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Thread: CBO deals another blow to House health plan

  1. #31
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    Re: CBO deals another blow to House health plan

    Quote Originally Posted by celticlord View Post
    I have no doubt that we can do far more than that....and once we have done that then perhaps we can discuss spending $239 billion on healthcare.

    Until we have done that, your argument has no substance.
    That makes no sense. Are you suggesting that we should never spend any money on anything until we have a balanced budget?

    Quote Originally Posted by celticlord
    With your affinity for straw men we need to start calling you Scarecrow.

    I do oppose wasteful programs. I do not concede they are inevitable and cannot be stopped. This is why I oppose the boondoggle the Anti-Republicans facetiously and farcically term "healthcare reform."
    What makes you think it will be a wasteful program, on the same level as any number of pork-barrel programs or useless DoD projects?

    Quote Originally Posted by celticlord
    $24 billion per year is $24 billion of fresh IOUs that the government has no plan and apparently no intention of paying. Expecting others to pick up the tab indefinitely is a guaranteed way to come up short once you run out of other people's money--which will happen. If debts are not paid, no, we will not survive. Which makes this boondoggle the anti-thesis of a "good deal." It is a lousy deal, an unacceptable deal.
    It is trivially easy to raise $24 billion per year. That is less than $100 per capita. This is a pittance and is not a valid reason to oppose something as important as health care reform. If it costs $24 billion per year, it's essentially revenue-neutral, because the difference between $0 and $24 billion is practically nil.
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  2. #32
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    Re: CBO deals another blow to House health plan

    Quote Originally Posted by Kandahar View Post
    The problem is that the profit incentive, while appropriate for most businesses, is horrendous for something like health care. Private insurers do not typically compete on who can provide the best service for the lowest price; they compete on who can screw over the most customers and deny the most people coverage, so as to minimize their expenses.
    All businesses operate by maximizing profits and minimizing costs. That is not "screwing over" anyone.

    Quote Originally Posted by Kandahar View Post
    But even so, if you're satisfied with your plan, no one is forcing you to take the public health plan.
    Except that by disallowing insurance companies the capacity to alter rates in response to changing risk profiles, the government will force private insurance companies out of the market, leaving only the government plan--which can run in the red indefinitely, because Congress will always cover its excesses.

    Quote Originally Posted by Kandahar View Post
    The current system is only "economically efficient" in the sense that the private health insurers are able to maximize THEIR profits while screwing the consumer. The purpose of health care reform is to help the American people get health care coverage, not help the health care companies be as economically efficient as possible
    There is no denying that healthcare costs are grotesquely distorted in this country, and that the structure of modern health insurance is a major culprit. However, that fundamentally flawed structure is not being altered by these healthcare proposals. The defects of private insurance today are going to be present in the public plan should these legislative boondoggles become law. CBO Director Elmendorf put Congress on notice this past week of that very thing--these bills do not address the dynamics driving costs up.

    Quote Originally Posted by Kandahar View Post
    The public plan is burdened by all the same limits (e.g. not charging sick people more or kick them off the plan) and then some. So if it's as bad as you say it will be, it shouldn't affect the private sector at all.
    The public plan is not "burdened" because the public plan, by being a public plan, has the luxury of sending the tab for the red ink to the taxpayer. It can lose money every year and its existence will never be threatened; no private plan ever has that luxury.

    The public plan is not "burdened" at all. The public plan is the burden (or, rather, will be if this legislative train wreck gets through Congress).

  3. #33
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    Re: CBO deals another blow to House health plan

    Quote Originally Posted by Kandahar View Post
    That makes no sense. Are you suggesting that we should never spend any money on anything until we have a balanced budget?
    Yes. Expecting Congress to balance the budget "someday" is the same as telling Congress balanced budgets don't matter. We need to balance the budget TODAY.

    Quote Originally Posted by Kandahar View Post
    What makes you think it will be a wasteful program, on the same level as any number of pork-barrel programs or useless DoD projects?
    A government program open to endless legislative meddling....gee....what are the odds it will be lean and efficiently run? (Hint, there are better odds playing the lottery).

