Friday, March 26, 2010

Frum Out for Heresy

David Frum posted a good article online Sunday. He's a conservative guy, but he analyzed the Republicans' situation after losing the health care fight, and I thought he had it just right. My favorite paragraph was near the end.
No illusions please: This bill will not be repealed. Even if Republicans scored a 1994 style landslide in November, how many votes could we muster to re-open the “doughnut hole” and charge seniors more for prescription drugs? How many votes to re-allow insurers to rescind policies when they discover a pre-existing condition? How many votes to banish 25 year olds from their parents’ insurance coverage? And even if the votes were there – would President Obama sign such a repeal? Waterloo

Read it, he's a Republican, a smart guy, he is conservative in the old-fashioned sense, and he sees exactly what's going on. He criticized the GOP for refusing to negotiate with the Democrats on health reform, and compared their loss on that issue to Napoleon's historic and catastrophic loss at Waterloo.

For that, he's now out of a job.

Here's the Washington Post:
Three days after calling health-care reform a debacle for Republicans, David Frum was forced out of his job at the American Enterprise Institute on Wednesday.

The ouster also came one day after a harsh Wall Street Journal editorial ripped the former speechwriter for President George W. Bush, saying he "now makes his living as the media's go-to basher of fellow Republicans" and accusing him of "peddling bad revisionist history."

Frum made clear, in a letter to AEI President Arthur C. Brooks, that his departure after seven years as a resident fellow at the conservative think tank was not voluntary. "I have had many fruitful years at the American Enterprise Institute," he wrote, "and I do regret this abrupt and unexpected conclusion of our relationship." Conservative David Frum loses think tank job after criticizing GOP

Yeah, man, this was a don't-let-the-door-hit-ya invitation to clear out his office and leave.

The Republican Party realized they could get energy and publicity by stirring up a certain element, and up to a point it worked. They built their national campaign around the anger that people feel when fate seems to have turned against them. Everybody feels like that at some time, but most people have the good sense to solve their own problems and not blame the government. The Republicans told people it was the government's fault, they harnessed the anger and frustration of real life and put it to work for them, but in the end that approach goes to hell. Anger is not productive, angry people don't understand how things work, they just want to strike out. And call people names, and spit on people and throw bricks through their windows and stuff. You can't really base a political philosophy on it, but if enough people are frustrated you can win some elections. And then you end up with The Bush Years. Incompetence. Corruption. Failure.

Frum is a real conservative, with an actual political philosophy beyond just winning elections. He wrote honestly about what happened this past week, the Democrats beat the Republicans in a high stakes game, and really the Republicans blew it. They thought they could stop health care reform by saying no and taking the Democrats for weaklings; they underestimated their enemy, and you can't do that.

Time will tell if he is right or wrong about this being the Republicans' Waterloo, of course, but at this moment he is expressing a very reasonable opinion. And that's the problem. In today's Republican Party, you don't use reason, you use faith. They don't want to hear that they screwed up, they want to hear that the Democrat Party screwed up. And if you say the wrong thing, you're out.

You saw the votes on the health care bills. Republicans: zero. Not a single one of them dared go against the party, and here's why, look what happened to Frum. Democrats were split on everything, yeah it's a hard way to build a winning majority but every Democratic Congressman makes up his own mind, everyone feels they can use his or her own free intellect to decide what they think is best, it's not a herd, it's a coalition of autonomous individuals. The word for the Republicans may be "No," but there is a principle even more fundamental than that, and that is fear of nonconformity. Keyword "lockstep." They were the Party of No because they were told to be the Party of No, and none of them had the courage to think on his or her own. Their brand of enforced lockstep conformity is not healthy, it is not a good way to solve problems, it is destructive, and it is not working for them as a political party


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Frum was right, their vow to defeat health care reform is the GOP's Waterloo. The GOP is wrong to continually kick members out of their ever-shrinking tent.

The change we voted for in 2008 is becoming real in spite of GOP obstructionism. This week's events mark Obama's biggest political triumphs since he took office more than a year ago. A pending arms control agreement with Russia, announced on Wednesday, adds to his resume. The momentum will translate into further political successes in the run-up to the midterm elections.

