Obamacare’s Unintended Effects: Spouses and Children Edition
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  • crabtown

    So many unintended effects. But Single Payer is the goal.

    • Andrew Allison

      Could we possibly have an unemotional and apolitical discussion about single payer insurance? Sure it smacks of socialism but, unlike the US system, at the end of the day, where implemented it provides adequate service to all with the option of better service to those willing and able to pay for it. This seems like a pretty good arrangement . The sheer insanity of the current insurance system in the US is well-illustrated by http://online.wsj.com/article/
      (not sure if this link cut-and-pasted, but it can be found in the the comments to the previous post on healthcare.
      What, exactly, is wrong with coach-class care for EVERYBODY, business-class for those willing to pay something more, and first class for those willing to pay the tariff? This is a social, not a political issue namely how, given limited resources, do we deliver health care.

      • Jane the Actuary

        How’s this: say to yourself, “Medicaid for all.” Are you comfortable with this? You are correct that in single-payer systems there are “upgrades” available through private insurance, but I have my doubts such a system of “coach-class” benefits could be successfully implemented in the US when we have so much infrastructure around first-class healthcare delivery (think of the latest hospital advertising their all-private-room new patient wing, vs. the ward rooms you’d find in a single-payer system). http://janetheactuary.blogspot.com/2013/07/more-on-healthcare-medicaid-for-all.html

        • Andrew Allison

          The problem is that the first-class infrastructure, which demonstrably delivers coach-class outcomes, needs to be remodeled. You make my point that if you want a room with a view, be prepared to pay for it. At the risk of being repetitious, there isn’t enough GDP to support first-class for all.

          • The question is, who decides who rides in coach? Economics, or the socio-economic morality of an elite few in power?

            The former, I can find ways to work around … the latter, not so much – especially if they have access to the coercive force of law to jam their socio-economic morality down our throats.

          • bpuharic

            Richie the Rush-bot thinks there’s a difference between the former and the latter

            the definition of Stalin’s ‘useful idiot’….

      • Corlyss

        “Could we possibly have an unemotional and apolitical discussion about single payer insurance?”
        Only about the nationally unimportant and the locally insignificant.
        Not when you’re talking about 1/6 of the economy and 313 million people.

        • Andrew Allison

          You are right, of course. Sigh. I should have know better.

      • I’d rather have a Singapore-style approach, which is basically you pay for your daily medical issues, and if you have catastrophic or chronic issues, you have insurance. Basically, high-deductible insurance, either paid for by you or the government + health savings accounts.

        Given the planet-wide collapse of bureaucrat-run “free” medicine systems, they definitely aren’t going to work. And if you want medicine to get lots cheaper and get disrupted in good ways, you have to introduce on-the-ground price and quality competition.

        • bpuharic

          Planet wide collapse vs our bloated, most expensive on the planet, private insurance based approach? That’s a success?

          And most single payer systems aren’t ‘collapsing’ no matter what Rush (PBUH) says.

          Competition often drives UP prices in the inelastic healthcare market

          • Competition drives innovations that provide more cost-effective care … or would you rather have exploratory surgeries be the order of the day vs. CT/MRI?

            Ask the cosmetic surgeons and LASIK providers about what competition has done to their price structures … both are more cost-effective today, parrot.

            But you would have us trust – with NO recourse – those you consider our “betters” to make all the decisions FOR us (in the face of the history of government intervention in health care) instead of allowing us to benefit from such innovative enterprises, parrot …

            … wanna cracker?

          • bpuharic

            The mindless Rush-bot doesn’t know that healthcare vendors often ‘compete’ against each other by buying hugely expensive machines such as MRI’s..while buying the services of expensive doctors, etc. There’s a reason more OB GYN procedures are performed where there are more OB GYN’s.

          • The parrot doesn’t understand that the price of LASIK, which requires expensive equipment, has FALLEN.

            As have cosmetic surgery prices.

            Both of which are NOT covered by most insurance programs.

            And he also doesn’t understand how much more we would be paying … in both dollars and health impairment … were it not for the FREE-ENTERPRISE-DRIVEN development of innovations like CT and MRI that made exploratory surgery a rarity instead of a household word.

            We know who is mindless here …

            … wanna cracker?

