE: pfft @ 51 – Since when do we judge things by whether they are popular? The Monorail won an election and was a financial disaster (and was also somewhat regressive in that it didn’t tax the sale of new cars for a reason that has nothing to do with any valid policy). Anyone with half a brain would have known that going in, but having half a brain isn’t a requirement to vote within the city limits of Seattle.

    Employer provided health insurance is popular too, because it pays peoples’ bills. The average person is stupid. They don’t realize how much it is really costing them, or that they are paying much more than they should be.

  53. 53

    Obamacare is going to be real popular in 2014! /sarcasm

    http://www.mercurynews.com/business/ci_18220146?nclick_check=1

    Even though many of these changes will be beneficial, people don’t tend to like change. Any wonder these changes kick in after the 2012 election?

  54. 54

    An 18% increase in insurance fees (the third year of double digit increases), and lower benefits, and the company is losing money!

    http://www.seattlepi.com/local/article/Group-Health-insurer-raises-rates-slashes-1414154.php

    But hey, pfft says health care costs are not skyrocketing. And it doesn’t matter anyway, because those paying can just pay more money. No problem.

  55. 55
    pfft says:

    By Kary L. Krismer @ 52:

    RE: pfft @ 51 – Since when do we judge things by whether they are popular?

    you’re are right. the only number that matters is that in Mass 98% of the people have insurance. that is the only number that matters.

  56. 56

    By pfft @ 55:

    By Kary L. Krismer @ 52:

    RE: pfft @ 51 – Since when do we judge things by whether they are popular?

    you’re are right. the only number that matters is that in Mass 98% of the people have insurance. that is the only number that matters.

    No what matters is what it costs.

    http://www.patriotledger.com/business/x1336254386/Massachusetts-struggles-to-rein-in-health-care-costs

    From article: “It’s a serious problem: Massachusetts boasts that 98 percent of its residents have health insurance, but the state is stricken by the highest health care costs in the country.”

    Anyone with even a basic understanding of economics would have known that would happen. Now, as covered in the article, they are scrambling to keep the system from collapsing entirely. I will admit it’s falling apart in ways I wouldn’t expect, but it shouldn’t be too surprising that an unstable system would behave oddly.

    That’s the future of health care in the U.S. under Obamacare. Rapidly rising costs (even during periods of low inflation), followed by total collapse.

  57. 57
    pfft says:

    By Kary L. Krismer @ 56:

    By pfft @ 55:

    By Kary L. Krismer @ 52:

    RE: pfft @ 51 – Since when do we judge things by whether they are popular?

    you’re are right. the only number that matters is that in Mass 98% of the people have insurance. that is the only number that matters.

    No what matters is what it costs.

    http://www.patriotledger.com/business/x1336254386/Massachusetts-struggles-to-rein-in-health-care-costs

    From article: “Itâ��s a serious problem: Massachusetts boasts that 98 percent of its residents have health insurance, but the state is stricken by the highest health care costs in the country.”

    Anyone with even a basic understanding of economics would have known that would happen. Now, as covered in the article, they are scrambling to keep the system from collapsing entirely. I will admit it’s falling apart in ways I wouldn’t expect, but it shouldn’t be too surprising that an unstable system would behave oddly.

    That’s the future of health care in the U.S. under Obamacare. Rapidly rising costs (even during periods of low inflation), followed by total collapse.

    COSTS ARE RISING ANYWAY! what we know about the present system is that it was so bad the people just couldn’t take it anymore.

    obamacare will add little to premiums. I posted that a long time ago.

    “Now, as covered in the article, they are scrambling to keep the system from collapsing entirely. ”

    you are lying. stop lying. the system is not falling apart.

    “but the state is stricken by the highest health care costs in the country.”

    which is why romneycare was passed genius.

    about costs.

    Claims that the law is “bankrupting” the state are greatly exaggerated. Costs rose more quickly than expected in the first few years, but are now in line with what the Massachusetts Taxpayers Foundation had estimated.

    http://www.factcheck.org/2011/03/romneycare-facts-and-falsehoods/

  58. 58

    By pfft @ 57:

    By Kary L. Krismer @ 56:

    By pfft @ 55:

    By Kary L. Krismer @ 52:

    RE: pfft @ 51 – Since when do we judge things by whether they are popular?

    you’re are right. the only number that matters is that in Mass 98% of the people have insurance. that is the only number that matters.

    No what matters is what it costs.

    http://www.patriotledger.com/business/x1336254386/Massachusetts-struggles-to-rein-in-health-care-costs

    From article: “It�s a serious problem: Massachusetts boasts that 98 percent of its residents have health insurance, but the state is stricken by the highest health care costs in the country.”

    Anyone with even a basic understanding of economics would have known that would happen. Now, as covered in the article, they are scrambling to keep the system from collapsing entirely. I will admit it’s falling apart in ways I wouldn’t expect, but it shouldn’t be too surprising that an unstable system would behave oddly.

    That’s the future of health care in the U.S. under Obamacare. Rapidly rising costs (even during periods of low inflation), followed by total collapse.

    COSTS ARE RISING ANYWAY! what we know about the present system is that it was so bad the people just couldn’t take it anymore.

    obamacare will add little to premiums. I posted that a long time ago./

    These two statements just prove you don’t have a clue. You think “costs are rising anyway” but you don’t understand why costs are rising. They are rising because so many people have insurance! How else can you explain double digit increases at a point in time where there’s low inflation?

    And that you posted “obamacare [sic] will add little to premiums” doesn’t refute what has already been occurring. Just saying something doesn’t refute what has been happening already–and we’re just getting started.

  59. 59

    “Now, as covered in the article, they are scrambling to keep the system from collapsing entirely. “you are lying. stop lying. the system is not falling apart.”but the state is stricken by the highest health care costs in the country.”which is why romneycare was passed genius.about costs.

    Did you even read the article I linked? It talks about the hospitals losing millions of dollars, having to sell out to other organizations and generally fighting for survival. I don’t know what your definition of collapse is, but when health care providers are at threat of going under and no longer able to provide health care, that to me is the start of a collapse.

    As to the genius comment, how many years are you going to give Romneycare to control costs? It was passed many years ago, they now have the highest medical care costs in the nation, and you for some totally unexplained reason think that it’s working. The data is completely against you or else they wouldn’t have the highest medical care costs in the nation. And you think Obamacare will somehow have different results, based on nothing at all other than the claims of politicians. Being gullible is not a virtue.

    I guess though it is possible that Mass sometime soon won’t have the highest healthcare costs in the nation, but that will only be because Obamacare causes rapidly rising costs in other states!

  60. 60
    Dewams says:

    Mr. Krismer-

    You said: “I guess though it is possible that Mass sometime soon won’t have the highest healthcare costs in the nation, but that will only be because Obamacare causes rapidly rising costs in other states!”

    Although I am not a fan of Obamacare, the plan does offer a bit of hope when it comes to insurance costs.

    First, the individual mandate should bring more people into the insurance system who currently require little care and who pay nothing. That may allow insurance companies to reduce rate increases.

    Second, the plan sets the “medical loss ratio” higher than it is now in WA. For example, the current medical loss ratio for individual policies in WA is 0.72, which means that insurers must spend at least $0.72 of every dollar they take in on actual medical care. Obamacare raises the medical loss ratio to 0.80 for individuals. This should force insurance companies to waste fewer of our premium dollars.

    But, as I said, this is only a bit of hope: Single-payer systems tend to do a far better job when it comes to overhead costs, getting them down to around 10%.

    If you’re interested in how other countries manage healthcare, please take the hour or so to watch the PBS documentary “Sick Around the World.” It looks at the systems in Japan, Germany, Switzerland, and a couple others. Well worth the time.

    http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/pages/frontline/sickaroundtheworld/

  61. 61

    RE: Dewams @ 60 – Thanks for that response. My concern about rising costs is more on the health care provider/drug company end. Even if insurance companies become 9% more efficient, that will likely be offset by having to pay 25% more for everything, because suddenly almost everyone has insurance, pushing the demand curve.

  62. 62
    pfft the wise says:

    By Kary L. Krismer @ 58:

    By pfft @ 57:

    By Kary L. Krismer @ 56:

    By pfft @ 55:

    By Kary L. Krismer @ 52:

    RE: pfft @ 51 – Since when do we judge things by whether they are popular?

    you’re are right. the only number that matters is that in Mass 98% of the people have insurance. that is the only number that matters.

    No what matters is what it costs.

    http://www.patriotledger.com/business/x1336254386/Massachusetts-struggles-to-rein-in-health-care-costs

    From article: “ItÃ�¢ï¿½ï¿½s a serious problem: Massachusetts boasts that 98 percent of its residents have health insurance, but the state is stricken by the highest health care costs in the country.”

    Anyone with even a basic understanding of economics would have known that would happen. Now, as covered in the article, they are scrambling to keep the system from collapsing entirely. I will admit it’s falling apart in ways I wouldn’t expect, but it shouldn’t be too surprising that an unstable system would behave oddly.

    That’s the future of health care in the U.S. under Obamacare. Rapidly rising costs (even during periods of low inflation), followed by total collapse.

    COSTS ARE RISING ANYWAY! what we know about the present system is that it was so bad the people just couldn’t take it anymore.

    obamacare will add little to premiums. I posted that a long time ago./

    These two statements just prove you don’t have a clue. You think “costs are rising anyway” but you don’t understand why costs are rising. They are rising because so many people have insurance! How else can you explain double digit increases at a point in time where there’s low inflation?

    And that you posted “obamacare [sic] will add little to premiums” doesn’t refute what has already been occurring. Just saying something doesn’t refute what has been happening already–and we’re just getting started.

    so 40,000 people a year die in the US because they don’t have insurance so you’re solution is…less insurance?

    you still all these months later haven’t told us why europe can cover EVERYONE yet half costs that are 1/2 of ours. what you are essentially saying is that in the US there is too much healthcare demand. if that is so why is there more demand in europe yet lower costs?

  63. 63
    pfft the wise says:

    By Kary L. Krismer @ 61:

    RE: Dewams @ 60 – Thanks for that response. My concern about rising costs is more on the health care provider/drug company end. Even if insurance companies become 9% more efficient, that will likely be offset by having to pay 25% more for everything, because suddenly almost everyone has insurance, pushing the demand curve.

    suddenly everyone doesn’t have insurance. we all have insurance except for to many it’s going to the high-cost emergency room long after they should have seen a doctor.

    I can’t believe you don’t know that.

  64. 64
    pfft says:

    By Kary L. Krismer @ 59:

    “Now, as covered in the article, they are scrambling to keep the system from collapsing entirely. “you are lying. stop lying. the system is not falling apart.”but the state is stricken by the highest health care costs in the country.”which is why romneycare was passed genius.about costs.

    As to the genius comment, how many years are you going to give Romneycare to control costs? It was passed many years ago, they now have the highest medical care costs in the nation, and you for some totally unexplained reason think that it’s working. The data is completely against you or else they wouldn’t have the highest medical care costs in the nation.

    I wish you would focus on caring about people as you do about costs.

    “you for some totally unexplained reason think that it’s working.”

    because I am a human being who thinks other people should have insurance. the only number that matters is that 98% of people in Mass have insurance.

    “As to the genius comment, how many years are you going to give Romneycare to control costs?”

    according to the article I posted costs were higher than expected but have come back in line with estimates.

  65. 65

    RE: pfft the wise @ 62 – Again you’re proving you have a memory problem. I’ve stated over and over and over why Europe is different.

    You really should be tested to try to diagnose the problem. I’m serious. You show some serious deficiencies in memory.

  66. 66

    By pfft @ 64:

    according to the article I posted costs were higher than expected but have come back in line with estimates.

    So when they enacted Romneycare, they predicted that 5 (or whatever) years into the program that they would have the highest health care costs in the country?

    I guess if you have extremely low standards, it’s easy to claim success. “Our goal is to be the worst in the country, and I’m confident we can meet that goal.”

  67. 67

    By pfft @ 64:

    because I am a human being who thinks other people should have insurance. the only number that matters is that 98% of people in Mass have insurance.

    The difference between you and me I I think people should have health care, not that they should have insurance. I’m aware of the bad things insurance does to health care, like make it so expensive no one can afford it.

