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Polls on Health Care Reform - Why we can't give voters what they want

Byron York has a great piece up in the Washington Examiner on yesterday's health care summit, in which he tries to account for the seeming contradiction between polls about individual aspects of health insurance legislation compared to polls about the whole wad now stumbling through congress. He writes:

Just look at the latest survey from CNN and Opinion Research. When asked if they support "preventing health insurance companies from dropping coverage for people who become seriously ill," 62 percent say yes. When asked whether they support "requiring all large and midsized businesses to provide health insurance for their employees," 72 percent say yes. And when asked if they support "preventing health insurance companies from denying coverage to people with pre-existing conditions," 58 percent say yes.

On the other hand, asked what Congress should do on health care -- pass the current bill, start work on an entirely new bill, or stop working on the issue altogether -- a huge majority opposes the Democratic proposal now on the table. Just 25 percent of those surveyed want to see the bill passed. Forty-eight percent want Congress to start over, and 25 percent want lawmakers to stop working on health care altogether. Put those last two together, and an overwhelming majority of 73 percent do not want Congress to pass the current bill.

(my bolding above)

He attributes the failure of the whole bill to its size.

Few Democrats can accept the possibility that voters are telling them their whole approach is wrong. Big, comprehensive legislative proposals just make people nervous.

I have a simpler explanation: People want things until they find out how much it costs. Everyone wants better health insurance, but no one wants to pay more for it. I want a new car. I don't particularly want to pay for it. It is the same with health insurance. When you total up the cost of all these things people say they want, it's a lot of money. Instead of the questions polling firms now ask, they might as well ask who wants a bucket of money handed out to them every week, no strings attached, no need to pay it back. I bet they could poll higher than 72% on that question. So what?


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Comments (41)

If you sent a line of peopl... (Below threshold)
M. Murcek:

If you sent a line of people to the entrance of a housing project with wheelbarrows of $100 bills, there'd be people on the 6th floor, firmly ensconced on the couch, telling others in the building to "bring me back some of that when you go downstairs." Those couch dwellers get to vote. Our real problem in a nutshell....

"Polls on Health Care Refor... (Below threshold)
914:

"Polls on Health Care Reform - Why we can't give voters what they want"

Because the object in the politicians eye is to get something self out of it for themselves and the hell with the rest of us suckers that keep perpetuating the problem by not kicking all thier mf n asses out!

I would bet that a survey a... (Below threshold)
Allan Yackey:

I would bet that a survey asking the average voter if they liked each individual feature of a Rolls Royce would produce similar positive reactions. That is, until they were told that they would lose their home because all of their income and resources would be needed to buy and maintain the car.

One thing that gripes me ab... (Below threshold)
JLawson:

One thing that gripes me about the argument for government takeover of health care - we're the most affluent country in the world, so supposedly we should be able to do what other, poorer countries do and that's provide free health care, right?

But there's no such thing as 'free' anything. There NEVER is. YOU personally may not have to pay for it - but someone sure as hell has to.

And perpetual borrowing is about to catch up to us. We are $12 TRILLION in debt, with a $1.6 TRILLION annual deficit, and trillion dollar deficits programmed for the next DECADE.

So at some point we're going to have to look at what's sustainable AND moral - and decide that we're going to have to put government-run health care on the back burner.

Say my wife and I make $100k a year. We have, thanks to a mortgage (which we're keeping up payments on) about double that in debt. We are able to make our payments, and set some aside for emergencies. (We're hoping not to have any of those!) As we're set now, we're probably going to have the house free and clear right about the time we'll need to sell it so we can move into an assisted living retirement home...

But -

We're AWARE of our debt, and our income, and our expenses. We try hard to minimize the latter, because we'd like to pay down the former. If I were to look at She Who Must Be Consulted and go "You know, we really ought to get a new, more efficient air conditioning system, and a couple of 60" LCD TVs, along with all new furniture, and remodel the basement into a home theater" she'd fall over laughing. We simply couldn't afford it all.

We've already had to dig further into our savings than I'd like to replace one of our two central air systems - but we knew this was going to happen when we bought a house that was built in '80... things just wear out and have to be maintained or replaced. The second system will likely fail this summer - it's of the same vintage. But that's what the savings are for - unexpected things you HAVE to deal with. You can borrow if need be, but you pay it back as soon as practical.

