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#102 Aug 14 2012 at 4:24 AM Rating: Good
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Romney must be getting a lot of money from Aquafresh to go with this logo.

EDIT: better comparison

Edited, Aug 14th 2012 12:26pm by Aethien
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#103 Aug 14 2012 at 7:20 AM Rating: Good
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trickybeck wrote:
Almost nobody ever gets "destroyed" in any presidential debate.
According to one side, the other side always gets destroyed.
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#104 Aug 14 2012 at 7:24 AM Rating: Excellent
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I don't know if McCain was destroyed in two of the debates (although he lost them) but he did himself in with that third (?) debate where he wandered lost around the stage.

Today's fun times quote:
Bush adviser Mark McKinnon wrote:
I think it's a very bold choice. And an exciting and interesting pick. It's going to elevate the campaign into a debate over big ideas. It means Romney-Ryan can run on principles and provide some real direction and vision for the Republican Party. And probably lose. Maybe big.

To be fair, he was probably there when Bush's "privatize Social Security" agenda crashed and burned so he has at least some experience in the field.

Edited, Aug 14th 2012 8:25am by Jophiel
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#105 Aug 14 2012 at 10:15 AM Rating: Excellent
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I don't feel like starting a whole new thread, so I'll just drop this here for discussion.

http://www.cbsnews.com/8301-250_162-57492342/why-the-fuss-over-paul-ryans-medicare-plan/?pageNum=2&tag=contentMain;contentBody

Quote:
Starting in 2023, the plan would give seniors vouchers to purchase either private insurance or traditional, government-run insurance on an exchange. (This means that no one over 55 would see any changes to Medicare they now receive or expect.) Private insurers would compete with the traditional Medicare program to offer the best plan possible for the level of "premium support" that a senior gets. Once a senior had a plan, he would have to pay out of pocket for any health care costs the voucher couldn't cover.

Federal spending increases on Medicare would be capped at half a percentage point higher than the growth rate of the economy. Theoretically, that means that if health care costs rise faster than that, seniors would increasingly have to pay more out of pocket.

Romney promises Floridians he and Ryan will protect Medicare
Election 2012: complete coverage

The rationale for this dramatic change to Medicare is that it would compel seniors to spend less on health care, said Joseph Antos of the conservative American Enterprise Institute, and thus compel health care providers to offer more competitive prices.

"It's widely acknowledged we have overuse" in the health care sector, Antos told CBSNews.com. "If we change to a system that says the health sector has a fixed amount of money this year... it creates a tremendous incentive for providers to change the way they operate and think more about what is the most efficient way to treat a patient's problems."

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You guys keep tossing facts out there like they mean something.


#106 Aug 14 2012 at 10:23 AM Rating: Excellent
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Reagan's old OMB Director has a pretty scathing take-down of (Romney-)Ryan's plan from a more conservative perspective. Long read even with bunches cut out of it...
Quote:
Thirty years of Republican apostasy — a once grand party’s embrace of the welfare state, the warfare state and the Wall Street-coddling bailout state — have crippled the engines of capitalism and buried us in debt. Mr. Ryan’s sonorous campaign rhetoric about shrinking Big Government and giving tax cuts to “job creators” (read: the top 2 percent) will do nothing to reverse the nation’s economic decline and arrest its fiscal collapse.
[...]
Indeed, adjusted for inflation, today’s national security budget is nearly double Eisenhower’s when he left office in 1961 (about $400 billion in today’s dollars) — a level Ike deemed sufficient to contain the very real Soviet nuclear threat in the era just after Sputnik. By contrast, the Romney-Ryan version of shrinking Big Government is to increase our already outlandish warfare-state budget and risk even more spending by saber-rattling at a benighted but irrelevant Iran.
[...]
The greatest regulatory problem — far more urgent that the environmental marginalia Mitt Romney has fumed about — is that the giant Wall Street banks remain dangerous quasi-wards of the state and are inexorably prone to speculative abuse of taxpayer-insured deposits and the Fed’s cheap money. Forget about “too big to fail.” These banks are too big to exist — too big to manage internally and to regulate externally. They need to be broken up by regulatory decree. Instead, the Romney-Ryan ticket attacks the pointless Dodd-Frank regulatory overhaul, when what’s needed is a restoration of Glass-Steagall, the Depression-era legislation that separated commercial and investment banking.
[...]
A true agenda to reform the welfare state would require a sweeping, income-based eligibility test, which would reduce or eliminate social insurance benefits for millions of affluent retirees. Without it, there is no math that can avoid giant tax increases or vast new borrowing. Yet the supposedly courageous Ryan plan would not cut one dime over the next decade from the $1.3 trillion-per-year cost of Social Security and Medicare.

Instead, it shreds the measly means-tested safety net for the vulnerable: the roughly $100 billion per year for food stamps and cash assistance for needy families and the $300 billion budget for Medicaid, the health insurance program for the poor and disabled. Shifting more Medicaid costs to the states will be mere make-believe if federal financing is drastically cut.
[...]
Like his new boss, Mr. Ryan has no serious plan to create jobs. America has some of the highest labor costs in the world, and saddles workers and businesses with $1 trillion per year in job-destroying payroll taxes. We need a national sales tax — a consumption tax, like the dreaded but efficient value-added tax — but Mr. Romney and Mr. Ryan don’t have the gumption to support it.

The Ryan Plan boils down to a fetish for cutting the top marginal income-tax rate for “job creators” — i.e. the superwealthy — to 25 percent and paying for it with an as-yet-undisclosed plan to broaden the tax base. Of the $1 trillion in so-called tax expenditures that the plan would attack, the vast majority would come from slashing popular tax breaks for employer-provided health insurance, mortgage interest, 401(k) accounts, state and local taxes, charitable giving and the like, not to mention low rates on capital gains and dividends. The crony capitalists of K Street already own more than enough Republican votes to stop that train before it leaves the station.

In short, Mr. Ryan’s plan is devoid of credible math or hard policy choices.


Edited, Aug 14th 2012 11:24am by Jophiel
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#107 Aug 14 2012 at 10:29 AM Rating: Excellent
Screenshot
.

