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Repeal of Obamacare (Page 16)
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The Final Dakar
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Aug 3, 2017, 02:27 PM
 
Originally Posted by subego View Post
We can take this in a different direction. I didn't originally include them because they don't get repealed.

My claim is legislation on the scale of the ACA should be bipartisan.

The only thing which I feel meets that bar over the last 20 years is the PATRIOT Act. I am in full agreement the political realities of the time influenced the unity between the parties.

What are the next choices? Medicare/aid? Social Security?
Ok and to be fair I should say I don't disagree it greases the wheels but in the context of the time, it was either pass it alone or don't do it all. I think the latter is acceptable in some circumstances.
     
besson3c  (op)
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Aug 3, 2017, 04:36 PM
 
The Final Dakar: you've often accused me of being a shitty thread maker. Well, this one is 16 pages so far, so you were wrong and probably owe me an apology.
     
The Final Dakar
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Aug 3, 2017, 04:52 PM
 
Originally Posted by besson3c View Post
The Final Dakar: you've often accused me of being a shitty thread maker. Well, this one is 16 pages so far, so you were wrong and probably owe me an apology.
The thread survived for two reasons: It quickly derailed to healthcare discussion then ACA news

B. You weren't here for most of it
     
besson3c  (op)
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Aug 3, 2017, 06:25 PM
 
Originally Posted by The Final Dakar View Post
The thread survived for two reasons: It quickly derailed to healthcare discussion then ACA news

B. You weren't here for most of it

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Aug 3, 2017, 08:14 PM
 
Originally Posted by subego View Post
The only thing which I feel meets that bar over the last 20 years is the PATRIOT Act. I am in full agreement the political realities of the time influenced the unity between the parties.

What are the next choices? Medicare/aid? Social Security?
The PATRIOT Act was legislated under the influence (of 9/11), and I think overall a very harmful piece of legislation. War and terrorist attacks temporarily cover up partisan divides. If you look at the legislation around the 2007/2008 financial crisis, the bailout and stimulus packages, you see a deeper partisan divide — especially after Obama took office.

I don't think it is realistic to expect this level of bipartisanship from legislation. The filibuster rule enforces a 60-vote majority which is already quite close to 2/3 majorities which are usually required in other countries to amend their constitutions. The Democrats were able to reach that without Republican support for a short while.

I take your point that the ACA would be in less trouble if some in the GOP had voted for it. But again, I can think of plenty of similarly big changes in other countries where there wasn't even talk of reversing it. German conservatives in the late 1990s and early 2000s were strictly against civil unions for homosexual couples. But they didn't reverse that law after getting into power in 2005, they accepted the change and moved on, and merely tried to block full equality of civil unions and heterosexual marriage.

Perhaps I'm not bringing my point across well, but I am arguing that we should aim to return to democratic norms whereas I think you are arguing that it is better legislating under the worst assumptions of what the GOP will do once it gets into power. If you criticize my stance as being idealistic and unrealistic, yeah, then you have a point, I take that criticism.
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Aug 3, 2017, 08:42 PM
 
Originally Posted by OreoCookie View Post
But again, I can think of plenty of similarly big changes in other countries where there wasn't even talk of reversing it. German conservatives in the late 1990s and early 2000s were strictly against civil unions for homosexual couples. But they didn't reverse that law after getting into power in 2005, they accepted the change and moved on, and merely tried to block full equality of civil unions and heterosexual marriage.

Perhaps I'm not bringing my point across well, but I am arguing that we should aim to return to democratic norms whereas I think you are arguing that it is better legislating under the worst assumptions of what the GOP will do once it gets into power. If you criticize my stance as being idealistic and unrealistic, yeah, then you have a point, I take that criticism.
Hear, hear. A voice of political sanity. I'd like to see things work like that.

Dems get in power, run through healthcare with a public mandate.
Reps get in power, try to pass flag-burning amendment, try to ban abortions, force a balanced-budget amendment with public support.
Dems get in power, ditch civil asset forfeiture, tone down the drug war.

If only the parties tried to improve things, instead of doing everything they can to undo the last party's improvements. Cumulative improvements and solved problems would add up fast.
     
