My Photo

« The Anti-Tax Ideology | Main | Democrats Drop Card Check from Union Bill »

July 20, 2009

TrackBack

TrackBack URL for this entry:
http://www.typepad.com/services/trackback/6a00d834515c2369e20115721b97e4970b

Listed below are links to weblogs that reference Retro Bill:

Comments

Doing nothing at all is preferrable to throwing a trillion and a half dollars into Obama's "Oh, why can't we be more like Fidel's Cuba?" healthcare takeover / socialization / destruction.

If they can delay it until the 2010 elections, it won't stand a chance because I see a BIG defeat for Democrats come November of next year.

Why do you think Obama is trying to ram through all this fundamental radicalization of American life? Because he knows that next year the Dems will - a la 1994 - be hammered hard.

So please...more nothing on Obamacare.

It's funny that Bill Kristol stopped listening to the AMA once they disagreed with him - http://www.weeklystandard.com/Content/Public/Articles/000/000/016/614sqacx.asp?pg=2 -
Meanwhile, those industry groups who joined President Obama at the White House for a photo-op last month are now worried. One of them, the American Medical Association, announced last week it would oppose outright any plan with a government insurance option. "The introduction of a new public plan threatens to restrict patient choice by driving out private insurers," the AMA said, and the requirements of such a plan would severely burden doctors and "would likely lead to an explosion of costs that would need to be absorbed by taxpayers."

It's sort of a hallmark of intellectual dishonesty to discontinue citing someone as an authority once they say something you don't like.

Publius, leaving the politics aside, do you really think that HR 3200 is a good bill? I thought that a central goal of reform would be to sever the employment-coverage link, in which health care insurance largely depends on one's employer. HR 3200 reinforces the link by mandating employers to pay for insurance and socking employers with a penalty if they don't (some small business are exempted, but they have to be very small). It's also costly, requires imprudent taxes*, and is not deficit neutral.

There are other Democratic plans, such as Sen. Wyden's, that do a better job at severing the link between employment and insurance (as well as paying for themselves). Yet, the Democratic leadership has thus far refused to even discuss Wyden's plan because of union pressure (many unions have negotiated sweetheart deals and thus favor linking insurance to employment). Is throwing a bone to unions really that important?

*A prudent tax is one that raises revenues and also creates favorable incentives. For example, taxing health care benefits (a feature of Wyden's plan) raises revenues and also encourages transparency in health care costs and compensation. Imposing a surcharge on high-income earners, by contrast, may raise revenue but it doesn't create any favorable incentive (except, perhaps, for high-income folks to hide income or talk nontaxable compenations).

Why do you think Obama is trying to ram through all this fundamental radicalization of American life?

Without further comment.

"Oh, why can't we be more like Fidel's Cuba?" healthcare takeover / socialization / destruction"

What's socialistic about it?

von - the goal is to get people good health care. it's not necessarily to keep or remove employer system.

in a world starting from scratch, i wouldn't mind ditching the employer system. but there are certain realities, path dependence, etc. that you have to deal with. This is one of them. But yes, i think it's a great bill, and one that will be much better than whatever comes out of the dread Senate.

also, i'd disagree that unions are the real source of fear here. i think it's that ending employer care would be demagogued by republicans (even though they supposedly don't like it either). but obama demagogued it too, so he bears some blame

Doing nothing at all is preferrable to throwing a trillion and a half dollars into Obama's "Oh, why can't we be more like Fidel's Cuba?" healthcare takeover / socialization / destruction.

I doubt that, since your observations are completely inaccurate.

This is not a serious comment, and leads me to believe that I should do the opposite of what you urge.

"Kristol doesn't believe in health care"

You know, I'm pretty sure he does, in fact, believe in health care. Both in the sense that he acknowledges it's existence, and approves of it.

Perhaps you meant that he doesn't believe the government should be involved in supplying it? Because all sorts of people "believe in" all sorts of things which they think the government shouldn't have a hand in.

