We are a commune of inquiring, skeptical, politically centrist, capitalist, anglophile, traditionalist New England Yankee humans, humanoids, and animals with many interests beyond and above politics. Each of us has had a high-school education (or GED), but all had ADD so didn't pay attention very well, especially the dogs. Each one of us does "try my best to be just like I am," and none of us enjoys working for others, including for Maggie, from whom we receive neither a nickel nor a dime. Freedom from nags, cranks, government, do-gooders, control-freaks and idiots is all that we ask for.
Our Recent Essays Behind the Front Page
Tuesday, October 23. 2018
Mille grazie to Roger de Hauteville, the Norman King of Sicily (recent photo on the right) for his change-of-pace morning links while I was away. Much more clever and fun to read than mine are.
World's oldest intact shipwreck discovered in Black Sea - Archaeologists say the 23-metre vessel has lain undisturbed for more than 2,400 years
Why It’s Time to End Factory Farming
On Long Island, Failure to Absorb Sandy’s Lessons
Lost to Sandy, Reclaimed By Nature - Here’s why one community chose not to rebuild
MacDonald: From the Kavanaugh hearings to a lawsuit alleging that Harvard discriminates against Asian-Americans, the Left sees “white supremacy” at the heart of everything.
Rust Belt Boom: Since Trump’s Election, Jobs Have Increased In Pennsylvania, Ohio, Michigan, And Wisconsin. Ohio setting a 21-year record
Paid Protest Firm "Crowds On Demand" Sued In $23 Million Extortion Plot
"You Just Don't Know What's Best For You," And Other Pearls From The Elites
More than half of Republicans in a new American Barometer poll say they support "Medicare for all," also known as a single-payer health-care system.
How The New York Times And Washington Post Do "Poverty"
Illegal Aliens Chant “Si Se Puede!” as Caravan of Invaders Swells to 14,000
The Caravan Means the Wall Will Be Built
RGV Texas Border Patrol Chief Begs For Help Before Caravan Hits as Over 12,000 Illegals Caught in Last Three Weeks in Rio Grande Valley; 700 Caught Saturday
Invasion: Honduran Caravan Includes Military-Aged Male Migrants From Bangladesh, Haiti and Congo
Trump's Merkel Moment -- and Ours
We doubt CNN reporter meant his photos of migrant caravan to be ‘a walking GOP ad’
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"More than half of Republicans in a new American Barometer poll say they support "Medicare for all," also known as a single-payer health-care system." I doubt that anyone that has followed the "free health care for all" in other countries like the UK would be willing to take the chance with Medicare for all. The very few people I know in favor of it always have like free things and when you tell them incidents of poor or lack of treatment in those systems are greeted with blank stares. Are they willing to die because they have to wait until some illness or disease gets so bad it is too late. Are they willing to let their children die without the ability to get them treatment because some board decided the child isn't worth the attempt or money. They hear the complaints of veterans waiting months to get treatment but are they willing to have to go through that themselves. The gimme, gimme, gimme group probably won't like what they get.
They also don't realize how mediocre Medicare is, probably because most of the "voters" who are for it don't have it yet.
For example, you don't get a yearly physical under Medicare, you get a well wellness visit which for the most part consists of taking your vital signs, asking you to draw a picture of a clock, and seeing if you can remember things. No EKG, no prostate exam, etc.
Medicare A is "free". Medicare "B" (the one you will use most) is far from free. I'm fortunate to have another plan that covers all costs Medicare doesn't, and it pays out a sizeable amount each year, an amount I would have to pony up if I didn't have that plan.
JC: Are they willing to die because they have to wait until some illness or disease gets so bad it is too late. Are they willing to let their children die without the ability to get them treatment because some board decided the child isn't worth the attempt or money.
Millions of Americans do not have healthcare insurance coverage, and even those that have coverage don't always qualify for expensive treatments that aren't covered by private insurance.
mudbug: For example, you don't get a yearly physical under Medicare, you get a well wellness visit which for the most part consists of taking your vital signs, asking you to draw a picture of a clock, and seeing if you can remember things. No EKG, no prostate exam, etc.
On the one hand, people want markets to work in health care decisions. On the other hand, people want insurance to cover everything.
In any case, additional testing will be covered if your primary care physician considers it necessary; for instance, a family history of diabetes medically indicating a blood sugar test.
My point still stands. People expect that Medicare is just like regular insurance which often covers real yearly physicals but it doesn't.
I also agree somewhat with your point - that people view insurance as a way to get somebody else to pay for their healthcare. "Real insurance" would be more of a catastrophic insurance that was outlawed by Obamacare because it didn't cover enough.