    In case you haven’t noticed, both people and companies are having a hard time paying for health insurance, and health insurance has been rising at double digit rates for years. You don’t understand why that’s occurring, so your solution is something that makes the problem worse, like what doctors often did to treat people 200 years ago when they didn’t understand.

  68. 68
    pfft says:

    By Kary L. Krismer @ 65:

    RE: pfft the wise @ 62 – Again you’re proving you have a memory problem. I’ve stated over and over and over why Europe is different.

    could you care to restate them? what about canada and japan?

  69. 69
    pfft says:

    By Kary L. Krismer @ 67:

    By pfft @ 64:

    because I am a human being who thinks other people should have insurance. the only number that matters is that 98% of people in Mass have insurance.

    The difference between you and me I I think people should have health care, not that they should have insurance.

    I think people should have insurance. I would have preferred medicare for all but we couldn’t get it. do have some better system that could have been implemented politically?

  70. 70
    pfft says:

    By Kary L. Krismer @ 66:

    By pfft @ 64:

    according to the article I posted costs were higher than expected but have come back in line with estimates.

    So when they enacted Romneycare, they predicted that 5 (or whatever) years into the program that they would have the highest health care costs in the country?

    I guess if you have extremely low standards, it’s easy to claim success. “Our goal is to be the worst in the country, and I’m confident we can meet that goal.”

    I have no idea but the program is on target as far as costs go.

    Claims that the law is “bankrupting” the state are greatly exaggerated. Costs rose more quickly than expected in the first few years, but are now in line with what the Massachusetts Taxpayers Foundation had estimated.

    http://www.factcheck.org/2011/03/romneycare-facts-and-falsehoods/

  71. 71

    RE: pfft @ 69 – I was supporting death panels. ;-)

    Seriously, at this point I would prefer a government run system, with people able to buy supplemental insurance if they wish to get private treatment, with the government kicking in what it would have cost for them to have provided the same covered treatment. I would remove the income tax exemption for health insurance benefits, with some sort of delayed implementation to allow people to transition.

  72. 72
    Scotsman says:

    “The guest said, “Some years down the pike, we’re going to get the real solution, which is going to be a combination of death panels and sales taxes.”

    It was all the more horrifying because the guest was not a conservative, not an opponent of Obamacare. This guest was an avid liberal, a partisan Democrat, and an enthusiastic supporter of government-run health care. He was endorsing death panels, not warning about them. He was saying death panels are a good thing. And it was even more horrifying because of who this guest was. This was no fringe lefty wearing a tinfoil hat, churning out underground newspapers in his parents’ basement. This was an economics professor at Princeton, one of the country’s most prestigious universities. This was the winner of the Nobel Prize in economics, the highest honor the profession can bestow. This was a columnist for the New York Times, the most influential newspaper in the world.”

    ” This was Paul Krugman, live, on national television, endorsing government control over life and death. And while we’re at it, let’s raise taxes on those who are permitted to live.”

    http://www.nationalreview.com/articles/269428/paul-krugman-prophet-socialism-donald-luskin

  73. 73

    RE: Scotsman @ 72 – Death panels are a joke–wasn’t it a term Palin came up with?

    The thing is, one way or another society determines who gets what health care services. Insurance companies decide. Government decides. Money decides. To have true death panels would probably be a great improvement, but let’s take those in reverse order.

    If you have money to pay for your medical expenses, no one has a problem with you doing that, even if your situation is terminal. That’s your right, and about the only problem would be being defrauded by snake oil salesmen. Absent false hope, presumably you’ll spend your own money wisely.

    If government is deciding it, the problem is the people getting the service don’t care what it costs, because they aren’t paying for it directly, and the people providing the service want it to cost as much as possible. The only limiting factor is politicians and citizens having some desire to limit costs, but in practice that doesn’t work so well

    If insurance is deciding it, you still have people getting service that don’t care what it costs, because they aren’t paying for it, and you still have the people providing the service wanting it to cost as much as possible. The only one wanting to put a limit on it is the insurance company, but when they try you get politicians and citizens complaining because they don’t understand that the money insurance companies pay out isn’t just magically created. Politicians pass more and more laws requiring more and more things to be covered, and people use covered services as if they were practically free. This creates shortages, which leads to even higher costs. And the more people that have insurance, the more expensive it gets, increasing the cost of insurance for both business and individuals, and increasing the cost of medical care for those without insurance. Everyone loses except the health care providers and drug companies (and their shareholders).

    To make matters even worse, only two or three states expressly allow euthanasia. That means that we use modern technology at great expense to keep people alive in an intolerable state. As the baby boomers get even older, that problem will become even worse, and even more expensive (absent a change in views).

  74. 74
    pfft says:

    By Scotsman @ 72:

    “The guest said, â��Some years down the pike, weâ��re going to get the real solution, which is going to be a combination of death panels and sales taxes.â��

    It was all the more horrifying because the guest was not a conservative, not an opponent of Obamacare. This guest was an avid liberal, a partisan Democrat, and an enthusiastic supporter of government-run health care. He was endorsing death panels, not warning about them. He was saying death panels are a good thing. And it was even more horrifying because of who this guest was. This was no fringe lefty wearing a tinfoil hat, churning out underground newspapers in his parentsâ�� basement. This was an economics professor at Princeton, one of the countryâ��s most prestigious universities. This was the winner of the Nobel Prize in economics, the highest honor the profession can bestow. This was a columnist for the New York Times, the most influential newspaper in the world.”

    ” This was Paul Krugman, live, on national television, endorsing government control over life and death. And while weâ��re at it, letâ��s raise taxes on those who are permitted to live.”

    http://www.nationalreview.com/articles/269428/paul-krugman-prophet-socialism-donald-luskin

    I guess you can’t take a joke?

    you can’t get the rest of the world to take our healthcare system

    British fear ‘American-style’ healthcare system
    As leaders debate ways to reform healthcare, politicians repeatedly tell a worried public that Britain will not turn the National Health Service into an ‘American-style’ private system.
    http://www.latimes.com/health/la-fg-britain-health-care-20110613,0,1237142.story

  75. 75
    pfft says:

    don luskin is a moron and well-known krugman basher. here is one of his great hits.

    NOW WE KNOW FOR SURE THE SUBPRIME MORTGAGE CRISIS HAS PASSED Yep. Paul Krugman is writing about it…
    http://www.poorandstupid.com/2007_07_01_chronArchive.asp#4941247523281020244

    he said that in 2007.

    worst. call. ever.

    he’s a supply-side clown.

  76. 76
    pfft says:

    here is krugman’s version of “death panels.”

    But nobody is proposing that the government deny you the right to have whatever medical care you want at your own expense. We’re only talking about what medical care will be paid for by the government. And right-wingers, of all people, shouldn’t believe that everyone has the right to have whatever they want, at taxpayers’ expense.

    http://krugman.blogs.nytimes.com/2011/06/05/health-care-zombies/

  77. 77

    RE: pfft @ 76 – I’m not really sure what you think of that, but Krugman is right. No one is suggesting that the wealthy won’t be able to get whatever treatment they want to pay for. What’s at issue is what the rest of us get without having to pay a thing, and who pays that (government or an insurance company).

  78. 78
    pfft says:

    By Kary L. Krismer @ 77:

    RE: pfft @ 76 What’s at issue is what the rest of us get without having to pay a thing, and who pays that (government or an insurance company).

    huh? we pay taxes.

  79. 79

    By pfft @ 78:

    By Kary L. Krismer @ 77:

    RE: pfft @ 76 What’s at issue is what the rest of us get without having to pay a thing, and who pays that (government or an insurance company).

    huh? we pay taxes.

    Correction, we all pay taxes, or at least the group is larger than any single insurance pool. And unless funded by a regressive tax, the amount paid is based on ability to pay. Both those things are far superior to an insurance system, where you can see some insurance pools so small they shut down because of government mandated changes (e.g. child only policies which shut down after the pre-existing conditions terms kicked in).

    In addition though, with government you also don’t have the same situation where politicians can just dictate coverage without a single concern about the cost. Politicians don’t think that the money for government benefits just magically appears. And you don’t get Al Gore appearing to have six figures of government money thrown at an experimental treatment which clearly isn’t covered. Spending is held far more in check.

    On the downside, government is less efficient than an insurance company, but that inefficiency is far less damaging to the economy than the inflation in health care costs caused by massive amounts of insurance.

  80. 80

    LOL. An unforeseen problem with Obamacare that needs to be fixed. The problem? Government would actually be paying for some coverage, rather than forcing others to pay for it.

    http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/43490650/ns/health-health_care/

  81. 81

    From the global thread:

    By Scotsman @ 75:

    Dang those unintended consequences:

    “A new report out yesterday from The Heritage Foundation shows private sector job creation dropped dramatically almost immediately after President Barack Obama signed the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (a.k.a. Obamacare) into law.
    From the recessionâ��s low point in January 2009 until April 2010, when Obamacare went into effect, the private sector created about 67,600 jobs a month. After the president signed PPACA into law, that number slowed to a meager 6,400 jobs a month â�� a more than 90 percent decrease or less than one-tenth the previous rate.”

    I guess the good news is you don’t need a job if you can get your health care for free. This also brings to mind the old addage that socialiusm is great . . . until you run out of other people’s money.

    http://www.heritage.org/Research/Reports/2011/07/Economic-Recovery-Stalled-After-Obamacare-Passed

    Of course correlation doesn’t prove causation, but it is at a minimum a very interesting coincidence.

  82. 82
    David Losh says:

    My wife, and daughter will be returning from Peru this week. While they are there they are both getting dental work done by our cousins. The clinic is really nice, and the prices are going up all the time, but nothing like they are here. They have a a better than middle class clientèle.

    Our uncle is a urologist in Peru. He wanted to come here for training for many years. He is allowed to come, and go for conferences, but it is a short Visa period. Since he can now prescribe Viagra, and monitor the patients he is doing very well.

    We all tried to apply for our cousins, the dentists, to come here to the University of Washington for courses. That didn’t work out. They weren’t allowed to get Visas. Now that they are established they will also be allowed to come to conferences, maybe.

    There was nothing in the Visa process that would have cost the tax payers anything. These are professional people from professional back grounds.

    The United States health care system is set up for the extremely wealthy. The system gets worse every year, and yet we cling to the idea that the insurance industry is efficient.

    The mandate of the insurance industry is to generate profits.

    There is nothing in the insurance hand book that says they are required to provide care, or concern. We already have death panels. Your insurance adjuster decides if you live or die. an $8 an hour clerk can deny payment on any procedure, that may, or may not, be caught in over sight.

    Once again I advocate opening borders so we can get some competent doctors to work here in the United States. What we have is a joke. A few, very few, good doctors treating the extremely wealthy while the rest of us pay insurance companies to pay for it isn’t a system.

    Let’s take MRSA. Hospitals aren’t required to clean. If you look at the walls of almost any hospital room you will see they are wiped to a height of about six feet. Look at the cleaning staff. Do you really think that hospital room can be turned in a matter of hours, or minutes? Like a hotel room?

    The costs that are cut to obtain greater profits may cost you your life.

  83. 83
    Spherical says:

    RE: Kary L. Krismer @ 81 – What a shock. Heritage, the designated number-twister and logic-abuser for the right, put out a report that concludes Obama is so evil, he can destroy markets with the stroke of a pen, long before the law even takes effect! Don’t get me wrong– Heritage is very good at what they do. They hire smart people, put out professional looking reports, and as their conservative contributors demand they always come up with the “right answer” no matter what the data is.

  84. 84

    RE: Spherical @ 83 – I don’t think there’s much doubt that job creation weakened after getting stronger. But as I noted, correlation doesn’t equal causation, so to be clearer, blaming it on the passage of Obamacare is pretty weak based just on that. I will note, however, that Boeing has made claims that it will be affecting their employment.

    Still, President Obama in his first two years wasn’t exactly business friendly. So blaming him in general, and not just Obamacare, for the lack of new jobs (as opposed to the loss of jobs earlier) isn’t exactly over the top.

  85. 85

    By Kary L. Krismer @ 84:

    I will note, however, that Boeing has made claims that it will be affecting their employment..

