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March 05, 2017

Comments

A wonderful post, Doc, and an inspiring and hope-giving movement. Also, and I am sure you know this, despite the fact it will have no direct effect on congressional elections etc, support for the Resistance is huge worldwide. You will have seen the numbers of Women's Marches in the UK and around the world (Antarctica!), and you may be interested to know that everyone I have spoken to in the UK has already given money to the ACLU, and is considering other beneficiaries. I don't want to romanticise this, but little tendrils of hope and pride have started wriggling into my heart, because I feel a sense that our people (however you define them, but your excerpt from Sarah Kendzior above will do) are on the move. An optimistic note on which to start a 4-hour drive to the North Country!

Seconded. Love the video!

to all other suggestions, I will add tip the party balance in either or both Houses of Congress.

You can start today. There's a special for Tom Price's seat in GA-6. Jon Ossoff is running as a (D), send him a few bucks if you can, and if you live in or near his district get busy and pound the pavement.

10 Senate seats that could turn blue in 2018.

Vulnerable House seats.

Vulnerable governorships, in both directions.

You can likely find similar information for state offices in your state.

2020 is a census year, which means electoral districts are re-drawn, so state offices of all kinds are critical. The states will also likely be a counter to undesirable federal policies. State AG's can and do challenge federal policies when they conflict with local priorities.

Spend your money and time and vote. Probably won't turn either house in 2018, but any gains set up further wins in 2020.

Also - my wife sends something like 10-20 postcards to national officeholders a week. A stamped postcard costs 38 cents at the PO. Physical mail makes a bigger dent than email, you can write a postcard in less than a minute, and postcards aren't held up for security reasons like mail in envelopes might be.

Cheap and easy. One postcard doesn't make much of a difference, 1,000 or 10,000 postcards do.

So send a thousand! Or, whatever time and budget allow.

No-one is paying us to protest. I have no idea why this plainly preposterous idea keeps being trotted out:

why? because it allows "conservatives" to ignore the message. if the protester is paid, you can assume she doesn't actually believe the words she's shouting.

and if the protesters are paid, you can assume the whole thing is the work of a shadowy sugar-daddy (aka the evil anagram: "Soros") who wants to hijack our democracy for his own ends.

I don't see how it passes even the most superficial smell test. C'mon, *pay* Americans for protesting?!? Where have you been?

the target audience is people gullible enough to vote for Trump.

as always, cleek nails it.

I am still waiting for my check from Soros.

"No-one is paying us to protest. I have no idea why this plainly preposterous idea keeps being trotted out"

You have NO idea?

C'mon, it's put out there by trump/republican/conservatives who are PAID to put it out there.

Yes, their movement is led by white men, but there are blacks, women, hispanics, and LGBT Republicans salted among their ranks who are happy to be paid to put it out there, too. Certainly, there are Russian women working in the Russian Embassy putting it out there, and I'll bet you there is at least one LGBT individual closeted in the Embassy who puts it out there too when Bannon rings the bell and trump signs the check.

See, when it comes to lying, cheating, and stealing elections and such, Republicans put a show on about being under a big tent, but the only "identity" that counts among them when it comes to ruthlessly lying, cheating, and stealing elections in order to kick the hippie and eliminate taxation is their conservative republican trump identity.

Even IF Soros IS sending me checks, although he'll receive better value by sending checks to Russell or Doc Science, good on him because this is America and nothing gets done without lubrication with ruthless money, and that goes for the well-paid Tea Party bullshit too.

Conservatives will tell you that "throwing money at a problem" doesn't work. This, as they finagle "Citizens United" to throw money to secure vast majorities at every federal level, majorities in governors mansions and statehouses across the country, and gerrymander the crap out of the country so their paymasters can throw money at them in perpetuity.

Though I have to say trump has managed to stiff his true believers and still they remain in the voodoo trance. Which is why they are so dangerous .... disciples and acolytes don't require payment.

One other little thing, as well, is that more than a few white men now in the tank for trump and republicans will have to be persuaded to join the resistance and though they might not have to be humored by being rewarded leadership positions, they will certainly ask, "Where's my check?"

anagram?
palindrome, surely.

