98 comments

  1. Painterman says:

    It’s a sad day when America can’t stand to do what it takes to win. That isn’t what made this country great and we will stop being great very soon if this mind set continues. If we leave Iraq, the trouble doesn’t stay there, it follows us home quicker and stronger that what we saw on 911. America, re-grow a pair and suck it up and show what your made of! Stand tall and frim, we can and are winning, you just can’t tell by the Democrats and Media reports.

  2. rugby_fan says:

    Painterman; there are no good options in Iraq, I hate to tell you this. Our mission and our achievable goals and all benchmarks of victory have been met.

    Congressman Price whining about partisanship? Let’s see, because Price has an excellent record of bipartisan appeal.

    Price is as worthless as the rest of the Georgia delegation.

  3. LoyaltyIsMyHonor says:

    Yeah painterman, because beating up on 3rd world countries that pose no immediate risk to us, then shouting down those who have grown tired of this war is what made this country great.

  4. IndyInjun says:

    OK, so we are supposed to believe that Price will introduce a bill not only reinstating the draft, but making it universal? And he will vote to repeal all of the tax cuts to PAY for it.

    Price runs from MANNING IT and PAYING FOR IT.

    Yeah, that’s one of our ‘courgageous’ GOP congressmen!

  5. Jason Pye says:

    John,

    Despite the fact that I don’t agree with Price, you show me where he has said people that disagree with him are guilty of treason.

  6. Skeptical says:

    He’s “disappointed” at Democrats? Well la di freakin’ da! “Disappointed” doesn’t even come close to how we feel about him. Disgusted is a good place to start. The people of your district didn’t send you to DC to whine about what it’s like having the shoe on the other foot (i.e. now that you are on the minority team). Surely, you never participated in any types of partisan events in the past few years…oh no…not you…

    Do us all a favor and STFU! Or grow a pair and quit whining!

    “Disappointed?” He can bite my disappointed ass.

  7. shrike071 says:

    Painterman – thanks for barfing out the stale RNC talking points regarding the terrorists ‘following us home’. Instead of telling everyone to ‘grow a pair’, why don’t you grow a brain and think for yourself?

    Here – some light reading swiped from thinkprogress.org

    Report: Terrorists Following U.S. Home After Iraq Withdrawal Is

  8. 1) Defining “Supporting our Troops.”
    Gen. William Odom

    http://www.niemanwatchdog.org/ index.cfm? fuseaction=background.view&backgroundid=00192

    2) How much political capital would Price risk “supporting our troops?”

    3) Jason, the war is not the only issue you are wrong on. What is your “insurance salesman” take on unbridled, free market healthcare for the 911 rescue volunteers in the movie “Sicko?”

  9. John Konop says:

    Jason

    You can go the comment stream on my site and there is a link and nobody disputed the comment. And if I was wrong about the statement I am sure Bart Brannan (GOP VC and big Price supporter) would have commented on how it was not there.

    And if you go to Tom Price

  10. Jason Pye says:

    Vic,

    Sicko is full of errors, lies and half truths. Cuba and Canada’s systems are so bad that it has taken to rationing of healthcare.

    Also, your smartass remark about unbridled healthcare is far off the mark. We do not have an unbridled market for insurance in the United States. The market is constantly repressed and limited by excessive government intervention.

  11. JRM2016 says:

    I noted the poll cited by Jason shows 55% of respondents agree that we should wait for General Petraeus to deliver his report in September before discussing a change in Iraq strategy/policy.

    But for me the only thing that matters here is that we are finally beginning to get the upper hand and now everybody wants to throw up their hands.

    And I am not impressed that McClatchy newspapers interviewed a bunch of inside the Beltway types who don’t think leaving Iraq will lead to an increase in domestic terrorism.

  12. rugby_fan says:

    Right, I know, I commented heavily on that thread.

    When has Erick said “I believe Price is spot on” or “I agree with Price”?

  13. John Konop says:

    rugby_fan

    As I said if Erick does not agree with one of his “favorite Congressman “Tom Price on his statements about Iraq I will apologize.

    Yet with this comment Erick made I would be shocked

  14. Jmac says:

    I’ve tried to follow this, but John’s writing a lot. Jason, what do you want him to ‘prove’ … I’m just trying to re-read some things and make sure I’m following this right.

