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'The Dozens' Comes to Congress

Nice catch by Igor Volsky:

This afternoon, while debating an amendment to prohibit the federal government from “defining the health care benefits offered through private insurance,” Sen. Jon Kyl (R-AZ) argued, “I don’t need maternity care, and so requiring that to be in my insurance policy is something that I don’t need and will make the policy more expensive.” Sen. Debbie Stabenow (D-MI) interjected into Kyl’s remarks to remind him, “I think your mom probably did.” Watch it:

The words you're looking for are, "Oh, SNAP!"

By Ezra Klein  |  September 25, 2009; 2:17 PM ET
 
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Comments

The best part is the staffer seemingly feeding the Senator the line. :)

Posted by: JH11 | September 25, 2009 2:32 PM | Report abuse

Did anyone actually ask him whether his current health care plan covers materinty care? If he is on FEHB, it DOES! Facts just get in the way Sen. Kyl...

Posted by: gonzosnose | September 25, 2009 2:38 PM | Report abuse

I'm surprised Kyl did not bring up so-called anchor babies.

Posted by: MerrillFrank | September 25, 2009 2:47 PM | Report abuse

So, because Kyl's mother *might* have wanted or needed insurance that covered maternity care, Kyl himself should be forced to buy health insurance that includes maternity care? Or is it that women are a protected class, and that men are to be forced to subsidize their needs by having to shell out for insurance that will be redistributed along the political correct path?

Perversity is the norm around here.

Posted by: msoja | September 25, 2009 2:58 PM | Report abuse

Kyl and his wife Caryll have two children, Kristine Kyl Gavin and John Kyl, and four grandchildren.
'nuff said.

Posted by: ibemsw | September 25, 2009 2:59 PM | Report abuse

"Or is it that women are a protected class, and that men are to be forced to subsidize their needs by having to shell out for insurance that will be redistributed along the political correct path?"

Pretty much everyone I know happened to be born at some point.

If a system existed that covered that care, every one of us would be a beneficiary.

Posted by: adamiani | September 25, 2009 3:17 PM | Report abuse

I think msoja is on to something. Not only do I not want to pay for someone else birthing a baby, especially if it's born premature or something - thats an average of $250K - I don't want to pay to educate that baby either. I don't want to subsidize that baby's parents mortgage. Or give it it's own tax exemption. Nor do I want to help pay for that baby to go to university. And, quite frankly, I don't want to pay that baby's salary in Iraq or Afghanistan either. And I certainly don't want to pay that baby's wife or mother $100,000 if it gets killed there. I think I am becoming a libertarian!

Posted by: luko | September 25, 2009 3:28 PM | Report abuse

"Or is it that women are a protected class, and that men are to be forced to subsidize their needs"

Stupid women. They should stop getting themselves pregnant.

Posted by: Jenn2 | September 25, 2009 3:34 PM | Report abuse

Are Kyl and his wife liable to have more children? Why must they be forced to buy insurance that covers something they have no need of? Surely, they'd be free to contribute to their children's insurance needs in said regards, if they felt the need to do so, wouldn't they? I mean, if we still lived in a free country.

Adamiani - So, health insurance mandates are a retroactive charge for the unasked-for privilege of being born? Kind of like a tax just for living. That's a new one. Perhaps if maternity care wasn't subsidized, people would make different choices about having children.

Of course, sixty years ago, around the time Kyl was born, not that many people had any sort of health insurance, but they all still managed to get born without it.

Funny, huh? But not so perverse. Carry on.

Posted by: msoja | September 25, 2009 3:35 PM | Report abuse

ps. Maybe some people don't think we need more babies in the world. But if they want health insurance for other things, heck, put the boot to their necks, anyway, right? Make 'em subsidize those births.

And may those babies grow up to be meat eating drivers of SUVs...

Posted by: msoja | September 25, 2009 3:38 PM | Report abuse

The whole point of *Universal* coverage is that everyone is covered for the same maladies. Contrary to what Kyl and his supporters think, we do not need more fragmentation in our health care financing, what we need is less.

Instead of talking about separate programs for children, seniors, old people, people with jobs, self-employed, etc. and promoting infinite levels of coverage, what we need is a single plan that would cover every man, woman, and child. If some want to supplement that with private policies should be free to do so, but the government's interest should be that everyone has the same base level of coverage.

