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Man is opposed to fair play — He wants it all and he wants it his way

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Scocca has much more on the ridiculous Lori Gottlieb column I briefly discussed earlier today. Among its other problems, it’s the latest manifestation of the conservertarian war on the concept of insurance:

Maybe the reason that Gottlieb’s Facebook friends are not sympathetic toward her is that she is thoroughly unsympathetic. Under her new, intrusively excessive policy, she writes, “now if I have Stage 4 cancer or need a sex-change operation, I’d be covered regardless of pre-existing conditions.”

Yes, that’s right: the oppressive, thoughtless Obamacare rules require everyone to be covered even if they have such weirdo unlikely conditions as … cancer? As if!

What Gottlieb is discovering, belatedly, is how much it costs to buy real health insurance rather than fake health insurance. Cancer—this should be needless to say, yet it evidently is not—is a definitive example of why health insurance exists. The disease can strike, without warning, at any stage of life. Nobody sets aside money in the household budget as savings in case they might get cancer.

And it’s even worse than that, because she’s happy with the idea of other people paying for someone else’s unique needs…so long as she’s the beneficiary:

Age is only part of the reason Gottlieb isn’t interested in paying for maternity coverage. The other part is that she has already had a baby. Until recently, she was enrolled in a plan that did provide maternity coverage, which allowed her to get other people—people who were paying higher premiums for the option of having a child, but who were not yet going through the expense of pregnancy and childbirth—to subsidize her own pregnancy and childbirth.

So once she’d collected the benefit, it was time to unload the costs onto the other suckers and get a new policy.

And then, remember that she’s overestimating the cost increase because her research method consisted of “taking the assertions of self-interested insurers at face value.” When the Hall of Fame of self-refutation opens, Gottlieb will go in on the first ballot.

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  • Link Nazi

    Is the third link supposed to go to Facebook poker, eh?

    • Scott Lemieux

      Fixorated.

      • You still seem to have an extra ‘h’ in ‘http’.

  • pseudonymous in nc

    It’s also exposed the utter bafflement of people towards the concepts of risk pooling and standard terms. Basic actuarial shit. They want health insurance to be à la carte and bespoke, and it hasn’t occurred to them that a risk pool comprised solely of Fox News-watching 50-something men who don’t want any of that maternity or mental health nonsense would have to cover all the stuff that does affect Fox New-watching 50-something men, like colon cancer and rage-induced strokes.

    • I keep having this argument with people over at Kos, where they should know better but still don’t. If I hear one more person explain to me that they shouldn’t have to “subsidize” young people with young children I will go nuts. I have it down to a science now. I explain that those young women and men are subsidizing *your old ass* if they are even willing to accept you into their group plans. And that when the insurance company “pays for” someone’s maternity care or contraception ( I had no idea how many post menopausal women are apparently upset about contraception coverage) they are lowering the cost to the rest of the insurance pool for the costs of things like: major fetal and child deformities (no prenatal care), death and/or damages in labor (no labor coverage) and etc… Just like paying for yearly checkups and well baby care are all ways of making sure the population as a whole is healthier over time and can keep paying the damned premiums. I can’t believe the number of people over at Kos who are close to Medicare and hanging on until they can get to Medicare but who don’t seem to realize that Medicare is subsidized by those fucking kids with their demand for well baby checkups and health care subsidies through the exchanges.

      • What a ridiculous argument, that’s one step down from complaining about being forced to subsidize public schools when I don’t have children. But I guess some people have yet to learn society isn’t a damn Starbucks. It can’t be custom-crafted to suit everyone’s specific wants.

        (I would add that Medicare is also subsidized in part by healthy old folks.)

        • JP Stormcrow

          (I would add that Medicare is also subsidized in part by healthy old folks.)

          I await the Wall Street Journal anointing those who get early cancer to be “lucky duckies” because they are cashing in those health benefits.

        • Anonymous

          Leave it to a Marxist to think that something like a Starbucks for healthcare would be a BAD thing.

          With the private market you get Starbucks. With ObamaCare, you get the equivalent of the old Soviet-style state run department store. High prices, long lines, rude employees.

          • jim, some guy in iowa

            never made any claims on your insurance, hm?

            • GoDeep

              +1

          • one does grow tired of pointing out that for a free market to function, you need low barriers to entry, relatively non-differentiated product, and informed buyers. which of those are applicable to health care?

            • If all of the products suck, they’re non-differentiated…as I found out when self-employed a decade ago.

              • good point, nb! however, you still need the low barriers to entry and the informed consumer, but you are right: the oligopolistic market has been perfectly happy to deliver us poor quality health insurance.

          • In Soviet Union, syrup pour you!

            • anthrofred

              Lies, we all know the only proper Soviet condiment is vodka.

          • Nathan of Perth

            Starbucks is a bad thing with bad coffee.

            The sooner you learn to accept this, the sooner you can go back to enjoying pancakes.

            • Anonymous

              But Starbucks does provide health care coverage to their employees. Points where due.

          • anthrofred

            Me, I thought the analogy was bad because Starbucks actually provides insurance, but yeah, ok, buttermilk “Marxism”.

          • MAJeff

            We should favor standardized, overpriced, unhealthy crap in our healthcare?

          • Rigby Reardon

            You clearly have no grasp of insurance economics. None at all.

        • MAJeff

          But I guess some people have yet to learn society isn’t a damn Starbucks. It can’t be custom-crafted to suit everyone’s specific wants.

          Isn’t this the entire point of conservatism, though? They’re trying to say society is nothing more than a market. We aren’t citizens, we are consumers of government services. Remember, there’s no such thing as society.

      • DrDick

        The level of cluelessness in those arguments is truly mind boggling. Don’t these idiots realize that they are being partially subsidized by the younger people, whose health is generally better? It would cost everyone, except the tiny minority of really healthy folks, much more without risk pooling. Also, as others have pointed out, one of the people you are subsidizing right now is you later when you are not healthy.

        • Yeah, this point seems hard to get across to those who were born in a log cabin they built themselves, etc.

          In the event that the glibertarians who are too healthy to know how health insurance works get to old age and die in the saddle, never having been the one in the gown at a hospital–we can all agree that they were very, very lucky. And they can just think of all those premiums for something they didn’t need as a tax on enjoying more days of physical ability than the norm.

      • i thought, should i know this person, so i looked her up on wikipedia, what do i discover? according to po bronson, she tried to become a doctor and discovered that – i beg you to believe this – she doesn’t like to be around sick people!

        • She got all the way through med school, started her residency and only then discovered ew, sick people?

