Inept vs. Insane: Who’s on First-aid? (Updated 7/1/12)

I love a conservative with a sense of humor. They are hard to find, generally. Dennis Miller gets off a few zingers now and then and Ann Coulter runs her tongue through a pencil sharpener every morning to maintain her stinging commentary. She draws many liberals to her speaking engagements, and they shower her with gifts of pies, eggs and tomatos.

Supreme Supreme John Roberts will probably be asking Ann for advice on defensive strategy, since he will no doubt be greeted with the same kind of love and affection when he ventures out into the public realm. The only difference is the throwing will be done by conservatives who didn’t get his joke. After patiently waiting for months for The Big Chief to deliver the punchline to the question, “What happens when Obama, Pelosi and Reed walk into a bar exam?”, the audience was shocked. His answer made no sense to them, and for days afterward, critics tried to unravel his twisted logic. Some argued that it was just too intellectual for the average person to understand, while others speculated that Roberts was the victim of temporary brain-freeze brought on by his rumored epilepsy.

The butt of the Top Law-dog’s ruling turned out to be Mitt Romney, who received the news like a kick in his gold-plated nuts. Obamacare is legal, as long as you call it a tax instead of a penalty, and will now become the defining issue of Electopocalypse 2012. In media libraries from Massachusetts to Washington, old footage of then-governor Romney denying that his healthcare initiative was a tax was dusted off and placed on a running loop that will play non-stop from now until November. Mitt will be forced to backtrack on every nice thing he ever said about universal coverage while Democrats point fingers and say I told you so.

Conservatives can only hope that the economy tanks and everyone forgets about the Chief Justice’s flub. As Steve Martin once noted, “Comedy is not pretty.” 

Update 7/1/12 - There are no doubt some conservatives who fail to see how Obama can win in my scenario. Here’s how I see the match-up…

First, Obama has the advantage of incumbancy, with all the bully pulpit pandering he can wield. Remember that Clinton was wildly unpopular in ’96 after the meltdown of Hillarycare. The argument that Obama’s pet prescription for healthcare was a failure has been removed by the Roberts decision. The Republicans have nominated another weak candidate (like ’96) who has failed to inspire the party. I’ll admit that Perot helped Clinton by siphoning off 5%, but it’s questionable that Dole would have won in any case.

Second, the economy is slowly starting to improve. Gas prices are finally going down. Jobs are picking up, albeit slowly. As I noted above, any downward slide could change the numbers in a heartbeat.

Third, people are generally satisfied with the administration’s foreign policy. There have been no terrorist attacks on U.S. soil. Bin Laden is dead, no messy trial to deal with. Drones roam the planet killing bad guys at will. The war in Iraq is over and Afghanistan is relatively quiet. Once again, events could change all that.

At this point in the campaign, Obama can still win enough big blue states to pull off another four years. Congress is a different story. The GOP will most likely keep the House and take the Senate, and we will see at least two more years of gridlock. Whoopee.

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69 Responses to Inept vs. Insane: Who’s on First-aid? (Updated 7/1/12)

  1. gregoryzaller says:

    I think the difference should be recognized between the “tax” placed on free loaders of the health care system and the “tax” increases needed to pay for funding government excesses. The Obama Care tax is actually a savings overall by straightening out a convoluted dysfunctional system in a manner Republicans would approve of if they weren’t so partisan.

    • Todd juvinall says:

      That is ridiculous GregZ. Who do you think ay for the emergency room visits by the one’s you so care about? People who are responsible and buy insurance already. The tax will be squandered and they will take the proceeds and spend it on non germane items just like they have swiped our social security and left us a few trillion IOU’s. It saddens me to see people so brainwashed they think the government will do the right thing with the money.

      • Tony Waters says:

        Todd,
        Actually, I believe many if not most emergency room visits are paid for by government programs like MediCal, and Medicare. Most others are paid for by employer-based health insurance, much of which comes, as Greg G. points out, from government employees, veterans, and others. So you see, most emergency room care is already paid for by the government. I fail to see you skepticism in government programs.

        Tony

        • Greg Goodknight says:

          No, Medicare (already paid by the currently employed young) and Medicaid/MediCal pay a fraction of the cost of an emergency room visit by folks with those payers. Private patients, whether insured or not, pay much higher rates to make up for the shortfall, including care for folks who can’t afford to pay, which, if they have any assets, may well result in loss of a house.