Our government's run on a deficit ever since I can remember. They've gone well beyond living paycheck to paycheck - they have to keep borrowing to make it from payday to payday. And the amount owed keeps racking up the trillions - with no POSSIBILITY of payment on the principle and us having to scrape (and borrow!) to keep the minimum payments paid - and these bozos think that borrowing MORE to fund health care is a good idea?

What the hell are they smoking?

"What the hell are they smo... (Below threshold)
GarandFan:

"What the hell are they smoking?"

In this case, I'm referring to the assholes (putting it kindly) who draw up these poll questions. The questions are so general in nature, of course people agree with them. It's only when you start getting to specifics, that people appear to 'change their minds'. No, they didn't 'change their minds', they were provided with additional information in which to further evaluate the original question.

I have a blast when some of these fools call in the evening hours with their 'survey' questions. Rarely do I answer with a 'yes' or 'no'. I either respond that the question is too general or to vague. They, of course, come back with "But you have to chose one of the answers I gave you." To which I reply, "BULLSHIT, do you want an honest answer or not?"

I recently returned a self-serving "survey" from the RNC. I scrawled "THIS IS CRAP" across their yes/no questions and let them have it in the comments section. Don't think I'll be hearing from them again any time soon.

" Don't think I'll be he... (Below threshold)
P. Bunyan:

" Don't think I'll be hearing from them again any time soon."

Not until the next time they want more money from you-- prolly next week.

JLawson "And perpetua... (Below threshold)
Marc:

JLawson "And perpetual borrowing is about to catch up to us. We are $12 TRILLION in debt, with a $1.6 TRILLION annual deficit, and trillion dollar deficits programmed for the next DECADE."

Plus the real big number no one wants to mention... over 100 TRILLION owed via unfunded entitlements.

And these mental midgets in DC want to add another entitlement.

If you look at history the ... (Below threshold)
jim m:

If you look at history the American Revolution occurred in large part due to unrest in the colonies over high taxes. Taxes which they had no voice in.

What were those taxes for? Well primarily to pay for massive government spending that the crown wanted but the public had little interest in (notably warring with the French monarchy).

230 years later that great student of history Barrack Obama (you know, the guy who thinks that he's been to all 57 states and can't tell the Declaration of Independence from the Preamble to the Constitution) is repeating the same mistake. Vast government spending and ultimately huge taxes to pay for it; all on the backs of a public that vocally wants neither.

From the Declaration of Ind... (Below threshold)
Justrand:

From the Declaration of Independence:

"The history of the present King of Great Britain is a history of repeated injuries and usurpations, all having in direct object the establishment of an absolute Tyranny over these States...
...
He has erected a multitude of New Offices, and sent hither swarms of Officers to harrass our people, and eat out their substance."


Just replace "King of Great Britain" with "Barack Obama" and it works still!

"Obama, Bush, peas, pod."</... (Below threshold)
jim m:

"Obama, Bush, peas, pod."

BryanD you shock me! Is this due to the news on the renewal of the Patriot act and the dems cutting out the parts barring humiliation of prisoners?

So much for Barry's "Fierce moral urgency". The only thing barry ever found urgent was getting himself elected.

Actually, when you get down... (Below threshold)
jim m:

Actually, when you get down to it, the colonists revolted not only from taxes but equally from the Crown's interference with trade.

The Crown imposed strangling regulations such as those in he Sugar Act that restricted where many goods could be exported. Not only were some of the most valuable commodities restricted for trade solely with Britain, but enormous amounts of red tape were required to be gone through in order to ensure that everything was done right.

in government some things never change.

Wots the problem? You just ... (Below threshold)
bobdog:

Wots the problem? You just have to look at it from Obama's altar.

We won't be able to tell what a bag of self-serving shit this program is until after The Great One (Pees be upon him) is overwhelmingly re-elected in 2012, and the real cost won't be apparent until he's writing his glowing memoirs and picking out furniture for his Great Memorial Library and National Union Hall.

Your kids are going to get the bill for all this anyway. He'll be gone by the time Joe Sixpack figures out he's been completely screwed.

So no wonder Obama is puzzled at all the bitter partisan resistance from the unenlightened. We just can't see the beauty in it.

The problem with the curren... (Below threshold)
Tina S:

The problem with the current bill is that too many concessions were made to blue dog democrats, special interests and in courting republicans. The concessions were made in attempt to get the 60 votes to stop a filibuster. Since putting it through reconciliation only require 51 votes they should be able to pass with it fewer of the concessions added.

Marc -Yeah, the di... (Below threshold)
JLawson:

Marc -

Yeah, the dirty little secret nobody wants to admit.

