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Author Topic:   How Does Republican Platform Help Middle Class?
ZenMonkey
Member (Idle past 1012 days)
Posts: 428
From: Portland, OR USA
Joined: 09-25-2009


Message 373 of 440 (612902)
04-19-2011 10:31 PM
Reply to: Message 368 by marc9000
04-19-2011 9:03 PM


Re: Minnesota Care
marc9000 writes:

The republicans are trying to shut these state programs down. They are working hard to shut down Minnesota Care and Badgercare here in Wisconsin. They want the poor and disabled to fend for themselves

State Republicans, or federal? Chances are I'd disagree with them, but I'd have to see the details of the debate. That's how I would form my opinion, not only by a blind support of Republicans.

So you're saying that if it's a state program, then you'd object to federal officials trying to shut it down? That would be a consistent states rights position, anyway. I suspect, however, that this is a case of state legislative action.

State legislatures are notorious breeding grounds for nut-job legislation, primarily coming from conservatives. Witness Arizona's Republican-dominated state legislature, which when given the choice would much rather ignore their budget crisis and instead spend their time passing laws about 10 Commandments monuments and requiring Presidential candidates to provide long form birth certificates in order to get on the ballot.

Conservatives should actually favor a federally managed heath-care program. If nothing else, it would give them a golden opportunity to effectively overturn Roe v. Wade by making abortion a non-covered procedure.


I have no time for lies and fantasy, and neither should you. Enjoy or die.
-John Lydon

Reality has a well-known liberal bias.
-Steven Colbert

I never meant to say that the Conservatives are generally stupid. I meant to say that stupid people are generally Conservative. I believe that is so obviously and universally admitted a principle that I hardly think any gentleman will deny it.
- John Stuart Mill


This message is a reply to:
 Message 368 by marc9000, posted 04-19-2011 9:03 PM marc9000 has not yet responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 403 by Jaderis, posted 04-22-2011 5:37 AM ZenMonkey has not yet responded

  
ZenMonkey
Member (Idle past 1012 days)
Posts: 428
From: Portland, OR USA
Joined: 09-25-2009


Message 379 of 440 (612941)
04-20-2011 12:15 PM
Reply to: Message 376 by Dr Adequate
04-20-2011 3:37 AM


Re: The General Welfare Clause
Great thanks to you, Dr A. I knew that I was negligent in just mentioning Hamilton without making it clear that I was explicitly refering to the Madison/Hamilton debate over enumerated powers (which started in The Federalist Papers, I believe, before the Constitution was even drafted.) I assumed that anyone so obsessed with the "foundings" - whoever or whatever they are - would certainly understand the reference and would also have to know that, as you point out, the Madisonians lost this debate. Ha ha, right. Anyway, you have now done so more far elequently and in greater depth than I could have done. I, and the rest of the forum, thank you.

Edited by ZenMonkey, : No reason given.

Edited by ZenMonkey, : Grammar. And clarity.


I have no time for lies and fantasy, and neither should you. Enjoy or die.
-John Lydon

Reality has a well-known liberal bias.
-Steven Colbert

I never meant to say that the Conservatives are generally stupid. I meant to say that stupid people are generally Conservative. I believe that is so obviously and universally admitted a principle that I hardly think any gentleman will deny it.
- John Stuart Mill


This message is a reply to:
 Message 376 by Dr Adequate, posted 04-20-2011 3:37 AM Dr Adequate has not yet responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 384 by marc9000, posted 04-20-2011 8:31 PM ZenMonkey has responded

  
ZenMonkey
Member (Idle past 1012 days)
Posts: 428
From: Portland, OR USA
Joined: 09-25-2009


Message 380 of 440 (612949)
04-20-2011 12:35 PM
Reply to: Message 378 by hooah212002
04-20-2011 10:50 AM


Re: Minnesota Care
hooah212002 writes:

The budget cuts are also affecting a lot of the programs at the JobCenter. The Dislocated Workers program is one such program. It helps the unemployed get schooling. I went in and the guy told me not to even bother enrolling because, due to the budget cuts, they would have to start cutting people on the already year long waiting list.

Somehow it never gets pointed out that every time you cut sometihng in a state or federal budget, what that generally means is that, either directly or indirectly, someone is losing a job, and it's sure not Donald Trump. How this is supposed to help the middle class, I'm not quite sure.


I have no time for lies and fantasy, and neither should you. Enjoy or die.
-John Lydon

Reality has a well-known liberal bias.
-Steven Colbert

I never meant to say that the Conservatives are generally stupid. I meant to say that stupid people are generally Conservative. I believe that is so obviously and universally admitted a principle that I hardly think any gentleman will deny it.
- John Stuart Mill


This message is a reply to:
 Message 378 by hooah212002, posted 04-20-2011 10:50 AM hooah212002 has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 391 by hooah212002, posted 04-21-2011 9:59 AM ZenMonkey has not yet responded

  
ZenMonkey
Member (Idle past 1012 days)
Posts: 428
From: Portland, OR USA
Joined: 09-25-2009


Message 390 of 440 (613002)
04-21-2011 12:10 AM
Reply to: Message 384 by marc9000
04-20-2011 8:31 PM


Re: The General Welfare Clause
marc9000 writes:

Dr A is a European, its not surprising that Democrats sometimes need Europeans to help them make U.S. foundings compatible with todays Democrat policies.

