Patterico's Pontifications

9/23/2009

ObamaCare: Is the GOP finally turning on the mandate?

Filed under: General — Karl @ 10:12 am

[Posted by Karl]

Sen. Chuck Grassley had already shifted his position to oppose forcing Americans to buy health insurance. Now it seems that Sen. GOP Whip Jon Kyl is calling the individual mandate a “stunning assault on liberty,” which suggests it may become a party position:

The attacks have confounded Democrats in and out of government, who noted quickly that mandating coverage was, until recently, a relative given when it came to health care reform.

“It’s f–ing ludicrous,” said one health care reform activist, who noted that when Finance Committee Chairman Max Baucus (D-Mont.) asked committee members to air their disagreements with an individual mandate during a meeting on May 5, no one chimed in.

May was months ago. Talk Left’s Big Tent Democrat and AMERICAblog’s John Avarosis are much less surprised, though mostly out of cynicism. The fact is that the GOP followed the same pattern in 1993-94 — initially backing mandates, then backing off as big government healthcare schemes proved unpopular with voters.

A new Zogby poll has more bad news for mandates:

Less popular with 2010 voters is a key provision in Sen. Max Baucus’, D-Mont., recently unveiled health care bill that would require all Americans to purchase health insurance or face a hefty fine. A clear majority of voters in competitive Senate races (68 percent) oppose such a provision, as do 70 percent of voters in competitive House races.

Also unpopular is the so-called “employer mandate,” which would require large and small businesses to provide health insurance to their employees or face a fine. Fifty-nine percent of voters in competitive Senate races oppose the “employer mandate,” as do 60 percent of voters in competitive House races.

I generally take a Zogby poll with a grain of salt. However, the new NBC/WSJ poll has 59% of adults against the individual mandate, and there are currently more McCainocrat districts than Obamacan districts, so the Zogby numbers have a certain logic.

And while the mandate is an assault on liberty, the GOP would be well advised to start telling the public that a mandate-based system will likely result in soaring premiums and soaring healthcare costs, and from there to rationing. Sometimes, voters in the middle need to be reminded what the blessings of liberty are in practical terms.

–Karl

136 Responses to “ObamaCare: Is the GOP finally turning on the mandate?”

  1. People will really miss the option to go without insurance when they must. It’s a sea change in terms of freedom. You don’t have to buy homeowner’s insurance if you own outright. You don’t have to have auto insurance if you don’t drive…but to have to buy health ins just for existing? That’s outrageous.

    Especially when they can’t even tell us up front how “reasonable” the co-op policies will be. Are they talking paying 200/month as opposed to 1000/month? Or more like 800/month?

    cassandra in MT (5a5d33)

  2. Bright sunshine is not good for any of this big government suck at the teat of the nannystate healthcare takeover business.

    JD (959071)

  3. Serious question, not trolling….

    …how is the individual mandate for health insurance any more onerous or assault-ive than the mandate for automobile drivers to carry auto insurance?

    Stipulate that those mandates are at the state level and only apply if one owns/drives a car.

    furious (71af32)

  4. Those stipulations are kind of big differences, no? Plus, the mandatory part of the auto insurance is liability coverage, designed to ensure protection for others from your personal liability should an accident occur. It does not mandate comprehensive or collision coverage, though your lienholder may. And they do not apply a punitive tax should you not carry auto insurance. And, the premiums for the mandated auto liablity coverage pale in comparison to the 1st party premiums of health insurance, which will only increase under the existing plans. So, other than that, they are pretty much the same.

    JD (959071)

  5. “voters in the middle need to be reminded what the blessings of liberty are in practical terms.”

    They were reminded of that before November, 2008. They didn’t listen!

    GM Roper (85dcd7)

  6. Also, furious, someone could just choose not to drive and not be penalized anything. You don’t get that choice with a health insurance mandate.

    I support an individual mandate only if there is a public option.

    As for Republican support of this or that part of the bill, none of it matters a whit. Their goal is to kill the bill outright, which is why they still resist when Baucus has sold out his base — and I would argue Americans — and given the GOP and Big Insurance nearly every concession they wanted in his version of the bill.

    A bill passing would be perceived as a success for Obama and de facto anathema for the GOP. Repubs want to be able to say for next year’s elections that the Dems and the president did nothing. (They saw how “oppose everything” worked against Bush.)

    It’s Politics 101 and has zilch to do with the American people, liberty or any of that. So we can all leave our high horses in the barn, please.

    Dems understand the stakes and will ram something through. I’m worried that it may be completely neutered to get the f’ing blue dogs.

    But the foot is getting in the door. This year.

    Myron (6a93dd)

  7. Just because you place politics above principles, Myron, does not mean everyone does. But, you do provide a concrete example of the way of thinking expressed in the Digby post.

    JD (959071)

  8. …how is the individual mandate for health insurance any more onerous or assault-ive than the mandate for automobile drivers to carry auto insurance?

    The issue here is what a mandated policy would look like. I would support a mandate for catastrophic coverage. For healthy young people, it would be nominal cost, maybe $250/year. What has changed is that no one but Myron trusts the process or, especially, the president. He was there on TV telling a skeptical George Stephanopolis that a tax was not a tax.

    He lies when the truth would do as well. Nobody with any sense trusts him. I suspect Myron doesn’t trust him but doesn’t care because he thinks he will get his statist agenda passed.

    Mike K (c818fc)

  9. JD: To try to completely separate principle and politics JD is like loving carpentry but hating hammers and nails. It’s simply childish, and I don’t know any successful politician who approaches politics that way. Sorry.

    But please hold onto your quixotic fantasies of how the “brave 40″ Republicans (or brave 39 if Snowe “defects”) will somehow get their way over the “evil 60″ on the other side. You’ll find that it’s sometimes useful to have a hammer and nails if you want to build something.

    Myron (6a93dd)

  10. More pusillanimous platitudinous partisan hackery from Myron.

    [note: fished from spam filter. –Stashiu]

    JD (959071)

  11. No wonder Democrats don’t want final versions of bills to be posted 72 hours before they are voted on. The rabble (voters) may object to what is actually in the bill.

    http://washingtontimes.com/news/2009/sep/23/house-lawmakers-aim-push-back-against-hasty-votes//print/

    PCD (1d8b6d)

  12. And to think that some trolls call other people here “condescending.” Myron is sniffing in disdain here, folks.

    Oh well.

