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Friday, February 26, 2010

Ryan Explains Why National Health Is Unaffordable

Radicalized Ayn Rand ideologue

Ryan began his diatribe at yesterdays' health care summit by agreeing with the president's claim that health care reform is deficit reform. That's a fair assessment and I could expand on that by saying health care reform is jobs, jobs, jobs and will put more money in people's pockets. But soon after that statement Ryan spends the rest of his conference time flipping it over by implying deficit control is health care reform. It's not! It's nearly as if Ryan is attending a deficit reduction conference and not a national health care summit.

Like a corporate insurance P/L analyst, Ryan begins to throw out micro-bites of numbers and numbers of money from the fringes of the plan because quite frankly, like all republicans and conservatives in congress, Ryan suddenly believes concern over deficits and the ability to turn a profit are more important than concerns over national health. That is a fact, it's suddenly all about controlling the national deficit and how reducing individual health care costs will reduce the deficit. Except he doesn't have a viable plan for reducing health care costs in the for-profit industry. His rambling narrative proves that point. This is what the Tea Party's platform and the health care reform opposition is built on.

Simple fundamentals. Health care cost inflation is a private sector status quo cause to effectively grow profits. The private health care industry accumulates huge profits while simultaneously bankrupting Medicare, small businesses, the government and our country. That is happening WITHOUT a public option or universal health care.

At the end, Ryan tries to hijack a populist tone by assuming that as a representative, he knows what his constituents want and what the American people want. Honestly, I think anybody who makes that naive assumption is completely out of touch to say the least.

“The people who drove this country into the ground are going to come out looking like heroes because the Democrats came to the table and didn’t know where they stood. We’ve created an opportunity for someone like Paul Ryan to look very good when he doesn’t deserve it” -- Paulette Garin
How true. No matter how good the intentions, wafflers never look good when their opponents are confidently opposed to anything they propose.


Anonymous said...

I love it when people say crap like that the health care industry is making such huge profits. As an industry, health insurance and hospitals rank as the 86th most ptofitable industry. As a socialist, how much profit should health care companies--insurance and hospital--should they be allowed to make? The reason healthcare providers have to charge so much for policies is because 1) people who hold policies have to pick up the cost of those who don't (like those on medicare) and 2) government mandates that every policy must cover expensive extras--chairopractic care, mental health, even fertility treatments in some cases. Why not allow providers to offer the same spartan plans which the state of Wisconsin just passes in one of the branches of the legislature?

I'm sorry that Ryan confused you with all those facts and numbers, but he's a bright guy whose numbers add up. My experience is that government run by republicans and democrats usually screws things up. Ask yourself where all the money from social security has gone?

Finally, you comment about Ryan: "he knows what his constituents want and what the American people want. Honestly, I think anybody who makes that naive assumption is completely out of touch to say the least." But isn't this Obama's entire argument for proposing the nuclear option? I would agree that Obama is completely out of touch and dangerously arrogant, too. He's like a spoiled kid.


Lou Kaye said...

The health care industry's portion of our GNP has grown every year with a mostly private business model. You can't blame Obama or socialism for it - yet. Instead of the industry shifting costs from the uninsured to the insured, they ought to deal with non-payment like most industries do. Chase down delinquents, deny service or file bankruptcy OR (God forbid) start cutting wages and costs to make it affordable. But shifting the costs should be a criminal offense. The point here of course is that health care is way overpriced. Profits taken by insurance and the actual health care industry may appear average percentage-wise, but they are an industry with many millionaire employees who have not made the same kind of concessions autoworkers or teachers are making just to keep their jobs. But again, why should the health care industry make salary concessions when people are willing to give their last dime of savings to pay for a life-threatening procedure?

As far as where the SS money has gone, about $12 trillion from my last count, it went to build a nation. No need to mention the guilty parties on that - its obvious. But again, instead of Ryan tackling the capital recovery on the I.O.U's, he's out there coming up with schemes so it doesn't have to be paid back. He's out there proposing alternatives that would defund funded liabilities like medicare and SS. The system itself is sound.

I'm not confused by Ryan's numbers at all, my point is that he attempted to make health care reform look unaffordable because of our debt crisis and threw numbers out there that had more to do with deficit reduction than for providing the changes and sacrifices necessary to provide for affordable health care. He failed miserably in that regard. No surprise.