March 26, 2010 9:57 AM  
Anonymous how about a spot of tea? said...

"Their brand of enforced lockstep conformity is not healthy, it is not a good way to solve problems, it is destructive, and it is not working for them as a political party"


give me a break

whatever Repubs are doing seems to be working fine

they've got victories in all major gubernatorial and Senate races in the last six months, and in unexpected places

they came within a millimeter of defeating Obama's major policy intiative despite the Dem's advantage of overwhelming majorities in Congress

polls show the public wants to throw out all incumbents in Congress- and most are Dems

and remember, reconciliation can only work if the Senate passes something first

Repubs now have 41 votes and will be able to stop any further moves to socialism while we look forward to November:

"LAS VEGAS (March 27) -- Sarah Palin and thousands of tea party activists plan to descend on Sen. Harry Reid's hometown in the Nevada desert Saturday to call for the ouster of Democrats who supported the health care overhaul.

Organizers predict as many as 10,000 people could come to tiny Searchlight, the hardscrabble former mining town where the Senate Democratic leader grew up and owns a home.

The rally that's been called a conservative Woodstock takes place just days after the historic health care vote that ushered in near-universal medical coverage and divided Congress and the nation.

The Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department is sending dozens of plainclothes officers to clandestinely patrol the crowd.

Palin, the former Alaska governor and 2008 Republican vice presidential nominee, is scheduled to appear after spending Friday campaigning for Sen. John McCain, the Arizona Republican who led the 2008 ticket.

Now a Fox News analyst and potential 2012 presidential candidate, Palin faced criticism after posting a map on her Facebook page that had circles and cross hairs over 20 Democratic districts. She also sent a tweet saying, "Don't Retreat, Instead - RELOAD!"

She said Friday she was alluding to votes, not guns.

A string of polls has shown Reid is vulnerable in politically moderate Nevada after pushing President Barack Obama's agenda in Congress. His standing has also been hurt by Nevada's double-digit unemployment and record foreclosure and bankruptcy rates.

The tea party movement is a coalition of moderate and conservative groups angered by Washington spending, rising taxes and the growth and reach of government. It takes its name from the Boston Tea Party in 1773, when colonists dumped tea off English ships to protest what they considered unfair taxation by the British crown.

The rally kicks off a 42-city bus tour that ends in Washington on April 15, tax day."

March 27, 2010 11:00 AM  
Anonymous Merle said...

whatever Repubs are doing seems to be working fine

Yeah, all they have to do is spit on a few more people, call a few more national leaders "niggers" and "faggots," and they'll have control of both houses of Congress and the Presidency in no time.

March 27, 2010 11:35 AM  
Anonymous looking at the real deal said...

even Nancy Pelosi yesterday denounced the suggestion that politicians are responsible for everything any follower of theirs says or does

you know you're a real jackass when you're so partisanally liberal that even Nancy Pelosi is denouncing your tactics

congratulations, Merle

you're a real jackass

no room for fakes here!

March 27, 2010 12:22 PM  
Anonymous amused said...

that's quite an accomplishment, Merle

March 27, 2010 12:59 PM  
Anonymous Merle said...

It is inherently absurd to say that leaders are not responsible for what their followers do. The assertion denies the basic meanings of the terms "leader" and "follower." If they are not responsible for what their followers do then they are not leaders.

The fact is that the GOP has been nurturing this kind of anger for a long time, their leadership is responsible for it.

March 27, 2010 2:35 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Interesting comment, "Anonymous" ("polls show the public wants to throw out all incumbents in Congress- and most are Dems")
At least you have finally conceded that the Know Nothing Republicants in Congress need to go!

Also love your sloppy and unsupported quoting of select public opinion polls (not mentioning that any poll you cite are "polls" conducted by paid Republican poll-taking operatives) as well as your extolling of the seditious former Governor of Alaska and her cronies!!

