View Poll Results: Should the government be able to regulate this market in advance as stated below?

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Thread: Mandated Burial Plot

  1. #111
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    Re: Mandated Burial Plot

    Quote Originally Posted by washunut View Post
    What exactly is the "cost to others" for people not being insured. What percent of our annual $2.7 trillion health care bill does this cost represent?
    I'm sure there would be dueling numbers in a debate, but I recall this number:

    Total medical care expenditures among all of the uninsured in 2004 (including both those without coverage for all or part of the year) are almost $125 billion.

    http://www.kff.org/uninsured/upload/...l-spending.pdf

    I shoudl also point out that there are many facets to this debate. This but one. A significant one I think, but just one.

    AUSTAN GOOLSBEE: I think the world vests too much power, certainly in the president, probably in Washington in general for its influence on the economy, because most all of the economy has nothing to do with the government.

  2. #112
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    Re: Mandated Burial Plot

    Quote Originally Posted by digsbe View Post
    With our current healthcare model I think an individual mandate is wrong and removes someone's personal choice to plan out their healthcare decisions. I know some people who chose to not pay for insurance and put money into a medical savings account or another type of account in case there is an emergency. I know others (people my age specifically) who are healthy and just don't see the need for health insurance.
    And if they've only saved $1,000 and they need a $10,000 operation then what? Just tell them "Oops - you messed up! Now you're gonna' die for your stupidity."? I'm actually good with that. As long as those people that wish to remain outside the modern heathcare system (or on an upfront cash only basis with it) are actually held to their decisions then I don't see a problem - let them make that choice.


    Of course, as a society we've decided not to go down that road and having been around before you could walk into any emergency room demanding treatment I understand why we decided on the route we did. If the younger generation thinks us Old Fogeys got it wrong (really, our parents more than us) then let them return to a more barbaric time when people died outside of ER's for lack of money or health insurance.
    Last edited by MoSurveyor; 04-01-12 at 06:27 PM.
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  3. #113
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    Re: Mandated Burial Plot

    Quote Originally Posted by Kandahar View Post
    Consider this: With the exception of the process to work out the initial kinks in the Constitution (1789-1804), and a few amendments passed at the barrel of a Union gun (1865-1870), there has been only one period in all of American history where major constitutional reforms were implemented: 1913-1920, at the height of the progressive era. That's it. In 200+ years. The utter dearth of important constitutional amendments throughout American history should be all the proof necessary to demonstrate that the amendment process is untenable for most things, and therefore the Constitution needs to be reinterpreted to fit modern circumstances.
    So are you saying that because it is too difficult to get the states to agree to a change of the rules you're just going to recommend that we "reinterpret" the rules to arrive at the goal you desire. Isn't the whole idea that the constitution represents an agreement among the states? Don't you have to go back to them to have them agree to changes in the rules to fit new circumstances?

  4. #114
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    Re: Mandated Burial Plot

    Quote Originally Posted by Kandahar View Post
    It really doesn't matter that much to me what those who agreed to and ratified the Constitution intended. Today, the interstate commerce clause gives Congress much broader powers than that.
    Why? Just because you wish for it to?

    Commerce among the states, as it applies to health care, cannot function properly in the absence of a national health care policy. For one specific example, the states that attempt to craft workable solutions to their own health care problems (e.g. Massachusetts) run the risk of becoming magnets for uninsured people from other states, which is one example of why national coordination makes sense.
    That has nothing to do with commerce AMONG the states. That has to do with the welfare policies of one particular state. Massachusetts could simply change their welfare policies to deal with this problem as they see fit.

    This is exactly why I have a problem with "originalism" as a constitutional doctrine; the Founding Fathers could never have fathomed large numbers of people moving from one state to another based on their economies or political policies...most people lived their whole lives without traveling more than 30 miles from their homes when the Constitution was written. The size and scope of interstate commerce has expanded to truly unimaginable proportions since then.
    The fact that more trade occurs among the states doesn't give congress any additional power. It just means that more goods are crossing state lines. This is an irrelevant fact. Congress has the authority to prevent states from erecting trade barriers, such as tariffs and quotas. This power doesn't change, nor does it need to change, due to the volume of trade moving among the states.

  5. #115
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    Re: Mandated Burial Plot

    Quote Originally Posted by Boo Radley View Post
    I'm sure there would be dueling numbers in a debate, but I recall this number:

    Total medical care expenditures among all of the uninsured in 2004 (including both those without coverage for all or part of the year) are almost $125 billion.

    http://www.kff.org/uninsured/upload/...l-spending.pdf

    I shoudl also point out that there are many facets to this debate. This but one. A significant one I think, but just one.
    The reason I asked was that I saw a number which is supposed to be the unreimbursed expenses of $12 billion. Only the costs that do not get paid should be measured I think. If someone takes the risk of not being insured, then has to pay out of pocket that is their choice. The costs they do not paid are the ones all others have to cover in some way.

    If the $12 billion is close to correct the need for a mandate seems to be a strawman thus the question.

  6. #116
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    Re: Mandated Burial Plot

    Quote Originally Posted by washunut View Post
    The reason I asked was that I saw a number which is supposed to be the unreimbursed expenses of $12 billion. Only the costs that do not get paid should be measured I think. If someone takes the risk of not being insured, then has to pay out of pocket that is their choice. The costs they do not paid are the ones all others have to cover in some way.

