John McCain diagnosed with brain cancer


#101

I’d argue that the last 10 years of legislative cowardice is also damn insulting to the Sen. McCain that may have once stood for something. . .


#102

I love to see CA move to single payer. It would be a great experiment. My concern is that our current biggest experiment with single payer isn’t exactly a rousing success.

We do have one of the worlds largest single payer health care system in the US it covers over 50 million American it cost just under $11,000/year/patient and it is going to run out of money in 2028. It is called Medicare, it is certainly good insurance. But even if we let Medicare negotiate the price of drugs with pharmaceutical cost and they negotiate free drugs the cost of Medicare would still be well over $9.000 or twice as much as most countries.

Still letting CA go to single payer would be a good idea because I’d love to see the cost for providing medical care for younger people.


#103

I’m reserving judgement until we see how McCain votes on the actual substantive bill. Although some have argued that McCains vote to let this bill proceed is inconsistent with his speech attacking the bill, that depends on how McCain votes in the final tally, IMO. Yes, a No vote on the motion to proceed would have ended this, but there is an argument that critical issues should come to actual votes, not procedural votes, and there is also the procedural reality that the GOP badly needs to get something they can call Obamacare repeal to a vote. One driving factor for the GOP IMO is that if they can’t even vote on repealing Obamacare, it’s going to hurt incumbents in any primary where tea party extremists decide to challenge the establishment GOP. It’s a minor thing, failing to even get bill to vote as opposed to failing the vote, but I believe the procedural defeat is more ignominious and shows more weakness, which is like blood in the water for a GOP primary. That primary angle doesn’t apply to McCain specifically, but he is following the procedural line out of party loyalty.

As to the actual substantive vote, we’ll see. I believe it is possible that McCain will vote wisely and help kill the bill. It’s also possible he will sacrifice the final vestige of his maverick and bipartisan credentials to follow party loyalty and pass the bill. Making any kind of guess on that is just going to be based on whatever level of subjective cynicism or optimism I’m feeling at the moment.

Bottom line, I’m reserving final judgement on McCain for the final vote. It’s his last chance to salvage the positive image he has, and also his last chance to sell that down the river for Party Loyalty.

As to the outcome, hey place your bets.


#104

What if the real Senator McCain is just a hapless prisoner inside his own body, watching his demonic shell do terrible things in the name of its satanic master? I’m starting to think my theory that the GOP was taken over by plane-shifting demons years ago is finally being proven!


#105

Healthcare could be solved almost instantly if people stopped being so completely shitty to each other. I can’t see it ever being fixed when Greed is one of humanity’s biggest failings though.


#106

You’ve said this a couple of times now - what do you mean by it? Right now, the Medicare payroll tax only pays for about half the total Medicare spending (roughly 9% federal spending) and the remaining 9% is already being paid out of general tax revenue. That ratio will go down depending on the aging of the population and the growth of medical spending but I am not aware of any studies or statistics showing Medicare is going to hit 0%, ever. Since Medicare is funded by a collective 2.6% payroll tax (half employee, half employer), for Medicare to run out of money completely, the entire labor market would have to shut down, and I don’t see that happening.

Keep in mind, in accounting, “insolvent” does not mean you can only pay 0% of your obligations. That’s what most people think it means, flat broke. But insolvent actually means inability to pay 100% of your obligations. In other words, a company or program could be able to cover 99% of it’s expenses but be insolvent.

When you say Medicare is going to “run out of money” what you mean?


#107

Also, substantively, Medicare costs just under $11,000 per person per year, covering the oldest and sickest Americans, while the overall American health care system including both the 50 million medicare recipients and the 270 million younger and healthier Americans, costs just under $10,000 per year per person.