    Also, the problem with Sicko isn’t so much that there are ‘lies’ in there – the numbers are factual – it’s that Moore uses them out-of-context and cherry-picks to present his case.

    I don’t necessarily disagree with his overall argument (well, aside from the fact that he thinks oppressive communist regimes offer better health care … that’s stupid), it’s just that he presents things in a ridiculous and irresponsible way. He’s more concerned with his image rather than the issue.

  15. Jason Pye says:

    John claims that Tom Price has said that anyone that disagrees with him on Iraq is a traitor. I want him to show me where Tom Price said that.

    Moore is off on numbers. He claims there are 50 million uninsured. The number is several million lower and he fails to take several factors into consideration, which as you said is cherrypicking. He also claims that healthcare in Canada, England and Cuba is free. That is absolutely false. Of course it’s not free, they pay for it in their taxes.

    We need to have a discussion on healthcare, but it needs to be an honest discussion.

  16. John Konop says:

    Jason

    If you want to be honest we do have socialized health care. Go to Grady hospital or any County hospital emergency room and you well see what tax payers are paying for.

    The problem is you cannot have a system in which health care is paid by tax payers and people who pay for health insurance while others can get it free by choice.

    One of many solution needed is mandatory pay system like car insurance for people who are working. Unless we are willing to let people die on the streets we cannot reward people for not paying.

    Also we should let people buy into the system lawmakers get. And the average co-pay and employee contribution she paid for by lawmakers to understand what we deal with!

    Once they feel the pain of dealing with this broken system you would than start seeing solutions.

  17. Jason Pye says:

    One of many solution needed is mandatory pay system like car insurance for people who are working.

    The Massachusetts plan is a joke, as is the plan pushed by Judson Hill. They require an individual mandate that is far too intrusive. It only increases the role that government plays when government is the problem in the first place.

    What we should be doing is offering a dollar for dollar tax break to individuals to buy their own policies as well as making HSAs more accessible.

    And Tom Price never accused anyone of treason.

  18. Doug Deal says:

    Jason,

    Unfortunately it is not currently March 2003. You cannot just say “ooops we shouldn’t have done it, lets just pull out tomorrow.”

    That’s the way teenagers handle their problems.

    I think this war should have never happened, and I also think that Bush and his people mis-sold the war, and set America on a course that could only result in war.

    However, this does not mean we should drop everything and leave. That is irresponsible. Doing what is right means not leaving Iraq in complete disarray.

    Someone who overspends his income and runs up $20,000 in credit card debt certainly wishes that he never did that, but he still has to deal with it. Iraq is our $20,000 debt, and we will be making minimum monthly payments for a while.

    Our President is a bungling boob, but the Democrats in Congress somehow always find a way to be worse.

  19. Jason Pye says:

    Unless you let people die on the streets what is your solution?

    There is that populist bullshit that you have become famous for.

    As I’ve already stated, we need dollar for dollar tax breaks to individuals to buy their own policies as well as making HSAs more accessible.

    Also you do know if people do not get treated it can de health hazard for everyone which is one of the reasons doctors take the oath to treat people.

    You do know that if a person walks in an emergency room that a doctor has a treat them.

    What would you call

  20. Roadkill says:

    Anyone should see there is no “victory” possible in Iraq – never was. OTOH, a military stand-down of the scale it will take to get us out of that place safely will be a complicated and lengthy operation if done properly. For that reason alone, I disagree with mandating a definite time to be out. I say give the military marching orders now to cease combat operation except as necessary to withdraw, then get us out as safely as possible. But I say again, no matter what we do or how long we stay, we are not going to arrive at a happy end to Bush’s boondoggle.

  21. Doug Deal says:

    Jason,

    On the health care front, you are right. People need to buy their own policies. Our tax code is why health insurance is tied to your workplace. Every dollar spent on healthcare needs to be deductable.

    If you owned a business, and your building needed repairs, you could deduct that from your profit as an expense. Health is required for a human to work, so it should be deductible. That includes insurance.

    If policies were tied to the individual, then losing your job would not cause an automatic loss of coverage (unless you pay COBRA rates with after tax money).

