The Ryan budget plan, Part II: Medicare

In his so-called “Path to Prosperity,” U.S. Rep. Paul Ryan pledges to “preserve America’s social contract with retired workers” by rescuing Medicare from collapse.

“Current retirees deserve the benefits around which they organized their lives,” the plan states. “Future generations deserve health and retirement security they can count on.”

Who's on Medicare? They are, and if you're lucky, you will be too someday. (AP photo)

Who's on Medicare? They are, and if you're lucky, you will be too someday. (AP photo)

There’s no question that Medicare is in real trouble. It is already placing enormous pressure on the federal budget, and once the Baby Boom generation begins to retire and claim their benefits, the stress will become untenable. Unfortunately, Ryan proposes to save Medicare by destroying it.

First, some basics. Under Ryan’s plan, Americans 55 and older will be guaranteed standard Medicare benefits. However, those who turn 65 after 2021 will be placed on an entirely different plan. They will in effect be given taxpayer-funded vouchers that they can use to purchase insurance from government-run exchanges, much like the much despised ObamaCare model.

However, those vouchers will not cover the entire cost of health insurance for those retirees. In fact, under the proposed formula, by 2021 those vouchers would probably cover roughly three-fourths of the cost of current Medicare coverage, and that percentage would decline in each succeeding year. Senior citizens would be forced to cover the difference out of their own pockets.

For some retirees, that would be manageable (the plan envisions unspecified higher subsidies for low-income retirees and those with more serious health problems.) But for others it would not, particularly as private and public pension plans falter and proposals are made to slash Social Security.

Ryan argues that the change from a government-managed plan to a voucher plan would actually drive down the cost of health insurance and make it more affordable for retirees. As the plan describes it, “50 million empowered seniors holding providers accountable in a true marketplace” will be more effective than the government in driving down health care and insurance costs.

“Putting patients in charge of how their health care dollars are spent will force providers to compete against each other on price and quality,” the plan argues. “That’s how markets work: The customer is the ultimate guarantor of value.”

There’s an idealism in that claim that is almost charming. The problem is, we have considerable data proving that such belief is nonsense. We know, for example, that since 1970, per capita costs for Medicare coverage have risen more slowly than per capita costs for private medical insurance. Ryan himself acknowledges that fact, complaining that Medicare pays hospitals and doctors less than private insurers while also claiming that “the open-ended, blank-check nature of the Medicare subsidy drives health-care inflation at an astonishing pace.”

When you make an apples-to-apples comparison in what are called common costs — defined as “benefits commonly covered by (both) Medicare and private health insurance” — the price-containment difference is even more stark. Since 1997, the per capita cost for such benefits provided by Medicare has risen at an average annual rate of 4.1 percent, compared to a rise of 6.6 percent among private insurers, a difference of more than 50 percent.

The truth is, individuals in the confusing, frightening and complicated health-care marketplace don’t have the information or analytical skills needed to drive a hard bargain with providers. That’s particularly true of an elderly demographic. If you doubt that, walk into a hospital and try to negotiate a better price for a knee replacement than Aetna or BlueCross has negotiated, using their experts and market power. You can’t do it.

These are not surprises. Nor are they design flaws. The Congressional Budget Office, in an analysis of the Medicare plan requested by Ryan, laid out its impacts in a letter last fall.

“Voucher recipients would probably have to purchase less extensive coverage or pay higher premiums than they would under current law, for two reasons. First, most of the savings for Medicare under the proposal stem from reducing the amounts that the federal government would pay for enrollees on a per capita basis, relative to the projections under current law. Second, future beneficiaries would probably face higher premiums in the private market for a package of benefits similar to that currently provided by Medicare.

For both Medicare and Medicaid, the budgetary effects would become larger over time because federal payments would tend to grow more slowly under the proposal than projected costs per enrollee under current law. Although the level of expected federal spending and the uncertainty surrounding that spending would decline, enrollees’ spending for health care and the uncertainty surrounding that spending would increase.”

Ryan bristles at the description of his approach as a voucher plan, preferring the term “premium support program,” but that’s what it is. But it’s a voucher plan. Through Medicare, this country has made a commitment to its senior citizens that they will not be denied needed medical care because they can’t afford it.

The Ryan approach to Medicare reform abandons that commitment. The best thing that can be said about it — and it’s a contribution not to be belittled — is that this proposal begins a much-needed conversation about how to tackle one of the most serious financial challenges facing us as a society.

