Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Health Care Overview

So (that's the Minnesota way to start sentences) I thought this graphic by the Chicago Tribune was pretty helpful in understanding the impact the health care bill will have on us.

Personally, I'm in favor of many of these components.  Thoughts?


clauff said...

Aren't we all a fan of these components in a vacuum? And yet, it's easy to forget that almost every government run program known to man is incredibly flawed (dare I say even more flawed than our current system)? Social Security, Medicaid?

What makes us think that the government is going to be any better about running health care? And we haven't even begun to discuss how it's going to bankrupt this country (which many people seem to be overlooking). How do entitlement spending programs improve the bottom line like proponents says it does? That's some pretty tricky accounting going on there. I'd suggest reading the article in the URL below to get a better viewpoint of what this is actually going to cost us. While our current system is not sustainable, this new health care reform bill is even less so.

Chairman said...

Geez, Westy. Way to be vague. I was hoping for some treatise on how this was a moral question, how we are called to help the less fortunate, and how the current system just doesn't do that.

Then I'd come in and make some outrageous statement about how I'm against anything that helps poor people. I'd probably make some comment about how for an egalitarian society, we completely overvalue the sins (or successes) of the father, and then I'd misinterpret those results to suggest that those who are poor are statistically likely to remain a burden to the wealthy (when I actually mean "a burden to me"), and that they an optimal society would just euthanize the poor. Then I'd admit that no one would ever vote to euthanize themselves, so that the next best thing would be requiring that the poor have abortions.

Then Schultzie or Teresa would come in an tell me how abortion is wrong, even if it the most economically viable solution. Then you'd shake your head about the plight of the world where abortion is the most economically viable solution. And then C-Lauff would show up late to the party with some tangential point that no one understands. Well, at least that last one already happened.

Come on. That's what I was waiting for :-)

clauff said...

Roland, what's there not to understand about the above? Of course, in theory, people want to be taken care of, with as little restriction as possible. However, what's not being discussed is how viable long-term this solution is. And, when you read the article and the viewpoint expressed there, one has to ask whether or not all the "advantageous" components of the bill is really worth it to anyone.

Jon said...

Abortion is wrong, even if it's the most economically viable solution.

(That just came to me, I'm not sure from where)

Jon said...

What's funny (rhetorically) about abortion is that by supporting abortion, the dems have killed (literally) probably 40 million extra votes they would have had, based on the stereotypical demographics of the types of people that get abortions.

Westy said...

...almost every government run program known to man is incredibly flawed...

Care to elaborate? Measured against what?

So you would vote to eliminate Medicare?

Chairman said...

C-Lauff, let's hold it right there. I'm definitely not going to read some article so that I can try to understand someone else's viewpoint. Do you know how much work that would be? That's crazy talk :-)

But my point was that if you start down a road talking about whether or not health care was a moral right, and then if you were to come into the discussion noting the efficiency of government programs, then you would be dealing with a tangential point.

My other, much more important point, is that it's fun to make fun of you.

Chairman said...

Westy - The one government program that I'd get rid of is popular elections. That just doesn't seem to work.

Schultzie - Isn't it strange how some thoughts just enter our head, completely unprompted. With regard to the Dems eroding their voter base, you make one critical assumption, that I think is wrong. Poor people don't vote :-)

Jon said...

Hey look, our social safety net is broke, who would have thought?


Oh, you mean this CBO?

Regarding social security:

This year, the system will pay out more in benefits than it receives in payroll taxes, an important threshold it was not expected to cross until at least 2016, according to the Congressional Budget Office.

What, they were wrong? It's the government, they're *never* wrong! We'll just add 31 million people to the health care pool, but trust us, it'll cost *less*. No really, we know what we're talking about, just trust us. We're the CBO and we're non-partisan. Which is code for "we're right and you're all idiots, so trust us".