  22. Jason Pye says:

    That is exactly my point, Doug. And around half of the uninsured are individuals that are between jobs that would ordinarily have health insurance coverage.

  23. Doug Deal says:

    Jason,

    You are right. But we need to start setting a plan to get out of Iraq and the longer we go without a plan or the longer we have a President that refuses to set a plan

  24. IndyInjun says:

    Doug Deal –

    The debt is still being run up at a blistering pace.

    OUR troops are being maimed and killed when Iraqi’s, who we are spending $10’s of BILLIONS to train, don’t even show up.

    This fiasco is getting brave folks killed for Bush’s ego.

    It will take more than a year to get out even by starting now.

    Oh well, it was going to take the death of one of the parties in order for the independents to seize control. I am sad that it is the party I supported all these years, but SO BE IT.

    At one point, Bush could be blamed for killing the GOP, but at this point it is the GOP House.

    Folks I talk to who WERE loyal Bushies now are for getting out NOW.

  25. IndyInjun says:

    Yes, Doug, we are headed for another nauseating choice as in 2004 between Kerry and Bush.

    If there is one salient reason for supporting Ron Paul, it is that they are ramming more charlatans down our throats.

  26. Doug Deal says:

    I never liked Bush or his father, but the Democrats always seem to want to out incompetent-ize and out crazy him, so I find myself defending him on many occasions.

    If the Dems would act sane and rational for a couple of years, and field candidates that are not constantly at war with me, my values, and my wallet, I may give them a second look.

    Instead, they seem more interested in “pissing off” who they perceive are Republicans than offering alternatives.

  27. John Konop says:

    Jason

    Do you think the health insurance issue is people between jobs? As I said got to the emergency and you will see working poor and illegal immigrants.

    Also around 10% our young people in the higher wage group who claim they are taking the risk. But they know if something goes wrong tax payers will pick up the cost!

  28. Jason Pye says:

    Do you think the health insurance issue is people between jobs?

    Around half of the uninsured are people in between jobs. If these people were allowed to have dollar for dollar credits to buy their own policies, they could keep them in between jobs.

    I took the risk when I was younger. I got sick. I was out of work for three weeks. I paid my bills.

  29. Doug Deal says:

    Jason,

    There was also a time when you could go to the doctor and pay $25 for the visit. When I was young, my mother had 0 health insurance, but we still went to the family doctor when we needed it. It was in the 80’s, but she paid $20-$25 per visit, and that covered everything, it was not a co-pay. Today, try getting out under $150 for a GP.

    What has improved in 20 years that the price has gone up by more than a factor of 6, when inflation would have only about doubled?

  30. John Konop says:

    Jason

    You got lucky if the bill was 6 figures you would of statistically filled bankruptcy. Over 50% of all bankruptcies are healthcare related.

    As I said unless our Country is willing to let people die you have to have people pay.

    Also the real number on uninsured we are paying for could be closer to 70 or 80 million depending on how many illegal immigrants are in our country.

  31. Jason Pye says:

    I didn’t get lucky. It was mono. It wasn’t life threatening.

    Also the real number on uninsured we are paying for could be closer to 70 or 80 million depending on how many illegal immigrants are in our country.

    How in the hell do you double the number? That has no basis in fact at all.

    It’s not an epidemic, John. There are fixes available that do not require government intervention. Populist drivel does little to address the issue.

  32. Joshua Patterson says:

    John,
    From something I read yesterday:
    “Oops, they counted non-citizens. So, what do I mean about 45 million not being 45 million? Well, the number originally came from the Census Bureau’s 2005 Current Population Survey (CPS) Annual Social and Economic Supplement (ASEC), which was corrected last year to 44.8 million people without health insurance. If you read the report, however, you’ll find that 9.2 million of the uninsured are not citizens of the United States.”

    http://junkyardblog.net/archives/2007/07/q-when-is-45-mi.php

  33. Joshua Patterson says:

    What has improved in 20 years that the price has gone up by more than a factor of 6, when inflation would have only about doubled?
    Medical malpractice insurance. More government regulation.

