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Freedom of speech ?

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1faceinbook
Mar 1, 2012, 8:09pm Top

http://usnews.msnbc.msn.com/_news/2012/03/01/10552338-limbaugh-contraception-adv...

Is this really freedom of speech or is this a personal attack on a young woman ?
Feels like a time warp and we've gone back to the 50s.

( wonder what you would call a man who is caught in a Vegas airport with Viagra that is not prescribed to him ? Does he forget or are the standards different for him ?)

2StormRaven
Mar 1, 2012, 8:35pm Top

It is both free speech and a personal attack on Sandra Fluke. She might have a case for libel against him, but those are notoriously difficult to win in the U.S. Since she testified in public on the contraception issue, she may or may not be a "public figure", which would make the case very difficult to win.

I'll say this: Rush Limbaugh is a bag of shit.

3theoria
Mar 1, 2012, 8:37pm Top

ditto

4Lunar
Mar 1, 2012, 11:41pm Top

"If we are going to pay for your contraceptives, and thus pay for you to have sex. We want something for it. We want you post the videos online so we can all watch."

I'm no fan of Rush Limbaugh, but minus the feminazi quip and other pejoratives, I don't see what's so unreasonable about this offer. Is the problem that he didn't ask nicely?

5lawecon
Edited: Mar 1, 2012, 11:54pm Top

No, I'm sure that you don't see the problem.....

How about this: "If we're going to pay for your food stamps so you can live, maybe we could at least torture you publicly for the amusement of taxpayers. After all, we'll leave you alive and feed you afterwards."

Obviously, nothing unreasonable about that.......and certainly something that Rush would say, given his devotion to food and torture.

6Lunar
Mar 2, 2012, 12:21am Top

#5: Actually, I think what would be most comparable is to make them post videos of their family dinners. Understandably, a lot of people may have hang-ups about sex, but there's no reason why they couldn't just send the videos to their johns... er, to their employers privately rather than post it publicly.

7Jesse_wiedinmyer
Mar 2, 2012, 12:22am Top

Well, one. You're not paying for the person to have sex. You're paying for the person to have sex with contraceptives. And contraception and porn don't have equivalent values in the marketplace.

8Lunar
Mar 2, 2012, 1:05am Top

Well, in Los Angeles it's now required for porn actors to use condoms. So their employers are in fact paying for them to have sex with contraceptives and they get a video out of it. But if they aren't getting a video out of it, then there'd be no condom requirement.

Someone decided that employers should have a role in their employees' sex lives regardless of whether the job itself is sex related. If contraceptives are going to be company assets, the boss deserves a looksie every now and then.

9Jesse_wiedinmyer
Mar 2, 2012, 2:06am Top

Yes, the actresses are also paid for their work in that situation.

10Jesse_wiedinmyer
Mar 2, 2012, 2:08am Top

It's not analogous at all, but for the fact that you wish to score facile, cheap rhetorical points.

11margd
Edited: Mar 2, 2012, 3:31am Top

Limbaugh hasn't been much in the news lately--he must be desperate to insert himself into national conversation?

(With friends like this, the GOP does not need enemies!)

12krolik
Mar 2, 2012, 3:28am Top

>1 faceinbook:

It's freedom of speech, as exercised by a lout.

"The louts ye shall always have with you."

It's probably in some apocryphal text somewhere...

13Lunar
Mar 2, 2012, 4:01am Top

#10: Except that it's not about cheap rhetoric. If someone wants to play fast and loose with the separation between bedroom and state in order to get free contraceptives from their employer, to be upset about crass remarks on the radio are but a red herring.

14krolik
Mar 2, 2012, 5:52am Top

>13 Lunar:

Errr, just want to be sure that I understand your logic here. Thus, for these fast and loose floozies on somebody else's dime, crass remarks go with the territory? Them bitches!?

15madpoet
Mar 2, 2012, 7:57am Top

Well, which is more expensive, paying for contraceptives, or paying for obstetrics? 'Cause I think most insurance plans cover the latter.

16faceinbook
Mar 2, 2012, 8:52am Top

>13 Lunar:
The contraceptives are NOT coming from the employer. What is it that is so hard to understand about this ? They are coming from the insurance companies who seem to be very silent on this issue. I suspect the reason being is that it is cheaper to provide women of lower income status, contraceptives rather than covering accidental pregnancies.
Again your problem with employer based insurance. Individual family coverage is unaffordable for many people, especially in lower paying jobs. Your beef should be with the insurance companies and the health care costs that have made individual coverage unattainable for so many. Group insurance is cheaper. Emplyees often contribute to their coverage. It is not, as assumed by many, always FREE. Sometimes the cost is very high. Small group ? One of the members has health issues ? Cost sky rockets, often to the point where the employee has no options what so ever as even the group insurance is too costly. You keep making a complex problem seem simple. IF individuals are not covered by any insurance, we ALL pay for this as well. Since the insurance companies are still, to my knowledge, making a tidy profit., here should be enough money in the system to cover people so the cost of the uninsured or under insured is not passed on to others.
Only two options on the table for change in making healthcare affordable ....less greed by both the insurance companies and the top providers of health care services, a spiritual awakening of sorts, or cost control measures. What are the chances of either of those two happening any time soon ?

"to be upset about crass remarks on the radio are but a red herring."

To be upset because a potential governing party is trying to push the clock back 50 years is a valid complaint and to hear Mr Limbaugh, a figure head of that same party, spewing out this kind of rubbish is not such a "red herring" as you would suppose. But then, someone born with the proper skin color and the right sexual equipment, wouldn't fully understand what it is like to hear something like this..... an echo chamber from the 60s. To those who were born with an inherint disadvantage, and have struggled to turn that disadvantage into equality, this little incident is sickening !

A population of White men, in this country, have gone amok. Absolutely so crazed by the idea that a Black man is in charge they are going to turn on someone weaker and raise all kinds of issues. They seem to have an unstoppable desire to be tromping on someone in the name of "freedom"

This debate was not originally about contraceptives in general but as per usual the Right, in their never ending quest to find an "enemy" of the State......their desire to "route out" any whiff of socialism or communistic leanings, took this issue and blew up into a war on women....to the point where Limbaugh has taken it.

If indeed, the churches want to dictate to the insurance companies which medications can be provided as per their beliefs, they need to drop the hypocrisy.
Primarly the belief is that sex is for procreation ?? This whole brew haha started with this premise, if I recall correctly ?
There should be no man in the Catholic church who is either unmarried or whose wife is over child bearing age who is allowed to have their Viagra covered by insurance. NONE ! Since clearly, the drug is being used to engage in sex for purposes other than procreation. Why is there silence in this area ?
Why are women alone, once again the target of this debate ?? Surely it should be all inclusive, if this is a "faith based" issue ?

We know Limbaugh engages in such behavior. Not that his actions, in any manner, show the image of a man who adheres to any faith what so ever, other than worship of the ego. Limbaugh's desperation in this matter is such that he will commit a crime to procure that which he feels he should have. In fact, given that the drugs in Mr Limbaugh's possession were perscribed, they most likely were covered by someone's insurance, a fact that potentially raises the cost of insurance premiums for everyone. Thank you Mr. Limbaugh !

>14 krolik:
Yep ! If you are going to say something...anything....what ever you get you've coming to you. Very familiar with that as well. Kind of the "you made your bed." "Put up or shut up" "No pain no gain"

17StormRaven
Edited: Mar 2, 2012, 10:41am Top

"If someone wants to play fast and loose with the separation between bedroom and state in order to get free contraceptives from their employer, to be upset about crass remarks on the radio are but a red herring."

Fluke is a student at Georgetown law school. Her health coverage is provided through the school. The school that she supports via tuition and fees, and a health care plan that she pays for directly. Exactly how is her desire that this coverage include birth control playing fast and loose to get "free contraceptives"?

Here's a question: have you ever purchased a condom and used it in a sex act with a girlfriend? Because you bought the condom, did that make her a "prostitute"? Are women who want to use birth control "sluts"? Note that there is no evidence that Fluke is having sex with anyone: just that she wants to have access to birth control as part of her health care. She could be having sex with many men, a few men, or one man. She could even be married at some point. And yet the conservative punditry decided that she must be a "slut" because they took her ~$85 a month cost for birth control to mean the purchase of condoms as opposed to hormonal birth control. Not only that, hormonal birth control is prescribed for many reasons other than preventing pregnancy, and yet even if a woman needed it for one of those reasons, it would not be covered.

Rush Limbaugh's "argument" is incredibly ill-informed and ill-mannered. As is yours. You are dangerously close to being lumped in with Limbaugh in this regard, in which case, all the statements made about him would apply to you.

