Video: Dem wants to eliminate private health insurance altogether

posted at 12:55 pm on August 18, 2009 by Ed Morrissey

Rep. Anthony Weiner (D-NY) returned to the ObamaCare battle on MS-NBC’s Morning Joe today, preaching the public-plan gospel just as he did yesterday on CNBC. However, this time, Joe Scarborough goaded Weiner into a little more honesty than he’s offered on the effort to “reform” health care. Declaring that “health care is not a commodity,” Weiner says his aim is to eliminate all private insurance — which is why he will not yield on the public-plan option:

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The key points come at 2:31, 4:44, 5:15, and 7:15, but the 5:15 is when the light dawns for Scarborough. Jazz Shaw transcribes the moment:

S: It sounds like you’re saying you think there is no need for us to have private insurance in health care.

W: I’ve asked you three times. What is their value? What are they bringing to the deal?

S: Again… I’m astounded by your question. It sounds like you’re suggesting that there’s no need to have a country that’s run on free market principles.

W: Time out. Let’s focus on one thing at a time. This isn’t a commodity, Joe. Health care isn’t a commodity.

S: You’re saying that health care is different than everything else.

W: Health care is not a commodity.

S: But you are making the conservatives’ point. You are making the point of the people at the town hall meetings who say this is Barack Obama’s opportunity to get rid of private health care and turn it completely over to the government. I’m sitting here stunned, saying Oh My God, you’re making the point of the health care protesters.

W: If Barack Obama doesn’t want to do it, I want to do it.

Of course health care is a commodity. Weiner wants to use this populist pet phrase, which goes along with the notion of a “right” to health care, but it’s absurd. Food is a commodity, water is a commodity, clothing and shelter are commodities. Until cap-and-trade came up in the House, air was not a commodity, but carbon dioxide will shortly become one, even though life itself cannot exist without it. People have to produce the goods and services that comprise the health-care industry, which means that the supplies are finite and they expect to get compensated for their work. That makes it a commodity, regardless of Weiner’s socialist rhetoric. Anything with a cost is a commodity, by definition.

Anyone who doesn’t understand that much about economics has no business creating policy.

What do insurance companies do for health care? Weiner asks this question repeatedly as if there is no answer, but it’s as obvious as the fact that goods and services are commodities. Insurance companies provide risk pools for consumers that allow them to indemnify themselves against catastrophic health-care costs. It’s that simple. By paying a few hundred dollars a month in premiums, customers can get access to a wide range of goods and services in health care when needed. Insurance companies or private-sector co-ops attempt to calculate the risks to set the premiums at a point where customers find the pricing acceptable, investors in the risk pool can get a profit from its creation and maintenance, and providers get adequate compensation for their goods and services. The more these insurers compete against each other, the better pricing consumers get and the more efficient they become at controlling costs.

Anyone who doesn’t understand that much about economics has no business creating policy.

Weiner has a single goal in mind, which he announces at the end:

S: So, Anthony, I figured it out over the break. You actually do want the federal government to take over all of health care.

W: Only in the sense that the federal government took over health care for senior citizens 44 years ago.

S: You want to expand that for all Americans.

W: Correct. I want Medicare for all Americans.

Weiner wants to destroy the private sector insurance market, which accounts for 15% of the American economy, in order to have government control health-care decisions. At least, as Jazz says, he’s honest … for what that’s worth.


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Message to the fine people who are the constituents of Anthony Weenie……Recall or Vote him out!

BigMike252 on August 18, 2009 at 4:57 PM

What I just can’t understand is how he thinks Medicare is so great. Nobody that I know of that’s had any experience likes it, that’s for damed sure. If they had their choice, they’d be seeing “regular doctors”, like everybody else with money (benefits). The Medicare/Medicade systems are two of the worst things in the world (and I’m not even mentioning the VA health care system), if you need quick treatment. Yet this clown, who obviously has no experience with using/depending upon Medicare thinks it’s the greatest thing since sliced bread, and yet knows nothing of it. That, and I’m very sure that if such a thing were to take place, and everybody in the US were forced onto Medicare, he would be an exception, along with the rest of the fat-cats that he works with. This is just like back in Soviet Russia with the private hospitals, spas, etc. for the rich (something that wasn’t supposed to exist under communism). The liberal socialist democratic party will do the same thing; do as we say, not as we do. We’ll be eating dog food, while they’ll be eating caviar and sushi. We’ll be in dirty, roach-infested inner city clinics or backwoods outpatient facilities, while they’ll be at the Betty Ford Clinic or Johns Hopkins Hospital.

