Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Plus, it helps feed the endangered polar bears!

I laughed pretty hard at this one, found at Hoosierpundit:



Meanwhile, while I was at the grocery store yesterday, I saw a car with an "I'm A Health Care Voter" bumper sticker. It was very slick; obviously the product of a graphic designer, not MS Paint and Cafe Press. Guess what color it was?

Poor lefties. They've been playing on astroturf for so long that they don't know grassroots even when fed a mouthful of divot.

24 comments:

Anonymous said...

I'm sure, packed with drugs and bile as they are, that those things are bad for polar bears.

Polar bears need an an organic diet of seals, fish and Eskimo.

Tam said...

We won't be putting pacemakers in the useless eaters anymore, and that should help protect the bears' digestive tracts.

alath said...

Let's clarify:

Is the government evil for trying to provide health care?

Or is it evil for trying not to provide health care?

Personally, I think the government via Medicare is already paying for way too much pointless intesive end-of-life care. For instance, full codes and ICU support for severely demented Alzheimer's patients. We'll spend half a million dollars chasing a remote possibility of "recovery" when "recovery" means "stable enough to be returned to a total care Alzheimer's facility."

As a conservative/libertarian, it pains me to hear Republicans angrily accusing Democrats of trying to put limits on how much taxpayer money we'll spend trying to maintain vital signs for a few more hours or days in a terminally ill patient as part of our national Frankenstein experiment in end-of-life care.

Joanna said...

My dad is 49, disabled and on seizure medication. I have to wonder when they'd decide he didn't need those meds anymore. After all, it's not like he goes to work every day, so he'll be at home if he has a seizure ... *grrrrr*

Anonymous said...

"I think the government via Medicare is already paying for way too much pointless intesive end-of-life care."

May I hear that in the original German, Dr. Tergesten?

As a conservative/libertarian should it not pain you to have government interfere in these decisions?

Has not the centralized planning of the last 100 years caused enough misery and death for all of us to know that government deciding who shall live and who shall die (even if couched in "reason and science" which always neither) is a disaster arranged by bureaucractic forms?

Shootin' Buddy

Tam said...

Alath,

The answer is, of course, "Both".

alath said...

SB,
That's why I think it would be far better not to have the government involved in purchasing health care at all.

If it was up to us, we could all decide as individuals and families whether spending half a million dollars of our own money to resuscitate Aunt Edna and stabilize her enough to go back into the total care Alzheimer's facility is a good move or not.

Right now, we have no responsibility for such decisions because the taxpayer is footing the bill.

What you seem to be advocating is not just taxpayer-funded health care, but taxpayer-funded health care with an infinite spending limit and no judgements about what kind of spending is worthwhile and what isn't.

Everything for Everybody! No limits! Taxpayer foots the bill!

As for the Nazi medicine references, we are rapidly approaching the ability to maintain vital signs in a dying person indefinitely. We already keep people who are demonstrably brain dead 'alive' in ICUs for weeks on end, at the cost of hundreds of thousands or millions of dollars. Who's conducting freak science here, the person who keeps zapping a corpse to see how long it can be made to twitch, or the person who says "this is sick; stop it!"?

Alternatively, look at our terminal care spending and project it out over 48 million baby boomers. What we're doing now is unsustainable, and it's going to stop one way or another. Either we make the tough decisions - individually or collectively - or else the government will go insolvent trying to pay for what we're doing now.

Either way, it's not going on like this much longer.

Stan in Minnesota said...

My Mom and Dad are on DNR (do not resuscitate) orders, but this is a choice they made on there own loooooong before Dad started sliding down hill.

Anonymous said...

Keep the pacemakers in the elderly.

With the "signal" they emit, it would be one way to track the polar bears.

B Woodman
III

perlhaqr said...

Is the government evil for trying to provide health care?

The government is evil for mugging me to pay for health care.

