Paul Krugman shows the Democrats how to win

Summary: Democrats should publish Paul Krugman’s essay in every newspaper in America. That they won’t, preferring to stick with a losing set of policies, shows the dilemma of American politics. The GOP actively works against our interests, the Democrats are indifferent to them. At the end is a brief note pointing to a solution.

The Democratic Party is dead

Paul Krugman is a great economist and a bit of a political hack. But his brilliant mind produces some great insights. Yesterday’s column at the NYT might be his best ever about politics. If FDR still led the Democratic Party, it would spend their last penny to buy a page in every newspaper and run it. It should be read in full. Here is an excerpt.

Paul Krugman

 

Cruelty, Incompetence and Lies

By Paul Krugman
New York Times, 22 September 2017.

 

“Graham-Cassidy, the health bill the Senate may vote on next week, is stunningly cruel. It’s also incompetently drafted: The bill’s sponsors clearly had no idea what they were doing when they put it together. Furthermore, their efforts to sell the bill involve obvious, blatant lies. Nonetheless, the bill could pass. And that says a lot about today’s Republican Party, none of it good.

“The Affordable Care Act, which has reduced the percentage of Americans without health insurance to a record low, created a three-legged stool …Graham-Cassidy saws off all three legs of that stool. …

“Did Graham-Cassidy’s sponsors know what they were doing when putting this bill together? Almost surely not, or they wouldn’t have produced something that everyone, and I mean everyone, who knows anything about health care warns would cause chaos. It’s not just progressives: The American Medical Association, the insurance industry and Blue Cross/Blue Shield have all warned that markets would be destabilized and millions would lose coverage.

“How many people would lose insurance? Republicans are trying to ram the bill through before the Congressional Budget Office has time to analyze it — an attempt that is in itself a violation of all previous norms, and amounts to an admission that the bill can’t bear scrutiny. But C.B.O. has analyzed other bills containing some of Graham-Cassidy’s provisions, and these previous analyses suggest that it would add more than 30 million people to the ranks of the uninsured.

“Lindsey Graham, Bill Cassidy, and the bill’s other sponsors have responded to these critiques the old-fashioned way — with lies.

“Both Cassidy and Graham insist that their bill would continue to protect Americans with pre-existing conditions — a claim that will come as news to the A.M.A., Blue Cross and everyone else who has read the bill’s text.

“Cassidy has also circulated a spreadsheet that purports to show most states actually getting increased funding under his bill. …Independent analyses find that most states would, in fact, experience serious cuts in federal aid — and everyone would face huge cuts after 2027.

“So we’re looking at an incompetently drafted bill that would hurt millions of people, whose sponsors are trying to sell it with transparently false claims. How is it that this bill might nonetheless pass the Senate? …

“Graham-Cassidy isn’t an aberration; it’s more like the distilled essence of everything wrong with modern Republicans.

“Will this awful bill become law? I have no idea. But even if the handful of Republican senators who retain some conscience block it …the underlying sickness of the G.O.P. will remain. It’s sort of a pre-existing condition, and it’s poisoning America.”

———————————-

Republican winning - in results

Describing the sad story that is American politics today.

The Republican Party did not suddenly become this actively destructive force in America. It became so in small steps, but with a clear beginning: at the moment when America passed the great civil rights bills, freeing African-Americans from the oppression of Jim Crow laws and completing the process begun by the Civil War. Republicans choose to betray their Party’s principles — going back to its origin — and embrace racism to gain political power. This short-circuited the drive to dig out the corruption baked in at the Founding, and legitimized racism.

Fifty years later we see the Republican Party’s values in the priorities of the Trump administration. Strip health care from tens of millions of Americans, boost defense spending from its already unjustifiable levels (almost half of the world’s total), expanding our mad wars (repeating tactics that have failed for 15 years), and cutting taxes for the rich (the next act in this sad story).

