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FINAL COUNTDOWN FOR USA ELECTION 2008

 
 
Foxfyre
 
  2  
Reply Sun 7 Sep, 2008 01:35 pm
@old europe,
Again I go back to my original questions OE. But yes, tell me how government regulation will improve the situation. We have MASSIVE regulation with Medicare and Medicade and frankly sir, I'm not seeing any improvement in the costs of healthcare. I did personally see an immediate upturn in healthcare costs when Medicare when into effect. I wasn't in that end of the business when Medicade joined it, but I'm pretty sure the effect was the same.
old europe
 
  1  
Reply Sun 7 Sep, 2008 01:39 pm
@Foxfyre,
Foxfyre wrote:
My comment was directed at those who keep bringing up slams at the current administration or the GOP and was not targeted at you specifically.


It looked very much like it was directed at me, and it seemed very much as if you perceived a post that did in no way criticize the current administration as bashing Republicans.


Foxfyre wrote:
And yes, there is a lot of material out there. I hope we will explore it thoroughly which is what I invited you to do.


Sure. There's been a lengthy debate about this on various threads, but it would be interesting to discuss the data in the light of the plans that Obama and McCain have proposed.


Foxfyre wrote:
I agree this has nothing to do with Democrats or Republicans and, as you indicated, the issue of socialized versus private healthcare is being thoroughly debated on other threads. What I want to do here is determine whether Obama or McCain's healthcare plan has the most promise to produce the best possible results or at least do the least harm. I don't that that is an unreasonable concept to look at.


I agree.


Foxfyre wrote:
Again everything isn't about you OE. There are others participating on this thread besides you and me.


Rolling Eyes

You were responding to my post. It didn't come across as if you weren't addressing me, but rather participants in general.


Foxfyre wrote:
When I ask for the McCain and Obama plans to be compared or the CATO analysis to be considered, I am really serious that this is what I want here. It is not helpful for somebody to interject that the deficit is bigger or they prefer the British system (or whatever).


Yeah. I didn't do that either. I was specifically answering one statement that you made, by bringing up relevant data to test your hypothesis against real-world data.


Foxfyre wrote:
Neither Obama nor McCain is proposing the British system (or any other European system or the Canadian system et al)


Check.


Foxfyre wrote:
For you to accuse me of blind partisanship is simply to avoid the questions I am asking which have not been the least bit partisan.


I'm not avoiding any questions. You were bashing me for bringing up data, specifically responding to a statement you made.

You perceived that as an attack on the Republicans.
0 Replies
 
old europe
 
  2  
Reply Sun 7 Sep, 2008 01:44 pm
@Foxfyre,
Foxfyre wrote:
Again I go back to my original questions OE. But yes, tell me how government regulation will improve the situation. We have MASSIVE regulation with Medicare and Medicade and frankly sir, I'm not seeing any improvement in the costs of healthcare.


I hear you. By government regulation, I don't mean "having the government run things", though.

Government regulation can include a mandate for every citizen to buy health insurance. Government regulation can include a mandate for health insurers to insure every citizen, pre-existing conditions nonwithstanding. Government regulation can include limiting malpractice lawsuits.

There's a whole range of things the government can do to regulate the health care market and, ideally, bring down the cost of health care.

(There are examples from other countries, if you want to test against real-world scenarios.)


Foxfyre wrote:
I did personally see an immediate upturn in healthcare costs when Medicare when into effect. I wasn't in that end of the business when Medicade joined it, but I'm pretty sure the effect was the same.


I'm not disputing that.
Foxfyre
 
  2  
Reply Sun 7 Sep, 2008 02:02 pm
@old europe,
Setting aside my reluctance to give up some freedom and personal choices. . .

You hit on a major quarrel I have with Obama's plan here - NOT mandating that everybody buy insurance WHILE mandating that insurance companies accept all applicants. Couple that with some government furnished programs and I can think of no better system to ensure that the government will be running it all within a very short time. (I wish I could shake the real fear that having the government run it all is the ultimate goal.)
old europe
 
  2  
Reply Sun 7 Sep, 2008 02:21 pm
@Foxfyre,
Foxfyre wrote:
You hit on a major quarrel I have with Obama's plan here - NOT mandating that everybody buy insurance WHILE mandating that insurance companies accept all applicants.


That's the problem I have with Obama's plan as well. I'd assume that there would be a big enough number of people who would want to get insurance (and can't, at the moment) to offset the negative effects of people who need health insurance and are declined by health insurers.