The ONLY way we can have enough to pay even a fraction of that would be to get government very much out of the way of business. Keep environmental laws at about the level they were in the '90s. Repeal any possibility of 'cap and trade'. Repeal the legislation that's got our energy sources tied up in knots. Simplify the tax code - maybe adopt the FairTax model. But make things easier for businesses! Treat 'em as a cash-cow revenue-wise, not a forced blood donor!

Drill for oil off the coasts while we bootstrap up nuclear power - and screw fusion, it's been a jobs program for PhDs for the last 50 years. As we get nuclear plants going, phase out oil and coal for power.

Because we NEED energy for civilization - and the more power you've got available, the better off you are. Look at what happened with the economy of Britain when the industrial revolution hit, and they were able to go from literal horsepower to steam engines. Look at what happened when we were able to generate electricity, develop computers, and develop the Internet.

The enviro-luddites would like to see us go back to horse levels of power - and our civilization just couldn't handle it.

I'd like to get the unions out of the schools. Give parents vouchers if they want them, only provision is that the school they put the kids in reach a desired standard, and set that standard HIGH. Make a high school diploma worth something, proof that the graduate had at least SOME usable skills and didn't need to go to college first to become employable. If a teacher can't teach, fire them.

If a student doesn't want to learn, well, Mike Rowe of Dirty Jobs could be the "Alternative Education" Czar. I think he'd be great at it. There's ALWAYS going to be something unpleasant that needs cleaning, with the unstated lession that 'If you don't want to do this for the rest of your life, you need to learn something useful.'. Have educational paths open for anywone that wants them... and is willing to work hard at it. If not, well - there's a dirty job just waiting...

We're getting to a point, unfortunately, where the moral choice to keep our society functional is going to be a very painful shedding of a lot of assumptions that have become very expensive over the years. Even the Mayor of Detroit's realized that he can't save the entire city - things have to be cut no matter how the unions scream.

Something has to be done. I sure don't think I'll be seeing social security, and I'm not at all sure about the pension I'm supposed to get from the Reserves when I hit 60. We have to do something different - and Washington doesn't know anything but regulate, tax and spend.

And it may already be too late to stave off a collapse.

BryanD -Bush, Obam... (Below threshold)
JLawson:

BryanD -

Bush, Obama - flowerpot, 40 acre field.

:P

That hypothesis depends on ... (Below threshold)
Brian Rush:

That hypothesis depends on assuming people don't know that all of those proposals are going to cost money, i.e. that all of those being polled are idiots.

The real explanation is even simpler: most people don't know what's in the bill. They saw how it was put together, the closed-door deals and unsavory maneuvering, and they hear the deceptive GOP talking points putting it down. So they don't realize that the bill is a combination of measures most of which they support (cost and all). After all, for the average person, the increased taxes (if any) are far outweighed by the savings in health insurance costs, so while it isn't really a free lunch for most it might as well be.

The clincher is that when you start by explaining the health care bill and what it contains, and ask people if they support it only AFTER doing that -- then it has majority support. So the reason that it doesn't in pre-explanation polls is very simply ignorance.

People want things... (Below threshold)
iwogisdead:
People want things until they find out how much it costs.

Exactly.

Liberals never compute how much nirvana might cost. Most Americans would not mind shelling out some dough to give medical care to people who can't afford it (kinda like they're doing already). But the Dems won't settle for that. They don't want just to improve the healthcare of the bottom, they want to pound down the healthcare for people at the top. Except the elites, of course, like Obama, Pelosi, Biden, et al.

Brian Rush wrote:<bl... (Below threshold)
iwogisdead:

Brian Rush wrote:

most people don't know what's in the bill.

Who the hell does?

"The clincher is that when ... (Below threshold)
GarandFan:

"The clincher is that when you start by explaining the health care bill and what it contains, and ask people if they support it only AFTER doing that -- then it has majority support."

BULLSHIT!

Just look at the results from the focus group that watched the Obama Kabuki. Only THREE still insisted on passing the bill. And as for 'cost reduction', again, BULLSHIT! It's a scaled up version of RommneyCare....and that's been doing nothing but bleeding money in dear old Mass. and a major reason for Scott Brown's election.

"The problem with the curre... (Below threshold)
GarandFan:

"The problem with the current bill is that too many concessions were made to blue dog democrats, special interests and in courting republicans."

Tina, if the Democratic bill is so good then why was it necessary to buy off so many Democrats with 'special deals'?

