I didn’t watch the Tea Party debate

Avatar

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.

Related Post Roulette

137 Responses

  1. Avatar Jaybird
    Ignored
    says:

    Back when medical care consisted of clean linen and making people feel comfortable enough until they either died or their bodies made them better, health care was cheap indeed.

    It’s only as health care has advanced to include things dreamed to be science fiction and to eradicate certain things that used to be lethal and managed to extend lives that would have extinguished decades earlier that, completely unsurprisingly, health care has gotten more expensive.

    I imagine that as we explore more nooks and crannies of the human body, as we master the human genome, and as we demonstrate that we can control things that once killed us, arrest things that once crippled us, and heal things that once would have festered until death — it will continue to get more and more expensive.

    Life is expensive. Senescence is expensive.

    I deeply suspect that if a cure is ever found for senescence, it will quickly be argued that such ought to be an entitlement.Report

    • Avatar Chris in reply to Jaybird
      Ignored
      says:

      Hmm… You know what else is expensive? All the stuff that drives health care costs up that has little, if anything, to do with the quality of health care or advances in health care technology.

      If only self-righteousness were more expensive.Report

    • Avatar Christopher Carr in reply to Jaybird
      Ignored
      says:

      I think you’re confusing health care with medical care a bit here. Medical care has certainly gotten better and more expensive. Health care has gotten worse and more expensive.Report

    • Avatar Don Zeko in reply to Jaybird
      Ignored
      says:

      This would all be much more convincing if health care in the United States wasn’t nearly twice as expensive as your average European country without any discernible improvement in outcomes. But when we know for a fact that lots of other people have all done a far better job of dealing with the health care cost question than we have, this fatalism seems awfully premature. Narrow the cost gap between us and Canada by half and I’ll be willing to talk about the inevitable costs of treating senescence.Report

      • Avatar James K in reply to Don Zeko
        Ignored
        says:

        I’d be very careful with international comparisons. There are so many confounds that it takes really careful analysis to tease out what’s causing what.Report

        • Avatar Kim in reply to James K
          Ignored
          says:

          James,
          Have you ever seen an emergency room that’s in use?
          1) You have homeless people using it for “three hots and a bed”
          2) You have diabetes patients using it for “being stupid”
          3) You have people who didn’t have the money to pay for medicine using it because they’re bankrupt.
          4) You have plenty of things that could be solved in a doctor’s visit, being pushed to an emergency room.

          Sometimes it’s the simple things — if all preventative doctor’s visits were free, we could save ourselves some gangrene and cancer.Report

        • Avatar Hamilton in reply to James K
          Ignored
          says:

          Surely we can find one or two minimally complicated comparisons in this list of countries that have universal health care:

          Austria, Andorra, Belarus, Belgium, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Croatia, the Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Georgia, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Ireland, Isle of Man, Italy, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Moldova, Monaco, the Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Russia, San Marino, Serbia, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Ukraine, the United Kingdom, Argentina, Barbados, Brazil, Canada, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, Cuba, Greenland, Mexico, Panama, Peru, Trinidad and Tobago, Uruguay, Venezuela, Azerbaijan, Bhutan, Bahrain, Brunei, China, Hong Kong, India, Iran, Israel, Japan, Jordan, Kazakhstan, Kuwait, Macau, Malaysia, Mongolia, North Korea, Oman, Pakistan, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Singapore, South Korea, Sri Lanka, Syria, Taiwan, Tajikistan, Thailand, Turkey, Turkmenistan, UAE, Australia, New Zealand, Algeria, Egypt, Ghana, Libya, Mauritius, Morocco, Seychelles, South Africa, TunisiaReport

    • Avatar Kim in reply to Jaybird
      Ignored
      says:

      … most of the lives saved in the 20th century were saved through sanitation, not medicine. Antibiotics helped, sure, but not infecting people because we understood quarantine and washing our hands saved more. And quarantine and handwashing is CHEAP.Report

      • Avatar Jason Kuznicki in reply to Kim
        Ignored
        says:

        My understanding is that this is basically correct. Spending more and more and more on medical treatments is still yielding diminishing marginal returns, and getting more health care doesn’t correlate well on the population level with living longer. (Sanitation definitely does, however.)