"The tea party movement is a coalition of moderate and conservative groups angered by Washington spending, rising taxes and the growth and reach of government". Stand-up comic material! What a comedian you are!

The tea party movement was initiated by Dick Armey and supported by such traitors to this country as Glenn Beck, Rush Limbaugh, Sean Hannity, Anne Coulter, and others of their ilk (including the current pin-up of the tea baggers, Sarah Palin) who promote an agenda of hatred, ignorance, insults and death threats, venemous invective, and anarchy under the guise of "free speech".

And...not the least of their problems - very poor manners (to quote you: "congratulations,'re a real jackass").

"you know you're a real jackass when you're so partisanally (sic.) liberal that even Nancy Pelosi is denouncing your tactics".

I'd love to hear what David Frum would say about your rantings and lip-synching of stock "tea bagger" words and phrases , "Anonymous".

March 27, 2010 2:39 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"I'm happy so many people came to see my hometown of Searchlight and spend their out-of-state money, especially in these tough economic times," Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid said Saturday in a statement released through his Senate campaign. "This election will be decided by Nevadans, not people from other states who parachuted in for one day to have a tea party."

March 27, 2010 5:14 PM  
Anonymous amused said...

Harry Reid trails his likely Republican challenger for the Nevada Senate seat by double digits in all recent polls.

March 28, 2010 7:31 AM  
Anonymous Aunt Bea said...

How did you miss this WaPo poll, Anone?

"Sarah Palin, who was the main attraction at a Tea Party rally Saturday in Nevada, has become a force in the Republican Party but the overall public sees her negatively by a 55 percent to 37 percent margin, with 7 percent undecided, according to a Washington Post poll conducted March 23-26.

[Independents mirror the overall numbers: they see Palin negatively by a 55 percent to 38 percent margin, with 6 percent undecided.]

Forty-one percent fall into the camp of those who "strongly" see her unfavorably while 17 percent "strongly" regard her in a positive light.

[Independents mirror that split as well: Forty percent of independents fall into the camp of those who "strongly" see her unfavorably while 17 percent "strongly" regard her in a positive light.]"

Over twice as many independents as well as people in the general population who feel strongly about her see Palin unfavorably as see her favorably.

March 28, 2010 8:48 AM  
Anonymous Aunt Bea said...

Jim said "Their brand of enforced lockstep conformity is not healthy". David Corn asked and answered a good question about that in Has Obama's Health Care Win Driven Conservatives Crazy?

Corn writes that Thomas Sowell, the Rose and Milton Friedman Senior Fellow at the Hoover Institution at Stanford University, finds the most distressing part of health care reform is his fear that the reform means "the transmission of all our individual medical records to Washington"

"This is Sowell's nightmare: Nancy Pelosi poring over your individual medical records -- especially if you've written something critical about her in your blog. Worse, if you need an operation, she'll be able to issue an order: no treatment for you! Consequently, the entire population will turn into a mass of meek and sniveling sycophants who dare not utter a negative peep about the people in Washington, lest they receive a death warrant from those they criticize. So we're not talking merely about turning the United States into a European-type state -- the fear expressed by so many conservative opponents of the health care reform law. Sowell is predicting the complete enslavement of the American public.

Sowell is not your average Tea Partier. In his academic work, he has frequently demanded that social and economic policy be based on empirical evidence and hard-and-fast objective analysis of data. But he's hardly meeting this rigorous standard with his own fear-mongering...

Sowell declares that the health care bill will lead to the "dismantling of America." But it seems to have dismantled his powers of analysis."
, which is not healthy IMHO.

Jim continued "it is not a good way to solve problems, it is destructive."

"Enforced lockstep conformity" *is* destructive, and I'm not the only one who agrees.

Bruce Bartlett, a domestic policy adviser to President Ronald Reagan and a Treasury official under President George H.W. Bush, agrees too.

In 2005, Bruce Bartlett, like Frum, "was fired from another conservative think tank [the National Center for Policy Analysis] after writing a book critical of George W. Bush." When Frum was fired, Bartlett reported:

Since, he is no longer affiliated with AEI, I feel free to say publicly something he told me in private a few months ago. He asked if I had noticed any comments by AEI "scholars" on the subject of health care reform. I said no and he said that was because they had been ordered not to speak to the media because they agreed with too much of what Obama was trying to do.

