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A couple republicans claim to have a health care proposal...

damn_registrars (1103043) writes | about 7 months ago

Republicans 19

Over three years ago, The Health Insurance Industry Bailout Act of 2010 was signed into law by President Lawnchair. It was, of course, primarily authored by conservatives who claimed they weren't getting a chance in the discussion - and then because it had only 90% of what they wanted, they voted against it when it came up to vote in congress. Nonetheless, since President Lawnchair knew he would never see another healthcare related bill, he signed it into law so he could say he signed a bill,Over three years ago, The Health Insurance Industry Bailout Act of 2010 was signed into law by President Lawnchair. It was, of course, primarily authored by conservatives who claimed they weren't getting a chance in the discussion - and then because it had only 90% of what they wanted, they voted against it when it came up to vote in congress. Nonetheless, since President Lawnchair knew he would never see another healthcare related bill, he signed it into law so he could say he signed a bill, even if it didn't do anything useful and didn't resemble any of his initial goals.

Naturally, the GOP had a shit fit. They spread all kinds of lies around about what this would or would not do, and the "mainstream media" dutifully reported those as the truth. The GOP furthermore has made it a point to vote on at least one bill in the house (on average) every 4-5 weeks to cripple or overturn the Bailout Act.

Now, a few of the same GOP critters have claimed to have finally written a proposal of their own to "reform" health care. Slashdot member smitty_one_each mentioned this in a recent JE that he wrote, with a link to a highly biased comment on this "alternative". The problem, of course, is that it largely isn't an alternative to the current situation.

Here's my blow-by-blow on the summary:

I clicked the link to your GOP alternative proposal. Color me unimpressed.

First of all, I will point out that the Health Insurance Bailout Act of 2010 was passed in 2010. The republicans have had more than 3 years for a do-over and this is all they can come up with?

That said, it doesn't really do much. Much of what is in this is already in the bill that they so desperately want to kill.

  • Article 1 - just kills the Bailout Act, and does nothing else.
  • Article 2 - is a tax cut for buying health insurance, which we already have in the Bailout Act. It adjusts a few other things like HSAs but that isn't anything that rocks the earth.
  • Article 3 - Only removes a COBRA requirement for people who are high-risk and currently unemployed. Being as the coverage is - to be kind - extremely biased, I'm not convinced that such a requirement actually exists but we'll let them claim it to be so for now.
  • Article 4 - Is about "purchasing across state lines". This is at best massive window dressing, and at worst could make health care far more expensive. First of all, in the majority of situations nothing currently prevents people from purchasing health insurance from other states whcih makes this window dressing. However, if they want to make it law then they will force health care providers to accepts any number of crazy plans and train their staff to work on this, which will massively increase the cost of running a health care office.
  • Article 5 - is about medical liability law. Sounds great, except in reality it has little to do with the cost of health care beyond what providers pay for malpractice insurance; which is a cost that is only minimally passed on to the consumer. In particular this targets the attorney's part of the take (while placing no limit on the patient's award) whch should tell you enough of what this proposal's author is after.
  • Article 6 - an anti-abortion statement. This really doesn't have shit to do with this and doesn't belong here.

In other words, the parts of this that are not obviously partisan attacks on conservative boogeymen are taken from the Health Insurance Company Bailout Act of 2010. I will love to see what they say when the CBO evaluates the cost of this proposal.

19 comments

Startling (1)

smitty_one_each (243267) | about 7 months ago | (#44947071)

It was, of course, primarily authored by conservatives who claimed they weren't getting a chance in the discussion

Could you please substantiate that claim? How anyone who claims to care about liberty could be in favor of big government/big business collusion on this scale defies description. I could see where some GOP elite RINOs [amazon.com] may have been lining the portfolio. Is that what you're on about?

Re:Startling (1)

Captain Splendid (673276) | about 7 months ago | (#44973009)

Why do you hate the Heritage Foundation?

