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  •  I agree with your comments (1+ / 0-)
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    ZedMont

    But I think it is a mistake to conflate ACA and the Public Option -- as if they are both about health care.

    In the end, they are both about health care costs -- and even there, they branch.

    One is guaranteed to raise costs enormously.

    The other is guaranteed to lower costs significantly.

    Indeed, they hardly exist in the same universe.


    Most people, when knocked over by the truth, have a tendency to pick themselves up, brush themselves off...and then hurry away like nothing had ever happened.

    by Pluto on Mon Jan 16, 2012 at 11:29:27 AM PST

    [ Parent ]

    •  I'm sorry if I left the impression that I am (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Pluto

      conflating the two.  Far from it.  The ACA is fundamentally weakened by the absence of a public option.

      However, I do disagree with the idea that the ACA is guaranteed to raise costs enormously.  I think in this case you have perhaps conflated the ACA with the inevitability of rising health care costs.  

      One thing is certain if history can be trusted.  In the absence of an ACA, health care costs would have risen at or above the rate they rose before.  I suspect we can agree on that.  

      So, the idea that the ACA is guaranteed to raise costs enormously must be measured against how much costs would have risen anyway, had there been no ACA.

      Now, I will agree that costs will increase over and above what they would have to some degree initially, but the ACA was never designed to instantly contain health care costs.  It was designed to reduce the rate of increase in health care costs while providing health care to millions who lacked it before.

      It's too soon to know if that will happen.  The CBO thinks it will, and the only voices disagreeing are political ones.  I will have to go with the CBO on that one.

      However, one critical point remains.  There is nothing that says the ACA is the last word on this.  Health care advocates clinging to the ACA like it was debris in a swirling sea would most certainly rather be on the deck of a ship.  That ship is a single payer system.  They may, if they survive and if they struggle enough, find themselves in the dinghy of a public option on their way to the ship.

      That's the way I see it.  The ACA is all we have to cling to right now.  The alternative is to sit back, let the Republicans take over the entire government, and watch how health care costs rise with the insurance industry on steroids, unreachable on a laissez faire sea in which most of us will eventually drown.  If the ACA is repealed, you will not see the words "health care reform" on the lips of any president in your lifetime, and that doesn't depend on how old you are.

      That's all I'm saying.  We don't have the luxury of living in the "what might have been."  Our only chance is to cling to what we do have, the ACA, and fight for its replacement with a truly universal healthcare system.  

      And if that happens, the majority of those who now oppose such a thing will be saying "This government health care is so much better and so much more reasonable for the middle class than what we had before.  Why in the world did we oppose it anyway?"  

      That reversal of attitude and vote of confidence in the electorate is the only thing that will ever bring it about. And that ship will not turn quickly, and will not turn at all without a lot of hands on a bunch of oars, struggling mightily.

      What'd the devil give you for your soul, Tommy? He taught me to play this guitar REAL good. Oh son, for that you gave up your everlastin' soul? Well, I wuddn' usin' it.

      by ZedMont on Mon Jan 16, 2012 at 03:05:31 PM PST

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      •  Thanks for such a thorough response. (2+ / 0-)
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        ZedMont, Mnemosyne

        We are definitely on the same page, and you've stepped it up quite a bit looking at possible outcomes.

        Regarding the initial point:

        I think in this case you have perhaps conflated the ACA with the inevitability of rising health care costs.  

        It's only fair to disclose that I am using a global metric, where health care costs do not rise catastrophically within the same time horizons. This makes the US a radical outlier on a continuing parabolic tragectory.

        Doing nothing at all would yield the same results that the ACA does -- costwise. Which is what I should have said.

        That reversal of attitude and vote of confidence in the electorate is the only thing that will ever bring it about.

        The most recent poll I have shows that about half of all Americans do not believe that health care is a human right. I believe that negative number may be growing.


        Most people, when knocked over by the truth, have a tendency to pick themselves up, brush themselves off...and then hurry away like nothing had ever happened.

        by Pluto on Mon Jan 16, 2012 at 03:18:36 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  Man, that last couple of sentences is discouraging (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Mnemosyne, Pluto

          What'd the devil give you for your soul, Tommy? He taught me to play this guitar REAL good. Oh son, for that you gave up your everlastin' soul? Well, I wuddn' usin' it.

          by ZedMont on Mon Jan 16, 2012 at 04:24:28 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

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