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

I do wonder just what the Leftists/Marxists/Socialists think we Conservatives are going to do if Obamacare passes. Do they think we’ll quietly go home and sulk and accept defeat? I don’t think they are prepared for what may happen if they don’t stop trying to force socialism on a free people. 10th Amendment challenges to Obamacare will be the least of their worries but they too will happen. I think a lot of Red states will push through initiatives similar to Arizona’s nullifying Obamacare in their states.

We may see some real armed uprising because a free people won’t simply lay down and willing become enslaved to the federal government. Does the Left not understand this? Unlike the Left, we like our guns and have a lot of them.

DerKrieger on August 18, 2009 at 1:53 PM

Should an entire generation just live in poverty and without healthcare because we elected bad government who blew our entire savings on bad wars and bad policies?

Seriously. It’s a very legitimate question for people.

AnninCA on August 18, 2009 at 1:45 PM

Why is it every single liberal is ignorant of economics, history and culture. Down to the last person, they do not understand anything economic. Nothing!

Blew our savings? What savings, where are these savings? The government Republicans and Democrats have been stealing from Social Security since the Johnson administration!

We have no savings, not one thin dime. The Social Security trust fund is filled with Treasury IOUs.

David Walker is the former controller general of the US. If anyone knows the numbers he does. Watch the video: http://www.iousathemovie.com/

Theworldisnotenough on August 18, 2009 at 1:53 PM

No, you nitwit, I haven’t lost money in a closed bank. I had a typical retirement plan based on 401K and private investments, which all dumped.

AnninCA on August 18, 2009 at 1:37 PM

All? My DH and I both have 401ks, and we have private investments and none of them “dumped.” They lost value, for sure, but we’re not whining about it or blaming the system (or even blaming Barney Frank, lol). We’re nurturing them along and they’ve done pretty well so far this year. Yeah, it’s painful to lose ground, but that’s how the market works…always has. With opportunity comes risk.

Dee2008 on August 18, 2009 at 1:54 PM

My investments were all in fortune 100 companies and solid as a rock. Long-term investments.

AnninCA on August 18, 2009 at 1:49 PM

You have the intellectual capacity of a 4 year old. You obviously don’t understand anything about investments or the capital markets. Interestingly, you seem very proud to display that ignorance to all – just like The Precedent. Maybe you can tell me about the “profit and earnings ratios” and how they figured into your wise investment decisions? LOL.

progressoverpeace on August 18, 2009 at 1:54 PM

That’s what family, friends, church and charity are for. Use them sparingly.

Darwin, if I get any more philosophical about my losses, you’re going to see me float up to heaven with a camel tied to my leg.

I never saw this as a sure deal. I have always cultivated an attitude about risk. And I lost, big time.

I’m practicing daily, “Welcome to Wall-Mart, shampoo on Aisle 3.”

And personally, I know I’m easy in life. I don’t care about money, never have.

I can be happy with a trailer and a pound of chicken livers.

That’s just me. I’ve been rich. I’ve been poor. I haven’t found happiness to be connected to either state.

So I’m just not about viewing this as life-devastating.

I do think healthcare is pretty fundamental, though. Without my health? Then I take back all I’ve said.

The other stuff? That’s negotiable, for sure, as “important.”

Healthcare is essential.

AnninCA on August 18, 2009 at 1:55 PM

An entire generation of workers lost their 401K plans.

That’s just not going to go away.

AnninCA on August 18, 2009 at 1:40 PM

Boo-hoo!

Stop pulling BS out of your arse. The markets go up and then down 50%, more often than we would like to admit. The world survives. In 2000 we had the NASDAQ drop 80% and the S&P 50% later to go to new highs. The same thing will happen again overtime.

The fact that you still own Pets.com is your problem. Life is a bitch as they say. The sooner you learn that the better off you will be. Meanwhile stop looking for handouts.

Tip of the day, play your violin in the subway–it sounds better.

patrick neid on August 18, 2009 at 1:55 PM

Incorrect. Marx defined the bourgeoise as the middle class, the enemy that had to be destroyed in order for communism to work.

Vashta.Nerada on August 18, 2009 at 1:48 PM

The middle class does not own the means of production which is the definition of the Bourgeoise. Maybe Petite Bourgeoise.

Holger on August 18, 2009 at 1:56 PM

My investments were all in fortune 100 companies and solid as a rock. Long-term investments.

Until the meltdown.

A large portion was in bonds.

The point I’m making? A lot of people were relying upon what was pushed in the last decades to 401K retirement plans.

Private was the solution pushed!

They don’t have traditional retirement plans with set pensions.

And a lot of them are now in danger of losing it all.

This is not fair or the American dream. These people worked hard their entire lives.

Can you honestly say this is fair?

It isn’t.

It just isn’t.

AnninCA on August 18, 2009 at 1:49 PM

Thank goodness we have social security to save us. Obviously people can’t be trusted with their own property and money – we should just turn it all over to the government so they can make sure it’s fairly distributed. /sarc

Seniors who were living off their investments have been hard hit and this is a problem – but you falsely ascribe the current recession to capitalism or Booooooooosh!. Bush (and McCain) actually tried to stop Congress from inflating the housing bubble. Also, Obama has done more to add to the national debt than Bush did and ObamaCare will only make it worse.

gwelf on August 18, 2009 at 1:56 PM

We need to be pushing the GOP and SCOTUS to take on Obamacare on purely Constitutional grounds. No where is the federal government empowered to run a health care system. Medicare and Medicaid included. Simply ask all Obamacare supporters for the passage in the Constitution that supports their desired takeover.

The 10th Amendment is quite clear on the limits of Federal power “The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people.”