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Aug 3, 2017, 09:30 PM
 
Originally Posted by reader50 View Post
Hear, hear. A voice of political sanity. I'd like to see things work like that.
Thanks
It took me a while to boil it down to a sentence, though.
Originally Posted by reader50 View Post
If only the parties tried to improve things, instead of doing everything they can to undo the last party's improvements. Cumulative improvements and solved problems would add up fast.
I think this is an essential point. Civil asset forfeiture is one prime example where the divide doesn't seem to run cleanly across party lines. If I were American, I'd be deeply disturbed by the fact that this is even supposed to be legal as I don't see any reasoning why it should be. I'm dumbfounded why certain topics in American politics like the legality of abortions are being re-re-re-re-re-litigated over and over and over again, creating insufferable acrimony between the political parties in the process, instead of, say, decreasing the number of abortions with policies that are proven to do that (e. g. better availability of contraception and better sex education at schools). It's such a waste of energy and time.

If you go to youtube now and pretend it is a representation of where US culture is, you see tons of these “smackdown” videos, where people pretend a witty reply from someone they like has just “completely destroyed” the other side. At times people from both sides use the exact same video, but think it was a “win” for “their” side. It appeals to the primate part of our brains, but at the end “Ben Shapiro's takedown of a stupid college SJW” hasn't led to one iota of change. You can see that with the health care bill and the executive orders: all that is important is a “win”, to pass something, not, say, a proposed solution to the American health care crisis (much more expensive than elsewhere, mediocre health outcomes) using conservative principles. Instead fear prevails, because conservative healthcare legislation could actually have helped make the ACA successful.
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besson3c  (op)
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Aug 4, 2017, 12:20 AM
 
OreoCookie and reader50 are really good. I'm not sure who is better, you guys will need to compete for my attention and favor.
     
subego
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Aug 4, 2017, 01:24 AM
 
I feel what's being called for isn't rationalism in politics, but redesign of the rules.

Based on the ruleset, what we have is rationalism.

It's supposed to be a bitch to make something stick. The rules were intentionally written this way.
     
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Aug 4, 2017, 03:04 AM
 
Originally Posted by subego View Post
I feel what's being called for isn't rationalism in politics, but redesign of the rules.

Based on the ruleset, what we have is rationalism.

It's supposed to be a bitch to make something stick. The rules were intentionally written this way.
No, there will always be gaps where you can stick to the letter of the rules/laws while blatantly violating the spirit. These norms are what makes democracy work not just as a technocracy, a system with definite rules, but a real democracy. You cannot legislate civility or trust. With that I mean both trust in each other (e. g. Democrats and Republicans in each other), but also trust that citizens have in their institutions. The approval ratings of Congress are at a record low, and this is a major part of the problem. By many you are not admired as being a member of Congress, especially if you are from “the other party”, you are something that lives in a disgusting swamp (to conjure up an image of the current president).

Just think of what has happened to Supreme Court Justice nominee Merrick Garland: the framers did not foresee the situation where the Senate would simply not put the topic on the agenda and refuse to hold hearings on the nominee. They expected that if the President proposes an unsuitable candidate, then this person will be rejected in hearings. Garland was qualified, but the GOP wanted to refuse him for political purposes. I'd be hard pressed to put my finger on a law that was broken by McConnell, I'd be trivial to point out that McConnell's strategy goes against the intent of the Appointments Clause (Artice II, Section 2, Clause 2).

Or think of the wing nutty fan wankery that you encounter from pundits (strife and conflict = ratings): I think a lot of what they say and do contributes to the erosion of trust, but what they say is — and should be — legal, even if I find it to be irresponsible. Legality is a bad replacement for morality.
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Aug 4, 2017, 03:34 AM
 
Originally Posted by OreoCookie View Post
German conservatives in the late 1990s and early 2000s were strictly against civil unions for homosexual couples. But they didn't reverse that law after getting into power in 2005, they accepted the change and moved on, and merely tried to block full equality of civil unions and heterosexual marriage.
This just proves subego's point. There was never a complete, 100% rejection of gay civil unions by German conservatives, at most it was ~50-60%, which is easily still enough to consider something bipartisan here. All-out refusal to approve a bill, in US politics, is just an invitation to have it reversed, once that other party comes into power. The Dems wasted 100s of $billions$, if not $trillions$, with their idiocy. And what's worse, as usual, they leave the door cracked open for exploitation by Repubs with their "by any means necessary" tactics.

the Left: "Obama needs to use EOs because the Repubs are blocking him." (Come to find out, Obama never extended an olive branch to anyone.)
Me: "That's a bad idea, at some point this will come back to bite us all, and most will just get undone anyway."
the Left: "Nah."
... 2 years later
the Left: "OH F@#K!"
Me: "Told ya so."