18faceinbook
Edited: Mar 2, 2012, 11:55am Top

> #4 #6 #8 & #13

It has been my experience that when men of like mind "posse up", they have the potential of becoming mean and crass !
Hence the danger in what is happening today in regards to women's health care. Sadly, the Republican Party is becoming the face of mean and crass.

As for the "free" contraceptives ?
No insurance that I paid for ever covered any of my contraceptive care. My daughter had a severe condition in her teen years which required hormone treatment....not covered. I paid for that. Insurance companies have several decades before they've "paid back" for the inequality that was the norm, for women, prior to the development of Viagra.

19StormRaven
Mar 2, 2012, 2:10pm Top

I wonder if Lunar has health care coverage and it covers colonoscopies. If so, should everyone insist that he post video on the internet of him getting said procedure?

20StormRaven
Mar 2, 2012, 3:44pm Top

I have noticed that a few advertisers have exercised their free speech and free association rights and have decided to stop advertising on Limbaugh's show.

21theoria
Mar 2, 2012, 4:36pm Top

Oxycontin manufactures could fill the hole left by the exiting mattress adverts.

22Lunar
Mar 2, 2012, 10:36pm Top

#19: I wonder if Lunar has health care coverage and it covers colonoscopies. If so, should everyone insist that he post video on the internet of him getting said procedure?

Why not? It makes as much sense as anything else the Left and the Right spew. Faceinbook feels justified in forcing mandates on others just as much as Rush Limbaugh. They just differ on the details.

23faceinbook
Mar 3, 2012, 8:50am Top

>22 Lunar:
Why should contraceptive drugs be excluded from insurance plans ? Which other drugs do you suggest insurance companies NOT cover ? If insurance companies are making a profit from premiums paid to them....what guidelines do you suggest we use to determine what they are going to cover and what they are not going to pay for ?
Yours ? Rush Limbaugh's ? Santorum's ? Obama's ? Whose ? You must have a vision of what a medical system within a free society would look like ? That would be ?
If people would do the right thing in the first place, there would be no need for any mandates !

All this "independent" crap is just that, crap. Santorum AND Palin both have disabled children.....children who are on the public dime and will be till they die.....because these people demand the freedom of a religion that doesn't believe that population control is an issue . When you push the envelope far enough, everyone has to pay for it. Unless one can find a way to divorce themselves from society....it is just a fact. No different that tribal life before the modern society...human's formed groups for a reason.

Freedom to have children beyond what is statiscally safe for the fetus is just as costly to society as birth control pills....more so. Do we mandate that yet ? Nope....but I bet we will eventually and it has nothing to do with the big bad government and every thing to do with the Dugger's , the Palin's and the Santorum's.

Maybe you want to start there with your crusade against "mandates" as the "one child" mandate is far more intrusive than the idea that providing insurance coverage for birth control is some how a loss of individual liberty and freedom.

Birth control is such a sexist issue to pick on. Again, White men looking for an easy target. In the grand scheme of things, it is cheap, effective and the INSURANCE companies who are going to have to provide it have not made a peep. Just a bunch of men who feel that they are mandated in regards to someone else's sexual activity. Based on the history of birth control or lack there of, if most men took birth control responsibly, we wouldn't even be having this discussion.
Many men don't even know how or why some women use contraceptive hormones....Limbaugh seems to think it costs every time one has sex (probably because he has to take a pill himself) no idea of how contraceptives work and no clue that hormones are not all about sex and yet he has the tenacity to think he knows what insurance should cover in regards to this ?.

Perhaps it would be beneficial for you to check in with Gingrich....he is planning on developing a Moon colony in the near future....good chance that there will be less "mandates" within such a society ? At least until people start "demanding" their freedoms and tromping all over each other to insure that "their" vision of freedom is the only true form of "freedom".

24Lunar
Mar 3, 2012, 10:04pm Top

#23: Why should contraceptive drugs be excluded from insurance plans ?

Someone had to say "No" to one of inumerable government mandates. It's only natural that it happens to be on a wedge issue. I'd certainly prefer it not to be over a wedge issue, but beggars can't be choosers when opposing the warfare/welfare state.

25lawecon
Mar 3, 2012, 10:09pm Top

~24
"Someone had to say "No" to one of inumerable government mandates."

Just a matter of random chance that it was this one........

"It's only natural that it happens to be on a wedge issue. I'd certainly prefer it not to be over a wedge issue, but beggars can't be choosers when opposing the warfare/welfare state."

Yept, purported libertarian aligns himself with crazy traditionalist conservatives again. He'd prefer not to, but.......

26Lunar
Mar 3, 2012, 11:05pm Top

#25: Wow, someone's shy about being mistaken for a "traditionalist conservative." I think it's a credit to many of the readers here that they know better than to say I'm just a "purported" libertarian.

27timspalding
Edited: Mar 4, 2012, 12:57am Top

All this "independent" crap is just that, crap. Santorum AND Palin both have disabled children.....children who are on the public dime and will be till they die.....because these people demand the freedom of a religion that doesn't believe that population control is an issue

Wait, you're blaming them for not aborting their disabled children? Really?

Also, although it's irrelevant to all but a monster, I'd like to see some evidence that either disabled child is "on the public dime." Both children are four. Perhaps some day Palin's will suck down public special ed money—the disabled are such leaches—but Santorum's will never be on anyone's "dime" but her parents', as she will almost certainly gratify you by dying very shortly.

I can't help comparing your sick attack with Wonkette's recent piece on Palin's child.

http://www.theblaze.com/stories/liberal-website-mercilessly-mocks-down-syndrome-...

28lawecon
Edited: Mar 4, 2012, 10:15am Top

~26

"Wow, someone's shy about being mistaken for a "traditionalist conservative.""

Good that you're not shy about that. It is always admirable to acknowledge what one is and believes. (Incidentally, do you have a clue what "traditionalist conservative" means?)

29faceinbook
Mar 4, 2012, 10:23am Top

>27 timspalding:
Said nothing about them aborting their children. Have a friend with a disabled daughter and she is one of the sweetest most beautiful persons I know.
Don't have anything against the disabled but I do know and understand the amount of care and special needs they have. Know that my friend would have never been able to raise her daughter with out help. She is profoundly greatfull for the help she had.

My point was that for individuals who are all about "independance", Santorum and Palin are benefiting from a society that helps when help is needed. And, conversely, they are same people who seem to feel that what they do doesn't affect anyone else. We all pay for our disabled citizens...as, perhaps we should, but to point a finger at others when you yourself are a beneficiary adds to the hypocrisy of both Santorum and Palin.

And, yes, I will say it again, they rolled the dice. They have every right to do so but when things didn't work out all that well, they have something to fall back on. Doesn't look good to be out there pointing fingers at anyone else and declaring that they've become too dependant on government entitlements when they are using them as well.
If Santorum's baby had issues at birth, her medical costs could have possibly been close to a million. Intensive care for babies is so expensive that the government often assumes the cost. The normal family would be bankrupt in short order. Not making the point that there is something wrong with this but if you have been a beneficiary of such a program, what gives you the right to decide that others are being irresponsible for using entitlements ?

Santorum and Palin ought to be proud of living in a country that is willing to do what it can in these situations, instead of shaming others and claiming that the government needs to stay out of their lives.

There is a difference between attacking the disabled and attacking hypocrisy ? I would hope so.

Did not say a thing about abortion, wasn't my word or my thought.

30StormRaven
Edited: Mar 4, 2012, 11:06am Top

"Also, although it's irrelevant to all but a monster, I'd like to see some evidence that either disabled child is "on the public dime.""

It is relevant when their parents are busy advocating eliminating the same sort of assistance they are the beneficiaries of, and it was pretty clear from her post that was what faceinbook was saying. I can't help but noticing that your posts during this political season have become more and more out of character for you. I half-expect you to start advocating for young Earth creationism soon.

31StormRaven
Edited: Mar 4, 2012, 11:13am Top

"I think it's a credit to many of the readers here that they know better than to say I'm just a "purported" libertarian."

Yeah. You're not a purported libertarian. You're a robo-libertarian. Every political post from you boils down to either (1) taxes are theft, or (2) regulation is evil.

Political libertarianism: simple answers from simple minds for simple minds.

32Lunar
Mar 4, 2012, 6:31pm Top

#28: Good that you're not shy about that. It is always admirable to acknowledge what one is and believes.

That means nothing coming from you. According to you I've been everything from a right-wing misogynist to a left-wing proponent of the Palestinian Intifiada. At the bare minimum you should slander while keeping your story straight.