Ryan, you have noble intentions, and I'm not fundamentally opposed to some level of a safety net for people. But the path we're on is going to lead to the complete financial destruction of this country. You can think I'm a fear-mongering, cold-hearted, privileged white guy, but our existing programs are already not sustainable, let alone adding what's ultimately going to be the biggest entitlement of them all.

The implications of this spending are much larger than either you appreciate or care about, and the anger against this bill is much more real and widespread than you appreciate as well.

So I'd like to hear from you - you're the liberal, how do you propose we pay for all this stuff? What specifically are we going to do to ensure that SS, Medicare, and whatever this new thing is going to be called are going to remain viable programs that don't bankrupt this country or drive more businesses (and thus revenue) out? Specifically what?


Westy said...

I would get rid of Medicare. That simple. Phase it out. Extend Medicaid through that age bracket. I think it is advantageous to provide health care to all young people rather than the elderly if you're forced to choose. And then I'd cut defense spending. That's just the tip of the iceberg.

...what's ultimately going to be the biggest entitlement of them all.
Social security is far larger, right?

In regard to the CBO being off on when SS was going to run a deficit, it can be directly attributed to the high unemployment rate. Did they miss on guessing we'd have a recession of this magnitude? Yes, but then, so did everyone else.

Westy said...

And by the way, all my liberal (or progressive according to them) friends think I'm the conservative, so I'm not sure where I fall, eh?

Jon said...


Actually medicare is a much bigger liability than SS.

As of that article in 2009, the unfunded liability of Medicare was 89 trillion (that's trillion with a 't'), and that was 5 times the amount of SS.

Without a tax increase and with the large number of pending retirees and such, 75% of the entire federal budget would have to be allocated to SS and medicare by 2060 to keep them viable. So you can imagine the tax increase you'd need to counter this.

Can Higher Taxes Solve the Problem? The CBO also found that if federal income tax rates are adjusted to allow the government to continue its current level of activity and balance its budget:

- The lowest marginal income tax rate of 10 percent would have to rise to 26 percent.
- The 25 percent marginal tax rate would increase to 66 percent.
- The current highest marginal tax rate (35 percent) would rise to 92 percent!

And this is why I get so upset about this stuff.

Westy said...

So, I think a fair question is why supposedly conservative Republicans in Congress are opposing cuts to Medicare? And further, why are they using the fact that they are opposing this in their election campaigns?

Chairman said...

Money out-of-context quote: "I think it is advantageous to provide health care to all young people rather than the elderly..."

Amen, Westy. If we start withholding treatment from the elderly now, in about 15 years, we should be able to get enough attrition in the senior ranks to get a majority vote to start my progamme of euthanizing the elderly poor. Once you get rid of enough old people, you also solve this whole Social Security fiasco, as well. Finally, note the British spelling of 'programme.' This always sound smarter when you use the British spelling. Completely tangential thought: you can't cut defense spending, because defense wins championships.

2nd money out-of-context quote: "'re all idiots."

Schultzie, this is eerie. This is sort of my position on everything... so I guess that me and the CBO have a bunch in common.

I like to think that I'm having in influence on the people around me :-)

Chairman said...

Schultzie and C-Lauff. I've got some idea of why Westy likes this whole deal - because he's a liberal communist who won't kill babies :-) Though, I will say that I'm surprised that Westy is so quick to end Medicare and start killing the elderly (*proud of you, Westy*).

Turning slightly more serious, I'm curious about your positions. It's pretty clear that you dislike his particular health care package because of the cost.

And it seems that you're alluding to the loss of something else. Here, I'm interpreting Schultzie's RIP, 1776-2010 post on Facebook - not sure if you meant the death of liberty (philosophy of governance, I suppose) or the death of capitalism (philosophy of economic structure). And I'm trying to interpret C-lauff's position, other than that Nancy Pelosi's ugly (which is probably a good enough reason for me).

Just curious if you'd care to share a little more, at least on the philosophical side.

Westy said...

Here's another article on the impacts I found helpful:


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