Health Care Reform

Races for the Senate, U.S. House, etc. and other issues of national importance.
bdog
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Re: Health Care Reform

Postby bdog » Tue Jul 03, 2012 11:15 am

Henry Vilas wrote:It's a penalty; no it's a tax.

The Republican confusion over what to call a fine in President Barack Obama's health care law gained little clarity Tuesday, as the party's chairman adamantly called the fee a "tax" the day after a senior Mitt Romney adviser insisted it was a "penalty."


This internal debate among the GOP should be very interesting.

Reminds me of this:

Interestingly, J. J. Thomson's son, G. P. Thomson, performed one of the famous experiments showing that electrons, like waves, can produce interference patterns. J. J. won the Nobel Prize for showing that electrons are particles; his son won the Nobel Prize for showing that electrons are waves--and they were both right!


http://www.colorado.edu/physics/2000/periodic_table/waves_vs_particles.html

fisticuffs
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Re: Health Care Reform

Postby fisticuffs » Tue Jul 03, 2012 11:17 am

One would think this would be a no brainer. Call it a tax, point out that Obama has now raised taxes on those least able to afford it (if you can't afford health care, how can you afford higher taxes?). Toss in Obama wanting to tax anyone who doesn't fall in line with his demands, and it would appear to be tailor made for attack ads.


Those least able to afford it may now be able to get it for the first time. They'll be eligible for subsidies and entrance into larger pools of insurance. Those least able to afford it are going to be much better off. If not the penalty/tax is tiny. The only people really subject to this are the young, reasonably well off males (mostly) who have chosen to play Russian Roullette with their health care and pocket the savings.

Francis Di Domizio
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Re: Health Care Reform

Postby Francis Di Domizio » Tue Jul 03, 2012 11:43 am

fisticuffs wrote:`Those least able to afford it may now be able to get it for the first time. They'll be eligible for subsidies and entrance into larger pools of insurance. Those least able to afford it are going to be much better off. If not the penalty/tax is tiny. The only people really subject to this are the young, reasonably well off males (mostly) who have chosen to play Russian Roullette with their health care and pocket the savings.


Fisti, I wasn't putting forth a position, just pointing out the most obvious spin the Republican's will use to go after Obama over this tax/penalty/fee.

irregardless of who is actually going to end up subject to this, the Republican party will probably spin this as a new tax on the middle class. Romney doesn't even have to join in on the spin if he really thinks it will hurt him. It's possible that this issue is a bigger factor on the congressional elections than it is in the presidential elections.

Huckleby
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Re: Health Care Reform

Postby Huckleby » Tue Jul 03, 2012 2:36 pm

click on images & view full screen for readable view

Image

Image

A couple charts from Ezra Klein's excellent blog at WAsh Post to ponder.

Many interesting things to notice.
The Switzerland model (roughly similar to Obamacare) produces better results than the Canadian model (probably the purest single payer implementation). The public/private split in Switzerland is very similar to U.S. today.
There may be ways that Canadian system is superior that are not evident from these particular charts, for instance public satisfaction levels.

The British have done drastic reforms in recent years, adding more privatization in health care delivery. Look at the change in their wait times.

One needs to keep an open mind on health care paths. The key is to get universal coverage, with whatever system works politically/culturally.

Henry Vilas
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Re: Health Care Reform

Postby Henry Vilas » Tue Jul 03, 2012 2:55 pm

Huckleby wrote: There may be ways that Canada system is superior that are not on these particular charts.

One way is the cost of prescription medicine. Canada has a single-payer system and can negotiation much lower prices for medicine. Our own VA health care system does the same and has similar savings. Pharaceuticals companies made sure that Medicare Part D, which covers prescriptions, remained with various private insurers.

The drug manufacturers cry crocodile tears over a singer-payer system in the U.S., saying they need to charge more to cover r and d. What it really pays for is corruption and stolen profits, such as in the recent GlaxoSmithKline scandal.

Yet they still made a profit on their drugs when sold to single-payer sytems, like Canada and the V.A.

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Re: Health Care Reform

Postby DCB » Tue Jul 03, 2012 6:01 pm

Digby asks, Why would anyone assume that Republicans will act rationally?

If the Republicans were rational, we could have a constructive argument over health care. But no. We have one side that thinks we should try help poor people get health insurance. The other side thinks we should just let them die.

Or is clueless.
"People now don't die from prostate cancer, breast cancer and some of the other things," he told The Batavian in an interview that was flagged Tuesday by City & State NY. Collins was discussing his desire to repeal Obamacare.



Or just doesn't care:
Asked a third time how Republicans would insure those 30 million people, McConnell said: “That is not the issue. The question is how you can go step by step to improve the American health care system.”

WALLACE: You don’t think the 30 million people who are uninsured is an issue?

MCCONNELL: Let me tell you what we’re not going to do. We’re not going to turn the American health care system into a western European system.

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Re: Health Care Reform

Postby Henry Vilas » Wed Jul 04, 2012 10:12 am

Henry Vilas wrote:It's a penalty; no it's a tax.

