Medicaid to Ian: Drop Dead!

For years ekg she has been my liberal foil, challenging my assumptions and sharpening my arguments.  But lately, she has just seemed …off.  Like virtually every liberal worth his or her bureaucracy, she is wildly in favor of a “public option” in the current health care bill.  The more “publicky,” the better. Medicare for all is the dream, and VA care for all is the fantasy.  Yeah, I don’t get that one either.  But unfortunately, it’s a point that seems so evident to the liberal mind that any opposition seems either evil or crazy.

Or racist of course.  We can’t forget that one!

So her arguments in support of “health reform” have been of the self evident variety.  Hardly worth the title of “reasoned discussion” at all.  In discussing the case of Ian Pearl, she pulls out the familiar trope of the evil insurance company denying coverage for the wronged, ill, Christ figure.  Her blog on Ian’s plight is one part righteous anger and two parts accusatory anger.

But I do take her seriously and try to address her disagreements with my position:

Ekg, I don’t want to make you sad, so let me address your points one at a time.

Now, you are saying I don’t know what I am talking about because:

“1st.. Ian wouldn’t die from the ‘public option’… he would die from having to live in an assisted living home…”

So in order to live, Ian needs 24 hour home health care that is currently provided by his health insurance.  Now Ian is about to get the boot, the boot to Medicaid, which does not provide the sort of home health care that Ian needs, according to his parents to stay alive.  So once Ian is on Medicaid, his life will be nasty, brutish, and short.  Now assisted living is how Medicaid handles Muscular Dystrophy patients in Ian’s advanced condition.  So if Ian had never been covered under a private insurance plan, he would have been dead a while ago, correct?

But you say Medicaid is not a public option.  But the public option is government healthcare.  Do you think he would have a better deal under another government plan?

Which leads us to your second point…

”2nd medicaid isn’t the ‘public option’ .. that is what the poorest of the poor get. which no matter how bad(and it’s not), is still better than what millions have now..
The public option is low cost private insurance and it’s only low cost to the payer because the gov’t can purchase larger ‘blocks’ and get a better deal than a single person.”

If you’re correct, I’ve been following this issue for several months and have never heard that the public option is really private insurance.  In fact, I’m pretty sure you’re wrong on that, so I will call bullshit until you can show me.  What I think you are getting it confused with are the private plans that will be sold through the exchange.  Those will have standardized basic benefits, prices, and will be subsidized for lower income people.  That is not the” public option.”  The public option is a government plan, not really insurance, with benefits and prices designed by the government.  Now the public option might be administered by a private company, in the same way that Tricare is administered by private insurance companies in different Tricare regions of the country, but it’s not a private insurance plan.  If there is a public option and it is administered by private health insurance companies, which seems likely, the insurance companies still win!

So one if us is really, really wrong on our understanding of what the public option is.  As long as we have been going over this issue, that’s pretty damn funny.  I don’t care who ya are…

Now I couldn’t help but notice this:

“…healthcare companies pass the buck and raise the price while you cheer them on.. whether it’s because they are exempted under anti-trust laws or any other law doesn’t matter..”

I have not been exactly “cheering on” the health insurance companies while they raise prices.  Seeing as I’ve been in the middle of open enrollment at work, I find any cheers quite muted.  I’m trying to recall the last time I cheered price increases by health insurance companies in general and my health insurance in particular… let’s see, there was that time… no…how about… oh no…

I guess no.  No cheers from me.

As far as anti trust laws go in general, I find them foolish, since monopolies generally require either control of a particular resource or some sort of government grant that gives a legal monopoly to a company.  Baseball has an anti trust exemption since we don’t want multiple baseball leagues bouncing around the country.  We would rather the current owners suck up all the profits.  For health insurance companies, If Senator Leahy or the President wants to pull that trigger, I say, let ‘em.  Just about everything else in the bill is designed to increase health care costs, so what’s one more?

But the issue isn’t anti trust, it’s ERISA.  The federal law governing health plans gives a specific exemption from common contract law.  Under normal (and by this I mean both common and various state laws, although they may differ in specifics) contract law, a contract entered in good faith, even if there are flaws in the actual contract, such as doting the i or crossing the t , is still a valid contract.  Not so for health plans under ERISA.  The insurance company can retroactively cancel the contract of any member for any sort of contractual error.  They certainly have an incentive to dump high cost (i.e. really sick) patients if they can legally get away with it, and thanks to federal law, they can!