        But still, everyone’s got a right, no matter what the costs! (This is the part I really still don’t get…)Report

        • Avatar Kim in reply to Jason Kuznicki
          Ignored
          says:

          I don’t think we should say “everyone’s got a right, no matter what the costs” — but I do say “everyone’s got a right to the cheap and easy” because that will reduce the need for the more expensive stuff.Report

  2. Avatar MFarmer
    Ignored
    says:

    What Paul rightly believes, as I believe, is that a free market would drive down healthcare costs and find solutions to indigent care, and private assistance organizations can be just as generous, if not more generous, than the welfare state. Actually, we’re going to witness real stinginess in healthcare when government-run healthcare is in full operation. No one will likely cheer for anything except its repeal and replacement with free market solutions.Report

    • Avatar Christopher Carr in reply to MFarmer
      Ignored
      says:

      Paul’s ideal health care system is the second best I think. The first best is a national public one. There are two primary reasons for this: one is the size of the risk pool; the other is potential for genetic and genomic medicine to extend and expand the definition of “preexisting condition”.Report

    • Avatar Jib in reply to MFarmer
      Ignored
      says:

      The free market will not work with health care because the basic mechanisms of a market are missing in health care. Primarily for a market to work you have to have a choice at the point of sale, either a substitution good you can choose or the option to choose nothing. You have either with healthcare.

      When you lying on the pavement after the drunk driver has creamed your car and the helo is being brought in to air-vac you to the large regional trauma center, you are not going to say ‘wait, I want to take a ambulance, its cheaper’. Maybe you would if you were awake (unlikely but possible) but since your unconscious it aint happening.

      When the Doc comes in and tells you and your family that its cancer and here are your options for treatment and your world collapses underneath you, you are not going to start bartering on price. Effectiveness of treatment, comfort, how you want to spend your last days, yes, but not price.

      And when your 85 and are no longer able to walk without a walker and the Doc tells you that if you had a hip replacement you could walk again, you are not likely to say ‘no thanks, the walker is cheaper’.

      90% of all health care money is spent on only 20% of patients, 50% on only 10%. Those are not the numbers a market is made of. It is insurance, you dont need it until you do and then you must have it. Again, not a dynamic that works for a market.

      Markets are not magic, they are a construct that works well when the conditions are right. To believe in them like they were a magic fairy that can solve all problems is as ridiculous as believing that govt can solve all our problems. Both are Utopian thinking.Report

  3. Avatar Tom Van Dyke
    Ignored
    says:

    Too much too soon, Erik. Back off to arm’s length: they’re not saying [trying to say] what you’re hearing. Except that Barack Obama is a bad leader for this nation, which he is. Their mission is to convince the American people they’d be any better. A deal far from being sealed.

    At least BHO has 2+ years in the Big Chair, and if he was underqualified in 2008 [he certainly was], he remains more qualified than his would-be replacements just by virtue of having seen every presidential intel report, which is why he’s so much like Cheney.

    If we gave a colonoscopy to BHO’s ramp-up to national stature a year-plus before his election, well, there were many polyps. His “greatest” pre-election speech was when he threw Rev. Wright under the bus, sort of.

    Much left to go. To Republicans, Romney in particular broke Reagan’s 11th Commandment, not to speak ill of another Republican [Perry]. I’ve leaned Romney, just to not piss people like you off, a centrist who can correct Obama’s incompetence without shifting the center too much.

    Tonight, I’m thinking a Rick Perry, who calls a spade a spade without the Obama or Romney mealy-mouthing, is what the electorate is really hungering for. If they don’t succeed in painting him as a Goldwater-type maniac—and they sure might—I see no problem with the qualifications of a successful 2-term governor of a bigass state.

    The only remaining question is that of temperament. McCain had and has a shitly one, and as previously opined, I will not argue that for all his weaknesses as a leader, Obama wasn’t the better choice afterall.Report

    • Avatar Christopher Carr in reply to Tom Van Dyke
      Ignored
      says:

      Politically successful maybe, but not legislatively, judicially, or executively.Report

    • Avatar Mike in reply to Tom Van Dyke
      Ignored
      says:

      “they’re not saying [trying to say] what you’re hearing. Except that Barack Obama is a bad leader for this nation, which he is.”

      Excuse you?
      They’re saying Social Security should be abolished.
      They’re saying if you don’t have health insurance, you should just die.
      They’re saying that if you were born here, but your parents weren’t, you should be deported.
      They’re saying that executing the innocent is just fine with them.

