In the Senate, Disasters Follow Disasters

The Republicans' health care bill had few good points, but it would have broken us free from the idea that Democrats had to save Obamacare. Whatever problems it created could be fixed because we wouldn't have this great white elephant to protect.

The far better plan, to repeal and not replace Obamacare with anything whatsoever, died because of three Senators -- both Vox and Vice think it's very amusing that they're all women -- who simply refused to consider that an option. Every single Republican ran on repealing Obamacare, but when it comes time to do it, these three have decided that it can only be done if we have some other form of Federalized control of the market to offer instead.

If Republican Senators have internalized the idea that we must force coverage of pre-existing conditions at non-market rates, there's no possibility of a better solution on health care. We will have only worse solutions.

One Jane Orient, M.D., wants you to know that this is really just about control. The more the government controls your health care, the more it can force you to live the way it wants.

She's right.

In Britain, home of the highest rated health care service in the world -- rated, of course, by advocates of socialized medicine -- the NHS announced last September that it would deny routine surgery to the obese and smokers in "almost all cases." That plan was put on hold, but appears to be back this year.

Obesity is a pre-existing condition, isn't it? But there are shortages, you see, because everyone's entitled and there isn't enough to go around. Since the market can't be allowed to settle that -- pre-existing conditions shouldn't cost more! -- instead the solution will be rationing by government bureaucrats who judge your worth as a person based on how much they agree with your lifestyle and fitness choices.

These people aren't going to solve the problem that not all care can be afforded. They're just going to take control over who gets care. That will be used to punish, of course.


Assistant Village Idiot said...

Fitness will be the camel's nose under the tent. Lots of people can get worked up about not paying for the medical care of "someone who doesn't even take care of themselves!" But the ground is going to shift in unpredictable ways. African-Americans and lesbians both have high rates of obesity. Native Americans have high rates of alcohol abuse. LGBT in general has high rates for depression, anxiety disorders, and personality disorders. Being divorced seems to equal about a pack of cigarettes a day in mortality rates. Children require lots of care, so maybe we should encourage hysterectomies and vasectomies. There's really no end to this once you get started.

Some will receive care, some will be denied care. Someone will decide.

There have always been death panels, but it used to be you, your family, your doctor, and your bank account. The insurance companies came in and became part of the discussion. The inclusion of these last two enraged some people, so they decided that the only possible solution was to involve the government as well. Just a little bit, you see. Just a place at the death panel table.

Thus in one sense those who scoffed at the idea of death panels were right. No "panels" will meet, but decisions will be made. And one member of those invisible panels will slowly legislate out the power of the others, until those can only decide symbolic or unimportant things. Then there will be no panels at all, only bureaucrats still sneering for political purposes at the ridiculousness of those who ever dared suggest there would be Death Panels.

This is one where the conservatives got lots of details badly and foolishly wrong but apprehended the core issues very clearly.

james said...

Given that PelosiCare had already destroyed some of our health insurance infrastructure, cold-turkey didn't seem quite the thing politically. The problem is that a phased withdrawal is hard to design, and even harder to stick to when voters come knocking.

David Foster said...

If smokers and the obese can be excluded, what about those who pursue risky sports?...Or what about those who choose extremely non-monogamous lifestyes, say, N>10?

There is no logical stopping point, and further, you can never know when an activity that you engaged in at a time when it was considered OK will be retroactively classified as non-OK.

Chris in Houston said...

It seems to me that there is a difference between health care and health insurance. The kid in the UK who is not allowed to come to the US for health care has the best insurance in the world. And that is the problem.

Anonymous said...

What a bunch of flaming, useless cowards the Republican Establishment has turned out to be. Here we are well into July, well into the first year of Donald Trump’s presidency, and nearly halfway through (when you count all those sweet congressional breaks) the most golden opportunity the Republican Party could ever ask for, and these feckless crybabies are completely blowing it.

When the US healthcare system goes bankrupt, it will be due to the insane wrinkled, old, greedy, power hungary feminists and Rob Portman specifically.

Pro-choice Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R-AK) joined Pro-choice Sen. Susan Collins (R-ME) Sen. Shelley Moore Capito (R-WV) and spineless honorary male feminist Sen. Rob Portman(R-OH), against Republicans’ efforts to repeal Obamacare and replace with nothing.

Every single one of these senators need to be replaced in the next primary election. Primary them out.

The Problem is deeper then just these Senators. Its Woman. Single Women mostly. And what is the solution? Well its is an old solution, the roman solution.

The Roman Empire was smarter than contemporary America.
Freeborn women in ancient Rome were citizens, but could not vote or hold political office. Thats smart.