Virus-X on August 18, 2009 at 4:58 PM

These people don,t give a damn what the people want or say.Most of them both parties have been there so long they think they are the chosen one,s.This will NEVER CHANGE until 80 or 90% of them are voted out in one election.Then just maybe this country can return to the constitution and start living by it.Voting a few out at a time or voting for one of them just because they have a R or D beside there name will never work.

thmcbb on August 18, 2009 at 5:01 PM

As I stated in the last (small) Weiner post, this is the guy who has an amendment in the House pending to create Single Payer, and who claims was promised by Pelosi that Single Payer would get a chance to be voted on.

Enoxo on August 18, 2009 at 5:19 PM

Holy mother. Rep. Weiner on Hardball sounds like a Marxist

Even Chris Matthews is near crying.

battleoflepanto1571 on August 18, 2009 at 5:22 PM

Weiner on hardball just said the senate will jam it through with 50 votes, chris matthews was speechless and said “you’re going to blow up the senate”??????

battleoflepanto1571 on August 18, 2009 at 5:23 PM

See they will be the ruling class and we will be the proleteriat.What is there not to get?

tessa on August 18, 2009 at 5:25 PM

If I may be so bold as to provide a critique of the claim of low admin costs of Medicare v. Capitalist Running Dog Insurance Vampires…

http://www.heritage.org/Research/HealthCare/wm2505.cfm

Really now little Miss Whimper. Stop lying with those pesky numbers and lying statements… Hammered!

Texas Tom on August 18, 2009 at 5:37 PM

Weiner on hardball just said the senate will jam it through with 50 votes, chris matthews was speechless and said “you’re going to blow up the senate”??????

battleoflepanto1571 on August 18, 2009 at 5:23 PM

These people want average Americans to get hyped up. The want an excuse to use force on them. They want to crush any resistance.

Unfortunately for them, Marxism is only successful when you have a compliant, weak, unarmed population.

darwin on August 18, 2009 at 5:41 PM

This guy is an unrepentant socialist.

Quick definition of socialism:

▸ noun: a political theory advocating state ownership of industry
▸ noun: an economic system based on state ownership of capital

How can these Dems claim to be offended when we call them socialist? And how can they claim to be American when they go completely off the reservation like that? We have never been a socialist country. His strawman arguments about Medicare being a govt takeover for the 65 and older crowd is specious at best.

Tennman on August 18, 2009 at 5:47 PM

Today, I have decided to no longer allow people to ‘hide’ under their self-proclaimed code words.

This health care plan is being driven forward by COMMUNISTS!

These people are going to try to twist words in every possible manner to push their communist agenda forward!

Whether it is through direct government purchases of private companies, limited buyouts of pieces companies, or grabbing the means of production out from under companies with absurd alledged enviromental regulations, the goal is the same.

These people want a COMMUNIST America!

And as we can see in the nakedness of this story, these people are DEMANDING we all become communists like they are!

Freddy on August 18, 2009 at 5:58 PM

Freddy on August 18, 2009 at 5:58 PM

They’re Neo-Comms

darwin on August 18, 2009 at 6:00 PM

Food is not a “commodity”, it is a right!

Housing is not a “commodity”, it is a right!

All hail our collective farms and block apartments, for the people!

When will we conservatives acknowledge that the Soviets had it just right?

Rural electrification!

Anil Petra on August 18, 2009 at 6:18 PM

although, if we go through another round of private businesses ripping off people, like we did in this last decade? I’m probably going to move to socialism. They have acted without conscience!)