      If Rick Perry is what the “electorate” is really “hungering for”, then I refer you to H.L. Mencken: “Democracy is the theory that the people know what they want, and deserve to get it good and hard.”

      I, for one, think the US can’t survive electing a dumbass texan who failed freshman economics… again.Report

    • Avatar Koz in reply to Tom Van Dyke
      Ignored
      says:

      “To Republicans, Romney in particular broke Reagan’s 11th Commandment, not to speak ill of another Republican [Perry]. I’ve leaned Romney, just to not piss people like you off, a centrist who can correct Obama’s incompetence without shifting the center too much.

      Tonight, I’m thinking a Rick Perry, who calls a spade a spade without the Obama or Romney mealy-mouthing, is what the electorate is really hungering for.”

      This will probably all be going into the memory hole soon enough, but on the odd chance that anybody still cares, I think this is really bad. Ie, tvd is right to the extent that’s where the GOP voting base is heading, but it’s a bad move.

      The Demo’s have fkkked it up enough to the point where we have real problems even if the Dems went away. We need to deal with those problems, represent to the political culture what we think the solutions might be. This sort of thing is too positional and too political.

      We’re better off ignoring the President to some extent. At this point, everybody is well aware of his incompetence. There’s no point in going over it again just for the sake of emphasizing our opposition. In an odd way, continuing to get emotional or angry is just allowing the President’s drama to continue when we could just let it sink into the past.

      Let’s note, that this operating at the level of the conservative activist base. It is personified in the difference between Romney and Perry, but that is not where the action is.Report

  4. Avatar Christopher Carr
    Ignored
    says:

    The Onion has done some good work on the topic of increasing the number of abortions: http://www.google.com/search?aq=f&sourceid=chrome&ie=UTF-8&q=onion+abortionReport

  5. Avatar DensityDuck
    Ignored
    says:

    Let’s propose that this hypothetical person weighs 472 pounds, smokes a pack of cigarettes every day, and insists on riding a motorcycle without a helmet.

    Are you going to tell me with a straight face that you think this person deserves the most extreme extent of medical care at no individual cost to him? No cost at all that isn’t paid by income taxes?Report

    • Avatar Jesse Ewiak in reply to DensityDuck
      Ignored
      says:

      Yes. Next question?

      All though, I’m also the one in the conversation that would happily remove the subsidies for corn, tax the hell out of junk food, cigaretters, and beer, and increase the fine for riding without a helmet.

      But, if a guy still does all the above, he still deserves the same medical care as the 170 pound ripped dude who’s never done a drug in his life.Report

      • Avatar Tom Van Dyke in reply to Jesse Ewiak
        Ignored
        says:

        I’m with Ewiak here. We call caring for the fucked-up mercy, and have rather incorporated into our public Judeo-Christian ethos.Report

        • Avatar Kim in reply to Tom Van Dyke
          Ignored
          says:

          Jews call it justice. Mercy is a tricksy concept, a Moral Good that is not a Moral Requirement (like Charity, in the christian conception). I’d prefer we call it Justice, because that to me means more of a Moral Requirement.Report

          • Avatar Murali in reply to Kim
            Ignored
            says:

            I’d prefer we call it Justice, because that to me means more of a Moral Requirement.

            That’s just jury rigging your the terms to get the result you want. What makes something just is whether it is the sort of thing that if included in a system, would increase the prospects of the worst off.

            *One not often noted caveat in Rawls is this: Rawls is fairly clear by what he means when he talks about improving the prospects of the worst off. He is talking about the legitimate lifetime expectations. What are legitimate expectations? They are what people can expect vis-a-vis the primary goods (liberties, income, opportunities, wealth etc) in a situation of full compliance with the principles of justice. i.e. Rawls pretty explicitly says that the reason justice as fairness focuses on the basic structure is so that he can set up a sort of division of labour. Governments focus on getting the right basic structure while individuals take personal responsibility for their actions. In a well ordered society (i.e. under full compliance) people are both rational and reasonable. So, while the basic structure provides social insurance to protect against the vagaries of fate, their rationality means that they make a rational life plan that takes into account their abilities and their resources and that they take the appropriate steps to achieve their goals. The legitimate expectations are those primary goods we can expect to have sans bad luck if we take follow through on our most rational life plan. That certainly doesnt involve getting fat, smoking 2 packs a day and riding without a helmet.

