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18 January 2011

Comments

Russ Steele

I am not so sure this all it appears to be. I heard it discussed on Fox News this morning and they gave the example of truck bought in Texas is not the same truck bought in California which required different fuel mix and has more air quality equipment that makes the truck more expensive and more costly to operate. These difference are challenging to the truck makers, so the solution is to make the more expensive California truck the US standard across all states. According to Obama this will help the auto industry and the air quality across the nation. It does not help the Texas Truck buyer, or the Truck buyer in Nebraska that has to buy a more expensive truck designed to reduce LA Smog. The inversion layers in LA that trap the ozone and smog creating gases do not happen in windy Nebraska. I sorry, but this reduce the rules that are inhibiting business in just another head fake by the Obama administration. In the end we will end up with more stringent rules for everyone. This is not helping small business.

Mike Sherman

You can see government's interest in making rules right here in little 'ol Nevada City. Try to open a simple B&B and watch what happens. Expecting any government agency to actually deal with the tax code is wishful thinking but would certainly be a great place to start. Thanks for the heads up on the WSJ article George.

Todd Juvinall

I WATCHED A NEWS STORY ON Haiti this weekend which I think is what happens with ridiculous regulations and government overreach. I us this example because we have the same stuff here.

American charities have sent new trucks and SUV's to Haiti to transport and distribute the goods and food and building materials to help in the rebuild. The trucks are sitting at the docks and have been there for many months. Why? Because the Haitian government has placed a 40% tariff on the trucks and the charities don't want to pay it. So, there you go. Obama is not a free market guy and this op-ed has to be a ropa-dope to try and give the impression he gives a rat's patootie about business and jobs. The demise of many federal departments would be a better start, EPA, ACOE and all the duplicitous money grubbing agencies.

Steve Enos

So Todd you posted "Obama is not a free market guy" So are you a "free market" guy? If so, does this include the real estate market?

Todd Juvinall

I think I have a stalker.

Steve Enos

No staker Todd, just posting an on topic reply in response to your post on this topic. I have been doing this before you started posting here on George's blog. Maybe you followed me to George's blog as I was here first.

So here's a simple question based on your post...

Todd you posted "Obama is not a free market guy" So are you a "free market" guy? If so, does this include the real estate market?

Todd Juvinall

Are you a planner SteveE? You tell everyone you are, so let us see the degrees. Also, I think you are a stalker not a staker whatever that is .

Steve Enos

Again Juvinall trys to change the dicussion to something that is not part of the story posted by George, not related in anyway to the issues raised by George. It's a childless trick to do when one can't undertake a factual discussion on the topic at hand.

So here's a simple question based on your post, a question that is on topic... and for my typo in my last response, thanks for pointing it out Todd, God knows you have never posted a typo.

So how about we discuss the issues raised in George's story and your response?

Todd you posted... "Obama is not a free market guy" So are you a "free market" guy? If so, does this include the real estate market

George Rebane

Gentlemen - I'm a bit perplexed as how to handle the exchange between SteveE and ToddJ. SteveE seems to be following Todd from post to post continuing a personal exchange that started elsewhere. The exchange does not contribute to the current topic at hand, but merely serves to pollute it with comments that other disinterested readers have to wade through to find the next relevant comment so that the discussion of ideas and events can continue. This is an invitation to self discipline.

Steve Enos

George, I am posting on the topic of your story. Todd posted a statement in reply to your story. I asked a simple question to Todd that was specific to his post and directly related to your story.

Todd posted... "Obama is not a free market guy", well I think on many levels President Obama is a "free market guy".

So I would like to make sure Todd's stated position is clear... I asked Todd if this includes the real estate market?

It's Todd that is posting off topic, posting about things not related to your story and the subject of the replys that relate to your story.


Steve Enos

George, above you talked about "exploding bureaucracies" by Presiodent Obama since he took office.

What about the expansion of government, spending, debt, government employess and bureaucracies under President Bush, and what happened under Reagan?

Mikey McD

Thank God that Obama is just another politician (and not an ideologue as feared).

George Rebane

Mikey - I don't think that the good Lord has yet revealed that. Check your pigs for wings.

Todd Juvinall

I think Obama is an ideologue and his staff may be toning him down. Most came from Clinton didn't they? He certainly learned after two years.

