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Thread: Already, 23 Dems have said they will vote ‘no’ on healthcare reform

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    Re: Already, 23 Dems have said they will vote ‘no’ on healthcare reform

    Quote Originally Posted by jackalope View Post
    That's what I think too. I refuse to get invested n any bill or plan until the conference committee meets. I'm hoping Dean is right, and the public option will be put in during conference. Ahthough .... wouldn't it have to be in the house bill to make it into the committee report? Can they just put stuff in a conference report that wasn't in either the house or senate bills?
    I think it would just have to be in one, and the senate is easier. I am betting there will not be a public option in the bill Obama signs though, I think it would just be too much politically.

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    Re: Already, 23 Dems have said they will vote ‘no’ on healthcare reform

    I don't think Obama would veto the public option if the liberals in Congress are triumphant and manage to incorporate it into the bill. He just isn't personally committed to its being there or not.

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    Re: Already, 23 Dems have said they will vote ‘no’ on healthcare reform

    Quote Originally Posted by Redress View Post
    I think it would just have to be in one, and the senate is easier. I am betting there will not be a public option in the bill Obama signs though, I think it would just be too much politically.
    Quote Originally Posted by Morality Games View Post
    I don't think Obama would veto the public option if the liberals in Congress are triumphant and manage to incorporate it into the bill. He just isn't personally committed to its being there or not.
    ... I think you both are right

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    Re: Already, 23 Dems have said they will vote ‘no’ on healthcare reform

    Quote Originally Posted by formerroadie View Post
    If we don't pass a public option or single payer, we are all screwed.
    No, we aren't.
    What you fail to realize is the problems we face here are -caused- by third parties paying for people's health care; given that, the solution CANNOT be found in continuing the practice.

    I'm tired of being governed by the big corporations.
    I'm tired of paying your bills and those of all the others that cannot meet their responsibilities.

    The majority of Americans want this and those who are against it are against their own best interests.
    1: Appeal to popularity, a logical fallacy
    2: According to you, a incompetent judge.

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    Re: Already, 23 Dems have said they will vote ‘no’ on healthcare reform

    Quote Originally Posted by Morality Games View Post
    If health insurance industry operated like a legitimate business, I might give them a sympathetic ear, but it is because they don't function like a legitimate business we have even come to this point to begin with.
    How do they NOT function like a legitimate business?

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    Re: Already, 23 Dems have said they will vote ‘no’ on healthcare reform

    [/INDENT]
    Quote Originally Posted by Goobieman View Post
    How do they NOT function like a legitimate business?
    A legitimate business provides a good service for a reasonable price. In order for something to be 'good' in this sense, it doesn't have to be essential, that is, something which is necessary for leading a prosperous existence, but certainly it has to be useful or desirable toward that end, that is, not necessary but at least helpful. In order for a price to be reasonable, it has to not grossly exceed the rarity and rate of acquisition of the materials used and time and labor invested into production. I find insurance in general to be the anti-thesis of that practice due to their very nature, in that they can set policy so that they are always receiving far more money from their premiums than losses while actually performing very little work on behalf of their consumers, but insofar as they are capable of it, I believe they ought to exercise it.

    Anyway, health insurance companies in particular tend to be integrated into larger conglomerates; the profits made from premiums are not sat on, but get invested into what the company believes to be promising stocks and bonds or in development projects for any number of potentially profitable industries. In itself, not surprising, but when there are economic downturns or when they just f-cking feeling like it (or like they can get away with it), health insurance companies will begin upping their premiums at an explosive rate, because it is their most secure, reliable, useful, and easily manipulated source of income, for which to keep themselves afloat and pay off the bad capital from their failed business initiatives.

    Of course, there is nothing technically illegal about any of this, since normally the contract allows you to just drop your provider; by the letter of the law such a contract gives the recipient a lot of freedom of movement and as such leaves a lot of room for insurance companies to do whatever they feel like doing. In reality, however, the motivations behind acquiring health insurance are so compelling that people will not abandon it no matter how high the company pushes the rates, not until the costs are truly beyond their ability to pay. The companies are well aware of this aspect of the public psychology, naturally, and anticipate it when they are drafting their policies. They don't need to ring you in with contracts because they can ring you in with your own circumstances.

    So in addition to the norm where you have to pay more money when your health is bad, you also have to pay more money when your provider's investing and management practices suck, or at least, when they are engaging in an endeavor which requires more capital and is profitable for them but unprofitable for you, since they reap the rewards and you foot the bill. It's all one way, money from you to the company no matter what the situation is. In truth, I can think of no better word to describe insurance, and especially health insurance, than as a formally institutionalized market scam.

