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Everything posted by FeatherFall

  1. Dante already implied that we shouldn't ignore the cost implications "deadbeats" have on premiums and point of care. I also think it's worth pointing out that when you say, "what hospitals I pick or what insurance won't change [my taxes going to support socialized health care]," you are talking past another criticism of the law that speaks directly to the subject as you want to define it. That is, what hospital you pick or what insurance you have is precisely how the individual mandate determines if you are to be penalized. The only alternative is the additional insurance cost that is a direct result of avoiding the tax. To arrive at a broader context, we must not ignore the constituent parts that shape it. Those two things mentioned above (increased taxes and insurance payments) both affect your ability to afford healthcare. But another relevant aspect of "socialized" (I think fascist is more accurate) healthcare is that it limits the procedures for which your higher bills will pay. That is the whole point of the mandated electronic medical records infrastructure. So, your point of care is also affected; with fewer medical procedures available, your insurance dollars pay for less. The also affects point of care by driving doctors out of medicine. You can't afford a doctor who doesn't practice. Fewer doctors and procedures are good things if the issue is framed the way you would have us frame it. But degrading point of care is monstrously evil; it can't be both a good thing and monstrously evil. So we have to check our premises, first and foremost we should make the broader context consists only of tax burdens. Once we frame the issue in terms of all of the relevant constituent parts, I think we will find that Obamacare is a massive shift toward socialized medicine (by way of the calamity this fascistic law will create).
  2. Ok, so you've assumed as much, but aren't arguing as much... Was I wrong to take your assumptions from the first post as an argument? Either way, government activity should be evaluated by more things than simply what happens to you. A more comprehensive evaluation takes into account the increased impact on people already negatively affected (which includes you, I guess), alongside the greater extent to which people are being violated (which includes the new people captured by Medicare). As I've shown before, people such as yourself (and myself, as it happens) had avenues of escape that they chose not to take. Newly captured people are being violated afresh. I don't know how we could possibly convince them that saving the money of willing participants justifies taking change from their pockets. They'd probably want to start with evidence that we're saving money. Maybe we should start there, too. How much are you saving?
  3. So far you've argued that the ACA is better than what we had because it "optimizes" the actions the government takes to provide healthcare. We know that this is not a proper role of government, so I interpret your argument to be that it is better for the government to practice an illegitimate function consistently and completely rather than partially. For me to accept this, I'll need to see some practical benefit to the law. I'll then need to see an argument that justifies providing this benefit at the cost of cutting off all avenues of escape from the medicare system, from point of income to point of care.
  4. This is a really interesting point to me, one I've been mulling over for some time. The penalties aren't enough to force young people into the system. In fact, I remember reading or hearing a constitutional law expert critique the ACA ruling. That expert read the Chief Justice's ruling to say that if it actually changed behavior, it wouldn't be constitutional. So what we have is a tax intended to drive people into the system, that can't constitutionally function that way. What it will do is take money out of the system, sending it to Washington to keep things like medicare solvent, but away from the insurance companies that need that money for their risk pools.