            Extending Rawls to non-ideal situations like these is tough, and pretty much unexplored territory. It is not clear what, according to Rawls, if anything, the irresponsible are entitled to qua justice.

            Note that this is not just an issue (to put it in the most neutral terms) with Rawls, but with all luck egalitarian theories including Gerald Cohen’sReport

            • Avatar Kim in reply to Murali
              Ignored
              says:

              Murali,
              Jury-rigging it may be, but it’s done within the context of religion and terminology. I’m allowed to object to someone lumping in my religion as one that characterizes charitable giving as “mercy.” I happen to think, as my religion does, that characterizing charitable giving as justice is a far more sensible thing.Report

              • Avatar Murali in reply to Kim
                Ignored
                says:

                I happen to think, as my religion does, that characterizing charitable giving as justice is a far more sensible thing.

                Fair enough, you may think that charitable giving should be considered closer to obligatory than supererogatory, but most people dont have so demanding views. If your aim is at least to convince, if you dont mind my impertinence, you should try to give a deductive argument as to why it would be the case rather than why it is a special religious duty for you (and thus not necessarily a moral duty for the rest of us) Failing that, some analogy or intuitive argument could do. For example “I have a duty to save your life if I can do so by just walking across the room and laying my hands on your brow.”Report

              • Avatar Kim in reply to Murali
                Ignored
                says:

                Can I say that I see it as a positive moral duty? to be a just person, you must do this? It doesn’t mean that I think someone should be forced, or that someone who doesn’t do it is necessarily evil.

                There is no one in America with so little time that they cannot give back to the community, at least a little bit. Helping someone else is something that should be done, as it empowers both people (particularly with things like free loan societies).

                Note, I do consider governmental charity as part of the whole “social justice” thingy.Report

      • Avatar DensityDuck in reply to Jesse Ewiak
        Ignored
        says:

        “Yes. Next question?”

        Where’s the incentive to not indulge my every desire, if the results are paid for by someone else?Report

        • Avatar E.C. Gach in reply to DensityDuck
          Ignored
          says:

          The problem is that they indulge in some and not in others. Having people indugle in preventive checkups would be great. Unfortunately they only go after there’s a problem.Report

          • Avatar Kim in reply to E.C. Gach
            Ignored
            says:

            If she could have afforded it, Asaro would have gone before there was a deadly issue. As of now, she’s dead. Because her insurance sucked. So is Spider Robinson’s wife, despite large amounts of charity from the community. These are not the sort of people who would skimp on preventative checkups.

            Sure, there are some people who are idiots (diabetics referenced earlier). But most people would like to do some preventative medicine.Report

        • Avatar Pat Cahalan in reply to DensityDuck
          Ignored
          says:

          You’re not a sociopath?

          Wait… you’re… not a sociopath, right? I mean, I don’t get that from you, as often as we disagree 🙂

          If your impulse control is so low “indulging your every desire” comes about when someone pays the tab, your sense of self is so ego-centered you’re probably indulging your every desire anyway. Since emergency medical care will be provided even if you can’t pay, I don’t see how this is different from the status quo.

          Anybody who’s that self-destructive isn’t going to be put off by the risk of bankruptcy.

          Then the only question is how much does it cost us to indulge some list of desires. Not every one, surely.

          Now, the flip side is that you’re taking away a tool for encouraging better behavior, and there are drawbacks to that which should be discussed, but I don’t think this is the last block before regressing to animalism becomes popular.Report

          • Avatar DensityDuck in reply to Pat Cahalan
            Ignored
            says:

            The question I’m trying to ask is not a practical one but a moral one.

            As in, “when we say that people should be given health care sufficient to keep them alive without thought of compensation to the provider, do we consider the moral-hazard implications of that statement?”Report

            • Avatar Kim in reply to DensityDuck
              Ignored
              says:

              no, because there are sufficient societal safeguards to prevent rampant stupidity. Also, most risk taking behaviors are insured separately.Report

            • Avatar Patrick Cahalan in reply to DensityDuck
              Ignored
              says:

              > “When we say that people should be
              > given health care sufficient to keep
              > them alive without thought of
              > compensation to the provider, do we
              > consider the moral-hazard
              > implications of that statement?”