None of these things can be justified honestly, as Krugman shows (in his full column) with their effort to repeal ObamaCare.

Now comes the bad news. The Democrats response to the historic opening created by this clown president and his plutocratic policies is — advocacy of open borders, rights for the transgendered, focus on the so far specious RussiaGate rumors, and identity politics. As for issues of interest to most  Americans — such as world peace, class conflict, economic growth, fighting income inequality, and fixing our rotting infrastructure — the Party’s leadership and prominent members are not interested.

America politics

Conclusions

This is the pitiful state of American politics. We have earned it. The machinery bequeathed to us by the Founders lies idle, awaiting our participation to power it. Until then America will be run by and for the 1%. As they say in the Disney movies, it’s the Great Circle of Life. But we can retake the reins of America. For some ideas see these posts about steps to a new politics for America.

For More Information

Articles looking at the GOP’s Cassidy-Graham Obamacare repeal bill.

To understand the horror show that is American health care see “Insurance policy: How an industry shifted from protecting patients to seeking profit” by Elisabeth Rosenthal at Stanford Medicine, Spring 2017. For a specific and powerful example of how the Democratic Party abandoned America’s workers, see “The day that destroyed the working class and sowed the seeds of Trump” by Salena Zito in the New York Post.

“Forty years ago, on Sept. 19, thousands of men walked into the Campbell Works of Youngstown Sheet and Tube along the Mahoning River before the early shift. …”

If you liked this post, like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter. See all posts about the far Left, about the Democratic Partyabout neoliberalism, about reforming America – steps to a new politics, and especially these…

  1. Look to the Left to see the force powering Trump and Carson.
  2. New York shows how Democrat-run cities & states contribute to the rise of Trump.
  3. Thomas Frank explains how the Democrats became Liberals for the Rich.
  4. Robert Reich’s program to save the Left after a decade of defeats.
  5. The Left becomes a cult rather than gather support to oppose Trump.
  6. How the Left lost but can win again.
  7. Michael Hudson asks if identity politics will break up the Democratic Party.
  8. Oddities of the New Left, making them weaker than the Old Left.
  9. Why the Democratic Party loses – and how it can win again.
  10. The Awkward Electoral Dance of Liberal Democrats.

Read to better understand the Democratic Party.

"Listen, Liberal" by Thomas Frank
Available at Amazon.

For a deep analysis of this see Thomas Frank’s great book: Listen, Liberal: Or, What Ever Happened to the Party of the People?. From the publisher…

From the bestselling author of What’s the Matter with Kansas, a scathing look at the failures of liberal politics, a book that helps explain the shocking outcome of the 2016 presidential election

It is a widespread belief among liberals that if only Democrats can continue to dominate national elections, if only those awful Republicans are beaten into submission, the country will be on the right course.

But this is to fundamentally misunderstand the modern Democratic Party. Drawing on years of research and first-hand reporting, Frank points out that the Democrats have done little to advance traditional liberal goals: expanding opportunity, fighting for social justice, and ensuring that workers get a fair deal. Indeed, they have scarcely dented the free-market consensus at all. This is not for lack of opportunity: Democrats have occupied the White House for sixteen of the last twenty-four years, and yet the decline of the middle class has only accelerated. Wall Street gets its bailouts, wages keep falling, and the free-trade deals keep coming.

With his trademark sardonic wit and lacerating logic, Frank’s Listen, Liberal lays bare the essence of the Democratic Party’s philosophy and how it has changed over the years. A form of corporate and cultural elitism has largely eclipsed the party’s old working-class commitment, he finds. For certain favored groups, this has meant prosperity. But for the nation as a whole, it is a one-way ticket into the abyss of inequality. In this critical election year, Frank recalls the Democrats to their historic goals-the only way to reverse the ever-deepening rift between the rich and the poor in America.

Advertisements

34 thoughts on “Paul Krugman shows the Democrats how to win

  1. I believe “Until the America will be run by” should be “Until then America will be run by.”

    Otherwise a great post, keep up the good work.