Posted by: Athena_news | September 25, 2009 3:48 PM | Report abuse

luko - The U.S. was founded on the notion that if you let other people worry about themselves, they'd return you the favor.

I, for one, never worry about how to spend other people's money.

Jenn2 - Why should the government be party to the gestational issues of free people? Why should I have to subsidize other people's fornication?

Posted by: msoja | September 25, 2009 3:51 PM | Report abuse

Don't worry, msoja, I know sometimes it may seem like all the women of the world are just "going Galt" on you, but she's out there. Keep up that charm and warm humanitarian spirit, you'll find her.

Posted by: Jenn2 | September 25, 2009 3:54 PM | Report abuse

--"what we need is a single plan that would cover every man, woman, and child."--

Won't work. On one hand are the freeloaders, who will be unrestrained in their uses of the system. On the other hand, are those who, one way or another, fund the whole thing, who slowly grow to resent having the fruits of their own endeavors stolen and given over to those who don't take the same care in providing for themselves. As things progress, the overseers of the system (the government) are required to apply more and more force to those reluctant to take part, which is where we are today. The whole reform movement is about how to *force* more people into the system. That force will eventually prove too onerous for someone or other, and when the only recourse is to use force back, things will get truly ugly.

Posted by: msoja | September 25, 2009 3:58 PM | Report abuse

Jenn2 - Gosh, that's good to know. In the meantime, you are sure I should be *forced* to buy maternity coverage, right? For the good of the collective.

Posted by: msoja | September 25, 2009 4:02 PM | Report abuse

msoja, here's another way of looking at it: insurance companies use the benefits they offer to cherry-pick the healthiest people. If you don't require insurance companies to cover certain benefits at a certain level of protection (as measured in actuarial value), then all the healthy people will choose one plan, and all the sick people will choose another plan -- making the plan for the sick people unaffordable. That's why you mandate benefits.

Now I'm an actuary, so I am supposed to know this. But I realize that others may not immediately see these kinds of issues.

Posted by: BradGabel2002 | September 25, 2009 4:04 PM | Report abuse

"Why should I have to subsidize other people's fornication?"

Because Barack Obama said so drill sergeant.

Posted by: kingstu01 | September 25, 2009 4:05 PM | Report abuse

Dude, I respectfully decline to engage in some glibertarian debate with a guy who refers to having children as "fornication", you'll have to forgive me for not thinking that's going to be very productive.

Posted by: Jenn2 | September 25, 2009 4:07 PM | Report abuse

It seems many of you don't really understand how insurance works in this country. Most states set a floor of what should be included in a policy. I'd guess most of them include maternity care. It's like cable tv. I don't watch BRAVO, so why should I pay for it? Well are are, but you are not really.

Posted by: gonzosnose | September 25, 2009 4:09 PM | Report abuse

I can't say that I'm particularly impressed by Stabenow's yo mama comment, but I'm equally unimpressed with Kyl's logic. Since the expected cost to the insurance company of providing Kyl and his wife maternity insurance is zero, including it in his policy should raise his rates by zero as well.

Posted by: ostap666 | September 25, 2009 4:09 PM | Report abuse

"Adamiani - So, health insurance mandates are a retroactive charge for the unasked-for privilege of being born? Kind of like a tax just for living. That's a new one."

Same reason I pay for public schools when I've got no kid in 'em-- for social security and for medicare. It's a generational social contract thing. Everybody pays in, everybody takes out.

"Perhaps if maternity care wasn't subsidized, people would make different choices about having children."

Yes! It's true, this could cut down on abortions at the margin. Win-win!

Posted by: adamiani | September 25, 2009 4:17 PM | Report abuse

This is unbelievable! How are women supposed to maintain their "full quiver" without maternity care? Birth their babies at home with frineds?

Whatever happened to family values? It is clear that these people's interest in life begins at conception but Pat Schroeder was wrong--it doesn't end at birth, it ends at implantation.

Kyl is dumb as a sack of hammers, just like about 2/3 of the GOP. (Hello Mike Pence!) The other third is just venal. In the middle are those who are both dumb and venal.

