Health care debate

September 21, 2008 12:53 pm Published by 2 Comments

I had a hell of a time finding this. MPR really needs a better search engine.

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Last Thursday, as I was riding home from class, I turned on NPR to listen to the news. I don’t do this very often, because I normally have my MP3 player with me, so I listen to podcasts. But, I’ve gotta replace its hard drive, so I was forced to listen to whatever happened to be on the radio at the time. On-demand media has spoiled me.

I’m glad I did though, because NPR was broadcasting a debate on health care between E. Richard Brown and Daniel Kessler, advisors to Obama and McCain (respectively) on issues relating to health care (possibly other issues too; the beginning of the audio is cut off).

Sounds really boring, but it was actually pretty fascinating. Brown calls out Kessler repeatedly on his distortions, and generally flogs him. The audience even began to turn on Kessler too – when he says that nobody actually wants single-payer health care, the audience actually boos him. This is the type of audience who would go and watch a health care debate, and they booed someone.

Needless to say, I think Obama has the superior health plan. I firmly support universal health care (not just because I’m broke and healthcareless), and he’s planning to take steps in that direction.

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This post was written by Bevans

2 Comments

  • Kyle Eliason says:

    I’ve got beef with socialized medicine. A lot of it starts with the way the left views rights. Obama said the following in a 2001 radio interview:“The Supreme Court never ventured into the issues of redistribution of wealth and sort of basic issues of political and economic justice in this society, and to that extent as radical as people try to characterize the Warren court, it wasn’t that radical. It didn’t break free from the essential constraints that were placed by the founding fathers in the Constitution, at least as it has been interpreted, and the Warren court interpreted it generally in the same way: that the Constitution is a document of negative liberties, says what the states can’t do to you, says what the federal government can’t do to you, but it doesn’t say what the federal government or state government must do on your behalf, and that hasn’t shifted and I think one of the tragedies of the civil rights movement was that the civil rights movement became so court focused, I think there was a tendency to lose track of the political and organizing activities on the ground that are able to bring about the coalitions of power through which you bring about redistributive change, and in some ways we still suffer from that.”Healthcare is a bundle of goods and services. I can’t wrap my head around that being a right. Chalk me up as being solely on the negative rights side of things.Getting back to who’s healthcare plan is worse, Obama has been saying the single dumbest thing I’ve heard all election. It even tops Clinton’s aforementioned cash prize for next gen battery technology. Check out Obama’s policy page on healthcare, and notice the very first bullet point:“Require insurance companies to cover pre-existing conditions so all Americans regardless of their health status or history can get comprehensive benefits at fair and stable premiums.”The point of insurance is for people get together and pool their risk, incase they run into problems. If you’ve already got a pre-existing condition and join an insurance pool with other people, you’re not pooling your risk; you’re forcing people to pay for your problems, and basically robbing them. But this too is just another difference in the conservative and liberal point of view. Liberals are extremely charitable with other people’s wealth, not so much with their own (if Democrats gave blood at the rate of Republicans, our stock in blood banks would rise by 45%).Why should anyone pay for insurance when they’re healthy to cover against developing a serious health condition, when you can wait and see if you do develop a condition while saving your own money, and then under Obama’s plan, force saps who had been hedging their bets to cover your costs?Obama is going to have to explain how he decided that his plan is going to establish “fair” premiums, when people are penalized for responsibly paying for their insurance prior to developing health problems. He’s going to have an even harder time explaining how on Earth his plan is going to result in “stable premiums” (as it won’t, because while “fair” is subjective, “stable” is objective, and this plan is going to play hell with the cost of health insurance).I would rather, in comparison to Obama’s plan, government just directly pay for the healthcare of the needy instead of ruining the entire insurance market for the majority of Americans that are capable of paying their own way.But this ties back into the “coalitions of power” Obama mentioned in the interview I quoted. The problem that had community organizers like Obama out mau mauing the flak catchers in the 1990s was that banks weren’t giving loans to insolvent minorities. If the government would have just straight-out bought houses for the affected minorities, there wouldn’t have been a housing bubble. But Obama knows that such a policy would never fly politically, which is why he talks about coalitions. He’s got to bring a bunch of people in on the kickbacks and payouts, especially his social worker political base. The housing bubble is a perfect example. Instead of directly helping disaffected minority groups get houses, the government insured reduced lending criteria market wide, which touched off a flood of cheap credit with the government, via Fannie Mae and Freddy Mac, shouldering all the risk that the banks refused to cover on their own previously.Again, just having the government pay for the healthcare, or even just pay for the health insurance of the needy would be preferable to Obama’s plan. But 75% of the population is still honkies, and Obama’s political base is a combination of the inner-city poor and mid-to-upperclass liberals. The large masses of working class crackers in the flyover red states aren’t going to take to those kinds of targeted payouts when they get nothing out of it. So again, the program is going to expand into a “coalition of power” so it flies politically, and as a result cause problems by wrecking the insurance market for everyone.Also, we don’t take it seriously when a Fox News poll reports that McCain won the most recent presidential debate. You should know better than to cite an MPR audience agreeing with an Obama advisor as evidence of anything substantial.