AnninCA on August 18, 2009 at 1:24 PM

AnninCA, since you live approx. 56 or 60 miles north from me, we are almost neighbors. So, as your neighbor, I apologize for the folks on this site that actually think ridicule and boorishness are conservative traits, they are not! You have been very patient with the slams against your character and intellect, and I salute you.

However, for you to make the statement you made above is extremely foolhardy and dangerous. That is exactly what Obama and the Marxists in his administration want; make things get worse so people, like you for instance, will turn to anything to make it all better, including Socialism. And that’s when they move in.

Read “Main Currents of Marxism” by Leszek Kolakowski, “Gulag” by Anne Applebaum, or “The Black Book of Communism” by multiple authors. Once you have a true understanding of what Marxist/Socialist policies are all about, you will never, ever, say, “I’m probably going to move to socialism” again.

Even though I disagree strongly with the way some on this site have attacked you, their main argument is sound, government controls on the market does not make things better it makes things worse.

Joe Pyne on August 18, 2009 at 6:19 PM

What we need is a return to McCarthyism! Commie scum has infiltrated every echelon of government and theyre hellbent on destroying the economy !

Libertarian Joseph on August 18, 2009 at 6:24 PM

He is right depending on how you want to translate is liberal semantics. “Health Care” is not a commodity. Everyone should have the right to seek treatment. That’s why there’s something called the Hippocratic Oath. However having a health insurance plan is very much a commodity. You have to pay to play. It is that simple. Anyone who says anything about the evil’s of the insurance industry…I work in auto insurance. People simply don’t read what they sign. Know your policy and you know what you will and will not be covered for.

Rattl3r on August 18, 2009 at 6:27 PM

Even though I disagree strongly with the way some on this site have attacked you, their main argument is sound, government controls on the market does not make things better it makes things worse.

Joe Pyne on August 18, 2009 at 6:19 PM

Ann is very respectful and cordial … it’s just that she ignores the evidence and common sense provided here and well, it gets very frustrating for some. I agree she should be treated as she treats others … even though I’m guilty of slamming her myself.

darwin on August 18, 2009 at 6:49 PM

it’s just that she ignores the evidence and common sense provided here

You are right, Darwin, and that is what frustrates the posters here. But, she deserves the respect we all want from one another. And for those who are too frustrated to reply to her in a respectful manner, try ignoring her.

Nevertheless, I’m with you, I do wish she would start listening and learning, and do less emoting.

Thanks for your thoughts.

Joe Pyne on August 18, 2009 at 6:56 PM

And for those democrats out there reading this, we conservatives only have one thing to say to you. Your days are numbered, so get the hell out of our way!

The Dead Terrorist on August 18, 2009 at 1:25 PM

Too long by 7/8.

Jaibones on August 18, 2009 at 7:04 PM

We should being calling the Imposed Government Requirement what it is.

It is Imposed by the legislation, it is run by the Government, and you are Required to pay for it through your taxes whether you want it or not.

Enough of this Orwellian double speak. It is NOT a “public option”.

DaMav on August 18, 2009 at 7:07 PM

As somebody whose father has endured mass firings, Dilbert-worthy incompetence and all manner of bureaucratic stupidity at his insurance company in order to make a good life for his family:

SCREW YOU UP THE CORNHOLE WITH A JUMPING CHOLLA.

Dark-Star on August 18, 2009 at 7:45 PM

Let me offer a slightly different perspective. My wife and I got tired of the ever growing taxes and expenditures of government, the thicket of community fees and interference and just the general fear of government and lawyer threats to our liberties several years ago. So we retired to Central America. I shake my head at the unbridled insanity I see taking place and being pushed as solutions to “problems” in the U.S. The idea that a poor and so-called “underdeveloped country” where we currently live would do anything as ginormously stupid as Cap & Trade or ObamaCare is laughable. Thus, we have no fear that we will not be able to visit an internationally trained and certified doctor or private hospital of our choosing at any time of the day or night for pennies on the dollar of what the same service would cost in the U.S. Of course, we have no access to ultra-sophisticated advanced medical technology here, but frankly, we don’t need it and what percentage of the population does? It’s amazing to us that any lingering idea we might have retained to move back to the U.S. may soon be removed BECAUSE THE FREEDOMS WE ENJOY IN CENTRAL AMERICA MAY NO LONGER BE AVAILABLE IN THE U.S. Unbelievable. We pray for you all.

