Charming Signs at the most recent Tea Party

The use and abuse of the swastika for political purposes is no new thing: the left used it to characterize Bush, the right has used it at tea parties to characterize Obama (or at least his proposed policies). Comparisons to Hitler? The left did it, the right did it and probably once in a while the centre got caught up with an unfortunate analogy or two.

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A protester uses a Nazi swastika to make a point at a Tea Party Express stop in Dallas, Texas

But, The clear abuse of photos of dead bodies from Dachau? Ugh. .

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And one more offensive poster to boot:

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Muffti really doesn’t know why people on the left or the right tolerate this kind of thing at rallies when it aids to their delegitimization – it’s awfully easy to ignore thousands of peoples’ legitimate concerns when you see an anti-semitic sign or someone comparing the attempt to cover more americans with concentration camp murder.

25 Comments

  1. AlexK

    11/6/2009 at 12:53 pm

    Um, these people come from two fringe groups: the LaRoushians and the Bircherites. And when I went to the Tea Party in West Bloomfield, Michigan, where much to my surprise I met some Jewish American Conservatives, we did confront these idiots. On thew other hand, I have never seen or heard of any Jews standing up to the fringe left at the anti-War rallies where anti-Semitic imagery and posters were much, much more often visible.

  2. grandmuffti

    11/6/2009 at 1:08 pm

    Good for you for confronting them. Muffti has never seen nor heard a case of what you described from the right either until you just told him about it. Lesson – there is probably an awful lot that one doesn’t see or hear about rallies they don’t go to.

  3. AlexK

    11/6/2009 at 4:00 pm

    My uber-liberal Jewish American friend that I almost alienate daily on Facecrook asked me in 2001 to go to an anti-War rally. Obviously I wasn’t going to go at the time since I was pro-war, but I asked him (since I saw footage of other rallies across the country) how he could go and stand next to the anti-Semitic protesters that were all over these rallies such as the Stalinist group A.N.S.W.E.R. He said he was going there to represent himself but later took umbrage at the fact that these people were co-opting the rallies for their own purposes. I don’t agree with any of these idiots. But this isn’t limited to fringe groups either, at least outside of rallies. Just last night, Keith “Bathtub Boy” Olbermann declared that the anti-Obamacare rally at the Hill resembled a South African pro-Apartheid rally and I believe he had compared Bush to Hitler a million times. You can expect random idiots to say stupid things, but I would hope we’d expect better from our “real news” people.

  4. froylein

    11/6/2009 at 4:16 pm

    I can’t help but wonder what the “Oders [sic] from the Rothchilds [sic]” are.

    Morons are to be feared most.

  5. themicah

    11/6/2009 at 7:54 pm

    Both Lafite and Mouton have pretty nice odors.

  6. J.Miller

    11/7/2009 at 12:12 pm

    You know what really offends about the dachau picture.On nov 10th it will be 71 years since Kristallnachtand and it does not seem like anything has really changed.

  7. Ben-David

    11/7/2009 at 1:45 pm

    Muffti:
    it’s awfully easy to ignore thousands of peoples’ legitimate concerns when you see an anti-semitic sign or someone comparing the attempt to cover more americans with concentration camp murder.
    - – - – - – - – - – - – -
    … which is exactly what this post does, by cherry-picking a handful of offensive signs. Talk about disingenuous…

    And I think you need to get out a bit more, Muffti – the nationalizing of health care is clearly about more than “giving more people coverage”.

    While the imagery is stark – it’s clearly a reference to the rationing of end-of-life care that is a provision of the bill, and pro-euthanasia stance of the liberal framers of the bill.

    And yes, the Nazis were socialists who forced the health care system to cooperate with their eugenics plans. So it’s not such a stretch for a protest against a move to socialize a major sector of the US.

  8. Grand Muffti

    11/7/2009 at 5:27 pm

    … which is exactly what this post does, by cherry-picking a handful of offensive signs. Talk about disingenuous…

    Muffti is pleased that you caught the intended irony. He always knew you were a clever reader. And Muffti thinks a demonstration of why one shouldn’t carry signs like that at demonstrations. Aside from the fact that you are using victims of mass murder for political aims.