          Why not become a pathologist? Or a plastic surgeon?

          • Or set up a practice catering solely to hypochondriacs.

            • Another Holocene Human

              Or become a chiropractor, billing otherwise healthy people for needless “cures”, vitamins, “cleansings”, and all the back crackings their insurance will cover*.

              *-insurance will cover following heavy lobbying of the state insurance boards and/or state legislatures by chiropractors

          • sorry, she dropped out of med school, not finished and then dropped out.

          • Rigby Reardon

            Why not become a pathologist?

            Because dead people are even grosser than sick people?

        • Warren Terra

          Jeezus, that Wikipedia entry is a catalog of How To Be A Hateful Person.

          It’s telling that “was a contributor to NPR and The Atlantic” reads to me as a bad thing these days, what with the tendency of such people to be shallow narcissistic privileged hacks hired to reassure imaginary conservative listeners/readers that they should like NPR/The Atlantic.

          • witless chum

            The Atlantic consists of nothing but a Fallows and Coates funding system.

      • GoDeep

        And that when the insurance company “pays for” someone’s maternity care or contraception ( I had no idea how many post menopausal women are apparently upset about contraception coverage) they are lowering the cost to the rest of the insurance pool for the costs of things like: major fetal and child deformities (no prenatal care), death and/or damages in labor (no labor coverage) and etc…

        The interesting thing abt health care economics is that an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure–except when its not. Depending on the type of costs you factor in, providing “free” contraception coverage either increases system costs by a billion or so dollars, or decreases system costs by a billion or so dollars. In short, its a wash. OTOH the added cost of contraception to random person’s premium is ~$300 annually.

        The cost savings in 3rd world countries can be significant b/cs in that case you’re dramatically decreasing family sizes. In Western industrialized countries, however, family size is already low.

        In general for prevention to “pay off” economically the ratio of the incidence of occurrence to cost of prevention has to be high. So, while I think the emphasis on prevention has lots of social benefit & is good for the general welfare I don’t believe–generally–its going to pay off economically.

        • No.

          • GoDeep’s pusher

            Don’t you want any of what he’s smoking? The first 7 billion hits are free.

        • Derelict

          OTOH the added cost of contraception to random person’s premium is ~$300 annually.

          Really? Is that number part of the well-known research from Professor Otto Yerass?

          • GoDeep

            LOL. Sorry, it was late & I mistyped. Its more like $100, not $300, a year.

            Even at $300 I wouldn’t complain though.

            • DrS

              Your numbers are still wrong. Contraceptive care doesn’t add $100 a year to some random person’s premium.

              You’re just plain wrong on the way insurance economics work.

              • Another Holocene Human

                He’s also wrong about the USA’s “first world” status.

                If his claims were even remotely true, then Texas would have saved money, instead of the opposite, when they “stopped paying for” abortions for Medicaid patients.

                The notion that the US is a first world nation is a joke. Every 3rd world nation has its “clean” “safe” elitist enclaves. 2nd world would be fair, after all we do have factories even if our #1 export is STILL agricultural products (followed closely by extracted resources, if I’m not mistaken) after all these years.

              • GoDeep

                Do the math, DrS. Birth control costs ~$400 per year for the average woman. We have roughly 40M women of childbearing age (16-44yo) & roughly 160M workers. So for every woman of childbearing age there are roughly 4 ppl in the workforce, so that $400 get spread across 4 people. This isn’t political, its just math.

                • pseudonymous in nc

                  Derpmath.

        • Jenna

          “The cost savings in 3rd world countries can be significant b/cs in that case you’re dramatically decreasing family sizes. In Western industrialized countries, however, family size is already low.

          In Western industrialized countries, family size is low because of contraceptives and birth control. Do you think family size decreased magically or due to abstinence? Really?

          When I was of child bearing age, contraceptives weren’t a luxury. I paid for them and paid for them because the alternative was way expensive.

          • GoDeep

            Yeah, I know why family size is low. That means that the cost shifting is all the greater tho. A significant # of women were already willing to pay for their own BC. Now, instead of paying for it individually, it’ll be paid for by the risk pool.

            Moreover, since the birth rate is unlikely to dip by much more. Right now the average American woman has a bit under 2 children. You might see that falling to ~1.5. Which means decreasing pregnancies by a bit less than 25%, maybe as little as 16%.

            The reason the economics are attractive in 3rd world countries is b/cs in those cases the average woman is decreasing pregnancies by more like 60%, going from, say, 5 kids down toward 2 kids. Guttmacher estimates the cost of unwanted pregnancies in the US to be $4.4B & that includes both pre-natal care & things like WIC & welfare for the first 2yrs of children’s lives. So that’s not a lot of $$$ to trim.

            • Jenna

              Not a lot of money to you, perhaps. To the women who are struggling with the cost of birth control and can’t afford kids, though, it’s huge.

              You discuss this like an academic who hasn’t ever had to worry about more than a pack of condoms for yourself. For a lot of people, this is personal. Women pay a large amount of the birth control costs that go into people having heterosexual sex. Spreading around the cost of preventing pregnancy seems like an excellent deal to me.

      • pseudonymous in nc

        What we’re seeing is the healthcare equivalent of the old line about anti-choicers who had three exceptions for abortion: “rape, incest and me.”

        Turns out that there are a lot of Americans who want health insurance to discriminate against sick people as long as they themselves are healthy, but who don’t want to be discriminated against if (or rather, when) they get sick.

        • Calming Influence

          “What we’re seeing is the healthcare equivalent of the old line about anti-choicers who had three exceptions for abortion: “rape, incest and me.””

          Quite pithy, that.

    • JP Stormcrow

      Also that the person they are in some sense “subsidizing” may be themselves in the next year or so if they or a family member had a major health event that would have knocked them out of whatever “low-risk” pool they happened to be in. The low-risk healthy pool is great as long as you are in the low-risk healthy pool–which is subject to change. Health and life are long, health insurance policies used to be short.

    • GoDeep

      Yeah risk pooling is a foreign concept to (I think) most people. Moral hazard–best exemplified by Gottlieb’s behavior–is also little known among the general population. Gottlieb’s behavior is precisely why maternity riders have been so expensive historically. The people who buy maternity riders are almost exclusively people who plan on getting pregnant soon. B/cs of this there is virtually no risk pooling in maternity coverage. So Gottlieb didn’t subsidize anyone other than herself (unless she had a really complicated pregnancy).

      But there is a liberal twist on this complaint as well. Most feminist groups opposed gender rating b/cs–thanks to maternity among other factors–women’s health care costs generally exceed that of men. But feminist groups didn’t want the risk pools to reflect gender differences in costs.