    My recollection was bad on that. Their claim was that it was causing them to raise the cost of insurance for employees. After Sen. Murray objected to that announcement during the election, Boeing backtracked.

    http://blog.seattlepi.com/seattlepolitics/2010/10/18/citing-health-care-law-boeing-asks-employees-to-pay-more/

  86. 86
    pfft says:

    By Kary L. Krismer @ 84:

    RE: Spherical @ 83 – I don’t think there’s much doubt that job creation weakened after getting stronger. But as I noted, correlation doesn’t equal causation, so to be clearer, blaming it on the passage of Obamacare is pretty weak based just on that. I will note, however, that Boeing has made claims that it will be affecting their employment.

    Still, President Obama in his first two years wasn’t exactly business friendly. So blaming him in general, and not just Obamacare, for the lack of new jobs (as opposed to the loss of jobs earlier) isn’t exactly over the top.

    obama has bent over backwards for business. he gave the banks money. he bailed out GM. He hasn’t prosecuted wall street.
    he negotiated with the drug companies before HCR even started.

  87. 87

    By pfft @ 86:

    obama has bent over backwards for business. he gave the banks money. he bailed out GM. He hasn’t prosecuted wall street.
    he negotiated with the drug companies before HCR even started.

    I was referring to his rhetoric. You’re correct in that his rhetoric hasn’t always (ever?) matched his actions. I’m not sure businesses though are willing to wait to figure that out, or how long they are willing to wait to make sure that doesn’t change.

  88. 88

    This is a good example of why insurance rates go up. Apparently now there will be no co-pays on birth control pills.

    http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/43972446/ns/health-health_care/

    The money has to come from somewhere, and that source is insurance premiums. But once again we have government acting like it’s a free source–that they’re just providing free benefits to people.

  89. 89
    pfft says:

    By Kary L. Krismer @ 88:

    This is a good example of why insurance rates go up. Apparently now there will be no co-pays on birth control pills.

    http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/43972446/ns/health-health_care/

    The money has to come from somewhere, and that source is insurance premiums. But once again we have government acting like it’s a free source–that they’re just providing free benefits to people.

    or they are not discriminating against women?

  90. 90

    RE: pfft @ 89 – Not sure what you’re saying, but I would think the increased costs would only affect women. Individual policies typically have four rates for different age groups–male smoker, male non-smoker, female smoker, female non-smoker. I’m not sure how group policies work, but I assume it’s similar.

    BTW, this is also a case where the uninsured will be affected, because the cost of birth control pills will likely rise as a result of this.

  91. 91

    The 11th Circuit has found the individual mandate to be unconstitutional, but did not throw out all of Obamacare, as the lower court had done.

    http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/44121956/ns/politics-white_house/

  92. 92

    Interesting article on the plans of employers to drop employee coverage, even if that means fines. Also, how coverage levels in Mass. are now about the same as when their law was enacted.

    http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/n/a/2011/08/24/national/a060732D03.DTL

    And people wonder why this is a jobless recovery.

  93. 93
  94. 94

    RE: pfft @ 93 – If your definition of “working” is simply more insured, you would expect that, given the ability to stay on your parents’ policy. I would note though that part of that increase could be due to a slightly better economy (more jobs added).

    That definition of working though doesn’t mean that it isn’t causing medical costs to skyrocket, which will ultimately be the real test, and IMHO, the real failing of Obamacare.

  95. 95
    pftt says:

    By Kary L. Krismer @ 94:

    RE: pfft @ 93 – If your definition of “working” is simply more insured, you would expect that, given the ability to stay on your parents’ policy. I would note though that part of that increase could be due to a slightly better economy (more jobs added).

    That definition of working though doesn’t mean that it isn’t causing medical costs to skyrocket, which will ultimately be the real test, and IMHO, the real failing of Obamacare.

    I didn’t realize that costs were “sky-rocketing.”

  96. 96

    RE: pftt @ 95 – You have a bad memory. That’s detailed in this thread. Insurance rates have been skyrocketing.

  97. 97
    pfft says:

    By Kary L. Krismer @ 96:

    RE: pftt @ 95 – You have a bad memory. That’s detailed in this thread. Insurance rates have been skyrocketing.

    ah insurance rates. that’s big business gouging. they are making record profits. medical costs in countries that cover everyone have much lower medical costs.

  98. 98

    RE: pfft @ 97 – Insurers are not making record profits. Medical providers and drug companies may be. That’s covered in these health care threads too.

  99. 99
    Scotsman says:

    Let me get this straight . . . …
    We’re going to be “gifted” with a health care
    plan we are forced to purchase and
    fined if we don’t,
    Which purportedly covers at least
    ten million more people,
    without adding a single new doctor,
    but provides for 16,000 new IRS agents,
    written by a committee whose chairman
    says he doesn’t understand it,
    passed by a Congress that didn’t read it but
    exempted themselves from it,
    and signed by a President who smokes,
    with funding administered by a treasury chief who
    didn’t pay his taxes,
    for which we’ll be taxed for four years before any
    benefits take effect,
    by a government which has
    already bankrupted Social Security and Medicare,
    all to be overseen by a surgeon general
    who is obese,
    and financed by a country that’s broke!!!!!

    ‘What the hell could
    possibly go wrong?

  100. 100
    David Losh says:

    RE: Scotsman @ 99

    I don’t know, but this is the compromise bill that Republicans wanted. It benefits the insurance companies, and will be challenged until it becomes universal health care, like all civilized countries have.

    As for the doctors, you have hit on a point well taken by the health care industry. A doctor comes out of the university system about $500k in debt. It costs another $250K to set up a practice. The lack of doctors also drives up the cost of health care by supply, and demand. That there is your rationing also.

    We need free trade, training, and education of doctors, globally. Health Care can be fixed, but the Republicans showed it can be fixed here. Global pressure will have to be applied on the United States to get in line with the rest of the world on health issues.

    We can not be allowed to kill off thousands or millions of people so some drug companies enjoy massive profits. The same goes for medical technology. It isn’t that we have, or produce anything that the rest of the world doesn’t or can’t. It’s that we hand out these patent rights to any one who presents a new idea. If it is “discovered” here the company gets huge financial benefits. If the same technology is developed in the civilized world it is given credit then becomes public domain.

    We don’t have a three trillion dollar medical industry because we do anything special. We just enforce our will on the rest of the world so they are forced to pay us, for doing less.

  101. 101

    By David Losh @ 100:

    The lack of doctors also drives up the cost of health care by supply, and demand. That there is your rationing also.

    A little Losh gem there. Part of the reason that we pay so much more is doctors are severely restricted in this country. If we opened it up, price of services would drop.

  102. 102

    The President is cancelling part of Obamacare because it’s unworkable. What a shock! The people who drafted the thing didn’t know what they were doing. ;-)

    http://firstread.msnbc.msn.com/_news/2011/10/14/8325174-obama-administration-halts-part-of-health-care-law

  103. 103
    pfft says:

    individual mandate is very popular.

    Individual Mandate Repeal Initiative Fail
    http://blog.hcfama.org/2011/11/23/individual-mandate-repeal-initiative-fail/

    it’s like people want health insurance or something.

  104. 104
    Scotsman says:

    Why the U.S. will be unable to contain costs and health care will fail in the near future:

    http://www.oftwominds.com/photos10/CDC08.jpg

    http://www.oftwominds.com/photos07/global-BMI.gif

    The result of the above:

    http://www.oftwominds.com/photos2011/healthcare-costs-US.jpg

  105. 105

    RE: pfft @ 3 – The individual mandate is initially very attractive. I even liked the idea at first because it dealt with the free-rider problem.

    The problem is, even if it’s a good idea, that doesn’t mean it’s constitutional. And in saying that please note that it might be constitutional for say MA to impose it on its citizens, but not the US on its citizens. That, btw, is really the claim that Romney should be making so that he doesn’t appear to be as big of a flip-flopper as what he really is.

    The second problem is that it’s not really a good idea, because it will lead to the inflation that I’m concerned about. That problem outweighs the free-rider problem, IMHO.

  106. 106

    RE: Scotsman @ 4 – I would question the first graph, putting WA ahead of AZ.

    But I would agree, weight is a problem.

  107. 107
    pfft says:

    By Kary L. Krismer @ 105:

    RE: pfft @ 3

    The second problem is that it’s not really a good idea, because it will lead to the inflation that I’m concerned about.

    you don’t cite any facts though.

  108. 108

    By pfft @ 7:

    By Kary L. Krismer @ 105:

    RE: pfft @ 3

    The second problem is that it’s not really a good idea, because it will lead to the inflation that I’m concerned about.

    you don’t cite any facts though.

    First, you’ve just forgotten. Second, You just need to understand basic economics. When people don’t care what they pay for things, prices skyrocket.

  109. 109

    RE: pfft @ 107 – As to the “you’ve forgotten” comment, look at posts 18 and 56 in this thread.

  110. 110
    pfft says:

    By Kary L. Krismer @ 108:

    By pfft @ 7:

    By Kary L. Krismer @ 105:

    RE: pfft @ 3

    The second problem is that it’s not really a good idea, because it will lead to the inflation that I’m concerned about.

    you don’t cite any facts though.

    First, you’ve just forgotten. Second, You just need to understand basic economics. When people don’t care what they pay for things, prices skyrocket.

    why does europe cover everyone at half the per-capita cost?

  111. 111
    pfft says:

    By Kary L. Krismer @ 9:

    RE: pfft @ 107 – As to the “you’ve forgotten” comment, look at posts 18 and 56 in this thread.

    so what? the start-up costs were more than expected. big deal in the context of saving lives.

    healthcare companies are just doing what they always have done and what got us into this mess- raise prices.

    insurance costs for medicare are growing at less of rate than the private insurance industry. it’s easy to see why. medicare doesn’t have the massive overhead administrative costs.

  112. 112

    By pfft @ 110:

    why does europe cover everyone at half the per-capita cost?

    You really do need to have your memory checked. We’ve discussed this several times.

  113. 113

    By pfft @ 11:

    so what? the start-up costs were more than expected. big deal in the context of saving lives.

    healthcare companies are just doing what they always have done and what got us into this mess- raise prices.

    insurance costs for medicare are growing at less of rate than the private insurance industry. it’s easy to see why. medicare doesn’t have the massive overhead administrative costs.

    It’s not start up costs. They went from having the highest health care costs in the country to having even higher health care costs. Just what standard economic theory would predict.

    And yes, the health care companies (providers) will want to raise prices. More insurance will make that easy for them, because more consumers no longer care what the services cost.

  114. 114
    pfft says:

    By Kary L. Krismer @ 113:

    By pfft @ 11:

    so what? the start-up costs were more than expected. big deal in the context of saving lives.

    healthcare companies are just doing what they always have done and what got us into this mess- raise prices.

    insurance costs for medicare are growing at less of rate than the private insurance industry. it’s easy to see why. medicare doesn’t have the massive overhead administrative costs.

    It’s not start up costs. They went from having the highest health care costs in the country to having even higher health care costs. Just what standard economic theory would predict.

    And yes, the health care companies (providers) will want to raise prices. More insurance will make that easy for them, because more consumers no longer care what the services cost.

    97% of people now have health insurance. who gives a blank?

    And while health care costs continue to grow at alarming rates, as they have nationally, the consensus of industry leaders and health care economists is that this trend cannot be fairly traced to the makeover but rather to cost pressures baked into the existing health care payment system. Massachusetts does have the highest health care costs in the nation, but it owned this dubious distinction long before “RomneyCare’’ was born.

    http://articles.boston.com/2011-06-26/lifestyle/29706413_1_overhaul-mitt-romney-health-care/2

    another success.

    Obama health care law shrinks Medicare ‘doughnut hole’
    http://abclocal.go.com/wls/story?section=news/national_world&id=8446162

    Remember Mass is just one state and it’s the wrong system. the best system would be medicare for all. the benefits of Mass’ system will show up in healthier citizens when they get to medicare. that probably won’t be captured in the cost picture.

