House votes to repeal Obamacare

The House of Representatives has repealed Obamacare.  But don’t get too excited either way.  The bill will have to be also passed by the Democratic-held Senate and survive a veto by the President.  But still. . .

Swiftly honoring a campaign pledge, newly empowered Republicans pushed legislation to repeal the nation’s year-old health care overhaul through the House Wednesday night, brushing aside implacable opposition in the Senate and a veto threat from President Barack Obama.

The 245-189 vote was largely along party lines, and cleared the way for the second phase of the “repeal and replace” promise that victorious Republicans made to the voters last fall. GOP officials said that in the coming months, congressional committees will propose changes to the existing legislation, calling for elimination of a requirement for individuals to purchase coverage, for example, and recommending curbs on medical malpractice lawsuits.

Republicans also intend to try to reverse many of the changes Democrats made to Medicare Advantage, the private alternative to the traditional government-run health care program for seniors.

Like the repeal bill itself, these other measures will require Senate approval and a presidential signature to take effect, and the prospect is for months of maneuvering on the issue.

via The Associated Press: House Votes to repeal Obama’s health care law.

Assuming the rejection of the overall bill won’t stand up, Republicans are reportedly next planning a “death by a thousand cuts” approach, targeting provisions and funding needs one at a time. The first is said to be the provisions that allow for abortion.

Do you think this represents  a good strategy for Republicans? Some say that Republicans should let the bill get enacted, and then when it turns into a horrible, expensive, complicated mess, as Republicans expect, they can target it and present a Republican approach as an alternative. Otherwise, if Republicans only cripple the program, Democrats can can blame Republicans for it not working. What do you think?

About Gene Veith

Professor of Literature at Patrick Henry College, the Director of the Cranach Institute at Concordia Theological Seminary, a columnist for World Magazine and TableTalk, and the author of 18 books on different facets of Christianity & Culture.

  • Tom Hering

    “Do you think this represents a good strategy for Republicans?”

    Maybe. Maybe not. But is that what they were elected for – this time around? To do what’s good for Republicans?

    Back to business as usual, as usual.

  • Tom Hering

    “Do you think this represents a good strategy for Republicans?”

    Maybe. Maybe not. But is that what they were elected for – this time around? To do what’s good for Republicans?

    Back to business as usual, as usual.

  • http://geochristian.wordpress.com/ Kevin N

    The Republicans are largely to blame for this mess in the first place. Back when they had control of the house, senate, and presidency, they DID NOTHING (and I don’t think that was the right thing to do).

  • http://geochristian.wordpress.com/ Kevin N

    The Republicans are largely to blame for this mess in the first place. Back when they had control of the house, senate, and presidency, they DID NOTHING (and I don’t think that was the right thing to do).

  • trotk

    Kevin, why are the republicans to blame?

    The democrats were in control before that and didn’t fix the system.

    The republicans were in control before that and didn’t fix the system.

    The democrats were in control before that and didn’t fix the system.

    And so on.

    It seems profoundly silly to look at an unbelievably complex problem that is decades in the making and blame either party for inaction in some particular small window of time.

  • trotk

    Kevin, why are the republicans to blame?

    The democrats were in control before that and didn’t fix the system.

    The republicans were in control before that and didn’t fix the system.

    The democrats were in control before that and didn’t fix the system.

    And so on.

    It seems profoundly silly to look at an unbelievably complex problem that is decades in the making and blame either party for inaction in some particular small window of time.

  • trotk

    Besides, Kevin, you are assuming there was (and is) a viable solution.

    Perhaps various groups have done nothing because nothing could be done that would improve the situation.

  • trotk

    Besides, Kevin, you are assuming there was (and is) a viable solution.

    Perhaps various groups have done nothing because nothing could be done that would improve the situation.

  • Dan Kempin

    Kevin, #2,

    I share your outrage at the enormity of the missed opportunity.

  • Dan Kempin

    Kevin, #2,

    I share your outrage at the enormity of the missed opportunity.

  • trotk

    Dan and Kevin (and this is a genuine question), what would you have done in that opportunity?
    It seems to me that the system is too hopelessly complex to be reformed intelligently.

  • trotk

    Dan and Kevin (and this is a genuine question), what would you have done in that opportunity?
    It seems to me that the system is too hopelessly complex to be reformed intelligently.

  • Dan Kempin

    trotk, #6,

    I have no appetite for a political discussion on this, but I will at least answer for my comment. . .

    Give the Democrats in general and Nancy Pelosi in particular credit where credit is due. Like the shrewd manager of the Scripture, they took the opportunity of their majority to do everything they could with the time they had.

    The Republicans, with their majority, did precisely nothing. What would I have had them to? How about implement some of the policy they ran on and claim to espouse? How about, at the very, very, least, making the Bush tax cuts permanent? No, they sat there and let everyone blame Bush.

  • Dan Kempin

    trotk, #6,

    I have no appetite for a political discussion on this, but I will at least answer for my comment. . .

    Give the Democrats in general and Nancy Pelosi in particular credit where credit is due. Like the shrewd manager of the Scripture, they took the opportunity of their majority to do everything they could with the time they had.

    The Republicans, with their majority, did precisely nothing. What would I have had them to? How about implement some of the policy they ran on and claim to espouse? How about, at the very, very, least, making the Bush tax cuts permanent? No, they sat there and let everyone blame Bush.