    As for your endorsing of the analogy between euthanasia and genocide, Nazism and healthcare, Muffti has no idea what to say to that. If you find that reasonable, you clearly have a stronger stomach for far fetched analogies than Muffti does. If that’s not a stretch, Muffti isn’t sure what is. Why aren’t you claiming that the educational system is naziesque since it is paid for by the public and Nazis paid for an educational system that taught kids to hate jews and endorse nazi ideals?

    And, while muffti has your attention, let him ask quickly something that has irked him for a while: (1) if you are against socialized health care, why aren’t you against Medicare for the elderly? (2) didn’t bush have similar provisions in his 2003 medicare prescription bill?

  9. Tom Morrissey

    11/7/2009 at 6:06 pm

    Eric Cantor, to his credit, issued a statement condemning the loony Hitler analogies.

  10. Pingback: Shavua Tov: This Week's Jewish News | TC Jewfolk

  11. Tori

    11/8/2009 at 2:51 am

    I love all this faux outrage coming from the left-wing mainstream media about all these Hitler signs. How asleep were they during the Bush years?

    zombietime.com...

    • froylein

      11/8/2009 at 3:03 am

      It’s not outrage. It’s amusement at the idea that somebody so stupid is actually capable of breathing.

  12. J.Miller

    11/8/2009 at 11:20 am

    The first time i heard about “Tea Baggers”.I was watching cnn or some news program and a woman in mid 50′s early 60′s came on ad said Lets go Tea Bagging.I spit soda all over my girlfriend.The reason why i thought it was funny is because the lady kinda looked like Tracey Ullman and it remined me of “A Dirty Shame”

  13. Grand Muffti

    11/8/2009 at 11:59 am

    Miller, spitting soda all over your girlfriend is not tea-bagging! :)

    • froylein

      11/8/2009 at 12:04 pm

      Muffti better not corrupt our readers. :)

  14. J.Miller

    11/8/2009 at 12:53 pm

    Yes Muffti im aware of that.Froylein after living with this crazy broad ive seen it all.Im still in therapy.

    youtube.com/wa...

  15. Ben-David

    11/8/2009 at 2:46 pm

    Muffti:
    As for your endorsing of the analogy between euthanasia and genocide, Nazism and healthcare, Muffti has no idea what to say to that. If you find that reasonable
    - – - – - – - – -
    I find it factual.

    The Nazis were the first to bring medical care under government control – and the first to ration health care, and deny care to those deemed unproductive.

    This is exactly what is now done in Holland and the UK, and what the Democrat’s plan would bring to the US: a government monopoly on health care, rationing of that care, review panels at which citizens beg bureaucrats for medical treatment.

    The Nazis built their first gas chamber/crematoium gig in a hospital, and used it to kill the handicapped, elderly, and terminally ill.

    These were referred to as “Useless Eaters” – at least they didn’t couch their intent in saccharine PC newspeak.

    The program was accompanied by a public relations campaign that portrayed these people as a burden on a Germany struggling to prosper.

    The exact same thing is now done in Holland – more genteelly, of course, with injections instead of gas – but a frightening percentage of deaths in those over 65 are not due to natural causes.

    And self-style “progressive” American fools want to replace their top-of-the-world health care with something similar…

    You ask:
    (1) if you are against socialized health care, why aren’t you against Medicare for the elderly
    - – - – - – - – - – - –
    Who says I’m not against Medicare?
    Medicare is “the ghost of Christmas past” in relation to the current proposals – a reminder of how government entitlements go wrong, get bloated, and get loaded with impossible burdens as politicians use them to give out lollipops.

    Which brings us to:
    (2) didn’t bush have similar provisions in his 2003 medicare prescription bill?
    - – - – - – - – -
    Yes that’s right – a classic example of giving out lollipops to get votes.

    This is why conservatives were lukewarm about Bush on domestic policy, and why Republicans did not unite behind McCain. Because Bush and McC were symptomatic of a shift away from small-government conservatism – and lost the support of that core constituency.

