Republican Dilemma on ACA: the Good Parts Take Money
This will be short and sweet, consider it a Health Care Open Thread.
‘Repeal and Replace’ is a pipe dream. Because all the good parts of ACA including guaranteed issue, coverage of pre-existing conditions and inclusions of young people on their parents’ policy actually cost money. At least up front. Which has to come from somewhere. And that ‘where’ tends to come from the pockets of Republican leaning constituencies including medical equipment manufacturers, insurance companies, and medical providers generally. For example a huge part of projected ACA savings comes from reduction of payments for Medicare Advantage, originally billed as a way to leverage the ‘efficiency’ of private (and profit making) economic entities to public ones. Which efficiency calculation has proved problematic even before you calculate the ‘profit’ thingee. With the result that Medicare reimburses Medicare Advantage providing insurance companies with a 14% surcharge over traditional Medicare. Or I should say “reimbursed”, because most of the much ballyhooed “cuts” to Medicare trumpeted by Republicans have come from elimination of the surcharge. Itself rather problematic given that there seems to be no evidence of actual “efficiencies” in MA.
Republicans have no answer for this dilemna. Just about every specific item they oppose about ACA serves as an offset to the increased costs of guaranteed issue and coverage of pre-exisitng conditions. Including their so-called ‘death panels’ which after all are simply cost-benefit analyses of current provision of medical care. Or the same thing that private corporations spend millions on hiring consultants to address. Because when it comes right down to it ‘efficiency’ in the private corporative sense boils down to cost controls.
As a result Republicans are flailing. Their ‘solutions’ such as they are, including cross state border insurance sales and tort reform do little to nothing to having negative consequences on the actual provision of medical care to end-users (aka ‘patients’) but instead reduce burdens on insurance company and provider bottom lines. The same for repeal of the medical device tax and employer mandates and individual mandates. All increase cost while providing bubkis on the ‘available’ and ‘affordable’ fronts.
Those of us who followed health care reform on a daily basis back in 2009 saw that it was at times the rawest form of legislative sausage making. In order to enjoy the nice juiciness of the Bratwurst of Affordable Health Care you had to stomach the knowledge of the nasty bits that actually saved money on the price of the resulting Sausage Dog. And Republicans have no recipe to provide that same Red Hot that doesn’t decrease the quality or increase the sawdust component.
Hoisted by their own Weinar, err Petard.
Bruce, do you have an estimate how much money the good parts take in any given year?
Why not just require the insurance policy in force when the condition is diagnosed be responsible for healthcare costs related to that condition?
If they jack up your rates, you go to another company and the first company STILL has to pay. The new company won’t mind that you have a pre-existing condition, because those costs will come from your previous insurance company.
it’s no dilemma for Republicans.
they will just lie about it. then when ACA is repealed they will breathe a sigh of relief at defeating another attack of socialism, and go back to telling people about america’s sacred way of doing medicine.
but the insurance companies like that mandatory insurance idea. maybe they can get it into state laws.
“Why not just require the insurance policy in force when the condition is diagnosed be responsible for healthcare costs related to that condition?”.
Um. Because medical diagnoses aren’t car accidents? That have readily definite time and place that can be documented to standards of evidence? Or are you trying to revitalize the poor tort lawyers bank accounts?
Smarter trolls please!
Medicare advantage(Abbreviated as MA) (AKA privatized medicare) is worse then most people think. For example studies done on health outcomes of those with MA verse regular Medicare find that MA has 7-38% worse health outcomes, this is despite MA costing 18% more then regular MA and despite MA cherry picking healthy people. Seniors entering MA have 20% less health costs while those exiting it have 40% more health costs then the average.
The irony in the GOP proposals for selling insurance across state lines and Tort reform is that Obamacare already does both those things. On the Tort refom front Obamacares reforms are in the form of reducing errors and lawsuits via better communication, fees on bad care, expanding programs like medical education shown to reduce torts, etc.
To republicans Tort reform goal isn’t to reduce malpractice and the number of instances where people could legally file a lawsuit they’re goal is to make it so if you get royally screwed by a doctor who is negligent you can’t sue and get money.
Evidence wise republican “tort reform” of making it so its harder to get money from suing doesn’t result in lower malpractice insurance costs but instead results in victims of doctor negligence not being able to get money.
You mean to say that PPACA does not bend the cost curve, does not make health insurance less expensive? Wow, that will be a surprise to some people.
Did you hear that we really can’t keep our plans, even if we liked them?
Ever think to realize why you could not keep your plans, even if you liked them?
Any chance they were pure BS?
Any chance they did not meet MLR requirements, which means you were getting ripped off?
Any chance that the insurance companies decided not to take advantage of the provision in the ACA to allow those plans to continue?
Any chance you have a brain?
The thing is this. You might have a point. But considering the fact that the Heritages of the world have spent millions of dollars trying to find someone with that point, and failed, means there are not a whole lot of valid points out there.
Ask yourself this.
If your insurance plan was so good, why did your insurer cancel it?
> Because medical diagnoses aren’t car accidents?
So what? Diagnosed with cancer? Your current policy has to pay for cancer treatments. Child diagnosed with ADD? Your current policy has to pay for ADD treatments.
“Any chance that the insurance companies decided not to take advantage of the provision in the ACA to allow those plans to continue?”
What provisions is that? (Please cite the law.)