    Eric Blair (0b61b2)

  13. Mike K: The difference is that, unlike you, I have NO trust for the insurance companies.

    Myron (6a93dd)

  14. The auto insurance ‘mandate’ does not apply to the driver but rather to the car. Furthermore, it is a condition to the privilege of operating a car on the public roads, and thus isn’t analogous at all to a health insurance mandate.

    And what comes next? After first scoring points with the ‘death panel’ (rationed care) and following it up with ‘no health care for illegals’ and then mandates (combined with Obama’s insistence that they’re not taxes), since there isn’t any single magic bullet that will kill Obamacare, opponents need to have some more ammo ready to fire.

    How about the threat of doctors to retire or shut down their practice if Obamacare passes that would leave patients having to scramble to find another doctor? A real threat?

    steve sturm (369bc6)

  15. Best to build something useful and lasting, not a Gorve Parc.

    pesto (44bf37)

  16. s/b Grove Parc!

    pesto (44bf37)

  17. …how is the individual mandate for health insurance any more onerous or assault-ive than the mandate for automobile drivers to carry auto insurance?Driving is a privilege, existing is a right. You can say that “we will not allow you to drive without liability insurance”, but you cannot say “we will not allow you to live here in America” without health insurance.

    As for taxing as a subterfuge, I’m pretty sure there is a Supreme Court decision that says “if you cannot legislate it directly, you cannot tax for failure to do it.”

    There are also due process issues with such a punitive “tax.”

    Kevin Murphy (805c5b)

  18. Eric Blair: It’s not condescending to call naivete naive. This isn’t a playground. This is the real world we’re talking about.

    Myron (6a93dd)

  19. Myron, have you actually ever read what Mike K. has written on this subject? I realize that you need to present people in BAD and GOOD terms (while ironically critiquing others for that “sin”), but you might want to do so.

    After all, he has experience in this area. I don’t. So I read and think about Mike K’s experiences.

    Can you say the same thing?

    Eric Blair (0b61b2)

  20. 87% of the polled policyholders are fine with their insurance plans, Myron. But you know better than them what is best for them.

    JD (959071)

  21. JD, that is the issue, right there.

    It takes a village…of people who know better than you do.

    Even if they don’t know a bloody thing about the subject. They still know better.

    Eric Blair (0b61b2)

  22. Myron is a believer that clamping down firmly on the teat of the nannystate is a good thing.

    JD (959071)

  23. Post #17: people unclear on the concept, Exhibit A.

    Eric Blair (0b61b2)

  24. Does anyone notice that they propose to “tax” citizens for not having health insurance, but the same people would be aghast at taxing illegal immigrants for being here illegally?

    Kevin Murphy (805c5b)

  25. Unsustainable deficits. Period. Full stop. But Myron doesn’t care, as he just wants more control over other people’s lives, and more of their money.

    As Digby clarified for everyone, we now know that when Barcky says he will not sign a bill that is not deficit neutral, that is a lie in order to reach a political end.

    JD (959071)

  26. JD: We can play the stats game all day, I suppose. It all depends on how you ask the question:

    When the June 2009 CBS-New York Times poll asked respondents what they felt about the cost of their premiums and the items not covered by their insurance, 23 percent said they were very satisfied, 27 percent said somewhat satisfied, 15 percent said not too satisfied and 33 percent — a plurality — said they were not at all satisfied.

    And this is to say nothing of when insurance gets to the point that few companies will be able to afford it, a reality that everyone even remotely converstant with this issue knows is coming.

    Myron (6a93dd)

  27. Just because you place politics above principles

    Yeah, playing politics is always what the other guy does to keep you from getting your way but never what you do to accomplish your goals. It’s all in the eyes of the beholder…

    steve sturm (369bc6)

  28. the same people would be aghast at taxing illegal immigrants for being here illegally?

    Who are you referring to? Is this someone you have created in your head? I’m for getting an accounting of who’s here, putting them on some kind of legal work status and for some, put them on a path to citizenship. Of course, they would be taxed.

    This is not to mention the property and sales taxes they already pay.

    Myron (6a93dd)

  29. Yeah, playing politics is always what the other guy does to keep you from getting your way but never what you do to accomplish your goals. It’s all in the eyes of the beholder…

    Exactly.

    Myron (6a93dd)

  30. Myron knows stuff that you rubes do not know. Polls are good for them when they confirm what they believe, not so much when the numbers show differently. Karl has done yeoman’s work on the opinions expressed in polling about this issue, but Myron doesn’t care because it is not about what the people want, it is about what he wants to do to the people.

    Who in the world is ever fully satisfied with their premium payments and their coverage? My insurance is sensational, and I still wish that it cost less, and covered more, with lower copays. Government getting their grubby little paws on it will do none of the above, and will actually do the opposite, while taxing our plan to pay for yours. But none of that matters to you. You want your power over others because you know better what is best for me and my family.

    JD (959071)

  31. Hey, Myron, it’s not all about you.

    Kevin Murphy (805c5b)

  32. Polls are good for them when they confirm what they believe, not so much when the numbers show differently.

    I return to Steve Sturm’s point from No. 26. I know the drill. Only THEIR side uses statistics that buttress their points. OUR stats are the pure truth, handed down on a stone tablet from on high.

    Get real! :)

    Myron (6a93dd)

  33. But, no, I was talking about a special, extra, tax for not asking permission for entry. Say, $1000/month just for being here without immigration documents. I mean, if we are going to use taxes to attack behavior, why not start there?

    Kevin Murphy (805c5b)

  34. You want your power over others because you know better what is best for me and my family.

    Um. Exactly what power do you think I’ll get out of all this? I don’t even work for the government.

    Myron (6a93dd)

  35. Say, $1000/month just for being here without immigration documents.

    Well, that’s excessive, don’t you think?

    Myron (6a93dd)

  36. There can be no philosophical, or even practical disagreement with the healthcare proposals. It is only political. Period. Gotcha.

    At least Myron admits that he wishes to lord over you, and make decisions on your behalf, because he knows better what is good for you and your than you do.

    JD (959071)

  37. JD: you oppose Obamacare. Opposing Obamacare is, by definition, evidence of a weak mind. You need to be protected from yourself and your family needs to be protected from you (especially since hanging around you is evidence that they’re not all right in the head). Obamacare will fulfill that role. Thus, if you loved your family, you would support Obamacare. Your continued opposition to Obamacare is just more evidence that the village needs to step in to protect you and your family from you. Pretty straightforward, right?

    steve sturm (369bc6)

  38. Well, that’s excessive, don’t you think?

    I agree: for that $1000 fine, they should only get one week’s illegal presence, not a month’s.