    Government programs are wasteful because government programs are politicized from the outset. DoD projects are wasteful because Congressmen use them to capture public dollars for their districts. Military bases are kept open for the same reason. All manner of pork is driven by the singular desire of Congressmen to direct tax dollars towards their home districts, without regard for the larger national interest; this is not surprising, considering that the larger nation does not elect nor re-elect said Congressmen. This public plan is one more mechanism for Congressmen to steer tax dollars to their districts--i.e., one more opportunity for pork and waste.

    Medicare is fraught with waste and abuse. Medicaid is fraught with waste and abuse. The existing experiences of government healthcare do not lend credibility to the notion that government-financed public option will be anything but wasteful.

    Quote Originally Posted by Kandahar View Post
    It is trivially easy to raise $24 billion per year. That is less than $100 per capita. This is a pittance and is not a valid reason to oppose something as important as health care reform. If it costs $24 billion per year, it's essentially revenue-neutral, because the difference between $0 and $24 billion is practically nil.
    No one ever goes bankrupt because of the first debts they incur--they go bankrupt because of the last debts they incur.

    You are being disingenuous by referring to the $24 Billion per annum in isolation. It is not $24 billion of isolated debt, but $24 Billion of additional debt. It is $24 Billion of additions to the federal debt over and beyond what CBO Director Elmendorf has already testified to Congress is an unsustainable level of deficit spending and debt. That $24 Billion of debt added each year shortens the time frame until the economic contractions cause by the huge debt load begin to take hold.

    $24 Billion is far from a pittance; given current financial conditions, it may very well be the straw that broke the financial camel's back.

  4. #34
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    Re: CBO deals another blow to House health plan

    Quote Originally Posted by Kandahar View Post
    It doesn't eliminate insurance. It just levels of the costs across the board for everyone. That should not affect the overall revenue/costs.
    If you artifically level the costs across the board, how does that not affect revenue/costs?

    I said a while ago, that when government got into healthcare it would make it illegal for insurance companies to compete with them fairly, and then supporters would say "See, private insurance cannot compete with government." Which is exactly what is happening. The government is going to eliminate things like allowing companies to increase premium, to offset costs and maintain revenue. I wouldn't be suprised if in this bill somewhere, they tried to eliminate policy limits as well.

    So its ok for the government to raise taxes, to pay for the cost of providing healthcare, but its going to be illegal for health insurance companies to raise premiums to pay for healthcare. Where are those Guiness guys??

    "Loyalty only matters when there's a hundred reasons not to be-" Gen. Mattis

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    Re: CBO deals another blow to House health plan

    Quote Originally Posted by WI Crippler View Post
    If you artifically level the costs across the board, how does that not affect revenue/costs?

    I said a while ago, that when government got into healthcare it would make it illegal for insurance companies to compete with them fairly, and then supporters would say "See, private insurance cannot compete with government." Which is exactly what is happening. The government is going to eliminate things like allowing companies to increase premium, to offset costs and maintain revenue. I wouldn't be suprised if in this bill somewhere, they tried to eliminate policy limits as well.

    So its ok for the government to raise taxes, to pay for the cost of providing healthcare, but its going to be illegal for health insurance companies to raise premiums to pay for healthcare. Where are those Guiness guys??

    Add on that they are intentionally planning on raising health care costs as well. They are planning on taxing medical product providers like pharmaceutical companies and other unnamed businesses.

    There is no other expectation than private insurers going out of business or shrinking into obscurity.
    Last edited by Harry Guerrilla; 07-19-09 at 02:48 PM.
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    Re: CBO deals another blow to House health plan

    Quote Originally Posted by Harry Guerrilla View Post
    Who is surprised by this?

    They can't play by the rules, so they change them.
    Which party is the most corrupt, I've forgotten now.
    That's because they're the same party.

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    Re: CBO deals another blow to House health plan

    Quote Originally Posted by Kandahar View Post
    OK, let's get some perspective on this. It will increase the budget deficit by $239 billion over the course of 10 years. That's $24 billion per year...which is slightly more than we spend on NASA and slightly less than we spend on the Department of Agriculture.

    Pocket change.
    Keynes would be proud.

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