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Tue, Sep. 8th, 2009, 08:12 pm
Goddamn Psychotic Motherfuckers DO NOT GET IT

Again, again, again, the ratbastards want to make not having health insurance punishable by law. With hefty fines.

Let's see if I can explain this as simply as possible, for our poor, dumb fuck congresscritters and weaselly presidential advisers and shitheaded overgreedy lobbyists and reality-challenged commentators, none of whom have to worry about their goddamn health care.

What people need is "health care", not "health insurance".

For the most part, the people who don't have health care don't have it because the way the system is set up right now, they need to either have health insurance, which they cannot afford, or the money to get health care without insurance, which (being a good deal more than insurance) they really can't afford.

If they cannot afford health insurance, they cannot afford the fines for not having health insurance. Therefore, making it illegal to not have health insurance actually makes things worse, and still does not provide health care.

Comparing the prospective mandatory health insurance to no-fault car insurance does not work. Driving is a privilege. Your health is a necessity.

Admittedly, I don't know why I'm bothering. These evil fucks are trying to squeeze every last drop of blood out of people, and the Obama administration, all inspiring soliloquy and no cojones, are trying to help them.

Wed, Sep. 9th, 2009 12:26 am (UTC)
lovefromgirl

From what I hear, Baucus is a smug little prick anyway.

I am willing to pay higher taxes. God knows I'd part with more of my paycheck if I had one. What about the people who don't have one?!

I think the Capitol Steps were right all those years ago. "I want a brand new pair of candidates..." Only if this passes, it's "Fix it or I'm frakking well emigrating."

-- Disgusted in NY

Wed, Sep. 9th, 2009 02:10 am (UTC)
randwolf

There's a subsidy for people who can't pay. Problem is, in the Baucus plan, not enough people are eligible, and the insurance companies are going to take a big bite from the subsidy.

Wed, Sep. 9th, 2009 12:33 am (UTC)
scruffycritter

Maybe the people in Massachusetts can eluciate on the matter, but I thought MassHealth is something like that.

Everyone has to have insurance, and the state insures you if you cannot get it but it's mandated that everyone has to have it.

Wed, Sep. 9th, 2009 12:37 am (UTC)
emiofbrie

How are MassHealth prices? Is it comparable to MinnesotaCare?

MNCare is Minnesota's state health plan, but it's not mandatory (yet), and is priced on a reasonable sliding scale. If you make below $7K a year, it's free and termed as "Medical Assistance".

Wed, Sep. 9th, 2009 12:35 am (UTC)
chipuni

The government LOVES to create 'unfunded mandates' -- required things that they don't need to spend their own money.

It's usually things that the states have to pay (if the Federal government), or that towns and cities have to pay (if a state).

The idea is just filtering down to the rest of us.

Wed, Sep. 9th, 2009 12:39 am (UTC)
pjack

I absolutely agree that we need universal health care. Health care should be free for anyone living in America, with no health insurance needed.

However... If you're going to keep the health insurance system, with or without a public option, there is a logic to making it health insurance mandatory. Its an information distribution problem. When consumers (i.e, patients) know more about their health future than the insurance companies do (through family history, genetic analysis, etc), it changes what insurance they buy. As genetic tests become more prevalent, the problem gets worse. Imagine what would happen to the fire insurance industry if you knew for a fact whether or not your house would burn down in ten years, but your insurance company didn't know! The insurance companies would go out of business, and no-one could get insured... unless buying insurance was mandatory. (Here's a link to the NPR Planet Money podcast where Charlie Wheelan talks about the problem. It's a really good listen. My apologies if I'm misremembering it.)

I still think it's a bone-headed system, but I wanted to point out that there's a logic to it other than pure greed.

Wed, Sep. 9th, 2009 12:45 am (UTC)
filkertom

Well, yeah, but the problem is that making it mandatory does not provide any way to make it affordable. Saying it's against the law if you don't have it doesn't suddenly give people the money to get it.
(Deleted comment)

Wed, Sep. 9th, 2009 12:44 am (UTC)
thistlethorn

I was incensed by an article about this earlier today (a very *breezy*, blithe article, I must add).

The whole car insurance thing? It means a lot of poor people who cannot get around without a car (in the many places that have poor or no mass transit) drive without car insurance anyway. I'm sure they'll all go to some sort of hell for that huge crime.

But *this*??? Evil *is* the only word to describe penalizing the poor even more for being poor. So, you know, they won't get health care, but they will pay fines for not having health care.

Wed, Sep. 9th, 2009 06:02 am (UTC)
marahsk

The whole car insurance thing? It means a lot of poor people who cannot get around without a car (in the many places that have poor or no mass transit) drive without car insurance anyway. I'm sure they'll all go to some sort of hell for that huge crime.

I completely understand the need for transportation, but as someone who was in a car that was hit by an uninsured driver, yes, that is a real crime that hurts the people who end up subsidizing them. Maybe I'd have more sympathy had he, knowing that he wouldn't be making good on any damage he might cause, had at least made the effort to drive carefully. But he gave the impression that he felt he could drive recklessly because what were they going to do, raise his rates? Meanwhile my friend, who subsidized him by paying for uninsured motorist's insurance, saw her rates go up because her insurance covered his at-fault accident.
(Deleted comment)

Wed, Sep. 9th, 2009 12:45 am (UTC)
lariss

And when these folks who don't have money for Health Insurance also don't have the money for the fine...then what?

Debtor's Prison?