Good execs find a way to get things done amicably. It may turn out to be a situation where no one is truly happy, but at the same time no one is completely against it. Obama, despite being a decent person (much better than Hillary), was a bad executive, and that's why the lion's share of his legacy will be dismantled before he's even dead. I genuinely hate that for him, it has to be a bitter pill and I'd never wish that upon him (because as I said before, he seems like a good person), and he certainly has my sympathy.
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Aug 4, 2017, 03:51 AM
 
Let me also throw in there civil unions don't cost the state any money at all.
     
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Aug 4, 2017, 04:32 AM
 
Originally Posted by Cap'n Tightpants View Post
This just proves subego's point. There was never a complete, 100% rejection of gay civil unions by German conservatives, at most it was ~50-60%, which is easily still enough to consider something bipartisan here.
No, it doesn't. At no point did the conservatives have the votes to repeal it, even if 100 % of their members of parliament voted for it (which they wouldn't). There aren't just two parties in the German parliament, conservatives have never had more than 40 % of the total number of seats. And of course, any such law would have needed support from the second chamber, which it also has never had.

But it is not really about having or not having the votes, it is respect for what the population wants and where support is going. Even in 2001 the majority of the population was in favor. When in 2005 Merkel and her conservatives got in power, the support had solidified across the political spectrum. I am not sure what support amongst conservative voters was in 2005, I couldn't find statistics that far back, but now in 2017 just amongst conservative voters 2/3 are in favor for true marriage equality and not just civil unions. And respect for this was the reason the conservatives didn't turn back the hands of time. This is an issue that could cost the conservatives an election, because the majority parties are centrists, they fish for votes in the same pool.

Merkel recently allowed for a vote for total marriage equality (where in the future civil unions are replaced by bona fide marriages for homosexual couples) to go through (roughly 75 % of the population was in favor of that, and [url=http://www.zeit.de/politik/deutschland/2013-02/homo-ehe-befuerworter-umfrage2/3rds of people who vote for the conservatives[/url]), because it was clear a vote for this would have to be in the next coalition agreement. Despite 2/3rds of their own voters being in favor, support amongst the parliamentarians was much smaller. Depending on how you want to judge this, Merkel is either smart because she avoids an issue that the other parties could use to take votes from them. Or Merkel has finally accepted where the wind is blowing and no longer stood in the way.
Originally Posted by Cap'n Tightpants View Post
All-out refusal to approve a bill, in US politics, is just an invitation to have it reversed, once that other party comes into power. The Dems wasted 100s of $billions$, if not $trillions$, with their idiocy.
The Democrats did have a clear mandate given to them by the voter, and I don't think their effort went to waste, it was a qualified success: it was the first real change to the American health care system in decades. The GOP does not have the votes to repeal it, they need 60 in the Senate which they do not have. Typically, the majority party in the Senate does not reach 60 votes, so this limit encourages bipartisanship.

The ACA will not be repealed, because the GOP doesn't have 60 votes in the Senate. Furthermore, the lack of ideas on health care in the GOP means that the shift in support in favor of a health care system that resembles those the other first world countries have. Some of the main policy changes enacted with the ACA are very popular and I don't see a way to put the geenie back into the bottle. While the Republicans are still quarreling amongst themselves, the Democrats are already thinking about the next steps (e. g. a public option or rolling out Medicare for everyone). Even if the GOP manages to pass a version of “repeal” (which isn't a repeal of the central regulations), I think support amongst the population for reforms that the Democrats suggest is growing.
Originally Posted by Cap'n Tightpants View Post
And what's worse, as usual, they leave the door cracked open for exploitation by Repubs with their "by any means necessary" tactics.
The GOP breaking norms and being destructive rather than constructive has nothing to do with the Democrats using a large Senate majority to pass laws that typically would only be passable with support from the other party. Even if you think what “the other party” does is morally bad, rise above them, not go below them. Even on the playground do we teach our children that “But he did it, too!” is not a defense. I don't accept this as an excuse.
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Aug 4, 2017, 04:40 AM
 
