Wednesday, September 12, 2018

Socialism and Health Care

Let's do a little history. While he was still an actor, Reagan did recordings for the American Medical Association fearmongering about socialized medicine, but if you listen to them carefully what he is talking about is was for people over 65, so what he was objecting to was what eventually became Medicare. I'm old enough to remember opponents of Medicare were condemning that a socialized medicine. I remember hearing Rush Limbaugh complaining about Bill Clinton's health care proposal by saying THIS IS SOCIALISM. The s-word was used to scare everyone away from the plan, which, of course, never passed even through the Democratic Congress he had at that time, and the fear of socialized medicine was a major talking point for the Contract with America in 1994. Opponents of changing our health care system kept insisting that we have the greatest health care system in the world, even though it left millions of people uninsured and uninsurable. When Obama came along the Affordable Care Act was a compromise. It was originally proposed with a public option. Trump began his campaign by saying that everyone should be enabled to have health insurance, but called Obamacare a disaster and joined the chorus who wanted it repealed and replaced. He was challenged by Ted Cruz at one point for his comments at some point in his past in favor of single payer, but he denied that he supported that. It is hard to know what he believes about health care (if he believes anything at all coherent), but he does seem dedicated to destroying the works of Obama. Nevertheless the Administration has supported bills that would take health insurance away from millions of people. Even now they repealed the individual mandate and support state lawsuits that challenge the constitutionality of the ACA. Republicans have sometimes insisted that they want a market-based solution to the health care problem. But what does that mean? Markets are things you can be priced out of, otherwise they aren't markets. If it's a market-based, the insuring that everyone gets health care is like insuring that everyone gets, if not a Cadillac, at least a Hyundai. Health insurance companies won't make a profit insuring people like me, unless the government does something to make it profitable for them in insure people like me. It seems that there are two things you can say about the situation I was in for all that time. One is that the previous system, while it left me in an unfortunate situation, was part of the prince we pay for a free society, which means a free market. It's an argument that could have been used, and was used, against Medicare. Health care isn't a right, it's a commodity, which means that if it is unaffordable, that may be unfortunate, but it's not an injustice, and that Obama and the Democrats were wrong on principle for trying to fix it. Or, they can admit that Obama and the Democrats were right in attempting to redress that injustice, even if they didn't go about it in the right way. (Republicans, or course, are going to insist that single payer is not the right way either). Which makes it incumbent upon them to show us what the right way is instead of just objecting to what was actually passed. Republicans need to answer the in-principle question clearly, so that we can understand what, in fact, they want to do.

140 comments:

bmiller said...

Victor,

Your previous post characterized an apparently conservative/libertarian position as holding:

It is an individual's responsibility, not government's, to take care of our health.

Implying if you can't afford health insurance too bad, you're gonna die, it's your own fault and no one should help you. What prominent conservative or libertarian holds this view?

You favor government run healthcare. Fine. But it's not fine to mischaracterize an opposing view. Please tell us who actually holds that view.

SteveK said...

Victor,
Were you ever denied medical treatment because you didn't have health insurance?

(I posted the same comment in the other post but thought maybe it might be missed)

Hugo Pelland said...

Victor Reppert said in his previous post...
"...some would argue that people not being able to afford a good health insurance policy is like some people not being able to afford the car or house they would like to have..."

Ben Shapiro said:
"I was pointing out that medical care is a commodity, and that in life, we are often faced with commodities we cannot afford. "
https://www.nationalreview.com/2017/01/health-care-markets-government-commodity-human-right/

Victor Reppert said in this post...
"Republicans have sometimes insisted that they want a market-based solution to the health care problem. But what does that mean? Markets are things you can be priced out of, otherwise they aren't markets..."

Ben Shapiro said:
"Markets are the solution in medical care, just as they are in virtually every other area."
(same source)

bmiller said:
"I was referring to the OP once again as a straw-man argument that no one makes as far as I know."

The dichotomy between Victor's position (or mine) and Shapiro's (or many Republicans') is not that healthcare is too expensive; everybody seems to agree on that, more or less. The point of contention is regarding how we think the problems should be fixed.

And that's when the overall picture becomes a lot more complicated. For instance, the question asked by SteveK is, frankly, completely out-of-touch:
"Were you ever denied medical treatment because you didn't have health insurance?"
I will let Victor answer but the answer should be 'no', as patients are not turned away just because they don't have money. But I don't see the point of that question. Does Victor need to wait to be at the verge of dying so that he can get healthcare 'for free'? And do you really think that this means he will actually get it for free? Of course, he might have to pay bills for years without insurance... So in other words, people are not left to die because they don't have insurance, sure, but how is that an indication of an efficient healthcare system for all?

Victor explained his situation and that's a great example. He has a chronic illness which, I suppose, requires constant monitoring and/or medicine over the years. In a system where the cost is spread out across everybody, individuals like me, who don't have recurrent healthcare cost, pay for the safety net of an insurance "and" to help people with chronic illness. Now, you can argue that you don't want to pay for someone else's healthcare at all, fine; but you need to explain why and propose a solution so that the lottery of biology doesn't become a bankruptcy lottery. Or just say you don't care and move on...

Shapiro, for instance, is silent on that specific point, and only argues that any system runs into shortage, which is where I also disagree with him. If we can afford to pay taxes for the police, the fire department, the military, schools, and so many other basic essential services, I strongly believe we can collectively afford healthcare for all, including preventive care to help reduce the long-term costs. It's complicated, it has its downsides (coming from Canada, I can tell you it's far from perfect...) but it's more fair for everybody "and" cheaper than having millions of people without healthcare insurance at all. The ACA was a step in that preferable direction. I hope we don't step back.

Dave Duffy said...

President Obama would often say in his speeches something like, "some say 'let the weak die', others say, 'you must give everything you worked for to those who won't work.'"

It was a great rhetorical device and of course total BS. It was his way to sound reasonable. I always wanted to ask the President, "Who? Who is saying that on either side? Name names."

I have come to conclude it's just a dishonest way to make a point. Unfortunately, a device adopted by those who think he made an actual point.

SteveK said...

Another drama queen. A question about Victor's situation is now "out of touch"? Gimme a break.

"So in other words, people are not left to die because they don't have insurance, sure, but how is that an indication of an efficient healthcare system for all?"

Now that we've established that nobody is left to die under the current market-based system we can stop lying about what will happen if the government doesn't take over.

bmiller said...

Hugo,

Shapiro, for instance, is silent on that specific point,

Nonsense. I don't believe you don't know how to use google to find out if you really wanted to know.

But then again maybe you were prevented from finding the answer

The answer is: the same as Ron Paul. Not no answer.

SteveK said...