What does this even mean?

marc9000 writes:

Didnt Jon really do it more simply for you, with far fewer words?

Jon writes:

Fuck the founders; they don't matter. Fuck them; they're dead.

Dr Adequate made no objection, do you suppose he agrees with that?

I can't speak for the good Dr, so I can't say what he would or wouldn't agree with. What I can say is that he knows more about the US Constitution and its history than you do. I can also point out that he has made a powerful and articulate rebuttal to your faulty "foundings" argument. Do you have anything of substance to say about that?

Edited by ZenMonkey, : No reason given.


I have no time for lies and fantasy, and neither should you. Enjoy or die.
-John Lydon

Reality has a well-known liberal bias.
-Steven Colbert

I never meant to say that the Conservatives are generally stupid. I meant to say that stupid people are generally Conservative. I believe that is so obviously and universally admitted a principle that I hardly think any gentleman will deny it.
- John Stuart Mill


This message is a reply to:
 Message 384 by marc9000, posted 04-20-2011 8:31 PM marc9000 has not yet responded

  
ZenMonkey
Member (Idle past 1012 days)
Posts: 428
From: Portland, OR USA
Joined: 09-25-2009


Message 395 of 440 (613133)
04-21-2011 9:30 PM
Reply to: Message 364 by marc9000
04-19-2011 8:46 PM


marc9000 writes:

Stop. Just stop right there.

NO ONE IS ASKING THE GOVERNMENT TO CREATE A PARADISE ON EARTH. Where do you even get that?

I get it from all these claims that people still get sick, cant afford health care, get left out in the free market system, and therefore we need the government to take over.

I honestly can't believe that you said that.

Yes, people get sick, can't afford health care, and get left out in the free market system. And you believe that trying to address this evil by making a basic level of health care available to every citizen - just like they do successfully in every other first world country - is tantamount to demanding that government somehow provide everyone with every imaginable luxury. That's ridiculous on the face of it. The two aren't the same at all, and it shows either willful ignorance or utter calculated heartlessness to claim that they are.

marc9000 writes:

If the government cant perfectly fix these problems, why make changes/give them control of the situation, in a country that really does have good cancer survival rates, and a higher-than-normal amount of technical medical equipment?

So if government can't afford to provide everyone with a brand new BMW, we should stop offering discounted bus passes to the elderly?

So the US has high cancer survival rates. I assume that that's for people who can afford to be treated in the first place. Does that include all the people who go undiagnosed because they can't afford regular check-ups? It's also true that we have a lot of expensive medical equipment in this country. How many people actually have access to it?

The fact remains, in comparison to other industrialized countries, the US spends the most for health care and gets the least for it. We're below just about everyone else in terms of life expectancy and infant mortality, to name two actual indicators of how we're doing in taking care of our citizens.

marc9000 writes:

Is anyone here asking for cable TV and Tivo for everyone, 151 channels? Or free legal counsel for all? Or government laundry services to come to your house and wash your sheets for you? All-you-can-eat ice cream on Sunday?

Not YET. In the 1960s, it would have been equally laughable for anyone to be asking for free medical care.

Not free. Affordable. There is a difference. And what was affordable for a middle class family 40 years ago can be well out of reach for an equivalent middle class family today. Take a look at the following chart, showing the growth in health care costs since 1960.

Now take a look at the following graph illustrating the change in median real income since 1947.

Now, I'm far from being a mathematical genius, but even I can draw a pretty obvious conclusion when I compare the two graphs. Can you?

Take a closer look at the second graph, and you'll see something that bears directly on the larger topic of this thread. Starting in the 70's and accellerating in the 1980's, productivity has outstripped income in the US. Hmm, a coincidence that this coincides with the start of "trickle down economics?" For 30 years now, people have been working harder and getting less for it in real terms.

So who's benefiting from all that productivity, if the middle class isn't? 58% of real income growth in the US since 1976 has gone to the top 1% of households. What does that tell you about the middle classes ability to get ahead or even keep even in this country?

marc9000 writes:

Remember the General Welfare clause in the Constitution? You could go all the way back and start arguing with Alexander Hamilton about it, but it's well established by now that Congress has the power to lay and collect taxes at its discretion for the purpose of promoting the general welfare of the people.

Rather than try to argue with Hamiltion, it makes much more sense to take note of what prominent founders actually had to say on the subject.