I guess lobbying really does pay.

Inevitably, when these hard luck rescission cases become big news, like Ian Pearl’s case or others that have become a cause celebre  for big government types such as the cases of Robin Beaton and Otto Raddatz’s, the reason they lost their health care was because of rescission; because the law allows them to.  Big government liberals easily forget the real villains in those cases:  ERISA.

Health Insurance II:  This time it’s personal.

“the quote you used was the PC/CYA reply to being asked why the VP would call someone like Ian or Chuck a fucking “dog”… which is something else you know, but chose to ignore because it doesn’t further your cause..

seriously.. how can you continue to protect an industry that would treat your wife the same way if she was diagnosed with MS tomorrow is simply beyond me..she would just be their new ‘dog’ to rid themselves of..”

Although I find myself offended at the term “dog” being used for either my wife or Chuck ( Ian I don’t know.  Sorry Ian, I’m sure you’re a nice guy and all…), the context seems to refer to the accounts, rather than the individuals.  But lets assume the worse.  The health insurance execs are meanies, they hate Ian, Chuck, and my wife and think they are dogs, and of course, hope they all die before too much money is spent on the sickly, when it could be much better spent on fabulous executive bonuses.   THIS is one of the key differences between people who trust the free market (as opposed to individual companies or executives) and people who trust the good naturedness of big government (stand by, teachable moment here):

I don’t care that companies may hate me, are greedy, or that they are looking out for their own self interest.  Of course they are!  They are in business to make a goddamn buck!  Not to wipe the tears from our eyes and give us a shoulder to cry on.

But it’s an observation that predates Adam Smith’s invisible hand:  Businesses and individuals in business are conducting commerce for their own ends.  However the result of that is that everyone’s interests are satisfied.  You want a widget, and a greedy company wants to make money by selling widgets.  Money and Widgets are exchanged, and voila!  Everyone gets what they want!  Contracts?  Same thing.  There is a centuries old body of law governing, “lets make a deal” between people.  As a general rule, it works pretty well.  It would probably work pretty well with health insurance too if our government allowed it.

But if your thinking on private enterprise and business is totally dependent on companies being filled with nice guys and gals who think providing profits to their shareholders is less important than holding your hand and skipping through the meadow on a spring day, then you are pretty much going to hate capitalism and the free market.

And of course, let’s really get personal:

“.. you are as much of an accomplice in this as the ones who do it knowingly.. you have a president who will work with you.. but instead the GOP shat in his hand and walk over to tongue-kiss the insurance companies because they have the money to rile up the rank and inbred and to fund their re-election bid…”

Wow!  Me!  Personally responsible for Ian Pearl’s unfortunate condition, or responsible for the Republicans in Congress sitting on their hands and not embracing the President’s wack-a-nut health plan?  Either way, it’s a lot of responsibility to rest on my shoulders.  In any case, it was the President who spent the summer playing “wash the molars” with the health insurance companies, not the Republicans.  All the poor health insurance companies wanted was forced, mandatory requirement that everyone in the country get health insurance, a windfall worth billions to them.  That’s why they kept their mouths shut all summer and generically praised “health reform.”  Particularly after it looked like the Public Option was off the table.

But a funny thing happened on the way to negotiations; the individual mandate and the fines to enforce it got weakened.  Weakened enough that suddenly the other higher costs enclosed in the health plan suddenly seem to outweigh the lesser amount of new customers the health insurance companies were expected to have the federal government  herd their way.  It is about self interest after all.  That’s what makes the world go round.  As fun as it would be to blame the Republicans for all this, or any of this for that matter, it’s strictly an inter-party squabble.  It’s Democrats versus the President.  Republicans?  They’re just out in the bleachers, yelling, “You lie” occasionally.

As for Ian, I don’t have a solution for him.  In that way, I’m no different than ekg.  I would have supported eliminating the part of ERISA that allows these situations to happen in the first place.  He would have either not lost his insurance, or if he had, his parents would have been able to sue the company in court.  That’s not an option available to him under current law.  But even if the Congress were to magically take an interest in that, I doubt it would be done in time to help Ian.