  5. Dude, it's in the ellipse you cut out of my quote. I'll take the opportunity to fill you in with more detail, but first I want to say that I think you are conflating free riders with medicare/medicaid users. Most Medicare users pay into the system at some point. I suppose those that don't pay in can be fairly conflated with free riders. But the free rider is generally defined as someone who gets ER care and either refuses or is unable to pay for it. I suppose we could distinguish between the two by calling the ER free rider the "general free rider" and the medicare patient who doesn't pay in the "special free rider." Anyway, back to how. When I use a physician that doesn't accept medicaid/medicare, I use a physician that is not a "participating hospital" bound by the rules set forth in the Emergency Medical Treatment and Active Labor Act. This lets me escape the costs of general free riders. Only if I must use an ER that's part of a "participating hospital" will I be subject to the higher costs of general free ridership. And then, only for a limited time, during that one emergency. Part of that ellipse included an example of how to avoid the general free rider: Obamacare "solves" this problem by attempting to turn every general free rider into a special free rider. We have yet to see evidence showing the net cost of such a change in this thread. But one thing is certain; the costs of these free riders are now born by different people. In the last system, I could avoid these costs by avoiding "participating hospitals." Only hospitals that chose to accept medicare and people who chose to go hospitals that accepted medicare and insurance companies that chose to partner with hospitals that accepted medicare were effected. Now nobody has a choice. Every free rider is a special free rider. The costs are being shifted away from the fools who willfully opted in toward those who opted out. Special free riders are a bigger problem ethically speaking, and now there are more of them. I hope I've cleared up how Obamacare spreads the free rider costs to people who bear less responsibility for those costs, rather than solving the free rider problem. The problem will only be solved when people aren't forced to pay for free riders. So no, the old system didn't really solve it, as there were still special free riders. But special free riders are worse, and now everyone up to 400% of the poverty level becomes a special free rider.
  6. This is a small point of contention, but the system is more accurately described as fascist medicine. The only real distinction I see between what we have now in healthcare and mixed-economy fascist healthcare are notions of egalitarianism. I'd argue that we didn't really reach the point of fascism until Obamacare, but like I said, this is a small point of contention. I have a larger point of contention that speaks directly to your point number 1. The guarantee of which you speak was secured with medicare/medicaid. That is to say, ERs were only required to see patients if they accepted medicare/medicaid payments. If the free-rider problem became too much for a hospital, they could stop taking medicare and free themselves of the requirement to treat any and all comers to the ER. Individuals also had a way to avoid paying extra for the free riders. It is said that the hospitals who chose to accept medicare often raised rates on private insurance to make up for the shortfall in medicare payments. Well, an individual never had to go to such a hospital. Granted, the options were few, but concierge medicine coupled with insurance for catastrophic events was one such avenue of escape. Under Obamacare, "catastrophic insurance," doesn't satisfy minimum required coverage standards and provokes a tax penalty. After passage of the ACA, there is no longer any way to avoid the free-rider problem. Obamacare has insured this is a problem for everyone, not just for people who elected to deal with it. That's bad. Employers choosing not to offer healthcare is not an example of the free rider problem. People are largely responsible for their choice of employers. Under Obamacare, the "employer mandate" has been delayed for a year. But employers have already begun cutting hours of employees in an effort to have those employees become part time workers, because employing uninsured part time workers does not provoke a penalty. This is not conjecture; this is a real-life effect of Obamacare that would not have otherwise happened. Once again, Obamacare interferes with individual choice (read individual rights) in new and unique ways. This too is bad. As I've shown earlier, the Obamacare problem does not fix the free rider problem. But your point seems to be that Obamacare is going to lower costs by increasing the risk pool, is that right? If so, please source your data that shows these new, lower costs. I will have to see them to believe in them. The data I am aware of points to higher costs. In fairness to your point, these higher costs may not be an effect of the increased risk pool, but rather an effect of minimum required coverage standards that mandate payments for things like addiction counseling, prenatal care, coverage for pre-existing conditions and other highly personal risk factors. Either way, Obamacare is the law that gave us these increased costs, which are bad. Again, you don't solve a problem by victimizing more people with it. For practical solutions, see the options I outlined above that are now no longer practical ways of avoiding the problem due to the individual mandate. I have a lot more to say about why this bill is a complete train wreck, but I thought I'd limit myself to responses to your questions.
  7. I don't have a great understanding of it, but i understand one part involves receiving fewer fees for services.
  8. 9/11. Full disclosure: I feed and water my own toddler daily.