Now, you can argue that you don't want to pay for someone else's healthcare at all, fine; but you need to explain why and propose a solution so that the lottery of biology doesn't become a bankruptcy lottery.

It's not the paying for someone else that I object to. We're all paying for other people right now in the form of taxes. I have absolutely no problem sharing the burden. I give buckets of my own money away - willingly, by choice - and so do millions of Americans. We are a very compassionate group of people.

What I object to is the absence of a free-market system that allows for competition and individuality. I want options. I want to be able to choose between the Cadillac, the Kia and the 20 year old clunker. I don't want the government mandating that everyone has a right to the Cadillac. Uh, no. If you paid little to nothing into the system you get the stock Kia, maybe even the clunker, because it works. I don't want a government run system. Have you been to the DMV lately?

I object to the government giving free healthcare to non-citizens. That is a huge magnet that encourages people to come here illegally and abuse the system - thus making my burden higher than it should. Fix it.

Joe Hinman said...

Your previous post characterized an apparently conservative/libertarian position as holding:

It is an individual's responsibility, not government's, to take care of our health.

Implying if you can't afford health insurance too bad, you're gonna die, it's your own fault and no one should help you. What prominent conservative or libertarian holds this view?

You favor government run healthcare. Fine. But it's not fine to mischaracterize an opposing view. Please tell us who actually holds that view.


bmiller you do;t what the news or you watch it with blinders because in the recent health care debates there were more than one republican in congress who said basically what Victor said in representing them the people get sick because they don't take care and live right,one rep congressman said they don;tdeserve health care,

Joe Hinman said...

http://nymag.com/daily/intelligencer/2017/05/republican-sick-people-dont-deserve-affordable-care.html

Republicans usually defend their health-care position with an array of buzzwords like choice, patient-centric, or competition. In a CNN interview, Representative Mo Brooks, an Alabama Republican, makes the case for Trumpcare in much starker terms: It will free healthy people from having to pay the cost of the sick. “It will allow insurance companies to require people who have higher health care costs to contribute more to the insurance pool that helps offset all these costs, thereby reducing the cost to those people who lead good lives, they’re healthy, they’ve done the things to keep their bodies healthy,” explained Brooks. “And right now, those are the people who have done things the right way that are seeing their costs skyrocketing.”

Joe Hinman said...

these all came up first page first search,

Republican: Sick People Don't Deserve Affordable Care - NYMag
nymag.com/daily/.../2017/.../republican-sick-people-dont-deserve-affordable-care.ht...
May 1, 2017 - Mo Brooks says what many conservatives believe but aren't ... Republican Blurts Out That Sick People Don't Deserve Affordable ... Republicans usually defend their health-care position with an array of ... Watch Alabama Rep.


bmiller said...

bmiller you do;t what the news or you watch it with blinders because in the recent health care debates there were more than one republican in congress who said basically what Victor said in representing them the people get sick because they don't take care and live right,one rep congressman said they don;tdeserve health care,

All I'm looking for is for both sides to have an honest debate and engage with the actual arguments of the other side. That's the rational thing to do.

I'll repeat my complaint that Victor's argument is:

Implying if you can't afford health insurance too bad, you're gonna die, it's your own fault and no one should help you. What prominent conservative or libertarian holds this view?

This response concerning Mo Brooks merely changes the subject unless Brooks is referring to Victor's pre-existing condition (he's not) and that no one should help him and just let him die.

As far as I can tell, he thinks that people who knowingly abuse their health, like alcoholics with liver disease, should be responsible for paying more for government supported insurance. I haven't found what he thinks should be done for those people if they can't afford insurance, but I suspect it would be the same as Shapiro and Paul.

Pros and cons of government run vs private/charity run health solutions would be an honest debate. Too bad about the dishonest distractions.

Starhopper said...

"I object to the government giving free healthcare to non-citizens."

When I lived in Germany (6 years) and the UK (3 years), my entire family got fully covered health care at zero cost, despite being American citizens. When I was seriously injured and hospitalized after an accident in Austria, I was never charged anything for all the care I got there. Nor was I charged for the movement of me to a German hospital, nor for all the treatment there, nor was I charged for the follow-up physical therapy that went on for months.

All the pre-natal care my wife got in Germany prior to the birth of our second daughter was 100% no cost to us.

Nor was I ever charged for all the medicines I got in the UK for my chronic high blood pressure. When I badly burned myself in a kitchen accident in England, I never paid anything for all the intensive care I got.

And I was not a British or a German citizen, and paid very little taxes (other than a few fees and sales taxes). Yet I was treated like any citizen, simply because I was a resident there. (Oh, and property tax - they called them "Council Fees". But no income tax.)

Ought we not treat "the stranger amongst us" in the same manner?

SteveK said...

No, we ought not do that. In an emergency, yes, but otherwise they can return home to get their treatment.

bmiller said...

Starhopper,

Are you saying you weren't covered under US government's TRICARE or CHAMPUS?

Starhopper said...

I was not. I was a DoD civilian, not an active duty service person.

bmiller said...

Without insurance?

Starhopper said...

Of course I had insurance. But you're missing my point. I never had to use it - not once - while living over there. No one ever asked me "Do you have insurance?" or "What insurance do you have?" Never. (I honestly believe they wouldn't have known what to do with such information.) They just provided the care I and my family needed, no questions asked. It didn't matter to them that I wasn't a German or a British national. I was just a patient in need of care.

bmiller said...

The reason I ask is because this was my understanding:

Travellers who have a foreign health insurance policy can use it during temporary visits to Germany, but will typically be asked to pay in cash at the end of their visit and claim a reimbursement later. If you are from the Eureopean Union (EU), European Economic Area (EEA) or Switzerland and staying only temporarily, you may use your EHIC card. Once you become an official resident, you will typically have to take out compulsory German health insurance.

Maybe it was different for you since you were a DoD employee?

bmiller said...

This article also:

Donalson recommends that newcomers look to their assigned sponsors or other fellow employees who have enough experience with off-post care to help them make a decision. Important to that decision is ensuring the off-post health care provider accepts the right insurance. If not, the employee may have to pay medical costs out of pocket once the bill arrives.

"If stationed in Germany, most doctors and dentists don't require payment before leaving their office, but the bad news is most won't file a claim with the health insurance carrier either," the CHRA handbook states. "Once employees have paid the local health care provider, they will need to submit a claim to their health insurer for reimbursement of the covered portion of their treatment."


Maybe you can point me to an article that says foreigners are treated free?

Starhopper said...

"Maybe you can point me to an article that says foreigners are treated free?"

Hmmm... I can't point you to any article, but I can point to my actual experience. Since I already listed it all above, no need to repeat it.