D. King

Just throwing this out there.

You know, a dictator could cut through all those pesky regulations that have just been created.

It just popped into my head!

Dixon Cruickshank

If you notice this is coming right after he hired the X Clinton guy, and it means nothing just more yabbering

Todd, for gods sake just totally ignore the troll will you - until you it enough he will never stop - thats a troll

Dixon Cruickshank

See Barney Franks recent rant on NE fisheries issues - they will lie to their own

RL Crabb

Trolls...Flying pigs...And you don't think these blogs are turning in to a Lewis Carroll story?

Todd Juvinall

Dixon, right on. I am not responding to the troll anymore. Whew!

Paul Emery

So while we're on the topic of government regulations it seems most Americans want the government to do more to change the health care system and few want repeal. http://www.pollingreport.com/ Of course you can deny the significance of the poll but is was fairly accurate in the last election that showed an Obama thumping I am someone who is opposed to the current plan because it doesn't go far enough to provide health care for all. I think the repubs are going to put their foot in something stinky when they try to repeal Obamacare without a real clear alternative. So when we talk about deregulation it sounds good until you talk details and examples which has always been my bugle about much of which is discussed on this blog

Todd Juvinall

Paul, try these polls and perhaps you will change your mind about what the people actually think.

http://www.realclearpolitics.com/epolls/other/obama_and_democrats_health_care_plan-1130.html

Mikey Mcd

Paul, health care reform is needed. I choose increased competition (liberty) among providers and insurers rather than less competition (slavery/Obamacare). I am confused that you included a link which showed Americans to favor a complete repeal of or partial repeal of Obamacare while your comments indicate otherwise. Todd's polls also confirmed that America is 'anti' Obamacare.

Paul Emery

Mikey

Check it again http://www.pollingreport.com/
It may not last long on that link.

The wording is "change it so it does more" which to me implies more government involvement not less. Of course you may disagree with that interpretation. In that poll only 26% favor repeal. As I stated earlier it's a very shaky position for the Repubs to take to advocate outright repeal. I think they'll weazel out of it now that don't need the Tea Party at least for a couple of years.

Here's the exact wording. The numbers don't paste in well It's an AP poll

"What would you prefer Congress do with the new health care law? Leave it as is. Change it so that it does MORE to change the health care system. Change it so that it does LESS to change the health care system. Repeal it completely."


Todd Juvinall

The AP poll under-polled by 12% their previous poll which showed 51% were opposes. The AP is also known in many circles as AP Obama.

The R's want repeal and redo. There are things which need to be fixed, like Tort Reform, but were removed by Reid in his bribing of the three Senators. Insurance is not a right, it is not the governments business to tell anyone which doctor or insurance they can have. There is nothing in our Constitution that allows the usurpation of our personal freedom of our bodies.

George Rebane

If the Obamacare law were on solid footing, then all the stories of how Democrats are now attempting to re-pitch it would not make sense. Rasmussen has been taking a continuous poll on the American mood toward Obamacare.

http://www.rasmussenreports.com/public_content/politics/current_events/healthcare/september_2009/health_care_reform

Its results opposing Obamacare have consistently been double that of what PaulE cites. The other polls on the same subject tend to support Rasmussen and other well-known polls. I guess everyone can find a poll that they believe in.

Paul Emery

Right Todd. That seems to show that the public mood is shifting especially when the Republicans have no plan they can articulate. Unless you are willing to let people die in the streets or in their homes because of the lack of affordable health care there must be a comprehensive solution. Flawed as it might be the Obama plan will likely hold up in the court of public opinion unless, as I said, the Republicans can come up with a clear plan that wins public approval. The Dems are smacking their lips on this one like a spider to a fly.

Paul Emery

Okay George, I oppose Obama's health care plan and would support repealing it and replacing it with a more comprehensive plan but it would likely be entirely different than your ideas. So that to me means that opposition also includes those of us who want more of a single payer national health care system. It may add up to opposition but it's two different camps that won't march together.