----

I keep hearing people whine about how they want "affordable insurance". I finally realized the other day that the education system sucks so much that they actually don't understand the definition of the word "insurance". "Insurance" is when you and a large company make a bet about whether you're going to have a catastrophic medical issue. You pay them $50 a month, and if you get really sick, they pay for you to get better. If you don't get sick, well, it's only $50 a month and there's some benefit to the peace of mind of knowing you would be covered. These people just want to spend $50 a month and draw $1000 in benefits, every month, forever. That's not "insurance". That's "somebody else paying for my problems".

</choirpreach>

Steve Skubinna said...

Is the government evil for trying to provide health care?

The government is evil whenever it interposes itself between citizens and their rights. Nobody has a "right" to health care. Everyone has a right to take what steps he can to maintain his health, nobody has a right to any product or service taken from another by force.

Arguments about cost or efficiency only serve to obscure the obscenity of the government taking control of the medical sector, which is what single payer will be. And anyone who believes that Obama is not shooting for single payer also believes that we have always been at war with Eastasia.

Kristopher said...

Yep.

If they pass a healthcare bill with nothing but the text "Puppies can be nice", it will get morphed into mandatory government healthcare by the time it is extruded by committee.

DirtCrashr said...

The Government is evil, period. This isn't "reform" either - that would involve actually fixing some things like Medicaid and Medicare, not rolling them up into an even bigger bankrupt bundle of waste and mismanagement. Reform would also include some tort-reform to stop the John Edwards of the world, and Reform would allow for interstate commerce of insurance so people could shop policies, rates and packages - and include portability. Reform would let the Market actually function instead of being lobbyist-hobbled by a dysfunctional and evil Government, drowning in an ever expanding pool of bureaucratic filth.

alath said...

Steve & Perlhaqr - I have no objection to what you're saying. If everyone is responsible for his/her own costs, then everyone gets to make his/her own decisions. There's a lot to be said for that.

That's not what I'm getting from the health care protesters, though. What I'm hearing from them is that they still want the government (Medicare) to pay for their health care, but they object to the government setting any kind of limits on that. If it costs half a billion dollars to keep me alive another five minutes so I can finish this post, then by golly, the government's going to have to pony up because human life is infinitely valuable and who are they to set a price on my last five minutes? I have a right to these last few minutes, and therefore the taxpayer has an obligation to pay for them.

I generally agree with the gist of the responses here, but that's not at all what I'm hearing from the "keep the government out of my Medicare" people.

Joanna said...

If they pass a healthcare bill with nothing but the text "Puppies can be nice", it will get morphed into mandatory government healthcare by the time it is extruded by committee.

I LOL'd. Keep it mind it would have to pass a "Nuh uh, kittens are better" attempt at a filibuster.

Tam said...

The problem with the .gov being involved in health care, other than the fact that it's completely unconstitutional to Rob my bank account Peter to pay for your chemo Paul, is that then the .gov gets to put a price tag on what health care, and ultimately the human lives that depend on it, is worth.

My life is worth precisely what I, and the few people who give a damn about me, think it's worth.

doubletrouble said...

Home care is the answer.

As a home care-giver, Grandma rubbed lard all over Grandpa's back.

He went downhill fast after that...

Anonymous said...

"May I hear that in the original German, Dr. Tergesten? As a conservative/libertarian should it not pain you to have government interfere in these decisions?"

So if I understand your position: you are against gov run healthcare, but for unlimited spending of tax payers monies on the +-90,0000,000 recipients of medicare and medicaid.

"Has not the centralized planning of the last 100 years caused enough misery and death for all of us to know that government deciding who shall live and who shall die (even if couched in "reason and science" which always neither) is a disaster arranged by bureaucractic forms?"

Like the lefty intellectuals of old, you and your fringe agitoprop friends need detoxification rather than refutation (borrowed from Raymond Aron).

nom.de.rant

Nat said...