  • Kyle Eliason says:

    I’ve got beef with socialized medicine. A lot of it starts with the way the left views rights. Obama said the following in a 2001 radio interview:

    The Supreme Court never ventured into the issues of redistribution of wealth and sort of basic issues of political and economic justice in this society, and to that extent as radical as people try to characterize the Warren court, it wasn’t that radical. It didn’t break free from the essential constraints that were placed by the founding fathers in the Constitution, at least as it has been interpreted, and the Warren court interpreted it generally in the same way: that the Constitution is a document of negative liberties, says what the states can’t do to you, says what the federal government can’t do to you, but it doesn’t say what the federal government or state government must do on your behalf, and that hasn’t shifted and I think one of the tragedies of the civil rights movement was that the civil rights movement became so court focused, I think there was a tendency to lose track of the political and organizing activities on the ground that are able to bring about the coalitions of power through which you bring about redistributive change, and in some ways we still suffer from that.

    Healthcare is a bundle of goods and services. I can’t wrap my head around that being a right. Chalk me up as being solely on the negative rights side of things.

    Getting back to who’s healthcare plan is worse, Obama has been saying the single dumbest thing I’ve heard all election. It even tops Clinton’s aforementioned cash prize for next gen battery technology. Check out Obama’s policy page on healthcare, and notice the very first bullet point:

    Require insurance companies to cover pre-existing conditions so all Americans regardless of their health status or history can get comprehensive benefits at fair and stable premiums.

    The point of insurance is for people get together and pool their risk, incase they run into problems. If you’ve already got a pre-existing condition and join an insurance pool with other people, you’re not pooling your risk; you’re forcing people to pay for your problems, and basically robbing them. But this too is just another difference in the conservative and liberal point of view. Liberals are extremely charitable with other people’s wealth, not so much with their own (if Democrats gave blood at the rate of Republicans, our stock in blood banks would rise by 45%).

    Why should anyone pay for insurance when they’re healthy to cover against developing a serious health condition, when you can wait and see if you do develop a condition while saving your own money, and then under Obama’s plan, force saps who had been hedging their bets to cover your costs?

    Obama is going to have to explain how he decided that his plan is going to establish “fair” premiums, when people are penalized for responsibly paying for their insurance prior to developing health problems. He’s going to have an even harder time explaining how on Earth his plan is going to result in “stable premiums” (as it won’t, because while “fair” is subjective, “stable” is objective, and this plan is going to play hell with the cost of health insurance).

    I would rather, in comparison to Obama’s plan, government just directly pay for the healthcare of the needy instead of ruining the entire insurance market for the majority of Americans that are capable of paying their own way.

    But this ties back into the “coalitions of power” Obama mentioned in the interview I quoted. The problem that had community organizers like Obama out mau mauing the flak catchers in the 1990s was that banks weren’t giving loans to insolvent minorities. If the government would have just straight-out bought houses for the affected minorities, there wouldn’t have been a housing bubble. But Obama knows that such a policy would never fly politically, which is why he talks about coalitions. He’s got to bring a bunch of people in on the kickbacks and payouts, especially his social worker political base. The housing bubble is a perfect example. Instead of directly helping disaffected minority groups get houses, the government insured reduced lending criteria market wide, which touched off a flood of cheap credit with the government, via Fannie Mae and Freddy Mac, shouldering all the risk that the banks refused to cover on their own previously.

    Again, just having the government pay for the healthcare, or even just pay for the health insurance of the needy would be preferable to Obama’s plan. But 75% of the population is still honkies, and Obama’s political base is a combination of the inner-city poor and mid-to-upperclass liberals. The large masses of working class crackers in the flyover red states aren’t going to take to those kinds of targeted payouts when they get nothing out of it. So again, the program is going to expand into a “coalition of power” so it flies politically, and as a result cause problems by wrecking the insurance market for everyone.

    Also, we don’t take it seriously when a Fox News poll reports that McCain won the most recent presidential debate. You should know better than to cite an MPR audience agreeing with an Obama advisor as evidence of anything substantial.

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