  34. Jmac says:

    We’re really bouncing around here …

    Jason, I think to explain John’s point, he was lumping in the fact that a large number of illegal immigrants seek medical care at our hospitals and they lack coverage, yet still live in our borders. It’s a true fact, and is an essential point in this conversation, but not necessarily related to the topic at hand.

    The primary concern I would have with dollar-for-dollar credits is that you still wouldn’t insure full coverage because the insurance companies would show discretion in who they selected. It isn’t as if because we have a new group of folks who have some additional disposable income that they all of sudden get insurance.

    Plus, for low-income citizens who make up the bulk of the uninsured, they often pay little to no income tax, which means this system of deductions and/or credits may not offer much of a difference for them.

  35. Jason Pye says:

    This is from Larry Elder’s column today:

    Over 14 million of the uninsured, according to the Census Bureau, live in households earning $50,000 or more annually. Over 7 million are in households earning more than $75,000 a year.

    So almost half are only temporarily uninsured and somewhere around 14 million are already eligible for Medicaid.

  36. Jason Pye says:

    Plus, for low-income citizens who make up the bulk of the uninsured, they often pay little to no income tax, which means this system of deductions and/or credits may not offer much of a difference for them.

    Ever heard of the earned income tax credit?

    It isn

  37. Jason Pye says:

    By the way, I’m not saying that we should redistribute income, I’m simply pointing out that many who don’t not pay taxes still get a “refund” due to different tax credits that are available to them.

  38. TPSoCal says:

    I am fairly new to this site, and I realize y’all already know each other. I am trying to understand the cast of characters on this thread. So, I am going to guess some of the related parties politics. Please let me know if I am in error.

    Jason – traditional conservative Republican
    John – Libertarian???
    Indy- Paleo-con
    Doug – Libertarian leaning Republican

    I am just trying to figure out the sides of the arguments.

  39. Jason Pye says:

    Jason – member of and former chairman of the Libertarian Party of Georgia

    I’m a capitalist and I believe in personal liberty (I’m no social conservative).

  40. TPSoCal says:

    Oops, sorry. The Libertarian party is my second favorite party. I usually try to decide between the GOP & Libertarian.

    So, what do you think the future of the fragile GOP / Libertarian alliance holds? Do you think it can be salvaged after 43 leaves office and takes his drunken sailor ways back to Texas?

  41. TPSoCal says:

    My only disagreement with Libertarians is the drug legalization position. For personal reasons I am very against drug leagalization. I am pretty much with you on other issues.

  42. Jason Pye says:

    My only disagreement with Libertarians is the drug legalization position. For personal reasons I am very against drug leagalization. I am pretty much with you on other issues.

    I agree with it, but I wish we’d shut up about it.

  43. Jmac says:

    OK, I disagree with your assessment Jason, but that’s to be expected since I’m not a libertarian. Can you clear this up for me though? Are these two statements supposed to be connected?

    No one ever said they

  44. Jmac says:

    Regarding the EITC, I’m a big fan of it. However, wouldn’t your proposal of a dollar-for-dollar credit ultimately mean you’re subsidizing health care for low-income citizens? Or would you recommend it hit a cap where they wouldn’t receive any additional money over their taxable amount?

  45. Doug Deal says:

    TPSoCal

    I think small “l” libertarian best describes me. I have never voted for a Democrat in my life, and I refuse to ever cast a vote for them while they choose to cause and enflame racial problems, participate in class warfare and have the collection of crazy they have leading their party. The big “L” Libertarians are hop heads who seem to only care about legalizing drugs and whacky scemes that can only work in theory. In short, the L stands for loony.

    I used to be a gung ho Republican when I thought they supported the small government and low taxes vision articulated by Reagan, but when the Bushies came to town, it became clear that was a load of malarky. I still cheer for them in elections, because the alternative is frightening.

  46. John Konop says:

    Joshua Patterson

    Thanks for the information. I think if you add 10 milliom more illegal immigrants and add up border immigrants that use our system that number is still between 60 to 70 million.

    But hey it is tough with no real border control to get a real number.

    One thing we all know the Grady Hospital problem is the trend!

  47. Jason Pye says:

    John,

    Those numbers have absolutely no factual basis. You are simply pulling them out of your ass.

    You are becoming more and more of a collectivist, John. Mix that in with your nationalism and xenophobia and you have a very dangerous and harmful combination.