          • bpuharic

            The Rush-bot kinda ignores the fact that, of 190 or so countries in the world

            guess which one has the most expensive healthcare

            If the Rush-bot was right, we’d have the LOWEST cost

            Oh well…if your only source of info is Rush (PBUH)…

        • Andrew Allison

          I agree that high-deductible insurance and health savings accounts are preferable (and think they should be mandatory). I tried to start a discussion about single-payer versus third-party insurance.
          You are misinformed about the collapse of single-payer systems (see my reply to Mr. Stephens below). They are flourishing, and have better overall outcomes at considerably lower cost than the US system.

          • b a castro

            Not true about better outcomes. We clearly have the best outcomes for procedures in the world. Outcomes are measured differently in other countries: for example, infant mortality rates being “higher” in the US but other countries don’t count certain conditions and we keep premature infants alive from before 25 weeks.
            Almost all of the technological and medical advances for all of the world start in the US. Once it becomes readily available it trickles down to other countries which can “provide it cheaper.”
            Moving to single payer- be ready to say goodbye to medical innovation.

          • bpuharic

            No we don’t have the best out comes. If we did, it would show up in life expectancy stats. It doesn’t.

            And we have more low weight infant births (that’s the DEFINITION of premature) than any industrialized country because we don’t HAVE health insurance for so many women that would enable them to get good prenatal care that would avoid premature babies

            The American right is SO proud of failure. Punishing the middle class and the poor is a theme that runs through right wing ideology like a decrepit train.

          • b a castro

            Wrong. Again. The definition of premature is birth before/at 37 weeks. The World Health Organization defines live birth as the expelled product of conception showing evidence of life regardless of the duration of pregnancy, which is also how live birth is defined in the U.S. Because other high-income countries define live birth as birth weight of 500 grams or more, it is not a true comparison.
            We could fix many of the admitted current insurance problems with market based insurance reform that would get closer to universal coverage than a new inefficient wasteful govt program. The funds that were formerly going to patient care will now go to bureaucrats. Care will be rationed and people will get less care under this regime than they do currently.

          • bpuharic

            Garbage. There’s no proof the the Rush (PBUH) inspired charge that ‘bureaucrats’ will make more money, vs what private insurers charge for overhead is true.

            Moreover you haven’t dealt with the fact that US mothers don’t get the prenatal care that mothers do in other developed countries because of our ‘free market’ system

            So you haven’t provided a single shred of evidence..not one…that our outcomes are ‘better’. And you haven’t provided a single shred of evidence that even in the narrow case of premature babies, the definition of which you speak (‘live births’) makes a difference

            The fact is our poor and working poor get worse healthcare. That leads to more premature babies and more dead babies

            Which is fine, according to the right wing. Abortion is wrong but dead babies are fine…if you’re right wing

          • b a castro

            First please stop with the tired liberal bromides regarding rush, and what all conservatives want. I don’t presume to speak for liberals, please don’t tell me what conservatives think.

          • bpuharic

            Conservatives themselves tell us what they ‘think’. They tell us the middle class are moochers. They tell us that America must ‘valorize’ (Paul Ryan) the wealthy. They tell us that giving everyone healthcare is ‘socialism’. etc etc

            I can understand why you’re ashamed of this argument. It has all the intellectual strength of Aerogel. It’s a disgrace

            But conservatives themselves TELL US what they think. So don’t try and hide behind your momma’s skirts. It ain’t working.

          • b a castro

            Ashamed? Of what?
            Again with the liberal generalizations and talking points. Why do all discussions with liberals end up devoid of facts and logic, instead are replete with tired, emotional generalizations?

          • b a castro

            Our healthcare system is by Are the most advanced in the world. We have the very best outcomes of any other nation across the board, which is why physicians come From all over the world to train here. Lack of prenatal care is an access problem not a problem the current medical system. Despite this, we still take the best care of these kids insurance or not. Any child born in hospital today will get the same care regardless of insurance status. I would be happy to legislate 100% prenatal care for all. Indeed, free care for all indigent people would still be much cheaper than than obamacare

          • Andrew Allison

            Rubbish. The outcome and cost data say otherwise.

          • bpuharic

            Flag waving isn’t a healthcare plan. And the reason we had the best m edical care was because most other western countries had been destroyed in war. If you read scientific journals (which right wingers, by definition, do not do) you’d see that in the last 20 years or so, the number of cited papers by Europeans, Japanese, Chinese and Koreans has exploded

            “Lack of prenatal care is an access problem’

            uh..that’s a tautology. We develop medical care then DENY IT TO CHILDREN BECAUSE THEIR PARENTS CANT PAY. THey die. THe right says ‘so what…at least they weren’t aborted, because we’re pro life you know”

            Let me know when you put the flag down and want to deal in facts. Those of us who review evidence for a living are tired of you right wingers wrapping yourselves in the flag and pretending that’s an answer.

