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(Washington Post)   Oh, look, another Rethuglican spouting off at the mouth about Medicare being unsustainable and people getting $3 in services for every dollar they put in and fark it, let's just sick the liberal fact checkers on him. See, I told you...oh, he's right?   (washingtonpost.com ) divider line
    More: Obvious, Medicare, fact checking, John Barrasso, average wage  
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2714 clicks; posted to Politics » on 20 Mar 2013 at 12:24 PM (3 years ago)   |   Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



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2013-03-20 02:07:31 PM  

skilbride: Lunchlady: Honestly? I don't have a problem if Medicare isn't self-sustaining, just like I don't give two shiats if the Post Office operates at a loss. That's the point.

Government does these things because the private sector can't. I would much rather go bankrupt as a country funding healthcare for our most in need instead of going bankrupt bombing and dieing in some shiat hole in the Middle East.

The problem with medicare though specifically is that it is the one program the government has that can cause a business that otherwise would be profitable (or at the very least, break even) to take a loss as well.  

To take your post office example, the post office exists, as do Fedex and UPS.  When you want better service, you go to FedEx and UPS.

Medicare doesn't have a version of that though, you go where-ever you want, and then that company gets stiffed on the cost of their bill.  That would the be the equivilant of saying, "Hey UPS, this guy is poor, so only charge him 37 cents on this letter even though it's going to cost you $1.... because the government said so!"


lol?
 
2013-03-20 02:07:32 PM  

MyKingdomForYourHorse: MattStafford: when that money isn't used for valuable jobs, but for straight consumption, a la Social Security.

Because people on social security do not purchase anything with their cashed checks, everyone knows old people bury their money in tin cars in the back yard.

*facepalm


It is almost like you didn't read the post.

Elderly people pay for a ton of doctors.  Medicare stops paying out.  Elderly people can no longer afford doctors.  Raise taxes elsewhere to pay for the debt accrued.  Negative feedback loop, and the economy collapses.

Government pays to build needed infrastructure.  Bridge gets finished.  Construction workers are fired.  Raise taxes elsewhere to pay for bridge.  Bridge has created enough economic activity to pay for the taxes and to have the construction workers find new jobs.

Can't you see the difference between these two scenarios?
 
2013-03-20 02:07:49 PM  

Lunchlady: Government does these things because the private sector can't. I would much rather go bankrupt as a country funding healthcare for our most in need instead of going bankrupt bombing and dieing in some shiat hole in the Middle East.


Maybe we could... I don't know... not go bankrupt for either? Or is that just crazy talk?

MattStafford: I'm curious as to how it works when that money isn't used for valuable jobs, but for straight consumption, a la Social Security.


Well, if that's the case then medicare is what you should be looking at much more so than SS. Medicare is what we are really funding with debt. Social Security isn't really in bad shape at all. It will have problems in a few years but there are some very simple and relatively minor adjustments that can be made to solve those problems into the foreseeable future.
 
2013-03-20 02:08:54 PM  

DamnYankees: skilbride: DamnYankees: Dusk-You-n-Me: mrshowrules: You should eliminate the age requirements.

Medicare for all would be fine by me.

We should.

[s3.amazonaws.com image 480x295]

I think you guys fail to understand how medicare actually works...

My roommate used to work for HCA in the billing department, and this is how medicare works (and why medicare is actually causing your premiums to go up on your private insurance):

Someone with medicare comes in, they don't pay a copay - everything gets billed the government.  The government says, okay, we're willing to pay this much, and sends that amount back to the hopsital. The hospital is typically out about 25% because medicare only actually covers 75% of the hospitals cost.  So then the hospital, trying to recoup those losses, passes it on to the insurance companies of the people who are privately insured.

So yes - the cost per person of people who are privately insured is going up - but a large part of that is because of medicare.  That's why you start seeing hospitals that are popping up that refuse to take people who have medicare (and are allowed to because they are for profit) and a whole bunch of the non-profit (that have to take medicare) failing.

The solution for this is for the government to regulate the costs across the board - not just say, "We are only paying this amount for medicare services".  Just because the costs of medicare services only get paid out by the government at a certain rate doesn't mean x-company that sells supplies is taking that into account.

This is a long way of saying that Medicare is better at negotiating prices than private insurance companies.


But they don't negotiate prices.  The government SETS the prices.  They say you will get this, and you can't argue.  They do it without regard to the price of the hospital pays for the services.

