Opening up the health insurance market to more vigorous nationwide competition, as we have done over the last decade in banking, would provide more choices of innovative products less burdened by the worst excesses of state-based regulation.
McCain is done. Unless Obama does something completely crazy in the next 5 weeks I think Obama will win. McCain/Palin finally seem to be collapsing under the weight of their own stupidity!
Ed in NJ
I’m seeing this quoted everywhere today. Just a devastating statement for a campaign desperately trying to distance themselves from the Bush policies that destroyed the economy. Takes down McCain’s message on the economy and healthcare in one concise sentence.
...now I try to be amused
Very obliging of McCain to play into Obama’s “out of touch” and “more of the same” narratives in a single statement.
Is there video of McCain saying that? Hard to imagine a better campaign ad at the moment.
I think that it’s the word “we” that clinches the problem for McCain: “We” are responsible for removing those “pesky” state regulations that slowed bankers from offering all those “innovative” products.
And just so you know: “We” made sure that when states became alarmed about the lack of disclosure and indicia of fraud in the subprime market, they couldn’t do anything about it.
As someone who grew up in a manufacturing town, it always sounds like fingernails across a blackboard when I hear about financial “products.”
Obviously he means that by allowing health insurance companies to DWTFTW for a few years they would become 2Big 2Fail. That way when things went all wahooni shaped the government could sweep in and save them.
State-based regulation = DFH commie lieberul strangling of the free market.
State-based bail outs = God’s plan to keep capitalism alive.
Krugman points out that this quote isn’t old – it’s from like a month ago, or as he put it – “like 10 seconds ago” McCain was all in favor of deregulation and the magical power of the markets to solve everything. Now he’s a pro big-government regulator.
The focus of any ad with this quote in it should be how McCain is willing to gamble on your health and social security, like a gambler in Vegas.
“McCain wants make your healthcare work like the stock market. Does that sound like something you can rely on? McCain also wants to put your Social Security at risk in the stock market? Does that sound like something you can rely on? McCain – willing to gamble your health and financial future” (obviously this sounds like crap because I’m not a copywriter, but you get the idea).
With Republicans you get the worst of all worlds – huge government that costs a ton, but doesn’t help people Money’s not being spent on stuff that matters, there’s no oversight to prevent waste/abuse (or ensure efficacy) and because they refuse to raise taxes, they’re destroying our fiscal security.
As PJ O Rourke said, “Republicans, the party that campaigns on the premise that government is incompetent. And then they get elected and prove it”.
Merry Christmas Obama campaign! — McCain.
Lie baby, lie!
Unleash this quote far and wide across the Internet.
McCain is screwed.
You Liberals think you’re so smart, just because you warned us about deregulating the financial markets, and that tax cuts for the rich would balloon the deficits, and that occupying Iraq was a bad idea, and that Republican policies may sound good in theory, but don’t really work when applied.
Well, you still suck.
This is, btw, what’s actually happening. There are so few controls on most companies that they regularly deny legitimate claims (in many states) without fear of pay back, they lower coverage levels and raise rates to keep profits up, they pay doctors less or make them jump through more hoops to get the same money, pawn off the actually sick onto the government, etc.
So the libertarians and republicans are forcing us to “fiddle away” until there’s a crisis so bad the government has to nationalize the industry.
I hated Sully’s performance on Maher as much as everyone else, but he did have one good quote, which I think was Churchill: “I love Americans. They always Americans always exhaust every possible opportunity to do things wrong before settling on the right way.”
The tax credit that McBlowJob is trying to claim ‘offsets’ his tax on health care benifits is worth 33% of the value in cash so $5000 (marrired) is all of $1650 but you get taxed at full rate for the fucking benifits; that is, all payments including when you use your medical benifits! This is only a method to get the medical benifits off the books of corps and make American middle class pay for all health care costs. People who vote repubic are beyound stupid – this program is criminal
Obama is a better campaigner than either Gore or Kerry, but I think this quoted bit also represents a part of his success so far. Between a strong and vocal blogosphere, nascent left-wing voices in the general media (Rachel Maddow, for instances), and increasingly visible left-wing pundits (this quote first got broad circulation when Paul Krugman highlighted it on his blog), today there’s much more infrastructure for pushing these sorts of things than there was 4 or 8 years ago. It’s not as strong as the Limbaugh/Fox News/general head-up-ass-punditry web that the right has built over the last couple of decades, but it’s there, and it’s making a difference.
McCain should have allowed Sarah Palin to sell AIG on E-Bay.
and the panic striken search for kerning errors in that magazine interview begins in 3, 2, 1…
Actual quote from a friend of mine at Merril: “No one could have anticipated that this would happen.”
How dare anyone question the credibility of John McCain as a regulator after he spent five half-decades as a POW*?
*POW = Practitioner Of (economic) Wingnutism
Check out the lede:
Racism is the unspoken, unfixable burden of Obama’s campaign. This aint even close to “done”.
I hope I don’t crash you all again, but I just linked to you from Swampland.
It’s more accurate to say we’ve got ’em in a frying pan with the burner on, that’s heating up enough to start making sizzling noises, but we haven’t got ’em cooked enough just yet to be safe that we won’t wake up deathly sick from food poisoning the morning after election day.
With a more rational electorate, McCain would at best have had at best a couple of brief periods of being within high single digits of Obama before fading to between ten and twenty points behind, and no real chance of winning. An electorate that can go for Bush twice still has the potential for a very thin majority being bamboozled again in enough key electoral states to eke out a win.
