I checked in at Andrew’s after taking a couple weeks off, and Sullivan, noting the political wreckage for Republicans for supporting the Ryan Plan that Andrew himself fluffed for weeks as bold, serious, and every other glowing term he could think of, states:
Good news for the Democrats. But until the Dems propose a serious alternative to rein in Medicare’s costs, bad news for the country.
The Ryan plan did nothing to rein in Medicare costs. NOTHING. All the Ryan plan did was STOP PAYING FOR THEM and pretend that the elderly could use free market voodoo and get better plans with vouchers. That isn’t reining in the costs, that’s just not paying them and telling the elderly to piss off. I suppose we could also abolish the military and that would “rein in” our defense spending costs. I’ve got a serious alternative to rein in educations costs. I’m going to burn all the schools and then cut taxes by 4 trillion! See how easy this is? We can have the budget balanced in no time.
I’m sorry to keep doing this to you. I should probably just start cutting myself instead of reading him, but I can’t stop.
If you like predictable then I suppose you’d like that twit.
John, clearly everyone who follows politics through the Internet is a passive-aggressive masochist, including everyone who comments here.
You’re among friends.
doesn’t the ACA have mechanisms to control costs?
Ezra just had a column on this:
Yevgraf (fka Michael)
Oh, I have a plan to rein in Medicare’s cost immediately.
Take the top 10 profit-making health insurance executives, the top 10 profit-making pharma executives, the top 10 profit making hospital operators, the top 10 medicare billers, the top 10 medicaid billers, the top 10 medicare/medicaid fraudsters, the top 10 individual shareholders in medical/insurance/pharma stock and their wives and children, and machine gun them en masse on national TV.
It isn’t like they can’t be replaced. Great decisionmaking decisionmakers are fungible, that’s what the Chinese learned.
Follow that up by opening general practice medical schools, and drop the idea that it should be a graduate program.
After that, I think the costs of providing medical services would be easy to manage.
As long as Sully stays in the “Blogs We Monitor And Mock As Needed” section, I for one don’t care how much FPers post about him.
WELL THAT DOESN’T SOUND VERY SERIOUS, sincerely, some asshole
Andrew refuses to watch actual Democrats in action. I mean Minority Leader Pelosi who has said multiple times “We do have a Medicare protection program. It is called the ACA”.
Andrew is dishonest at this point. I read him and wish he had comments because I would give him my 2 cents.
@Yevgraf (fka Michael): Ah, yes. Second Amendment remedies. Thanks,
Sarah PalinSharron Angle
If Cole puts the LoOG in the mock column i’ll stop bitching about mistermix and DougJ linking EDK too.
Now that Sullivan is properly classified on the blogroll, I say keep the “hey you’re an idiot” posts directed at him coming. I find it amusing. As long as we’re done being surprised by his stupidity. The guy is a fucking idiot, particularly on topics that require arithmetic and a basic ability to see through the GOP’s bullshit. The Ryan fiasco requires both, which is why he’s even more clueless than usual.
Andrew’s digging in on that hedge (the ball is in the Dems’ court! Mediscare! shriek!) and probably recently forced his new interns to publish a post a two that looks like he is at least considering the costs of healthcare, besides its mere destruction.
One wonders when Andrew Sullivan, proud American that he is, will start demanding that it is time for corporations to “tighten their belts” and “rein in unsustainable costs.” But somehow the dirty little problems with democracy are always the fault of the great unwashed wanting too much pie and not the fraternizing elites, who are simply crushed under their great economic burden of investing their billions.
I’m glad someone reads him and tells me what he says. He’s good for a laugh but I stopped giving him page views when he started calling Iraq war opponents fifth columnists.
I don’t get how you “recover” from that to being a sensible centrist or Orwell Junior or whatever he fancies himself, but it must take a lot of other people’s money.
I think he should be well-known, but for different reasons.
Does this mean that it would be good news for the country if we were to euthanize people the moment they are too old to work? Is it better news if we bankrupt them and their families first? How about we give Sully an $8,000 voucher and see how his magical free market health care unicorns treat him?
I think it should be a rule that pundits should keep silent until they are weaned from the corporate teat and forced to live in the same country the rest of us live in.
Just Some Fuckhead
I think he’s sincere and honest, just incredibly stupid.