              Without thought? I’m sort of assuming that the provider is actually being compensated. They usually are (at least to a degree, one can of course quibble about Medicaid payments being too low or whatever).

              I’m not sure to which moral hazard you are referring. Are you saying that discounting the moral hazard implications means that we’re encouraging immoral behavior, and we bear culpability for that?

              Community A agrees on communal health insurance. Some funding model takes money from members of Community A and puts it into Pot A.

              Member A of Community A likes riding a motorcycle without a helmet. He gets into a wreck. Members R through Zed have to provide Member A with medical care, which institutes a cost. The funds are pulled out of Pot A.

              There are a couple of potential problems here. Member A might not be the type who rides with a helmet if nobody else is paying the piper (I personally think this is ridiculously unlikely; people who like to ride without helmets are generally pretty not inclined to be risk-adverse). Member B may be stuck in a queue while Member A gets medical care and die (not sure who the moral opprobrium falls on and to what degree). Member C might be the type of guy who would normally ride with a helmet but chooses not to because “someone else will pay for it” (also pretty unlikely). The funding model for Pot A may be unjust.

              What moral-hazard implications are we considering?Report

              • Avatar DensityDuck in reply to Patrick Cahalan
                Ignored
                says:

                Just in case you aren’t aware of the term I’m using here. “Moral hazard” is associated with risky behavior, not “immoral” behavior.Report

              • Avatar Patrick Cahalan in reply to DensityDuck
                Ignored
                says:

                Yes, I know the term.

                I just don’t know precisely how it applies here, I was asking you to clarify.

                Are you saying that the availability of guaranteed general health coverage in the event of an emergency substantively encourages highly risky behavior, and thus it represents a dilemma for a society that imposes such a scheme over and above the moral benefits that are accrued from such a scheme?

                Yeah, I don’t think there is sufficient evidence to support this claim.

                I readily agree that it is possible. I don’t see it as prevalent or systemic; anyone who is going to be risk-seeking enough to be risk-seeking will be risk-seeking. I doubt the majority of them even ever given two thoughts to their medical coverage. That’s sort of part of being risk-seeking in the first place.Report

        • Avatar Kim in reply to DensityDuck
          Ignored
          says:

          … the social consequences of being fat are not mitigated by this law.
          … the social consequences of smoking are not mitigated by this law.Report

      • Avatar Dan in reply to Jesse Ewiak
        Ignored
        says:

        let me guess when healthcare reform was being debated you called the idea that it would lead to the loss of freedom crazy. this is what annoys me about the left on minute it’s “any one who believes socialized helathcare will lead to tyranny is crazy” the next it’s “we need to reduce freedom because of socialized helathcare. i wish advocates of socialized helathcare would just admit that their policies will mean the end of freedom.Report

    • Avatar DarrenG in reply to DensityDuck
      Ignored
      says:

      This seems like a question that can be answered with real-world data, given that your hypothetical obese, chain-smoking rebel biker would currently receive free emergent care in most other developed countries.

      Are Britain, Japan, and dozens of other countries currently being bankrupted by fat tobacco addict motorcyclists?Report

    • Avatar Pierre Corneille in reply to DensityDuck
      Ignored
      says:

      Are you going to tell me with a straight face that you think this person deserves the most extreme extent of medical care at no individual cost to him? No cost at all that isn’t paid by income taxes?

      Well, I’d say yes, although I get what you’re driving at.

      But even if I said no, I hope I would not be the type of person who’d cheer this person’s death. Yet….who knows what I am capable of.Report

    • Avatar Jaybird in reply to DensityDuck
      Ignored
      says:

      A better example would be a hypothetical diabetic who is 77 years old who gets (something)… and how much medical care they should get.

      Then you can ask, as a follow-up question, about a 78 year old diabetic who has survived, among other things, (something).

      You’ll have to put up with fewer people quibbling about the McGuire Twins.Report

    • Avatar NoPublic in reply to DensityDuck
      Ignored
      says:

      As long as you’re willing to stipulate that if the “170lb ripped dude” breaks his neck rock climbing or mountain biking we don’t have to treat him either I’m good with that.

      In fact, if you have an “accident” doing anything that’s not directly related to your job (which your employer should cover) or basic human tasks (I’ll even allow certain controlled exercise in controlled environments for wellness) you should just have to suck it up. It was voluntary, you should eat it.