When I discuss this with my students they almost always have some variation of: "I want great medicine like I have now for free."
I tell that this aint gonna happen. Either we get rationing like Canada and England or we get much higher costs for the great health care most of us have now.
mudbug: People expect that Medicare is just like regular insurance which often covers real yearly physicals but it doesn't.
Most people who have Medicare know about co-pays and deductibles. That's why most people on Medicare also have supplemental coverage:
25% Medicare Advantage
33% employer or military-sponsored coverage
Dangerous Dean: Either we get rationing like Canada and England or we get much higher costs for the great health care most of us have now.
There's rationing in the U.S., too. Those without insurance often do without, while those with insurance are often not covered due to restrictions set by their insurance provider. Canada and Britain have comparable health outcomes, at a much lower cost.
JC: They just don't get it do they
Theoretically, market forces should be the most efficient. Unfortunately, markets have never worked well for healthcare. Even with higher deductibles, people still rarely shop.
Z: Most people who have Medicare know about co-pays and deductibles. That's why most people on Medicare also have supplemental coverage
In the first place, I was talking about the narrow subject of yearly physicals, not copays and deductibles. There are other restrictions as well. Because of Mecicare payment schedules, many doctors will not deal with more than one issue per visit.
In the second place, the whole reason that people want to inflict Medicare for all on us is that they hate medical insurance companies, what makes you think they'll "put up with" Medicare supplement insurance companies?
There is no "rationing" in U.S. health care. You are trying to change the meaning of the word to create a false impression. There is rationing in Canada. My wife's grandfather was told he would probably die within a couple of years from heart failure and he needed a bypass operation which Canada wouldn't authorize because of his age. He could have driven across the border and had the operation in the states within a week or two.
As for insurance not covering certain things in the U.S. well DUH! It's written right in your policy what is covered and if you want more it will cost more. BUT, anyone with insurance or without insurance can walk into a doctors office or hospital and get whatever health care they want/need if they pay for it. You can't do that in Canada or most of Europe because they have actual rationing.
mudbug: In the first place, I was talking about the narrow subject of yearly physicals, not copays and deductibles.
That is not correct. You were talking about physicals as an "example". That's why most people have supplemental insurance, though Medicare provides the majority of the health benefits.
Anon: There is no "rationing" in U.S. health care.
Of course there is. Insurance companies "control the distribution of scarce health resources and services". When it works properly, they do the same thing national health systems do, balance the benefit and risks of treatment.
Anon: My wife's grandfather was told he would probably die within a couple of years from heart failure and he needed a bypass operation which Canada wouldn't authorize because of his age.
There is no age restriction on receiving a bypass operation in Canada. However, someone in frail health may not garner a net health benefit due to the trauma associated with the procedure.
Anon: As for insurance not covering certain things in the U.S. well DUH!
Insurance companies don't list every possible treatment that they cover or don't cover, though recent regulation has made coverage options more consistent and plain. There are still gray zones regarding marginal treatments.
Anon: BUT, anyone with insurance or without insurance can walk into a doctors office or hospital and get whatever health care they want/need if they pay for it. You can't do that in Canada or most of Europe because they have actual rationing.
About 30% of healthcare spending in Canada is private pay.
"Millions of Americans do not have healthcare insurance coverage, and even those that have coverage don't always qualify for expensive treatments that aren't covered by private insurance." Some people do not have the money to pay for healthcare insurance, some choose all the necessities like the latest I phone or biggest flat screen TV. To them that is more important. Being retired healthcare costs take a large chunk of our living expenses and we don't have expensive
phones and we drive 15 year old cars. I don't want anybody sitting on a board deciding if I should or should not get medical care, it should be my decision. We give up many things in order to have good coverage so when it is needed we can have that care. Life is difficult and you have to work for things in your life. Could some of the poor give up drugs or alcohol to save money to put towards healthcare? Some are in their dire position due to no cause of their own so maybe then they need some help, but to put all of on single payer to pay for others is not the answer.
JC: Some people do not have the money to pay for healthcare insurance, some choose all the necessities like the latest I phone or biggest flat screen TV.
Until recently, a preexisting condition could make the cost of insurance unattainable for many, even if they could find someone to insure them. If if they are healthy, many working people can't afford insurance if the employer isn't providing it.
Smart phones are modern necessities for many people, especially if they have a job, or have responsibility for children.
JC: Being retired healthcare costs take a large chunk of our living expenses and we don't have expensive phones and we drive 15 year old cars.
If you are 65 or older, then you probably have Medicare.
"Keep your government hands off my Medicare!"