In before it gets old.
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#108 Aug 14 2012 at 10:31 AM Rating: Excellent
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Apparently only the Spirit Bomb can defeat the forces of Romney and Ryan.
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#109 Aug 14 2012 at 4:20 PM Rating: Default
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Technogeek wrote:
Every time I hear a Republican say "job creator" I laugh. Rich people do not create jobs. Demand creates jobs.


False. Blatantly so. "Rich people" (businesses really) create jobs. Demand makes those jobs profitable. Both parts are required for creating and sustaining jobs. You need demand to make jobs sustainable, but you first need someone with the money to hire the workers. And that someone is pretty much always going to be a "rich person". Those are parts one and two of the employment picture.

Quote:
Giving these rich people more money (i.e. less taxes) will NOT create sufficient consumer demand to turn around the economy.


Part three is that the process of employing someone has to produce profits for the employer, or he wont do it any more (or will do it less). Thus, taxes directly cut into the rate of future job creation. If it costs me $400k to expand my business into a new location, in which I can then hire 100 new workers, anything that increases the time it takes me to make the money decreases the rate at which my business will create new jobs.


It's really not rocket science. But it's like because the subject is employment, people lose all their normal mathematical abilities and their brains turn to mush or something. If instead of talking about hiring someone, we spoke instead about buying a pony, you'd all agree that if little Jenny earns $15 a week profit at her lemonade stand, and it costs $1500 to buy a pony, that it will take her 100 weeks to save up the money to buy that pony. If the government taxes her profits at 10%, then it will take her longer to be able to afford the pony than if it didn't tax her at all. If it increases the tax rate to 20% it will further increase the time it takes her to buy that pony. If she buys a pony every time she has enough money to do so, then we can say that the tax rate directly affects the rate at which she can purchase ponies. The higher the tax rate, the lower the rate of pony purchasing. Everyone can understand this when put in those terms, but if I make the exact same point about the rate of employment being affected by tax rates, your brains will explode and you'll all run around insisting that some unexplainable magic happens in just this one case that prevents this effect from occurring.


How so many people can buy such a blatantly false assumption without question is beyond me. Of course higher taxes on "the rich" will decrease job creation rate. It can't not do so.
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#110 Aug 14 2012 at 4:32 PM Rating: Default
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BrownDuck wrote:
I don't feel like starting a whole new thread, so I'll just drop this here for discussion.

http://www.cbsnews.com/8301-250_162-57492342/why-the-fuss-over-paul-ryans-medicare-plan/?pageNum=2&tag=contentMain;contentBody

Quote:
Starting in 2023, the plan would give seniors vouchers to purchase either private insurance or traditional, government-run insurance on an exchange. (This means that no one over 55 would see any changes to Medicare they now receive or expect.) Private insurers would compete with the traditional Medicare program to offer the best plan possible for the level of "premium support" that a senior gets. Once a senior had a plan, he would have to pay out of pocket for any health care costs the voucher couldn't cover.



They're missing a key provision though. The voucher amounts are set at the second lowest bid from insurance plans. Seniors can then choose which plan they want. If they go with the cheapest plan, they can pocket the difference. If they go with a higher cost plan, then they have to pay the difference. If they choose the base plan, it costs them nothing at all.

What this does is give seniors the choice to go with a more expensive plan *if* they are willing to pay the extra cost. But all seniors will have access to a plan at zero additional cost. The way the article says it makes it look like they'll always be stuck paying more but that is simply not true.

Quote:
Federal spending increases on Medicare would be capped at half a percentage point higher than the growth rate of the economy. Theoretically, that means that if health care costs rise faster than that, seniors would increasingly have to pay more out of pocket.


No. It means that the program would have a shortfall that would have to be addressed at some future point. Which is exactly what will happen anyway if we don 't do anything. Why not speculate about how the government will make seniors pay the difference under the current system as well? Isn't it equally valid?


Quote:
Quote:
The rationale for this dramatic change to Medicare is that it would compel seniors to spend less on health care, said Joseph Antos of the conservative American Enterprise Institute, and thus compel health care providers to offer more competitive prices.

"It's widely acknowledged we have overuse" in the health care sector, Antos told CBSNews.com. "If we change to a system that says the health sector has a fixed amount of money this year... it creates a tremendous incentive for providers to change the way they operate and think more about what is the most efficient way to treat a patient's problems."

Smiley: oyvey

Republicans to old people: Stop trying so hard to stay alive and healthy.


No. Look at the costs for things and shop around. The bid and choose system proposed in this plan means that insurers will have an incentive to keep costs low while offering the services that seniors want and need. That will create pressure on the health care providers to keep costs down as well. This is in contrast to a system where the government just writes checks to the providers with minimal checks on costs, which is an invitation to find ways to increase those costs.

Competition is a good thing.
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More words please
#111 Aug 14 2012 at 4:47 PM Rating: Good
gbaji wrote:
Technogeek wrote:
Every time I hear a Republican say "job creator" I laugh. Rich people do not create jobs. Demand creates jobs.


False. Blatantly so. "Rich people" (businesses really) create jobs. Demand makes those jobs profitable. Both parts are required for creating and sustaining jobs. You need demand to make jobs sustainable, but you first need someone with the money to hire the workers. And that someone is pretty much always going to be a "rich person". Those are parts one and two of the employment picture.

Quote:
Giving these rich people more money (i.e. less taxes) will NOT create sufficient consumer demand to turn around the economy.


Part three is that the process of employing someone has to produce profits for the employer, or he wont do it any more (or will do it less). Thus, taxes directly cut into the rate of future job creation. If it costs me $400k to expand my business into a new location, in which I can then hire 100 new workers, anything that increases the time it takes me to make the money decreases the rate at which my business will create new jobs.