An example of the efficacy of white men paying other white men to do their bidding successfully when it comes to circumscribing good governance:

http://www.msn.com/en-us/money/markets/wall-street-cops-reined-in-as-sec-braces-for-trump-budget-cuts/ar-AAnSJ2Y

Heck, even other white men get screwed in the process, along with everyone else:

http://www.msn.com/en-us/money/retirement/us-seniors-lose-an-estimated-dollar29-billion-each-year-to-financial-abuse/ar-AAnToas

Throwing money, overhand, works.

In the realm of unfinished business, this:

http://www.motherjones.com/kevin-drum/2017/03/fda-has-revolutionized-drug-approvals-over-past-decade

Yever notice how no matter how much an agency of government improves its performance over time, not one conservative/libertarian or their trump brethren, even those who demanded that improved performance, ever concedes or even mentions that improved performance because it might lead them to give up their goal of getting rid of the agency altogether or submit to a few moments of kvetchlessness before they renew their whining.

And with that, its two or three weeks of road trip for me so let's hear a cheer for my absence here.


https://twitter.com/mcskinner11/status/838487006313328643/photo/1?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw

https://twitter.com/itsmikebivins/status/838118699827511296/photo/1?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw

Volunteer dupes.

There also seem to be state-level elections in Virginia and Washington.

Reaction to resistance:

http://mediamatters.org/video/2017/03/06/alex-jones-tells-trump-use-violence-against-his-opponents/215568

Not direct Resistance, at least not exclusively, but I wanted to share an example of something happening here in Atlanta. Different ways for people to get and remain engaged.

https://www.facebook.com/events/1844456212493456/


http://www.activatelovelead.org

Coming out of lurker status to tell you what's going on in my little corner of the world.

I have lived in my house in northeast Cobb County, GA (Tom Price's district in suburban Atlanta) for almost 21 years. A couple of weeks ago, a young woman knocked on my door representing Cobb County Democrats. This is the first time a representative from any party has come by my house to try to influence my political decision-making. I was so thrilled I kept the poor woman on my doorstep for 20 minutes.

I am now involved in canvassing my neighborhood, speaking to solid or likely Democratic voters. Turnout for the special election to replace Tom Price is hugely important, of course.

The overarching structure is Indivisible 6th District, but the groundwork is being done by grunts like me who have never before been involved in grassroots organizing. We're talking to our own neighbors, urging them to get involved, and the response has been overwhelming. The Democratic party in Cobb County has been ineffectual for pretty much the entire time I've lived here. But no more - people are enthusiastically embracing the Resistance movement in great part because we folks who knock on their door are proof that they're not alone.

There is immediate urgency due to the upcoming election to replace Tom Price. Jon Ossoff is an impressive man who, I believe, has a bright future in Democratic politics. However, the longer term goal is to flip the entire county to Team Blue. Demographics are in our favor, and Clinton actually won Cobb by 6 percentage points. But individual districts are still bright red.

I'm still angry about the election, gerrymandering, voter suppresion and all the other BS that Republicans at every level engage in. But I now feel like I'm doing things that can make a difference for my family, community and country.

chmatl, your report is very encouraging. I'm really impressed by the Indivisible movement in my area as well. The first meeting they had was about 6 times as well attended as they had expected, and we had to move to a different venue to accommodate everyone.

It's going to be a long process. The main challenge is sticking with it.

Having read thru the Field Guide, I have one problem with it: it's too narrow. Specifically, it assumes that everyone who is opposed to Trump and his agenda is a progressive and/or Democrat.

It seems to me that they would be well advised to at least consider trying to expand to those who are moderates or conservatives**, or even Republicans. More is definitely better for what they are attempting to accomplish. And having a constituent who is a Republican contacting a Republican Member of Congress to object to something that Trump is trying to do is likely to be especially effective in getting their attention.

** Reactionaries (even if they call themselves "conservatives") are probably a lost cause. But even then, trying hard for as big a tent as possible seems like a good idea.

http://www.lawyersgunsmoneyblog.com/2017/03/sexism-on-the-left

wj: right after the GOP moderates itself to be more attractive to leftists.