Yea, just keep reading Greenwald and Bashing Obama (one in the same) for things you don’t have the slightest clue about. You will be much better off.
@Yevgraf (fka Michael): That’s so mean. Anyway, wouldn’t it be better to sentence them to life on a chain gang, forced to work 18 hours in the hot sun in exchange for a few crusts of bread?
When the Revolution comes, I want to be on the re-education camp committee.
But how will Thomas Friedman talk to the cab drivers and weevil pickers in foreign countries and derive such great insights looking at billboards and salad menus without that NYT credit card?
By elderly you mean those under 55?
Or is this much like refusing to use the word illegal in illegal immigration. You know, lying.
Jay in Oregon
There’s always Go Cry Emo Kid
End the Bush tax cuts and you don’t have to touch Medicare. Why do fake conservatives like Sully not understand that?
@Just Some Fuckhead:
Nope, he’s sincerely dishonest (and incredibly stupid).
This from the same folks whose foreign policy philosophy is that we must first destroy any country we would like to save.
Wait, maybe they’re just doing that internally.
@Lit3Bolt: Maybe if he is the weevil picker he will actually learn something.
@pragmatism: Yes, but that doesn’t count because of death panels. And unserious. And liberals.
Who could have possibly expected mendacity from Sullivan?
His weapons are fear, surprise, ruthless efficiency, and an almost fanatical devotion to the corporate teat. Not listed among his weapons are intellectual honesty or consistency.
It has ever been thus. Wait two more weeks and the website still will not be characterized by a different list of weaponry.
I actually found a great solution for this:
1. Unsubscribe from Sullivan’s feed.
2. Find someone on Google Reader who DOES read Sullivan, and shares the occasional good post (as well as the particularly bad ones to mock).
3. Enjoy the relief of not having to read a bunch of crap, as well as the far less stressful reading pace.
Honestly, cutting Sully out is the best thing I ever did. And this way, I still get alerted when he says something interesting, though these days it’s hard to come by.
Tara the antisocial social worker
Serious Pundits keep insisting that the Republican Plan to get rid of Medicare and replace it with a voucher program is not “getting rid of Medicare” as long as the voucher program is renamed Medicare. This is hereby dubbed the Wendy Theory.
David Vitter (allegedly)cheated on his wife Wendy with another woman named Wendy. Therefore, he’s always been faithful to Wendy.
@JonF: Actually, because it’s not true. Medicare and the rest of the budget are entirely different in terms of how they’re funded. But there’s a lot of conflating of funding and costs in this whole discussion, so you’re forgiven for the minor slip.
@Martin: FSM dammit. i hate humanity.
@Tara the antisocial social worker:
Real lolz for that theory. Good work!
@Martin: Believe whatever you want to.
Rein in costs? Simple. Let younger and healthier people buy into Medicare. For me, any amount less than the $512 a month I currently pay for my crappy high-deductable/copay-for-everything HMO would be a bargain.
I am okay with your behavior.
@Baud: Yes, but once you dismiss those out of hand, then you will see that the Democrats have no plan to control costs in Medicare. See? Fingers in ears, eyes closed, shouting “I can’t hear you la la la la” is a perfectly respectful approach to punditry.
Seriously, I don’t know why this guy doesn’t just go to one of those “cure the gay” camps so he can receive full benefits of tribe membership.
As far as I can tell, nothing proposed for the health care reform debate was serious because it was all commie, or death panels, or rationing.
IIRC Ryan himself has said that his program will work by forcing seniors to make more cost conscious choices because they have skin in the game (higher out of pocket costs) and this will bid down prices.
Problem is that every element needed for this to work is missing in the unregulated health care market.
It is rationing through cash on hand for the elderly.
And, for older people with chronic diseases, it will necessarily mean delayed and interrupted care, by the very process that Ryan says it will work. People will die as a result of delay in care. So, it will kill off people in the course of the competitive bidding process that Ryan says will be the main cost control mechanism in the plan.
The health care reform proposals the Dems made last year tried to get cost control without prematurely killing off old people as part of the very mechanism of action.
So, in way, Sullivan is right, the Ryan proposal IS VERY SERIOUS, at least in terms of consequences. While the Democratic proposals will try less serious methods first, therefore they are not serious.
I’m sure that Sully and his ‘serious’ cohort didn’t miss that a main purpose of the ACA: to throw dozens of cost containment strategies out there and see which ones actually contain costs.