    Like

  2. Every single complaint Krugman lodges at McCain-Cassidy also applied to the ACA. But the ACA achieved its goals by robbery and coercion. This is to be lauded?? What is wrong with the American system of health insurance is much simpler: we all want someone else (our boss, our mom, Uncle Sam, the banker down the street…) to pay for our care. Guess what? When you use a gun to force other people to write the check for your aspirin, you get a lot of strings attached and a whole lot of pushback.

    Like

    1. “the ACA achieved its goals by robbery and coercion.”

      Wow. Propaganda works! Goebbels was correct, you can get people to believe anything.

      Stay happy and believe that all the developed nations on the planet are wrong — and you are right. As they say, the dogs bark but the caravan moves on.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Hi FM,

    People like to say that issues like health care are complicated, but that’s only as true as it’s made to be complicated. Putting together a comprehensive health care system isn’t nearly as complicated as placating all of the embedded, special interests and mustering the political will to make changes to a system that is complicated, broken, and ineffective. The feds have a whole plethora of expensive and complicated health care systems that work with varying degrees of effectiveness: VA, Tricare, Medicaid, Medicare, and now the ACA stuff managed through HHS. Gonzo!

    But just having a bunch of different unnecessarily redundant systems isn’t crazy enough, think of the perversion of the idea of “insurance”. Insurance is pooling of risk, and a very fine idea. Modern homes don’t burn down very often, but when they do, that can blow a hole in your life savings and maybe even drive you into bankruptcy, so paying a few hundred dollars a year to insure your house against catastrophe is a good idea. Insurance is a very well understood field, and actuaries do a bang up job of quantifying risk across pools.

    But that’s not what we have outside of a few boutique plans for things like cancer and long-term disability. We have a system that insists that we pay people to pay on our behalf for pretty much anything and everything. Imagine if you were required to have to pay someone to manage for the care and feeding of your car, and everyone else did too. No, you can’t put the gas in it, you have to pay some guy to fill out some paperwork in order to pay the guy at the gas station. Now how does that work out if he’s working on commission? It’s not insurance — it’s a very insufficiently run entitlement program, but it’s exactly how the ACA plans work. And you’re forced to pay for oil changes even though your electric car can’t use them.

    According to the CDC, the US spends 17.8% of its GDP on healthcare (2015). That’s almost 10 grand for every man, woman, and child per year, and a heck of a lot more than anyone else pays. The outcomes for the wealthy are spectacular, of course. Atlanta probably has more MRI machines than France, so GDP numbers aren’t exactly apples-to-apples, but it does hint at the magnitude of the issue.

    Maybe the near term plan to just wreck the whole thing isn’t a completely bad idea. There cannot be any incremental fixing in the current hyper-partisan climate (even if the Dems are “holding the ears” as the image above suggests, perhaps rightly so). We somehow muddled along before the ACA. If health care is to be an entitlement, then anyone who wants assistance should be required to have a medical/health savings account (HSA) and catastrophic insurance — that’s how the program would work. Money would be paid directly into the HSA. People pay the doctors of their choice, medicines, and other health goods and services from the HSA. Gym membership? Why not? For the pool of folks with pre-existing conditions, that’s a sunk cost that will have to be eaten with a supplemental payment into the HSA. Money in the HSA should grow tax-exempt, supplemental contributions should go in pre-tax and exempt and be able to roll-over from one year to the next. There should be some incentives for good stewardship of the HSAs. This could be a direct replacement for Medicaid, Medicare, and ACA. Hell, throw the VA in there as well. (Maybe even WIC?) Yes, we’d need social workers to help people who can’t figure stuff out, but we already have folks like that. It really is that simple, but it ain’t easy.

    If you can check to see how much an appendectomy is on Amazon, we’ll be getting closer to where we need to be. Yahtzee! A 20% off groupon for the docs down at the Appendectomizers!