Originally Posted by subego View Post
Let me also throw in there civil unions don't cost the state any money at all.
Explain to me how well this argument worked in the US until the Supreme Court declared bans of same-sex marriages unconstitutional. I would even say that because it isn't about money, it makes the arguments harder because they are impervious to economic arguments.
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subego
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Aug 4, 2017, 04:51 AM
 
Wait, I'm confused...

If there were never the votes to flip civil unions, how can it be said the conservatives respected the desires expressed by the earlier vote? They respected the vote because they didn't have enough support to do anything about it.
     
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Aug 4, 2017, 05:15 AM
 
Originally Posted by subego View Post
If there were never the votes to flip civil unions, how can it be said the conservatives respected the desires expressed by the earlier vote? They respected the vote because they didn't have enough support to do anything about it.
By themselves they didn't have the votes, but they may have tried in 2005 to put it in the coalition agreement. And if it is in the coalition agreement, they would get the votes from their partner, thereby getting a majority. The point is that they never tried, they accepted it and moved on. The conservatives (with the exception of the Bavarians which enter parliament as a separate conservative party) also didn't make it topic for elections, because the German political landscape is not polarized. Banking on the votes of social archconservatives would therefore be a sure way to lose the elections and not being able to secure coalition partners.

In the US it is the opposite, both parties, and the GOP more than the Democrats, have moved to the extremes. That means topics such as global climate change and gay marriage are political demarkation lines in ways they are not in Germany. In Germany, the big parties win elections in the middle, not at the fringes.

But also historically, there have been a number of very controversial policies enacted that then the other side did not revoke. One that comes to mind is the Neue Ostpolitik (New Eastearn Policy) that the Social Democrats instituted in 1969. The idea was to open up formal relations with Eastern Germany, and this was ultimately successful: in 1972 the two German states signed and ratified the Basic Treaty. The Christian Democrats voted against it, and even during campaigning they called the Social Democrats traitors. I wasn't alive then, but according to history books and my parents, the time was intense. Was the treaty revoked when the conservatives got into power again? What do you think? No, because in the meantime it became clear that it was the right move. In fact, those diplomatic relations proved invaluable in the run-up to reunification, and one of the biggest critics of the Basic Treaty himself used his influence to further the ties to the German “Democratic” Republic. Again, it's not about votes, it's a different approach to politics.
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Aug 4, 2017, 05:17 AM
 
Originally Posted by OreoCookie View Post
Explain to me how well this argument worked in the US until the Supreme Court declared bans of same-sex marriages unconstitutional. I would even say that because it isn't about money, it makes the arguments harder because they are impervious to economic arguments.
I'm not talking about getting the law passed, I'm talking about getting the law flipped.

Let's say I'm an opposition politician.

A juggernaut government programs is right up in my face every year during budget negotiations.

Civil unions have their moment, and then it's done.

Very possible my ass unfrosts more slowly with the juggernaut government program.
     
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Aug 4, 2017, 05:26 AM
 
Originally Posted by subego View Post
A juggernaut government programs is right up in my face every year during budget negotiations. [...] Very possible my ass unfrosts more slowly with the juggernaut government program.
Maybe I'm not doing a very good job conveying this, but this is just not in our cultural DNA. Germany is currently ruled by a Great Coalition between the two large centrist parties and we have a budget surplus. Consensus-oriented policy making is deeply embedded in our culture, and part of that means that you accept losses and move on. We have had a welfare state since ever, supported by both parties (the German health insurance system was introduced in the 1880s by Bismark himself). These types of problems don't really come up.