I'm not holding my breath.

Snarki, just consider this: every time you read some statistics about how 70% or 80% or 90% of Republicans believe X, that means that 10% or 20% or 30% of Republicans do not believe X.

Yes, the majority of the party (or at least a majority of the noisiest members of the party) are immoderate. However that doesn't seem to me to be a great reason to ignore the rest.

However that doesn't seem to me to be a great reason to ignore the rest.

Indivisible is a very issue-oriented movement, wj. Can you see choosing issues with which you agree, and not participating in the rest?

Sure.
No idea how typical I am, however.

nobody's typical. that's the beauty part.

when djt won i verbally committed myself to moderating how i interact with people so as not to unnecessarily alienate people who were trump supporters and / or conservatives. it's good to not back people up against a wall.

having failed miserably at that goal, i think i'll have another go at it.

it's good to leave the door open.

Good luck russell, I know you can do it.

chmatl:

Your report is very encouraging on a number of counts! The fact that you were recruited by door-to-door canvassing, that people are getting involved, that you're already out pushing on this: so good to know!

GA-06 is absolutely crucial, because you're a test case for the whole movement. We're very aware of your race up here in NJ -- some of Mr Dr Science's relatives live in your district, and we've been encouraging them to get involved. (Fortunately everyone in the family is old-school Jewish liberal, so there's no unpleasant conflict.)

I'm already seeing fund-raising for Ossoff up here, as we all really, REALLY want you guys to tip the district and scare the *pants* off the GOP.

Let us know if there's a way for outsiders to help!

"What is now called resisting is often Americans simply helping others"

Exactly. Step one is making sure that the vulnerable people in your circle make it.

Thanks Doc and sapient for your encouraging words! Ossoff is definitely the Democratic front-runner and has a slim lead among all the candidates. It's a crowded field, with 18 people running. This is a non-partisan special election with all candidates, regardless of party, running head to head. A run-off election seems almost inevitable, so there's a lot of work to do still.

I saw that Balloon Juice has an Act Blue link posted.

Good luck russell, I know you can do it.

I'll probably have to give up caffeine to pull it off.

Thanks for the good wishes.

What is now called resisting is often Americans simply helping others

Count me in.

I just joined the local indivisible group yesterday morning and by midnight was given a general assignment (to be refined). Analyzing proposed bills in my areas of expertise. The refining part has to do with coordinating with the others in my general areas.

They seem so unorganized yet organized. And efficient. Will see how it goes but I am excited.

C'mon y'all: Rob Quist! Right now!

(Election day is May 25, but early money is always helpful when running against a self-funding zillionaire. A creationist zillionaire.)

Pity Mr Quist's site is exclusively for making donations or signing up to work. Would at least a link to someplace giving his positions be so hard?

here ya' go.

yodeoldel-yodeodel-yodeodel-yodeoldel-oldeldy day!

Good post, with efficient text and subtext. Not so subtly, from the attack on Moore at the top to the endorsement of HRC at the end, it shows that a major part of the Resistance, besides all the good and important stuff to do, is the internal struggle within the Democratic Party and moderate Left.

Specifically despite the debacle of the last election and the abject failure of UMC white women to turn out their demographic, said professional organizers, UMC white women do not want to lose all their influence, power, and funding. Interestingly, although their biggest competition is not "white men" but black women, Latinas, LGTBQ etc who are on the verge of completely controlling the Democratic Party in the coastal and urban strongholds, the UMC white women are very good at shifting blame and naming a common enemy.

Not Our Fault, says Clintonites and Ivy League feminists. The white man is completely to blame.

At the risk or looking completely stupid, I have to ask, what's UMC?

Somehow, I (a white man) managed to completely miss that message. I suppose someone determined to be a victim could find something in the post to support it. But really, it's a bit of a stretch.

I suppose I could add a little more nuance to the 11:42

1) There is very definitely an age factor, remember Sanders won an overwhelming majority of young people, and young minorities, in the primaries. This plays out in several ways, for instance a black women organizer over 40 in a Southern town, the ones who denied Sanders the nomination, is used to networking and wants to protect her UMC white women friends. And hold back the twenty something college educated black women nipping at her heels. Sanders supporters vs Clintonites contests are playing out all over the country.

