The Worst Conservative Lie About Health Care

Conservatives have been lying about health care for a long time in America. You can go back to the creation of Medicare and many of the right-wing arguments we hear today wouldn’t be out of place. Socialism! Communism! The death knell for American medicine! On and on and on.

Recently, of course, the conservative lie machine has been in overdrive in its attempt to derail reform. Thanks to Barack Obama and Democrats in congress, backed by the Supreme Court, the conservative nightmare of health insurance for poor and middle class Americans has been realized.

My colleagues at Media Matters have documented practically every lie to come down the pike on this issue. Some of them (death panels) are like zombies, returning from the dead even when you stick a stake in their black hearts.

But the worst lie, in my opinion, isn’t just about reform, but rather about the very nature of health care in America.

Conservatives love to say that nobody will be refused medical care in America. This is a lie. Sure, if you come into an emergency room in dire straits, no humane doctor or nurse will deny you care. But conservatives “yada yada” over the fact that so many of our fellow citizens wait until their health is at the emergency stage before they seek help.

There is a group of Americans who don’t have the luxury you and I have of making an appointment with their doctor when they feel a little discomfort in their arm, their chest, their leg, whatever. The quickie doctor visit and prescription you pick up at the corner pharmacy takes on a whole other huge financial dimension when you don’t have health insurance. The insulin for my diabetes costs me $20 under my health care plan. If I didn’t have insurance it would cost about $130. That’s just one medicine, for one month. If you don’t have health insurance, $130 isn’t peanuts. And that’s for a relatively mild ailment like diabetes.

God forbid you need to see a specialist.

And yes, again, the emergency doctors will help you when you get to a crisis point. But — and I can speak from recent family experience on this — you will have a giant bill hanging over your head, and the hospital will get you out of there in the quickest, most humane time possible.

Generally speaking, if you’ve had to go to the hospital for emergency care, you will need medical follow-up. Again, if someone doesn’t have insurance, is forced to let a condition reach the emergency stage — how are they to afford a follow-up?

And then they end up in emergency care again.

And guess who pays that bill? We do.

So by denying these people — our fellow citizens — health insurance, just ends up costing us more than if we provided care up front. Not to mention the immorality of making someone reach the emergency stage before they can be looked after.

The idea that everyone in America is okay because you won’t be refused emergency care is the biggest lie the right tells about this issue.

 

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  • oi ly

    “It is amazing that people who think we cannot afford to pay for doctors, hospitals, and medication somehow think that we can afford to pay for doctors, hospitals, medication and a government bureaucracy to administer it.”

    It’s mostly conservatives who believe we cannot afford those things and it’s also mostly conservatives who distrust government bureaucracy.

    Most liberals believe, as a nation, we can afford those basic services and it’s also mostly liberals who don’t have a vehement distrust for bureaucracy.

    So who’s he speaking to? Himself? Fancy bit of subterfuge that is.

  • Zython

    Who says?

    Economists.

    So you’re saying that the way to convince a businessman to hire more people is to raise the minimum wage ? Think about that for a moment. When was the last time you waited to buy something until after the price increased ?

    This misses one crucial point. I buy things cheap because I WANT to. A business doesn’t want to hire people. They want to do the work they need to do with the fewest number of people they can. They hire because they have to. If the demand for their goods and services increases, they’ll have to hire more workers.

    And who do you suppose “the government” will hire to do this work – after they have wasted millions, if not billions, on stupid government regulations – oompa loompas?

    Which “stupid government regulations” are going to cost them billions?

  • Justanotherrighty

    They’re not hiring people because they have no reason to
    Who says?
    Secondly, they have a reason to hold off on hiring: Taxes in 2013. They don’t know what Obamacare is going to do to the cost of business. Despite His Majestyness’ rosy predictions, businessmen are more cautious than that …

    Convince them to hire more people. One way is to actually require companies to pay people a living wage.
    So you’re saying that the way to convince a businessman to hire more people is to raise the minimum wage ? Think about that for a moment. When was the last time you waited to buy something until after the price increased ?

    If the private sector can’t be trusted to supply employment, then the government should do it themselves.
    And who do you suppose “the government” will hire to do this work – after they have wasted millions, if not billions, on stupid government regulations – oompa loompas?

  • Zython

    If you think that creating jobs in the private sector is the most important thing we can be doing right now, then what sense does it make to take ANY money out of the private sector via the tax code?