In between all the noise regarding government takeovers and soshalizm, I’m sure the millionaire pundits like Sully actually studied the ACA and realized that it was a significant start in reducing health care costs. Surely he realized that the GOP was demagoging ACA with false claims while Dems are demagoging Medicare elimination with true claims. Surely all of this is common knowledge among the Beltway elite.
Oh, nevermind. Easier to just say that Sully is stupid, dishonest and lazy.
Hilarious! I just read this on Sully’s site and my blood was boiling. Clicked over to here and ggot my therapy. . .
@jl: Exterminating the old and the sick does eliminate the need for rationing and cost containment. See, it is a perfectly serious plan.
It isn’t a plan unless people like Sullivan like it. There can be any variety of things in the ACA which save money, or other proposals.
But if Republicans don’t like it, and if it doesn’t make the pundit classes feel like the Morlocks are being punished for their extravagant reliance on evil soshullism, then Sully types don’t like it.
I too will be unsatisfied until a serious Medicare cost control plan is put forth.
However, my standards of serious will be whatever I want them to be that day, or maybe I won’t specify, or maybe I’ll decide based on who’s proposing it.
Here’s the actual analogy: Abolish the military, then give everyone an $8000 voucher so they can buy national defense protection from Blackwater (Xe).
No, it’s elderly.
It’s actually worse than Democrats are saying, because it isn’t even true that those over 65 and currently on Medicare aren’t affected by the Ryan plan. That isn’t true. It’s partly true, but there’s a huge omission there.
Plenty of people over 65 and on Medicare are going to be affected by the Ryan plan, because the poorest, oldest and sickest receive both Medicare and Medicaid, and Ryan guts both.
It’s just that old people didn’t get to that part of the plan yet. When they do, and they will,they’ll hate it more.
Medicare isn’t really cleanly severable from Medicaid. That’s just not a practical way to look at the two programs, because that isn’t how the most vulnerable elderly use the two programs.
Paul Ryan is pulling a bit of a fast one on those 65 and over, but it’ll come clear once the interlocking pieces start to be discussed.
He can’t gut Medicaid without affecting the elderly, and he’s cutting Medicaid.
It’s clear the DAILY BEAST Andrew is a different animal than the ATLANTIC Andrew. It’s also clear he can’t be bothered with remedial maths and resorts to hand-waving when the numbers rise higher than his take-home.
ACA was intended to control costs (i.e. cut into corporate profits) which is why it is not a serious plan. A serious plan is cutting Medicare/Medicaid so the elderly and the poor can no longer bring down the profit margins of the health care industry.
Anyone thinking the goal of the health care industry is to deliver health care is a commie. We are a nation of MBAs. We don’t care to know anything about the industry or the purpose it serves. All we know is that when you look at numbers on a spreadsheet it becomes obvious how to increase profits by changing this column or that. And the MBA is not interested in what changes in those columns mean in the real world.
@Tara the antisocial social worker: That’s an important point.
If you call it Medicare, it’s Medicare.
B = A because B –> now renamed “A”, and A = A.
We simpletons just don’t grasp this elementary logic.
I think most Democrats plan for the majority of people currently under 55 to become elderly someday. Are Republicans hoping/expecting for something different to happen?
Absolutely right, John. Alas, the Obama HCR non-reform bill also does nothing to rein in health care costs. NOTHING.
Cue the obot trolls who will now rush forward with elaborate, incoherent, and immensely convoluted explanations of all the trivial nitpicky minutia contained in the Obama HCR non-reform bill which might possibly bend the cost curve, at some undefined future time, IF a long list of even more unlikely miracles come to pass…
“Reining in the costs” of health care in America = reducing the income of enormous segments of American society. In the middle of a gigantic recession and in the midst of offshoring exponentially growing numbers of high-paid middle class jobs, this is simply a non-starter.
It would certainly be nice to believe that we in America can “rein in health care costs” by “cutting waste, fraud and abuse,” but the fact remains that the fundamental system for delivering health care in America is broken.