2) The black and Latino women are of course very used to interacting and dealing with their working classes with all their prejudices and faults, black and Latino working class showed up very well at the polls, it was the white working class, both male and sadly female, that helped elect Trump.

So 2a, black men, Latino men, and gay men will not be a target of atteck, because for instance black women will support their working class brothers and will get alienated by a generic anti-men message.

But 2b, UMC educated white women do not want to interact with their deplorables at all, they left damn Ohio and moved to Manhattan to get away from those troglodytes and damn if they are gonna try to find common ground with rural working class white women. This pretty much puts Ivy League feminists in a position where they really have no further ground to gain, the demographic they have limited themselves to are already a lock.

But they do have access to the big money, which the Sanders crowd and the minorities have somewhat more difficulty reaching.

3) I do not how this will turn out, currently the public face is solidarity, but according to my information, weak really, Democratic minorities are really pissed. May mean for instance Kamala Harris instead of Gillibrand in 2020.

I'm tentatively guessing UMC means Upper Middle Class, but that is usually a British subtlety denoting someone really pretty upper class, probably having gone to private/boarding school, and pretty much in upbringing and habitation etc only just short of minor aristocracy/gentry, so hard to imagine what it means in America. If I'm right in my decryption (or even if I'm not), perhaps bob mcmanus could expand on its American meaning?

Ah, bob mcmanus's 12.13 makes it slightly clearer, if UMC white women means women who went to Ivy League colleges, then moved to Manhattan and now look down on rural working class white women. Dismissive, much?

I think you're correct on UMC, GFTNC. I'm not sure why I didn't manage to decipher that. It should have been fairly obvious.

so hard to imagine what it means in America

it's hard to define in the US.

it's basically people who make more than most but still work for a living - they can't just walk away from work and live off savings. they're usually collage-educated and expect their kids will go to college too. twice the median income is about where the range starts.

i suppose we're supposed to look down on them.

I guess Michael Moore is still fat.

Since a "resistance" usually follows a failure or other catastrophe, every resistance is also a rebuilding, a reorganization. Don't listen to those who use calls for Solidarity as a means to shut up previously excluded factions.

Thomas Frank gets it

"Don't let establishment opportunists ruin the resistance movement"

Quotes will be in quotes, my stuff without.

The Keith Ellison loss (Midwestern, black Muslim) to Tom Perez (Maryland, Obama flunky) for DNC chairman shows that the young grassroots are losing to the Being-a-Democrat will get me rich crowd.

Frank:"What is the solution these bold leaders have come up with? It’s to walk away from those places. If there is something Democrats once did to appeal to people like the ones I described, our modern-day Democrats don’t know what it is.

If there’s something Democrats once did to win the votes of people who didn’t go to college, it’s apparently not hinted at in the “350 unique characteristics” of political races that our data-minded Democrats are said to be sifting so diligently. Instead, our leaders believe, Democrats need to focus on seats in upscale suburban districts currently held by Republicans. Which is to say, to continue as before."

There is a huge part of the Democratic Party that simply wants to write off the Midwest. This has already been a horrific mistake, and will get worse.

It is really not completely because the Midwest, or white working class is racist, misogynistic, homophobic etc. It is because that faction of the Party, the newly empowered identity groups think it is their turn, and want a Democratic Party that helps poor in minority groups and creates opportunities for 200 million dollar net worths (Clintons) and 60 million dollar book advances (that living God, Obama, ie, a neoliberal exploitable party.

Ahh, too much. Read Bill Bishop's Big Sort and ask yourself who doesn't want to deal with miffle America. Or don't listen to me or Tom Frank, we are white men. But don't listen to white women either.

“I don’t think people want a new direction,” House Democratic leader Nancy Pelosi said in Decembe

Or don't listen to me or Tom Frank, we are white men. But don't listen to white women either.

Hard to read that for more than one reason.

I'm with Nancy. I don't want Democrats to take a new direction based on resentment. The ugly has found its niche with Trump.

