The Plan For Incremental Takeover Of Our Lives

The health care bill recently signed into law is a staring point for the Democrats and their progressive allies who intend to continue hammering away until government is completely involved in our health care decisions. Their ultimate goal is to have a single payer program run by the government. They want to put insurance companies out of business.

And they will do it with a manufactured “crisis.”

There were warnings that the health care takeover would result in higher costs for companies. The alleged benefits from tax cuts for small business are narrow and limited in scope and actually punish those with more than 50 employees.

As soon as the bill was signed into law many companies filed information regarding the impact on their business. The businesses have cited impacts of up to 1 billion dollars. For many, this is because they will no longer be able to write off a subsidy they get from the federal government. The government provides a subsidy to these companies to keep their retirees on the company plan for prescription coverage. Private plans are much better at cost control than the government and this is why the government pays a subsidy for companies to keep retirees. Having them on Medicare would be more costly to the government.

Now these companies are reporting the impact of the bill and how the new law will affect them. Their claims drew the scorn of Henry Waxman who wants to know how their assessments can be off compared to the independent assessment (read CBO) that Congress relied on.

News flash, the companies base their numbers on reality and the CBO bases its numbers on the imaginary world of government make believe. If the CBO was not told to assume anything that is actually impacting these companies then it could not figure the cost.

Waxman is trying to intimidate these companies because their reports run contrary to what we were all told. This plan is supposed to save money but it will cost us all money. If people think that these companies will not pass the cost on to consumers then they are living with Alice in a place called Wonderland.

Better yet, suppose the companies decide not to keep their retirees on the company prescription plan? They will be moved to Medicare prescription which would add about $1000 for each person enrolled. If this happens, about 2 million people could end up in the government plan. This would take away the “savings” estimated by the CBO ($5 billion) and would increase the amount the government spends by around 2 billion dollars (a 7 billion dollar swing). The CBO estimate was no doubt one of the “assume the companies can’t write off the subsidies and still keep their retirees on their rolls.”

If retirees are forced into Medicare prescription it would end the debate on whether you could keep your plan if you liked it.

Waxman is making a show of this but this is by design. Obama and the Democrats want costs to rise because then they can declare another crisis that requires government intervention. As Rich Lowry points out in his latest piece:

Democrats clearly plan to blame the private sector for all the downsides of their health plan. Pres. Barack Obama told liberal lawmakers in a private lobbying session that the bill is only “a beginning.” Any increase in costs and premiums — both of which are inevitable — will be attributed to corporate malfeasance requiring yet more government intervention.

Increase in costs and premiums both of which are inevitable. We were sold this plan on its cost saving qualities. Pelosi, Reid, Obama and every other Democrat appeared before the cameras and told us this would lower our costs and save money. Any mention of the increases in premiums that have occurred since the bill became law has been met with scorn and ridicule from those who believe that it will drive costs down.

Obama told his Democrats that costs and premiums will go UP and that this was inevitable.

And that is good because the Democrats can blame it on the companies and generate the need for even more government intervention.

Henry Waxman is the tool who is making this happen. As companies demonstrate the rise in costs (something Obama said was inevitable) Waxman can call them out, claim they are to blame and then Democrats can get busy generating more legislation designed to take control of even more of our lives.

This is all by design. These Democrats now have a foot in the door and they will, as Pelosi suggested, be kicking more doors down.

In other words, we created this mess which will create more messes and then we can get involved even more.

Remember, America will never accept Socialism outright but we can be led to it in tiny increments. The progressives have been making small gains for nearly a century and now they are ready to take much bigger ones.

They are ready to declare another crisis and generate more new laws to control more of our lives.

The Democrats must be defeated in November. We need to destroy them.

UPDATE: Interesting article from the American Spectator.

Never surrender, never submit.
Big Dog

Gunline

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48 Responses to “The Plan For Incremental Takeover Of Our Lives”

  1. Realamerican says:

    Has anyone seen this yet?
    Spread this to everyone you can.

    • Big Dog says:

      Death panels do not exist.

      Except when the advisory board determines that a treatment you need to keep you alive is too expensive.

      “What’s in a name? That which we call a rose
      By any other name would smell as sweet.” –Romeo and Juliet, Act II, Scene ii

      That which we call an advisory panel by any other name still leads to death…

  2. victoria says:

    Realamerican says:Has anyone seen this yet?

    Yes, I have. Death Panels are coming.
    “According to a 2006 study by the Department of Health and Human Services, five percent of the U.S. population accounts for nearly 50 percent of health care spending in America. Who are those five percent? Most are people over 65 years of age with serious, chronic illnesses.

    “By contrast, the study notes, half of the U.S. population ‘spends little or nothing on health care… with annual medical spending below $664 per person.’ These, of course, are mostly healthy young people – people without serious, chronic illnesses,” Poe wrote.

