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Global Thermonuclear War: The Only Winning Move Is Not To Play

POSTED ON Oct 01st 2013 BY LESLIE LOFTIS UNDER Healthcare, Politics, US Media

I’m not weighing in on the shutdown, because my option was to accept the results of the election and not touch healthcare. The gap between expectations and reality is a chasm. Let it fall.

While I appreciate Sen. Cruz’s point about bringing Democrats to the table and making everyone take a vote stand, in the end we’ve just given everyone an excuse to blame us for the inevitable disaster. No one will care that the exchange problems, rate hikes, discontinued plans, exclusions and exceptions, all were baked in the cake long before the shutdown. From here on, all problems will allude to or hide behind Republican meddling. In fact, the most popular question on the healthcare.gov website last night was how to opt out of the penalty scheme. But that’s not the story today. The shutdown is.

I don’t have much to say save “I told you so.”  The only winning move was not to play.

All links HT The Transom and Ben Domenech. (He’s got news summaries and overviews down. And he launched a new webmag two weeks ago: The Federalist.)

10 Comments



  1. Megs said:

    I’m not sad about the shutdown, but I agree with you. I wish that the epic fail of the exchange websites (scalability and security and accuracy) were the top story today instead of the shutdown.
    I also agree that I wanted to have the Senate on the record again before next year’s election – now that they MUST know how the effects of the law are hurting people. Now that’s done, let’s get the shutdown put behind us because we’re about to see the debt ceiling debate and we need to be getting ready for that fight.

  2. Leslie Loftis said:

    And did you see the WSJ on hoping Obamacare is successful? Read the whole thing but this is one of the “best” parts:

    The case for hoping ObamaCare “works” is unpersuasive even on the narrow grounds upon which the Post rests it, namely that if it fails because young, healthy people don’t sign up, the people “whose health depends on it” will suffer.

    To hope that ObamaCare helps the latter group is also to hope that the young get bamboozled into buying insurance that is vastly overpriced relative to their risk profile. One may argue that deceiving the young is a lesser evil than refraining from helping the old and sick. But the Post does not acknowledge that trade-off.

    Full article here:
    http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052702303918804579109371407942040.html

  3. Maggie Magdalene said:

    Unfortunately, you are absolutely correct.

  4. Maggie Magdalene said:

    And, in the meantime….http://www.catholic.org/politics/story.php?id=52570

  5. Leslie Loftis said:

    Ah yes the “free” bit. Even in lands of free healthcare, it’s not free. It only feels free. From an old post:

    With the NHS, one doesn’t need to even think about paying. And therein lies the NHS’s greatest strength. It is easy.
    Three elements of the NHS make that perception. First, NHS services seem free because the bill is never paid the day you visit the clinic. It is paid though taxes, which are abnormally painless in the UK. Second, since the NHS is a single payor system, one need not bother with choices about insurance or doctors in system. With the NHS, you get what you get. Third, the NHS has a centralized computer system, one that sounds good in theory but has not worked as planned. I will take each point in turn.
    Healthcare is paid before and after clinic visits by income taxes, payroll taxes, and VAT. Even though US tax rates are significantly lower, UK taxes are easier to pay. The VAT is a flat 20% addition to most goods and services that is included in the price tag. Sales taxes in the US are added at the till. Few are more than 10%, and those are total rates, state, local, and in some cases reservation. If you are buying something for 10 bucks in Texas, you will need $10.63 when you get to the till. That is, even though the American pays little more than a ¼ of what the Brit paid, the American notices the 6% tax; he has to add it on, consciously think of it. It feels like tipping every time you pay for goods.
    Similarly, the PAYE, Pay As You Earn, withholding system in the UK is more comprehensive and accurate than in the US. As a result, few besides employers or the wealthy write checks to HM Revenue and Customs. In short, many people do not feel like they are paying taxes. Hence, when healthcare is not paid for at point of service, it feels free.

    I think people are expecting a bit of this ease. Obamacare has actually made administration harder, no mean feat for US healthcare. They are in for s surprise that you have to do your taxes to figure out your eligibility.

  6. Maggie Magdalene said:

    The problem, of course, is that votes for this administration were bought and sold with the idea of free health care. Interesting that this language would magically disappear as it is to go into effect.

  7. Leslie Loftis said:

    Yeah because everyone is about to find out that it isn’t free. It’s not even cheaper. But care will still be rationed. Have you seen the stories about small provider networks?

  8. Maggie Magdalene said:

    I’m not looking. :0P

  9. Maggie Magdalene said:

    Right now, it appears that no one actually cares that it’s not free. The mainstream media is still decidedly blaming the Republicans and discussing the fact that Obama can’t possibly give up Obamacare because it’s his baby, and one doesn’t give up their baby. Rather ironic that there would be a baby analogy here, eh?

  10. Maggie Magdalene said:

    Looking through news reports, I see that was poorly summarized (by a reporter). What was actually said was, “protect his baby.”

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