For instance, in France and most of the Europe they regulate how much you can charge for an MRI machine, etc etc - they do this because all the hospitals are government funded so they can set the prices.  For medicare to actually work, you need to have hospitals that are government funded and operated hospitals, and then they can set the prices of supplies from the companies selling them.  As it stands right now, the market sets the prices, and the government says, "We can only afford this much so that's what you're getting."
 
2013-03-20 02:09:14 PM  
So are we all in favor of death panels now?

//costs too much to keep them old ones alive
 
2013-03-20 02:09:48 PM  
i1204.photobucket.com
 
2013-03-20 02:10:04 PM  

skullkrusher: MattStafford: But the very nature of the jobs program means that the growth isn't organic, it is artificial.

ok, just cut it out now.


You are suggesting that a government jobs program is going to create real and sustainable growth.  I'm arguing that the growth created by a government jobs program will disappear once the program is finished.

And guess what - I have real world examples.  Think about any town where a huge employer is the military, either a military base or a MIC company.  That is essentially a jobs program.  And it creates a whole ton of other jobs in the area.  What happens when that jobs program ends?  Are you willing to make the argument that if you spent more and more money on that military base or bought more and more goods from that MIC plant, eventually the surrounding economy would be self sustaining and not suffer as a result from the base/plant closing?
 
2013-03-20 02:10:36 PM  

DamnYankees: skilbride: Medicare doesn't have a version of that though, you go where-ever you want, and then that company gets stiffed on the cost of their bill.  That would the be the equivilant of saying, "Hey UPS, this guy is poor, so only charge him 37 cents on this letter even though it's going to cost you $1.... because the government said so!"

It's called bargaining. No hospital operating without government subsidies has to accept Medicare. It's their choice.


Well yes, that's true.  And hospitals like HCA (which don't) are setting record profits.  It's the hospitals that accept government funding and medicare that are collapsing.
 
2013-03-20 02:10:38 PM  

MattStafford: Can't you see the difference between these two scenarios?


Yes, I've seen this logic before somewhere.

www.timecube.com
 
2013-03-20 02:11:32 PM  

runin800m: Well, if that's the case then medicare is what you should be looking at much more so than SS. Medicare is what we are really funding with debt. Social Security isn't really in bad shape at all. It will have problems in a few years but there are some very simple and relatively minor adjustments that can be made to solve those problems into the foreseeable future.


Certainly Medicare is the primary problem, but any consumption financed via debt is bad for the economy in the long run.
 
2013-03-20 02:11:33 PM  

skilbride: But they don't negotiate prices.  The government SETS the prices.  They say you will get this, and you can't argue.  They do it without regard to the price of the hospital pays for the services.


First of all, this isn't true inasmuch as the government doesn't set prices in a vacuum. It talks with various industry representatives.

Secondly, even if you I grant you the premise that they just set prices on their own - yes. That is negotiation. Sort of like if you go to a store and say "I'm paying 5 dollars for that vase, not a cent more." It's up to the store owner to either sell you the vase or not.
 
2013-03-20 02:11:38 PM  

Car_Ramrod: Wow, subs, were you able to finish while writing that headline?

Anyways:

Steuerle said that he was not trying to single out Medicare, but was trying to focus on both Social Security and Medicare. "I think we would probably engage in a better reform if we tried to reform both systems at the same time," he said in an e-mail.

But, if Medicare is the one with the problem, why does the other need reform? And why isn't it noted that the ratio has dropped from 7:1 for a 65 year old in 1960 to 3:1 in 2030? And does he realize you don't actually get that money when they pay for your services? Maybe services are too damned expensive. But that's crazy talk. I'm sure the answer is to cut off the poor people.


Read my other post, its only 3:1 for the lower middle class. The rich get less than they pay into the system, it balances itself out. This only proves that people who make $44k a year see more than they pay in, that that in total medicare pays out more than it gets in.
 
2013-03-20 02:12:06 PM  
www.cartoonstock.com
 
2013-03-20 02:12:13 PM  

skilbride: Well yes, that's true.  And hospitals like HCA (which don't) are setting record profits.  It's the hospitals that accept government funding and medicare that are collapsing.


Please provide some evidence for this claim.
 
2013-03-20 02:13:15 PM  

skilbride: Lunchlady: Honestly? I don't have a problem if Medicare isn't self-sustaining, just like I don't give two shiats if the Post Office operates at a loss. That's the point.

Government does these things because the private sector can't. I would much rather go bankrupt as a country funding healthcare for our most in need instead of going bankrupt bombing and dieing in some shiat hole in the Middle East.

The problem with medicare though specifically is that it is the one program the government has that can cause a business that otherwise would be profitable (or at the very least, break even) to take a loss as well.  