You forget that there’s still six weeks for the Bush Administration to engineer some sort of foreign policy surprise (that will turn into another disaster by after the election, but all that matters to them is engineering some temporarily favorable terrain for McCainthrough the election).
Being black is Obama’a biggest gaffe. He needs to issue an apology.
It’s not an interview. It’s an article written with McCain on the byline–I don’t actually think he wrote the thing himself, even though there’s a “my friends” in the second paragraph.
Gee, ya think?
I await the McCain campaign commercials at the end of the month, when he realizes that only open racism can give him hope of winning.
My bad. Thanks for the correction.
What do you think the chances are that some schmuck will be trotted out as the ghostwriter who put McCain’s name on the piece “without checking to see if it really reflected Sen. McCain’s views”?
They have to distance him from this, it is way too toxic.
We are going to have yet another moment of “the campaign does not speak for the candidate” (or visa-versa, whichever is more convenient).
I’d like to believe that, but I’m not sure. I still think Obama will win, but I’m not all the way there, simply because it seems like he should be ahead by ten points by now. I know he’s a black guy whose middle name is Hussein, so he’s down a point or two for no other reason, but I’m starting to worry a little. But maybe, just maybe, it’ll go the way of Reagan versus Carter in 1980, where the coming big win won’t show up in the polls until the very end.
I’m hoping that Barack Obama fits into these people’s heads as the “exception” to their racism. You know, along the lines of “Oh, not that guy. He’s ok. He’s not like those other people.”
Even Steven Colbert has one “black friend.” Barack Obama can be racist America’s black friend.
This quote is a killer. The McCain camp is thrashing around desperately and McCain is sounding crankier and crankier. How long before we hear stuff like this in his speeches:
“This was like the time I caught the ferry over to Shelbyville. I needed a new heel for my shoe, so, I decided to go to Morganville, which is what they called Shelbyville in those days. So I tied an onion to my belt, which was the style at the time. Now, to take the ferry cost a nickel, and in those days, nickels had pictures of bumblebees on ‘em. “Give me five bees for a quarter,” you’d say. Now where were we? Oh yeah – the important thing was I had an onion on my belt, which was the style at the time. They didn’t have white onions because of the war. The only thing you could get was those big yellow ones…”
Wait . . . I just re-read McCain’s “deregulate the health industry like the banking industry” statement, and realized what he’s saying:
If we deregulate the health industry, then it’ll collapse just like the financial institutions have, and then the Fed will have to come in and nationalize it! National health care the hard way!
What a maverick he is.
Maybe someone else with a little more knowledge in this particular field can remind me, but how does this differ from the sort of proposals that have been suggested or enacted in the past twenty or so years? The idea of competition lowering prices makes a lot of sense, but the health insurance and health care markets seem so different than any others than it’s not so obvious.
The Moar You Know
Yep. If racism weren’t a factor, Obama would never have slipped below a double-digit lead – that’s how truly awful McCain has been. It is a real problem, it will not appear in polls, and I think this election at best is going to be terrifyingly close.
As for racist Democrats, I recall reading an article at Salon.com recently, “What Small-Town America is saying about Obama.” These quotes from a couple of interviewees show how some people who are subtly racist may still end up voting for Obama:
Race is only going to be one factor among many that people may consider. The GOP could of course have a field day by stoking racial resentment, which may still happen in this campaign yet, but they’ll have to find a way to do that which doesn’t trigger its own backlash among moderate Republicans who consider themselves to be enlightened on matters of race.
Also, I can’t imagine any economic-type racial resentment arguments that wouldn’t also malign working-class whites. Poor Latinos are really the ideal scapegoat in this economy, and the McCain campaign doesn’t want to go there.
This is for John (Cole, that is, not McCain):
Racism is the unspoken, unfixable burden of Obama’s campaign.
Racism and general xenophobia/bigotry.
The BBC people crossing the country in a bus stopped in Arizona, and the reporter said he asked some people who they were voting for. He said they replied “I’m Christian”.
I take that to mean “I’m Christian so I’m not voting for the Muslim”.
He’s got a funny name, yo.
right. i was up in Cleveland last week and talked to a bunch of people who are lifelong Dems and who will vote for Obama, but are nevertheless far more racist than anyone i’ve ever seen in the south. so a person can be generally and overtly racist (“the blacks…”, “the ragheads…”, etc.), but that doesn’t mean he or she can’t recognize that Obama himself is a smart, decent and serious guy, and that McCain’s a doddering old lunatic.
This is pretty hilarious.
This conservative blogger thinks he’s uncovered some nefarious conspiracy at Gallup to make Obama’s numbers better than they really are in the daily tracking poll. He thinks they’ve changed the party identification weights in their poll to increase the percentage of Democrats. So he concludes that Obama’s real support is actually several points lower than what the poll says.
At first, it looks kind of convincing. Obama loses support in pretty much every category of party identification, and McCain gains, so why is he now ahead by four or five points?
Simple. He’s using numbers for Sept 8-14, and claiming that they’re up to the 18th. Sept 8-14 was right in the middle of McCain’s bounce.
If polling is a fairly accurate reflection of the desires of the electorate, you have to think this information is already reflected in the numbers, to a large degree. This isn’t to say that in a close race in Virginia or Ohio, the Bradley effect, such as it is, won’t make a difference, but I don’t understand why so many people expect large portions of different sub groups to turn against Obama on election day.