          • Econ4dummies

            Next time use the full description and link even though it won’t shut bpuharic up it will at least make him look even more foolish to anyone with 1/2 a brain.

            http://health.usnews.com/usnews/health/articles/060924/2healy.htm

            The United States counts all births as live if they show any sign of life, regardless of prematurity or size. This includes what many other countries report as stillbirths. In Austria and Germany, fetal weight must be at least 500 grams (1 pound) to count as a live birth; in other parts of Europe, such as Switzerland, the fetus must be at least 30 centimeters (12 inches) long. In Belgium and France, births at less than 26 weeks of pregnancy are registered as lifeless. And some countries don’t reliably register babies who die within the first 24 hours of birth. Thus, the United States is sure to report higher infant mortality rates. For this very reason, the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development, which collects the European numbers, warns of head-to-head comparisons by country.

          • bpuharic

            As I pointed out, we have more preemie births because we deny mothers prenatal care on a routine basis. Conservatives don’t care if babies die…just as long as they’re not aborted.

      • John Stephens

        No, because its begs the question of whether government in general and the Federal government in particular should be providing health care in the first place. Life and health are infinite wants, and if made a right will bankrupt anyone required to deliver it.

        If we must indulge in this folly, let it be done at the State level. This at least will limit the spread of the damage.

        • Andrew Allison

          On the contrary, it poses the question as to whether there is an affordable alternative for delivery of a service needed by everybody. See http://truecostblog.com/2009/08/09/countries-with-universal-healthcare-by-date/ for the list of countries which have offered universal health care and not been bankrupted.

          • bpuharic

            Wow. Impressive lying even for the right wing

            That reference is a list of countries that have universal health insurance. I’ve been to several. Sweden, S. Korea…neither of which is CLOSE to being bankrupt.

            And the US? Suffered financial collapse in 2007.

            And we DON’T offer universal healthcare

          • Andrew Allison

            You are either replying to the wrong comment or illiterate.

          • bpuharic

            Pardon…weak eyes. I mistook ‘not’ for now. Need better reading glasses

            Apologies

      • BooMushroom

        No. We can never have an unemotional, apolitical conversation about whether or not an agent of the state gets to make decisions about my health or my life.

        • Andrew Allison

          Medicare?

          • BooMushroom

            Medicare is a method of payment. Single payer means that if Big Brother won’t pay for it, then it shall not be done.

          • Andrew Allison

            Completely wrong! Single-payer means that the payer decides what it’s willing to pay for. You can pay for anything your little heart desires.

          • BooMushroom

            Single is a word in English. It has a meaning. Look it up in the dictionary. Google it even. Single payer means one, and only one, payer for medical services. If it ISN’T that, it defeats the entire purpose of being “single payer” and is simply another government transfer payment.

            If you want to have an unemotional, apolitical discussion about healthcare, start here: there is not an infinite amount of money to spend on healthcare. How we determine who gets what?

          • Andrew Allison

            ” . . . there is not an infinite amount of money to spend on healthcare. How we determine who gets what?”
            is exactly where I started.

          • BooMushroom

            You said “let’s talk about single payer,” and then proceeded to describe a system that could only be described as multiple payer. You suggest that we give coach class care for everyone, and you’re thinking a coach-class airline flight. What you would get is this: http://www.extremefunnyhumor.com/pics/Indian_trains.jpg

          • Andrew Allison

            More mendacity. With regard to Medicare as single-payer, what, pray tell is the source of insurance reimbursement for Medicare services? I purchase supplemental insurance for services not covered by Medicare. That doesn’t make Medicare services multi-payer. Who pays the bills for services at Kaiser?
            I wrote, “What, exactly, is wrong with coach-class care for EVERYBODY,
            business-class for those willing to pay something more, and first class
            for those willing to pay the tariff?” and await a coherent answer.

