AIP Column: Faith-based economics

posted at 8:47 am on July 31, 2009 by Ed Morrissey

Recalling Barack Obama’s promise to restore science to its rightful place in policymaking during the campaign, I wondered earlier this week whether Obama knew that mathematics is a science.  After all, the CBO continues to rip Democratic claims of big savings through ObamaCare by doing the actual math that Democrats and the White House won’t do.  Congressional Democrats threw in the towel this week by changing the argument to claim that ObamaCare is so super-duper, new-and-improved, better-than-Brand-X cool that it will produce savings that no economist can predict ahead of time.  I dedicated my weekly AIP column to the new faith-based economics:

The Beltway newspaper The Hill reported that Democrats now want voters to disregard the financial analysis from the Congressional office they control … In other words, don’t pay attention to the actual numbers provided by people who use math to calculate costs. Instead, have faith in the remarkable cure-all powers of Dr. Obama’s Health-Care Reform Elixir! It has so many benefits and cost savings that even the nation’s leading analysts cannot detect with the naked eye!

This doesn’t just represent a new spin for a failing policy. It undermines the entire argument for health-care reform, at least as presented by Obama and his allies. They justified the nationalization of the health-care industry on the premise that uncontrolled costs would bankrupt the nation as well as an increasing number of individual Americans. The Obama administration and Democratic leadership in Congress argued, both implicitly and explicitly, that their reform would install rational cost controls while giving greater access to all Americans. In fact, that is the only possible rationale a politician could have for the government to restructure a private industry.

This new approach completely undermines the argument for a systemic overhaul of the industry. Thanks to the CBO, we know all of the costs – and it’s important to remember that while the official deficit hit in Decade One is $239 billion, we only get within that close to break-even thanks to almost $600 billion in new taxes over the same period. Now, however, we have no idea what cost savings we will see, let alone whether we will have overall better access to medical care, or even the same level of access as most Americans do now. Gallup polls show 83% of Americans satisfied with their current coverage, so this question is of vital importance in any overhaul, both practically and politically.

Do Americans want to buy another round of Dr. Obama’s Magical Medical Elixir?  I think voters had enough the first time, when we drank Dr. Obama’s Magical Economic Expander, which was guaranteed to add a “jolt” to your economy, or … well, unfortunately, we don’t get our money back.  Ever.

Read the whole column, and while you’re there, don’t miss AIP’s excellent bloggers.


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Americans want HC reform but they don’t know how it can be accomplished. They certainly do NOT want the socialist plan that Ochimpy and the commie democrats are trying to shove down our throats. Americans need to be educated about the value of the free market and it’s importance in a free society.

csdeven on July 31, 2009 at 10:28 AM

Government should not be in the business of playing God. highhopes on July 31, 2009 at 10:23 AM

Yeah but John Holdren, Obooba’s Science Czar, says that forced abortions and mass sterilization are needed to save the planet. Ain’t he smarter than us?

Rick Santorum was guest hosting for Bill Bennett today, he said that infant mortality rates in Europe are lower than in the US because premies and babies with bigtime medical challenges are not counted as live births since they’re going to be left to die in most instances.

Akzed on July 31, 2009 at 10:32 AM

AnninCA non-profit business employing a BOARD and two staff is top heavy. The board is required to have a President, VP and Treasurer. That’s 3:2 more chiefs than tribesmen. That’s leftist bureaucracy inflating the costs of medical treatment with the mushrooming non-contributing “directors” sapping the system of healthcare.

Introduced herself as a nurse to substantiate her comments until she couldn’t take the ridicule any more.

pathetic

maverick muse on July 31, 2009 at 10:33 AM

Americans want HC reform but they don’t know how it can be accomplished. They certainly do NOT want the socialist plan that Ochimpy and the commie democrats are trying to shove down our throats. Americans need to be educated about the value of the free market and it’s importance in a free society.

Actually, one poll proved you wrong. They took the labels off, asked people which plan they wanted.

It was, in fact, public option being pushed by Obama.

I’m sorry, but people do want the public option. They are going to be disappointed if that’s not a part of this.

Employer-based private insurance is great….for those who have it.

A public option that one could buy into is a smart move for the country.