When can we start calling these people what they really are, which is modern day Pharisees?
and there’s also this, referencing the (increasingly discredited) maestro:
Like Mike Huckabee, who joked recently that he “may not be the expert that some people are on foreign policy, but I did stay in a Holiday Inn Express last night,” McCain suggested to reporters Monday that American consumer culture offered a short cut to expertise. “The issue
of economics is not something I’ve understood as well as I should,” McCain said. “I’ve got Greenspan’s book.”
What’s wrong with ‘assholes’?
Also very important re: “I’m a Christian”: Abortion and gay rights. Remember, you may be denied communion if you support a candidate who is pro-choice, and many churches are virulently homophobic.
Culture wars + xenophobia + racism = G.O.P.
Desmond: That’s Wizbang for you, epic fail.
When the polls have been close, the MSM meme is: why is it close? Obama should be up by a lot. There must be a racial component to things.
When the polls have been up for Obama, the MSM meme is: Obama could still lost this due to the racial component.
Obama’s got to be one of the least-threatening African Americans walking the Earth, and he still can’t catch a break.
It’s 3:00 a.m. A phone rings in the White House….
“Mr. President, we are all Chinese now.”
game, set and match
From the Anonymous Liberal:
Of course, the McCain campaign is so committed to its “all lies all the time strategy” that would have no trouble denying McCain’s statements about the banking industry even if someone could show that it had a “I’m John McCain and I approve this message” endorsement attached to it.
The short answer is that in the real world, companies to everything they can to eliminate competition and to raise prices, and the Republicans do everything they can to excuse and to support monopoly practices.
For example, when gas prices shot up, you inevitably would find conservative pundits loyally serving their masters by claiming that gas prices were actually lower than ever when adjusted for inflation.
And Republicans claim that deregulation brings more competition but then look on approvingly as mergers and consolidations inevitably result in fewer players controlling the market. Again, the bootlickers among the conservative pundit class come out and dutifully explain that less competition is good because the new and improved mega-companies are … wait for it … more efficient than lots of smaller companies competing for business.
Great point, and the many ways that this is true makes it difficult for anyone to say that they know exactly how effective health care reform should happen.
Quick example. The demand for high quality medical care and expert practitioners is high, the de facto standard. Low cost “alternatives” are always quacks and incompetents.
Jake, it’s Jackie Robinson Syndrome. The trailblazer has to be stellar in their chosen profession, above any hint of reproach in their private life, and willng to absorb abuse over their outsider status without apparent resentment.
… the good news is that a successful trailblazer eventually makes it possible for their successors to be merely human. In the time of Jackie Robinson it was impossible to have a Black guy in Major League Baseball who was a mediocre player or a lousy human being, and now it has become unremarkable, and that’s a very good thing. The real test isn’t whether the Jackie Robinsons can succeed, it’s the fates of competitors who are as good as, but no better than, those competitors defined as insiders.
Dennis - SGMM
OT: Anyone seen the ad from “Vets for Freedom” castigating Obama for being wrong about the surge? Turns out that he was probably right:
So the question becomes: Are Democratic racists more or less racist than Republican sexists are sexist?
This election may well be decided by the number of assholes who stay home and sulk on Nov. 4, 2008.
Yep. The AP is assuming bigots think in a logical manner. Shit, try telling some knuckledragging sheet wearer that Clarence Thomas is a useless sack of crap and see what happens.
By the way, Markos uses some heavy-duty poll numbers from New Mexico to slap around the MN GOP idiot blowing smoke about Hispanic voters.
The Bradley Effect is good for maybe three to five points at most, not thirty to forty. And as has been pointed out already, good pollsters try to measure and adjust for it.
Juan Cole (no relation, I presume) has more on this today, and has been pointing out the thorny question of the surge’s effect on ethnic cleansing in Baghdad for quite some time now.
From July 24th:
Once again, Juan Cole pwns the Kagans.
My understanding is that there exist giant concrete wall/barriers currently separating sectarian neighborhoods in Iraq. Some time ago I caught a video made by an Iraqi journalist pointing this out, as well as how difficult it was to move about the city. That’s not a state of affairs that’s sustainable.
But when was the last time you saw ANY MSM reporting of the state of things in Iraq on the teevee? Some time ago, really before the surge, they stopped covering Iraq. It seems clear that violence is down, but the actual conditions in the city remain a mystery to the general public, as does the fact that the Iraqis can’t make much of any political progress.
The house of cards that is Baghdad will surely collapse under its own weight when we leave. I don’t care. We just need to get the fuck out of dodge and let them figure it out on their own. The suggestion that we could help them do that has always been a big fucking scam.
Wow. Gives full name, job, and residence. I’m guessing he’s out of a job by Monday. A manager says this openly? Fired.
Freedom of speech. If he was talking to the reporter on his own time, it is protected by the 1st Amendment. If he’s explicitly fired because of it, he has a good case for wrongful termination.
– Voltaire (apocryphal)
Pssst, Phoenix Woman, we’re from MN, GOP idiot is from NM.
Were you anywhere close to the Palin/McCain rally yesterday?
Palin gets a new nickname: SnowJob SquareGlasses
Dennis - SGMM
According to UNHCR, more than 4.7 million Iraqis (Roughly 1/5 of the population)have left their homes. Two million are refugees in surrounding countries with the other 2.7 million being internally displaced.
It’s just a matter of branding: “The Surge is working” sounds much better than “The ethnic cleansing is working.”