      You still in?Report

      • Avatar DensityDuck in reply to NoPublic
        Ignored
        says:

        Eat it, or purchase your own insurance that covers the dangerous activity in question. Pay more premiums to cover the risky behavior. I’m perfectly okay with that.

        …because it means we all agree that there is no right to be kept alive. We agree that there are scenarios in which “pay or die” is a morally-acceptable outcome. We agree that the combination of choice and chance can put someone in a situation where staying alive requires more resources than they have available, but that they’ve also exceeded the limits of charity.

        You might not cheer when the guy in the OP hypothetical dies, but you won’t be emptying your wallet to save him either.Report

        • Avatar NoPublic in reply to DensityDuck
          Ignored
          says:

          The logical conclusion to this is a world where insurance is useless and everyone pays out of pocket or dies horribly.

          If you go down to the corner for a carton of milk and get killed crossing the street your insurance company will say “You could have had that milk delivered. Claim denied. Next!”.

          I don’t want to live in that world anymore than I want to defend this one.Report

          • Avatar DensityDuck in reply to NoPublic
            Ignored
            says:

            That’s what Medicare is for, wouldn’t you say? To provide that basic level of service?

            Or are you saying that you would want your money to go to paying the lifetime care bills of that “170lb ripped dude” who breaks his neck rock climbing?Report

            • Avatar Jesse Ewiak in reply to DensityDuck
              Ignored
              says:

              Yes, I do. That’s why I’m for single-payer UHC.Report

              • Avatar DensityDuck in reply to Jesse Ewiak
                Ignored
                says:

                I am, too, but I think that people too often think of it as “save the babies and poor people”, and don’t have a ready response for “what about the fat smokers” beyond chanting “babies and poor people, babies and poor people“.

                If you want to make the argument that moral hazard shouldn’t be considered, that’s fine, but be aware that the argument is being made; don’t just pretend like nobody will ever say “no reason to avoid risky behavior if the doctor’s always free”.Report

              • Avatar Kim in reply to DensityDuck
                Ignored
                says:

                … many poor people are fat. they’re fat because of stress, among other factors. Many of them would like to diet (if nothing else, because diabetes is EXPENSIVE. I think it will remain expensive under most things, even UHC — we’re still talking people paying for drugs, right?). UHC may help us find a way to help them be not so heavy (it could happen. maybe a dietician will write something that works).Report

              • Avatar NoPublic in reply to DensityDuck
                Ignored
                says:

                Me three. I put this hazard in the same category as defending a White Power Rally in a right to assemble and speak case. The fact that certain people are stupid or irresponsible or unlucky or bigoted or whatever is not sufficient to deny them any of the benefits and rights accorded to “The People”. Now the felon question (abrogating the social contract in a particular fashion) I could have a long debate about.Report

              • Avatar Jaybird in reply to NoPublic
                Ignored
                says:

                I put this hazard in the same category as defending a White Power Rally in a right to assemble and speak case.

                There is a difference between people assembling and speaking and people assembling and speaking and expecting you to pay for it because we all have responsibilities, as a society, to each other.Report

              • Avatar NoPublic in reply to Jaybird
                Ignored
                says:

                Which is why I didn’t say it was the same hazard, I said I place it in the same category (i.e. “Hazards I’m willing to accept because of my view on rights and benefits”)Report

              • Avatar Jaybird in reply to Jaybird
                Ignored
                says:

                See, the “I expect you to pay for my action” is what places it in a different category for me.

                I understand that both are exceptionally distasteful (if not intrinsically immoral) things that you don’t feel like you have the right to prevent.

                I get that.

                I don’t understand how “you have to pay for this” doesn’t kick it up into a different category from the “you don’t have to pay for this”.Report

  6. Avatar Kolohe
    Ignored
    says:

    Not seeing the debate, and reading both this post and Isquith’s first, I was expecting something considerable different when I saw the clip in question.

    I’m not opposed to single payer, and the current system is a soup sandwich, but that’s not what Blitzer’s hypothetical was all about.

    And it’s further tendentious because Mr Hypo Coma would get treatment even in today’s regime. (he’d be screwed as a soon as he woke up, but again, not part of the hypothetical)Report

  7. Avatar Jason Kuznicki
    Ignored
    says:

    This is grasping at straws. The crowd was cheering for individual responsibility, not for death.

