Baseball Crank
Covering the Front and Back Pages of the Newspaper
August 20, 2009
POLITICS: There's No Such Thing As A Death Panel. There's No Such Thing As A Death Panel. There's No Such Thing As A Death Panel.

From last year:


Brian Faughnan has more on the Oregon case; Nat Hentoff has more on the current debate.

Posted by Baseball Crank at 9:31 AM | Politics 2009 | Comments (23) | TrackBack (0)

Can't wait to see the responses to this. Again I will restate what I said in my last post-there is a mountain of worldwide evidence spanning decades showing what will, repeat, will happen with govt. control of health care and the lefties will never ever acknowledge any of it. They love accusing everyione of being fundamentaists and religious zealots-which is ironic in that their entire political viewpoint is a belief system that has been disproved by history and economics.

Posted by: dch at August 20, 2009 10:48 AM

"their entire political viewpoint is a belief system that has been disproved by history and economics."

That's right dch. And you only have to look back the last 30 years to see that Conservative ideology has been disproved by history and economics.
Ronald Regan's S&L crisis, W's deregulation ploy which brought the world too the brink of financial collapse a whole year ago (so you might not be old enough to remember it).
It's all over. Conservative ideology is a failure. It's been proven EVERY time it's been tried. Corporation's can not police themselves. The spoils are too much for them to act in the best interest of anybody but themselves.

Admit it, dch. You're really not this stupid, you just like to make believe you are on the internet.

Posted by: Berto at August 20, 2009 11:54 AM

As for Crank's point about Death panels are currently made up of insurance company actuaries.

Hearing insurance companies and their mouthpieces like you spout about death panels and rationing of healthcare is like hearing record companies spout about how those who download music on the internet are exploiting the artists.
In other words, "hey, that's our job".

Posted by: Berto at August 20, 2009 11:57 AM

Reagan's S and L crisis-the federal govt involved in the backing of private banking institutions is a failure of conservative principles.-okkayy. BTW-what were the Dems in congress house doing during all those years?
Bush's deregulation????- Community reinvestment Act passed under Carter by a Dem controlled congress, turbo charged under Clinton by HUD Secretary Cuomo, lets see Fannie and Freddie Mac was the federal govt getting massively involved with backing mortgages-thats a conservbative policy, right? The Bush Admin, Congressional republicans, hell even the Clinton admin in its last year or so warning congressional Dems about how big and risky the govt exposure was (you can easily find the hearings on you tube) and the Dems refusing to do anything about it-yeah-that's a failure of conservative policies and George Bush.

Still waiting for you, or anyone on the left, to address the combined 57 trillion (and growing by the second) projected deficits for SS, Medicaid and all the other great entitlement programs and to lay out the exact logic for creating yet another massive social entitlement.

The simple answer is that any sane person would realize there is no logical reason at all for 1) immediately creating a new entitlement program and 2) not immediately enacting reforms and cuts to all of the other programs that are going to sink this country.

Posted by: dch at August 20, 2009 12:40 PM

This story is sadly wrong. Emotional, lacks number of facts. Good column in Oregon paper on this event in 2008. Sadly, Wagner died shortly after taking drugs. That said, this is still a good argument. What do we do for people to extend life?

Posted by: Raymond J Stahl at August 20, 2009 2:17 PM

For starters, it was de-regulation of the financial markets which led to the near collapse of the world's financial markets, and no re-writing of history blaming it on the Community Reinvestment Act will change that.
"The Federal Reserve and the FDIC holds that empirical research has not validated any relationship between the CRA and the 2008 financial crisis."
Also, "approximately 50% of the subprime loans were made by independent mortgage companies that were not regulated by the CRA, and another 25% to 30% came from only partially CRA regulated bank subsidiaries and affiliates."

Please read this slowly and think about it.
The opposite of "Conservative" is not "Democrat".
I've been saying since I started posting here, first we put the GOP out of our misery, and then we turn to the Democrats and say, "you're next".

