Do You C What I C?

August 5, 2010 | By | 3 Replies More

The Tea Party apparently did well in Missouri during the mid-term primaries this week. They (or someone) managed to stage contests for most Republican candidates, while most Democrats ran unopposed in our state. Why might anyone do this?

Proposition C.

This piece of  “legislation” is an arguably unconstitutional attempt to stop Health Care Reform by claiming States Rights against an unpopular provision in the Obama plan: Mandatory Health Insurance. Universal insurance is an attempt to pay for the impending regulation doing away with preexisting condition coverage denials. If everyone is covered, then there will be no preexisting conditions. But if everyone can sign up only when they need it and insurers cannot deny coverage, then insurers will go bankrupt and the Federal Government will have to completely take over. This is what they want? But Missourians voted overwhelmingly in favor of denying the Federal Government the right to enforce this provision necessary to interstate commerce.

But if you look at detailed election results, you’ll see that the vote on Proposition C is proportional to the ratio of Republicans to others who bothered to vote. In a state that was razor-close in November 2008, three Republicans showed up for each Democrat to vote in this primary.

Here is another view of this Proposition: What the passage of Proposition C in Missouri means, and what it does not mean. In brief, it is grandstanding. Given the likely turnout at the polls, and given the correct wording, it was an unsinkable piece of “voter mandate” with no actual significance. But it looks good as a jab-in-the-eye to an embattled administration. Unless you actually read about the issue.

But the point was to pick one unpopular clause of the 2,500 page law, and publicly display how “the people” are against the whole thing. I’m curious to see how the Tea Party will stack the November election. Will other states be so dumb?

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Category: Current Events, Health, Health Care Reform, Law, Politics

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A convoluted mind behind a curly face. A regular traveler, a science buff, and first generation American. Graying of hair, yet still verdant of mind. Lives in South St. Louis City. See his personal website for (too much) more.

Comments (3)

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  1. The other reason Prop C had traction is something fundamental to individual … hmmm… stubbornness. The idea that the government can order you to buy something you may not want.

    Happens all the time, of course, but usually in relation to property. Own a house? While paying for it, you must have home owners insurance. Don't want to be forced to pay for that? Live in an apartment. Own a car? You must have car insurance. Don't want to pay for it? Ride the bus.

    But in this instance, it is not a property issue. You cannot elect to have or not have health.

    The result is, this is in fact a tax, just not paid to the government, and all taxes are seen to be amenable to the vote.

    The logic of it matters to many people not at all. People perversely reject being made to pay for something involuntarily.

    Silly case in point—my first job out of high school was at Fox Photo. They had a dress code. These ugly mustard colored jackets and, for the men, a tie. I did not own a tie. In my 18-year-old righteousness I told them it was their rule, buy me the tie (they did provide the jacket). I thought it unfair that I be made to spend my money to accommodate their rules. Silly, as I said, but that's the mindset we're butting up against.

  2. Erich Vieth says:

    I don't resent that everyone should have basic health coverage (not necessarily for liver transplants or experimental medicine, but BASIC coverage –See this post on Oregon's plan for the general idea). What I do resent is that we should be held captive to buying health insurance from a small cartel of for profit providers who have made many billions gouging us and denying legitimate claims), and who are intent on continuing business as usual.

    I think that Obama simply kicked the can a few feet down the road, and that his 2,000 pages of "health care reform" are in for a collision with Obama alleged primary reason for having health care reform: cost containment. I don't see cost controls in anywhere in his legislation. Single payer, done correctly, is the solution.

  3. NIklaus Pfirsig says:

    Erich,

    I agree that single payer, done right is the solution. But getting a single payer system in place with the considerable political influence that the various health and insurance industries have in Washington, with the power of corporations to buy any election, well let's just say that solution is a pipe dream in our current political atmosphere.

    Mark,

    If you live in an apartment, you also pay insurance, but it's included in the rent and only protects the landlord's interest.

    If you use public transportation, and the operations of the transport system is contracted out, you pay insurance indirectly.

    Under the private health care system, insurance is the major expense for hospitals, clinics and doctors, who have no choice but to pass the expense on to the patients.

    One of the main reasons that health care costs so much is because of insurance. There is a common belief, pushed by the insurance lobby that blames the high cost of health care on unnecessary and expensive tests used to protect the health care providers from malpractice suits, but insurers push high premium malpractice insurance which can cost over 250,000 per year.

    Add to this the insurance industry of contractual discounts for hospitals and clinics. Insurance companies negotiate contracts with hospitals and clinics, in which the insurer agrees to pay a percentage of the total bill, with the provider writing off the rest of the bill.

    The provider benefits from not having to continually fight the insurer in court.

    For example, say you get very sick and go to the emergency room. Every person that works on you case has to pay malpractice insurance. The triage nurse, the ER doctor, the lab-tech who analyzes your blood, the phlebotomist who draws the blood, and the hospital facility also has malpractice insurance.

    Out of the total four hour visit at the ER, the staff need a total of around $1000, a large part of which goes to paying the malpractice insurance.

    But the medical repricing contract with the hospital will only pay 15 percent of that 1000, around $150. so the providers raise their prices to compensate. So instead of $1000 for the visit, the bill rises to about $7000 so the 15 percent contracted amount is enough to pay the operational expenses for the hospital. This has the added effect providing an incentive for individuals getting health care coverage.

    The insurers can also mandate certain tests on the patients for the purpose of protecting the financial interests of the insurer.

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