          I remember one of the bills that came in for my wife as she was sliding towards oblivion… a cardiologist who consulted during one ER visit. He examined her for about 10 minutes… the bill came, something like $400. The goldplated PPO explanation of benefits proclaimed the contracted price was $125 which was paid in full, with the rest waived. I’ve little doubt the cardiologist’s accounts receivable staff would have hounded us into bankruptcy to get more than that if they could have.

          If $125 was the price the cardiologist was willing to do that job for United Healthcare, they should have been willing to do it for that price (or a few percent more) for anyone who walks in the door.

        • Todd juvinall says:

          Tony, I suggest you chat with the people at SNMH and see for yourself. If you have medical insurance, please ask your agent how mush is in there for the uninsured. Kind of like the little line item in your auto insurance for payouts in case those who run into you don’t have insurance.

          • Tony Waters says:

            Todd, Most of the bills at SNMH are paid by insurance, eventually. The biggest insurance plans in the United States are Medicare and MediCaid respectively, which are government run. And while I agree that they are not the most efficient in town, government does indeed run them for better and worse. Your point was that the government does not “do the right thing” with money is not always the case. The payment of MediCaid and MediCare bills at the emergency room is one example of them in fact, “doing the right thing.”

            Greg, The pricing you cite in your wife’s case is a good example of the corruption of the current system. Wouldn’t it be a good idea if the Republicans played a more constructive role in eliminating such obvious unfairness in the medical marketplace? The Democrats already had their chance to do this with Obamacare, but instead pandered to the insurance companies, Big Pharma, etc.

          • Greg Goodknight says:

            Tony, Republicans and libertarians have both had good ideas to reintroduce some basic market reforms… like treating health benefits like any other income, adjusting the tax tables to be revenue neutral, and allow health insurance to be purchased across state lines, but such things were ignored while promoting the big lie that the panalties were not a tax.

            The political fight was suspended with the hope SCOTUS would make the problem go away, but it’s back in the political arena and so the fight is just beginning.

            We were all promised we could keep the insurance we have under the new rules… now it’s clear you can keep buying from the same insurance company, if your employer doesn’t dump you to shed your costs, but the only policy you’ll be allowed to buy is the one Obama’s regulators have defined.

            This is not the America I grew up in and love. And, by the way, neither me or my son can buy an individual policy due to preexisting conditions that wouln’t be issues were Californias regulators to allow us to buy policies that limited treatment options or forbid existing conditions that appeared while covered by insurance.

          • RL Crabb says:

            Tort reform would be another area that could help with costs. The last time I had to deal with a health issue, I was required to go through a series of expensive tests to cover the Doctor’s ass in case anything went wrong. With California in the iron grip of trial lawyers, I wouldn’t count on it any time soon.

          • Tony Waters says:

            Greg and RL. There is a lot here where I can agree with you on these points. I’m hopeful that the Republicans (and Libertarians) will return to specific issues on the structuring of health care markets, rather than being the party of “no.”

          • Michael Anderson says:

            Greg wrote: “And, by the way, neither me or my son can buy an individual policy due to preexisting conditions that wouldn’t be issues were Californias regulators to allow us to buy policies that limited treatment options or forbid existing conditions that appeared while covered by insurance.”

            So if I understand you correctly, you want to be able to buy minimal insurance and suffer the consequences. I trust you and your son, Greg, but there are too many other people out there who are more than willing to break that bargain and use the ER at my expense. I am tired of paying for the free use of ER by destitute people with my ridiculously high premiums, as well as for the primo health care plans of public workers which are paid for by my tax dollars.

            I feel like a sheep who is being overly sheared on a daily basis. Whadaya got for me?

          • Greg Goodknight says:

            RL, tort reform was indeed also put on the table multiple times over the years, including during the Pelosi-Reid years, but the trial lawyers being Democratic Party sacred cows it went nowhere. Even one Democratic Party VP nominee (John Edwards) made his MANY millions by channeling dead babies when suing the OB/GYNs that were unlucky enough to be the attending doctor at difficult births. What a great VP he would have made.

            Tony, the ‘party of no’ rhetoric was a purely partisan Democratic talking point born of Pelosi, Reid and Obama shutting Republicans out of the process entirely except for a few media stunts. They chose to go at health care reform all alone, and the ugly result is that a majority of Americans want it repealed. It’s the ugliest bit of sausage to come out of Washington in my lifetime and no one should be surprised at the pushback.