    If there is a charitable reading, you have to go with it. Even if you prefer the uncharitable one.Report

    • Avatar MFarmer in reply to Jason Kuznicki
      Ignored
      says:

      Jason, this is what I was going to write, then decided it was useless — people will believe what they want to believe. One idiot screamed out “yes” or something like that, but they started cheering when Paul said we have to be responsible. It’s a nuanced argument and the forum didn’t allow the debate.Report

      • Avatar E.C. Gach in reply to MFarmer
        Ignored
        says:

        A few idiots called out “let him die!”Report

      • Avatar Kim in reply to MFarmer
        Ignored
        says:

        … since when is mandatory bankruptcy responsible? Beg pardon, but I don’t understand a world where having a medical condition should be the reason for most bake sales, loss of houses, and general loss of middle class status.Report

        • Avatar Murali in reply to Kim
          Ignored
          says:

          and general loss of middle class status

          You must re-evaluate whether you have middle class status if any illness can send you to bankruptcy. People love to call themselves middle-class even when they are not. People love to think that they can continue to coast doing 9-5 humdrum jobs and still remain middleclass, when they cannot. The reason people are so resistant to changing their self evaluation is because it is damaging to their self esteem. The reason they allow their self esteem so much play is because bankruptcy law in america is broken. Scrapping garnishee payments created moral hazard, which spread, and has caused the current problem in america today.Report

    • Avatar Annelid Gustator in reply to Jason Kuznicki
      Ignored
      says:

      Truly. Especially if the uncharitable reading involves regarding someone as a ‘statist.’Report

    • Avatar Jonathan in reply to Jason Kuznicki
      Ignored
      says:

      Yes, but Jason, I’ve been reading your stuff for quite a while, and it is quite clear that you are a Republican apologist.

      Don’t deny it!Report

    • Avatar E.C. Gach in reply to Jason Kuznicki
      Ignored
      says:

      True Jason, afterall, it was only a few in the audience who actually shouted, “Let him die!” The bulk were just applauding the case for individual responsibility.

      Unfortunately, Blitzer asked about a hypothetical young male who chose not to purchase insurance. He should have gone with someone who was laid off from their job and could no longer afford/obtain it.Report

      • Avatar 62across in reply to E.C. Gach
        Ignored
        says:

        Actually, the hypothetical completely obscured the underlying issues. Paul’s response, Blitzer’s “let him die?” foll0w-up and the cheering fans of individual responsibility in the audience all ignored there is an EMTALA. The tragic 30-year old wouldn’t be left to die – he’d be treated, likely in an ER, as required by law.

        Now, per the hypothetical, the guy had a good job and he wasn’t buying insurance, so he could have had some savings. Likely, the hospital would be able to garnish his assets to recoup some of their costs. But, comas ain’t cheap, so in the end you’ve got a bankrupt guy in a coma and a hospital with remaining costs they are going to pass on to all of those who do have insurance. This guy’s freedom ends up costing people who were not in on his decision to go without insurance and it does so through a grossly inefficient process.

        I don’t hear anyone proposing the repeal of EMTALA, so in the end, doesn’t it all come back around to cost shifting? Granted the guy trying to ride free ends up destitute, so you’ve still got the moral hazard thing going.Report

        • Avatar Michael Drew in reply to 62across
          Ignored
          says:

          Yeah. Really a poor job by Blitzer. He lives in a wonderful world of ideas that he uses to concoct these exquisitely entertaining political conundra, and it just so happens that his world is uncluttered with the ugly, chipped brick-a-brack we sometimes call “facts” here on Earth.Report

    • Avatar sonmi451 in reply to Jason Kuznicki
      Ignored
      says:

      How do you know that? Can you read their hearts and minds? Y, when it comes to conservative audience, let’s go with the most charitable audience, but when it comes to liberals, let’s scold them and demand them to answer and justify things said by Walzer and Blitzer they might not even agree with.Report

  8. E.D. – Let’s try to keep in mind that this is a debate with a limited, partisan audience and I heard maybe 3 people yell something specific. Watching every moment of a televised debate and looking for crowd reactions that you don’t approve of and then implying (or stating outright) that THIS is the Republican party is just ridiculous. Just look at the conservatives who are involved here at the League. I’d say we’re a pretty diverse group – wouldn’t you?