Posted by: Mimikatz | September 25, 2009 4:22 PM | Report abuse

BradGabel2002 - Of course. It's not rocket science. However, it's almost stupid to talk about insurance as "insurance" anymore. It's simple redistribution of wealth. The whole point of "insurance" is that low risk people are able to pool a small amount to hedge against a small risk. The idea that someone can find out they need a quadruple bypass and sign up for a $1200 a year health plan to pay for the $60,000 procedure is a purely modern (and nonsensical) achievement.

Posted by: msoja | September 25, 2009 4:29 PM | Report abuse

And as long as plans cover mens' endless and evidently widespread problems with erectile dysfunction, male urinary tract syndrome, prostate enalrgement etc, they damn well should all cover women's reproductive care, including birth control and maternity care.

Several people commenting on this blog seem dramatically unacquainted with the actual history of this country as lived by the people who settled it and built it beginning with the First Americans. Cooperation and community are what it took, and women played a strong role in that process. Ok, so they (we) weren't present in the Continental Congress or drafting of the Constitution and couldn't vote until 1920, but this country was built on the innumerable labors of many, many people and everyone here has benefitted from that. Libertarian is just another word for lonely and selfish.

Posted by: Mimikatz | September 25, 2009 4:36 PM | Report abuse

The notion that insurance should not cover services you likely would never use is an interesting one.

Young people would probably opt not to have coverage for heart attack, stroke,type II diabetes, prostate disease, joint surgery and so on. That would save them a lot of money, but would make coverage for 40 to 65 year old men a lot more expensive. Cutting out OB and neonatal care would save some money for some people beyond child birth age, but not as much as cutting out coverage for coronary disease, congestive failure, type II diabetes, and so on would save young women. And before you start talking about how low risk you are for those things, remember that 40% of heart attack patients have no identifiable risk factors.

The point is this is insurance. The concept is that your surplus payments might cover other people, and someday other people's surplus payments might cover you.

Anyone who can't get that idea is just like the guy who Howard Pollack interviewed who told him he was completely opposed to public subsidies for health care coverage for other people, then told Pollack he got his coverage from the VA.

Posted by: PatS2 | September 25, 2009 4:38 PM | Report abuse

Kyl is thinking of the massive savings once insurers no longer have to shell out for my sister's prostate problem. He's making sure they've the $$$ to cover medically removing Kyl's head from his ass.

Posted by: WarrenTerra | September 25, 2009 4:44 PM | Report abuse

--"It's a generational social contract thing. "--

You've been brainwashed. There is no such thing.

Posted by: msoja | September 25, 2009 4:51 PM | Report abuse

--"The concept is that your surplus payments might cover other people, and someday other people's surplus payments might cover you."--

With universal coverage, there is no "might". Those that pay will become a smaller and smaller portion of the pot, and those who avail themselves of the pot will take more and more of it out. That's the process pushing Medicare and Medicaid to the brink, now. It's happening right in front of you. The whole case for reform is premised on the need for more paying bodies to be *forced* into the system. Once everyone who can be forced to pay has been forced, then the only option will be to force them to pay *more*, and eventually, when that's no longer possible, to start dropping people off the back end, where they will have absolutely no recourse.

Posted by: msoja | September 25, 2009 4:58 PM | Report abuse

So, whatever happened to the idea that people should save up and prepare to have children? When did it become accepted behavior that budding parents could enroll for a relatively benign monthly premium and then run up the bills at someone else's expense?

Posted by: msoja | September 25, 2009 5:03 PM | Report abuse

Don't let this moment pass without noting exactly what is wrong with Freepers, Republicans, etc.: They don't understand the concept of insurance. Insurance is there to make sure that nothing catastrophic happens: you don't die and leave your toddler child penniless, you don't get injured at work without some disability protection, you don't go bankrupt because you got an illness. The reason it works is because many people are in the risk pool, contributing, and only a few get large payouts. But all are safer because of the insurance. T

Glibertarians and rightwingers don't get this. They think that the big payout is bad. No, the benefit is not the money, it's the fact of being (and feeling) protected. That allows you to be an entepreneur and start a business, or just get married and start a family.

But Kyl doesn't get it. It's all about the fact that the payout might go to somebody else, or that his rates are too high because the pool isn't small and tailored to him. But if the pool is small and tailored to a 60+ male, then his rates will go through the roof, because of his heart attack, cancer and stroke risk. So he is a huge beneficiary of the big pool. His ignorance on this point is amazing.