It saddened me to hear this. I have always hoped that my experience was unique. But now I see that I was just the first to suffer from a closing of the conservative mind. Rigid conformity is being enforced, no dissent ["The Highest Form of Patriotic"] is allowed, and the conservative brain will slowly shrivel into dementia if it hasn't already.

Glub glub glub

March 28, 2010 11:41 AM  
Anonymous all the chubby bubbies said...

appropriate that when Dems have been incapable of winning any major elections in the last six months, inane-b is feeling all glubby

March 28, 2010 8:29 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Passage of the health care reform package has not done much to change public opinion about, it with most percent of Americans still opposed to the legislation according to a Washington Post/ABC News poll conducted March 23-26. An overwhelming number of those opposed saying they would support rolling back the changes either in Congress or the courts.

The poll also found a low enthusiasm level for the changes and a high skepticism level about whether they would
improve the system overall or change peoples' coverage and care for the better.

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The margin of opposition and support on health care was unchanged from previous Post/ABC polls dating back to December.

March 28, 2010 8:33 PM  
Anonymous Aunt Bea said...

Passage of the health care reform package has not done much to change public opinion


Give the public time to absorb the changes that are coming their way this year and beyond and public opinion will change.

Starting immediately, seniors who hit the "doughnut hole" gap in prescription drug coverage created when the GOP controlled the US government, would receive a $250 rebate. Starting in 2011, they would receive a 50 percent discount on brand name drugs. And by 2020, the gap will have beeen completely eliminated and our federal budget deficit will have been reduced by $100 billion.

In June 2010, the millions of people who have been locked out of the insurance market because of a pre-existing condition would be eligible for subsidized coverage through a new high-risk insurance program.

In September 2010, many plans would be prohibited from placing lifetime limits on medical coverage, and they could not cancel the policies of people who fall ill. Children with pre-existing conditions could not be denied coverage. Dependent children up to age 26 would be eligible for coverage under their parents’ plans instead of the current state-by-state rules that often cut off coverage for children at 18 or 19.

These changes will help reduce bankruptcies caused by health insurance rescissions and refusals. WaPo reported:

"Sixty-two percent of all bankruptcies filed in 2007 were linked to medical expenses, according to a nationwide study released today by the American Journal of Medicine. That's nearly 20 percentage points higher than that pool of respondents reported were connected to medical costs in 2001.

Of those who filed for bankruptcy in 2007, nearly 80 percent had health insurance. Respondents who reported having insurance indicated average expenses of just under $18,000. Respondents who filed and lacked insurance had average medical bills of nearly $27,000."

In 2009, bankruptcies were up 25% and "proposals to creditors" were up 38.5 over 2008 figures. Once health care reform is enacted and insurance companies are forced to pay for their paid-up customers' medical treatments, new medical bankruptcies will decrease.

March 29, 2010 8:23 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hey -- How about the fact that children with pre-existing conditions still won't be able to get insurance for another four years!

Those Dems -- they just hate children, don't they!?

March 29, 2010 11:56 AM  
Blogger David S. Fishback said...


There is already a controversy about this, with the authors of the legislation saying there must be coverage immediately, and the insurance companies trying to find a way around it before 2014, when they concede they must provide such coverage. See

From this, you conclude that the Democrats hate children. What is your proposal to require such coverage immediately? Or do you hate children more.

March 29, 2010 4:03 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

if this health bill is so wunderbar, why?:

"A USA TODAY/Gallup Poll shows an uphill selling job ahead for President Obama and congressional Democrats to convince most Americans that the health care overhaul passed last week will help them and their families.

In the poll, 50% call passage of the bill "a bad thing." A USA TODAY Poll taken a week ago -- a day after the U.S. House approved the legislation -- found a 49%-40% plurality calling the bill "a good thing."