    Also,

    “A lot of people came back to me in my last debate post saying “You liberals would cheer if you heard a bunch of babies had been aborted!” but this is just nonsense.”

    What we all said was that if you believe that a fetus = a life then protecting abortion means protecting an institution which end 1.3 million lives every year. In exactly the same way, if I say I approve of our military actions in Afghanistan then I am also saying I approve of an action which has lead to hundreds (thousands) of civillian deaths. I cannot wash my hands of that and neither can ‘pro-choice’ individuals.Report

    • Avatar Marchmaine in reply to Mike at The Big Stick
      Ignored
      says:

      I think Mike captures the essence here; no one thinks that liberals would cheer at aborted babies – anymore than people cheered and executed innocent(s).

      Pretty sure that the a liberal crowd would, however, cheer at successful programs the significantly extended the reach of Women’s Reproductive services both in the US and abroad.

      A partisan “gotcha” question (should have been in the other thread) might look something like this:

      “Candidate Pro-Choice, your administration has vigorously promoted Women’s Reproductive Services throughout the US; and have increased funding for these services by $100M annually. . A recent study by [insert reputable but right leaning research group] shows that for every $1M spent on these services, an additional 30 women are able to terminate unwanted pregnancies.”

      [https://secure.aclu.org/site/SPageServer?pagename=SEM_ReproductiveFreedom&s_subsrc=SEM-g-choice-s-womenschoice]

      “Mr. Candidate, what do you make of the crowd just having cheered an increase of 3,000 abortions? Have you ever lost sleep at night contemplating that your policies have killed an additional 3,000 babies, more than any other candidate in modern times?”

      You [E.D.] hear killing an innocent prisoner, advocating torture, and apathy towards suffering. The other side hears, due process for law, national security, and personal responsibility.

      I’m just surprised that you are so confounded by this… its like you have gone tone-deaf to the political music (cacophonous though it might be), or that you are only selectively listening now.

      There’s nothing really constructive to this post other than to illustrate the obvious and increasing divide in America… when you cannot even imagine the “other side’s” position as being reasonable…

      I tell you naught for your comfort,
      Yea, not for your desire,
      Save that the sky grows darker yet
      And the sea rises higherReport

  9. Avatar Rufus F.
    Ignored
    says:

    I didn’t watch this either, although in fairness, I haven’t watched anything on tv in the last month or two. Watching the clip, I think they’re just cheering him saying liberty means taking responsibility for one’s self, which is not a terrible thing to cheer. There’s one dick who shouts something about letting the guy die, and really that was graceless and repulsive, but one swallow does not make a summer.Report

  10. Avatar E.C. Gach
    Ignored
    says:

    Unfortunately, letting the person not buy insurance and then letting them die as a result is just not a good outcome. At least economically, there’s a case to be made that that individual’s contribution, if they live a longer, healthier life, far outways what we gain as a society by not allowing them a “free ride.”

    Is the right to be irresponsible and die really worth that social cost? This is where notions of freedom and unencumbered individuality are taken to dogmatically irrational extremes.Report

  11. Avatar E.D. Kain
    Ignored
    says:

    Okay so even Rick Perry was taken aback (his words) by the cheering in this debate.

    Edit: fixed link.Report

  12. I might also mention that the Pew study I cited above notes that people that are married are much less likely to fall out of the middle class. I note that on my salary I would be lower middle class with less cushion but with my salary along with my wife’s we are comfortably in the upper tier. Minorities, especially blacks, have lower rates of marriage, more single parents, etc. This is a cultural feature that was noted as early as the 1940s with the University of Chicago and Black Metropolis.Report

  13. Avatar Rufus F.
    Ignored
    says:

    Mike at the Big Stick: Let’s try to keep in mind that this is a debate with a limited, partisan audience

    I keep coming back to this point. Why exactly did they (the candidates especially, but also CNN) think a “Tea Party Debate” was a good idea in the first place? Are they going to do this with every fringe group now? The CNN/A.N.S.W.E.R. Coalition Debate?Report

  14. Avatar Member548
    Ignored
    says:

    If you want the freedom to make good or bad choices in life you have to accept the responsibility of the outcome.

    The moment you want others to pay for your bad choices, or even bad luck, you invite them to control you, and you will have to accept that as well.Report

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *