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Budgeting costs of reconnaissance

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57 minutes ago, pappysmarket said:

I have long wondered and don't know the answer.  For the first 2 years of O's term the Dems had the presidency, the House and 60 seats (filibuster proof) Senate. Why did they not pass universal healthcare? Did the people not want it, did they not want to pay for it? I have never seen a good answer.

Hey, he tried. It was refuted, refused, trampled on, torn apart, pork-barrelled and beaten into a weak, tiny pulp of its original concept by the opposition party, not by the "will of the people".

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Given the age profile of residents  at Lakeside,  can a private company really offer "reasonable " premiums and coverage????

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No insurance company covers just 'lakeside'.  Think......really hard!      🙄

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24 minutes ago, ComputerGuy said:

Hey, he tried. It was refuted, refused, trampled on, torn apart, pork-barrelled and beaten into a weak, tiny pulp of its original concept by the opposition party, not by the "will of the people".

Excuse me sir, but for those 2 years they could have passed anything they wanted and as long as it was not unconstitutional it would have been the law of the land.  Medicaid or Medicare for all could have been passed and they had the votes to completely stifle any opposition.  That's not conjecture, it's fact.  The same was true for immigration, immigration reform, amnesty for people illegally in the country and just about anything else they might have cared to pass.  The question historians will debate for many years to come is why didn't they do it? Why did they not pass something like the young lady running for Congress from NYC is proposing?  Why did they not abolish ICE as so many are now proposing?  They had the votes, the Pubs were powerless to stop them and instead of fishing, they cut bait. Perhaps they thought they would have that majority for a long time so there was no rush?  Who knows for sure but one thing for sure is they squandered an opportunity that usually only comes along once in a lifetime.

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17 minutes ago, pappysmarket said:

Excuse me sir, but for those 2 years they could have passed anything they wanted and as long as it was not unconstitutional it would have been the law of the land.  Medicaid or Medicare for all could have been passed and they had the votes to completely stifle any opposition.  That's not conjecture, it's fact.  The same was true for immigration, immigration reform, amnesty for people illegally in the country and just about anything else they might have cared to pass.  The question historians will debate for many years to come is why didn't they do it? Why did they not pass something like the young lady running for Congress from NYC is proposing?  Why did they not abolish ICE as so many are now proposing?  They had the votes, the Pubs were powerless to stop them and instead of fishing, they cut bait. Perhaps they thought they would have that majority for a long time so there was no rush?  Who knows for sure but one thing for sure is they squandered an opportunity that usually only comes along once in a lifetime.

Very true.  However, nobody has said that there are not Dem scrooges who would withdraw their support from their congressmen if they voted in any of those things.  Plenty of them are out there.  I've met 'em.

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30 minutes ago, pappysmarket said:

Excuse me sir, but for those 2 years they could have passed anything they wanted and as long as it was not unconstitutional it would have been the law of the land.  Medicaid or Medicare for all could have been passed and they had the votes to completely stifle any opposition.  That's not conjecture, it's fact.  The same was true for immigration, immigration reform, amnesty for people illegally in the country and just about anything else they might have cared to pass.  The question historians will debate for many years to come is why didn't they do it? Why did they not pass something like the young lady running for Congress from NYC is proposing?  Why did they not abolish ICE as so many are now proposing?  They had the votes, the Pubs were powerless to stop them and instead of fishing, they cut bait. Perhaps they thought they would have that majority for a long time so there was no rush?  Who knows for sure but one thing for sure is they squandered an opportunity that usually only comes along once in a lifetime.

There are too many Congress people with too many special interests that are added to a bill so it is not passed into law. It is not one item per bill. That is how US politics work.

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Everybody seems to have forgotten that the U.S. economy totally tanked in 2008. For those two years, Obama got your economy back on track with the bailouts. I think it was a matter of priorities.

Also universal health care means being willing to pay an increase in taxes. 'nuff said?

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This "abolish I.C.E." thing annoys me. What even the I.C.E. officers are wanting is a separation of the department which looks after drug smuggling, human smuggling, etc. from the division in I.C.E. which only enforces immigration matters. The immigration enforcement role should fall under a broader range of procedures and oversight, not just "bag 'em, and tag 'em".

Also, recently the U.S. Medicare system suggested outsourcing prescription drugs, on a global basis, the bring prices under control. This is the norm with many countries (such as Mexico and Canada), and if those countries are negligent in constantly monitoring the quality of those imported drugs - their bad. Of course the U.S. Pharm industry has hit the roof over this one.

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40 minutes ago, gringal said:

Very true.  However, nobody has said that there are not Dem scrooges who would withdraw their support from their congressmen if they voted in any of those things.  Plenty of them are out there.  I've met 'em.

