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December 10, 2009

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JM Hanes

I have to admit, OL, if we're making do with pikes instead of pitchforks, things are bleak indeed.

Janet

Exactly how am I suppose to sharpen this?

Clarice

With both houses they can threaten impeachment if he refuses to sign bills reversing this carp,o.l.
The details of the corrupt bargains are already leaking out. Besides Landrieu 's millions apparently multiple districts have been exempted from the Medicaid cutbacks.

Clarice

Janet--lots of gefilte fish or quenelles there..take your pick.

hit and run

HAH, Janet!!!!

But,um...

Janet the Luddite is embedding photos?

I Blame Global Warming.

centralcal

Happy Chanukah, Clarice!

cathyf
Cathy...how goes getting your health care reform piece published?
Well, um, first I have to write it. I've got pieces here and there that I need to reorganize (ok, organize) and I was trying to get a feel for interest before I did the work. (Teh Lazy, ya know.) But I do have a site that I know will publish it, so I should work on it this weekend...
anduril

OK, Black Friday for Obamacare? What I've bolded below are links in the original:

The news of sticker shock to health care premiums under Obamacare had already begun to circulate today when suddenly a bad news cycle became truly awful for the high priests of Obamacare. First the American Cancer Society and other groups noticed that the Senate bill had snuck in the authority of insurance companies to set annual or lifetime benefit caps which shocked some Obamacare supporters.

And then the roof fell in: The Office of the Actuary in the Department of Health and Human Services issued a devastating assessment of the Senate plan which concluded it would drive overall health care costs higher, that it would lead to Medicare benefit cuts, that its long-term care insurance plan would likely be a costly failure, that 33 million people would remain uninsured after the plan was in effect, and that the cuts to doctors and hospitals envisioned by the plan were unsustainable, and that one in five hospitals would move to unprofitability under the plan.

This obviously non-partisan report from within the Obama Administration should be enough to kill the bill in any reasonable era, but will probably only lead the current Congressional leadership to devise changes to the plan to spend even more money in order to achieve even less reform.

Danube of Thought

My understanding is the same as Glasater's. Let's say the Senate Dems do whatever they have to do to pass a cloture vote. The two versions go to committee, and come back pretty much like the House bill (or even worse). They then need only 50 votes in the Senate (plus Biden) to ram it home.

I still think they're going to do this thing, in the final analysis. They've already demonstrated that they're willing to negotiate in secret, and to vote before reading, let alone before the public gets a chance to figure out what's going on.

The chaos that would result in the next couple of years would be quite something to see.

If the mandates are challenged constitutionally, my guess is that they would survive a challenge on the basis of the commerce clause. I think a better basis for challenging them would be on the notion of "autonomy," as discussed in Planned Parenthood v. Casey, the idea being that decisions about buying health insurance (or not buying it) are so intimate and personal as to be beyond the reach of congress. Wouldn't it be great if Roe v. Wade came back to bite them in the ass this way?

Danube of Thought

Here's some language from the dissent in Casey. Can't you imagine Scalia et al., joined by Kennedy, using these precedents to invalidate the mandates?'
"In construing the phrase 'liberty" incorporated in the Due Process Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment, we have recognized that its meaning extends beyond freedom from physical restraint. In Pierce v. Society of Sisters, 268 U.S. 510 (1925), we held that it included a parent's right to send a child to private school; in Meyer v. Nebraska, 262 U.S. 390 (1923), we held that it included a right to teach a foreign language in a parochial school. Building on these cases, we have held that the term 'liberty' includes a right to marry, Loving v. Virginia, 388 U.S. 1 (1967); a right to procreate, Skinner v. Oklahoma ex rel. Williamson, 316 U.S. 535 (1942); and a right to use contraceptives, Griswold v. Connecticut, 381 U.S. 479 (1965); Eisenstadt v. Baird, 405 U.S. 438 (1972)."

Is there a 14th Amendment right not to buy health insurance? Maybe, maybe not...

Jane

DOT,

I bet you were a brilliant lawyer.

glasater

The chaos that would result in the next couple of years would be quite something to see

I agree DOT. To borrow from Krauthammer--there would come the revolution....

glasater

This is a pretty stunning report from the Office of the Actuary of Medicare and Medicaid.

Dislike using hyperbole by this is just something....

Janet the Luddite

Janet the Luddite is embedding photos?

Yep! I printed a cheat sheet when y'all were teaching Matt back in Sept.. JOM has great teachers. University of JOM.