Also, the answer is VERY simple. Conservatives don't care one iota about costs of these programs. Just like they don't care one iota about the costs of war. They only care that the poor and minorities might get a leg up in life, and that is something they are deathly afraid of. Libraries can be built with psychology books to help explain why that is.

Posted by: Berto at August 20, 2009 2:19 PM

How is this different than an insurance company denying the coverage? They do it all the time.

Posted by: jim at August 20, 2009 2:33 PM

It is not like the insurance company would do anything remotely close to this. They have never canceled insurance or denied coverage before. But then again why let facts get in the way.

Posted by: javaman at August 20, 2009 2:37 PM

You are not required, by law, under threat of a fine to have insurance now-you would be under govt. controlled health care.

You can appeal insurance company decisions either before an arbitrator or in court-you are specifically prevented from doing that in this bill.

You can sue insurance companies, you can't sue the government.

If you don't like your insurance you can get rid off it or shop somewhere else-you can't do that when the government is the only show in town.

Do you see any problems with the federal government having real time access to your banking accounts for EFTs?

Do you see any problems with the federal government having access to your medical records?

Do you remember what happened to frigging Joe the plumber when he voiced an opinion that was different than the media/democratic party line-all his government held records were released.

Do you remember that poltical opponents of Obumbler had their sealed divorce records released?

And again- a 57 trillion dollar projected shortfall for SS, Medicare and other entitlements, 2 trillion dollar annual budget deficits, the national debt, etc-so how can anyone be thinking of adding another massive govt program?

Posted by: dch at August 20, 2009 3:10 PM

Read the freakin bill that is in committee, please!!!
Do you see any problems with the federal government having real time access to your banking accounts for EFTs? The government already has realtime access to your accounts. Once again letting fact and reality get in the way of your views does not make them right.

Posted by: javaman at August 20, 2009 3:37 PM

I'm not trying to be contentious about this. I have a few honest questions:

1) In this case, clearly this woman does not have her own insurance. Looks like affording her own private insurance is not, perhaps, an option. Looks like she is old enough to be on Medicare (what do they have to say?). If she wasn't on the Oregon Health Plan she apparently would not have insurance so this drug would not be an option, right? An insurance company could likely decide the same thing, right?

2) What do we do for people who lose their jobs and, thus, their health insurance? Tough shit as it is right now? What if they move to another job and they can't get covered due to pre-existing conditions? This seems to be more and more of an issue as so many people in the last year have lost health insurance covered jobs. Should these people just lose their coverage and be stuck? I realize there is COBRA but it only lasts 18 months max and the person fired has to pay for it which might not be an option.

3) Despite an earlier comment about bankruptcy and paying for insurance being essentially bogus I have known people who went through that when their insurance maxxed out or declined further coverage. They weren't living over their heads and they blew everything they had on extending care. So, tough crap for people like that too?

Posted by: jim at August 20, 2009 3:45 PM

hey javaman I keep asking people such as yourself here and everywhere what is the logic of a vast new entitlement program in light of the near/over 70 trillion dollars in current and projected deficts and I get-not surprisingly- no response at all.

I ask you people to point out entitlement programs that have actually delivered what they promised to do at the costs we were told they would cost and I get-not surprisingly-no response.

Why don't you take a look at what was promised with Medicare 40 years ago and what happened? Why don't you take a look at the 40 plus year "War on Poverty" and the friggin enormous sums of money being spent by the fed, state and local govts every month and look at the results-they don't work. They create dependency and a permanent underclass. Finally, why do people such as yourself refuse to acknowledge any of the problems in the systems you hold up as things we should emulate-canada, britain, etc.

Posted by: dch at August 20, 2009 4:15 PM

I think that anyone who's being reasonable knows that any health insurance system, public or private, has to make decisions about what treatments are cost effective enough to cover. Obama and his allies are dishonest about the fact that a public option would inevitably have to do that. Republicans are dishonest about the fact that private insurance already does it every day.

