May 25, 2011

"How Kathy Hochul won, and why it spells trouble for the GOP in 2012."

Jerry Zremski in the New Republic:
The Hochul message—the one that was a winner for her—could be seen on signs all around New York’s Twenty-Sixth District, from the sprawling strip malls of Buffalo’s wealthiest suburbs to the faded farms of Genesee County to the lawns of neat old houses to the west of Rochester. “Save Medicare/Vote Hochul,” the signs said.

The Democrats won because they had the right message and the right candidate and the blessing of weak opposition. Hochul won by 48 percent to 42 percent over Republican Jane Corwin, a self-funded millionairess delivering an austere 2010 message a few months too late. “Tea Party” candidate Jack Davis drew 9 percent of the vote, but, given that two late polls showed voters abandoning Davis for Hochul, it’s fair to assume that Hochul would have won regardless of whether Davis, a former Democrat, had run.

84 comments:

John said...

This had more to do with a sclerotic NY party than Medicare. I live just East of this district and the Republican messaging was terrible.

Hoosier Daddy said...

Hopefully the Democrats retake Congress. The faster the nation collapses the faster the adults can take over and begin to right the ship of state.

CatherineM said...

The Republican running couldn't explain herself. If Republicans don't give a clear answer on the Ryan plan, they can be demagogued. Her answer should have been, I support it, it's not ending Medicare, it's trying to save it.

Matthew said...

So glad we have the New Republic to make up crap when the NY Times won't.

There was a Tea Party candidate that split the R vote.

Medicare had nothing to do with it.

What the article shuould be focusing on is this: in an updtate election, with a NY GOP that couldn't find it's own behind with both hands and a flashlight, two candidates presenting a message of austerity managed 51% of the vote between them.

Sofa King said...

I have no doubt that as things become more difficult, voters will swing wildly from extreme to extreme, much as a drowning man casts about frantically in search of any piece of flotsam that might save him.

Bart said...

I don't know how much of a signal this realy is. The "Tea Party" candidate was not a member of the local Tea Party organization, did not get Tea Pary support and was a Democrat. I believe his role was to play the spoiler which he did in that he go like 9000 votes and the difference was about 5000 votes.

windbag said...

He never explains the subtitle of his article. How DOES it spell trouble for the GOP? His evidence of how Corwin blew it include a dishonest ad run by the Dems, a privileged image problem of Corwin, and a poor response by Corwin to the faux Tea Party candidate.

One poorly run campaign in an obscure corner of rural New York portends trouble for all of the GOP in 2012? In his dreams, perhaps.

garage mahal said...

Wow. America really hates RyanCare.

Scott M said...

Cue the obligatory and wholly expected claims of a national referendum against the GOP's core issues (debt ceiling, Ryan's budget, etc) based on this one itty-bitty speciaw ewection.

Those same obligatory and wholly expected commentators will be the same that argued against the referendum label for Scott Brown's election into the seat formerly filled, wholly, by Ted Kennedy's ample, but dead, butt. This despite the fact that the latter was huge national news, was the end of a Kennedy's decades-long tenure in Congress, and came right at the height of the ACA debates.

Long story short, I seriously doubt John Boehner is going to rue this election result by stating that "we hit a buzzsaw".

Dark Eden said...

I just have to say if we as a people give power back to the Democrats in 2012, then we deserve to. At this point its a question of when or if we hit rock bottom as a culture. Do we need to go full greek and have riots over our government cheese before people get it?

EDH said...

It's the prospect of all seniors needing to buy insurance in the private market with a capped voucher that hurts the Ryan plan.

Mickey Kaus is probably right that a means-tested premium is the safest route politically. But I'm not sure what it would do, if anything, to control costs.

Plus the “means-test” hit on the rich would, unlike college tuition, probably be extracted well before the point at which a service would actually be provided. You wouldn’t have to charge affluent people with heart trouble more for their heart surgeries. You’d charge them more for their Medicare premiums. When it turned out they needed heart surgery they’d have the same coverage everyone else has. Why would they not get the surgery?