    With best regards,

    Bill

    Like

    1. Bill,

      “Putting together a comprehensive health care system isn’t nearly as complicated as placating all of the embedded, special interests and mustering the political will to make changes to a system that is complicated, broken, and ineffective.”

      True. But there is another dimension of this that is almost always ignored in these discussions. Almost all (or all) developed nations have health care systems that provide universal coverage at far lower cost than ours — often with superior health care outcomes. We are failing at solving a problem all of our peers solved long-ago.

      Worse, our discussions about health care often assume that this is a new problem — and ignore the generations of experience by our peers, who have tried a wide range of systems.

      In brief, this shows modern American exceptionalism. We are exceptionally stupid.

      Like

  4. I am not sure what merits all the laudatory commentary about HSA accounts. I have one, managed (mangled?) by Mellon Bank, and they whack me 48 dollars a year for the privilege of “managing my account. Ha! Why are they allowed to collect rents this exorbitant? Why can’t I manage my own account? And then, to make it worse, the number of things I CAN’T do with HSA monies makes for a very long list. Gym membership? Not without a doctor’s permission. But I can get prescription sunglasses. I don’t know who write the rules for these things, but
    I, for one, would love to have some input on this, as both a taxpayer and the contributor to the account.

    In short, HSA are no more a panacea than were HMO’s a decade ago.

    The rent-collector in the room that is little talked-about is the insurance industry. I hear a lot about putting patients and doctors in charge of patient care, but in reality, the insurance companies are the ones who make the big decisions. Both parties are bought and paid for by the insurance industry, and that’s why we can’t have nice things in this country, like universal health care. Simple as that.

    Like

    1. Hi Gottschee,

      G> I am not sure what merits all the laudatory commentary about HSA accounts.

      HSAs in isolation don’t really do much, and cannot in themselves fix a broken system. As you note, the implementation is actually pretty sucky, too, and leave much to be desired. however, if people had the means to pay for their health care directly — e.g., via subsidies, tax credits, etc., paid into a much less limited HSA system that we have now in the US, that would help create more of a real marketplace for health care by allowing health care *service* providers to compete for dollars that are allocated directly by the consumer of those health care services rather than opaquely by some third party. I don’t for a moment believe that this would be some magical panacea, but markets tend to work for a wide range of other goods and services. Try to figure out how much an appendectomy is going to cost you a priori. You just can’t do it reliably, with perhaps some hyper-local exceptions. There really shouldn’t be a difference between medical services and any other goods and services in how they are discovered and consumed.

      So, none of this is to say that the government might not be responsible for some level of health care for all of its citizens (and perhaps even visitors, like New Zealand, etc.). That’s the policy goal, and most of the advanced nations of the Earth have adopted that goal pretty widely. A policy worth implementing would be to give money directly to consumers for their health care (and other related) needs, constrain that money’s use via HSAs or some other mechanism (can’t use it to buy cigarettes, but maybe gym memberships or groceries) and provides some incentives for good HSA management. Catastrophic care could be handled with an insurance program. One of my issues with “single payer” is that the single payer programs the USG has implemented has been hit or miss, e.g., VA. Being against “doing more VA harder” is not to be against care for vets, but “more harder” of something not working well seldom makes workings better.

      G> The rent-collector in the room that is little talked-about is the insurance industry.

      Ding! Ding! Ding! Let insurance work as insurance. It’s very well understood and does an excellent job of pooling risk. Having the companies morph to mere middle-man rent-extracting paper shuffler does very few people any good at at all.

      With kind regards,

      Bill

      Like

  5. > “Republicans are trying to ram the bill through before the Congressional Budget Office has time to analyze it — an attempt that is in itself a violation of all previous norms, and amounts to an admission that the bill can’t bear scrutiny.”

    Nancy Pelosi on ACA (speaking of bills that can’t pass scrutiny): “You’ll have to pass it to find out what’s in it.”