Other than that, I only have Ian’s parent’s word that care under Medicaid is a “death sentence.”  I don’t know if that is their take on their son’s situation or a doctor’s opinion, but in any case, I hope they are wrong.  He’s getting the liberal dream:  government healthcare.  No greedy health insurance companies involved.   It’s government healthcare for Ian soon, and government healthcare for all of us eventually if the President has his way.  But If both Medicaid and Medicare, would have Ian die, why should this be shoved down my throat?  It’s funny that the biggest supporters of government healthcare suddenly are frightened by the thought of someone actually getting it.

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14 thoughts on “Medicaid to Ian: Drop Dead!

  1. I don’t know when Ian would have died.. what I do know, from talking to someone in almost the exact same condition as Ian, is that with his already depressed immune system, Ian’s breathing tube, and the rampant flu-cold-and regular sniffles that go with living in an assisted living facility.. the chances of infection are increased exponentially.. like duh, dude..think about what you’re saying for once..

    and why should Ian have to go on Medicaid when he entered into a contract with that company..and then agreed to be put on the vent in the 1st place b/c of that agreement.. he did nothing wrong, except live!

    hell, just ask Ian

    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/ian-pearl/i-am-not-a-dog_b_326137.html

    A breathing machine usually means life in a nursing facility. But my father’s small business had health insurance from Guardian Life Insurance Co., which promised “Solutions for Life.” The health policy had no lifetime benefit cap and covered home nursing care. Relying on that contract with a 149-year-old company, I decided to go on a mechanical ventilator for the rest of my life.

    and now they’ve decided they don’t need to live up to their contract and why should they.. you’ll just argue for them and push Ian off onto medicaid..

    niiiicee…

    If this was a single problem with just one person.. I could see ignoring it or laughing it off the way you.. but it’s not. It’s a story being told day after day and you do nothing but mock it and mock anyone who gets angry about..

    “denying coverage for the wronged, ill, Christ figure. Her blog on Ian’s plight is one part righteous anger and two parts accusatory anger.”

    again.. sweeeett.. you reduce an anger that you can’t understand and turn it into something to make light and fun of..you’re not lil beck.. you’re lil Antoinette

    again.. niiiiccceee.. it’s good to know this is how you operate.. only wish I’d known sooner..

    btw, you’re still wrong,lying or both.. why is that?

    “But the public option is government healthcare”

    it is not government healthcare.. it’s non-profit insurance..2 totally different animals that you keep lumping together because you either can’t tell the truth or won’t…

    Christ, it’s in it’s goddamn name.. Public Insurance Option.. The “Public Option”.. it is not health care, it is not medicine, it is not death panels.. it is insurance.. just like BCBS..

    it is part of the “exchange”…

    President Barack Obama promoted the concept of a health insurance exchange as a key component of his health reform initiative. Obama stated that it should be “…a market where Americans can one-stop shop for a health care plan, compare benefits and prices, and choose the plan that’s best for them, in the same way that Members of Congress and their families can. None of these plans should deny coverage on the basis of a preexisting condition, and all of these plans should include an affordable basic benefit package that includes prevention, and protection against catastrophic costs. I strongly believe that Americans should have the choice of a public health insurance option operating alongside private plans. This will give them a better range of choices, make the health care market more competitive, and keep insurance companies honest.”[4]

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Health_insurance_exchange

    more
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Public_option

    A public health insurance option (public insurance option or public option for short) is a proposed health insurance plan that would be offered by the U.S. federal government.

    more

    The public plan would be
    similar to conventional Medicare (the “public Medicare plan,” as distinguished from private
    plans that contract with Medicare) in that it would be managed by the federal government
    and pay private providers to deliver care. The public plan would be offered through a new
    national insurance “exchange,” where it would compete with private insurance plans

    http://74.125.113.132/search?q=cache:EXBtS7Me7AgJ:www.law.berkeley.edu/files/Hacker_final_to_post.pdf+Public+Insurance+Option&cd=5&hl=en&ct=clnk&gl=us&client=firefox-a

    more

    In short, injecting a public plan — that is managed by the federal government and would pay private providers to deliver care — into a new health care exchange that prohibits cherry picking has two big benefits:
    http://wonkroom.thinkprogress.org/2008/12/17/public-plan-report/

    more
    http://www.americanprogressaction.org/issues/2009/03/public_plan.html

    do I need to keep going? or do you admit you are wrong? it is a cheaper private insurance plan.. it is not medicaid/medicare… Life would have been so much easier had it been Medicare for all..