However, by making health insurance mandatory, you would virtually assure that the pool of payers would be large enough to offset the effects of insuring people with pre-existing conditions.


On the other hand, I don't see the mandate to insure people in spite of illness or pre-existing conditions as devastating for insurers.

I prefer it over McCain's plan to institute a government-run(!!!) high-risk pool, which would cover only 5-7 million people, but would cost the government $7-10 billion a year.


Foxfyre wrote:
Couple that with some government furnished programs and I can think of no better system to ensure that the government will be running it all within a very short time.


What government-furnished programs are we talking about, specifically?


Foxfyre wrote:
(I wish I could shake the real fear that having the government run it all is the ultimate goal.)


Noted, but I don't see that. I see a commitment on the side of Obama's plan to work towards a universal health care system - albeit with an approach that seems to come with some downsides. Even if the voluntary system works, it would never guarantee that everybody gets insured.

On the other hand, I don't see even as much as the pretense to get everybody insured in McCain's health care plan. At the core of his plan, there's a massive incentive to shift health spending away from an employer based system. I'm not sure that this would be beneficial to a large number of citizens.
Foxfyre
 
  2  
Reply Sun 7 Sep, 2008 02:52 pm
@old europe,
Re what government program specifically: The government programs currently in existance are Medicare, Medicade, and VA and neither candidate suggests eliminating these. Each provides some good benefits to a segment of society and each comes equipped with its own negatives and bureaucratic nightmares. Neither candidate suggests eliminating them so presumably the intention is to leave them in place.

Does McCain's "pool" include government funding? I haven't picked up on that. I think what he has in mind is similar to a program New Mexico started a few years ago. Some small NM businesses had such abysmal claims records or presented such high risk that they became essentially uninsurable. As they are required to have workers compensation insurance in order to do business, the insurance companies licensed to write coverage in New Mexico were obligated to insure them, but, in order to make that fair and equitable, the bad risks all went into an assigned risk pool and were allocated evenly among the various insurance companies. The companies were also allowed to charge substantially higher premiums to the assigned risks they were required to take.

That helped spread the risk among the insurance companies but not sufficiently to keep the premiums from rising to prohibitive levels. So. . .the state got together with private investors, mostly those in the insurance industry, and put together New Mexico Mutual that would accept the bad risks, but created so much larger pool that they were able to keep premiums lower. The private insurance companies were no longer required to accept the bad risks which was just fine with them. NM Mutual premiums continue to be somewhat higher than private insurance premiums, but are not prohibitively so, and everybody has access to insurance. The program has been so successful that NM Mutual now offers others formers of business insurance in addition to work comp. Even good risks can sign up with NM Mutual if they want, but most go for the lower rates offered by private insurance companies.

What is important here that the state took the initiative to create the pool, but the state does not fund it with tax dollars nor does the state own New Mexico Mutual. The company pays for itself.

That is what I think John McCain probably has in mind with his proposed 'pool'.
old europe
 
  1  
Reply Sun 7 Sep, 2008 03:06 pm
@Foxfyre,
Foxfyre wrote:
What is important here that the state took the initiative to create the pool, but the state does not fund it with tax dollars nor does the state own New Mexico Mutual. The company pays for itself.

That is what I think John McCain probably has in mind with his proposed 'pool'.



I don't think so. During the primaries, when criticized by the Democratic candidates for the shortcomings in his plan, McCain gave a speech at the Lee Moffitt Cancer Center & Research Institute at the University of South Florida.

There's an audio available here, but you'll have to register. Alternatively, I'm going to post a summary from the NYT:


Quote:
Unlike Mr. McCain, of Arizona, Senators Barack Obama of Illinois and Hillary Rodham Clinton of New York would make it illegal for health insurance companies to deny an applicant because of health status. They argue that such regulation is needed to end discrimination against those with pre-existing medical conditions.

Mr. McCain’s speech here implicitly acknowledged some of the shortcomings of his free-market approach. But rather than force insurers to stop cherry-picking the healthiest " and least expensive " patients, Mr. McCain proposed that the federal government work with states to cover those who cannot find insurance on the open market. With federal financial assistance, his plan would encourage states to create high-risk pools that would contract with insurers to cover consumers who have been rejected on the open market.

Mr. McCain was vague Tuesday about just how his safety net would be structured, and did not specify how much it might cost, leaving the details to negotiations with Congress and the states. But his top domestic policy adviser, Douglas Holtz-Eakin, said in an interview that the federal share could cost between $7 billion and $10 billion " money he said could be redirected from existing federal programs that pay for uncompensated medical care, mainly in hospitals.