Happy Chanukah all!
Praised are you, Lord our God, Ruler of the universe, for giving us life, for sustaining us, and for helping us to reach this moment.

Clarice

Thanks all for the Chanukah greetings.

JM Hanes

DoT:

"Wouldn't it be great if Roe v. Wade came back to bite them in the ass this way?"


There's a flip side to that ironic coin, of course. The folks who have spent decades working for its reversal, would benefit from the very protections they have been trying to disallow.

Captain Hate

Happy Chanukah Clarice!! You've finally started capitalizing your name.

Jane

I'd wish you a Happy Chanukah Clarice, if I knew how to spell it.

Ignatz

--There's a flip side to that ironic coin, of course. The folks who have spent decades working for its reversal, would benefit from the very protections they have been trying to disallow.--

We have not been trying to disallow the concept of autonomy. Quite the opposite. We have been trying to restore the autonomy of the fetus which was stolen by Roe and subsequent decisions.
It is the concept that one person's autonomy trumps not only the autonomy but the very life of another that is the basis of the problem.

Clarice

If you belong to Netflix and haven't seen it "Other Peoples Lives" is a wonderful film. If worse comes to worst it'll prepare you for life under the coming US Stasi.

JM Hanes

Ignatz, I was talking about Roe v. Wade, as referenced by DoT above. While I don't think privacy will ultimately be the basis for the eventual challenge, pro-lifers have been chafing over penumbras ever since the decision was made.

"We have been trying to restore the autonomy of the fetus which was stolen by Roe and subsequent decisions.

If a fetus were autonomous gestation would not be necessary. I think you're really talking about individuation, which I believe is actually rather a modern concept. I have to say, as a mother who has given birth, I personally think the relentless drumbeat of separateness -- propounded almost entirely for the purposes of litigation -- is counter-intuitive and really creepy.

It is the lack of separateness, the extraordinary dependency, the internal flowering that is intensely personal and miraculous. In pushing for the legally recognized, separate personhood of the unborn child, for the single-minded purpose of over turning Roe v. Wade, the pro-life movement is simultaneously creating an explicit government interest in the unborn child in the mother's womb. That is virtually inviting government intrusion -- inevitable government intrusion -- of the most singularly intimate and invasive kind. The very idea of it literally makes my skin crawl. Psychologically, it feels like an assault on the sacredness of giving birth, not a protection. As a practical matter, if you think the Nanny statism is bad now, just wait.

Porchlight

Psychologically, it feels like an assault on the sacredness of giving birth, not a protection.

Not nearly as great an assault as abortion, though, don't you think?

I believe I see where you're coming from, but my personal experience doesn't match up. I think the most amazing thing about being pregnant and giving birth is that there's a separate person in there! And he or she comes out! And continues to be a person completely separate from me! That is the miracle, to my mind.

JAY

There's no avoiding a rout for the Dems. They spent six months on this travesty. They are tied to it whether it passes or not.

Ignatz

--As a practical matter, if you think the Nanny statism is bad now, just wait.--

Didn't see your reply til now JM.
Abortion was largely illegal for that portion of our history in which the state was about 1/1000th the size it is now so I'm doubtful that abortion being made illegal is the tipping point for Big Brother.
As to seperateness it seems pretty simple. The fetus' dependence on its mother does not create ownership of it anymore than the dependence of an infant or a disabled person does.
The state certainly has no compelling interest in some inanimate object in a woman's womb but for a nation founded on the rights of life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness it seems to me it does have a compelling interest in guaranteeing the smallest most defenseless among us, above any others, are protected to enjoy those rights.
And I have yet to see any reason given of sufficient gravity, other than the rare one of having to literally choose between the life of the mother or the baby, that justifies refusing a developing human being the benefit of any and all doubts we can give it.

Pofarmer

the pro-life movement is simultaneously creating an explicit government interest in the unborn child in the mother's womb.

But, that's already the case, or folks who kill a mother and an unborn child wouldn't be charged with a double homicide or double manslaughter. The double standard isn't sustainable and it's right there in plain sight.

anduril

Well said, Ignatz and Pofarmer.

Thomas Collins

See LUN for an interesting analysis on how the GOP will be a co-conspirator with the Dems if the montrous health care bill becomes law. I agree with the author of the article that the failure of the GOP Senators (at least the non-RINOs) to do everything they can to stop this bill is indefensible. As for the RINOs, I am less harsh on them because the record clearly establishes that they are for socialized medicine, so they are acting (or not acting) in accordance with their true beliefs.