    With corporate profits at an all-time high, and corporate taxes at an all-time low, why are these “job creators” not, well, creaing jobs? The rich have made it clear they won’t hire more people, no matter how much free money you give them or how much you tilt the playing field in their favor. They’re not hiring people because they have no reason to. So we have two major options.

    1. Convince them to hire more people. One way is to actually require companies to pay people a living wage. There, they can actually buy things and get some aggregate demand going. They’re not going to hire people unless they have to, and the best way to do that is to increase the workload.

    2. If you want something done right, you gotta do it yourself. If the private sector can’t be trusted to supply employment, then the government should do it themselves. Our infrastructure could use some work.

  • Justanotherrighty

    I don’t know where you people live, but where I live, just outside of NYC in America, if I go to the Emergency Room, which I have several times, due to asthma attacks, I was asked if I had a doctor. When I did not, I was referred to the clinic. If I couldn’t pay, they took care of me. Exactly what they did, and how they did, I don’t know.
    But I think you are referring to “private” doctors, and “private” hospitals, and inventing all kinds of horrifying hypothetical situations.
    The reality is that people are receiving free, sliding scale, and co-paid medical care all over the place, all the time.
    This is the problem you all face, whether you like it or not :

    It is amazing that people who think we cannot afford to pay for doctors, hospitals, and medication somehow think that we can afford to pay for doctors, hospitals, medication and a government bureaucracy to administer it.

    ~ Thomas Sowell

    • db

      Frank,

      Replying to Mr. Sowell, because under the current system at every level of the Health Care Industry, the “bureaucracy” needs to make a profit. Success is not measured in Patients seen, X-Rays shot, Illness cured. It is measured by how much money is made on the process. Curing an illness is more renumerative than preventing it. (Surprise) Preventive care is much less covered.. How much cosmetic surgery is done in the US? How much of that was medically necessary? (And for that matter how many of the Canadians coming into the US for medical proceedures were getting cosmetic surgery?)

      The government “bureaucracy” does not need to make a profit. Preventive care is now more efficient as preventing the illness takes less “usage” than curing one.

      • Justanotherrighty

        Curing an illness is more remunerative than preventing it.
        You have evidence to support that ?
        Preventive care may not be covered (although I know it often is), because people don’t use it anyway – thus there are no savings in the “curing” department …

        The government “bureaucracy” does not need to make a profit.
        Ah, but it does have a huge overhead in salaries, benefits, real estate, and transportation. It is all going to be supernumerary to similar institutions in every state …

        • db

          Frank:

          “The government “bureaucracy” does not need to make a profit.
          Ah, but it does have a huge overhead in salaries, benefits, real estate, and transportation. It is all going to be supernumerary to similar institutions in every state …”

          Not if done on a Federal and your “Profit Enterprise” Insurance is going to need similar overhead.

          ” Curing an illness is more remunerative than preventing it.
          You have evidence to support that ?”

          That’s a clown question, bro.

  • Zython

    Are you saying that disabled people can’t work? That’s HIGHLY discriminatory of you: I thought you were a better man then that.

    OliverWillis.com: Non-ADA Compliant

    Maybe they should follow your logic and “get a limb”?

    Exactly what “money” are they “taking” to then “give” to the rich?

    Money from starving people to Monsanto.

    “Waaaahhhh, conservatives are mean!”

    *shrug* I was raised to believe that lying was wrong. But if you think of it as a game, that’s your business, I guess.

    With absolute 100% certainty, every time a liberal starts a sentence with “So…..”, you can be sure what comes next will be a false presumption.

    Of course, your highly detailed description of how the statement you quoted was misleading speaks for itself.

  • M2

    And here’s the GOP hard at work solving problems for the American people.

    http://www.cnn.com/2012/07/11/politics/house-health-care/index.html

    • The Dark Avenger

      That’ll help all the unemployed people whose future fate SF, PlunkedOut, and other conservative thinkers have expressed so much concern about.

      • SaveFarris

        When you penalize employers for hiring too many people and going over the coverage threshhold, DA: yes indeed, repealing ObamaCare DOES help the unemployed find jobs.

        • The Dark Avenger

          Then the logical step is to take away health care benefits or insurance as being a responsibility of employers and go for a single-payer system where employers benefit from having their workers covered without the responsibility of finding it for themselves.