Let me give you an idea of how life can improve without woman voting.

If only women voted in the last Election.

Now compare,
If only men voted in the last Election.

Tell me when was the last time a woman congressman or senator talked about the national debt? Obamcare should be repealed because we can not afford to let it stand. Spendaholics the lot of them. We can not afford to let the government pick the winners and losers.

Look at the numbers at the next link and consider how bad they truly are.

Again, repeal the insanity called the 19th amendment.
When that is done, the repeal of the insanity of Obamacare should pass easily.

After we achieve those goals, then we must repeal the 17th amendment and give the states back a voice in running the Federal Government

Totally Despise My Lying Senator so here is a great Meme.

- Mississippi

E Hines said...

Every single Republican ran on repealing Obamacare, but when it comes time to do it, these three have decided that it can only be done if we have some other form of Federalized control of the market to offer instead.

This isn't entirely accurate. Susan Collins (R, ME), one of the three, opposed the last effort because her bosses, her constituents, told her to: they wanted her to fight against the changes to Medicaid that were in the bill. She also voted against the 2015 bill to repeal Obamacare because there was no replacement in mind, and her statement that she would vote against that bill next week is for the same reason: she won't support a repeal without a replacement in mind. That's a far cry from preferring some other form of Federalized control, even if it might have the same outcome.

This is what a party faces when it comes from differing constituencies with their differing imperatives. The party of big coastal cities can be monolithic. The party of the rest of the country cannot. The result of this is that the party of the rest of the country needs to figure out how to compromise within itself, especially at the national level where their decisions and votes impact the nation, not just their constituents. This makes Collins' position wrong even if she's obeying her bosses, but at least she's been consistent right along. I did have some questions for her on my blog. She hasn't answered them, yet.

Beyond that, too many Republican Senators have said they'd vote even against bringing the Repeal Bill to the floor for open debate. These are Republican Castrati; they they don't even have the courage of their alleged convictions. My view here is that McConnell should have the vote on the Repeal Bill, knowing it will be defeated on the procedural vote. Put the castrati on the voting record and expose them for what they are. This is what primaries are for.

To counterbalance Collins, there is Shelley Moore Capito (R, WV), who opposed the last effort because I did not come to Washington to hurt people. I cannot vote to repeal Obamacare without a replacement plan that addresses my concerns and the needs of West Virginians. Of course her opposition has hurt people, particularly her constituents with their needs, because the outcome of her opposition is the preservation of Obamacare in toto with all the damage it's doing to her constituents--at the expense of progress toward helping her constituents that was less than she deemed acceptable. Capito knows this full well. Unlike Collins, she didn't help her constituents; she betrayed them. That stinks.

One thing I haven't seen, and surely the NLMSM would be baying at it were it occurring, is any of the Louisiana Purchases or Cornhusker Kickbacks or etc that the Progressive-Democrats used to get their party to vote "correctly" on Obamacare. That, I think, remains a good.

Eric Hines

Anonymous said...

You can keep your Doctor = Lie
You can keep your plan = Lie

Obamacare was built on a bed of lies and Americans are suffering because of it.

Woman fell for the lies of the idiot Obama, hook line and sinker.

Utter fools....

- Mississippi

Cass said...

Hmmm... I do not think you are taking Intersectionality into account here. And we all know where *that* leads!

Most accounts I've read credit increased minority turnout (Hispanics and Blacks) rather than women for the ascension of the Obamessiah to the oval throne.

That said, more women than men voted (and you know what they say about showing up). Single men, in particular, did not show up. Which may well be a good thing, since single men are more likely to vote for Democrats anyway :p

So much for gender being the dispositive characteristic - race and marital status are far bigger influences on voting.

About 10% more women than men voted for Obama (hardly a huge gap, though a significant one). Seems a bit perverse to generalize from a 10% spread to All Women -- hmmm, including the ones who voted for Romney?

Though I consistently don't vote for Democrats, I find my own party's willingness to reflexively blame women to be just as self-defecating as the liberal predilection for reflexively blaming men. I keep expecting us to be a bit more thoughtful, but so far I've seen little evidence to support that idea.

Grim said...

Well, in fairness, it was Vox and Vice blaming women -- hardly Republican, those two outlets. Their point was not about women in general, either, but particularly about Republican women.

I wouldn't go as far as to ascribe to 'women' or 'Republican women' a propensity to endorse Federal solutions in health care as sin qua non for humane policy. I don't doubt you can find women, probably especially Republican women, who do not. (I imagine my wife is in that category, for example.)

On the other hand, ventilating about voting rights aside, there may be a point that the Republican party has a problem insofar as currently it seems to have lost key female Republican Senators to the idea that the Federal government must guarantee that no one discriminates against pre-existing conditions. No one except the Federal agencies who will oversee the program, that is.

If there's come to be a consensus that this is a necessary condition for good policy, then there's no hope of any actually good policy. Maybe Vox and Vice are right that female legislators are at least currently persuaded to believe in that 'necessary' condition.

douglas said...

"It seems to me that there is a difference between health care and health insurance. The kid in the UK who is not allowed to come to the US for health care has the best insurance in the world. And that is the problem."

I just thought that was good enough to be up twice, Chris in Houston.

douglas said...

Oh, and I'd agree the problem isn't "women", it's that kids get married too late. Once you get married, and especially start having kids, you generally start getting more conservative pretty quick.

Keep reminding the kids in your life that there's no really good reason to wait around to get married- clock's ticking...

It's the patriotic thing to do.

Anonymous said...

.....It's the patriotic thing to do......

Amen to that Brother


Cass said...

Grim, this wasn't "Vox and Vice", and that was obvious from my comment:

Obamacare was built on a bed of lies and Americans are suffering because of it. Woman fell for the lies of the idiot Obama, hook line and sinker. Utter fools....

If you're going to write about how right David Brooks is to lament "you don't belong" signals, you might stop to consider for a moment how conservative women react to constantly hearing (from our fellow travelers, some of whom didn't bother to show up and vote *against Obama* because their candidate wasn't perfect) that we're to blame for Obama, big government, welfare, yada yada yada :p

My point was simply that a hell of a lot of men have voted for these things, too. And many men on our end of the aisle stayed home, when their votes could have helped defeat Obama. But you don't see me blaming "men" for what some men did.

The bottom line is that without the votes of a hell of a lot of men, we would not have had 8 years of Obama. So all this gender baiting is not helpful (and not even accurate).

Grim said...

Ah, I skimmed lightly over that comment. All I wrote about women was mentioning the Vox & Vice articles.

Freeborn women in ancient Rome were citizens, but could not vote or hold political office.

I'm more of a Vikings guy than an ancient Romans guy, and (as we've discussed here several times lately, but especially in the post on the West) the ancient northern parts of the West always had a sense of respect for women absent in Rome or Greece themselves. The Normans, who were 'Northmen' first, made up the leadership of both England and Scotland, where women were entrusted with the command of armies and the defense of castles. It's not the same sort of view.

I do wonder, as I think many do, if women are more inclined in general to vote for government programs that 'take care of people' -- especially if they are unmarried, and thus lack traditional forms of support. But we had a long discussion about limiting the franchise (not aimed at women, but as a general exercise, e.g., imposing a property requirement). We discussed that at great length, and in the end I saw no alternative to endorsing a universal franchise limited only by disqualifying bad behavior (like felonies). It's all in the archives if anyone is interested in following it anew.

Cass said...

No worries :p

Just wanted to clarify my position. In general, I'm not terribly sympathetic to arguments that highlight "feelings", even when they happen to be feelings I share. That's probably a shortcoming on my part, given how emotional both men and women tend to be.

Sitting over on the rhetorical sidelines, I'm always someone shocked at how tone deaf people on both sides can be when it's not their ox being gored (or just blamed for Everything That's Wrong With... Well, *Everything*) :p

It wouldn't surprise me to find that women are more likely to support government programs that "take care of people" - it's in our interest to do so, as people who aren't being taken care of by government generally end up being taken care of by... women :p That's my way of saying that, since women are on the 'pointy end of the spear' wrt to taking care of society's weaker/more defenseless members, we may be (choose one):

1. more aware of the practical consequences of not taking care of people
2. more likely to be impacted when people are not taken care of

Despite all this, I've never been convinced that it makes sense on a practical level for government to take care of people (except for a true social safety net) because:

1. Mission creep from helping truly desperate people to "ending inequality", and
2. Moral hazard (the more you help, the more helpless people you get)

Grim said...

... as people who aren't being taken care of by government generally end up being taken care of by... women.

Well, it's certainly not my intention to start taking care of a lot of people. I'm more inclined toward ending the moral hazards, so that they learn to take care of themselves.

But it's actually true that women take care of these people more than men whether or not the government is doing it, right? Social workers are mostly women. Nurses are mostly women. Psychology degrees go mostly to women (although it is such a popular field that there are certain numbers of men too). Nuns are, of course, women.

So it may not be as simple as it being in your interest to avoid the labor. It may be that putting it on the government instead of private charity only changes which woman is likely to be doing it. This is like how the wealthy tend to have nannies, almost always women, so that wealthy women can work at something else. Hillary Clinton wanted government day care. Well, who's going to work there? Men? Almost certainly not -- in addition to the fact that men don't choose those fields by and large, people don't trust their kids with strange men.

Cass said...

It may be that putting it on the government instead of private charity only changes which woman is likely to be doing it.

That, and whether women are paid for these services or not. And the number of women who are able to be employed in these fields - which would also make it in our interest to have government intervene :p

The ugly fact is that, with the growth of the social safety net, people are living longer. That means more older people, who in turn require more medical care than young people. My grandparents were gone by age 65. My parents never had to take care of them.

My parents are in their mid-late 80s.

Like it or not, an aging population changes the whole risk/benefit calculation and we're only likely to see more folks saying, "Why isn't there some kind of govt. program to take care of me/take care of my aging parents?" The number of people who need care is increasing for several reasons (not just moral hazard). Combine that with an increasingly "self-centered" younger generation, and you're going to see voters asking for more government help.

Hiding our heads in the sand or harking back to the good old days doesn't change any of that, I'm afraid :p

Grim said...

Well, even nuns are paid a salary. So are workers at charities, if they're employed by the charity. So especially are people who provide care by private contract.

I'm increasingly dead set against any Federal involvement in health care; I think it's all inflationary and a moral hazard. Families that could provide for their elderly instead stick them in homes, which isn't better for the elderly. States might do what they want, of course, but as for my state and any Federal matter, I think we're well off without it however long we live.

Anonymous said...

Even though both the Senate and the Congress are so sad we have a good president.......... here is his latest speech

- Mississippi

My fellow Americans,

On Monday, I signed a Presidential Proclamation declaring this to be “Made in America Week.”

We believe that our country is stronger, safer, and more prosperous when we make more of our goods and our products right here in the USA. When we purchase products Made in America, the wealth, revenue and jobs all stay in our country – to be enjoyed by our people.

Since we first won our Independence, our Founders and many of our greatest leaders have promoted that we should afford a special level of protection to the products and goods manufactured within our borders. They understood that as a nation, we have common bonds with our fellow citizens and common obligations to each other. Making and buying made in America products brings us closer, and strengthens the ties that link us all together.

For too long, our government’s policies have punished production in America while rewarding and encouraging the movement of production overseas, which is totally ridiculous. The result has been the loss of numerous industries, the decimation of entire communities, and years of sluggish growth and flat wages.

Throughout American history, our nation’s best leaders have believed in the importance of protecting our domestic industry. This includes every President on Mount Rushmore.

George Washington encouraged Americans to produce their own goods so that our young nation could become truly independent.

Thomas Jefferson wrote that Americans should choose products made in America whenever possible – and by the way, I’m asking you to do that.

Abraham Lincoln warned that abandoning the policies that protect American industry would “produce want and ruin among our people.”

Theodore Roosevelt stated in his First message to Congress that “Reciprocity must be treated as the handmaiden of protection.”

James Monroe called on our nation to “cherish and sustain our manufacturers.”

James Garfield said of our nation’s manufacturers: “To them the country owes the splendor of the position it holds before the world.”

William McKinley believed that when America protects our workers and industries, we “open up a higher and better destiny for our people.”

And Calvin Coolidge stated that protecting American industry “enables our people to live according to a better standard… and receive a better rate of compensation than any people, anytime, anywhere on earth, ever enjoyed.”

We are now, under the Trump Administration, reclaiming our heritage as a manufacturing nation. We are fighting to provide a level playing field for American Workers and Industries. Other countries will cease taking advantage of us, believe me.

We are going to build works of beauty and wonder – with American hands, American grit, and American iron, aluminum, and steel.

No longer will we allow other countries to break the rules, steal our jobs, and drain our wealth. Instead, we will follow two simple but very crucial rules: We will buy American and we will hire American.

Already, we have created over a million new jobs this year – and doing even better than anticipated. We are just getting started – believe me, we are just getting started.

For every job that comes back to this country, and every factory that reopens, and every town that is revitalized, we aren’t just restoring American wealth, we are restoring American pride. We are restoring America’s future – a future where millions will be lifted from welfare to work, where children will grow up in safe and vibrant communities, and where our nation will stand stronger than ever before.

And most importantly, it will be a future in which you – our citizens – always come first.

Thank you, God bless you, and God bless America – we are truly making it great again.

Ymar Sakar said...

The System is, of course ,about control. When has it ever not been thus.

Even before and after the Tower of Babel, it was so.