December 4, 2013
Just Checked In to See What Condition My Pre-Existing Condition Is In
I have had "pre-existing conditions" for as long as I've had my own health insurance, starting in the 1970s. They focus mainly on allergies, some serious enough to provoke anaphylaxis or an asthma attack that can, e.g., send my blood pressure plummeting or prevent me from breathing. I take expensive medicines that keep me asymptomatic, so I can hike and run and work out without worrying about dying from eating the wrong food or inhaling cat dander.
Much of the cost of those medicines is borne by my insurance companies... which they knew going in. Hence the term "pre-existing condition" (PEC).
In every instance where I have had to change insurance, whether a new group plan or buying individual coverage, I have had to go through a special process: For the first few months, my PECs aren't covered by insurance at all; then for a few months, my coverage goes through a "vesting" period, where coverage is phased in month by month. Finally, at the end of that vesting, I'm fully covered.
Note the timeframe -- from decades before Obamacare until now. Somehow, all these non-government insurers managed to cover me, PECs and all, for decades.
So it appears that, on the one issue that everyone was most worried about -- people with PECs who "couldn't get insurance>" -- we already had a model of how to handle that without utterly remaking health insurance. (What Man has done, Man can aspire to do.)
The General PEC Model is two-pronged:
- Use some kind of a vesting schedule during which insurance coverage for PECs is gradually increased until the insured has full coverage.
Now, some PECs are much more expensive for the insurance companies than others; consider somebody born with a series of medical problems that lead to many, many surgeries on the heart, liver, lungs, and so forth.
Natually, insurers would rather not cover those people; yet it would be dreadful public policy to tell everyone with a serious PEC that he should just die and reduce the surplus population. (Dickensian death panels, anyone?) Hence the second prong of the General PEC Model:
- Include an assigned risk element for the very small number of people whose PECs are serious enough that insurers are guaranteed to lose money on them that no rational premium could compensate. Each insurer must take a certain number of such assigned risks, just as they must in the realm of automobile liability insurance, for the public good.
This way, no one insurer gets hit too hard, and nobody gets to skate with only healthy people on its rolls. That's the model, and we know it works because it was already working for nearly everyone; nobody seriously disputed that the vast majority of uninsured pre-Obamacare comprised young, healthy people who could have afforded health coverage -- but rejected it. The few "uninsurables" could be absorbed by the rest without much cost; that is, after all, the basis of all insurance!
So if anyone, from Progressivist peon to President of the United States, tells you that we needed Obamacare because of the problem of pre-existing conditions... he's lying in his teeth.
November 28, 2013
Action-Packed Replay of My Favorite Thanksgiving Annunciamento
Merry Gotdankbar to All, and to All a Gut Gotdankbar!
Eat, eat, you're skin and bones!
November 23, 2013
So the filibuster is cooked. It's no longer rare or even medium; and since Senate Majority Leader Harry "51" Reid (D-NV, 90%) has his fingerprints all over it, it most assuredly was not well done.
But that burnt stakeholding has already been chucked into the Dempster Dumpster. The moment the cremains of the filibuster -- Supreme Court appointments, legislation -- become inconvenient for the party in power (whichever it is), it too will softly and suddenly vanish away. (Don't expect even the "stupid party" to restore the filibuster when Republicans regain the Senate; it's patently obvious what the Democrats will do when they recaptured the chamber.)
But what hasn't been discussed in all the excitement -- not even by the Democrat thuggees -- is the colossal mistake that 51 made in his rush to pack the D.C. Circuit Court (a triumph that will reverberate down the ages... or until the next few liberals retire or die). Simply put, the filibuster, in recent times, was far more potent in Democratic hands than Republicans, for several reasons:
- Democrats exercise more party discipline (not to mention Party discipline); the Left plays "follow the leader (from behind)" very well indeed: Being both unprincipled and corrupt by its very nature, the Democrat Party discourages independent, contrarian thinking; while in the GOP, it's at least tolerated, if not applauded. Thus, Democrats are better able to hold the filibuster line -- having no deeply held beliefs to get in the way of raw power.
Democrats have a simpler propaganda appeal, because they have simpletons as constituents. John Hindrocket never tires of posting the latest hysterical, paralogical, racist, bigoted, and antiAmerican "fund-raising" letters; they're about as nuanced and intellectually sound as "Jeremiad" Wright's falsetto shrieks of "God d**n America!" Or House Minority Leader Nancy "Poison Pill" Pelosi's (D-CA, 80%) pronunciamento that we must pass Obamacare to find out what's in it. Or President Barack "You can keep that plan" Obama smirking as he scratches his nose with his middle finger (profile in courage).
So long as the Dems can get their constituents to bleat "four legs good, two legs bad," they needn't answer any questions on any filibuster. By contrast, Republicans typically debate the underlying policy issue before deciding whether to support a GOP filibuster -- or crush it.
And most esoterically, a very large number of conservatives believe that use of the filibuster, to prevent an up or down vote in the Senate anent a judicial or cabinet nominee, is itself "extraconstitutional," by which they mean not quite unconstitutional but certainly violating the spirit of Article II, section 2.
I'm not saying I agree with the argument; I'm not a lawyer, and I only play one in Ruritania. But because a bunch of Republicans espouse that argument, they have a principled objection to any filibuster other than legislative... and they exercise that objection by voting to break the appointment filibuster, or at least abstaining from supporting it. (E.g., the "gang of fourteen.")
When partisans realize they're losing the war, they become desperate; desperation begets panic; panic begets mindless, ultra-short-term thinking. That is the state of the Left today: They clutch at any straw that might provide instantaneous relief, no matter how devastating it will be to the Left itself, even in the medium future.
So hold fast -- we are winning. The Obamunists' hysterical tactics plant the seeds of their own destruction, and it won't take long for those angry seeds to come to a boil.
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