The whole point of free speech is not to make ideas exempt from criticism but to expose them to it.

Saturday, August 29, 2009

Nice work Cory.

Over on our Brookings neighbor's little mud-pie, tea-bag toss, and carnival side-show, Cory Heidelberger from the rather more mature and rational Madville Times made a wonderfully succinct argument for single-pay health insurance... not that any legislator from SD is even willing to give such ideas a second thought, it seems.

It bears repeating and comment here, so please, Forumpians, have at it.
Cory says:
‘‘... the best and obvious policy solution [is] a single-payer system that enjoys all the socialist benefits of insurance without the capitalist piracy of private firms skimming money off the top for doing something we could do for ourselves through government much more cheaply (Medicare and VA has less overhead), effectively (Medicare and VA have higher customer satisfaction ratings than private providers), and morally (no pre-existing condition exclusions or rescission).’’

"Socialist benefits of insurance..." Did you catch that part, Neal?


Thad Wasson said...

The VA limits service to those that make over $32,000 a year. There is plans to build a state-of-the art medical facility in Denver, CO for VA care but keeps getting delayed because of political reasons. You could improve VA by allowing private doctors and nurses to have access to those patients. There is to much emphasis on brick and motar when it would be better spent on patient care.

Steve Sibson said...

Medicare is great for the customer, but not for the providers as its reimbursements rates are a fraction of the real costs of the providers. This has forced the providers to shift more and more of their costs to htose customers who carry private insurance and is the reason private insurance rates have sky-rocketed. To say that solving that problem by expanding Medicare to the rest to those who are currently paying for what Medicare refuses to pay is lacking logic.

And isn't Medicare broke in 2017? Perhaps the real reason behind Obamacare is to save Medicare, not to save America's health care with a Medicare approach.

Steve Sibson said...

Here is analysis by Woodrow Wilcox:

Obama and his supporters want a single payer system. What’s wrong with that? Nothing – unless you are the ultimate payer.

Imagine going to a restaurant and that someone has agreed to pay for everything for the dinner party.

If you are a dinner guest, will you have a little more than what you really need?

If you are a dinner guest, will you stay after the dinner to help the host make sure that the bill is accurate and correct?

If you are the waiter or the restaurant owner, will you be tempted to “pad” the bill a bit?

Now, imagine that you are the ultimate payer. You get the bill. You can’t believe how big it is. Hey, isn’t anyone going to stay to help you make sure that everything on the bill is correct? Where are all the people that you treated to the dinner? Now, you are left to examine the bill without anyone to help you determine if it is an honest bill.

The restaurant manager is waiting. You have no option except to pay a bill that you really want to question. You have some doubts about what the bill states that you and your guests consumed. But, you have no means to question the bill effectively.

In a single payer health care system, first the government will pay, but ultimately, the taxpayers will pay.

caheidelberger said...

Thank you, Bill! Now if we could just get Rep. Herseth Sandlin to listen....

Thad, I'm all for continuing to improve the best health care in America. VA and Medicare: extend 'em, don't end 'em!

And Steve, isn't the private insurance industry going to destroy itself, too? At current rates, no one will be able to afford private insurance in a decade or so, so why bother? Let's just ban all insurance now, eh? Death is the most Natural Law of all, so why blaspheme by fighting it?

Randall said...

Good job Cory, well said.

Thad Wasson said...

Bill and Caheidelberger,

Since Congress is all about cutting deals, I have one for you guys. Give me a 10% income tax for every wage earning American, a capital gains tax set at 5% and ban abortion and I will give you universal health coverage for every American citizen.

Bill Fleming said...

A flat tax, Thad? What about the corps?

Bill Fleming said...

And the loopholes?

Thad Wasson said...

Everyone pays the same, no subsidy for anyone, including the farm belt.

caheidelberger said...

No trade on banning abortion, Thad. Leave to the women, doctors, and the people closest to them to make that decision, not Pierre or Washington (come on, where's your conservatism?).