  48. IndyInjun says:

    Paleo, eh? Well I am to the right of Pat Buchanan, who would have made a great POTUS IMHO.

    I am not a social conservative at all though, unlike Buchanan. I am a very staunch fiscal conservative and an America First guy.

    I do not consider one term of Dem rule more dangerous than keeping these crooked GOP incumbent jackasses in office.

    We have to ruthlessly throw all of their lying worthless carcasses out of office – especially Chambliss.

  49. Bill Simon says:

    Jason,

    You quoted this from Larry Elders: “Over 14 million of the uninsured, according to the Census Bureau, live in households earning $50,000 or more annually. Over 7 million are in households earning more than $75,000 a year.”

    What happens when ANY of these folks go to the emergency room? They get treated FOR FREE at our expense.

    You slam Judson Hill about his efforts to require people with income levels like what Elders quoted to buy catastrophic insurance policies (whereby they would be covered if the expense went above $5000, but they would be required to pay up to the $5000 out-of-pocket).

    What do you want, Jason? Do you want to KEEP paying for these uninsureds’ FREE medical bills?

    If so, you’re NOT much of a Libertarian.

  50. Jason Pye says:

    No, Bill, I want them to have true access to healthcare as I’ve already explained. But since you didn’t go over it, I’ll explain it again.

    – Establish the ability for private collectives to buy group insurance, the same as employers…this would also allow for the coverage of pre-existing conditions.

    – Allow greater accessibility to Heath Savings Accounts.

    – A dollar for dollar tax credit for individuals to purchase health insurance, the same as employers.

    Judson Hill’s bill requires individuals to prove they have health insurance. If an individual fails to do so, they are subject to an attachment of wages (garnishment). That is big government, Bill. Read the legislation.

    I want the government to start getting out of the insurance industry. The reason healthcare costs are going up is because of constant government mandates and intervention.

    And in reality, those people could afford health insurance as Elder also notes in his column, “These people could afford health care insurance, either out-of-pocket or by making minor adjustments to their lifestyles.”

  51. John Konop says:

    Jason

    The number of 9.2 million illegal immigrants is a low number. Even when I debated the topic with Senator Sam he never disputed the 20 to 30 million number estimates. Also as someone who has lived in two border States it is common knowledge that many immigrants come over the border use healthcare paid by taxpayers and go home. In fact the Mexican government promotes the idea.

    I challenge anyone on this blog to tell if they think the number of illegal immigrants is closer to 10 million or 30 million?

  52. Jmac says:

    I think those are all interesting ideas Jason, but let me quibble with one thing before going any further …

    The reason healthcare costs are going up is because of constant government mandates and intervention.

    Earlier it was because of medical malpractice and now it’s because of government? There are a variety of reasons why health care costs are rising, but I’m not ready to lay blame on government intervention. By contrast, our government’s foray’s into these ventures have proven to actually be very efficient and feature significantly lower administrative costs than private coverage.

    We have a looming deficit because of, well, a looming large population of retirees, reckless spending elsewhere in government and little to no reform over the past 25 years. With the proper work, we can make significant progress in reducing or eliminating said deficit.

    Health care costs are rising for a number of reason, the large number of uninsured seeking non-preventive care being one of them, but it seems shortsighted to fall back on the government intervention argument.

    I’m not a fan of the mandated coverage notion (within the current framework of system of health care) because, ultimately, I think the larger problem is the cost of health care and the ability for individuals to get adequate coverage.

    And the latter is why I’m still skeptical about how effective your proposal is Jason. I appreciate you referencing the ability of private collectives to buy group insurance (which is something we’ve called for in our anti-poverty plan here in Athens-Clarke County), but this still often results in mixed results.

    I’ve had several friends and family members who have a spouse covered through the employer’s health care plan, but they face higher rates or reduced benefits because of a pre-existing condition. Granted, I understand this is how the system works, but I think it’s also time we acknowledge that if this is how it works, something doesn’t seem terribly fair about it.

    It’s just hard for me to believe there isn’t both a compassionate and economical solution out there.