To take your post office example, the post office exists, as do Fedex and UPS.  When you want better service, you go to FedEx and UPS.

Medicare doesn't have a version of that though, you go where-ever you want, and then that company gets stiffed on the cost of their bill.  That would the be the equivilant of saying, "Hey UPS, this guy is poor, so only charge him 37 cents on this letter even though it's going to cost you $1.... because the government said so!"


I understand your point, it is the major problem with the way that Medicare is organized. It's the same thing as protecting banks when they have unsustainable losses. Namely, we are allowing a private company to profit off the largess of society, simply because that company operates in an industry that provides a public good.

I think the solution though is to just ignore hospitals and Doctors that biatch. The problem is that we are trying to have Medicare pay the same as insurance companies when the real increases in costs are coming from enormous inflation in what hospitals are charging, they know private insurers will pay up and they expect Medicare to as well.

My biggest problem with Obamacare was that it didn't have any price controls included. I think the government shouldn't be afraid to say "This is what we're paying for procedure X, and we're not budging. You either lower your prices instead of charging $500 bucks for a prescription or you lose the largest bloc of customers you have with an insurance that always pays in one day. Take your pick"
 
2013-03-20 02:14:10 PM  

Lunchlady: My biggest problem with Obamacare was that it didn't have any price controls included. I think the government shouldn't be afraid to say "This is what we're paying for procedure X, and we're not budging. You either lower your prices instead of charging $500 bucks for a prescription or you lose the largest bloc of customers you have with an insurance that always pays in one day. Take your pick"


Ah, the public option. How much we miss thee.
 
2013-03-20 02:14:19 PM  

MattStafford: skullkrusher: no, there are negative consequences to cutting off the jobs program. The point, however, is to have the organic economic growth to the point where the net impact is positive.

But the very nature of the jobs program means that the growth isn't organic, it is artificial.

If the government hired a bunch of unemployed people to dig ditches and fill them back in, a bunch of other unemployed people could start making a living providing services and selling those guys goods.  But once the government stops the ditch digging program, the economy collapses.  In fact, the ditch digging program actually prevented any organic growth from happening.  The artificial growth used real resources and labor that could have been used to create actual, organic growth.


*sigh*

You see, those "other unemployed people" that started making a living providing services and selling goods to the ditch-diggers also now have money to spend, further increasing demand, so even more "other unemployed people" start getting jobs or maybe the ditch diggers start taking those new jobs because digging ditches sucks, so when the ditch digging jobs program is over there is more aggregate demand even AFTER there are no more people being employed by the government as ditch diggers than there was before the ditch digging jobs program started. Real sustainable growth.

/coconuts
 
2013-03-20 02:14:45 PM  
Well guys, I've certainly been made fun of a fair amount, but I'm still waiting on some answers:

If I walk into a small town, print up a bunch of the local currency, buy a large quantity of goods, and leave town - is that town better off?

If I walk into a small town, borrow a bunch of the local currency, buy a large quantity of goods, and leave town - is that town better off?

How are those scenarios different from the government either printing currency to fund consumption or borrowing money to fund consumption?

Didn't get very many answers on that.
 
2013-03-20 02:14:53 PM  

DamnYankees: skilbride: But they don't negotiate prices.  The government SETS the prices.  They say you will get this, and you can't argue.  They do it without regard to the price of the hospital pays for the services.

First of all, this isn't true inasmuch as the government doesn't set prices in a vacuum. It talks with various industry representatives.

Secondly, even if you I grant you the premise that they just set prices on their own - yes. That is negotiation. Sort of like if you go to a store and say "I'm paying 5 dollars for that vase, not a cent more." It's up to the store owner to either sell you the vase or not.


Okay, I see where you're coming from.  In that vein, yes, the government negotiates with hospitals.  They say, if you want federal funding, you will accept our medicare rates and take people who have medicare.  (And federal funding also includes any sort of research grant.) 

Sorry, I just get riled up when people post the premium graph and say, "OMG PRIVATE INSURANCE IS RIPPING US OFF" when they don't realize we pay for medicare twice.  (Once out of our payroll taxes, and again with our private insurance rates going up to cover the lost cost from the hospitals.)
 
2013-03-20 02:15:39 PM  
What economics course is it that they teach to kill all old people? I must of skipped that class.
 
2013-03-20 02:16:04 PM  

runin800m: Lunchlady: Government does these things because the private sector can't. I would much rather go bankrupt as a country funding healthcare for our most in need instead of going bankrupt bombing and dieing in some shiat hole in the Middle East.

Maybe we could... I don't know... not go bankrupt for either? Or is that just crazy talk?


