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  1. Standard member sh76
    Civis Americanus Sum
    14 Sep '11 15:48 / 1 edit
    http://www.cbsnews.com/8301-503544_162-20106028-503544.html

    Republican Bob Turner's upset victory Tuesday in the special election for the heavily-Democratic congressional seat in New York's ninth congressional district is a referendum on President Obama's economic policies and his relations with Isreal, GOP leaders are saying.

    "We have been told this is a referendum," the former cable television executive said after defeating Democratic State Assemblyman David Weprin for the seat vacated by disgraced Democratic Rep. Anthony Weiner. "And we're ready to say, 'Mr. President, we are on the wrong track.'"

    On paper, the district looked like a shoo-in for Democrats: Mr. Obama's party holds a three-to-one registration advantage in the heavily-Jewish district, and Democrats have represented the district for more than eight decades. Mr. Obama won the district by 11 points in 2008. But a poll released just days ahead of the election showed that voters in the district are displeased with the current direction of the country.

    House Speaker John Boehner said in a statement Tuesday night that New York voters "delivered a strong warning to the Democrats who control the levers of power in our federal government. It's time to scrap the failed 'stimulus' agenda and the misguided policies on Israel and focus on getting America back to creating jobs again."


    Spin it how you like, the White House HAS to be concerned about this special election. The 8 point victory was, in some ways, a harsher rebuke even than Scott Brown (though obviously with less significance).

    Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee Chairman Steve Israel said in a statement that special elections are always difficult. "The results in NY-09 are not reflective of what will happen in November 2012 when Democratic challengers run against Republican incumbents who voted to end Medicare and cut Social Security while protecting tax loopholes for big corporations and the ultra wealthy," he said.




    Can anyone say D-E-S-P-E-R-A-T-E?

    BTW, when did Republicans vote to "end Medicare"?
  2. 14 Sep '11 16:00
    Originally posted by sh76
    http://www.cbsnews.com/8301-503544_162-20106028-503544.html

    [quote]Republican Bob Turner's upset victory Tuesday in the special election for the heavily-Democratic congressional seat in New York's ninth congressional district is a referendum on President Obama's economic policies and his relations with Isreal, GOP leaders are saying.

    "We have been told th ...[text shortened]... say D-E-S-P-E-R-A-T-E?

    BTW, when did Republicans vote to "end Medicare"?
    Isn't it really a statement that people did not like all the Weiner jokes?
  3. 14 Sep '11 16:06
    Originally posted by sh76
    http://www.cbsnews.com/8301-503544_162-20106028-503544.html

    [quote]Republican Bob Turner's upset victory Tuesday in the special election for the heavily-Democratic congressional seat in New York's ninth congressional district is a referendum on President Obama's economic policies and his relations with Isreal, GOP leaders are saying.

    "We have been told th ...[text shortened]... say D-E-S-P-E-R-A-T-E?

    BTW, when did Republicans vote to "end Medicare"?
    As usual, I think there are more factors than meet the eye.

    I think one main problem Obama has is that he has done NOTHING to get his base excited or even enthusiastic about voting. I wouldn't be surprised if simple voter turnout was an issue here.

    BTW, when did Republicans vote to "end Medicare"?

    The Ryan budget bill that republicans wanted that replaced medicare with a voucher program.
  4. 14 Sep '11 16:12
    Originally posted by sh76
    http://www.cbsnews.com/8301-503544_162-20106028-503544.html

    [quote]Republican Bob Turner's upset victory Tuesday in the special election for the heavily-Democratic congressional seat in New York's ninth congressional district is a referendum on President Obama's economic policies and his relations with Isreal, GOP leaders are saying.

    "We have been told th ...[text shortened]... say D-E-S-P-E-R-A-T-E?