    Mitch (890cbf)

  39. More pusillanimous partisan hackery from Myron.

    JD (959071)

  40. steve – I should prolly should not even be allowed to raise my children.

    JD (959071)

  41. The Federal Govt is not financed by property and sales taxes; and so, it seems, neither are many of the individual states which have their finances cratering due to the downturn in collections of income and capital-gains taxes (CA & NY, anyone).

    There have been many items written in the past few weeks about the constitutionality of any Federal Mandate for the purchase of, or tax in-lieu of, Health-care Insurance. Most that I have read find no authority within the Commerce Clause that would allow the Federal Govt to impose a mandate against individuals, or businesses.

    If Teh One, and his minions, want to go down that route, they will be unleashing a firestorm that has the potential to rival the Fires of Hell.

    AD - RtR/OS! (5b5739)

  42. AD – The Constitution is a fundamentally flawed document that Teh One will just work around.

    JD (959071)

  43. There can be no philosophical, or even practical disagreement with the healthcare proposals.

    JD: Sure there can be, and are. But that’s not where the GOP is coming from in opposing this bill.

    My evidence?

    Supposedly, there is 80 percent agreement on the heart of the legislation. But yet we can’t get to the table?

    I submit that this is only b/c one side is not trying.

    Baucus, judging by that depressing, limp bill he put forth after 100 hours of work shows that he is at least trying to reach bipartisanship. Other than Snowe, there is no one on the Republican side who that can be rightfully said about, since Grassley jumped ship.

    Myron (6a93dd)

  44. JD: not unless you get on board and support Obamacare and everything else he’s doing… since doing so would be proof that you’re of right mind.

    steve sturm (369bc6)

  45. AD: I don’t know about “firestorm.” That’s hyperbole, isn’t it?

    If it’s not constitutional — and I’m not saying that it is — the 5-4 conservative Roberts court will toss it. And life will, suprisingly, go on.

    Myron (6a93dd)

  46. Actually, I’m not sure it would be a bad thing if someone challenged the individual mandate in court. I’d like to see the issue resolved.

    Myron (6a93dd)

  47. If you cannot get to the table, it is because of your party, Myron. It is all about D and R to you, Myron, which is frankly sad and a bit pathetic.

    steve – I should just go turn myself in now.

    JD (959071)

  48. Myron and the regressives know what is best for you. STFU and submit to their will, because they won.

    JD (959071)

  49. more…
    and, it is interesting that those who wish to create ObamaCare, find authority within the Commerce Clause to regulate health-care and health-care insurance across state-lines, but seem to be powerless to mandate that states allow their citizens to purchase health-care insurance across state-lines, acceeding to the state pols that citizens of the various states must only purchase policies that have been approved by the various state regulatory bodies, which will have to publish standards that acquiesce to the new ObamaCare standard (the public option).
    It would be so much more simpler if Congress, in its’ requirement under the Constitution to regulate inter-state commerce (one of the primary reasons for calling the Constitutional Convention in the first place) just allowed residents of one state to buy whatever insurance fit their individual bill from whatever insurance company where-ever – sort of combining the Commerce Clause with the Full-Faith & Credit Clause.

    AD - RtR/OS! (5b5739)

  50. Myron: if there was truly agreement on 80% (which I suspect doesn’t exist), then why won’t the Democrats allow a vote on just those provisions instead of muddying things up by forcing through whatever comprises the 20%?

    In business dealings, I consider it pretty good if I can get 80% of what I want.

    steve sturm (369bc6)

  51. STFU and submit to their will, because they won.

    Well, I wouldn’t phrase it like that.

    But if you expect Democrats to pass a Republican bill, or kill the bill altogether b/c Republicans are pitching a hissy fit — well, that wouldn’t make much sense would it?

    If Democrats wanted Republicans to run the country, they would just not run for office.

    So yeah, to roll out the other trite expression, elections have consequences.

    Myron (6a93dd)

  52. The 80% problem for Myron is that that is the number for the insured who don’t want the Feds mucking with their health-care and/or their coverage. Those are the people that have been gathering on the village green since last Winter under the auspices of the Tea Party Movement, independent of both the D & R parties.

    AD - RtR/OS! (5b5739)

  53. why won’t the Democrats allow a vote on just those provisions

    Steve: I seriously thought that’s what the Baucus bill is, basically? It takes out the public option, the most contentious item. It takes out the employer mandate, another bone of contention for Republicans. It includes some tort reform, which has been a GOP mantra.

    As Baucus points out, it’s the only bill that’s paid for. So what’s up?

    I share your skepticism that there is 80 percent agreement.

    Myron (6a93dd)

  54. AD: why would a conservative want to abandon the principle of limiting federal power and regulation in favor of not allowing states to decide what insurance carriers they allowed to offer policies to their residents? Are we only conservatives if it is cheap to do so?

    steve sturm (369bc6)

  55. No, the NSA secretly listening in on every American’s communications is what I’d call a ‘stunning assault on liberty.’

    JEA (dffa7e)

  56. I submit that this is only b/c one side is not trying.

    Hilarious. Myron again blames the party that is not in control. Your self-delusion is what is so amusing, Myron.

    SPQR (26be8b)

  57. AD: Actually, most polls, if not every poll, shows a solid majority of Americans want some kind of reform.

    Myron (6a93dd)

  58. SPQR: So, let me get this straight: When Bush and the Republicans were in the majority, you gave the Democrats a free pass and assumed they bore no responsibility for anything that happened during that period?

    Myron (6a93dd)

  59. JEA, you have a rich fantasy life.

    SPQR (26be8b)

  60. steve…The Congress allows multi-national orginizations such as labor unions to buy a policy for its’ members that is good in all jurisdictions within the Union, but will not allow me, as a small-business owner in CA, to buy a policy that fits my needs from an insurance company in (say) TN that satisfies my requirements better than one available from a CA regulated company.
    That, to me, is a denial of equal protection.