Our fundamental system defines how health care gets produced (medical devicemakers and big pharma, both for-profit systems, when there is in fact no reason at all why either medical devicemaking or the development of new drugs ought not to be done entirely by government labs and released to the public domain at no profit and no cost), how health care gets applied (bribe-taking doctors who take huge kickbacks from big pharma and medical devicemakers to prescribe their overpriced nostrums, instead of cheap generic versions), and how health care gets distributed (monopolistic hospital and imaging clinic cartels that sign sweetheart lock-in contracts replete with nondisclosure clauses, so rivals can’t compete with their pricing because they can’t find out their actual costs, and who get locked into monopoly service agreements with cartels of medical specialists and giant insurance monopolies) and how health care gets paid for (for-profit health insurance cartels which act as geographic monopolies)…and this entire fundamental system doesn’t work at a basic level, because it can’t work at a basic level.
The fundamental system for delivering health care in America is designed to waste money and shut people out of health care. What you call “waste,” the medical devicemakers and medical device salesmen and doctors and big pharma salesmen and scientists and imaging clinic workers and hospitals and nurses and clerks and highly-paid medical specialists and health insurance bureaucrats call “making a living.” And what you call “shutting people out of health care,” all these medical employees call “keeping profits up so we can stay in business.”
The basic solution to health care in America involves taking the profit out of the system.
No one wants to talk about this. No one wants to admit it. The livelihoods of many millions of Americans depend on America’s broken health care system. That’s why we’re not keen on fixing America’s broken health care system.
As for the deficit, you can zero out the annual deficit tomorrow and pay down America’s national debt within 10 years, and you can do is easily.
Want to know how?
Cut America’s 1.4 trillion dollar a year military expenditures by 80%, which would still leave the United States spending 1/3 as much per year on our military as the rest of the world combined.
That would free up 1.2 trillion dollars per year, which not only zeroes out your deficit, it then collapses interest payments on the deficit and rapidly starts paying down our ntaional debt, further pounding down annual interest payments (did you know that America spends nearly half a trillion dollars per year just on interest on our national debt?) in a virtuous cycle. Within 10 years, we could zero out our entire national debt, and then we could starting rebuilding our decayed infrastructure, kick-starting scientific R&D spending, pouring money into K-12 and higher education, creating a national state-of-the-art high-speed rail and mass transit network, replacing our current doomed oil-addicted transpo infrastructure with clean sustainable energy transportation, and generally kicking ass and taking names.
Or, we could continue to loes three simultaneous endless wars in third world hellholes against teenage kids who are armed with nothing but bolt-action rifles.
I prefer the self-deprecating threads with Sully’s obvious idiot-opinions to the “even the conservative Andrew Sullivan agrees with us and is worthy of discourse because…” threads.
You can look at the Medicaid piece two ways.
For those under 65, Ryan’s voucher might not be sufficient to cover their costs, so they spend down assets and turn to Medicaid but the second part of Ryan’s health care plan (gutting Medicaid) has closed that avenue.
Or, for those over 65, who retain traditional Medicare, they have extraordinary expenses (long term care) spend down, assets, turn to Medicaid, and….there’s that Ryan plan again. Gutted Medicaid.
Now what do they do?
So both groups should be aware of the Medicaid piece, because it’s (potentially) important for both groups to recognize what he isn’t saying.
It’s a double whammy. He pulls the entitlement program (Medicare) and then cuts the safety net under the entitlement program (Medicaid).
It’s really that bad.
I had the same reaction after clicking on some CNN video that was going to “explain the Ryan plan”. I know, I should have known better.
First the “CNN Radio” anchor said, “The Ryan plan! Grrr! The Ryan plan!” and kind of wrinkled her nose. “I feel like everyone says it that way!” she said, meaning that they say it as if it’s a bad thing, which clearly, we already know now, she doesn’t think too.
Then she goes on to lavish praise on Ryan, about how he cares a lot about the debt and deficit, and so on, which in her mind is neutral, just a fact, just giving you the he said-she said about this guy Ryan. Ryan? “He cares about the deficit”, that’s the first thing to know.
Then she says basically something true about his plan, that it would dramatically shift who pays for health care, among seniors, that they’d pay for most of it themselves under his plan. Bravo. Really. That was actually true.
Then, she ends with a flourish, saying that of course, the Democrats “haven’t come up with anything at all”, and wrinkles her nose in Shirley Templish disapproval, just so we know how she feels about that.