            Remember, they had to pass the bill so everyone could find out what was in it. No time for Americans to read it first. We now know it’s a big middle class tax increase and a requirement that all lose their current insurance plans or pay a penalty tax, not exactly what was promised.

          • Greg Goodknight says:

            MA, 8:04pm, there are too many straw men embedded in your question to be taken seriously.

            You seem to have chosen the nanny state over any freedom to choose, and I really don’t have anything for you.

          • Tony Waters says:

            Greg: I correct my “party of no” rhetoric. More literally, the Republicans are “the part of repeal it all.” I would much rather see them as the party of tort reform, etc.

          • Michael Anderson says:

            Sorry Greg, those straw men entered Chief Justice Roberts’ Eustachian tube and he made the proper imprimatur. So you are the odd man out, and those of us riding the 21st century like a bad-ass roller coaster will just have to tell you about it afterwards as you sip your soda on the sidelines.

            The nanny state, as you describe it, is the way that my wallet stops getting raped as far as health care is concerned. I remember when the Clintons were stymied, and here we are. You lose by default. Not only that, you don’t get to come up with alternative plans anymore since 3 decades of lameness disqualifies you.

            The folks with Big Boy Pants are doing the heavy lifting now. That would not be you. Go back to sleep. Thanks.

          • Greg Goodknight says:

            Tony (MA too, despite his tantrum), by a Gallop poll on June 28, 52% of the people of the US want some or all of Obamacare repealed, 13% want it as is, and 25% want even more.

            It’s clear that had the Republican claim that the mandate was a tax had been taken as seriously as SCOTUS took it, there never would have been an Obamacare and the reform would have had to be both measured and *bipartisan*. What we have was, and is, neither.

            Expect the Republicans to have thoroughly opinion tested their own health care planks before they are rolled out at their convention, as the election will probably be between the actual Obamacare sausage rotting in the supermarket refrigerator section and the competing vision that the Republicans will be selling as a replacement.

          • Michael Anderson says:

            Greg cited: “…52% of the people of the US want some or all of Obamacare repealed…”

            That’s right, some or all, which are countervailing paths. It’s a nicely framed question, however, which makes it appear a majority of Americans want PPACA repealed. Which is absolutely NOT the case.

            But you’re right Greg, my last comment was unduly cranky, and I apologize. I am just getting frustrated that even after Chief Justice Roberts said “move on!” we have guys like Boehner calling for a complete repeal. It’s childish and it needs to stop.

            The law was passed by Congress and affirmed by the US Supreme Court. I agree with everyone who says it needs to be amended, but now we have a structure in place to once again create the best health care system in the world (which we used to have).

            To call for the elimination of that structure, after all these years and the hard work of so many of our fellow citizens, it seems almost unpatriotic to me for anyone to want to go back to square 1.

    • gregoryzaller says:

      Hi Todd,

      From my perch I am watching those without the means using the emergency room in a frequent and constant manner with no concern for the cost. Those of us with insurance pay for this but especially the poor blokes without insurance who must pay the full price. I am sure you agree with me that this is convoluted dysfunctional and not fair. I am glad that Obama Care addresses this problem. Just on this point alone is there some hope for agreement between us?

      I think every part of Obama care already put into effect so far Republicans have promised to retain if they succeed in repealing it.

      Still, at this point I am looking for a well reasoned argument to repeal it rather than change parts of it. I’d be glad if you would take a stab at it. Let’s get on the same page at least.

      • Todd juvinall says:

        GregZ, the Republicans had alternatives which were tossed into the trash bin when the democrats had both houses. They said rather than require everyone to buy insurance let us just deal with the 12 million who don’t have it (usinf the ER). There were many other things tossed as well. The issue really isn’t about insurance anyway, it is about power and who owns their own body. Please think of this as a Constitutional issue and not one of emotion. My goodness, I heard somewhere there are already 100,000 new pages of regulations for the first 50 pages of the law. The law is 2800 ages! You do the math.

  2. Brad Croul says:

    I don’t see what the all the hysteria is about. The Republican’s chosen one, Romney, created Romneycare, and Obamacare is based on Romneycare.
    The Supremes have confirmed that ACA is good to go.
    Everyone is screaming before they have been touched.
    What a hoot!

    If a large percentage of the population do not pay income taxes, how are they going to be taxed- besides the tax on their cigarettes, beer, and big gulps?
    Will a homeless drunk have coins snatched from his begging cup on the sidewalk by Obama revenuers to pay for his alcohol related withdrawal symptoms?