That word, by the way, was not chosen lightly. How we treat our senior citizens is an issue for our society, not our government, to solve. It is a challenge to our values, our morals, our ethics and our humanity.

– Jay Bookman

680 comments Add your comment

Paul

April 5th, 2011
6:35 pm

Adam

What I’ve gleaned from them is frustration with insurance companies – not just that they all have different rules, but how arbitrary they can be when the person on the other end of the line says “approved’ or ‘not approved’ and how it seems to vary so much.

Granny Godzilla

April 5th, 2011
6:35 pm

Opening

Ok Ladies and gentlemen, and I use that term carefully, let’s talk.

It’s not just healthcare in America – it’s HEALTH – in America.

We are what we eat.

(I’m meat and potatoes, working on her salad and always have been)

@@

April 5th, 2011
6:35 pm

Unfortunately, Ryan proposes to save Medicare by destroying it.

Fear mongering, jay?

You underestimate seniors. They didn’t reach their ripe old ages without sheer determination. My sister-in-law who worked in a physician’s office said the only patients that made her cringe with fear, were the elders.

My Mom, on a VERY (small) monthly income wouldn’t be caught dead (no pun intended) without her supplemental policy. A friend of hers was sent home from hospice when her medicare ran out. “They won’t be shufflin’ me out” she says.

My brother and I reimburse the amount of her supplemental premium. She complains every time she sees where the money’s been deposited in her account, but we’re used to being reprimanded. We’ll survive.

She’s a feisty ol’ broad.

RW-(the original)

April 5th, 2011
6:36 pm

Off topic

Mick,

I tried to read the Stiglitz screed on class warfare but my eyes kept glazing over. I think the very same message he’s trying to put out has been done a million times in two sentence blog comments, but thanks for the link.

Southern Comfort (aka The Man)

April 5th, 2011
6:36 pm

md

I firmly believe that you can not help someone who doesn’t want to help themself. No matter how much or how hard you try, you will not succeed if they don’t want the same.

getalife

April 5th, 2011
6:37 pm

Josef,

My cardiologist prescribed them and told me to try to catch them like in Rocky.

He just volunteered on a ship in undisclosed location to do surgery.

I asked him, what are you, some kind of liberal.

F. Sinkwich

April 5th, 2011
6:37 pm

“…the left’s aversion to “personal responsibility”, “liberty”, “profit”, and “job”.”

No, they like “social justice, workers of the world unite, tax the rich,” etc.

If they had any integrity at all, they would chant “I’m a loser, pay me!”

md

April 5th, 2011
6:37 pm

“And yet md you fail to post any evidence to support the claim that actual losses are occuring in private enterprise for some segment of nursing homes. But you are in fact acknowledging that under the Ryan plan, seniors currently covered by govt plan would have to pay more for services.”

The evidence is in my head………been there, done that….take it however you choose…..

And I’m merely pointing out the data tries to separate the 2 systems, when one effects the other and visa versa.

Left wing management

April 5th, 2011
6:37 pm

md: “Our “society” set up an assistance program for all…..it is called “public education”……currently, 1/3 of folks CHOOSE not to participate in said program”

Society is not reducible to public education, or any other individual program.

Society is not equivalent to the totality of its institutions, or even of its people. It’s fundamentally a moral community.

Paul

April 5th, 2011
6:38 pm

@@

I’d have expected no less of you.

Well done.

godless heathen

April 5th, 2011
6:40 pm

“Kirstie Alley is dancing on DWTS. Earthquakes are occuring all over the globe”

Tsunami warnings went up when she fell down.

Thulsa Doom

April 5th, 2011
6:40 pm

“The truth is, individuals in the confusing, frightening and complicated health-care marketplace don’t have the information or analytical skills needed to drive a hard bargain with providers. That’s particularly true of an elderly demographic. If you doubt that, walk into a hospital and try to negotiate a better price for a knee replacement than Aetna or BlueCross has negotiated, using their experts and market power. You can’t do it.”-Jay

Jay,

That’s not quite true Jay. People don’t shop because they’re lazy or as you said they may just be ignorant and not realize that docs and health care facilities can be negotioated with. I have a custome who works at an obgyn’s office and had to shop for her own services- her doc gave her a $300 a month voucher towards the cost of an insurance plan but she had to shop for it.

She purchased an HSA wich gives her a lower premium but she has to pay for a lot of things out of pocket. She called around and got an MRI for $300 with a well known MRI outpatient facility- normally a $700-$2000 procedure.