      • Anonymous

        But if men aren’t contributing to the cost of maternity coverage, they are getting to have kids without paying their fair share of the cost. Indeed, given that women necessarily are carrying the full physical freight, men would need to cover more than half the financial cost to be covering their full share.

        • GoDeep

          But if men aren’t contributing to the cost of maternity coverage, they are getting to have kids without paying their fair share of the cost.

          That’s entirely true, Anon. But I don’t really see this as a male vs female issue. I see this as a partner issue. The woman’s partner should be paying this cost, not society.

          In fact historically maternity riders were so expensive that they required a dual income family to generally afford it (except, obviously for the Gottlieb’s of the world). So, in fact, generally the partner does pay his fair share, which last I looked (some years ago) would be ~$500 per month for him & $500 per month for her.

      • So women objected to being charged as though their health needs were abnormal and subsidizing viagra and prostate cancer while their husbands and partners got their baby care for free.

        • GoDeep

          Its not normal vs abnormal its just actuarial risk & cost. Older women generally paid less than older men b/cs they had fewer health care costs than older men. Likewise, younger men generally pay more for auto insurance than younger women because they cost more. So the question is, should ppl who cost more, pay more?

          This doesn’t mean that men shouldn’t pay their fair share of maternity costs. The husbands/partners of these women should pay at least half the tab of the maternity care. So, I agree with you on the equities issue, I disagree that these costs should be socialized however.

          • pseudonymous in nc

            Likewise, younger men generally pay more for auto insurance than younger women because they cost more. So the question is, should ppl who cost more, pay more?

            What GoDerp elides is that owning a car is a choice, whereas owning a body is not.

            Women already get underpaid, so divvying women into a single-sex risk pool adds insult to injury.

            • a brain in a vat

              What GoDerp elides is that owning a car is a choice, whereas owning a body is not.

              Tell me about it.

        • GoDeep
      • JustinV

        But feminist groups didn’t want the risk pools to reflect gender differences in costs.

        Maternity care is not female healthcare. It is care for mother and child (of any gender!) and has obvious benefits for the father (healthy mothers and children – unless you think most fathers are indifferent to the health of mother and child). So, feminists did not believe that women should bear the cost of healthcare the benefits of which they did not exclusively receive. This is obviously just, no?

        • I’d like to add that bundling of services together and making everyone sign on to the total package is actually a cost saver for insurance companies and for society in a different way. People are notoriously bad at figuring out what their real risk is of needing something in the future–a young married couple who buy a health insurance package that does not include maternity benefits or pre-natal care might think they are not going to get pregnant but suddenly do. Its more cost effective for society, certainly, to be sure that they are covered because a pregnancy that goes wrong can be hideously expensive than to allow them to go naked w/r/t health care and insurance because they miscalculated.

          One reason that well visits are now covered, and a host of other stuff that people are insisting they “like to pay for out of pocket” rather than through premiums is to lower the threshold at which everyone gets seen, so that major illnesses can be found and treated early rather than through the ER/in the last stages. Sure, person X might think that they can pay out of pocket for a checkup or a doctor’s visit, but person Y has to carefully parse out their money and won’t. But society wants everyone to be healthy (so they can be productive and happy members of society) so we want an insurance system which lowers barriers to basic health care.

          New babies need to be covered from prenatal care through birth and their first few years of life regardless of the financial status of their mothers and fathers. Its hideously expensive to let a child be born with an open spinal cord rather than simply supply every pregnant woman with prenatal vitamins and a check up. Its phenomenally expensive to offer NICU services compared to paying for prenatal visits for everyone with an RN. This has nothing to do with the gender of the woman as patient and everything to do with society’s interest in safe births and healthy children.

          • GoDeep

            The most compelling thing abt your open spinal cord example, Aimai, is the human suffering eliminated, not so much the economics. We on the Left have a generally too-generous view on the leverage you get from preventive services. If everyone in a population has to undergo a preventive test then the cost of that test has to be pretty low in order to justify it on purely economic grounds. Oftentimes it can’t be.

            I agree with you that people can be notoriously bad at accurately assessing medical risk, but in the scheme of things there’s a balance and if this isn’t done in a deliberate way you can bundle in far more than is economic.

        • GoDeep

          There are 2 legitimate arguments in terms of “justness” Justin. I’d make the argument that the woman’s partner should pick up the tab for his kids. So, if a maternity rider costs, say, $10K, then he needs to ante up. With most married couples, and perhaps, most long term couples, that will happen.

          My neighbor, though, is an older gay man. Should he pay, through increased premiums, for a benefit he’ll never receive? You might make that argument in the same way we argue for food stamps, or welfare, but its a different type of “justice” argument.

          • etv13

            But the whole notion of a maternity rider is stupid and unjust. If it costs $10,000, it is because the only people who would pay for such a thing are those who expect to experience an expensive pregnancy. Nothing in the concepts of “justice” or “insurance” supports singling out pregnancy and pregnancy-related medical expenses from other types of health insurance costs. Should we make your aging gay neighbor pay for a prostate cancer rider? The whole idea of health insurance is to spread the costs over a broad pool and over time.

            (Anonymous at 4:35 a.m. was me, by the way. That’s what comes of posting from my Kindle.)

          • pseudonymous in nc

            Should he pay, through increased premiums, for a benefit he’ll never receive?

            He gets the benefit of belonging to a larger risk pool.

            Do you think there should be a risk pool specifically for older gay men, where premiums need to balance out with payments and admin costs?

            Maternity riders are stupid and unjust.

  • CL Minou

    I was looking at a Gold plan today, and I can tell you that sex change procedures were certainly excluded, as they have pretty much always been. I certainly went out of pocket for mine.

    So even more wrong.

    • Link Nazi

      Given the way the procedure is mentioned in her writing, according to BooMan,

      “THE Anthem Blue Cross representative who answered my call told me that there was a silver lining in the cancellation of my individual P.P.O. policy and the $5,400 annual increase that I would have to pay for the Affordable Care Act-compliant option: now if I have Stage 4 cancer or need a sex-change operation, I’d be covered regardless of pre-existing conditions.”

      …I’d have to think she was practicing the art of making shit up, assuming it was true based on anecdotes/other complaints she had already heard, and just saying it because of an attempt at humor.

      Think what you will of her ideas of humor.

      • anthrofred

        Yeah, the idea of dignity in healthcare is hilarious, apparently.

        • BigHank53

          Not to mention the gratuitous swipe at transgender folk. Marginalized people make the best punchlines.

