Cap-and-trade traded away?

posted at 10:51 am on March 21, 2009 by Ed Morrissey

George Stephanopolous reported yesterday that Senate Democrats forced Barack Obama to choose between two break-the-bank policies for this year.  The White House apparently surrendered on cap-and-trade in order to get started on a massive overhaul of the nation’s health-care delivery system.  Stephanopolous refers to the dilemma as a classic “scorpion in the bottle” problem:

When the White House released its budget, I said the president’s effort to reform health care and cap carbon emissions were “scorpions in a bottle” — only one could make it through Congress this year.

This week, the White House and House Democrats made their choice: health care is the survivor.

As the Wall Street Journal and Washington Post have reported, House Democrats (backed by the White House) plan to write a budget resolution that allows health care to be passed by a simple majority (through the so-called “reconciliation” process) if a bipartisan compromise isn’t reached by September.

Cap and trade will not get the same budget protection, and there are nowhere  near 60 votes for it.  Keeping it out of the reconciliation process recognizes reality: Congress can’t pass it in the middle of a recession.

Stephanopolous notes that Democrats in the House made this choice, but it’s really all about the Senate.  Obama thinks he can get a few moderate Republicans to go along on health care reform, probably more than just the Porkulus 3, if he steers a centrist course.  Cap-and-trade has problems even among Democrats, especially in the Rust Belt and in coal-producing areas, and its impact on the economy makes it a non-starter in this session of Congress.

Even the health-care effort will get curtailed, likely as a result of the massive government spending already undertaken by Democrats this year.  Instead of moving forward with a comprehensive plan to socialize the health sector, Obama wants to work around the edges this year. Obama has apparently learned that lesson from Hillary Clinton’s abortive attempt to nationalize the health sector in 1993-4.

That may put off the rest of his reforms until 2011, though.  Obama will not want to impose a nationalized system in an election year, especially if he’s performing as badly then as he has in the last two months.  Republicans are already licking their chops for the midterms, and a major socialist initiatitve will be exactly what they need to compete for control of the House.  That probably pushes cap-and-trade to 2011, too.


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This week, the White House and House Democrats made their choice: health care is the survivor.

They choose Healthcare because they will be able to better exploit problems in their tent-revival-meets-Tourette’s 3 ring circus hearings. They will bring up antidote incidents and patients to personalize & lay the guilt at your feet. They will omit factual data, and ignore the failures in the other countries with socialized medicine… and then they will pass a bill they never read.

Make no mistake – our country already has degree of socialized medicine – why do you think things are so expensive? Pooling costs already exist. We provide extensive healthcare to the uninsured/under-insured/illegal aliens at little to no cost to them. Clinics run by counties in conjunction with med schools offer preventive care but a lot of folks don’t take advantage of it. They wait until they have a complaint and then go to the ER.

We are flooded with medical professionals from other countries – they come not just for the wages but also for the working conditions & ability to practice effectively & ethically. If Obama destroys our medical system not only will the visiting professionals leave but our own professionals will go Galt.

Someone asked about the AMA- one of the mistakes of hillarycare was to disclude the AMA. This time around they are wooing the AMA and other groups like the Hospital association. However organizations that actually represent the professionals are barely included. In other words – they don’t want to hear from the workers. Ironic, eh? Don’t worry planned parenthood has a seat at this table, along with the drug companies/insurers/AARP/and the labor unions that represent under 10% of healthcare professionals.

batterup on March 21, 2009 at 4:01 PM

Yeah, I think most of us do that already, but enough don’t that worthwhile commenters engage the trolls and the thread ends up hijacked, you can’t read the non-troll comments without reading responses to the trolls. It’s tiresome.

Maquis on March 21, 2009 at 3:57 PM

Or better, maybe the ability based on our login to hide certain commenters from view for us. Like a -span style=display: hide-. Personalizing the comments that way would help.

beatcanvas on March 21, 2009 at 4:01 PM

Some few folks here seem to confuse liberty with license.

Maquis on March 21, 2009 at 4:04 PM

Here is an idea.

Fell free to engage my argument or scroll past it.