boqueronman on August 18, 2009 at 7:55 PM

Sorry, I forgot to clarify something. For those leftist trolls who will jump down my throat for the earlier comment. Yes, there is a government funded health care service for the poor and this country. The difference is, of course, that they realize they can afford to destroy the private option because that’s where the system improvements originate which are eventually incorporated into the public program.

boqueronman on August 18, 2009 at 7:59 PM

No, really it’s all good. We just need to have the government tell every Doctor, Nurse, and every other health worker what their new pay will be, then tell everyone else what treatments they can expect and when. BAM! Utopia. Inadequate health care for all! 100% piss poor care, fewer and fewer Doctors and hospitals, end inovation and research. That should make everyone happy, right?

That sound about right Ann?
How could ANYONE with ANY sense see ANY chance of this improving health care?

JusDreamin on August 18, 2009 at 1:23 PM

Absolutely right JusDreamin! Why is it that Libs can never see the forest for the trees?

redridinghood on August 18, 2009 at 8:35 PM

Joe is a men:
Weiner – What do they provide?
Uh, jobs. Taxes. Large portion of the economy. What do we do without them?
Hey, Anthony, how efficient is Medicare? The VA? SCHIP? In many cases, they aren’t as good as walking in and showing your insurance card.

TinMan13 on August 18, 2009 at 9:09 PM

What do you expect from a weener?

ErinF on August 18, 2009 at 9:13 PM

Please I feel like I am In the twilight Zone.Rep Weiner must be aware that the Insurance companies are comprised of Health, Life, Home, auto ect. I also I would ask Mr Weiner too explain why the resent bail out of AIG one off the largest insurance companies in the world. Ridlde me that Batman?

firefighter13 on August 18, 2009 at 9:18 PM

“There’s a reason to kick an old man down the stairs…You just don’t do it.” as Chris Rock said. In this case it’s a younger man. Perhaps the rules for such kicking in this case should be reevaluated. Keep a doctor on hand, and give him a helmet.

Sam_I_Am on August 18, 2009 at 9:24 PM

BREAKING NEWS. All fire fighter should be aware that IAFF is going to back
Obama health plan. No surprise there;

firefighter13 on August 18, 2009 at 9:25 PM

I’m sure he doesn’t want to eliminate all private health insurance.

His own, for instance.

atheling on August 18, 2009 at 9:46 PM

Life’s not fair.

tsj017 on August 18, 2009 at 2:05 PM
If people think life’s not fair now … just wait until the democrats get thru ramming all their dreams programs through.

darwin on August 18, 2009 at 2:07 PM
***

Even the people who have never worked a day in their lives and made a career of living off others’ tax dollars (welfare) – even though they have cell phones, cable tv, computers – say life’s not fair. Go figure…

brendy on August 18, 2009 at 9:55 PM

Honest…but stupid.

Liberals who tell the truth always lose. That’s why they always LIE.

Let’s see how long before…or if…Obama throws Weiner under the bus.

Tailgunner on August 18, 2009 at 11:06 PM

Joe was ill prepared to debate with Weiner. First of all the 4% Medicare overhead number is bogus because 1)it does not include costs incurred by other Govt entities like the IRS who collects Medicare funds. 2) Does not include the salaries of those employed to manage federal buildings.3) does not include Government pension and benefits of retired Medicare employees. I would like to see a REAL study on Medicare overhead since we all know Govt doesn’t do anything cheaper.

Another thing I read somewhere made sense. Since seniors are more prone to need more expensive treatment the average claim is higher. It costs just as much to process a claim for $1000 as it does $10,000. Add in younger people and Medicare costs would skyrocket.

When I call a Govt Office for anything I usually stay on hold, get a nasty customer service rep and am sent on a wild goose chase . I call my Private Insurer and I am treated like a human being mostly.