        • Anonymous

          Asking a doctor to cut off a functioning body part is not “healthcare”. In fact it violates the Hippocratic Oath.

          • flamingolingo

            Thanks for cis-splaining, bigot.

            • Anonymous

              OH NOES!

              • Gregor Sansa

                Widdle kittums can haz pancakes.

          • DocAmazing

            We need to ban circumcisions, them.

            • And cosmetic nose jobs.

              • I am, of course, assuming that we’re talking about different operations. See the ring-toss discussion in this thread…

          • anthrofred

            Leave it to JenBob to find themselves somewhere to the right of Iran.

          • Well, removing your brain shouldn’t be a problem then, anyway!

    • Anonymous

      That’s because genital mutilation is not healthcare, anymore than asking the doctor to cut off a perfectly functioning limb would be.

      Good God liberals are sick puppies. Fucking perverts.

      • McAllen

        Fucking perverts.

        We’re not the ones obsessed with other people’s genitals, sweetie.

        • Anonymous

          I’m not the one who brought up sex changes being paid for by the taxpayer, “sweetie”.

          When you’re demanding my tax dollars to pay for some demented procedure like that I have a right to be “obsessed” with it.

          • Yes! “MY tax dollars!” I was just reflecting on how people who use that formulation are invariably sociopaths, so it’s nice to see some confirmation in the wild.

          • Tiny Hermaphrodites, Esq.

            Given that the likes of you are responsible for the Iraq quagmire, the economic crisis and other shenanigans it is perfectly reasonable that you should pay what is demanded of you. In fact a system which would demand more money from conservatives, teabaggers and other fascist scum would be perfectly just.

          • Rigby Reardon

            Just close your eyes and imagine that all your tax dollars are paying for tax cuts for rich people instead.

            Hey, it’s probably not far from the truth.

        • Hob

          Please stop feeding the troll. No one is getting educated or amused, you’re just encouraging it.

          • Jordan

            Other than the inability to edit comments, the true failure of LGM is the inability to post mocking gifs for trolls.

            That doesn’t educate anyone, of course, but it CAN be amusing.

          • McAllen

            Normally I wouldn’t, but as a trans woman I took this particular comment kind of personally, and needed to let of a little steam.

            • Gregor Sansa

              (Mcallen)

              We got your back. Never cook pancakes mad.

          • rea

            Is feeding hobs all that better than trolls?

      • john not mccain

        Fuck you and the toxic condom that spawned you.

      • I’m just curious, because I brought it up below–do you think that my tax dollars should be used to pay for your child’s gay reparative therapy? What about infertile people, should no tax dollars/health care subsidies, be used to enable infertile people to contest god’s will about their genitalia and its functioning?

    • Glenn

      I think that was an early tell in her op-ed that we’re dealing with right-wing crank. The canard that the ACA would require gender-reassignment coverage has been a tune on the Wurlitzer for a while. Granted, this particular whiner only said her plan offered it, though I think that’s highly likely to be a lie as well.

      • CL Minou

        Most certainly. There might be a policy or two out there that does, but those are probably the kind that apply to folks who could actually pay out of pocket without any worry.

        OTOH, there are a couple of municipalities that cover it for their employees–San Francisco, and one other, I think. Portland?

        In England the NHS will do it, but I’ve gotten the vibe from my British counterparts that the process is a bit fraught, so some elect to do it privately.

        • Anna in PDX

          I just looked this up and yes, the City of Portland’s health plan says it will cover this:

          Sexual Reassignment Surgery: Medically necessary services to alter a member’s physical characteristics to that of the opposite sex, to include single stage or multiple stage reconstruction of genitalia and reconstruction of breast tissue to achieve the appearance of the new gender. Services require pre-certification and have a lifetime benefit maximum of $50,000.

          I had no idea it would cover this. I have never read the benefits handbook that closely.

      • I thought that was a “tell” as well–a kind of “throw up anything that will rile up the rubes” moment. She might just as well have said “My new insurance plan will cover new age therapies like gong ringing, acupuncture, and aromatherapy” but she probably uses all those in her limited psych practice or it doesn’t signify something horrid enough to her presumed readership. I think she choose that accusation because it fit with her ethnotheory of insurance pooling in which it gets tailred speccifically to your exact needs and in which Obamacare introduces moochers, looters, and flakes into your pure and reasonable health insurance pool of sturdily independent rationalists.

        But my guess is that this “they make you pay for services you don’t use” will also morph in some instances into “Obamacare makes you pay for therapies you don’t approve of and won’t let you pay for therapies you do approve of.” So expect more of the “Obamacare won’t pay for my child’s gay reparative therapy” combined with “And Obamacare makes me pay for my neighbor’s holistic health care and massage therapy sessions.”

  • SteveM has a good run down on her actual history. She’s a pretty vile person with a huge chip on her shoulder about not being as wealthy as her wealthy clients and friends.

    • anthrofred

      I would have thought her books titles were enough of a tip-off, but wow.

    • BigHank53

      I’ve got mine; fuck you seems to be perennial hit on the Times opinion page.

    • i got confused and meant to post this comment here and not above: i looked her up on wikipedia because i’d never heard of her, and i learned that she at one point wanted to be a doctor, went to medical school, and dropped out because…she doesn’t like being around sick people!

    • NewishLawyer

      I like the phrase “ultra low affluent”

      • anthrofred

        It’s a useful phrase if you ever need to induce vomiting.

      • MAJeff

        “Self-absorbed assholes” works just as well.

  • g

    If she were a one-legged woman, she’d want a discount on coverage for broken limbs.

  • Rarely Posts

    When the Hall of Fame of self-refutation opens, Gottlieb will go in on the first ballot.

    Personally, I think Justice Scalia would beat her out. Scott, you should look at the transcript from Town of Greece v. Galloway from last week. Everything Justice Scalia said seemed immediately self refuting, to the point where I honestly don’t understand how he could have thought it was convincing.
    http://www.supremecourt.gov/oral_arguments/argument_transcripts/12-696_6j37.pdf

    Among other things, my three favorites:

    1) When challenging the plaintiff demanding nondenominational, as opposed to sectarian, prayer, he objected that it meant the Court would still have “to pick the groups we’re going to exclude?” So, the Court should allow sectarian prayer which is even more exclusive?

    2) Bizarre interpretation of personal:

    I think the average person who participates in a legislative prayer does not think that this is a governmental function. It’s a personal function.

    How does one even say that? Legislative prayer is “personal”? What definition of personal is that?