THANK YOU AKADad!!!!! You liberals do not realize that every time you are right you only HURT YOURSELVES becasue you are all smarty pants elitists who think they know better than the rest of us. Well hahaha the joke is on you we will elect a humble man who is not afraid to be wrong and that man is John McCain. That will show you and I bet you are sorry now.
Fired by whom? Who within 100 miles of Manistique, Mich. is gonna have a problem with that statement? Or is there another Michigan besides the one I know?
Charles M. Blow FTW!
It doesn’t make sense when you approach it from a different angle.
For toaster ovens, if the market finds itself unable to provide the product or if the market self-destructs in an orgy of greed, nobody would care.
For your retirement money, your home mortgage, your electricity, your water, your ability to see a doctor, everybody would care. Those of us in California remember a summer when the state would pay any amount of money to get electricity because, damnit, we don’t have jobs without power and we like it when our hospital ventilators work.
The free market is great for iPods and toaster ovens and bicycles and radial tires and I don’t see any reason why it shouldn’t be promoted to the ends of the earth. But there are certain things that we consider to be ‘critical’, either critical to us personally (like health care) or critical to the economy (like the power grid) that should NEVER be entirely turned over to a group that put profit above security. The free market requires not just freedom to choose between vendors, but also freedom to not participate at all. We don’t have that choice with health care, or electricity, or a lot of things. When people can’t opt out of a market, it’s no longer free no matter how many companies are there, and consumers are captives. With enough players, it can work okay, but when consolidation reduces the number of players to the point that they can conspire (overtly or otherwise) then consumers are trapped. Companies can raise prices and consumers don’t have the ability to refuse to pay. That’s why Enron blew up so badly. That’s why oil prices bear no relationship to extraction and transportation costs.
If the free market is so fantastic, why doesn’t the military use it? Why don’t we just hire mercenaries; buy weapons off the shelf, lowest-bidder; give out vouchers for troops to buy McDonalds; let them get their health care anywhere they want. Surely there’s a free-market solution to getting doctors onto a battlefield. We don’t do this because it’s insanely expensive, totally unreliable, and makes it impossible to plan, and the reason is that once the nation decides that it needs a military and all that comes with it, they are captive to the market and will pay any price, and the market knows that.
I’ve said it elsewhere, but it bears repeating:
Sometimes I think the right-wing just wants to take the joy of saying “I told you so” away from liberals. I used to like saying it. Now it just makes me sad.
Um . . . Blackwater, Halliburton, and KBR? More contractors in Iraq than G.I.s? And we’ve seen how well that’s going.
It is so very, very hard to create satirical “modest proposals” to mock the Republicans, because they’ve probably already done it.
The violence will end when the country is empty. That’s a true statement, and a valid strategy in a strictly technical sense. But when you have not defined your objectives for a war, these are the kinds of situations that happen.
President: So, is violence down?
General: Yes, it’s down 50% from a year ago.
President: So we’re winning!
General: Except that 50% of the people have left, so there’s really no difference than before.
President: Oh. Well, did we promise anyone that we’d leave the population intact?
General: I don’t think so…
President: So we’re winning!
They still use it in a very limited manner, and yes, we can see exactly how well that’s going.
Ethnic cleansing will continue until morale improves.
The problem with this argument is that the free market works pretty well for the ‘critical’ thing called food. Food is every bit as critical to life as health care, electricity etc and it is, except for basic health related regulations, completely free market.
I’m not a free market zombie by any stretch, but the efficient food market has always seemed like a huge, successful counter example to arguments promoting universal health care (or universal anything)
“The problem with this argument is that the free market works pretty well for the ‘critical’ thing called food.”
Look up “U.S. agricultural subsidies” sometimes.
Obama already has this McCain quote worked into his stump speech.
Uh, I’d look at the amount of agricultural support we shell out (and our turning-a-blind-eye-to-very-badly-paid-crop-pickers) before saying anything about “food” and “the free market.”
Milk. Corn. Sugar….it goes on and on.
Hell of a free market, boys.
The Bradley may not even have accurately reflected all the factors related to Bradley’s defeat in 1982. From Wikipedia (California gubernatorial election, 1982):
I don’t think that the third party votes made much difference. But GOP challenger George Deukmejian won 4 million votes in the Republican primary, while Bradley had garnered 2.6 million votes in the Democratic primary, so Bradley had a larger hurdle to overcome in the general election. And even though total turnout was 70%, black voter turnout was relatively low, with some black conventional wisdom based on the self-defeating notion that an African American candidate could not win a state-wide election.
And old blog link I found makes the point about Bradley very elegantly:
The contemporary equivalent of bogus conventional wisdom is that the surge is working and that Republicans know how to handle the economy.
At this rate, I’m not sure Obama even needs to show up for the debates. Just put McCain up there in split-screen and let him debate himself. That’s pretty much what his campaign has been reduced to anyway.
Obama’s been rising in the polls all week. Mooselini’s favorability ratings are in the toilet, and she’s now proving to be what we all thought she would be originally: a lead anchor on the ticket. Then there’s Grandpa Simpson, flailing around incoherently, repudiating his previous positions and policies – sometimes just hours after stating them. The McCain campaign is, at this point, a spectacular trainwreck.
Barring a major gaffe, I think all Obama and Biden need is a competent performance in the debates to seal the deal. Still, no need to be complacent – if you’re worried, donate. Volunteer. Do whatever you can to help out.
Quoting John McCain with a good-humored smile, as the audience cracks up. So, so, so good.
Those McCain and Gramm quotes are just killer.