There are also doctors now that offer plans where you pay them directly like in the old days- this is a new and growing trend. Many of these plans have charges $50 flat fee monthly per family for doc visits with a $15 co-pay- unlimited visits per family member. Docs would much rather get paid directly by the patient then deal with claims paperwork.

And while you may not realize it Medicare does not pay 20% of part B expenses. Requiring seniors to now pick up an extra 5% is not asking a whole lot. That generation has accumulated more wealth than all the other generations. Its only reasonable that they should in fact pay for a little more of their health care. Anyone who has an understanding of basic demographics understands that the senior generation has far more wealth than the other generations- money and assets accumulated over a lifetime unless the govt took most of it from them.

BADA BING

April 5th, 2011
6:40 pm

Tuesday Topix 2……Pittsburg Police reported that prostitutes are accepting Gift Cards as payment for services rendered. Most popular card……Sluts R Us.

jconservative

April 5th, 2011
6:41 pm

Depending on whose numbers you believed, Obamacare gave the insurance industry a potential 15 to 30 million new customers. Ryan’s formula would give the insurance industry 50 to 60 million new customers.

In both cases the winners are the insurance companies.

The losers? The individual taxpayer, as always.

The real simple way to keep Medicare as a viable program is to tie the eligibility age to Social Security. It would require a bill of 58 words. It has been written dozens of times over the years but it never gets out of sub-committee.

md

April 5th, 2011
6:41 pm

“It’s fundamentally a moral community.”

With immoral components………….

Left wing management

April 5th, 2011
6:42 pm

Ty Webb, Sinkwich: “the left’s aversion to “personal responsibility”, “liberty”, “profit”, and “job” ”

I like all those words. I just want to see them mean something other than a sloganizing, propaganda program put forward by those who have no interest in whether I am responsible, free, profitable, or have a job. Without social justice, all of those principles unravel.

Left wing management

April 5th, 2011
6:43 pm

md: “With immoral components………….”

Interesting comment. Care to elaborate? Are you saying that because society is not free of moral purity or perfection, a person cannot be forced to participate in it?

Adam

April 5th, 2011
6:43 pm

I agree with SoCo on the matter of the public education system. However, society is not equal to public education system. Public education is a part of society, but not society itself. The 1/3 you refer to are still members of society. They do not have a choice in that. And I still don’t agree that all of them necessarily made that educational choice on their own.

Adam

April 5th, 2011
6:44 pm

LWM: Well said. Especially Without social justice, all of those principles unravel.

Adam

April 5th, 2011
6:44 pm

Nah, society isn’t a moral community. It’s just a community.

md

April 5th, 2011
6:44 pm

And for the record, I’m not opposed to a single payer type system…….this 3rd party crap needs to go. But I would prefer a 3rd party system such as a not for profit hospital vs the endless pit gov’t running the show.

Southern Comfort (aka The Man)

April 5th, 2011
6:47 pm

There are also doctors now that offer plans where you pay them directly like in the old days- this is a new and growing trend. Many of these plans have charges $50 flat fee monthly per family for doc visits with a $15 co-pay- unlimited visits per family member. Docs would much rather get paid directly by the patient then deal with claims paperwork.

Sounds like cutting out the middle-man. It would be great to see even more jump on that bandwagon as I think it’s the middle-man, a.k.a. insurance companies, that are creating the massive price increases in the first place.

Doggone/GA

April 5th, 2011
6:48 pm

“society isn’t a moral community. It’s just a community”

I don’t agree. Any community has to have a morality. It might not be what you or I would agree is a morality, but it has to exist to even HAVE a community.

Hillbilly Deluxe

April 5th, 2011
6:48 pm

Makes me glad I’m in the 55 and over crowd.

And on a related note………I’ve always wondered, who passed these “laws of economics”, I’m always hearing about?

Southern Comfort (aka The Man)

April 5th, 2011
6:48 pm

But I would prefer a 3rd party system such as a not for profit hospital vs the endless pit gov’t running the show.

Sounds like something I’ve stated here numerous times.

godless heathen

April 5th, 2011
6:48 pm

“Without exception, they respond ‘the latter.”

Sure they would, because they know the government throws away money hand over fist. When you take “for profit” for anyone except the providers out of the system, it will be a bonanza for two groups: providers and government employees.

md

April 5th, 2011
6:49 pm

“Are you saying that because society is not free of moral purity or perfection, a person cannot be forced to participate in it?”

How do you plan to force participation? There are many among us that choose not to be part of society……..the woods are full of them………other than the financial aspect, they can choose not to participate.