    “Obviously, Obama will not meet his cost-cutting targets by reducing care to healthy young people. They are already spending next to nothing. It is the old, the dying and the chronically ill whose health care he will cut. The numbers make this clear,”

    • Darrel says:

      VIC quotes: ““According to a 2006 study by the Department of Health and Human Services, five percent of the U.S. population accounts for nearly 50 percent of health care spending in America… Most are people over 65 years of age with serious, chronic illnesses.”>>

      DAR
      Let’s assume your quote/claim is true (and it probably is). It’s also true that vast sums are spent on people in the last few months of their lives (probably money that would have been better spent improving their lives when they were healthy).

      Aside from the death panel fear mongering nonsense… What plan of action would you, or those on your side of the aisle recommended to be done deal with this situation? The demand is nearly infinite, the resources limited. It’s not like we need to spend more money. We are already spending the most.

      D.
      —————
      ps. Something besides “tax cut!”

      • Big Dog says:

        Adam, what exactly do you think the board will “advise” on? Did you watch the video and the description?

        Darrel, are you suggesting that we allow those elderly who are ill to just die rather than receive treatment? If that is the case, what do we do with the young who have AIDS? That is a fatal disease and they consume a great deal of resources. Regardless of how we spend money to improve lives, people get sick (in general) when they get old. If you live long enough you will get cancer. Some people will die of old age but many will die of some disease regardless of what we do in preventive medicine. Do we just say no and let them die without treatment?

        And more importantly, who should make that decision, them and their doctor or some bean counter?

      • Darrel says:

        Bigd: “Darrel, are you suggesting that we allow those elderly who are ill to just die rather than receive treatment?”>>

        DAR
        No, of course not. I am asking you, or Victoria, what YOU think should be done with older poor people with very expensive problems. And answer in a way that is consistent with slowing the growth of medicare costs.

        Someone has to make these expensive moral decisions. Who do you think should make them? And if it is someone who allows the cost of medicare to continue to rise at unsustainable rates, then try again.

        Bigd: “…what do we do with the young who have AIDS?”>>

        DAR
        What is your suggestion?

        Bigd: “…more importantly, who should make that decision, them and their doctor or some bean counter?”>>

        DAR
        I have answered this repeatedly. I was hoping that you or Victoria might have some input other than the “whatever Obama is doing is wrong” meme.

        The chronically sick and very old have nearly infinite medical needs. Our resources are very finite and drawing down. Someone has to decide. You can have laws, rules, guidelines but even these need to be interpreted for each complex medical situation.

        Looking forward to your recommended solutions.

        D.

  3. victoria says:

    Sorry Advisory Panels.

  4. Adam says:

    “Except when the advisory board determines that a treatment you need to keep you alive is too expensive.”

    Present any evidence that leads you to believe the Advisory Board will have the ability to ration care.

    • Blake says:

      Are you WILLFULLY IGNORANT? oR DO YOU TRULY LACK THE INTELLIGENCE TO SEE THE TRUTH? I wonder, Adam- I can see where we can differ on policy, but there are too many instances where we have been proven right, and still you do not admit it- O’bama is NOT Christ, perhaps more the anti part, but you are ready to crown him saint.
      I spit upon him and the views you hold.
      And I am being kind.

  5. Adam says:

    “Adam, what exactly do you think the board will ‘advise’ on? Did you watch the video and the description?”

    It will advise on ways to keep Medicare working. Will that include no longer paying for certain things? Most likely. Medicare already has restrictions on what it covers though so I don’t see how this is troublesome or new.

    Do you consider for instance no one under Medicare getting a procedure a form of rationing? If so then yes, it will ration, but no more so than it already does.

    If you think the board can now advise Medicare not to cover certain types of patients or for instance deny coverage to patients with Down Syndrome then you’re mistaken. It says clearly in the bill that the board recommendations “shall not include any recommendation to ration health care”.

  6. Big Dog says:

    Of course, Medicare denies more claims than private insurers.

    However, the way this will work will be tables and matrices that determine if one is eligible for a certain procedure or treatment based on age and life expectancey.

    There is a difference between a board saying to ration care and a board saying that since you are 85 and have a life expectancey of 5 more years you cannot have a hip replacement. That would be a form of rationing.

    The difference is, they will not call it rationing but it will have the same effect regardless of the name.

    The stimulus bill laid the groundwork for rationing:

    The new law establishes a Federal Coordinating Council for Comparative Effectiveness Research, which Land and Coburn say will lead to health care being provided based on whether it is cost-effective.