    BTW, when did Republicans vote to "end Medicare"?
    The Ryan Plan, if passed, would have made MediCare voluntary, which would have destroyed it.
  5. 14 Sep '11 16:21
    Originally posted by Kunsoo
    The Ryan Plan, if passed, would have made MediCare voluntary, which would have destroyed it.
    If making Medicare destroys it, then people really do not want the program.
  6. Standard member sh76
    Civis Americanus Sum
    14 Sep '11 16:36 / 1 edit
    Originally posted by Kunsoo
    The Ryan Plan, if passed, would have made MediCare voluntary, which would have destroyed it.
    What quackquack said except insert the word "voluntary" after "Medicare."

  7. 14 Sep '11 16:41 / 1 edit
    Originally posted by quackquack
    If making Medicare destroys it, then people really do not want the program.
    It would only take a fraction of people leaving the program to kill it. So seventy percent want it, thirty percent walk - it's privatized.

    And hey, you can argue that it's good or bad. But it would destroy MediCare.
  8. Standard member sh76
    Civis Americanus Sum
    14 Sep '11 16:44
    Originally posted by Kunsoo
    It would only take a fraction of people leaving the program to kill it. So seventy percent want it, thirty percent walk - it's privatized.

    And hey, you can argue that it's good or bad. But it would destroy MediCare.
    Theoretically, why can the program not be re-worked to be voluntary?

    Remember the "public option" you supported during the healthcare debate (which, incidentally, I don't think is such a bad idea either)? Can that work?
  9. 14 Sep '11 16:50
    Originally posted by sh76
    Theoretically, why can the program not be re-worked to be voluntary?

    Remember the "public option" you supported during the healthcare debate (which, incidentally, I don't think is such a bad idea either)? Can that work?
    I personally don't think the main issue was that it is made voluntary, although that was an issue.

    From what I understand the Ryan plan would change Medicare to be a voucher program where the voucher would essentially be a flat value. The problem is then that as the cost of healthcare goes up, you get screwed and medicare becomes less and less effective and hence destroys it.

    The public option (no need for superfluous quotes really) would be a great addition since it essentially would be an insurance company that wouldn't have the overhead or profit motive that the private insurance companies have.

    Kunsoo can and likely will provide his own answer, but I guess I felt like sticking my two cents into the pot
  10. 14 Sep '11 17:01
    Originally posted by quackquack
    If making Medicare destroys it, then people really do not want the program.
    Yeah, how about making taxes voluntary? If people want the government to do anything then they will surely pay taxes.

    Hint: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Prisoner%27s_dilemma
  11. 14 Sep '11 18:18
    Originally posted by KazetNagorra
    Yeah, how about making taxes voluntary? If people want the government to do anything then they will surely pay taxes.

    Hint: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Prisoner%27s_dilemma
    Medicare could be run such that you had the option to either pay into to the program and get the benefits or not pay in and not get the benefits. If many people did not choose to pay in, it would tell me that people believed the costs outweighed the benefits.

    It is harder to opt out of benefits of the armed forced (or many other tax programs) but I do believe it could be used for certain governmental option such as healthcare, Social Security and Medicare
  12. 14 Sep '11 18:55
    Originally posted by sh76
    Theoretically, why can the program not be re-worked to be voluntary?

    Remember the "public option" you supported during the healthcare debate (which, incidentally, I don't think is such a bad idea either)? Can that work?
    Well if we would be willing to universalize (by age) Medicare so that younger healthier participants can join and make premium payments - as just an option - that would work great. Medicare as it exists is a much different animal, servicing the elderly who tend to be less healthy.

    So here the government sets aside money to allow seniors to purchase private plans. But they run them just like they run the current private plans, after they've enticed purchasers with lower initial fees, and either they jack up the rates so that people are paying nearly 70 percent of their medical costs (CBO estimate) rather than the 25 they are currently paying. So then, assuming they have the option, the sick ones opt back into the public system, and overload it. The healthy ones stick with the private plans, an keep paying premiums until they actually get sick.

    Private insurers don't have the negotiation power to keep costs down with physicians and other providers. There are benefits to the economies of scale offered by a universal plan. Plus, insurance companies can't keep their administrative costs down even now. Medicare pays over 90 cents to every dollar to actual health care providers. Insurance companies only about 70 to 80 percent. You have to pay dividends to share holders and you have to pay more for your CEOs. I mean, maybe you don't have to, but the markets aren't forcing anything different now. That's because insurance companies have nice pretty girls on television telling you they offer the lowest rates. And they do. That is, until you actually need anything from them.