Anyway. I know this topic freaks you guys out. The blog has run 70% articles against the public option. It’s like someone here has stock in Wellpoint. *haha

AnninCA on July 31, 2009 at 10:34 AM

All I have to say is my father is 80 years old and in pretty good health right now, luckily. He spent 20 years in the U.S. Navy and was told he would have free health benefits for life. They took that away. So much for that. Now, if anyone from the government tells me somewhere down the road that my father can’t get XYZ treatment if he needs it, I will wind up in jail for what I will do. And I’m not kidding.

NJ Red on July 31, 2009 at 10:35 AM

Akzed on July 31, 2009 at 10:32 AM

Abortions would cover of a large number of unaccounted infant mortality. They have no point in a pregnancy “too late” to abort.

maverick muse on July 31, 2009 at 10:36 AM

AnninCA non-profit business employing a BOARD and two staff is top heavy. The board is required to have a President, VP and Treasurer. That’s 3:2 more chiefs than tribesmen. That’s leftist bureaucracy inflating the costs of medical treatment with the mushrooming non-contributing “directors” sapping the system of healthcare.

The board oversees a lot of programs. Again, someone is mistaken.

I actually gave my resume in full the other night. I worked in communications, in financial companies, and in human resources benefits/compensation communications.

Maybe that’s where you’re mixed up. I did absolutely work with benefits providers and produce those detailed brochures on your healthcare plans that you probably promptly tossed in the trash. *haha

But I’ve never been a nurse or said I was. Stop lying.

AnninCA on July 31, 2009 at 10:37 AM

Do Americans want to buy another round of Dr. Obama’s Magical Medical Elixir?

Of course, it’s called “ISM”. Here’s a great old WB cartoon on the subject some of you may have already seen.

forest on July 31, 2009 at 10:39 AM

All I have to say is my father is 80 years old and in pretty good health right now, luckily. He spent 20 years in the U.S. Navy and was told he would have free health benefits for life . They took that away. So much for that.

The government powerful enough to give you everything is powerful enough to take it away. This government has priors.

thomasaur on July 31, 2009 at 10:42 AM

AnninCA on July 31, 2009 at 10:34 AM

They took the labels off…The Democrat HR 3200 is chalk full of promises, something for everyone. In presentation, it is marketed selectively.

You fail yet to address exactly how HR 3200 will be funded, and to acknowledge the negative results of HR 3200.

You claim to be a Board Member; that would infer an executive mind that grasps entire processes.

You are a pathetic fraud representing a threatening fraud.

maverick muse on July 31, 2009 at 10:43 AM

Wahhhhhwahhhhhhwahhhhhh

But I’ve never been a nurse or said I was. Stop lying.

AnninCA on July 31, 2009 at 10:37 AM

HO HO HO from the fraudulent expert formerly speaking on behalf of the nurses union.

YOU stop lying.

maverick muse on July 31, 2009 at 10:47 AM

Maverick….you have me mixed up. You’re the one whose way goofy here.

I’ve never been in a union in my life.

AnninCA on July 31, 2009 at 10:48 AM

What’s this “mathematics is a science” bit? There are the “mathematical sciences”, perhaps, but that’s the study of math, not the statement that it’s a branch of the (hard) sciences like physics, chemistry, astrophysics, and so on. Math is it’s own study, but (pure) mathematicians don’t consider themselves scientists. And the preceding “pure” was redundant, by the way.

Blagden Alley on July 31, 2009 at 10:50 AM

You claim to be a Board Member; that would infer an executive mind that grasps entire processes.

Well, I was an executive, but the non-profit board is my volunteer work. We are incorporated. We do deal with the benefits issues, but we’re with TIAA/CREF, so it’s really a no-brainer. It’s volunteer work for an incorporated non-profit.

Why the “gotcha” stuff?

That really is just annoying.

The fact is that people in this country do want reform. 70% is a huge number.

I suggested, and I think it’s logical, that the GOP is not on the people’s side on this issue.

How can you deny that? Isn’t this a case where you have to say that 70% are wrong, you’re right, and that’s that?

AnninCA on July 31, 2009 at 10:52 AM

The board oversees a lot of programs.