    The new council “is modeled after a similar council in the British socialized medicine system,” Land said. “This council will evaluate medical treatments and drugs based on their comparative effectiveness as opposed to their clinical effectiveness. Clinical effectiveness, which the Senate Republicans tried to substitute in the bill unsuccessfully, would evaluate various treatments based solely on their medical benefits. Comparative effectiveness, on the other hand, is a euphemism for cost effectiveness and will be used, as it is in the British system, to either grant or deny health care based on whether it is cost effective.” Link

    An 18-member “Independent Payment Advisory Board” [Sec. 10320(b)] is given the duty, on January 15, 2015 and every two years thereafter, with regard to private health care, to make “recommendations to slow the growth in national health expenditures . . . that the Secretary [of Health and Human Services] or other Federal agencies can implement administratively” [Section 10320(a)(5)(o)(1)(A)]. In turn, the Secretary of Health and Human Services is empowered to impose “quality” AND “efficiency” measures [Section 10304] on health care providers (including hospices, ambulatory surgical centers, rehabilitation facilities, home health agencies, physicians and hospitals) [Section 3014(a) adding Social Security Act Section 1890(b)(7)(B)(I)] which must report on their compliance. Link

    More

    When you limit how much of their own money people may spend you are rstricting access (rationing). When you empower a group to take action to slow the growth of expenditures (and restrict how much of their own money they may spend) you are rationing regardless of what you call it.

    They empower panels to save money and one way to do it is to have boards that decide whether you are worthy of treatment.

    But tell me, if you are OK with medicare having higher denial rates than private insurance and OK with them not covering some procedures then why is anyone upset that private insurance did not cover everything in the past?

    • Adam says:

      “There is a difference between a board saying to ration care and a board saying that since you are 85 and have a life expectancy of 5 more years you cannot have a hip replacement. That would be a form of rationing.”

      Please point out the part in the bill that will allow the Medicare Advisory Board to do such a thing.

      • Big Dog says:

        The law gives the Secretary of HHS wide discretion in how to achieve the ooutcomes directed by the law. In Section 3403, the Actuary is involved in the advisory board and the job is to REDUCE costs for Medicare. None of the recommendations to reduce costs can be for rationing of care. That, however, does not mean that they cannot ration care. It only means that cannot be a recommendation.

        If they recommend not paying for services or reducing reimbursement or using some other method of withholding money for procedures based on age, demographics or cost/benefit analysis then they can ration without recommending it.

        The NHS in Britain does this and the advisory is modeled after them.

        the board could easily recommend not paying for hip replacements for those over a certain age based on a cost/benefit analysis. They could say that 60% of those who receive hip replacements after a certain age die (or whatever) and then deny payment based on that.

        The language of the bill is designed this way. They cannot recommend rationing but they can recommend based on actuarials, cost/benefit etc.

        And of course, the bill allows not only wide latitude for the Secretary, it allows Congress to enact changes with new law based on recommendations from the advisory board.

        • Adam says:

          The Federal Coordinating Council will not “recommend clinical guidelines for payment, coverage or treatment.”

          The Medicare Advisory Board “shall not include any recommendation to ration health care … or otherwise restrict benefits.”

          I’m not really seeing the flexibility you keep saying these panels have.

    • Darrel says:

      Bigd: “When you empower a group to take action to slow the growth of expenditures (and restrict how much of their own money they may spend) you are rationing…”>>

      DAR
      What is your recommended method of providing for the needs of the populace while slowing the exponential costs of medicare Bigd?

      I know you are trying to use “rationing” and death panels as a boogieman to scare people but realize, all finite resources get rationed. So we have to allocate limited resources in the best, fairest way.

      What’s the Bigd way?

      It’s easy to say Obama is wrong while not offering any solutions of your own. Doing nothing is not an option. Doing something that doesn’t control costs, is not an option.

      D.
      ——————–
      Bonus: Excellent debunk of the Caterpillar, jobs killing criticisms of the Health care bill. Turns out they are whining because their welfare check is getting taken away. Big surprise!

      • Big Dog says:

        Caterpillar is not whining about welfare. Be honest about this. The government realized that it would be less expensive for compnaies to keep retirees on the company precription plan than to move them to Medicare part D. It costs the government about a thousand dollars more than it does private company.

        The companies agreed to keep them so long as a subsidy was paid to offset the cost. The company was able to provide it cheaper than government and both benefitted.

        The new law takes that away and places ALL the costs on the companies. They are required by the SEC to report any changes that will impact their financial situation so they reported it.

        In other words, the government wants private companies to absorb the entire cost for these retirees instead of the mutual agreement that benefitted both. It looks like many will remove the retirees and let them go on Medicare D which will increase costs to the government.

        That is the reality. It is not whining, it is not welfare, it was a mutual agreement that helped both entities and the retiree.

