Ugh! Mitt Romney already going squishy on Obamacare

poorrichardsnews:

Dear Paul Ryan,

Would you please explain to Mitt Romney why he’s wrong about mandating coverage for pre-existing conditions.  Please insist to him that he stay strong for a full repeal of Obamacare.  

growing weary,

The American People

from TPM:

itt Romney said Sunday that he likes parts of ‘Obamacare’ and will keep key provisions involving pre-existing conditions and young people.

“I’m not getting rid of all of health care reform. Of course there are a number of things that I like in health care reform that I’m going to put in place,” he said on NBC’s “Meet The Press. “One is to make sure that those with pre-existing conditions can get coverage. Two is to assure that the marketplace allows for individuals to have policies that cover their family up to whatever age they might like.”

The remarks could have huge implications as they signal a marked shift from Romney’s strong, unequivocal support for full repeal of the Affordable Care Act, which he has consistently held since the Republican primaries.

Politically, the pivot risks drawing the ire of conservatives, who have been adamant that Republicans repeal the law in its entirety if elected. It’s a major gamble that could reflect Romney’s need to win over more independent voters, who support those provisions.

From a policy standpoint, however, the coverage guarantee for pre-existing conditions is economically untenable without other provisions of ‘Obamacare’ — most notably the individual mandate that requires Americans purchase insurance, which experts say is necessary to broaden the risk pool and prevent an upward spiral in costs.

read the rest

The author here is right.  The individual mandate is the only mechanism that makes guaranteed coverage work.  The two are inseparable.  You cannot mandate coverage for pre-existing conditions without also mandating that all Americans buy health insurance.  To do so would with 100% certainly bankrupt the American healthcare system.  

And why in the world would he continue the mandated freeloading of 26 year olds on their parents health insurance?    

These things have already raised the cost of healthcare premiums.  Premiums will not go down until they are repealed. 

Hopefully Romney will come out and clarify his remarks by saying that health insurance companies are allowed to do so if they can negotiate it but not that they’re mandated.  

Fellow conservatives, I would encourage you to contact Mitt Romney and make your voice heard. 

I hate to break it to everyone against Obamacare, but these provisions are here to stay. Every year they stay in place public support for them grows, and Republicans are already having to adjust their positions as a reflection of this. The only possible stumbling year will be 2014, but after that the window of opportunity even for staggered dismantlement of the system closes. This was our Social Security fight, for better or worse (I say better), and it will become equally as entrenched.

joestanley:

anticapitalist:

joestanley:

anticapitalist:

Lots of back and forth about unemployment.

I’m not going to respond any further because it’s clear we’re talking past one another, and this is already dangerously close to a disagreement on the Internet, which is a waste of time for all parties involved. Sufficed to say, please ask any economics professor if your statements about unemployment are correct and realistically implementable as they stand. Those are the only statements I am talking about, the ones in the public eye. The ones that got promoted in the #politics tag.

Now, this is something that took me many years of lobbying to realize (despite how obvious it is), so please think about it as you continue to be engaged in policy and politics: There are two layers to any system of lawmaking. The first is the policy layer, i.e. can the proposal actually do what it sets out to accomplish? The second is the political layer, i.e. can the proposal pass all required legislative, executive and judicial bodies and become a long-standing law?

Your suggestions and examples may or may not pass the first layer. They certainly do not pass the second layer at this time. And that sucks, it really does. But as much as we rail against this second layer, it doesn’t change the fact that it exists, and anything to be considered “realistic” needs to be able to pass both layers within a measurable timeframe.

I’ve already gotten a few notes asking why I am “wasting” my time with this, but it isn’t a waste. Because there are a lot of thought leaders and young and full-of-potential progressives who are spending a lot of time and effort on proposals that only pass one of those two layers, and all the resources involved have produced what, exactly? I don’t see any co-ops toppling the capitalist system. I don’t see any communes supplanting the free market. Meanwhile, I do see congressmen using terms like “legitimate rape” and are still in the lead against incumbent senators. 

Yes, I’d love to see a world where there are no zero marginal product workers. Yes, I’d love to see successful and sustainable re-education systems in place to help with generational shifts in skill demands. And yes, I’d love to see a world where people do not hunger. But waiting at the destination while the rest of us carry the burden of getting the group there does not help.

anticapitalist:

joestanley:

anticapitalist:

“Many people (especially conservatives) make the argument that if you’re on welfare you shouldn’t be eating steak or any expensive/good food. They say things like “oh they didn’t earn it”. This appeals to the cutthroat asshole within all of us, but if you think about it for half a second, you’ll realize how awful that mindset is. These people are denied employment, denied a home, and the chance to make a life because of the current political and economic structure, and you want to deny them even a taste of good food? More often than not, it’s not their fault that they’re poor or unemployed. But let’s assume that you have an actual lazy person who is using welfare money to buy steak. OH NO someone doesn’t like work! WE MUST PUNISH HIM. No, fuck that. Work sucks dick. Given that society could function with most people working way fewer hours, (which is what unemployment means: all the work can be done by fewer people, aka many people with short hours would also cover the ‘required work’), let people enjoy life without working.”