    AD - RtR/OS! (5b5739)

  61. Actually, most polls, if not every poll, shows a solid majority of Americans want some kind of reform

    but there is no consensus on any particular reform… half of the people want an aspect of reform that is opposed by the other half and vice versa… which is why Obamacare is quagmire with no publicly acceptable exit strategy.

    steve sturm (369bc6)

  62. Comment by Myron — 9/23/2009 @ 12:23 pm

    Cite, please!

    AD - RtR/OS! (5b5739)

  63. correction….instead of “multi-national”, I should have used the term “inter-state”.

    AD - RtR/OS! (5b5739)

  64. AD: it’s not the same thing. For one thing, you don’t have employees scattered around the country.

    steve sturm (369bc6)

  65. Myron, you still seem to have problems with making a coherent statement. You claim that there is 80% agreement. You are the one blaming Republicans for the actions of the Democratic congressmen and senators who control each house’s committee’s and decide what legislation gets written. There is no legislation being allowed to reach the floor that embodies that “80%” agreement. And Republicans don’t control what gets voted on.

    This would be obvious to anyone but you.

    SPQR (26be8b)

  66. “Actually, most polls, if not every poll, shows a solid majority of Americans want some kind of reform.
    Comment by Myron — 9/23/2009 @ 12:23 pm”

    I am one of those majority, but “some kind of reform” is not the same as Obama’s socialist remaking of the system imposed upon the American people by those who lie and do what is politically expedient. Even if that is the straw-man option that Obama likes to talk about.

    I think they need to scrap 100% whatever they have now, things that were intended to slide through without being read, and start over with “full transparency”, the Webster or Oxford kind, not ObamaNewspeak.

    MD in Philly (d4f9fa)

  67. Oh good Allah, wanting reform and wanting this reform are so drastically different as to make one wonder how obtuse you can possibly be.

    If you think the Baucus bill is either paid for, or representative of the fictional 80% agreement, you are delusional.

    JD (f9a61c)

  68. Where is there any agreement on an individual mandate, subject to punitive taxation? Where is there any agreement on ever-increasing taxes of pharma and biotech and medical devices? Where is there any agreement on taxing high-end insurance policies? That is just off the top of my head …

    JD (f9a61c)

  69. Myron–

    What part of the Constitution allows Congress to demand, under penalty of fines, that I buy something from an official cartel. Not that I can only buy from a cartel, mind you, but that I cannot fail to buy and I must buy from them.

    Kind of like saying that not only can they regulate all wheat grown, but that I must buy land and grow wheat on it, or they’ll fine me.

    Kevin Murphy (3c3db0)

  70. Kevin – They do not give a flying f*ck about concepts like individual liberty, or some quaint document like the Constitution. They want to exert power over others. It is really just that simple. They know better how to live your life and spend your money than you do.

    JD (5d3c32)

  71. but there is no consensus on any particular reform

    Steve. Very true. That’s why I don’t perceive any bill as ever getting a strong majority. Health care reform means different things to different people.

    Myron (6a93dd)

  72. Did anybody else notice the transcendent irony of Myron pooh-poohing the Barcus bill as “watered down” while proclaiming that it’s “paid for?”

    Myron you seem like an fairly intelligent guy and you are trying to make a good faith argument but you have a blind spot the size of the (shrinking) Ozone hole. You are continuing to argue based purely upon the “ends” of health care reform while almost completely ignoring the “means.”

    This is what conservatives tend to do. We like to actually get down and dirty and talk about the “mechanics” of what will happen with health care reform. I would put to you that our government is sorely lacking in “mechanics.” The fact that politics comes into play (as it does with any partisan legislation) does not in any way ameliorate the fundamental truth that the “mechanics” of the various bills that are being put forth simply don’t work.

    Barcus is doing a patch and fill job right now but he still can’t get the mechanics right. He’s pissed off you and your “base” because the single payer option you so love is gone. However, what you fail to realize (or willfully ignore) is that the single payer bill originally put forth was a “mechanical clunker.” We knew this in June when the CBO “mechanics” (you know, the ones who work on luxury cars rather than 20 year old clunkers) said the bill was going to cost billions more than the backers projected and produce “unsustainable” deficits of hundreds of billions of dollars over ten years.

    Yet this is the bill you want rather than Barcus’ “watered down one,” the one you think is “paid for.”

    You are the sort of issue ideologue who reminds me of the guy who drives a 30 year old car and never changes the oil. You just want that car to drive and don’t care in the least how it works or what has to be done to make it work. Single payer as put forth by this administration is an oil leaking hulk which will collapse in upon itself, along with Medicare and a sizable chunk of the American economy, spewing black smoke along the way.

    But, hey! Screw the mechanics. I don’t trust insurance companies and that’s enough for me. We’re too big to fail!

    Beyond the libertarian aspects of individual mandates and other parts of the bills most of us simply don’t trust you and yours on the left (or practically any politician of either party for that matter) when it comes to how the damn thing is going to be funded! Legislators lie and we have a long history of underestimated future costs from the left (Medicare by a factor of ten over ten years) and the right (Medicare prescription plan.)

    So it’s not just about politics or anger or even constitutional issues: It’s about the means

    BJTexs (a2cb5a)

  73. AD: Your No. 59 comment, I agree that portability for individual consumers is a concept that should be in any bill.

    Myron (6a93dd)

  74. AD:

    WSJ, reporting on Rasmussen numbers:

    ‘Specifically, 63% of voters agreed with the president earlier this year when he said, “We must make it a priority to give every single American quality affordable health care.”’

    Myron (6a93dd)

  75. Kevin: I’m not making the constitutional argument.

    Myron (6a93dd)

  76. And as I wrote earlier, if it’s unconstitutional, the conservative Roberts court will toss it.

    Myron (6a93dd)

  77. SPQR: You avoided answering my question. I’ll repeat and see if you duck again:

    When Bush and the Republicans were in the majority, you gave the Democrats a free pass and assumed they bore no responsibility for anything that happened during that period?

    Myron (6a93dd)

  78. wanting reform and wanting this reform are so drastically different as to make one wonder how obtuse you can possibly be.

    JD: Never said they were the same. If you can find where I did, copy and paste, please.

    Myron (6a93dd)

  79. BJ – You confuse him for someone that gives a sh*t about things like that. He doesn’t. He wants the public plan, and to hell with deficits, quality, rationing, strain on the system, anything.