          • BooMushroom

            I’ll do my best to give you a coherent answer. Giving free, coach class care for everyone sounds like a noble goal, but is not possible because there is an essentially infinite demand for health care, and a limited number of hospitals, beds, medical supplies, and care providers. To deal with this supply and demand problem, either “coach class” will be defined down until it is the medical equivalent of the picture I gave. Wait times would steadily increase, the types and quality of services would decay, and the cost would steadily increase.

          • bpuharic

            There is a difference between giving ‘free care’ and ‘free coach class care’. You have conflated the 2, as the right often does, in order to support their argument that middle class entitlements will destroy the economy

            A coach class plan will have structures to regulate availability of healthcare. We know that because EVERY SINGLE COUNTRY IN THE WORLD DOES THIS NOW.

            The right pretends we’re developing a plan ex nihilio when it’s apparent that we’re the late comers to the game

            Our healthcare system is bloated, inefficient, massively expensive and is a world class laughingstock. Yet the right has no problem insisting we stick with this white elephant.

            It’s time the middle class asserted our right to healthcare regardless of the moral hazard paranoia of the right.

      • Boritz

        ACA penalizes “cadillac” (there is an antiquated term) plans. If you want something better than the coach plan you will pay very disproportionaltely. They don’t really want the middle class/non-political class to have this option and it won’t exist in a practical way.

        • crabtown

          Isn’t the break point around $110K/yr? That’s when one pays an additional $10K/yr, isn’t it?

    • Corlyss

      I’ve ceased to think of them as unintended. When they all lead to the same results, which just coincidentally has been the Progressives/Liberals #1 wet dream for the last 120 years, it’s impossible to think any of the calamity’s specific impacts as “innocent” or “unintended.”

      • bpuharic

        It’s funny watching the right, which blowtorched the economy in 2007 via banking deregulation, talk about the failure of progressivism.

        • zenpig

          What’s even funnier is seeing those on the left that thing that it was deregulation of the banking industry that was the primary cause of a recession.

          • bpuharic

            Yes, let’s pretend the 20,000 percent run up in credit default swaps caused by deregulation had no effect.

            The right wing argument is an evidence free zone. One simply does not question Wall Street.

  • Jane the Actuary

    Meh. UPS joins plenty of other employers in an action that’s routinely taken to try to stem the escalating cost of healthcare. Was ObamaCare the straw that broke the camel’s back? Maybe. But employer-sponsored healthcare isn’t sustainable in the long run no matter what. http://janetheactuary.blogspot.com/2013/08/ups-cuts-spousal-health-benefits.html

    • AnnSaltzafrazz

      To me, that’s the bright side of this law. Hopefully, by the time it crashes and burns, the ties between your employer and your insurance will have broken. The market distortions–both in labor mobility and in having a 3rd-party-payer health payment system–will, with luck, be diminished.

      • crabtown

        I think in 30 or so years, it will be declared a success because of cost containment. Of course they’ll be able to say that because the largest generation, the boomers will be dying off so they won’t have to spend as much money.

  • Anthony

    See Obamacare Rate Shock Isn’t What You Think (Bloomberg View – Adrianna McIntyre & Austin Frakt).

  • bpuharic

    More reason to go to a single payer. The US, as usual, hobbled by the right wing, insisted on a uniquely American failure rather than actually doing something that worked.

    The right wing continues to prove it puts ideology ahead of America

    • cubanbob

      Single payer is never going to happen. The government doesn’t have the authority to do it. Truman and JFK tried that with the steel industry and the Supreme Court shot that down. And in the democrat care ruling the court ruled that Congress does not have unlimited power to regulate under the commerce clause. In other words Congress can’t nationalize an industry. Get over it.

      • bpuharic

        The real reason it’s not going to happen is that the right is scared to death of someone not making money off middle class suffering.

        You simply don’t know what’s going to happen. A single payer system existing beside a private system, as exists in other countries…

        Get over it.

        • crabtown

          The middle class is suffering.

    • crabtown

      Or we look to those countries who have it and don’t even have 100 million people and saying, broke, broke, nearly broke….Hillary pushing Hillarycare mentioned Canada. Is Canada mentioned now?

      • The UK system is the Holy Grail of the Commie recidivists. They will not be happy until that medievalism is brought to the whole world. And even then.

        • crabtown

          The system that’s run by the former communist party member? It wasn’t his fault they were killing 1,000 people a month.

      • bpuharic

        The right wing is engaged in a massive exercise of excising their short term memories. Fortunately liberals are here to remind them of their failures

        Uh we nearly went bankrupt in 2007, remember? Remember that? the 9 percent GDP decrease in 2009 caused by the financial collapse? TARP?