    …Let’s ask it another way: if the Dems are so sure big government programs are the answer – that they will be MORE efficient than free-market solutions – how’s about they clean up Medicare before launching another Titanic government entitlement program?

    If Medicare/Medicaid participation were optional they would quickly disappear, as most people still in the workforce can do better for themselves on the open market – and none of them thinks Medicare will be solvent enough to help them when they get old.

    So why will an even larger, more byzantine program – less subject to free-market competition – be any better?

  16. Grand Muffti

    11/11/2009 at 11:47 am

    Comparing ‘a frightening number of deaths over 65 not being of natural causes’ with Nazi euthanasia programs strikes is pretty weird to Muffti’s ears. In any case, the bill doesn’t allow open euthanasia like they do in Holland. It provides for end of life care. Why do you think those are the same thing?

    In any case, Muffti was under the impression that the goal was not to start knocking off the sick and elderly as useless eaters – what makes you think that this is what we can expect? You can talk all you like about ‘rationing health care’ but right now, health care is rationed in the sense that millions of people can’t get access to proper health care (and end up going to emergency rooms to seek care in what must be the world’s least efficient way of providing it).

    The Bush provisions wasn’t a lollipop – it was a provision for end of life care. The very same end of life care that is being presented as ‘death panels’ these days in america, whcih Muffti thought was how you were liking it to events in holland. Whether or not euthanasia is illegal is orthogonal to this bill…as muffti understands it, the standards for euthanasia are set at the state level.

    In any case, Muffti guesses that that real question is whether or not private insurance will survive after the passage of the bill, if it gets passed. Muffti sees no reason to think that it won’t – even in a real single payer system like Canada you can buy extra insurance so muffti finds it hard to beleive that people who want a better than standard health care won’t continue to pay for health care as it is now. What’s muffti missing?

  17. Ben-David

    11/11/2009 at 7:23 pm

    Muffti:
    Comparing ‘a frightening number of deaths over 65 not being of natural causes’ with Nazi euthanasia programs strikes is pretty weird to Muffti’s ears.
    - – - – - – - – - –
    And to mine – but posters are supposed to grab you. My point is that the analogy is less tenuous than all those Bush with mustache posters – so spare us the selective PC umbrage.

    Muffti:
    In any case, the bill doesn’t allow open euthanasia like they do in Holland. It provides for end of life care. Why do you think those are the same thing?
    - – - – - – - – - – - – - -
    What do you think they call it in Holland?

    When you don’t have enough resources for palliative care – and you’ve forced all 3rd-party providers out of the market – you wind up rationing. The “end of life care” section of the bill already mentions “review boards” – i.e. rationing. Denial of care is euthenasia by the back door. Next step is to press for the “humane” solution of active euthenasia for all those who can’t get treatment, as in Europe.

    (Elitists rolled their eyes when Palin mentioned “death panels” – but it turns out she was right about the details of the bill.)

    Muffti:
    You can talk all you like about ‘rationing health care’ but right now, health care is rationed in the sense that millions of people can’t get access to proper health care (and end up going to emergency rooms to seek care in what must be the world’s least efficient way of providing it).
    - – - – - – - – - – - -
    1) So are we rationing Mercedes because not everyone can afford one? This is the question-begging language of “entitlement”.

    2) The percentage of Americans who really, really can’t afford health care (as opposed to the tens of millions of young people who just don’t think they need it) is actually very small.

    3) Medicare and Medicaid were supposed to solve this problem. How are they doing – and what does that say about the likelihood of ANOTHER mammoth spending plan solving the problem? Doesn’t experience say that government monopolies are wasteful and inefficient?

    4) If medical resources are so scarce – how will socialization stimulate growth of this resource? We already are losing physicians due to low Medicare reimbursement and malpractice premiums. If doctor income is capped – will that result in MORE doctors, or fewer? (BIG HINT – over 50 percent of the docs in the UK were trained in the 3rd world.)

    If pill prices are capped – will there be MORE medical research – or less?

