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March 21, 2010

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If a year from now my premium goes up, I'm against it. If it goes down, I'm for it. What else is there?

Bad. And it will get worse. Much worse. See you in the streets!

You don't have to study the bill. Nothing good ever comes out of DC, ever.

Any type of health care reform that does not include outcome-based rationing is doomed to failure.

Peter

"I haven't studied it enough (not really at all) in order to know if it's good or bad for America, so I have no comment at the moment."

It sucks.

That's all you need to know.

This bill forces people to pay the health care costs of other people. It even taxes people who don't buy insurance! It also does nothing to reduce the costs of health care, but will instead make it even more expensive. Taxes will go up, spending will go up, health care quality will not improve for the 90% of us already insured, and freedom has taken a huge blow.

In short, this bill sucks.

Although, technically, this isn't a government takeover of health insurance because there is no public insurance option.

The government isn't really taking over health care, Obama is just throwing a shitload of burdensome regulations and taxes onto the existing system.

A bit of good news is that complex regulations and taxes will be easier to repeal (or at least punch holes into by a future Republican congress) than repealing a government public insurance option would be.

Here's some interesting thoughts on it:

http://onestdv.blogspot.com/2010/03/new-healthcare-bill-good-or-bad.html

Auster is calling this one of the worst bills in American history. As a Trojan horse: Maybe, but I can't imagine that's true for this bill independently.

This much I know: adding another entitlement is unwise, the math in the bill is unworkable, and unintended consequences are inevitable. That is all I can really say at this point.

I'm not sure if this will hurt or help Obama in the next election. I don't know how much of the bill will be implemented by that time and how long it will take for negatives to materialize.

The most dire possibility would be the loss of our AAA credit rating in the near future. Moody's has been issuing a lot of threats lately, but I'm not sure if Moody's is serious or just bluffing. I can't see any way short of a devaluation to reign in federal spending, but a devaluation would be a nightmare. It might prove too much of a nightmare for Moody's to carry out the threat.

Moody's has been late to the punch before. I'm not sure if overestimating FedGov's credit rating will continue to be the norm or whether, given previous failures, Moody's might feel compelled to call it right this time. If we were to face a devaluation, better to deal with it sooner rather than later. I'm not familiar enough with the process to know if Moody's takes future projections into account or whether deficits have to first materialize before new ratings are assigned.

Does anyone want to venture a guess at the likelihood of a credit devaluation occurring in the next few years?

I love your blog, but this post is, to date, absolutely the lamest thing you've written.

Lol, but surely it represents value transference no?

Health care is an expensive mess in this country that grows worse every year. I think we need to do something to fix it.

But given the fiscal situation in our country, this seems the wrong time to do it. We need to bring our income more in line with our expenses first before tackling some big new program.

We'll all soon find out when we visit our government assigned doctor and quota beneficiary Rae Kwon Johnson!

If government health care is so awesome in England, why did David Beckham fly to Finland to have his hamstring operated on?

It's bad for you if you're a tax-payer. If you're one of the government "clients", in the roman sense, then the bill is wonderful.

Those of us who relish the collapse of the US empire think this bill is wonderful and can only hasten the end. Let a thousand city-states bloom out of the ashes of DC!

"Although, technically, this isn't a government takeover of health insurance because there is no public insurance option."

Not yet, but connect the dots. People can now get insurance with pre-existing conditions. The fine for not buying insurance is set too low to encourage healthy people who don't have insurance to buy it. They can just wait until they get sick and then get insurance. This bill will likely increase the number of uninsured and lead to higher premiums by insurance companies, as they try to compensate for the adverse selection. That's when Dems can propose a single-payer program, arguing that the status quo doesn't work.

"This bill forces people to pay the health care costs of other people."