On this subject of health insurance, my insurance agent has an interesting take. He has stated for years that the best thing for the individual (please note that word) would be for the .gov to stop all tax credits for heath costs. The quick result would be no tax credit to companies offering their employees health insurance. This would cause them to quickly decide to NOT offer them health insurance. Now the insurance companies have a problem, no one is paying $600 a month or more for health insurance...they would need to actually look at the costs of doing business, like their marble-walled offices, and figure out how to get ALL of the available customers. The net result would be reasonable costs on health insurance. For proof compare the cost of car insurance between states like the People's Republic of Massachusetts, and any other state that is run via capitalism. It will scare you.

karrde said...

Gentleman, I don't think anyone here has said anything about Medicare or Medicaid.

Complaining about a government program that is worse than the current setup does not imply that the current setup is healthy. (Saying you don't want your child to switch from Big Macs to Mountain Dew and Twinkies doesn't mean that you think Big Macs are good nutrition...)

In my opinion, they may have a place as an optional program, but even in that regard they place heavy restrictions upon what doctors get paid for services, what services doctors can bill for, and how they can bill.

There are two large problems with the current setup for health insurance.

(1) Most people have their insurance through their work.

(2) Those that do not are forced to take Medicare/Medicaid, unless they decide to jump into programs like this one.
Medicare and Medicaid don't pay doctors in full for services rendered, thus everyone other insurance program the doctor accepts end up subsidizinng Medicare/Medicaid.

This fall, when I get the chance to opt out of my employer's Blue Cross/Blue Shield, I am planning on finding insurance which covers medical emergencies (with a big deductible) and stashing money into a Health Savings Account.

In my opinion, this plan would be equivalent to (or even better than) than most health-insurance plans on the market.

Ken said...

This fall, when I get the chance to opt out of my employer's Blue Cross/Blue Shield, I am planning on finding insurance which covers medical emergencies (with a big deductible) and stashing money into a Health Savings Account.

Word. Same here.

DirtCrashr said...

when I get the chance to opt out of my employer's Blue Cross/Blue Shield, I am planning on finding insurance which covers medical emergencies (with a big deductible) and stashing money into a Health Savings Account.
I did that about twenty years ago when I was young and fit, never sick, and riding fast bikes.
But if you live in Massachusetts that's currently against the law, and you should expect that to become even further limited under Obama's plan. You cannot legally buy "a big deductible" under the Mass Government Healthcare - a plan that is very much a blueprint for the Obama plan.

Anonymous said...

"Medicare and Medicaid don't pay doctors in full for services rendered, thus everyone other insurance program the doctor accepts end up subsidizinng Medicare/Medicaid."

I read that in a recent article by a VP of a hospital administration company in some business journal. Misleading. No run of the mill medical insurance coverage "pay doctors in full for services rendered". There are negotiated rates. Also, at least in my state every single HMO vies for medicaid business with billboard and TV ads. They wouldn't be doing that if Medicaid was such a losing proposition.

"Those that do not are forced to take Medicare/Medicaid"

Get some quotes for private individual health coverage. Tell the insurance broker that you are 67, and you have just retired, or that you are youngish but disabled because of degenerative disk disease and a failed fusion surgery. See if you can afford it. ;)

alath said...

Anony,

1) Yes, the "private" insurors discount their rates, too, but not nearly to the extent one of my previous employers, the billing specialist was comparing discounts for the circumcisions I did. We'd bill I believe $350. Private insurors would pay somewhere between $175 and $250, and generally pay within a few months. Illinois Medicaid at that time was paying $75, about 18 months after the procedure was done. The only people who paid $350 were the (extremely rare) out of pocket folks - which is a travesty, because it's so much cheaper doing business with them.

2) You're right; there is basically no such thing as private pay health care for elderly folks. Insurance relies on a lot of people paying premiums who never utilize care. That math just does not work in an elderly population.

Karrde,
You can't talk about health care for the elderly without talking about Medicare. Health care for the elderly in the US *is* Medicare - all the other players are peanuts in comparison.