        You guys have the memory of a fluke…which is to say none. You have your ideology which blames everything on ‘entitlement’ programs and whitewashes the cause of our recent financial problems, which is the failure of right wing supply side economics.

    • AnnSaltzafrazz

      With the government showing its incompetence in running major public programs, I find it strange that the response from some is: we need more!

      It reminds me of the Simpsons episode when Bart is running for class president. The nerdy kid gets up and decries the asbestos in the building. Bart gets up and gets the whole school chanting: We want “more asbestos! more asbestos!”

      • bpuharic

        And after we deregulated the banking industry, how’d they treat the economy in 2007? Answer: Like a baby treats a diaper.

        The fact is other countries do this. The very fact you ignore this mean you’re intellectually compromised by the vacuous arguments the right uses to gut the middle class like a fish.

        • teapartydoc

          So we let our banks do what banks do in Europe and you call it deregulation and blame that for 2007? Brilliant.

          • bpuharic

            Our banking crisis preceded that in Europe. And Asia deregulated ITS banks to a large extent. Many Asian countries are now in the middle of banking crises.

            As Paul Krugman pointed out earlier this week, banking deregulation leads to crisis after crisis after crisis.

          • Rick Caird

            Krugman is the crisis. Listening to Krugman and other Keynesians lead to crisis after crisis. Read my earlier post. When the banksters pay for their mistakes, they make fewer. Krugman doesn’t pay for his mistakes, either. His solution to every problem is “spend more government money”.

          • bpuharic

            The banksters DONT pay for their mistakes

            The middle class does.

            And keynesianims has NOTHING to do with the ‘banks paying for their mistakes’.The right believes you can cut your way out of a recession.

            No matter what the laws of math say.

            And, no, keynesianism isn’t ‘spend more money’ no matter what Rush (PBUH) says. THe right wing blew up our economy in 2007 with their supply side lies. It was keynesian economics that has enabled the economy to start growing again.

        • Rick Caird

          Go read Stockman’s book. If we had not done TARP, we would have survived just fine, but the banksters would have lost. But, no, we made the taxpayer pay instead because the banksters control Congress. We failed to let the banksters pay for their own mistakes. This was not a problem of deregulation. It was a problem of bailouts.

          • bpuharic

            Wrong. Absolutely wrong.

            Credit markets were frozen. How does business survive if it can’t borrow money? Answer?

            It doesn’t.

            It was a problem of deregulation because THAT gave us the financial instruments such as credit default swaps and CDO’s that had a net value of over

            610 TRILLION dolllars. 10X the net GDP of the planet

            So go ahead tell me how that wasn’t a deregulation problem when the facts and the numbers say otherwise.

    • Rick Caird

      bpuharic can never get past a talking point.

      The logical question is “If the government screws up this interim step, what kind of fool would trust it to take the full step”.. The answer is “bpuharic”.

      • Will Single Payer ALSO have no limits on claims? I don’t think even the Soviet Union had that and the citizen who sought a sex change from the local GOOM would be unwise.

      • bpuharic

        The real failure was on the part of the right which failed to get what every single advanced country in the world has: universal healthcare

        And they’re proud of that failure. It punishes the middle class. And that’s why the right wing exists.

        • Rick Caird

          As those other socialist countries go bankrupt, we can go bankrupt even quicker. How about no meds in Greece because the government is not paying. Why don’t you go there for your health care?

          • bpuharic

            The right uses the term ‘socialist’ like the left uses the term ‘fascist’. It means nothing

            And we nearly went bankrupt as well, thanks to Wall Street. But the right NEVER NEVER criticizes WS. It’s always the middle class, you see…

          • Rick Caird

            You are really wrong. We did not “almost go bankrupt”. The government decided to bail out banksters and investors who should have taken the losses and put the losses on the backs of the taxpayers. The Republicans who voted against TARP were right.

            If you actually spent time looking at financial and economics, you would realize the right constantly criticizes crony capitalism and the failure of the government to actually endorse capitalism.

            But, you are “somebody else’s talking point” kind of guy so to expect you to actually understand anything is akin to “Waiting for Godot”.

          • bpuharic

            Ah…the banksters should have taken the losses…and when credit markets froze and 60 million people were out of work…uh what were we supposed to use to run the govt?