Oh, but I did leave out all the regularly scheduled check ups, etc., which were also all provided without cost. (And I never told anyone in the NHS that I was a DoD civilian, and they never asked. In fact, they never inquired as to my citizenship. All they asked for was my address.)

Victor Reppert said...

I was never denied treatment because of my lack of insurance, fortunately. But had I lacked insurance when my doctor recommended cancer-preventing surgery, as I understand it they would have told me that it wasn't really an emergency, and I would have to wait until I actually had cancer or if I could pay at least half of it in advance. I base this on an experience my wife had where she was denied treatment because her situation, while serious, was not regarded as emergent by the hospital. I don't feel free to say any more than that about it, but my conclusion was based on something, not nothing.

bmiller said...


OK, you must have registered as a resident
This exchange goes through advising a foreigner how to get healthcare in Germany.

"By agreeing to a 6 month lease (even if it is only a verbal contract), you are now technically considered a resident of Germany and cannot claim to be a tourist. You are supposed to register (anmelden) at a B├╝rgeramt in Berlin and have German approved health insurance (just like what Germans expect from their own citizens)."

So your insurance must have paid the bills.

Starhopper said...

Well, the takeaway from my own experience is that "socialized medicine" is infinitely superior to whatever it is that we have in this country. Why (other than from sheer pigheadedness) would anyone choose a demonstrably inferior system to another that is so easily available?

bmiller said...

From what I can discern, you probably paid 8% of your salary for your insurance and the US taxpayers paid another 8% to to the German government for your free health care.

If you work for a company in America that does the same it would seem easily available too.

Do you really think that any products and services are free?

Starhopper said...

Of course nothing is free. TANSTAAFL, and all that. But under the European system, the costs are lower, the burden is more equitably shared, and the benefits more widely available than under the pathetic "market driven" anti-system we're stuck with here in the states.

bmiller said...

Why do you think the costs are lower?

Starhopper said...

The fact that everything in the US has to go through profit-driven insurance companies. That adds a totally unnecessary layer of bureaucracy that adds absolutely no value to the process.

Think about it. Just what do the insurance companies contribute to the end result of health care? Nothing. Their purpose in life is to suck up whatever "profit" they can out of the moving of funds about, while adding nothing of value.

bmiller said...

We just established that Germany has insurance companies so bureaucracy layers are the same.

And why is making a profit bad?

Starhopper said...

Profit is neither always bad nor always good. If I am selling shoes or building houses, then making a profit is a very good thing indeed. But there are some societal functions in which the profit motive has no legitimate place (and can even be a "bad" thing): public education, transportation infrastructure, scientific research, national defense, the judiciary, national parks and wildlife refuges, foreign relations, crime fighting, and healthcare.

I'm sure there are many other areas as well, but the above list ought to suffice to demonstrate my point.

bmiller said...

Why is making a profit a good thing for shoe companies?

Starhopper said...

Huh? Don't you know the answer to that question?

bmiller said...

Of course I have my opinion but I want to understand your reasoning.

bmiller said...

Anyone?

Hugo Pelland said...

@bmiller
LoL

Joe Hinman said...

bmiller said:

Implying if you can't afford health insurance too bad, you're gonna die, it's your own fault and no one should help you. What prominent conservative or libertarian holds this view?

This response concerning Mo Brooks merely changes the subject unless Brooks is referring to Victor's pre-existing condition (he's not) and that no one should help him and just let him die.

He was speaking generally and corollary induced PEC. It's ludicrous to think he would take the tact that sick people are to blame for their own problems then not include that,

As far as I can tell, he thinks that people who knowingly abuse their health, like alcoholics with liver disease, should be responsible for paying more for government supported insurance. I haven't found what he thinks should be done for those people if they can't afford insurance, but I suspect it would be the same as Shapiro and Paul.

In context he clearly used that as a rationale for opposing healthcare,sick people don't deserve help because they didn;t live right that'
s why trey are sick. you try to rationalize that by making it into a sermon on clean living is sick ,


Pros and cons of government run vs private/charity run health solutions would be an honest debate. Too bad about the dishonest distractions.

facing up to the human and sinful nature of republic politics would also be an honest approach it's extremely disillusioning to find evangelicals can't cut it,

Joe Hinman said...

Starhopper said...
Of course nothing is free. TANSTAAFL, and all that. But under the European system, the costs are lower, the burden is more equitably shared, and the benefits more widely available than under the pathetic "market driven" anti-system we're stuck with here in the states.

see Sthopper what you are missing is those shaby little poor people don't deserve to live because they obviously are not chosen by God, otherwise they would not be poor,

Nothing is free therefrom we should not help people but defense dollars are magic they don't count on the deficit,

Joe Hinman said...

Once there was some guy named Jesus of something, but he never got a degree in business so he just has nothing to say about health care.

Legion of Logic said...

"facing up to the human and sinful nature of republic politics would also be an honest approach it's extremely disillusioning to find evangelicals can't cut it"

Too bad there isn't a sinless alternative. You cant defend either party without compromising the faith.

bmiller said...

In context he clearly used that as a rationale for opposing healthcare,sick people don't deserve help because they didn;t live right that'
s why trey are sick. you try to rationalize that by making it into a sermon on clean living is sick ,


Before I made that statement I did some research. But in order to do that, I had to to outside of the sources that leftists allow.
Here is his explanation

Believe that all who disagree with you are evil if you want.
But if you wonder why people ignore you, this may just be the reason.

SteveK said...

In light of Joe's rhetoric-for-Christ talking points, here's a good dose of truth to cleanse the palate.

Hugo: "So in other words, people are not left to die because they don't have insurance, sure, but how is that an indication of an efficient healthcare system for all?"

Victor: "I was never denied treatment because of my lack of insurance, fortunately."

Me: "Now that we've established that nobody is left to die under the current market-based system we can stop lying about what will happen if the government doesn't take over."

Starhopper said...

"we can stop lying about what will happen if the government doesn't take over"

From the beginning, my main point is that our system of "market-driven" health care is supremely inefficient. No "lying" there. We pay far too much, more than we need to, and too many people are left without access to adequate preventative health care. These are just facts. They have nothing to do with what one thinks of "socialism" or any other ism. We have only to look across the pond to see alternative systems that work far more efficiently and at significantly lower cost, with almost no one left uncovered.

Why on Earth would we want to stick with a demonstrably inferior arrangement when it would be child's play to switch to a better system?

bmiller said...

Starhopper,

Why is making a profit a good thing for shoe companies?

Starhopper said...

What? You still don't know the answer to that question? Then I'm afraid I can't help you.

bmiller said...

You mean you don't know?

bmiller said...

Boy. I really didn't think this was such a difficult question to answer.