  • http://www.redeemedrambling.blogspot.com/ John

    The problem with Obamacare is not, as I see it, universal health care or socialized medicine. The problem is this bill. It is almost unbelievably convoluted, and contains reams of garbage unrelated to health care – I read a clause in there providing for a tax increase on businesses that buy and sell gold backed securities! Right, left, or otherwise, no thinking person can support this monstrosity.

  • http://www.redeemedrambling.blogspot.com/ John

    The problem with Obamacare is not, as I see it, universal health care or socialized medicine. The problem is this bill. It is almost unbelievably convoluted, and contains reams of garbage unrelated to health care – I read a clause in there providing for a tax increase on businesses that buy and sell gold backed securities! Right, left, or otherwise, no thinking person can support this monstrosity.

  • http://lutherama.blogspot.com Dr. Luther in 21st Century

    I think at the moment anything the House does is largely symbolic, but if they play their cards right they can use it to paint Reid and Obama in even worse colors. I think the best route is to just let the current bill die before going fully into effect because the Machiavellian in me sees this only as a step to say see we really needed the mandatory single provider, thus enabling a huge federal power grab. The less devious side of says that it needs to die simply because once you enact an entitlement program you can never touch it again except to expand it. (*cough* social security *cough*)

  • http://lutherama.blogspot.com Dr. Luther in 21st Century

    I think at the moment anything the House does is largely symbolic, but if they play their cards right they can use it to paint Reid and Obama in even worse colors. I think the best route is to just let the current bill die before going fully into effect because the Machiavellian in me sees this only as a step to say see we really needed the mandatory single provider, thus enabling a huge federal power grab. The less devious side of says that it needs to die simply because once you enact an entitlement program you can never touch it again except to expand it. (*cough* social security *cough*)

  • http://facebook.com/mesamike Mike Westfall

    trotk @3 is correct. You can’t blame either major party for doing nothing.

    The true blame for this mess rests on the entitled voters. Neither party wants to stir them up.

  • http://facebook.com/mesamike Mike Westfall

    trotk @3 is correct. You can’t blame either major party for doing nothing.

    The true blame for this mess rests on the entitled voters. Neither party wants to stir them up.

  • http://www.biblegateway.com/versions/Contemporary-English-Version-CEV-Bible/ sg

    I basically agree, Mike and trotk, but there are those both Rep and Dem enriching themselves by influence peddling and pandering. They are responsible for their own actions. Just because the voters want a utopia that not government can deliver, does not absolve them from their duty to deal with reality on behalf of their constituents, rather than just using their power for their own gain as some do. There are principled folks there just not enough.

  • http://www.biblegateway.com/versions/Contemporary-English-Version-CEV-Bible/ sg

    I basically agree, Mike and trotk, but there are those both Rep and Dem enriching themselves by influence peddling and pandering. They are responsible for their own actions. Just because the voters want a utopia that not government can deliver, does not absolve them from their duty to deal with reality on behalf of their constituents, rather than just using their power for their own gain as some do. There are principled folks there just not enough.

  • http://www.learcapital.com/exactprice Hal (GT)

    What I would like to see is them put the brakes on spending. The symbolism is great but without substance is falls flat.

  • http://www.learcapital.com/exactprice Hal (GT)

    What I would like to see is them put the brakes on spending. The symbolism is great but without substance is falls flat.

  • http://www.biblegateway.com/versions/Contemporary-English-Version-CEV-Bible/ sg

    “The US insurance industry – a parasite that is sucking the life out of us.”

    What do you think of the government mandating coverage people don’t want? If you don’t like insurance, don’t buy it, but reducing competition and forcing folks to buy insurance they don’t want only empowers and enriches the worst players in the insurance industry.

  • http://www.biblegateway.com/versions/Contemporary-English-Version-CEV-Bible/ sg

    “The US insurance industry – a parasite that is sucking the life out of us.”

    What do you think of the government mandating coverage people don’t want? If you don’t like insurance, don’t buy it, but reducing competition and forcing folks to buy insurance they don’t want only empowers and enriches the worst players in the insurance industry.

  • DonS

    Back to the issue at hand. The Republicans had to take this vote and do what they promised to do. Those in the Senate, though a minority, should also do everything in their parliamentary power to force Harry Reid to bring the repeal measure up for a floor vote there. If he is so confident that he has the votes to defeat it (I’m not sure he does, or at least I’m not sure that there are 50 Democrats/Independents comfortable with voting against repeal with re-election campaigns looming in 2012 in many conservative states), then he should bring it to the floor and prove it. I think it would be good if Obama had to veto a repeal measure.

    In the meantime, the Republicans’ work is not done. Probably the most urgent thing is to repeal the extremely onerous 1099 requirement that kicks in in 2012. Unbelievably, for the purpose of gaining an estimated $2 – 3 billion in additional tax revenue annually, the Democrats imposed, in this bill, a crazy requirement that businesses issue 1099′s to ANY entity to whom $600 or more is paid during the year! Currently, those 1099′s only need be issued to independent contractors and professionals, such as accountants and lawyers. The new requirement means that if you buy $600 in office supplies from Staples, you need to issue a 1099! This requirement would increase the number of 1099′s by a factor of ten or more, and would cost an estimated $30-50 billion in additional tax compliance costs each year (I think that estimate is way low), in order to gain $3 billion in government revenue! Crazy! Insane! Democrats! Unbelievably, however, they refused to undertake this logical reform when given the opportunity late last year. Statism must reign supreme, and idealogues must triumph.