          Thanks for helping me clear that up, SF.

          • SaveFarris

            Then the logical step is to take away health care benefits or insurance as being a responsibility of employers

            Completely 100% agree. If people are allowed, on their own, to buy the insurance they want, they don’t have to get new coverage every time they change jobs and the pre-existing condition issue goes away.

            …and go for a single-payer system

            See, there’s where you lose me. If you want increased wait times, decreased quality, and a welfare state that will cripple your nation’s economy in 10-50 years, then by all means go single payer.

            I, on the other hand, am not for these things and would rather see insurance companies compete against each other for business. The increased competition will increase quality, decrease costs, and continue to allow us to offer the best care in the world. Just like every other time competition is introduced into the marketplace.

        • Zython

          Yeah, go to the top part of the comments and actually click the quiz link. Tell us your score (no lying).

          • The Dark Avenger

            See, there’s where you lose me. If you want increased wait times, decreased quality, and a welfare state that will cripple your nation’s economy in 10-50 years, then by all means go single payer.

            Like those noted failures, Canada and Taiwan.

            I, on the other hand, am not for these things and would rather see insurance companies compete against each other for business. The increased competition will increase quality, decrease costs, and continue to allow us to offer the best care in the world. Just like every other time competition is introduced into the marketplace.

            SF, it’s true that many people come here from around the world to get the best medical care available, but they don’t come here to get entangled in the medical system that leaves 30 million Americans without health care.

            And, as Al Franken has pointed out, we’re the only country in the First World where people have to file for bankruptcy because of their medical bills, no doubt that’s the part of our system that makes conservative punks like you go “USA, USA, USA!”.

          • SaveFarris

            You were saying?

            In 2011, an estimated 46,159 Canadians received nonemergency
            medical treatment outside Canada. In some cases, these
            patients needed to leave Canada due to a lack of available resources
            or a lack of appropriate procedure/technology. In others,
            their departure will have been driven by a desire to return
            more quickly to their lives, to seek out superior quality care, or
            perhaps to save their own lives or avoid the risk of disability.
            Clearly, the number of Canadians who ultimately receive their
            medical care in other countries is not insignificant.

          • The Dark Avenger

            In both Canada and the United States, access to health care can be a problem. Studies suggest that 40% of U.S. citizens do not have adequate health insurance, if any at all. In Canada, however, as many as 5% of Canadian citizens have not been able to find a regular doctor, with a further 9% having never looked for one. Yet, even if some cannot find a family doctor, every Canadian citizen is covered by the national health care system. The U.S. data is evidenced in a 2007 Consumer Reports study on the U.S. health care system which showed that the underinsured account for 24% of the U.S. population and live with skeletal health insurance that barely covers their medical needs and leaves them unprepared to pay for major medical expenses. When added to the population of uninsured (approximately 16% of the U.S. population), a total of 40% of Americans ages 18–64 have inadequate access to health care, according to the Consumer Reports study.[45] The Canadian data comes from the 2003 Canadian Community Health Survey,[46]

            Sure, SF, a report from a right-wing Canadian outfit is the definite last word about it.

            We have a version of that in this country, SF, it’s known as medical tourism:

            “Our population is continuing to age into financially challenging procedures,” Woodman said. “Every month the insurance companies find a way to take benefits off the table. Each month there is a slightly bigger piece of the population pie that is going to find the cost savings very attractive.”

            “I would tend to say that 80 percent or more of the people using medical tourism are baby boomers,” said Rajesh Rao, CEO of IndUSHealth, a medical travel program provider for patients and employer health care plans. “I would say the bulk of utilization happens with baby boomers just because they’re at an age where they need more intervention.”

            Of course, this is a man who makes a living off of the phenomenon, as always, it should be taken with a grain of salt.

            So why are people leaving America to seek medical care elsewhere when we have “The best health care system in the World?” Why isn’t the free market dealing with this problem?

            Norman, please explain.

  • M2

    Off topic, but who else was hoping Mittens would pull a Bullworth before the NAACP today? At least “Who let the dogs out?”

  • SaveFarris

    OT: Why does Harry Reid hate the middle class?

    • M2

      Yes, because the Bush tax cuts continue to create jobs for the middle class. I mean, look how the “Job Creators” are hiring!!

      Lordy.