You’re a marketer. A Barker in advertising.

maverick muse on July 31, 2009 at 10:54 AM

I’m sorry, but people do want the public option. They are going to be disappointed if that’s not a part of this.

Employer-based private insurance is great….for those who have it.

AnninCA on July 31, 2009 at 10:34 AM

By your own words, the only people that are going to be disappointed are the ones without jobs. That could well be 70% under the filthy liar’s administration.

Why didn’t you ever answer my question (from another thread). You morons who keep bleating about the so-called public plan ignore the Senate’s plan (similar to Hillarycare) of non-profit regional co-ops. They were called something like purchasing units back then. They essentially do what you claim the purpose of a public plan is without all the government mandate.

If you really were interested in discussing these issues, you’d consider ideas other than the crap being spewed by the filthy liar’s people. What’s your real agenda?

highhopes on July 31, 2009 at 10:55 AM

AnninCA on July 31, 2009 at 10:52 AM

“You’re right, and that’s that” has been your argument all along, as with abortion, as with HR 3200.

You deny discussion of Republican bills. You fail to even study Republican proposals. You fail to complete thoughts. You backpedal.

maverick muse on July 31, 2009 at 11:00 AM

You morons who keep bleating about the so-called public plan ignore the Senate’s plan (similar to Hillarycare) of non-profit regional co-ops. They were called something like purchasing units back then.

If they can make it work, OK by me. My concern would be that the insurance companies are really very inefficient. I’ve seen some studies that say that as much as 30% of costs go to paperwork admin. The proposed plan that puts them in charge seems to be nothing more than a kind of kickback scheme to pay insurance companies to keep the system overly complex. The fox guarding the henhouse, so to speak.

I’d like to see something that’s more competitive, or then we’ll be really having to supplement to make it affordable.
That means, we get hit twice. Once by the insurance companies to keep the defunct system going. Again, by taxes to supplement.

In other words, the efficiencies of a public option could help lower the costs for real people.

AnninCA on July 31, 2009 at 11:01 AM

How can you deny that? Isn’t this a case where you have to say that 70% are wrong, you’re right, and that’s that?

AnninCA on July 31, 2009 at 10:52 AM

What do you mean by reform? 70% of the public do not want the kind of reform you are talking about. You know it as well as everybody else. No wonder you are no longer an executive- who would trust you with any more responsibilty than making sure you have enough gas in the tank to get to work every day?

If 70% of the public was pining away for Obamacare the bill would have already been signed and no amount of purported media spin would have stopped it. So, you really have two choices stop the lying and debate the issue like an adult who acknowledges that this is a challenging issue. Or declare yourself a partisan troll. There is room for differences of opinion but not when some moron keeps bleating that 70% of the public wants Obamacare.

highhopes on July 31, 2009 at 11:01 AM

The fact is that people in this country do want reform. 70% is a huge number.

I suggested, and I think it’s logical, that the GOP is not on the people’s side on this issue.

How can you deny that? Isn’t this a case where you have to say that 70% are wrong, you’re right, and that’s that?

AnninCA on July 31, 2009 at 10:52 AM

You do realize that the 70% number could be split any number of ways in terms of what they want AND ARE WILLING TO PAY FOR. There was a post on here a few weeks ago citing a study that said people were willing to pay less than $500/year for something resembling ObamaCare. The real price tag would be a multiple of that. That 70% number is trash.

venividivici on July 31, 2009 at 11:02 AM

Why don’t you just go look at the polls for yourself, highhopes.

Gallup is easy to google.

AnninCA on July 31, 2009 at 11:02 AM

Loxodonta on July 31, 2009 at 10:58 AM

When asked to work, “Not I, said the pig,” waiting for the bread to be taken from the taxes of others.

maverick muse on July 31, 2009 at 11:05 AM

Lox, it took me this long to follow his link.
I saw your blessing at bb site. Nice.

maverick muse on July 31, 2009 at 11:08 AM

You do realize that the 70% number could be split any number of ways in terms of what they want AND ARE WILLING TO PAY FOR. There was a post on here a few weeks ago citing a study that said people were willing to pay less than $500/year for something resembling ObamaCare. The real price tag would be a multiple of that. That 70% number is trash.