It's really not rocket science. But it's like because the subject is employment, people lose all their normal mathematical abilities and their brains turn to mush or something. If instead of talking about hiring someone, we spoke instead about buying a pony, you'd all agree that if little Jenny earns $15 a week profit at her lemonade stand, and it costs $1500 to buy a pony, that it will take her 100 weeks to save up the money to buy that pony. If the government taxes her profits at 10%, then it will take her longer to be able to afford the pony than if it didn't tax her at all. If it increases the tax rate to 20% it will further increase the time it takes her to buy that pony. If she buys a pony every time she has enough money to do so, then we can say that the tax rate directly affects the rate at which she can purchase ponies. The higher the tax rate, the lower the rate of pony purchasing. Everyone can understand this when put in those terms, but if I make the exact same point about the rate of employment being affected by tax rates, your brains will explode and you'll all run around insisting that some unexplainable magic happens in just this one case that prevents this effect from occurring.


How so many people can buy such a blatantly false assumption without question is beyond me. Of course higher taxes on "the rich" will decrease job creation rate. It can't not do so.


If your right wing trickle down theory worked, we'd be living in a consumer paradise right now. Oh yeah, there's always some OTHER reason it doesn't work.

Your assumption that companies will hire people without there being demand already is preciously stupid, and your analogies remain completely insipid. Don't ever change, it's too funny reading 5% of your posts
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#112 Aug 14 2012 at 4:53 PM Rating: Excellent
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Well, we are living in a society full of consumer products so....

This is in spite of TDET, rather than because of.
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#113 Aug 14 2012 at 4:57 PM Rating: Excellent
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No. Look at the costs for things and shop around.

Ignoring the rest of it, this is really one of the major stumbling blocks to Medicare privatization/vouchers. Seniors don't want to be told they have to figure out which insurance plan will be best and risk getting told "Oh, hey, sorry but no treatment for you unless you have cash; this isn't covered". They don't want to be given a giant insurance manual to flip through and try to understand enough byzantine double-speak to make a decision on it. They just want to be able to go to the doctor and know that they're going to get treated. Currently Medicare largely provides that service and threats to disrupt it don't go over well.
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#114 Aug 14 2012 at 5:51 PM Rating: Default
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Technogeek wrote:
If your right wing trickle down theory worked, we'd be living in a consumer paradise right now.


We aren't? What exactly is your criteria for living in a consumer paradise then? Pretty much anything you might want to buy available to purchase (****, any time of the day at the push of a few buttons no less!). Things available which simply didn't exist just 20 years ago. If you were to ask someone 100 years ago what their vision of a consumer paradise would be, what we've got right now would be pretty darn close. I mean, when you can buy cell phones off the rack at a 7/11, we're pretty much there, right?

Quote:
Oh yeah, there's always some OTHER reason it doesn't work.


It does work. Incredibly. What slows it down is when people insist that it doesn't work and decide to use the government to direct money around instead. We'd likely all be driving flying cars right now if we hadn't been putting 12% of our GDP (at just the federal level) into social spending programs.

Quote:
Your assumption that companies will hire people without there being demand already is preciously stupid...


Correct. Had I actually said that, it would have been really stupid. What I actually said is that both demand *and* rich people (aka: business owners) are required for job creation and economic growth. You, on the other hand, said that rich people don't create jobs, which is just as stupid as saying that demand isn't important.

Both are needed. You are the one trying to argue that it can happen with just one of them. Surely you can see that all the demand for something in the world doesn't get you that thing unless someone with the resources to provide it shows up. A thousand people on a deserted island demanding ice cream doesn't make ice cream appear. Someone has to make the ice cream. And prior to that someone has to build the ice cream making machines. And then obtain the materials needed to make ice cream. And *gasp* pay people to make the ice cream.

And guess what? The guy who does that is going to be wealthy because he has to first spend a lot of money before he makes the first bowl of ice cream for all those people who want it. And he's also likely going to become more wealthy as a result of providing ice cream to all those people. This idea that some people have that you can just eliminate the "rich people" and still have the same products and services available in the world around us is frankly bizarre. It's so obviously incorrect that it's hard to imagine how someone can fail to see this. Someone has to build capital *first*. Then they have to use that capital to build additional products and services *first*. Then, and only then, can consumer demand be met and economic growth be realized. Obviously, demand will tend to drive what products and services are generated, but it cannot produce those things on its own. Someone with the capital resources to do so has to exist to do so. And that person will *always* be someone you would label as "rich".


Attacking the rich thinking you can make things better for the working class is like cutting off your arm thinking it'll make it easier to clap your hands. It wont. It'll make things worse, not better.

Edited, Aug 14th 2012 5:04pm by gbaji
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#115 Aug 14 2012 at 6:01 PM Rating: Decent
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Jophiel wrote:
Quote:
No. Look at the costs for things and shop around.

Ignoring the rest of it, this is really one of the major stumbling blocks to Medicare privatization/vouchers. Seniors don't want to be told they have to figure out which insurance plan will be best and risk getting told "Oh, hey, sorry but no treatment for you unless you have cash; this isn't covered". They don't want to be given a giant insurance manual to flip through and try to understand enough byzantine double-speak to make a decision on it. They just want to be able to go to the doctor and know that they're going to get treated. Currently Medicare largely provides that service and threats to disrupt it don't go over well.


And they can take the default zero cost plan and get exactly the same thing they're getting now. The difference is that if they want to make a different choice, they can. Worst case is it's no better than what we have now. But best case, the number of seniors who do actively involve themselves in choice making combined with the requirement of insurance plans to bid their costs will create sufficient competition to drive down prices for all seniors, even those who just take the standard plan.

I don't see how giving people a choice about how their health care dollars are used is a bad thing. Isn't the whole argument behind medicare (and incidentally, the reason it's generally considered a third rail politically) that those people have paid into the program so it's "their money"? Why not let them make choices about their money then? The worst case results for the Ryan plan with regard to medicare is more or less the same (a little better actually) than what Obamacare and existing shortfalls already do. But the best case result is much much better. It's kind of a win-win proposal really.
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#116 Aug 14 2012 at 6:15 PM Rating: Decent
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gbaji wrote:
Every time I hear a Republican say "job creator" I laugh. Rich people do not create jobs. Demand creates jobs.