      • The Dark Avenger

        The Moony-Loony Washington Times?

        That’s an objective source.

        Not.

        • Christopher Foxx

          Farris: Why does Harry Reid hate the middle class?

          That’s right. The middle class are those folks making over a quarter million a year.

          From Farris’ link:

          Republicans, eager to put Senate Democrats on record on taxes, tried to force a vote Wednesday

          Sen. Mitch McConnell, Republicans’ leader, tried to set up competing votes — one on the GOP’s plan to extend all the tax cuts for one year, and another on Mr. Obama’s proposal to extend them only for households making $250,000 or less.

          a) The Republicans were playing election year games and Reid responded by not playing their way. And Farris goes “Boo hoo”.
          b) Republicans want to take money from programs which help the general population and give it to the rich, while Democrats don’t.

          • Christopher Foxx

            Grr. Hate it when I fuck up and forget to put the / in a closing tag.

          • SaveFarris

            a.I see, so voting on the President’s proposal is “a game” according to Democrats. No wonder this bunch hasn’t done their Constitutional duty and passed a simple budget for 3+ years.
            b. Exactly what “money” are they “taking” to then “give” to the rich? (Insert standard Princess Bride quote here) Until you specify, I’m going have to rate your response as “malarkey”.

        • SaveFarris

          I see, so the Senate was actually allowed to vote on Obama’s proposal? Wow, you’ve got yourself quite a scoop there!

    • db

      That’s a clown question, bro.

  • The Dark Avenger

    SF, there are a variety of conditions that can render someone unable to work for a living. Don’t play the fool insisting that Ollie was saying people with a disability are automatically unable earn income at some trade or craft or practice of a profession.

    Who can get Social Security disability benefits?

    Social Security pays benefits to people who cannot work because they have a medical condition that is expected to last at least one year or result in death. Federal law requires this very strict definition of disability. While some programs give money to people with partial disability or short-term disability, Social Security does not.

    This is your brain on Fox News. Any questions?

    • SaveFarris

      SF, there are a variety of conditions that can render someone unable to work for a living.

      I asked you to name one. You failed.

      • The Dark Avenger

        SF, I’m not your research monkey, but I;’ll give you one, ALS, or Lou Gehrigs’ disease, where the sufferer loses control of their voluntary muscles progressively, until they finally die.

        Or do you think Lou Gehrig was a faker who wanted to stay at home and not play baseball professionally?

        You are really dumb, SF,

        • SaveFarris

          If it’s not possible to hold a job whilst suffering from ALS, someone really needs to tell:

          Stephen Hawking (professor, scientist, author, actor)
          Steve Gleason (motivational speaker)
          Jason Becker (composer)
          Paul Celluci (attorney)

          • Christopher Foxx

            And Farris continue to show why he’s a moron who should just be ignored.

          • The Dark Avenger

            So, Lou Gehrig was faking it, SF?

          • SaveFarris

            A) That’s a movie, not real life. Yes, Gary Cooper was faking it.
            B) For the last 2 years of Gehrig’s life he … served as an NYC Parole Commissioner. Once again proving my point that ALS does not prevent someone from employment.

            Dark Avenger: Arbiter of Everyone Else’s Limitations

        • The Dark Avenger

          You forgot this, SF:

          About a month before his death, when Gehrig reached the point where his deteriorating physical condition made it impossible for him to continue in the job, he quietly resigned.[57]

          So, he had to leave his last job because of his ailment.

          God, you are really, really, stupid. How you remember to breath is beyond me.

          • Christopher Foxx

            Farris is the person who, on randomly stubbing his toe on a needle one day, declares that clearly its easy for anyone to find a needle in a haystack.

            Y’know. I’ll concede the point to Farris that there is probably SOME job SOME where that a person who is disabled/handicapped/whatever could do. Lou Gehrig was a parole commissioner and Steven Hawking has been a professor despite their having ALS. There are blind doctors, amputees who continue to serve in the military, etc etc.

            So, if you set aside those who are so ill they confined to a sick bed and need constant care, and if you really want to push the point, yes it could be difficult to find someone who is so disabled that there is literally no job they’re capable of doing.

            But having acknowledged that the far end of the bell curve does exist, the fact remains that being able to do a job and finding that job are two vastly different things. When there are move job seekers than jobs available, when the unemployment rate has NEVER been zero, claiming that anyone who wants to be employed actually would be is simply stupid.