    you keep trying to make the medicaid the ‘public option’..medicaid is what you get when you can’t afford to buy your own insurance from the exchange that includes private and public plans competing with each other…. the public option plan is the exact same plan as **insert private company basic plan** except it doesn’t have to make profit so it can be cheaper..

    and finally..

    So her arguments in support of “health reform” have been of the self evident variety. Hardly worth the title of “reasoned discussion” at all.

    is that ‘reasoned’ enough for you

  2. You confirm my assumptions my dear.

    First of all, by editing your reply. Nothing wrong with that. But you dropped off a link that you had originally:

    http://nyulocal.com/national/2009/09/09/the-public-option-explained/

    “So what’s the deal with the public option? Here’s a basic definition: it’s a government-run insurance policy that would be offered along side private policies in newly created “health insurance exchanges.””

    But really I didn’t expect you to honestly not know what the “Public Option” was. It is a government health plan. We’ve been saying that for months, and suddenly you think it’s just another plan in the exchange, only a non profit one. I already said what it is; it’s a government health plan. Just like Tricare. Hence the term “Public.” If we can’t even agree on that…

    “it is not government healthcare.. it’s non-profit insurance..2 totally different animals that you keep lumping together because you either can’t tell the truth or won’t…”

    “do I need to keep going? or do you admit you are wrong? it is a cheaper private insurance plan.. it is not medicaid/medicare… Life would have been so much easier had it been Medicare for all..”

    Wow, you actually thought I was “lying” about the Public Option. If only you were.

    Well it goes to my point that your research skills and attention to detail have completely flown out the window when it comes to health reform. The past few months, while I’ve tried to study the policy implications of the various proposals, you have totally checked out of the issue. They had you at “health reform.” That’s all you had to hear. Scope? Cost? Details? All irrelevant. The heart wants what the heart wants. While I’ve been arguing policy, you’ve been arguing high concept. That you have been so strenuously supporting the public option for months without even knowing what it is proves my point. Like your conversion from Hillary to Obama, this is more akin to a religious experience, and me? I’m just a hateful heretic to be burned at the stake of preexisting conditions.

    But at least you seemed to have calmed down some. After all, you did replace the “go fuck yourself” with just a pic of the bird.

    That’s progress right?

  3. The removal of that was for you dear, I know you don’t like unknown blogs, so I changed it to something you’d be more comfortable with..

    all it takes is a quick gander at the others to see the say the exact same thing..I figured Obama’s own words would more dependable than that unknown link..

    I strongly believe that Americans should have the choice of a public health insurance option operating alongside private plans

    but hey, if you don’t want vetted sources, I’m cool with that.. it’s not like you’ll use reputable ones yourself..

    as to you being wrong..you are still calling the ‘public option’ medicaid.. you do that in order to give it a bad taste.. you could say it’s medicare or even like the VA, but that doesn’t suit your need.. so you just lie and call it medicaid.. when it isn’t.. it’s the same insurance you would get from a private companies, only it’s offered thru the gov’t… it’s funny how you won’t call it “Tricare” when you know that would get support.. but chose to mislabel it as “Medicaid” instead because of the bias against that word..

    Tricare is closer to the truth.. but again.. that would win support of all the oldies you are trying to scare into thinking about all “those people” who will be getting government handed out ‘medicaid’ if they support reform..

    par for the course with you tho..

    We’ve been saying that for months, and suddenly you think it’s just another plan in the exchange

    and you are the one who is mistaken again.. the public option is a plan that will be in the exchange along with other plans..

    http://www.whosplayin.com/xoops/modules/news/article.php?storyid=1199
    Health Insurance Exchange
    Basically, the exchange will consist of multiple insurance offerings from various qualified health benefits providers (read: private health insuranc companies). The public option will be added to the exchange, subject to the same rules as private companies face

    or hell, read the bill yourself..

    http://www.opencongress.org/bill/111-h3200/text

    (1) EXCLUSIVE TO THE EXCHANGE- The public health insurance option shall only be made available through the Health Insurance Exchange.