    A health insurance company for these reasons is essentially never 'reasonably priced' -- and therefore they do not qualify as a legitimate business. Fees always grossly exceed the value of services rendered.
    Last edited by Morality Games; 09-09-09 at 12:15 PM.

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    Re: Already, 23 Dems have said they will vote ‘no’ on healthcare reform

    Quote Originally Posted by Morality Games View Post
    [/INDENT]
    A legitimate business provides a good service for a reasonable price.
    Wow. If THAT'S not a purpose-built definition.

    Your premise, above, is flawed, as your definition is, at best, incomplete.

    In order for something to be 'good' in this sense, it doesn't have to be essential, that is, something which is necessary for leading a prosperous existence, but certainly it has to be useful or desirable toward that end,
    Another false premise.
    A 'legitimate' business may exist to do nothing other than supply goods and services that fill people's desires.

    In order for a price to be reasonable, it has to not grossly exceed the rarity and rate of acquisition of the materials used and time and labor invested into production
    Another false premise:
    "Reasonable price" is that which the market will bear, the costs of the prodic/service doesnt in any affect that price.

    I find insurance in general to be the anti-thesis of that practice...
    Of course you do, given that you purposely created your definitions to allow you to reach that conclusion.

    Anyway, health insurance companies in particular tend to be integrated into larger conglomerates; the profits made from premiums are not sat on, but get invested into what the company believes to be promising stocks and bonds or in development projects for any number of potentially profitable industries.
    Welcome to capitalism, where people are free to provide goods/services at a profit, and then use that profit as they see fit.

    In itself, not surprising, but when there are economic downturns or when they just f-cking feeling like it (or like they can get away with it), health insurance companies will begin upping their premiums at an explosive rate, because it is their most secure, reliable, useful, and easily manipulated source of income, for which to keep themselves afloat and pay off the bad capital from their failed business initiatives.
    See: "resonable price", above.

    Of course, there is nothing technically illegal about any of this...
    ...you just dont like it.
    You do know that a business that you do not like can be legitimate, right?

    In reality, however, the motivations behind acquiring health insurance are so compelling that people will not abandon it no matter how high the company pushes the rates, not until the costs are truly beyond their ability to pay.
    Choice - it a wonderful thing.
    That you might not like the choices doesnt negate th efact that you sill have one.
    See also "resonable price".

    The companies are well aware of this aspect of the public psychology, naturally, and anticipate it when they are drafting their policies. They don't need to ring you in with contracts because they can ring you in with your own circumstances.
    Knowing the consumer is basic business principle.
    Had GM followed this better, it would not be where it is now.

    A health insurance company for these reasons is essentially never 'reasonably priced' -- and therefore they do not qualify as a legitimate business. Fees always grossly exceed the value of services rendered.
    As noted, your conclusion here is unsound because the premises/arguments upon which it is based are false.

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    Re: Already, 23 Dems have said they will vote ‘no’ on healthcare reform

    Wow. If THAT'S not a purpose-built definition.

    Your premise, above, is flawed, as your definition is, at best, incomplete.
    Not really. That's the very ideal of capitalism. The reality comes short, but that's the sort of entity capitalism is supposed to produce. At many intervals in history, like the American 50s, it is almost word for word the way everybody described it, including businessmen, politicians, philosophers, and laymen. It is enumerated in capitalist literature that any industry which does not adhere to the standard will, sooner or later and probably sooner, cease to exist. Unfortunately, such thinkers did not anticipate the occurrence of feedback loops that enable unethical businesses to thrive.

    Another false premise.
    A 'legitimate' business may exist to do nothing other than supply goods and services that fill people's desires.
    When blu-ray players and high-definition televisions were coming out, it cost less than a dollar to finance the material-acquisition and production of HDMI-cables (machines did the work), which were necessary to enjoy the true blu-ray experience. However, since the technology was new and because everything associated with them was so expensive, distributors decided to sell them for $100. By your logic, that is a fair business practice. But intuition, pragmatism, and common sense (the pillars of social ethics in practice) run contrary to the position.

    Of course you do, given that you purposely created your definitions to allow you to reach that conclusion.
    My definition may be new (it actually isn't -- it is from the mouths of anybody who advertised service during the 50s), but the idea is centuries old (discernable in the thought of Adam Smith for example) and is considered one of several major moral justifications for capitalism; because businesses which are unscroupulous will not be able to maintain their existence, and because of all the other benefits of capitalism, capitalism should be the accepted means of distributing resources throughout the community.

