Patterico's Pontifications

7/17/2009

Obamacare: The Screeching of the Nutroots

Filed under: General — Karl @ 12:07 pm



[Posted by Karl]

The Congressional Budget Office’s “devastating assessment” of the Democrats’ healthcare proposals (intensified by the CBO’s equally dire picture of the federal budget in general) is feeding the reluctance of moderate Democrats to support a government takeover of the US healthcare system. The situation is making the nutroots… nuttier than usual.

Boy Genius of the Sorosphere Matt Yglesias and Hullaballoo’s dday rip the Blue Dogs for “inconsistently” opposing a budget-busting “reform” effort while supporting better reimbursement rates for rural hospitals than Medicare rates. The WaPo’s Ezra Klein and dday both attack Sen. Ben Nelson for saying that his constituents don’t want a surtax that would give the US higher tax rates than most every country in the OECD. Klein would also like to establish “Rules For Commenting On The CBO’s Judgments,” the point of which are to argue that anyone relying on the CBO to complain about the cost of the Democrats’ proposals should be required to declare their support for various politically-poisonous agenda items that would bring down the cost of healthcare reform.

Many of their arguments are dubious on their own terms. For example, it is not necessarily inconsistent to argue about overall costs, while insisting on a better deal for one group or another. “Formula fights” are commonplace in Congress. Klein can point Sen. Nelson to polls showing that taxing the rich is not vastly unpopular, but he fails to account for polls showing that people expect the middle-class will get stuck with the bill for healthcare reform. Klein might even want to review his own blog, where he admitted that “health-care reform isn’t simply suffering because the public is overly opposed to some of its revenue raisers. It’s suffering because the public is insufficiently supportive of its core.” Even more fundamental, Klein glosses over the fact that national polls may not accurately reflect the opinion of likely voters in Nebraska, where Nelson likely wants to be re-elected.

That last point goes to the heart of the latest round of screeching from the whine cellars of the Left. The nutroots — and the Juicebox Mafia in particular — would like everyone to pretend that we are an Ivy League debate class, instead of a democratic republic. The latter is a bit more messy, and statists have very little patience for that.

The nutroots chide the Blue Dogs for their supposed inconsistencies, but when poll after poll shows that people want healthcare reform only if they don’t have to pay a meager $500 a year for it, we see that our government fairly reflects the public mood. They insult Sen. Nelson, but I doubt that is very persuasive with Nelson, who likely has more insight into how to retain his job in Nebraska than some 20-something blogger in the Beltway. They would like to impose rules for discussing the CBO’s judgment on the Democrats’ healthcare reform plans. But it is the Democrats who want to remake one-sxith of the US economy, and have majorities in both houses of Congress. They have the power and the agenda. Thus, the burden falls on them to come up with legislation that can make it through the legislative process. The critics can say, to quote Juicebox Mafia guru Jon Stewart, “I am not your monkey.” Despite their best efforts, it is still a relatively free country. We can say whatever the hell we want.

–Karl

134 Responses to “Obamacare: The Screeching of the Nutroots”

  1. You know, I love all of this heavy handed threatening, demanding, while subsequently calling for “intelligent”, collegial, and contextual debate…

    Mostly from the same group that lambasted Booooosh! for allegedly doing the same things; it’s that good old hypocritical, “‘Tis good for me, but not for thee” rhetoric. Really constructive…

    Maybe they’ll come to their senses and realize that, “We Won!”, and, “My way or the highway!” are not actually very good rhetorical tools when it comes to political debates…

    But I won’t hold my breath or anything…

    Bob (99fc1b)

  2. I would hope that the Republicans would grow a spine and start actively opposing this nonsense instead of hoping the beatings will stop if they just act nice.

    steve miller (0fb51f)

  3. steve miller,

    One part of me agrees with you. Another part is sorta enjoying the slow death of Obamacare without active opposition. After all, that’s why the nutroots are freaking. The battle has not even really been joined and the public support is draining daily. The Dems have Congress, the WH, and most of the media — and still are having big trouble getting it done? Ouch.

    Karl (ccbca4)

  4. if they don’t have to pay a meager $500 a year for it, <– as only a wealthy Republican can phrase it.

    75% of Americans want the public option for healthcare and there is zero excuse for any public servant who is covered by a government funded healthplan to oppose it.

    DCSCA (9d1bb3)

  5. I’ve sent Durbin a letter asking if he’ll require Congress to participate in the same health plan he supports for the rest of us. I doubt that I’ll be receiving anything other than the standard “I’m glad to hear from my constituents” form letter.

    rochf (ae9c58)

  6. I’m with you, DCSCA. I really want, want, want, want, so much want, Blue Shield (not Blue Cross/Blue Shield) like our President and Congress have.

    nk a/k/a Sarah (2fa2d4)

  7. 75% of Americans want the public option for healthcare

    As long as they don’t have to pay for it.

    If the government promised everyone a new car funded solely by someone else’s tax dollars, 75% of Americans would support that too.

    “Free” healthcare is fine with most people if they think someone else will pick up the tab.

    Another Chris (2d8013)

  8. #7- Apparent Senator Grassley disagreed with constituents who said they wanted access to the his kind of guaranteed life time coverage. And those poor, poor Congressional vets get government health care coverage for life on top of that.

    DCSCA (9d1bb3)

  9. All these noises these whiny socialists are making obscure the incremental and horrifically expensive socialisms they’ve already enacted. Also this idea our little country can’t afford socialized medicine is misleading when our little country what the Barack Obama has bankrupted can’t afford a Diet Coke and one of those tasty candy bars what just have the peanuts and the stuff what’s sorta like caramel but not really caramel.

    happyfeet (71f55e)

  10. “Despite their best efforts, it is still a relatively free country. We can say whatever the hell we want.”