Government isn't meant to run at a profit. We don't ask the military to pay for itself. We don't put a toll booth up on every bridge we build. These are things that every single citizen owns and benefits from. Government is a place for people to come together and pool resources to do things that we can't do alone. If some things cost more than others so be it.
 
2013-03-20 02:16:16 PM  

MattStafford: Well guys, I've certainly been made fun of a fair amount, but I'm still waiting on some answers:

If I walk into a small town, print up a bunch of the local currency, buy a large quantity of goods, and leave town - is that town better off?

If I walk into a small town, borrow a bunch of the local currency, buy a large quantity of goods, and leave town - is that town better off?

How are those scenarios different from the government either printing currency to fund consumption or borrowing money to fund consumption?

Didn't get very many answers on that.


What about the eggplant/giraffe scenario? I thought that was good
 
2013-03-20 02:16:21 PM  

theknuckler_33: MattStafford: skullkrusher: no, there are negative consequences to cutting off the jobs program. The point, however, is to have the organic economic growth to the point where the net impact is positive.

But the very nature of the jobs program means that the growth isn't organic, it is artificial.

If the government hired a bunch of unemployed people to dig ditches and fill them back in, a bunch of other unemployed people could start making a living providing services and selling those guys goods.  But once the government stops the ditch digging program, the economy collapses.  In fact, the ditch digging program actually prevented any organic growth from happening.  The artificial growth used real resources and labor that could have been used to create actual, organic growth.

*sigh*

You see, those "other unemployed people" that started making a living providing services and selling goods to the ditch-diggers also now have money to spend, further increasing demand, so even more "other unemployed people" start getting jobs or maybe the ditch diggers start taking those new jobs because digging ditches sucks, so when the ditch digging jobs program is over there is more aggregate demand even AFTER there are no more people being employed by the government as ditch diggers than there was before the ditch digging jobs program started. Real sustainable growth.

/coconuts


As someone who uses ditch diggers to build pyramids in the desert made out of coconuts, you leave MattStafford alone! He is protecting my industry.
 
2013-03-20 02:16:36 PM  

MattStafford: How are those scenarios different from the government either printing currency to fund consumption or borrowing money to fund consumption?


Because you have absolutely no farking clue how the US monetary system works and I suspect little of even how fiat currency works.
 
2013-03-20 02:16:42 PM  

skilbride: Sorry, I just get riled up when people post the premium graph and say, "OMG PRIVATE INSURANCE IS RIPPING US OFF" when they don't realize we pay for medicare twice.  (Once out of our payroll taxes, and again with our private insurance rates going up to cover the lost cost from the hospitals.)


But how is this different from any other industry? Any business which sells to large customers at a discount rate (i.e. almost every single business which has ever existed) is, by definition, subsidizing that by charging higher prices to everyone else. This doesn't strike me as a Medicare specific argument. It's just a description of the state of commerce in general.
 
2013-03-20 02:17:15 PM  

MattStafford: Well guys, I've certainly been made fun of a fair amount, but I'm still waiting on some answers:

If I walk into a small town, print up a bunch of the local currency, buy a large quantity of goods, and leave town - is that town better off?

If I walk into a small town, borrow a bunch of the local currency, buy a large quantity of goods, and leave town - is that town better off?

How are those scenarios different from the government either printing currency to fund consumption or borrowing money to fund consumption?

Didn't get very many answers on that.


Your example of the military base in a town was better, also more realistic.
 
2013-03-20 02:19:01 PM  
 
2013-03-20 02:19:17 PM  

MattStafford: Well guys, I've certainly been made fun of a fair amount, but I'm still waiting on some answers:

If I walk into a small town, print up a bunch of the local currency, buy a large quantity of goods, and leave town - is that town better off?

If I walk into a small town, borrow a bunch of the local currency, buy a large quantity of goods, and leave town - is that town better off?

How are those scenarios different from the government either printing currency to fund consumption or borrowing money to fund consumption?

Didn't get very many answers on that.


Waah! Why won't everyone attack my straw men?!
 
2013-03-20 02:19:26 PM  

runin800m: Maybe we could... I don't know... not go bankrupt for either? Or is that just crazy talk?


Then you need to stop paying way above market value in both those areas. The medical industry in your country is just as bad as the defense industry when it comes to inflating prices. Maybe even more so. An aspirin doesn't cost $18. And it's not the illegals/uninsured causing it either. They might be a small part of it, but take a look at all the "non profit" hospitals out there that are paying their top staff multiple millions of dollars in salary and bonuses. The Times had a great article that Fark linked a while back. Americans get farked over by price gouging pretty much everywhere along the line, because your system is essentially set up to not only allow it, but encourage it.
 