Re:Startling (1)

fustakrakich (1673220) | about 7 months ago | (#44975721)

He also hates republicans, George W is liberal(!) now, and he doesn't remember Nixon [slashdot.org]

Re:Startling (1)

smitty_one_each (243267) | about 7 months ago | (#44976321)

I support & defend the Constitution, and freely pour H8 on all y'all throne sniffers.

Re:Startling (1)

fustakrakich (1673220) | about 7 months ago | (#44979503)

I support & defend the Constitution...

When I see you demand the abolition of prohibition, I just might believe you. Otherwise you're just performing hollow, meaningless internet masturbation.

Re:Startling (1)

smitty_one_each (243267) | about 7 months ago | (#44979599)

I've been arguing in favor of a return to Enumerated Powers for years.

Re:Startling (1)

fustakrakich (1673220) | about 7 months ago | (#44979867)

Yeah, how many years? About 5 now, right? And very selectively. Some things are noticed by their absence, like that half second of silence between crashing waves.

Re:Startling (1)

smitty_one_each (243267) | about 7 months ago | (#44980093)

OK, the old "Your previous position was X, therefore you cannot argue Y" argument.

Re:Startling (1)

fustakrakich (1673220) | about 7 months ago | (#44980689)

Thing is, you haven't changed your position. You still preach randian, neo-liberal reaganomics like it came from the holy bible itself. You only changed your opinion of the government because of the faction running it right now (there you were, cheer leading for McCain and Romney all the way, illustrating your support of the status quo), but it hasn't changed direction at all over the last 40 years. The decline has accelerated, most notably in the 80s, but it has "stayed the course" throughout (and yes, that includes the Clinton years, for those who for some reason look up to him). Wealth and power remain synonymous as redundant, interchangeable terms as it has been since the beginning of the universe.

Re:Startling (1)

smitty_one_each (243267) | about 7 months ago | (#44981351)

Actually, I've changed my opinion substantially in the last decade, from the Fox News neocon caricature you enjoy lampooning, to a relatively better-educated, politically libertarian, socially conservative spot.

Wealth and power remain synonymous as redundant, interchangeable terms as it has been since the beginning of the universe.

And so the irony you deliver seems to be that, while I don't dispute the truth of this assertion, you're on the cusp of delivering something much closer to the Founder's ideals, and you. . .seem kinda complacent.

Furthermore (1)

smitty_one_each (243267) | about 7 months ago | (#44947101)

The main point I was making

per the Holy Narrative, does not exist

is that, in controlling the Narrative, the existence of alternatives is completely ignored. The precise suckage of the RSC proposal is a follow-on debate. Anything that isn't redistributing power, not wealth, should be attacked, as you do here.

Re:Furthermore (1)

damn_registrars (1103043) | about 7 months ago | (#44947495)

per the Holy Narrative, does not exist

This is the first proposal I have seen since 2009 that has been presented by the republicans as an alternative to the Health Insurance Industry Bailout Act of 2010. They had at least three full years and this is the best they could come up with? Half of it is pretty much taken straight from the Bailout Act and most of the rest won't do anything to improve affordability or accessibility. Some parts are quite simply not related at all to those aims.

Considering the amount of time that has passed, this is an absurd distraction at this point. They had plenty of time to write an actual counter proposal and instead focused on making the Bailout Act look like something other than what it is. Hell according to the article you linked to this has only been making the rounds for the past few months; being as no other proposal has ever come this far it would seem that the "Holy Narrative" was accurate through at least May of this year.

the existence of alternatives is completely ignored

Can you find an alternative that existed prior to this one, which was actually making progress towards even being discussed in the house? Hopefully we can agree that a proposal that only cripples or revokes the Bailout Act is not actually an alternative if it does nothing else.

Re:Furthermore (1)

smitty_one_each (243267) | about 7 months ago | (#44947765)

Again, I'm not seeking to engage on specifics of public health legislation. Rather, I'm pointing out that "The GOP is just saying 'No'" is an inaccurate charge.