      • Darrel says:

        Bigd: “The companies agreed to keep them so long as a subsidy was paid to offset the cost.”>>

        DAR
        Looks like corporate welfare to me. Don’t be surprised that they squeal like a stuck pig when it is taken away.

        D.
        —————
        “Under the previous system, major corporations were subsidized by the government to provide prescription drug coverage to their retired employees. At the same time, corporations could claim on their tax returns that it was they — not the taxpayers — who paid for the drug coverage, and could write the expense off as a tax deduction.

        Health care reform cuts out that fat. The corporations still get taxpayer money to help pay for their drug coverage, but they can no longer continue the fiction that they’re using their own money to do it.” —ibid

        Oh, and any thoughts on this question?

        “What is your recommended method of providing for the needs of the populace while slowing the exponential costs of medicare Bigd?”

        • Big Dog says:

          It is not welfare. They had an agreement in place that saved taxpayers money because it was more expensive to have them on Medicare D. But I am open to rethinking that position. I don’t agree with all the bill but it is not that bad.

          I have expressed my thoughts before but am rethinking the position after reading some of the stuff you and Adam have given me.

        • Darrel says:

          Bigd: “It is not welfare. They had an agreement in place that saved taxpayers money because it was more expensive to have them on Medicare D.”>>

          DAR
          Maybe you don’t like the word “welfare” here. Maybe that is a loaded term. Would you agree it is a government “subsidy?” A corporate “entitlement” that is now being taken away? (with the obvious squealing that always follows such an act)

          D.
          ————-
          “The welfare in question originated with the 2003 prescription drug bill signed into law by President Bush after it passed a GOP-controlled Congress in the early morning, following a three-hour vote that was held open while leaders hunted down vote-switchers.

          The program entitled corporations to a government subsidy covering 28 percent of the prescription drug benefit for their retirees. The companies were not required to count the taxpayer money as income. (Unemployment benefits, meanwhile, are taxed as income.) Companies were also allowed to claim the entire cost of the benefit as a write-off, even the part paid for by the government. [!]

          It’s an unusually generous entitlement. When corporations get subsidies for research or for hiring new workers, for instance, they can’t write-off the subsidy as if they were spending their own money.

          The entitlement isn’t removed until 2013.”

          –[url=http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2010/03/31/corporate-america-squeals_n_519976.html]ibid[/url]

  7. Big Dog says:

    And we can see from the post, and which no one has addressed, Obama an dthe Dems know that costs will rise and they plan to blame it on the private sector so they can impose more government.

    It is by design because they want more control.

  8. Ideologically, this is all quite consistent. One who is committed to the position that a government intervention is the “solution” to a “problem,” so conceived, is overwhelmingly likely to react to negative unintended consequences of his solution with a still larger and more intrusive proposal. To concede that his intervention was misconceived would involve the tearing-up of both intellectual and emotional foundations; it’s psychically quite painful.

    Strategically — that is, from the standpoint of one interested in using the “problem” to attain greater power, rather than in solving it — it’s even more consistent. A “solution” that generates more and worse “problems” is the power-monger’s dream. It expands his rationales for intervention and reduces the ability of those on the receiving end to resist his intrusions.

    I habitually quote the terms “problem” and “solution” in this context because the mindset that classifies a situation as a “problem” is more important than the situation itself. A “problem” always exists in isolation. The approach to its “solution” need address nothing beyond the definition of the “problem.” But this is not the only attitude one can bring to a subject in public policy. In particular, one with a healthy regard for his fallibility and the limits of his power to do good without creating even greater evils will be sensitive to trade-offs, causal connections, and secondary consequences. He will appreciate the potentials that from any political action that alters the incentives associated with some realm of human decision making.

    Health insurance is a particularly poignant case. Medical care wasn’t always as expensive at it is today. A Say’s Law effect is involved in the current situation. When certain political forces began to force-feed the medical industry with money, the industry absorbed the money by increasing its rates and expanding its services. The two largest pieces of the puzzle are post-World War II wage controls and Medicare/Medicaid.

    In the aftermath of World War II, when wage controls were still in effect, employers competing for employees were prohibited from offering more than a legally fixed level of salary to a potential new hire. Those regulations affected both white and blue collar workers; were they not somehow offset, they would have prevented major American corporations from bidding effectively for the labor they needed to expand their offerings of peacetime goods and services. Those firms had to find something else to offer potential new employees…something with a material value.

    What they found, with the cooperation of the IRS, was insurance. The IRS ruled that life and medical insurance, offered as part of an employee’s compensation package, are both legitimate business deductions for the employer and non-taxable against the employee. Though many an employment candidate would have preferred a larger cash salary, the offer of a generous insurance package would often be the critical factor in his decisions. Thus, in the decade following the war, it came to be a regular feature of corporate employment that an employee’s compensation included life and major-medical insurance.