The Republican confusion over what to call a fine in President Barack Obama's health care law gained little clarity Tuesday, as the party's chairman adamantly called the fee a "tax" the day after a senior Mitt Romney adviser insisted it was a "penalty."


This internal debate among the GOP should be very interesting.

The latest GOP spin... RNC chair: The individual mandate isn’t a tax, but the GOP will call it one anyway.

bdog
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Re: Health Care Reform

Postby bdog » Wed Jul 04, 2012 10:20 am

The Kochs have instructed us to call it a quanta.

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Re: Health Care Reform

Postby Henry Vilas » Wed Jul 04, 2012 12:39 pm

Seems like they can't keep their story straight.

Romney says individual mandate is "a tax" in interview with CBS News

In an interview with CBS News, aired on Wednesday, Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney reversed himself and got in line with the GOP’s new talking point: That that the individual mandate of the 2010 landmark health-care law is “a tax.”

Huckleby
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Re: Health Care Reform

Postby Huckleby » Wed Jul 04, 2012 12:57 pm

The lowest dirty trick is out on the air, Freedom Works is telling people that if you can't afford health insurance, you are going to be punished by Obamacare with an additional tax.

I got to hand it to those guys, they know how to spot a vulnerability and go for it. Many people have no idea that low income people are exempted from the mandate.

The left are going to have to fight back with simple ads geared to low information people addressing this issue very specifically. Long explanations on PBS don't cut it.

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Re: Health Care Reform

Postby johnfajardohenry » Wed Jul 04, 2012 7:58 pm

Henry Vilas wrote:
Huckleby wrote: There may be ways that Canada system is superior that are not on these particular charts.
One way is the cost of prescription medicine.


One way is via thuggery too.

There are two costs that any business has to reckon with in setting a price for their product. One is the fixed cost, the other is variable cost.

The fixed cost of a new drug is enormous. R&D, trials, scale up, often new facilities and so on. These costs have to be included in the selling price of each tablet.

The variable cost is the cost of materials, components, direct labor testing and so on. These are often pennies on the dollar compared to the fixed costs.

The marginal cost is how much it takes to make 1 additional tablet. Usually it is peanuts.

Canada threatened the US manufacturers that if they did not get a break on the price they payed, they would ignore the patents and let Canadian companies make the drugs.

Seem like thuggery to me.

For the US companies, as long as they cover the variable costs of manufacture, it doesn't cost them very much. In fact, by increasing total manufacturing volume, it drives the overall average cost slightly.

So Canada can get away with it but it is still thuggery.

Re VA: I am currently taking 4 meds provided by the VA. I think I pay $8/month for each. Fairly reasonable. They are not the newest drugs. They are not drugs that are under patent and they are made by generic houses rather then name brands.

I can actually get them $2/month cheaper in Sam's Club except VA won't give me a prescription that I can use.

John Henry


John Henry

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Re: Health Care Reform

Postby johnfajardohenry » Wed Jul 04, 2012 8:06 pm

Huckleby wrote:
There may be ways that Canadian system is superior that are not evident from these particular charts, for instance public satisfaction levels.


One of the ways it is not superior is in natal care. Look how many thousands of mothers are sent to the US each year to have their babies because there is no hospital for them.

Look at the example 4-5 years ago of the quintuplets. In the entire country of Canada they had not a single facility that could care for them. Instead, the Canadian medical system paid for them to be flown to some dinky town in Wyoming, pop 10,000 or so that did have the facilities.

We are the escape valve that makes the Canadian system work. What will that escape valve no longer exists?

And don't even get me started on comparing infant mortality between countries.

John Henry

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Re: Health Care Reform

Postby pjbogart » Wed Jul 04, 2012 9:09 pm

johnfajardohenry wrote:Canada threatened the US manufacturers that if they did not get a break on the price they payed, they would ignore the patents and let Canadian companies make the drugs.

Seem like thuggery to me.


You got a link for that, John? I did a quick search and found that Canadians actually pay a lot for their drugs, about 77% of what US Citizens pay, but that's a lot more than other countries.

If you've got evidence that Canada threatened to ignore international patent laws, I'd love to see it.

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Re: Health Care Reform

Postby Cornbread » Wed Jul 04, 2012 9:16 pm

bdog wrote:The Kochs have instructed us to call it a quanta.


I didn't get to that memo yet. I'm still working on the last one, where I have to continue our war on women and children......and the poor, and well, I guess gays and chipmunks too.

Huckleby
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Re: Health Care Reform

Postby Huckleby » Wed Jul 04, 2012 9:32 pm

johnfajardohenry wrote:We are the escape valve that makes the Canadian system work. What will that escape valve no longer exists?


Huh? We do some things very well in our country, particularly provide quick service (for certain procedures) to people who have good insurance or deep pockets. The Canadian system certainly has its strengths too.

I'm not a big fan of the Canadian system, and the Canadian system has zero to do with Obamacare.

You are aware that many Americans have procedures done in other countries to save a tremendous amount of money, right? The "medical tourism" industry is burgeoning. Our system would no more collapse without this "escape valve" than would Canada's.

For a visual demonstration of our system's costs, check this out:
http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-srv/sp ... in-the-us/


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