    Beyond the absurd 1099 requirement, there are many other elements of the bill that need to be reformed before they take effect. Republicans should also aggressively work to prevent funding for implementation of the bill’s provisions, using any funding leverage they can to force the Democrats in the Senate and administration to negotiate reform.

  • DonS

    Back to the issue at hand. The Republicans had to take this vote and do what they promised to do. Those in the Senate, though a minority, should also do everything in their parliamentary power to force Harry Reid to bring the repeal measure up for a floor vote there. If he is so confident that he has the votes to defeat it (I’m not sure he does, or at least I’m not sure that there are 50 Democrats/Independents comfortable with voting against repeal with re-election campaigns looming in 2012 in many conservative states), then he should bring it to the floor and prove it. I think it would be good if Obama had to veto a repeal measure.

    In the meantime, the Republicans’ work is not done. Probably the most urgent thing is to repeal the extremely onerous 1099 requirement that kicks in in 2012. Unbelievably, for the purpose of gaining an estimated $2 – 3 billion in additional tax revenue annually, the Democrats imposed, in this bill, a crazy requirement that businesses issue 1099′s to ANY entity to whom $600 or more is paid during the year! Currently, those 1099′s only need be issued to independent contractors and professionals, such as accountants and lawyers. The new requirement means that if you buy $600 in office supplies from Staples, you need to issue a 1099! This requirement would increase the number of 1099′s by a factor of ten or more, and would cost an estimated $30-50 billion in additional tax compliance costs each year (I think that estimate is way low), in order to gain $3 billion in government revenue! Crazy! Insane! Democrats! Unbelievably, however, they refused to undertake this logical reform when given the opportunity late last year. Statism must reign supreme, and idealogues must triumph.

    Beyond the absurd 1099 requirement, there are many other elements of the bill that need to be reformed before they take effect. Republicans should also aggressively work to prevent funding for implementation of the bill’s provisions, using any funding leverage they can to force the Democrats in the Senate and administration to negotiate reform.

  • Cincinnatus

    MG@12: lolwut?

  • Cincinnatus

    MG@12: lolwut?

  • http://www.toddstadler.com/ tODD

    I don’t really see the point of this House vote, but then, the Republicans did get elected on a pledge to make “lots of hollow gestures that change nothing” (I believe that was point #7 in the Contract Towards America). So at least they’re acting out their principles.

  • http://www.toddstadler.com/ tODD

    I don’t really see the point of this House vote, but then, the Republicans did get elected on a pledge to make “lots of hollow gestures that change nothing” (I believe that was point #7 in the Contract Towards America). So at least they’re acting out their principles.

  • http://jaybanks.ca Jay Banks

    The bill shouldn’t be repealed as a whole but only some of its parts should be changed. It has many problems. But it fixes a whole lot of critical problems too. Can anyone explain to me what is bad about the provision: No child can be denied insurance coverage because of a pre-existing condition?

  • http://jaybanks.ca Jay Banks

    The bill shouldn’t be repealed as a whole but only some of its parts should be changed. It has many problems. But it fixes a whole lot of critical problems too. Can anyone explain to me what is bad about the provision: No child can be denied insurance coverage because of a pre-existing condition?

  • http://facebook.com/mesamike Mike Westfall

    > Can anyone explain to me what is bad about the provision: No child
    > can be denied insurance coverage because of a pre-existing
    > condition?

    By specifying a child, you’re especially playing on emotionalism.

    Can anyone explain to me what is bad about the provision: No automobile owner can be denied insurance coverage because of pre-existing damage or public liability from a crash?

    An insurance company takes it’s customer’s money and bets that it won’t have to pay it back out to cover claims against the insurance policy. That’s how insurance companies make money. Making money is why they exist in the first place, just like every other business.

    The health care needs of a child (or any other person) with pre-existing conditions can be provided for by means other than insurance.

  • http://facebook.com/mesamike Mike Westfall

    > Can anyone explain to me what is bad about the provision: No child
    > can be denied insurance coverage because of a pre-existing
    > condition?

    By specifying a child, you’re especially playing on emotionalism.

    Can anyone explain to me what is bad about the provision: No automobile owner can be denied insurance coverage because of pre-existing damage or public liability from a crash?

    An insurance company takes it’s customer’s money and bets that it won’t have to pay it back out to cover claims against the insurance policy. That’s how insurance companies make money. Making money is why they exist in the first place, just like every other business.

    The health care needs of a child (or any other person) with pre-existing conditions can be provided for by means other than insurance.

  • http://facebook.com/mesamike Mike Westfall

    Really, H.?

    Is it so hard to imagine how goods and services can be obtained by means other than making a bet with an insurance company?

  • http://facebook.com/mesamike Mike Westfall

    Really, H.?

    Is it so hard to imagine how goods and services can be obtained by means other than making a bet with an insurance company?

  • http://www.toddstadler.com/ tODD

    Mike (@19), you’re trying to equate auto insurance with health insurance, but not all insurances are the same.