The new poll of 1,033 adults was taken by landline and cellphone over three days, Friday through Sunday, as the debate over the legislation continued unabated.

Here's more from USA TODAY's Susan Page:

The failure of the new law to get even plurality support is especially sobering for House Democrats from competitive congressional districts who heeded pleas from the White House and congressional leaders to vote "yes." The legislation passed 219-212, with just three votes to spare.

"There was on the Democratic side a burst of enthusiasm after it passed saying, 'Ah, now voters are being won over,' " says Charles Franklin, a political scientist at the University of Wisconsin-Madison who studies polling. "The cumulating data this past seven days says that, no, a miracle didn't happen and the public didn't suddenly change their views on this. It means that the Democrats still face a tough sell of a public close to evenly divided on this and even slightly more opposed than in favor, and that difficulty didn't go away with passage."

A one-day poll taken immediately after a major event is subject not only to sampling error but also to very short-term effects, he says. On the day after the bill passed, he notes, "the news cycle was dominated by the positive side of the story and only a bit by the Republicans' rebuttal to that."

In the new survey, a higher percentage of opponents say the vote will have a major impact on their choice in November's congressional elections: 36% say they are much more likely to vote for a candidate who opposes the bill; 20% say they are much more likely to vote for a candidate who supports it.

And what about those incidents of vandalism and verbal threats that followed the bill's passage?

Those surveyed are more likely to blame Democratic political maneuvers than harsh rhetoric by opponents. In the poll, 49% say Democratic tactics are "a major reason" for the incidents. Meanwhile, 36% blame harsh criticism by conservative commentators on TV and radio; 33% say criticism by Republican leaders played a major role."

March 29, 2010 5:46 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Well, David, insurance companies don't have to even try to get around it -- they simply have to follow the law as it is written!

The Democrats who wrote this bill and passed it are called "lawmakers." They're supposed to be able to write legislation. Apparently, they can't do it correctly.

This was not something hard to write. They touted the fact that they wanted children with pre-existing conditions to get coverage immediately, and they simply didn't write it into the bill. I could even write it. If I did, it would say: "Children with pre-existing conditions cannot be denied insurance coverage. No exceptions."

Not sure why the Dems just don't own up to their error instead of blaming the insurance companies!


March 29, 2010 6:38 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

How about those two GOP members who had bricks thrown through their windows? It's buried on the bottom of page B-6 in The Washington Post today.

Also, how about the fact that a bullet broke Eric Cantor's window? The AP wrote four lines about last week, detailing how the bullet went north, and then turned east, before breaking the window and dropping south.

March 29, 2010 6:41 PM  
Anonymous it's hard to get jazzed about socialism said...

While different polls on health care reform have produced different numbers, there is one constant in three recent polls -- and that is the small percentage of those who say they are enthusiastic about the legislation that passed and approve of it with no reservations.

The latest example is a CNN/Opinion Research poll conducted March 25-28 in which 15 percent said they approved of the bill becoming law and have no reservations about it.

Asked if they felt enthusiastic, pleased, displeased or angry about the legislation, 15 percent said they were enthusiastic.

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A Washington Post/ABC News poll conducted March 23-26 asked those surveyed how they felt about the changes to the health care system that will be made by the overhaul measure. Fifteen percent said they were enthusiastic.

A Gallup poll conducted March 22 asked those surveyed to choose whether they felt "enthusiastic," "pleased." "disappointed" or "angry." Again, 15 percent said they were enthusiastic.

In the CNN poll, 49 percent said Congress should repeal major provisions of the bill and replace them with a "completely different" set of proposals and 23 percent favored leaving the legislation as it is.

March 29, 2010 8:18 PM  
Anonymous ha-ha said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

March 29, 2010 8:19 PM  
Anonymous Aunt Bea said...

how about the fact that a bullet broke Eric Cantor's window? The AP wrote four lines about last week, detailing how the bullet went north, and then turned east, before breaking the window and dropping south.