2013-03-20 02:19:28 PM  

theknuckler_33: *sigh*

You see, those "other unemployed people" that started making a living providing services and selling goods to the ditch-diggers also now have money to spend, further increasing demand, so even more "other unemployed people" start getting jobs or maybe the ditch diggers start taking those new jobs because digging ditches sucks, so when the ditch digging jobs program is over there is more aggregate demand even AFTER there are no more people being employed by the government as ditch diggers than there was before the ditch digging jobs program started. Real sustainable growth.


Follow along:

Government hires ditch digger.  Ditch digger hires barber.  Barber buys shoes.  Shoemaker buys apple.  Apple farmer buys orange.  Continue as long as you would like.

Government fires ditch digger.

If the universe worked the way you believe it would, the orange farmer (or whoever ended that chain) would hire the ditch digger to help him at the orchard.

But, in reality, barber no longer has a customer, so the shoemaker no longer has a customer, so the apple farmer no longer has a customer, so not only does the orange farmer not need to hire the ex ditch digger, he is suffering a drop in demand as is.  In addition, since the orange farmer has the money, and the government needs to pay their creditors, his extra income is actually getting taxed.
 
2013-03-20 02:20:35 PM  

DamnYankees: Lunchlady: My biggest problem with Obamacare was that it didn't have any price controls included. I think the government shouldn't be afraid to say "This is what we're paying for procedure X, and we're not budging. You either lower your prices instead of charging $500 bucks for a prescription or you lose the largest bloc of customers you have with an insurance that always pays in one day. Take your pick"

Ah, the public option. How much we miss thee.


But you don't even need a public option for that (as much as I'd love one). Medicare is still the largest insurer in the country. If they just said, "This is what we're paying, take it or leave it." Hospitals wouldn't be able to just raise prices because they know that insurance will always come in.

I'm a travel agent and if I have a group of 50 passengers from a church group going to Rome I can pretty much dictate terms because they know that group of 50 is going to Rome no matter what. If the airline wants to take their chances filling 50 seats with up to 50 other customers that's the risk they run but I can guarantee that my 50 is going to pay X amount for Y seats.

If a hospital is really in love with profits they can go ahead and deny Medicare patients, but good luck filling up those beds with non-seniors to the same level you did with old sick people.
 
2013-03-20 02:21:45 PM  

skilbride: DamnYankees: skilbride: Well yes, that's true.  And hospitals like HCA (which don't) are setting record profits.  It's the hospitals that accept government funding and medicare that are collapsing.

Please provide some evidence for this claim.

http://www.nytimes.com/2012/08/15/business/hca-giant-hospital-chain- cr eates-a-windfall-for-private-equity.html?pagewanted=all&_r=0

http://www.forbes.com/sites/larryvanhorn/2011/03/11/hca-to-the-rescu e- why-for-profit-hospitals-may-save-americas-health-system/

http://www.forbes.com/sites/scottatlas/2012/12/18/lets-be-honest-med ic are-is-insolvent-and-doctors-soon-wont-accept-it/


I'm not seeing in those stories what you are. Where is the evidence that hospitals that rely on Medicare are losing money? I agree they aren't making as much money as private insurance hospitals - but that's the point. Prices are lower under Medicare, so of course profits are lower. This seems like its backing me up, not you.
 
2013-03-20 02:21:48 PM  

Lunchlady: Government isn't meant to run at a profit. We don't ask the military to pay for itself. We don't put a toll booth up on every bridge we build. These are things that every single citizen owns and benefits from. Government is a place for people to come together and pool resources to do things that we can't do alone. If some things cost more than others so be it.


Yeah, exactly.  I don't understand what is so difficult about this concept.  Some things need to be paid for, so we should pay for them.  Instead, people insist that we should just borrow and pay for them instead, and that everything will be fine - if not better.  It is mind blowing.

If borrowing money to fund a Social Security esque program was beneficial to the economy, then countries in Sub Saharan Africa should find equal success in such a debt financed Social Security program.  Which is rather absurd.
 
2013-03-20 02:22:03 PM  
"I was driving through central Florida a year or two ago," says Medicare's (Jonathan) Blum. "And it seemed like every billboard I saw advertised some hospital with these big shiny buildings or showed some new wing of a hospital being constructed ... So when you tell me that the hospitals say they are losing money on Medicare and shifting costs from Medicare patients to other patients, my reaction is that Central Florida is overflowing with Medicare patients and all those hospitals are expanding and advertising for Medicare patients. So you can't tell me they're losing money ... Hospitals don't lose money when they serve Medicare patients." Link

Not sure why hospitals in Florida would advertise they accept medicare if it was losing them money. Also, Mr. Brill's original Time story is behind a firewall.
 