    JD (2f79db)

  80. BJTexs: Conversely, conservatives tend to ignore the ends altogether. I have seen plenty of lip-service from the GOP side on the fact we need reform. They sound like they’re talking about we’d all like world peace at some point in the distant future. We never hear any personal stories from their constituents. (This is one reason, incidentally, they’re losing the hearts and minds battle.) They tend to see only dollar signs and tax statements.

    There has to be some balance.

    The problem is now.

    As for the mechanics, this bill is the mechanics. If anyone seriously thinks Obama would not accept a seriously watered-down bill (from the Dem perspective) just to get GOP support, they don’t understand him at all.

    If 10 or 11 GOP senators signed onto the bill, they could virtually write it.

    And btw, I wouldn’t say I support single-payer, since I don’t quite know what it is. I tend to not back things I don’t understand. I do support a public option b/c I think without it, Big Insurance will continue to gouge, except with 30 million or so fresh, young customers to choose from.

    Myron (6a93dd)

  81. And I get my oil changed regularly — at the dealer.

    Myron (6a93dd)

  82. Myron – You quoted some stupid poll number that x percent of people want reform, and then continued to prattle on about all of the current proposals. Maybe you did not mean to conflate the 2 distinct ideas. Additionally, the polling you cite in #73 has been repeatedly addressed by Karl, showing how that number plummets when the mechanics of the proposals are applied to that “global peace” idea of providing coverage for everyone.

    I think the take-away is that we need more BS anecdotes.

    JD (2f79db)

  83. I didn’t duck your question, Myron. I directly answered it – I didn’t blame Democrats for their lack of control of the legislation process, as you are disingenuously blaming Republicans. The Republicans can’t write the legislation, they don’t control the committees.

    SPQR (26be8b)

  84. Gouging – Making a 3.5% profit margin is gouging. Why, it is legal profiteering, I tell you.

    JD (2f79db)

  85. Note that in all of the blather, Myron has not pointed out one thing that will control costs, increase access, improve quality, or increase the efficiency of the system.In fact, the current proposals will make all of the above worse. He won’t touch deficit neutrality with a 10-foot pole. This is about his fear of insurance companies and their ability to exert political will, people be damned.

    JD (2f79db)

  86. The socialist mantra of “gouging” was enough clue, JD.

    SPQR (26be8b)

  87. SPQR – It just pisses me off to no end that they refuse to be honest. Gouging? Are you serious? Making a profit is now gouging? But, let’s not debate the actual provisions, let’s investigate Humana. Just because you want to give your life over to the government, to suck at the teat of the benevolent nannystate, does not mean the rest of us want to. But, since you are not the one paying for it, Myron, it is easy to spend someone else’s money.

    JD (2f79db)

  88. Myron: there is a distinct difference in having ‘majorities’ and having fillibuster proof majorities no?

    Lord Nazh (899dce)

  89. Single-payer system- all medical care is paid for through one central source, de facto the government. This is what candidate Obama has clearly said he favors.

    “Public option”- An “intermediary step” on the way to a single payer system, as described by candidate Obama and Congressman Frank.
    – The federal government, which happens to make the rules, offers an insurance plan to compete with those in the private sector.
    – Employers will be able to stop providing health insurance through “private”/i.e., non-governmental plans by tossing their employees into the federal plan on their own, thereby significantly reducing their cost of doing business.
    – Eventually private plans become limited to the very wealthy and members of Congress.
    – The “single-payer” government health system, such as in Canada and Great Britain is what we have left. This is good news if:
    1. You think government bureaucrats and government workers will work harder than the private sector.
    2. You think government bureaucrats and government workers will work more efficiently than the private sector.
    3. You think government bureaucrats and government workers will be more intelligent than the private sector.
    4. You think government bureaucrats and government workers will be more charitable and merciful than the private sector.
    5. You think government bureaucrats and government workers will be more responsive to complaints than the private sector.
    6. You think that the previously evil United States can, with President Obama’s leadership, will be able to do what no other country has done in decades of trying.

    If you believe all of those assumptions are true, I have an insurance plan for you!

    When the members of Congress are willing to sign in blood (their own) that they will be covered by the same insurance as everybody else, then I’ll give it serious consideration.

    MD in Philly (d4f9fa)

  90. George Bush said: If it(McCain-Feingold)’s unconstitutional, the conservative Roberts Rhenquist court will toss it.

    We saw how well that worked out.
    It is the responsibility of individual Congressmembers to vote NO on any bill that is unconstitutional, and not rely on third-parties to give them cover. But then, they wouldn’t be the lily-livered cowards that they have historically been shown to be.

    AD - RtR/OS! (97af1e)

  91. If Myron sincerely beleives that a government-run health-care system is to the advantage of each and every American, why is he not clammoring for changes in the Indian Health Service?
    Myron?

    AD - RtR/OS! (97af1e)

  92. Or rather, why are we not all clamoring to get in on the Indian Health Service?

    Kevin Murphy (805c5b)

  93. #3:

    Serious question, not trolling….

    …how is the individual mandate for health insurance any more onerous or assault-ive than the mandate for automobile drivers to carry auto insurance?

    Sorry, that is not at all a serious question.

    Years ago, the King County Council mandated that all residents should pay for garbage collection, reasoning that EVERYONE produces garbage.

    But, says one, ‘I don’t.’ And she didn’t. She was, in fact, with the zeal of the true zealot, a net consumer of garbage. They sent somebody to follow her around, who confirmed that she really, really, really did not throw anything away.

    So, they charged her for garbage collection anyway. Reasoning that now they had to hire somebody to check on her to make sure that she wasn’t throwing anything away.

    Requiring someone to be financially responsible for the privilege of driving, while perhaps onerous, is not an assault on liberty. Requiring someone to pay for someone else’s garbage is.

    /That is a true story. From the pages of the Seattle P-I, no less.

    EW1(SG) (edc268)

  94. I can understand why Myron wants to avoid discussing specifics of ObamaCare. It’s because the plans advancing in the House and Senate really don’t meet most of Obama’s stated goals for reform and diving into the details would reveal those flaws. Also, attempting to blame Republicans for the inability of the Democrats to get their own ranks in order is just risible and a distraction. Obama and Congress have deliberately tried to keep the focus off the mandate, its cost, the fines, etc. because it is such an unattractive feature. Obama was against it during the campaign I believe. In terms of opposition to employer mandates, for some reason Myron believes only Republicans own businesses and are opposed to such provisions. Strange how that tunnel vision works.

    daleyrocks (718861)

  95. Quoted by Myron: ‘Specifically, 63% of voters agreed with the president earlier this year when he said, “We must make it a priority to give every single American quality affordable health care.”’