False. Blatantly so. "Rich people" (businesses really) create jobs. Demand makes those jobs profitable. Both parts are required for creating and sustaining jobs. You need demand to make jobs sustainable, but you first need someone with the money to hire the workers. And that someone is pretty much always going to be a "rich person". Those are parts one and two of the employment picture. [/quote]

False. Blatantly so. Small business owners are not "rich people" by and large. Unless you're trying to imply that the only job creators of note are Fortune 500 companies.
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#117 Aug 14 2012 at 6:50 PM Rating: Excellent
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gbaji wrote:
And they can take the default zero cost plan and get exactly the same thing they're getting now.

Only if Medicare is the second-least expensive option.
CNN wrote:
Each year, companies will submit bids for how much it will cost to provide insurance for a senior that year. The voucher would then be set at the price of the second-lowest bid. In other words, seniors could get the second-cheapest plan for very little. If they chose the cheapest plan, they would actually get a rebate. If they want anything more expensive, they would have to pay for the difference.

Moreover, traditional Medicare will be one of the choices. If it is the second cheapest, not much will change. If, however, it is more expensive, then seniors would have to pay for the difference, but in this way they will have the option to keep their Medicare.

There are potential concerns, however. The first is that the proposal requires that the plans be "actuarially equivalent," but not that they provide the same coverage benefits. This means that plans can tweak benefits they offer to try to preferentially attract healthy customers.

The second issue is that this plan won't save near the money that Ryan's first attempt did. If this plan had been implemented in 2009, it would have saved the federal government 9% that year. But that would have been a one-time savings, and it wouldn't bend the cost curve much at all. Moreover, seniors would have had to pay about $64 a month for their traditional Medicare, which is a significant amount for many of them.
Kaiser Health, March 9 2012 wrote:
"The real question is what it would cost," and whether seniors would pay more out of pocket than they do now, said Jonathan Gruber, an economist at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. He cited the risk the government-run plan would attract the sickest people, driving up its costs, while private plans lure the healthiest. In addition, medical providers could abandon the program if Medicare cuts their rates to curb costs.
[...]
Under the Ryan-Wyden proposal, all plans, including traditional Medicare, would submit bids for how much they would charge to cover a beneficiary's health care costs. The government would pay the full premium for the private plan with the second lowest bid, or for traditional Medicare, whichever is lower. Beneficiaries would have to pay the difference if they chose a plan that set rates higher.

Uwe Reinhardt, a health care economist at Princeton University, predicts that traditional Medicare would likely cut payments to medical providers to avoid higher premiums, driving many of them out of the program. "More doctors and hospitals would have the ability to say they are not taking Medicare patients, as they do with Medicaid," he said. "If the bulk of the elderly are in the private plans, and only the rump are in fee-for-service, it's easy to make that a poverty program."

Traditional Medicare could also be at a disadvantage if it is left with the sickest enrollees -- a scenario that is already playing out, Gruber said. Today, three-quarters of Medicare beneficiaries are in that program, and a quarter are in private Medicare Advantage plans -- mostly HMOs and PPOs. Those plans have enrolled the healthiest seniors since the mid-1990s, using inducements such as subsidized gym memberships, according to an April report by the National Bureau of Economic Research.

So you get to keep your traditional Medicare if it's the second-cheapest and it will almost certainly NOT be the second-cheapest due to the results of Ryan's plan. It's an obvious ploy to dismantle and privatize "Medicare" over time, not "Save" it as Ryan-Romney protest.

Of course, this was Ryan's second plan after his real dream -- directly dismantling Medicare and turning it into a voucher program -- was crushed under public outcry. Going around the back door will have to do for second place, I guess.

This isn't even mentioning the fact that it requires an annual review of the insurance language to ensure you're getting the plan you want and the coverage you need at the "zero cost" price versus knowing you'll be covered via Medicare -- the exact thing I just said they wanted to avoid.

Edited, Aug 14th 2012 7:54pm by Jophiel
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#118 Aug 14 2012 at 8:22 PM Rating: Default
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Debalic wrote:
gbaji wrote:
False. Blatantly so. "Rich people" (businesses really) create jobs. Demand makes those jobs profitable. Both parts are required for creating and sustaining jobs. You need demand to make jobs sustainable, but you first need someone with the money to hire the workers. And that someone is pretty much always going to be a "rich person". Those are parts one and two of the employment picture.


False. Blatantly so. Small business owners are not "rich people" by and large. Unless you're trying to imply that the only job creators of note are Fortune 500 companies.


Massive excluded middle in there. Also dealing with a subjective (and relative) term like "rich". Given the context (the statement that "rich people don't create jobs"), we can assume that "rich people" in this case refers to any business owner and/or potential employer. The statement was more about supply versus demand side economics than what exactly qualifies someone as "rich". At least that's how I interpreted it.
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#119 Aug 14 2012 at 8:50 PM Rating: Default
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Jophiel wrote:
gbaji wrote:
And they can take the default zero cost plan and get exactly the same thing they're getting now.

Only if Medicare is the second-least expensive option.


Um... By "exactly the same thing they're getting now" I mean that they'll get a set of health benefits provided without cost to them. You get that medicare benefits change over time anyway, right? Do you think that medicare in 2030something will be exactly identical to medicare today? Actually, there wont be a medicare system in 2030something if we don't adopt something like the Ryan plan. So let's stop quibbling over silly semantics.


Quote:
So you get to keep your traditional Medicare if it's the second-cheapest and it will almost certainly NOT be the second-cheapest due to the results of Ryan's plan.


So Medicare is overpriced, right? You get that these are bids for insurance coverage. All of them will presumably be required to meet some minimum coverage requirements equivalent to what Medicare provides today (otherwise I could bid a price of $50 and provide coverage for one bottle of Tylenol and have that count as the low bid, which is ridiculous and you know it). Your argument is like saying that we should just continue to give the same contract to the company we've been using because if we opened it up to bids it probably wont be the lowest bid (or even the second lowest!).

Do you know what happens every single time when you open stuff like this up to bidding? You discover that the guy you've been paying all along has been massively overcharging you.