    “They went from having the highest health care costs in the country to having even higher health care costs.”

    yeah no healthcare increases until the government came a long…

    “More insurance will make that easy for them, because more consumers no longer care what the services cost.”

    you’ve yet to prove that. why does europe have half the per-capita costs? why are medicare costs rising slower than private insurance costs? why is the VA one of the best systems. remember that private insurance only wants to cover the young and healthy. imagine if seniors or veterans had to buy insurance? oh we know what that looks like which is why we have medicare and the VA.

  115. 115

    The reason you give a blank is health care already takes up too many of our society’s resources. If health care starts taking up higher and higher percentages, eventually the economy will totally collapse and no one will have anything!

    You remind me of the politicians in California who tried to keep electricity prices low, and when that didn’t work out raised the prices mainly on businesses in California. That left the citizens of California with low electric rates but fewer jobs as businesses reacted Not a good trade off: Saving $10 a month on electricity but losing a $45,000 a year job.

    You can provide health care services without insurance. And that’s why health care expenses are a lot less in a lot of other countries.

  116. 116
    pfft says:

    By Kary L. Krismer @ 112:

    By pfft @ 110:

    why does europe cover everyone at half the per-capita cost?

    You really do need to have your memory checked. We’ve discussed this several times.

    so what is the answer? why is our system which denies so many care cost twice as much and covers not as many people? by your logic it should be reversed. our system should cost less.

  117. 117

    RE: pfft @ 116 – I don’t know why you insist on going over the same points over and over and over.

    A system where government has to pay for things will not likely be a system where legislatures annually add more and more costly services. So for example, the government is not likely to pay for acupuncture or aroma therapy. In contrast, when an insurance company is present, the government has no trouble at all requiring them to pay for things. That alone makes an insurance system more expensive, even if you don’t accept the future inflation argument.

    Obamacare is a perfect example of that. The health care legislation could have provided that government pay for everyone’s health care. But that would have required some means of paying for it! So rather than do that, they simply provide that everyone has to get insurance so that insurance companies have to pay for the care. It’s a hidden tax, and the hidden tax is larger than what the real tax would have been, because the government most likely would not have had a program paying for acupuncture.

  118. 118

    Somewhere in these health care thread Pfft cited to a report that claimed Obamacare would reduce overall health care costs (as opposed to government costs). I pointed out that the study indicated its own shortcomings in that area, because they had no basis on which to calculate the future inflation caused by Obamacare.

    Well these two things reminded me of that.

    http://www.colbertnation.com/the-colbert-report-videos/403471/december-01-2011/12-1-11-in–60-seconds (Cobert Report on government study on losses due to counterfeiting.)

    http://www.pcworld.com/article/194203/government_says_data_estimating_piracy_losses_is_unsubstantiated.html (PC World report on same issue.)

  119. 119

    The Supreme Court set the schedule for oral argument. They are taking this very seriously, with three days of oral argument. The first day will focus on whether the action is premature. Somewhat surprising to me is that on the last day they want 90 minutes of argument on whether the whole thing should be thrown out if the mandate is thrown out.

    http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=143958967

  120. 120
    pfft says:

    sorry kary, your way of controlling health costs has fallen apart…

    “Skin in the Game” Fails As a Health Care Cost Control Idea
    http://fdlaction.firedoglake.com/2011/09/27/skin-in-the-game-is-failure-as-a-health-care-cost-control-idea/

  121. 121

    RE: pfft @ 20 – Terribly incomplete data. Like in the housing price issue I just commented on for one of your posts, you can’t look at just one factor. Other factors can override it. For example, over that same time period, how many states have imposed more and more required coverages on insurance policies? That’s highly inflationary, but not accounted for at all in the stats given. Or what about things like Viagra, which I don’t think even existed in 1999? It’s not free.

    Also, the first graph doesn’t even cover what I’m talking about. I’m talking about paying for services, not insurance.

    As to the author of that piece, all I can say is he/she doesn’t understand how things work, or they are purposefully trying to deceive.

  122. 122

    On your incomplete data, the number of people with insurance dropped for the first time in 23 years in 2009, dropping by about 2 million people. That same year medicare/medicaid increased by over 6 million, so overall there were still about 4 million more people who didn’t care what things cost.

    http://www.kaiserhealthnews.org/daily-reports/2010/september/16/uninsured-census-statistics.aspx

    Plot that against your increasing health insurance premiums in the article you linked, and you’ll see a clear correlation between more insurance and higher prices. (23 years of more and more insurance and increases in cost all of the years covered in the article). Again though, that’s not the sole factor raising prices.

    And BTW, you can’t look at percentage insured figures. You have to look at the number insured. In setting their pricing, service providers and drug companies don’t care about the percentage that have insurance, they care about the number of people which have insurance.

  123. 123
    findalittlehome says:

    RE: Kary L. Krismer @ 101

    The reason we pay so much more in this country is that we have a for-profit health care insurance industry whose profits are obscene.

  124. 124

    By findalittlehome @ 123:

    RE: Kary L. Krismer @ 101

    The reason we pay so much more in this country is that we have a for-profit health care insurance industry whose profits are obscene.

    Cause and effect.

    Too much insurance causes obscene profits. Do you think those profits would exist if people were paying their own medical bills?

  125. 125
    Scotsman says:

    http://market-ticker.org/cgi-ticker/akcs-www?post=200263

    “The Federal Government went from spending $53 billion on health care (all forms) in 1980 to over $800 billion last year. Private insurance costs have risen by some 9% annually for the last 30 years. The Federal Government’s spending has tracked this rate of expansion as well, which means that the commonly-held claim that this is all about “more elderly people on the government tit” is false; the working population is roughly constant in age.

    The Republican Party (and the “Tea Party” contingent within it) have repeatedly stated that “nobody over 50” is going to have their Federal Government medical benefits tampered with. Roughly, your life expectancy in the US is 85. This means that if you’re 50 today you have some 30 years of life left.

    At a 9% escalation per year your medical costs — whether insurance or government spending — will multiply by a factor of 13.3 over the next 30 years.

    That is, if you spend $600 a month now, assuming you did not get older or sicker, you would spend $7,980 a month in 30 years on your health insurance, or some $95,760 per year.

    The Federal Government will spend not $800 billion but $10.64 trillion on health care at this rate in 30 years.

    Neither of those things is going to happen; the money does not exist.

  126. 126
    pfft says:

    By Scotsman @ 125:

    http://market-ticker.org/cgi-ticker/akcs-www?post=200263

    “The Federal Government went from spending $53 billion on health care (all forms) in 1980 to over $800 billion last year. Private insurance costs have risen by some 9% annually for the last 30 years. The Federal Government’s spending has tracked this rate of expansion as well, which means that the commonly-held claim that this is all about “more elderly people on the government tit” is false; the working population is roughly constant in age.

    The Republican Party (and the “Tea Party” contingent within it) have repeatedly stated that “nobody over 50” is going to have their Federal Government medical benefits tampered with. Roughly, your life expectancy in the US is 85. This means that if you’re 50 today you have some 30 years of life left.

    At a 9% escalation per year your medical costs — whether insurance or government spending — will multiply by a factor of 13.3 over the next 30 years.

    That is, if you spend $600 a month now, assuming you did not get older or sicker, you would spend $7,980 a month in 30 years on your health insurance, or some $95,760 per year.

    The Federal Government will spend not $800 billion but $10.64 trillion on health care at this rate in 30 years.

    Neither of those things is going to happen; the money does not exist.

    don’t listen to karl. he is one of the tea party people. he bragged that he got a gavel from newt gingrich.

    btw- healthcare costs rose just 3.9% last year.

  127. 127
    pfft says:

    By Kary L. Krismer @ 24:

    By findalittlehome @ 123:

    RE: Kary L. Krismer @ 101

    The reason we pay so much more in this country is that we have a for-profit health care insurance industry whose profits are obscene.

    Cause and effect.

    Too much insurance causes obscene profits. Do you think those profits would exist if people were paying their own medical bills?

    tens of millions are and it isn’t helping at all.

  128. 128

    RE: pfft @ 27 – You really don’t understand economics. During the real estate boom, tens of millions of people weren’t buying real estate. Actually hundreds of millions of people. That didn’t stop prices from rising.

    If you have even 50% of the people with traditional insurance, they will drive the market. The more you have, the more they will drive it.

  129. 129

    I love how this argument turns everything on its head. The Canadian system of health care is somehow better because you’re only covered if you’re in Canada!

    http://usnews.msnbc.msn.com/_news/2012/01/30/10274212-iconic-skiers-death-points-out-us-health-gap

  130. 130

    Yet another example of a politician treating money from insurance companies as being “free money!”

    http://seattletimes.nwsource.com/html/politics/2017470954_apusbirthcontrolpolitics.html

    Capping weeks of growing controversy, Obama announced he was backing off a newly announced requirement for religious employers to provide free birth control coverage even if it runs counter to their religious beliefs. Instead, workers at such institutions will be able to get free contraception directly from health insurance companies.

  131. 131

    And the same policy provides yet another example of President Obama telling companies how to run their businesses.

    http://www.reuters.com/article/2012/02/10/usa-contraceptives-aetna-idUSL2E8DAEKD20120210

    “When asked about the insurer concerns, the White House cited a report from the U.S. Health and Human Services Department that estimates the costs of providing free birth control can be offset by reducing expenses associated with unintended pregnancies.”

  132. 132

    After thinking it over, the Catholic Bishops are opposed to the compromise.

    http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052970203646004577217181415407806.html

    Not too big of a surprise. Given that there was no real proposal, and instead just an idea floated, the cost of the coverage could have possibly been built into the premiums these entities would have had to have paid. So the result would not be any different under the compromise. Or if it was, a larger group of insureds would be paying for the coverage that they object to. If you object to something on religious grounds, does it matter who is paying for it? That would sort of take the legs out from under their position on abortion.

  133. 133
    pfft says:

    By Kary L. Krismer @ 130:

    Yet another example of a politician treating money from insurance companies as being “free money!”

    no it’s called providing basic healthcare.

    don’t look now kary.

    New Study: Health Care Costs Fall When Poor Get Health Care Coverage
    http://crooksandliars.com/susie-madrak/new-study-health-care-costs-fall-when

  134. 134
    pfft says:

    By Kary L. Krismer @ 28:

    RE: pfft @ 27 – You really don’t understand economics. During the real estate boom, tens of millions of people weren’t buying real estate. Actually hundreds of millions of people. That didn’t stop prices from rising.

    If you have even 50% of the people with traditional insurance, they will drive the market. The more you have, the more they will drive it.

    home sales were rising…the number of people insured has increased steadily by millions.

  135. 135

    RE: pfft @ 33 – That’s based on billing, not cost. ER billing is a joke, and has little or nothing to do with cost.

  136. 136

    By pfft @ 34:

    By Kary L. Krismer @ 28:

    RE: pfft @ 27 – You really don’t understand economics. During the real estate boom, tens of millions of people weren’t buying real estate. Actually hundreds of millions of people. That didn’t stop prices from rising.

    If you have even 50% of the people with traditional insurance, they will drive the market. The more you have, the more they will drive it.

    home sales were rising…the number of people insured has increased steadily by millions.

    Nice non-responsive argument which indicates further you simply don’t understand economics.

    But out of curiosity, what do you think has been happening with health care costs while the number of insured have increased? What statistic do you have indicating that the health care costs of the entire country have been going down? Oh wait, they haven’t been! What! They’ve been increasing at a rate much higher than inflation? What could possibly be causing that rise? /sarc

  137. 137
    pfft says:

    By Kary L. Krismer @ 135:

    RE: pfft @ 33 – That’s based on billing, not cost. ER billing is a joke, and has little or nothing to do with cost.

    ha ha. really? I don’t think you really understand how goods are produced. this means there is a scarcity of ER resources…

    in the end it doesn’t matter you still have to pay. just because the cost of producing gas is a lot lower than the cost at the pump doesn’t mean the price at the pump isn’t the price you pay.

  138. 138

    RE: pfft @ 37 – Completely none responsive.

    You claimed something showed costs were going down. I pointed out they were just looking at billings and that billings are different than costs. You then respond with total gibberish that has nothing to do with what something costs to society, but instead what people are billed.

  139. 139
    pfft says:

    By Kary L. Krismer @ 138:

    RE: pfft @ 37 – Completely none responsive.