Deal?

getalife on March 21, 2009 at 4:05 PM

Larvcom, in a free market system your comment makes no financial sense. That would be like saying you want the same price for buying a bale of pine straw as the landscaper pays for buying $500. It doesn’t work that way for insurance “Services” just as if it were a product you could touch.

rayvet on March 21, 2009 at 11:13 AM

Sorry to disagree Rayvet, but I am with Larvcom on this one. My family has not had insurance since I left corporate America about 10 yrs ago. All we want is the ability to buy GOOD, large group-type insurance at large group rates. This can be accomplished by bundling large numbers of us and forming large groups. As it is now, we cannot afford to pay $500+ a month for insurance (for a family) that doesn’t even pay for Dr visits, labs, prescriptions, etc, until after a large deductible ($10K/yr) has been met. Because while you are meeting that deductible you are still having to pay thousands out of pocket for the visits, etc. and the coverage sucks. I live in Texas and have researched health coverage extensively and this is about the best rate I can find for a family of 4. This is a huge problem for many lower-middle income self-employed families.

If anyone knows of cheap insurance in TEXAS please give me a referral!!! I specify Texas because many wonderful plans do not apply in our state. We are very pro-insurance here not pro-consumer.

mrsmwp on March 21, 2009 at 4:10 PM

When the White House released its budget, I said the president’s effort to reform health care and cap carbon emissions were “scorpions in a bottle”…

Doesn’t an analogy between government controlled health care and scorpions seem a bit, poisonous?

Maquis on March 21, 2009 at 4:13 PM

Solar panels decrease energy costs. The original cost is high but long term is much lower.

getalife on March 21, 2009 at 2:19 PM

Evidence of this please?

If this were true, then there would be no need nor no reason to apply subsidies to solar power.

Solar power being cheaper than coal power is pure eco-fantasy, nothing more.

JohnGalt23 on March 21, 2009 at 4:20 PM

The White House apparently surrendered on cap-and-trade in order to get started on a massive overhaul of the nation’s health-care delivery system.

Smoke screen. They will move forward on anything and everything as fast as they can. They know that 2010 looms.

Maxx on March 21, 2009 at 4:26 PM

Fell free to engage my argument or scroll past it.

Deal?

getalife on March 21, 2009 at 4:05 PM

Did you fell down?

Johan Klaus on March 21, 2009 at 4:34 PM

http://econlog.econlib.org/archives/2009/03/obama_on_leno.html

Good article…

Keemo on March 21, 2009 at 4:37 PM

This week, the White House and House Democrats made their choice: health care is the survivor.

Interesting choice of words. If the system survives, patients will die.

Did Natasha Richardson Die from Socialized Medicine?

Rae on March 21, 2009 at 4:44 PM

Well sorry for my part in the highjack.

That said I’d bet the reason health care survived is that it’s the touchy-feely one that the downtrodden will benefit from keeping him popular. He tries cap and trade in this economy and he’d be lucky to still be around to run in 2012.

See how I did that? Heh.

oddjob1138 on March 21, 2009 at 4:56 PM

The “scorpion in the bottle” is the idiot in charge.

notagool on March 21, 2009 at 5:14 PM

i think the way for the conservatives to sell their argument to vote no against socialized medicine is this: are we going to pay to insure illegal aliens. if we include their costs & take all our time with them in the ER or OR or family doctor’s office, the average American will never be able to see a doctor about anything.

kelley in virginia on March 21, 2009 at 5:28 PM

I believe Cap & Trade to be the most onerous junk the left has dreamed up yet. If Cap & Trade becomes fait d’accomplis, one world government is not far behind. And for what? A hoax perpetrated by the left themselves. It’s not for the planet, it’s for power.

Christian Conservative on March 21, 2009 at 5:37 PM

Solar panels decrease energy costs. The original cost is high but long term is much lower.

-
Some people can’t help themselves from lying all the time, it’s what they do; make shit up.
-

Renewable Energy Sources are all around us. And there are more and more investors developing renewable energy plants and facilities. But let’s look at the actual cost of several renewable and non renewable energy sources:
The cost of generate electricity using Coal is around $0.04/KW/h. To generate power from gas and oil is a little bit more but still in the range of $0.08KW/h.
Wind power cost is about $0.12KW/h (currently) but the trend is going down so with economies of scale and better materials it should be heading to just a few cents higher than coal.
Photovoltaics (PV’s) should be between $0.25 to 0.5KW/h even for solar concentrators and Sterlling engine (Solar Thermal) the price is in the order of $0.18 to 0.22kW/h.
http://www.renewable-energy-sources.com/2008/08/12/the-cost-of-renewable-energy/

-
I’ve done tons of research on this. I also work in the lithium battery industry so don’t even get me started on how much energy/waste/non-eco friendly stuff is involved in battery production.
-
Gasoline (oil), and coal are kings for a bunch of reasons. Adaptability, portability, availability, price, energy density, long standing technological support and infrastructures… The list goes on but you get the idea.
-
No matter… Fantasy farmers continue to dream that the alternative sources are being held back (or just need more funding). False. Though a few alternative sources have small/limited niches that they can fit into in a competitive way, most are a trade down from oil or coal in some major manner, such as convenience or price.
-

RalphyBoy on March 21, 2009 at 5:39 PM

oddjob1138 on March 21, 2009 at 4:56 PM

I’d bet the reason health care survived is that it’s the touchy-feely one that the downtrodden will benefit from keeping him popular. He tries cap and trade in this economy and he’d be lucky to still be around to run in 2012.