    ACA taxes don’t seem that much different from automobile, uninsured motorist, coverage. I have always purchased UM coverage, basically paying for others who should have insurance but don’t spend the money to insure themselves.

  3. TD Pittsford says:

    In my opinion this is strike two for the Supreme Court. The first was when they decided that corporations were people thus insuring that political offices could be bought, and the second when, despite the opinion of a majority of Americans, they upheld Obama’s abominable health care bill which benefited no one except lawyers, pharmaceutical companies and the insurance giants. Instead of going after the endemic fraud and corruption and the abuse by illegal aliens, they instead would prefer to MANDATE healthcare or to sic the IRS on legitimate citizens if they can’t or won’t get coverage. It seems that the governments’ answer to everything is to penalize the wrong people for the wrong reasons. Obama/Romney care is just one more step towards a totalitarian government.

  4. RL Crabb says:

    Is it a penalty? A tax? A cattle prod to change behavior? Some historical perspective…
    http://www.thedailybeast.com/articles/2012/07/01/the-1934-dinner-party-that-may-have-helped-save-obamacare.html

  5. gregoryzaller says:

    It’ theoretically a tax targeted at takers to tweak the totality and quality of longevity . Additional T-thoughts appreciated.

    • Greg Goodknight says:

      There’s nothing in the tax penalty that limits it to people who don’t pay their bills or are irresponsible. It’s a penalty on all who do not buy health insurance that conforms to the new Federal specification.

      You like the low cost, high deductable plan you have? Tough. You prefer a low cost plan with a higher co-pay when you go to the doctor, which you don’t do very often? Tough. You’d rather not pay more for a policy that pays for whatever form of contraception you want, without copay? Tough. Obama’s team is crafting the terms of the insurance you will be coerced into buying.

      • gregoryzaller says:

        GG, would you supply what references you are basing your post on? I am have been searching “insurance requirements affordable care act” and not finding it.

        There are going to be minimum insurance requirements, of course, but you seem to be saying that these will be unreasonable.

        • Greg Goodknight says:

          I based it upon having been paying attention to the news over the last few months, but googling for you I found numerous hits:

          Free contraceptives starting Aug 1. Think it might be a campaign ploy?
          http://www.barackobama.com/women/health-info/

          Here’s another:
          ““Now the Affordable Care Act assures that women across New York State and across the country have access to birth control, cancer screenings and other preventive healthcare without co-pays, and ends discriminatory practices against women such as charging women higher premiums and denying coverage for preexisting conditions.”

          http://centralny.ynn.com/content/healthcare_ruling/589783/statement-on-affordable-care-act-from-planned-parenthood/

          This isn’t insurance, it’s prepaid health care, it’s expensive, and it is being crafted by the Feds in an ongoing process.

          By the way, if women used to be charged more than men it was because women made more claims. Equalizing rates means insurance rates will go up for men.

          “There are going to be minimum insurance requirements, of course, but you seem to be saying that these will be unreasonable.”

          Some of them are bound to be unreasonable, but the issue is that the Feds are making all your choices for you. Your choices will be mostly limited to which insurer to buy it from, eventually including the gov’t, and only the gov’t can afford to lose money every year and stay in ‘business’.

        • Greg Goodknight says:

          I based it upon having been paying attention to the news over the last few months, but googling for you I found numerous hits:

          Free contraceptives starting Aug 1. Think it might be a campaign ploy?
          http://www.barackobama.com/women/health-info/

          Here’s another:
          ““Now the Affordable Care Act assures that women across New York State and across the country have access to birth control, cancer screenings and other preventive healthcare without co-pays, and ends discriminatory practices against women such as charging women higher premiums and denying coverage for preexisting conditions.”

          http://centralny.ynn.com/content/healthcare_ruling/589783/statement-on-affordable-care-act-from-planned-parenthood/

          This isn’t insurance, it’s prepaid health care, it’s expensive, and it is being crafted by the Feds in an ongoing process.

          By the way, if women used to be charged more than men it was because women made more claims. Equalizing rates means insurance rates will go up for men.

          “There are going to be minimum insurance requirements, of course, but you seem to be saying that these will be unreasonable.”

          Some of them are bound to be unreasonable, but the issue is that the Feds are making all your choices for you. Your choices will be mostly limited to which insurer to buy it from, eventually including the gov’t, and only the gov’t can afford to lose money every year and stay in ‘business’.