That would be a very different system, in terms of what treatment patients actually receive, than a Krugmanesque regime in which an expert board says nobody can get covered at all for certain treatments that Medicare as now operated would cover–or a Ryan style system in which insurance companies say the same thing. Both those systems would deny some doctor-ordered care to vast swaths of the population who couldn’t afford to pay for it entirely out of pocket. (They’d also create cumbersome, annoying bureaucratic reviews to make the necessary second-guessing judgments).

Under means-testing, Medicare would become, not a program that guaranteed subsidized care, but a program that guaranteed enough of a subsidy so that everyone could always afford care.

P.S.: It’s not at all clear that means-testing for Medicare would have to be as vicious, in terms of extracting the maximum that people could bear to pay, as college financial aid offices. The means-testing proposal cited by Douthat, from Charles Blahous, would only seek to shave the inflation-adjustment of benefits for the top 20 percent.** I assume that actually balancing the budget (and paying for Obamacare) will take something way more robust than that–on the order of cutting into the benefits themselves. That’s not an attractive political choice in itself. But if the alternatives are government rationing or insurance industry rationing, it starts to look pretty good. Even Steny Hoyer, the #2 House Democrat, has hinted that means-testing is the line of least political resistance. If you start locking liberal deficit-cutters and conservative deficit-cutters in rooms, don’t be surprised if that is what they come out with.

Richard Dolan said...

The R team hasn't done well in special elections in recent cycles. Six months or so before the blow-out last November, they lost a special in PA. In Nov, PA was one of the R team's best states for pick-ups in the House (plus a Senate seat).

The R team would do well to scrutinize this race, but the over-reaction by the D team may turn out to be the bigger problem. The lesson on that side seems to be that 'mediscare' is a winning stategy. That translates into 'don't worry about that debt and budget stuff -- who needs a budget anyway -- everything is going great.'

Count me as doubtful that that will sell.

James said...

In 2009, Bill Owen beat Doug Hoffman in NY-23. That election allegedly showed the Democrats dominance over the Republicans and was a reaffirmation of their overwhelming mandate. One year later the Dems got "shellacked."

I hope the Dems get cocky with this win.

dbp said...

"Jack Davis drew 9 percent of the vote, but, given that two late polls showed voters abandoning Davis for Hochul, it’s fair to assume that Hochul would have won regardless of whether Davis, a former Democrat, had run."

Davis was a lifelong Republican who switched parties after getting snubbed by Dick Cheney in 2003. He said he would caucus with Republicans if elected. The claim that the Democrat would have won anyway is somewhere between debatable and laughable.

roesch-voltaire said...

Now you know why the party pulled back on Ryan running for Senate, the less said about his plan the better.

Hoosier Daddy said...

We just aren't paying enough taxes to cover all the goodies that government provides. Dig deep folks and quit being so greedy. Who the yell do you think your earnings belong to anyway? How is grandma supposed to go to Vegas next year if she has to take a benefit cut?

Obama 2012.

garage mahal said...

That was a short marriage with the voters. A few months? Sheesh.

Scott M said...

Absolutely no reason to get cocky, GM. Your team through everything including the kitchen sink at the WI SC election and crapped out.

Matthew said...

Oh, stop Garage.

You think the 'Throw Grandma off a Cliff' ads are going to work in 2012?'

Guess again. All any repub has to do in 2012, even the ones I -- rock-ribbed GOP'er -- wouldn't vote for if you paid me (i.e. Pawlenty, Palin, Romney) is simply repeat the Gipper's classic line from 1980:

"Are you better off than you were 4 years ago?"

And even the professional recipient class can't answer 'Yes' to that one.

Mary Beth said...

There is a satire campaign site for Jane Corwin. I believe the same person who was behind the "Koch" call to Scott Walker was behind this website.

"Together we can make delicious soup from the bones of the poor."

garage mahal said...

You think the 'Throw Grandma off a Cliff' ads are going to work in 2012?'

Yes. It's unbeleivable they made their members vote on this.

george said...

One reason that the MSM is held in such low regard is that they report these races like sporting events. The fact is that it doesn't matter which party wins. We are either going to deal with our fiscal mess now or we are going to wait until we are forced to deal with it.