My party needs a new direction. (Desperately.) For both moral and long-term electoral reasons. Not to become a copy of the Democrats, but just to get real again.

All the Democrats really need (if a non-Democrat may presume to say it) is a broader direction. And a bit more articulate messaging to speak to the broader constituency.

wj,

what is the appropriate response to class warefare?

the Dems need to take a new direction because people who won't vote for them anyway say they must.

o-tay!

The appropriate response is to recognize that the opposite of everything in that article was true when the ACA passed, with the exception of the statement that the ACA was the largest redistribution of wealth since LBJ, but that wasn't considered class warfare.

The one side nature of even the CBO estimates makes the discussion impossible. Block grants to states make them able to cover more people with less on the Medicaid front, no consideration to that in the estimates. Moreover you get those gains in every state. How many of the 14M people who would lose insurance next year would be simply because they weren't forced to buy It? Of that 14M how many people pay for insurance but can't afford the deductible so they can't go to the doctor anyway? Stupid classist hyperbole keeps us from coming to an agreement on how to best raise access to care, not access to coverage.

The system doesn't work now, those people using all this hyperbole to defend it once again just want the "rich" to pay for universal coverage, period. But in this article rich is defined as starting at 150k income a year. In New England, for a family, that ain't rich.

So, in Ohio, they have added 700,000 people to Medicaid. The unemployment rate is 5% the economy has added jobs 77 months in a row but Ohio had to ADD 6% of their citizens to Medicaid. What is wrong with that picture? We keep solving the wrong problems.

Block grants to states make them able to cover more people with less on the Medicaid front

evidence needed.

So, in Ohio, they have added 700,000 people to Medicaid. The unemployment rate is 5% the economy has added jobs 77 months in a row but Ohio had to ADD 6% of their citizens to Medicaid. What is wrong with that picture?

Mostly what is wrong with the picture is that it is framed misleadingly.

That is, it suggests (without quite saying) that somehow raising the threshold for Medicaid amounts to encouraging people to not work, while in fact more people are working. Whereas what actually happened is that more people are working -- but not necessarily getting health care from their employer. And the raised threshold means that they are now getting health care which they otherwise could not afford.

My party needs a new direction

The country needs a new direction.

We keep solving the wrong problems.

Pay people more than $10/hour. An amazing number of problems will be solved, as if by magic.

As far as the "rich" thing goes, I live in New England, I have a household income greater than $150K, and yes, I am not "rich" by any typical measure of "rich".

That said, if there is a proposal on the table to implement a public single payer option for medical insurance, and that is going to raise my taxes, then fnck it, raise my taxes. Do it today.

Enough of this crap. People need to go to the doctor. This stuff has been figured out already, a dozen different ways. We're the only ones who can't get our heads out of our @sses. Just get it freaking done. People are going to die.

And yes, "insurance coverage" is not the same as "access to health care" but try getting access to health care without it.

As far as "classist hyperbole", as of 2007 the GINI coefficient in the US was 45. We're right between Peru and Cameroon. We're soaking in classist hyperbole, just not the kind you're talking about.

The elephant in the room in this country is that rich people are taking all the stuff and they're not sharing it with anybody else. They need to knock that shit off.

"That is, it suggests (without quite saying) that somehow raising the threshold for Medicaid amounts to encouraging people to not work

no, it doesn't suggest that at all. over 40% of the people are working. It suggests that the economic recovery is pretty narrow.

and its hard to pay people more than $10 an hour when you have a significant portion of your workforce willing to work for much less than that. besides Americans wont do those jobs anyway.

What is wrong with that picture?

Well, given the 'evidence' you present...which isn't much, I'd say in response the following, "Nothing!"

Your typical Medicaid recipient is not a participant in the labor force. Your 'data' merely demonstrates that a lot more folks have health insurance than before the ACE went into effect.

The one side nature of even the CBO estimates makes the discussion impossible.

Yes. Every time somebody disagrees with you they "make the discussion impossible".

Got it.

Pay more anyway.

If the "significant portion" of your workforce is willing to work for less because they're undocumented, give them green cards and get them on the books.

Then pay them more.

