Showing posts with label Health care. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Health care. Show all posts

Thursday, October 03, 2013


Granting the general political ineptitude of Republican pols and the continual creep of executive power at the expense of congressional restraint, why isn't the riposte to the assertion that the 2012 presidential election was a referendum on Obamacare that the GOP won the house? Every congressional district in the country had an election on the same night, and Republicans came out 33 bodies ahead, the vast majority of the victors having incorporated opposition to Obamacare as part of their campaign platforms (is there a single one who did not?).

Obamacare was passed by a Democratically-controlled House and Senate, but by the time the question of funding had come around, the public's dissatisfaction with the law had served as a catalyst for a return to divided government. The stupid party would be able to strike an oh so sought after moderate pose by claiming that the American people are divided on the question, and consequently the law should be put to a national referendum, or, in a more republican style, people should be allowed to opt out entirely for the first year or something similar.

I'd love a red pill review of Obamacare, and of the state of health care in the US more generally (this is a solicitation--please feel free to oblige in the comments). Much like our mutually exclusive national ideals of liberty and equality, our simultaneous insistence upon providing everyone access to the best health care available and also on making health care affordable for all tells me the whole enterprise is hopelessly saturated in a thick paste of contradictory, quixotic nonsense that conceals the perpetual, mendacious special interest plundering that is taking place on the inside.

I attempt to take a citizenist perspective on the issues of the day, but I scarcely feel like I can make out the top letter of the chart when it comes to this byzantine subject. Thus handicapped, I'm reduced to free market utilitarian analogies and firsthand experiences. Regarding the former, imagine how expensive and inefficient auto insurance, care, and usage would be if insurance companies footed the bill for every driver's flat tire, fuel up, and rim upgrade, or, even more profligately, if private auto insurance was abolished and instead all a person had to do was provide a driver's license to have these services performed, or if a home insurance provider was required to indiscriminately sell a home insurance policy to a home owner whose house had just burned down.

As far as personal experience goes, the head of my company's benefits department has earnestly told me that if one of our employees requests reimbursement for a pack of condoms, the affordable care act requires us to pay up. With a doc in the box that completely covers me and my family without my having to (directly!) pay a dime, I'm sensitive to concerns over--outright hostility to, really--the law's implementation among our corporate brain trust. I've been fortunate not to have ever fallen ill in the decade I've been an employee, but with a baby on the way, I've finally started trying to get to work on some long overdue homework.

Other questions linger. Will other companies follow the lead of Walgreens, UPS, and IBM and begin dumping their employees onto the public exchanges in the future, bringing about an effective socialization of health care in the US? Will the seemingly inexorable trend away from a national norm of working for a living necessitate the separation of health insurance and employment?

Wednesday, November 07, 2012

On the 2012 ballot initiatives

As an addendum to the previous post, a few remarks about the various ballot initiatives up for electoral consideration yesterday:

- If Hispanics are naturally traditionally-oriented, family-values conservatives, why did they back Colorado's Amendment 64 to legalize recreational marijuana usage 70%-30%, while Coloradan whites--a fairly liberal bunch--split 50%-50% on the issue?

- Younger Americans are more skeptical about a further socialization of health care in the US than older generations are, a notable departure from the general trend in which youth and affinity for socialism tend to go hand-in-hand. In Florida, voters under 30 voted in favor of Amendment 1, which would've prohibited individuals and businesses from being mandated to participate in any health care system, 55%-45%. All other age groups shot it down, with those 65 and older doing so 41%-59%. Spare me the nonsense about the elderly wanting to ensure the nation they've left to the rest of us is fiscally sound--everybody wants to stick their noses in the public trough, ancients included.

- The rapidity with which public opinion has shifted on same-sex marriage is remarkable. When the GSS asked respondents if those of the same sex should be allowed to marry one another, only 11% answered in the affirmative. Today, that is the majority position. No longer are besieged traditionalists on the losing side of history even able to claim that whenever it's put to the public, the public rejects same-sex marriage, and it's only through judicial fiat or by way of furtive legislative action that it is allowed. Maine, Maryland, and Minnesota all voted in favor of it. Results from Washington are still being processed, but at the moment it looks like it'll be legalized there as well.

Parenthetically, in all four states, men voted against and women voted for legalizing same-sex marriage. I wonder if running on a platform to repeal the 19th Amendment would be viable? Keep the 15th, though--blacks rejected same-sex marriage in Maryland (and likely the other three as well, though sample sizes were too small to be included in exit polls from those states).

- While the presidential exit polls broke out the voting behaviors of those married with children from the rest of the electorate, polling on the ballot measures over marijuana legalization did not. As education and income rise, support for legalization does as well, even as personal use of it declines. It's always easier to approve of self-destructive behaviors in the abstract than it is when one feels their consequences firsthand. I suspect those with kids are less supportive of legalization than singles and the childless married are.

GSS variables used: MARHOMO, YEAR(1988)