            Which is why Farris keeps doing it.

          • SaveFarris

            First off, thank you for your well-reasoned and reserved response. That sort of debate can be hard to come by around these parts.

            You’re right that being capable of performing a job and getting hired to do it in the first place are two vastly different issues. Which is why it’s so important to make job creation Priority #1 in the country. So that we can hire as many people that are capable of doing said work as possible.

            …Which is why Obama’s plan to raise taxes on the very sort of people that create jobs in the first place flies in the face of 6000 years of economic theory. If you think that creating jobs in the private sector is the most important thing we can be doing right now, then what sense does it make to take ANY money out of the private sector via the tax code?

          • Christopher Foxx

            First, if you didn’t insist on being such a moron you might find yourself engaged in more conversations that are well-reasoned and reserved, Farris. Your pedantic focus on whether or not someone is truly unable to work in on obvious effort to avoid recognizing the reality that “Well, if they can’t afford their medical care They could always … get a job.” is a pathetically stupid thing to say.

            Not that you fool us for a moment into believing you want to participate in a well reasoned discussion. If you did you wouldn’t be posting such inherently false and stupid things like:

            Which is why Obama’s plan to raise taxes on the very sort of people that create jobs in the first place flies in the face of 6000 years of economic theory.

            “6000 years” is just the easiest target. Yes, folks, Farris has “well reasoned” that we should continue with the economic theories of people had had yet to domesticate the horse, made tools from stone and were still a few millennia from conceiving of money.

            And “the very sort of people that create jobs in the first place ” aren’t the uber wealthy. The majority of jobs are created by small businesses. Which tend to be owned by people making less than $250k a year.

            But Farris has been told by some multi-millionaires that they don’t have enough money and if we give them some more then they promises they’ll give a little of it back to us. And in typical fashion he’s decided it’s easier to just believe them than actually consider if what they told him makes sense.

  • Christopher Foxx

    OW: Again, if someone doesn’t have insurance, is forced to let a condition reach the emergency stage — how are they to afford a follow-up?

    SaveFarris: They could always … get a job.

    And then, they could eat cake!

    • M2

      If only children with leukemia were old enough to bartend.

      • Christopher Foxx

        As I’m sure Farris would point out, it’s their own fault for being so young. They should make themselves age faster.

  • Christopher Foxx

    Zython: Before this thread goes to shit, I would like to post this quiz. See how much you really know about the ACA.

    I got “You answered 9 out of 10 questions correctly, better than 97% of Americans” but I’m looking forward to Plunket et al telling me I don’t know what I’m talking about next time we get into a discussion on the ACA. (Missed #9 because I wasn’t sure so went with “don’t know”. Given the certainty opponents of the ACA claim to have in their views, I wonder what percent of respondents actually admit to “don’t know” on questions.)

    Nice little quiz. I’d like how it shows the results to see how many folks missed each questions. 75% incorrectly believe this will burden small businesses (it doesn’t), over half think illegal immigrants get insurance (they don’t) while citizens on Medicare will lose benefits (they won’t).

    And here’s one of the reasons the “death panels” zombie keeps coming back: Even things like this quiz, which are trying to present info clearly and accurately, screw up and let wingnuts set the conversation.

    Will the health reform law allow a government panel to make decisions about end-of-life care for people on Medicare?

    No. No such panels exist. While early versions of the law did contain provisions that would allow Medicare to reimburse physicians for voluntary discussions with patients about end-of-life planning, these provisions were dropped from the final legislation.

    That reimbursements for end-of-life counseling were dropped is irrelevant. Mentioning them provides folks who want to stay ignorant with something to point at and say “Well, if there was nothing wrong with it then why was it dropped? Those were the death panels. See they were in there. But now ‘No such panels exist’ because they got dropped from the law.”

    Correct explanation to provide: “No. No such panels were ever even proposed. The so-called “death panels” were a lie created by opponents of the ACA.”

  • Christopher Foxx

    IOW, Oliver, it’s just more of the same utter lack of “fiscal responsibility” that we hear from from “conservatives” all the time.

    They simply can’t understand that saving a dime now means you’re going to have to spend a dollar later. Because they can see the dime, and the dollar is going to be someone else’s problem.