Starhopper said...

Oh, it's an easy question to answer. It's just that I can smell a "gotcha" ploy from a mile away, and choose not to play. Don't deny that you'll use whatever answer I give to go "Aha! Then you can't be consistent in believing..."

Not being a fool, I'm not going to go there.

bmiller said...

So you think having a rational discussion is a "gotcha" tactic.

This response makes it sound like you already know that you aren't consistent.

Starhopper said...

No, it means that I suspect you of wanting to twist my words. If you were being honest in this discussion, you would simply come out and explain what you think my inconsistency might be. Then I could respond.

Victor Reppert said...

SteveK: You took my statement that I was not denied health care as a reason for supposing that it is wrong to say that people are left to die. The problem is that, sure, hospitals will give you treatment if it is between that and death, or if you are in obvious extreme pain when you go in. But what if you are in extreme pain a lot of the time, but don't happen to be at a 9 or 10 pain level at the moment you come in. Then, they ask you to take care of the payment, or at least half of it, when you come in, and it is not treated as an emergency. I take it the same thing would have happened if you say you had a condition that needed surgery because it is putting you at an increasing risk for cancer. But then you could get cancer and it could be inoperable by the time you come in.

Hugo Pelland said...

Victor,
Yes, exactly, I didn't have time to reply yet bu that was exactly my reaction. And it's similar to what Starhopper/Bob said when talking about an inefficient system.

I.e. is the USA that bad that the bar is that low? Is it really about people not being left to die qhen they're bleeding out when coming to an ER?

It's so bizarre to take that line of reasoning. And that's the polite version... because I think it's f** up seriously.

The USA has 1 more child DYING for every 100,000 people than Canada, or the EU, where healthcare is highly subsidized... free market rules? Really? It's that's simple?

bmiller said...

Starhopper,

How would I know if your position is inconsistent or not? You've decided not to answer questions.

I haven't had much interest in European healthcare systems since it doesn't affect me. I now know more about the German system from my discussion with you but that system is different than the UK, which is different from France and so on.

You claim the German system is better than the US, specifically in cost. I'm interested in how you think that happened.

I'm not an expert in economics, but from what I learned (to put it simply), the price of something is related to the buyer's desire for that thing and the scarcity of the thing. The higher the price, the bigger the profit for the producer. So higher prices should draw more producers meaning more competition and more supply thus lowering the cost.

Of course socialists don't agree and think profits are evil. You don't. I'd like to know why.

Hugo Pelland said...

bmiller said:
"I'm not an expert in economics, but from what I learned (to put it simply), the price of something is related to the buyer's desire for that thing and the scarcity of the thing. The higher the price, the bigger the profit for the producer. So higher prices should draw more producers meaning more competition and more supply thus lowering the cost.

Of course socialists don't agree and think profits are evil. You don't. I'd like to know why."

I would consider myself a Socialist, in the current context, and I learned quite a bit about Finance in my MBA classes in the last 2 years. So I think your opinions are devoid of any meaningful information and simply misrepresent a complex issue. But thanks for trying.

The notion of consumer/seller surplus, for example, comes to mind, and how it kills the idea that healthcare shoukd be treated like a commodity, but that's hard to discuss with people with little knowledge of basic economics.

bmiller said...

Good. Then I'll ignore you.

Hugo Pelland said...

@bmiller
Given your past behavior, I really doubt you'll manage that.
But anyway, it is hilarious that me mentioning some level of knowledge of economics makes you want to ignore. Very telling!

SteveK said...

Victor: "You took my statement that I was not denied health care as a reason for supposing that it is wrong to say that people are left to die."

Because that is what Joe is saying. He's wrong.

"The problem is that, sure, hospitals will give you treatment if it is between that and death, or if you are in obvious extreme pain when you go in."

This isn't a problem. This is exactly my point.

"Then, they ask you to take care of the payment, or at least half of it, when you come in, and it is not treated as an emergency."

I'm not a doctor so I cannot comment on whether something is an actual medical emergency. One more time...the point is this: nobody is left to die if they don't have insurance so there's no national healthcare emergency that needs to be fixed as far at that point goes.

Are there big problems that need to be fixed? Yes, but "the uninsured are refused treatment" is not one of them.

SteveK said...

Inefficient system != uninsured people are left to die
Inefficient system != the government needs to take over

Hugo Pelland said...

SteveK,
You're right, but that's why your comment about "no one is left to die" is out of touch, silly and irrelevant.
Good, now, can you address actual issues?

Hugo Pelland said...

To be more precise:
Are you for or against the individual mandate?

bmiller said...

Hugo,

But anyway, it is hilarious that me mentioning some level of knowledge of economics makes you want to ignore. Very telling!

Well you just told me you were incapable of discussing the topic. You said it was too hard.

bmiller said...

Critical thinking is in short supply. Rhetoric is overabundant.
The price is high for those seeking critical thinking. Rhetoric is cheap.

Hugo Pelland said...

bmiller,
As I said, you can't help yourself. You said you'll ignore me, but you didn't.
I didn't say I couldn't discuss the topic. I thinks healthcare is a fascinating and important topic. But you brought nothing interesting to the table as far as I can tell. Please prove me wrong if you have a point to make. But you seem more interested in making 'gotcha' comment, like StevenK is, than making a point.
For instance, my main point is that the individual mandate is essential, regardless of who runs the system.
Do you agreed? Why, why not?
Or will you just dodge the question because all you do us trolling...?

bmiller said...

Hugo,

Please post again when you are sober.

Victor Reppert said...

So, a system that refuses to give people cancer preventive surgery is not a problem since it doesn't deny people care if they are dying? A system that says that excludes people from health insurance, and has to pay a large sum of money before they can be treated for it is not a problem, since at least people aren't dying for lack of care?

Starhopper said...

bmiller,

It's nearly impossible to respond to your question with anything less than a book length answer. A mere posting will be more misleading than not.

That said, there's a fundamental difference between the public and private sectors, and there is no inconsistency in treating different things differently. What is good and appropriate in the private sector (e.g., shoemakers) may very well be totally inappropriate in the public sector (e.g., health care). Pretending that they are the same and ought to follow the same rules is like saying there is no distinction between one's house and the street in front of it.

Joe Hinman said...

BMillerom mo books

he said:

“It will allow insurance companies to require people who have higher health care costs to contribute more to the insurance pool that helps offset all these costs, thereby reducing the cost to those people who lead good lives, they’re healthy, they’ve done the things to keep their bodies healthy,” explained Brooks. “And right now, those are the people who have done things the right way that are seeing their costs skyrocketing.”