    3) When the plaintiff’s attorney pointed out that some amount of line-drawing was necessary, he explained that the township had at one point included a prayer where they asked for a show of hands of how many of the people in attendance “feel personally in need of prayer? If there are no limits, you can’t draw lines.” And Scalia responded “That’s not a prayer.” One, I don’t see why not, and two, that’s exactly his point — you’d have to draw lines.

    It was amazing self-refutation. I honestly didn’t understand how he could have thought it was persuasive.

    • Some Guy

      Oh, Scalia. I swear, there are times when I want someone to demand he gets testing for syphilis or something. I wouldn’t be surprised if he starting issuing opinions that just consist of, “Sir Knight; I have just pissed my pants, and there is nothing anybody can do about it.”

      It would be funnier if it wasn’t so terrifying.

      • This argument, last week, caused me to dig up the West Wing episode with the Justice writing opinions in iambic pentameter. When does life stop imitating Aaron Sorkin, I beg of you?

    • Scott Lemieux

      Yeah, I’ll be getting to that.

    • Hob

      Is it for sure that he actually cares whether it’s persuasive?

  • Calming Influence

    This country has lost touch with the concept of “sharing”. If I have four co-workers and I walk in to work with a box of 5 donuts, everybody gets a donut. I don’t start calculating each person’s weight, whether or not they’ve already had breakfast, how hungry they REALLY are, etc., and parcel out bits of donut based on my calculations. I just fucking SHARE. Maybe someday, I’ll NEED a donut. And I’m pretty sure that my co-workers will not begrudge me a donut. Especially since we’ve all been paying in to the donut fund all our working lives.

    Christ. We’ve turned into a nation of fucking dickheads.

    • We’ve turned into a nation of fucking dickheads.

      That makes it easier to play ring-toss with the donuts.

      • Calming Influence

        N__B, I’m not disputing what you say, but I do get the feeling that you’ve never actually played donut ring-toss with an erect penis.

        Please correct me if I’m wrong.

        • You are correct. I was theorizing.

          • Calming Influence

            Theory only gets you so far. A true scientist always conducts the experiments. Who knows, you might find it stimulating! (Avoid the day-olds.)

            • I’m an engineer. Why experiment when I have a monkey wrench handy?

              • Warren Terra

                It’s an option, but I’d stick with the donuts.

                • In all seriousness, I wrote the following today on a project drawing: “Tack weld nuts.”

                • Barry Freed

                  Was it for this guy?

                • No. It’s one of the standard ways to make sure nuts don’t back off.

                  What?

                • jim, some guy in iowa

                  & here I thought it was guns that kept the nuts from backing off

                • Origami Isopod

                  Was it for this guy?

                  Is there any way we could convince teabaggers that this is a legitimate and effective form of Obamacare protest?

              • Hogan

                Just remember, a good wrench is like a good friend: if you treat it right, it won’t striop your nuts.

                • Hogan

                  Strip, strop–it works either way.

          • Barry Freed

            I’m so glad we’ve cleared that up.

    • Anonymous

      No, what Obama and you Marxist loonatics are doing is not sharing donuts. It’s walking into a donut store, pointing a gun at the owner’s head, and demand he hand out his donuts for free or be sent to prison.

      THAT’S what your policies are.

      • i actually thought this might be a parody, but then i looked at your other comments and i realized it was idiotic drooling. too bad: you coulda been a contender.

        • I never can tell why JenKnob keeps screaming that we’re Greedy Moocher Marxists as though it is an insult. Everyone knows libs consider that a compliment.

          Calling us perverts is practically flirting.

      • Calming Influence

        Wait, let me guess. You’re the guy at the shop that never brings donuts, and also bitches when no one else does.

        • Anonymous

          My point is that when the “sharing” is at the point of a government gun it’s not sharing, it’s legalized theft.

          But such is the fuel of the Democrat Party. Gotta make sure their base gets their “gibsmedat”.

          • so presumably you don’t like defense spending or law enforcement, either, since at the point of a government gun, i have to pay taxes to support oligopolistic companies on cost-plus contracts at a level completely incommensurate with the actual security threats the us faces.

            c’mon now, fess up: you think that defense spending is awful, don’t you? you have to, because otherwise you’d stand revealed as both a moron and a hypocrite.

            • Anonymous

              The national defense, police, and the courts are legitimate Constitutional functions. The nightwatchman state.

              The state exists only to protect us from force and fraud-not to redistribute our wealth to provide “free” stuff to other. The government should be the nightwatchman-not Santa Claus.

              • non-responsive on multiple levels.

                the purpose of the constitution is clearly articulated in the preamble: We the people of the United States, in order to form a more perfect union, establish justice, insure domestic tranquility, provide for the common defense, promote the general welfare, and secure the blessings of liberty to ourselves and our posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America.

                so whatever fantasy life you indulge in, the constitution wasn’t intended to support a “night watchman” state.

                but also non-responsive to my point: taxes are taken from me at the point of a gun and redistributed to the shareholders of defense companies. when you have a response to that, feel free to post it.

                • Anonymous

                  The powers of the federal government are clearly spelled out in plain terms, and there’s NOTHING in there about healthcare, or wealth redistribution, or EBT, or free birth control pills, or anything else in the liberal agenda.

                • someday you might try reading the constitution. you’re in for a big surprise, especially when it comes to interstate commerce.

                  and again: the preamble tells us the purposes of the document. it’s very clear that insuring domestic tranquility and promoting the general welfare are among ’em.

                • by the way, you might also try reading the 16th ammendment; income tax being inherently redistributionist and all kinda makes a hash of your argument.

                • Nathan of Perth

                  The phrase “promote the general welfare” has nothing to do with health at all, right?

                • Philip

                  You’re cheating, howard. You’re not supposed to mention any amendment not numbered “2”

                • DocAmazing

                  There’s also nothing in the Consititution authorizing an Air Force, though I’m sure that Prof. Farley would have employed that line of reasoning years ago if it held any water.

              • MAJeff

                “In order to … promote the general welfare…”

                • LeftWingFox

                  Indeed. “Promote the general welfare” is to “Provide healthcare” as “provide for the common defence” is to “Maintain a standing army”

          • Calming Influence

            Gotta make sure their base gets their “gibsmedat”.

            Your racist code-fu is not strong.

            And you still didn’t bring any fucking donuts. I’m starting to think you’re a “taker”.

            • Anonymous

              Some of the biggest “Gibesmedat” types are young white people. They want free student loans, free contraception, free healthcare, free free free free gibesme gibesme gibesme…

              • Nathan of Perth

                And some of your best friends are white, wait, I mean black, right?