    In your scenario in which Person A is denied automobile insurance for “pre-existing damage”, the question is: who is at fault for that damage? If it was judged to be Person B’s fault, it is not likely that the insurance company will deny Person A coverage. But if it was Person A’s fault, then he is being held accountable for his actions. Moreover, while outrageous scenarios could be concocted, it is not likely that denial of automobile insurance would be life-threatening.

    Now let’s look at health insurance. A baby, Person C, is born with a birth defect. Was this Person C’s fault? Should Person C be held accountable for an unfortunate natural occurence? Apparently, you argue, he should. It is not “bad” for a company to deny him coverage. Instead, he (or, obviously, his parents) should just pay for his life-sustaining surgeries “by other means”.

    And what would those be? You seem disinclined to spell them out. F/HSA? Perhaps. But given that it’s a birth defect, there isn’t likely to be a whole lot of money in that account to cover those expensive procedures. Unless you expect that no one has a child unless they have a (minimum) five-figure savings account set aside in case of birth defects. Perhaps the parents should just be prepared to enter into bankruptcy? Honestly, what is your vision here? I don’t know.

  • http://www.toddstadler.com/ tODD

    Mike (@19), you’re trying to equate auto insurance with health insurance, but not all insurances are the same.

    In your scenario in which Person A is denied automobile insurance for “pre-existing damage”, the question is: who is at fault for that damage? If it was judged to be Person B’s fault, it is not likely that the insurance company will deny Person A coverage. But if it was Person A’s fault, then he is being held accountable for his actions. Moreover, while outrageous scenarios could be concocted, it is not likely that denial of automobile insurance would be life-threatening.

    Now let’s look at health insurance. A baby, Person C, is born with a birth defect. Was this Person C’s fault? Should Person C be held accountable for an unfortunate natural occurence? Apparently, you argue, he should. It is not “bad” for a company to deny him coverage. Instead, he (or, obviously, his parents) should just pay for his life-sustaining surgeries “by other means”.

    And what would those be? You seem disinclined to spell them out. F/HSA? Perhaps. But given that it’s a birth defect, there isn’t likely to be a whole lot of money in that account to cover those expensive procedures. Unless you expect that no one has a child unless they have a (minimum) five-figure savings account set aside in case of birth defects. Perhaps the parents should just be prepared to enter into bankruptcy? Honestly, what is your vision here? I don’t know.

  • trotk

    The debate about childhood pre-existing conditions is pretty simple. It should be treated just like foodstamps.

    To force an insurance company to take someone with a pre-existing condition destroys their business model, and if you destroy their business model, you either destroy their viability (and thus their ability to offer coverage to anyone) or you force them to overcharge others (which harms those people).

    To tell the family to suck it up and pay out of pocket for their newborn with a heart defect is ridiculously cruel and heartless when our country is as wealthy as it is.

    These cases shouldn’t be forced into the realm of insurance. The government should simply apportion part of the tax revenue to cover the bill, and it should be allocated to the families based on need.

    As for adults, the conversation is far more difficult, because if they had purchased insurance prior to the condition appearing, they would have received coverage for it, and so it is their own fault most of the time. But that is a question for someone else to solve.

  • trotk

    The debate about childhood pre-existing conditions is pretty simple. It should be treated just like foodstamps.

    To force an insurance company to take someone with a pre-existing condition destroys their business model, and if you destroy their business model, you either destroy their viability (and thus their ability to offer coverage to anyone) or you force them to overcharge others (which harms those people).

    To tell the family to suck it up and pay out of pocket for their newborn with a heart defect is ridiculously cruel and heartless when our country is as wealthy as it is.

    These cases shouldn’t be forced into the realm of insurance. The government should simply apportion part of the tax revenue to cover the bill, and it should be allocated to the families based on need.

    As for adults, the conversation is far more difficult, because if they had purchased insurance prior to the condition appearing, they would have received coverage for it, and so it is their own fault most of the time. But that is a question for someone else to solve.

  • http://facebook.com/mesamike Mike Westfall

    If you’ve arrived at the situation where you are actually in need of some expensive good or service, and not just the possibility that you might need that good or service in the future, then what you need is that good or service, not insurance.

    You can pay for that good or service yourself, if you can afford it. If not, maybe you can borrow what you need, and pay back over time. Or maybe you can get some charity to help you out. As a last resort, I’m not opposed to the existence of some government safety net that’s been set up to provide for the basic needs of the truly indigent. But this would be called “welfare” of some sort, and would be provided by the government. Provision of welfare benefits shouldn’t be the concern of private businesses.

  • http://facebook.com/mesamike Mike Westfall

    If you’ve arrived at the situation where you are actually in need of some expensive good or service, and not just the possibility that you might need that good or service in the future, then what you need is that good or service, not insurance.

    You can pay for that good or service yourself, if you can afford it. If not, maybe you can borrow what you need, and pay back over time. Or maybe you can get some charity to help you out. As a last resort, I’m not opposed to the existence of some government safety net that’s been set up to provide for the basic needs of the truly indigent. But this would be called “welfare” of some sort, and would be provided by the government. Provision of welfare benefits shouldn’t be the concern of private businesses.

  • Cincinnatus

    I’m actually going to agree with Mike in his last comment @25. tODD, @25, you seem to imply (perhaps unintentionally, or perhaps I am misreading your statements) that health insurance should not be treated like other types of insurance. Why not? Health insurance, like life and automobile insurance, was a private product invented by private companies that private individuals could purchase if they so chose to protect against certain private eventualities. Mandating the purchase of insurance for everyone or mandating that no one be turned away a) defeats the purpose of insurance in the first place by eliminating the pool of risk and b) is, to boot, a terrible way of “managing” or “solving” the so-called “healthcare crisis.”