    And keep saying it, over and over!

    dfbaskwill (2c7f7f)

  11. I would gladly pay $500 yearly for health care for me and my family. That’s about $40 or so a month. I’m probably confused though – I don’t think I’m wealthy, and yet $40 a month seems pretty reasonable. That’s $10 a week, less than $2 a day. Or, at minimum wage, about 10 or so minutes of work a week.

    Unicorns and rainbows as extras would be good, too.

    steve miller (0fb51f)

  12. Where can I sign up for the $500/yr plan? I hope it includes dental.

    steve miller (0fb51f)

  13. I see the International Man of Parody is playing non sequitur again.

    SPQR (5811e9)

  14. DCSCA is till parroting his debunked talking points, when he really needs to sign this petition.

    Karl (ccbca4)

  15. Klein would also like to establish “Rules For Commenting On The CBO’s Judgments,”

    I’ll bet he would–the CBO’s judgements were fine when they were cockblocking the Bush team’s estimates on Iraq War spending, but now that their rapiers are being pointed at President Cinco de Quatro, there should be “rules” on commenting on CBO figures.

    Klein’s biggest problem with the CBO is that he’s a liar, and he can’t make the discipline of mathematics reflect his congenital deceit, so he wants to establish “rules” about commenting on their figures. Stalin would have been pleased with this one.

    Another Chris (2d8013)

  16. Karl, the International Man of Parody never abandons a talking point, no matter how obsolete, and no matter how many times its been utterly debunked.

    SPQR (5811e9)

  17. I believe it is “El Presidente Quatro y Quatro”

    steve miller (0fb51f)

  18. Half now oppose Obamacare

    A new Rasmussen Reports national telephone survey shows that 50% of voters oppose setting up a government health insurance company as President Obama and congressional Democrats are now proposing in their health care reform plan. Fifteen percent (15%) are undecided.

    LarryD (243b3d)

  19. LarryD, that means that 65% of Americans repudiate El Presidente.

    And they say Bush was unpopular…

    steve miller (0fb51f)

  20. #15- =yawn= The only thing ‘debunked’ has been the ‘screeching’ of panicked conservatives hell-bent on resistance to change. Conservatives can keep their Cadillac coverage. Nobody is forcing them into a public plan. 75% of Americans want the public option. WE THE PEOPLE want this option available to us. It seems conservatives have little faith in the capacity of private sector to compete in the the free market against the option of a public plan. Congress bes not plan any vacations in August.

    DCSCA (9d1bb3)

  21. Socialized medicine is racist I think. Like Barbara Boxer. A vast medical plantation is what the Barack Obama envisions.

    Chilling.

    happyfeet (71f55e)

  22. Actually, if you’d read the poll results, 65% of Americans don’t want this health care plan shoved down our throats. This is backed by actual data and not by “I hope it’s true” feelings.

    steve miller (0fb51f)

  23. #15- Parroting the Heritage Foundation, a rats nest of conservatism and one of Dick Cheney’s favorite haunts, is almost as funny as looking to Bill Kristol as the GOP guide to your future. What a gift.

    DCSCA (9d1bb3)

  24. Granny, it’s time to die so we can save Obamacare

    One troubling provision of the House bill compels seniors to submit to a counseling session every five years (and more often if they become sick or go into a nursing home) about alternatives for end-of-life care (House bill, p. 425-430). The sessions cover highly sensitive matters such as whether to receive antibiotics and “the use of artificially administered nutrition and hydration.”

    steve miller (0fb51f)

  25. Rules for commenting on a political issue?

    I got one: the First Amendment.

    Supreme law of the land, and whatnot.

    re: Miller’s 2:00pm comment: the word “repudiate” is too strong (even the 50% who oppose his policy do not necessarily “repudiate” him personally).

    But it is fair to say that barely a third of the country is onboard with Pres. Obama’s radical agenda to reshape healthcare. And it bears repeating.

    Nelson should announce that he will campaign around the country with Sarah Palin against any politician (D or R) who votes for this abomination.

    Daryl Herbert (a32d30)

  26. DCSCA,

    If you didn’t always go back to the same idiotic talking point, which demonstrates a complete lack of ability to grasp simple concepts, I would not have to keep embarrassing you with that link to Stu Butler, who has forgotten more about the FEHBP than you have a hope of learning.

    Have you signed the petition yet? After all, you seem to be laboring under the delusion that Congress is in a public plan now, so you ought to demand it going forward, yes?

    Karl (ccbca4)

  27. Repudiate is a deliberately chosen word, because it emphasizes that 65% of Americans have chosen not to support this plan, which is pushed as one of Teh One™’s signature issues. Choosing not to support this plan is the same and not supporting him.

    The reason I say so is that if 65% of Americans chose to support this plan, then the statistic would be turned around to say that 65% of Americans support him.

    steve miller (0fb51f)

  28. The upside of this is that when Teh One’s plan is put into effect, I will finally get my unicorn, and DSCSA will finally get an unlimited supply of the meds that he clearly ran out of.

    JD (a8f5e7)

  29. Republicans and Democrats who don’t want to mandate universal coverage should not be opposed to repealing legistlation that requires hospitals to treat people who do not have insurance. This would reduce hospital costs and allow private insurance companies to lower premiums now inflated to cover the costs of the uninsured who demand emergency treatment.