This also shows up in how they view social security. It's terrible, it doesn't earn the returns that you get in the stock market (ironic smile here)! But since it is a guaranteed payout, a responsible fund administrator can't invest in the market. she/he has to invest very conservatively. That's not a bug, it's a feature. And it means, once again, that all participants have assured minimum income in retirement. So we are free to take risks, start businesses, have children, spend on educating them, etc.

Again, Republicans just don't understand the benefits of insurance. Nor do they understand how the social safety net delivers precisely the benefits that they want from society - an educated workforce that confidently forms families, starts businesses, takes risks, and maximizes their productivity.

Who can explain this ignorance?

Posted by: Dollared | September 25, 2009 5:06 PM | Report abuse

msoja -

You are correct. That said, I believe our government has a responsibility to enshrine egalitarian values into our nation's laws, and bend the moral arc of the universe towards justice. That nobody should have to go bankrupt because of medical expenses is part of those values. I realize that you and I don't share those values.

And let me say that I'm a healthy 29-year-old guy living in Massachusetts. I'm perfectly fine with subsidizing older, sicker people through higher premiums so a family with a diabetic child doesn't have to go bankrupt because of medical expenses; so a young professional with heart problems doesn't have to go bankrupt because of medical expenses; so a widow with cancer doesn't have to go bankrupt because of medical expenses; so millions of Americans with large medical expenses don't have to go bankrupt because of medical expenses. I understand you are indifferent to the plight of these people. That is your right to believe that you are not your brother's keeper. But I will not sit as some idle spectator indifferent to human suffering, and will do everything I can to bend that moral arc of the universe towards justice. Because history won't be kind to us if we fail to act on one of the greatest moral challenges of our time.

Posted by: BradGabel2002 | September 25, 2009 5:14 PM | Report abuse

BradGabel2002,

I'm with you, but you are missing the financial argument. Msoja may not care if the diabetic kid dies or his dad goes bankrupt. But right now, that kid's dad is nearly unemployable because of a pre-existing condition in his family, and he is profoundly distracted by his impending bankruptcy and the need to raise funds to pay for his kid's treatment. Now suppose he's a valuable aerospace engineer at Boeing. Are we going to lose all his productivity because of all these troubles? Then the net loss for society is all the greater.

BTW, we are anticipating 1M bankrupties from medical crises this year. What does that represent in lost productivity? Lost tax revenue?

It is in Msoja' self interest to have a functioning health insurance system. He is just not well educated enough to understand it.

Posted by: Dollared | September 25, 2009 5:21 PM | Report abuse

--"Now suppose he's a valuable aerospace engineer at Boeing."--

That's between the engineer and Boeing, innit? Or does some bureaucrat get to decide who is worth what to whom? And what's the mechanism that makes that happen several million times a day? It's nonsense.

You say it's in my self-interest to have a functioning health system. I say that government is slowly, but surely wrecking that system. Look at Medicare and Medicaid. To use the flatulence of the hour: They are unsustainable. Nothing the government will conjure will work in the long run. They are actively wrecking things. It's all very nice and la de da to hope and dream for a better system, but if wishes were horses, beggars would ride. In the end, after the government gets its inevitable way, there are going to be a lot of beggars wondering WTF and a few others feeling no pity. It's going to be worse than anyone here can even imagine. And you're doing it to yourselves like mindless ants.

Posted by: msoja | September 25, 2009 5:34 PM | Report abuse

--"I believe our government has a responsibility to enshrine egalitarian values into our nation's laws"--

It's already been done. It's called: You keep your nose out of my business and I'll keep my nose out of yours. It's called freedom. Self-government. Personal Responsibility. The freedom to conduct oneself as one sees fit, and to respect that same right in others is the most egalitarian "value" there can be.

When government "enshrines" egalitarianism into law, it is no longer egalitarianism. It's pointing a gun to someone's head and commanding them to volunteer. It's threatening them with impoverishment or incarceration if they don't give to charity. Brute force can never be egalitarian, and yet, there you are pretending it is.

Posted by: msoja | September 25, 2009 5:39 PM | Report abuse

OK, msoja, everything government does is bad. We've tried to reason with you, and you just respond "well, I like to complain about the government." Fine. I think it's time you considered some libertarian utopias, where the government has a much smaller role in daily life.

Say, Somalia. Colombia. Nigeria. Take a look at them and tell me how life is there.