Whether it's Obama, Biden, Ryan or Palin, anybody claiming they think they know exactly what the American people want in healthcare is delusional. I know what I want but I don't pretend to know what everyone wants. Cheaper costs would probably be number one, but I'm sure considering all the folks out there claiming that like things just the way they are. That's just my opinion.

Anonymous said...

There is no "nuclear option" being proposed. Republicans are now trying to call reconciliation, a legislatively-enacted process, the "nuclear option". They are re-writing history. The 2005 "nuclear option" was an idea to use an INFORMAL rule in the Senate to end a filibuster by invoking a point of order to essentially declare the filibuster unconstitutional.

Lou Kaye said...

Anonymous, I could be wrong but I think Patrick is substituting reconciliation with the "nuclear option." Possibly. But if I recall, Obama ran for president on change, and health care reform was right near the top of his list. He didn't hide his agenda. Americans agreed and elected him our 44th president. It is possible figuratively speaking, that Americans chose Obama as a "nuclear option" to defeat the same aggression the Clintons faced in 93 and 94 on health care. Just a thought on those lines.

A correction on my last comment, I meant to write, "Cheaper costs would probably be number one, but I'm not sure considering all the folks out there claiming they like things just the way they are."

Anonymous said...


The health care industry can't refuse to provide services like other industries do. That's just stupid. People need care. Everyone knows paying for health care is a challenge. However, to start making empty allusion to "million dollar" employees is just a low distraction--unless your are commenting on Michelle Obama. I am a teacher, I've made no wage concessions, but I see these on the horizon soon enough. Still, I didn't take the same risks as those who went into the medical field, through grueling a residency, and nobody dies if my lesson falls flat. Medical professionals deserve to be paid highly because the demands of the job and the skills needed are much greater. People expect to be rewarded for their skills and accomplishments: doctors are worth more than auto-workers. By the way, had those auto workers worked harder in school, they could have been doctors too.

I think we might debate the "soundness" of social security; when the program began there were 32 workers paying in for every one retired. The ration now is drastically more thin and the most selfish generation is about to retire. The larger point is that government always mismanages large programs--republican and democratic governments. To say it went into "building the nation" seems to imply that 1) we should not be upset that government taxed us for one purpose then spent the money on another and 2) that despite the obvious lesson of history it will be different this time.

This is a "nuclear" option since no other piece of such gigantic proportion has been passed without being able to pass the 60 threshold. Conisder the civil rights acts which were passed over a democratic filibuster or the creation of social security.


Lou Kaye said...

Again, your misconstruing my points. Of course the health care industry shouldn't refuse care. I'm only providing that scenario as a supposition to prove how the health care industry operates in it's own free market vacuum. Any other industry doing the major cost shifting they do would be out of business for obvious competitive reasons.

I happen to personally know several teachers from WI and IL districts who told me their district is being asked to make salary and benefit concessions as we speak. Larger co-pays and larger work-loads (bigger classrooms) with a cut in pay or without a boost. New autoworkers are starting at $11 to $14 an hour compared to $24 to $28 and hour in the past. As a capitalist, how much should auto workers be allowed to make - or doctors? As much or little as the market will bear? I agree. But the health care industry does not operate in the same environment.

As far as SS is concerned, saying it went to build our nation does not forgive anyone from paying it back. It was our democratically elected American government (not democratic or republican) that made the choices to dip into fund. It is my opinion that because the file cabinet is full of IOU's instead of interest earning cash, that SS is targeted.

Consider this. My idea to "save" SS for future generations would give all current and future recipients 65 and up a "choice" to take a onetime cash buyout to invest in the capital markets for themselves. This would actually work because by retirement age most folks know whether they need the guaranteed payments SS promised. I can imagine some of the wealthier folks taking it. This way the trust fund won't be drained as quickly and next generations could enjoy the same opportunity of monthly endowment benefits because they will continue paying into it. INSTEAD, Paul Ryan proposed the exact opposite!! He proposed to leave the current recipients alone while throwing the next generations of SS participants under a bus by offering a poisoned T-bone savings account to invest in the capital markets long before they will know what their future will look like. Folks can invest and save in the markets right now, so why bring even more government into those markets? Of course, Ryan's plan will cause SS to implode.

SS offers the average worker a promise out of absolute poverty. It doesn't come cheap.

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