        • Greg Goodknight says:

          I based it upon having been paying attention to the news over the last few months, but googling for you I found numerous hits:

          Free contraceptives starting Aug 1. Think it might be a campaign ploy?
          http://www.barackobama.com/women/health-info/

        • Greg Goodknight says:

          Here’s another:
          ““Now the Affordable Care Act assures that women across New York State and across the country have access to birth control, cancer screenings and other preventive healthcare without co-pays, and ends discriminatory practices against women such as charging women higher premiums and denying coverage for preexisting conditions.”

          http://centralny.ynn.com/content/healthcare_ruling/589783/statement-on-affordable-care-act-from-planned-parenthood/

        • Greg Goodknight says:

          This isn’t insurance, it’s prepaid health care, it’s expensive, and it is being crafted by the Feds in an ongoing process.

          By the way, if women used to be charged more than men it was because women made more claims. Equalizing rates means insurance rates will go up for men.

          “There are going to be minimum insurance requirements, of course, but you seem to be saying that these will be unreasonable.”

          Some of them are bound to be unreasonable, but the issue is that the Feds are making all your choices for you. Your choices will be mostly limited to which insurer to buy it from, eventually including the gov’t, and only the gov’t can afford to lose money every year and stay in ‘business’.

  6. Michael Anderson says:

    Yup. tough love.

    But again, maybe we can fix these things within the new structure that’s been created?

    Will that work for you, or do you favor outright repeal?

    • Michael Anderson says:

      I wrote: “But again, maybe we can fix these things within the new structure that’s been created? Will that work for you, or do you favor outright repeal?”

      I’m still waiting for a direct answer to this question.

      • Michael Anderson says:

        Still waiting.

        • Greg Goodknight says:

          I’d hate to trigger another of your tantrums, Mike. Give it a rest.

          • Michael Anderson says:

            Greg, I promise not to throw any tantrums. I have my Big Boy Pants on today, just in time to celebrate the birth of our country.

            You are all over the local blogosphere railing against PPACA, even after Chief Justice Roberts OK’d the mandate by affirming that it’s a tax.

            I agree with you there are lots of things wrong with PPACA. But I also believe that this landmark legislation will provide a structure over the next few decades that will allow us to add some new things (like taxing employer-provided insurance) and take away some other things (like expanding Medicaid instead of replacing it).

            I just want to be clear about where I stand. I support PPACA because w/o a structure, no reform takes place and as a small business person paying for private insurance (my class represents only 10% of all of those who consume health care), I am subsidizing just about everyone else.

            Perhaps you can understand why I would like the before-PPACA system to end.

            Do you at least support the structure of PPACA, or do you want Congress to repeal it and remove the structure? That’s all I’m asking. This seems like a really simple question to me. In fact, I’d like to hear from everyone: Tony, RL, George, TD, Judith, Todd, Ryan, Zaller, Brad, and GG.

            Do we repeal PPACA, or do we fix it?

          • rlcrabb says:

            I give the Dems credit for getting the ball rolling. Somebody had to do something. BUT, I don’t believe this convoluted-two-thousand-page-pass-it-to-see-what’s-in-it-monstrosity can stand on its own. It will take years to fix, if the Repubby’s don’t kill it in Congress next year. And I won’t hold my breathe waiting for their “replacement” either. If Obama and the gang had taken it slower and concentrated on helping us make money instead of finding new ways for us to spend it, they might have more support. Why do you think so many Democrats are skipping the Demcon in North Carolina? They’re trying to hold on to their own jobs. (And the health benefits.)

          • Todd juvinall says:

            Obamacare cannot stand as a rightful law in our Constitution. It wasn’t really judged correctly by Roberts and it will be a monster tax after just a few years. I have read that the first 50 pages of the “law” has resulted in a few thousand pages of implementing regulations. Plus, the exclusion rights of states on Medicaid will wreck it over time as well. It is an abomination.

          • Michael Anderson says:

            RL wrote: “I give the Dems credit for getting the ball rolling. Somebody had to do something. BUT, I don’t believe this convoluted-two-thousand-page-pass-it-to-see-what’s-in-it-monstrosity can stand on its own.”

            Yes, I think I do think it would be nice if President Obama was given more credit for touching the American health care tar baby. And this gets to the heart of my case that those who are continuing the assault against PPACA are acting unpatriotically, which I will address more in a moment.

            So Bob, when you say you don’t think it can stand on its own, are you talking about how it will have to be amended, reduced, or replaced?

