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1 Gus  Fri, Sep 17, 2010 8:51:37am

Vile. Really, really vile.

2 tnguitarist  Fri, Sep 17, 2010 9:09:50am

I'm glad he considers a sick person a 'burnt down house'. In other words, give up, you're a lost cause. What was it Alan Grayson said that he caught so much flak for?............

3 HappyWarrior  Fri, Sep 17, 2010 10:14:53am

He said this at a "value voters" summit? Seriously he's a dickhead.

4 Political Atheist  Fri, Sep 17, 2010 10:17:10am

The analogy would be if you had a fire in your house, a you cold never ever buy fire insurance again.

Of course by his logic we can just go to the lumber mill and get people parts too right?

5 Political Atheist  Fri, Sep 17, 2010 10:38:47am

Damn PIMF You could never buy...

6 dragonfire1981  Fri, Sep 17, 2010 10:39:19am

Houses can be rebuilt, cars can be replaced. Once a human being is going, there's nothing that can bring them back. NOT a fair comparison Mr. Huckabee.

7 Vambo  Fri, Sep 17, 2010 11:35:17am

Someone should coin the term "compassionate Christians", because these days they seem quite rare.

The suffering of others doesn't phase them a bit. Their beliefs help them excuse their own lack of compassion - "your reward is in heaven", as they say.

8 lostlakehiker  Fri, Sep 17, 2010 11:39:52am

Huckabee is right. It is ridiculous to insist that insurance companies must sell coverage to persons who are already sick, at the same price a person who presents an ordinary risk.

This amounts to a requirement that the insurance company provide, out of its own pocket, welfare. The State isn't supposed to be able to order people to hand over the money, except by levying taxes. And taxes mustn't single out particular victims. That's a bill of attainder, and it's unconstitutional.

If we decide as a nation that everyone is entitled to health care whether or not they feel like paying for it, let alone whether or not they can pay for it, then no one will feel like buying insurance. Why bother? Wait until you're sick, then buy.

Of course, all the insurance companies will fail. With no premium stream to cover their expenses, they can't expect to make ends meet.

The "preexisting conditions" clause amounts to an act of confiscation. It is simply impossible for insurance companies to operate under that rule for any length of time.

Once they've failed, no one will have health insurance, because no one can offer it. We'll all be left to rely on our own savings, on charity, and on government run health care systems.

That, of course, is the intent behind the text of the bill. Break all private insurance, then socialize medicine, while faulting private insurance for fiscal folly as well as moral cruelty.

If we want to cover people with preexisting conditions, this can be done without breaking the whole system. Make insurance portable. Provide basic coverage to people who are between jobs, as part of unemployment benefits. Provide insurance coverage to children whose parents cannot afford it.

This would leave out only those able-bodied adults who decided they didn't want coverage, but would rather keep their money and hope for the best. For them, our attitude must be that it's a free country and you can do that if you like, but don't expect the best and most expensive treatment if your luck fails.

9 Obdicut  Fri, Sep 17, 2010 12:14:16pm

re: #8 lostlakehiker

Huckabee is right. It is ridiculous to insist that insurance companies must sell coverage to persons who are already sick, at the same price a person who presents an ordinary risk.

No. The pool remains the same. I'm not sure why this is so hard to understand.

If an insurance company cannot be profitable while actually paying for treatment for sick people, then it is not really a health insurance company.

This, more than anything else, shows the parasitic nature of health insurance companies. They provide nothing. They only take profits out of the system. They only want to take profit. They have no incentive to actually provide service.

10 lostlakehiker  Fri, Sep 17, 2010 12:29:10pm

re: #9 Obdicut

No. The pool remains the same. I'm not sure why this is so hard to understand.

If an insurance company cannot be profitable while actually paying for treatment for sick people, then it is not really a health insurance company.

This, more than anything else, shows the parasitic nature of health insurance companies. They provide nothing. They only take profits out of the system. They only want to take profit. They have no incentive to actually provide service.

The pool EMPTIES if everybody can swim only when they need to. Who is going to be foolish enough to pay premiums year in, year out, when they can join the pool when they need the coverage, and abandon membership when they don't?