    I guess Beck and Hannity lied to you.. that’s ok, they lie to everyone…

    and since you didn’t like the edit, I’ll leave it in this time..

    go fuck yourself..

  4. Let me take care of the simple one first.

    Howey, I can always count on you to dare to post something totally stupid and make me feel much smarter than I actually am, In this case, although the anti-trust exemption may have been in the McCarren-Ferguson Act (as well as the prohibition against intra-state selling of health insurance policies) the anti trust exemption has nothing to do with… anything. Anti trust has nothing to do with Ian’s situation. The only reason it’s been up in the news lately is because it’s a club for the administration to intimidate the health insurance with, Chicago style. But notice that no one in the administration mentioned it until last week when that Price Waterhouse study came out. Is removing the anti trust part of health reform? No. Will it bring down health costs? No. It just opens the federal government to take legal action for the various state monopolies on health insurance that McCarren-Ferguson created by preventing the selling of insurance policies across state lines. We know you guys don’t want real competition do you? So back to Olbermann you go…

    Now for ekg… totally stunning. You really didn’t even know, after all this time, what the public option was. Too late to backtrack now. We both know you didn’t know. I knew Medicaid was not “the” public option but it is certainly “a” public option. In fact, I thought you would support the Baucus Bill when you found out they were increasing Medicaid eligibility in it, and of course hiding half the cost of it because the states pick up half. Instead, you were holding out for something that you didn’t even understand.

    Just like I thought. It was all spirituality and buzzwords for you. You totally dropped the ball on the policy. That is why you didn’t want to discuss the cost, either the costs of the bill, the cost imposed on premiums, the taxes, or the deceptive way the bill was gamed to hide it’s true costs. You didn’t care about any of that. All you cared about was the “Public Option,” a concept you didn’t even understand apparently until this week.

    No wonder I couldn’t get you into debate on specifics.

    You didn’t know them, and you didn’t care.

  5. “Let me take care of the simple one first.”

    lol…what, because you’re wrong?

    http://prescriptions.blogs.nytimes.com/2009/10/21/house-panel-approves-bill-curbing-insurers-antitrust-exemption/

    “House Democrats said they were considering adding the Judiciary Committee bill to the larger health care overhaul legislation that would extend health benefits to millions of people who are uninsured.”

    And you say it’s not McCarren-Ferguson? Read the above again – and every single news release (I said “news” so don’t bother checking Fox) about removing the anti trust exemption – they all say McCarren-Ferguson:

    http://leahy.senate.gov/press/200909/091709a.html

    As the Senate prepares to consider comprehensive health care reform legislation, Leahy introduced the Health Insurance Industry Antitrust Enforcement Act to repeal the antitrust exemption that was established in the 1945 McCarran-Ferguson Act.

    I’m still waiting for you to admit you’re wrong, Mike. Again.

    http://theplumline.whorunsgov.com/health-care/public-strongly-supports-dem-effort-to-open-insurance-industry-to-competition/

  6. Now for ekg… totally stunning. You really didn’t even know, after all this time, what the public option was. Too late to backtrack now. We both know you didn’t know. I knew Medicaid was not “the” public option but it is certainly “a” public option. In fact, I thought you would support the Baucus Bill when you found out they were increasing Medicaid eligibility in it, and of course hiding half the cost of it because the states pick up half. Instead, you were holding out for something that you didn’t even understand.

    what fucking planet are you from? you’ve spent months calling the public option ‘medicaid’ and now all of a sudden when called on it you dream up this “Oh I knew the whole time” and “You never knew at all” bullshit? you didn’t even know it would be a part of the exchange..remember

    We’ve been saying that for months, and suddenly you think it’s just another plan in the exchange, only a non profit one

    I’ve said thru out this entire debate the public option was “low cost private insurance” that its low cost because there will be a large pool of small business or ‘single’ people with no employer insurance or those who can’t get insurance in this pool bringing the priced down.. its the only way to counter your misconception that it was medicaid..Because medicaid implies everyone is getting it for free.. calling it low-cost care is right there in the fucking description..COST meaning that you PAY for it.. I have even used WDW as an example, as in.. when WDW buys insurance it’s cheaper than you or I could get it because they buy such a large stake in it, and the public option will work the same way..your replies have been ‘Medicaid,socialism,rationing’ nothing based in any reality, just spewage from your GOP newsletter…. I thought you were doing that on purpose, now come to find out you really don’t know wtf you’re talking about