    Of course, Myron automatically assumed that meant the government needed to pay for healthcare. making this kind of one-off statement just proves BJTxs point–that Myron’s an ideologue who doesn’t care how healthcare is provided by the government, just as long as he thinks it’s “quality, affordable” healthcare. Never mind that we are levereaged to the gills across all three sectors of the economy, and paying for this program is going to end up the same way as Medicare and Social Security–broke, and adding even further to the deficit. (Bear in mind that Medicare proponents said at the time that Medicare would help lower the cost of healthcare, too)

    The fact of the matter is that NONE of the bills in Congress make a priority of implementing policies that would actually lower the cost of healthcare: 1) making healthcare plans available across state lines; 2) tort reform with teeth; 3) limiting the use of insurance to major medical procedures only (or putting a dollar floor on when insuranace will start paying) rather than applying it to every medical action under the sun; and 4)requiring hospitals to display a price list for their procedures. All these actions would actually use market principles to lower the cost of insurance, and the government doesn’t have to spend a dime doing it. But then, it’s impossible for people like Myron to conceive of anything functioning without the government doing nothing more than dumping money we don’t have into it.

    Another Chris (f29ad3)

  96. Another Chris – Myron has absolute faith in Obama (pbuh)along with the other progressives. If Obama says something will happen, no matter how many times he has been caught lying about out it or hard evidence to the contrary as is the case with health care reform proposals, the brainwashed Obama acolytes believe it is ordained.

    daleyrocks (718861)

  97. #18:

    This is the real world we’re talking about.

    No, you aren’t. You aren’t bright enough to identify the real world even if it conked you on the head with a piano dropped from the fourth floor.

    Which you would promptly blame on conservatives.

    EW1(SG) (edc268)

  98. EW1 – They are referring to the community-based reality, which is much different than the reality-based community.

    JD (9d3477)

  99. I think the take-away is that we need more BS anecdotes.

    JD: No the take-away is that any major reform is not going to get overwhelming support when the sausage starts getting made.

    I would wager that an overwhelming majority of people support some kind of immigration reform, for instance. But, as with health care, what immigration “reform” means is different for different people. There is no specific proposal that will gain a strong majority of support on this issue.

    This is why the element needed to enact big change is political courage, plain and simple. Polling won’t get you there.

    Myron (e63c20)

  100. The Republicans can’t write the legislation, they don’t control the committees.

    SPQR: So, by that you take it to mean they have no role in government? Then what the heck do they even show up for Congressional sessions for, then? You’re making an unsustainable argument, chief. The Founding Fathers assumed the minority party would have a rolen in shaping legislation.

    If you’re favoring one-party rule, that’s some other country you’re interested in — not this one!

    Myron (e63c20)

  101. That’s “have a role in …”

    Myron (e63c20)

  102. BTW, JD, I wanted to comment specifically on this:

    You quoted some stupid poll number …

    It’s Rasmussen. So Rasmussen puts out “stupid poll numbers” now b/c you don’t agree with the results?

    Come on, man. Silliness. :)

    Myron (e63c20)

  103. It just pisses me off to no end that they refuse to be honest

    Now you’re a comedian, JD.

    Shouldn’t we be the ones saying that? “Death panels?” “Socialism”? “Hitler?” “Pull the plug on granny?”

    Which side said all that crap?

    Hmm.

    Let … me … think …

    Myron (e63c20)

  104. AD: God, I agree that Congress is full of lily-livered cowards. 100 percent in agreement!

    Myron (e63c20)

  105. the plans advancing in the House and Senate really don’t meet most of Obama’s stated goals for reform

    I agree. See “lily-livered cowards” comment above. I guarantee if the GOP had 60 votes, they would’t waste them. Look at how they rammed through the tax cuts for the wealthy with just 51 votes.

    Bill O’Reilly and Karl Rove disagree on whether there will be a public option. O’Reilly says no. Rove says yes, and for one reason: “60-40.”

    I thought: “He doesn’t understand Democrats. We are the one party that can blow this thing.”

    We’ll see. Anyway, I’m out for the night … enjoyed the discussion, even though it was light contact. I think you guys’ attention must be on ACORN. Better to go after that group’s $5 million than properly address legislation that would affect 1/6th of the economy.

    Night.

    Myron (e63c20)

  106. Did I say any of that, Myron? And it was a stupid poll number/question/point. I cannot believe that only 63% wanted reform. If there are not going to be panels deciding the cost-effectiveness (already passed), rationing (it has happened in every other system), then I will gladly admit I was wrong. Gladly. Problem for you is that the ones that have not happened are inevitable.

    Note again how not one point you have made addresses costs, quality, access, efficiency, or deficit neutrality, actual ideas that might rally popular support. None of those give you the control you and yours so desperately crave.

    No thanks.

    JD (12ebb1)

  107. I am not wealthy and I got a tax cut under Bush. Barcky is going to put an end to that, to be sure.

    JD (12ebb1)

  108. If the mandate was limited to private, catastrophic health insurance, and catastrophic health insurance was perfectly portable (you take it with you when you leave your job and when you cross state lines), and the catastrophic coverage was tax-deductible at the state and federal levels, I would be in favor of this.

    Forcing people to join a bloated government option, or to buy new insurance every time they cross state lines or change employers, would be obnoxious. Liberal Democrats are not interested in improving our system, they just want to kill off private insurance and usurp it for the federal government.

    Daryl Herbert (38e6a5)

  109. Myron:

    We’ll see. Anyway, I’m out for the night … enjoyed the discussion, even though it was light contact. I think you guys’ attention must be on ACORN. Better to go after that group’s $5 million than properly address legislation that would affect 1/6th of the economy.

    I’m sure you’ve seen the many posts here on healthcare and the concern expressed in the comments at those posts, so your comment looks like an effort to marginalize the people in this discussion or trivialize topics like ACORN. Or both.

    DRJ (b008f8)

  110. I vote for both.

    JD (12ebb1)

  111. calling the individual mandate a “stunning assault on liberty,”

    Even more so since the policy would be enforced by the friggin’, snooping, red-pen bureaucrats of the IRS.