Todd Juvinall

Paul, why do you fellows always use the scary hyperbole about people croaking? Come on you have to do better than that. The American people have reviewed your legislation and don't want it, period. We did not vote for it and it was passed by your side using bribery and threats. If that is how you want a law affecting 300 million of us then God help you. We want many things fixed and health care reform is one of them. We want more choices, not less. We don't want European and Canadian confiscatory tax levels to pay for fat people who could lose weight but want us to pay their health bills. You need to read the legislation, and if you do, you would be reading more of it than the 100% democrat vote to pass it.

D. King

This was a fun read.

America Is Diseased: Democrats Incite Panic With Garbage Research

http://tinyurl.com/4wxjsmn

Paul Emery

Todd-George

Did I ever say I liked Obama's plan? Let me ask you this. Do you have any concern for the health concerns of the uninsured and, if you do, what is your plan for health care. To be so opposed to something you must have an alternative. This is life or death stuff for millions of people and is not a small issue. Please, your plan

Paul Emery

AS an addendum. Show me one health care system anywhere in the world that you like that you can use as an example

Todd Juvinall

Pre Obamacare of American healthcare is the best on the planet.

George Rebane

It is astonishing to watch the liberal arguments for America's future love affair with Obamacare, as the Europeans are doing everything in their power to pull back from nationalized healthcare without invoking free flow of blood in the gutters. Here's the latest steps reported by the British on their vaunted National Health Service that puts most of our socialists into an adoring swoon.

http://www.guardian.co.uk/society/2011/jan/19/nhs-cuts-scale-shakeup-surprise

Paul Emery

George

George
For the sake of extending this conversation please don't include me as an Obamacare supporter which I'm not and propose some examples of alternatives that can be considered that are actually in use today. I will propose the Danish system for the purpose of discussion. I do not doubt the difficulties of a solution that is both economically sound and humane and comprehensive, Surely you can point to some examples that you find encouraging.

Todd

Pre Obamacare of American healthcare is the best on the planet.? Would you engage me in a public debate defending that position? What criteria do you use to make that statement ? Really Have you checked out infant mortality comparisons, longevity of life comparison, the number of mentally ill on the street, chronic untreated illnesses etc. with other countries I'll do the research for you if you like.

Paul Emery

George

I checked out the link you included and nowhere did it refer to scraping their system. It did propose the need for better efficiency and data systems. This link digs a little deeper into the proposed reforms that you referred to.
http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2011/jan/18/nhs-reforms-andrew-lansley-right

George Rebane

"... scrapping their system." Really Paul, who claimed that?

Paul Emery

"Europeans are doing everything in their power to pull back from nationalized healthcare......"
Your quote

Sounds like at least a desire to scrap. Did you mean to say making adjustments The British seem quite happy with their national health care system system in general.

George Rebane

Yes, I suppose "making adjustments" could be a tongue-in-cheek description. When you cite that the recipients of entitlements are currently happy with unsustainable benefits for which they are not paying, that is not a justification for continuing any public policy. Everyone in British government knows that the NHS party will require some major "adjustments", but no one knows the nature of such adjustments. And that's the problem that some (you?) here in America have a hard time accepting. Adjustments won't cut it.

To me the obvious approach to healthcare reform starts with cost reductions resulting from nationwide marketing of ALL health insurance, and massive tort reform to reduce the cost of nuisance litigation. From there we move to restructioning the market that now regulates who can provide what kind of healthcare services. This will INSTANTLY reduce costs on the delivery and the government oversight ends.

Paul Emery

George

Actually I can agree with you on a couple of your positions. As a supporter of some form of universal health care based on European models I am aware that those systems do not face the same pressures of litigation that our system absorbs so reform would have to be part of any national health system. For example, it's practically impossible to sue a government worker or official. Secondly, new forms of health care delivery are in order. I completely support low cost pay as you go health clinics using health practitioners for most nicks and scrapes. The difference between $1200 charged by the emergency room for removing a tick as compared to $200 from Yuba Docs is a good example of pay as you go for minor situations . I have yet to see a clear analysis of what the effects of nationwide marketing of insurance would do to lower health care costs. Can you point me to an independent analysis that you might use to support that idea?

Let me ask this also. Under your reform ideas what role do you see the government playing? With insurance marketed nationwide that would have to involve federal enforcement of fraud or misrepresentation. Also, how do you propose to care for those who for whatever reason, have no insurance? The Denmark solution that I support does provide health care for all with the cost being paid through taxes.