What you advocate sounds more like a ‘commune”……..and last I checked, it was voluntary and full of rules.

Sounds to me like you are advocating taking away the freedom of choice…………

Thulsa Doom

April 5th, 2011
6:50 pm

@@ at 6:35,

True enough. I like Jay put in typical liberal paternalistic fashion he himself said he doesn’t believe seniors can handle navigating the health system themselves. He has no clue how wrong he truly is. They are highly educated on their options and if not they will get themselves educated.

The only ones that don’t care are the ones on Medicaid- the really poor ones that are generally pretty ignorant. They are different in that they do want and need to be taken care of. And take care of them we do.

WOW

April 5th, 2011
6:50 pm

Obama is a colossal hypocrite.

Obama tells Congress to act like ‘grown ups’

http://www.ft.com/cms/s/0/395f0f8c-5fc1-11e0-a718-00144feab49a.html#axzz1IehpdthL

Paul

April 5th, 2011
6:51 pm

Hillbilly

“who passed these “laws of economics”, I’m always hearing about?”

Economists. Has to do with job security and nonaccountability.

Pleasant evening, all -

md

April 5th, 2011
6:52 pm

“insurance companies, that are creating the massive price increases in the first place.”

Exactly…….they don’t work for free………..

Adam

April 5th, 2011
6:52 pm

Doggone: That’s not to say there aren’t morals, but unless the community is very small it is unlikely those morals are shared by everyone in it.

Soothsayer

April 5th, 2011
6:53 pm

You know this is all so very simple and the answer is right there before your eyes. If everyone was rich like me, we wouldn’t have any problem at all. Get it?

F. Sinkwich

April 5th, 2011
6:53 pm

“Without social justice, all of those principles unravel.”

Please define “social justice.” I think it’s a commie code phrase for Marxist policies.

Thanks.

WOW

April 5th, 2011
6:53 pm

md

Most of these left wing bloggers don’t understand basic economics.

Don't Forget

April 5th, 2011
6:53 pm

Hmmmm, I wonder how much an insurance policy for a 70 year old diabetic with failing kidneys and a heart attack in her past would cost.

Either these vouchers will cost us out the wazoo or people like that will be out of luck.

Doggone/GA

April 5th, 2011
6:54 pm

“other than the financial aspect”

In other words, they participate. Even minimal participation is participation

Smeat

April 5th, 2011
6:55 pm

I din’t see this posted. Sorry if I’m doing it again.

Bookman understands that there is a debt crisis.

If the Dems are so smart where is their plan? Where was their budget last year? FAIL.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Xwv5EbxXSmE&feature=player_embedded

Don't Forget

April 5th, 2011
6:55 pm

WOW

April 5th, 2011
6:53 pm

md

Most of these left wing bloggers don’t understand basic economics.

There’s a lot more to economics than the basics brother and that’s what the conservatives don’t understand.

WOW

April 5th, 2011
6:56 pm

“Without social justice”

In other words, wealth envy. Black racist like Jesse Jackson and Al Sharpton preach social justice.

F. Sinkwich

April 5th, 2011
6:56 pm

“Former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin (R) on Tuesday commended House Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan’s (R-Wis.) budget, calling it “Serious & necessary.” ”

Good enough for me.

getalife

April 5th, 2011
6:56 pm

“Obama tells Congress to act like ‘grown ups’”

They need to.

He was aggravated today.

WOW

April 5th, 2011
6:56 pm

“There’s a lot more to economics than the basics brother and that’s what the conservatives don’t understand.”

Enlighten us all….brother.

ty webb

April 5th, 2011
6:57 pm

“Please define “social justice.” I think it’s a commie code phrase for Marxist policies.”

It’s one of the first terms all those “women’s studies” majors are taught to throw out at the drop of a dime.

Thulsa Doom

April 5th, 2011
6:57 pm

Southern Comfort at 6:47,

That’s exactly what it is. People and docs are slowly cutting out the middle man- insurance companies. I own an insurance agency and I’m cool with that.

Insurance needs to be more about covering truly catastrophic events. Everyday routine health care at the micro level needs to go back to being between the doc and patient- without the government and insurance companies and the myriad paperwork and claims and bureaucracy that both entail.

Doggone/GA

April 5th, 2011
6:57 pm

“it is unlikely those morals are shared by everyone in it”

Anyone who doesn’t share won’t be a part of that community long. They’ll leave on their own account, or be pushed out.

WOW

April 5th, 2011
6:57 pm

“He was aggravated today.”

