Monday, August 27, 2012

Read Stuff, You Should

Happy Birthday to Sarah Chalke, 36. I watch all (or most, anyway) medical sitcoms, but no medical dramas. This probably indicates something profoundly unhealthy about me, I suppose.

To the good stuff:


1. Party networks in action: David Karol reads a Politico profile of Paul Ryan.

2. Eric Patashnik on trust funds and double-counting.

3. John Sides on how the conventions will affect WH 2012.

4. "Rising health care costs are an economic, not a budget, problem." Exactly. Rebecca Theiss backs it with a chart.

5. And Anna Clark looks at the reporting -- good and bad -- on Mitt Romney's birther joke.

24 comments:

  1. No, rising health care costs are a budget problem.

    Theiss thinks "the underlying problem [is] health care costs crowding out other potential uses of future income growth," but this is not a problem at all, if the consumers of health care think it's a better way to spend their money than the alternatives. The problem is that these decisions are increasingly made by politicians instead of consumers, and so I have to spend more on healthcare because you want expanded coverage. It's the replacement of market outcomes with those pre-determined by government regulators - and then Democrats are shocked (shocked!) when they get called socialists.

    Ryan is right; cut guaranteed benefits, freeing consumers to spend their money how they like. If they then choose to spend more or less on healthcare, it's no-one's business but their own.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anonymous 8:56, I think the problem is that pre-ACA, tens of millions of consumers of health care DO NOT HAVE ACCESS to the health care market because they have pre-existing conditions. If God forbid they get a serious illness that needs expensive treatment, they pretty much have to resort to bake sales and charity to pay for treatment. The health care market without government intervention is a broken market.

      I do agree with you though that there are ways that government intervenes in the health care market that lead to pernicious outcomes. Patent monopolies granted by government to pharmaceutical companies for example mean that every year we spend 10 times more on prescription drugs than we would if the drugs were sold in a free market (Dean Baker harps on this almost every day on his blog). So there definitely are times when government distorts market outcomes and hurts consumers. I don't think the ACA is an example of this.

      Delete
    2. the problem is that pre-ACA, tens of millions of consumers of health care DO NOT HAVE ACCESS to the health care market because they have pre-existing conditions.

      But to an Ayn Randian, that's the market functioning correctly. Poor people can't afford health care. BFD. It's not a real issue because it doesn't affect me directly. I got my tax cut.

      Delete
    3. Another way of putting it is that to libertarians/Randians/social Darwinists, tens of millions of people lacking access to health care is a feature, not a bug.

      Delete
    4. @Anon, I have no idea where you get your analysis that this is a government-led problem. So much of the spending is private through employer insurance plans. Those have led the way to covering more, like prescription drugs, and Medicare has followed.

      The model we have for health insurance is a big culprit in our high costs, as is our lifestyle. Just cutting benefits for seniors is a paltry, partial solution at best. Do you have any recommendations for the bigger picture?

      Delete
    5. @Anon, decisions about what my health care costs and what it covers is largely made by my insurance company. Albeit, it is regulated by the government. But that's because, unlike you, I am gainfully employed.

      It may have something to do with the fact I acknowledge reality on occasion.

      Delete
    6. This comment has been removed by the author.

      Delete
  2. this piece by Kathleen Parker, "What's wrong with Republicans," is worth a read.

    ReplyDelete
  3. Rising health care costs are not a budget problem?

    That's funny.

    Only on a fringe lefty site could you read lines like that. It's almost as bizarre as the "What's a deficit?" post you had earlier .

    ReplyDelete
  4. Kids, long before ObamaCare was rammed up the country's behind, governments were spending 60% of the health care dollars spent in this country.


    "Rising health care costs are not a budget problem?"

    Do you lefties realize how ridiculous you look with these sorts of absurdities?