          • Michael Anderson says:

            Todd wrote: “Obamacare cannot stand as a rightful law in our Constitution.”

            Well, according the Chief Justice Roberts, that’s where it stands today. Now it’s up to the legislative branch to repeal it in order to get to where you want to go, but that won’t make it any less constitutional. Only another SCOTUS ruling can do that, and I doubt that will happen any time soon.

            Quick question: Did you oppose with equal ferocity Bush’s Medicare Prescription Drug, Improvement, and Modernization Act, which has contributed to the deficit by at least a half trillion dollars?

          • Michael Anderson says:

            By “deficit” I meant “debt.”

    • Greg Goodknight says:

      “A 40% tax on “Cadillac Health Care Plans” starting in 2018.Those whose employers pay for all or most of comprehensive healthcare plans (costing $10,200 for an individual or $27,500 for families) will have to pay a 40% tax on the amount their employer pays. The 2018 start date is said to have been a gift to unions, which often have comprehensive plans.”

      Just making the employer contributions taxable to all, with an adjustment of the tax tables to make it revenue neutral, could have gotten bipartisan support and gotten us cleanly and clearly on the way to a healthcare system with some market discipline restored, but instead we have this one-party rule sausage that some partisan Democrats have stated is now unpatriotic to challenge.

    • Greg Goodknight says:

      That article only sums up the cost of additional taxes, it does not account for the cost of policies that have mandated expanded benefits and can be purchased at the last minute *after* you find you have an illness or injury that will cost a lot of money to treat.

      • Ryan Mount says:

        The article is a summary and an introduction to some of the more well-know taxes.

        In terms of costs for people who have or are seeking insurance, I think it’s a safe bet that costs will go up and service (in my case I’ll probably have to downgrade my insurance in 2018) will probably go down. The Healthcare exchanges are supposed to lower costs, but I think it will just put a dent in them.

        Some of us have “Cadillac” plans out of necessity; not because I like blowing more of my (and my company’s) money frivolously. But hey, someone else knows better about my needs than I do, eh?

        • RL Crabb says:

          Ryan, I love you dude, as I love ALL young whippersnappers of Gen X,Y,Z and the letters that come after that. Thanks to your selfless sacrifice I can skate through my last two years of pre-social security with a token one-time payment and receive free aspirin and advice from doctors that I won’t follow anyway. With any luck, I’ll kick the bucket before I end up in a senior warehouse…uh, I mean convalescent home where the bitter staff will either neglect or torture me and the rest of my generation for gifting you with monthly contributions for life.

          • Ryan Mount says:

            Bob, on a personal note, you are a great gift to this community. You’re our very own Mark Twain. I mean that truly without sarcasm.

            Thanks for all of the laughs, insight and sarcasm. That latter bit us GenXers live on. In fact, we only speak three languages: English, sarcasm, and sexual innuendo.

            As far as us GenXers go, we promise to take care of you despite of our suspicious past of wandering around with a red solo cups filled with cheap keg beer. We just need to make sure we can make it work in Microsoft Excel. That’s all we ask.

            The PPACA is decidedly the last (bowel?) movement of the Boomers.

          • RL Crabb says:

            Thanks, Ryan, I’ll do my best to provide a running commentary on the end of civilization as we once knew it. I had some fun experiences with a boatload of Gen-X cartoonists when I lived in Seattle during the Nirvana years. They tolerated me somewhat, even though I was forty at the time. At one party I wore my old flannel shirt and patched up jeans that I’d owned since my hippie days. I heard a couple of dudes remark, “Look at that old fart trying to look grunge. What a phony.”

          • Greg Goodknight says:

            The aspirin won’t be free, RL, or even tax advantaged. One of the “Affordable Care Act” provisions is already in place… you can’t use your own money from your own Health Savings Plan to buy Over-the-Counter medications.

            Ryan, there’s nothing wrong with having a Cadillac plan, but you should pay income taxes on the benefit. It’s your income.

            I B.M. You BM. We all B.M. for IBM.

          • Ryan Mount says:

            Wait. Wait. It appears that the consumer doesn’t pay the Cadillac heath care tax WTF?:

            If I have a “Cadillac plan,” will I have to pay the proposed tax myself? No. The 40 percent tax will be charged directly to the insurer. That is, the insurance company has to pay 40 cents on every dollar spent above the $8,000 or $21,000 cutoff. Some portion of that tax, however, is likely to get passed onto the consumer.

            http://www.slate.com/articles/news_and_politics/explainer/2009/10/do_i_have_a_cadillac_plan.html

            It just got weirder.