Dennis D on August 18, 2009 at 11:30 PM

People have paid into Medicare for decades and its still broke. Giving people Medicare immediately would cost a fortune.

Dennis D on August 18, 2009 at 11:36 PM

Now I know I will be accused of being anti Semitic but why do American Left Wing Jews seem to be the ones who most lean to Communism? Didn’t they hear stories from their Grandparents who escaped the USSR and Eastern Europe? Did they not learn anything? Krugman, Bernie Sanders, Feingold, Feinstein, Specter, Franken etc etc.

Dennis D on August 18, 2009 at 11:40 PM

The US is not a democracy, or even a representative republic. It has become an idiocracy … or maybe an idiotic republic.

These people seem to believe they are immune from voters kicking them out of office.

Maybe they are. Wait till Acorn gets done with the census.

crosspatch on August 19, 2009 at 12:11 AM

I’d like to carve U.S.C. Article 1 Section 8 into Anthony Weiner’s body, starting with his face, then read it to him while I soak him in saltwater.

Kralizec on August 19, 2009 at 12:20 AM

I’m probably going to move to socialism.

AnninCA

No dear, you’re already there. The next step for you is full blown communism.

xblade on August 19, 2009 at 1:26 AM

Healthcare comprises 15% of the economy. A lot of people who work in healthcare make big money, over $250k a year. If 15% of the economy is taken over by the government, and not run for profit, what happens to the economy? What happens to the stock market? What happens to the number of people making over $250k a year who are supposed to pay for everything from now on?

I’m just asking questions…

Meremortal on August 19, 2009 at 2:30 AM

What a question?

–Why would people be against a public option?

Liberals truly are the most clueless people on earth.

But that Mika is kinda hot though. Sorta.

EMR on August 19, 2009 at 2:40 AM

Medicare is in fact in financial trouble. This guy says that the insurance companies make money. So what. We as the American public should join a losing plan?

The real reason people on medicare are upset is that after paying an ” insurance premium for for 40 or 50 years ” now they are told that the “insurance that they bought is bankrupt”.

Most people forget that employees and employers are both taxed for social security and medicare. FOR 40 YEARS!

No government health care program works.

TomLawler on August 19, 2009 at 4:54 AM

It begins.

Theophile on August 19, 2009 at 5:14 AM

http://www.ssa.gov/OACT/TRSUM/index.html

A SUMMARY OF THE 2009 ANNUAL REPORTS
Social Security and Medicare Boards of Trustees

Theophile on August 19, 2009 at 5:14 AM

In “The Road To Serfdom” Robert Hayak explains collectivism very clearly. Written in the 1940′s he explains how a little bit of socialism is like a little bit pregnant; both lead to an inevitable end. He explains how collectivism always starts within academia and the elite, drumming up support for socialism using the lower “working” classes and groups who feel discriminated against, culminating with a “skillfull demagogue” to convince the gullible and ignorant. His chapter on “How the worst get on top” is particularly enlightening. He claims collectivism selects for the ruthless, unethical and immoral as it eventually takes these types of people to implement the coercion necessary. Democrat Party anyone??? Read “The Road to Serfdom” if you want to see what is happening today.

artman1746 on August 19, 2009 at 8:49 AM

How misleading –

Medicare has a 4% overhead Wiener says, but since there is no incentive to keep it lean to make a profit their bureaucratic overhead costs are much higher than that of an insurance company. And since the government regulations have taken most of the market forces out of the system the costs rise at twice the rate of inflation.

When a government has a monopoly, costs go up which means debt and rationing will go up.

Chuck Norton on August 19, 2009 at 9:15 AM

As I pray on bended knee for all Obama voters to break hips.

marklmail on August 19, 2009 at 9:58 AM

W: I’ve asked you three times. What is their value? What are they bringing to the deal?

Whatever value they have lost is due to government intrusions into their business that you have always supported. You have created the very inefficiencies you now blame the insurance companies for. I know you don’t get that because you’re an economic ignoramus, but that’s the reality.