I don’t think it’s trash, but I do think the specifics of the plans throw people for a loop. On that I agree.

The clause about not being able to buy private insurance if you leave your plan? That was one that people were surprised to see. The message was that we retained choice.

I think the currernt House version that I take is no longer the current House version that has some steep subsidies paid by taxing those employer-based policies is a hard sell.

But that’s my beef with Obama. He allowed the Congress to drive this. That means there’s a lot that just doesn’t add up to a tight well-oiled plan (which I think is more than possible to achieve, if you get the lobbyists out of the way). So it’s a PR mess at this point.

but….everything is messy when it’s new. That applies to the Gates affair to cash for clunkers to healthcare. So I tend to give elbow room on those problems.

What concerns me is that people are right back to where they have been…without much respect for Congress or government. It doesn’t matter if it’s GOP or Dem-controlled.

You have 70% say: We want reform. I remember the polls from the elections. Healthcare was number 1.

So why can’t we reach a reasonable compromise and do it?

We’re stuck, in short.

AnninCA on July 31, 2009 at 11:14 AM

AnninCA on July 31, 2009 at 11:01 AM

Interesting that you throw out 20-30% administrative costs as too expensive. How do you know that 20% is unreasonable.
Perhaps the following will help you rid your mind of some of the stupidity you’ve been spouting. Link to the entire article provided.


In the case of private insurance, administrative costs are measured by the difference between premiums collected and claims paid. The result is that this includes some costs that are not really “administrative.”

For example, many private insurers provide disease management services for patients with chronic conditions and/or on-call nurses for patients to consult by phone. Because these services are provided directly by the insurance company, they do not result in a claim being paid. In addition, most states impose a “premium tax” on health insurers; this tax is obviously not a health benefit claim. However, because all non-benefit costs are defined as “administrative,” these and other similar expenditures are reported as administrative costs. In recent years, these so-called “administrative costs” have accounted for 11.4–13.2 percent of total health insurance premiums.

http://www.heritage.org/research/healthcare/wm2505.cfm

highhopes on July 31, 2009 at 11:14 AM

Why don’t you just go look at the polls for yourself, highhopes.

Gallup is easy to google.

AnninCA on July 31, 2009 at 11:02 AM

Because I’ve already told you twice a bit of truth you want to ignore. Wanting reform is not the same thing as being in favor of socialized healthcare.

highhopes on July 31, 2009 at 11:17 AM

http://www2.marketwatch.com/story/whats-at-stake-with-a-public-health-plan-option

You guys need to read more. The polls are consistent. In fact, before all the negative ads started from the lobbyists, the public was 76% in favor of public option.

It’s irrefutable.

AnninCA on July 31, 2009 at 11:21 AM

For example, many private insurers provide disease management services for patients with chronic conditions and/or on-call nurses for patients to consult by phone. Because these services are provided directly by the insurance company, they do not result in a claim being paid. In addition, most states impose a “premium tax” on health insurers; this tax is obviously not a health benefit claim. However, because all non-benefit costs are defined as “administrative,” these and other similar expenditures are reported as administrative costs. In recent years, these so-called “administrative costs” have accounted for 11.4–13.2 percent of total health insurance premiums.

I would think 13% is the low end. Administrative costs should also include compensation, and Wellpoint’s CEO was given a $130 million bonus last year. (If that doesn’t make YOU gag, then we really can’t find common ground.)

AnninCA on July 31, 2009 at 11:32 AM

AnninCA on July 31, 2009 at 11:21 AM

There is nothing meaningful in the link you provided. Certainly not proof that an overwhelming majority of Americans want a public-plan option.

I consider myself more savvy than average on the topic since, unlike you, I’ve worked in the industry (during the Hillarycare years). I guarantee you that most people responding to polls don’t know what “public plan” or “single-payer-option” means beyond the dumbed down rhetoric that is coming out of the filthy liar’s daily propaganda events.

highhopes on July 31, 2009 at 11:34 AM

I would think 13% is the low end. Administrative costs should also include compensation, and Wellpoint’s CEO was given a $130 million bonus last year. (If that doesn’t make YOU gag, then we really can’t find common ground.)