  7. Greg Goodknight says:

    Ryan, we should have known Pelosi, Reid and Obama could manage to make something so simple in concept so difficult in execution.

    As Edward Klein, former editor of New York Times Magazine and author of “The Amateur” wrote recently, “Only a rank amateur could have turned a government-run health care system that suffers from hundreds of billions of dollars in annual fraud, and is already on life support, into a $1.5 trillion Rube Goldberg machine that will destroy American medicine and deliver a poorer quality of health care to millions of people.”

  8. Greg Goodknight says:

    RL, the Democrats weren’t the only ones trying to reform healthcare; the Republican proposal had the name “Patient’s Choice Act of 2009″ but was dead on arrival when it hit Pelosi’s House and Reid’s Senate. Not a single concept made it into Obamacare, one of the many reasons not a single Republican voted for the monster that SCOTUS eventually had to rewrite to pass constitutional muster.

    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2009/05/20/republican-health-care-pl_n_205728.html

    Uninterrupted, the process for all the Federal alphabets to take the so-called “Affordable Care Act” and translate that into the regulations they will follow will take years. With 2000+ pages in the Act, the health care blob that results will be unfathomable.

    Note to the fellow with the vocabulary problem: if you feel a need to say you’re wearing your “big boy pants”, you probably aren’t.

    • Michael Anderson says:

      Greg, I wrote “Big Boy Pants” in order to give you the opportunity to make a snarky comment. I am here to serve you!

      So, I’ve read your comment several times, backward and forward, and I still don’t know if you want to repeal PPACA or fix it. Sigh…

      • Greg Goodknight says:

        Once you stated it was unpatriotic to want repeal Obamacare repeal, you pretty much removed yourself from any real conversation.

        • Michael Anderson says:

          That’s actually not true, Greg. I can make a very good case about why it’s not patriotic to at least support the structure of PPACA. Today would be a great day to do that, but unfortunately I am here online between one of the best parades I have ever seen in Nevada County, and a super party near the fairgrounds to watch the fireworks, so we’ll have to wait for another day for me to explicate that for you.

          But explicate I will, and I am very much looking forward to our continued civil dialogue. Stay tuned…

          • Greg Goodknight says:

            “I can make a very good case about why it’s not patriotic to at least support the structure of PPACA.”

            No, you cannot.

          • Michael Anderson says:

            Perhaps you are right. I’m gonna give it a try anyway.

          • Greg Goodknight says:

            Mike, sorry to break it to you but this is the USA, not France.

          • Greg Goodknight says:

            Here’s a starting point for you, Mike. A fresh Gallup poll:

            http://www.gallup.com/poll/155513/Americans-Economic-Harm-Good-Health-Law.aspx

            Now, remember, it isn’t whether Obamacare is good or bad, you’ve made it about Patriotism. Have at it.

            “Give me a 40% penalty paid by insurance companies on policies with excessive benefits, or give me death”… I’m not sure that one has staying power.

          • Michael Anderson says:

            Hi Greg, I’m back for some more civil dialogue after getting sucked into the Nevada County Little League All Stars black hole. BTW, the undefeated Nevada City 9-10 yr. olds suffered their first loss in the bracket tonight against Grass Valley, so there will be another game tomorrow night against the same teams at 7 pm. If you like baseball, this will be a game for the ages.

          • Michael Anderson says:

            Sorry for the baseball redirect, but I neglected to inform RL’s blog readers that tomorrow night’s game is at Condon Park for the championship of Area 2, District 11. The winner goes on to Lincoln in a best 2-out-of-3 tourney with the winner of Area 1.

            If you have ever been to the Condon or Pioneer Park baseball fields, you will notice that there are large placard boards with previous winners of the District 11 championship from those respective locations, going back to the 1980s. That is the historical recognition for exemplary baseball playing that is being attempted here.

          • Michael Anderson says:

            Greg wrote: “Now, remember, it isn’t whether Obamacare is good or bad, you’ve made it about Patriotism. Have at it.”

            And “have at it” I will!

            Since we seem to agree that the health care system in the United States is broken and needs some reform, we are now discussing how to go about achieving that reform.

            PPACA successfully negotiated the process of the House and Senate of the US Congress, was signed by the President of the United States, and then affirmed by the United States Supreme Court. These are facts.