Since you didn't provide a link or URL, we don't only have your word for what AP said but here's what the Richmond Police Department reported about their investigation of the incident:

"A preliminary investigation shows that a bullet was fired into the air and struck the window in a downward direction, landing on the floor about a foot from the window. The round struck with enough force to break the windowpane but did not penetrate the window blinds. There was no other damage to the room, which is used occasionally for meetings by the congressman."

Compare that police report to Cantor's press conference on the incident:

"Cantor held a nationally televised press conference yesterday in which he said, "Just recently, I have been directly threatened. A bullet was shot through the window of my campaign office in Richmond this week." He said he has been targeted not only because he is a member of Congress, but also because he is Jewish."

And then "Cantor accused Dems of 'dangerously fanning the flames by suggesting that these incidents be used as a political weapon.'"

Cantor fanned those dangerous flames when he reported that a randomly shot bullet was the equivalent of a threat targeted against himself and his office. No Mr. Cantor, "random" and "targeted" do not mean the same thing.

Be sure to scroll down on that last link to see the FAUX News screengrab with the title "Gunman Shoots Up Office of Number Two Republican."

Way to try to whip up unfounded fear from a single random bullet fired into the air, Mr. Cantor and your buddies at FAUX News, while denouncing other elected officials for reporting attacks on themselves and their offices.


March 30, 2010 9:40 AM  
Anonymous Aunt Bea said...

Well, David, insurance companies don't have to even try to get around it -- they simply have to follow the law as it is written!

Oh brother Anone, grasp at straws why don't you?

For Vigilance readers interested in facts, read AHIP's letter to The Honorable Kathleen Sebelius.

AHIP states:

"Health plans recognize the significant hardship that a family faces when they are unable to obtain coverage for a child with a pre-existing condition. That is why health plans in 2008 proposed reforms to make pre-existing exclusions a thing of the past.

With respect to the provisions related to coverage for children, we await and will fully comply with regulations consistent with the principles described in your letter.

We look forward to working with you on implementation and to minimize disruptions for the 200 million people we serve."

March 30, 2010 10:31 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Please, Bea. Your Richmond police account of the bullet incident IS the AP article!

Who cares what route the bullet took? Who cares if the bullet went northwest before turning east and then dropping to the ground?

The point is, someone fired at Cantor's office!

Also, I'm not getting your point about the insurance companies and the pre-existing conditions. Whether the insurance companies want to drop pre-existing condition language is irrelevant to what we were discussing.

The relevant point happens to be that the much-touted healthcare bill -- which the Dems said over and over and over again would outlaw pre-existing conditions -- failed to include such language for children!

And then David Fishback and company try to blame the insurance companies for it! Why not simply blame the people who wrote the law -- the Democrats!?

I have no doubt that the Democrats MEANT to include the language, but it just points out how incredibly incompetent they are at accomplishing the smallest of tasks -- writing simple language into a bill!

At least ONE of the 219 Dems should have been well versed enough with their legislation to realize that something so significant to their talking points was missing!


March 30, 2010 6:26 PM  
Anonymous Aunt Bea said...

Who do you think is worse, Anone?

The Democrats for less than clear language in a small section of a more than 2000 page document of sweeping reform or the insurance industry lawyers who tried to weasel out of writing policies to cover children with pre-existing conditions like birth defects and then went on to claim their right to jack up the rates for such premiums until 2014?

Now that Secretary Sebelius has written her letter to AHIP explaining what industry lawyers got wrong, AHIP has stated "...we await and will fully comply with regulations consistent with the principles described in your letter. "

March 31, 2010 8:02 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Comrade Bea,

Two thousand pages of legislation should not confuse lawmakers, especially when it has to do with one of their main talking points! We're not talking about some obscure issue!

It's like..."let's write a piece of legislation that will allow us to put up three more red lights. Oops! I forgot to include language in the bill that adds three more red lights! But don't worry -- trust me with all of the red lights in the country!"

Also, if insurance companies want to accommodate the government, then that's nice. Why not simply thank them for their graciousness, instead of blaming them for a poorly written law?

March 31, 2010 8:30 AM  
Anonymous Aunt Bea said...