I think you are just about spot-on there.

Socialization of health care isn’t a good thing by any stretch of the imagination, but it has three things going for it. First, it is in fact a benefit for tens of millions of people who have no health insurance. Second, even though it will make health care worse for tens of millions more, depending on how it is done, it is unlikely to make things drastically worse for them; i.e, the overall inefficiencies are spread around amongst a huge universe. Third, while it is a large sector of the economy, it is only a sector of the economy.

Contrast this with cap-and-trade, and other globaloney warming nonsense. There is virtually nobody who is measurably better off by this stuff, outside of the eco-rent-seekers. Everybody is made worse off in the form of higher energy costs. And there is a large sector of people, notably those who live in parts of the country with extreme heat and/or cold, who are immensely worse off. And, unlike health care, the energy sector affects every part of our economy. You can avoid health care inefficiencies in part by living a healthy lifestyle, avoiding risky behavior, even going abroad to places like India for major health care expenditures. There is no way to avoid increased energy expenses or energy inefficiencies. They are just built into our society.

JohnGalt23 on March 21, 2009 at 5:54 PM

Solar panels decrease energy costs. The original cost is high but long term is much lower.

getalife on March 21, 2009 at 2:19 PM

Evidence of this please?

If this were true, then there would be no need nor no reason to apply subsidies to solar power.

Solar power being cheaper than coal power is pure eco-fantasy, nothing more.

JohnGalt23 on March 21, 2009 at 4:20 PM

Almost 6pm et and still not response by the troll..because he was lying.

————————————

Here is a thought…. those groups that clean up highways for free are allowed now to throw pollution around and not be ticketed or arrested right?

Jamson64 on March 21, 2009 at 5:55 PM

O.k… I don’t know how to make my own thread (I don’t think that I can), but I would like to propose an Amendment to the Constitution.

Amendment:

1. From this point forward, the annual budget of the Federal Government cannot exceed 10% of the Gross Domestic Product for the previous calendar year. This includes _all_ spending.

2. The government cannot tax at a rate of higher than 15% of the Gross Domestic Product. Once the government has used the excess of collected taxes to pay off the debt and set aside no more than three years worth of budget as an emergency fund, then the tax rate must drop to 10%. Should an excess of taxes be charged any particular year, then the excess should be returned to each taxpayer para pursuant to the taxes that they paid.

The GDP is $14.33 trillion (2008 est.)

That means that the government couldn’t spend more than 1.4333 Trillion for the October-September 2010 budget. This sound reasonable to me.

Theophile on March 21, 2009 at 5:55 PM

*sounds

Also, it would give the government an actual incentive to _grow_ the economy and not to kill it.

Theophile on March 21, 2009 at 5:56 PM

I did love a news show on the affordability of solar. The guy paid 20 k and you and I paid 20k for the panels on his house.

Jamson64 on March 21, 2009 at 5:57 PM

O.k… I don’t know how to make my own thread (I don’t think that I can), but I would like to propose an Amendment to the Constitution.

Amendment:

1. From this point forward, the annual budget of the Federal Government cannot exceed 10% of the Gross Domestic Product for the previous calendar year. This includes _all_ spending.

2. The government cannot tax at a rate of higher than 15% of the Gross Domestic Product.
Theophile on March 21, 2009 at 5:55 PM

Agree and have suggested several more amendments on another thread.

Each member of Congress must sign any piece of legislation affirming, under penalty of perjury, that they have read the entire bill before it becomes law.

MrScribbler on March 20, 2009 at 9:56 PM

- Constitutional amendment proposal #2: Each member of Congress will serve two terms maximum.

- Constitutional amendment proposal #3: Each member of Congress will get a raise only when the constituency votes in a national referendum.

- Constitutional amendment proposal #4: There will be no retirement pay for Congressmen since they will have served a maximum of 12 years. They can invest in a 401K. The money must be invested in the U.S. stock market.

- Constitutional amendment proposal #5: Every Congressman will have to pay for his/her own healtcare.

- Constitutional amendment proposal #6: Government officials who do not pay their taxes shall be prosecuted, relieved of duty and jailed.