Best Obama crowd-pleasing line:
How many times have all of us said this, regarding the McCain campaign and Republican tactics? This kind of thing will resonate.
And I am so glad that Social Security is back in the debate.
They do know how to handle it. They handle the hell out of it. It’s file-an-assault-claim-style-handling, but it is being handled ;)
But food’s not health care.
First, people can predict their food needs. Very few people can predict their health care needs, so they take out insurance.
Problem with health care insurance is that it’s extremely inefficient. It’s simply an empirical fact that it would be cheaper for the nation as a whole if we gutted the current semi-private/semi-public health insurance system and replaced it with nationalized health insurance.
Now, most people stop there. But IMHO health care itself—not just the insurance—should be nationalized. Why? Because the health care industry is beset by extreme market failures.
In particular, the incentive of the health care industry is to treat. That could mean drugs (which might not be very effective) or surgery (which might be unnecessary—cf spinal fusion for lower back pain). Whereas what the consumer needs is an optimal long-term health outcome. Those aren’t necessarily compatible, and certainly many treatments do little to improve health but yet cost a lot.
To make matters worse, health care consumers don’t have a good understanding of what they need…
Dennis - SGMM
So, after the legislation for the trillion dollar bailout is passed, how long will it take Bush to pat himself on the back for saving the economy?
Republicans have perfected the art of completely fucking something up, paying their cronies a ton of our money to not fix it, and then insisting that we should be grateful for their “hard work.”
Countdown ’til McShame starting breaking out ‘shiftless’ and ‘shameful’ in the campaign material.
How are they going to spin it when he loses his shit at the debates and goes off on a racial tangent?
You’re thinking too small, GSD. That’s why you’re not the Republican candidate for president or vice president. You lack vision.
AIG? Small potatoes. Think California, Massachusetts, and New York. The proceeds could be re-distributed to the wealthiest 1% of Americans as compensation for the stress of having so much money and because they have to tolerate the masses.
And quite apart from all that cash, no Democrat would ever win another national election.
McCain could sell the White House, since he already has more houses than he can count.
Palin could sell Alaska back to the Russians for $14.4 million and then brag about getting twice as much for it as was originally paid.
There is no end to the money raising schemes McPailin can come up with. For example, it’s time they took joint control of the word “maverick” and started receiving payments when someone else uses it. I think it’s possible to make the case that they own “my friends,” pig, lipstick, and “thanks, but no thanks.” They just need a good business manager.
This is just a thought, but perhaps the logic in McCain’s comments isn’t so ridiculous, at least as far as banking goes. I don’t know if he’s grouping investment firms in the same categories as banks that do mostly checking and savings accounts, but let’s assume he’s not. Let’s assume he’s not talking about Lehman Brothers and instead is talking about Random Bank X. Well, I can imagine competition making more of a difference there, because it doesn’t seem, in this amateur’s mind, like the fundamentals of banking have changed a great deal in the last century. Again, we aren’t talking about the sophisticated or complication investment vehicles of the financial players on Wall Street, but the nuts and bolts system of banking that most Americans use.
I’m denying any possible effect of competition in the health care field., but in so many different areas, whether it’s movie theaters, restaurants, retail stores, or shipping, the basics seem to stay the same. I don’t think you can say the same about health care and health insurance. It just seems…more complicated than that.
Look in a supermarket sometime. There are tens of thousands of products from all over the world and people seem to have no problem dealing with this dizzying array of choices. Subsidies (particularly corn, sugar and beef) play a large role on the producer side, but on the consumer side, we can buy bananas year round, imported ethnic foods, wines, pretty much anything you can think of and there is a wide array of supermarkets, health food stores, niche groceries, and farmer’s markets to choose from.
I think this situation will change rapidly due to technological innovation. We already have various types of devices either on the market (like chemical sniffers) or in development that will soon yield a world with cheap, accurate diagnostic devices for many ailments. They could even be installed in pharmacies eliminating the need to go to a doctor for a huge chunk f health related problems. Even certain types of surgery could be almost completely automatic (laser eye surgery for one)
Dennis - SGMM
“I am your surgeon. I’m a Cut-o-Mat 9000. I will be removing your appendix. Please relax and rest assured that nothing can go wrong
Indeed. What if this year’s October Surprise is a sneak attack by Spain?
I’d put down even money that Obama is able to goad McCain into at least a minor – and hopefully a major – meltdown at the debates. Best case scenario: he goes into a full Howard Beale “Network” tirade and tells America to fuck off on live TV.
I have to admit, that is worrisome. Good thing McCain will be watching South America closely for any sign of troop movements.
Remember the Maine!
There’s never been a society where this was the case, from “bread and the circus” on. No government that doesn’t make sure the population has access to cheap/reasonably priced food will survive. No major economy in the world doesn’t subsidize the agricultural sector and basic food commodities. That’s why you have all that food and all that pretty packaging.
Recipe for tiger: first, skin one tiger…Sorry, you don’t get that assumption. Phil Gramm’s genius, among other things, erased the lines between investment and commercial banking. Check the rate of commercial bank failure; we’ll be damn lucky if FDIC doesn’t need bailing out soon.
“McCain says lobbyists won’t even get past the front gate of his White House”…
Of course not, they’ll use the V.I.P.’s entrance.
Heh :) The “cut-o-mat 9000” is a ways off, but I can certainly see devices that are able to accurately diagnose skin cancer, glaucoma, etc.