    Since we should never be required to have insurance if we don’t want it, then why not let people die if they didn’t buy insurance?

    steve (0b5e2f)

  30. A big reason Barack Obama and his dirty socialist pals are failing to get momentum behind their stupid socialist health care scheme is because they can’t sell it with hate or fear. Health care is something even stupid Barack Obama voter people want to think about, not emote about, but Barack Obama knows better than to get the ball rolling on thinking. Cause of that would backfire.

    happyfeet (71f55e)

  31. steve comes along to throw out a complete fallacy, and a non-sequiter, all wrapped in one shinyshopeychangey bow. How sweet.

    JD (a8f5e7)

  32. steve:

    Since we should never be required to have insurance if we don’t want it, then why not let people die if they didn’t buy insurance?

    Because it’s not workable in emergent cases. What if the person has coverage but can’t produce proof, or is unconscious and doesn’t have an ID? The issue should be whether the patient’s condition is life-threatening, and the U.S. health care system does a pretty good job handling life-threatening cases.

    As for non-emergent cases, look at it from the opposite perspective. Instead of asking the system not to treat people, why don’t patients who elected not to get insurance (or who have high deductibles/co-pays) decide they can’t afford treatment and decline it? I know people who do that in non-emergent cases. I’ve done it, too.

    DRJ (6f3f43)

  33. Well, the POTUS has just spoken, and he is not happy with people criticizing him.

    “He then left the room, taking no questions.”
    “Y’all just need to shut up and let me have my way. We won.”

    steve miller (0fb51f)

  34. #35- Actually, he just telgraphed to Congress that they won’t be going on vacation in August.

    DCSCA (9d1bb3)

  35. #36
    A ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha

    Tell me how he’s going to do that? Threaten them with not signing a bill?

    steve miller (0fb51f)

  36. #27- =yawn= Referencing the Heritage Foundation is an embarassment in itself. A total disqualifier. But keep trying. Why not get Johnson & Johnson to threaten that the cost of Band-Aids will soar to $20 a box when the public option is available.

    DCSCA (9d1bb3)

  37. 65% of Americans say no to the President and his plan. Even Nancy Pelosi is smart enough to read the newspapers.

    steve miller (0fb51f)

  38. “75% of Americans want the public option for healthcare and there is zero excuse for any public servant who is covered by a government funded healthplan to oppose it.

    Comment by DCSCA — 7/17/2009 @ 12:42 pm”

    I want to see the citation for the 75%. The usual phrase is _% support health care reform. We don’t have 75% working for the government now, but given the way Baracky’s going and his war on the private sector, we may get there by the end of his first term.

    daleyrocks (718861)

  39. “I’ve said that health-insurance reform cannot add to our deficit over the next decade. And I mean it. Let me repeat: Health-insurance reform cannot add to our deficit over the next decade. And I mean it,” he said.

    He’s calling the CBO a bunch of dirty liars. That’s a very cowardly and deceitful thing of the Barack Obama to do. He just keeps getting smaller and smaller.

    happyfeet (71f55e)

  40. One thing people need to start thinking about, is the need for Congress to include itself in every bit of legislation that it imposes on the rest of the country. If Obamacare is so good for everyone, why is Congress excluded from it? Affirmative action, excluded. The list goes on and on. Easy to pass something that doesn’t have any effect on you. I think it would help our “representatives” act more like representatives and less like the self-serving cretins that the majority of them are.

    Frank Kealty (b0d8d6)

  41. why don’t patients who elected not to get insurance (or who have high deductibles/co-pays) decide they can’t afford treatment and decline it?

    They wouldn’t. Since it’s free.

    steve (0b5e2f)

  42. I don’t know how he’ll get the funding up enough to cover a debt of 200% of GDP. But I imagine that he’ll certainly try. After all, has any country really tried to go for a 100% tax rate? We could be the first.

    You think health care is expensive now? Wait ’till it’s free.

    steve miller (0fb51f)

  43. Daleyrocks – You know that the International Man of Parody is simply practicing asspulls. It cannot source its claim because he is making it up.

    JD (a8f5e7)

  44. “They wouldn’t. Since it’s free.

    Comment by steve — 7/17/2009 @ 3:40 pm”

    See how cruel your President is – he wants to take away something from people that is now free and mandate that they pay for it or pay a big ass fine.

    daleyrocks (718861)

  45. steve:

    why don’t patients who elected not to get insurance (or who have high deductibles/co-pays) decide they can’t afford treatment and decline it?

    They wouldn’t. Since it’s free.

    It’s not free. Providers bill their patients. They may not pay but they’re billed.

    DRJ (6f3f43)

  46. None of his supporters care that he keeps blatantly lying and saying this healthcare crap is budget neutral. Just like he lied when he said 95% of people would not see their taxes go up a dime. They do not care one whit about what is in this bill or if he lies about it, they just want it passed.

    Mr. Pink (7841a9)

  47. For example look at this fellow liar right on this thread.

    “75% of Americans want the public option for healthcare and there is zero excuse for any public servant who is covered by a government funded healthplan to oppose it.”

    Does anyone here believe this guy cares if Obama lies? He first of all blatantly lies himself about a statistic, and then lies about government health plans. There is a huge difference between gov. funded and government run and this guy knows this, but he is willing to lie to himself and everyone else. He just wants his “side” as he sees it to win, regardless of the consequences or even reason. Obama’s followers are fans, they are not participating in any sort of debate or reasoning on any of this stuff. This guy comes on this website with the same sort of mentallity a Dallas Cowboy fan hangs out at a Redskins bar with a T.O. jersey on.

    Mr. Pink (7841a9)

  48. […] An Option Gary Graham, Big Hollywood: Obama Wants to Buck Us Up Patterico’s Pontifications: Obamacare: The Screeching of the Nutroots Americans for Tax Reform: Radio Silence from Obama: House Dem Health Bill Violates Obama’s […]

    ‘Fat-Cat City’ with Bloated, Complicated ObamaCare Bureaucracy: Check Out the Scary-Huge Organizational Chart of House Democrats’ Single-Payer Health Plan « Frugal Café Blog Zone (a66042)

  49. Guys like Matt Yglesias and Ezra Klein remind me of those German die-hards who in April 1945 were screeching, “Ignore those Russians shelling your homes. Trust in the Fuehrer and victory will be ours!”