I believe that Dr Adequate has done an excellent job of addressing this particular claim in Message 376. Have you come up with any substantial answer to his evisceration of your assertions? Thought not.

marc9000 writes:

Those should be state issues. The modernization of society shouldn't change the basics in how new issues should be handled.

Sez who? Have any states stepped forward yet to provide universal health care to its citizens? Thought not.

Universal health care falls well within the purview of the federal government. Which do you think would be easier to administer, one central program, or a conglomeration of 50 different programs? Nor do states have the same resources that the federal government does to implement such a program.

marc9000 writes:

In 1783 state of the art medicine in the western world was leech-craft and mustard plasters. Times have changed. Medicine can do a lot more, and health care has gotten more complicated and more expensive. No one is asking for free hair implants and boob jobs on demand.

No one? Have you ever heard a teenage girl in a shrill voice demand that her birth control pills be paid for by her HMO? I have. So you think theres no chance that any type of cosmetic surgery will ever be publicly paid for in a government run health care system?

No, I haven't had that particular experience. 14 year-olds don't always get what they want, no matter how shrill their voices. Did she? And don't you think that it might be better and cheaper to make contraceptives available to a sexually active teenager, rather than see her get pregnant? Oh, I forgot, the majority of conservatives oppose contraception as well as abortion. Not quite logical, but there you go.

By the way, the availability of universal health care does not preclude anyone who wants from buy as much additional insurance as they like, or paying whatever they want for additional care.

Have you heard of a concept called medical necessity? I have. I'm a medical massage therapist in private practice, and in my line of work I have to document medical necessity all the time. If I can't, then insurance won't pay for it, and my patient has to pay out of pocket. A government-run health care program would work the same way.

Some "boob jobs" are actually medically necessary, reconstructive surgery after a mastectomy, for example. Some aren't. In the real world, insurance companies have gotten quite good at denying medical necessity, even in cases where there's an obvious need. I'm reminded of the case I read about recently in which a woman shattered her jaw in a cycling accident. Her medical insurance wouldn't pay for reconstructive surgery, because they claimed it was a dental matter, and her dental coverage wouldn't cover it because, well, you can guess why. She ended up going into something like $30,000 in debt because she had to pay out of pocket to be able to chew again. One of the things that universal health care would benefit us would be reining in that sort of abuse.

Your slippery slope argument doesn't work.

marc9000 writes:

I'll say it again: Insurance companies do not ever provide health care. They are explicitly in the business of preventing people from getting health care.

Theyre the same as any other business, they provide a product/service that their customers are willing to pay for. If they dont honor their commitments, they dont stay in business very long.

Really? Really? Have you tried to get health care without insurance? Unless you're at least in the top 25th income percentile in this country, you're not going to get very much of it. The way the system is rigged, insurance companies have a stranglehold on the health care market. It's either their way or the highway. They prosper when they prevent people from getting health care. And there's no need for it to be that way.

marc9000 writes:

So the solution to insurance companies taking advantage of people (sorta like how hyenas "take advantage" of baby gazelles) is ... more economic freedom for insurance companies?

Current economic freedom that insurance companies have works. By about 2004/2005, prices started falling again. A thing called competition (free markets) caused that to happen.

It works for the insurance companies, I'll give you that. Not for anyone else.

So rates fell in 2004/2005? How far, in comparison to how much they'd gone up before? And how much have they gone up in the last 5 years?

marc9000 writes:

If two or three companies were competing with each other for the mail transporting business, Id bet a letter could be sent for still less than 50 cents, with no additional funding required. A lot of interstate mail transportation is currently done by private companies. Its done that way because its cheaper, and more efficient.

I believe that that are in fact already at least two or three companies competing in the mail delivery market. I don't see competition driving prices down to 50 cents a letter. Seems to me that you've actually made a case for government succeeding in making a service much more affordable than it would otherwise be. And no one is forcing you to use them if you'd rather use FedEx instead.

marc9000 writes:

What exactly has the EPA done to you, except try to hold down the amount of acid rain dissolving the forests, to not have quite so many open strip-mines, and to keep paper-mills from dumping quite so much toxic waste in the river?

During the Clinton administration, the EPA looked at the crystal clear blue skies over the Cincinnati area, and told us our air was actually very filthy, and commanded me and everyone else to line up like sheep and pay to have our vehicles tested in order to get our license registrations renewed. Never mind what the fourth amendment says about all encompassing searches.

So you looked out the window, sniffed, and determined that the air quality in Cincinnati was pristine? Do you think that maybe the EPA and NOAA had more accurate means of determining air quality than you did? Do you think perhaps the whole point was to keep the air in Cincinnati clean? Or do you think that we really ought to be choking on exhaust before someone takes action?

Your attempt to equate air quality inspections with warrantless searches is absurd on the face of it. If you want to get worked up about oppressive and abusive search and seizure operations, then spend some time looking into the number of fatal shootings of innocent people have resulted from police "no knock" raids on supposed drug dealers.

marc9000 writes:

Anyone who thinks the government is the only thing that can prevent a complete environmental meltdown has no belief whatsoever in U.S. foundings, or the concept of personal liberty.