Look at facts, msoja. Wherever health systems work, wherever in the world, the government takes a stronger role than in the US. Could you be wrong?

Posted by: Dollared | September 25, 2009 5:42 PM | Report abuse

MSOJA: With universal coverage, there is no "might".

Actually, there's no "might" with any health insurance program. Sooner or later everyone will benefit. Anyone who thinks they won't is living in a fantasy.
In the words of Bruce Springsteen: "Everyone dies, and that's a fact."

I'll assume that MSOJA knows that, so then I have to guess what he really objects to is that people who are NOT LIKE HIM will benefit.

Posted by: PatS2 | September 25, 2009 5:51 PM | Report abuse

msoja is a freedom freeloader.

when his house starts to burn the firemen should be free not to douse the flames (according to msoja).

Posted by: perhapsnot1 | September 25, 2009 5:53 PM | Report abuse

PatS2, your comment reminds me of a post on this broad question (insurance vs. "socialism"):

http://findingourdream.blogspot.com/2009/09/what-is-health-insurance-health-care-is.html

Posted by: HalHorvath | September 25, 2009 5:54 PM | Report abuse

--"Could you be wrong?"--

Are Medicare and Medicaid failing? How many theories have you heard as to why that might be?

How's Romneycare in Massachusetts working out? Yeah, they rely in BILLIONS from the feds, just to keep that little state going. Where is the money going to come from when it's all fifty states clamoring for it?

Do you really believe Washington D.C. is going to *save* money on healthcare?

Where else have they *saved* money? Education, maybe? Laff.

The thing I wonder, when it all collapses, will people like you even have a clue as to what went wrong? I mean, even after people like me went blue in the face telling you it was wrong, will you ever be able to comprehend what you brought down on yourself?

Posted by: msoja | September 25, 2009 5:57 PM | Report abuse

Msoja, your ignorance is breathtaking. These problems are all pretty easy to fix. The only people standing in the way are people like you and the people who claim to represent them: Republicans and "conservative" Democrats.

If you are really concerned about expense, why don't we install the Canadian system, lock, stock and barrel? We lower costs by 50%, we balance the budget in two years and have surpluses as far as the eye can see, and we cover everybody. We just have to eliminate insurers, and pay all health care providers and drug companies 30-50% less.

What's wrong with that?

Posted by: Dollared | September 25, 2009 6:07 PM | Report abuse

"Won't work. On one hand are the freeloaders, who will be unrestrained in their uses of the system. "

I don't understand this sentence. Are France, Germany, or the UK. swamped by freeloaders? If everyone is paying based on income into the same fund, how do you have freeloaders?

Why don't we consider those who are receiving Medicare as freeloaders. Or how about those who have employer paid insurance with no taxation?

We are already spending enough money in this country to pay for better than basic care for every legal resident. We should put it all in a series of non-profit funds, set up a national schedule of benefits and get on with reforming care.

Posted by: Athena_news | September 25, 2009 6:50 PM | Report abuse

--"Sooner or later everyone will benefit."--

False. The productivity sucked out of the overall economy to fund a government health care scheme will be to everyone's detriment. And you'll still be stuck with incompetent, creaking, socialist health care.

--"when his house starts to burn the firemen should be free not to douse the flames"--

Are you going to forbid me to contract with people? There are private fire agencies in the country, you know.

--"why don't we install the Canadian system, lock, stock and barrel? We lower costs by 50%, we balance the budget in two years and have surpluses as far as the eye can see"--

Except for the fact that "the Canadian system" isn't something like an engine that one can swap in and out of a car, that Americans aren't Canadians, that Canadians would no longer have anywhere to go to escape their horrid system, that budget savings are imaginary, and any surpluses doubly so, I'd say you've really got something there.

Posted by: msoja | September 25, 2009 7:01 PM | Report abuse

--"Why don't we consider those who are receiving Medicare as freeloaders?"--

Medicare is still running a surplus, but that's what all the hullabaloo is about, because that surplus is about to come to an end, as America ages. When that lines gets crossed, you're looking at lots of free riders. Medicaid has always been a system of freebies, yanked out of productive people's earnings.