I suspect you are a very nice person. However, characterizing someone who doesn't agree with your POV on whatever as "Scrooge" is exactly why reasonable discourse has become impossible. It's your way or the highway, nothing in between. I also suspect you don't really think that way about everything, so why when it comes to politics?  This whole phenomenon intrigues me.

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2 hours ago, REC said:

The U.S. did attempt to pass what was conceived of as Universal Healthcare but it got watered down through compromise and we wound up with the ACA/Obamacare. Since it was such a compromise it was challenged to perform from the beginning. Oh my God. Compromise. Never! Rather than taking what it provided and working to make it better many people objected to it out of hand. Often because they were against anything Obama tried to do.

Let's be clear. "Healthcare" is not the same as "Health Insurance". The cost and effectiveness of "Healthcare" in the U.S. is terrible compared to pretty much any other "developed" country. We have very high "Healthcare" cost, terrible results, and are trying to pay for it through insurance. In the insurance industry we often refer to "risk financing" as opposed to "risk transfer".

We eventually pay for the cost of "Healthcare" one way or another - or die because we can't. As an example since we don't provide something like universal health insurance we wind up with people not going to the doctor until they are very sick. They often wind up going to an emergency room which is the most expensive place to dispense medical care. Their outcomes, suffering, loss of productivity/wages, etc. is much worse than it needs to be. And we all wind up paying for that anyway. We would be better off if we had been willing to pay upfront. Left pocket / right pocket argument.

Finally, since the current push is to reduce the number of people with insurance, the cost for that insurance for those of us that do have it will go up. A couple of other insurance principles are pooling and spread of risk. The more people insured the lower the cost for each person. We are still going to have the same "Healthcare" cost but we are spreading it across fewer people, sending more people to the emergency room, causing already marginalized people to have even more problems that we pay for anyway.

I will turn the question around. Now that Trump is in the White House and the Republicans hold both houses why aren't they "fixing it": Dismantling Obamacare is only a solution if it is replaced with something more effective. Hmmm. Maybe "real" universal health care might be a good idea. But I would love to hear another plan. One of my dear friends who worked with me in the insurance industry is complaining that his "healthcare" is going up and blaming it on Obama. He know better but sees it through a political filter.

Every point you make is right on.

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1 hour ago, Tiny said:

There are too many Congress people with too many special interests that are added to a bill so it is not passed into law. It is not one item per bill. That is how US politics work.

Yes.

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As long as we look at any or all of these issues through a political lens, think in terms of party rather than country, and focus on "winning" versus solving problems and focusing on actual human beings, we are completely and totally screwed.

During the time the country was creating what was to be called Obamacare I worked for the largest commercial insurance broker in the world. Obama and both houses of Congress held well over 40 public hearings and attempted to develop a foundation for a plan that could be embraced by everyone. I personally attended some of those hearings. During that time the opposition was publicly saying that their goal was to deny Obama any "victory" on anything rather than trying to solve problems that affected the entire country, including people that had voted for them. I guess Obama and Congress could have shoved a plan down the other side's throats but made a conscious decision to listen to input from everyone. In retrospect some now describe that as a bad decision  Really? Compromise? OMG!!!

So the problem is that all sides were included is a bad thing and that if Obama et al has been completely partisan things would be better now? Wow! And even if that were true it doesn't matter now. Where do we go from here?

Again I have direct and personal relevant experience in these areas. I am not in any way deriding anyone that disagrees with me. Remember the quote "you are entitled to your own opinion but not your own facts". I was "in the room" when some of this was happening and feel I have a pretty firm grasp on the facts. But even if I am wrong where do we go from here? Since this is so simple it would seem like 10 years would be enough time to develop a better plan.

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51 minutes ago, CHILLIN said:

This "abolish I.C.E." thing annoys me. What even the I.C.E. officers are wanting is a separation of the department which looks after drug smuggling, human smuggling, etc. from the division in I.C.E. which only enforces immigration matters. The immigration enforcement role should fall under a broader range of procedures and oversight, not just "bag 'em, and tag 'em".

Also, recently the U.S. Medicare system suggested outsourcing prescription drugs, on a global basis, the bring prices under control. This is the norm with many countries (such as Mexico and Canada), and if those countries are negligent in constantly monitoring the quality of those imported drugs - their bad. Of course the U.S. Pharm industry has hit the roof over this one.

Both Homeland Security and iCE were started as a reaction to 9/11. Immigration was doing an okay job until then; what resulted is a police-state set of rules, as harsh or harsher than many other countries we criticize for their human rights flaws. It is a money-drainer and unnecessary.