I've cleaned toilets and emptied trash barrels and cleaned office floors. If I needed money, I'd do it again. Especially if I could get $20/hour for it.

Americans will do more than folks think they will, if there's any kind of value in it. If they're gonna be treated like disposable freaking cogs and paid minimum wage, some of them are just going to say fnck it and stay home.

and its hard to pay people more than $10 an hour when you have a significant portion of your workforce willing to work for much less than that. besides Americans wont do those jobs anyway.

A true Martyism! People will work for virtually nothing, but they don't want to work 'those jobs'. But if they won't take 'those jobs' would not raising the wage induce them to 'take them'?

I must have been asleep in the Econ 101 class I took.

"Your typical Medicaid recipient is not a participant in the labor force. "

well over 40% were working(of Ohios 700,000) and a significant number more were actively looking for a job. So, no.

and its hard to pay people more than $10 an hour when you have a significant portion of your workforce willing to work for much less than that

Also, not for nothing, but no, it's not "hard" to pay someone a living wage if someone else will do it for less. It's dead easy, it just means less in your pocket. You might consider that people who work for you earn the money they are paid, and thus deserve it, even if you could get them for less.

The free market death cult is going to kill this nation. Maybe it already has.

Sarcasm does get lost in the writing I suppose. The last part was sarcasm. Americans would do those jobs, oddly the inconsistency here is not mine.

Block granting Medicaid is a rip-off. And just who is on Medicaid anyway?

See here, for example.

If sarcasm was a loaded gun, there would be a lot of one footed conservatives out there.

So the heart of what Kevin Drum says is this

With a block grant, this doesn't happen. It is what it is, regardless of how many people are in need. And since states are usually strapped during recessions and barred from deficit spending, this means that Medicaid spending stays constant or even goes down at the worst possible time.

Which is to assume all Medicaid funding comes from the Fed. And all funding for poor people to be covered comes from the Fed.

The whole argument rests on the fact that the Fed should be wholly responsible for this. Which it is not

"Medicaid is the largest source of funding for medical and health-related services for people with low income in the United States. It is a means-tested program that is jointly funded by the state and federal governments and managed by the states,[2] with each state currently having broad leeway to determine who is eligible for its implementation of the program. "

nor should it necessarily be. Again, much as the politicians would like to keep this focused on who the ACA added, Medicaid existed before it, there are funding rules for it, and almost every Governor prior to the ACA wanted block grant money. It is not a ripoff, it is a different policy with expectations of better results for less money.

Which is to assume all Medicaid funding comes from the Fed.

OK. So now we can have some back and forth. We are both referring to the same article. The same words. So tell me where, exactly and precisely (it's not that long an article) where this assumption is stated, implied, or smuggled in to his thesis?

That would be a start.

Baby steps.

It is not a ripoff, it is a different policy with expectations of better results for less money.

Great!

We'll see how it all turns out.

We'll see how it all turns out.

Indeed. I have a policy to abolish big chunks of private property. I, too, expect to get better results for less money.

When I put forth this claim, people shock me and retort, "Really? How exactly, would that work?"

According to the GOP playbook, I don't have to answer....just repeat the claim endlessly until total surrender is achieved.

"Better results for less money." A worthy goal?

Let's start with Marty's definition of "better results". We might find some agreement there, at least about what metrics to go by. At a guess, I figure we can agree that lower infant mortality is better, longer life expectancy is better, fewer heart attacks is better, and so on.

Aggregate numbers are just a coarse measure, though. For example, if you have a policy choice between:
1) Increase the life expectancy of 90% of the population by 10 years, at the cost of decreasing the life expectancy of the other 10% by 20 years; or
2) Increase the life expectancy of 100% of the population, but by only 5 years,
which is the "better result"?
This is a straight-up question, not a rhetorical one. The only form of answer that I will laugh down my nose at is the "there's always a 3rd choice" one. There are always many choices, but the point here is to nail down what people mean by "better result", by asking how they rank-order two particular alternatives.

