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August 10, 2009


It's even worse than Emanuel suspects. If a bill passes, then won't your current insurer be government-approved? That means you'll be forced into "government" even if you don't change.

Well, I guess it'll have to be private, unregulated death panels for the Redstaters then.

Jeff Emanuel is a veteran. At some point in his life, he may well steal healthcare from me and the rest of his fellow Americans.

I'm calling for an end to government efforts to combat the swine flu so that swine may live to die privately.

The lunatics disrupting townhall meetings are, in fact, death panels.

No healthcare reform equals death for many of the uninsured and the unemployed.

We may need death panels to put their death panels to death.

"....then won't your current insurer be government-approved?"

They already are. You can't market insurance in the absence of such approval.** Does this not make all insurance 'government approved'?

**Insurance is available without a government imprintature (sic). It is commonly known as 'protection rackets'.

True, bobbyp. That's more of what Publius was saying. I guess my point was that even somehow granting Emanuel's notion there's something magically horrible about the specific government approval that's associated with a health care reform bill, I don't understand why he thinks that any new horrible thing happens when you change insurance.

I really hate to defend something written on RedState in public. I've had a few glasses of wine so you'll have to forgive me, but isn't what Jeff Emanuel wrote actually, umm, correct? Only existing insurance can be "grandfathered in" ie. carry on as they are. Others have to comply with pesky gummint rules like, oh, no restriction on pre-existing conditions, no recision on spurious grounds, and reasonable minimal levels of coverage.

I guess where I differ from Jeff is on not really understanding why anyone would *want* their existing coverage to be grandfathered in ...

Simon - I think it's more how he presents it. The post title and tone are intended to give the impression of some massive government takeover. That's just not how the plan is constructed.

The public option may not even make it, and it will be very limited if it does. But this post gives impression that private care is essentially being eliminated

Oh horrors! I may not be able to keep my shitty coverage when I switch jobs???? God save me from Obamacare....

That's easy enough. Allow insurers to continue their current policies and standards of care at their current rates if they want. Then anyone can buy into any plan that currently exists at any point in the future if it's still for sale. It'll be the insurance companies taking it away when it becomes unprofitable and not the government. Problem solved.

I'm sure no one would object to Mr. Emannuel being able to pay extra for a policy cancellable for pre-existing conditions, if he really wants to (and bearing in mind that every human is a mass of pre-existing conditions.

...and bearing in mind that every human is a mass of pre-existing conditions.

I've got this annoying 46-chromosome thing going on, not to mention my pokable eyes, decayable teeth and enlargeable prostate. And don't get me started on my penetrable skin and severalbe blood vessels or those pesky breakable bones and infectible upper-respiratory system. Just about every part of me could become cancerous, being cancerable and all, at any moment. I'm also generally bus-hittable and lightning-strikeable. I can't really understand how I'm at all insurable.

There isn't anything but preexisting conditions. My old Jesuit moral-philosophy teacher used to say 'Life is a sexually transmitted fatal disease.'

None of us are insurable, really.

Thanks, Simon. I'd missed that. Disregard my previous comments, and count me in as one puzzled by why I'd want this grandfathering. My fear would be exactly the opposite of Emanuel's: Is there a way to escape the grandfathered plan and instead join one of the "government-approved" (that is, actually useful) plans without quitting your job?

I think hairshirt wins the thread, no contest

I'm sorry to ask this, but the idea behind the RedState post has take root in the wingnut community, and is actually spreading. Does anyone have a link that rebuts it, to support what Publius is saying here?

It would be great if it came from a "non-partisan" source, instead of from the usual DFH suspects.


Whammer, the Redstate post rebuts itself. Just compare the headline to what Emanuel actually says in the quote here. "Government-approved" is not the same as "government-run" (and every product, service, and company in the legal portion of the marketplace is "government-approved" by Emanuel's definition).

Fair enough, KC. I didn't want to go to RedState, but the excerpted quote is actually sufficient.

I am having a generally difficult time getting an "unvarnished" view of what is actually on the table. The wingnuts have hijacked the debate on this.

Redstate is profoundly stupid in general, but my understanding is that virtually every group health insurer is already heavily regulated. First, in order for the employer to get tax benefits, the group plan can't discriminate against those with pre-existing conditions, a huge benefit for employees, and the reason that group health insurance is the only real health insurance available to anyone under 65 today.

Second, all insurance companies are required to maintain certain minimum financial standards, so that they can likely pay off their expected claims.

Virtually everything in the economy is regulated to some degree. Even radio stations only have a right to play music because of a compulsory license that grants the right to play music for a fixed royalty per song played.

Things brings up a pretty fundamental question -- whatever happened to *intelligent* conservatives? Are they all centrists in the Democratic party now? The Republicans seem to have been reduced to a bunch of fools who can't even marshal an argument a 6th grader couldn't demolish.
They've become reality deniers.

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