If you think Ryan's plan is bad just wait until you see what few options we will have left when the whole thing comes crashing down. So far his is the only plan on the table.

Obamacare is going to hasten the end so at least we have that to look forward to. BTW, today I sign the papers on a contract that will allow me to lay off 7 more employees. We were forced to do this as a direct consequence of Obamacare. You better bet they will all be told the reason. If I thought there was a chance for repeal in the short term all of these people would still be employed along with the last batch we were forced to let go.

Hoosier Daddy said...

If those six figure income earners paid more taxes and bought Fords instead of BMWs Medicare would be saved.

Robert Cook said...

"Her answer should have been, I support it, it's not ending Medicare, it's trying to save it."

But then, that would be a lie.

Hoosier Daddy said...

"...BTW, today I sign the papers on a contract that will allow me to lay off 7 more employees. We were forced to do this as a direct consequence of Obamacare...."

That could be avoided if you weren't so focused on profits and lining your pockets.

Shouting Thomas said...

This is the problem, isn't it?

Everybody's for fiscal responsibility until their entitlement is threatened.

So, I guess we just have to keep spending, borrowing and kicking the can down the road.

I don't know enough about the specifics of the two candidates in this election to comment on it. I won't pretend that I do.

Michael said...

Meaningless.

edutcher said...

John and windbag pretty much nail it.

Trolls notwithstanding, the false flag Lefty sucked off enough votes to be the margin of victory. The votes he did get were mostly those that would have gone to Corwin, looking at how those who deserted him went.

This was a replay of the way Bush 41 ran (or, more accurately, let a country club Republican run it for him) his '92 campaign. The lessons are, simply, run a fighter who's going to jump on the Demo lies immediately, not some RINO who wants to lose gracefully under the guise of hoping the Truth will out.

Oh, and garage and Roesch ought to take note, that NY-23 in '09 was such a bellwether for '10.

Matthew said...

Garage, incase you missed it, even with the 'Throw Grandma off the Cliff' ads, 51% of the voters still plunked for the person advocating fiscal responsibility.

I know it's axiomatic that democrats and leftards avoid responsibility like one would Ebola (as per George Orwell, a leftist is simply someone whonever expects to have to accept responsibility for what he advocates), but the truth ius that the MAJORITY voted -- even if symboliclly -- for the spirit of the Ryan Budget.

Maguro said...

Wow. America really hates RyanCare.

True. Free lunches are eternally popular.

At some point, the bill comes due, though. And then...

ALH said...

@ Hoosier 9:06am -
"the faster the nation collapses the faster the adults can take over and begin to right the ship of state"

I totally agree. If people are willing to buy into the myth that we are not broke and we can all have a pony and still leave our entitlements untouched....then we deserve a complete collapse. Sometimes you need a forest fire to make way for new growth. Thought we had woken up in 2010, but i guess not.

garage mahal said...

At some point, the bill comes due, though. And then...

Medicare is expensive because healthcare is expensive. If you're serious about making Medicare strong and solvent, that's where you would start. RyanCare doesn't address it.

Phil 3:14 said...

Hopefully the Democrats retake Congress. The faster the nation collapses the faster the adults can take over and begin to right the ship of state.

This seems like the same logic that lead to the Professor's vote for Obama.

I will not and will never hope for "the nations collapse"

Scott M said...

I will not and will never hope for "the nations collapse"

Despite the awfulness that would ensue, this basically boils down to a band-aid question: do you rip it off and get it over with, or do you go slowly and prolong it? Or wading into cold water with cold-sensitive junk. Or...

Browndog said...

I'd love to see a republican do an identical "throw grandma off the cliff" ad.

Watching the leftards declare it evil, and criminal, and "different" than theirs would be amusing.

You know they will-

Phil 3:14 said...