Posted by: Jerry at August 20, 2009 7:11 PM

"light of the near/over 70 trillion dollars "
Wow, that number went up $13 trillion in just an hour. EVERYBODY PANIC! No one cares about this for a couple of reasons.

First reason, it's kind of garbage. The reason why these numbers are important is so that small changes can be made early so more drastic changes can be avoided at the last minute. Not so we can panic and use it as a reason to do nothing, ever. Second, it's over 75 years. At best, only the next decade matters for real impact. The longer horizon only matters for making adjustments.
Third, the baby boomers start hitting up Medicare hard between 2020 and 2060. Aside from rugged Republican individuals who will swear off government socialism - both of them. These are the only years to bother caring about making changes for.

Social security? Remove the FICA cap (or shove it up), walk up to age 70 for those over age, say, 50. 1 month a year for the next 3 years. Know what I just did? Made it positive for decades, come back in a few years to see if we need to go to 73.
Medicare? Do the same, add in a finances check, audit 20% of claims, electronic billing and records, up the HI rate (first program that is a worry), move more people to pick up MediGap and away from picking up the first dollar. Hey, more solvency.

Small rational changes for these programs make sense and little more than that is needed now. Therefore, there's no way they will be done.

"government held records were released'
This happens all the time. Obama's passport records were searched, I believe by someone in State (not sure). This is why we need tighter privacy laws and more access to what the government knows about us - but there's another reason we won't get them.
And you can sue the government. And you can actually appeal in this bill, you've fallen for a lie.
Another one when dealing with financial privacy - the point of service would be the doctor. You see, Section 163 deals with standards - not data collection.

Rational appeals work. These things do not.

Posted by: Dave at August 20, 2009 10:41 PM

"1 month a year for the next 3 years." - blech, 1 month a month.

For the post - Just so everyone knows, she was 64 (a bit short of Medicare), a lifelong smoker, had undergone 2+ years of chemo and other surgeries under the plan, and had comfort benefits outside of this. And willingly chose the public plan, despite knowing that it had limits different from private plans. And, this drug would not have saved her - prolonged life only, which it ended up not doing outside of her prognosis.

Generally, futile care (there's that word again!) does not get coverage here - 5% chance of 5 year survival has been spelled out for a long time. They've been interviewing oncologists for input on how non-curative chemo for a couple of years. Past attempts have been blocked.

"If she wasn't on the Oregon Health Plan she apparently would not have insurance so this drug would not be an option, right? "
There's a fairly good chance this is accurate barring very high deductibles, that she would not have been able to afford a similar plan. Go to your health web site, chances are you may pay $1-2k because of how it is classified. Honestly though, does the story get that much better if instead of not covering the drug, 50% of the cost is covered?
The other option is that the 2 years of chemo and other treatment may have bankrupted her, hit yearly or lifetime limits - at which point Medicaid may have taken on some of it.

And one last thing - she deserves better than to be used as an unwilling pawn in this debate by either side. Not that any of the various links about this mention this part.

Posted by: Dave at August 21, 2009 12:34 AM


Here is a question for you. You say, "there is no logical reason at all for . . . 2) not immediately enacting reforms and cuts to all of the other programs that are going to sink this country."

Tell us precisely what you are going to cut to close the deficits that (here's a surprise) didn't seem to bother many on the right (Crank excepted) when W was President. $100 says your answer will be the tooth fairly for the right -- cut taxes and revenues will grow; all evidence to the contrary notwithstanding.

Posted by: Magrooder at August 21, 2009 4:21 PM

Oh Mac, stay calm. You are obviously letting dch get you all wee weed up.

Posted by: dave at August 21, 2009 9:19 PM

Just visted the site. Again fascinating 57 trillion and growing dollar projected deficit for Social Security,Mdicare etc and all of you are so dishonest you won't adress the issueBTW-projected deficit spening just went up more than 25% from 7 trillion to 9 trillion in the next decade under Obumblers policies -any snappy comments jerky??? Again massive defcitsand shortfalls loomong and you want add more spending??????????