He still making moral value judgement about people who are sick Yes he's peaking of smokers and drinkers but this statement is general enough to include everyone who is sick,

nfortunately many of our health-care problems are self-inflicted: two-thirds of Americans are now overweight and one-third are obese. Most of the diseases that kill us and account for about 70% of all health-care spending—heart disease, cancer, stroke, diabetes and obesity—are mostly preventable through proper diet, exercise, not smoking, minimal alcohol consumption and other healthy lifestyle choices.

problem with that kind of thinking,they wanted to to pass a bill that would uniiu tonsure least 13 million reverie one in America lives in an unhealthy lifestyle, we breath polluted air even more so now with Trump's action of pollination and reduction of regs,

those 23 million would not lose their insurance because they smoke and drink. He wants to target behaviors that justify kicking Leopoldo off roles but he doesn't want to further policies that aid in kipping people well.

Joe Hinman said...


Blogger Legion of Logic said...
"facing up to the human and sinful nature of republic politics would also be an honest approach it's extremely disillusioning to find evangelicals can't cut it"

Too bad there isn't a sinless alternative. You cant defend either party without compromising the faith.

True but we can start seeking policies that take a realistic view of government,you can't impose our morality on people who don;t share our faith when they are no danger the public but then support policies that kill thousands form some abstract political ideology like business freedom from regulation,

Joe Hinman said...

the idea that all sickness is caused by riotous living or sin is stupid. I have a friend who ate healthfully no smoking or drinking and ran every day for 50 years, now needs open heart surrey because of a Arianism. He would have to die if he didn't have Obama care.

bmiller said...

Starhopper,

Aren't we talking about cost? Why are you talking about what is appropriate or not? Unless you mean that it's inappropriate to force prices higher.

I haven't seen anyone here arguing that we can't improve the healthcare system. I also haven't seen anyone arguing that poor sick people should just die.

bmiller said...

He still making moral value judgement about people who are sick Yes he's peaking of smokers and drinkers but this statement is general enough to include everyone who is sick,

He explicitly excluded people in Victor's situation in the link I posted, so bringing him up in the first place was irrelevant and now that you have been informed, you are being dishonest.

Your sources of information distorted his position and now you are doing so intentionally also.

Joe Hinman said...

then which policy has the goods bmiller?

those 13 million should be insured, Trump care sucked. OBC sucks in some ways but it deliever's the goods,I'm not saying we can't improve it. I think we could have single payer.We need progressive funding like competitive bidding on DOD contracts and use the difference for health care,plus other things.

Joe Hinman said...

we will spend 20 billion a year on nucs, that could be cut out compoletely.

Joe Hinman said...

He still making moral value judgement about people who are sick Yes he's peaking of smokers and drinkers but this statement is general enough to include everyone who is sick,

He explicitly excluded people in Victor's situation in the link I posted, so bringing him up in the first place was irrelevant and now that you have been informed, you are being dishonest.

Your sources of information distorted his position and now you are doing so intentionally also

I think I am quoting his initial testament and you are quoiting statements where he had to rephrase,or at least other venues than the statement initially quoted,

Joe Hinman said...

SteveK said...
In light of Joe's rhetoric-for-Christ talking points, here's a good dose of truth to cleanse the palate.

Hugo: "So in other words, people are not left to die because they don't have insurance, sure, but how is that an indication of an efficient healthcare system for all?"

Victor: "I was never denied treatment because of my lack of insurance, fortunately."

Me: "Now that we've established that nobody is left to die under the current market-based system we can stop lying about what will happen if the government doesn't take over."


Steven K you assume a static condition but you know Trump is out to takeaway Obamacare and the alternatives fearless leader proposes are crap. Situation is not static, the level of care will be greatly reduced and the Rep con lackeys will not help.

SteveK said...

Victor:
So, a system that refuses to give people cancer preventive surgery is not a problem since it doesn't deny people care if they are dying?

I understand that you want a law that REQUIRES treatment if a doctor recommends it, but this will never happen. Every system will have a review board/committee, and some people will be denied treatment. Without oversight, costs will spiral out of control and abuse will occur.

Legion of Logic said...

bmiller and SteveK,

Let me preface by saying you're both well aware (or should be) that I'm hardly on the left side of politics.

You brought up shoes, so I'll use that example. Let's say Dr Martens were the top of the line shoes, while Athletic Works from Walmart were the cheapest. Everyone needs shoes, obviously, and those with means and the desire to artificially inflate their own ego via brand selection could go out and get the DM shoes. Those who couldn't afford them might buy Nike instead, which might also be beyond the poorest. But even the poorest could probably afford AW shoes from Walmart, which are perfectly functional, yet if even that was beyond them? Thrift stores. Salvation Army. Yard sales. They might even land a good deal on used Doc Martens.

Point being, shoes are best served by the market and not government, because shoe manufacturers price shoes at different target consumers, while charities are able to supply the poorest. Healthcare is a whole different animal. We don't have health insurance plans for $10 a month. We don't have hospitals offering to set a broken wrist for $50. Even the cheapest insurance plans are priced beyond the poorest, and it is a staggering cost for the vast majority of people to have to use a hospital for any reason. That most manage to pay says nothing for how difficult it is, let alone getting into people like my aunt who developed rheumatoid arthritis and diabetes and was declined by insurance companies due to preexisting conditions. Or a coworker who has to pay $1000 a month on his wife's medicine.

Do you believe healthcare is more appropriately compared to shoes, or is it closer to police and the highway department? Is it not within society's best interest to provide the best healthcare to everyone regardless of income or the genetic lottery? And if you believe there is a way for the market to provide healthcare to EVERYONE (including preventative, which is superior to treatment of a disease or injury), then what exactly is that market-based solution and what obstacles keep it from being implemented?

Starhopper said...

"Why are you talking about what is appropriate or not?"

What is or is not appropriate is implied in your question: "Why is making a profit a good thing for shoe companies?" You could change the wording to say "Why is making a profit an appropriate thing for shoe companies?" without changing the meaning.

I've seen the best and the worst that the healthcare industry can provide in my time. As I wrote above, I had two serious accidents while living in Europe - the first due to a bad fall in the Austrian Alps which shattered my right shoulder along with numerous lesser injuries, the second an unfortunate kitchen accident which left me badly burned. Treatment for both of those incidents cost me zero out of pocket expenses. Not even a co-pay.

Conversely, when my wife contracted pancreatic cancer, my out of pocket expenses, despite our having the best possible, gold plated, government subsidized health insurance (the same plan our congresspeople have today) for her care were slightly over 80,000 dollars. (They would have been the better part of a million dollars without insurance.) Even so, she still died.

The American healthcare "system" (sic) sucks!

bmiller said...

