For me but not for thee

Instead of crafting legislation to create jobs (remember that?), the Senate Republicans are offering up their first bill of this new Congress, “The State Health Care Choice Act.” It’s a repeal effort of course, and it allows States to opt out of not just the ‘onorous’ parts of the bill but stuff like protections for pre-existing conditions. Allows them to opt out of the whole dangburn thing.

I’ve noticed lately an increasing sentiment among Washington (and State) Republicans that this ‘Union’ thing is becoming a bit bothersome. Secession  language for instance has really escalated, along with respect for the Constitutional principle of             .

From Steve Benen at the excellent Washington Monthly blog Political Animal, a good post on the subject and this – from commenter KurtRex1453:

Remember, memorize and repeat….

Health insurance companies want to pay doctors as little as possible and charge customers as much as possible while providing the minimum health care possible. This adversarial relationship hurts everyone but health co execs and the Republicans who support them. When the Republicans scream death panels, socialism or try to scare you with horror stories of malfeasance in government run health care systems, they are only protecting the Heath Insurance Execs excessive profits, Hermes handbags, and overpriced sports cars.

 

24 responses to “For me but not for thee

  1. Beneath The Tin Foil Hat

    It’s amazing to me how conservatives scream Socialism everytime the topic of health care reform comes up. On the other hand they tend to scream Socialism about everything that’s politically left of center. I wonder if they even know what Socialism is…

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    • Of course! We have quasi-socialist institutions all over this country and have for years. But to conservatives everything is black and white and there is no such thing as ‘quasi’. It’s the ‘Red Threat’ everywhere – must always have something to be afraid of.

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  2. Beneath The Tin Foil Hat

    You’ve got that right. I wonder if every good christian conservative prays right before bed that FDR and LBJ are burning in hell right now… They did start our evil descent to a Socialist society afterall.

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  3. Health insurance companies want to pay doctors as little as possible and charge customers as much as possible while providing the minimum health care possible.

    Think of it this way:

    Health insurance3rd party phone service companies want to pay doctors the network providers like AT&T and Verizon as little as possible and charge customers as much as possible while providing the minimum health care phone service possible.

    The result? Companies compete like MAD to deliver more services with higher quality and cheaper prices. It wasn’t until the government ended it’s legislated “monopoly” of AT&T that we began to see the explosion in services, features and reduction in price that we have.

    It’s amazing to me how conservatives scream Socialism

    Do you honestly think the intention was to take money from those who work and give it to those that won’t?

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    • Beneath The Tin Foil Hat

      Socialism: a theory or system of social organization that advocates the vesting of the ownership and control of the means of production and distribution, of capital, land, etc., in the community as a whole.

      Where in that definition does it say that it’s about taking money from those who work and giving it to those who won’t?
      Socialism is about a society that works together in which everyone who can participate does. It’s not about taking from the rich and giving to the poor. You’re thinking of Robin Hood.
      As for comparing the health care industry to phone service providers? You might want to check into who owns what hospital or health care provider in your area. In my region, everything is owned by Patients First. We don’t have choice on who we can see, and many of the health care providers here do not work and play well with insurance companies. Health care reform isn’t perfect, but it will provide competition and according to more that a few health care economist create up to two million jobs in the next 5 years while cutting into the deficit by 147 billion dollars. Does that sound like Socialism?

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    • [The result? Companies compete like MAD to deliver more services with higher quality and cheaper prices.] Except, pino, that model doens’t now and never has worked in health care. If it did, we wouldn’t have the problem we have.

      We do have models that work – all over the frackin’ world but reject them for some perverse ideological reason. And meanwhile, our sytem fails and fails and fails.

      Medicare for everyone. It will work.

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      • Beneath The Tin Foil Hat

        I agree. It may need fine tuning, but it can work.

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      • Medicare for everyone. It will work.

        Like the phone company worked. It did. And we were mostly kinda happy; kinda. What we didn’t know is what would happen when the government got out of the way.

        Moe never would have gotten her $20 Magic Jack.

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        • Hands off my MagicJack!!!