That’s because he knows he’s in deep doo doo.

F. Sinkwich

April 5th, 2011
6:58 pm

“In other words, wealth envy. Black racist like Jesse Jackson and Al Sharpton preach social justice.”

BINGO.

In other words, equality of outcome.

md

April 5th, 2011
6:59 pm

“Hmmmm, I wonder how much an insurance policy for a 70 year old diabetic with failing kidneys and a heart attack in her past would cost. ”

Might want to remember that the new hc bill doesn’t allow for non coverage of preexisting conditions…..but, the plans are still nowhere near cheap………

Soothsayer

April 5th, 2011
7:00 pm

“Insurance needs to be more about covering truly catastrophic events. Everyday routine health care at the micro level needs to go back to being between the doc and patient- without the government and insurance companies and the myriad paperwork and claims and bureaucracy that both entail.”

Then who’s gonna pay for my little blue pills? The wife ain’t gonna like this.

Thulsa Doom

April 5th, 2011
7:00 pm

Don’t Forget

April 5th, 2011
6:53 pm
Hmmmm, I wonder how much an insurance policy for a 70 year old diabetic with failing kidneys and a heart attack in her past would cost.

End stage renal disease(kidney failure) would be covered by Medicare because of its prohibitive costs and specialized care. That’s the way it works now.

F. Sinkwich

April 5th, 2011
7:01 pm

“He was aggravated today.”

Michelle caught him smoking then kicked his azz.

Left wing management

April 5th, 2011
7:01 pm

Don’t forget: “Most of these left wing bloggers don’t understand basic economics.”

I don’t know, I get my economic theory from people like Adam Smith and Karl Marx, both of whom are essentially communists from the standpoint of the current American right. Anyway, I think I’m in pretty good company there. What about you?

Sinkwich: “Please define “social justice.” I think it’s a commie code phrase for Marxist policies.”

What’s a commie? To come back to Adam Smith, I think by that definition Adam Smith would be a commie, since his entire project was in an attempt to better create and distribute wealth for the general good, i.e. for social justice.

WOW

April 5th, 2011
7:01 pm

This is hilarious. This is the same moron who said that “we have to pass the health care bill to find out what’s in it.”

Pelosi: GOP Budget Will Deprive Seniors Of Meals

http://www.realclearpolitics.com/video/2011/04/05/pelosi_gop_budget_will_deprive_seniors_of_meals.html

Hillbilly Deluxe

April 5th, 2011
7:01 pm

I think the “shopping for medical care” argument has merits for things like routine check-ups, the flu and that sort of thing. It falls apart when you get into more complicated things. Who, realistically, is going to think about shopping around, when they’ve just been told they need chemo, or open heart surgery. At times like that, you’ve got all you can handle without worrying about business. In cases like that, time is of the essence and you don’t have the luxury of going doctor shopping. And realistically, how many people who haven’t been in that situation, can even name a place to go ask for a price.

That doesn’t even bring up accidents, when you go wherever the ambulance takes you.

Our medical care is as good as anybody’s but the business side of things is a mess. I think the growth in the number of “for profit” hospitals has a lot to do with that. At our own local “for profit” (the only hospital within 25 miles), they bought a new CAT Scan machine, a couple years ago. Well you can bet, if it takes X number of scans a month, to make the payments on that machine, they’re going to do X number of scans. Lots of those are probably paid for by insurance but it contributes to the high cost of health care.

Thulsa Doom

April 5th, 2011
7:02 pm

Don’t forget,

Also under the proposed plan it kinda goes without saying that it would have to look like the original Medicare system whereby there is no underwriting- all are automatically accepted regardless of health condition- no cherry picking. Otherwise you would be able to disqualify dang near half or more of seniors.

F. Sinkwich

April 5th, 2011
7:03 pm

“He was aggravated today.”

The White House laundry shrunk his Mom Jeans.

Soothsayer

April 5th, 2011
7:04 pm

What we need is a system where Granny can either afford healthcare or not. If she can’t afford it, then she just flat-out needs to do without. And if the kids ain’t willing to pony up and pay the medical bills, then she just needs to die. NO MORE SOCIALISM!Survival of the fittest.

WOW

April 5th, 2011
7:04 pm

“He was aggravated today.”

UCONN won. That’s why he’s so upset!

F. Sinkwich

April 5th, 2011
7:04 pm

“to better create and distribute wealth for the general good, ”

Commie.

Yippee

April 5th, 2011
7:04 pm

And the liar speaks again.