    MarkJ (d2394a)

  50. MarkJ – And Obama is like Baghdad Bob – he has to pass, something, anything, for political cred. He doesn’t care what is in the bill at this point, he’s just trying to ram something through because it will represent a victory against the forces of darkness who said it couldn’t be done.

    daleyrocks (718861)

  51. Years ago, Sweden’s top tax rate was 102%. Apparently, you were also taxed on what you had managed to save during previous years.

    Jay Stevens (6ac69b)

  52. In Sweden, Astrid Lindgen the famous writer of children’s stories, published an open letter to the government complaining about her 102 percent tax rate. Her letter brought down the socialist government that had ruled for decades.*

    happyfeet (c75712)

  53. Joe the Plumber was a prophet. No wonder the left had to destroy him.

    daleyrocks (718861)

  54. Once again Karl, I must tell you I adore you.

    MayBee (781c96)

  55. #51- Years ago, Sweden’s top tax rate was 102%. Apparently, you were also taxed on what you had managed to save during previous years. In the fat, sleepy Eisenhower years, it was 91% in the U.S. But of course, in those days, Republicans were smart enough to realize you cannot operate the U.S. with top tax rates of just 35% without running massive deficits.

    DCSCA (9d1bb3)

  56. “..Referencing the Heritage Foundation is an embarassment in itself. A total disqualifier…”

    Kind of like not referencing a quote at all. But that isn’t a disqualifier, I guess.

    But that is how trolls roll.

    Eric Blair (acade1)

  57. Why MayBee! Are you flirting with Karl?

    NTTIAWWT.

    Eric Blair (acade1)

  58. IMP – Has there ever been a year in history with higher tax receipts than when the top rate was at the evil 35% ?

    JD (355e34)

  59. “Kind of like not referencing a quote at all. But that isn’t a disqualifier, I guess.

    But that is how trolls roll.”

    Eric – Referencing vast imaginary personal experience is also very effective among certain crowds, unfortunately not this one.

    daleyrocks (718861)

  60. MayBee is just trying to make me jealous.

    JD (355e34)

  61. #37- Article II, section 3, U.S. Constitution.

    “[The President] may, on extraordinary Occasions, convene both Houses, or either of them, and in Case of Disagreement between them, with Respect to the Time of Adjournment, he may adjourn them to such Time as he shall think proper;”

    DCSCA (9d1bb3)

  62. Is IMP just making things up? What are the extraordinary circumstances it is babbling about?

    JD (355e34)

  63. Your question is rhetorical, JD. It’s just about stirring things up. That’s all.

    Eric Blair (acade1)

  64. The talking points have gone out so obviously we must all comply gentleman. DCSCA do you wear a Yankees, Redsocks, Cowboys, or Lakers Jersey when you go out?

    Mr. Pink (7841a9)

  65. I can’t wait till we have a healthcare system like Canada. A place where dogs and cats wait less than people, receive better care than people, and pay less.

    I’ve always liked dogs better than dhimmierats and insane lemmings. But it is amusing listening to the full moon brayings of the mentally derranged who tell us how great government healthcare will be. This in the face of their management of Social Secuirty, the Post Office, and the budget.

    Too bad Obama’s brain isn’t alive.

    Thomas Jackson (8ffd46)

  66. #63 if Obambi really wants to lose support — try having a Congressman tell his spouse their Summer Vacation is canceled b/c of a Health Care bill 65% of the US hates.

    Obambi may be strong but the spouse can walk away with 50%. Only the Religuous Left would go along with this

    ROTFLMAO!

    HeavenSent (641cde)

  67. By the way, DCSCA #36, Obama is vacationing the last week of August at Martha’s Vineyard.

    DRJ (6f3f43)

  68. Oh please.

    Not getting your way on a bill is not an Extraordinary Circumstance.

    I realize that Teh One™ thinks it’s about him 24/7, but really, there are some adults who would prefer not to be nannied by a ninny.

    steve miller (11b06b)

  69. Don’t confuse the fellow, DRJ. He has a hero to fete! You are pointing to those feet of clay…

    Besides, he might indeed take a vacation while telling other people not to do so. Does not he have a history of “a rule for thee, but not for me”?

    Eric Blair (acade1)

  70. Seems like all this guy does is take lavish vacations.

    steve miller (11b06b)

  71. When does he get the trembly lip and say “I’m working harder than I ever have, but I just can’t get this bill passed without raising everyone’s taxes.”

    steve miller (11b06b)

  72. Indeed, DRJ, DCSCA’s silly posturing is too silly even for Obama – The Empty Suit(tm) of silly posturing.

    SPQR (26be8b)

  73. “By the way, DCSCA #36, Obama is vacationing the last week of August at Martha’s Vineyard.”

    DRJ – He’ll have a good time. There are a lot of bruthahs in that hood! He’ll look good on a yacht wearing a captain’s hat like Clinton, too.

    daleyrocks (718861)

  74. At least if he is focused on vacation, he is temporarily not focused on destroying our country with his dirty little socialisms.

    IMP – DRJ destroyed your little fantasy scenario, didn’t she?

    JD (355e34)

  75. What are the extraordinary circumstances it is babbling about?

    Why don’t we ask John Yoo for an opinion?