Liberals never compute h... (Below threshold)
Tina S:

Liberals never compute how much nirvana might cost. Most Americans would not mind shelling out some dough to give medical care to people who can't afford it (kinda like they're doing already).

Ensuring that all Americans have insurance is not being done just as a handout to the poor. It goes hand-in-hand with preventing insurance companies from denying coverage based on pre-existing conditions. Otherwise people would just wait until they're sick before buying insurance, which would cause the price of insurance to skyrocket.

I know how distasteful forcing people to buy insurance is. But how do you feel about the way the current system works? If you come down with a major illness, it locks you into whatever company you are working for. For the rest of your life, if you ever switch jobs you will be denied insurance coverage. You can even be denied if you have a full recovery.

If anyone has a way in which insurance companies can be prevented from denying based on pre-existing conditions without ensuring everyone buys insurance, let me know. If there is another way of doing it, I would be willing to compromise my principles in supporting it. I just don't think there is one.

Tina, if the Democratic ... (Below threshold)
Tina S:

Tina, if the Democratic bill is so good then why was it necessary to buy off so many Democrats with 'special deals'?

I would attribute it mostly to democrats in republican leaning states. The feared that passing any kind of health bill would cause them to not get re-relected.

Tell me, Tina S -W... (Below threshold)
JLawson:

Tell me, Tina S -

We're $12 trillion in debt now, we're racking up deficits at $1-2 trillion MORE per year, and the interest rates on that debt are only going to go UP. The IMF's looking at establishing a currency to replace the dollar as a global currency. China's balking at buying any more of our debt. The interest alone...

Interest due on U.S. debt: Close to $5 trillion - Nov. 19, 2009

In 2015 alone, the estimated interest due - $533 billion - is equal to a third of the federal income taxes expected to be paid that year, said Charles Konigsberg, chief budget counsel of the Concord Coalition, a deficit watchdog group.
We're drowning in debt. Why are you insisting we need to add an anchor?

The feared that passing any kind of health bill would cause them to not get re-relected.

I'd say they're dead on with that. Most people in the US understand when you're living way beyond your means, the last thing you need to do is spend even more. And there's no way this monstrosity is going to be anywhere NEAR deficit neutral.

We ignorant unwashed masses can add up numbers, Tina S - and there's no way we're ever going to be able to cover the debt we've got now unless the folks inside the Beltway get a damn clue and stop the spending.

Tell me - do you live within your pay? How long could you go on spending twice or more what you make each year, when you have no prospects at all of significantly increasing how much you earn each year?

Sorry to say it - but I think you're dead wrong on this issue. It'd be nice if you weren't - but the hard reality is that we simply can't afford it, and the next decade is probably going to see massive, deeply painful cuts in all sorts of things that are untouchable right now, in order to simply survive economically as a functioning country.

JLawson you waste your time... (Below threshold)
GarandFan:

JLawson you waste your time with people like Tina. When Barry tells them he can cover 30+ million more with LESS money, they believe. I know that is not rational, but to them, The Obamassiah can do anything. HE will cut waste and fraud.....not now, but when it's convenient for HIM. Of course HE will be long gone when those like Tina finally realize they've been had.

Lib idiots like Tina have n... (Below threshold)
Michael:

Lib idiots like Tina have no clue how a economy works...they think there is an endless supply of money and no consequences...they are like children in their ignorance...they are dangerous to the well being of our country.

"If anyone has a way in whi... (Below threshold)
GarandFan:

"If anyone has a way in which insurance companies can be prevented from denying based on pre-existing conditions without ensuring everyone buys insurance, let me know."

Why don't you contact an auto insurance company. They'll explain 'pooled risk' for those klutzes who are always having 'accidents'. Yeah, they pay a higher premium but it goes with the risk.

As for health care and pre-existing conditions, this is one area where the FED (aka taxpayer) would have to come in and help bail out these folks. OR the government could insist that ALL health insurance companies form a pool to address just these individuals...and soak up the loss as a part of doing business NATIONWIDE.

But the libs in Congress are not interested in reform. They are interested IN CONTROL. And that's what it all comes down to Tina, CONTROL.

Garandfan -I'd lik... (Below threshold)
JLawson:

Garandfan -

I'd like to believe that Tina S is reachable - that sooner or later it's going to sink through that if you're making $20k a year, and you've got $30k in debt, you aren't going to be able to borrow $10k/year to finance the lifestyle you'd like to have. And she's going to realize she'd been sold a pack of lies.