    As someone else pointed out, this bill was an utter and absolute travesty. Aside from seeking an incorrect solution–making everyone buy insurance, thus defeating the purpose (but, the way it is constructed, actually enriching the insurance companies and increasing their stranglehold over the entire industry)–it couldn’t decide whether the goal was to increase coverage or reduce costs, and thus it more or less failed at doing both.

    Believe it or not, there are alternative methods of seeking healthcare aside from funneling one’s claims through an insurance company. For starters, there is actually paying for one’s care oneself. This is, of course, expensive, and it may, in fact, lead to the bankruptcy of some people. We treat the latter as some form of unconscionable national tragedy that should guilt our public budget into fiscal oblivion, but, really, bankruptcy happens frequently, and for many lesser reasons–starting a business, maxing out one too many credit cards, and gambling come to mind. If one doesn’t relish spending one’s money on oneself (or if one has no money to spend on oneself), there are avenues of charity both organized (various children’s hospitals, religious charitable organizations like Catholic Charities, etc.) and unorganized (my small hometown held spontaneous donation drives for sick children all the time). Finally, there is, as others have also pointed out, the possibility of a modest safety net for those (probably indigent) children who actually truly need life-saving care and who have exhausted all other avenues. Though we will “always have the poor among us,” I am sure there are other methods of ameliorating the problem as well without doing something as ludicrous as mandating the purchase or, worse, gratis provision of private insurance.

    Regardless of whether you think proper healthcare is a “right” (I tend to think it is not, but I’ll leave this open to disagreement), there is absolutely no reason that healthcare insurance should be a right.

  • Cincinnatus

    I’m actually going to agree with Mike in his last comment @25. tODD, @25, you seem to imply (perhaps unintentionally, or perhaps I am misreading your statements) that health insurance should not be treated like other types of insurance. Why not? Health insurance, like life and automobile insurance, was a private product invented by private companies that private individuals could purchase if they so chose to protect against certain private eventualities. Mandating the purchase of insurance for everyone or mandating that no one be turned away a) defeats the purpose of insurance in the first place by eliminating the pool of risk and b) is, to boot, a terrible way of “managing” or “solving” the so-called “healthcare crisis.”

    As someone else pointed out, this bill was an utter and absolute travesty. Aside from seeking an incorrect solution–making everyone buy insurance, thus defeating the purpose (but, the way it is constructed, actually enriching the insurance companies and increasing their stranglehold over the entire industry)–it couldn’t decide whether the goal was to increase coverage or reduce costs, and thus it more or less failed at doing both.

    Believe it or not, there are alternative methods of seeking healthcare aside from funneling one’s claims through an insurance company. For starters, there is actually paying for one’s care oneself. This is, of course, expensive, and it may, in fact, lead to the bankruptcy of some people. We treat the latter as some form of unconscionable national tragedy that should guilt our public budget into fiscal oblivion, but, really, bankruptcy happens frequently, and for many lesser reasons–starting a business, maxing out one too many credit cards, and gambling come to mind. If one doesn’t relish spending one’s money on oneself (or if one has no money to spend on oneself), there are avenues of charity both organized (various children’s hospitals, religious charitable organizations like Catholic Charities, etc.) and unorganized (my small hometown held spontaneous donation drives for sick children all the time). Finally, there is, as others have also pointed out, the possibility of a modest safety net for those (probably indigent) children who actually truly need life-saving care and who have exhausted all other avenues. Though we will “always have the poor among us,” I am sure there are other methods of ameliorating the problem as well without doing something as ludicrous as mandating the purchase or, worse, gratis provision of private insurance.

    Regardless of whether you think proper healthcare is a “right” (I tend to think it is not, but I’ll leave this open to disagreement), there is absolutely no reason that healthcare insurance should be a right.

  • Cincinnatus

    As for Veith’s original question: I’m not particularly concerned about whether this is a “good strategy” for the Republicans as I could not possibly care less about the fate of the Republicans or the Democrats in any electoral event, but I am actually glad that they made this statement. Even if it is D.O.A. in the Senate, I am impressed that the Republicans had the–to borrow one of Porcell’s favorite terms–cajones to make a very public proclamation of their commitment to fiscal responsibility on this issue, and it could fare them well in 2012. After all, the bill is not popular. And it is nice to see that they are willing to say, if not actually do, things (the latter is rendered difficult by a President and Senate from the other party, which is actually the way I prefer it; I appreciate governments that can’t accomplish anything).

    In short, I didn’t think they would even try.

  • Cincinnatus

    As for Veith’s original question: I’m not particularly concerned about whether this is a “good strategy” for the Republicans as I could not possibly care less about the fate of the Republicans or the Democrats in any electoral event, but I am actually glad that they made this statement. Even if it is D.O.A. in the Senate, I am impressed that the Republicans had the–to borrow one of Porcell’s favorite terms–cajones to make a very public proclamation of their commitment to fiscal responsibility on this issue, and it could fare them well in 2012. After all, the bill is not popular. And it is nice to see that they are willing to say, if not actually do, things (the latter is rendered difficult by a President and Senate from the other party, which is actually the way I prefer it; I appreciate governments that can’t accomplish anything).