    And even the premiums would go up as you age. The CBO said that in 2022 the average government payment for a 65 year old in Medicare would be $8,000. In each successive year, it would increase to reflect inflation and the enrollee’s age. Patients’ share would rise sharply. That's not even in dispute.
  13. 14 Sep '11 19:25
    Originally posted by Kunsoo
    Well if we would be willing to universalize (by age) Medicare so that younger healthier participants can join and make premium payments - as just an option - that would work great. Medicare as it exists is a much different animal, servicing the elderly who tend to be less healthy.

    So here the government sets aside money to allow seniors to purchase privat ...[text shortened]... and the enrollee’s age. Patients’ share would rise sharply. That's not even in dispute.
    (1) From a historical point of view he idea that the government can keep its administrative costs down is beyond laughable. The government rarely runs anything with the goal of efficiency; instead it rewards jurisdiction with building (even if it is not an effeicient use of resources) and rationalize wasteful expenses as "creating jobs". If the government was efficient we would not have to have raised the $14.3 trillion debt ceiling. At the very least, competition and different companies approach problems from different point of views is far more likely to come up with cost savings than to let the government maintain its monopoly power.

    (2) There is no reason to assume that governmental Medicare would be "better" than private coverage (if private coverage was better than people could opt out of the government's coverage and go privately when they were sick. If you are worried about switching, there is no reason why you could not have preexisting conditions limitations or limitations on switching.
  14. 14 Sep '11 21:13
    Originally posted by quackquack
    (1) From a historical point of view he idea that the government can keep its administrative costs down is beyond laughable. The government rarely runs anything with the goal of efficiency; instead it rewards jurisdiction with building (even if it is not an effeicient use of resources) and rationalize wasteful expenses as "creating jobs". If the govern ...[text shortened]... ason why you could not have preexisting conditions limitations or limitations on switching.
    Except that it has with regard to Medicare. Medicare is much more efficient than the insurance companies. Insurance companies do not operate like other private businesses. There is a premium in inefficiency on their part.

    Medicare is much more efficient, and must less top heavy than any private insurance counterparts. Do I really need to source that? It's not even a matter of dispute. It's why the insurance industry fought tooth and nail to prevent a public option.

    As to your second point, the alternative to allowing them to switch is to let them die. We already have death panels. It's called the insurance industry, and they let scores of people die daily who according to some consumer advocates believe should have been covered even in the industry's self-serving policies. They routinely deny coverage until challenged, then "correct" themselves for most of the few who challenge.

    So the people who made the switch would be screwed, or the system would be undone. Great choices.
  15. Subscriber no1marauder
    It's Nice to Be Nice
    14 Sep '11 23:34
    Originally posted by sh76
    http://www.cbsnews.com/8301-503544_162-20106028-503544.html

    [quote]Republican Bob Turner's upset victory Tuesday in the special election for the heavily-Democratic congressional seat in New York's ninth congressional district is a referendum on President Obama's economic policies and his relations with Isreal, GOP leaders are saying.

    "We have been told th ...[text shortened]... say D-E-S-P-E-R-A-T-E?

    BTW, when did Republicans vote to "end Medicare"?
    Turnout was really low even for a special election; less than 20% of registered voters, about half of the turnout in 2010 and less than a third of turnout in 2008. http://www.cbsnews.com/8301-503544_162-20106163-503544.html
    So it's hard to say that this is some harbinger of doom for Obama in 2012. The district is a lot more conservative than adjoining ones where he got close to 90% in 2008.

    Still he may have a problem with conservative Jews who seem to think he's "somehow thrown Israel under a bus" according to former mayor Ed Koch. It's also possible the vote signalled some backlash on the gay marriage issue; Weprin as a NYS assemblyman voted for it and this was raised as a campaign issue among the socially conservative Jews of this particular district.