Good morning

The Health Care ‘summit’ is over and we’re all still alive and breathing.  TV News has now begun to flail around for the next ‘story’. I did hear that George W. Bush gave a speech somewhere to someone recently;  speculation about what he said, what he will say next time and a flurry of questions he isn’t present to answer  – perhaps a candidate for the next story.

If not, there’s always the killer whale.

Because it’s altogether too much work to bother to report on the troops overseas, where it is the 140th day of the ninth year of the War in Afghanistan.

19 responses to “Good morning

  1. well, you know that darned liberal media…


  2. Yep, Obama’s Healthcare talkshow is over. Sadly it sounded more like an episode of Oprah than anything of substantive worth to the American people.

    But, for a while at least, it let the media have tidbits to report and gave some politicians some free campaign coverage – which is all it ever meant to do in the first place – so I guess it was a success.

    One does wonder what the MSM will dig up or have spoon-fed to them next though.


    • Yup. I’m with you – campaign speech after campaign speech.

      And, not to be boring about this – but it bears repeating – when will the political class catch on that we’ve all had quite enough of the sad syrupy stories about constituents with acne.

      I think the Dem bills don’t go far enough – and I don’t need any more of those dreadful stories to confirm what I believe.

      Medicare for all!

      And here’s a bumper sticker the Dems should use:
      Medicare: IT’S INSURANCE


      • Actually, Moe, Medicare is NOT insurance.

        That general misunderstanding, along with the misunderstanding of what insurance is, is the cause of much the problems with ObamaCare – and possibly with people’s feeling about America’s healthcare provisioning in general.


        • Jonolan:

          Medicare absolutely is insurance. I paid into it starting in 1964 and paid for 45 years. Now , in retirement, I pay about $1200 a year for the bare bones part. I buy my Part D coverage from AARP and I do not yet have a ‘supplemental’ policy those run about $3000/year.

          So with 45 years of paying in and annual costs in retirement of about $4500 . . . just how do we define this as an entitlement.

          Medicare is a Trust Fund. It is currently solvent. If nothing is done, it will be in trouble in about six to ten years. Not broke, but not fully funding the program either.

          So that means is we have to make changes. Caps, eligibility ages etc. Add six months onto eligibility and we probably buy ourselves another decade. Adjustments over time keep the program going.

          Remember too, that Medicare serves the oldest part of the population and therefore the largest users of medical services. If we had Medicare for all, we’d have a much healthier risk pool. AND everyone would have insurance.

          Sounds win-win to me.

          The wiki says:
          Medicare is a social insurance program administered by the United States government, providing health insurance coverage to people who are aged 65 and over, or who meet other special criteria. The program also funds residency training programs for the vast majority of physicians in the United States. Medicare operates as a single-payer health care system.[1]


          • No, Moe, Medicare isn’t insurance; it’s an investment plan with returns limited to medical expenditures. Insurance is a form of risk management primarily used to hedge against the risk of a contingent loss.

            Medicare, like much of modern “health insurance” is not a hedge against contingent loss since it now covers normal and routine services that are largely not contingent.

            Even your Wiki citation describes it as a Single Payer health care system.

            Think about it – What resemblance does Medicare or most “health insurance” policies have in common with auto insurance, homeowners insurance, liability insurance, etc…?

            Beyond the companies selling it using amortization charts and disallowing pre-existing problems, not very much at all.

            And those are the similarities that are to be removed via ObamaCare.

            Of course Single Payer is what you want, irrespective of the damage it will to the US and possibly the world, so you should be happy with the differences.


            • So you’re saying health insurance – public OR private – is not insurance. I’ll yield to your point. But when it comes to health care, it does seem we are comparing one ‘system’ of apples to another ‘system’ of apples.

              One is cheaper than the other. The cheaper one is financed by the people just as the private one is.

              And it’s time to inform the entire American press establishment and the Congress and the insurance industry that what they call insurance is not insurance.

              And single payer? Absolutely. I believe it will be GOOD – and there’s a staggering amount of data out there to support that position.

              Everyone forgets that when Pres Obama first announced that his Admin would pursue reform his primary reason was the cost to the economy. Sure he’s talked the usual talk about the uninsured and what’s fair etc, but the driver for him has always been the danger in the unsustainable cost.

              Public or private – we’re paying for it anyway. We may as well buy a better cheaper system.


        • Moe,

          If you’re going to base this fantasy of Single Payer on Medicare, then you’re doing America a great disservice. It’s not that great compared to the private carriers.

          Also, it may or may not be cheaper. Much of Medicare’s overhead is, through creative bookkeeping, not listed as a part of its own budget expenses.