#31: Magic Flag, dude. Magic Flag.

33lawecon
Mar 4, 2012, 10:02pm Top

~32

Whoa, you're antisemitic too. Wow, that's a great combination.

34Lunar
Mar 4, 2012, 10:24pm Top

#33: What? You don't remember slinging that one out before? Mixing your slanders is one thing. But forgetting which people you've called an antisemite... that's a sign of much needed vacation.

35timspalding
Edited: Mar 5, 2012, 12:20am Top

It is relevant when their parents are busy advocating eliminating the same sort of assistance they are the beneficiaries of, and it was pretty clear from her post that was what faceinbook was saying.

Who is the beneficiary of? The claim was made by faceinbook, and is repeated by you, that Palin and Santorum are attacking government assistance while sucking it down. But no evidence has been put forward that either child is receiving any public assistance whatsoever. It's pure assertion, completely unsupported by evidence, and a very improbable at that--Palin and Santorum are doing just fine financially. (In the case of Santorum, he's doing too fine, having cashed in on his service by lobbying!)

Now, it's perfectly acceptable to say that Palin and Santorum shouldn't attack benefits, or whatever is alleged. Perhaps their politics are cruel. But faceinbook said something quite different--that they were hypocrites (see above, "hypocrisy") for championing "independence" while having "disabled children......children who are on the public dime and will be till they die." (epipses in original). That's a factual statement that's clearly totally false, and an accusation of hypocrisy that, as it base on false accusations, is equally empty.

Stormraven is surprised I would defend Palin and Santorum. In fact, I loathe both, and want them well clear of power. But I care whether what I say about someone and their disabled child is true and fair, or false and cruel.

If Santorum's baby had issues at birth, her medical costs could have possibly been close to a million. Intensive care for babies is so expensive that the government often assumes the cost. The normal family would be bankrupt in short order. Not making the point that there is something wrong with this but if you have been a beneficiary of such a program, what gives you the right to decide that others are being irresponsible for using entitlements ?

Santorum has something called insurance. People buy it so that, in the unlikely event they need a million dollars of health care, they get it. It may be that Santorum, in not advocating for a single-payer health plan, or whatever, is a monster. But these accusations of hypocrisy are based on false assertions about his children--that they are "on the public dime."

Said nothing about them aborting their children

Clearly I misunderstand you. It seems to me there is some logical connection between "Santorum AND Palin both have disabled children" and "because these people demand the freedom of a religion that doesn't believe that population control is an issue." If having disabled children is not somehow related to bad ideas about "population control" in your thoughts, I would wish you put them in different sentences.

36SimonW11
Mar 5, 2012, 1:29am Top

It does seem likely that Santorum's child was in intensive care at birth, I cant imagine any doctor knowing that a child suffering from a condition that kills most sufferers in the first week would not have mandated it.
As to who paid for it goverment or insurers I do not know. I have seen claims that these costs are born by the goverment. If someone could provide a link to an independent source confirming who pays these cost this i would have to agree that they were likely "on the public dime", and add that they were fools if they were not.

37timspalding
Edited: Mar 5, 2012, 1:57am Top

If you have insurance, insurance pays for it, as far as insurance pays. There may be deductibles, etc. Those costs can mount. But Palin and Santorum are not attacking whatever they're attacking while secretly making the government pay for their health care. (Presumably Palin's health insurance was government health insurance, as she was Governor of Alaska at the time, and that job comes with insurance. I don't quite think that qualifies as being a hypocritical mooch.)

38faceinbook
Mar 5, 2012, 8:41am Top

>37 timspalding:
"Santorum has something called insurance. People buy it so that, in the unlikely event they need a million dollars of health care, they get it. It may be that Santorum, in not advocating for a single-payer health plan, or whatever, is a monster. But these accusations of hypocrisy are based on false assertions about his children--that they are "on the public dime."

My grandson weighed two pounds at birth...not a planned birth. My daughter-in-law was told she would never have another child. They knew there were problems but made the choice to have the baby. Depending on the weight of the child, government assumes responsibility of that babies care as soon as it is born. I believe the weight may be under three pounds.
It really doesn't matter if insurance or government pays. The cost is tremendous and if insurance is covering the amount will eventually be reflected in future premiums. When insurance runs out, hospitals use government grants to absorb the fees for services.
The costs incurred within the entire system, by all who participate as patients, are going to be assumed by all who continue to be able to pay into that system. Whether it be in insurance premiums, deductables, copays....what ever.
Not sure why this is so hard to understand. If a small business, maybe twenty or thirty people, take out a group health insurance policy and ONE of the members has a heart attack....the premiums go up for EVERY member of that group plan. It is no different for the entire system as whole. We pay for smokers care, all of the issues that come up regarding obesity, substance abuse problems, disabilities of all kinds and emergency room abusers. We ALL pay for this. I don't care what kind of insurance you have. If you choose not to have insurance, you will cover the cost of the system in the fees charged for service.

"Clearly I misunderstand you. It seems to me there is some logical connection between "Santorum AND Palin both have disabled children" and "because these people demand the freedom of a religion that doesn't believe that population control is an issue." If having disabled children is not somehow related to bad ideas about "population control" in your thoughts, I would wish you put them in different sentences"

Not sure how your mind went to abortion.....I was thinking more along the lines of : If you are over 40 or 45 yrs of age and you have a healthy family of four kids or more, when you decide to risk another pregnancy (I am fairly certain that both Santorum and Palin can afford contraceptives whether or not insurance covers the medication and they are old enough to know how to use it) you are rolling the dice and when you do this, the cost of this decision is a burden on every one in the system. You may think you are being independant but you are not. What you do affects the society as a whole...to my mind, this is a selfish decision. We do not have to agree on this....some may say it is a brave decision but the implications are such that you are depending on society to support you in this decision in some fashion if things go awry. Santorum and Palin are just examples of a general attitude among those who think they are "independent" of a government they would like to see disappear.....or shrink ....my guess is it would shrink for "others" but not in the benefits they have available to themselves.
They both have big mouths about this and both of them, in my opinion, haved rolled the dice.

"(Presumably Palin's health insurance was government health insurance, as she was Governor of Alaska at the time, and that job comes with insurance"

Yes, taxpayer covered insurance...if she lives an unhealthy life style her premiums will be higher than if she takes care of herself. How does this not cost the taxpayers of Alaska ?

39faceinbook
Edited: Mar 5, 2012, 9:48am Top

http://www.tc.umn.edu/~parkx032/CY-NICU.html

Pretty harsh and not sure I agree fully with this one but my point about Santorum and Palin is that they no doubt knew the risks and did it anyway....not so much the birth of the child but the fact that they allowed a pregnancy in the first place. Were these pregnancies an act of a person being "self sufficent and responsible" or were they "selfish and irresponsible" ?
Really don't much care...just don't go blathering to others about being "seld sufficent" and independent of government when you seem to have problems doing so yourself.

Can't find the Wisconsin benefit explanation for Premies but will keep looking. My grandson was on government coverage until he was 6 years old as he had lung problems. Everything was covered by the state. In home care, his in home oxygen supply, therapy (physical, speech and occupational), hospitalizations...what ever.
Premature child care does not stop when the baby leaves the hospital. The costs are many and they are huge.

Do I think this "government assistance" is a bad thing ? No !

Again, this child was not planned. Both of them were in their 30s at the time. They were given medical information that was not correct. This has been an emotional burden in many ways.

I wouldn't stand in front of a crowd and advocate that we cut Medicaid benefits or assistance programs or I would look like a hypocrit.

40Jesse_wiedinmyer
Mar 5, 2012, 3:16pm Top

It does seem likely that Santorum's child was in intensive care at birth, I cant imagine any doctor knowing that a child suffering from a condition that kills most sufferers in the first week would not have mandated it.

Not true. A friend's son was born in anencephaly, and they took the child home until it died.

41timspalding
Edited: Mar 5, 2012, 4:27pm Top

Not true. A friend's son was born in anencephaly, and they took the child home until it died.

I couldn't imagine that. Little terrifies me more than such events. Anencephaly is unspeakable.

From essay: And since I would set such a limit for myself, it would be inconsistent for me not to set a similar limit for any newborn infant for whom I might be called upon to decided.

That's why voters don't let "independent existential philosophers" within 1,000 feet of power, let alone decisions about life and death.

From essay: When medical care must be paid by the family, the family also knows ahead of time that they cannot afford to pay more than it costs to keep the whole family alive for a year just to insure that this new baby will survive. If they definitely want another child, it makes more sense to start over with a new pregnancy rather than spending more than they have to save a premature infant.

