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Sunday, March 29, 2009

Comments

I can top that:
Obama’s Tax Task Force Includes AIG Board Member

What ever would we do without the Wall Street Journal? (otherwise known as "how the ruling class talks about us when they think we're not listening.")

SteveB--You will never know what this means to me...lol. I saw this article a few days ago and, my 15 tr old pc went CRASH! This is not unusual, however, and, I was able to retrieve the "basics". I kept looking for this article, which I had only partially read. I began to think I had dreamed it, and, alot of Obama supporters were certain that i had!

Nauseating, no? Thanks

Okay, I'm preaching to the choir here. But, riddle me this.

If the Obama/Geithner financial bailout plan is such great shakes…

(where bankers bid "sky's-the-limit" on "toxic" securities, while the US government underwrites 85 cents of taxpayer money on each dollar bid, in order to entice the bankers to bid higher on these discredited securities and thus get the credit market “flowing” again) …

…then why shouldn't we apply that same principle to the Health Care crisis?

Why shouldn’t the government simply pay 85 cents on the dollar whenever a health insurance company buys up a "claim risk" -- (a person who likely has health problems and therefore isn't profitable; these people are typically denied insurance).
We’ll entice the insurers just like we do the bankers!

That outta get the "frozen" health care market flowing again. And once people have insurance, they’ll receive wonderful preventive care and stay healthy forever and all our health care problems will be over with.

The official bipartisan storyline says that, apart from rejecting unhealthy unprofitable people, millions of poor Americans are priced out of having their own health insurance, because these same poor people without insurance drive up emergency medical costs, and thus contribute to the shocking health care inflation. Which means they themselves price themselves out of the market -- due to not joining the System like good citizens. (It's not because the health industry, for example, abuses patent powers, or spends billions lobbying Congressmen, or anything like that.)

So if the government just pays 85% of the cost of acquiring new clients -- like we're about to do for the bankers -- then health insurers can remove the "risk premium" when they offer insurance to poor people. Insurance will immediately become affordable for everyone. Prices will plummet, everyone will participate, and everything will be hunky-dory. We'll insure the sick and insure the poor.

And we'll only need to print up another elevendy-quintillion worthless dollars in order to do it. If the Geithner Banking plan can (in some bizarre parallel universe) be called "Market-Based", as opposed to Nationalization, Socialization, or just a plain-ole Handout... then my own Health Care Solution also meets those requirements.

[/sarcasm]

Howcome the one is a “serious” proposal but the other is not?
Who decides the priorities, that the Banking Crisis must be dealt with immediately by piling up stacks of money from here to Saturn, whereas the Health Care Crisis has been simmering for upwards of 20 years?

Yeah, I'm preaching to the choir here, but I'm hoping if I seed this comment on several blogs, it might start a "meme", and non-bloggers might actually start asking each other these questions.

Thomas:
The health insurance analogy you outline is actually very useful. If the major health insurers found themselves teetering on the edge of bankruptcy, how would we respond? Cynic that I am, I fully expect the government would spare no expense to keep the bankrupt institutions operating, rather than looking at the few socially useful functions being served by those institutions and seeing if there's some better way to perform those functions (gee, I wonder what that could be?)

And so it is with the banks. What do these banks do that's actually useful? Is there some other way to do that specific thing without the banks? If so, let 'em die. Instead, the Obama administration blurs the distinction between institutions and functions, and says, in effect, because people need to be able to borrow money, Citibank must be protected at all costs.

You could also extend the same analysis to the auto industry, which produces two socially useful products: transportation and jobs. Could we meet people's transportation needs in some other way? Could autoworkers have decent jobs doing something else? We won't ask those questions, because they lead in the direction of government planning, so the question instead becomes "Can we save General Motors?"

Exactly, exactly, exactly my point. I knew quite well when I posted the analogy that you would already “get it”. The question is, can we ‘saturate’ other blogs with this meme until non-bloggers start seeing the analogy.

Wow, I banged out a response while I still thought I was talking to John C., when it was actually SteveB I was responding to. Steve, you surprise me [pleasantly] yet again!

Your distinction between institution vs. function is exactly my point. It's the heart of my analogy. "Health Insurance" does not equal "Health Care" in much the same way that "Easy Credit" does not equal "Better Lifestyle".

Who decides the priorities, that the Banking Crisis must be dealt with immediately by piling up stacks of money from here to Saturn, whereas the Health Care Crisis has been simmering for upwards of 20 years?

To answer your rhetorical question: because the banking crisis threatens the financial interests of the small minority of people who matter, whereas the so-called health care "crisis" only affects the vast majority of people who don't matter at all; for the people who matter, it's been extremely profitable. And it's not like they can't afford whatever health care they need, of course.

We're reaching the point with health care that fleecing people of every last dollar they have while sentencing them to death through denial of care is starting to cause an unsustainable level of outrage from the victims, though, which is one of the factors that's finally making this into a pressing political issue*. So now the job of people like Obama is to adjust the balance just enough to quell dissent, while making absolutely sure to change the underlying system (and its highly-desirable profit flows) as little as possible.

The only question is whether or not he'll be able to get away with it. I wouldn't underestimate the power of lowered expecations and Obama's reality distortion field, but it may be that the outrage really has reached critical mass, and the usual crumbs won't be enough to placate people. We'll see.

* (The other is that rising health care costs are starting to hurt those who matter—namely, the corporations that are paying a large portion of the costs.)

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