And maybe someone else who's been exposed to Tina's thinking will look at what I write and go "Huh. Maybe I need to look a bit closer at the numbers myself, since this guy obviously doesn't know what he's talking about." And they'll look at the numbers, and realize that a country bringing in $2 trillion a year can't spend $3.6 trillion for very long.

They'll get a paycheck - and pay their bills. They'll look at a credit card statement and look at how much the interest charges are, and think about the $14 trillion in debt on the national credit card... and suddenly realize that THEIR wallet's being tapped now and will be drained flat later to pay the charges on the bills the fools inside the beltway are racking up.

And then they'll realize that just because something sounds good - and someone tells you it's affordable - that doesn't mean they're telling you the facts on the matter, or the truth about the costs.

On that day - they'll wake up. And maybe Tina S will also.

Brian Rush - <blockqu... (Below threshold)
jim m:

Brian Rush -

most people don't know what's in the bill. They saw how it was put together, the closed-door deals and unsavory maneuvering,...

No most don't. But it doesn't take reading the bill yourself to be pissed off by the cavalier attitudes of dem leaders who have publicly laughed at the very idea that they would EVER bother to read a piece of legislation before voting on it. We elect our leaders to take the time to make sound decisions. You cannot do that if you are derelict in your duty.

People are also justifiably angry at the way it was produced. You can recite the dem talking points of how the GOP has not offered any alternatives, but the vast majority of the public is well aware that the GOP has offered MANY changes and ALL of them have been ignored. Obama's promises of a bipartisan solution have been demonstrated over and over to be nothing but BS. From the word go Obama decided that he would go this alone.


and they hear the deceptive GOP talking points putting it down.

Point out a specific deception? Where are they? Are you talking about Obama's plan to have 10 years of taxes support 6 years of spending? How is that not evidence of dishonest accounting to make the program look solvent? This is just another dem talking point for which you have no support.

So they don't realize that the bill is a combination of measures most of which they support (cost and all). After all, for the average person, the increased taxes (if any) are far outweighed by the savings in health insurance costs, so while it isn't really a free lunch for most it might as well be.

Most people are in favor of world peace too. But if you explain to them that it can be achieved at the cost of having a soul crushing, worldwide, totalitarian regime most people (aside from the dems) would say "No thank you."

Yes, people support the idea that everyone should have health insurance. Yes, people support the idea that pre-existing conditions should be covered.

However...

NO, people do not support cutting huge sums out of medicare to pay for these things. NO, people do not support having these things at the cost of losing their current health plan and access to their current doctor. NO, people do not want these things at the cost of socializing the health care system because most thinking people have seen the disaster that socialized medicine is everywhere it has been tried.

People have seen how the government handles running things. Everything from the post office, to Amtrak, to the DMV, to Cash for Clunkers, to Congress is a disaster. The federal government is simply not capable of running ANYTHING competently.

Obama's ideas of saving money are not actually finding ways to make health care cheaper to provide. His idea is to take government control of health care and just pay less for it. When government controls what gets paid it will simply decree what it will pay out and there will be no recourse. Doctors will leave the profession. Hospitals will go out of business. Medicare already pays less than 50 cents on the dollar. Many doctors will not take medicare patients. hospitals (notably the University of Chicago Medical Center where Michele Obama worked) actively turn away medicaid patients because they lose money on them.

Obama's plan is not about making health care better. It is about the government controlling 18% of the economy

Tina SEns... (Below threshold)
jim m:

Tina S

Ensuring that all Americans have insurance is not being done just as a handout to the poor. It goes hand-in-hand with preventing insurance companies from denying coverage based on pre-existing conditions. Otherwise people would just wait until they're sick before buying insurance, which would cause the price of insurance to skyrocket.
2 issues: 1) provide insurance for healthy people who cannot afford it and 2) provide insurance for non-healthy people who cannot afford it.

In the first case you have a lot of people who have limited means and choose to spend their money on things like iPhone service rather than healthcare. At what point are you willing to pay for someone to get federally subsidized health care? For how long? In a lot of cases of the uninsured simply providing healthcare as part of unemployment insurance would solve the problem. You don't need to take over 1/6 of he economy to do that.