AnninCA on July 31, 2009 at 11:32 AM

And there it is! I posted a legitimate point to refute your nonsensical “statistics” so it’s straight into Nancy Pelosi mode and talking about executive compensation at those immoral insurance companies!

Whether my gag reflex is engaged is immaterial to what we were discussing. You’ve thrown out there that 20% overhead excessive. Surely you can prove it without throwing out these red herrings from the class warfare arena.

highhopes on July 31, 2009 at 11:39 AM

I consider myself more savvy than average on the topic since, unlike you, I’ve worked in the industry (during the Hillarycare years). I guarantee you that most people responding to polls don’t know what “public plan” or “single-payer-option” means beyond the dumbed down rhetoric that is coming out of the filthy liar’s daily propaganda events.

Which is why the poll took the label off and just described it in simple terms. LOL*

I think you answered the question. Those 70% are just stupid.

Here’s where I always diverge, whether it’s liberals or conservatives.

People are smarter than you think.

AnninCA on July 31, 2009 at 11:44 AM

Whether my gag reflex is engaged is immaterial to what we were discussing. You’ve thrown out there that 20% overhead excessive. Surely you can prove it without throwing out these red herrings from the class warfare arena.

It’s not class warfare. It IS pointing out that healthcare jumped onto the excessive executive compensation bandwagon, clearly.

$130 million bonus is, frankly, obscene.

AnninCA on July 31, 2009 at 11:46 AM

If the Democrats, who hold absolute control over congress, understand the overwhelming majority of people DO NOT want Obama’s health care plan, why do bitter-enders like Anna hang on to the outdated and discredited illusion?

Let it go, Anna. America thoroughly rejects President Obama’s clunker.

America wants tort-reform.

But the Democrat Party is addicted to that big Trial Lawyer money so let me be clear: Health Care reform will not take place until the Democrat party is decisively thrown out of power.

2010, my friends. 2010.

jeff_from_mpls on July 31, 2009 at 11:48 AM

I would think 13% is the low end. Administrative costs should also include compensation, and Wellpoint’s CEO was given a $130 million bonus last year. (If that doesn’t make YOU gag, then we really can’t find common ground.)

AnninCA on July 31, 2009 at 11:32 AM

Wellpoint’s revenues were $56 billion last year, which means the CEO’s bonus was 0.2% of revenues. For the person who is responsible for running the company, that’s pretty fair. I have a compensation package of 2% of revenues and I don’t even run the business. Am I overpaid, too?

venividivici on July 31, 2009 at 11:48 AM

AnninCA on July 31, 2009 at 11:21 AM

People are sometimes smarter than we think. They’re also dumber than we think sometimes. They did elect Obama.

But I’ll take your market watch poll and raise you a Rasmussen poll.

The problem isn’t so much a ‘magic’ system where we pay 500 a month for a set level of benefits where we pay the government that premium as opposed to a for-profit organization… The problem is the Bureaucracy demanding every insurer grant the same benefits. The problem is that the Tax dollars of myself and my parents are paying for that artificially cheap ‘public plan’. The problem is the fallout that will eventually occur in the private healthcare industry: both providers AND insurers will be effected. The problem is the BS they’re pushing through congress. The problem is the increased penalties for those who don’t get the public plan. When was it the government’s business to FORCE PEOPLE TO BUY INTO THIS CRAP?

When Obama said you’d be able to keep your own doctor, he lied. There’s plenty in either the house of senate bill that would get in the way of that.

I’m sorry to say this Ann, but the bills in congress don’t support your own argument!

Chaz706 on July 31, 2009 at 11:52 AM

$130 million bonus is, frankly, obscene. AnninCA on July 31, 2009 at 11:46 AM

Unless a big Hollywood star makes it. Then it’s cool.

Libs want socialism and prosperity. The two are mutually exclusive.

Mojave Mark on July 31, 2009 at 11:53 AM

I’m sorry to say this Ann, but the bills in congress don’t support your own argument!