The author, like you, seems unclear on the whole concept of "insurance." People get it so that, if they end up having a premature baby, they aren't forced to take the rational approach, let the baby die and "start over." The other people who buy insurance don't feel angry at them, because they know million-dollar premies are rare, like the other million-dollar disasters that can happen, and want the peace of mind that comes with catastrophic medical coverage. I, for example, have good death and disability insurance. If I get shot in the head, but live, my medical bills will be covered and my family will probably be okay. I won't feel guilty, and your pink-HTML Mengele won't get to euthanize me, because I pay for that insurance every month.

Therefore, it might be wisest for all such controversial decisions about health care to be handled by a commission that is not directly elected by the people.

The bogus "death panels" cooked up against Obama ring true not only because they are a sort of worst-case logical end to a statist approach to health care, but because a fringe of leftists, like your guy, actually wants them.

Needless to say, none of this proves that Palin and Santorum are hypocrites, or that their disabled children are unfairly profiting from the public purse.

42StormRaven
Mar 5, 2012, 4:57pm Top

The bogus "death panels" cooked up against Obama ring true not only because they are a sort of worst-case logical end to a statist approach to health care, but because a fringe of leftists, like your guy, actually wants them.

They also ring true because if your coverage includes a lifetime limit, you already have one.

43faceinbook
Mar 5, 2012, 6:53pm Top

>41 timspalding:
"Needless to say, none of this proves that Palin and Santorum are hypocrites, or that their disabled children are unfairly profiting from the public purse."

There is nothing UNFAIR about diabled children using public monies. When or if they turn 18 they will receive SSI for the rest of their lives as well. The point I was trying to make is that we live in a society that has safety nets.....we use them...most of us at some point in time for something.

http://media-dis-n-dat.blogspot.com/2008/09/parents-of-children-with-disabilitie...

Ms Palin active in trying to get federal money for disabled children. If she isn't using services to help the child in all actuality she should be. Without proper training it is very difficult for these children to use their full potential.

Couldn't find anything on Santorum but if he is paying for his daughter than he has some pretty deep pockets. Pockets that many people don't share.

You have totally blown off the point I was making.

My point was that if you choose to get pregnant at the age of 45....you are at risk of having a disabled child. And I am sure that any good obstetrition would advise you of this. If things go wrong, that child is, in part taken care of in various ways by society OR it costs the insurance a brick of money which they in turn make up by raising the cost of premiums.

To my way of thinking....if you have a healthy family of four or more kids.....taking the risk of having another child after the age of 40 or 45 is not a Conservative thing to do. So when Palin and Santorum present themselves as Conservative....they are not being totally honest. They more or less like to pick and choose what they are conservative about AND then tell us all what WE should be conservative about.

I said the article was harsh and I didn't agree with it but it was the COST of these babies was the point I was trying to make.

"The other people who buy insurance don't feel angry at them"

Wouldn't be so fast to make that judgement.
Think you are wrong there....don't care what kind of insurance someone has, if they are activily doing things that are self destructive and a burden on the health care system they are costing money. For those who are barely able to pay their health care premiums now and don't want them to go up, there may be some feelings of anger.
As there should be. With all the distain in this country around the idea of a single payer system, it would be beneficial if people were more responsible about their health choices cause there will be a tipping point and those who are still paying into the system will no longer be able to do so. We will be forced into single payer government health care. Choosing to bear a child after the age of 40 is a risk that has potential to cost the system a great deal of money.... which brings us closer to what nobody seems to want. and, how does this jive with the "Conservative" attitude ?

44lawecon
Mar 5, 2012, 7:31pm Top

~34

Maybe the problem is that I have difficulty sorting out one confused and incoherent "opinion" from another. Ah well, they probably all fit equally well on bumperstickers.

45fuzzi
Mar 6, 2012, 12:49pm Top

What a low point humanity has come to, in that we advocate deciding if a human life is 'worth' keeping alive or just killing it and starting over.

Why not euthanize the elderly too? They're leeches on society.

Oh, and let's not forget people who are handicapped and in wheelchairs? Killing them off would save money from having to observe strict building codes that allows the handicapped to live independently.

And how about those people who are on Welfare, and aren't contributing to society? Let's get rid of them, too.

What I am reading makes me sick: someone (some people) with a God complex, who wants the right to decide who lives and who dies.

Don't waste your precious time responding to me, consider this a drive-by posting. I don't think I'll be back, as I feel as if I need a shower now, after reading some of these homicidal thoughts.

Sieg Heil! Cleansing the populace by eradicating the unfit masses to make the master race is alive and well!

46faceinbook
Mar 6, 2012, 1:11pm Top

>45 fuzzi:
WOW....where did THAT come from ?

The article I posted was meant to point out the COST of premature babies....I don't think anyone here agreed with the rest of it.
Nobody advocated killing anyone off.....how does this stuff get so blown out of proportion.....not much different than Limbaugh and his "sex" rant.

Typical ! Really very typical ! Miss the point entirely and become outraged over something nobody here advocated in the first place.

"What I am reading makes me sick: someone (some people) with a God complex, who wants the right to decide who lives and who dies."

People do it every day.....they pick up a gun, aim and shoot. Text while they are driving 60 miles per hour on the freeway, dump toxic waste in places that affects the ground water, bomb citizens in country's whose current policies don't exactly mesh with their own......Is there a difference ?

If there is, I don't exactly see it.

47timspalding
Edited: Mar 6, 2012, 1:30pm Top

>46 faceinbook:

You supported a blog post that advocated building no more NICU centers and setting an upper limit on how much to spend on premies, because they weren't cost effective. It seems a short step to some of us from "let the baby die because incubators are expensive" to "kill the baby because incubators are expensive." And it seems logical to us that what applies to babies—who at least have the advantage of potential taxation later—applies to the elderly as well. A majority of health care expenses occur in the last year of life. It seems logical to imagine that we should deprive them of the equivalent of incubators too.

That's where it came from.

48faceinbook
Mar 6, 2012, 1:35pm Top

It may have been prudent of me to find a better article regarding the cost of premies....in no way do I think we should have "death panels".
My belief is that any couple, who is facing the arrival of a disabled child, be allowed their own private decision as to how to handle the situation as they see fit.
The point I was making was regarding responsible contraceptive measures and the freedom and/or responsiblity of individuals within a society to use them. That, and hypocrisy.

Nothing about abortion......nothing about "death panels"

49faceinbook
Mar 6, 2012, 1:47pm Top

>47 timspalding:
I passed on a link.....said it was harsh and that I did not agree. Also said it was meant to show the cost of premies.

How is that supporting "death panels" or abortions. Never brought up the topic of abortions either. This thread started with contraceptives which go a long way in preventing abortions.
When discussing women over a certain age and their increased chances of having disabled children, it was in reference to the decision to use birth control or not. Had absolutely nothing to to with aborting.

Already acknowledged that the link was not the best.....but, sending a link and supporting what is in it are two different things. Not sure how it is assumed that I support all that it said ? Especially after I said I didn't agree. If you seem to think I do than you didn't read my post all that carefully. Missed the cost issue completely....focused on the other content and assumed that is what I was talking about. Not so.

50timspalding
Mar 6, 2012, 1:51pm Top

I acknowledge what you're saying. There's a tendency to jump the gun on topics like this. I feel that accusing you of forced abortions is one such. I feel that accusing Santorum's child of living off the public dime, when he is rich, has insurance and the child will die shortly, is similar.

51faceinbook
Mar 6, 2012, 2:06pm Top

>50 timspalding:
You have a point.

52timspalding
Mar 6, 2012, 3:13pm Top

Come on people now, smile on your brother. Everybody get together, try to love one another right now!

;)

53Jesse_wiedinmyer
Mar 6, 2012, 3:36pm Top

Anencephaly is unspeakable.

I'm not sure that word thinks what you think it means.

54Jesse_wiedinmyer
Mar 6, 2012, 3:42pm Top

It seems a short step to some of us from "let the baby die because incubators are expensive" to "kill the baby because incubators are expensive."

We make decisions like these everyday. It's not much different from deciding that children should not be given food benefits.

55SimonW11
Mar 6, 2012, 4:54pm Top

47>It seems a short step to some of us from "let the baby die because incubators are expensive" to "kill the baby because incubators are expensive."

Today I read a post from some one who had missed paying for a friends anti cancer drugs prescription, it happens now and then apparently in America. He will be getting the drugs ASAP, but for the moment there are none, Sometimes resources do not stretch as far as one would like and people go without, Some times there are insufficient incubators, the baby dies sometimes the cancer patient dies, Do you really think you can tell that guy he is a short step from "kill the baby because incubators are expensive."