These memes of common wisdom in the Village are like little hermetically sealed units, John, they’re little thoughtlets, packaged acceptable thoughts. One used to be that Ryan was brave and serious and had a plan to fix everything. Now it’s shifted, so the “fix everything” is dropped, sort of, but the “he’s brave and serious” remains, and it’s all they can think. Nothing else is allowed.
The idea for example that IF Ryan actually cared even a little bit about the debt and deficit, he would stop fighting tooth and nail to keep tax cuts for the rich from expiring the way they were planned to expire, which would do more to solve the problem than anything else– this will never pass Shirley Temple’s lips. The one about how his plan is a complete fraud since it depends entirely on right wing trickle-down “and then a miracle occurs” myths about how if you just give rich people more money they’ll create a booming economy for all, that’s another one you won’t hear.
It’s just not done.
Independent thinking? It’s almost nonexistent, among the Villagers.
Lately, I’m finding myself tuning out of all the writers at the Atlantic that I used to read… Sullivan for obvious reasons, but the others mostly because I don’t find them as interesting anymore…
Is it not true that Republicans and many admirers said that the Ryan plan was to save Medicare and help seniors?
So why do you people go the extremes of not agreeing that that’s what the plan does?
Did Ryan or the Republicans say the plan intended to hurt people or destroy Medicare? I didn’t think so.
So I don’t see any way of evaluating the Ryan plan except for quoting people who agree that the Ryan plan will help Medicare and seniors.
We just need to know if it will help them enough, or if Democrats are brave enough to impose upon their own voters.
@JonF: Um, wut?
Medicare is paid for entirely by payroll taxes and Medicare premiums, which weren’t touched by the Bush tax cuts. Now, Dems did get a temporary payroll tax cut in the deal worked out at the end of 2010, but that wasn’t part of the Bush tax cuts. So, if you think that’s the solution, blame the problem on Obama and the Dems. The Bush tax cuts created a larger deficit problem that affects a different pat of the budget, just not Medicare directly. Repealing the Bush tax cuts helps the deficit significantly, but Medicare’s problems remain.
If the Conservatives in the U.K. (or Canada) proposed abolishing the NHS for those under 55, Sully would realize how utterly ridiculous that was as a political matter. He would certainly not try to bait Labour into coming up with an alternative that whacked the NHS slightly less.
Why is it different here?
I think a really serious plan would be to get rid of all the wasteful medical spending and just send the money directly to rich people. The Ryan plan is especially popular among the VSP set because it’s the closest anyone has come to proposing this extremely bold solution to our problems.
My opinions on GOP politics don’t matter, because they can’t violate the blood oath they took on taxes, but if I were a conservative and I were going to float this draconian plan that asks for HUGE sacrifice, I think I would have coupled my big, bold announcement with another big bold announcement: a tax increase on the top tier to address the deficit on the other side.
But, no. Can’t do that. That might be perceived as “fairer” and we can’t have that.
This is a feature, not a bug, in Sully’s Tory Wanker World.
Yep. A funny part is watching Rs trying out different shades of lipstick on this pig. That if they can just find the right shade/message, seniors and those that hope to live that long won’t notice R-baggers would sell them out for taxcuts for The Donalds in a heartbeat.
@beltane: I was going to suggest that very compromise. Confiscate their assets, and send them into internal exile in—for example—Nebraska, with a shovel, a muel, and a sack of pomegranate seeds.
In all sober earnest, nothing less drastic would be effective. The power of these people, and the class to which they belong, has to be taken away from them. They, who control most of the instruments of violence, will naturally resist.
Things could work out like Brazil *seems* to be, like Poland did in the 90s, like France in the 1780s, like Cambodia in the 70s, or anywhere in between.
Tara the antisocial social worker
Well, if they’d just make conscious choices to never get sick, they wouldn’t have this problem, so really it’s their own fault.
Sounds pretty good to me. Maybe we keep some troops at the borders and in a few sprinkled bases to protect us from invasion, but otherwise, yeah.
I always ask people if steak=hamburger when I’m trying to explain the Medicare thing. They seem to grasp that Ryan doesn’t get to chopnup their delicious Medicare steak and turn it into hamburger and still get to sell it as steak. It’s consumer fraud to market one thing as another. People are clear on that even if they get confused by the bad reporting of the details.
@Tara the antisocial social worker:
That isn’t what he’s saying on FOX.
On FOX, he’s repeating what he ran on in 2010, which is that Democrats cut 500 billion from Medicare, and that’s outrageous and mean and makes him mad.