- Constitutional amendment proposal #7: Congressmen will receive no additional benefits above those earned by the average citizen.

Good for starters. Do I hear proposal #8?

Christian Conservative on March 21, 2009 at 12:41 AM

#8: No spending bill may be longer than 100 pages, using 12-point Pica type. Congressmen who wish to vote on a bill will be expected to take a randomly prepared quiz on its contents. Failure to achieve at least 90% on this quiz disqualifies the congressman from voting on the bill. Failure to pass three such tests in a calendar year results in immediate expulsion from office.
Doctor Zero on March 21, 2009 at 12:51 AM

#9: NO closed-door meetings. Any/All meetings made available to the taxpayers via online video.

TN Mom on March 21, 2009 at 1:02 AM

Counting your two, Theophile, that makes 11. Can I hear #12?

Christian Conservative on March 21, 2009 at 6:10 PM

O.k… I don’t know how to make my own thread (I don’t think that I can), but I would like to propose an Amendment to the Constitution.

Amendment:

1. From this point forward, the annual budget of the Federal Government cannot exceed 10% of the Gross Domestic Product for the previous calendar year. This includes _all_ spending.

2. The government cannot tax at a rate of higher than 15% of the Gross Domestic Product.
Theophile on March 21, 2009 at 5:55 PM
Agree and have suggested several more amendments on another thread.

Each member of Congress must sign any piece of legislation affirming, under penalty of perjury, that they have read the entire bill before it becomes law.

MrScribbler on March 20, 2009 at 9:56 PM
- Constitutional amendment proposal #2: Each member of Congress will serve two terms maximum.

- Constitutional amendment proposal #3: Each member of Congress will get a raise only when the constituency votes in a national referendum.

- Constitutional amendment proposal #4: There will be no retirement pay for Congressmen since they will have served a maximum of 12 years. They can invest in a 401K. The money must be invested in the U.S. stock market.

- Constitutional amendment proposal #5: Every Congressman will have to pay for his/her own healtcare.

- Constitutional amendment proposal #6: Government officials who do not pay their taxes shall be prosecuted, relieved of duty and jailed.

- Constitutional amendment proposal #7: Congressmen will receive no additional benefits above those earned by the average citizen.

Good for starters. Do I hear proposal #8?

Christian Conservative on March 21, 2009 at 12:41 AM
#8: No spending bill may be longer than 100 pages, using 12-point Pica type. Congressmen who wish to vote on a bill will be expected to take a randomly prepared quiz on its contents. Failure to achieve at least 90% on this quiz disqualifies the congressman from voting on the bill. Failure to pass three such tests in a calendar year results in immediate expulsion from office.
Doctor Zero on March 21, 2009 at 12:51 AM
#9: NO closed-door meetings. Any/All meetings made available to the taxpayers via online video.

TN Mom on March 21, 2009 at 1:02 AM
Counting your two, Theophile, that makes 11. Can I hear #12?

Christian Conservative on March 21, 2009 at 6:10 PM

12. All bills must stand alone without any add ons. All spending projects must be voted on seperately, no bundling any projects.

thomasaur on March 21, 2009 at 6:17 PM

Theophile for President.

beatcanvas on March 21, 2009 at 6:35 PM

Can’t the Republicans/conservatives do an aggressive end run around nationalized, rationed health care by promoting health savings accounts or portable health insurance across state lines? I’m sure that the Heritage Foundation offers even more options that promote individual liberty.

All that any sane person needs to point out about how destructive nationalized health care would be would be to cite the damage that the federal government is doing to our economic system with its unfunded bailouts and massive borrowing.

Whether Obama and the Dem-dominated Congress intend to punt cap and trade to another day, it is never wise to let up the pressure against it with compelling facts and aggressive naysaying.

onlineanalyst on March 21, 2009 at 6:51 PM

They decided on health care takeover, er, “reform”… there’s plenty of time to destroy other industries next year.

mankai on March 21, 2009 at 7:24 PM

Nancy Pelosi

Nancy Pelosi

11/8/02 — Last updated: 03/21/2009 12:27:26

California (San Francisco) Rep. Pelosi will become new congressional minority leader, replacing Gephardt. Some info about Pelosi: Pelosi sits on the Advisory Board of an organization called Immigrant Legal Resource Center (ILRC) along with California State Senator John Burton and former CA Supreme Court Justice Cruz Reynoso (removed from the bench by the voters). This ILRC, on May 10, 2002, sent a letter of strong support to another organization that calls itself AZTECS of NORTH AMERICA COMMITTEE. That committee demands the U.S. border with Mexico be opened to all from Mexico who wish to cross, demanding free passage both ways between the United States of Mexico and the United States of America, calling them descendants of the AZTECS and deserving of an open border. They say the Jay Treaty of 1794 says so. Pelosi supports them. So obviously Pelosi favors erasure of our southern border. — E.M. of Irvine, California

RealDemocrat on March 21, 2009 at 7:46 PM

oddjob1138 on March 21, 2009 at 2:49 PM

I guess typing your smart proposal is too much to ask but I will go with the President’s idea.