56Jesse_wiedinmyer
Mar 6, 2012, 6:48pm Top

This is the aforementioned friend's blog.

57lawecon
Mar 6, 2012, 6:49pm Top

~45

"Sieg Heil! Cleansing the populace by eradicating the unfit masses to make the master race is alive and well!"

Now you're getting it. But that is the natural consequence of commonism, isn't it? When what counts is the community, and the health of the community, then "hard choices" have to be made. Read your Book of Acts, fuzzi.

58StormRaven
Mar 6, 2012, 7:00pm Top

Really, the whole "death panels" thing is silly, because we already have the functional equivalent of death panels. We do not have infinite resources, so anyone who says we should save every human life no matter the cost is simply deluding themselves. At some point we do put a value on human life - because we have to.

Almost all insurance companies put a maximum limit on how much they will pay over your lifetime. Most require that various forms of care be justified, and if they don't think it is worthwhile to fund it, they usually have the right to decline. We have "death panels" right now, its just they are comprised of individuals that the insurance company picks.

59lawecon
Mar 6, 2012, 7:03pm Top

~58

"Really, the whole "death panels" thing is silly, because we already have the functional equivalent of death panels. We do not have infinite resources, so anyone who says we should save every human life no matter the cost is simply deluding themselves. At some point we do put a value on human life - because we have to."

You have a mouse in your pocket? How much do you suspect would be spent to save the life of the President of the United States if he sufferred a life threatening injury? And who, pray tell, is "we"?

60StormRaven
Mar 6, 2012, 7:09pm Top

"How much do you suspect would be spent to save the life of the President of the United States if he sufferred a life threatening injury?"

Certainly not an infinite amount. As usual, your post is nothing but drivel.

61timspalding
Edited: Mar 6, 2012, 8:25pm Top

We have "death panels" right now, its just they are comprised of individuals that the insurance company picks.

And the individual picks the insurance company.

The problem here is that the left doesn't see any particular problem with government doing such a thing. With private insurance, we choose a product. We are in control of the limits.

As government gets more and more involved, decisions aren't made by the people buying it, but by whoever has political clout. Government health care gets you political health care. If women are a powerful constituent, you get free birth control pills. If AIDS patients are perceived as a bunch of homosexuals, addicts and Hatians, half of all AIDS money is set aside—and largely wasted—on pediatric AIDS. Government now mandates all sorts of tests and procedures that are of dubious medical utility—on voters with lots of clout (middle-class women, the elderly). Similar attention is not paid to the health problems of less organized, lower-voting constituencies.

The "we have death panels now" argument works on so much else. What's wrong with government censorship of books? We have censors now! What does it matter that the government does the choosing, rather than the publisher—or the reader? We'll just tell the government to choose who can read what rationally. Nothing could go wrong!

62Arctic-Stranger
Mar 6, 2012, 8:31pm Top

Excuse me. I am a state employee. Before that I worked at a hospital and as a pastor, and in a bank. I have never in my life "chosen" a health insurance policy, with the exception of when I lived in Germany. I have options within policies, but just try changing that once you get locked in!

Unless one is able to "shop" for employment based on health care coverage, the notion that individuals chose their insurance policies is pure bunk.

63AsYouKnow_Bob
Mar 6, 2012, 8:36pm Top

And the individual picks the insurance company.

Well, no, not usually.

Most people are offered no choice or a very limited number of choices of insurance companies.

Mitt Romney lives a stratospheric enough existence that he can enjoy "firing" his insurance company, but most Americans lack that opportunity.

64timspalding
Mar 6, 2012, 8:45pm Top

That's largely true. There are often options, but the major choice is happening at the company level. Certainly employees do consider health insurance when deciding on jobs, but mostly on price. (LibraryThing's no employee-contributions system is a big attractor for employees.) It's all the more reason for health insurance to be decoupled from employment, where it lodges only because of the tax code.

65Arctic-Stranger
Mar 6, 2012, 8:53pm Top

You obviously have not been looking for work lately. I cannot imagine turning down a job because you did not like the benefit package. I know people who are taking jobs with NO benefit package because it is the job they can get. I don't know anyone who has the option of saying, "Nah" to job because they want a different benefit package.

Business owners can afford to choose. Their employees rarely can.

66AsYouKnow_Bob
Mar 6, 2012, 8:59pm Top

It's all the more reason for health insurance to be decoupled from employment, where it lodges only because of the tax code.


Then we're agreed: National Health For All!

67faceinbook
Mar 6, 2012, 9:01pm Top

>61 timspalding:
"Government now mandates all sorts of tests and procedures that are of dubious medical utility—on voters with lots of clout (middle-class women, the elderly). Similar attention is not paid to the health problems of less organized, lower-voting constituencies."

Government may have a small role in what is mandated but doctor's and clinic's are far more guilty of "over testing" those who have money and/or are well insured.
How is it possible for a "for profit" system not to have a tendency to do more than what is necessary ?

Doctor's are paid bonus checks based on the amount of dollars they generate for their clinics. Drug companies give doctor's yearly bonus checks based on number of perscriptions they have written.
How is this the fault of government ? Doctor's don't want much to do with the uninsured or the under insured. What would induce them to spend time with patients that are not going to be generating dollars that will be reflected on their bonus checks ?

Government insurance is not the idea situation but what we have now isn't much better. We tell ourselves that it is better but the decisions we don't want the government to make are being made now by insurance companies and a mindset in the system that is focused on a profit margin rather than patient care.

If you've ever been severly ill...not only do you have no choice as to what insurance you want, insurance companies want nothing to do with you. You will be forced to pay what ever they ask or as I experienced personally, you will be told that you are uninsurable at any cost. Since then they have organized a state government shared risk plan for people who aren't able to get regular insurance but it is very very expensive and the deductables and copays are very high. No choice what so ever.

68StormRaven
Mar 6, 2012, 9:28pm Top

"It's all the more reason for health insurance to be decoupled from employment, where it lodges only because of the tax code."

Much like the system known as "Obamacare". And the government mandates at issue here are minimums. If an individual wants to obtain more expensive coverage, they can. Even if there is an entire system of national health care, I don't see any reason why someone couldn't supplement its coverage minimums if they desired.

69timspalding
Edited: Mar 6, 2012, 9:44pm Top

I cannot imagine turning down a job because you did not like the benefit package.

We're in a big recession now. But people consider benefits all the time. LibraryThing's gold-platted health insurance is a big help in wooing people to work for us. It's worth a lot of money. People consider money when taking or not taking a job.

70margd
Mar 7, 2012, 2:05am Top

> 61 As government gets more and more involved, decisions aren't made by the people buying it, but by whoever has political clout. Government health care gets you political health care.

Geez, Tim, we vote for our representatives and thus our programs. When Canada adopted its health program, a story circulated about two MDs who left for the US. The researcher stayed in the US, but the practicing physician returned to Canada. He decided he'd rather be second-guessed by a government-bureaucrat, whom at least his association could engage in a transparent fashion, than a minion in one of many private insurance companies.

The Canadian health system is far from perfect, but priorities are more and more evidence-based. (Increasingly, US decisions on what treatments are effective and thus funded are informed by Canadian experience.) Remember the fuss about wait-times in Ontario? It resulted in web-posted database on how long one had to wait for X procedure in various hospitals. And the wait-times came down. http://www.health.gov.on.ca/en/public/programs/waittimes/

The health system is the third rail in Canada: politicians know they have to be responsive on it before all else. Not perfect, but always working on it*. An approach that would serve us well here in US, if only we could figure out how to get there from here. Far more cost-effective and evidence-based and responsive to users than the patchwork of plans we have here in US.

"Government health care gets you political health care." Maybe more of a comment on US governance as now practiced?

* I was shocked recently to learn that in Ontario, kidneys are assigned for transplant on a regional basis. A real problem for those of rarer genotype. But now revealed, the issue is being addressed.

71Lunar
Mar 7, 2012, 2:41am Top

#70: "Government health care gets you political health care." Maybe more of a comment on US governance as now practiced?

Canada's population amounts to little more than 10% compared to the US population. I wouldn't be too quick to attribute the problem to America being "special" when we have such a greater concentration of power relative to population, thus raising the political stakes.

72SimonW11
Mar 7, 2012, 3:11am Top

70> agreed a system where the government provides healthcare cannot afford to get it wrong. If a government does then it might as well let people die of starvation the effect on its votes will be the same.