If you want to discuss things, have a clue and have some backup.
Insurance companies are notorious for changing plans on a yearly basis which meant the plans would no longer be grandfathered. Also a little reading for you on keeping your plan. Maggie wrote about it also.
Repubs: The blatant lie that “You can keep your insurance” and the millions who have lost plans they were content with.
Me: Heh, heh. It always amazing me how Republicans and Tea-baggers can distort what was really said and then expect to walk away unscathed. “Back in June of 2010, Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius held a press conference to announce that, under Obamacare, millions would be moving to new plans. As I point out in this post, a HHS press release spelled out the numbers: “roughly 42 million people insured through small businesses . . . along with “17 million who are covered in the individual health insurance market.”
and here: Obama first made that pledge in 2008, while debating John McCain. The context is crucial: Obama was addressing “the majority” of Americans (roughly 66% ) who worked for large companies that paid 75% to 80% of their premiums –not the minority who purchased their own insurance in the individual marketplace (5%), nor the 17% who were insured by small business owners.
“So here’s what my plan does. If you have health insurance, then you don’t have to do anything. If you’ve got health insurance through your employer, you can keep your health insurance, keep your choice of doctor, keep your plan.” http://angrybearblog.strategydemo.com/2014/02/why-are-so-many-americans-confused-about-obamacare-how-a-video-produced-by-cbs-washington-bureau-misled-millions-part-1.html#sthash.YsfxPHFN.dpuf You really need to read this guy as he is credible.
Do you even bother to read the articles you link to, Michael? That very article says that such plans have to change so that tney will be more expensive, but that they cannot pass the new expenses on to policyholders. So what insurance company would keep a policy that will cause it to lose money?
Webb, some good information. But another issue rarely discussed that is contributing to the high cost of health care can be attributed to monopolization of hospital systems.
Of course monopolization is the major problem of present economic system.
Read it again.
“Diagnosed with cancer? Your current policy has to pay for cancer treatments. Child diagnosed with ADD? Your current policy has to pay for ADD treatments. ”
Oh nice. Jack’s world gives me the opportunity to fight my current insurer right alongside all my former insurers regarding the conditions they are now (apparently permanently) liable for.
Are you actually a lobbyist for the National Lawyers Guild? The ABA? Every household is going to need a full legal team on retainer. This will go great for the law school grads who can’t find jobs. Win win!
Krasting what monopolization? And why would it matter in the context of this post.
True enough that certain markets (like my old town the City of Everett) have seen a takeover by Catholic orders like the Sisters of Providence. And other places have seen dominance by certain hospital chains and still others by Kaiser or the various Blue Crosses. But it is a little hard to see monopolization occurring overall. Now maybe you can argue for cartelization but that is a different dynamic and set of debates.
And PPACA does penalize readmissions and IIRC has led to some decrease in costs related to hospitals milking the system for procedures while skimping on after care. I don’t know, that is Maggie’s area and not mine.
What I do know is that reforms that drastically effect the risk pool, such as eliminating pre-existing coverage exclusions and limiting premium premiums for the elderly to 3:1 from whatever (AHIP was arguing for up to 7:1) are expensive for an insurer based system and have to be made up elsewhere. By things like the Individual and Employer mandates. Which was the narrow focus of this post. How do Repubs keep these populations, which include every person that ever had cancer and every person over 50 happy by canceling Obamacare protections for them?
TANSTAAFL Baby! It ain’t just for libertarians!
Forgive my ignorance between difference between monopolization and cartelization. It seems both goals are to eliminate competition, so they may control price.
“And why would it matter in the context of this post.” Webb
“Itself rather problematic given that there seems to be no evidence of actual “efficiencies” in MA.” Webb
“Dramatically high health care costs in Massachusetts are among the biggest problems facing families and businesses. Evan’s plan to tackle health care costs has two parts.
What’s driving our high health care costs is that giant hospital systems are gobbling up hospitals across the state – today 72% of the market is controlled by these systems. We believe these monopolistic systems, which use their power to push through the price hikes that lead to skyrocketing premiums for consumers, must be stopped, plain and simple.
The second part of our plan is to create a fee schedule that will apply equally to all hospitals, like Maryland has done. If this reduces hospitals costs by even 5%, that’s two billion dollars a year in savings that would go directly back into the pockets of Massachusetts individuals, families and businesses – where they belong.” Falchuk
Falchuk is running for governor as an independent in Ma.
Hmmm. I cannot find any source that estimates the cost of specific ACA provisions like GI and the elimination of pre-X. Has anyone seen something of this nature?
I would assume that the “staying on your parents policy” would really just be a cost passed thru to the consumer by the insurance company. A portion of the premium is for the cost of that particular risk. In terms of GI I would think that if the risk pool was large enough GI (and pre-X) would be a moot point. But, to make the risk pool large enough subsidies are needed. I think that’s where the real cost is. So if you had 10,000,000 enrollees getting a $5,000 subsidy per year that’s $50,000,000,000 per year. Hell, what’s 50 billion among friends? That doesn’t seem like an unmanageable amount. What am I missing?
just an observation drawn from Webb’s comment
if i understood it, ACA limits premiums to seniors to three times the cost of premiums to non seniors.
that might seem fair as seniors have more health care costs.
but since we all hope to be seniors some day, it would seem more reasonable to me to base the premium on “life time” costs. this would make it more expensive for younger people… but not outrageously so, and would make insurance more affordable for people who can no longer work.
i think that over a lifetime this wold actually be cheaper for people because they’d be effectively paying “as we go”… that is paying today’s prices out of today’s income. by charging old people more, we are effectively forcing them to pay today’s prices out of yesterday’s income (their savings).