“In questions of power, let no more be heard of confidence in man, but bind him down from mischief by the chains of the Constitution.” – Thomas Jefferson

DerKrieger on August 18, 2009 at 1:57 PM

You have the intellectual capacity of a 4 year old. You obviously don’t understand anything about investments or the capital markets. Interestingly, you seem very proud to display that ignorance to all – just like The Precedent. Maybe you can tell me about the “profit and earnings ratios” and how they figured into your wise investment decisions? LOL.

I never have made any decisions about this issue, other than hire a good financial advisor.

He handled everything, was honest, and we still lost.

I don’t think anyone could have done better than him.

It’s just how it goes.

AnninCA on August 18, 2009 at 1:57 PM

I never have made any decisions about this issue, other than hire a good financial advisor.

He handled everything, was honest, and we still lost.

I don’t think anyone could have done better than him.

It’s just how it goes.

AnninCA on August 18, 2009 at 1:57 PM

Huh?

progressoverpeace on August 18, 2009 at 1:58 PM

Obviously, he’s a single-payer supporter.

AnninCA on August 18, 2009 at 12:57 PM

Ann, you are the always the answer to the question nobody asked.

Chuck Schick on August 18, 2009 at 2:00 PM

Healthcare is essential.

AnninCA on August 18, 2009 at 1:55 PM

For once I’d wish you admit that it’s the government that has been the main cause of rising medical care costs. It’s been a setup so the democrats could come rushing in to “rescue” people from the “bad” insurance companies.

There are a billion things that can be done to make insurance more affordable and expand access. Unfortunately, the democrats only seem concerned with securing control over our lives with this bill.

For the last time … this bill has nothing to do with health care, and everything to do with securing power and control for the democrats for decades to come.

All at our expense.

darwin on August 18, 2009 at 2:01 PM

DerKrieger on August 18, 2009 at 1:57 PM

Obama socialist healthcare power grab constitutional?

elduende on August 18, 2009 at 2:01 PM

Seniors who were living off their investments have been hard hit and this is a problem – but you falsely ascribe the current recession to capitalism or Booooooooosh!. Bush (and McCain) actually tried to stop Congress from inflating the housing bubble. Also, Obama has done more to add to the national debt than Bush did and ObamaCare will only make it worse.

gwelf on August 18, 2009 at 1:56 PM

I wouldn’t go so far as to say that Pres. Bush tried to stop it. He was pushing home ownership for hispanics, and probably winking at their legal status. It’s was Rove’s plan for permanent majority. Everybody remembers the story about the stupid party, and the evil party, and bipartisanship was both stupid and evil, well the housing bubble was stupid and evil.

DFCtomm on August 18, 2009 at 2:02 PM

He handled everything, was honest, and we still lost.

Well, that’s the way the cookie crumbles sometimes.

Again, it’s not the fault of your neighbor, and it isn’t moral to make him pay for it.

Good Lt on August 18, 2009 at 2:02 PM

Medicare’s overhead is low because it has a sicker population (therefore more money paid in claims) then the typical health insurance program.

overhead percentage = money paid for overhead cost / money paid for claims cost X 100

You can achieve a lover percentage overhead (he quotes 4%) by decreasing the overhead money paid OR by INCREASING THE MONEY PAID FOR CLAIMS!! Medicare covers older people, who tend to have more and higher medical claim cost, therefore they will have a lower overhead percentage, even IF everything else were the same between the insurance companies and Medicare.

For Anthony Weiner to infer that Medicare is better run then the insurance companies because of this overhead percentage is misleading at best.

4of8 on August 18, 2009 at 2:03 PM

I’ll concede health care is not a commodity as soon as Congress (full of lawyers with accounting aides) declares legal care and accounting care are not commodities.

In this society, a lawyer and an accountant are as necessary as a physician.

Why not offer a modest amendment to the health bills to sweep all lawyers and accountants into the plan and watch the fur fly?

fred5678 on August 18, 2009 at 2:03 PM

DerKrieger: I wish you were correct, but it is likely that most of what they are trying to cram down our throats would fall within the “commerce clause” as that has been interpreted since the new deal.

GaltBlvnAtty on August 18, 2009 at 2:04 PM

Life’s not fair.

If you’re expecting it to be, you’re going to be disappointed.

And if you think a government of human beings can pursue policies that make it fair . . . you’re still going to be disappointed.

Life savings wiped out? That sucks. Seriously. It does. I’m sorry that it happened to a lot of people.

But there are no guarantees. Ever.

Back in the Depression, a lot of people lost everything, too. And life went on. Cruel, but unavoidably true.

So many Americans seem to think that the relatively comfortable lives we have can never go away or be taken away. I think its because so few people alive now have ever known truly hard times.

Life’s not fair. Sorry. It can’t be fixed, though.

tsj017 on August 18, 2009 at 2:05 PM

4of8 on August 18, 2009 at 2:03 PM

The politician’s 4% lie is enough for the average Obot.

Sounds good, right? THEN IT IS GOOD, WINGNUTZ! STOP ASKING FURTHER QUESTIONS AND POINTING OUT INCONVENIENT FINANCIAL INFORMATION WE NEGLECTED TO MENTION!

Good Lt on August 18, 2009 at 2:06 PM

It’s just how it goes.

AnninCA on August 18, 2009 at 1:57 PM

This and every other post you’ve made on this thread are fundamentally stupid–with your stupidity seriously infected with simplistic leftist BS you try to disguise as some sort of common-sense insight.

Whoever really runs HA need to get rid of you, because you routinely hijack threads with your incessant clownish ignorance.

Really; I mean it.

It’s time for you to go.

Sooner rather than later.

Janos Hunyadi on August 18, 2009 at 2:07 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

“Healthcare” is different than “Health Insurance,” just as the automobile is different than “auto insurance.” The solution here is simple: even a Gekko could figure it out:

1) Medical malpractive tort reform, including liability caps and a “loser plays” law to discourage slip-and-fall lawyers. “Defensive medicine” and malpractice insurance is killing the system.

