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The Heritage Uncertainty Principle

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  • The Heritage Uncertainty Principle

    The Heritage Uncertainty Principle


    One of the more amusing developments in the Obamacare debate has been watching conservatives turn from denouncing the health-care law for its lack of high-deductible insurance to denouncing the health-care law for its high-deductible insurance. I wrote a bit about it a week ago, and Ezra Klein describes it in much more detail today. Insurance plans with low premiums and high deductibles were a major centerpiece of conservative health-care thinking. Until quite recently, conservatives seemed to believe that Obamacare prevented such plans from existing, which was totally false. As they’ve come into existence, conservatives have transitioned seamlessly into denouncing these plans for their horrible, high deductibles.


    Episodes like this one have grown so familiar that they’ve lost all capacity to surprise. Conservative health-care-policy ideas reside in an uncertain state of quasi-existence. You can describe the policies in the abstract, sometimes even in detail, but any attempt to reproduce them in physical form will cause such proposals to disappear instantly. It’s not so much an issue of “hypocrisy,” as Klein frames it, as a deeper metaphysical question of whether conservative health-care policies actually exist.


    The question should be posed to better-trained philosophical minds than my own. I would posit that conservative health-care policies do not exist in any real form. Call it the “Heritage Uncertainty Principle.”


    I take the name of this principle from the emblematic example, the Heritage Foundation’s health-care plan, which formed the primary intellectual basis for conservative opposition to Democratic health-care plans. In 1993, Republican minority leader Bob Dole supported a version of it to demonstrate that Republicans did not endorse the status quo, until Democrats, facing the demise of their own plan, tried to bring up Dole’s plan, at which point Dole renounced his own plan.


    During a Republican presidential debate two years ago, while Newt Gingrich assailed Mitt Romney for having previously supported an Obama-like health-care plan, fellow Republicans noted that Gingrich had done the same thing. Facing a threat to his own ideological bona fides, Gingrich issued this memorable defense for his long-renounced history of support for the individual mandate: “It's now clear that the mandate, I think, is clearly unconstitutional. But, it started as a conservative effort to stop HillaryCare in the 1990s.”


    This may be the most incisive expression of conservative health-care thinking ever uttered. In the first sentence, Gingrich asserts that the individual mandate is now clearly unconstitutional, even though its constitutionality was deemed not even remotely questionable before. And in the next breath, he casually admits that he had supported the plan as a mere tactic to stop Clinton. Of course he didn’t really want to implement it!
    Colonel Vogel : What does the diary tell you that it doesn't tell us?

    Professor Henry Jones : It tells me, that goose-stepping morons like yourself should try *reading* books instead of *burning* them!

  • #2
    More blame the Republicans who never voted for this monstrosity.

    The problem with the ACA's version of high deductible policies is that the premiums are too high because of all the free or low-cost services required that fall outside of the deductibles and the lack of actuarial rates based on risk factors. Chemotherapy? That's going to run you $4000 per month on your Bronze plan, but here are some free birth control pills. In perfect health? $300 per month. 300 pounds overweight and an alcoholic? $300 per month.

    It's amazing how little these "experts" know about health insurance now that they are in charge.
    "Faith is nothing but a firm assent of the mind : which, if it be regulated, as is our duty, cannot be afforded to anything but upon good reason, and so cannot be opposite to it."

    -John Locke

    Comment


    • #3
      Originally posted by scott View Post
      More blame the Republicans who never voted for this monstrosity.
      Blame? You can blame select Republicans for their tantrums but not for the ACA. This just points out their incoherence.

      It isn't the only issue, either.
      Colonel Vogel : What does the diary tell you that it doesn't tell us?

      Professor Henry Jones : It tells me, that goose-stepping morons like yourself should try *reading* books instead of *burning* them!

      Comment


      • #4
        Originally posted by Billy Jingo View Post
        Blame? You can blame select Republicans for their tantrums but not for the ACA. This just points out their incoherence.

        It isn't the only issue, either.
        Perhaps I wasn't clear. This column is yet another attempt to blame Republicans for the ACA since it's claimed that the ACA was a compromise between full single-payer and the conservative ideas floated 20 years ago.

        Also it's not pointing out the incoherence, it's demonstrating the failure of this government program (hence the need to focus on the Republicans).
        "Faith is nothing but a firm assent of the mind : which, if it be regulated, as is our duty, cannot be afforded to anything but upon good reason, and so cannot be opposite to it."

        -John Locke

        Comment


        • #5
          Originally posted by scott View Post
          Perhaps I wasn't clear. This column is yet another attempt to blame Republicans for the ACA since it's claimed that the ACA was a compromise between full single-payer and the conservative ideas floated 20 years ago.
          The Patients’ Choice Act of 2009 wasn't that long ago.

          Although no way it would pass the House, now.
          Colonel Vogel : What does the diary tell you that it doesn't tell us?

          Professor Henry Jones : It tells me, that goose-stepping morons like yourself should try *reading* books instead of *burning* them!

          Comment


          • #6
            Originally posted by Billy Jingo View Post
            The Patients’ Choice Act of 2009 wasn't that long ago.

            Although no way it would pass the House, now.
            I always thought that you strived to be informed, even if you don't always acknowledge facts that disagree with your viewpoint.

            That's obviously no longer the case. You really don't know much about this do you? It's fine if you don't, but you're posting stuff that hinges on details that are way into the weeds to make a statement. If you aren't willing to go into the weeds yourself aren't you just a parrot?

            At some point you had to have learned about basic marketing and PR. Look at the article, look at the picture, and look at the structure of the paragraphs and the order in which they are presented. If all of that yields nothing of insight, read the conclusion (starts at the 2nd to last paragraph). The conclusion is the meat of what the author (and the editor) want to convey. There's nothing new here, just a substantiation of the talking point that this was a Republican compromise without Republicans voting for it.