“… they’d be effectively paying “as we go”… that is paying today’s prices out of today’s income. by charging old people more, we are effectively forcing them to pay today’s prices out of yesterday’s income (their savings)”
Great explanation! And a good deal. You pay today’s price with today’s money, and get the benefit tomorrow.
Dale the 3:1 was a compromise, insurance companies wanted it 5 or 7:1 which actually might better fit the actuarial reality.
There is a way to get 1:1 ratios over a whole lifetime. It is called Single Payer. But under any compromise system you have to find a way to not be totally screwing over the young financially (who by and large are at the beginning of their income trajectory) to benefit the old who (with many, many exceptions are at their peak earning power).
What you are suggesting turns out on examination to be exactly the opposite of your stance on Social Security, except that it substitutes ‘tax the young’ for ‘tax the rich’. As to your off hand claim that the higher expense for younger people would “not (be) outrageously so” well that would benefit from some hard numbers. Because those I have seen don’t support that at all.
Ironically I do support the only system that makes premiums for medicare care roughly constant on a lifetime basis (after figuring in income). Then again I am proud to call myself a Social Democrat whose dream is to make our social welfare system look a lot like Sweden. A vision I don’t think you share at all. So watch what you wish for in this domain, the numbers might not break down as neatly for your own world view as do those of Social Security.
I would like to have agreed with you, but you went out of your way to disagree with me, and got me wrong.
my suggestion re setting a medical insurance rate based on lifetime expectations is exactly the same as Social Security… Medicare. The way the “poor” young are protected from “excessive” tax is that the tax is made as a percent of wages. “Excessive” is in the eye of the beholder of course, and the famously short-sighted young, egged on by politicians with agendas of their own, would no doubt feel cheated, but it still makes more sense to distribute lifetime medical costs over a lifetime of earnings rather than wait until the age of highest costs meets the age of lowest earnings… after you are too old to work. This is obviously NOT the age of highest earnings as you suggested above, but probably you were not thinking about “after retirement”.. few young people do.
I think “upon examination” depends on who does the examining, and how well they understand what they are examining. Some of the blame is mine for not being clear enough. I have done the numbers , but it was a while ago and my memory is not the best. I think that basing health care premiums on lifetime costs would approximately triple the current Medicare tax.. but save the worker the cost of medical insurance otherwise. I don’t think a six percent tax for health care would be outrageous. Like you I believe in single payer because that’s the only way this would work. I don’t know how they do things in Sweden, but I have no objection to it. I do think “tax the rich” would be fatal for Social Security it America…. for reasons that seem too difficult for some people to understand… including the lady who wrote the book that explained it all to me.
Dale I am sorry the dog ate your Medicare numbers. But I can’t trust your memory on this on. Some questions:
Did your “triple the current Medicare tax” take into account that those taxes only cover 55% of Medicare Costs? (Part A but NOT Part B and D)
Did your numbers take into account that those young workers would not only need to pay enough NEW medicare tax to cover their own Part A but STILL enough to cover retirees? Or are you figuring that the additional 4% is enough to cover them through their lifetime when the 2% they pay now covers retirees through a much shorter lifespan?
Note further that current beneficiary premiums to PARTIALLY cover Parts B and D cost roughly $100 a month. That means that current workers under your calculations would be paying “roughly triple” the current Medicare payroll tax PLUS $100. Which is something like third of a week pay for a minimum wage worker or not far from ANOTHER 6% tax on top of his current Medicare FICA and of course not including his 6.2% Social Security contribution (itself set under the Coberly Plan to go up .05% per year).
And do all these numbers consider that a full 40% of Medicare comes direct from the General Fund? That the $100 Part B/D premium only covers roughly a quarter of those costs.
That is why numbers are tricky. Right now workers pay SECA to pay for retirees’ Part A. Retirees pay a Part B and D premium to pay roughly 25% of the cost of those parts. While everyone with taxable income pays to cover the remaining 75% of Parts B and D. Yet all too often promoters of ‘Medicare for All’ seem to assume that it all can be done just by charging everyone the $100 a month Part B/D premium. While not understanding that for most beneficiaries that represents just 25% of 45% of total cost.
So I just don’t believe you can provide Medicare for All just by tripling the SECA rate. Maybe I am wrong. But given what I have provided above I would sure like to see it in numbers.
my brain is giving out, but if you will supply the “facts” i will do the calculations. the facts would include the whole cost of medical care in the united states, the population paying for them, how the costs are currently distributed among Medicare tax, general taxes, insurance premiums..
i think a proper understanding will derive from looking at the whole picture at once, and not by looking at each of the pieces separately and guessing about the relationships.
i would like to make clear that i think you are making the same mistake that the bad guys are trying to get the kids to make regarding the evil grandmother who ate your lunch.
the difference between the rich v the poor, and the young v the old is that while the rich rarely become the poor, the young always become the old. if you know you have to make a thousand dollar payment at the end of the year, you can either wait until the last month and hope you have enough to pay for it, or you can arrange to pay eighty dollars a month for the whole year. experience teaches that the latter is easier and more prudent. moreover, it you are earning “interest” on your payments, you will end up paying less. the “interest” on pay as you go comes from the fact that prices are always higher later than they are sooner, so if you buy your future health care now… at today’s prices.. it will cost you less than if you wait until you need it and pay for it at the higher prices then.