    Bob Loblaw (6d485c)

  76. Can we get Teddy to give him a ride?

    HeavenSent (641cde)

  77. FWIW, I love Martha’s Vineyard. What a special place.

    Still can’t believe he could get over that bridge without dropping the car in the puddle.

    God, you really gotta be wasted.

    HeavenSent (641cde)

  78. ….he could not get the car over the bridge …..

    HeavenSent (641cde)

  79. Bob Noballz always offers so much insightful commentary.

    JD (355e34)

  80. But, but, but, if those “special circumstances” are invoked and the congress is forced to meet in August as DCSCA predicts, what will Granny McBotox do about her treatments? That stuff has to be re-upped regularly you know.

    elizabeth (ab79af)

  81. It’s not free. Providers bill their patients [for ER visits]. They may not pay but they’re billed.

    As noted. They continue to flood ERs and premiums are inflated to cover the costs of the uninsured who seek emergency treatment. Obamacare opponents nevertheless believe no one should ever be required to have insurance if they don’t want it.

    Given that the same are inclined to believe that private companies will always provide a better service than the government does, why don’t they write legislation to end the government run Medicare program and allow citizens who have paid into Medicare to use their money to buy private insurance? Private insurers might victimize the elderly – if they insured them all all – for astute business reasons owing to their disproportionate health care needs. Isn’t the greater good to finally level the playing field and let our free market be free?

    steve (0b5e2f)

  82. You can only support this is you also support this! steve likes constructing his “logical” brilliance in order to divert from what is actually happening. Teh One and the Dems are taking the first steps towards single payer right in front of our eyes. Some have even been honest enough to admit that is what they are doing. Folks like steve (small s but big stoopid) are just doing their job as footsoldiers in service of Teh Narrative.

    JD (4249e2)

  83. ‘Teh Narrative’ (as though that had any definition) will be scripted in large part by the hugely profitable insurance and drug companies controlling the politicians – Chris Dodd, Max Baucus, Tom Daschle (and his wife), included.

    This is great relief to unaccountable Republicans “enjoying the slow death of Obamacare without active opposition.” Except, as we know, no one is unaccountable.

    steve (0b5e2f)

  84. What complete and utter gibberish, steve.

    What would be “great relief to unaccountable Republicans” would be if Teh One quit trying to destroy even more aspects of our economy and society.

    JD (f52b33)

  85. What would be “great relief to unaccountable Republicans” would be if Teh One quit trying to destroy even more aspects of our economy and society.

    I’m hoping we can deal with the “aspect of our economy” in which medical bills trigger half of all bankruptcies.

    Harvard researchers say 62% of all personal bankruptcies in the U.S. in 2007 were caused by health problems—and 78% of those filers had insurance.

    steve (0b5e2f)

  86. —Let the record show:

    “President George W. Bush signed into law Thursday the first major piece of legislation of his presidency, a $1.35 trillion tax cut over 10 years.”

    Of the six senators begging President Obama to slow down health care reform, four of them — Mary Landrieu (D-LA), Ben Nelson (D-NE), Olympia Snowe (R-ME), and Susan Collins (R-ME) — voted for those huge Bush tax cuts.—

    http://www.talkingpointsmemo.com/archives/2009/07/let_the_record_show_1.php#more?ref=fpblg

    [Note from Stash: This is from banned commenter AF/sleepy/blah/etc… this sockpuppet information added to DRJ’s draft post]

    Dr Know (09c352)

  87. That is a lie, and you are a liar, steve. That statistic has been debunked more times than you and your ilk have lied about it. The existence of a medical bill in a bankruptcy does not mean that the medical bill triggered or caused the bankruptcy.

    JD (f52b33)

  88. steve – Get a new talking point. As JD points out, the bark has been flayed off that one so many times it is not even worth responding to. It’s as bad as the million Iraqi deaths in the Lancet study.

    daleyrocks (718861)

  89. Teh Narrative must be serviced, daleyrocks.

    JD (f52b33)

  90. The existence of a medical bill in a bankruptcy does not mean that the medical bill triggered or caused the bankruptcy.

    Just as it could also mean the health bills of an family member or a breadwinner’s uncovered injury. There are several criteria for “major medical bankruptcy” as a complex web of problems involving illness, work, and family. But few of the medical debtors had elected to go without coverage.

    There will never be any kind of serious health care reform in this country. It’s just a proxy for ideology.

    steve (0b5e2f)

  91. Such hooey, steve. The fact is that the study that you use to back up your stats is complete BS. But you will persist, because it suits your worldview, and when called on it, you will just spit out more BS.

    JD (f52b33)

  92. Again, steve artfully exemplifies a point I have made repeatedly. Were this such a great and popular idea, the Left would not need to make up statistics, lie about what their ideas are, or hide what their proposals will do. Were it so popular, they would lay out their ideas for all to see, and they would not have to otherwise lie, obscure, and obfuscate what it is.

    JD (f52b33)

  93. “There will never be any kind of serious health care reform in this country. It’s just a proxy for ideology.”

    steve – Did you even read that ridiculous study you are touting?

    daleyrocks (718861)

  94. Studies prove underpants gnomes cause 65% if the personal bankruptcies in this country.

    daleyrocks (718861)

  95. Note to Stash:
    facts are facts, but don’t interest you much.
    This site is more about community than an exchange of information. It’s true for most, unfortunately, but the right takes the cake these days.

    And I was banned for finally showing impatience with abuse.
    Being a Jew and being called the son of Nazi camp guards is not something anyone should have to put up with.

    Dr Know (09c352)

  96. Steve, it’s been proven that 100% of bankruptcies involve interest charges. Therefore, I move that all interest charges be outlawed. Impossible you say ? Not at all; interest is illegal under Islamic law.

    See how easy that is ?