OK. But on the consumer side, what would be the term for being able to choose between 4 to 5 major supermarkets, half a dozen specialty markets (Trader Joe’s, Whole foods etc) numerous ethnic markets (Chinese, Mexican, Indian, fish markets, bakeries, farmers markets, etc) each with hundreds or thousands of different products? What is the correct term for that if not free market?
I dunno if racism is as big a deal as some seem to think … I saw a headline today, “Football fans favor Obama.” Of course, it’s a UK paper, trying to understand what the fuck is up with US voters, but still, the numbers are based on US polling. Lol. If it wasn’t so freaking frustrating it would be a real laugh riot.
Yeah, otherwise there’d be like this huge market for diet supplements, fad diets, and weight reducing drugs, and lots of the population would be fat and have heart problems and…oh, wait…
As I’ve said elsewhere, this poll means nothing, really. For instance, I would probably prefer to watch football with John McCain because: 1) he probably has a much bigger tv than Barack, 2) John’s wife can provide us with unlimited free beer, and 3) McCain probably curses at the opposing team in a most humorous manner.
I have no problem watching television with John, so long as Obama can go and run the country while we’re preoccupied.
Ummm … what’s your solution? Federally mandated meal units?
Whoever it is that picks things for Memeorandum doesn’t seem to think it’s the quote of the day any longer, since it’s now completely gone after having been the top story earlier today. Fast exit I would say.
Which makes me wonder, who chooses what’s added, how long it stays, and what isn’t added?
The reason the “free market” works so well with food is that it’s impossible to completely stifle competition. Literally anyone with a bucket full of dirt can get into food production. In other words: if I’m really unhappy about the price, quality or availability of tomatoes I can do something about it. It’s not so easy to add competition to the health insurance market. If it were then a level of free marketism could work there too. The problem comes with our privilege based economy that enables maga-corps to completely shut out the competition and to drive up the prices so people can’t just pay for it out of their pocket either. A little known fact is that insurance companies can leverage deep discounts for themselves with doctors and hospitals. Trust me, if McDonald’s and Burger king could somehow collude to stop people from grilling their own burgers you would see $20 Big Macs. Similarly, if people could produce their own fuel you would see $0.20/gal gasoline. I’m not a big fan of de-regulating essential services, but I recognize that what’s going on here is the product of a privilege based market run amok and not a free market. A de-regulated market does not equal a free market no matter how many times John McCain says it does.
They need to pound everything said in this speech into the ground. McCain’s dishonesty and misjudgment of the issues (especially the economy) have set the table perfectly for Obama to eat him up.
He nails it here, but unfortunately it was during a Saturday speech. He needs to bring up the themes touched on here in the debates, in ads and on the talking head circuit.
I thought they would use the staff entrance.
I think that means he won’t let them leave.
Food and shelter are critical to us personally, but we don’t (yet) demand that the government universally provide apartments and grocery stores. And when governments try to do so, no matter how good their intentions, shortages and imbalances quickly result.
This is also simply not true, especially among the more moneyed classes, who freely choose between mainstream medicine and the wide world of quackery, from “alternative” and non-mainstream practices, to the multi-billion dollar herbal and supplement industry, the latter of which is unregulated.
But this is not an “empirical fact” at all, nor does it follow that nationalized health insurance would automatically result in more efficient delivery of health care.
France’s health care system is fairly efficient. On the other hand, Britain’s NHS is a mess. But some people want to thump for universal health care with the same passion and denial of messy reality as those conservatives who are willfully blind to Sarah Palin’s manifest deficiencies.
This gets to the heart of why proposals for universal care may be rejected by citizens. There are too many “health care activists,” along with their surrogates and fellow travellers, who insist that they have the right to tell people how they should live their lives, and who would make access to health care dependent upon evidence of good behavior.
One of the reasons why some progressives hate free markets, even regulated ones, is because they fundamentally hate the idea that people can make choices based on what they want as opposed to someone’s notion of social need or social responsibility. In this, the worst progressives (but obviously not all progressives) are no different from those conservatives who expect people to subordinate their own interests to those of “the country” or a busy-body deity.
Fair enough point, but two things make food work pretty well:
1) The number of participants in the market is still huge, but that’s changing. Corporate farms and large retailers threaten to change this, but food has to have a high degree of locality.
2) Food is actually pretty heavily regulated. Milk prices are fixed within certain bounds and the government pays pretty close attention to food prices in general, food quality is fixed, so there’s little room for ‘innovation’ in the product (packaging, processing is a different matter).
But in the case of food, most people can easily ‘step down’ in the product chain. If I don’t want to pay $4 for a bag of ready-made salad, pretty much anyone can step down to just buying the raw ingredients, and a hell of a lot of people can step down one more peg to buying local produce at a farmers market if the grocery store is too expensive. There’s a lot of interchangeability in food (beef is expensive? buy chicken instead) and still a LOT of producers. I live in pretty built-up Orange County and I can buy at least 50% of my food locally, and going to 100% wouldn’t be all that hard if I gave up beef/chicken/pork and just stuck with fish and produce.
Phoenician in a time of Romans
The problem with this argument is that the free market works pretty well for the ‘critical’ thing called food. Food is every bit as critical to life as health care, electricity etc and it is, except for basic health related regulations, completely free market.
The primary problem with this is simple – you never have an unexpected food crisis, and an uncertain bill. You never have a dinner party where you MUST MUST MUST serve eggs, or die, and the eggs never run into the tens of thousands of dollars.