    In short, I didn’t think they would even try.

  • DonS

    Cincinnatus @ 26: Well said.

    All insurances are not precisely alike, to be sure. However, all insurances ARE alike in that they require a distribution of risk among many policyholders. When we mandate that policies must cover pre-existing conditions, we take away all incentive to purchase insurance before you need it. This greatly shrinks the pool of policyholders, and the math cannot possibly work. For this reason, the individual mandate was put into Obamacare. But, even if it is not found to be unconstitutional (at this point, believing it to be constitutional is a very dubious bet), it is so weak as to be essentially worthless. It does not even come into effect until 2018, and even then the “fee” for not purchasing insurance is minuscule compared to premium costs.

    One important way to combat low participation in health insurance plans is to make plan premiums CHEAPER!! Yet, Obamacare does the exact opposite thing by imposing so many coverage mandates on insurers — lifting lifetime caps, covering pre-existing conditions, keeping “children” on parental policies until age 26, fully covering “preventative care” at no cost to the policyholder, covering more mental health care, covering same sex partners, blah, blah. Everyone with a brain knows these mandates will greatly drive up premiums and greatly lower participation rates. You’d almost think that was the plan ;-)

  • DonS

    Cincinnatus @ 26: Well said.

    All insurances are not precisely alike, to be sure. However, all insurances ARE alike in that they require a distribution of risk among many policyholders. When we mandate that policies must cover pre-existing conditions, we take away all incentive to purchase insurance before you need it. This greatly shrinks the pool of policyholders, and the math cannot possibly work. For this reason, the individual mandate was put into Obamacare. But, even if it is not found to be unconstitutional (at this point, believing it to be constitutional is a very dubious bet), it is so weak as to be essentially worthless. It does not even come into effect until 2018, and even then the “fee” for not purchasing insurance is minuscule compared to premium costs.

    One important way to combat low participation in health insurance plans is to make plan premiums CHEAPER!! Yet, Obamacare does the exact opposite thing by imposing so many coverage mandates on insurers — lifting lifetime caps, covering pre-existing conditions, keeping “children” on parental policies until age 26, fully covering “preventative care” at no cost to the policyholder, covering more mental health care, covering same sex partners, blah, blah. Everyone with a brain knows these mandates will greatly drive up premiums and greatly lower participation rates. You’d almost think that was the plan ;-)

  • Feldman

    The GOP’s corporate paymasters and media lackeys have their health care well-covered, and the tea baggers are smugly secure in their Medicare, Social Security and VA benefits which aren’t at all soshulism because shutupshutupshutup!

    Under their rightist philosophy that “It’s not a problem until it’s MY problem,” nobody who matters lacks health care, so they don’t see any problem at all. You don’t have to know @27 and @28 to be sure that they don’t know what it’s like to have a sick child or to miss a meal.

  • Feldman

    The GOP’s corporate paymasters and media lackeys have their health care well-covered, and the tea baggers are smugly secure in their Medicare, Social Security and VA benefits which aren’t at all soshulism because shutupshutupshutup!

    Under their rightist philosophy that “It’s not a problem until it’s MY problem,” nobody who matters lacks health care, so they don’t see any problem at all. You don’t have to know @27 and @28 to be sure that they don’t know what it’s like to have a sick child or to miss a meal.

  • http://facebook.com/mesamike Mike Westfall

    Hey Feldman,

    Can you try something other than non-sequiters and name calling?

    The people who normally frequent this blog aren’t as stupid as your writing seems to be, and can see right through that tactic.

  • http://facebook.com/mesamike Mike Westfall

    Hey Feldman,

    Can you try something other than non-sequiters and name calling?

    The people who normally frequent this blog aren’t as stupid as your writing seems to be, and can see right through that tactic.

  • Feldman

    Obviously, I struck the only live wire in your being, @30, and it was not your conscience.

  • Feldman

    Obviously, I struck the only live wire in your being, @30, and it was not your conscience.

  • Cincinnatus

    Don’t feed the troll!

  • Cincinnatus

    Don’t feed the troll!

  • Jimmy Veith

    Todd @ 23. Good response, and very insightful as always.

    To trotk @24, you stated: “To force an insurance company to take someone with a pre-existing condition destroys their business model, and if you destroy their business model, you either destroy their viability (and thus their ability to offer coverage to anyone) or you force them to overcharge others (which harms those people).

    Well the whole point of health care reform is to “destroy their business model” , which is to insure only those healthy people that are less likely to get sick and not to insure people with chronic health problems.

    This “business model” should be destroyed for two basic reasons.

    1. It is unsustainable and results in higher and higher escalation of health care costs. When the uninsured eventually receive medical care (which is usually more expensive because they could not afford preventive c are), the medical services are not paid for by the person that receives the medical care. If a medical provider does not get paid for 1/3 of his services, what does he do to make up the difference? He raises the fees for the 2/3 of the people that have insurance. This results in an increase in insurance premiums which means that more people drop out of the system and you have fewer and fewer people subsidizing the uninsured.