Jobs, jobs, jobs.

Lets put the millions back to work.

Later.

getalife on March 21, 2009 at 2:51 PM

Only IF McCain had said, “Jobs, Jobs, Jobs, Jobs (one more Jobs) and forcefully also said, “Priority is on putting MILLIONS back to WORK”, he would be the president now. If speaking the word “JOBS” could create them, heck everyone would be working.

OneConservative on March 21, 2009 at 8:02 PM

Counting your two, Theophile, that makes 11. Can I hear #12?

Christian Conservative on March 21, 2009 at 6:10 PM

Mine is two sections of a single amendment. They need to be linked.

Theophile on March 21, 2009 at 8:10 PM

Cap & Trade is a socialist takeover or energy production and use. This has been the end game since Al Gore released his propaganda movie

Obama Admits Cap & Trade Will Cause Electricity Rates to Skyrocket (Video) (3min)

Poptech on March 21, 2009 at 8:14 PM

Back in 1500, we learn from a Princeton professor, the Aztecs figured the climate debate was over, and that if you wanted rain and sunshine and other such blessings, it was simple enough what you had to do – sacrifice 20,000 lives a year to the right gods.

In the year 2009, it’s an equally sure thing in the minds of some that carbon in the atmosphere is going to fry us unless we put the welfare of millions on the line, and here is the latest on President Obama’s plan – it could cost industry almost $2 trillion over an eight-year period.

That hefty sum to be paid out to a cap-and-trade carbon tax would snatch money from the pockets of consumers far more than rising oil prices did, hinder economic growth and instill other ways generate human misery, and all in the name of what? Computer models that can’t get anything right, that’s what.

Scientists feed tons of data into these simulating computers, and – given the doomsday theory animating the enterprise – it shouldn’t surprise anyone that catastrophic warming is a calculation that then emerges. The problem is that all kinds of stuff is left out because there is an awful lot we do not know.

“Over the past 10 years there has been no global warming, and in fact a slight cooling,” physicist William Happer recently told a Senate committee. “This is not at all what was predicted by the IPCC models,” he said, referring to the computer conclusions of the U.N.’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change.
- Jay Ambrose

MB4 on March 21, 2009 at 8:47 PM

But what if these skeptics are wrong? If there is a possibility of error, some argue, we should err on the side of safety [Of course, that would work just as well the other way around in case we are headed toward a mini ice age and sould give tax credits for producing MORE carbon] – we should have those carbon taxes – and that might be true if a carbon tax was not itself a powerful peril and if it was not pretty clear by now that we are putting global-warming garbage into computers, getting garbage out of them and that some are then treating that garbage like a god.
- Jay Ambrose

MB4 on March 21, 2009 at 9:02 PM

I haven’t read all of the comments, but in case it hasn’t yet been mentioned:

The reason that universal health care gets the nod over cap-and-trade is simple:

Control and expansion of the dependent class.

Cap-and-trade might give them greater control over business, but what Dems need in the future is an abolute majority of the voting public that is dependent on the government for their well-being.

They especially need it before November 3, 2010 given the absolute clown show going on in the White House and the way that the GOP is picking up steam.

wv619 on March 21, 2009 at 9:10 PM

And were will all this money go? That’s the question that will never be answered.

Maxx on March 21, 2009 at 9:14 PM

This just in: Obama’s Medical Diagnosis

onlineanalyst on March 21, 2009 at 9:24 PM

The difference between Reagan and Obama is indisputable: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FR5MweSZjbc&NR=1

onlineanalyst on March 21, 2009 at 9:35 PM

This just in: Obama’s Medical Diagnosis

onlineanalyst on March 21, 2009 at 9:24 PM

The instant I heard sickle-cell I knew what was coming! Awesome!

‘Course some folks will call that racist…

Maquis on March 21, 2009 at 10:05 PM

The difference between Reagan and Obama is indisputable: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FR5MweSZjbc&NR=1

onlineanalyst on March 21, 2009 at 9:35 PM

Thanks for the link. And the libs and RINO’s try to tell us that Reaganism is dead!