NO insurance company can come anywhere near breaking even if its insured pool consists only of the desperately ill. No healthy person has any reason to buy insurance while healthy, if they are guaranteed they can get coverage once they get sick.

Put these two facts together, and you've got a recipe for breaking all health insurance coverage.

As things NOW stand, a large number of healthy people buy coverage. Some of them then get sick, and they do get treated, and the premiums of those who had better health luck pay for that treatment. On average, everybody pays for his own medical costs, but that average includes many people whose illnesses were brief and cheap, as well as a few whose medical needs were much more severe and expensive.

Health insurance companies do provide benefits. That's where most of the premium money goes. Some of it goes to keeping track of the paperwork, so as to keep a lid on fraud. A little of it goes to profits; health insurance is not now much of an investment.

Your notion that health insurance companies keep the money for themselves and never pay up when medical care is needed is mostly false. Once in a while, insurance companies go rogue. An Enron or a Bernie Sanders situation can occur with health insurance, and THAT is where government ought to step in. Insurance law does not allow for dropping somebody from coverage when they get sick on some trifling pretext. To do so is fraud and should be both forbidden, and punished.

11 Obdicut  Fri, Sep 17, 2010 12:37:17pm

re: #10 lostlakehiker

The pool EMPTIES if everybody can swim only when they need to.

Meaningless analogy.

Who is going to be foolish enough to pay premiums year in, year out, when they can join the pool when they need the coverage, and abandon membership when they don't?

People who use medical care. Like, most people.


NO insurance company can come anywhere near breaking even if its insured pool consists only of the desperately ill. No healthy person has any reason to buy insurance while healthy, if they are guaranteed they can get coverage once they get sick.

Only if medical insurance is just about catastrophic care. But it's not. I have no idea why you're pretending that it is, except that being dishonest is the only way you can make your argument.

Health insurance companies do provide benefits. That's where most of the premium money goes. Some of it goes to keeping track of the paperwork, so as to keep a lid on fraud. A little of it goes to profits; health insurance is not now much of an investment.

No. You don't understand, at all. Being a private company, rather than a public one, brings no benefit. There is nothing for the profit motive to do, for health insurance companies, except to give them an incentive to screw people over. In most industries, the profit motive gives an incentive to innovate, to create efficiency. In health insurance, it's the opposite.

Your notion that health insurance companies keep the money for themselves and never pay up when medical care is needed is mostly false.

Lying about what I said is stupid of you. I said they had an incentive to keep money when possible.


You have to lie to make your argument. That should really tell you something.


Tell me this: Explain an innovation that the Health Insurance industry has brought to us. Explain something a private health insurance company came up with that was of value to something other than itself. That was of value to its consumers. Something that isn't provided by a public form of health insurance.

12 Romantic Heretic  Fri, Sep 17, 2010 1:08:52pm

Economic determinism is a wonderful thing. In Huckabee's case it determines exactly at what point a person becomes worthless.

It's so nice being able to live without compassion or empathy. Never again does he need to worry about anything save himself and those just like him.

13 mkelly  Fri, Sep 17, 2010 1:20:20pm

lostlakehiker
Fri, Sep 17, 2010 11:39:52am

"It is ridiculous to insist that insurance companies must sell coverage to persons who are already sick, at the same price a person who presents an ordinary risk."

Concur.

Most insurance companies do not insure health they are asset insurance companies there to stop most folks from losing everything paying for catastrophic illnesses/accidents. I am glad I paid for mine when my wife needed life saving surgery. The near $100,000 medical bills cost me some co-pays but saved my nest egg from serious damage.

Obdicut the obvious is that someone came up with the innovation of private insurance years ago before there was no public form of health insurance. HMO's would be another like them or not.

14 JamesWI  Fri, Sep 17, 2010 1:28:01pm

re: #10 lostlakehiker

The pool EMPTIES if everybody can swim only when they need to. Who is going to be foolish enough to pay premiums year in, year out, when they can join the pool when they need the coverage, and abandon membership when they don't?

NO insurance company can come anywhere near breaking even if its insured pool consists only of the desperately ill. No healthy person has any reason to buy insurance while healthy, if they are guaranteed they can get coverage once they get sick.

Hence the pre-existing condition coverage is accompanied by the mandate: you know, that thing that many Republicans used to support, until the Democrats made it the major part of their plan. Then it became "shredding the Constitution."