73margd
Edited: Mar 7, 2012, 1:29pm Top

> 71 Canada's population amounts to little more than 10% compared to the US population. I wouldn't be too quick to attribute the problem to America being "special" when we have such a greater concentration of power relative to population, thus raising the political stakes.

I believe that in Canada the federal government collects its taxes, some of which are then fed back to the provinces to administer their own healthcare programs. So, provinces being roughly equivalent to states, the system isn't so much different than what we would do here in a "single payer" system?

The feds are specific in that monies must be spent on healthcare, etc., but provincial programs vary somewhat in delivery. My understanding, though, that the diversity in treatments and outcomes, tracked, has been a laboratory, and that the provinces adopt more effective regimes once proven.

(A small example of unnecessary diversity is that the code for various billable procedures or diseases can vary from province to province. I was surprised after a visit to Canadian urgent care to discover that US/Canadian--never mind provincial codes--differed; in my profession, our society works toward standard codes for use across the US AND Canada.)

ETA: Lunar's comment about concentration of power relative to population sent me searching. By US Constitution, can't be more than one rep for 30,000, but range is one for 500,000 to a million! According to Wikipedia (apportionment), the range in Canada is more like 138,009 (Peace River, Alberta) to 32,174 (Charlottetown, PEI) and 29,474 (Nunavut). One would think that Canadian reps might thus be more responsive, but in my old biz, it was the US system that was more easily lobbied (er, informed).

http://www.datamasher.org/mash-ups/people-representative
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Apportionment_%28politics%29

74faceinbook
Mar 7, 2012, 8:42am Top

>69 timspalding:
"LibraryThing's gold-platted health insurance"

It is very rare, in today's time, to be able to offer this to employees.
I am assuming that your group policy is very affordable ? and also that you have a group of young healthy employees.

Between my husband and I we pay a little over $4000 every three months with a $5000 dollar deductable per person per year.
My husband is a small business owner.....this type of pricing in individual insurance plans is not condusive to developing or sustaining one's own business.
Nor is it helpful for individuals who either have had health issues or are over 50 when looking for a job. The health of one member of a small group can raise the premiums for all. We could not continue to pay for the insurance we used for 20 years or so.....had to go to Wisconsin High Risk Plan.
We still can afford this but we are fortunate, many can not, when they can't they do one of two things, apply for disability or, if they meet the financial criteria, go on Badger Care with costs nothing to them.
When individuals "give up" and use government funded insurance, we all pay for their care.

How is it beneficial to have such a disparity in health care cost from one person to another ?
The market is squeezing out more and more paying individuals....while some persons are still blessed with cadillac insurance plans. How long is this sustainable ?

Perhaps it isn't comprehendable to someone who is paying reasonal insurance rates why it angers those who are paying huge amounts, when they see the system being abused or used for selfish reasons. When the system is used foolishly or downright abused, rates go up.
We , my husband and I, are on the edge, can't afford another rate increase. No way ! We WANT to pay but will be forced to become part of the problem if something doesn't change.
Business has never been as slow as the past two years and our health insurance rates jumped by over 35%. We are in danger of becoming one of "those" people.....the one's who "don't pay their way" and use government assistance. My husband is a Republican....probably will give him another heart attack when he finds himself in a class he has always pointed his finger at when referring to the "system abusers".

My point ? This is a huge issue, not limited to government intervention. Sending the government packing is not going to solve the huge money suck that is our health care system. There are no good answers. Some thing must be lost for anything to be gained.

75faceinbook
Mar 7, 2012, 9:50am Top

We need to earmark $130,000.00 for health care for the next five years...till we hit Medicare age. Not sure how that amount sounds to some but, to me....that is a lot. Especially in today's economy.

76faceinbook
Mar 7, 2012, 10:41am Top

Some perspective :

The doctor's at the clinic we go to for our health care make an average of 1.5 million per year (sister hands out their checks...works in human resource). Cost per 3 months of health insurance for that doctor ? $567 dollars with a $1500 per year deductable.
So we send off our checks to support this system.

Sorry, this is in danger of becoming a rant but this subject has been an issue of mine since the 80s when I saw the abuse that took place when Compcare was conceived. Abuse that took place on both ends, patients and clinics/doctors. No government involvement what so ever. When I hear that the government is responsible for our healthcare woes....well, safe to say it ticks me off.
Government has a reputation of instituting "fixes" that make matters worse but the people of this country made the problem and unless the people decide to fix it, government is going to come down with a giant fix that will probably not be the best for anyone. The system as is, is not sustainable. Don't see this as the fault of "government"
Most individuals look at this problem through such a small lens when indeed the picture is vast and all encompassing. Our refusal, as a country to deal with this is going to lead to a situation without options and which ever Party happens to be in office at the time will get the blame. Health care is not strictly a political issue, this is a cultural failure on the part of our society.
Obama had the guts to at least do SOMETHING, prior to him all that was done was a bunch of blather on both sides of the isle. Small measures taken and big money work arounds were established.
We find ourselves somewhere in the 30s range as to health care efficiency when measured against other developed nations.

On a personal level, I am praying that there are not a great number of women who subsrcibe to Wisconsin Shared Risk Plan (for whatever reason, health issues of husband, child or self) over the age of 45 who would decide to roll the dice and have another baby. Should those babies be premies my insurance will cover it but as insurance companies tend to do, they will raise their premium rates to off set their costs. Given that I have no choice as to where to purchase insurance, the $130,000.00 that needs to be earmarked for the next five years, will not be enough.
Don't want to care what others do but it does affect me !


77krolik
Mar 7, 2012, 1:04pm Top

>61 timspalding: With private insurance, we choose a product. We are in control of the limits.

I'm sorry, but this is where class kicks in. ("Class," I hasten to add, is not a dirty word, even if lots of people don't like to use it.) Tim, your statement will evoke chuckles, if not guffaws, as well as unpleasant outbursts, in many circles.

Of course that doesn't prove that they're right and you're wrong. But it's safe to say that you, and they, hang out in different realities.

Now I'll indulge in an armchair, untested sociological hypothesis, which I strongly suspect is true: the kind of Friedmanesque sentiment expressed in your statement, as well as the reaction of those who live in a different reality, will be a more accurate predictor of the income level and social status of the individual and his/her parents, for individuals of either group, than it will be of general standards or benchmarks about health, which would empirically apply to both groups.

78StormRaven
Edited: Mar 7, 2012, 1:21pm Top

With private insurance, we choose a product. We are in control of the limits.

The government regulates all kinds of products to determine what they can and cannot include. Exactly why is regulation of the "product" of health insurance different?

79Arctic-Stranger
Mar 7, 2012, 1:34pm Top

Having lived in a country with a much better health care system than ours (Germany) and having worked in the health care industry for three years (and thus not an expert) and having worked in a state legislature for three years, I am coming to believe that our fear of national health care is one of the most illogical and harmful fears we have.

80theoria
Edited: Mar 7, 2012, 1:49pm Top

79> Fear of a federal mandate is the most illogical fear especially when it now comes from the same people who just a few years ago argued such a mandate would inculcate "personal responsibility" for one's own health insurance. Suddenly the value of such personal responsibility has become an outrageous, even socialistic, denial of individual liberty.

81timspalding
Edited: Mar 7, 2012, 9:36pm Top

The government regulates all kinds of products to determine what they can and cannot include. Exactly why is regulation of the "product" of health insurance different?

One answer would be that health insurance of necessity involves delicate questions of morality and painful issues of life and death not present in the governments insistence that, say, commercial flour not contain more than X parts per million of beetles. Another would be that the government doesn't require that purchase any other product.

82lawecon
Mar 7, 2012, 9:44pm Top

~81

You know, it is interesting, but even the most adamant opponent of "national health care" doesn't really want freedom in health care. It would apparently be the end of civilization if:

(1) Anyone could hang out a shingle to provide health care, just so long as they didn't lie about what sort of medical certification they had or didn't have.

(2) Individual consumers could decide whether to consume any particular medicine, with or without medical counsel and in any amounts they chose.

(3) Anyone could dispense such medicines on no more conditions than any meat supplier supplies meat.

True, it works for food, clothing and shelter, and even less regulation works for what Americans put into their minds, but it would NEVER work for medical substances ingested. NEVER. EVER. As I'm sure Tim will now explain.

83timspalding
Mar 7, 2012, 10:37pm Top

I think greater freedom in those spheres would be beneficial, but it's childish to propose that because someone is wary of broad federal intervention in a given sphere of American life, they are hypocrites if they continue to support any regulation whatsoever.