    They’re in favor of the most expensive way to deliver health care (providing emergency care).
    They’re in favor of spending $30,000 a year to keep someone in jail instead of $5000 to provide education or job training.
    They’re in favor of prolonging “temporary” tax cuts while undertaking extremely expensive wars.

    They are NOT the party of fiscal responsibility. Never have been.

    • Plunket

      OMG.

      Shorter C. Foxx: “Waaaahhhh, conservatives are mean!”

      The Left, Aggrieved.

      • Christopher Foxx

        So I point out positions the right has and continue to take and Plunket doesn’t like it.

        And does Plunket respond like an adult by showing where they haven’t taken those positions? Nope.
        Does Lunkhead reply like a petulant child and just unsupportedly claim they don’t take those positions? Nope.

        No, Flunked responds like a true wingnut by simply whining “I’m not a cry baby! I’m not. I’m not. I’m not. You are. Yeah, that’s the ticket. You’re the cry baby! Not me. Waaaaaa.”

        This is what we can expect.

        • The Dark Avenger

          FlunkedIt/Dennis is becoming the Galactus of butthurt around here.

          • Plunket

            FlunkedIt

            Reading Mencken at 14. Unemployed copypasta internet junkie at 53.

            And proud of it.

            Tsk-tsk.

            A crying shame.

          • The Dark Avenger

            Like I really give a rat’s ass what you think, Dennis. Did you have another bad day at the bank today?

    • db

      CF,

      They’re the party of fiscal responsibility when they are not in government & bear no responsibility for their actions. Once the responsibility is theirs, “deficits don’t matter”.

      Same for term limits & balanced budget amendments. They’re for them untill they actually have to live up to the talk.

      • Plunket

        Obama in 2010: Raising Taxes Will Lead to ‘More Folks Potentially Losing Jobs’

        “I am just listening to the consensus among people who know the economy best. And what they will say is that if you either increased taxes or significantly lowered spending when the economy remains somewhat fragile, that that would have a destimulative effect and potentially you’d see a lot of folks losing business, more folks potentially losing jobs. That would be a mistake when the economy has not fully taken off.”

        If you want someone to tell you what you want to hear when you want to hear it, Obama’s your guy.

        Read the whole thing.

        • The Dark Avenger

          So, Dennis, the economy is still so fragile that a tax on the top 5% and on 3.5% of all small businesses will crash the economy?

          You’re correct, Obama shouldn’t go back in time to 2010 and try to raise taxes back then.

          • Plunket

            So, Dennis, the economy is still so fragile……. – Copypasta Troll

            Every damn time.

            With absolute 100% certainty, every time a liberal starts a sentence with “So…..”, you can be sure what comes next will be a false presumption.

            Also applies to when they start sentences with either of the following “In other words……” and “What you’re really saying is……”.

          • The Dark Avenger

            Your attempt to oversimplify isn’t working Dennis. Have a good lunch break.

          • Christopher Foxx

            So….. maybe Plunket isn’t really that stupid.
            In other words…… maybe he isn’t actually a moronic troll.
            What you’re really saying is…… when Dark Avenger says anything, including comments which don’t include any quotes or references, he’s a copy pasting troll but when Plunket blockquotes something that’s different.

        • Plunket

          The question, C+P, is why does Obama think now, when it appears our economy is heading south again, that raising taxes on the people paying the brunt of the current tax burden, is such a grand idea?

          So…… in other words…….what you’re really saying is……..raising taxes on people doing less well than they were two years is now supposed to spur economic growth. Is that what Krugman is telling you these days?

          • The Dark Avenger

            The question, C+P, is why does Obama think now, when it appears our economy is heading south again, that raising taxes on the people paying the brunt of the current tax burden, is such a grand idea?

            The top 5% can well-afford the tax hike, Dennis, they weren’t decimated by the Clinton-era taxes for their bracket, nor the Reagan rates.

            So…… in other words…….what you’re really saying is……..raising taxes on people doing less well than they were two years is now supposed to spur economic growth.

            Really, the top 5% are doing less well than they were two years ago?

            Let’s revisit what he said, since you brought it up:

            This is the basis of the result from optimal taxation theory that says that from the point of view of everyone except the very rich the optimal top tax rate is the rate that maximizes revenue — full stop. And since the rich already make so much money, their marginal utility from an extra dollar is very small, so the revenue-maximizing tax also maximizes welfare for society as a whole.