The uncertainty of health care costs is intolerable to the average person. Therefore, it must be colleated and rendered tolerable, either through private insurance pools or through socialisation.
But when you have a private pool, you have a third party – the insurance provider. And the insurance provider’s objective is a profit. They are your agent, but their interest is *not* the same as yours. You want healthcare, they want to avoid spending money.
With food, you have many consumers, many providers, and people know what they want and when they want it. Providers want to make a profit; they do so by selling stuff to people. And because of the nature of the business, they can only sell stuff by offering stuff people want when they need it at a competitive price. Capitalism is great for that.
Insurance providers want to make a profit. They can best do this by roping in as many “good risks” as possible, dropping all the “bad risks” (i.e. sick people), charging as much as possible to people who have no way of knowing the actuarial costs involved, and denying payments wherever possible the moment a customer switches from a net asset to a net liability.
I don’t think that quite captures it. I think that some progressives, out of frustration at the lack of ANY movement on social needs, either by the government, free market (HA!), or social groups feel that the only way to see such progress made is to eliminate choice.
But even then, the vast majority don’t ask to eliminate choice, but rather to stack that choice in a way that forces consumers to knowingly decide to make a bad choice. The grocery store plastic bag laws are a good example of this. Next year in L.A. you’ll still be able to get a plastic bag for your groceries, but it’ll cost you a quarter. The choice is still there, but the quarter tells you that it’s a bad social choice and forces you to explicitly choose it knowing that it’s a bad social choice. It might be a great personal choice, and so the quarter shouldn’t bother you.
That’s the problem with much of health care. It’s not that most progressives begrudge people that have awesome health care and can get free Viagra and ass-lifts, it’s that they begrudge a society that would tolerate such excess in the face of 15% of the public having no health care at all, even for basic needs. Solve that 15% problem, and I don’t think progressives would care about the excess. At least, they didn’t in the past… But if the problem is cast (as it is by the GOP) that the market will sort it out, and the market is complaining about how expensive things are, then the logical solution given what has been presented is to turn off coverage for some people in order to enable coverage for others. That’s not progressives being assholes, that’s the GOP and the market not being honest about the nature of the problem and presenting reasonable alternatives to a solution. IOW, if you present a limited set of options, don’t begrudge people for choosing a solution within the bounds of the set presented.
Show me any other marketplace where people have to be forced into going there (I’m having a heart attack!) and have so little choice once they are there (the emergency room in the next state is cheaper.)
In the food analogy, people can grow it themselves or go to a cheaper place. If someone needs a bypass, and goes to Dr. Nick’s strip mall discount place, the result isn’t a salad with brown leaves, it’s death.
Yet again, Martin and Brachiator demonstrate why this is such a great forum. You guys have been MVPs here all year. I love the rest of you guys as well (except noiq, wilfred and p-luk of course…)
I have a love/hate relationship with WordPress by the way…
Its like McCain is trying to loose. And after all his f-ups he will get 47% of the vote.
Its going to be lovely watching MUP shove that quote up McCain’s behind every day from now to the election.
Sure, it’s possible there are national health insurance systems that are not more efficient than ares, but please show me the examples out there that are not in tin-pot countries. I grant you that if Republicans implemented a universal health care system it would meet your criteria (see Medicare Part D).
However, in the real world, you are verifiably wrong. Go search through Ezra Klein’s archives, there are legions of studies showing that basically every single nationalized health care system in any reasonably industrialized country (Japan, Taiwan, Germany, Switzerland, England, France, Spain, Sweden) achieves better outcomes, costs less, have lower overhead and covers everyone in the process. Yes, they each have unique problems, but those pale in comparison to our systemic issues and even the people unhappy with their own system would not give it up for ours (this is also contained in the studies).
This includes studies of Taiwan, which switched to single payer in the last 10 years, from a free-market system much like ours. There was much teeth-gnashing from conservatives, but the only bad thing that happened is that costs rose slightly higher than the projections (still way lower than they were rising before the system was implemented) and they raised the taxes that pay for the system like 0.02% or something.
Unless we let idiots design the system (i.e. people who do not understand how healthcare should work) it will be better. The facts are overwhelmingly supportive of this.
Wow! Gee. Aw, shucks.
Thank you so much for the kind words.
This is often actually more expensive, due to quality issues and agri-business being cheaper than locally produced stuff sold at farmers markets.
And we’re talking about people who are already so stretched that there’s no more steps down, except the one that drops them into the pit of despair.
But seriously, yes, I would not want the government getting into more food regulation (i.e. “only cheddar cheese is allowed). I would like subsidies to be directed at healthier food, rather than corn. And I would like a lot more food regulation because if agri-business and globally sourced food is our future, we need to ensure the food is safe (it is what they say it is, etc). We’re also going to need a lot of regulation to ensure food producers aren’t raping the land and leaving a big mess for us to clean up (like all the chemical producers did for years).
And as others have said, healthcare is basically the inverse of the way normal “markets” work. Now if society says, “we’re ok with people dying if they can’t afford health insurance” that would change the dynamic. But assuming we’re not going to let people die, it would be better/cheaper to cover them up-front.
His authentic chuckle after repeating McCain’s historically absurd “fundamentals are strong” comment is great.
his swagger is in full effect.
I just saw that article a few minutes ago and it pissed the Hell out of me. I mean, “OMG, I never realized this could be an issue…what effect will this have on the vote?” Well, I would venture to say that absent the racial considerations of Obama’s candidacy this would not be a close race. I’m pretty sure the fact that Barack Obama is black is something that has ALREADY been factored into the polling we have seen so far. When people throw out points like that around here you generally call them out for “concern trolling”.
