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Anon @ at August 17, 2009 8:18 PM

A twist on your plan, which would make it far more palatable to conservatives, is to hand every citizen a voucher to purchase the catastrophic insurance from private companies. From a conversative perspective, that keeps the government out of our business, especially in the sense that the government won't be collecting information on our medical conditions. The positive benefit would be that insureds could use the voucher to partially fund a policy that provides better-than-catastrophic coverage. Presumably, these policies would fall back to catastrophic coverage if the insured fails to pay the additional premium. If you want that to be progressive, make the voucher count as taxable income. States could opt to top up the voucher for poor people, or offer them a state-run policy on the condition that the state-run insurer receives the voucher.

You could completely pay for this by abolishing Medicaid and the deductibility of employer-paid insurance. I did the math once using actual insurance premia quoted on one of the health-insurance shopping sites. Abolishing those two programs (and a bunch of smaller ones, but only using the federal dollars) would fund a policy with a $5,000 deductible for everyone under the age of 65. (I assumed that the premium would change with age only.) I didn't check every state, because I got bored of the effort, but (I think) I checked CA, TX, and NY.

But none of this will ever happen. It makes too much sense.


Anon, Aug.19,2009 2:39pm

To "H" with the Conservatives, they are the reason why this Nation does not have an effective, both from a Medical and Cost standpoint, Health Care system today. These are the same guys who have been hindring and blocking a resolution to this vitally important issue since 1948.


Now let'see; Medicare is bankrupt, Medicaid is bankrupt, Social Security is bankrupt, the federal government is bankrupt, the postal service is bankrupt, Amtrak is bankrupt, the highest taxing states are bankrupt, many big counties are bankrupt and many local communities are bankrupt. Yep, it sure makes sense to me to put 17% of the economy into the hands of the same folks who brought us to this point and have managed all of those entities so well.


Anon, Aug. 19, 2009 4:33pm

Now let'see; All of the Governmental Programs and entities are "Bankrupt"! Really? Then why are they not in Bankruptcy proceedings and Receivership and "full faith and credit" still stands? Is this just another case of not letting the Facts stand in the way of a good rhetorical ploy to confound the facts and issues and foist an Ideological perspective onto the minds of the weak. Such as, "Government is Evil, Anarchy is Good"? And better yet, the Status Quo is the best of all possible worlds.

As a great American once said, "The occasion is piled high with difficulty and we must rise - with the occasion. As our case is new, so we must think anew and act anew. We must disenthrall ourselves and then we shall save our Country."


OK. Bad choice of words. How about they are all out of money without taking more from the hapless tax base. And no, not all government is evil, only bad government and stupid idealogic politicians and their minions. And no, anarchy is not good but is usually the end result of bad government. And no, not every solution is a good solution. Usually there are multiple solutions which will suffice. Frankly I would rather be cynical and proven wrong than naive and proven wrong.


SS isn't bankrupt yet, but it will be soon. Medicare and Medicaid are essentially bankrupt. You don't see proceedings because the FEDs have a printing press.

Barney Frank is selling Obamacare the way he sold us a bill of goods on the GSE's (fannie and freddie). Democrats are a disgrace to this country.



"How many illegal immigrants does Obama want to cover...?"

This was in the first comment in your post. The comment ended with a rallying cry asking all of us to stop Obama, stop the Communists.

The answer to the illegal immigrants question is zero. Every version of the bill I have seen excludes treatment for illegal immigrants. As far as the last part of the post, the Republican party seems to be unsure whether Obama is a Nazi or a Communist. I wish they'd get their story straight.


Nazis and Communists are at the same end of the spectrum. Both are totalitarians and the end result is the same. The point is that we are losing our freedom to people who believe in their own and the government's omnipotence. I also might remind you that the barbarians brought Rome down out of jealousy for their way of life and that after the fall the destruction was so complete that no one even new how to lay bricks.


I keep reading articles on the health care system.

I am surprised that hardly any stresses that whereas the American health care system is good a caring for patients (provided they can pay for it) it does very little to keep people healthy and preventing them from becoming patients in the first place.

Hospitals, drug companies, and the health care industry in general have plenty of incentives to provide probably the best and most advanced level care in the world. But who benefits from convincing Americans to adopt a more healthy lifestyle? To exercise? To eat well? To have regular check-ups?


The previous generation's most admired democrat made this honorable statement:

"...ask not what your country can do for you- ask what you can do for your country"


Today's democrats are a bunch of crybabies clinging to the notion that government must wipe their behinds after they drop a deuce.

The evolution of American society is going down the exact same path Rome went. We are on an unsustainable course of incremental dependence on a centralized government. The international community is not going to finance Obama's version of the Communist Manifesto. The American people, at some point, will stand up to this encroachment on their liberty. At some point, this entire thing pops really hard.

Obama and today's democrats are Communists, no doubt about it. But they also use fascist tactics to forward their ideology. Rules for Radicals is their tactic. They sell their communism by saying things like "choice and competition", yet their proposals are the exact opposite of these are free market capitalist principles. Government internalizing everything is COMMUNISM... SO STOP USING FASCISTS tactics to fool the American people. Obama is the biggest liar this country has ever seen. I know used car salesman that rank far higher on the ethical scale.


"The answer to the illegal immigrants question is zero. Every version of the bill I have seen excludes treatment for illegal immigrants."

Then why do all you lying liberals use illegals in your number of uninsured when crying that you are entitled to government healthcare...? Why do your liars in State-run media continue using illegals in every propaganda piece they run on behalf of your ideology?