    You claimed something showed costs were going down. I pointed out they were just looking at billings and that billings are different than costs. You then respond with total gibberish that has nothing to do with what something costs to society, but instead what people are billed.

    huh?

  140. 140

    RE: pfft @ 39 – This is pretty simple stuff.

    You go to a Lexus dealer and the MSRP on the vehicle is $60,000. That doesn’t mean that it cost $60,000 to build the car.

    You’re looking at hospital billings and confusing those with costs.

  141. 141
    pfft says:

    Obamacare is going to be in front of the Supreme Court…should be awesome.

    I can’t wait for the right’s reaction when it’s declared constitutional.

  142. 142
    pfft says:

    By Kary L. Krismer @ 40:

    RE: pfft @ 39 – This is pretty simple stuff.

    You go to a Lexus dealer and the MSRP on the vehicle is $60,000. That doesn’t mean that it cost $60,000 to build the car.

    You’re looking at hospital billings and confusing those with costs.

    it doesn’t matter if you still have to pay $60,000.

  143. 143

    RE: pfft @ 42 – Maybe that’s the different between you and me. I’m concerned Obamacare will bankruptcy the country because too many resources will be diverted to healthcare. You’re focused on the individual, and think that as long as they have health care coverage they’re okay, ignoring the impact of the economy collapsing on its own weight.

  144. 144

    By pfft @ 41:

    Obamacare is going to be in front of the Supreme Court…should be awesome.

    I can’t wait for the right’s reaction when it’s declared constitutional.

    I never try to predict what the Supreme Court will do, but if the individual mandate is declared constitutional, God help us all. That would be a huge expansion of federal power, and I’m afraid what might follow.

  145. 145
    pfft says:

    By Kary L. Krismer @ 143:

    RE: pfft @ 42 – Maybe that’s the different between you and me. I’m concerned Obamacare will bankruptcy the country because too many resources will be diverted to healthcare. You’re focused on the individual, and think that as long as they have health care coverage they’re okay, ignoring the impact of the economy collapsing on its own weight.

    link please? you know that healthcare spending is is already on an unsustainable path right?

  146. 146
    pfft says:

    By Kary L. Krismer @ 44:

    By pfft @ 41:

    Obamacare is going to be in front of the Supreme Court…should be awesome.

    I can’t wait for the right’s reaction when it’s declared constitutional.

    I never try to predict what the Supreme Court will do, but if the individual mandate is declared constitutional, God help us all. That would be a huge expansion of federal power, and I’m afraid what might follow.

    huge expansion how? it will most likely be ruled constitutional.

    if it is ruled unconstitutional then basically everything the government has ever passed will be declared unconstitutional.

  147. 147

    By pfft @ 45:

    By Kary L. Krismer @ 143:

    RE: pfft @ 42 – Maybe that’s the different between you and me. I’m concerned Obamacare will bankruptcy the country because too many resources will be diverted to healthcare. You’re focused on the individual, and think that as long as they have health care coverage they’re okay, ignoring the impact of the economy collapsing on its own weight.

    link please? you know that healthcare spending is is already on an unsustainable path right?

    We’ve gone over this many times. The more insurance the less people care what anything costs. The less people care what anything costs the more they use (increased demand). Increased demand means higher prices.

    The spending is on an unsustainable path because there was already too much insurance in the system, at least too much insurance which provided too much coverage (the traditional plan).

  148. 148

    By pfft @ 46:

    By Kary L. Krismer @ 44:

    By pfft @ 41:

    Obamacare is going to be in front of the Supreme Court…should be awesome.

    I can’t wait for the right’s reaction when it’s declared constitutional.

    I never try to predict what the Supreme Court will do, but if the individual mandate is declared constitutional, God help us all. That would be a huge expansion of federal power, and I’m afraid what might follow.

    huge expansion how? it will most likely be ruled constitutional.

    if it is ruled unconstitutional then basically everything the government has ever passed will be declared unconstitutional.

    Except for auto insurance, which only applies to people who undertake a voluntary activity, the government has seldom if ever required people to enter the marketplace and buy things, or be punished. Rather than regulate commerce, they are creating commerce.

    If they can do this, then Cash for Clunkers was an incredible waste of money. They should have just fined everyone $3,000 if they kept a car that would have qualified for CFCs.

    They could probably easily do this as a tax, with a government program providing the benefits. That isn’t what they did.

  149. 149
    pfft says:

    By Kary L. Krismer @ 147:

    By pfft @ 45:

    By Kary L. Krismer @ 143:

    RE: pfft @ 42 – Maybe that’s the different between you and me. I’m concerned Obamacare will bankruptcy the country because too many resources will be diverted to healthcare. You’re focused on the individual, and think that as long as they have health care coverage they’re okay, ignoring the impact of the economy collapsing on its own weight.

    link please? you know that healthcare spending is is already on an unsustainable path right?

    We’ve gone over this many times. The more insurance the less people care what anything costs. The less people care what anything costs the more they use (increased demand). Increased demand means higher prices.

    prove. you’re wrong though. most healthcare spending is based on a very limited number of people. this won’t control costs.

  150. 150

    RE: pfft @ 149 – We’ve gone over this so many times. I’m getting tired of it. But I don’t know how you consider over 50% of the population to be a very limited number of people. Look what under 10% of the population did to real estate prices in 2007.

  151. 151
    pfft says:

    By Kary L. Krismer @ 150:

    RE: pfft @ 149 – We’ve gone over this so many times. I’m getting tired of it. But I don’t know how you consider over 50% of the population to be a very limited number of people. Look what under 10% of the population did to real estate prices in 2007.

    your position wrong by these two points.

    1. medicare costs are growing slower than private insurance costs so you are wrong on that point.

    2. 5% of people represent 50% of healthcare spending. No amount of rationing through the market is going to solve that.

    5% of patients account for half of health care spending
    http://www.usatoday.com/news/washington/story/2012-01-11/health-care-costs-11/52505562/1

    lastly most healthcare systems have an all you can eat system and they half 1/2 the costs.

    game over.

  152. 152

    RE: pfft @ 151 – LOL.

    First, you’re going to have to explain how something rising slower than the insurance system proves that more insurance isn’t going to result in more problems. I think you have that proof backwards. It’s proof of my position.

    Second, that 5% of patients account for 50% of costs also doesn’t prove anything, other than that when people don’t have to pay a lot of money gets spent. Again, that’s my point.

    BTW, you obviously don’t understand rationing if you don’t think rationing would solve that problem. I’m sorry to be cold hearted, but at some point society needs to realize that you can’t keep your parent alive on a respirator and feeding tube indefinitely at no cost to you, just because you can’t bring yourself to say goodbye. If someone wants to torture their parents in such a manner, they should do so on their own dime. Unfortunately today it’s the taxpayer that often picks that cost up.

  153. 153

    One more reason Obamacare might be unconstitutional is the revenue side. The tax or penalty for not having coverage might not be constitutional.

    Without that the individual mandate disappears, and the rest of it then becomes unworkable (or really the illusion that it is workable completely disappears).

  154. 154
    pfft says:

    By Kary L. Krismer @ 152:

    RE: pfft @ 151 – LOL.

    First, you’re going to have to explain how something rising slower than the insurance system proves that more insurance isn’t going to result in more problems. I think you have that proof backwards. It’s proof of my position.

    Second, that 5% of patients account for 50% of costs also doesn’t prove anything, other than that when people don’t have to pay a lot of money gets spent. Again, that’s my point.

    no you don’t seem to understand. for 95% of the people who are treated shopping around won’t make a difference. cost cutting won’t matter. for those whom we do spend a lot of money on they can’t shop around if they have a heart attack.

    your math simply does not add up.

  155. 155
    pfft says:

    By Kary L. Krismer @ 53:

    One more reason Obamacare might be unconstitutional is the revenue side. The tax or penalty for not having coverage might not be constitutional.

    Without that the individual mandate disappears, and the rest of it then becomes unworkable (or really the illusion that it is workable completely disappears).

    the penalty will be ruled constitutional because the government has laws saying you can’t turn people away at ERs. since this is law even if you don’t have insurance someday you may need medical treatment that the state may have to pay for.

  156. 156

    RE: pfft @ 154 – Your English doesn’t add up.

  157. 157

    By pfft @ 55:

    By Kary L. Krismer @ 53:

    One more reason Obamacare might be unconstitutional is the revenue side. The tax or penalty for not having coverage might not be constitutional.

    Without that the individual mandate disappears, and the rest of it then becomes unworkable (or really the illusion that it is workable completely disappears).

    the penalty will be ruled constitutional because the government has laws saying you can’t turn people away at ERs. since this is law even if you don’t have insurance someday you may need medical treatment that the state may have to pay for.

    That has absolutely nothing at all to do with the power of the government to tax you. There are limits on the power of the government to tax you, which is why we have a Constitutional Amendment allowing the income tax. But the government is trying to treat this penalty different than the income tax, which is what makes it constitutionally suspect.

  158. 158

    Here’s something on the tax issue.

    http://taxprof.typepad.com/taxprof_blog/2010/07/wsj-the–1.html

    I’m not saying the analysis in the link is the correct analysis, but that the issue is there.

  159. 159
    pfft says:

    By Kary L. Krismer @ 156:

    RE: pfft @ 154 – Your English doesn’t add up.

    Better than you logic. Pointing out grammar mistakes is so 2005…

  160. 160
  161. 161

    By pfft @ 59:

    By Kary L. Krismer @ 156:

    RE: pfft @ 154 – Your English doesn’t add up.

    Better than you logic. Pointing out grammar mistakes is so 2005…

    I’m not pointing out grammar errors. I’m pointing out that your words don’t mean anything. It’s just a bunch of words put together that don’t make thoughts. I have no idea what you were even trying to say.

    Your sentences were like this one: Building fence dog run car rabbit sunny.

  162. 162

    RE: pfft @ 60 – Are you really that gullible? You think there are no legal experts in the country that think Obamacare will be struck down?

    Reminds me of an article I wasted my time reading today. Some reporter decided that the Justices wouldn’t avoid a decision based on that tax injunction statute (which BTW, if different than the constitutional issue I’ve been mentioning). There are two things lawyers know very well: 1. You can’t tell what a judge is going to do by what they ask and say at an oral argument; and 2. You shouldn’t even try to get an interpretation of a legal issue from press reports.

  163. 163
    pfft says:

    By Kary L. Krismer @ 161:

    By pfft @ 59:

    By Kary L. Krismer @ 156:

    RE: pfft @ 154 – Your English doesn’t add up.

    Better than you logic. Pointing out grammar mistakes is so 2005…

    I’m not pointing out grammar errors. I’m pointing out that your words don’t mean anything. It’s just a bunch of words put together that don’t make thoughts. I have no idea what you were even trying to say.

    Your sentences were like this one: Building fence dog run car rabbit sunny.

    of course you don’t understand what I am talking about…

  164. 164
    pfft says:

    By Kary L. Krismer @ 62:

    RE: pfft @ 60 – Are you really that gullible? You think there are no legal experts in the country that think Obamacare will be struck down?

    Reminds me of an article I wasted my time reading today. Some reporter decided that the Justices wouldn’t avoid a decision based on that tax injunction statute (which BTW, if different than the constitutional issue I’ve been mentioning). There are two things lawyers know very well: 1. You can’t tell what a judge is going to do by what they ask and say at an oral argument; and 2. You shouldn’t even try to get an interpretation of a legal issue from press reports.

    you didn’t really read did you? I did not say that you couldn’t find an expert that said it was unconstitutional.

    National Journal surveyed former Supreme Court clerks and lawyers who have argued cases before the high court about the health care law, and the consensus was that the Affordable Care is likely to prevail.

    the problem clearly is you and not me.

  165. 165

    Speaking of not understanding, I don’t know how this could have possibly been more clear!

    By Kary L. Krismer @ 162:

    2. You shouldn’t even try to get an interpretation of a legal issue from press reports.

    Translation: Your article is worthless.

    Just out of curiosity, how many articles in the press did you read that predicted that the Supreme Court would find the Second Amendment to be an individual right? They almost all focused on the single word “militia” and got it wrong, probably quoting many of the same law professors as experts. You know who else largely made that mistake? Democrats. Will history repeat itself with healthcare? Who knows. It will be a close decision, and it wouldn’t surprise me that it will turn on something hardly discussed, like the tax issue I’ve been mentioning.