Civil unions created far more political stir back in the day than any big budget social program, precisely because it isn't about money. The only exception I can think of was the switch away from nuclear power to renewables that have been torpedoed in small ways (a faster-than-anticipated reduction in subsidies for solar which resulted in the collapse of German solar cell manufacturers, not smart) but not in major ways (the current government is still pushing for these electricity highways that will connect offshore wind farms with the South of Germany that crucially lacks beach real estate).
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Aug 4, 2017, 07:25 AM
 
Originally Posted by OreoCookie View Post
No, it doesn't. At no point did the conservatives have the votes to repeal it, even if 100 % of their members of parliament voted for it (which they wouldn't). There aren't just two parties in the German parliament, conservatives have never had more than 40 % of the total number of seats. And of course, any such law would have needed support from the second chamber, which it also has never had.
I never said they had 40%, I said at least 40% of conservatives still supported gay civil unions, you're mis-comprehending what I wrote. (The rest of what you wrote is based off that misunderstanding.)

The Democrats did have a clear mandate given to them by the voter, and I don't think their effort went to waste, it was a qualified success: it was the first real change to the American health care system in decades. The GOP does not have the votes to repeal it, they need 60 in the Senate which they do not have. Typically, the majority party in the Senate does not reach 60 votes, so this limit encourages bipartisanship.
It doesn't matter if they had a clear, present mandate, without at least some Repub support it the ACA was inevitably going to get scraped off like old paint, once the Dems lost their majority. That's easy to understand. It was a titanic waste of time and money.

The ACA will not be repealed, because the GOP doesn't have 60 votes in the Senate.
Yes it will, eventually.

The GOP breaking norms and being destructive rather than constructive ...
Is something they learned from watching the Left, who always seem to find creative ways to break norms, and then they panic when those tactics are used against them later.
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Aug 4, 2017, 07:55 AM
 
Originally Posted by Cap'n Tightpants View Post
Is something they learned from watching the Left, who always seem to find creative ways to break norms, and then they panic when those tactics are used against them later.
The left's problem is that they still value taking the moral high ground while the right don't give a shit. Not the GOP, nor their voters. The left break norms as a last resort to get the right thing done whether its actually a critical right thing or just anything at all in the face of GOP obstructionism. The right then use those tactics as a first resort to order more stationery for the cupboard because their morally bankrupt takeaway is that the left has made it ok to do that whenever they want now.

The real problem is that the voters seem to follow that line of thinking just like you do that "If you did it once then I'm allowed to do it now too". Its petty and kind of childish really.
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Aug 4, 2017, 10:01 AM
 
Originally Posted by Cap'n Tightpants View Post
I never said they had 40%, I said at least 40% of conservatives still supported gay civil unions, you're mis-comprehending what I wrote. (The rest of what you wrote is based off that misunderstanding.)
No, I didn't misunderstand what you wrote, it is just a coincidence that the number of seats the conservatives currently have, which is 40 %, comes out to be about the same as 100 % - 50-60 %. I haven't misread your argument in any way.

You made the claim that of German conservatives “at most 50-60 %” rejected civil unions, and that the remaining 40-50 % supported civil unions. I have no idea where you got these numbers from, but they are false. When the law that allowed civil unions of homosexual couples was voted on, the conservatives and the Liberal Democrats (the German analog of the libertarians) voted en bloc against that law, and the conservatives went to the Supreme Court. Conservative politicians would use arguments quite similar to what you'd hear in the US.

The official acceptance started in 2007 when the CDU added to its official program that also homosexual “married” couples embody some of the same fundamental values. Angela Merkel was elected for the first time in 2005, so that was before the official shift. And during Merkel's 2005 campaign, there was no campaign promise to undo the legal basis for civil unions if the Christian Democrats should get the majority. In fact, the opposite was the case, despite them being against it, in their election program the Christian Democrats promised to not abolish civil unions. Again, the German political system simply doesn't work like the American one, and you shouldn't shoe horn your frame of mind into some other political culture.
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Aug 4, 2017, 11:40 AM
 
Originally Posted by OreoCookie View Post
No, I didn't misunderstand what you wrote, it is just a coincidence that the number of seats the conservatives currently have, which is 40 %, comes out to be about the same as 100 % - 50-60 %. I haven't misread your argument in any way.