    Welcome to capitalism, where people are free to provide goods/services at a profit, and then use that profit as they see fit.
    Insurance companies are not comparable to other capitalist entities, they combine qualities of several relatively good industires where fairness and accountability matter to create a bulls-hit industry where people are rarely held accountable and fairness is not a common practice.

    I'm not against profit, but I'm not in favor of it at the expense of others good that are supposed to be present in a capitalist society; for example, insurance companies can't even provide service for most of their consumers at any one time, which is why during disasters or epidemics they have to be extra-subsidized by the government; that's because their use of premiums makes it impossible to cover their clients.

    "Reasonable price" is that which the market will bear, the costs of the prodic/service doesnt in any affect that price.
    But when the prices are unreasonable, the market does not bear them, but the price-setters usually can, leading to downturns in which the insurance company is safe (or at least, in a better position than anybody else) and everybody else suffers on their behalf. Such a system has a high capacity for indulging immoralism and harm to society, which begs the question, why should society accept it? Most people could not possibly have enough motivation to do so, and if we are self-interested beings like capitalism says, it is fully within our nature to oppose it. Anyway, you are wrong; in business ethics that is called price gouging and there are both moral principles and laws which forbid it. However, businessmen generally disregard the morals, their interest groups can pass bad laws, and their lawyers can find loopholes in said laws.

    ...you just dont like it.
    You do know that a business that you do not like can be legitimate, right?
    Not just businesses I don't like; businesses I hate can be legitimate. I hate the industrialized food industry, but it is at least mostly legitimate, or at least, legitimate enough to get a pass.

    Businesses that occupy a market niche which makes them unaccountable (to the point that even taxpayer money can become yet another source of income in exchange for failure) are by their nature illegitimate; something unaccoutable can never be legitimate, no more than an absolute monarch or tyrant who is subect to no one can be legimate; unaccountability creates illegitimacy.

    Whether or not I like or dislike insurnace does not relate to its legitimacy; it is illegitimate by its own existence. I could be a beneficiary (and love) the insurance industry as it is, and its illegitimacy would not change; the only thing that would change is me, in that I would be a crappier person.

    Choice - it a wonderful thing.
    That you might not like the choices doesnt negate th efact that you sill have one.
    See also "resonable price".
    That something is a choice always confers a certain amount of freedom to it, but that varies according to the choice. The amount of freedom is not static across choices. The more freedom there is, the more valuable the choice (because freedom is valuable good), but the less freedom there is, the less valuable the choice. In a choice of small value, the fact it is a choice does not mean much. The only true freedom resides, as Jesus showed by example and Buddha observed, in not being compelled; if nothing compels you, then you are your own force of movement, and in that condition you are free.

    As noted, your conclusion here is unsound because the premises/arguments upon which it is based are false.
    The guy who just ignored the prohibition on price gouging and every other business ethic and law is correct, the guy who is going along with what everybody (including the thinkers who developed capitalist theory) said should be the case is wrong. I don't think so, and if I am wrong, it is no credit or help to you; if capitalism is destinied to be like that, then by its own principles (why it says it should exist) captialism loses its right to exist.
    Last edited by Morality Games; 09-09-09 at 01:21 PM.

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    Re: Already, 23 Dems have said they will vote ‘no’ on healthcare reform

    Quote Originally Posted by Morality Games View Post
    Not really. That's the very ideal of capitalism.
    The "very ideal" of capitalism is to provide goods/services that people want to buy at a price that creates profit. Your "good" and "reasonable price" condition, as noted, does not in any way necessarily apply.

    So, again, you base your argument on an incomplete and self-serving dfinition.

    When blu-ray players and high-definition televisions were coming out, it cost less than a dollar to finance the material-acquisition and production of HDMI-cables (machines did the work), which were necessary to enjoy the true blu-ray experience. However, since the technology was new and because everything associated with them was so expensive, distributors decided to sell them for $100. By your logic, that is a fair business practice.
    Supply and demand. Basic capitalism.

    I have something you want, and the price of that someting depends on what you are willing to pay to get it; there's no "good" or "reasonable" component at all.

    Thus, no issue with it whatsoever.

    But intuition, pragmatism, and common sense (the pillars of social ethics in practice) run contrary to the position.
    All of these things lead to what I just said:
    See above. Supply and demand. No issue.

    My definition may be new...and is considered one of several major moral justifications for capitalism; because businesses which are unscroupulous will not be able to maintain their existence, and because of all the other benefits of capitalism, capitalism should be the accepted means of distributing resources throughout the community.
    Captialism very certainly should be the accepted means of distribution -- but you're confusing basic tenets with moral arguments; that businesses should not be 'unscroupulous' is a warning against behavior that will bring the demise of the business rather than some moral imperative that the business should act 'fairly'; because 'it is the morally right thing to do'.