  166. 166

    If anyone is interested, here is a copy of the transcript of the hearing today, dealing mainly with the tax injunction statute.

    http://www.supremecourt.gov/oral_arguments/argument_transcripts/11-398-Monday.pdf

  167. 167
    pfft says:

    By Kary L. Krismer @ 165:

    Speaking of not understanding, I don’t know how this could have possibly been more clear!

    By Kary L. Krismer @ 162:

    2. You shouldn’t even try to get an interpretation of a legal issue from press reports.

    Translation: Your article is worthless.

    Just out of curiosity, how many articles in the press did you read that predicted that the Supreme Court would find the Second Amendment to be an individual right? They almost all focused on the single word “militia” and got it wrong, probably quoting many of the same law professors as experts. You know who else largely made that mistake? Democrats. Will history repeat itself with healthcare? Who knows. It will be a close decision, and it wouldn’t surprise me that it will turn on something hardly discussed, like the tax issue I’ve been mentioning.

    it was not a press report. You can’t read. Nothing to do with the media or media accounts regarding arguments made before the courts.

    National Journal surveyed former Supreme Court clerks and lawyers who have argued cases before the high court about the health care law, and the consensus was that the Affordable Care is likely to prevail.

  168. 168

    RE: pfft @ 67 – Again, compare what you read in the press about the Second Amendment to what you’re reading today about Obamacare.

    The press is largely liberal. Law professors are largely liberal. The result you’re seeing is not surprising. It also means nothing. What really matters is the opinion of one to three Supreme Court Justices.

  169. 169
  170. 170

    Here’s today’s transcript:

    http://www.supremecourt.gov/oral_arguments/argument_transcripts/11-398-Tuesday.pdf

    The part starting at about page 7 involving the burial insurance hypothetical is pretty funny.

  171. 171

    From the transcript:

    JUSTICE BREYER: I’m just picking on something. I’d like to just — if it turned out there was some terrible epidemic sweeping the United States, and we couldn’t say that more than 40 or 50 percent — I can make the number as high as I want — but the — the — you’d say the Federal Government doesn’t have the power to get people inoculated, to require them to be inoculated, because that’s just statistical

    Amazing how some people thing that the federal government can do anything it wants. Scary that it’s a Supreme Court Justice who thinks that.

  172. 172
    pfft says:

    By Kary L. Krismer @ 168:

    RE: pfft @ 67 – Again, compare what you read in the press about the Second Amendment to what you’re reading today about Obamacare.

    The press is largely liberal. Law professors are largely liberal.

    my god can you read?

    National Journal surveyed former Supreme Court clerks and lawyers who have argued cases before the high court

  173. 173
    pfft says:

    By Kary L. Krismer @ 71:

    From the transcript:

    JUSTICE BREYER: I’m just picking on something. I’d like to just — if it turned out there was some terrible epidemic sweeping the United States, and we couldn’t say that more than 40 or 50 percent — I can make the number as high as I want — but the — the — you’d say the Federal Government doesn’t have the power to get people inoculated, to require them to be inoculated, because that’s just statistical

    Amazing how some people thing that the federal government can do anything it wants. Scary that it’s a Supreme Court Justice who thinks that.

    Supreme Court Justices are the last people in the world who think the government can do whatever it wants. I mean they are SUPREME COURT JUSTICES. we don’t even know if that’s his view or if he’s playing devil’s advocate.

  174. 174

    RE: pfft @ 72 – What do you think people who clerk for the Supreme Court do after they clerk? They become law professors.

    But in any case, members of the press pick who they question.

    Do you seriously think that their results mean squat?

  175. 175

    By pfft @ 73:

    By Kary L. Krismer @ 71:

    From the transcript:

    JUSTICE BREYER: I’m just picking on something. I’d like to just — if it turned out there was some terrible epidemic sweeping the United States, and we couldn’t say that more than 40 or 50 percent — I can make the number as high as I want — but the — the — you’d say the Federal Government doesn’t have the power to get people inoculated, to require them to be inoculated, because that’s just statistical

    Amazing how some people thing that the federal government can do anything it wants. Scary that it’s a Supreme Court Justice who thinks that.

    Supreme Court Justices are the last people in the world who think the government can do whatever it wants. I mean they are SUPREME COURT JUSTICES. we don’t even know if that’s his view or if he’s playing devil’s advocate.

    I hope he was playing devil’s advocate, but I don’t think he was.

    But incorrect about what Supreme Court justices think. Some of them think women should not be allowed a constitutional right to an abortion. Some of them think just about any warrantless search is valid. Some of them think that politicians can pass laws so that their opponents cannot attack them weeks before an election. The members of the court hold many different views.

    On topic, if the individual mandate stands, the government can do whatever it wants. There will be no limit on what government can do. That’s what part of the argument today was about–the limits if it is valid. About the only thing that the supporters of Obamacare could point to is health care is special and unique. Everything is special and unique.

  176. 176
    pfft says:

    By Kary L. Krismer @ 174:

    RE: pfft @ 72 – What do you think people who clerk for the Supreme Court do after they clerk? They become law professors.

    oh god. that is the worst backtrack I’ve ever read on the internet. you are stretching there.

  177. 177

    RE: pfft @ 176 – I’m not willing to generalize about people who argue before the Supreme Court. Some are liberal, some are conservative.

    If you clerk for the Supreme Court you can get a job virtually anywhere. The smart ones, IMHO, become professors, or work in government, rather than practicing lawyers.

  178. 178

    Here’s a good story about the disaster in Washington state when Democrats tried to cover pre-existing conditions without a mandate. What amazed me at the time is that an insurance Commissioner would push something that would lead to such an obvious result, and that the obvious result (insurers pulling out of the state) would take so long.

    http://seattletimes.nwsource.com/html/localnews/2017852301_insurancemandate28m.html

  179. 179

    On the topic of the press, go back and see how the press dealt with the Florida court throwing out all of Obamacare based on severability. Then realize that today the court is having an entire day of argument addressing the issue.

  180. 180

    Today’s argument’s link: http://www.supremecourt.gov/oral_arguments/argument_transcripts/11-393.pdf

    And nothing better than a good Eight Amendment joke (at least there’s nothing better if you’re in the courtroom and the person telling the joke is a Supreme Court Justice);

    JUSTICE SCALIA: Mr. Kneedler, what happened to the Eighth Amendment? You really want us to go through these 2,700 pages?
    (Laughter.)

  181. 181

    After reading most of the transcripts, the most likely outcomes seem to be the whole of Obamacare surviving, or the whole thing being wiped out. Having part survive seems less likely.

  182. 182
    pfft says:

    By Kary L. Krismer @ 181:

    After reading most of the transcripts, the most likely outcomes seem to be the whole of Obamacare surviving, or the whole thing being wiped out. Having part survive seems less likely.

    I agree. there is no way that you can have the prexisting condition clause in there and strikedown the mandate w/o bankrupting the insurance industry. in my mind this makes the case for the mandate. the supreme court already has let the government regulate the insurance industry. in order to regulate it the mandate is all wrapped up in that.

  183. 183

    RE: pfft @ 82 – If you read the transcript there are three positions being advanced if the individual mandate is held to be unconstitutional.

    1. Just strike the mandate.
    2. Strike the mandate, the pre-existing coverages and insurance markets (whatever they’re called).
    3. Strike the whole act, including things that have nothing to do with healthcare, like ethanol provisions, things pertaining to native americans, etc.

    Apparently no one found a case where the provision struck goes to the heart of an act, and they were having problems expressing a limiting principal. That was the same problem with the individual mandate–if you force people to buy something, what is the limitation on the government’s power to do that?

    BTW, “individual mandate” apparently equals “minimum coverage provisions,” depending on whether you are for or against the mandate.

  184. 184

    BTW, the arguments were fairly interesting, not because of the quality of the debate. Instead because there’s apparently very little prior case law on many of these issues, such as forcing people to buy something (as opposed to forcing them to buy something configured a certain way if they buy something) or striking a major component of legislation.

    Given all the novel issues it wouldn’t surprise me to see four or more opinions generated by the case.

  185. 185
    The Tim says:

    By Kary L. Krismer @ 183:

    …if you force people to buy something, what is the limitation on the government’s power…

    You still believe there are limits to the federal government’s power? How quaint.

  186. 186

    RE: The Tim @ 85 – LOL, but based on the question in post 171 apparently some Justices think there isn’t any limitation.

  187. 187
    pfft says:

    By The Tim @ 185:

    By Kary L. Krismer @ 183:

    …if you force people to buy something, what is the limitation on the government’s power…

    You still believe there are limits to the federal government’s power? How quaint.

    by your reasoning the government could never pass anything. the income tax is unconstitutional because why couldn’t the top rate just be 100%?

    anyways you are wrong.

    Plenty of ‘limiting principles’ to go around
    http://maddowblog.msnbc.msn.com/_news/2012/03/29/10926548-plenty-of-limiting-principles-to-go-around

  188. 188
    pfft says:

    By Kary L. Krismer @ 150:

    RE: pfft @ 149 – We’ve gone over this so many times. I’m getting tired of it. But I don’t know how you consider over 50% of the population to be a very limited number of people. Look what under 10% of the population did to real estate prices in 2007.

    you’ve got your facts wrong, 5% of the people are accounting for 50% of health costs.

  189. 189

    By pfft @ 87:

    By The Tim @ 185:

    By Kary L. Krismer @ 183:

    …if you force people to buy something, what is the limitation on the government’s power…

    You still believe there are limits to the federal government’s power? How quaint.

    by your reasoning the government could never pass anything. the income tax is unconstitutional because why couldn’t the top rate just be 100%?

    anyways you are wrong.

    Plenty of ‘limiting principles’ to go around
    http://maddowblog.msnbc.msn.com/_news/2012/03/29/10926548-plenty-of-limiting-principles-to-go-around

    First, you probably need to know before making absurd arguments that the income tax is only legal because there’s a constitutional amendment that allows it.

    Second, I love how you don’t even read your own link. The link to the choices was within that link–here: http://balkin.blogspot.com/2012/03/limiting-principle.html

    Third, just because someone can come up with limiting principles doesn’t mean the court (or anyone) will be happy with them, or that there is any basis to impose them. Also, one of those three limiting principles is problematic in and of itself–the tax one. Which gets back to the first point–the income tax is only constitutional because there’s an amendment which allows it. Just because it’s a tax doesn’t mean it’s constitutional. One of the arguments made was that it is an unconstitutional tax.

  190. 190

    By pfft @ 88:

    By Kary L. Krismer @ 150:

    RE: pfft @ 149 – We’ve gone over this so many times. I’m getting tired of it. But I don’t know how you consider over 50% of the population to be a very limited number of people. Look what under 10% of the population did to real estate prices in 2007.

    you’ve got your facts wrong, 5% of the people are accounting for 50% of health costs.

    Totally non-responsive and indicates you don’t even have a clue about what I’m talking about. Read it again–I pointed out a small number of people can affect the market. How is pointing out that a small number of people affected the market in any way disputing what I said?

    Also, you said the same thing in post 151. I keep saying you need to have your memory checked. You keep repeating the same things over and over and over here.

  191. 191

    I love how all of pfft’s so-called experts have apparently changed their tune based on the oral arguments.

    http://www.nytimes.com/2012/03/31/business/the-health-care-mandate-and-the-constitution.html

    Not too surprising that those who don’t understand the difference between regulating commerce and creating commerce would think that oral arguments actually mean much. The chance that Obamacare will be struck down is almost exactly what it was before the oral arguments. It’s very unlikely the arguments changed a single justices mind. Apparently though, these so-called experts were unaware of what the arguments were, so their minds were changed.

  192. 192

    The Supreme Court is voting today on the Obamacare case, and will decide who writes the opinion. I wonder if today President Obama is wishing that he hadn’t done this:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9bR_9wmNnD4

  193. 193
    pfft says:

    By Kary L. Krismer @ 190:

    By pfft @ 88:

    By Kary L. Krismer @ 150:

    RE: pfft @ 149 – We’ve gone over this so many times. I’m getting tired of it. But I don’t know how you consider over 50% of the population to be a very limited number of people. Look what under 10% of the population did to real estate prices in 2007.

    you’ve got your facts wrong, 5% of the people are accounting for 50% of health costs.