Now about the "for less money" part. I will harp once again on two points I have made before:
1) The X% of GDP we spend on "health care" comes out of our collective pocket one way or the other. I know for sure that my taxes, my premiums, and my co-pays all come out of my checking account, and if my taxes go down while my premiums go up, or vice versa, it makes no difference to my balance.
2) The X% of GDP we spend on "health care" is, on the other side of the ledger, X% of GDP. Since 100% of GDP has to be spent on something, why is "less money" spent on "health care" so desirable a goal? Is money better spent on entertainment, or "financial services", or aircraft carriers? Please note that money not spent is not part of GDP. Do we want GDP to "grow" or don't we?

It is almost certainly true that many actors in the "health care sector" are grossly overpaid, just like many actors in other sectors. For all I know, the actual actors in boner-pill commercials make big bucks -- which come out of the pot called "health care spending" just like the meager wages of hospital janitors do. But that's a problem for another day, e.g. the next time we discuss what progressive taxation is for.

--TP

TP - More people who can afford to access quality healthcare. I discount huge amounts of people from that calculation because we have provided them with am insurance card that gets them nothing. They cant pay the bill for the deductible so the card is useless even if it is free.

Well, it is catastrophic insurance so not useless.

Marty, I have read your 6:08 three times now but I still don't understand it. If you care to answer the specific question I asked (option 1 or option 2; which is better by your definition of better?) then I might be able to figure out what you're saying.

--TP

Since 100% of GDP has to be spent on something, why is "less money" spent on "health care" so desirable a goal? Is money better spent on entertainment, or "financial services", or aircraft carriers?

I would say that "less money spent on health care" is a worthy goal (or at least part of a worthy goal) because the rest of the world has demonstrated that it is possible to get better results for less money. Which means, we are not getting value for the money we are spending on health care.

The difference would not necessarily be better spent. But at least there would be the opportunity to choose to spend it on something else.

on the Medicaid tip.

No more requirement to cover people who aren't disabled and don't have kids.

Feel free to link coverage to employment status.

Maybe that will result in better outcomes for less money. We're going to find out.

nothing in the GOP bill that i've seen is going to do anything to get 'better' coverage for more people for less money.

and, the GOP plan will almost certainly increase high-deductible plans. this is obvious.

but, hey, at least it won't have "Obama" in the name. and that's enough, right?

TP-
Marty is simply regurgitating the current GOP talking point that their plan will enable "access" vs. merely providing (insert word "useless" here) coverage.

He cannot explain it, because nobody from Paul Ryan down has been able to do so.

But it sure sounds nice, doesn't it? In GOP land, that's all that matters.

The term "healthcare market" is an oxymoron. It is a market characterized by what economists call "market failure". Free market fairy dust does not cure market failure.

but, hey, at least it won't have "Obama" in the name. and that's enough, right?

Likely true. The first 5 letters of Obamacare were always the part that they hated the most. That's why asking about the individual features of the ACA always polled far better than asking about "Obamacare."

I forget what heartland GOP representative of senator was on the tube yesterday blathering on about people shopping for healthcare under increased competition, but I wanted to throw my bowl of cereal at the TV. Meanwhile, they want to throw the foreign-born doctors, many who work in the heartland taking care of all those regular folks (i.e. real Americans), out of the country.

It's funny you mention Econ 101, bobbyp. I was just saying to my wife how people (well, mostly conservatives) seem to think those rudimentary models people learn in Econ 101 are somehow not gross abstractions for introducing very particular concepts of very limited applicability rather than an accurate depiction of how everything works when there's money involved. Everything is a bag of rice, it would seem.

...rather than an accurate depiction of how everything works

Worse, they believe this, but then proceed to totally ignore the implications arising from the theory of 'market economics' they so devoutly claim to hold in such high regard.

That doesn't stop them from lecturing "The Left" about "real economics" and "freedom" though.

representative OR senator

From FiveThirtyEight on the GOP replacement for Obamacare. I think Marty would find it to be an interesting discussion.

wj: ... the rest of the world has demonstrated that it is possible to get better results for less money.

I have to assume that you and I define "better results" the same way, wj. I mean, I have to assume it because we still have not explicitly defined our metrics.