              • Calming Influence

                You would rather spend $20 arguing against the inequity of benefits for a small percentage of the covered than spend ONE FUCKING DOLLAR for a shared donut. I’ve got VA coverage, so for me it’s all good. As for you, give me a yell when you’re desperate for a donut. I’ll remember you.

              • MAJeff

                student loans are free?

                • Rigby Reardon

                  No, but apparently young people want them to be. Can you even imagine thinking maybe you shouldn’t be crushed by debt before you even start your career? :/

          • anthrofred

            Is “gibsmedat” an attempt at racism? Because it sounds Dutch.

            • Baby Needs-A-Nym

              I thought it was fake Yiddish at first. Which pretty much sums up how low my opinion of JenBob is.

          • Rigby Reardon

            Gotta make sure their base gets their “gibsmedat”.

            Wow. No racism here. No sir-reeeee.

            • DrS

              That exact phrase was all over the freeper crap from yesterday’s nutpicking.

  • R. Porrofatto

    As someone pointed out on the previous thread, had she checked the actual ACA California exchange (nowhere does she mention that she ever did, and her quoted $5400/yr increase is what her Anthem Rep told her), she could have gotten a platinum plan for herself and son — no subsidies — for around 7k/year. I’d love to know where on earth she got a decent health care policy covering two people as an individual direct purchaser for $130 bucks per month — which is about how the math works out. This reeks of pure bullshit, as so many of these stories do. Although I’m not surprised the Times printed it — they think a 6-figure income is middle-class.

    BTW, I was paying $1100/month to Oxford just for myself six years ago. I’m now in a private group plan that costs $7200 a year, still just for me. The ACA prices are comparable.

  • Anonymous

    The trainwreck that is ObamaCare continues to careen off the tracks.

    It will be quite the albatross around the neck of the Democrats next year.

    The vast majority of people in this nation were perfectly happy with their healthcare. Why should they have their lives changed and pockets picked to subsidize others who want “free” healthcare so they can spend their income on Newports and tattoos instead of a perfectly adequate individual plan?

    • too bad the polling data doesn’t support your blithering, but then again, since when do facts matter to right-wingers?

      • Anonymous

        “Polling data” said McAuliffe was up by 12 and he ended up winning by 2.

        Get out of your bubble and talk to everyday folks-the trainwreck that is ObamaCare is incredibly unpopular in the real world.

        • geez, you really can’t construct an argument at all, can you?

          there are 300,000,000 people in america: you can’t possibly know what’s going on in those 300,000,000 minds by “talking to everyday folks,” whatever that means.

          and what the polling data tells us is that the majority of the country wants the affordable care act or something that goes further: that’s been true for several years now, despite liars like you doing their best and it’s going to continue to be true.

          • panda

            Also, I kinda like how “the polling is skewed” debate had shifted from “democrats are really losing” to “democrats are not really winning by all that much.” Keep moving those goalposts!

        • anthrofred

          As opposed to you, who predicted Cucinelli by a landslide, so you know, glass houses.

        • Col Bat Guano

          “Everyday folks” is code for morons like her and Sarah Palin.

    • Rufus T. Firefly

      Newports? You’re not suggesting those freeloaders are people of some race other than yours, are you? Perish the thought.

      • Perhaps he is suggesting that, like J. D. Hackensacker III, they own yah-chits.

        • Hogan

          But tip a dime from New York to Jacksonville.

    • Not enough cliches. Could you try again with a few sports metaphors?

      • anthrofred

        I’m waiting for a well-armed external midwife to make an appearance.

    • sibusisodan

      The trainwreck that is ObamaCare continues to careen off the tracks.

      Well, sure, because when you have to careen things, you want to do that off the tracks.

      Although you don’t actually need to careen trains, let alone trainwrecks, since they don’t get weed growth below the waterline.

      But you knew this, I’m sure.

      • herr doktor bimler

        And once the trainwreck has had its hull upturned, it will become an albatross around the neck.
        I thought my hallucinations were interesting but this is a whole new level. Barman, I’ll have what Anonymous is having. But make it a single.

        • sibusisodan

          It is an inartful thread-troll
          And it deraileth one in three
          “By thy fey blare and piteous whine
          Why dost thou deraileth me?”

          (in the notes to this version, the poet says that the speaker is SEK, going to a wedding, wearing an hat, being pursued by bemused neighbours and angry eastern Europeans)

          And further on in the work, we have the immortal line:

          UNLIMITED, UNLIMITED UNDRINKABLE WATER!!!
          SUCK IT LIBS!!1!

          • herr doktor bimler

            I hope SEK is aware of the three warning signs of merry minstrelsy:
            1. Merry din.
            2. The bride, red as a rose.
            3. The loud bassoon.

            • Hogan

              Jackrum sighed. “There’s a song,” he said. “It starts ‘Twas on a Monday morning, all in the month of May – ”

              “Then it is about sex,” said Polly flatly. “It’s a folk song, it starts with ’twas, it takes place in May, QED it’s about sex. Is a milkmaid involved? I bet there is.”

              “There could be,” Jackrum conceded.

              “Going for to market? For to sell her wares?” said Polly.

              “Very likely.”

              “O-kay. That gives us the cheese. And she meets, let’s see, a soldier, a sailor, a jolly ploughboy or just possibly a man clothed all in leather, I expect? No, since it’s about us, it’ll be a soldier, right? And since it’s one of the Ins-and-Outs… oh dear, I feel a humorous double-entendre coming on. Just one question: what item of her clothing fell down or came untied?”

              “Her garter,” said Jackrum. “You’ve heard it before, Perks.”

              “No, but I just know how folk songs go. We had folk singers in the lower bar for six months back hom–where I worked. In the end we had to get a man in with a ferret. But you remember stuff… oh, no…”

              • herr doktor bimler

                I have the Rambling Syd Rumpo songbook here and I’m not afraid to use it.

          • Old Punch Cartoon

            “Just an albatross? You don’t know how lucky you are. I shot a de Havilland flying boat.”

            • William C. Rogers III

              I’ll see that and raise you 290 dead civilians.

  • Anonymous

    We are going to learn first hand that the problem with Socialism is that we eventually run out of other people’s money. You will all learn this truth. Good and hard.

    • NewishLawyer

      Yes because NHS has restored England to an absolute monarchy and abolished the House of Commons….

      • Anonymous

        Great Britain is a declining, bankrupt shithole and their decline started when they turned to Socialism.

        • since that was a good 65 years ago, it’s hard to imagine how it is that england is much wealthier today than it was in the immediate aftermath of world war ii, but then again: you don’t know much about anything, do you? you bore me.