I would contemplate eliminating the monthly charges for Medicare B to retired people. it it’s going to cost that much, the charges should be made part of the basic tax… on the theory, again, that it is easier to pay for it month by month while you have an income than it is to come up with it… same amount over fewer months… when you are old and have no income or only what SS provides.
I would be very much surprised if even Sweden doesn’t do it this way.
the difference there being only, i suspect, that instead of the SS/Medical care being paid for specifically and directly by the workers, it is paid for by the workers as a part of general taxation… which is fine in their society, but not likely to work in ours.
at the end of the day the workers will pay for it.. as you of all people ought to know. the difference is whether the workers see that they are paying for it, or have to imagine that they are forcing the rich to pay for it.
it is interesting in this regard that a book recommended to me by Bill H about the history of great powers assumes… and the powers themselves assume… that “social welfare” is in direct competition with “defense” for the resources (money) of the state… no matter the arrangements made for how that money is accounted. i suspect this is the origin of much of the rhetoric from the right, and the “official” sources, who know deep in their hearts that every dollar paid to a retired person is a dollar that can’t be spent on guns which are much more important to their general welfare.
just playing with numbers (in the absence of facts):
if the insurance companies want the old to pay seven times as much as the young it may be supposed that the old cost seven times as much as the young
assuming there are as many old (higher cost) as there are young (-er)
then for every 100 dollars the young person pays, the old person would pay 700 dollars. fair enough, but the old person might find it hard to come up with 700 dollars
so obama insists that the ratio be kept to 3 to 1. to keep the total income equal to total costs that would mean that
the young would need to pay 200 dollars and the old 600 dollars.
that’s still a lot of money for the old person, so coberly suggests, look, let the young person pay for his own old age costs while he is still young, this would put his costs at 400 dollars and the older persons costs at 400 dollars.
please note this is still “fair”, the young person is still paying for his own expected costs, just a little sooner than otherwise in order to get it cheaper than otherwise later.
note also that this is TWO times what he would be paying under the obama plan… at first… and 2/3 as much as he would be paying later, when he becomes one of “the old.”
still keeping track… ALL medical expenses are being paid for and no one is paying for anybody else. all that has changed is the distribution of payments across a lifetime.
i think you might have to double these numbers to pay for ALL medical costs in the economy… including HI. that looks like a lot of money to me. but i’d have to see the real numbers to have any idea what the real answer is.
in any case, YOU are going to have to pay it, however you try to disguise it to yourself. if you try to “make the rich pay for it” the rich will find a way to pass the costs back to you (lower wages, higher prices) or just cut the amount of medical care you can get without being rich yourself.
maybe with single payer, the costs could be brought down… as i understand they are being brought down to some extent by obamacare. we’ll have to see how that plays out.
this would be more palatable, perhaps, if that 400 dollar …equal for all ages… payment were adjusted for income, on the theory that “the rich” would be paying an extra premium to insure themselves “in case” they became poor.
i think this extra premium would have to be capped in order to remain a reasonable cost of the insurance. it is just as important to be fair to the rich as it is to be fair to the poor.
please note.. i am not trying to fool anyone… that 400 dollars is a made up number. in all likelihood it will need to be larger, maybe a lot larger, but if that’s the cost of living… longer… maybe it’s worth it.
as a young person i would not have thought so. still don’t. but maybe i’ll change my mind when i get really old.
“Single Payer Now!”
Okay you win! Except for the fact that I was waiting at the Finish Line cheering you on those last few hundred yards.
Welcome to Sweden.
http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/wonkblog/wp/2014/01/13/what-liberals-get-wrong-about-single-payer/ “What liberals get wrong about single payer”
The reason the United States shouldn’t have a single-payer system, he said, is that it’s too captured by special interests to manage one well.
“I have not advocated the single payer model here,” he said, “because our government is too corrupt. Medicare is a large insurance company whose board of directors (Ways and Means and Senate Finance) accept payments from vendors to the company. In the private market, that would get you into trouble. The key to a single-payer system is that the government sets prices. Usually, it empowers boards of independent experts who set those prices low. The argument is that in the United States, health industry interests have so much sway over Congress that the prices would end up being set by health-care interests.” Uwe Reinhardt http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/wonkblog/wp/2014/01/16/is-the-u-s-too-corrupt-for-single-payer-health-care/ “Is the U.S. too corrupt for single-payer health care?”
Do you really want to put yourself more at risk with Congress deciding?
“The reason the United States shouldn’t have a single-payer system, he said, is that it’s too captured by special interests…”
That’s why the Constitution does not give the U.S. government the Power to do such things. Of course, the Constitution has been ignored to create such things as Social Security and Medicare, so I have little doubt that it will be ignore to create a single-payer healthcare disaster.
I have worried about that a bit, but what do you have with Obamacare but special interests setting prices. and what would you have withOUT Obamacare or Single payer? special interests setting prices.
at least with single payer, and a democracy, we have a chance.