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        • The phone company in its day provided the very best phone service in the world. You’re right – it worked. Well. For its time. But since AT&T was a legally regulated monopoly always under the thumb of hte Feds they always knew their day would come. It did and the Justice Dept went in and broke up the monopoly.

          I think most people involved absolutely knew what would happen. It was one of the reasons to begin the dismantling – to let loose the technology. And now, the end result is that I carry a machine in my pocket that has 100x the computing power NASA had available to them wehn we went to the moon. (I can never quite get over that fact)

          So I thnk it’s another bad analogy pino. Health care is simply different from all of these things.

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          • Health care is simply different from all of these things.

            I fail to understand how they are not analogous. However, if you want an example that might better suit your senses, consider the delivery of a service/product more important to us than medical care; food and clothing.

            Can you imagine what our food system would be like if we passed laws that made it more attractive for our employers to pay us in food than in money? Or clothes?

            Point is, we deliver so much food of such high quality at lower and lower prices that we are the envy of the world. Soviet era commissars stood in jaw dropped amazement when they were introduced to their first American grocery stores. Their first question? “Who is in charge of managing the delivery of all of this?”. The answer? “No one”.

            Think of it. No one is in charge of making sure farmers grow enough turkeys for Thanksgiving day. Imagine if we could do that for medical care as well.

            P.S. My grocery store sells me life saving medication; $10 for 90 day supply. While I wait I see my neighbors getting FREE diabetics medication.

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  4. Socialism: a theory or system of social organization

    Yes. That is the strict definition. Other variants exist and more closely approaches what we mean when we claim that you [and Obama] are socialists.

    A state-directed economy is a system where either the state or worker cooperatives own the means of production, but economic activity is directed to some degree by a government agency or planning ministry through coordinating mechanisms such as indicative planning and dirigisme. This differs from a centralised planned economy (or a command economy) in that micro-economic decision making, such as quantity to be produced and output requirements, are left to managers and workers in the state and cooperative enterprises rather than being mandated by a comprehensive economic plan from a centralised planning board. However, the state will plan long-term strategic investment and seek to coordinate at least some aspects of production. It is possible for a state-directed economy to have elements of both a market and planned economy. For example, investment decisions may be semi-planned by the state, but decisions regarding production may be determined by the market mechanism.

    State-directed socialism can also refer to technocratic socialism; economic systems that rely on technocratic management over the means of production and economic policy.

    In western Europe, particularly in the period after World War II, many socialist and social democratic parties in government implemented what became known as mixed economies, some of which included a degree of state-directed economic activity. In the biography of the 1945 UK Labour Party Prime Minister Clement Attlee, Francis Beckett states: “the government… wanted what would become known as a mixed economy”

    Socialism is about a society that works together in which everyone who can participate does.

    So is capitalism.

    It’s not about taking from the rich and giving to the poor.

    Sure it is. It’s what allows a single mother of 2 who works forty hours a week making $60k to have as much money as a single mother of 2 who doesn’t work.

    You’re thinking of Robin Hood.

    Remember, Sir Robin only stole money from the “rich”. In that case, the “Rich” was the government who had taxed the peasants into poverty. Robin only attacked the Sheriff and his men, never the land owning gentry that acquired their money by honest labor.

    Oh, one more thing, Robin Hood was a Libertarian Tea Party member:

    Liberty by law!

    it will provide competition and according to more that a few health care economist create up to two million jobs in the next 5 years while cutting into the deficit by 147 billion dollars.

    – It will not create competition.
    – It will only create government jobs for the administrators.
    – The only reason it cuts the deficit is because we will be taxed for 10 years while only being given the benefits for the last 2.

    I wonder how excited Mo would be to pay for 10 years of Magic Jack but only get the service in 2020 and 2021?