    Muffti:
    In any case, Muffti guesses that that real question is whether or not private insurance will survive after the passage of the bill, if it gets passed. Muffti sees no reason to think that it won’t…. What’s muffti missing?
    - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - -
    The government will be making the market – setting fees and salary caps.

    Remember Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac? The banks didn’t all just close – but the government underwrote such a large percentage of mortgages that it cornered – and subverted – the market. The government was also able to force financial markets to trade in the repackaged debt.

    It also passed “fairness” laws that forced banks to play by non-market rules, lending to “disadvantaged” people who did not “have access to” loans based on their numbers and likely risk.

    The result is that NOW banks are failing – because the market always wins out over feel-good attempts to “fix” things.

    The health bill does the same – if the government can dictate coverage and costs, all third-party offerings are homogenized and there is no real competition. Socialized ANYTHING does not work.

  18. Grand Muffti

    11/12/2009 at 10:46 am

    Ben-David said:

    When you don’t have enough resources for palliative care – and you’ve forced all 3rd-party providers out of the market – you wind up rationing. The “end of life care” section of the bill already mentions “review boards” – i.e. rationing. Denial of care is euthenasia by the back door.

    Muffti is missing something. We currently HAVE a socialized system of medicare for the elderly. It has failed to push out third party insurance companies (in fact, the elderly can buy extra care using medicare funds. The dems have tried to put a stop to this recently).

    Let muffti put it this way – say we cancelled medicare tomorrow. What would happen to the elderly who could not afford insurance (and presumably there will be many given how much those ol’ bastids get sick, private insurance is likely to be extremely expensive). Wouldn’t they, well, die in horrible ways? And if you kept medicare around, wouldn’t it head just in the direction you said — i..e. when resources get shorter and medicare too expensive, shouldn’t we expect death panels and the like?

    In other words, obama bill or no, isn’t the future either one in which old people die without insurance or they die under a rationed system?

    So are we rationing Mercedes because not everyone can afford one? This is the question-begging language of “entitlement”.

    We kind of are, muffti supposes. And if we voted in a party whose platform it was to introduce universal mercedes programs, we would have to compare how many people would have mercedes under the government plan, and what would happen when things ran short on resources, to how many people would fail tot have mercedes (and why they did – choice? too little money? too much ignorance about what happens if you don’t have a mercedes in the long run?)

    We don’t think that mercedes is something one has a legitimate claim on simply by being a citizen. But the dems ran on a platform of introducing health care supported by government. And, so, yeah, we can talk about entitlement because the american people voted it in. Maybe a bad idea, but that’s what they did.

    If medical resources are so scarce – how will socialization stimulate growth of this resource? We already are losing physicians due to low Medicare reimbursement and malpractice premiums. If doctor income is capped – will that result in MORE doctors, or fewer? (BIG HINT – over 50 percent of the docs in the UK were trained in the 3rd world.

    Where are these doctors going? Muffti was under the impression that the US was one of the last hold outs that didn’t have a governmental health care program?

    As for Fannie Mae and Freddie mac, Muffti agrees that things went very very wrong there. He does not agree, however, that this ‘forced’ the banks to trade in repackaged debt. That was entirely voluntary – the banks pushed for deregulation so that they could trade in such commodities. If anything, those were considered a good way to even out risk (ironically) as they combined high and low risk products into one. And the fairness rules did preclude certain bank activities in a non-market driven way – but, Muffti watched the banks chase after many of his friends who were simply the wrong people to get loans – and there was no discouraging them. THe banks literally competed for their mortgage. And the reason had nothing to do with fairness laws and everything to do with the idea that if you could just get that guy into a house he would resell it or refinance it a few years down the road, the bank would profit and the guy would have a house.