How much has the free market actually done to regulate pollution? Exactly nothing. A company will dump as much toxic waste, open up as many strip mines, and deforest as much acreage as it can get away with. Witness what was going on in this country before we started getting some environmental regulation. Witness what China looks like without any environmental regulation.

Yes, government is in fact the only thing with enough authority to prevent at least a few of corporate America's abuses of the environment. As it stands, corporate America has such a grip on government that we don't even have sufficient regulation to stop the severe environmental damage that still goes on every day. BP got away with ignoring a multitude of regulations in its offshore drilling operations before last year's huge oil spill. And you think that the answer is less regulation?

And what is it with this "foundings" thing? Pick either "founders" or "foundations", please.


I have no time for lies and fantasy, and neither should you. Enjoy or die.
-John Lydon

Reality has a well-known liberal bias.
-Steven Colbert

I never meant to say that the Conservatives are generally stupid. I meant to say that stupid people are generally Conservative. I believe that is so obviously and universally admitted a principle that I hardly think any gentleman will deny it.
- John Stuart Mill


This message is a reply to:
 Message 364 by marc9000, posted 04-19-2011 8:46 PM marc9000 has not yet responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 396 by xongsmith, posted 04-21-2011 11:34 PM ZenMonkey has not yet responded
 Message 404 by Cat Sci, posted 04-22-2011 10:04 AM ZenMonkey has responded

  
ZenMonkey
Member (Idle past 1012 days)
Posts: 428
From: Portland, OR USA
Joined: 09-25-2009


Message 405 of 440 (613178)
04-22-2011 11:17 AM
Reply to: Message 404 by Cat Sci
04-22-2011 10:04 AM


Re: side-question
Catholic Scientist writes:

I'm a medical massage therapist in private practice, and in my line of work I have to document medical necessity all the time. If I can't, then insurance won't pay for it, and my patient has to pay out of pocket.

Do they have to pay more when they have to pay out of pocket?

Of course they do.

I live in Oregon, which differs from many states in that some insurers actually offer coverage for massage here. Many don't. For a typical plan, the patient pays a $25 copay and the insurance company pays me $25, and I have to submit documentation establishing medical necessity about every 5th visit or so. These plans commonly put something like a $1500 annual combined limit on all "alternative care" benefits. There are also plans that pay the same, but for which I don't have to submit such documentation. These typically limit patients to 12 visits a year.

For an hour session paid out of pocket, on the other hand, I charge $75. Make of those figures what you will.


I have no time for lies and fantasy, and neither should you. Enjoy or die.
-John Lydon

Reality has a well-known liberal bias.
-Steven Colbert

I never meant to say that the Conservatives are generally stupid. I meant to say that stupid people are generally Conservative. I believe that is so obviously and universally admitted a principle that I hardly think any gentleman will deny it.
- John Stuart Mill


This message is a reply to:
 Message 404 by Cat Sci, posted 04-22-2011 10:04 AM Cat Sci has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 406 by Cat Sci, posted 04-22-2011 11:38 AM ZenMonkey has responded

  
ZenMonkey
Member (Idle past 1012 days)
Posts: 428
From: Portland, OR USA
Joined: 09-25-2009


(1)
Message 409 of 440 (613190)
04-22-2011 12:29 PM
Reply to: Message 406 by Cat Sci
04-22-2011 11:38 AM


Re: side-question
Catholic Scientist writes:

Of course they do.

Badly phrased, I meant: Do you charge more for the service?

For an hour session paid out of pocket, on the other hand, I charge $75.

For a typical plan, the patient pays a $25 copay and the insurance company pays me $25,

Do you still charge $75/hour for the service? How much do you charge the insurance company?


Background on me asking:

I was going to the same dentist forever back in the day, covered under my parents' insurance. After I graduated college, I was no longer covered and went to the dentist to pay out of pocket. He ended up changing me a lot less because I was paying out of pocket. The rational was this: he charges the insurance company for the service, and then they pay a portion of what he charges. For example (adjusted for easy math), let's say he needs to make $100 for a service. The insurance company pays 50% of what he charges them, so he charges them $200 for the service, they pay their portion and he gets his $100. When I went in to pay out of pocket, he just charged me the $100 that he needed to make and that was that.