    The escalation of hospital and surgical costs, driven by the perversity inherent in Smith billing Jones for Davis’s care, began at once.

    President Lyndon Johnson decided to make the “solution” to one aspect of this “problem” a major priority. The age cohort worst affected by the medical-care price increases was the retiree community: retirees consume more hospital and surgical services per capita than non-retirees, and a large fraction of them are on fixed incomes substantially composed of Social Security payments. Johnson’s Medicare proposal was the result. Ending the non-taxability of employer-provided medical insurance and allowing hospital and surgical service rates to re-equilibrate to previous levels was never seriously considered; the American Medical Association would not allow it.

    But with a guarantee of federal payment for medical services for retirees written into federal law, the price escalation accelerated. Any halfway competent economist would have predicted exactly that, and quite a few did. You cannot tell Davis that Smith — in this case, the federal government — will pay for his medical care without limit and reap any other result.

    Further expansions of third-party payment have worsened the problem as the years have passed. Medicaid, the tendency toward the use of insurance to pay for routine doctor’s-office visits, and the extension of insurance to prescription drugs and an ever wider spectrum of treatable conditions have been the size 22 weighted boot on the accelerator of medical costs in the decades behind us. Yet nearly everyone who ventures an opinion about the “health care cost crisis” insists that the solution must be more use of insurance — wider availability and wider coverage — and that the federal government, despite its record of abysmal failure, must take the lead in assuring it.

    Left-liberal ideologues have no problem with that, though the consequences of their “solutions” to the health-care-cost “problem” continue to confound and dismay them. Power-seekers purely love it; to one who seeks ever greater power over others, there’s no such thing as a bad intervention. (“You never want to let a serious crisis go to waste.” — Rahm Emanuel) And we who hold that the only path toward improvement is less use of insurance, and especially less government involvement in medicine, are largely ignored.

    • Darrel says:

      I read that. I wasted my time, but I read it.

      Aside from the entirely vague and useless:

      “less use of insurance, and especially less government involvement”

      Francis provides absolutely no solutions whatsoever.

      I guess he forgot. Maybe he doesn’t have anything that makes sense? We’ll never know.

      But I did like this:

      Fran: “to concede that his intervention was misconceived would involve the tearing-up of both intellectual and emotional foundations; it’s psychically quite painful.”

      DAR
      On his website, Francis knows how to protect himself from the pain of having his “intellectual and emotional foundations” torn up. He simply censors all posts that aren’t completely adoring. The all time favorite method of fascists.

      D.
      ————–
      “I want to thank the Tea [Partiers] for helping us pass health care, for resurrecting the Obama presidency. I know they’re saying, ‘Why are you thanking me? I was so against it, I marched on Washington with tea bags hanging off my Founding Fathers costume, with a gun on my hip and a picture of Obama dressed as Hitler, screaming about his birth certificate.’
      And America saw that and said, ‘I think I’ll go with the calm black man.'” — Bill Maher

      • Blake says:

        Billy is insane- noone in their right mind goes with the house Idiot-in-Chief, unless they are idiots themselves- case in point- Darrel, who will shill for ANY progressive cause, and for whom there is no progressive cause too outlandish or unConstitutional.

      • Darrel says:

        Actually I am pretty middle of the road reasonable on most issues Blake, if not all of them. I don’t hold beliefs I can’t back up and I don’t defend all progressive issues by any stretch of your imagination. You wouldn’t know this because you are always rabidly hyperventilating from your irrational far right positions.

        D.
        ————
        Examples: Affirmative action, cap and trade, guns, drilling, drug enforcement, free trade, etc.

        • You are pretty much a slander-slinging, government-worshipping coward. And a hamster-dick.

        • Darrel says:

          FRAN: “You are [insults snipped].”>>

          DAR
          Francis is clearly practicing the psychological phenomenon of projection:

          pro·jec·tion
             
          Psychology.
          a.
          the tendency to ascribe to another person feelings, thoughts, or attitudes present in oneself, or to regard external reality as embodying such feelings, thoughts, etc., in some way.

          Dictionary.com

          I never call him names but he feels the need to do this constantly. Maybe when he gets old and wise he’ll learn that his insults say nothing about me but they do reveal quite a bit about him.

          Once again I will point out that the record shows clearly, as preserved here for all time, (in a forum that does not censor dissenting opinion), Francis W. Porretto, is a Flaming Intellectual Coward.

          Why do point out Porretto’s errors? He talks a big game but he won’t stand up for his beliefs. He runs and hides behind censorship and insults. I don’t like cowards. If you want to hold silly untenable beliefs in the comfort of you home, that’s great. If you want to spout outrageous nonsense in public and pretend to allow public comment, then best be ready to defend them, not run and hide and censor when your beliefs can so easily be shown to be indefensible.