    The Obamaphiles in the medical profession have been begging for tort reform under his health reform act. How did that work out ?

    A big wet kiss for the trial lawyers.

    Now any lawyer can sue to recover health care costs paid in an accident in which the costs have been paid by liability insurance and keep a 30% share. The trial lawyer doesn’t even have to represent a party to the case and there doesn’t have to be a judgement in the case assigning liability.

    So far Republicans have blocked it but don’t bet the farm that they will be successful in the end. This is a christmas tree for the left, that’s all.

    Mike K (90939b)

  97. So, if people who can’t afford insurance co-pays file for bankruptcy are we to exclude them as medical debtors?

    And if “the bark has been flayed off that [Harvard research] so many times it is not even worth responding to,” Google a scholarly rebuttal.

    Hundreds of millions are written off the books that are owed to insurance companies…continuously. In Orange County, CA, bankruptcy filings in May were up 94 percent from last year. In ’08, California hospitals lost $9.7 billion treating patients who couldn’t pay.

    Blame judges. Blame Harvard. Blame someone.

    steve (0b5e2f)

  98. See how steve simply ignores anything contrary to Teh Narrative, and marches bravely forward. Such a good footsoldier.

    JD (f52b33)

  99. “So, if people who can’t afford insurance co-pays file for bankruptcy are we to exclude them as medical debtors?”

    steve – Do you know the last bill debtors typically stop paying before a mortgage in advance of filing bankruptcy? That would be the cable TV bill. Can’t have TV service cut off now, can we? Which caused the bankruptcy, the cable bill, the mortgage, or the medical bill?

    daleyrocks (718861)

  100. steve is such a sterotypical Leftist. The mere fact that he can claim that a study confirms his bias came from Harvard, makes it scolarly and beyond reproach. The Left needs that unassailable authority, because their findings are so rarely unassailable. Note how he requests “scholarly” rebuttals, despite the countless rebuttals by mere laypeople that show beyond a shadow of a doubt that his beloved Harvard “Medical bills cause bankruptcy” study is anything but scholarly.

    JD (f52b33)

  101. “Google a scholarly rebuttal.”

    steve – Making this comment shows me that you have not read the underlying study. Anyone who had would not bother requesting a rebuttal.

    daleyrocks (718861)

  102. Now any lawyer can sue to recover health care costs

    I think this is a good time to honor some of the biggest fans of our current president, to honor so much of everything that swirls around a “community organizer.” To salute the professions (eg, trial lawyers) and constituents who vote blindly for the Democrat Party, who believe that anyone and anything of the left can do no wrong. The people who make proposed legislation at any given time even likelier to be sensible, honorable and, of course, caring and humane.

    Los Angeles Business Journal, August 2003

    As the owner of eight Burger King franchises in Los Angeles, Ella Avery-Smothers keeps busy making sure there’s always plenty of ground beef and french fries stocked in her stores and that the utilities get paid on time.

    Too busy, in other words, to be spending half her work week in Small Claims Court dealing with five to 10 lawsuits a month–and often losing.

    In the last four months, she has been sued by a woman who claimed she cut her mouth on a piece of plastic in a bacon cheeseburger. A man alleged he chipped a tooth biting into a piece of gristle. Two managers have allegedly staged robberies to cover up theft. And an employee with asthma, who smoked, filed for worker’s compensation, claiming chemicals at work caused her breathing problems.

    “I am so tired of everybody sugar-coating what we small business owners go through,” said Avery-Smothers, 58, who grew up on a tobacco farm in rural Virginia and has been a Burger King owner for 25 years.

    It’s a familiar lament: lawsuits, frivolous or otherwise, have gotten out of control.

    “There’s an incredible barrage of unnecessary litigation,” said Jonathan Solish, a lawyer who represents franchisers McDonald’s Corp. “What ends up happening is franchisees have to make appearances themselves, they run up legal costs, and there’s no protection for their businesses because of so many laws that allow consumers to sue.”

    In areas with higher rates of poverty, people are even more likely to pursue a claim, Solish said.

    [Ella Avery-Smothers] has lots of stories to tell. In April, a customer walked into one of her Burger Kings, poured a Coke on the floor and then tripped on it. He got up and said he was going to sue unless he got a free lunch. An employee refused. The lawsuit is pending.

    Just last week, Avery-Smothers spent four hours at Small Claims Court in a case involving a former manager who allegedly stole several deposits but claimed it was a robbery. A judge set the case to go to trial in a month.

    “It’s gotten to the point where all I’m doing is providing jobs, not making any money,” she said.

    Last year, Avery-Smothers was one of 11,400 Burger franchisees to receive an award for outstanding service to her community. She is a representative of the Burger King Minority Franchise Association….

    But some days, she considers getting out of it altogether. “If I had to start a business right now,” she said, “I wouldn’t do it.”

    Mark (411533)

  103. I was once sued by a woman who had cashed the insurance check and then did not pay the bill. Her son had a hernia repair. That was when I was first in practice and was on a salary. Before the suit was filed, I left and moved to Orange County to join another surgeon on better terms. I later found out that the office had pressed the woman for payment and then obtained a copy of the check from the insurance company. In those days, the insurance often put the doctor’s name and the patient’s name (In this case the parent) on the check. Both had to endorse it. She had forged the doctor’s name. The office told her that if she would just pay the bill, they would not file a complaint about the forgery.

    Instead she sued for malpractice. I learned all this after I was served and got an interrogatory that was 40 pages long. Eventually, I was dropped after my attorney filed a malicious prosecution action against the attorney (I still remember his name). Otherwise, I would have had to appear in the Valley. The suit, of course, was decided for the doctor but I don’t know if they ever collected.