Your notion that health insurance companies keep the money for themselves and never pay up when medical care is needed is mostly false. Once in a while, insurance companies go rogue. An Enron or a Bernie Sanders situation can occur with health insurance, and THAT is where government ought to step in. Insurance law does not allow for dropping somebody from coverage when they get sick on some trifling pretext. To do so is fraud and should be both forbidden, and punished.

Where exactly did he say they "never pay up when medical care is needed?" He stated the truth. Health insurance companies are profit-seeking companies, and like any profit-seeking company, they seek to maximize their profits. In the case of health insurance, maximizing profits means obtaining as much as they can in premiums, while paying as little possible in benefits. Thus, they will look for any way (in most cases, within the rules, in others, even breaking the rules) to avoid paying for treatment

As the rules stand right now, pre-existing conditions are a major way to accomplish this. Insurance companies have people employed specifically for the purpose of scouring through your files to look for any evidence that your condition may in fact have been pre-existing. Here is a recent example, where the insurance company found one single nurse's note, where the nurse wrote the wrong date for when the teenager was diagnosed with AIDS. Despite the fact that every other piece of information in the file had the correct date, they pounced on this one mistake as their reason for denying coverage. The lawsuit brought out the truth: the company, Fortis (now Assurant Health) specifically targeted people diagnosed with AIDS and tried everything they could to deny payment for their expensive treatments.

That is obviously an extreme example, but it is not an outlier. To maximize their profits, they need to look for any reason to deny payment.

15 Henchman 25  Fri, Sep 17, 2010 1:32:40pm

As someone who suffers from the system because of my own pre-existing condition, fuck you Huckabee.

16 MKelly  Fri, Sep 17, 2010 1:45:15pm

Many pre existing conditions are covered after a 6 month or year waiting period.

When I lost my company insurance and had to purchase my own all I had to do was indicate what conditions were present now and wait 6 months and then coverage would take effect.

17 Obdicut  Fri, Sep 17, 2010 1:56:33pm

re: #13 mkelly

They are not mainly there for catastrophic care. If that were true, they'd be set up completely differently. There is such a thing as catastrophic coverage. Most people have more complete coverage.

I don't get where this meme is coming from. It's so obviously untrue.

18 lostlakehiker  Fri, Sep 17, 2010 4:10:30pm

re: #11 Obdicut

Meaningless analogy.

People who use medical care. Like, most people.

Only if medical insurance is just about catastrophic care. But it's not. I have no idea why you're pretending that it is, except that being dishonest is the only way you can make your argument.


No. You don't understand, at all. Being a private company, rather than a public one, brings no benefit. There is nothing for the profit motive to do, for health insurance companies, except to give them an incentive to screw people over. In most industries, the profit motive gives an incentive to innovate, to create efficiency. In health insurance, it's the opposite.

Lying about what I said is stupid of you. I said they had an incentive to keep money when possible.

You have to lie to make your argument. That should really tell you something.

Tell me this: Explain an innovation that the Health Insurance industry has brought to us. Explain something a private health insurance company came up with that was of value to something other than itself. That was of value to its consumers. Something that isn't provided by a public form of health insurance.

It's pretty lame casting every disagreement as a matter of me lying.

It should be plain as day to you that people have no incentive at all to buy health insurance while healthy, if they can always get coverage in the event of a major illness. Why not simply pay out of pocket for the small stuff, which cannot possibly cost as much as the health care premiums run, and then, if something big comes along, go get coverage?

I won't call you a liar for having missed this, though. You just don't get it, how people often seek their own best interest.

The VA is the poster child for government-provided care. It's also the owner of a well-deserved reputation, of long standing, for providing substandard care. How could this be, when the post office, the DMV, and so on, are such marvels of efficiency and dispatch?

HMO's, a major part of the system the new law is likely to break, have every incentive to keep their members healthy, even if it costs some money upfront.

Insurance companies, if they aren't just cheats and frauds, have much the same incentives. If they can persuade patients to stop smoking, lose weight, exercise, or any other thing, their costs will be reduced.

If government is the logical best provider for health care, why wouldn't it be the logical best provider for any other sort of good or service? But as you well know, it isn't. Government laid an egg trying to run the railroads when Harry Truman took them over.