Neo

I saw that a few of the "Progressive" site were complaining that Harry Reid had quietly included a "lifetime limit" into his version of ObamaCare.

"Lifetime limit" is one of those "faceless" and "peopleless" "death panels."

glasater

Health care loophole would allow coverage limits

But Finan said the change in the Senate bill essentially invalidates the legislation's ban on lifetime limits. "If you can have annual limits, saying there's no lifetime limits becomes meaningless," he said. A patient battling aggressive disease in its later stages could conceivably exhaust insurance benefits in the course of a year.
cathyf

The limit issue is actually a laser-like illustration of what this is about. Health insurance, as opposed to health care, is about diversifying away catastrophic, but very unlikely, risks. The fundamental thing that you are buying when you buy insurance (of any kind) is the "privilege" of paying money for premiums when the overwhelming probability is that you won't have the horrible thing happen to you and so you won't collect. What you buy for the premiums is the peace of mind of knowing that if the terribly unlikely terrible thing happens to you, then all of the lucky people who don't have the catastrophe will have kicked in enough money to pay for you.

The value of the insurance premium is a function of the probability of payoff (very very small) and the amount of the payoff (very very large). If the "insurance" doesn't pay off above some limit, then it's crap. Or another way of looking at it: the product that the insurance company is selling you is that if something really terrible happens to you that costs some huge amount of money to fix, then the limits on what can be spent to fix you are the insurance company's assets, not your assets. (The insurance company's assets are, of course, simply the collected insurance premiums of gobs of people lucky enough to avoid any health catastrophe.) That's what they are selling, and that's what you -- and all of the other premium payers -- are paying for. The insurance company bearing this risk is precisely the insurance that they are selling! Why should we pay insurance premiums if we are not receiving insurance?!?

hit and run

As long as politicians make sure that insurance companies are forced to bear the risk for Jane's podiatry and fertility coverage...

glasater

Cathyf--how are you coming along on your article. Really am hoping that all your great thoughts can be located in one article rather than my haphazard collection of your comments.

Hit--along with not really wanting to pay for Jane's podiatry and fertility--I really don't want to pay for her chiropractic either--and teeth:)

Not too long ago I saw that old Cary Grant movie "To Catch a Thief" wherein "risk" and "insurance" were used in the same breath.
Folks just do not understand risk any longer....
When I was dealing blackjack and insurance was offered if the dealer had an ace up--a few folks at the table--actually more than a few--would take out insurance on a ten dollar bet. The 'house' loved those players:-)

JM Hanes

Ignatz:

"I'm doubtful that abortion being made illegal is the tipping point for Big Brother."

and Pofarmer:

"But, that's already the case, or folks who kill a mother and an unborn child wouldn't be charged with a double homicide or double manslaughter.


The laws which have been converting any assault on a pregnant woman into a double assault, or a double homicide, among a raft of others, are precisely what is, in fact, new. They are precisely what I'm talking about, when I've pointed out that the active pro-life movement has been working for such incremental changes in law, to set up a specific government interest in the fetus independently of the mother. When there is a sufficient body of law recognizing independent personhood, the Supreme Court challenge to Roe v Wade will be launched.

What I'm talking about isn't whether or not you make abortion illegal. I'm talking about the unintended consequences of the way you go about it, and the precedents that are being set up by doing it through personhood statutes. I may have obscured that point in talking about my reaction to such initiatives on a personal level as well.

When you create an independent government interest, which is then confirmed in constitutional law, you cannot take it back. With the essential repeal of Roe v Wade and the roll back of the privacy protection it afforded or created, pregnant women will be liable (in every sense) to government intrusion on virtually any pretext. If life begins at conception, the government will have a legal interest in decisions about her fertilized egg.

For people who can see Big Brother coming almost everywhere else, it just astonishes me that they can be so utterly unconcerned on this single issue -- perhaps especially on this issue. Maybe it would help if you imagine Nancy Pelosi heading up the healthcare panel that decides what's good for embryos, pregnant women, and society every step of the way. Call it the life and death panel.

sbw

I support Roe v. Wade as a law, because it precisely addressed the Mother's interest, the future child's interest, and the interest of society at large in a fashion that allowed it to be applied practically, and independent of ambiguous assumptions of science and semiotics on the meaning of life and quality of life.

I may have lasted only two weeks in law school but I did learn that sound law needed to be understood by those who must follow it and who must apply it.