            Oh, and we have pretty good evidence on the (small) actual incentive effects of changes in top tax rates, enough to suggest that the optimal rate is in the 70-80 percent range — which is where it was in the 1960s, a decade of very good economic performance.

            Serious fail, Dennis.

          • Christopher Foxx

            Huh. Two days later and my comment is still tagged “Your comment is awaiting moderation.” Just because I included two links to show how full of bunk Plunket is??

  • db

    DA,

    Outside the fevered imagination of SF & several others; it’s not generally assumed that those out of work want to sit. Bad stuff happens to good people. Any of us can lose our jobs, have major medical problems, or otherwise wind up with crushing expenses. As Woody Guthrie said, “Every good man has a little hard luck sometimes”.

    I’m glad things are working out for your sister-in-law. I might suggest that she force the Dr & collection agency to sue her for the debt. It would force the Judge to see all the bogus fees & still award them to the agency. She might be able to settle off of the original amount. But I don’t live in CA.

    Which reminds me. OW lists all our postings on Eastern time. It doesn’t matter which time zone we’re in; it all comes out NY time. It makes the “waiting up” argument rather tentative as the west coast guys have a three hour advance when they post.

  • M2

    Letting thousands and thousands of your countrymen die every year because they can’t afford treatment is immoral and Un-American. Simple as that.

  • The Dark Avenger

    db, SF no doubt believes that the high unemployment is due to Obummer encouraging people to suck on the public teat, and that if people are motivated enough, they can still find jobs despite the lack of demand in our current economy.

    My sister-in-law is fine, she got help from a county fund designated to help low-income people with their medical bills(whatever taxes I paid into it, I’m glad it gets spent that way, we’re not talking about helping people sit on their ass all day, as with the bailout of the bankers), the hospital waived most of their charges, and she did get work after she went through Certified Nursing Assistant training to help pay for the rest.

    The worse part was one of her doctors, who started charging interest on her unpaid balance from a few days after the bill was due, not 30 days as is required by law. She’s making payments on the unpaid principle through a collection agency, the interest will then be due when the principle is paid off. I told her to take the doctor to small claims court when that happens, so her sister can demonstrate his unethical behavior to a judge and get a judgement in her favor that she doesn’t owe any interest because of said behavior.

    • Christopher Foxx

      I truly hope your sister-in-law follows up on that.

  • db

    DA,

    I’m confused. In the very last thread SF was complaining about how high unemployment is under President Obams. In this thread he’s blythely suggesting that anyone go out and get a job. But if unemployment is so high “due to the failed policies of President Obama” then isn’t he admitting that the jobs aren’t out there to get?

    Sorry to hear of your sister-in-law. I hope she muddles through somehow.

  • The Dark Avenger

    el, we also know that a minimum wage job can help pay for a condition that lands you in the emergency room in no time at all.

    Like the time my sister-in-law had to be taken to the hospital with appendicitis, the hospital bill was 60K, which when you get paid 8.00$/hr in California, isn’t really that big a deal, right?

  • enlightened liberal

    Because we all know that all jobs provide affordable health insurance and that companies are willing to hire people who are already sick.

    Oh wait, what we REALLY know is that healthcare options are limited and that Ferris is a glib moron who doesn’t have anything to add to any discussion.

  • SaveFarris

    By the way, we really should mention the Worst Liberal Lie about Health Care: that Medicare as we know it will still exist in 10 years.

  • SaveFarris

    Again, if someone doesn’t have insurance, is forced to let a condition reach the emergency stage — how are they to afford a follow-up?

    They could always … get a job. I know, I know: work and self-reliance is a foreign concept to most liberals. But America used to be a place where people actually took pride in themselves and actually acted responsibly instead of living off the public teat.

    • The Dark Avenger

      They could always … get a job. I know, I know: work and self-reliance is a foreign concept to most liberals.

      Yep, because it’s always easy to get a job when the unemployment rate is so high. Or, they can collect cans and bottles to recycle for money.

      But America used to be a place where people actually took pride in themselves and actually acted responsibly instead of living off the public teat.

      Yes, let’s take our laws back to the late 19th Century, when people actually took pride in themselves and silently starved to death when they couldn’t find work.