            In other words, a deflection away from the FAIL that the Democrats did vote for.
            "Faith is nothing but a firm assent of the mind : which, if it be regulated, as is our duty, cannot be afforded to anything but upon good reason, and so cannot be opposite to it."

            -John Locke

            Comment


            • #7
              Originally posted by scott View Post
              More blame the Republicans who never voted for this monstrosity.

              The problem with the ACA's version of high deductible policies is that the premiums are too high because of all the free or low-cost services required that fall outside of the deductibles and the lack of actuarial rates based on risk factors. Chemotherapy? That's going to run you $4000 per month on your Bronze plan, but here are some free birth control pills. In perfect health? $300 per month. 300 pounds overweight and an alcoholic? $300 per month.

              It's amazing how little these "experts" know about health insurance now that they are in charge.
              That's my issue. The set-up I expected to move into next year (but now can't) was an HSA/catastrophic combo plan with a low monthly payment. I would have had a high deductible but would have been able to count my costs against it and I could have funded those costs out of my HSA. In my particular situation, I was willing to absorb $6,000 in a given year.

              The numbers I've seen for my own situation are kind of crazy. As a result, I will move to my husband's plan next year. We will end up paying a lot more than we currently do or than we would have had I been able to do what I planned. Like everyone, I expect to pay more as I age but I've also been a major non-user of health care for years and years. No kids, no birth control, no lifestyle diseases, no substance abuse issues, no mental health services used through insurance, no STDs, etc.

              Now I will have to get a plan I don't like, pay more for it, and get nothing for being all health-conscious for years and years.
              "Alexa, slaughter the fatted calf."

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by Gingersnap View Post
                That's my issue. The set-up I expected to move into next year (but now can't) was an HSA/catastrophic combo plan with a low monthly payment. I would have had a high deductible but would have been able to count my costs against it and I could have funded those costs out of my HSA. In my particular situation, I was willing to absorb $6,000 in a given year.

                The numbers I've seen for my own situation are kind of crazy. As a result, I will move to my husband's plan next year. We will end up paying a lot more than we currently do or than we would have had I been able to do what I planned. Like everyone, I expect to pay more as I age but I've also been a major non-user of health care for years and years. No kids, no birth control, no lifestyle diseases, no substance abuse issues, no mental health services used through insurance, no STDs, etc.

                Now I will have to get a plan I don't like, pay more for it, and get nothing for being all health-conscious for years and years.
                Well you get the benefit of being further-removed from the long arm of the government. If you think taxation and fees are oppressive, wait until you are a livelong recipient of government healthcare! There's a huge ticking time bomb waiting for all those who like their employer coverage and think that they can keep it.
                "Faith is nothing but a firm assent of the mind : which, if it be regulated, as is our duty, cannot be afforded to anything but upon good reason, and so cannot be opposite to it."

                -John Locke

                Comment


                • #9
                  Originally posted by Gingersnap View Post
                  That's my issue. The set-up I expected to move into next year (but now can't) was an HSA/catastrophic combo plan with a low monthly payment. I would have had a high deductible but would have been able to count my costs against it and I could have funded those costs out of my HSA. In my particular situation, I was willing to absorb $6,000 in a given year.

                  The numbers I've seen for my own situation are kind of crazy. As a result, I will move to my husband's plan next year. We will end up paying a lot more than we currently do or than we would have had I been able to do what I planned. Like everyone, I expect to pay more as I age but I've also been a major non-user of health care for years and years. No kids, no birth control, no lifestyle diseases, no substance abuse issues, no mental health services used through insurance, no STDs, etc.

                  Now I will have to get a plan I don't like, pay more for it, and get nothing for being all health-conscious for years and years.
                  Oh, you had one of those junk plans. You're far better off paying for all that coverage you don't need. Obama says so.

                  Right, Bawk?
                  “I do not aim with my hand; he who aims with his hand has forgotten the face of his father.
                  I aim with my eye.

                  "I do not shoot with my hand; he who shoots with his hand has forgotten the face of his father.
                  I shoot with my mind.

                  "I do not kill with my gun; he who kills with his gun has forgotten the face of his father.
                  I kill with my heart.”

                  The Gunslinger Creed, Stephen King, The Dark Tower

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by daveman View Post
                    Oh, you had one of those junk plans. You're far better off paying for all that coverage you don't need. Obama says so.

                    Right, Bawk?
                    Yeah, I was going to be the victim of a "junk plan".
                    "Alexa, slaughter the fatted calf."

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by Gingersnap View Post
                      Yeah, I was going to be the victim of a "junk plan".
                      Praise Obama for saving your from your own ignorance and from the eeeeeevil insurance company!
                      “I do not aim with my hand; he who aims with his hand has forgotten the face of his father.
                      I aim with my eye.

                      "I do not shoot with my hand; he who shoots with his hand has forgotten the face of his father.
                      I shoot with my mind.

                      "I do not kill with my gun; he who kills with his gun has forgotten the face of his father.
                      I kill with my heart.”

                      The Gunslinger Creed, Stephen King, The Dark Tower

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by Gingersnap View Post
                        Yeah, I was going to be the victim of a "junk plan".
                        Why aren't you thankful to have your new coverage for testicular cancer? After all, your prior insurance plan was derelict for not giving you this coverage before.

                        Enjoy your free prostate exam next year!
                        It's been ten years since that lonely day I left you
                        In the morning rain, smoking gun in hand
                        Ten lonely years but how my heart, it still remembers
                        Pray for me, momma, I'm a gypsy now

                        Comment

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