I believe you read Maggie’s comments? Think of it along those lines. As stated, Single Payer is not a solution without certain characteristics written into it. It needs to be as powerful as Social Security so no Congress would even give thought to altering it. Read Ezra Klein’s comments as he has a rather adept argument on it.
as troubled as our government is, it is paradise compared to the hell that unregulated “capitalism” would bring to this country.
the reason the Constitution did not “provide for” Social Security and government paid medical care is that no one (except maybe Tom Paine) thought of it at the time. Back then medicine was worse than the disease and most old people lived with their families, though the workhouse was making its appearance.
you had a time a few years back when the people of your ilk were yelling about old Davy Crockett standing up in Congress and refusing to vote a pension for the widow of a general on the grounds that that would be theft from the taxpayers. Crockett offered to contibute to a “charity” fund for the widow. History does not record if it was enough to support her in her old age. Nowadays, that pension is part of the “contract” that generals make with the government and no one thinks the taxpayer is being robbed.
it’s a matter of point of view. yours, i am afraid, is heavily colored by the idea that money is more important than god. History has shown that this leads people to grief.
thanks. i always liked Sweden.
in case this helps you out, or me, here are some more numbers without facts that i was playing with.
Medicare tax is about 3% of payroll. General taxes to pay for the rest of Medicare add about another 3% of payroll. So you are already paying about 6% of your income for health care.
Average lifetime health care costs in America are about 300k per person. If this were prorated and paid for over a 40 year working lifetime it would be about 7500 dollars per year or about 19% of a 40k average pay. Since you are already paying 6% through the government, this would leave about 12% (“about”) of your paycheck to be paid for “insurance.”… or a total of 3 times what you are now paying for Medicare.
I am not saying this is correct, or right, or even how I calculated it last time. But it looks ballpark.
Other numbers: Wiki says we pay 8600 a year per capita for health care, of which the government pays about $3400… again paying for the whole thing via the government would about triple what you now pay for Medicare alone.
There is a hiccup here I don’t understand yet, but I’ll wait for you to point it out to me.
“[As] troubled as our government is, it is paradise compared to the hell that unregulated “capitalism” would bring to this country.”
That is what is known as the “false dichotomy fallacy.”
Regulation of business is, in fact, a completely different topic from the government’s taking money from people who earn it and giving it to those who do not.
Your example of the general’s widow is a particularly bad one. Because that widow’s pension was not part of the contract, it was not earned. Now that such pensions are part of the contract, they ARE earned.
It IS a matter of point of view. Yours, i am afraid, is heavily colored by the idea that you and your ilk know better than God. Since He did not distribute intellect, talent, drive, and opportunity as you think He should have, you place your wisdom above His and use the government to re-distribute what He distributed. Nowhere in the Bible does God say that the government should provide for the poor — only that the government should treat the rich and the poor equally. The burden of providing for the poor He places on each of us individually, and we are to do that willingly, out of what He has given us. Charity has its roots in LOVE — God’s love for us and our love for each other. Because of that, charity has God’s blessing. Government-run social programs have their roots in THEFT and COVETOUSNESS.
If We The People do not give sufficiently to charity, then it is because We The People do not WANT to. If We The People are too selfish, ignorant, and stupid to sufficiently decide how much and where to give, then how can We The People be selfless, wise, and intelligent enough to decide who will decide for us?
The hiccup is that the prorated — over a LIFETIME — should equal the per-capita spending. Obviously, it doesn’t, by your calculations.
If the average person works forty years (just an assumption) and the average lifespan is eighty years (another round number), then the prorated spending over one’s working lifetime is about twice the per capita average. Call it $16k.
that is what i was looking at. i think the answer is that my source had a bad number for “per capita” cost, but it will take some work to be sure of that.
thanks. i am sure Maggie’s and Ezra’s views would be helped by being summarized by you. It’s not that I can’t look them up, it’s just that between my slow computer and the disappointments i have had looking up stuff that has been “you have to read this!” to me, and my general feeling that if you are going to talk about something, you ought to talk about it and not just point at it… because it does improve by being talked about and passed back and forth between honest minds.. heck, even i learn something when i talk about it to myself.
Do I look like a secretary? You come and make general statements and then I am supposed to provide a detailed answer replete with references? If you are going to talk about something, you should research it yourself. Not to do so is doing exactly what Neojack is doing with his statements.
your explanation of god’s law and charity and theft by the government leaves me feeling sorry for you and afraid for my country.
we live in a country too big to live by the laws of the simple village that your philosophy imagines.
what you claim should be a matter of charity founders on the simple fact that most people are not aware of the need… or that the need is created by the acts of “us” (i could have said acts of the government, but you would have taken that up as another reason to hate government).
writing an ex post facto “contract” to supply the widow of a general who did not have the advantage of calculating foresight before he signed up to die defending us from the common enemy is simple decency. I don’t think Crockett was being un-decent. I think he was just fooled by a “religion” that back then did teach that money was more important than god. We still have that religion in America, but mostly they don’t bother to pretend it’s god’s law.
I don’t recall the bible mentioning anything about treating people equally. It did say you cannot serve God and Mammon.
Finally, most of the money you have you have because of the acts of government (we the people). Sorry if you think you made it yourself (the Old Testament warns about that… I’ll look it up for you if you want). Sure you worked hard, and maybe even smarter, but without the cooperation of the rest of us (government) you would still be digging for your supper with a sharp stick. and no it was not the magic of free markets that accomplished all this. There are free markets everywhere, and without “good” government they are “law of the jungle” where life is nasty, poor, and short.
