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« More punch-bowl pondering | Main | Unhopeful »

Aug 24, 2009


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Jeffrey Sykes

Have you figured out how to pay for the Democratic program yet or are you content to focus on death panels?


Are we worrying about old worries? Is it really necessary that every last misconception be rectified? That every liar me so named by the MSM? I'm not sure that we haven't entered a new age where the MSM no longer represents the means for the truth. They blew it with the Iraq war and now it is an amalgam that shapes informs opinion. Sure, it would be nice if the MSM had some balls (nationally and locally), but there are new and more democratic influences on power that seem to be unimpeded by the lapdog media's lapdoginess.


How are we paying for the Medicare prescription drug program?

We, the insured, already pay for a large portion of health care delivered in ER's to the uninsured. Channeling it through tax dollars to a more organized health care delivery system seems better then channeling it through increased premiums.

If we make the McAllen's of the county more like the Mayo's we'll have a good start.

I would like to see the ban for self-referral of imaging studies included.

Jeffrey Sykes

Gator: It seems to me you changed the subject.

Are you in favor of more deficit spending to increase entitlement programs?

Do past mistakes justify more mistakes?

I thought we elected someone who was opposed to deficit spending?

Ed Cone


Corporate media still wield tremendous influence, and should be held accountable for shoddy work.

Part of the power of new media is the ability to talk back to corporate media in ways we never had before.

You are free to shrug your shoulders and say, eh, so what if leading figures in this debate continue to spread falsehoods, and corporate media continue to provide a forum for them to do so.

But let's be clear: this is not about chasing down "every last misconception," it's about big lies, spread recently and on an ongoing basis, by boldface political names.


Yeah, okay. I see your point -- I tried to take the practical to the esoteric and missed the meat in the process.

Jeffrey Sykes

The meat is about how to pay for utopia without bankrupting the country, but I guess death panels are more important.


There are large cost-savings available in reform, and other cost saving effects like the shunting of non-emergent patients out of ER's to primary care offices, and the care of disease before it becomes emergent.

I also laugh at the focus on illegal immigrant care. The bill doesn't provide insurance for illegal immigrants. Where might an illegal go for care? To an ER? What if they don't pay? Who then picks up the tab? Me. OMG - I'm already paying for health care for illegals. /brain_explosion.

What interest rate do bankrupt entities pay? 4.4% on 30yrs is pretty low.

Jeff - would you be in favor of repealing medicare RX drug plan because it was 'deficit spending to increase entitlement programs?"


The bigger part of it is defining utopia. Is your utopia an insurance market made up of individual policies with high-deductable + HSA style of self-insurance, wrought with recission and other insurance company cost saving techniques? Or is your utopia an insurance market with groups large enough so that costs are not insurmountable for any individual, and more intelligent cost savings can be implemented?

Recission should be outlawed. Companies can get a month or so to check your medical history, but collecting premiums and then post-hoc underwriting should not be allowed.

People, even the uninsured, get a lot of end-of-life care. For the uninsured, it often brings family bankruptcy. I do not view the bankruptcy court as a sufficient means for catastrophic insurance. Those costs are ALREADY borne by the insured, public and private both. One goal is to postpone when end-of-life care is needed so that an individual can live more productive and enjoyable years. That will cost money, but it is money well spent.

Jeffrey Sykes

I think the medicare Rx plan was a give away to big pharma. I was not following the Bush admin or national politics closely in 2004 because I was editing three newspapers at the same time.

But I have since heard enough criticism of the plan to think it was not something I would have agreed with.


We increase both the need and the cost of end-of-life treatment and the treatment of the ailments that get people to death's door by sustaining a system that permits 40-50 million people to go uninsured. The uninsured typically must postpone or forego the care that would uncover these ailments early enough to permit less expensive kinds of treatment. They present themselves to the medical system when they, at last, have no alternative. The rest of us bear the costs in greater premiums and taxes.

Insurance corporations contribute in their own way. They know that most people are covered under employer insurance plans. They also know that most employees change employer every 5-7 years or so. That means that the benefits of any preventive care that they pay for will very likely accrue to another insurance company a few decades down the road. So, they see an incentive not to provide useful benefits for preventive care, and they often don't. Just another example of how the corporate profit drive is at odds with the nation's health.


So why don't they simply stop quoting idiot pols who say "death panels" and ignore governor-quitters who try to influence US policy from Facebook?


>>So why don't they simply stop quoting idiot pols who say "death panels" and ignore governor-quitters who try to influence US policy from Facebook?

Because most of them aren't journalists, just people out for a buck. The minority of real journalists among them work for entertainment divisions, not news people, so they get dragged into the game, too.

We are saturated with media who believe a story demands conflict, even if they need to fabricate it. What better way to do that than to avoid calling the bluff of a transparent liar?

(This fetish with conflict is even rampant in the tech press, where we still see stories keying on themes like "Apple versus Microsoft," "Linux versus Windows," etc. It's silly.


"But I have since heard enough criticism of the plan to think it was not something I would have agreed with."

From several standpoints, the contortions involved in Part D are straight from bureaucratic hell.

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