We do have Medicare but out of necessity have quite expensive supplemental insurance and I do have pre existing conditions. It is hard enough for us to pay for our own insurance let alone those that can't or won't pay for their own. We have family members with very serious health conditions that are fortunate enough to be covered fr at least another year. Even if you have to have a smart phone for business as you say, I do not believe you have to have the latest model every time one hits the market. Do without some things in your life to get other things in your life.
JC: It is hard enough for us to pay for our own insurance let alone those that can't or won't pay for their own.
The bulk of your medical expenses are covered by others, primarily young workers. If Medicare didn't exist, the real cost of your healthcare insurance would be beyond the reach of all but the wealthiest Americans, assuming someone of your age with preexisting conditions could get insurance at all. As Anon pointed out, there's always private pay!
There's nothing wrong with accepting Medicare and Social Security. You paid into the system to pay for the benefits of the generation before you. It's a social contract, that the young take care of the old.
I usually find factory farm articles distressing but not that convincing. The Quillette article was good, accurately noting that the status quo is unlikely to change by mere shaming and persuasion, pointing out the more likely solution is the growth (ahem) of artificial meat or clean meat. I have no objection to that and don't find it creepy. Bring it on. Everyone is happy.*
The analogy to horses in cities around 1900 was a good one. The reach for greater efficiency solved he problem by itself.
*Except those who want to be unhappy and share it with others, who we will have with us always.
The factory farming story is dishonest. There are only two significant results if we end factory farming; Higher food/meat prices and shortages of meat. The anti-farm people know this and it is exactly what they want. Fine! But be honest and tell the people what will happen and what your goal is. Don't pull the heart strings and exaggerate the problem.
the anti-meat people ARE dishonest. They've no actual arguments except "poor furry critters" so they have to make up things.
Well, I know that without meat I'd be dead in no time. My body can't process a diet based on soy and other plant materials, it bloats massively, my weight goes through the roof and with it my blood sugar, cholesterol levels, and blood pressure.
But they don't care about that either as these same people are the neo-malthusians who want to reduce the world population to a few million subsistence farmers "living in harmony with nature" (under the benevolent guidance of those same neo-malthusians of course, themselves living in splendor in walled compounds with all the benefits of modern technology).
Exactly right. In my "back-to-the-land" days my Wife and I raised our own meat: Beef, chicken, and rabbit. It was very expensive and time consuming and the butchering part wasn't fun. These days I get my meat shrink wrapped from the supermarket and each time, I say a little prayer of thanks that I have that option. Same with fruits and vegetables.
Rust Belt Boom: Since Trump’s Election, Jobs Have Increased In Pennsylvania, Ohio, Michigan, And Wisconsin. Ohio setting a 21-year record
As always, you need to take the numbers in context. Using Ohio as an example, the rate of increase in employment for 2017-2018 is about the same as the rate over the preceding five years. The reason 2018 seems to be an outlier is because 2017 had a smaller than normal increase. This tracks with the national numbers.
"A Walking Ad for the GOP"--this is anecdotal, but I got it yesterday from my county Rep. chair, who has always struck me as a straight shooter and whom I have never known to shine me on. He said a 70-year-old man walked into Rep. HQ this week announcing that the Kavanaugh hearings had done it for him. He's voted Dem. for 50 years, but plans to vote straight-ticket Rep. in this election.
You will be relieved to know that I know lots of people who are voting for the "presumption of innocence" and "due process".
My oldest son is able to vote this year for the first time. He told me he liked some of the Democrat platform and some of the Republican platform. After we got past the "why can't I vote ala carte for a middle of the road candidate" argument, I asked how he felt about the important issues: guns, immigration and identity politics.
We walked through Cruz's stances and Beto's stances:
There is still hope for the youth of America. He is going to vote the right way.
Voted today. Lines were long enough to make for a 20 minute wait, extending to past 30 minutes by the time I walked out. Lady at check-in said they were expecting yesterday to be slow, but it was a buster, very busy, with similar reports state-wide. People in the parking lot waiting in their cars for a slot to open up. It was as busy today on the second day of Early Voting as it was when I voted on Election Day in 2016. People are fired up! Don't forget to vote. My next door neighbor, the Colonel, tells me that voting is our One Bullet.
Six Years Post-Sandy: A cross between "Some People Never Learn" and "Human Persistence".
Identity Politics: It's all about Lefty Supremacy.
Paid Protesters: When you need them Right Now and Right Here!
You Just Don't Know What's Good For You: You guys don't know me, but you know what's best for me? Riiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiight.
Well OF COURSE they know what you need better than you do. They are trained at places like Harvard and Yale. You...are likely some buck toothed redneck in flyover country. Don't you watch MSNBC to know this?!?!