One can compare small and big all day, throwing out such claims. You don't favor military occupation of American towns? But the government already regulates the purchasing of military hardware by civilians and has National Guard stockpiles here and there! You don't favor federal control of the publishing industry? But the federal government already gives some monies to libraries who have an influence on publishers! You're not consistent!

Ah, high school debate-team tactics…

84StormRaven
Mar 8, 2012, 4:44pm Top

One answer would be that health insurance of necessity involves delicate questions of morality and painful issues of life and death not present in the governments insistence that, say, commercial flour not contain more than X parts per million of beetles.

One could say that about all kinds of commercial products that the government regulates: we regulate medical devices, medical treatments, and even car manufacturing in the name of painful issues of life and death. Just saying "it involves delicate questions" is not a get out of jail free card on the question. Someone could say they are morally opposed to race mixing, but if they worked in a restaurant, could they then refuse to serve an interracial couple? One could argue that they are opposed to women working outside of the home on religious grounds, but are they then given a free hand to discriminate on the basis of sex? We regulate issues of moral delicacy all the time. This is not substantially different.

Another would be that the government doesn't require that purchase any other product.

Now you're talking about the individual mandate, which is different than the regulation of what kind of product can be placed on the market. But no one is telling people they have to get particular coverage in the case of contraception, only that employers must offer it as an option to their employees. And we regulate the conditions under which employers can deal with their employees all the time and further, no one has to become an employer, so the "compulsory purchase" argument doesn't really hold up. You don't have to own a car, but if you do, most states will require you to purchase car insurance (and will define the minimum coverage that is required) or pay some sort of penalty for not doing so. You don't have to employ someone, but if you do, there doesn't seem to be any real reason why the government could not require you to provide them the option of health care coverage under defined terms.

85faceinbook
Mar 8, 2012, 4:53pm Top

Insurance premium update : Statement arrived by today's post.....between the two of us, premiums up by $379.....every time we get a new invoice it changes. Every three months it goes up. Nice ! Not sustainable ! I know that we are not alone.
We have the NERVE, as American citizens, to have a history of health issues and survived them.

86timspalding
Edited: Mar 8, 2012, 5:00pm Top

Just saying "it involves delicate questions" is not a get out of jail free card on the question.

I agree. But it factors into a rational, considered approach to the issue. (I know, the thought that that would go on!) The same sort of argument about the intrusion of the state into delicate, personal issues is used by the left on, say, abortion. The government shouldn't get in the sacred, personal space between a woman and her doctor except, you know, when the left approves of the outcome.

Someone could say they are morally opposed to race mixing, but if they worked in a restaurant, could they then refuse to serve an interracial couple? … We regulate issues of moral delicacy all the time. This is not substantially different.

Percent of US economy taken up by racist diner industry: 0.0001%
Percent of US economy taken up by health care industry: 17%

Now you're talking about the individual mandate, which is different than the regulation of what kind of product can be placed on the market.

I do not acknowledge the distinction. Surely constraints placed on the sale of a product are relatively more severe when you are REQUIRED to buy the product. This seems only logical. If the government changes the rules on bouncy houses, well, don't buy one. If they government changes the rules and then requires everyone to buy a bouncy house, it becomes an issue for everything and relatively more serious. I'm startled that the obviousness of this escapes you.

further, no one has to become an employer, so the "compulsory purchase" argument doesn't really hold up

No, it's an individual mandate. If you don't purchase insurance, you are in violation of the law. Perhaps you don't read the paper?

87timspalding
Mar 8, 2012, 4:59pm Top

A final comment: Nothing I say should be taken as the view that health care would be great if "left to the market" or whatever. As George Will once said of the Israel/Palestine issue, health care is not a problem, but a mess. No single measure is going to make health care go away as a problem. You might make it a little better, but real progress is going to take many iterations of change, and, unless you plan to assume dictatorial powers, you can't imagine that any change won't be transformed by the circumstances of its doing. It's a big ball of gunk and anyone who claims they know how to fix it has failed to understand it.

88faceinbook
Mar 8, 2012, 5:00pm Top

Wonder if sending out statements, every three months, for insurance premiums that include such drastic rate hikes could be considered an act of terroism ?

89faceinbook
Mar 8, 2012, 5:06pm Top

>87 timspalding:
Agree 100%.

However, failure to do anything is going to lead to drastic measures. Bigger the problem becomes the bigger the solution is going to have to be. Dragging our feet for the past 60 years or so hasn't been all that helpful.

Personally, I can not see a way to make a "for profit" system beneficial for society. The very fact that more money is being generated by unhealthy people isn't a sound principle to achieve the best possible outcome.

90StormRaven
Mar 8, 2012, 5:11pm Top

"The government shouldn't get in the sacred, personal space between a woman and her doctor except, you know, when the left approves of the outcome."

Except no one is advocating that. Any woman who decides to decline contraception is not obligated to get it.

"Percent of US economy taken up by racist diner industry: 0.0001%
Percent of US economy taken up by health care industry: 17%
"

Now tell us the percent of the U.S. economy that would be affected by the racist diner industry without such regulation? How common was this sort of naked racism when the rules against it were put into effect?

Your flip answer tells me you actually aren't treating this with a "a rational, considered approach to the issue". You're just dodging the situation.

"Surely constraints placed on the sale of a product are relatively more severe when you are REQUIRED to buy the product."

Except no one is being told they have to buy contraceptive coverage. Which, if you go back and read my actual response and not the conveniently sliced portion you quoted, I pointed out. That's the distinction you aren't getting. It is being advocated that it must be offered, but not advocated that anyone must obtain it or use it.

Suppose you were to work for a business owned by a Jehovah's Witness. Should they be able to tell you that they won't provide health insurance that covers blood transfusions?

91timspalding
Edited: Mar 8, 2012, 6:09pm Top

Except no one is advocating that

This is where the weirdness comes in. Some on the left have persuaded themselves that a federal takeover of health care is not a consequential intrusion into personal health care decisions, but an exception that permits religious employers—amounting to a percent or two of employment—to not offer contraception in their health insurance is.

Here's the test. If you favor a single payer system, and the robust regulations of what's covered by insurance and so forth, please imagine what happens when conservative Republicans are in charge of that system. Put the whole healthcare insurance system under the Federal government and then imagine Santorum as the head of Department of Health and Human Services. That's the danger statists never seem to factor in—that the systems and powers established under politicians they like will eventually fall to those they don't like.

Suppose you were to work for a business owned by a Jehovah's Witness. Should they be able to tell you that they won't provide health insurance that covers blood transfusions?

That would definitely be a reason not to work for Jehovah's Witness. Weirdly enough, I'd be okay with that. I don't consider myself entitled to health care services that violate the conscience of the person paying for my health care. I'd also be okay with allowing Amish employers absent themselves from any future requirement to buy me a gun.

92faceinbook
Mar 8, 2012, 6:35pm Top

>91 timspalding:

"Here's the test. If you favor a single payer system, and the robust regulations of what's covered by insurance and so forth, please imagine what happens when conservative Republicans are in charge of that system. Put the whole healthcare insurance system under the Federal government and then imagine Santorum as the head of Department of Health and Human Services. That's the danger statists never seem to factor in—that the systems and powers established under politicians they like will eventually fall to those they don't like."

http://www.thepoptort.com/2012/03/the-war-on-womens-reproductive-health-even-jus...

And the Republicans aren't trying to regulate health care now ? I don't have the statistics but after the last election, the first thing newly elected Republican's legislated was the most laws against women's choices since the 1980s. They ran on job creation and the economy and put the hammer down on women. Several states are now allowing employers to dictate to insurance companies what women can have covered by insurance.

I don't hear them legislating about knee replacements or kidney transplants or even, once again, Viagra perscriptions. This is targeted at women specifically. Women will pay more for what they need and typically they still earn less then men.....men are the primary voters on these issues involving women.
What kind of idiocy is this ?
Is this not "government run" healthcare ?
If this continues, there is no way any Republican can claim to want to keep the government out of our health care. Whose health care ? Women's ? or theirown ? They are picking and choosing which issues they want to keep government free. For women across the country it is currently a reality.
How can Conservative's even begin to claim that they aren't in favor of government run health care when they are continuing down this path to eliminating a woman's right....both to contraceptive care and abortion issues ?
Saw a news clip with a bunch of men holding signs....one sign said "The Pill Kills" REALLY.....a guy ?
This seriously is like having a nightmare of the 60s. Thought we had won this battle. Along come disgruntled men, bent on seizing control of something , a healthy dose of religious based bias and we find ourselves taking steps backwards.