There is another factor here that must be considered and that involves reasonable expectations of health care. The medical and drug industry invents diseases and through advertising create new markets. I never heard of restless leg syndrome till recently for example. The Denmark systems requires regular health exams that catch problems early when they are more easily and less expensively treated. They do not extend lives with expensive procedures after a certain age. Rationing? Probably is but if you like you can invest in private insurance that will cover you if the national health care won't. We have rationing now based on whether you cant afford to pay so the idea is not new.

Thanks for the discussion. I look forward to your comments.

Mikey McD

At it's foundation the health care 'debate' is yet another battle between free markets (liberty) and cradle to grave socialism (slavery). It needs to be noted that our system already provides benefits to everyone (including illegal immigrants) via choices for "insurables" and medicade, CA's healthy families, etc. for the "un-insurables."

Freeing health care providers and insurers from overbearing regulations will generate a better value for ALL Americans (and those who choose to cross boarders to gain access to 'our' doctors). The benefits of 'universal health care' (more,, quality, affordable coverage) can be accomplished via competition if the law makers (read collusion artists) would simply let insurers compete nationwide.

note: Paul- I was looking at the more detailed poll on the link you provided: http://www.pollingreport.com/health.htm

Michael Anderson

Great debate on health care this evening. Thank you everyone.

I find myself pretty much in Paul Emery's camp, though perhaps more in support of Obamacare than he is because I'm a pragmatist and will take what I can get from the US Congress, arguably the world's most dysfunctional legislative body.

George, I think tort reform and a clearer/cleaner free market for selling insurance and providing care would both be excellent reforms. Why didn't Newt Gingrich work with Clinton in 1993 to make them happen? Why didn't GWB in 2003 make those a part of Medicare reform?

The simple problem is that for one third of our country's citizens our health care system is the best in the world, but that is not so for the other two thirds. And the cost increases of the past 2 decades are unsustainable.

I support the crappy solution that is Obamacare over the 2+ decades of partisan in-fighting and nothing-getting-done any old day.

Paul Emery

The one I referred to was the AP poll. Opinions are all over the place on this but there is a rising trend opposing repeal. There has to be a viable option presented by the Republicans which I don't see yet. There was not a peep for reform under Bush and his crew so it's strange new territory for them to look at actually proposing a solution.

Let's look at a realistic amount working class people can pay for health care. A family of four with an income of say $3000 take home now must pay over $1000/month for health insurance to cover their family. If you can show me how that can be reduced to say $500 with the reforms you propose you might win me over. Of course there are many families with much less income but the insurance will be the same.

Let's just say you're 50 years old and just lost your job. It's practically impossible to get insurance coverage for any costs because you're too much of a risk.

Mikey I appreciate you're libertarian views but I just don't see how it can work in this case. What we don't want is more people going on welfare to have health coverage but that's what's happening today. A very good friend of mine who is 52 and self employed and could no longer afford health coverage for his family (it was over $1000) recently had a heart attack. After being transported to the ER and treated for his heart attack he was told that he still had a clogged artery but they would not attend to it since it was not the direct cause of his heart attack. He was told, however that he would be endangering his life by working. They gave him heart pills and a $200,000 bill and told him to come back after his bill was paid or when he has insurance. Of course insurance was impossible at any price so the best hope he had was to suffer another heart attack hopefully mild enough to survive and have emergency treatment. That's what happened and they gave him another $200,000 bill. That's our system as it exists today for working people who can't afford health care. He needs continuing care but is on the road to recovery hopefully. The only way he can receive the specialized care he needs to recover is to go on government assistance by liquidating all his assets. That's what he will and has to do.

This is a typical example of how working class people become wards of the State and essentially destitute.

I have to dig here

Todd. this is the best health system in the world right?

Michael Anderson

"They gave him heart pills and a $200,000 bill and told him to come back after his bill was paid or when he has insurance. Of course insurance was impossible at any price so the best hope he had was to suffer another heart attack hopefully mild enough to survive and have emergency treatment. That's what happened and they gave him another $200,000 bill."

Great and sad story, Paul. This is exactly one of the biggest problems. When everyone is covered, costs go down across the board. And people get at least the minimal preventive care they need.

This does not stop the wealthy from getting additional coverage, in order to avoid the "death panels." (-; No socialism really, partisan rhetoric aside and all that...