2) Get illegals out of the system; emergency room care for American citizens only. Bill the country-of-origin for U.S. healthcare received (or deduct it from foreign aid.)

3) Require citizens to have commercial proof-of-insurance for medical, just like automobile insurance.

4) De-couple health insurance from employment, unions, etc. Make it portable, and treat it like family auto insurance; you should not lose your insurance just because you changed jobs. Allow insurance companies to build lifecycle-long relationships with customers, to enjoy young/mid-life profits to offset end-of-life costs.

5) Let Health Insurance companies compete nationally, not just state-by-state. Why does there need to be 39 independent Blue Cross-Blue Shields?

6) Let Medical insurers innovative, e.g. “good driver discounts” for health insurance: non-smoking, low-body fat/BMI, wellness, low-risk lifestyle, etc. Charge “points” (just like with car insurance) to the premiums for high-risk customers, e.g. $250/year for smokers; $5/pound over your target weight; $100/year for skateboarders, skiiers, and other active/injury-prone groups, etc.

7) Increase competition: let AAA, GEICO, Progressive, State Farm, Liberty Mutual, etc. get into nationwide health insurance. They are masters are handling claims and minimizing costs in a highly-regulated environment. Let them offer health, auto, life insurance bundles… just like AT&T does wireless, home phone, and TV. (And who do you think is better at finding and stopping insurance fraud: GEICO or the U.S. Dept. of Health and Human Services?)

8) We know demographics play a role in insurance: 16-21 year old males are nightmares for auto insurers; so are 65+ year old seniors for health insurers. Factor this into the acturial base, and manage your rate structure accordingly: if you want the business for our family’s healthy 25-40 year olds, you have to take Grandma, too.

9) Eliminate pre-existing condition rules. Life insurers know you’re going to die someday, and they stay in business. Health insurers know you’re going to sick some day; that’s life… and that’s business in any numbers-game industry. Casinos don’t throw you out for getting Blackjack.

10) No “Death Panels,” but require living wills: make it easier for families to “pull the plug” for their near-deceased loved ones, who have insisted [in writing] that no extraordinary life-saving be used for them. We do this for our ailing pets… but we watch our grandparents rot away over a period of months, or years?

BOTTOM LINE: We need to get, and keep, the Government out of health care. Their track record — VA Hospitals, public mental institutions, MediCare, and Medicaid — is a lesson in how NOT to do it.

VastRightWingConspirator on August 18, 2009 at 2:08 PM

Ann’s definition of “fair” seems to be that she comes out on top all the time in every instance and in every way in life. If she doesn’t, the whole system needs to be blamed and then changed for everybody else (regardless of whether it’s working for others) because it’s “unfair” if it doesn’t produce the result AnninCA desires or thinks it “should produce.”

Good Lt on August 18, 2009 at 2:10 PM

Did anyone here ever doubt that single payer was the ultimate goal? The Dems are in a pickle right now. If they don’t get a pubic option, but they pass reforms that improve the system, they’ll never regain momentum for single payer. Yet there doesn’t appear to be enough support in the Senate to get the public option through. What to do…what to do…

Dee2008 on August 18, 2009 at 2:10 PM

Honesty doesn’t preclude you from being STUPID!

GarandFan on August 18, 2009 at 2:12 PM

Did anyone here ever doubt that single payer was the ultimate goal?

Dee2008 on August 18, 2009 at 2:10 PM

No, especially since we have Obama and the dems on video and tape stating it ad nauseum.

darwin on August 18, 2009 at 2:12 PM

but it is likely that most of what they are trying to cram down our throats would fall within the “commerce clause” as that has been interpreted since the new deal.

GaltBlvnAtty on August 18, 2009 at 2:04 PM

Hardly. There has never been any interpretation of the commerce clause (no matter how insane) that has given the federal government the power to just open up a company in order to “provide competition” to the private sector, which is one of the dumbest arguments I have ever heard in my life. If the federal government were to be extended such a power, then it would be unlimited in its ability to control anything, which is quite obviously in direct contravention to the purpose of the Constitution.

But, let the commies start trying to provide what they think is the Constitutional basis for their insane and un-American ideas. They can be taken apart in two seconds. I welcome that debate. They can scream “commerce clause” all they want, but they won’t have any argument to back it up, while everyone can see how far the federal government wants to go.

The most basic point of the Constitution was to limit the power of the federal government and allowing for that government to just open up companies whenever it wants effectively removes all limits. Just wait until the federal government is paying for everyone’s health insurance and then starts to declare how each person must take care of their health in order to not cost the government money. We’ve all seen the smoking bans and the trans-fat bans (and there are even some strict SALT regulations!). It doesn’t take a genius to see where this goes when the reins are let go.

progressoverpeace on August 18, 2009 at 2:13 PM

2) Get illegals out of the system; emergency room care for American citizens only. Bill the country-of-origin for U.S. healthcare received (or deduct it from foreign aid.)

Charge any employer here who hired them as well.

Jeff2161 on August 18, 2009 at 2:15 PM

Dee2008 on August 18, 2009 at 2:10 PM

Single payer is their goal? Not quite. It’s a two step forward one step back operation. Pretend you want single payer, end up with a mandate. You thought the Dems were going to throw away all that campaign cash and revolving door opportunities from private insurance? lol

The Calibur on August 18, 2009 at 2:16 PM

good god man, color me convinced. too bad a GOP-led congress would never take it upon itself to reform the system whatsoever…because thats a pretty airtight plan right there. good show

ernesto on August 18, 2009 at 2:19 PM

My older brother, who is crazy most of the time but does have the occasional brilliant idea, suggested to me the other day that Republicans should up the ante on Democrats by proposing a simple solution to the health care mess:

Fully fund Medicare. Nothing else. Repeal S-CHIP and Medicaid, and use the money to start reimbursing 100% of charges for Medicare patients. Repeal all Medicare premiums for seniors with incomes under $40,000 a year.