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55 minutes ago, CHILLIN said:

Also, recently the U.S. Medicare system suggested outsourcing prescription drugs on a global basis, the bring prices under control. This is the norm with many countries (such as Mexico and Canada), and if those countries are negligent in constantly monitoring the quality of those imported drugs - their bad. Of course the U.S. Pharm industry has hit the roof over this one.

What does "outsourcing prescription drugs" mean? I haven't heard about that one but may have missed it. Also, what program in Mexico is equivalent to Medicare and how is Mexico "outsourcing drugs". I guess I have the same question as regards Canada.

"Negligent in monitoring the quality of imported drugs". Interesting. I would honestly like to learn more.

In the U.S., many government programs such as Medicare are prohibited from negotiating prices with the pharmaceutical companies. All the big pharma lobbyists on the board please raise your hands.

https://www.healthaffairs.org/do/10.1377/hblog20160919.056632/full/

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15 minutes ago, REC said:

As long as we look at any or all of these issues through a political lens, think in terms of party rather than country, and focus on "winning" versus solving problems and focusing on actual human beings, we are completely and totally screwed.

During the time the country was creating what was to be called Obamacare I worked for the largest commercial insurance broker in the world. Obama and both houses of Congress held well over 40 public hearings and attempted to develop a foundation for a plan that could be embraced by everyone. I personally attended some of those hearings. During that time the opposition was publicly saying that their goal to deny Obama any "victory" on anything rather than try to solve problems that affected the entire country including the people that had voted for them. I guess Obama and Congress could have shoved a plan down the other side' s throats but made a conscious decision to compromise. In retrospect that is be described as a bad decision  Really? Compromise? OMG!!!

So the problem is that all sides were included is a bad thing and that if Obama et al has been completely partisan things would be better now? Wow! And even if that were true it doesn't matter now. Where do we go from here?

Again I have direct and personal relevant experience in these areas. I am not in any way deriding anyone that disagrees with me. Remember the quote "you are entitled to your own opinion but not your own facts". I was "in the room" when some of this was happening and feel I have a pretty firm grasp on the facts. But even if I am wrong where do we go from here?

Please tell us who they compromised with. If I recall, Obamacare passed without a single Pub vote. Were they compromising with themselves or who?

Just be aware that there are many people who do not share your obsession of "Where do we go from here". If you know as much about insurance as you say you do, you know that the only way universal coverage can possibly work is for everyone to be covered from birth until death. No "opting out" in your early, healthy years and then diving back in when you suspect you have a problem. Like these people who opt out of Medicare Part B and then are allowed back in. Or the Canadians who opt out and then can return for 3 months and get coverage again. This is pure adverse selection and no insurance plan will ever work if that is allowed.  Perhaps on the idea of Federal Student Loans if the parents or whoever cannot afford the premium? No discharging those loans through bankruptcy.  That would probably require an amendment to the Constitution, which as you know, can and has been done.  As I see the problem, any pollster could get a clear majority of Americans to agree with the premise that "Healthcare is a right". Now, how many will put their wallets where their mouth is?  A couple percentage fewer or a huge percentage fewer?

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3 hours ago, pappysmarket said:

I have long wondered and don't know the answer.  For the first 2 years of O's term the Dems had the presidency, the House and 60 seats (filibuster proof) Senate. Why did they not pass universal healthcare? Did the people not want it, did they not want to pay for it? I have never seen a good answer.

https://www.ohio.com/akron/pages/when-obama-had-total-control-of-congress

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29 minutes ago, ComputerGuy said:

Both Homeland Security and iCE were started as a reaction to 9/11. Immigration was doing an okay job until then; what resulted is a police-state set of rules, as harsh or harsher than many other countries we criticize for their human rights flaws. It is a money-drainer and unnecessary.

Gosh, I can't imagine why anyone would actually want to emigrate to the kind of country you describe. Funny though, the US admits more legal immigrants than all other countries combined. Maybe they should completely stop all immigration for 20 years, let the current people integrate and let other countries step up and do their fair share for those 20 years.

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1 hour ago, pappysmarket said:

I suspect you are a very nice person. However, characterizing someone who doesn't agree with your POV on whatever as "Scrooge" is exactly why reasonable discourse has become impossible. It's your way or the highway, nothing in between. I also suspect you don't really think that way about everything, so why when it comes to politics?  This whole phenomenon intrigues me.

To me, a "scrooge" is like the Dickens character who didn't want to give a "freebie" to anyone.  He did change, though.  If you are not a real "scrooge", then I apologize. 

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5 minutes ago, pappysmarket said:

Please tell us who they compromised with.

40+ public hearings with input from all sides. I was in the room for some of those hearings. The fact that all Republicans voted against the plan confirms my point rather than disputing it. They had every opportunity to provide input and the final result includes at least a bit of that input. Those are facts.