    Krugman writes as though he has read the bill. Interesting. Where is the publicly available text? I would like to read it myself before I accept the word of Krugman or “independent analysts”.

    Krugman’s well-known support of big government (Keynesian) must be factored in to his position. That alone makes it suspect and bias-driven.

    I wonder what Milton Friedman would think about “socialized medicine”.

    > “Almost all (or all) developed nations have health care systems that provide universal coverage at far lower cost than ours — often with superior health care outcomes. We are failing at solving a problem all of our peers solved long-ago.”

    The above statement is patently false. Suggesting that the heath care in the UK or Canada leads to superior health care outcomes is laughable. I personally know several citizens of other “developed nations” that can attest to the abysmal treatment within these socialized systems. Freely accessible anecdotal evidence to the contrary abounds. Problem solved? Not close.

    Additionally, since when are all other developed nations a standard to which we must/should hold ourselves? When did this sort of thinking take root in America?

    How can a pre-existing condition be insured against? Please explain the pretzel logic here (using risk analysis).

    >editor added, “…and cutting taxes for the rich (the next act in this sad story).” Don’t forget, as per the recent WAPO “leaked” reporting on the new tax proposal, in addition to cutting taxes on the wealthy (39.6 to 35%), the standard deduction would be doubled, from $6,300 to $12,600 for single filer. This alone would be an enormous boon to the middle class, one we sorely need. I suspect Krugman would rail against this as well.

    Krugman is to economics what Bill Nye is to science.

    Free market economics are the way out of this mess. In order for this to happen, the stranglehold by the insurance companies and government bureaucracies would have to be released.

    Like

    1. rusthawk,

      Wow. That’s quite a mess of illogic and falsehoods. It would take too much time to list them all, but I’ll hit a few high spots.

      “Krugman writes as though he has read the bill.”

      No, he doesn’t. He discusses the major points as they have been revealed by the Bill’s proponents and other officials.

      “Suggesting that the heath care in the UK or Canada leads to superior health care outcomes is laughable.”

      No, he doesn’t say that. He saids “often with superior” — not “always with superior”.

      “since when are all other developed nations a standard to which we must/should hold ourselves?”

      It’s not a standard. It’s a comparison, showing that they are running their systems better than we do. Refusing to learn from the experiences of other nations is nuts.

      “How can a pre-existing condition be insured against?”

      It means that an insurance cannot refuse to pay for treatment by stating that the condition was present before their insurance coverage began.

      “Krugman is to economics what Bill Nye is to science.”

      Bill Nye is not a scientists. Krugman is an economists, highly regarded by his peers — who has received several of the highest honors in his field. The analogy is nuts.

      Like

    2. To the editor’s response to my comment (since I am not given the option to reply with it in proper format):

      You’ve stated that my points were a mess of illogic and falsehoods yet you have not effectively rebutted one (emotion and ad hominem notwithstanding) with either logic or proof.

      You state that Krugman does not write as though he has read the bill, to which I offer as proof of my assertion that he writes as though he has:

      ““Graham-Cassidy, the health bill the Senate may vote on next week, is stunningly cruel. It’s also incompetently drafted: The bill’s sponsors clearly had no idea what they were doing when they put it together. Furthermore, their efforts to sell the bill involve obvious, blatant lies. Nonetheless, the bill could pass. And that says a lot about today’s Republican Party, none of it good.”

      “The bill is stunningly cruel.” How does he know this if he has not read it?

      “Incompetently drafted.” How does he know this if he has not read it?

      “Blatant lies.” Which blatant lies is he referring to, exactly?

      You then say: “No, he doesn’t say that. He saids [sic] “often with superior” — not “always with superior”.”

      I did not use the word “always” in my qualifier. Why did you insert it/infer that I did?

      You say, in response to my query as to why we should hold ourselves to standards of another country:

      “It’s not a standard. It’s a comparison, showing that they are running their systems better than we do. Refusing to learn from the experiences of other nations is nuts.”