If the $11,000 per year figure is meant to imply that Medicare is more expensive than private health insurance, I don’t agree. If you do the actuarial adjustments to that $10K figure for the total population to make it statistically equivalent to the Medicare patient pool (in insurance we call this “applying a rated age”) I am fairly certain it would come in higher than $11K per person per year. Medicare is not perfect, but it doesn’t spend money on advertising or profits, it has the largest buying power (and thus the strongest negotiating position on prices) and since it doesn’t have to fight other insurance companies for primary/secondary coverage, it doesn’t have the same administrative overhead. Medicare may not be perfect but I’m fairly certain it is more economically efficient than our private system in the US, and it provides care that patients find better, and without heavy co-pays or deductibles.


#108

Last post before I go to my board game meetup. One of the insane things about the whole “singe payer can’t happen in the US” theme is that we’ve had single payer for 50 years! in the form of Medicare and it is quite popular and also reasonably economically efficient.


#109

Here is a link to the liberal but still pretty balanced Kaiser Health Care summary of 7 articles about the latest Medicare Trustee report. The articles talk about insolvency, running out of money etc. It means, just as you say, an inability to meet 100% of the obligations.

I haven’t read the Trustee reports. I have read the Social Security trustee reports in that past and they basically said that SS collection would be only sufficient to pay 75% of the benefits. I’m not sure what the figure is for Medicare. You’ll have to dig deeper.

Also in looking at the articles a newer cost per beneficiary for Medicare is $13,000/year. We had this discussion in one of the Obamacare threads. You are correct that’s is not fair to compare the cost of medical care to senior to the cost of other countries as whole, or the VA system which is a single payer and generally single provider system. However, I have not been able to find a breakdown of the cost of say Canada, Australia, UK, France by age group.

But I think it is incumbent on people who say single payer is the solution is to use Medicare as comparisons point when looking at other countries health care systems.

Anyway, this is a discussion better in the Obamacare threads.


#110

I’ll need to research the Civil Rights passing I guess so let’s say since 1965 I’m not aware of anything just this crazy. They voted to proceed on no text, with nothing going through a committee, so that they can technically qualify as ‘debating’ the bill now without having a bill.

It’s not technically against the rules, but only because it’s such a violation of norms that nobody thought to enshrine it in the rules.


#111

I think the biggest issue with any single state switching is hefty; the healthy and wealthy would leave to another state and the sick would move to California. Even if you solved the second issue by only providing it to people who have established residencies for at least X years, it doesn’t solve the first.


#112

The committee work they did though involved 13 old men in a room, who came up with an objectively garbage plan that everyone hates.

I mean, wtf dude.

Do it fucking right, with actual people working together to actually come up with a real plan.


#113

“It’s ok if the House passes this because it’s so bad the Senate will have to fix it!”
“It’s ok if they proceed to debate because how else will they make good changes?”

Anyone who is fine with this line of progression can respectfully fuck off and stop using my families’ lives as political chips because you expect Republicans to suddenly change course and not do something evil that will line their pockets.


#114

B-b-but muh liberty. Bootstraps! Bootstraps!


#115

“It’s ok if the Senate passes it because they’ll fix it in reconciliation”
“It’s ok if they pass it without fixing it, they’ll fix it in follow-on legislation”
“It’s ok that tens of thousands of people died for lack of healthcare, because Freedom! Besides, her emails”


#116

#117

I have a decent amount of respect for McCain, but mostly for Old McCain (whom i respected a lot). Like many others i feel that McCain completely abandoned his Maverick status after his presidential run. He became someone who talks big but always ends up voting with his party when his vote is needed.

McCain is an establishment republican these days, and a reliable one. That is fine I guess, but he should at least be honest about it instead of playing the same game EVERY time. Stand by your convictions McCain or stop pretending. We’re all tired of this rerun.

I fully believe he will vote for this bill, no matter what he says, because that is what he does.


#118

#119

I’m confused. Didn’t McCain say in his speech yesterday that he’d vote against the bill as it currently stood? But after voting for yesterday’s “procedural” vote on the motion to proceed, he also voted FOR the actual BCRA bill last night? the one that he specifically said he would vote against? What am I missing? Or is it as I suspected that his speech was just a load of bullshit?


#120

I think it was in fact kind of bullshit, but that vote wasn’t technically for the BCRA, but instead was for whether it met budgetary requirements, I believe.