This would simplify the administration of Medicare and stop the cost-shifting onto private insurance. Private insurance premiums would go down considerably as a result. And the budget for Medicare would be honest, requiring Congress to make tough decisions every year about cutting other costs in the federal government or raising taxes. If Medicare ends up taking a third of the federal budget, then we can have a rational debate about that.

rockmom on August 18, 2009 at 2:19 PM

VastRightWingConspirator on August 18, 2009 at 2:08 PM

good god man, color me convinced. too bad a GOP-led congress would never take it upon itself to reform the system whatsoever…because thats a pretty airtight plan right there. good show

ernesto on August 18, 2009 at 2:19 PM

If people think life’s not fair now … just wait until the democrats get thru ramming all their dreams programs through.

Yep.

I said this to a friend a few years ago: We hear all these horror stories about how bad our health care system is. With government-run health care, we’re still going to be hearing horror stories about how bad our health care system is. It’ll just be someone else running it.

tsj017 on August 18, 2009 at 2:20 PM

Progessoverpeace: I hope you are correct, but the commerce clause is going to be interpreted ever more broadly, especially as the Supreme Court takes on an Obama luster. I do agree that there are many aspects of the bills already enacted any being enacted that have substantial constitutional issues.

GaltBlvnAtty on August 18, 2009 at 2:23 PM

Should an entire generation just live in poverty and without healthcare because we elected bad government who blew our entire savings on bad wars and bad policies?

Seriously. It’s a very legitimate question for people.

AnninCA on August 18, 2009 at 1:45 PM

There is no such thing as ‘savings’ until the Federal government is fully out of debt. That will never happen because the budget is designed to do only one thing: grow every year forever. We still have the Helium fund, set up in the 30s to provide enough Helium for airships. The main use for He now is scientific research where an inert gas is required. The Fund’s budget is larger than needed by who-knows-how-much, and private concerns should have no problem handling the full needs.

In the 80s, for every new dollar brought into the Treasury from the Reagan tax cuts, Congress was out to spend $1.68. Without that hunger to spend there would have been no deficits and the national debt might have been paid down though not wiped out. At one point, the Dem Speaker of the House said any Reagan budget proposal was “dead on arrival.”

Savings? Not possible.

Liam on August 18, 2009 at 2:25 PM

How could Scarborough not challenge Weiner on the obvious, glaring problems with Medicare? It’s huge, unfunded liability. The fact that it only ‘works’ because it mooches off those with private insurance because doctors and hospitals provide their services to Medicare patients at a cut rate? Why doesn’t someone ask this idiot what he thinks the face of medical care and hospitals will be when they are getting ‘cut rates’ for all the services they provide?

Unbelievable.

ProfessorMiao on August 18, 2009 at 2:25 PM

I wish Scarborough had asked Weiner about HIS healthcare.

I wish more of the MSM would ask this simple question…

“why is our goverment excluded from this wonderful program?”

“will you, Weiner, give up your private insurance?”

Ditkaca on August 18, 2009 at 2:26 PM

Progessoverpeace: I hope you are correct, but the commerce clause is going to be interpreted ever more broadly, especially as the Supreme Court takes on an Obama luster. I do agree that there are many aspects of the bills already enacted any being enacted that have substantial constitutional issues.

GaltBlvnAtty on August 18, 2009 at 2:23 PM

Forgive the intrusion but I don’t think they are going to be able to use the commerce clause on this because there are a number of precedents in the jurisprudence that have constrained Congress in using it. US v Lopez., and NY v. US, being two that came down the pike in recent years.

elduende on August 18, 2009 at 2:29 PM

Folks who are in larger pools, i.e. big corporations or state governments have lower costing better healthcare. The proof is in the pudding.

CrankyIndependent on August 18, 2009 at 1:07 PM

Past a certain point, though, the relationship between pool size and premiums peters out. In other words, premia don’t continue to fall with pool size in the real world. Switzerland has 7 million people and 85 nonprofit insurance providers (10 of which insure 80 percent of the population). Those are not large pools but the Swiss have had reasonable success in controlling costs (better than ours, in any case).

DrSteve on August 18, 2009 at 2:29 PM

elduende on August 18, 2009 at 2:29 PM

After Raich, practically anything is interstate commerce.

DrSteve on August 18, 2009 at 2:30 PM

Healthcare is essential.

AnninCA on August 18, 2009 at 1:55 PM

So, Ann: Where do those millions of people fall who decide that a new car, or laptop, or whatever is MORE IMPORTANT than healthcare?

Since they have decided that healthcare is LESS essential than many other material goods, but you have labeled healthcare as ESSENTIAL, does that mean I am REQUIRED to pay for their healthcare decision?

I say they have made the decision that healthcare is NOT ESSENTIAL FOR THEMSELVES, so as far as I am concerned they can live with THEIR conscious decision.

Yoop on August 18, 2009 at 2:31 PM

elduende: Again, I hope that you are correct, and I appreciate your continued belief in the value of precedent. I am not sure how long that will last as Obama gets more opportunities to appoint justices who value empathy more than precedent.

GaltBlvnAtty on August 18, 2009 at 2:32 PM

Righteous 1st post The Dead Terrorist…you have read my mind, thx.

el Vaquero on August 18, 2009 at 2:34 PM

Maybe Petite Bourgeoise.

Holger on August 18, 2009 at 1:56 PM

Somewhere in there. My point was that the marxists are often misinterpreted as being opposed to the rich, when in fact they are opposed to the middle class.