In which case we, the public, will pay for their frockin' health care ANYWAY?!! Just like we do when people who can't afford healthcare go to the Emergency room and then default?

I say skip the middle man. Provide universal healthcare like almost every other developed or semi-developed nation in the free world including the Czech Republic. Come on now. Surely we can do better than the Czech Republic?

Wed, Sep. 9th, 2009 12:50 am (UTC)
ebonypearl

Huh. The fine is considerably less than what I'm paying for mandatory health insurance. Seeing as I only used it once in 9 years (for a strep throat test - and I had to pay for the whole thing because of co-pay and deductibles, so I might as well have been uninsured), if I had to pay the fine to be free of health insurance, I'd be saving money.

I know others aren't in the same situation,and aren't near as healthy as me, so I think the fine is unfair. Just like I feel taxing food is unfair. We have to eat. That's why I grow much of my own. I just hope they don't decide to tax gardening!

Wed, Sep. 9th, 2009 07:49 pm (UTC)
zenturbo

MI does not have a sales tax on groceries, but has one on prepared food. I know when I was in NC on vacation, I was floored when I looked at the bill.

Wed, Sep. 9th, 2009 12:54 am (UTC)
baphnedia

Do you mind if i xpost this in its entirety, and would you like me to attribute it to you?

Wed, Sep. 9th, 2009 01:29 am (UTC)
filkertom

Don't mind, and please. :)

Wed, Sep. 9th, 2009 12:57 am (UTC)
redneckgaijin

Well, it's not like we haven't seen from the stimulus package and the public option that Obama is quite willing to abandon his campaign promises to the whims of Congressional leadership- and abandon them without even lifting a finger to defend them.

There's also the fact that, as things currently stand, one of two things will happen if for-profit insurance gets required to carry all comers: either the rates skyrocket for EVERYONE so the insuror's profits stay strong... or else for-profit insurance folds up as an industry as claims surpass income, with nothing ready to replace them. In other words, either healthcare will become more expensive than ever before... or else it'll essentially vanish altogether in a medical market crash.

Wed, Sep. 9th, 2009 01:08 am (UTC)
devospice

I suspect both will happen. Rates will skyrocket so they can keep up their profits for their stockholders. Those that aren't profitable will be sold off to other companies until we're left with just 2 or 3 major health insurance companies. When those start to fold the government will bail them out. Fun!

Wed, Sep. 9th, 2009 02:07 am (UTC)
randwolf

The Baucus plan is awful for everyone but insurance companies and their stockholders. Yet--we can pay the government through taxes, or pay the insurance companies somewhat more (profit), but we are going to have to pay. Care costs can be reduced by making the plan universal, but it is still going to cost. This is where the rubber meets the road in public health care, and why this is so hard to do.

Wed, Sep. 9th, 2009 02:16 am (UTC)
caraig

I'd love to say that I'd refuse to pay for insurance, or the fine... but they'd drag it out of my paycheck or account anyway, even if I'm not working.

I'd love to say that I'd move to a country that has real health care... but they only seem to let you emigrate if you have a job waiting for you there.

That doesn't leave a lot of options, and they look more and more appealing as this debacle drags on.

Wed, Sep. 9th, 2009 02:21 am (UTC)
caraig

*sigh* And reading that back, I come off like a LEFT-wing nutjob who's going to take a gun to elected officials. No, I'm not talking about nor advocating that. Primarying the bastards, getting them out of office or better yet making them face their ex-constituents, that I'd go for, but as unlikely as some of these crooks behind bars is, assassination isn't the solution. That wouldn't solve a damn thing.

Wed, Sep. 9th, 2009 02:49 am (UTC)
kanemaker

The only thing that will make the cost of health reform go down is tort reform.With sue happy lawyers getting anywhere from 1/4 to 1/3 of the settlements from law suites no wonder malpractice insurance is so high.Allowing inmsueance companies to sell across state lines would help too.Drug companies need to be reformed too.You can't tell me my Lipator research costs hasn't been returned a 100 times at least

Wed, Sep. 9th, 2009 03:06 am (UTC)
redneckgaijin

Um, NO.

"Tort reform" needs to be something a bit more meaningful than, "cap awards in court," which is what has actually been done where "tort reform" has been enacted by conservatives.

And "allowing insurance companies to sell across state lines" is another way of saying "repeal all state regulations on insurance companies, thus allowing them to get away with more no-pay policies like Katrina homeowners got."

Wed, Sep. 9th, 2009 02:50 am (UTC)
annearchy

I'd like you to become our health CARE czar. Thank you.

Wed, Sep. 9th, 2009 02:51 am (UTC)
admnaismith


Hey, I'll do Baucus one better. How about an innovative law that will put an end to poverty...by declaring it illegal to be poor! Punishable by fines, even!

You know, to teach poor people how foolish they are being by choosing to be poor.

Oh wait...we kinda already do that, don't we?

Wed, Sep. 9th, 2009 03:24 am (UTC)
bayushisan

I've done A LOT of thinking about the whole health insurance issue and I've come to a conclusion that I never thought I'd come to.

Single payer insurance is the best way to go, provided that the inherent problems involved in that system are corrected. Over in England there are medications, specificly breast cancer meds, that the government won't pay for due to the expense. That's one of the problems we'd need to correct for example, as would be the waiting times to get an appointment to see the doctor of your choice.

Making it similair to England's system, with the right problem corrections, and allowing for the existence of private insurance that a person could opt into or use to supplement single payer then I think we'd have a workable and better system.
(Deleted comment)