He doesn’t even make sense anymore. Is he for cuts or against them? No one knows.
Sullivan is a dishonest “Very Serious Person” wanna-be. And what kind of blogger doesn’t allow comments? Of all his offenses I find this to be the most egregious.
I would just ask you one more thing, Makewi, because I think it’s important.
Did Paul Ryan run on voucherizing Medicare this in his last House campaign?
Because everything I’ve seen is that he ran on “Obamacare cuts 500 billion from Medicare”, and he’s repeating that, daily. He ran on defending the traditional program, when it was personally politically advantageous.
Come on. He just sprung this on them, in Wisconsin? Just as an individual House member, is that fair, when dealing with them? Aside from his national role as Media Dreamboat, did he clue his constituents in on his plan once he was safely re-elected?
Because Democrats ran on health care reform. Republicans didn’t.
Yglesias has a good and relevant post on this today. Shorter version: Obamacare has lots of controls on healthcare cost growth.
Sullivan addressed this in a different post: “Yes, we can do all we can to shift incentives to better and more efficient care – and the ACA has a lot of mechanisms to try and do that. But I don’t believe it will be anywhere near enough to avoid a fiscal disaster.”
However, the changes in Obamacare combined with modest increases in revenue (axing the Bush cuts would be more than enough) and eventually eliminating the employer healthcare exclusion are more than enough.
Sullivan also never addresses the fact that we could nationalize healthcare, halving the cost per capita of healthcare and improving care in the process. This is unfair to some people — folks will lose their jobs and companies that didn’t plan to pay for employee health benefits in retirement will be bailed out — but if the debt is as world-endingly-bad as Sullivan thinks it is, it’s a no brainer.
Thank you. All day I’ve been battling the temptation to write Sully a certainly libelous and possibly criminal e-mail about that very quote, but reading your post allowed me a cathartic release.
What is it going to take for people to understand the differences between health care and health care insurance? They keep conflating the two. No matter how efficient health insurance becomes it cannot stem the rise in health care costs. To think it can is like saying that my shopping around for a credit card with a better interest rate it will somehow force Chili’s to lower the price on their baby back ribs for me.
Yes. Say it again. And again. And again.
All the Ryan plan did was have the federal government stop paying bills and shift the costs to the elderly, who would rein in health care costs through the magic of the market — namely, they would not be able to afford their own health care costs, so health care costs would fall. Health care needs would not fall, and unmet needs would rise significantly. That’s not a plan; it’s an abdication.
Exactly. I’d bet that every insurance company would offer a plan that exactly matches the voucher. Of course that plan won’t really offer anything and/or the out of pocket expenses will be so prohibitive to make it useless. Ryan’s plan is a pure wealth transfer from everyday Americans to the profiteers.
@jfxgillis: Me, too, exactly. I’m an academic, which means he’ll generally ignore me unless he wants to make fun of postmodernism, feminism, and Critical Race Theory.
Cold Turkey; best solution to Andrew. And watching you suffer is what keeps me away. Seriously, what is so hard to understand that the Ryan’s Medicare “Plan” is to cut the budget, not medical costs covered by Actual Medicare?
That statement is flatly false.
What Yglesias actually says is that
The ‘efforts’ remain so feeble and so largely unimplemented that they amount to no cost controls at all. Obama’s “effort” at controlling health care costs is like Obama’s “effort” at implementing oversight in the lawless fourth-amendment-violating FICA wiretapping courts — namely, they’re window dressing, mere P.R., with no substance in ’em at all.
One of Obama’s cost-control ‘efforts,’ for example, relegates enforcement of many of the ACA’s pricing and anti-monopoly provisions to state insurance regulatory boards. These boards are so overburdened and so toothless, however, that giant health insurance cartels routinely ignore their rulings, preferring to accept a trivial fine. Obama’s ACA does nothing to change this.
Yet another of Obama’s cost control “efforts” involves forcing states to carry uninsurable poor people in their public high-risk pools; but the lobbyists who wrote the ACA made sure the state public pools are so small and so restricted to the poorest and sickest Americans that they can’t exert any significant market power to force insurers to reduce costs. Yet another of Obama’s cost-control “efforts” boils down to telling poor people to pay an unaffordably high co-payment if they want supposedly “low-cost” insurance — but since the poor people can’t even afford the co-payment, they lose access to health care entirely.