    If the $12 billion is close to correct the need for a mandate seems to be a strawman thus the question.
    I don't think there is any way to get a completely accurate number, but as I said, this is but one element. The mandate is the mthod to pay for the program that we were left with after all the fear mongering. A public option or UHC would be better. However, the notion tht one can opt out is false. We know someone will guess wrong and we will pay for it.

    AUSTAN GOOLSBEE: I think the world vests too much power, certainly in the president, probably in Washington in general for its influence on the economy, because most all of the economy has nothing to do with the government.

  7. #117
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    Re: Mandated Burial Plot

    Quote Originally Posted by Zyphlin View Post
    So talking ot my relatively apolitical wife about the health care law last night and the arguments made in court, she brought up an analogy that I actually thought was rather on point and one I wanted to expand on.

    People die. When people die, if there is no family or no one able to provide for their burial we do not simply leave the dead decaying body to lie out and about. Someone bears the cost to go forward with disposing of the body either thorugh burial or cremation. And when that's ont a family member its putting an unnecessary financial burden on portions of society. Everyone, in some fashion, will enter into this market place at some point. There is no an individual who at some point in their life will be involved in some fashion with this particular market. We don't know when an individual may enter this market, and the entrance to it could be sudden and without any forthought.

    As such, should the government be able to regulate this market in advance by mandating that every individual do one of the following two things or be levied a tax penalty?:

    1. Purchase Life Insurance, assuring that everyone who dies will have some money doled out that will cover after-death costs. To go along with this, regulation will be put on Life Insurance that it must cover ALL forms of death at least to a minimum amount, including suicide.

    2. Purchase a burial plot and coffin or pre-purchase cremation services.
    The false premise of the position taken by your wife is that each person dies once and you can fund cremation for about 50 bucks. So those who die destitute will be taken care of with state funds for the health and safety of others and we are a civil society and will use minor tax funds for this. Very few citizens of any party would oppose this small funding for those who die penniless for the health and safety of our society.

    Regarding healthcare ... one person can have 10 hospitalizations each one costing hundreds of thousands of dollars and it is expensive to expect us to absorb those who choose to be uninsured or are simply unable to be responsible and purchase insurance.

    I call this analogy a false premise based on the detriment and cost to society to absorb a lifetime of medical costs of millions of $ for each uninsured v. proper disposal of bodies only once deceased of those who die completely destitute for public safety.

    Good thing your wife is not making political decisions ...
    Last edited by Turin; 04-02-12 at 01:36 AM.

  8. #118
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    Re: Mandated Burial Plot

    Quote Originally Posted by MoSurveyor View Post
    And if they've only saved $1,000 and they need a $10,000 operation then what? Just tell them "Oops - you messed up! Now you're gonna' die for your stupidity."? I'm actually good with that. As long as those people that wish to remain outside the modern heathcare system (or on an upfront cash only basis with it) are actually held to their decisions then I don't see a problem - let them make that choice.


    Of course, as a society we've decided not to go down that road and having been around before you could walk into any emergency room demanding treatment I understand why we decided on the route we did. If the younger generation thinks us Old Fogeys got it wrong (really, our parents more than us) then let them return to a more barbaric time when people died outside of ER's for lack of money or health insurance.

    Very good point ... except one ED visit can cost 10,000. Surgery and inpatient for 7 days you are looking at about 60,000. You better have hundreds of thousands saved if uninsured and claim to simply not need it.

    I prefer mandated insurance over triage teams throwing those who are uninsured out to the pasture.

    At least you have an understanding of the system and EMTALA. Most people are clueless.
    Last edited by Turin; 04-02-12 at 01:38 AM.

  9. #119
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    Re: Mandated Burial Plot

    Quote Originally Posted by Dion View Post
    Very good point ... except one ED visit can cost 10,000. Surgery and inpatient for 7 days you are looking at about 60,000. You better have hundreds of thousands saved if uninsured and claim to simply not need it.

    I prefer mandated insurance over triage teams throwing those who are uninsured out to the pasture.

    At least you have an understanding of the system and EMTALA. Most people are clueless.
    I'm glad you pointed out that it can get much, much worse than the paltry $10,000 I used as an example. I just wanted to make sure everyone knew what the logical (though not necessarily humane) alternative would be.

    I personally would prefer everyone be insured as well


    Ed:
    but if the younger generation want to take their chances to me that's modern evolution in action. One can only hope they haven't reproduced before they have an accident they can't afford to recover from.
    Last edited by MoSurveyor; 04-02-12 at 02:14 AM.
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  10. #120
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    idea Re: Mandated Burial Plot

    Quote Originally Posted by Kandahar View Post
    Interstate commerce clause.

    And just to be clear, the federal government isn't "forcing" anyone to purchase anything here. It is giving them a choice between getting health insurance or paying $700. The government does this sort of thing in the reverse all the time; it gives people tax credits for everything from buying solar panels to buying fuel-efficient cars, and those tax credits are indisputably constitutional.

    If you'd like to suggest that penalizing someone for NOT buying something is different than rewarding them for buying something, I'd simply like to point out that the economic consequence is exactly the same in both situations. One man's tax credit is everyone else's penalty.
    You just made a good argument against tax credits. THANK YOU.
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