      BTW, SF, since there have always been those who endeavored to live off the public teat, if by that you also include getting money from the government for doing essentially nothing but push papers around, since before the foundation of the Republic. George Washington’s family was part of one such endeavor:

      In the mid 18th century, many within the British Empire viewed the Ohio River Valley, a region west of the Appalachian Mountains thinly populated by American Indians, as a source of potential wealth. In the 1740s, British and Irish businessmen such as George Croghan and William Trent were moving into the area and competing with French merchants in the lucrative fur trade. Land speculators looked to the Ohio Country as a place where lands might be acquired and then resold to immigrants.

      Thomas Lee, president of the Virginia Council of State, organized the Ohio Company of Virginia in 1747.

      In 1747 a number of influential men organized the Ohio Company of Virginia in order to capitalize on these opportunities. The Ohio Company was composed of Virginians, including Thomas Lee as president, Nathaniel Chapman as treasurer (1709–1760),[1] John Mercer as the company’s secretary and general counsel, John’s son George Mercer as the company’s agent to England, two of George Washington’s brothers, Lawrence Washington (who succeeded to the management upon the death of Lee) and Augustine Washington, Jr., as well as Englishmen, including the Duke of Bedford, Virginia Governor Robert Dinwiddie, and John Hanbury[disambiguation needed], a wealthy London merchant. A rival group of land speculators from Virginia, the Loyal Company of Virginia, was organized about the same time, and included influential Virginians such as Thomas Walker and Peter Jefferson (father of Thomas Jefferson).

      You really don’t know much about American(“Amurican” for you folks playing the Southern version of the “I’m a REAL PATRIOT” game at home) history for a so-called freedom lover, do you, SF?

    • http://www.thedailybanter.com/author/oliver-willis/ Oliver Willis

      And if they’re disabled? And you assume just getting a job can magically cover expensive medical bills.

      ” But America used to be a place where people actually took pride in themselves and actually acted responsibly instead of living off the public teat.”

      AKA “die, quickly”

      • SaveFarris

        Are you saying that disabled people can’t work? That’s HIGHLY discriminatory of you: I thought you were a better man then that.

        OliverWillis.com: Non-ADA Compliant

        • The Dark Avenger

          Disabled, as in having a physical disability that renders the person unable to hold down a job, SF.

          Trying to win on semantics, SF. That’s really dumb, even for you.

          • SaveFarris

            Please name for me a single disability that renders someone “unable to hold down a job”.

            Not “unable to hold down a certain job”, mind you. Not being able to see surely disqualifies you from a job in Optometry, Construction or Pediatric Surgery. It does NOT disqualify you from Accounting, Teaching, Sales, et.al.

            I daresay there’s not a single disability you can name that disqualifies you from *all* employment.

          • Christopher Foxx

            By Farris’ logic, the unemployment rate is currently around 8% because 8% of the people out there just don’t want to work.

            Because if they actually wanted to work, then they would be working.

            (Of course, for Farris-logic to work, you have to ignore lots of actual facts. Not least of which is just because there is some job somewhere that a person could do doesn’t mean that job is available.)

  • Zython

    Before this thread goes to shit, I would like to post this quiz. See how much you really know about the ACA.

    • Justanotherrighty

      I got 9 out of 10; what did you get ?

      • Zython

        Same, answered “I don’t know” for the last one.

  • thad

    “Some of them (death panels) are like zombies, returning from the dead even when you stick a stake in their black hearts.”

    Well, I mean, that’s what you get for getting zombies mixed up with vampires.

    Re: “the conservative nightmare of health insurance for poor and middle class Americans” — well, I know we’re all aware of this but it bears repeating at every possible opportunity: conservatives were pretty cool with the whole individual mandate thing — it was their idea, after all — up until Democrats caved and agreed to it, at which point it magically transformed into socialism.

    Which unfortunately is pretty emblematic of both parties’ slide toward the right over the past decades — Democrats propose something modest, Republicans scream and howl that it’s socialist and come up with a more conservative version, Democrats agree to THAT, Republicans scream and howl that it’s socialist and suggest something more conservative still…

    Don’t get me wrong, I’m glad we got something resembling universal healthcare, and it’s a huge improvement even if it’s not what I wanted. (And even if the Obama Administration keeps granting my insurance company waivers to the “no more caps on payouts” rule. Oh well, maybe NEXT year I won’t have to worry about seeing the dreaded “EXCEEDS PLAN MAXIMUM” on an invoice for my asthma meds.)