Speaking as a native of upstate NY I think this speaks more to local factors than any national trend. Random observations
-upstate, especially the industrial beltway from Schenectady to Buffalo is more industrial Midwest than "elite" Northeast. A large number of middle aged and older voters who've seen the "good life" come and go are none to happy to see more of it pass (i.e. Medicare)
-as already mentioned the NY State Republican Party is a different animal in many ways. Yes, dysfunctional, but I'd also point out that Rockefeller was re-elected many times. Buckley had to leave the party to get elected. And he was only a one term senator.
-are we surprised the three Republican senators from New England don't support the Ryan budget. The great challenge for the national Republican Party: purity versus political success. Which do you prefer: Sen Scott Brown or Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand?
-We can expect two themes from Dems: class warfare and generation warfare. IMHO each are short term winners and long term disasters.

Rich B said...

They said the same things about the Hoffman/Owens race and it turned out to be an anomaly.

Hoosier Daddy said...

"...Medicare is expensive because healthcare is expensive...."

Cap physician salaries and cut services.

Phil 3:14 said...

Garage;
Medicare is expensive because healthcare is expensive. If you're serious about making Medicare strong and solvent, that's where you would start. RyanCare doesn't address it.

Please explain how YOU would make Medicare "strong and solvent" by reducing healthcare costs (not the individuals but collectively)

PLEASE BE SPECIFIC.

Carol_Herman said...

Hey, remember Doug Hoffman? Remember how, when the camera lights went on, and he was introducing himself to America, he looked like a deer caught in the headlights?

Yes, the GOP turnout was bad. Yes, Karl Rove, and his assorted nincompoops ... are yelling about how the "conservatives" or "tea party" should all just go and give it a rest.

One election?

Well, then. Let's look at how kloppen-hoppen is handling her loss.

Shirley Abrahamson MAY decide to do a Sandra Day O'Connor, when the "case arrives."

In English, this means Abrhamson brings a fork and plastic reindeer to her decision. If she's 'as good' as O'Conner was ... she could give us all a laugh.

Kloppen-berger be-robed? A national face that would be on par with Willy Sutton's.

You know? I also don't think the obama's had a very good week. Sure. Who wouldn't like vacationing in Ireland. And, England. Even without meeting the queen. If you speak English you don't even need to bring along a translator.

On the other hand the visuals got so sloppy.

A bump in Ireland ... and then, in England ... speaking to the standing diners ... while the band played music to the queen.

Too bad Americans aren't given a dial in vote ... to choose these visuals when they happen.

But funny? When you laugh, you remember!

How come the American president, didn't acknowledge how the great senator, George Mitchell, brought peace to Ireland?

How come no journalist asked obama if he had roots in Ireland, wouldn't that make him catholic?

jerryofva said...

garage:

The choice is between the Ryan reform and the President's phony entitlement. The IPAB is destined to cut medicare reimbursements so low that no doctor will see a medicare patient. It is already happening. Like all socialist entitlements, medicare will be reduced to a theorectical right with no means of satisfying it.

edutcher said...

Browndog said...

I'd love to see a republican do an identical "throw grandma off the cliff" ad.

Watching the leftards declare it evil, and criminal, and "different" than theirs would be amusing.

You know they will-


Wait till somebody has the guts to do a riff on Dirty Harry :

Republicans and Democrats both know Medicare can't survive in its present form.

Republicans want to privatize.

Democrats want to fold it into Obamacare.

Republican vouchers versus Democrat death panels.

Ya feel lucky?

Hoosier Daddy said...

"...Medicare is expensive because healthcare is expensive...."

Cap physician salaries and cut services.


Maybe cut some of the paperwork. Take a look at all the filing cabinets next time you see your doctor.

Pogo said...

"Maybe cut some of the paperwork. Take a look at all the filing cabinets next time you see your doctor."

With Obamacare, the paperwork will be magnified a hundred fold.

Already I am commanded to spend a portion of your visit addressing things of importance to "public health".

Over time, what you want done, the symptoms you have, are being set aside for mandatory attention to government directives.

And all of the directives make sense, sort of. Except I only have time to do what the State wants.

What you want?
Too bad, chump.

An said...

I live in Buffalo, the district next door. What most outsiders don't realize is our Republican party structure isn't all that robust and really isn't that republican. Same for our Conservative party structure. This is a very blue state and those red parts are most times pretty confused. We're bleeding most of our best your people to massive out-migration and what you have here certainly isn't indicative of a national trend.

