Matthew Holt

Olberman, hysterical hypocrisy expose

A really fun piece from Keith Olbermann as he shows how the entire Gang of Six and more voted for fully socialized flood insurance and yet seem to have a problem with an independent government run public option.  

Of course, now that a bill has finally left Baucus committee, our meandering towards a relatively inconsequential tinkering at the edges of the health insurance market is a little further down the path. But can we somehow arrange it that the bozos at the NY Times (yes I’m talking about Robert Pear and David Herzenhorn) please stop saying things this dumb:

the Democrats are trying to restructure one-sixth of the economy, writing a bill that will affect almost every American, every business and every doctor and hospital in the country.

The level of exaggeration in that statement is simply unworthy of the paper of record. Would that it were true.

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11 replies »

  1. On second thought, I might add to the comment on tinkering around the margins that the Senate Finance Committee bill in fact tinkers by making the system materially worse by adding even more Rube Goldbergesque features to a system already encumbered by existing such features that do nothing other than waste the funds of taxpayer/patients.
    Bills from other Congressional committees have some, more positive (i.e. slightly favoring the payer/patient) features, but are similarly full of more Rube Goldbergisms that ultimately will only add to the grossly inflated costs inherent in the current system.

  2. Kim,
    Thank you for that clarification. I was referring to a situation where there is a hurricane off the coast and you try to buy flood insurance for coverage for that event. You must have coverage in place for 30 days before there is coverage for anything. You can buy it for next time. But that is what is the discussion about health insurance, too. No one wants to pay for it until they “need” it. Well, you need insurance when you cannot afford the consequences of not having it, not for some prepaid care plan that you don’t need at all.

  3. Everyone talks about “cost cutting” but I hear of no specifics of any “costs” that this bill will cut.
    We pay twice as much for drugs than any other industrialized country, and during the campaign Obama promised he would end that; but ended up dropping that promise by doing a deal with PhRMA that will decrease Medicaid rebates from 31%[CBO figure]to 23.1%.
    In addition the MMA moved millions of poor seniors from Medicaid to Medicare and “claw backed” Medicaid funds to pay the cost, which didn’t produce rebates for Medicaid, onto Part D which caused Medicare Advantage Plans to cost too much. So now Obama will cut $500 billion off Medicare, instead of simply making sure 31% is collected of pharmaceutical manufacturers for all Medicaid paid prescriptions [including Part D] instead of the minor amounts collected now.
    While drugs are only 10% of healthcare costs, if drugs were costed out at European prices, that would be 5%. And 5% of the $800 billion spent on Medicaid and Medicare is $40 billion a year, that is close to the amounts Obama wants to cut from Medicare! Cut seniors instaed of PhRMA? Bad plan!

  4. to MD as HELL: from the FEMA website:
    “MYTH: You can’t buy flood insurance
    immediately before or during a flood.
    FACT: You can purchase National Flood
    Insurance at any time.”
    It would not cover a flood-in-progress but would cover the next one.

  5. Hi,
    There is too much controversy about the health car insurance plan.You have given some notable facts toward this matter.I think it is necessary to recheck the whole plan.

  6. “I too weary of needing to know about all the options and layers of fear and lies from the right.”
    Joann, before making comments like this I would suggest you get an education so you don’t come off like such a partison dumb ass.
    “Just as police and fire protection are guaranteed to all citizens,”
    Depending on what measure you use 70-90% of the US land and 40%+ of it’s population are protected by volunteer fire departments, thus the government guarantees them nothing they provide for themself. There are many rural areas of this country with minimial to no police protection, only a county sheriff that can be hours away. What where you saying about lies?
    SHould we join other developed countries in perputual double digit unemployment? Should we copy a socialist welfare state that any educated person can see is unsustainable? Your inability to read and educate yourself is the very reason you subscribe to your big government ideology. Being clueless of the facts you naively belive these work. If you where ever exposed to any facts in your sheltered life you would see how much better off Americans are under our capitailist system you so disparage. Thankfully most americans don’t sheepishly follow along like you so we won’t chase Europe to failure.

  7. Flood insurance is optional unless your mortgage lender requires it. It is not available after the property floods. If it is subsidized it is because the government at all levels cannot determine risk and charge an appropriate premium for coverage.
    JoAnn, it is a crime to falsely call the police or fire department. Would that was true for EMS, which has become nothing more than social services on wheels. I wish you had more of a mind to check the fine print, for it is going to be very disappointing to suddenly realize that the fine print really said you were a sucker and there is no care or coverage or anything else you were promised, except change, which is all you have left.
    Matthew, the statement is essentially correct, which you well know. Why does that not scare the hell out of you, an otherwise intelligent vendor. Don’t pimp for these socialist domestic enemies. There is nothing good in Obamanation. It will eventually have no use for you, either.

  8. I’m no expert on flood insurance, but I think it primarily serves properties in high risk areas and can be purchased even if just flooded. That’s not an insurable risk, and would be akin to only selling health insurance to chronically ill people. Insurance only works if a broad spectrum of risks participate.
    I do agree with the poster above that, if people want a “public” option, why not simply use FEHBP, which has significant government oversight but a competitive bidding process, consumer choice, and reliance on the private sector.

  9. Actually, this program seems more like the Federal Employee Health Benefit Program: government owned and subsidized risk, private administration. Nobody seems to have much of a problem with FEHBP, and private insurers make very little profit from the administrative fees. This should be the model for any public option, and could even be applied to Medicaid. I’m just wondering why anybody thinks it’s a good idea for government to cover and subsidize insurance for people living in the middle of a high risk flood region.

  10. In my mental health care job I have heard from several people in my community who work approx. fifty to sixty hours a week and although they may be bright and curious citizens, they are bone-weary, and often tell me they have no time to devote to the many faceted in depth health care debate. They have said they would like full coverage insurance, single payer preferred, without having to ever check the fine print,keep on top of their insurance companies, pay co-pays and follow the lies, deception and fear mongering they are being fed in advance of attempts at reform. I agree.
    The people I speak to often say they are willing to pay more taxes to cover such a change. Obama is assuring us this is not necessay for his plan.I believe it can be done, and although I follow the reform issues daily, I too weary of needing to know about all the options and layers of fear and lies from the right. Enough already! Just as police and fire protection are guaranteed to all citizens, and medicare will support us when we age, let all people, some who work from dawn to dusk, or will one day lose their jobs without notice, not have to worry about financial ruin due to lack of health care after the traumas of everyday life in this recession hit us broadside.
    When will it be recognized that corporations and fringe elements of the right have loudly joined forces to fillibuster and drown out the voices of reasonable working people who want the public option if not a single payor system? Even executives of corporations are losing their jobs now. There are only really two voices from which to choose : social justice and greed shouting fear. We all need health care. People should not be made to feel guilty or less than “informed” if they must work the entirety of their waking hours, and just ask that we all be covered, without options, clauses, prices, and levels of care.
    When can we get on with our lives and join other developed countries in achieving and valuing health care for all? Have we become so pampered in the US that all we can fear and whine about is what if I have to stand in line or wait to be seen? Get the public option for all, buy some extra coverage with your wealth, if that, God forbid, should happen, and join the family of humanity who hope that we all be cared for when it comes to health.
    Which shall it be? Social justice or fear?
    Go see Capitalism The Love Story, and may we all own our piece in that truth.Yes America, we have a big Shadow
    JoAnn Murphy, MS
    Holyoke, Ma. October 4, 2009