This does not mean we can relax and worship government, or even “demand” the rich pay for everything. But between people like you and the people who do expect the rich to pay for their dinner, the rest of us, sane, people have our hands full trying to fend off one kind of insanity or the other.
“[Writing] an ex post facto contract’….”
… is unconstitutional “No… ex post facto Law shall be passed” (Article I, Section 9)
“I don’t recall the bible mentioning anything about treating people equally.”
“You shall do no injustice in court. You shall not be partial to the poor or defer to the great, but in righteousness shall you judge your neighbor.” (Lev. 19:15)
That is repeated in Deuteronomy 1:17.
“I don’t think Crockett was being un-decent.”
No, he was being VERY decent — willing to give his OWN money instead of taking someone else’s.
“There are free markets everywhere, and without “good” government they are “law of the jungle” where life is nasty, poor, and short.”
Again, you are falling into the false dichotomy fallacy. Because government is necessary for some things — to protect people from others who would infringe on their rights — does not mean that the government must do ALL things. That some of us want the U.S. government to do only those things that the Constitution gives it the Power to do (all others being reserved to the States and the People), does not mean that we don’t want it to do those things that the Constitution does give it the Power to do.
what you don’t understand is that your idea of what the Constitution permits is YOUR idea, not shared by most Constitutional scholars since the time of John Marshall.
sadly your idea of what the Constitution permits all comes back to first, your love of money… beyond sanity… and second, your hatred of being “made to” do something… a stage of development most people get through at about the age of two.
equal justice before the courts is not quite the same thing as treating everyone equally. fortunately for you or the government would make you share your money with the poor.
as far as the “ex post facto” contract…. don’t trip me up on words. the point was that the government is perfectly free to correct an oversight and see that justice is done even if, as i said, the deceased rushed to the defense of his country before seeing his lawyer.
by theway… those guys who died defending your pfreedom deserve something better from their country than an equal chance to get the one job that a hundred people are applying for.
Jack why did you elide the actual section of Article 1 Sec 9 that you cited?
Cause the text reads:
“No bill of attainder or ex post facto Law shall be passed.” whereas you put it as:
“No…. ex post facto Law shall be passed”
Maybe because actually citing the extra four words would have put the “post facto” language in a context that would make your simplistic/simpleton reading problematic?
The “bill of attainder” language puts this clause square in the realm of criminalizing activities by CITIZENS. And not in some restriction of the ability of the government to act according the “The General Welfare”.
Or you could make the case otherwise without weaselly cherry picking of the language.
Look you can be a Strict Constructionist. Or a Selective Paraphraser Cum 150 Year Later Rereading of Cherry Picked Language Guy. But if the former maybe you should start with the text WITHOUT the elisions.
And Jack if you want to cite God’s Word accept the fact that you have to accept EVERY law laid out in Leviticus. Or accept the fact that while Jesus claimed he was not changing the Law he was in fact modifying parts of it to your advantage. But slicing and dicing it to read that gay marriage is an abomination while a double bacon cheeseburger and a 50/50 cotton/poly shirt is just a-okay with the Lord is just special pleading.
I challenge ANY believer to actually read through the Four Gospels and provide an consistent narrative, still less one that matches any part of the one given us in Mel Gibson’s The Passion of Christ. It can’t be done and in fact about 90% of what Bible ‘Literalists’ whether Catholic or Protestant teach their children about the Passion is derived from the ‘Truth’ ‘Revealed’ to a cloistered 15th century German nun. NEARLY NONE of it shows up in the Gospels. Showing once again that most self professed professors of the Good Word and the Good News (the literal meaning of God-Spel or modern ‘Gospel’) have gotten 99% of their Bible knowledge from the Golden Treasury version they were taught in Sunday school.
Try actually reading the Bible and THEN tell us how every word is Revealed and without contradiction. It can’t be done.
Yes, Bruce. Kind of like taking the statement:
Murder is against the law.
And changing it to:
Murder is…the law.
do you look like a secretary?
i dunno, show me your legs.
as for manners, i think that “you need to read X” is bad manners or at least bad conversation.
i wasn’t aware you were doing me a favor by suggesting it. i thought you were trying to tell me something you wanted me to agree with.
meanwhile… well, manners are in the eye of the beholder.
just in case you didn’t know, and care, I agree with you about Bible fundamentalists… and fundamentalists of any stripe.
but to be fair to Jack, he quoted the Bible in reply to my statement that I didn’t think the Bible called for every one to be treated equally… which was my reply to his statement that it did.
I quote the Bible myself sometimes because it is an old book with some things to say about sanity and public affairs. i would never claim it is the last Word.
but no, you will never get “logical consistency” out of any…. well, significant… collection of words. one of the things about Jack is that he IS in a way “logically consistent” which makes it impossible for him to learn anything he doesn’t already have an answer for.
> [The] government is perfectly free to correct an oversight and see that justice is done….
No, it is not. Look at the Lilly Ledbetter case. Congress could only change the law for the future, it could not go back and change the Supreme Court ruling in her case.
> The “bill of attainder” language puts this clause square in the realm of
> criminalizing activities by CITIZENS.