    But then, you;re still working on showing how the insuirance indiustry is "unscroupulous", as in "not legitimate".

    And, none of this chnages the fact that you purposely created your definitions to allow you to reach your conclusion -- that is, you've started with a conclusion and are trying to create facts that fit.

    This, alone, not only illustrates that yor position is undsouns, but you recognize it as such.

    Insurance companies are not comparable to other capitalist entities...
    They provide goods and services at a market price.
    How are not not comparable?

    ...they combine qualities of several relatively good industires where fairness and accountability matter to create a bulls-hit industry...
    They provide goods and services at a market price.
    How is that a "bull shi'ite industry"?

    where people are rarely held accountable and fairness is not a common practice.
    "Fairness", in legitimate business, is acting in accordance to the obligations specified in the contract that created the commercial activity in question. if there is a specific instance where this does not happen then there is recourse available to the agrieved party.

    So, given that, can you show that, in general, the insurance industry is "unfair" -- especially recognizing that you admit that what they do is legal?


    I'm not against profit, but I'm not in favor of it at the expense of others good that are supposed to be present in a capitalist society;
    I reference back to your original unsond definition - that there must be some compoent of "good" for business to be legitimate.

    ...for example, insurance companies can't even provide service for most of their consumers at any one time, which is why during disasters or epidemics they have to be extra-subsidized by the government; that's because their use of premiums makes it impossible to cover their clients.
    So... what?
    This means the company is over-exposed, under certain circumstaces. This means that the company, under certain circumstances, may not be able to meet all of its obligations, as its policies are based on a certain set of specific actuarial assumptions. There's -always- a chance that circumstanes will fall outside six sigmas, but that a company will be in trouble if it does in any was illsutrates that it has done anything wrong -- much less that said business is somehow "illegitimate".

    But when the prices are unreasonable, the market does not bear them...
    No... when the market does not bear the prices, the prices are too high; "reasonable" has no bearing on the issue. YOU may thing $5.99 for a pen is "unreasonable", but if the company is selling them amd making money at it, the market disagrees with you.

    ...but the price-setters usually can, leading to downturns in which the insurance company is safe (or at least, in a better position than anybody else) and everybody else suffers on their behalf.
    Sound slike a good plan, if you can make it work.

    You seem to be under the impression that hold the 'supply' can set whatever price they want; that their price is limited to what the market will bear negates this position and all that you build upin it.

    Such a system has a high capacity for indulging immoralism and harm to society, which begs the question, why should society accept it?
    Simple:
    Society wants the goods/services that the business provides.
    If it do not, the business fails.

    There is, after all, nothing "immoral" in charging someone what they are willing to pay, as both the buyer and th eseller are acting voluintarily in what they believe are their own bests interests.

    Anyway, you are wrong; in business ethics that is called price gouging and there are both moral principles and laws which forbid it.
    See above.

    However, businessmen generally disregard the morals, their interest groups can pass bad laws, and their lawyers can find loopholes in said laws.
    Evryone acts in their own best interest, as is human nature. It all falls back to the the fact that companies cannot charge more than what the market will bear.

    Not just businesses I don't like; businesses I hate can be legitimate. I hate the industrialized food industry, but it is at least mostly legitimate, or at least, legitimate enough to left it pass by.
    Your definition of "legitimate", as noted before, is self-serving and unsound.

    Businesses that occupy a market niche which makes them unaccountable (to the point that even taxpayer money can become yet another source of income in exchange for failure) are by their nature illegitimate; something unaccoutable can never be legitimate, no more than an absolute monarch or tyrant who is subect to no one can be legimate; unaccountability creates illegitimacy.
    I see that by this addition to your original definition, you agree the original definiton was weak.

    But anyway...
    Unaccountable to whom?
    What business is unsccoutable?
    How can it -be- unaccountable?

    Whether or not I like or dislike insurnace does not relate to its legitimacy; it is illegitimate by its own existence. I could be a beneficiary (and love) the insurance industry as it is, and its illegitimacy would not change; the only thing that would change is me, in that I would be a crappier person.
    Your definition of "legitimate", as noted before, is self-serving and unsound.

    That something is a choice always confers a certain amount of freedom to it...
    Thereby negating your complaint. No one is forced to buy anything, they do so voluntarily.

    The guy who just ignored the prohibition on price gouging and every other business ethic and law is correct, the guy who is going along with what everybody (including the thinkers who developed capitalist theory) said should be the case is wrong.
    Non-sequitur.