Chaz706 on July 31, 2009 at 11:52 AM

She hasn’t made an argument. She just spouts Obamacare talking points.

highhopes on July 31, 2009 at 11:56 AM

venividivici on July 31, 2009 at 11:48 AM

This is what has really irked me about this whole debate. Ann and those of her ilk are throwing out these comments like 20% overhead is excessive, that executive bonus was undeserved, etc. Yet there is no basis given for these pronouncements. It’s all “feelings” and that is not a good way to come to conclusions about something like healthcare.

highhopes on July 31, 2009 at 11:59 AM

She hasn’t made an argument. She just spouts Obamacare talking points.

highhopes on July 31, 2009 at 11:56 AM

It was more polite than calling bullsh!t which I quite frankly should’ve done.

Chaz706 on July 31, 2009 at 12:00 PM

This is what has really irked me about this whole debate. Ann and those of her ilk are throwing out these comments like 20% overhead is excessive, that executive bonus was undeserved, etc. Yet there is no basis given for these pronouncements. It’s all “feelings” and that is not a good way to come to conclusions about something like healthcare.

highhopes on July 31, 2009 at 11:59 AM

You and me, both. Then, they’ve got the nerve to say that people who oppose their schemes aren’t “reality-based”.

I posed the issue of how wait times are accounted for in Canada’s health care overhead costs to a lefty, since, logically, a patient’s time is money (and in this case, can directly effect outcomes) so it should be accounted for in any real apples-to-apples comparison of our system’s costs and theirs. Still waiting for a reply. Heck, I can cut administrative costs by 90% by firing 90% of the claims processors. You’ll have to wait 9X longer than usual to know if your claim will be paid, but administrative costs will go down!

Lefties don’t know how to analyze sh*t.

venividivici on July 31, 2009 at 12:05 PM

It’s all “feelings” and that is not a good way to come to conclusions about something like healthcare.

highhopes on July 31, 2009 at 11:59 AM

Well let me post my feelings, and back them up with reason.

We’re on the verge of discarding the most efficient way to distribute a limited amount of healthcare amongst the populace for a model that’s supposedly more efficient, but will come with more overhead than the one we’ve got.

We trashed capitalism for this? What were we thinking? The same system that created every major industry in this nation? The same system that does the best at promoting scientific research into new medicines? The same system that allows us to be free with our wallet as well as our voice?

For this?

If by providence our future generations somehow win back their freedom, they will look back at our generation and collectively as well as individually ask: what the f*ck were you smoking?

Chaz706 on July 31, 2009 at 12:08 PM

Hey, you guys approve of $130 million bonus, you’re entitled to approve.

Me? I absolutely know that’s obscene profit-taking by individuals.

And it’s coming right out of YOUR pocket. Who cares if it’s taxes or excessive profit-taking?

It’s still my money. And that’s obscene.

AnninCA on July 31, 2009 at 12:14 PM

Anyway. I know this topic freaks you guys out. The blog has run 70% articles against the public option. It’s like someone here has stock in Wellpoint. *haha

AnninCA on July 31, 2009 at 10:34 AM

I do own stock in Wellpoint, because my sister has worked there for 16 years and I know it is a great company. She is 55 years old, single, and has multiple health problems that Wellpoint has covered for her, and which would make it nearly impossible for her to find another job. It’s been a fantastic place to work. If she loses her job thanks to ObamaCare, she is screwed, both economically and physically. She has been able to participate in numerous experimental medication trials, which will simply not happen once the government takes over everything. Research into her disease, which is quite terrible and rare and affects not only her health but her physical appearance, will come to a screeching halt. A government program will almost certianly deny payment for these very expensive medications that have given her some relief and hope for a cure.

Why do you want my sister to end up in poverty and spend the rest of her life in pain?

rockmom on July 31, 2009 at 12:19 PM

Hey, you guys approve of $130 million bonus, you’re entitled to approve.

Me? I absolutely know that’s obscene profit-taking by individuals.

And it’s coming right out of YOUR pocket. Who cares if it’s taxes or excessive profit-taking?

It’s still my money. And that’s obscene.

AnninCA on July 31, 2009 at 12:14 PM

Your money? Wellpoint has 34 million enrollees, according to its website. That’s $3/enrollee in bonus.