You made the claim that of German conservatives “at most 50-60 %” rejected civil unions, and that the remaining 40-50 % supported civil unions. I have no idea where you got these numbers from, but they are false. When the law that allowed civil unions of homosexual couples was voted on, the conservatives and the Liberal Democrats (the German analog of the libertarians) voted en bloc against that law, and the conservatives went to the Supreme Court.


http://www.dw.com/en/germanys-bundes...age/a-39483785

Again, the German political system simply doesn't work like the American one, and you shouldn't shoe horn your frame of mind into some other political culture.
Too bad that's not the case w/ US political culture, as well. However, seems like everyone overseas feels obliged to do so anyway.
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Aug 4, 2017, 12:24 PM
 
Originally Posted by Cap'n Tightpants View Post
You are confusing two different laws: I'm talking about the 2001 vote for civil unions (which were different from the legal construct marriage), not the 2017 vote that opened up real marriage to homosexual couples. I talked about both in an earlier post, but perhaps you have missed it. The numbers you posted were the vote tallies from the 2017 law.

In summary: the German conservatives accepted civil unions for homosexual couples (I'm referring to the 2001 law) after bitterly fighting, losing and exhausting all legal options. The Christian Democrats promised openly in their 2005 campaign that they would not try to overturn this law — and they have kept that promise. Practically this was the earliest possible time to make that commitment (the German Supreme Court made the decision on 17 July 2002 while the election programs are typically published late June or early July.

16 years later the Christian Democrats allowed the 2017 “marriage for everyone” law to come to the floor for a vote. That was because all potential coalition partners had made this a non-negotiable demand for the coalition agreement, and the conservatives didn't want to lose any votes to the Social Democrats.
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Aug 11, 2017, 08:44 PM
 
From the Wisconsin thread:
Originally Posted by Snow-i View Post
Sure people love the filet mignon, but you can't ignore that the tab that comes with it is part of the cost/benefit analysis.
In your analogy, if healthcare were a filet mignon, then going to McDonalds could bankrupt people.
     
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Aug 14, 2017, 02:26 AM
 
Originally Posted by The Final Dakar View Post
From the Wisconsin thread:

In your analogy, if healthcare were a filet mignon, then going to McDonalds could bankrupt people.
precisely why we should aim to reduce the costs, and not keep fighting over who's paying for it.
     
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Aug 14, 2017, 09:18 AM
 
Originally Posted by Snow-i View Post
precisely why we should aim to reduce the costs, and not keep fighting over who's paying for it.

That is what Obamacare did, but I don't remember you being in favor of it? You can say that it aimed and missed, but cost reduction via spreading the risk and increasing the number that were insured was indeed one of its aims.

But I do think you're right. It's hard to see a bill being passed that results in more people being insured, providing we stick with this concept of insurance, and not reducing the number of people that are insured is probably the only way costs are reduced, would you agree?

I'm assuming you are also against Lindsey Graham's new bill, which seems to be about transferring the federal subsidies to the states (i.e. fighting over who's paying for it)?
     
The Final Dakar
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Aug 14, 2017, 10:31 AM
 
Originally Posted by Snow-i View Post
precisely why we should aim to reduce the costs, and not keep fighting over who's paying for it.
The point was your analogy was terrible.

I've said it before, no one was trying very hard to reduce costs until we started spreading the pain.
     
Snow-i
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Aug 14, 2017, 02:52 PM
 
Originally Posted by The Final Dakar View Post
The point was your analogy was terrible.
I can't always be perfect

I've said it before, no one was trying very hard to reduce costs until we started spreading the pain.
Precisely my gripe with how both sides are approaching this. Ideologically, I certainly lean right on how to fix the market. That does not mean I support those who claim to be approaching it in that manner but then doing precisely the opposite (i.e. current congressional republicans).
     
The Final Dakar
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Aug 14, 2017, 03:38 PM
 
TBH I don't think most of them care. If they could put the genie back in the bottle and not receive backlash they would. Thats why they're taking stances you oppose - because, so far, they don't have any better ideas. Hell, despite the backlash they still got damn close to worsening the system (if you believe the CBO and healthcare industry)
     
Snow-i
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Aug 14, 2017, 04:12 PM
 
Originally Posted by The Final Dakar View Post
TBH I don't think most of them care. If they could put the genie back in the bottle and not receive backlash they would. Thats why they're taking stances you oppose - because, so far, they don't have any better ideas. Hell, despite the backlash they still got damn close to worsening the system (if you believe the CBO and healthcare industry)
Agreed.
     
 
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