On the flat income and capgains tax: Break out the spreadsheet, Thad. Show me your plan is deficit-neutral, and we deal. If your 10%i/5%cg taxes reduce federal revenues, tell me which programs you cut to make up the difference.

Bill Fleming said...

Right, Cory. If government can ban abortion, it can also make it mandatory. This is a decision beyond the law. Like any prohibition, a ban will only exacerbate the problem, producing unintended consequences. Better to pass laws on education and health care reform that help make abortion unnecessary.

Anonymous said...

Add this to the debate - insurance company prompted divorce, in part, sponsored by the party of family values.

PP said...

From the first post on this website...

"However, this is not the place where you can come to call others names or ridicule people whose thoughts differ from yours.


Criticism is allowed and encouraged. Insults are not."

As noted in this post...

"Over on our Brookings neighbor's little mud-pie, tea-bag toss, and carnival side-show..."

I've said it before, and I'll say it again. There's no decorum at the forum.

The same name calling goes on here that occurs on every other website in the blogosphere. The only difference is that when it's directed at conservatives, it's allowed and encouraged.

Bill Fleming said...

Hi, Pat. Thanks for your concern.

I don't know about Mike, who wrote the words you quoted, but I myself will never hesitate to employ the Jeffersonian Exception when necessary:

"Ridicule is he only weapon which can be used against unintelligible propositions. Ideas must be distinct before reason can act upon them..."
— Thomas Jefferson

Of course, if Mike doesn't like it, he can always fire me. And if you don't like it on your blog, you can always delete my comments.

I do understand that it is sometimes tactically in ones best interest politically to spread lies and confusion.

And nobody — but nobody — is any better at this than you are. Not surprising though. You were trained by the best. (GOP neocons, Sibby, Wingnuts, et al.)

Here's to your most splendid Sunday, Mr. Powers.

Bill Fleming said...

Proof of my assertion to Mr. Powers from an objective observer, presumably from inside the "Big GOP Tent."

Bill Fleming said...

...and while we're at it, here's a hot link to Anonymous's NYT suggestion above:

Bob Newland said...

"...this is not the place where you can come to call others names or ridicule people..."

True enough, and I believe we hold to that. However, we have no problem ridiculing inanimate objects, a category into which PP falls.

PP said...

I rest my case.

Bill Fleming said...

Pat, when you can approach this Forum in good faith, we will communicate with you in kind.

When you come in like Sibby wagging your finger, you can expect similar gestures in return.

The long and short of it is that both Bob and I have endured far more egregious abuse on your blog than you will ever experience here.

And you know it.

Bottom line... take your jack boots off at the door, little brother.

Steve Sibson said...

"And Steve, isn't the private insurance industry going to destroy itself, too?"

No government intervention is doing that.

Bill, then why don't youy get your boss to change the name of this web site, that is, if you guys want to be honest. Of course honesty would not be "natural" for you guys on the left.

Bill Fleming said...

No need, Sibby, we don't have a problem with it. You do.

Bill Fleming said...

So Sibby, what is your proposed solution to the Health Care crisis? Or don't you think there is one?

Seriously. Give us your ideas.

But please, keep the cut and paste to a minimum. If you want to reference sources, just provide the links, ok?

We'd like to hear you tell us in your own words, if you don't mind.


PP said...

Bill, when your post begins with an insult, I don't think it's out of line to point out what's supposed to be your blog's mission statement.

Bill Fleming said...

Where was the insult, PP? I pointed out the exact same phenomenon on your blog to your face and those who were carrying on in that manner and you didn't object to it there.

My comments are in regard to the disingenuous way you and most of the people on your blog are approaching health care reform. It's a smoke and mirrors act and you know it.

Even other conservatives are calling you on it. Don't blame us for your bad acting mon. Just fess up, shape up and move on.