Move to Canada if you want to be a socialist and wait in line for healthcare...! Don't destroy our prosperity that was built because of our system by bringing Canadian healthcare here.

The most irresponsible people on the planet are our democrats. Internalizing healthcare when social security, medicare, and medicaid entitlements all have problems is outrageous.



I may just give up trying to improve my life and get in line for the free goodies. I can move some place where I can have a good life for less monry and stay under the tax radar. Let the rest work themselves into the dust to support me with subsidized housing, medical care, food stamps and transportation. I suppose I can get a free education too. Hey, why work.


If govt. healthcare is ever passed, we are screwed.

Today, Social Security is just a 12.5% income tax. FDR sold us this entitlement program as a way to assist the final years of our lives (2-3 years). Well, the average lifespan has increased from 65 to 78 since FDR's program started. So our liberals have simply changed this program to be a retirement entitlement for the last dozen or so years of our lives. In other words, THE DEPENDENCY ON GOVERNMENT HAS INCREASED. It should be zero surprise to anyone that this program will burst once the baby boomers are fully retired.

Any effort to MODERNIZE social security is obstructed by democrats. Anytime someone proposes reasonable scalebacks Chuck Schumer and the gaggle of irresponsible communists do a photo opp. to politicize the issue.

Today, Obama is making promises with healthcare. Tomorrow, the DEPENDENCY will increment and our liberties will be sacrificed (both by higher taxation and rationing of choice for healthcare). We'll be stuck with another double-digit tax on our income and any effort to scale back something that should not be the role of government will be blocked by libs again.

This is the surest path to socialism. Liberals are going to bankrupt and destroy this nation. I actually think they want to. $10 trillion in deficits is not enough for obama, he wants government to provide healthcare entitlements for all...!

You people are certifiably insane...!


Ahh... and the "Ranters and Ravers" have not been satisfied with destroying any rational and reasonable discussion in public townhall meetings on the subject of Health Care & Insurance Reform, they now wish to attempt to shut down any rational and reasonable discussion of it on scholarly blogs.

My, what has this Country come to?


Ranting and raving is what you call disagreement with your opinions. I suppose it is just fine to demonize someone as long as you do it calmly and with the understated tones of NPR.


By what I've observed so far, Obama isn't a Marxist or a Maoist or a commie of any kind. He's an accomplished, thoughtful American. His allegiance to the Constitution per which he serves far exceeds his immediate predecessor's, IMHO. But he is weak and unseasoned in the wiles of foreign powers and the treacheries of Washington, D.C. and the lobby $$$ that keeps the monster fed. A president's performance as Chief Executive can't peak unless he gets out of Washington and clears his head at every opportunity. He's gotta be willing to step on some toes, disappoint some acolytes, admit some mistakes, and trust the pulse of the American people who pay the taxes and keep the lights on. Bill Clinton was a stubborn guy in '93 and he learned things the hard way. This time it's not just healthcare but the economic bust and bailouts for Wall St, washouts on Main St. Obama's bright enough to figure out for himself that more Big Government's the worst answer. Less is best. I'll remain optimistic. What choice does any of us have?


Ranters and Ravers....?

The other side is waaaaayyyy above that, right? We never saw the left express their minority opinions the past 8 years..(insert sarcasm here)..!

Public option with Ben Bernanke's printing press destroys private sector health insurance. It will actually do the complete opposite of what Obama is promising (much like his stimulus bill). He is promising "choice" and "competition" to fool us, yet he proposes the govt. option. Govt. will eliminate players in the private sector reducing and this will actually reduce choice and competition. We are going to be stuck with long lines at govt. programs and higher costs at the private option. See Canada...! We actually can point to examples of this mess, yet Obama and the Dems are still trying to sell it to us.

Rant or Rave...? No, freedom of expression and outrage at irresponsible govt. making BOGUS promises by lying to the American people. I'm no Timothy McVeigh, so you don't need to use that fascist tactic either.





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Anon. Aug.20, 2009, 4:44 & 7:38

"Freedom of expression"? Have either of you ever read "Article 1 of the Bill of Rights"? Let me enlighten you, "Congress shall make no law ... abridging the freedom of speech or the press ...", but the Supreme Court can on occasion and has. As one of it's Justices once commented, "although we have Freedom of Speech, it does not grant one the right to yell "FIRE" in a crowded Theater.

With that said, let's get back to the topic at hand and deal with it in a rational, competent and civil manner.


Apparently the commenter at 12:40 PM is oblivious to the fact that the life expectancy data he cites in his post shows that these government programs have worked.

The United States is the only country where the primary means to receive health insurance involves a profit-making company. It makes no sense, as the only purpose of the company is to make money, not to keep people healthy.

I'd be fine with something like the Milton Friedman plan; it would be easy enough to regulate the sale and purchase of private insurance for non-major medical care. But isn't the existence of the single payer government catastrophic insurance SOCIALISM and COMMUNISM? Doesn't that make Milton Friedman a COMMIENAZI? Maybe he just realizes that insurance company care is awful, it creates all kinds of perverse incentives, and the Ron Paul nutjobs don't have a clue what they're talking about.


Per capita total spending on health care, 2007:

United States: $7290
Switzerland: $4417
France: $3601
United Kingdom: $2992
Average of OECD developed nations: $2964
Italy: $2686
Japan: $2581

Think about these figures. Note that our life expectancy and our infant mortality ratings are not particularly good, that we fail to provide universal health coverage for all legal residents, and that the things we do well, basic medical research and treatment of certain kinds of cancer, is largely financed by the government. Then make an argument in favor of continuing our present system, and try to do so without calling people who disagree with you communists or nazis. Hard to do, isn't it?

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