    Anyhow, if the situations you advert to – ones of mass scarcity really obtain you should expect private insurance to resurface and do fine, just as in canada you can obtain health care for all service that go beyond the basic services offered by the government (the gov’t couldn’t run its plan without people doing this). Put it this way – if the government’s service sucks, people will pay out for insurance plans. Just as lots of old people right now pay for insurance that goes well beyond their medicare benefits. Just as private schools exist despite the fact that hte government offers public education and gets to set the salaries, the acceptable costs etc. Just as you can hire private security even though the government provides a police force…

    Over the long run, all socialized programs eventually start to suck. There is no doubt about it, and the reasons are predictable – no competition, ever growing increase of cost of service w/out reasonable ways to contain the costs. Hard times deprive the service of funds that then have to be borrowed or the service cut and in good times government spends on new programs rather than re-upping the finances of the old one – just as government started borrowing from medicare and social security. Nonetheless, one has to decide if the cost of future sucking of the program deprives it of its value now. On health care, muffti has to say that he’d prefer to extend it as far as possible despite the fact that it will over the long run become inefficient and messy (waht he really thinks is that most of these programs should go under mandatory review – i.e. they get re-vamped by the government every x years or they are automatically cancelled, but that is a different story). This is a choice and people have to decide for themselves whether or not they rae willing to extend services or not. And they did. It was the 2008 election.

  19. Ben-David

    11/12/2009 at 1:10 pm

    Muffti:
    In other words, obama bill or no, isn’t the future either one in which old people die without insurance or they die under a rationed system?
    - – - – - – - – - – -
    Who says medical care has to be rare and/or expensive?
    What forces made it that way?
    In a free market, supply increases to meet demand – so where are all the future gerontologists lining up for med/nursing school?

    …and if you admit that SS, Medicare and other government interventions did ZIP to change the situation – why are we mounting a mega-Medicare now, and expecting it to do any better?

    … Muffti, you are being a bit circular – and that obscures cause and effect.

    Social Security and Medicare/aid started out as last-resort insurance policies. Well, private insurance companies turn a profit while providing that product.

    So why are these programs bankrupt – and bankrupting the country?

    The dynamic of government programs – insulated from the free market’s demand for accountability – is to ever increase bloat and demand more “free” honey from the bottomless pot of taxpayer money. And politicians will ever give out lollipops without concern for cost – because it all comes out of the untrackable pool of taxpayer money.

    So these programs morphed into super-sized “entitlements”.

    In the process they wound up distorting the free market for medical services – when a large player in the market caps their reimbursements for services, it rigs the market.

    There are other ways in which the direct relationship between health care consumer and providers has been obscured:

    - The tax quirk that makes health care outlays a recognized expense for employers, rather than individuals.

    - Governmental dictates that require insurance companies to provide various kinds of coverage – even if individuals don’t want it. Each state requires insurance companies to provide mandatory coverage for obscure conditions in the policies sold there.

    (Again: this is “feel good” legislation and lollipops for voters, enacted with no thought to the actual statistical/economic truths of health insurance. And just as foolhardy as giving mortgages to people who shouldn’t get them.)

    The result of all this is that we ALREADY DO NOT have a free market for medical care – because of wasteful, inefficient government intervention.

    Doctors aren’t rushing into gerontology because Medicare has already “socialized” the system enough that it’s not profitable.

    We are already losing doctors – and they cite 2 causes for leaving the profession: Medicare’s imposed fee structure (which has forced the private HMOs to do the same) and soaring malpractice insurance.

    The solution is NOT more government intervention.

    The solution is to restore the direct connection between consumer and provider – which leads to efficiency instead of bloat. And efficiency leads to greater participation.

    Have you heard about the plan offered by the Whole Foods supermarket chain? The plan combines catastrophic insurance for major health problems with a small cash fund for out-of-pocket medical expenses.

    Guess what – that cash fund has eliminated a lot of waste simply by recreating the feeling of spending one’s own money: any money left over in the fund is rolled over, and is the employee’s to keep – so they spend differently than if medical care were an “entitlement” paid for by nobody/everybody.

    Currently most people CANNOT choose what coverage they want – because each statehouse has mandated that insurers include all sorts of rare conditions.

    Guess what that does to the price?

    And the fact that insurer’s can’t offer plans nationwide, that spread risk over large numbers of customers while meeting the ACTUAL needs of market sectors – what does THAT do to the cost of health care?