To use this poll to point this shit out now almost seems like someone wants to make it seem “OK” to vote on that basis. I mean, if 30-some-odd % (or whatever their % was) feel that way then it means a bigot has that big of a potential support group standing with them to wash away any twinges of guilt they might sometimes feel.
Jcricket I can only speak about Germany because I have a little experience with it, my girlfriend is from Germany so I’ve talked to her and her family/friends about their system quite a bit.
Ezra Klein can cherry pick favorable stories to grind his axe all he wants, the German socialized health care sucks shit. In many cases they tell you which docs/facilities you can go to and don’t give a fuck if it’s hours away- even when there’s a comparable clinic right down the road. She experienced this when they expected her to drive to Hamburg(3 hours for her) to get services she could have gotten down the block from her home if she got to select her own provider(this was physical therapy for a ruptured disc). Of course she did without the physical therapy because travel is incredibly expensive. They will cancel your health care if you make choices they don’t approve of, in her case it limited her career choices after her disc was better, there’s legislation in the works that requires a person to maintain a certain weight to keep their coverage. The prescription coverage is hit or miss and the best part is that the insurance is actually kind of expensive if you work. The only redeeming point is that you can opt out and you don’t have to pay for your coverage(and you’re not covered) but you still have to pay the outrageous taxes to cover the people with no jobs.
I’ll grant that it’s better than no health insurance at all, but it’s not some awesome solution that covers everyone regardless of situation and it damn sure isn’t cheap. When we sat down and did all the math, she paid right at 69% of her total income into one tax or another, 49% was taken straight out of her check and if I remember right(it’s been a while since we figured it) 12% of that was for the insurance. The rest was taxed when she spent the money but since she didn’t make enough to save she basically got taxed on 100% of her income.
I am not totally against socialized health care I just believe in looking at the thing for what it really is. The proponents of socialized health care do not give all of the facts. The fact that they lie repeatedly about the realities of socialized health care makes me discount the value of their statements heavily.
At some point, every society would need to come up with denial criteria. Given two people, a 78-year-old business tycoon or a 15-year-old both needing a heart transplant, today. One of them is going to die if they don’t get the donor heart. Who do you choose?
What about someone like Christopher Reeve? Do you do what he did and spend millions on electro stimulation to gain a small degree of sensation and movement? Or do you do just stabilize him and send him home to spend the remainder of his days as mechanically sustained living head?
I’ve been through Klein’s archives before. And you are still wrong.
It is easy to use the net to find original reporting on the challenges facing the Canadian and British health care systems. Good info about France is less accessible for English-only readers. And a brief tour of the Internet today quickly yields the following:
There are are a number of great links looking at Britain’s NHS (NHS at 60)
The site also has a number of informative comments from the British public in the “Have Your Say” section.
The bottom line is that while there are a number of strong arguments for universal health care, the claim that all of these systems are efficient or absolutely superior to the US system is just not supported by the facts
What makes McCain even more of an asshole is the fact that for the past three years, at least, anyone with half a brain knew the subprime industry was completely corrupt and going to crash. Hell, even Greenspan mentioned it in passing a few times. McCain is likely to come out this week swingin’ with his usual “I didn’t mean…” or “We couldn’t have known…” This, of course, will have no credibility with people who are clued in. Unfortunately America is so dumb now there are those who might be persuaded to give him “the benefit of the doubt.” It needs to be pointed out repeatedly that he should have known – and did know – that a crash was imminent.
I should have added “when he wrote that piece.”
It needs to be pointed out repeatedly that McCain knew a crash was imminent when he wrote that piece. That’s what voters need to hear. He will betray them. He does not care about their social security.
PS) Sorry to get long winded here but this is something near and dear to my heart. However, the care you get in the UK is far superior to what you get over here (notice I didn’t say treatment I said care), cause the people in the health field in the UK are not in it to make money, it is a calling, much like teaching, you are never going to get rich. Here it is a totally different story, it is ALL about money. I choose not to go to doctors over here because it behooves them to find something wrong with you, if they can’t they don’t make money and neither do their buddies. We had a guy charged with hit and run (he supposedly hit a guy on a bicycle – he was acquitted). The “victim” (who had insurance) was taken to the Emergency Room where they airlifted him to Pitt Memorial they did $15,000 worth of tests on him to discover – there was absolutely nothing wrong with him, not even a bruise.
We also represented an anasthesiologist in some sort of dispute (can’t remember what, it was 10 years ago). He was paid $33,000 per MONTH to basically sit on his exercise bike and supervise what the nurse anesthetist was doing, that’s all he did, the Nurse did all the work, he watched and for that he was paid $33,000.00 a month.
Sorry gang, I love this country and all but the health care system is the worst in the world when it comes to treating and caring for people, it is a money making business and nothing more.
And there are tens of thousands of producers.
No one producer or group of producers has a stranglehold on a source of basic foodstuffs. Also, grain prices *ARE* controlled to prevent sudden surges on a day to day basis (there is a set limit as to how high they’re allowed to bid up the price per day on the commodities market).
And let’s face it, there are things called substitutes in play here, you can switch between different foods or brands.
Healthcare, you can’t.
Electricity, Water, Fuel, you can’t.
And that’s why ‘Free Market’ Preachers who insist on doing just that to essentials need to be beaten with large sticks.