Vashta.Nerada on August 18, 2009 at 2:34 PM

Well DUH

Jeff from WI on August 18, 2009 at 2:35 PM

elduende on August 18, 2009 at 2:29 PM

Thanks for jumping in, elduende, and providing those cites. I’m going to check them out to flesh out my argument some more.

I also think that the Washington junta signed their own fate, with respect to Constitutional issues, by espousing the insane idea of needing to “provide competition” to the private sector, which just makes any reasonable person do a double-take and has no Constitutional basis, at all. The funny part is that most of the left are arguing to ignore the Constitution than anything! I get a kick out of it – forgetting, for the moment, the serious threat it poses to our nation.

progressoverpeace on August 18, 2009 at 2:37 PM

There’s no reason the federal government can’t do the same. As Wiener’s point about Walmart and Obama’s point about the healthcare system all federal employees have, is that large insurance pools are in a better position to negotiate with healthcare providers. That is what keeps cost down, not competition among health insurance companies. Folks who are in larger pools, i.e. big corporations or state governments have lower costing better healthcare. The proof is in the pudding.

CrankyIndependent on August 18, 2009 at 1:07 PM

These larger pools have insured members who have paid premiums into the system. With a government single-payer system, there are too many looters who pay nothing into the system. They pay no taxes; they only take what others have paid for.

In a free market, the person desiring to be insured has options about the extent of the coverage that they want and the price of the premiums that they are willing to pay.

Most Amaericans enjoy the freedom to make their own decisions regarding any purchase that they make.

onlineanalyst on August 18, 2009 at 2:37 PM

Healthcare is essential.

AnninCA on August 18, 2009 at 1:55 PM

So is food, but we don’t expect the government to provide it (except possibly in emergencies–natural disasters, etc.).

tsj017 on August 18, 2009 at 2:38 PM

The funny part is that most of the left are arguing to ignore the Constitution than anything!

progressoverpeace on August 18, 2009 at 2:37 PM

Er .. that should be:

The funny part is that most of the left are arguing to ignore the Constitution more than anything!

progressoverpeace on August 18, 2009 at 2:39 PM

progressoverpeace: I look forward to the results of your checking this out. On a related topic, opening up insurance plans to purchases across state lines could facilitate the left’s commerce clause arguments.

GaltBlvnAtty on August 18, 2009 at 2:42 PM

There’s no reason the federal government can’t do the same. As Wiener’s point about Walmart and Obama’s point about the healthcare system all federal employees have, is that large insurance pools are in a better position to negotiate with healthcare providers. That is what keeps cost down, not competition among health insurance companies. Folks who are in larger pools, i.e. big corporations or state governments have lower costing better healthcare. The proof is in the pudding.

CrankyIndependent on August 18, 2009 at 1:07 PM

Please explain GM and Chrysler imploding.

journeyintothewhirlwind on August 18, 2009 at 2:43 PM

Please explain the shortfall in state government budgets.

journeyintothewhirlwind on August 18, 2009 at 2:44 PM

After Raich, practically anything is interstate commerce.

DrSteve on August 18, 2009 at 2:30 PM

Wow. The Marijuana case. Thanks I hadn’t seen that decision and didnt know it involved the commerce clause. It sort of flew under the radar. Although it looks like Scalia wrote a concurring opinion where he mentioned the constraints of Lopez stood notwithstanding this ruling.

GaltBlvnAtty on August 18, 2009 at 2:32 PM

Hah. One worry at a time brother. They could probably ram it through using the spending power if not the commerce clause though. Pray for the health of Justice Stevens. (and the 4 conservative votes).

progressoverpeace on August 18, 2009 at 2:37 PM

hey brother check out Gonzales v. Raich (2005) and US v Morrison (2000) too.

elduende on August 18, 2009 at 2:44 PM

progressoverpeace: I look forward to the results of your checking this out.

It won’t alter my basic argument that the key to our Constitutional strcture is to have the federal government limited in its power, which would go by the wayside if they are allowed to do what they say they want to do, but I’ll let you know how I think those cites fit in.

On a related topic, opening up insurance plans to purchases across state lines could facilitate the left’s commerce clause arguments.

GaltBlvnAtty on August 18, 2009 at 2:42 PM

Opening up inter-state commerce, and regulating that commerce (not regulating the objects of commerce, which is a state-level issue, but the commerce, itself) is exactly what the commerce clause says to do. But the Washington junta isn’t even talking about doing that. Their idea of the health insurance exchange is more of a tool to regulate private insurance plans, themselves, than to open up inter-state commerce of them. They are looking to bankrupt private health insurance the same way that they are trying to use Crap&Trade and insane CO2 regulation to bankrupt industry. The Precedent was very speicifc about explaining how he would regulate and fine the coal industry into bankruptcy. Those sound bites would be heard, and understood, more clearly today than they were in the campaign.

progressoverpeace on August 18, 2009 at 2:48 PM

AnneinCA!

agree. My personal opinion is that single-payer is off the table because we are not interested in letting go of our national identity, which is much more focused on individualism, the opportunities of free enterprise, etc.

We’re just not Europeans.

I do understand why the European system works better in a lot of ways..

I’m so glad I was finally able to register with HotAir! I’ve been following AnneinCA’s tortuous ramblings re health care for some time, and yes AnneinCA</em>should say it all, but I’d like to figuratively give her a shake…

I live in Canada, in Ontario, where we have a single payer system. You may have read in the last few days that our system is ‘imploding’ (that means in real trouble, Anne), and the system here is arguably better than that in Britain. My family moved out of Toronto 14 years ago to a rural community, and I’ve not been able to find a general practitioner in the area since that time. Existing GPs have fled to the U.S. where they might be able to make a living and pay off huge student loans (my sister in Ohio has a Canadian GP), and students in medical school now are choosing specialties that will allow them to earn more. So, absolutely there will be fewer doctors and longer lines if the U.S. goes this route.