          D.

        • Blake says:

          D- if you are FOR the healthscare bill, you are in NO way middle of the road in any form or fashion. End of story.

  9. Big Dog says:

    They do not have to recommend clinical guidelines which is a specific term describing the interaction between a doctor and patient.

    They can just say that hip replacements for people over 85 cost more than they are worth or that certain procedures are too costly. They would not be dealing with the clinical guideline, just the cost of procedures.

  10. Barbara says:

    Darrell, with people I have known who are elderly and infirm and even young people who will never get well, many will decide to stop all intervention and die. I had a cousin who did this. Also, there comes a point when doctors tell the patient that there isn’t anything else they can do for them and will just keep them comfortable until death occurs. Also, when the patient is not conscious and terminal, the survivors must make this decision as I had to do with my mom. I have found that today not too many people are kept on life support by the families, so I think it balances out. Life and death cannot be regulated by the government.

    • Darrel says:

      I think we are talking more about quality of life rather than life vs. death.

      You mention those who “will decide to stop all intervention and die.” Well, they opt out (and shouldn’t be pressured to opt out) and aren’t in the problem category. So we can set those aside.

      The problem arises in a million ways, and there would be no end of examples. Such as when we have an elderly person with an expensive problem which will improve or maintain their quality of life. Let me use a real life example I know of personally (in Canada). Mid 80’s relative, frail, brittle bones (broken hip twice) weighs 85 pounds. She can walk but is losing feeling in hands (needed special surgery to correct this, and got it, after some waiting).

      If she has a catastrophic accident requiring expensive medical treatment, someone has to decide if she is going to get it. Who decides?

      Of course she will receive life saving treatment (with some exceptions, she couldn’t handle major organ transplants etc.)

      In this example, it’s a quality of life issue. If she breaks her hip, do we fix it again at perhaps a cost of $40,000?

      These are questions all countries have to deal with. With our older folks I think the US tends to handle it rather well. This is because we have a socialized system for the old. My mom is 63. What if she were poor and needed a hip? The US system doesn’t handle this situation very well, and the costs are extraordinary.

      BARB: “Life and death cannot be regulated by the government.”>>

      DAR
      Right, and I don’t think that is in question. We have and will continue to go to extraordinary and expensive means to save a life. I think quality of life is more the question.

      Who do you think should decide these moral questions, and how do you control costs at the same time?

      D.

      • Big Dog says:

        91 Year old frail man fell March 31st at 8 pm and broke his hip in the USA. He had to wait to get his hip fixed. He had to wait until 1 April at 2 pm.

        Yep, in the US he had surgery 19 hours later and will be in hospital 4-5 days, rehab 2 weeks and then home.

        • Darrel says:

          Bigd: “…91 Year old frail man fell… had surgery 19 hours later…”>>

          DAR
          This is indeed something to be proud of. And the same thing would have happened in any of our peer countries. Ain’t socialism grand?

          D.

          • Big Dog says:

            Not sure this is the case. Our “peer” countries ration care.

            • Darrel says:

              All finite resources are rationed.

              Roads are “rationed” during rush hour.

              Our peer countries ration less than we do and more importantly, none of them ration because of a person’s inability to pay for essential care. We do (soon to be “did”), and that’s immoral behavior for the wealthiest country in the world.

              D.

            • Blake says:

              Read my reply above (about ten replies up) and try (really, really try) to explain how this is inferior to the Eurotrash, or how this is rationing, or any other ridiculous assertion you care to make.

  11. Barbara says:

    When an Advisory Council tells you that the treatment to keep you alive is too expensive and suspends it, then it becomes murder and they will stand accountable before God.

    • Darrel says:

      BARB: “When an Advisory Council tells you that the treatment to keep you alive is too expensive and suspends it, then it becomes murder…”>>

      DAR
      a) Aside from fear mongering, I know of no basis for thinking an advisory council would be in a position to withhold treatment that keeps you alive.

      b) How about when an insurance company does it? Is that murder? It maybe be a good profit/loss decision.

      Actual examples for (b) provided upon request.

      I’d rather have an independent panel of medical professionals overseeing this than a for profit company that has the incentive of making more money when they withhold care.

      D.
      —————
      cartoon.

      • Blake says:

        Guy across the street has to have 5 stents inserted in the arteries of his heart. He goes in, has the surgeries the next day, and is out of the hospital in a week- all WITHOUT insurance- he just set up a payment plan.
        Explain how this is “inferior” care, Darrel.

  12. Big Dog says:

    The other thing to remember is that the companies are not whining. The tax law was changed and it impacted their finances. They are required by the SEC to report the effect of a tax law change on their finances in the quarter in which the change occurred.