What am I missing here, other than the fact that as a small business owner who pays many thousands of dollars per year for only catastrophic coverage (regular visits besides the annual physical are cash on the barrel head), I am subsidizing both the indigent using the emergency room as their doctor's office as well as the underfunded health benefits of those who are 10-30 years older than me?

I'm as mad as hell and I'm not going to take it anymore. Obamacare, so far, is the only political movement I have seen in this arena in 3 decades. I'm going for the pig in a poke over the pig with wings.

RL Crabb

I know the individual that Paul cited as an example of the horrors faced by the uninsured. I didn't make it to his fundraiser, but I did make a donation to the cause. I don't know how it turned out, but my guess is the proceeds will amount to a drop in the bucket toward paying off the monsterous bill.

Conservatives like to think that nibbling around the edges of health care will solve the problem, but more than likely it will help very few and go on to serve the status quo. What will they do when even their coverage is threatened by escalating costs? George has opined that in the coming years there will be an even larger number of the unemployed. Perhaps the next step will be shutting the doors of emergency rooms to those who cannot show insurance or pay up front.

Why not? There are already a few whispers among those on the right that suggest that only the landed gentry should be able to vote, at least when it comes to raising taxes. Perhaps an exception will be made for those who willingly serve in the military. After all, health care is a privilege, not a right.

Todd Juvinall

When all these arguments were raging about healthcare and its costs 30-40 years ago, Edward Kennedy, the messiah of the left, became the politician who got the HMO's going. Why? Because it would be a way to stop or slow down the costs and serve more people. Then what happened? The same politicians then started to mandate these HMO's do more and more and eventually even HMO's became too expensive. My point is that private industry will supply what we need until the government screws it up and then decides it can take it over and do better. We know it can't. Obamacare and government run healthcare is an abomination and must be repealed and the Republican plans should be implemented.

Paul Emery

Todd, can you summarize for me how the Republican plan would prevent what happened to my friend? Also refresh me on what the Republican plan is.

Todd Juvinall

It is available on their website. Regarding your friend, I gave no idea. I would suggest you talk to the hospital staff in finance and admin.

Paul Emery

Are you confident the Republican plan would prevent that from happening?

RL Crabb

While Todd is correct that a person can negotiate bills with the hospital, it still does little to mitigate catastrophic situations. Let's say you get them to agree to pay half of a $400,000 bill. If you can only pay $100 a month, you could pay them off in a little over 166 years, and then there's a possibility that you will have a few more health issues before your tab is paid off.

On the other hand, if the person had been paying that $100 a month into a pooled fund for the years before his illness, the debt would be considerably smaller.

D. King

Why is the price $400.00 or even $200.00?
Because it is?

George Rebane

The segue of this discussion from regulatory rollback to approaches to (nationalized?) healthcare has resulted in an excellent discussion of that issue along its established and normative parameters. I will offer my own contribution in a separate post later in the week that will include some additional factors for us to consider.

However, that the regulatory environment in America is stifling has now been acknowledged by the President and many leading Democrats. Can there be some hay to be made while this sun shines? If so, what/how?

Mikey McDaniel

The free market provided the treatment for Paul's friend (and saved his life). Government forces the hospital to charge astronomical prices for such treatment. I want more free market treatments for survival and less government involvement to keep the cost down.


Mikey McDaniel

1.) Does moral hazard void the co-existence of both a 'universal' option and a private health insurance option?

2.) How much impact do Medicare reimbursements have on hospital bills?

Greg Goodknight

The GregoryCare bill would be simpler:
1) If you were covered by insurance when a condition was diagnosed, and had either been covered or tried to get coverage afterwards, that pre-existing condition cannot be used to deny coverage.

2) When an insured's Group coverage is no longer available, insurers will offer policies at the standard underwritten rates.

3) The cost of insurance paid as a benefit to employees is now taxable. Tax tables will have a one time adjustment to make this revenue neutral.

4) Open borders; allow out of state insurers to write policies.

We've not had a free and open market in health insurance since WWII. I'd choose to actually try market reforms before having the Feds run the whole show.

Mikey McD

“The fact that we are today to debate raising America’s debt limit is a sign of leadership failure.”

-Senator Barack Obama, March 2006

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