Mr. Holtz-Eakin said that sum, when combined with contributions expected from the states and insurers, could provide coverage for the five million to seven million uninsured people that he estimates cannot obtain it because of their health or age. There are 47 million uninsured people in the United States, or 16 percent of the population.
0 Replies
 
old europe
 
  2  
Reply Sun 7 Sep, 2008 03:08 pm
@Foxfyre,
Foxfyre wrote:
Re what government program specifically: The government programs currently in existance are Medicare, Medicade, and VA and neither candidate suggests eliminating these.


Ah, I thought you were talking about new programs. Okay. Yes, the existing programs are not without problems.
Foxfyre
 
  1  
Reply Sun 7 Sep, 2008 03:15 pm
@old europe,
Good find.

Here's what I zeroed in on:
Quote:
Mr. McCain’s speech here implicitly acknowledged some of the shortcomings of his free-market approach. But rather than force insurers to stop cherry-picking the healthiest " and least expensive " patients, Mr. McCain proposed that the federal government work with states to cover those who cannot find insurance on the open market. With federal financial assistance, his plan would encourage states to create high-risk pools that would contract with insurers to cover consumers who have been rejected on the open market.

Mr. McCain was vague Tuesday about just how his safety net would be structured, and did not specify how much it might cost, leaving the details to negotiations with Congress and the states. But his top domestic policy adviser, Douglas Holtz-Eakin, said in an interview that the federal share could cost between $7 billion and $10 billion " money he said could be redirected from existing federal programs that pay for uncompensated medical care, mainly in hospitals.


So he is proposing a pool as I described though he is leaving room for some federal subsidy for that. It shouldn't be too difficult, with the tax credits he proposes, to shift $7 to $10 billion from waste in existing programs for that purpose should it be necessary. (As I said, NM Mutual has been so successful it has paid for itself, and I can't come up with any reason the same principle couldn't work on the federal level too. At the same time, I don't know if Arizona has anything comparable so McCain could be uninformed about that.)

The same source also reports that he adamently promised that he would not propose or condone another expensive government entitlement program.

I continue to favor any proposal that can improve on the existing system without taking away personal freedoms and choice.

So far nothing convinces me that Obama's plan is better than or even as promising as McCain's. But keep the observations, analysis, and conclusions coming.
0 Replies
 
JamesMorrison
 
  6  
Reply Sun 7 Sep, 2008 03:54 pm
@Foxfyre,
I have noticed in myself a tendency to interpret political events in the light that is most favorable to the realization of my most cherished and hopeful political outcomes. I suspect I am not alone. Reading many of the posts it is sometimes obvious which side of the political fence the author prefers. I am a fiscal conservative that prefers smaller government intrusion into our private lives less regulation and more promotion of self dependence. Accordingly, people should be able to keep more of their self accumulated wealth whether retained by hard work and/or innovation.

I do believe that, ultimately, we are “on our own”. It is nice to believe that government should provide (in some, temporary, circumstances) “safety nets” for us but over time these slip progressively into entitlements and from there to addictive social programs, always. Additionally, when politicians or bureaucrats try to “protect” us I am afraid
The federal government has legitimate responsibilities but its powers are limited because they are enumerated-- by the constitution itself.

As for what is currently referred to as Post-Partisanship, this is merely a “Hopeful Utopia” that may be likened to a political seven year entomological event whose rarity reflects either the desperation or banality of the political moment (Does anybody think the Social Security/Medicare problem will be solved without compromise? Alternatively, who would vote for Chinese made toys sprayed with lead paint?) Its existence will be a short lived aberration and justly so. Madison saw the wrangling and back biting of politics as a given. His genius was in using it to average opinions and quell passions in order to moderate, via checks and balances, government actions and legislation.

In American two party politics there are those of one side who long for a Scandinavian model of government"cradle to grave type safety nets for all. Then there are those who call themselves pragmatists who prefer to take care of themselves and their families and who recognize that hard work and ingenuity must be financially rewarded if they are expected to continue. The former see the latter as uncaring and mean but, as a member of the meanies, I wonder if we are being excoriated merely because we keep pointing out stubborn worldly economic truths. As a meanie I see the former as pie-in-the-sky utopian idealists who refuse to come to grips with reality, but maybe they have something. Maybe I’m missing something. So perhaps we can compromise, but whatever the compromise I still wonder: Who will pay for it?