    They are not whining, they are following the law.

    Congress changed the law and this is how it will impact them.

  13. Big Dog says:

    It is a subsidy that is paid for the benefit of the government. It is not done for the benefit of the companies. It is done for the benefit of the government. These companies could dump retirees into Medicare D and be done with it. The government offered to pay a subsidy in order to keep them in the less expensive private plan.

    What we are seeing is companies reporting as they have to do under the law.

    If you want whining, it is from Waxman who is calling them on the carpet because they followed the law.

    What you really have is government whining because it might end up receiving those people in Medicare D and have to pay for them. Government made a deal with business that benefitted both and government broke the deal.

    I don’t see why you think it is the businesses that are wrong. They have every right to put the retirees on Medicare D and would have long ago had not the government paid them not to.

    So let’s just put them on Medicare D and be done with it.

    Government broke the agreement, that is what you need to remember.

    It is also beneficial to remember that government was paying the subsidy because it was a benefit to the government. Private companies provide the service cheaper…

    I just don’t see how business is whining when it follows the laws established for reporting and reports that it will take a loss.

    The people in Congress were warned this would result but their assumptions said otherwise.

    • Darrel says:

      Bigd: “It is a subsidy that is paid for the benefit of the government. It is not done for the benefit of the companies.”>>

      DAR
      I was going to ask you to back this up, but it really isn’t necessary. Your claim is obviously false. Whether it would have benefited the government is irrelevant to the fact that it was a huge big boon, subsidy, entitlement, welfare pork package going from the Gov, to these companies. That’s the only reasonable explanation for why they are squealing now. They are having their pork taken away.

      If it wasn’t “for the benefit of the companies,” financially, then they wouldn’t be squealing now. We know it was benefiting these companies BECAUSE they are squealing.

      Medicare D was a hugely expensive, unfunded, $800 billion boondoggle (and Kennedy was up to his eyes in it). That’s $800 billion of government money, going to industry. This chunk of corporate welfare is just one slice of that pie that was being given to corporations as they sucked hard on the government teat. Now it’s being taken away and they don’t like it. Too bad. We can’t afford, and have no business in subsidizing companies like this. You should be applauding this action.

      Bigd: “Government broke the agreement, that is what you need to remember.”>>

      DAR
      Also completely irrelevant. That’s like all of the welfare people Clinton threw off the dole saying: “hey, the government broke our agreement. The agreement was that we get free money!” (in some states welfare recipients declined by 90% after Clinton)

      Tough noogies. Laws/rules change. Bush signed a big porker of a (completely unfunded) bill which got a lot of companies on the dole. Obama is throwing them off. That’s why they’re squealing now.

      Bigd: “government was paying the subsidy because it was a benefit to the government.”>>

      DAR
      Even if that was true, in some sense (and you have not shown this), apparently it’s not the case any more. This is obviously being done to save money, and this is being done by eliminating in a huge subsidy going to private companies. If this wasn’t the case, they wouldn’t be squealing right now, but they are. QED.

      D.

  14. Big Dog says:

    Huffpo neglects to point out that the generous deal these companies got was because their participation made it cheaper for government. If they had not done it then the plan would have cost much more. Companies should have said no and let Congress explain the cost.

    But let this be a lesson to you because Obama made all kinds of special deals with Big Pharma and doctors groups (even though most doctors do not support this law) and when there are problems and he or Congress want to change things it will change what they promised.

    The people at HuffPo would do well to look at the entirety rather than focus on their dislike for Bush.

  15. Big Dog says:

    Roads are not rationed. Ration would mean that people were denied access. No one is denied access to an overcrowded road. It just takes longer.

    Medicare has a higher denial rate than private insurance so if government takes over all of it we will have more rationing.

    And no, we do not ration more than “peer” countries. We do much better than they in many aspects and have better outcomes for most cancers, cardiac illnesses, and emergency treatment (of true emergencies).

    • Darrel says:

      Bigd: “Roads are not rationed. Ration would mean that people were denied access.”>>

      DAR
      During rush hour access is effectively denied and thus effectively rationed. Roads are free to use, but their use is rationed by *availability* exactly as any other service is.

      Bigd: “Medicare has a higher denial rate than private insurance…”>>

      DAR
      You’ve never supported this or more importantly shown it would matter in the way you imply it does. What matters is how many claims actually get through after appeal. (for instance many are “denied” because they were filed improperly or lack certain clarifications).

      And you were just bragging above about a 91 year old man with the broken hip who got through in 19 hours.

      Bigd: “…so if government takes over all of it we will have more rationing.”>>

      DAR
      Non sequiter, does not follow.