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    Re: Already, 23 Dems have said they will vote ‘no’ on healthcare reform

    The "very ideal" of capitalism is to provide goods/services that people want to buy at a price that creates profit. Your "good" and "reasonable price" condition, as noted, does not in any way necessarily apply.
    It does if the system is to be maintained; any thing which moves outside the parameter is a catalyst for discontent. In ordinary situations that can result in the collapse of the guilty business. In extraordinary situations where the situation is particularly favorable, business can be maintained . . . for awhile. Eventually forces outside the private sector will unite against it.

    So, again, you base your argument on an incomplete and self-serving definition.
    . . . wouldn't any definition ever used by anybody be self-serving if humans are self-serving?

    And the authority for your definiton is . . . which capitalist theorist...? I've staked out Adam Smith.

    Supply and demand. Basic capitalism.

    I have something you want, and the price of that someting depends on what you are willing to pay to get it; there's no "good" or "reasonable" component at all.

    Thus, no issue with it whatsoever.
    That's not supply on demand; there is no shortage of supply to accomodate the spike in demand, which would justify raising the fee. There is shadow puppetry inflating the price of what is demanded, or in a word, price gouging. That is prohibited by both law and capitalist theorists, but loopholes abound, usually where the act of actually price gouging is covered up; the phenomena was only a year long, which wasn't enough time for popular discontent to grow strong enough to compel Congress to address the issue.

    They provide goods and services at a market price.
    How are not not comparable?
    There is no accountability. They are investors who receive money not from professional financiers but from customers who are after an essential service. Because the service is essential, that is, it is necessary to lead a prosperous life in the modern age, the provider can rely on both the "loyalty" of their consumer base and the support of the government, whether it be from subsidizing of tax payer money or lax enforcement of regulatory laws. No matter how much they fail, they can compensate for the failure by raising premiums; people can't withdraw from the contract without putting their health and that of their family in perpetual, mortal danger. In the worst case scenarios, including situations where they themselves cause the downturn, insurance companies can look forward to government bail-outs; because representatives of various constituencies know it is in their interest not to allow their constituents to lose their health care providers.

    In contrast, a related industry, investment firms, is always held accountable; if their investments fail, their financiers will find some other business and they will go under. If they are shady and pull fast ones on their recipients, then the government will retalitate with much more strength, because it makes them appear just and because the business targeted does not provide an essential service to their constituents.

    Health insurance companies do not incur such penalties; therefore, they are not comparable.

    Thereby negating your complaint. No one is forced to buy anything, they do so voluntarily.
    Strawman. That's a reduced interpretation of my argument.

    Your definition of "legitimate", as noted before, is self-serving and unsound.
    All definitions are self-serving though. You have claimed unsoundness, but not clearly demonstrated it . . . which in-itself is an unsound argument on your part.

    I see that by this addition to your original definition, you agree the original definiton was weak.
    My definition was always strong and consistent with what has been argued about capitalism by its strongest proponents, and what is required of it in order for it to survive. What I am doing is elaborating on the concept.

    But anyway...
    Unaccountable to whom?
    What business is unsccoutable?
    How can it -be- unaccountable?
    A business is accountable if it can incur penalties and not be rewarded or saved from failure. Because it provides an essential service -- one necessary to maintaining a prosprous existence -- it gets a lot of clout to not be held accountable for its actions. Health reform is basically an attempt outside the private sector to make them to be accountable, and their interest groups are fighting back.

    Evryone acts in their own best interest, as is human nature. It all falls back to the the fact that companies cannot charge more than what the market will bear.
    The market can endure anything, it just changes its size and shape or puffs itself up on illusions. If a business wants to survive, it must not charge what society will not bear; else the retalitation, while slower, will be much stronger and more authoritative than any rebuke in the market.

    Society wants the goods/services that the business provides.
    If it do not, the business fails.
    And health care reform poses the first serious threat to the industry that health insurance has faced in ages. I would say that is a failure in the making, or at least a loss, and a deserved one.

    There is, after all, nothing "immoral" in charging someone what they are willing to pay, as both the buyer and th eseller are acting voluintarily in what they believe are their own bests interests.
    So if a 60-year old man who foreclosed on a home and drove a family with an 18-year old girl into the streets sleeps with the girl in exchange for money because the girl needs it to provide for her orphaned younger brothers (parents died while on the streets), and something like this was always the man's intention when he foreclosed on the home, then there nothing immoral in that situation. And not just in this example, but in every conceivable example of somebody charging something people are willing to pay.

    Sorry. People are willing to do a lot of things to protect their children and families, including paying gross amounts of money to make up for other people's mistakes. That doesn't make it right.
    Last edited by Morality Games; 09-09-09 at 02:44 PM.

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