            If you look closely, the PPACA legislation is about civil rights having to do with the 14th Amendment: equal protection under the law, everyone receiving health care on a public-financed subsidy needs to have that subsidy financed by EVERYONE, not just a select few.

            That’s pretty much all there is to it.

            Now, the part about patriotism is that some of those who are against PPACA are of the opinion that the legislation was passed w/o a proper following of the rules, that President Obama who signed it is not the legitimate president because he was born in Kenya, and that Chief Justice Roberts incorrectly left the reservation and is a traitor to the cause.

            These are all signs that people who oppose PPACA are also in favor of one-party rule, and that any legislation at all that originates with Democrats is by its very nature, illegitimate.

            That is not patriotic.

          • Greg Goodknight says:

            We’ve really come full circle.

            Mike, your basic arguments are recycled from the Nixon years! Yep, Nixon’s initiatives were approved by Congress, and according to the mythic Silent Majority it was unpatriotic to oppose his efforts. Love it or leave it.

            Amazing. Especially the part about the foes of Obamacare wanting One Party Rule, when Obamacare was rammed through when there really was One Party Rule. Obama, Reid and especially Pelosi did it all without the support of a single Republican. They probably could have gotten a few by just tackling one of the big remaining problems, tort reform, but malpractice attorneys remain a Democratic sacred cow.

          • Ryan Mount says:

            Well, there you have it. PPACA is thought to be a civil right and/or an entitlement.

            In my reluctant opinion, basic healthcare probably should be an entitlement. And we have that to some extent, however it’s chaotic and ill-managed.

            Does the PPACA rise to that standard as a civil right? Well, which part of this monster does that apply to? As I’ve said before, it is completely in the Congress’s (The House specifically) power to tax us. If they want to tax me for anal bleaching or sun tanning, fine. But to force commerce where none existed before? I think they’re on shaky legal ground there, not to mention the unintended consequences of allowing Congress to create commerce out of thin air the next time there is some popular whim.

            I believe that is at the crux of Conservatives’ complaints.

          • Michael Anderson says:

            Greg, I am not a crook (-;

            Ryan, that’s all we’re talking about: if society isn’t going to turn away the indigent at the ER then everyone has to chip in to cover that cost, not just the poor saps who have individual policies they pay for with after-tax dollars.

  9. Michael Anderson says:

    BTW, Nevada City’s 9-10 yr. old All Star team beat Grass Valley tonight at Condon Park by a score of 16-6. Here’s the link that gives the details: http://tournaments.active.com/tournament/consumer/fullSize.do?tournamentId=29847&from=news

    At Pioneer Park tonight, the Nevada City 11-12 yr. old All Stars (Majors) beat Grass Valley as well, in an eerily similar bracket path. Here’s that link: http://tournaments.active.com/tournament/consumer/fullSize.do?tournamentId=30373&from=news

    Nevada City and Grass Valley have been playing baseball together for many many decades, and at least in the last few years that I have been involved Grass Valley has usually had the best baseball teams. Not this year.

    Nevada City Majors and Minors champions move on to play the Tri-Cities and Lincoln champions of District 11, Area 1 tomorrow night in a best 2-out-of-3 series. Here are those brackets:
    http://tournaments.active.com/tournament/consumer/fullSize.do?tournamentId=29855&from=news
    http://tournaments.active.com/tournament/consumer/fullSize.do?tournamentId=30375&from=news

    I won’t even get into the Grass Valley Juniors, who I watched put 7 runs on the board in the bottom of the 2nd inning at the big boy field at Condon while we were waiting for our game to start. They went on to beat Sierra Foothills (Colfax area) by a score of 12-2.

  10. So maybe we figure out a society in which those on the bottom have both ways up and the bottom is not so far down. Or maybe we should pay folks to renounce their USA citizenship and have another country pick them up. That country gets paid too. Money comes from foreigners with enough skills and a desire for the spot left vacant to pay the tab. It will be the new “brain drain” but this time into the USA with the best the rest of the world has to offer. Human capital comes of age.

    • Ryan Mount says:

      We should get countries to pay for our military. We’re subsidizing their military infrastructure and they’re benefiting from it, so why not have them pay for it? Germany? Korea? Japan?

      • Todd juvinall says:

        The USA taxpayers have paid that military bill since WW2 for Europe and since 50 for the Korean Peninsula and Japan. Yet these countries unhindered by that expense still drove their countries economies into the ground. How is that possible? I think it may be time to let them defend themselves again but hell, what if the Rooskies move west and the Chinese move East?

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