Ignatz

--Maybe it would help if you imagine Nancy Pelosi heading up the healthcare panel that decides what's good for embryos, pregnant women, and society every step of the way.--

JMH,
The repeal of Roe V Wade should have precisely the opposite effect. It would tend to take Nancy or any other Fed out of the question. Roe v Wade is the decision which Federalized what is much more properly and previously was a state issue.

--If life begins at conception...--

But we know that it does. The argument you must successfully make is that that life is not deserving of personhood or legal protection because the woman outside of it has more compelling interests than its life.


--The laws which have been converting any assault on a pregnant woman into a double assault, or a double homicide, among a raft of others, are precisely what is, in fact, new. They are precisely what I'm talking about, when I've pointed out that the active pro-life movement has been working for such incremental changes in law, to set up a specific government interest in the fetus independently of the mother.--

Is it independent of the mother? I thought the idea was that while a pregnant woman has the right to terminate a pregancy no outside party acting without the mother's consent does. In that case the state is acting on the mother's behalf as much as or more than the baby's.

As far as the rest of it, I don't think we're going to convince each other. I believe when a fertilized egg begins dividing under the direction of its own DNA it is at that point a seperate living "person", and that society and the state that represents it has a duty to protect it and allow it to live.
Seems to me history has shown the dangerous slippery slope of all-powerful government is nearly always begun when the state devalues innocent life not protects it.
I think it also shows that a society which places more value on the convenience and comfort of adults over the protection of its children, "the consenting adult society" as Tom Bethell described it, is on the road to oblivion as well.

JM Hanes

Ignatz:

I hope it was apparent that I was not arguing the pro-choice, pro-life issue, one way or another. My "if" was really related to the consequences of explicitly accepting birth at conception proposition as a matter of law.

Personhood is a statutory concept which encompasses far more than simple protections. It is the very basis on which a government run healthcare system, for example, could intrude on any decision-making from conception onward. People may well be willing to sacrifice parental controls, but I don't think very many people have focused on the potential consequences of taking this particular path to overturning Roe v Wade.

The dual offense laws are not consent based at all, and not confined to issues of termination.

Personally, I believe we could use a privacy amendment to the Constitution, entirely outside the context of abortion. We're going to need protection from technological depredations, and from the anti-terrorism statues which are already being used as a pretext for all sorts of unrelated invasions.

Pofarmer

J.M Hanes.

The laws on assault and etc. have been that way here ever since I can remember, it's not a new thing. And, I'm having a really hard time following your logic. You seem to be tying yourself in knots over this issue. We already have cases where women are charged for using drugs while pregnant, have children taken away, etc. I think you have to go an awful long ways to equate a change in abortion laws to making a woman liable somehow for everything that happens to a fetus, and, somehow, making that woman subserviant to an unborn child. I don't get it, frankly.

JM Hanes

Pofarmer:

What I am saying is that making abortion illegal is not the same thing as according the unborn statutory personhood.


The second creates a whole matrix of Federal interests in a child while it is still in the womb, which the first does not.

Most of the laws I'm talking about are relatively recent. The Laci Peterson (double homicide) law, for example, was only passed in 2004. The specifics of legislative language are extremely significant. Amended wording can also substantively change the import of an existing law, which is also being done.

In drug cases, you may remember the brouhaha in South Carolina a few years ago, where obstetricians were required to report suspected drug use in their pregnant patients, who were then thrown in jail. Aside from effectively discouraging troubled women from seeking pre-natal care, the problem with breaching doctor/patient confidentiality, even for a good cause, is that after that, it just becomes a matter of how much bureaucratic regulators decide they need to know.

The only knot I can't unravel is why people who can see Death Panels coming from miles away, and a huge, massively intrusive, Federal bureaucracy in every clause of the healthcare bill, casually dismiss such possibilities in this one instance. My own alarm is pretty consistent across the board; why others here don't seem to share it in the slightest is a mystery to me.

Pofarmer

why others here don't seem to share it in the slightest is a mystery to me.

Probably, because we feel that the right "Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness" as enshrined in the constitution, and the protection thereof, is one of the actual, defensible reasons for govt. And, most, I think, would be happy to return the issue of abortion, along with a plethura of others to the states, where it could be decided more in accordance with the wishes of the citizens of those areas. It's the opposite of big govt, it's returning govt to the people.

JM Hanes

We're just not talking about the same issue Pofarmer.

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