    Come on. At least TRY to be sensible.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anon 1:18, not sure if you read the piece. But right now if someone waved a magic wand and privatized all of Medicare and Medicaid, the problem of health care costs would be exacerbated. Public programs exert much greater control over health care spending than private insurers. Government obviously isn't always the answer, but for lowering the cost of health care, it certainly does help:

      http://theincidentaleconomist.com/wordpress/private-vs-public-health-care-cost-control-faq/

      Delete
    2. Anon 1:18, not sure if you read the piece. But right now if someone waved a magic wand and privatized all of Medicare and Medicaid, the problem of health care costs would be exacerbated. Public programs exert much greater control over health care spending than private insurers. Government obviously isn't always the answer, but for lowering the cost of health care, it certainly does help:

      http://theincidentaleconomist.com/wordpress/private-vs-public-health-care-cost-control-faq/

      Delete
    3. I'm not sure you read the piece either, guy, as your (duplicated) post is in direct contradiction to its thrust.

      I'm still chuckling at the absurdity here... "Rising health care costs are not a budget problem."

      Delete
  5. Anon 3:20 and, to a lesser extent, Anon 1:18 -- please knock off the personal attacks and rude language.

    General policy around here is to discuss things in a civil and respectful manner; I'll start zapping stuff if it continues.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Pointing out lefty absurdities is not "personal attack", guy, and neither is it rude language. Absurdity is absurdity... there is no other word for it, in polite company or otherwise.

      Now, if you find yourself a part of an absurd lefty crowd that fantasizes that "Rising health care costs are not a budget problem," then that's an association you make, not anybody else.

      I'm just pointing out how ridiculous that statement is. You can decide for yourself whether or not you subscribe to that statement, and the corresponding associations.

      But censor away, if that's what you feel necessary.

      Delete
    2. To clarify: rude language, i.e. "rammed up the country's behind." Wouldn't have bothered if I wasn't knocking the other Anon, but I figured I might as well toss it in.

      I don't ding people for making assertions without argument or evidence.

      Delete
    3. Nor do you ding lefties for saying--sometimes quite literally--that conservatives are universally ignorant.

      Delete
  6. I think not watching medical dramas but watching medical sitcoms indicates you like decent tv and don't tend to like soap operas set in a hospital and aired during primetime. And speaking of Chalke, I couldn't stand her character on How I Met Your Mother. That was kind of the point. So I don't really mean that as a criticism. But I can't see her and not think of that character.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I suppose; I'm not really sure that I'd argue that "House Calls" was really a better show than, I don't know, "House" (not that I've watched a single minute of House).

      Wow, I forgot all about her run on "Met." I've watched that show from the beginning, mostly out of a combination of Wesleyan loyalty and, to a lesser extent, Willow loyalty...I liked the first few seasons a fair amount, but it really used up what it had some time ago.

      Delete
    2. Yeah I'd agree about HIMYM. Alyson Hannigan is a big reason I watch. And I was painting with a broad brush about the drama/sitcom comparison. But as a general rule I avoid them, at least since the middle of 'ER's' run.

      Delete
  7. Further evidence, Jonathan, for your point about GOP "deficit" talk:

    "I think it is fair enough to argue that increased expenditures paid for by new taxes and fees are the equivalent of deficit increases." -- John Carney, CNBC, 8/21/12
    http://www.thedailybeast.com/newsweek/2012/08/26/responses-to-niall-ferguson-s-newsweek-cover-story-on-obama.html

    ReplyDelete
  8. Dude, if you want to censor my posts for pointing out that ObamaCare was rammed up the country's behind... be my guest. Censor away.

    ReplyDelete
  9. ... oh, and you may want to check the consistent polling data re ObamaCare, and what the public comprehensively thinks of it, in its totality... which data tends to support the analogy of what happened to the country's behind.

    "Rising health care costs are not a budget problem."

    That statement is still stunning in its absurdity. You lefties really need to wake up. Seriously.

    ReplyDelete

Who links to my website?