In the second case either you have not bothered to read anything about health care here in the comments at Wizbang or you are willfully ignoring them. The issue with providing insurance for pre-existing conditions is a question of spreading risk. Actuarially, these people cost more to insure. the only way to help that is to spread the risk across larger population pools. Current law prevents pooling risk across state lines. All you need to do is to change those laws. THE DEMS REFUSE TO DO SO. Why? My assumption is that they are simply averse to any decrease in government regulation.

I know how distasteful forcing people to buy insurance is. But how do you feel about the way the current system works? If you come down with a major illness, it locks you into whatever company you are working for. For the rest of your life, if you ever switch jobs you will be denied insurance coverage. You can even be denied if you have a full recovery.

Is it as distasteful as having the government decide whether or not you can have a life saving treatment? That is what comes along with the package. Just go to Canada and hat IS what is happening. They don't have the money to treat everyone. So cancer patients die of their disease at a far higher rate than they do in the US. In fact in the US more men survive prostate cancer than actually have health insurance because people can still find ways to get treated here. 97+% of men survive prostate cancer in the US. 77% survive prostate cancer in the UK. That is directly attributable to the FACT that they cannot afford to treat everyone.

If anyone has a way in which insurance companies can be prevented from denying based on pre-existing conditions without ensuring everyone buys insurance, let me know. If there is another way of doing it, I would be willing to compromise my principles in supporting it. I just don't think there is one.

I gave you one above. READ IT! by allowing companies to spread risk you make it possible to include these people at competitive rates. Employers seeking health plans will want to provide plans that cover their employees better. Market competition will favor companies that can effectively spread risk, save costs and offer affordable plans to their customers. right now the government regulations prevent this.

The problems with health care are largely created by the government that is now running screaming into the street claiming hat there is a crisis. The crisis is of their making. Regulations have made it impossible to reduce risks and therefore costs. Refusal to make tort reforms have kept up defensive medicine practices which increase costs for everyone. Even good doctors have o pay outrageous premiums for malpractice insurance. But you must realize that it isn't the doctors who really pay for those high premiums, it's the patients who pay. The dems are masters at lying to he public saying that "it's the big companies who will pay, it's the doctors who will pay". The truth is that anyone who needs something from the big company or that doctor ends up paying. For the dems it is always someone else who pays. The American public is starting to catch on that regardless of what is claimed, they are the ones who get the bill ultimately.

Well said, Jim. I agree com... (Below threshold)
bobdog:

Well said, Jim. I agree completely.

#31. jim mNothing ... (Below threshold)
Upset Old Guy:

#31. jim m

Nothing there I will disagree with, but I suggest adding state governments into your mix. States love having insurance pools limited to state borders as it allows them to exercise control over insurance companies to mandate inclusion of particular services in all policies sold in their state. Health insurance plans are even more unique to the states than blends of gasoline.

What would you guys think o... (Below threshold)
Tina S:

What would you guys think of some sort of voucher system? Instead of getting insurance through your job, you would get a voucher. If you switch jobs you would lose the voucher, but not your insurance coverage. If your new job offers vouchers, you would apply it to your exisitng insurance policy.

I would love a system like this but don't how one would go about getting employers and health insurance companies to go along with. Perhaps some tax cuts as an incentive.

I'm a liberal but I like school vouchers.Does anybody think vouchers could be used to reform health care?

Old Guy,You are 10... (Below threshold)
jim m:

Old Guy,

You are 100% right. State governments have balkanized the insurance environment and created a lot of the problem. Why is it that dems always see the problems created by excessive and ignorant government regulation and come up with the answer that the solution is more government regulation?

I like the reference to gasoline. In Illinois (the state I recently fled) there are 13 different state mandated blends of gas at the pump. That is almost 25% of all the blends used in the US! The state mandates blends based on air quality within a given county. Apparently the state EPA believes that air does not move from one county to the next.

And liberals want the same people running everyone's health care? I don't get it.

jim m,Pooling acro... (Below threshold)
Tina S:

jim m,

Pooling across state lines would provide for greater competition and help bring prices down. I also support tort reform. These should be part of health care reform. These are all good mesures that will bring down the price of health care.

The price of health care is not the only problem that needs to be addressed. For instance its far to easy for someone who has paid for health insurance all there life to be suddenly dropped after getting sick. Then no other insurance companies will cover you because you now have a pre-existing condition. The cost saving measure you mentioned are all good but they don't address the problem of pre-existing conditions.