Quote:
It's an obvious ploy to dismantle and privatize "Medicare" over time, not "Save" it as Ryan-Romney protest.


Let's not get caught up on labels Joph. The objective here is to ensure that people who've been paying payroll taxes their entire lives under the promise that they'll receive health care coverage when they retire in return will actually have health care coverage when they retire. You can play games with what is "Medicare" and what is privatizing and what is saving, but at the end of the day what matters is that people actually get back what they were promised when they paid that money.

Right now, Obamacare directly steals from those people and gives that money to those who haven't (yet) paid. Isn't that a violation of that promise? Hasn't he already "changed medicare as we know it"? He has violated that trust. He has taken away from those seniors the money they paid into in order to buy votes for his party among a large and younger crowd. You don't think seniors are aware of this? Ryan's plan, while I'm sure not perfect, is at least an honest attempt to undo that damage and restore the promise of health care to those people.


So all those false cries from the left really do seem hypocritical. Where were you championing the defense of medicare funding when Obamacare was being passed? I know you were aware of this. We discussed it on this board. So forgive me if I don't believe you really care about medicare recipients and whether they're getting a fair deal. You care about supporting a liberal agenda. You honestly don't even seem to care what that agenda is. If the person saying something has a (D) after their name, you defend it. There's just no other explanation for how you can support such a strange array of positions with seemingly incompatible rationales behind them.

Quote:
Of course, this was Ryan's second plan after his real dream -- directly dismantling Medicare and turning it into a voucher program -- was crushed under public outcry. Going around the back door will have to do for second place, I guess.


Ah. But directly stealing funds from medicare by distracting people into supporting Obamacare and ignoring the costs (how often does that happen on the left?) is ok, right? At least Ryan has the honesty to say exactly what he's doing and why and argue for that. Your guys have to conceal what they're doing behind something else. Oh no! Don't look at the money we're taking away from Medicare! Focus on the fact that we need to provide health care for folks in their 20s. That's all that matters. Don't look behind the curtain. Don't ask the price. Don't think for yourself. Just be a good liberal and do what we tell you.


Wow. I mean, for the left to say that Ryan is hurting Medicare? That's rich. I guess if you're going to lie, lie big. But... Wow.

Quote:
This isn't even mentioning the fact that it requires an annual review of the insurance language to ensure you're getting the plan you want and the coverage you need at the "zero cost" price versus knowing you'll be covered via Medicare -- the exact thing I just said they wanted to avoid.


Yeah. Because you speak for all seniors, right? You're so compassionate that you know they don't want to be bothered with making choices. ****. They probably can't even understand them anyway. So you should just make them for those people. You're really doing them a favor. Of course, it's not you making the choices for them, and it's not even a member of their family. Because those people can't be trusted. Nope. The government will make those choices for them. It'll decide what's best for them and just tell them what they must accept.


Cause the Left is all about freedom and individuality, right? It's just funny how every once in awhile you guys can't help but reveal just how much your ideology isn't about freedom at all, but about thinking you know better than everyone else what's best for them, and then forcing them to accept your solutions. And you wonder why us conservatives want small government. Just look at what you think we should do with big government. It would be laughable if it wasn't for the fact that it's really not very funny at all. You guys really do want an authoritarian government to run your lives. And it's not the punchline to a joke.
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#120 Aug 14 2012 at 9:28 PM Rating: Excellent
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gbaji wrote:
Um... By "exactly the same thing they're getting now" I mean...

...you mean they WON'T be getting exactly the same thing now. And I see nothing guaranteeing the exact same benefits -- in fact, if everyone was required to provide the exact same benefits, everyone would pick the cheapest option and shove their underwear full of government rebate checks. It would be ridiculous to ever choose Option #2 (or any other) because Option #1 gets you the same coverage as Medicare AND a free government check. Did this little fact fly past you when you blindly assumed that everyone would be at least as good as Medicare for coverage?
The previous CNN quotee wrote:
The first is that the proposal requires that the plans be "actuarially equivalent," but not that they provide the same coverage benefits

So, no, not "exactly the same". Not remotely. And crying "semantics!" won't make it magically true.

Kind of makes the rest of your post pretty pointless when you don't even understand the plan you're so slavishly defending.

Edited, Aug 14th 2012 10:35pm by Jophiel
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#121 Aug 15 2012 at 7:39 AM Rating: Good
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Jophiel wrote:
Kind of makes the rest of your post pretty pointless when you don't even understand the plan you're so slavishly defending.
So par for the course.
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#122 Aug 15 2012 at 11:01 AM Rating: Good
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In regards to the $700 billion Obama cut from Medicare over ten years that Ryan-Romney are howling about...
Wonk Wire wrote:
“The majority of the cuts…come from reductions in how much Medicare reimburses hospitals and private health insurance companies… The whole idea of Medicare Advantage was to drive down the cost of health insurance for the elderly as private insurance companies competing for seniors’ business. That’s not what happened. By 2010, the average Medicare Advantage per-patient cost was 117 percent of regular fee-for-service. The Affordable Care Act gives those private plans a haircut and tethers reimbursement levels to the quality of care administered, and patient satisfaction.”

“Another big chunk comes from the hospitals. The health law changed how Medicare calculates what they get reimbursed for various services, slightly lowering their rates over time. Hospitals agreed to these cuts because they knew, at the same time, they would likely see an influx of paying patients with the Affordable Care Act’s insurance expansion… The rest of the Affordable Care Act’s Medicare cuts are a lot smaller.”

“It’s worth noting that there’s one area these cuts don’t touch: Medicare benefits.”

(Bolding mine)

Of course Ryan's plan relies on the exact same cuts. But Gbaji forgot to mention that when he was doing his pre-recorded cry about Obama "stealing" money. Probably because he wasn't told to say it and God knows his rant didn't come from any independent research or else he would have known about that whole "benefits" thing from a couple posts above.

The big lie is the GOP line about how they won't change Medicare if you're 55 or older. Because once people who are 54 now hit Medicare age, Medicare WILL change and those changes will affect everyone in the pool. You can't pretend that you're going to start ******** with the number of people in the Medicare program and then say that this won't affect how Medicare allocates payments, benefits, etc. If you're 65 and plan to live past 75 (or 75 and plan to live past 85), your Medicare will absolutely be affected by Ryan's plan.