  9. Did I read the article which contains the following sentence? I read it. Filibuster isn't something written into law by name, therefore there is no formal definition. In common parlance any long-winded speech can be loosely described as a filibuster. But strictly speaking, a filibuster must delay a vote or debate. Nobody else can speak when a Senator occupies the senate podium, so yes, by definition any long-winded speech given in the Senate without the intent to provoke discussion prevents a back-and-forth exchange of points and thus qualifies as a filibuster. The process by which a filibuster ends is called cloture. The name of the bill associated with Cruz's filibuster is House Joint Resolution 57. Cloture was achieved on Wednesday, just after Cruz stepped down. What's strange is that Cruz began his speech after the motion to pursue cloture was passed. Normally cloture is pursued after a filibuster begins, so Reid must have suspected a filibuster was going to happen if it started to become clear that the Senate was going to amend H.J. Res. 57. The Senate has to wait a day before voting on cloture... So Cruz starts his speech 21 hours before the scheduled cloture vote, stepping down just prior to the vote because Senate rules require it. What makes this even more strange is something I realized when looking up the name of the bill, which is that all 100 Senators, including Cruz, voted for cloture. This falsifies something I said earlier: Firstly, filibuster isn't really a formal procedure, but that's not what I'm referring to. I had heard of a vote that split the Republicans and assumed that was the cloture vote. But no, Cruz votes for cloture, and later the Republicans split over amending the bill. So yes, it was a filibuster because it delayed debate. No, it didn't delay a vote. Yes, it looks more confusing and less praiseworthy in light of a unanimous vote for cloture. And, yes, this may still be a successful leadership gambit because it drew attention to the later vote to amend the bill.
  10. A substantive speech that outlined a proper course of action sure would have been better. I'm not praising Cruz for his ideas. If his leadership gambit works, and by that I mean leads to some delay or repeal of Obamacare, then it deserves praise. Whether or not that will happen remains to be seen. A possible outcome is a government shutdown that lasts several weeks, Republicans backing down and funding the bill and a loss of support for getting rid of Obamacare in the long term. Cruz deserves harsh criticism if that happens.
  11. Funding is always restored, with back pay. Nobody thinks this "shutdown" is going to last very long. If people shouldn't call what Cruz did a filibuster because they knew it wouldn't work, don't say this will end the military. We know that's not going to happen. Have some consistency, please.
  12. Cruz drew a distinction between which Republicans support ending debate on amendmending the bill that was sent to the house (the one that defunded Obamacare) and which ones supoorted proceeding with debates, amendments, and ultimately funding Obamacare. It was a succesful leadership gambit that didn't require a substantive speech. It couldn't be successful without dividing Republicans according to their support for a particular kind of procedure. What was that procedure? Filibuster.
  13. The fact that Cruz couldn't muster enough support for the filibuster to succeed in delay does not change the fact that it was, strictly speaking, a filibuster. You can say you don't think it was a true filibuster because Cruz knew it wasn't likely to be successful. But don't try to make a mountain out of that molehill. If the House amends the bill the Senate sent to them, again de-funding Obamacare, we may have Cruz to thank. His "filibuster" could be the test balloon that lets house conservatives know that their base supports such a move.
  14. It's not quite the same. Most media outlets are perfectly capable of reminding us that the KKK was racist, while they forget what their job is when it comes to racism among blacks.
  15. The shutdown is more of a mixed bag. And no, it doesn't mean we lose our military during the shutdown. Military paychecks are withheld, subsequent funding bills will make up for it in back pay. From what I understand, many military personnel pick up the slack of other services. I don't know if they are then due over time or they are just paid more or what, but we end up spending more on the shutdown period than we otherwise would have. A shutdown is only beneficial if it helps force a long term budget reduction.
  16. Exactly, Reidy. When you earn a living doing something, you are a professional. They might have settled on "pop" philosopher, because unlike any philosopher since Nietzsche and probably long before, people actually know about and follow her philosophy. But they would probably think that gives her too much credit. Most philosophers seem like intellectual hipsters to me.
  17. Your first paragraph is 100% correct. The mistake you're making is thinking that Cruz becomes the last best hope of Objectivism when Objectivists praise him. The intellectual revolution will rise or fall irrespective of what Cruz does or doesn't say about Rand. He isn't an intellectual leader. I doubt that you would say Obama's rotten philosophy becomes an indictment of Objectivism when Objectivists praise his efforts to relax the drug war or sanction gay marriage. As with Obama, so with Cruz.