My opinion is that all the Republicans voted against the final plan was political rather more than anything else. That is definitely just my opinion. I think that makes sense since that is what they said they were going to do but I could certainly be wrong.

 

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11 minutes ago, pappysmarket said:

Just be aware that there are many people who do not share your obsession of "Where do we go from here".

Interesting. Obsession? I honestly don't know how to respond? So it is inappropriate to talk about how to solve a problem when we can spend our time figuring out who to blame? I'll have to give that some thought but my first reaction is sadness. 

"the only way universal coverage can possibly work is for everyone to be covered from birth until death". Great! We agree! Let's do that! Republicans have Trump and both houses of Congress so let's get this done first thing Monday morning. I doubt if you would have to worry about Democrats filibustering or voting against a bill that did that. Finally we have a plan. Hurry up before the midterms when the Democrats might have more votes and keep this from happening. Oh wait. Never mind.

Don't have an opinion about Canada but in the U.S. if you opt out of Part B and want back in you pay a penalty. As in more money to make up at least a portion of what you didn't pay previously. A disincentive to opt out but I agree that should be much stronger. Let's do that too. No more opting out.

"This is pure adverse selection and no insurance plan will ever work if that is allowed." See. We agree on this too. Great idea. Sort of like the starting place for Obamacare. Thank you! I feel better now that we are on the same page. My sadness is receding.

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11 minutes ago, REC said:

40+ public hearings with input from all sides. I was in the room for some of those hearings. The fact that all Republicans voted against the plan confirms my point rather than disputing it. They had every opportunity to provide input and the final result includes at least a bit of that input. Those are facts.

My opinion is that all the Republicans voted against the final plan was political rather more than anything else. That is definitely just my opinion. I think that makes sense since that is what they said they were going to do but I could certainly be wrong.

 

You make my point. They were not willing to compromise enough with the Pubs to get even a single vote. Since I wasn't "in the room" I surely can't say what they gave up in order to try to convince some Pubs to go along. And we can agree that in both of our cases, it's just our opinions.

Peace

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32 minutes ago, pappysmarket said:

Gosh, I can't imagine why anyone would actually want to emigrate to the kind of country you describe. Funny though, the US admits more legal immigrants than all other countries combined. Maybe they should completely stop all immigration for 20 years, let the current people integrate and let other countries step up and do their fair share for those 20 years.

Because much of the rest of the world still believes the U.S. is "it": the land of dreams. However, governmental leaders of many countries no longer see this to be even partially true. What does one need, American genocide? Complete destruction of a society? Before the place wakes up and realizes itself that it is falling apart? This massive influx of expats from the U.S. to our fair towns right here, much discussed on this very board, indicates some awareness is happening already.

"Funny though, the US admits more legal immigrants than all other countries combined." Because they are the biggest democratic country with the most money, and it's where this side of the world tends to want to go. Take a look at Europe and Britain. Why are they inundated with refugees, immigrants and the like from the east? Because that's where they are. Try to find a shop in London, or even a neighbourhood anymore, that isn't a far bigger melting pot than the U.S. ever was. Why am I even explaining this? It's so obvious.

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25 minutes ago, pappysmarket said:

You make my point. They were not willing to compromise enough with the Pubs to get even a single vote. Since I wasn't "in the room" I surely can't say what they gave up in order to try to convince some Pubs to go along. And we can agree that in both of our cases, it's just our opinions.

Peace

Do you not have that backwards, pappys? It was the Republicans, clearly stated, who wouldn't compromise, and were in it to fight Obama and the Dems every step of the way, as they themselves proudly stated many times, "to refuse to let any bill or law, good or bad, through from that government". Blacky-McBlackstone fever.

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1 minute ago, ComputerGuy said:

Because much of the rest of the world still believes the U.S. is "it": the land of dreams. However, governmental leaders of many countries no longer see this to be even partially true. What does one need, American genocide? Complete destruction of a society? Before the place wakes up and realizes itself that it is falling apart? This massive influx of expats from the U.S. to our fair towns right here, much discussed on this very board, indicates some awareness is happening already.

"Funny though, the US admits more legal immigrants than all other countries combined." Because they are the biggest democratic country with the most money, and it's where this side of the world tends to want to go. Take a look at Europe and Britain. Why are they inundated with refugees, immigrants and the like from the east? Because that's where they are. Try to find a shop in London, or even a neighbourhood anymore, that isn't a far bigger melting pot than the U.S. ever was. Why am I even explaining this? It's so obvious.

OK, fine. The average person who wants to immigrate to the US or most Western countries is an ignorant fool.  OK, I can buy that. Please continue to do your best to "spread the word" to these poor slobs and help them along on their journey to Canada or wherever you think is better. Many will thank you for this service.

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