      I don’t need or want a comparison to other countries and I am not sure why you do either. This accomplishes what? Your original text seemed to clearly imply we should model ourselves after other countries (especially when it comes to socialized medicine). Have you ever tried to field the maze that is the *better* health care system in another country? It is an absolute nightmare, especially Canada.

      Your answer to my request that you explain the pretzel logic of insuring against something that has already happened is:

      “It means that an insurance cannot refuse to pay for treatment by stating that the condition was present before their insurance coverage began.” …..is not an answer at all. I repeat: how can one insure against something that has already happened or is already in existence?

      Do you even understand the basic concept of *insurance*?

      Do you understand the concept of *risk* as associated with the concept of *insurance*?

      Last, you say: “Bill Nye is not a scientists. Krugman is an economists, highly regarded by his peers — who has received several of the highest honors in his field. The analogy is nuts.”

      …which should read, “Bill Nye is not a scientist. Krugman is an economist …” …..you do understand the use of [s] as a plural, I hope.

      You also mention that Krugman is highly regarded by his peers. That may or may not be true and I wonder where this perception roots with you. he is certainly not highly regarded by anyone I know; in fact, he is considered a partisan hack and lightweight. While Krugman won the Nobel Memorial prize in 08 for his “New Trade Theory”, I ask you where is that theory now and what have been the overall contributions and effects/outcomes arising from it that advance economic prosperity and security ether nationally or globally?

      Krugman’s economic policies advance neither freedom nor prosperity, they only advance bloated government bureaucracy, tighter strangleholds on the American worker, and a lower standard of living for the American middle class.

      Like

    3. Every time this comes up, people on both sides like to compare our system to the UK and Canada, as if what we have now and single payer are the only two choices we have. This is a false choice. The fact is, few European countries have adopted single payer (maybe there’s a good reason for that?). I suggest looking at the systems of other wealthy, ‘conservative’ European nations such as Switzerland or the Netherlands.

      https://data.oecd.org/healthres/health-spending.htm

      Like

    4. Rando,

      “people on both sides like to compare our system to the UK and Canada, as if what we have now and single payer are the only two choices we have.”

      That’s an important point. Although in my experience — hundreds of comments about this — the comparisons with UK and Canada as the only alternatives are (in general) made only by conservatives. It’s a rhetorical trick — excluding the more successful systems in Europe. Or ignorance.

      Also, “single-payer” has become a term almost without meaning. Note the the UK system is not a single-payer national system, as it consists of individual Trusts that make payments.

      ” I suggest looking at the systems of other wealthy, ‘conservative’ European nations such as Switzerland or the Netherlands.”

      Exactly! There are mixed private-public systems that are both substantially cheaper than ours and provide better outcomes.

      Like

  6. When it comes to socialized or single payer health care, resources are finite. Need is infinite. Government budgets will allow x amount of dollars allocated to treatment, What happens when funds run out? Who gets to decide who gets treatment and who doesn’t? This is the horror of socialized medicine that progressives never want to talk about, this and the very important aspect of QUALITY care. Quality of care will always be sacrificed under socialized medicine.

    Do any of you want to live under a system where the government decides who lives and dies?

    Like

    1. Rust,

      “What happens when funds run out?”

      Why not look at every other developed nation, most of whom have provided universal care for generations. They’re not “running out of money.” They provide universal care at half to one-third of the cost in America — at equivalent or higher results. We’re the ones “running out of money”, spending so much to get so little.

      “Do any of you want to live under a system where the government decides who lives and dies?”

      Ditto as above.

      That’s a more important question: how did America get to the point where so many people write about a vital subject with near-total ignorance about it, their minds filled with propaganda? How and we survive as a Republic under such conditions?

      Like

    2. Richard,

      While we most health care metrics for the US are roughly average compared to our peers, we are exceptional in two important factors. First, we are far lower than the others in the percent of the population covered. Second, we pay two or three times what the others pay (as % GDP).