“which is what unemployment means: all the work can be done by fewer people, aka many people with short hours would also cover the ‘required work”

Half of my face is numb due to anesthetic right now, which makes the look of disgusted confusion covering the other half infinitely more terrifying. This argument is akin to saying that because you have seven vegetables, you can make any recipe that calls for seven vegetables, and even moreso that you could use a part of each vegetable to make any recipe requiring less than seven vegetables.

I’m assuming your anesthetic has also impaired your brain function, because you clearly didn’t understand what I was saying.

Since you seem eager to compare unemployment to vegetable use, I’ll describe it with a more apt analogy.

Let’s say you have 10 vegetable plants, but you can feed and satisfy the world by plucking all the vegetables from 7 of the plants. Thus, the you decide to stop caring for the other 3 plants and they start withering away and are constantly on the brink of death.

You could instead take fewer vegetables from each plant and include the 3 other plants and start nurturing them.

Do you get it?

However, this vegetable analogy is a really dumb analogy.

The vegetable analogy is “dumb” because it is an egregious oversimplification of the issue, much like the following statement: “which is what unemployment means: all the work can be done by fewer people, aka many people with short hours would also cover the ‘required work’”

Even setting aside the natural unemployment rate (which isn’t agreed upon), this statement is only correct in a world where all work is equal, or the ability to perform all work is equal. This is not the case in the world, let alone the U.S., let alone a single state. Different work requires different skills, and there is a strong case to be made that a good portion of our current unemployment rates are due to structural unemployment. It is made up of a lot of parts, but the three big ones I see are:

  1. A reluctance or inability for workers to relocate to areas where their skills are relatively higher in demand (i.e. choosing underemployment over long distance relocation, or the inability to move to a location due to immigration laws).
  2. The large shift over the past decades from production to service in the U.S. labor market.
  3. The overall growth of computers and technical skill required across the market at large (the fear of manufacturing jobs being sent overseas hides the real issue that automation has caused relative declines across the globe, and those being employed require greater and greater expertise).

This does not even begin to address the fact that even in a world where all work is equal, distributing it equally to all work-desiring individuals would result in some people being unable to sustain themselves economically, unless we also assume that all wages are being distributed equally, or otherwise there is a massive increase in social safety nets worldwide. At this point we are so divorced from the realities of the present and near future that I’d rather be playing Dungeons & Dragons.

As a final note, in the coming decades I think we are going to have to deal with zero marginal product workers. Your statement implicitly posits that they will never exist. I think they are an all-too-terrifying reality, and the more we ignore it the greater a problem it will become.

Many people (especially conservatives) make the argument that if you’re on welfare you shouldn’t be eating steak or any expensive/good food. They say things like “oh they didn’t earn it”. This appeals to the cutthroat asshole within all of us, but if you think about it for half a second, you’ll realize how awful that mindset is.
These people are denied employment, denied a home, and the chance to make a life because of the current political and economic structure, and you want to deny them even a taste of good food?
More often than not, it’s not their fault that they’re poor or unemployed. But let’s assume that you have an actual lazy person who is using welfare money to buy steak. OH NO someone doesn’t like work! WE MUST PUNISH HIM. No, fuck that. Work sucks dick.
Given that society could function with most people working way fewer hours, (which is what unemployment means: all the work can be done by fewer people, aka many people with short hours would also cover the ‘required work’), let people enjoy life without working.

Blogging as Praxis: Apparently being poor means not being allowed to have fun

"which is what unemployment means: all the work can be done by fewer people, aka many people with short hours would also cover the ‘required work"

Half of my face is numb due to anesthetic right now, which makes the look of disgusted confusion covering the other half infinitely more terrifying. This argument is akin to saying that because you have seven vegetables, you can make any recipe that calls for seven vegetables, and even moreso that you could use a part of each vegetable to make any recipe requiring less than seven vegetables.

One quarter of all American real estate today owes more money on the mortgage than it actually is worth. That means one quarter of homeowners—almost ten million people—could walk away from their property and come out ahead on their balance sheet. Donald Trump would walk away. Certainly, Goldman Sachs walks away from bad investments. But individuals are told that their debt should be paid, that only the debts of the rich don’t have to be paid. Only the debts of the 99% to the rich have to be paid. And there’s a shift in the understanding of how the economy works.

Michael Hudson (via theamericanbear)

Strategic defaults are a freerider solution, one that a system has to bear rather than benefit from. These freerider solutions often require a pretty in-depth understanding of the nuances of the system that they ride on, which is a marginal cost. The elite can afford this cost more easily, and often benefit from its use more than the rest of the system’s actors.

That has been the case for quite a while, it’s just that now the rest of us are more aware of it.