Saturday, June 25, 2011

The Health Care debate (Or lack of it)

I would like to thank Anonymous for so many contributions in these discussions. (I am assuming that the recent comments by Anonymous were made by one person. In any case, thank you.)

Anonymous left the following comment earlier this week:

data directly from the Congressional Budget Office sited on the blog.

The republicans (I am including Clinton in the economic arena) have been in power for over 30 years. Our national debt has increase from under 1 trillion to just over 14 trillion. Why would we possibly want to repeat history? And why would change not be welcomed?

Evidence suggesting there was not passage of the Affordable Health Care Act against the will of the people:
CNN poll 2010:Of ten polls conducted just prior to the passage of the bill, three found about equal opposition and support, five found a plurality expressing opposition, and two found a majority expressing opposition.[109] The differences could have been caused by context and phrasing of the questions; for example, support for mandates was 56 to 59% when subsidies were mentioned for those who could not afford insurance but 28% when penalties were mentioned.[109] Some ideas which showed majority support, such as purchasing drugs from Canada, limiting malpractice awards, and reducing the age to qualify for Medicare, were not enacted.[109]
Polls conducted for CNN probed the reasons for opposition to the bill and found that while many people opposed the bill for being too liberal, a number of people opposed the bill for not being liberal enough. In March 2010 a CNN poll of 1,030 adult Americans probed opinions about the bill and its relative liberalness. It found that 43% of respondents opposed the bill for being too liberal, and 39% supported the bill and 13% opposed it on the grounds that it was not liberal enough.[110][111] The identical question when asked in December 2010 found that 37% opposed the bill for being too liberal, 43% supporting the bill and 13% opposing it on the grounds of being not liberal enough.[112]

March of 2011:A poll by the Kaiser Family Foundation in March 2011 found that repeal was favored by 39% of the public and opposed by 51%.[125] Supporters of repeal were divided almost evenly over whether the law should be replaced with a Republican-sponsored alternative. Among opponents of repeal, three-fifths wanted the law expanded, while two-fifths wanted to keep it without change.[125]

This bill was not passed against the will of the american people. If anything it was a split. After passage and people found out what was actually in the law the numbers against repeal have gone up consistently. Moreover, there are a fair amount of people who wanted more (public option).

End comment

Prior to passing the Health Care bill, the American public was learning more about the bill as time went on. And it was becoming more and more against it as information began coming in from when discussion began in July of 2009 until passage in February of 2010.

At that point: "We have to pass this bill so that we can find out what is in it." It was obvious the bill needed more study simply because the sponsors COULD not know what the implications of the bill are. How could they? They did not even know what was in it. The Health Care system of the United States is calculated to be about 17% of entire private sector of our economy. The bill was passed because they knew that time was not on their side. This is why it was pushed through. This is responsible government? Not even knowing what the implications of what it is doing in order to accomplish its political goal? The ends justify the means? And we are speaking of just under 1/5 of our entire economy. Not exactly a small issue.

On top of this, the Democrats also knew that once passed, it would be virtually impossible to repeal. It will take just about dictatorial power to completely get rid of it. Go ahead and attempt to fire the people who have been hired already. Any organization that can’t fire people is going to have serious fiscal problems. And don’t tell me that they do not know this. February of 2010 was their best chance and they took it. And it is a one-way trip that was not fully understood? This is why I say that the American people were against it.

The backlash from this has not even begun yet. You fight wars over this type of stuff. This has opened a door that can easily jeopardize the republic. I never thought it possible that I would see the loss of the republic in American. I figured we were still a hundred years off. Now it IS possible. Why should Republicans not do the same with their pet projects like privatizing Social Security? They don’t even have to know what they are doing! How about getting rid of it altogether? And it certainly will not stop there.

By the way, you place too much faith in government accuracy. The IRS is one of the most respected branches of government. (I suspect because of the power it wields) The OFFICIAL word is that you can expect to get an accurate answer only 60% of the time. I am certain that you know that the IRS is not accountable for ANY agent’s answers!

If any business were run like that, they would be broke before the week was out. I don't trust business all that much either, but the good thing is that when they screw up, they go bankrupt. That is how they are held accountable. Remember Anderson Consulting? Try doing this to ANY government agency for a mistake or screw up. So the results you rely on have a 60% chance of being correct. Not very convincing.


  1. I think this is the quote you meant to use:

    House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said, “But we have to pass the bill so that you can find out what is in it, away from the fog of controversy.”

    There is an important difference between what you wrote (and then built and argument around) and what the actual quote was. She did not say, "we" she said "you." Congress understood the bill very well, she meant that the public did not fully understand it because it was long, complicated and most importantly had been reduced to sound bites that did not represent the bill. (Think "Death Panels!")
    In general, I agree with you that the bill was passed to quickly. I would also agree with you that the bill was not a good one. In general it was a pay off to insurance companies. It mandated their products! There is a good deal of evidence (I can dig up the studies if you like) that suggest markets (free markets) are highly effective and the correct way to run most industries, but not all. Health Care being on that it does not do very well. The main reason sited it that the medical industry is one of the few that can generate its own demand. Need a test, here's one for you. That will be $1,000 please.

    "And it was becoming more and more against it as information began coming in from when discussion began in July of 2009 until passage in February of 2010." - The evidence from the polls I cited simply don't yield that out.

    Trust me, I don't have a lot of faith in the current nor recent past government track record (last 40 years of so). I place less in unregulated private business. Your example of "when they screw up, they go bankrupt" is true of small businesses, but not of the multi-nationals that run the world today. Think AIG, Bank of America, WaMutual, Lehman Brothers, etc. Allen Greenspan and the republicans trusted them. They handed over the keys when they deregulated them and they almost destroyed the entire world's economic system. 30 trillion dollars in wealth was destroyed and then they stuck out their hand and asked for a loan! How about BP. Experimenting on the planet and almost destroyed the Atlantic Ocean! Did you know that in Brazil (Brazil!) you the have regulation that mandates they drill a relief well prior to drilling the main one for deep water oil drilling. This was up for passage in the US under GW and was shot down. There would have been a minor problem in the gulf if they would have had a relieve well. Is BP out of business? Nope. They are in court, just like Boeing for breaking the law.

    I said it before and I will say it again, you can vote people out of office, but you can't in the private sector.

    I think the end of the Republic stuff is a little over stated. I could be wrong, but we are definitely in the middle of redefining what it means to be America and American. The Founders gave us the tools (through the amendment process) to do just that. It seems that they were smart enough to realize they could not predict how the world would change or evolve. The real problem in this county is not the Health Care bill, BP, Obama or GW. The real problem is that the conversation has stopped and has been replaced by sound bites, ideology and infighting to the point were rational adults can't sit down over diner and work it out. Read up on Jefferson and "The Dinner."

    I can't image this happening today, certainly not over an issue as central.

  2. A well written comment. Just two points I would like to make.

    1) The polls you showed begin in February of 2010. The bill was passed at the end of that month. They do NOT demonstrate how the U.S. public was reacting to the discussion beginning in July of 2009.

    2)House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said, “But we have to pass the bill so that you can find out what is in it, away from the fog of controversy.” (She did not say, "we" she said "you.")

    I sure hope that you don't really believe this. OK, the Republicans pass a law that says that NO more payments will EVER be made for Social Security. The House and Senate understand this bill, but the American public can figure it out AFTER we pass it.
    Or how about passing a bill that says that the vote does not count for all people who do NOT pay real estate taxes. (own land.) The American public can figure it out later.

    THIS IS WHY I SAY THAT THIS JEPORDIZES THE REPUBLIC. With this argument, the U.S. government can do whatever it wants.