@Brett -- "We're not giving up on health reform."

Perhaps you meant that he doesn't believe the government should be involved in supplying it?

The proposals on the table are not for government provided health care.

They are for government provided health insurance.

Big difference.

Yet, the Democratic leadership has thus far refused to even discuss Wyden's plan because of union pressure (many unions have negotiated sweetheart deals and thus favor linking insurance to employment). Is throwing a bone to unions really that important?

How do you know that union pressure is the primary reason? Do you have any evidence at all to support your belief here? Maybe they've decided that Wyden's plan is sufficiently intrusive as to be political suicide.

von - the goal is to get people good health care. it's not necessarily to keep or remove employer system.

Yes, but how are you going to do this efficiently without severing the link between healthcare and employment? The notion that employers should pay healthcare as compensation but those benefits should not taxed skews the health care system, and creates very costly alternatives for the unemployed. It also creates weird problems in the labor market, where folks seek and hold jobs that aren't what they want and/or don't pay well purely for the healthcare benefits.

in a world starting from scratch, i wouldn't mind ditching the employer system. but there are certain realities, path dependence, etc. that you have to deal with. This is one of them. But yes, i think it's a great bill, and one that will be much better than whatever comes out of the dread Senate.

I don't understand what you mean by path dependence.

also, i'd disagree that unions are the real source of fear here. i think it's that ending employer care would be demagogued by republicans (even though they supposedly don't like it either). but obama demagogued it too, so he bears some blame

But no one is suggesting ending employer care. All that's proposed is providing an individual health care tax credit instead of the current system of treating employer-based health care -- and (basically) only employer-based health care -- as not subject to taxation. Why not give the tax credit to the individual, regardless of whether he or she is employed?

By the way, HR 3200 is not just being criticized by Kristol. The Washington Post, The Economist, and Jacob Weisburg in Slate have all come out in favor of health care reform and against HR 3200. It's these criticisms that should trouble you more than Kristol.

von: Do you seriously think that Bill Kristol, or any of the Republicans, or any of the self-described "moderates" would support any bill that actually severed the link between healthcare and employment, unless it was one that threw everyone into the "health care marketplace" to try, as lone individuals, to make sense of and compete with giant corporations with departments of people who deliberately make things more confusing and deny claims?

Because that's all the Republicans have suggested, when they haven't been sticking their fingers in their ears and yelling "BEST HEALTH CARE IN THE WORLD!" or talking about Canadian hip transplants.

For that matter, what sort of plan would you reccomend that would sever the link between health insurance and employment? And do you think your plan would have any possibility of passing, given the positions of the Republican Party and the "moderates" in the Senate?

Speaking only for myself...having the Economist, Weisburg and the WaPo editorial board come out against HR 3200 neither surprises me nor troubles me (vis a vis the substance of the bill), anymore than does 'centrists' in congress being against it. I would be amazed if it were any different.

Nate, I don't understand your argument.

von: Do you seriously think that Bill Kristol, or any of the Republicans, or any of the self-described "moderates" would support any bill that actually severed the link between healthcare and employment, unless it was one that threw everyone into the "health care marketplace" to try, as lone individuals, to make sense of and compete with giant corporations with departments of people who deliberately make things more confusing and deny claims?

So what if all these folks opposed a rational plan to sever the link between employment and insurance? They're opposing the current plan, which strengthens the link between employment and insurance, and is more costly to boot. Your argument seems to boil down to: "We have to stick with our current, sh_tty proposal because the same folks will oppose a better proposal."

And I'm not sure that all of these folks would oppose a health care plan that involves individual tax credits without throwing those same individuals to the wolves.

Speaking only for myself...having the Economist, Weisburg and the WaPo editorial board come out against HR 3200 neither surprises me nor troubles me (vis a vis the substance of the bill), anymore than does 'centrists' in congress being against it. I would be amazed if it were any different.