    Totally non-responsive and indicates you don’t even have a clue about what I’m talking about. Read it again–I pointed out a small number of people can affect the market. How is pointing out that a small number of people affected the market in any way disputing what I said?

    Also, you said the same thing in post 151. I keep saying you need to have your memory checked. You keep repeating the same things over and over and over here.

    DO THE MATH. what it means is that because such a small portion of people have such high healthcare costs means that your idea that healthcare is so expensive because people don’t care what it costs is simply false. there are simply not enough people to make a difference.

    the report showed how a tiny segment of the population can drive health care spending

  194. 194

    RE: pfft @ 93 – So in your world, at least 5% of the people are causing prescription Prilosec to be 10 times more expensive than the same stuff in non-prescription form? I doubt 5% of the people are taking any form of Prilosec. You don’t understand how markets work. When a stock has a very good or very bad day, it’s typically a very small percentage of the stock actually changing hands. Small groups more markets.

    In any case, what percentage of the population is using their insurance in any significant way during any given year? There are probably a significant percentage of people that have insurance that don’t even do the annual visit to the doctor. That doesn’t mean that a small percentage of them wouldn’t be driving up costs by spending without regard to cost.

  195. 195
    pfft says:

    By Kary L. Krismer @ 194:

    RE: pfft @ 93 – So in your world, at least 5% of the people are causing prescription Prilosec to be 10 times more expensive than the same stuff in non-prescription form? I doubt 5% of the people are taking any form of Prilosec.

    to talk about one single aspect is worthless when we are talking about the entirety of healthcare spending.

  196. 196

    That one single aspect shows the impact of having insurance. The link to Drugstore.com’s pricing is held up in the spam filter in the weekend thread, but it’s 7x the cost in prescription form. If there wasn’t an OTC version of the drug it would probably be even more expensive.

    Another example is Nasonex. Last time I looked that stuff is now twice as expensive as only a few years ago, because the ads have driven up the demand.

  197. 197

    This article indicates we are one of four nations spending over $600 a year per capita on drugs, with the US at $950. That’s roughly 1/8th of our spending, per the article. I wouldn’t really call the costs of drugs insignificant.

    http://bottomline.msnbc.msn.com/_news/2012/04/01/10922752-countries-that-spend-the-most-on-health-care

    BTW, the new version of Adblock for Chrome substitutes pictures of cats for ads. Lots of cats in that link!

  198. 198
    pfft says:

    By Kary L. Krismer @ 196:

    That one single aspect shows the impact of having insurance. The link to Drugstore.com’s pricing is held up in the spam filter in the weekend thread, but it’s 7x the cost in prescription form. If there wasn’t an OTC version of the drug it would probably be even more expensive.

    Another example is Nasonex. Last time I looked that stuff is now twice as expensive as only a few years ago, because the ads have driven up the demand.

    one drug isn’t a big deal. are all drugs 7-10 times more? then we have a problem. we should have re-importation of drugs.

  199. 199

    RE: pfft @ 198 – It’s a problem with all drugs which have not had their patent expire.

  200. 200
    pfft says:

    I still believe it’s going to be 5-4 or 6-3 for Obamacare being constitutional. the court has recognized that the federal government can regulate healthcare. in order to regulate pre-existing conditions and other areas we need a mandate or the health insurance system collapses.

  201. 201

    By pfft @ 100:

    I still believe it’s going to be 5-4 or 6-3 for Obamacare being constitutional. the court has recognized that the federal government can regulate healthcare. in order to regulate pre-existing conditions and other areas we need a mandate or the health insurance system collapses.

    Of course it can regulate health care. That’s like saying the sun rises in the east.

    The question is in regulating health care can the government force people into the market? The only justification for that seems to be that other government regulation of the health care market has screwed up the market so bad that an individual mandate is necessary. Under that theory the government could do anything if it screws something up! Price supports for wheat lead to shortages, then kill 30 million people to compensate. After all, they can regulate commerce!

  202. 202

    This is crazy. Apparently the state spends about $800 a month on health insurance for full time employees.

    http://seattletimes.nwsource.com/html/localnews/2017889933_needle02m.html

    I spend less than $500 a month on insurance and non-covered items.

    That extra money isn’t just going into insurance company pockets. It’s being spent on health care services which wouldn’t be spent if people actually cared what they spent on health care. That drives up the cost of medical services for everyone, and harms people without insurance.

  203. 203
    pfft says:

    By Kary L. Krismer @ 202:

    This is crazy. Apparently the state spends about $800 a month on health insurance for full time employees.

    http://seattletimes.nwsource.com/html/localnews/2017889933_needle02m.html

    I spend less than $500 a month on insurance and non-covered items.

    That extra money isn’t just going into insurance company pockets. It’s being spent on health care services which wouldn’t be spent if people actually cared what they spent on health care. That drives up the cost of medical services for everyone, and harms people without insurance.

    link please.

  204. 204
    pfft says:

    By Kary L. Krismer @ 1:

    By pfft @ 100:

    I still believe it’s going to be 5-4 or 6-3 for Obamacare being constitutional. the court has recognized that the federal government can regulate healthcare. in order to regulate pre-existing conditions and other areas we need a mandate or the health insurance system collapses.

    Of course it can regulate health care. That’s like saying the sun rises in the east.

    The question is in regulating health care can the government force people into the market? The only justification for that seems to be that other government regulation of the health care market has screwed up the market so bad that an individual mandate is necessary. Under that theory the government could do anything if it screws something up! Price supports for wheat lead to shortages, then kill 30 million people to compensate. After all, they can regulate commerce!

    if you know anything about the healthcare market you know that your wheat analogy is wrong. the individual mandate is needed because private health insurance is so screwed up with it’s high administrative costs, lifetime caps, yearly caps, pre-existing conditions and the like that in order to make it better w/o bankrupting the industry we need a mandate.

    if you were right and mandates drove costs up to unsustainable levels like you say Mass. healthcare would be a basket case but it isn’t.

  205. 205

    By pfft @ 3:

    By Kary L. Krismer @ 202:

    This is crazy. Apparently the state spends about $800 a month on health insurance for full time employees.

    http://seattletimes.nwsource.com/html/localnews/2017889933_needle02m.html

    I spend less than $500 a month on insurance and non-covered items.

    That extra money isn’t just going into insurance company pockets. It’s being spent on health care services which wouldn’t be spent if people actually cared what they spent on health care. That drives up the cost of medical services for everyone, and harms people without insurance.

    link please.

    Seriously, you don’t think pumping $300 a month extra into health care every month for every employee of King County is going to drive up prices.

    Take a course on economics!

  206. 206

    RE: pfft @ 4 – My wheat analogy just shows that because government screws something up it doesn’t allow them to do whatever they happen to think of to fix it. Do you seriously deny that?

  207. 207
    pfft says:

    By Kary L. Krismer @ 205:

    By pfft @ 3:

    By Kary L. Krismer @ 202:

    This is crazy. Apparently the state spends about $800 a month on health insurance for full time employees.

    http://seattletimes.nwsource.com/html/localnews/2017889933_needle02m.html

    I spend less than $500 a month on insurance and non-covered items.

    That extra money isn’t just going into insurance company pockets. It’s being spent on health care services which wouldn’t be spent if people actually cared what they spent on health care. That drives up the cost of medical services for everyone, and harms people without insurance.

    link please.

    Seriously, you don’t think pumping $300 a month extra into health care every month for every employee of King County is going to drive up prices.

    Take a course on economics!

    you made specific comments. link please. for example

    “That extra money isn’t just going into insurance company pockets.”

    link please.

  208. 208
    pfft says:

    By Kary L. Krismer @ 6:

    RE: pfft @ 4 – My wheat analogy just shows that because government screws something up it doesn’t allow them to do whatever they happen to think of to fix it. Do you seriously deny that?

    the wheat market is NOT the same as health insurance. first of all one of the reason we have mandates is that people are not denied medical care when it is needed. hospitals and taxpayers pick up the tab. this costs more because people go to ERs instead of getting more effect care.

    please show an example of mandates driving up health care costs and bankrupting the system like you have claimed.

  209. 209

    RE: pfft @ 7 – There are stories in the Seattle Times about insurance companies increasing their reserves, but profits are highly regulated. Try to learn something about the topic you seem to have so much interest in. Your knee jerk Obama did it so it must be good analysis gets a bit tiring.

  210. 210

    By pfft @ 8:

    By Kary L. Krismer @ 6:

    RE: pfft @ 4 – My wheat analogy just shows that because government screws something up it doesn’t allow them to do whatever they happen to think of to fix it. Do you seriously deny that?

    the wheat market is NOT the same as health insurance. first of all one of the reason we have mandates is that people are not denied medical care when it is needed. hospitals and taxpayers pick up the tab. this costs more because people go to ERs instead of getting more effect care.

    please show an example of mandates driving up health care costs and bankrupting the system like you have claimed.

    I’m not saying wheat is the same as health. I’m addressing the powers of the federal government, specifically the power of the federal government to force the people to enter the market and buy a product. That is a new power recognized seemingly by everyone but you.

    For the example of the mandates driving up costs, that would be a bit tough since the mandates are not in place yet. Fortunately though I can point to Massachusetts. It hasn’t bankrupted their system yet (because it’s not nationwide), but costs there are through the roof.

    http://www.patriotledger.com/business/x1336254386/Massachusetts-struggles-to-rein-in-health-care-costs

  211. 211

    By pfft @ 207:

    By Kary L. Krismer @ 205:

    By pfft @ 3:

    By Kary L. Krismer @ 202:

    This is crazy. Apparently the state spends about $800 a month on health insurance for full time employees.

    http://seattletimes.nwsource.com/html/localnews/2017889933_needle02m.html

    I spend less than $500 a month on insurance and non-covered items.

    That extra money isn’t just going into insurance company pockets. It’s being spent on health care services which wouldn’t be spent if people actually cared what they spent on health care. That drives up the cost of medical services for everyone, and harms people without insurance.

    link please.

    Seriously, you don’t think pumping $300 a month extra into health care every month for every employee of King County is going to drive up prices.

    Take a course on economics!

    you made specific comments. link please. for example

    “That extra money isn’t just going into insurance company pockets.”

    link please.

    Here you go.

    http://seattletimes.nwsource.com/html/localnews/2017719785_insurance11m.html

    Two of the three big companies actually lost money last year, but they were increasing their reserves.

    Amazing how their critics don’t like insurance companies having reserves. It’s not like building those up to a certain point increases long term costs, and it does protect the solvency of the entities. It would be like arguing a condo association is somehow being irresponsible building reserves. But hey, if your an elected official, it gets the votes of morons.

  212. 212
    pfft says:

    By Kary L. Krismer @ 209:

    RE: pfft @ 7 – There are stories in the Seattle Times about insurance companies increasing their reserves, but profits are highly regulated. Try to learn something about the topic you seem to have so much interest in. Your knee jerk Obama did it so it must be good analysis gets a bit tiring.

    like I said before Washington’s system is not a model of anything because they screwed up by having no mandate.

    “Your knee jerk Obama did it so it must be good analysis gets a bit tiring.”

    Mandates were a gesture to Republicans. Mandates were first proposed by liberal Senator Orin Hatch. I don’t want mandates I want single-payer so don’t blame me like that.

    Mandates are Constitutional.

  213. 213
  214. 214

    RE: Scotsman @ 213 – He lost me when he was talking about an educated well-informed electorate. ;-)

  215. 215

    Here’s an interesting article about issues with consumers making decisions regarding their health care, and how (and to some extent why) they do a lousy job of it.

    http://www.techweb.com/news/232900154/why-healthcare-cost-reports-fail-consumers.html

  216. 216

    You people with traditional insurance, that don’t give a crap what anything costs, are killing me!

    I go to the Mason Clinic to have the doctor look at and remove a cyst under my arm. He says it’s too irritated, so he gives it a shot and has me schedule a new appointment for removal.