This doesn't have to be a thing. We'd all love to cut you some slack if you'd just get real once in a while.

PP said...

Bill, if you dislike my little "mud-pie, tea-bag toss, and carnival side-show" that much, you're under no obligation to read.

Same goes for commenting (16 times today, as of this writing.)

Bill Fleming said...

I go there to balance your site and present an opposing point of view.

I've noticed many there feigning upset because no one from our side listens to them. I do.

Because no one from our side talks to them, I do.

Because no one from our side tries to understand them. I do.

Because they say we liberals always act the crazed way that Ann Coulter and Rush Limbaugh and Sibby say we do, I don't.

Because some there say we're are all a bunch of baby killers. We're not.

Etc, etc.

I know who reads your blog.

So I go there to tell truth to power.

It's not always comfortable for me, but I do it anyway.

That's just the way I was brought up, man.

In a good Republican family, Boy's State and all that...

Bill Fleming said...

By the way, Pat, you're welcome to post here 16 times a day if you want to.

Or 60.


I think you'll find the people who contribute here, how should I say it? Ok, refreshing... yeah, that's it. Refreshing.

After a hard day on the War College Campus, kick back, open up and get real at the Forum.

Hey, what could it hurt?

You can even use a fake name if you want to.

Just not "Anonymous" ok?

That guy makes my ass tired.

Steve Sibson said...


The solution is very simple:

He who receives health care benefits, pays for them. The only point to debate, is the expense before or after tax.

Bill Fleming said...

So, no insurance, Sibby? I have a good friend who's like that. Doesn't believe in insurance of any kind. Period. Interesting concept. Really.

Bill Fleming said...

So what do you think about the tax thing, Sib. Would your health care expenses be deductible? If you had a huge medical bill for something really serious and you couldn't afford it, then what?

Say you were in an accident and woke up in a recovery room, you'd been in a coma for a week, broken this amputated that, etc. From your point of view one minute you're driving down the road not a care in the world, and the next minute you're in debt about $250,000. What then?

Thad Wasson said...

You mean if you climb Mt. Rushmore to hang a goofy greenpeace sign, fall and end up in a coma? Who pays then? You do not think Greenpeace has a health plan for their employees?

Bill Fleming said...

Sure Thad, it could be that. Or a car wreck. Whatever. If you didn't have insurance, you'd still be in deep stuff, right?

(...where did that Mt. Rushmore thing come from? You want to change the subject or somethin' Thad?)

senor citizen said...

The decorum forum has as much decorum as clean cut kid was clean! A name does not necessarily a truth tell!

Thad Wasson said...

What if you arrived at the government run hospital and they said you were to expensive to save, so they did nothing. Now you are dead, but hey, no bill for the government.

I could also lose $250,000 if my house burns down and I have no private insurance. I could also lose $250,000 on my stock in GM and Fannie and Freddie Mac.

Bill Fleming said...

So, senior citizen, how's things?

Pull up a chair.

Stick around.


You don't get in trouble here unless you make trouble.

Bill Fleming said...

Yes, Thad... and your point is?

(...government run hospital? You mean like the VA?)

Bill Fleming said...

Thad, are we talking past each other here? I'm trying to expand on Steve's point of the consumer paying for health care expenses directly.

Being the real customer of the health providers instead having of the insurance company in the middle. I'm not necessarily opposed to that idea. I'm just trying to see how it works in a catastrophic instance.

And you're right. Same goes for your house and your business financing, and driving your car, If someone else is involved in the risk (banks, car manufacturers, creditors, other drivers) you are REQUIRED to have insurance.

You have no choice in the matter. I'm wondering why it should be differnt for health?

Thad Wasson said...

I.H.S., tricare ( you get stuck with that bill unless you have prior authoriztion )on base, after 5 no service, no service on weekends. You get shipped to Rapid City Regional Hospital or Black Hills Peds. Two profit generating businesses that pick up where the federal government fails.