Ah, I see. Here's how it works. I have a fee schedule, which says that I charge $40 per 15 minute unit for massage therapy. On the other hand, my published out of pocket fees are as I described: $50 for a half hour, $75 for an hour, $100 for 90 minutes, etc., with a disclaimer saying that prices reflect a discount for payment at time of service, i.e. I'm not billing insurance. When I bill insurance, I bill them $40 per 15 minute unit, just like my fee schedule says. Why am I billing them that much? For the most part, it doesn't matter in the least what I bill the insurance company; they're going to pay me a set rate whether I bill $50 or $5000. They've determined that an hour of my time is worth $25 from them and $25 from the patient and that's that. However, other plans, notably those for federal employees, pay at a higher rate. Motor Vehichle Accicent cases, which are paid for out of automobile insurance in Oregon and not private insurance, do pay out at that maximum rate. (They also require a doctor's prescription and a hellish amount of documentation.) So I bill the maximum allowable under any given plan no matter what they'll pay in order to be uniform in my pricing, and in order to get the maximum compensation allowable. (Good old free market.) In the end, sometimes that's $50 for an hour of my time, sometimes (much, much more rarely) that can come out to $80 for half an hour. Mostly I do make more when the patient is paying out of pocket.

It took much pain and suffering and many frustrating phone calls for me to even start to learn how to work this system. Do I wish that I didn't have to take insurance patients at all? You bet. Considering the time I spend filing claims, calling to verify elligiblity, and refiling denied claims, it really doesn't pay that well. Can I stop taking insurance? Not so long as that's the only way that most of my patients can afford to see me. But I would gladly work with a single-payer system that offered reasonable compenstation to me and reasonable co-pays for my patients.


I have no time for lies and fantasy, and neither should you. Enjoy or die.
-John Lydon

Reality has a well-known liberal bias.
-Steven Colbert

I never meant to say that the Conservatives are generally stupid. I meant to say that stupid people are generally Conservative. I believe that is so obviously and universally admitted a principle that I hardly think any gentleman will deny it.
- John Stuart Mill


This message is a reply to:
 Message 406 by Cat Sci, posted 04-22-2011 11:38 AM Cat Sci has not yet responded

  
ZenMonkey
Member (Idle past 1012 days)
Posts: 428
From: Portland, OR USA
Joined: 09-25-2009


Message 411 of 440 (613211)
04-22-2011 7:03 PM


A dose of reality.
Yesterday Andrew Sullivan (who is not a liberal by any means) linked to this op-ed by Paul Krugman on why it's misguided to think of health care as a commercial commodity. Here's part of Krugman's column:

Now, what House Republicans propose is that the government simply push the problem of rising health care costs on to seniors; that is, that we replace Medicare with vouchers that can be applied to private insurance, and that we count on seniors and insurance companies to work it out somehow. This, they claim, would be superior to expert review because it would open health care to the wonders of consumer choice.

Whats wrong with this idea (aside from the grossly inadequate value of the proposed vouchers)? One answer is that it wouldnt work. Consumer-based medicine has been a bust everywhere it has been tried. To take the most directly relevant example, Medicare Advantage, which was originally called Medicare + Choice, was supposed to save money; it ended up costing substantially more than traditional Medicare. America has the most consumer-driven health care system in the advanced world. It also has by far the highest costs yet provides a quality of care no better than far cheaper systems in other countries.

Sullivan also links to this blog post by an ER physician, who I think we can all agree should know what he's talking about.

First, here's the graph illustrating the data to which he's refering:

He says:

Though the data is a few years old, I doubt the distribution has changed. To emphasize, HALF of all health care costs in the US is concentrated in only 5% of the population, and 80% of costs are accounted for by the top quintile! (source: Kaiser Foundation PDF)

So the effect here is that with such a concentration of costs in such a small segment of the population, the ability of the larger population to move the market is highly restricted. You can make 80% of consumers highly price sensitive, but they can only affect a tiny fraction of healthcare spending. And for the generally well, their costs are probably those which are least responsible for the spiraling inflation. They're not getting $30,000 stents or prolonged ICU stays, or needing complex chronic disease management.

Conversely, those who are high consumers of health care simply cannot be made more price sensitive, since their costs are probably well beyond what they could pay in any event, and for most are well beyond the limits of even a catastrophic health insurance policy. Once you are told that you need a bypass/chemo/stent/dialysis/NICU etc, etc, etc, the costs are so overwhelming that a consumer cannot possibly pay them out of pocket. Since, by definition, these catastrophic costs are paid by some form of insurance, the consumer cannot have much financial interest in cost containment. For most, when they are confronted with a major or life-threatening illness, their entire focus shifts to survival, and they could care less about the cost. Further, many who are in this sick/expensive category have some diminished capacity with regard to their information gathering and decision-making. I'm thinking particularly of the elderly and those who have had strokes or any one of a multitude of illnesses which impact cognitive function or other functional capacity. These patients struggle with their activities of daily living -- getting dressed, bathing, transportation, housing, taking their meds. Their ability (let alone interest) in price-shopping their doctors is minimal to nonexistent, even if they had an economic incentive to do so. Taking someone who has a serious illness and making them have more "skin in the game" would represent a cruel additional hardship, but would be ineffective in creating an economic environment in which consumer behavior brought down spiraling health care costs.