  53. Bill Simon says:

    Jason,

    Sooooo…on the one hand you speak about “getting government out of the medical insurance” business…but, on the other, you state you want insurance companies to cover pre-existing conditions.

    The only way that will happen is that a law gets passed REQUIRING insurance companies to cover pre-existing conditions.

    And, if that law gets passed, all of the actuarial models that have been calculated and refined for non-pre-existing conditions will be adjusted to reflect many new risk factors, with the result being beaucoup higher premiums for everyone.

    Every idea you have requires a government intervention that will affect many more people than the uninsured. I’m sticking with the logic of Judson Hill’s proposal to require the smaller percentage of the population (7-14 million people) to get their own damn insurance coverage than having your guvment require pre-existing conditions be accepted.

  54. IndyInjun says:

    Victor –

    Those sale proceeds are simply STUNNING.

    Thanks for yet another confirmation that these are the times of the later day robber barons.

  55. John Konop says:

    rugby_fan

    What I find must telling is if the post was done a few years ago the pro Bush strategy supporters which Tom Price still supports would have been all over defending him. Now it looks like many in their hearts know this strategy is not working. Or they know they have a week argument with talking points.

    The problem is the democrats are void of solutions as well.

    The voices of reason on the debate from both sides get drowned out by talking point arguments that do not deal with the issue.

    The debate of a

  56. Doug Deal says:

    Jason,

    Thinking about it over lunch, I think I may support a program where insurance companies can offer insurance based on ZIP code. This group policy would cover pre-existing conditions like a group health plan would after a probationary period, but would be underwritten for an entire ZIP code.

    Of course this would have to have all of the tax benefits that an employer would receive (full deductibility). Due to the size of the covered group, it would probably be cheaper per person than what a small company would have to pay.

    The fact that it is geographical, insurance companies could then encourage local wellness plans, which would drop the rates of local insurance premiums. Basically it would give incentives to people to make their communities healthier.

  57. Doug Deal says:

    It wouldn’t matter where the company is, but you have to define a group in some way, or you would be underwritting an individual, and the prices would be higher.

    If you simply grouped the people in a ZIP code together, and took their stats as far as average cancer rates, heart attacks, accidents, illness, etc, the company could spread the risk over a large group of people.

    Multiple companys can have compete for this region and offer varying services to the area as a whole.

    Basically, it would work the same way as current insurance group policies work, but the basis would be on your georgraphical location instead of where you worked.

    Instead of offer health inurance, companies could then just pay you more or offer some form of voucher. You would then pay for health insurance as a consumer and pick your own plan, with no input from your employer. Unemployed and disabled people could then buy insurance under the same terms. (And vouchers could be given to the poor, if the government chooses to do that).

  58. Jmac says:

    Jason, my comment regarding medical malpractice was connected to the general conservative support for tort reform and wasn’t intended to be directed to any specific argument you had made. I should have clarified.

    I am aware that both Medicare and Medicaid face high deficits, but I would also argue that this has more to do with, again, the rising costs of the health care and the lack of adequate and much-needed reform over the past 25 years or so. The system has been static and not fluid, which has largely contributed to the deficits.

    Now, I won’t disagree with you that there is a lot of paperwork and red tape to sift through and that these types of costs play some role in the rising costs of health care. However, I also think that Richardson was focusing more on high administrative costs (one minor example would be the cost of paying for writing pads to write down prescriptions rather than relying on digital technology) rather than any sort of government complications.

    And, again, where there is unnecessary government complications then we should reform that. However, I’m not going to throw the baby out with the bath water on this thing here.

    I understand the realities of higher costs for pre-existing conditions, but it’s also hard to argue that, quite frankly, that doesn’t seem terribly fair … which is why so many folks call for some sort of governmental intervention so we don’t have companies which rely on the health care system for a profit determing what’s fair and what’s not fair.

    All of that said, Doug your idea isn’t a terrible one.

  59. oops, Jason is AEG your company?

    Aegon

    http://finance.yahoo.com/q/sec?s=AEG

    Oops again, they are based in the Netherlands, therefore they are not held to the same transparency and disclosure standards as U.S. Insurance Companies.

    So, with no information, all one can do is guess about the Insider Transactions and wonder how much Georgia Insurance Premium Money is going to shore up Polish Pension Funds.

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