If were going to force insurance companies to not deny coverage based on pre-existing conditions, we have to force all American to buy health insurance. I don't like forcing people to buy insurance. But if were going to force insurance companies from denying on pre-existing condition, we have to. Otherwise people would wait until there sick before buying insurance. It would be like forcing insurance companies to sell fire insurance to people after they had a fire; and not allowing them to deny coverage for the fire because it is a pre-existing condition. If this were the case nobody would buy fire insurance until they needed it and the insurance companies would go out of business.

I also do not like it that my employer decides for me as to who I buy my insurance from and what options are available.

Another problem is that if you come down with an illness and the company you work for decides to save money by switching providers. Now your illness is no longer covered because its a pre-existing condition.

These are the problems I want the health care bill to fix. I don't care if its a democrat or republican solution, I want these problems addressed. An ideal solution would involve neither the government nor the company I work for making health care decisions for me. The health care bill is not ideal, but it is the only plan that addresses most of these problems.

"These are the problems ... (Below threshold)
JLawson:

"These are the problems I want the health care bill to fix. I don't care if its a democrat or republican solution, I want these problems addressed."

Stop with the damn talking points, Tina S, and come up with the MONEY. We don't have the MONEY. We're drowning in DEBT. We cannot fund any more ENTITLEMENTS, no matter how much you might want to! We have $12 TRILLION in debt currently. We have an estimated deficit of $1.6 TRILLION this year. We have estimated deficits (and these are assuming something doesn't go WRONG, like Iran tossing around nukes or NK deciding to go out in a bang) of $1 TRILLION a year for the next DECADE.

We have an income of roughly $2 trillion a year. We're spending $3.6 trillion this year. We are BADLY in the hole. We can BARELY pay in the INTEREST CHARGES on our debt. We're going to be damn near DOUBLING our debt in the next decade AS IS.

So it's a really simple question - and one not addressed in your talking points. Stop with the what ifs and the sob stories. They don't affect the basic fact that we simply cannot, should not, MUST not, latch an extra shitload of entitlement spending onto the debt and annual deficits we're already carrying.

Where is the money going to come from?

Stop with the damn talki... (Below threshold)
Tina S:

Stop with the damn talking points, Tina S, and come up with the MONEY. We don't have the MONEY. We're drowning in DEBT. We cannot fund any more ENTITLEMENTS, no matter how much you might want to!

JLawson,

You seem to ignore that the health care plan is to be paid for before it passes. This was not the case with the Bush tax cuts. Not only that but the Bush tax cuts cost more on a yearly basis than the health care plan. In addition, the republicans also passed the Bush tax cuts through reconciliation.

So when you start demanding that we can't afford the Bush tax cuts and they need to be eliminated, I'll give your comment serious consideration.

Tina, Tina, Tina. I'm disap... (Below threshold)
Upset Old Guy:

Tina, Tina, Tina. I'm disappointed in you. You didn't read D J's article on how wealth is created, did you?

Or you did and didn't understand it.

Tina S -You're com... (Below threshold)
JLawson:

Tina S -

You're completely and willfully ignoring the point.

My point is that we're $12 TRILLION dollars in debt. That problem is NOT going to change - it's going to be getting WORSE by at least a trillion a year for the next DECADE. At the end of that time, the US will likely be over $22 TRILLION in debt.

Our income is about $2 trillion a year. Our payments on the interest at present run over $400 billion. Do you foresee some massive increase in the amount the government can tax in order to increase revenue to the point where we're not running a deficit each year?

The fiction that this will be paid for is a crock - they're going to collect taxes on it for 3 years at LEAST before paying out a dime... and that money's going to get used. It's not going to just sit there - it's going to be spent as fast as it comes in. Look at the revenue for Social Security - is that going into a savings accout somewhere for your future needs? Or is it being thrown into the general budget to meet this year's expenses?

The money that'll come in will be applied to the deficit. End result? When it's time to pay, they'll have to borrow.

And our credit rating's going downhill fast. Everyone else in the world can do the math - $12 trillion in debt with an income of $2 trillion? No extra money coming in? Hell, it's not going to be long before we CAN'T borrow money any more. Think we can pay for everything we already have as well as this mess on less than $2 trillion a year, when we're borrowing $1.6 trillion this year just to make ends meet?

(BTW, nice try blaming Bush. Obama's pushed the deficit the first year WAY beyond whatever was lost through the tax cuts through Bush's term. It's a failed argument.)

Then you get into the inefficiencies of the bureaucratic systems of our government. You've seen how Cash4Clunkers went. $24k per car in order to give a rebate of $4000! It cost PER CAR 6 times the amount they gave as a rebate! Want to argue with CNN economists? Go right ahead - they're looking at the unfortunate reality of what looked really good on paper.