What my answer-the federal government gets out of all these areas that they have no business getting into in the first place. According to Rasmussen a near majority of people under 50 want to be able to opt out of Social Security-let them. If a person wants to invest their money made from their labor for their retirement-let them. Means test Social security. Raise the age. Medicare spending only for the handicapped or people that are not able to pay. If you are retired and you have the means to pay- you pay. Backing of pension funds, which will be the next govt backed operation, require the funds to be adequately funded to whether whatever financial storm hits. Not the govt job to insure them.

Moving on the deficts under Bush went up after the dot com bubble burst/recession and 9/11 and then went down to about 1% of GDP in the last year you had a Republican President. I find it hysterical with trillions of dollars of Obamadebt that dwarf anything under Bush you want to go there. BTW-I as was million of other conservatives was not happy with the presciption drug benefit program or all the federal educaton spending, however, since both of those programs and their spending were things the Dems/left wanted are you going to argue against that spending.

Finally, all of the evidence shows that revenues grow when tax rates are cut. Either you know that and are lying or you are uninformed.

Posted by: dch at August 22, 2009 4:22 PM


How I wish your beloved GOP would run on those policies. Then you would have the proof so evident to those living in the real world without voices speaking to them through their teeth that Rasmussen is a hack group and the public overwhelmingly opposes those positions.

After all, if only Bush had been able to privitize social security. The way the stock market sky-rocketed under his Presidency we could all retire now with the $5 million in our retirement accounts. Of course, to have that amount we would have had to start with $50 million.

Finally, keep drinking the supply-side kool-aid. Remember how Clinton's tax changes passed without any GOP votes because "it would destroy the economy? Except it didn't; we ended up with a surplus, that Bush pissed away.

Posted by: Magrooder at August 22, 2009 5:53 PM

Republican rationing = Do absolutely nothing about the status quo by way of regulation and let the cartel of private insurance companies rescind, underwrite, or flat out deny coverage to 50 million Americans and raise premiums to cover all services no matter how effective. How fiscally conservative of all you birther liars.

Posted by: robert at August 23, 2009 9:03 PM

Hey DCH (Azz Wipe)

I like your contention that we all have the freedom to "shop around" for insurances now. Yeah, right! We are stuck with whatever our employer has. Getting insurance ala carte is very costly; most people can't and don't do it.

It is in the government's best interest to have healthy people. Every Industrialized Country (except the USA) must concur; as they have Socialized Medicine. Hmm, check the current quality of living and lifespan numbers -- our system is not working. It is in the best interests of the Insurance Companies to keep people sick.

You are a complete idiot, because you have no idea what is in your best interest or your grandchildren's best interest. Shame on you -- your God will surely send you to Gehenna for this...

Posted by: Satan at August 24, 2009 4:34 PM

"It is in the best interests of the Insurance Companies to keep people sick."

Who's the complete idiot here? Here's the simple insurance company profit model: premiums - payments = profits

Sick people cost insurance companies money. Healthy people provide almost pure profit. It is absolutely in insurance companies' best interests to keep people whom they are obliged to cover healthy. That's why they typically cover things like physicals and other preventative health care measures and press you like crazy to go and do them. My insurance company pleads with me to get all kinds of health screenings, because they know they'll make the most money if I either don't get sick or my illnesses get detected early (when the cost of treatment is lowest).

Posted by: Joel in Seattle at August 25, 2009 9:40 PM

Not fair. If Bush has privatized social security, there would have been billions of dollars in transaction/ transfer costs. Would Crank and the boys be screaming about government costs then? Not a chance, because it would have been more than offset by corporate profits.
Corporations yell "jump" and conservatives ask "how high?"
The grand humor is that voting conservatives think they'll be invited to the parade to share in the profits. In reality they are being invited to the parade only to wear clown suits and follow the horses with shovels.

Posted by: Berto at August 26, 2009 10:43 AM
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