      This shows the essence of modern American exceptionalism: we are exceptionally stupid (or incompetent, depending on one’s perspective). We see in this thread why that is — as US policy is driven by those on the fringes (left and right), indoctrinated up to their eyeballs. Until the rest of us can retake their reins, this nation will continue to stumble downhill.

      Like

  7. “That’s a more important question: how did America get to the point where so many people write about a vital subject with near-total ignorance about it, their minds filled with propaganda? How and we survive as a Republic under such conditions?” …I wonder this every single day when I read articles such as this one and Krugman’s.

    As to my question of what happens when the funds run out, you’ve offered no answer at all. And please don’t believe any of your readers are so stupid as to believe “the money won’t run out.”

    It seems like critical thinking has gone the way of the dinosaurs and propaganda is the order of the day.

    Socializing any health care system means the government has absolute power over your LIFE. (or death, as the case may be.) And that, is a fact.

    Like

  8. Additionally, to your point that other countries that practice socialized medicine “do not run out of money” ….has it crossed your mind that the reason they don’t “run out of money” is because care is rationed? You are offering support for my position: Funds are finite. Need is infinite.

    Like

    1. rusthawk,

      “the reason they don’t “run out of money” is because care is rationed? ”

      You are just making stuff up. You are arguing that cars are impossible, refusing to look out in the street. By all metrics the average health care outcomes in the rest of the developed nations are equivalent to ours, and for roughly half of them — better at roughly half the cost.

      Just lying about this is sad. But it demonstrates the power of propaganda in America today. Got to wonder how the Republic can survive when so many people eagerly believe that 2 + 2 = 5.

      Like

  9. Editor, you are living in a progressive-colored world of what-ifs. I’ve no doubt whatsoever that your attitude and degrading manner would change instantly if you, or your spouse or mother or father, were told that the life-threatening condition they suffered from would not be treated due to age, or lifestyle choice, or LACK OF FUNDS. Oh, I am sure your loved one would be given enough morphine to ease their demise, but that would be it. Period, end of story.

    Do you honestly ascribe such benevolence to government bureaucrats to believe that they would have a modicum of mercy on you or your family because you happen to have a progressive political leaning?

    Be careful what you wish for, and pray to whomever you pray to that single payer never comes to pass in America, or that if it does, your loved ones’ life is never held in the hand of those who hold the absolute power of life or death.

    In fairness, it is I who believe you are the one who comes up with 5 when adding 2 + 2. Your statements bear me out. You are not looking at the actual potential nuts and bolts of this abomination, you are projecting your ideological purity and be damned the consequences. I do not want people who think like you in charge of my life.

    Like

    1. My need to eat Twinkies is infinite, yet my funds are finite.
      WHAT HAPPENS WHEN I RUN OUT OF MONEY?
      Don’t tell me I’ll have to RATION my Twinkie consumption, because that’s un-American!

      Like

    2. Todd,

      That’s a good point. Our desire for many things are natural. Mechanisms exist to regulate everything. In health care other nations do this much better than America. Conservatives like Rust determinedly close their eyes, ignore facts. Note his reply completely ignores what I said, replying with another volley of made-up stuff.

      This is the rule on both left and right fringes. From 2003 to about 2015 I had hundreds of long discussions with extremists. Often extending over thousands of words. Eventually I discovered it was a total waste of time. They were interested in neither fact or logic — they had their views, and effective rebuttals were impossible. I’m sure there are exceptions, but I never found one.

      They are a pox on the Republic. The best solution, I suspect, is to remember the ancient Middle Easter adage: the dogs bark but the caravan moves on. Corollary: keep them away from the levers of power, otherwise we’re on the fast track to failure.