            If you actually spend time looking at the history of financial and econoimics you’ed realize deregulation, as Adam Smith pointed out, results in conspiracies against the public interest.

            But the right wing has fantasies about leprechauns, the tooth fairy and the existence of ‘free markets’

            no matter how many tens of millions get put out of work

      • bpuharic

        Rick puts, as an article of faith, that the govt always screws up.

        Proof? Well other countries have govt run h ealthcare that is cheaper, universal and more efficient than ours. But people don’t get rich off the system

        To the right wing that’s a failure.

        • Rick Caird

          Of course, the NHS in England dehydrating starving, and failing to give meds to patients is “planned”. Remember Krugman asking the Canadians what they thought of their health care system? Ooops.

          And, sure, those systems will scale to 300 million people. Of course…

          • bpuharic

            Guess Rick didn’t see that San Fran is suing Nevada for patient dumping. Another free market success story

            Whoops.

          • Rick Caird

            Talk to Harry Reid about it. And, talk to those who are against involuntary commitment of the mentally ill.

    • Commie medicine has killed far more people than smallpox. And continues to do so.

      • bpuharic

        No one knows what commie medicine is.

        Including you.

  • teapartydoc

    This is basically the same problem the government and organized medicine ran into in the 1990’s when they attempted to push everyone into HMOs and capitated health plans. Young, healthy people don’t subscribe as much as the projections and the needs of the plans anticipated and the loss of the youth subsidy means a loss in medical options for those who do subscribe. The same problem is inherent with any coerced plan, even single payer. Young people simply drop out of the economy because of the onerous demands made on them, and the governments turn to immigration to make up the difference. The one thing centralizers never learn is the utter futility and stupidity of centralized economic planning. No sector of the economy is tailor made for this stupid idea, and there never will be one. If diversity is such a great virtue, why don’t the people pushing it allow it to actually happen?

    • Andrew Allison

      Kaiser, with over nine million members, is a failure???

      Your self-interest is understandable, but your independence is not threatened by single-payer: because there are enough people willing to pay better care there is a thriving market for independent providers in single-payer countries.

      • crabtown

        It’s going to be hard to pay on part-time salaries.

      • teapartydoc

        Kaiser is a single payer system? Medicare (fast going broke for the very reasons I mentioned) is a single payer system? Have you ever looked at what is available from independent practitioners in Europe? They are the equivalent of our nurse practitioners here. A while back a comparative study of professional satisfaction was done on US and German physicians. The only German docs that had equal professional satisfaction to the average US doc were department chairmen. Try your ignorance on someone else.

        • Andrew Allison

          You are, at best, misinformed. The hard data on costs and outcomes are readily available online. You are also an offensive boor.

  • AnnSaltzafrazz

    I had a friend snarkily say: My employer back during the Bush administration killed spousal insurance, was that Obama’s fault too?

    To which I would say that everything happens on the margins.

    Yes, there are always businesses which need to reevaluate costs and readjust. The question is, how many have been pushed into making those decisions by Obamacare (not to mention increased taxes, regulations, energy costs, etc.)

    It’s not the fact that there are companies on the edge that is the issue, it’s that there are many, many *more* on the edge because of the law.

    • The_Von

      How big was the company he was working for? That’s the issue. My father’s company ended up dropping his wife from coverage five or so years ago. She had had cancer and the rates became unsustainable. But that was a company with only 30 employees. My dad completely understood. When large corporations start cutting (and all at the same time), well, we know something is going on.

      • bpuharic

        You’re not playing the game right. YOu’re supposed to blame this on Obama. Saying that corporate American doesn’t take care of the middle class is heresy on the right

    • bpuharic

      No, what’s happening is that the American right wing has developed a political theology which justifies corporate American making record profits, and sitting on record amounts of cash while paying record low wages as a percentage of GDP

      The right sees nothing wrong with this, up to and including denial of healthcare coverage

      Pathetic. It’s the Stockholm syndrome.

      • AnnSaltzafrazz

        Wages compensation.

      • b a castro

        And the idiots on the left want to open the borders, further surpressing low/middle class incomes

        • bpuharic

          It is conservatives, with their love of low wage workers with no rights, that want to open the borders. It’s good for business, you know

  • khm001

    Even a well-designed law can have unintended effects that worsen the problems it was meant to solve

    Designing a law that ultimately has the consequence of worsening the problem it was thought to help is, by definition, a poorly designed law.