I also see that over one fifth of health care costs in the US is accounted for by only 1% of the population. Also, half of the people in the US are paying less than $724 a year on health care. That means that those who claim that providing access to a basic level of health care to all Americans will lead to a huge wave of people demanding every expensive procedure known to medical science are misguided to say the least. Yes, under universal health care system there would have to be some money spent for those who haven't been able to afford any health care at all. But most people simply don't need or use that much health care.

To me the lesson is obvious. The idea that there is a "free market" solution to health care costs is wrong. It doesn't work. The only people who are being served by the present system are insurance company shareholders.


I have no time for lies and fantasy, and neither should you. Enjoy or die.
-John Lydon

Reality has a well-known liberal bias.
-Steven Colbert

I never meant to say that the Conservatives are generally stupid. I meant to say that stupid people are generally Conservative. I believe that is so obviously and universally admitted a principle that I hardly think any gentleman will deny it.
- John Stuart Mill


  
ZenMonkey
Member (Idle past 1012 days)
Posts: 428
From: Portland, OR USA
Joined: 09-25-2009


(1)
Message 418 of 440 (613826)
04-27-2011 4:25 PM
Reply to: Message 412 by marc9000
04-26-2011 9:28 PM


marc9000 writes:

ZenMonkey writes:

So the US has high cancer survival rates. I assume that that's for people who can afford to be treated in the first place. Does that include all the people who go undiagnosed because they can't afford regular check-ups? It's also true that we have a lot of expensive medical equipment in this country. How many people actually have access to it?

Currently, prison inmates have full access to it. There is a convicted rapist named Kenneth Pike (recently in the news) who is about to get an $800,000 heart transplant operation, paid for by taxpayers.

You mean the guy who just turned down the opportunity to receive a heart transplant?

quote:
Transplant centers have the right to turn patients away, but physicians are required to care for every patient they see, according to Arthur Caplan, director of the Center for Bioethics and the Sydney D. Caplan professor of bioethics at the University of Pennsylvania.

In 1976, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that prisoners were entitled to the same medical and dental treatment as everyone else in their communitities. Prisons that withhold necessary care from inmates can be held liable for violating constitutional bans against cruel and unusual punishment.

Prison facilities often pay a negotiated reduced fee with contracted hospitals across the state, according to Peter Cutler, spokesman for the New York State Department of Corrections and Community Supervision. But Strong Memorial Hospital in Rochester, where Pike is reported to have been transferred, is not one of them.

"We are constitutionally obligated to provide health care services to any inmate," said Cutler, citing the Eighth Amendment of the Constutition. "We're a state agency doing our job."


Your point is irrelevant. You have a single case of one inmate who could have received an relatively expensive procedure, but won't. This is hardly evidence of a widespread demand for expensive medical procedures among the US inmate population as a whole. Inmates actually have a Constitutional right to health care. How many of the 2.3 million other people in prison in the US are demanding $800,000 operations? How many are actually getting them?

marc9000 writes:

It goes back to what I said in an earlier message about the mere existence of costly medical technologies being demanded by everyone, not just those who they were developed by and for. You blame free markets for health care problems in the U.S. , and I blame current government involvement with health care problems in the U.S. Thats where we are, and I have little more to say about the health care issue.

You're wrong, and if you actually looked at the documentation I provided in Message 411, you'd see that it's not my opinion, it's a fact. The free market offers no solution to the cost of health care. Americans spend more than anyone else on health care, and get less actual care for their money. When fully half of all health care costs in the US come from just 5% of the population, and 80% of those costs come from just the top 20%, there's very little that "consumer choice" can do to drive down costs.

Considering that you have nothing to counter these facts other than the bare assertion that government is to blame, I can see why you now have nothing left to say.

Also, exactly who do you mean when you refer to the people who costly medical technologies developed by and for? Do you somehow think that medical researchers are saying, "Well, we don't want this new antibiotic to go to those sorts of people. It's only for our sort of people."? Do you know anything about medical ethics at all?

marc9000 writes:

Why not try to learn something about U.S. foundings on your own, and not rely on a European who does nothing but c/p far left political talking points off the internet?

Dr Adequate was using citations from the Constitution itself, as well as a pertinent statement from Alexander Hamilton, and a clear factual analysis of the subsequent history of the interpretation of the General Welfare clause. Exactly what part of that is "far left talking points from the internet?" Do you have a particular site in mind that you think he plagiarized from?

marc9000 writes:

Use some common sense, if the founders intended the government, along with 51% of the population, to be able to do absolutely anything it wanted to do/ grow as big as it wants, why did they go to the trouble to write a constitution and bill of rights? Why even have them?

You seem to have an inability to think in anything other than extremes. To a rational mind, there is an significant difference between Congress being responsible for expenditures for the General Welfare, and doing "absolutely anything it wanted." When someone invites you into their house and says, "Make yourself at home," do you then eat all of his food, spray paint the walls, wreck his car, and set fire to the kitchen?

marc9000 writes:

Did you know that Alexander Hamiltion said this:

quote:
"We are now forming a Republican form of government. Real Liberty is not found in the extremes of democracy, but in moderate governments. If we incline too much to democracy, we shall soon shoot into a monarchy, or some other form of dictatorship."