That’s not entirely true. Health insurance companies also act on their customers behalf to negotiate rates with health care providers. The theory is that they can increase their profits by negotiating cheaper rates.
In practice, of course, they’re heavily regulated and are only allowed to get profits roughly proportional to their overall receipts. So it’s more profitable for them to negotiate badly, justifying rate increased to cover increased medical costs. Is it any wonder our system is completely fucked up?
Take a few more
weeks months yearsdecades from visiting Sullivan’s website … and we’d ALL be better off for it.
Hairshirt or not – GIVE IT A REST!
It’s ok to check in on Andrew now and again just to confirm the same old same old. Thank you for moving him to the “blogs we monitor and mock” listing. And I have to admit that in hindsight it was a good thing to do the multiple posts pointing out what a jerk Sullivan is about the serious Ryan plan. It needed to be said.
Ryan Plan = “Coupons for Codgers”
here’s what i did: i moved Sullivan to the bottom of my political blogroll. that’s it. that’s all it took to get him out of my habitual blog scanning pattern. he was no longer in with the handful i regularly check, and that broke the habit (it took all of two mornings). then i no longer cared.
Okay, let me take on the two most popular Republican defenses of the Ryan bill. Feel free to use these yourself.
DEMOCRATS HAVE NO PLAN TO REIN IN MEDICARE SPENDING
Blatant lie! It’s called the Affordable Care Act, and if you had read it at any point over the last two years, you’d know about the IPAB – the Independent Payment Advisory Board. If Medicare spending grows too quickly, they recommend definitive ways to reduce spending that take effect automatically unless Congress passes a bill that saves an equal amount of money. Also, pilot programs will work to bundle payments for Medicare (instead of per-service payments) and compensate hospitals with higher margins if they reduce costs compared to other hospitals. These pilot programs are automatically expanded if they reduce per-beneficiary spending without reducing quality of care.
ONLY DEMOCRATS HAVE VOTED TO CUT MEDICARE
Blatant lie! The “cuts” – reducing the amount paid to private insurers for Medicare Advantage, so that it costs the government the same as traditional Medicare – are included in the Ryan plan. Meaning that all House Republicans and nearly all Senate Republicans voted on this policy as well, making it the one truly bipartisan, universally-supported part of the ACA that everyone agrees must happen and will have little-to-no negative impact.
So yeah, big surprise – nothing Republicans or their fluffers in the media are saying is even remotely close to the truth. They’re pathological liars who want to destroy Medicare explicitly because that will hurt the middle class. So – fuck them with a rake. They’re terrible people.
Whereas you invented the piano-key necktie; yes, we know that. Relax; reading Sullivan will make you feel like you’re taking crazy pills. Calm down, play with the dogs, forget that the Titanic is beginning to go nose-down. Who knows, you might find some room in one of the lifeboats.
Whatever happened to people doing their own due dilligence before drawing conclusions? Does anyone actually read these bills anymore, or do they just listen to the propaganda on TV and take it as gospel.
Ryan’s plan doesn’t get rid of Medicare. It provides a more efficient, cheaper way to provide THE SAME care partly by using vouchers.
So while your talking points are awesome and scary, they aren’t based on fact. But then again, not much the liberals say is based on fact (other than climate change).
So Ryan’s plan sucks because it’s equivalent to throwing seniors in wheelchairs off cliffs, but the liberals don’t have anything to add to the debate other than the scare tactics and “let’s keep the status quo” on Medicare and everything else.
At some point, even you juicetards will have to realize that we need to make some changes to things like Medicare, Social Security, and a littany of other wasteful, inefficient govt programs.
D’s answer to everything is “Let’s spend more money and increase the scope of govt!!” Um, no. That strategy sucks. At least Ryan gave it a shot, which is more than any progressives in the Congress can say.
Caz, Caz, Caz – don’t you know that you need to work in your lies at the top of a thread? They’re not going to do any good down here at the end of a dead thread.
@PeakVT: I think it gets paid the same either way.
hey look everybody: irony!
Nothing is too crazy to be considered "Serious"
John — wrt your proposals … be careful what you suggest, Rand Paul is probably taking notes. @mclaren — wrt health care system: exactly! wrt defense, you’re probably a little too aggressive, but someone has to sit on the other side of the seesaw!