Very bad argument. That's called "insurance." If you have a health care plan you are already either paying other people's costs or being heavily subsidized yourself. There's been a lot of stupid hype about this bill - the reality is that, after all the procedural details are worked out over the next year (with heavy lobbying from the insurance companies every step of the way), this "reform" will end up being basically a tweak. It's neither "daring reform" or "socialism in America", but both Parties have a vested interested in making it seem much bigger than it really is. Congrats to HS for showing some common sense (whereas Roissy seems to have fallen for the hype like a hysterical Beta finding out his wife has been unfaithful).

"If government health care is so awesome in England, why did David Beckham fly to Finland to have his hamstring operated on?"

You do know that Finland has an even more socialist system than the UK, right? It's 77% funded out of taxes. I guess you're arguing that more state intervention is better.

Health care will cause the country to collapse? Shouldn't someone warn Canada?

"The most dire possibility would be the loss of our AAA credit rating in the near future."

Irrelevant. Properly speaking, the U.S. shouldn't even have a "credit rating" since it's doesn't actually "borrow" any money (a sovereign currency issuer in a floating rate regime never needs to "borrow" it's own currency of issue; the only real purpose of bond sales is support non-zero interest rates) The credit agencies pulled the same thing on Japan in the 90's - reducing it's rating to below Botswana's - and Japan could still issue all the bonds it wanted at 0% interest.

Obama could have easily just let people buy into Medicare, and then mandated foreigners have comprehensive coverage. That would not have caused any controversy (assuming foreigners' legal status would be checked).

Posted by: Peter A | March 22, 2010 at 02:13 PM

Buying insurance is my choice, you stupid fuck. If you give a damn about others so much, increase your charity. Better yet, send the extra to Uncle Sambo in DC. I say at least another 30% of your salary.

[HS: The primary purpose of money is to buy yourself higher status. So if EVERYONE has to give 30% to DC, then no one's relative status has changed.]

[HS: The primary purpose of money is to buy yourself higher status. So if EVERYONE has to give 30% to DC, then no one's relative status has changed.]

Depends how much you start with. Or who you are...

I would rather have any First World system than ours. I know people in Spain and England and they like their health care. This bill is no good though because it keeps the insurance companies.
Either just buy everyone a BCBS policy or get rid of private health insurance companies.There are many companies that hire illegals and push their costs onto to society by not paying health care costs. The labor is cheap for them,but not for us because we pick up the extra costs. These businesses are free riding. Either no businesses should provide health coverage or they all should be forced to provide it.Cut off all immigration and have a single payer system.

"Obama could have easily just let people buy into Medicare, and then mandated foreigners have comprehensive coverage. That would not have caused any controversy"

Sure it would have. That's why it wasn't implemented. The "Medicare for all" tack had been bandied about by a number of Dems (e.g., my Congressman) well before the legislative marathon on this that started last year. A better (though not-uncontroversial) approach would have been this:

1) Allow consumers to shop for health insurance across state lines.

2) Specify a minimum basic form of coverage everyone needs to have (no chiropractic, acupuncture, fertility treatments, and other stuff that drives up prices).

3) Figure out the mean annual cost of this coverage and increase everyone's payroll tax by that amount.

4) Refund that portion of the payroll tax for everyone who demonstrates proof of insurance coverage over the prior year when they file their taxes.

5) For anyone with preexisting conditions who can't afford coverage, subsidize them. Have insurance companies bid on who can cover them at the lowest price.

Halfsigma,

You are missing how health care reform is how it is a huge benefit for liberal arts degree holders from upper middle class families. The first sign was that 25 y/o non-students can remain on their parents group polices. A huge entitlement for the 20-somethings whose parents are upper middle class who are working as interns, and backpacking around the world. Second, the must issue, cannot drop, government subsidized insurance is a tremendous windfall for the 20 something living in Williamsburg, Brooklyn who are "freelance writers" or actors or producers or directors.

The poor will never benefit from their parents group plans but the rich will get to extend it a few more years.

What ever is decided on will benefit the insurance companies the most while shafting the masses. If you want to see health care costs go down, we'd have to find a way to limit the influence of health care companies on legislation. Good luck with that in our life time.

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