And, yes, France, UK, Germany are home to a huge number of people who live off other people's productivity, while contributing very little to none of their own. The Europeans have always been more honest in referring to themselves as "Welfare States". Productivity in Europe is markedly lower than in the U.S., as is the overall standard of living. Unemployment is typically higher. Of course, all that will change as the U.S. pursues its path toward European socialism. Which, of course, will be even worse for the Europeans, because they depend to such a great extent on America's productivity, ingenuity, and great wealth (our wealthy citizens buy their goods, go vacationing there, etc.) We also have absorbed many of their defensive costs, protecting them from the Soviets, for instance. As our money is drained into one socialist endeavor after another, we won't have as much wealth to toss around.

Like I say, it is not going to be pretty.

Judging from the stupidity in this thread alone, the coming disaster is inevitable. Again, I wonder how many of you will get it, even after it's fallen on yer haids.

Posted by: msoja | September 25, 2009 7:21 PM | Report abuse

OK, Msoja, you are simply a demonstration case for why no one should feed a troll. Don't fall off the edge of the earth on your way home tonight.

Posted by: Dollared | September 25, 2009 7:24 PM | Report abuse

ostap666 and WarrenTerra have it right - why would it cost the insurance company any money to provide coverage for an impossible condition?

I used to entertain libertarian arguments and argue in a language that they would understand (as a recovering libertarian, I feel like I still kinda understand how they think), like mentioning that decoupling employment from health insurance would create a healthier free market in jobs. But then I realized that most people using libertarian arguments weren't actually interested in libertarian principles, but just wanted to score partisan points.

Posted by: shanehuang | September 25, 2009 7:50 PM | Report abuse

--"no one should feed a troll."--

You know that's crap. I'm giving you real arguments, maybe the first time you've ever seen 'em if all you do is read the likes of Klein.

This country was founded on freedom and individual responsibility, and it's devolved to packs of people trying to claw freebies (oh, fix my obesity, fix my lung cancer, pay for my baby, treat my alcoholism, etc.) out of their working neighbor's hides. It's disgusting. It's a giant step backward from one of the high points of civilization.

Posted by: msoja | September 25, 2009 7:52 PM | Report abuse

--"why would it cost the insurance company any money to provide coverage for an impossible condition?"--

Yeah, the insurance company doesn't care, other than they can't offer a set of products that might be more profitable to them in the long run, but the issue is rather more about individuals being forced to buy policies that they'll never use. You understand that, don't you?

Posted by: msoja | September 25, 2009 8:04 PM | Report abuse

Of course, some insurance companies just LOVE being in bed with the government. It's guaranteed business. Think of the universal mandate! Everyone forced to buy insurance. What's not to like?

Posted by: msoja | September 25, 2009 8:07 PM | Report abuse

A lot of what msoja is simply false. Here some figure on productivity. Hope you can read them. Remember Europe was just as socialist in 1980 as they are now, maybe more so.

Tab. 1 – Hourly productivity growth rates
France Germany Italy United Kingdom EU15 Japan United States
1980-1985 3.1 2.0 2.0 2.2 2.4 2.3 1.4
1985-1990 2.5 2.1 2.0 1.8 2.0 3.7 1.3
1990-1995 1.6 2.1 2.6 2.2 2.0 2.3 1.1
1995-2001 0.9 1.7 1.1 1.5 1.3 1.6 1.8

Posted by: lensch | September 25, 2009 9:37 PM | Report abuse

--"Hourly productivity growth rates"--

Says nothing about overall productivity. So, try, try again.

Hint: According to a chart I'm looking at, the U.S. is second only to Luxembourgh, with the rest of Europe trailing far behind.

Posted by: msoja | September 25, 2009 10:03 PM | Report abuse

Msoja: real arguments?

"Can't have Canadian system because ...Canadians would no longer have a place to escape their horrid system..."That's an argument?

"any savings would be imaginary" that's an argument?

No, that's two contrary to fact assertions thrown out by you because you lost the argument and you have to revert to trolldom.

Get a life. People on this thread would like to solve the problem.

Posted by: Dollared | September 25, 2009 10:47 PM | Report abuse

"You've been brainwashed. There is no such thing."

And this is why msoja is the loudest galtroid dunce in dunce corner.

Posted by: pseudonymousinnc | September 25, 2009 11:12 PM | Report abuse

"It's disgusting. It's a giant step backward from one of the high points of civilization."

Not counting the slavery thing, natch.

