Blog on the Run: Reloaded

Tuesday, October 5, 2010 8:40 pm

“Your lyin’ eyes” is not an option

Filed under: We're so screwed — Lex @ 8:40 pm

Kevin Drum asks: Whom ya gonna believe?

Republicans are loudly proclaiming right now that they want to eliminate the part of the [health-care reform] law that forces everyone to buy insurance. But that’s exactly the part of the law that insurance companies like. In fact, they want to see it strengthened. At the same time, they want to get rid of the popular parts of the law that keep insurance companies from figuring out ways to screw patients. But those are the provisions that Republicans say they’ll keep if we turn over Congress to them.

And yet, the insurance companies are massively funding Republicans this cycle anyway. Why would that be? It’s almost as if they’re sure that Republicans are just blowing campaign smoke and will support their agenda once they’re safely in office. They’re so sure, in fact, that they’re willing to put their money where their mouths are to the tune of millions of dollars.

So which do you believe? Republican mouths or insurance industry money?

Here’s a hint.


  1. Lex, ( Drum )

    Please, again please, state the facts correctly. It is not ” Republicans” that are challenging Obamacare. It is the elected AGs in a multi state action that are saying certain parts of the law is unconsitutinal . Good grief what about that gives you such agita.

    Yeah let’s find ways to screw the evil insurance companies until they finally go belly up and the beneficent Federal guvmint steps in and gives us a UK like NHS run as well as our USPS. Do really want that ? It seems you do.

    Included in the below link is a mind popping video. Pay attention. There is a lime pit waiting for you when your claims reach some government bureaucrat’s desk. Maybe, if you are lucky, he’ll lose your paperwork while he is on one of his many breaks. Unless of course you need a life saving drug, then not so much. Next !

    Daniel Hannan looks at the US. A modern day Tocqueville

    Comment by Fred Gregory — Tuesday, October 5, 2010 11:44 pm @ 11:44 pm

  2. Fred, it is, in fact, *also* Republicans who are challenging Obamacare (which might be more properly labeled Romneycare). The AGs are challenging it in court (and good luck to that), while the Republicans are challenging it in the court of public opinion with the hope of being able to overturn it in the chambers of Congress, but they’re both challenging it.

    And, yeah, some of the health insurance companies have been evil, in effect if not in intent (and I’m not letting some of them off the hook for intent). Looked at in less moralistic and more economic terms, public health is a public good that the private market is inherently unable to address efficiently.

    Finally, I know it must annoy you to no end because you seem to keep forgetting it, but the NHS, for all its anecdotal faults, is objectively, clinically, getting better health outcomes than the U.S. system for dramatically less money, as is pretty much every other health system among industrialized democracies, irrespective of whether they’re completely government-run or some sort of public-private hybrid. If we say health-care costs are a serious problem (and they are) and that we’re not getting the health outcomes we should for our money (and we’re not), then it behooves us to at least look at what’s working elsewhere to see what we might profitably adopt or adapt for our own uses. This mindless “Rah! Rah! USA! USA!” shit w/r/t health care is killing tens of thousands of Americans a year and robbing us blind besides.

    Comment by Lex — Wednesday, October 6, 2010 8:55 am @ 8:55 am

  3. Lex contrary to your assertion the faults with the UK’s NHS are not anecdotal but indeed real.

    Here is an MP who agrees with me.

    Comment by Fred Gregory — Wednesday, October 6, 2010 4:40 pm @ 4:40 pm

  4. Sorry, Fred, but one MP’s statement does not carry the same analytical weight as data and peer-reviewed studies. Even if it is broadcast on Fox.

    Comment by Lex — Wednesday, October 6, 2010 7:08 pm @ 7:08 pm

  5. This MP could eat the lunch of every US Democrat Senator. He says the empirical evidence outweighs yor anecdotal sob stories. Hannan by a TKO. BTW, not on the evil FOX News.