Christian Conservative on March 21, 2009 at 10:07 PM

notagool on March 21, 2009 at 5:14 PM

Would we could be so lucky – a bottle can be capped and tossed aside. What we have now is the other story about a scorpion – the one that wants to cross a river with a blind old dog.

Blacksmith on March 21, 2009 at 10:58 PM

From the point of view of a non-US citizen, I do understand why people are so irritated with “getalife”.

This person is totally clueless. If I was her teacher, then I would have to grade her with an F. The grade would be due to the following:

1. inability to reason; has a tendency to parrot others and cannot think for herself.

2. inability to understand the fundamentals of economics – reading Karl Marx is not getting an understanding of economics.

3. spends too much time adulating Obummer.

4. needs to learn to read other forms of material and cut down exposure to what comes from Gibbs and the White House.

5. needs to spend more time learning about the intricacies of reasoning.

6. Needs to get a clue

maggieo on March 21, 2009 at 11:07 PM

There is that giant sucking sound that Perot was referring to in earlier years… He was right then, he would be right now.

workingforpigs on March 21, 2009 at 11:20 PM

one reason for being interested in these threads is that in Australia we have “socialized” medicine of sorts. From my point of view it should never have been introduced in the first place because the system was working very well. The doctors used to treat those who could not afford to pay as pro bono patients. However the original plan – Medibank – ended the pro bono system. In my view everyone is worse off because of the alternative. Here are some of the reasons why we are worse off:

1. Medibank and then Medicare caused people to drop their medical insurance. In turn this has led to pressure on the hospital emergency department in hospitals all around Australia. The reduction of participants in the private health scheme has also meant rising premiums (and it keeps getting higher).

2. The increase of individuals attending the hospital emergency department has caused a mismatch in the allocation of hospital funding resources in public hospitals – meaning that scarce resources are being diverted from other areas of the hospital for use in the emergency department (budget).

3. The misallocation of these scarce resources has in turn led to a crisis within the hospital industry. Hospitals are having difficulty paying their suppliers (I have worked for one of the suppliers in the past – TYCO Healthcare – and I was well aware of the funding problems within the system).

4. The lack of funding is due to state governments not allocating enough to the hospital system. This is due to a few reasons including the demand by nursing and other staff for exorbitant increases in their pay. It is also due to the commissioning of new equipment (technological change).

5. State governments get their funding from the Federal government. It could be argued that the Federal government is not allocating enough to cover the hospitals. However, I think that the fundamental flaw is that the legislation that covers Medicare has inadequate provisions for looking at real expenditure in a realistic way.

My last point will make more sense if you consider the fact that Medicare has a “scheduled fee” which does not match what is being charged to the patient. This is best explained through looking at the differences between the cost to the patient for a visit to a specialist and what is returned via Medicare. I can go to a skin specialist and have to pay more than $80. (up to and over $100). The schedule fee is $55 and what is then paid back to the patient is about $35 (or less). That is a huge gap between what the doctor is charging (he has to pay staff costs, and other costs) and what is paid via Medicare.

This is true for a lot of other services. The legislation is written such that certain services are not funded, yet if you have private cover, what is returned is also limited meaning a patient with certain forms of medical conditions ends up being well out of pocket.

At the same time, someone who is working has to pay a levy to cover the Medicare costs. If the person never gets sick or attends the doctor then there is no refund of that levy. If someone does not work, then it can be argued that this person is living off the levied taxes of others (it is a % of income, so the more you earn the more you pay as the medicare levy). Also, if husband and wife and other adult family members are in the work force then that household pays at least double for the Medicare levy.

In the long term though it has led to the choking of the hospital system as more and more people require operations that are considered to be “elective” surgery.

This form of government interference has not led to a better health system.

maggieo on March 21, 2009 at 11:47 PM

Well…

So, one bullet gets dodged for a while. Problem is I can’t trust these guys. They’ll find some other way to sneak bits and pieces of this stuff through.

I just had to go through open enrollment for my company benefits starting April 1, and they did have a healthcare spending account option. After digging through that and the traditional insurance model, I can see why one would do one or the other. I don’t think you’ll get people to give up their insurance for a high-deductable, health savings account that is tied to 80/20 or 85/15 style insurance unless there’s some significant tax breaks or credits given also.

But, after talking to a family member who is retired, and under Medicare, and retirement insurance from his company that he worked for, I find that the options for retirees are dwindling.

If Obama has his way, the old folks will be thrown under the bus and get less and less coverage, probably due to the tax breaks for corporations offering health care going away.

Then, he’ll make darn sure that his political base (read “inner city voters and illegal immigrants”) have their benefits. The rest of us poor schmucks get tossed to the wolves.

