73 thoughts on “Open Thread XVIII”

  1. Dan,

    He’s made considerable promises to Big Pharma promising to give them a sweet deal in exchange for their support (1).

    http://www.nytimes.com/2009/08/06/health/policy/06insure.html

    I have no problem with this by and large, but does it make sense to take away the government’s negotiating power in the future (as Bush’s Medicare bill did in 2003)?

    I do not see an incentive for the health insurance industry to take its promises seriously unless there is the veiled threat of the public option. I do not see serious reform of health insurance practices in the bills thus proposed other than an end to rescission practices.

    As long as I don’t have a legal right to get a straight answer from my health care provider as to what exactly they will cover and what they won’t, I don’t find a reason for cheer in anything Obama is doing.

    Since Obama also refuses to take adequate steps to sever the ruinous (in a globally competitive sense and in a cost sense) health care provided by employers tradition, I have further less reason to cheer.

    As well, since Obama and no one else seems to have the stones to come out and ask the tough questions about whether its medically, ethically and cost effective to spend tens of thousands of taxpayer dollars to keep senior citizens alive a few more weeks or months, I don’t foresee a way out of the cost crunch we are headed for either.

    Thank you for pointing to the judicial review link….

  2. Of course, I could be totally wrong here. The problem with the multiple bills (and Lord knows what the Senate could end up coming with) is that I don’t know. I can only hope.

    I have seen my company’s health insurance premiums drastically increased since I’ve been here in Feb 08 (from $44 a person a month to $130 a person per month, w/ $425-550 a month for a married couple now) and a few of my co-workers increasingly going without it b/c they cannot afford it any longer w/ other necessities taking precedence.

    Now, granted, I no longer have health insurance as of this week since its my last week here, so I’m now without it as well, unless I want to sign up for the Swiss Cheese plan my school offers for $400-500 a semester that covers almost nothing and has excessively high co-pays and deductibles.

  3. Actually, that would be $130 per month w/ a $15-20 or so a month Allstate catastrophic insurance policy added for things like cancer, stroke, etc.

    So, technically, $110 or so a month now.

  4. Amid joy over the purported death of the leader of the Pakistani Taliban, Nicholas Schmidle makes an interesting point about what comes next..

    “Now the hard part begins. Since the CIA has demonstrated its ability to pinpoint “high-level targets,” it will want to go after other top Taliban leaders in Pakistan, such as Maulvi Nazir in South Waziristan and Jalaluddin Haqqani in North Waziristan. But Pakistan’s military and security establishment perceives both men, who focus their fighting in Afghanistan and not in Pakistan, as national security assets more than threats. And there’s no magic drone strike to fix that.”

    http://www.slate.com/id/2224668/

  5. Ghastly.

    The Left’s attacks on science create significant harm to our society, our country, our health, and our national security.

  6. *and claims by both parties about the urgency or lack thereof.

    I am all for a consumer-driven system, provided we actually have some protections and rights thrown in there.

  7. Professional FL police ruin a man’s life over a breath mint they took 3 months to test to make sure it wasn’t crack:

    http://www.wftv.com/irresistible/20435114/detail.html

    “While May was behind bars, the Kissimmee Police Department towed his car and auctioned it off. He lost his job and was evicted. Now May is suing the city for false arrest and false imprisonment. He wants to be compensated for the loss of his car and job.”

  8. Jeffrey,

    Interesting piece. As I recall the reverse in the 1990s (Gingrich was going to take away social security, etc), it’s interesting to see the sides of the Congress and the crazies reversed.

    Eddie,

    Interesting stories.

    It’s fascinating to me how the “conservatives” as some blogs support unions everywhere, except where they don’t carry guns.

  9. Hmm. If your analogy is right, the government should currently have as much right to know what happens in peoples’ bedrooms as they currently have to know about peoples’ finances.

    Found this article on a guy who predicted many of Germany’s current problems. Sad thing is, it doesn’t seem real likely that people on either side of the 28th parallel will have as much say about their eventual reunification as the Germans did.
    http://www.foreignpolicy.com/articles/2009/06/18/the_berlin_fall

    Between the lady described in Jeffrey’s article and those idiots calling for boycotts of Whole Foods, the pro-Obama side of the health care debate isn’t looking much better than the anti:(

    On the plus side, I just found a coffee-based stout at my local brew pub that’s good:)

  10. Michael,

    Hmm. If your analogy is right, the government should currently have as much right to know what happens in peoples’ bedrooms as they currently have to know about peoples’ finances.

    I think this is right.

    Certainly, the Constitution specifically empowers the Congress to levy an income tax, which impacts some particulars. Likewise, the Constitution specifically empowers the Congress to raise an Army, which allows it to from time-to-time take men away from their wives.

    Found this article on a guy who predicted many of Germany’s current problems. Sad thing is, it doesn’t seem real likely that people on either side of the 28th parallel will have as much say about their eventual reunification as the Germans did.

    The Unification of Germany succeeded in increasing Germany’s international weight, destroying the social infrastructure of a Communist state, and allowing the Federal Republic to further influence events up to the borders of Russia (With the expansion of the European Union). Still, there have been costs, as the article makes clear.

    Eddie,

    Looks like Arne’s getting it done, at least!

    I don’t think anyone could argue that the students of New York public school’s would be incredible winners if, say, overnight their system was suddenly replaced by, say, the Beijing or Shanghai Municipal Education Commission.

  11. I just learned that you should watermark whatever videos/photoshops you make while also learning that digg.com is Satan.

    For instance, my tasteless spoof of a UK psa:

    http://www.youtube.com/user/RoverFover#play/all/uploads-all/0/uI3sTU6wimY

    Now, examine the ripping off of said tasteless spoof:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LQ25PC6lvXU

    Notice both the posting date and difference in hit count? Well, turns out a keyword search of the user name and “digg” turned up this:

    http://www.google.com/#hl=en&source=hp&q=digg+d3work&aq=f&aqi=&oq=&fp=9733483af0cc9d26

    Since the user is from a relative Islamic theocracy, one might conclude that they would have some etiquette about the subject of stealing. Guess not.

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