          It’s also NOT solvent and hasn’t been in some time. It’s only solvent on paper because Congress keeps sending extra money its way through other legislation.


          • Well, jonolan, I’m only going onto my third year on Medicare after having most of the major privates during my working life. Medicare is far and away the best health insurance – um,sorry, make that health ‘system’ – I have ever had. I friggin’ love it. My mother lived to 96 and my Dad is still alive (don’t ask!). They loved/love it. And my Dad was retired from an insurance company!

            Some things aren’t allowed – and some of them are puzzling. But that was the case with private insurers too. And it was much more expensive to have that insurance, hte copays were much higher and the paperwork was burdensom – Medicare is much better in all those areas.

            It really comes down to the fact that health care does’t work in a for-profit model. It’s like insisting that hte police or the Court system show a profit. Just doesn’t make sense.

            That is not to say that there aren’t many other kinds of reforms needed. Deep ones – like reconnecting payment with outcomes. The old gettin’ what you pay for. Quality instead of quantity.

            And I think you know I favor tort reform. That’s one ‘my people’ have wrong. Defensive medicine is costing us a bundle.


            • You bring up an interesting point, Moe, with your claim that “healthcare” doesn’t work in a for-profit model.

              If that’s true, then neither ObamaCare nor a Single Payer system will work either. Both are just means of shifting the burden of payment for provisioning access to the goods and services provided by a for-profit healthcare system.

              Perhaps this is part of why Canada’s and Europe’s taxes are so high and economies so fragile, even as opposed to ours?


              • Liberals are very unhappy with the bills as they are. The public option was a weak sister substitute for single payer, which the Obama administration wouldn’t go near, even it’s what Democrats have wanted for decades.

                But there’s another issue and that’s universality. For me, that’s almost as important as cutting the costs.

                Ultimately this one will be what you dread – a foot in the door. And we’ll get there eventually. Sorry!


  3. Still haven’t watched the whole thing, but it was exactly what I hoped it wouldn’t be on both sides. “Free campaign coverage” sums it up pretty well, Jonolan.


  4. Jonolan,
    I always get a chuckle when I hear (or see) someone refer to the media as the MSM… because it implies that the other sources, the Limbaughs and Becks, (even the obermans) the Boortzs and Doc. Lauras are not in the mainstream, not part of the majority, not really part of what is average, everyday America. And despite the size of their respective audiences, I know that this is true… they aren’t part of the mainstream, not part of the common person’s experience. So, please continue to call the mainstream media, the media that represents the bulk of America the MSM. I think Moe has said this too… if so, kudos moe. Great minds and all.


    • ConLie:

      That’s such a good point! And it needs to be said more often – the very definition of MSM is that it represents the people, the mainstream.


      • Is it? Or is MSM a label for the bulk of national media irrespective of whether it represents the people?

        I certainly have always used the latter definition.


        • jonolan:

          The best way to judge what represents the people is perhaps by observing where they put their money.

          A few months ago, I asked these quesitons:
          * Where do Americans put their money?
          * What are they willing to pay for.

          The Washington Post – A publicly traded company
          Daily audience 1,599,900

          The Washington Times – A privately held company owned by the Rev. Sun Young Moon
          Daily audience 83,511

          The Weekly Standard – a privately held company
          Can’t find circulation numbers, even at their own website, so to keep it fair(ish)
          National Review – a privately held company
          Weekly circulation 183,000

          Time Magazine – A publicly traded company
          Weekly circulation 3,400,000

          I draw the reader’s attention to which of these publications thrive in the free market and which are rich men’s hobbies.


          • A wonderfully biased subset, Moe. Neither Axelrod or Rove could have done better. 😉

            In any case, I find the money = representation to be a flawed premise when applied to the media. A better model would be where do people get their information.

            In the vast majority that would be:

            * FOX
            * CNN
            * ABC
            * NBC
            * CBS

            Print is dying. Television is the mainstream media format of the day.


            • Absolutely print is dying. Everything stacked against them from Craigslist, today to price of paper and changing habits yesterday as TV took hold as the primary source.

              But I think you miss the point by calling print a ‘subset’. Print is where tv gets its news. Look at all the talking heads and pundits – they’re 80% print journalists. Print does ALL the investigative journalism being done.

              Every TV journalist starts the day reading the NY Times – even at Fox News. And that’s because of the astonishing breadth of their coverage.

              And TV doesn’t cover town meetings, city budgets, obituaries, local sports scores . . . I could go on and on. I worked on newspapers when I was younger and had to sit through more boring zoning commision meetings than a person should be subjected to in a lifetime.

              People may get their news from TV. TV gets its news from print. For now anyway. And except for car chases!


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