    BTW, I do admit there is the opposite to the concept that even a broken clock (eg, the mindset of the typical “progressive” or “lefty”) tells the correct time twice a day. One example of that is Mitt Romney.

    boston.com, Jeff Jacoby:

    Obama isn’t the first politician to maintain that a mandate to buy health insurance isn’t just another middle-class tax. Mitt Romney did so as governor of Massachusetts, boasting in 2006 that thanks to his signature health care law, “every uninsured citizen in Massachusetts will soon have affordable health insurance, and the costs of health care will be reduced. And we will need no new taxes . . . to make this happen.” But isn’t the penalty that law imposes on the uninsured – a penalty that this year will run as high as $1,068 per person – a tax? Gosh, no, enthused Romney: “It’s a personal responsibility principle.”

    Whatever it’s called, it hasn’t transformed Massachusetts into an Eden of universal coverage. According to the Department of Revenue, nearly 200,000 state taxpayers remained uninsured at the beginning of 2008. And the individual mandate hasn’t made insurance in the Bay State more affordable: Massachusetts has the highest health insurance premiums in the nation.

    Far from holding insurance costs down, “reform” in Massachusetts seems to have had the opposite effect. “Insurance premiums rose by 7.4 percent in 2007, 8-12 percent in 2008, and are expected to rise 9 percent this year,” notes Michael Tanner of the Cato Institute. “By comparison, nationwide insurance costs rose by 6.1 percent in 2007, just 4.7 percent in 2008, and are projected to increase 6.4 percent this year.”

    Mark (411533)

  112. Well, as usual, I’m here very late in the discussion. Ohio has quite anti-doctor TORT laws and doctors have migrated to less onerous states. Medicare and Medicaid pay doctors less for services than it costs doctors to provide. (Simple picture, for the likes of Myron: I buy a Little Caesars pizza for you. I pay $5 and you pay me $4. I went through everything it took to get the pizza from the establishment to your home and it cost me $1.) Even with that, Medicare is insolvent and Medicaid is draining the general budget.

    Doctors that still take Medicare and Medicaid have to have someone on staff full-time just to fill out government paperwork. And there has to be someone in government full-time to handle all that paperwork. So that’s two different sectors of employee who are not producing, which makes them a drag on the economy, not a boon.

    Every nation that has done this “public option” or “single-payer” business has had to ration health care and cut people off due to expense. Waiting lines exist in all of the nations. It has failed everywhere it has been implemented. And the Socialist in Chief and socialists in power in both Houses won’t be the first to make it actually work.

    Want health insurance reform? First force the states to abide by the commerce clause in the Constitution. Very simple law to write, wouldn’t take more than a paragraph. Second, the states need to do some true, strong TORT reform — limits on payout, strong limits on attorney cut, retribution on attorneys (and their clients) for malicious lawsuits (perhaps the attorney and the client each have to pay their intended victim the amount sought in the lawsuit plus court costs and defendant’s attorney costs). Third, the fed needs to get out of the way of these states-rights lawsuits. Fourth, don’t force me to pay for insurance covering ovarian cancer and don’t force my daughter to pay for insurance covering testicular cancer.

    As an aside: The polls show 80 percent of those with health insurance don’t want the government-type stuff? I’m not certain of that number, but I do know it’s a massive majority of those who have insurance now. And 42 percent of those without insurance do not want government-plan ObamaCare.

    John Hitchcock (3fd153)

  113. Why is the focus on insurance companies, instead of the doctors and hospitals who do the price gouging?

    If health care were not so expensive, people would not need health insurance.

    If the mandate was limited to private, catastrophic health insurance, and catastrophic health insurance was perfectly portable (you take it with you when you leave your job and when you cross state lines), and the catastrophic coverage was tax-deductible at the state and federal levels, I would be in favor of this.

    Are these common sense reforms part of the proposal?

    It would be so much more simpler if Congress, in its’ requirement under the Constitution to regulate inter-state commerce (one of the primary reasons for calling the Constitutional Convention in the first place) just allowed residents of one state to buy whatever insurance fit their individual bill from whatever insurance company where-ever – sort of combining the Commerce Clause with the Full-Faith & Credit Clause.

    Interesting.

    Michael Ejercito (833607)

  114. Tort reform in Texas five years ago has not significantly affected the overall cost of health care or health care costs to the consumer. Malpractice premiums decreased and more doctors moved to Texas, but the limits had no significant impact at the consumer level.

    The problem with this analysis is that the mandates are needed if you want the insurance to be portable or if you want the insurance to be offered without pre-existing exclusion limitations. (Polls also show the public wants elimination of the pre-existing exclusion limitations by about 65%-35%). Insurance companies don’t want people buying health insurance when they are already sick and are requiring the mandate for that reason.

    And auto liability coverage isn’t necessary required only when you drive your cars on public roads. In many states, you have to have insurance before you can register or get plates for your cars. You need auto liability insurance (unlike homeowner insurance) because of the costs you might impose on others by your actions. You should similarly be required to have health insurance because of the costs you might impose on others by free use of the emergency rooms, etc.

    Jim (743658)

  115. […] The second notable aspect of the “blame” frame is that (ironically) it is not useful to Democrats. The Left has been busy for weeks and weeks trying to convince moderate Democrats that the failure of ObamaCare would be disastrous for the party in the 2010 midetrm elections. The math does not support their argument. Putting that inconvenient truth aside, if only 16% of adults will “blame” Democrats for ObamaCare’s failure, there is little incentive for moderates to vote for a scheme that may well be unpopular in their district or state. […]

    The Greenroom » Forum Archive » Lessons from the NBC/WSJ poll: The blame frame (e2f069)

  116. […] The second notable aspect of the “blame” frame is that (ironically) it is not useful to Democrats. The Left has been busy for weeks and weeks trying to convince moderate Democrats that the failure of ObamaCare would be disastrous for the party in the 2010 midetrm elections. The math does not support their argument. Putting that inconvenient truth aside, if only 16% of adults will “blame” Democrats for ObamaCare’s failure, there is little incentive for moderates to vote for a scheme that may well be unpopular in their district or state. […]

    Patterico’s Pontifications » Lessons from the NBC/WSJ poll: The blame frame (e4ab32)

  117. Jim – Do you have cites for that about TX, as it seems to fly in the face of what is know about that.

    The idea that pre-existing should be scrapped is laughable. If you drive your car into a tree, and then stroll into your local insurance agent’s office, why in the world should they be required to provide coverage the damages?