2013-03-20 02:22:37 PM  

Lunchlady: Government isn't meant to run at a profit. We don't ask the military to pay for itself. We don't put a toll booth up on every bridge we build. These are things that every single citizen owns and benefits from. Government is a place for people to come together and pool resources to do things that we can't do alone. If some things cost more than others so be it.


Government isn't meant to run a profit but it is meant to pay for itself. We are the government, we have to pay for what we/the government does. We don't put a toll booth on every bridge we build, but I know of several bridges with toll booths (roads as well) because you do in fact have to pay for them somehow. Fortunately, most are paid for with taxes we pay when buying gasoline or other taxes that the federal/state government levy. These are things that every single citizen owns and benefits from but we still have to pay for them. That's the pooling resources part. If some things cost more, that's fine, but not if they cost more than we are pooling together. The fact that the government is doing it doesn't magically make it free.
 
2013-03-20 02:22:38 PM  

MattStafford: Well guys, I've certainly been made fun of a fair amount, but I'm still waiting on some answers:

If I walk into a small town, print up a bunch of the local currency, buy a large quantity of goods, and leave town - is that town better off?

If I walk into a small town, borrow a bunch of the local currency, buy a large quantity of goods, and leave town - is that town better off?

How are those scenarios different from the government either printing currency to fund consumption or borrowing money to fund consumption?

Didn't get very many answers on that.


Better analogy:

Suppose you're on a desert island with someone else, and there are coconuts and fish. The other guy collects coconuts, and you want some of those coconuts. What do you do? Clearly, you catch fish to trade with the guy for coconuts. You don't try to spend money or consume his coconuts without something to trade. Yet that is exactly what you are suggesting. If you are going to consume something, you need to produce something to trade for thing. It isn't farking rocket science. Link
 
2013-03-20 02:24:12 PM  

DamnYankees: skilbride: Sorry, I just get riled up when people post the premium graph and say, "OMG PRIVATE INSURANCE IS RIPPING US OFF" when they don't realize we pay for medicare twice.  (Once out of our payroll taxes, and again with our private insurance rates going up to cover the lost cost from the hospitals.)

But how is this different from any other industry? Any business which sells to large customers at a discount rate (i.e. almost every single business which has ever existed) is, by definition, subsidizing that by charging higher prices to everyone else. This doesn't strike me as a Medicare specific argument. It's just a description of the state of commerce in general.


Yes - but any other company can refuse a deal.  If it's no longer profitable for them to sell their cookies at a discount, they can say no - but still sell milk and butter at a discounted rate.  With medicare, you will have to continue selling cookies at a discounted rate even if it bankrupts you to also sell the milk and butter.

I think, at the base, we both agree that medicare and how we look at healthcare in this country needs to be retooled.  I made a significant amount a year (enough to cringe when I see how much goes out of my taxes because I don't own a house to offset it or have kids) and I think that at base everyone's complaint about government right now is they are throwing money at problems without critically thinking through them.  

Why don't you take the VA and expand their hospitals to take medicare and make it entirely internal to the government?
 
2013-03-20 02:25:05 PM  

skilbride: With medicare, you will have to continue selling cookies at a discounted rate even if it bankrupts you to also sell the milk and butter.


This is not true. Hospitals don't have to take Medicare. I don't know what you're talking about.
 
2013-03-20 02:27:29 PM  

MyKingdomForYourHorse: Because you have absolutely no farking clue how the US monetary system works and I suspect little of even how fiat currency works.


Care to explain it?

Perhaps this would be a better analogy:

A:  I live outside of a small town.  I convince the local central bank to print me up a bunch of currency.  I go into the small town and buy a bunch of things.  I do not produce anything that anyone in the small town wants.

B:  I am a senior citizen.  I convince the Federal Reserve to print me up a bunch of currency.  I buy a bunch of things from other people in the country.  I do not produce anything that anyone in the country wants.

A:  I live outside of a small town.  I convince the town government to borrow money from citizens of the town and from neighboring towns and give that money to me.  I go into the small town and buy a bunch of things.  I do not produce anything that anyone in the small town wants, nor do I make money to pay back the government.

B:  I am a senior citizen.  I convince the government to borrow money from citizens of the US and other governments and give that money to me.  I buy a bunch of things from other people in the country.  I do not produce anything that anyone in the country wants, nor do I make money to pay back the government.

I fail to see how B can be beneficial to a country, whereas A would be harmful.  So please explain the difference?
 