I think I am quoting his initial testament and you are quoiting statements where he had to rephrase,or at least other venues than the statement initially quoted,

Then you are still clearly and purposely misrepresenting his true position. That's dishonest.

Dishonesty is bad in a lot of ways besides being a sin. It causes people to disbelieve anything you say and makes them think your position is so bad that you have to lie about it. That actually hurts your ability to convince people of anything.

bmiller said...

Starhopper,

Yes, the US system needs improvement. Yes the costs are high.
We are discussing how to lower the costs aren't we?

Joe Hinman said...

Do you believe healthcare is more appropriately compared to shoes, or is it closer to police and the highway department? Is it not within society's best interest to provide the best healthcare to everyone regardless of income or the genetic lottery? And if you believe there is a way for the market to provide healthcare to EVERYONE (including preventative, which is superior to treatment of a disease or injury), then what exactly is that market-based solution and what obstacles keep it from being implemented?

why would you think shoes are analogous to health care? O sacred law of the market place are so universal because they are so true,right?

screw the market. we can give everyone health care and we should

Joe Hinman said...

Blogger bmiller said...
I think I am quoting his initial testament and you are quoiting statements where he had to rephrase,or at least other venues than the statement initially quoted,

Then you are still clearly and purposely misrepresenting his true position. That's dishonest.

Dishonesty is bad in a lot of ways besides being a sin. It causes people to disbelieve anything you say and makes them think your position is so bad that you have to lie about it. That actually hurts your ability to convince people of anything.

you are dishonest, you are employing the tactics of illion. you want to pretend that he made both sets of statements at the same time, I don't think he did. You must prove that before you go calling me dishonest,

you also overlook the fact that I had a page of people on that search quoting as I was and they did not give the quotes you did. they are dishonest right?everyone is dishonest but yourlittle fascist Junta,

Legion of Logic said...

"screw the market. we can give everyone health care and we should"

I'm actually agreeing with you philosophically in my above post. I'm wondering how bmiller and SteveK feel.

Joe Hinman said...

bmiller said...
Starhopper,

Yes, the US system needs improvement. Yes the costs are high.
We are discussing how to lower the costs aren't we?

single payer funded by comp bid on Dod and eliminate nuclear, tax the rich

Helloooooo????????

Joe Hinman said...

Just one little fact that old Honest Abe bmiller left out. That his republican lackies of Trump in congress have given no indication that they would replace Obamacare with anything decent and their only plan uninsured 13-20 m not because they smoked but because they are poor.

bmiller said...

Legion,

First let me say that I don't favor any particular solution. Things are what they are and me getting excited about it won't change things. I'm just interested in hearing all sides honestly presented.

Point being, shoes are best served by the market and not government,

Why wouldn't you want the federal government to provide shoes to everyone?
I'm guessing you'd say because it would cost the taxpayers too much, the shoes would be bad and there would be shortages.

Thomas Sowell is a professor of economics who has a number of articles and videos in which he discusses common conservative positions on healthcare. Whether you agree with him or not, at least you'll have heard another side. I linked to this particular article because people have a hard time imagining anything other than our present system.

bmiller said...

you are dishonest, you are employing the tactics of illion. you want to pretend that he made both sets of statements at the same time, I don't think he did. You must prove that before you go calling me dishonest,

You've known his true position after you went to the link. He clearly never said poor sick people should just be left to die. Shame.

Legion of Logic said...

"Why wouldn't you want the federal government to provide shoes to everyone?


Has nothing to do with cost or quality, but rather that I don't think the government at any level should be involved in things which everyone can reasonably provide for themselves. I don't think adequate healthcare comes close to being accessible for everyone, but I will read your link.


bmiller said...

Has nothing to do with cost or quality, but rather that I don't think the government at any level should be involved in things which everyone can reasonably provide for themselves.

OK let me rephrase.

Point being, shoes are best served by the market and not government,

Would you rather private companies or the federal government produce shoes?
Which do you think would produce the best product at the lowest price?

bmiller said...

you also overlook the fact that I had a page of people on that search quoting as I was and they did not give the quotes you did. they are dishonest right?everyone is dishonest but yourlittle fascist Junta,

Look around the 1 minute mark on video from
your own link.
He specifically mentioned people like Victor and says they should not pay more. You tell me why the "page of people" didn't point that out.

I have never heard of this guy before or his position so I'm not defending it. It's just not relevant to this discussion. Now pardon me I have to torture some poor sick people.

SteveK said...

Legion:
Do you believe healthcare is more appropriately compared to shoes, or is it closer to police and the highway department?

Neither. It's a highly-regulated semi-free market that is somewhere in the middle. We currently have choices and can shop around for the type of insurance/doctor/hospital that fits our needs (including opting out of insurance altogether), however the industry as a whole is highly-regulated.

Is it not within society's best interest to provide the best healthcare to everyone regardless of income or the genetic lottery?

That would be the ideal, and I don't think putting the government in charge of healthcare will get us there. Adding layers of government bureaucracy ALWAYS add to the economic burden of any system. Cost is something you cannot ignore.

Healthcare is a whole different animal. We don't have health insurance plans for $10 a month. We don't have hospitals offering to set a broken wrist for $50.

Those high costs don't go away with the government in charge. If you could snap your fingers today and give everyone 'free' healthcare, those high costs remain. No money was saved in suddenly switching to 'free' healthcare.

I'd like to see the flattening out the healthcare insurance rates. This could be achieved without putting the government in charge, but rather by creating more competition for your healthcare dollars.

My #1 disagreement with the left is they want the government to be in charge of making all healthcare decisions, whereas I think that is a total disaster. Too much power in one single entity.

Starhopper said...

"Adding layers of government bureaucracy ALWAYS adds to the economic burden of any system."

I believe that would not be the case with health care, since all we would be doing is replacing insurance bureaucracy with government bureaucracy. In fact, the current insurance bureaucracies actually add to the economic burden due to their requirement to run at a profit. Replacement by government bureaucracies would remove those costs from the system.

bmiller said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
bmiller said...

The German healthcare system is uses insurance companies. Don't you believe this?

SteveK said...

Competition lowers prices, Starhopper. It's been proven over and over again. Replacing multiple insurance companies all competing for your business with one government and no competition means prices will go up.

Starhopper said...

"Why do you think a government bureaucracy is more cost efficient than a private business?"

A purely government run health care system would remove the costs associated with running it at a profit.

Notice what a disaster for-profit "universities" are turning out to be. Their product is vastly inferior to traditional not-for-profit universities, and cost the consumer far more. These are just facts.

bmiller said...

Attending and paying for an education at a traditional university today is a sure path to poverty for normal people unless it's for a STEM degree due to tuition costs. Even then to get hired most will have to have a graduate degree.

bmiller said...