Re:Furthermore (1)

damn_registrars (1103043) | about 7 months ago | (#44948441)

Rather, I'm pointing out that "The GOP is just saying 'No'" is an inaccurate charge. Reply to This Share

From what you've provided, that only became true in the past few months. I'm not saying it is impossible for them to have provided a proposal prior to this one, but I have never seen one.

That said, a strong argument exists that if this is the GOP proposal, it isn't much of one. Many parts are the same, many parts won't help, and some parts are just partisan points that don't do anything at all towards a goal of making health care more accessible. It is important to look at the proposal though if you want to try to support your claim of it being more than just "No"; if it doesn't do anything that hasn't already been done then it might as well just be "No".

So while I don't want to beat you up on this, I think your statement of

I'm not seeking to engage on specifics of public health legislation

Is a bit weasely on this matter. You can't really claim that the proposal is something other than just "No" without comparing it to the Bailout Act.

Re:Furthermore (1)

smitty_one_each (243267) | about 7 months ago | (#44949369)

I'll take "a bit weasely" here, not having thoroughly researched it myself beforehand.
On the other hand, if your going-in assertion is that "government has to take over healthcare" then anything short of that cannot be seen as legitimate.
Conversely, a really huge chunk of the citizens of this country are very strongly opposed to such a government takeover.
The idea of a government takeover of healthcare is supported neither conceptually, nor practically.
Many oppose this activity both on principle, and because, even if the idea wasn't a proven loser elsewhere, those attempting it here have shown themselves thoroughly, consistently duplicitous in every particular.
The opposition is only going to worsen.

Re:Furthermore (1)

damn_registrars (1103043) | about 7 months ago | (#44949611)

On the other hand, if your going-in assertion is that "government has to take over healthcare" then anything short of that cannot be seen as legitimate.

I see that as an oversimplification of the proper solution to this problem. A single payer system and a true government takeover of health care are two very, very, different ideas. You seem to feel that the UK system is a takeover, however I would argue it is far from it. While it does put health care practitioners on the government payroll, it does not decide for them what to do for any given situation. People are still free to find their preferred specialists and talk to multiple physicians to get the treatment they want. The actual case in the UK is a far cry from the "government takeover" that the GOP is trying to project single payer to be.

Conversely, a really huge chunk of the citizens of this country are very strongly opposed to such a government takeover.

Sure, but many of them are opposed to a takeover that has never been planned, and could nearly be described as having never happened anywhere. Hell I wouldn't want the kind of takeover that the conservative media keeps telling us we are about to face.

Equally important though is that many people actually favor a single payer system such as what exists in valid first world countries.

The idea of a government takeover of healthcare is supported neither conceptually, nor practically.

Nor is it proposed anywhere.

The opposition is only going to worsen.

It would be interesting to know what the opposition would look like if actual valid information was distributed instead of massive packs of lies and hyperbole.

Re:Furthermore (1)

smitty_one_each (243267) | about 7 months ago | (#44950525)

it does not decide for them what to do for any given situation. People are still free to find their preferred specialists and talk to multiple physicians to get the treatment they want.

My German wife works in pharma, and is intimately familiar with the evil that the IPAB will become.
The much-ballyhooed "death panel" operates by maintaining control over the entire supply chain. She has recent knowledge of a medication disallowed for sale in a European country because, for all that country had citizens who are in need of the medication, the government demanded it be sold at a certain price point, and the pharma balked, due to inability to run a business at that price for that medication.
Now, anecdotes are not data, and I've laundered the life out of that one because:
(a) I wasn't taking notes, and may not be fully accurate, and
(b) there is proprietary information involved, so
(c) you can feel free to discount it all you like. I can't make the evil of government controlling markets like this real to you. It will only become real until you are mugged by reality, and some unaccountable pencil-neck in a nice office with a spreadsheet is flogging you or someone you love with the 'fairness' stick.

instead of massive packs of lies and hyperbole

One could always redistribute the power, itself, and obviate all of the friction.

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