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    • Beneath The Tin Foil Hat

      First of all let’s get one thing straight: I’m an anarchist, not a socialist. Now that we have that our of the way, let’s move on. The Democratic party including Obama are not socialists. They worship at the alter of Adam Smith just like the Republicans do. They are just as willing to allow big business lobbyists line their pockets as the GOP is. Why else would Obama push “clean coal” (there’s no such thing) so much? It’s because they were a heavy contributor to his campaign.
      What I’m saying is that the Democratic agenda is not socialist, I’m just as skeptical to their plans as any Republican. It basically boils down to this: Both partys are trains heading for the same wall. It just so happens that the Republican train is going to wreck first and take a lot of us down with it. I’m tired of hearing the GOP and their creepy uncles the Tea-baggers pulling out the “S” word everytime they come across a program that doesn’t line their pockets.
      The last thing I would like to add is this: Do you like the fact that 10% of the population controls 90% of the wealth? Capitalism in its current state does nothing but promote an ever widening gap of the classes. Yes, we would all love to live the American dream and aspire to be just like them. However the fact is that the majority of us won’t because we’re too busy paying out our noses so that corporate fat cats can take advantage of every loophole that our government has made availible.

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      • The Democratic party including Obama are not socialists.

        Sure he is. Just because he’s a crappy one doesn’t mean he isn’t one.

        Do you like the fact that 10% of the population controls 90% of the wealth?

        On a scale of 1 to 10, 1 being poor and 10 being wealthy, which society would you rather live in?

        A: The poorest rate a 2 and the richest rate a 4.
        B: The poorest rate a 4 and the richest rate a 9.

        In society B, the rich rank 5 rather than 2 points more than the poor. Further, the rich in B are MORE than twice as rich as the poor where in A they are only twice as rich?

        However, in B, both the rich and the poor are better off, in fact, the poor are twice as well off as they would be in A.

        I suspect you’ll choose A. Like all good socialists. You would rather have the people you champion be twice as poor just because you don’t like how wealth is distributed.

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        • Beneath The Tin Foil Hat

          LOL, I stand corrected. Capitalism is a wonderful system. That’s why the auto industry, and several banks had to be bailed out even though the past administration gave them billions of dollars to do so. That’s why we owe China (who’s economy is a blend of socialism and capitalism now) billions of dollars.
          That’s why approximately half of the middle class paychecks go to taxes while the wealthy 10% pay very little in taxes in proportion to what we pay. Note that I said in proportion, please don’t pull out the they pay billions of dollars a year argument.
          That’s why the U.S. economy has been perpetually stuck in a cycle of bust or boom ever since Thomas Jefferson and Alexander Hamilton started bitching at each other about the role of the government. That’s why high schools and colleges are little more than diploma mills grinding out hourly employees who have very little chance of ever realizing any sort of wealth.
          I agree with you that those who won’t work are not entitled to a piece of the pie. If they won’t contribute than they should be left to fend for themselves. However, changes in our economic system have to be made so that those who do want to work have the same chance as those who control the majority of the wealth. I don’t think total Socialism is the way to go, but I sure as hell don’t think that it’s evil either. I think a blend of both systems would work much better than what we have now.
          And once again, I’m not a Socialist. I’m an Anarchist. I would rather there be no nation state at all controlling what I do or where half my money goes. Talk about giving money to someone who doesn’t work? Lets start with that giant, bloated money leeching estabilishment that we call our government. I don’t care who runs it, I feel like they are the real welfare recipients.

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          • That’s why the auto industry, and several banks had to be bailed out even though the past administration gave them billions of dollars to do so.

            It wasn’t anywhere near “The automotive industry”. It was one or two companies. And we should have let THEM fail. Further, the money handed to GM and Chrysler was handed out by your guy.

            The banks? We should have let them fail too. I agree with you that tax payer money funded the corporations. Corporate welfare is as disgusting as individual welfare.

            Capitalism is a wonderful system.

            Going in, you have to understand that a key concept to capitalism is that of creative destruction. As we invented cars, horse buggy whip makers went out of business. As computers were invented, typewriter factories shut down.

            That’s the problem with you socialists. You want the modern day benefits of the advances capitalism provides but you want to keep paying 8-track manufacturer.

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          • pino – he’s an anarchist!

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      • BTTFH (can I call you that?) – I’m constantly amazed at the logic – bailing out the auto companies made Obama a socialist. And passing the health care that presidents of both parties have tried to do for a hundred years really really made him a socialist.