But regarding the economics of healthcare, there is a lot of misinformation out there.

For those seriously interested in the topic and want to know about the differences in various countries systems that have various types of healthcare systems, here is 9 part article by a well known economist who started out as a Marxist. There are problems with all systems.

Read at least the introduction.

SteveK said...

"In general, where the doctor is paid per patient visit, then a series of treatments that might have taken five visits to the doctor's office can now take 10 shorter visits — or more. Therefore political leaders can proclaim that price controls have succeeded because the cost per visit is now lower than it was in a free market, even though the total costs of treating a given illness have not declined and — typically — have risen.

Skyrocketing costs, far beyond anything projected at the outset, have marked government-controlled medical care systems in France, Britain, Canada and elsewhere. Responses to such runaway costs have included abbreviated doctors' visits and hospital stays cut short.

The costs in Britain's government-run medical system have increased sharply, both absolutely and as a percentage of the country's rising Gross Domestic Product. The National Health Service in Britain absorbed just under 4% of the country's GDP in 1960 and rose over the years until it absorbed 7% of a larger GDP by 2000.

Nevertheless, the number of doctors per capita in Britain was just half as many as in Germany, where half the hospital beds were still in private hands, despite a large role for government financing there."


While I did not know the quantitative facts, I could have described this situation fairly accurately off the top of my head. When there is no other place to go, there is no incentive to do a good job, keep prices down, provide a quality product - because your customers have no choice but to keep coming back. See also, the DMV.

Joe Hinman said...

You've known his true position after you went to the link. He clearly never said poor sick people should just be left to die. Shame.


Not in so many words, just as Trump did not really swear fealty to Putin but no one really doubts that;s what he meant.

show me what doufus has done to restrain Trump show me one statement he has made that implies even a hint of backbone in standing up to him? What legislation has he proposed to help people?

Joe Hinman said...

For those seriously interested in the topic and want to know about the differences in various countries systems that have various types of healthcare systems, here is 9 part article by a well known economist who started out as a Marxist. There are problems with all systems.

yes of sour there are that's why finding criticisms of Obama is NOT importation.Some systems have fewer problems but the main question is who benefits? the people are the 1%?

Joe Hinman said...

"In general, where the doctor is paid per patient visit, then a series of treatments that might have taken five visits to the doctor's office can now take 10 shorter visits — or more. Therefore political leaders can proclaim that price controls have succeeded because the cost per visit is now lower than it was in a free market, even though the total costs of treating a given illness have not declined and — typically — have risen.

Skyrocketing costs, far beyond anything projected at the outset, have marked government-controlled medical care systems in France, Britain, Canada and elsewhere. Responses to such runaway costs have included abbreviated doctors' visits and hospital stays cut short.


that is as opposed to no care at all which is the Republican solicitous for the poor

The costs in Britain's government-run medical system have increased sharply, both absolutely and as a percentage of the country's rising Gross Domestic Product. The National Health Service in Britain absorbed just under 4% of the country's GDP in 1960 and rose over the years until it absorbed 7% of a larger GDP by 2000.

Nevertheless, the number of doctors per capita in Britain was just half as many as in Germany, where half the hospital beds were still in private hands, despite a large role for government financing there."

you mean like the trillion dollars in overcharge paid by the US military? that's why i wanted to have competitive bidding bring down the cost and put that ovrercharge money to med care. How about the 20 bil on nucs? we can never use then so it;s utter waste,

While I did not know the quantitative facts, I could have described this situation fairly accurately off the top of my head. When there is no other place to go, there is no incentive to do a good job, keep prices down, provide a quality product - because your customers have no choice but to keep coming back. See also, the DMV.

what you are not willing to do is face solutions and talk about what goals we should have. Conservatives love to count beans but can't deai with the meat,

bmiller said...

Mo,

Did you look at your own link around the 1 minute mark?

SteveK said...

Take note, Starhopper.

Sowell:
"A confusion between prices and costs has allowed politicians in various countries to be able to claim to be able to bring down the cost of health care, when in fact they only bring down the individual patient's out-of-pocket costs paid to doctors, hospitals, and pharmacies.

The costs themselves are not reduced in the slightest when additional money to pay for these costs is collected in taxes or insurance premiums and routed through either government or private bureaucracies. Since these bureaucracies and the people who work in them are not free, they add to the cost of providing medical treatment.

Most proposals to bring down the cost of medical care pay little or no attention to the actual cost of creating pharmaceutical drugs, training medical students, or building and equipping hospitals.

To the extent that the government imposes some form of price control by refusing to pay doctors, hospitals or pharmaceutical companies as much as they would receive through supply and demand in a free market, that does not lower the costs either.

It simply means that the government refuses to pay all those costs — and such refusals to pay costs have a centuries-old track record of leading to a reduction in the amount supplied, whether what has been subject to price controls has been housing, gasoline, food or other goods and services."

Joe Hinman said...

t simply means that the government refuses to pay all those costs — and such refusals to pay costs have a centuries-old track record of leading to a reduction in the amount supplied, whether what has been subject to price controls has been housing, gasoline, food or other goods and services."

Utter nonsense, it should apply to military but that doesn't stop the Reps from spending on defense. Probably why there's such overcharge, it hasn't driven Europe out of business, you are just forgetting the point of having government in the first place.

In my plan the costs would be absorbed in progressive measures and cutting defense,

SteveK said...

Data is now "utter nonsense". LOL

Complaining about the high cost and inefficiencies of a government run military isn't helping you make the case for government run healthcare.

bmiller said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Starhopper said...

"they only bring down the individual patient's out-of-pocket costs"

I'm fine with that. Still a huge improvement over what we have now.

bmiller said...

Joe,

Did you look at your own link around the 1 minute mark?

bmiller said...

Starhopper,

Did you see the part where it said costs were increased by this? The patient actually pays more.

Starhopper said...

Some years ago, I refinanced my home. The total that I would thereafter ultimately pay for the house went way up, but my monthly out of pocket expenses went down by nearly a thousand dollars. I was quite happy with that outcome.

bmiller said...

For those who want to read how Nixon skewed the 1972 election by implementing a cynical economic policy Read the first chapter of this. Nixon won by a landslide victory, but everyone now agrees it was wrong.

Economic laws don't favor one party or the other. They are just how things work.

It seems you can download the whole book if you want.

bmiller said...

I was quite happy with that outcome.

I'm sure the bank was too. Win-win.

Why wouldn't you want to let others make a cheaper deal for themselves and let them have their own person win-win too?

bmiller said...

And by the way, you know you got a tax break on the extra interest you paid too, right?

SteveK said...

Starhopper must have worked in the subprime lending business.