Secondly, WAIT TIMES. One of my dearest friends wasn’t feeling well, and when he didn’t start feeling better, his doctor started referring him to specialists. With each referral there was a 2-3 month wait for an appointment, so that by the time his illness was diagnosed correctly, he had been ill for about 8 months. When he was finally diagnosed (I don’t remember the name, but it was a skin cancer that developed below the skin), he was told that there was no treatment in Ontario (not cost effective, given that this cancer isn’t common), but he could have chemo and should live for up to 2 years. There was, however, a treatment available in the U.S. with a 20% cure rate, and after some more time, he was able to get our provincial health plan to approve treatment in Buffalo. Unfortunately, by the time he got there it was too late, and he died 2 months later.

And that’s just one of the stories I have. Anyone I know who has to spend time in hospital does so with a family member in attendance at all time, to make sure the patient is being looked after. There just isn’t enough staff in most hospitals to ensure attentive care.

Our health care isn’t free — our taxes are higher than yours on everything that we earn and everything that we buy, we don’t have to pay for our own defense, and we still have rationed care.

Single payer still sound good to you, AnneinCA?

suzeecue on August 18, 2009 at 2:48 PM

An entire generation did not lose their 401Ks.

Many did, but not “an entire generation”. Please.

Hyperbole much?

tsj017 on August 18, 2009 at 2:49 PM

hey brother check out Gonzales v. Raich (2005) and US v Morrison (2000) too.

elduende on August 18, 2009 at 2:44 PM

Thanks, elduende. I’m on it.

progressoverpeace on August 18, 2009 at 2:49 PM

But you’re still missing the point if you don’t think the economic meltdown is relevant in people’s lives.
AnninCA on August 18, 2009 at 1:45 PM

I think that you’re missing the part where the government had a big hand in the economic meltdown and has had a hand in extending it and making it worse, while promising to make it worse still. And yet, you think they’re the best option for improving the quality, cost, and availability of health insurance and health care, even though the government is largely responsible for the high costs and limited options that we have right now.

Tonus on August 18, 2009 at 2:52 PM

Joe quit too soon.

S: You want to expand that for all Americans.
W: Correct. I want Medicare for all Americans.

S: Including yourself?

W: Uh…

Yeah, that’s what I thought. Shuddup.

NTXLass on August 18, 2009 at 2:53 PM

suzeecue on August 18, 2009 at 2:48 PM

Welcome suzeecue! Thanks for the first hand info.

darwin on August 18, 2009 at 2:55 PM

suzeecue on August 18, 2009 at 2:48 PM

Suzee, I was driving back from Ontario yesterday and saw those ads near the NY border that promise express-lane immigration treatment for American doctors looking to practice in Ontario. The GoO spent nearly a million dollars on them. If that’s not an explicit admission that something’s gone terribly wrong I don’t know what is.

DrSteve on August 18, 2009 at 2:58 PM

darwin on August 18, 2009 at 2:55 PM

Thanks, darwin. As an expat watching anxiously what’s going on down there, I get a little tired of hearing how much better every other country’s medical system is, from people who haven’t lived it (although I wish they’d try it for a few years before they try to force it on the US).

suzeecue on August 18, 2009 at 3:03 PM

I’m stunned by this Representative’s ignorance of not only economics, but the law. If, as he claims, the insurance companies aren’t competing with each other sufficiently for what he deems to be the public good, then it is his DUTY as a Representative to bring a criminal suit against those insurance companies for collusion (ie, setting up a cartel) under the Sherman Anti-Trust Act.

Come on, pal, don’t you have the stones? Your predecessors 10 years ago tried it with Microsoft; a computer’s OS is a lot less vital than health insurance to most people. Oh, wait, that would increase the number of competing companies in the market – making your efforts to establish yourself as the Duke of Doctors under Obama the Won a bit harder, now wouldn’t it?

Fool. New Yorkers are not well served by this idiot, and I look forward to hearing his concession speech next fall.

Blacksmith on August 18, 2009 at 3:03 PM

Interesting the responses to reality here.

This is why I am not responsive to the right. Or to the left.

It’s just not realistic.

It’s all ideology, and I think those invested in that are those with nothing left to lose.

They always leave me cold.

AnninCA on August 18, 2009 at 3:03 PM

Nope, just someone whose grandparents were mid-Western and actually, far west, who was raise in the South.

I figure I’m a mutt. *haha

AnninCA on August 18, 2009 at 3:06 PM

At least he’s honest. Dangerously wrong and stupid, but honest.

bigjack on August 18, 2009 at 3:08 PM

Hyperbole much?

People who were asked to take early retirement?

Yeah, they lost big-time, and it’s not hyperbole.

We’re all practicing, “Welcome to Wall-Mart. Aisle 3.”

It’s just reality, and we accept it.

A lifetime of work, down the tubes.

AnninCA on August 18, 2009 at 3:09 PM

Interesting the responses to reality here.

AnninCA on August 18, 2009 at 3:03 PM

No, what’s interesting is your aversion to reality.

darwin on August 18, 2009 at 3:11 PM

Suzee, I was driving back from Ontario yesterday and saw those ads near the NY border that promise express-lane immigration treatment for American doctors looking to practice in Ontario. The GoO spent nearly a million dollars on them. If that’s not an explicit admission that something’s gone terribly wrong I don’t know what is.

DrSteve on August 18, 2009 at 2:58 PM

Probably as explicit as we’re going to get, given that the provincial government keeps telling us that waitlist times are improving.

I have a feeling that’s a million dollars wasted…

suzeecue on August 18, 2009 at 3:11 PM

DerKrieger on August 18, 2009 at 1:53 PM

They have no idea what is headed there way… but if they would look beyond their nose, and read world history, they would see how much bloodshed has been spent on trying to repress a free people. Be it wild or organized.