    Here’s one example of how inefficiency leads to expensive health care:

    Many young working people are not buying insurance because they can’t get the minimal, catastrophic coverage that makes sense at that age. Without them in the insurance pool, the costs/risks are spread over fewer people.

    If there’s a need, the market will fill it – and it ALWAYS provides goods and services more efficiently than government monopoly.

  20. Ben-David

    11/12/2009 at 2:53 pm

    … or you can just read the bill.
    There are lots of articles like this one out there (link below) – some of the major points:

    Forced Enrollment, Homogenized Offerings

    Sec. 202 (p. 91-92) of the bill requires you to enroll in a “qualified plan” designed by the Secretary of Health and Human Services.

    Sec. 224 (p. 118) – 18 months after the bill becomes law, the Secretary of Health and Human Services will decide what a “qualified plan” covers and how much you’ll pay for it. That’s like a banker telling you to sign the loan now, then filling in the interest rate and repayment terms 18 months later.

    The Congressional Budget Office estimates that… an individual earning $44,000 before taxes will have to pay a $5,300 premium and an estimated $2,000 in out-of-pocket expenses, for a total of $7,300 a year, which is 17% of his pre-tax income.

    Sec. 303 (pp. 167-168) – the “qualified plan” will be “one size fits all” – the benefits are the same. Only the co-pays and deductibles differ. You will have to enroll in the same plan, whether the government is paying or you and your employer are footing the bill.

    Sec. 59b (pp. 297-299) – when you file your taxes, you must include proof that you are in a qualified plan. If not, you will be fined thousands of dollars.

    Sec. 412 (p. 272) – employers must provide a “qualified plan” for their employees and pay 72.5% of the cost, or incur an 8% payroll tax.
    - – - – - – - – - – - – - -
    Muffti – do you really think that any real market competition will survive in this climate?

    Further:

    Eviscerating Medicare:

    In addition to reducing future Medicare funding by an estimated $500 billion, the bill fundamentally changes how Medicare pays doctors and hospitals, permitting the government to dictate treatment decisions.

    Sec. 1302 (pp. 672-692) moves Medicare from a fee-for-service payment system, in which patients choose which doctors to see and doctors are paid for each service they provide, toward what’s called a “medical home” – this decade’s version of HMO-type estrictions on care.

    Patients have to settle for a nurse practitioner rather than a physician as the primary-care provider. Sec. 1114 (pp. 391-393) replaces physicians with physician assistants in overseeing care for hospice patients.

    Secs. 1158-1160 (pp. 499-520) reduces payments for patient care to what it costs in the lowest cost regions of the country. This will reduce payments for care (and by implication the standard of care) for hospital patients in higher cost areas such as New York and Florida.
    - – - – - – - – - – - – -
    Muffti – does this not sound like the groundwork for rationing of care?

    Read the rest:
    online.wsj.com...

  21. Grand Muffti

    11/12/2009 at 9:56 pm

    It’s an interesting (set of) points, Ben-David. Muffti didn’t admit that SS and Medicare did ZIP to help the situation – though he agrees that they have become what you and Muffti both expect them to become over time. He should point out, though, that part of their woes comes from government borrowing from them – treating SS funds and Medicare funds as a credit card.

    In any case, Muffti agrees that these services become bloated over time and stand in need of revamping on a fairly short term basis. But he thinks that the problem,a t least in part, is lack of oversight.

    He also thinks that you are distorting the power of the free market rather unfairly. The free market eliminates inefficiencies but often at the cost of not providing services where it is not worth their while. The airlines don’t service small markets, for example. The extremely sick cost too much to cover so that covering them would be so cost prohibitive that they couldn’t afford it.

    What do you do with people like that — ones who literally can’t get insurance because their conditions don’t make it worth the insurance’s while? And what of their market efficient practice of cutting out coverage for the very sick ?

    The problem with insurance seems to Muffti to be that when you need them most, it is in their interest not to come through and in their interest, it seems, to spend more on stringent fraud detection than on making sure that people who require payment actually get their payment. And so it is in their interest to deny payment and make the sucker try to get it back in court over many years (they say that only 1 in 10 of denied people actually go check up on it). This is exactly where government should be intervening isn’t it? Isn’t this where the excess of the free market should be checked?