The goal here is to silently dismantle the private insurance framework. If you don’t see that as their endgame, I suggest you follow this carefully and watch every move they make.

The key problem here is that no one who wants to do any changes has the foresight to stop, think and ponder what the long term ramifications are. We’re engaged in a march towards massive changes that will impact future generations in ways that we cannot contemplate.

What really frightens me is we used to expect our politicians, regardless of party, to be able to be somewhat far-sighted. As we move forward, I wager that is less and less the case.

I can only hope that the fire these dummies are playing with burns them. I’m seeing signs that the American centrists and conservatives and Republicans are waking up and beginning to realize this guy doesn’t get it, and will keep continuing down the same hard-iron-fist path until a metaphorical 2×4 hits him square in the head. Maybe losing the House to the Republicans in 2010 will be the answer. I don’t know.

mngander92 on March 21, 2009 at 11:56 PM

canditaylor68 on March 21, 2009 at 12:37 PM

Solar farms in the deserts, wind farms on the coasts, cool cars, new energy grids, this is the future to create millions of jobs and stop giving billions overseas.

Move forward cons.

getalife on March 21, 2009 at 12:41 PM

Creating millions of new jobs just to produce the same level of energy we now use, would be extremely inefficient.

But if all that matters is jobs, not how efficient or productive they are, then I can play that game, too. In fact, I won’t let you claim to support jobs more than me! I’ll top you right now.

I propose we create jobs for everyone by legislation. It doesn’t matter what they do, since apparently the important thing is to have a job, no matter what that job is. So we can create jobs for redistributing the leaves in the forest. All lawn mowing can be done with scissors, so mowing a lawn will put hundreds of people back to work, not just one. See how much I love creating jobs? More than you!

Or maybe you could actually ask yourself if “creating jobs” is itself the measure of economic recovery.

What’s more efficient? Creating jobs for people to build windmills that produce little power? Or creating jobs at oil rigs by domestic drilling, then creating more jobs at domestic refineries?

Your suggestion, frankly, is not very smart. Try again.

ThereGoesTheNeighborhood on March 22, 2009 at 12:18 AM

Solar farms in the deserts, wind farms on the coasts, cool cars, new energy grids, this is the future to create millions of jobs and stop giving billions overseas.

Move forward cons.

getalife on March 21, 2009 at 12:41 PM

Problem is, San Fran Nan is pushing for a ban on solar plants in the deserts. Which as far as I’m concerned is Proof-Positive that “environmentalism” is nothing but a cover for misanthropic BANANA-ism (Build Absolutely Nothing, Anywhere, Near Anything).

I’m sympathetic toward thermal-solar, tidal-generation, just about any kind of nuke-plant technology under the sun (with the exception of sodium-cooling; we need neither Chernobyls nor Soviet-style sub plants, thanks kindly) – in addition to coal and gas-turbines; not as a replacement. So long as pubic money is NOT used to fund it, more power and more technology to make it are great. Tell the enviros that, though – and have ear protection handy.

This myth that “science” (which they really use to mean optimistic futurism and a desire to advance technology forward) is the sole province of the loony left has got to end.

Politics isn’t rocket science – but all the rocket scientists I know are Republicans.

Blacksmith on March 22, 2009 at 12:32 AM

But wait! The oceans will continue to rise and the whole earth could go down the tubes this year! Al Gore said so.

It must be nice to have your every utterance treated as gospel (The Gospel of the New Left), by Mainstream Obamabots, and then conveniently put on hold when the need arises.

“We’ll put that global warming, correction, “climate change,” on the back burner, while we mess up the health care system as much as we’ve messed up the economy. Damn the Tea Party Protesters, full speed ahead!”

This is the question: How can we “keep a republic,” to use Ben Franklin’s phrase, if the body politic is consistently misinformed?

The answer: We can’t.

That’s why our nation is morphing into a Euro-socialist state even more potent than Europeans dare dream of.

Keep at it Hot Air. It’s getting tough to breath down here.

Stepan on March 22, 2009 at 6:40 AM

…reading Karl Marx is not getting an understanding of economics.

It’s doubtful most of them have ever read Marx. More likely they’ve “heard” someone who “listened” to someone else who “knows” someone who may have read an article by someone who has never actually read Marx, but “knows” all about him.

I’ve read Marx and thought WTF?

I’ve also read The Black Book of Communism and thought WTF-ing hell is wrong with these people?

karl9000 on March 22, 2009 at 8:12 AM

Just because he said he’d put off Cap and Trade until later doesn’t mean we should let our hair down now. We need to continue to fight against it. The GOP need to fight it while it’s down, and really pick up the fight against socialized health care.