    I didn’t talk about the costs,policy? are you fucking nuts? I’ve only talked about where you could cut cost like 10000000000 times, only to have you scream ‘rationing’ every step of the way.. I’ve said a dozen times making things more streamlined by doing thing electronically will cut down on admin costs, I did an entire blog on reforming unnecessary treatement. I’ve blogged on the fact that if medicare can work with only 2% of the admin costs, then so can private care.. cut back there and you save money..I even used CA’s $200 billion a year admin cost as an example.. the private companies yearly admin costs for one state are more than Obama’s entire country public option costs..anf if you reduce overhead from 25% to 2% then doctors and hospitals could get paid more and costs would go down..

    I don’t know where the hell you were during any of that, but once again, your selective memory is showing itself..

    your idea of discussing ‘costs’ are to use 2 reports commissioned by the insurance companies.. and that’s you talking about costs? no, that you promoting an industry that just called anyone supporting the public option ( and by some polls that number is in the 60%+ range of Americans) the enemy.. and whoever votes with those people are giving comfort to the enemy..

    you have been the good little solider and fought against “the enemy” for your special leaders in the health insurance world.. I just can’t understand why in the hell you would continue to fight for them knowing that they will do the same to you as they have done to Robin Beaton (yeah, I brought her up months ago btw.. funny you would use her now like you just heard of her) and millions of others..

    Jesus, I know Fox like to makes shit up even when the real quote or headline is sitting right there in front of them.. But I seriously never expected you to start doing that.. I guess I should watch out, you might start posting things under my name like your GOP counterparts are doing with other Dems.

    the means really do justify the end to you don’t they.. at all costs, who gives a shit whether it’s true,real,better.. just win a mark in that ideology at all costs..

    utterly amazing..

  7. Oh, Mikie. I just remembered. I wasn’t talking about Ian Pearl, although I find it amusing that you’re no longer supporting the small business owners who are unable to get health care. lol…

    Meanwhile, I suspect the anti-trust amendment most definitely will be in the health care reform bill, so get ready:

    http://thehill.com/homenews/house/64305-pelosi-house-health-bill-will-nix-insurance-exemption

    Legislation ending the antitrust exemption for health insurance companies will be included in the House healthcare bill, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said Thursday.

    “It will include the Leahy amendment which is eliminating the exemption of health insurance companies … from antitrust law,” Pelosi said, referring to a Senate provision authored by Senate Judiciary Chairman Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.).

    I don’t understand your sudden turnaround on this though. Way up in your first few paragraphs of this blog you said:

    “For health insurance companies, If Senator Leahy or the President wants to pull that trigger, I say, let ‘em.”

    Not only will repeal of the anti-trust laws bring about the end of individual monopolies, it’ll reform malpractice insurance too, as well as allow sale of policies across state borders – all of which will increase competition between insurance companies, thus decreasing policy rates! w00t!

    I remember back when I was on the Muche (land of censored speech) that you were in favor of all this before? Now you’re not? Why the big flip-flop?

  8. Return of the simple one!

    OK simple one, allow me to embarrass you once again. I didn’t say the anti trust exemption wasn’t in the McCarren-Ferguson Act. Allow me to quote my own comment that you were too dumb to understand:

    “In this case, although the anti-trust exemption may have been in the McCarren-Ferguson Act (as well as the prohibition against intra-state selling of health insurance policies) the anti trust exemption has nothing to do with… anything. Anti trust has nothing to do with Ian’s situation.”

    Of course, now it looks like it will be part of the reform bill. Not as part of “reform” otherwise it would have been in there in the first place, but just because Congress wants revenge on the insurance industry for bailing out on supporting “reform” when it looks like they were being double crossed in the Baucus bill by the weakening of the individual mandate. That was in your own link from The Hill, but we know about you and links eh?