And NEVER has anybody tried to socialize a people that is this well armed.

The Dead Terrorist on August 18, 2009 at 3:14 PM

I figure I’m a mutt. *haha

AnninCA on August 18, 2009 at 3:06 PM

…the word you’re looking for is “moron”

haha

Janos Hunyadi on August 18, 2009 at 3:15 PM

Nope, just someone whose grandparents were mid-Western and actually, far west, who was raise in the South.

I figure I’m a mutt. *haha
AnninCA on August 18, 2009 at 3:06 PM

You were raised in the south? Damn, liberals hate anyone from the south with a deep, deep passion.

darwin on August 18, 2009 at 3:19 PM

Righteous 1st post The Dead Terrorist…you have read my mind, thx.

el Vaquero on August 18, 2009 at 2:34 PM

Thanks for the Props!

The Dead Terrorist on August 18, 2009 at 3:22 PM

progressiveoverpeace, elduende, and Dr.Steve: While these are, of course, Left Coast cases, please see Erickson v. Aetna, 71 C.A.4th, 646, 651 (1999), and Warren-Guthrie v. Health Net, 84 C.A.4th 804, 810 (2000), for a couple of examples of appellate courts finding, without much trouble, that healthcare issues necessarily involve interstate commerce. Again, I hope this argument does not carry the day, but it is out there.

GaltBlvnAtty on August 18, 2009 at 3:24 PM

The only surprise is that he admitted it out loud.

We know what they are.

capitalist piglet on August 18, 2009 at 3:33 PM

This current battle in Washington is very personal to me right now (and not just because I have one parent about to hit 60, another right behind him not in the best of health and one grandparent still hanging in there despite her poor health).

I’ve been feeling poorly for a while, but with general symptoms which could be signs of any number of problems. Extreme fatigue? Try tying that to anything. Unexplained weight gain? Then I went to the doctor for a routine sinus infection (routine for me – I get them all the time) on the 7th. While examining me, the doctor found a lump in my throat, and although “it wasn’t what I came in for” (her words), she said I needed to go have an ultrasound. My primary care physician’s office set it up for me for the following Wednesday, the 12th. Had the ultrasound, was told it would be at least 24 hours before they got the results to my doctor. Heard from my doctor (not a nurse, but the doctor herself) first thing the next morning (that was fast) that I have a solid nodule covering almost the entire right node of my thyroid and that they were setting up a biopsy for the following Wednesday (which is tomorrow).

Under ObamaCare, I’d probably still be sitting around twiddling my thumbs, being told to treat my sinus infection (the original complaint) with OTC meds and never aware that I have a potential malignant tumor on my thyroid. Instead I’ve gone from discovery of the lump to biopsy in under two weeks. You think I want to get rid of my health care. Over my dead body (although if Washington has their way….)

Alia on August 18, 2009 at 3:39 PM

This is not fair or the American dream. These people worked hard their entire lives.

Can you honestly say this is fair?

It isn’t.

It just isn’t.

AnninCA

Life isn’t fair, clown. People free to make their own decisions is about as fair as it gets. Now please, do us all a favor and get the f*ck out of this country, you dumb, marxist b*tch.

xblade on August 18, 2009 at 3:43 PM

I’m sick of everyone blaming someone else for the problems in their life that they created. When you are an investor, you need to watch the financial world around you, assess the risks, and make decisions to protect your own assets. Years ago, the Thursday before Black Monday, I saw some very nasty storm clouds brewing, called the holders of my 401K and had them move everything into “Secure” no risk funds. The transaction went through that Friday, and the following Monday, the bottom fell out. I didn’t lose a nickle. Two years ago I saw financial storm clouds brewing again, figured out the best gold and silver dealers, put my money into real gold and real silver (not paper), have seen some slight gains, but once again… haven’t lost a nickle.
During the Black Monday episode, I was employed as a master electrician and was not particularly financially savvy, but I saw things that had me very concerned about a hard down turn in the market. Now I spend my days in the IT field and still don’t consider myself particularly financially savvy. But my parents lived through the Great Depression and they taught me well. I see this latest episode this way: When the Feds drop interest rates over and over to spur the economy until they have completely run out of wiggle room and can’t do much more to prop up a faltering economy, everyone’s alarm bells should be ringing. There are things going on behind the scenes that are much worse than we are being told. And somehow even I was able to recognize this long before the housing bubble burst. People can control their own financial fate if they do some research and pay attention to what they’re NOT telling us.

Storybec on August 18, 2009 at 3:46 PM

I don’t know why its fair that anybody gets money in the mailbox without working.

Chris_Balsz on August 18, 2009 at 3:46 PM

W: Correct. I want Medicare for all Americans.

And $150 trillion dollars in unfunded liabilities to go with it.

xblade on August 18, 2009 at 3:46 PM

Should an entire generation just live in poverty and without healthcare because we elected bad government who blew our entire savings on bad wars and bad policies?

Seriously. It’s a very legitimate question for people.

AnninCA on August 18, 2009 at 1:45 PM

Should an entire generation [of taxpayers] just live in poverty…because we elected bad government who GAVE AWAY THE STORE TO THEMSELVES AND PUBLIC EMPLOYEES IN THE FORM OF BLOATED PENSIONS AND PLATINUM HEALTH-CARE-FOR-LIFE?????

jeanneb on August 18, 2009 at 3:55 PM

Chris_Balsz: Are you including people who get money because they are reaping the benefits of working for many decades and having invested wisely?