Not surprisingly I will vote for Johnny Maverick and Sarah Barracuda. But will they get elected despite Obamamania? The columns in both Berlin and Denver were impressive. It seems a lot of Europeans are for an Obama U.S. Presidency but we all know the problems involved when candidates for U.S. office depend upon the fickle European vote for success.
Palin’s entrance, we are told, has energized the GOP base. Well maybe, but McCain has taken a big chance with her hasn’t he? Maybe, but do you think Lieberman as his VP pick would have helped him get elected? Mitt Romney and Mike Huckabee had their own problems with past flirtations with liberal programs in their respective governorships. I thought McCain was down and out during the GOP primaries. Then I thought there was no way McCain would be able to defeat the crowd mentality-- this flocking, this gathering of lemming proportions that is Obama’s biggest asset, his second being G.W. Bush’s tenure. After all the polls gave the Dems, overall, a 10 " 20 percent lead. But, Obama’s lead in the polls over McCain is much less. Why? It seems some voters may want more specific information other than promises of “change” and “Hope”.



McCain was never going to appeal to the conservative GOP simply because, unlike G.W. Bush in 2000, he was not perceived as another R. Reagan. But the GOP is slowly realizing that neither is anyone else. The times, they are a chang’n. Palin (the only candidate of the selected four with executive experience), like McCain, seems not to govern with policy in mind so much as with reactionary fervor to insults to their moral standards. This sounds good at first but it does make it difficult to predict what either would do given specific unknown events in the future. McCain does have a history of trying to prevent immoralist behavior like when he and Senator Feingold passed campaign finance “reform”. This is a disaster and probably is unconstitutional in the strictest sense. It also has allowed governments and incumbencies even more advantage than before by further restricting opponents free speech simply by restricting political contributions at various times and to various political entities. It would have been simpler to allow any and all contributions given total transparency as the only requirement. McCain’s governing philosophy is more moralistic than political. His call for sensible and humanitarian immigration reform and his efforts to work with the Dems on this issue illustrates this moralistic bent. His views and knowledge about the economy and market systems and their relevance to and from monetary and (even) fiscal policy are, at best, only in their formative stage, although he seems to understand generally how disastrous those policies of Obama and his fellow party members would be for the country long term. Unlike the Democrats, Republicans are more likely to use both methods to balance governmental budgets and are more likely to limit spending before raising revenue given McCain’s election success. McCain has promised to veto a lot of spending bills"earmarks, pork, etc. and given the likely prospect of a concurrent democratically controlled congress McCain will be the only check against a repeat of Democratic spending excesses like the Great Society.

McCain has his faults but at least we know, pretty much what they are. Obama keeps having his versions of Clinton’s “Bimbo Eruptions”. Every so often things like his friendship with an old non repentant terrorist, 20 years of exposing his family to men of the cloth who “God Damn America”, and real estate deals with now convicted felons pop up. What else isn’t he telling us? Has he explained that part of his “tax cut” includes increasing the income redistribution program known as Earned Income Credit? This program pays those who do not pay taxes a “refund”. Ask yourself this: if these people do not pay taxes where does the money for the “refund” come from, Scandinavia? “Change” and “Hope” are rather nebulous concepts for the strongest nation on earth to elect their leader. Are we to “Hope” that the “Change” Obama promises will be to our liking?

JM


Foxfyre
 
  2  
Reply Sun 7 Sep, 2008 04:09 pm
@JamesMorrison,
Hi James, and welcome to the thread. A well constructed post with a lot of food for thought in it there.

I think the one thing that makes this election somewhat different than recent past elections is that it is maybe less universally partisan. I haven't really looked for stats, but it seems that there are a much larger group of independents and undecideds than there has been in the past. There are more Democrats than Republicans yes, and though this has always been true, that has been exacerbated by the unpopularity of our President and irresponsible Republicans in Congress plus the rock star phenomon of Obamamania.

According to Rasmussen, however, both Obama and McCain enjoy high approval ratings within their respective parties, but McCan has a higher approval rating with Republicans and Independents than Obama does with Democrats and Independents and that has evened the playing field a bit so that the two are essentially tied in the polls today.

For that reason I want to keep pushing the issues and hope there are enough likely voters out there who want the best candidate they can get and who will choose their candidate after a hard, criticial look at the issues as well as the character and credibility of the candidates.