    2. It is immoral to deny coverage to people (children and adults) with chronic medical problems. People who don’t have insurance are less likely to receive medical care, or they postpone medical care until it is too late. As a bankruptcy attorney I have represented hundreds of people who have to file bankruptcy because they either don’t have insurance, or the insurance that they did have was totally inadequate. Bankruptcy does provide some relief with respect to the burden of debt that accompanies individuals that have serious medical problem. However, it would be far better if they had no burden of debt in the first place. Often, individuals worry more about the cost of health care than their actual medical problems. For the most part, Bankruptcy does not result in payment to the medical providers, which means that they will continue to pass on their costs to the insured or to the government. Bankruptcy is hardly a “solution” to the problem.

    Private health Insurance companies can exist with a different business model. If the pool of insured includes everyone, (including the young and healthy), there will be sufficient income to pay for the health care of people with pre-existing conditions. This is essentially the reason for the individual mandate. If everybody is covered, everybody needs to pay their fair share.

    There are several countries where this “business model” does exist. I am pretty sure that Germany and Switzerland are two such countries that have private insurance that mandate universal coverage. Although there are problems with any system, it seems to work fairly well compared to the chaotic ”system” we have in the United States.

    The bottom line is that insurance companies exist to serve the people, we do not exist to serve insurance companies. If we need to change the business model of insurance companies so that they actually provide a service to the people, then so be it.

  • Jimmy Veith

    Todd @ 23. Good response, and very insightful as always.

    To trotk @24, you stated: “To force an insurance company to take someone with a pre-existing condition destroys their business model, and if you destroy their business model, you either destroy their viability (and thus their ability to offer coverage to anyone) or you force them to overcharge others (which harms those people).

    Well the whole point of health care reform is to “destroy their business model” , which is to insure only those healthy people that are less likely to get sick and not to insure people with chronic health problems.

    This “business model” should be destroyed for two basic reasons.

    1. It is unsustainable and results in higher and higher escalation of health care costs. When the uninsured eventually receive medical care (which is usually more expensive because they could not afford preventive c are), the medical services are not paid for by the person that receives the medical care. If a medical provider does not get paid for 1/3 of his services, what does he do to make up the difference? He raises the fees for the 2/3 of the people that have insurance. This results in an increase in insurance premiums which means that more people drop out of the system and you have fewer and fewer people subsidizing the uninsured.

    2. It is immoral to deny coverage to people (children and adults) with chronic medical problems. People who don’t have insurance are less likely to receive medical care, or they postpone medical care until it is too late. As a bankruptcy attorney I have represented hundreds of people who have to file bankruptcy because they either don’t have insurance, or the insurance that they did have was totally inadequate. Bankruptcy does provide some relief with respect to the burden of debt that accompanies individuals that have serious medical problem. However, it would be far better if they had no burden of debt in the first place. Often, individuals worry more about the cost of health care than their actual medical problems. For the most part, Bankruptcy does not result in payment to the medical providers, which means that they will continue to pass on their costs to the insured or to the government. Bankruptcy is hardly a “solution” to the problem.

    Private health Insurance companies can exist with a different business model. If the pool of insured includes everyone, (including the young and healthy), there will be sufficient income to pay for the health care of people with pre-existing conditions. This is essentially the reason for the individual mandate. If everybody is covered, everybody needs to pay their fair share.

    There are several countries where this “business model” does exist. I am pretty sure that Germany and Switzerland are two such countries that have private insurance that mandate universal coverage. Although there are problems with any system, it seems to work fairly well compared to the chaotic ”system” we have in the United States.

    The bottom line is that insurance companies exist to serve the people, we do not exist to serve insurance companies. If we need to change the business model of insurance companies so that they actually provide a service to the people, then so be it.

  • S Bauer

    In my view this doesn’t have anything to do with cajones. The Republicans are merely doing this for the sake of keeping Republicans in power. If one presses them for details, one finds that they don’t want to get rid of anything in the package that the public likes, e.g.. no caps on treatment and no refusal for coverage for pre-existing conditions (in other words, more liabilities) and they want to get rid of everything the public doesn’t like, e.g. mandatory coverage or taxes (in other words, borrow the money from someone else to pay for it all). To say that the Republicans have a plan other than hoping one of them finds a magic wand is laughable.

  • S Bauer

    In my view this doesn’t have anything to do with cajones. The Republicans are merely doing this for the sake of keeping Republicans in power. If one presses them for details, one finds that they don’t want to get rid of anything in the package that the public likes, e.g.. no caps on treatment and no refusal for coverage for pre-existing conditions (in other words, more liabilities) and they want to get rid of everything the public doesn’t like, e.g. mandatory coverage or taxes (in other words, borrow the money from someone else to pay for it all). To say that the Republicans have a plan other than hoping one of them finds a magic wand is laughable.

  • DonS

    Jimmy @ 33: Well the whole point of health care reform is to “destroy their business model” , which is to insure only those healthy people that are less likely to get sick and not to insure people with chronic health problems.

    That’s a little unfair, don’t you think? The business model of insurance is to insure people before they get sick, and to insure as large a pool of people as possible, so that there will be sufficient resources to pay for the care of the sick while keeping premiums affordable. That’s the only way insurance works, as we are all soon to find out. Enjoy your 20-30% annual premium increases, exacerbated by the unsustainable insurance model which is Obamacare.

