Why I’m supporting the Senate HCR bill

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Erik Kain

Erik writes about video games at Forbes and politics at Mother Jones. He's the contributor of The League though he hasn't written much here lately. He can be found occasionally composing 140 character cultural analysis on Twitter.

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65 Responses

  1. For my rebuttal please just read Megan McArdle’s post here:

    http://meganmcardle.theatlantic.com/archives/2009/12/the_process_of_passing_health.php

    This bill is a stinking turd and it won’t get any better.Report

  2. Avatar Bob Cheeks
    Ignored
    says:

    Welcome to Romania, East German, or the Soviet Union circa 1952. It would be much better if we were to engage in a sanguinary revolution than to nationalize medicine.
    I think people forget the concept of liberty, the culture atrophies, becomes complacent and dependent then demands that it’s physical needs be met by the state. In the end it’s human nature really. The result of Original Sin, or rather the cost of it.
    It’s a shame really.
    In the end, all that good men can do is resist!Report

    • Avatar Erik Kain in reply to Bob Cheeks
      Ignored
      says:

      The existence of – say – Denmark, Sweden, France, and so on and so forth make your use of Romania, East Germany, etc. rather moot and quite honestly a bit silly. But that’s neither here nor there.Report

      • Avatar Bob Cheeks in reply to Erik Kain
        Ignored
        says:

        E.D. I really hope, sans snark, that neither you or your family fail to get prompt and good health care when you need it. I hope that you and your loved ones are not forced to endure death or suffering because of the inept bureaucracies of the state.
        But only time will tell.Report

        • Avatar Erik Kain in reply to Bob Cheeks
          Ignored
          says:

          Bob, the one time that my family did need healthcare very badly and were very nearly stranded without, the inept bureaucracies of the state provided. It was a huge relief and I am thankful for it every day.Report

          • Avatar Bob Cheeks in reply to Erik Kain
            Ignored
            says:

            E.D., actually I’m happy to hear that. Sadly, that’s going to be the way it is for everyone, except Senators and Congressmen who are exempt from this whore’s nightmare, from now on.
            I’m all for “health care reform” but having the commie-Dems write it is absurd. This particular bill is a disgrace on several levels and I think you know it too.
            Why not join with us in trying to stop it and rewrite reform legislation that might actually work? Why are you, a “centrist”, so eager to get this done? Your behavior is reminiscent of a wacky socialist, rather than a level headed “moderate”!Report

            • Avatar Erik Kain in reply to Bob Cheeks
              Ignored
              says:

              This particular bill is a disgrace on several levels and I think you know it too.
              Why not join with us in trying to stop it and rewrite reform legislation that might actually work?

              Because like I said, I don’t think we’re going to do better. Not with the filibuster in play. And I don’t think the GOP has any will whatsoever to make this an issue and do anything about it.

              If that makes me a wacky socialist so be it. I’m not really concerned anymore with those labels or with being called a centrist or a statist or anything else.Report

        • Avatar Alex Knapp in reply to Bob Cheeks
          Ignored
          says:

          This would be more persuasive to me if the United States didn’t compare so pitiably to other OECD countries when it comes to wait times. We already have inept bureaucracies forcing long wait times in this country. The current HCR bill actually streamlines some of those processes in ways that the health insurance industry has been resistant to do.Report

  3. Avatar historystudent
    Ignored
    says:

    Don’t look to Europe for a model we should follow:

    http://www.heritage.org/Research/HealthCare/HL711.cfm

    More later if I get a chance.Report

  4. Avatar Russell Arben Fox
    Ignored
    says:

    As a matter of philosophy, I’m far from happy with the bill heading towards passage in the Senate. As a matter of public policy, I support it, because, frustrating as it is to admit it, I’m not sure how likely it ever could have been to get any reform that was any different. In the end, the choice is between this, and the status quo. A crummy choice, but not, ultimately, an especially difficult one.Report

  5. Avatar Erik Kain
    Ignored
    says:

    Mike:

    And if you’re right that the GOP would oppose every little chunk of the bill on partisan grounds then breaking the bill up would expose that.

    I think that has already been pretty well exposed. Or do you not watch/read/listen to the news?Report

  6. Avatar Dennis Sanders
    Ignored
    says:

    Erik,

    I think David Brooks ( http://www.nytimes.com/2009/12/18/opinion/18brooks.html?_r=1) and David Frum (http://www.frumforum.com/why-health-care-bill-is-too-big-a-risk) have made the best cases on the health care bill. I do want to see reform, but I don’t know if this is the right kind of reform. What I have learned over time is that creating a federal program is “easy” reforming them is quite harder to do.

    I might be wrong on this, but I am wary of the current bill.Report

    • You are right Dennis. I believe this bill creates over 20 new federal agencies. And that is supposed to reduce costs how?Report

    • The best point Brooks makes:

      “Consumers are insulated from the costs of their decisions…If this bill passes, you’ll have 500 experts in Washington trying to hold down costs and 300 million Americans with the same old incentives to get more and more care.”

      This circles back to the point I made the other day that we have to put the consumers more in-touch with the true costs of their medical decisions. I am lucky enough to work for a company with fantastic health benefits. I see my coworkers regularly abuse that system for a host of ridiculous reasons. (I also think that the insulation between true costs and the consumer is at least partially to blame for a nation of over-protective mothers who rush to the pediatrician every time their kid sneezes, but maybe that is fodder for another conversation.)Report

  7. Avatar mike farmer
    Ignored
    says:

    I’m speechless. I won’t likely be alive 20 years from now, but, in this respect, if this rotten salmagundi passes, I feel sorry for those of you who will be. Remember, when you had a chance to take a stand, you laid down.Report

  8. Avatar Jaybird
    Ignored
    says:

    Will this bill make it easier to practice as a doctor, more difficult, or no change?
    Will this bill make it easier to practice as a nurse, more difficult, or no change?
    Will this bill make it easier to introduce new medical technology, more difficult, or no change?

    Because if the answer to all of the above is a mix of “no change” and “more difficult”, what we’ve got here is a bill that will slow the rate of increase of supply of medical care at the same time as creating more demand during a period where people were complaining about the price in the first place.Report

    • Avatar Bob Cheeks in reply to Jaybird
      Ignored
      says:

      Mike and JB, excellent! This bill is bs, if it wasn’t the pig-congressmen would gloom on and suck it dry…you’ll notice these bastards don’t, they keep their own insurance!
      So, boys the fight ain’t over! They haven’t won yet!Report

  9. Avatar Dennis Sanders
    Ignored
    says:

    Erik,

    I think David Brooks ( http://www.nytimes.com/2009/12/18/opinion/18brooks.html?_r=1) and David Frum (http://www.frumforum.com/why-health-care-bill-is-too-big-a-risk) have made the best cases on the health care bill. I do want to see reform, but I don’t know if this is the right kind of reform. What I have learned over time is that creating a federal program is “easy” reforming them is quite harder to do.

    I might be wrong on this, but I am wary of the current bill.Report

  10. Avatar historystudent
    Ignored
    says:

    When there is a menacing beast around, sensible people defend themselves. They get their weapons and try to kill it. They don’t cozy up to it hoping it will change its nature.

    Remember the story of the scorpion and the frog. The scorpion persuades the frog to take him across the river on his back and promises not to sting him. But, halfway acrss, the scorpion can’t fight his nature and stings anyway. They both drown. Let’s not be frogs. Let’s see the scorpion for what he is and stay away from him and out of deep water!

    This Senate bill is a disgrace. The Senate leadership is making special concessions and throwing around money on monumental scales. This isn’t normal compromise. It is unacceptable tainting of our already questionable legislative process: http://www.washingtonexaminer.com/politics/Big-payoffs-to-senators-on-health-bill-stokes-public-anger-8675288-79940092.html.Report

  11. Avatar M.Z.
    Ignored
    says:

    The problems this bill creates are problems we are going to face anyway. The bill puts us in a better position to address them. Most importantly, it is a rejection of the status quo. After this is passed, no one is going to say we need to go back to the system before Obamacare. I think this is the biggest miscalculation the GOP has made. The actual reforms: 1) creating a real market for individual insurance; 2) insuring the sick can receive coverage; and 3) subsidizing those unable to afford insurance on their own are widely popular, even if the bill in toto is not. Needless to say, I have faith those views will persist versus the current anxieties over this bill.Report

  12. Avatar Michael Drew
    Ignored
    says:

    E.D., you went ahead and wrote that piece I was going to look for a guest author to contribute! I`m glad it ended up coming from you after all. There are obviously .many ways this thing could be much, much better (though good luck getting people to agree what those are) — not least starting with a whole different approach altogether. But a point you made above in comments is key: without two parties competing full-out to offer the best solutions anyone can think of to this crow`s nest of problems, the was an approximately zero probability of our arriving at one of the more-better combinations of measures rather than one that left a great deal to be desired.Report

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