On a different note, I think if McCain prevails and is elected, we will know that he is a man of his word if he actually appoints Consitutional justices to the Supreme Court who would overturn McCain/Feingold. Smile
Ramafuchs
 
  0  
Reply Sun 7 Sep, 2008 04:30 pm
@Foxfyre,
"exacerbated by the unpopularity of our President and irresponsible Republicans in Congress plus the rock star phenomon of Obamamania."
pure words that reflects the views of flag waving citizens.
The problem( there are are aplenty9 in your country is this.
They STRUGGLE to survive.

0 Replies
 
Ramafuchs
 
  0  
Reply Sun 7 Sep, 2008 04:44 pm
@JamesMorrison,
Try to change the USA's corporate controlled DEMOCRACY SIR:
i read your message twice before i type this faulty English.
Rama
0 Replies
 
okie
 
  1  
Reply Sun 7 Sep, 2008 06:20 pm
@JamesMorrison,
Excellent post, James Morrison, and you express many of the thoughts and beliefs that I have.

In regard to your following statement:
Quote:
The former see the latter as uncaring and mean but, as a member of the meanies, I wonder if we are being excoriated merely because we keep pointing out stubborn worldly economic truths. As a meanie I see the former as pie-in-the-sky utopian idealists who refuse to come to grips with reality, but maybe they have something.


You mention idealism and realism, and in regard to that, there was a thread in regard to that subject "Left or Right: Which is more realistic/idealistic:"
http://able2know.org/topic/119440-1

I believe one of the biggest points of conservatism is realism, that we understand the realities of human nature, and the realities of the world.
okie
 
  2  
Reply Sun 7 Sep, 2008 06:28 pm
@okie,
48 - 45 McCain per Gallup, September 7, 2008

http://www.lelandtribune.com/politicsgovt.asp?dismode=article&artid=1565

How much more McCain bounce by tomorrow?
old europe
 
  1  
Reply Sun 7 Sep, 2008 06:45 pm
@okie,
Quote:
Gallup Daily: McCain Moves Ahead, 48% to 45%

McCain enjoying increase in support following convention

PRINCETON, NJ -- The latest Gallup Poll Daily tracking update shows John McCain moving ahead of Barack Obama, 48% to 45%, when registered voters are asked for whom they would vote if the presidential election were held today.

http://media.gallup.com/poll/graphs/080907DailyUpdateGraph1_s4m7a9.gif

These results are based on Sept. 4-6 interviewing, and include two full days of polling after the conclusion of the Republican National Convention last Thursday night. McCain has outpolled Obama on both Friday and Saturday, and is receiving a convention bounce just as Obama did last week.

Tomorrow's report will be the first in which all interviews were conducted after the conclusion of the convention. Gallup measures convention bounces by comparing candidate support in the last poll done entirely before a party's presidential nominating convention begins with the first polling conducted entirely after its conclusion.

McCain's 48% share of the vote ties for his largest since Gallup tracking began in early March. He registered the same level of support in early May. This is also McCain's largest advantage over Obama since early May, when he led by as much as six percentage points. Obama has led McCain for most of the campaign, and for nearly all of the time since clinching the Democratic nomination in early June. (To view the complete trend since March 7, 2008, click here.) -- Jeff Jones
0 Replies
 
okie
 
  3  
Reply Sun 7 Sep, 2008 06:46 pm
@okie,
This graph is especially for cyclops, as he loves to post these when Obama is looking good.

http://media.gallup.com/poll/graphs/080907DailyUpdateGraph1_s4m7a9.gif

Sorry, oe, you already posted same time, but it doesn't hurt to show again, as cyclops loves to see these graphs.
Foxfyre
 
  1  
Reply Sun 7 Sep, 2008 07:11 pm
@okie,
Yes, Rasmussen has them even and the RCP average has Obama ahead be less than 1 point the last time I looked. I think all, including Gallup, are within the margin of error so statistically, it is a dead heat at the moment. However, we won't have the full Rasmussen vote following McCain's speech until tomorrow so I'm anxious to see if there is any movement.
0 Replies
 
cicerone imposter
 
  2  
Reply Sun 7 Sep, 2008 07:12 pm
@okie,
okie, If the range is between 41 and 50, nobody can gain 11 points; the max is 9.
okie
 
  2  
Reply Sun 7 Sep, 2008 07:31 pm
@cicerone imposter,
ci, if say hypothetically Obama goes from 50 to 41 up, to 41 to 50 down, that I think is an 18 point swing or bounce, not a 9 point swing. You have 9% of the voters switching, but it ends up an 18 point swing, or bounce, I think?

Official pollsters that use this terminology, am I right or wrong?
 

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