      Like

  10. No one here has read the bill, including Krugman. And yet everyone is an expert! Go figure.
    The exceptionally stupid people are the ones who pretend to be experts on things they do not even begin to understand. And that includes many “experts” at the top of the food chain, not merely bloggers and their commenters.

    It is often necessary for Canadians to cross the border to obtain services for which they would wait for years or forever to obtain in Canada. Rationing is unavoidable for a service with unlimited demand. The US health care system is like no other often for better and sometimes for worse and should never be compared in a measure for measure way. For universal single payer systems, rationing is mandatory, often painful, and sometimes fatal.

    Like

    1. Jens,

      “No one here has read the bill, including Krugman. And yet everyone is an expert! Go figure.”

      What a weird objection. The broad outlines of the bill are, by now, well known. This includes detailed review by representative of almost every component of the health care industry — who opposite it. The details in the bill are not going to change that.

      Also, if the GOP wanted us to know about the bill — they would have submitted it to review by the CBO.

      “It is often necessary for Canadians to”

      It’s fascinating to see right-wingers ignorant myopia on display in these discussions. Almost every developed nation has a health care system that is superior to our in cost-effectiveness with equivalent or better care. Inevitably some are less so than the others (although better than ours). Those are the only ones conservatives see. UK UK Canada Canada UK UK. It’s like talking with children. Perhaps we need to use pictures.

      “It is often necessary for Canadians to cross the border to obtain services for which they would wait for years or forever to obtain in Canada.”

      Dumbest argument ever about health care. Before Obamacare, the working poor in the US without health care would have flooded into Canada if they were eligible — since the US system rationed them to only emergency room care. That is very limited. In many areas (rural, inner cities) it is at third-world levels.

      Like

  11. Dear Editor:

    I found your site a few months ago and was impressed. I sent it around to my friends, people who were seasoned at life, people who appreciated solid perspectives and reasonable, rational arguments. I suspect your numbers reflected my effort.

    These last couple of days on this thread I have watched you denigrate and mock anyone whose position varied from yours, including mine. We may not be of your ideological bent but if you intend to field a website that is nothing more than an echo chamber you might as well name it kos.

    Comments here have been respectful to you but you have not responded in kind.

    If you are a shill for single payer, it would save everyone time and effort if you would just declare that right up front so people who have valid intellectual rebuttals can just stay away.

    Not a recipe for success, at any rate.

    Oh, and when you said above “What a weird objection. The broad outlines of the bill are, by now, well known. This includes detailed review by representative of almost every component of the health care industry — who opposite it.” …..what I think you meant was “who oppose it.”

    Like

    1. Rust,

      “Comments here have been respectful to you but you have not responded in kind.”

      I have given fact-based replies, easily checked (I have posts describing them in detail). Pretty obvious ones, nothing esoteric. Your replies have been, to put it gently, odd — showing little or no ability to support your claims. Instead of replying to my comments, your climax was “you are living in a progressive-colored world of what-ifs.” If you’re going to ignore what others write in reply, then say so up front — and we’ll not waste time in rebuttal.

      “people who have valid intellectual rebuttals can just stay away.”

      As I showed, your claims are quite bogus. Totally so. You want them to be treated respectfully. I disagree.

      I understand your desire for a safe space. It’s common in America today. But we’re sliding towards a very dark future, and that’s a luxury we can no longer afford.

      “what I think you meant was “who oppose it.”

      Yep. Comments are typos. But you show that you understood the point, which is the important thing.

      Like

    2. Rust,

      “If you are a shill for single payer”

      That’s your “intellectual rebuttal”? This is a nice example of why discussion with you is a waste of time. I have not mentioned single payer in my replies to you. I have referred to the superior systems run by our peers, most of which are (like ours) mixed public-private systems. My only mention of “single payer” in this thread was to Rando:

      “Also, “single-payer” has become a term almost without meaning. Note the the UK system is not a single-payer national system, as it consists of individual Trusts that make payments.”

      Like

Leave a comment & share your thoughts...

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s