Nonsense. It also applies to DE-criminalizing behavior. For instance, now, it is illegal to hire unlawful immigrants. Let us say that there are two construction companies — one hire unlawful immigrants, and the other does not. The company hiring unlawful immigrants can pay them less, and does not pay payroll taxes on them. That company does very well, and the employer prospers. The second employer, obeying the law, finds getting work difficult because he is always underbid by the one operating illegally.
So, do you think it would be fair for Congress to decriminalize the hiring of unlawful immigrants retroactively, so that justice cannot be done upon the employer acting illegally?
Ex post facto laws are unfair. Those that decriminalize unlawful acts can be as unfair to those who obey the law as those that criminalize lawful acts.
As for the Bible, I challenge anyone to show where it says it is OK to take someone else’s money to help the poor. God tells us to give to the poor, not to take for the poor.
unfortunately you can always find reasons that satisfy yourself… all you have to do is ignore the rest of reality.
we create a government because we cannot live as ‘free individuals” for long in a world where the bad guys gang up on us.
you believe in government limited to “fighting the bad guys”… in your mind foreign armies and small time criminals. the rest of us have realized that there are big time criminals and out only hope of protection from them is working together via “the government.”
we have also noted that without any overt criminality the natural working of “free markets” is to create unendurable poverty for some, and we use the government to intervene in markets to a very limited extent to not only ease the worst effects of poverty but to save the free market from itself.
perhpas you understand that the function of the throttle on a car is to LIMIT speed of the engine… that’s why it’s called a throttle… without it the engine would blow itself up.
but your religion is “money”, and “mine”, so while you are happy to force me to pay taxes for your army, or even draft me to fight and die for your prosperity, you cry like a baby when the government we have created asks you to contribute a few dollars of the income it makes possible for you to keep the country working .
there is no hope of reaching you God himself failed…at least at first… when he tried.
so don’t expect much from appealing to the Bible. That is a trick the devil himself employs when it suits his purpose.
And for those dedicated atheists among us… please don’t be put off by “bible talk” from me. Think of it as a metaphor about evil and a reference to a collection of writings more or less related to man’s long struggle to understand the nature of evil. i could put it all in Freudian terms, but he is more out of fashion these days than Christ.
So your idea of a “big-time criminal” is one who gets an education and works hard so he can earn a good living for himself and his family? For this criminal activity, you would punish him by taking what he has worked for and giving it to someone YOU think is more deserving — “deserving” because he did NOT become educated, did NOT work hard?
You are correct that “without any overt criminality the natural working of “free markets” is to create unendurable poverty for some”. Businesses change. Technology changes. The secretary who could type 100 words per minute and take dictation without error is no longer required. Cobblers are no longer in demand. Wives can become widows. These are people deserving of help. There are families, friends, and churches and other charities. We do not need the government for these things that we can do ourselves. That is why those of us to really care about the poor give our own money to charities that help the poor and to the poor directly, we do not take money from others to do it.
Tell me how it is “fair” to charge the cabbie who works 600 hours a week a higher rate than the one who only works 30, and to give the one who works 30 some of the income of the one who worked 60?
Tell me how it is “fair” for the government to help pay for the college education of the person who takes a two-week vacation every year and buys a new car every two, but the person with the same income who saved for his children’s education gets nothing? How is it “fair” for the government to give the spendthrift more money in retirement than it gives someone with the same income but who saved for his retirement?
“[You] cry like a baby when the government we have created asks you to contribute a few dollars….”
Whoa, wait…! Taxes are VOLUNTARY?! I can say NO when the government ASKS me to pay taxes? Who knew?
it is easy to see the fantasy-fugue state you get yourself into imagining all the things that you think the bad old government is doing.
trust me, none of this happens… at least not often or for long. I know, I used to work for the government and we tried very hard to protect the public from fraud and to give the customer (tax payer) his money’s worth.
the government “asks for” your vote. and if you are outvoted, well, we all have to obey the same traffic laws even if “we” are a better driver than the rest of the idiots.
you take the same chances with government welfare as you do with a government army commanded by people who may or may not be competent. that is, you accept the advantages of living in America… and they are much greater than you can imagine, so you are “asked” to pay the same taxes other people vote for because they believe they are on the whole worth it.
as they used to say, if you don’t like it , go to Afghanistan.
which i used to think was not much of an argument, but between your delusional scenarios and rationalizations that show complete contempt for the other human beings in your country, I think I’d just as soon you did go to Afghanistan or other country where your ethics are the rule.
I’m delusional? You cannot even bring yourself to admit that this mob-rule government does not ASK people to pay their taxes, it TAKES money and property from them by force if they don’t.
That is why we have a constitution in the first place — to put the brakes on your mob rule.
“[You] are ‘asked’ to pay the same taxes other people vote for because they believe they are on the whole worth it.”
No — I’m FORCED, not ASKED, to pay MORE, not THE SAME, in taxes because I work my @$$ off, got a decent education in a demanding, in-demand field, and have kept my skills current.
Tell me again, how is it “fair” to tax someone at a higher rate because he works longer hours? How is it “fair” to tax someone at a higher rate because he got an education and works harder, so he earns more money? What twisted definition of “fair” makes it “fair” to take what one person has worked for it to give it to someone who has not worked for it?