We'll make sure that your Aspergers is covered in any basic plan, msoja. Now shush for a while: you're waking up the other dunces.

Posted by: pseudonymousinnc | September 25, 2009 11:17 PM | Report abuse

Oh well, here are the over productivity figures in US$ produced per hour per worker:

Luxembourg : 57.5
France : 56.6
Belgium : 55.9
Ireland : 51.8
Italy : 50.3
Austria : 46.4
Germany : 45.0
Netherlands : 44.5
Sweden : 42.6
Finland : 42.6
UK : 42.0
Denmark : 40.4
Malta : 35.7
Spain : 34.2
Estonia : 34.0
Greece : 33.1
Slovenia : 30.7
Slovakia : 27.8
Cyprus : 27.3
Portugal : 25.6
Latvia : 23.9
Hungary : 23.1
Poland : 22.4
Lithuania : 21.5
Czech Republic : 18.6
Bulgaria : 17.8
Romania : 10.0
------------------
Iceland : 29.4
Norway : 53.0
Switzerland : 35.6
Turkey : 28.5
Japan : 37.3
USA : 49.6

Posted by: lensch | September 25, 2009 11:58 PM | Report abuse

pseudo - Would you care to quote the Social Contract for us? Or provide a link? You know, just to prove it's not a figment of your imagination?

And slavery? It was introduced here (as was nearly everything back then) by Europeans, to feed their economies. After we got shot of them, we got rid of it.

lensch - Those appear to be old stats of unclear provenance.

You can play with the numbers here:

http://stats.oecd.org/Index.aspx?DatasetCode=DECOMP

Also, "productivity per hour" figures do not represent *overall* productivity, since workers in different countries work different numbers of hours per year.

I do note that the U.S. is slipping since 1950. Steadily. Undoubtedly matching the equally steady rise of wealth-sapping collectivism in this country.

Posted by: msoja | September 26, 2009 10:18 AM | Report abuse

"After we got shot of them, we got rid of it."

Really? There wasn't, say, a long and bloody civil war to decide that one? Read some John Locke, dunce. And see a psychiatrist.

Posted by: pseudonymousinnc | September 26, 2009 3:05 PM | Report abuse

pseudo - Oh, I get it, you're FOR slavery.

That explains your wanting to chain everybody to the yoke of the socialist state.

Posted by: msoja | September 26, 2009 5:41 PM | Report abuse

Get back in your corner, slowja, and tell the other dunces about the glory days of liberty for all, when 'all' meant 'white male slaveholders'.

Posted by: pseudonymousinnc | September 26, 2009 8:38 PM | Report abuse

It isn't liberty for all any more, is it, mousi? We're all living on the liberal plantation, and damned if we're not going to get some "free" health care, courtesy of our master. Taken right out of our own hides, too. Oh, are we going to be so grateful, there will never be another civil war, no, sir!

Posted by: msoja | September 26, 2009 10:37 PM | Report abuse

HalHorvath --

I tried to look at the article you cited, but the link no longer works.

You could summarize what it says if you like.

Posted by: PatS2 | September 27, 2009 1:46 PM | Report abuse

Geez, apparently even Senators have no concept of how insurance rates are determined! The very inclusion of minimum services covered does not alone lead to increased premiums. Insurance companies also assess the probability that you will use that service and charge you (via premiums) accordingly. So, men who have no chance of needing maternity care will pay nothing extra on their premiums because of maternity care coverage. Women who have no chance of requiring prostate exams will not pay more on their premiums just because it's covered.

If you still refuse to believe that you're not "subsidizing" some woman's maternity care, then just realize that she's also likely to "subsidize" some services she doesn't use but you do (like prostate care). The entire basis of insurance (with or without minimums and whether private or public) is that you are all subsidizing each other. It's why group insurance is so much less expensive than individual policies. By being part of an insurance group the overall risk to the insurance company is low and premiums from one person that uses relative few services off set the person that uses more. If you're really hard core about not "subsidizing" anyone else then quit your insurance plan and go it alone because the reality is you already are. And some one out there is "subsidizing" you. So get off your high horse!

Minimum coverage regulations for car insurance has not caused crazy drastic upward spirals in car insurance premiums. There is absolutely no reason to believe that minimum coverage for health insurance would either.

Posted by: gobfcs | September 29, 2009 1:09 PM | Report abuse

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