    I get the bill. They reduced amounts because I have insurance are $186 to see the doctor. That’s okay, he’s a specialist. $99.00 for the shot! But the kicker is, because he gave me a shot, the hospital, which I wasn’t even at, charges $75 for the exam room, claiming the shot is somehow a hospital procedure.

    People with traditional insurance would pay a $25 co-pay and not care that their insurance company is being ripped off, not realizing that the charge will get passed on in the form of higher insurance premiums. But then, most people with traditional insurance don’t pay the premiums, so they don’t care about that either!

  217. 217
  218. 218
  219. 219
    pfft says:

    By Kary L. Krismer @ 218:

    Obamacare is not very popular, and is becoming even less popular.

    obamacare when polled on the specific parts is very popular. many of those unhappy with obamacare still want to keep it or improve it. a minority wants to do away with it.

  220. 220
    pfft says:

    By Kary L. Krismer @ 16:

    You people with traditional insurance, that don’t give a crap what anything costs, are killing me!

    4 or 5 other countries have our same system and don’t have our high costs. Mass with mandates has not seen prices skyrocket.

  221. 221

    By pfft @ 220:

    By Kary L. Krismer @ 16:

    You people with traditional insurance, that don’t give a crap what anything costs, are killing me!

    4 or 5 other countries have our same system and don’t have our high costs. Mass with mandates has not seen prices skyrocket.

    Quit posting incorrect facts. Massachusetts has had prices skyrocket, despite the fact that they were already the highest in the nation before Romneycare.

    http://money.cnn.com/2010/06/15/news/economy/massachusetts_healthcare_reform.fortune/index.htm

    And once again your memory sucks. This has already been covered.

  222. 222
    pfft says:

    By Kary L. Krismer @ 221:

    By pfft @ 220:

    By Kary L. Krismer @ 16:

    You people with traditional insurance, that don’t give a crap what anything costs, are killing me!

    4 or 5 other countries have our same system and don’t have our high costs. Mass with mandates has not seen prices skyrocket.

    Quit posting incorrect facts. Massachusetts has had prices skyrocket, despite the fact that they were already the highest in the nation before Romneycare.

    http://money.cnn.com/2010/06/15/news/economy/massachusetts_healthcare_reform.fortune/index.htm

    And once again your memory sucks. This has already been covered.

    costs have not skyrocketed in Mass.

    http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/ezra-klein/post/charts-six-ways-romneycare-changed-massachusetts/2012/04/12/gIQAGXuhCT_blog.html

  223. 223

    RE: pfft @ 22 – LOL. Is that site a joke? Apparently health care costs being controlled in Massachusetts isn’t something the politicians know anything about. They’re currently trying to pass legislation to help control the spiraling costs.

    http://www.businessweek.com/ap/2012-06/D9V7O7680.htm

    And things are not as rosy in that state as you claim.

    http://www.boston.com/news/local/massachusetts/articles/2012/06/12/poll_sick_adults_in_massachusetts_struggle_with_health_costs_despite_insurance_coverage/

  224. 224
    pfft says:

    yes Kary because healthcare costs are only “spiraling” in Mass! costs are not spiraling out of control because of romneycare.

    more proof:

    “nearly everybody in the state has health insurance, while data suggest more people have regular access to care and fewer people face crushing health care costs.” Plus, as you can see in the graph, costs are increasing more slowly than in the rest of the nation.

    http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/ezra-klein/post/why-is-no-one-talking-about-massachusetts/2012/05/22/gIQATLP6hU_blog.html

    that should settle that…

    of course the ONLY thing that really matters is that the number of people with insurance in Mass is above 90% and it’s making people healthier.

    Study: Romneycare is making Massachusetts healthier
    http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/ezra-klein/post/study-romneycare-is-making-massachusetts-healthier/2011/08/25/gIQA524T7R_blog.html

    Around 5 countries have insurance mandates like ours, why are their costs half of ours are if you are right? the answer of course is that you are wrong.

  225. 225

    By pfft @ 24:

    yes Kary because healthcare costs are only “spiraling” in Mass! costs are not spiraling out of control because of romneycare.

    In addition to a course on economics you need to take a course on basic math. If something is already the highest in the nation, it’s most likely to rise at lower rates than the rest of the nation if you’re working on a percentage basis.

    So, for example, if insurance costs $400 a month in Massachusetts to start, and it goes up $40, that will “only” be a 10% increase. In a state where insurance costs $300 that same 40 increase would be a larger percentage, and Massachusetts would do better in comparison.

  226. 226
    pfft says:

    By Kary L. Krismer @ 225:

    By pfft @ 24:

    yes Kary because healthcare costs are only “spiraling” in Mass! costs are not spiraling out of control because of romneycare.

    In addition to a course on economics you need to take a course on basic math. If something is already the highest in the nation, it’s most likely to rise at lower rates than the rest of the nation if you’re working on a percentage basis.

    So, for example, if insurance costs $400 a month in Massachusetts to start, and it goes up $40, that will “only” be a 10% increase. In a state where insurance costs $300 that same 40 increase would be a larger percentage, and Massachusetts would do better in comparison.

    what? just say it kary: I was wrong!

  227. 227

    RE: pfft @ 26 – Huh? Finally run out of trolling ideas?

  228. 228

    RE: pfft @ 26 – Huh? Finally run out of trolling ideas?

  229. 229

    Here we are, presumably on the morning of the decision.

    Assuming the decision comes down today, and the court doesn’t somehow duck the decision, this could be the biggest decision since Brown v. Board of Education or Roe v. Wade, or maybe even some decisions from the 1930s. And it won’t be that because of the subject matter–health care. It could be that because of what the Court says about the scope of the commerce clause and the powers of the federal government.

  230. 230

    Maybe not a far reaching decision after all. Upheld, but not based on the Commerce Clause.

    Still a bad decision for health care in this country, but not an extremely far reaching bad decision.

  231. 231
  232. 232

    I’m only through the first part which deals with the mandate and the tax, but not the Medicare holding. That part is a very well written decision by Court standards. Very understandable. The average person with a college degree could read and understand the decision.

  233. 233

    The Medicare portion of the opinion either was not was well written, or not a topic I’m as interested in. It was a snoozefest.

  234. 234

    Here’s a recent survey that shows not only that independents don’t like Obamacare, but also that Republicans don’t like it more than Democrats like it.

    Sixty-five percent of Democrats said they wanted to maintain if not expand, the law, while 85 percent of Republicans want the Affordable Care Act repealed in whole or in part. Independents were more evenly divided, with 40 percent in favor of keeping or expanding the law and 49 percent in favor of repealing all or part of the law.

    Read more: http://www.upi.com/Health_News/2012/06/30/US-evenly-split-on-healthcare-reform/UPI-95321341035541/#ixzz1zHZoA2Fp

  235. 235
    ChrisM says:

    Fun post here arguing to game the system. Simply pay the penalty and only actually get insurance once you have a critical need. This, of course, will bankrupt the system:

    http://www.economicpolicyjournal.com/2012/07/how-to-game-obamacare-and-eventually.html

  236. 236

    RE: ChrisM @ 235 – And before it bankrupts the system, those with insurance will have to pay more–a lot more.

    And now that it’s a “tax,” there’s no way in hell that Congress will increase the penalty, so the problem will not be fixed.

  237. 237
    Scotsman says:

    “So … Obama was against raiding Medicare to fund an “ill-conceived, badly thought through plan” to reform the health-care system before he was the author of those cuts to fund ObamaCare. Gotcha”

    http://hotair.com/archives/2012/08/17/ryan-were-going-to-keep-pressing-our-medicare-advantage/

  238. 238

    Good thing Obamacare is controlling costs and doesn’t cause hyperinflation of healthcare costs. My insurance only went up by 16.5%.

  239. 239
    pfft says:

    By Scotsman @ 237:

    “So â�¦ Obama was against raiding Medicare to fund an â��ill-conceived, badly thought through planâ�� to reform the health-care system before he was the author of those cuts to fund ObamaCare. Gotcha”

    http://hotair.com/archives/2012/08/17/ryan-were-going-to-keep-pressing-our-medicare-advantage/

    there were no cuts. we simply got a group discount on medical care. can you name what those cuts to medicare were or are? what medical care did seniors get that they won’t get now?

    ryan had nearly the same in his budget. he ended medicare as we know it and voucherized it. obama is leading in the medicare polls, keep pressing that “advantage.”

    why did you mislead us on on the Libyan situation? if you read your own article you would see that he went in voluntarily for questioning.

  240. 240
    David S says:

    Does anyone here have any insight on Consumer Drive Healthcare Plans (CDHP) and Healthcare Saving Accounts (HSA)?

    I am being given a choice on either continuing with PPO or choosing this new CDHP and would like to hear from someone with experience in the matter. Thanks.

  241. 241

    RE: David S @ 240 – I can’t comment on the employer based plans. I’ve heard some you lose your money contributed if not used, but apparently that’s no longer always the case.

    We have a HSA with a high deductible plan. How those works depends on your personality. If you like to have control and decide what to do based on what’s best for you, then you’ll like them. If you like to just do things without thinking, then you won’t like them.

  242. 242
  243. 243
    Jamarcus says:

    By Kary L. Krismer @ 238:

    Good thing Obamacare is controlling costs and doesn’t cause hyperinflation of healthcare costs. My insurance only went up by 16.5%.

    Cum hoc ergo propter hoc. A rather juvenile logical fallacy. Try again when you can prove that a caused b.

  244. 244
    David Losh says:

    RE: Jamarcus @ 243

    Exactly.

    The whole point of Health Care Reform was to have a mechanism in place to address skyrocketing costs.

  245. 245

    RE: David Losh @ 44RE: Jamarcus @ 43 – Take a course in basic economics and then you’ll understand why costs will skyrocket with more insurance. It’s because fewer and fewer people will care what anything costs, and make decisions irrespective of cost. It’s increased demande without any increase in supply. In California the insurance rates are going up much more than the 16% my rates are going up.

    In addition, Obamacare requires certain things be covered, such as annual physicals. Those are not going to be included in insurance coverage without an increase in rates. Contrary to popular belief, insurance companies don’t just print money. Every dime they pay comes from premiums, and if they have to pay more out, they have to take more in.

    Losh, there is no mechanism to keep costs down. There are only things in place to keep the government from paying as much. The rest of us will get screwed. Calling it the Affordable Healthcare Act was very 1984.

  246. 246

    Anthem Blue Cross, the state’s [California] largest for-profit health insurer, wants to raise rates an average of 17.5 percent for 744,000 members in February, with some Anthem policyholders seeing increases as high as 25 percent.

    “Here we go again,” said Bruce Trummel, 62, who just got notice from the insurer about a 24.6 percent increase. Trummel, a self-employed piano tuner from the small town of Aromas, which borders Monterey and San Benito counties, said this will be the second rate hike of the year from Anthem, totaling 45.6 percent. His premiums will jump from $423 to $616 per month if the new rates go through.

    Read more: http://www.sfgate.com/health/article/Health-insurance-rates-could-shoot-up-4079244.php#ixzz2EWAcWRSu

  247. 247
    David Losh says:

    RE: Kary L. Krismer @ 245

    I said Health Care Reform which has nothing to do with the Affordable Healthcare Act, or ObamaCare.

    Health Care Reform is making a single payer system run by our government. You don’t like it? You can get your own private pay insurance.

    In the world of entitlements we already have government run health care that should be available to all citizens. By sharing a larger pool of participants we may even get closer to balancing the budget.

    Government run single payer health care is where Health Care Reform is headed.

    What got passed by Congress is a joke that won’t last. Next round, hopefully when the Democrats control the House, we will get Health Care Reform.

  248. 248

    RE: David Losh @ 247 – I would agree with most of that, except I don’t see how we’re going to get to single payer even though it probably is a good idea. Maybe the collapse of the entire healthcare system will get us there, but otherwise I don’t see it happening. There would be way too much opposition from way too many entities with way too much money.

  249. 249

    Not the best source in the world, but here’s an article claiming insurance premiums are going to skyrocket further (and noting how much they have gone up already).

    http://www.forbes.com/sites/sallypipes/2013/01/07/obamacare-guarantees-higher-health-insurance-premiums-3000-higher/

  250. 250

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