    I didn’t switch my tune on that. I’m agnostic on the anti trust exemption. In a perfect world, we wouldn’t have anti trust exemptions because we wouldn’t have anti trust laws. Now if the Leahy amendment actually eliminates the prohibition against selling insurance across state lines that would be a net plus. Finally, one good thing I could point to in the health reform bill that might help control costs, but my gut tells me that since the White House opposes it, it’s not going to be in there.

    But just repealing the anti trust laws by themselves won’t do anything to increase competition and lower costs unless health plans can be sold across state lines. I can’t believe that we have to argue commerce across state lines in the 21st century!

    So Howey, as pretty much is typical of you, you’re wrong. Just reading what I wrote would have gone a long way to educate you. I guess all that time in the bunker during the nuclear war in the 80’s drained the reading comprehension right out of you.

    Now for ekg…

    You have not exactly acquitted yourself well lately on health issues. I understand why. For you, it’s beyond logic. It’s just belief, and you can’t seem to argue on that level.

    OK you said that I have spent months calling the Public Option “Medicaid.” That’s only true in the sense that I said that it is a public option, but not the one that the House, and left wing ideologues such as yourself have been supporting as part of the health reform bill. That has always been a public health plan in the exchange and I’ve never described it as anything else. Establishing yet another entitlement program is one of (the many) reasons I oppose it. However I did a search of all the uses I’ve made of the word Medicaid in the last 3 months on the board. This is the only thing I can think you could be referring to:

    http://muchedumbre.com/forum/index.php/topic,25682.msg409649.html#msg409649

    [quote author=lil mike link=topic=25682.msg409649#msg409649 date=1254781973]
    Relax. I already told you, the Baucus bill already has a public option. They are not calling it that. They are raising the income eligibility for Medicaid so more people can apply. Don’t believe me? Wait till this gets to the floor of the senate. I don’t think there will be a single Democratic “public option or nothing” no vote against the bill.
    [/quote]

    I thought the meaning of that was pretty clear. There is not the “Public Option,” as far as a separate program in the exchange in the Baucus Bill, however by raising the income eligibility for Medicaid, they are allowing more people to join. Did you honestly not understand that meaning, or is this just a made up point of yours so you don’t have to admit you’re wrong?

    And you? You’re still calling it “low cost private insurance.”

    No. It’s not private insurance. I’ve used the example of Tricare on multiple occasions to describe the public option. Private insurance it’s not. Amazing that you are still not clear on this when we are this far in to the debate.

    Oh, I brought up the example of Robin Beaton because you had used her as an example. See I remembered!

    So in spite of Fox and other distractions, I’ve tried to stay within what’s known about the bill(s), and have documented it, and you? You’ve been off on cloud 9. Telling me I’m wrong when still, towards the end of October, you don’t even know what the Public Option is, even though you’ve been agitating it for months. That’s being a good lil soldier all right.

    I understand a little better why you didn’t want to discuss the policy angles on this. You didn’t understand them, and worse, you didn’t care.

  9. again.. It’s like low cost private insurance.. it is not medicaid, it is not BCBS.. it is the bastard child of both.. to explain it as low cost private insurance thru the gov’t is more correct than calling it medicaid… you could have called it tricare, which is low cost gov’t managed healthcare..whether it’s tricare extra, tricare standard or prime.. whatever.. that is alot closer than medicaid and has a lot less of a stigma attached and you know it..

    you also know what I’m talking about but like usual.. you’re pretending to be Mr. Black and White only..

    whatever..you do it to infuriate me and we both know.. so enjoy the truce while it lasts..

  10. Hey! Dumbfuck midget! Fuck you. Now which insurer do you work for?

    http://www.facebook.com/note.php?note_id=322319035444&ref=mf

    “If there was ever any justification for exempting the insurance industry from federal anti-trust law, there certainly isn’t any longer,” Welch said. “Repealing this exemption will end anti-competitive, collusive conduct and bring much-needed competition to the industry. It will make insurance more affordable for Americans and save taxpayers’ money.”

    The health insurance industry has operated beyond the reach of America’s anti-trust laws since the McCarran-Ferguson Act was passed by Congress in 1945. This exemption was intended to be temporary, but it has not turned out that way. The insurance industry claims that it is currently subject to state anti-trust laws. The truth is that many states have limited resources to investigate and pursue anti-trust violations.