OK; are you willing to go down with the HR 3200 ship? Because if the Democratic leadership is not responsive to these concerns, there's a pretty strong possibility that when HR 3200 goes down -- and I'm pretty sure that it will, absent substantial changes -- any possibility of health care reform will go down with it.

von: My argument is this. Nothing that would actually sever the link between employment and insurance will be found acceptable by the Republicans in Congress, or the self-described "moderate" obstructionists. Because any plan that actually worked to sever the link between employment and insurance, that actually provided universal care (as you said before was your goal) would be opposed by these same people.

Your argument once again seems to come down to saying "Well, of course, I support the GOAL, but not any actual steps or efforts toward the goal." Which is what the Republicans and "moderates" have been doing since the 19-freaking-30s.

So what WOULD your plan be, to reach this goal that you say you support, and do you think it would have any sort of realistic chance of passing or even garnering support from more than maybe 2 Republicans?

"...any possibility of health care reform will go down with it."

That's been the goal since the beginning, von, just like it was in 1994. For the Republicans especially. I don't know if the "moderates" all actually wanted to kill any chance of reform, or if they're just so addicted to seeming powerful and important they needed to throw their weight around and be useful idiots for the Republicans.

OK; are you willing to go down with the HR 3200 ship?

The ship isn't sinking yet. There are lots of changes which could and will be made between now and any bill's arrival on Obama's desk. My point was that it was not surprising that those three entities would oppose - in other words, that their opposition is hardly evidence of a liberal backlash or whatever. None of these are liberal (in the American sense) or progressive voices.

Actually, I think Yglesias sums things up pretty well here. He puts the question down as 'do moderate Dems want universal healthcare or not?' I frankly don't think the leadership has been terribly rigid. As Matt points out, there are lots of funding, etc. alternatives available. The question is whether these people want it or not. I honestly don't know the answer.

The proposals on the table are not for government provided health care.

They are for government provided health insurance.

IMO, anyone who doesn't know that by now has no business commenting on the issue.

"Perhaps you meant that he doesn't believe the government should be involved in supplying it?

The proposals on the table are not for government provided health care.

They are for government provided health insurance.

Big difference."

Exactly, so trying to sell it as reform has seemed to me to be disingenuous. The initial discussions were around reform that would make coverage budget neutral and overall costs decline.

Then we just changed to universal coverage and how to pay for it.

I understand fully the objections to the politics being played at various levels by Republicans.

I am disappointed that the assumption inherent in those criticisms is that the Democrats are somehow debating this in good faith with no political agenda or positioning.

It is a classic Washington, inside the beltway, politics as usual, debate.

Exactly, so trying to sell it as reform has seemed to me to be disingenuous.

Hmmm, but it is reform. It is reforming the current system of limited government provided insurance by offering a public option, as well as several other key reform elements aimed at curbing costs, cutting fraud, optimizing administrative practices, etc.

"Exactly, so trying to sell it as reform has seemed to me to be disingenuous.

Hmmm, but it is reform. It is reforming the current system of limited government provided insurance by offering a public option, as well as several other key reform elements aimed at curbing costs, cutting fraud, optimizing administrative practices, etc."

There is some of that, I haven't read the whole House bill yet so I don't know how much. I do know the centerpiece is universal coverage.

If the Democrats called it universal it would be dead already.

If the Democrats called it universal it would be dead already.

But it's not universal coverage - or at least, that depends on your definition.

It has a public option, but it is an option. You can get private insurance if you like. And either way, the Dems have been quite vocal about having a public option.

The comments to this entry are closed.

Whatnot


  • visitors since 3/2/2004

April 2014

Sun Mon Tue Wed Thu Fri Sat
    1 2 3 4 5
6 7 8 9 10 11 12
13 14 15 16 17 18 19
20 21 22 23 24 25 26
27 28 29 30      
Blog powered by Typepad

QuantCast