    I did not have another suit for 17 years. That later one went to trial and I was awarded court costs, which we never collected.

    MIke K (90939b)

  104. If Don Quixote was alive today, his cause would be Tort Reform!

    AD - RtR/OS! (ff0870)

  105. If Don Quixote was were alive today, his cause would be Tort Reform!

    AD - RtR/OS! (ff0870)

  106. In Illinois, no medical malpractice complaint can be filed without a doctor’s, who is in the same specialty, affidavit saying under oath that the treatment did not meet the standard of care. Yet, we still have a lot of med mal cases filed every day. It’s not just the lawyers.

    nk a/k/a Sarah (d9523c)

  107. Nk – That is simply a question of finding an “expert” that is willing to say what is asked of them.

    JD (f52b33)

  108. Yup. The oldest profession is neither medicine nor law.

    nk a/k/a Sarah (d9523c)

  109. “Nk – That is simply a question of finding an “expert” that is willing to say what is asked of them”

    JD – With the cost of insurance so high these days, many doctors have to find a way to supplement their incomes somehow. It’s a vicious cycle. Heh!

    daleyrocks (718861)

  110. Google a scholarly rebuttal.

    How many times must the Trollbots put the onus on others to keep coming up with allegedly superior research to rebut them, despite such research already being posted? Just another tactic of obfuscation – like our boy Myron, they run away and hide when confronted with reality.

    Dmac (e6d1c2)

  111. steve – Making this comment shows me that you have not read the underlying study. Anyone who had would not bother requesting a rebuttal.

    And you have – but won’t kill off bandwith with an executive summary.

    The researchers acknowledged earlier criticisms:

    Adopting an even more stringent threshold for medical debts (eg, eliminating those with medical debts below 10% of family income) would reduce our estimate by >1%.

    Is U.S. health care a manufactured crisis just like medical debt is?

    steve (f352b5)

  112. How f*cking mendoucheous can you be?

    JD (5ea885)

  113. #102, Let me give you my story …

    I had damages done to me over $60,000 but the counter-party sued ME INSTEAD.

    After spending $25,000 in legal fees, the Mediator told us we had an an excellent case and would win in Court. Allegedly told the counter party similar.

    Here is the RUB, my lawyer told me I would have to spend another $30,000 to win it and, of course, there was likely little chance of collecting any money from the DEGENERATE BUM.

    So, I had to settle by paying the DEGENERATE and his SCUM LAWYER $17,500.

    The DEGENERATE is an Active Democratic Organizer in Palm Beach County Florida and to this day holds himself above all since he is all about Good Intentions and Spending Other People’s Money.

    HeavenSent (641cde)

  114. Here are some experts to refute your awesome study, Steve:

    http://www.politifact.com/truth-o-meter/statements/2009/jun/11/chris-dodd/medical-bankruptcy-study-not-clear-cut/

    Key quotes:

    We first looked at this issue back in 2007, when then-Sen. Hillary Clinton used 2001 data from the same authors to claim that half of bankruptcies had medical causes. The authors include David Himmelstein of Harvard Medical School and Elizabeth Warren of Harvard Law School.

    No biases there, huh?

    We should also note that the study appeared in a peer-reviewed journal, but two of the authors belong to the group Physicians for a National Health Program, a group that advocates for a universal, single-payer health program.

    Could the authors of such a fantabulous and unimpeachable study have possibly gone into it with a agenda? Nah, couldn’t be.

    Finally, we feel another study is worth mentioning that complicates the definition of medical bankruptcies. Ning Zhu of the University of California, Davis, has a 2008 draft study analyzing bankruptcies filed in Delaware in 2003. He found that overspending on household expenditures such as houses and automobiles contributed significantly to bankruptcy filings. His data show that the overspending made people more likely to file for bankruptcy after an illness

    I call BS on your claims, Steve – either refute them with another study that backs up the author’s atrociously – biased “facts” or STFU.

    Dmac (e6d1c2)

  115. Is U.S. health care a manufactured crisis just like medical debt is?

    Yes!
    The U.S. has the World’s finest health-care system.
    What we do have is an insurance-affordability problem, that has its’ roots in the Wage-Price Controls enacted during WW-2.

    AD - RtR/OS! (ff0870)

  116. The health care “reform” will mandate coverage of abortion

    http://pajamasmedia.com/blog/hidden-within-obamacare-an-abortion-mandate/

    Amphipolis (42043b)

  117. “The researchers acknowledged earlier criticisms”

    steve – When survey participants self report that in 29% of cases medical bills were a cause of bankruptcy (I want to see the questionnaire), is the appropriate scholarly approach to impute other aspects of a particpant’s personal situation to jack that percentage up to 62%?

    daleyrocks (718861)

  118. “His data show that the overspending made people more likely to file for bankruptcy after an illness”

    Exactly, I blew all my money on booze, broads and big screen TV’s and now I can’t pay my medical bills. It’s a medical bankruptcy. We gotta reform health care in this country – it’s OUTTA CONTROL!!!!

    daleyrocks (718861)

  119. nk a/k/a Sarah, when I got sued, the plaintiff expert testified that he left every thyroid surgery case he had done on a respirator overnight after the surgery and the fact that I hadn’t done so was evidence that I had committed malpractice. The case was complex but the patient was a bad asthmatic on steroids who had a huge goiter that was compressing his trachea. I did a thyroidectomy on him and sat with him for hours post op. A couple hours after I left, he had a respiratory arrest, probably from his asthma which can be tough postop.

    Anyway, this “expert” said he left all postop thyroid patients intubated all night. We knew that was BS so we asked him to provide the records from ONE CASE where he had done that. We stipulated that he could black out the name and ID info.