    Repealing the antiquated McCarran-Ferguson law would effectively end insurance company collusion and bring much-needed competition to the industry. The Consumer Federation of America has said that this action alone would save consumers more than $40 billion in insurance premiums.

    Sen. Patrick Leahy has led similar efforts in the Senate to repeal anti-trust exemptions. Leahy announced Wednesday that he will offer the Health Insurance Industry Antitrust Enforcement Act as an amendment to the Senate version of comprehensive health care reform.

    Welch’s letter, which was also signed by Reps. Peter DeFazio, Bart Stupak, Gene Taylor, John W. Olver, Daniel Lipinski, Pete Visclosky, Raul Grijalva, Betty Sutton, Elijah E. Cummings, Dennis Kucinich, Eric Massa, Earl Blumenauer, Brian Baird and Bob Filner, is copied below:

    October 22, 2009

    Speaker
    U.S. House of Representatives
    H-232, The Capitol
    Washington, DC 20515

    Dear Speaker Pelosi:

    We have all heard the stories about the excesses of the health insurance industry: the use of rescission to dump sick people from the insurance rolls, refusing to renew polices of high-cost patients and denying coverage to individuals with pre-existing conditions, all for the sake of profits.

    Health insurance reform is desperately needed. Yet of all the proposals on how best to reform the insurance industry and its practices, one above all other would rein in insurance companies’ anti-competitive behavior and save consumers billions of dollars in premiums. The proposal is simple: Require the health insurance industry to operate under the same anti-trust laws as all other industries. We appreciate that the Judiciary Committee has just finished its mark on HR 3596, the Health Insurance Industry Antitrust Enforcement Act of 2009. Their bill is necessary and essential, but is likely more narrowly based than required to effectively eliminate the problem. The Judiciary bill repeals the antitrust exemption for three specific practices (bid rigging, market allocation, and price fixing). It does not ensure that the FTC has the power to go after the offenders, an essential step to restoring competition in the marketplace.

    That is why we are asking that the health reform bill subject the health insurance industry to all federal anti-trust laws and unambiguously give the FTC authority to investigate and go after the offenders.

    The health insurance industry, as well as all other lines of insurance, has operated beyond the reach of America’s anti-trust laws for more than six decades since the McCarran-Ferguson Act was passed by Congress in 1945. This exemption was intended to be temporary, but it has not turned out that way. If there ever was, there is no longer any justification to exempt the insurance industry from federal anti-trust law. The insurance industry claims that they are currently subject to state anti-trust laws. The truth is many states have limited resources to investigate and go after anti-trust violations.

    Applying federal anti-trust law to the industry will provide an important backstop for states and help end anti-competitive, collusive conduct such as price fixing, agreements not to pay, and divvying up the market in non-competitive ways. Repeal of the industry’s anti-trust exemption would effectively end insurance company collusion and bring much-needed competition to the industry. Furthermore, giving the FTC unambiguous authority to investigate these illegal activities would put the insurance industry on notice that these practices will no longer be endured.

    The Consumer Federation of America has said that consumers would save more than $40 billion in insurance premiums if the antiquated McCarran-Ferguson law was repealed. This action has garnered bipartisan support from people such as Governor Bobby Jindal of Louisiana, former Majority Leader Trent Lott and Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Patrick Leahy. Even President Obama has expressed support for repealing the anti-trust exemption. In 2005, while serving in the U.S. Senate, he was an original cosponsor of the Medical Malpractice Insurance Antitrust Act, which would have repealed the McCarran-Ferguson Act for medical malpractice insurance. In 2008, while campaigning for president, he added it as a provision in his health care proposal.

    Insurers may object to being subject to the same anti-trust laws as everyone else, but their concerns are outweighed by the financial burden rising premiums unfairly place on consumers. Consumers have the right to be confident that the cost of their insurance, and the decisions by their insurance carriers about which claims will be paid, reflect competitive market conditions, not collusive behavior.

    Sincerely,

    Rep. Peter Welch

  11. Howey, just admit you’re not smart enough to respond to posts on the internet. I mean, that’s a low standard as it is, or… just keep making an idiot of yourself by dodging my points and just post links of irrelevancies. That works to my benefit too!

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