    JD (9d8cb8)

  118. See this link, JD: http://www.dallasnews.com/sharedcontent/dws/bus/columnists/jlanders/stories/DN-Landers_21bus.State.Edition1.9be351.html.

    I agree with you that you can’t have no pre-existing coverge exclusions without somehow preventing people from signing up once they get sick. I’m all for the coverage mandate so that doesn’t happen. The problem now is that, for people like me, I can’t get individual healthcare insurance if I leave my job without going into the “high risk” pool in Texas, which would cost me about $2800/month for a family of four. That’s even though I’ve been covered by employer group policies for 30 year.

    Jim (743658)

  119. That was a waste of time. Nobody argues that tort reform by itself will be an overall cure, the premise Mr Landers decided to take on. He brezzily dismisses the associated costs of defensive medicine by quoting someone from an advocacy group that he chose to not identify their leanings, which is SOP for Leftist writers. Sorry, I ain’t buyin’

    JD (7e3655)

  120. A team at the University of Alabama looked into this last year. Their survey of studies related to malpractice insurance, defensive medicine and consumer health insurance premiums looked at 27 states with limits on non-economic damages, including Texas.

    Their conclusion – “Tort reforms have not led to health care cost savings for consumers” – was published in the December issue of Health Sciences Review.

    –Families USA is a left wing group, but I’ve never heard anyone call the University of Alabama one, JD.

    Jim (743658)

  121. Yes, Jim, nobody has ever noted that academia is liberal. Ever. I am surprised the study did not note the ever increasing practice of removing tonsils all willy-nilly and not treating diabetes so the docs can make more money amputating feet.

    JD (7e3655)

  122. I wonder where we can find individual mandate and punitive tax if you don’t in the Constitution …

    JD (7e3655)

  123. Read the Supreme Court decisions and the Commerce and Taxing Clauses of the Constitution, JD.

    Are you really a lawyer or did you just stay at a Holiday Inn last night?

    You’re pretty good at bashing others, but not so good at offering up anything positive and others. Hmmm, maybe you are a lawyer.

    Jim (743658)

  124. I have never claimed to be a lawyer, never even hinted at it. I am, most certainly, not. Where does the Constitution say that the government can force you to buy something?

    I can be cantankerous, yes. I tend to not react well when someone pisses on my leg and tries to tell me it is raining. As is, my leg is wet, and it is sunny outside. Maybe you will prove yourself to be different.

    JD (870a39)

  125. Jimbo3 – I am truly curious. Where do you suspecÞ that and individual mandate with punitive taxation would fit in the Constitution, a document that was designed for ideals in complete opposition to that concept, limiting the role of the government, and personal liberty.

    JD (e208be)

  126. JD, read this blog and the other ones linked to it: http://volokh.com/posts/1253288886.shtml. Also read this link to the Commerce Clause and how the US Supreme Court has interpreted it: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Commerce_Clause.

    Jim (743658)

  127. Good Allah, you are a tiresome one. That was someone’s opinion. Granted, it is an opinion I tend to respect, but an opinion nonetheless. I asked where in the Constitution you could find it, and how it squared with the principles of the Constitution. I understand that you would rather link to wiki than actually examine what I asked.

    JD (adf3eb)

  128. Thought you wanted the background and an explanation. It really doesn’t matter that the literal language of the US Constitution doesn’t say “health care” or “insurance” under the Commerce or Taxation clauses. It’s the interpretation given by the federal courts that matters and 70 years of precedent would uphold this bill.

    Jim (743658)

  129. How many times have the Courts had to rule on þhe Federal government mandating that all citizens have to buy a product? How do you think that this action, in a philosophical sense, squares with the principles of limited government and personal liberty in our Constitution?

    JD (adf3eb)

  130. As an aside, the hundreds of affiliated/wholly owned groups operating under the ACORN umbrella receive far far more than 5 million from the federal government. Not to mention all the statewide funding they get, and the billions in the stimulus plan for them.

    luagha (5cbe06)

  131. Quoted by Myron: ‘Specifically, 63% of voters agreed with the president earlier this year when he said, “We must make it a priority to give every single American quality affordable health care.”’

    Wow, a majority for a vague fuzzy goal unrelated to real legislation! 68% agree with “everyone who needs a job should get one” and 78% agree with “if someone wants to sleep in their underwear, that is their right”

    THE REALITY is that mandates, taxes, socializing the healthcare industry, and Govt intrusion is an impediment to the goal, not an enabler. Govt should subsidize the healthcare of those in need and go NO further.

    Mandates are wrong. The Romney experiment was a failed one (bye bye Presidential ambitions) and the GOP position *MUST* be to oppose mandates, on both liberty, health cost efficiency, and health sector choice grounds. Our freedom ends where mandates begin.

    This is a GOOD thing because the Dems will own whatever the work-product of ObamaCare is, and it will define the 2 parties for the next 10 years or more:
    – The Democrats the party of govt fees, mandates, Federal ‘death panel’ rationing boards, higher taxes, more red tape, complex laws and attacks on liberty and markets.
    – The GOP the refreshing alternative to all of the above.

    Travis Monitor (e991bc)

  132. […] the individual mandate is opposed in swing House districts by 60 to 34 percent. (FWIW, a recent Zogby poll had opposition to the mandate closer to 70 percent in swing […]

    The Greenroom » Forum Archive » ObamaCare astroturfers deliver bad news for Democrats (e2f069)

  133. […] GOP is only now getting around to this key realization. In addition to pointing out that the mandate is […]

    The Greenroom » Forum Archive » ObamaCare Rock: How a bill gets to the Senate floor (e2f069)

  134. Obama Care…

    ObamaCare Rock: How a bill gets to the Senate floor

    There remains the much larger problem with the bill as John Hood reminds us:

    It is……

    Always To The Right (5815fb)

  135. […] The Senate GOP began almost entirely focused on the “public option,” and did not start turning against the mandates that drive ObamaCare until weeks after the summer recess. The Republican caucus may not be much […]

    The Greenroom » Forum Archive » ObamaCare: How the Senate GOP blew its chance (e2f069)

  136. […] The Senate GOP began almost entirely focused on the “public option,” and did not start turning against the mandates that drive ObamaCare until weeks after the summer recess.  The Republican caucus may not be much […]

    Patterico's Pontifications » ObamaCare: How the Senate GOP blew its chance (e4ab32)


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