2013-03-20 02:28:09 PM  
NateGrey:

Better analogy:

Suppose you're on a desert island with someone else, and there are coconuts and fish. The other guy collects coconuts, and you want some of those coconuts. What do you do? Clearly, you catch fish to trade with the guy for coconuts. You don't try to spend money or consume his coconuts without something to trade. Yet that is exactly what you are suggesting. If you are going to consume something, you need to produce something to trade for thing. It isn't farking rocket science. Link


If I'm a true capitalist, I kill the other guy so I can have a monopoly on coconuts without having to pay a disproportionate share of my fish to support his lazy coconut gathering ways. Doing so maximizes the benefit for me (not having to share potentially scarce resources AND getting a third type of food (human meat) AND giving me access to his bones for use as tools to improve my own fishing/coconut gathering efficiency) without being constrained by arbitrary out of market forces like a government or code of ethics. QED, libs.
 
2013-03-20 02:29:26 PM  

DamnYankees: skilbride: With medicare, you will have to continue selling cookies at a discounted rate even if it bankrupts you to also sell the milk and butter.

This is not true. Hospitals don't have to take Medicare. I don't know what you're talking about.


I particularly like how you take one sentence out of what I said, twist it around to make a point that I already admitted to - twice, in that hospitals can reject federal funding in all forms and choose not to take medicare.  But if you continue harping on the same point instead of having meaningful discourse with me, I'm just going to have to ignore you.  Good day.
 
2013-03-20 02:29:45 PM  

max_pooper: Hey MattStafford, when are you going to admit you lied when you claimed to have earned a degree in economics?


Doesn't he have a GED in economics?

MattStafford: MattStafford prints one trillion new dollars, and buys goods from everyone else.


Look, I don't have a GED in economics, but I understand that the concept of money is to allow for transactions between inherently dissimilar goods/services.  How much of my time setting up routers is worth the number of chickens you want to give me?  Beats the hell out of me, but I could probably get $100/billable hour for my services for a small business.  As a teacher, I can get $60 per billable hour.  I then take those dollars and buy chickens from the supermarket, which have value added because they are killed, cleaned feathered and chopped up, all of which I don't have to do.

Now, the amount of money available in an economy needs to be roughly equivalent to the agreed upon worth of all the goods and services available in that economy.  So, when you rant about "printing money", you clearly don't understand why money gets printed, how much should be printed or what the consequences should be for printing too much or not enough money.

So take your Ron Paul rants to people who are as gormless as you are, and you will be hailed as a really smrt person.
 
2013-03-20 02:31:05 PM  

MattStafford: You are suggesting that a government jobs program is going to create real and sustainable growth. I'm arguing that the growth created by a government jobs program will disappear once the program is finished.


you're suggesting that based on nothing except your own desire for it to be so

MattStafford: And guess what - I have real world examples. Think about any town where a huge employer is the military, either a military base or a MIC company. That is essentially a jobs program. And it creates a whole ton of other jobs in the area. What happens when that jobs program ends? Are you willing to make the argument that if you spent more and more money on that military base or bought more and more goods from that MIC plant, eventually the surrounding economy would be self sustaining and not suffer as a result from the base/plant closing?


this is a terrible real world example. That's an example of a local economy which is based on government spending. Not one that uses government spending to get its private sector employment growing again.
 
2013-03-20 02:31:17 PM  

runin800m: Lunchlady: Government isn't meant to run at a profit. We don't ask the military to pay for itself. We don't put a toll booth up on every bridge we build. These are things that every single citizen owns and benefits from. Government is a place for people to come together and pool resources to do things that we can't do alone. If some things cost more than others so be it.

Government isn't meant to run a profit but it is meant to pay for itself. We are the government, we have to pay for what we/the government does. We don't put a toll booth on every bridge we build, but I know of several bridges with toll booths (roads as well) because you do in fact have to pay for them somehow. Fortunately, most are paid for with taxes we pay when buying gasoline or other taxes that the federal/state government levy. These are things that every single citizen owns and benefits from but we still have to pay for them. That's the pooling resources part. If some things cost more, that's fine, but not if they cost more than we are pooling together. The fact that the government is doing it doesn't magically make it free.


I agree completely.

If we want to be financially sustainable we either need to raise taxes or significantly cut services. Since no one wants the latter option (at least not when it comes to a vote, everyone is for it when it doesn't affect them) we need to raise taxes. That would be just fine with me.
 