      Bigd: “…have better outcomes for most cancers,”>>

      DAR
      Then why do the following countries have less cancer deaths per 100k:

      Australia:
      Norway:
      France:
      Austria:
      Sweden:
      Finland:
      United Kingdom:

      Link. Of 16 countries measured we come in 8th. And they spend less, usually far less than we do, to get these better results.

      This comprehensive analysis is more telling:

      “Of 19 countries, the US is worst for “avoidable mortality.” –Healing of America, pg. 31

      And

      The US comes in 19th in “Death from curable diseases.” Almost twice as high as France, Japan and Spain. –ibid pg. 32

      “U.S. Ranks Last

      “Between 1997–98 and 2002–03, amenable mortality fell by an average of 16 percent in all countries except the U.S., where the decline was only 4 percent. In 1997–98, the U.S. ranked 15th out of the 19 countries on this measure—ahead of only Finland, Portugal, the United Kingdom, and Ireland—with a rate of 114.7 deaths per 100,000 people. By 2002–03, the U.S. fell to last place, with 109.7 per 100,000. In the leading countries, mortality rates per 100,000 people were 64.8 in France, 71.2 in Japan, and 71.3 in Australia.”

      Link.

      Note, that’s mortality amenable to health care. Of this broad and comprehensive measurement of the US and 18 of our peer countries, our results put us LAST. About 15% of Americans think we have the “best health care in the world.” They’re wrong.

      Bigd: cardiac illnesses,>>

      DAR
      Maybe. You’re cherry picking.

      Bigd: and emergency treatment…>>

      DAR
      We have a lot of emergencies in the Excited States of America. We’re especially good at treating gunshot wounds. I wonder why? Maybe it’s because we have 100,000 people getting shot per year?

      D.

      • Big Dog says:

        Havung lower cancer deaths might be because they have fewer instances of cancer. I would think Africa would have more cases of sickel cell than a Scandanavian country.

        Because you had to wait to use the road does not mean it was rarioned. If this is the case then waiting inline at Wal Mart on black Thursday means the store is rationing. You make no sense. There is a differnce between waiting for care and being denied it.

        I provided the evidence of my claim previously. The numbers were for denied that stayed denied. Look it up.

      • Darrel says:

        bigd: “Because you had to wait to use the road does not mean it was rarioned.”>>

        DAR
        That’s exactly what it means.

        Bigd: “…then waiting inline at Wal Mart on black Thursday means the store is rationing.”>>

        DAR
        Exactly. And when you have five fires and two fire trucks, fire service is rationed. And when you have three banks being robbed and two policemen in Mayberry, police service is rationed. That’s what the word means.

        ration -verb

        6. to restrict the consumption of (a commodity, food, etc.): to ration meat during war.

        7.
        to restrict the consumption of (a consumer): The civilian population was rationed while the war lasted.

        Link.

        Bigd: “There is a differnce between waiting for care and being denied it.”>>

        DAR
        Not if the denial is temporary due to a limited resource being rationed. ALL resources are finite and rationed based upon availability.

        D.

        • Big Dog says:

          When you wait to use a road it is not being rationed as if officials were stopping you from using it. You just have to wait, you are not denied. You are not restricted from using the road. You are using it at a slower pace.

          But more importantly, the health bill reads that care will not be rationed. According to you this will not be possible. If I have to wait at my doctor’s office my care was rationed so now we have a bunch of liars who said our care would not be rationed.

  16. Big Dog says:

    I read the CBO report on Medicare D. It was not completely unfunded.

    The subsidy was part of the entire process to get the score down and have CBO numbers that would be acceptable. Democrats were not on board and vowed to unfund it when they got the chance (which they did). BTW, this should keep people from crying when health care gets unfunded.

    The subsidy meant nothing to companies if they did not have the retirees. They agreed to keep them in exchange for the write down and subsidies because they can do it cheaper. It was absolutely for the benefit of the government and this is evident because the very Democrats who were opposed to this back then are whining about companies saying they will put retirees on Medicare D. This will change CBO projections and not “save” the money projected.

    Government is crying about it because the companies are not allowing themselves to be screwed.

    Think of it this way, you are right that government can break the deal. But the companies can break their part of it as well. It was a mutual agreement that benefited retirees and the taxpayer because private insurance did the job better (and always will).

    You can play games and say companies are whining about not getting a subsidy. If they had just placed all retirees on Medicare D to begin with then this would not be an issue.

    Never make a deal with government. It does not uphold its part. You know, no deals with the devil.

    And as for welfare, there is no free money. That Republican program that Clinton was forced to sign put a lot of people back to work.

    If you want to point out abuse, point to people who provide no benefit to society by sitting around collecting a check instead of a company that provides a service in exchange for a tax break.

    The companies can make or break this country.

    They can also see to it that politicians receive little money for campaigns…