The whole reason for the "No changes for today's seniors!" lie is because they know how unpopular their idea is. Otherwise they'd be waving banners declaring that the jubilant throngs of seniors could get in on it today (hey, you're giving them "freedom", right Gbaji?; aren't today's seniors worth "freedom" or does Ryan not think so?). Instead, they're delaying the actions and lying about the impact because the true sure as **** ain't gonna help them.
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#123 Aug 15 2012 at 11:48 AM Rating: Decent
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Well then, this puts the GOP ticket in quite a quandry, doesn't it?

http://www.latimes.com/news/politics/la-pn-romney-paul-ryan-medicare-cuts-20120815,0,3351545.story

Quote:
COLUMBUS, Ohio – Mitt Romney on Wednesday unequivocally disavowed more than $700 billion in Medicare spending cuts proposed by his new running mate, Rep. Paul D. Ryan of Wisconsin.

In an interview on “CBS This Morning,” Romney was asked how he squared his running mate’s plan to cut spending on the popular healthcare program for the elderly with his criticism of President Obama for making the same reductions.

“First of all, Congressman Ryan has joined my campaign, and his campaign is my campaign now, and we’re on exactly the same page,” Romney said in response to anchor Anthony Mason’s question. “And my campaign has made it very clear: The president’s cuts of $716 billion to Medicare – those cuts are to be restored if I become president and Paul Ryan becomes vice president.”
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gbaji wrote:
You guys keep tossing facts out there like they mean something.


#124 Aug 15 2012 at 12:39 PM Rating: Excellent
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Well, given that Ryan's plan was wholly dependent upon those cuts to work and Romney hasn't issued an alternative, I guess it's safe to say that Romney doesn't have a plan for Medicare.
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#125 Aug 15 2012 at 12:45 PM Rating: Excellent
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He's recently mentioned something about slashing spending on Amtrak and PBS.
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#126 Aug 15 2012 at 1:24 PM Rating: Excellent
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He's recently mentioned something about slashing spending on...PBS.


Oh, well I'm sure that'll take care of it.
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#127 Aug 15 2012 at 2:56 PM Rating: Decent
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#128 Aug 15 2012 at 3:25 PM Rating: Good
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Along with cutting funding for NPR, which saved dozens of dollars.
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#129 Aug 15 2012 at 3:28 PM Rating: Excellent
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Debalic wrote:
Along with cutting funding for NPR, which saved dozens of dollars.

After someone visited NPR dressed like a pimp terrorist, it was their only option!
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#130 Aug 15 2012 at 9:43 PM Rating: Default
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Jophiel wrote:
gbaji wrote:
Um... By "exactly the same thing they're getting now" I mean...

...you mean they WON'T be getting exactly the same thing now.


They wont be getting the exact same thing if we don't implement Ryan's plan either though. We're talking 16+ years in the future here Joph. Do you receive exactly the same TV programming today as you received 16 years ago? Do you wear the exact same clothes? Do you drive the exact same car? No? Guess what? Medicare will not provide the "exact same care" in 16 years, even if we don't change a thing in terms of funding or payment methodology, just as medicare doesn't provide the "exact same care" that it did 16 years ago.


The promise that they will receive care to meet their needs by using the available technology and medicine of the day will still exist though. Which is the important part. And btw, the status quo alternative doesn't do this. Unless we change something, there will be no money to fund any where near enough care in 16 years. That's the part you seem to be unable to grasp. Unless we start cutting the costs of medicare by a smallish amount today, we'll have to cut it drastically in the future. The Dems just want to ignore this and kick the can down the road and let those folks in the future worry about it and then complain when someone suggests that maybe we should do the responsible thing *today*. Shocking, I know!


Quote:
And I see nothing guaranteeing the exact same benefits -- in fact, if everyone was required to provide the exact same benefits, everyone would pick the cheapest option and shove their underwear full of government rebate checks.


You're getting caught up on "exact same benefits". When someone bids on building a building, there are requirements. How many floors, total square footage, basic facilities involved, etc. But within those parameters, each bidder can come up with a specific design that they think is best and the cost that they can bring that to the customer. The lowest bid is the guy who can build the building that was requested at the lowest price. That doesn't mean that a higher bid might be a design that the customer might prefer, or that includes extras he might be willing to pay extra for, but all the bids must meet the criteria requirements. Absent that you can't have a "lowest bidder" competition at all.

The point is that health care insurers will do the same thing here. They'll come up with packages that offer the required coverage, but may think that they can deliver it cheaper than someone else and thus can bid lower. Others may decide to over slightly better than the requirements figuring some might choose to spend slightly ore to get their pl,ans. In any case, it's competition, which doesn't currently exist. And yes, everyone can choose the lowest plan and pocket the difference. But some might want to "spend" that difference on extras, or even spend some additional money out of their pockets on even more. You're trying to invent possible problems while ignoring the problems that this solves.

Quote:
It would be ridiculous to ever choose Option #2 (or any other) because Option #1 gets you the same coverage as Medicare AND a free government check.


Then what's your problem? Seriously.

Also, your assumption is completely wrong. So no one ever buys food at any but the lowest priced restaurants? No one ever buys anything but the base model car? No one ever buys more than basic cable? You're seriously going to argue this bizarre point? Some people might want more than the basic coverage, and might just be willing to pay for it. Why is this such a hard concept to wrap your head around. It only happens around you every single day.

Quote:
Did this little fact fly past you when you blindly assumed that everyone would be at least as good as Medicare for coverage?
The previous CNN quotee wrote:
The first is that the proposal requires that the plans be "actuarially equivalent," but not that they provide the same coverage benefits

So, no, not "exactly the same". Not remotely. And crying "semantics!" won't make it magically true.