2013-03-20 02:31:20 PM  

NateGrey: MattStafford: Well guys, I've certainly been made fun of a fair amount, but I'm still waiting on some answers:

If I walk into a small town, print up a bunch of the local currency, buy a large quantity of goods, and leave town - is that town better off?

If I walk into a small town, borrow a bunch of the local currency, buy a large quantity of goods, and leave town - is that town better off?

How are those scenarios different from the government either printing currency to fund consumption or borrowing money to fund consumption?

Didn't get very many answers on that.

Better analogy:

Suppose you're on a desert island with someone else, and there are coconuts and fish. The other guy collects coconuts, and you want some of those coconuts. What do you do? Clearly, you catch fish to trade with the guy for coconuts. You don't try to spend money or consume his coconuts without something to trade. Yet that is exactly what you are suggesting. If you are going to consume something, you need to produce something to trade for thing. It isn't farking rocket science. Link


And, more realistically - as observed in the real world - in such a situation those two people would just pool their resources and not try to establish a barter economy.
 
2013-03-20 02:31:32 PM  

skilbride: I particularly like how you take one sentence out of what I said, twist it around to make a point that I already admitted to - twice, in that hospitals can reject federal funding in all forms and choose not to take medicare.  But if you continue harping on the same point instead of having meaningful discourse with me, I'm just going to have to ignore you.  Good day.


You can complain I'm ignoring you, but I'm pointing out your inconsistency. Yes, you mention hospitals don't need to take Medicare. But that undermines your whole point to begin with. So what am I supposed to do with that other than re-pointing that out?
 
2013-03-20 02:32:51 PM  

MattStafford: I convince the Federal Reserve to print me up a bunch of currency.


Your analogies are horrendous. You change them to fit your ridiculous views.

WHY would the Federal Reserve print one person a bunch of money? In exchange for goods or services? Your whole thing falls apart.
 
2013-03-20 02:34:15 PM  

MattStafford: theknuckler_33: *sigh*

You see, those "other unemployed people" that started making a living providing services and selling goods to the ditch-diggers also now have money to spend, further increasing demand, so even more "other unemployed people" start getting jobs or maybe the ditch diggers start taking those new jobs because digging ditches sucks, so when the ditch digging jobs program is over there is more aggregate demand even AFTER there are no more people being employed by the government as ditch diggers than there was before the ditch digging jobs program started. Real sustainable growth.

Follow along:

Government hires ditch digger.  Ditch digger hires barber.  Barber buys shoes.  Shoemaker buys apple.  Apple farmer buys orange.  Continue as long as you would like.

Government fires ditch digger.

If the universe worked the way you believe it would, the orange farmer (or whoever ended that chain) would hire the ditch digger to help him at the orchard.


In your own words:

MattStafford: If the government hired a bunch of unemployed people to dig ditches and fill them back in, a bunch of other unemployed people could start making a living providing services and selling those guys goods.  But once the government stops the ditch digging program, the economy collapses.  In fact, the ditch digging program actually prevented any organic growth from happening.  The artificial growth used real resources and labor that could have been used to create actual, organic growth.


If the government hiring a bunch of unemployed people to dig ditches can result in a bunch of other unemployed people getting jobs and earning money, why can't those other people who got jobs and earning money result in still other new jobs becoming available for even other unemployed people or, say, the ditch diggers? The answer, of course, is that it can and does.  This is the positive feedback loop.
.
 
2013-03-20 02:34:41 PM  

DamnYankees: skilbride: I particularly like how you take one sentence out of what I said, twist it around to make a point that I already admitted to - twice, in that hospitals can reject federal funding in all forms and choose not to take medicare.  But if you continue harping on the same point instead of having meaningful discourse with me, I'm just going to have to ignore you.  Good day.

You can complain I'm ignoring you, but I'm pointing out your inconsistency. Yes, you mention hospitals don't need to take Medicare. But that undermines your whole point to begin with. So what am I supposed to do with that other than re-pointing that out?


We're not talking about hospitals that choose not to take medicare here.  We're talking about the hospitals that do (for whatever reason) and how medicare works within them.  But keep pointing out the fact that they could choose not to take medicare, which distracts from the point that medicare is necessary in our society and needs to be reformed.

In fact, fine, all hospitals should choose not to take medicare.  Then the government would be forced to build their own.  Problem solved.
 
2013-03-20 02:34:45 PM  

NateGrey: MattStafford: I convince the Federal Reserve to print me up a bunch of currency.

Your analogies are horrendous. You change them to fit your ridiculous views.

WHY would the Federal Reserve print one person a bunch of money? In exchange for goods or services? Your whole thing falls apart.


the unlikelihood of his scenarios is not what makes his argument flawed.
 
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