Did you see this video?: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VIA5aszzA18

harvey

April 5th, 2011
7:04 pm

You can tell you are not on Medicare. I am, but still pay more for my additional/supplemental insurance than I did when I was under 65. So, seniors still have to pay for supplements or, I assume, they depend on charity–medicaid. There is so much fraud in the whole system, including in the numbers of government personnel that run it, that if it were cleaned up we might really save. By the way, those seniors getting medicare now, in all likelihood, have always had a bigger work ethic than any of the kids coming along now.

F. Sinkwich

April 5th, 2011
7:05 pm

“He was aggravated today.”

Shot an eleven on a Par 3.

Jackie

April 5th, 2011
7:05 pm

@WOW

Could you articulate your observations about the racist attitudes and actions of Jesse Jackson and Al Sharpton?

It appears that you have a problem with the minority community.

josef nix

April 5th, 2011
7:06 pm

md

As you know, you and I sometimes differ on what is “can’t” and what is “won’t” but are in basic agreement. My question, though, is who sits on the “death panels” (for lack of a better phrase) making that decision?

Thulsa Doom

April 5th, 2011
7:06 pm

Hillbilly Deluxe,

You’re right about things like Chemotherapy and major medical events although today there is still some degree of shopping even in that regard. Some people choose to go to one of the nationally recognized American Cancer treatment centers such as at Duke Medical or UAB. I believe Emory’s cancer treatment center just attained status as a designated center.

I’m just talking about at the micro level getting govt and insurance companies out of the equation.

Smeat

April 5th, 2011
7:06 pm

The Democrat response to Paul Ryan’s Budget is simply, do nothing except put on a red shirt and scream insults while calling them racist and crazy and don’t forget to watch Dancing With The Stars, The Emmys, The Grammys, The Oscars, The People’s Choice Awards, The SAG Awards, The Scream Awards, The Adult Video Awards and of course, last but not least, Chris Matthews.

Don't Forget

April 5th, 2011
7:07 pm

WOW

April 5th, 2011
6:56 pm

“There’s a lot more to economics than the basics brother and that’s what the conservatives don’t understand.”

Enlighten us all….brother.

I’ve tried in the past but it’s a waste of time. If you really want to know more about it than the high school Adam Smith version then take a course or do a little research and read some differing points of view.

Thulsa Doom

April 5th, 2011
7:07 pm

Jackie,

Remember Jesse Jackson’s hymietown comment?

F. Sinkwich

April 5th, 2011
7:09 pm

“He was aggravated today.”

Someone asked him about his promise to close Gitmo.

WOW

April 5th, 2011
7:09 pm

“It appears that you have a problem with the minority community.”

No, I have a problem with racists morons who make a living off of race baiting, Jackie.

“Could you articulate your observations about the racist attitudes and actions of Jesse Jackson and Al Sharpton?”

Hymie town comes to mind. The Duke Lacrosse debacle comes to mind. Al Sharpton inciting riots in NY that killed a couple of people comes to mind.

md

April 5th, 2011
7:10 pm

“However, society is not equal to public education system. Public education is a part of society, but not society itself. The 1/3 you refer to are still members of society. They do not have a choice in that.”

But “society” designed the program for “all”, yet all do not participate in the program and therefore do not abide by the wishes of ’society”.

So…..they either don’t participate in ’society”, or how does society not fail if all are not following the rules set forth?

Where is that “force” component?

WOW

April 5th, 2011
7:11 pm

“I’ve tried in the past but it’s a waste of time. If you really want to know more about it than the high school Adam Smith version then take a course or do a little research and read some differing points of view.”

In other words, you have no idea and divert attention to something that makes absolutely no sense.

ty webb

April 5th, 2011
7:11 pm

“It appears that you have a problem with the minority community.”

in the interest of “Blog Justice”, it appears he has a problem with Sharpton and Jackson, and rightfully so.

Tommy Maddox

April 5th, 2011
7:11 pm

Oh and Jessie’s ” I wanna cut his nuts out” tad on television.

Oh wait, the guy he was speaking of was only 1/2 white,

md

April 5th, 2011
7:11 pm

“NO MORE SOCIALISM!Survival of the fittest.”

Yeh yeh…..we know you all are pro-choice…….

Doggone/GA

April 5th, 2011
7:12 pm

“how does society not fail if all are not following the rules set forth?”

Depends on the rules. The more flexible they are the more people can be in that society. The more rigid they are, the fewer people.

Smeat

April 5th, 2011
7:12 pm

“It appears that you have a problem with the minority community.”