Ok. Tell me what you think that means and how that will magically make the low bid coverage insufficient for the needs of seniors. You're just speculating, aren't you? But can't we do that right now with the existing system? I mean, we could speculate that under the Dems plan (ie: no plan at all), medicare will drop payments for any of a set of things it provides for right now. We could speculate that it wont cover any of a number of procedures, hospital costs, etc. Again, what do you think "actuarially equivalent" means in this context? And how does that compare with how medicare determines coverage over time already?

You're complaining about things that aren't really changes to the system (actually just repeating such complaints voiced by others like a writer at CNN). But what they're really complaining about, and what the real change is, is that this would introduce a little bit of competition into the system. That's what the left hates. Their greatest fear is that something like the Ryan plan will be introduced and by golly it will reduce the costs while providing the same amount of service. Because then their decades long claims that the free market doesn't work, it doesn't benefit anyone but the rich, and that only government can save us all from it. The left is terrified that the bulk of "the people" will finally really see that the socio-economic policies of the left don't work, and those of the right do. That's why the get so shrill whenever something like this is proposed. Because their entire political strength rests on a population of people convinced (aka lied to) that conservative economic ideas don't work and if sufficient evidence is presented that they do, it would spell doom for them politically.
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#131 Aug 15 2012 at 10:20 PM Rating: Excellent
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gbaji wrote:
Ok. Tell me what you think that means and how that will magically make the low bid coverage insufficient for the needs of seniors.

You're kidding, right? I'm guessing that this is your way of hiding the fact that you have no idea what it means. That's okay, no one expects you to know more than you're told to parrot.
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#132 Aug 16 2012 at 7:03 AM Rating: Excellent
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I'm just glad gbaji isn't saying liberal every third word. I mean, he's using euphimisms in place of it the same way a white guy would say "n-word" and think no one knows what the intention is, but at least there is variety to it now.

Edited, Aug 16th 2012 9:04am by lolgaxe
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#133 Aug 16 2012 at 9:35 AM Rating: Excellent
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Biden, Biden, Biden... and this wasn't even one of your good flubs. Smiley: oyvey
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#134 Aug 16 2012 at 9:49 AM Rating: Excellent
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The outrage would sound more sincere coming from someone who hadn't switched to the Republican party and who wasn't actively campaigning for Obama's opponent.
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#135 Aug 16 2012 at 10:10 AM Rating: Excellent
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To his credit, at least he picked a moment when Biden was actually awake.
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#136 Aug 16 2012 at 10:11 AM Rating: Excellent
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Yeah, don't really buy the outrage at all, but I had to roll my eyes at the comment. I'm surprised it got into the speech (Biden going off script?) as it's just the type of thing an opponent likes to blow up into an issue.
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#137 Aug 16 2012 at 10:17 AM Rating: Good
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Well, the good news is that Ryan's selection has elevated the campaign to one of policy and ideas and not about scoring petty points over gaffes and personal attacks.

So thank God for that.
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#138 Aug 16 2012 at 3:58 PM Rating: Decent
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Jophiel wrote:
gbaji wrote:
Ok. Tell me what you think that means and how that will magically make the low bid coverage insufficient for the needs of seniors.

You're kidding, right? I'm guessing that this is your way of hiding the fact that you have no idea what it means. That's okay, no one expects you to know more than you're told to parrot.


That's funny given that based on your comments you're the one who doesn't know what it means. I'll give you a hint: "actuarially equivalent" does not mean "costs the same". To be fair though, based on the comment you quoted, the CNN author doesn't know what actuarial means either. And he's playing the same "exact coverage" semantic game you are. What I find amusing as **** is that you read that sentence in the CNN article and instead of dismissing it as the moronic (and intrinsically contradictory) statement it was, you quoted it as a core counterpoint as though it was some kind of brilliance in writing.


Seriously Joph. Learn what actuarial means, then think about how that fits into the context of health care delivered via insurance, and then re-read the CNN statement you quoted. It's laughable just how wrong it is. I'll even go beyond hinting (cause you'll never bother to learn what it means, much less admit how wrong you are): It means the the resulting total quantity of care the insurance company will statistically be required to pay for is equivalent to the amount of care that medicare statistically pays for over the same period of time relative to the number of people in the plan. That's what "actuarial" means. What it doesn't mean is that it will cost the same though. It means that on average, out of $5 million people, aged 65 and up, they will have to pay for X hip replacements, Y heart transplants, Z bottles of medication, etc over any given period of time. That's what the **** phrase means Joph. And that's exactly how I used it. How much it costs to provide those things, and therefor how much they need to charge based on that risk level, is variable (and what Ryan expects to reduce by introducing competition into the equation).


I'll ask again: What do you think it means? What do you think that the CNN author thought it meant when he wrote that? Because a statement like 'The first is that the proposal requires that the plans be "actuarially equivalent," but not that they provide the same coverage benefits' is either blatantly false *or* the person making the statement is taking extreme liberties with the phrase "same coverage benefits".

Edited, Aug 16th 2012 3:00pm by gbaji
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#139 Aug 16 2012 at 4:23 PM Rating: Good
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Here... learn to read: http://www.actuary.org/pdf/practnotes/health_partd_mar08.pdf

While the scope of the document is limited to select parts of Medicare, the gist of it may help you out.

Edited, Aug 16th 2012 5:24pm by Jophiel
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#140 Aug 16 2012 at 4:57 PM Rating: Decent
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Jophiel wrote:
Here... learn to read: http://www.actuary.org/pdf/practnotes/health_partd_mar08.pdf

While the scope of the document is limited to select parts of Medicare, the gist of it may help you out.


And? Didn't you teachers teach you that just pointing to a source doesn't mean anything? What about the information in that link supports your claim?
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#141 Aug 16 2012 at 5:02 PM Rating: Excellent
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Have you read through it yet?
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#142 Aug 16 2012 at 6:09 PM Rating: Decent
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Jophiel wrote:
Have you read through it yet?


Wait!? So I'm supposed to read through it in order to show you how it doesn't support your point at all? It's your **** link Joph. Why don't you actually, you now.. read it and then tell us how it magically supports this claim that because the Ryan proposal only requires that care be actuarially equivalent, that this means that the low bid can just provide a bottle of generic painkillers and a 20% off casket gift certificate and call it a day.