"Trust me, the loan amount doesn't really matter. The only thing that matters is that the payment on this overpriced McMansion is low. Yes, artificially cheap money caused the price of the house to skyrocket due to excessive demand, but none of that matters. The point is you can afford the payments. Nothing will go wrong, trust me."

Starhopper said...

Nothing went wrong. I sold my house 5 years ago, lived in an apartment in Baltimore for 3 years, and last year moved in with my daughter and son in law (and grandkids). All worked out fine, without a hitch.

Some kids live in their mother's basement. I live in my daughter's!

bmiller said...

Your daughter gives you waaay too much computer time :-)

bmiller said...

I wouldn't allow any computer time until your homework was done.

Starhopper said...

Hah! I'm taking a class at the local community college, and my granddaughter refuses to believe I have homework. "Only kids have homework! Not grown ups!" she says.

bmiller said...

Eat your peas too!

What class?

bmiller said...

I mean what class are you taking?

bmiller said...

OK. Victor needs a new post.

If only there was something controversial. Too bad there's nothing else to talk about.

bmiller said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
bmiller said...

How about this:

How to protect kid's mental health

bmiller said...

Or maybe even:

What are the primary inclinations that lead us into good or evil?

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Starhopper said...

It's an art class. I've always been frustrated by the low quality of the sketches I make while observing the Moon, and figured I could use some professional training. I've already seen an improvement in what I can draw. The instructor kind of threw us into the deep end of the pool right off the bat - the first objects to be drawn were our hands, followed by a flower in a vase. I was expecting we'd start out with simple objects and shapes. Hah!

Legion of Logic said...

If you asked me to draw a wavy line, I'd fail. That's a talent I can't even comprehend.

I remember in college I had to take a Fine Arts class, and it was sheer torture. What mainly hurt was the majority of the class happened to be retirees who had decided to take it for fun and not a degree requirement, so every painting that appeared on the screen would be discussed in great detail with many accompanying oohs and aahs. Meanwhile my 18 year old self had mono the entire semester, dropped 30 lbs due to not being able to eat well because of my throat, and was also moping because I'd broken up with my long-time girlfriend (boo hoo). My perspective was much less conducive to appreciating Andy Warhol's soup can paintings, which to me at the time were the most pretentious and inane pile of BS I'd ever heard of.

Though to this day I struggle with symbolism and attributing meaning to things which by all appearances have none, so I'd probably still struggle in that class. It's probably the same reason no one wants to talk sports with me.

"Hey, did you watch the game?"
"You like watching a bunch of overgrown and overpaid man-divas in colorful spandex groping each other chasing after a ball?"

"Hey, did you watch the race?"
"You like watching cars drive in a circle?"

"This painting is magnificent!"
"It's a soup can. Walmart has hundreds."

Joe Hinman said...


Blogger SteveK said...
Data is now "utter nonsense". LOL

can be irrelevant or conclusions drawn from it can be nonsense.

Complaining about the high cost and inefficiencies of a government run military isn't helping you make the case for government run healthcare.


Defending overcharge like it's a patriotic duty isn't helping you any.I'm talking about 45$ toilet seats and 50$ nails the pentagon buys you are defining like it's Mom and apple pie. The sacred duty of all Americans toe ripped off for the rich.

that is utter nonsense,(and it;s "data") Of course like all conservatives you are using patriotism to side step the issues so you don't have to face fact that I gave you away to pay for health care and it's a way that fixes our military procurement,

SteveK said...

Nowhere have I defended overcharging.

Starhopper said...

Legion,

I totally agree with you about football. Baseball, however... Now that sport is art, poetry, and song, all wrapped up with a bow. It is deeply spiritual, and watching a game at Camden Yards (Oriole Park) is the closest thing the average Joe like me will ever get to contemplative prayer.

As to "retirees who had decided to take it for fun and not a degree requirement," I guess that describes me in my class!

Legion of Logic said...

I did not realize I had poor eyesight (20/80 and 20/100) until my mid-teens. All those P.E. classes playing baseball where I could not see the ball until it was almost in my face gave me a very great fear and hatred of it in my developmental years haha.

I certainly do not fault my art classmates, but I certainly had a different perspective. I wanted to rush through as quickly as possible while they were there to appreciate it.

bmiller said...

Look into Jon Gnagy.

Starhopper probably knew him personally.

Starhopper said...

No, I did not know him. But I do remember watching him on television (back when I had one).

Seriously, there is a real schism amongst amateur astronomers over imaging (photography) versus sketching. You think the Sunni/Shia divide in Islam is serious? You've never been to an astronomy club meeting where these two groups go at it hammer and tongs!

Joe Hinman said...


Blogger SteveK said...
Nowhere have I defended overcharging.

I quoted your words:
"Complaining about the high cost and inefficiencies of a government run military isn't helping you make the case for government run healthcare."?

that sure as hell is defending overcharge, at least in effect. I had a perfectly cogent point that answers the question what to do you sidestepped that with patriotic tripe.

SteveK said...

Lol, no. Reading comprehension is a thing. Try it.

bmiller said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
bmiller said...

Current thread reminds me of this

Dave Duffy said...

Our government ought to help with things that are out of our control. If an enemy army invades, or an earthquake strikes, a hurricane, a pandemic disease ravages the population, our government ought to show up with troops, ships, trucks, and helicopters and whatever else for the rescue.

I consider a catastrophic disease, illness, or end of life treatment to an individual the same. We ought to show up together, as a country for the worst that can happen to someone. This should be one purpose in our first world government.

All the insurance I carry on my own, from my auto and house to my dental and optical, have an upper end to what they will pay and a lower end which I will pay out of pocket. A few examples: I pay for the oil and tires for my car. If I have a major accident, this is payed for by auto insurance. I pay if my water heater goes out, if my house burns down, my home insurance kicks in—all to the agreed limits of compensation. This keeps the premiums low, allowing my family to keep more of the money I earn.

Obamacare is a fraud. It demands the insurance companies pay for things people can afford, like birth control and regular checkups (tires and water heaters) and demands no limit to the compensation on the high end of catastrophic illness. It’s the worst of what insurance should be. Obamacare is rightly denounced by sensible people.

The solution is for the government to pay for catastrophic illness that are out of the control of an individual, while requiring the individual to pay for ordinary health care, like routine visits. In other words, the government must show up for things that are beyond our control and stay out of our everyday life.

bmiller said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
bmiller said...

Now that sport is art, poetry, and song, all wrapped up with a bow. It is deeply spiritual, and watching a game at Camden Yards (Oriole Park) is the closest thing the average Joe like me will ever get to contemplative prayer.

Sometimes prayer can be a contemplation of sorrow

Starhopper said...

It's times like these that separate the true fans from the mere posers.