    His reply (He had testified under oath about this) was that he had had a fire in his office and all his records burned plus his office manager had died so he couldn’t find any records.

    He didn’t mention that at trial.

    There are members of the profession that will swear to anything. Even they are usually better liars, though.

    Even Penn Gillete agrees with me on insurance.

    Mike K (90939b)

  120. […] An Option Gary Graham, Big Hollywood: Obama Wants to Buck Us Up Patterico’s Pontifications: Obamacare: The Screeching of the Nutroots Alarming News: You must agree Americans for Tax Reform: Radio Silence from Obama: House Dem Health […]

    Dems’ Sheep-herding Health Welfare Program Like Eastern Bloc: Reckless Disregard for Economic & Fiscal Reality « Frugal Café Blog Zone (a66042)

  121. When survey participants self report that in 29% of cases medical bills were a cause of bankruptcy (I want to see the questionnaire), is the appropriate scholarly approach to impute other aspects of a particpant’s personal situation to jack that percentage up to 62%?

    Yes, they did add other aspects of participant’s personal situation.

    They “jacked that percentage” by including families who mortgaged a home to pay medical bills or ones owing on medical bills that amounted to more than 10% of their income. How large out-of-pocket medical expenses should be before those debts should be considered contributors to the family’s bankruptcy is something – and it’s a fair criticism – that is left unanswered.

    The focus of the article is the difference between 2001 and 2007. Whatever system problem there is, it is held constant in the comparison. Using basic definitions in 2001 and 2007, “and controlling for demographic factors, the odds that a bankruptcy had a medical cause was 2.38-fold higher in 2007 than in 2001.”

    steve (f352b5)

  122. It is now tripling down on its lies and mendacity.

    JD (838009)

  123. That whole 10% figure is a nifty trick too. Funny how Þhey ignore the other 90% in doing so.

    Quite simply, if you have to manipulate stats, create netrics with no reasonable basis in logic, and impose formulas that allow you to arrive at a position that you had already advocated prior to the study, it does not speak well for the study. But, this has been refuted more times than steve will continue to lie about it.

    By their “logic” someone with a 100,000 dollar salary, than goes into bankruptcy with a 250,000 dollar home, a 25,000 dollar car, 15,000 in credit card debt, 10,000 in student loans and 10,000 in medical bills, that is a medical bankruptcy. Convenient, that.

    JD (838009)

  124. “Using basic definitions in 2001 and 2007, “and controlling for demographic factors, the odds that a bankruptcy had a medical cause was 2.38-fold higher in 2007 than in 2001.””

    steve – Only if you can believe what they say. Given their blatant and unsupported manipulation of statistics and undisclosed bias, I’m not willing to give them the benefit of the doubt. I couldn’t even tell if it was an apples to apples comparison between 2001 and 2007 with all the smoke they were blowing, could you?

    daleyrocks (718861)

  125. The claim that medical costs cause a large percentage of bankruptcies is utter bilge as anyone who actually practices in bankruptcy ( as I have ) will tell you. The study that is cited so often counts any bankruptcy with any medical creditors as “caused” by medical costs. A brazenly dishonest standard.

    SPQR (26be8b)

  126. Brazen dishonesty is their modus operandus these days, SPQR.

    JD (0fd3fc)

  127. Speaking of which, remember with the International Man of Parody claimed that Obama was signaling that he would prevent Congress from adjourning in August?

    Uh, bad guess on IMP’s part …

    SPQR (26be8b)

  128. Personal bankruptcies aren’t the only indicator of medical debt. Nor is Harvard’s the only reporting on the debt run-up prior to the recession.

    If good times are the worst of times for medical inflation, does a trough mean insured adults who spend more income on health care and insurance levels off? Nope.

    We still don’t have enough solid information to know how to cut costs without impairing quality. But costs running faster than the overall economy or personal incomes for 40+ years is a trend that cannot continue forever.

    steve (f352b5)

  129. Steve when I read that piece you referenced I get pretty upset.

    So Americans are struggling with bills b/c of Medical Care?

    I guess it is A-OK that every dollar that comes in the door be allocated to cell phones, cable TV, Applebees, broadband, air conditioning, flat screens, et al …. and what is left over you can pay medical bills with.

    If Americans paid their medical bills right after food and reasonable shelter (no more McManshions!) there would be a “CABLE TV CRISIS” in the USA.

    That study only shows HOW IGNORANT people are and how ENTITLED THEY FEEL when it comes to Health Care.

    Bloated consumption patterns have infinitely more to do with “struggling families” than health care does.

    HeavenSent (641cde)

  130. Bloated consumption patterns have infinitely more to do with “struggling families” than health care does.

    Maybe as much as, but not “infinitely more.”

    Downturns don’t dent medical inflation. Technology and demand-side variables control pricing of flat screens, air conditioning, broadband and most consumer goodies. Health care costs, not so much. Sure, we pay more for medical needs because of layabouts who can’t make plasma TV payments and play the lottery. But that hardly explains that while the consumer price index generally drops during a recession, medical prices tend to rise.

    steve (f352b5)

  131. Therefore, it is best to let government make those decisions for you, and to let them employ their vanuted cost-cutting measures that are sure to never drive trillion dollar deficits from now until eternity. Actually, trillions would probably be the fortunate outcome for us. The Medicare estimates were off by full orders of magnitude, and there is no reason to expect that Obamacare will go anything but grow, swell, expand, and bleed money from the populace.

    JD (0d131e)

  132. Steve, after being presented with solid evidence that the inane authors of his vaunted “research” are hopelessly biased and also incorrect in their conclusions, proceeds to beclown himself further by buttresing his points by alluding to the emanations coming from his backside.

    Dmac (e6d1c2)


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