You've seen how the 'stimulus' didn't do what was expected. Government is NOT known for its efficiency with spending - I'd estimate a good 20% is going to get lost paying for the bureaucracy, AND you're going to see fraud, waste, and abuse that'll make the $200-$500 billion Medicare losses for the same look like pocket change.

It isn't affordable. At all. Ignore the political promises and rhetoric - look at reality. Reality is what EXISTS - it's not something you can write off as inconvenient if it doesn't tell you what you want to hear.

Looks like the respondents ... (Below threshold)
Brian Rush:

Looks like the respondents to those polls aren't the only ones who are ignorant about what's in the bill.

While there's no question the president's health-care bill would cost money (almost a trillion over the next ten years), it would NOT add to the deficit, because it's paid for by reductions in Medicare spending (which would be replaced in part by provisions of the bill itself), and by new taxes. (Yeah, I know you guys probably hate THAT idea, too, but taxes are one thing, deficit spending another. It would raise taxes, which is generally what you have to do when you increase spending and don't want to borrow the money. But it would NOT increase the deficit. In fact, it would reduce it.)

The bill has four major parts and a bunch of minor ones. The four major parts are these:

1) A requirement that everyone (with a few hardship exceptions) be insured.
2) Regulations on health insurance providers, including minimum coverage required, and forbidding of certain practices such as denying people with preexisting conditions.
3) One or more insurance exchanges in which various providers (including, by requirement, at least one non-profit option) offer their plans in competition with one another. Note that this is basically what federal employees, including Congresscritters, have in the way of coverage.
4) Subsidies for lower-income people to buy health insurance.

It's really only #4 that costs substantial amounts of money, and as I said that's all paid for by provisions of the bill.

Republican falsehoods about it include calling it "a government takeover of X% of the economy," or even "a government takeover of health care," which it's not -- hospitals, clinics, and even insurance companies would continue to be privately run; none of those except insurance providers would even be more regulated than now. Also, claiming that it would increase the budget deficit. Also, the nonsense about "death panels." Need any more?

Finally, there's the related lie, not about the bill itself but about the reconciliation procedure that will be used to pass it. Reconciliation will NOT be used to pass the Senate's health care bill. It doesn't need to be, because the Senate already passed it last December with 60 votes. All it will be used for is to amend the bill that was already passed, so the House Dems will like it a bit better and also pass it (of course, in the House there's no filibustering allowed).

Of the four main points listed above, only the first one is unpopular. That's understandable (who wants to be told they HAVE to buy something?), but it's also necessary if the other provisions are to work. The other three provisions are quite popular, and a public option (which unfortunately isn't in the president's plan) is more popular still. So again: the reason this plan gets low approval rating in polls is because people don't know what's in it, and did get to watch the process whereby it was put together. (You know what they say about laws and sausages . . .)

Sigh."It's a great... (Below threshold)
JLawson:

Sigh.

"It's a great, wonderful, incredible idea!"

Meets up with

"We can't afford it. At all. No way, no how, not now or in the foreseeable future."

And... the folks pushing the idea just don't get the fact that in a decade we as a nation are going to be so deep in debt that we may not even be able to pay the interest on it. Go ahead! See what happens to the entitlements when most of the revenue collected goes directly to interest payments, and we can't borrow more money!

We're $12 trillion in debt. We've got a deficit of $1.6 trillion for this year, and trillion-dollar deficits forcast for a decade to come. Add in a governmental bureaucracy so efficient that a simple program like Cash4Clunkers cost $24,000 to provide a $4,000 rebate.

And there's folks who just can't WAIT to see them handle health care. It's just friggin' insane.

Hell, let WalMart handle health care. THEY, at least, have some concept of how to run a business!

If they had done a poll dur... (Below threshold)
Tabitha:

If they had done a poll during the civil war about whether we should or should not abolish slavery, over 50 percent of the US would have said no. Should we have listened? And really does this represent everyone? I dont recall ever being asked... The people who have time to take these surveys are the retired, the sick, and the well to do, everyone else either hangs up or is working far to much to have time to do a survey.

and as for affording.... if we take that to heart we would never be able to spend money on any one thing ever again, the fiscal sense of the government is ridculous, many have never run a business, the first costs to cut would be welfare and unemployment, and then social security, many people would die, starve, but you know we'd save money and your not dependant on it so what the heck do you care?




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