We have to fight them both.

Also folks, we should stay on task with the tea parties because this should be a ploy to get everyone to let down their guard. We can’t give up. This isn’t a situation where we can feel satisfied with shoo-ing off the problem. We have to destroy the problem. (cap and trade and socialized healthcare obviously).

Oink on March 22, 2009 at 9:11 AM

Nearly all men can stand adversity, but if you want to test a man’s character, give him power.

— Abraham Lincoln

DL13 on March 22, 2009 at 9:28 AM

I apologize for not reading the entire postings, but I did read enough to pick up on the AMA question and those that said the AMA is mostly Left and not going to be too upset if this passes. I would like to echo those sentiments and multiply it times, oh say the deficit!

My mother, who is over 65, just went in to see our family doctor for a cold and she asked him about the Dems health care plan. His response, he did not know very much about it! We have known this doctor for quite some time so it is not as if this was a situation where he would have been talking to a patient that was new.

Next, my husband is in pharmaceutical industry, and if you think the doctors and the AMA are, or could be problems; just wait until you hear what the pharmaceutical industry has to say! Many of the muckety mucks are Dems and most companies cave like a cheap suit to the government in order to stay out of the cross hairs of the FDA or the government as a whole. My husband says that most in the industry will go along to get along and not realize what has happened to them until it is WAY too late.

I believe Kelley from VA had a very good question, and one I keep asking over and over and over. Where indeed is Steele on fighting this, and the same for the GOP! If they would start fighting now, and blitzing the media it might just keep Specklesnow and others from getting off the game plan. Yes, I too am hearing crickets chirping.

What no one seems to be paying attention to is the number of illegals and those who are young and chose not to get insurance. These are at least half of this mythical 45 million uninsured Americans. The rest for the most part are like my mother’s next door neighbor who is in her 50′s and chose not to pay for insurance for the past ten years!

This is the one adjustment/socialistic program that we must fight like mad. As Rush says, if this thing gets passed it will ruin the nation and it will be just like Social Security, and other entitlement programs that we cannot reverse. This could be an assault on America that we may never come back from. It certainly will weaken us as a democracy and a republic!

freeus on March 22, 2009 at 10:53 AM

oddjob1138 on March 21, 2009 at 4:56 PM

I’d bet the reason health care survived is that it’s the touchy-feely one that the downtrodden will benefit from keeping him popular. He tries cap and trade in this economy and he’d be lucky to still be around to run in 2012.

Agreed. “Health care.” Such a simple, soothing sound. “Cap and Trade.” No harmonics. It doesn’t feel warm, fuzzy, comforting. And (just my cynicism shining through here…), I’d bet 90% of America doesn’t know what it means. It’s hard to sell something that doesn’t have a pretty ring to it. No easy-pleasy stump speeches off that one.

Americans, regrettably, have become hopelessly ill-informed (or perhaps I’m being gracious, and we really always were, en-masse?).

Hope <<< Proven seller
Change <<< Proven seller
Health Care <<< Gonna sell!
Cap and Trade <<< Duh, what?!

We are where our ignorance allowed us to be.

chautauqua on March 22, 2009 at 11:44 AM

RalphyBoy on March 21, 2009 at 5:39 PM

Good post. Made me drop my teabag for a second there.

johnnyU on March 22, 2009 at 11:54 AM

The start of some good news about the vapid over-reaching of the Tyro Doofus-In-Chief Cipher.

Perhaps this is a sign that

TOTUS RULES!

profitsbeard on March 22, 2009 at 12:37 PM

It does not matter if it can be proven, cap and trade is leverage to go green to create jobs.

Its all about creating jobs.

Stop fighting it.

getalife on March 21, 2009 at 12:49 PM

LOL-Did you make it past the fifth grade?

-Dave

Dave R. on March 22, 2009 at 2:56 PM

LOL-Did you make it past the fifth grade?

-Dave

Dave R. on March 22, 2009 at 2:56 PM

Must have read Ayn Rand’s ANTHEM…

RealDemocrat on March 22, 2009 at 4:21 PM

Can anybody say…….ENRON????

RealDemocrat on March 22, 2009 at 4:23 PM

The health care bill will be the one they slip back in the “let’s screw veterans” measure.

rlwo2008 on March 22, 2009 at 6:00 PM

So, they talk about these things as scorpions?

I just love that they plan to let loose “scorpions” on us.

And I know they love it, too.

Alana on March 22, 2009 at 7:26 PM

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