That stuff belongs in Cynthia Tuckers blogosphere.

F. Sinkwich

April 5th, 2011
7:13 pm

“He was aggravated today.”

He bet on VCU.

Southern Comfort (aka The Man)

April 5th, 2011
7:13 pm

Doom

No disagreement from me on that. I thought the whole purpose of insurance was for catastrophic incidents. I grew up without medical insurance (at least that’s what I was told at the time), but I was still able to get routine checkups and stuff. I never had any catastrophic things happen, such as broken bones or surgery.

“Without social justice”

In other words, wealth envy. Black racist like Jesse Jackson and Al Sharpton preach social justice.

MLK also preached social justice. I’m guessing he’s racist too…. :roll:

Thulsa Doom

April 5th, 2011
7:14 pm

harvey,

The cost of supplements is going up although not at a crazy pace. Right now if you qualify for Medicare and Medicaid you get a plan in which you basically pay zero for anything medical. You could have a triple bypass 200k operation and pay not a dime.

If a senior can’t afford a supplement they can get a medicare advantage plan often at zero premium or at a very nominal premium like $40 a month. These plans are excellent with the only drawback being that they have network limitations as far as doc choice goes. They chiefly benefit low income people who don’t qualify for medicaid and middle class people who can’t afford a supplement.

Curiously enough the Obama administration wants to do away with Medicare Advantage which is very popular with lower income and middle class people. Why he would do this is a mindboggling mystery to me.

WOW

April 5th, 2011
7:15 pm

“MLK also preached social justice.”

He wasn’t a race baiting moron like Jesse and Al. He didn’t make a living off of suing companies and demonizing other people. He also didn’t go around saying he was going to cut the nuts off of people.

Smeat

April 5th, 2011
7:16 pm

WTF?

“how does society not fail if all are not following the rules set forth?”

Depends on the rules. The more flexible they are the more people can be in that society. The more rigid they are, the fewer people.

Uhhhh No.

Rules are same for all or they don’t make squat for anyone.

As the great Warren Zevon would say:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=S5puAN1PGQw

md

April 5th, 2011
7:16 pm

“As you know, you and I sometimes differ on what is “can’t” and what is “won’t” but are in basic agreement. My question, though, is who sits on the “death panels” (for lack of a better phrase) making that decision?”

It should be our elected officials………and to me, assistance programs should be conditional and verifiable based on a step process.

If one is able to go to school, but chooses to drop out which makes matters worse for themselves and ’society”, no further assistance would be given without conditions to go back to step 1…in this case school. By allowing folks to go on to step 2, 3 4, etc without correcting the underlying problem does neither party any good.

F. Sinkwich

April 5th, 2011
7:17 pm

“He was aggravated today.”

He figured out the world thinks he’s a wiener.

Jackie

April 5th, 2011
7:18 pm

@WOW

When you mention the “Hymie Town” remarks, could you say that you have never used a racial pejorative relative to others?

Secondly, the Duke LaCrosse incident had nothing to do with Jesse Jackson or Al Sharpton. They were asked to come to Durham, NC to speak on behalf of the alleged victims, which turns out was a fraud. In that case, what did you think of Mr. Mike Nifong, the DA who used the incident to further his unsuccessful re-election, even though a majority of the people in the black and white community told him that the alleged victim had many issues and had perpetuated that fraud on others? Was Mr. Nifon a race-baiter?

josef nix

April 5th, 2011
7:18 pm

Sharpton and Jackson have a vested interest in their finding racism in a chocolate chip cookie. That doesn’t mean it isn’t an ongoing problem with us as it is in any multi-racial society. My problem is that all concerned are still trapped in a blac-white dichotomy.

As for the Hymietown comment. Yeah, it p*ssed me off. No big surprise, mind you. But then, on the other hand, it was kinda hard to get too worked up since that’s what I call it, too. It’s sorta like the infamous “n” word. Be careful when and where you use it.

Yippee

April 5th, 2011
7:18 pm

Democrats are like a jagged glass suppository-a real pain in the a$$. Most democrats in DC think their head is a suppository. I think I digressed. Back to the video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VIA5aszzA18

Adam

April 5th, 2011
7:19 pm

What the hell is with this obsession over who Obama picked for the Final Four. Who gives a sh*t?

Doggone/GA

April 5th, 2011
7:19 pm

“I thought the whole purpose of insurance was for catastrophic incidents”

There is not “purpose” to insurance. It’s just legalized gambling. The insurance company (bettor 1) bets you X number of dollars a year that you won’t get seriously sick (or have an accident, or burn your house down, or whatever) and you (bettor 2) agrees.