It must be the same prog dictionary you use for your definition of ASK.
if you are going to get hung up on words, you need to get an education so you begin to understand what words are. they are pointers to things, not things in themselves.
i used “ask” because that’s what an election does.. it “asks” us the voters what we want to do.
taxes are by definition not voluntary. i pay them just like you do. and i don’t like it any better. except i don’t go insane about it. and i do understand the principle.
sure you work your ass off. so do most people. and you may be smarter… or luckier.. than most. nevertheless a progressive tax is the only possible tax in a society where the rich have all (most of) the money. most people think that is fair. my progressive friends want all taxes to be progressive. i disagree with them. i think people should pay for their own retirement if they can… which is most of the time. but you don’t think the people should even be allowed to create a retirement insurance plan that uses a “flat” tax to provide for their own retirement and insurance. that is because you brain is set on insane greed. and all the reasons you give for everything point to that. sure some of them sound “reasonable” to you mostly, but that is no different than how the reasons sound to every inmate and out-mate of every insane asylum in the world, including the US Congress.
‘i used “ask” because that’s what an election does.. it “asks” us the voters what we want to do.’
But you did not use it in the context of an election, did you? Even then, you are wrong. We do not get to vote on what and how much the U.S. government will tax us, do we?
“[Most] people think [a “progressive” tax] is fair.”
Define FAIR — then tell me, based on that definition, how it is FAIR to take $60 from someone who works two jobs when you would take only $25 each from two people working one identical job each.
Tell me, using that definition, how it is FAIR for a shop owner to sell to his community and make a profit, only to have it taken from him to give to the people who buy from him and work for him. Are you saying those customers are too stupid to pay a FAIR price for the product? Are you saying those employees are too stupid to get a FAIR price for their labor?
‘i think people should pay for their own retirement if they can… which is most of the time. but you don’t think the people should even be allowed to create a retirement insurance plan that uses a “flat” tax to provide for their own retirement and insurance.’
Sure they can — just don’t force others into it. If it is such as Good Thing, make it voluntary.
(And since the benefits are on a sliding scale, FICA also turns out to be an escalating tax. Furthermore, Social Security is discriminatory to Blacks — they have shorter lifespans, so collect less in benefits. How ’bout we allow people to OWN their private accounts, so that they can pass that on to their heirs?)
You speak of MY greed — my wanting people to be allowed to keep what they earn. How is that less greed that your wanting to be able to take what you have not earned from those who have?
You seem to think people are too stupid to get a fair wage for their labor. You seem to think people are too stupid to pay fair prices for what they buy. So you have to come in and correct the results of their stupidity.
But somehow you think these stupid people (whom you also think are too stupid to save for their own retirement) are smart enough to vote!?
Well I think people ARE smart enough to get a fair wage for their labor, and that they ARE smart enough to pay fair prices, and that they ARE smart enough to save for their own retirement. They do NOT need your patronizing government programs to “fix” those things for them.
Since it appears that you don’t like individual income tax, how about we eliminate it completely and tax only business. Businesses already withhold taxes from most peoples’ wages anyway and pass it on to the government. Redefine salary as take home pay, and tax business on gross income. That’s where individual salary and income tax comes from in the first place.
This way you get to keep everything you earn.
Because, Jerry, the brainpower wasted on computing (and avoiding) corporate income taxes is a huge drain on the economy, and because taxing businesses discourages business development, discourages investment in the United States, and encourages businesses’ moving to more business-friendly countries.
The first problem with the individual income tax is the blatant unfairness of taking more from those who earn more. If one man works 60 hours a week, and two others work 30 hours each at the same hourly wage, our government takes more from the one than from the two. How is that fair?
One man studies hard in school, and another does not. The one gets a good education and a better-paying job than the one who did not. How is it fair to tax the hard-working person at a higher rate?
It is not a matter of taking what I earn, but taking it to give to those who do not earn it. Given two people with the same income history, if one saves his money and has a good nest-egg in retirement, how is it fair to tax his Social Security at a higher rate than the man who took a two-week vacation every year and bought a new car every two? If one man saves for his kids education and the other spends his money, how is it fair to give the spendthrift man money for his kids’ college education, but not give to the man who saved?
Our public policies punish good choices and reward bad choices.
These policies are unconstitutional, unfair, and are rooted in the sins of covetousness and theft.
You can keep jabber-jawing about taxing the populace and it being unconstitutional all you want to and as I said before, you are wrong. You also might have a point if all things were equal for everyone; but, they are not for all people. Did you start life on third base thinking you hit a triple when everyone else had to start at home plate and get a hit to advance? You sure sound like you did.
You have no basis for what you are saying other than supposition, conjecture, and an opinion.
neojack is doing his thing.
Oh, I understand now, Jack. You are against welfare. Let a person and his family sink or swim. Every man is an island, and all that stuff. That’s kind of mean spirited, but I guess that’s just who you are.
there really is no hope for you.
I invite you again to contemplate why Ayn Rand collected Social Security benefits. And why she had to.
That’s fine. I am not in need of your hope.
I am against government welfare programs, and for charities.
You are in favor of stealing, I am in favor of giving.
So who is greedy?
“I am against government welfare programs, and for charities.” Jack
maybe if you look at these programs as saving taxes; like the were behavioral programs it would be easier to except.
That would require lying to myself, Beene.
I think you failed to note that i was writing to Jack, not you.
you are lying to yourself.
Whoops! Sorry Coberly. I did totally misread it. For some reason, I thought the comment was from Jack, not to Jack. I must have had a brain fart, or at least a senior eye moment.
that’s okay. happens to me all the time.