Extremes of democracy, do you suppose he knew something about the paragraph attributed to Alexander Fraser Tytler, that I showed in message 383? You never bothered addressing that, here it is again in case you missed it;

quote:
A democracy cannot exist as a permanent form of government. It can only exist until the voters discover that they can vote themselves largesse from the public treasury. From that moment on, the majority always votes for the candidates promising the most benefits the public treasury with the result that a democracy always collapses over lousy fiscal policy, always followed by a dictatorship. The average of the worlds great civilizations before they decline has been 200 years. These nations have progressed in this sequence: From bondage to spiritual faith; from faith to great courage; from courage to liberty; from liberty to abundance; from abundance to selfishness; from selfishness to Complacency; from complacency to apathy; from apathy to dependency; from dependency back again to bondage.

First, Tytler never said that; you're simply passing on yet another Made-up Quote for Conservatives. Second, considering that Tytler most significant book was on how best to translate Greek and Latin, that doesn't necessarily lend him a tremendous amount of authority in matters of political analysis. Third, if he did have something significant to say about democratic forms of government, it's not likely that Hamilton or anyone else would have known about it, as the book that Tytler did write on history was apparently published posthumously in 1850.

Again, you're presenting an argument ad absurdum. Way absurdum.

marc9000 writes:

Where are we today? Id like to say were only at the from abundance to selfishness point, but considering were trillions in debt, continue to borrow millions each day, and continue to give prison inmates heart transplants while allowing the EPA to continue to impose costly new regulations, Id say its much later than that.

Any documentation to show how much of that debt can be attributed to inmate heart transplants and EPA regulations? Perhaps a $689 billion annual defence budget might have a little more to do with it? A $700 billion bank bailout in 2008?

marc9000 writes:

Sez who?

Madison, in Federalist #45. It is largely undisputed by any historian that Madison was the "father" of the constitution, that is, he had more to do with it than any other founder. More than Hamilton, and Jefferson.

You mean Federalist #45, in which Madison argues that the Federal government will never be stronger than the respective state governments, since among other reasons, only state legislatures can elect the President, just as only state legislatures can elect US senators? Madison appears to be a bit behind the times. In case you never heard of it, the US fought a civil war sometime in the middle of the 19th century, and one of the issues that that war decided was that the Union was in fact more than an association of independent sovereign states. History is not on your side, nor is it on Madison's. You are correct in saying that Madison was a vital formative force in the shaping of the American form of government. However, on this particular point - the meaning of the General Welfare clause and the subsequent power of Congress to tax and spend - Madison's view did not prevail.

marc9000 writes:

Have any states stepped forward yet to provide universal health care to its citizens? Thought not.

Uh, Minnesota care has been discussed in this thread, your Re: Minnesota Care (Message 380) even had that reference in its title.

As has already been pointed out, Minnesota's program wasn't universal health care by any means; it apparently only covered individuals who couldn't otherwise get insurance at all. Big difference. Besides, Republicans are trying to destroy that program anyway.

marc9000 writes:

So you looked out the window, sniffed, and determined that the air quality in Cincinnati was pristine?

Do you think that maybe the EPA and NOAA had more accurate means of determining air quality than you did?

No I dont. The air was basically the same 5 years before the programs started, stayed the same during the program, and is now the same 6 years after it ended. The only thing that really changed was the millions of dollars earned in my area that went to a California testing company. But the EPA got plenty of information, like how the public reacted to it, how many miles different age cars are driven (they were recording mileages, just what that had to do with making a car run cleaner is uncertain) and public reaction (how many car engines were destroyed by test officials, how many claims were filed, etc.) First class testing stations, funded by taxpayers, are sitting empty today. Who knows what the plans are for them. They have 14 high clearances, yet they were built only for testing cars and light trucks. Either they prepared for hiring some very tall employees, or they had the biggest diesel trucks in mind for future tests. Im sure well find out soon.

Do you have any data at all to back up any of these assertions? I'd be interested to see it.

marc9000 writes:

Do you think perhaps the whole point was to keep the air in Cincinnati clean?

No, it was about power and money. (mission creep) Im sure the California testing company was very appreciative to the EPA, probably funded a few get-togethers.

Data, please. Anything?

marc9000 writes:

Or do you think that we really ought to be choking on exhaust before someone takes action?

That would be the time to do it, yes. When there is a common sense need for it. Why is it that big government advocates think there is no going back when something is dirty? Cleanliness can be achieved after something is dirty.