OK so Anone sides with the insurance companies, again.

Do you own insurance company stock or just like to see parents of children with pre-existing conditions go bankrupt paying for their care?

March 31, 2010 9:08 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Comrade Bea,

Your villifying of the insurance industry is boring. YAWN. Read this:

"Overall, the profit margin for health insurance companies was a modest 3.4 percent over the past year, according to data provided by Morningstar. That ranks 87th out of 215 industries and slightly above the median of 2.2 percent. By this measure, the most profitable industry over the past year has been beverages, with a 25.9 percent profit margin. Right behind that were healthcare real-estate trusts (firms that are basically the landlords for hospitals and healthcare facilities) and application-software (think Windows). The worst performer was copper, with a profit margin of minus 56.6 percent."

March 31, 2010 10:40 AM  
Anonymous Obama the insurance industry lobbyist said...

not only that but the health care bill will increase insurance company profits by forcing all Americans to buy a standardized product with more features and allowing the insurance companies to raise their premiums as high as they like to cover costs


no wonder the insurance companies supported this

the middle class American public has been screwed by governmental intervention again

March 31, 2010 1:05 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I think that's the ultimate plan -- force the insurance companies to run up costs so high, just to stay in business, that the paternal government is then "forced" to take over the whole industry with a public plan.

If a kid is selling lemonade on the corner, and the government tells him that he has to give free lemonade to every thirsty person, then his lemonade prices will skyrocket. Then, the government steps in to take over the whole lemonade business, and people cheer because lemonade prices fall.

March 31, 2010 1:13 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Correction to my lemonade story. I pulled the wrong analogy from my little file.

Let's use "Koolaid" as the next example. If a kid is selling Koolaid, and the government tells him that he must meet the thirst needs of every thirsty person, and abnormally thirsty person, in the country, and the government tells every thirsty person that they must buy "Koolaid" (no water for them), then the kid must now anticipate the thirst needs of everyone, hedge all kinds of bets, and raise his prices -- just in case some people are unexpectedly extra thirsty, and just in case some new thirst machine is invented that he has to pay for.

So, costs go up, people get disgruntled, and then the government steps in, takes it all over, and prices go down for a year or so -- before they absolutely skyrocket and things are doomed forever!

March 31, 2010 1:39 PM  
Anonymous obama the bozo said...

if you think health insurance is expensive now, just wait until it's free

March 31, 2010 1:41 PM  
Anonymous Aunt Bea said...

Your villifying of the insurance industry is boring.

Did you think I was vilifying the insurance industry when I said you support them and asked if you own stock in some of them?

The *only* person who mentioned insurance company profits in this thread is you, but if you want to talk numbers, let's. I'm sure that interesting number you came up with, the "3.4% over the past year" you claim health insurance companies made in profits jives precisely with that 39% premium rate hike in California, and the 56% premium rate hike in Michigan, that health insurance companies charged their customers for this year.

Recent economic data show that profits for the ten largest insurance companies increased 250 percent between 2000 and 2009, ten times faster than inflation. Last year, as working families struggled with rising health care costs and a recession, the five largest health insurance companies – WellPoint, UnitedHealth Group, Cigna, Aetna, and Humana – took in combined profits of $12.2 billion, up 56 percent over 2008. These health insurance companies’ profits grew even as nominal GDP decreased by 1 percent over this same time period. WellPoint accumulated more than $2.7 billion in profits in the most recent quarter alone. reports:

Middle-class families in Florida are barely hanging on with costs of their private health insurance, according to a new analysis. The cost of their family coverage expense went up 89 percent between 2000 and 2008, the analysis said.

The average family in Florida had premium expenses of $4,412 for their employer-sponsored health plan in 2008. Eight years earlier, the family-coverage premium for the year was $2,328, according to the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, a New Jersey-based health-care philanthropic organization.

Single middle-class earners in Florida saw their insurance premium jump 78 percent during that eight-year period. The average single person’s annual premium was $597 in 2000. That rose to $1,065 in 2008, the foundation found.

March 31, 2010 4:39 PM  

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