You are like the Internet embodiment of “lies, damn lies and statistics”.

venividivici on July 31, 2009 at 12:21 PM

maverick muse on July 31, 2009 at 11:08 AM

Thank you.

Loxodonta on July 31, 2009 at 12:58 PM

Why do you want my sister to end up in poverty and spend the rest of her life in pain?

Funny post. One of the men who was completely without morals and got fired at my company went to work for them.

No, no, no….don’t jump to think I mean this is all of them.

It just is a funny intersection. He was such a jerk.

AnninCA on July 31, 2009 at 1:32 PM

Your money? Wellpoint has 34 million enrollees, according to its website. That’s $3/enrollee in bonus.

I don’t have any room for agreement with anyone who thinks this type of bonus is legitimate.

No room.

We are truly on opposite sides of the universe.

AnninCA on July 31, 2009 at 1:33 PM

You are like the Internet embodiment of “lies, damn lies and statistics”.

Wellpoint is under CA investigation for fraud. They have policies that basically reward lower-level employees when they find “reason” to kick people out of coverage when they apply.

Mind you, that’s after they have taken premiums.

They are under investigation for corporate fraud.

AnninCA on July 31, 2009 at 1:36 PM

It’s still my money. And that’s obscene.

AnninCA on July 31, 2009 at 12:14 PM

No it’s not your money and you are just jealous. You rail against insurance companies as “obscene” for no other reason than you want to kill off the industry. Susan Sarandon or one of the other liberal whores in Hollywood makes millions and you still go to their movies despite the “obscene” salaries they get. What’s the difference?

highhopes on July 31, 2009 at 1:38 PM

Americans want HC reform but they don’t know how it can be accomplished. They certainly do NOT want the socialist plan that Ochimpy and the commie democrats are trying to shove down our throats. Americans need to be educated about the value of the free market and it’s importance in a free society.

csdeven on July 31, 2009 at 10:28 AM

Speak for yourself, I want NOTHING changed regarding Health care, I like it as it is now.

Jeff from WI on July 31, 2009 at 1:39 PM

Lefties don’t know how to analyze sh*t.

venividivici on July 31, 2009 at 12:05 PM

Apart from them all being liberal arts majors, they don’t care. For them it isn’t about bottom-line analysis. They view gold-plated healthcare for free as a moral imperitive and inalienable right. They don’t care what the bottom line is. Never have. That’s why instead of meaningful discussion, the left counters with cancer-ridden uninsurables, old people who can’t afford their meds, and all sorts of anecdotes that more often than not are not factually accurate.

highhopes on July 31, 2009 at 1:43 PM

Go ahead. Keep on paying that bloated CEO.

I don’t really care.

Trust me. I’d never join Wellpoint.

My plan is non-profit. I wouldn’t even begin to join one of the current for-profit plans.

Not in my lifetime.

But you’re sure welcome to do so.

Then, when you get sick, be honest and come back and tell us what happened.

AnninCA on July 31, 2009 at 1:46 PM

Speak for yourself, I want NOTHING changed regarding Health care, I like it as it is now.

Jeff from WI on July 31, 2009 at 1:39 PM

Amen and I certainly don’t see why the filthy liar has made this into a crisis item. If 80% of the public is insured and factoring out those who willingly don’t have coverage, the illegals, etc.- The vast majority of Americans have some sort of coverage. We don’t need to rush around as if flu season will decimate the population.

highhopes on July 31, 2009 at 1:47 PM

I wouldn’t even begin to join one of the current for-profit plans.

Not in my lifetime.

But you’re sure welcome to do so.

Then, when you get sick, be honest and come back and tell us what happened.

AnninCA on July 31, 2009 at 1:46 PM

You don’t think the goal of a public plan is to make a profit? They may not funnel the money to stockholders but if you think that they aren’t going to ration care to save costs than you are going to be one bitter socialist should, God forbid, your warped view of the world prevails and we get stuck with Obamacare.

highhopes on July 31, 2009 at 1:49 PM

I don’t have any room for agreement with anyone who thinks this type of bonus is legitimate.

No room.

We are truly on opposite sides of the universe.