    I meant to mention, in my last post, another alternative to health insurance which has become popular in Christian circles. Two such organizations are Medi-Share and Samaritan Ministries (http://www.samaritanministries.org/faq/). I know several families who use such means for covering their health care, and they very much like them. They tend to be substantially cheaper than traditional health insurance, because they avoid government regulation and mandates, and carefully screen members to ensure generally healthier lifestyles. Even these types of programs limit coverage of pre-existing conditions, for reasons that are obvious. Regardless of the type of coverage we are talking about, we need to encourage people to be covered while they are healthy, so that they have provision in place for future illness or injury. And that means keeping the cost of coverage way down by reducing coverage mandates and encouraging catastrophic-oriented coverage. It is way better for most everyone to be covered against catastrophic illness than for far fewer people to be covered by the Cadillac-type plans, costing far more, that our government wants to mandate for us.

  • DonS

    Jimmy @ 33: Well the whole point of health care reform is to “destroy their business model” , which is to insure only those healthy people that are less likely to get sick and not to insure people with chronic health problems.

    That’s a little unfair, don’t you think? The business model of insurance is to insure people before they get sick, and to insure as large a pool of people as possible, so that there will be sufficient resources to pay for the care of the sick while keeping premiums affordable. That’s the only way insurance works, as we are all soon to find out. Enjoy your 20-30% annual premium increases, exacerbated by the unsustainable insurance model which is Obamacare.

    I meant to mention, in my last post, another alternative to health insurance which has become popular in Christian circles. Two such organizations are Medi-Share and Samaritan Ministries (http://www.samaritanministries.org/faq/). I know several families who use such means for covering their health care, and they very much like them. They tend to be substantially cheaper than traditional health insurance, because they avoid government regulation and mandates, and carefully screen members to ensure generally healthier lifestyles. Even these types of programs limit coverage of pre-existing conditions, for reasons that are obvious. Regardless of the type of coverage we are talking about, we need to encourage people to be covered while they are healthy, so that they have provision in place for future illness or injury. And that means keeping the cost of coverage way down by reducing coverage mandates and encouraging catastrophic-oriented coverage. It is way better for most everyone to be covered against catastrophic illness than for far fewer people to be covered by the Cadillac-type plans, costing far more, that our government wants to mandate for us.

  • http://www.biblegateway.com/versions/Contemporary-English-Version-CEV-Bible/ sg

    People with preexisting conditions can get insurance.

    Those who are saying they can’t do not know what they are talking about.

    Typically, the condition itself is not covered for the first two years, but it may also never be covered, and the insurance is more expensive than insurance for someone who has no known health conditions.

    You get what you pay for. Expecting more is not honorable, more like cheating and stealing.

    Anyway, a very nice actuary explains health insurance for those who have some questions. These videos are very clear.

    http://www.youtube.com/user/TheAnonymousActuary#p/a

  • http://www.biblegateway.com/versions/Contemporary-English-Version-CEV-Bible/ sg

    People with preexisting conditions can get insurance.

    Those who are saying they can’t do not know what they are talking about.

    Typically, the condition itself is not covered for the first two years, but it may also never be covered, and the insurance is more expensive than insurance for someone who has no known health conditions.

    You get what you pay for. Expecting more is not honorable, more like cheating and stealing.

    Anyway, a very nice actuary explains health insurance for those who have some questions. These videos are very clear.

    http://www.youtube.com/user/TheAnonymousActuary#p/a

  • http://www.biblegateway.com/versions/Contemporary-English-Version-CEV-Bible/ sg

    One more idea. It is reasonable not to eliminate entirely the customer to provider market relationship because totally elimination of all costs to the consumer means that some folks experience no deterrence to going to the doctor when they don’t really need to. Everything else costs something. So should healthcare.

  • http://www.biblegateway.com/versions/Contemporary-English-Version-CEV-Bible/ sg

    One more idea. It is reasonable not to eliminate entirely the customer to provider market relationship because totally elimination of all costs to the consumer means that some folks experience no deterrence to going to the doctor when they don’t really need to. Everything else costs something. So should healthcare.

  • Carl Vehse

    From Florida Judge Rules Against Obamacare, Injunction Denied As Unnecessary Since Entire Law Unconstitutional:

    “Federal Judge Roger Vinson of the Northern District of Florida, in a lawsuit by 26 state attorney generals, has held that Obamacare is unconstitutional. Judge Vinson first found that the mandate was unconstitutional, and then found that the mandate could not be severed from the rest of the law, requiring that the entire law be deemed unconstitutional.”

    The MSM will go apoplectic over this. The judge better have a ceramic armor vest under his robes.

  • Carl Vehse

    From Florida Judge Rules Against Obamacare, Injunction Denied As Unnecessary Since Entire Law Unconstitutional:

    “Federal Judge Roger Vinson of the Northern District of Florida, in a lawsuit by 26 state attorney generals, has held that Obamacare is unconstitutional. Judge Vinson first found that the mandate was unconstitutional, and then found that the mandate could not be severed from the rest of the law, requiring that the entire law be deemed unconstitutional.”

    The MSM will go apoplectic over this. The judge better have a ceramic armor vest under his robes.

  • http://www.toddstadler.com/ tODD

    “The MSM will go apoplectic over this,” predicted Carl (@38).

    Indeed, behold the apoplexy!

  • http://www.toddstadler.com/ tODD

    “The MSM will go apoplectic over this,” predicted Carl (@38).

    Indeed, behold the apoplexy!


CLOSE | X

HIDE | X