Curious George said...

To garage et al:

The last NY special election in 2009 broke the Democrat in a three way race. The "experts" said that this was a sign of things to come in the 2010 general election. How'd that play out.

The Democrats have no plan as they see no problem. The had every chance to "tax the rich" and didn't do it. The stimulus and Obamacare are a disaster, and America knows it. NY26 is nothing more than the NY GOP once again putting up a weak candidate with poor messaging in a short term campaign.

Yawn

Roux said...

"and the blessing of weak opposition"

NY is a Blue blue blue state.... give it a rest Democrats you are toast in 2012. The election will be about the arrogant dumbass Obama.

mccullough said...

Ryan's voucher plan is a bad idea. There is just no primary private market for elderly health insurance.

Kaus is on the right track, but "means testing premiums" is already done. The non-Medicaid low income seniors pay about $90 a month for Part B premium and the wealthiest pay about $400. These premium levels are fine. What is needed is making seniors pay more out of pocket before the insurance kicks in. This should be based on wealth, not just income. Lower income/wealth seniors should pay $2,500 annual out of pocket before Medicare pays for anything. Higher income/wealth seniors should pay $15,000 annual out of pocket.

It is absolutely ridiculous that working class people have to pay for health care of wealthier seniors.

Hoosier Daddy said...

"...Please explain how YOU would make Medicare "strong and solvent" by reducing healthcare costs (not the individuals but collectively)...'

You don't expect garage to suggest a solution do you? How then could he demagogue the issue about how evil republicans want to kill grandma?

windbag said...

It's the economy, stupid.

That will bury Obama. Durable goods orders were down in April...I think it was 3.2%. Inventories are at record highs. Translation: companies bought as much as they thought they could sell before inflation hits us full-force in another month or so. They do not expect to need/sell much, so they aren't buying.

As our economy begins to reflect the failed strategy of Obama, the misery index, already higher than when Americans showed Carter the door, will continue to rise. Obama will be just one of the casualties of his own policies.

windbag said...

It was 3.6%. My bad.

Misery index source:

http://lonelyconservative.com/2011/05/thanks-obama-shadow-stat-misery-index-highest-ever/

shiloh said...

The faster the nation collapses

Again, the ad nauseam, 24/7 whining of AA's lemmings is duly noted. As is all their inane rationalizations.

Although, even during a low turnout temporary "wave" mid-term, a bat shit crazy candidate is still a negative ie O'Donnell, Buck, McMahon, Miller, Angle.

Corwin wasn't bat shit crazy, just god awful.

Sorta like the current Rep prospective field for pres as they are a combination of the two lol.

And please, let the whining/rationalizations continue, although this being a negative Republican thread, it will quickly die, much like the Ryan plan.

take care, blessings

Hoosier Daddy said...

Who farted? Oh never mind, it was just Shiloh stopping by.

Titus said...

The CraigsList guy won this district a year ago with over 70% of the vote.

I would of done the Craigslist guy.

Sloanasaurus said...

It is absolutely ridiculous that working class people have to pay for health care of wealthier seniors.

But the deal offered when medicare was passed was that everybody pays and everyone gets. So are you arguning that medicare is really a welfare program or that it should be one?

themightypuck said...

Physician salaries are not the problem. They have been steady for a decade while physician costs (like malpractice insurance) have gone up. The rise in health care costs is not doctors.

Sloanasaurus said...

Republicans seem to do poorly in these New York Special Elections. The turn out was horrible, 50% of the turn out in Nov 2010.

The election victory could turn out to benefit republicans in that that it is a wake-up call to explain better what is going on with Medicare.

If it is true that Seniors are coming out and voting against any changes to the program than they are screwing the younger generations for their own selfishness.

Oclarki said...

The faster we start pushing old people off cliffs the better. Old people are lame, if you love your mom, take care of her your own damn self. As a nation, we don't bat an eye at 30 million abortions, but controlling the cholesterol of 90 year olds is a sacred national commitment.

Terrye said...