  22. Ben-David

    11/13/2009 at 6:13 am

    Briefly (it’s Friday and we have guests for Shabbat):

    1) The bill itself puts cost-based rationing in place – especially the downgrading/elimination of hospice and other care for the “very sick”. Why is this more humane when done by a bureaucrat vs. the free market?

    2) Insurance works by spreading risk and expense across as many people as possible. If the health care market were truly free:

    - the cost of expensive illnesses would be spread over more people

    - those with these rare conditions could form a larger nationwide pool/bargaining group.

    This would result in all kinds of creative solutions – for example, a “family” plan where the family of the ill person is also covered – increasing the pool funding the cost of treatment.

    3) We may need a food-stamp-like program for some illnesses. With safeguards and financial tests so that it doesn’t become an entitlement. That is NOT what this bill is.

    4) This problem will increase as genetic testing grows. We are already seeing higher premiums for smokers and the overweight. People with a history of cancer and other genetic flags will also wind up paying more…. this may not sound “fair” to a liberal, but again it’s all a game of pooling risk – which means accurately assessing risk.

    3) I’m glad you’re concerned about the “very ill” – now kindly relate that back to previous discussions of the terminally ill and euthanasia. Or have politically correct blind spots led you not to connect the two? Nothing’s cheaper than withdrawing treatment…

  23. Grand Muffti

    11/13/2009 at 11:10 am

    Shabbat Shalom, B-D. Muffti is concerned about the very ill – but there is something cheaper than ‘withdrawing’ treatment and it’s never treating someone at all.

    And, quickly, Muffti is a liberal (currently the emptiest term in the political vernacular, but…) but his issue with people paying more for premiums if they are fat, smokers or from a bad history isn’t a matter of fairness – of course a business shouldn’t have to charge a blanket fee for everyone if it is going to stay profitable. The problem is that given the growing cost of healthcare a growing number of such people won’t be able to afford health insurance at all. Or they will get health insurance but will have to accept that it won’t pay for first rate treatments. Or, worse, they will use hospitals and emergency rooms so that they are covered by medicaid. Or they will just die. This looks to Muffti like the free market rationing health care – providing services at an intentionally low level. That is fine in the airline industry – why should people who can’t pay for it/are unwilling to sit in nicer seats? But in health care it is a potential national disaster and as people get older and sicker and less able to pay for first rate health insurance, they will start complaining and demanding action from their government. We know it’s coming – baby boomers are now in their 60s. We could offer them ‘food stamps’ but this is just another government program that basically hands money over to private industry, who then have less interest in running things efficiently and in a cost affordable manner (after all, if you are milking the government who cannot in good conscience — read: fear of being voted out– let people not have insurance on mass – and will get voted out if they do since the boomers will be one of the largest voting block around with homogenous interests – keeping themselves treated). This will end up, thus, being an enormous entitlement program whose costs are controlled by the private health insurers who don’t have great reason to keep things affordable if they know public funds will prop up their customer base. And you know what will happen then – either the government will cut funds drastically and let old people simply lapse in coverage (which they can’t and if they do the elderly will seek their revenge shortly) OR the government will start legislate costs and curb the profitability of the insurance industries OR the government will have to run its own program and attempt to keep costs at a projectable level and ration care to people who can’t afford it.

    Or we could let those who can’t afford it die/hope that the insurance industry will provide – which we have no reason to think they will do as time goes on if health care costs increases as predicted for first rate care. most likely the elderly and very sick will be given ‘work around’ treatments by insurance companies – paying for nurses rather than doctors, they will dictate which homes/hospices you can go to (by severe limitations on payouts for treatment), paying for so many days in a hospital and then turfing you out afterwards…

    It’s not about ‘fairness’ – Muffti would be much happier if everyone was rich enough to pay for healthcare for the forseeable future. And then he’d be happy enough to let people hoist themselves on their own petard if they neglected their health or didn’t buy insurance.

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