  • Michael W. Perry

    I’m not sure that these consequences are quite as unintended or stupid as some are thinking. I can give an illustration from a similar issue and the advice I received.

    Years ago, I had an idea. Why isn’t there a state tax on all alcohol products that would fund care and counseling for anyone troubled with alcoholism. Buying a beer, wine or whatever, would be self-insuring from its risks. The tax would adjust up or down to cover the costs.

    I mentioned the idea to the person I knew who was most experience in state politics, a lobbyist for credit unions. In an instant he said it’d never pass. Politicians, he told me, like to funnel money through the general fund where they can take credit for how it is spent. They’d hate my scheme since there was nothing in it for them.

    Regard Obamacare, with all its complexities and absurdities, that way. It’s a way for politicians to make us dependent on them for one of our most basic needs, health care. “Vote Democratic,” it allows them to say, “or those evil Republicans will make you die.”

    For them, Obamacare is all the better for being messy, costly, and even unworkable. All that trouble provides the seed for feeding the public’s fears and angers. The worse it is, the better the conditions for encouraging that fear and anger.

    • sinic77

      How exactly does the tax I pay per beer get to counseling that will help me in case I get into trouble? I pay the store, the store pays who? And who comes up with the counseling budget? I am trying to understand how exactly will this system work? I like the idea though. I would pay insurance for when I drive. That way, if I drive more, I pay more and if I drive 10 times a month, I’d pay less.

      “Years ago, I had an idea. Why isn’t there a state tax on all alcohol
      products that would fund care and counseling for anyone troubled with
      alcoholism. Buying a beer, wine or whatever, would be self-insuring from
      its risks. The tax would adjust up or down to cover the costs.”

      • InklingBooks

        The money coming in would be like a sales tax and go into a special fund outside the general budget. That’s the very thing I was told the state’s politicians would not like. They want us to think that what they spend is their money not ours.

        The money going out would pay for qualified counseling services. They already exist. It’s just that at present the alcoholic or his family have to come up with the money for them. Many can’t afford that.

        It’d especially help with chronic DUIs, since the courts could offer a carrot (counseling) in addition to a stick (jail time).

  • jay_kitsap

    I think we need single payer car insurance, single payer car maintenance insurance (who has money for that tune up), single payer life insurance, single payer pensions, single payer home insurance and probably single payer residences. After all, the government solves all things better than the individual.

    So we all end up with Chevy Volts with seats for 1.5 as we all will be allowed to have 1.5 kids. The Volts will be black, our houses will be 2 bedroom without windows and we will have health insurance that denies coverage for kidney dialysis at age 50 like GB today.

  • The_Von

    My spouse works for a large defense contractor. While they haven’t yet dropped all spousal coverage, they’ve added a very high premium if you want to cover spouse and kids. I worry that they will keep raising prices to get us all off the plan.

    • bpuharic

      And I bet they’re not making any profit at all, and the CEO is a dollar a year man

      The right wing sponsored war on the middle class continues.

  • teapartydoc

    If you want a market in health care stop having the government license doctors. It’s a scam monopoly.

    • bpuharic

      The right wing thinks information is free..it costs nothing.

      Nothing is more delusional than the right wing argument on economics except, perhaps, their arguments on religion which border on Al Qaida like theology.

      • Econ4dummies

        Information IS free yet you seem not to take advantage of all the FACTS available on the internet to back up your annoying diatribes.
        The financial melt down had NOTHING to do with the Bush economic policy and you must not pay taxes since Bush lowered tax rates FOR ALL TAXPAYERS, and Obama extended them for all but the top 1%. If you opposed the Bush tax cuts, by definition you sere FOR higher middle class tax rates.

        • bpuharic

          Really information is free?

          Yes, if you’re a right winger it is since your time is worth nothing. For most normal people, investigating the quality of doctors, airlines, food quality, etc costs time. And that costs money.

          IOW you know zip about economics. Stick to listening to Rush (PBUH), OK?

          As to the tax rates, most of the tax cuts went to the wealthiest 1 percent. And conservatives SCREAMED that the payroll tax had to increase. Amazing that the ONLY tax they wanted to increase was the one that hit the middle class

          And, of course, the tax cuts blew a big hole in the budget since they increased the deficit. They also did NOT increase jobs since there is NO relationship between capital gains tax cuts and increases in jobs.

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