W: Time out. Let’s focus on one thing at a time. This isn’t a commodity, Joe. Health care isn’t a commodity.

Yes it is and just because you say it isn’t does it make it so. I’d like to think that the LAWS of Gravity wouldn’t apply if I fell out of a window. It’s just as stupid to think that the LAWS of Supply and Demand don’t apply to health care.

W: Correct. I want Medicare for all Americans.

Great. We’ve run out of beer and you want to invite more people to the party so we can drink their beer. That’s going to make for one hell of a brawl when all the beer runs out.

RadClown on August 19, 2009 at 10:01 AM

Ever Rep running for office in 2010 should run this as a ad and then at the end should ask the question.Do you really want to have more of these type people in charge of your health care?

thmcbb on August 19, 2009 at 10:13 AM

I keep hearing Obama and dems saying that the public option is needed to create competition for insurance companies. Am I missing something? Given the fact that there is more than just one private insurance company out there, doesn’t that mean that competition already exists.

Look Right on August 19, 2009 at 11:37 AM

The Federal Goverment is the single largest example of overhead to ever to exist. The more airtime this Weiner gets the better for all Americans who cherish a free market society. If this Weiner were to have his way profits would be eliminated in all facets of the health care industry from pharmaceuticals to practitioners.

To all those a-holes that voted this guy into office, I wish a very long line at the oncologist’s office. Right behind this Weiner.

ADB on August 19, 2009 at 11:54 AM

Now I know I will be accused of being anti Semitic but why do American Left Wing Jews seem to be the ones who most lean to Communism? Didn’t they hear stories from their Grandparents who escaped the USSR and Eastern Europe? Did they not learn anything? Krugman, Bernie Sanders, Feingold, Feinstein, Specter, Franken etc etc.

Dennis D on August 18, 2009 at 11:40 PM

It’s not anti Semitic to ask that question. I have conservative Jewish friends who wonder the same themselves. Pam Geller at Atlas Shrugged calls them “Jewicidals”.

atheling on August 19, 2009 at 12:36 PM

America is a young nation. It has never had a socialist government. It’s native population doesn’t understand the consequences of socialist or communist policy. Perhaps we deserve a good hard lesson. Let Obama continue the take over of the private sector (auto, finance, healthcare, utilities, etc) and let the population suffer in the short term so that future generations don’t make these mistakes again. Yes it will be painful and costly, but all nations, like people need tough love sometimes. As someone who lived under a communist regime, I can tell you socialism is not the answer.

mperek on August 19, 2009 at 12:58 PM

Congressman Weenie and Joe, as usual, missed the point entirely. The problem is not what the insurance companies offer: but that they don’t and can’t offer the one thing thing inherent in every governmental action – the threat of coercive force. People see and hear Rep. Weenie and think, “my God, this nitwit and his 534 idiotic cohorts are going to control my healthcare.” It’s enough to make any sane person run from the room screaming in terror!

semperfree on August 19, 2009 at 1:01 PM

The Anti-Capitalist Gestapo go after Big Insurance, now…

I wonder what the next industry they’ll go after?

dmh0667 on August 19, 2009 at 1:22 PM

What district does this numbskull represent? I want to be sure to contribute to his opponent’s campaign next year. Asshat.

djaces on August 18, 2009 at 4:18 PM

Chuck Norton on August 19, 2009 at 9:15 AM

+100!!! This is my mantra! Everytime — everytime — the government starts meddling in the free market by way of subsidies, the cost goes up for everyone. Housing, health care, higher education — all of these things could be within reasonable reach of most Americans if the government weren’t artificially inflating the price of these goods and services through its own involvement. The housing market has already cratered, thanks to good ol’ Barney Frank and Co., and rest assured, this boondoggle should it pass will collapse too under the weight of its own crushing costs. Medicare is already poised to do so anyway; enacting single-payer for everyone will only hasten the inevitable.

NoLeftTurn on August 19, 2009 at 5:49 PM

Weiner is a man without a single moral impulse. Anyone who votes for him will go to hell if it exists. along with BO voters.

proconstitution on August 19, 2009 at 8:58 PM

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