Don't get me wrong: I'm fairly sure that if we apply the same metrics, civilized countries get "better results for less money" than the US does. I have no clue how those countries split their GDP between "health care" and everything else, because I have to spend most of my time earning my own little bit of GDP to pay for my own health insurance premiums among other things, instead of researching that question. But I suspect that people in those civilized countries have complaints about some other costs (energy? telecom? food?) being too high, because they also spend 100% of their GDP on something.

From personal anecdata, I believe that anesthesiologists in the US get paid 2-3 times more than anesthesiologists in Europe, which leads me to suspect that all sorts of other medical "providers" up to and including CEOs of pharma and hospital companies are similarly situated. As a good capitalist, I have to accept that The Market has decreed it should be so, before tax; as a good socialist, I insist that The Government can do something about that, after tax.

In the macro view, what I could take seriously is the complaint that, say, 20% of GDP goes to "health care" on the spending side, but that it accrues to only, say, 10% of the population on the earning side, which is a recipe for skewing the nation's income distribution more and more. One consequence of a skewed income distribution is a skewed distribution of health "care", if not health results. Some people care about that, myself among them.

--TP

I have to assume that you and I define "better results" the same way, wj. I mean, I have to assume it because we still have not explicitly defined our metrics.

I admit to having made the, possibly naive, assumption that "better results" is basically consistent. At least for those who use the term to refer to the health results, e.g. life expectancy at birth, physicians per 1000 persons, etc. I realize that there are some, like Speaker Ryan, for whom other (e.g. ideological) considerations are primary.

Just FYI, the US spends around 17% of GDP. Other OECD countries run 10% of GDP (the next highest is the Netherlands at 12%) -- even though they cover 100% of their population with government-run insurance and/or health provision schemes. There's a nice chart here:
http://www.pbs.org/newshour/rundown/health-costs-how-the-us-compares-with-other-countries/

Note also that our costs are higher pretty much across the board, that is regardless of the treatment being done.

wj,

The only open question on what "better results" means is the one I tried to frame originally: do we judge based on how well the best-off fare, or how badly the worst-off fare? That distinction applies to many policy questions, not just health care.

Your link (many thanks) is from 2012, but I doubt the numbers have changed a whole lot since then.

This month is when I
1) renew my health insurance, and
2) compile my tax returns,
so I will be able to calculate fairly accurately whether my personal contribution to the "health care spending" pot is less or more than the per-capita number. Knock wood, my personal health care consumption is still below average. If I were Paul Ryan that would piss me off, of course:)

--TP

hsh, I did find it interesting. The money quote:

"Ideally, if the tax credit is X, eventually states/hospitals/etc. will adjust their costs to X. He might be right in the long term, but in the short term, this makes the bill hard to vote for."

Lots of the things in the bill haven't actually been tried, so he might be right in the long run is as applicable as it was when the ACA passed.

I, being a consumer of the ACA, absolutely support the premise that outside Medicaid the system is in trouble. So something should be done. Trying something and letting it work its way through Congress is a good thing.

I am willing to trust that the states will come up with innovative ways to support their Medicaid population. Certainly no Governor is going to hope that the Fed money is less next year, for anything. That doesn't mean that the Governors for years haven't been saying that they could be more effective with block grants.

I, being a consumer of the ACA, absolutely support the premise that outside Medicaid the system is in trouble.

at least partly by design.

President Donald Trump has repeatedly said that it’s in the political interest of Republicans to just let the Obamacare exchanges collapse. “Let it be a disaster, because we can blame that on the Dems,” Trump told governors two weeks ago, summing up a thought he’s expressed repeatedly.

The only open question on what "better results" means is the one I tried to frame originally: do we judge based on how well the best-off fare, or how badly the worst-off fare?

It seems obvious (ha!) that, since we are talking about the whole nation (witness the use of GDP numbers), we have to judge based on how the entire population fares.

Not that there aren't a lot of people who, consciously or unconsciously, frame it as "how people like me fare". Of, if politicians, "how my supporters among the voting population fare; if they don't vote or vote for the other guy, I don't care about them either way."

I, being a consumer of the ACA, absolutely support the premise that outside Medicaid the system is in trouble

I am interested in, but not looking forward to, finding out what's available to you after repeal.

Best of luck, with no snark.

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