Everyone should have private insurance, we have a track record of failure from the federal government.

Bill Fleming said...

Yes, the IHS is hopelessly underfunded, Thad. If you're elected will you work to fix that?

Steven Sibson said...

"So, no insurance, Sibby?"


I think insurance falls under the catagory of things people can pay for. Funny how simple solutions are hard for simple minds to grasp.

Steve Sibson said...

"Yes, the IHS is hopelessly underfunded, Thad. If you're elected will you work to fix that?"


That is a violation of my simple solution.

Bill Fleming said...

No Sibby, public or private, insurance is socialism.

Why is it you don't understand that?

Your premium doesn't go to pay for your health care. It goes to pay for everybody in your group's health care.

The only diff between private and public policy is who the administrator is. But insurance as far as benifits are concerned is socialist, all the way, economically speaking.

That is, unless you self-insure, which is what I thought you were talking about.

Bill Fleming said...

p.s. Sibby, I hope you'll forgive me for thinking so, since that IS what you said. Every one should pay for their OWN health care benefits. You get knee surgery, YOU pay for it. You need an expensive perscription, YOU pay for it.

The "benefits" of health care coverage are health care goods and services.

Bill Fleming said...

Sibby, question for you. Do you self-insure? Or does Toshiba take some money out of your check to pay for your health care premium.

Or do they just pay the whole thing as a benefit? i.e. do you get to decide if you have health insurance or not? Is it a mandatory part (albeit perhaps desirable) part of your employment compensation?

Again, just curious. Maybe you have an MSA?

Thad Wasson said...

I need to speak to the tribal elders and learn what they want. In my opinion, the B.I.A. and Department of the Interior need to be downsized. I want our Indian Nations to negotiate directly with the federal government.

Bill Fleming said...

What do you mean by "directly with the Federal Government," Thad? Congress? The President? The Supreme Court?

Thad Wasson said...


Michael Sanborn said...

PP: This blog moves along quite nicely and for the most part does so without the name-calling and insults so frequently found elsewhere.

You fired the first shot when you "for a little fun" chose to try to sabotage this blog. (

You libeled Bob Newland on your blog and tried to on this one. When you were called on it, you quickly removed the libelous posts from both and made a bunch of excuses on yours.

"mud-pie, tea-bag toss, and carnival sideshow" falls into fair comment where War College is concerned.

I stand behind Fleming's post. This blog belongs to me, Bill and Bob. You may as often as you wish declare that there is no decorum on this forum, but if you feel you've been insulted rather than commented upon, perhaps you should examine your own actions.

There is more mud thrown at SDWC than other blogs in the South Dakota blogosphere. You don't like criticism, don't provide such easy fodder for it.

Steve Sibson said...


I am not allowed to publicly discuss Toshiba policies.

After I retire, we can have a long and interesting conversation about freedom and working for a corporation who is required to follow federal regualtions.

Steve Sibson said...

"What do you mean by "directly with the Federal Government," Thad? Congress? The President? The Supreme Court?"

Bill, the separation of powers was taken down during the 1937 constitutional revolution. The Progressives now control all three. The aim is to turn the United States into one big reservation.

Bill Fleming said...

Steve, ok, I hear you about Toshiba. So can you answer me with a hypothetical? You do understand the nature of my question, don't you?

Let's say you somehow lost your job at Toshiba and had to get a job somewhere else. What kind of health insurance plan would you be looking for? What would you expect of your employer?

Steve Sibson said...


I am looking at the NRA's group plan. Want to join?

Bill Fleming said...

Is it online, Steve? Is it any good?

Steve Sibson said...

"Is it any good?"

You bet, it doesn't make somebody else pay the premiums. What would you expect from a pro-freedom organization? Unfortunately the premiums would be lower if it wasn't picking up what Indian Health Services, Medicaid, and Medicare don't pay.

Bill Fleming said...

How's that Steve?