If you don’t get sick (or etc) bettor 1 wins. If you do, and have to claim on your insurance you – as bettor 2 – wins.

And since the insurance company is, ultimately, taking the bigger risk, they set the “odds” (requirements to claim) as much in their favor as they can.

Don't Forget

April 5th, 2011
7:19 pm

So, Wow, what exactly do you want to know?

Jackie

April 5th, 2011
7:19 pm

@ty webb

How does anyone have a right to have issues with someone who advocates for minorities, all poor and women?

Did Jesse Jackson or Al Sharpton exhibit racial hatred when they went to West Virginia and advocated for the poor in Appalachia?

md

April 5th, 2011
7:20 pm

“Rules are same for all or they don’t make squat for anyone.”

Hence the reason for numerous of our problems today………………ie immigration……2 sets of rules.

Doggone/GA

April 5th, 2011
7:21 pm

“Rules are same for all or they don’t make squat for anyone”

Sure they’re the same for all, but that doesn’t mean they have to be tightly rigid. “Your rights end where my nose begins” is a rule. It’s not a rigid one. It doesn’t define what you can or can’t do, it only defines that you must limit what you do to things that do not interfere with MY rights.

Jackie

April 5th, 2011
7:22 pm

@joseph nix

The black/white dichotomy is an issue that will not go away because it appears there are many who like sound bites to solve a festering problem.

Left wing management

April 5th, 2011
7:22 pm

Doggone/GA: “There is not “purpose” to insurance. It’s just legalized gambling”

The same can be said of capitalism itself. But it goes on. It doesn’t die. You bow before it.

Thulsa Doom

April 5th, 2011
7:22 pm

Jackie,

Al Sharpton was initially out front on this Duke Lacrosse thing also. He had to quickly back down when it was becoming obvious the woman was fabricating the whole thing.

Al learned his lesson because he made his name with the Tawana Brawley fabrication of 5 ku klux klansmen raping her. That was the story that brought AL SHarpton on the national scene if you’ll remember. He was race baiting in the worst, most shameful way. Everyone knew that girl’s story was preposterous. He knew it. He just didn’t care because it was helping him make a national name for himself. How and why black people follow a man that led the charge on such an incendiary lie is beyond me.

Mary Elizabeth

April 5th, 2011
7:23 pm

Jay,

Thank you so very much for this article. I believe that you are right on the money (pun intended in every connotation – human and financial). :-)

Here are my published words of a year ago:

“When we recognize that ‘no man is an island entire of itself,’ then we will understand the value of promoting the general welfare, through our government, as described in our nation’s Constitution.

“In this world view, America’s citizens would emerge less judgmental and more generous in spirit. As a nation, we would better be able to lead others in the practice of nonviolence. We would know the value of universal health care for all, as with education, instead of perceiving it only as a privilege for the financially well-endowed.”

(Please read Mick’s link yesterday which describes how the top 1 % of our nation have increased their wealth doublefold over the last decades, while the middle/working class has lost financial ground. I hope you will not only read it, but will place it on your Facebook page for others to read. It is really insightful:)

http://www.vanityfair.com/society/features/2011/05/top-one-percent-201105?currentPage=all

———————————————–

Now, I need to do something I was led to do by listening to God’s spirit in my willful soul. In yesterday’s storm, I realized fully that none of us knows the hour of our death. It could come at any
time.

I have often written in support of nonviolence – as my words, above, demonstrate. But how can I write in support of nonviolence, if I do not practice nonviolence myself in every context of my life? Verbal insults, even if one feels justified, are never really justified. They are actually small forms of violence toward others, unless done with good humor from both parties. (”An eye for an eye” means a loss for all.)

To HARRY CALLAHAN:
So, this evening, I must apologize to you, Harry, for the insulting words I have used toward you. Only God’s spirit in my heart could lead me to make this public apology. But I mean the apology sincerely. If I were to die tonight, I know that the Lord would be well pleased with my listening to His spirit and acting on it.

And, perhaps, my example, of trying to practice nonviolence in words, will mean more to others than my writings, anyway.

:

ty webb

April 5th, 2011
7:24 pm

Jackie,
two words…”tawana brawley”.

F. Sinkwich

April 5th, 2011
7:24 pm

“He was aggravated today.”

His teleprompter demanded double pay, tenure, new work rules, 20 sick days a year, and overtime for more than two hours per week.