Well hell, she only won because there was a third party candidate. And you know what? Seniors don't like Obamacare anymore than they like Ryan's plan. In fact they kind of balance each other out..except for the fact that Ryan is being honest and the Democrats are siphoning hundreds of billions out of Medicare to pay for that albatross Obamacare. The question is not whether there will be cuts in Medicare, but what kind of cuts. Of course that will not stop the Democrats from lying their behinds off in a shameless effort to get elected. That is their usual m. o.

Hoosier Daddy said...

"...If it is true that Seniors are coming out and voting against any changes to the program than they are screwing the younger generations for their own selfishness...."

Screw them whippersnappers! Let em pay their dues like the blue hairs did. Ungrateful whelps. They didn't defeat Hitler so you could spend your money on video games when they need medicine.

Robert Cook said...

"As a nation, we don't bat an eye at 30 million abortions, but controlling the cholesterol of 90 year olds is a sacred national commitment."

That's because the 30 million aborted aren't a voting bloc and don't pay taxes.

The cohort of 90 years olds (and younger) with high cholesterol (or other ailments) is a large voting bloc, who are also taxpayers, and will one day include every one of us who doesn't die earlier.

Robert Cook said...

"If it is true that Seniors are coming out and voting against any changes to the program than they are screwing the younger generations for their own selfishness."

Yep. They just oughta get up out of their Barka Loungers and go jump selflessly into the ice flos, all the while thinking of the children.

Robert Cook said...

"I would of done the Craigslist guy."

Would HAVE...would HAVE.

Jeebus!

Phil 3:14 said...

There is just no primary private market for elderly health insurance.

Huh? You mean like the private market for electrical power and clean water? Admittedly a poor analogy because a sudden need for water (i.e. filling your swimming pool) doesn't cost you $20,000, let alone does you monthly water meter service charge (you know the charge for just having access to the water) exceed $200.

I think what you're suggesting is because the feds offer a very low cost alternative to essentially everyone over 65 its a very skewed market. But the fact that people buy Medicare supplemental insurance or that they shop around for the best

mccullough said...

Phil 3:14,

Supplemental (Medigap) is not primary. No sane insurance company would offer primary insurance to a group consisting of people 65 and over unless the premiums were sky-high (a lot higher than the vouchers).

Although Ryan deserves a lot of credit for a plan that finally proposes reforms to Medicare, his plan is not well thought out. Pushing for higher out-of-pockets is the way to go for now.

Plus, if you notice when Obama always talks about tax hikes he uses Warren Buffet as an example of someone who can afford (and is willing) to pay a lot more in taxes. In the next breath, Obama has been saying how we need to take care of our seniors.

A great soundbite for the next politician who says "President Obama thinks Warren Buffet pays too little in taxes. But President Obama believes a married couple with 2 kids making $75,000 a year should pay for Warren Buffet's health-care as well as the health care for the hundreds of thousands of wealthy seniors. I think that couple should be allowed to take care of their kids and let Mr. Buffet and Mr. Obama's other wealthy friends pay for their own healthcare."

Alex said...

You can try to spin it any way you like, but according to all the national polls Americans hate RyanCare.

Alex said...

If it is true that Seniors are coming out and voting against any changes to the program than they are screwing the younger generations for their own selfishness.

When has that ever stopped them?

Oclarki said...

If the greatest generation hadn't raised the biggest bunch of selfish spoiled brats, the tax payer wouldn't be on the hook for all these old farts health care. The boomers turned their collective backs on their own parents in a way completely unknown to every previous generation and society on the planet. Take care of your elders you smug boomers. It's not my job.

Crimso said...

'I'd love to see a republican do an identical "throw grandma off the cliff" ad.'

Not identical. Instead, roll grandma right up to the edge, then gently help her out of the chair and safely away from the edge. Then plop a baby in the chair and push it off the cliff. Because we're spending that baby's grandchildren's money at this point.

Phil 3:14 said...

McCullough;
You're equating high premiums with lack of market. There is a market (that may or may not respond well to an insurance product. I think what you're struggling with is the consumers costs in that market.

Steve Koch said...