Government is the logical best provider for services which can involve lethal violence, such as policing and the military, and for resolving most disputes, because when one person "buys" justice, the other is robbed.

Government is the logical provider for support of basic R&D, because the private sector faces the deal-breaking fact that the benefits of such R&D diffuse so widely into society at large that there is no way to capitalize on your advances.

The govt now supports R&D in health care, and it does a good job there. But the actual provision of care is another matter. A patient at a private hospital can provide glowing, or not so glowing, reviews of their stay. The hospital needs a good reputation, because its patients may well have alternatives.

Govt run insurance is likely to be a complete mess. What we see now, with medicare and medicaid fraud, can only be amplified. But even if your opinion on the merits of govt medical care and govt provided insurance weren't far off target, you'd still have no case for most of the points you've been advancing.

Companies such as Fortis, which use the "preexisting conditon" rule to cheat their members out of benefits, are simply practicing fraud. It's already the job of the govt to discover, prosecute, and punish fraud.

19 Obdicut  Fri, Sep 17, 2010 4:51:45pm

re: #18 lostlakehiker

It's pretty lame casting every disagreement as a matter of me lying.

I don't. Just the parts where you lie.

As I thought, you can't actually name any innovation or efficiency that private insurance has yielded.

A patient at a private hospital can provide glowing, or not so glowing, reviews of their stay. The hospital needs a good reputation, because its patients may well have alternatives.

Oh bullshit. You're pretending as though every hospital is available to every patient on every health insurance plan. You know very well that depending on your plan, depending on your location, and depending on the circumstances under which you fall sick, you may have little or no choice in terms of which hospital you go to.

But even if your opinion on the merits of govt medical care

Show me where I talked about government medical care, please. Liar.

20 lostlakehiker  Fri, Sep 17, 2010 5:38:30pm

re: #19 Obdicut

I don't. Just the parts where you lie.

As I thought, you can't actually name any innovation or efficiency that private insurance has yielded.

Oh bullshit. You're pretending as though every hospital is available to every patient on every health insurance plan. You know very well that depending on your plan, depending on your location, and depending on the circumstances under which you fall sick, you may have little or no choice in terms of which hospital you go to.

Show me where I talked about government medical care, please. Liar.

Wow. I'm "pretending", eh? First, I said no such thing. Second, you know I didn't. You have my actual words right there for reference. Were the shoe on the other foot, you'd call me liar. Again. But this time, with some justification.

As to where you talked about government medical care, you did talk about government insurance.

Explain an innovation that the Health Insurance industry has brought to us. Explain something a private health insurance company came up with that was of value to something other than itself. That was of value to its consumers. Something that isn't provided by a public form of health insurance.

Which, of course, will only be valid at government medical care facilities, because the rates they offer won't suffice to cover expenses at private health care facilities.

We're headed that way fast. The current scheduled cuts in medicare will put reimbursements far below cost.

And, if you reflect, you'll see that I did address the point. Private auto insurance provides a benefit, not just to itself, but to society, because it works diligently to reduce its loss rate, with incentives for customers to be safe and with customer education. You probably understand this already. What is so hard about the idea that the same forces and motives are at work when it comes to health care?

I've been debating this topic with you in good faith. You disagree with me, I understand that. But if you really think I'm lying, you must think that I already agree with you on the merits, because anybody just naturally would. That's simply not so. Your own positions are not self-evident truths.

21 Obdicut  Fri, Sep 17, 2010 5:58:12pm

re: #20 lostlakehiker


Which, of course, will only be valid at government medical care facilities, because the rates they offer won't suffice to cover expenses at private health care facilities.

Except for all the countries where they have single payer and private care, of course.

Maybe you're just massively ignorant. Maybe you're not a liar. I don't know.

22 nines09  Fri, Sep 17, 2010 6:38:39pm

Huckabee just told you who he is. Or better, just WHAT he is. Comparing people as property is about as callous and cold as you can get. Pompous asshole. Christian my ass. Go pick up your money from your masters, jerkoff.

23 lostlakehiker  Fri, Sep 17, 2010 6:57:54pm

re: #21 Obdicut

Except for all the countries where they have single payer and private care, of course.