          • Anonymous

            Britain was a world-spanning Empire Superpower in the 1940s. What are they today?

            • Warren Terra

              um, they don’t have an empire anymore because thy developed this theory that it was impractical and unethical to impose their rule on half the world, and moreover (and more importantly) a lot of the people they ruled came to a similar conclusion. None of this has jack to do with “socialism”.

              Also: several years ago (ie before the ACA passed, for a fair comparison) Britain spent less in taxpayer dollars per GDP than the US did, and for that money covered the whole country’s health care – while the US spent the same again in private funds, spending twice what the UK did. For the same outcomes. But Freedom!

              • Another Holocene Human

                Correction: worse outcomes. They did a study.

            • Nathan of Perth

              Factors that affected England’s ability to sustain a global empire:

              1 – A World War where they in it up to their eyeballs from start to finish.
              2 – The post-colonial movement

              99 other things

              daylight

              99 more things

              Nope, sorry, still haven’t found your socialism problems.

              • panda

                Are you trying to tell me that the debts Britain accrued during WW2 were not actually spent on tattoos and cigarettes for British bums?

                • I know how a British bum could be tattooed, but I’m not sure I believe one could smoke.

                • anthrofred

                  If your bum is smoking, please find the nearest medical professional.

                • panda

                  You obviously don’t spend enough time in the seedier parts of the internet.

                • MAJeff

                  If your bum is smoking, please find the nearest medical professional.

                  Thank goodness for the NHS.

                • dexitroboper

                  The British Navy ran on rum, bum and ‘baccy.

            • PSP

              “Britain was a world-spanning Empire Superpower in the 1940s. What are they today?”

              A rich country without an unprofitable empire.

        • Deptfordx

          The cannibal rape gangs are pretty bad here, but we think it’s a small price to pay. All hail our glorious leaders!

    • GoDeep

      Have you seen Bill Gates’ bank account? I think we’re going to be able to fund this socialist Obamacare for a long time to come babee!!

  • Anonymous

    Here’s a radical idea: people KEEP THEIR OWN DAMN MONEY and buy their own fucking healthcare.

    Your lack of healthcare is not my problem. NOT. MY. PROBLEM.

    Go to a church or a charity if you need help with medical care instead of using armed thugs to force me to pay for it.

    • jim, some guy in iowa

      are you even old enough to vote? somehow I don’t think you’ve been around our medical system very much

    • Hogan

      Naaah.

      • I hear the Christian Scientists can do wonders for your life-threatening illnesses!

    • and to think: on your very first comment, i thought you might be a very clever parodist.

      instead, you’re a very typical right-wing idiot.

      • JenBob’s House of Ketchup on Pancakes

        [sticks fingers in ears]

        La La La La, I CAN’T HEAR YOU, LIBTARDZ!!!!!11!!

    • Calming Influence

      Your lack of [flood insurance] is not my problem. NOT. MY. PROBLEM.

      Your lack of [a home because you didn’t have flood insurance] is not my problem. NOT. MY. PROBLEM.

      Your lack of [transportation to work because the flood ruined your car] is not my problem. NOT. MY. PROBLEM.

      Your lack of [a job because you couldn’t get to work] is not my problem. NOT. MY. PROBLEM.

      Your lack of [food for your children because you’re jobless and homeless] is not my problem. NOT. MY. PROBLEM.

      I know that Anonymous, unlike all the other unemployed, would miraculously pull himself up by his bootstraps and start a thriving business using only the dirt beneath his fingernails.

      But not everyone is so gifted.

      • BigHank53

        Hey, it’s not easy to break into sculpting Randian superhero figurines out of your own earwax.

    • anthrofred

      Good lord, you’re too hateful tonight to even archive. Make a prediction or something.

      • panda

        Downthread: four years until the NYC is ruined, and Wall Street relocates to Connecticut, which, by that time, is a republican stronghold. That’s three whole predictions for you!

        • anthrofred

          It’s hard to keep up tonight! Quite a pancakenado in this thread, with the transphobia, and the classism, and proctological prognostication.

          • Jordan

            Ha! It IS a pancakenado!

            • Probably trying to get its trolling out before obamacares mental health bennies kick in and its cured and becomes happy and productive.

              • JL

                The problem with this troll is hate, not mental illness. Mental illness is something a lot of good people who favor justice for all have. This one’s just an asshole, which is unfortunately harder to treat.

    • The prophet Nostradumbass

      When your home gets knocked over by a tornado or hurricane, NOT. MY. PROBLEM.

    • GoDeep

      Fuck that. Why rely on charity when we can use the IRS to take your money and help others (who clearly deserve it) more? Shit. Relying on charity when we’ve got your loot would be breathtakingly dumb!

    • stepped pyramids

      So the troll is pretending to be a libertarian today?

    • Tyro

      Go to a church or a charity if you need help with medical care

      If that were a workable solution, then there would be no problem to solve.

      You do realize, of course, that when you aren’t going to the doctor, your health insurance premiums are going to pay other people’s health care, right?

      • witless chum

        If only we had a few churches in this country, our healthcare problems would be solved.

    • Typhoid Mary

      I don’t have any health insurance. I know. It’s NOT. YOUR. PROBLEM.
      But I do have several highly contagious diseases. Let me know where you live and I’ll be sure to work in your kids’ school lunchroom. I know. It’s NOT. YOUR. PROBLEM.
      Or maybe I could get a job in your favorite chain restaurant, or bag your groceries. I know. It’s NOT. YOUR. PROBLEM.
      Or maybe I could just sit next to you on a bus, or a plane and cough a bit your way. I know. It’s NOT. YOUR. PROBLEM.

      Gosh. Here’s hoping that enlightened self-interest thing kicks in for you soon.

      • DF

        *slow clap*

  • Anonymous

    BTW, we are already making political hay out of Billy the Commie in NYC:

    http://politicker.com/2013/11/connecticut-republican-campaigns-against-communist-de-blasio/

    With Connecticut and New Jersey having Republican governors and NYC turning into Detroit under the rule of a Sandinista wannabe, it’s just a matter of time before the producers and Wall Street move across the rivers into more economically friendly and less criminal areas……

    • Uh-huh. Just like Cuchinelli was going to win the election.

      • Anonymous

        If the libertarian didn’t play spoiler he would have won handily.

        • panda

          Actually, the difference between the polling and the actual results was purely the result of republican-leaning voters for the libertarian returning home, while democrat-leaners stayed with the libertarian thinking that McAuliffe had already won, so technically, he was a spoiler for T-Mac, not the Cooch, but you are welcome to proceed.