The only good solution is to reduce health care costs. Obviously government control of health care is the worst way to reduce medical costs. Medical and insurance professionals have to step up and figure out how to improve the efficiency of delivering health care.

The advantage of a voucher approach is that with more competition you get a more efficient, less corrupt solution. There will be a market for those vouchers but the service provided will be commensurate with the size of the voucher. The medical/insurance providers who are most efficient will dominate the business and drive costs down.

We have known for decades that when the baby boomers get old, we would be in a very tough financial situation because the baby boomer generation is so large. Clearly the country cannot afford to pay for the most advanced treatment for everybody. People with medical problems that require really expensive treatment will be in trouble if all they have is government insurance. There is no way around that. We all die sooner or later.

A voucher solution will also encourage seniors to move to countries with cheaper health care. The lack of the most sophisticated medical technology in those countries will be less of a deterrent if a senior can't afford that technology anyway.

Phil 3:14 said...

Physician salaries are not the problem. They have been steady for a decade while physician costs (like malpractice insurance) have gone up. The rise in health care costs is not doctors.

If physicians salaries constitute 25% of the total per capita spend AND if the fact that our per capita spending is 50% higher than the next highest country is considered a probably, then physician earnings, in aggregate, ARE (a part of) the problem.

The problem with addressing this "problem" via price controls in a "universal" system is the progressive lack of access of patients. They have a "ticket" but no where to go. As a case in point see dentists and children on Medicaid

Matthew said...

Okay, here's how to reduce the costs of healthcare:

1. Let anyone born before 1960 die of whatever non-contagious ailment they happen to have, UNLESS they have paid for their own, private insurance.

2. Deny all but emergency (and I do mean EMERGENC; Don't show up for a sore throat or the sniffles) care to anyone who can't prove US Citizenship. Deny birth certificates to anyone who cannot prove that at least one parent is a US Citizen, or has permission to be in the country within 72 hours of birth.

This is a two-fer: you take away the Birthright citizenship bullshit, and you deny the extention of Medicaid to the rest of the illegal alien family through the child.

3. Let anyone who is collecting any form of public assistance do one month of community service for every day they're in a hospital and not paying for it. Watch how fast the ER empties of the most outrageous cases of bleeding hangnails, pinkeye, sinusitis. "I need a fix" mystery ailments, and the ever-popular "I don't know how it got there, just please get it out" cases.

4. Defund Medicare completely, but gradually over 15 to 20 years; it's a welfare program that has far outlived it's usefulness. It's a job programs for people too stupid to work in the public sector. i.e. government union workers. Firing them probably solves half the problems.

5. Sanction every malpractice attorney in the country who files a frivolous/baseless malpractice suit to the tune of $50k, plus the defendant's court costs, for each violation.

Cap malpractice awards to 10x provable damages. Make certain everyone on a jury can read at 5th grade level before they get to hear a case.

6. Vote for candidates who push for free-market, rather than government-dictated, insurance reforms. Send the democrats to the same place where Ted Kennedy now resides, i.e. Hades.

Allow every insurer to operate across state lines. I thought that's why we had a Commerce Clause, or is that just so we can allow people to cross state lines to get abortions?

There, 6 easy steps to a better healthcare system! You're welcome.

Robert Cook said...

"A voucher solution will also encourage seniors to move to countries with cheaper health care."

This is simply imbecilic.

Scott M said...

This is simply imbecilic.

Normally, one might say such and then go on to point out why. Was it really worth the effort to stop after the c.?

Robert Cook said...

Scott M.

Yes. Some things are so jaw-droppingly stupid that fingers have to be pointed.

Matthew said...

I, for one, would simply rejoice if several million Baby Boomers decided to move to Canada for the subsidized Viagra.

Steve Koch said...

Robert:
Could you explain why people moving to another country for retirement to save money on health care costs is imbecilic? A lot of people already move to other countries for retirement because it is cheaper in those countries. If the medical voucher turns out to be relatively small (say $10k), what is imbecilic about moving somewhere where you can get more medical care for the buck?

The USA has elite medical care (albeit very expensive) but it will not be available to those who have to get by on the basic government medical voucher.