If it is to be this way, we might as well go all the way and make it cheaper for everyone.

93Jesse_wiedinmyer
Mar 8, 2012, 6:49pm Top

I don't hear them legislating about knee replacements or kidney transplants or even, once again, Viagra perscriptions.

http://www.nytimes.com/1999/06/30/us/insurance-for-viagra-spurs-coverage-for-bir...

94faceinbook
Mar 8, 2012, 7:07pm Top

"make it cheaper for everyone."

Sorry take that back....it would spread the cost evenly. Which of course would mean that some would pay more, other's less.

>93 Jesse_wiedinmyer:
Yes...I knew that the drug Viagra was a primary reason contraceptives were eventually covered by insurance. Hypocrisy is ugly. As the article pointed out, the use of Viagra is medical where as contracetives can be elective (not always) However, based on the profits realized by the drug companies due to Viagra sales, it is pretty evident that Viagra is also a recreational drug.

There is little left in our health care system that I trust. Worked in the system from the late 70s to the late 90s. It has changed so profoundly that if you are familiar with how it used to work and what goes on now, you find that you are experiencing some huge trust issues when it comes to our current system.

95lawecon
Mar 8, 2012, 9:01pm Top

~83

You know, I've got the pattern down now.

Strawman
Strawman
Irrelevancy
"You're ridiculous because you endorse a position different than mine. Facts and actual arguments being made don't matter. What matters is what seems "reasonable" to me."

96faceinbook
Mar 8, 2012, 9:17pm Top

Watching Rachel Maddow. She had the numbers. Since the last election there have been over 600 new laws enacted regarding either abortion and/or contraction. There are over 400 waiting to be voted on. Including laws that would close many women's health centers.
Why are the newly elected Republican's being so efficient in this matter while holding up progress on most everything else ?

97StormRaven
Mar 8, 2012, 11:06pm Top

Some on the left have persuaded themselves that a federal takeover of health care is not a consequential intrusion into personal health care decisions, but an exception that permits religious employers—amounting to a percent or two of employment—to not offer contraception in their health insurance is.

Just a few posts ago you dismissed the impact of regulating "racist diners" because they were only a tiny percent of the economy and as a result it doesn't trample on "delicate issues of morality" to do so. Now you say that the small percentage of employers affected with this regulation is a reason not to do it. Which is it?

Or is it that you're just flailing and desperately grasping at whatever argument seems to you to be likely to work?

Here's the test. If you favor a single payer system, and the robust regulations of what's covered by insurance and so forth, please imagine what happens when conservative Republicans are in charge of that system. Put the whole healthcare insurance system under the Federal government and then imagine Santorum as the head of Department of Health and Human Services. That's the danger statists never seem to factor in—that the systems and powers established under politicians they like will eventually fall to those they don't like.

Okay, let's see, maybe they'd seek to prevent women from having access to contraception. Which is exactly what they are trying to do anyway. So are you trying to say that the Santorum's of the world will stop their attempts to regulate reproductive health issues if the "left' just stops trying to secure access to a full range of health care coverage for women? I mean, it's not like they would try to pass a law letting doctors lie to women to prevent women from making informed choices on their own? Oh wait, they already did.

98timspalding
Edited: Mar 9, 2012, 12:08am Top

Since the last election there have been over 600 new laws enacted regarding either abortion and/or contraction. There are over 400 waiting to be voted on. Including laws that would close many women's health centers.

Therefore, the government needs more control over health care!

Put another way, if you advocate government control over heath care, don't complain if government controls heath care. Like any number of figures in Greek mythology, you get what you asked for, but something goes wrong in the implementation.

So are you trying to say that the Santorum's of the world will stop their attempts to regulate reproductive health issues if the "left' just stops trying to secure access to a full range of health care coverage for women?

No. Clearly health care is now game for government action. In the last few decades it's moved from a personal and sometimes state concern to being yet another federal concern. What used to be a concern between a woman and her doctor is now decided by Senators from states she'll never visit, let alone vote in. There's probably no climbing down from this—certainly the Federal government has relinquished few powers, once taken up. Realistically, you can no longer restore the world of a woman and her doctor. You've got to fight tooth and nail to make sure the government officials in the examining room telling everyone what to do are "your" sort.

However, I do think bureaucracies are more dangerous than laws. Bureaucracies are less responsive to democratic pressures, and they have a tendency to grow and defend themselves.

Just a few posts ago you dismissed the impact of regulating "racist diners" because they were only a tiny percent of the economy and as a result it doesn't trample on "delicate issues of morality" to do so. Now you say that the small percentage of employers affected with this regulation is a reason not to do it. Which is it?

You seem to misunderstand me. I was not saying it was a reason not to do it. The "it" was allowing Catholic hospitals to decide their insurance, not the opposite.

In any case, when the topic is the right amount of state intervention, size matters.

99AsYouKnow_Bob
Mar 9, 2012, 12:24am Top

#96, #97: Why is the GOP anti-woman? Well, women are solidly anti-republican.

In 2008, voting men were evenly split between Obama and McCain; but women were overwhelmingly for Obama, giving him a near-landslide victory.

Old white men were the only major demographic to resoundingly go for McCain; and apparently, the GOP has decided to double down on them. (And apparently forgetting that two million old white men have died since the last election....)

100prosfilaes
Mar 9, 2012, 1:19am Top

#61: With private insurance, we choose a product. We are in control of the limits.

Not really; for most people, there's very tight limits on how much they can spend on health insurance. If you work at Wal-Mart as a cashier, you get a "death panel" with a very low limit.

I seriously doubt the rich are ever going to be in a situation where they can't pay to get as much health care as they want, even if they have to fly to Russia or Dubai for it. The rest of us have better odds with government health care then private.

What's wrong with government censorship of books? We have censors now! What does it matter that the government does the choosing, rather than the publisher—or the reader?

I've heard no one complain that current system stops books from being published that need to be published. We're printing a huge variety of books; the system's working.

Our current mess of health care isn't working.

101faceinbook
Mar 9, 2012, 8:26am Top

>98 timspalding:
"Put another way, if you advocate government control over heath care, don't complain if government controls heath care. Like any number of figures in Greek mythology, you get what you asked for, but something goes wrong in the implementation."

Maybe government needs to control the COST of healthcare ?
The measures taken now by Republican lawmakers are only going to ADD to the cost of an already unaffordable system. Taking care of women's issues BEFORE they become a further burden on the already over burdened system seems to me to be Conservative, yet, the Conservatives in control are creating higher costs for everyone.
Not sure I understand exactly what your suggestion would be ? Do you agree with the agenda of the current Republican party, in so far as women's healthcare is concerned ? What would you offer people who have been ill and are reaching the point of not having anything left to feed into the system ?
There are enough people paying into the system to keep it going but it is not sustainable. Guess the bright side is that eventually, the decisions made by these lawmakers will tip the scales....at which point they will lose elections and the Democrats will draft a single payer system. Democrats will then take the blame for all kinds of socialist behaviors, not much different than when the last administration dumped an enormous economic mess on the incoming administration in 2000.

"#61: With private insurance, we choose a product. We are in control of the limits. "

NO. We don't all have choices. Given the fact that many older people continue to work long after they want to (taking jobs from our youth) so as to maintain healthcare coverage, those who have been ill pay dearly and there are no limits for them as to how high it can go and the system is structured to keep people coming back to reuse it, I would say that more individuals are finding that their choices are becoming smaller rather than greater...

It will change. Matter of time. It will not be the government's "fault" however.

102StormRaven
Mar 9, 2012, 8:51am Top

Clearly health care is now game for government action. In the last few decades it's moved from a personal and sometimes state concern to being yet another federal concern.

Government regulating health care in this area has a much longer history than the last few decades. People forget that cases like Griswold v. Connecticut and Roe v. Wade exist solely because government was regulating areas that are now regarded as health care. The current state of affairs is the result of fighting tooth and nail for decades to overturn restrictive rules that were previously in place.

103faceinbook
Mar 9, 2012, 9:07am Top

>102 StormRaven:
Yep ! Clearly it is time to dust off the bell bottoms, dig out the patcholi oil and posse up !

104theoria
Mar 9, 2012, 10:01am Top

Republicans are shocked to discover insurance companies are regulated.

105krolik
Mar 9, 2012, 1:57pm Top

>103 faceinbook:
I thought I was on board but now you've scared me, big-time...

106faceinbook
Mar 9, 2012, 4:05pm Top

>105 krolik:
Imagine that.....bunch of women from the sixties wearing recycled bell bottoms and trailing a cloud of patcholi.
Might make the lawmakers think twice ?

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