    Comment by Fred Gregory — Thursday, October 7, 2010 12:00 am @ 12:00 am

  6. “run as well as our USPS”

    You say that like it’s a bad thing. If only healthcare were delivered as cheaply, consistently, and reliably to the entire country as mail service.

    Comment by Thomas — Thursday, October 7, 2010 8:56 am @ 8:56 am

  7. Thomas…. Please !

    How much does the Postal Service lose ?

    The answer is here in the washington Post

    Comment by Fred Gregory — Thursday, October 7, 2010 2:34 pm @ 2:34 pm

  8. “Mail volume has dropped 12.6 percent so far this year, adding to a sharp decline in volume thanks to the economic recession that began in 2007 and Americans’ wider use of the Internet.”

    Not making a profit (or breaking even) doesn’t mean the USPS is doing a bad job. Can you come up with a for-profit solution that can reliably deliver billions of packages to every address in the US for anywhere near the same price?

    I said, “cheaply, consistently, and reliably”. Not profitably.

    Comment by Thomas — Thursday, October 7, 2010 3:30 pm @ 3:30 pm

  9. Thomas.. Ah yes the evil profit word. You may have a point that the Postal Service is efficient compared to the nightmare bureaucracy of Obamacare and its 159 new bureaucracies-programs, commissions, boards, and other agencies. Some are quite small, but almost every one empowers unelected officials to wield power over the future content and provision of health care. that is loming in the months and years ahead.

    ObamaCare & the Costs of the Welfare State


    “Among its other effects, this act marks a new stage in the decline of constitutional government in America. One sign of this was House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s remark, “we have to pass the bill so that you can find out what is in it, away from the fog of the controversy.” After shepherding the equally massive financial regulation bill into law, Senator Christopher Dodd was moved to say something very similar: “No one will know until this is actually in place how it works.” In late August, Senator Max Baucus, Finance Committee chairman, chimed in: “I don’t think you want me to waste my time to read every page of the health care bill….We hire experts.” These statements make both an epistemological and a political point. The first is that these bills are so long, complicated, and unreadable that no one who isn’t an expert can possibly decipher them. That implies, in turn, that no amount or quality of democratic deliberation can clarify them to citizens, and in most cases to legislators, in advance. Indeed, Pelosi suggests that political debate itself, “controversy,” mostly dims public understanding by generating “fog.” The second point is that neither she nor Dodd nor Baucus is especially troubled by this breakdown in democratic accountability. With this kind of legislation, they imply, there’s no choice but to trust the experts-not merely those who patch the law together, but perhaps more importantly those who implement it. For the truth is that this kind of bill, almost 3,000 pages long, will mean what the bureaucrats say it means.

    Or if one wants to be generous, this kind of bill will mean what the bureaucrats, in conjunction or conspiracy with their congressional overseers, say it means. In short, these bills are not so much laws as administrative to-do lists.

    Comment by Fred Gregory — Thursday, October 7, 2010 4:48 pm @ 4:48 pm

  10. Fred – You’re the one who put up the Postal Service as an example of the kind of government-run mess you expect healthcare to become. I’m just pointing out that the postal service does, imho, an excellent job at it’s mission, which does not include making a profit. I’d be happy if healthcare were run so well.

    I have no problem with profit and never said it was evil. Actually, I am quite fond of profits. They make me smile.

    Comment by Thomas — Friday, October 8, 2010 7:54 am @ 7:54 am

  11. Thomas,

    Another well run government program was ” Cash for Clunkers ” Sure !! Well now we have
    Cash for the dead and incarcerated

    Why do you trust the government to run our health care system ? You do know the vasty majority of the American people don’t share your confidence.
    OMG..159 new bureaucracies-programs, commissions, boards of unelected drones making critical decisions. You are whistling past the graveyard. Thomas.

    Repeal it !

    Comment by Fred Gregory — Friday, October 8, 2010 3:48 pm @ 3:48 pm

  12. Yo, Thomas….

    Profitable or not the USPS is a gigantic Money Pit

    Comment by Fred Gregory — Tuesday, October 12, 2010 11:22 pm @ 11:22 pm

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