Let's not forget that your claim is that the total quantity of care provided will not have to be equivalent to medicare, and therefore could be significantly less under the Ryan plan. Your argument in support of this claim is that the phrase "actuarially equivalent" doesn't mean that people get the "exact same care". Ignoring the absurd interpretation of that phrase (no two people get the "exact same care" from medicare today, right), we can assume you really mean that the coverage will not be equivalent.

Now show how this is really going to be the case. It's your claim Joph. Why not at least attempt to back it up?
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#143 Aug 16 2012 at 6:12 PM Rating: Excellent
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Ok, so you didn't read it. That's fine, but given that you've gotten so much wrong already, I can't see any value in continuing a conversation with one so willfully ignorant.

Also, you're the one who said "exactly the same thing". The fact that now you need to spin and jump up and down and holler about me using the phrase is pretty funny and all but I wouldn't think you'd want to keep using it as an argument. Unless your argument is not to take you seriously since you throw a giant fit when someone quotes you.

This must be one of those Republican moments like Senator Kyl has... "Not intended to be a factual statement".

Edited, Aug 16th 2012 7:15pm by Jophiel
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#144 Aug 16 2012 at 6:59 PM Rating: Decent
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Jophiel wrote:
Ok, so you didn't read it. That's fine, but given that you've gotten so much wrong already, I can't see any value in continuing a conversation with one so willfully ignorant.


Oh. I read it. Even the methodology section where it precisely spells out how you are wrong. I keep hoping that you'll actually read it and figure it out for yourself though.

Quote:
Also, you're the one who said "exactly the same thing".


I said they'd get the "exact same thing" (meaning health coverage equivalent to what they have now). You're the one trying to play semantic games with that statement. Yes Joph. It's going to be named something else, so it's not going to be exactly the same thing. And obviously, the intent is to introduce competition, so that prices will go down, so it wont be exactly the same in that respect either. But only a complete moron would interpret my statement in such a way as to insist that any slight difference invalidates it.


The bidding plans will have to provide the same coverage that medicare does. That is the "exact same thing" I was referring to. Thus, claims that Ryan's plan will somehow ***** over seniors are simply false. Worse case, nothing improves. Reasonable case, costs decrease by 10% a year. Best case, we find that medicare really is driving health care costs up even more than we think and it turns out that we can actually provide that care for 40-50% less than it currently costs us.


Quote:
The fact that now you need to spin and jump up and down and holler about me using the phrase is pretty funny and all but I wouldn't think you'd want to keep using it as an argument. Unless your argument is not to take you seriously since you throw a giant fit when someone quotes you.


You're going to a great lengths to avoid actually telling us how the link you provided supports your claim that coverage that is "actuarially equivalent" wont provide the "same coverage benefits". That's kind of a core part of your argument, isn't it? You'd think you'd at least attempt to defend it.

Quote:
This must be one of those Republican moments like Senator Kyl has... "Not intended to be a factual statement".


Uh... You're attacking me on a semantic issue that doesn't affect my argument at all. Meanwhile, you've made a statement which is factually incorrect and which forms the core of your position, and are doing everything you can to avoid facing that. Let's not forget that you are the one who is claiming that the plans bid on under the Ryan proposal will be able to offer less coverage than medicare. Yet the only support you've give for this claim is to insist that "actuarially equivalent" doesn't mean that the plan will have to provide the same benefit.

But it does, right? I mean, that's what the term actually means. It's how it's used in the Medicare plan D expansion document you provided. And that's what's so funny about this (and presumably why you're unwilling to actually talk about the issue itself).
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#145 Aug 16 2012 at 7:02 PM Rating: Excellent
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gbaji wrote:
Oh. I read it. Even the methodology section where it precisely spells out how you are wrong. I keep hoping that you'll actually read it and figure it out for yourself though.

Ok, so do share. Quote precisely where it says I'm wrong.

Edited, Aug 16th 2012 8:03pm by Jophiel
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#146 Aug 16 2012 at 7:08 PM Rating: Excellent
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Jophiel wrote:
gbaji wrote:
Oh. I read it. Even the methodology section where it precisely spells out how you are wrong. I keep hoping that you'll actually read it and figure it out for yourself though.

Ok, so do share. Quote precisely where it says I'm wrong.

Edited, Aug 16th 2012 8:03pm by Jophiel

This isn't even remotely entertaining. If either one of you had actually read it, you should quote it and make your point already. This little game of NO U is just toddler'ish.
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gbaji wrote:
You guys keep tossing facts out there like they mean something.


#147 Aug 16 2012 at 7:14 PM Rating: Excellent
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I've walked Gbaji by hand through legislation and government documents before just to have him cover his eyes and keep chanting "No". I've no interest in doing it again.

You're certainly under no obligation to read the thread though. I wouldn't want you to feel otherwise.
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#148 Aug 16 2012 at 7:14 PM Rating: Decent
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BrownDuck wrote:
Jophiel wrote:
gbaji wrote:
Oh. I read it. Even the methodology section where it precisely spells out how you are wrong. I keep hoping that you'll actually read it and figure it out for yourself though.

Ok, so do share. Quote precisely where it says I'm wrong.

Edited, Aug 16th 2012 8:03pm by Jophiel

This isn't even remotely entertaining. If either one of you had actually read it, you should quote it and make your point already. This little game of NO U is just toddler'ish.

Had you actually read it, you'd know it proves you are actually the toddler'ish one.
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#149 Aug 16 2012 at 7:20 PM Rating: Excellent
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TirithRR wrote:
Had you actually read it, you'd know it proves you are actually the toddler'ish one.

It proves your mom is toddler'ish Smiley: mad
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#150 Aug 16 2012 at 7:21 PM Rating: Good
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Your toddler is mom'ish.
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#151 Aug 16 2012 at 7:34 PM Rating: Decent
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I don't think it's unreasonable to expect that the person who presents a link as support for his position should actually provide something from the link that actually, you know... supports his position. It's Joph's link. I assume there must have been some reason he linked it and only he can tell us what that is.
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