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        • Beneath The Tin Foil Hat

          You can certainly call me that 🙂 I agree with you. FDR was labeled socialist for his New Deal, then LBJ was labeled socialist for his Great Society and War on Poverty. Now its Obama. It’s the same rhetoric that’s been going on for almost 80 years. 2 things for pino before I stop feeding the troll: 1. Keep calling me a socialist, I’ve been called worse. Just don’t call me a Republican or Tea bagger. That’s akin to calling somebody the anti-christ. 2: Bush did give GM and Chrysler money. He gave them 17 billion dollars to squander as they please without having to pay it back. “My guy” loaned them money, forced them to restructure, and in the process saved over a million jobs of those who work in factories that depend upon GM, Ford, and Chrysler to buy their products. If a million jobs doesn’t qualify as the auto industry, (since you want to split hairs) I would like to know what does. Bush did that right before he left his mess for Obama to clean up. Go troll under your own bridge, I’m through arguing with you.

          BTW Moe, I love your blog, keep up the good work!

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    • [I wonder how excited Mo would be to pay for 10 years of Magic Jack but only get the service in 2020 and 2021?]

      Well, speaking for myself, I’m enjoying the fruits of my 45+ years of tax contributions. I paid. And I paid. And I was quite willjng to wait. Not exaclty what you mean pino, but the point is that as long as it’s understood up front, there shouldn’t be a problem.

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      • Not exaclty what you mean pino, but the point is that as long as it’s understood up front, there shouldn’t be a problem.

        My point is that the taxes to fund the health care bill have begun this year. The CBO has counted the taxes the government collects for 10 years [that’s the limit the CBO can project]. However, Obamacare doesn’t deliver insurance to folks until the last TWO years of those 10.

        So, we’re taxed for 10 but only have to pay on the benefits for the last 10.

        So, consider the numbers like this:

        1 year of tax revenue = $100
        1 year of insurance benefits = $110

        We collect 10 years of revenue = $1,000
        We pay for 2 years of benefits = $220

        That means the CBO scores it a deficit reducing plan of $780. Never mind that once the bennies DO kick in, we’ll be losing $10 a year.

        Further, much revenue that the CBO was asked to score for this bill had nothing to do with health care. For example, the tax on tanning beds. The increase in student loans. And much much more.

        But yes, on the topic of Federal programs for folks who have paid into the system, we absolutely should work to make them whole. I think the plan the House GOP has in mind is for benefits to change for folks who are under 50 today. I’m 42. I fully expect that I’ll never see the money that I contributed to the system. And, in fact, I’m willing to forgo ALL of it if we can revamp that system into something other than a program best recognized by Bernie Maddoff.

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        • You are getting too far into the weeds for me on weighing hte costs of the bill, but when you say ” Obamacare doesn’t deliver insurance to folks until the last TWO years of those 10. So, we’re taxed for 10 but only have to pay on the benefits for the last 10.” that means to me that we’re giving the program a a jump start – I may be wrong, but wouldn’t it make sense?

          When designing programs for an entire nation, there will be lots of inequities – just as there are if we don’t do the programs. My father lived thru the depression, fought in WWII, paid into SS all his working life, but never paid a dime into Medicare. He lived till he was 98 with Meidcare protection the whole way. We all experience our country, our economy etc in different ways.

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  5. See, the dang GOP grabbed the tail of the right wing tiger, and well, they dare not let it go now, lest it turn it’s claws and jaws upon them. They are now gonna take out Scott Brown for not being “right” enough and so for Snowe, Lugar and others who don’t keep saying No. The GOP is now paralyzed into continuing on its inhuman agenda to give every dime to business and letting the masses rot in the streets. Aint a pretty way to run a party, but they won’t be one for much longer. And the tea party will die for lack of a brain.

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    • I read the news about Scott Brown at your place this morning! There is simply nothing left to say about that. The grey eminences of the GOP must be sputtering over their porridge.

      As I said in another thread here about what all this leads to? 2012! 2012! 2012! That’s what.

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