Well, for sane people, the time to dig the well is not when you're dying of thirst. You don't put off funding the fire department until after the house is already burning down. But that's just for sane people, I guess.

marc9000 writes:

What there is almost never any going back from is big government bureaucracy. Sure, their useless emission test program was eliminated in my area, but they gathered information about how it went, and it will be back. They werent accountable in any way for its failure. Private companies PAY for failures like that, often with dissolution.

Who said the program failed? You?


I have no time for lies and fantasy, and neither should you. Enjoy or die.
-John Lydon

Reality has a well-known liberal bias.
-Steven Colbert

I never meant to say that the Conservatives are generally stupid. I meant to say that stupid people are generally Conservative. I believe that is so obviously and universally admitted a principle that I hardly think any gentleman will deny it.
- John Stuart Mill


This message is a reply to:
 Message 412 by marc9000, posted 04-26-2011 9:28 PM marc9000 has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 427 by marc9000, posted 04-30-2011 10:03 PM ZenMonkey has not yet responded

  
ZenMonkey
Member (Idle past 1012 days)
Posts: 428
From: Portland, OR USA
Joined: 09-25-2009


(1)
Message 434 of 440 (614114)
05-02-2011 1:10 AM
Reply to: Message 421 by marc9000
04-30-2011 9:30 PM


marc9000 writes:

They also have a lot to LOSE personally, by making decisions that that show most any type of disregard for the general public, some of whom they depend on to buy their product or service. Companies lose, and go out of business all the time. The only time its in the news is when the company is big enough/corrupt enough for the owner to walk away with a golden parachute. The other 99% of the time, the owner loses most everything he has.

So it's good if a business owner loses business because consumers won't buy products from a known polluter, but it's bad if he loses business because government regulations restrict his ability to be a polluter? At least it seems that you're agreeing that pollution is not really such a good thing. Or maybe you actually think that smog, toxic waste, and acid rain are good for us.

I'm wondering, how exactly are consumers supposed to find out on their own who's a polluter? Blogs? The National Enquirer? Fox News? Are you personally going to investigate whether or not there's jet fuel in your milk, DDT in your carrots, and PCBs in your drinking water?

It's not historical revisionism to note that industries simply don't regulate themselves for the common good. Meat processing plants didn't voluntarily stop allowing rat droppings, the rats themselves, and workers' fingers from being mixed in with the sausage. Coal mine owners didn't decide on their own to stop sending men and boys down to work 12 hour shifts breathing coal dust. Big agricultural concerns didn't do studies on their own to see what massive use of pesticides was doing to the environment. They didn't do these things until the government, taking seriously its responsibility to the general welfare, got involved.

I will admit that every once in a while, companies do respond to consumer demand that they clean up their act. For example, Nike finally decided, after years of protests about its use of sweatshops in other countries, to stop attacking its critics and start monitoring working conditions abroad. However, they still make almost all of their goods in countries like China, where there is no environmental regulation, no labor laws, and workers make less than $2 a day. The point remains: companies will do whatever they can get away with in order to maximize their profits. Capitalism is founded on the principle that companies should do whatever they can get away with to maximize their profits.

By the way, the case of China illustrates why it takes federal regulation, not state regulation, to restrict harmful practices. Just as the US government is in no position to tell China to not dump toxic waste, if you depended on state regulation, Florida would be powerless to prevent hog farms in Georgia from flushing their waste downstream and across the state line. Environmental regulation is manifestly a federal issue.

To continue, this is from the above linked article on Nike in Business Week, a well known radical socialist propaganda outlet:

quote:
None of this means that Nike or any other businesses have come close to solving the sweatshop problem. Far from it. The monitoring systems set up by a Nike and handful of other Western outfits such as Mattel (MAT ) or Adidas have helped to address some of the more egregious problems at some factories, such as locked doors and unsafe chemicals, human rights experts say. But the inspections they do are limited and periodic and can't possibly catch all of even the most egregious problems.

In addition, only a handful of multinationals have serious monitoring efforts like Nike's in the first place. Most others, including retailers such as Wal-Mart (WMT ) and Target (TGT ), which have the most control over consumer prices, do virtually nothing, labor experts say. "What we do is a drop in the ocean out of the 90,000 or so factories that export to the U.S. from around the world," says FLA President Auret Van Heerden.


So given the above, can you come up with any companies that have actually gone out of business due to environmental regulation? Names and dates, please.

Seems that the only liberty you seem concerned with is the liberty to make as much money as you can.


I have no time for lies and fantasy, and neither should you. Enjoy or die.
-John Lydon

Reality has a well-known liberal bias.
-Steven Colbert

I never meant to say that the Conservatives are generally stupid. I meant to say that stupid people are generally Conservative. I believe that is so obviously and universally admitted a principle that I hardly think any gentleman will deny it.
- John Stuart Mill


This message is a reply to:
 Message 421 by marc9000, posted 04-30-2011 9:30 PM marc9000 has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 436 by marc9000, posted 05-02-2011 7:25 PM ZenMonkey has not yet responded

  
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