AnninCA on July 31, 2009 at 1:33 PM

I have an MBA in Strategy and Statistics from one of the top few business schools in the world. I work with numbers almost all day and the typical audience for my work is the CEO or CFO of a Fortune 500 company who needs advice on multi-million dollar decisions. How long do you think I could last in this environment if my “side of the universe” wasn’t the “side” called “reality”?

You work in a non-profit with 2 people. Even if you wanted to, I would bet my last dollar that you couldn’t last one day doing what I do.

You live in a dream world, lady. Sorry to try to wake you up. Actually, I’m not sorry because you and your kind are f*cking with stuff that’s important to me, so either take the time to learn about reality or keep your uninformed opinions to yourself.

venividivici on July 31, 2009 at 2:30 PM

Taxing the wealthy to fund this program is sheer lunacy. When the tax rates were lowered during the Bush Administration, somehow our Federal Tax Revenue increased. Even Charlie Gibson knows this and pressed then Sen. Obama on the campaign trail about it. So, government spending will increase exponentially and revenue will decrease. I hope the CBO is looking at the overall econonic effect, not just the “reported income increases” that this may create.

djaymick on July 31, 2009 at 2:35 PM

Apart from them all being liberal arts majors, they don’t care. For them it isn’t about bottom-line analysis. They view gold-plated healthcare for free as a moral imperitive and inalienable right. They don’t care what the bottom line is. Never have. That’s why instead of meaningful discussion, the left counters with cancer-ridden uninsurables, old people who can’t afford their meds, and all sorts of anecdotes that more often than not are not factually accurate.

highhopes on July 31, 2009 at 1:43 PM

Exactly. It is VERY easy to call something an “inalienable right” when the chances are that you’re not going to be paying for it, except indirectly and in a marginal way.

At least the old-school Marxists TRIED to be rational and scientific. Their problem was that socialism didn’t turn out to be the rational and scientific approach to modern society. Today’s modern Marxist is a quivering bundle of emotion, best characterized by that character in “The Simpsons” who says “Won’t someone please think of the children!” whenever a problem arises.

venividivici on July 31, 2009 at 2:37 PM

Wellpoint is under CA investigation for fraud. They have policies that basically reward lower-level employees when they find “reason” to kick people out of coverage when they apply.

Mind you, that’s after they have taken premiums.

They are under investigation for corporate fraud.

AnninCA on July 31, 2009 at 1:36 PM

That’s bullshit. My sister has worked for Wellpoint for 16 years and she has never been given any incentive to deny coverage to anyone. She would have quit if she had.

California has an attention-whore Attorney General who wants to be Governor again someday, and an insurance commissioner who also wants to be Governor. Those guys would investigate their sisters if it got them a headline.

rockmom on July 31, 2009 at 3:20 PM

Hey, you guys approve of $130 million bonus, you’re entitled to approve.

Me? I absolutely know that’s obscene profit-taking by individuals.

And it’s coming right out of YOUR pocket. Who cares if it’s taxes or excessive profit-taking?

It’s still my money. And that’s obscene.

AnninCA on July 31, 2009 at 12:14 PM

AnninCA, would it still be obscene if individuals took out $130 million dollars (or more) from funds donated to “non-profit” charitable organizations… in other words, if $130 million or more was siphoned off from donations for “administrative overhead” rather than going where the donators thought it was going?

Is it only obscene if that $130 million goes to one person? Does it stop being obscene if the $130 million is split between two people? Five? A hundred? A thousand?

It seems your objection has much less to do with the fact that it’s “money out of your pocket”, than the fact that it became concentrated at a single individual. Is profit only evil when in concentrated form?

But no, no class warfare there!

VekTor on July 31, 2009 at 6:20 PM

Speak for yourself, I want NOTHING changed regarding Health care, I like it as it is now.

Jeff from WI on July 31, 2009 at 1:39 PM

We are speaking of the 70% quoted from the poll. If Americans were educated about the free market etc, they’d want the government to leave well enough alone.

csdeven on July 31, 2009 at 6:51 PM

It’s still my money. And that’s obscene.

AnninCA on July 31, 2009 at 12:14 PM

Not after you pay them it isn’t. If you don’t want them to have your money, then don’t give it to them.

csdeven on July 31, 2009 at 6:53 PM

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