    • Michael H Schneider

      NYC turning into Detroit

      That’s certainly true. Use Google street view to travel 5th avenue through midtown and you’ll be shocked by the number of abandoned and vandalized properties. The upper west side is even worse – Riversde Drive looks like Berlin at the end of the war. It’s Greece, I tell you, Greece!!

      • Anonymous

        Just you wait. Give it four years of Billy’s Marxist lunacy and it will look more and more like Detroit or Gary, Indiana.

        Detroit used to have the highest per capita income in the nation….until the 1967 riots started its decline, and DeBlasio may be Coleman Young on the Hudson.

        • anthrofred

          That’s better! See you in four years, if you don’t die of a bile overdose before then.

          • jim, some guy in iowa

            the bile is already leaking out of this one’s ears

            • Those arent ears.

              • herr doktor bimler

                I’ll take “Obvious anagrams” for $200. Alex.

        • The prophet Nostradumbass

          BOOKMARK IT, LIBS!

        • witless chum

          People are less racist today and De Blasio is not black, so even if they were as racist, they’d be unlikely to flee in terror from him.

          Coleman Young’s problems mostly related to urban design and racist white people. Not much he could do about those things.

          • Part of the right wing’s anger at diBlasio is that they can’t figure out whether to accuse him of being a full on Race Traitor or just some kind of gateway drug that leads white people to think black people aren’t as dangerous as they obviously are. You got a lot of that with Obama and Michelle and the extremely cute little Obama kids at the start. On the far right people were pissed off, like it was some kind of con, that Obama insisted on having such a cute family and such clearly straight arrow attitudes towards marriage and home life. I think its very interesting and probably significant that diBlasio’s adorable son is pudgy and has that huge, absurd, gently waving afro. Despite his age he looks just like a big, sweet, goofy, baby–something that is largely unraced and unthreatening even to a white viewer who has been primed with racist imagery.

            The right wing would far have preferred if he could have been 6 foot three, bald, tattoed and look like an advertisement for a thug. Like their attacks on Michelle Obama (and Trayvon) for being “ugly” and angry and trashy they really fear most the ways in which AA political figures and their families just won’t lie down for their sterotypes and obviously are plenty attractive.

            • Another Holocene Human

              Middle class Black people: the real creeping terror.

        • Rigby Reardon

          until the 1967 riots started its decline

          Detroit’s decline began much earlier than that, and was driven more by racist whites moving to Warren beginning in the 1950s.

          Trust me, I know about this. Those were my relative that moved to the burbs, and when I was growing up in metro Detroit in the 1970s and ’80s, I heard allllllllllllll about their motivations. They weren’t shy about it then, though now it’s a different story for most of them.

      • Anonymous

        Democrat “progressive” rule leads to ruined cities. Period. It happens every time, everywhere.

        • jim, some guy in iowa

          no, silly, the free market ruins cities as it creates suburbs – leaving the aging city over built and trying to fund itself on a shrinking tax base, and then the tax base of the first ring of suburbs is depleted by the second ring, and on it goes

          • panda

            Witness the ruin that is San Francisco, mortals, and despair!

            • Funkhauser

              I was going to say Palo Alto, but that place is boring.

              • The prophet Nostradumbass

                We don’t even elect the mayor, which makes things kind of boring, I suppose.

          • Another Holocene Human

            Actually, suburbs often self-deplete. The land use patterns are economically unsustainable. The worm has turned and the ‘burbs are desperate to get continued subsidies from the cities because they can’t pay for themselves.

    • anthrofred

      it’s just a matter of time before the producers and Wall Street move across the rivers into more economically friendly and less criminal areas……

      The Producers is back on?!

      • panda

        The bigger question is why, given its low taxation and worship of job producers, hasn’t Wall Street had yet to move to the great state of Mississippi. It’s almost as though local taxation is a rather minor concern when one runs a global enterprise.

        • anthrofred

          What, you don’t think MS’ new “Come for the tax breaks, stay for the sodas larger than 16 oz” campaign will be successful?

    • Glenn

      I think Dan Malloy would be quite surprised to find that he had become a Republican.

  • JS

    I was reading along with the expected oh-jesus-dumb-fucking-christ! attitude, but then I got to this part:

    Until recently, she was enrolled in a plan that did provide maternity coverage, which allowed her to get other people—people who were paying higher premiums for the option of having a child, but who were not yet going through the expense of pregnancy and childbirth—to subsidize her own pregnancy and childbirth.

    So once she’d collected the benefit, it was time to unload the costs onto the other suckers and get a new policy.

    and all I can say is… Respect!

  • Alex

    After that Oregon study came out, conservatives were literally arguing that there is no value in health care. Of course, I don’t know any of them who was willing to give up their plan.

    • The TPM coverage today about how cool it is that Medicaid is expanding is still drawing on this bizarre factoid that health insurance didn’t immiediatly reduce high blood pressure. In this amazing TPM quote you see just how twisted this discussion has become:

      Medicaid pays doctors less than Medicare, and much less than private insurance, fostering an impression that having a Medicaid card is no better than being uninsured, and maybe even worse. But a recent scientific study debunked that notion, finding that having Medicaid virtually eliminates the risk of catastrophic medical expenses due to a serious accident or the sudden onset of a life-threatening illness. It also found improved mental health, though not much difference in physical conditions such as high blood pressure.

      Yes: it “virtually eliminates the risk of a catastrophic medical expense wiping you out” and yet Megan assured us all that health insurance was useless because it did “not make much of a difference in [the limited measurable levels of things like high blood pressure over a two year span in a group that had previously been denied all health care and which have not changed their lifestyle or been able to remove stress.]” Interestingly there was no comparison to how things like “high blood pressure” are handled for people with regular insurance or uninterrupted health insurance–do people see their high blood pressure lowered in two years when they are wealthy and get diagnosed with it?

      • Srsly Dad Y

        IKR, if car insurance doesn’t stop other cars from hitting yours, what good is it?

      • etv13

        Well, mine dropped from about 210/90 to 135/85 in two months, thanks to three different medications, which makes me wonder if getting Medicaid actually led to treatment, or what the underlying facts in that study really are.

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  • witless chum

    I notice all the troll screeing is about socialism, which is not typically defined as a system where a bunch of huge corporations compete to make big profits of selling health insurance, with some minimal government regulation.

    • But socialism is sharing, and sharing is caring so: disaster.

  • Calming Influence

    In the end, it all comes down to the U.S. being a Christian Nation. It’s like Jesus said: “Fuck other people.”

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