Robert Cook said...

Steve,

Why the fuck should American citizens who have lived here all their lives have to uproot themselves from from their homes and communities, from their friends and families and support networks, to move to other countries to receive medical care?

How many elderly do you think can afford to move to other counties? If they cannot afford the health care available to them here, what makes you think they have the disposable funds to transplant themselves abroad?

How many elderly do you think might be too ill or frail to leave their homes here to move elsewhere?

How many other countries do you think would readily welcome a flood of aged American immigrants, many of them sickly, who will be an added burden on the health care system in those other countries?

You're essentially advocating that we exile elderly Americans abroad--banish them from their own country--rather than provide them with affordable health care in the country where they have lived and worked and paid taxes and established their lives.

Beyond being imbecilic beyond belief, the notion is shitty and heartless beyond words.

Are you a Republican? That would explain a lot.

Steve Koch said...

Robert,

Thanks for the more detailed response. The idea is that with vouchers you have more freedom to use your medical bucks as you see fit.

I didn't say that people should have to move to other countries to get medical care, just that if they do, they may be able to get a bigger bang for the buck with vouchers.

With ObamaCare (or any medical system run by the government), that flexibility and freedom of choice won't be possible.

Literally millions of elderly can afford to move to other countries. It would be nice if they can take their medical insurance vouchers with them. Beyond moving to another country, let's not forget medical tourism. For example, many Americans cross the border to Mexico for dental work and prescription drugs. It would be nice to pay for that with medical and dental vouchers.

It is up to other countries to decide whether they want to admit American immigrants.

As a country, we decide to spend x bucks on subsidizing healthcare. X is independent of the way the health care is delivered. That is, we can spend x dollars on a government run healthcare system or we can spend those x bucks on medical vouchers that citizens can spend when, where, and how they want. Neither approach is inherently more or less heartless than the other. What is certain, is that the government run medical system will be more corrupt, more politicized, less efficient, more irritating, less flexible, and be more over bearing than a voucher based approach.

Your response was more heat than light and relied heavily on strawman arguments.

Don't Tread 2012 said...

I live in NY-26 and voted, here are my observations:

1. Jack Davis is a bit of a flake, and anyone that voted for him obviously would have voted for Corwin had he not run. I know people that work for Davis, he apparently is a good businessman but inconsistent in his political views. He previously ran as a democrat.

2. Corwin was a bit of an unknown, and she still is...she could have asserted herself better had she fired the staffer that beclowned himself trying to embarrass Davis. Way too vanilla. Not a good candidate.

3. Kathy Hochul is a fine lady, that just so happens to be a democrat. I have no issue with her winning, really, she was the best candidate, and that is more of a slam on the repubs than anything I guess. She stood up to the state dem apparatchik on some issues having to do with DMV fees and the like, so she showed some fiscal sense sticking up for the little guy. My fear is she will be another victim of DC dem politics.

Bottom line is this state has been run into the fiscal red by 50 years of dem party rule. Population loss, property tax hikes, a dearth of generous social programs and giveaways, and the fact that the largest employer in the state is civil service weighs heavily on our future.

Many people have given up and gone elsewhere, mostly those that are productive. This state, left unchanged, will eventually collapse under its own weight.

Phil 3:14 said...

Here's a great example of a Medicare change that reduces the cost for the individual but increases the cost to the system.

Yes, if you want to "leverage" market forces you must "allow" (at least partially) the consumer to feel some of the costs of their decision. And then maybe they will decide that:
1) I don't need that fancy new med that does nothing for my prostate cancer
2)I'll take the cheaper blood pressure medicine instead.

Neither of those is telling old folks to die

Joanna said...

The govt should obviously pass a directive that outlaws scientific innovations.

Advances in science and brand new medical treatments are expensive. If they simply do not exist, then people wont complain about not having access to them.

(Hell, if we did this 20 years ago, we wouldn't be in the mess we're in today.)

Robert Cook said...

"What is certain, is that the government run medical system will be more corrupt, more politicized, less efficient, more irritating, less flexible, and be more over bearing than a voucher based approach."

Certain according to whom?

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