GaltBlvnAtty on August 18, 2009 at 3:56 PM

Alia on August 18, 2009 at 3:39 PM

Just remember cysts/non-malignant growths on the thyroid are relatively common. Good luck with your biopsy, and yes, you’re fortunate that you are in the American health care system.

suzeecue on August 18, 2009 at 3:57 PM

GaltBlvnAtty on August 18, 2009 at 1:26 PM

If my memory serves, I believe that before the recess, Congress (the House) had introduced a bill allowing lawyers to have a portion of their fees upfront before litigation is processed.

onlineanalyst on August 18, 2009 at 4:03 PM

This is why I am not responsive to the right. Or to the left.

It’s just not realistic.

It’s all ideology, and I think those invested in that are those with nothing left to lose.

No AnninCA. You’re are consistently presented with facts, figures, and proof by which posters here back up their arguments; yet, you ignore them – consistently. The bottom line is that you are unable to accept objective truths that don’t skew to your ideological biases. That, by necessity, makes you an intellectual coward. And it is an all-too common trait of the Left.

Take the entire health care debate. Any truly intellectually honest person would be able to discern – outright – the lies that are being pushed upon the American people. It’s very simple to do so.

Here’s how.

1) Democrats are desperately trying to fool the American people into believing that skyrocketing health care costs are the result of greedy, private insurance companies.

It’s a lie. And here’s the proof.

The chart clearly illustrates that for nearly 20 years, the percentage of money being spent in this country on health care has been declining in the private sector whilst increasing in the public sector. So then, AnninCA…how is it that the costs continue to climb? After all, we’re being told that an increasing govt presence will lower costs. Correct?

The answer? They’re lying.

2) There is abundant evidence that the Democrats are lying about the fact that their real goal is to dismantle the private insurance companies, leaving only a public option.

Where does the evidence come from? There own words!

“If Barack Obama doesn’t want to do it, I want to do it.” The Weiner (D-NY), 2009

“…if we get a good public option, it could lead to single-payer, and that’s the best way to lead to single-payer.” Barney Frank (D-MA), 2009

“And next to me was a guy from the insurance company who argued against the public health insurance option, saying it wouldn’t let private insurance compete. That a public option will put the private insurance industry out of business and lead to single-payer. My single-payer friends, he was right. The man was right.” Rep. Jan Schakowsky (D-IL), 2009

“A single payer health care plan, a universal health care plan. And that’s what I’d like to see. But as all of you know, we may not get there immediately. Because first we have to take back the White House, we have to take back the Senate, and we have to take back the House.” Barack Obama, 2003

How do you explain this away, AnninCA?

So the question becomes, why do you KNOWINGLY support legislation that is based on rank deceit and dishonesty? Legislations that will fundamentally change the dynamic between American citizens and the govt when it can be so easily demonstrated that the Democrats are lying both about 1) what the legislation will accomplish as well as 2) what the intended outcome is? Legislation that is being pushed through the demonization of American citizens who aren’t falling for the ruse?

Only someone with zero respect for the spirit of our nation’s founding and freedoms…with zero respect for the blood and sacrifice of the millions of Americans who have given their lives in order to secure those freedoms…could look at this travesty and spew forth the inane nonsense you do.

You should truly be ashamed to call yourself an American.

rvastar on August 18, 2009 at 4:06 PM

Joe’s right, it’s all about ideology.

Weiner has faith in the gov’t, and Joe has faith in the free market. The only problem with Weiner’s argument is that he is patently ignoring the economics of unintended consequences.

I had to laugh at the Congressman’s assertion that a Federal bureaucrat making $150,000 (and a very big heart) will run health care more efficiently compared to a CEO making millions.

Too bad for Democrats who always equate profit/success to wrong-doing.

budorob on August 18, 2009 at 4:07 PM

GaltBlvnAtty on August 18, 2009 at 3:24 PM

thanks will check them out. but guarantee that this question will not remain at the appellate level long. it’ll go all the way up to SCOTUS fast.

elduende on August 18, 2009 at 4:09 PM

rvastar on August 18, 2009 at 4:06 PM

You ROCK!

suzeecue on August 18, 2009 at 4:13 PM

I’ll concede health care is not a commodity as soon as Congress (full of lawyers with accounting aides) declares legal care and accounting care are not commodities.

In this society, a lawyer and an accountant are as necessary as a physician.

Why not offer a modest amendment to the health bills to sweep all lawyers and accountants into the plan and watch the fur fly?

fred5678 on August 18, 2009 at 2:03 PM

You need to read today’s satire column by Scott Ott at scrappleface.com. It also ran in the Washington Examiner.

onlineanalyst on August 18, 2009 at 4:13 PM

onlineanalyst: Yes, the plaintiffs’ attorneys are having their way with this congress. The health care legislation would destroy some effective existing limitations on the types of lawsuits that can be commenced regarding health care. Each piece of legislation is reviewed by the plaintiffs’ bar lobbyists to find additional ways to get more litigation opportunities, most to the detriment of our economy.

GaltBlvnAtty on August 18, 2009 at 4:14 PM

He is an idiot

mcl2177 on August 18, 2009 at 4:16 PM

Of course the seniors all like their Medicare, as do most of the recipients of the various other government health insurance programs, but the reason they like it is because they are not forced to pay the true cost of their coverage. People who have private insurance not only pay the cost of their own protection, but provide dramatic subsidies to all those on government plans through taxation and higher premiums to pay for the costs shifted by government programs refusing to pay the true price for the treatments provided. If everyone is placed in a government controlled single payer plan, there is no one left to provide those subsidies and the true cost will become apparent to everyone. Just for covering the present and future senior population, the Trillions in unfunded liabilities are predicted to grow the cost of Medicare to numbers larger than the entire federal budget in a decade or two. If we expand it to include everyone there won’t be enough money in the whole economy to pay for it.

djaces on August 18, 2009 at 4:18 PM

Medicare sucks! If it weren’t for medigap and Medicare Advantage plans people would be sicker and poorer.

LifeTrek on August 18, 2009 at 4:21 PM

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