  18. I didn't see the whole thing. What little I saw consisted entirely of vague patriotic platitudes, so this evaluation may be correct regarding the content of his "filibuster." Cruz sure isn't a philosopher. Expecting him to make a sound moral argument against Obamacare while at the same time proposing a better plan is expecting too much. But it is probably right to expect him to make a better case than he did if he is going to pull a stunt like that. From what I understand, he was taking shots at Republican leadership. This seems to be more about who controls the party and establishing name recognition in the run up to the 2016 presidential race than it is about Obamacare. If that is his aim, the content of the filibuster doesn't really matter as long as the desired outcome is achieved. Of course, a well reasoned argument would certainly help achieve the outcome. Earlier I wrote this: It would have been better to say, "he deserves praise to the extent his ploy helps maintain momentum for eliminating Obamacare." It looks like a possible outcome is a division within the Republican party that withdraws momementum from repeal efforts. If that turns out to be the result, praise is out of the question.
  19. Funny. But seriously, I'm trying to understand your position. If your options were to have the pre-Obamacare system or Obamacare, which would you prefer? Your statements lead me to believe you think Obamacare is better. Am I correct?
  20. "Inexplicable personal alchemy" is the quality of holding to a benevolent universe premise, to which Cruz seemed to appeal in the short moments of his "fillibuster" that I saw. Given that he probably knows his actions were not going to scuttle Obamacare, I assume his ploy was to keep up energy for and interest in de-funding it and eventually eliminating it. From what I can tell, he succeeded. Nothing about that is unreasonable. He damn well deserves praise for that. His mixed premises on the subject are common to both sides of the aisle. He just has a better mix. You are signaling that you think Obamacare is better than what we had prior to it. Did you intend to do this? What do you think Cruz should do?
  21. Crow, what do you think "Anti-Objectivist" means? I understand it as an attack or honest criticism of Objectivism. Saying a policy is anti-Objectivist only makes sense if it meaningfully singles out and targets Objectivists. You are not writing anything controversial when you write that each healthcare system (pre and post Obamacare) isn't what we'd see in a society lead by Objectivists, I'm in agreement if this is your point stripped of hyperbole. But none of this explains your vitriol for Cruz. The way you react when presented with a Republican is really strange. The pre-Obamacare system was better than the post-Obamacare system. So if Cruz was advocating returning to the old system, yes, that would be bad. But it would be better than what we're currently heading for. Couple that with the prospect that some of the recent Republican proposals actually are measures that protect individual rights, and your denunciation of Cruz becomes all the more strange. A person doesn't have to be an unfailingly consistent advocate of Objectivism to quote Rand for good effect every now and then. If that were the case, neither of us would have a leg to stand on. You're kidding yourself if you think Rand can have broad cultural influence without some people using her ideas a la carte now and then.
  22. His handlers have him play race-identity politics, to the point of failing to prosecute civil-rights violations when they occur, prosecuting civil-rights violations when they don't occur, and using race as a way to block measures designed prevent voter fraud.
  23. Like it or not, Obama's election is a huge milestone representing civil rights progress. It's not that something changed on election night. Large numbers of people became comfortable with the idea of a black president long before one was elected. But his election offers, among other things, clear proof that people are comfortable voting for a black president. It is normal and good to feel some sense relief or elation because of that. One can experience those feelings while also recognizing that Obama is an awful president, partly because his justice department promotes racism. See the NBPP voter intimidation case, George Zimmerman's civil rights investigation, or the "poll tax" smeering of voter ID laws.
  24. "That was what I could not place at the disposal of men whose sole qualification to rule me was their capacity to spout the fraudulent generalities that got them elected..." Unfortunately, a filibuster often requires a guy like Cruz to lean on those fraudulent generalities. That particular passage might have felt out of place.
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