Maybe you're just massively ignorant. Maybe you're not a liar. I don't know.

I'll take massively ignorant for $400, Bob.

:-)

24 Interesting Times  Fri, Sep 17, 2010 8:33:53pm

re: #21 Obdicut

Except for all the countries where they have single payer and private care, of course.

Like where I live. It's not government-run health care in Canada, it's government-run health insurance. And I challenge anyone fond of dumping on our system to watch this video:

Can't Go Home: Americans In Canada Share Health Care Stories

Where would these burned-down houses people be in Huckabee's alternate reality? 9_9

25 Obdicut  Sat, Sep 18, 2010 1:45:57am

re: #23 lostlakehiker

Then stop talking so much, and at such length, at things that you're so ignorant on.

At this point in the healthcare debate, asserting that public insurance means public health care is really hard to believe is just 'ignorant'. It's come up abou a billion times.

26 WINDUPBIRD DISEASE [S.K.U.M.M.]  Sat, Sep 18, 2010 2:43:38am

re: #8 lostlakehiker

way to be an inhuman dick

way to totally miss the whole fucking point of a society, genius

27 WINDUPBIRD DISEASE [S.K.U.M.M.]  Sat, Sep 18, 2010 2:45:09am

re: #11 Obdicut

Only if medical insurance is just about catastrophic care. But it's not. I have no idea why you're pretending that it is, except that being dishonest is the only way you can make your argument.

Here it is, right here!

28 WINDUPBIRD DISEASE [S.K.U.M.M.]  Sat, Sep 18, 2010 2:46:03am

re: #23 lostlakehiker

I'll take massively ignorant for $400, Bob.

:-)

it's funny because you got completely dismantled in this thread

29 drboobooday  Sat, Sep 18, 2010 10:01:53am

Wow, so he is basically categorizing people with pre-existing conditions as criminals, fraudsters. How dare they try to get health insurance when they are sick! Scammers! Obviously trying to steal from the healthy and wealthy. Damn you sickies.

Of course, Mr. Huckabee, you must conveniently forget those of us who were diagnosed with a chronic, life-long condition as children, and cannot buy health insurance AT ANY PRICE. What kind of free market is that? No matter how much money I have or am willing to pay, employees at Blue Cross have been instructed not to even let me fill out an application for health insurance.

I guess my parents should have just bulldozed or junked me as a child, like you would a burned-out house or totalled car.

30 Interesting Times  Sat, Sep 18, 2010 11:34:27am

re: #8 lostlakehiker

If we decide as a nation that everyone is entitled to health care whether or not they feel like paying for it, let alone whether or not they can pay for it, then no one will feel like buying insurance.

Congratulations. You just came up with the perfect argument for a single payer system :P

re: #16 MKelly

Many pre existing conditions are covered after a 6 month or year waiting period. When I lost my company insurance and had to purchase my own all I had to do was indicate what conditions were present now and wait 6 months and then coverage would take effect.

Waiting period? And for a whole six months?! But, but, but...I thought only eeevil government-run systems had those!

Seriously, though, again this proves my point - unregulated private health insurance is the biggest death panel of all, "insuring" nothing more than out-of-luck middle class people getting screwed out of their life savings (or even life itself). What do you think would have had happened if you'd had a catastrophic health problem before that six-month waiting period was up?

re: #29 drboobooday

Of course, Mr. Huckabee, you must conveniently forget those of us who were diagnosed with a chronic, life-long condition as children, and cannot buy health insurance AT ANY PRICE.

He'd probably tell you to pray or hold a bake sale 9_9

A former co-worker of mine had a younger sister in a somewhat similar position - a chronic, lifelong lung disorder that required a transplant before she could have anything approaching full quality of life. Last year, she finally got the call she'd been waiting for, i.e. that a donor pair of lungs was available. 14 hours later (it only took that long because they had to make sure the lungs could safely fit in her chest cavity), she'd had the transplant.

What was her "co-pay" for this major surgery? How much did it cost her and her parents out-of-pocket?

$0.00

And if my tax dollars helped cover it, so much the better - I'd much rather they be spent that way than on abstinence-only sex education or overpriced contracts for steaming-pile-of-crap, soldier-killing companies like Blackwater/KBR.


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